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Calling Israel ‘apartheid state’ provokes anti-Semitism

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Calling Israel 'apartheid state' provokes anti-Semitism

A Democratic congressman from Minnesota called out far-left members of the progressive House “Squad” Monday, claiming that their rhetoric toward Israel was helping to provoke anti-Semitic violence.

“We know we have a problem on the right,” Rep. Dean Phillips, who is Jewish, told CNN. “We have [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene [R-Ga.] spewing Nazi rhetoric almost every other day.

“But now we’re seeing attacks from the left, and just as the former president [Donald Trump] called COVID the ‘China flu,’ which provoked attacks on Asian Americans, calling Israel a ‘terrorist state’ or an ‘apartheid state,’ to me, is doing the same thing to the Jewish community, which has been persecuted for so many generations.”

While Phillips did not mention any of his fellow lawmakers by name, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — the first Palestinian American woman elected to Congress blasted the Biden administration on the House floor earlier this month for sending money to what she described as Israel’s “apartheid government.”

On the same day, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “far-right ethno-nationalist.”

On May 24, amid a spate of anti-Semitic attacks and vandalism in cities across America, Phillips tweeted that he would “say the quiet part out loud.”

“[I]t’s time for ‘progressives’ to start condemning anti-semitism and violent attacks on Jewish people with the same intention and vigor demonstrated in other areas of activism,” he wrote. “The silence has been deafening.”

“I’m 52 years old. I’ve never had to stand up in this way in my entire life,” Phillips said Monday. “As I’ve said … these are the times my grandparents, my great-grandparents warned me about.”

The second-term Congressman later repeated: “It’s time to stand up and ask my progressive friends and colleagues and brothers and sisters to recognize what is at stake here and to look back in history, not long ago, in Germany, where Jewish people felt as safe as they do in America right now.

“But these are the signs and signals that are very disconcerting for the community, and I feel an obligation to point that out, and not condemn, but invite my progressive colleagues to help us.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said last week that it had received reports of 222 anti-Semitic incidents in the US between May 10 and May 23, a period that included the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

That number represented an 75 percent increase over the period between April 26 and May 9, when 127 anti-Semitic incidents were reported to the ADL from across the US.

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Miami Beach building collapse

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Miami Beach building collapse

More than 80 fire rescue units are responding to a partial building collapse this morning just north of Miami Beach and rescues are underway, officials said.

It was a high-rise condominium building and rescues of trapped residents were underway, reports CBS Miami.

A boy was pulled from the rubble of the collapsed condo building and was placed onto a stretcher, NBC 2 News reports.

According to CBS Miami, a man who was evacuated from a nearby hotel said, “The building – one of these huge buildings – gone! … The building – it’s gone. … The whole building’s gone. … Oh my gosh. This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

It’s unclear if there are any injuries. Miami Beach police and fire departments are responding to the building in Surfside. 

Multiple police and fire departments from across Miami-Dade County are also assisting.

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Man sentenced to a year in prison for buying endangered animal parts

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Man sentenced to a year in prison for buying endangered animal parts

A Florida man was sentenced to prison last week for buying parts of dead endangered animals.

Steven Phillip Griffin II, 36, was sentenced to a year and day in a federal lockup after pleading guilty in November to receiving and transporting endangered species in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Griffin was busted after he met undercover wildlife agents in Texas in May 2019 to buy two Southern White rhino horns, four elephant ivory tusks, one African lion skull and three leopard skulls for $9,750, investigators said.

In the two years leading up to the meeting, Griffin communicated with an undercover agent to negotiate the deal, according to the plea agreement.

He told the agent he collects dead animal parts, including skulls and full skeletons and even sent pictures of his collection.

After the meeting, authorities operating with a search warrant seized a variety of animal parts, guns and ammunition from Griffin’s Tampa Bay home.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon.

With Post wires

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Man arrested for taking $1.2M yacht on joyride in upstate NY

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Man arrested for taking $1.2M yacht on joyride in upstate NY

A man was arrested after he stole a $1.2 million yacht and took it for a joy ride from upstate New York to Vermont over one of the Great Lakes, reports said.

And when 56-year-old Robert Morris was busted by police he made the outrageous claim he was only giving it a test drive, according to local reports.

The would-be captain took the 48-foot yacht christened “Volans” from New York’s Rouses Point Marina on Monday morning and was caught after crossing Lake Champlain to a state park off the coast of St. Albans, Vt., WCAX reported.

The boat, a Jeanneau Prestige 500, was located by a US Border Patrol helicopter, NBC 5 reported. Morris was nabbed on Burton Island by the St. Albans Police Department and slapped with multiple charges, including possession of stolen property, the station said.

At a court hearing the day after his arrest, Smith was talkative and said he “was water testing the boat after making mechanical fixes,” WCAX said.

Morris was a wanted fugitive in New Hampshire and had a list of prior arrests, according to WCAX. He had also told cops he was given permission to take the boat and said he was caught bringing the yacht back to its owner, which the owner denies, WCAX said.

The accused, who made an “inappropriate gesture” to the webcam as he left the meeting, will undergo a competency exam, the station reported.

Morris is to be extradited to New York to face additional charges, the report said.

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