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Some Cuyahoga County residents would have to travel 90 minutes to use the countys only ballot drop box: The – cleveland.com

Posted By on September 23, 2020

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The sunshine continues today in Northeast Ohio, but it will be a bit warmer, with highs climbing into the mid-70s. Overnight lows will be in the mid-50s with clear skies. Read more.

Local scores: Indians 5, Chicago White Sox 3

Ballot drop box: Voting-rights advocates say it could take some Cuyahoga County residents as long as 90 minutes in travel time to cast an absentee ballot at the countys only drop box. Attorneys for the League of Women Voters and the NAACP of Ohio this week cited the difficulties of low-income residents as part of a filing in U.S. District Court in Cleveland that seeks multiple drop boxes in each county in Ohio. John Caniglia reports the organizations are fighting Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRoses directive that allows just one dropbox per county, which they say limits voters' rights and is unconstitutional. Judge Dan Polster will hear testimony today.

CLE debate: Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the moderator for the first presidential debate Sept. 29 in Cleveland, on Tuesday announced the topics that would be the focus of the 90-minute forum, which will not have commercial breaks. Seth Richardson reports Wallace will ask questions on the Trump and Biden records, Supreme Court, COVID-10, economy, race and violence and integrity of the election.

Free coronavirus updates by text: Sign up to receive free text message from cleveland.com with daily updates on COVID-19, including confirmed cases, event cancellations, scientific information and more. You can even text us back with your comments and questions. Text 216-279-7784 or visit https://joinsubtext.com/ohiocoronavirus to get started.

This Week in the CLE: Supporters of Donald Trump booed Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Monday when he urged them to wear Trump 2020 masks. Were talking about the divisiveness in the Republican Party on This Week in the CLE, cleveland.coms daily half-hour news podcast.

Based on Ohio Department of Health data, an estimate of just over 16,000 known coronavirus cases currently exist.Rich Exner, cleveland.com

New numbers: Ohios coronavirus cases continue to trend downward, with 685 new cases reported on Tuesday, reports Andrew Tobias. The number was the lowest increase in daily reported cases since Sept. 8, when health officials reported 656 new cases.

Cleveland numbers: Mayor Frank Jacksons administration announced Tuesday that the Ohio Department of Health confirmed nine new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus were found in Cleveland the lowest number daily number since June. No new deaths were reported. The last time Cleveland had fewer than 10 deaths in its daily report was June 19, when seven new cases were reported, according to Robert Higgs.

Back to class: Northeast Ohio school districts that already took an in-person or hybrid approach to learning are happy with the results, reports Emily Bamforth. So far, outbreaks at K-12 schools are limited. An Ohio coronavirus dashboard released Thursday showed a total of 157 new cases in students between Sept. 7 and Sept. 13, and 91 new staff cases.

State of the schools: Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon thinks the coronavirus pandemic is a pivotal moment in the districts history, an opportunity to make learning more individualized, unpin learning milestones from strict timeframes and instead support individual students to learn completely, even if it takes extra time. Emily Bamforth reports school leaders will consider when to return in-person classes in the next few weeks.

Contact tracing: How does contact tracing work for the coronavirus? Seth Richardson reports epidemiologists start with a phone call, then establish a timeframe for when the person was infected. They find out when a patient began experiencing symptoms and work backward, tracking where theyve been and whom theyve been in contact with.

Coronavirus ventilation: Winter is coming, and Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohioans need to start preparing now to minimize the spread of coronavirus in indoor spaces as temperatures get colder. Jeremy Pelzer reports that includes working with an HVAC technician, when possible, to maximize air flow and filtration within homes and businesses.

Debate street closures: In preparation for the first 2020 presidential debate, Cleveland began closing streets Tuesday near the Cleveland Clinic, starting with East 89th Street between Chester and Euclid avenues. Robert Higgs lists the traffic closures and detours that are scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Friday.

Clean campaign: The two Democrats running for Ohio Supreme Court this year have declined to sign the Ohio State Bar Associations clean campaign pledge, asserting that they want to point out that their Republican opponents will make conservative judicial rulings. Jeremy Pelzer reports Republican incumbents Judith French and Sharon Kennedy have signed the pledge, which commits candidates to, among other things, disavow ads that attempt to lead voters to believe that a candidate will decide issues or cases in a predetermined manner.

