April 13, 2021

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06/13 Links: 177 new virus cases found in 24 hours, including among Netanyahu, Rivlin staff; PA to stop getting IDs authorized by Israel; One-on-one with Hollywood star Jesse Eisenberg


From Ian:

177 new virus cases found in 24 hours, including among Netanyahu, Rivlin staff
The Health Ministry on Saturday night reported 177 coronavirus cases had been diagnosed over the past 24 hours, as new infections in the vicinity of the prime minister and president prompted concerns regarding their health.

Three security guards at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence tested positive for the pathogen. Netanyahu’s office said tests were carried out for the premier and others at the residence. The guards’ came back positive while Netanyahu was negative.

“The prime minister isn’t required to quarantine because the guards weren’t in his vicinity,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Meanwhile, the President’s Residence said that over the weekend a staff member tested positive. After consultations with health officials it was said that President Reuven Rivlin would not need to isolate, but that cleaning and testing of employees would be carried out.

The latest infections brought the total cases in the country since the start of the pandemic to 18,972. The number of active cases was at 3,315.

According to the Health Ministry, 35 people are in serious condition, 26 of whom are on ventilators. Another 45 are in moderate condition and the rest have mild symptoms. The death toll remains at 300.

The ministry said 12,578 tests were performed Friday.

After a sustained decline that saw the number of new cases each day dropping to low single digits, Israel has seen a significant spike in the infection rate over recent weeks. On Thursday, over 200 cases were recorded in a 24-hour period for the first time since late April.

AstraZeneca to supply Europe with 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca Plc has signed a contract with European governments to supply the region with its potential vaccine against the coronavirus, the British drugmaker’s latest deal to pledge its drug to help combat the pandemic.

The contract is for up to 400 million doses of the vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, the company said on Saturday, adding that it was looking to expand manufacturing of the vaccine, which it said it would provide for no profit during the pandemic.

Deliveries will start by the end of 2020.

The deal is the first contract signed by Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), a group formed by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to secure vaccine doses for all member states as soon as possible.

“This will ensure that hundreds of millions of people in Europe will have access to this vaccine, of course if it works and we will know that by the end of summer,” the company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot told journalists. He said he has “good hope” that it will work, based on initial data.

The alliance “will work together with the European Commission and other countries in Europe to ensure everybody across Europe is supplied with the vaccine,” he said.

“We have a very self-sufficient supply chain for Europe” with manufacturers lined up in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Italy, among others, he said.

The vaccines are for all EU member states. The four nations that agreed the deal will pay for the total amount, which has not been disclosed,
and the scheme allows other countries to join it under the same conditions, a source from the Italian health ministry said.

China, Brazil, Japan and Russia have also expressed interest, he said.

PA to stop getting IDs authorized by Israel, move that could strand thousands

The Palestinian Authority said Friday it will start issuing personal documents for Palestinians without having the papers validated by Israel as in the past.

The move follows PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s announcement last month of an end to all agreements with Israel over its plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

“We are now registering our citizens in our own databases, without sending them to Israel as we did before, according to instructions not to work with Israel on this subject,” Palestinian Authority interior ministry spokesman Ghassan Nimr told AFP.

Under the 1993 Oslo peace accords, the PA has issued identity cards, birth certificates and other documents to the approximately five million residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

But they were only considered valid after endorsement by Israel, which controls all movement in and out of the West Bank and from Gaza through Israeli territory.

“We are working on setting up a new framework based on coordination with the international community to allow us to move freely without the approval of Israel,” said Nimr, without giving details.

The end of coordination with Israel on the issue has not yet had any impact on Palestinian travel due to closure of the borders of Israel and the Palestinian territories due to coronavirus restrictions.

But when crossings are reopened thousands of Palestinians could find themselves unable to enter Israel to work.

Three indicted for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at NYPD vehicles, face life in prison

An upstate woman and two Brooklyn lawyers were indicted Friday on federal explosives and arson charges for allegedly tossing Molotov cocktails at NYPD vehicles during George Floyd protests in New York City.

Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, is accused of hurling the makeshift explosive at an NYPD vehicle occupied by four police officers on early Saturday morning, May 30.

