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The Daily TIP: Congress Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Fight Global Anti-Semitism

Posted by Tip Staff - January 04, 2019

Congress Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Fight Global Anti-Semitism
Senior Brazilian Official: Government has "Clear Intention" To Move Embassy to Jerusalem How International Institutions Are Failing to Protect Israel
Israel's SpaceIL Launches Children's Book to Foster Interest in STEM

Congress Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Fight Global Anti-Semitism

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) on Thursday reintroduced bipartisan legislation to provide the United States Department of State with more diplomatic tools and support to combat the global rise in anti-Semitism, JNS reported.

If enacted, “The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act” would upgrade the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, a position the State Department has left vacant for 20 months, to an ambassadorship requiring Senate confirmation. The bill also dictates that the president must nominate an envoy within 90 days of its passage.

“We are seeing a precipitous rise in anti-Semitism around the world, manifested through acts of violence against Jews and synagogues, insults, slurs, threats and criticism of Israel that meets the criteria of what Soviet refusenik and religious prisoner Natan Sharansky called the ‘three Ds’: demonization, double-standard and de-legitimization,” said Smith.

“The U.S. must be a world leader in standing against this menace, and my legislation would help us redouble our efforts to fight global anti-Semitism,” he continued.

“Now is the time to fill this position and provide all the support necessary to carry out this all-important mission,” added Smith. “The eyes of the world are looking to us to be the leader in the fight against anti-Semitism.”

The position was created in 2004, but has not been filled since January 2017, when Donald Trump became president. In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to take action on naming an envoy, but there has been little progress since.

Smith was joined by original co-sponsors of the legislation Representatives Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Lee Zeldin (D-N.Y.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Kay Granger (R-Texas).

Senior Brazilian Official: Government has "Clear Intention" To Move Embassy to Jerusalem

The national security adviser to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that Brazil had the “clear intention” to move the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although no official date has been set for the relocation, The Times of Israel reported.

The president’s senior adviser Augusto Heleno charged that logistical considerations were standing in the way but confirmed that “the president is considering it.” According to Heleno, such a move would be natural, as “whoever said that the capital was Jerusalem were the Israelis themselves. We are just fulfilling their determination.”

He also noted it was “natural” for Israel and Brazil to collaborate on security and said the Jewish State had impressive capabilities it could share with Brazil.

The retired army general added that he did not believe that relocating the embassy would harm Brazil’s lucrative trade with Arab nations. Nearly 20 percent of Brazil’s $5 billion beef exports go to 17 Arab countries, while Brazil-Israel trade currently amounts to $1.2 billion.

“If it happens, it will happen with caution and while showing the Arab community that it is no provocation,” Heleno clarified. "Extremist Arab countries will object if we move the embassy to Jerusalem, others will not," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Brazil for Bolsonaro’s inauguration on January 1, and after the pair met the Israeli leader said that the president had told him that moving the embassy was a matter of “when not if.” Bolsonaro accepted Netanyahu’s invitation to visit Israel in March 2019.

The Brazilian president on Thursday reiterated his intent to relocate the embassy. "Israel is a sovereign state and we must respect it," Bolsonaro said. "Only Israelis have the right to decide what the capital of Israel will be."

How International Institutions Are Failing to Protect Israel

International institutions devoted to promoting peace and cooperation are admirable in theory but in practice, during 2018, two of them — the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency — have failed to live up to their founding principles and protect Israel.

The UN, according to its charter, was founded "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." The IAEA, similarly, was created to ensure that nuclear energy "is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose."

But in 2018, these two organizations ignored these noble aims when it came to Israel.

In December, the United States put a resolution condemning Hamas before the General Assembly. The vote came just weeks after Hamas, over the course of a single day, fired nearly 500 rockets into Israel.

The U.S.-sponsored resolution, in clear language, condemned Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel" targeting civilians, and more generally, for diverting resources to attack Israel, "when such resources could be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population" under its rule.

While the resolution, the first one ever considered that condemned Hamas by name, was supported by an 87 to 58 majority, a last-minute procedural vote required a two-thirds majority, so the measure failed.

Former United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who spearheaded the effort to pass the resolution, said that a failure to pass the resolution would define the UN.

"Because there is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying terrorism is not terrorism when it’s used against the Jewish people and the Jewish State," Haley said. "There is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we would not hesitate for one minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country."

To read this complete essay, please click here.

Israel's SpaceIL Launches Children's Book to Foster Interest in STEM

Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL is launching Israel’s first unmanned aircraft to the moon in early 2019, and is using the occasion to inspire children on Planet Earth.

The Little Spacecraft tells the story of Berrie, a toy spacecraft based on SpaceIL’s real spacecraft, Beresheet (Genesis).

Berrie dreams of going to the moon, but the other toys believe she is too small for such a big dream. Berrie explains to her friends how each of her special tools is designed to help her accomplish her mission.

The story is of course analogous to SpaceIL’s mission of achieving an Israeli lunar landing, an endeavor historically carried out only by the world’s superpowers. Should SpaceIL’s mission prove successful, Israel will join the big league of space exploration.

Set to take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in the first quarter of 2019, Beresheet should reach the moon at the end of a two-month journey.

SpaceIL was established in 2011 by three young engineers who decided to take part in the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. Although the competition was aborted in March 2018, SpaceIL decided to see through its mission anyway.

One of the organization’s goals is to inspire the next generation to become interested in aerospace engineering and space exploration.

To this end, SpaceIL teamed up with Israeli multimedia company StellarNova, which produces toys, books, videos and science experiments to encourage children to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

SpaceIL’s VP Education Sari Brosh Rechav said The Little Spacecraft aims to inspire children to think differently about the STEM subjects and to nurture their dreams.

Written by StellarNova cofounder “Dr. Mom,” The Little Spacecraft is available in all major online bookstores including Amazon. Other resources for children are available here.

(via Israel21c)

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