Friday, July 01, 2022

From Ian:

BDS Puts Jews and Israel Under Attack
One of the most significant and sinister BDS developments in recent memory occurred in June with the release of the ‘Mapping Project,’ which created a literal diagram of Boston area Jewish institutions and entities purportedly involved in “local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing.”

The map, which was endorsed by the Boston BDS movement and by Jewish Voice for Peace, includes 483 entities such as schools, synagogues, communal groups, NGOs and philanthropists, as well as an immense range of public and private institutions, from major corporations like Apple and General Dynamics to local police departments and firms.

The map goes far beyond the usual BDS emphasis on multinational corporations, universities, and police departments by accusing unexceptional entities of unique evil thanks to connections with Zionism. One example is the Jewish Teen Foundation of Boston that “hosts events for Boston area teenagers which promote and normalize Israel’s ongoing colonial subjugation of Palestinians and theft of Palestinian land and resources.”

Another, the Kleinfelder Northeast construction and design firm, is accused of providing services to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and proposing to construct a prison for the Commonwealth that “attempted to whitewash over the inherently violent and dehumanizing realities of caging human beings in prions (sic).” The Harpoon brewery is accused of “propaganda/normalization” and “Zionism” for partnering with an Israeli firm that specialized in desalinization.

The project’s stated goal, to “reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them,” explicitly targeting Jewish entities and individuals.

Though several Massachusetts politicians support BDS, the map drew widespread condemnation including from Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, and others. A bipartisan group of 37 House members also called on Federal law enforcement officials to investigate the project and its potential use by extremist groups.

Local and national media and Jewish leaders also denounced the project. Local FBI officials claimed to be aware of the project and were investigating, but stated that no direct threat had been identified.
Out of context: Stripping Jews of their national identity
A new pattern seems to be emerging from the extreme anti-Zionist camp, which appropriates clear-cut cases of murderous hate taking place in American cities today and distorts the context by either localizing or universalizing its message to vilify Israel, Israelis, and Jews.

Responses from many within the anti-Israel movement to the recent mass shooting in Buffalo and the second anniversary of the George Floyd murder over the past months highlight this pattern. In both cases, anti-Zionists proceeded to conflate those atrocities with some aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some examples of this follow.

Not only does this strategy often veer into clear antisemitism, but it also defeats the seeming purpose of such activism. It certainly doesn’t help Palestinian advocacy as it gets mired in accusations of antisemitism and, at the same time, waters down the legitimate campaign to advance core racial justice issues in the United States.

The tragic May 14 Buffalo shooting targeting Black Americans took place a day before Palestinians and Palestinian activists were commemorating the 74th anniversary of Nakba Day, which marks the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in the period around the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Appropriating the proximity of both events, elements of the anti-Israel movement in the United States merged their commemoration of Nakba Day with attempts to draw parallels between the murderous act in Buffalo and Palestinian rejectionism of the creation of the State of Israel. They cynically universalized their message by alleging that Zionism, or support for the existence of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel, is a form of racism akin to white supremacy; therefore, so the logic goes, the murder of black Americans at the hands of a white supremacist is somehow akin to the Jewish struggle for self-determination.

Examples of this include:
- The US-based anti-Israel group Adalah Justice Project tweeted, “We must work to end all systems of supremacy that spawn hate and violence. End white supremacy. End antisemitism. End Zionism. Strength to Buffalo tonight.”
- The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights tweeted, “Today is #NakbaDay—the 74th anniversary of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people continuing since 1948—and today we also fight for Black liberation & mourn the white supremacist attack in Buffalo. All forms of oppression are interconnected & must be fought together.”
- The Anti-Zionist poet and activist Remi Kanazi tweeted, “Why solidarity matters. It’s Nakba Day. Other communities are in pain and dealing with supremacist forces. If we don’t fight against all systems of domination and build with each other, the oppression we face will never truly end, even if we think it does.”

Through an intentional mischaracterization of Zionism, these groups call for a collective effort to fight what Jews have always considered the core of Zionism, the Jewish right to self-determination.
Seven Notorious Fake Quotes and Misquotes About Israel
A famous man once said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

When it comes to discussions about Israel and Zionism, the Jewish people’s liberation movement, this statement could not be more accurate. Many times, both journalists and social media influencers will share famous quotes about Israel that are either outright fabrications or deceptive misquotes. However, by the time the truth about these quotes is revealed, they have already been shared thousands of times and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.

