Wednesday, December 1st 2021   |

National

Austin Chabad lights menorah at highway overpass where neo-Nazis hung antisemitic banners

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — A Chabad house in Austin organized a Chanukah menorah lighting in an unusual place on Monday night: on a highway overpass looking out over the busy MoPac Expressway.

They didn’t just pick the location so drivers would see the menorah on their evening commute. Instead, they wanted transform the spot, which had been the site of an antisemitic demonstration, into something brighter.

On Oct. 24,...

Chelsea Clinton says it’s no surprise that Facebook allows book burning groups — Zuckerberg once defended Holocaust deniers

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Chelsea Clinton took Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to task Wednesday for allowing groups to use the social network to organize book burnings. Clinton compared the phenomenon to Facebook’s past resistance to banning Holocaust deniers from the platform.

“Come for the book burning, stay for the s’mores,” Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said in a tweet...

Apple sues NSO Group, the Israeli spyware firm sanctioned by US

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Apple filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against NSO Group, the Israeli firm that was sanctioned by the United States last month for selling its cell phone hacking spyware to governments that used it to spy on activists and journalists.

Apple is seeking a permanent injunction that would prevent NSO Group from using Apple software. The company is also seeking damages of over $75,000.

...

In a victory for efforts to quash the violent far-right, jury docks Charlottesville rally organizers $25 million

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — A jury awarded $25 million against the white-supremacist organizers of the deadly 2017 Charlottesville far-right rally, although it deadlocked on awarding damages under federal law. Even as she declared victory in their effort to thwart organizers of potentially violent white supremacists events, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers reportedly hopes to retry the rally organizers on federal charges.

Jurors in the civil case against 24 groups...

As Republicans delay Deborah Lipstadt’s nomination, Biden names Aaron Keyak to be deputy antisemitism monitor

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Biden administration named Aaron Keyak, who spearheaded Joe Biden’s presidential campaign outreach to the Jewish community, to the post of deputy antisemitism monitor as Republican senators continue to block the nomination to the top position of Deborah Lipstadt, the noted Holocaust scholar.

“Aaron Keyak will be joining the Department shortly to assume the position of Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism,”...

Pro-Israel pastor apologizes for hosting event where Michael Flynn called for US to have ‘one religion’

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — The Christian Zionist pastor of a major church asked forgiveness for allowing the church to host an event where Michael Flynn said that the United States should only have one religion.

“Last week I allowed an event to be held at Cornerstone Church by an outside organization,” Pastor Matt Hagee said in a statement Thursday. “Regrettably, the organization was not properly vetted. It was not...

Ohio candidate for Senate defends ad calling out opponent Josh Mandel’s Jewishness

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — A candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio defended an ad by his campaign that calls out his opponent Josh Mandel’s Jewishness at a candidate forum Thursday night.

Mark Pukita, an entrepreneur who is one of several candidates vying for the Republican nomination in a crowded primary, released a radio ad in October that called out his opponent Josh Mandel’s Jewishness. The ad highlights Mandel’s...

Gonzaga University, a Catholic college near historically neo-Nazi territory, gets its first Torah scroll and Jewish space

By RACHEL ROMÁN

SEATTLE (JTA) — Eastern Washington is a region that, for the last half a century, was far better known for its hate groups than its Jewish community.

Spokane and the surrounding area was infamously a hotbed of racism from the 1970s through the 1990s, a period that included multiple acts of vandalism and neo-Nazi intimidation at the local Conservative synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom. On the outskirts of...

Their followers on the move, Lev Tahor sect leaders are convicted of child exploitation

By ASAF SHALEV

(JTA) — Two leaders of Lev Tahor, a fundamentalist Jewish sect, were found guilty on Wednesday of kidnapping and child sexual exploitation crimes by a federal jury in White Plains, New York. 

Nachman Helbrans and Mayer Rosner face a sentence of up to life in prison after a four-week trial over the abduction of two underage siblings in 2018 in New York and their transportation to Mexico....

Starbucks ex-CEO Howard Schultz uses a Holocaust analogy to discourage a union vote

By ANDREW LAPIN

(JTA) — Howard Schultz, the Jewish former CEO and chairman of Starbucks, invoked the Holocaust as he discussed a pending unionization vote during a meeting with Buffalo-area store employees of the coffee giant last weekend, The New York Times reported.

According to eyewitness accounts and a transcript of the meeting, Schultz “noted that only a small portion of prisoners in German concentration camps received blankets but often...