August 19, 2019

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01/16 Links Pt2: Victor Davis Hanson: The New, New Anti-Semitism; Would MLK Participate in This Year’s Women’s March?; Pelosi, Democrats should discipline Tlaib’s anti-Semitism

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/01/0116-links-pt2-victor-davis-hanson-new.html

From Ian:


Victor Davis Hanson: The New, New Anti-Semitism
Out on the barricades, some Democrats, feminists, and Muslim activists, such as the co-founders of the “Women’s March,” Tamika Mallory and the now familiar Sarsour, have been staunch supporters of Louis Farrakhan (Mallory, for example, called him “the greatest of all time”). The New York Times recently ran a story of rivalries within the Women’s March, reporting that Mallory and Carmen Perez, a Latina activist, lectured another would-be co-leader, Vanessa Wruble, about her Jewish burdens. Wruble later noted: “What I remember — and what I was taken aback by — was the idea that Jews were specifically involved, and predominantly involved, in the slave trade, and that Jews make a lot of money off of black and brown bodies.”

Progressive icon Alice Walker was recently asked by the New York Times to cite her favorite bedtime reading. She enjoyed And the Truth Will Set You Free, by anti-Semite crackpot David Icke, she said, because the book was “brave enough to ask the questions others fear to ask” and was “a curious person’s dream come true.” One wonders which “questions” needed asking, and what exactly was Walker’s “dream” that had come “true.” When called out on Walker’s preference for Icke (who in the past has relied on the 19th-century Russian forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in part to construct an unhinged conspiracy about ruling “lizard people”), the Times demurred, with a shrug: It did not censor its respondents’ comments, it said, or editorialize about them.

These examples from contemporary popular culture, sports, politics, music, and progressive activism could be easily multiplied. The new, new anti-Semites do not see themselves as giving new life to an ancient pathological hatred; they’re only voicing claims of the victims themselves against their supposed oppressors. The new, new anti-Semites’ venom is contextualized as an “intersectional” defense from the hip, the young, and the woke against a Jewish component of privileged white establishmentarians — which explains why the bigoted are so surprised that anyone would be offended by their slurs.

In our illiterate and historically ignorant era, the new, new hip anti-Semitism becomes a more challenging menace than that posed by prior buffoons in bedsheets or the clownish demagogues of the 1980s such as the once-rotund Al Sharpton in sweatpants. And how weird that a growing trademark of the new path-breaking identity politics is the old stereotypical dislike of Jews and hatred of Israel.

David Collier: Nazis in disguise. How anti-Israel messaging is extreme-right rhetoric

We are witnessing a legitimisation of Nazi messaging against Jewish people in Israel. Some of it is our own fault. We have become so desensitised that we no longer differentiate between ‘a simple lie’ and full on extreme-right rhetoric. We see the messages everyday. They have entered the mainstream and celebrities, newsreaders and lecturers all use it. ‘The left’ as Nazi. We should display zero tolerance of this. Instead of pointing out the blatant swastika hidden behind the image, we enter ‘rabbit holes’ of discussion about historical accuracy. When we respond, at best, we just call it ‘propaganda’.

There is a difference between anti-Israel propaganda and Nazi messages. Arguments over cease-fires, settlements and proportional response are ‘narrative’ or ‘propaganda’ discussions. There is also clasic Soviet style anti-Zionist antisemitism on the circuit. But what I put forward here has nothing to do with legitimate discussion or hard-left antisemitism. It isn’t about whether the other side has created a myth or not. What I deal with here is Nazi messaging and when you see it, reject it as swiftly as you would if it was in the shape of a swastika. Here are just a few examples.

From Hebron to Jerusalem and Baghdad to Tulkarm 1929-1949
The next example is a simple one. The Jewish community of Hebron was ethnically cleansed following a massacre of Jews that took place in 1929. That ancient community had a virtually unbroken presence in Hebron, aside temporary expulsions (Crusaders) and an exodus following a pogrom in 1517.

Throughout most of the mid 1800s, Jerusalem had a Jewish majority. For several thousand years, temporary denials of access aside, the Jewish people were a sizeable part of the city’s population. Much of Jerusalem’s Jewish community were ethnically cleansed in 1948. The commander of the Jordanian forces is reported to have said: ‘For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter‘.

