September 27, 2021

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09/20 Links Pt2: A definition of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism; A Dangerous Mix of Truth and Fiction

From Ian:

Obama: Israel cannot ‘permanently occupy, settle Palestinian land’
US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that while the Palestinians should reject terror and incitement, Israel must recognize that it cannot “permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”
“Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel. But Israel must recognize that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land. We all have to do better,” the US president said at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
In his wide-ranging address, Obama sought to use his last appearance before the global body to define how his leadership had put the world on a better trajectory over the last eight years. At the heart of that approach, Obama said, is the notion that conflicts are best solved when nations cooperate.
The president cited his administration’s outreach to former adversaries Cuba and Myanmar as key examples of progress. He also cited the resolution last year “of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy” as a key achievement over the past eight years.
In his address, Obama spoke of a “less violent” and “more prosperous” world but one rife with “uncertainty, unease and strife,” as nations struggle with a devastating refugee crisis, terrorism and a breakdown of order in the Middle East.
“Despite enormous progress, governing has become more difficult, and tensions are more quick to surface,” he said, adding that the world now faces a choice, to “press forward with a better model for cooperation and integration, or retreat into a world that is sharply divided.”

David Collier: Stupidity, The Hinde Street Methodist Church and Israel

It’s the 19th September 2016. My attention was drawn this week to an exhibit in London at the Hinde Street Methodist Church. An exhibition that seeks to enlighten Londoners about ‘what it is like to cross a checkpoint everyday’. It is called “You cannot pass today”. It is based on ‘checkpoint 300’, a crossing between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Odd really. Even internal European travel can be problematic, and just a few weeks ago I stood for over an hour in a queue at an airport. Not sure what ‘experience’ Londoners are lacking. Borders can be frustrating. We all know that.
Yet Hinde Street Methodist Church decided that it wishes to divert funds from a deserving cause so yet another exhibition against Israel could go ahead.
I was busy preparing for the new academic year. Soon, I will be moving from campus to campus, talking to students, trying to understand the hate. Then Hinde Street knocked on my door. I decided to go and see what they wanted me to learn.
The event apparently is part of the “World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel”. I found information on this from ‘The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF)’ which judging from their stated goal of ‘ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories’, is just another one sided anti-Israeli movement hiding under the umbrella of a church group.
The information packs are the usual fare. The action card instructs you how to lobby your local MP, begging them to blame Israel. The section on additional resources lead with Mondoweiss and the Electronic Intifada. Let’s face it, this is one sided hatred of Israel dressed up in the costume of the local priest.

Richard Millett: Anti-Semitic comments show the Method in the Methodists’ Madness.

I went to Hinde Street Methodist Church’s exhibition in London about Israel’s security checkpoints today expecting something on the scale of the St James’s Church’s lifesize reproduction of Israel’s security barrier outside their own church in 2013 which cost £30,000 to construct. Hinde Street Church’s reproduction, however, was more of an IKEA job.
First, all of the exhibition was inside the church and second, the checkpoint was made from simple plywood with various negative commentaries about the wall, including quotations from the Bible, attached to it.
There were also real photographs of Israeli checkpoints, some sort of jenga section and three prayer stations for silent contemplation.
Third, the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies had spent the weekend persuading the church to accept as part of the exhibition literature (including two big boards) explaining why the security checkpoints are so necessary (see below).
The exhibition didn’t seem to be busy (it runs till friday) but the ZF/BOD literature will be effective in countering those unsuspecting members of the public who wander in. My hunch though is that the exhibition will only attract real Israel haters coming to have their views on the Jewish state confirmed.
David Collier and I sat at a prayer station in discussion with two elderly British women for about 15 minutes. We played dumb about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the women proceeded to tell us, inter alia, that Israel has an “unkind society” and that Israel in the West Bank is akin to Putin conquering the Ukraine and transporting Russians there.

