Thursday, August 10, 2023

08/10 Links Pt2: The architects of the Abraham Accords have been vindicated; Remember the lessons of the Sbarro bombing; Hopkins to star in film on ‘British Schindler’

From Ian:

The architects of the Abraham Accords have been vindicated
One of the defining principles of the Abraham Accords was that by expanding peace in the region, and specifically normalizing relations with Israel, your country's relationship with the US would be elevated. To date, the verdict on that is still out.

If the Biden administration wants to expand and enhance the Accords, they can take the following immediate steps: The heads of state of each signatory nation should be invited for a special ceremony of recognition. This can be accomplished in or around UN week. If this cannot be accomplished in that time span, then each ambassador from the signatory nations should be invited to the State of the Union and the president should recognize them by name and accomplishment. I am confident that the loud and sustained unanimous standing ovation will be heard not just on US broadcasts but in the capitals of those who have made peace and, just as importantly, those who have not yet made peace.

The Abraham Fund should be immediately restarted, less to invest US capital than to convene all the signatory nations to see how favorable trade and investments with the US can help to pay the dividend for peace.

Finally, the next ministerial meeting of the Negev Summit should be hosted in Washington, D.C. and an immediate announcement made of this decision. Peace cannot and should not wait for any democracy's domestic challenges. Hosting the meeting in the US will show that our alliance with Israel and our commitment to the Abraham Accords transcend politics – ours and the Israelis'. As the only other democracy in the accords, we have an obligation to consistently stand by and support Israel, as we should expect them to do the same for us.

A Saudi-Israel deal will happen, in the next 90 days or in the next five years, but it will happen, and it should be one of the watershed moments in all of world history. For it to have the dramatic impact that it should, it must be an American policy. To ensure that this breakthrough will be met with enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle, the time to make the Abraham Accords US policy – not the policy of one party or another – is now. When the Accords expand, our allies win; and more importantly, we in the US win. To build for the future, it is important to invest in the present.
Not very reasonable: Leaving Israel for New Zealand over the reasonableness clause
Israel has no constitution, and no law gives the court the power to veto Knesset legislation. The judicial reform would have, for the first time, actually provided legislative imprimatur to this Supreme Court power, but would require some supermajority of the justices. This would replace the current situation in which a three-person judicial panel, hand-picked by a Supreme Court president with an activist agenda, annuls legislation.

The campaign against judicial reform has two central mantras, recited with the absolute certainty of the most religious persons: The first is that the reforms will disgust and frighten away all of Israel’s business and investor base in the Western world, with catastrophic economic consequences; the second is that the reforms will turn Israel into a dictatorship. Both are patently false.

Nobody outside of Israel would have had the slightest interest or concern about the makeup of the committee that selects Israel’s judges, or the number of judges required to annul legislation, had it not been pounded into their heads by opponents of the legislation within Israel telling them that they should not only care, but also be mortified.

This past March, I was visited in Tel Aviv by a partner at a major London law firm. The conversation soon turned to what was going on in Israel, and the English lawyer asked about the major controversy. I asked him how many countries’ judicial selection processes he was familiar with, not including England. He thought a bit and responded, “I have to say, only the United States, but now I also know about Israel’s.”

IT IS NOT that opponents of reform are exposing Israel’s dirty secrets. The only dirty matter is the blasphemous way every element of the reform is presented as the end of Israel’s democracy and the heralding of a dictatorship.

Why is the judicial system in New Zealand, like in most Western democracies, worse than Israel's
The vast majority of Western democracies give elected officials a dominant, if not exclusive, role in appointing judges. New Zealand is no exception. Those Israeli doctors seeking a professional haven in New Zealand will be practicing medicine in a country in which every Supreme Court judge is nominated by a politically appointed attorney-general. What of the supposed dictatorial consequences of requiring a supermajority among the judges to strike down legislation?

Doctors lamenting the coming dictatorship in Israel would find that in New Zealand, the courts cannot annul a law passed by parliament under any circumstances. And like Israel, New Zealand does not have a written constitution and has a single legislative house.

Remember the lessons of the Sbarro bombing
Next month Americans will mourn the 22nd anniversary of the Islamist terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001, when terrorists blew up the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon Building in Washington DC, and were foiled in their attempt to destroy the Capitol building by the brave passengers of Flight 93. Despite what some in Congress say about the 1/6/20 capital riot, 9/11 was the worst terror attack on American soil.

A month before that vile attack on the United States, Islamist terrorists launched a horrible attack in the middle of Jerusalem.

This year 2023, is the 22nd anniversary of that massacre on Monday, August 9th. (10 days after Tisha B’av). Back then, they were still called terrorists, not the woke-created vanilla term– militant.

