September 24, 2020

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08/01 Links Pt2: Corbyn chaired antisemitic event comparing Israel to Nazi Germany in Parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day; Senior Muslim Brotherhood Official Touts Linda Sarsour’s Gaza Video

From Ian:

Jeremy Corbyn chaired antisemitic event comparing Israel to Nazi Germany in Parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day
An historian reviewing old reports has unearthed a 2010 account of Jeremy Corbyn using Holocaust Memorial Day to host an event promoting the narrative that Israel is engaged in acts comparable to Nazi war crimes. The event featured a slideshow decrying what it called the “Holocaust religion”.

The reports found by Dr James Vaughan, record that on 27th January 2010, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Jeremy Corbyn chaired and hosted an event in Parliament comparing Israeli actions in Gaza to the slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust. The event’s title, “Never again – for anyone”, appropriates the slogan “Never again”, which became the rallying cry of post-Holocaust Jewry.

Dr Vaughan, the Director or Undergraduate Studies at the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, rediscovered a reference to the event whilst reading through an old CST report on antisemitic discourse following the 2009 Gaza War.

Investigating further he found a contemporaneous article from The JC and an account of the same presentation being given a day earlier, in which it was reported that one of the speakers said: “Judaism in Israel has been substituted by the Holocaust Religion whose high priest is Elie Wiesel, Elie Wiesel having literally said that ‘Auschwitz is comparable only to the Sinai experience’ [when Moses received the ten commandments]. Its content [Holocaust Religion] is that we Jews have the monopoly on suffering, nobody has suffered or ever will suffer like the Jews have, therefore whatever we do to the Palestinians is less than what we suffered, and can be done without feeling guilty.” The speaker also claimed that Zionists were dehumanising Palestinians in the same way as the Nazis dehumanised Jews, for example through the infamous Nuremberg laws. The talk was given by Hajo Meyer, an Auschwitz survivor who, in his latter years, turned to abusing the memory of the Holocaust in the way most offensive to Jews, by claiming that “Zionists” were the successors of the Nazis.

The International Definition of Antisemitism, which the Labour Party has refused to adopt, states that “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic. It is little wonder that under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party has tried to adopt its own version of the definition which does not prohibit comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

CAA refers Labour Party to Equality Commission and issues new complaint against Jeremy Corbyn over “Holocaust religion” event and “hand of Israel” comments

Campaign Against Antisemitism has today written to the Labour Party issuing a disciplinary complaint against Jeremy Corbyn. We have also referred the Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission over discrimination and victimisation in the Party.

Our complaint against Mr Corbyn relates to an event he chaired on Holocaust Memorial Day in 2010 which deliberately compared Israelis to Nazis, and in which a speaker decried what he called the “Holocaust religion”. We have also complained about Mr Corbyn’s paid interview on Iranian-controlled Press TV (months after Ofcom had revoked its licence) in which he blamed “the hand of Israel” for an Islamist terrorist attack in Egypt, and called a Hamas terrorist a “brother” live on air.

We have also referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission over the Party’s refusal to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, failure to investigate previous complaints against Mr Corbyn, unreasonable delay and secrecy in disciplinary investigations, bias in disciplinary matters and victimisation of Labour MPs who stand up to antisemitism, including Dame Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin who have today become Honorary Patrons of Campaign Against Antisemitism in an act of solidarity.

The moves come after Labour ignored a fresh protest by British Jews in Parliament Square, with Mr Corbyn’s office sarcastically wishing Campaign Against Antisemitism “good luck” ahead of the demonstration, and revelations that NEC member Peter Willsman will not face disciplinary action despite a shouted tirade against “Trump fanatic” Jews and “falsified” antisemitism allegations.

Corbyn sorry for ‘anxiety’ over event he hosted when Israel was likened to Nazis

Amid the ongoing UK Labour Party anti-Semitism controversy, party leader Jeremy Corbyn apologized Wednesday for “concerns and anxiety” caused by an event he hosted at the House of Commons in 2010 in which a Holocaust survivor compared Israel to the Nazis over its actions in the Gaza Strip.

“In the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject,” Corbyn said in a statement quoted by British media.

“The main speaker at this Holocaust Memorial Day meeting was a Jewish Auschwitz survivor,” he added. “Views were expressed at the meeting which I do not accept or condone.