Communists Against Jews: the Anti-Zionist Campaign in Poland in 1968

Travellers at Dworzec Gdanski, a train station in the north of Warsaw, may notice a plaque that says: ‘Here they left behind more than they possessed.’ Put up in 1998, it commemorates the departure of thousands of Polish Jews who, 30 years earlier, were forced to leave the country for no other reason than their being Jewish. Organised by the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR), the anti-Zionist campaign of 1968-1971 destroyed a Jewish community which had only just re-established itself after the Holocaust. It was a gruesome example of left-wing antisemitism inflected as ‘anti-Zionism’.
The assault on the Jews teemed with declarations against antisemitism. On countless rallies, people carried signs that read ‘Antisemitism – No! Anti-Zionism – Yes!’ Yet of the 8,300 members expelled from the Communist party, nearly all were Jewish (Blatman 2000, p. 308). Almost 9,000 Jews lost their jobs and hundreds were thrown out of their apartments (Wolak 2004, p. 73). The regime allowed Jewish citizens to leave the country under two conditions: they must revoke their citizenship; and they must declare Israel as the country of their destination. Thereby the regime legitimised the purge in the most cynical fashion: Why would these people go to Israel if they hadn’t been Zionists all along?
Many Jews seized the opportunity. Whereas in April 1967 only 29 applied for exit visas to Israel, the number rose to 168 one year later and reached 631 in October 1968 (Szaynok 2009, p. 156). Estimates for how many Jews left Poland between 1968 and 1971 vary. The most conservative holds the number to be 12,000; earlier estimates believed that more than 20,000 were forced out of the country. The correct figure might lie somewhere in the middle, about 15,000 (Eisler 2009, p. 42). Fewer than 30 per cent ended up in Israel, with the rest going to other countries, including Sweden, France and the United States.

A definition of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism

The definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in May 2016 mentions, among its various illustrations, several examples of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism. Yet the definition mainly focuses on anti-Semitism against Jews, not Israelis. The more one applies the original IHRA definition, the more one realizes that a special definition for anti-Israeli anti-Semitism is required.
The following text may be used as a first draft for organizations or countries who wish to adopt such a definition.
The definition of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism, in line with the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, could read:
“Anti-Israeli anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Israel which may be expressed as hatred toward Israel and Israelis, or discrimination against them. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism are directed toward Israel or Israeli individuals and or their property, and toward Israeli facilities.”
The following examples may serve as illustrations.
Manifestations might include targeting the state of Israel in a way that is not aimed at any other country, such as by labeling policies of products from Israel or the disputed territories. However, criticism of Israel, similar to that leveled against any other country, is not anti-Israeli anti-Semitism.

Michael Lumish: This week on NOTHING LEFT (Sept 20, 2016)

3 min Editorial: Netanyahu’s Facebook videos
9 min Sharene Hambur, Zionism Victoria
39 min Ron Jontoff-Hutter, from Berlin
50 min Tim Wilson, MP
1 hr 06 min Barry Shaw, Jerusalem Post journalist, on Palestinian elections
1 hr 41 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem

JPost Editorial: Trump and the Jews

Two conclusions can be reached from the in-depth and superbly documented report about Donald J.
Trump’s ties with the Jews by Michael Wilner, The Jerusalem Post’s Washington bureau chief.
The first is that Trump is no antisemite. Despite claims by people like Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz that antisemitism in the Republic Party “goes straight to the feet of Donald Trump;” despite Trump’s controversial statements; and despite the support he receives from people like antisemite and white power supremacist David Duke, the presidential hopeful is a philosemite who has had intimate relations with Jews throughout his life. If anything, he sees Jews as a group of smart, successful and generally powerful deal-makers – traits which he himself seeks to emulate.
The second conclusion is that Trump can potentially do more to distance himself from people like Duke and some members of the alt-Right who voice antisemitic and racist sentiments.
In his comprehensive report on “Trump and the Jews,” Wilner documented what he referred to as Trump’s “affirmative prejudice” for Jewish people.
Trump has donated generously to Jewish philanthropic institutions such as the Jewish National Fund and United Jewish Appeal; he has throughout his business career surrounded himself with Jewish lawyers, executives and accountants; and there is no reason to question Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and campaign adviser, when he said recently in defense of his father-in-law that Trump is “an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife.”
Nevertheless, Trump’s handling of several controversies related to Jews during his campaign has made him vulnerable to claims like the one leveled at him by Wasserman Schultz.

