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Who are white nationalists and what do they want? – CNN

Posted By on August 13, 2017

As police dispersed the crowds, a car plowed into counterprotesters, killing one person and injuring 19 others. At least 15 people were also injured in skirmishes.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard. The Southern Poverty Law Center described the event as possibly the “largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades.”

People who hold these beliefs sometimes go by other names, including Alt-Right, Identarians and race realists. However, this is simply a rebranding — “a new name for this old hatred,” Segal said.

Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute and the editor of Radix Journal, is credited with coining the term Alt-Right.

“I don’t use the term white nationalist to describe myself,” he said.

“I like the term Alt-Right. It has an openness to it. And immediately understandable. We’re coming from a new perspective.”

Other white supremacist groups include the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. But most white supremacists aren’t affiliated with an organized group, Segal said. Some also take measures to distance themselves from known hate groups, like the KKK.

“This lack of affiliation makes them harder to track, and also means that any groups that do emerge tend to be extremely flexible and porous,” he added.

Some Klansmen still favor white robes and hoods. But groups like the Alt-Right, overwhelmingly made up of Millennial men, prefer khakis and collared shirts. They’re active on social media and employ irony and humor in their messaging, Segal said.

But the goal is the same: a white ethno-state where each race lives in a separate nation.

White supremacists and their ilk see diversity as a threat, Segal said. A popular white supremacist slogan is, “Diversity is a code word for white genocide.”

George Hawley, a political scientist at the University of Alabama, said a sense of white victimhood is key to the movement.

“There is a sense that whites are under siege and being deliberately dispossessed by hostile elites who wish to usher in a new multicultural order,” Hawley said.

“They dislike the culturally-foreign immigrants who enter the United States and work for low wages, and they dislike the political and economic elites that invite them in. They are also hostile to the media and academia, which they contend push an anti-white message.”

You’re getting a glimpse of it right now, according to Daryl Johnson, owner of domestic terror monitoring group DT Analytics and a former counterterrorism expert at the Department of Homeland Security.

“The anti-immigration xenophobia is rising,” Johnson said. “US policy is becoming more isolationist — the building of the (border) wall, the travel ban, mass deportations. These were ideas that I read about 10, 15 years ago on white supremacist message boards. Now they’re being put forth as policy.”

The chapter is titled, “The Day of the Rope” and describes mass lynchings of thousands of “race traitors.”

“The ‘Turner Diaries’ laid out a vision of the US under white supremacist government,” he said. “People would walk outside and literally see for as far as they could see people hanging from street lights in nooses.”

Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and extremists, said some white supremacists advocate genocide and ethnic cleansing. “You would have to forcibly remove people,” she said. “This is cattle-cart stuff. It also shows that their plans aren’t very well thought out. They’re at best aspirational.”

Instead, Beirich envisioned a tyrannical government.

“All civil rights for nonwhites would be removed,” she said. “All political power would be in the hands of white people, in particular white men because this movement is an extremely male and, many would say, toxically masculine movement. They also have pretty retrograde views about what women should be doing.”

She added, “If anything, their vision of America’s future looks a lot like the 1600s or perhaps earlier.”

Experts agree that the possibility of such a society developing in reality is extremely remote. “Real political leadership is so far from reality you aren’t going to find much in the way of Alt-Right policy papers with detailed instructions for different government agencies,” Hawley said.

Segal called it a “dystopian fantasy that has virtually no chance of actually happening.”

“But it’s safe to say that a white nationalist state is not a place most Americans of all races would want to find themselves living.”

Because few white supremacists belong to organized groups, it’s difficult to assess the size of their movement and the threat they pose.

The Alt-Right, for example, has no formal organization or membership, and most who identify as such are “anonymous and online,” according to Hawley.

But Segal said the Alt-Right appears to be growing, with more adherents moving from a largely online presence to engaging in events like the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

“They want to take advantage of the current political climate, which they feel is unprecedentedly welcoming to their world view,” Segal said. “The outcome of the Charlottesville rally and other events this year will provide them a pretty clear idea of just how welcome their views actually are — and will undoubtedly help shape their plans for the coming months.”

Johnson placed the number of white supremacists connected to groups like the KKK, neo-Nazis, Aryan prison gangs and skinheads “probably in the hundreds of thousands in the United States.”

Many “Unite the Right” rally participants have latched onto President Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Muslims and Mexicans, according to Beirich.

