👋 Good Tuesday morning!
The White House announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. In August, JI’s Gabby Deutch spoke to Jewish groups pushing for a diplomatic boycott of the games. Read the story here.
In a victory for immigrants to Israel who are giving birth in the coming weeks, Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked will permit the parents of immigrants to enter Israel for their grandchildren’s births. Previously, COVID-19-related restrictions had kept soon-to-be grandparents from being allowed into the country.
Efforts to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Forceappear to have stalled out again, with the Senate deciding not to proceed with a vote on the issue as part of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is set to arrive in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning, where he is scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Mike Herzog and leaders of AIPAC and think tanks. On Friday, Gantz is due to speak at the Israeli American Council’s National Summit in Miami. His visit will focus on policy and security issues, his office said.
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Jerusalem today, together with Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, in the framework of the Israel-Greece-Cyprus trilateral summit. Following the meeting, Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen and Cypriot Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriakos Kokkinos signed a scientific research and technology cooperation agreement.
heard last night
Bloomberg: Both major parties ‘coddling antisemites,’ not condemning them
The fight against antisemitism was front and center at UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street Dinner, held on Monday night at the Marriott Marquis in Midtown Manhattan, where former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was honored with the UJA’s Gustave L. Levy Award. In addition to Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs Global Co-head of Consumer and Wealth Management Stephanie Cohen received the Alan C. Greenberg Young Leadership Award.
Political problem: The former mayor addressed both political intolerance — singling out Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) by name — and efforts by Jewish groups to combat antisemitism. “On the right, we have heard conspiracy theories about the COVID vaccine being a Jewish plot, and even Jewish space lasers starting the virus out west — you can’t make this shit up, folks,” Bloomberg said. “It would be funny if it were not so dangerous, because when we hear wild conspiracy theories, whether they were about vaccines or wildfires, or the election and [QAnon], or anything else, we must remember, antisemitism is the original conspiracy theory… In some circles on the left and on many college campuses, there are those who are using the political situation in Israel to spread lies and prejudices. They assert that American support for Israel is about nothing more than Jewish money controlling politicians and Jewish people acting as oppressors.”
Learning young: Bloomberg, who noted that his sister had been a member of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, said his family had inspired his commitment to fighting hate in all forms. “When I was a young boy, I remember seeing my father write a check to the NAACP for something like 100 bucks, which was a lot of money for us back then,” he recalled. “And we talked about it at the dinner table, and I asked my father, ‘Why are you writing this check?’ ‘Because,’ he said, ‘discrimination against anyone is a threat to all of us.’”
Community mobilization: Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’s senior chairman and the event’s emcee, joked that the dinner — which raised $32 million — was the first time he’d worn a suit in two years, before pivoting to UJA’s efforts to combat antisemitism. “This past spring, the conflict in Israel led to a dangerous rise of antisemitic attacks. Jews were targeted on the streets of New York City and around the world. UJA took a strong stance right away by mobilizing our communities and allies to denounce hate by creating the community security initiative to help protect Jewish institutions across the New York region, and by advocating for and obtaining government security grants.”
Rose’s congressional hopes likely hinge on redistricting outcome, analysts say
Former Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) announced his intention on Monday to reclaim his former Staten Island congressional seat, surprising few in New York’s political establishment following his 2020 loss to Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY). But while his candidacy has been widely anticipated, analysts say that his fate will depend largely on the yet-to-be-determined outcome of New York’s congressional redistricting process,Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Map Mystery: The district, which includes all of Staten Island and portions of South Brooklyn, leans more conservative than the rest of New York City, and is the only one currently represented by a Republican. Rose’s chances of victory in a rematch against Malliotakis likely depend on more heavily Democratic areas of Brooklyn being pulled into the district, several Democratic political strategists told Jewish Insider on Monday. “The question is what will the lines of that district look like? And that will have a lot to do with whether he can win or not,” Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime New York Democratic political consultant, said.
Tricky Geography: Jake Dilemani, another Democratic strategist and leader of the Manhattan Democratic Party, noted that even the inclusion of parts of Brooklyn in the district would not guarantee Rose a win. “The ideal portions of Brooklyn would be to go a little bit farther north and east in Brooklyn because the part of Brooklyn that this district takes in is not the most Democratic-friendly turf necessarily,” he said, a reference to the neighborhood of Bay Ridge, which lies on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. “Historically, it’s been turf that’s also been represented by Republicans.”
Against the tide: If Rose is the party’s nominee, he may face an uphill battle against Malliotakis, who received 53% of the vote to Rose’s 47% in 2020. “Unless the Democrats do a much better job of messaging their successes and their priorities over the next 11 months, we could be looking at another bad year for Democrats,” Dilemani said. “Now a lot of that is out of Max Rose’s control… And Max is going to have to do a very good job of making the case that he’s the best person to deliver for the district.”
on the hill
New bill countering Palestinian ‘martyr payments’ targets foreign banks
A new bill introduced by Senate Republicans on Monday takes aim at foreign banks involved with the Palestinian Authority’s “martyr payments” to the families of individuals who carry out attacks against Israelis, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Round two: The Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act of 2021 was introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Steve Daines (R-MT), and is named in honor of Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran killed by a Palestinian in 2016. It is the second bill named after Force; the first, passed in 2018, largely cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continues the martyr payments. The new legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Todd Young (R-IN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).
