Jewish World Update Nov/Dec 2019

CALIFORNIA DROPS ANTI-SEMITIC CURRICULUM PROJECT
Extreme pressure by various groups has forced the California State Board of Education to reject a proposed ethnic-studies curriculum for the state’s schools that smacked of anti-Semitism. The board said the curriculum “falls short and needs to be substantially redesigned.”

The Jewish community and several other minorities protested the draft, which omitted mentioning the existence of anti-Semitism. The California Legislative Jewish Caucus also said the curriculum “denigrates Jews,” “effectively erases the American Jewish experience,” and “singles Israel out for condemnation,” reported The Jerusalem Post.

It also introduced students to concepts like nakba, meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic, which is how the Arabs refer to the establishment of the Jewish state in May 1948.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, cofounder and director of the California-based AMCHA Initiative, told JNS.org the model curriculum contained “blatant anti-Israel bias and praise of BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement]” and clearly attempted “to politically indoctrinate students to adopt the view that Israel and its Jewish supporters are part of ‘interlocking systems of oppression and privilege’ that must be fought with ‘direct action’ and ‘resistance.’”

“Following the Instructional Quality Commission’s review and response to all public comments, a new draft will be developed for State Board of Education review and potential approval,” school board leaders said in a statement. “The Board will ultimately adopt an ethnic studies model curriculum that aligns to California’s values.”

The draft provides sample courses in four main areas: African-American Studies, Hispanic Studies, Native American Studies, and Asian-American Studies. Supporters say the goal is to create inclusive and supportive environments for children of color.

MONTREAL JEWRY SEEKS $10 MILLION TO DEFEND SCHOOLS, SYNAGOGUES
Federation CJA in Montreal, one of the oldest Canadian Jewish organizations, has launched a $10 million drive to upgrade security in 31 Jewish schools, synagogues, agencies, and organizations in its Community Security Network (CSN), reported worldisraelnews.com.

The rise of anti-Semitism worldwide triggered the organization’s move. According to israelnationalnews.com, Canada’s crime data “showed that Canadian Jews remained the most targeted minority group for hate crimes in the country for the third year in a row.”

Three hundred forty-five hate crimes were reported to police in 2018, a 4 percent drop from the previous year, but the Canadian Anti-Hate Network found a 16.5 percent rise in the 2018 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, including verbal harassment and online targeting.

The institutions believe the incidents are leading to greater problems in the near future. Ran Ukashi, national director for the League for Human Rights at B’nai Brith Canada, said in a report, “The biggest concern we have is will the rhetoric take the natural step of violence? We’re always concerned that if these ideologies spread past the fringe, not necessarily to the mainstream, it could have serious repercussions for the Jewish community.”

Worldisraelnews.com said the planned funds will be used to improve the institutions’ safety “by adding surveillance equipment to their buildings, training staff on how to deal with security incidents and raising awareness among the Jewish public at large.” However, armed security guards will not be hired because they are not legal in the province of Quebec, according to Federation CEO Yair Szlak. Szlak fully endorsed the fundraising drive and advocated greater concern for possible threats to the Jewish community.

“As I learned from my time in Israel, if you see something, say something,” he said.

U.S. HOUSE CONDEMNS BDS
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to condemn the boycott-Israel movement. In a rare bipartisan move, the House voted 398 to 17 against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Liberal lawmakers, notably Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), both Muslim Americans and first-term congresswomen, publicly support BDS. “We must reject the blatant anti-Semitism injected throughout BDS,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a sponsor of the measure, worldisraelnews.com reported.

ISRAELI TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTIONIZES BONE HEALING
Haifa-based biotechnology company Bonus BioGroup is revolutionizing the future of bone healing with a new technology that can grow human bone grafts to heal bone fractures. In its manufacturing facility, Bonus BioGroup constructs bone grafts outside the body from the patient’s tissue, which is used to grow a new bone in a bioreactor that mirrors a human body, The Jerusalem Post reported. The new, healthy bone is implanted in the patient in merely two weeks. The breakthrough could help patients suffering from osteoporosis.

SANDERS WOULD CUT MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, vying for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020, said he would strongly consider withholding U.S. military aid to Israel to force the Jewish state to change its policies, reported unitedwithisrael.com. “Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “It has got to be pro-region, working with all of the people, all of the countries in that area.” He believes the $3.8 billion U.S. military aid package could be used as “leverage” against the Jewish state. Of Jewish descent with family living in Israel, Sanders has a history of criticizing Israel. In June he appeared with boycott-Israel activists holding a sign reading “Jews Against the Occupation.”

ISRAELI SCIENTISTS DEVELOP NANO-VACCINE FOR MELANOMA
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have created a breakthrough nano-vaccine to fight melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer. Using mouse models to treat primary tumors and metastases resulting from melanoma, they have effectively prevented the development of melanoma thus far, reported israel21c.org. “In our study, we have shown that it is possible to produce an effective nano-vaccine against melanoma and to sensitize the immune system to immunotherapies,” said study leader, Professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro.

NONSTOP DALLAS-ISRAEL FLIGHTS BEGIN IN 2020
American Airlines will begin operating three weekly nonstop flights from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel in September 2020. US Airways, which merged with American Airlines in 2013, shut down its nonstop flights from Philadelphia to Israel in January 2016, claiming they lost money. Many speculated it was due to pressure from Qatar Airlines, which had been working to gain a significant stake in American Airlines, according to The Jerusalem Post.

OMAR, TLAIB PROMOTE ANTI-SEMITIC CARTOONS
Former New York State Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind is urging people to implore House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) to act against Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who distributed anti-Semitic cartoons by Carlos Latuff. Latuff, who grew up in Brazil, won second place in the 2006 Iranian cartoon competition on Holocaust denial. One of Latuff’s cartoons shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump silencing Tlaib and Omar, unitedwithisrael.org reported. A Star of David sits in the center of the cartoon. Tlaib has already argued that Palestinians created “a safe haven for Jews” after the Holocaust, which is a lie. “Now, she promotes cartoons from a Holocaust denier,” the news service said. Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement, “Reps. Tlaib and Omar absolutely shouldn’t have lifted up the work of a cartoonist who frequently promotes hate toward Israel, mocks the Holocaust and traffics in anti-Semitic tropes. Doing so legitimizes his bigotry.” Unitedwithisrael.org has urged people to contact Pelosi by phone at (202) 225-4965 or by email at speaker.gov/contact and Schumer at (202) 224-6542 or schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck.

JEWISH AMERICANS MAY FACE ‘COORDINATED VILIFICATION CAMPAIGN’ IN 2020
Jewish Americans will probably face a “coordinated vilification” campaign during the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to a study that “examined online propaganda, disinformation, and harassment during the 2018 midterm elections,” reported The Algemeiner. The authors concluded there may well be “coordinated vilification campaigns aimed at Jewish Americans, women’s reproductive rights groups, and immigration activists,” using repurposed images, videos, hashtags, and other information to mask disinformation and harassment, said The Algemeiner. The goal will be to discredit and stir up hatred of the Jewish people.

ISRAEL, U.S. JOINTLY TEST ARROW 3 MISSILE
Israel and the United States have successfully tested a jointly developed missile defense system, americaunitedwithisrael.org reported. Tests included three secret experiments of the Arrow 3 missile in Alaska. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the tests “successful beyond any imagination.”

For news about Israel updated daily, log on to foi.org/news.

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