The following is a list of some of the most popular false quotes or misquotes about Israel that are still shared by both reputed news outlets and online celebrities:

1. “We must expel the Arabs and take their places” — David Ben-Gurion
Cited in such reputable news sources as The Economist, The Independent, and The Baltimore Sun, this quote from a 1937 letter by the future first prime minister of Israel has been the subject of controversy for some time.

According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, who helped popularize this quote by citing it in his 1985 tome “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947 – 1949,” the problem with this quote is that in the original letter, the words written before it are crossed out. If those words are included and the context is taken into account, Ben-Gurion’s words then take on the opposite meaning from that which is commonly quoted.

Morris further claims that, based on the evidence, those words were not crossed out by Ben-Gurion but by someone else at a later time. For these reasons, Morris’ later works either do not reference this quote or he includes the letter’s original words, not the spliced quote that is commonly cited.


“It’s the same slogans and you know where they borrowed them” Izabella Tabarovsky on the parallels between Soviet and present-day far-left antisemitism
Izabella Tabarovsky, an expert on Soviet and contemporary left antisemitism, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where she discussed the parallels between the two, and how much of the modern-day far-left antisemitism draws from Soviet anti-Zionist propaganda.

Ms Tabarovsky said that much of the antisemitic rhetoric emanating from the far-left is something that “I used to hear,” adding: “I grew up in the Soviet Union. It’s something that I read about in Soviet propaganda materials which I have been researching over the last several years. They make for a pretty depressing read because it’s the same slogans and you also know where they borrowed them. Essentially, it’s a reprocessed antisemitic conspiracy theory.

“Take ‘Zionism is racism,’ ‘Zionists are fascists,’ ‘Zionists act like Nazis’…the whole idea that Zionism is the greatest evil on Earth and always suspect, and Zionists are always up to no good, that is the conspiracist aspect to it.”

Describing the conflation between the term “Zionist” and “Jew”, Ms Tabarovsky noted that “It’s just a direct parallel and it’s truly incredible for me to be hearing it today in America and in the Western press. I truly thought I left all of it behind when I came to America.”

When asked about recent remarks in which the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Hitler had “Jewish origins” in his latest insulting attempt to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine, Ms Tabarovsky: “When I saw that, it was as if they’re acting on these old Soviet propaganda memos. But there’s also something new. With antisemitism, we know that it adjusts itself to the current conditions. A new angle is applied to old antisemitic conspiracy theories and rhetoric.

Speaking on Vladimir Putin and Mr Lavrov, Ms Tabarovsky said that “They know really, really well how to manipulate the Jewish topic, the Jewish question, and they know the power of that manipulation. They know it can unify their supporters. Hatred against Jews can unify people across the spectrum, as we know.”
“The big question” with Izabella Tabarovsky | Podcast Against Antisemitism #27
Izabella Tabarovsky is an expert in Soviet and contemporary left antisemitism and the Senior Program Associate at the Wilson Centre’s Kennan Institute, an organisation widely considered the home of America’s leading experts on Russian studies.

In this episode, Izabella discusses the parallels between antisemitism in the Soviet Union and contemporary left-wing antisemitism, the recent remarks made by Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov, and her escape from the Soviet Union.


New York City Council Members Grill CUNY Officials on ‘Pervasive’ Campus Antisemitism in Hearing
The New York City Council held a hearing Thursday on antisemitism at the City University of New York (CUNY), with members pressing school officials on steps to support Jewish students, their position on efforts to boycott Israel, and the absence of CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodríguez.

The Committee of Higher Education hearing, “Examining Antisemitism on College Campuses,” was called weeks after CUNY School of Law faculty endorsed a student government resolution backing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The session was previously set for June 8 but postponed at Matos Rodríguez’s request due to scheduling conflicts. Committee members said Thursday they were told at the last minute that the chancellor would miss the new date, and that several school officials would instead appear virtually.

Committee chair Eric Dinowitz, a Democrat representing the Northwest Bronx, called the problem of antisemitism at CUNY “pervasive,” and said he was “deeply disappointed” at Matos Rodríguez’s failure to appear.

