November 26, 2022

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05/31 Links Pt2: California Dems suggest Israel tied to 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack; UK Labour suspends top official over conspiracy claims against Israeli embassy

From Ian:

California Dems suggest Israel tied to 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack
As the California Democratic Party State Convention opens on Friday, Fox News reports that proposed resolutions include some that link Israel with “virulent Islamophobia,” mandating Democratic officials to “nullify” US President Donald Trump’s Israeli policies, among them moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Fox said the document the station obtained is secret.

One such resolution, “Commending the House for resolving to fight all racism and bigotry and for resisting the false conflation of support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism,” was written by American-Israeli David Mandel. He is an elected State Assembly delegate who lived in Israel for a decade.

The resolution claims that the Israeli government is welcoming support from Christian fundamentalist groups, and in so doing, is aligning with Islamophobia while ignoring how such groups display “deeply rooted antisemsitm.”

According to Fox, the resolution also claims the 2018 shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue was “the culmination of an alarming re-emergence of virulent antisemitism,” of the sort in which these groups allegedly rooted.

The news outlet cites an additional resolution that calls on Congress to demand Israel and Egypt end their blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Hamas terror group, and “restore a semblance of normal life” for the two million Palestinians who reside in it.

Executive director of Jewish Democratic Council of America Halie Soifer urged the California Democratic Party “not to fall into the trap of letting Republicans to divide us on Israel and the fight against antisemtism,” a Friday press release stated.

The Impossible Future of Christians in the Middle East

The precarious state of Christianity in Iraq is tragic on its own terms. The world may soon witness the permanent displacement of an ancient religion and an ancient people. Those indigenous to this area share more than faith: They call themselves Suraye and claim a connection to the ancient peoples who inhabited this land long before the birth of Christ.

But the fate of Christianity in places like the Nineveh Plain of Iraq has a geopolitical significance as well. Religious minorities test a country’s tolerance for pluralism; a healthy liberal democracy protects vulnerable groups and allows them to participate freely in society. Whether Christians can survive and thrive in Muslim-majority countries is a crucial indicator of whether democracy, too, is viable in those places. In Iraq, the outlook is grim, as it is in other nations in the region that are home to historic Christian populations, including Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Christians who live in these places are subject to discrimination, government-sanctioned intimidation, and routine violence.

Alqosh sits nestled below the mountains that divide Iraq from Turkey. For Christians in the Nineveh Plain, Alqosh is a place of national and religious pride, a way station for important figures in the ancient Christian world that some here compare in significance to Jerusalem or Rome.

There’s another history to Alqosh. Back through the winding roads of town sits a tomb said to belong to Nahum, a biblical prophet believed to have lived in the region during the seventh century BCE. Jews prayed in this place. The building was a synagogue and the walls are covered in Hebrew. One engraved stone promises, “This will be your dwelling place forever.”

Persecution of Palestinian Christians Worsens; the Palestinian Authority Turns a Blind Eye

Just this month, two churches in Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank were vandalized, one of them for the sixth time in the past few years. On April 25, armed men attacked the Christian village of Jifan, which is also governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Edy Cohen writes:

The violence [in Jifan] erupted after a woman from the village submitted a complaint to the police that the son of a prominent leader affiliated with the PA’s ruling Fatah party had attacked her family. In response, dozens of Fatah gunmen came to the village, fired hundreds of bullets in the air, threw petrol bombs while shouting curses, and caused severe damage to public property. It was a miracle that there were no dead or wounded.

Despite the residents’ cries for help, the PA police did not intervene during the hours of mayhem. They have not arrested any suspects. Interestingly, the rioters called on the residents to pay jizya—a head tax that was levied throughout history on non-Muslim minorities under Islamic rule. The most recent [instances of the reintroduction of the] jizya involved Christian communities of Iraq and Syria under Islamic State rule. . . .

It is unlikely that the latest wave of attacks will lead to the arrest, let alone prosecution, of any suspects. The only thing that interests the PA is that events of this kind not be leaked to the media. Fatah regularly exerts heavy pressure on Christians not to report the acts of violence and vandalism from which they frequently suffer, as such publicity could damage the PA’s image as an actor capable of protecting the lives and property of the Christian minority under its rule. Even less does the PA want to be depicted as a radical entity that persecutes religious minorities. That image could have negative repercussions for the massive international, and particularly European, aid the PA receives.

