Your First Read For Sep 15


Argentine prosecutor was murder victim, analysts determine

A team of forensic analysts in Argentina has determined that Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who claimed that the president of Argentina covered up Iran’s role in the deadly 1992 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center, was murdered and did not commit suicide in 2015, according to JTA. A new toxicology report on Nisman’s body found traces of the drug ketamine, an anesthetic used on animals, and speculated that at least one other person forcefully held him down around the time of his death.

The team of investigators plans to present the report next week to Eduardo Taiano, the lead prosecutor looking into the circumstances of Nisman’s death. Taiano will then decide how to present the evidence to the Justice Department.

Nisman, who was Jewish, was found dead from a gunshot wound in his apartment on the morning before he was supposed to present a report on the AMIA Jewish center bombing to Argentine lawmakers. The suicide bombing killed 29 and injured hundreds.

 Jewish assault victims mistaken for Muslims

A Jewish woman and her mother were beaten up at a Queens subway station this week by a man who mistook them for Muslims, the New York Police Department said. According to the New York Post, the women, 37 and 57, had just gotten off the M train and were walking toward the exit of the 67th Av. station in Forest Hills when they heard the man lob an insult at them.

When the younger woman told the man to repeat what he had just said, he spit in her face and “Get out of my country you dirty Muslim.” He then began punching both women in the face and body.

The man, identified as Dimitrios Zias, 40 was arrested at the scene and charged with multiple counts of assault as a hate crime.

Muslim group honors two Jews with ‘empowering’ award

The Muslim Public Affairs Council is honoring two Jews with an annual award given to those who “champion the political empowerment of American Muslims,” JTA reports. The recipients of this year’s Empowering Voices award include Stosh Kotler, CEO of the liberal social action group Bend the Arc, and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who helms the popular blog Lawfare, which covers national security law.

In recognizing Kotler, the council noted among other factors the petition co-organized last year by the two groups against President Donald Trump’s “deeply troubling appointment of Stephen Bannon” as his top strategic adviser. The council said Wittes “uses his platform to publicly oppose scapegoating communities in the name of national security.” Wittes is a graduate of the Jewish day school system.

Jewish Chicago sports fans disappointed. Bears rookie running back (Cohen) isn’t Jewish.

Fans of the NFL Chicago Bears were excited by the successful debut last week of rookie running back Tarik Cohen last Sunday. Jewish sports fans were especially excited: Is he Jewish?

Jewish sports fans and celebrities were buzzing about the rookie, the Chicago Tribune reports. “WSCR-AM 670’s Danny Parkins, who is Jewish, tweeted, ‘Every Jewish Bears fan should buy a Tarik Cohen jersey immediately just on principle.’ founder Melissa Jacobs tweeted, ‘Tarik Cohen can at least be an honorary Jew.’”

But, the Bears confirmed, Cohen, a graduate of North Carolina A&T university, a historically black college, is not a Member of the Tribe.

“Sports blogger Ron Kaplan writes about the careers of Jewish athletes, and he often depends on the research of his colleagues at the Jewish Sports Review to determine who’s defined as a Jew,” the Tribune reports. “Usually, an athlete has to be raised Jewish, have a Jewish parent or publicly claim to be Jewish to meet the criteria. ‘Tarik doesn’t fall into any of those categories.’”

“Actor Michael Rapaport summed up Jewish sports fans’ feelings about him: ‘Tarik Cohen is NOT Jewish but he’s welcome to Shabbat dinner anytime he wants.’”

Facebook removes ‘Jew haters’ feature

Facebook Inc stopped advertisers from targeting messages to people interested in topics such as “Jew haters” and “how to burn Jews,” London’s Daily Mail reports. Journalists with ProPublica, a nonprofit outlet based in New York, had inquired about the targeted messages with the social networking company.

ProPublica said another category it had found was “History of ‘why Jews ruin the world.’”

The anti-Semitic categories were created by an algorithm rather than by people, ProPublica reported. 

British PM hosts High Holy Days reception at 10 Downing St.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday welcomed dozens of Jewish community leaders, volunteers and religious figures to her official residence for what was thought to be the first ever Rosh HaShanah reception held there, the London Jewish Chronicle reports. May said she wanted to thank British Jews, and show her “personal support and appreciation for everything that you contribute to our country”.

She urged British Jews to mark the High Holy Days with “confidence that together we will keep Jewish people in our country safe and defeat the scourge of anti-Semitism. And confidence that it is the values that we share – Jewish values, British values – that will in the end prevail. Let me wish you and all your families a sweet New Year.”