Friday, March 17, 2023

From Ian:

Dave Chappelle and ‘the Jews’
The Stylebook ended up retracting the term “the French,” while maintaining the stance that such labels poorly reflect the diversity of such groups.

Humor aside, there is something worth contemplating in the internet’s response to the AP’s gaffe. After all, can’t we rightly say, “the French speak a romance language,” “the French developed Haute Couture” or even “the French enjoy escargots as a traditional delicacy”?

Perhaps this usage is vague and does not represent the diversity of perspectives within French society (some French people may not like escargots). But we all have a certain conception of French culture and life. Is it such a travesty to use a catch-all term for convenience? Such generalizations exist because, frankly, language is a practice in brevity, not accuracy. What is so wrong with trying to get a point across quickly?

This incident led me to reflect on a story from earlier in the news cycle. In Nov. 2022, Dave Chappelle delivered a monologue on Saturday Night Live that was rightly received with concern and criticism. Chappelle’s performance included his thoughts on the Kanye West antisemitism scandal.

Among other antisemitic statements, West had tweeted that he would go “Death Con 3 on the Jews.” During his routine, Chappelle whispered, “There are two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence: ‘The’ and ‘Jews.’” Chappelle then engaged in a wide variety of antisemitic tropes, mainly centering around the idea that “the Jews” control Hollywood.

“The Jews.” “The French.” Why are these two phrases different? Why do the French revel in being called French and Jews react to Chappelle’s “the Jews” with concern and anger?

The answer is simple: Chappelle did not use “the Jews” as a descriptor. He didn’t use it simply to point out an issue with Hollywood. He used the term as a storyteller. He tapped into familiar themes and ideas to build his narrative. He tapped into the poison that has lured entire societies into genocide and destruction. He used “the Jews” in the same way Nazi-era German signs warned “No Jews or dogs allowed.” He knew what the backlash to his statements would be; in fact, he planned on it. He knew what such statements have led to in the past, but he didn’t care.

One wonders what would have happened if the Stylebook tweet had said “the Jews” instead of “the French.” Would there have been similar viral mockery of the Stylebook? Would Jews have been outraged? Or would the tweet have gotten no reaction at all?
Double standards on racism by the BBC
To recap: a few teachers in one Israeli school made disparaging and racist comments about Israeli students of Ethiopian descent. The teachers were fired, the school is launching an investigation and the country’s education minister offered an official apology – in other words, exactly what you’d hope would occur in a normal democratic country following such a racist incident.

Let’s pivot now to another story, which Berg and his colleagues will – if the past is any judge – almost certainly ignore: Revelations that teachers and schools at UNRWA, the UN agency that runs education and social services for Palestinians, regularly call to murder Jews, and create teaching materials that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom and incite antisemitism.

This was revealed a new report by UN Watch and IMPACT-se.

The report identifies 133 UNRWA educators and staff who promoted hate and violence on social media, and another 82 UNRWA teachers and staff affiliated with over 30 UNRWA schools involved in drafting, supervising, approving, printing, and distributing racist and extremist content to students.

To cite just one of many examples: UNRWA’s Al-Maghazi Middle School for Boys B in Gaza used an UNRWA-created Arabic reading comprehension exercise for 9th graders which celebrated a Palestinian firebombing attack on a Jewish bus as a “barbecue party.” At the same school, 5th-graders learned that martyrdom and jihad are “the most important meanings of life”

The press release by UN Watch notes that UNRWA’s annual budget includes £14 million from the UK.

Moreover, unlike in Israel, we can be sure there will be no negative repercussions within Palestinian society for the promotion of such extremism within their school system.

