NGO Monitor: UNESCO Affiliate at An-Najah University Honors Terrorists
In August 2018, An-Najah University in Nablus held a ceremony to recognize 61 prisoners incarcerated in Israel’s Nafha Prison who had completed a course in international law and human rights. According to the university, the ceremony was organized by the UNESCO Chair on Human Rights and Democracy and Peace at An-Najah, in cooperation with Fatah, Fatah’s youth and student movement, and the Palestinian Authority Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs.
Course instructors included:
– Yasser Abu Bakr – Responsible for a 2002 terror attack in Netanya in which two Israeli civilians were murdered, including a 9-month-old girl. In 2004, Abu Bakr was sentenced to 115 years in prison.
– Nasser Awiss – Responsible for the murder of at least 14 Israeli civilians, in at least 4 terror attacks. In May 2003, he was sentenced to 14 life sentences.
– Izaddin Hamamra – Convicted in 2004 of recruiting suicide bombers for two bombings in Jerusalem, in which 19 Israelis civilians were murdered. Hamamra’s cell also planned bus hijackings.
– Khaled el-Karam – A law student at An-Najah. According to Palestinian media, he was arrested in May 2017 and sentenced to 15 months in prison by an Israeli military court. He also delivered remarks at the 2018 ceremony.
Responding to media coverage of the program, UNESCO attempted to distance itself from the program, claiming that “UNESCO does not fund UNESCO Chairs. It is the responsibility of the university hosting a UNESCO Chair to provide all the resources required – human, financial etc. – for the UNESCO Chair to carry out its work….The diploma/certificate-awarding training is not a UNESCO program and we have no role or contribution to it. Rather it is training provided by the university with the support of the UNESCO Chair. Chairs can contribute to such training but awards, diplomas, and certificates can be issued only by the university, not UNESCO.”
According to UNESCO, it chairs exist in over 700 institution, located in over 116 countries. These devote special attention to “key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence – i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication.”
UNESCO chairs are active in Israeli institutions, such as Ben Gurion University, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, the Technion, and others.
David Collier: The ethnic cleansing of Jews and left wing hypocrisy
Talking about the historical ethnic cleansing of Jews from the whole of North Africa and the Middle East is an easy method of proving the antisemitism within the Palestinian cause. This example started with a simple tweet. A tweet that clearly points out that whilst Arabs make up more than 20% of Israel’s population, the rest of the Middle East and North Africa has virtually no Jews in it anywhere. Given some of these areas, like Morocco and Iraq had large Jewish populations – it becomes obvious that the Jews were ethnically cleansed from the MENA region.
Over 20% of Israel’s population is Arab.
The Jewish population of –
Gaza is 0%
A million Jews used to live in these places.
Talk to me about ethnic cleansing again.
— David Collier (@mishtal) February 22, 2020
The tweet was popular – it was retweeted 2500 times and received over 6300 likes. Its message is clear and easy on the eye. There were a million Jews who lived in places such as Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Tunisia. In one way or another the Arabs in the region turned on their Jews, persecuted them and in most places drove them out. An act of quintessential antisemitic persecution. So when people reference ethnic cleansing in relation to the Arab / Israeli conflict – there is ONE obvious ethnic cleansing we really have to discuss. These people were not part of a civil conflict, they considered themselves at home and identified – as Jews always do – with the host nation. There were not even violent groups amongst them. They were simply othered, persecuted and driven out from their homes – often forced to leave all their posSessions behind.
Ethnic cleaning – a simple equation
A simple equation then for the human rights activist. *If* the people who hold aloft the ‘Palestinian cause’ do it because of ‘human rights’, *then* the very least of expectations, the lowest of bars, would also have them sympathising with these Jewish victims of ethnic cleansing. If this does not occur, we have solid evidence that their support for the Palestinian cause is not driven by human rights issues at all.
