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Nearly half against allowing Shoah deniers and extremists to sue universities for bans – Jewish News

Posted By on September 17, 2021

Nearly half of the public would not support plans that could allow Holocaust deniers and other extremists to sue universities if they were banned from speaking on campuses, a survey suggested.

Critics of new proposed freedom of speech laws claim they could leave the way open for antisemites and other racists to sue for compensation if they are no platformed by university leaders.

The anti-racim group Hope not Hate is calling on the government to amend the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill to ensure that harmful, hateful liars are not protected by the proposals.

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A poll conducted for Hope not Hate, found that 48% would not support the proposals if it meant racists, extremists, Islamophobes and Holocaust deniers were allowed to sue universities if denied a platform.

Of more than 500 respondents who said they were Conservative voters, 46% also said they would not back the Governments proposals if this group were allowed to seek compensation when blocked from speaking at universities.

The survey of 1,500 people across the UK, shared with the PA news agency, suggests that more than one in four people (29%) are against the plan to allow visiting speakers, academics or students to be able to sue universities if they are blocked from speaking on campuses because of their political views.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill was introduced in Parliament in May to protect the rights of visiting speakers.

If passed, the Bill would require registered universities and colleges in England to promote and defend freedom of speech and academic freedom.

The Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator in England, would have the power to impose fines on institutions if they breached this condition.

Academics, students or visiting speakers will be able to seek compensation through the courts if they suffer loss from a breach of the free speech duties.

Joe Mulhall, head of research at the campaign group, said: The Governments Bill isnt about free speech, it is a political salvo in their ongoing culture war.

The result of this lazy opportunism is that the Governments legislative attempts to score points could inadvertently result in Holocaust deniers and far-right extremists getting protections they dont have now.

The Government in seeking positive headlines is intervening to tell universities that it must host people with harmful, ill-informed opinions, or who promote outright lies like Holocaust denial and race science.

At worst, this risks legitimising topics that objectively are not legitimate. Just debating the Holocaust makes it a debate when it simply is not.

He added: Voters want to see free speech protected, but as society has for decades, they draw the line at harmful, hateful liars who will pollute the debate.

The Government must amend its legislation to ensure Holocaust deniers and others are not protected, or they should withdraw it entirely.

The warning comes after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson called on university bosses to help bring the country together rather than cancelling national heroes and debating about statues.

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson in his office at the Department of Education in Westminster,

Speaking at the Universities UK (UUK) annual conference on Friday, Mr Williamson said: Vice-chancellors who allow these initiatives to take place in their name must understand that they do nothing but undermine public confidence, widen divisions and damage the sector.

The Education Secretary has been a vocal opponent of so-called no-platforming of speakers who hold controversial views on university campuses.

In July, Labour wanted to block the Bill at the second reading, arguing that it could provide legal protection and financial recompense to those seeking to engage in harmful and dangerous speech on university campuses, such as Holocaust denial, racism and anti-vaccination messages.

But Mr Williamson responded by insisting the legislation will not and never will create a platform for Holocaust deniers.

MPs voted 367 to 216, majority 151, to reject Labours amendment that sought to deny the Bill a second reading. It will undergo further scrutiny at a later date.

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said: It is categorically untrue to suggest that this Bill will introduce new rights or protections for individuals who seek to harass others or spread extremist views.

It is important to distinguish between lawful views and unacceptable acts of abuse, intimidation and violence.

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Nearly half against allowing Shoah deniers and extremists to sue universities for bans - Jewish News

Stoppard not alone in struggling with his past – Jewish News

Posted By on September 17, 2021

You wouldnt need to be a devotee of the theatre or playwright Tom Stoppard to be fascinated by his lengthy appearance on the late night BBC arts programme, Imagine.

Alan Yentobs interview, conducted in the bucolic setting of Stoppards quintessentially English country home, detailed his life as an inside, outsider. Prep and public schools and a protective mother, Martha Beckov, shielded him for most of his life from his refugee and Jewish background.

Martha remarried after Stoppards father, Eugen Strussler, a doctor for the Bata shoe firm, died in Japanese hands during the Second World War. His stepfather, Kenneth Stoppard, whose English surname he took, is described at one point as being mildly antisemitic.

Anyone who has seen Stoppards late-flowering, brilliant play Leopoldstadt, set in Vienna, will recognise how he eventually came to terms with his Judaism and how most of his biological family perished in the Shoah. What also comes through loudly is how that part of his life was suppressed by his mother.