“I apologize for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”

Corbyn was a relatively unknown Labour MP at the time of the talk, in which anti-Zionist Hajo Meyer also took aim at fellow Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel.

Corbyn’s hosting of the event was first reported by The Times, which said it was part of a UK speaking tour called “Never Again for Anyone — Auschwitz to Gaza.”

Meyer’s speech was reportedly titled “The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes.”

Senior Muslim Brotherhood Official Touts Linda Sarsour’s Gaza Video

When Linda Sarsour speaks, a senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official apparently likes what he hears.

Gamal Heshmat shared an anti-Israel video by Sarsour on his Facebook page last Friday. In it, Sarsour glosses over Hamas’ role in coordinating the “Great March of Return” in May. She fails to inform viewers that the protesters used kite bombs, incendiary balloons, and rockets to try to attack Israeli civilian areas. She does speak about the death toll, however, noting that 50 Gazans died on May 14.

“[These] people didn’t choose to die. People were killed. They were massacred at the hands of snipers,” Sarsour said in the video, originally posted in May.

In reality, Hamas leaders took full credit for the violence, boasting that the overwhelming majority of casualties were members of the terrorist group. Subsequent Israeli analysis confirmed the Hamas claim.

“This is not peaceful resistance,” Hamas Politburo member Mahmoud al-Zahhar told Al-Jazeera on May 13. “Has the option [of armed struggle] diminished? No. On the contrary, it is growing and developing. That’s clear. So when we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.”

Heshmat belongs to the Brotherhood’s Shura Council, the legislative body that sets the group’s agenda. It isn’t clear what prompted him to post the two-month-old video Friday, but he tried to pretend the prominent Hamas role in instigating the violence was somehow a secret.

Michigan’s Regressive ‘Progressive’ Gubernatorial Candidate

While polls show him lagging in third place in a three-candidate primary, Abdul El-Sayed says that he will shock the political world on August 7 by becoming Michigan’s Democratic nominee for governor. He’s running an ambitious campaign that mirrors the success of political novice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in knocking off incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley last month in a New York primary.

El-Sayed, a 33-year-old Rhodes Scholar, earned his medical degree at Columbia University and ran Detroit’s public health system before seeking office. The Detroit News describes him as a “far-left Democrat” running on a Bernie Sanders-like progressive agenda.

Sanders endorsed El-Sayed last Wednesday, saying that the candidate would “fight for a government in Lansing that represents all the people, and not just wealthy special interests.” Ocasio-Cortez also endorsed him and agreed to campaign with him.

El-Sayed is trying to become the nation’s first Muslim governor. That might be a nice milestone. But his connections and actions over the years indicate that while his political agenda is “progressive,” his core beliefs are rooted in very conservative ideology.

For starters, his candidacy has been embraced by Linda Sarsour, a rabidly anti-Israel activist who looks up to extremist clerics and served as a key Sanders surrogate in 2016.

“This is the new face of democracy — fresh, young, progressive and unapologetic,” Sarsour wrote in a February 1 Facebook post. “He will not be deterred. The movement that has been built will not be deterred. Moving forward and on the way to making history. Abdul El-Sayed, we got you.”

Britain’s Labour Party tried to define anti-Semitism to satisfy critics. It didn’t go well.

It’s been nearly three years since Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, and he has riled British Jews more than any other politician in recent history.

Last week, Great Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers united in publishing a front-page editorial warning that a Corbyn premiership would constitute an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country.” In May, the previous president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said Corbyn has “anti-Semitic views” and that his rising popularity is making Jews ask if they have a future in the country.

This unprecedented rhetoric, accompanied by street protests against Corbyn by hundreds of Jews, follows his alleged inaction against, or tacit encouragement of, perceived increases in anti-Semitic speech within the party.

A hard-left politician who has called Hezbollah and Hamas officials “friends” whom he was “honored” in 2009 to host in the Parliament, Corbyn is widely accused of tolerating or ignoring anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Israel speech, among other forms of Jew hatred.

Recent revelations such as his defense in 2013 of an anti-Semitic mural, as well as membership around that time in Facebook groups rife with anti-Semitic discourse, have done little to improve his image.

Ironically, though, the worst crisis yet in his troubled relationship with the Jewish community is currently unfolding not over his party’s inaction on this issue, but over what Labour says is one of its major attempts at addressing the problem: the adoption this month of a four-page definition of what Labour considers anti-Semitism.