“They feel validated,” she said. “They feel like all of sudden we can be a part of the political system. The history of the last few decades of white supremacy in this country is that they viewed both the Republicans and the Democrats as a waste of time. In other words, politics was a dead end for them. But that has all changed with Trump.”

Before Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke called the “Unite the Right” rally a fulfillment of the promises of President Trump.

“This represents a turning point for the people of this country,” Duke said at the rally. “We are determined to take our country back. We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump, and that’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back and that’s what we have to do.”

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said on Saturday.

However, his comment sparked outrage from critics, who said the President should have been more direct and forceful in condemning white supremacy and not equating the violence of counterprotesters with that of hate groups.

“When we took a look at lone wolf attacks inspired by radical right ideas in the last five years of the Obama administration, there was an attack or attempted plot every 34 days in the US,” she said.

ADL research found that people with ties to the far right were responsible for 74% of homicides by extremists in the US between 2007 to 2016, according to Segal.

“Extremists of all kinds are always a threat,” he said, “but when any extremist group feels emboldened, that’s cause for serious concern.”

CNN’s Joe Sterling, Kaylee Hartung and Madison Park contributed to this report.

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Who are white nationalists and what do they want? – CNN

Former ADL Head Defends Sebastian Gorka on North Korea: ‘I Have No Problem with Gorka’s Reference to the … – Breitbart News

Posted By on August 13, 2017

I have no problem with Gorkas reference to the Holocaust. He is not comparing the North Korea situation to the Holocaust, Foxman, who previously served as the national security director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), told Jewish Insider. He is quoting a Holocaust survivorsharing a universal lesson of the Holocaustwhen somebody threatens to kill you take him seriously. Too many people in Europe, including the Jews of Europe, did not take Hitler seriously. Gorka is saying, take a lesson from then and take North Korea seriously.

Foxman currently serves as the Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritagein New York.

His remarks came in response to Gorka saying, When a group of people repeatedly says they want to kill you, sooner or later you should take them seriously. Dr. Gorka made the statement while recalling advice hed received from a Holocaust survivor to explain to BBC Radio 4 why he believes North Korea leader Kim Jong-uns repeated nuclear threats should be taken seriously.

What is your one take-home? What is your one lesson learnt from the horrors of the millions killed? Gorka said he asked the unidentified Holocaust survivor. And he said, Its very simple. When a group of people repeatedly says they want to kill you, sooner or later you should take them seriously.’

Iran has made similar threats against the United States with their constant chants of Death to America and Death to Israelconsidered the great and little satansand using the Star of David as a target during ballistic missiletests.

Gorka reportedly also said, North Korea has said they wish to annihilate the United States and use nuclear weapons. Sooner or later someone should take them seriously. The Clinton administration did not do so. The Obama administration did not do so. That stopped on January the 20th. We are not giving in to nuclear blackmail any longer.

President Donald Trump vowed to inflict fire and fury on North Korea if Kim threatened the United States again. The commander in chief also stated, If anything happens to Guam theres going to be big, big trouble in North Korea.

Echoing the strong rhetoric in defense of Guam from the White House, this weekDefense Secretary James Mattis stated, The [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea] should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.

Guams Homeland Security Department has distributed a two-pagepamphlet titled, In Case of EmergencyPreparing for Imminent Missile Threat,advising the islands residents how to prepare and react in case North Koreafollows through on Kims threats tolaunch anuclear strike against the U.S. territory.

While there is no way to confirm whether North Koreas regime would use a nuclear weapon in a potential attack on Guam, it is worth noting that Kims threat to Guam hinted at the use of conventional missile strikes and did not specifically refer to nuclear weapons.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her onFacebookandTwitter.

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Former ADL Head Defends Sebastian Gorka on North Korea: ‘I Have No Problem with Gorka’s Reference to the … – Breitbart News

New group for progressive Zionists to march in Chicago SlutWalk … – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on August 12, 2017

Zioness. (photo credit:FACEBOOK)

(JTA) Calling themselves progressive and Zionist, about a dozen activists plan on marching in a Chicago demonstration against sexual violence to promote the idea that Zionism and liberal values are compatible.

Members of the Zioness initiative, which launched Tuesday, will march together on Saturday at SlutWalk Chicago, a womens rights demonstration against sexual violence. Zioness members will be marching with banners and T-shirts featuring a design of a woman wearing a Star of David necklace.

Organizers of the SlutWalk initially said that they would ban Stars of David from the event, but later altered their policy to allow religious symbols but not national flags.