Nina Turner: Former state Sen. Nina Turner announced Tuesday she is forming an Ohio-based public affairs firm to provide guidance for candidates, grassroots organizations and businesses wanting to implement liberal values and policies. Seth Richardson reports that Turner, a Democrat who served as co-chair of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, said she hoped to apply her experience in the public and nonprofit sectors to anyone looking for assistance with implementing liberal values.

A screenshot from the Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists debate on which presidential candidate is better for the Black community. Cuyahoga County Republican Party Executive Director Donna Walker Brown stood in for President Donald Trump while Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairwoman Shontel Brown was the surrogate for former Vice President Joe Biden. (Screenshot/GCLEABJ)

Presidential forum: Surrogates for both Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden said their preferred candidates were the right choices for the Black community during a Tuesday debate, Seth Richardson reports.

Supreme Court reversal: Sen. Rob Portman is defending his reversal on whether the U.S. Senate should vote on a Supreme Court nominee in an election year, arguing that the situation has changed since 2016 because the presidency and U.S. Senate are now controlled by the same political party. Sabrina Eaton reports that Portman predicted the U.S. Senate will swiftly confirm whoever President Donald Trump nominates to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Voter registration glitch: The state sent voter-registration forms last week to 59,000 Ohioans in a response to what Gov. Mike DeWine called a glitch that stopped forms from being sent, after they initially requested them. Andrew Tobias reports the error affected people who requested to register to vote through the states public-benefits platform, which allows people to apply for food stamps and Medicaid, the health-insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Unemployment delay: Many Ohioans receiving unemployment benefits have had their latest payments delayed because of a coding error, Jeremy Pelzer reports. All direct-deposit payments from the Ohio Job Insurance System sent to financial institutions between Saturday and Monday were initially rejected because they didnt include the names of the recipients.

Home sales: Ohio home sales were up 4.2% in August from the same month a year ago, another sign that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic may be fueling a competitive housing market. Eric Heisig reports that 16,311 homes were sold last month, compared to 15,656 homes sold in August 2019. The average home price was $222,797, a 12.3% increase from the same month last year.

Defense attorney: A defense attorney who once helped defend a Cleveland police officer against manslaughter charges in the 2012 shootings of two unarmed people will represent the 19-year-old man accused of killing an undercover detective and an informant. Cory Shaffer reports that Cuyahoga County Judge Sherrie Miday assigned attorneys Fernando Mack and Nancy Jamieson to defend David McDaniel against several charges, including aggravated murder in the deaths of Det. James Skernivitz and Scott Dingess.

A Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police officer shot and wounded a man inside the Carl B. Stokes Mall in Cleveland's Central neighborhood, police say.

CMHA shooting: A Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police officer shot and injured a despondent 39-year-old man who threatened a social services employee, Adam Ferrise reports. A Cleveland EMS supervisor said an ambulance took the man to MetroHealth Medical Center in serious condition.

Protest report: A Cuyahoga County draft report on the May 30 protests found no problems with how deputies used less lethal munitions on the crowd, despite reports released Friday that said two deputies didnt have proper training. Courtney Astolfi reports that the county believes a post-May 30 decision to expand its arsenal of less lethal munitions increases the safety of all involved in riot situations. Additionally, the Sheriffs Department is adding instructors to boost the number of deputies trained on such munitions, and increasing the frequency of such training.

Unemployment: Though the $300-a-week supplemental unemployment payments have arrived for many Ohioans, questions still linger about who qualifies, disputed claims and problems in reaching the unemployment office for help. Rich Exner answers readers' questions.

Tremont development: Developers of who already have transformed old industrial property in Tremont into housing moved a step closer to approval Tuesday for tax incentives to help launch their latest project, known as the Lincoln Building. Robert Higgs reports City Councils Development, Planning and Sustainability Committee approved incentives that would divert property taxes generated by the Lincoln Building to help pay for the improvements to the $24 million, four-story apartment building at Scranton Road and Willey Avenue.

Health department: Mayor Frank Jackson envisions his top-down restructuring of the citys Department of Public Health accomplishing more than just addressing complaints about unfair treatment workers. Jackson tells Robert Higgs he aims to refocus the department to address underlying health issues that are caused by racism and can lead to crime. He also wants to align the department with Clevelands 22 recreation centers, which could become resource centers that help families connect to social and health services.