As Stoppard put it: I had an exciting life up until the age of eight. What happened before that, including his Czech birth, exile in India, loss of a parent and erasure of his Jewishness provided the backdrop to the Yentob interview.

Stoppards life may have been unusual in that his background and the Holocaust backstory was so suppressed and anglicised. Yet lack of exposure to the refugee experience isa common theme.

My own family background was very different. My father Michael, a refugee from Hungarian-speaking Czechoslovakia, came from an Orthodox background. One of my fathers brothers was a chazan-rabbi and a sister was married to a rabbi. English wartime experiences, from the bombing of Kemptown in Brighton to being part of the land army, were the dialogue over family dinners.

But for much of my early life, we were shielded from discussion of what became of my fathers parents and the rest of the family in the war. When the TV drama Holocaust aired in 1978, it was regarded by mother as too painful to watch for my father, who had lost both his parents, three older brothers and countless other relatives in the Shoah. When my brothers and I were growing up, the evil of what had befallen the family was discussed only in hushed whispers.

An Israeli cousin, son of my fathers youngest brother Martin, only learned of the horrific experiences of his father during the war from listening in to conversations on the balcony of his parents Ramat Gan flat. Each Shabbat morning, his father and a friend would sip coffee and relive their horrific experiences in a series of work and concentration camps. This included being tied to a railway line for several hours after an attempted escape and only being cut loose as a locomotive bore down.

In our familys case, release from the decades of silence and whispers only occurred after my anglicised mother died in 1994. I, my father, my brother, and a first cousin, who had lived through the terrible trauma of Auschwitz, set off on a journey of remembrance to the family home, now Ukrainian territory.

As we journeyed across Eastern Europe, the family history unfurled. The death of my fathers elder brothers in Hungarian work camps. My grandparents last journey to Auschwitz. The neighbours who threw salt at the departing Jews as they requested water. The fonder memories of childhood days before Nazi bedlam destroyed a society.

Tom Stoppard was not alone in piecing together family history relatively late in life. In his case, travel to his native Zlin in the Czech Republic set him off on a journey of discovery that exposed the secrets of the Shoah.

The Yizkor service on Yom Kippur reminds us never to forget.

Alex Brummer is the Daily Mail's City Editor

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Stoppard not alone in struggling with his past - Jewish News

Pandemic Sukkot: The Shelter of the Table – Jewish Journal

Posted By on September 17, 2021

When danger strikes, we look for shelter. For more than 18 months, the danger of a lethal virus and its variants has hovered above us and around us. As weve gone about our lives, weve sought shelter from this danger. The literal shelter, of course, has been that of our homes, where were better able to control the environment.

But one of the lessons of the upcoming festival of Sukkot is to teach us the impermanence of physical structures. The frail huts that we set up near our solid homes remind us of our ancestors who wandered in tents in the desert, and who took with them not structures but timeless God-inspired values by which to live their lives.

The coronavirus, which has turned so many buildings into danger zones, has only reinforced the Sukkot message of the vulnerability and impermanence of physical structures.

There is, however, one structure that resides inside every Sukkah and transcends even the holiday of Sukkot. Its a structure that sustains, in fact, all Jewish holidays, not to mention the Jewish tradition and the Jewish future.

Its the table.

Think about the humble table. It could be inside a mansion or a sukkah, but it does the same thing. It brings us together. It binds us to one another. We sit down and commit to a shared experience.

Think about the humble table. It could be inside a mansion or a sukkah, but it does the same thing. It brings us together. It binds us to one another. We sit down and commit to a shared experience, whether for Passover, Shabbat, Sukkot, or any other holiday or gathering.

If you consider what has kept our wandering ancestors connected to their tradition since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., how can we not mention the table?

If you consider what has kept our wandering ancestors connected to their tradition since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., how can we not mention the table?

The fire of the Jewish people forever lives at our Shabbat and holiday table and it is our job to keep it burning, wrote Rabbi Sheryl Peretz on the AJU website in 2006. The rabbi was drawing attention to a Torah verse regarding sacrificial rites in the Holy Temple: A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar, not to go out.

Even when the Jews were traveling and the altar was portable, the fire had to keep burning. That attitude of radical continuity may have saved the Jews, because after they lost their cherished Temple, they became heroes at keeping the Jewish flame alive. The table became their temple.

