Caroline Glick: Israel and Anne Frank’s Jewishness
On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the New Israel Fund announced it signed a partnership agreement with Anne Frank Fonds, the foundation Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, established in 1963 to administer the profits from the sales of her diary.
Frank’s diary has sold more than 30 million copies in 60 languages since it was first published in 1947. Its sales and global reach make it the most famous book authored by a Jew aside from the Bible.
The New Israel Fund’s deal with the Anne Frank Foundation is a symbolic expression of the existential struggle being waged in the Jewish world today. That struggle pits the government of Israel against much of the American Jewish leadership. It pits Israel’s public against the justices of the Supreme Court. It pits IDF line soldiers and commanders against the General Staff.
The effective merger of the New Israel Fund with the Anne Frank Foundation is the latest chapter in the theft of Anne Frank’s legacy, which began in the 1950s.
In 1952, a Jewish-American journalist named Meir Levin discovered The Diary of Anne Frank in French translation. Levin recognized that her diary was the ideal vehicle for telling the story of the genocide of European Jewry to the American public.
Frank was a Westernized Jew. Her family wasn’t religious. They were cosmopolitan German Jews who decamped to Amsterdam in 1933 when the Nazis rose to power, and immediately fit right in.
But for the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940, Anne would likely never have received any Jewish education. But when the Dutch collaborationist government implemented the Nazi race laws, and expelled all Jewish children from public schools, in 1941 her parents were compelled to enroll her in a Jewish school.
As Prof. Ruth Wisse explained in her discussion of Anne Frank in The Modern Jewish Canon, Anne’s period in the Jewish school gave her a chance to develop a familiarity with Jewish tradition and history and to develop a positive sense of her Jewish identity.
“Thus,” Wisse wrote, “by the time the family was forced into hiding, she was well armed to face the assault against her as a Jew.”
Of all the places on earth, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam prohibited its Jewish employees from wearing kippot. The outrageous policy was changed only recently after a local media outlet intervened.
It all began when Barry Vingerling, a 25-year-old Dutch Jew, began working at the museum. He told NIW, the local news website for Jews and Israelis in Holland, that a while after he began working there he started wearing a kippah, and was promptly asked by the museum directors to remove it.
The museum’s policy, Vingerling was told, was that religious symbols of any kind must be concealed from visitors to the museum (Dutch law applies to all public institutions in the country).
“I was stunned by the demand to take off the kippah,” Vingerling told NIW. “Here of all places, where Anne Frank was forced to hide because of her identity, I have to hide my Jewish identity?”
Vingerling said he reported the case to his superiors, who told him the matter was being addressed. An answer, however, never came. Meanwhile, at his request, Vingerling was promised that the museum’s board of directors would convene an official discussion on the matter in October 2017, but it has since been delayed until May 15.
Vingerling then turned to Rabbi Menno ten Brink, who serves on the museum’s advisory board. Brink’s answer, however, left him equally dumbfounded.
Melanie Phillips: The toxic reality of antisemitism in Europe
In France, Jews are being murdered by Muslims; in Sweden, the Netherlands and elsewhere, Jews are being attacked, threatened and intimidated. Who poses the greater threat to Jewish safety – the governments of Europe which are doing nothing to stop the influx that has so increased this threat, or Viktor Orban?
Some of the ultra-nationalist parties coming to the fore in Europe, such as the Austrian Freedom Party, Golden Dawn in Greece or Jobbik in Hungary, are indeed openly antisemitic or have Nazi pasts. And many Muslims are not only opposed to Islamist extremism but are its most numerous victims.
But those who ignore or deny Muslim antisemitism or other aggression effectively connive at its continuation. And that includes many Jews who denounce such concerns as “Islamophobic.”
Such Jews are themselves stoking the fires of antisemitism. People who are angry and resentful at mass immigration destroying their national identity bitterly resent being told by Diaspora Jews who have their own country in Israel that it’s racist to oppose multiculturalism.
It’s not only dangerous for Jews to oppose Europeans having their own national and cultural identity. It’s morally wrong. We Jews have ours. Why can’t they have theirs?
Mass migration into Europe is a toxic subject for Jews. But in this week when we have remembered the Shoah, we surely have a duty not to diminish antisemitism by exaggerating lesser dangers while ignoring or sanitizing the principal sources of this poison today.