Nuisance ordinance: The Cleveland suburb of Bedford will pay $350,000 and repeal a so-called nuisance ordinance that a federal lawsuit said was discriminatory against renters who are women, minorities and people with disabilities. Eric Heisig reports the ordinance allowed officials to designate people as a nuisance after they were accused of breaking the law more than twice on a property or in the city within a year even if tenants were not at fault.

Murder-suicide: The Lorain County Sheriffs Office is investigating a murder-suicide involving a husband and wife in Penfield Township, reports Kaylee Remington. Deputies discovered the couple Monday but officials have not released their identities to the public.

John Boehner: Want to learn more about former House Speaker John Boehner than his well-known fondness for golfing, Camel cigarettes and red wine? Sabrina Eaton reports his book, On The House: A Washington Memoir, will be released April 13.

Towpath Marathon: The 2020 Towpath Marathon, half-marathon and 10K are scheduled live and in-person in October, with the option to race virtually for each of them, Cameron Fields reports. The 28th annual race mostly on the flat, asphalt Towpath Trail will start at 8 a.m. and noon Oct. 11 for both the in-person and virtual competitions. Registration opens at 4 p.m. today, but fields will be capped.

Notorious RBG: From February through August, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood will host Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Laura Johnston reports the retrospective, which is arranged in sections with titles inspired by Notorious B.I.G.'s lyrics, focuses on Ginsburgs work to protect civil rights and expand equal opportunity for all Americans, with archival photographs, home videos, documents, contemporary art and artifacts, including Ginsburgs Supreme Court robe and lace jabot.

Oyster day: Cleveland.coms sister site, Epicurious, challenged Chef Robert Ramsey to make an entire days menu - breakfast, lunch, dinner and yes, even dessert - featuring oysters every step of the way.

Best desserts: Marc Bona has nine dont-miss desserts that serve as wonderful options to the multitude of chocolate offerings.

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North Royalton council nixes charter amendment that would make resigned, removed elected officials wait 4 years before running again Read more

Summit County gives $7.3 million to schools, $6.5 million to nonprofits to help with pandemic-related costs Read more

Akron filling new position to oversee awarding more city contracts to minority-owned businesses Read more

New Mexicos Los Alamos County is No. 1, Delaware County tops in Ohio, according to U.S. News Healthiest Communities rankings Read more

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Some Cuyahoga County residents would have to travel 90 minutes to use the countys only ballot drop box: The - cleveland.com

Limited by COVID-19, Jewish community finds ways to keep traditions alive, connections strong – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted By on September 23, 2020

Jewish families celebrate the Jewish new year with the shofar, a sacred instrument made from a rams horn, at home due to the Covid pandemic. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Theres a certain comfort people of faith find in religious services: the shared sense of tradition, the feeling of kinship with others who gather.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced the Fox Point synagogue Congregation Sinai to suspend in-person events, congregant David Hirsch and his two children lost that warmth and connectedness they loved experiencing each week.

You give someone a hug, you see them if you haven't seen them in a while, a kiss on the cheek you look in a persons eyes and you can smile and laugh together, Hirsch said of the prayer services and classes his family attended before the pandemic.

Now it's this feeling of disconnect, he said.

Hirsch said his family was heartbroken they couldnt attend services for Rosh Hashana the Jewish new year, beginning Friday evening this year and Yom Kippur known as the Day of Atonement, occurring 10 days later.

Brian Avner, right, the director of youth education at Congregation Sinai, demonstrates how to blow into a shofar, a sacred instrument made from a ram's horn, as Ari Hirsch, 9, left, and his sister, Ava, 10, watch at the Hirsch home in Fox Point on Sept. 2.(Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Seeking a solution for the distance the pandemic has imposed, the congregations youth education director came up with a way to reconnect with families and give them a taste of their treasured communal traditions.

Brian Avner, the director, organized visits to the homes of at least a dozen Congregation Sinai families in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashana to sound a shofar, or rams horn, and teach the children about the holiday.

Traditionally, a shofar is blown after services each day of the month before the new year. With the synagogue closed, Avner wanted to make sure the children of the congregation could take part in the ritual themselves and make a meaningful connection with the holiday.