The obvious conclusion
The first thing to remember is that this all came from one simple tweet. It isn’t the result of deep digging or long-term research. When you post something about the persecution of Jews – this is what you receive in response. This brutally exposes a clear and blatant truth. None of this has anything to do with international law or concern for human rights. These activists fail the most basic of tests. They simply do not care about people being persecuted. When the ethnic cleansing of Jewish people from Arab lands is placed before them – they respond with whataboutery, insults and antisemitism. If you need proof that the Palestinian cause is more about antisemitism than human rights, just look at the response to this tweet. It is *always* worth remembering this when you hear them talk about how much they care.
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he would skip the upcoming American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.
The Vermont senator said the pro-Israel lobby’s annual confab, which draws top Israeli and US officials, provided a venue for other leaders to disparage Palestinians.
“The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people,” Sanders tweeted. “I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference.”
It was not clear which leaders Sanders was referring to.
“As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region,” Sanders continued.
Sanders has surrounded himself with fringe far-left voices – ranging from members of Congress to activists – who have extensive histories of documented anti-Semitism.
The most prominent anti-Semites that Sanders has surrounded himself with on his campaign include socialist Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and far-left activist Linda Sarsour.
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who walks in lock-step with Omar and Tlaib but is more careful with her words, is also campaigning for Sanders.
Omar, who is among the most notorious anti-Semites in the country, responded with Sanders’ attack on AIPAC with glee, writing, “Thank you @BernieSanders for standing up for Palestinian human rights. All candidates should follow Bernie’s example and #SkipAIPAC!”
“[Sanders] supports a ‘two-state solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has often been very hostile to Israel’s defensive measures against the radical Islamic terrorism that engulfs the Jewish state on all sides,” The Daily Wire reported last year. “While running for president in 2016, Sanders cited a blatantly false number of Palestinian-Arab deaths that had allegedly resulted from the 2014 Gaza Strip war between the two sides.”
Sanders’ repeated hostility toward Israel has led some to predict that if he becomes the Democratic nominee that “Trump will win a majority of Jewish voters.”
Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment.
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) February 24, 2020
Where @SenSanders stands:
🔺 Opposed recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
🔺 Supports Iran deal & greater engagement with Tehran regime
🔺 Embraces Antisemites like Omar, Tlaib, Sarsour
🔺 Wants to take aid from Israel & give to Hamas in Gaza
🔺 Yes to J Street, No to AIPAC pic.twitter.com/vsczVvvoye
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) February 24, 2020
The Blaze reported that Sanders was promoting communist propaganda with his misleading claims:
While it is true that Castro implemented a reading program on the island after seizing power in a bloody revolution in 1959, Cuba’s literacy rate was already high for a Latin American nation at the time and its educational gains have been comparable to those of its peers in the years since.
As attorney Hans Bader noted in an August 2016 article, nearly eight out of 10 Cubans already knew how to read by 1950. This figure was similar to that of Costa Rica, which also achieved 100 percent literacy over the following decades — except Costa Rica and other countries did so without the kind of authoritarian dictatorship that Cubans have endured under the Castro regime for over 61 years.
Dr. Andy Gomez, a retired University of Miami professor who led the school’s Cuban Studies department for decades, told The Blaze: “Contrary to what Senator Bernie Sanders said, the literacy campaign used by the Castro regime was part of their strategic plan to indoctrinate the Cuban people by using education at all levels in support of a Marxist ideology.”
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 24, 2020
The Republican Jewish Coalition warned on Sunday that Senator Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming victory in the Nevada caucuses could potentially result in a Democratic presidential nominee that would pursue an anti-Israel policy.
The 78-year-old Jewish lawmaker from Vermont won more than 46% of the vote in Silver State’s caucuses on Saturday, more than all of his rivals combined.
Sanders has come under repeated criticism for maligning Israel and has even accused Israel of reportedly killing some 10,000 people in one of the Gaza wars (he later said he was not sure of that figure).