Council Member Inna Vernikov — a South Brooklyn Republican who earlier this month disappropriated $50,000 of funding for CUNY Law School over the BDS vote — said that antisemitism had “infested” many of CUNY’s 26 campuses across the city, with Jewish students and professors feeling “harassed, intimidated, [and] afraid to express their viewpoints.”

She similarly criticized the top administrator’s no-show, saying, “instead, he sent three witnesses who are here on Zoom, they’re not even here in this room to listen to the painful testimony of the professors and the students who have experienced pervasive, ongoing, discrimination and antisemitism at school.”

Matos Rodriguez has previously rejected the law student government BDS resolution and its endorsement by the law faculty, calling an academic boycott of Israel “contrary to a university’s core mission.”
CUNY boss a no-show as Jewish students decry anti-Semitism
Students and professors at New York City’s public colleges testified Thursday that they have been targeted over their Jewish faith, telling lawmakers that the campuses of CUNY and other schools are a hotbed of anti-Semitism.

CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez, however, was a no-show for the long-awaited hearing held by the City Council Committee on Higher Education — and his refusal to testify didn’t go unnoticed.

“Last night, in a very cowardly fashion, the chancellor said he won’t appear. Instead he sent a lawyer to represent him. What a sham, what an insult to the Jewish community of New York,” said Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov.

“When it comes to Jews, do Jewish lives matter?!” fumed Vernikov, a Ukranian-born Jew, who is the ranking Republican on the Council’s Education Committee.

The chancellor missed out on hearing horror stories from students and professors at city universities.

Former CUNY School of Law student Rafaella Gunz said she transferred to Yeshiva University because, “I feared for my physical and emotional well being” after she was demonized by other students over her Jewish faith and Zionist beliefs.
StandWithUs Testifies at NY City Council Hearing On “Antisemitism at CUNY” June 30, 2022
I want to thank Chair Dinowitz and the members of the Higher Education Committee for providing this important opportunity to address the alarming issue of campus antisemitism, in particular at CUNY. I speak before you today as an employee of StandWithUs, an international and non-partisan Israel education organization that inspires and educates people of all ages and backgrounds, challenges misinformation, and fights antisemitism. Through my work as Executive Director of the Campus Department, I help provide students around the world with the support and resources they need to stand up to antisemitism on campus, both in and out of the classroom. But I also speak before you as a CUNY alum, someone who experienced antisemitism within the CUNY system when I was a student.

Over the last few years, antisemitism on campus has steadily increased but it has not been adequately addressed. Jewish and Israeli students are being subjected to a harsh litmus test, where they are treated as equal members of the campus community only if they are willing to limit the expression of their Jewish identity, Zionism, and connection to Israel. Students who fail this test face increasing animosity and marginalization from fellow students and staff, and apathy from their administrations.

This issue isn’t just impacting students; all stakeholders within the CUNY nucleus are affected. Faculty are also being ostracized and harassed, and alumni are continually being disappointed by their alma maters.

For example:
- At the Silberman School of Social Work, where, upon investigating an antisemitic Zoom bombing incident during class, we uncovered years of egregious incidents of antisemitism that the administration knew about yet failed to correct.

- Or at Kingsborough Community College, where Professor Michael Goldstein was the victim of a smear campaign calling for his termination and even physical violence against him because of his open expression of his Zionism.

- Or at CUNY Law School, where a commencement speech referenced a harmful resolution with brazen demands to end study abroad programs in Israel, terminate partnerships with Israeli academics and institutions and "cut all ties” with several Jewish organizations, including Hillel.

- Or when the Undergraduate Student Senate was approached about adopting the international consensus definition of antisemitism – the IHRA working definition – and was responded to with tremendously negative pushback. Not to mention events run by Hillel and student clubs being protested and disrupted.
StandWithUs Testifies at NY City Council Hearing On “Antisemitism at CUNY”
Rena Nasar First, StandWithUs Executive Director of Campus Affairs, speaks about the situation that Jewish students are facing on university campuses at the NYC Council hearing on antisemitism.




Gov't funded Canada Muslim org hosts anti-LGBTQ, pro-terrorism speakers
Canadian government support
MAC has received millions of dollars from the Canadian government over the years. From 2019-2021, the group received over C$2 million in funding for employment and social engagement, in addition to C$350,000 for an anti-racism action program. From January until the end of March of this year, it has received almost C$50,000 for security infrastructure to combat hate crime.

