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Hawaii Became The 26th US State To Decriminalize Marijuana   

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Hawaii Became The 26th US State To Decriminalize Marijuana

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Mid-2019, Hawaii became the 26th US state to legalize small amounts of marijuana. After this bill became law, Hawaii Governor David Ige noted that decriminalizing the herb does not mean the state is prepared to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.


Under the new law, those caught with marijuana will no longer face a misdemeanor charge, which had been punishable by up to thirty days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Yet, people caught carrying three grams or less of marijuana can still be slapped with a citation carrying a $130 fine, but with no jail time.


According to Truth Theory, Hawaii’s Democrat-controlled legislature approved the bill and sent it to Gov. Ige’s desk in May 2019. The Governor didn't signed it nor vetoed it. Therefore, the bill became law and is going into effect on January 11, 2020.


Before the bill was passed, Ige went “back and forth on decriminalization.” The governor said that one thing he disliked about the bill is that it doesn't include a provision to help young people that want to get into substance abuse programs. Ige said the new law doesn’t mean Hawaii that was the first state to legalize medical marijuana back in 2000, is on the verge of legalizing recreational cannabis.


Ige took a hands-off approach for the decriminalization of marijuana. However, around the same time, he vetoed two other marijuana bills passed by the legislature. He struck down legislation which would have made it legal to transport medical cannabis from island to island, as well as a bill which would have created industrial hemp licensing programs.


          

Goss provides water quality update   

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Area residents recently got an update on water quality from the man tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis to make sure improvements are made. On Sept.

          

California Bans Distributing "Deepfakes" Before Elections   

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The rush is on to fight so-called “deepfakes”—videos and audio altered to make a person falsely appear to say something that they did not. California has passed a ban that makes it illegal to share such videos within two months before an election.

Analysts have said that deepfakes will be used as political weapons ahead of next year’s elections.

“It’s hard enough to be informed, to make wise decisions about candidates and political issues,” said social media expert and San Jose State Communications Professor Dr. Matt Cabot. “But with deepfake technology it makes it vastly more complicated.”

The new law targets people distributing altered video and audio to injure the candidate’s reputation or sway voters.

The candidate can seek damages if they can prove it was shared with malice up to 60 days before an election.

“I think consumers need to be more careful about what they post or retweet,” Cabot said. “Be slow to believe. Is it plausible? Did it come from a trusted news source? Did it come from two trusted news sources?”

“In the face of total inaction at the federal level, California must step up to protect our more than 20 million voters,” said State Assemblyman Marc Berman, the bill’s sponsor. “AB 730 will help deter nefarious deepfakes by holding accountable the bad actors who intentionally attempt to injure a candidate’s reputation or deceive voters into believing a candidate said or did something they never said or did.”

There are critics of the ban. The ACLU wrote a letter to Gov. Newsom urging him to veto the bill this week.

“Despite the author’s good intentions, this bill will not solve the problem of deceptive political videos,” it stated. “It will only result in voter confusion, malicious litigation and repression of free speech.”

With presidential primaries just months away, Cabot disagrees.

“The stakes are too high,” he said. “Democracy rests on citizens being informed, and that isn’t free speech. It’s fake speech.”


          

10/04 Links Pt2: Caroline B. Glick: American Jewry’s days of reckoning; Ruthie Blum: Owing Israel an apology; Bari Weiss Makes Her Case; Memorial service to be held in Ari Fuld's honor   

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From Ian:

Caroline B. Glick: American Jewry’s days of reckoning
On September 29, President Donald Trump set out his nationalist political philosophy in his address before the UN General Assembly. Arguing that the nation-state is the best guarantor of human freedom and liberty, Trump set up a contrast between “patriots” and “globalists.”

“The future does not belong to globalists,” he said.

“The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

Jewish nationalists, that is, Zionists, could hear their core convictions echoed in Trump’s statement. Israeli political philosopher Yoram Hazony made much the same argument in his book "The Virtue of Nationalism," which was published last year.

One of the regimes most opposed to nationalism is the Iranian regime. Iran’s leaders view the regime not as the government of the nation of Iran, but as the leader of a global jihad, which will end with the regime’s domination of the world, in the name of Islam – not Iran.

Anti-Semitism is one of the animating doctrines of Iran’s regime. The leaders ascribe to genocidal Jew-hatred. They use their commitment to annihilating Israel and war against the Jewish state as a means to build legitimacy for their regime and revolution throughout the Islamic world.

In his speech, Trump highlighted the regime’s anti-Semitism and its commitment to annihilate Israel.

Trump also excoriated the Arab world for refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, saying, “Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures.”

Trump pledged, “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate.”

Rather than earning him plaudits, American Jews were caustic in their response to Trump’s speech. Britain’s Independent reported that several American Jews condemned Trump’s speech as anti-Semitic. For instance, Laura Seay, a political science professor in Texas tweeted, “So … Trump condemns anti-Semitism in the same speech he started with anti-Semitic code language like 'globalism.'"
Ruthie Blum: Owing Israel an apology
FINALLY, I APOLOGIZE if I have given anyone the impression that I would be bitter about whatever coalition is cobbled together, or would not accept a third round of Knesset elections, if that becomes necessary. My view – that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a great leader – has not changed; nor has my sense that the charges against him are flimsy, at best, been shaken.

In addition, I am less than thrilled about the prospect of a national-unity government, headed either by Netanyahu or by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, whether or not they reach a rotation agreement. Nor do I welcome new elections, which probably would result in an outcome nearly identical to that of the September 17 vote.

But as soon as a government is formed, including if its makeup is one I consider disappointing, I pledge to continue to use my pen to defend the country against its external enemies, such as Iran – whose regime boasts about possessing the will and means to wipe Israel off the map – and those at home and abroad who engage in equally serious efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state in order to call its existence into question.

I hope to keep the above promises in the year to come, and to live up to a different admonition by Isaiah – verse 5:20 – which is not recited on Yom Kippur, but should be remembered and applied by all of us every single day of each calendar year: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness.”
Battling BDS, one laugh at a time
I LIKE the idea that it’s time to stand up for ourselves through stand-up, among other means. Better to deliver punchlines than be the punching bags. It’s healthy to be able to laugh at ourselves and it beats BDS bitterness. Two days after last month’s election, the Government Press Office and Foreign Ministry arranged for a special screening of a new movie called Mossad. The comedy was presented as the perfect break from politics and a good way to help Israel’s image.

The satire directed by Alon Gur Arye has a star-studded cast, including heartthrob Tsahi Halevi of Fauda fame in his first comic role. Halevi plays a bumbling spy called Guy Moran (and you can imagine how that surname turns out in English.)

When he gives a woman his card, she says: “But it’s blank.”

“That’s because I’m a secret agent,” he replies.

The save-the-world plot in which the Mossad and the CIA compete and collaborate is totally implausible, but many of the one-liners are brilliant and the slapstick stunts are well-executed. When the evil masterminds capture an American billionaire in Jerusalem, they come up against a henpecked Mossad chief whose sole aim is to finish his term without incident and to get to light one of the torches on Independence Day. The (obviously unreal) Mossad head, played by Ilan Dar, demands a videotape of the hostages holding a newspaper showing the date. This leads RBG (the “Real Bad Guys”) to scream: “Who can even find videotape anymore? Nobody reads a newspaper!”

Unlike Diplomatic Relations, where the idea is good, but the performance is at times painful, I can happily recommend Mossad. Gur Arye admits that the film was inspired by gag-filled American movies such as Top Secret! and that making it was a dream come true. Noting that most of his Israeli peers want to make dramas, he preferred parody.

“And I wanted to spoof something very Israeli,” he explained in a panel after the screening.

Gur Arye was lucky and talented enough to get veteran Israeli director Avi Nesher and American director David Zucker (of the Airplane and the Naked Gun franchise) on board and the film definitely has Zucker’s wacky touch.



Bari Weiss Makes Her Case
Does she focus too much on left-wing anti-Semitism given the danger from the right? In a way, Weiss replied, left-wing anti-Semitism is more insidious because it “speaks a language that is a siren song — the language of social justice, progress, defense of the oppressed.” It’s also far more socially acceptable: “Someone who photoshops your face into a gas chamber is not going to be received in polite society. Someone who calls you an Islamophobe and a racist for being a Zionist is going to be invited on television.”

She addressed difficult questions with both nuance and simplicity. Yes, “Netanyahu makes it harder to defend Israel” with his Arab-baiting, his alliances with racist parties and his cozying up to authoritarians in Europe. No, it’s not acceptable to blame him for anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, because “Jews should not be blamed for anti-Semitism, ever.”

I didn’t agree with everything Weiss said. I wasn’t, for instance, too impressed by her suggestion that Jews who support BDS are motivated by the desire to “belong” and fit in with surrounding society; it seemed needlessly dismissive of some people’s sincere beliefs.

I also had mixed feelings about the claim she made at the end of the evening, and which she also makes in the book: That anti-Semitism exists largely as a backlash against the “radical ideas” at the center of Jewish faith and culture. “The idea of one God, that slavery is wrong — those are Jewish ideas,” Weiss said. Obviously, the Jews’ role as the original monotheists had something to do with their historical contentious relationship with other cultures. But Weiss also oversimplifies this history and flirts with reinventing Judaism in the image of modern humanism. (Both the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud accept slavery as a given, though they also call for humane treatment of slaves.)

At the same time, Weiss had a strong point when she noted the remarkable fact that the Jewish people’s “original story is freedom of slavery” — and that Jews “often stand perpendicular to their societies,” demanding “the right to be different.” As she put it, “That drove people nuts and it still drives people nuts.”

Come to think of it, that’s not a bad description of Weiss herself. A liberal by any rational standard, she stands perpendicular to most of her social milieu, demanding the right to differ from its groupthink. And it certainly seems to drive people nuts. (h/t Dave4321)
Deborah E. Lipstadt: The Gray Lady and the Jewish State
In late April 2019, the New York Times international editionpublished a cartoon depicting a blind, kippa-wearing President Trump being led by a dachshund with a Jewish star around its neck. The dog’s face was a distorted caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visage. The message was indisputable: Israelis qua Jews, despite being the national equivalent of lapdogs, have the unique ability to blind presidents and shape political events. Beguiled, not only does Trump do their bidding, but he is, like the other unwitting victims on the world stage, blissfully unaware of what is going on. The cartoon gave vivid expression to the conspiracy theory, or rather myth, that is at the heart of anti-Semitism and did so in an image that, as was widely noted, could have appeared in Der Stürmer. How did it end up receiving the New York Times’s imprimatur?

Apparently, a single midlevel editor for the international edition of the paper chose the cartoon from a syndication service to which the paper then subscribed. Subsequent events followed a familiar pattern. The paper, after being inundated with outraged comments, including some from its own staff members, issued a short apology in the form of an editor’s note: “The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it.” Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokeswoman, added a subsequent statement on behalf of the Opinion section of the paper, identifying the cartoon as anti-Semitic and saying it was “deeply sorry” for publishing it.

In most cases, that would have been the end of the story, except for the scores of Jewish readers and supporters of Israel who were once again forced to decide whether to cancel their subscriptions. Two subsequent events made this incident noteworthy. Writing in the New York Times, op-ed columnist Bret Stephens scathingly lambasted not only the international edition but his own paper. For Stephens, the publication of a “textbook illustration” of anti-Semitism did not reveal institutional anti-Semitism, but it wasn’t much better than that. It was that the Times, “otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice,” could be so, well, blind:
Imagine, for instance, if the dog on a leash in the image hadn’t been the Israeli prime minister but instead a prominent woman such as Nancy Pelosi, a person of color such as John Lewis, or a Muslim such as Ilhan Omar. Would that have gone unnoticed by either the wire service that provides the Times with images or the editor who, even if he were working in haste, selected it? The question answers itself. And it raises a follow-on: How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry?

The answer, Stephens wrote, was that anti-Zionism has become so mainstream “that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry,” and the Times was complicit in that mainstreaming.
David Collier: St Anne’s Church in Soho, Miko Peled and an evening with antisemites
Peled in the Church

But this is Peled’s night. Peled is not a man of peace. He is a man clearly wired to seek revenge for whatever injustice his own mind has created for him. He is also someone who buckles when his weak arguments are exposed. I always put Peled’s leaving of the fold down to his inability to handle the weight of his family heritage, but it doesn’t really matter anymore what drove him over the cliff. What is certain is that he drove off it.

Peled likes provoking Jews. Those who think his ‘Holocaust, yes or no‘ comment from the Labour Party conference of 2017 is a stand-alone remark haven’t been paying attention. At UCL the same year he spoke about ‘the witch-hunt against antisemites and Holocaust deniers.’ going on to suggest to Jeremy Corbyn that he should put away the ‘nonsense about Holocaust denial and the nonsense about antisemitism‘. If you follow his threads on Twitter and Facebook you soon realise his audience is little more than an extremist, racist mob.

So Peled stands in the Church and beats his chest about how the Labour Party Conference was little more than a ‘rally for Palestine’. He isn’t wrong. With the NHS, austerity and housing as major concerns for their voters, the Labour Party did little but obsess over Israel.

Peled spoke as he normally does – blaming everything on Zionists and Israeli discrimination. Context and humanity and reason are removed. Lies are created. The end result is raw demonisation. Then look at the laugh his jokes about antisemitism gets from the crowd in the Church.

There is nothing funny about any of this. With Antisemitism visibly on the rise across the globe, the Church provides a platform to someone who ridicules racism against Jews. Peled is feeding antisemitism. He is demonising Zionism and Israel to an audience containing many who already buy into anti-Jewish conspiracy.
PMW: Does The World Karate Federation authorize tournaments named after Palestinian terrorists?
The Palestinian Karate Federation has misused the sport of karate to promote terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who led the murder of 37 Israeli civilians, among them 12 children, as a role model for young Palestinian women:
"The Sisters of Dalal Mughrabi Championship for Young Women" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 13, 2019]

A banner displayed at the championship carried the name of the "Palestinian Karate Federation" and its logo (left), and the logo of the "World Karate Federation" (right):

[Official Facebook page of the Palestinian Karate Federation, Sept. 11, 2019]
"Palestine" is a member of the Asian Karate Federation, which is a member of the World Karate Federation. Two weeks ago, Palestinian Media Watch passed on the documentation of this Palestinian championship honoring a mass murderer to both federations, asking that they condemn the Palestinian Karate Federation and prohibit the recurrence of terror glorification by the Palestinian Karate Federation and any other of its federation members. In addition, PMW asked that if the federation's "Statutes and Rules" currently do not prohibit naming sporting events after terrorists, that the statutes be amended immediately to include such a prohibition. However, neither federation has responded.

