Yom Kippur shooting victims named: Jana Lange and Kevin S.
The two victims in the Yom Kippur shooting at a synagogue in Halle, Germany have been named as Jana Lange, 40, and Kevin S., 20.
Lange was shot by extremist anti-Semite Stephan Balliet, who livestreamed the attack via a helmet camera as she attempted to stop him from shooting up the synagogue.
Balliet went on to shoot Kevin, whom local media described as a soccer fan, who was at a nearby kebab stand during the terrorist attack.
German media described Lange as a “warm, funny” person and a devoted music lover. She liked to share pictures of artists she admired on social media.
Kevin, the second victim, was a painter. He worked at a building site near the synagogue.
Kevin’s father began to fear the worst when reports about the shooting began to circulate.
“All we know is that you’re at the construction site nearby and you lost your phone. Kevin, we love you more than anything,” the father wrote on his Facebook page prior to receiving the news of his son’s tragic death.
The U.S.-funded Arabic channel Alhurra TV recently brought on Octavia Nasr, a former CNN senior editor who left the network after publicly expressing sympathies for a Hezbollah-tied cleric, as a consultant tasked with helping lead the outlet’s revamp.
Nasr has largely been out of journalism work for the past decade after losing her role as CNN’s editor of Mideast affairs. Her demise at the network she worked at for two decades came after she used her CNN Twitter account to praise Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, a highly controversial Shia cleric who supported Islamist terrorist attacks and was regarded as the spiritual leader for Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon. The U.S. State Department currently labels Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization.
“Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot,” wrote Nasr in July 2010.
A source who spoke to Mediaite about Nasr’s role at the outlet said she acted as a producer, assisting the network with how they covered subjects and what details they decided to omit or include in their reporting.
When reached for comment, Alhurra’s spokesperson described Nasr’s role at the outlet as “a consultant on technical issues,” but claimed she has “completed her contract.”
“MBN is an equal opportunity employer. The company does not discriminate on any basis,” the spokesperson added in response to questions about Nasr’s past employment issues.
Nasr did not respond to Mediaite’s requests for comment.
In recent days, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published a report documenting some 100 examples in which activities of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign qualify as antisemitic, based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by 15 countries and by the European Parliament. Given the difficult task of operationalizing what antisemitism is, all cases documented in the report manifest at least one of the following characteristics: expressions of classic antisemitism; Holocaust inversion; and denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.
Three central claims emerge from the more than 90-page report.
• One: Delegitimization and demonization of the State of Israel by the BDS movement invariably results in the stigmatizing of Jews worldwide and in Israel.
• Two: Some members of the BDS leadership are antisemitic.
• Three: The argumentation patterns and methods of the BDS movement – which include the denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland and the singling out of Israel for boycott – are antisemitic.
It is worth scrutinizing each of these conclusions separately.
• The first point, which links the delegitimization of Israel spearheaded by BDS to the stigmatization of Jews, is also reflected in research conducted by the Institute for National Security Studies, based in large part on interviews with members of Jewish communities across the globe. We have seen this phenomenon play out in the personal security sphere. One domain in which the connection between BDS and manifestations of antisemitism is most readily traced in our research is the academic realm.
In this setting we found that Jewish (and Israeli) students studying on campuses outside of Israel fear for their personal safety, are intimidated by BDS activists, and experience obstacles related to their Jewish identity in competing for student leadership positions. While it is impossible to trace every antisemitic manifestation experienced by students to BDS, the ministry’s report is instrumental in demonstrating the connection between BDS and antisemitism on campus life through the documentation of antisemitic imagery and rhetoric adopted by student BDS-promoting organizations.
JPost Editorial: Germany, do more
Antisemitism continues to rear its head in Germany, a place where 74 years after the end of World War II, the government has a special responsibility to spare no expense to quash anti-Jewish trends and attacks. Yet many German Jews feel unsafe on the streets of their hometowns.
It has long been the norm in Germany for synagogues, Jewish schools and even some Jewish-owned restaurants to have armed guards outside. In 2018, there was a 20% spike in antisemitic incidents in Germany. Official records state that most came from the extreme Right, including neo-Nazi groups, which the gunman – identified as 27-year-old Stephan Ballie – seems to have followed.
Such attacks have reportedly grown in popularity in eastern Germany, where Halle is located. That same year, 85% of German Jews polled by the EU said they found antisemitism to be a big problem, more than half said they had experienced antisemitism in the past five years, and a plurality of those said it came from Muslim extremists.