Descendants of all of these Jewish families, live in Israel today. They are counted as ‘invaders’ ‘colonial settlers’ and ‘usurpers’. Why? Because they are Jewish.

There is no doubt that an influx of Arab migrants entered the Mandate of Palestine throughout the 1900s. That flow of human traffic had started decades before. Egyptians fleeing military conscription in the late 1800s for example. European interest (Britain/France) alongside a Jewish Zionist influx also brought investment, and people gravitated towards economic growth. There are many such clues. Bushnak for example is the surname of Arabs who came from Bosnia. Many other surnames, such as Al-Baghdadi, Tamimi, and Al-Tachriti are clan-based and clearly not local. Martin Gilbert estimates 50,000 Arab immigrants arrived under British rule, others suggest double that.

Many of the descendants of these non-Jewish families live in Israel, or the 67 lands today. They are considered indigenous people, whose rights to the land override all other claims. Why? Because they are not Jewish.

When UNWRA created the definition of a Palestinian refugee they based it around residency of only two years. This means that a 1946 immigrant from Iraq is counted as an indigenous person whose rights in places such as Hebron override those of a Jewish person whose family had lived there forever. That is nothing to do with settlements or checkpoints. It is another Nazi narrative.

Would Martin Luther King, Jr. Participate in This Year’s Women’s March?

Every year as we approach the weekend honoring the memory of the late Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., I always think about Dr. King’s close relationship with Abraham Joshua Heschel.

While I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Heschel, he was an iconic figure in our country — a rabbi and theologian deeply involved in the social issues of the day. He is famously known for marching arm-in-arm from Selma to Montgomery with King in March of 1965, and standing up for equal rights for all African-Americans. When Heschel was asked by a reporter at the conclusion of the march if he prayed while marching, he responded, “I prayed with my legs.”

If Heschel and King were alive today, I highly doubt that they would be among those praying with their legs at another march this Saturday in Washington, DC — the 2019 Women’s March. This is because over the last few months, leaders of the National Women’s March have become the focus of controversy, creating a storm that has disrupted the central tenets of the march: standing up for women’s rights and the rights of all people.

In late 2018, the March became the center of controversy over associations between some of its organizers and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a black nationalist who foments antisemitism, promotes an anti-white theology, and has made public statements that are homophobic. In February 2018, one of the Women’s March leaders, Tamika Mallory, attended a Nation of Islam Savior’s Day event where Farrakhan spoke of the “Satanic Jew,” declaring that “the powerful Jews are my enemy.” Mallory and another Women’s March leader, Linda Sarsour, failed to condemn Farrakhan for his bigotry, hatred, and antisemitism. When another leader of the March, Carmen Perez, was criticized for her support of Farrakhan, Perez responded that there are “no perfect leaders.”

In November 2018, Teresa Shook, one of the founders of the March, called for March organizers Bob Bland, Mallory, Sarsour, and Perez to resign, saying that “they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs.” Many others have withdrawn their support from the Women’s March because of these issues.

Jewish Groups, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, YWCA Silent on Continued Women’s March Support

As the third annual Women’s March approaches this coming Saturday, many influential activist groups have walked away from the national organization due to concerns over anti-Semitism. EMILY’s List, the National Council of Jewish Women, and even the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have distanced themselves from the Women’s March. Many other groups have remained official partners, however, and many won’t even give an explanation.

PJ Media reached out to 12 official partners of the 2019 Women’s March, and only three responded. Two Jewish groups, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the YWCA, and more remained silent.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) directed PJ Media to AFT President Randi Weingarten’s social media posts. Weingarten took a photo with Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, Women’s March leaders known for anti-Semitic statements and ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The AFT president praised them as “warriors for justice,” and thanked them for “debunking myths.”

As for Code Pink, Ariel Gold, the group’s national co-director, pointed to the “statements by Representative Steve King” as evidence that “the forces of white supremacy and militarism are growing more vociferously each day.” In her statements to PJ Media, Gold did not address the worrying connections to Farrakhan and the reported anti-Semitic statements of leaders like Mallory. According to a Tablet exposé, Women’s March leaders blamed the Jews for the international slave trade.

One more group, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, responded to PJ Media’s request for comment.