Prosecutors allege Shader bit one of the officer’s legs when she was being taken into custody.

Around the same time, Brooklyn lawyers Urooj Rahman, 31, and Colinford Mattis, 32, were accused of tossing their own Molotov cocktail at an unoccupied police vehicle in Brooklyn during a separate attack.

All three face life in prison on the seven-count indictments, charging them with the use of explosives, arson, use of explosives to commit a felony, arson conspiracy, use of a destructive device, civil disorder, and making or possessing a destructive device.

“Such criminal acts should never be confused with legitimate protest,” said United States Attorney Richard Donoghue in a statement. “Those who carry out attacks on NYPD Officers or vehicles are not protesters, they are criminals, and they will be treated as such.”

Molotov-throwing Lawyer in Brooklyn Was Intern for Soros-funded Anti-Israel Group

One of the two lawyers accused of trying to torch an NYPD cruiser during protests that engulfed Brooklyn over the weekend spent a summer in the West Bank as a fellow and intern with radical Palestinian activist organizations.

Two attorneys, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, reportedly were caught attempting to distribute homemade molotov cocktail devices to protesters who were clashing with police near the 88th Precinct in Fort .

“Rahman attempted to distribute Molotov cocktails to the witness and others so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence,” a witness was quoted as saying to authorities in a detention memo from federal prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York.

Rahman was captured in a photo obtained by the New York Daily News wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh on her face and holding a makeshift Molotov cocktail. The keffiyeh, a chequered black and white scarf, has become a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.

Rahman is a graduate from Fordham University law school. In 2014, she did a summer fellowship internship program at the Israel based Mada Al-Carmel’s Arab Center for Applied Social Research in a partnership program with Palestine Works.

The Mada Al-Carmel center is heavily financed by George Soros through his Open Society Foundations.

NGO Monitor lists some of the radical organization’s political advocacy. The center co-authored the “Haifa Declaration” which calls for a “change in the definition of the State of Israel from a Jewish state” and accuses Israel of “exploiting” the Holocaust “at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

The September 2011 edition of Mada al Carmel’s journal Jadal focused on “Boycotting Israel: Between Theory and Practice.”

Israel Advocacy Movement: Ice Cube doubles down on antisemitism

Taliban, ISIS to Advise Antifa on Destroying Statues (satire)

Calling the recent US trend of angry mobs destroying statues “inspiring but a bit amateur,” leaders of ISIS and the Taliban have agreed to send advisors to Antifa and other far left groups on how to erase historical artifacts.

“Destroying all art, culture and history from previous eras is obviously constructive,” said ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi. “But they’ve got to do it in a more dramatic way. We beheaded statues with a sword. The Taliban blew up ancient Buddhas with dynamite. Tying a statue to a truck and dragging it down just doesn’t have the same dramatic effect.”

Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada praised the mob for destroying not only Confederate monuments but monuments to an all-black Union Civil War regiment and abolitionist leaders.

“We were kind of confused at first, since we thought these were supposed to be anti-racist protestors,” Akhunzada admitted. “But if they’re just into blowing shit up and cheering, we can get behind that.”

Ted Cruz slams Ilhan Omar for ‘opposition’ to antisemitism resolution

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in a Twitter battle between the Republican and the Democrat on Thursday, claiming that if she would like to discuss a genocide, she should discuss the Holocaust and her lack of support for the House resolution on antisemitism.

The Twitter battle between the opposing politicians began when Cruz retweeted a video posted by ABC News of protesters – who were participating in the Black Lives Matter-motivated marches throughout the country which follow the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer – tearing down a statue of Christopher Columbus outside of the Minnesota State Capitol.

“American Taliban,” Cruz wrote in response.

“This was organized and led by Indigenous people,” Omar, whose home state is Minnesota, tweeted in response. “Columbus literally started a genocide against them. What a sick thing to say about those taking down monuments to their own oppression.”

Numerous US monuments have been torn down as part of the protests and demonstrations against police brutality and racial inequalities. The tearing down of the Columbus statue was led by Native American activist Mike Forcia, who told Reuters that “it was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it.”

“No, he didn’t commit genocide, ‘literally’ or otherwise,” Cruz tweeted in response to Omar. “He did discover the New World, which led to colonizers, some of whom inadvertently brought disease.