One German Jewish woman, Daphra Dreifuss, wrote on Twitter after the Halle attack that she generally feels safe and at home in Germany: “But on days like this…my feeling of safety is deeply shaken, and I can’t stop thinking about whether back in the ’30s, I would have been one of those Jews in Germany who stayed believing that everything would turn out fine.”
That German Jews have to be asking themselves the question Dreifuss asked in 2019 should shame the country’s leadership.
Earlier this year, Felix Klein, a German federal official responsible for combating antisemitism, recommended that Jews not wear kippot everywhere in public. Some shrugged it off as practical advice; certainly many Jews around the world do not wear a kippa in public for their safety.
But many pointed out that a German government official telling Jews to hide their identity, 75 years after the Holocaust, is a badge of shame.
British Colonel Richard Kemp summed up German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s predictable response to the Neo-Nazi’s alleged murder of two people in Halle, Germany, and the neo-Nazi’s attempt to create mass murder in the city’s synagogue with the following Tweet: “As always, words only, when action is needed.”
Merkel’s response to the outbreak of antisemitic violence on Wednesday allegedly carried out by Stephan Balliet in the eastern German city 170 kilometers southwest of Berlin was to rush to a vigil outside of Berlin’s New Synagogue and have her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, declare: “We must oppose any form of antisemitism.”
Intelligence and counter-terrorism policies demand that Kemp – who has been at the forefront of combating global antisemitism for years and commanded Operation Fingal in Afghanistan in 2003 – be taken seriously.
Hence Kemp’s succinct counterpunch revealed Merkel’s lackluster performance in combating all forms of Jew-hatred in Germany.
Merkel consistently delivers comments and speeches on her country’s need to protect Jewish institutions. She told CNN in a May interview that Germany “always had a certain number of antisemites among us, unfortunately,” adding, “there is to this day not a single synagogue, not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen.”
Merkel declined to say what the “certain number of antisemites” means. For example, a 2017 Bundestag study showed that 40% of the German population holds a contemporary antisemitic view, namely, the intense loathing of the Jewish state. How this disturbingly high level of antisemitic attitudes in Germany translates into indifference toward rising antisemitic violence is a question that warrants research.
Former European Parliament president Martin Schulz and other speakers at the Dialogue of Civilizations (DOC) Rhodes Forum condemned the antisemitic attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany. Expressing shame at the lack of security, the German politician described the attack as “one of the most unacceptable things in my life.”
The Rhodes Forum, which has brought together leaders in politics, business and other fields since 2003, included frequent references to the rising intolerance globally and in Europe in particular that has fed antisemitism and intolerance against Muslims and other groups. Schulz spoke passionately about the need to bring hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to show that Germany stands against rising antisemitism. He said the same should be the case across the European Union. “I remember after the attacks in Paris and 1 million came out to show solidarity. We must also tell stories to the people. One of the most touching events I saw in my life was the young man from Mali, a Muslim, working in the supermarket in Paris who saved 27 Jewish people attacked by this Islamist terrorists,” he said. This was a reference to the 2015 attack in Paris against the Hypercacher supermarket where five people were murdered.
Speaking at a press conference at the forum, Schulz said we should tell the positive stories of those who helped save people to show that the majority are willing to confront hate and send the right message to citizens. “I am ashamed as a German citizen after what happened in the name of my nation that Jewish people are not secured in my country.”
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who joined Schulz on stage at the event, also condemned the attack. “I think Angela Merkel coming to express solidarity was an important sign. It is incumbent upon the leaders in the respective countries to make very explicit statements that will try to impact the public opinion in the countries and make the expressions of anti-semitism unpopular,” he said. Olmert is one of several high-profile speakers at the Rhodes Forum this year, along with the President of Niger and authors and intellectuals from Europe to China. Olmert said that it was important for leaders in Europe to show zero tolerance for antisemitic expressions.”
The Chairman of the DOC Research Institute, Vladimir Yakunin underlined the importance of countries being able to protect citizens. He said that progressive forces should stand together against these kinds of attacks and not allow for a fruitful soil where terrorists can rise.
Following Wednesday’s deadly attack outside a German synagogue, Israel’s UN envoy has called on the international community to “declare war on antisemitism.”
Ambassador Danny Danon urged the president of the Security Council and the UN to “condemn the terrorist attack in Germany and take action against anti-Semitic terrorism.”
“The scourge of anti-Semitism is spreading in Europe, but threatens the entire world,” Danon said. “The international community must declare war on anti-Semitism and act firmly to end hatred of the Jewish people around the world. Jews should not have to look over their shoulders in fear for their lives during prayer.”