Our table is like our altar, Peretz writes. Our ritual hand washing and the practice of pouring salt on the bread as we make the blessing ofHamotziare but two ways that the tradition hints at the connection between the meal at our table and the sacrificial altar of old.

This meal at our table, needless to say, goes beyond great food. As Peretz writes, When we occupy our time at the table with the customs and traditions of our heritage, when we introduce words of Torah, and invite communal celebration, we make our table something much bigger we add sparks to the ageless and everlasting fire of the Jewish people.

The many customs and traditions around the holiday and Shabbat table sustained my ancestors in Morocco through centuries of exile, just as they sustained Jews around the world. After the untold hardships and persecutions and pogroms, and after the singular darkness of the Shoah, today it is the Jewish table that still stands sturdy, proud, and ready for duty.

During Sukkot, the power of the table shines especially bright. Lodged inside a frail hut, it reminds us that the structure that really connects us, that really shelters us, is not a house or a tent but the communal and family table.

Its hard for me to forget the Shabbat tables my mother would prepare for our family in our small apartments in Montreal, as we were going through the classic struggles of new immigrants. Our abodes may have been modest, but our Shabbat tables were exquisite and dignified. They were the real shelter from the storms.

As we continue to navigate the storm of an exhausting pandemic and the anxieties of our times, and as we prepare to enter the eight days of Sukkot, let us not forget the eternal Jewish table, that simple structure that has kept the perpetual fire of our ancient tradition alive.

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Pandemic Sukkot: The Shelter of the Table - Jewish Journal

Where Is Anne Frank? and Charlotte Animate Holocaust History –

Posted By on September 17, 2021

There arent really many animated films about the Holocaust, so its a bit surprising that the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival screened not one but two animated films about victims of the Shoah. Despite their similarity in medium and subject matter, Where Is Anne Frank? and Charlotte offer two very different cinematic experiences, neither great but both interesting and respectable in their own ways.

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Where Is Anne Frank? is the film thats arriving with more hype, due to both its world-famous source material and the prestige of Israeli director Ari Folman. Folmans Waltz with Bashir is one of the most powerful works of adult animation in history, and his sci-fi follow-up The Congress was baffling yet artistically stunning. Where Is Anne Frank? is his first time making a film aimed at children, but for better or worse, his ambition hasnt been the least bit reined in by his audience.

There are two storylines happening in Where Is Anne Frank? One is a straightforward adaptation of Anne Franks diary, told in such a way that it could be used to introduce 8- or 9-year-olds to her story. These segments are fairly simplistic but are enlivened by gorgeous animation and light fantasy elements: we see conversations between Anne and Kitty, the imaginary friend to whom she wrote her diary entries, and dreams in which her favorite movie stars and Greek gods do battle against monstrous Nazi soldiers.

The wraparound story gets a lot weirder: In the near future (One year from now, the title cards state), Kitty has magically come to life from within the diary. In the Anne Frank House, shes invisible, but when she steps outside with the diary in hand, she takes physical form. Her quest to find out where her friend/creator went might be a parallel to young kids learning this story for the first time, but everything involving the city of Amsterdams quest to track the diary down is a more adult-oriented meta-commentary on Anne Franks legacy and the hypocrisy of a culture that elevates an ordinary girl to godlike status yet does nothing to help other children just like her seeking refuge from war now.

Im curious how this film will play with kids, since its narratively disjointed in ways where its not clear who the film is really for. Weak voice acting and sometimes clunky dialogue drags the film down, but the scenes in which Kitty comes to the defense of Amsterdams refugees are genuinely moving, and in combination with Folmans visual invention and Karen O and Ben Goldwassers beautiful musical score, it makes for a film worth seeing.

Charlotte, a Canadian film directed by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana, is more clear in its aims and its audience. This is a more traditional biopic aimed at adult (or at least older teenage) audiences. The subject is Charlotte Salomon, a German-Jewish painter whose autobiographical magnum opus, a series of 769 paintings titled Life? Or Theater?, could be considered the first graphic novel. Killed in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 26, she lived her life in danger both for being a Jewish woman and for being an artist whose expressionist works fit the Nazis definition of degenerate art.

On top of these external dangers, the most interesting part of Charlotte are the conflicts closer to home. Having grown up believing her mother died from influenza, she finds out her death was actually a suicide; in a couple of harrowing sequences, her grandmother attempts suicide twice and ends up completing the act. Theres a question hanging over the film of whether the family history of mental illness would have killed Charlotte had the Nazis not done so first, but despite these anxieties, Charlotte makes it her goal to find happiness even when the world around her is horrible.