It should be stressed that the problem with antisemitism at UNRWA is the opposite of a one-off.
Ben Cohen: ‘Auf Wiedersehen,’ Roger Waters?
Waters will doubtlessly be spouting plenty of nonsense between numbers during his tour, and he will likely make use of the offensive symbols that have appeared on previous tours, such as an inflatable flying pig embossed with a Star of David. This sort of imagery sails close to the edge in most European countries. It remains especially so in Germany, the land of the Holocaust, where in the postwar era, Nazi symbols, Holocaust denial, Holocaust mockery and demands for Israel’s elimination as a sovereign state can run afoul of the law.

Indeed, those politicians advocating for Waters’ dates in Germany to be canceled as a protest against his antisemitism and his affinity for Putin have repeatedly referred to the country’s democratic constitution in making their case, as well as the corresponding moral values arising from Germany’s rebirth as a liberal democratic polity. Last month, the municipal council in Frankfurt announced the cancelation of Waters’ May 28 concert at the city’s Festhalle venue, citing his status as one of the world’s “best-known antisemites” as the reason. Similar moves are afoot in Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin, where Waters is also scheduled to appear.

The situation in the latter four cities is complicated by the fact that Waters will appear at commercially run arenas, whereas the venue in Frankfurt is owned by the city. Countering the concern that Waters will use stages in Germany to promote a hatred of Israel that looks and sounds a lot like a hatred of Jews is the fear that the notoriously litigious singer will sue for breach of contract. Indeed, last week, the musician’s management company announced just that, disclosing that the singer had been in touch with lawyers for the purpose of defending his “freedom of speech.”

Given that there are two months to go before the German dates are intended to take place, it remains distinctly possible that Waters will lose one or more of the four cities still hosting him. The challenge for local politicians is whether they can convert their frequently expressed horror of resurgent antisemitism into concrete action. In this regard, Germany’s recent record is very poor; in the last year alone, the Documenta contemporary art festival exhibited a series of viscerally antisemitic artworks, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of waging “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians while sharing a podium with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and there was a near 40% increase in the number of violent antisemitic incidents—all while its politicians wrung their hands and did very little to curb the phenomenon.

An outright ban on Waters would send the message that Germany is serious about tackling antisemitism beyond mere rhetoric. Yet that is by no means a perfect solution because it does not engage the minds of the legions of fans who are sufficiently unconcerned by Waters’s antics to spend a three-figure sum on a ticket for one of his gigs.

Alongside the argument for a ban on Waters, there must be an even more compelling argument urging his admirers not to indulge his antisemitism and his penchant for dictatorships by buying concert tickets and merchandise. As it stands, however, prospective concert-goers in Berlin are not being challenged to consider the irony of seeing an antisemite like Waters play at an arena named for Mercedes-Benz, which deployed slave labor during the days when the automobile manufacturer was patronized by the Nazi regime.

If the gigs do go ahead, Jewish and anti-racist groups in Germany have pledged massive demonstrations outside the stadiums. These will provide an opportunity to explain why Waters is such a toxic proposition to the masses in attendance. The degree to which they pay heed to this message will give us valuable insight into whether ordinary Germans take antisemitism as seriously as their politicians seem to do.

Sacked NUS president Shaima Dallali launches employment tribunal proceedings
Ousted NUS president Shaima Dallali has launched employment tribunal proceeding against her former employer, claiming her sacking was discriminatory.

The former City University student leader was dismissed after a months-long independent investigation into allegations of antisemitism found "significant breaches" of the union's policies.

In a statement released today, Dallali’s lawyers claimed her anti-Zionist beliefs were protected under the Equality Act and that she did not receive a fair disciplinary process.

According to her lawyers, the former president considers her dismissal to have been motivated by "antipathy" towards her pro-Palestinian beliefs and Islamic faith.

There can be “no rational basis” for dismissing her, the document by her lawyers concludes.

After Dallali’s election as NUS president in March 2020 it emerged she had previously shared posts in which she praised antisemitic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi and comments such as “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return Gaza”, a reference to a 628 AD massacre of Jews.

In May last year, an investigation led by Rebecca Tuck KC was commissioned by the NUS to examine recent and historic allegations of antisemitism within the union.