That afternoon Palestinian Arab terrorists blew up a pizza place in the heart of Jerusalem, killing 15 16 (one victim, Chana Nachenberg, was in a coma from the bombing and died on July 31st, nine days ago. The Hamas attack included seven children and a pregnant woman. It wounded another 130 people.

It is important to remember this attack, not merely to memorialize the innocent victims whose only crime was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but as a reminder of how much of the world appeases terrorists claiming that there is a “military wing’ of a terrorist organization operating separately from its terrorist partners.

Remember the members of the U.S. Congress who support the BDS movement, not realizing that an attack on the Jewish State is an attack on the entire Jewish nation, no matter where those Jewish people live.

Remember how the terrorist attacks on Israel made since 2001 are blamed on Israel, or how. The American news media takes the terrorists’ words as truth without doing their jobs and discover that their versions of truth are lies.

In other words, since August 9th, 2001, very little (if anything) has changed.

Secure Community Network tells X (Twitter): Stop boosting Jew-hatred
Since the acquisition of Twitter (now called X) by business magnate Elon Musk, the social-media platform’s verification process has “enhanced” certain antisemitic content. For example, extensive coverage of the trial of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter on X has “also sparked an increase in vile antisemitic rhetoric and attacks against the Jewish community.”

That’s according to a letter that the Secure Community Network, the North American Jewish community’s official security organization, emailed to Musk on Aug. 10 urging better monitoring of antisemitic and violent posts.

Michael Masters, national director and CEO of SCN, noted in the letter that X’s policy on hateful conduct prohibits users from “targeting individuals with content that refers to violent events, and specifically includes the Holocaust.” And yet, the site continues to host accounts that peddle antisemitism and threaten Jewish life, per the letter.

Hashtags like “holohoax” (Holocaust hoax) and “killthejews” drive traffic to “antisemitic and violent content, and accounts previously banned for dangerous rhetoric have unfortunately been reinstated and verified,” Masters wrote.

The social-media platform can and must do better, Masters told JNS.

“The hatred on the site can lead to violence, and X can take several steps to prevent violence, especially by banning and not verifying these vile accounts,” he told JNS.

In the letter, Masters urged Musk to take action and ensure that certain accounts never receive a verified X “Blue” status.
Antisemitism on X Is out of control
I manage a little X account called @TheMossadIL. It’s a satirical account that portrays the all-powerful Israeli Mossad Intelligence agency, capable of executing outlandish feats like space lasers, sharks with lasers, dolphins with lasers, essentially anything involving lasers. This account has gained popularity by poking fun at individuals who attribute all of their misfortunes to the Mossad, from a missing shoe to sex gum.

Regrettably, due to Elon Musk’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of free speech, X has recently evolved into a platform that makes the Twitter of yesteryear appear comparatively pleasant.

Musk has introduced a “Freedom of Speech, Not Freedom of Reach” policy that is failing to achieve its intended outcome. For Jewish individuals and/or Israelis on Twitter, hate speech is undeniably reaching them, and if it isn’t, they are adept at concealing their Jewish identity.

If you follow my account, you might have noticed a shift in my tone due to this new reality. While I long to return to my satirical approach, it seems that my experience on X will differ.

On Twitter, the experience of the pro-Israel community revolved around advocating for Israel’s right to exist, the well-being of Israelis, and raising awareness of violence against us abroad and at home. These discussions often included lively debates with anti-Israel individuals, countering misinformation with facts, and sharing personal experiences from within Israel.

The discourse on X has taken a drastically different turn. By not actively countering antisemitism, X has granted fringe extremists significantly greater exposure, undermining the notion of curtailing “freedom of reach.” Those propagating hate on X are unapologetically open about their antisemitic views and feel impervious to consequences.

Within the span of an hour, responses to my posts and others have included hundreds of accounts featuring antisemitic imagery as profile pictures, with many openly identifying as “proud antisemites” in their bios. Responses ranged from “Shut your Jew mouth” to repugnant Nazi-era caricatures depicting hunched-over Jewish figures, and even explicit images of Hitler.

For the accounts I managed to report, I received a response from X stating, “After reviewing the available information, we determined that there were no violations of the Twitter rules in the content you reported.”

Psychological Warfare in the Age of Social Media and Political Discord
Psychological warfare between Israel and its enemies involves an asymmetric equation.

Whereas the Palestinian Arab leadership benefits from and encourages victim status, Israel does not.

Many international media sources enable the Palestinian leadership by selective and biased reporting of events focusing on Palestinian victimhood.

Unintentional actions, reporting, and statements can create situations where Israeli panic is overstated.

Both Israeli mainstream and social media unwittingly contribute at times to fostering insecurity by exaggeratingly portraying a panicked and overly worried public.

