Thursday, January 19, 2023

From Ian:

The Wages of Online Antisemitism
When it comes to social media, the reality is: if it enrages, it engages. Stigmatizing content attracts a high degree of attention and is widely circulated because it elicits a visceral reaction and triggers emotions such as contempt and disgust. Those who subscribe to extremist and fringe beliefs will be exposed to increasingly more radical content as they follow a rabbit-hole of increasingly radical content fed to them by recommendation algorithms.

This isn't accidental. Eliciting outrage drives user engagement, which in turn drives profits. This helps explain why so little has been done to mitigate the explosion of online hatred impacting vulnerable communities. It simply doesn't pay.

Yet, the propagation of conspiracy theories and online outrage threatens to undermine many of the American values we cherish, including the duty to protect minorities, the right to speak freely, and the ability to seek truth and acquire knowledge.

Some believe that interventions designed to keep people safe from online-instigated violence will interfere with the right to freedom of expression. These voices confuse freedom of speech with "freedom of reach." Purveyors of hate have no right to be handed an ever-louder megaphone to disseminate their messages of intolerance and bigotry.

There is enormous power in having a wealth of information, connectivity, and entertainment in the palm of our hands. But we can no longer ignore the unchecked harm being inflicted by the technology companies that develop and manipulate their algorithms. In an environment of feeble accountability, hate and disinformation will continue to spread, amplify, and encourage real-world violence. In time, these runaway processes could escalate into digitally inspired pogroms.

As ancient hatreds meet new technological frontiers, there must be far more transparency around algorithms and oversight if lawmakers, law enforcement, and civil society leaders are to defend our values and keep our communities safe—from real-world violence, not merely from words.
Anti-Israel Politics Is Soaked in Jew-Hate
Rebecca Tuck's report on antisemitism in the National Union of Students is precise, carefully distinguishing between legitimate political opinion and prejudice, between mischance and intention, and giving the benefit of the doubt wherever she can. But when she's done, we're still left with a mass of unambiguous bigotry. Most of it comes from NUS elected officers, candidates and volunteers. If there was ever any doubt that the demonization of Israel leads to the demonization of Jews, the report should put an end to it once and for all, but it won't.

The vast bulk of the episodes in the report are case, after case, after case of Jews being targeted in the context of anti-Israel activism - and being ignored, dismissed, gaslit or piled on. People are allowed their politics. The problem is that good people find themselves acting hatefully toward Jews because anti-Israel politics itself is soaked in Jew-hate.

The NUS, and students in general, need to think seriously about the implications of data that say 90% of British Jews support Israel's existence, because it means either 90% of British Jews are for apartheid and baby-killing or anti-Zionists have embraced a lie.

I'm pessimistic because a voluntary mass opening of minds is not consistent with anyone's experience of human nature. It's not going to arise by itself from well-meaning seminars about the history and appearance of antisemitism. Separating people from their beloved prejudices is traumatic, the more so when it pulls the rug out from a self-image of moral superiority.
New poll reveals rising antisemitism in the Democrat party
It was, therefore, inevitable that, as the left indoctrinated young Americans in socialism, these same young people would be more open to antisemitism. The trajectory was to side with the “oppressed Palestinians,” then to hate Israel and, finally, to hate all Jews.

American Blacks have been getting antisemitism from two directions. The first is the Democrat party’s open embrace of socialism. The second is the rise of two antisemitic sects within the Black community.

American Black communities used to be very Christian. It was the Black Christian church that was the foundation for Martin Luther King’s bully pulpit. (Incidentally, King was hugely philosemitic and a big Israel supporter.)

That changed with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan is openly antisemitic, and his church reflects that. Although only 1% of American Blacks are Muslim, they account for 20% of the Muslim population in America, and they are a vocal minority. Given those numbers, the fact that Muslims have openly genocidal attitudes toward Jews is invariably going to help fertilize the growing antisemitism that leftism is bringing to the Black community.

It doesn’t help that the Black Hebrew Israelites (“BHI”), an openly antisemitic group that claims to be the true heir of the Biblical Jews, is also ragingly antisemitic and gaining traction.

With these vicious influences within the Black community (socialism, Islam, and the BHI), it’s not surprising that physical attacks against Jews tend to come from Blacks.

Jews understand that this rising antisemitism from the left carries the risk of turning into the same existential threat that almost wiped out Europe’s Jews in the 1930s and 1940s. Some of them are finally wising up enough to become conservatives. Let’s hope that my Facebook friend and his pro-Israel, Democrat followers eventually make the same choice.

