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The Daily TIP: Anti-Semitism Concerns Prompt German Broadcaster to Cancel Planned Roger Waters Concerts

Posted by Tip Staff - November 29, 2017

Anti-Semitism Concerns Prompt German Broadcaster to Cancel Planned Roger Waters Concerts
Hariri: Lebanon "Cannot Do Anything about" Hezbollah
Israel to Open Embassy in Rwanda, Expanding Presence in Africa
Program Started by Local Philanthropist Gives Jerusalem Youth Boost in Tech Skills

Anti-Semitism Concerns Prompt German Broadcaster to Cancel Planned Roger Waters Concerts

German public broadcaster WDR has cancelled plans to air concerts next year by British ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters over accusations of anti-Semitism, Ben Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Malca Goldstein-Wolf launched a petition campaign -- “No support for the antisemite Roger Walters with public funds of the WDR” -- to prevent the television outlet from using taxpayer money to fund a “Jew-hater,” which garnered nearly 1,400 signatures.

The activist accused the WDR of spreading anti-Semitism by televising Waters, who is a prominent supporter of the anti-Semitic, Palestinian-led Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) campaign. Goldstein-Wolf also referenced an earlier WDR scandal, where the broadcaster initially sought to censor “Chosen and Excluded – The Hate for Jews”, a documentary film about contemporary anti-Semitism in Europe. Public pressure, however, compelled the news organization to show the film.

Five state television and radio affiliates of the national network have now pulled out of broadcasting concerts by Waters in Berlin and Cologne scheduled next summer “in reaction to anti-Semitism accusations against him.”

Last week, Australian rocker Nick Cave spoke about his admiration for Israel and his decision to perform in the country as a stance against BDS, singling out Waters for criticism. “If you do come here….you have to go through public humiliation from Roger Waters and his partners and no one wants to embarrass themselves publicly,” he stated. “For 20 years, I said, ‘let’s give it up,' before deciding to perform in Israel."

Hariri: Lebanon "Cannot Do Anything about" Hezbollah

After returning to Lebanon following his resignation earlier this month, later rescinded, in Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that Hezbollah was a regional problem and that his nation "cannot do anything about it."

Hariri made the comments in an interview with Al-Rajol, a Saudi magazine, the Daily Star reported Sunday.

The Lebanese prime minister also faulted Iran for fostering instability in Lebanon stating, "Hezbollah is not able to manage the country; its strength derives from weapons funded by Iran.”

In addition, Hariri said of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that "he does not determine what we wanted to do in Lebanon." Hariri was pushing back against a boast made by Rouhani last month, extolling Iran's "greatness," saying, "In Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, northern Africa, in the Persian Gulf region -- where can action be taken without Iran?"

Tony Badran, an expert on Lebanon, offered a similar assessment to Hariri’s, telling the Jewish News Service on Tuesday, "The Hariri episode changes absolutely nothing in terms of the balance of power and Hezbollah’s absolute dominance of the Lebanese state."

Other have noted the total control that Hezbollah exercises over the Lebanese state.

In September, a member of Hezbollah boasted to NBC news that without its support “the [Lebanese] army is nothing.” Similarly, a few weeks later Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman observed, “The Lebanese army has turned into an integral part of Hezbollah’s command structure. The Lebanese army has lost its independence and become an inseparable part of the Hezbollah apparatus.”

Israel to Open Embassy in Rwanda, Expanding Presence in Africa

While on a state visit to Kenya, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and announced that Israel would open an embassy in that East African nation, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

Netanyahu also announced that Israel was considering establishing direct flights to Rwanda after meeting with Kagame. "This is part of the expansion of Israel’s presence in Africa and of the deepening cooperation between Israel and African countries,” Netanyahu said.

The Israeli embassy in Ethiopia currently handles Israel's interests in Rwanda.

Netanyahu, who met with Kagame and a number of other African leaders, was in Nairobi for the inauguration of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta after a disputed election.

In addition to Kagame, Netanyahu met with the presidents of Gabon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, Botswana and Namibia, as well as the prime minister of Ethiopia.

According to Netanyahu four African countries have opened missions to Israel in the past two years and he was recruiting others to join them.

In July 2016, Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister to visit Rwanda during a historic trip to East Africa. This past summer Israel welcomed Kagame on a state visit.

Kagame, who is credited with bringing an end to the Rwandan genocide, has been friendly to Israel and became the first African head of state to speak at the AIPAC Policy Conference earlier this year.

Program Started by Local Philanthropist Gives Jerusalem Youth Boost in Tech Skills

For a few hours each week, more than 2,000 fourth- to ninth-graders from 31 Jerusalem schools transform into PICO Kids.

Mentored by 80-plus university students and local entrepreneurs, PICO Kids might build mini rockets, produce maps of their own DNA, create TED-style talks, do lab experiments, and learn programming, 3D printing and robotics to help solve real problems.

“Creativity peaks at a young age and we are focused on developing the tools to help the kids leverage their creativity to arrive at breakthrough ideas,” says philanthropist, investor and serial entrepreneur Elie Wurtman.

Wurtman piloted PICO Kids in 2012, with 12 middle-schoolers from two schools, to fulfill his “action pledge” as an Aspen Institute Global Leadership Fellow and to further advance his home city, Jerusalem.

He and a few silent angels fund the project as a division of his PICO Group (People-Ideas-Community-Opportunities) of creative and entrepreneurial enterprises.

“I’m an entrepreneur with the ability to dream and think big, but we started out small like any good venture,” Wurtman tells ISRAEL21c. “Today PICO Kids is one of the most meaningful educational programs in Jerusalem in terms of impact and scale. Our robotics program is now the largest of its kind in the country.”

“As a social-impact philanthropist, I am extremely focused on Jerusalem and I have more work to do here to continue to improve what I believe is the center of Israel and the source of inspiration for the world,” Wurtman says.

(via Israel21c)

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