“In this moment of increasing white nationalism and authoritarianism, our collective safety hangs in the balance and our future requires unity between and among our communities,” Ginna Green, chief strategy officer at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, told PJ Media. “The movement of the Women’s March and the millions of women and allies who participate are committed to building an intersectional movement to ensure that collective safety.” (h/t MtTB)

DNC, NAACP No Longer Listed as Women’s March Sponsors

The Women’s March had a huge blow over the weekend when the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) quietly withdrew its support.

Sometime between then and today, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and NAACP no longer appear on the sponsor list. The NAACP’s Youth & College division is still on the partner list.

From Haaertz:
A leader of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which defines itself as “the voice of Jewish Democrats and socially-progressive, pro-Israel values” said Tuesday in a statement she welcomed the move, but that her group continued to encourage participation in marches that were not directly affiliated with the embattled Women’s March.

“JDCA supports the objectives of the Women’s March and stands with sister marches across the country this weekend,” said Halie Soifer, JDCA executive director “At the same time, we welcome the DNC, SPLC, Emily’s List, and other organizations’ decision to not sponsor and participate in the Women’s March and take a principled stand against anti-Semitism.”

They didn’t have a choice after Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory failed miserably on The View on Monday when confronted over her love and admiration for the anti-Semitic racist Louis Farrakhan.

Mallory appeared on The View along with co-leader Bob Bland. Meghan McCain asked both of them if they would condemn the anti-Semitic statements by Louis Farrakhan.

Bland had no problem doing this. Mallory could not:
“What I will say to you is that I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements,” Mallory said.
“Do you condemn them?” McCain asked.
“I don’t agree with these statements,” Mallory repeated.
“You won’t condemn it,” McCain noted.
“To be clear, it is not my language, it is not the way that I speak,” Mallory insisted.

Opposing Honors for Angela Davis Isn’t Racist

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama recently rescinded its decision to present a reward to the author and radical activist Angela Davis. Indeed, it was her commitment to the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) that precipitated opposition to the institute’s decision. Davis and her allies have in response rushed to claim that her detractors are racist. Jonathan Tobin comments:

Davis . . . claimed she was being shunned because of her support for “the indivisibility of justice.” She and her supporters in Birmingham and elsewhere argued that her support for the Palestinian cause was inextricably linked to civil rights in the United States. That resonated with some institute board members who resigned in protest over the . . . treatment of Davis. . . .

[However], this is not the first time that anti-Semitism has played a part in Davis’s career. As a radical celebrity in the 1970s as well as a prominent Communist and supporter of the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes, she was asked to support the struggle for human rights in those countries. In particular, some on the left pleaded with her to aid Jews who were persecuted by the anti-Semitic Soviet government, which refused them the right to leave for Israel or to practice Judaism at home.

Her response was not merely silence. She actively supported the repressive regimes in Russia, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia and opposed the activities of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and other dissidents. Though she styled herself a “political prisoner” for being called to account for her role in an act of domestic terrorism [committed by the Black Panthers], Davis was quoted as saying of Czech dissidents, “They deserve what they get. Let them remain in prison.” According to Alan Dershowitz, who also asked for help for Jewish refuseniks and other prisoners of conscience, she told him, “They are all Zionist fascists and opponents of socialism.”

Alice Walker Still Doesn’t Get It

When it comes to anti-Semitism, Alice Walker still doesn’t get it.

Or to be more precise, she still wasn’t getting it when she wrote her most recent blog post, which contains a poem titled “Conscious Earthlings.” The post begins with an email that Walker writes was sent to her by Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli scholar and advocate for Palestinian rights who sought to clarify some of Walker’s ideas about the Talmud. (Walker had previously conveyed those ideas in a 2017 poem, also published to her blog, titled “It is Our (Frightful) Duty to Study the Talmud,” which put forward a number of anti-Semitic stereotypes.)

In the email as it appears on Walker’s website, Peled-Elhanan explains the intensive study needed to begin to understand the Talmud. “Every argument that is brought is immediately countered by an opposite argument and the discussion that ensued,” Walker quotes Peled-Elhanan as writing. “It is always open ended.” Peled-Elhanan also emphasizes a belief that “The people who torture and kill Palestinian [sic] have never studied the Talmud.”