Melanie Phillips: Europe starts to fray at the seams

Among other E.U. countries, which are similarly witnessing a revolt by the people against the erosion of their democratic independence and social cohesion, these elections produced a parallel collapse of mainstream parties and a rise of “populist” nationalists.

Many Jews have greeted these developments with unbridled horror. In Europe, they see the “populist” tide as threatening the resurgence of fascism and antisemitism. In Britain, Jewish community leaders try to paint Nigel Farage as an ally of the far-right and as an antisemite.

These reactions range from the grossly oversimplified, blinkered and ignorant to the grotesque.

Farage is no antisemite. He has repeatedly attacked the anti-Jewish policies of countries that ban Israeli Jews from entering. Remarks he has made about “globalists” and the “new world order” have been wrenched out of context to suggest falsely that he was talking about Jews rather than the E.U. Other remarks about the Israel lobby in America have been similarly cherry-picked and distorted.

Farage, a friend of U.S. President Donald Trump, is himself a somewhat Trumpian figure — a loudmouth who is careless about both his language and the company he keeps, a bit of a wide boy, rough-hewn round the edges.

Of course, his association with President Trump is enough by itself to finish him off in the minds of many Trump-hating Jews, for whom the most pro-Jewish, pro-Israel individual ever to have inhabited the White House looms nightmarishly instead as a supposed eminence grise to the Ku Klux Klan.

In mainland Europe, however, the situation is more complicated. The mainstream media, along with many Jews, tends to view all who want to uphold their country’s culture and democratic independence as “far-right” nationalists.

The Sephardi Role in the Flowering of Zionism

The advent of modern political Zionism in the 1890s inspired many Sephardi and Mizra?i Jews to leave their homes for the land of Israel, and many more to establish Zionist groups in the countries where they lived. But even before that, non-Ashkenazi Jews had done much to encourage Jewish settlement in Palestine. Most importantly, Rabbi Judah Solomon, born in Sarajevo in 1798, was, along with such Ashkenazi contemporaries as Moses Hess and Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer, a major proto-Zionist thinker, as Ashley Perry writes.

Alkalai had the idea, echoed later by Theodor Herzl, to get various nations to give the Jews a homeland just as they had, around the same time, assisted the Greeks and others. . . . [He] wrote, “the salvation of Israel lies in addressing to the kings of the earth a general request for the welfare of our nation and our holy cities, and for our return in repentance to the house of our mother.” . . . He also called for the establishment of a bank to finance the emigration of the Jews and for settlement societies and other practical steps.

In 1843, he wrote the treatise Min?at Yehudah, which called for the adoption of Hebrew as a national language, the purchase of land in Palestine, development of agriculture to form the basis for absorption of new immigrants, and encouragement of a sovereign-based national unity. At the age of seventy-three, Alkalai traveled to Israel to determine the possibilities for settlement there—an arduous journey at his age. More remarkably, he came to live in the Land of Israel with his wife in 1874, at the age of seventy-six. . . .

Around the same time, another Sephardi Jew was laying the practical foundations for Jewish settlement in Israel, and in Jerusalem in particular. Born in 1784 in the Italian city of Livorno but raised in England, Sir Moses Montefiore was so struck by his visit to Jerusalem in 1827 that he became devoted to the city and its inhabitants for the rest of his life. He later used his position as president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to carry on a notable correspondence with Charles Henry Churchill, the British consul in Damascus, concerning the resettlement of Jews in Israel. His acts of philanthropy in building the Jewish settlement in the Holy Land are numerous.

Anti-Semitism in LabourUK Labour is subject of Jew-hate probe by anti-racism watchdog it helped create

In the summer of 2014, at the height of the Gaza war, Gideon Falter saw an image of an anti-Israel protester in central London which both startled and appalled him. The picture showed a man marching along the British capital’s main shopping street carrying a sign above his head which read: “Save Gaza. Hitler you were right.”

“I studied law originally and I knew that that was a crime, and yet he was there in broad daylight in front of police officers who were doing nothing to stop him,” recalls Falter. “I felt someone needed to do something about that.”

Falter joined the nascent Campaign Against Antisemitism and was one of the principal organizers of the huge demonstration it held several weeks later outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Its demand was a simple one: zero-tolerance law enforcement against anti-Semitism.

