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Who raised $280 million at $1.4 billion valuation and is Zionist an offensive term? – CTech

Posted By on February 6, 2021

Covid-19 Big Bang sending trillion-dollar shockwaves through media market. Gilad de Vries, SVP at content recommendations platform Outbrain, believes the public is losing faith in what it is reading on social media, pushing advertising dollars back towards traditional media websites. Read more

Israels Otonomo to raise $280 million at $1.4 billion valuation via SPAC. Auto companies cast aside their technological developments and they will have to search for solutions after the crisis is over, says CEO. Read more

We are concerned about the over-exuberance were seeing in the markets. ISAs Sarah Kendler is glad to see tech companies call Israel home, but expresses worry over riskier investment practices arriving to Tel Aviv. Read more

Earlysense sells its intellectual property rights for $30 million. Companys technology can be used to treat patients and hospitalize them at home. As part of deal, it setback Hillrom from primary to secondary shareholder. Read more

Opinion | Top 9 tech areas that are changing sports in 2021. The sports industry is one of the last industries to be truly disrupted by technology and the recent crisis is the catalyzer that will introduce radical innovation in the sports world. Read more

Analysis | Even without earnings, BladeRanger is the stuff of dreams for investors. The Israeli company develops robots to clean solar panels and is only expected to begin yielding revenue in 2022, but its stock leapt by 156% since its December IPO. Read more

Opinion | From survival stagnation to proactive thinking in the post-Covid-19 era. The distance between survival stagnation and proactive thinking that sees the crisis as an opportunity is shorter than we think, argues Amdocs Gil Rosen. Read more

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Who raised $280 million at $1.4 billion valuation and is Zionist an offensive term? - CTech

Professor Pushing Conspiracy Theories at University of Leeds Has Got to Go – Jewish Journal

Posted By on February 6, 2021

(JNS) In 2018, fellow Leeds Jewish Society committee members recommended that the University of Leeds adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. It refused.

The consequences of this decision have never been more evident than over this past week. Ray Bush, a professor of African studies and development politics, has been found to have shared multiple anti-Semitic posts, and the university has no clear or binding checklist to use to investigate and discipline him accordingly, nor have they yet stated any intention to do so.

A scroll through Bushs Twitter (@raymondobush) account quickly reveals a history of anti-Semitic tropes and remarks. Bush believes that there is a Nazi-Zionist alliance, has claimed that the Zionist entity shapes U.S. Middle Eastern policy and has stated how the anti-Semitic campaign against former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is run by the Israeli embassy among others. Can anyone really deny that this is anti-Semitism?

Well, apparently yes. Many students leaped to Bushs defense after his comments were made public in a separate article for The Tab, claiming that he expressed anti-Zionism rather than anti-Semitism. But these people need to brush up on their definitions, as the two are quite clearly interchangeable. The definition of Zionism is simply the belief that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination and a homeland of their own. To oppose Zionism alone and not any other form of self-determination worldwide is anti-Semitism.

Nevertheless, Bushs comments go far beyond criticism of Israeli policy. Under the IHRA definition, which the university claims to be guided by, they are deemed anti-Semitic.

Why has the University of Leeds not officially adopted this definition? The definition is already used by the British government, the Labour Party and more than 30 universities in the United Kingdom. With 1,000-plus Jewish students on campus, Leeds has a duty to make each and every one of those students feel safe and protected.

This situation reinforces the need for the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism on campus. Jewish students should not have to sacrifice their education because of the bigoted beliefs of academics such as Bush.

Nor is this latest incident an isolated one. Last semester, the university failed to publicly condemn an event hosted in conjunction with the Leeds Palestinian Solidarity Group in which terrorist Leila Khaled, was given a platform to express the need for armed strugglewhen campaigning for Palestinian rights. The student groups leader, Adam Saeed, who has attempted to smear The Tab article exposing Bushs history of hate as itself anti-Semitic, predictably nodded along to Khaleds incitement of violence.

The university remained silent after student society leaders hosted a convicted terrorist and continued that silence after one of its employees was shown to have publicly espoused anti-Semitic ideals. Its simply not right. And it needs to change.

There are previous examples of university lecturers in other areas of the country losing their jobs due to their anti-Semitic views being shared on social media. In 2019, the BBC reported that the University of Essex sacked a lecturer, Dr. Maaruf Ali, after he referred to the creation of a Jewish society on campus as Zionists wanting to create a society there at our university and sharing Holocaust-denial posts on social media.

If dismissal is the punishment for anti-Semitism at the University of Essex, then we should expect the same retribution from the University of Leeds in response to Professor Ray Bush. This is a man who believes the anti-Semitic conspiracy that Israel has influenced the racially motivated deaths of black Americans at the hands of U.S. police officers. He should not be given the opportunity to educate thousands of students with his discriminatory views, and he should not be holding such a high-profile position at such an esteemed university. Bush must be immediately penalized by the university, which should also issue an apology to Jewish, Israeli and Zionist students for having had to endure this educators continued harassment.

Elliot Bloom is a student at Leeds Beckett University and a CAMERA on Campus Fellow.

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Professor Pushing Conspiracy Theories at University of Leeds Has Got to Go - Jewish Journal

BDS Might Use ‘Non-violent Means’ Against Israel, But It Is ‘Very Violent In Its Ends’ – CBN News

Posted By on February 6, 2021

JERUSALEM, Israel - The U.S. Senate committee has voted to back President Biden's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, paving the way for full senate approval. Veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield has pledged to combat unfair targeting of Israel at the international body.

