March 24, 2023

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08/13 Links Pt2: Major US Academic Association Votes Down Resolution to Boycott Israel; How Ilhan Omar’s Politics Set Her against Liberal Muslims

From Ian:

Major US Academic Association Votes Down Resolution to Boycott Israel
A controversial resolution promoting an academic boycott of Israel was narrowly voted down at a prestigious social science academic association over the weekend, The Algemeiner learned on Monday.

The resolution, which was co-authored by Melissa Weiner, an associate professor of sociology at the College of Holy Cross, and Johnny E. Williams, a professor of sociology at Trinity College, called on the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) to “promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by academic institutions, and place pressure on your own institution to suspend all ties with Israeli universities, including collaborative projects, study abroad, funding and exchanges.”

However, the resolution failed by a vote of 34 to 37 on Saturday.

“The conversation on the proposed resolution was civil by and large, even though the issue was quite contentious,” William Cabin, vice president of SSSP during the vote, told The Algemeiner. “We are pleased by our membership’s conduct throughout the conversation and vote.”

Ezra Temko, a sociologist at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who opposed the BDS resolution at the SSSP meeting, wrote that “The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel is an ugly campaign that stands in opposition to social justice.”

McCarthy to Post: Omar and Tlaib pulling Democratic Party away from Israel

The difference between the Democratic and Republican parties on Israel is that while mainstream Democrats support the Jewish state, among Republicans, the whole party does, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

And the problem with the Democrats, he asserted, is that members such as congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) are – with their statements and actions – pulling the party away from Israel.

“I think they are the wave of the Democratic Party,” said McCarthy, currently in the country leading a group of 31 Republicans on a week-long study tour organized by an AIPAC affiliated charity. He cited a current poll saying that the most sought after endorsement for Democratic candidates in the upcoming election is – first of all – any former Democratic president, and “the next in line is AOC.

“This is concerning to me,” he said. “They are not a few freshman anymore. They are the movement within the party.”

McCarthy noted that the Republican-controlled Senate passed an anti-BDS bill known as S.1 – Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 – in February by a vote of 77 to 23, with Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer co-sponsoring the bill, and 21 Democrats voting for it.

But it did not move in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Instead of bringing the bill to the floor, the Democratic leadership was only able to bring to a vote an anti-BDS resolution, which passed by a landslide margin of 398-17. But, McCarthy stressed, there is a world of difference between a bill and a resolution.

A bill, if it passes both the Senate and the House, then goes to the president to be signed into law. A resolution is just a resolution. “A resolution is a statement, a law is binding,” he said.

Richard Epstein: Israeli Lessons for Mass Shootings

The only strategy that has a fair chance of success to reduce, but never stop, all mass killings, starts from the opposite end. It is beyond dispute that gunmen utilize the element of surprise. It has long been known that most of the death and destruction of a mass shooting takes place before any police or security team has time to arrive. Killers open the door and they start shooting: no warning, no mercy, no pause. Speed is the essence of any police response. Better that a single officer enter the fray immediately than wait even ten seconds before reinforcements can pitch in.

Yet the police cannot be everywhere, so they need reinforcements before they arrive, not afterward. One way for this to work is to make sure that in every mass gathering there are already present trained, armed individuals who can confront any assailant the instant an attack begins. To achieve that goal, there must be an immediate reversal of current policy and the implementation of something similar to current Israeli practice, which states simply enough: “All off-Duty Combat Soldiers Must Carry Their Weapons.” The United States should adopt a similar policy, which applies to the military, police officers, and others who carry and use weapons as a routine part of their job. It is clear that the risk of a terror attack is lower in the United States than in Israel. Indeed, of the 39,000 gun deaths in 2016, only 451 were from mass killings. But the grisly list of mass killings is bad enough. The trend, moreover, has been upward over the last half-dozen years. The public’s frustration and outrage are palpable.

The immediate response from armed individuals already on the premises could do much to deter crazed individuals from making these attempts. They could engage in return fire that could kill or wound the attacker or induce him to flee. And the benefit of this boots-on-the-ground policy is not limited to mass shootings. To be sure, it will be of little use in cases of suicide or domestic disputes. But it could help deter various forms of stranger assaults that take place on public streets or places, like airports, schools, parks, and shopping malls. There is always the risk that the return fire will be misdirected, but the same is true of the actions of SWAT teams that burst belatedly on the scene.