Hearing the sound is a wake-up. It jolts you, it reminds you that youre coming to an important time in the year, he said.

With classes and events online for the rest of the year, Avner and the congregation staff have been looking for ways to bring Jewish traditions into families homes and extend the communal experience thats so integral to the faith.

Theyve assembled Rosh Hashana-centric baskets with prayer books and the traditional apples and honey. And they're planning to set up asukkah, or hut, that families can stop by and decorate for the October holiday of Sukkot.

It gives us that sense of belonging to something bigger, he said. Even with all the craziness in the world, knowing we have a community doing the same rituals we are and experiencing the holidays in a similar way to us is really important.

Avners shofar-teaching visit to the Hirsch family front yard was a delight for Ava, 10, and Ari, 9, their dad said.

Ava Hirsch blows into a shofar.(Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Ava learned how to use a shofar that was a gift from her mother before she unexpectedly died last March. And Ari wants a shofar of his ownnow.

The kids have definitely embraced their Jewish roots, Hirsch said.

He said the family has found love and strength in their faith community following the death of Nicole. The deep connection forged at Congregation Sinai makes the pause on in-person events even more difficult, he said.

Hirsch has helped his children understand the fortitude and support a Jewish community can provide after tragedy. His parents survived the Holocaust in Germany, his father emerging from Auschwitz alive at the wars end. Growing up in Oshkosh, his fathers tattooed identification number was a visible reminder of his history.

Ari Hirsch blows into a toy shofar at his home in Fox Point.(Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

His faith and his belief in Judaism carried him through and helped him survive some of the worst concentration camps that that regime ever created, Hirsch said of his father. Thats an integral part of who we are in our family.

Avners shofar demonstration helped Ava and Ari further connect with their heritage and faith in a tumultuous time, Hirsch said.

It gives them yet another idea, another practice that they can incorporate into their lives that has meaning and that makes them feel valued, he said.

And, Hirsch said, blowing a shofar on a front lawn in Fox Point is reminiscent, almost, of the comforting presence of congregants gathered for a service. Neighbors of all faiths can hear the sound and share in its message.

Its an opportunity to commune with our fellow man, he said, and to be part of something bigger, something better.

Contact Sophie Carson at (414) 223-5512 or scarson@gannett.com. Follow heron Twitter at @SCarson_News.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

Read or Share this story: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/2020/09/17/milwaukee-jewish-community-brings-rosh-hashana-traditions-homes/5822353002/

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Limited by COVID-19, Jewish community finds ways to keep traditions alive, connections strong - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Partners in Torah class victim of Zoombombing – Cleveland Jewish News

Posted By on September 23, 2020

Partners In Torah of Cleveland Rabbi Pinchas Landis was the victim of a Zoombombing on Aug. 25 while teaching a Jewish history class.

The topic for that night was the development of reform and conservative and Orthodox movements, Landis told the Cleveland Jewish News.

He noted the class was held on Zoom and live streamed on Facebook, as has been standard for most of his classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Landis estimated about 30 people were watching that night.

People from all across the community, different walks of life and Jewish life participate in our programs, Landis said.

What started with anti-Semitic comments led to Landis screen being taken over by the Zoombomber.

When it happened, right away, my reaction was to jump and try to get them off, to kick them out of the room, Landis said. Even when we thought we had everybody out, there was one more that came and started doing that again, that we had missed in the process.

Once the troll was out of the room, Landis said his first instinct was to continue the class. He soon realized the experience was more troubling for his students than himself.

They experienced a lot more than I had, and after the class, after talking to everybody, a lot of people were really shaken up, Landis said. In my head, in the moment, I was just trying to get past this.

He said he debriefed the participants of his next class. He also reached out to Jim Hartnett, director of community wide security for JFC Security, LLC, the security arm of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland in Beachwood, and to the Anti-Defamation League.

I found out how commonplace this is now, unfortunately, because both Jim and ADL said, This is terrible, this keeps happening, Landis said. This is not a unique thing. This is a common thing.

Landis said one participant insisted on sending the recording to the FBI.

The FBI told him the incident doesnt fit the profile of a hate crime that theyll explore or try and press charges on the perpetrators, said Landis, noting he would not be able to find or identify those responsible without help from the domestic intelligence and security service.

We subsequently just tightened up how we did the class, Landis said. Before this, I was just putting the links for the class all over the place, because I thought we were removing friction and making it as easy for people to participate as possible.