Walker, in her response, emphasizes “the necessity of separating ‘Jews’ from Zionist Nazis.” And then she includes “Conscious Earthlings.”

“Jews have always been involved/In my awakening/Long before I knew/Or cared/What they were,” the poem begins. For a poem seeking to clarify that its author is simply opposed to Israel, rather than anti-Semitic, wondering “what” rather than “who” Jews are might be ill-advised. After all, “what” takes one dangerously close to the Jews-are-actually-lizards thesis, in which we already know Walker is unfortunately interested.

Does it get better? This comes next: “It is this I will remember/Whatever worsening plans/The Zionist Nazis make.” Let’s break it down! First of all, “worsening plans” is a telling choice of phrase. Jews are not exactly unfamiliar with the allegation that we are concocting terrible schemes, and the allegation that only those of us who are Zionists — inseparable, in Walker’s view, from Nazis — are the ones making said terrible schemes is, well, still anti-Semitic. Not just because of the whole conspiracy theory thing; also because dictating what makes for a good Jew versus a bad one is, again, anti-Semitic.

Pelosi, Democrats should discipline Tlaib’s anti-Semitism

It took far too long, but the breaking point finally came for Republicans. For years, Rep. Steve King has been pushing the envelope with far-right ideology and racist language targeting immigrants. Though he represents Iowa’s 4th District, King has emerged as the voice of the alt-right in the House of Representatives.

But a recent interview with the New York Times, in which he ­defended the idea of “white nationalism” and equated it with Western civilization, prompted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to go further than merely disavowing King’s statements, as many in the GOP have done ­before. McCarthy stripped King of his committee assignments.

Well done: Republicans need to show that the debate about illegal immigration and how to secure the border won’t be allowed to become an ­excuse for King’s hateful rhetoric.

Yet if Republican leaders are aware of the danger of letting loose cannons like King tatter their reputation with talk about white nationalism, why aren’t Democrats prepared to police their side of the aisle with respect to anti-Semitism?

Unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ready to discipline Michigan’s newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib, any talk from Democrats about their opponents tolerating hate from King or President Trump is blatant hypocrisy.

Activist Who Said Israel Is a ‘Terrorist Entity’ Attends Tlaib Swearing-In, Private Dinner

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) met over the weekend with Abbas Hamideh, a Palestinian activist who has said that Israel “does not have a right to exist” and is a “terrorist entity.”

“I was honored to be at Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib swearing in ceremony in #Detroit and private dinner afterward with the entire family, friends and activists across the country. #Palestine #TweetYourThobe #RashidaTlaib,” Hamideh tweeted.

Hamideh, executive director of the US-based Palestine Right to Return Coalition, has equated Zionists to Nazis, said Israel has a “delusional ISIS-like ideology” and labeled the nation’s founding a “crime.”

According to a screenshot captured by advocacy group StandWithUs, he also lamented the death of “the legendary Hezbollah martyr” Samir Kuntar in 2015, who years earlier led an attack that killed four Israelis. Among the fatalities was 31-year-old father Danny Haran, who Kuntar shot to death in front of his four-year-old daughter Einat, before killing the girl by smashing her skull against a rock with his rifle. Haran’s wife managed to hide with her two-year-old daughter Yael, but accidentally suffocated the child while trying to quiet her whimpering.

Hamideh’s meeting with Tlaib on Saturday sparked condemnation from the pro-Israel community.

“Unfortunately, we really aren’t surprised. Tlaib is turning out to be the exact person we were warning she is. What is perhaps the worst part about this is, Democrats won’t do a single thing about it, nor will Democratic Jewish groups,” Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Neil Strauss told JNS. “And it’s all because they’re afraid to stand up to their rabidly anti-Israel, far-left base.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Muslim Representative Refuses To Forswear Congressional Pork (satire)

A freshman Congresswoman whose religious faith enjoins her from the consumption of porcine flesh nevertheless intends to indulge in significant pork during the coming legislative session.

Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who describes herself as the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress, announced to her Michigan constituents at the start of the session last week that she will now begin making good on her campaign promises, among them an infusion of Congressional spending projects in her state, which has suffered decades of industrial decline and stagnation. An aide denied that Ms. Tlaib’s religion prohibits her from bringing home the bacon.

