Recent olim share stories for new holiday
The State of Israel was built by generations of new immigrants embracing the Zionist dream, and on Tuesday, the country will finally commemorate its olim, old and new, for the first time in 68 years.
For the occasion, The Jerusalem Post spoke to recent olim and asked them to share their aliya experiences.
Sara Castelnuovo made aliya five months ago from Rome, Italy.
She is currently doing National Service, serving as an EMT with Magen David Adom.
“I grew up in Rome and come from a Zionist family and community, so I always heard how great life was in Israel,” she said.
Castelnuovo said she found Israel “amazing” when she first visited seven years ago and had wanted to make aliya.
“In addition to my Zionism, I considered how hard is to be a Jew in the Diaspora,” she said. “People don’t really get what it means to completely stop any single action during Shabbat or eating only at kosher places. You always feel like you have to give an explanation, and at the end you don’t feel like living your Jewish life 100%.”
1 million to participate in global 'Shabbat Project'
The third annual global Shabbat Project, scheduled for Nov. 11-12, is expected to surpass its previous numbers and reach a new record of 1,000 cities around the world, and aims to pass the 1 million participant mark.In historic first, senior British royal said to be planning official trip to Israel
Started in 2014, the Shabbat Project quickly gained popularity, with 919 cities in 84 countries participating last year. This year's theme is "Shabbat can do that" and 57 new cities have joined the project.
Project initiator South Africa Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein said, "In 2014 and again in 2015, through the transformative power of Shabbat, we’ve seen individuals and communities accomplish great things; things that before were not thought possible. We’ve seen walls torn down, families strengthened and rejuvenated, deep feelings awakened, lasting friendships formed. This is what Shabbat can do."
In what would be an historic first formal visit, a senior member of the British royal family is planning an official trip to Israel in 2017, a tour that would coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, according to a UK Jewish community leader.
While royals have visited Israel in the past, no representative of the British monarchy has ever come to country on an official “royal tour.” An official royal visit to Jewish state would be the first in the Jewish state’s 68-year existence, during which nearly every other country on earth has been visited by a representative of the Crown.
The community leader said the details of the visit were not yet finalized but that the trip would be led by a senior member of the royal family.
While the visit would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, issued by foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour in 1917, it is unclear whether the trip would officially mark the document’s centenary. Instead, the visit may be formally billed as a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jerusalem in which General Allenby lead the British Army to a victory over the Ottomon Empire.
The British Embassy in Israel could neither confirm or deny that a trip was being considered, saying, “Any planned tours will be announced in due course in the usual way.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it had not received a request or correspondence regarding a royal visit, but a spokesman told The Times of Israel that 2017 trips had not yet been finalized and it was possible that a visit is being planned.
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Ronald Reagan’s US Policy for Peace in the Middle East, 1982
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.Setting the Record Straight on Israel
With just hours to go before America goes to the polls to elect its 45th President, I am not interested in discussing the candidates and their relative merits here on Israellycool. I am aware we have readers who are staunch supporters of either of the main candidates, and I do not want to distract from my main goal on this blog by getting bogged down in political discussions.
What I would like to do, though, is look back at a previous US President I rate as one of the best – Ronald Reagan.
Do not get me wrong – he was by no means the perfect president, even on Israel. He was a harsh critic at times, and never visited the Jewish state. But he certainly seemed committed to our security, and his position on arriving at a peaceful settlement was way better than what we have seen from more recent US presidents.
In his Address to the Nation on United States Policy for Peace in the Middle East on September 1, 1982, President Reagan made very clear his commitment to Israel’s security, and opposition to a palestinian state; he favored palestinian self-government in association with Jordan (perhaps recognizing Jordan as the palestinian homeland). This self-government was to prove the palestinians could run their affairs, and would not pose a danger to Israel. Only after the palestinians proved themselves in this regard (something they have not done with regards to the Gaza test case) would final status negotiations occur. He also acknowledged that Israel could not return to the 1967 borders, and made Israel’s security the fundamental principle of any negotiations.
Lee Smith interviews Martin KramerWatchdog: London University Lecture Equating Nazism, Zionism Highlights School’s 'Poor Record' in Cracking Down on Antisemitism
Americans tend to assume that everyone wants democracy, and that more democracy is the solution for dysfunctional parts of the world. But parts of the Middle East resist because democracy and its freedoms undercut the entire political, social, and moral order. So if you bring down a dictator, you unshackled all the genies that the dictator locked up, such as Islamism and sectarianism.