Jeremy Corbyn ally Pete Willsman apologises for rant about Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’

The senior ally of Jeremy Corbyn, who was exposed by the JC for claiming Jewish “Trump fanatics” are making false claims of antisemitism within Labour, has apologised and pledged to undertake “equalities training”.

Pete Willsman, a member of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), issued a statement after his comments caused widespread anger and dismay after a recording of them was given to this paper.

He launched into his angry rant at the NEC’s July 17 meeting, where it adopted a code of conduct on Jew-hate and rejected the internationally-recognised definition of antisemitism, triggering a huge row.

But in Mr Willsman’s statement – which is believed to have been made after consultation with Mr Corbyn’s office – he also claimed that antisemitism was not “widespread” within Labour.

On Tuesday evening, Mr Willsman said he was “sorry” and “deeply regretted” his behaviour, which led to calls for Mr Corbyn to expel from the party.

Labour MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin become Honorary Patrons of CAA

The Rt Hon. Dame Margaret Hodge MP and Ian Austin MP have today become Honorary Patrons of Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Their appointment is a demonstration of the very considerable gratitude felt by the Jewish community for their uncompromising and principled stance against antisemitism in society and in politics.

Throughout their parliamentary careers, as well as in recent days, both Dame Margaret and Mr Austin have confronted antisemitism without fear or favour.

Dame Margaret’s parents and Mr Austin’s father were refugees from the Nazi onslaught. Their families taught them how antisemitism had transformed seemingly-civilised European society into the society which committed some of mankind’s most appalling crimes, and instilled in them a firm sense of justice and the determination to fight bigotry wherever they saw it. As MPs both Dame Margaret and Mr Austin led successful campaigns to vanquish the far-right British National Party in their respective constituencies of Barking and Dudley North. Both are now facing disciplinary action by the Labour Party for remonstrating with the Party’s leadership about antisemitism that has now become rife in the Party.

Dame Margaret and Mr Austin join other public figures as Honorary Patrons of Campaign Against Antisemitism, including Sir Eric Pickles, Lord Mitchell, Lord Ahmed, Lord Carey, Baroness Deech and Col Richard Kemp.

Following Outrage, Netflix Nixes Plan to Air Laudatory Louis Farrakhan Documentary

The online streaming giant Netflix said it would not air a documentary that celebrates the life of Nation of Islam leader and prominent antisemite Louis Farrakhan.

An initial plan to release the film was promoted by Farrakhan on Monday, who tweeted, “On August 1st, watch the premiere of my music documentary ‘My Life’s Journey Through Music’ on @netflix.”

On August 1st, watch the premiere of my music documentary “My Life’s Journey Through Music” on @netflix. #LetsChangeTheWorld
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) July 31, 2018

Following outrage from a number of leading Jewish groups on Tuesday morning, a Netflix spokesperson later told Fox News that the initial announcement was due to “an internal miscommunication.”

“This film will not be released on Netflix,” the spokesperson said. “We apologize for any confusion this has caused.”

Farrakhan has a decades-long history of antisemitic statements. He resurfaced earlier this year with a particularly violent rant delivered on May 27, in which he blamed Jews for everything from gay marriage to controlling former President Barack Obama, referring to the “Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan.” labeled Jerusalem as an ‘Israeli settlement’

The online travel reservation service amended its definition of the city of Jerusalem as an “Israeli settlement” following a critical query from a Belgian Jewish newspaper.

The Amsterdam-based company acted on Tuesday, a day after Michael Freilich, editor in chief of the Joods Actueel newspaper in Antwerp, asked the firm about its characterization of the capital city, he said.

“I thought it was a hoax until I checked it out and saw it with my own eyes,” Freilich said of his verification of a tip by one of his readers. has not responded to Joods Actueel’s query, Freilich said, but fixed the subject of his query within a few hours of his sending the email. Jerusalem is now shown as being in Israel on

Most of the world’s countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even with the US recognition in December. However, Israeli sovereignty in the western part of the city is internationally recognized. Israel’s control over the eastern part, which the Jewish state annexed in the 1980s, is disputed and seen as illegal by many countries and international organizations, including the European Union and the United Nations.