After all, just what is the alternative? The common proposals today all call for more top-down restrictions intended to keep people from acquiring dangerous weapons in the first place. These proposals tend to ignore the impressive array of federal restrictions already in place. Here is a partial list: the National Firearms Act of 1934, which taxes various gun transfers; the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, which initiated a five-day waiting period before any individual could acquire a gun; the Child Safety Lock Act of 2005; and the National Instant Criminal Background Check Act of 2007.

How Ilhan Omar’s Politics Set Her against Liberal Muslims

At a recent public event, Representative Ilhan Omar was asked by a liberal Muslim activist if she and her fellow speaker Representative Rashida Tlaib would condemn female genital mutilation (FGM). Omar, rather than answering, announced that the question “disgusted” her and that she wanted “to make sure the next time someone is in an audience that they ask us the proper questions.” Since then, Omar has found herself in an extended Twitter spat with the former Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan—who has herself received fierce criticism for posing with her Israeli counterpart, and has called the congresswoman anti-Semitic. Nervana Mahmoud explains why Omar’s particular synthesis of Islamic radicalism with American liberalism puts her permanently at odds with other Muslims:

Ilhan Omar represents a new generation of Islamist. . . . She quotes passages from the Quran in her tweets, and proudly wears the hijab as a sign of devotion to orthodox Islam, but then cherry-picks some aspects of liberalism, such as opposing the death penalty, favoring abortion, and supporting gay and transsexual rights. Such a liberal-orthodox mix aims to appeal to progressive Westerners and fit in with their anti-Trump agenda, while maintaining popularity with her Islamist base.

Omar does not directly support radical Islamist groups, but, like other Islamists, she refuses to admit the ideological link between Islamism and [terrorism]. Ilhan prefers to blame [terror on] oppression and American policies—a common line shared by Islamists and Western progressives. Those who oppose [those strains] of Islamic theology that sanction terrorism and other barbaric practices such as FGM . . . can be a thorn in the side of both camps.

Ilhan Omar is not a liberal Muslim with a headscarf; she is an Islamist with a deceptive liberal cover who aims to alienate real progressive Muslims, and to present herself and her Islamist [allies] as useful voices in the fight against Donald Trump.

LA Times: Is California’s Draft Ethnic Studies Curriculum Anti-Semitic?

The number of hate crimes against Jews in California increased more than those against any other group in 2018, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. That doesn’t include the gunman’s attack on a synagogue in Poway in April. The number of hate crimes against Muslims was less than half that of those against Jews.

But don’t expect to find information about anti-Semitism in the draft of a “model curriculum” for teaching ethnic studies in public high schools in California. There’s a long list of the kinds of hatred that have oppressed minority groups in California, including bigotry against Muslims and transgender people, but anti-Semitism is curiously missing.

This curriculum makes a mockery of the very good an ethnic studies course should attempt to bring about, with its efforts to inculcate an agenda rather than encourage diversity of opinion. It encourages students to study the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel as one of various worthy social movements. Nowhere does it acknowledge that this is a controversial movement with many opponents, or that it also would cut off Israeli scholars.

Israel Is Not an ‘Apartheid’ State — Here’s the Proof

Since the claim that Israel is an apartheid state was broadcast in 2001 in Durban, South Africa — the land where I was born and raised — pro-BDS scholars have purposefully misused the word to describe Israeli society. As a result, we are seeing growing numbers of professors and policymakers who have been subjected to this educational malpractice, and who are now influencing the next generation with these lies about the Jewish state.

In an effort to stop the proliferation of the “Israeli apartheid” myth, here are some corrective facts:

1. Two million Palestinians are citizens of Israel, with full rights as citizens. There are Palestinians in the Knesset and on Israel’s Supreme Court. Palestinian and Jewish professors work side by side in Israeli universities, and doctors and nurses work in integrated settings in Israel’s hospitals, including the world-famous Hadassah Hospital. The same is true of every business and profession in Israel.