Follow the money: The bill would allow the Treasury Department to designate banks that “facilitate or promote” payments to the families of terrorists or “knowingly provide, or cause other financial institutions to provide” financial services to Hamas as money-laundering concerns. That designation would restrict those banks’ ability to do business in the U.S. or with U.S. dollars.
Crackdown: “This bill would stop foreign banks who have no physical presence in the U.S., but do have what’s called correspondence accounts, which allow them to bank in U.S. dollars from continuing these practices,” Cotton explained to Jewish Insider. “No bank that has a correspondence account in the United States that banks in dollars should support these. So the primary targets here will be either foreign organizations or foreign individuals who are supporting these kinds of payments through U.S. dollars.”
Filling the gaps: Stuart Force, Taylor Force’s father, also spoke at a press conference announcing the bill. “We have recently come to the realization that the job is half-done,” Force said. “The truth is [that] payments have continued and those responsible have not been held accountable.” He described the new legislation as “an important new tool to disincentivize banks from being part of the martyr payment program and deny them access to the U.S. financial system until they stop doing it.”
NYTimes replaces ‘anti-Semitism’ with ‘antisemitism’ in updated style
Following the example of several publications that have made the switch in recent months, The New York Times has updated its style guide to replace “anti-Semitism” with “antisemitism,” Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kaasel has learned. The change, which removes the hyphen and lowercases the first S, comes in response to a growing chorus of Jewish activists who argue that the traditional usage is misleading. The paper made no public announcement of the switch, which was adopted in August, according to Phil Corbett, the standards editor for the Times.
‘Hatred toward Jews’: While the new spelling may seem merely cosmetic, it reflects a deeper linguistic debate that has long been brewing within the Jewish community. In 2015, for instance, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance began advocating for “antisemitism” out of concern that the “hyphenated spelling allows for the possibility of something called ‘Semitism.’” That idea “legitimizes a form of pseudo-scientific racial classification,” the IHRA said, and “divides the term, stripping it from its meaning of opposition and hatred toward Jews.”
Industry trend: Over the past year, mainstream media outlets have followed suit, including BuzzFeed and The Associated Press, the latter of which publishes a style guide that is widely consulted across journalism. Both publications adopted the new spelling in April. (JI switched to “antisemitism” in March of 2019.)
‘Discredited notion’: “We are dropping the hyphen and lowercasing the S, which is now the style of The Associated Press and is preferred by many academics and other experts,” the Times said in an internal note to editors on Aug. 16, which Corbett shared with JI. “Those who favor antisemitism argue that the hyphenated form, with the uppercase S, may inadvertently lend credence to the discredited notion of Jews as a separate race.”
Separate switch: The new spelling follows a separate, more public decision from the previous year in which the Times, like many publications that made the change amid a national reckoning over racial justice two summers ago, began “using uppercase ‘Black’ to describe people and cultures of African origin, both in the United States and elsewhere,” as the paper announced in a June 2020 editor’s note on its corporate website and in its print edition.
📅 Year in Review: The Washington Post’s Caitlin Gibson sits — and hikes — with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) ahead of the one-year anniversaries of the death of his son by suicide and the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, which took place within days of each other. “He is still trying to make sense of the intersection of these disparate tragedies — how, at the end of one awful year and the beginning of another, he suddenly found himself reeling from back-to-back calamities, each the outcome of something long-simmering beneath the surface. ‘The truth is that I see those two terrible, traumatic events as very intertwined in my life,’ Raskin says. ‘In a cosmic sense, they were logically independent of each other. But in my life, they are inextricably bound.’” [WashPost]
💼 Full Roster: Politico’s Andrew Desiderio examines how the Biden administration has chosen to fill its roster of domestic and foreign policy officials, leaning toward establishment figures for foreign policy-related posts, while tapping progressive figures for domestic roles. “The president’s roster of foreign policy advisers has satiated Democrats’ craving for a return to normalcy on the world stage after the turbulent Trump years, helping strengthen trans-Atlantic partnerships that were often undermined by the former president. That means a long line of Biden nominees — ambassadors and State Department officials alike — who are fixtures of the Washington foreign-policy firmament.” [Politico]
⚾ Field Friends: In The Guardian, Joshua Needelman spotlights Jacob Steinmetz and Elie Kligman, Orthodox Jewish baseball players drafted earlier this year by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals, respectively. “Steinmetz and Kligman’s careers will function not just as case studies on the collision of religion and sport, but on what happens when the foundational elements of a young person’s life come into conflict. The players, and their families, believe they’re equipped to navigate the road ahead. Steinmetz and Kligman are fortified by their faith, as well as something [1930s-era Phillies outfielder Morris] Arnovitz didn’t have: A friend who understands.” [TheGuardian]
🎬 Licorice Surprise: In The New York Times, Lindsay Zoladz talks to musician Alana Haim about her debut as a film star in “Licorice Pizza,” and her friend, acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, who unexpectedly cast her her in the movie, for which she has garnered rave reviews despite her lack of acting experience. Haim told the Times that when she received the script from Anderson, she thought he was just naming a character after her. “Later that night when they spoke on the phone and Anderson clarified his request, Haim — in a torrent of ‘Word-vomit’ — said yes immediately. A few hours later, the first doubts set in: “What if I’m just terrible? I was like, ‘I don’t even know where to look. What if I look at the camera?’… Anderson said he knew Haim would be good but ‘I didn’t know she was going to be that good.'” [NYTimes]
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Around the Web
🙏 Riyadh Request: Saudi Arabia, low on ammunition to defend against regular drone and missile attacks from Houthi rebels in Yemen, is pleading with the U.S. and other allies for assistance in building up its supply.