“This is about the people of Michigan’s thirteenth district, first and foremost,” insisted staffer Barmil Lahm al-Khinzir. “Any attempt to bring the Congresswoman’s faith into the picture is a distraction at best and malicious religious prejudice at worst. The district, State of Michigan, and country have more important, constructive challenges than whether any particular Muslim likes pork.”

As examples of such Michigan-centered issues, Ms. al-Khinzir cited the power of the pro-Israel lobby, the admirable people who support the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah, and the importance of flip-flopping on endorsement of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement targeting only the Jewish state.

As University of Turin Cancels Event Linking Zionists to Nazis, Some Jewish Advocates Hope For Positive Change

A controversial seminar on Zionism and Nazism that was set to take place at the University of Turin in Italy on Thursday was cancelled amid public pressure — a move that may signal a change in approach by an institution that has been criticized for tolerating antisemitism in the guise of anti-Zionism.

The event — promoted in flyers with the logo, “Freedom for Palestine, Boycott Israel” — was one of four scheduled as part of an “Anti-Fascist and Anti-Zionist Memorial Day” program between January 10 and 30, as Italy commemorates International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

Thursday’s gathering, titled, “1933: Pact with the devil,” specifically sought to explore “the Jewish boycott of Germany and the commercial agreement between Nazis and Zionists.” Other seminars would discuss the Jewish socialist Bundist movement, which historically rejected Zionism, and one of its main leaders in pre-war Poland, Warsaw Ghetto survivor Bernard Goldstein.

News of the events — organized by activists affiliated with the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign — drew concern from some Italian Jewish groups, as well as letters of objection to university rector Gianmaria Ajani.

In his own note, Alessandro Matta, director and founder of the Sardinian Holocaust Memorial Association, called the first seminar “a perverse union between the worst Holocaust denialism and the worst antisemitic propaganda disguised as anti-Zionism.”

Florida Governor Denounces BDS, Airbnb; Boosts Security Funding for Day Schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for increased Jewish day-school security funding, while calling for state sanctions against businesses that engage in the BDS movement.

The Republican governor, sworn in last week, pushed for a minimum of $2 million in recurring security funding for Jewish day schools. This comes in the aftermath of the shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last Feb. 14, and the murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October.

Additionally, on Tuesday DeSantis said that his first global trade mission will be to the Jewish state, maintaining a gubernatorial campaign promise. It will occur after the legislative session in May, with members from both sides of the aisle in the Florida House and Florida Senate invited.

Moreover, the governor denounced the BDS movement and Airbnb boycott’’s of Judea and Samaria.

“Florida is the most Israel-friendly state in the country, and we will not stand for discrimination against the Israeli people of any kind,” he said. “By calling for increased security for our Jewish day schools, punishing companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and taking my first trade mission to Israel, the Israeli people can be assured that they have no greater friend than Florida.”

“BDS is nothing more than a cloak for antisemitism, and as long as I’m governor, BDS will be [dead on arrival],” he continued. “I cannot wait to strengthen the already unwavering bond between Florida and the great State of Israel.”

DeSantis penned a letter, instructing Florida’s Department of Management Services to forbid state workers and contractors from being reimbursed for official travel expenditures related to Airbnb.

IsraellyCool: Justin Trudeau Slams BDS Again

At a talk in Canada, an audience member asked Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to retract his previous condemnation of BDS.

It did not go so well for that audience member.

Don’t get me wrong – I know Trudeau has problematic views (notwithstanding fact he looks like a natural in a yarmulke).

But fair’s fair. His views on BDS are to be applauded.

More Twisted Facts at Newsweek

In July 2017, HonestReporting forced Newsweek to apologize for and retract two abysmal articles by Tom O’Connor. This represented a serious blow to his credibility and we asked whether he would be trusted in future to report on Israeli stories.

Sadly the answer is yes.

O’Connor’s latest piece demonstrates yet again why he has very little credibility.

‘Arab states opposed to the displacement of Palestinians’

And if you didn’t think that O’Connor has a problem with Israel, this statement proves it:
Upon its 1948 establishment, the country [Israel] first battled a coalition of Arab states opposed to the displacement of Palestinians and would go on to fight two more wars against its hostile neighbors.