The SlutWalk policy came in the wake of a controversy over the Chicago Dyke March in June, when three Jewish participants at the LGBTQ demonstration were ejected for carrying LGBTQ Pride flags adorned with the Star of David. Dyke March organizers said the women were advocating for Israel at an anti-Zionist event.

The Dyke March incident served as a watershed moment, said Zioness organizer Amanda Berman.

It was really a moment where everyone in the community said, This is unacceptable, the line has been crossed, and theres no way we can walk back from it now because no one can claim this is just opposition to a political party or a policy 10,000 miles away. Its now about Jews,’ she told JTA.

The Dyke March incident was widely condemned by the Jewish community, and Jews who are pro-Israel have complained that they often do not feel comfortable expressing their religious identity openly at LGBTQ events and settings.

Berman, the New York-based director of legal affairs at The Lawfare Project which calls itself the legal arm of the pro-Israel community will travel to Chicago for Saturdays march. She formed Zioness with around a dozen friends from across the country.

When SlutWalk said, We stand in solidarity with the organizers of the Chicago Dyke March, and said We will also ban Zionist symbols, including Jewish stars, it became an opportunity to challenge the narrative that Jews and Zionists cant participate in progressive movements, she added.

Although SlutWalk Chicago said it would welcome religious symbols, on Thursday it denounced the Zioness initiative for using the march to promote a nationalist agenda.

SlutWalk Chicago does not support the Zioness progressives planning on coming to the walk Saturday. We at SlutWalk Chicago stand with Jewish people, just as we stand for Palestinian human rights. Those two ideologies can exist in the same realm, and taking a stance against anti-Semitism is not an affirmation of support for the state of Israel and its occupation of Palestine, the group wrote on its Facebook page.

We oppose all oppressive governments whether they be the United States or Israel, as we recognize these regimes often disproportionately oppress women and femmes. We find it disgusting that any group would appropriate a day dedicated to survivors fighting rape culture in order to promote their own nationalist agenda, SlutWalk Chicago continued.

Meanwhile, Berman said the response from the Jewish community has been positive. Though the group was presently focused on Saturdays march, organizers also have larger aspirations, Berman said.

We do have broader goals in terms of how to turn this into something that can empower Jewish activists in the future in every variety of social justice movement, thats certainly the goal, she said. Right now were very focused on Saturday thats the way that this group came to be, to challenge this narrative on Saturday by establishing a new movement and creating the opportunity for people to come and stand in solidarity.

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New group for progressive Zionists to march in Chicago SlutWalk … – The Jerusalem Post

New Era of Spiritual Leadership at Cranford, NJ Synagogue – TAPinto.net

Posted By on August 12, 2017

Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim (TBEMC), an egalitarian synagogue located in Cranford, New Jersey just introduced a new progressive model of rabbinic leadership at its 100-year-old Jewish community.

The organization is welcoming Rabbi Neil Tow and Rabbi Rachel Schwartz as its spiritual leaders. This husband and wife rabbinic duo will work together to lead the congregation from the pulpit in daily and weekly services and innovative programming and education for children and adults. They look forward to offering creative programs for all children, including the special needs population, and inspiring them to love Judaism. The shared pulpit model allows them to provide additional exciting opportunities for the congregation and community. Some of the programs already in the works include a new high school/ teen program, innovative adult education programs, pre-holiday learning events, studying Torah through art, a Shabbat Passover dinner and a Shavuot cheesecake workshop. This framework of a husband and wife who are both ordained rabbis serving one congregation as co-rabbis has been successful in other communities and is energizing and exciting for all involved ages.

Rabbis Neil and Rachel join the organizations cantor and education director, Cantor Frank Lanzkron-

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Tamarazo. This collective, dynamic clergy team plans to bring the best of Conservative Judaism to TBEMC. They all believe in implementing cutting-edge programs and education that use both new and traditional educational methods.

In offering early wisdom through Jewish teachings, Rabbi Neil says that, according to the prophet Isaiah, One helps the other and they make each other strong. (41:6) We truly believe that our working together will not only strengthen each other but also the TBEMC community. Combined, we have greater energy, a multi-faceted perspective, and a wider reach to guide the community.

Rabbis Neil and Rachel, in looking at TBEMC, say that we are both deeply committed to this congregational family. We will pray here; our children will pray and learn here. This is our home and we hope it will be your home too. If you are not connected with the TBEMC family, we would love to invite you for a Shabbat meal and introduce you to this really special community.

Rabbi Neil looks forward to working with Cantor Frank to create a fresh, relevant and exciting program for our post-Bnai Mitzvah teens, including education, community service, synagogue involvement, and addressing their own personal interests. Rabbi Rachel noted that she cares very deeply about making sure every member of the congregation has spiritual support on their journey.

