Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
US Envoy: 1.7 Million Anti-Semitic Posts on Facebook, Twitter So Far in 2020
lan Carr, US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism discusses the “raw hate” against Jews on social media and his causes for optimism.
By Jackson Richman, JNS
Elan Carr has served as U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism since February 2019.
Previously, he was a deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. He was also a judge advocate in the American military’s judicial system, prosecuting enemy combatants before Iraqi judges at the Central Criminal Court. He also served as the international president of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi).
Carr, 51, a Republican, unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2014 against Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California.
He and his wife, Dahlia, have three children.
JNS talked with Carr by phone on Oct. 15. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Does the federal government have an obligation to go after Big Tech for aiding and abetting anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?
A: Obviously, a portion of online anti-Semitism rises to the level of crime, and, of course, that should be addressed and addressed aggressively. But the vast majority of online hate is protected by the First Amendment, so the government can’t go after protected speech nor should it.
Q: Would a free-market approach be best to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on social-media sites?
A: Competition is always a good thing, and certainly, the government has expressed that view specifically in the context of the social-media platforms. At the end of the day, you’ve got some bad actors who are spouting hate on the Internet. One can decide to regulate this or that platform, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to go to the source of the problem. The source of the problem is people hold despicable views. The First Amendment protects despicable views, but it doesn’t mean we can’t condemn them or call them out. I think that is absolutely critical.
One of the things I think is fundamentally important is that the social-media platforms adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. They haven’t done that yet. We’ve encouraged it publicly and privately. We will continue to push them to do that publicly or privately because I think it’s incredibly important.
You can’t confront a threat unless you define the threat. We have a widely accepted vehicle that defines that threat. The State Department uses the IHRA definition. U.S. President [Donald] Trump issued an executive order that employs the definition for the federal government at large. I think the social-media platforms ought to adopt it and use it as a tool. This is a tool not of censorship, but a tool of education. We want to deal with the haters by meeting their speech with, first of all, condemnation, and second of all, education.
‘We Focus a Lot on Social Media’
Q: Which platforms specifically aren’t willing to combat anti-Semitism?
A: I don’t want to name names. Obviously, there’s a deep web. We focus a lot on social media and rightfully so. On Twitter and Facebook alone, 1.7 million anti-Semitic posts were made in the first eight months of this year. I was shocked by the kind of things that are said openly and notoriously on these fringe deep-web platforms, so I absolutely think there’s a very, very big problem. This is just raw hate that is being spewed, and it’s dangerous. There are real effects to this.
Q: What do the Abraham Accords mean for the fight against anti-Semitism? Could it help diminish anti-Semitism in the Arab world?
A: The Abraham Accords are a game-changer for the Middle East and mark a sea change not only in Arab-Israel relations, but yes, in terms of the global fight against anti-Semitism. A lot of anti-Semitism in the world today is expressed in terms of Israel hatred—the delegitimization and demonization of the Jewish state, and the denial of participation in economic intercourse and ordinary relations with other countries. For the UAE and Bahrain to not only normalize relations with Israel, but to do it in the manner in which they’ve done it—a full embrace, and enthusiastic and affectionate embrace of the Jewish state—is historic, profoundly important and world-changing. I think while this doesn’t spell the end of the BDS movement or the end of anti-Semitism, it is an enormous loss for the anti-Semites of the world who want to continue to exclude Jews and demonize them.
I had the privilege of attending the signing. It was incredibly emotional. A senior member of an Arab delegation came up to me and say, “We’re going to do great things together. This is not going to be a cold peace. This is going to be a warm peace. This is going to be a real friendship.”
You’re going to see more Arab states normalizing relations with Israel. This is an incredible time we’re living in.
Saudi-sponsored Content on US Campuses
Q: For countries like Saudi Arabia that sponsor anti-Semitic content directed at American universities, should eliminating that problem be a contingency for normalization with Israel?