On Thursday, the suspected perpetrator of the shootings in the central German city of Halle, identified as Stephan B., was flown by a police helicopter to the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe.
No, Israel Isn’t The Cause Of Anti-Semitism
Ben Shapiro reacts to crimes against Jews during the Yom Kippur holiday and slams outlets blaming Israel for anti-Semitism.
Three Keren Hayesod donors – Mikhail Fridman, German Khan and Peter Aven, prominent international businessmen, have been generously supporting the JAFI Security Assistance Fund for years.
Yesterday, on Yom Kippur, they helped save the lives of 51 Jews who were praying at the Halle Synagogue.
As was widely reported the only thing that stopped the gunman from massacring those attending the prayer – was the synagogue’s heavy door and security system.
This door, system, and other precautionary measures, have just recently been upgraded with the assistance of the fund supported by the donors.
As was reported in CNN, “The gunman pushed on the doors of a synagogue, fired several shots at a lock on the door, stuck an explosive in a door jam and lit it. But he couldn’t get in.”
The fact that the door held likely spared the lives of the dozens of people inside the synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
For the last few years the JAFI Security Assistance Fund has been providing funds to communities across Europe with assistance required to safeguard Jewish establishments from terror attacks.
American Rebecca Blady was hoping to spend a day in retreat from the outside world, turning to fasting and worship at Yom Kippur in the eastern German city Halle.
She and her husband Jeremy, two Jewish orthodox community leaders who recently moved to Germany, had eagerly agreed to celebrate in the “shul” or synagogue there, which rarely has enough worshipers to fill its space on high holidays.
They ended up being survivors and witnesses of a day of extraordinary violence.
With the pair came around 20 young practicing Jews from the US, Germany and Israel to “bring some extra energy to the prayers,” said Blady, the executive director of Hillel Germany, adding that she also brought with her sacred objects and photocopies of religious texts and songs.
To reach the temple, she had to make her way through the spartan blocks of flats characteristic of the city in the former communist East.
“We had incredible prayers, full of beautiful songs and even dance, until we suddenly heard a loud bang outside,” Blady said. “It sounded like it could have been a gunshot, maybe an explosion. We really had no idea.”
Some of the congregation ran to the display screens connected to the outdoor security cameras. After a few moments of silence, the sounds of blasts came again.
“Go somewhere away from the windows, where you can be safe, because they’re shooting at us!” the watchers said.
The suspect in an attack on a German synagogue on Judaism’s holiest day of the year had around four kilograms (nearly nine pounds) of explosives in his car and wanted to carry out a massacre, Germany’s top prosecutor said. Many questions remained about how the man was able to get hold of the weapons he used in the assault, in which he killed two people outside the building.
As officials sought to reassure an unsettled Jewish community and address concern about rising right-wing extremism, Germany’s president visited the scene of the attack in Halle and urged his nation to stand up for its Jewish compatriots.
The assailant — a German citizen identified as Stephan Balliet — tried but failed to force his way into the synagogue as around 80 people were inside.
He then shot and killed a woman in the street outside and a man at a nearby kebab shop. He is now in custody.
“What we experienced yesterday was terror,” said Peter Frank, the chief federal prosecutor. “The suspect, Stephan B., aimed to carry out a massacre in the synagogue in Halle.”
Frank said his weapons were “apparently homemade” and the explosives in the car were built into “numerous devices.”
With well-kept houses boasting renovated facades, solar-paneled roofs and neat gardens, Benndorf appears to be a peaceful and friendly German village of just over 2,000 residents.
But behind the pleasant veneer is a community still struggling with problems typical in much of ex-communist east Germany, including a brain drain and high unemployment, that the far right is exploiting.
It is here where the suspect in a deadly anti-Semitic attack this week in Halle, some 70 kilometers (40 miles) away, lived with his divorced mother in a neat yellow block of flats.
Stephan Balliet, 27, allegedly sought to storm a synagogue on Yom Kippur and shot two people dead after he failed to get inside the Jewish house of worship. Authorities say he had planned a “massacre.”
In his hometown, Balliet cut an isolated figure who made no contact with fellow residents in his neighborhood.
The identity of the German synagogue attacker may have sounded familiar to American Jews, who have endured multiple attacks by far-right extremists in recent years.
But the suspect’s identity was more surprising to Jews in Western Europe.
The murder of two people in Halle, central Germany on Yom Kippur was the first lethal anti-Semitic assault in decades in that region by a far-right extremist. Most of the terrorist attacks against Jews there over the past 30 years have been carried out by radical Muslims.