Brendan O’Neill Why do you hate Israel?
The treatment of Israel as uniquely colonialist, as an exemplar of racism, as the commissioner of the kind of crimes against humanity we thought we had left in the darkest moments of the 20th century, really captures what motors today’s intense fury with Israel above all other nations: it has been turned into a whipping boy for the sins of Western history, a punch-bag for those who feel shame or discomfort with the political and military excesses of their own nations’ pasts and who now register that shame and discomfort by raging against what they view, hyperbolically, as a lingering expression of that past: Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. They heap every horror of the past on to Israel, hence their denunciation of it as ideological, racist, imperialistic, even genocidal – in their eyes, and courtesy of their campaigning, Israel comes to symbolise the crimes of yesteryear. So when 18 Palestinians are killed, it is not simply a tragedy, it is not simply excessive, it is certainly not something that requires serious, nuanced discussion, including about the role of Hamas in organising such protests in order to shore up international sympathy for Palestinian victimhood. No, it is an act that reminds us of the entire history of colonialism and racial chauvinism and of concentration camps and genocide, because this is what Israel now reminds people of; they project their post-colonial guilt and scepticism about the Western project on to this tiny state in the Middle East.
The rage against Israel is actually more therapeutic than political. It is not about seriously addressing the reality of life and conflict in the Middle East, but rather is driven by the narrow needs of Western observers and activists for an entity they can fume against in order to give release to their own sense of historical and political disorientation. But the impact of this therapeutic rage, this almost primal-scream therapy against Israel, is dire. It contributes to the growing conspiratorial view that certain people, you know who they are, have a uniquely disruptive influence on international affairs, political life, and everyday safety and security. ‘It isn’t anti-Semitic to criticise Israel’, observers say, and they are absolutely right. Every nation state must be open to criticism and protest. But if you only criticise Israel, or you criticise Israel disproportionately to every other state, and if your criticism of Israel is loaded with Holocaust imagery and talk of bloodletting, and if you boycott Israel and no other nation, and if you flatter the dark imaginings of the far right and Islamists and conspiracy theorists by fretting over a super powerful Israel Lobby, and if the sight of an Israeli violinist is too much for you to stomach, then, I’m sorry, that has the hallmarks of anti-Semitism.
We have also seen the hijacking of the “Never Again” slogan. If there was ever a cry that succinctly summarized the real lessons of the Holocaust and captured the righteous rage and resolute determination of the Jew to never allow it to happen again, “Never Again” was it. Nonetheless, we allowed it to be lifted from the lexicon of Jewish memory and repurposed by allies of those who are engaged in anti-Israel activism.
Obviously, not everyone who invokes the Holocaust outside of its Jewish context does so with ill intent. Even so, we must be vigilant as it is forbidden to sit quietly while Holocaust memory is perverted by groups opposed to the State of Israel, or those which are antithetical to Jewish values.
As we move further away in time from the Shoah, “classic” anti-Semitism remains a potent force for evil, especially in the internet age. But at least it is a phenomenon that Jewish organizations are willing to recognize. Will they sit idly by as activists on the other end of the political spectrum continue to snatch Holocaust memory away from the core of Jewish consciousness and turn it into a weapon to be used against us?
Holocaust memory is a sacred thing for Jews. Like the Holy Ark that was once captured by the Philistines, it is in danger of being confiscated by our enemies. It’s time to take back the memory of the Holocaust and place it where it belongs, with the Jewish people and the Jewish State.
President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday led the 30th annual March of the Living from the gates of Auschwitz to Auschwitz-Birkenau, marking Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.
The President was accompanied by leaders of Israel’s security services: IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott, Chief of Police Roni Elsheikh, Israel Security Agency Head Nadav Argaman, and Mossad Director Yossi Cohen.
Around 12,000 Jewish and non-Jewish young people from around the world also took part in the March.
“I can close my eyes and still hear the weeping of the mothers as their children were ripped from their arms. I see the horror of the fathers as their loved ones were burned before their eyes. The accursed ‘selection’ process; for life, or for death. The barking of the dogs. The blood-curdling orders of the guards: ‘Schnell, Schnell,’ quickly, quickly. They killed the Jews Quickly, quickly. ‘A person was taken off the train in the morning,’ wrote Raoul Hilberg, ‘and in the evening his body was cremated and his clothes packaged up, ready to be sent to Germany.’