A: From the first days of my appointment to the role of special envoy and in fact my first public speech, I’ve talked about anti-Semitic curricula in the Arab world and how important of a policy priority this is for me. When children are indoctrinated in hate, first of all, it’s an appalling injustice. It amounts to child abuse. But also it does intergenerational damage that’s so difficult to undo, so this is something I have stressed, that I have worked on, and that I will continue to work on as long as I’m in this role. This is a critically important issue. Given the changes in the Middle East, I think Arab states are now more willing than ever before to give a fresh look at their curricula, and how Jews and Israel are treated, and how Jewish history in the Arab world is treated, which is an issue of deep, personal significance to me.
Q: What was your reaction to the Council on Foreign Relations recently hosting a Zoom event with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif?
A: Javad Zarif is the chief propagandist for the world’s leading state sponsor of both terrorism and anti-Semitism. Any place that welcomes representatives of a country that brutalizes their own people and have committed mass murder through their proxies in Syria, that funds and influences and at times even controls one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations on earth, Hezbollah, that regularly threatens to commit genocide on the Jewish people, that calls Israel “a cancerous tumor.” That recently called the president’s Jewish son-in-law a “filthy Zionist agent”—the list of offenses of this regime is long. It is beyond imagination why any reputable entity would want to give them a platform.
Q: What was your reaction to the settlement earlier this month between New York University and the U.S. Department of Education?
A: The Title VI case. I don’t want to comment on internal matters to the Department of Education, but the allegations that I heard coming out of New York University were very, very troubling. NYU isn’t the only place. We saw several Jewish students run out of elected office at the University of Southern California. We’ve seen harassment all across the country and everywhere in between. It’s been very rough for Jewish students on far too many campuses.
Q: Despite Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to there, U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem still cannot list “Jerusalem, Israel” as their place of birth on their U.S. passports. Is the administration considering making a move to allow U.S. citizens to do so otherwise?
A: I am aware of that issue, and I know that issue has been actively discussed and looked into it by the appropriate people and I will say at a very senior level.
Q: Is it still under active consideration?
A: I don’t know.
‘But I’m Optimistic’
Q: As we head into the election, how has your current role compared to your previous jobs? Has your current position been your greatest challenge?
A: It’s been my greatest joy. I loved being a criminal prosecutor. I loved and still am a U.S. Army officer. As a criminal prosecutor, I fought to keep our communities safe. As an officer, I fought to keep my country safe. And now in this role, on behalf of the United States of America, fighting to keep Jewish people safe across the world. It’s an incredible privilege. And it’s also a privilege to serve my country in a substantial capacity. It’s a privilege to serve in this administration. It’s been an absolute joy to do this. Is it a challenge? Of course. But what isn’t a challenge. Any substantial office in the U.S. government is very challenging. Fighting what’s often called the world’s oldest hatred is certainly challenging.
But I’m optimistic. There is a lot of good news out there. Yes, we have every right to highlight the bad news because that’s a good thing to do. You want to know what’s bad so that you know what to fix. But we should never ever forget that there is a lot of good news. The changes that are being made. The partners that we have, non-Jewish leaders at all levels of government from the most senior on down who are champions of this cause. Who are deeply offended by Jew hatred and fight it with every fiber of their being. It’s one of my greatest privileges in this job to be able to work with leaders around the world who are so committed to fighting for the Jewish people because it’s the right thing to do.
Note from Israel - Rabbi Poliakoff’s Mishna Berura and morning shiur on יין נסך can be viewed via a link on Boruch Kelman’s Facebook page.
On the third day of creation, Hashem commanded the earth to be covered with grasses and trees.
Hashem specifically ordered that the trees not only produce fruit but also have the taste of the fruit. He also ordained that the trees be separated by species. The grasses were not ordained as such, yet the Possuk says that they were produced according to their separate species.
Rashi quotes חז"ל that because the earth did not produce fruit-tasting trees as it was commanded, when אדם was cursed for his transgression, the earth was also cursed (Chapter 3; Possuk 17, "the earth is cursed for you").
This חז"ל raises several major difficulties. First, how could anything defy G-d's command? Only humans were granted "בחירה – choice". Second, why does the Torah condemn the ארץ for not producing fruity trees, but, as regards praise for the separation of species of grasses, credits the grasses (and not the ארץ) for adhering to G-d's will (Rashi, Perek 1, Possuk 12)? Third, why indeed do we only find such a phenomenon regarding these creations?