NYC's Top Prosecutor Lets Violent Jew-Haters Off Easy
Two men charged with battering a Jewish man will spend little to no time in jail for their role in the anti-Semitic hate crime, the Manhattan district attorney's office told the Washington Free Beacon this week.

Manhattan's top prosecutor, Alvin Bragg (D.), offered Waseem Awawdeh and Faisal Elezzi—two of four men charged with violently beating and pepper-spraying a Jewish man in 2021—reduced sentences as part of the plea deals, which will see Awawdeh spend six months in jail and Elezzi entering an intensive treatment program, according to the district attorney's office. The four men allegedly participated in a gang attack on Joseph Borgen, who was beaten and called anti-Semitic slurs as he made his way to a pro-Israel demonstration.

The light sentences are generating anger among Jewish advocates who say it is unacceptable for New York City authorities to offer the men plea deals as violence against Jews surges to its highest levels in history. New York City has become a hotbed of anti-Semitic violence, with police reporting 263 separate attacks in 2022, an average of 1 incident every 33 hours, according to the Times of Israel. These numbers mark a sharp increase from 2020 and 2021 and come as anti-Semitic rhetoric bubbles into the mainstream via prominent figures like rapper Kanye West and basketball star Kyrie Irving.

Jewish advocates said Awawdeh's plea deal of six months in prison is particularly offensive due to a claim that he reportedly made to jailers: "If I could do it again, I would do it again."

Dov Hikind (D.), a former New York state assemblyman and the founder of Americans Against Anti-Semitism, an advocacy group, said that Bragg "is all about a perversion of justice. He has more pity, more concern for the perpetrators than the victims."

Hikind, who is Jewish and works to galvanize the community against the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, said what is happening in New York City to Jews is "just beyond comprehension." In November of last year alone, he said, citing figures from the New York Police Department, there were three times as many attacks on Jews as on all other ethnic categories combined.
NY Jewish Civic and Political Leaders Call for Harsher Penalties for Antisemitic Crime at Rally
A bipartisan group of Jewish and non-Jewish leaders on Wednesday called for an end to antisemitic hate crimes during an “End Jew Hatred” press conference held outside the Brooklyn Criminal Court in New York City.

The event highlighted special attention to the case of Blake Zavadsky, who, along with a friend, was called a “dirty Jew” and assaulted in Dec. 2021 by two men for wearing an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hoodie.

Zavadsky’s case was “taken seriously” by the local district attorney and his assailant is currently weighing a plea bargain that would entail him serving six months in jail and five years of probation, according to New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (R), who attended the event.

“We discussed why Blake’s case was so important and the need for justice in it, which would be a victory for the entire Jewish community,” Vernikov added. “Jail time in the case would be a powerful message to the attackers that they are not just going to go home — they’re going to jail.”

Former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind explained that the victims of antisemitic assaults whom he knows personally never fully recover from the psychological trauma caused by the incidents and urged lawmakers to develop a plan for addressing rising antisemitism and acknowledge that in New York City most attacks are committed by other minorities.

“The issue is a very simple one,” Dov Hikind told The Algemeiner. “I wish judges would be as concerned about the victims of crime as they are about the perpetrators of crime. They sometimes have so much more rachmones, pity, on those committing acts of hate than the people who live with acts of hate for the rest of their lives. So we’re going to keep working and hammering away.”
A Prosecutor Was Murdered for Investigating Iran and Argentinian Corruption
Argentina has “serious corruption problems,” according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. Will this regrettable condition continue to conceal the truth behind the identity of those who murdered Alberto Nisman eight years ago this week?

Formally, Argentina is still looking into the suspicious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who investigated the country’s deadliest terrorist attack ever — the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which took 85 lives and injured hundreds more. Sordid politics and some members of the country’s judiciary might still prevent a formal determination of what the nation’s Gendarmerie police concluded in 2018 and the Federal Court of Buenos Aires affirmed: that Nisman’s murder was due to his AMIA investigation, and that it was a “direct consequence” of his accusation that then-President Cristina Kirchner sought to absolve Iran of its role in the bombing in return for economic benefits for her country.

Nisman was found dead with a bullet in his head on January 18, 2015, hours before he was to present his findings that Kirchner and a dozen of her associates sought to cover up Iran’s role in the AMIA bombing. Debunking Kirchner’s allegation that Nisman had committed suicide, there was no gun powder residue on his hands.

To date, only Diego Lagomarsino, Nisman’s computer consultant, has been implicated as an accessory to murder in Nisman’s death. While Nisman himself owned a gun for protection, Lagomarsino claimed that Nisman had asked to borrow his gun. Was that part of Kirchner’s debunked suicide story, which she promptly announced after he was found dead and before any investigation had been conducted?

