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Revealed: Detailed Nazi Report to Annihilate North American Jews

By The Algemeiner
A rare booklet just acquired by the Canadian National Archives contains a Nazi study of North American Jewry apparently intended to facilitate their annihilation in the event of a Nazi victory over the United States and Canada. According to Israeli news site Mako, the book was written by German linguist Heinz Klaus, a Nazi researcher who traveled to the United States in 1936. Using a network of American Nazi supporters, he compiled information on the Jewish communities in North America into a report published in 1944. The report, titled "Data, Media, and Organizations of the Jews of the United States and Canada," remained largely unknown until it was sold to the Canadian National Archives for $4,500. The Archives made the purchase public earlier this week, only days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Scholars at the Archives believe the report was intended to play a "significant role" in bringing the Holocaust to North America following a Nazi victory. The contents were reportedly "extremely shocking" because of their detail and thoroughness, containing information even on small rural Jewish communities.

Fast-Acting Israeli Guards Shoot Burka-Clad Terrorist

An Arab female terrorist attempted to stab Israeli security personnel at the A-Zaim checkpoint in Judea on Wednesday. The checkpoint is located at the southern entrance to Jerusalem. Security forces responded quickly, shooting and killing the terrorist. No Israelis were wounded in the attack. Jerusalem's District Police Commander Yoram Halevi arrived at the scene of the attack and briefed the press on the details. The terrorist was a 16-year-old student from Ramallah, Halevi said. She took a cab to the checkpoint from that city. When she met the border guards at the checkpoint she drew her knife and attempted to stab them. In video footage, the attacker can be seen wearing a burka and walking toward the busy checkpoint. When she lunges at the border police, she is fired upon. Police are investigating her motives.

Arabic Daily: Iran Creeping toward Israel's Northern Border

By World Israel News
Iranian and Hizbullah forces are looking to establish themselves in Syria's south, close to Israel's Golan border, reports the London-based Arabic daily Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. Iran's strategy is to set its forces close to the Golan Heights among Druze villages in order to complicate Israeli airstrikes, the news outlet reported. According to Al-Araby, sources in As-Suwayda, a mainly Druze city located in southwestern Syria, said that Hizbullah and Iranian militias had recently arrived from an area near Damascus that was bombed by Israel. "There is also information about the presence of Hizbullah forces in several military posts in the district, especially in the airport area and in the vicinity of Lajat [an area in southern Syria]," the sources said, adding that "the Iranians and Hizbullah have tried in the past to establish a presence in As-Suwayda." They opened up recruitment offices and offered money, but enjoyed little success, the sources said. According to the Arabic daily, in 2014-2015, Shiite vehicles showed up in the province playing propaganda songs from loudspeakers. After they were warned by locals that their vehicles would be attacked if they continued, they withdrew. The movement of military forces in southern Syria is contrary to international consensus and an Israeli-Russian agreement that the area 80 to 100 kilometers north of the Golan Heights should be free of Iranian and Hizbullah forces.

US Intelligence Chief: Israeli Strikes on Iran in Syria May Lead to War

By the Jerusalem Post
America's top intelligence chief warned that Israel's ongoing strikes against Iranian targets in Syria increase the threat of regional war. "We assess that Iran seeks to avoid a major armed conflict with Israel," Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "However, Israeli strikes that result in Iranian casualties increase the likelihood of Iranian conventional retaliation against Israel." Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over Iran's presence in Syria and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hizbullah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish State. "Iran's efforts to consolidate its influence in Syria and arm Hizbullah have prompted Israeli airstrikes as recently as January 2019 against Iranian positions within Syria and underscore our growing concern about the long-term trajectory of Iranian influence in the region and the risk that conflict will escalate," Coates said. His assessment echoes concerns raised by Israeli officials that Iran would likely increase their responses to IAF strikes in Syria. Speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv, President Reuven Rivlin warned that Tehran would likely "intensify its responses" to Israeli strikes against its forces in Syria. "I believe Iran will retaliate with greater force in Israel's north," the president said, adding "It appeared as though Iran would be restrained by our understandings with Russia and its defeats on the northern front – but in recent months, the trend is changing." Israel rarely comments on alleged IAF operations on the northern front, but former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gadi Eisenkot said that Israel fired 2,000 missiles against Iranian and Hizbullah targets in 2018 alone. But according to Coates, Israeli strikes have not deterred the Iranians, who continue "to pursue permanent military bases and economic deals in Syria and probably wants to maintain a network of Shia foreign fighters there despite Israeli attacks on Iranian positions in Syria." In early January, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel has a permanent policy of preventing Iran's entrenchment in Syria, and that it would be enforced whether he is in Israel or abroad. Maj, Gen. (res.) Nitzan Alon, who was in charge of a special IDF project to coordinate all issues related to Iran, said that Israel's operations in Syria have "to a large extent" succeeded in blocking Iran's goals to establish a permanent military presence in the war-torn country. To a great extent, we halted Iranian aspirations in Syria. There is a significant gap between where the Iranians wanted to be and where they are right now," he said during a panel discussion with former IAF commander Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amir Eshel and former military strategist Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yoram Hamo. Last year, Alon warned that the chances of war on Israel's northern border were greater than ever before due to the victories of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Iran and Hizbullah. "In the northern arena, there is a change coming due to the strategic developments in the Syrian internal fighting. The Iranians and Hizbullah, who are backing [Assad], are getting freed up to start building their power," he said, adding that "we are not allowing these things to happen without our involvement. We are acting and will continue to act."