A study of this section dealing with creation gives us a clear answer to the third question: every other step of creation, even when addressed to the earth or water, is followed by the statement:
"And Hashem made…". Only here is there no statement that Hashem made the grasses and the trees! We thus understand חז"ל's placing responsibility upon the earth and the grasses.
The מהר"ל explains that mankind is called אדם because, just as the אדמה is the seat of all potential growth and development, so אדם implies that the human being is imbued with unlimited potential.
יום שלישי is "the day of the earth and its implied potential"; on that day the land emerged from beneath the water, and on that day was the creation of the grasses and trees -- which are the pillars of the food chain upon which all life depends. Therefore, it stands to reason that the essence of every aspect of life is to be found in the creations of this day. Thus, free choice also had to be found in some way in the "texture" of the day. To induce that potential, Hashem left the creation in the hands of the created. He "removed" Himself so that self-expression would be possible.
Perhaps in this light, we can understand why חז"ל tell us that, when the grasses separated themselves by species, they acted honorably for themselves. Realizing potential is the greatest achievement not only for the world but as the fulfillment of self. However, when full potential is not reached it is a sad statement about the entire system. This is not to assign blame, because everything is responsible for itself, but it does show that there is a flaw in the mechanism.
We are purposely placed in an imperfect world so that, by realizing our potential, we can bring fulfillment to ourselves and to the whole world.
Why the Left Hates Religion
And why Christians and Jews are Public Enemy #1 for progressives.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 Don Feder
Americans remain the most religious people in the industrialized world: 87% believe in God, two-thirds say they’re Christians, and 45% attend religious services at least once a month (23% weekly).
One political party supports their worldview, the other disdains it. One views religion as an ally, the other as an adversary.
That wasn’t always the case.
Traditionally, the Democrat Party – the party of Al Smith, FDR and JFK – was at least respectful of religion. Roosevelt regularly used religious imagery to bolster morale during World War II, as he did in his famous D-Day Prayer.
The modern Democrat party – the party of Biden, Bernie and Kamala – is increasingly hostile to religion, depicting it as a force for repression and a danger to democracy.
[*] Amy Coney Barrett’s ecumenical prayer group has been called a “Christo-fascist” cult. The left is notorious for such hyperbole regarding religion. Was Nero a progressive?
[*] When Barrett was up for confirmation to the U.S. Appeals Court in 2017, Sen. Dianne Feinstein charged that the “dogma lives loudly in you.” (Ideology lives loudly in Feinstein.) The Senator tried to draw a distinction between what she called the “dogma of the law” and the dogma of Barrett’s Catholic Church. Barrett patiently explained that as a judge, she’d rule on the law, not on church doctrine -- although English common law has religious antecedents, going back to Sinai.
[*] It’s not being a Catholic that poses a problem for the left. Biden and Pelosi pose as Catholics – you know, the pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage, anti-Little Sisters of the Poor Catholics. Their Catholicism is window dressing. The problem they have with Barrett is that she takes it seriously.
[*] In 2012, the Democrats came close to taking an innocuous reference to God (giving working people “the chance to make the most of their God-given potential”) out of their party platform. That’s how repulsed Democrats are by expressions of faith.
[*] New York Gauleiter Andrew Cuomo recently went ballistic when he saw a picture of Hassidic Jews not maintaining social distancing at a funeral (“If you’re not willing to live with these rules, then I’m going to close the synagogues,” Cuomo fumed.) Yes, My Fuhrer! The picture he saw was from 2006. But scenes of religious people doing religious things is like waving a red flag in front of progressives.
[*] Earlier this month, DOJ warned the mayor of San Francisco that he could not limit church attendance to one worshipper at a time, noting that there’s no pandemic exception to the First Amendment. The city isn’t in the least concerned about multiple customers at massage and tattoo parlors. But that’s Democrats practicing their religion.
In his seminal work, The Clash of Civilization and Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington predicted that future wars would be between cultures, not countries.