Israeli political leaders have a special responsibility to project security and confidence during a conflict.

Strategically, preventing psychological dysfunction such as public panic is critical to stabilizing the populace in future conflicts likely to challenge the homefront.
Australian Jewish Association: The Industry of Lies - Ben-Dror Yemini, Senior Israeli Journalist
The Industry of Lies is one of the greatest frauds of recent decades - a fraud of historic, even epic, proportions. When almost half of all Europeans believe that Israel treats the Palestinians just like the Nazis treated the Jews, when leading politicians assert that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the central cause of world conflict, & when prominent intellectuals argue that Israel is an apartheid state, the unfortunate reality is that the lies are winning.

Ben-Dror Yemini is a senior journalist, lecturer, & author of the book Industry of Lies. In 2021 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Journalists Union, for his research & long struggle against anti-Israel demonisation.

Netflix comedian Judy Gold on how to properly joke about antisemitism
Judy Gold, a Jewish comedian, actor, writer, and podcaster whose comedy addresses antisemitism, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where she spoke about fighting antisemitism through comedy.

“You can joke about anything,” the Netflix and Comedy Central comedian said. “I have jokes about the Holocaust, but they’re good, well-thought-out, well-crafted jokes that make you think.”

On the difference between comedians who joke about antisemitism in a considered way versus those who mock Jews and incidents of antisemitism in a cheap and tactless way, she said: “If you’re going to take the easy way out and just disparage just to disparage people and get a laugh, that’s not comedy to me.”

The comedian and actress addressed the idea that comedians should always “punch up” rather than “punch down”, meaning that a comedian’s jokes should be aimed at those in power carrying out harm rather than the victims of it.

“Punching up, to me, is real comedy…Jews have used comedy as a weapon, as a coping mechanism, as a way to disarm people. It’s a powerful weapon. Mark Twain said ‘Under the assault of laughter, nothing can stand,’ because you can have whatever weapon you want but humiliation is extremely powerful.

“I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but during the rise of the Third Reich, it was comedians who were getting on stage and telling the truth about what was really happening in Germany. They were speaking the truth to power, which is one of the things a comedian does, so Hitler passed the Treachery Act — those jokes weakened Nazi propaganda — Hitler passed the Treachery Act of 1934, which made telling or listening to an anti-Nazi joke an act of treason punishable by imprisonment or death.”

“That is how powerful comedy is,” she added. “It’s a huge part of our culture.”

Ms Gold said: “It is a tool, and people who are full of hate don’t want to be disarmed, because their hate is their armour.”

Chosen Comedy Festival Returns to Brooklyn for Second Year With Jewish Comics Poking Fun at Jews and Beyond
The Chosen Comedy Festival took place on Tuesday night for the second year in a row at the Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn, New York, and thousands attended to watch an impressive lineup of all Jewish comics ridicule them and others.

The event, following last year’s successful show in the same venue, was co-hosted by Jewish comedians Elon Gold and Modi Rosenfeld — who goes by the stage name Modi — and sponsored by the UJA Federation of New York in collaboration with Thrivewell Infusion and the New York City comedy club Stand Up NY.

The night began with musical performances by two bands, Emotional Intelligence and the Hasidic folk duo Zusha. Modi and Gold then took to the stage to roast the primarily Jewish audience of over 4,000 people and mock different types of Jews — Persians, Syrians, Israelis, Ashkenazim and Chassidim.

“I have a connection with my Jewish audience that I don’t get with anyone else,” Modi told The Algemeiner. “And that connection is that we get to go deep and really explore our beautiful heritage and culture. [There’s] thousands of years of material there to mine and when I get on stage in front of a Jewish crowd it’s a very, very special deep connection and I love it.”

Throughout the night, Modi and Gold introduced 10 Jewish comedians on stage, some who performed during last year’s event and many new faces. The comedians included Rich Vos, “The Roastmaster General” Jeff Ross, Eli Leonard (a writer on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jessica Kirson, surprise guest David Attell, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (puppeteered and voiced by Jewish comedian Robert Smigel), Ari Shaffir (who self-released his standup special called “Jew” last year), Eli Lebowicz, Eunji Kim and Josh Cahn, who joined the lineup after winning a competition held by Birthright Israel Beyond and Stand Up NY.
Legal Group Seeks Removal of ‘Blood Libel’ Book from Princeton University Course
The International Legal Forum (ILF), a nonprofit organization based in Tel Aviv which advocates for equality in Israel and the Middle East, on Sunday asked Princeton University to remove from the syllabus of a Department of Near Eastern Studies course a book that accuses the Israeli Defense Forces of “maiming” Palestinians and harvesting their organs.