Benny Gantz Throws his Hat in the April 9 Election as Next Prime Minister

By DEBKAfile
Benny Gantz, a likable, well-meaning, clean-cut figure, launched his bid to win the April 9 election in his first appearance on a political platform on Tuesday night, Jan. 29. But, as the speech unfolded, cheered repeatedly by an enthusiastic audience, a litany of well-worn truisms and slogans came rolling out. He may also have overreached himself when he repeatedly spoke in the character of the next head of government. Israeli political ground is littered with the bodies of numberless would-be prime ministers. He also erred when he accused the Netanyahus' (without naming them) as behaving like the old French monarchs, a simile that will hardly resonate with the average Israeli voter. "Israel is a great country, but it is plagued by an ill wind of divisiveness, bitterness and despair," he declared, then pledged to "embark on a big program of change." His government, he said, would be "national, powerful, responsible, assertive and resolute." Security comes from deeds not words, said Gantz. "In the rough Middle East neighborhood, victory goes to the strong." The new politician made the routine promises to expand the settlement blocs and retain the Jordan Valley. Israel will stay on the Golan forever. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people. But he did not refer to his plans for Judea and Samaria, a serious omission of a topic of major interest to the Israeli voter. Turning to Tehran, he promised that no threat to Israel's sovereignty would be tolerated. He then challenged Iran's Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas' Yahye Sinwar, and vowed to bring their rampages to a halt. His intention to revive extra-judicial assassinations of terrorist leaders was implied when he said that the liquidation of Ahmed Jabari in the Gaza Strip, which he ordered as chief of staff, would not be the last. At the end of his speech, he presented Moshe Ya'alon who had announced that he and his new party would join Gantz's Israel Resilience List and run together in the April election. The announcement, after long negotiation, brings together two former IDF chiefs of staff. Ya'alon served, moreover, as defense minister when Gantz led the IDF in the Defensive Shield counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Slams Amnesty's `Anti-Semitic' Call for Boycott of Judea and Samaria