Americans sometimes forget that Israel really is a vibrant democracy. Israel's top leaders are sometimes faulted in America for not making "tough decisions" or taking "risks for peace." But they're politicians in a democracy, they answer to voters. In almost every household, there are soldiers and reservists who know the realities surrounding Israel through first-hand experience.
Israel doesn't face a dire threat from any of its Arab neighbors. But the looming challenge is Iran's almost limitless regional ambitions. Blunting the thrust of Iran is a multi-decade project. The nuclear deal has postponed the reckoning, but the challenge still looms.
A lecture last week at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London highlights the school’s poor record when it comes to cracking down on Jew-hatred, a British watchdog group told The Algemeiner on Monday.Israeli and Palestinian Activists Go Head-to-Head at George Mason University
A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) — which filed an official complaint with SOAS Director Baroness Amos about a lecture delivered Thursday by author Thomas Suarez — said that not only were antisemitic comments made during the talk, but they were left unchallenged by the SOAS Palestine Society, the group that hosted the event.
According to the CAA complaint — obtained by The Algemeiner — Suarez told attendees that “Zionism was a parallel movement to Nazism,” and said, “Israel can hold Jewish identity ransom,” as Zionists “conspired to try and increase antisemitism in order to force Jews to Palestine.”
Over the weekend, National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), which coordinates more than 160 chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), held its sixth annual conference just outside the nation’s capital at George Mason University (GMU), Virginia’s largest public research university. The conference was hosted by George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid and held on-campus on the third floor of the student Johnson Center. It was attended by more than 200 activists from the U.S. and abroad. Its theme was “Critical Mass: With Our Roots in Resistance, Forging a Just Future.” The Anti-Defamation League, far from a “right-wing” institution, has labeled SJP “the primary organizer of anti-Israel events on U.S. college campuses and the group most responsible for bringing divestment resolutions to votes in front of student governments.” I was keen to check out the conference and learn more about its aims and the motivations of its attendees.Anti-Israel Conference Bans Opposing Viewpoints
On a beautiful, cloudless, and unusually warm November morning, I went to the registration desk and asked SJP communications personnel for comment, but I was told that both organizers and attendees would only speak with “registered media.” I explained to a recent graduate from Tufts University, who was in charge of NSJP’s media email account, that I was a freelance journalist. I gave her my business card and pulled up my website on my iPhone to provide her with a sense of my writings. She was genuinely sympathetic, interested, and instructed that I apply for a credential through NSJP’s website. I did, but my application would soon be denied. The Tufts alumna had indeed explained upfront that approval was unlikely because my request was “the day of” and her organization was worried about infiltration and negative press. She specified that a “right-wing publication,” which had tried to link SJP with Hamas, also sought a credential.
I respect that NSJP was holding a private event. As such, I further appreciate that it was wary to have journalists floating around its reserved area and observing its workshops. That being said, there were two things I found troubling with the experience up-front.
The organizers of an anti-Israel conference held over the weekend at George Mason University restricted press access only to "movement outlets" that support economic warfare against the Jewish State, according to statements provided to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by a media coordinator for the event.Daphne Anson: Jew-Baiting in Edinburgh: "This is what these creatures are celebrating ... the rape of non-Jewish women" (video)
The national conference, hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group that has been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for demonizing Israel, featured a slew of prominent advocates for boycotting Israel as well as training workshops for student activists.
After TWS was denied press credentials to the conference, a media coordinator said that SJP had "only invited people from what we call movement outlets … because we didn't want students to be under the pressure of having outlets that might not report in a way that was very friendly to them."
Conference organizers gave credentials to websites that watchdog groups have condemned for distributing hateful material against Israel and Jews, including Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada. The left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which has just under a 4 percent market share in Israel, also received access.
When contacted for comment about its status as a "movement outlet," Haaretz denied that characterization, telling TWS that their reporter's attendance "does not imply any endorsement or support of the ideas and opinions voiced at the event."
"How disgusting can you get? How low can you sink?" screeches Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief Mick Napier.'German BDS hurts Israeli and Palestinian workers alike'
Watch this video of anti-Israel fanatics in Edinburgh on 17 August to find out: loathsome, despicable stuff aimed at the organisers and attendees of the "Shalom Festival". And at Jews (the vast majority who are "Zionist" Jews) and Israel generally.
"Your tickets are covered with Palestinian blood!" cry the assembled flag-waving, baying, jeering mob over and over again.