Amnesty International says employee targeted with Israeli spyware

An Amnesty International employee has been targeted with Israeli-made surveillance software, the human rights group said Wednesday, adding to a growing number of examples of Israeli technology being used to spy on human rights workers and opposition figures in the Middle East and beyond.

In a 20-page report, Amnesty outlined how it thinks a hacker tried to break into an unidentified staff member’s smartphone in early June by baiting the employee with a WhatsApp message about a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

The London-based human rights organization said it traced the malicious link in the message to a network of sites tied to the NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance company implicated in a series of digital break-in attempts, including a campaign to compromise proponents of a soda tax in Mexico and an effort to hack into the phone of an Arab dissident that prompted an update to Apple’s operating system.

Joshua Franco, Amnesty’s head of technology and human rights, said the latest hacking attempt was emblematic of the increased digital risk faced by activists worldwide.

“This is the new normal for human rights defenders,” Franco said.

NSO said in a written statement that its product was “intended to be used exclusively for the investigation and prevention of crime and terrorism” and that allegations of wrongdoing would be investigated. In response to a series of written questions, the company said past allegations of customer misuse had, in an undisclosed number of cases, led to the termination of contracts.

NGO Monitor: French Government Support for BDS Summer Workshops

On August 22-26, 2018, “The solidary and rebellious summer university of citizens and social movements” will take place in Grenoble, France. The summer institute is organized by 70 organizations, including many that support politicized anti-Israeli campaigns against Israel such as BDS France, Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (PFP), Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD-Terre Solidaire, la Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH), and Oxfam France.

This event, which is funded by France’s Agency for Development (AFD) and the Grenoble municipality, will focus on “the creation of activists and new audiences” and the “convergence of organizations.”

Participants will take part in dozens of workshops such as “Done with the European Union! But how and what else?,” “How to investigate multinationals?,” “What are the responses of social movements to the authoritarian and neoliberal powers in place?,” “Free trade in Africa, an economic neo-colonialist construct,” “How to resist creatively? Action and civil disobedience training,” and “Rethinking governmental assistance to development – In order to achieve the decolonization of North-South solidarity, rethink development aid by focusing on the achievements / successes of South-South cooperation.”

NGO Monitor: UN High Commissioner Echoes Biased NGO Rhetoric

At the 390th meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian on July 23, 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein made many highly biased statements echoing the offensive language and false claims of politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs).1

A number of his remarks adopted tendentious NGO claims on the violence along the Israel-Gaza border. Since the violence began on March 30, 2018, NGO Monitor has systematically documented the unverified and inflammatory allegations made by human rights organizations. These statements single out Israel and ignore human rights abuses – such as the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, use of human shields, targeting of Israeli civilians by rockets, deliberate burning of Israeli agricultural fields, etc. – perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups. Many of the NGO statements also falsely characterize Palestinian combatants as civilians, failing to disclose their affiliations to terror groups (information often provided by the groups themselves).

For example, Zeid stated that the situation along the Israel-Gaza border “almost exploded into a serious conflict triggered by the killing of an Israeli soldier and the subsequent killing of four Palestinian civilians.” At least three of the “civilians” killed were actually members of Hamas (as confirmed by the organization) engaging in violence.

Zeid also referred to the “root cause of the demonstrations” as being the “grossly inadequate conditions inflicted on Gaza residents by occupation and 11 years of blockade by Israel.” Zeid’s use of the terms “occupation” and “blockade” are incorrect both factually and legally. In addition, no blame for the situation in Gaza was attributed to Hamas and its misappropriation of aid for terror.

NGO Monitor: UK House of Commons Investigates Civil Society’s Most Heinous Offenses

On July 31, 2018, the UK House of Common’s International Development Committee published its investigative report on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector.

The report was commissioned in February in response to highly disturbing allegations against employees of Oxfam International and “misconduct by staff involved in its humanitarian response in Haiti.” Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Oxfam employees – including the Country Director, Roland Van Hauwemeiren – were found to have procured prostitutes, some of whom were reportedly underage.

It also emerged that Oxfam had known about the incidents for years and failed to report them to government authorities in Haiti or the UK. Furthermore, Van Hauwemeiren was given a “phased and dignified exit” when he left his post at Oxfam, and then went on to work as head of mission for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh. Prior to working at Oxfam, Van Hauwemeiren had also worked at the medical charity Merlin (now part of Save the Children).