Five years on, it isn’t anti-Semitic marchers which the CAA is targeting, but Jew-hate in Britain’s main opposition party. This week, the country’s anti-racism watchdog announced it was launching a full-scale investigation into the Labour Party, following a formal complaint from the CAA.

The probe by the Equality and Human Rights Commission will examine whether Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour discriminated against, harassed or victimized Jews in violation of the UK’s 2006 Equality Act.

The establishment of the EHRC was one of Labour’s proudest achievements when it was last in government, and the party vested it with sweeping powers. Those powers will now be used to investigate Labour’s handling of the anti-Semitism crisis which has roiled it since Corbyn’s election as leader in September 2015.

UK Labour suspends top official over claims against Israeli embassy

Britain’s Labour Party suspended one of its top officials after he was recorded accusing the Israeli embassy of “whipping up” anti-Semitism claims against the movement’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Peter Willsman, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee, was suspended Friday morning, the Jewish News of London reported.

The reason was a recording of comments he had made in January at a meeting in Oxford with the American-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom.

“The people that are in the Labour Party doing it are people who are linked. One of them works indirectly for the Israeli embassy,” Willsman said about campaigners within Labour working to address the party’s anti-Semitism problem. “So obviously, I wouldn’t want to be bothered to find out, but my guess is that they’re the ones that are whipping.”

Willsman also extended his claims of Israeli interference to the letter written by 68 rabbis last year, saying Labour has chosen to ignore the Jewish community.

“In the Guardian not long ago, we had 68 rabbis obviously organized by the Israeli embassy, 68 rabbis saying ‘anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is widespread and severe,’” he said.

Earlier this week, the United Kingdom’s foremost government watchdog on racism, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, officially launched an investigation into Labour’s anti-Semitism problem.

British Jews in fear after pro-Palestine group supported by Corbyn forces Jewish shops to close with ‘campaign of intimidation’

British Jews have spoken of their fear after a pro-Palestine group supported by Jeremy Corbyn forced Jewish-owned shops to close by staging aggressive rallies outside them.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), of which Mr Corbyn is patron, targeted shops selling Israeli products in Brighton, London and Manchester, forcing two businesses to fold.

Earlier this month, it organised a rally in London which saw ‘open anti-Semitism from attendees’, according to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. A statement from the Labour leader was read out to the crowd.

It comes as Labour became the only party after the BNP to be formally investigated for racism by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

A new film, Hounded, has been released today by anti-racism campaigners to draw attention to the harassment of Jews who sell goods from Israel, highlighting a ‘campaign of intimidation’ that has been going on for years.

It focuses on the case of a British Jewish businessman who fled the country with his family after he was hounded for five years by the Scottish PSC and the Republican Network for Unity, neither of which are officially endorsed by Mr Corbyn.

Nissan Ayalon, 33, relocated three times to escape the activists but each time they found him, attacking his shop with paint bombs because he sold Israeli cosmetics.

The revelations about the PSC will increase the pressure on the Labour leader – who was officially saluted by Hamas last week – as he struggles to contain his party’s anti-Semitism crisis. (h/t Dave4321)

Yasmine Dar, member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, claims Equality and Human Rights Commission investigation into Labour is merely “political point scoring”

Yasmine Dar, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), has denied that antisemitism is an institutional problem in a blog post for Labour List.

The comments were in response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) announcement on Tuesday that they launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

She wrote that: “I’m in favour of radical reforms to Labour’s disciplinary procedures so that we can more swiftly kick out the small number of antisemites in our ranks. But as a member of the national executive committee, I haven’t seen any evidence that this prejudice among a minority of members is an institutional problem.”

Ms Dar, who is also a Manchester City councillor, minimised the problem of antisemitism in Labour, writing: “Before you rush to judgement, let’s revisit the facts. Recently published data showed that complaints received by the party about antisemitism related to just 0.1% of party members. There is a larger group of members who have dismissed or downplayed the existence of antisemitism.”

She defended Labour’s response to antisemitism, writing: “We launched an inquiry and we have introduced a wide range of measures to improve our procedures” and praising Jeremy Corbyn whom she claimed “has written e-mails to all members, appealed to supporters in video messages, written opinion pieces and spoken in interviews about the ways in which antisemitism has manifested on the left. He has clearly stated that anyone who spreads antisemitic poison does not do so in his or the party’s name.”