The championship in which 55 young Palestinian female athletes participated was held in Bethlehem by the southern branch of the Palestinian Karate Federation.

Dalal Mughrabi, after whom this tournament was named, was a female Palestinian terrorist who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounded over 70. PMW has documented numerous examples of PA and Fatah leaders promoting murderer Mughrabi as a hero for Palestinian society in general and for youth in particular. The PA has named at least 6 schools after murderer Mughrabi, many sporting events have been named after her, and a PA schoolbook teaches children to "be like" her.
UK to Release ’Pay to Slay’ Audits After Freedom of Information Request
The branch of the British government responsible for administering overseas aid will disclose audit reports regarding aid money allegedly used to pay salaries to convicted terrorists, after abandoning its appeal against a ruling by UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

In July 2018, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a British volunteer organization of lawyers who support Israel, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department for International Development for copies of audit reports for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program. The program is a World Bank multi-donor trust fund for the Palestinian Authority. The DFID refused to release the information, citing among other reasons the risk of potential harm diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the PA.

According to UKLFI, “Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi Donor Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.” According to the organization, “this is the account from which payments were made to convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.”

Commissioner Denham ruled on July 26 of this year that the reports were of “significant public interest,” which outweighed any potential harm that might be done to diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the PA Denham ordered the DFID to release the information within 35 days, or appeal.
Observing Labour antisemites in Brighton
For the efficient observer of anti-Israel hate mongering in Great Britain the seaside resort of Brighton in the UK was the place to be during the fourth week of September. There the Labour party's annual conference took place. This gathering also claimed 450 fringe events.

Attendance was around 13 000 people. In a few days one could receive a concentrated overview of anti-Israelism in Labour as well as smatterings of antisemitism, its minimizing and whitewashing.

A few examples illustrate this.

At the conference the great majority of delegates voted for a motion to boycott Israeli "settlement" goods. This was a first for Labour. The delegates also voted to reject trade agreements with the country. It seemed that the party furthermore backed the “right of return” of Palestinian Arabs. This is tantamount to supporting Israel’s annihilation through swamping it with Palestinian Arabs. The common way to interpret this right is that those who fled can return. In the Palestinian case it is distorted by Israel’s enemies meaning that descendants of refugees from any generation are also entitled to immigrate to Israel where they have never lived.

Palestinian flags and chants of “Free Palestine” were prominent at the Labour conference. This, despite rules prohibiting flags from being displayed on the conference floor. Last year, hundreds of Palestinian flags were also flown with the approval of the Labour leadership after these were handed out to delegates.
EHRC summons 25 former and current Labour staffers to give evidence in antisemitism inquiry in “daunting” letters
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to 25 former and current employees of the Labour Party requiring them to provide evidence as part of its inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The inquiry, which is a full statutory investigation, was launched by the EHRC on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

The letters reportedly advise that “the Commission is gathering evidence to investigate this matter in accordance with the terms of reference and has identified you as a person we require evidence from. Please do not ignore this letter or the Notice. We draw your attention to the consequences of failing to comply with the Notice which…may include committing a criminal offence.” The letter requires a response within fourteen days.

The EHRC has the authority to require any individual or organisation to disclose relevant information, and the notices have reportedly been described as “daunting” by some recipients.

Over 70 Labour whistleblowers have given evidence to the EHRC in relation to the antisemitism investigation.
University and College Union which rejected antisemitism definition apologises for excluding Jews from its extensive list of Nazi victims
Extraordinarily, the e-mail did not mention Jewish victims of the Nazis, who were the principal victims of the Holocaust. This was even despite the specific reference to non-Jewish Poles.

UCU indirectly apologised for the offensive omission in an e-mail from an “equality support official” for what were described as “drafting errors” and “human error”. The official stated that “UCU apologises for the offence this caused and reassures all members that it continues to fight against all forms of antisemitism, hatred and bigotry in society.” In the updated e-mail, a paragraph was added about the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust.

Ordinarily, such an omission might not have been noteworthy, but UCU has a poor record when it comes to fighting antisemitism, including refusing to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, repeatedly endorsing the antisemitism-riddled Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish State and fighting a legal battle against a Jewish academic who unsuccessfully sued UCU for breach of the Equality Act 2010.

It is hardly a stretch to imagine that there is a relationship between UCU’s cavalier approach to antisemitism today and its insensitivity toward commemoration of historic antisemitism. If the Union were to show greater awareness of the antisemitism of the past, perhaps its attitude toward Jews today will also find the correction it so desperately needs.
British Teenager Goes Public About Months of Antisemitic Abuse
A British teenager has gone public about a torrent of antisemitic invective she has faced in recent months, including taunts about the Holocaust.

Charlotte Nathan, 17, who attends school in Northwich, England, was moved to speak about her experiences after she received a derogatory message on her Snapchat account that said, “I wanna fart in your face to remind you of how your grandparents died.”

The Manchester-based Jewish Telegraph quoted her as saying, “Casual racism is a common feature of daily life, especially among the millennial generation, who perceive racism as a form of humor and so-called ‘banter.’”

“Catalysts, such as memes used on social media, seem to justify and sugarcoat the underlying racial tensions that as a society we fail to address,” she stated. “This can be exemplified through the lack of education supplied about different cultural groups to schools and other communities, exacerbating ignorance.”

“I am no stranger to antisemitic abuse,” she added, “and for the last six years, being in secular education and interacting with other cultures, I have encountered a fair share of comments and remarks.”

“This is evidence of inherited, underlying racism we see daily,” she said.






Revisiting a BBC Radio 4 Christmas report from the Gaza Strip
As was noted here at the time, Husain was conspicuously silent on the topic of how many Christians actually currently live in the Gaza Strip and her report was obviously intended to promote the politically motivated narrative that Gaza’s Christian population lives happily under Hamas rule, with its only tribulations caused by Israel.

Last week Israel’s Channel 12 aired an interview (in Hebrew and Arabic) by Arab affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo with a Christian who escaped the Gaza Strip four months ago.

“Since Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip the Christians living there have become scapegoats and the targets of that organisation as well as Salafist extremists. Due to their difficult situation most have fled and from a community of 4,200 people, now only a few hundred remain. Kamal Tarazi was there until recently. Four months ago he managed to escape: “Hamas people took over my home and turned it into a command post”, he recounts. […]

‘They put me in a number of prisons and Hamas’ prison is all just beatings and psychological torture’ he recalls. According to him the harming of the Christians in Gaza has become routine and does not stop even during times of conflict. […]

‘They harass and harm the Christian public and Christian institutions, churches and charities’.”


The calibre of Mishal Husain’s reporting on the topic of challenges faced by the Christian community in the Gaza Strip is again all too apparent.


Ha'aretz: The Fake Nazi Death Camp: Wikipedia’s Longest Hoax, Exposed
“The first gassing there took place on October 17, 1943, killing at least 150 Poles caught in a street roundup and about 20 Belgian Jews …. Bodies were either cremated in crematoriums or open-air pyres (including at a former sports stadium) or simply buried under collapsed buildings during the systematic demolition of the former ghetto .... [Some estimates] place the number of the camp’s victims well above 212,000, mainly Poles and several thousand of non-Polish.”

This dry description of the systematic murder of ethnic Poles by Nazi forces during World War II was taken from the English-language Wikipedia article for the “Warsaw concentration camp,” also known as Konzentrationslager Warschau. The site where the camp stood is an object of pilgrimage for some in Poland, who hold periodic ceremonies on what they believe is hallowed ground. They come to honor the memory of thousands of Poles murdered in a gas chamber located near the Warsaw West (Warszawa Zachodnia) train station – which still exists – and have even erected monuments and plaques in their memory.

There’s just one problem: No such death camp ever existed. There is no historical evidence of German gas chambers ever existing in Warsaw, and nowhere near 200,000 people died in the cluster of Nazi internment centers that did stand at the basis of the myth of KL Warschau.

“It’s fake history,” says Prof. Havi Dreifuss, a Tel Aviv University historian and Yad Vashem’s expert on Poland and the Holocaust, when asked about gas chambers in Warsaw. Other Holocaust historians share her unequivocal position: “It’s a conspiracy theory,” says Prof. Jan Grabowski, a Polish-Canadian historian from the University of Ottawa, when asked about the legend behind the death toll. Yet both claims appeared, almost without interruption, for 15 years on the English-language version of Wikipedia in what is said to be Wikipedia’s longest-standing hoax.

European Court: Holocaust Denial Is Not a Human Right
Denying that the Holocaust ever happened isn’t a form of freedom of expression protected under the European Human Rights Convention, a top court has ruled in a case that stretches back nearly a decade.

Udo Pastoers, a German who suggested in a 2010 speech that the Holocaust never occurred, was fairly convicted under the country’s laws against the intentional defamation of Jewish people, the European Court of Human Rights ruled while rejecting his complaints.

Pastoers’ argument that his statements were protected by Article 10, which protects freedom of expression, was “manifestly ill-founded,” given that he “had intentionally stated untruths in order to defame the Jews and the persecution that they had suffered,” the Strasbourg, France-based court ruled on Thursday. His complaint that he was denied a fair trial in Germany was also rejected by the ECHR.

Pastoers had given a speech a day after Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2010, saying that the “the so-called Holocaust is being used for political and commercial purposes” and also referring to a “barrage of criticism and propagandistic lies” and “Auschwitz projections.” He was first convicted in 2012 by a German district court, and then a regional court rejected his appeal of the verdict less than a year later.
Swastika, anti-Semitic slur painted on wall of former Krakow Ghetto
A swastika and other graffiti were painted on the wall of the former ghetto in Krakow.

“Whores Jews, get the f*** out of Poland” alongside the swastika were discovered drawn with a tar-like substance on Tuesday — the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Municipal services painted over the graffiti on the same day.

Police investigated in the area of Limanowskiego Street; there are no suspects.

“While I was extremely upset to see the hateful graffiti on the ghetto wall, especially on Rosh Hashanah, the quick reaction by the city and the police reminded me why Krakow is such a good place to be a Jew,” said Jonathan Ornstein, director of the Jewish Community Center of Krakow.

On Sunday, graffiti reading “Confederation against Jews #447” was discovered on the wall of the Jewish cemetery in Tarnow.

In 2018, the US Congress approved Law 447, or the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today, or JUST act, which insures that those who survived World War II or their heirs receive compensation for their losses, if it has not already happened. The Confederation is a right-wing political group that opposes the restitution of Jewish property.
India issues terror alert for Jewish, Israeli targets on Yom Kippur
Authorities in India have warned of a potential terror attack on Jewish or Israeli targets on Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday night.

According a Channel 12 news report on Friday, Israeli security services are working with their Indian counterparts to thwart any potential attack over the Jewish holiday period, which runs until October 21.

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi, synagogues, Chabad buildings, Jewish schools, restaurants and hotels known as popular destinations among Israeli travelers have all been put on high alert with increased security.

The Times of India reported last month that there were fears an attack could be carried out on a Jewish target by a cell affiliated with either the Al-Qaeda or Islamic State terrorist groups.

The report said the alert was issued on the basis of intelligence received from the security agencies of other countries. No further details were given.

In 2008, there were coordinated attacks on Mumbai’s luxury hotels, the main railway station, a restaurant popular with tourists and the city’s Chabad center. The Lashkar-e-Taiba group was blamed for the attacks that killed 166 people in total, including six Israelis.
3 out of every 4 LA county Jews view antisemitism as serious - poll
Three-quarters of Jewish people in Los Angeles County view antisemitism as a serious threat, a new survey found.

“The Pat Brown Institute (PBI) for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles conducted a poll of more than 1,800 Jewish voters in Los Angeles county [and it] revealed strong support for the survival of Israel as a Jewish state and also very significant fears of growing antisemitism,” said Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of PBI.

“More than 70% reported being concerned about it,” he said. “Written comments to an open-ended question revealed concerns from both the Right and the Left on antisemitism. Clearly though, fears of growing antisemitism are widespread.”

According to the findings, 41% of the participants said that antisemitism is an extremely serious problem, and 31% said they consider it “very serious.”

Seventy-six percent of the participants said that remembering the Holocaust is “essential” for them, and an additional 19% viewed it as “important.” Thirty-six percent of participants said that caring for Israel is essential for them, and an additional third said it is important, while 25% of those polled expressed their opinion that they did not see caring about Israel as important.
Vandals smash windows of Brooklyn synagogue during Rosh Hashanah prayers
The windows of a synagogue in Brooklyn were smashed by vandals this week during Rosh Hashanah services.

A video showing people throwing milk crates at the Rivnitz synagogue in the Williamsburg neighborhood was circulated Wednesday on social media.

Police said that the incident took place on Monday afternoon and they were searching for two females who were seen in the video, according to WPIX-TV.

Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the vandalism.

“This is a shocking act of hate,” he wrote on Twitter. “We WILL find the perpetrators and hold them responsible.”

The Anti-Defamation League said it was “deeply disturbed” by the video.

“At a time when the Brooklyn Jewish community is already on edge in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic incidents, it is extremely upsetting to see this congregation targeted during what is otherwise supposed to be a joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year,” Evan Bernstein, the regional director of the organization’s New York-New Jersey office, said in a statement.


Teen allegedly attacked Jewish woman in Brooklyn, pulling off scarf, wig
Police said a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.

The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.

Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.

The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

There has been a spate of attacks in recent months against visibly Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.
Arabic-speaking man tosses rock at Israeli’s head in Germany
A 27 -year-old Israeli woman was the victim of a violent antisemitic attack in Bavaria after an Arabic-speaking man tossed a rock at her after she spoke Hebrew.