Israel's Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin rejected Amnesty's International call to boycott Israeli tourism sites in Judea and Samaria while vowing to fight the "despicable anti-Semitic decision. No force in the world will change the simple historical truth – the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel," he stated. "We will fight this despicable anti-Semitic decision, and we will not allow anyone to boycott Israel or parts of it," he added while noting that" tourism to Israel and to Judea and Samaria is at an all-time height, and this is the best answer to shameful decisions of this kind." Amnesty on Tuesday published a report claiming that Israel's tourism industry in Judea and Samaria profits from the "occupation, human rights violations and war crimes," and called on international tourism companies to boycott those sites and not to facilitate it in any manner. The report alleges that the Israeli government's development of archaeological sites "in settlements," such as the one in Susya in the Hebron area or in Shiloh in Samaria, "is pivotal to its plans to develop and expand the settlements." The ancient town of Susya dates back to the second Temple period and earlier, while Shiloh was the place where the biblical Tabernacle stood for hundreds of years after the Israelites entered the Land of Israel. "The archaeological site in Susya like many other tourist attractions in or near settlements is driving human rights violations against neighboring Palestinians. By promoting sites like these, online booking companies are complicit in the Israeli government's illegal endeavor to expand the settlements at all costs," the report alleges. "Promoting these sites to a global audience facilitates the Israeli government's settlement goals, which is where international tourism companies become essential," said Seema Joshi, Amnesty International's Director of Global Thematic Issues. Responding to the charges, Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted that "Amnesty has become a leader in the anti-Semitic BDS campaign, and tonight's report on Israel is an outrageous attempt to distort the facts, deny Jewish heritage and delegitimize Israel." NGO Monitor, a watchdog, stated that Amnesty's campaign "solely targets these companies working in Israel and ignores their activity in every other conflict area/disputed territory throughout the world. China? Fine. Syria? No problem. Israel? #NoJewsAllowed." "Amnesty seeks to erase Jewish historical and cultural sites. This is pure hatred and bigotry reminiscent of some of the darkest periods of the past," NGO Monitor charged. Amnesty's pressure has borne fruit. Airbnb announced in November 2018 its decision to delist some 200 Israeli homes located in Judea and Samaria because they are located in an area which Airbnb claims is "at the core of the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians." An Israeli inter-ministerial governmental team – including the ministries of Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Economy, as well as the Tax Authority – has launched a process through which it intends to take action against the tourism company. Florida and other US states are reviewing whether Airbnb breached their state laws prohibiting them from doing business with entities that boycott Israel. Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Cabinet has accepted the State Board of Administration's recommendation to place Airbnb on the Scrutinized Companies List.

Netanyahu Scorned for Wooing Holocaust-Distorting Allies

By VOA News
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's warm welcome to Lithuania's prime minister marks his latest embrace of an eastern European leader who has offered strong political support while promoting a distorted image of the Holocaust. Lithuania is among a slew of former communist nations swept up in a wave of World War II-era revisionism that seeks to diminish their culpability in the Holocaust while making heroes out of anti-Soviet nationalists involved in the mass killing of Jews. In Israel, established in the wake of the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews, many say Netanyahu is cynically betraying the victims' memory. Lithuania, for instance, has been a leading force behind creating a joint memorial day for all victims of totalitarianism, blurring the distinction between the crimes of the Nazis and the communists who fought them. It also has pushed for legislation to prohibit the sale of books that "distort Lithuanian history" by citing the rampant, documented collaboration of the local population with Nazis. Most recently it has resisted calls to remove the various plaques commemorating anti-Soviet fighter Jonas Noreika, despite recent revelations by his own granddaughter, Silvia Foti, that he was a fierce anti-Semite who had a role in the murder of thousands of Jews. Nearly all of Lithuania's 200,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust. When Netanyahu, who has Lithuanian roots, visited Vilnius last year, he praised Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis for taking "great steps to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust" and for fighting modern-day anti-Semitism. "It's unforgivable. Netanyahu is giving them a green light," said Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "It's like praising the Ku Klux Klan for improving racial relations in the South. We have to say the truth. We owe it to the victims," he added. In a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, Skvernelis said "Lithuania has been learning the lessons of the past" and was "improving the life of the Jewish community and restoring historical sites." At Tuesday's meeting, Netanyahu treaded cautiously. He referred to the "tragedies of the past" but steered clear of any criticism of modern Lithuania, praising the "spirit of friendship" and "a bridge from the past to a future." Skvernelis' visit comes a week after Netanyahu similarly rolled out the red carpet for President Petro Porochenko of Ukraine, whose parliament just designated the birthday of Ukrainian wartime collaborator Stepan Bandera a national holiday. A regional legislature declared 2019 "the year of Stepan Bandera." Bandera's forces fought alongside the Nazis and were implicated in the murder of thousands of Jews. As Porochenko was visiting Israel, another memorial was being erected in Kiev for Symon Petliura, whose troops are linked to pogroms that killed as many as 50,000 Jews after World War I. Netanyahu's outreach in Eastern Europe is part of his larger strategy of forging alliances to counter the criticism Israel faces in the United Nations and other international forums over its treatment of the Palestinians. Critics consider it a deal with the devil. They say Netanyahu — who often invokes the Holocaust when inveighing against archrival Iran — turns a blind eye when it comes to like-minded allies. "It's a specific maneuver that legitimizes anti-Semitism and borders on Holocaust denial," said Tamar Zandberg, leader of the dovish Meretz party. The prime minister's office did not respond to a request for comment. Under communist rule, the Holocaust was not seriously dealt with and, upon independence, the newfound eastern and central European nations sought to canonize nationalist icons who resisted the Soviets, while largely ignoring their crimes alongside the Nazis. Domestic academics who have challenged the false narrative have been shamed, and external criticism has often been met with new anti-Semitic outbursts. For countries like Lithuania and Ukraine, the warm embrace of the Israeli leader provides a strong defense against accusation of anti-Semitism while also strengthening ties with a close U.S. ally. Netanyahu has also formed a close alliance with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has lavished praise on Miklos Horthy, Hungary's World War II-era ruler, who introduced anti-Semitic laws and collaborated with the Nazis. Orban has also employed anti-Semitic tropes against the Jewish Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros and backed a state-funded museum that experts say plays down the role of Hungarian collaborators. Netanyahu also struck a deal with Polish leaders over their country's controversial Holocaust speech law, which would have criminalized blaming the Polish nation for crimes committed against Jews during World War II. Israeli Holocaust historians slammed the agreement, which seemed to accept a Polish narrative that they were only victims of the Nazis. Scholars say anti-Semitism was deeply rooted in pre-war Poland and Poles might have either killed or helped Germans kill up to 200,000 Jews. Still, Netanyahu has invited Orban and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki — who last year equated Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust to supposed "Jewish perpetrators" — to Israel in February for a summit with the leaders of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party and the son of a Holocaust survivor, called on Netanyahu to cancel the meeting, saying one prime minister has "published anti-Semitic content" and another "passed a law desecrating the memory of Holocaust victims." In its annual report, Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs said 2018 saw a record number of worldwide anti-Semitic attacks, with most carried out by neo-Nazis in Europe and white supremacists. But at his Cabinet meeting later Sunday, Netanyahu singled out "Islamic anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism of the extreme left, which includes anti-Zionism." Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, which hosts all visiting foreign dignitaries, has been thrust into the controversy. While it says it will never disqualify anyone wishing to visit, Yad Vashem insists it will "forcefully" address any denial or distortion. Yad Vashem said the Lithuanian leader received a comprehensive explanation of the Holocaust, including details about "the murder of Jews of Lithuania by the Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators."

