As the fight in Gaza wears on, anti-Semites across Europe are attacking the continent’s Jews under the pretext of protesting Israel’s politics.
Since the beginning of the current war between Israel and Hamas, eight synagogues in France have been attacked. In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked for Jews to apologize for the actions of the Jewish state. In Germany, a prominent Muslim Imam gave a sermon asking Allah to kill all of the “Zionist Jews.”
The atmosphere in Europe since the beginning of the war has been so toxic that the foreign ministers of France, Italy, and Germany on Tuesday issued a rare joint statement condemning anti-Semitism at pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
All of this presents a troubling paradox for Zionism. The state of Israel was founded in 1948 as a haven for Jews. But in 2014 Europe’s anti-Semites have attacked Jews for the deeds of the Jewish state.
It is a classic anti-Semitic canard to punish any Jew for the perceived crimes of all of them. There is no evidence also to suggest that if Israel did not respond to rockets fired from Hamas, the Jews of Europe would be any safer or the continent’s anti-Semites would be any more tolerant. After all, some of the worst attacks on Jews in France occurred at a time of relative quiet in Israel.
But during a war that has claimed nearly 700 Palestinians and far fewer Israelis, Jewish leaders in Europe say their communities are being held responsible for the actions of Israel.
“If you are a French Jew you should not be responsible physically for what happens 4,000 kilometers away,” Roger Cukierman, the president of the umbrella organization representing the Jewish community in France known as CRIF, told The Daily Beast.
Definitely not the headline I wanted to wake up to. Hopefully Hamas aren’t tweaking the number of civilian deaths.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed regional leaders to nail down a Gaza ceasefire on Friday as the civilian death toll soared, and further violence loomed between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
With Israel and Hamas-led Islamist fighters setting seemingly irreconcilable terms for a truce that mediators hope will begin by a Muslim festival next week, Kerry worked the phones from Egypt, while aides made clear his patience was waning.
The urgency was spurred on Thursday by the killing of 15 people as they sheltered at a U.N.-run school in the northern Gaza Strip, which local officials blamed on Israeli shelling.
Israel said its forces had come under attack from Palestinian guerrillas in the area of the school and that they had shot back. It accused Hamas of preventing any evacuation.
Gaza officials said Israeli strikes killed 27 people on Friday, including the head of media operations for Hamas ally Islamic Jihad and his son. They put the number of Palestinian deaths in 18 days of conflict at 819, most of them civilians.
More from Reuters.
An evangelical Christian group is trying to convert children as young as five at Portland apartment pools, public parks and dozens of other gathering spots this summer — a campaign that’s got hundreds of parents upset.
They’ve banded together in recent weeks to warn parents about the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Club, buying a full-page ad in the local alternative weekly to highlight the group’s tactics.
“They pretend to be a mainstream Christian Bible study when in fact they’re a very old school fundamentalist sect,” said Kaye Schmitt, an organizer with Protect Portland Children, which takes issue with the group’s message and the way it’s delivering it.
“Parents should know that out-of-state evangelical fundamentalists are in the Portland area this week, trying to convert children as young as five-years-old, using misleading tactics,” said Stacey Jochimsen, another Protect Portland Children member.
GOP Bill Creates Tax Break for Americans Making Six Figures, Ignores Expiring Tax Credit for Low-Income Families
Lynn “great white hope” Jenkins from Kansas has introduced another wild west libertarian bill that will benefit rich families at the expense of poor ones.
On Friday, the House will vote on a Republican bill that ignores an expiring tax credit for millions of low-income families, while handing one to better-off Americans.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Ks.), changes the way the federal child tax credit works by raising the eligibility cap for married couples. At the same time, the legislation would allow a 2009 child tax credit increase for low-income families to expire at the end of 2017. Here’s how that would play out in the coming years. A married couple with two children that bring in $160,000 a year would get a new annual tax cut of $2,200, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). A single mother with two kids who makes $14,500 a year would lose $1,725 annually.