Tariq Ramadan’s Qatari Links Exposed

…Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Muslim thinker and Oxford academic … was widely held up as an influential religious moderate before his 2017 arrest for rape.

Perhaps it is this image of sage disinterestedness that makes it all the more shocking when a prominent religious voice is found to be on someone’s payroll. But with Ramadan, it should come as less of a surprise. The grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan has long been accused of a pro-Brotherhood agenda by researchers and anti-Brotherhood activists. Now, new research has revealed that Ramadan was being lavishly funded by Qatar, the Brotherhood’s chief patron. Qatar’s powerful state-development organization, the Qatar Foundation, was paying Ramadan for “consulting” to the tune of 35,000 euros a month.

The latest scandal implicating the Islamist ideologue was revealed by a new book, Qatar Papers, by French investigative journalists Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot. Based on extensive bank records the authors received on a USB stick from a whistleblower, the book revealed that Ramadan was on the payroll of the Qatari regime for years. Qatari money would fund his purchase of two swanky apartments in Paris, among other things.

Ramadan’s ties to Qatar are extensive; he was visiting professor at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha, and director of the Qatar Foundation-backed Research Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) in Doha, Qatar. He was also president of the pro-Qatari think tank European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels. Furthermore, Ramadan was a member of the Qatari-funded and Muslim-Brotherhood-run International Union of Muslim Scholars, which until recently was headed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader” Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

SWU pressure leads UCLA to probe anti-Zionist incident

Stand With Us (SWU) was able to declare an initial victory on Thursday after its letter threatening legal liability against UCLA got the university to take some action regarding an incident in which a guest speaker called Israel-supporters white supremacists.

The Jerusalem Post was provided with a copy of the UCLA response.

While SWU will maintain a watchful eye on whether UCLA follows through on promises in its response to probe the incident for evidence of discrimination and harassment, the quick response from the administration appeared to signal that it has the university’s attention.

On May 14, Professor of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities at San Francisco State University Rabab Abdulhadi was invited by UCLA Prof. Kyeyoung Park to speak to her anthropology class.

Abdulhadi reportedly used the opportunity to rant against Israel and its supporters, calling Zionists – wherever they might live – white supremacists.

Reportedly, a Jewish student in the class, Shayna Lavi, challenged Abdulhadi’s comments, leading Abdulhadi to ridicule her.

There are alternate similar reports about what happened between Lavi and Park following the incident, but each report alleges that Park was dismissive.

Stand With Us’ letter, sent last Friday, added that Park negatively singled out a student later, who had filed a claim against her and Abdulhadi with the university’s anti-discrimination office.

Imam tied to Holy Land case to be at American Jewish Committee forum

An imam of an organization affiliated with an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror case is scheduled to be part of a roundtable discussion at the American Jewish Committee’s annual global forum in Washington, D.C., which will take place from June 2 to June 4.

Mohamed Magid, born in Sudan in 1965 and who arrived in the United States in 1987 after studying in Saudi Arabia, is the current iman of the Virginia-based All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center (ADAMS), which is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror case that proved HLF’s connections to the terrorist group Hamas and other radical Islamic entities.

ADAMS is a network of mosques and Islamic community centers in Washington area.

The United States designated HLF as a terrorist group in 2001 and became defunct. The case resulted in 108 guilty verdicts and several years later, five of its leaders were convicted and sentenced to decades in federal prison.

Magid was ISNA’s East Zone representative, then as vice president, and finally as president. The U.S. government listed ISNA in the HLF case as among “individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.”

He was “the Obama administration’s go-to guy for Muslim outreach and advised on international affairs and counterterrorism.” He was “a regular visitor to the White House (even when the administration wants to conceal it)” and involved in other aspects of the administration, such as playing a crucial role in the Department of Homeland Security, according to PJ Media.

Palestinian Uber driver in LA boots Jews from car for attending Israel party

An Uber driver in Los Angeles who said he was Palestinian kicked two Jewish women out of his car after learning they were coming from an Israel Independence Day celebration.

The incident occurred on May 19, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.

The driver, named Mustafa, asked the women where they were coming from after they sat in the back seat. The women were reluctant to say, but then told the driver after he did not start the car.

Mustafa then ordered the passengers out of his vehicle.

