World Briefs: Italian Company That Produces Hitler Wines Says it Will Stop Next Year and more

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PCR Tests Reinstated at Ben-Gurion Airport
Ben-Gurion International Airport reinstated a service on Aug. 24 that most travelers probably didn’t miss: PCR testing for people entering Israel, jns.org reported, citing Israel Hayom.

The tests are being funded by the government and are voluntary, at least for now. The purpose of the program is to make PCR testing easily accessible for people entering the country ahead of winter when COVID-19 numbers are projected to spike.


In the first phase of the new rollout, testing will be carried out from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Later, testing will be available around the clock. Travelers who want to be tested can avail themselves of the service in the “G zone” of the arrival hall after collecting their baggage.

About Half of the Ukrainian Refugees in Israel Have Left
Of 29,000 Ukrainian refugees who sought refuge in Israel, 4,200 have qualified for citizenship under the nation’s Law of Return and 14,000 have left for other countries, Haaretz reported, citing Social Services Ministry data.

Overall, nearly 13,000 Ukrainians refugees have registered for humanitarian assistance, which might include medical care, education system placement, aid for buying food, and humanitarian assistance.

Bottles of Lunardelli Wine with labels depicting NAdolf Hitler are displayed on a shelf in a wine shop near Venice in 2003. (Giuseppe Cacace/Getty Images via JTA.org)

Italian Company That Produces Hitler Wines Says it Will Stop Next Year
The heir to an Italian winery that has long produced an Adolf Hitler varietal says he will be putting a cork in its “historical” series of wines next year, JTA reported.

“That’s enough. We’re sick and tired of all this controversy,” Andrea Lunardelli, who expects to take over Vini Lunardelli in early 2023, told an Italian newspaper. “So from next year, the whole historical line with labels of people like Hitler and Mussolini will disappear.”

Vini Lunardelli in northeastern Italy first introduced the series featuring dictators and fascist figures such as Francisco Franco and Josef Stalin in 1995. The company’s site boasts more than 37 different labels, featuring dozens of Nazi-glorying slogans.

The wines have long generated outrage as well as official censure.

In 1997, the German government lodged several complaints, and 10 years later Italian police seized bottles from the business.

Campus police investigate antisemitic banners at UC Davis
On Aug. 28, four men hung banners over a highway overpass at the University of California, Davis, that read “Communism is Jewish” and “The Holocaust is an anti-white lie.”

The white men wore black clothing and masks during the incident on Sunday, according to the Sacramento Bee. University Chancellor Gary May said in a statement that a similar incident had occurred the weekend prior, and university police are considering this a “hate incident.”

“We are sickened that anyone would invest any time in such cowardly acts of hate and intimidation,” May wrote. “They have no place here. We encourage our community to stand against antisemitism and racism.”

Davis Mayor Lucas Frerichs condemned the incident on Twitter. “Hate has no place in Davis, and a common denominator to Holocaust deniers is Anti-Semitism,” Frerichs wrote. “As Mayor, I stand in support w/our Jewish community in Davis, UCD & beyond.”

Multiple antisemitic incidents at UC Davis have been reported over the last few years, including antisemitic fliers in 2019 that were tied to a white supremacist group. In 2015, the campus chapter of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi was spray-painted with swastikas.

Nearby Congregation Bet Haverim, a Reform synagogue, also condemned the incident and said in a Facebook post that they have been in communication with Davis City Council and the Davis Police Department and have not seen “any signs of vandalism or received any specific threats to date,” though the synagogue is requesting increased patrols. Bet Haverim’s security committee is also offering an in-person security training on Sept. 11th in the synagogue’s sanctuary.

World Zionist Organization convenes hundreds in Basel to mark 125th anniversary of First Zionist Congress
Hundreds of Jews from around the world have traveled to Basel, Switzerland, to mark the 125th anniversary of a historic gathering of Zionists there.

The event was organized by the World Zionist Organization, a group inaugurated during the First Zionist Congress that Theodor Herzl, considered the father of modern Zionism, convened in Basel in 1897.

“At Basel, I founded the Jewish state,” Herzl famously wrote in his diary at the time, noting that while not everyone recognized the import of the congress then, they would in 50 years — precisely predicting the moment when Israel would become an independent nation.

The 125th anniversary event, which began Sunday, is not meant to set or debate specific policies. Instead, it aims to celebrate the degree to which Herzl’s vision has transformed into a thriving reality in modern-day Israel. A series speeches and panel discussions about both the successes of Israel and the challenges facing it and the Diaspora will feature Jewish leaders from Israel, the United States and Europe. A companion convening of entrepreneurs from both the business and nonprofit sectors is focused on Israel’s contributions in business and technology.

Critics of Israel held a protest near the gathering Sunday. A video posted to social media by the Geneva chapter of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction Movement, known as BDS, shows a crowd marching behind a banner that says “Free Palestine. No Zionist Congress.” The Swiss government, including the local government in Basel, the country’s third-largest city and home to only a small Jewish community, reportedly paid to enhance security during the World Zionist Organization event.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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