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‘An epidemic of hate’: Biden administration officials meet with Jewish leaders to tackle rising antisemitism

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top Biden administration officials launched a roundtable on antisemitism on Wednesday by describing a “rising tide of antisemitism” and likening the atmosphere in the United States to that of Europe, where Jewish worship is held under lock and key.

“Right now, there is an epidemic of hate facing our country,” said Douglas Emhoff, the Jewish second gentleman, who convened and chaired the 90-minute session.

Jewish officials represented at the meeting were impressed by how comprehensive the meeting was, saying it went beyond the white supremacist threat that the Biden administration has focused on in the past to other sources, among them attackers who target the visibly Orthodox and Jewish students on campuses.

The meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, comes on the heels of weeks of antisemitic invective spewed by rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, and the dinner attended last month by West, Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and former President Donald Trump at Trump’s Florida residence. The discussion also follows alarming spikes in antisemitic invective on Twitter and other platforms.

“In my experience, there’s nothing more vicious than what we’re seeing today,” said Susan Rice, President Joe Biden’s top domestic policy adviser, who described growing up in a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago, Rice said, when she was defending Israel against its many enemies as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, she did not imagine a threat to Jews domestically. Now she says she hears antisemitic expressions coming from elected officials, public figures and entertainers, calling it an “incredible rising tide.”

Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department envoy to monitor antisemitism, said she no longer has the luxury of her predecessors, who traveled abroad to assess antisemitism in foreign countries. Now, she said, she had to treat the problem as a domestic and a foreign one.

“I can’t go to these countries and say ‘You have a problem,’” she said. “Now I have to say ‘We have a serious problem.’” 

After multiple attacks on synagogues stateside in recent years, she said, Jewish places of worship were becoming more visibly fortified than they were for years when security, if it existed, was unobtrusive and synagogues were welcoming.

“For decades, when we traveled in Europe, we used to identify synagogues by gendarmes,” she said. “Now we see police cars, now we lock the doors in the United States.”

The Kanye West episodes evidently helped spur the convening of the meeting. George Selim, the Anti-Defamation League senior vice president who was present, said the meeting came together within a week, unlike similar events which can take months to organize. 

“The urgency was clear, the meeting needed to be convened, it needed to be in person,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an interview.

Representatives of the dozen or so groups that attended were impressed by the level of attention: in addition to Emhoff, Rice and Lipstadt, there were officials from the National Security Council, the Officer of Public Engagement, and the Office of Faith-based Partnerships.

The representatives were impressed by how personal Emhoff, who is married to Vice President Kamala Harris, made the battle. He described how moved he has been by American Jews who are proud of him — the first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president. “I’m in pain right now, our community is in pain,” he said.

Emhoff’s unabashed identification with the Jewish community helped elevate the issue of combating antisemitism, said Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad). 

“He and I might see Jewish ritual and practice a little differently. But one thing Jewish people will remember forever in our history is that when the time came for him to make his decision, he decided to identify unequivocally as a Jew,” Shemtov said.

Amy Spitalnick, the executive director of Integrity First for America, the group that underwrote successful lawsuits against the neo-Nazis who organized the deadly 2017 march in Charlottesville, Virginia, said the officials closely listened to every presentation. (The media was present for opening remarks by government officials, and was ushered out so the representatives of Jewish groups could speak freely.)

“We were watching them take copious notes, they were genuinely listening,” she told JTA.

The range of invitees and the topics addressed also extended beyond the threat posed to Jews from the extreme right, an area that has until now been the Biden administration’s focus, through a summit on extremism in September and a speech Biden gave in Philadelphia last summer.

Speakers addressed antisemitic attacks on the visibly Orthodox which, particularly in the New York area, are most often not carried out by white supremacists. And there were officials from at least three groups that represent the visibly Orthodox: The Orthodox Union, which is Modern Orthodox, along with Agudath Israel of America and American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), which are haredi Orthodox.

Speakers also were sensitive to the plight of Jewish students on college campuses, who often face hostility from peers whose sharp criticism of Israel can sometimes manifest as antisemitism. 