The Arab states that invaded the nascent Israeli state did not do so because they were “opposed to the displacement of Palestinians.” They did so because they were opposed to a Jewish state in any part of the Middle East. The displacement of Palestinians was a direct result of the war that the Arabs themselves launched and many of those Palestinians who left did so after encouragement from the Arab states to relocate while they drove the Jews into the sea.

Once again Tom O’Connor demonstrates that he is not fit to write for Newsweek or any other publication claiming to offer credible coverage of Israel or the Middle East.

Forward Op-Ed Calls for Housing Segregation

Of late, the Forward seems to be on an ongoing quest to find new ways to surpass previous lows. Just recently, the magazine was caught gaslighting readers with the claim that the phrase, “‘From the River to the Sea’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.” Now, the magazine has gone further and printed an opinion piece endorsing housing discrimination against Jews. (“Palestinians Are Right To Outlaw Selling Land To Settlers,” January 4, 2019.)

The author, Code Pink activist Ariel Gold, recently embarrassed herself in an appearance on FOX News when she claimed that “we have white nationalism in the Senate.” Pressed for an example of a white nationalist Senator, she named Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King. (While she later clarified that she meant Representative Steve King, he is not a Senator.) Previously, Gold has come under fire for bringing anti-Israel agitator Bassem Tamimi to a third grade classroom in Ithaca, New York, to inspire eight-year old children to become “freedom fighters for Palestine.” She can also be seen in video posted on the Legal Insurrection blog calling for an intifada, and chanting “hey hey, ho ho, Zionists have got to go.” Yet, for the Forward’s editorial staff, such extreme displays did not disqualify Gold. Instead, the publication gave Gold another platform.

Organized housing discrimination based on race or ethnicity was banned in the US in 1948, and rightly so. Gold, however, seizes on a contested property transaction in which all parties had access to the Israeli courts in order to justify the Palestinian Authority’s recent arrests of individuals who sold land to Jews.

Gold writes that,
More settler homes, especially inside flashpoint cities like Hebron and East Jerusalem, inevitably mean more checkpoints, more soldiers, more closed military zones, and more violence. With each home occupied by settlers, Israelis and Palestinians move further away from peace, further from a solution, and the occupation is entrenched, along with the Apartheid-like conditions in the West Bank that grant Israeli Jews citizenship but not Palestinians.

So when Palestinians sell their homes to Israeli Jews, they are harming their fellow Palestinians in a very real way.

At Reuters, Another “Incident” Strikes

“Just as our news photographs must reflect reality, so too should our captions. They must adhere to the basic Reuters rules of accuracy and freedom from bias and must answer the basic questions of good journalism. Who is in the picture? Where was it taken? When was it taken? What does it show? Why is a subject doing a particular thing?” – Reuters Handbook of Journalism

The Reuters Handbook of Journalism requires captions to cover the basic facts of the pictured scene: who, where, when, and what. Yet, multiple Reuters captions Friday about an attempted Palestinian stabbing attack near Hebron were consistent with a discernable pattern in which the news agency has repeatedly referred to Palestinian attacks vaguely as “incidents.” Like earlier uninformative captions about Palestinian attacks, Friday’s captions failed to give any indication about the nature of the “incident” which took place, and who was involved in the unspecified incident.

Friday’s attempted stabbing was hardly the first time in which Reuters stripped key information about Palestinian attacks from captions – even obscuring the fact that there was an attack – by referring euphemistically to an “incident.”

Israeli researchers find Fortnite flaw that left user accounts open to takeover

Researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said they found “security vulnerabilities” in Fortnite, a popular online video game played by millions of people around the world.

The vulnerability was found in the game’s login process, and it could have allowed hackers to take over any user’s account, view personal account information, purchase virtual in-game currency and eavesdrop on in-game chatter as well as home conversations, the researchers said in a blog post.

The researchers alerted the creator of the game, Epic Games, a US video game developer, and the flaw has been repaired.

Fortnite players test their skill and endurance in a virtual world as they battle other online players for tools and weapons and strive to be the last surviving person.