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t a “nice guy” – he’s an apologist for racists and bigots.

He talks piously of fighting against racism, standing up against discrimination wherever he finds it – and yet he stood mutely by while one of his own MPs, Ruth Smeeth left a press conference announcing the Chakrabarti Report’s findings in tears after being tormented by Mark Wadsworth, a well-known far left Labour activist. Incidentally, Smeeth is now under police protection after receiving death threats and antisemitic abuse.
There’s a clear pattern here. The far left is full of people who are at best muddle-headed and, at worst, outright bigots, especially and most notably when it comes to Jews and support for antisemitic terrorist groups who seek Israel’s destruction. They express views that are rightly seen as unacceptable in 21st century Britain. The far left’s insistence that it stands against injustice and discrimination makes it both nauseatingly self-righteous and stubbornly resistant to self-examination for its failure to tackle the bigots in its own ranks.
Yet the Labour Party’s supine leader will seemingly do nothing – absolutely nothing – to confront or to shun these people as it would impede what he sees as the greater objective, i.e. opposing so-called “Western Imperialism”, which Israel, a liberal democracy and close ally of the United States, is seen as irrevocably a part of.
I suspect that’s the deeper reason why he wouldn’t stand on a platform with David Cameron – because to Corbyn, a Tory Prime Minister is simply beyond the pale, while anyone who opposes the West is automatically morally superior regardless of anything else they’ve actually said or done. He puts politics ahead of standing up to bullies and racists.
Until he stops sharing platforms with dubious characters and stands up to unacceptable attitudes in groups like Momentum, he will remain an apologist for racists, bigots and antisemites. It’s about time that some of his supposedly morally upstanding supporters stopped defending him as “a nice guy” and called him out on it.

In first, Corbyn says Israel ‘has right to exist’ under ‘1948 agreement’

Challenging accusations of a weak response to growing anti-Semitism within his ranks, spurred in part by what many perceive as his own anti-Israel sentiments, embattled UK Labour leader Jerermy Corbyn faced members of London’s Jewish community on Sunday in the last debate of a closely fought internal election for the leadership of the party.
In his first such comments, Corbyn said that he supports Israel’s right to exist, based on Israel’s “original border,” a reference that presumably meant without Israeli control over the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza.
“Yes,” he said in response to an audience question, “Israel has the right to exist. I support the right of the State of Israel to exist, under the agreement of the original borders of 1948.”
In the past, Corbyn has responded to inquiries as to whether he thinks the State of Israel has the right to exist by saying that he and his party back a two-state solution.
It was not entirely clear which “agreement of the original borders of 1948” Corbyn was referring to in his remarks Sunday. The UN partition plan of 1947 recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states, Arab and Jewish, but the borders in the plan were very different from those that Israel controlled by the time war ended in March 1949. Israel accepted the Partition Plan while the Arab states votes against the proposal.

UK Labour’s Corbyn and Smith joust over antisemitism in debate

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his challenger Owen Smith debated antisemitism in the party Sunday evening at a forum organized by the Jewish Labor Movement.
According to The Jewish Chronicle, both candidates in the Labour primary scheduled for later this week pledged to support a rule change that was proposed by the Jewish Labour Movement to make sure that antisemitism would be classified as a disciplinary offense within the party.
The debate comes at a time when the Labour party has fallen under suspicion of antisemitic tendencies that are currently being investigated.
A question regarding Israel supporters’ place in the movement was received by both candidates positively.
Corbyn mentioned that Jewish participation was and continues to be a part of the foundation of the Labour movement. Smith said that he would create a stance of “zero tolerance for” antisemitism within the movement, whether supportive of Israel or not.
The debate became heated with a question posed to both participants asking whether they consider themselves Zionists and believe that Israel has a right to exist.

