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Robert Kraft Antisemitism Nonprofit to Air Super Bowl Ad Featuring Associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and team owner Robert Kraft celebrate winning Super Bowl LIII, Feb. 3, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque.

Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS), a group created by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, will air its first Super Bowl commercial when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 11.

An estimated 100 million television viewers will see the commercial, which features Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a former legal adviser of civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jones, according to FCAS, helped King draft the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on Aug. 28, 1963.

“I know I can speak for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when I say without a doubt that the Civil Rights movement (including the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Acts) would not have occurred without the unwavering and largely unsung efforts of the Jewish people,” Jones said in a press release issued by FCAS. “With hate on the rise, it is as important as ever that all of us stand together and speak out. Silence is not an option. I’m glad that I’ve lived long enough to partner with Robert Kraft and FCAS to continue to spread the message to the widest possible audience — the Super Bowl.”

This year’s Super Bowl commercial mark’s FCAS’ biggest push to promote awareness of antisemitism since its founding in 2019. Last year, the nonprofit launched a $25 million multimedia campaign, which asked supporters to use the “Blue Square” emoji available on iOS devices in their social media posts.

FCAS has undertaken numerous other initiatives to address rising antisemitism.

In March 2023, it announced a partnership with Brandeis University, which will include a student fellowship program for undergraduates, conferences featuring leading experts on antisemitism, and collaborations with K-12 administrators. Additionally, Brandeis University’s Hornstein Jewish Professional Jewish Leadership Program will expand to include “Kraft Scholars,” who will participate in new online degree and certificate programs that will train them to respond to crises caused by antisemitic incidents.

Kraft, who led the remarkable transformation of the New England Patriots from a second tier club to an annual Super Bowl contender and winner of six such titles in under twenty years, founded FCAS after being awarded $1 million through Genesis Prize, an honor given to successful members of the Jewish community. FCAS focuses most of its resources on social media, aiming, it says, “to stand up against racist and violent rhetoric aimed at the Jewish people through the most accessible and most powerful avenue of information in the world.”

In a statement, Kraft, expressed hope for this latest campaign and praised Dr. Clarence Jones as an emblem of his FCAS’ highest aspirations.

“The work Dr. Jones has done over the course of his entire life and career is the embodiment of FCAS’ mission to build bridges and stand up to Jewish hate and all forms of hate. In the time we have spent together and through his work, I have become a huge fan of Dr. Jones, and I am proud to spotlight all that he has done for our nation,” he said. “With this ad, we hope to continue to spread Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of unity and equality at a time in which the country needs it mist most, and our goal is to reach a wide audience of people and inspire all Americans to stand up together, arm in arm, and fight this horrific rising hate.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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South African Immigrants to Israel Protest Against Former Country Government

The International Court of Justice in The Hague in session in January 2020. Photo: Reuters/Eva Plevier.

Dozens of South African immigrants to Israel protested against their former country’s government on Friday, standing with their new home against political and legal attacks from South Africa’s ruling ANC party, highlighted by accusing Israel of “genocide,” last Thursday in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

“The demonstration is not against South Africa or its people, but against its disgraceful government. I am proud to stand here as an Israeli, but I am ashamed of the government of my homeland, for stooping so low. It is a danger to Judaism,” said David Kaplan, an attendant of the event.

Former Knesset member Ruth Wasserman Lande, who was raised in Cape Town, South Africa before moving to Israel for military service, living in Israel since, added “Justice is with us, the ruling party of South Africa has sold its soul to Iran.”

The protest in Ra’anana in central Israel comes a few weeks after Israel was forced to stand trial at the International Court of Justice in The Hague against charges of “genocide” in its current defensive war against Hamas in Gaza. The charges were filed by South Africa’s government, a noted friend of Hamas leadership and outspoken critic of Israel and the Israeli government.

In South Africa’s case against Israel, the country alleges that the IDF is acting “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.”

The suit came as both countries are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention, passed after the Holocaust and with the goal of creating proceedings to ensure no genocide like what happened to the Jews of Europe occurs in the future.

Israel said South Africa was acting as “the legal arm of Hamas,” and called the charges “baseless,” especially as the country has been noted to take unprecedented steps to protect civilians in the war. Furthermore, the war began after Israel was attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7, when they invaded southern Israel, murdering more than 1,200 and taking hostage over 240.

The ICJ refused to grant South Africa’s wish of calling for an immediate ceasefire, but nevertheless ruled to investigate the genocide charges and called on Israel to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of [genocide].”