In that sense, Wednesday’s shooting represents a tragic milestone for Western Europe, where growing radicalization among both neo-Nazis and Islamists is leading to what some scholars on anti-Semitism are calling a “perfect storm” — violent anti-Semitism stemming from both the right and the left.
“We see this perfect storm coming from different directions,” Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, said in a speech in September, encapsulating the dual threat arguments.
The shooting suspect, identified as Stephan Balliet, 27, allegedly filmed himself killing a woman outside Halle’s synagogue after he was unable to shoot his way into the building. He then shot dead a patron nearby at a kebab shop, which have become ubiquitous in Western Europe and are often owned and operated by immigrants from Muslim countries.
During the assault, the suspect ranted about Jews, feminism and immigration, calling to mind the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter’s social media posts about HIAS, the leading Jewish group that aids refugees.
The German federal prosecution office called the attack an incident motivated by “extreme far-right and anti-Semitic” views.
French police investigating a woman for suspected ties to ISIS discovered a USB drive that contained personal details, including home addresses, of thousands of French police officials. Who provided that information?
“In the street, veiled women and men wearing jellabas are de facto propaganda, an Islamization of the street, just as the uniforms of an occupying army remind the defeated of their submission.” – French journalist Eric Zemmour, September 28, 2019.
Le Monde, France’s most prestigious newspaper, ran an op-ed after the recent attack, charging the country with “Islamophobic McCarthyism.” Harpon, the terrorist who murdered his colleagues at police headquarters, would have agreed.
The problem is that France has, for years, been in a state of denial about the proliferation of radical Islam.
When Omar Barghouti was recently barred from entering the UK, many media reports referred to him as founder of the Israel boycott movement BDS. This is factually incorrect: he was added for marketing purposes four years after the BDS launch.
In reality, the BDS movement was officially launched in 2001 at the NGO Forum of the anti-Semitic UN World Conference on the Elimination of Racism, held in Durban, South Africa. The instigators were a group of radical NGOs that demanded “the complete international isolation of Israel as an apartheid state.” A few months later, the first boycotts began when Trotskyite cells in the British academic union manipulated votes to get support for boycotts of Israeli universities. In parallel, anti-Israel activists in the U.S. organized rallies outside board meetings to demand an end to Israeli sales by corporations like Caterpillar.
As these activities increased, a movement ostensibly on behalf of the Palestinian cause led by Westerners became visibly and politically awkward. To give BDS a more authentic facade, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was launched through a letter signed by a group of Palestinian intellectuals. In the years that followed, BDS activists sought to market their campaign as a response to the Palestinian boycott call, although this was false. BDS was and remains largely a Western anti-Semitic movement led by NGOs and financed by European governments.
Here in America we often have debates about whether it’s appropriate to mix sports with politics—whether athletes should speak out on political or social controversies. But in Palestinian Arab society, there is no such debate. Sports are a major platform for glorifying and promoting terrorism against Jews.
The Palestinian Authority’s Karate Federation recently held a “Sisters of Dalal Mughrabi Championship for Young Women.” Normal societies name sports events after a prominent figure in that sport, or after the donors who made the event possible. Not Palestinian society; it names sports events after its most cherished heroes—those who have massacred Jews.
On March 9, 1978, Ms. Mughrabi —who was just 19 years old at the time— led a squad of 13 Fatah terrorists that landed in several small boats on Israel’s shore. Another young woman, Gail Rubin, happened to be on the beachfront that morning.
Gail, an American Jewish nature photographer, was taking photos of rare birds near the water. Gail’s work had been exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York City and other major venues. She was the niece of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.).
Palestinian-American comedian, professor and activist Amer Zahr has officially been appointed a surrogate for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.
The controversial anti-Israel activist has served in this capacity before, being one of Sanders’ surrogates in 2016.
Zahr is a staunch advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and has campaigned against Israeli businesses in the US.
On Twitter, the comedian has made no secret his views on Israel, tweeting statements such as “American Jews are starting to realize that Israel is their ISIS,” “Israel has a prime minister with an American accent and a spokesman with an Australian one. Foreign colonist settlers,” and also added that “Describing defenders of Israel as ‘scumbags,’ ‘pigs,’ and ‘bastards’ is not necessary. ‘Zionist’ is sufficiently insulting.”
However, while Israelis may hold him with disdain, Palestinians hold Zahr in high esteem.
“He represents our culture and holds on to our Palestinian heritage in exile,” says Silvia al-Bina, a Jerusalem resident, who attended one of his comedy shows in Ramallah in 2016.
Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar is a disgrace to the United States and as history of ‘virulent antisemitism,’ US President Donald Trump said on Thursday night at a campaign rally in the Congresswoman’s home state of Minnesota.
“Rep. Omar has a history of launching virulent antisemitic screeds, whether you like it or not,” Trump said.
“She said the US support for Israel is all about the Benjamins. She said that pro-Israeli lawmakers have an allegiance to a foreign country. Omar wrote, ‘Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them to see the evil doings of Israel and the US,’” Trump said.
“Congresswoman Omar is an America hating socialist. She minimized the September 11th attack on our homeland, where far more than 3,000 people died,” he said.
“She pleaded for compassion for ISIS recruits right here in Minnesota,” he said.
“How do you have such a person representing you in Minnesota. I am very angry at you people right now. She is a disgrace to our country. She is one of the big reasons that I am going to win and the Republican party is going to win Minnesota in 13 months.”
Everyone was expecting Labour Party conference to turn Brighton into an antisemitic sewer. One of the few wins was convincing Waterstones not to hold the launch of the book Bad News for the Labour Party in their Brighton branch.
Waterstones should be breathing a sigh of relief that they haven’t sullied their brand name further by hosting the assorted bunch of cranks who attended that launch, eventually held at the Rialto Theatre.
Here’s what Mike Cushman of Jewish Voice for Labour stood up and said:
“I’ve always assumed that this smear campaign is based upon the excavation of a huge depth of twitter and Facebook posts now I don’t know about anybody else but I can’t find a twitter post I did a month ago let alone what someone else did six years ago.
This is not an amateur job to find this stuff it requires serious, heavyweight artificial intelligence.
Now there are obviously two targets of this campaign one is Jeremy Corbyn and the Corbyn project the other one is our ability to talk about Palestine.
I always naively assumed that the heavyweight IT behind this was coming from Tel Aviv from Mossad because that’s the sort of thing they do. But reading an article in the Off Guardian last week about the way The Guardian has been subverted and taken away from doing any investigative journalism by direct intervention by MI5 makes me begin to suspect that this mining that’s fed to people like David Collier is actually coming from the British security services in an effort to stop us from having a socialist government in this country because this is what MI5’s job has been for many, many years”
[With thanks to Naomi Wimborne Idrissi for naming him and agreeing with his “excellent point about the security services for our listeners]
Heather Mendick, Labour Party liaison to the Jewish community, was there swallowing up the conspiracy theories without so much as a dissenting word. Hardly surprising bearing in mind that her, now deleted Twitter account was mentioned in a CST report detailing antisemitic hate speech on Twitter. Many of those in the room are members of Jewish Voice for Labour. Mendick has “shown solidarity with” JVL co-chair Jenny Manson & Chris Williamson in the past.
The NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers issued a statement Thursday night, denying that the team’s “Hometown Hero” partnership with a supplier to the U.S. military ended because of “external pressure.”
The team’s statement, posted via Twitter, followed a recent report in Willamette Week, that said several organizations – including the Portland Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) – had opposed the basketball team’s relationship with rifle-scope manufacturer Leupold & Stevens, which supplies the devices to the U.S. military and the armed forces of other countries, including Israel, which the socialist group described as a “brutal occupying force.”
In its statement, the NBA team said the military contractor, not the basketball team, chose to end the partnership, in which local veterans were honored at the team’s home games.
“Leupold’s sponsorship contract officially expired at the end of last season and Leupold & Stevens made the decision not to renew,” the Trail Blazers said in a statement. “Their decision was business-related and not influenced by external pressure as being misreported by certain media outlets.”
After the Blazers’ statement appeared, Portland’s democratic socialists posted a copy on Twitter, accompanied by a mocking GIF of the Marcia character from a “Brady Bunch” movie saying, “Sure, Jan.”
Statement by Portland Trail Blazers regarding Leupold & Stevens partnership pic.twitter.com/ToTHMZ1idb
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 11, 2019
.@ChrisDMcGowan there seem to be some contradictory statements. Please clarify: was the partnership with #LeupoldandStevens ended at least partly because of pressure from anti #Israel ‘activists’? https://t.co/4aAmkWE2H8 @trailblazers
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) October 11, 2019
Sut Jhally, professor of communications at UMass Amherst, has made it perfectly clear that he regards college classrooms as indoctrination zones.
He revealed this in 2017, when he spoke at an event sponsored by the Media Digital Literacy Academy of Beirut. Jhally asked his audience to help him get his one-sided and dishonest movie, The Occupation of the American Mind, into college classrooms, because “the main place we want to get to and that we encourage is the classroom. And it’s the college classroom, because that is a captive audience.”