Labour leader won’t say whether Livingstone will be removed

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to say whether the movement will kick out one of its biggest offenders in terms of anti-Semitism, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, JTA reported Monday.
The incident occurred Sunday as Corbyn spoke about Livingstone and other issues connected to allegations of anti-Semitism in his party during a debate with Owen Smith, who is challenging Corbyn for the party’s leadership, at London’s JW3 Jewish community center.
Livingstone caused an uproar several months ago when he told the BBC in an interview that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism – comments which resulted in his suspension from Labour.
Livingstone has repeatedly refused to apologize for the comments, even after being harangued as a “racist, Hitler-apologist” by an MP from his own party.
When asked by a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews whether Labour intends to expel Livingstone, Corbyn was circumspect at Sunday’s debate which was attended by hundreds.

Dangerous Mix of Truth and Fiction

This morning I took a look at this video, Israeli settlements, explained in 8 minutes by Johnny Harris. I found it to be a very dangerous mix of truth and fiction.
First of all, it begins its narrative rather late in History, 1948, crediting the United Nations with trying to help Great Britain to solve the problem between the Jews and the Arabs. It totally leaves out the very necessary/important/crucial fact that Britain was mandated/instructed/given the areas by the League of Nations in 1922, on the condition that they, the British, facilitate the establishment of a Jewish State there, Transjordan- the area on both sides of the Jordan River. No surprise, but no mention is made of that fact and the British invention of Jordan* which was stage one of how the Brits sabotaged the assignment.
Another term/fact left out is that the Jordanians illegally occupied the so-called west bank after the 1949 ceasefire. It was only recognized by two countries, Britain and Pakistan.
Also, Johnny Harris skips the crucial fact that the 1967 Six Days War was a result of coordinated Arab threats and aggression against Israel by an alliance of four Arab countries, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan, with the cooperation of the United Nations. He gives the impression that it was initiated by Israel. And of course he leaves out the background of constant terror against Jews by Arab even before the establishment of the State of Israel. According to International Law and historical precedent, border changes due to a defensive war are legal, and that is how the 1967 ceasefire lines should be seen.
In addition, the various villages, towns and cities where Jews live in Judea, Samaria, also the Golan and Jordan Valley (which Harris does not mention by name–another example of how he simplifies) were approved and/or established by the State of Israel.
Harris does mention that Arabs can drive on the new modern roads, but he leaves out that Jews are forbidden to drive on “Arab” roads. Also, he gives the distinct impression that only Arabs have to go through “checkpoints,” when all vehicles are stopped/checked, Jewish, too. We wait on the same lines. And those checks are to prevent terrorism and uninspected agricultural products from entering. Remember that if going into the USA, you can’t bring even an apple from abroad.

‘Anti-Israel’ course reinstated at UC Berkley after campus controversy

Just one week after the University of California, Berkeley, suspended the student-led course, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” the Bay Area university has decided to reinstate the controversy-raising class, according to The Guardian.
The university reinstated the course claiming it does not cross the line into political advocacy and organizing, claiming it is purely educational.
The original decision to suspend the course was made last week after Dan Mogulof, the university’s assistant vice chancellor, charged that the course didn’t comply “with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review and approval of proposed courses for the DeCal program.”
The DeCal program, according to California Jewish news, J.Weekly, features classes taught by students with a faculty sponsor supervising.
Shortly after the course began, the UC Berkeley Hillel as well as Hillel International accused the course of antisemitism, urging UC Berkeley’s president, Janet Napolitano, along with administrators to condemn the course.
A joint statement between Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhut and Berkeley Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman explained, “Any perusal of the syllabus will show that this is a one-sided course which puts forth a political agenda.”
“It does not tell the truth. It ignores history. It ignores facts, such as the inconvenient one that Jews have inhabited Israel for 3,000 years. This course seems to be a matter of political indoctrination in the classroom and is a violation of the newly adopted principles by the UC regents on intolerance.”