“Is it your position that it’s inherently immoral to come to America from a foreign land?” he continued. “I’m glad my Dad came from Cuba.”

He proceeded to criticize Omar for her alleged antisemitism, stating, “And if you want to talk ‘literal genocide,’ we can discuss the Nazis murdering 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. Why again did you oppose the House resolution against antisemitism?”

UAE said to warn Washington annexation will cripple Gulf backing for Trump plan

The United Arab Emirates has warned the White House that an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank will severely impair Gulf states’ cooperation with the Trump administration’s peace plan and will end all efforts at public rapprochement with Israel, Channel 12 reported Saturday.

UAE diplomats conveyed the message to Washington at the same time as a top diplomat for the country published an unprecedented op-ed in a leading Israeli newspaper, warning against the push to apply sovereignty to settlements and the Jordan Valley, the report said.

Abu Dhabi was said to warn that an American green-light for annexation would severely curtail Gulf states’ support for the plan, and lead them to take a step back from the US efforts.

In addition, it said such a step would end all efforts to bring Israel and the Gulf States publicly closer together, including efforts that were discussed to sign non-aggression pacts.

The network also reported that with two weeks left until Netanyahu’s July 1 target date to start the ball rolling on annexation, defense officials have not seen any maps or been given a timetable.

Deprived of information, the military is preparing for several scenarios — including a terror wave and a new Palestinian popular uprising — and is stocking up on less-lethal weapons, expecting widespread unrest if the plan is carried out.

Report: Haim Saban Behind UAE Ambassador’s Threatening Op-Ed Against Sovereignty

According to Barak Ravid reporting for Axios (Billionaire Haim Saban advised UAE ambassador on Israeli annexation op-ed), Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban assisted in writing and publishing UAE Ambassador to Washington Yousef Al-Otaiba’s Friday’s op-ed in Yedioth Aharonoth (Annexation will be a serious setback for better relations with the Arab world).

Al-Otaiba warned Israeli readers that a Netanyahu attempt to impose Israeli law on Jewish communities in about 30% of Judea and Samaria “will ignite violence and rouse extremists. It will send shock waves around the region, especially in Jordan whose stability – often taken for granted – benefits the entire region, particularly Israel.”

Ravid cites Israeli sources who say Al-Otaiba asked Saban in early June how to best reach Israeli public opinion with a message against the plans for sovereignty, and Saban suggested the message should be in Hebrew and through a major media outlet – namely Yedioth.

Saban introduced his PR expert Moshe Debi to the ambassador, and Debi took charge of the content and timing of the publication.

Saban, whose wealth is estimated at $3 billion, is a major donor for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, and sponsors the Saban National Political Leadership Training Seminar. Ravid notes that Saban was one of Hillary Clinton’s main political backers and donors.

According to Ravid, the Netanyahu government was not informed in advance of the publication, while the White House was, and, apparently kept it a secret from Jerusalem. This was planned this as a two-punch operation: following Friday’s op-ed, on Tuesday UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash will speak at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum taking place this week, and will likely repeat his ambassador’s threats.

Armenia assuages Iran’s concerns over its embassy opening in Israel

Armenia made moves to try and quiet Iran’s concerns over its decision to open an embassy in Israel following two dozen rallies held outside of the Armenian embassy in Tehran, according to Armenian news outlet Massis Post.

The rallies were held to condemn Yerevan’s plans and to urge it to avoid in any diplomatic presence in “the occupied Palestinian territories.” News reports from the Iranian capital said the protesters chanted “death to Israel” and burned an Israeli flag.

On Wednesday, Armenian Ambassador to Iran Artashes Tumanyan assured the Iranian Foreign Ministry that Armenia remains committed to its relationship with the Islamic Republic despite its desire to strengthen relations with Israel.

Furthermore, Tumanyan discussed the demonstrations with Iranian Foreign Ministry official, Mohsen Faghani. The envoy assured Faghani that Armenia will continue to avoid any involvement in any “anti-Iraninan political project,” according to Massis Post.

“The ambassador emphasized that Armeninan-Iraninan friendly relations have been and remain one of Armenia’s foreign policy priorities,” the statement read.

