Globe Briefs August 25
London mayor won’t support Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Party leader
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city, said he will not support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election.
Corbyn, who has called Hezbollah and Hamas “friends,” has been accused of fostering an atmosphere of anti-Semitism in the party.
Khan, a Labour member, did not mention the anti-Semitism in an op-ed published Saturday in The Guardian newspaper. But he did say in the London-based daily that if Corbyn remained party leader, Labour would be unlikely to win the next general election. He also said Corbyn “has already proved that he is unable to organize an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.”
In a June op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Kahn pledged to root out anti-Semitism in his city and in Labour.
Khan threw his support behind Owen Smith, who has been a Parliament member since 2010, and prior to that worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC. He is Corbyn’s only challenger for the party leadership.
Some 500,000 ballots for the leadership race will be sent out to party members on Monday; the results will be announced next month. Corbyn reportedly remains the favorite with rank-and-file members and is likely to retain the leadership post, according to reports.
The Jewish Labour Movement nominated Smith to lead the party with 92 percent of its members supporting him and 4 percent backing Corbyn.
Federations open fund drive for Louisiana flood victims
North America’s Jewish federations are seeking donations to assist the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge in providing relief to victims of flooding that has devastated southern Louisiana.
Relentless rains and high waters have claimed more than a dozen lives so far; more than 30,000 people have been rescued since Aug. 12. At least 40,000 homes have been damaged and 20 parishes have been declared federal disaster areas, according to Nola.com.
Staff members from the Baton Rouge federation and many from the local Jewish community were among those forced to flee, according to the Jewish Federations of North America, which established the Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund.
Baton Rouge’s newly opened Chabad House also launched an emergency fundraising campaign for those affected by the massive floods.
The Jewish Federation of Greater PIttsburgh will send 100 percent of donations to the Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund. Go to jfedpgh.org/baton-rouge-relief to make a donation.
Mark Zuckerberg and wife sell $95 million in Facebook shares to fund philanthropy
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, sold company shares valued at nearly $95 million to fund their charitable efforts.
The funds reportedly were sold by the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation and CZI Holdings LLC, both owned by the couple, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last Friday.
The price of the shares ranged from $122.85 to $124.31. The sale reportedly was scheduled months ago to avoid insider trading issues.
Late last year Zuckerberg and Chan pledged to give away 99 percent of their shares in the company “during our lives” to charity. The pledge, then worth approximately $45 billion, came in a Facebook post on Dec. 1, 2015, announcing the birth of their daughter, Max.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was formed to fund charities, companies and policies for “advancing human potential and promoting equality,” according to its website.
“We will make long-term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years because our greatest challenges require time to solve,” the site said.
The initiative is a limited liability corporation instead of a foundation, which allows it to participate in public advocacy and invest in businesses or other entities whose profits will be used to support the initiative’s work, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
German university students condemn BDS movement
Students at Leipzig University have passed a resolution condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel as anti-Semitic.
Passed earlier this month, the groundbreaking student council resolution, first reported in The Jerusalem Post, was a response to efforts by University of London anthropology professor Lori Allen, an anti-Israel activist, to foment support for BDS during a visit to the Leipzig University in June.
In its statement, translated on the Legal Insurrection blog, the student council condemned such “anti-Semitic boycott campaigns” and said it would stand up “against the execution, participation in, and promotion of such campaigns and events at the University of Leipzig.” This includes a rejection of BDS-related “events, exhibitions, demonstrations, etc.”
The resolution also called the BDS campaign “an existential threat to the Jews,” given the openly stated threats by Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime against Israel and Jews worldwide.