Students in the class are assigned Rutgers University professor Jasbir Puar’s The Right to Maim for a course titled “The Healing Humanities: Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South,” which will be taught by Professor Satyel Larson this fall. Right to Maim has been accused by academics of being “pseudo-scholarship” for trafficking in antisemitic blood libels rooted in medieval conspiracies charging that Jews murdered Christian children and drank their blood during Passover.

Puar began making such claims in Feb. 2016, when she said at Vassar College that “young Palestinian men…were mined for organs for scientific research.” At the same event, she accused Israel of committing “genocide in slow motion.” Later that year, during a panel at Dartmouth College she said Israel uses “maiming as a deliberate biopolitical tactic” to enforce settler-colonialism.

“Although we firmly believe in the notion of open debate on campus and do not take the call to exclude any kind of reading material lightly, the book in question does not contain any educational merit but only promulgates a dangerous conspiracy and age-old antisemitic trope,” said a letter ILF shared with The Algemeiner. “This kind of blind racism would not be permitted against any other minority not should it be tolerated with respect to Jewish students.”

The Algemeiner has asked Princeton University to comment on this story. It will be updated accordingly.

ILF added that Princeton University’s record on keeping antisemitic ideas off its campus is spotted, citing the English Department’s hosting controversial Palestinian activist Mohammed-El Kurd in January despite his history of spreading blood libels and insulting Jewish students who attend his events. The group also explained that admitting Puar’s book into its curricula violates both its commitment to pursuing truth as well as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism adopted by the US government in May and used by hundreds of governing institutions, including the US State Department, European Union, and the United Nations. Additionally, ILF argued that teaching the book may contravene Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids discriminatory conduct at universities receiving federal funds.
Cary Nelson: Why Would Duke Publish a Book Full of Malicious, Unproven Allegations Against Israel?
Jasbir Puar, the well-known Rutgers University Professor of Women’s Studies, has a right to her opinion. On that I have no disagreement. But that was no reason for Duke University Press to publish her book “The Right to Maim” in 2017 despite its series of malicious, unproven allegations against the State of Israel. According to Puar, Israelis prefer to maim and disable Palestinians rather than kill them. Israelis ship just enough food to Palestinian children to keep them alive but stunt their growth. She claims that Israelis harvest major organs from Palestinian bodies and contribute them to the international trade in body parts.

No matter that no one has ever documented an Israeli policy of maiming Palestinians. The claim is obscene. No matter that UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Palestinian Authority (PA) itself keep statistics that prove childhood stunting is not a documented problem in either Gaza or the West Bank. No matter that Puar can cite no medical studies to support her slander. Duke declared it was all just a matter of opinion.

The stunting accusation is a pure Puar invention. With the organ harvesting fantasy Puar replaces research with rumor mongering. Yes, just like several U.S. states, an Israeli morgue assumed it had consent to harvest corneas and skin from both Jewish and Arab bodies, thereby providing skin grafts for burn victims. Major organs were trafficked only in antisemitic conspiracies, Puar’s among them.

A university press is supposed to make certain its authors’ allegations are documented with evidence. The press’s anti-Zionist staff and readers thought it simply must be true. Why not? It demonized Israel.

“The Right to Maim” received an annual award from the venomously antisemitic National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). Puar was promoted at Rutgers and made head of her graduate program.

Now Puar is in the news again because Princeton University is offering an anti-Zionist course that includes “The Right to Maim” on its reading list. The course presents itself “as a decolonizing process” that “enables students to re-politicize personal trauma as it intersects with global legacies of violence, war, racism, slavery, patriarchy, colonialism, orientalism, homophobia, ableism, capitalism, and extractivism.” Whenever you see these terms jammed together you know you are in the presence of a political agenda, and more than that, a course of ideological indoctrination.

Yes, once Princeton approved the course, academic freedom gave the instructor, Satyel Larson, the right to assign Puar’s book. But that does not mean Princeton was exercising good judgment, any more than Duke University Press fulfilled its professional responsibilities. At the very least, Princeton now owes its students the opportunity to take a course that does not urge “decolonizing” the Jewish state.
Taxpayer-funded group hosted talk by notorious anti-Zionist David Miller
A government-funded community group is facing a complaint after it was used to host a talk by an anti-Zionist academic who was sacked after claiming Jewish students were “pawns” of the Israeli state.

David Miller, who was dismissed as a sociology lecturer by the University of Bristol for his outspoken views, was invited to give a speech in Hastings last month to discuss the “Zionist movement” in the UK.

The venue for his talk was owned by Hastings Commons, which regenerates run-down buildings in the East Sussex town for community use and says it received £636,000 in taxpayer funding from the Department for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities.

It also gets funding from the European Union, the National Lottery and Hastings Borough Council.