2. Most Palestinians living in the disputed territories do not wish to become Israeli citizens.
According to a 2017 poll by The Washington Institute, there has been a dramatic drop in the proportion of Palestinians in East Jerusalem who say they would choose Israeli citizenship over Palestinian citizenship. Furthermore, many Palestinians do not want their own state alongside Israel, but an independent state that includes the land compromising present-day Israel.

Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, reports that Palestinian support for a two-state solution is at its lowest since the Oslo Accords in 1993, with only 43 percent of Palestinians living in the West Bank endorsing the idea, and violence against Israel being viewed as appropriate by more and more younger Palestinians.

Indeed, based on data gathered by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Since September 2015, Israel has experienced a wave of terror perpetrated by individuals, many of them very young.” The Ministry cites 76 Israelis killed and 1,187 wounded by Palestinian terrorists since September 2015 in stabbings, shootings, and vehicular attacks.

Are Terror Groups Recruiting on College Campuses?

The legal think tank Zachor Legal Institute has filed a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, asking for an investigation into possible terror recruitment activities at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

The Department of Education also announced on June 17 that it will investigate an anti-Israel conference held in March at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, after multiple reports surfaced that showed pro-terrorist and antisemitic propaganda constituted the bulk of the seminar’s content. Published reports indicate that the same anti-Israel groups active on Duke University’s campus — Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Coalition for Peace With Justice — were also involved with this controversial campus event.

Last April, during Duke’s “Israel Apartheid Week,” SJP provided representatives of Florida-based Dream Defenders and Eyewitness Palestine with access to the campus to teach students about a supposed linkage between the Black Lives Matter movement and the “Palestinian struggle.” Videos show Eyewitness Palestine spokespeople claiming that Israel targets innocent “black and brown people” for torture and death, while recruiters counseled the students that it was their “duty” to fight for the lives of all people of color in their “transnational movement for black lives.”

This “transnational movement” runs a training camp in an area of the Middle East controlled by Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), where willing participants are transported to be trained by “resistance leaders.” Videos and reports show recruiters urging students to travel as a delegation to refugee camps in Ramallah for in-home visits with leaders of the PFLP. The local Coalition for Peace with Justice reportedly covers the travel expenses.

Students from Duke and from North Carolina Central University enthusiastically described on video their own “transformational” meetings at the homes of leaders of the PFLP back in 2017. They presented themselves as active participants, rather than merely conveyors of information, for the PFLP. Because students met with leaders of a foreign terror organization, as opposed to rank-and-file members, they may put themselves in legal jeopardy.

Settlers defiant after Canadian court rules their vineyards aren’t in Israel

Vered Ben Sa’adon’s grandmother Liesje de Vries lived in Holland when the Holocaust arrived in her native land. She survived the war by scurrying from one hiding place to another.

Three generations later, Ben Sa’adon co-owns a boutique winery in the West Bank settlement of Rechelim, whose products can be found in selected stores in the US, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada. The vintages produced by the Tura Winery proudly state, on the front label, that they are “from the Land of Israel.”

But two weeks ago, the Federal Court in Ottawa issued a ruling that could keep her products off Canadian shelves if she doesn’t agree to change the label.

Challenging a previous decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Judge Anne L. Mactavish determined that labels describing wines made in the settlements as Israeli products are “false, misleading and deceptive.” Allowing the wines to be marked as “Made in Israel” does not fall “within the range of possible, acceptable outcomes which are defensible in respect of the facts and law,” she determined. “It is, rather, unreasonable.”

Ben Sa’adon, who runs the business together with her husband, Erez, vowed not to change a single letter on her labels, even if it means losing out on lucrative business deals.

Temple Mount “Worshippers,” Palestinian and Jewish

Notably, the Reuters caption above notes the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha but fails to mention that the day also marked the solemn Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples which stood on that very site. It is the Jewish day of Tisha B’Av which drew the Jewish visitors to the spot, and thus the Jewish date should have been mentioned, especially given that the caption did note the Muslim holy day.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of Muslims observing the festive holiday of Eid al-Adha and some 1700 Jews observing Tisha B’Av all ascended to the Temple Mount, the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred site in Judaism. Angered by the notion of Jewish visitors to the site during the Muslim holy day, Muslims clashed with Israeli police. As the Associated Press reported (“Muslims clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem holy site“):

Large numbers of Palestinians had gathered at the gates of the compound early Sunday after rumors circulated that police would allow Jewish visitors to enter the site. The protesters chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and threw stones at police, who then charged into the compound while firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets.

