News Briefs: American Support of Israel Over Palestinians Declines and More

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Two Swastikas Drawn in Blood Found in Los Angeles Park

Sad to say that swastikas appearing in public places aren’t too uncommon, but they usually aren’t drawn in blood.

But that was the case March 4 in Los Angeles when two swastikas drawn in blood were found in a public park, KCBS-TV reported.

A police officer said the blood likely came from a self-inflicted injury, a criminal act or from an accident. Bloodhounds lost the scent after following a blood trail for several blocks.

Police don’t think the swastikas are tied to the nearby Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, which isn’t far from the park.

“Acts of hate and anti-Semitism are deeply painful and have no place in the city of Los Angeles,” City Councilman David Ryu said in a statement, JTA reported.

American Support of Israel Over Palestinians Declines Sharply

Although 59 percent of American sympathize more with Israel than Palestinians, the number has slipped from 64 percent a year ago, according to a new Gallup Poll, JTA reported. That’s the lowest level of support since 2009.

The support for Palestinians remains unchanged at 21 percent.

Support for Israel declined among both Republicans and Democrats. Democratic support of Israel declined from 49 percent a year ago to 43 percent, while Republican support fell from 87 percent to 76 percent.

Meantime, Israel itself is viewed favorably by 69 percent of U.S. adults, a decrease from 74 percent in 2018, although within the 66-72 percent range from 2010-17.

Texas Blacklists Airbnb for Removing West Bank Jewish Settlement Listings

Texas placed Airbnb on its “List of Companies that Boycott Israel” because the company took down listings of rentals in West Bank Jewish settlements, JTA reported.

Under a Texas law passed in 2017 that prevents government contractors from boycotting Israel, Airbnb has 90 days to demonstrate that it doesn’t boycott Israel. If it fails to do so, Texas “shall sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly traded securities of the company, except securities.”

Airbnb said in December that it was removing about listings in the settlements, but not in the Palestinian communities. The company has denied any bias against Israelis.

“We unequivocally reject and oppose the BDS movement and are disappointed by the [Texas] decision,” the company told Israeli media outlets.

JTA said a quick check of the company’s website on March 3 showed that listings do appear for West Bank Jewish settlements.

Greek Escape Room Drops Schindler’s List Name After Receiving Complaints

An escape room called Schindler’s List in Thessa-loniki, Greece, has changed its name to Secret Agent after complaints from the local Jewish community, JTA reported.

The game called for participants to create a list of survivors who will be spared a horrible death by enemy forces.

“Your mission is to find Schindler’s list and deliver it to the right hands,” according to the game’s former description. “Will you manage to escape from the German army and save the lives of hundreds of innocent people?”

There was no direct mention of Jews or the Holocaust, but the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece criticized the game’s name.

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.

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