During his talk, organised by a local Palestine Solidarity Campaign group, Miller claimed charities in Britain were sending millions of pounds every year to help “colonise” Palestine.

After the event, a former local Labour councillor complained to Hastings Commons saying Miller should not have been allowed to speak at one of its community venues.

Dany Louise asked if the group wanted to align itself “organisations that promote antisemitism” or “take a principled stand against it”.

In response, Hastings Commons’ chief executive, Dr Jess Steele, said it took the question of “controversial hires… very seriously”. In a statement the group said: “this situation has brought to the forefront the need for a hire policy for people using our spaces… we carefully monitoring all of our hire bookings”.
Fury as Iran-linked IHRC stages Wembley event chaired by disgraced academic Miller
A human rights organisation alleged to have close links with Iran is at the centre of renewed controversy over its staging of an event featuring the disgraced sociology professor David Miller and a writer criticised over antisemitism claims.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) confirmed to Jewish News that the event, promoting Asa Winstanley’s book Weaponising Antisemitism, was going ahead at the organisation’s bookshop and headquarters in Preston Road, Wembley, on Friday evening, despite renewed anger this week about inflammatory comments about Jewish people made by Miller on social media.

When the three staff members working inside the IHRC store were approached by Jewish News and asked about allegations of anti-Jewish racism made against Miller and Winstanley, they all proceeded to dismiss these concerns.

They also confirmed that Miller, who was sacked in 2021 by Bristol University following a string of complaints made against him by Jewish students, and Winstanley would both be present at the event in a downstairs room at the IHRC HQ.

The discussion is also being shown online on Facebook and YouTube.

A male shop worker, who declined to disclose his name when asked, said:“Anyone who is offended by anti-racists is themselves a racist. This is a problem we always have to deal with as a human rights organisation.”
CAA writes to UCU over its stance on David Miller as his latest Jew-baiting outbursts lose him even more supporters
Earlier this week, Mr Miller tweeted that “Jews are not discriminated against” before going on to write: “They are over-represented in Europe, North America and Latin America in positions of cultural, economic and political power.”

He also responded to a Twitter user who asked if could provide “a detailed list with names/positions [Jews] hold re. their being members of an over-represented group” by saying: “Coming shortly!”

In June, Jeanette Findlay, President of UCU Scotland, nonsensically claimed that the Union is committed to fighting antisemitism just seconds before rejecting the International Definition of Antisemitism and defending the disgraced academic David Miller.

Ms Findlay said: “We are very clear in UCU Scotland in our opposition to the treatment of David Miller by the University of Bristol. I was personally horrified and shocked when I heard that he had been sacked.”

She described Mr Miller as the victim of a “vicious and sustained assault” before stating that “it is [the Union’s] greatest wish that he will be reinstated.”

UCU has a horrendous reputation in the Jewish community, and this is not the first time its Scotland branch has defended Mr Miller.

In a 2021 statement, UCU Scotland showed little regard for the anxieties of the concerned Bristol University students, dismissing them at the time as “Zionist lobby groups”.

After Musk prods, ADL says ‘Kill the Boer’ song can be seen as a call for violence
The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern about a South African song calling to “Kill the Boer” after Elon Musk repeatedly prodded the group to speak out — the latest in an ongoing tiff between the Jewish civil rights group and the billionaire.

Late last month, a video of a left-wing South African politician leading a rendition of the decades-old song spread across Musk’s social network X, formerly known as Twitter. The lyrics to the song, which originated as an anti-apartheid chant, include the words “Kill the Boer, the farmer,” a reference to white South Africans. The politician, Julius Malema, chanted those lyrics into a microphone along with the crowd at a large rally, pointing his finger like a gun.

Malema has since shared posts on the network, saying that the chant is meant as a “struggle song” and is not meant to be taken literally, a position echoed by historians of apartheid. But voices on the right in South Africa and elsewhere — including Musk, who was born there and lived there until age 17, shortly after apartheid’s end — have called for the song to be condemned.

“They are openly pushing for genocide of white people in South Africa,” Musk posted on July 31. Addressing the president of South Africa, he wrote, “@CyrilRamaphosa, why do you say nothing?”
Guardian removes inappropriate photo from op-ed
A Guardian op-ed (“I was Israel’s most senior diplomat. I urge Australia to recognise Palestine”, Aug. 9) by Alon Liel, the former director general of Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs, argued that Canberra’s recognition of ‘Palestine’ would bolster those striving for two democratic states “living peacefully side by side”.

Incongruently, the op-ed was illustrated with a photo depicting Palestinian children waving the flag of Hamas, the Islamist extremist group which rejects Israel’s right to exist and whose leadership calls for the mass murder of Jews.

Though this clearly wasn’t the editors intention, the photo choice actually reflects reality, at least insofar as recent polls show that far more Palestinians support another violent intifada than support two-states.

