Melanie Phillips: The progressive world: An antechamber to evil
That enduring moral blindness means the progressive world is fated to replicate its role as the antechamber to evil. Today, that’s why it supports the anti-white racists of Black Lives Matter. It’s why the universities – the supposed crucibles of reason – have turned into cauldrons of intimidation and censorship.
It’s why we have descended into a nightmarish Orwellian world in which those deemed to be part of a victim group present lies as truth, justice as injustice, and their own anti-white racism as anti-racism.
And it’s why Israel-bashing has become the poster cause of the Western left, and open season has been declared against the Jews.
This way of thinking now dominates progressive politics in general and the Democratic Party in particular. That’s why Democrat politicians are tacitly or actively supporting violent attacks on civic order.
As Barr observed: “This is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties – the Democratic Party – are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts. Why can’t we just say, you know, violence against federal courts has to stop? Can we hear that?”
Jews are directly in the cross-hairs of those who are intent on overthrowing Western values. That’s because Judaism, mediated through Christianity, gave the west its civilized moral precepts.
So attacks on Jews are symbiotically connected to left-wing attacks on western civilization.
Of course, there are still decent Democrats and those who remain sympathetic to Israel. But in general, the Democrats, like Britain’s Labour Party and other progressive folk, have drunk the anti-Western Kool-Aid.
The tragedy is that so many Jews are incapable of seeing this. So they’ll continue to vote Democrat, just as they’ll continue to read The New York Times.
Reaction against the onslaught on American and Western values is what brought Trump to power. Many are outraged and exasperated by him. I share many of their criticisms.
But the choice at this coming presidential election is a fateful one; and for all who care about protecting American and Western core values, as well as Israel and the Jewish people, a Democrat victory is much to be feared.
On Wednesday I opened my Twitter account for the first time in two days. I’d been following the 48 hour social media ban which I (and Saul Freedman) had instigated , in response to social media sites allowing grime artist Wiley to repeatedly post anti-jewish hate speech, leaving some posts visible for 12 hours.
Our grassroots ban under the title #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate snowballed into a global phenomenon with high profile politicans, journalists, lawmakers, actors, musicians and hundreds of thousand of others demanding why Twitter, Instagram and Facebook had effectively given a megaphone to Wiley to spew out Jew hate to over 600 thousand followers.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the heavyweight commitment that I have received on this. From the Prime Minister down and across the house. Most significantly social media CEOs have had to sit up and see what I have been saying for a very long time. That anti-Semitism is running rampant, unchecked, infecting social media sites.
Back to Wednesday morning. I logged in to Twitter and first tweet of the morning to me read: “Fucking shut up, sticking your nose into literally everything apart from an oven where it actually belongs”.
When I was four years old my mum and dad, in a mad moment of 1970’s parenting, took me to The Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. My Dad went into the Hall of Names to look for relatives who he wanted verified had died in the concentration camps. I was pretty much left to wander around on my own. No four-year-old should have to process what I saw that day – pictures of skeletal bodies PILED in open graves, a pile of Jewish children’s shoes, teeth and hair. The picture I have never been able to erase from my memory, even after years of trying, was of a naked dead Jewish female body being placed into an oven to be incinerated. That would be the “oven” the tweeter told me I deserved to be in.
My great Uncle Josef who survived the Warsaw ghetto and two concentration camps was my hero. When I would ask how the world allowed the Holocaust to happen, in all its modern industrial German mechanised precision, he would answer in his thick Polish accent, “because people looked the other way. They didn’t want to see it.”
I’m a successful actress and a writer. I’m not a politician or an activist. It was never my aim to take the job of speaking out against race hate especially to Jewish people so vocally and vociferously. But I have spent my life making sure that I would never be one of those people who would “look the other way”. By standing up on social media (Twitter especially) I have become the target of much anti-Semitic and misogynistic abuse.