BDS activist attacks Canadian Jewish Defense League chief

Police arrested and charged a suspect in the assault of a Canadian Jewish Defense League leader in Montreal.
The alleged assailant was charged last week with assault in the August incident, the Canadian Jewish News reported Friday. The name of the accused will not be revealed until an upcoming court appearance, in accordance with Canadian law.
JDL director Meir Weinstein of Toronto and a small entourage were at the controversial World Social Forum on August 10 to protest its perceived pro-BDS and anti-Israel content when they were confronted near a forum venue, according to the Canadian Jewish News.
Weinstein alleged that he was “punched in the face” by someone known to be associated with local pro-BDS activities. The incident was later posted on YouTube.
The video shows one of the BDS activists snatching flyers away from one of the JDL team. As Weinstein and others stepped in to restore order a fist can be seen flying in and hitting Weinstein on the face.

Daphne Anson: Academic Who Dreams of Israel’s Demise Takes US Students on Free “Trip of a Lifetime”

So who precisely did fund this trip? Swarthmore? Soros? CAIR? …
There is a podcast interview here by Joelle Hageboutros of this extremist Swarthmore group with three participants in the trip.
If you can be bothered to listen to this depressing piece of Israel-bashing (the photo below is a clue to the slant) you will notice that Ms Hageboutros states that the trip was organised by Atshan “in conjunction with Boston College and fully funded by Swarthmore” (which conflicts with the information given by Carrie Compton).
The interview shows how much these young participants have been brainwashed by the “peace activists” with whom they came in contact.
Though I suspect, that at least one of the interviewees needed little encouragement to become a “useful idiot”.

Alumni: An Untapped Resource Against BDS No Longer

A group that I helped form, Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), has begun organizing alumni nationwide to restore their respective alma maters to what they should be: civil marketplaces of ideas, and spaces that soundly reject hate speech, including antisemitism. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel has had a head start, and many students, professors and administrators are already intimidated.
Why focus on alumni? Because, we are in a unique position to make a difference. We alumni care about our schools. We provide them with financial resources, good will and, in many cases, our children. Plus, no one grades us, and we’re not worried about tenure. We can freely speak our minds.
ACF is neither “right wing” nor “left wing;” all we ask is that the academy return to being the academy, that scholars return to being scholars, and that schools stop substituting shrill political activism for education. Under these conditions, where controversial matters can be approached truly fairly and objectively, we believe that Israel, and Jewish students in general, will hold their own.

CAMERA Fills In the Richmond Times-Dispatch on U.S. Aid to Israel

In his letter, “Will Johnson cut aid to Israel,” (September 7) Mark Siegel misleads readers by omitting key aspects about aid to Israel. Although he briefly mentions cutting military aid packages to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it is clear that it is Israel which his missive targets.
Siegel claims that “in these fiscally lean times at the national and local levels, the American people deserve to know if we would continue to give Israel aid to the tune of $10 million per day.” Yet, he fails to disclose that nearly 75 percent of that aid is spent in the United States—helping boost American jobs and industry.
Joint programs with Israel—designated a major non-NATO ally—have led to advanced weapons systems, which the U.S. benefits from. As a result of aid to the Jewish state, the U.S. has access to Israeli-developed technology. For example, the Iron Dome defense system—created by an Israeli company—which helped repel short-range rocket and mortar attacks during the 2014 Hamas-initiated war. In exchange for U.S. assistance with funding, Israel agreed to hand over rights to the system to American weapons manufacturers “for the defense of the United States by American forces,” as the Israeli Ambassador stated at the time.
The U.S. benefits in other significant ways that go unmentioned by Siegel who calls aid packages to Israel “repugnant,” but fails to express similar levels of concern about U.S. aid to other nations.
Other Israeli-developed technologies include unmanned aerial vehicles, decoys to confuse enemy radars, tank armor to repel fire and armored tiles to protect from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)—all of which save U.S. lives.