The association has been under audit since 2015 for programming that allegedly does not provide charitable benefit, purported links with foreign entities and religious events rather than social events, CTV news reported in April. MAC has filed a bid to halt the proceedings, calling them Islamophobic.

The location of the 2022 MAC convention is Toronto's Enercare Centre, which is municipal property. According to the City of Toronto's policies, use of such a property isn't allowed for "any individual or group that promotes views and ideas which are likely to promote discrimination, contempt or hatred for any person," including ethnicity, origin, citizenship, religion, and sexual orientation.

The city requires users of its properties to sign a form pledging to take measures against discrimination.

According to MAC's website, the non-profit "provides religious and educational services for the Muslim community in Canada" in 13 cities to establish an Islamic presence integrated in the country's society and culture.

"We believe that most Muslim Canadians reject these ideologies but considering some of the speakers the organizers have invited to speak to our neighbors in Canada's Muslim community, we are concerned that this is something the leadership at the MAC might be trying to change,” Adelson-Marcovitz warned about the convention.
Anti-Israel Activists Try to Turn North Carolina Democrats Against Israel
Many NC Democrats and leaders oppose the anti-Israel resolutions, yet the official said it is possible they would be adopted.

While many Democrats have expressed outrage over the three anti-Israel resolutions, there is great reluctance on the part of Democratic leaders to publicly discuss the issue out of concern that the NC Republican Party will use the issue to attack Democrats.

In response to the anti-Israel resolutions, prominent Democrats are quickly organizing the North Carolina Democratic Party Jewish Caucus. Their press release explains, “There are fellow NC Democrats who we believe propose divisive and impolitic resolutions on world events not pertinent to the concerns of most voters. Some of these resolutions display a lack of empathy towards Jewish existential concerns including those with unbalanced views on Israel which is threatening to a traditional Democratic Party voter base.”

Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley told this newly forming caucus, “I just want to be clear. I condemn in the strongest terms the anti-Israel NCDP [North Carolina Democratic Party] resolution[s] … I am disappointed. I am alarmed. I know it is divisive … I am just so sorry. … It is not at all what we stand for as Democrats.”

The NC Democratic official I interviewed told me that Democratic Party activists who put forth such resolutions rarely have their pulse on the attitudes of the members at large, and that these anti-Israel resolutions are likely not representative of where most Democrats are statewide and nationally.

I pointed out to the party official that the 2022 NC Democratic Party Resolutions Report, published in June, mentions Israel 40 times but does not mention inflation, gasoline prices, food prices, guns, or assault weapons a single time. The official responded that this is due, in part, to when the process began, which was back in February. The official also stated, “A lot of these resolutions are reflective of people’s pet issues.”


Street Protest Demands More Negative Coverage of Israel from New York Times
A June 2022 article by Puryear says, “Now more than ever it is important to remember the shining example of the Soviet Union in confronting hatred, bigotry and xenophobia.”

Actually, the Soviet Union was a hotbed of official bigotry against Judaism, Jewish culture, and the Jewish state, both under Stalin and later, when the Soviet Union spearheaded what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called the “Big Red Lie” that Zionism is racism. Breakthrough News, which posted the slick video promoting the protest at the New York Times, lists Puryear as a cofounder, host and producer.

The LiberationNews article says the protest included a speaker from the Party for Socialism and Liberation and was organized by Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition. A list of “demands” from the Al-Awda group at the end of the announcement of the “emergency rally” included “We also call upon all media outlets to boycott “israel” and we demand that all journalists immediately stop giving cover, using the passive voice, or erasing the cause (‘israel’) of Palestinian abuse, torture, murder and raids. Western journalists and media outlets, by refusing to name ‘israel’ and its actions, are directly responsible for facilitating the ongoing impunity of ‘israeli’ forces and settler-agents of colonization — and thereby are facilitating those crimes.”