Charlotte is more coherent than Where Is Anne Frank? and has a much more impressive voice cast, featuring the likes of Kiera Knightley and Jim Broadbent. However, its a bit less interesting as a film. The animation is merely passable, never achieving the beauty of Charlottes own art, and it runs into the common biopic issue of being more a sequence of events rather than a propulsive narrative.

Hopefully release plans will be announced soon for both films so wider audiences can check them outflaws and all, both Charlotte and Where Is Anne Frank? are important in terms of expanding the types of stories animation can handle.

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Where Is Anne Frank? and Charlotte Animate Holocaust History -

The Survivor – Toronto 2021 – Solzy at the Movies

Posted By on September 17, 2021

Ben Foster turns in a career-defining performance in Barry Levinsons new film, The Survivor, based on the life of Harry Haft.

While many perished at Auschwitz, Harry Haft (Ben Foster) found the will to survive. Not so much because of boxing for the Nazis amusementincluding Nazi camp commander Dietrich Schneider (Billy Magnussen)but because he wanted to reunite with his girlfriend, Leah (Dar Zuzovsky). If not for boxing, its doubtful Harry would have lived. But this being said, boxing also brings about great shame. Shame for killing other Jewish prisoners through boxing including his friend, Jean. Along the way, he escapes and makes it to safety in New York where he takes his boxing to the next level. Ultimately, Harry finds himself facing off against Rocky Marciano in the boxing ring. However, this bout would be the one that ends his boxing career. Considering how it started, thats not a bad way to call it a day.

While boxing may bring Harry some fame, all he wants to do is see Leah again. He does not know if she is alive or notthe last time Harry saw her was when the Nazis took her away in 1941. His search brings him to the Displaced Persons Service where he meets his future wife, Miriam Wofsoniker (Vicky Krieps). Where Harry is still living in the past, his brother, Peretz (Saro Emirze), is looking towards a brighter future. Harry saved Peretzs life in the camps and this is something that affects Peretz for the rest of his life, even when sports journalist Emory Anderson (Peter Sarsgaard) enters the picture.

A lot of Holocaust survivors were not open about their experiences for much of their post-Holocaust years. This began to change with the release of Schindlers List in 1993 and the start of the USC Shoah Foundation shortly thereafter. If not for the USC Shoah Foundation, many survivors would probably have died without telling their stories. In watching this film, you certainly couldnt blame them. Its something that came to mind while watching the movie and during my conversation with Barry Levinson, Ben Foster, and Vicky Krieps. The camps were such a horrifying experience that one doesnt need to wonder Harry Haft was reluctant to share his story. All you need to do is take a look at his nightmares and all the events triggering flashbacks to the camps.

Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson is one of the finest filmmakers in cinematic history. Hes back here with another gem of a film. Honestly, Levinson should find himself in another Oscar race. This film is certainly up there with some of his best work. Id also say that it is certainly in the top tier. The film can be tough to watch at times but this just comes with the territory. Holocaust films can certainly be intense and this film is no exception. Justine Juel Gillmers scriptbased on Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano by Alan Scott Haftfinds a way to balance the terror of the camps and the post-war drama. This isnt an easy feat by any means but the script captures the trauma that many survivors experience.

What qualifies Levinson for the job is that his uncle survived the camps. Because of this, he is no stranger to seeing someone experiencing the same nightmares every night. This kind of trauma never goes away and again, its why so many survivors didnt open up for many years. Levinson brings his experience to his direction of the film. In doing so, he gets one heck of a performance out of his leading star, Ben Foster.

Ive seen some fine work from Ben Foster over the years. What I can tell you is that Ben Fosters delivers one of the best performances this year. To say that the work in The Survivor is the best performance in his career wouldnt be an understatement! Foster transforms himself for the role and goes above and beyond to depict the emotional trauma that it requires. He portrays Haft during three different periods of his lifethe camps, post-war, and in 1963. If youre wondering, no, thats not CGI de-aging. Foster dedicated himself to the required transformation for the role. Because of this, he lost 60 pounds before regaining the weight for later parts of the film! You cannot leave Toronto or virtual TIFF without watching Fosters Oscar-worthy performance. Im still thinking about his work a few days after watching the film.