UK Neo-Nazi Receives Three Year Jail Sentence
An English man who posted “extreme racist messages” on social media will serve three years in jail, police in Derbyshire, England announced on Tuesday.

According to a press release by the department, Samuel Doyle was flagged by counter-terrorism officials in 2020 after Community Security Trust (CST), an English nonprofit that provides counsel and security services to British Jews, reported to them his calling for genocide against Jews, speaking favorably of Adolf Hitler, and joking about murdering members of the gay community. For those actions, he received five charges — to which he pleaded guilty — for distributing or publishing written material to stir up racial hatred.

“Freedom of speech is an important part of our shared British values — and something that is enshrined in law,” Detective Inspector of Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands Chris Brett said in a statement. “However, those freedoms are not without limit and it is clear that the views Samuel Doyle expressed online stepped well over the line into criminality.”

Brett added, “We have seen across the world how online posting of this nature has had serious real world outcomes — including, sadly, fatalities.”

Community Security Trust heralded Doyle’s jailing on Thursday, saying, “CST welcomes the conviction & imprisonment last week of Samuel Doyle on 5 counts of stirring up racial hatred, following a CST report to police in July 2020. This is the latest case of CST’s research contributing to a conviction for anti-Jewish hatred.”

Antisemitism was a major theme in the United Kingdom’s “national discourse” in 2021, according to a report CST published in December.
German police busted for Nazi symbols and child porn
German prosecutors have found Nazi symbols in the group chat of five police officers, according to a Tuesday report by Euronews.

The officers were also found to have been in possession of child pornography during their training.

The officers were all reported to be in their early 20s. Three of them belong to the police headquarters in Recklinghausen. Another belongs to the police authorities in Kleve and the other to the police authorities in Borken.

This is the second such incident in recent months. In fact, the group chat was uncovered during the investigation of another, now former officer, who was charged with both exchanging far-Right hate symbols in message chats and possessing and distributing child pornography.

The severity of the charges
In a statement, the police chief of Recklinghausen, Friederike Zurhausen, highlighted the severity of the charges.

"The allegations shocked me. In criminal law, the presumption of innocence also applies here,” Zurhausen said. “Nevertheless, the allegations are so serious that after examining each individual case, I immediately banned the three officers from conducting official business.”
Orthodox Jewish mayor of Florida town receives neo-Nazi death threat
Shlomo Danzinger, the Orthodox Jewish mayor of Surfside, Fla., is reportedly under police protection following a neo-Nazi death threat against him and his family.

Danziger received a threatening email on Aug. 4 from someone who purported to be part of the Fourth Reich, “a reference to a potential resurrection of a Nazi party, with the unknown sender suggesting the possibility of coming to Danzinger’s house to ‘teach his family a lesson,’” VIN News reported.

The publication added that authorities saw it as a credible threat.

Danziger, his wife, and their children (9, 14, 15 and 20) have been remaining in their home, and the couple’s 21-year-old son, who is serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, offered to come help protect the family. The family declined, per VIN News.

“I told them that they weren’t leaving the house unless someone comes with them and that if they see flashlights around the neighborhood, it is people who are protecting us, just as a precaution,” Danzinger told the publication.

“Antisemitism is at historic levels not only in the halls of Congress and on social media but on the streets of South Florida that I and hundreds of thousands of Jewish Americans call home,” Bryan Leib, executive director of CASEPAC, told JNS.

Leib called on the entire Florida Jewish community, both Democrats and Republicans, to pray for Danzinger and his family.

“No Jewish public official should have to be put into police protection because they are an outspoken Jew,” Leib told JNS. “But that is exactly what is happening right now in Surfside. Antisemitism has no place in Florida.”

Israeli desalination, wastewater treatment becomes global model for water scarcity
In the scorching summer heat, an Israeli farmer tends to a dripline taking a mix of ground and recycled water to palm trees — an approach honed for decades in the arid country and now drawing wide interest abroad.

At the plantation in a desert near Eilat, the mineral-rich water passes through a plastic tube, nourishing the dates high above.

“All of Eilat’s sewage is treated,” said Arik Ashkenazi, chief engineer of Ein Netafim, Eilat’s water and sewage utility, during a tour of the facility that sees wastewater cleared of solids and biological hazards. “The treated wastewater is transferred, to the last drop, to farmers” who mix it with groundwater and use it on the trees, he said.

Eliat is hemmed in between the desert and Red Sea, isolated from the rest of Israel with no natural freshwater. Its drinking water is a combination of desalinated groundwater and seawater. After domestic use turns it into sewage, it is treated and then allocated to farmers, enabling the parched region to support agriculture.

While Eilat used to be the exception in Israel’s water management, it is now more of a prototype for the country and perhaps the world.