She suffered a head injury, according to the Bavarian daily Merkur, which reported on Thursday that the police are searching for the suspect who fled the scene of the alleged crime.

That attack took place on Wednesday near a cemetery in the town of Massing. The Israeli woman was walking with her two sons near the cemetery. After the woman called for one of her sons in Hebrew, the man screamed in Arabic “Jew” and tossed a stone at her head.

The Merkur reported that the suspect is between 40 and 50 years-old and has short, black hair. He spoke broken German with a foreign accent.
Israeli startups raise more than $1 billion in September
Israeli startups raised $5.9 billion so far in 2019 and are on track to pass last year’s record-breaking figure of $6.4 billion, the Israeli business daily Globes reported on Wednesday.

Based on press releases from Israeli companies that have completed financing rounds, more than $1 billion was raised in September alone.

However, the true figure is likely even higher, as some companies do not reveal investment data, according to the report.

Israeli tech companies raised $650 million in July and $350 million in August, according to the IVC Research Center.

In September, credit company Fundbox raised $326 million, fintech firm Tipalti raised $76 million and open security platform Snyk raised $70 million. In addition, drone defense company D-Fend raised $28 million, and 3D-printing company Xjet raised $45 million.
Early clinical trial for ALS sufferers shows biotech firm ‘on the right track’
Kadimastem Ltd., a biotechnology firm that develops cell therapies, said it has received “promising interim results” from a first group of patients treated with its new therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative condition that causes the loss of muscle control.

“Looks like we are on the right track,” said Rami Epstein, the CEO of Kadimastem, in a phone interview. “The interim results are important because they demonstrate that we have managed to inject the live cells into a human body without any treatment-related significant adverse effect, while also showing a measurable therapeutic effect. Our cell therapy managed to significantly slow down the disease progression and halt deterioration of the disease.”

The cell therapy aims to slow or even halt the progression of the disease and improve patients’ quality of life and life expectancy, he said.

ALS leads to muscle weakness, loss of motor function, paralysis, breathing problems, and eventually death. The average life expectancy of ALS patients is two to five years. According to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, there are approximately 450,000 ALS patients worldwide, 30,000 of them in the US. According to the ALS Foundation for Life, the annual average healthcare costs of an ALS patient in the US are estimated at US$ 200,000. Thus, the annual healthcare costs of ALS patients in the US alone amount to $6 billion.

In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last week, the firm said that the treatment administered to one group of patients in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial held in Israel apparently caused a significant slowdown in the progress of the disease and was found to be safe.
Israel Mounts See-Through-Wall Radar on Robots
Israel’s Camero is positioning its Xaver see-though-wall technology for networked use by unmanned systems, according to company officials.

Ilan Abramovich, Camero (and sister company Meprolight) senior vice-president of sales and marketing for defence, said the company’s Xavernet, a wireless Toughbook-based networking capability, enables the handheld sense-through-wall radars to be operated from 100–200 m line-of-sight.

The concept places the radars on robotic or unmanned platforms for remote control. Currently, four radars can be controlled at once, Abramovich said. It works with the Xaver 100 and Xaver 400 systems, he added.

The Xaver 100 hand-held radar was designed for teams breaching a room or a door, to give them a ‘go or no-go’ decision by simply showing if a person was behind the wall by displaying an arrow that indicates if the person is moving towards or away from the wall.

All the Xaver series systems are radar-based, and use ultra wide-band radio signals between 3 –10 GHz. They have a 120° field of view (FOV) and can see through drywall, concrete, and various structures, though not solid metal. Metal drywall studs or concrete reinforced with rebar can block the signal as well, but can still make the system function if a non-metal through-spot can be found, Abramovich said.
Israel Shipyards Sells Patrol Craft Worldwide
Israel Shipyards has received orders for its newest patrol craft, the OPV 45, and is in discussions towards the first sale of a Sa'ar S-72 vessel, according to Noam Katsav, managing director at Israel Shipyards.

The Sa'ar S-72 is 71.8 m long, has a 3,200 n mile range, an 800 tonne displacement, and a 30 kt top speed. Contract talks are ongoing with one country, and one Sa'ar S-72 has begun construction in the meantime, Katsav said.

In September Israel Shipyards has sold two OPV 45s, which are 45.7 m long, have a 3,000 n mile range, a 290 tonne displacement, and a 24 kt top speed. The yard will start building those soon, he added. The OPV 45 is driven by fixed-pitch propellers and the power plants depend on the customer's needs. It can mount stabilised naval gun systems of up to 30 mm in the primary position, and 12.7 mm machine guns.

Meanwhile, the yard is building more of its Shaldag fast patrol craft. Shaldag variants - Mk II, III, IV, and V - are broken down by size to meet user-specific needs. The Israeli Navy, for example, typically wants small and fast vessels that can be operated by younger sailors.
Army inducts Israeli 'tank killers’ till DRDO develops indigenous ones
Indian infantry soldiers now finally have a new weapon to destroy advancing enemy tanks on the western front with Pakistan. The Army has begun to induct a limited number of Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to meet immediate operational requirements till the indigenous man-portable “tank killers” being developed by DRDO are ready for induction.

Sources on Thursday said the “first lot” of the 210 Spike missiles, with a dozen launchers, “arrived in India about 10 days ago” as part of the “Army vice chief’s emergency procurement powers” exercised by the force amidst the ongoing heightened tensions with Pakistan.

The Army moved to buy the initial amount of the fire-and-forget Spike ATGMs, which have a strike range of up to 4-km, for around Rs 280 crore after the Jaish-e-Muhammed training facility at Balakot in Pakistan was bombed by Indian Mirage-2000 fighters on February 26.

“The order will be repeated if the man-portable ATGM being developed by DRDO is not ready by next year. We don’t want to be slowed down any longer in plugging our critical operational deficiencies by DRDO,” said an Army source.
Cyprus Stocking Up on Israeli Drones
Cyprus’ National Guard is said to have received its first four unmanned drones from Israel, allowing Cypriot agencies to obtain clear views from high above over land and water.

The drones, Aerostar Tactical UAS (TUAS) made in Israel, are described as accurate, programmable, and one of the most efficient and cost-effective systems of its class. The specific make has logged over 250,000 operational flight hours with missions flown worldwide.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been delivered to Cyprus National Guard by Aeronautics, an Israeli company, extending the Cypriot range of capabilities for a number of agencies with high definition cameras that can get images from very high flying altitudes.

The purchase of the four UAV’s came at a total cost of 12 million euros the report said, adding that the use of the drones would include monitoring Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Additional uses would include patrolling forest areas in the summer to detect fires as well as assisting in rescue missions within the Nicosia Flight Information Region.
Paul McCartney to Get Back to the Yarkon, sources say
It might seem like only “Yesterday” that Paul McCartney performed in Israel, but maybe you’ll be amazed to learn that it was 11 years ago and Maariv is reporting that it’s “highly likely” that the beloved pop star and former Beatle will get back to Park HaYarkon (or possibly a different venue) for another concert.

Citing information from “close associates,” the publication said that McCartney was “in talks” with officials and promoters and the chance for another Tel Aviv show by the man once dubbed “the cute Beatle” is “extremely high.” Apparently, these sources think that they can work it out or in other words, McCartney will soon be showing us again that he loves Israel, yeah yeah yeah.

McCartney, who is currently married to the Jewish transportation mogul Nancy Shevell (rhymes with “Michelle”) - and whose first wife, the late photographer and animal-rights activist Linda Eastman, was Jewish - was able to master a few words of Hebrew in his 2008 performance, including, “Shana Tova” (Happy New Year) and “Ahava” (love) in addition to the obligatory “Shalom.” He ended that concert with the word, "Nitra'eh" -- "We'll see each other again."

If he needs more inspiration this time around, he might want to check out a Yiddish version of “A Hard Day’s Night” by Gerry Tenney which will surely inspire him to throw in a few Yiddishisms once he arrives here by jet, even if he doesn’t fly in from Miami Beach BOAC.

No word on whether Shevell will accompany him, which might prompt him to croon some silly love songs to his wife of nearly eight years. There’s also no word on whether his daughter, the acclaimed fashion designer Stella McCartney, will be leaving home to attend the show.
Kevin Spacey shows up in Israel, wearing a kippah
Kevin Spacey was spotted in an Israeli restaurant in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, catching the locals by surprise.

The former "House of Cards" star, who has recently faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, arrived in Israel to visit a friend who was sitting shiva (the traditional seven-day mourning period following the death of a family member) in Jerusalem.
Kevin Spacey at a restaurant in Tel Aviv

The actor was seen wearing a kippah during his shiva visit, but later took the kippah off when he dined at the Tel Aviv restaurant Coco BamBino.

Spacey is just one of a number of celebrities who have visited the Jewish state over the past few weeks, among them Demi Lovato and popular Eurovision contestant Mahmoud. Spacey's legal cases have been closed, but he has been fired from "House of Cards" and has remained a source of controversy.
Times Are A Changin’: Saudi Citizen Sings Jewish Prayer Marking Jewish New Year
On Thursday, outgoing U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt posted a video indicative of how much has changed in the Middle East in recent years, with a Saudi citizen singing the moving Jewish prayer “Avinu Malkeinu,” which is sung frequently during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, which marks the Jewish New Year and was celebrated at the beginning of this week, and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, in which Jews ask God for forgiveness for their sins.


Mohammed Saud was singing the version of “Avinu Malkeinu” written by the composer Max Janowski.

According to Jewish belief, on Rosh Hashanah God opens the book of life and death to decide who will live or die in the coming year; he closes the book on Yom Kippur, making the ten days noteworthy for serious introspection. On Yom Kippur, Jews are permitted to ask for forgiveness for their sins against God and sins they are unaware they have committed, but any sins against their fellow man must be dealt with by having apologized to the person who was hurt in the process and asking for their forgiveness personally.
Memorial service to be held in Ari Fuld's honor
On Sunday, a dedication and memorial ceremony will be held in honor of Ari Fuld who was stabbed and killed by a terrorist just over one year ago.

The Ari Fuld Project, which Fuld's widow, Miriam Fuld, founded with the non-profit organization Standing Together, completed fund raising for a "hospitality truck," something that Fuld was trying to fund around the time of his death.

The truck is meant to help IDF soldiers and was intended to be in memory of Fuld's friend Yehoshua Friedberg, a lone soldier from Canada who was murdered by terrorists in 1993. Now, the truck will have Fuld and Friedberg's photos side-by-side.

The ceremony will be held on Fuld's first yahrzeit (first anniversary of his death) at Gush Etzion Junction, where he was murdered.

Before he succumbed to his wounds, Fuld shot the terrorist that stabbed him, preventing him from harming anyone else. For this act of bravery, Fuld was posthumously awarded Israel's Medal of Valor.

At the age of 18 Fuld moved from New York to Israel and enlisted to the Golani Brigade, an IDF infantry unit. He later served as a reservist in an elite paratrooper unit and served in Efrat's counter-terrorism unit. He was a rabbi, educator, fundraiser, karate instructor and pro-Israel activist.
One of the Last Living Heroes of Israel's Fight for Independence
At 99, Harold "Smoky" Simon is one of the heroes of Israel's War of Independence. He was Chief of Air Operations in the war after flying as a navigator-bombardier for the South African Air Force (SAAF) during World War II. In 1948, as newlyweds, Simon and his wife, Myra, who had been a meteorologist in the SAAF, joined a South African Zionist Federation group to volunteer to fight in Israel. "Fighting the Nazis gave us the skills and the experience we needed to fight for Israel," he says.

"We had to muster all of our nerve to do the job against these powerful enemies. We were up against six Arab armies - the Egyptians were supplied by the Brits, the Syrians by the French, and we didn't have a single combat plane of our own." Israel had old German planes sold by the Czechs, smuggled in and reassembled.

Simon reminds us of Arab League Secretary-General Abdul Rachman Azzam Pasha, who said on May 1, 1948: "If the Zionists dare to establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated." Simon continues, "These were difficult times. None of us knew how it would turn out. But as proud as I'd been to be one of millions fighting to defeat the Nazis, it was even more emotional when you are part of a small bunch fighting for your own people, your own country."

"With all the odds against us then, there is far more than human effort behind that victory. Returning to our ancient land, we are living a miracle of biblical proportions here." In 1968, Simon was elected as chairman of World Machal, representing nearly 5,000 volunteers from 59 countries who fought in the War of Independence. He has served in that capacity for a half-century.



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10/03 Links Pt2: BDS is face of old antisemitism: What will we do to stop it?; Neo-Nazi protestors in Germany call for Palestinian help against Israel; Eleanor Roosevelt: Palestine, Israel and Human Rights   

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From Ian:

If Jews Don’t Speak Up for Themselves, No One Will Speak Up for Them
In his sermon for Rosh Hashanah, Ammiel Hirsch, the rabbi of a prominent Reform synagogue in Manhattan, urged his congregants not to lose sight of “the central Jewish principle [that] all Jews are responsible one for the other.” It is impossible, he argued, to “live a full Jewish life” without feeling that “the pain of a Belgian Jew is our pain; the fear of an Israeli child terrorized by rockets is our fear; the insecurity of Orthodox Jews attacked repeatedly on the streets of Brooklyn is our insecurity.” Yet, in the face of the anti-Semitic threats that come from so many different directions—which Hirsch went on to analyze—Jews must not lose their sense of pride, or begin to see Judaism as a burden rather than a privilege.


Progress on Antisemitism and BDS at the UN and Women’s March
In the war against BDS, the most recent development in academia was the Department of Education censure of Duke University and the University of North Carolina for the misuse of Federal Title VI funds, prompted by complaints over a BDS related event in the spring. Title VI of the Higher Education Act is intended to support foreign language instruction and US national security needs, but has become a slush fund for tendentious Middle East Studies education and programming aimed at college students and K-12.

The Education Department’s letter to the Duke-UNC Center for Middle East Studies complained that fewer than 1,000 students were taking Middle East language courses, while almost 7,000 were enrolled in Middle East Studies courses with “little or no relevance to Title VI.” The complaint also criticized the lack of focus on religious minorities in the Middle East and the near exclusive emphasis on Islam, particularly for K-12 teachers.

