Caroline Glick: The great threat to America – and to American Jewry
In a letter to police sergeants in the New York Police Department, Ed Mullen, President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association gave expression to the distress of New York police officers. “I know we are losing our city,” Mullen wrote.
“We have no leadership, no direction, and no plan. I know that you are being held back and used as pawns,” he continued.
He then asked the sergeants to hold the line.
“Remember,” he added, “you work for a higher authority.”
For American Jews, the violent riots constitute a challenge on several levels. First, there is the challenge of squaring their political identity with their Jewish identity. As the 2014 Pew survey of American Jews showed, around half of American Jews identify as progressives. As progressives, many American Jews share the views of their non-Jewish progressive counterparts regarding the need to prioritize the interests of minority communities over their own interests.
But the Jews’ progressive desire to work on behalf of those demonstrating for African Americans places their political identity on a collision course with their Jewish identity. Black Lives Matter, the radical group leading the demonstrations, is an anti-Semitic organization. BLM was formed in 2014 as a merger of activists from the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam, the anti-Semitic Black Panthers and Dream Catchers. In 2016, BLM published a platform that has since been removed from its website. The platform accused Israel of committing “genocide” and referred to the Jewish state as an “apartheid” state. The platform accused Israel and its supporters of pushing the US into wars in the Middle East. The platform also officially joined BLM with the anti-Semitic BDS campaign to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. BDS campaign leader Omar Barghouti acknowledged this week that the goal of the BDS campaign is to destroy Israel. BDS campaigns on US campuses are characterized by bigotry and discrimination directed against Jewish students.
A demonstrator holds a sign during a Black Lives Matter protest in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Thursday, June 4, 2020 (AP/Nam Y. Huh)
BLM’s platform’s publication was greeted with wall-to-wall condemnations by Jewish organizations from across the political spectrum. But today, Jewish progressive are hard-pressed to turn their backs on the group, despite its anti-Semitism. As white progressives, they believe they must fight America’s “structural racism” even at the cost of empowering social forces that reject their civil rights as Jews. As Jews, they feel that their rights should be protected. One progressive Jew tried to square the circle writing in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, “Today Jews need to support Black Lives Matter; tomorrow we can talk about Israel.”
As white progressives radicalized over the past decade, radical Jewish progressives built a formidable Jewish organizational framework whose mission is to advance the progressive revolution. They have worked to recast Judaism itself as the apotheosis of progressive revolutionary ideals under the banner of “tikkun olam.”
Latma 2020 Episode 9
Latma 2020 Episode 9 – Jordan’s king honors Latma’s studio with his presence, the police investigators strike again and a Jerusalem Day clip
Melanie Phillips: Victim culture tears up Jewish moral norms
The appalling rioting that followed the shocking death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer has left a trail of devastation across America. Once again, however, Jews have found themselves singled out for particular attack.
In Los Angeles, Jewish-owned stores and synagogues in Beverly Hills and the predominantly Orthodox Fairfax district were looted and defaced with anti-Jewish graffiti.
How could this Jew-hatred have occurred in what was repeatedly described as “protests” against racism? And why were so few Jewish voices raised against either this or the general destruction and violence?
In a statement by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, 130 organizations said they were “outraged” by the killing of Floyd, declared “solidarity” with the black community and called for an end to “systemic racism.”
Yet they expressed no outrage about the rioting during which police officers had been shot, businesses and buildings torched and looted, and innocent people beaten up. They made no protest against the specifically targeted attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses.
In the Jewish Journal, Yonathan Reches was “pained” by the picture of “a predominantly white and highly militarized police force,” which used “heavy-handed tactics to protect a synagogue from a predominantly black crowd.”
The riots, he asserted, were a “natural response” to “five centuries of unfathomable subjugation,” which gave “communities of color” an “undisputed moral authority to call attention to their own oppression.”
An “undisputed moral authority” – to riot, burn and loot, or perpetrate anti-Semitic attacks?
While Christians were murdered by jihadists in the Middle East and millions of people were being brutally oppressed in China, journalists fed an unwholesome obsession with Israel.
Collectively they promoted the messages that there is something particularly loathsome about how Israel is behaving toward Palestinian Arabs, and that the latter are the world’s quintessential victims of injustice and oppression.
As a result, meeting the needs of the Palestinian Arabs, whose leaders have refused to negotiate in good faith and incited against Jews for decades, has become the primary moral – and strategic – imperative embraced by a large swath of American elites.