“He started laughing and he looked us dead in the eye and he said, ‘You need to get out of my car. I’m Palestinian,’” one of the women, identified as Dayna, told the Jewish Journal. She said the driver “clearly wanted to make a statement.”

Dayna said she uses Uber daily and it was the first time she has ever been asked to leave a car.

The second woman, using the pseudonym Rachel, told the newspaper that “I could see his eyes in the wing mirror and he just spun around … his eyes were wild … raged … and that’s what frightened me.”

Muslim leader threatened over charity support

THE NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) has thrown its support behind prominent Muslim community leader Dr Jamal Rifi after he became the target of threats due to his support of the charity Project Rozana.

Rifi is on the board of the organisation, founded by Jewish Australian businessman Ron Finkel, that transports ill Palestinian children to Israel for treatment in addition to facilitating the training of Palestinian doctors at Israeli hospitals.

Rifi, who spoke at the organisation’s Hand in Hand dinner last week, called police after being threatened, attacked online and being called a Zionist collaborator.

The Australian reported on Friday, “In the past two weeks, media outlets backed by the Iranian-aligned Hezbollah have smeared him as an agent of Israel and energised harassment of him in Sydney­’s southwest.”

And according to The Daily Telegraph, Muslims who were seen talking to Jewish leaders at NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Iftar dinner last week have also been threatened.

Rifi told The Australian, “To say that I’m working for the Zionists is like saying I am an enemy to my people … That by itself puts me at a greater risk.”

CAMERA Op-Ed Politico Rewrites History

U.S.-based journalism has “shifted away from objective news” and become more subjective, according to a May 2019 study by the RAND Corporation. And a May 21, 2019 Politico report proves it. The article, “Why some Palestinians are backing Trump’s peace push,” by reporter Nahal Toosi, offers a master class in omission, distortion and selective reporting.

Indeed, the misrepresentations begin with the report’s premise, which asserts “Some prominent Palestinian activists and politicians are quietly rooting for [Presidential adviser and son-in-law] Jared Kushner as he prepares to unveil the first part of his Middle East peace plan next month.” The reason, Politico claims, is “not because they think the plan will resolve their decades-long conflict with Israel,” but rather because “they hope it will hasten the onset of a ‘one-state’ solution they are coming to support.”

Yet, in nearly 1600 words, Politico doesn’t cite a single Palestinian who supports the still unreleased peace plan, the details of which haven’t been made public and which the outlet doesn’t discuss or seemingly have. But that is far from the only thing that is left out.

Palestinians are not “coming to support” a one-state solution, as Politico asserts. In fact, Palestinian leaders have never truly supported a two-state solution.

MEMRI: Online Non-Jihadi Terrorism: Identifying Potential Threats


Hateful and aggressive content is easily found online, and only a very few of those posting it, commenting on it, or sharing it actually plan to carry out attacks. However, the price society pays for such terrorist attacks is high – dictating a need for special efforts to thwart them. It has been shown above that in some cases this is possible if, among the recognized members of the “online pack,” we can identify those with a concrete intention to attack.

In order to accomplish this, there is a need to intensively study the language that these individuals and groups use, to learn to identify the symbols and codes with which they communicate, and to gain familiarity with their sources of inspiration. In this way, it is possible to close in on imminent danger.

It should be noted that there are not very many platforms on which these threats are posted, allowing for effective searching and identification. On some, such as 8Chan and GAB, extremely disturbing content is posted daily.[17] Both Earnest and Tarrant were active on 8chan, publishing their manifestos on it prior to their attacks. Bowers was active on GAB; seven months before his attack, he wrote alarmingly, “Jews are such heathenish creatures. Their extermination cannot come soon enough… The synagogue of satan and his slimy offspring will soon cease to exist.”[18] As noted, just before the attack, he posted: “I’m going in.”

Authorities have used this methodology for years in the fight against jihadi terrorism. Implementing a similar methodology in fighting non-jihadi terrorism can significantly contribute to society by thwarting terror attacks.

CAMERA Prompts New York Post Corrections on ‘Palestine’

CAMERA’s Israel office has prompted corrections at The New York Post following erroneous use of the term “Palestine.” A May 22 New York Post online headline had originally stated: “Palestine opens solar plant to further energy independence.”

References to modern “Palestine” in the West Bank and Gaza are inaccurate, and those areas should be referred to as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or, where, appropriate (in the West Bank), “Palestinian Authority territories.”