TBEMC participates in the MetroPass Program which is a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and area synagogues. Together were giving complimentary High Holiday tickets to anyone new to town or new to synagogue. TBEMC also offers a free family service on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. To find out more about TBEMC and its programs, or to obtain a membership packet or a religious school registration packet, call or email the temple office at 908-276-9231 or office@tbemc.org.

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New Era of Spiritual Leadership at Cranford, NJ Synagogue – TAPinto.net

One dead and 19 injured as car strikes crowds along route of white nationalist rally in Charlottesville – Washington Post

Posted By on August 12, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE A chaotic and violent day turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to take America back clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, killing one person and injuring 19 others.

Video recorded at the scene shows a gray car accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people. Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic epithets.

City officials said it was too soon to tell whether the car crash was intentional, but the driver of one of the vehicles was taken into custody.

Angela Taylor, a spokeswoman for UVA Medical Center, said 20 people were brought to the hospital in the early afternoon after three cars collided in a pedestrian mall packed with people, many of them counterprotesters. She confirmed that one had died, but declined to release further details.

Earlier, police had evacuated a downtown park as rallygoers and counterprotesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, putting an end to the noon rally before it officially began.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m., saying he was disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence and blaming mostly out-of-state protesters.

Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughout the downtown. In the early afternoon, three cars slammed into each other in a pedestrian mall at Water and Fourth Streets, sending bystanders running and screaming.

I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here, said Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer in a tweet. I urge all people of good will–go home.

Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly. U.S. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called their display repugnant.

But President Trump, known for his rapid-fire tweets, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1 p.m. when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

In brief remarks at a late-afternoon news conference to discuss veterans health care, Trump said that he was following the events in Charlottesville closely. The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now, Trump said, without specifically mentioning white nationalists or their views. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump supporter who was in Charlottesville Saturday, quickly replied. I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists, he wrote.

Dozens of the white nationalists in Charlottesville were wearing red Make America Great Again hats. Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, Trump did not respond.

Even as crowds began to thin Saturday afternoon, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat victims of the car crash.

Chan Williams, 22, was among the counterprotesters at the pedestrian mall, chanting Black Lives Matter and Whose streets? Our streets! The marchers blocked traffic, but Williams said drivers werent annoyed. Instead, they waved or honked in support.

So when she heard a car engine rev up and the people in front of her ducking out of the way of a moving car, she didnt know what to think.

I saw the car hit bodies, legs in the air, she said. You try to grab the people closest to you and take shelter.

Williams and her friend, George Halliday, ducked into a local shop with an open door and called their moms immediately. An hour later, the two were still visibly upset.

I just saw shoes on the road, Halliday, 20, said. It all happened in two seconds.

Saturdays Unite the Right rally was meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in the Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judges ruling expected later this month.

Tensions began to escalate Friday night as hundreds of white nationalists marched through the campus of the University of Virginia, chanting White lives matter! You will not replace us! and Jews will not replace us!

They were met by counterprotesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who founded the university. One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which sent about a dozen rally goers seeking medical assistance.

On Saturday morning, men in combat gear some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields had fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until around 11:40 a.m. Using megaphones, police then declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park.

The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didnt do a goddamn thing, said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va.

State Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), minority leader of Virginias House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police.

Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. But they trained very hard for this and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out of Emancipation Park, he said.

By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way to a larger park two miles to the north. Duke, speaking to the crowd, said that European Americans are being ethnically cleansed within our own nation and called Saturdays events the first step toward taking America back.

White nationalist leader Richard Spencer also addressed the group, urging people to disperse. But he promised that they would return for a future demonstration, blaming Saturdays violence on counterprotesters.

In an interview, Spencer said he was beyond outraged that the police had declared the planned rally an unlawful assembly.

I never before thought that I would have my country cracking down on me and on free speech, he said in an interview. We were lawfully and peacefully assembled. We came in peace and the state cracked down.

He said that protesters attacked rallygoers but also acknowledged that maybe someone threw a first punch on our side. Maybe that happened. I obviously didnt see everything.

By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.

Counterprotesters held Black Lives Matter signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said the Goyim know, referring to non-Jewish people, and the Jewish media is going down.

No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA! the counterprotesters chanted.

Too late, f—–s! a man yelled back at them.

Michael Von Kotch, a Pennsylvania resident who called himself a Nazi, said the rally made him proud to be white.

