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Your daily spiel for Monday, April 11

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Untergang der Titanic (
Untergang der Titanic ("Sinking of the Titanic") by Willy Stöwer, 1912 WIKI COMMONS PHOTO

Your Daily Spiel is The CJN‘s daily roundup of trending stories in the Jewish world


CANADA

In a CJN exclusive, Walrus editor Jonathan Kay debates National post columnist Barbara Kay (yes relation) about Liberal Jews and their relationship to Zionism. Presenting, Kay vs. Kay. #mustread

Walrus editor Jonathan Kay, left, debates National Post columnist Barbara Kay, right
Walrus editor Jonathan Kay, left, debates National Post columnist Barbara Kay, right

A Jewish reporter takes a trip to St. John’s, N.L to learn about its historic Jewish community. While the first Jews arrived there in the 1770s, today it numbers only a few dozen families.

UNITED STATES

Abraham Foxman, the former director of the Anti-Defamation League, has founded The Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism to educate others about the persecution and hatred of Jews, from Jesus’ crucifixion to the Spanish Inquisition to anti-Semitism in contemporary society. “Anti-Semitism is not history, it’s a current event,” Foxman says.

Bernie Sanders yet again reiterated his belief that Israel used “disproportionate force” during the 2014 Gaza war, during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. Tapper called it “interesting … that the first Jew in American history to win a delegate, much less a primary, is taking this position with Israel.”

ISRAEL

Here’s something you don’t read every day: A report from the United Nations gave Israel “high marks” for its regulatory system and security enforcement. “Israel has established a comprehensive and coherent legal framework on international cooperation in criminal matters,” reads the 400-page report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), listing the state’s “successes and good practices.”

Inside Google's Tel Aviv office
Inside Google’s Tel Aviv office

The Palestinian Authority arrested three youths suspected of belonging to Hamas over the weekend for planning a large-scale attack against Israelis. A large weapons cache was in their possession at the time. Palestinian sources say the arrests were a result of a joint operation by Palestinian police and the Palestinian Internal Security service.

The Israel Tax Authority announced today its plans to implement a new system that would tax foreign digital companies like Google and Facebook that do business in Israel. Previous tax laws (written before the rise of Internet commerce) pertained only to companies that had physical facilities/offices in Israel. The new laws, however, say that companies will be subject to taxes if their online services are offered to Israelis.

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism is planning to invest NIS 11 million ($3.77 million Cdn) to promote LGBT tourism to Israel. The tourism is mulling a campaign to target many European countries in particular. “We’re building a plan for a long-term strategy,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. “Different organizations that we work with have marked the LGBT community as one that has significant potential for growth, and I certainly want to break into larger numbers than we have today.”

WORLD

The first letter ever written on the Titanic, by Paul Danby, who took to opportunity to pen the note to his wife on Titanic-headed paper while visiting the ship with his uncle, who was to be a passenger
Paul Danby’s letter DAILY MAIL PHOTO

104 years after it was penned, the first letter written on the Titanic is going up for auction this month (set to fetch $27,000 Cdn). The letter was written by German Jew Paul Danby to his wife, Rose, proclaiming his excitement to tour the ship as a guest of his uncle, though he was not travelling on it. Decades later, during the Holocaust, Danby, his wife and his mother were sent to the Sobibor death camp where they were murdered. His letter to Rose was discovered decades later in 1985 from the wreckage of the ship, still in his uncle’s leather bag.

On Friday, a Jewish man driving through London was harassed by at least four men who hurled anti-Semitic slurs at him, including “F—ing Jews” and “Kill the Jews.”  Later that day, the men were arrested and remain in custody as authorities investigate the incident.

The Union of Italian Jewish Communities is compiling some 500 cartons brimming with kosher-for-Passover food items to distribute to families living at or below the poverty line. It’s an initiative marked by the desire to reach out to those who are in financial difficulty” with “concrete aid,” says a spokesperson for the project.

Despite working together on terrorism issues, Turkey has insisted that it will not normalize ties with Israel until the Gaza blockade is lifted, a spokesperson for president Tayyip Erdogan said.

Jewish Cemetery in Penang NANCY WIGSTON PHOTO
Jewish cemetery in Penang NANCY WIGSTON PHOTO

The CJN’s Nancy Wigston recently visited the Jewish cemetery in Penang, Malaysia. Learn about her travels here.

CULTURE

You may not be aware of this, but the Premier League’s quintessentially Jewish team (Tottenham Hotspur) actually has a good chance of winning the title this season. Only a few games left.

An American Holocaust survivor has been tapped to sing the U.S. National Anthem at a Detroit Tigers baseball game, after a video of her singing it went viral.  “I don’t want to die before I sing at a baseball game,” Hermina Hirsch told reporters.

In addition to Die Antwoord, Wiz Khalifa, Tame Impala, Alice Cooper, and many other outfits playing Israel this summer, indie rock heroes Real Estate have announced a show at the Barby Club on May 25.

A video about Israel that lauds its humanitarian aid efforts, titled “Superman’s got nothing on Israel!”, won first place at at the first-ever “Inspired by Israel” video contest this week. Watch it below:

If you missed the MTV Awards last night, you may want to watch Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone’s tribute to Will Smith.


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