In America, the culture war is between the left’s neo-Marxist worldview – which has come to dominate the Democrat Party -- and what’s called the Judeo-Christian ethic.
Antonio Gramsci, the father of Cultural Marxism, saw faith as a firewall to the spread of communism.
In every revolution since 1789, religion has been a principal target – the French Revolution with its murder of priests and Goddess of Reason (the counterrevolution in the Vendee was inspired as much by Catholicism as royalism), the Bolshevik Revolution (which demolished churches and turned Russian Orthodoxy into an adjunct of the regime), and the 1920s anti-clericalism of Mexico’s socialist government, which sparked the Cristero War.
The clash was inevitable:
Judeo-Christian (or Biblical) morality teaches objective ethics -- applicable for all time and in all places. Leftism teaches that morality is subjective (in a constant state of flux) and that anything can be justified if it advances the revolution.
Religion puts God above the state. Leftism says the regime is God – the source of all blessings.
Judeo-Christian ethics says the natural family is essential for social cohesion. Leftism says the family is whatever we say it is, and really not that important, anyway.
The Judeo-Christian worldview says God created man and woman and intended for them to complement each other. Leftism says male and female are meaningless concepts, and that to believe otherwise is bigotry.
Judeo-Christian morality encourages procreation as the first Commandment. Leftism says that in a world of global warming, having children is irresponsible and should be limited by law, if individual choice isn’t enough.
Western religion says rights come from God (“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”). Leftism says rights come from the Supreme Court, Democrat Party platform, or some other idol.
The Bible says, or at least implies, that society should be color-blind. Leftism says except for Caucasians, who must do perpetual penance for something called “white privilege.”
These principles shape the policies of two competing belief systems. More than capitalists, colonialists, warmongers and the proverbial 1%, this has made Christians and Jews Public Enemy No. 1 on the left.
This is something for the religious to bear in mind as they vote. Democrats may make rhetorical love to them now, but if they’re ever in power again, serious Catholics, Hasidic Jews, Evangelicals and Mormons will walk around with large, fluorescent targets on their backs.
Q: Why does a calendar have 12 months? Why does a clock have 12 digits? What is the logic behind the number 12?
A: 12 is a very practical number. Unlike 10, which you can only divide by 2 and 5, you can divide 12 by 2, 3, 4 and 6. When you have not yet invented the decimal system and are doing fractions instead, being able to divide something by a lot of other numbers is very very practical.
24 is also pretty practical, much more practical than 25 or 20. 25 can only be divided by 5, and 20 can only be divided by 2, 4, 5 and 10. 24, on the other hand, can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 12.
60 is another such practical number. Unlike 50 (divisible only by 2, 5, 10, and 25), 60 can be divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30.
360, well, the same thing again: you can divide it by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 20, 24, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 180.
So if you live in a society which not yet have invented the decimal system, and had to be using fractions, these numbers were very practical.
As you have noticed, at least 12 is associated with circles, the numbers of a clock face. Well, so are the others, specifically 24 (hours from mid-day to mid-day) and 360 (degrees of a circle).
It is no accident. Nature is full of circles, including the sky, and these numbers are very well suited for circular things. So when the Babylonians and Sumerians started to describe things that move in the sky, they used these numbers to do it.
They rounded a bit, for instance about the year which they realised was not perfectly 360 days, but 365. A common way for ancient civilisations was to have a five day party when you reached the end of the year. The Moon’s cycle was not perfectly 30 days. Depending on if you thought that the constellations and sun were more important than the Moon, you rounded by just declaring months to be 30 days, or you inserted a “leap month” every other year or so.
So that’s where you have the zodiac from as well: people associated patterns of stars to gods and monsters in their legends, and constructed belt of 12 of them across the cosmic equator. They are not perfectly aligned or evenly spread out, but close enough to still squeeze them into the number 12. These could then be used to tell which month you were in (if you thought that the sun and constellations were more important than the Moon cycle).
France, Which Mandates Masks, Has 3X US Coronavirus Cases
The media keeps blaming President Trump for a worldwide rise in new coronavirus cases. From Biden on down, Democrats and their media insist that wearing masks will solve everything. Except that Europe is full of masks and is still surging.