Will UN Deploy an International Force in Jerusalem?

Senior Palestinian Authority official and chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said the UN must deploy a permanent international force to not only Judea and Samaria, but also eastern Jerusalem as well to "guarantee the safety and protection of the people of Palestine" until "the end of Israel's belligerent occupation," AP reported. The United Nations has yet to formally respond to the PA request. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron. Formed after Kiryat Arba resident Baruch Goldstein opened fire on a crowd of Arabs inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in February 1994, killing 29, TIPH has deployed monitors from Norway, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey to Hebron to monitor the status of the local Arab community. Despite originally being conceived as a temporary monitor force, TIPH's mandate has been extended regularly for over two decades. Local Israeli residents, however, have complained of harassment by the international monitors. "We want a sense of normal life. When you have these foreigners walking around in uniform it's a kind of feeling like they're watching you like you're an animal in a zoo," Yishai Fleisher, a representative of the Hebron Jewish community told AP. "TIPH and these kinds of elements actually serve to be the opposite of peacemakers. They become provocateurs."

In July in a TIPH member who took part in a tour of the Breaking the Silence organization in Tel Rumeida in Hebron slapped a 10-year-old Jewish boy. The member was arrested and forced to leave Israel by the Foreign Ministry. A few weeks later, Netanyahu ordered the TIPH commander to be summoned for clarification by the Foreign Ministry following publication of footage on Arutz Sheva in which foreign observers are seen puncturing the tires of a car belonging to Jewish Hebron resident of Elad Fass.