“On college campuses, the supposed bastions of liberal ideas and ideals, many students believe it better to camouflage their Jewish identity,” Lipstadt said. One of the speakers was Julia Jassey, a senior at the University of Chicago who is the CEO of Jewish on Campus, a student group that tracks antisemitism on campuses.

The Jewish participants said they benefited from hearing how others experienced antisemitism. Abba Cohen, Aguda’s Washington director, said he found receptive listeners when he described an increased effort by local councils to limit the building of Orthodox communities. He and Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, also described the threat to the visibly Orthodox.

Their accounts moved others present who do not live the Orthodox lifestyle. “We all have different experiences with antisemitism and clearly for someone who’s Orthodox, it might feel different than for someone who’s not,” said Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Katz said the meeting was a relief because she often has difficulty explaining to her progressive allies why antisemitism persists as a threat. 

“I feel like in the last, you know, year, I’ve been saying over and over again, this is getting worse. This is getting amplified, people are emboldened,” she said. “And there are a lot, particularly in the progressive community that would say, ‘No, no, that’s not what’s happening.’”

Some practical proposals were discussed, including a letter this week from a bipartisan slate of lawmakers advocating for a cross-agency “whole of government” task force to combat antisemitism, and an expansion of federal funding that currently underwrites security upgrades for Jewish institutions to include paying for extra police patrols.

The meeting did not result in concrete decisions, but participants said they left with the impression that the federal government was ready to dive deep into finding practicable solutions. 

“For me, this is not the end. This is just the beginning of this conversation,” Emhoff said. 

Other groups represented included the American Jewish Committee, Hillel International, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Reform and Conservative movements, and Secure Community Network, the security consultancy for the Jewish community.

“It sends a very important message that the sort of rampant antisemitism we’re seeing is unacceptable and that the highest office in the country is doing something about it,” Spitalnick said.

The post ‘An epidemic of hate’: Biden administration officials meet with Jewish leaders to tackle rising antisemitism appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Comparing European, American, and French Roulette at Canadian online casinos

Roulette is the most popular table game at online and land-based casinos alike. You can easily find a seat at the table, place your bets, and hope that the wheel turns in your favour. But you have surely noticed that the roulette section is quite rich, featuring at least a dozen different tables. Most of them come with a different design and different rules. The most popular roulette variants are American Roulette, European, and French Roulette. In this article, we will try to explain the main differences between each one.

French VS European Roulette

We’ll first compare the French versus the European version of roulette since they are the most similar. The layout of the bets and the wheel is basically the same. Even the table layout is pretty much the same at most online casinos. Depending on the provider some differences can be found, like the layout of the table or the order of the numbers of the wheel. But as far as the odds and gameplay are concerned, European and French Roulette are basically the same. 

Both roulette variants have a single 0 on the board and the same number of slots on the wheel and numbers on the table. There are 36 additional numbers you can bet on, along with the standard Red or Black and Odd or Even bets. This means both games come with a house edge of 2.7%. So, the only difference comes from the introduction of two basic rules in French Roulette. 

  • La Partage
  • En Prison

La Partage

This rule applies to even money bets, and in case the ball lands on the 0 slot. The term comes from the French word which means to divide. All even money bets are divided into half, and the player gets one half, while the other half goes to the house. This rule works greatly in your favour, especially if you’re playing on higher bets. 

En Prison

The En Prison bet is also applied to even money bets and only when the ball lands on 0. Instead of counting as a loss, the bets are held on the table for the following spin, and if you win, you get your bet back. Even though you don’t actually win anything extra, the En Prison rule gives you a chance to get your money back without a loss. 

The introduction of these rules lowers the house edge on French Roulette down to 1.35%. This is why many players prefer the French version, as the odds are better for the player. 

French VS American Roulette

The main and pretty much only crucial difference between American and French roulette is the 00 and the layout of the slots on the wheel. The added 00 on the American version means that the house edge is higher. It climbs up to 5.26%, which is almost double the house edge on European Roulette and a massive difference from the 1.35% on the French version. 

