Rashida Tlaib and the Trojan horse of antisemitic tropes
After seeing the weak condemnation following Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s latest revisionist comments about the creation of Israel and the Holocaust, everything I have been warning about has finally come to pass. I have been concerned that the overly strong backlash to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic tropes would unintentionally help enable more antisemitism, because it felt as though Jews and their allies were putting the cart before the horse, and losing sight of what truly drives mainstream left-wing antisemitism.
Antisemitism from the Left is mostly caused by its inaccurate perception of Israel as an oppressive imperialist state. The irony is that this mainstream left-wing sentiment is actually rooted in what might be the most harmful antisemitic trope of them all: simply lying about Jews harming others, similar to the blood libel used against Jews in the middle ages. These modern-day blood libel tropes and other false accusations used against Israel, unlike Omar’s recent tropes, are actually much more systematic and dangerous to Jews because of their mainstream use in the left-wing political world.
While people have been focusing on Omar’s vile antisemitic tropes, they largely ignored that Omar: supports the anti-Israel boycott movement; has claimed Israel is similar to Iran in not being a democracy; surrounded herself with antisemites like Linda Sarsour; covers for Hamas; and constantly lies and misleads about the Jewish state and the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
While we all should be condemning antisemitic stereotypes, we need to not lose focus on what’s the main cause of systematic left-wing antisemitism. The strong condemnation of Omar unintentionally gifted left-wing antisemites with a Trojan horse that gave them the green light to say whatever they want about Israel, as long as they avoid classical antisemitic tropes.
There is no better example of this being true then by the lack of pushback from Democrats on Tlaib’s recent comments. We must never forget that what drives most of hate toward Israel are the constant lies, propaganda, double standards, disproportionate focus, demonization, and as Rashida just showed in her recent comments, a revisionist version of history.
A member of the Virginia legislature and former volunteer for Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) is connected to multiple anti-Semitic organizations and is the son of a Hamas fundraiser.
Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D.)—who received sympathetic national coverage this week after alleging harassment for his Muslim faith at a town hall—has supported multiple virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations, once speaking at a Hamas-affiliated conference.
Samirah is a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic and political pressure against Israel. In a 2014 Facebook post, Samirah urged friends to support the BDS movement while Israel was “most exposed.”
As a student at American University and then Boston University, Samirah was an active member of Students for Justice in Palestine. He credits the organization with helping convince students that “Israel REALLY sucks.”
SJP relies heavily on American Muslims for Palestine, of which Samirah is also a part, for funds and logistics. According to 2016 testimony from Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, “AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine.”
AMP’s founder and president is Hatem Bazian. He also founded SJP. Bazian has a history of deeply anti-Semitic comments and conspiracies. In 2004, Bazian spoke at a fundraiser for an organization the U.S. Treasury determined was fundraising for Hamas.
Al Sharpton appealed to Reform Jews for a united front in facing down anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of bias, and acknowledged his role in stoking division, recounting how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow reprimanded him for his “cheap” rhetoric.
The civil rights activist and MSNBC host reportedly has expressed regrets privately to Jewish leaders for the incendiary rhetoric that helped fuel the deadly Crown Heights riots in 1991. But Monday’s remarks at the Religious Action Center’s Consultation on Conscience were the closest he has come in public in acknowledging his role.
The invitation earned criticism for seeming to rehabilitate a figure at the center of a number of anti-Semitic clashes in the 1990s. After the accidental killing of a black child in Brooklyn by a car driven by a member of the Lubavitcher rebbe’s entourage, African-American protesters targeted religious Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood.
Yankel Rosenbaum, a graduate student affiliated with Chabad-Lubavitch, was stabbed to death in the rioting.
Sharpton also was accused of inciting the violent firebombing of a Jewish-owned clothing store in Harlem in 1995.
Without mentioning the Crown Heights riots specifically, Sharpton said he could have “done more to heal rather than harm.” And he said that all the public criticism he received paled next to the rebuke from Coretta Scott King, who was known for her closeness to the Jewish community. It appears to be the first time Sharpton has publicly shared the tale.
Petra Marquardt-Bigman: Rising star Imam Omar Suleiman has an anti-Semitic past. Has he moved on?
It was an honor for the young but popular Imam Omar Suleiman to be invited to deliver the opening prayer for a session of the U.S. House of Representatives. Suleiman is the founder and president of the Texas-based Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, which proudly announced the occasion and promoted it on its website and social media.