The independent senator, who recently said he was proud of potentially being the first Jewish president, has often called on the US government to condition its military aid to Israel on concessions to the Palestinians and has been criticized for not distancing himself from anti-Semitic supporters.
“Bernie Sanders is now the de facto leader of Democrats. His official stance is to divert US taxpayer funds from programs designed to jointly develop military technology and hardware with Israel and instead give that money to Hamas,” the Republican Jewish Coalition said in a tweet.
It then listed the various reasons why his candidacy could be a source of concern for Israel, urging people to “Help stop Bernie.”
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) February 24, 2020
Pointing to the Vermont senator’s support for dictatorships in Cuba, Nicaragua, and the Soviet Union, leaders of the Islamic State are bewildered that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has not yet said anything good about its caliphate.
“He lavished praise on Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, heck, even Stalin. What do these brutal dictators have that we don’t?” ISIS leader Amir Mohammad al-Salbi pleaded. “He said that Castro’s authoritarianism was okay because he had a literacy program and provided everyone free housing. Well, we teach all children to write ‘Allahu Akbar’ by age 12, and provide every young Yazidi girl free room and board with one of our mujahedeen.”
Salbi said he hopes that a Sanders endorsement could boost ISIS’s image among millennials.
“If socialism is popular, then why not jihad?” he asked.
He noted that Sanders had praised the cleanliness of Moscow’s train stations during a 1985 trip to the Soviet Union. “We also have an immaculate public transportation system,” Salbi said. “It consists of three camels, Bilosh, Ahmed, and al-Humpi, and I bathe them myself every day.”
In a further step aimed at showing solidarity with Sanders, Salbi announced that he will be joining the Democratic frontrunner in skipping the upcoming AIPAC conference.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Bloomberg’s money and the anti-Semitism defense
At a time of a rising tide of anti-Semitism sweeping across the globe, groups tasked with monitoring and combating Jew-hatred are needed more than ever. Yet the Anti-Defamation League continues to sabotage the effort to build a consensus against hate by miring the once universally respected organization in partisan politics.
The latest instance of the ADL undermining the fight against hate took place this past week when its national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt accused Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of using an anti-Semitic canard when attacking Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg.
Cruz’s supposed offense was to tweet a reaction to a Bloomberg news article that declared the Democratic contest for presidential candidacy to be a two-man race for the nomination. The notion of a media outlet owned by one of the candidates commenting on the Democratic nomination in such a way as to please its boss is pretty ridiculous. Cruz responded by simply quipping, “It’s almost as if he owns the media.”
Greenblatt responded by saying: “Is it anti-Semitic to point out that Mike Bloomberg owns a news service? No. Is it anti-Semitic to accuse a Jewish person of controlling the media? Absolutely yes. This assertion goes far beyond the facts and perpetuates harmful anti-Semitic tropes.”
This is utterly disingenuous, and Greenblatt knows it. Cruz deserves an apology, and though I doubt he will get one, this episode is another object lesson in how the ADL leader has basically trashed the reputation of his organization in service to his openly partisan leanings.
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 24, 2020
Some Scientology members are at today’s Nation of Islam convention
A donation from Scientology Detroit was just announced by speaker. A few years ago, Scientology worked with Nation of Islam on introducing their Dianetics courses. https://t.co/FYiqELhlDM
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) February 23, 2020
Amazon has come under fire for its new Nazi-hunting drama series, with critics saying its fictitious depictions of Nazi atrocities could give rise to Holocaust denial.
The museum of the Auschwitz death camp objected particularly to a scene in “Hunters,” the show about a fictional postwar hunt in New York for Nazi war criminals starring Al Pacino, that shows a murderous game of human chess being played, insisting that no such thing took place at the camp.
It said inventing fake scenes is “dangerous foolishness and caricature,” encourages Holocaust deniers and is disrespectful of the camp’s more than 1 million victims.
Museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki said Monday that authors and artists have a special obligation to tell the truth about Auschwitz, and that the “Hunters” authors did not contact the museum for facts.
The show includes a scene in which inmates are figures in a chess game, some of them naked, and forced to kill each other.
“This is false. There was no such thing,” Sawicki said.
The movie talks about a place where human suffering, pain and tragedy are very well-documented and the facts should be adhered to, Sawicki said.
The chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust told the BBC that such fictionalizations could give fuel to Holocaust denial, saying also that it lent an air of “flippant entertainment” to the show.
Earlier this month, The Atlantic posted a short film in its video section promoting the claim that Israel is “behind every regional war that’s happened in the last 70 years.”
The film, styled a “documentary,” is titled I Signed the Petition, and Now I’m Freaking Out, written by Mahdi Fleifel and produced by Nakba Filmworks. Incredibly, even days after an article about this was published on CAMERA’s site, and after some of CAMERA’s members and others contacted Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, the film remains online with no disclaimer.
The introduction to the video, written by Atlantic film curator Emily Buder, relays that it captures an actual conversation between filmmaker Fleifel and a friend named Faris, who lives in the UK. The film begins with Fleifel calling his friend Faris, and waking him up due to the time difference between their locations; we are treated to overhearing Faris in the bathroom early in the film.
Gritty shots of what is presumably Fleifel’s apartment are interspersed with black and white footage — of what exactly, we don’t know — as well as more modern protest scenes and shots of desolate streets and houses. The audio of the conversation plays over these scenes, and we never see images of either Fleifel or Faris. It’s all very artsy.
The subject of the call, and the backdrop for the baseless accusations, is Fleifel’s anxiety over having signed a petition asking the band Radiohead to cancel a concert in Israel. He is afraid that, having signed the petition, he will be “red-flagged” and not allowed into what he refers to as “Palestine” in the future.
The film debates and ultimately promotes the cultural boycott of Israel — and of course the de rigueur false comparison of Israel with South Africa, without which the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement would not have much to go on.
The Atlantic’s Buder claims, “Ultimately, [Fleifel and Faris’s] anxiety, frustration, and pain are a window into the meaning of Palestinian identity in today’s world.” In fact, however, the film gives us a window into the pathological antisemitism that is behind much anti-Israel activism.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., made a stunning condemnation of antisemitism on Wednesday. In an oblique but thoroughgoing rebuke to the Jew-hatred promoted by E. Michael Jones, who lives in the diocese Bishop Rhoades serves, the bishop declared that Catholics “recognize that the anti-Judaism and antisemitism of past centuries contributed to the rise of the Nazi project to exterminate Jews.”
He then warned the Catholic faithful in his diocese (and the rest of the world) that “all must take care, lest in catechizing or in preaching the Word of God, they teach anything which is not in accord with the truth of the Gospel or the spirit of Christ.”
“Unfortunately,” Rhoades declared, “there has been a rise in recent years of anti-Jewish and antisemitic rhetoric in our society” and “there have been incidents of violence by hateful speech about Jews. The Church has firmly condemned such rhetoric and violence.”
He added, “We must never forget that Judaism was the religion of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the apostles, and of the early disciples who spread the good news of Christ to the world,” and that the Jewish people “are Jesus’ own family.”
Rhoades reiterated that Nostra Aetate (“In Our Age”), a document issued by the Second Vatican Council, “rejected the charge that Jews were ‘Christ killers.’”
This and other teachings, he said, “are not optional for Catholics, but require our consent as true expressions of our faith. Negative language towards Jews as a people, a culture, or religion is not acceptable.”
In an implied reference to commentators such as the virulent antisemitic writer E. Michael Jones, who resides in the bishop’s diocese, the Feb. 19 statement declared: “Some writers today do not present Jews or Judaism in a respectful or theologically correct manner” and “the Catholic church offers no shelter to anti-Jewish bias, regardless of its content or expression. This applies to racist statements against Jews, to antisemitism, or to any religious opinion that denigrates Jews or Judaism.”
