Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Durham's Human Relations Commission Betrays the City's Jewish Community

Posted by Tip Staff - January 17, 2019

Durham's Human Relations Commission Betrays the City's Jewish Community
Netanyahu to Travel to Muslim-Majority Chad, His Fourth Africa Trip as PM
Malaysia Doubles Down, Banning Israeli Athletes from Competing at Paralympic Event
Fresh From Playing God, Morgan Freeman Does Ads for Israeli Electronics Maker Tadiran


Durham's Human Relations Commission Betrays the City's Jewish Community

In May, the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill and Voice4Israel (I am a board member of the latter) filed a complaint with the Durham Human Relations Commission (HRC) stating, “The City Council’s actions are hateful, discriminatory and against the values of our country and our city, targeting the one Jewish state in the world.”

In November, the four-person HRC subcommittee formed to research this matter concluded a six-month investigation by issuing a draft report that found the Council at fault in multiple ways. Most importantly, the draft report recommended the Council remove the singling out of Israel from its April 16 statement. The report also faulted the Council for contributing to “tension in our community,” fast-tracking anti-Israel policy, waiving Council policy for anti-Israel activists, using personal email to conduct public business, and not properly alerting the public that Israel was a planned focus of two City Council meetings in April.

Even though some concerns existed about the HRC draft report, the mainstream Jewish community overwhelmingly supported the draft. The major local Jewish institutions wrote many letters to the HRC asking the commissioners to vote to approve its November draft at its upcoming January 8 meeting because it called for the singling out of Israel to be removed from the April 16 statement. 12 area rabbis, representing diverse congregations, asked the HRC “to adopt the report,” explaining, “We believe it charts a constructive way forward for our community to heal.”

Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, the largest synagogue in the area, thanked the HRC for its “thorough and thoughtful report” and stated, “It is our hope that the full HRC, and subsequently the City Council, will adopt the recommendations of your subcommittee as submitted, especially the rewrite of the Council Statement that omits the unnecessary and disruptive reference to the State of Israel. These recommendations go a long way to correcting misinformation and the pain felt by many in the Jewish community.” Durham’s Mayor Steve Schewel, who wrote the “Israel resolution,” is a member of Judea Reform. Schewel’s own congregation strongly objected to his singling out of Israel.

To read the complete report, please click here.



Netanyahu to Travel to Muslim-Majority Chad, His Fourth Africa Trip as PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to the Muslim-majority country Chad on Saturday night for a groundbreaking first-ever visit to the Central African state by an Israeli premier, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Netanyahu will meet with Chadian President Idriss Déby, who first visited Israel during a historic trip in November.

Although the prime minister’s office has not released further details on the trip, sources say Netanyahu and Déby might announce the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Back in November, the prime minister’s office said that Netanyahu will fly to N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, to announce the recommencement of diplomatic relations, nearly half a century after the African nation cut ties with Israel in 1972.

“This is another diplomatic breakthrough,” Netanyahu said during Déby’s visit. “This is a historic and important visit that comes against the background of efforts that we have led.” The Prime minister added that the visited reflects "the risings status of Israel among the nations."

In his meeting with Netanyahu, the Chadian leader said that he was interested in renewed diplomatic relations with Israel and stressed that “all options are open” for cooperation with the Jewish State. The two leaders discussed common security threats, such as the fight against terrorism and Islamic extremism.

Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister in July 2016 to visit Africa in more than three decades, when he visited Kenya, Uganda Ethiopia, and Rwanda.

As part of Israel’s drive to improve ties with Muslim-majority states in the region, Netanyahu announced in December that Israeli airliners have been given permission to fly over Sudan and Chad.



Malaysia Doubles Down, Banning Israeli Athletes from Competing at Paralympic Event

Having failed to issue visas for Israeli athletes to compete in the World Para Swimming Championships this summer, the Malaysian government has doubled down and issued a ban on having Israelis participate in any event hosted by the country, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The Asian nation's Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said that the cabinet decided that Israelis will be barred from all events hosted by Malaysia.

"Even if we have already committed to hosting an event, they will not be allowed (into the country)," Abdullah said at a press conference.

"Secondly, Malaysia will not host any event that has representation from or participation of Israel."

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) issued a statement saying that it was "bitterly disappointed" with the Malaysian government's stance to bar Israel from the Para Swimming Championships, or any other sporting event hosted by that country. The statement declared that world championships should be "open to all eligible nations and athletes." It added that the committee would explore "all options" to "ensure the full participation of all eligible athletes."

MP Michael Danby of Australia's Labor Party called Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad a ”Malay bigot," and criticized the IPC for not taking away hosting rights from Malaysia.

"The IPC has no right awarding premium sporting events to Malaysia and other countries that discriminate against Israeli athletes,“ Danby said. “Taking out your anti-Jewish bigotry on Paralympic athletes is pathetic."

“Blatant antisemitism and discrimination in sport, as in every field of life is despicable, and Malaysia has no right to be hosting such a premium event," Danby added. He called on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to offer an alternate venue, one in which "swimmers of all faiths and nationalities will be welcome to attend, without discrimination, including both Malaysians and Israelis.”



Fresh From Playing God, Morgan Freeman Does Ads for Israeli Electronics Maker Tadiran

While Academy Award-winning American actor-producer-narrator Morgan Freeman was in Israel again last November filming his National Geographic program “The Story of God,” he also did a playful commercial for Israeli air-conditioner manufacturer Tadiran.

“From the time I played God in the movies, people seem to confuse me with Him,” Freeman intones in his signature deep voice. “I’m not God… far from it. Except in my own home, where I can control the weather – almost like God himself,” he says, pointing to his Tadiran Supreme air-conditioning unit.

According to Israel Hayom, Freeman’s contract with Tadiran includes television, billboard, newspaper and online ads to be released throughout 2019. The campaign is being handled by the Boroda Kaplan & Partners advertising agency in Ramat Hasharon.

Freeman, 81, also played God in the 2003 movie “Bruce Almighty,” but that flick was filmed in Buffalo, New York.

(via Israel21c)


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