First Read For March 14


Author of ‘You May Want to Marry My Husband’ essay dies

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the Chicago author who last week wrote a poignant New York Times essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband” as she faced terminal ovarian cancer, died on Monday at 51.

Ms. Rosenthal, who also worked as a filmmaker and speaker, wrote the essay as a paean to her husband, Jason, Haaretz reported. In the essay, in the form of a dating profile, she wrote, “If you’re looking for a dreamy, let’s-go-for-it travel companion, Jason is your man. Here is the kind of man Jason is: He showed up at our first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers. This is a man who, because he is always up early, surprises me every Sunday morning by making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana.”

Keep State Department Holocaust-monitoring group, scholars urge

More than 100 Holocaust remembrance institutions, scholars and educators have called on President Trump to keep open a government office dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, following a report that he was considering cutting it, according to JTA.

The signatories released a statement Monday calling on Trump to strengthen the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, which fights anti-Jewish sentiments abroad. The signatories also urged Trump to create a new office to combat anti-Semitism in the United States.

Last month, the Bloomberg news service reported that Trump was considering cutting several special envoy positions as part of a budget proposal. Congress mandated the position of special envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism in 2004 with the passage of the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act.

Jewish player leads Princeton basketball team into NCAA championships

How do you say “March Madness” in Hebrew?

It wouldn’t matter to Spencer Weisz, the senior forward on the Princeton University basketball team that this week qualified for the NCAA championships that begin this weekend.

“I don’t know any Hebrew,” says Weisz, this year’s Ivy League Player of the Year and a Maccabiah Games gold medalist.

JTA reported that Weisz, 6-foot-4, is among a team leader in many offensive categories. The Tigers are to play Notre Dame on Friday in Buffalo in a first-round game.

South Carolina passes anti-Semitism bill

The South Carolina House of Representatives has unanimously passed a new bill, H3643, to combat anti-Semitism, sponsored by the state’s U.S. Representative Alan Clemmons, the Jewish Press reports.The StandWithUs non-profit Israel education organization applauded the passage of the legislation.

The bipartisan bill codifies the State Department definition of anti-Semitism and cites the so-called “3-Ds” of anti-Semitism relating to Israel: demonizing Israel, having a double standard for Israel, and delegitimizing Israel.

French party apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet

The party of a conservative French politician has apologized for tweeting an apparently anti-Semitic caricature of rival presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, JTA reports. The apology of Les Republicains came a day after Francois Fillon, the party leader, called the image of rival presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron “unacceptable.”

Fillon said he understood the outrage the tweet had caused “because it evoked the images of a dark period of our history and exploited an ideology that I have always fought against. I will not tolerate my party using caricatures that use the themes of anti-Semitic propaganda.

The Republicans last week posted—and then quickly deleted—an image of independent centrist Macron with a hooked nose, wearing a top hat and cutting a cigar with a red sickle. The image was reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda from World War II, when France’s Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis to deport and exterminate Jews.

Macron is not Jewish, but in the past he was an investment banker at a French bank controlled by the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish family that has long donated heavily to Zionist causes and been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Record deal for Israeli high-tech firm

Technology giant Intel is purchasing the Israeli company Mobileye, for $14-15 billion in what is reportedly the biggest deal in the history of Israel’s high-tech industry, Israeli media reported. Mobileye develops driver assistance systems and is working on developing the technology for automated cars.

Mobileye, whose market value is $10.5 billion dollars, was founded in 1999 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and CEO Ziv Aviram. The company’s technologies are installed by traditional car manufacturers, which compete with technological giants such as Google, Apple and Tesla.

Last year, Mobileye teamed up with BMW and Intel to develop new technology for the auto industry that could put self-driving cars on the road by around 2021.

Honor for pro-Nazi pilot withdrawn

After organizers bowed to pressure, a Nazi pilot who was the first woman in the world to fly a helicopter was not featured this week in an event in Quebec designed to attract girls and women to aviation.

The Canadian Jewish News reports that the Vancouver-based Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide had resisted a call from B’nai Brith Canada to not honor the achievements of Hanna Reitsch, an apparently unrepentant Nazi who died in 1979. The organization changed its mind after a demand from the mayor of Lachute, Que., where part of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week took place, that there be no celebration of a Nazi in his town.

Reitsch, who was used by the Nazi regime in its propaganda, became the only woman awarded the Iron Cross First class in World War II. Historians record her as having flown the last plane out of Berlin, leaving behind Hitler in his bunker.

In an interview before her death in 1979, Reitsch said: “I am not ashamed to say I believed in National Socialism. I still wear the Iron Cross with diamonds Hitler gave me.” Her only regret was that Germany lost the war.