French assemblyman Meyer Habib has called for a boycott on Tunisia following the country’s decision to open an investigation into the participation of Aaron Cohen, a 17 year-old French-Israeli tennis player, in an international competition held in Tunis, I24news reported.
The investigation was launched by Tunisia’s president Kais Saied, who said that Tunisia rejects the normalization of relations with Israel under any form.
Issam Chebbi, secretary-general of the Republican Party urged the president to open the investigation. “I am calling you to open an investigation on a player who holds Israeli citizenship, and who was authorized to participate to three games, within an international tournament that Tunisia organized,” he posted on Facebook, I24News said.
Chebbi added that the participation of the French-Israeli teenager comes “at a time when the Palestinian question is exposed to the most dangerous conspiracy since the Balfour Declaration, through the so-called Deal of the Century, which is based partially on Arab normalization with the Zionist enemy.”
Tunisia’s tourism minister, Rene Trabelsi, condemned Habib’s calls to boycott and urged him to apologize.
The Austrian press body issued a decision on Friday declaring that labeling the BDS campaign targeting Israel as “antisemitic” is not a violation of the organization’s ethical code.
The Austrian Press Council wrote “numerous institutions and state institutions classify the BDS movement as antisemitic. In view of this, the Senate seems to have justified the antisemitism allegation made by the news outlet” against the BDS group.
The Press group also said freedom of the media protects the paper’s right to term BDS an antisemitic movement.
A chapter of the BDS campaign in the Austrian state of Styria filed a complaint last year with the Austrian Press Council against the daily Kleine Zeitung, in which the anti-Israel group claimed the BDS movement is not antisemitic.
According to the Press Council, the BDS entity said the international campaign to sanction Israel opposes “Israeli policies” via the “mass expulsion” of Palestinians but does not reject Jews.
“It is irrelevant whether the BDS movement considers itself antisemitic or if other people contradict this classification. The Senate [of the Press Council] also disagreed with the Styrian association on the other complaints regarding the article,” the Council ruled.
Critics of the BDS campaign say that its demand that all Palestinian “refugees” return to Israel would mean the abolition of the Jewish democratic State, and that meets the definition of contemporary antisemitism. Last May, the German Bundestag classified BDS as antisemitic.
During today’s Yeshiva U. vs. Brooklyn College basketball game, two players (Omar Rezika #13 and Hunnan Butt #15) decided to kneel during Hatikvah.
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) February 24, 2020
A Feb. 4th Guardian ‘expose’ on what they call a “coordinated far-right operation” using Facebook to profit “from disinformation and anti-Islamic hate” included screenshots from Facebook posts illustrating the problem – posts they claim represent “far-right”, hateful fake news.
Though most of the posts cited are indeed fake, and likely motivated by anti-Muslim animus, one of the posts they use in the article to make their point is in fact based on real news.
The Guardian caption read:
“Coordinated Facebook posts pushing disinformation about “celebrations” of the 9/11 terror attacks”.
However, as we demonstrated in a post on Feb. 5th, and in complaint to the Guardian readers’ editor and the two co-authors of the piece, the image from the Facebook post is a still shot from a widely circulated, authentic video from Sept. 11, 2001 that does show Palestinian celebrating the attacks.
After more than two weeks, and several follow-ups, editors finally responded to our complaint and corrected the caption, which now reads:
Coordinated Facebook posts seeking to exaggerate the scale of celebrations in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
They also added an addendum at the bottom of the article:
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
There was also video of attendees dressed in exaggerated imitations of clothing warn by Hasidic Jews with insect legs attached to their torsos.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, condemned the march in a statement, saying, “The satirical procession with antisemitic tropes in Aalst, Belgium are extremely offensive and abuse the power of free speech which is such an essential ingredient in any liberal democracy.”