Thomas-Greenfield said that the BDS or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that is so often used to target Israel verges on anti-Semitic and should not be allowed to have a voice at the UN. Experts in Israel agree.

BDS are in fact all about creating political pressure on the State of Israel to allow economic, academic and cultural boycotts or pressure on the State of Israel to allow millions of Palestinians to return to the State of Israel, said Tzahi Gavrieli, director of Israels National Task Force Against Delegitimization.

Einat Wilf, author of The War of Return, explained the BDS movement gains traction by what she calls the placard strategy.

The placard strategy is the equations that everyone who goes to an anti-Israel demonstration sees (on) their placards.They're structured in this way: It says, Zionism equals or Israel equals or sometimes it just says, The Star of David equals.It never says, Zionism equals the political movement for self-determination for the Jewish people in their homeland, which is the accurate definition, Wilf told CBN News.

Wilf says, the strategy has been very effective, even though the equations are lies.

They're [using] words like colonialism, racism, apartheid, sometimes even Nazism and genocide. These words are all chosen because in our collective consciousness, they connote evil -- basically people are exposed to an ongoing refrain that says, Zionism, Israel, Star of David, equals evil, Wilf said.

But its not about slogans on placards at demonstrations.

It's the United Nations, it's on television. Give an anti-Israel speaker 30 seconds on television, they'll manage to say Israel, Zionism, colonialism, apartheid, genocide, in the same sentence, regardless of what is the question, Wilf said.

BDS often claims to be a grass roots movement. But Gavriel, the Israeli governments in-house expert on fighting the BDS movement, says theres nothing grass roots about it.

One could be operating in New York. The second one in Cincinnati, the third one in Virginia, and the fourth one could be in Milan in Italy. Its a network, operated and being headquartered from Ramallah by an element or organization called the BNC, the BDS National Committee. This is a coalition of coalitions, Gavrieli told CBN News.

And Wilf says theres nothing new about the movement.

The Palestinians are still committed to their old goal of no sovereign state for the Jewish people in any borders anywhere, Wilf said.

When other tactics failed, the demand for a Right of Return for Palestinian refugees to Israel and then the BDS movement emerged.

The BDS movement continues the same old idea that the Jewish people are uniquely evil, that the world will be a better place if there was no Jewish State in it, which again, is a very ancient anti-Semitic theme, Wilf said.

Both Wilf and Gavrieli said its important to keep fighting

Continue very vigorously and with hazak ve ematz (strength and courage in Hebrew) as the Lord said, be very strong and be not afraid, Gavrieli said.

We are, in fact, collaborating with more than 200 different organizations worldwide in order to mobilize them and work with them as a civil society engine in favor of the State of Israel, to tell the truth about Israel, he added.

The first thing is really to expose BDS for what it is - that it might be non-violent in its means, but it is very violent in its ends; about the fact that its notabout peace, Wilf said. And, ultimately, they should be confronted on campuses, in the media, everywhere which they operate to expose them for their sinister purposes.

And, she added, its not just about Israel.

We saw it begin when it comes to Jews on campus and in America, but it will have a broader impact on America, on American discourse, on the ability of America to be a welcoming inclusive place for people of all faiths and beliefs and worldviews, Wilf said.

For me, BDS is far, far more about America and especially about Jews in America than it is ultimately about Israel, she added.

***As certain voices are censored and free speech platforms shut down, be sure to sign up forCBN News emailsand theCBN News appto ensure you keep receiving news from a Christian Perspective.***

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BDS Might Use 'Non-violent Means' Against Israel, But It Is 'Very Violent In Its Ends' - CBN News

‘Totalitarian’ school renaming; Equating twerps with Nazis; Enjoy your plastic straws! J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on February 6, 2021

Tova nailed it!

I was so very touched by Tova Ricardos eloquent article Being a Black Jewish Woman in America on Jan 6 (Jan. 12). Her insightful, thoughtful and rational comments give me a glimmer of hope for the future.

How true her words are: [E]veryone is an activist for equal rights until they have to support Jewish people.

I dont know you, Tova, but I love you.

Barbara AshSanta Clara

We should commend and support the efforts of the parents of Parkside District K-5 in opposing the School Names Advisory Committees recommendation to rename Dianne Feinstein Elementary School based on one incident in her mayoral term (SF school board approves plan to rename 44 schools, including Feinstein and Sutro, Jan. 27).

Dianne Feinstein had defended the presence of a Confederate battle flag as one of 18 flags in an American history display. It had been there for 14 years before she took office. In 1984, after protestors had taken it down for a second time, Mayor Feinstein ultimately agreed to its removal.

Special yasher koach to Jeff Saperstein, who insightfully described the renaming effort as the Reign of Terror phase of the BLM and Intersectionality movements in his Jan. 7 letter to the editor.

In 1984, George Orwell describes a dystopian totalitarian state in which every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. The objective was to completely control the lives of the population, for [w]ho controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.

Jewish tradition lends insight into the study of history. While all people have shortcomings, they can still have great worth. We study history to understand the past and those who made it, not to wantonly cancel them out because they do not live up to the purported standards of the present day.