The game, with 200 million registered users, accounts for almost half of the firm’s $5 billion to $8 billion estimated company value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“With such a meteoric rise in fortune, it is no surprise the popular game has already attracted the attention of cyber criminals set on conning unsuspecting players,” the Check Point researchers said.

Previous scams involving Fortnite deceived players into logging into fake websites in order to acquire currency for the game. These sites, spread via social media campaigns, ask players to enter their login credentials, as well as personal information like name, address and credit card details (usually of the player’s parents).

Israeli Johny Srouji reportedly in running for Intel CEO

Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, Johny Srouji, is in the running to become US tech giant Intel Corp.’s new CEO, US news website Axios reported Tuesday. It did not say where it got the information.

Srouji, an Arab Israeli from Haifa, was responsible for setting up Apple’s R&D center in Israel, and has led Apple’s efforts into building a team of silicon and technology engineers, overseeing the development of new silicon and hardware technologies, including batteries, application processors, storage controllers and other chips, the Apple website says.

Before joining Apple, Srouji held senior positions at Intel and IBM in the area of processor development and design, the website says. He has degrees in Computer Science from Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology.

An Intel spokesman declined to comment.

Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich resigned from his post last year over a “past consensual relationship” with an employee that violated a company non-fraternization policy, the technology company said. Intel has been on the hunt for a new chief executive ever since.

Four Large Deals Boosted Acquisitions of Israeli Tech Firms in 2018

Acquisitions of Israeli high-tech companies totaled $11.1 billion in 2018, up from $6.3 billion in 2017, boosted by four deals valued at more than $1 billion, a report released on Tuesday showed.

The number of transactions however dropped 20 percent to 89 last year, according to the report by the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and the Meitar law firm. The 2017 data exclude the $15 billion acquisition of Mobileye by Intel Corp.

Only eight Israeli companies chose to go public in 2018 — five life science companies in the United States and three companies in Australia. This number is down from 12 in 2017.

Last year saw a decrease in the number of exits — M&A and IPOs — of private companies between $250 million and $1 billion.

The combination of a significant increase in the volume of investments in later-stage growth companies and a relative stagnation in exits, “highlights the fact that Israel is building a strong and significant infrastructure of companies,” Meitar partner Shira Azran said.

U.S. Army Eyes Purchase of Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System

The US army has asked Congress to approve $373 million to purchase two of Israel’s successful Iron Dome missile interception batteries, the American defense website Inside Defense reported Wednesday.

If approved, the sale would mark the first time Israel has sold a complete weapons system to the US, which rarely purchases weapons from foreign countries both due to their technological superiority over most countries as well as for national security reasons.

According to Inside Defense, the army is seeking to acquire the two Iron Dome batteries with 12 launchers, two radar systems, two battle management systems and 240 interception missiles by 2020 to provide US ground forces interim protection against unmanned air vehicles, mortars, rockets, artillery and cruise missiles in conflict zones around the world.

The previously unreported decision was detailed to Congress in a 14-page document dated Oct. 26, 2018 by Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette, the report said.

“Based on an analysis of cost, schedule and performance, the Army [has decided to]: field two interim IFPC batteries of Iron Dome in [fiscal year] 2020,” the Congressional document said, adding that it would concurrently explore the full adoption of the Israeli system by 2023.

Israeli AI transforms cervical cancer screening

An innovative Israeli-developed augmented intelligence algorithm able to detect cervical cancer based on a single image is leading a revolution in screening for the cancer.

Tel Aviv-based health tech company MobileODT’s Automated Visual Evaluation (AVE) machine learning algorithm, validated by the National Cancer Institute and National Library of Medicine, is able to identify problematic lesions far quicker and with far greater reliability than traditional Pap tests.

Cervical cancer is the fourth-most frequent cancer in women, according to the World Health Organization, with an estimated 570,000 new cases in 2018. While often curable if identified at an early stage, approximately 90% of cervical cancer deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries where prevention programs are limited.

In order to shift the technology from the laboratory into clinical use, a practical application was needed. MobileODT’s EVA colposcope – approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and currently in use in 29 countries and 50 US healthcare systems – is able to deliver the AVE algorithm at point of care.

“MobileOTD has been working on the algorithm for six years. We’ve developed our EVA system and it’s now in regular use in 29 countries,” MobileOTD CEO Ariel Beery told The Jerusalem Post.