I’ve been called a “Jewish whore”, “a zio baby killer”, “a grooming paedophile”, “a tax evading shill”, and have been accused of “exaggerating the Holocaust for my own nefarious ends” and more. I’ve been told by Twitter that many of these tweets don’t “violate their terms and conditions”.
If you never heard of Seth Rogen, just as well. He made a splash in some off-beat movies, and became famous as an actor.
Turns out he is more than an actor. Or less than an actor. But more of a comedian, and not so funny.
In a normal world we would not care either way. So why do we care?
Nowadays we have to listen to idiots because they run our world, and he is one of them. He is also Jewish, which proves it takes all kinds.
He tells us that his Canadian parents are “radical Jewish socialists.” No kidding.
So this apple did not fall far from the tree, as we hear him tell an interviewer that “Israel makes no sense.” He questions why the state should exist, a story Al-Jazeera was quick to pick up.
That’s right. We do not need Farrakhan when we’ve got varieties homegrown. Alas, Rogen’s voice makes a sound throughout his “woke” generation.
Along comes this rebuke from Richard Trank, who uses gentle persuasion in the hope of showing Rogen the way to a Jewish heart…which would mean a love of Zion.
A lost cause.
Because Israel, from the ancient to the modern, is in your heart, mind and soul, or it isn’t, and if it isn’t, nothing’s going to help if you insist on being a wise guy.
Actor and comedian Seth Rogen will team up with former Iranian President and die-hard Tupac fan Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a comedy about the duo’s marijuana-filled attempt to launch a terrorist attack on Israel, Point Grey Pictures announced.
Ahmadinejad will play himself in the film, as he looks to cap off his career of public service with a devastating suicide bombing of the Dizengoff Center mall in Tel Aviv. Rogen, meanwhile, will play a Jewish millennial who becomes angry at his parents and disillusioned with his pro-Israel upbringing after reading a tweet by pop star Selena Gomez.
Ahmadinejad recruits Rogen’s pot-loving character, named Seth Rothberg, to help him carry out the attack, and smoke-filled hilarity ensues, according to a teaser put out by the studio.
“We’ve already started doing some guerilla marketing for the film,” Rogen told The Mideast Beast. “Like, I’ve been doing interviews in character as Seth Rothberg and saying all sorts of crazy shit, like ‘Hey, maybe Israel shouldn’t exist,’ and, ‘You know, those Ayatollahs aren’t such bad guys after all,’ and not telling anyone I was playing a character.”
“And everyone is like, dude, what the f#%k?” Rogen continued. “Like, even my mohel called me and said, ‘I should have cut your d#$k off when I had the chance.’ It’s been kind of fun to see everyone freak out.”
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” – president John F. Kennedy.
During the recent worrying rise in antisemitism around the world, the Jewish people have been blessed to have a few friends of tremendous courage who have stood up to be counted by openly condemning the oppressive hate language being used by well-known figures in sports, entertainment and other opinion-shapers.
Earlier in the month, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar courageously penned an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter, not just calling out antisemites in the black community, but also railing against the apathy toward hate in general.
It is certainly not surprising to me that Kareem would take such a strong stand. I have known him to be a humanitarian and a philanthropist, steeped in a long and enduring commitment to tolerance, acceptance and working tirelessly toward a better society. Just as he did during his storied basketball career, Kareem stands out above all in demonstrating the best example possible to those around him.
In 2017, while I served as Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles, I hosted Kareem at an Iftar break-fast meal at my official residence during the month of Ramadan. He led various Jewish and Muslim leaders in a wide-ranging conversation promoting discourse, appreciation and mutual respect between local Jewish and Muslim communities.
I was inspired by Kareem’s efforts in promoting harmony and unity between people of different faiths and backgrounds, especially between Muslims and Jews. He said that the basic values of Islam, Christianity and Judaism are the same values, based on compassion, tolerance and helping the needy. Those who incite us toward each other do so not out of religious belief but out of their own political and economic ambitions. Therefore, we, the believers, need to take advantage of every opportunity to sit together and share our messages of unity with all those who seek peace and a thriving world.