“From the time this railway line by which we now stand, was laid down, from the spring of 1944, the Auschwitz train station became the busiest train station in all of Europe. The extermination process became ever shorter, from one whole day to four hours. Four hours, and whole lives went up in smoke. Loves, fears, beliefs, hopes, pain, memory: For Nazi Germany, they were merely numbers, without any identity or name. Germanic efficiency was exploited to the full. In Auschwitz alone, some one million, one hundred thousand human beings were tortured, slaughtered, murdered, cremated, and erased from the face of the earth. One million of them were Jews.
“We stand here and we know, that from this place we cannot hope for justice. In this place ̶ where the ashes of our brothers and sisters were swallowed by the soil ̶ no justice will grow. We do not expect justice in Europe that seeks ̶ too quickly ̶ to forget, to eradicate the memory, to deny, to destroy evidence. But, our memory, the memory of the Jewish People, is the antithesis of the haste of the Nazis.
American astronaut Andrew Feustel marked Yom HaShoah — Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day — by delivering a special message that was beamed down to Earth from the International Space Station.
Feustel flew into space last month carrying with him a copy of 14-year-old Holocaust victim Petr Ginz’s “Moon Landscape” from Yad Vashem’s Art Collection.
Watch Feustel’s message below:
After being lost for decades, the writings of Holocaust victim Renia Spiegel have been finding new admirers. The 18-year old Spiegel was murdered by the Nazis in 1942, but the rediscovery of her poetry-rich diary has some people referring to her as “Poland’s Anne Frank.”
In the coming months, Spiegel’s diary will be published in English for the first time, along with the release a documentary film based on her life. Although the diary was already published in Poland, something of a mystery still hovers over the Jewish teen, whose name does not appear on Holocaust victim lists in Poland or Israel.
Born in 1924, Spiegel grew up on her father’s estate near Poland’s border with Romania. Her younger sister, Ariana, was a child film star known as “Poland’s Shirley Temple.” Their mother lived in Warsaw, where she worked to build Ariana’s career. The sisters, meanwhile, lived with their grandparents in sleepy Przemysl, a border town along the San River.
When she began keeping her diary at the end of 1939, Spiegel explained, “I simply seek a friend.” Her first entry resembles Anne Frank’s initial essays, offering a candid account of her loneliness. Also quite similar to early entries in “The Diary of a Young Girl,” Spiegel includes biting commentary on her classmates.
Israel called in Ireland’s Ambassador Alison Kelly on Thursday to protest the participation of the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha at an anti-Israel rally in Ramallah the same day, and for recent anti-Israel resolutions passed by the Dublin City Council.
Rodica Radian-Gordon, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Europe, expressed amazement and “deep disappointment” that Donncha chose to participate in a “blatantly anti-Israel” event.
She said that his participation in the event was particularly jarring since it comes during the week Israel is commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“The government of Israel expects a public and official Irish response to the conduct of the city council of the Irish capital, and of its head in particular, who are conducting a campaign of discrimination and hatred against the State of Israel,” Radian-Gordon said.
Donncha, of the left-wing Sinn Fein party, is a member of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign that spearheads boycott, sanctions and divestment efforts against Israel inside Ireland.
Mícheál Mac Donncha — who represents the Sinn Féin party, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) — told reporters after arriving back in the Irish capital on Friday that he was essentially unaware of al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem who spearheaded anti-Jewish violence in British Mandatory Palestine during the 1920s and 1930s. Wanted by British authorities, al-Husseini escape from Palestine in 1937 and later visited Adolf Hitler in Berlin, assisting Nazi propaganda efforts in the Arab world and recruiting Muslims from Bosnia and Albania to serve in the Nazi SS.
“I didn’t know the image at the conference was of Hajj Amin al-Husseini. It was only brought to my attention afterwards,” Mac Donncha — a supporter of the BDS campaign against Israel — told The Irish Times. “I totally reject the accusation that I am or have ever been antisemitic.”
That claim is likely to be viewed with skepticism by Ireland’s Jewish community, which denounced Mac Donncha earlier this week.