New York Times coverage of Abu Akleh’s death appearing after the protest tilted sharply against Israel. A Times opinion piece by Diana Buttu falsely claimed, “For too long, Israeli political and military leaders have fostered an environment in which Israeli soldiers apparently consider the lives of Palestinians disposable.” A Times Sunday staff editorial echoed classical antisemitic tropes, accusing Jews of being morally callous to the killing. “Israelis should care more about what happened to Ms. Abu Akleh,” the Times lectured. And a Times “investigation” of the death claimed, inaccurately and preposterously, that “Palestinian deaths rarely attract international scrutiny.”
A seven-year BBC omission finally comes to an end
The BBC does not bother to inform readers how long Avera Mengistu has been held captive by Hamas or to explain in its own words how the holding hostage of two mentally challenged civilians without allowing communication with their families violates conventions.

But the most noteworthy thing about this BBC report is that it appeared at all.

As we documented two years ago, until now BBC audiences have never heard the names Hisham al Sayed or Avera Mengistu:

THE TWO NAMES BBC AUDIENCES HAVE NEVER HEARD
In the two years since then, occasional references have been made (or not) to Israeli captives held in the Gaza Strip, but again, without mentioning their names.

“The right-wing chairman of Israel’s parliamentary committee on security opposed the transfer, claiming vaccines would first go to Gaza’s militant leaders – he linked the issue to that of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two soldiers believed to be held in Gaza.” [February 2021]

“The reason why I asked about conditionality is because I’ve read in places that Israel will only agree to full reconstruction of Gaza if there’s like a prisoner swap for instance.” [October 2021]

So, nearly seven years after their incarceration in Gaza became public knowledge, this article is – as far as we are aware – the first item of BBC content which mentions the names Hisham al Sayed and Avera Mengistu.

By any standards, that’s one heck of an omission.
The Real Céline
The promotion of Guerre is silent about the three polemics Céline wrote between 1937 and 1941. Bagatelles pour un massacre, L’École des cadavres, and Les Beaux Draps are an inescapable feature of the time when Hitler was conquering Europe. Céline was now destroying conventional morality with the same eager fanatical spirit that motivated the working of his mind. He became the personification of the contempt that Nazis felt for the normal world. Gloating over the persecution and mass murder of Jews, he could write, “There is only one anti-Jewish force in this world, only one real pacifist force: the German army.” I have translated a characteristic passage from L’École des cadavres: “I feel I am a good friend of Hitler, a good friend of all Germans. I find that they are brothers and they have every reason to be racists. I’d be very upset if ever they were beaten. I find our real enemies are the Jews.” He put his talents to work with Nazi propagandists, and according to two historians, Annick Duraffour and Pierre-André Taguieff, he denounced at least six people to the Gestapo. Ernst Jünger, a writer with no soft heart, records a meeting in the German embassy in 1941, when Céline was “stupefied that we soldiers are not shooting, hanging, exterminating the Jews — he is stupefied that anyone with a bayonet is not using it all the time.”

With a certain cunning, Céline slipped away to Germany and then on to Denmark, where he had transferred some money. The Danes put him in prison for a year, and a French tribunal sentenced him to national indignity, a meaningless abstract phrase. Returning to France after the war, General de Gaulle was reluctant to punish French collaborators and said that poets ought not to be shot. A poet and journalist who wrote for the collaborationist press, Robert Brasillach was much less guilty than Céline of treachery to the moral codes of centuries. A delegation of intellectuals persuaded the general to have Brasillach shot by way of example. Nothing happened to Gaston Gallimard, then the head of the famous firm, who had arranged with the German authorities to go on publishing as before. Once back home in Paris, Céline showed no remorse. His literary reputation has obscured the hatred he felt for humanity, a hatred so deep that it makes a virtue out of mass murder. Those 80,000 copies of Guerre are part of the discussion that has been going on since the country’s wartime collapse about what it means to be French. Unhappy is the nation that can still make a great man out of Céline.
Mexico president doubles down on Hitler comparison with Jewish analyst
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday said he was right to compare a prominent Mexican Jewish figure to Adolf Hitler for his political mindset, shrugging off a protest from the country's Jewish community.

Lopez Obrador on Wednesday said advertising executive and political analyst Carlos Alazraki, a critic of the president, was "Hitlerian," prompting the Mexican Jewish community to issue a statement rejecting the remarks as "unacceptable."

Lopez Obrador referred to Alazraki after a video was shown during a regular government news conference of the latter in discussion with opposition politicians who said Mexico was allowing in undocumented migrants from Venezuela at a new airport. The government denies this.

"He is extremely conservative, like Hitlerian," Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Jewish Community of Mexico rejected the use of the term "Hitlerian" to refer to anyone: "Any comparison with the most bloodthirsty regime in history is regrettable and unacceptable."