The schools were instructed to respond with a compliance plan. In the interim, however, predictable complaints were voiced by academics regarding the alleged “chilling effect on academic freedom” and by BDS advocates, who characterized the move as “anti-Palestinian.”

The investigation comes after a recent study demonstrated that Arab and Muslim countries had donated billions of dollars to American colleges and universities in the past decade, with over $1.5 billion from Qatar alone. The impact of these donations is difficult to measure, but the deference and obsequiousness shown by universities and academics to donors generally is well known.

Underscoring the impact of BDS and biased pedagogy on campus, another report also indicated that Israel-related antisemitism on campuses increased dramatically between 2017 and 2018. Strong increases were seen in accusations of “genocide” against Israel, along with justifications for terrorism. Most important were dramatic increases in faculty-led BDS activities including sponsored events and individual boycotts of Israel and supporters.

Finally, it was announced that the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference would be taking place at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of November. The announcement also touted the election of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The conference is designed to train BDS activists, many of them already on record espousing violence, as well as expand “intersectional” alliances of those “who struggle against state violence, settler-colonialism, and imperialism — from Palestine to Turtle Island, from the Philippines to Mexico and beyond.”
Adam Milstein: BDS is face of old antisemitism: What will we do to stop it?
The majority of recent reports on the connection of the BDS movement to both terrorism and antisemitism make many different recommendations on how to stop the growing antisemitism of our era. One recommendation of particular note is that countries should accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, uphold its principles and outlaw the BDS movement.

The IHRA’s working definition is a concise description of a complex hatred that takes many forms. It reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The people who lead the BDS movement bring many different kinds of antisemitic hatred into our public conversation, and the IHRA definition helps identify the sort of bigotry they spread. It defines antisemitism as accusing Jews or Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; accusing Jews of dual loyalty; using blood libel to criticize Israel; comparing Israel to the Nazis; and holding the Jewish state to a double standard – or, in one of its purest forms of hate, denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination.
Now that many in the world are finally acknowledging just how evil BDS is, our Jewish community and fellow Americans must follow suit. Governments and NGOs must adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Our local, state and federal governments must pass laws and resolutions that condemn and delegitimize the vile hatred of BDS. Politicians and bureaucrats should stop funding educational programs that include BDS bigotry. Financial platforms should not be allowed to provide services to BDS organizations that publish antisemitic content or have links to terrorism. And we shall all demand that social media platforms remove antisemitic BDS content.

After a decade of excuses and inaction about BDS, it seems that some people are finally waking up to the danger this movement poses – not only to the Jewish people, but also to the basic values of the liberal societies in which we live.

It is the responsibility of our leaders to build on the recent momentum to inform the public about the BDS movement’s antisemitic agenda, its shadowy funding sources, its true aim of denying Jewish self-determination, its lopsided and underhanded tactics, and its connection to terrorism.

BDS is the new face of the old antisemitism, and when it comes to fighting antisemitism, the old adage “better late than never” is particularly apt for our moment. It’s time for us all to get to work.
Chief Rabbi of UK Speaks of BDS and the Rise of Antisemitism
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Kingdom spoke with Jordana Miller on the rise of antisemitism and the effects of the BDS movement in the UK.


Neo-Nazi protestors in Germany call for Palestinian help against Israel
Dozens of neo-Nazis marched through the German city of Dortmund on Monday, calling for Palestinian support to eradicate Israel.

The demonstration, which came on the heels of an anti-fascist protest in the western German city, involved approximately seventy neo-Nazi activists marching through the streets, holding flags of the Third Reich flag and chanting, "Palestine help us, Israel still exists" and "Israel no more."

Israel's Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff posted condemned the neo-Nazi rally, writing on Twitter: "Disgraceful to see neo-Nazis openly on the streets of Dortmund just as we celebrate the Jewish New Year, my wife’s great grand parents were from Dortmund and were murdered by the Nazis, where there is no remorse there can be no forgiveness."

Dortmund is considered to have the biggest neo-Nazi presence of any city in western Germany, with the majority of them living in the Dorstfeld quarter.

Dorstfeld is littered with graffiti of Third Reich's flag, symbols and writings.In September, anti-fascist activists arrived with police backup in Dorstfeld, where they covered the hateful graffiti with colors and messages calling for unity and tolerance.

When the neo-Nazis pledged retaliation for the clean-up, the anti-fascist activists vowed to march against them every Monday for the next 13 weeks.



Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs: Eleanor Roosevelt: Palestine, Israel and Human Rights
The creation of the State of Israel was an act of racism, imperialism, and colonialism. Eleanor Roosevelt supported it, which means she was not the humanitarian everyone believes her to be, but rather a racist, imperialist, and colonialist. That is the central thesis of Geraldine Kidd’s dissertation-turned-prosecutorial brief against the most influential first lady in American history.

Readers will have no trouble surmising where Kidd (who teaches at University College in Cork, Ireland) stands on the Arab–Jewish conflict, and why she is so disappointed in Mrs. Roosevelt’s sympathy for Zionism. Arab violence in Mandatory Palestine was merely a response to “incursions by the land-hungry Zionists” (p. 90) and “the insidious and ever-growing [Jewish] colonization” (p. 91), Kidd asserts. Arab leaders who violently opposed the creation of a Jewish state of any size were merely “vigorously defending Palestinian rights in the face of Jewish imposition” (p. 80). As for Mrs. Roosevelt, she “aspired for a Jewish-occupied Palestine” (p. 240) and her “growing interest in Palestine as a Jewish state bade ill for the indigenous people, whose land the Zionists coveted” (p. 54).

“Indigenous,” incidentally, is a term invoked by Kidd with almost comic frequency. She applies it to the Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine no less than eleven times in the first 100 pages of her book, yet never feels it necessary to explain the basis for that assertion. For Kidd, it is self-evident that the Arabs have been the rightful owners of every inch of the country since time immemorial, while “the foreign, migrating Jewish minority” should be regarded as usurpers and criminals (p. 31).

As she chronicles Mrs. Roosevelt’s views and record on Palestine, Kidd has trouble letting her have the last word. Again and again, she cites some remark by the first lady, then quickly follows with a rebuttal of her own. The book at times resembles a meeting of a debate club. Mrs. Roosevelt states that Palestine did not belong to Britain; Kidd interjects, “She was ignoring the fact that the Mandate granted them legal authority to govern it” (p. 123). Mrs. Roosevelt alludes to illegal Arab immigration into Palestine; Kidd retorts, “This statement is an extraordinary reversal of the facts, for it was not the Arabs who had moved into the Jewish orbit but instead it was the Jews who had steadily encroached on the Arabs” (p. 123). The former first lady finds fault with the Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948; an incensed Kidd responds, “This argument is weak, as obviously the Palestinians, in their panic, had no way of knowing what the future might hold for them.” Kidd adds, for good measure, that Mrs. Roosevelt’s point “neatly coincided with contemporaneous Zionist thinking” (p. 174).
Prime Minister condemns “antisemitic Marxists” at Labour Party Conference last week
In his Conservative Party Conference speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lambasted “the fratricidal antisemitic Marxists who were in Brighton [at the Labour Party Conference] last week.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism reported multiple instances of antisemitism or concern over anti-Jewish abuse at the Labour Party Conference, and has warned that the Labour Party is now institutionally antisemitic.


On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

In recent months, twelve MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
Top UK Cabinet Minister: Everyone ‘Has a Duty to Stop’ Antisemitism
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid reiterated his support for the Jewish state at a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) event on Tuesday.

Addressing the gathering, which was attended by six cabinet ministers as well as a slew of other prominent figures, Javid said, “When I look at Israel… it is a country that aligns with all of our values… it’s great to see how strongly this party supports the values of Israel at every level.”

Javid also condemned antisemitism in the UK, declaring, “Everyone in this room has a duty to stop it.”

“Anyone with a sense of history knows full well why the Jewish community feels uneasy now, and nowadays we don’t have to look to the past to learn, sadly you just have to look around you,” he continued.

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev told Javid, “You can be proud… that under this Conservative government, the Israel-UK partnership is stronger than ever before. Our trade is growing beyond the £8.6 million we had last year, we have just signed a trade agreement so that trade will continue to grow in the years to come. That’s prosperity and that’s jobs.”
Corbyn Sparks Controversy for Rosh Hashanah Video Featuring Hamas Supporter
Jeremy Corbyn sparked outrage for releasing a Rosh Hashanah video that features an activist who last year led a public Jewish mourning prayer for dead members of Hamas.

In the clip posted on Twitter ahead of the Jewish holiday, Corbyn visits a grocery store with Jewish Labour Party members to discuss the symbolism of honey and apples for the Jewish new year and promote Labour’s “Green Industrial Revolution” program.

Alongside him is Rob Abrams, a Jewish anti-Zionist activist who in May 2018 led the Kaddish prayer in Parliament Square for 62 Palestinians killed on the Israel-Gaza border, at least 50 of whom were Hamas operatives, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Israel activist David Collier wrote in response to the clip, “There is no way you are not aware much of the Jewish community were outraged when this person explicitly led a prayer service for dead Hamas terrorists. Which makes your actions here deliberate. Your spiteful nature highlights you are a real danger.”

Also in the video is Labour counselor Sue Lukes, who tweeted an article titled the “Jewish ‘War against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain” and wrote a piece to “honor” Malia Bouattia, the former National Union of Students president who was accused of antisemitism.
Local UK Labour Party Branch Planning No-Confidence Vote Against Jewish MP on Eve of Yom Kippur
A local UK Labour party branch is planning a no-confidence vote against a Jewish MP on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Dame Louise Ellman, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who is Jewish, has been active in Jewish Labour groups and critical of antisemitism in her party.

Labour has been beset by series of antisemitism scandals since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015.

Ellman has held leadership positions in the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, and is currently vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council.

The proposed motion by the St. Michael’s Labour branch states, “This Branch is fully behind Jeremy Corbyn,” and cites a statement by Ellman in which she said that she understood “why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM.”

As a result of her statement, says the motion, “We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our [Constituency Labour Party] and the Riverside constituency, or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”

“This Branch therefore calls on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign,” the motion concludes.

The motion will be taken up at a meeting to be held at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, which is the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Jewish Voice for Labour member Stephen Marks, who defended Jackie Walker, is re-elected to Labour’s disciplinary body
Stephen Marks, a member of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, has been re-elected to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, the Party’s disciplinary body.

Mr Marks signed a 2017 petition in support of Jackie Walker, a former vice-chair of Momentum and one of those exemplifying the institutionalisation of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Mr Walker was repeatedly suspended by Labour and finally expelled earlier this year. She has persistently claimed that complaints of antisemitism are part of a plot to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and has rejected the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Last year Mr Marks also reportedly shared a petition in support of David Watson, who was suspended from Labour in 2016 for allegedly sharing claims on social media comparing the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad with the Nazis and accusing Israel of genocide. Mr Marks is reported to have written in respect of Mr Watson: “It is cases like this which ‘bring the party into disrepute’. Those responsible are the ones who should be suspended!”

Earlier this month Mr Watson reportedly called for the abolition of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which launched a full statutory investigation into Labour antisemitism on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Jewish Voice for Labour co-chair to speak at “Stand up to racism” church event on Yom Kippur
Jenny Manson, the co-chair of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), is scheduled for a speaking engagement on Kol Nidrei, the night of Yom Kippur.

The event, titled “Resisting the rise of the racists and fascists”, will feature Ms Manson on a panel with Weyman Bennett, a member of the Socialist Workers Party’s central committee. The panel is part of a larger “West London stand up to racism” event at St Mary’s Church Hall in South Ealing on 8th October. It is anticipated that there will be debate on far-right extremism and antisemitism.

Although Ms Manson has previously admitted that JVL was founded in order “to tackle allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”, she has reportedly been “hurt” by suggestions that question her Jewishness and the organisation has also stressed its Jewish credentials (including in its name). Some have suggested that this stance is somewhat undermined by undermined by Ms Manson’s decision to participate in a speaking engagement at a church on Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and is marked by most Jews with fasting and synagogue attendance. Communal organisations are shut and work or public engagements are generally discouraged.
Labour MP sorry for liking Facebook comment claiming Israel disgraces Jews
Labour’s MP for Kensington has apologised for liking a Facebook comment claiming Israel “disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”

Emma Dent Coad, who was elected in 2017, ‘unliked’ the comment within hours of Jewish News reaching out for comment.

A spokesperson for the MP said: “Emma liked this in error and apologises.”

A comment posted by online user Earl Okin on Monday evening read: “I’ve always been a Bevanite – my ultimate political hero….and as a Jew, the current Israeli apartheid regime disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”

It was reported to Jewish News by the anti-racism Twitter account GnasherJew.

The post was a response to another post by online user Bob Pandy critical of “Blairite” MPs and “members of the Netanyahu fan club”.
Grotesque: Al Sharpton Gives Rosh Hashanah Sermon at East Side Synagogue
On Monday, former pogrom leader and current Democrat kingmaker Al Sharpton boasted on his Facebook page the fact that he was “being presented to speak at the Rosh Hashanah Services of the East Side Synagogue by Rabbi Perry Berkowitz and Rabbi Leah Berkowitz.”

For the record, the ESS informed its members that “this year our worship space of many years, the All Souls Sanctuary, is undergoing extensive renovation and is not available for our use. We are blessed that services will be held instead at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at corner of 73rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. This is a beautiful and awe-inspiring space that will deepen our High Holyday (sic) experience.”

Like the old joke says, “The synagogue is closed for the holidays.”