Noting that Mac Donncha’s participation in the Ramallah conference had taken place on the eve of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance day, Maurice Cohen — chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland — remarked in a statement that it was “most distressing to the Irish Jewish Community to see Dublin’s Lord Mayor attending a conference that glorifies Nazi collaborator Haj Amin al-Husseini.”
“Al-Husseini, whose image dominates the backdrop behind the conference top table at which the Lord Mayor sat, was one of the most egregious antisemites of the twentieth century,” the statement continued.
“The unfortunate timing of the Lord Mayor’s attendance at this event can only be explained by either ignorance or antisemitism,” Cohen concluded. “If the Lord Mayor’s presence at the conference was not out of ignorance, then we can only conclude that we are witnessing our Lord Mayor displaying blatant antisemitism.”
Under the subheading “Why was the mayor banned?”, readers were told that:
“Israeli officials say Mr Mac Donncha, a Sinn Féin city councillor, has ties to the Dublin-based Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).
It supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which campaigns for a complete boycott of Israel over its policies towards the Palestinians.
Israel says the BDS movement opposes the country’s very existence and is motivated by anti-Semitism.”
There is of course nothing novel about the BBC avoiding informing audiences in its own words what the BDS campaign is all about: for years we have been documenting on these pages how the corporation has serially failed to provide an accurate and impartial portrayal of the aims and agenda of the BDS campaign – even as it has frequently provided that campaign and some of its supporters with free PR.
Notably though, the BBC also presented Mícheál Mac Donncha’s ties to the IPSC as merely something that ‘Israel says’ is the case.
A very brief internet search would have shown the BBC that since his election less than a year ago, Mac Donncha has taken part in several IPSC organised events including the launch (held at the Lord Mayor’s official residence) of a BDS promoting calendar produced by the anti-Israel group in November 2017.
Ken Loach was condemned by Owen Jones for his call to deselect Labour MPs who protested against anti-Semitism earlier this week. Is he sorry? LBC have audio of him speaking in Canterbury yesterday in which he doubles down and asks:
“Why aren’t the Board of Deputies demonstrating outside of Tory Party Headquarters? We know why. The Chairman of the Board of Deputies, as I understand it, I may be wrong, but was among the first to send a congratulations to Trump and this is not a Labour organisation. This is an organisation that is I read, largely hostile to Labour. Now why aren’t they demonstrating against the other parties?”
Loach went on to warn that media anti-Semitism stories would only become more frequent as:
“it will get worse because if the Labour Party gets into power and if they stick with the manifesto and do go further you have the full range of international capital against us”
Is Corbyn going to do anything about his official election broadcast producer spouting this stuff around the country? Will he still be hired to do Labour PPBs? What is it with Labour Kens?
Guido understands Labour will no longer use Ken Loach as the producer of their election broadcasts following his comments on anti-Semitism this week. Labour sources say they have plans for two more PPBs in the current round and confirm Loach will not be doing them. Inevitable after this recording emerged this morning. That’s one Ken dealt with…
Over 40 staff members at the University of Sydney in Australia have vowed to avoid collaborating with Israeli academic institutions and their leaders, in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The pledge, signed by professors and research fellows, calls on Israel to comply with “international law and elementary principles of human rights,” including by recognizing the “right of return” of Palestinians to territories they claim in Israel. Critics argue that allowing such an influx of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Israeli Independence War and their millions of descendants into Israel would effectively turn it into a Palestinian state.
Nick Riemer, a senior lecturer in English and linguistics at the University of Sydney, told The Australian that the campaign was spurred following recent riots at the Israel-Gaza border that have resulted in the death of over 30 Palestinians, according to figures from the Gaza Health Ministry.
The protests — which have been backed by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip — similarly call on Israel to accept the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The Israeli military has accused some demonstrators of approaching the Gaza border fence with firebombs, rocks, and assault rifles, and maintains that many of the fatalities were affiliated with terrorist groups including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Palestinian factions argue that the protests have been largely peaceful and the protesters unarmed.
Fifty student groups at New York University pledged on Monday to boycott Zionist clubs on campus and all goods produced by Israelis, in an expression of support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The coalition — led by the anti-Zionist group Students for Justice in Palestine — includes the African Student Union, Asian American Women’s Alliance, Black Students Union, College Libertarians, Divest for Climate Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), and Muslim Students Association, among others.