Aesthetically, I love that Levinson and cinematographer George Steel go with handheld black-and-white footage for the camps. Maybe its because of having seen Schindlers List but I find that this decision works in recreating the era. Levinson himself is no stranger to period films especially with his Baltimore tetralogy of films. Production designer Miljen Kreka Kljakovic also goes to great lengths to recreate both Auschwitz and Jaworzno. Meanwhile, the score from Hans Zimmer feels subtle compared to his recent work on action films but its nevertheless effective.

We need The Survivor now more than ever. Worldwide Jewry may be the highest its been since the years before the Holocaust but antisemitism is a plague that does not want to go away. Look at whats happened this summer with Jew-hatred. As Marcianos corner man Charlie Goldman (Danny DeVito) comments in the film: Were always the fucking punching bag. And despite this, we continue to persevere. Even now, Jews are fighting back against the hate especially online. This film is one of four Holocaust-era films playing TIFF this year. It goes without saying: if we do not remember our history, were doomed to repeat it.

DIRECTOR: Barry LevinsonSCREENWRITER: Justine Juel GillmerCAST: Ben Foster, Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen, Peter Sarsgaard, Dar Zuzovsky, with John Leguizamo and Danny DeVito


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The Survivor - Toronto 2021 - Solzy at the Movies

Three holy men we should be remembering – opinion – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on September 17, 2021

Even the holiest Jew seeks teshuva (repentance).

Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, Menachem Ziemba, and Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal: They were transformed by the horror and death of the Holocaust. This led them to formulate ideas that subverted traditional theology and theodicy. Yet, these holy men are forgotten by almost all Jews.

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In the realm of theodicy why bad things happen to good people Rabbi Shapira overturned the traditional Jewish understanding of suffering and persecution. This was not an outright rebellion but a process that evolved as years of confinement in the Warsaw Ghetto passed. Shapira first blamed the persecution on young Jews embracing Zionism and socialism. But after years of suffering in the ghetto he sermonized on God suffering with His people. On March 14, 1942, Shapira writes, The Talmud states in Hagigah [5b] that we may apply the verse Strength and rejoicing are in His place (I Chronicles 16:27) to Gods outer chambers, but in His inner chambers, he grieves and weeps for the sufferings of Israel. Traditional theodicy punishment for sin was abrogated by the reality of Jewish suffering in the ghetto, only months before mass deportations to death in Treblinka.

In the past, Ziemba spoke, during religious persecution we were required by the law to give up our lives even for the least essential practice. In the present, however, we are faced by an arch foe, whose unparalleled ruthlessness and total annihilation purposes know no bounds. Halacha demands that we fight and resist to the very end with unequaled determination and valor for the sake of Sanctification of the Divine Name.

Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal was especially close to the Rebbe of Munkatch, a prominent leader of the hassidim of Hungary who was a rabid anti-Zionist. Teichtal was the head of the yeshiva in the city of Pishtian in Czechoslovakia for 20 years. When World War II broke out, he witnessed the sufferings of the local Jews. He wandered, finally settling in Budapest at a time when Jews of the city were in great peril. This impacted him to break with the Rebbe of Munkatch and become an ardent supporter of the Jewish return to the Land of Israel. His classic work, Eim Habanim Semeichah (A Joyous Mother of Children from Psalms 113:9), written under great duress, argued that Jews will bring the messiah only if they leave Europe and immigrate to Israel to build up the land.

Teichtal writes, The exile made you into an exile-Jew. I mean that exile made you into a man who is detached and separated from the entire Jewish community, for in exile you do not live life as a nation. In other words, in exile you do not lead a nationalistic life to the degree that you feel unified with the holy nation of Israel. You do not feel yourself part of the Jewish nation, which is scattered and dispersed among the nations. Rather, you consider yourself a citizen of the place in which you live. You [see yourself] and lead your life only as a loyal citizen of that place.

These men were holy rebels who deserve the recognition of all Jews. They lived and died in the Shoah and understood that what had once been persecution was now genocide.

Their legacy will never die.

The writer is rabbi of Congregation Anshei Sholom in West Palm Beach, Florida. He thanks the following for the words in English of these great rabbis: The Holy Fire: The Teachings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto translated by Nehemia Polen (1994); Rabbi Ziembas exhortation from The Warsaw Ghetto Diaries of Hillel Seidman translated by Yosef Israel (1997); and Rabbi Teichtals Eim Habanim Semeichah translated by Moshe Lichtman(2000).