Additionally, while “some circles” in the Islamic Republic are worried about Israeli influence on Armenia, Faghani praised the current state of Armeninan-Iranian relations, and isn’t worried that the relationship will be undermined by any discontent with the Armeninan diplomatic presence in Israel.

Report: Turkey Warns Israel Will Cross a ‘Red Line’ With Sovereignty Move

Israel’s plan to extend its sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and Samaria, will “destroy all hopes” for lasting peace in the Middle East, Turkey’s top diplomat said on Wednesday.

“If the occupying power [Israel] crosses the red line, we [Muslim countries] must show that this will have consequences,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Executive Committee, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

The virtual ministerial meeting, initiated by Turkey at the request of the Palestinian Authority, was dedicated to the issue of Israel’s planned sovereignty move.

Cavusoglu went on to say that “the annexation of the Jordan Valley by Israel and illegal settlements would be a violation of international law,” and warned that this would end the two-state solution and replace it with a one-state solution that would turn Israel into a “racist” state.

In interview with Israeli paper, top Libyan rebel calls for Israel’s support

In a rare interview with an Israeli newspaper, a senior Libyan official with the eastern-based rebel government has called on Israel for support in the latest sign of the diminishing of anti-Israel taboo in Arab politics.

“We never were and never will be enemies, and we hope you will support us. It is only circumstance which has separated us up until this point,” Abdul Salam al-Badri told the Israeli newspaper, Makor Rishon, in excerpts from a full interview scheduled to be published this weekend.

The paper, associated with Israel’s national religious camp, said al-Badri, who is deputy prime minister in the government affiliated with strongman General Khalifa Haftar, gave the interview from Benghazi. It gave no further details.

Israel has no official ties with Libya, which was a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, especially under dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown in 2011.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011 when a civil war toppled long-time dictator Gaddafi, who was later killed. The country has since split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments. The UN-recognized Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord remains in Tripoli.

Haftar, who launched an offensive aimed at capturing Tripoli last year, is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while the Tripoli-based militias are aided by Qatar, Italy and Turkey.

Cars set alight over Jaffa plan to build homeless shelter on Muslim burial site

A number of vehicles were set on fire and a municipality building was firebombed in Jaffa overnight Friday-Saturday, according to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services, as the unrest continued over plans to build a homeless shelter on land discovered to have been an old Muslim burial site.

According to the news site N12, 13 incidents of vandalism were recorded overnight including cars and trucks set on fire and a building belonging to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality hit with a Molotov cocktail.

Responding firefighters put out the fires at around 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, according to the report.

The municipality issued a statement condemning the attack, saying that “the perpetrators of these acts were part of a small group that does not represent most of the residents of Jaffa, who have a great deal of trust in the municipality.” The city said these acts would not affect plans to build the homeless shelter and that these would go ahead “as the court has approved.”

Police said officers were working to identify the perpetrators, whose “bullying behavior disturbs the daily routines of residents, endangers human lives and damages property.”

Friday’s was the third protest over the building plans this week alone.

On Wednesday, dozens of protesters took to the streets in Jaffa, clashing with police, setting trash cans on fire and throwing stones at officers. Four people were arrested.

Israeli soldier helps Palestinian man flee violent Jewish group in Hebron

An Israeli soldier intervened to help a Palestinian man in the West Bank City of Hebron flee a group of young Jewish men who were assaulting him on Friday night, according to video footage.

The incident occurred during a violent confrontation in Hebron between Palestinians and Jews, the army said.

In the video, a group of Israelis can be seen attacking the man, later identified as Ibrahim Bader, with one of them putting him in a headlock as others hit and kick him.

A Golani Brigade soldier then runs toward the group, pushing one of the Israelis aside and trying to help Bader out of the headlock. The soldier then appears to be hit by the man he pushed, who he then briefly confronts.

The soldier then turns back to Bader, telling the man administering the headlock “to leave him,” which he does.

As the soldier escorts Bader to safety, some of the Israelis run after them. A number of them try to strike Bader, while the soldier continues to try to distance him from the group.

In a tweet Saturday evening, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that according to reports of the event in military channels, the soldier “behaved as is expected of any soldier.”

