Weekly roundup of world briefs
January 22, 2021
Israel will OK over 800 new settlement homes during the week of Biden’s inauguration
By Gabe Friedman
(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he will advance plans to build over 800 new settlement homes next week, days before Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States.
The move is likely to rile Biden, who like most past U.S. presidents opposes new settlement construction.
“We’re here to stay. We’re continuing to build the Land of Israel!” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.
Tal Menashe, where an Israeli settler woman was allegedly killed by a Palestinian attacker last month, is among the settlements where the new homes will be constructed, according to a report cited by The Times of Israel.
In 2010, Biden was angered when Netanyahu announced new settlement construction just as the then-vice president touched down for a visit meant to calm U.S.-Israel relations.
Food courier in France refuses to serve Jews, 2 kosher restaurant owners say
By Cnaan Liphshiz
(JTA) — Two kosher restaurants in the city of Strasbourg, France said they had been were declined service by at least one delivery man, who allegedly said he does not want to serve Jews.
Both incidents happened Thursday amid a partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited restaurants to offering only take away meals delivered by couriers. The delivery man who allegedly refused the kosher eateries service was working for Deliveroo. It is not immediately clear whether both incidents involved the same employee, the news site DNA reported Sunday.
At the first restaurant, the employee arrived to take out an order to a patron and asked the restaurant’s staff what sort of restaurant it was. They told him it served Israeli cuisine, to which he replied: “I don’t serve Jews” and said that he is canceling the order, Raphaël Nisand, a lawyer representing that restaurant, told DNA.
Later in the day, a second kosher restaurant was also declined service by a Deliveroo employee, DNA reported.
On Friday, the owners of both restaurants complained to police of discrimination and alerted the Consistoire, French Jewry’s organization responsible for religious services, and the National Bureau Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.
Queried by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a Deliveroo spokesperson wrote in an email that the firm “takes a zero tolerance approach to any form of anti-Semitic language,” adding that the “rider will have their contract with Deliveroo ended with immediate effect once we have carried out the necessary due diligence to confirm the reports.”
Al-Qaeda calls on Muslims to target Israeli visitors to Arab countries
(JNS) — Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula blasted the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco for normalizing relations with Israel, calling on Muslims to target Israelis who visit these countries, according to a report shared exclusively with JNS by the Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor
In the Jan. 8 issue of the terror group’s Al-Wa’y publication, an editorial described these Arab governments as “traitors.”
It accused them of a “humiliating stance regarding the Palestinian issue, the Jewish occupation and the violation of the criminal Jews against the Muslims ummah [‘nation’], the Palestinians and the sacred land.”
The editorial went on to describe the Arab governments’ positions as “shameful and submissive to the Ziono-crusader coalition” and “hostile to the mujahideen and those who are defending themselves in Palestine.” It further accused them of “blatantly selling out the Palestinians to the Jews in exchange for a handful of worldly goods.”
The editorial concluded, according to JTTM, by urging Muslims to “revive the Palestinian issue, expose those traitors, expose the enemies’ plans and reject all these agreements, and to seize the opportunity presented by the visits of Jews to Muslim countries to cut off their heads, as the jihad waged against Jews today is not limited to those who are in Palestine, since the Jews are walking around in the region, and this is a rare opportunity that was not available in past decades.”
Deputy mayor of Jerusalem announces construction of permanent US embassy
(JNS) — The city of Jerusalem has approved plans to build the permanent U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, in addition to an extension of the current temporary embassy, announced the city’s deputy mayor on Wednesday.
“The Jerusalem Municipal Building and Planning Committee has just approved the plans for the new #US Embassy which will be built on Derech Hebron in #Jerusalem. As well as the extension of the current temporary embassy in Arnona,” tweeted Fleur Hassan-Nahoum
The United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018, five months after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Glenn Beck compares Big Tech censorship to ghetto, ‘Jews behind wall’
(JNS) — Conservative pundit Glenn Beck on Tuesday compared Big Tech censorship of former U.S. President Donald Trump being denied access to certain social-media platforms to the Holocaust.
“This is like the Germans with the Jews behind the wall,” said Beck on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“They would put them in the ghetto. This is the digital ghetto,” he said. “You can talk all you want, Jews, do whatever you want behind the wall. That’s not meaningful.
He added: “And that’s where we are. That’s where millions of Americans will be.”
In the moment, Beck tried to walk back his statement: “Again, it’s not to compare it to the Germans. It’s not to do anything but warn if you don’t stand up for free speech, you will be the one that loses it as well.”
Big Tech has come under fire for its actions following the Jan. 6 mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump as Congress was tallying U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral viotes.
Twitter banned Trump’s personal account, and Apple and Google have taken Parler off of their app stores.
Trump signs bill to elevate status of US special envoy on anti-Semitism into law
(JNS) — U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Wednesday to elevate the status of the U.S. special envoy on anti-Semitism.
The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, which was one of the last bills to pass the 116th Congress, upgrades the status of the special envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism, a position at the U.S. State Department, to an ambassadorship, thereby requiring U.S. Senate confirmation.
The president will be required to fill the position within 90 days.
Having been vacant at the start of the Trump administration, the special envoy was designated in February 2019 with the appointment of Iraq war veteran and attorney Elan Carr.
Barring a nomination by Trump of someone to the upgraded position, Biden will have the first opportunity to fill the role.
Hadassah advocated for the passage of what is now law.
“Future ambassadors will surely benefit from today’s action, which affords the Office of the Special Envoy the tools, resources and gravitas necessary to apply much-needed pressure on foreign governments to address anti-Semitism as part of their relationships with the United States,” the organization said in a statement.
US sanctions foundations controlled by Iranian Supreme Leader Khameini
(JNS) — The Trump administration on Wednesday sanctioned two foundations controlled by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and their leaders and subsidiaries.
The Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order and Astan Quds Razavi was sanctioned and controlled large swaths of the Iranian economy, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. The leaders of those companies, Mohammad Mokhber and Ahmad Marvi, respectively, were also sanctioned. Subsidiaries of those entities were also designated.
“These institutions enable Iran’s elite to sustain a corrupt system of ownership over large parts of Iran’s economy,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to target those who enrich themselves while claiming to help the Iranian people.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “These institutions enable Iran’s corrupt leaders to exploit a system of ownership over a wide range of sectors of Iran’s economy. The United States will continue to target entities and individuals that enrich themselves while claiming to help the Iranian people.”
The latest round of sanctions exemplifies the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran since the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacting new sanctions against the regime.