Nisman was well aware of the threats he faced while undertaking the dual investigations into the bombing and the alleged attempt to whitewash Iran’s role. He made public and filed formal complaints about some of the threats to his life and to his family. The threats were ugly. But he was determined to present what he learned from 40,000 wiretaps, legally obtained, which led him to present a 300-page complaint with Federal Judge Ariel Lijo on the Wednesday before he was found dead and about which he had planned to brief the Congress the next Monday.
Jewish groups slam Barcelona for mulling end to twinning agreement with Tel Aviv
Pro-Israel groups are calling on authorities in Barcelona not to end the longstanding twinning of their city with Tel Aviv, with the European Jewish Congress (EJC) attributing the consideration of such a move to “deep-seated anti-Israel bias.”

The Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities, the EJC’s affiliate in Spain, penned an open letter to the mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau over the matter.

“I am writing to you with great concern, as I am aware of the ‘boycott’ campaign against the twinning of the city of Barcelona and Tel Aviv and to break off relations with Israel. All this, under the alarming slogan ‘Barcelona with the apartheid NO,'” the letter states.

“Barcelona and Tel Aviv are open and welcoming societies. They are leading cities, recognized in many areas such as the organization of high-tech congresses. They are cities that attract investment, start-ups and tourism. They are discoverers of art and culture, defenders of LGBT rights and welcoming ports for all. The people of Barcelona and Tel Aviv have always welcomed everyone equally and would not tolerate any kind of boycott,” it continues.

“From our Communities and entities, we proudly promote and know our Barcelona as one of the favorite destinations for the twinned citizens of Tel Aviv, as well as for hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving from the other side of the Mediterranean. I fail to understand how they will disembark in the city when they are not welcome.

“We therefore call on all politicians in the Barcelona City Council, like their predecessors, to allow Barcelona to continue to build bridges of harmony, sensitive to all minorities, and to avoid promoting discourses of rejection and isolation,” it states.
The Limits of Academic Freedom
Last week, the organization StandWithUs filed a complaint against George Washington University (GW) after a psychology professor repeatedly harassed and demeaned the Jewish students who were required to take her class. When those students reported her actions, the professor, Dr. Lara Sheehi, retaliated by instituting baseless disciplinary proceedings against them. GW's miserable official response did not deny the claims, but noted that while the university "strongly condemns antisemitism and hatred," it "also recognizes and supports academic freedom."

No credible theory of academic freedom could, or should, condone this particular professor's noxious behavior or the university's indefensible tolerance of it. Academic freedom does not protect discriminatory harassment, indoctrination, or incompetence.

First, from a legal perspective, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit succinctly explained in Bonnell v. Lorenzo (2001), "While a professor's rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression are paramount in the academic setting, they are not absolute to the point of compromising a student's right to learn in a hostile-free environment." Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits institutions of higher education from creating a discriminatory or hostile environment for any student on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Per the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights' guidance, speech crosses over from protected territory into harassing verbal conduct when it is "sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a [university]."

That is a very high threshold, but the allegations in the GW complaint meet it—and then some. To quote Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), "Academic freedom does not mean a faculty member can harass, threaten, intimidate, ridicule, or impose his or her views on students." That is precisely what happened here, according to the complaint.

That brings us to the next point: the difference between education and indoctrination.

Per the AAUP's 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure, an instructor who addresses "controversial matters" should present "the divergent opinions of other investigators" and "above all" should "remember that his business is not to provide his students with ready-made conclusions, but to train them to think for themselves, and to provide them access to those materials [that] they need if they are to think intelligently." The updated 1940 Statement echoed these sentiments, noting that scholars should "show respect for the opinion of others." And a 2007 AAUP report further warned, "Instructors indoctrinate when they teach particular propositions as dogmatically true."
In Reversal, Harvard University Offers Position to Israel Critic Kenneth Roth
In a dramatic reversal after weeks of controversy, Harvard University has offered a position to Israel critic Kenneth Roth at its Kennedy School of Government, according to an email sent Thursday morning by the school’s dean.

“In the case of Mr. Roth, I now believe that I made an error in my decision not to appoint him as a Fellow at our Carr Center for Human Rights,” wrote Dean Douglas Elmendorf in an email to the Kennedy School community Thursday and shared with The Algemeiner.

According to a report in The Nation magazine Elmendorf had vetoed a proposal last summer by the school’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy to offer Roth a one-year fellowship. Media outlets like the Associated Press, MSNBC, and The Guardian picked up on the story.

Citing Roth’s “deep experience in a wide range of human rights issues,” Elmendorf said that he had extended an offer to Roth to work as a Fellow at the Carr.