Globally, more than two billion people lack access to safe drinking water, the United Nations says, with floods and droughts triggered by climate change further exacerbating the situation. Alarming data presented by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs shows “80% of wastewater in the world flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.”

Israel began recycling wastewater when it saw that its water sources — groundwater and water from the northern Sea of Galilee — were insufficient to meet the needs of a growing population.

“We began to realize that sewage was a water source, reaching almost 100% reuse in Israel,” said Yossi Yaacoby, vice president of engineering for Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, noting that 90% of the treated wastewater went to agriculture.
El Al’s Operating Profit Skyrockets, 10X More Than 2022
Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines, reported good news on Thursday for the second quarter of 2023, in which revenue totaled $630 million — 22 percent more than the $516 million earned in the second quarter of 2022.

Even better news: operating profit in the second quarter of 2023 was $90 million — 10 times the operating profit of $9.4 million in the same quarter a year ago, according to Globes.

Gross profit was $59 million in the second quarter, as compared to the gross loss of $17 million in the corresponding quarter.

“After a successful first quarter that represented a good opening point, we are delighted to present record results for the second quarter, which was the second most successful quarter for the company since its IPO,” said El Al CEO Dina Ben Tal Ganancia.

“Together with the stabilization of revenue, and the strict streamlining measures during the Covid pandemic, we are on the right path to maintain financial stability and soundness.”

Earlier this year, El Al Airlines announced the first collaboration agreement of its kind with aviation giant Delta.
Israel Sends Fire-Fighting Planes to Fight Cyprus Wildfires
Israel sent firefighting planes to Cyprus to help put out wildfires on Monday.

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides asked Israel for aid, leading to the launch of Operation Wings of Fire, with Israeli firefighters and planes headed to Limassol. How is the IDF helping put out fires in Cyprus?

IDF “Samson” planes will help put out wildfires set off by a heatwave in the Eastern Mediterranean island state. In addition, the delegation includes two “air tractor” planes, firefighters on the ground with expertise in forest fires, and over six tons of equipment.

The same team, led by the National Security Ministry in cooperation with the IDF, Prime Minister’s Office, and the Foreign Ministry, among others, aided Greece two weeks ago.
200 Israelis, Jews rescued from northern Ethiopia
More than 200 Israelis and Ethiopian Jews were rescued from northern Ethiopia on Thursday afternoon amid ongoing violence, the Prime Minister’s Office and Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem announced in a joint statement.

A total of 174 Israeli citizens and Jews eligible for aliyah visas were evacuated from the besieged city of Gondar, while 30 others were rescued from the city of Bahir Dar, the statement noted.

“In the last few days, citizens of Israel and [persons] entitled to make aliyah from Ethiopia entered into distress in the battle zones. I ordered them to be taken out of there,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The State of Israel takes care of its citizens wherever they are.

“The people are now on their way from Gondar and Bahir Dar to Addis Ababa, and from there they will come to the State of Israel. We will receive them here with warmth and welcome,” the premier added.

The Prime Minister’s Office organized the rescue flights in collaboration with the Jewish Agency for Israel. Jewish Agency chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog praised all those involved in Thursday’s “courageous operation.

“Now our staff will support and embrace the rescued individuals with care and sensitivity,” said Almog. “We won’t break our promise; we won’t abandon in the field any Jew who needs our help.”
The hole in our passport meant we could not return to Iran
Tabby Refael writes about the experience of being a Jewish refugee from Iran, arriving in the US ten years after the Iranian revolution. Her piece features in the first issue of JIMENA‘s Distinctions journal:

In June 1989, my father, mother, sister and I stood together at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and watched anxiously as a United States Customs and Protection officer, hole punch in hand, sealed our fate. We had just arrived in the U.S. after escaping post-revolutionary Iran.

“I want you to know this means that we can’t go back,” my father informed my mother in their native Persian.

“I know,” my mother responded solemnly.

My father showed my mother her Iranian passport, inscribed with the words “Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran” on the front cover, written in Persian, French and English. “Then we’re going to renounce our citizenship,” he said.

“I know!” my mother yelled back in saddened shock, but equally furious. “I need time to cope with this. For now, just stop waving that picture around!”

In her official Iranian passport photo from 1988, she looked sullen, if not downright miserable. Her luscious black hair was nowhere to be found, tucked beneath her mandatory hijab (the Islamic head covering for women). She looked nothing like the young glamour queen she had resembled just one decade ago, before the 1979 Islamic revolution turned Iran into a fanatic theocracy.

My sister and I huddled together next to our mother. We sympathized with her over the solemn passport photo but still did not fully understand why our mother felt so vulnerable and exposed at the thought of it, or why she held her Iranian passport in such disdain. And then I began to feel scared, wondering whether in the passport my mother had been identified falsely as a spy. Or worse, an enemy of the state.