Israeli police had initially barred entry to Jewish visitors, but reversed their decision after the clashes broke out and allowed them to enter. Several dozen entered the site under close police escort and Muslim worshippers began throwing chairs and other objects at the group. The Jewish visitors left the compound shortly thereafter.

As for the second category of non-worshippers misidentified as worshippers, both AP and Reuters published numerous cpations inaccurately characterizing Muslims engaged in violence against Israeli police as “Palestinian worshippers.” Clearly, those engaged in stone-throwing and shouts at the police (“With our soul and blood we will redeem you, Aqsa,” per this Reuters story) are rioters, not worshippers.

UKMW prompts Guardian to restore omitted paragraph on Palestinian violence

Yesterday, we posted about an Associated Press (AP) article published at the Guardian about Temple Mount clashes instigated by rioting Muslim worshipers objecting to a small number of Jews who were initially allowed to visit their faith’s holiest site.

Our analysis showed that, based on a review of other news outlets that published a version of that same AP article, the Guardian was the only outlet that omitted AP’s paragraph noting the Palestinian violence which caused the clashes.

Here’s the paragraph in question, omitted by Guardian editors:

Large numbers of Palestinians had gathered at the gates of the compound early Sunday after rumors circulated that police would allow Jewish visitors to enter the site. The protesters chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and threw stones at police, who then charged into the compound while firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets.

We complained to the Guardian, arguing that the omission of this edifying paragraph was extraordinarily misleading.

Later that day, the Guardian readers’ editor upheld our complaint, and restored the deleted paragraph:

BBC WS radio news confuses audiences with politicised terminology

Leaving aside that description of the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar as a “holiday”, we see that the BBC has returned to its past habit of complying with PLO instructions by naming the place its style guide says should be termed “Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif” as “the al Aqsa Mosque”.

Moreover, although under post-1967 agreements non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site during limited hours but are prohibited from praying there or displaying any religious symbols, the BBC nevertheless erroneously referred to “the entry of Jewish worshippers” – i.e. people participating in a religious ceremony – to the site.

That choice of terminology is even more bizarre given the BBC’s claim that those “Jewish worshippers” were “marking a Jewish holiday at the same site” – which according to the BBC is a mosque.

As we see yet again, the BBC’s employment of politicised terminology rather than correct place names serves only to confuse its audiences.

Sunday morning political propaganda on BBC Radio Scotland

Magnusson then gave the cue for some overt political comment:

Magnusson: “What’s your sense of the political situation now and where might it be heading next?”

Shehadeh: “It’s a very difficult time now because of, you know, the American government is giving Israel a carte blanche to do whatever it wants and the Israeli government, which is dominated by settlers, is taking that licence to grab as much land as it can and destroy as much of the landscape and the beauty of the landscape by building more and more settlements.”

Not only is the currently inactive cabinet not “dominated by settlers” but Shehadeh’s allegations of ‘land grabs’ and “building more and more settlements” – along with a subsequent claim that Israel makes “attempts at making [Palestinian] people leave” – are patently false.

Magnusson however again failed to make any effort whatsoever to challenge those blatant falsehoods and closed the item shortly afterwards with yet another misleading reference to “fifty years of occupation”.

In short, BBC Radio Scotland audiences heard twelve minutes of entirely predictable yet totally unquestioned political propaganda which not only failed to “help people understand” the subject matter but actively hindered that BBC obligation.

Reuters Corrects on Gay Marriage in Israel

Notably, Ha-Aguda does not characterize same-sex marriages carried out in Israel as “illegal.”

Gay marriages, like all marriages involving Jewish citizens which are performed outside the Rabbinate (including intermarriages, non-Orthodox weddings, and even traditional weddings carried out by a rabbi not recognized by the Rabbinate) are not recognized by the state, but are not illegal.