He said that hes long held white supremacist views and that Trumps election has emboldened him and the members of his own Nazi group.

We are assembled to defend our history, our heritage and to protect our race to the last man, Von Kotch said, wearing a protective helmet, sporting a wooden shield and a broken pool cue. We came here to stand up for the white race.

Naundi Cook, 23, who is black, said she came to Saturdays counterprotests to support her people, but shes never seen something like this before.

When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.

Ive seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face all over their clothes. People getting maced, fighting, she said. I didnt want to be next.

Cook said she couldnt sit back and watch white nationalists descend on her town. She has a three-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.

Right now, Im not sad, she said once the protests dispersed. Im a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like were on top right now because of all the support that we have.

Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

City officials, concerned about crowds and safety issues, had tried to move Saturdays rally to a larger park away from the citys downtown. But Jason Kessler, the rallys organizer, filed a successful lawsuit against the city that was supported by the Virginia ACLU, saying that his First Amendment rights would be violated by moving the rally.

[Decades before Charlottesville, the Ku Klux Klan was dead. The first Hollywood blockbuster revived it.]

Sarah Larimer contributed to this report.

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One dead and 19 injured as car strikes crowds along route of white nationalist rally in Charlottesville – Washington Post

Cape Verde lists Jewish cemeteries as heritage sites | Jewish … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Posted By on August 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (JTA) The government of Cape Verde listed the island nations Jewish cemeteries and some other structures as heritage sites.

A Washington-based group, the Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project, announced the June 29 designation of the sites as part of the countrys National Historical Patrimony this week in an email to its members. The designation means that the cemeteries may not be destroyed and that a number of buildings with Jewish associations may not be altered, the groups president, Carol Castiel, told JTA.

CVJHP will continue to work hand-in-hand with the government based on our memorandum of understanding (Protocolo) signed in September 2016, to identify, restore, preserve and maintain these important monuments to Jewish heritage, the statement said. Castiel told JTA that the sites may eventually be marked as a Jewish heritage circuit for tourists to the island.

The islands Jews have all but disappeared, although many of its families are aware of their Jewish ancestry, as are some Cape Verde emigres who have settled in New England.

There were two waves of Jewish immigration to the former Portuguese colony about 300 miles off Africas west coast. The first was of secret Jews who came with Portuguese colonization in the 15th century.

That immigration is difficult to track because of the Jews secrecy, and the cemeteries and other sites are relics of a wave of Jewish immigrants to the island from Morocco and Gibraltar in the mid-19th century.

The Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project has been working since 2008 with municipalities particularly Praia that are known to have had a Jewish presence. King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been a benefactor of the project.

Earlier this month, Cape Verde announced that it would no longer vote against Israel in the United Nations. The announcement came following a meeting two months ago between Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cape VerdesPresident Jorge Carlos Fonseca on the sidelines of theEconomic Community of West African States conference in Liberia.

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Cape Verde lists Jewish cemeteries as heritage sites | Jewish … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Cape Verde lists Jewish cemeteries as heritage sites – Jewish News

Posted By on August 12, 2017

The government of Cape Verde listed the island nations Jewish cemeteries and some other structures as heritage sites.

A Washington-based group, the Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project, announced the June 29 designation of the sites as part of the countrys National Historical Patrimony this week in an email to its members. The designation means that the cemeteries may not be destroyed and that a number of buildings with Jewish associations may not be altered, the groups president, Carol Castiel, told JTA.

CVJHP will continue to work hand-in-hand with the government based on our memorandum of understanding (Protocolo) signed in September 2016, to identify, restore, preserve and maintain these important monuments to Jewish heritage, the statement said. Castiel told JTA that the sites may eventually be marked as a Jewish heritage circuit for tourists to the island.

The islands Jews have all but disappeared, although many of its families are aware of their Jewish ancestry, as are some Cape Verde emigres who have settled in New England.

There were two waves of Jewish immigration to the former Portuguese colony about 300 miles off Africas west coast. The first was of secret Jews who came with Portuguese colonisation in the 15th century.

That immigration is difficult to track because of the Jews secrecy, and the cemeteries and other sites are relics of a wave of Jewish immigrants to the island from Morocco and Gibraltar in the mid-19th century.

The Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project has been working since 2008 with municipalities particularly Praia that are known to have had a Jewish presence. King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been a benefactor of the project.

Earlier this month, Cape Verde announced that it would no longer vote against Israel in the United Nations. The announcement came following a meeting two months ago between Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cape VerdesPresident Jorge Carlos Fonseca on the sidelines of theEconomic Community of West African States conference in Liberia.