This is the basic message which informs everything that has made Kareem an even greater legend to my mind off the court than on it.
I began to understand that he has a special sensitivity to antisemitism because a close friend of his father’s, fondly known to Kareem growing up as “Uncle Smitty,” was in a US tank division that liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. The stories Kareem heard growing up were first-hand memories of what can happen to Jews when no one speaks up for or stands with them.
MANY YEARS ago, when he was about to embark on the film version of a book Brothers in Arms that he co-authored, dealing with the American troops who liberated Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II, he visited Israel and made a special effort to meet with Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who had been liberated as a young child from Buchenwald by Uncle Smitty.
In fact, it had been his father’s dying wish that Kareem would visit Israel and meet the little boy who had been rescued from Buchenwald and who became a prominent rabbi.
Even when racism speaks publicly, it is still usually bound up in disclaimers of not being racist. The practice of denial of racist intent—“I’m not racist but … ”—is now deeply embedded in everyday discourse. As Eduardo Bonilla-Silva has argued, in the United States racism has become “color-blind,” with a multitude of techniques used to speak of race without speaking of race. A willful “ignorance” of white implication in persistent racial hierarchies has long been a central part in their maintenance long after officially mandated discrimination was abolished.
This habit of denial even compels those on the far right who really should embrace the identity of racist to avoid the term. “Race realist” or sometimes “racialist” are often preferred, framing racism as the disinterested recognition of what they see as irrefutable differences between races. Further, they affirm the language of anti-racism when complaining about “anti-white racism” and the threat of “white genocide.” This simultaneous affirmation and disavowal of racism can be absurd. The U.S. Proud Boys movement simultaneously states that anti-racism and “Anti Racial Guilt” are central tenets, and describes the ideal Proud Boy as a “Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world.” One of the most extraordinary examples of this simultaneity was posted on the popular blog Boing Boing in January 2017: A photo of the door of a pickup truck in New Mexico featuring a Confederate flag with the slogans “Secede!” “Anti-Sodomy” “Common Decency” “Pro-Life” and … “Non-Racist.”
This drive to deny racism extends to anti-Semitism. Indeed, denial may actually be stronger when it comes to anti-Semitism. As Kenneth Marcus in The Definition of Anti-Semitism argues:
Nowadays virtually everyone is opposed to anti-Semitism although no one agrees about what it means to be anti-Semitic. Indeed, it may be argued that virtually every anti-Semite today is also a professed enemy of anti-Semitism.
One of the reasons for this is that, for many of those on the left who are accused of anti-Semitism today, the accusation is an assault on one’s very identity. It is fair to assume that, for the person who painted “non-racist” on his racist truck, to be accused of racism would be annoying, but they are unlikely to view non-racism as the very core of their being. That is not the case for many of those on the left who have been accused of anti-Semitism in recent years. In the post-war period, the left has often been in the vanguard of the fight against racism and anti-Semitism. Indeed, the “new left” that began to emerge in the 1960s became increasingly focused on anti-racism as a central component of the struggle for human liberation. To call self-defined anti-racist activists anti-Semites is to tell them that they are not what they claim to be. This is one of the reasons why Jeremy Corbyn and others like him have had so much difficulty in dealing with the issue: it is bewildering and unsettling to be accused of traducing one’s deepest-held beliefs.
Of course it is also a serious charge to call a Christian Zionist like John Hagee, who loudly proclaims his love for the Jewish people, an anti-Semite. But it is perhaps less wounding to dub someone an anti-Semite who is, at best, apathetic to other forms of racism, than it is to attack the reputation of someone who sees themselves as opposed to all racisms. Sometimes there is a poverty of low expectations when it comes to anti-Semitism on the political right. It’s notable that many definitions of anti-Semitism, including the IHRA definition, are silent as to whether Christian statements that Jews are going to hell unless they convert are anti-Semitic or not. Inevitably though, those who proclaim themselves to have a universal standard when it comes to anti-racism are going to be scrutinized more closely.