“Students have to watch.” Jhally continued. “If a professor says, ‘We’re gonna watch this, we’re gonna talk about it and it’s on the test,’ they have to watch. We want to make use of that captive audience.”
Jhally has done exactly that at UMass Amherst. He has shown his movie to his students, and then required them to affirm the misinformation it contained in a final exam. Students who don’t affirm Jhally’s agenda get a lower grade.
In a 70-question final exam recently obtained by CAMERA, Jhally devotes the last 20 questions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In order to get the “right” answer on many of the questions — which closely track the script of Jhally’s movie — all students must do is determine the choice that affirms the film’s distorted anti-Israel and anti-Western narrative.
San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi was named in a Title VI (Civil Rights Act) anti-Semitism complaint filed by StandWithUs and UCLA student Shayna Lavi against UCLA.
As a guest lecturer at UCLA, self-described “scholar-activist” Abdulhadi equated Zionism with white supremacy and then dismissed Lavi’s objections to the offensive comparison during the Q&A.
Students were told beforehand that the mandatory lecture for anthropology professor Kyeyoung Park’s class would cover “Islamophobia,” but Abdulhadi, in keeping with her rabidly anti-Israel track record, clearly had another prejudice in mind.
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) October 10, 2019
Suggesting that the United Nations – a notorious inciter against Israel – could produce a valuable report on global antisemitism seemed farfetched. This however is what Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed has done. Also remarkable is that the author hails from the island state of the Maldives, a Muslim country. He has been living in exile since 2012.
The unprecedented report – still officially in an “advance unedited version” – was positively received by Israel’s UN Representative Danny Danon and several Jewish organizations. Yet a balanced position is called for. One should praise what is good and mention what is missing in the report.
As to the merits: The report mentions that antisemitism is global and it exposes antisemitic tropes. It states that the perpetrators of the hatred of Jews include white supremacists, neo-Nazis, members of radical Islamist groups as well as leftists. The report also discusses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement without taking a clear position. The rapporteur mentions the claims that the BDS movement is fundamentally antisemitic. He also brings up counterclaims from BDS supporters that it is not.
The report correctly points out that predominant antisemitic attitudes differ between various regions. Shaheed could have added here that they also differ substantially between individual member countries of the European Union. The major percentages of antisemitism among hate crimes in the US and Canada are also mentioned. So is the increase in antisemitic acts in various European countries. Online antisemitism receives attention as does the infringement by some governments of religious freedom.
The rapporteur gives extensive attention to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and considers it a valuable non-legal tool in the fight against this hatred. As far as the recommendations go, the rapporteur urges “states, civil society, the media and the United Nations to follow a human rights based approach to combating antisemitism.” He stresses correctly that the primary responsibility of addressing acts of intolerance and discrimination lies with states including their political representatives.”
What is missing from the report belongs to two categories. The first is issues which are de facto taboo in a report of the UN. The second concerns subjects which could and should have been mentioned. The main item in the taboo category is the huge role played by the UN and associated organizations in promoting antisemitism. Their focus is on hatred of Israel. As a result, the rapporteur could not explicitly mention that there are three major types of antisemitism: religious, nationalistic-ethnic and anti-Israeli hatred.
It is a fact that, as a small and vulnerable people, Jews have managed to create a Jewish homeland – which has stood firm despite the various attacks on it over the last 70 years. This is a source of tremendous pride.
Within the Jewish community in Britain there remains an enormous sense of insecurity. There is a widespread belief that anti-Semitism lurks just below the surface.
And in that context it is no surprise that many feel any attack on Israel may be linked to the idea that most people – in their hearts – harbor misgivings about the Jewish community in the UK.
A renowned Israeli-born psychologist was brutally murdered in South Africa this week during an armed robbery of her Johannesburg home, according to police and media reports.
Dr. Mirah Wilks, 69, was ambushed inside her home on Sunday shortly after her husband left for prayers at their local synagogue, The Daily Mail reported.
According to the report, the gang of robbers waited for Wilks’ husband to leave the house before they broke a hole in the ceiling and descended into the residence.
Her husband came home a short time later to find his wife of 46 years stabbed twelve times in the chest and back, and her throat slit.
Police said the robbers made off with two laptops and a cellphone, and have launched a major manhunt in the Johannesburg area for the perpetrators.
Wilks was born in Israel, but moved to Australia as a child. She married and raised her family in Melbourne and moved to South Africa with her husband after they retired.