The groups committed to “boycotting Israeli goods and goods manufactured in the Occupied Territories, except for those manufactured by Palestinians” — an effort that would overwhelmingly impact Jews in Israel and territories considered by the international community to be occupied, including eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.
They nonetheless asserted that BDS — which opposes the presence of a Jewish homeland in the Levant — “does not target the existence and economic activity of Jews in historic Palestine but rather goods and companies complicit in occupation and apartheid.”
The coalition also agreed not to co-sponsor events with NYU’s pro-Israel clubs, Realize Israel and TorchPAC, and to boycott Zionist groups off-campus, including the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish civil rights organization. Israeli academic institutions and state-sponsored conferences were similarly blacklisted.
In his 1985 book Double Vision: How The Press Distorts America’s Views of the Middle East, the American-born Israeli writer Ze’ev Chafets catalogued the ills that plagued U.S. news media coverage of the Middle East in general, and Israel in particular. Chafets, who had served as the director of Israel’s Government Press Office, noted that “the choices that have shaped the American press’s approach to the Middle East in recent years have been influenced by a complex mixture of inexperience, parochialism, radical chic, economic self-interest, U.S. government manipulation, and the strong-arm news-management techniques of the Arab world.”
More than three decades since Chafets’ book first appeared, Western media coverage of Israel has increasingly come under fire from writers, analysts and organizations that charge the Fourth Estate with an ingrained bias against the Jewish state. And indeed, there is much that the press gets wrong about Israel. In key ways, the media fails to provide readers with a full and accurate depiction of the country.
The principle problem is narrative. Like all people, journalists are not immune from having their own preconceived notions warp their analysis. As Matti Friedman, a former Associated Press reporter, noted in a Nov. 30, 2014 Atlantic Monthly article about media bias and the Middle East, ”the news tells us less about Israel than about the people writing the news.” He’s right. It also tells us a lot about how the news gets reported.
As both Chafets and Friedman have observed, Israel is the victim of an obsessive media focus. The country of eight million receives a disproportionate level of coverage thanks, in no small part, to the safety and freedom that it provides the press in an increasingly unsafe region—and world – that is filled with governments and groups who menace – and sometimes murder – reporters. As Friedman noted in an Aug. 26, 2014 Tablet Magazine article, the AP alone had “significantly more” correspondents covering Israel than it had in “China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined,” and higher than the total number of employees in all the countries in which the so-called “Arab Spring” erupted. This fixation has a distorting effect that is complicated by a narrative that is widely embraced by many in the press.
Edgar Davidson: Censoring ‘conservative’ and pro-Israel social media accounts
However, the fact that Diamond and Silk – with 1.5 million followers – have been classified as ‘unsafe’ by Facebook has really brought the issue to attention. Diamond and Silk are brilliant and funny black female commentators – the very sort of people that ‘progressives’ normally claim need to be empowered. Yet, because they happen to be conservative Trump supporters, the normal ‘privilege’ afforded by progressives is not only removed, but their voice apparently must be silenced completely. Here is my response to their request for information about experiencing censorship:
Dear Diamond and Silk
My blog, facebook and twitter feeds focus primarily on exposing anti-semitism, but because a lot of this is currently dressed up as ‘anti-Zionism’ the so-called progressives continually try to silence me even though I only have a small following. That’s because anybody who is ‘pro-Israel’ and who highlights things like Palestinian/Islamic terrorism is considered an enemy and a threat to the progressive agenda. So, for example:
Whereas a year ago my blog http://edgar1981.blogspot.com was getting on average 100,000 hits per month it now get about 15,000. This is partly because it has been (incredibly) classified as a ‘hate site’ (see http://edgar1981.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/blog-by-parents-of-murdered-israeli.html) meaning many service providers block it completely. Also, despite many key articles, google searches have stopped finding them – resulting in a collapse of traffic from google search (10,000 down to 500).
On my twitter account@Cant_fool_me I am blocked from sending any links at all; moreover, if anybody tweets a link to one of my blog articles, clicking it results in a warning. Twitter also continually removes ‘conservative’ followers.
My Facebook posts (both personal and community pages) only get seen by a handful of friends/followers.