“Through that regular use, we’ve developed the largest data set of cervical images and associated biological data in the world. Using that data set, we were able to create an algorithm that is unparalleled in its diagnostic accuracy, and can deploy it on the same units that were shipped for regular use to our customers around the world.”

Israeli start-up launches world’s first tree intelligence network

When Israel Talpaz brought to an end more than three decades in the Israeli defense and intelligence arena, he didn’t follow the well-tread path of developing and selling intelligence systems.

Teaming up with serial entrepreneurs Barak Hachamov and Guy Morgenstern, he decided instead to transfer his experience to another complex field: the world of tree farming. Together, they co-founded Tel Aviv-based start-up SeeTree.

As you might expect from a former intelligence official, Talpaz, the CEO of SeeTree, has overseen the development of the company’s technology and service since September 2017 in stealth mode.

Fifteen months later, SeeTree launched Wednesday its agritech service harnessing artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology to provide permanent crop growers with deep insights into the health and productivity of every one of their trees, and thereby optimize their farming operations.

Data extraction is a three-layer process, combining high-resolution and multi-dimensional sensing imagery obtained with drones, with ground sensors and boots on the ground to acquire samples for analysis.

“I strongly believe that we have to optimize the production of each and every plant to meet the challenges that we have to feed the world,” Talpaz told The Jerusalem Post.

“All of this analysis is done with in-house machine-learning capability, including experts that came from Mobileye and joined our team. We combined that world and my defense world, and built a concept that is new to agriculture, especially permanent crop agriculture.”

The mom who beat the odds, and the bureaucrats, to become Israel’s top runner

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter’s dreams of running in the Olympics and receiving Israeli citizenship nearly collapsed in the winter of 2016.

Chemtai Salpeter, originally from Kenya, had lived in Israel for eight years, was married to an Israeli, and had a son who was born in Israel, but authorities still denied her citizenship. A medium- and long-distance runner, she had competed with the sports club Maccabi Tel Aviv since 2010, and sports officials told her that qualifying for the Olympic marathon would help her case.

First, she ran the Berlin marathon, but failed to finish the race. Her infant son Roy had come down with the flu, and transmitted it to Chemtai Salpeter. She couldn’t breathe, and stopped running at 18 kilometers.

A few months later, she ran a marathon on a rainy day in Tiberias, in northern Israel. At 35 kilometers, she started to feel dizzy.

“I remember they told me to stop but I said I’ll still continue,” Chemtai Salpeter told The Times of Israel in an interview at her home in Shoham, central Israel. “Then at 39 kilometers I stopped. I found myself in the hospital because my temperature went down because of the rain, hypothermia.”

She was left living in Israel with temporary status, not knowing how much longer she could stay.
The reluctant athlete

Chemtai Salpeter grew up in a small village without electricity or running water in West Pokot County in western Kenya. Sports were not a significant part of the culture and most members of her tribe, who speak the Pokot language and Swahili, do not like running, she said.

DC court says Holocaust survivors can sue Hungary in the US for huge reparations

The second-highest court in the United States has reinstated a lawsuit brought by a group of Holocaust survivors and their families against the government of Hungary and its national railroad. The class action suit demands restitution for the role Hungary played in the murder of 500,000 Jews and the seizure of their property during World War II.

Setting the stage for what could be a landmark civil suit running into the tens of billions of dollars, Judge Patricia A. Millett wrote for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 28 that Hungary could not force the plaintiffs to have the case tried in a Hungarian court.

The decision overturned that of a federal judge who ruled that the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty between Hungary and the Allied powers granted Hungary immunity.

A 2016 decision from the Court of Appeals in the ongoing case similarly overruled an additional federal court decision, which also would have prevented the case from being brought in the US.

The Court of Appeals said that victims of the Holocaust can claim compensation in a US court for any Jewish property seized by Hungary from the moment the Jews were expelled from their homes, calling the theft “genocidal taking” in contravention of international law.

“This is probably the most important and the only litigation in which the Hungarian government and its national railroad will be held responsible for their role in the destruction of Hungarian Jewry between 1941 and 1945,” Marc Zell, the legal counsel for the plaintiffs, told The Times of Israel.



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