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The Daily TIP: Sarsour Invite Rattles Jewish UNC Students

Posted by Tip Staff - February 01, 2019

Sarsour Invite Rattles Jewish UNC Students
Brazil’s President Thanks Israel’s “Brave Troops” for Post-Dam Disaster Rescue Mission
Gay French Muslim Eurovision Contestant “Excited” to Visit Israel Despite Death Threats
Israeli Company Launches Line of Dairy- and Soy-Free Yogurt


Sarsour Invite Rattles Jewish UNC Students

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is hosting their Minority Health Conference (MHC) on February 22 featuring keynote speaker Linda Sarsour. Sarsour is known for her hostility towards Israel, having said “Northing is creepier than Zionism” and advising Muslims not to “humanize” Israelis. Sarsour once tweeted against the feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a survivor of genital mutilation, by saying she wishes she could take Ali’s vagina away.

The MHC Planning Committee is composed of UNC students. Public records indicate that a co-chair, Afsaneh Mortazavi, and two other Planning Committee members – Teja Vemuganti and Karla Jiminez – signed an anti-Israel petition provided to the Durham, NC City Council in 2018. The petition led to Durham becoming the first city in the United States to ban police trainings specifically with Israel. A UNC faculty member told me, “Given that multiple Planning Committee members signed the anti-Israel petition, there is clearly pre-existing bias.”

Sarsour is a leading figure in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel which many view as anti-Semitic since it singles out Israel. Having gained fame and power as a Women’s March organizer, Sarsour is using this position to promote BDS as a feminist cause and has alienated many Jewish women by declaring Zionists cannot be feminists. Many have also criticized Women’s March leaders for their association with the notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

On January 29, North Carolina Hillel (the organization that represents Jewish life for students on 13 campuses across the state), publicly stated on its website, “While we appreciate the role Ms. Sarsour has played in highlighting gender and racial inequality in this country, her track record of supporting efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel run counter to the goals and spirit of the conference…Ms. Sarsour’s presence has already made some Jewish students reconsider their participation in this conference. They fear they will be made to feel unwelcome and forced to choose between their commitment to the health of minorities and their support of Israel. This is a false choice, as Israel is a world leader in medical research and global humanitarian aid, and committed to improved health of all its populations.”

To read the complete essay, please click here.



Brazil’s President Thanks Israel’s “Brave Troops” for Post-Dam Disaster Rescue Mission

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro thanked Israel’s “brave troops” on Thursday for providing emergency relief to the victims of a recent dam collapse that killed at least 99 people and left hundreds missing, The Algemeiner reported.

A 130-strong Israeli team landed in Brazil on Sunday to assist Brazilian authorities in search operations for survivors, after a dam collapsed last Friday in Brumadinho in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. The Israeli delegation included medics, engineering experts, rescue specialists, and a scuba unit.

“The brave Israeli troops sent by prime minister Netanyahu finish today their mission here in Brazil,” Bolsonaro tweeted. “On behalf of the Brazilian people, I thank the state of Israel for the services provided in Brumadinho MG in partnership with the Brazilian Armed Forces and Firefighters.”

The Israeli search and rescue team was the first of its kind sent to Brazil. “Following a situational assessment and discussions with local officials, it emerged that search and rescue is the main need at the Brazilian disaster site,” the IDF said at the time.

A statement was also posted on Israel’s official Twitter account following the end of the mission. "Israel is completing a humanitarian aid mission to Brazil, following the devastating Brumadinho dam collapse disaster, which claimed more than 80 victims. We are proud to assist our Brazilian friends and we stand with the people of Brazil," the statement read.

In another tweet on Thursday, Bolsonaro hailed the two nation’s collaboration in the areas of science and technology, during an ongoing trip to Israel by Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Marcos Pontes.

“This is the 3rd day of the Minister of Science and Technology @Astro_Pontes in Israel,” wrote Bolsonaro. “His visit’s goal is to develop partnerships that we can bring to Brazil. Everyone wins. Science and technology in favor of the economic growth and development of our country.”



Gay French Muslim Eurovision Contestant “Excited” to Visit Israel Despite Death Threats

France‘s Eurovision contestant says he “can’t wait to visit” Israel despite death threats he received over his decision to perform in the Jewish State, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Bilal Hassani, a 19-year-old from Paris who was born to a Muslim family of Moroccan origin, won France’s selection contest for Eurovision with his song “Roi.” Hassani, who is gay, confessed in an interview with Israeli TV that he has received hateful messages, including death threats, due to his sexuality and decision to perform in Israel.

“Sometimes there are people who try to make it a political event but I’m not about that. The stage is a sacred place,” he told Channel 12 on Tuesday, as he confirmed he had filed a police complaint this week for online harassment.

Hassani said he was excited about visiting Israel, despite mounting pressure not to travel to Tel Aviv, where the Eurovision song contest will take place in May. “I can’t wait. I heard the life is really exciting over there in Tel Aviv. I can’t wait to see the sun and I can’t wait to visit,” Hassani said.

“I’ve been watching Eurovision ever since I was a little boy. It was always something that I used to say, ‘One day I’ll represent France at Eurovision,'” he added. “I am just a boy from maybe the new generation who really feels like he can do anything.”

On Tuesday, some 50 British cultural figures signed a letter published in the Guardian in which they urged the BBC to use its influence to “press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed.” The BBC and Eurovision rejected their demand, saying “The competition has always supported the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance and diversity.”



Israeli Company Launches Line of Dairy- and Soy-Free Yogurt

Yofix Probiotics of Tel Aviv is launching a dairy-free, soy-free yogurt alternative in three fruit flavors. Based on oats, lentils, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and coconut, the product (to be called Only in Israel and Yofix abroad) is traditionally fermented and contains live probiotic cultures and prebiotic fibers.

Yofix founder Ronen Lavee, an agricultural mechanical engineer with lactose intolerance, searched for a dairy-free yogurt alternative with good flavor and texture. He experimented with more than 100 fermented formulas based on natural ingredients until he found the “Bio 5 formula” using no added sugars, preservatives or colors.

The new vegan product line leaves a low carbon footprint since there is no use of cow milk and, unlike almond or cashew, does not require a great amount of water. The production process is zero waste, since all raw materials utilized in production remain in the final product.

The company is seeking partners to launch the Yofix line in Europe and the United States.

“We will be developing new plant-based dairy substitutes for milk, yogurt drinks, cream cheese, coffee creamers and even ice cream,” says CEO Steve Grun. “Our proprietary manufacturing technology and formulations are highly flexible and require minimum investment for versatility.”

The startup was the first company to join The Kitchen food-tech incubator in Ashdod run by the Strauss Group, the main investor in Yofix.

Last week, Yofix was chosen to receive a €100,000 grant from PepsiCo’s European Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator.

Yofix was one of three Israeli food-tech companies in the 2018 cohort of 10; the others are A1C Foods of Ramat Gan, which formulates low-carbohydrate food products such as chocolate, bread and ice cream; and the Sprouted Grain Company of Ramat Gan, which makes nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest whole grains, legumes, flours, nuts and seeds with exceptionally long shelf life.

(via Israel21c)


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