Those who would like to watch Landis teach now must register for his classes before receiving an emailed link and password to attend. They also must be approved in the waiting room prior to being admitted.

This is definitely a sign of the times of rising anti-Semitism and the fact the that the world is becoming even more digital and more remote, he said. The pandemic has just made it so that theyve taken all their hate and put it online where they were definitely very active before.

At the end of the day, Landis said evil always targets good.

The message I teach is that we shouldnt be scared off by it, Landis said. It shouldnt drive us away from wanting to be Jewish. It should drive us closer to wanting to be Jewish. Theyre only going after us because were doing good things in the world and therefore we should continue to do good things in the world.

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Partners in Torah class victim of Zoombombing - Cleveland Jewish News

Stop Hate for Profit social media boycott to focus its pressure on Facebook – Axios

Posted By on September 23, 2020

Facebook will continue to be the face of the biggest industry campaign against misinformation leading up to the election, according to Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

Driving the news: In an interview with Axios, Greenblatt, whose group is part of the Stop Hate for Profit social media boycott campaign, said that the group plans to focus its boycott efforts on Facebook, because of its scale and because he says the company is less proactive than rivals like Twitter and YouTube on policing misinformation and hate speech.

The big picture: In the past week, Spotify host Joe Rogan, Fox News and others have all had to apologize for misinformation mishaps.

The state of play: Facebook has spent the past four years trying to improve its security and content moderation systems to avoid being cast in the same light in 2020 as it was after 2016.

What they're saying: Mr. Greenblatt is actively leading a campaign against us, so it's to his benefit to find new ways to single us out against our peer companies. This latest talking point, that were less proactive in addressing hate and misinformation than our peers, is simply untrue," Facebook said in a statement to Axios.

What's next: Greenblatt says that for now, the campaign will focus on putting pressure on Facebook to make changes ahead of the U.S. election.

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Stop Hate for Profit social media boycott to focus its pressure on Facebook - Axios

Mel Gibson’s upcoming film is reminding people of his history of bigoted statements – indy100

Posted By on September 23, 2020

Mel Gibson is making a new movie, but people havent forgotten his history.

On Monday, the New York Post reported that the actor would be making a sequel to the famous The Passion of the Christ film, which originally Gibson wrote and directed in 2004.

While some people on social media seemed excited about this prospect, others were horrified that Hollywood keep giving Gibson opportunities, due to antisemitic comments he made historically.

No, thanks, Charlotte Clymer tweeted, in reference to the reported sequel, I love and respect Jewish folks".

The original film itself also faced allegations of antisemitism: at the time, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement that concluded by saying: The Passion could likely falsify history and fuel the animus of those who hate Jews.

Gibson went on a well-known obscenity-filled antisemitic tirade in 2006 when he was arrested for a DUI. In the midst of the episode, the actor claimed that Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world. He later apologised.

In 2010 a recording of Gibson having a drunken fight with his partner Oksana Grigorieva was released. It was filled with screaming racist comments, including the n-word and threats. He later apologised.

Gibson has also been called out for homophobic comments in the past.

It is with this knowledge that we wonder why on Earth Mel Gibson is still a somewhat of a beloved character, on-and-off the screen in Hollywood?

Mel gibson is the real proof no one can be cancelled.

And ain't that the truth.

indy100 contacted Mel Gibson to ask if he had a response to people revisiting his historic remarks and alleging that The Passion of the Christ contains antisemitism.

If he responds, we'll let you know.

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Mel Gibson's upcoming film is reminding people of his history of bigoted statements - indy100

Two Men Sentenced to Life in Prison in Bulgarian Bus Bombing That Killed 5 Israelis – Jewish Journal

Posted By on September 23, 2020

A Bulgarian court sentenced two men with alleged ties to Hezbollah to life in prison over their involvement in a 2012 bus bombing that killed five Israelis.

The bombing occurred in July of that year; a suicide bomber, identified as Mohammed Hassan El-Husseini, blew up a bus outside of Bulgarias Burgas Airport. Five Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were killed in the bombing, as was the Bulgarian bus driver. More than 34 people were injured in the bombing.

The German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) reported that the two men, identified as Meliad Farah and El Hajj Hassan, were tried and sentenced in absentia. Prosecutors alleged that the two men transported the bomb to El-Husseini and helped with logistical matters.