"This is what these creatures are celebrating ... the rape of non-Jewish women" we hear a male voice scream amid a lengthy rant that demands the "right of return" and extols BDS. ("The original inhabitants of Palestine were Palestinians" the ranter earlier declares to wild cheers.)
"These people are here to support barbarism" thunders the hoary-headed chieftain of the festival attendees, in an odious address demonising Israel and "Zionist Jews" that follows an emotional diatribe in similar vein by a woman.
The 700,000 member Histadrut labor federation urged the German GEW union (The Education and Science Workers’ Union) on Sunday to stop its attacks on Israel and focus on advancing the conditions of Palestinian and Israeli workers.Maclean’s Photo Essay Is Pure Palestinian Propaganda
“The Histadrut strongly opposes the BDS phenomenon, which contradicts the belief and ideology of the GEW,” Avital Shapira, director of Histadrut’s International Department, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “It is counterproductive, harms innocent Israeli and Palestinian workers and its goal is to delegitimize and demonize Israel and Israeli organizations,” she said.
“Rather, the Histadrut calls on trade unions throughout the world and other organizations to focus on constructive deeds and cooperate with the Histadrut in its constant protection of workers – Israeli, Palestinian and migrant alike – and strive to enhance the relationship between Israeli and Palestinian unions,” she added.
Untold in Nikki Wiart’s essay is how Hamas, a bona fide and outlawed terror group fired 3,700 rockets at Israeli citizens and dug 32 terror-attack tunnels in attempts to murder innocents and/or kidnap Israelis to hold them for ransom as bargaining chips.IsraellyCool: Al Jazeera And The Worst Genocide Ever
Israel had no choice and every responsibility to safeguard its populace from being relentlessly bombarded by deadly mortars and rockets fired by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups, intent on murdering and maiming innocents.
Israel also undertook every effort to safeguard the lives of innocents, while Hamas took every effort to place its weapons and fighters next to and within civilian installations like United Nations buildings, hospitals, schools and residential areas. In so doing, Hamas committed double war crimes and crimes against humanity by firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians.
In the interests of balance, Maclean’s would be well served by publishing photos of these deadly rockets, of Israeli civilians terrified in bomb shelters and being treated in hospitals, and of Hamas terrorists in civilian clothing shooting rockets at Israeli civilians. That would paint a balanced and contextualized picture of the conflict.
In an Al Jizz report on Gazans protesting against UNRWA aid cuts, an inconvenient fact for the Israel haters.Ex-Italian soccer player suspended from TV job repudiates racism
Umm Baha has become a regular participant in protests against reduced UNRWA services in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The 43-year-old Palestinian widow says she has no choice but to demonstrate against recent cuts to services offered by the United Nations refugee agency. “The diminished assistance that I receive is disproportionate, considering my mounting responsibilities of taking care of six orphans,” Umm Baha told Al Jazeera.
Two years ago, she used to receive food parcels containing ingredients such as oil, sugar and flour at least four times a year; now, it is twice a year at most.
Drastic UN cuts to food rations, healthcare and education programmes have added to the financial woes of Palestinian refugees in Gaza over the past few years. As Gaza’s population rises, no new clinics have been built to address the population’s needs, while 25 nursing positions were recently eliminated.
And sure enough, the population in Gaza – and in fact all the palestinian-controlled territories – continues to rise.
Worst. Genocide. Ever.
A former Italian soccer player who was suspended as a TV commentator after displaying on air a pro-fascist tattoo says he repudiates “anti-Semitic, racist, discriminatory, and violent” views.Jews gather in Ukrainian city that honors alleged Holocaust perpetrators
Paolo Di Canio made his statement in a letter to Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, saying he wanted to send a message to the entire Jewish community.
In September, the Sky Sports Italia channel suspended Di Canio after he appeared during soccer coverage wearing a short-sleeved shirt that revealed his tattoo reading “DUX.” The Latin term for leader, Dux is the origin of the Italian term “Il Duce,” which was the title chosen by Benito Mussolini, who ruled Italy for two decades and was an ally of Adolf Hitler.
“I believe, without ifs, ands, or buts, that Mussolini’s racist laws were a terrible infamy for the history of our country, an infamy that caused immense tragedy for thousands of Jews in Italy,” Di Canio wrote to Di Segni, saying that this was his “convinced and determined” position.