In a better time, we would be reading about special efforts to assist public school students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to gain competence in reading and basic math skills. But these seem not the goals of the Jacobin-like, would-be totalitarians around us.

Steve AstrachanPleasant Hill

I was an activist in the Soviet Jewry Movement in the 1970s and 80s. I was in charge of protest demonstrations, and was arrested twice for the cause, a badge of honor.

In both cases, the charges were dropped on free-speech grounds.

My precious American right of free speech helped free me and, in a larger sense, helped free millions of Jews, Baptists and Jehovahs Witnesses from persecution in the Soviet Union, and helped bring down this totalitarian communist evil empire by exposing their lies and propaganda.

What we are doing today with free speech is not right.

Steven SloanMill Valley

In 1938, I was born in Poland. My earliest memory, at the age of 3, is of a German soldier stepping on my foot. I screamed.

Reading in current news reports that certain individuals are being called Nazis, fascists, racists and white supremacists makes me want to scream even louder.

Last centurys Nazis engaged in industrial-scale murder, theft, abuse, torture and massive destruction.

Referring to current pretenders and masqueraders who parade in swastikas (Hate on display: A guide to the symbols and signs on display at the Capitol insurrection, Jan. 7) to the anti-human criminals of the past elevates these twerpy and confused persons and degrades the awfulness of what was done to millions of people.

There should not and cannot be an equivalence to these abhorrent individuals and events of that past. Not now, not ever again.

Nathan DwiriSan Francisco

The article by J. correspondent Rachel Raskin-Zrihen (California progressives issue Zionism litmus test, pro-Israel delegates say, Jan. 25) was a perfect illustration of why progressive Zionist is an oxymoron.

The two Zionist women quoted consider themselves progressives, yet they would not support the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights because it covers the Palestinian right to return.

They also oppose holding countries engaged in routine human rights violations accountable via BDS because this includes Israel.

Hassan FoudaBerkeley

I read with great interest the article on right-wing Jews fleeing the state (Why some right-leaning Jews are leaving California for redder pastures, Jan. 8).

There were a few statements I agreed with, for sure, especially how much of San Francisco has turned into a haven for addicts. That truly is horrifying.

But in the main, it appears the primary focus was wealthy people looking for places where they can keep more of their money and not have to deal with tikkun olam or helping those who are desperate, or addressing climate change.

Cheap gas means no interest in the pollution that is causing the destruction of the planet.

Have your plastic straws that will shortly be dumped into the ocean, where fish are dying from eating plastic trash (including those straws).

Hear no evil, see no evil and have no responsibility to be part of the solution.

Now you are part of the problem in Arizona, Texas, Idaho, etc. Less taxes, lots of guns and a love for a (former) president who was and is hell-bent on destroying the fabric of this country. Go for it, or just go.

Susan HirshfieldSanta Rosa

American Jewish support for Donald Trump manifests the adage about not seeing the forest for the trees. American Jews look at the moving of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and they see a tree. Selling Israel top-of-the-line fighter jets and ground-based missile systems more trees. Having Stephen Miller and Steve Mnuchin in the White House trees.

But a forest is a much broader sweep, not just in expanse but in time. A forest is more than merely a collection of trees in the moment. A forest requires depth of diversity over time.

Trumps few Jewish advisers and policies towards Israel are akin to a tree farm where, row upon row, identical trees flourish, but it can hardly be called a healthy forest.

For Jews worldwide must realize that Israels strength and stability is only as secure as American backing, and American backing is only as strong as other nations respect for the U.S.

In Soviet times, the Russians hegemony over their empire was predicated on an empty husk, a foundation of sand. When the Soviet mothership collapsed in a paroxysm of corruption and ineptitude, the various republics scuttled away like crabs. There was no Soviet forest, merely a motley collection of trees bound by nothing so much as fear.

It cannot just be fear of American arms that bolsters our image and makes our support of Israel respected. It must be our moral standing which commands respect.

If the U.S. acts on what are considered traditional Jewish values, our backing of Israel will be built as strong as a forest instead of the weakness of a few temporary trees. Millers and Mnuchins come and go. The embassy move did not make Israel stronger or more secure. It can only be international moral respect for Israels backer that makes Israel strong and secure.

Dont look for individual trees. Israels security lies in the moral forest.

Larry JacobsSea Ranch

The Biden administration plans to welcome Iran back into Obamas nuclear deal.

Thus, with sanctions lifted, and billions flowing in through new oil revenue, what can stop the Iranian regime from further pumping up terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas?

And, most horrifically, what will it be like for Israeli citizens to soon live under the threat of a nuclear Iran, capable of the Jewish nations extermination?

And, given that Bay Area Jews voted overwhelmingly to support the Biden agenda, lets ask this question: Any regrets?

Scott AbramsonSan Mateo

Rabbi Dov Greenbergs column on empathy (Being there for someone means imagining what its like to be them, Jan. 22) was excellent, and I especially enjoyed Ben Horowitzs brilliant solution of switching the heads of two extraordinary but warring departments at one of his companies.

I did, however, question the relevance of the bitter herbs of slavery on the seder plate as a way of empathizing with our ancestors.

We are not in conflict with our ancestors.

Israel is, however, in conflict with the Palestinians, and it would do both sides a world of good if they could place themselves in the others shoes as the rabbi encourages us to do.

Charles KremerBerkeley

The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris marks the ascendancy of two families with remarkable Jewish ties.