Over the past five years, the Washington Post published 756 articles mentioning Gaza, compared to 164 articles about the Uighurs and 161 articles about Tibet.
Over the same period, the New York Times published 412 articles mentioning the Uighurs, 491 articles mentioning Tibet, and more than 1,500 referring to Gaza.
Meir Y. Soloveichik: The Best Revenge
One of the first photographs on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shows the American arrival at Ohrdruf, a labor camp that was an extension of Buchenwald, in April 1945. The GIs stare in abject horror at the ashes of a makeshift crematorium on which the charred remains of bodies can still be seen. As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied liberation of the concentration camps, it is worthwhile to recall the moment through the eyewitness accounts of two members of the American military of vastly different ranks, backgrounds, and faiths.
One is Dwight David Eisenhower, the supreme commander of all the Western forces in Europe; the other, Lieutenant Meyer Birnbaum, a young Orthodox Jew from New York. Birnbaum served in George S. Patton’s Third Army, was among the original forces that entered Ohrdruf and Buchenwald, and then ended up staying for six months in Germany in order to help address the needs of the survivors.
Eisenhower entered Ohrdruf with Patton and Omar Bradley. Patton grew queasy and refused to enter certain parts of the camps, but Eisenhower insisted on examining every inch. He then insisted that all Germans in the area be brought to look upon what their people had brought about.
But it was not only Nazis, not only Germans, Eisenhower wanted to see Ohrdruf and Buchenwald. He wanted American forces to see as well. He said that while American soldiers serving overseas might not have known exactly what they were fighting for, now “at least they will know what they are fighting against.” He wrote in a prescient letter to Army Chief of Staff George General Marshall:
The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty, and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where there were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to “propaganda.”
Thus did Eisenhower predict the phenomenon of Holocaust denial decades before it began.
He added in a cable to Marshall that it was not only American soldiers who needed to bear witness to Nazi evil but also the political leadership of the United States: “If you would see any advantage in asking about a dozen leaders of congress and a dozen prominent editors to make a short visit…I will arrange to have them conducted to one of these places where the evidence of bestiality and cruelty is so overpowering as to leave no doubt in their minds about the normal practices of the Germans in these camps.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), antisemitism in America has reached its highest level since 1979, when the ADL first started keeping count. Worldwide, too, incidents in 2019 increased 18 percent over 2018, which in turn witnessed 13 percent more antisemitic incidents than 2017.
According to one report, while Muslims were responsible for a large number of the antisemitic violence in Europe, far-left and far-right groups account for most attacks in America. In fact, members of the far-left have been increasingly attacking or harassing Jews — specifically on college campuses in Europe and the United States.
Campuses on both continents have become the hotbeds of anti-Jewish activity, with antisemitism rising among students — an ominous portent for the future.
Simultaneously, recent studies have exposed a shocking lack of knowledge about Jewish history, particularly regarding the Holocaust. In a 2018 study by Claims Conference, an organization providing support to Holocaust survivors, 66 percent of American millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) did not know what Auschwitz was, and 22 percent either “had not heard of, or were unfamiliar with the Holocaust.” Nearly half of all Americans (45 percent) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto, and the percentage was even higher among millennials.
This ignorance isn’t just in the United States. A 2018 CNN poll found that one in 20 Europeans had never heard of the Holocaust, while a third said they knew “little or nothing at all” about it. In Germany, the Tel-Aviv based Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry found last year that “40 percent of Germans between the ages 18 to 40 know little or have even heard about” the Holocaust, while “Israel-related antisemitism, mainly originating from Muslim students and staff, is already becoming normalized among school students and teachers.”
In Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, 58 percent of millennials and the following generation, known as Generation Z, were unaware that 6 million Jews were killed during the Shoah; 30 percent guessed the number at “one million or lower.” And in a 2009 UK poll of 2,000 schoolchildren between the ages of 9 and 15, one in 20 identified the Holocaust as “the celebration at the end of the war.” An equal number identified Hitler as a German soccer coach. And to the question “What is Auschwitz,” one in six students responded “an amusement park.”
The #Auschwitz Album is the only surviving evidence of the process leading to mass murder at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. A selection of the photos are pictured below.
— Yad Vashem (@yadvashem) June 5, 2020
The Six-Day War presents an exceptional case study of the Israeli Air Force (IAF)’s ethos of military planning and preparation — something that resulted from the clear understanding that the country’s very existence rested — in no small part — upon the shoulders of its pilots, air crew, and ground crews.