In August, Dallali was suspended from her role, and on November 1 she was dismissed.

Leading law firm Carter Ruck, which is representing the sacked union president, said today: "Ms Dallali has deeply held, publicly-articulated beliefs on the right of Palestinians to live free of occupation."

David Hirsh: Antisemitism on campus – universities may not learn, we must
The University had a legal duty to take what Danielle was saying seriously and to investigate her charge without assuming it had been made in bad faith. After a proper investigation, it might have concluded that her claims were without foundation but there was no proper investigation and her claims were not without foundation.

Danielle had adored and respected her Sociology lecturers and she had been planning postgraduate study. She could not proceed with that because of the delay in getting her degree, and by then, Danielle had no heart to proceed with her MA in Sociology.

She felt that she had been treated within the discipline, and within the university system, as a Jew, in an antisemitic way. By the time Leeds University had finished with her, she felt that she no longer had a place in the country, either. She left Britain and she went to restart her life in Israel.

It is most likely that Leeds University will learn nothing from this experience, because it does not believe that it was real. In 2020, SOAS paid a student £15,000 in damages for institutional antisemitism that they said did not exist and so could not have damaged him. The School’s own appeal committee mandated it to conduct a proper investigation to find out if it had a problem of institutional antisemitism. The investigation has still not happened.

It so happened, that on the same day that Leeds paid damages to Danielle, the London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (LCSCA) published Eliana Silver’s film about campus antisemitism. The film was a third year project at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Her lecturers told her it was libellous, and so it fell short of good, balanced journalism, and they graded it a ‘c’. We thought it was good, and not libellous, and we published it.

The film interviews three Jewish students.

One, at Cambridge, tells the story of a lecturer whose Twitterstorm was reported in the student newspaper. The lecturer blamed the student, who worked on the paper, for the report. She connected the report, which had no connection to Israel or Jews, to this student’s public support for the IHRA definition of antisemitism. This, apparently, made him untrustworthy as a reporter on any topic. He experienced this as an accusation of dual loyalty, that if you are Jewish, then anything else you do is tainted by your role as an agent of the Jewish collective.

Another, at Bristol, describes what it was like to be Jewish and a student at the same university as Professor David Miller; and what it was like to stand up against him, and the support he received from the university, for years.

And a third student tells about her experience at Glasgow University, where there was no kosher food available, where there was no feeling that the institution was supportive over issues like Jewish holidays, and where a lecturer displayed a hostile poster on his office door with impunity.

Emily Schrader: BDS targets South African students for student charity
Jewish students at the University of Pretoria in Johannesburg, South Africa have become the latest target in a antisemitic campaign of harassment from student groups including the Palestinian Solidarity Committee at the University of Pretoria (PSCUP).

The controversy arose after the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS), initiated a fundraiser, which was approved and authorized by the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC), to provide financial aid to impoverished students on their campus. Instead of being met with gratitude or cooperation, however, SAUJS was met with statements of condemnation from multiple student groups on campus in a blatantly antisemitic campaign led by the campus BDS group.

"Jewish students raised blood money"
The claims of the PSCUP, as well statements from other campus organizations, charged that the funds raised by Jewish students were “blood money” and argued that the money had come from those responsible for the killing of Palestinians — despite the fact all funds were raised locally from both Jewish and non-Jewish donors.

The official statement from the PSCUP read, “this collaboration is problematic for a myriad of reasons, most importantly that SAUJS has proven themselves to be an endorser of the unjust oppression of Palestinian citizens, given their strong support for the State of Israel and their apartheid policies…We find it rather contradictory… that they (the SRC) would be willing to accept funding from a structure that was built on zionist policies and stolen land.”