It is also inevitable that anti-racists accused of anti-Semitism will draw on widely available cultural resources in order to deny those claims. We now have decades of experience in developing sophisticated discursive tools for the denial of racism, and while those on the left may not have been in the avant-garde of the creation of those tools, they are capable of taking advantage of them when needed. Which isn’t to say that accusations are always fair or denials always unreasonable, but that the process of denying anti-Semitism may be identical regardless of how justified the accusation is.
Where is the outrage from the media over this? Where are the teammates coming out to slam these vile and disgusting comments? Where is the mass outrage from the NFL? Where is the cancel culture mob who so viciously attacked Drew Brees just weeks ago? The double standard when it comes to antisemitism versus other types of hatred is glaringly obvious and equally atrocious.
Apparently to the Left, it is not that big of a deal to post outright antisemitic images online, but when you support our flag, our country, and the people who died for it, that is unacceptable, hateful, and insensitive.
The BLM movement also has deep roots of antisemitism in their organization. At anti-racism protests around the country, antisemitic chants and signs were seen and heard as antisemitism was a major theme in many of their protests.
In Washington DC, black lives matter protesters marched while chanting “Israel we know you, you murder children too” and at an anti-racism rally in Paris inspired by Black Lives Matter, protesters wore T-shirts reading “Justice for Palestine” and waved Palestinian flags while chanting “dirty Jews” as they marched. This is happening and is a common occurrence at Black Lives Matter protests across the country and around the world.
An organization that’s stated goals are to fight bigotry and hatred, has been hijacked by antisemites spewing just the kind of hate they claim to fight, and for the most part, the leaders of the BLM movement are silent.
This applies to all those Democrat leaders who also support the BLM movement without calling out the vicious antisemitic roots embedded in the organization.
As the Democratic Party continues to lurch to the Left, they have a growing antisemitism problem which is no longer subtle. Although some Democrats have come out and condemned the antisemitism in the party, as long as they refuse to take action to eradicate it, it will continue to fester and grow. The Democratic Party must show commitment to stand against all forms of hatred, not just the ones that benefit them politically.
Antisemitism has no place in our communities and country, and now more than ever, it is important to stand up and destroy it wherever it rears its vile head.
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) July 31, 2020
The Voice, which is the only national Black weekly newspaper in the UK, published on Wednesday its interview with Wiley under the headline “Systematic oppression and Wiley.”
In the interview the 41-year-old repeated antisemitic slurs about Jewish wealth and power, and at one point claimed, “They see us a slaves.”
The “Eskimo Dance” singer was banned from several major social media platforms after going on an antisemitic tirade on Twitter on July 24. On Thursday, the Board of Deputies urged YouTube to “follow the example of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and delete Wiley’s account.”
Instead of challenging the artist regarding his hateful remarks, the journalist conducting the interview, Joel Campbell, the arts and entertainment editor of The Voice, asked: “within his ranting were there any salient points?”
Campbell wrote that Wiley was “not alone in his thinking, that there is an unspoken systemic oppression that blights the lives of young black creatives in the entertainment space” and that “some of the views espoused by Wiley are the great unsaid outside of the black community.”
Campbell then suggested “[p]utting anything remotely near considered Anti-Semitic to one side of course, in fact out the window in the bin, not too many seem prepared to vocalise their consternation for some of the recurring themes Wiley believes is the stranglehold one community seems to have over another in particular relation but not confined to, the music business.”
Later in the article, Campbell stated that “the hypothesis that you need to get a Jewish lawyer in order to progress in the music business may be a complete fallacy…but yet it remains. I’ve never seen anyone Jewish refute or confirm this (maybe there was never a need felt to do so), but maybe, it’s a discussion that needs to be had?”
A senior volunteer at Campaign Against Antisemitism has written on our behalf to the Ivors Academy calling for it to rescind Wiley’s 2019 Ivors Inspiration Award.