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Cape Verde lists Jewish cemeteries as heritage sites – Jewish News

How the Jews nearly wiped out Tay-Sachs – Arutz Sheva

Posted By on August 12, 2017

Parents of children born with Tay-Sachs disease, a genetically transmitted fatal disease found in Ashkenazi Jews from cerrtain areas of Europe, talk about three deaths.

There is the moment when parents first learn that their child has been diagnosed with the fatal disease. Then there is the moment when the childs condition has deteriorated so badly blind, paralyzed, non-responsive that he or she has to be hospitalized. Then theres the moment, usually by age 5, when the child dies.

There used to be an entire hospital unit 16 or 17 beds at Kingsbook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn devoted to taking care of these children. It was often full, with a waiting list that admitted new patients only when someone elses child had died.

But by the late 1990s that unit was totally empty, and it eventually shut down. Its closure was a visible symbol of one of the most dramatic Jewish success stories of the past 50 years: the near-eradication of a deadly genetic disease.

Since the 70s, the incidence of Tay-Sachs has fallen by more than 90 percent among Jews, thanks to a combination of scientific advances and volunteer community activism that brought screening for the disease into synagogues, Jewish community centers and, eventually, routine medical care.

Until 1969, when doctors discovered the enzyme that made testing possible to determine whether parents were carriers of Tay-Sachs, 50 to 60 affected Jewish children were born each year in the United States and Canada. After mass screenings began in 1971, the numbers declined to two to five Jewish births a year, said Karen Zeiger, whose first child died of Tay-Sachs.

It had decreased significantly, said Zeiger, who until her retirement in 2000 was the State of Californias Tay-Sachs prevention coordinator. Between 1976 and 1989, there wasnt a single Jewish Tay-Sachs birth in the entire state, she said.

The first mass screening was held on a rainy Sunday afternoon in May 1971 at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland. The site was chosen in part for its proximity to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. One of the two doctors who discovered the missing hexosaminidase A enzyme, John OBrien, was visiting a lab there, and another Johns Hopkins doctor, Michael Kaback, had recently treated two Jewish couples with Tay-Sachs children, including Zeigers. Zeigers husband, Bob, was also a doctor at Johns Hopkins.

The screenings used blood tests to check for the missing enzyme that identified a parent as a Tay-Sachs carrier.

With the help of 40 trained lay volunteers and 15 physicians, more than 1,500 people volunteered for testing and were processed through the system in about 5 hours, Dr. Kaback later recalled in an article in the journal Genetics in Medicine. For me, it was like having written a symphony and hearing it for the first timeand it went beautifully, without glitches.

A machine to process the tests cost $15,000. We had bazaars, cake sales, sold stockings, and thats how we raised money for the machine, Zeiger said.

In the days before Facebook or email, activists and organizers spread the word about mass Tay-Sachs screenings through newspaper and magazine articles, posters at synagogues, and items in Jewish organizational newsletters. (Courtesy of National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association)

Before screening, couples in which both parents were Tay-Sachs carriers almost always stopped having children after they had one child with Tay-Sachs, for fear of having another, Ruth Schwartz Cowan wrote in her book Heredity and Hope: The Case for Genetic Screening.

But with screening, Tay-Sachs could be detected before birth, and carrier couples felt encouraged to have children, she wrote.

Dr. Kabacks work helped enable thousands of parents who were Tay-Sachs carriers to have other, healthy children.

What he did for Tay-Sachs and how he helped so many families was amazing, Zeiger said. People named their kids after him.

The screenings were transformative, and the campaign to get Jews tested for Tay-Sachs took off. This was the days before Facebook or email, so activists and organizers spread the word about screenings through newspaper and magazine articles, posters at synagogues, and items in Jewish organizational newsletters.

Volunteers and medical professionals spoke on college campuses and sent promotional prescription pads to rabbis, obstetricians, and gynecologists. Doctors and activists enlisted rabbis and community leaders to encourage couples to be tested before getting married.

Another early mass screening event was held at a school in Waltham, Massachusetts, guided by Edwin Kolodny, a professor at New York University medical school. The first mass screening in the Philadelphia area was on Nov. 12, 1972, at the Germantown Jewish Center, and drew 800 people, according to a Yale senior thesis by David Gerber, Genetics for the Community: The Organized Response To Tay-Sachs Disease, 1955-1995.

Nearly half a century later, the Tay-Sachs screening effort remains a model for mobilizing a community against genetic disease. Parent activists, scientists and doctors are trying to emulate that model with other diseases and other populations.

