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Around The Jewish World




‘Facebook, Google part of problem in Israel’s war on terror’


NEW YORK – The Israeli government will pass legislation against social media and Internet giants like Facebook and Google if they do not take steps to curb anti-Israel “incitement”, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post annual conference in New York last Sunday.

Erdan made the remarks during a speech in which he outlined the challenges faced by Israel and its supporters in dealing with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

“Social media companies are happy to use the data they collect on all of us to make money, but unfortunately not to help stop terror,” the minister said.

Earlier this year, the Foreign Ministry called on governments around the world to regulate social media in order to combat anti-Semitism and violent incitement, reiterating the government’s support last year for Internet censorship during an anti-racism conference.

Speaking at the annual gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations in Jerusalem, Akiva Tor, the director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Jewish Communities, stated that while the issue is certainly controversial for Americans, it is important to discern the nature of the Internet and to act accordingly. – Jerusalem Post


Board of Deputies election result reversed after miscount


LONDON – A Board of Deputies election result has been changed after it emerged that the methodology for selecting the winner “had been incorrectly applied”.

Gillian Merron, Board chief executive, e-mailed deputies to inform them that Bernard Silver and not Anthony Tricot, as had previously been announced, had won the by-election for a place on the International Division.

The result was changed after two deputies challenged the method used for the third round of counting the votes, which were cast using the single transferable vote system.

Merron wrote that following the challenges, “a manual recount was conducted of the votes”.

In the same e-mail, Jeromé Freedman, the returning officer, explained that the ballots had been counted manually, unlike past elections, which have used an electronic system.

“The software licence is no longer available,” he explained, adding that “an alternative software programme which allows for paper ballots was found to be unreasonably expensive and also untried.

“I apologise for the error, now thankfully corrected, to all deputies and particularly to the candidates.” – Jewish Chronicle, London


Man denied entry into Canada for being a member of Fatah


OTTAWA – The Federal Court of Canada has upheld a ruling by immigration officials that denied entry to the country by a Palestinian national because he was affiliated with Fatah, which it described as a terrorist group.

In a February ruling recently made public, the court found that the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board was right to deny entry to Akram Muslih Anteer because he was once a member of Fatah, the largest political party in the West Bank.

The court upheld a definition of Fatah as a “terrorist” group, even though it is not recognised as such by the federal government.

Anteer, a national of the Palestinian Authority and resident of Sweden, arrived in Canada in April 2013 and claimed refugee status.

Anteer said he had achieved “cadre level” of membership in Fatah, the court found.

“He also described his role within Fatah, which included identifying and intercepting opponents of Fatah and working with high ranking Fatah officials, and stated that he reported to the head of Fatah in the Jenin area, Ata Abu Rumeila.”

The CBSA officer noted that Rumeila was the reputed head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) in Jenin. The group was added to Canada’s list of terror groups in 2003.

There was “sufficient evidence to ground the conclusion that Fatah was a terrorist organisation,” the ruling stated.

He was arrested twice more by Israeli forces, and in 2009 was expelled from Israel and removed to Jordan. – Canadian Jewish News


Taxpayers’ money used in call for Oz to break ties with ‘Israeli apartheid’

CANBERRA – Federal Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon used taxpayers’ money to print posters that called for Australia to “break ties with Israeli apartheid”, called for the Palestinian “right of return” and for Israel to “end the occupation”.

The poster, printed for the Palestine Action Group to mark Al Nakba Day, the Palestinian people’s national day of “catastrophe” caused by the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, was printed and authorised by Rhiannon.

According to rules, parliamentarians must use their communications entitlement to “support their role as members of the Australian Parliament and to help them communicate with members of the public in relation to their duties as elected representatives”.

And they can only print material “for parliamentary or elected ­purposes”.

Australian Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale assured The AJN that his party will not seek to end relations between Australia and Israel.

“Australian Greens policy recognises the ongoing injustices, repeatedly highlighted by the United Nations, that the Palestinian people have suffered,” he said. “We would like to see these injustices addressed in a way that will enable both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace.

“We feel that ongoing diplomatic dialogue and relationships between Australia, Israel and Palestinian representatives is important to achieving this goal.” –  Australian Jewish News


Not McKosher under the kilt

SYDNEY – In a decision sure to ruffle a few loose kilts in the Scottish-mad northern New South Wales town of Maclean, a Jewish lawyer has lost his battle against McDonald’s to register the business name McKosher.

Mark Vincent Glaser, principal of Glaser Lawyers, had provided a statement to the Australian Trade Marks Office (ATMO) claiming he is of Scottish Jewish descent, his ancestors’ surnames included McKosher and he intended to open a restaurant with that name in Maclean, which would be “serving kosher meals and products using Scottish and Jewish recipes”.

He also told the ATMO that Maclean’s population prides itself that the town is known as “the Scottish capital of Australia” and prefixes like Mc and Mac are commonly used to describe local events and services there.

The twist in this tartan-infused tale is that McDonald’s argued it holds the trademark rights to the Mc prefix when it comes to food service products.

Furthermore, lawyers representing McDonald’s told the ATMO that the Jerusalem rabbinate is in negotiations with the global fast food chain to certify McDonald’s outlets in Israel’s capital as kosher, but will not do so as long as there are any non-kosher branches in the city. – Australian Jewish News


Michigan Jewish Institute loses federal funding


The US Department of Education has held firm in its decision earlier this year to deny the Michigan Jewish Institute (MJI) in West Bloomfield recertification to federal Title IV financial aid programmes.

MJI filed a 33-page response to DOE allegations of widespread and long-term Pell Grant fraud after the federal department first denied the school recertification in a letter it sent to Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, MJI president.

In an 11-page letter sent to Shemtov, the DOE said the denial is now “a final agency decision” and that MJI is ineligible to participate in Title IV programmes.

Pell Grants are federal aid given to low-income students to help them pay for college costs. Unlike loans, they do not have to be repaid. For the current academic year, a maximum Pell Grant is $5 775.

In its letter, the DOE stands by its reasons for denial: MJI breached its fiduciary duty to the DOE by awarding Pell Grant funds to students who were not “regular students” as required; that MJI failed to exercise required standards of administrative capability by not maintaining consistent and reliable student records; and that MJI presented false information to its accrediting agency. – Detroit Jewish News


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