Jewish World Update Jan/Feb 2019
HOSTILITY INCREASES TOWARD PRO-ISRAEL STUDENTS ON U.S. CAMPUSES
Pro-Israel students at Columbia University in New York City recently hosted a protest against the school’s “pervasively hostile environment” toward Zionist students and the administration’s refusal to address the problem.
“Our message was that we will not just allow the university’s dismissal of our claims to go by silently, and that we hold the [school] accountable for the repeated violations against us and the followed harassment our group goes through,” Dalia Zahger, president of Columbia’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel, told JNS.org.
Two of the many incidents included anti-Israel activists surrounding and harassing five Israeli students, and pro-Palestinian students defacing a poster of Albert Einstein that the pro-Israel club had posted. The poster read, “This is what a Zionist looks like.” Anti-Israel students replaced the word “Zionist” with “scientist,” rejecting Einstein’s support of a national homeland for the Jewish people, JNS.org reported.
“Because of the verbal aggression, which sometimes approaches physical violence, we have people who are afraid to be pro-Israel. They just know that the university won’t defend them,” Zahger said.
The University of Michigan has also come under fire for its hostility toward pro-Israel students. Professor John Cheney-Lippold and graduate instructor Lucy Peterson, citing their academic boycotts of Israel, recently denied requests to write letters of recommendation for students seeking to study abroad in Israel, WashingtonPost.com reported. The administration has issued stern warnings to both instructors and disciplined Cheney-Lippold by making him ineligible to take an accredited sabbatical until Fall 2020, JNS.org reported.
Last year, the school’s student government passed a resolution introduced by the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine calling for the University of Michigan to boycott Israel by severing all its ties with the nation in a “nonviolent way.” But despite the student resolution, the university prohibits its departments from boycotting Israel, JNS.org reported.
From news reports
‘ANTI-RACISM’ RALLY IN BERLIN TURNS ANTI-SEMITIC
Irony of ironies, a so-called anti-racism rally in Berlin, Germany, that drew 200,000 people had speakers who called for the annihilation of Israel and for support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that wants to strangle Israel economically in an effort to obliterate the Jewish state.
In an article in The Jerusalem Post (jpost.org), Benjamin Weinthal wrote, “The Jerusalem Post reviewed a video showing two speakers who called for the ‘liberation of all of Palestine 48’ and ‘we must take a stand and boycott Israel. BDS.’ The slogan to ‘liberate all of Palestine’ reverts to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 and is widely considered a euphemism to cleanse Israel of Jews.”
Weinthal said demonstrators hoisted symbols supporting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which “murdered four rabbis in a synagogue in Jerusalem” in 2014.
Anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise in Germany. FOX News reported that a study released in 2018 “shows that anti-Semitism permeates mainstream German society.” In 2018, FOX said, “16 preschools and day care centers in Munich received letters with swastikas and threats against the [Jewish] children, calling them ‘biological waste.’”
German police reports reveal 1,453 anti-Semitic incidents took place in 2017, “amounting to four a day,” FOX said, adding that Richard Herzinger, a columnist for the newspaper Die Welt, said, “Young people don’t know, or care, about this [Holocaust] period [in history].’”
From news reports
ABBAS TO UN: JERUSALEM IS ‘NOT FOR SALE’
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas recently spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, praising Arab terror prisoners as “hero martyrs” and criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“Jerusalem is not for sale, and the Palestinian people’s rights are not up for bargaining,” Abbas said. He also declared Palestinians “never use violence” yet praised those who have been imprisoned or killed for acts of terror against Jewish Israelis as “hero martyrs and prisoners of war.”
“[Abbas] knows only one word ‘no’—not ‘direct negotiations,’ not ‘Israel,’ not the ‘Americans.’ On one hand he brings imaginary initiatives to the UN, and with the other he pays millions of dollars to terrorists,” Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said.
PEPSICO BUYS ISRAELI SODASTREAM; DEFIES BDS
PepsiCo, Inc. recently bought Israel’s popular homemade seltzer company, SodaStream, for $3.2 billion. The deal seals a victory over the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which pressured SodaStream’s factory in Ma’ale Adumim to close in October 2014, UnitedWithIsrael.org reported.
SodaStream’s factory in Rahat, Israel, currently employs 2,500 Israeli workers, including many Bedouin Arabs; and it plans to open another factory nearby that will employ another few hundred people, UnitedWithIsrael.org reported.
From news reports
ISRAELI NGO TO REBUILD ISRAELI LAND DESTROYED BY HAMAS
The Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Israel’s largest green NGO, donated almost $28 million to help redevelop the 10,000 acres of Israeli land damaged by Hamas’s incendiary kites and balloons near the Gaza border. Construction will include building houses, bicycle paths, and playgrounds and rehabilitating existing forests. “These days, in which residents of the towns surrounding Gaza face arson kites and additional threats on a daily basis, [we are] more committed than ever to support residents in the area,” KKL-JNF World Chairman Daniel Atar said.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER EARLIEST STONE INSCRIPTION OF ‘JERUSALEM’
Israeli archaeologists have recently discovered a pillar from the second-Temple period bearing the earliest stone inscription of the full, modern Hebrew spelling of Jerusalem.
The archaeology team found the pillar during a salvage excavation of a large Hasmonean-period Jewish artisans’ village near the western entrance to Jerusalem, Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Danit Levi said. The inscription reads, “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Yerushalayim.” The column and inscription date back to 100 BC, Levi said. The column is on display at the Israel Museum in the second-Temple period exhibit.
ISRAEL DEVELOPS NEW SMART PROBE TO REMOVE CANCER
Israeli research scientist Professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro has developed a new smart probe to help surgeons detect and remove cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Using near infrared technology, the probe functions as a polymer that connects cancer cells to a fluorescent tag, making cancer cells “glow in the dark.”
The research of Satchi-Fainaro, head of Tel Aviv University’s Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Laboratory, marks a potential turning point in the art of tumor excision. “We essentially wanted to give the surgeon bionic goggles that serve as a real-time microscope that paints cancer cells in fluorescent color. With this technology, surgeons should be able to precisely identify cancer tissue and spare ample healthy tissue,” Satchi-Fainaro said.
ISRAEL HELPS INDONESIAN EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI VICTIMS
Israel has sent water purifiers and a delegation of aid workers to Indonesia despite the Muslim nation’s refusal to conduct diplomatic relations with Israel. Indonesia has been devastated by earthquakes and tsunamis. More than 1,400 people have died, and more than 200,000 victims need food and clean water.
Israel, a world leader in disaster relief, sent rescue and medical services to Guatemala last year; Nepal in 2015; the Philippines in 2013; Haiti in 2010; and Turkey in 1999, among others. Israel also offered to send teams to Iran and Iraq following the earthquakes in 2017, but the nations declined.
MOROCCO TO INCORPORATE HOLOCAUST EDUCATION
King Mohammed VI of Morocco has ordered that Holocaust studies be incorporated into the country’s education system. “The history we teach our children must include a pluralistic variety of opinions and stories. It must present humanity’s greatest moments, as well as its darkest moments. Education has the power to fight against discrimination and racism, as well as the ugly phenomenon of anti-Semitism,” the king said.
Israel and Morocco established diplomatic ties in 1994, and the current king’s regime has been sympathetic to the Jewish people.
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