You cant be complacent, because now there are 200 diseases you can test for, said Kevin Romer, president of the Matthew Forbes Romer Foundation and a past president of the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association. The foundation is named for Romers son Matthew, who died of Tay-Sachs in 1996.

Romer and others involved with this issue stress the importance of screening interfaith couples, too. Non-Jews may also benefit from pre-conception screening for Tay-Sachs and other diseases. Some research indicates, for example, that Louisiana Cajuns, French Canadians and individuals with Irish lineage may also have an elevated incidence of Tay-Sachs.

Scientific progress means that Jews can now be screened for over 200 diseases with an at-home, mail-in test offered by JScreen. The four-year-old nonprofit affiliated with Emory Universitys Department of Human Genetics has screened thousands of people, and the subsidized fee for the test about $150 includes genetic counseling.

While some genetic tests are standard doctors office procedure for pregnant women or couples trying to get pregnant with a doctors help, JScreen aims for pre-conception screening. The test includes diseases common in those with Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi backgrounds as well as general population diseases, making it relevant for Jewish couples and interfaith couples.

Carrier screening gives people an opportunity to plan ahead for the health of their future families. We are taking lessons learned from earlier screening initiatives and bringing the benefits of screening to a new generation, said Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid, executive director of JScreen. It was a path pioneered by the Tay-Sachs screening that began in 1971.

In Cowans book, she mentions a chart prepared by Dr. Kaback reporting on 30 years of screening: 1.3 million people screened, 48,000 carriers detected, 1,350 carrier couples detected, 3,146 pregnancies monitored.

Kaback and his colleagues could well have stopped there, she wrote. But they did not. There is one more figure, the one that matters most and that goes the furthest in explaining why Ashkenazi Jews accept carrier screening after monitoring with pre-natal diagnosis, 2,466 unaffected offspring were born to parents who were both Tay-Sachs carriers.

In Israel, the Dor Yesharim NGO, screens prospective couples, students and people of dating age so that they know if they are carriers of Tay-Sachs and a list of other genetically transmitted diseases. The information remains completely confidential. In the case of arranged dating, this testing can be used to prevent setting up dates when both the man and woman have the genes or inform couples so they go for prenatal testing. As their website says, Dor Yeshorim was built on the premise that fatal and debilitating recessive genetic disorders, prevalent in Jewish circles, have absolutely no reason to be perpetuated.

This article was sponsored by JScreen

Link:

How the Jews nearly wiped out Tay-Sachs – Arutz Sheva

Boston Common vigil planned to show solidarity with Charlottesville – The Boston Globe

Posted By on August 12, 2017

People are planning to gather on Boston Common Saturday evening for a vigil in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where an attack on peaceful counter-protesters killed at least one person and sent more than two dozen others to hospitals.

More than 150 people indicated on Facebook that they planned to attend the Boston Stands with Charlottesville vigil, which was organized by Boston Feminists for Liberation, according to the events Facebook page.

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The rally at the University of Virginia believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade followed a call from a right-wing blogger for a pro-white rally in Charlottesville to protest the citys decision to remove a statue of confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Oren Segal, who directs the Anti-Defamation Leagues Center on Extremism, said multiple white power groups gathered in Charlottesville, including members of neo-Nazi organizations, racist skinhead groups, and Ku Klux Klan factions.

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After hours of silence on growing violence in Charlottesville, President Trump tweeted early Saturday afternoon, We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

But Trump drew swift criticism for failing in his public statements to openly rebuke the white supremacists racist ideology, instead saying in a speech Saturday afternoon, We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides.

Some white supremacists, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who attended the rally, cited Trumps victory as validation for their beliefs.

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We are determined to take this country back, Duke said. Were going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.

The presidents critics pointed to Trumps racially tinged rhetoric as exploiting the nations festering racial tension. The Rev. Jesse Jackson noted that Trump for years publicly questioned President Barack Obamas citizenship. We are in a very dangerous place right now, he said.

Another alt-right rally is planned for Boston next Saturday, according to a Twitter post from Proud Boys USA, a group that opposes multiculturalism.

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Boston Common vigil planned to show solidarity with Charlottesville – The Boston Globe

New Progressive Zionist Movement Plans to March in This Weekend’s Chicago’s SlutWalk – Algemeiner

Posted By on August 11, 2017

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A past SlutWalk in Chicago. Photo: Chicago SlutWalk Facebook.