“What is worse is that this type of antisemitism is a reminder of some of the darker moments of Europe’s past: we have not seen Jews labelled with a yellow Star of David since the 1930s,” he said. “We cannot pretend that these images are some kind of joke or do not cause fear. It is simply not acceptable for world leaders such as the King of Belgium to declare ‘never again’ one week and then sit idly by when these symbols appear on their streets just weeks later.”
WATCH: This is how antisemitism looks like. The Belgian city of #Aalst has made it clear that antisemitism is alive and well in the 21st century. This is not free speech. This is #antisemitism. pic.twitter.com/kVOBqX8MrW
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) February 23, 2020
Biting commentary on racism in Germany featured prominently Monday among Carnival floats in western cities, hastily put together in the aftermath of a deadly far-right attack last week near Frankfurt.
The floats for parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf, Mainz and elsewhere are notorious for their no-holds-barred satire, and also took aim at Brexit, the potential candidates to take over leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, and US President Donald Trump. One even featured a clown-like figure labeled “Carnival-Virus” thumbing its nose at an evil looking “Corona-Virus” creature.
Last Wednesday, a 43-year-old German man who had posted a racist screed online advocating genocide gunned down nine people of foreign background in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau, before apparently killing himself and his mother.
It was the latest in a string of far-right attacks in Germany and many have pointed the finger at the Alternative for Germany party, suggesting its nationalist anti-migrant rhetoric has helped create the climate for violence.
One Duesseldorf float depicted a red-faced man yelling in rage, a pistol protruding from his mouth with the word “racism” on the barrel. On the side was the slogan “from words come deeds” and a list of the attacks, including Hanau.
Jewish organizations on Sunday hailed the Bulgarian government’s decision to ban an annual neo-Nazi torch-lit march in the country’s capital of Sofia.
The “Lukov March” has been held since 2003 under the leadership of the far-right Bulgarian National Union party. It honors Hristo Lukov, a World War II-era Bulgarian minister of war who led the pro-Nazi Union of Bulgarian National Legions, an important ally of Hitler in the Balkans that assisted in the deportation of thousands of Jews to the Nazi death camps. Lukov was assassinated in 1943 by anti-Nazi resistance fighters.
This year, the march was stymied by court proceedings, which banned the event while allowing flower-laying at Lukov’s home. Only 60 people came out for the occasion.
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said in response, “For the first time in more than a decade, the Jewish community of Bulgaria has been spared its yearly day of fear and apprehension from shameful flame-wielding thugs who parade through the streets to glorify the very ideology that brought the near destruction of the Jewish people.”
“At this frightening time of rising antisemitic activity across the world, this is a moment of true victory for the Jewish community, the people of Bulgaria, and all promoters of justice and tolerance worldwide,” he added.
He thanked a large group of officials and activists who led the struggle against the march, including Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova.
“Our partnership to ensure the safety and security of the Bulgarian Jewish community has always been extremely positive and receptive, and the government’s proactive efforts in recent years in mobilizing to ban the march despite the many legal obstacles is a clear testament to its true support and friendship,” he said.
“This year, only a few dozen neo-Nazi thugs showed up,” Lauder noted. “Next year, let’s hope that the month of February will pass without a single disturbance of this kind.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that Americans were facing a “contagion of hate” as law enforcement officials disclosed that anonymous bomb threats were made to 18 Jewish community centers across his state on Sunday.
The threats were sent by email on Sunday morning to the 18 centers and were believed to be part of a wider series made against JCCs nationally.
Each of the threats was emailed to individuals separately, said Michael Kopy, the state’s director of emergency management. It was unclear if certain individuals were being targeted, Kopy said.
“It’s probably best not to discuss why these people were selected and let the investigators work on that right now,” Kopy told USA Today.
More than 100 people were evacuated from the JCC in Albany as a precaution on Sunday morning. State and Albany City Police swept the building.