Israel and Bulgaria have accused Hezbollah of being behind the attack; the Iranian Shiite proxy has denied involvement.

It is not known where Farah and Hassan are at this time.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, Two Hezbollah-linked men who perpetrated the fatal attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria sentenced in absentia to life in jail. Yet another reminder of the ever-present threat posed by Hezbollah & why it must be fully designated as a terrorist group.

The European Union currently designates only Hezbollahs military wing as a terror organization; the United States has been among those arguing that Hezbollahs political wing should be designated as a terror group as well.

You'll love our roundtable.

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Two Men Sentenced to Life in Prison in Bulgarian Bus Bombing That Killed 5 Israelis - Jewish Journal

Zoom will not host SF State event featuring Leila Khaled J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on September 23, 2020

Zoom announced late Tuesday afternoon that San Francisco State University will not be allowed to use its videoconferencing platform to host an event Wednesday featuring Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled because her participation in the virtual event violates company policy.

Zoom is committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations, subject to certain limitations contained in our Terms of Service, including those related to user compliance with applicable U.S. export control, sanctions, and anti-terrorism laws, the companys statement read.

In light of the speakers reported affiliation or membership in a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, and SFSUs inability to confirm otherwise, we determined the meeting is in violation of Zooms Terms of Service and told SFSU they may not use Zoom for this particular event.

The development is a major victory for Israel advocates and activists combating antisemitism, who held an in-person protest the day of the announcement outside of Zooms headquarters in San Jose to urge the company not to host the event.

Khaled, who hijacked two planes in 1969 and 1970 as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was scheduled to speak via Zoom to students and the public on Sept. 23 as part of a conversation called Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice and Resistance, organized by the universitys Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies program.

The PFLP is designated a terrorist organization by the State Department and the European Union, among others.

[A]ll communications platforms have been put on notice: block terrorism and cancel anti-Semitism, or you will be canceled, read a statement from the Lawfare Project, a New York-based legal fund that helped organize the protest. Today, we see the power of minority communities standing together.

The main organizer, End Jew Hatred, which describes itself as a grassroots movement centering on Jewish liberation, brought together a number of national Jewish groups for support, including the Lawfare Project, San Diego-based antisemitism educational nonprofit Shield of David and the network of pro-Israel youth groups Club Z.

It is unclear whether organizers of the Khaled event are looking for another virtual host for Wednesdays talk. The event is still listed on AMEDs website, and registration is open. Attempts by J. to reach professor Rabab Abdulhadi, senior scholar at AMED and the events main organizer, were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, a Vigil for Victims of Terror scheduled for 6 p.m. directly following the Khaled event, will go forward as planned as a counterpoint to the AMED roundtable conversation.

S.F. Hillel executive director Rachel Nilson Ralston, whose organization is the main sponsor of the vigil, in cooperation with the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, Jewish Community Relations Council, Anti-Defamation League and Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, confirmed this in an email to J.

Asked whether the vigil is going forward because she believes organizers of the Khaled event will find another hosting platform, Ralston responded: I cant speak to what the professors will do. Our students feel its important to gather to affirm our values and vision for our campus.

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Zoom will not host SF State event featuring Leila Khaled J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

‘Feels Good Man’ documentary surrounding Pepe the frog Sonoma State Star – The university’s student-run newspaper – Sonoma State Star

Posted By on September 23, 2020

So, is Pepe the frog racist? The documentary Feels Good Man explores this topic and portrays Pepes start as an innocent comic into what seems like nothing but awful rhetoric used by members of the alt-right community.

The documentary centers around Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe, who seems understandably more comfortable drawing at his table than discussing the current bastardizations of his creation, Pepe the frog. In response to a question about what people get wrong about drawing Pepe, Furie responds probably when [people] put Pepe on the internet saying kill Jews.

Feels Good Man shines a light on appropriation, and how something can turn so twisted and morphed that it becomes unrecognizable from its former self. At the same time, the documentary shows how Pepe is much more complicated than just an innocent comic that was appropriated primarily by 4chan users.

