Your First Read Sep 12


UC Berkeley gearing up for Ben Shapiro appearance by increasing security, offering counseling

The University of California Berkeley is gearing up for a visit by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro by tightening campus security and offering counseling services for students.

Shapiro, a former Breitbart News editor, who currently works as a political commentator, author, radio talk show host and lawyer is scheduled to speak on the UC Berkeley campus on Sept. 14 on the topic “Campus Thuggery.” The event is hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation.

Several university buildings surrounding Zellerbach Hall, where Shapiro’s appearance is to be held, will be closed off the afternoon of the speech and those arriving to attend the speech will have to go through security barriers and show their tickets for the event, according to a statement posted on the university’s website by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos.

There also will be an “increased and highly visible police presence,” according to the statement.

The university said the success or failure of the arrangements for Shapiro’s visit will inform how it handles future appearances by controversial speakers. Alt right British political commentator and media personality Milo Yiannopolous also is scheduled to appear at UC Berkeley this school year.


Swedish Jews appeal neo-Nazi march

Sweden’s central Jewish organization is appealing a police decision to grant the openly racist neo-Nazi group, Nordic Resistance Movement, permission to stage a march near a synagogue in Gothenburg on September 30, Yom Kippur, the local Swedish news site reports

“It’s the day of the year when many Jews who normally don’t go to the synagogue will gather there. On this day, the police have decided to grant the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement permission to march through Gothenburg, no more than a stone’s throw away from the synagogue,” Aron Verständig, chairman of The Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, and Allan Stutzinky, chairman of the Jewish Community in Gothenburg, wrote in an opinion piece in daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Hezbollah says it won’t escalate attacks on Israel

Hezbollah has sent reassuring messages to Israel in wake of the recent bombing of a Syrian weapons plant attributed to the Israel Army that it will not escalate its attacks against Israel, Haaretz reports. Naim Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary, said in a television interview on Sunday that the attack on the Syrian facility was not a reason for war against Israel and there were other ways to respond to the attack.

Arab media reported that the weapons facility, west of the city of Hama, which was bombed last Thursday, was part of a Syrian weapons manufacturing complex, reportedly involved in a Syrian-Iranian project to improve the accuracy of missiles and rockets to be provided to Hezbollah.

Lebanese director detained for filming in Israel

Lebanese film director Ziad Doueiri was detained Sunday in Beirut after returning from the Venice Film Festival because his movie “The Attack” was shot in Israel and included Israeli actors, Variety reports. The film was banned in Lebanon even though its subject matter is critical of Israel.

Doueiri’s arrest followed a complaint filed against him for “fraternizing with the enemy.”

Palestinian arrested for hosting Knesset member

A Palestinian resident of Hebron was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces for hosting Likud Party Knesset member Rabbi Yehuda Glick for a recent Muslim holiday, according to JTA. Muhammad Sabir Jabir’s came a week after the Glick tweeted photos of his visit to Jabir’s home on the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Members of Jabir’s extended family published a statement on Facebook saying that they “disassociated” themselves from Jabir after he hosted Glick, the Maan news agency reported.

The rabbi is a longtime activist for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount, an issue that has caused tension between Israel and the Arab world.

Germany rejects Polish demand for wartime reparations

The German government has rejected a Polish demand for new negotiations about World War II reparations, JTA reports. The then-West German government says the issue was closed in 1953, when Poland relinquished its right to further compensation.

Several Polish politicians have disputed the 1953 accord, claiming that it was made under pressure from the former Soviet Union. Germany paid Poland “considerable reparations for overall war damages,” according to German government spokesman Steffen Seibert, but Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo her country has the right to demand more German reparations.

Several Polish ministers have estimated that reparations might run as high as $1 trillion. Six million Polish citizens, including about three million Jews, were killed while the country was under Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945, and Warsaw was mostly destroyed.