By now practically every Jewish newspaper in New York has condemned the notion that Sharpton, who is identified more than anyone else with the August 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom, should be preaching to Jews on the “High Holyday.” Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of the 770 Eastern Parkway headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch shortly after the riot, leading some 400 rioters who were chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No justice, no peace!” Sharpton himself notoriously called Jews “diamond merchants,” which was his personal contribution to the anti-Semitic vernacular.
Twtichy: ‘Disgusting’: Socialist N.Y. State Senator (and AOC pal) Julia Salazar channels Ilhan Omar in response to Brooklyn synagogue being vandalized on Rosh Hashanah
Remember New York State Senator Julia Salazar? She’s the Democratic socialist who lied about being an immigrant and a Jew. This will probably come as a major shock to you, but it seems that the kind of person who would lie about being Jewish doesn’t actually have a whole lot of respect for Jews.

On September 30, teenage thugs threw large objects (reportedly milk crates) through the window of the Rivnitz synagogue in Brooklyn during a Rosh Hashanah service:


She might as well have written “Some people apparently threw something through some building.”
Conservative Group Severs Ties With ‘Brand Ambassador’ for Controversial Photo
Pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA (TPUSA) announced this week that it has severed ties with one of its brand ambassadors following a picture of her at a dinner over the weekend with accused antisemites and white nationalists.

A spokesperson confirmed on Monday to Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, which monitors far-right activities and content, that Ashley St. Clair is no longer part of TPUSA.

“TPUSA is a large national organization that touches hundreds of thousands of people all across the nation,” said the spokesperson. “Ashley is no longer one of our thousands of volunteer activists and ambassadors. [Founder and executive director] Charlie [Kirk] and TPUSA have repeatedly and publicly denounced white nationalism as abhorrent and un-American and will continue to do so.”

The spokesperson also noted that St. Clair wasn’t representing the organization while she was photographed.

St. Clair, who is Jewish, attended a dinner held after a debate between antisemitic and white-nationalist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes, who attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl.

St. Clair, who wasn’t at the debate, attended what she told Right Wing Watch was a “diverse dinner.”
Demi Lovato 'sorry not sorry' for Israel visit
Grammy-nominated American singer and actress Demi Lovato’s love affair with Israel on her recent visit here seems to have come to an abrupt halt.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday that was then deleted, Lovato apologized if her trip offended anyone.

Lovato’s visit initially appeared to have gone well, so the controversy that followed came as a surprise. The pop singer, who has more than 74 million Instagram followers, posted photos of herself at the Western Wall, being baptized in the Jordan River, touring Yad Vashem, and visiting the Shalva National Center for people with disabilities.

“There is something absolutely magical about Israel,” she gushed. “I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God… something I’ve been missing for a few years now... I’m grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart. Thank you for having me, Israel.”

But on Wednesday, she wrote in an Instagram story: “I’m extremely frustrated. I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I’m sorry if I hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention. Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return. This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT, and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry. Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience. Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”

The BDS backlash began as soon as Lovato posted photos of her Israel visit on Instagram. Angry fans responded with scathing comments that she was ignoring the plight of the Palestinians and that she should boycott Israel.

Lovato then deleted the comments on a photo showing her Jordan River baptism where she praised Israel as “magical.”
Her detractors took to Twitter to criticize the singer. Among the comments, Nouran Ahmed wrote: “Hey, Demi... actually, you need to read more about the history of this land because it’s called Palestine, not Israel, and the magical feeling that you felt, it’s back to the history of the land (Palestine) not Israel.”

While BDS supporters have long campaigned to persuade celebrities to cancel planned trips to Israel, the controversy over Lovato’s visit is unusual in that the pressure came following her visit. Apparently, the singer was taken by surprise by the criticism. But why she then removed her apology – which lives on in screen grabs – is unclear.

Meanwhile, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin took credit for inviting her as an initiative of his ministry. (h/t Esty)


German Museum to Give Walid Raad Art Prize Despite City Government’s Objection: Report
On Monday, the German city of Aachen announced that it had withdrawn a decision to give a prestigious art prize worth €10,000 (roughly $10,900) to artist Walid Raad, citing his alleged support for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, a pro-Palestine movement. But, according to a new report, that move is not the end of the story.

The German news network WDR reports that Raad will receive the award after all, via the Ludwig Forum for International Art, a museum in the city that facilitates the award, the Aachen Art Prize. The museum’s board reportedly made the decision on Tuesday night.

Marcel Philipp, the mayor of Aachen, previously said in a statement, “According to research, we have to assume that the designated prizewinner is a supporter of the BDS movement and has been involved in various measures for the cultural boycott of Israel.” He added that, when the city of Aachen had inquired with him about his alleged support for BDS, Raad had been “evasive.” The city alleged that Raad “could not distance himself from BDS,” which it referred to as an “anti-Semitic” movement.

The Ludwig Forum’s board reportedly disagreed with the city’s of Aachen’s decision, however, and WDR said that its members could not find any evidence that Raad was an anti-Semite.

The Ludwig Forum and Raad did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In an interview with the German publication Deutschlandfunk, the Ludwig Forum’s CEO, Michael Müller-Vorbrüggen, said that the museum had obtained the funds to give out the award, and it was therefore it did not need to the city’s permission to offer Raad the prize.
University and College Union apologises after failing to include Jews on list of groups of Holocaust victims
The University College Union (UCU) has apologised after it left out Jews from a description of the different groups murdered in the Holocaust, an omission the chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust called “completely unacceptable”.

The UCU had sent out an e-mail to branch and local association secretaries, in which chapters of the union were encouraged to observe HMD 2020, which takes place on January 27.

It described how the Nazis had persecuted groups such as “trade unions, including social democrats and Communists”, “Europe’s Roma and Sinti people”, “Black people”, “disabled people”, “freemasons”, “gay and lesbian people”, “Jehovah’s witnesses” and “'asocials’, which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts prostitutes and pacifists” were persecuted by the Nazi regime.

It also specifically mentioned “non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs”. However, it made no mention of Jews, the primary targets of the Holocaust.

When the e-mail was publicised, Jews on social media attacked the “shocking” and “sickening” omission, with others suggesting that the mention of “non-Jewish Poles” showed the Union had clearly been thinking about who to include – and who to leave out.

A link in the e-mail led to a specific page on the UCU about HMD, which also neglected to mention Jews as victims of the Holocaust, while mentioning other significant groups.

In a subsequent e-mail from the union’s “equality support official”, the organisation apologised for what it called “drafting errors” in its initial message.
Columbia celebrates anti-Semitism
I want to give Mohamad credit on one score: He’s honest about his Jew-hatred. He doesn’t pretend he’s only attempting to champion Palestinian rights. He doesn’t pretend to be supporting boycotts just to encourage Israelis to withdraw from “occupied territories.” He doesn’t claim that he’s not anti-Semitic but merely anti-Zionist.

That last claim I find particularly misleading and annoying. Because, given a choice, I’ll take anti-Semites over anti-Zionists any day. Garden-variety anti-Semites – I’m not talking about neo-Nazis or Stalinists or Khomeinists or Salafi/jihadis – disparage Jews. They don’t want them working in their businesses, living in their neighborhoods, or joining their clubs. That’s nasty but disparagement is survivable, and alternative businesses, neighborhoods and clubs can generally be found.

Anti-Zionists, by contrast, seek a more consequential goal. They want to deprive Israel of its fundamental right to exist. They want to end Jewish self-determination in any part of the ancient Jewish homeland, a unique refuge for Jews who fled not only from Europe but also – and in larger numbers – from Arab and Muslim countries.

Were anti-Zionists to achieve their goal, were they to succeed in eradicating the Jewish state, what would happen to the more than 6 million Jewish Israelis who live there? I think you know. I think Mohamad knows too. Perhaps he’d be “very sympathetic to them.” If he’s still around, of course.
When anti-Semites take advantage of liberal institutions
Last week, during a forum of world leaders held in my school, Columbia University, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad spoke.

The 94-year-old leader is probably the most anti-Semitic head of state. He doesn’t try to hide his anti-Semitism, he doesn’t just criticize Israel, he practices classic anti-Semitism, the kind that has been associated with various slurs against the Jewish people (they have long noses; they rule the world; they cause others to fight and die for them, and so forth).

Letting the Malaysian leader speak is only the latest example of the institution's problematic choice of speakers, having already let former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at the university about a decade ago.

The organization that I head, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), has refused to stay silent. Although we could not get Mahathir's speech canceled, we decided to generate a critical conversation so that the university won’t even consider inviting someone like the Malaysian prime minister ever again.

We were told that we would lose, that he would be welcomed with great honor at the university and that his anti-Semitic agenda would not be condemned.

But we did not relent. We created a petition that got more than 3,000 signatures, we sent a letter to the university president and to the professor who was to introduce the prime minister at the event, and we demanded that both university officials condemn Mahathir.
Seth J Frantzman: Khashoggi's abused to whitewash dictatorships' treatment of journalists
Websites that support the Iranian regime, state media in Turkey, and voices from authoritarian regimes and human rights abusers sought to cynically exploit the anniversary of the murder of former Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi. Since last year, the genuine grief over the death of Khashoggi has been hijacked in some countries and media to use it for ulterior motives, talking about press freedom while journalists are jailed, expelled and harassed.

“Even as Turkish leaders call for an international inquiry into Saudi Arabian journalist Khashoggi’s murder, the Committee to Protect Journalists found the Turkish government to be the world’s biggest jailer of journalists for the third consecutive year,” ABC news noted last year.

Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders were on hand in Istanbul this year to commemorate the murder of Khashoggi. Amnesty published a special call to honor his legacy.

While Amnesty was commemorating Khashoggi, the human rights organization also pointed out the long list of abuses of freedom in Turkey. Yet Ankara’s state media outlets have sought to highlight Khashoggi’s death as an example of press freedom.

A scientist was sentenced to 15 months in prison just days before the Khashoggi commemoration for the apparent crime of publishing environmental findings. Amnesty has called for charges to be dropped against the academic, whom it describes as a whistle-blower.

Amnesty noted in August that Turkey carries out mass blocking of websites, a “full-frontal attack on freedom of expression.” According to the human rights organization, the Reporters Without Borders representative that attended the Khashoggi event was himself detained in 2016 “after symbolically guest editing a publication for a day as part of a solidarity campaign.”
Guardian smears Israel with false claim of 50 ‘racist laws’
A Sept. 25th op-ed at the Guardian (“Ousting Netanyahu isn’t enough for Israel’s Palestinians. They want equality”) by former +972 contributor Amjad Iraqi included the claim that Israel has “dozens of discriminatory laws”.

Iraqi’s claim that Israeli Arabs are afforded less rights than Jews links to a report by the radical-left NGO Adalah (where he works as its advocacy director) alleging the existence of at least “50 racist laws” in Israel. However, CAMERA and other watchdog groups have refuted Adalah’s claims of racism – a term used so carelessly by the NGO that even an Israeli public health law requiring that parents vaccinate their children is included on their list of “racist laws”.

Among the most comprehensive analyses of the “50 racist laws” claim was conducted by the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), a policy and research organization dedicated to preserving Israel as a democratic Jewish state.

Here are the highlights from their detailed July 2016 report:

- The overwhelming majority of the laws featured in the list (53 out of 57) do not even relate to the citizens’ ethnic origins and those that do, are designed to prevent and avoid discrimination. For example, the Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) that defines the country’s official rest days, and the Law for Using the Hebrew Date, both explicitly exclude institutions and authorities that serve non-Jewish populations for whom the law provides for definitions and procedures appropriate for their specific needs.

- In 21 cases, Adalah’s claims of discrimination stem from the organization’s extremist stance that rejects the nature of Israel as a nation-state in general and as the nation-state of of the Jewish people in particular. For example, the Yad BenZvi Law is defined as a discriminatory law because of the institution’s objective of promoting Zionist ideals.

- 18 of the laws reflect customs in other Western democracies whose democratic character no one would disparage. For example, according to Adalah, the flag constitutes a discriminatory law. Needless to say, this unfounded reasoning would mean that any country, the flag of which bears a cross or crescent discriminates against its non-Christian or non-Muslim minorities. A more in-depth comparison between the laws frequently found that Israeli legislation is actually characterized by a higher degree of tolerance for its national minorities.
The Washington Post’s Skewed Worldview on Jews and Israel
The overwhelming majority of American Jewry has a positive view of Israel. Yet, the overwhelming majority of opinion pieces and reporting from major U.S. news outlets doesn’t reflect this reality. Instead, the media promotes a small and unrepresentative minority. The Washington Post offers a case in point.

Ninety-five percent of American Jews have a “strongly positive” view of Israel, according to an August 2019 Gallup poll. The pollster noted that this was “significantly more pro-Israel than the overall national averages of 71% favorable views of Israel and 21% favorable views of the Palestinian Authority.”

Similarly, a 2013 Pew survey observed: “76% of Jews (identified by religion) said they were at least somewhat emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, almost half said that caring about Israel is an essential part of being Jewish (with most of the rest saying it is important although not essential) and nearly half reported that they had personally traveled to Israel.”

In short: American Jewry is, except for a miniscule minority, pro-Israel. Yet, the American media often chooses to give a megaphone to Jews that actively oppose, or are hypercritical of, the Jewish state.

The Washington Post, for example, gives inordinate column space to the tiny fraction of Jews, American and otherwise, who are against the right of Jewish self-determination. In a Sept. 20, 2019 tweet, Mairav Zonszein of +972 magazine cheered that her publication was “all up in The Washington Post opinion pages today,” with two pieces from the same organization appearing on the same day. Zonszein proudly noted that editors of “mainstream outlets” were no longer editing out or tweaking her use of the term “apartheid.”


In Pittsburgh a year later, the shofar-blower is dead and the shul is shuttered
As this city’s Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, the Tree of Life synagogue stood closed, its doors blocked by a chain-link fence.

A brown, wilted wreath hung on a tree near the synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 worshipers last year in the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. Jewish stars bearing the names of the victims are taped to a glass door at the front entrance, behind a fence and under an Israeli flag and a sign thanking first responders. A makeshift wooden sign on a barricade next to the building reads “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”

The synagogue is built to welcome hundreds of Jews. But the only person to enter regularly now is a custodian who maintains the building while the three congregations that meet there decide what to do. Tree of Life has been shuttered since the attack.

“I hope it’s torn down,” said Ellen Surloff, who was president of one of the congregations, the Reconstructionist Dor Hadash, at the time of the shooting. “I don’t think that I could ever go back in that building and not be continually reminded of what took place there.”