Although the image of Pepe the frog may be known to many as a symbol of white power, others see the symbol as a beacon of democracy. How is it that Pepe the frog, listed as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, was used as a gathering symbol for Hong Kong protestors during their fight against a bill proposed by Carrie Lam? A bill which ...would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances, said BBC News article, The Hong Kong protests explained in 100 and 500 words. During the Hong Kong protests, Pepe the frog was spotted wearing a protective hardhat, often depicted as a first-responder, or even a journalist. To the Hong Kong protestors, the motto Feels good man is inspiration enough to keep fighting for what they believe in.

Today, Pepe the frogs associations with racism and xenophobia have overshadowed everything else it could be. Furie has even started the Save Pepe movement in order to reclaim Pepe as what he believes it stands for. Furie hopes that this movement can redefine Pepe. Furies efforts to save his character started in 2016, and when he found that there was no slowdown of his creation being used as a medium to spout prejudiced rhetoric, he actually made a comic in which he killed Pepe, hoping that it would stop the influx of hateful messages. His attempts to combat the messages associated with his character have been proven futile as there remains a stigma against Pepe the frog.

Part of what made Pepe the frog so accessible to so many people is its simplistic style: Big lines, simple shapes, an inviting friendly face that looks peacefully content. A happy little frog, as Furie puts it. Its more than just a meme; Its a rallying cry for racists and freedom fighters alike, and the template gives people the power to create their own message to share. In the end, Pepe is whatever you say he is, and I, the creator, say that Pepe is love, Furie told the New York Times.

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'Feels Good Man' documentary surrounding Pepe the frog Sonoma State Star - The university's student-run newspaper - Sonoma State Star

Armed Extremists Blossomed Under Trump. How Will Biden Confront Them? | Opinion – Newsweek

Posted By on September 23, 2020

This month last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was formed in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, proclaimed its intent to respond to "domestic terrorism, white nationalist threats and other acts of homegrown violence." In the twelve months since, however, there is almost nothing to show for it. Indeed, President Trump has long used his platform to stoke such extremism, suggesting that so long as he is in office, these challenges will remain unaddressed.

Almost 20 years after 9/11 brought the threat of jihadist extremism to American cities and televisions screens, the domestic landscape has changed significantly. A study by the Anti-Defamation League found that, of the extremist-related murders of 2019, a full 90 percent were connected to "right-wing extremists." And as FBI director Christopher Wray recently stated before the House Judiciary Committee, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists make up a "huge chunk" of the FBI's domestic terrorism investigations and the majority of those attacks are "fueled by some type of white supremacy." What, then, is our government doing about this threat? Sadly, not much.

President Trump has time and again hesitated to focus on or push back against white supremacist and far-right groups and many have openly declared their support for him. Rather than confront right-wing politically-motivated violence and focus on the most pressing strategic threats as identified by his own law enforcement professionals, he has instead focused his recent attention solely on left-wing violence. The full extent of this deliberate and dangerous behavior was recently revealed with a whistleblower complaint, released this month, alleging that senior Department of Homeland Security officials pushed their own analysts to suppress the threat posed by, among other forces, white supremacists, even while they knew of the threat they posed.

While Vice President Biden has repeatedly condemned far-right violence and taken a decisive stance against all forms of civil unrest, the White House has largely stayed silent on the right wing threat. And the President has even gone further, providing rhetorical encouragement to social discord. From President Trump's statement after the Charlottesville attacks that there were "very fine people on both sides" to his recent refusal to condemn right-wing agitators at recent protests, there has perhaps not been, at least in modern memory, a Commander-in-Chief so worryingly inciteful.

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For those long concerned with the safety of the American public, the security of our cities, and the resilience of our social fabric, the events of the last few months have been cause for alarm. America appears to be in danger of falling apart at the seams, as right-wing groups enjoy and, indeed, seek to accelerate the disorder.

Should he win the upcoming election, President Biden would have to act quickly, decisively, and strategically to head off the threat of further social unrest, which right-wing groups, like their jihadist counterparts, deliberately foment. But the task ahead for him will be a significant one.