Even this past week South Africa continued its attacks, calling for the defunding of Israel, with Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor saying “This necessarily imposes an obligation on all states to cease funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions.”

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Biden Sanctions Israelis Involved in Attacking Palestinian Civilians in West Bank

US President Joe Biden addresses the nation on the Hamas onslaught against Israel. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Thursday to sanction individuals who have engaged in violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, a first-of-its-kind order from an American president.

The executive order would not allow individuals into the United States who, based on the judgment of federal agencies, are responsible for, complicit in, or take part in violence against Palestinian civilians or property.

Biden, who is a long-time supporter of Israel, wrote that “the situation in the West Bank — in particular high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction — has reached intolerable levels and constitutes a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, and the broader Middle East region.” 

The move comes amid rising levels of violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank by Jewish extremists. Since Hamas’s October 7 attack in southern Israel, the UN Humanitarian Office reports there have been more than 500 settler attacks in the West Bank, resulting in the deaths of eight Palestinians and the injury of more than 100 others.

Critics say Israel has not done enough to crack down on the far-right agitators, but the government disagrees.

It also comes at a time when Biden is looking to isolate the far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition and possibly even put a wedge between them and Netanyahu.

The reaction in the U.S. to the order was split largely along party lines. The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) said in a statement, “This executive order is about cold, calculated politics – plain and simple. Joe Biden and his team are watching his poll numbers crater. Today he traveled to the key battleground state of Michigan, home of the largest Arab-American population in the United States, desperate for some sort of political “win” with his fervently anti-Israel base in the Democratic Party. It’s a disgrace.”

The RJC continued, arguing “This first-of-its-kind executive order sends precisely the wrong message at absolutely the worst time, emboldening the terrorists and undermining the Jewish state. Joe Biden has needlessly damaged the US-Israel alliance yet again.”

Pro-Israel Democrat Senator Ben Cardin, on the other hand, agreed with Biden’s decision. “There has to be a clear message from the United States in regards to settler violence, but more importantly Israel. People’s lives are being lost so action needs to be taken,” he said in an interview, stressing that he wants “Israelis and Palestinians living together in peace. In the West Bank, we have certain responsibilities about the settlers that are there. There have to be boundaries.”

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‘Zionist Fascists:’ Assailants of Jewish Students at Top French University Remain at Large

“From Gaza to Paris, Resistance!” A sign on display at a pro-Hamas demonstration in France. Photo: Reuters/Fiora Garenzi

Police in France have yet to make an arrest in the case of three Jewish men who were brutally assaulted by a pro-Hamas mob on the campus of the University of Strasbourg last Sunday night while they put up posters calling for the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza.

The three men, two of whom are students, were set upon by a group of six people who threw kicks and punches while shouting “Zionist fascists,” according to a statement released on Friday by the university’s president Michel Deneken.

Deneken said that he “strongly condemned” the assault, pointing out that while the attack took place on Sunday, he was only informed of it on Thursday.

One of the victims was “hit and thrown to the ground,” Deneken said.

“It’s very serious,” he added. “This is violence that we have never known here.”

A spokesperson for the Strasbourg police confirmed that the assault had taken place, but that none of the victims were hospitalized as a result. “No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing,” the spokesperson told the AFP news agency.

The attack was also condemned by the Mayor of Strasbourg, Jeanne Barseghian. In a post on the X/Twitter social media platform, Barseghian said that she extended her support to the victims.

“The police must now investigate so that the necessary action can be taken,” she added.

A separate statement from the Union of Jewish Students in France (UEJF) noted that the three victims had been putting up posters highlighting the plight of the hostages captured by Hamas terrorists during their Oct. 7, 2023 pogrom in southern Israel. They were spotted by an “anti-Zionist activist” who verbally abused them. She then left the scene, only to return with five other Hamas supporters who beat and insulted the three victims, leaving one of them  with “severe bruising.”

Samuel Lejoyeux, the president of the UEJF, urged that the attack “not go unpunished.”

“It must also serve as a widespread warning: the demonization of Israel fed by far-left groups in universities leads to antisemitic violence. It is urgent to stop tolerating it,” he added.

In a report last Wednesday, the Jewish umbrella organization Crif disclosed that 1676 antisemitic incidents had been recorded in France in 2023 — four times the number registered during the previous year and an unprecedented record,

While in past years the majority of the incidents involved vandalism of property, last year 58 percent of the incidents recorded were directed against people, with 13 percent occurring in schools.

The Oct. 7 atrocities had “acted like a catalyst for hatred by activating latent antisemitism,” Crif president Yonathan Arfi told the AFP news agency.

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