Bidens late son, Beau, married Hallie Olivere (whose Jewish mother was Bidens childhood friend); their children are Natalie and Hunter. Bidens daughter Ashley married Dr. Howard Krein. (Biden has joked: Im the only Irish Catholic you know who had his dream met because his daughter married a Jewish surgeon.) And his son Hunter is married to Melissa Cohen; they have matching Shalom tattoos and a young son, Beau.

As for Harris, her husband, Doug Emhoff, is the nations first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president. Harris stepchildren Cole and Ella call her Momala (Momala Harris is good for the Jews, say Bay Area Jewish leaders who have known her for years, Aug. 13, 2020).

Both are considered strong supporters of Israel. Biden has said: I am a Zionist, and has spoken often of meeting Golda Meir in 1973.

Harris has said: As a child, I never sold Girl Scout cookies. I went around with a JNF box collecting funds to plant trees in Israel. And: Years later, when I visited Israel for the first time, I saw the fruits of that effort and the Israeli ingenuity that has truly made a desert bloom.

Interestingly, the first Senate resolution Harris co-sponsored criticized the Obama administrations failure to veto U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334. I believe that when any organization delegitimizes Israel, we must stand up and speak out for Israel to be treated equally, she later said while addressing AIPAC.

Bidens cabinet includes Ron Klain (chief of staff), Tony Blinken (secretary state) and Janet Yellen (treasury), and his nominees include Merrick Garland (attorney general) and Alejandro Mayorkas (homeland security).

Stephen A. SilverSan Francisco

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'Totalitarian' school renaming; Equating twerps with Nazis; Enjoy your plastic straws! J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

Experts say numbers of extremists, hate groups falling even as threats remain in Arkansas – KLRT – FOX16.com

Posted By on February 6, 2021

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. When a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, a lot of Americans watched in a state of disbelief. It also sparked, among some, fear about possible future violent attacks organized and carried out by extremist groups.

Experts say both extremist and hate groups have shifted their operations from the fringes of society directly into the mainstream. According to recent data, while the number of hate and extremist groups has slowly declined over recent years, the number of hate incidents has skyrocketed, especially here in Arkansas.

Members of extremist groups show up at various protests armed and dressed in military fatigues. Some carry flags or wear shirts displaying who they support. Others try and blend in, not wanting to be identified.

In 2020, the rising presence of extremist and hate groups across the nation was on full display, and those in Washington took notice.

In September of last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray told members of Congress, the greatest terrorist threat to the homeland is the homegrown, violent, extremists.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups across the nation, the number of white nationalist groups in the United States hit an all-time high of 155 in 2019. One year later that number dipped to 128.

The SPLC also noted slight declines among anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBTQ hate groups in its most recent report. There was also a decline in the number of active hate groups across the nation.

In 2020, the SPLC tracked 838 active hate groups. Thats a decline of 102 from the previous year and a substantial dip compared to the record-high 1,020 it tracked in 2018.

But while the number of hate groups has gone down, the number of hate incidents has not, and experts say the chances of more violence is higher now than ever before.

Thats largely based on the rhetoric that were seeing and the degree to which people are unified right now, Michael Haden with the SPLC explained.

As for Arkansas, the number of hate groups has gone down nearly 50 percent from the all-time record set back in 2010. But according to the Anti-Defamation Leagues HEAT map, which tracks hate, extremism, and anti-Semitic and terroristic incidents around the nation, a different story is seen.

According to the ADL, the number of incidents has skyrocketed more than 500 percent in just the past four years, with the majority of these incidents involving propaganda.

When asked about the groups behind the incidents, Little Rock Special Supervisory FBI Agent William Kennedy explained that even singling out a group by name only encourages them to do more.

One of the things I am not going to do is Im not going to name any particular group, because really, I dont want to give them oxygen, Kennedy said.

He did, however, say that unlike other parts of the country, the level of activity among extremist and hate groups in the Natural State has been consistent.

We are looking at essentially the same caseload today that we were looking at six years ago, Kennedy explained.

As for extremist and hate groups in 2020, two factors had a huge impact on their declining numbers, and the first was COVID-19. According to the SPLC, the coronavirus minimized hate group activity both in-person and online.

The other factor has been and continues to be the recent crackdown on social media platforms by big-tech companies.

These groups, I think its important to note, they require an audience to grow, Haden explained, adding that some extremist and hate groups are now going underground and using encrypted messaging apps to better communicate. They need oxygen. But eventually, they need to come up for air to build recruits.

Preventing these groups from communicating wont be easy now that they have found their way into the mainstream. Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt is the CEO of the and recently said that officials in the U.S. are just going to need to come to grips with the fact that theres a potential longevity for this insurgency in our country.

But he also said the solution to rooting out domestic terror lies in the hands of lawmakers and society as a whole.

You shouldnt hate someone based on how they pray or where theyre from or how they vote. We need to ask more of people to bring the country together.

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Experts say numbers of extremists, hate groups falling even as threats remain in Arkansas - KLRT - FOX16.com

Capitol Protesters And Rioters From Mass. Vow To Increase Ranks – WBUR

Posted By on February 6, 2021

Weeks after theCapitol Hill insurrection, a WBUR investigation has found two Massachusetts-based organizations a fringe conservative group and a neo-Nazi hate group are gaining membership and plotting a future without Trump in the White House.