Since there is an added 00 number, the layout of the slots on the wheel is different. On the table, the 00 is next to the 0, so it doesn’t make a big difference to the layout of the table. But the rules in American roulette are quite simple. If your number doesn’t come up, you lose the bet. There are no extra rules like in the French version. 


If you go by the odds alone, it turns out that the best roulette variant to play at Canadian online casinos is French roulette. But this doesn’t mean you will lose more when you play American or European Roulette. Many players prefer to play the American wheel as it’s faster and more exciting. With the right strategy and some luck on your side, you can easily make a profit on any type of roulette game. 

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Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism

niversity of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram

University of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram – “Never would I have imagined that I’d need to fight for my right to exist on campus,” laments Shabbos Kestenbaum, a student at Harvard University who is suing the school because “antisemitism is out of control.”

Jewish students have suffered an unrelenting explosion of hate on American higher education campuses—so far with little relief. They have endured antisemitic rhetoric, intimidation, cancellation and violence. But those charged with keeping campuses safe—whether administrators who govern student and faculty behavior or federal agencies responsible for ensuring that schools adhere to civil rights protections—are failing in their jobs.

Many Jewish students have complained to their colleges’ administrators about the injustices. But instead of responding with measures to ensure Jewish students’ safety—like stopping pro-Hamas protestors from hijacking campuses or expelling militants who incite Jew-hatred— administrators have largely shown indifference. In some cases, college authorities have made things worse for Jewish students by appeasing the riotous, pro-Hamas mobs who have been primary perpetrators of Jew-hatred on campus.

Snubbed by college administrators, Jewish students and their supporters have appealed for federal protection, filing Title VI complaints with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the body tasked with enforcing protections under the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, the OCR, which has the power to levy severe financial punishments against colleges that neglect students’ Title VI rights, has so far rewarded negligent universities with little more than slaps on the wrist.

Until college and university boards of trustees begin hiring administrators committed to Jewish students’ safety—and until the OCR begins seriously punishing antisemitic perpetrators—we can expect no respite. Safe to say, colleges and universities run by arrogant, apathetic administrators will not change until their jobs and schools’ survival are threatened.

College/university administrators don’t take antisemitism seriously. Their reactions to Jewish students raising concerns about Jew-hatred range from indifference to outright hostility. For example, when Mohammed Al-Kurd, who the Anti-Defamation League says has a record of “unvarnished, vicious antisemitism,” came to speak at Harvard, Shabbos Kestenbaum and other Jewish students complained to administrators.

Rather than cancel Al-Kurd’s appearance, which would have been the appropriate action, the administrators ignored the students’ complaints. “Harvard’s silence was deafening,” Kestenbaum wrote in Newsweek. Kestenbaum said he “repeatedly” expressed concerns to administrators about the antisemitism he experienced, but as his lawsuit alleges, “evidence of uncontrolled discrimination and harassment fell on deaf ears.”

Administrators at Columbia University reacted to Jewish students’ complaints about antisemitism even more cynically. In fact, during an alumni event, several administrators exchanged text messages mocking Jewish students, calling them “privileged” and “difficult to listen to.”

When Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania if calling for genocide against Jews violated their schools’ codes of conduct, none could say “yes.” The presidents of Harvard and UPenn have since resigned. Good riddance.

Some college/university administrators have outrageously granted concessions to pro-Hamas students. For instance, Northwestern University agreed to contact potential employers of students who caused campus disruptions to insist they be hired, create a segregated dormitory hall exclusively for Middle Eastern, North African and Muslim students, and form a new investment committee in which anti-Zionists could wield undue influence. Brown University agreed to hold a referendum on divestment from Israel in October.

Similar appeasements were announced at other colleges and universities, including Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, the University of Minnesota and the University of California Riverside.

So far, OCR has failed to take concrete action against antisemitism on campus. This is evident in recent decisions involving the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Michigan. CUNY was ordered to conduct more investigations into Title VI complaints and report further developments to Washington, provide more employee and campus security officer training, and issue “climate surveys” to students.

