Workplaces: Employees have been feeling the pressure of the war at work. Some have allegedly been fired or forced to resign, and others have lost job offers after weighing in on the conflict. Boycotts and company statements have also left employees feeling ostracized and fearful of professional repercussions. Muslim and Jewish advocacy organizations reportedly say they've seen a spike in outreach, with people seeking guidance after either facing antisemitism at work or consequences for their political speech. Meanwhile, some workers have started to protest companies they see as endorsing violence against Palestinians or Israelis.
Around the world: Violence, harassment, and threats targeting Muslims and Jews have skyrocketed. In Chicago, a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy, Wadea Al Fayoume, was stabbed to death. In Russia, a mob descended on an airport carrying a plane from Israel, searching for Jewish passengers. Meanwhile, some protests have included hateful and violent rhetoric. One Muslim teen in NYC had her hijab ripped off on the subway and was called a “terrorist.” In Australia, protesters were heard chanting “gas the Jews.”
For some, the latest Israel-Hamas war has sparked empathy for the children and civilians suffering on either side of the conflict. For others, it has exposed the limits of human empathy and the beginnings of hate, Islamophobia, and antisemitism. Jews and Muslims across the world are noticing these reactions — and feeling its impacts.
Where the Hostage Situation Stands
Israel’s military objective is to defeat Hamas’s military capabilities. But another goal is to free the estimated 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas as part of its October 7th attack. Yesterday, Israel said that it had managed to free a hostage during its ground operations in Gaza, a female Israeli soldier named Ori Megidish. It reportedly marks Israel’s first successful military operation to free hostages from the latest war with Hamas, and it comes after Hamas released four hostages: two Israeli women and two US-Israeli nationals.
The news also comes as Hamas released a video of three other hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the video as “cruel psychological propaganda.” Meanwhile, Israel confirmed the death of Shani Louk, a 23-year-old German-Israeli citizen who was captured from a music festival and whose body was reportedly paraded in Gaza. Now, Israel is reportedly still engaged in negotiations with Hamas over the release of the remaining hostages. At times, Hamas has demanded fuel, a cease-fire, and Palestinian prisoners for their release. Still, Israel’s prime minister has rejected calls for a cease-fire — and may be attempting to free them militarily.
For a country that once exchanged more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to free one captive Israeli soldier, the scale of this latest hostage situation is unprecedented in Israeli history — and has gripped the country. It remains a leading consideration in Israel’s domestic discussions surrounding the war. If Israel continues to attempt to free the hostages on its own, the process could also evoke comparisons to Israeli hostage rescue attempts from the1970s.
Whose lawyers are keeping busy...
Former President Trump's. Yesterday, a trial questioning Trump’s eligibility to run for president in 2024 kicked off in Colorado. Six voters and a watchdog group argued that Trump’s actions during the Jan 6 insurrection violated part of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone who’s taken an oath to uphold the Constitution from holding office if they've “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” The challengers hope to disqualify Trump from appearing on the ballot in Colorado next November — one of two similar lawsuits that could make their way to the Supreme Court. This is not the first of Trump's legal troubles this year: he’s currently facing a civil fraud trial in NYC and 91 felony counts in four criminal cases across the country, including Florida, New York, Washington, DC, and Georgia.
Who wants to have a little chat with GPT…
The president. Yesterday, President Biden signed his first executive order targeting potential risks from artificial intelligence. The biggest impact of the EO is that it requires tech companies like Google and OpenAI to share the results of any safety tests with the government before releasing findings to the public. That’s because the White House is concerned developing AI could pose national security or health risks. The order also hopes to kick off a process establishing standards to help avoid biological risks from AI and the threat of AI replacing workers. Biden called the order the “most significant action any government” has taken on AI. However, he stressed that more action is needed through Congress.
What’s driving up to the finish line…
United Auto Workers. Yesterday, the union reached a tentative deal with the last car-making holdout, General Motors, to restart auto manufacturing. Although the union's six-week-old strike is ending, the slowdown in production could make it harder for car owners to find spare parts for repairs.
Joe Jonas is adding "wedding officiant" to the résumé.
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We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.
Debuting a new smile…Maddy H (TX). She’s finally at the end of her six-month recovery for a total jaw joint replacement, in which she learned how to talk, eat, and smile again.
(Some) Birthdays…theSkimm's Melissa Menda (NJ), Kim Rightsell (CO), Cara Miller (MA), Rebekah Stokes (CA), Abby Ford (SC ), Kathryn Merrill (CA), Zoe Marx (FL), Rachel Gonzalez Greene (FL), Amanda Chapman (CT), Sandy Sautter (IA), Kevin Stuczynski (CA), Natanya Auerbach (MA), Melinda Marks (AR), Baba Barnett (NC)
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†Compared to single vision lens. -0.25D or less of change. Fitted at 8-12 years of age at initiation of treatment.
‡Indications for use: MiSight® 1 day (omafilcon A) soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses for daily wear are indicated for the correction of myopic ametropia and for slowing the progression of myopia in children with non-diseased eyes, who at the initiation of treatment are 8-12 years of age and have a refraction of -0.75 to -4.00 diopters (spherical equivalent) with ≤ 0.75 diopters of astigmatism. The lens is to be discarded after each removal.
¹Chamberlain P, et al. A 3-year randomized clinical trial of MiSight® lenses for myopia control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019;96(8):556-567.