After a few seconds, my mother shook her head, then blurted out an expletive to describe the regime bureaucrats who had insisted on typing Kalimeh next to her name on that passport. At that moment, my sister and I understood. That single word, Kalimeh, held a world of antisemitic meanings because it meant “Jew” in Persian. And it could not be removed.
Yorkshire's Unsung Holocaust Hero
During the 1930s, Leeds tailor David Makofski became aware of the peril that threatened Jews on the continent. He was the son of Latvian refugees, fiercely proud to be British, and had fought for his country in the First World War. "He saw really early on what was happening," says Diane Mckaye, Makofski's granddaughter. He became chairman of the Leeds Jewish Refugees Committee and devise a rescue mission by establishing a trainee scheme that opened the door to several hundred young men. Under this program, Jewish men below the age of 35 would be found positions as trainees by employers in and around Leeds.

It is not entirely clear how the men who appealed to Makofski from across Europe became aware of his scheme. ‘What’s likely is sheer word of mouth,’ says Levy. ‘When desperate families heard of ways to escape, word spread very quickly in their communities.’

Karen Pollock CBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, says: “The lengths he went to in order to help Jewish people, culminating in hundreds of lives saved, is extraordinary. As a result, thousands of descendants including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are now able to tell this important tale.”

It’s estimated Makofski and his associates saved the lives of over 200 young Jewish men between 1938 and 1939, at which point escape was no longer a possibility. But this extraordinary story has been little told. Mckaye herself, who never met her grandfather, knew little of it until a few years ago, when a rabbi spoke about this moment in her family’s history in her own father’s eulogy.
Anthony Hopkins to star in film on ‘British Schindler’
Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins will portray Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler,” in a film about the latter’s efforts that saved 669 Jewish children from the Nazis during World War II.

Hopkins will star in “One Life,” which tells the story of Winton and the children from Prague who were among some 10,000 mostly Jewish children who made it to Britain on what was known as the Kindertransports (children’s transports). Few of them would see their parents again.

The baptized son of Jewish parents, Winton was a 29-year-old stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938. He was planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. Over the following nine months, he organized eight trains that carried hundreds of children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain.

Winton’s work was little known until the 1980s, when his wife found evidence of the rescues. The discovery led to a reunion with some of the children on television — a scene included in the upcoming movie — and a documentary.

“It wasn’t until he was surprised by the survivors on live television that he accepted how, when faced with devastating atrocities, saving even one life is a victory,” production company See-Saw was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Winton received many honors in his later years, including a knighthood.

He died in 2015 at the age of 106.
The Holocaust Museums Down Under
Australia’s newly refurbished Melbourne Holocaust Museum has already won a prestigious award for its architectural excellence in the public architecture category—and it hasn’t even opened yet.

Scheduled to reopen this month after a two-year renovation, the museum is set to become a hub for education. It will feature a multisensory experience for visitors, including a high-tech virtual reality experience, the stories of child survivors, a library, and new classrooms for students.

“We hope that those who visit to the museum will help have their minds opened and ask questions: How on earth did this happen in full view of other people?” said Melbourne Holocaust Museum CEO Jayne Josem. “We have deliberately selected photos that really illustrate this. We want to be a site of really good conversations, which is a safe space for difficult conversations around the Holocaust and challenging topics.”

The extensive renovations to the museum were part of an extraordinary funding promise in 2019 by the right-wing Liberal-National coalition government in power at the time. The policy was championed by Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s former treasurer and a descendant of Holocaust survivors. During his time in office, the administration he was part of promised millions of dollars to help fund Holocaust museums in every Australian state and territory, as well as building upgrades for existing museums.

As a result, Australia may soon be one of the only places in the world that has Holocaust museums in every state and territory, no matter how small or large the local Jewish community is. This includes new museums in Tasmania (Jewish population: 376) and the Northern Territory (estimated Jewish population: under 100), as well as funding for upgrades to existing museums in larger cities such as Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney. In June, Queensland opened its first Holocaust museum, and planning for upgrades to the Western Australian museum is ongoing. While construction on the museums in Tasmania and the Northern Territory have not yet begun, government funding has been allocated with hopes that they should be built in the next few years.

In an interview with a local Jewish newspaper, Frydenberg remarked, “I don’t think you can overestimate what a significant development this will be for Holocaust education in Australia—for continuity of memory, to honor the victims, and to ensure that we uphold our collective duty to say ‘Never Again.’”

In the aftermath of WWII, Australia was a popular destination for Holocaust survivors whose families had been murdered and were seeking to get as far away as possible from the atrocities in Europe.

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