His short and passionate prayer included words about love, unity, justice, peace and reconciliation, as well as a call to “be for truth, no matter who or for is against it.” [sic]
But his appearance in Congress quickly became politicized. Rep. Lee Zeldin tweeted that allowing Suleiman to give the opening prayer was “totally unacceptable.”
Two years ago I wrote a piece for The Algemeiner documenting Suleiman’s call for “the beginning of the end of Zionism” and a 2014 Facebook post in which he said that “Zionists are the enemies of God,” among other things. I had come across Suleiman only because I was writing a post on Linda Sarsour’s hostile views on Israel.
During the course of my investigation, I noticed that the newly prominent co-chair of the Women’s March and Suleiman were complimenting each other on Twitter. The articles Sarsour shared about Suleiman painted a glowing picture: One described him as “a new kind of American imam” with “a wildly popular social-media presence, with more than a million likes on his Facebook page and tens of millions of views for his YouTube sermons.”
Since my work focuses on anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activism, I was mostly interested in whether Suleiman shared Sarsour’s views on Israel. What I found was rather shocking, particularly given that Suleiman’s vast social media following allows him to spread his views far and wide.
Suleiman, in his 30s and originally from New Orleans, rose to prominence due to his interfaith work and community organizing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He began studying Islamic texts in 2000, and has taught Islamic studies at the university level since 2008. He holds several advanced degrees and is in the process of completing a doctorate from the International Islamic University of Malaysia in Islamic thought and civilization.
Democrat Reps. Gil Cisneros (CA) and Elissa Slotkin (MI) have recently refused to condemn the anti-Semitic remarks from Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN) and Rashida Tlaib (MI) when pressed about the issue on camera.
The lawmakers were recently approached and asked if Omar and Tlaib should face any repercussions for their anti-Semitic remarks.
Omar has been condemned by Congress and many of her Democratic colleagues multiple times over her blatant anti-Semitism, which includes promoting a conspiracy theory that Nazi Germany used to demonize Jews; supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement; suggesting that Israel should not be allowed to exist as a Jewish state; claiming without evidence that her “Jewish colleagues” had devised a scheme to silence her criticism of Israel; falsely claiming that pro-Israel groups were paying off American politicians to be loyal to Israel; and claiming without evidence that her Democratic colleagues were expecting her to have dual loyalties.
Tlaib has engaged in promoting anti-Semitic revisionist history to delegitimize the State of Israel; accusing her Jewish colleagues of having dual loyalties; does not support a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine; supports anti-Semitic BDS campaigns; and has been photographed hanging out with supporters of Islamic terrorist organizations who have said that Israel has no right to exist.
While the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have rushed to defend Omar, Democratic leaders in Congress have condemned her.
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI) refuses to condemn the anti-Semitism that has come from Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)pic.twitter.com/uDhNLPgS5A
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 20, 2019
You are tweeting stories from a Qatar government funded Holocaust denying news organization https://t.co/6iOSO1tNjt
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) May 20, 2019
Protest in Times Square Demanding Removal of Ilhan Omar
Hundreds of protesters in Times Square demanded the removal of Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Protesters say Omar’s comments are anti-Semitic and anti-American. Our Arelle Hixson reports.
Israel’s basic purpose is to protect the Jewish people, both by serving as a place of refuge and by maintaining a standing military to defend the nation. The BDS movement corrodes and would, if its leaders had their way, destroy this foundation, pushing ideas that would end the Jewish state. Supporters of the BDS movement try to impose crippling double standards that would prevent Israel from defending itself like any other state, and they push the right of Palestinian refugees—not just those displaced following Israel’s founding, but also all of their descendants—to return to Israel, making Jews a minority. The implications for Israeli Jews, and for the Jewish people more broadly, would be disastrous. Oh, and the BDS movement works with known terrorist organizations and operatives that seek Israel’s destruction to promote its agenda.
Regarding the comparisons to Nazi Germany, Benjamin Weinthal, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Asaf Romirowsky, the executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, put it well in an opinion piece from last year: “The Nazi efforts to strangle Jewish companies in order to isolate and dehumanize German Jews was a nascent phase of the Holocaust. Hence the boycott campaign against Israel is just another dangerous recurrence of history in a new form.” Take the BDS movement, replace the word “Israeli” with “Jewish,” and then try to argue that it is not comparable to the Nazi regime’s economic warfare against Jews.