The headline accompanied an Associated Press article, but the original AP headline accurately states: “Seeking energy independence, Palestinians open solar plant.”

The New York Post also used the term “Palestine” as a topic heading, referring readers to more stories on the subject.
In response to CAMERA’s communication with editors, The New York Post amended both the article headline and the topic heading, removing the term “Palestine.”

BBC Radio 4 misleads on conscription in Israel

Of course “Jewish Israelis” are not the only ones in Israeli society who are conscripted to “mandatory military service”. Military service has also been compulsory for males from the Druze sector since 1956 and for Circassian males since 1958. In addition, members of other religious and ethnic groups can serve on a voluntary basis.

Listeners would be unlikely to be able to fill in that missing information for themselves. The last time BBC audiences heard anything about the fact that the IDF is made up of people from many different backgrounds and faiths was in 2016 in a programme which gave extensive promotion to an opponent of enlistment by members of Israel’s minority ethnic communities.

Note reading ‘Hitler is coming’ posted on Brooklyn Jewish Children’s Museum

A note reading “Hitler is coming” was found on a billboard designed for comments by visitors to the Brooklyn Jewish Children’s Museum.

Police are investigating the note, left Thursday, as a hate crime, a spokesperson told the New York Post.

Visitors alerted police to the anti-Semitic note at the Crown Heights museum. The city’s hate-crime task force took over the investigation, authorities said.

Mordechai Lightstone, a Chabad rabbi, wrote on Twitter: “This is just awful. An interactive sign in front of the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights asking people how they would transform the world was defaced with Antisemitic graffiti!”

Governor Andrew Cuomo said ibn a statement about the incident: “We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, discrimination or hate of any kind in New York, and no person should ever feel threatened because of their religious beliefs.”

Russian social media network takes down page of ‘Miss Hitler’ beauty pageant

A Russian social media network has taken down the event page for a “Miss Hitler” beauty pageant slated to take place later this summer after an appeal from an Israeli group, Channel 12 reported Thursday.

The Miss Hitler 2019 page on the VKontakte (also known as VK) site included dozens of posts praising the Nazi leader and cause. The virtual competition has drawn contestants from Germany, Italy, Russia, and the US, according to Channel 12.

This is the second year in a row that appeals from Israel have led to VK removing pages associated with the event.

The competition page on VK, a Russian equivalent of Facebook and Europe’s largest social media network with half a billion users, encouraged women to enter by posting sexy Nazi-themed selfies together with an entry explaining why they “love and revere the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler.”

Last year, women sent in photographs of themselves performing Nazi salutes, at neo-Nazi rallies, or posing with Nazi memorabilia.

For this year’s event, page visitors were to be given from August 8 to September 1 to judge the various pictures submitted.

ReWalk Receives CE Marking for Its Stroke Rehabilitation Suit

Nasdaq-listed ReWalk Robotics, which develops wearable exoskeletons that help people walk again after injuries and strokes, has received European regulatory approval for its new exo-suit for stroke rehabilitation called “ReStore,” the company announced Thursday. The CE mark clears it for sale to rehabilitation clinics in the European Union.

Founded by Israeli mechanical engineer Amit Goffer, ReWalk has two product lines. The first, a rigid-frame exoskeleton for people who cannot walk on their own due to spinal cord injuries, has been on the market for several years.

ReStore, the company’s new product line, is a soft-frame suit meant for stroke victims learning to regain motor skills in their lower limbs. The suit uses software and mechanical mechanisms to prop up the lower body at key joints.

Rewalk is based in Marlborough, Massachusetts and in Yokneam Illit, Israel, and has approximately 60 employees, according to Pitchbook.

Why Agritech Is Israel’s Next Big Import

The train ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem passes through fields of grapes, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and bananas. In many ways, these fields are a miracle. As the Dead Sea evaporates and the Jordan River dwindles, Israel has been forced to get creative around water efficiency. More than half of Israel’s usable water is man-made from desalinated seawater, and 86% of its wastewater is treated and reused.

Israel has survived as a modern nation because the country created a revolutionary irrigation system in the 1960s that would become the world standard for efficient and high-tech agriculture. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the concept of “drip” irrigation exemplifies that maxim.