A 2013 Reuters report included a more accurate description of unrecognized, heterosexual Israeli weddings carried out outside the rabbinate’s auspices:
[Non-Orthodox] Weddings such as Sharon’s fall into a legal no man’s land. They are not against the law, but neither are they recognized as valid by the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for registering marital status on the national identity card every Israeli is required to carry.

In response to communication from CAMERA, Reuters acknowledged the error and corrected on, a project of Thomson Reuters, and on the company’s parent site, The corrected wording now accurately reports:
Gay marriages are not against the law, but neither are they legally recognised as valid in the country of 9 million, although weddings performed abroad are recognised.

In addition, the two sites also include a note prominently at the top of the articles alerting readers to the change.

Why Is Patrick Coffin Turning a Blind Eye to E. Michael Jones’s Antisemitism

Patrick Coffin, a prominent Catholic commentator, wants us to believe that the image of super-intelligent and uber-aware commentator that he has presented in scores of videos over the past decade is not who he really is. He made this clear last week in a “Tweet” he posted in response to an article about E. Michael Jones, a notorious theological antisemite whom Coffin has fawningly interviewed three times on his podcast “Coffin Nation” since August 2018. During his appearances, Jones has spoken about horror movies, the decadence of modern architecture, and Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

In response to the article, which declared that Catholic YouTubers (like Coffin) who have Jones on their shows “should be ashamed of themselves,” Coffin responded defensively, declaring, “Sure, I’m supposed to know about and agree with 100 percent of every past statement made by every guest I have on—and I certainly must agree with your take. Kindly go away.”

Coffin suggests that he was somehow unaware of Jones’s anti-Jewish animus, and that even if he did know about these statements, it would be OK for Jones to appear on Coffin Nation because he didn’t “agree” with Jones’s antisemitism.

With his suggestion that he did not know about Jones’s past statement(s) about the Jews, Coffin would have us believe the impossible.

Jones is an inveterate and notorious Jew-hater and has been for years. Jones’s writings and public statements indicate he has a two-fold agenda: Put Jews back into the ghetto and gays back into the closet. Even a cursory search on Google or Amazon (where Jones’s books are sold) would reveal the anti-Jewish nature of his work. The ADL complained about him in 2013 and even if Coffin did not trust the ADL’s reporting, he should have done some digging on his own.

MEMRI: Copenhagen Imam, Indicted In 2018 For Calling To Murder Jews In Sermon Translated By MEMRI, Says In New Friday Sermon: Every Single Muslim Leader Serves American, ‘Crusader’ Interests

Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah said in a June 21, 2019 Friday sermon at the Al-Faruq Mosque in Copenhagen that Muslims, their blood, their honor, and their holy places are no longer inviolable. He said that Jerusalem is occupied by the Zionists, who he said are spreading corruption, and he said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is spreading heresy, immorality, and promiscuity in Mecca and Medina. Imam Abdallah said that “Crusader flames are engulfing Muslims” throughout the world and that the blood of Muslims flows in rivers.

Claiming that all Muslim rulers have become the “spearhead” for the “crusade” against Muslim lands, he criticized Iran for “serving” the American “crusade” in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and he criticized Saudi Arabia for being “shoes on America’s feet” and for conspiring against the Syrian revolution. Imam Abdallah went on to criticize the UAE and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed for inviting the Pope to hold mass in the Arabian Peninsula and for normalizing relations with the Jews. The sermon was uploaded to Imam Abdallah’s YouTube channel and to the Al-Faruq Mosque’s Facebook page.

On July 24, 2018, Imam Abdallah was indicted in Denmark for calling for the murder of Jews in a Friday, March 31, 2017 sermon that had been translated and released by MEMRI. It was reported on July 25 that Imam Abdallah had resigned. News reports from across Europe on the indictment credited MEMRI with exposing Imam Abdallah. He has also said in his sermons that “jihad necessitates the conquest of Europe” (see MEMRI TV clip no. 6689 Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah Calls For Jihad To Invade And Conquer Europe, Adds: Filth And Vileness Of Jews Reflect Their Immutable Nature – Archival) and that “a caliphate, which will instate the shari’a of Allah… will liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Zionists” (see MEMRI TV clip no. 6013 Copenhagen Friday Sermon: Imam Cites Antisemitic Hadith, Says: Soon Caliphate Will Uproot Colonialist, Crusader Jewish Entity). Read the full MEMRI report here.