On land, tens of thousands of graves had been dug to be filled by the anticipated casualties of war. Our young nation felt like it was on the edge of the abyss, with powerful enemies rounding upon it in the form of several Arab militaries.
The sense throughout the defense establishment was that if Israel was to avoid defeat and the country’s destruction, it had to capitalize upon the first opportunity to push back the threats massing against it to the north and, much more forebodingly, to the south. Primary among those threats was the mighty Egyptian Air Force.
Israel’s response would rely upon intelligence gathering, doctrinal contrarianism, logistical daring, the exploitation of the mundane, and communications discipline.
Israel acquired and deciphered detailed intelligence as it studied its enemies. As they built up their military forces and declared their intention to eliminate the Jewish state, Israel observed.
In 1967, Arab militaries based much of their strategy and battle doctrine on Soviet concepts — a doctrine Israel closely studied. Combined with the ongoing intelligence effort, Israel came to receive rivers of information on the military capabilities of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan — both in the air and on land.
As a result, we deduced the tactical and strategic calculations of enemy commanders, turning that information to our advantage.
This was particularly true in the case of Nasser’s Egypt, the leader of the Arab world.
Stand With Us: The battle of Ammunition Hill, Six-Day War.
Join us as Yoni Zierler – Tours in Israel guides us through the trenches of Ammunition Hill. This is the site of the legendary battle during the Six-Day War, which paved the way for Jerusalem to be reunited once more as Israel’s eternal capital.It is thanks to the bravery of these IDF soldiers, who faced the impossible, that we can now celebrate a united Jerusalem.
The Health Ministry on Friday reported 133 new coronavirus cases over the past day, marking the largest daily increase since the start of May and continuing the recent trend of rising infections.
The number of active cases ticked up to 2,227, with 17,562 infections recorded since the start of the pandemic.
Among those who were sick, 30 were in serious condition, 23 of whom were on ventilators. Another 33 were in moderate condition and the rest had mild symptoms.
Despite a rise in cases, no additional fatalities were reported over the past 24-hours, with the death toll remaining at 291.
The Health Ministry also said 14,139 tests were carried out over the past day.
As the number of new cases rose, the number of schools shuttered due to students contracting the virus also went up.
According to the Education Ministry, 92 schools and daycares have now been closed to stem the spread of the virus, up from 87 Thursday evening.
The ministry said 304 students and teachers have tested positive for COVID-19 during the fresh outbreak, with another 13,702 people in quarantine because of potential exposure to the virus.
The new MyHeritage coronavirus lab is expected to begin operations on Sunday, the Health Ministry announced. The new facility will process 2,000 tests a day the first week and up to 10,000 per day in the future.
At the same time, the Health Ministry is working with the Finance Ministry to fund 200 more lab technicians to serve in coronavirus laboratories across the country.
“Together we are fighting coronavirus,” said newly appointed Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. “This week, we significantly expanded the number of people screened, reaching over 12,000 per day.”
Edelstein said that the goal is to screen an average of 30,000 people per day.
MyHeritage signed an agreement in the end of April with the Health Ministry and the Defense Ministry to establish and operate the lab. It will be independent and be operated by Israeli employees of MyHeritage using equipment supplied by the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI).
Israel’s health funds have been struggling to keep up with the recent peak in cases. Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem opened its lab to assist with processing tests in Jerusalem, where there has been the greatest demand. But on Thursday, a letter from Kupat Holim Meuhedet to the ministry said that “the labs are in a state of crisis, and there is no way that we can maintain this number of tests – and this time it will not be because we are lacking reagents or kits, but because we just don’t have enough manpower,” the letter read.
A former Israel Defense Forces medic who is now the chief medical officer of Moderna, one of five drug companies that the US government has identified as finalists in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, is expressing optimism about the chances that a vaccine will be deployed next year.
“We really expect this to work,” the drug company official, Tal Zaks, said in an online video event this week. He noted the firm had contracted with a manufacturer, and that in 2021, “we expect to be able to make a billion doses.”
Moderna’s vaccine relies on a technology using “messenger RNA,” which Zaks described as “the software of life.” The New York Times reported June 3 that Moderna would be one of five companies chosen as part of the Trump administration’s “warp speed” project to test and deploy a vaccine that would protect against the novel coronavirus. In mid-May, the company announced positive results of an eight-person human trial.
The federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has reportedly agreed to provide $483 million to back Moderna’s vaccine development efforts.
Moderna was founded in 2010 and Zaks joined in March 2015, leaving a much larger firm for a young start-up. He said his wife asked him at the time, “What are you doing?” He said he explained at the time that the messenger RNA technology was promising because of its versatility: “If we can make it work, it can work time and time again.”
For example, he said, the firm was also testing its technology against congenital cytomegalovirus, which can cause hearing loss.
A few weeks after the novel coronavirus broke out in Israel in late February, Prof. Zeev Rotstein, the powerful head of Hadassah-University Medical Center, sent a letter to the Health Ministry with an idea: On Hizkiyahu Hamelech Street in Jerusalem, he wrote, there is an empty hospital called Misgav Ladach. He had already spoken with the head of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and both hospitals were prepared to take over Misgav Ladach and transform it into a designated hospital just for the coronavirus, the only one of its kind in Israel.
Rotstein never received a reply. Instead, Hadassah’s coronavirus patients were treated in an isolated part of the older Round Building in Ein Kerem.
Around the same time, Rotstein offered the ministry to use Hadassah’s state-of-the-art laboratory to test for coronavirus. The ministry said this was not allowed. When he asked why, he was told that all tests needed to be done by Magen David Adom, and processed at a central laboratory at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.
It was not until three people who worked in the central lab became infected and it had to be shut down that the ministry agreed to use more labs.
When the country went into lockdown and companies were shutting down, Rotstein suggested testing large companies and factories so they could keep working. He emphasized the need for defense contractors whose work is critical for Israel’s security.
Rotstein tested all 1,200 employees at the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Malam factory. One person tested positive, was removed and hospitalized, but the factory was ultimately shut down anyway.
Israel Advocacy Movement: Fact checking Corbyn on Gaza
A former chair of a Constituency Labour Party (CLP) who has been posting antisemitic tweets for years has finally been expelled from the Labour Party, but not, it appears, for antisemitism.
Rebecca Massey, a former chair of Central Hove, Brunswick and Adelaide CLP, was apparently suspended on 18th May and expelled on 2nd June, a quick turnaround, but years too late. Moreover, according to Ms Massey, her expulsion was because of her support for the disgraced ex-Labour former MP Chris Williamson in his independent bid for Parliament after he was booted from the Labour Party.
Ms Massey has been posting tweets for years that breach the International Definition of Antisemitism, including that “Israel has Tory & Labour parties under control”, backing Ken Livingstone and claiming that the “Israel lobby manufactured the UK Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis”. It is not clear whether these tweets featured in the reasoning for her expulsion.
Elsewhere, in the North Norfolk CLP, it is being reported that the chair has been suspended over antisemitism. A letter sent to Ray Mooney on 2nd June informed him of the suspension after his Facebook account shared articles referring to antisemitic tropes, including references to Rothschilds, equations of Israel and the Nazis and claims that “Israel is trying to silence Corbyn”. He also apparently called the Jewish Labour MP and Corbyn critic, Dame Margaret Hodge MP, “Judas”.
Mr Mooney apparently confirmed the suspension, but then claimed his Facebook had been hacked. He did not resign as chair of the CLP but it is understood that a meeting was called to discuss interim leadership.
The Palestinian BDS campaign calling for broad boycotts, divestment initiatives, embargoes and sanctions against Israel was launched in July 2005. The BDS movement promotes itself in terms of Palestinian human rights and justice, using the pretense that its campaign constitutes “non-violent” criticism of Israeli policy toward Palestinians.
But the inherent anti-Semitic nature of the movement is evidenced by the anti-Jewish actions and hate rhetoric of the movement’s leaders who justify, promote or themselves engage in violent rhetoric and, at times, even physical violence against Israelis, Jews, or Jewish supporters of Israel.
BDS leaders have accused Israel of responsibility for Palestinian deaths that might arise from the Covid-19 virus, compared Zionists themselves to the coronavirus, and accused Israel and Jews of deliberately spreading the virus in order to kill non-Jews.
When the coronavirus outbreak forced the higher education system to shut down, Bar Ilan University was able to transition to online learning in just one weekend.
“We were informed on a Thursday, and on Sunday the whole university was functioning online,” Bar Ilan President Arie Zaban said. “Luckily we were prepared, as advancing smart teaching had been on our agenda for over two years.”
Developing tools for online learning has been one of the projects which the professor, a chemist, has been working on since he started his tenure as the university’s president in 2017.