These extreme allegations culminated during the campus’ “Israel Apartheid Week” on March 15 during which PSCUP organized a sit-in along with nine other campus groups, to protest against the SRC for partnering with SAUJS in the charitable efforts of the Jewish students on campus. Under the moniker of “Students Against Apartheid”, dozens of students protested on campus with signs reading “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free”, openly calling for the destruction of Israel, and demanding that the SRC end their cooperation with the Jewish students on campus, purely due to fact they are “zionists”.

However, the protest was shortly disbanded as the students failed to apply for permission to hold the protest on campus, likely due to the fact the university would not have approved such a blatant display of antisemitism to take place.

Prof calls CUNY's DEI programs a 'farce' as system faces anti-Semitism investigation
Administrators behind the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the City University of New York (CUNY) system have not only failed to address anti-Semitism on system campuses. They are also the ones responsible for the attacks on Zionism, according to one professor.

In an interview with Campus Reform, professor Jeffrey Lax of CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College (KCC) in Brooklyn calls the system’s recent $750,000 DEI investment “a farce.”

Over the past year alone, allegations of anti-Semitism on CUNY campuses include Brooklyn College hosting a staff bias training on Yom Kippur following complaints from students over professors sharing anti-Semitic tropes. More recent headlines depict a series of complaints, investigations, counter complaints, and counter investigations into these incidents.

A Feb. 23 announcement from CUNY describes the recent launch of a bias reporting system and the proposals submitted by CUNY schools to combat “antisemitism, anti-Asian hate, and other forms of racism and discrimination.”

Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez allocated the system’s $750,000 based on these proposals, one of which delivers a Holocaust education program. But other investments include initiatives like DEI training and “a two-woman play covering the topics of race, love and friendship.”

The inaction of administrators, Lax suggests, actually stems from their DEI agenda, which crudely divides people into “oppressors” and the “oppressed.” Under DEI programs, he told Campus Reform, Jews are lumped in with whites and treated as oppressors.

“I never thought of myself as a white person,” Lax says. “My grandparents weren't treated as white people when they were taken to concentration camps by the Nazis.”

Press Release CAMERA Alarmed by FRANCE 24’s Audit of Four Antisemitic Journalists
Following a CAMERA exposé which revealed the antisemitic social media posts of four FRANCE 24 employees, the French state-owned network has fired journalist Joelle Maroun and reprimanded three of its Arabic-language correspondents.

“We commend FRANCE 24 for investigating the four journalists but are dismayed at their decision to continue employing three of them,” said Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director. “Maroun was the worst of them, but the other journalists’ antisemitism and unethical, partisan reporting makes them unfit to report objectively on anything to do with Jews and Israel.”

CAMERA’s research into the social media content of the three correspondents – Laila Odeh, Sharif Bibi and Dina Abi-Saab – revealed that they enthusiastically supported violence, antisemitism, and/or political extremism.

For example, FRANCE 24’s Jerusalem correspondent, Laila Odeh, extolled a man who planted a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus, boasting that he “ascended to the highest heavens”; she lionized terrorists as “martyrs”; she claimed Israel has become a “version of Hitler”; and she publicly requested that Arab countries arm her personally to attack Israel.

And yet FRANCE 24 has nevertheless concluded that Odeh remains fit to serve as the network’s correspondent in Jerusalem.

“How are these three journalists acceptable at a serious news outlet?” Levin asked. “They report like opinion pundits on fringe hate sites — which is where, in fact, their bigoted views belong.”

Levin pointed out that FRANCE 24’s audit upheld the truth of CAMERA’s initial exposé, which prompted the network’s investigation into the journalists’ hate-filled social media posts.
Another example of BBC vanishing of terror groups
Listeners were told nothing of the reasons why Jenin has become a “hotspot” but they did hear some second-guessing from Knell:

Knell: “I mean the Israeli military would say that the force it used was appropriate because it was acting on the murders of two Israeli civilians – or one actually was still serving in the military but at the time they were apparent civilians just returning to their home in a settlement outside of Huwara. We’ve had a statement from a spokesperson for the Palestinian president in Ramallah saying that this was a dangerous escalation, the Israeli government’s responsible, accusing it of waging all-out war.”

