Weekly roundup of world briefs
December 9, 2022
IRONMAN Israel competition draws 2,500 competitors
(JNS) — Patrick Lange of Germany took first place in the IRONMAN Israel-Middle East Championship in Tiberias on Friday, with a personal best time of 07:42:00. In the women’s pro category, Ruth Astle from Great Britain finished first, with a time of 08:41:13.
The event featured two races: a full distance one and a shorter race. The full distance race included a 2.3 mile swim in the Sea of Galilee, a 111-mile bike ride and a 26-mile run.
More than 800 Israeli and 400 international athletes competed in the full-distance race, while 1,500 Israelis and 360 international athletes competed in the shorter one.
Second place in the men’s pro category went to Daniel Bækkegård of Denmark (07:43:40), and third to Gregory Barnaby of Italy (07:47:02). Daniela Bleymehl of Germany placed second in the women’s category (08:50:13), and third went to Barbara Riveros of Australia (08:55:49).
Israel’s senior triathlete, Dan Alterman, finished the full competition in a total time of 08:54:18.
Businessman and philanthropist Sylvan Adams, who helped bring the event to Israel, said, “The friendships built today will last a lifetime. This is just one international sporting event that we are bringing to Israel, and we hope to have many more in the future.”
A quarter of US hiring managers discriminate against Jews, survey shows
(JNS) — A quarter of hiring managers say they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants, according to a survey conducted by a San Francisco-based employment resource firm.
In light of recent high-profile cases of antisemitism in the U.S., ResumeBuilder.com polled 1,131 recruiters. Twenty-three percent say they want fewer Jews in their industry, while 17 percent add that managers have told them to avoid hiring Jews.
The top reason for discriminating against Jews, the results show, is a supposed fear of their “power and control,” with 38 percent of hiring managers citing that excuse. Recruiters also justified discrimination by claiming that Jews consider themselves the “chosen people” and they have too much wealth, in addition to listing that “Jews are greedy,” “Jews killed Jesus,” “Jews are an inferior race,” “Jews are oppressors” and “Jews are less capable.”
“In this era of fighting for equality in hiring, Jewish individuals have largely been left out of the conversation and the issue of antisemitism has, for the most part, gone unaddressed,” said Stacie Haller, ResumeBuilder.com executive recruiter and career counselor. “Antisemitism in the workplace starts at the hiring process with individuals who do not want to hire Jews because of bigoted stereotypes, but that is not where it ends.”
Among current employees, 33 percent said that workplace antisemitism is frequent and 29 percent said that antisemitism is acceptable within the company that employs them, according to the survey.
While 56% of hiring managers understood that candidates were Jewish because they had confirmed it themselves, 33 percent said they identified their Jewishness by their last names and 26 percent of hiring managers make decisions about who is Jewish based on a candidate’s appearance, the survey found. Some recruiters said they had identified Jewish candidates by their “voice,” their “mannerisms,” or because, “they are very frugal.”
Said Haller, “Organizations need to commit to oversight, training and having meaningful conversations about antisemitism. Removing prejudice and ensuring the workplace is equal, fair and accessible for all is not an easy challenge for organizations to tackle, but it’s absolutely essential.”
There does appear to be some room for optimism, however. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed claim their attitude towards Jews has improved over the last five years. Nine percent say their attitudes towards Jews have worsened, though, while 60 percent noted no change.
ZOA deplores Trump dining with Jew-haters Ye & Nick Fuentes
(JNS) — The Zionist Organization of America urged former President Donald Trump to live up to his strong comments and to strongly condemn both the “Jew-hater Kanye West and avowed Holocaust-denying, white supremacist, Jew-hater Nick Fuentes.”
The ZOA condemned the cordial supper Trump shared last week at his Mar-a-Lago home with “such vile antisemites.”
Trump’s “dining with Jew-haters helps legitimize and mainstream antisemitism and must be condemned by everyone,” the ZOA said in a statement on Sunday.
Trump claimed he did not know who Fuentes was. West now goes by Ye.
The organization also called on former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to disavow antisemite Louis Farrakhan, with whom they attended events.
In addition, the ZOA called on President Joe Biden to condemn “Jew-haters Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], Betty McCollum, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley and others.”