In parallel to the Oxfam scandal, further allegations emerged about Save the Children UK and UN peacekeepers and civilian personnel, including “sex for food” schemes.

Jewish Student Leader: Anti-Zionists at John Jay College Isolating Jewish Peers Over Israel

Anti-Zionist activists at John Jay College in New York City are socially ostracizing Jewish students as part of their campaign against Israel, a student leader told The Algemeiner.

The criminal justice school — whose approximately 15,000 students are part of the City University of New York system — has around 300 Jewish undergraduates and a similarly small community of pro-Israel voices, said Natalie Segev, a rising junior and incoming president of the campus Hillel.

The Jewish group makes an effort to host events that educate students about Israel — a mission made more difficult because it’s “blacklisted” at John Jay.

“There [is] a group of clubs who will not co-sponsor events with us, and the clubs who do will receive heavy push-back for collaborating with Hillel,” Segev explained. The ban — spearheaded by members of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club — does not only impact events related to Israel or Zionism, the movement for Jewish national self-determination.

“Events promoting environmental protection, discussing the supremacy march in [Charlottesville, Virginia], and Jewish cultural events were subjected as well,” she observed.

IsraellyCool: Shashi Naidoo Continues To Dig Herself a Bigger Hole

It’s official. Shashi Naidoo may now think Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison, but the inside of her head probably contains even more air.

Naidoo gave an interview after returning to South Africa following her ban from entering Israel, and let’s just say she does not seem like the sharpest tool in the shed (but a tool, nonetheless).

“Highlights” include:

  • “After going there and seeing everything you see, you can’t unsee that”. Yes, except you did not even actually see anything BECAUSE YOU WERE BANNED FROM ENTERING!!
  • Admitting she was warned before the trip that she would not be allowed to enter – yet still went and even dragged her mother along!
  • “All palestinian borders are controlled by Israeli authorities or military.” What is Egypt (which controls Gaza’s southern border) – chopped liver?
  • Speaking of the palestinians in a Jordanian refugee camp having one square foot to sleep. Which is patently false and ridiculous – unless you are about one foot tall.
  • Admitting she now supports BDS and claiming people had told her it is a “terrorist organization” (this is also not true; she was told it is antisemitic, not terrorist)

Los Angeles Times Misreports on Israel’s Nation State Law

In an online news story as well as in an editorial in recent days, The Los Angeles Times has misreported Israel’s new nation-state law.

The July 18 online news story by Noga Tarnopolsky (“Israeli parliament passes bill defining country as the nation-state of the Jewish people“) erred: “The Israeli parliament passed a controversial bill . . . granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities and downgrading Arabic from an official language to one with a ‘special status.’”

In fact, the clause which would have enabled Jewish-only communities (7b) was struck from the bill before the vote. The law that passed does not allow for “Jewish-only communities.”

While the inaccuracy about Jewish-only communities does not appear in The Los Angeles Times print version of the same article (“Israeli law sparks debate on status of Jews, Arabs,” July 20), it is repeated in the July 20 editorial (“Israel’s new ‘Jewish state’ law,” in print and online). The editorial erroneously refers to the law passed Thursday that “grants advantages to Jewish-only communities.”

Two fake Zionist quotes in the Irish News

Today, The Irish News – based in Belfast, Northern Ireland –published a letter with two ‘quotes’ by Zionist leaders.

The letter (published, for some reason, twice within the last month), which attempts to refute a previous letter praising Israeli democracy, includes the following paragraph, designed to discredit not only Israel’s democracy, but Zionism itself.

The thinking behind Zionism can be illustrated by the speech of David Ben Gurion, (prime minister of Israel 1949 to 1954 and 1955 to 1963) when he told his followers: “We will expel the Arabs and take their place.”

However, research by CAMERA quite a few years ago clearly demonstrated that the words “We will expel the Arabs and take their place” – suggesting Ben-Gurion favoured the ethnic cleansing of Arabs – represented the opposite of the truth. Here’s what Ben-Gurion actually wrote in the letter in question.

“We do not want to and we do not have to expel Arabs and take their place.”