He added: “The IDF is committed to the safety of civilians anywhere it operates.”

London police charge man with attempted murder in stabbing of Orthodox rabbi

UK police charged a man with attempted murder on Saturday following the stabbing of an Orthodox Jewish man in north London the day before.

Police identified the suspect as Stanley Francis, 44, of the Stoke Newington neighborhood in London, where the attack occurred.

Francis was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon, and will appear in court on Monday, The Guardian reported.

Police arrested a suspect, apparently Francis, who was restrained at the scene by bystanders.

The victim was named as 50-year-old Rabbi Alter Yaakov Schlesinger of the Satmar Yeshiva in Stamford Hill, according to the Jewish Chronicle. He suffered multiple stab wounds and was airlifted to hospital but is reported to be in stable condition.

The suspect was wrestled to the ground during the attack and pinned down until authorities arrived. The stabbing occurred in broad daylight Friday morning at a bank on Stoke Newington High Street, police said.

Police have said the incident is not currently being investigated as terror-related but have not yet stated a motive. A knife was recovered at the scene, according to a Guardian report.

Police have appealed for more witnesses to come forward.

MYTH: Israelis overreact to harmless rock throwing by Palestinians

Of the many “David versus Goliath” images that are portrayed in the media to dramatize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the most common may be that of the seemingly helpless Palestinian throwing rocks at heavily armed Israeli soldiers. These images are powerful but also frequently misleading, failing to distinguish between the aggressor and the victim.
credit: YNet news

While the media is often drawn to rock throwing riots against IDF troops (often staged by Palestinian instigators), many attacks occur beyond the glare of media lights and are directed not only at soldiers, but Jewish men, women and children, often innocently driving along a roadway.

The media typically ignores these terror attacks against Jews, or significantly downplays their lethality. Ben Ehrenreich, for example, wrote in the New York Times about the “nonviolent resistance” of the Palestinians and then described the “asymmetric combat” in which masked shebab “armed with slings and stones” tried to “flank and surprise” Israeli soldiers. One Palestinian compared stones to Gandhi’s loincloth as a symbol of resistance (Ben Ehrenreich, “Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?” New York Times Magazine, March 15, 2013).

The Times’ Tom Friedman applauded “nonviolent resistance by Palestinians,” which he said consisted of boycotts, hunger strikes and rock-throwing (Thomas Friedman, “A Middle East Twofer,” New York Times, April 3, 2012). Non-violent resistance should not result in death. Palestinian rock throwers, however, have killed many Israelis.

For example, three days before Ehrenreich’s article appeared, 21-year-old Staff Sgt. Amit Ben-Yigal was killed on May 12, 2020, when a rock thrown off a rooftop struck him in the head. He died even though he was wearing a helmet (David M. Halbfinger, “Israeli Soldier Is Killed in West Bank as Tensions Rise Over Annexation Push,” New York Times, May 12, 2020).

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians calls for unity between Hamas and Palestinian Authority

On the 13th anniversary of Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, several Palestinian factions and officials on Saturday called for an end to the continued dispute between the Islamist movement and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority.

They also warned that the dispute jeopardizes the Palestinian “national project” and plays into the hands of Israel and the US, and urged Hamas to relinquish its control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas, for its part, has ignored the anniversary and its leaders did not publicly comment on the occasion.

Scores of Palestinians were killed in the fighting that erupted between Hamas and the PA security forces and Fatah gunmen in the Gaza Strip before and during the Hamas coup d’etat in June 2007.

Tensions between Hamas and Fatah had intensified after Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary elections. Since then, several attempts by Arab states to resolve the Hamas-Fatah rift have failed.

On February 8, 2007, Saudi Arabia managed to secure an agreement between Hamas and Fatah to establish a Palestinian national unity government.
The accord, called the Hamas-Fatah Mecca Agreement, included measures to end the internecine violence. In spite of the agreement, violent clashes continued in the Gaza Strip, prompting Abbas to dissolve the unity government and dismiss Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

Repeated attempts by the PA to undermine Hamas in the past 13 years have been unsuccessful. In 2018, Abbas imposed a series of economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip that included halting or cutting payments to thousands of PA employees.