In his letter, Joe Glasman, an award-winning composer, Ivors member and former Ivors award panellist, noted that Wiley has “spent the last several days on an antisemitic tirade” and wrote that it would be “untenable for an individual who holds such horrific antisemitic views to continue to be held up as worthy of such an award by the Academy, an honour bestowed specifically upon those whom the Academy considers to be inspirational role models for composers and young artists.”
Mr Glasman went on to note that the Academy is “rightly dedicated to diversity, equality and inclusivity” but that this means that the Academy “must be a safe space for all minorities, and that includes Jews.”
Mr Glasman observed that he could not remain a member of the Academy if it fails to revoke Wiley’s award, but expressed confidence that Ivors would make the right decision.
THREAD: CST is extremely concerned about comments made by @BristolUni Professor David Miller about CST at an event on Tuesday evening organised by the group Labour Against the Witch hunt. pic.twitter.com/NtH6fnpSUd
— CST (@CST_UK) July 30, 2020
Daphne Anson: Over & Out
Thanks to the readers and commenters who have supported this blog over the past ten years. Regular readers from the United States and Israel, from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, the Ukraine, and many other countries besides, including, intriguingly and flatteringly, a regular visitor from a certain Arab state, I thank you all, and wish you all well. You, and the State of Israel.
This blog began in June 2010, in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident and the exponential rise in antisemitism that followed in its wake. I’ve posted a number of pieces on historical facets of Israel and Zionism, including several pertaining to the origins of the overt anti-Israel bias of the BBC, identifying the late Keith Kyle as the first of that particular tribe. These historical posts were the ones I particularly enjoyed, and which I feel were the most useful. Some have been reprised on the Jews Down Under website, and others can still be found archived on the Elder of Ziyon blog (sincere thanks to the famed Elder for having invited me to contribute those guest posts).
Having an interest in Jewish-Christian relations, and mindful that if it had not been for a Jew who lived some 2000 years ago there would be no such profession as Christian priest I’ve exposed the excesses of the Reverend Stephen Sizer, and was the person who took this notorious 9/11 screenshot that went viral (thanks to the UK Jewish News, to whose editor I emailed it after a reporter from the “Voice of Anglo-Jewry”, the Jewish Chronicle, had informed me that they had no interest in it!) Shame on you, JC reporter. (You know who you are).
It goes without saying that we who love Israel must be ever vigilant regarding the mendacious propaganda of the New Israel Fund and similar groups, the equation of “Islamophobia” with antisemitism, the Islamic antisemitism infiltrating the West, the leftist propaganda of the ABC and the BBC, and the increasing hostility towards Israel of often unashamedly antisemitic propagandists in academia.
Oh, the stupidities of the Jewish Left, going on, seemingly, for ever!
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has been banned from Twitter for breaking the social media platform’s site’s rules forbidding hate speech.
The company said Friday that Duke’s account “has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules on hateful conduct.”
It didn’t specify what exactly Duke posted that triggered the ban, but its policy on hateful conduct prohibits promoting violence or threatening attacks against people based on religious affiliation, race and ethnic origin.
Twitter said the ban was in line with its recently updated policy aimed at cutting down on harmful links. Under the new rules, the company may suspend accounts dedicated to sharing hateful content or that try to get around its blocks on sharing links to the material.
The American Jewish Committee welcomed the move, saying that: “For over ten years, Duke used Twitter as a megaphone to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. Such hate is unacceptable.”
Duke’s final tweet included a link to an interview he had conducted with Germar Rudolf, who was convicted of Holocaust denial in Germany.
In his tweet before that, Duke promised to expose the “systemic racism lie,” while another claimed to expose the “incitement of violence against white people” by Jewish-owned media.
Interestingly, Bateman had nothing to tell audiences about UN Security Council resolution 1701 or the supposed role of the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon in preventing such incidents along the border. Neither did he or Franks adequately clarify that the threats to ‘retaliate’ against Israel come from a foreign-backed terrorist organisation which is part of Lebanon’s government.