ZOA calls for counter-protest to Philadelphia-sponsored event denouncing Israel’s existence
(JNS) — The Zionist Organization of America has called on Israel supporters to gather in Philadelphia on Tuesday to protest a city-sponsored event critical of the Jewish state’s founding.
The city scheduled an “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” at its Municipal Services Building, hosting the affair for the second straight year. According to a promotional poster, the event is sponsored by the office of the City Representative and Mayor Jim Kenney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. At last year’s event, Kenney and at least three members of the Philadelphia City Council spoke, along with state lawmakers.
“Too many Jews have been murdered and maimed by Palestinian-Arab violence. There have already been too many lies and too much propaganda attacking Israel’s right to exist and seeking to delegitimize Jewish heritage and Jewish rights to self-determination,” the Greater Philadelphia ZOA said in a statement. “Endorsing more violence and more lies and propaganda is beneath the obligation of officials who are supposed to represent all Philadelphians. Please do not further trample on the already-under-attack Jewish community.”
The poster for Tuesday’s Philadelphia event prominently features the flag of the PLO, a U.S.-designated terror organization responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of Israeli civilians, along with dozens of American and European citizens, dating back to its 1964 founding.
Since 1977, Palestine Solidarity Day has been observed through a United Nations General Assembly resolution. The Nov. 29 date coincides with the anniversary of the passing of a UNGA resolution partitioning the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state, which Palestinian Arabs have still failed to accept. Palestinians refer to the subsequent Jewish state as a Nakba, or catastrophe.
The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Zionist Organization of America is placing calls for counter-demonstrators to attend a public vigil on the perimeter of the Municipal Services Building, located at 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, at noon today.
“The purpose of the city’s event and the violent and bellicose imagery in the poster promoting the city event is a threat to every Jewish person and every supporter of Israel,” reads a statement from the Greater Philadelphia ZOA. “It is especially troubling during this period of rampant attacks and Jewish people and institutions, along with intense incitement of hatred of Jewish people and the Jewish homeland, that Philadelphia officials would send such a message.”
In 1987, the U.S. Congress declared the PLO a “terrorist organization” and prohibited it from opening any of its office in the United States.
Since the signing of the 1993 Oslo interim peace agreement between Israel and the PLO, every U.S. president signed a congressionally-provided waiver until 2018, when President Donald Trump shuttered the PLO office in Washington, D.C., and ordered its American bank accounts closed in order to pressure the Palestinians to stop working with the International Criminal Court against Israel.
The ZOA encourages supporters to bring Israeli and American flags to the Tuesday vigil.
Israeli, US air forces simulate strikes on Iranian nuclear sites
(JNS) — The Israeli and United States air forces launched a two-day drill on Tuesday simulating strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, according to an Israel Defense Forces statement.
The drills will be conducted over parts of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, and include long-range flights such as those Israeli pilots would be required to undertake to reach Iran, located some 1,200 miles from the Jewish state.
“Fighter jets and refuelers from the IAF and the US Air Force will take part in the exercise and simulate a number of scenarios in the face of regional threats,” said the statement.
A London-based Saudi news site reported in August that Israel and America had simulated air strikes on Iran and the seizure of Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf. It also said Israel had flown aircraft in Iranian airspace in the preceding months.
Iran recently began enriching uranium to 60 percent at its underground Fordow nuclear site and, as of Oct. 22, had amassed 137 pounds of the substance, more than enough to produce a bomb if enriched to 90 percent, or weapons-grade.
Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said last week that Iran would soon start enriching at least a “symbolic” amount of uranium to 90 percent, although he added that it was unlikely to make a dash for the bomb.
Haliva warned that Tehran had made “significant progress” on its nuclear program, and that the international community would soon face its “greatest test” in preventing the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Lapid calls to thwart UN push for ICJ opinion on ‘occupation’ of Judea and Samaria
(JNS) — Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent a letter on Monday to more than 50 world leaders calling on them to prevent a vote next month in the United Nations General Assembly on whether to task the International Court of Justice with issuing an advisory opinion on the legality of Israel’s military presence in Judea and Samaria.
In the letter, Lapid emphasized that should the vote go ahead, he expects Israel’s allies to stand alongside Jerusalem and vote against the resolution.
“This resolution is the outcome of a concerted effort to single out Israel, to discredit our legitimate security concerns, and to delegitimize our very existence,” wrote Lapid, according to a statement from his office.
