Jewish World Update Nov/Dec 2020
More Anti-Semitism at The New York Times?
Jewish journalist Bari Weiss’s recent resignation from The New York Times has fueled a long-running controversy over how much anti-Semitism infects the hallowed halls of the so-called newspaper of record.
Weiss, 36, was an op-ed editor and writer who said her colleagues bullied her for her centrist and pro-Israel views. In her lengthy letter of resignation, available on her website (bariweiss.com), she accused the Times of bowing to the forces of Twitter and failing to discipline employees who harassed her:
My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.
She added, “If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.”
Weiss, a native of the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a shooter gunned down 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018 and wounded many more, is the author of the book How to Fight Anti-Semitism, which won the 2019 National Jewish Book Award.
Weiss isn’t the first person to accuse The New York Times of bigotry. The paper has long been accused of trying to make Israel look bad and skewing the news in favor of the Palestinians.
In May 2020, Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the United States, slammed the paper for implying Israeli research and development to combat the coronavirus were aimed at eliminating Israel’s enemies. The Times wrote, “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up. Now it is turning to saving lives.”
Incensed, Dermer tweeted, “The New York Times, which buried the Holocaust, is best known for pioneering ways to libel and demonize the Jewish State. Now it is doing the same.”
In June, Jonathan Tobin, editor-in-chief of the Jewish News Syndicate, had an article on jewishjournal.com titled “Anti-Semitism Gets You Fired from Labour, but Hired by The New York Times.” It accused a newly hired Times editor, Charlotte Greensit, of “tweeting an anti-Semitic blood libel about Israel being responsible for teaching American cops the tactics that led to the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd” in Minneapolis.
In 2019 The New York Times International Edition ran a cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face on the body of a dog wearing a collar with a Star of David. The dog was pulling President Donald Trump, who was wearing a skullcap.
UAE Ends Israeli Boycott, Welcomes El Al
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has abolished the 1972 law boycotting Israel and now allows trade and financial arrangements as a result of the historic Abraham Accord, which the two nations signed recently. The new UAE decree “allows Israelis and Israeli firms to do business in the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. It also allows for the purchase and trade of Israeli goods,” reported timesofisrael.com. Some Israeli firms already have deals with Emirati counterparts, “but the repeal of the law widens the likelihood of other joint ventures, such as in aviation, banking, and finance.” After the deal was announced, El Al Airlines made its historic, first-ever direct flight from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, carrying an American-Israeli delegation. It passed over the desert through Saudi Arabian air space for the first time, instead of taking its normal outbound route over the Mediterranean Sea.
Judge Rules Anti-Semitic Protest Protected by First Amendment
U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts ruled recently that anti-Semitic protestors outside Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Every Saturday since 2003 they have harassed congregants by placing 18 to 20 signs outside the synagogue with messages reading, “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “Zionism is Racism,” “Resist Jewish Power,” “End the Palestinian Holocaust.” The Zionist Organization of America President Morton A. Klein expressed horror and outrage at the ruling. “We believe that the court gave insufficient weight to the First Amendment rights of those who simply wished to pray as Jews on Shabbat, unhampered. . . . The right to freely worship should include the right of Jews to go in and out of their synagogue with peace of mind and without any fear.”
Chevron to Buy Noble Energy
Chevron Corp. will buy Noble Energy, Inc. for about $5 billion in an all-stock transaction. The acquisition gives Chevron a stake in the enormous Leviathan and Tamar natural gas fields on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Leviathan is the largest discovery in Noble history and the largest energy project in the history of the State of Israel, delivering gas to the Israeli, Egyptian, and Jordanian markets.
Israeli-Made Mask Kills COVID-19
Israeli start-up Sonovia Ltd. has engineered a unique, reusable mask that neutralizes bacteria and fungi on contact for more than a year. The SonoMask’s fabric impregnation of zinc oxide nanoparticles eliminates more than 90 percent of COVID-19 particles, worldisraelnews.com reported. The company has released a premium, fully adjustable model in four sizes, with adjustable bands and nose wires. Reuters reported that Sonovia’s clients include German manufacturers Bruckner and Weber Ultrasonics, as well as hospitals in Germany and the United States.
Brown University Goes All in for ‘Palestine’
Brown University will “collaborate in a synergistic venture, spending money and hiring teachers to indoctrinate students . . . about the evils of Israeli colonialism, while stamping its imprimatur on the virtues of the Palestinian cause,” wrote A. J. Caschetta in an article in The American Spectator and reprinted in the Middle East Forum. “The Ivy League college . . . is the latest high-profile academic institution to go all in for Palestine, a country that does not exist,” he wrote. Columbia University, which Caschetta called a “Ramallah on the Hudson,” occupies “first place in excusing Palestinian violence.”
Hideously Anti-Semitic Posters Blame Jews for COVID-19
Hideously anti-Semitic posters were plastered around the city of Neuquén, Argentina, recently. The Argentine Jewish news outlet Aurora posited that the “subliminal message” was that “the Jews should be removed in order to protect Christianity,” algemeiner.com reported. One of the posters declared, “The Jews are the virus,” alongside a grotesquely anti-Semitic caricature of a grinning Orthodox Jew rubbing his hands in glee that is increasingly used in far-right propaganda around the world, algemeiner.com said.
Israeli Breath Device Tests for COVID-19
An Israeli-made COVID-19 breath-test device has correctly identified all positive patients in a clinical trial in Wuhan, China, according to a newly peer-reviewed study, timesofisrael.com reported. “You just blow into the device, which is the size of a smartphone, for 2 to 3 seconds, from a distance of 2 centimeters away. There are no accessories, it requires no lab processing, and it gives results within 30 seconds of blowing,” Prof. Hossam Haick of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology told timesofisrael.com.
Light Blade Intercepts Terrorists’ Arson Balloons
A new high-tech laser gun shot down 150 incendiary balloons launched by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza over a period of 10 days in August. Worldisraelnews.com said the Light Blade system “uses optical sensors to track the balloons and fires a continuous and focused laser beam until the balloon or cluster of balloons explodes” prior to penetrating Israeli territory. Terrorists in Gaza load these balloons with incendiary devices and explosives that have sparked hundreds of brush and forest fires when they land in Israel.
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