In response to Franks asking “what do we know for sure” about the July 20th strike on military sites south of Damascus, Bateman replied:
Bateman: “Well I mean Israel routinely carries out airstrikes in Syria. Its intention is to roll back the influence of Iran in Syria and also of weapons transfers from the Iranians to Hizballah which is fighting in Syria on the side of President Assad. Now that is a red line for Israel, particularly the development by Hizballah, or its plans for precision guided missiles. Now what happened last week according to Hizballah when Iranian backed militants were targeted, one of its fighters died in those Israeli strikes close to Damascus airport. Israel doesn’t confirm that, hasn’t confirmed that, but Hizballah has said previously that it will avenge any of these strikes and so the Israelis were clearly expecting something; a flare-up on the border. They were beefing up infantry troops over the last few weeks and also missile defence systems.”
Hizballah has in fact said that it would retaliate if its members were killed in such strikes rather than to the strikes themselves and the increased military activity on Israel’s side of the border took place over the last week – rather than weeks – following Hizballah’s threats after the July 20th incident.
Franks: “I guess the concern in both Israel and in Lebanon is that sometimes these sorts of apparently small-bore clashes can mushroom into something much bigger.”
Bateman closed with promotion of equivalence between a sovereign country and a terrorist organisation.
Bateman: “This is one of the most combustible borders in the region. And remember in 2006 that Israel and Hizballah fought a war after the killing of Israeli troops over that border. And we’ve seen how close conflagration has come. There was a similar incident in the autumn: two Hizballah fighters killed in Syria and then the group fired an anti-tank missile, narrowly missing Israeli troops across the border. And the point is, I mean, there is a prevailing wisdom – and I think it’s true – that neither side seeks a clear escalation into war, particularly with health and economic and political crises in both countries. However the balance of power between the two is such that they always need to be seen by their own constituents to respond to these kind of events and you can see how very easily things can slip out of control.”
Tom Bateman also contributed ‘analysis’ to a report which appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on the evening of July 27th under the interestingly punctuated headline “Israel ‘thwarts Hezbollah infiltration from Lebanon’”.
Bateman appeared to be unsure about the intentions of armed members of a terrorist organisation who infiltrated a border.
Kotaku should stick to gaming instead of trying to weave their distorted political opinion.
— ~Legacy~ נפתלי בן מתתיהו (@Immort4l_Legacy) July 30, 2020
The Independent Doctors Federation hosted Prof. John Ashton earlier this week, despite the public health expert’s long history of antisemitic comments.
Prof. Ashton’s record includes comparing Israel to the Nazis and holding Jews responsible for the actions of the State of Israel, both of which are breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism, as well as trolling Jewish women MPs.
The Independent Doctors Federation describes itself as the leading membership organisation representing Independent medical practitioners in the UK for both specialists and general practitioners.
It is likely that the Federation was unaware of Prof. Ashton’s views when he was invited and hosted.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is grateful to one of the members of the Federation who brought the event to our attention.
After thousands signed our petition calling on the BBC, ITV and Sky News to stop featuring Prof. Ashton on their programmes, Prof. Ashton appears to have had fewer bookings by major broadcasters.
Campaign Against Antisemitism calls on all decent organisations and individuals to shun Prof. Ashton until he makes amends for his history of anti-Jewish racism.
Two advocacy groups representing the Jewish and Polish communities in Canada joined forces this week to demand the removal of a monument at a cemetery in Ontario that honors Ukrainian volunteers in the Nazi SS.
A cenotaph honoring Ukrainian volunteers of the 14th Waffen SS “Galicia” Division stands prominently on the grounds of the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery in the city of Oakville.
Created in 1943, the division was responsible for the murders of thousands of Jews, ethnic Poles and other ethnic minorities throughout Eastern Europe. However, the cenotaph has been portrayed as a commemoration of those who fought for Ukrainian independence, in what its defenders call “the First Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army.”
A joint statement from B’nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Polish Congress denounced the “glorification” of Nazi collaborators in a country that fought on the Allied side during World War II.
