EU’s new anti-Semitism chief prioritizing online hate, implementing laws: Zio-Watch, January 14, 2016

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned about the dire situation of Yemeni patients and numerous attacks on hospitals there, saying the world should not forget the crisis. 

Robert Mardini, who heads the ICRC’s operations for the Near and Middle East, said the situation in Yemen is turning into one of the world’s “forgotten conflicts” some nine months into the Saudi military campaign against its impoverished neighbor.

The ICRC’s outgoing health coordinator in Yemen, Monica Arpagaus, also said last week that hospitals in Yemen are no longer safe.

“We have incidents where hospitals have been targeted and patients have been injured and staffs have been killed,” said the official.

“Drugs, medication and medical supplies have been prevented from crossing frontlines into hospitals which desperately need these supplies.”

Saudi military has started a military campaign against Yemen since March 2015. Riyadh’s airstrikes have taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.

The Saudi military has also blocked the flow of relief aid into Yemen, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state.

More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since last March.
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BERLIN (JTA) — A final report on the Gurlitt art collection reveals that five of its works were stolen from Jews during the Nazi period.

The findings emerged from a task force’s report submitted Thursday to Germany’s culture ministry after more than two years of investigation.

But for those waiting a lifetime for the return of property, the pace is too slow, Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, said in a statement Thursday.

Lauder lamented “the persistent lack of transparency and communication about the work of the task force” and added that he “expected Germany to do better, given that time is running out.”
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(JTA) — A French-Jewish lawmaker and his non-Jewish colleague wore kippahs in parliament to signal their rejection of anti-Semitism.

Meyer Habib and Claude Goasguen were filmed wearing the Jewish head covering, also known as a yarmulke or skullcap, briefly in the corridors of the National Assembly Wednesday, after a Jewish community leader from Marseille called on Jews to remove their kippahs as a security measure following a spate of anti-Semitic stabbings in the southern city, TV5 reported.

The call Tuesday by Tzvi Amar, president of the Marseille office of the Consistoire — a community organization responsible for providing religious services — sparked a passionate debate in France over the country’s anti-Semitism problem. His suggestion was squarely rejected by other community representatives and by French President Francois Hollande, who called a reality in which Jews need to remove their kippahs “intolerable.”

READ: Do stabbings of French Jews mean end of ‘Marseille miracle’?
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(JTA) — Britain’s Department for Education has ordered a haredi Orthodox school in north London to close by next month.

The Charedi Talmud Torah Tashbar school has operated illegally for 40 years, does not teach children English and, according to inspectors, was failing to meet “minimum” standards, the Independent reported Thursday.

The school, which has more than 200 students, encourages “cultural and ethnic insularity because it is so narrow and almost exclusively rooted in the study of the Torah,” inspectors said following an investigation of the school, according to The Independent.

READ: Parents urge probe of NY yeshivas for neglecting secular education
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JERUSALEM (JTA) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must publicly condemn Iran’s Holocaust denial and a cartoon contest that promotes it, Israel’s Knesset speaker said.

Yuli Edelstein in a letter dated Wednesday also called on Ban to take up the matter directly with Iran.

The Holocaust denial cartoon contest is sponsored by the Tehran municipality, according to reports.

“As head of an organization that in 2005 adopted the brave resolution to establish January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask that you exert your moral authority through public condemnation of the Iranian policy and by addressing this matter directly with Iran, as well,” Edelstein wrote to Ban. “There are no words strong enough to describe the contempt and profound disdain of the State of Israel, the Israeli people and many others the world over, to Iran’s insistent Holocaust denial.”
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WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Nation endorsed Bernie Sanders for president — its third endorsement in 150 years.

The storied left-wing magazine on Thursday cited the Vermont Independent senator’s record in opposing “inequality, both economic and political.” It had offered previous endorsements of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1988 and Barack Obama in 2008.

“America’s middle class has melted away, while the gap between rich and poor has reached Gilded Age extremes,” the editorial said.

The magazine’s editors said they wished Sanders would expound more on foreign policy, but added they liked what they heard.
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WASHINGTON (JTA) – Talk of a Bernie Sanders presidency has suddenly become a lot more serious.

Recent polling shows the independent Vermont senator and Democratic presidential hopeful dramatically improving his prospects in the first two primary states against front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Two polls out this week — by the Des Moines Register and Quinnipiac University — showed Clinton’s 9-point lead in Iowa dwindling from the past month, with Sanders pulling ahead in the latter survey.

The Register poll out Thursday showed Clinton now holding a 42 to 40 percent lead over Sanders less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, well within the poll’s 4.4 percent margin of error. And the Quinnipiac poll posted Tuesday had Sanders ahead of the former secretary of state, 49-44. The poll, which has a margin of error of 4 percentage points, is a dramatic shift from December, when the university found Clinton leading Sanders in Iowa, 50-41.
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