Signs of the attack remain everywhere in Squirrel Hill, the quiet, warm, tree-lined community that has been the home to Pittsburgh’s Jews for more than a century, and which otherwise feels idyllic as summer turns into fall.

Local businesses display a sign created shortly after the attack that reads “Stronger than Hate” alongside a yellow Star of David and blue and red diamonds — the city’s traditional colors. The kosher supermarket hangs a banner with the names of the 11 victims. The local Starbucks has three large hearts painted on its windows with the words “love,” “kindness” and “hope” painted in Hebrew and English on each one.
‘A rapidly spreading crisis’
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD student began wetting himself in class after he was subjected to antisemitic bullying over the course of four months, while a 12-year-old student was forced to kiss the feet of a Muslim child and was physically assaulted.

Both Jewish students, who have asked to remain anonymous, had to leave their public schools because their families felt the principals did not provide them adequate support.

The first child, a prep student at Hawthorn West Primary School, started wetting himself in bed at night, and in class. He also became agitated, began using derogatory language and looked for an excuse each morning to avoid going to school. His parents knew something was wrong, but were unsure if it was all a part of the adjustment process from kindergarten.

Then, after spilling his cereal one morning, the five-year-old broke down. “He literally fell down on the floor,” his mother shared with The AJN, “and said, ‘Mummy, you shouldn’t love me. I’m a worthless, Jewish rodent. I’m vermin.'”

Mortified, his mother crumbled on the floor with him.

It was later revealed that the young boy was being bullied on a daily basis by five classmates in the school bathrooms. It started when he was questioned about being circumcised. Then came the barrage of antisemitic insults, including “Jewish vermin”, “the dirty Jew” and a “Jewish cockroach”.

But when raised with the school, the mother says they were “dismissive” of the antisemitic element. The school’s solution was to keep the student from using the regular bathroom, offering the facilities of another bathroom instead.

“But we felt uncomfortable because obviously you’re not addressing the issue,” remarked the student’s mother.

The parents called for an education policy about antisemitism to be rolled out. But the school declined.

According to the student’s mother, “they refused to accept there was an antisemitic issue. ‘It’s not antisemitism, it’s just bullying.’ The principal said, I don’t want to make other students feel uncomfortable”.
Daphne Anson: In the Lucky Country, Jewish Schoolkid Forced to Kiss a Muslim Schoolkid's Feet
Back in 2012, I drew attention on this blog to a disturbing trend identified at schools in north-west England.

The repellent state of affairs had been revealed by the noted Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman:

'Last November, in my capacity as a visiting professor at York St John University, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation by doctoral student Joy Schmack. Mrs Schmack, an extremely experienced teacher and inspector of secondary-school religious education, is researching the use of the word "Jew" in teenage classrooms in the north-west of England. She presented chilling evidence of the unmistakeable revival of the word "Jew" as a common term of abuse amongst teenagers, who apparently habitually use it as a synonym for "cheat" or "swindler", or "snitch". "Don't you dare Jew me", one Merseyside youngster might say to another - perhaps hardly realising the significance of these words.

Scarcely four months after hearing this presentation I received a communication from a retired gentleman whose family escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934 and who now devotes his retirement to talking about antisemitism to youngsters in schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. He had been moved to write to me because of his experience at one such school, where his presentation was discourteously received and where a teacher confessed to him that the word "Jew" had now replaced the word "gay" as a playground term of abuse. The teacher said: "If kids wish to insult each other, they now use (the word) Jew" [Emphasis added]....'


Now, the Australian Jewish News, in a scoop, reveals the antisemitic targeting that Jewish schoolkids at non-Jewish day schools in Melbourne have been enduring, causing them extreme anxiety and distress, and of the craven, odious response of the school authorities when the abused kids' parents (having tardily learned of the abuse from their persecuted offspring). That response was basically: "It's not antisemitism, it's bullying, and your kids should learn to toughen up".

They refused one set of parents' request to teach the school body about the realities and consequences of antisemitism.
Hitler-loving neo-Nazi who said it was his “dream” to create a bloodbath arrested at Luton airport and sentenced to four years in prison
Jacek Tchorzewski, an 18-year-old neo-Nazi Polish national staying in Buckinghamshire, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Mr Tchorzewski was arrested at Luton Airport in February on suspicion of terrorism offences as he tried to board a flight to Poland, with police recovering an “enormous amount” of digital documents, including manuals on making explosives and weapons. In one voice recording, Mr Tchorzewski said it was his “dream” to “plan some terrorism” and carry out an attack, and he wrote in a notebook found while he was remanded: “Let’s fill our hearts with terror and London’s streets with blood.”

Other documents included extreme right-wing material which praised Hitler, neo-Nazism and Satanism and also featured antisemitic sentiments and even called for genocide. He was also said to be connected to convicted terrorist Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, who was jailed in June.

Mr Tchorzewski pleaded guilty on 21st June at the Old Bailey to ten counts of possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was sentenced on 20th September at the Old Bailey.
Trial begins for German neo-Nazi group accused of plotting attacks
The trial of an alleged neo-Nazi terrorist cell accused of plotting violent political upheaval in Germany opened Monday amid reports the country’s far-right scene is growing more armed and radical.

Eight members of the so-called Revolution Chemnitz group aged between 21 and 32 will answer to charges of forming a right-wing terrorist organization, according to federal prosecutors.

Almost a year to the day after most of the suspects’ arrest in coordinated raids, the proceedings took place under tight security in Dresden, the capital of Saxony state, a stronghold of the extreme right.

Resentment runs deep in the region over Merkel’s liberal refugee policy that led to the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since 2015.

The anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany (AfD) party scored 27.5 percent in a state election earlier this month, just shy of the 32 percent garnered by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

The suspects are accused of “coming together to achieve their political goals — to shake the foundations of the state — with serious violent acts,” a spokeswoman for the superior regional court said.

They allegedly sought to carry out “violent attacks and armed assaults” against immigrants, political “opponents,” reporters and members of the economic establishment.
Argentina Holocaust museum takes custody of secret stash of Nazi artifacts
The Museum of the Holocaust in Argentina’s capital on Wednesday took custody of the largest collection of Nazi artifacts discovered in the country’s history.

Federal police and Interpol agents found the more than 70 Nazi objects hidden behind a bookcase in a collector’s home north of Buenos Aires in 2017 as part of an investigation into artworks of illicit origins. The Nazi items include busts of Adolf Hitler, an instrument to measure people’s heads to supposedly determine their racial purity and statues of the Nazi eagle with a swastika under its talons.

Owning Nazi objects in Argentina can be illegal if it is determined that the items incite racial or religious hate in public, although they can be allowed in private. It has not been determined if the collector violated the anti-discrimination law, although he has been charged with owning pieces of illegal origin.

Agents with Interpol began following the collector and with a judicial order raided the house on June 8, 2017. A large bookshelf caught their attention and behind it agents found a hidden passageway to a room filled with Nazi imagery.
Teen allegedly attacks Jewish woman in Brooklyn, pulling off her wig
Police said Thursday a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.

The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.

Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.

The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


Hate fliers circulated in Montana town on Rosh Hashanah
Fliers bearing white nationalist language and hate speech were circulated to businesses in Whitefish, Montana.

The fliers were circulated on Monday, the first day of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

“The hate literature was not only offensive in relation to the Jewish holiday, but it is concerning as there is a recorded rise and mainstreaming of antisemitism in the United States, including the troll storm perpetrated from outside the community onto the Jewish people of Whitefish just two and a half years ago,” Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network said in a statement.

The fliers included code words like the number “88,” which stands for “Heil Hitler” (because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet) and “14 Words” which represents a 14-word statement asserting white supremacy that was created by white nationalist David Lane, who is specifically named on the flier, according to the network.

Similar fliers appeared in Helena, Montana, over the weekend.

Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin launched a campaign in December 2016 against Jews in Whitefish in which he published personal details and photos of Jewish residents, including a child. The campaign stemmed from a real estate dispute in Whitefish between Tanya Gersh, who is Jewish, and Sherry Spencer, the mother of white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

Gersh said that anonymous internet users harassed her family after Anglin revealed her home address and phone number, her husband’s business contact information and her son’s Twitter handle.

Other Jewish families in Whitefish were also targeted. The Jewish population of the city is about 60.


Uber Expands Partnership With Israel’s Moovit
Ride-sharing company Uber is set to expand its collaboration — first announced in February — with Israel-based public transit app developer Moovit App Global, the latter said Wednesday. The original partnership saw Uber leverage Moovit’s application programming interface to provide users in London and four other cities with public transportation information, so that riders can access real-time transit data and route planning in the Uber app. As part of the expanded partnership, Uber is set to expand its service to 15 additional cities globally, including Paris and San Francisco.

Moovit also announced that ride-sharing company Lyft is set to implement a similar service in New York.

Founded in 2012 and based in central Israel, Moovit develops and offers a free mobile navigation app providing real-time public transit information in 3,000 cities and 92 countries. Its app has over 500 million users, adding to the company’s database of over 7,000 public transportation operators, according to the company’s statement.
CVC to Pay $450 Million for a 25 Percent Stake in Israeli Web and Mobile Monetization Company IronSource
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is negotiating a deal to acquire a 25 percent stake in web and mobile monetization company IronSource for $450 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The deal, which values IronSource at $1.55 billion, is expected to be signed in the upcoming 24 hours, the people said, adding that the company is expected to hand out $100 million-worth of dividends to shareholders before the deal is complete.

The negotiations almost came to an unsuccessful end two months ago due to disagreements over IronSource’s valuation, which has since been resolved, the people familiar with the matter said. If completed, the deal is expected to be the biggest secondary deal of an Israeli company. CVC will become IronSource’s largest shareholder, but its founders will keep a controlling share with a 45-50 percent stake held between them, down from the 60 percent they currently hold, according to the people. The company’s employees, which hold options worth $25 million, will also take part in the sale.

The CVC sale is expected to be the last funding IronSource raises before its initial public offering, scheduled for the second half of 2020. The company, which is expected to see revenues of around $1 billion for 2019 with an EBITDA of $150 million, expected to see its revenues and profit grow by its IPO. Its net profit for 2019 is estimated at $120 million to $130 million for 2019, according to the people familiar with the matter, and the company has no debt.

Founded in 2009, IronSource was originally a download optimization software developer, which shifted its focus to rewarded ads following a series of acquisi

          

Gov. Pritzker announces $4.2 Million in funding for Small Business Development Centers   

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Gov. JB Pritzker announced recently that the state would provide $4.2 million in funding for Small Business Development Centers throughout Illinois.

The funding is available to universities, community colleges and business focused nonprofit organizations to provide small businesses with support services through the operation of a Small Business Development Center.

“Illinois is home to more than a million small businesses that create good jobs and provide needed services and goods in their communities,” Pritzker said. “My administration is committed to making sure that these small businesses can thrive and get access to the support and resources they need to keep creating good jobs and growing our state’s economy, which is why I’m proud to invest $4.2 million in funding to serve them.”

There are 35 Small Business Development Centers located across the state that provide information, business guidance, training and other resources to small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.

“A core part of our mission is to help small businesses grow and thrive in Illinois,” Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity acting director Erin Guthrie said. “Small Business Development Centers are a much-needed resource for the state’s small business community and we are excited to provide funding that will support current SBDCs and allow for the creation of new centers across the state.”

Applicants are eligible to receive between $80,000 and $500,000.

The application process is competitive and not all organizations will receive funding.

For information about the application process, visit www2.illinois.gov/dceo/AboutDCEO/GATA/Pages/83-1249.aspx.

The deadline to apply for funding is 5 p.m. Oct. 25.


          

New state law to ‘de-felonize’ drug possession   

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With little fanfare and less publicity — at least here on the Western Slope — Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law four months ago that is likely to have a seismic impact on...

          

California OKs pharmacists to dispense HIV prevention meds    

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Pharmacists in California will be able to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor's prescription after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday that supporters say will greatly reduce the spread of infection.

Advocates of Senate Bill 159 say California is the first state to authorize pre-exposure prophylaxis, also called PrEP, and post-exposure prophylaxis, known as PEP, without prescriptions. California is already considered a leader in AIDS prevention, they say.

PrEP is a once-daily pill for HIV-negative people while PEP is a medication that people take to prevent the virus from taking hold. Supporters say PEP significantly reduces the risk of infection, but only if started within 72 hours of exposure to the virus.

Not everyone can get to a doctor in that time frame, says Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California.

"The ability to go into a pharmacy to avail themselves of the medication is a huge improvement to removing a barrier," he said.

He says the law will greatly improve access and help reduce the stigma around the drugs, especially in rural areas and among minorities.

Nearly 30,000 people in California use PrEP and 6,000 use PEP, according to the California Health Benefits Review Program, which provides analysis to the Legislature.

The California Medical Association was initially opposed to the legislation but became neutral on it after it was amended to limit the number of PrEP pills patients can get without a physician's note to 60 days, said Anthony York, spokesman for the association.

The association was concerned about "long-term use without physician oversight," he said.

The law also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to get prior authorization before using insurance to get...


          

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces increase in starting salary to $47,500 for Florida teachers   

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Following extensive pressure from educators and state lawmakers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a plan in his 2020 state budget to raise teacher pay to historically high levels.

The governor’s announcement came this morning in Middleburg, alongside Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Senate Appropriations Chair Sen. Rob Bradley.

The proposed wage hike, which DeSantis says is for “recruiting and retaining” quality teachers, would raise starting pay to a $47,500 “minimum,” and would impact 100,000 teachers statewide.

          

After BrooklynSpeaks meeting, can new legislative efforts improve accountability and reciprocal benefits? Three years to build each phase of platform?   

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The bottom line, from BrooklynSpeaks
Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park seems to be at an inflection point, presenters at a forum said last night, and that should offer leverage for improvements in public benefits and public oversight.

However, lead developer Greenland USA seems financially strained, it has not yet been pressured by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo for such improvements.