“Nazi Germans and their collaborators mercilessly ripped millions of people out of their loved ones’ hands and slaughtered them like cattle ‐‐ for the sole crime of having a different ethnicity, religion, level of physical ability, sexual orientation or political viewpoint,” the statement declared. “Countless brave and heroic Canadians gave their lives to stop this evil. It is unfathomable that Nazi glorification be allowed to continue in this country, or that these facts not be understood.”
The statement concluded with a call for “the removal of this monument, and all others like it that glorify Nazis in Canada. Such monuments dishonor the memory of the victims and those who fought against Nazi Germany in World War II.”
In light of new DNA samples provided by his nephew, Heinz Erich Tuchmann will be recognized as one of the victims of the Ardeantine massacre carried out by the Nazi regime in 1944, according to The Jewish Chronicle.
The Ardeantine massacre was an infamous mass execution carried out near Rome on March 24, 1944 by Nazi German occupying soldiers during World War II.
After 33 Nazi soldiers were killed by Italian partisans, the Germans decided to execute 335 men, including 76 Jews who were imprisoned in Rome’s jail to be sent to death camps.
After the war, most of the remains were identified, but for nine of them this was not possible. The massacre is remembered every year in Italy through a simple roll call of the dead taking place at the monument erected in their honor, and Italian authorities regularly visit the site to honor the victims.
The Italian government has, since 1944, organized efforts to discover the names of each of the victims. As it sits, out of the 335 dead, only five names have yet to be identified.
Several Jewish groups paid tribute to the late Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara on Friday, the 34th anniversary of his death.
Sugihara ‐‐ who was serving as Japan’s vice consul in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas when World War II broke out ‐‐ is credited with saving thousands of European Jews from the Nazis by ‐‐ in defiance of Tokyo’s instructions ‐‐ issuing them transit visas that enabled them to escape eastward.
His life story was detailed by The Algemeiner three years ago.
Sugihara was forced to resign from the Japanese Foreign Ministry shortly after the war, and he lived in obscurity for the next two decades.
In 1968, however, he was located by an Israeli diplomat based in Tokyo who, as a teenager, had received one of the visas. Sugihara visited the Jewish state the next year, and a lobbying campaign began to have him recognized by Yad Vashem.
This effort bore fruit in 1984, when Sugihara was granted the “Righteous Among the Nations” title.
Sugihara passed away less than two years later, at the age of 86.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) said on Friday, “Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat, saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust by providing visas to those fleeing Nazism.”
“Today, on the anniversary of his passing, we honor his memory,” it added. “The righteous among the nations will never be forgotten.”
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) published a video highlighting Sugihara’s deeds.
Israeli startup StoreDot said Wednesday that its ultra-fast battery charging technology can now be used to charge commercial drones in just five minutes, in what it says is a “world first.”
The company said the technology can help overcome a major barrier that is hampering drone development.
Today, it typically takes 60 to 90 minutes to charge a commercial drone, with a full charge giving a flight time of just over 30 minutes. As a result, drones spend far longer in the charging station than in operation — “an unacceptable level of downtime for any application,” the company said in a statement.
The technology will be “disruptive” for the drone industry, said Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot in a phone interview. If drones can be charged really fast, “then there is minimal downtime.”
Today, to overcome the problem of long charging times, additional batteries must be purchased and swapped between flights. This process is costly and requires a person on-site to replace the batteries, said Myersdorf, which defeats the autonomous operation of the drones and limits them to flights near charging locations that are easily accessible to humans.
All of this greatly reduces their operational efficiency and restricts their use in harsh or dangerous terrains — often where they could bring the greatest benefits, the company said in a statement.
“By reducing battery charging time to just 5 minutes – which is up to 18 times faster than existing drone batteries – and eliminating the need for human intervention, drone operators have far greater freedom about where they can site charging stations. As a result, continuous, fully-autonomous drone operation is finally being made a reality,” he said.
Israeli scientists have accidentally discovered a new way to predict the likelihood of cancer patients developing potentially life-threatening secondary tumors.