Serialised propaganda, omission and inaccuracy on BBC R4’s ‘Book of the Week’

Throughout the five episodes listeners heard Israelis described as “settlers” (regardless of their place of residence in Israel) and “colonisers”. Notably, all the Israeli voices in the dramatisation were done in a bizarre quasi-American accent – regardless of where they were born – which implied that they were ‘foreigners’. In episode two listeners heard the story of Shehadeh’s visit to a plant nursery in which he asked how the owner – described as a woman from Canada – “could establish her nursery on land expropriated from villagers who were now forced to live in crowded refugee camps with no land to cultivate for themselves” and accused her of ‘exploiting’ the land.

Listeners also heard a context-free account of the beginning of the second Intifada – described as “futile” rather than wrong – and justification of terrorism:

“Israel was fighting for the retention of this land. We were fighting to end the occupation in accordance with international law which gave us the right to resist.” [episode three]

“…the human and political issues that led these young men to brutally kill themselves, and others, in despair.”

In episode three listeners were told that Shehadeh’s father had been “murdered…by a collaborator working for Israel” even though it was later admitted that “no-one was ever charged”.

In episode five listeners heard the wave of Palestinian terrorism which began in the autumn of 2015 described thus:

“This uprising was different. There was no unified leadership guiding these young men and women. They had no political platform or concrete demands. They simply improvised ways of resisting. Some of these were non-violent, others violent involving the stabbing of not only soldiers but also innocent Israelis. The Israeli government responded with violence, defining all resistance as terrorism.”

Anti-Zionist graffiti, Palestinian flag painted on French synagogue

Graffiti reading “no to Zionists, no to Israel” was painted on a synagogue in western France.

The vandalism discovered Saturday at the main Jewish house of worship in the coastal city of Le Havre, 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Paris, also included stickers displaying the Palestinian, Lebanese and French flags on the building’s entrance.

In 2016, bullet holes were found in the mailbox of the same synagogue, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, noted in a statement Tuesday. BNVCA called on authorities, who have no suspects in custody for either incident, to “do everything in their power” to bring the culprits to justice.

“Anti-Zionist rhetoric targeting Israel that is placed on a synagogue confirms that anti-Zionists are notorious anti-Semites,” BNVCA wrote.

The Nazi Children’s Book You Can Still Buy on Amazon: A Review

In the wake of a 2-week-old report detailing Amazon’s sales of burning-cross onesies and children’s backpacks featuring Pepe the Frog in an SS cap, many neo-Nazi- and KKK-influenced products are no longer for sale on the site. However, you can still buy a backpack featuring Pepe the Frog as a Muslim in a turban, and you can still buy The Fable of the Ducks and the Hens, an anti-Semitic 1959 children’s book written by George Lincoln Rockwell.

Rockwell—whose career as a children’s book author began after he dropped out of college, served in the military, and cycled through careers as an artist, graphic designer, advertising executive, traveling salesman, and founder of a magazine aimed at army wives—found his purpose as the founder of the American Nazi Party. That was when he self-published this not-so-veiled rhyming parable (you know, for kids!) about sinister chickens plotting to take over the world. It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. It is also available for free all over the internet, since it seems that neo-Nazis are not fervent defenders of intellectual property. I chose the version written in Comic Sans that spells Rockwell’s name wrong. But all the versions have similar garish, caricaturish illustrations, originally credited to one Robert Edwards, that feel inflected by both old Warner Bros. cartoons and World War II anti-Jewish propaganda imagery. There are several YouTube iterations of the book as well, one uploaded by the subtly monikered “Six Million 4 Truth.”

The plot concerns itself with a happy village of ducks that is suddenly disturbed by a group of hens fleeing an unspecified atrocity.

Secret concert held in Jewish ghetto re-enacted in Jerusalem

Seventy-five years after the Jews in the Kovno (Kaunas) Ghetto orchestra in Lithuania held a clandestine concert, it was re-enacted in Israel on Monday.

During the Holocaust, the Jewish police force in the ghetto would hold concerts as a means of maintaining normalcy, with tacit Nazi approval, holding the events in a building used by the Slabodka Yeshiva.

But one concert was held without the German authorities’ approval: a Zionist-themed concert held on July 24, 1943.

The concert brought together rival Zionist groups in the ghetto, which sang together about the return to the Land of Israel, in eastern European melodies as well in what they referred to as Yemenite tunes.