No bomb was found but the facility remained closed afterward.
Cuomo arrived on scene about an hour following the first report of the threat.
“These types of situations are so ugly and so unfortunate. What’s worse is we’re seeing more and more of them,” the governor said.
Pointing out that 42 antisemitic incidents had been recorded in New York in recent months, Cuomo added that a strategy of “terror” was at work.
“You have your children in a class in the building and they say there is a bomb threat — that is terror,” he said.
Online streaming giant Netflix has acquired global rights to Hollywood icon Sophia Loren’s first feature film in a decade, in which she will star as a Holocaust survivor, it was announced last week.
In “The Life Ahead,” directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, the legendary Italian Oscar-winning actress plays Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor living in seaside Italy who has a daycare business and takes in a 12-year-old Senegalese Muslim boy, named Momo, who has no home and recently robbed her. “The two loners become each other’s protectors, anchoring an unconventional family,” according to a Netflix synopsis of the film.
“The Life Ahead” will be released on Netflix later this year, Deadline reported.
The film is an adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel “La vie devant soi,” which was previously adapted for theatrical release by Israeli filmmaker Moshe Mizrahi as “Madame Rosa.” It won the 1978 Oscar for best foreign language film.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said, “Sophia Loren is one of the most admired and celebrated actresses in the world. We’re honored to welcome her, Edoardo and the talented team who made this film to the Netflix family. ‘The Life Ahead’ is a beautiful and brave story that, much like Sophia herself, will be embraced by audiences in Italy and all around the world.”
On a recent trip to Israel, I had an opportunity to visit a Soviet-built Syrian base in the Golan Heights. Amid the stone and concrete fortifications, my guide explained that during the 1967 Six-Day War, many of the Arab armies had panicked and abandoned their posts. They left their Soviet-supplied equipment behind.
Consequently, the Israelis were able to capture the most state-of-the-art Soviet military technology intact — the very same equipment that American soldiers were facing in Vietnam. And Israel was more than happy to share what they had with the United States.
There is a quote that has for years made the rounds in publications dealing with U.S.-Israel relations. It is a quote from former U.S. Air Force intelligence chief Gen. George Keegan, stating that the intelligence the U.S. gains from Israel is greater than what could be procured with “five CIAs.”
However, tracing the quote back to its original source, Keegan’s remarks to a panel in 1978 and reported on by a young Wolf Blitzer, one finds that Keegan was more specific about what kind of information the U.S. was gaining from Israel: “I could not have procured the intelligence on the Soviet air forces, their combat capabilities, their new weapons, their jamming and their electronics and their SAMs, with five CIAs.”
In 1967, Israel captured nine Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missiles, along with their blueprints and operating instructions. In 1969, an Israeli commando team crossed the Suez Canal and captured an intact P-12 radar system used in conjunction with the SA-2s. These systems had wreaked havoc on American air operations for years. In 1960 and 1962, SA-2s shot down American U-2 spy planes over the Soviet Union and Cuba, in addition to hundreds of planes over North Vietnam. Thanks to Israel, the U.S. was finally able to study this equipment, along with various Soviet MIG fighter jets Israel had obtained. (h/t Zvi)
While military historians visiting the History Division in the past have used this large library, the bulk of its films have not been readily available to the public, something that mass digitization is finally making possible.
For many decades, the visual records made by Marines have been seen by the public only piecemeal, often with selected portions used as mere stock footage in films, documentaries and news programs, chosen because a shot has action, not because of the historical context of the imagery.
Even when they are used responsibly by documentary filmmakers, the editing and selection of scenes imposes the filmmaker’s interpretation on the images. As a historian and archivist, though, I believe it is important for people to directly engage with historical sources of all types, including the films from Iwo Jima.