Nearly 1,000 people attended the largest Jewish gathering held in decades in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has numerous monuments honoring alleged war criminals from the Holocaust era.Israel’s Heron drone completes first successful mission in Mali
The mostly Jewish crowd of 900 on Saturday night filled the Lviv Theater of Opera and Ballet for a concert and ceremony celebrating a decade of activity by the Ukraine branch of Limmud FSU, a network of organizations responsible for holding Jewish learning conferences across the former Soviet Union and other countries with Jewish Russian speakers.
Many of the participants in the four-day event in Lviv belonged to the city’s Jewish population of 1,200, but most came from across Ukraine for the 10th anniversary event. Among those on hand was the city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovyi.
Lviv, whose pre-Holocaust Jewish population of 150,000 was virtually wiped out by the Nazis and their local collaborators, is widely seen as the cradle of the country’s nationalist revival.
Germany has successfully carried out its first successful operational mission in Mali using the Israeli-made Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).Making proton therapy available to more cancer patients
The mission took place on November 1 and lasted five hours and 40 minutes.
As part of its role in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Germany signed a $100 million deal with Airbus Defense and Space to lease 3 Israeli- made Heron drones in July.
“The first flight is an important step to obtain the declaration of full operational capability,” Airbus said in a statement.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, a spokeswoman for Israel’s Aerospace Industries said the contract for the Heron 1 UAVs will last from November to February 2018, when Germany plans to lease the larger and more advanced Heron TP UAVs in a $650m. contract.
The Heron TPs are IAI’s most advanced UAVs.
Scientists have known for 60 years that proton therapy is a superior form of radiation therapy for cancerous tumors, because it allows for zapping diseased cells with higher doses of radiation while significantly reducing damage to healthy surrounding tissue.Blast of thin air can reset circadian clocks
However, proton therapy has been introduced in only a handful of cancer treatment centers because of the high cost of the machinery and space to house it.
Availability could improve dramatically now that a compact, lower-cost device from Israeli company P-Cure has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
The patented P-Cure system uses diagnostic-quality computed tomography (CT) to enable proton-therapy treatment planning, positioning and delivery for cancer patients in a seated position.
The system is more cost-effective and more therapeutically effective than the current standard of treating the patient in a horizontal position, says Michael Marash, PhD, founder and CEO of P-Cure.
A new way to reset our internal body clocks is on the horizon, as Israeli scientists have found that changes in surrounding oxygen levels affect the circadian rhythm of mice.Netflix to air Israeli thriller about undercover counterterrorism unit
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot say that if their results are confirmed in humans, airlines might consider moderating cabin air pressure to relieve jetlag, according to a study published in Cell Metabolism.
It is known that factors including light, eating times and temperature help synchronize circadian rhythms in both humans and animals. The body’s master circadian clock, residing in the brain, synchronizes a multitude of biological processes in every single cell. Disruption to this optimum timing system can cause imbalances, leading to jetlag and such diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver.
Prof. Gad Asher of the Weizmann Institute’s biomolecular sciences department and his colleagues, including postdoctoral fellows Yaarit Adamovich and Benjamin Ladeuix, wondered whether oxygen might also influence circadian rhythms since oxygen absorption in animals is linked with nutrient ingestion and maintenance of body temperatures.
American multinational entertainment company Netflix announced Tuesday that it will air "Fauda" ("Chaos"), a critically acclaimed Israeli television series produced by satellite-television provider Yes.IsraellyCool: Hayden Panettiere At The Dead Sea: “One Of The Most Incredible Things I Have Ever Done”
The thriller, which focuses on the work of an undercover counterterrorism unit operating inside Palestinian cities in search of a Hamas arch-terrorist nicknamed "The Panther," showcases the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of the unit's commander, his team and their families, as well as through the eyes of the terrorist, his family and associates.
"Fauda," which aired in 2015, became an instant hit in Israel. It went on to win six Ophir Awards -- the Israeli Academy of Film and Television's highest prize -- including for Best Drama Series, and for best cinematography, special effects, editing, soundtrack, and set design.
"Fauda" was developed by Lior Raz and Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff, based on their military experiences. Raz starts as Doron, the unit's commander, and Israeli Arab actor Hisham Suliman plays the elusive "Panther," Tawfik Hamed.
Actress Hayden Panettiere posted the following on Twitter last night (hat tip: Yisrael).
And while this seems to be the only posting of hers from Israel on social media, she was spotted in Tel Aviv over a month ago.
Whether she has been in Israel for the entire month or just got around to posting about her trip is not clear. What is clear is the trip made a positive impression on her.