The University of Michigan also committed to a “climate survey,” as well as to reviewing its case files for each report of discrimination covered by Title VI during the 2023-2024 school year and reporting to the OCR on its responses to reports of discrimination for the next two school years.

Neither institution was penalized financially, even though the Department of Education has the power to withhold federal funds, which most colleges and universities depend on. There are now 149 pending investigations into campus antisemitism at OCR. If these investigations yield toothless results similar to those of CUNY and Michigan, it is highly unlikely that colleges and universities will improve how they deal with antisemitism.

Putting an end to skyrocketing antisemitism on campus involves three things.

First, donors and governments at every level should withhold funds from colleges that fail to hire administrators who will take antisemitism as seriously as they take pronoun offenses or racism directed at people of color.

Second, the OCR must mete out serious consequences to Title VI violators in the form of funding cuts. This may require legislation that specifically mandates withdrawing funding from offending parties. A bill recently introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)—the University Accountability Act—may be ideal, as it is designed to financially penalize institutions that don’t crack down on antisemitism.

Third, if OCR won’t act, Jewish students and their supporters should turn to the courts. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the legal director of the Deborah Project, a public-interest Jewish law firm, argues that the CUNY settlement demonstrates the futility of going to OCR and that going to court is more likely to produce “a clearly delineated and productive result,” such as punitive and compensatory fines. As of late May, at least 14 colleges and universities are facing lawsuits over their handling of antisemitism on campus since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

As long as college administrators are allowed to ignore antisemitism on campus and as long as OCR and other government institutions fall short in punishing Jew-hatred, antisemitism will continue to plague Jewish students.

The post Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism first appeared on

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Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK

Candace Owens speaks at CPAC on March 2, 2023. Photo: Lev Radin via Reuters Connect

Political commentator Candace Owens claimed on Friday that the US is being held “hostage” by Israel and suggested that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, was behind the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy.
“It seems like our country is being held hostage by Israel,” Owens, a right-wing provocateur, said during the opening segment of her YouTube show, where she interviewed far-left commentator Briahna Joy Gray.
“I’m going to get in so much trouble for that. I don’t care,” Owens lamented.
Gray, who was the guest for this episode, was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, Rising, after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women. Gray, who claimed her firing was politically motivated, had repeatedly cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught.
However, Owens said that part of the reasons she was addressing the subject was that people were being fired because they were “not happy … when an innocent Palestinian kid dies” or for “critiquing a foreign nation.”
Also on Friday’s show, Owens claimed US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was “wading into some dangerous waters” when, during an interview with host Tucker Carlson, he spoke about how effective the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is at lobbying members of Congress and suggested the group should have to register as a foreign agent that is acting on behalf of Israel.
The reason it was dangerous, Owens said, was because “we know there was once a president that wanted to make AIPAC register, and he ended up shot … so Thomas Massie better be careful.”
Owens was referencing the fact that Kennedy wanted the American Zionist Council, a lobby group, to register as a foreign agent. However, there is no evidence the group had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination.
Owens and The Daily Wire, which was co-founded by conservative and Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, parted ways after Owens flirted with antisemitic conspiracy theories for a number of months, especially following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
“In all communities there are gangs. In the black community we’ve got the Bloods, we’ve got the Crips. Well, imagine if the Bloods and the Crips were doing horrific things, murdering people, controlling people with blackmail, and then every time a person spoke out about it, the Bloods and the Crips would call those people racist,” Owens said while still at The Daily Wire. “What if that is what is happening right now in Hollywood if there is just a very small ring of specific people who are using the fact that they are Jewish to shield themselves from any criticism. It’s food for thought, right? … this appears to be something that is quite sinister.”
Additionally, after getting into a spat with an outspoken and controversial rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, she said, “Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you, and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi?’”
“You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you,” Owens continued.
The list of controversial incidents involving Owens continued to grow longer with time. In one case, she “liked” an X/Twitter post that promoted the antisemitic “blood libel.” The post read, in response to Boteach, “Rabbi, are you drunk on Christian blood again?”
The “blood libel” is a medieval anti-Jewish slur which falsely claims that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children in their religious rituals.

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