Israel to Build Second International Airport in Galilee

By Israel Hayom
The government recently approved plans to construct a new international airport in northern Israel, ending a 15-year-long search for a complementary airport to Ben-Gurion International Airport, which is already nearing operational capacity. The Ramat David air base may become Israel's second international airport in 2019. The Ramat David airport will be built using the Build-Operate-Transfer system, like Israel's Highway 6, in which a private company will bid for the rights to construct the airport, operate it, and then within 25 to 30 years return it to the state. Ramat David is already an operational Israeli Air Force base. The site was chosen over Nevatim air base near Be'er Sheva, Ein Shemer near Hadera, and constructing an artificial island for a new airport. The Transportation Ministry held meetings with the Defense Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority to determine the location, and only after reaching an agreement with the former and approval from the Israeli Air Force were recommendations made to the government. During government discussions, Ramat David was also recommended because it had the best infrastructure already in place to support a new airport. Ben-Gurion airport can handle 16 million travelers per year and is approaching its limit. In 2015 it is already expected to reach 15 million travelers. The Galilee airport will service all the travelers that Ben-Gurion airport will be unable to accommodate. Transportation and Safety Minister Yisrael Katz pushed to have the decision on the new airport included in the 2015 state budget. "Building an airport in Ramat David will put the Galilee on the map," Katz said. "It will improve the area, provide work to thousands and boost the economy in the Galilee during and after construction. Every location that has an airport sees economic improvements in the entire area." Constructing an airport in Ramat David will lead to an optimal spread of airports in Israel, the Transportation Ministry says, with Ramon International Airport in the south, Ben-Gurion airport in central Israel and Ramat David in the north.

Three Arabs Arrested in Connection with Synagogue Vandalism


Three Arabs have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the desecration of the synagogue in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Jerusalem, Channel 12 News reported. According to the report, the police believe that the background to the break-in and the desecration of the Torah scrolls is criminal rather than nationalistic. The vandals broke into the synagogue overnight, causing heavy damage to the furniture and the Torah scrolls. In addition to the synagogue's Torah scrolls, numerous prayer books were damaged or destroyed. Synagogue officials notified local police, and an investigation into the break-in has been opened. Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said, "This morning we were notified of a shocking incident of the desecration of a synagogue and the destruction of Torah scrolls in Kiryat Yovel. This is a grave event that is reminiscent of dark periods of the Jewish people. We will not permit such crimes to take place in our times. "I just spoke to the commander of the Jerusalem District of the police and I am certain that the Israeli police will soon place their hands on the criminals," Lion added. Congregants arrived on Tuesday morning to find sifrei Torah strewn across the floor, splattered with acid. The rest of the synagogue was damaged by the acid as well, including the now-destroyed aron kodesh, seforim, and furniture. The shul's community are mostly French immigrants, thousands of which have fled European anti-Semitism in recent years. For many the event was not only a reminder of the violence currently rampant in the rest of the world, but "recalls dark days in the history of the Jewish people," said Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein. Jerusalem Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi HaRav Aryeh Stern stated, "We were shocked to hear about desecration of the shul in Kiryat HaYovel in Jerusalem … It is incumbent on all of us to protest against the perpetrators of the heinous crime we have seen in the difficult years of the Holocaust by the Nazis. Now we must explore our actions and strengthen our atmosphere of unity, of the people living in Tzion." As of now the shul is unusable. An urgent fund has been started to replace the sifrei Torah, as well as the destroyed furniture. The fund's efforts are not only to rebuild the physical structure of the synagogue, but to strengthen the unity of the Jewish people in the face of anti-Semitism. "We will not allow this tragedy to frighten us," says campaign text. "Just as they did their best to destroy us, with yours' and God's help we will rebuild it back up to a dignified place of prayer and Torah learning, a symbol for the eternal Jewish people. Terror comes to shake us but klal Yisroel will endure."

PA Dropping Bid to Become Full UN Member

The Palestinian Authority is dropping its bid to become a full member of the UN, its UN envoy said. The envoy, Riyad Mansour, told reporters that the day will come when "obstacles" in the Security Council to full UN membership for "Palestine" will be removed "but that day is not today."

The main hurdle is the United States which would more than likely veto any Security Council resolution granting the PA full membership of the global body. The US says the only way PA can gain full membership at the UN is by negotiating a peace deal with Israel. "We disagree with them on that. We believe that our statehood, and our admission, is an innate right for the Palestinian people ... to exercise it alone. It is not open for negotiation with anyone - nor will we ask for permission from anyone," said Mansour, according to AP. Mansour said the legal right for "Palestine" to be a full member of the United Nations was formalized in the 1947 General Assembly resolution that partitioned British-ruled Palestine into "independent Arab and Jewish states." Israel was accepted as a UN member, he said, and "Palestine will continue fighting for that right." Mansour's comments come two weeks after the PA announced it would launch a bid to become a full member of the United Nations. In 2012, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the "state of Palestine" when it upgraded the PA's UN observer status to non-member state. Full membership would amount to international recognition of Palestinian statehood. The PA's latest bid to become a full UN member came as it assumed chairmanship of the Group of 77 bloc of developing countries at the UN. In October, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of allowing the PA to chair the group in 2019, thus allowing the PA to act more like a full UN member state during meetings in 2019. Mansour stressed that "negotiation is different than expressions of self-determination." He noted that America's 13 colonies didn't negotiate with England in 1776 when they declared independence, and Israel didn't negotiate its independence declaration in 1948. Since then, Mansour said, "we have negotiated, and we could possibly, if the conditions are right." Relating to the possibility of renewed talks with Israel, Mansour said if Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees are off the table, and settlements are "more or less off the table, what is there left to negotiate?"