Finally, a Good New Snap-Back Plan on Iran

The RSC plan also advocates that Congress impose further new sanctions on “Iran’s petrochemical, shipping, financial, construction and automotive sectors.” Legislation would also target “Iran’s human rights violations and regional aggression, including in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. And it suggests sanctioning the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a European mechanism that the United States has criticized as a way to evade US sanctions on Iran.”

In an unprecedented but welcome manner, the RSC bill would for the first time place “new sanctions on the arms industries of countries like Russia and China that return to selling weapons to Iran, the banks facilitating any sale of weapons to Iran, and the companies shipping weapons.”

Diplomacy will not stop Iran. Real pressure will.

With the new RSC strategy, the US and its allies have a real shot at taking down the regime in Iran. That would indeed signal the success of economic “maximum pressure.”

Iran Rejects UN Report That Arms ‘of Iranian Origin’ Used in Saudi Attacks

Iran on Friday rejected a United Nations report that said cruise missiles used in attacks on oil facilities and an airport in Saudi Arabia last year were of “Iranian origin,” saying it had been drawn up under US and Saudi influence.

In the report, seen by Reuters on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also told the Security Council that several items in US seizures of weapons and related materiel in November 2019 and February 2020 were “of Iranian origin.”

Iran‘s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media that “Iran denies allegations by the UN Secretariat that appear to have been made under political pressure from the US and Saudi regimes.”

“Interestingly, the … report comes at a time when the United States is working to draft a dangerous resolution to extend an arms embargo against Iran,” the statement said.

Iran on Wednesday called on Russia and China to resist a push by Washington to extend a UN-imposed arms embargo that is due to expire in October under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers.

US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the deal in 2018 and his administration has been taking a harder line with the United Nations to extend and strengthen the embargo on Iran, saying lifting it would let Tehran acquire weapons that could fuel conflicts in the Middle East.

Guterres said that in a May 22 letter, Iran‘s UN envoy said “it has not been the policy of Iran to export weapons in violation of relevant arms embargoes of the Security Council” and that it will “continue to actively cooperate with the United Nations in this regard.”

Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen Says It Destroyed Missile Targeting Saudi Arabia

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen said on Saturday it had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile targeting the Saudi Arabian border city of Najran.

In a statement issued via the Saudi Arabian state news agency, the coalition said that the missile was fired from the Yemeni city of Saada, and some people were slightly injured by fragments of the weapon when it was destroyed.

The Western-backed coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to try to restore the internationally-recognized government to power in Sanaa, after it was ousted from the capital by the Houthis in late 2014.

The ensuing war has been in stalemate for years and United Nations-led peace efforts have stalled since late 2018.

Students removed ‘racist’ Catholic student body president, but replacement turns out to be ‘antisemitic’

After a supposedly “racist” student senate president was removed for expressing his Catholic views, a petition to remove his replacement has amassed almost 3,500 signatures in just a week.

Last Friday, the Florida State University Student Senate voted to remove Jack Denton from office due to his comments in a group chat of Catholic students. Denton was warning fellow Catholics that support of Black Lives Matter and the ACLU effectively supports causes that are not in line with traditional Catholic doctrine.
“This is not okay and he shouldn’t be senate president.”

Ahmad Daraldik, a Palsentian Muslim student born in Palestine, was selected to replace Denton. But now there are calls for Daraldik to step down himself. Soon after Daraldik took office, screenshots surfaced of “anti-Semitic” posts from Daraldik’s Instagram account.

“We need diversity and having someone who is Muslim as senate president to represent Muslim students is a great step,” one concerned student posted on Facebook. “However we need someone who will represent everyone and Ahmad does not like Jewish people or Israel. This is not okay and he shouldn’t be senate president. Photos from 2013 and a photo from 2019 show his views have not changed.”

The post contained screenshots allegedly from Daraldik’s Instagram account including language like “stupid jew” and “#fuckisrael.” Daraldik later confirmed that at least one of the posts in question came from his account, and did not deny any others.

FSU students put together a petition to send to Campus Administration to yet again impeach a sitting senate president, the petition has so far amassed over 3,400 signatures.