So are all supporters of the BDS movement anti-Semites akin to the Nazis? Do the social justice warriors walking the University of California, Berkeley’s campus want to exterminate the Jews? No, of course not. Many of the BDS movement’s defenders, especially younger activists in the West, are unaware of the campaign’s wicked foundations. They want to help the “oppressed” and are attracted to calls to fight imperialism, or colonialism, or the occupation, or whatever the buzzword of the day is. Ignorance, however, would not be an excuse to absolve them if the BDS movement’s vision became reality, and all of its inevitable, attached violence came to fruition. And to the leaders of the movement who cannot plead ignorance, here is a question: is lamenting the Arab failure to destroy Israel in 1948 morally better than lamenting Hitler’s failure to destroy European Jewry? Seriously, I want an answer.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel shouldn’t rest on the laurels of Germany’s BDS decision
One of the main problems in the fight against the BDS lies in the deceptive definition of its goal to “pressure Israel into ending the occupation.” Although some BDS activist do genuinely believe the organization uses legitimate and non-violent ways to apply pressure on Israel – in order to achieve peace between Palestinians and the State of Israel – the movement’s true goal isn’t to end the occupation. The BDS opposes the very existence of Israel, and the movement’s leaders admit that. The fact that the Bundestag had the courage to call the movement by its true name (and for such left-leaning publications like the New York Times and the Guardian to report on it) is excellent news for Israel.
But, this is no time to rest on our laurels. The BDS movement – which has many branches and organizations operating in its name in the Western world – continues to gain momentum in the two most important spheres: media and academia.
Some of the most prominent figures who participate in whitewashing of the movement’s true nature are, in fact, Israelis. Before the German vote, some 60 Israeli researchers and professors signed a petition calling on the German political parties not to equate the movement’s activity with anti-Semitism. Although in this particular instance they failed, the propaganda of this nature has been known to bear fruit.
The Bundestag’s decision, however, is non-binding and Germany still funds plenty of pro-Palestinian groups that work for (or inspired by) the BDS. In order to inflict a severe blow on the movement, it’s important to stop funding the organizations that make it their mission to vilify the State of Israel in the eyes of the world. If the funding continues, the German decision will become a merely symbolic one.
The controversial head of the Germany-based Anne Frank Center, who previously defended the Jew-hatred of a former German journalist, accused a Jerusalem Post reporter and a prominent German Jewish author of damaging the fight against antisemitism in Germany, triggering sharp criticism from a leading Israeli international expert on antisemitism and a German journalist.
The Israeli-born Dr. Meron Mendel, executive director of the Anne Frank Educational Center in the city of Frankfurt, wrote on Twitter in late March: “It is unbelievable what damage Jewish right-wingers such as Weinthal & Broder are doing to combat antisemitism.”
Mendel’s tweet was aimed at Benjamin Weinthal, a Jerusalem Post correspondent for European affairs with an expertise in contemporary antisemitism, and the German Jewish author and journalist Henryk M. Broder, who is widely considered to be the top authority on German antisemitism. Broder writes a column for the Die Welt broadsheet newspaper in Germany.
After the backlash on social media against Mendel for allegedly blaming Jews for antisemitism, including a rebuke from the journalist Frederik Schindler, Mendel backpedaled on Twitter, writing “I never claimed that Jews are responsible for AS.”
The “AS” in his Tweet is an ostensible abbreviation for antisemitism.
A May 8 incident at San Diego State University (SDSU) highlights a trend of glamorizing Palestinian terrorists on college campuses, SDSU English Professor Peter C. Herman wrote Saturday at The Times of San Diego.
He pointed to an email from SDSU’s Women’s Resource Center that included the slogan “From the River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free,” and a photo of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled clutching an AK-47. Khaled hijacked two airliners in 1970. Khaled and the PFLP have been active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to economically and politically strangle Israel. Khaled remains a member of the PFLP’s political bureau.
PFLP terrorists also gained notoriety for the 1976 hijacking of a Paris-bound Air France flight that was diverted to Entebbe, Uganda. The group also claimed joint responsibility with Hamas for a deadly East Jerusalem attack in 2017 that left an Israeli female police officer dead and several others wounded.
Coming so soon after last month’s Poway synagogue shooting near San Diego, the email’s imagery “seems especially shocking,” Herman wrote. “But how are we to respond to a glorification of violence in a university-sanctioned newsletter?”
He invoked a 1984 statement by Abu Iyad, leader of the Black September terrorist group responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, who told Radio Amman: “The Zionists took Palestine inch by inch. And we must retrieve it inch by inch. We believe that Palestine, from the river to the sea, is our country.”
The PFLP’s goal is Israel’s complete destruction.