A Jewish boy who was forced to kneel and kiss the shoes of a Muslim classmate has been sent threatening text messages.
The messages were sent Friday after a photo of the incident was splashed across the front pages of newspapers in Australia and around the world, the Daily Mail reported. The photo was first published by the Australian Jewish News.
The messages told the 12-year-old boy that he would be slaughtered and asked if he wanted to “talk about suicide,” according to the report.
Victoria Police confirmed to the Daily Mail Australia that they were investigating a report of such text messages but would not comment further.
Recently, attacks against Jews have sharply increased in New York City. According to a report published in May by the New York Police Department, from January through May of this year, New York City experienced an 83 percent rise in hate crimes. Fifty-nine percent of hate crimes in the city are directed against Jews, and anti-Semitic attacks have risen by 90 percent in the past year.
On September 22, a few hundred Jewish demonstrators congregated outside of New York City Hall to demand that city officials take effective action to stem the rising wave of anti-Semitic attacks. According to Caroline Glick, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, was the only leader of a major Jewish organization among the participants. Aside from two New York City councilmen, no Jewish politicians attended the event. Chuck Schumer didn’t. Neither did any of the Jewish representatives from New York.
How to explain the apparent indifference of mainstream Jewish groups and politicians to the spike in hate crimes committed against Jews? Glick believes the explanation lies in the kind of Jews who are being attacked and the kind of people doing the attacking:
The Jewish victims in New York are not Reform Jews. They are ultra-Orthodox Jews. And they don’t live in Manhattan. They live in Brooklyn.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews are not progressives and not part of the Democratic coalition.
As for their assailants:
Most of the perpetrators are African Americans, and as such, like the Reform Jews, they are members in good standing of the progressive camp in American politics.
Yale Law School in New Haven, Conn., is investigating swastika graffiti discovered on steps of the school’s side entrance on Saturday night, days before Yom Kippur, the Yale Daily News reported.
“Yale Law School has zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind, and symbols of hate have no place on our campus or in our society,” Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken said in a statement on Monday. “We take an incident like this extremely seriously and are currently investigating.”
The graffiti was of a white, spray-painted swastika above the word “Trump” and has since been removed. This is the first reported incident of a swastika appearing on the Yale campus since 2014.
Gerken said no evidence indicates that a member of the Yale community painted it.
She added that the antisemitic act is “utterly antithetical” to the school’s values and encouraged anyone with information to reach out to her office.
Rabbi Jason Rubenstein, Jewish chaplain at Yale, revealed on Monday night that investigators are examining video footage from late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Material and graffiti described as hateful and anti-Semitic were discovered at a Holocaust memorial in White Plains, New York, on the eve of Yom Kippur.
Stickers and posters were found on Tuesday at the Holocaust Garden of Remembrance. Writing described as anti-Semitic was found on a sign outside the garden and inside the park as well, ABC7 also reported.
The Garden of Remembrance, created by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, was dedicated in 1992.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement said that he has directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance to local authorities in investigating what he called a “heinous act.”
“On this Day of Atonement, I join with New York’s Jewish community in remembrance of the lives lost and I pray for love, peace and understanding. Hate has no place in this state,” he said in a statement.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said in a statement that County Police were “actively investigating and reviewing video of the area.”
As commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the primary driver behind the memorialization of the Holocaust; he ordered extraordinary measures to ensure the well-being of Jewish displaced persons during the occupation of Germany; and, following David Ben-Gurion’s recommendation, he established a “temporary haven” in the American Zone of Occupation for persecuted Jews from Eastern and Central Europe – a policy that both the Soviets and the British strongly opposed.
Growing up in Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower had virtually no firsthand knowledge of Jews or Judaism. He once told Abba Eban that as a boy he did not think there were any Jews on earth, that they were “all in heaven as angels.”
On April 12, 1945, Eisenhower visited the recently liberated Ohrdruf-Nord concentration camp. In an effort to eliminate witnesses to their crimes, the SS guards had murdered 4,000 prisoners before fleeing. The surviving prisoners were emaciated skeletons, and bodies were piled everywhere. Eisenhower called the atrocities “beyond the American mind to comprehend,” and ordered every American unit not on the frontlines to see Ohrdruf. The next day he visited Buchenwald. “I made the visit deliberately,” he said, “in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.'”