A Biden administration must bring greater nuance, sophistication, and thoroughness to this long-term fight, starting with their rhetoric. Following Mr. Trump's election to the Presidency, hate crimes across the nation spiked. His rhetoric has validated, legitimized, and encouraged prejudice. As we have learned from fighting jihadism, hate speech is often a waystation on the path to violence. Contrast that with the New Zealand attacks, when Prime Minister Ardern was praised across the world for her compassion and her principled resolve; like her, we should not neglect the importance of unifying speech in combatting divisive propaganda. A Biden administration's first task will therefore be to acknowledge publicly and unequivocally that far-right violence, largely driven by an underlying ideology of white supremacy, is the leading terror threat facing the country today. Moreover, this threat, as the New Zealand mosque shooter so horrifically demonstrated, is a transnational one, metastasizing across the Western world as the perpetrators identify cracks in our societies and use violence to strategically widen them.

Once the White House narrative has shifted, a Biden administration will have to invest the necessary resources to meet today's domestic violent extremism challenge, and better coordinate action across our federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, presenting a common and holistic approach to a pervasive challenge. At the moment, the Trump administration fails to coordinate with local authoritiesand even appears to undermine them. Federal law enforcement must be driving the solution, not compounding the problem; to that end, Biden's choice of Attorney General and DHS Secretary will be critical.

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Social factors such as alienation and loneliness underlie and motivate many extremists and the far-right is no exception. A Biden administration should reach out to and build partnerships with local communities to address social and public health issues as they relate to extremism. Just as important, social media companies must be held to a higher standard than they are today and be held accountable to the extent they are allowing extremists to thrive on their platforms.

The Presidency should be an office that heals, unites, and guides the nation, emphasizing that which is best in our character, and encouraging us to combat that which is most threatening to our security. Whereas extremist thought, speech and action have become socially acceptable under President Trump's watch, the message from a Biden administration should be loud and clear: Extremism will no longer be allowed to thrive in America.

Jasmine M. El-Gamal is a Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. She served as a Middle East advisor at the Pentagon from 2008-2015. During her tenure, she covered issues related to the Arab Spring, Syria, ISIS, and Guantanamo Bay, among others. Her research and commentary focus primarily on U.S. policy in the Middle East; global and domestic extremism issues; as well as the Syrian conflict and resulting refugee crisis.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.

Link:
Armed Extremists Blossomed Under Trump. How Will Biden Confront Them? | Opinion - Newsweek

Evergreen Cemetery headstones vandalized in East Austin – KVUE.com

Posted By on September 23, 2020

This cemetery was the City's first major municipal graveyard dedicated to African Americans.

AUSTIN, Texas More than a dozen headstones at the Evergreen Cemetery, a historic cemetery in East Austin, were vandalized. The cemetery is located at3300 East 12th St.

"At the end of the day, the Black community is all damaged. We're all damaged because of this," said Victor Reed, an East Austin resident.

Reed said his grandfather is laid to rest in the cemetery and he believes this vandalism is an attack against Black Austinites.

"We got them disgracing our dead," said Reed. "That's just a sad sight, what's going on in this city. It's not only tombstones, it's the behavior that's been brought to this city and it's a sore. This is another assault on the Black person in this city and no one seems like they want to address these issues and I'm wondering why."

Evergreen Cemetery was established in 1926. It was Austin's first major municipal graveyard dedicated to African Americans. Before this cemetery was created, Black Austinites were buried in separate sections of shared sites, or in family, private or community graveyards.

A person who works at the cemetery confirmed to KVUE Monday morning that the headstones were spray painted. A KVUE photographer went to the cemetery and saw several headstones covered in blue spray paint.

According to the Parks and Recreation Department, the vandalism took place sometime over the weekend and was discovered Monday morning. It appears that 15 headstones were randomly tagged. The Austin Police Department is currently investigating and PARD will be working with the affected families to help clean the headstones.

"This community has suffered so much," said Steven Brown, another East Austin resident.

Brown said he has family members lying to rest at Evergreen Cemetery, too. He said whoever vandalized these resting places wants to take pleasure in their pain, but he won't let that happen.

"We're sick of kind of waking up to, you know, different offenses that take place to us. I'm asking for community members to start coming out, to start speaking up," said Reed. "Its actions have only brought our ancestors in this community closer. We love and value our ancestors and I have full confidence that the thug/ thugs who did this will be dealt with accordingly."

"We are saddened to hear about the desecration of headstones at one of Austins historic cemeteries, added Renee Lafair, Anti-Defamation League Austin regional director. We encourage the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Austin Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

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Evergreen Cemetery headstones vandalized in East Austin - KVUE.com


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