The Women’s Resource Center at San Diego State University apologized on Thursday for sharing an image of an armed Palestinian hijacker, calling it “disrespectful to members of our Jewish community.”
The image, included in a May 8th newsletter that has since been retracted, depicted Leila Khaled — who helped seize two planes in Europe in 1969 and 1970 on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — holding an AK-47 assault rifle. It was accompanied by the text, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The slogan has been used by Islamist and other Palestinian nationalist groups to refer to the establishment of an Arab state in the territory between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, in place of Israel.
The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the US government and more than 30 other countries, and has killed scores of Israeli civilians since its establishment in 1967. It was behind multiple suicide bombings during the Second Intifada that claimed more than 100 casualties, children among them, as well as a 2014 massacre of five worshipers and one police officer at a Jerusalem synagogue.
In a campus-wide email on Thursday, the WRC — which aims to support “women identified students on campus and [engage] SDSU in feminist dialogues” — said the “image and its implied framing are harmful and hateful toward members of our Jewish community and counter to our values of encouraging and promoting a safe, supportive and inclusive environment.”
Far-left organization IfNotNow, together with Ramah alumni, have started a petition calling on Ramah summer camp directors to allow Combatants for Peace (CFP) to address campers this summer.
Ramah is “the camping arm of Conservative Judaism in the United States, which sees more than 11,500 campers every year,” according to its website.
Some 300 young Israeli adults also “join the Ramah camp communities annually, and help to inculcate in the campers a love of Hebrew language together with a familiarity with and connection to Israel,” the website explains.
In a statement on its website, IfNotNow described CFP as a group of “Israeli and Palestinian former combatants who have laid down their weapons and are committed to the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces.”
“Campers deserve to have an honest education about the Occupation,” IfNotNow tweeted. “Yet when we offered Camp Ramah the chance to bring @cfpeace to their camp, they said no.”
Should a man who claims to “understand” why people are antisemitic be invited to speak at Columbia University — especially when this person wrote an opinion piece so dogmatic and bigoted that it was posted on the website of Hamas’ military wing, and who recommended an essay by known Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy?
Surely, at a time when “student safety” is of primary concern, one of America’s most prestigious universities would shun such a divisive figure.
Yet Columbia’s Center for Palestine Studies proudly hosted author and journalist Ben White this spring to discuss his latest book, Cracks in the Wall: Beyond Apartheid Palestine/Israel.
White is notorious for obfuscating the line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. He frequently uses classic antisemitic tropes when discussing the Mideast conflict, often replacing the word “Jews” with “Israel.” His talk at Columbia, moderated by former PLO official, CPS co-director, and Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies Rashid Khalidi, who according to an article in the New York Observer, is “comfortable and secure in his antisemitism,” was no exception.
After finding that a recent special issue of the scholarly journal Israel Studies questioned certain academic orthodoxies, a few professors wrote an open letter and garnered over 100 signatures from colleagues condemning the journal’s editors and demanding that the issue of the journal be retracted completely. To Andrew Pessin, this reaction demonstrates that the letter’s authors and not the journal’s authors are the ones seeking to undermine scholarly norms:
[I]n the name of “academic standards” and “anti-partisanship,” the critics casually refer to “Israel/Palestine,” as if Palestine were an existing state, which it is not, at least not yet, and which can only be assumed to be one by deeply partisan intellectual acrobatics. They [furthermore] attack the credentials of the contributors, thus providing a textbook case of the ad-hominem fallacy. [Finally], they accuse the journal’s authors and editors of “policing and shutting down debate” when they are a mob of 170-plus making demands for a public disavowal, phased removal of those responsible for the issue, and an overhaul of an editorial process that, prior to this issue, no one had any concerns about. . . .
A scholar is welcome to disagree with [any] arguments and conclusions, of course. One could, for example, do the scholarly thing: engage with the essays and write critiques and rebuttals. [The journal’s editors] offered the critics precisely that opportunity in the pages of the journal itself, but that was apparently not sufficient for them. Instead the mob went full-throttle ad hominem, slinging the ludicrous charges that the essays in question violate “scholarly standards and norms,” and clamoring for disavowal, resignations, and overhaul.