One of the biggest worries of cancer patients is that after the removal of their primary tumor, secondary tumors will develop. Such secondary growths — known as metastasis — are responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths, but it normally takes time after surgery until a pathology report gives patients an idea of their risk level.
Prof. Daphne Weihs told The Times of Israel her biomedical engineering lab at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has discovered how to use a special gel to give an instant assessment of how likely a patient is to develop a secondary tumor.
“Our method is more rapid, accurate and quantitative than pathology results,” she said.
Weihs said her method will prove “life-saving,” as accurate information is key to ensuring that patients are monitored correctly for their risk level, so that new secondary tumors are picked up early or prevented before they have a chance to develop. She claimed her innovation cuts down the chances of patients being told they are safe from secondary tumors when they aren’t, compared to pathology reports.
Weihs said that “like all the best science” the method was discovered unintentionally when her lab prepared a polymeric gel and placed cancer cells on it for general observation. “We made it to study interactions of aggressive cells with their environment and ran into an unexpected phenomenon.”
Modern inhabitants of Israel experience the Sharon Plain as a highly congested and intensely populated environment. For those approaching Tel Aviv from the north driving along Route 20, the Glilot Junction, which marks the last opportunity to turn inland before entering the traffic of the city, might not appear significant in any way.
However, it was in its immediate proximity, albeit in a very different landscape, that an iconic historical event took place over 800 years ago: on September 7, 1191, Christian forces led by Richard I of England, celebrated as “The Lionheart,” defeated the troops of An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, better known as Saladin, in the Battle of Arsuf.
While the confrontation represents one of the most famous events of the Third Crusade, the memory of its exact location had been long lost. Or so it seemed until Israeli archaeologist Dr. Rafael Lewis, using a combination of historical records, archaeological sources and innovative techniques, managed to pinpoint a specific area between Herzliyya, Kibbutz Shefayim and the villages of Rishpon, Kfar Shmaryahu, modern Arsuf and Arsuf-Kedem, as he explained in a recent paper in the Monographic Series published by the Tel Aviv University Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology.
“Our profession as archaeologists starts with researching time,” Lewis, a senior lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a researcher at Haifa University, told The Jerusalem Post. “In most cases, the discipline considers prolonged periods of decades, if not centuries. However, the area of battlefield archaeology focuses on events that last only a few hours or at most a few days, whose sites are therefore challenging to be investigated archaeologically.”
A leading Israeli archaeology professor claims that a handful of small male figurines associated with horse statues dating to the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, discovered in multiple sites from the ancient Kingdom of Judah, are in fact representations of the biblical Israelite God, Yahweh.
Hebrew University Prof. Yosef Garfinkel published his theory on Friday in an article for the popular archaeology-themed magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review, in its Fall 2020 issue.
“Yes, I think that people in ancient times believed these figurines to represent the face of Yahweh,” Garfinkel told The Times of Israel on Friday.
His theory was firmly rejected by all archaeologists who agreed to respond to Garfinkel’s premise. Some would not give it the time of day, while others said it is not coincidental that his article was printed in a mainstream magazine and not an academic journal.
“Unfortunately, this article is pure sensationalism that caters to popular, money-generating, demand, in presenting an unfounded and (at best) tentative identification as factual as he ignores existing professional research and studies, including avoiding reference to any of the publications by the excavators,” wrote Tel Motza excavation co-directors Shua Kisilevitz (Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University) and Oded Lipschits (Tel Aviv University), whose finds served as a major basis for Garfinkel’s article.
What has led Garfinkel to believe that he holds a statue of Yahweh in his hands is a combination of an anthropomorphic biblical verse from the Book of Habakkuk, the fact that neighboring nations in the biblical era had national gods, and the relative scarceness of male figurines made of clay such as the one his team uncovered at his Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, some 20 miles or 30 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem.
About a decade ago Garfinkel’s team discovered what he said was a rare male head at his Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation in a layer that he says is securely dated to the 10th century through over 30 radiocarbon dated organic samples.
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