The concert was carried out to mark the anniversaries of the deaths of Zionist leader Theodor Herzl and famed Jewish poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, who died on the same day 30 years apart. The orchestra contained some of the most prominent Lithuanian musicians prior to the war.

“The ghettos in Europe were awash with rumors in late 1942 that a Jewish state had been founded in the Land of Israel,” said Dr. Lea Prais, a leading scholar at Yad Vashem.

“They were just rumors, but the fact that we had a Zionist concert at this point attests to the strong yearning at that point [for a Jewish state].”

US House Speaker Paul Ryan learns of Jewish roots

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan was surprised and proud to find out he has Jewish roots.

The Wisconsin Republican discovered his family history while filming a segment for the upcoming season of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.”

Gates said Tuesday at a TV critics meeting that he traced Ryan’s heritage back to his 10th great-grandfather, born in 1531 in Germany. The research showed Ryan is 3% Ashkenazi Jewish.

“You could have knocked him over with a feather, and then he was very proud of it,” Gates said of Ryan’s reaction. “We don’t know who that Jewish person was, but we know it was on his mother’s German line, which makes sense. So somebody who was a Christian German slept with a Jewish German person and that’s where that came from.”

UK’s Mimecast buys Israeli cybersecurity firm Solebit for $98M

Leading British email and data security company ‎Mimecast announced Tuesday that it has acquired ‎Israeli security software developer Solebit for some ‎‎$88 million in cash and $10 million in noncash ‎assets. ‎

This is Mimecast’s first investment in Israel.

Founded in 2014 by cybersecurity ‎experts Boris ‎Vaynberg and Meni Farjon, Solebit provides “a fast, accurate ‎and computationally efficient ‎approach for the ‎identification and isolation of ‎zero-day malware and ‎unknown threats in data files ‎as well as links to ‎external resources,” according to its website.‎

It provides cybersecurity services for global ‎‎financial organizations, ‎the high tech sector, ‎security vendors, ‎cloud and telecom service ‎‎providers as active ‎customers.‎

The London-based Mimecast, founded in 2003, ‎specializing in ‎cloud-based email management for ‎Microsoft Exchange ‎and Microsoft Office 365.‎ Solebit, which is headquartered in Herzliya, ‎employees 35. The company will become ‎Mimecast’s local research and development center in ‎Israel. ‎ ‎ ‎”Security methods like signature-based antivirus and ‎sandbox detonation are too limited when it comes to ‎today’s most advanced threats. It’s time for a more ‎capable, efficient and durable approach,” Mimecast ‎CEO Peter Bauer said in a statement‏

Israel’s Nucleix gets funding from EU for lung-cancer kit

Israeli startup Nucleix Ltd., a maker of kits for cancer detection and screening, said Monday it had obtained €2.5 million ($2.9 million) in funding from a European program.

The EIC pilot SME Instrument Phase 2 European program seeks to support fast-growing and innovative small and medium enterprises that have international ambitions. The program is part of the Union’s Horizon 2020 initiative, an €80 billion funding program managed by the European Commission and dedicated to innovation and research.

Nucleix got the program’s funding for a Lung EpiCheck screening diagnostic blood test it is working on for the early detection of lung cancer, the startup said in a statement.

The test identifies and analysis subtle changes in DNA patterns, to help distinguish between cancer and healthy cells, and thus help detect tumors.

“We are extremely proud to have been found worthy of the Horizon 2020 EIC pilot SME Instrument Phase 2 funding, especially since the competition was intense,” said Opher Shapira, PhD, CEO of Nucleix. “This recognition confirms the potential of our disruptive technology and validates our ambition to become a global leader in the detection and screening of a variety of cancers.”

New study offers hope of recovery from spinal-cord injury

An Israeli study shows great promise for improving the outcome of spinal-cord injuries, which often cause permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions.

In experiments with mice, scientists from Tel Aviv University found that injecting a potent enzyme hours after spinal injury can put the brakes on a cascade of pathological events responsible for neuronal death, such as inflammation and scarring.

“Primary mechanical damage to spinal-cord tissue kills a certain amount of neuronal cells. But there’s secondary damage due to the release of excess glutamates, which are responsible for additional functional disability,” explained Dr. Yona Goldshmit of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University.

“The main idea is to reduce the secondary damage as soon as possible — to block the body’s natural reaction to spinal cord trauma. This is the role of the enzyme injection we devised,” he said.