Spain last week became the first Western European country to surpass 1 million confirmed cases, and Mr. Sánchez said he would ask Parliament to approve the state of emergency until May.
In France, which quickly caught up to the million mark, the numbers seemed to just be climbing. On Sunday, the authorities announced a record 52,010 new case, the fourth day in a row they exceeded 40,000.
The media has been playing up America's 80,000 number while blaming President Trump. But France is topping America's cases by over three times when you take population numbers into account. And it's being run by Macron who can't be painted with the media's favorite tag of authoritarian populist.
France's grim new milestone follows a record 45,422 on Saturday, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The new cases took the total to 1,138,507, with France now ahead of Argentina and Spain to register the world's fifth highest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.
In the past three days, France has registered over 139,000 new cases, which is more than the 132,000 cases registered during the two-month lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.
I'm not going to get into the obvious reality that new cases are a long way from a grim milestone or necessarily significant, but the bottom line is that the numbers are up across Europe.
Finally, France made face masks compulsory in the summer and the fall. Doesn't seem to have helped.
Facebook bans posts that deny or distort the Holocaust
Mark Zuckerberg says his opinion and the social media giant’s policies have ‘evolved’ after an increase in anti-Semitic violence in the US
Silhouettes are seen in front of the logo of US social media Facebook in Brussels, February 14, 2020. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)
Facebook said Monday that it will be banning posts that deny or distort the Holocaust and will start directing people to authoritative sources if they search for information about the Nazi genocide.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new policy in a post on Monday, in the latest attempt by the company to take action against conspiracy theories and misinformation ahead of the US presidential election next month.
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Zuckerberg said that he believes the new policy strikes the “right balance” in drawing the lines between what is and isn’t acceptable speech.
“I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” he wrote. “My own thinking has evolved as I’ve seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech.”
In a separate blog post, Monika Bickert, vice president of Facebook’s content policy, said that the company was “updating our hate speech policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
The move, Bickert said, “marks another step in our effort to fight hate on our services. Our decision is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.”
Surveys have shown some younger Americans believe the Holocaust was a myth or has been exaggerated.
The Anti-Defamation League has reported that incidents of white supremacist propaganda distributed across the US jumped by more than 120% between 2018 and last year. Tech companies began promising to take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence after a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va., where a self-described white supremacist drove into a crowd of counterprotesters.
The decision comes amid a push by Holocaust survivors around the world over the summer who lent their voices to a campaign targeting Zuckerberg, urging him to take action to remove Holocaust denial posts from the social media site.
Coordinated by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the #NoDenyingIt campaign used Facebook itself to make the survivors’ entreaties to Zuckerberg heard, posting one video per day urging him to remove Holocaust-denying groups, pages and posts as hate speech.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on the second day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. (Jens Meyer/AP)
American Jewish Committee chairman David Harris called the decision “profoundly significant.”
“With knowledge of the systematic Nazi murder of six million Jews waning in the United States and around the world, particularly among young people, the power and credibility of Facebook are vital to preserving the facts of the most documented genocide in history, and helping maintain the guardrails against any possible recurrence,” Harris said in a statement responding to the announcement.
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid also welcomed the move.
“Holocaust denial is an expression of the lowest strain of anti-Semitism that needs to pass from the world and the internet,” he tweeted following Zuckerberg’s post.
Zuckerberg had raised the ire of the Claims Conference, based in New York, and others with comments in 2018 to the tech website Recode that posts denying the Nazi annihilation of 6 million Jews would not necessarily be removed. He said he did not think Holocaust deniers were “intentionally” getting it wrong, and that as long as posts were not calling for harm or violence, even offensive content should be protected.
After an outcry, Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, clarified that while he personally found “Holocaust denial deeply offensive” he believed that “the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech.”
The Claims Conference on Monday lauded Zuckerberg’s changed approach and the company’s decision to take action.
“It’s a very important statement and it’s a building block toward ensuring that this sort of anti-Semitism is not amplified,” said Greg Schneider, the group’s executive vice president.
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Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor
Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel
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