“All The Muslim Leaders… Have Become The Spearhead Of The Crusade Against The Muslim Lands”

Mundhir Abdallah: “The Muslims are no longer inviolable. Their blood is no longer inviolable. Their honor is no longer inviolable. Their holy places are no longer inviolable! Our first Qibla and the final destination of the Prophet’s nocturnal journey [Jerusalem], which is the place from where the Prophet ascended to Heaven, and which is our third holiest place, is occupied by the Zionists, who spread corruption in it. At the same time, in the holiest place, in the first mosque ever built, in the Qibla of all the Muslims – the place of the Kaaba – and also in Medina, the city of the Prophet, [Mohammad] Bin Salman is spread heresy, immorality, and promiscuity. The Crusader flames are engulfing the Muslims in the East and in the West today, and the blood of the Muslims flows in rivers. The crusaders run riot in the lands of the Muslims.”

German man to face charges for questioning Holocaust at concentration camp

A German man will face criminal charges for allegedly denying the Holocaust during a visit to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial site near Berlin, German prosecutors announced on Monday.

In a report by German news agency Deutsche Welle, the man is from the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany and was part of a group that visited the camp in July 2018 from the Lake Constance constituency of Alice Weidel, leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), which has been in the German parliament since October 2017.

A spokesperson for AfD said Weidel was not aware of the group’s visit.

The group reportedly visited the camp under a scheme funded by the German government to allow voters to visit MPs in Berlin. The visiting group was instructed to leave after some members began disputing the truth of the Holocaust.

Their guide reportedly asked the group to leave the camp after some denied the existence of gas chambers.

The man has been accused of hate speech and “disturbing the peace of the dead.” Prosecutors initially wanted to charge a second person but the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

Denying the Holocaust or crimes committed by the Nazis is a criminal offense in Germany.

Norway’s public broadcaster apologizes for ‘Jewish swine’ cartoon

Norway’s public broadcaster has apologized for airing a cartoon in which a Scrabble player forms the word “Jewish swine.”

NRK initially defended the video, which was pulled offline this month, against allegations of anti-Semitism out of its desire to “defend the freedom of speech,” NRK broadcasting manager Thor Gjermund Eriksen told the Aftenposten daily, but ”occasionally you cross the border and it may happen again.”

Amid an outcry over the July 2 video, NRK’s entertainment director, Charlo Halvorsen, told Aftenpost that “it is not anti-Semitic.” NRK said it was inappropriate some three weeks later.

In the cartoon, a gray-haired man wearing a yarmulke and dressed conspicuously Jewish is playing Scrabble with a younger man in shorts. The Jewish man is frustrated over how long his opponent is taking to construct a word.

The camera switches to the young man’s point of view to reveal that he has constructed the word “Jewswine” (one word in Norwegian). The young man sighs in frustration as the Jewish player taunts him over his Scrabble skills.

The startup that turns cow patties into clean energy

The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rises every year, and with it, the need for alternative, renewable fuel solutions. Sustainable Green Technologies, or SG Tech, is an Israeli company working on a better solution for waste disposal in the livestock industry that would simultaneously provide a better source of fuel and fertilizer.

In the United States alone, livestock animals produce over a billion tons of waste annually. This waste is generally stored in lagoons or left outside to decompose, where it causes terrible odors, harmful air pollutants, contamination of soil and water, and a significant release of methane and nitrous oxide — two greenhouse gases with a high global-warming potential.

The clear and immediate consequences of improper waste disposal have resulted in a rise in waste treatment research, particularly biogas production.

“You can take cow manure and use the material as fertilizer without any prior treatment, but when you turn the material into biogas, you get two or three products out of one raw material. When you take the manure and treat it, you solve the problem of smell and contamination, and then you get energy and also fertilizer,” says Daniel Madar, a reusable energy specialist who consulted for SG Tech on a governmental project.

While SG Tech is certainly not the first company to use bovine waste as a source for fuel, most conventional methods for biogas production generally take a lot of time and produce large amounts of digestate — wastewater containing high concentrations of nutrients and salts.