The two entities, Super Happy Fun America a self-described pro-heterosexual group that sent 11 buses of protesters to D.C. and the neo-Nazi group Nationalist Social Club (NSC-131), have vowed to increase their respective ranks across the Northeast.

Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) claims heterosexuals are an oppressed majority. It organized the buses to D.C. on Jan. 6, charging $75 per person for the trip. In a Facebook post advertising the trip, Suzanne Ianni, an elected Natick Town Meeting member, is referred to as SHFAs director of operations and the contact for the caravan.

The message includes details about where to catch buses throughout the state and says: WE THE PEOPLE are being called on to "Stop the Steal". Let's put the fear of God into these Demo-Corruptionists and their RINO allies in Congress, and take back AMERICA.

After allegedly participating in the storming of the Capitol, Ianni and Mark Sahady, SHFAs vice president, now face federal criminal charges.

But that hasnt stopped the group from expanding its ranks.

Weve got over 400 members, and were growing rapidly because people are frustrated, and we are probably the most activist conservative group in New England, saysJohn Hugo, 57, of Woburn, who describes himself as president of SHFA.

We get out there on the street and we confront; confront what we consider evil, says Hugo, in an interview with WBUR.

According to Hugo, who ran an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2018 as a Republican challenger to Rep. Katherine Clark and was a taxi dispatcher, those evils include what he called a fraudulent 2020presidential election a false allegation cultivated by former President Donald Trump. Dozens of court cases challenging the election have been tossed out of court including by Trump-appointed judges for lacking legal merit.

Still, Hugo and his group push,without evidence,the theory of a Trump victory.

We think were living in a post-constitutional America at this point, and were going to fight back against that in any way we can, Hugo says.

SHFA, according to researchers, isnt the only group seeing a rise in membership after the Capitol riots.

Extremist and far-right organizations are also seeing an influx of new subscriberson messaging apps like Telegram and Signal. This increase comes in the wake of tech giants recent crackdown on Parler, a social media website popular with right-wing groups. Apple and Google have banned downloads of Parlers app, and Amazon has stopped hosting Parlers website for allowing posts that incited violence.

Nationally, membership on one of the Telegram channels associated with the extremist group the Proud Boys has spiked from 17,000 just after the riots to more than 45,000 members as of today, according to Telegram Analytics, a website that tracks data on more than 150,000 Telegram channels.

A designated hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Proud Boys has had at least six members charged for storming the Capitol, with two facing conspiracy charges by federal prosecutors.Canada on Thursday declared the Proud Boys a terrorist organization; the U.S. is reviewing domestic terrorism classifications of such groups and could follow suit.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin recently warning that extremist groups opposed to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition could incite violence.

Robert Trestan, New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), says far-right organizations and hate groups are leveraging the D.C. protests.

The leaders sort of rode the coattails of swarms of people who have this particular belief, he explains. I think theres a real danger of people suddenly becoming supportive, becoming affiliated with some of these organizations.

Massachusetts-based Nationalist Social Club (NSC-131) was also at the Capitol riots. Labeled a neo-Nazi group by the ADL, the organization has 1,281 subscribers on its Telegram channel, gaining over 250 members in the wake of the riots.

Christopher Hood, a 22-year-old from Dorchester, is cited as a leader and confirmed to WBUR in an interview that he is a representative of NSC-131 in New England. Hood was arrested in 2019 for carrying a dangerous weapon in an area of East Boston where flyers endorsing white supremacy had recently been posted.

Hood wouldnt say whether he was in D.C. for the riots, but he did confirm members of the group attended. Messages on the NSC-131 channel on Telegram showed they went to the Capitol to ensure white safety.

Whereas SHFA advertised itsD.C. trip, gathering members to show support for Trump, Hood says NSC-131 has no allegiance to the former president. According to Hood, his group tends to keep a lower profile. When concerns over COVID-19 subside, though, he says his group will gather in public.

I mean, one day when we get all these people out on the street, I mean, the commonwealth is going to be shocked, he says.

The group espouses anti-Semitic and racist views in its propaganda and engages in vandalism, counter-protests and flash demonstrations, according to the ADL. As NSC-131 supporters appeared to be posting pictures last month from the Capitol, some researchers are seeing a culmination of the groups consistent efforts paying off.

If you look at the last several years, as the sort of dissemination of hate symbols and hate messaging from these groups continues to increase and becomes bigger and bigger in our community, their ranks are also growing, Trestan explains.

So these things, theyre not a coincidence.

SHFA is a registered non-profit and is not designated as a hate group by either the ADL or SPLC. It publicly introduced itself to Boston in 2019 when it hosted a Straight Pride parade, in a provocative attempt to galvanize support for heterosexuals. The event led to dozens of arrests and several minor injuries as hundreds of counter-protesters showed up in defiance of what many believed was an event aimed at promoting bigotry.

But over the years, SHFAs protests and rallies, which are an important piece of the groups agenda, have served as attractive recruitment opportunities for some of the more extremist groups in the state, according to experts.

Its this unofficial intermingling of groups that the ADLs Trestan says has the potential to shift someones view points from conservative to extremist.

SHFA may hold an event, but they draw in many other groups, he says. And so people may go for one particular reason, and they may find themselves on the side of the barricade that includes white supremacists.