African Jewish Communities Get Some Mainstream Recognition after Years on the Margins

At a New York conference on Jewish life in Africa, Magda Haroun spoke of being only one of a handful of Jews left in Egypt, a country that was once home to a Jewish community of 80,000. Abere Endeshaw Kerehu shared the struggles faced by the approximately 8,000 Jews still living in Ethiopia who face anti-Semitism at home but have not yet been allowed to immigrate to Israel. But others offered a more optimistic picture. Rabbi Levi Banon said Casablanca, Morocco is home to "a small but very vibrant" Jewish community that operates 22 active synagogues, while Remy Ilona urged acceptance of a growing community of Nigerian Igbo people who he says are practicing rabbinic Judaism. The conference, hosted by the American Sephardi Federation and the Morocco-based Association Mimouna, is noteworthy not only because of the range of perspectives it offered but also because it included speakers from emerging Jewish communities in Africa, such as Ilona's group, alongside those from established communities in countries like Egypt and Morocco. Though there is an increasing number of people seeking to practice Judaism in sub-Saharan Africa, they have largely been ignored by the mainstream Jewish community and Israel. Organizers say this is the first conference to focus on Jewish Africa that is not exclusively for academics. Marla Brettschneider, a professor at the University of New Hampshire who researches Jewish communities in Africa, said it was significant that the conference was being hosted by the American Sephardi Federation, a mainstream Jewish group. "It's potentially huge," she told JTA. "Most of the work that I know of in the area is super marginalized, and I'm one of the few people in that field as an academic who has a relationship to the rest of organizational and mainstream Jewry. The divide is a big gulf, so it's really interesting to me to see that [there's] work generated from organizations that have infrastructure, that are long term organizations, trying to bridge the gap." Some 250 people attended the conference, including ambassadors and representatives from Morocco, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Israel, Egypt and Nicaragua. Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Adama Dieng, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, delivered opening and closing remarks, respectively. Bonita Nathan Sussman, vice president of the Jewish outreach group Kulanu, said the conference was a sign the larger Jewish community is paying attention to Africa. "What this conference is doing is that mainstream Judaism is beginning to notice them," Sussman said. "This is a huge accomplishment and a huge gift to be seen and spoken about in the same breath as they do North African Jews because for the most part North African Judaism really had very little to do with newly emerging communities. " The New York-based group, which organized a film festival that was part of the conference, has facilitated community conversions in countries such as Madagascar and Cote d'Ivoire. Critics of such work in Africa say that groups should not be converted en masse when there is no local Jewish community or infrastructure to support them. Many of the people Kulanu work with believe they have Jewish roots, claims that have not been corroborated. Jason Guberman, the executive director of the American Sephardi Federation, said the event grew out of his work with Association Mimouna, an organization founded by Moroccan Muslims to educate about Jewish history in their country as well as an increased interest in Africa in the Jewish community. "This idea of Jewish Africa grows out of [our connection with Association Mimouna] and our working together and the recent pivot to Africa of many in the Jewish community, of many in the Moroccan community, of Israel of course, looking to Africa and seeing both some of the oldest and some of the newest Jewish communities," he said.

