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Behind the Aegis

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Remains of 286 Jewish Holocaust victims uncovered in 2 basements in Ukraine

The remains of 286 Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust were found in two basements in a town in southwest Ukraine.

The remains, mostly women and children, will be buried in a mass grave in the ancient Jewish cemetery in Sataniv, Ynet reported.

The town had an organized Jewish community for about 500 years before the Nazis captured it in 1941 and began systematically killing its Jews, according to the Yad Vashem website.

On May 15, 1942, Nazi troops and Ukrainian military police locked the 286 Jews in the cellars and suffocated them.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jul 28, 2020, 05:42 AM (6 replies)

UK leader promises conversion therapy ban as Israel moves forward with its own bill

Conservative U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to ban conversion therapy, calling the practice “absolutely abhorrent,” while Israel’s legislature has moved forward with a ban.

Johnson said that the government will bring forth a bill after a study on the subject has been completed.

“On the gay conversion therapy thing, I think that’s absolutely abhorrent and has no place in a civilized society, and has no place in this country,” Johnson said.

“What we are going to do is a study right now on, you know, where is this actually happening, how prevalent is it, and we will then bring forward plans to ban it.”


Other countries are also working on potential conversion therapy bans, including Canada, France, and Norway.

In May, Albania and Germany joined Malta, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, and several other countries in banning the practice. Currently, 20 U.S. states have banned conversion therapy.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jul 22, 2020, 04:43 PM (2 replies)

Transgender man named Michigan Teacher of the Year

The state of Michigan has honored a transgender educator as teacher of the year.

The Michigan Department of Education announced at a virtual meeting on Friday that Owen Bondono is Michigan’s Teacher of the Year. He teaches ninth grade language arts at Oak Park High School near Detroit.

Bondono said that his perspective as a transgender and queer man has helped him help students feel safe in school.

“My goal is to always make sure students whether they are marginalized because of their race, their ethnicity, or their gender identity, their sexual orientation, that they feel safe in school,” he told Fox 2 Detroit.

“I know from a personal standpoint how vulnerable you feel when you’re not safe and how when you feel that vulnerable everything else takes a back seat.”

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jul 22, 2020, 04:40 PM (3 replies)

(Jewish Group) I'm a Jew of color. I won't be quiet about anti-Semitism.

I still remember the look of discomfort my friend Danielle Scruggs shot me as our professor went on an extended rant in an undergraduate journalism class at Howard University.

He’d started by bitterly complaining about a white editor who’d insisted on characterizing Louis Farrakhan as anti-Semitic in a story the professor had written. He was allegedly informing us Black would-be journalists of the importance of protecting our work from white editors who would sully it with cultural ignorance. But he soon spiraled into a larger rant about “the Jews,” assuming he was speaking to an audience who shared his opinions.

Silently, Scruggs caught my gaze and grimaced. “I’m sorry,” she mouthed silently. I grimaced, too. Neither of us really knew what to do or say in the moment, but we knew he was in the wrong.

“I remember feeling really taken aback, because there’s a Black-and-Jewish person right in front of you,” Scruggs said when I called her this week. “I should have said something instead of looking around in horror. Even if you’re part of a marginalized class, you can still have prejudices that can be really harmful and that’s something we should keep in mind.”


A rather long article, but an excellent read! She has a voice we don't often hear, even in situations like this. I hope we hear more from her.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jul 17, 2020, 03:17 PM (0 replies)

(Jewish Group) Tlaib or Not Tlaib? Detroit's Jews Aren't Sure (Three articles)


The Aug. 4 primary offers a path to oust the outspoken, pro-BDS congresswoman, but Jews are staying out — or backing her.

Many Michigan Jews are unhappy with Rashida Tlaib. But they’re not mobilizing against her in the upcoming primary.

When Tlaib was elected to represent Michigan’s 13th district in the House of Representatives in November 2018, she made history as the first Palestinian American woman to serve in Congress. Along with Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, she is also one of the first two Muslim woman to serve. And since her election a year and a half ago, Tlaib has made headlines time and time again — often for her vocal criticism of Israel.

Tlaib, whose grandmother still lives in the West Bank, publicly supports a one-state solution and the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement. In 2019 she and Omar were denied entry into Israel for their views, making international headlines.

All of this has created a fraught relationship between Tlaib and the American Jewish community. Even before Tlaib was elected, she made waves when J Street, a nonprofit group that advocates for a two-state solution in Israel, pulled its endorsement of her.


Companion pieces:

Editor’s Note: The Question

“When are you going to do something about Rashida Tlaib?”

The Jewish News receives some variation of this question from our readers about once a week. Usually it’s tied into something the Detroit Congresswoman has said or tweeted about Israel, but the message is always the same: We are Detroit’s Jewish publication of record. If a notable community figure has sparked a contentious national debate about Jews and Israel, it should be our responsibility to address this person in our pages.

Well, this week, on the occasion of her looming primary, new PBS documentary and various other news items involving her and her district, we have indeed “done something” about Rashida Tlaib. We have conducted our first-ever interview with her and prepared a separate feature about the local Jewish reaction to her.

I don’t know if this will fit every reader’s definition of “doing something” about a local member of Congress who expresses vocal support for the global BDS movement and isn’t shy about criticizing (some would say slandering) Israel on the national stage. But this fits my definition and the publication’s; the JN has been trying to talk to Rep. Tlaib since she assumed office in 2018. We often interview polarizing figures in these pages. Because this is what we do when we confront something difficult in our community. We talk about it.