That the charges are ludicrous is apparent from simply reading the essays themselves, many of which are very good. . . . With the mob’s hysterical response, trammeling of the normal deliberative process, and attack on basic academic freedom, with its demands that the issue be condemned and people removed, it’s clear that the members of this mob don’t want anyone to read these essays — and hard not to conclude that what they are really upset about is not the “academic standards” but that the issue committed the sin of — providing material supportive of Israel.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 21, 2019
El Al’s system randomly gave BDSM BDS’ers Hatari the worst seats on the plane. Funny how that happens when you fly with an airline you’re supposed to be boycotting. #WorstBoycottersEver pic.twitter.com/C2h9P4rkj2
— The Mossad: Elite Parody Division (@TheMossadIL) May 20, 2019
The editor of a Swedish news website dismissed complaints about his publication’s claim that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, asserting incorrectly that this is the position of the United Nations.
ABC Nyheter’s editor-in-chief Daniel Lilja made the claim in an email he sent this week to a reader who wrote to correct the news website’s assertion that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital city. The reader pointed out to Lilja that Israel designates Jerusalem as its capital.
“Tel Aviv is, according to the UN, the capital of Israel,” Lilja wrote to the reader, advising her to “study geography and Swedish grammar.”
Whereas Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is not universally recognized, the United Nations and the European Union, including Sweden, have not designated Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. The United States has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The United Nations database of its member states lists Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with a footnote that reads: “Designation and data provided by Israel. The position of the United Nations on Jerusalem is stated in A/RES/181 (II) and subsequent General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.” The document referenced in the footnote mentions neither Tel Aviv nor any other capital city for Israel.
The Guardian and The Observer have corrected several times their writers’ claims that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.
In a 600 word article on poverty in Gaza, Guardian journalist Jennifer Rankin somehow failed to use the word “Hamas” even once. The May 15th piece, “One million face hunger after US cut to Palestine aid”, focuses on claims by UNRWA that cuts to the UN agency by the Trump administration could put a million Gazans a risk of hunger unless international donors fill the $60m (£46m) gap.
The omission – which we pointed out in a tweet to the journalist – is especially glaring in this sentence from the article, which ostensibly attempts to explain the broader cause of Gaza’s economic woes.
[UNRWA] is largely propping up Gaza, subject to a total blockade by air, land and sea since 2007. Political stalemate, conflict with Israel and divisions among Palestinian factions have left the territory an economic ruin, without health and social services and with almost no access to clean water and only four or five hours of electricity a day.
Of course, something of relative importance occurred in 2007 which necessitated the blockade prohibiting weapons and dual use items from entering the strip: Hamas, an internationally proscribed terror group ideologically dedicated to the murder of Jews and the annihilation of Israel, came to power in a bloody coup.
In addition to firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians since that time, Hamas also routinely diverts international humanitarian aid for military purposes.
Chicago police are searching for a suspect who allegedly attempted to set fire at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in the Lakeview neighborhood on Sunday by leaving two Molotov cocktails, while throwing another at the adjacent Florence G. Heller Jewish Community Center.
The incident was caught on the synagogue’s camera, showing the suspect, carrying a black bag, wearing a hooded black jacket, black pants and black shoes.
“We saw somebody try to approach the synagogue and light some fires and try to ignite and throw them at the building in an attempt to start a fire, and he went off,” Rabbi David Wolkenfield told ABC affiliate WLS-TV.
There apparently is additional footage, courtesy of a surveillance camera at a nearby commercial property, showing the suspect’s face, Jewish United Fund Executive Vice President Jay Tcath told JNS.
The people from that space, who have asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, turned over the footage to the Chicago Police Department, he added.
Two Hasidic teenagers were harassed with anti-Semitic epithets in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
The boys were walking home at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when a car with four men pulled up next to them.
One of the men reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, which caused the boys to run from the car. The vehicle followed them, with another man shouting “Do you know Hitler? We love Hitler.”
Former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted Sunday that he accompanied the boys to the 66th Precinct of the New York Police Department, WPIX-TV news reported.
The International Tracing Service in Germany has uploaded more than 13 million documents from Nazi concentration camps, including prisoner cards and death notices, to help Holocaust researchers and others investigate the fate of victims.
Established by the Western Allies in the final days of World War II and initially run by the Red Cross, the ITS also announced Tuesday it was changing its name to “Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution.”
The archive in the town of Bad Arolsen says with help from Israel’s Yad Vashem, documents with information on more than 2.2 million people are now available online. Work is still being done to improve searchability.
Archive director Floriane Azoulay says with survivors dying out, “it is so important that the original documents can speak to coming generations.”
On March 19th, 2012, an Islamic terrorist targeted a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse. Four people were killed, three of them children. Now, seven years later, two alleys in a square in the center of Paris were named after the three children.