“The big winners would be the more-affluent families who would become newly eligible for the [child tax credit],” tax experts at the CBPP noted Tuesday. “The losers would be millions of low-income families who are doing exactly what policymakers often say they want these people to do—working, even at low-wage jobs.”
While the apparent chokehold fueled much of the initial public outcry, community leaders have begun asking whether focusing police officers so intently on such petty offenses makes sense in a city that is far different and far safer than the one Mr. Bratton left in the mid-1990s.
“I think we need to look at whether we still need these arrests,” said Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a former captain in the Police Department.
“This is a good moment,” he said, “to re-evaluate what comes after ‘broken windows,’ now that the windows are no longer broken.”
And with the number of stop-and-frisk encounters down sharply, the community groups that mobilized against those street stops are turning their attention to the number of low-level arrests, saying they will push for changes.
“It’s the new stop-and-frisk,” Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, said of the low-level arrests, which, he added, were eclipsed in recent years by the public debate over the stop-and-frisk tactic.
What makes these funds different from the giant banks, investment firms and mortgage securities markets that were fatalities of the global financial crisis is this: It has taken until now for the United States government to do much of anything to try to stop it from happening again.
The fact that it has taken so long to put in rules to try to make the sector less prone to 2008-style runs — the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules Wednesday on a 3-to-2 vote — is a depressing indication of the challenges that stand in the way of creating a more stable financial system.
Whatever you think of the Dodd-Frank Act and other related efforts by regulators to tighten the screws on giant banks, there’s no disputing that they are having an effect. Regulators are monitoring the inner workings of big banks more closely, and the banks in turn are holding more capital and engaging in less risky trading activity. Bankers would argue those efforts go too far and restrict the availability of capital in the economy, while some advocates would argue that they don’t go far enough. But no one disputes that the banking industry looks different than it did five years ago (see our analysis of Citigroup last week for a specific example).
But to me the key lesson is this: Even when a sector of the shadow banking system has clearly exhibited vulnerability and has been studied every which way for decades, it will take years of bureaucratic infighting to put in place rules to reform it.
President Obama on Thursday called for Congress to strip away tax advantages that have encouraged a rush of mergers and acquisitions that give companies an overseas base while they maintain their presence in the United States.
In an appearance at a technical college that was intended to focus on job training, the president used unusually harsh language to describe American companies that acquire overseas companies to relocate for tax reasons, known as inversions. He said they were renouncing their American citizenship by “cherry-picking” the nation’s tax laws at the expense of ordinary taxpayers.
“These companies are cherry-picking the rules, and it damages the country’s finances,” Mr. Obama said. “It adds to the deficit. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they are stashing offshore.”
Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.
On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.
But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
When will NPR interview Zack Jud to clear the air?
News item number one: Lauren Arrington, a Florida sixth grader, was featured on NPR, CBS, and many other media outlets for her science report on Indo-Pacific lionfish, a predatory reef fish species that has invaded ocean waters along the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean. The NPR story, “Sixth Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists,” quotes Lauren on the line of thinking that led to her discovery:
“Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean,” Lauren, now 13, tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. “So I was like, ‘Well, hey guys, what about the river?’ “
Unfortunately, the finding indicated in the headline—that lionfish can thrive in low-salinity estuaries—was was not a new discovery, nor was it Lauren’s. Zack Jud had reported these same findings as a Ph.D. candidate at Florida International University in 2011, three years before Arrington first presented her science fair project, in a paper titled “Recent invasion of a Florida (USA) estuarine system.” That paper lists Lauren’s father, D. Albrey Arrington, as a courtesy author, and as such, one can assume that he was aware of Jud’s discovery of lionfish in low-salinity environments well before his daughter embarked on a national media tour claiming the discovery as her own.
The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east.
Ukrainian forces are trying to close in on the rebels, cutting them off from the border with Russia which Kyiv believes is the source of arms and reinforcement. Moscow has vehemently denied a role in the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and government troops which has left more than 400 people dead and displaced tens of thousands.
In a statement on Friday, the headquarters of the government’s military operation in the east listed at least seven locations where rebels attacked Ukrainian troops. They also claimed that attacks on two locations including a border crossing were supported by artillery fire from Russia.