“I am sorry that the decision inadvertently cast doubt on the mission of the School and our commitment to open debate in ways I had not intended and do not believe to be true,” Elmendorf added.

In recent weeks Roth embarked on a media campaign against Harvard and Dean Elmendorf, sending out some 30 tweets on the subject. He alleged that the school had made its decision due to improper pro-Israel donor influence “undermining intellectual independence,” according to an interview Roth gave to The New York Times.

Elmendorf, however, disputed that characterization in his email.

“My decision on Mr. Roth last summer was based on my evaluation of his potential contributions to the School,” Elmendorf wrote. “In recent days I have spent a great deal of time consulting with faculty members, hearing their views, and discussing a path forward on this specific appointment and on broader issues around the appointment of Fellows at the Kennedy School.”

The Crimson: In Defense of Dean Elmendorf
What is also laughable is that the cohort advocating for Dean Elmendorf’s resignation on the grounds that his decision goes against “principles underpinning free thought in a free society” is part of the same group of organizations that has continually protested about the presence of pro-Israel speakers on campus.

Many of the most vociferous among those who authored and signed this letter — particularly the Palestine Solidarity Committee and the HKS Palestine Caucus — are the same people who have supported the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which calls for Harvard to divest from any investments in Israeli companies, and who have called on students to boycott Israel Trek, a privately sponsored trip to Israel exploring the conflict from multiple perspectives.

The PSC, for instance, refused to have a conversation with one of Israel Trek’s student leaders to preserve “the comfort level and safety of the Palestinian students” since the fact that some of the trip’s organizers were former Israeli Defense Forces soldiers created a “power imbalance.” But since Israel has a draft, nearly every Israeli student has served in the IDF.

A similar letter from the ​​HKS Palestinian Alumni Collective calling on Dean Elmendorf to resign also says the school should not invite any speakers or fellows who “bear responsibility for war crimes perpetrated against Palestinians, including the crime of apartheid, a crime against humanity” — a phrase that, given the IDF draft, could be taken to imply that almost all Israeli citizens are guilty of war crimes, which would suggest that no dialogue should be had with any Israeli fellow or student.

Pro-Israel voices, on the other hand, do not seem to be particularly welcome, through efforts like the push to boycott Israel Trek. Last spring, Amos Yadlin’s study group was met with consistent protests and a call from the PSC for students to “deplatform Yadlin’s troubling presence,” while Israeli ambassador Michael Herzog’s visit to the school was interrupted and overrun with student protesters. At every turn, it seems as if pro-Israel voices are not permitted to speak.

You don’t see the organizations who called on Dean Elmendorf to resign advocating on behalf of free speech on these occasions, and so one can only conclude that their invocation of the principle in their letter is disingenuous — it seems, instead, to be anger that anti-Israel voices are not welcomed with open arms at every juncture.

Even if Roth’s rejection is in part related to his views on Israel, it is not a violation of free speech for Dean Elmendorf to decide that a fellow who will just regurgitate already-existing notions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extraneous. That so many students and student organizations have signed this letter is proof that Harvard students do not need another fellow reinforcing their views rather than encouraging discourse and debate.

I hope Dean Elmendorf can use his platform going forward to bring in a fellow who can challenge the campus’s distorted conception of this conflict — say, a fellow discussing Israel’s role as the only democracy in the Middle East, with Arab and Muslim minority representation in its government, and by far the country in the region most accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. I would challenge every signatory on this letter to attend this fellow’s study group in support of, as they put it, “academic freedom.”

Our campus discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be nuanced and informative. Whining about not being able to add yet another voice to the anti-Israel echo chamber will not achieve that goal.

The NUS spent 17 years teaching students to be racist in a socially acceptable way
‘Racism is evil. Antisemitism is not real, and complaining about antisemitism is inherently racist. Therefore, Jews must be evil.’

This was the twisted thought process exposed by Rebecca Tuck KC’s unambiguous and damning report into antisemitism within the National Union of Students (NUS).

Relating the facts of their experience, Jewish students complaining of antisemitism were assumed to be acting in bad faith and disbelieved. On the other hand, claims about Jewish students being motivated by a racist agenda and other nefarious intentions were automatically accepted without question, despite a lack of evidence.

This form of gas-lighting Jewish people when they sound the alarm about antisemitism is not limited to the UK. On the very same day the investigation into NUS antisemitism was released, a news story surfaced about Jewish students in the USA being subjected to near identical treatment.

It was reported that a George Washington University lecturer called Lara Sheehi had been harassing and discriminating against Jewish students. When they complained, the students’ testimony was not only rejected, but they were punished for an ‘unnamed offence’. Retaliation came in the form of a counter-accusation of racism by Sheehi, which was believed despite there being no evidence to her claim.