The children killed were 8-year-old Myriam Monsonego, and brothers Arie and Gabriel Sandler, 6 and 3. The fourth victim was their father, a teacher at the school, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler.
The street-naming ceremony took place on Sunday and was attended by the Mayor of the city Anne Hidalgo, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and French Member of Parliament Meyer Habib.
“Today we were supposed to celebrate the bar mitzvah of Arie, of blessed memory,” said Habib. “Instead, we are here to inaugurate a street in his memory.
“The life of Jews in France has changed since the attack in Toulouse,” he continued. “Back then, we were about to experience the worst wave of terror attacks ever known to France, and Jews, as in many cases throughout history, have always been on the front line. At that time, I warned that I was afraid that what happened was only the beginning of a long series of events. Unfortunately, history proved me right.”
The street signs, one for Miriam, one for the siblings, display their names, ages and the circumstances of their death, calling them “victims of antisemitic terrorism and hatred.”
There are more than 70,000 small brass plates on the streets of Europe placed outside the last known homes of people killed in the Holocaust. The memorials are called “stolpersteine” in German, or “stumbling stones.”
Sweden will soon get its first three.
On June 14, the stones will be placed at locations in Stockholm where three men had lived after finding refuge in the city, according to a statement Monday from several groups involved in the initiative. The men were later deported and killed.
Two Holocaust memorial groups and Stockholm’s Jewish community organized the project in cooperation with the Stockholm municipality.
“The ‘stumbling stones’ are an important reminder that the Holocaust happened not too long ago, and not very far away from here, that also affected us here in Sweden,” said Tommy Ringart, who leads the Association for Holocaust Survivors, one of the co-sponsors.
Watergen, an Israel-based innovative company that creates clean water out of air, is now providing a source of freshwater for more than 120 children living in an orphanage in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The technology comes in the form of an atmospheric water generator known as the GEN-350, which can produce up to 900 liters of water per day.
A popular tourist destination associated with arid weather conditions, Bukhara has recently been experiencing serious water shortages.
Earlier this month, water supply was even disrupted for almost two days. The entire city of Bukhara was left without drinking water, including several busy hotels. Since the local underground water is unusable, fresh water is currently supplied to Bukhara from the city of Samarkand, almost 300 kilometers away.
Watergen’s president, Dr. Michael Mirilashvili, said that “Uzbekistan’s water utility company was thrilled with our water-from-air solution and requested to run pilots in several other regions of Uzbekistan. Although there is only 20 percent humidity in the air of Bukhara, the GEN-350 was still able to generate hundreds of liters of high-quality drinking water.”
Israel’s Seedo Corp., a maker of an AI-controlled device and app to grow medical cannabis at home, has set up a distribution center near Rotterdam, Holland, that will become its distribution base for private and institutional cannabis growers in Europe.
Seedo allows users to auto-grow plants at home, using a fridge-like home lab equipped with sensors and a camera to keep tabs on the plants’ progress and controlled by an artificial intelligence algorithm, plus an app that sends notifications and alerts.
Israel is considered a global leader in medical cannabis research, and its cannabis firms are snagging some big names. In September, former prime minister Ehud Barak said he will become chairman of InterCure, one of Israel’s biggest medical cannabis firms and a publicly traded company in Tel Aviv, to lead its global growth strategy. Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has joined medical cannabis firm Univo Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as an investor and adviser, the firm, which cultivates, researches and produces cannabis products, said in April.
Seedo holds a medical cannabis R&D license from the Israeli Health Ministry. Daniel Birnbaum, the CEO of fizzy water maker SodaStream, has invested NIS 2 million ($557,000) in the firm.
The Israeli NGO IsraAID is distributing relief supplies in Colombia to thousands of Venezuelans escaping harsh conditions in their troubled country.
An IsraAID emergency response team is on the ground in Cucuta, on the Colombian border with Venezuela, where thousands of Venezuelans are crossing daily seeking relief from the economic and political crisis in their country, according to the organization.
There are already 1.2 million Venezuelans in Colombia. IsraAID said it has committed to remain in Colombia long-term.
Working with the local community and Venezuelan refugee organizations in Colombia, the IsraAID team has distributed supplies and conducted hygiene promotion activities in partnership with Fundacion Venezolanos en Cúcuta, an organization of local Venezuelans who provide support to new arrivals as they enter Colombia.
IsraAID’s response plan also includes child protection and back-to-school activities, community resilience-building and psychological support.
The NGO’s Colombia efforts are supported by the American Jewish Committee and individual donors.
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