Ben Lorber, an analyst who studies hate groups at the Boston-based progressive think tank Political Research Associates, says members of NSC-131 circulate freely at events hosted by better knownorganizationslike SHFA.

Theyve helped serve as the security detail, for example, for a Reopen Rally that Super Happy Fun America held in 2020, he says. I think[it] really illustrates how all of these groups, even if they might stress very strong differences between them, really operate as part of a broader, far-right ecosystem.

Hugo, the SHFA president, disavows neo-Nazi groups like NSC-131, calling them scum. He says NSC-131 has not been invited to his group's events.

Yet, Hood tells WBUR that his neo-Nazi group has provided security and participated in SHFA rallies.

We talk to people about their ideas, our ideas, Hood says. We hand outflyers, and we have discussions with people.

After the fallout of the D.C. protests and insurrections, and with criminal prosecutions underway, many of the organized groups involved are now hatching new pathways forward in a post-Trump nation.

For Hugo and SHFA, that means clinging to conspiracy theories about what he calls a stolen election.

For other more extremist groups, the future means disavowing Trump and politics altogether.

NSC-131s Telegram channel and another channel affiliated with the Proud Boys have adopted an apocalyptic tone. Since the insurrection, the groups have been posting propaganda about tyranny of government and fighting a war of survival for Western civilization.

Lorber sees this as a natural progression, warning that resentment could boil over in the near future, particularly among extremist groups, and fuel militancy and radicalization for years to come.

What weve seen, he says, in previous waves of white nationalist and far-right organizing is that when people become disillusioned with the ballot, they turn to the bullet."

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Capitol Protesters And Rioters From Mass. Vow To Increase Ranks - WBUR

Merck’s CEO Kenneth Frazier to retire after ten years in the role – PMLiVE

Posted By on February 6, 2021

Merck & Cos chief executive officer (CEO) Kenneth Frazier(pictured left) is set to retire, ten years after taking the helm at the pharma giant.

Frazier joined Merck in 1992 as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Astra Merck group.

Since then, he has worked in increasingly senior roles across the organisation, up until he was appointed president of Merck in May 2010.

In January 2011, he then took on the CEO role, also becoming chairman of the board in December of the same year.

Under his leadership, Merck has seen impressive growth for its immunotherapy blockbuster Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and other innovative treatments.

Frazier is a strong advocate for social and economic inclusion, having received numerous awards and honours including the Anti-Defamation League Courage Against Hate Award, the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics from Columbia Business School and more.

He was named one of the Worlds Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2019, and also became the first recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare in 2019.

Frazier is handing over the CEO reigns to Robert Davis, currently chief financial officer (CFO) at Merck.

Prior to Merck, Davis (pictured right) was corporate vice president and president of Baxters Medical Products business.

He joined Merck in 2014 as CFO, with his role being further expanded in 2016 to include the companys global support functions.

This encompassed corporate business development, investor relations, information technology, procurement, real estate operations and corporate strategy.

After departing from the CEO role, Frazier will continue to serve on Mercks board of directors as executive chairman.

It has been a privilege to serve as Mercks CEO for the past decade and to work with the most dedicated and talented employees and management team in the industry, said Frazier.

As executive chairman, I look forward to collaborating with Rob [Davis] and our board of directors to help Merck achieve even higher levels of success, he added.

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Merck's CEO Kenneth Frazier to retire after ten years in the role - PMLiVE

Explained: Who are the far-right group Oath Keepers, members of which were involved in the Capitol Hill siege? – The Indian Express

Posted By on February 6, 2021

Last week, a federal court in the District of Columbia indicted three individuals associated with the far-right paramilitary organisation called Oath Keepers who describe themselves as the Guardian of the Republic for conspiring to obstruct Congress on January 6.

The three are Jessica Marie Watkins and Donovan Ray Crowl who belong to Champaign County in Ohio and Thomas Caldwell who is from Clarke County in Virginia. Most other arrests associated with the Capitol Hill siege have been of individuals and, therefore, the case of these three is the first indication of the involvement of a known organisation.

Who are the Oath Keepers?

In the book titled, Oath Keepers: Patriotism and the Edge of Violence in a Right-Wing Antigovernment Group, author Sam Jackson notes that the organisation was formed in 2009 and is one of the most visible and vocal among far-right organisations in the US. The founding member Stewart Rhodes is a Yale Law School graduate and a former Army paratrooper. By 2016, the organisation claimed to have over 30,000 members across the US.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the organisation garnered media attention after their presence was noted in protests and unrest that followed the shooting of a young African-American by a Ferguson police officer in 2014.

ADL says that Oath Keepers are anti-government extremists who are a part of a broader anti-government Patriot movement that includes the militia and the three percenter groups, sovereign citizens and tax protestors.

Former US president Donald Trump who incited the mob that marched towards the Capitol on January 6 referred to the rioters as patriots and called them special.

One of the distinguishing features of the Oath Keepers is that they focus on recruiting current and former military members, police officers and firefighters. These members have vowed to support the oaths they took before their respective services commenced in the military or police forces, which is to support the Constitution of the US and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says that, While it (Oath Keepers) claims only to be defending the Constitution, the entire organisation is based on a set of baseless conspiracy theories about the federal government working to destroy the liberties of Americans.