BBC amplifies UN criticism of Israeli PM without providing relevant context

As ever, the BBC compromises its own impartiality by failing to inform its audiences of the existence of alternative opinions on that particular issue of ‘international law’. Neither are readers told that more than half of those touted “463 housing units” are accommodation for senior citizens and that they, like the rest, are located in regions which, under any reasonable scenario, would remain under Israeli control in the event of an agreement.
But the most remarkable feature of this BBC report is that while it provides amplification for censure from Ban Ki Moon and Mahmoud Abbas, it makes no effort whatsoever to inform audiences of the facts behind the statements which are the subject of that criticism.
In 2010 Mahmoud Abbas told journalists:
“We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it,”
He repeated that message in 2013:
“Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Six Days War.”

BBC Journalist Mistakenly Taken for Jewish Taunted by British Intellectual Commanding She ‘Get Back in the Oven’

A BBC journalist mistakenly identified as a Jew was told at a recent high-end London event to “get back in the oven,” the Daily Mail reported over the weekend.
According to the report, journalist Henrietta Foster became the target of an antisemitic tirade by Dr. Leslie Jones, the editor of the Quarterly Review magazine. Jones was said to be upset by Foster’s appearance in a documentary about the children of Nazi war criminals.
Foster told the Daily Mail of the unpleasant encounter with Jones:
We had fallen out at a previous reception over Brexit — I told him to **** off because he had voted out. Then he came over to me last Thursday and said, “You were in that film, weren’t you?” and told me I was cruel in my filmed question to the son of a Nazi officer.
Then he just said: “Get back in the oven. Do you understand me? Just get back in the oven.”
The comments were overheard by Martin Bright, a former Observer journalist and adviser to ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Daily Mail report said Bright and another guest at the event reproached Jones over the comments, in response to which he claimed he had been joking.

Watchdog Uncovers New Members in Antisemitic Student Ring at U of Tennessee That Supports Terrorism, Lauds Hitler

A ring of antisemitic students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) has turned out to be larger than originally thought, a clandestine campus watchdog organization revealed to The Algemeiner on Monday.
According to Canary Mission, newly discovered postings by the group — which it previously described as a “cesspool” of racism — included calls for terrorism against Jews and the mocking of the Holocaust.
In all, far above 100 tweets and social media postings featuring radical and racist rhetoric have been uncovered and connected to the network, which consists of dozens of current UTK students and alumni.
“The expansion from 23 people to 34 shows that there was more people involved than we realized,” a Canary Mission representative, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Algemeiner. “Sadly, there could very well be even more radicals that we have not yet uncovered.”
The students, according to the watchdog group, have ties to UTK’s Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters.

ADL hires technology director to combat cyber anti-Semitism

The Anti-Defamation League has created a position dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry on the internet.
The hiring of Brittan Heller, a lawyer who has prosecuted cyber crime at the US Department of Justice and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, follows the ADL’s formation of a task force earlier this year to combat online harassment of Jewish journalists.
Heller will be the group’s first director of technology and society, the ADL announced Monday.
From her base in Northern California’s Silicon Valley, Heller will work to reduce hateful rhetoric on the internet in collaboration with technology companies and law enforcement.
Heller, a graduate of Yale Law School, has herself been a victim of cyber harassment. In 2009, she and a fellow Yale alumna settled a high-profile lawsuit against a group of online commenters who posted sexually explicit comments about them on an internet forum.