In fact, Cuomo’s Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing and shepherding the project, recently eased the way for a Greenland lessee, TF Cornerstone, to gain below-ground space to build a field house and fitness center below two towers slated to start next year, with no reciprocal benefit. at two upcoming

The question is whether those organized by the BrooklynSpeaks coalition—neighborhood and housing groups whose posture I've long described as "mend-it-don't-end-it"—can mount such pressure. At the meeting, Assemblymembers Walter Mosley and Jo Anne Simon indicated a willingness to push for state oversight hearings, thus putting ESD under scrutiny for just the second time in the project’s history.

Also, Council Member Brad Lander agreed that, while the project is not overseen by the city, a city oversight hearing, involving agencies working on housing and education issues, also could add sunlight. (Council Member Laurie Cumbo was also present, sounding more dismayed about the project than in some previous presentations.)

Those tentative pledges might be the most concrete outcomes of an event that included breakout sessions that produced proposals on a "new plan" and improvements in transportation and urban design, some practical, others pie-in-the-sky.

A platform coming, but on what schedule?

About 75 people attended the event, held at the Montauk Club in Park Slope, with a handful completely new to project-related events—which have proceeded since 2004, one year after Atlantic Yards was announced—and numerous people, understandably, not fully up to speed.

(Not present, apparently, were residents of the project buildings, who may face serious construction impacts and the uncertainty of the delivery of project open space, which could take until 2035. Perhaps given the location and a general pattern of activism involving project critics/opponents, the crowd was mostly white. The stated effort to expand the project's affordability, and to assist those displaced from the four nearby community districts, suggests a recognition that some lower-income residents, including people of color, placed significant hope in this project.)

Mentioned, and surely new to some who don’t follow the project closely, was the announcement, via the New York Post, that next year Greenland USA will start building the platform over the the western block of the Vanderbilt Yard, between Sixth and Carlton avenues. Despite a claimed "Brooklyn's Pacific Park moves to fast track" headline, that article neglected to address the timing for that platform or the towers slated to rise above it.

So that doesn’t mean the project hits the fast track, though, with two towers now under construction (B4 and B15) and two lated to start next year (B12 and B13), it certainly has some momentum after a stall.
This map, which I produced with designer Ben Keel, was distributed at the meeting
One perhaps crucial piece of information almost slipped out. Simon, in her presentation—see the second tape below—said that each of the two decks required, with three towers per deck coming later, would take three years each.

That has not been publicly confirmed and only partly reflects the general schedule that I acquired, which also has not been confirmed.

The onus now is on the state to explain further. After all, if it takes three years to finish a platform started in 2020, there may not be time to start two towers (at least) needed to meet the affordable housing deadline by June 2022, the date the Affordable New York tax break expires, assuming it’s not extended, and meet the May 2025 deadline for affordable housing.

(With some 916 affordable units required after the four current towers are built, that obligation would require at least two towers with affordable units.)

The slide top left summarized the issues:
  • Developers must be candid about strategy and schedule for completion of the project--including affordable housing commitments--before further approvals are granted.
  • Any increase in private value from project changes must be matched by additional public benefits.
  • The State and the City must take responsibility for the conditions created by the project, and address impacts from construction, arena operations, and municipal services.
  • A meaningful dialog about further large-scale redevelopment at Brooklyn's busiest intersection must begin.
The full slideshow



Starting off: Simon on project history

In the video below, Simon described the project history, including project approval in 2006, expected completion in 2016, and state-allowed delays until 2035.



(Note: the 461 Dean modular tower started in 2012, not 2010, and took four years to build. That's been corrected in the embedded slideshow.)

Simon at 7:32 made an interesting observation, talking about the shift in ownership from original developer Forest City Ratner/Forest City Enterprises to Greenland USA, which in 2014 bought 70% of the project, in 2018 bought all but 5% of the rest, and since then has leased three development sites to other companies, and has embarked on a joint venture regarding another site.

“We said it shouldn’t be one developer, because the project will rise and fall on the fortunes of that one developer,” she recalled. “We were told to take a hike, we didn’t know anything.” But she had been told the same critique by government, she said, regarding the Hoyt-Schermerhorn renewal plans in Downtown Brooklyn, which did involve multiple developers.

(I’m not sure ESD was involved, though, so I’ll update when I learn more.)

Reasons for concern

In the video below, Simon explained that changes in China, as well as rising costs for infrastructure, have made the project more costly for Greenland.



She also mentioned the timetable for each deck, and the June 2022 subsidy deadline.

Housing issues

In the video below, Bernell Grier of IMPACCT Brooklyn and Michelle de la Uz of the Fifth Avenue Committee FAC talked about affordable housing, which has been skewed to middle-income tenants and might better be described as income-targeted or income-linked.



As de la Uz explained, when the project was announced, the city had no policy for mandatory affordability in upzonings—Atlantic Yards was a state override of zoning, thus the equivalent of a private rezoning—so, when the Affordable Housing Memorandum of Understanding and Community Benefits Agreement were announced, it was a “big deal” to get a commitment of 35% of the project units, with 40% of the 2,250 units promised for low-income housing.

But that wasn't fulfilled.

That private housing deal between Forest City and the advocacy group ACORN, however, was not locked into the project agreements signed in 2009-10, which defined affordable housing more broadly as part of government subsidy or assistance programs.

Also, city policies allow affordable housing for project with significant middle-income components, and the 421-a tax break, which once offered benefits to project buildings without affordable units—thus encouraging other buildings that would be 50% affordable—has been revised.

Neighborhood impacts

In the video below, Regina Cahill, a Flatbush Avenue resident and the president of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, cited the failure to fulfill promises of limiting impacts on the surrounding blocks.



Parking and traffic flow issues have been exacerbated by the presence of a fire station, police station, arena loading dock, and health facility all near Sixth Avenue and Dean Street, which will be joined in 2023 by a middle school. “I don’t know how you control 800 middle school students” as they exit, she said.

One small but important thing: the NYPD refuses to utilize the 24 (she said 25) free spaces provided in the garage at 535 Carlton, one long block away from the 78th Precinct House at Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street and, presumably, less convenient than on street/sidewalk parking nearby.

Accountability issues

In the video below, Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and BrooklynSpeaks, suggested that the project problems relate to the fact that it went through the state process, rather than the city’s land use review, which meant no Brooklyn elected official got a voice. (That certainly lessened accountability, then and now, but the city process is no panacea.)



“About every five years, they need a lifeline,” he said, citing the role of Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov in rescuing Nets principal owner BruceRatner by buying the majority of the Nets (and part of the arena), and then Greenland moving in five years later.

“We’re now at a point where even that developer is not in a position to move forward in the way it was originally conceived,” he said, noting that the announcement of the platform tells us very little.

The field house and fitness center approval, he said, was a bonus for developer TF Cornerstone without have to provide reciprocal public benefit, such as a school (as was done in another Brooklyn upzoning).

One inflection point may be the long expected, but still pending, plan for the developer to shift the bulk of the unbuilt B1 tower—once planned for what’s now the arena plaza—across busy Flatbush Avenue to build a giant project at Site 5, currently home to P.C. Richard and Modell’s (as I first revealed in 2016).

There’s “no absolute requirement” that that move be subject to public review, he said, though I’m less skeptical: ESD has previously said they will hold a full public process, involving a revised General Project Plan, for that change. That offers a opportunity for public involvement and pressure.

While that two-tower Site 5 project, which as of 2016 was said to stretch nearly 800 feet (and could now grow taller), has been said to encompass office, retail, and perhaps hotel space, the market may be such that that includes housing.

That may mean the full project eventually includes more than the 6,430 apartments approved. It’s unclear whether the affordable housing commitment of 35% would apply to these units—but that would be another subject for discussion and pressure.

Summing up: urban design and transportation

After the audience divided into four breakout groups to discuss issues, based on the principles BrooklynSpeaks established in 2005 upon the group's founding, the leads of those groups reported back.

One suggestion was relocate the fire and even police stations from that busy corner. Another—reflecting an original BrooklynSpeaks principle—was to shift the project open space to the curb, rather than behind buildings.

Another was to ensure smaller retail spaces to avoid chain retailers. (The developer already promised that, at least in the residential buildings east of the arena block, but the role of Chelsea Piers as operator of the 105,000 square foot field house and fitness center reversed that.)

Regarding the Site 5 project, participants suggested a new entrance to the subway complex below in that building, rather on Fourth Avenue, as well as one on Flatbush Avenue. Another idea was to ensure that the building is set back from Pacific Street and, at least in its initial stage, reflects the house scale.

(I suspect the subway entrance changes would be much easier to achieve.)

Participants agreed that the city Department of Transportation should conduct a study of Atlantic Avenue traffic, but not delay it—as apparently DOT has said—until Atlantic is no longer under construction. (DOT might attend another of the bi-monthly Quality of Life meetings to explain its policies.)

Even as parking has been reduced to 1,000 spaces project-wide, participants suggested that “mandatory minimums”—not actually applicable to a state project—be further reduced, thus removing the incentive to drive.

I think that’s a logical policy in general, but runs into difficulty with an arena that attracts traffic, as well as those seeking free parking nearby. If such available free parking were limited—thanks to residential permit parking (RPP), which has been proposed but not passed, and endorsed again last night—demand for paid parking would increase.

Summing up: housing

Grier and de la Uz discussed the importance of including housing for lower-income households, at an average of 60% of Area Median Income, and allowing those displaced from the four community districts to gain the community preference in affordable housing lotteries. (Half the units are assigned to residents of those districts.)

They also cited the importance of senior housing, which was once promised but not implemented.

The challenge, of course, is funding all this—more affordability suggests more subsidy, so this project could then be criticized for gaining more subsidy than other projects, and/or be less attractive to city officials eager to maximize unit count above all.

Summing up: oversight

At the breakout session, Veconi noted the need for a better way for the developer to accept and address complaints regarding untoward impacts, and noted—as I wrote re the nearby 80 Flatbush project—the potential for a 24-hour hotline.

Peter Krashes of the North Prospect Heights Association (formerly the Dean Street Block Association) noted that it was necessary for “the impacted community” to have the lead. (The block association previously left BrooklynSpeaks after the 2014 agreement, concerned—among other things—that it would not protect their interests—but the revamped neighborhood groups recently rejoined the larger coalition.)

Speaking to the group at large, Veconi noted that, in the past, leverage was achieved by lawsuits. One was by BrooklynSpeaks (and, unmentioned, combined with one organized by project opponents Develop Don’t Destroy) after 2009 approval, generating a court-ordered Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate delay.

Another, on fair housing grounds, was threatened in 2014, and generated the new 2025 affordable housing deadline, ten years ahead of the previously extended deadline, though it didn’t address affordability.

“We believe we may be nearing another inflection point in the project,” Veconi said. “And we want to have the community engaged.”

          

Oklahoma lawmaker files lawsuit against Gov. Stitt to stop permitless carry law    

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An Oklahoma lawmaker on Monday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kevin Stitt in an attempt to stop the permitless carry law from going into effect in November.


          

Mejor Película Internacional: 93 países, un récord, luchan ya por el Oscar   

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Ya es oficial: este año el Oscar a la Mejor Película Internacional, base su récord participipantes con un total de 93 países en liza por la estatuilla. La surcoreana 'Parásitos' parte como gran favorita para el Oscar. Su mayor rival podría ser 'Dolor y Gloria', con la que Pedro Almodóvar puede devolver al cine español a la categoría 15 años después del triunfo de 'Mar Adentro'.