On display through November at the Israel Museum, the exhibit Through Time and Space juxtaposes the outer-space diary of Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who died in the 2003 Columbia disaster, with the oldest known text of the book of Enoch, a cosmological travelogue of a very different kind. Both manuscripts have dramatic stories of discovery and were reconstructed through painstaking work. Fragments of Ramon’s diary literally fell from the sky and were found in Florida; fragments of the book of Enoch, until then known only in translation, were collected from among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Reviewing the exhibit, Shai Secunda praises the diary’s “unadorned yet eloquent, almost literary” Hebrew, and describes the book of Enoch, one of several ancient works that take as their hero a character who receives a mere four verses in the fifth chapter of Genesis:
In the 3rd century BCE, Aramaic writings began to circulate that narrated the visions and teachings of Enoch who, although born of woman, had a place among God’s heavenly entourage and was privy to special knowledge, including the complex workings of the solar calendar. According to these texts, Enoch embarked on a number of heavenly journeys.
[In one such work], Enoch encounters a “wall built of hailstones; and tongues of fire were encircled them all around,” and then proceeds into a series of heavenly palaces, where he takes note of curious architectural features like snowy flooring and “a ceiling like shooting stars and lightning flashes.” [Then] he is treated to astounding sights, including “the place of the luminaries, and the treasuries of the stars and of the thunders, and the depths of the ether.” He sees heaven and hell, the mountain of the dead, and a gurgling paradise that recalls the Jordan River tributary where his interstellar journey began.
The Enochic writings present [their] hero as probing the cosmos in the service of humankind, not entirely unlike an astronaut testing scientific hypotheses in space for the people on earth below.
Hackers working for an Israeli company found their way into the secrets of a major European bank.
They took screenshots of the bank’s senior leadership, turned on the security staff’s webcams, generated codes that made ATMs spew out cash, and eventually made a 50 million euro transfer that evaded the bank’s internal security.
Mission completed, CYE (which stands for Cyber-Eye) presented the results of the penetration test to the bank itself, demonstrating that there were security loopholes that needed to be closed.
The penetration test led to a five-year contract for the cyber security company.
The Israeli biotech startup Betalin Therapeutics created an artificial pancreas that will help diabetic patients deal with insulin dependency by reprogramming the current pancreas to function correctly.
The pancreas – located in the abdomen – is a vital organ crucial to the digestive process and doesn’t produce enough insulin in diabetic patients, causing the amount of sugars to increase in the bloodstream, leading to symptoms such as nausea and shortness of breath.
Betalin’s new artificial pancreas will not only help monitor sugar levels in the body but will also detect the amount of insulin that each patient needs and release it into the patient’s bloodstream.
Betalin Therapeutics was founded in 2015 and has two famous Nobel laureates on its board, Professor Arieh Warshel and Professor Sidney Altman.
Altman relayed to Israel Hayom his own personal difficulties coping with the disease and his hope that this new device could be utilized to help patients.
A new PitchBook Venture Ecosystem FactBook focusing on investments in Israel reveals that California Bay Area-based firms contributed a cumulative $1.4 billion in associated deal value last year and have nearly matched that sum already in 2019.
In general, US-based firms made 167 investments in Israeli companies, totaling more than $2 billion in 2018. In 2019 so far, that number approaching $1.8 billion over 81 deals, the report notes.
European investment also is growing. “Israeli VC activity with European investor participation hit a high of 86 transactions for over $900 million in deal value last year, while $820.4 million has already been closed in the first half of this year,” according to the FactBook.
Software, healthcare and IT hardware companies have been especially robust in fundraising in 2019.
Looking at activity through the summer of 2019, the FactBook notes close to $2.3 billion invested across 153 deals. In all of 2018, Israeli startups raised nearly $3 billion in a record 331 deals.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 in recognition of his efforts to end his country’s long-running border conflict with Eritrea.
The Norwegian Nobel Institute on Friday also praised the “important reforms” that Abiy, Ethiopia’s leader since April 2018, has launched at home.
Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said some people may consider it too early to give him the prize, but “it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts need recognition and deserve encouragement.”
Abiy, 43, took office after widespread protests pressured the longtime ruling coalition and hurt one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Africa’s youngest leader quickly announced dramatic reforms and “Abiymania” began.
In a move that caused surprise in the long-turbulent Horn of Africa region, he said Ethiopia would accept a peace agreement with Eritrea, ending one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts.
Within weeks, Eritrea’s longtime leader, visibly moved, visited Addis Ababa and communications and transport links were restored. For the first time in two decades people could, long-divided families made tearful reunions.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 11, 2019
Congratulations to Abiy Ahmed for winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
As for me, it was an honor just being nominated. https://t.co/b1v7XDVQOH
— Elder Of Ziyon ҉ (@elderofziyon) October 11, 2019
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