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Three holy men we should be remembering - opinion - The Jerusalem Post

Spread Of Misinformation ‘Pandemic Within A Pandemic,’ German General Counsel Says – WVXU

Posted By on September 17, 2021

The United States and Germany are coming together to combat misinformation focusing on the Holocaust, COVID-19 pandemic and fighting hate speech.

During Friday's visit to Cincinnati's Holocaust and Humanity Center, Wolfgang Moessigner, the German Consulate General Chicago, spoke to museum constituents about the Washington Declaration, which seeks to lay out the future scope of cooperation between the U.S. and Germany. Part of the agreement focuses on fighting misinformation.

Moessinger calls the rapid spread of misinformation a "pandemic within a pandemic," noting the protests against COVID-19 lockdowns he's seeing in his native country.

"There always now, every now and then, one of the speakers coming up and saying 'vaccines are poisonous; vaccines are this or that and my child is never getting a vaccine because I dont want it to be manipulated,' and things like that," Moessinger said. "What is disappointing is that nobody stands up to them and says, 'No, this is ridiculous.' "

He pointed out differences between how freedom of speech in the U.S and Germany is treated on social media and that countries are still looking at a more universal approach to combating misinformation and hate speech through social media.

"Freedom of expression, First Amendment is absolutely priority, it's the top," Moessinger said. "In Germany, it's a little bit less open. You might face much easier defamation if you insult politicians or whoever else."

HHC CEO Sarah Weiss addressed Holocaust denial and misinformation during a joint webinar held that morning. She notes Holocaust denial is used to delegitimize Jewish history. Meanwhile, misinformation is used to trivialize the genocide, such as comparing mask and vaccine mandates to what Jews experienced during the Holocaust.

"A vaccine mandate is not the same as tattooing a prisoner and dehumanizing them and putting them in a concentration camp," Weiss said.

Last month, a report from the Center to Counter Digital Hate revealed five major social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, took no action to remove 84% of antisemitic posts. Several studies show links between the prevalence of racist speech on social media platforms and hate crimes within their respective regions.

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Spread Of Misinformation 'Pandemic Within A Pandemic,' German General Counsel Says - WVXU

Yom Kippur synagogue attack plot: Teenager and three others arrested in Germany – Euronews

Posted By on September 17, 2021

A 16-year-old boy and three other people have been arrested in Germany over an alleged Islamist plot to attack a synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Police cordoned off the synagogue in the city of Hagen, south of Dortmund, on Wednesday and an evening worship service was called off.

Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, said officials had received "very serious and concrete information" that there could be an attack on the synagogue during Yom Kippur.

The tip, he said, had pointed to "an Islamist-motivated threat situation" and named both the possible timing and would-be perpetrators.

The teenager, a Syrian national who lives in Hagen, was detained on Thursday morning while the three others were arrested after a raid on an apartment.

Police are still investigating whether they were involved in the alleged plan. Reul added that other searches were ongoing in Hagen, but gave no details.

The detentions took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, and two years after a deadly attack in another German city on the Yom Kippur holiday.

Police were on the scene on Thursday with sniffer dogs, which found no trace of explosives. Dortmund police spokesman Gunnar Wortmann told AP: "We had information that there was a threat to a Jewish institution here in Hagen.

"Of course, we immediately adjusted the police protection measures in this regard and are also in close contact with the local Jewish community."

Two years ago on Yom Kippur, German far-right extremist Stephan Balliet attacked a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, killing two people.

Balliet had posted an anti-Semitic diatribe online before making his way to the place of worship, where 52 people had gathered to mark Yom Kippur.

After failing to get through the doors, he shot and killed a 40-year-old woman in the street outside and a 20-year-old man in a nearby kebab shop.

The incident was considered one of the worst anti-Semitic assaults in the country's post-war history. In December 2020 Balliet was jailed for life for the attempted murder of 68 people, Holocaust denial and incitement.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht sharply condemned the foiled Hagen attack on Thursday. It is intolerable that Jews are again exposed to such a horrible threat," she said, "and that they cannot celebrate the start of their highest holiday, Yom Kippur, together."

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Yom Kippur synagogue attack plot: Teenager and three others arrested in Germany - Euronews

Facebook knew Instagram made teenage girls feel worse about themselves but that they are addicted to app – The Independent

Posted By on September 17, 2021

Instagram knew that its app was making teenage girls feel worse about their bodies, internal documents from the company allegedly reveal.

Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse, the researchers said in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to Facebooks internal message board, reportedly seen by The Wall Street Journal. Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.

More slides included similar messages: We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls, said one slide from 2019. Another read: Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.

According to the findings, 13 per cent of British users and six per cent of American users believed that Instagram was a source of suicidal thoughts. Yet Instagram remains a key social media platform for young people, with over 40 per cent of the apps demographic under the age of 22.

Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, is keen for the photo app to grow. Instagram is well positioned to resonate and win with young people, one slide said, with another stating that there is a path to growth if Instagram can continue their trajectory.

The files gathered from The Wall Street Journal make several claims based on internal Facebook data: one in five teens say that Instagram makes them feel worse about themselves, and girls in the UK are influenced the most by the app; teens who struggle with mental health say Instagram makes it worse; negative emotions about having the perfect image, feeling attractive, and having enough money are likely to have started on Instagram.

This data comes from focus groups, online surveys, and diary studies from 2019 and 2020, as well as a large-scale survey of thousands of users in 2021.

Many of the problems are specific to Instagram, according to Facebooks own researchers. Social comparison is worse on Instagram, Facebook research from 2020 allegedly stated, because competitors such as TikTok and Snapchat are more grounded in performativity or facial filters rather than the topics of body image and lifestyle pushed by Instagram.

Aspects of Instagram exacerbate each other to create a perfect storm, the research stated, which was apparently reviewed by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

These harmful affects are not felt by all demographics, and for most teenagers the negative social comparison created by the app is outweighed by its use to keep friends connected, the research suggested. However, Instagrams researchers also found that teens regularly wanted to use the app less but lacked the self-control to do so.

Teens told us that they dont like the amount of time they spend on the app but feel like they have to be present, internal documents said. They often feel addicted and know that what theyre seeing is bad for their mental health but feel unable to stop themselves. It was also found that selfies which have been filtered and shared in stories made users feel worse.

Researchers had suggested that Instagram should reduce exposure to celebrity content about fashion and beauty, and increase content from close friends; however, some Facebook employees pushed back against that suggestion.

Isnt that what IG is mostly about? one male employee wrote on an internal message board, saying that the (very photogenic) life of the top 0.1% is the reason why teens are on the platform.

A now-former executive also pushed back on changes: People use Instagram because its a competition. Thats the fun part.

This report follows numerous stories about Facebooks knowledge regarding the effects of its algorithms and app design. In January 2019, teenager Molly Russell committed suicide, with her father accusing the app of helping to kill his daughter. Instagram said it would ban graphic images of self-harm from the app one week later.

Facebook also shelved research that would stop the platform from encouraging political division, and has been found to be recommending Holocaust denial and other fascist content.

In addition to its main app, Instagram is currently building a version of its app for children under the age of 13, although 44 states in the US have asked the company to drop the plans.

In a blog post about The Wall Street Journals findings, Instagram said: Social media isnt inherently good or bad for people. Many find it helpful one day, and problematic the next. What seems to matter most is how people use social media, and their state of mind when they use it.

Many said Instagram makes things better or has no effect, but some, particularly those who were already feeling down, said Instagram may make things worse. In the research world, this isnt surprising or unexpected. Issues like negative social comparison and anxiety exist in the world, so theyre going to exist on social media too. That doesnt change the fact that we take these findings seriously, and we set up a specific effort to respond to this research and change Instagram for the better.

You can contact the Samaritans by calling them free from any phone on 116 123, email or visit to find details of your nearest branch

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Facebook knew Instagram made teenage girls feel worse about themselves but that they are addicted to app - The Independent

National Hispanic Heritage Month 2021: Events in Houston – Houston On The Cheap

Posted By on September 17, 2021

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Hispanic Heritage Month is a month dedicated to honoring Hispanic Americans and recognizing how theyve contributed to the culture, history, and achievements of the United States.