Yours Edgar Davidson
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosted Valerie Plame on their show Friday, but the program’s hosts and guests made no mention of her past anti-Semitic statements.
Last year, the former CIA operative tweeted “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.”
In her tweet, Plame linked back to an article which included a statement that Jewish commentators should be labeled as such on television.
“For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is ‘Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel,’” the article Plame linked to said.
Shortly before Plame’s interview on “Morning Joe,” the show’s cast talked to Kristol.
During her tenure at the CIA, she was outed as an operative and then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in the investigation. President George W. Bush commuted his prison sentence.
The awarding of the most prestigious prize in German pop music to two rappers who made fun of Holocaust victims has been described by an influential Jewish organization as “a scandal.”
At the annual Echo Awards on Thursday evening the rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang were awarded the best album award for their recent release “Jung, brutal und gutaussehend 3”.
For weeks, the fact that the two rappers had been nominated for the award had caused controversy in the German press due to their alleged anti-Semitism.
On the album, Farid Bang raps about his training regime, boasting that “my body is more defined than an Auschwitz prisoner’s.”
Kollegah has previously been accused of anti-Semitism due to a 2016 music video which appears to show a Jewish man at the head of a secretive global banking conspiracy.
Earlier in the evening the singer Campino – frontman of die Toten Hosen – used his acceptance speech for the rock award to criticize the two rappers.
Campino, one of Germany’s most famous musicians, was visibly nervous when giving his speech. He started by saying that provocation in music is generally an important and good thing. But he went on to say that tolerance stops “when people make insults that are misogynistic, homophobic, right-wing extremist, or anti-Semitic.” (h/t jzaik)
In recent days, an antique Bible has been discovered that has been through many travels: from the library of a French Jewish doctor, to the notorious Nazi leader Hermann Goering, who loved Jewish art treasures, to a French Division Red Cross chaplain, and to the Jews of London.
The Bible will soon be sold at the Kedem auction house in Jerusalem.
As the ex libris, the paper is affixed to the title page, testifies, the book was confiscated by the Nazis from the library of a Jewish doctor from France.
The second piece of paper affixed to the title page is the one that tells the moving story of the book. “The item was taken from Goering’s private collections in Berghof, in the area of Berchtesgaden.” Under the caption appears the stamp of the French Division of the Red Cross.
Hermann Wilhelm Goering was a leader of the Nazi regime, commander of the Luftwaffe, the Wehrmacht’s air arm, and the German Aviation Ministry. He played a crucial role in the persecution of Jews before their physical extermination in the Holocaust, the confiscation of their property, and the Kristallnacht pogroms.
He was the highest-ranking Nazi war criminal who was caught alive at the end of the war and sentenced to death in the Nuremberg Trials, but committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule before his death sentence could be carried out.
South Carolina is set to become the first state to legislate a definition of anti-Semitism, with one controversial passage defining as anti-Semitic certain anti-Israel expressions.
The language is not permanent, the Charleston Post and Courier reported. It was included in an $8 billion budget bill the state Senate passed late Thursday, which means that it stands only until the next budget is passed next year.
The language is seen as likely to survive the reconciliation of the bill by Senate and House committees. Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican who has championed the language, is expected to sign the budget bill.
Efforts earlier this year to pass a permanent version of the law were frustrated when concerns about an impingement on free speech hindered its advance in the Senate.
Under the measure, universities must take the definition into account when reviewing charges of discrimination or bias.
The bill uses as its template the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which includes as anti-Semitic calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control and Holocaust denial. More controversially, it also includes “applying double standards” to Israel “by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”
Following the publication of our March 21 article about Soapy’s off-grid, sun-powered hygiene stations to improve child health in India, CEO Max Simonovsky started noticing higher traffic on the social-impact startup’s website.
And that was only the beginning.
“Since your wonderful article was published we are receiving feedback and inquiries from all over the world — Liberia, Nigeria, US, Haiti, India, Mexico, Uganda, Ethiopia, Israel and much more,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
“The article was shared by 3,000 people on Facebook and then shared again and again on Facebook and Twitter. The Embassy of Israel in India tweeted the story and shared it on their Facebook page too. So we had a lot of people approaching us. I can’t even explain how much it means to me personally and to Soapy’s team.”