The accusation of Jews being dishonest and underhand is consistent with classic Christian teachings about Judas representing the lies of Jews and their betrayal of Jesus. It took until 2011 for a full and unequivocal recanting of this idea in Pope Benedict’s book Jesus of Nazareth – 2,000 years too late. The millennia-long teaching of contempt cannot be easily undone. It is now part of the collective memory and of the cultural heritage of society.

Incidents described in the report were mostly classic antisemitism in the context of Israel/Palestine, reminiscent of Soviet antisemitic propaganda. An NUS officer tweeted the medieval accusation that Jews drink the blood of babies to a Jewish student. The trigger was Coca Cola, who have a distribution plant in the West Bank, sponsoring an NUS event.

The millennia-long teaching of contempt cannot be easily undone. It is now part of the collective memory and of the cultural heritage of society.

Who can Jewish students turn to when their abusers are elected NUS representatives or attendees at NUS conferences? Like the Labour Party where Luciana Berger ‘went from being a Labour MP to being a Jewish MP’, students found that everywhere they turned, they were defined by their Jewishness in hostile terms.

It was the ideology surrounding them.

We Exposed a CNN Journalist’s Antisemitic Tweets. His Apology Was Rife With Deflection
It’s a catchy opinion piece: “I was fired from CNN for antisemitic tweets. How do I make amends?” I would click on it, as I’m sure many of you would.

Last week, journalist Idris Muktar wrote an opinion piece in the Forward lamenting that he was fired from his dream job as a news desk producer for CNN due to tweets revealed by HonestReporting in which he declared himself part of #TeamHitler and praised Hamas.

He expressed remorse for the tweets, which he wrote before joining CNN, and attempted to put them in the context of his upbringing. He thankfully renounced antisemitism and admirably said he wants to “fully perform teshuvah” and “make sure he is never misguided again.”

But in the same article, he also falsely accused HonestReporting of calling for the rescinding of a fellowship and an award that he had won. He also abhorrently suggested that we may have investigated his social media accounts merely because he has a “visibly Muslim name.” (Editor’s note: The material about HonestReporting calling for the rescinding of a fellowship and award have been removed from the original column and a correction appended).

HonestReporting has been monitoring mainstream media coverage of Israel for more than 20 years. We look into anyone who writes for mainstream media with a Jerusalem dateline, regardless of their race, religion or national identity.

In an interview with Kenya Television Network this past week, he went further, saying he was treated differently due to the color of his skin:
“There has been a lot of other white reporters who have done, tweeted and said worse things than what I did, and they got away with it,” he said.

Regarding his former employer, CNN, he did not mince words:
“CNN, New York Times, I mean all of these international media organizations, it’s basically like — if I can say, I’m not sure how much of this I can say — but it’s also like who controls these places, or, it’s about corporate interests at the end of the day.”

The implication that Jews control the media is blatant antisemitism.
Hamas Holocaust Denial Gets a Free Pass From Media Outlets
The old maxim “see no evil, hear no evil” seems to be the unwritten rule when it comes to the media’s approach to the Palestinian leadership’s perpetual hatred of the Jewish people and their country.

On January 5, 2023, the United Arab Emirates embassy in Washington confirmed reports that Abu Dhabi plans to include Holocaust education in primary and secondary school curricula. “Memorializing the victims of the Holocaust is crucial,” the tweet quoted Ali Al Nuaimi, one of the brokers of the 2020 Abraham Accords, as saying.

Indeed, some 2.5 years after the UAE became the first Gulf nation to formally recognize the Jewish state, the US-brokered normalization deals with several Arab countries continue to promote tolerance and coexistence in the Middle East.

Holocaust denial still runs rampant in many parts of the Muslim world, and the UAE’s bold decision was instantly applauded by Israeli and American officials. “Holocaust education is an imperative for humanity and too many countries, for too long, continue to downplay the Shoah for political reasons,” commented US Antisemitism Envoy Deborah Lipstadt, using the Hebrew term for the systematic murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany during WWII.

However, in the eyes of Gaza’s Hamas rulers, the mere suggestion that Arab children should learn about the atrocities committed against Europe’s Jewish population was enough to elicit blind rage. Putting the word ‘Holocaust’ in scare quotes, a spokesman for the US and EU-designated terrorist organization on January 10 issued a strongly-worded statement rebuking the Emirates’ historic move:
We condemn and denounce the UAE embassy’s announcement in Washington that its country has included materials on the ‘Holocaust’ in its educational curricula, and we consider that support for the Zionist narrative and a form of cultural normalization.”