“Ahmad Daraldik, the current FSU Senate President, made anti-semitic remarks in multiple social media posts,” reads the petition “These posts were exposed right after the previous president was removed from his position for transphobic remarks. [Daraldik] says, ‘Fuck Israel’ ‘Stupid Jews’ and compares the Israeli government to Nazi Germany’s genocide on the jews. These anti-semitic remarks are not welcomed on FSU’s campus, in the United States, and most importantly, on this EARTH! There is no justification for his remarks, and needs to be removed from his position of power.”

The radical left will stop at nothing to intimidate conservative students on college campuses. You can help expose them. Find out more »

Daraldik released a video explaining his recent trip in August to Palestine, and why he chose to post a picture with the caption “#fucktheoccupation #fuckisrael.”

Ontario Police Praised for Arresting Publisher of Antisemitic Polish-Language Newspaper

One of Canada’s leading organizations combating antisemitism praised police in Ontario on Thursday for arresting and warning the publisher of a Polish-language newspaper that featured antisemitic content.

Andrzej Kumor — publisher of the Mississauga-based publication Goniec — was taken into custody last Sunday by police in the regional municipality of Peel.

Kumor used the paper to accuse Jews and Zionists of having “terrorism in their blood,” and claimed that “Jews are spying on you” using the WhatsApp cellphone application.

He further alleged that the governments of the United States and Poland were being controlled by sinister Jewish forces.

“We salute the Peel Regional Police for their diligence in pursuing this matter, and hope that Mr. Kumor has learned his lesson,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “It is a criminal offense in Canada to wilfully promote hatred against an identifiable group. B’nai Brith will continue to relentlessly pursue these incidents, so that incitement against the Jewish community and other groups cannot proceed with impunity.”

Police officers cautioned Kumor that any further promotion of hatred against Jews would result in charges being brought against him under the Criminal Code. They then released him without formal charges for the present at time.

Shortly afterward, the offending articles were all deleted from the Goniec website, while the YouTube video in which Kumor had accused Jews and Zionists of having “terrorism in their blood” was removed from public view.

German Schools Mark Anne Frank Day Amid Rising Antisemitism

Schools across Germany commemorated what would have been the 91st birthday on Friday of Anne Frank — the young German Jewish girl who kept a diary of her family’s time in hiding from the Nazis while in the Netherlands, where they were eventually captured and deported to the Auschwitz extermination camp.

More than 300 schools and 60,000 students participated in events commemorating the Holocaust and pledging to combat the rise in antisemitism and racism.

Speaking at an online ceremony in Berlin, Christine Lambrecht — Germany’s minister of justice — noted that the observance of Anne Frank Day, initiated in 2017, had grown each year.

“The Shoah is the greatest crime in human history and Anne Frank’s diary is a witness to this crime,” Lambrecht declared.

Also participating in the ceremony was Holocaust survivor Zvi Amiram, who addressed the students from his home in Israel in a webcast organized in cooperation with Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust.

Patrick Siegele — director of the Anne Frank Center in Berlin — observed that the diarist’s birthday provided an opportunity to not only remember the Holocaust, but “also to deal with antisemitism, with racism, with discrimination and exclusion in today’s society.”

Sieglele added that “we hear far too often of cases where Jewish students are attacked are insulted, which in many cases unfortunately also means that Jewish students are leaving [public] schools. And we have to do something about it. We know from the criminal statistics and from the surveys that we still have a serious problem with antisemitism in Germany.”

Israeli innovation tucked inside Google’s newest earphones

Google’s newly released, state of the art wireless earphones have arrived – with a little help from Israeli ingenuity.

According to Ofer Elyakim, CEO of DSPG, the top of the line earphones come with an innovative artificial intelligence chip developed by the Israeli tech firm.
“For us, this is a very big win, both at the strategic level and at the technology level found inside the chip,” says Elyakim.

Initial comparisons between Google’s newest offering and Apple’s market-dominating AirPod earphones predict that Google will this time take a significant market share from Apple, after failing to do so with past products.

If the projections of millions of dollars in sales do indeed come true, DSPG will receive significant revenue. According an industry expert, the Israeli chipset maker will receive approximately two dollars for each pair of headphones sold.

Elyakim says that DSPG has entered the field of wireless headphones with a number of new chipsets, with both Google and Japan’s tech giant Panasonic, which is currently trying to best Sony in the Japanese market.