🥇 A Cut Above: This year’s winner of the Diagram Prize, given annually to an oddly titled book, was presented to Is Superman Circumcised?, which traces the story of Superman founders Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
🖼️ Antiquities Antics: Billionaire hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt has surrendered 180 stolen antiquities valued at $70 million and has been banned for life from acquiring any other relics.
🕎 Seasons Greetings: The mayor of Medford, Mass., apologized for a holiday display at City Hall in which a menorah was labeled with Christian references.
🚗 Traveling Rabbi: NPR spotlights Chabad Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn, the only ordained rabbi in the entire state of Wyoming, who traveled 1,000 miles across the state by the fifth night of Hanukkah.
💪 Tête-à-tête: French presidential hopeful Eric Zemmour was injured at a campaign event — the candidate’s first, held outside of Paris — in an incident in which he was grabbed by the neck by a demonstrator.
🏃 Jail Break: Israel released prominent Palestinian prisoner Kayed Fasfous two weeks after reaching a deal in which Fasfous terminated his 131-day hunger strike.
📈 Holding Steady: Israel’s rate-setters voted unanimously to keep the country’s benchmark interest rate at 0.1%.
🤝 R&D: Israel officially joined the European Union’s largest research and innovation program, Horizon Europe, a seven-year program with a budget of 95.5 billion euros.
☀️ Power Project: Shikun & Binui won the contract to construct Israel’s largest solar-energy field, a 750-acre field in Dimona.
🎉 Work-Life Balance: The United Arab Emirates is transitioning to a four-and-a-half-day work week, replacing a Friday-Saturday weekend with a weekend that begins on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday evening.
🕯️ Remembering: Fred Hiatt, longtime editorial page editor at The Washington Post, died at 66.
Pic of the Day
Several stones created by the artist Gunter Demnig have been placed in the pavement throughout Strasbourg, France, in commemoration of the victims of antisemitism.
Food critic for The New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield turns 35…
Linguist, social critic, political activist and professor emeritus at MIT, Noam Chomsky turns 93… Author or editor of 40 books including the New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul, Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins turns 84… Hedge fund manager and co-founder of Taglit-Birthright Israel and the founder of Hebrew-language charter schools in NYC, Michael Steinhardt turns 81… Professor of mathematics at Princeton University, Nicholas Michael Katz turns 78… Novelist of 15 books, essayist and screenwriter, Susan Isaacs turns 78… Former Israeli ambassador to Canada, now at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Ambassador Alan Baker turns 74… Chair emeritus of the Longmeadow, Mass., Democratic Town Committee, Candy Glazer turns 74… Director and vice chairman of Simon Property Group, Richard S. Sokolov turns 72… Immediate past board chair of AIPAC, Lillian Pinkus turns 70… U.S. senator (R-ME), Susan Collins turns 69… Co-chairman of Loews Hotels and co-owner of the NFL’s New York Giants, Jonathan M. Tisch turns 68… Pamela Decker turns 67… Haifa-born composer and professor of music at Harvard, Chaya Czernowin turns 64… Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention throughout most of the Obama administration, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden turns 61…
Teacher in the Elko County School District in the northeast portion of Nevada and leader of the local Jewish community, Shawn Welton-Lowe turns 58… Provost at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Dr. Jeffrey Kress turns 53… Co-founder of Laurel Strategies, Dafna Tapiero turns 52… Director, writer, actor and comedian, best known as the director of “Modern Family” and “Life in Pieces,” Jason Winer turns 49… President of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs, Jed Hoyer turns 48… Leading actress in multiple television series including “Roswell” and “Unreal,” Shiri Appleby turns 43… President of NYC-based Capitol Consulting, Jeffrey Leb turns 43… Co-author of Union: A Republican, a Democrat, and a Search for Common Ground, he is a VP at Schmidt Futures, Jordan Blashek turns 35… Director of recruiting at NYC’s Mission Staffing, Jaime Leiman turns 31… Founder of Go Dash Dot, an activewear accessories brand, Hannah Fastov turns 31… Medical doctor practicing in the U.K., Carine Moezinia… Social media manager at Lola & Sophie, Hannah Vilinsky turns 30… Partner in Cornerstone Venture Partners and founder of “Made in Jerusalem,” Hanan Brand… Jeff Blum…