The center released its report on hate crime and extremism for the year 2020 on Monday for which it tracked 838 hate groups. The report notes two trends in 2020 that impacted the number of hate groups and will affect it in the future. One is that COVID-19 minimised overt hate group activity and secondly, while hate groups are being booted from social media platforms, they are moving their communications to encrypted chat rooms, which is making tracking the groups more difficult.

Who are the three individuals who have been indicted and what are the charges against them?

The three members of the organisation were indicted on charges of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds.

According to the criminal complaint filed on January 19, on the day of the Capitol Hill Siege on January 6, the three documented their participation and whereabouts in or around the US Capitol on social media. For instance, one of the three indicted posted on Facebook and said, We are surging forward. Doors breached and at 3:05 pm on the same day posted, Inside.

According to a report in The New York Times, visual evidence from the day of the siege indicates that Watkins and Crowl entered the Capitol building in close coordination with at least ten other people who had been seen wearing the Oath Keepers insignia. But their identities are not yet known.

In 2010, one Oath Keeper Daniel Knight Hayden was indicted and sentenced to eight months in prison after he threatened to attack Oklahoma state government officials on Twitter. Another Oath Keeper, Charles Dyer, an ex-Marine was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping his seven-year-old daughter. But Rhodes later said that Dyer wasnt a member of the organisation.

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Explained: Who are the far-right group Oath Keepers, members of which were involved in the Capitol Hill siege? - The Indian Express

USC Shoah Foundation – Wikipedia

Posted By on February 3, 2021

USC Shoah Foundation The Institute for Visual History and Education, formerly Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust (which in Hebrew is called the Shoah) and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action.[2] It was established by Steven Spielberg in 1994, one year after completing his Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List. The original aim of the institute was to record testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust as a collection of videotaped interviews. In January 2006, the foundation partnered with and relocated to the University of Southern California (USC) and was renamed the USC Shoah Foundation The Institute for Visual History and Education. In March 2019, the institute celebrated the grand opening of their new Global Headquarters[3] on USC's campus.

USC Shoah Foundation's testimonies are preserved in the Visual History Archive,[4] one of the largest digital collections of its kind in the world. The Visual History Archive is digitized, fully searchable via indexed keywords, and hyperlinked to the minute. With more than 112,000 hours of testimony stored in the Archive, indexing technology is essential for enabling users to pinpoint topics of interest. Indexing allows students, teachers, professors, researchers and others around the world to retrieve entire testimonies or search for specific sections within testimonies through a set of nearly 64,000 keywords and phrases, 1.8 million names, and 695,000 images. Each testimony is indexed by a native speaker and each minute of video is timecoded in English to a proprietary search engine using Institute-patented technology. They average a little over two hours each in length and were conducted in 63 countries and 41 languages.[2]

Since its inception, the institute's Visual History Archive has expanded its collection to include testimony from survivors and witnesses of other genocides, including the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda,[5] the Nanjing Massacre, Armenian Genocide and Guatemalan Genocide.

The foundation conducted nearly 52,000 video testimonies between 1994 and 1999, and currently has more than 55,000 testimonies. The bulk of the video testimonies expound on the Holocaust, including such experiences as Jewish Survivors, Rescuers and Aid-Providers, Sinti and Roma Survivors, Liberators, Political Prisoners, Jehovah's Witness Survivors, War Crimes Trial Participants, Eugenic Policies Survivors, Non-Jewish Forced Laborers and Homosexual Survivors,[2] but USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive expanded in 2013 to include testimonies of Tutsi survivors of the Rwandan genocide and has expanded in recent years to include interviews with survivors of other genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, Cambodian genocide, Guatemalan Genocide, Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, China, and the current Rohingya genocide in Myanmar. The vast majority of the testimonies contain a complete personal history of life before, during, and after the interviewee's first-hand experience with genocide.[2]

The institute aspires to be the world's academic authority on the study of genocide and personal testimony.[12] It continues to incorporate new collections of genocide eyewitness testimonies while simultaneously fostering scholarly activities that confront real-world problems the testimonies address. Scholars in many fields have utilized the vast resources of the Visual History Archive to teach more than 400 university courses across four continents, including 112 courses at USC. Researchers and thought leaders have utilized the testimonies in more than 121 scholarly works and the archive has been central to dozens of conferences across a range of disciplines.[citation needed]

The Center for Advanced Genocide Research is the research and scholarship unit of the institute. Founded in 2014, the center is dedicated to advancing new areas of interdisciplinary research on the Holocaust and genocide, specifically discussing the origins of genocide and how to intervene in the cycle that leads to mass violence.The center holds international conferences and workshops and hosts fellows and scholars in residence to conduct research using the vast resources available at the University of Southern California.The center will award up to 10 fellows every year.Institute fellows, staff and student interns participate in more than a dozen academic events on the USC campus annually. It distinguishes itself by focusing on interdisciplinary study organized around three themes to advance the analysis of genocide and systematic mass violence on an international scale. Resistance to Genocide and Mass Violence focuses on acts of resistance and elements of defiance that slow down or stop genocidal processes. Violence, Emotion and Behavioral Change studies the nature of genocide and mass violence and how they impact emotional, social, psychological, historical and physical behavior.[2]

The institute, in conjunction with the Center for Advanced Genocide Research, held an international conference in November 2014 at USC titled "Memory, Media and Technology: Exploring the Trajectories of Schindler's List", examining the trajectories of memory, media and technology throughout a range of disciplines and from a variety of vantage points and venues.[13] In 2015, the Center for Advanced Genocide Research in collaboration with the Thornton School of Music and USC Visions and Voices hosted the international conference titled "Singing in the Lion's Mouth: Music as Resistance to Violence", which included two days of programming that highlighted the use of music as a tool to resist oppression and spread awareness.[14]