Some Mexican opposition politicians also took offense. "The President's comment against Carlos Alazraki not only violates freedom of expression but is unworthy and out of all proportion. To call a prominent member of the Jewish community 'Hitlerian' is extremely grotesque and aberrant," opposition congressman Santiago Creel said in a tweet.

On Thursday, Lopez Obrador returned to the matter during his regular news conference, saying "Alazraki is a follower of Hitler's thinking," and pointing to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and his use of lies to manipulate public opinion.
Court Hears Testimony in Case Against Melbourne Secondary School for Anti-Jewish Activity
As relayed in court, Snelling’s mother, Natalie, had asked for the school to step in and protect her son. She was told by the school’s vice principal, Lee Angelidis, that “our hands are tied” and “I suggest you find an alternative to Brighton Secondary,” according to The Age.

Minack stated in court that “in hindsight,” the school “should have considered” creating a plan to protect and support Snelling, reported The Age.

The students’ attorney also took the principal to task for failing to apologize to brothers Matt and Joel Kaplan, who left the school because of antisemitism, to which Minack responded, “I’m happy to apologize to them now if they felt that way … I’m happy to apologize right now,” according to the local newspaper.

The other former students suing the school are Liam Arnold-Levy and Guy Cohen.

Minack denied the claims of two of the students that teacher Michael Lyons said Israel didn’t exist and singled them out because they were Jewish. Minack said the claims are “factually incorrect, and it would be offensive.”
Huntington Man Charged With Hate Crime in Vandalism of Zeldin Sign
A Huntington man was arrested Tuesday and charged with a hate crime after a sign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was vandalized and marked with a swastika.

Hate Crimes Unit detectives arrested Vincent J. Mckie, 41, outside his home on Oakwood Road and charged him with Aggravated Harassment 1st Degree, a hate crime, and Criminal Mischief 4th Degree. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on a later date.

A swastika, “187,” and the word “Gambino,” were found painted onto a Zeldin campaign sign at the corner of West Pulaski Road and Oakwood Road in Huntington Station, two days earlier.

Zeldin, who is Jewish, condemned the vandalism when it was discovered, saying,“In the United States, we settle our scores at the ballot box, and this type of raw hate must never have any home on Long Island or anywhere else in our state and country. I am thankful for the Suffolk County Police Department as they work to identify the perpetrators. We will not let this vandalism deter us from our rescue mission to save our state.”

And Huntington Republican chairman Tom McNally wrote, “The antisemitic and threatening graffiti found on the campaign signs of Congressman Lee Zeldin on Pulaski Road in the Town of Huntington is shocking and disturbing.

“As a Huntington resident, I have long taken pride in our wonderful town and the special people who live here. The hateful act of painting swastikas and symbols associated with death threats is disgusting conduct that has no place in our community.”
Trial begins for man accused of creating antisemitic and racist podcasts
A trial has begun for a man accused of creating the website “Radio Aryan”, later named “Radio Albion”, in order to upload antisemitic and racist podcasts.

James Allchurch, 50 from Pembrokeshire, appeared at Swansea Crown Court yesterday. He is accused of fifteen counts of distributing a sound recording stirring up racial hatred.

The charges allege that Mr Allchurch distributed recordings that included the titles “Rivers Of Blood”, “Banned In The UK”, “The Leftist Supremacist Mindset”, and “The Usual Suspects”. The alleged offenses were said to have taken place in Gelli, a village in south Wales.

In previous hearings, the defendant requested he be referred to as “Sven Longshanks”, his podcasting name which is apparently taken from King Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks, who expelled the Jews from England in 1290.

Prosecutor Ian Wright, referring to the podcasts in question, told the court that “These recordings are insulting or abusive and were distributed with intent to stir up racial hated,” labelling the recordings “highly racist and highly antisemitic in nature” as well as “white supremacist in nature”.

The court was played an audio clip in which Mr Allchurch reportedly introduced a song that said the world was better when Black people were enslaved and Jews were persecuted under Adolf Hitler as “one of his favourite tracks”.

Other recordings allegedly made reference to Jewish people controlling the media, banks and TV and film industries.
Jewish Ex-MLB Outfielder Recalls Facing Antisemitism, Fan Giving Nazi Salute
Former professional baseball player Shawn Green revealed in an interview that he faced antisemitism from teammates and fans several times while playing in the minor leagues.

