World Briefs: RJC CEO: George Santos ‘will not be welcome’ at our events


RJC CEO: George Santos ‘Will Not Be Welcome’ at Our Events
George Santos’ first Chanukah party with the Republican Jewish Coalition will be his last, reported JTA.

George Santos (Wade Vandervort / AFP/via Getty Images via JTA)

The group says it will not host the newly elected Long Island Republican after the congressman-elect lied to RJC officials and the public about being Jewish and the descendant of people who escaped the Holocaust.

Santos participated in an event with the group on the first night of Chanukah on Dec. 18, where he was feted as one of two incoming Jewish Republicans in Congress; he was elected in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. The next day, The New York Times published a story detailing countless fabrications in his personal and professional resume.

The head of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Matt Brooks, first said he was satisfied with Santos’s account of his family history but reversed course after more damning information was unveiled.

“We are very disappointed in Congressman-elect Santos. He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish,” said Brooks. “He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event.”

Latin America’s Biggest Online Retailer Says It Reduced Antisemitic Products by 89%
Latin America’s largest online retailer has stripped its digital shelves of antisemitic content this year, the result of a push by the regional branch of the World Jewish Congress, reported JTA.

Mercado Libre (or “free market” in Spanish) was founded in 1999 in Argentina by a Jewish businessman there; it boasts 140 million users, making it more widely used than Amazon in Latin America, where it operates in 18 countries.

Last year, the company announced that it would purge books such as “Mein Kampf” and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” as well as Nazi coins, posters and memorabilia, from its offerings. On Dec. 23, it announced that in the first half of 2021, the number of items available for sale that violated the company’s policies related to violence and discrimination was down 89% compared to the year before.

Federico Deya, Mercado Libre’s senior legal director, credited the work that the company had done with the Latin American Jewish Congress in effecting the change, which a report from the company said also included a 23% increase in the detection of hate speech in publications for sale on the site.

Israel’s Population Rises 2.2% to More Than 9.5 Million
Israel’s population increased by 2.2% in 2022 to 9.66 million, reported JNS, citing Central Bureau of Statistics figures released on Dec. 29.

Of the country’s residents, 7.11 million are Jews (73.6%), 2.04 million are Arabs (21.1%) and 513,000 are of other denominations.

The population increase dwarfed the 1.8% growth in 2021, with the difference being attributed in part to a larger number of immigrants in the past 12 months.

Approximately 73,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2022, compared to 25,000 last year, 80% of them coming from Russia and Ukraine.

Google Fixes Antisemitic Definition of ‘Jew’ Following Uproar
Google users who typed “Jew” in the search feature on Dec. 27 found that the top definition was an antisemitic stereotype, reported JNS. The search engine’s first listed definition of “Jew” was: “to bargain with someone in a miserly or petty way.”

Jewish advocacy groups flagged the offensive definition to Google and demanded an explanation.

After fixing the error, Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan took to Twitter to apologize on behalf of the search engine company.

“Our apologies. Google licenses definitions from third-party dictionary experts,” he posted. “We only display offensive definitions by default if they are the main meaning of a term. As this is not the case here, we have blocked this & passed along feedback to the partner for further review.”

Zambia to Get First Rabbi in Six Decades
Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi Mendy and Rivky Hertzel will be moving to Zambia to establish a Chabad House and assist the small but thriving Jewish community in the southern African nation.

Zambia has not had a rabbi in more than 60 years.

There are an estimated 100 to 150 Jews in the country of almost 20 million people.
The first Jews to arrive in Zambia were Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe (mostly Lithuania) who migrated in the 19th century, when it was a British colony. The Jewish population peaked in the 1960s at around 2,000.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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