Israeli Start-Up Develops Biodegradable Plastic

An Israeli start-up has designed an alternative to plastic packaging. The packaging is made up of biodegradable material that is 100% compostable.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Arrives in Israel, Meets With Israeli President Rivlin

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who is on a visit to Israel, met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday. Sandberg presented the president with a signed copy of her book Option B, the Israeli Government Press Office said in a statement.

“I admire him for standing up for diversity and kindness across the country,” Sandberg wrote on her Facebook page.

On Wednesday, Sandberg will hold an open-to-the-public event in Tel Aviv dedicated to the launch of the local office of her organization, Lean In, which is focused on promoting gender equality in the workforce. At the event, Sandberg will be speaking to Rachel Ben Shoshe, who heads Lean In’s Israel office.

Also on Wednesday, Sandberg is set to inaugurate Playground, Facebook’s new space in Tel Aviv. Playground will host activities and events for the local tech industry, as well as a program for mid-stage startups that have already raised funds and proven that there is demand for their products, the company said in a statement.

Ethiopian-Israeli Delegation Heads to Addis Ababa to Compete in a Tech Event

A delegation of young Ethiopian-Israelis working in the Israeli tech sector arrived in Addis Ababa on Tuesday to partake in the annual SolveIT innovation competition run by Addis Ababa-based tech company iCog Labs. US-based Kudu Ventures, the firm sponsoring the Israeli delegation, made the announcement. As part of the competition, participants will pitch their products to Ethiopia-based investors and receive mentorship from local entrepreneurs. The competition, which takes place August 13-16, is funded by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Israeli delegation are all members of Tech-Career, a local non-governmental organization that operates as a tech training center for Israel’s Ethiopian community. The delegation will be participating in a two-week intensive tech startup boot camp while visiting Ethiopia, which includes a reception with the President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, visits to several incubators, and a pitch event with potential investors.

Data published recently by the Adva Center, a Tel Aviv-based non-partisan Israeli policy analysis center, shows that the Ethiopian community in Israel is the poorest minority group of Israeli Jews, with 23 percent of Ethiopian households defined as poor compared to 13 percent in the country’s general Jewish population. In 2016, the net monthly income for an Israeli-Ethiopian household was NIS 11,250 (approximately $3,150), according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, substantially less than the average monthly income for the entire population standing at NIS 15,751 (approximately $4,400) for all households in Israel.

Casspi returns to Maccabi Tel Aviv after decade in NBA

Israeli forward Omri Casspi is returning to local basketball powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv after a decade-long career in the NBA.

Casspi, 31, has agreed on contract terms with the Tel Aviv squad he began his career with, the team said on its official website on Tuesday.

The announcement marks an end to Casspi’s run as the first Israeli in the world’s premier basketball league, which saw the journeyman play for several teams, including on a 2018 Golden State team that would go on to win a championship without him.

“The truth is that I am very excited. I did not believe I would be this excited,” Casspi told Maccabi’s official website. “I am returning home, returning to Maccabi Tel Aviv. I got here for the first time when I was 13 years old. I am proud and excited to be wearing the Maccabi jersey with the Star of David on the back. This is a very big privilege.”

His salary wasn’t immediately confirmed, but Hebrew-language media reported he would make $1.2 million or $1.3 million in his first year. Reports last month said the three-year contract would be for $3.2 million.

Casspi has also been named the new team captain upon signing with Maccabi and will reportedly receive a job at the Euroleague powerhouse after the contract expires.

A Peek into Jerusalem’s Pilgrim Road

A few weeks ago, a political dispute erupted following the opening of the so called “Pilgrimage Road” in the City of David. The opening event included U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friendman and the U.S. Middle East Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt. Our reporter Shelby Weiner went to have a close look on this historic site.

The happiest man on earth: 99 year old Holocaust survivor shares his story | Eddie Jaku | TEDxSydney

In this beautiful and moving talk, the self proclaimed “happiest man on earth”, Eddie Jaku shares his story of love and survival at TEDxSydney 2019. Eddie Jaku was a Jew living in Germany at the outbreak and throughout the duration of World War II. His story of survival spans 12 years, from

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