Green, who retired in 2008, played in the major leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets during his 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career. During a Q&A with the Los Angeles Times for the publication’s “Dodgers Dugout” column, Green said that when he was in the minors, he experienced antisemitism “a couple times,” notably from teammates who made antisemitic comments without knowing he was Jewish.

“One teammate, who I got along with well was just kind of egging me on with some derogatory comments,” he told the outlet. Green then opened up about an encounter with an antisemitic fan.

“One time a guy looked at me and gave the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute. That was pretty disturbing,” he shared. “I just get more upset that some people kind of have that much anger that they feel like they need to get it out. It just didn’t make any sense to me. So yeah, not many times, but there’s certain ones that strike a nerve, and that one definitely did.”

Green also noted that his Jewish fans show him lots of “support and love,” adding that in “every city I went to I had Jewish fans that would come to me and say things in Hebrew or Yiddish.”
Walmart to Acquire Israeli Augmented Reality Startup Memomi
Walmart is acquiring Israeli-founded Memomi, an augmented reality (AR) optical tech company. Memomi, which employs just 10 people, all of them in Israel, has never raised any funds.

The value of the acquisition was not revealed by the companies. Following the acquisition, Memomi will serve as an additional innovation center for Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. This is Walmart’s second acquisition of an Israeli company following the purchase of fashion startup Zeekit for an undisclosed sum in May of last year.

Memomi has developed technology to enhance virtual optical try-on experiences, helping customers virtually “try on” eyewear in real-time.

Since 2019, Memomi has enabled digital measurements for all Walmart and Sam’s Optical customers, across more than 2,800 Walmart Vision Centers and 550 Sam’s Clubs, and also powers the Optical eCommerce experience on SamsClub.com. Acquiring Memomi will allow Walmart to offer personalized access to optical care.

Memomi was founded in 2015 by Israelis Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky and Ofer Saban, who was the CTO at MobileAccess when it was acquired by Corning for over $150 million. Saban moved back to Israel in 2016 to set up Memomi’s R&D center. Calcalist has learned that Memomi approached many of the VC funds in Israel in the hope to receive funding, but was rejected by all of them.
Elbit Systems Closes Asia-Pacific Deals for a Total $768M
Elbit Systems announced Thursday that it has been awarded a $548 million contract to supply military-wide multi-domain combat networked warfare capabilities to the Armed Forces of a country in Asia-Pacific.

The contract will be performed over a four-year period.

Under the contract, Elbit Systems will provide an integrated solution comprising of the ELBIT TIGER-X™ networking middleware; a TORCH-X™ based suite of airborne, land and ship-borne Command and Control applications; as well as advanced waveforms and a wide range of E-LynX™ Software Defined Radio (SDR) systems including airborne, vehicular, handheld, and shipborne configurations.

The program will include extensive co-development efforts and transfer of know-how.

“These comprehensive combat networked capabilities are intended to improve operational effectiveness, decision making and interoperability across all domains of operation, platforms and systems,” the company said.

Elbit Systems is engaged in networked warfare programs in several countries, among them Switzerland, Israel, the UK, Sweden, Canada and others.
Israeli-developed smart fabric uses electricity to fast-track repair of nerves
Israeli researchers say they have developed a material that speeds the repair of damaged nerves using electricity.

The ultra-thin material — a high-tech fabric of sorts — can be wrapped around damaged nerves inside the body and then enable electricity derived from light to flow there after the wound is closed up.

Its inventors, from Haifa’s Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, have tested the material on rats and documented its effectiveness in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Materials.

The material speeded up nerve repair in rats by 33 percent, and now heads to development and testing on humans.

Prof. Hemi Rotenberg, one of the inventors, said that after further development it could be used both to repair nerves and potentially for temporary heart pacing — stimulating the heart after operations. He expects it to be ready for widespread use on humans within three to five years.

“After peripheral nerve damage, the nerves regrow but they do so slowly, and while we’re waiting, people can suffer significant damage. We were aiming to speed this process,” Rotenberg, who is based at the Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, told The Times of Israel.

“Electrical stimulation seems to help, but it’s only really possible when the wound is open — unless we leave an electrical stimulation in the nerves after closing this wound. This can necessitate problematic operations to remove the device,” he said.