Hispanic Heritage Month will be celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. Over the next month, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to celebrate Latin American culture in a variety of ways. Weve put together a list of the top Hispanic Heritage Month events in Houston for you to choose from.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and Latinx Heritage Month, TEATRX is presenting a production of Sonia Flew, a play about a Cuban immigrant raising two children with her Jewish husband in Minneapolis in the aftermath of 9/11. Follow the emotional journey of several generations impacted by war, displacement, and trauma. The production will be staged at MECA Houston. Face masks will be required.When: Friday, September 17th, and Sunday, September 19th, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Where: MECA EAST END (Formerly known as TBH) 333 S Jenson Dr. TX, 77003.How Much: $20

courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre

Enjoy a live Latin jazz and pop performance by the Pedrito Martinez Group. To watch the show at Miller Outdoor Theatre, you can get up to four tickets for the covered seating area online, but they go fast. If youre okay with sitting on the hill picnic-style, you dont have to worry about tickets. You can also watch the event online via live stream here.When: Friday, September 17th, from 8 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.Where:6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030How Much:Free

courtesy Childrens Museum Houston

Visit Childrens Museum Houston to celebrate Mexican Independence Day and give your kids a chance to learn more about Mexican culture. Kids will get to enjoy a live performance from a mariachi band, the traditional El Grito De Dolores, and a vibrant performance of Ballet Folklrico Las Amricas.When: Saturday, September 18th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Where: Childrens Museum Houston, 1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004How Much: $12 (General admission)

Mixteco Ballet Folklorico will be putting on a performance for children at Levy Park where they will celebrate music, dance, and the diversity of the Houston community.When: Saturday, September 18th, at 1 p.m.Where: Levy Park, 3801 Eastside St, Houston, TX 77098How Much: Free

Come enjoy one of the liveliest Hispanic Heritage Month events Houston has to offer courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre. Salsa y Salud is Texas biggest salsa dance show. The cast of over 50 dancers includes local, regional, and international talent, and the energetic dance numbers will keep the whole family entertained. To watch the show at Miller Outdoor Theatre, you can get up to four tickets for the covered seating area online, but they go fast. If youre okay with sitting on the hill picnic-style, you dont have to worry about tickets. You can also watch the event online via live stream here.When: Saturday, September 25th, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.Where:6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030How Much:Free

courtesy Holocaust Museum Houston

Holocaust Museum Houston is celebrating Latinx heritage with a free poetry reading by Jos Olivarez from his debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal. Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants and has been recognized for his poetry by the Chicago Review, NPR, The Adroit Journal, the New York Public Library. He was awarded the Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association in 2018. Anyone may attend this event. Masks are required.When: Thursday, September 30th, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.Where: 5401 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004How Much: Free

courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre

Enjoy a live musical performance from 2019 Latin GRAMMY Winner for Best New Artist, Nella. The Venezuelan artists music draws on her countrys folklore and contemporary music trends. To watch the show at Miller Outdoor Theatre, you can get up to four tickets for the covered seating area online, but they go fast. If youre okay with sitting on the hill picnic-style, you dont have to worry about tickets. You can also watch the event online via live stream here.When: Friday, October 1st, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Where:6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030How Much:Free

courtesy Holocaust Museum Houston

Anyone is welcome to the other Hispanic Heritage Month event that the Holocaust Museum Houston is hosting: a poetry reading by 2022 Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez. Mendez is originally from Galveston and won the 2019 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters for his book WHY I AM LIKE TEQUILA (Willow Books, 2019). He is also the founder of Tintero Projects, a group that works with up-and-coming Latinx artists and other artists of color in the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Masks are required to attend this event.When: Thursday, October 7th, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.Where: 5401 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004How Much: Free

courtesy Houston Symphony

An annual Hispanic Heritage Month event put on by the Houston Symphony, Fiesta Sinfnica is a free concert that spotlights Latin American music and classics. The multicultural program will be led by conductor Rafael Enrique Irizarry and include songs such as En Mi Viejo San Juan, pieces from West Side Story and Carmen, and the finale of Rimsky-Korsakovs Capriccio espagnol, Opus 34.When: Saturday, October 7th, at 7 p.m.Where: 615 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002How Much: Free (but reservations are required)

courtesy Miller Outdoor Theatre

The annual Festival Chicano is a celebration of Chicano music thats now in its 42nd year and still going strong. Its one of the oldest events of its kind. This festival is a three-day concert spanning Tejano, conjunto, mariachi, and orchestra styles, with different musical acts each night. To watch the show at Miller Outdoor Theatre, you can get up to four tickets for the covered seating area online, but they go fast. If youre okay with sitting on the hill picnic-style, you dont have to worry about tickets. You can also watch the event online via live stream here. Note: only Saturdays performance will be livestreamed.When: Thursday, October 7th-Saturday, October 9th, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Where:6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030How Much:Free

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National Hispanic Heritage Month 2021: Events in Houston - Houston On The Cheap

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