As noted by his grandfather at his funeral, Hillel Yaniv had recently finished his service in the navy and although still technically a soldier, was studying at a yeshiva as part of the Hesder program, which combines Torah study and IDF service. His younger brother Yagel had yet to join the IDF.

Knell closed that three minute and twenty-two second item by introducing another topic:

Knell: “But of course there has been so much international condemnation of the recent violence that has taken place. I mean after that attack which killed the two brothers from the settlement near Huwara, you saw perhaps 400 Jewish settlers who stormed into Huwara in revenge, setting fire to dozens of cars and Palestinian homes. There was one Palestinian man who was shot dead there as well in a village nearby and more than a hundred Palestinians were injured. That caused a lot of shock because although settler violence is an ongoing issue, this was one of the most violent incidents of its kind by Israeli settlers.”

As we see, the words “settlers”, “settler” and “settlements” were mentioned a total of eight times in this report supposedly about a counter-terrorism operation in Jenin. The word “Hamas” was mentioned once and the terms “Palestinian Islamic Jihad” and “Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades” did not appear at all despite their relevance to the story.

The same pattern was seen in a written report on the same topic produced by Yolande Knell and one of her colleagues earlier on March 7th.

As we have recently repeatedly had cause to document (see ‘related articles’ below), the airbrushing of terrorist organisations from coverage of Palestinian terrorism and Israeli counter-terror operations has become a regular BBC feature.
CBC Reporter Chris Brown Rationalizes & Romanticizes Palestinian Terrorism
On March 17, CBC published a report entitled: “Suffocated by Israeli Occupation, a new generation of Palestinian militants takes up the fight,” by Foreign Correspondent Chris Brown, who in our view, egregiously whitewashed, rationalized and romanticized violent Palestinian terrorism.

Brown has been the subject of a number of HonestReporting Canada alerts (see here, here and here) in recent days due to his sympathetic portrayal of Palestinian terrorism.

The outlandish, subjective and partisan headline by the CBC – “Suffocated by Israeli Occupation” – only served as a preview of what’s to come, but it’s important to stress that this headline was not in attribution to Palestinian sources, but was a statement made by the CBC itself.

Early in his report, Brown referred to a Palestinian song praising “those resisting Israeli occupation,” referring to Wadee al-Houh, the 31-year-old co-founder of Lion’s Den, a Palestinian terrorist group, which has been involved in a growing number of deadly attacks on Israelis. Importantly, “resistance” is a Palestinian euphemism to cloak and justify Palestinian terror attacks, whether in the form of suicide bombings, rocket attacks, stabbing rampages, or shootings.

Back to al-Houh, he was killed in 2022 during a firefight with Israeli troops, and despite Brown’s usage of the term “resisting,” which conceals the true, deadly nature of Palestinian terrorism, al-Houh was actively involved in violent attacks against Israel, including a shooting attack which killed an Israeli.

Why Bulgarian Jews skipped an official ceremony marking their rescue from the Nazis
Bulgaria’s president was on hand on March 10 for a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the country’s dramatic decision to save its 48,000 Jews from the Nazis.

So were representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox church whose predecessors instigated the rescue, as well as a prominent Bulgarian-born Israeli historian and politician, Michael Bar Zohar, who published an early history of the episode, which was barely known until after the fall of communism.

Together they marched from Bulgaria’s national library — where an exhibition about Bulgaria’s World War II-era king, Tsar Boris III, is being held — to Sofia’s oldest church, where they lay flowers on a memorial to Boris and his wife, Tsarina Joanna.

But conspicuously absent from the ceremony with President Rumen Radev were any representatives of Bulgaria’s contemporary Jewish community,

Community leaders were invited only at the last possible minute, on Thursday afternoon, according to Alexander Oscar, president of Shalom The Organization of Bulgarian Jews. His group had already planned its own observance of March 10, known by Bulgarian Jews as the “Day of Salvation.”