He added that the status of the disputed territory should be subject to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and that bringing the matter before the ICJ would contravene the principle of direct talks accepted by the international community, while playing into the hands of extremists.
The letter was sent to world leaders from, among other countries, the United Kingdom, France, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Latvia, Georgia, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru and Vietnam.
Lapid earlier this month condemned the UNGA Fourth Committee’s adoption of an anti-Israel motion calling for the urgent rendering of an “advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”
At the time, Lapid said in a statement that “Israel strongly rejects the Palestinian resolution at the United Nations,” describing it as “another unilateral Palestinian move which undermines the basic principles for resolving the conflict and may harm any possibility for a future process. The Palestinians want to replace negotiations with unilateral steps. They are again using the United Nations to attack Israel.”
Philanthropists call on Jewish community to increase investment in Birthright amid budget cuts
(JNS) — Following the recent announcement that budget cuts will cause Birthright Israel to cut up to one-third of its trip participants in 2023 and beyond, the leading philanthropic supporters of the program on Tuesday called upon Jews and Jewish organizations worldwide to become “fellow investors” in the organization that provides free 10-day trips to Israel for Jewish young adults.
“We are creating space for others to commit, to re-commit or to increase their commitment. Birthright is not an Adelson family investment. It is an investment in us all, in our collective, communal future,” said Dr. Miriam Adelson, who, along with her late husband Sheldon Adelson, through the Adelson Family Foundation, has contributed nearly $500 million to Birthright during the past 15 years.
Adelson and Charles Bronfman addressed the Birthright Israel Foundation’s board meeting via video conference after Birthright announced last week that due to inflation and rising travel expenses that have increased the per-person cost of the experience to $4,500. The organization is “now seeking contributions from the wider American-Jewish community to maintain the organization’s provision of the critical program.”
Bronfman said he and Adelson “believe it is time for us to return to one of our early mantras about Birthright Israel: It is a gift of one generation of Jews to the next.” All Jews “should bear responsibility for this gift” by donating to Birthright, he said.
American Jews who attend Birthright trips are 160% more likely to have a spouse who is Jewish, according to a recently published analysis by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.
IDF: Terrorism in Israel, Judea and Samaria rose by over 300 percent in 2022
(JNS) — There have been 280 terrorist incidents in Israel so far this year, compared with just 91 in 2021, according to figures revealed by the Israel Defense Forces on Monday. A further 500 attacks were thwarted by Israeli security forces during the same period, according to Military Intelligence assessments.
Shooting attacks on Israeli military forces in Judea and Samaria have also risen sharply, with 110 recorded since January 2022, compared to 25 in 2021.
A total of 31 Israelis, both civilians and security personnel, have been killed in Palestinian attacks this year.
Over 130 Palestinians, most of them assailants, were killed in clashes and security incidents this year as well.
Since the start of 2022, and particularly since the launch of “Operation Break the Wave” in March following a string of deadly terror attacks, the IDF has arrested more than 3,000 security suspects, most of them in Samaria, seized around 250 illegal weapons and captured terrorist funds worth over 2.7 million shekels.
Eleven back-up battalions were sent to reinforce the security barrier along the seam line, and various sectors within Judea and Samaria. Twenty-six battalions are active in total in the area.
A new task force was also established to manage the seam line security barrier. The Defense Ministry strengthened 16 kilometers (10 miles) of the barrier, and began building a 45-kilometer (28 mile) new barrier.
The number of Palestinians illegally infiltrating from Judea and Samaria into Israel went from tens of thousands per week in 2021 to a few hundred per week currently, according to the figures.
Iran condemns four to death for cooperating with the ‘Zionist regime’
(JNS) — Four Iranians on Wednesday were sentenced to death for allegedly cooperating with Israel’s Mossad spy agency, according to a Reuters report citing Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency.
Those accused were punished “for the crime of cooperating with the intelligence services of the Zionist regime and for kidnapping,” said the report.
“With guidance from the Zionist intelligence service, this network of thugs was stealing and destroying private and public property, kidnapping people, and obtaining fake confessions,” it added.
Khamenei strongly backed the regime’s security forces, which are repressing the demonstrations, and claimed that the unrest, sparked by the death on Sept. 16 of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police, was not being caused by “ordinary Iranians.”
Iranian police together with the Basij security forces have killed more than 400 Iranians and arrested thousands of others, according to rights groups.