Guberman sees his community as a connector between the mainstream groups and African Jews. The traditional Sephardic diaspora includes Jews who trace their lineage to Spain and Portugal, as well as the Mediterranean basin, the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. "It's the natural role of the Sephardic community, that has the experiences in these countries," he said. That includes some of the emergent groups on the continent. "It's the greater Sephardic umbrella, and it's this idea that we have in some cases these communities that are claiming biblical descent, in other cases new communities that are coming to Judaism, as Malcolm [Hoenlein] said yesterday, we have an open door, we would love to welcome some of these communities and have them join the Jewish people in a meaningful way." El Mehdi Boudra, the president and founder of Association Mimouna, sees the conference as a way to think ahead. "This is the goal of this conference, to bring an emerging circle of leaders to promote and think about the future of African Judaism," he said. Boudra flew in from Rabat to attend but next year he won't have to travel as far. Boudra and Guberman are already planning a second conference, which they say will take place next year in Africa, most likely in Morocco. The event not only strengthens ties between the mainstream Jewish community and Jews in Africa, but also between white and black Jews, said Rabbi Capers Funnye, chief rabbi of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, an Africa American Hebrew Israelite body. "It means a great deal to the African American Jewish community [and] the Jewish community of West Africa, because we've been a long time in saying we're here," said Funnye, who leads the Chicago-based Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation. Although the Hebrew Israelite movement is usually considered outside the mainstream by Judaism's main denominations, Funnye has undergone a conversion by Conservative rabbis and is eager to build bridges with the mainstream Jewish community. He said that he was planning to reach out to both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewish communities following the conference. "They have done their part, we have to reciprocate, we have to reach out to the Sephardi community, to the Ashkenazi community," Funnye said.

Ethiopians Shut Down Tel Aviv with Protest against Police Brutality

By YnetNews
Thousands of members of Israel's Ethiopian community, and their allies, staged a protest against police brutality in Tel Aviv Wednesday afternoon. The protesters blocked the Ezrieli Junction and proceeded to descend to the Ayalon Highway bringing traffic on Tel Aviv's main artery to a standstill. Many other Tel Aviv streets are blocked as well causing huge backups and delays all over the city. The protest was sparked by the killing of Yehuda Biadga, a 24 year-old who was waving a knife, by police in Bat Yam two weeks ago. Witnesses say the youth posed no direct danger to the lives of the officers. The incident is still being investigated. The protesters carried Israeli flags and signs saying: "Police are killing Beta Israel" and "Police state." They chanted against trigger happy police and called for the incarceration of police who react with undue violence instead of defusing a situation. Ezrieli mall was closed, in an unprecedented step, apparently on orders from the police fearing disturbances. Following the protest, participants marched to Rabin Square where speeches were delivered. Dasli Takala, one of the organizers, told reporters: "We are dealing with the Israel police which is a criminal organization… From violence they have moved on to murder; they have already killed 10 (unarmed Ethiopians). We are a community of activists. The government of Israel interprets our politeness as fear, but that is our strength." Another organizer, Shahar Mulla said: "We are no different from other citizens of Israel. The police portray us as violent criminals but we will not allow them to harm our children. We are fighting against this violence that is harming our children. We don't need any more crying mothers or bereaved families. We are not seeking blood in exchange for blood. This is a fight for our very existence." Another protester said: "We are black, but we refuse to be the black sheep of the state. We didn't want to come and block the Ayalon Highway but the police have left us no choice, with their guns and tasers." "Reality has blown up in our faces again; after the protest of 2015 we thought that four years would have brought us closer to Israeli society but apparently not; we are still outcasts," lamented another participant. Elias Inbram, one of the organizers, told Ynet that no national leaders condemned the killing of Yehuda Biadga, "apparently it is of no interest to them, but maybe when the roads are blocked and Rabin Square is packed they will pay attention." Inbram addressed the police's warning against a violent protest saying: "What would we say when confronted abroad with accusations that Israel kills Palestinian children and calls for the de-legitimization of Israel? Enough of the reverse psychology; we are always portrayed as a quiet and gentle community and suddenly we are the aggressors — what happened?"

A Cure for Cancer? Israeli Scientists Say They Think They Found One

By the Jerusalem Post
A small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer. "We believe we will offer in a year's time a complete cure for cancer," said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets. "Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market," Aridor said. "Our solution will be both generic and personal."