The Energy and Water Resources Ministry on Monday confirmed that it has granted a consortium of Indian companies a license to explore for gas and oil in Israeli waters.
The group includes India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, the Bharat Petroleum Corporation, the Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India Limited.
The ministry invited foreign investors to explore Israeli waters in November, dividing the area into blocs for the purpose of licensing offshore exploration ventures.
The Indian group was given a permit to explore Bloc 32 for a period of three years, with the option of extending the permit for an additional three years.
The consortium was asked to prove financial holdings that reflect at least $400 million in assets and shareholders’ equity of at least $100 million. The group was also required to prove its professional capability in offshore gas and oil exploration and production to ensure it meets the conditions of the license.
In recent years, the group was involved in gas- and oil-exploration ventures in Iranian waters, but the partnership with Iranian authorities soured, and the group expressed interest in the alternatives Israel was offering.
New York high school student Benjy Firester won a $250,000 science prize last month for his mathematical model on the spread of late blight, the plant pathogen that sparked the Irish potato famine of the 1840s and 1850s.
The model developed by the 18-year-old Hunter College High School student could be used to prevent crop damage in the future.
Late blight fungus causes “billions of dollars of damage and epidemics all over the world, and this could all be stopped if farmers had the adequate information as to how and when the disease spreads,” Firester said.
“Within just a few days, it can destroy an entire field and it can mutate very quickly and really get out of hand. And that’s why there are no current models to predict it, because it’s really so awful to predict because of how quickly it spreads.
“So it’s really important that farmers are stopping the disease in the beginning of its progression, before it reaches epidemic levels where it’s unstoppable through any methods.”
Using disease data and weather patterns gathered from farmers in Israel, Firester was able to predict where the spores from the late blight genome would spread. Farmers can use his program to input their own data and track spores in the wind and apply fungicides at the proper time.
Though Syria and Israel share a border, they share little else. Yet the long history of conflict between the two countries is not stopping Israel from doing all it can to save the lives of Syrians.
Sometimes the news headlines don’t reflect the reality on the ground. On recent visits we each have taken to Israel, we witnessed both the horrors of war and the compassion of healers. We saw that when it comes to civilians — men, women, children, the injured and the sick — there are no boundaries. Israel sees past its conflict with the Syrian regime and has implemented a good neighbor policy that calls for medical treatment of all. This has been the case since 2013 when the first Syrian civilians in need of help crossed into Israel’s northern border seeking care.
The way Israelis are treating Syrians sheds a light on the complexity of the ongoing civil war in Syria, and Israel’s involvement. Since the war began, more than 4,000 Syrians have been treated in Israel, including 1,000 children. Israel has even opened up a maternity hospital on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Since it opened, more than 200 women have been treated at the hospital, more than 30 of whom have given birth. Beyond the life-saving medical care Syrian children are getting in Israel, they are also receiving necessities to improve their standard of living, such as eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Israel treats any Syrian who needs it, free of charge, regardless of which side they are fighting for. It does not matter to doctors whether you are a Syrian rebel or a part of the Assad regime. Taking care of those in need is in the Israeli DNA.
Dr. Salman Zarka, the General Director of Ziv Medical Center, said it best on a recent visit to Chicago: “we have only one standard of treatment at Ziv hospital. When the patient gets into the emergency room, whether he’s Israeli or Syrian, we’ll provide him our best.”
An Israeli drama won the top honor of Best Series at the Cannes International Series Festival, also known as Canneseries, on Wednesday.
“When Heroes Fly” tells the tale of four friends and veterans of an IDF special forces unit — who served together in the Second Lebanon War — reuniting for one last operation aimed at finding the former lover of one of them, who happens to be the sister of another.
The series is set in the jungles of Columbia and was produced and distributed by Israel’s Keshet.
“When Heroes Fly” beat over nine other TV shows, including another from Israel, for the Best Series award.
Upon accepting the honor on stage, “When Heroes Fly” actor Tomer Kapon began with a Hebrew blessing, thanking God. Kapon, known for his role in “Fauda,” then said, “A life in Israeli television is not always an easy thing but when you have a series that succeeds it’s because you work with people who love their work, so a big thank you to all of them.”
He added, “This show deals with the consequences of war and the prices of it so I just want to say, make love and not war.”
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