Leading tech figures declare Israel the ‘epicenter of magic’

Why sit behind a desk all day when you can explore Israel and meet experts in your field at the same time? That’s where REALITY Experience, an initiative by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, comes in. The program, which offers 12 distinct journeys, each with its own unique focus, “brings inspiring influencers from around the globe on a transformative journey through Israel to reignite their passion and potential for repairing the world.”

JNS was invited to meet with some of the participants of Emerging REALITY, a program described on its website as “a transformative leadership experience in Israel specifically designed for leaders in the areas of augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision, blockchain and immersive media creation who appreciate the value of collaboration, camaraderie and imagination.”
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Ted Schilowitz, a futurist at Paramount Pictures, was full of energy and enthusiasm when he sat down with JNS. “This is quite a week. It’s like a summer camp,” he said. “It’s not just to see Israel, but to learn Israel, to really understand what makes it tick. And to see, from the particular bent of this group, why Israel is such a hotbed of innovation, startup culture, startup mentality and why the output of success is so high. I thought I had good insight on that, but now, after the first couple of days [on this trip], I have a much better insight on this.”

Schilowitz related a story from years ago when he was interviewed by a magazine in Silicon Valley. When asked where he thinks the best innovation in the world comes from, he replied, “I know you want me to say Silicon Valley, but I’m telling you it’s not Silicon Valley. It’s this little strip of desert in the Middle East that really has made the most relevant tech of our generation. And what is ironic is that the countries that surround that little strip of desert are often trying to eradicate it from the planet using all the technology that was developed by that little strip of desert. … And it’s troubling to me that those [countries] don’t realize that this is a jewel. It has to be treasured, regardless of your political dynamics, because you can’t execute anything without this little strip of desert. It’s fascinating, and it’s probably only getting started.”

7 Israeli companies that have gone international

These days, all companies want to move beyond their borders as foreign markets offer plenty of room to grow.

From adapting social strategies to translating content across multiple languages, there are a number of things that companies need to accomplish to succeed in international markets. Most companies understand competition can become stiff – especially in unknown waters. But, by taking positive steps to overcome various obstacles, these companies can flourish and create a solid presence for themselves internationally.

Global presence is possible for any company with a creative marketing strategy and an understanding of the various international markets. To give you an idea of what great expansion looks like, we’ve gathered a list of seven Israeli brands that have gone international.

SeatPick is a ticket price comparison site that allows visitors to find sport, concert and theatre event tickets across Europe in one place. With SeatPick, visitors can search and compare tickets from the largest and safest markets to obtain the best value for money. With their easy-to-use technology, SeatPick aims to create a simple ticket buying experience, that not only makes buying a ticket easier but also saves the user from having to search all over the web. Their technology presents visitors with a fairer solution when searching for tickets, by being transparent and informing visitors of exactly what they are paying for – so there won’t be any surprises or hidden fees when it comes to paying.

Reggae, Rastafari love and politics from Ziggy Marley in Tel Aviv

Somewhere between a pulsating, dynamic party and an optimistic political rally, Ziggy Marley brought his unique performance to Tel Aviv on Tuesday like only he can do.

In the intimate atmosphere of the Barby club, a staple of Tel Aviv’s music scene, a very enthusiastic crowd awaited him anxiously and was not afraid to express their love for the veteran Jamaican reggae star all throughout the concert.
“Shalom Tel Aviv, Rastafari love! Alright let’s do this!” That’s how he greeted his audience; they enthusiastically replied “We love you Ziggy!” before starting his show with “I Will be Glad,” from his new album Rebellion Rises.

In fact, most of his two-hour performance presented new material, only occasionally interspersed with older songs or covers by his famed father, Bob Marley.

Marley hit close to home for the young, liberal Tel Aviv crowd who were practically ignited by the second song, “See Them Fake Leaders.”

The audience didn’t stop cheering through the verses “See dem fake leaders/ in the place of power they sit./ From religion to politics/ riding a wave of fear./ Starting fires/ they don’t care./ Making enemies out of friends/ killing thousands, hundreds and tens./ If only they could lead/ the world to peace and prosperity.”

The political theme continued with the next song, “World Revolution,” heating up the crowd even more – talking about peaceful solutions, a new generation and, well, a world revolution.

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