But Oscar said he would not have attended even if he’d been invited earlier — and he thought no one else from the local Jewish community would have either.

“Nobody from the community would have taken part in an event honoring the imaginary role of King Boris in rescuing the Bulgarian Jews and presenting a distorted history of the Holocaust,” Oscar told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Turkish Authorities Launch Investigation Following Nazi Salute At High School Soccer Match Involving Jewish Team
Turkey’s Ministry of National Education has launched an investigation into allegations that members of a Jewish high school soccer team were confronted with Nazi salutes during a match against a local rival earlier this week.

The investigation was launched after Ali Kenanoğlu, a legislator from the People’s Democratic Party in Istanbul, raised the alarm during a session of the Turkish parliament on Thursday, the Jewish news outlet Avlaremoz reported. Kenanoğlu said that at Tuesday evening’s match, students from the Üsküdar American High School delivered a Nazi salute after scoring a goal against Ulus Private Jewish High School. He added that the education ministry now needed to take measures to prevent such incidents from becoming more widespread.

In a statement on Wednesday, the American school — one of the city’s elite academic institutions — said it was offering an apology to the Jewish community.

“We would like to emphasize that we stand against all kinds of discrimination in accordance with our institutional and educational philosophy,” the school said in a statement. “We have urgently contacted the school officials of Ulus Private Jewish High School, conveyed our regrets and initiated the necessary investigation.”

Antisemitism has frequently reared its head in Turkey, often manifesting through attacks on Israel. Turkey’s Jewish community numbers approximately 25,000 — less than 0.1 percent of the country’s population.

In a separate statement, Turkey’s official Jewish community said it was closely following developments.

“Our school administration and the Turkish Jewish Community presidency are following the issue seriously with the Uskudar American community and its boards of directors,” the statement said. “We have full confidence that they will show the necessary sensitivity and we will continue to share the developments.”
NJ man arrested for targeting Florida sheriff with antisemitic death threats on 4chan
A Monmouth Junction man was arrested Monday for posting death threats against a Florida sheriff who announced a crackdown on antisemitic hate groups, the South Brunswick Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday.

Richard Golden, 38, was arrested at a Tanglewood Court home around 1 p.m. Police seized his electronic devices during the raid.

Golden allegedly threatened Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood on the anonymous social media site 4chan, which is notorious for extremist content and its influential role in internet culture.

“Just shoot Chitwood in the head. He stops being a problem,” Golden allegedly wrote on Feb. 23. “They have to find a new guy to be the new problem. But shooting Chitwood in the head solves the immediate problem permanently. Murder him.”

The threat came after Chitwood announced a crackdown on hate crimes in response to a hate group distributing antisemitic literature at the Daytona International Speedway.

“You came to the wrong county,” he said during a press conference. “I stand with my Jewish friends, and I’m honored to be on your hit list. It’s an honor to be sought after by a bunch of punk thugs like you.”

Police traced Golden’s IP address to make the arrest. He’s being held at Middlesex County Jail pending extradition to Florida, where he faces charges for threat of serious bodily injury or death through a written communication.

“The anonymous nature of the internet may make people feel they can say anything, but if you make threats or put people in fear we will use all our resources to track you down,” said South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka. “Yesterday showed that being 974 miles away from the Volusia Sheriff’s Office was no distance too great for the teamwork of law enforcement.”

Chitwood derided the suspect as a keyboard radical at a press conference Tuesday.

"Here's a clown who is sitting in his bedroom who is indoctrinated by this bulls**t and thinks the best way to solve this problem is to put a bullet in my head," he said. (h/t jzaik)

Israeli startup to supply hydrogen tech to Japan’s Sumitomo Corp
An Israeli company has signed a strategic agreement with a major Japanese conglomerate to supply its technology for producing hydrogen, a gas widely seen as a source of green power for the future.