“Our solution is a very thin material that is made of silicone, which can be wrapped around the nerve while the wound is open. The wound can then be closed, and the material is stimulated using light.”
Israel’s Under-19s fall to 3-1 defeat by England in European soccer final
Israel’s under-19 men’s soccer team was defeated by England in the country’s first-ever European soccer final on Friday night, with England notching the winning goals late into extra time.

The Israeli team had taken the lead in the first half of the UEFA Under-19 European Championship final, played in Trnava, Slovakia, with a goal from Oscar Gloukh, who fired home on 40 minutes.

But England equalized in the second half, with defender Callum Doyle sending the match into extra time.

Then, with 12 minutes remaining, England took the lead when a cross from the right was bundled into the net by Carney Chukwuemeka.

The Israeli team, which dominated possession for much of the match, came close to tying minutes later, but England cleared the danger after a goalmouth scramble.

And with four minutes left, and Israel pressing forward in search of an equalizer, England’s Aaron Ramsey sealed the win from close range.

Before the game, Israel’s newly installed Prime Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that he had called coach Ofir Haim to wish the team luck and tell him “all of Israel is behind you… and proud of you. You have already proved you are champions. Now go and show the world.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla receives honorary doctorate from Technion
Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla on Thursday was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in honor of his role in developing a safe COVID-19 vaccine.

Bourla and his company were the first to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus, done through the use of mRNA techniques in just nine months. Since then, the vaccine has gone on to be used all over the world and is still widely held as the gold standard for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The award, given to Bourla by Technion president Prof. Uri Sivan during the graduation ceremony for 1,869 undergraduate students, recognized his "exceptional leadership" in developing the vaccine "in the face of a global crisis."

An extraordinary biotechnological achievement
"The development of the COVID-19 vaccine is an extraordinary biotechnological achievement that exemplifies the importance of science and multidisciplinary research," Sivan noted. "The vaccine helped rescue the world from the crisis that began at the end of 2019, with the epidemic outbreak. Dr. Bourla's family history, as a son of Holocaust survivors from Thessaloniki, is a symbol of the remarkable vitality of the Jewish people, their liveliness, and their renewal capacity in the wake of the Holocaust."

“As a scientist and a Jew, I can’t overstate how much it means to me to receive this degree and to be invited to address this year’s graduating class," Bourla said in a speech to the graduating students.

"Since first opening its doors in 1924, the Technion has been a beacon of light not only for Israel, but for the entire world. The story of the Technion, like that of my company, Pfizer, is one of innovation, but also of courage and optimism – all of which have helped give birth to technological and scientific breakthroughs aimed at making the world a better place."
His way: Frank Sinatra in the service of Israel
It was March 1948 – in a few weeks, the State of Israel would declare its independence.

The Haganah organization was working back channels in order to arm the Jewish population in what was still officially Mandatory Palestine. Fighting was already underway. At a room in a New York hotel that served as the Haganah’s de-facto local HQ, Teddy Kollek planned his next moves: His mission, on David Ben-Gurion’s orders, was to transfer funds to the captain of an Irish ship, docked not far away and loaded with ammunition. Once the transfer was made, the ship was set to sail to the Land of Israel. But Kollek, who years later would become famous as an iconic mayor of Jerusalem, faced a difficult problem: as a known Haganah operative, US federal agents were monitoring his every move. Every member of his team was being watched as well. He knew there was no way he could get the money out of the hotel on his own to pay the captain. The fate of the arms delivery the Haganah so desperately needed was unclear.

Next to the Haganah’s secret headquarters, in the very same building, was the famous Copacabana nightclub. Haganah agents would sit at the bar and drink alongside the cream of New York’s entertainment scene. One of the establishment’s frequent visitors was none other than Frank Sinatra.

“I went downstairs to the bar and Sinatra came over, and we were talking,” Kollek later recalled. “I don’t know what came over me, but I told him what I was doing in the United States and what my dilemma was.”

The next day, in the early morning hours, Teddy Kollek left the building holding a bag. FBI agents followed him. At the same moment, Frank Sinatra left out the back exit, carrying a million dollars in a paper bag. He went down to the pier, made the delivery to the captain, and waved goodbye to the ammunition ship as it sailed on its way.






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