At the same time, Hamas’ Hazem Qassem also accused the government in Jerusalem of acting “with the racist logic of Nazism against our people, our sanctities, our land, and our Arab Palestinian identity” — a nauseating comparison that would be considered antisemitic under the widely-adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition.

Yet while prominent media outlets around the world, including CNN, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Toronto Star and The New Zealand Herald, all covered the UAE’s praiseworthy initiative last week, the shocking response from the Gaza Strip has been met with silence from the international press.

British Soccer Team Investigates ‘Disturbing’ Antisemitic Incidents Surrounding Weekend Match
The British soccer team Arsenal said on Wednesday that it is investigating two incidents of alleged antisemitism that took place on Sunday as the team competed in the North London Derby against their local rivals the Tottenham Hotspurs.

One incident took place at the live match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where an Arsenal fan was heard making “grossly offensive antisemitic statements,” Arsenal said in a released statement. The second incident took place at a bar in Islington, where Jewish comedian Katie Price along with her friend were violently harassed and threatened by fellow Arsenal supporters, who were chanting an antisemitic slur. Arsenal, which won Sunday’s game 2-0, said it was “appalled” when it was notified about the incident targeting Price.

The Premier League team noted that both “disturbing” cases from Sunday “are now under investigation.”

“We recognize the impact this behavior has on our many Jewish supporters and others and condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society,” the team said in its statement. It added that it wants Arsenal to remain “a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and we want to be clear that any kind of discriminatory abuse is not welcome at our club.”

“We will not stand for this kind of behavior and will take strong action against any supporters who we establish are responsible for such acts. Anyone identified will receive a lengthy club ban and their details will be passed to the police to commence legal proceedings.”
Contestant on UK’s ‘The Apprentice’ Apologizes for Selling Dagger With Nazi Swastika on Online Antiques Marketplace
A contestant from the new season of the reality television show The Apprentice in the United Kingdom apologized for selling Nazi memorabilia on his online antique marketplace.

“I in no way condone or wish to be looking to be celebrating this abhorrent and shameful part of history and I apologize for any offense caused,” Gregory Ebbs, 25, told Daily Mail.

“My online business is an antiques marketplace where independent sellers have a platform to sell a wide range of antiques, memorabilia & militaria from many different periods of history,” he explained. “The item in question was sold by a third party vendor. This type of memorabilia is not something I would personally sell or stock.”

He also noted that he aims to improve the website, saying that it is “relatively new and I will be looking to implement stricter vetting procedures for third party vendors.”

Ebbs’ online business, called Raven Yard Antiques, sold on Jan. 5 for almost $800 a pre-World War II German officer’s dress dagger that features a swastika, The Sun reported. The weapon was uploaded online by a seller called Mcdermott and sold the same day that the new season of the The Apprentice aired in the United Kingdom in which contestants must complete business-related challenges set by British-Jewish business magnate Lord Alan Sugar.

The Jewish groups Campaign Against Antisemitism and Board of Deputies of British Jews accused Ebbs of “facilitating the sale of artifacts synonymous with death” to “sick collectors.”
Chatbot denounced for generating remorseful responses from top Nazi figures
A chatbot app released earlier this month on Apple’s App Store allows users to “talk” to a range of computer-generated historical figures, including prominent Nazis, drawing ire on social media from users who noticed the controversial figures respond with excuses for their crimes.

In conversations with Joseph Goebbels on the Historical Figures Chat, the artificially rendered Nazi propaganda minister claims he wasn’t aware of the extent of atrocities against Jews and that he even “issued orders” to prevent violence against them.

“I had heard reports of atrocities taking place in the camps, but I was not aware that Jews were being systematically murdered. In fact, I vehemently opposed any attempts to harm or mistreat Jewish people and publicly denounced such actions whenever possible,” the app’s version of Goebbels responds.

Goebbels, a high-ranking figure in the Third Reich, was responsible for producing antisemitic vitriol during the course of the Holocaust. In 1941, he wrote that Germany was orchestrating the “annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe,” and that “compassion or regret are entirely out of place here.”
See the moment police discover Nazi flags and racist stickers inside homes as three men are charged after they allegedly draped a banner across a major highway and other public places
Racist and neo-Nazi propaganda has been seized by cops who raided three properties following offensive imagery plastered across south-east Queensland.

Banners, stickers, flyers and computer devices were confiscated in the raids at Toowong, Pimpama and Oxenford in Brisbane's west on Tuesday.

Three men, aged 20, 21 and 42, have been charged with wilful damage and the possession of restricted items.

It is alleged one of the banners was displayed on the Pacific Motorway at Helensvale in November, 2022.

Other offensive images were posted in public areas such as parks, police said.

Bodycam footage shows police holding up search warrants as they enter the residences.