The ‘highest and purest’ form
After the battle, the Americans buried their dead in temporary cemeteries, awaiting transportation back to the US. The film segment just before the graveside scene shows a service honoring the Americans of all backgrounds who had bled and died together.
At that service, Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, the Marines’ first-ever Jewish chaplain, gave a eulogy that has become one of the Marine Corps’ most treasured texts. Noting the diversity of the dead, Gittelsohn said, “Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor… together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color.”
Gittelsohn called their collective sacrifice “the highest and purest democracy.”
In July 2017, Israeli historian Yoram Meital stumbled upon a handwritten 1028 CE biblical codex that was lying abandoned on a dusty shelf in a Cairo synagogue. Wrapped in simple white paper of the sort one finds on tables in cheap eateries, at 616 pages, the Zechariah Ben ‘Anan Manuscript is one of the era’s most complete and preserved examples of the “Writings,” the third and concluding section of the Hebrew Bible. It had been lost to scholars for almost 40 years.
Discovered by Meital in the Karaite Moussa Der’i Synagogue, the Zechariah Ben ‘Anan Manuscript (ZBAM) was previously documented in various publications by modern biblical scholars, from a 1905 Jewish Quarterly Review article by leading expert Richard Gottheil through to microfilms of the manuscript done by a team of Israelis from the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in June 1981.
The scholars left notes within the texts, and even published their findings. Then, as the Jewish community increasingly lost its members, the priceless manuscript, too, disappeared.
After decades of trips to Egypt for his academic publications as a professor at Ben-Gurion University, in July 2017 Meital was in Cairo as a private scholar taking part in a Jewish community project headed by the Drop of Milk organization to document the city’s many synagogues — and seeking fodder for an upcoming book.
His trip to the 1933 Moussa Der’i Synagogue, a monumental structure built at the height of the community’s wealth and power, was meant to record its impressive architecture — built in the shape of a four-horned altar — and its many stained-glass windows and other ornamentation.
For the first time ever, the King of Saudi Arabia has met with and hosted a rabbi in his formal residence during an annual meeting of the KAICIID inter-religious dialogue organization’s last week.
Rabbi David Rosen, a leading figure in interfaith cooperation, is one of the eight members of the KAICIID board of governors representing the Jewish faith, and was one of those hosted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud at his royal palace in Riyadh last Thursday.
Rosen is also an Israeli citizen living in Israel, making his meeting with the king even more remarkable.
Rosen was one of seven of the board members who met with King Salman, including KAICIID’s representatives for Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
According to Rosen, King Salman talked about the changes which Saudi Arabia is undergoing of late and asserted that the Islamic kingdom was adopting a more open form of Islam than that which it has observed in recent decades.
Rosen said that the king argued that political Islam and extreme nationalism had forced the country into a more protective and reactive position in regard to its attitude to the Islamic faith, and that Saudi Arabia had been unduly influenced by extremist ideologies.
King Salman said that the country was now going about the process of restoring it culture to that of its original, enlightened Islamic orientation, a part of which was an openness to other religions, Rosen said.
ISRAELI President Reuven Rivlin received a standing ovation from 2000 members of the Sydney Jewish community on Sunday night.
Rivlin – who is making his first official state visit to Australia – was the guest of honour at United Israel Appeal (UIA) centenary gala event at International Convention Centre.
The President flew to Melbourne on Monday morning, where he will address students at Mount Scopus Memorial College, attend an event at Government House, and speak at UIA Victoria’s gala event.
Addressing the NSW event, Rivlin said, “The Australian Jewish community is a model for Jewish communities around the world.
“In a few generations you have made far-reaching contributions to Australian society while passing on your love for Israel from generation to generation. In the name of the State of Israel, I want to thank you.”
On Sunday, the President visited the wildlife hospital at Taronga Zoo following the devastating brushfires that have raged the country in recent months.
“This is a natural disaster that happens every few decades, not every few centuries,” said the President, adding that concern for wildlife in Australia was heart-warming.
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