With 17,500 degree-students, eight faculties and 42 departments, Bar Ilan is one of the major higher education institutions in Israel. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post in a wide-ranging interview, Zaban explained how the university has been dealing with the pandemic emergency in order to maximize its support both to the students and to their research, but also to expand its vision for the school and its future.
“From the beginning, we opened the forum for professors and students to share both the difficulties and the best practices related to online learning in order to facilitate constant improvement,” he said. “At the same time, being aware of the economic struggles for many of our students, we did our best to assist them also in this perspective.”
Furthermore, Bar Ilan academics took on the challenge of developing proposals to tackle the obstacles posed by the virus, producing over 70 research projects, from creating a water-based disinfectant to an AI-solution for an effective distribution of the future vaccine.
With a global population approaching eight billion, there are nearly 1,000 people in the world for each Israeli. With many of them harboring and driven by strong antisemitic and anti-Israel prejudices – and wielding devastating weapons including fake news and disinformation – how can we, so hopelessly outnumbered, ever hope to fight back, even with truth on our side?
Although the task is great, there are those who take to social media in Israel’s defense. Some of Israel’s most notable defenders in the social media world are the Elder of Ziyon blog, Honest Reporting and Israellycool.
In April, an organization with extensive experience in political marketing, PR and branding, compiled a list of the “Top 50 Zionist Influencers of 2020.” The Social Lite Creative list, “based on over 600 nominations from communities around the world [and] chosen based on the number of followers as well as the impact these individuals have on their respective communities,” includes well-known luminaries who do pro-Israel work such as Gal Gadot, Mayim Bialik, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ben Shapiro and Hillel Neuer.
Also in that spotlight on distinguished personalities was a name somewhat less well-known to many of us: David Lange. The organization that compiled the line-up explained its choice.
“As the guy behind Israellycool, one of the world’s largest pro-Israel blogs, David is known for his biting commentary, laconic humor and proactive approach in going after antisemites online. He’s also the guy behind some popular terms in pro-Israel circles, such as ‘BDS-hole,’ and ‘Shirley Temper’ [referring to teen anti-Israel agitator Ahed Tamimi].”
Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has insisted that the Occupied Territories Bill will not be included in any new program for the government.
Coveney reiterated his opposition to the legislation, which would ban trade in Israeli products made in the territories, on the basis of legal advice that it would contravene EU law.
Throughout the month of May 2020, fifteen written or filmed reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, some of which were also published on other pages and two of which were carried over from the previous month.
One item (which first appeared the previous month) quoted an Israeli official on a decision made by another country:
In summary, over 50% of the items appearing on the website’s ‘Middle East’ page throughout May concerned internal Israeli affairs. Once again BBC audiences saw no meaningful coverage of internal Palestinian affairs beyond a politicised account of the Coronavirus pandemic in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. 20% of the reports published in May promoted pre-emptive framing of the as yet theoretical application of Israeli civil law to parts of Area C.
In April CAMERA prompted a correction from the Forward, after a March 24 column in that publication inaccurately stated that Gaza has “a shortage of the chemicals necessary to make disinfectants, including hydrogen peroxide and chlorine” because “Israel bans both from entering Gaza under the pretext of ‘dual-use’ items — items they say can also be used for building weapons.” The correction stated, “An earlier version of this piece stated that Israel bans hydrogen peroxide and chlorine. Israel does not ban either; it restricts hydrogen peroxide. We sincerely regret the error.”
After further communication between CAMERA and an editor, the Forward has now made two more corrections, both to factual misstatements in an August 28, 2019 opinion column.
The column, titled, “Israel Is Now Trolling Us Palestinians On Social Media,” originally stated:
For starters, COGAT embodies everything that’s problematic about the occupation of the West Bank. It is a military unit in charge of civilian affairs, a perfect encapsulation of the problem with military rule over a civilian population without the right to vote.
It now states:
For starters, COGAT embodies everything that’s problematic about the occupation of the West Bank. It is a military unit in charge of civilian affairs, a perfect encapsulation of the problem with military rule over a civilian population without the right to vote for the government that runs the military.
The location and condition of over 350 Jewish heritage sites in Iraq and Syria have been identified by a major new research project. But most of them are said to be ruined or nearly so, often because of neglect or redevelopment work.
The 18-month study conducted by the Jewish Cultural Heritage Initiative (JCHI) catalogues and assesses sites from antiquity to the present day in once-vibrant centers of Jewish life in the Middle East.