In an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Friday, activist Amanda Berman discussed her new progressive Zionist organization Zioness and its plans to march in this weekends feminist SlutWalk in Chicago.

According to Berman, Zioness was organized in response to the recent scandal in which Jewish activists were ejected from the Chicago Dyke March for carrying rainbow flags emblazoned with the Star of David, as well as claims made by anti-Israel Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour that Zionists cannot be feminists.

Zioness hopes to combat this exclusionary tendency by being unapologetically Zionist and progressive.

Its been a longtime coming for the community, Berman said, for Zionists who feel deeply about social justice issues, who have always been on the frontlines of every social justice movement. And now were being excluded from all sorts of different civil rights issues because of who we are and our ethnic identities.

August 11, 2017 5:01 pm

She added that the June 24 Dyke March incident was a watershed moment.

I think it was the first moment for a lot of people, not necessarily for me, but for a lot of people, where it was unequivocally antisemitic, she said. These were women who identified as queer who wanted to participate in a march to represent themselves and their identities, and they were kicked out for carrying a flag with a Jewish star. It opened up a lot of peoples eyes and it pushed a thing that was happening a lot already into the public consciousness and there was more of an opportunity to take action.

Berman believes that Sarsours comments only enhanced progressive Zionists sense of discrimination because of all the people who support her claims. It was really disheartening to see how many people respond positively to that message, that Zionists cant be feminists.

When asked whether she sees this discrimination as fundamentally racist or political, Bermanreplied, I think a lot of people dont know the difference. And I think a lot of people unfortunately dont know what Zionism is. They dont know what it means. They dont understand that it has nothing to do with the policies or the politicians of a foreign government. It is the civil rights movement and the self-determination movement of the Jewish people.

Jews, she added, need to actively assert their Zionism, because for us to seize that history within our own community and to use it to help others to fight for civil rights or social justice and human dignity for every human being is totally consistent. And people just dont understand that. I think we have to work on our messaging in our community, and thats part of what the Zioness movement is about. Its to challenge the narrative that we cant participate in these types of movements because of who we are. We can, we should, and its a totally natural alliance.

Berman said that she didnot know how many people would march with Zioness at the SlutWalk on Saturday, but noted, All I can tell you is that theres been unbelievable enthusiasm, overwhelming really. Weve been responding to messages and questions non-stop. Who will show up, I dont know. I hope, I believe that it will be a lot of people but well see what happens.

One worry, of course, is that confrontations with anti-Israel activists will occur at the event. Berman was unequivocal on the issue, saying, We are hoping to not have confrontation. Were going to the march in solidarity, were coming as friends, and were coming because we care deeply about the issues that underlie the SlutWalk. We care about victim-blaming and slut-shaming and womens empowerment and patriarchy and we want to have the opportunity to march for what we believe is right and just. And we hope well be accepted there.

In a press statement announcing the launch of Zioness, the group stated, The organizers of the Zioness Movement are currently working to build coalitions of Zionists to support other progressive causes across the country.

Asked if such coalitions are forming, Berman said, Its already happening. I cant give you too many details, but as I said theres been just so much excitement and enthusiasm around this already. We only launched on Tuesday and were speaking to a lot of different Jewish groups, institutional groups, individuals, leaders, rabbis People who truly identify as progressives who care about these issues that were trying to address and accomplish together, and we want to join a broader coalition and then take this further.

Berman added that the social media response has been particularly positive. Were having people say, Come to the SlutWalk in LA in October, come bring this to San Francisco, we need a Zioness movement in New York, so I have a lot of faith that this is going to go far, she said.

Rabbi Karyn Kedar senior rabbi of Congregation Bnai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, Illinois and a lifelong civil rights activist commented on Zioness efforts, saying, I thought we had fought this battle. As a rabbi, I have spent years on the frontlines, among the crowds, and behind the scenes defending the rights and dignity of the marginalized in our society. And here we are again attacked, excluded and ostracized by the very people we see as our partners. Make no mistake, anti-Zionism is the new antisemitism, and like all hate, must not be tolerated.

SlutWalk is a feminist march against sexual violence. Recently, the organizers adopted the Dyke Marchs policies banning Jewish symbols, but then relented in the face of intense criticism and apologized. However, as Zioness noted, It also precluded nationalist symbols from being displayed at the march, including Israeli flags. In subsequent social media postings, SlutWalk organizers made clear that they view Palestinian flags as a symbol of resistance and not nationalism.

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New Progressive Zionist Movement Plans to March in This Weekend’s Chicago’s SlutWalk – Algemeiner


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