Rashida Tlaib: “It’s The Same Folks Coming After All Of Us” (An Interview)

The polarizing Congresswoman sits down with the Jewish News for the first time.

Rashida Tlaib is all smiles as she drives up to our designated interview spot. We’re in Stoepel Number 1 Park, in Detroit’s historic Rosedale Park neighborhood. It’s part of Michigan’s 13th Congressional district, which Tlaib is trying to defend in her August 4 primary. She steps into the park’s tennis courts, which have weeds poking through them, gives an elbow-bump greeting and happily poses for photos.

This is the first time Tlaib has talked to the Detroit Jewish News. She and her staff claim this is the first time they were aware the JN had tried to contact them; but in fact, the JN has made several interview offers to her since 2018, when she became the first Palestinian woman elected to Congress and began making headlines for her vocal criticism of Israel. As a member of “the Squad,” a group of progressive women legislators of color that also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, Tlaib’s words echo far beyond Detroit.

Now, Tlaib’s district (which includes large portions of Detroit and Dearborn Heights, as well as communities like Romulus, Ecourse and Inkster) is dealing with high rates of COVID-19 and ongoing protests against racism and police brutality. “Have you seen the marches?” she asks. “Jews and Muslims holding signs together… It makes me smile.”

Tlaib’s primary race, against Detroit City Councilwoman Brenda Jones, is competitive, and some Detroit-area Jews see danger no matter who wins. At the same time, Tlaib has many Jewish supporters, and says she wants to have a respectful dialogue with everyone. “I have an open-door policy,” she says. “Even when we disagree, if we can look at each other in a way that at least we feel heard, that’s all I ask.”


Take the time to read them all.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jul 17, 2020, 03:15 PM (1 replies)

Dozens of gravestones vandalized in Europe's oldest surviving Jewish cemetery

The oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe was vandalized.

At least 50 gravestones in the medieval Jewish cemetery in the German city of Worms were smeared with a greenish paint, the city said in a statement.

The incident took place on Thursday. The cemetery was ordered closed for a week.

There are about 2,500 gravesites in the cemetery, which is called Heiliger Sand, or Holy Sands, some dating back to the mid-11th century. Among the vandalized gravesites was the tomb of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, known as the Maharam, a prominent rabbi who died in 1293.

The city website said that it did not believe the vandalism was motivated by anti-Semitism or politics.

Meanwhile, experts reportedly are working to figure out how to clean and restore the gravestones.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jul 17, 2020, 02:52 PM (0 replies)

Soros' foundation to spend $220 million to support Black groups advocating for racial justice

Open Society, the foundation founded by liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros, is set to donate $220 million to racial justice groups in the wake of awareness stoked by civil unrest around the issue of police brutality.

A statement Monday from the foundation said $150 million of the $220 million will be be in the form of five-year grants to a diverse set of Black-led organizations fighting for racial justice, including legacy groups and a number that have risen in recent years.

“These investments will empower proven leaders in the Black community to reimagine policing, end mass incarceration, and eliminate the barriers to opportunity that have been the source of inequity for too long,” Alex Soros, George Soros’ son and the co-chairman of Open Society, said in a statement.

The five-year span is intended to sustain awareness of racial justice issues even as the events of this summer, launched with the police killing in Minneapolis in May of George Floyd, recede from the headlines, the statement said.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jul 13, 2020, 08:57 PM (3 replies)

Muggers thought a gay couple would be an easy target. They picked the wrong men to try to rob.

Two men allegedly pulled knives on a gay couple and called them anti-gay slurs while trying to rob them, but they instead ended up on the ground, restrained until police arrived.

Kelson Akomolafe, 27, said that he and his partner Edward Hoard, 30, were attacked in the Bronx last week on July 7.

“I was going to this clinic right here with my partner and then boom, all of this happened,” Akomolafe said in a Facebook Live video, according to Gay City News.

He said that two men approached them and one of them was shouting.

“We just came out of the street and this guy starts saying something like, ‘Ooh, we know you’re gay,'” he said, adding that the attacker called him and his partner “fa***ts” and “batty men.”

keep reading, including the part where the gay VICTIM was also taken into custody...

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jul 13, 2020, 08:45 PM (1 replies)

(Jewish Group) Trump campaign accuses Democrats of trying to 'rig election' -- with money from Jews

Trump campaign accuses Democrats of trying to ‘rig election’ — with money from Jewish billionaires

President Trump’s reelection campaign sent a letter to would-be voters accusing Democrats of trying to “rig the November election” with money from three billionaires with Jewish ancestry.

The letter, which was first publicized last week by the progressive Jewish group Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, criticized Democrats for trying to expand remote voting options.

“With the help of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — and using the funds of their Leftist billionaire allies like George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer — Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer are pushing for ways to rig the November election — from calling for all ballots to be cast by mail, to same day registration, to requiring no ID to vote,” the letter stated.

Soros and Bloomberg are Jewish, and Steyer had a Jewish father.

The three men are some of the most prominent Democratic donors, but some Jews have accused Republicans of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes by singling out their spending on political efforts.


I italicized the problem area. I think it is a HOOT that Bloomberg is considered a "leftist".
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Jul 9, 2020, 04:01 PM (2 replies)
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