But an accompanying report published this month warns that nearly 90 percent of the sites in Iraq – and more than half of those in Syria – are beyond repair or in a very bad condition.
It also identifies four Iraqi sites where it believes “emergency relief” could be critical to preserving them. They include the last functioning synagogue in the country and a Baghdad cemetery where the remains of Jews who were publicly hanged in the 1960s on charges of spying for Israel are buried.
The JCHI is a collaboration between the London-based Foundation for Jewish Heritage and the American Schools of Oriental Research. The study was led by Dr. Darren Ashby and Dr. Susan Penacho of the US institution’s Cultural Heritage Initiatives. The research team used desk-based, satellite and on-the-ground assessments.
Jewish community life in Iraq and Syria – which stretched back 2,600 years to the time of Babylon – was decimated by harsh repression and emigration in the second half of the 20th century, following the establishment of the State of Israel.
A Polish anti-Semitism watchdog is calling out right-wing journalist Rafal Ziemkiewicz over his latest book, which calls Jews “ruthless” and the Holocaust “a myth.”
The Open Republic Association argued to the Warsaw prosecutor’s office that the book, which hit stores last week, is a criminal example of hate speech based on nationality. Ziemkiewicz also writes in it that young Israelis are “killing machines.”
The association’s statement says that excerpts from the book that were published online “do not leave any doubt that the book proclaims anti-Semitic views intended to cause hatred towards Jews, as well as cast doubt on historical facts about the Holocaust of Jews during World War II.”
The Association pulled a quote from the book: “Zionism because of the Holocaust, or rather the myth of the Holocaust, which it built itself, gained particular cruelty. Shoah has proved, its prominent representatives say today, that Jews must be ruthless.”
In 2018, Ziemkiewicz, who is also a popular science fiction author, canceled a speaking tour in the United Kingdom after British parliament members and other campaigners spoke out against his views, which have been described as anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic.
Conspiracy theorists are reportedly transforming Holocaust denial, far-right racist tropes and misinformation about COVID-19 into a video game.
It is understood that thousands of users of Discord, a voice and text communication platform intended for gamers, are posting conspiracy theories in order to accumulate ‘points’ that can then be cashed for rewards.
The game is designed to be addictive, awarding a user the title “verified truther” after he or she has posted at least three conspiracy theories and undertaken an interview with a more experienced conspiracy theorist on the platform.
While Discord has removed some of the chat channels discussing conspiracy theories, others rise in their place. Among the theories posted are discussion of the “Holohoax”, whether the Holocaust has been exagerrated and claims that “Zionists” are “a class of people that controls the world”.
Others include a theory that 5G mobile phone signals were designed by “scheming” Jews and played a role in the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to a conspiracy theory promoted by the antisemitic hate preacher David Icke.
Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir spoke about the late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, known for being the first Israeli astronaut, in an interview with Channel 12 this week.
In the interview, Meir spoke of both her Jewish and Israeli heritage, and shared what it was like for her during the Colombia Space Shuttle disaster, when Ramon and six other astronauts died upon his shuttle’s re-entry to earth in 2003.
Meir had just started her career when the disaster occurred.
“I felt that loss very much, and it’s something that we think about all the time, in everything that we do, I did fly with a coin and some other items from the Ramon Foundation as well as a painting that Rona [Ramon’s wife] did,” she said.
Meir recently returned from seven months in space, and has made headline several times within the last year. She is well known for many reasons, but her Israeli heritage through her dad’s side is often left out of her story.
Meir enjoys her connection to Israel and still has friend in the country. In March, she shared pictures of Tel Aviv from space on Twitter.
In April, she and two other astronauts from her mission spoke of what it was like to be in space during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in a live NASA broadcast. Additionally, the team shared quarantine advice for living with others in tight quarters.
During the broadcast, Meir spoke of returning to Earth during the pandemic. She said, “It will be difficult to not give hugs to family and friends after being up here for seven months,” Meir added. “I think I will feel more isolated on Earth than here because it’s expected up here.”
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) June 4, 2020
🇮🇱❤️ the environment.
Meet the amazing people, initiatives & projects promoting a cleaner #environment, quality #education & innovative #health solutions across Israel, making 🇮🇱 ecologically-friendly one #SDG at a time.#WorldEnvironmentDaypic.twitter.com/YKo2yK9NDG
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) June 4, 2020
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