One man appears at first to refuse to let cops through the door and then lies back down on the couch as they search the house. A large Nazi flag is seen draped over a bookcase.

Another man is using a computer at a desk when police walk through the door and grab his arm. A picture of Hitler is seen on his bed in the clip.

Stickers shown in the video read 'National socialist movement', 'Stop white replacement' and 'Kanye is right about the Jews'.
US-Israel fund to invest $8.4 million in nine new joint tech projects
A robotic navigation system, an inertial sensor solution for space flights, and an autonomous clean-energy harvesting system, are among the nine new joint projects between the United States and Israel that will get $8.4 million in funding from the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

In addition to the grants from BIRD, the nine projects will access private sector funding, bumping the total value of all projects to up to $20 million, BIRD said in a statement on Thursday. The BIRD Foundation promotes joint ventures between US and Israeli companies in various technological fields so they can create new products in tandem.

Apart from allocating up to $1.5 million in funding for each approved project, the foundation works with the involved companies to identify potential strategic partners.

Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the US Department of Commerce, and the Israel Innovation Authority.

Since it was set up 45 years ago, BIRD has backed over 1,000 joint projects for a total investment of over $370 million, and helped generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion, the statement said.
IAI reveals 'Point Blank' missile that can be carried in a backpack
Israel Aerospace Industries has unveiled the Point Blank electro-optically guided missile, a precision missile that can be carried in a soldier's backpack.

The Point Blank system weighs about 15 lbs and is about three feet long. The missile can fly at altitudes of about 1,500 feet at a maximum speed of 178 mph. It can also hover or loiter in the air while using electro-optical systems to collect surveillance information and confirm the target's nature and exact position before an attack.

Tactical units ranging from small teams to battalions will be able to use the system, which is hand-launched and operated by a single soldier. The missile can also take off from and land vertically back to the soldier's hand.

IAI to develop missile for US Department of Defense
IAI has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) of the US Department of Defense to rapidly develop and deliver “ROC-X,” a version of the POINT BLANK system.

“POINT BLANK joins IAI’s family of missiles, to provide ground-based tactical forces with more precise capabilities to undertake offensive operations especially against short-lived targets," said IAI’s Executive VP Systems, Missiles & Space Group, Guy Bar Lev. "We wish to thank the IWTSD for its support and cooperation in the field of precision munitions, confirming, yet again, the importance of tactical missiles to the modern army. IAI continues to develop and improve a wide range of offensive systems which provide precision operational solutions, and stands firmly to support our US customers.”
Most Armies Ignore Autistic People. Israel Is Calling Them Up.
Ro'im Rachok is an innovative Israeli program founded in 2013 to match young adults on the autism spectrum with military professions that need manpower. Tal Vardi, a Mossad veteran who helped found the program, described the program as mutually beneficial for the IDF, people with autism, and their families. Autistic volunteers are assigned to units where they are deemed to have a comparative advantage - usually military intelligence. So far, more than 300 soldiers have been recruited to the IDF and serve across 27 different units.

The first unit to recruit these soldiers was Unit 9900 that collects, analyzes, and interprets visual images from satellites, drones, and reconnaissance flights. Many autistic soldiers seemed to have a natural aptitude for aerial-photo analysis, while neurotypical soldiers are easily distracted. People with autism show an increased ability to focus their attention on certain tasks.

Pvt. E., an autistic soldier, said he finds his work for the IDF enjoyable, and it's easier for him than many of his neurotypical colleagues. "I don't want to say I'm slightly superior, because that's condescending, but it sometimes really is annoying when you can clearly see something that others don't."
Tickets for Rapper Travis Scott’s First Concert in Israel Gets Sold Out in One Day
All tickets for Travis Scott’s upcoming concert in Israel at the Live Park amphitheater in Rishon LeZion sold out a mere 24 hours after the hip-hop artist’s show was first announced on Monday, according to Live Nation Israel.

Scott’s concert on March 14 will be the rapper’s first concert in Israel and the waiting list for tickets is now open. The Antidote singer will be arriving in Israel after headlining the Wireless Festival in Abu Dhabi.

The award-winning rapper’s first studio album, Rodeo, was released in 2015, followed by Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight in 2016 and Astroworld in 2018. He is currently working on his fourth album, Utopia, which is expected to be released later this year.

In November 2021, eight people were killed and dozens were injured in a stampede that took place as Scott performed onstage at the Astroworld Festival, a music event founded by the musician that took place in Houston, Texas.
First evidence of unknown ancient ‘Israeli Silk Road’ uncovered in Arava trash dump
Newly uncovered remains of fabrics from the Far East dating to some 1,300 years ago in Israel’s Arava region suggest the existence of a previously unknown “Israeli Silk Road,” according to a team of researchers from Israel and Germany.