Digital Genocide Studies examines how big data and large datasets, including the 53,000 testimonies in the USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive, can be used to find patterns in the field of mass violence and its resistance. The institute also organizes a yearly series of academic events that brings scholars to USC to present lectures, film screenings and panel discussions. The Visual History Archive is fully viewable at 51 subscribing institutions in 13 countries around the world, mainly universities and museums. The institute also offers a subscription for partial access to the Archive. About 211 institutions in 34 countries have contracted for these smaller collections.[citation needed]

About 1,200 testimonies are also available to any member of the public with an Internet connection who registers to access the Visual History Archive Online. In addition to broadening its reach, the institute dedicates considerable attention to maintaining each testimony's audio-visual quality, to protect it from degrading over time. With contributions from technology companies, the institute devised a preservation system where the original videos were digitized into a variety of commonly used formats. The digitization of the entire Archive took five years to complete, from 2008 to 2012. During the digitization project, it was discovered that about 5 percent of the 235,005 tapes had audio or visual problems, some to the point of being unwatchable. Finding there were few existing options for restoring tape-based material, the institute's ITS team created new software programs to help them recover both audio and visual problems. To ensure that the world's largest database of genocide testimony lives in perpetuity, the institute has created a digital collections management technology used by clients to preserve their ageing media. Among them are the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Warner Bros. Pictures. Also under the Access umbrella is the institute's collections unit, which works to expand the Visual History Archive by conducting additional interviews, integrating testimony taken by other institutions, and providing training on the institute's preferred methodology for gathering testimony.[citation needed]

Using testimony from the Visual History Archive, the institute develops teaching tools for educators across the disciplinary spectrum, such as social studies, English Language Arts, government, foreign language, world history, American history, and character education. The institute also provides professional development to prepare educators worldwide to use testimony in relevant and engaging waysproviding an experience that takes students beyond the textbook.[15]

IWitness, the institute's flagship educational website for teachers and their students, provides students access to 1,600 testimonies for guided exploration. Students can engage with the testimonies and bring them into their own multimedia projects via a built-in video editor. Approximately 17,000 high school students and over 5,000 educators in 57 countries and all 50 U.S. states have used IWitness.[16] The institute has trained more than 39,000 educators around the world to incorporate testimony into classroom lessons.[17]More than 200 educators have participated in advanced training and the Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century programs in the U.S., Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.[18]

The institute's other education programs include:

Testimony is reaching a broad international audience through the institute's Visual History Archive, as well as IWitness, its YouTube channel, and its Web portals in 12 languages. The complete Visual History Archive is available at 49 institutions around the world, while smaller collections are available at 199 sites in 33 countries. The institute will continue to develop digital technologies to preserve and enhance the Visual History Archive, while building access pathways for a broad audience of students, educators, scholars and the general public. Approximately 1.6 million students, researchers, teachers and laypersons view the testimonies every year.[19] The Visual History Archive features more than 1,200 testimonies accessible worldwide.[20]

With an eye toward expanding its audience, USC Shoah Foundation broadcasts its content across many platforms. In 2015, to underscore this priority, the institute added Global Outreach as its fourth organizational pillar. In one year between 20132014 and 201415 the number of people intersecting with the institute's testimony nearly doubled, from 3.6 million to 6.5 million. The number increases to 15 million when including media exposure, TV broadcasts, museum exhibits, presentations at conferences and workshops, and social media. Global outreach is conducted through owned media such as websites and Institute supported documentaries and exhibits; earned media including prominent national and international press coverage about its programs; and shared media distributed across a wide range of social platforms.

Executive Committee

Members

Life Members

In Memorium

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USC Shoah Foundation - Wikipedia

Access the Visual History Archive | USC Shoah Foundation

Posted By on February 3, 2021

The Institute offers access to the Visual History Archive to subscribing institutions, including universities, museums, libraries, centers and memorial sites. Subscriptions come in two forms: full access and partial access.

Full access to the over 55,000 testimonies in the Visual History Archive is provided to 165 subscribing institutions in 15 countries around the world, including USC.

Partial access is granted to 232institutions in 36 countries. These smaller collections vary in size but in general range between a handful and several thousand copies of testimonies in the Visual History Archive.

Also, to accommodate incredible demand from outside of the subscribing institutions, the Institute has established the Visual History Archive Online, which enables any user with an Internet connection to access indexing data on the 55,000 interviewees, and provides access to 4,000 full-length video testimonies.

The indexing terms include geographical locations and time periods as well as location names and experience groups. The names of the 1.966 million individuals mentioned in the Archive are also indexed and searchable.

To view video testimony from the Visual History Archive at USC, you will need to be on USC's secured network or VPN.

Access the Visual History Archive at USC

If you are not currently on the USC secure network, you can still use the Visual History Archive Online, which has access to the entire metadata of the Archive but with limited viewing access to 4,000. The free registration form for accessing the Visual History Archive Online can be found here: http://vhaonline.usc.edu/login.aspx.

View list of institutions with full access to the Visual History Archive.

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Access the Visual History Archive | USC Shoah Foundation


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