Dolls Taken From Young French Jewish Sisters Deported to Auschwitz Given to Holocaust Museum in Paris

Two dolls that were taken from a pair of young French Jewish sisters in 1944 as they were deported to Auschwitz from where they never returned home were recently handed over to the Shoah Memorial — the Holocaust museum in Paris — the UK’s Telegraph reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the dolls — belonging to Denise and Micheline Lévy, aged 10 and 9 when they were arrested by a French gendarme and transported to Auschwitz — were found on the street by a shopkeeper in the eastern French town of Gemeaux and handed over to a member of the Gilles family.
The dolls were subsequently passed down over the generations. However, “none of us ever played with the dolls,” 38-year-old Frédérique Gilles, whose grandmother was the first Gilles family member to possess them, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying. “We knew the story. Our family tried to find out what happened to the two girls, but they never came back. We were unable to trace any relatives.”
Gilles decided to end the family tradition and donate the dolls – one pink and one blue — to the Shoah Memorial instead of passing them down to her children.
“It felt wrong to hold on to them and my sister felt the same way,” she was quoted as saying. “We wanted to give them to a museum or a place of memory. It wasn’t easy to give them up but it was the best thing we could do for the memory of those little girls.”

Israel’s Economic Growth Exceeds Expectations in Second Quarter of 2016

Israel’s economic growth in the second quarter of 2016 exceeded expectations, with private consumption serving as the primary cause for this development, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said Sunday.
Original projections released by the CBS in August placed second-quarter growth at 3.7 percent, but private consumption was up 10 percent in the second quarter, growing by an annualized 5.1% during the first six months of 2016.
The data also showed that private-sector productivity increased by an annualized 2.3% during the first half of 2016, an increase of 0.1% compared to previous projections and an increase of 1.9% compared with the sector’s performance in the first half of 2015.
Household expenditure on durable goods, such as furniture, appliances and cars, noted a sharp rise of 21.2% in the first half of 2016.

Israeli comes second in Miss Transsexual final

“Here all of us are winners already, we won our life,” said Israeli Ta’alin Abu Hanna, the runner up at the Miss Trans Star International beauty pageant in Barcelona this weekend.
Persecuted by their governments, victims of discrimination or rejected by their own families, many of the 25 candidates went through hell and high water before summoning up the courage to strut their stuff in swimsuits or evening gowns.
Set up in 2010 in the Spanish Mediterranean seaside city, the fifth edition of the contest on Friday and Saturday crowned Brazil’s Rafaela Manfrini as this year’s transsexual queen, although winning was secondary for participants who have often experienced discrimination and repression.
The 21-year-old Abu Hanna has been lucky. A Christian Arab, she has become a celebrity since winning a transsexual beauty pageant at home, and wants to take advantage of this fame to inspire Arab people, who — like she once did — may feel trapped “inside a cage.”
“I became a woman and I found peace between my body and my soul,” she said.

TAU study shows promise in fight against breast cancer spread

A new Tel Aviv University study on mice has found that combining genetic therapy with chemotherapy and delivering the treatment to a primary tumor site is “extremely effective” in preventing breast cancer metastasis — its ability to spread to other organs.
The results might be applicable to humans, the researchers said in a statement.
“The situation is bleak. Death rates from breast cancer remain high and relatively unchanged despite advances in medicine and technology,” said Dr. Noam Shomron of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine, who led the study. “We wanted to find a way to stop metastasis from happening altogether. It’s the turning point, where survival rates drop exponentially.”
“Our mission was to block a cancer cell’s ability to change shape and move,” he said.
According to research, one in eight women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and the disease is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 36.
Early detection, while increasingly common, is not sufficient to preventing metastasis, the lethal movement of cancerous cells from a primary tumor site to colonies in vital organs. About 80 percent of women with metastatic cancer die from the disease within just five years of being diagnosed.

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