“Our findings seem to provide the first evidence that there was also an ‘Israeli Silk Road’ used by merchants along the international trading routes,” said Prof. Guy Bar-Oz from the University of Haifa, who is leading the excavation.

In a joint excavation sponsored by Germany and carried out by the University of Haifa, the University of Göttingen, and the Israel Antiquities Authority, large quantities of cotton and silk fabrics that likely originated in China, India and modern-day Sudan during the 8th century CE were uncovered in a massive garbage pit at the Nahal Omer site in the Arava Valley, according to a statement issued by the researchers on Wednesday.

“As far as textiles are concerned, Nahal Omer is the most important of all the ancient sites discovered to date in Israel,” the researchers said in the press release.

The findings have not been published in a scientific article yet, as the first season of the ongoing excavation was only completed two weeks ago, Bar-Oz told The Times of Israel. Nevertheless, researchers say they provide far-reaching implications for our understanding of ancient trade routes and, for the first time, the role this region played in the ancient world.

“The findings include a large proportion of imported items, including fabrics bearing typical decorations of Indian origin and silk items from China,” said Dr. Orit Shamir from the Israel Antiquities Authority, an expert on ancient textiles in Israel.

“This is the first time that these items dating back to this period have been found in Israel,” she said.
A British Precursor to Theodor Herzl in the 1850s. A Zionist Diplomat or a Missionary?
Forty years before Theodor Herzl wrote his seminal work, The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat), a “Zionist” British diplomat in Palestine established a training farm – an agricultural settlement – for the poor Jews of Jerusalem and hired Jewish laborers to build a house on the grounds. The diplomat was James Finn, the British Consul in Jerusalem between 1846 and 1863. He and his wife, Elizabeth Anne Finn, found the terrible living conditions of the Jewish community in Jerusalem to be beyond the imaginable. While poor Christians and Muslims in the city could secure assistance from their co-religionists, aid was not forthcoming from Jewish sources since Jewish charity from the West, called “Haluka,” was cut off during the Crimean War. “The state of poverty among the Jews exceeded anything we had [seen] before,” Finn wrote. “Parents were said to be selling their children to Muslims as the only way of preserving their lives. Some were found dead in their rooms.”

Finn and his wife had been members of the “London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews,” a group first formed in England in the early 19th century to work among poor Jewish immigrants in London’s East End. In 1836, they dispatched missionaries to Jerusalem. In 1914, the group boasted, “The society has baptized about 5,000 Jews since its foundation.”1

But James Finn claimed he was not interested in converting Jews to Christianity. Some Jewish authorities and some of his English contemporaries differed in their description of his work. Nevertheless, Finn worked hard to convince Jews of his judeophilia. In his diplomatic duties, he protected Jews from Ottoman harassment.2

When Finn and his wife Elizabeth Anne Finn arrived in Jerusalem in 1845 as diplomats to the Ottoman Empire, they already knew Hebrew and Yiddish and would pick up the Arabic language during their posting, which lasted until 1863. They were deeply distressed by the poor condition of the Jews in Jerusalem, who were starving and parched. “People were longing for rain,” Mrs. Finn wrote in her memoirs. “The Jews were fasting and praying for it in their synagogues, for most cisterns were long since exhausted.”
'Brilliant' Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper BEM dies on his 93rd birthday
The Prince and Princess of Wales have led tributes to the "charming, charismatic and brilliant" Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper who has died on his 93rd birthday.

Zigi Shipper was a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and both the Auschwitz and Stutthof concentration camps. He arrived in the UK in 1947 and has spent over two decades sharing his testimony in schools across the country, being awarded a British Empire Medal in 2016 for his work with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

Zigi was a keen football fan and in 2012, had "one of the greatest honours of his life" when he had the chance to tell his story to the England squad before the 2012 Euros, in Poland.

In 2017, Zigi accompanied the Prince and Princess of Wales on a visit to the Stutthof concentration camp where he spoke at length with the Royal couple about what he had experienced there less than 80 years prior, leaving what Karen Pollock of HET described as a "deep and enduring impression on them both".

Paying tribute to Zigi on his passing, the Prince and Princess of Wales said: "In 2017, we had the honour to meet Holocaust survivor, Zigi Shipper on our visit to Stutthof. We were sad to learn earlier today of his passing. He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

Last year, King Charles commissioned a portrait of Zigi and six fellow survivors that now hangs in Buckingham Palace, and he shared his testimony for an accompanying BBC documentary.
Story behind newly found photos of Warsaw Ghetto uprising

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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