ASPIRANTES YA ANUNCIADAS
Albania (0 nominaciones): 'The Delegation' de Bujar Alimani.
Alemania (20 nominaciones, 3 Oscars): 'Systemsprenger' de Nora Fingscheidt. Ganador del Alfred Bauer del Festival de Berlín.
Arabia Saudí (0 nominaciones): 'The Perfect Candidate' de Haifaa Al-Mansour. Presente en la Sección Oficial del Festival de Venecia.
Argelia (5 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Papicha' de Mounia Meddur. Presente en Un Certain Regard de Cannes.
Argentina (7 nominaciones, 2 Oscars): 'La odisea de los giles' de Sebastián Borensztein.
Armenia (0 nominaciones): 'Lenghty Night' de Edgar Baghdasaryan.
Austria (4 nominaciones, 2 Oscars): 'Joy' de Sudabeh Mortezai.
Bangladesh (0 nominaciones): 'Alpha' de Nasiruddin Yousuff.
Bélgica (7 nominaciones): 'Nuestras madres' de César Díaz. Ganadora de la Cámara de Oro en el Festival de Cannes.
Bielorrusia (0 nominaciones) : 'Debut' de Anastasiya Miroshnichenko.
Bolivia (0 nominaciones): 'Tu Me Manques' de Rodrigo Bellott.
Bosnia (1 nominación, 1 Oscar): 'The Son' de Ines Tanovic.
Brasil (4 nominaciones): 'La Vida Invisible de Eurídice Gusmão' de Karim Aïnouz. Ganadora de Un Certain Regard en el Festival de Cannes.
Bulgaria (0 nominaciones): 'Aga' de Milko Lazarov. 
Camboya (1 nominación): 'In the Life of Music' de Caylee So & Sok Visal.
Canadá (7 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Antingone' de  Sophie Deraspe.
Chile (2 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Araña' de Andres Wood.
China (2 nominaciones): 'Ne Zha' de Yu Yang.
Colombia (1 nominación): 'Monos' de Alejandro Landes. Mención especial del Festival de Sundance.
Corea del Sur (0 nominaciones): 'Parásitos' de Boong Jon-ho. Ganadora de la Palma de Oro en el Festival de Cannes y finalista del Premio del Público del Festival de Toronto.
Costa Rica (0 nominaciones): 'El Despertar De Las Hormigas' de Antonella Sudasassi.
Croacia (0 nominaciones): 'Mali' de Antonio Nuic.
Cuba (1 nominación): 'Un traductor' de Rodrigo y Sebastián Barriuso.
Dinamarca (12 nominaciones, 3 Oscars): 'Queen of Hearts' de May el-Toukhy. Premio del Público en el Festival de Sundance.
Ecuador (0 nominaciones): 'La mala noche' de Gabriela Calvache.
Egipto (0 nominaciones): 'Poisonous Roses' de Fawzi Saleh.
Eslovaquia (0 nominaciones): 'Let There Be Light' de Marko Škop.
Eslovenia (0 nominaciones): 'History of Love' de Sonja Prosenc. Mención especial en el Festival de Karlovy Vary.
España (19 nominaciones, 4 Oscars): 'Dolor y gloria' de Pedro Almodóvar. Premio al mejor actor en el Festival de Cannes.
Estonia (1 nominación): 'Truth and Justice' de Tanel Toom.
Etiopía (0 nominaciones): 'Running Against The Wind' de Jan Philipp Weyl.
Filipinas (0 nominaciones): ''Dagsin' de Atom Magadia.
Finlandia (1 nominación): 'Stupid Young Heart' de Selma Vilhunen.
Francia (39 nominaciones, 12 Oscars): 'Los Miserables' de Ladj Ly. Ganadora del Premio del Jurado del Festival de Cannes.
Georgia (1 nominación): 'Shindisi' de Dito Tsintsadze.
Ghana (0 nominaciones): 'Azali' de Kwabena Gyansah.
Grecia (5 nominaciones): 'When Tomatoes Met Wagner' de Marianna Economou.
Honduras (0 nominaciones): 'Café con sabor a mi tierra' de Carlos Membreño.
Hong Kong (2 nominaciones): 'The White Storm 2 - Drug Lords' de Herman Yau.
Hungría (10 nominaciones, 2 Oscars): 'Those Who Remained' de Barnabás Toth.
India (3 nominaciones): 'Gully Boy' de Zoya Akhtar.
Indonesia (0 nominaciones): 'Memoirs Of My Body' de Garin Nugroho.
Irán (3 nominaciones, 2 Oscar): 'Finding Farideh' de Kourosh Ataee & Azadeh Moussavi.
Irlanda (0 nominaciones): 'Gaza' de Garry Keane y Andrew McConnell.
Islandia (1 nominacion): 'A White, White Day' de Hlynur Pálmason. Presente en la Semana de la Critica del Festival de Cannes.
Israel (10 nominaciones): 'Incitement' de Yaron Zilberman.
Italia (31 nominaciones, 14 Oscars): 'El traidor' de Marco Bellocchio. Presente a concurso en el Festival de Cannes.
Japón (16 nominaciones, 4 Oscars): 'El tiempo contigo' de Makoto Shinkai.
Kazajistán (0 nominaciones): 'Golden Throne' de Rustem Abdrashev.
Kenia (0 nominaciones): 'Subira' de Ravneet Chadha.
Kirguistán (0 nominaciones): 'Aurora' de Bekzat Pirmatov.
Kosovo (0 nominaciones): 'Zana' de Antoneta Kastrati.
Letonia (0 nominaciones): 'The Mover' de Dāvis Sīmanis.
Líbano (2 nominaciones): '1982' de Oualid Mouaness.
Lituania (0 nominaciones): 'Bridges of Time' de Kristine Briede y Audrius Stonys.
Luxemburgo (0 nominaciones): 'Tel Aviv on Fire' de Sameh Zoabi.
Macedonia del Norte (1 nominación): 'Honeyland' de Tamara Kotevska y Ljubomir Stefanov. Ganadora del Gran Premio del Jurado en Sundance.
Malasia (0 nominaciones=: 'M for Malaysia' de Dian Lee e Ineza Roussille.
Marruecos (0 nominaciones): 'Adam' de Maryam Touzani. Presente en Un Certain Regard del Festival de Cannes.
México (9 nominaciones, 1 Oscar). 'La Camarista' de Lisa Avilés.
Mongolia (0 nominaciones): 'The Steed' de Erdenebileg Ganbold
Montenegro (0 nominaciones): 'Neverending Past' de Andro Martinovic.
Nepal (1 nominación): 'Bulbul' de Binod Paudel.
Nigeria (0 nominaciones): 'Lionheart' de Genevieve Nnaji.
Noruega (5 nominaciones): 'Out Stealing Horses' de Hans Petter Moland. Premio a la mejor constribución artística por la fotografía en el Festival de Berlín.
Países Bajos (7 nominaciones, 3 Oscars): 'Instinct' de Halina Reijn.
Pakistán (0 nominaciones): 'Laal Kabootar' de Kamal Khan.
Palestina (2 nominaciones): 'It Must Be Heaven' de Elia Suleiman. Ganadora del premio al mejor guion del Festival de Cannes.
Panáma (0 nominaciones): 'Todos cambiamos' de Arturo Montenegro.
Perú (1 nominación): 'Retablo' de Álvaro Delgado - Aparicio.
Polonia (11 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Corpus Christi' de Jan Komasa.
Portugal (0 nominaciones): 'A Herdade' de Tiago Guedes. Presente en la competición del Festival de Venecia.
Reino Unido (2 nominaciones): 'El niño que domó el viento' de Chiwetel Ejiofor.
República Checa (6 nominaciones, 2 Oscars): 'The Painted Bird' de Václav Marhoul. Presente en la competición del Festival de Venecia.
República Dominicana (0 nominaciones): 'El proyeccionista' de Jose María Cabral.
Rumanía (0 nominaciones): 'The Whistlers' de Corneliu Porumboiu. Seleccionada a concurso en el Festival de Cannes.
Rusia (7 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Beanpole' de Kantemir Balagov. Ganadora del Fipresci y el premio a la mejor dirección de Un Certain Regard del Festival de Cannes.
Senegal (0 nominaciones): 'Atlantics' de Mati Diop. Ganadora del Gran Premio del Jurado en el Festival de Cannes.
Serbia (0 nominaciones): 'King Peter of Serbia' de Petar Ristovski.
Singapur (0 nominaciones): 'A Land Imagined' de Yeo Siew Hua. Ganadora del Leopardo de Oro en Locarno.
Sudáfrica (2 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Knuckle City' de Jahmil X. T. Qubeka.
Suecia (16 nominaciones, 3 Oscars): 'And Then We Danced' de Levan Aki. Presente en la Quincena de Realizadores del Festival de Cannes.
Suiza (5 nominaciones, 2 Oscars): 'El despertar de Motti Wolkenbruch' de Michael Steiner.
Tailandia (0 nominaciones): 'Inhuman Kiss' de Sitisiri Mongkolsir.
Taiwán (3 nominaciones, 1 Oscar): 'Dear Ex' de Chih-Yen Hsu y Mag Hsu.
Túnez (0 nominaciones): 'Dear Son' de Mohammed Ben Attia. Presente en Orizzonti en el Festival de Venecia.
Turquía (0 nominaciones): 'Commitment' de Semih Kaplanoğlu.
Ucrania (0 nominaciones): 'Homeward' de Nariman Aliev. Presente en Un Certain Regard del Festival de Cannes.
Uruguay (0 nominaciones): 'Así habló el cambista' de Santiago Veiroj.
Uzbekistán (0 nominaciones): 'Hot Bread' de Umid Khamdamov.
Venezuela (0 nominaciones): 'Yo imposible' de Patricia Ortega.
Vietnam (1 nominación): 'Furie' de Lê Văn Kiệt.

          

Broward Election Chief Brenda Snipes Likely To Be Forced From Office   

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Broward County election chief Brenda Snipes is in hot water and will likely be forced from office by Florida Gov. Scott or his probable successor, Ron DeSantis, as statewide recounts for U.S. Senate, governor, and agriculture commission races for the 2018 midterm elections have turned messy, sources told Politico. Sen. Marco Rubio: “She has shown she’s […]

          

Gov. Matt Bevin Says He Would Accept Foreign Help To Investigate Political Rivals   

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said Friday he would accept help from a foreign government to investigate corruption regardless of whether or not it involved a political rival. Bevin’s comments came during a press conference with the express purpose of antagonizing journalists into asking Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Andy Beshear about his stance on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. “Does he support impeachment of the president or not? Yes or no?” Bevin said. “It’s not complicated. Why is it none of you have demanded this answer of him?”

          

Hampton Pushes Back on Reasons for Being Dropped from Ticket   

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Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton pushed back Friday against Gov. Matt Bevin's explanation for dropping her from his reelection ticket, saying she was unaware of any disagreements about her priorities until the governor discussed their political split at a tea party meeting. The Republican governor told tea party activists meeting Thursday in Louisville that he and Hampton didn't see eye to eye on where Hampton's time was best spent, the Courier Journal reported. Hampton, who has sued Bevin for the firing of her two top assistants earlier this year, staunchly defended her work as lieutenant governor and said she was unaware of any concerns about her priorities in office.

          

Bryan Signs Expansion of Hotel Development Act to Boost New Investments and Aid Existing Hotels to Rebuild After 2017 Storms   

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The Government of the Virgin Islands took a leap forward Monday in its strategic plan to lure new hotel projects and boost up resorts still recovering from the 2017 hurricane season.  Surrounded by key lawmakers and his economic development leaders, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed into law a revised version of the Hotel Development Act. […]

The post Bryan Signs Expansion of Hotel Development Act to Boost New Investments and Aid Existing Hotels to Rebuild After 2017 Storms appeared first on .


          

Why the tristate ‘pot summit’ won’t settle a thing   

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is moving ahead with a tristate summit Oct. 17 to seek common policies on marijuana and vaping across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. But how will the governors and legislators of three states find it any easier to come to a rational consensus than the leaders of each state separately? Cuomo...

          

HIV prevention drugs will be available without a prescription in California    

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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will allow HIV prevention drugs PrEP and PEP to be sold without a prescription.


          

Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Reforming college sports   

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A look at California stories from the last week, including Gov. Newsom signing SB 206 to allow college athletes in California to profit from endorsement deals.


          

SUNY Board of Trustees chair visits Alfred State   

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SUNY Board of Trustees chair visits Alfred State
Stephanie M LaFever Fri, 10/04/2019 - 09:20

Alfred State College was pleased to recently welcome Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, the newly appointed chair of the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees, to campus for a visit.

Tisch chatted with students in the Small Events Space at the Student Leadership Center, taking their questions and comments and offering answers and feedback on their input. She also met with members of the President’s Council. Joining Tisch on her visit was SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor Johanna Duncan-Poitier.

“I really enjoyed being on the campus of Alfred State and seeing first hand their tireless commitment and focus on preparing students to meet the challenges and needs of the 21st century economy,” Tisch said. “Today was another great example of how workforce development continues to be at the forefront of SUNY’s mission and I applaud Alfred State and their students for meeting that goal every day.”

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “We are delighted that Dr. Tisch came to our campus and spoke with our students, especially because Alfred State was the first SUNY school that she has visited since her appointment as chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees. Alfred State congratulates Dr. Tisch on her appointment and looks forward to having her back on campus in the future.”

Prior to being appointed to her current role by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Tisch was a member of the Board of Regents for 20 years and held the position of vice chancellor from 2007 to 2009. As chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Tisch was responsible for setting the state's education policy and overseeing both public and private education throughout New York.

Tisch currently holds a number of philanthropic and civic positions, including serving on the board of the International Rescue Committee and as co-chair of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a leading social services agency. Additionally, Tisch founded the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2008. She holds a BA from Barnard College, an MA in education from New York University, and received an EdD from Teacher's College, Columbia University.

SUNY Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, front row, fourth from left, and SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor Johanna Duncan-Poitier, front row, third from left, pose for a photo with Alfred State students and President Dr. Skip Sullivan during a recent visit to the college.
SUNY Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, front row, fourth from left, and SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor Johanna Duncan-Poitier, front row, third from left, pose for a photo with Alfred State students and President Dr. Skip Sullivan during a recent visit to the college.


          

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul applauds student success at Northland   

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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul applauds student success at Northland
Stephanie M LaFever Tue, 10/01/2019 - 14:16

After just one year, Alfred State College’s programs at the Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo are rapidly gaining momentum and even attention from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul as word continues to spread about the excellent hands-on education students are receiving there.

Specifically, the three technical skills programs taught at Northland by Alfred State College faculty – welding technology, electrical construction and maintenance electrician, and machine tool technology – continue to grow as more students enroll and more faculty are hired. A fourth program, mechatronics, is taught by SUNY Erie Community College faculty.

One shining example of Alfred State programs’ surging popularity is the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program. Hochul recently visited the electrical construction lab at Northland to congratulate instructors on their tremendous success and encourage students who are now on a clear path to well-paid careers.

"I have visited with students at Northland who are seeing their lives transformed thanks to state investment in job training programs,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who met with students today at Northland. “For too long, neighborhoods on Buffalo’s East Side were neglected and suffered from disinvestment. We have been committed to making sure that every neighborhood is lifted up, and the Northland Workforce Training Center has been an essential part of Buffalo’s comeback story. Growing numbers of Alfred State students are learning essential skills and experiencing good-paying internships as part of the program. Across New York, we are re-imagining workforce development in an innovative way to meet the needs of employers who have jobs available now, and prepare for jobs of the future. The $175 million Workforce Development Initiative will help to ensure we close the skills gap and provide New Yorkers with job training and education they need to thrive in the 21st century.”

Last fall, a cohort of 20 students were the first in Alfred State’s new electrical construction lab. Since then, the program has grown to where it now contains three freshman cohorts in addition to the senior class, resulting in 80 electrical students in the 10,000-square-foot dedicated electrical training building at Northland. The program also began with three freshman instructors, and now has six freshman instructors, three senior instructors, and one instructional support assistant.

Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “We are extremely pleased with the ongoing and increased interest in our programs at the Northland Workforce Training Center. We thank Stephen Tucker, his staff and all of the Alfred State instructors for this success. Our college takes pride in knowing that our partnership with Northland is providing access to a post-secondary education and to hands-on training that will ultimately help bolster the workforce here in western New York.”

The electrical construction and maintenance electrician program provides in-depth instruction in the theories and principles of electricity. As with the welding and machine tool offerings, hands-on application of the classroom theory is a major component of the electrical program, as approximately one-third of lab time is spent on actual work sites, gaining real-world work experience.

Lt. Gov Hochul in the classroom at Northland
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul recently visited the electrical construction lab at the Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo to chat with students and instructors and congratulate them on their success.

 


          

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