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Dems nominate Biden, Jewish conservative wins Fla. primary, Israel hints at peace talks with Sudan
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Daily Update

Dems nominate Biden, Jewish conservative wins Fla. primary, Israel hints at peace talks with Sudan

Laura Loomer, a Jewish right-wing activist known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, won the Aug. 18, 2020 Republican primary in President Donald Trump's Palm Beach, Fla. district.(LauraLoomerforCongress/Flickr)
Laura Loomer, a Jewish right-wing activist known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, won the Aug. 18, 2020 Republican primary in President Donald Trump's Palm Beach, Fla. district.(LauraLoomerforCongress/Flickr)

Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential nominee Tuesday during the second night of the their four-day virtual convention.

Speaking from Brooklyn, with the Statue of Liberty as his backdrop, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), accused President Trump of quitting on the American people and Democrats must win the Senate majority in November.

“Joe can’t do it alone. Democrats must take back the Senate,” he said. “We will stay united from Sanders and Warren, to Manchin and Warner. With our unity, we will bring bold and dramatic change to our country.”

Endorsing Biden, Schumer said the U.S. needs a “president with dignity, integrity and the experience to lead us out of the crisis.”

Jewish philanthropist Sam Domb is at the center of a neighborhood feud over the Upper West Side hotel he owns that has been converted into a men’s shelter during the pandemic.

Critics of the shelters, including members of Domb’s own synagogue, say the shelters have brought drug use, panhandling and poor pandemic hygiene to the neighborhood. But the communal frustration is not being directed at Domb, reports Hannah Dreyfus for The Jewish Week.

“People from shul are not happy about what Sam has done, but they don’t place the blame on him as much as on the mayor,” said Ira Streitfeld, a long-time member of Ohev Shalom, which Domb attends.

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will begin moving people out of the hotels and back into shelters in response to complaints. He did not provide a timeline for the move.

Liberal Jewish allies of the Anti-Defamation League are coming to its defense after more than 150 progressive groups signed an open letter calling for the ADL to be excluded from social justice coalitions. 

The effort, called Drop The ADL, criticizes the ADL’s work with police forces across the country as well as its support of Israel. Spearheaded by a coalition of pro-Palestinian and left-wing groups that disapprove of the ADL’s ties to law enforcement, the campaign follows earlier left-wing pushes against the Jewish anti-bigotry group.

The campaign comes despite a high-profile ad boycott of Facebook spearheaded by the ADL, NAACP and other civil rights groups. The boycott recruited more than 1,000 companies, including a range of marquee brand names, to pause advertising on the social media giant for at least a month to protest its inaction on hate speech.

Liberal Jewish organizations that have worked with the ADL are publicly defending its record as a Jewish civil rights organization with a long track record of standing up for marginalized communities. A coalition of Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Jewish organizations put out a joint statement Tuesday evening pushing back on the criticism.

Groups on the right, meanwhile, say the ADL focuses too much on right-wing extremism while giving a pass to anti-Semitism on the left.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman was fired on Wednesday, a day after he sparked a diplomatic flurry by publicly disclosing normalization talks with Israel, apparently without authorization.

Haidar Badawi Sadiq told Sky News Arabia on Tuesday that Sudan was interested in establishing ties with Israel and predicted that a treaty between Jerusalem and Khartoum could be signed by the end of the year or in early 2021. The comments came hours after he posted a public blog in which he urged the country’s military-civilian leadership to speak openly about ongoing talks.

His comments, which came amid feverish speculation that other countries may soon join the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to ties with Israel, were swiftly walked back by the country’s acting foreign minister Omar Qamar al-Din Ismail, who said he was “surprised” by the announcement, the Times of Israel reports.

“The matter of relations with Israel has not been discussed in the Foreign Ministry at all. No one tasked Haidar Badawi Sadiq with making statements on this matter,” Ismail said.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen insisted on Wednesday that peace talks between Jerusalem and Khartoum were ongoing.

Laura Loomer, a Jewish right-wing provocateur known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, has won the Republican primary in the southern Florida congressional district where President Donald Trump votes.

In 2017, the 27-year-old political activist, who calls herself an “investigative journalist,” was banned from Uber for calling on the rideshare service to allow riders to reject Muslim drivers. In 2018, Twitter suspended her account after she called Rep. Ilhan Omar, then a congressional candidate, “anti-Jewish.” Last year, Facebook banned her amid a purge of people the company said used the platform to promote hate.

Loomer won 42% of the vote in a six-candidate field in the primary on Tuesday. She’ll now face off in November against the Jewish incumbent Democrat, Lois Frankel, who handily bested a challenger from the left, Guido Weiss, with 87% of the vote.

Loomer is likely to lose; Frankel ran unopposed in 2018 and won 63% of the vote in 2016. But she had the endorsement of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a far-right figure who is close to President Donald Trump. Trump and Gaetz both congratulated her on Twitter on Tuesday night; so did Marjorie Taylor Greene, a conspiracy theorist who last week won a primary in a heavily Republican district in Georgia.

Opinion

Today is World Humanitarian Day, honoring the constellation of humanitarian actors who engage in global acts of tikkun olam. In a Jewish Week op-ed, Avital Sandler-Loeff, director for disaster relief and international development at JDC, describes the way the Jewish community and Israel have been at the forefront of efforts to respond to the coronavirus and fight its widespread devastation.

Around the Agencies

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is organizing a “Vote Out Fear in Florida” phone bank, aiming to reach swing Jewish voters in key states where they could be the margin of victory. A Zoom link offers a a short training where volunteers will learn the skills they need to talk with voters. Aug. 20, 5:30 pm.

Streaming

The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County presents “Curator’s Corner,” with Dr. Thorin Tritter, HMTC’s Museum and Programming Director. He will talk about a photograph in the museum that shows the fire department at the Foehrenwald Displaced Persons Camp, and discuss the Long Island survivor, George Oscar Lee, who was integral to its creation. August 19, 11:00 am.

Democratic Majority for Israel presents a series of live virtual events during the Democratic National Convention, featuring prominent foreign policy experts, pro-Israel lawmakers and Democratic political strategists. Wednesday’s event will feature John Anzalone, Vice President Biden campaign pollster and strategist, and Minyon Moore, former White House director of political affairs for President Bill Clinton. August 19, 12:00 pm.

Find more happenings by going to The Jewish Week Events Calendar.

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