Israel’s agritech sector now comprises 500 companies, many of them new, which have raised over $170 million in funding since 2017 — more than competitors in far larger farming nations like Brazil and Australia. Agriculture and food tech startups received over $10 billion in investments last year globally, up 29% from 2016, and a significant proportion is going to Israel.

This month, Taranis – a four-year-old Tel Aviv startup whose drones monitor fields and diagnose nutrient problems, plant disease, and insect infestations in farms in the U.S., Brazil, Russia, and Australia – closed a $20 million investment round.

In January, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. signed an agreement to supply drones to Brazil’s Santos Lab as a way to improve large scale precision agriculture. The first foray into the agriculture market for the Israeli company is estimated to be a more than $100 million deal. Last October, China’s vice president Wang Qishan toured Israeli agri-parks, which have been popping up across China, as well as Ethiopia, India, Greece, and Panama after similar state visits. In late 2017, China signed a $300 million “‘clean tech” deal to import and white-label Israeli agricultural tech.

New UK Mideast minister on first visit to Israel with British veterans

Israel’s ‘Uber For First Responders’ Goes Global

United Hatzalah (Hatzalah means Rescue in Hebrew), with its all-volunteer network of trained emergency first responders, has become a regular feature in Israel. It’s now going global.

United Hatzalah’s model is predicated on two facts. First, when it comes to emergency response, every second counts. An ambulance crew that’s too far away, gets stuck in traffic, misses a turn, or waits on a slow elevator can often mean the difference between life and death. Second, when someone has an emergency, there are almost always people nearer to the scene than the dispatched ambulance.

Average ambulance response times in Israel and the U.S. often exceed 10 minutes, depending on population density. Hatzalah’s volunteer medics average less than 3 minutes. In large cities, their average response time is 90 seconds. So, how do they do it?

United Hatzalah has trained volunteer medics throughout Israel who complete 180 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of field training before being certified.

There are now over 5,000 volunteers-secular and religious Jews, Muslims, Druze, and Christians, men and women, old and young, from every socioeconomic background-who all work together to save the lives of their neighbors in need. Over 3 million people have been treated to date.

The centralized dispatch center tracks the location of volunteers, including what equipment and training they have, via an app on volunteers’ phones. When a call comes in, the closest medics are immediately located and dispatched via the app. To deal with congested urban areas, Eli Beer invented the ambucycle-a medically equipped motorcycle that can race through traffic. There are now over 800 ambucycles deployed in Israeli cities.

In the U.S., a four-year-old program in Jersey City has 200 volunteers, and another branch is launching in Englewood, New Jersey. New York City could be on the horizon. Brandon Fuller, deputy director at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, observes: “If United Rescue can do for New York what it has done on a smaller scale for Jersey City, it will save lives and promote the volunteerism that can strengthen communities across the city.”

Jewish Actress Has Bat Mitzvah at Western Wall, Celebrates 40th Birthday in Israel

Actress and best-selling author Jenny Mollen had her bat mitzvah at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Thursday while in Israel celebrating her 40th birthday with her husband, “American Pie” star Jason Biggs.

Mollen shared photos and videos from her celebrations on Instagram, including one picture of her holding a Torah scroll and sporting a shawl embroidered with the name of her 14-year-old poodle, Teets. The image was captioned, “Guys? I’m officially a woman. #jennysbatmitzvah #jerusalem.”

Mollen is in the Jewish state with her sister and brother-in-law as well. This is the American actress’ first trip to Israel and she shared photos on Instagram of her various excursions throughout the country, which included visiting a 24-hour bakery in Jaffa, going to the beach in Tel Aviv and slipping a prayer note into the cracks of the Western Wall.

Nikki Haley to release new book in November

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will release her new book in November, according to a web release by publisher St. Martin’s Press.

The work, With all Due Respect: Defending America With Grit and Grace, will hit the shelves on November 12 and be available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble in hard copy, as well as digitally on Audible and Apple Books, among other places.

The publisher is describing the book as “a revealing, dramatic, deeply personal book about the most significant events of our time” and says it will encapsulate Haley’s “sensitive approach” to tragic events, as well as her “confident representation” of America’s interests during her time as ambassador.

Haley served the US as ambassador from 2017 to 2018. Before that, she served as the 116th governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017. She is also a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

The book promises to likewise offer a first-hand perspective on major national and international matters, as well as a behind-the-scenes account of her tenure in the Trump administration.

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