The Caesarea-based H2Pro company will work with Tokyo-headquartered Sumitomo Corporation in a deal valued at $250 million by 2030, according to the announcement last week.

H2Pro has the sole license to produce an electrolyzer developed by the Grand Technion Energy Program at Technion University in Haifa.

Hydrogen doesn’t exist by itself in nature but is bound up with other molecules to form water (hydrogen and oxygen) or hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon) found in oil and natural gas.

Using an electrolyzer, hydrogen can be isolated from water. If the electricity used to do this comes from renewable sources such as the sun, the hydrogen is labeled green.

Storing and transporting hydrogen in gas form is a challenge, not least because it takes up a lot of space.

Therefore, it is often combined with nitrogen to form ammonia, which, as a liquid, is more condensed.
First Documentary About History of Israeli Folk Music and Dance Is ‘A Story That Needs to Be Told,’ Filmmaker Says
A feature-length documentary about the roots of Israeli folk music and dance, and its reception in the United States has began production and is expected to be completed by the end of next year, The Algemeiner has learned.

The film, tentatively titled, I Hear You, is the first film to explore the history of Israeli folk music and dance, according to an Israeli folk music expert. The documentary will explore the origins of folk music and dance and explore its revival in the US, highlighting the American Jewish band from northern California called Shamati (the Hebrew term for “I hear you”), which has been performing Israeli folk music for almost 10 years.

“The story needs to be told—we have to capture this music while it’s still available. It’s our heritage,” the documentary’s director, Jonathan Maimon, told The Algemeiner.

The Jewish filmmaker, who comes from a family of musicians and music supporters, added, “We hope audiences will take away a sense of joy, we want people ‘dancing in their chairs’ when they watch this film. Regardless of their level of Jewish religious practice, we want the audience to feel something when they hear these songs and see these dances.”

Viewers will also be introduced to the last surviving generation of Israeli folk musicians in their 80s and 90s including Effi Netzer, 89, who has recorded over 30 albums of Israeli folk music since the 1960s and still performs. His 1968 album is considered a classic recording of Israeli folk music. Also featured in the film is Israeli composer Nurit Hirsh, 80, an Israel Prize winner who composed the 1978 Eurovision Song competition winner Abanibi, 1,600 other songs and scores on 14 films.

Audiences will additionally be taken to Israel, where they will learn about Israeli folk music in a political, social, and cultural context, and gain knowledge about the immigrants who came to Israel and brought with them their cultural music and dance.
Tens of thousands run in 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon
Around 30,000 runners from Israel and across the globe joined the 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon on Friday morning.

Hundreds of police, Border Police, security officers and volunteers patrolled Jerusalem’s streets to ensure public safety and direct traffic during the race, which is set to conclude by the early afternoon.

Noah Kigen Kiprotich, 34, from Kenya, finished the main marathon race with a time of 2:18:13. Margaret Njuguna was first among female competitors with a time of 2:52:44.

Many Jerusalem streets were closed from as early as 3 a.m. Police announced shortly before 1 p.m. that roads were reopened, with the exception of Rupin Street, which remained closed for clean-up efforts.

Competitors participated in six races — the full marathon (42.2 kilometers), half-marathon (21.1 kilometers), 10 kilometers, 5 kilometers, family race (1.7 kilometers), and the community race (800 meters) for people with special needs.

Jerusalem’s light rail offered limited service due to the marathon route — from Chel Ha’avir to Ammunition Hill station, and from Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station to Mount Herzl.
Documentary About German Jewish Couple Who Gave Largest Donation to Israel in History to Premiere in NY
Premiering in New York next week is a documentary about a German Jewish couple whose $500 million gift to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for the advancement of water technology remains the single-largest charitable donation made to Israel in its history, according to the university.