It sounds fantastical, especially considering that an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to reports by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Further, every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, making it the second leading cause of death (second only to cardiovascular disease). Aridor, chairman of the board of AEBi and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, say their treatment, which they call MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic – a disruption technology of the highest order. The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules. In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins – in particular, for the production of antibody therapeutics. AEBi is doing something similar but with peptides, compounds of two or more amino acids linked in a chain. According to Morad, peptides have several advantages over antibodies, including that they are smaller, cheaper, and easier to produce and regulate. When the company first started, Morad said, "We were doing what everyone else was doing, trying to discover individual novel peptides for specific cancers." But shortly thereafter, Morad and his colleague, Dr. Hanan Itzhaki, decided they wanted to do something bigger. To get started, Morad said they had to identify why other cancer-killing drugs and treatments don't work or eventually fail. Then, they found a way to counter that effect. For starters, most anti-cancer drugs attack a specific target on or in the cancer cell, he explained. Inhibiting the target usually affects a physiological pathway that promotes cancer. Mutations in the targets – or downstream in their physiological pathways – could make the targets not relevant to the cancer nature of the cell, and hence the drug attacking it is rendered ineffective. In contrast, MuTaTo is using a combination of several cancer-targeting peptides for each cancer cell at the same time, combined with a strong peptide toxin that would kill cancer cells specifically. By using at least three targeting peptides on the same structure with a strong toxin, Morad said, "we made sure that the treatment will not be affected by mutations; cancer cells can mutate in such a way that targeted receptors are dropped by the cancer." "The probability of having multiple mutations that would modify all targeted receptors simultaneously decreases dramatically with the number of targets used," Morad continued. "Instead of attacking receptors one at a time, we attack receptors three at a time – not even cancer can mutate three receptors at the same time." Furthermore, many cancer cells activate detoxification mechanisms when in stress from drugs. The cells pump out the drugs or modify them to be non-functional. But Morad said detoxification takes time. When the toxin is strong, it has a high probability of killing the cancer cell before detoxification occurs, which is what he is banking on. Many cytotoxic anticancer treatments aim at fast-growing cells. But cancer stem cells are not fast growing, and they can escape these treatments. Then, when the treatment is over, they can generate cancer again. "If it does not completely annihilate the cancer, the remaining cells can start to get mutations again, and then the cancer comes back, but this time it is drug resistant," Morad said. He explained that because cancer cells are born out of mutations that occur in cancer stem cells, most of the overexpressed proteins which are targeted on the cancer cell exist in the cancer stem cells. MuTaTo's multiple-target attack ensures that they will be destroyed as well. Finally, some cancer tumors erect shields which create access problems to large molecules, such as antibodies. MuTaTo acts like an octopus or a piece of spaghetti and can sneak into places where other large molecules cannot reach. Morad said the peptide parts of MuTaTo are very small (12 amino acids long) and lack a rigid structure. "This should make the whole molecule non-immunogenic in most cases and would enable repeated administration of the drug," he said. Morad said their discovery could also reduce the sickening side-effects of most cancer treatments, which stem from drug treatments interacting with the wrong or additional targets, or the correct targets but on non-cancerous cells. He said MuTaTo's having a combination of several highly specific cancer-targeting peptides on one scaffold for each type of cancer cell would increase the specificity to the cancer cell due to the avidity effect. In addition, in most cases, the non-cancer cells that have a protein in common with the cancer cells do not overexpress it. "This makes a great difference between the two kinds of cells and should decrease the side effects dramatically," Morad said. He equated the concept of MuTaTo to the triple drug cocktail that has helped change AIDS from being an automatic death sentence to a chronic – but often manageable – disease. Today, AIDS patients take protease inhibitors in combination with two other drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The drug combination disrupts HIV at different stages in its replication, restrains an enzyme crucial to an early stage of HIV duplication and holds back another enzyme that functions near the end of the HIV replication process. "We used to give AIDS patients several drugs, but we would administer them one at a time," Morad explained. "During the course of treatment, the virus mutated, and the AIDS started attacking again. Only when patients started using a cocktail, were they able to stop the disease." Now, he said, people with AIDS are HIV carriers, but they are not sick anymore. The MuTaTo cancer treatment will eventually be personalized. Each patient will provide a piece of his biopsy to the lab, which would then analyze it to know which receptors are overexpressed. The individual would then be administered exactly the molecule cocktail needed to cure his disease. However, unlike in the case of AIDS, where patients must take the cocktail throughout their lives, in the case of MuTaTo, the cells would be killed, and the patient could likely stop treatment after only a few weeks. The company is now writing patents on specific peptides, which will be a large bank of targeting toxin peptides wholly owned and hard to break, said Aridor. Morad said that so far, the company has concluded its first exploratory mice experiment, which inhibited human cancer cell growth and had no effect at all on healthy mice cells, in addition to several in-vitro trials. AEBi is on the cusp of beginning a round of clinical trials which could be completed within a few years and would make the treatment available in specific cases. Aridor added: "Our results are consistent and repeatable."

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