“Panasonic is very excited about the results they see in the markets. They are now setting up a next-generation headset production line and will be launching the product in the U.S. around October-November,” says Elyakim.

How Israeli-Founded Video Chat App Houseparty Became A Hit During The Pandemic

The world has slowly been emerging from months of social distancing, quarantine, and lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Many countries are beginning to re-open and are now assessing the socio-economic, political, and environmental ramifications of the pandemic.

Few things have defined this period nearly universally as video communication tools. Their popularity has skyrocketed over the past weeks. From remote birthday celebrations, graduation ceremonies, wine and dine nights, major holiday festivities – not to mention the work meetings and the distance learning sessions for kids – virtual gatherings have a prominent place in our social lives at this moment in history.

And although Zoom has been the tool of choice for many, specifically in the context of work, the Israeli-developed Houseparty has solidified its place as a top contender, especially among younger crowds.

The app enables friends and family to quickly jump into “parties” of up to eight people simultaneously and can be used via smartphone or desktop. Developed by Life On Air, the company that created the once-popular, now-defunct live-streaming app Meerkat, Houseparty prides itself on making video chats a more personal experience. Users can see who is online or free to talk, like other messaging apps, or choose to play in-app games or join live parties.

As the coronavirus crisis made virtual socializing the “new normal,” Houseparty’s numbers have shot up accordingly. The app’s popularity grew from around 130,000 downloads a week in February 2020 to around a million downloads at the end of March, according to data from App Annie. The app analytics and app data company also reported that it’s the sixth most downloaded free app in the US iOS store and number one in New Zealand, Canadian, and UK iOS stores. TechCrunch reported that the app saw 50 million new sign-ups in the month of March alone, most of which were from European countries.

Dr. Ruth: Those who serve in IDF will have good sex for their entire lives

Sex-therapist and Holocaust survivor Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer joined the webinar of Friends of the IDF, titled Engage web series, on Thursday, telling viewers that anyone who serves in the IDF “will have good sex for the rest of their life.”

Westheimer, who is in her early 90’s, said that after surviving the Holocaust, she became a sniper for the Haganah: what later became the IDF. She claimed to have been quite talented and “an expert at throwing hand grenades.”

On her 20th birthday in 1948, during Israel’s Independence War, her legs were severely injured after she was the victim of a bombing, having been one survivor in the attack in which two women were killed.

Westheimer is now famous worldwide as “Dr. Ruth” for her one-woman show “Becoming Dr. Ruth” and for the documentary about her life, “Ask Dr. Ruth,” which is available on HULU.

The goal of FIDF Engage was to provide official information and connection to IDF soldiers, as well as Israeli officials, during the coronavirus pandemic.

One-on-one with Hollywood star Jesse Eisenberg

IN an early pivotal scene in Resistance, Marceau is alerted to the plight of Jewish orphans.

As he witnesses a group arrive by bus following Kristallnacht, the scene marks the beginning of Marceau’s transformation from a self-invested artist to a heroic figure concerned with alleviating the suffering of children under his protection.
Jesse Eisenberg on stage as Marcel Marceau.

The scene is all the more affecting when placed within a contemporary context.

“The day before we filmed that impactful scene the Tree of Life [Synagogue] shooting happened in Pittsburgh,” shared Eisenberg.

“On the one hand, it felt like we were doing a historical piece about a bygone time and thank God it’s over, and on the other hand we felt this is a disease that doesn’t ever seem to be eradicated.”

Filming in Germany offered additional insight that hit close to home.

“On weekends we were going to Dachau concentration camp and meeting with people affected by the war or even spending time with German crew who were working on the movie and would tell me the stories of their families – some of which were really amazing about families that helped people survive the war – and some stories that they were ashamed to have in their family,” he commented.

Reflecting on his own family’s involvement in the Holocaust, Eisenberg remarked, “I became obsessed with my family’s history during the war when I was 19 years old. I would see my aunt every week – she died last year at 106 … She was born in Poland and then when she was about nine she came to America … I became really fascinated and it was interesting for me as an American teenager to have some connection to something that was so much more historically relevant than my own life. Doing this movie connected me that much more to that period of time.”

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