The World Water Film Festival will host two screenings of Who Are The Marcuses? about Long Island couple and Holocaust refugees Lottie and Howard Marcus. The virtually-unknown philanthropists, who never publicized their wealth, were born in Germany but fled the country separately in the 1930s before the start of World War II. They subsequently met and married in New York.

Howard, a former dentist, died in 2014 at age 104, and Lottie, who formerly worked in an investment firm on Wall Street, died less than two years later at age 99, just two months shy of her 100th birthday. The film follows the Marcus’ lives from their upbringing in Germany and the antisemitism they faced for being Jewish to their move to the United States, and how they amassed their fortune with help from business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett while continuing to live a simple and modest life, as described by their daughter and granddaughter.

Their donation is believed to be the largest bequest on behalf of an Israeli university and the largest donation ever made to the state of Israel, according to Americans for Ben-Gurion University, a non-profit organization that supports the institution.

The documentary also explains what compelled the Marcus’, with a small push from their daughter, to give away 90 percent of their estate to Ben-Gurion University. It further highlights the development of Israel’s water technology and how the Marcus’ donation in 2016 has helped the advancement of water science.
Arabs in Sharaka delegation to Israel describe eye-opening education about the Holocaust
A delegation of people from Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Turkey visited Israel from Feb. 26 to March 3 to learn about the Holocaust as a way to promote tolerance.

The visit, during which Israeli Arabs joined the group, was organized by the nonprofit Sharaka with the Claims Conference (the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany), also a nonprofit.

Sharaka intended the trip to assist those in the Arab world to launch Holocaust-education programs in their home countries, while also using the Holocaust to teach about the broad dangers of extremism and promote tolerance, according to a Sharaka release. To that end, one of the main visits was to Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem.

Participants on the recent trip told JNS that what they learned in Israel often differed considerably from the education they received growing up in the Arab world.

Sarah Halwachi, a marketing and PR professional in Bahrain who studies Hebrew and is interested in promoting peace with Israel—and who grew up there—told JNS that she learned “a bit” about the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, “mostly within the context of World War II.”

“We were taught through the Muslim community and the media that Jews and Israel were our enemies,” she said. “But at the same time, my mother told me that the Jewish people are our cousins and that most of the prophets in the Koran came from Israel.”

Amir Al Sheikh, an Israeli Arab Muslim, told JNS that the trip helped him better understand what the Jewish community suffered during the Holocaust.

“One of the most impactful things I saw at Yad Vashem was all of the property that the Jewish people left behind, including watches, shoes and clothes,” he said.
Eighty years ago, 50 Jews died in a Tunisian bombing raid
The 80th anniversary of the bombing of La Marsa, which claimed dozens of Jewish lives, falls this month. The tragedy befell the city just as the Nazi occupation of the country, which saw thousands of Jews sent to forced labour camps, was nearing its end. Victor Hayoun explains.

Instead of the nearby airport, the idyllic seaside town of La Marsa was bombed.

During the six months of occupation of Tunisia by the Germans, bombing intensifed daily across the territory. One of the main targets was El-A’ouina Airport in Tunis. The entire population was affected including the Jews.

Marsa is a small seaside resort town very close to Tunis’s El-Aouina Airport. On the afternoon of Wednesday 10 March 1943, more than 50 Jews were killed by shrapnel when La Marsa was accidentally bombed by the Allies who were targeting the airport.

In addition to the few dozens of Jewish families who resident in La Marsa, lived many Libyan Jews of Tunisian nationality who were expelled from Libya to Tunisia by the Axis forces. Some of these refugees arrived destitute in Tunis and were hosted by the social services of the Jewish community of Tunisia in La Marsa, in an Okala, a large Arab house with an open inner courtyard surrounded by rooms to accommodate visitors. So many people concentrated in a small place was fatal.

Together with the city’s Jewish residents and the Libyan Jewish refugees, there were Jews from Tunis who sought refuge in La Marsa to escape the bombing of the capital and join their relatives.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 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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