Friday, February 23, 2018

From Ian:

Human Rights Groups Refused to Help 52 Arab Victims of Palestinian Authority Torture
A group of 52 Arabs, residents of the Palestinian Authority, who needed costly medical evaluations in order to apply for compensations following a court ruling finding the PA guilty of torturing them, turned to fifteen different human rights organizations for support but were rejected by 13 of them, Israel Hayom reported Friday.

Out of the 15 NGOs, only Physicians for Human Rights and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture offered assisted the applicants. The rest refused to help or ignored the pleas. The Yesh Din organization expressed their “feelings of anger and pain,” but explained that they cannot help because they only “represent victims of violations when they are harmed by Israeli authorities or Israeli citizens.”
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Another NGO, Adalah, stated they “only help the Palestinian who are suing the State of Israel.”

Amnesty International said that their organization “does not have the professional tools to address the needs of these refugees.”

Good to know.

Last August, Judge Moshe Drori of the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the murder, abduction, imprisonment, torture and rape of 52 Arabs who are citizens of Israel or the PA. The verdict on these cases—dating back to the years 1995-2002—described torture that included electric shocks; castration; prolonged hanging by the legs with the prisoner’s head down; pouring boiling plastic on prisoners’ bodies; pulling teeth and nails; sleep deprivation and food deprivation; as well as murder and rape of family members.
Amnesty report claims Israel ‘kills,’ ‘tortures’ Palestinian children
The recent Amnesty International Report on the state of human rights in 159 countries and territories during 2017 claims Israel is “killing” and “torturing” Palestinian children with impunity.

Its critique of Israel is more extensive and critical than those of known bastions of human rights violations, including Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

“June marked 50 years since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the start of the 11th year of its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, subjecting approximately 2 million inhabitants to collective punishment and a growing humanitarian crisis,” the report begins.

“Israeli forces unlawfully killed Palestinian civilians, including children... Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, remained pervasive and was committed with impunity,” it continues.

In its “Unlawful Killings” section, the document claims Israeli soldiers, police and security guards killed at least 75 Palestinians, later noting that “some of those killed were shot while attacking Israelis or suspected of intending an attack.”

“Many, including children, were shot and unlawfully killed while posing no immediate threat to life,” the reports states.

The “Excessive Use of Force” section claims that Israeli forces killed at least 20 Palestinians and wounded thousands while being attacked during riots.

“Many protesters threw rocks or other projectiles, but were posing no threat to the lives of well-protected Israeli soldiers when they were shot,” it states.
Ellison on Farrakhan Meeting: ‘There’s No Relationship,’ I’m a ‘Fierce Opponent of Anti-Semitism’ (not satire)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) said Thursday he had no relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, saying he had always been a "fierce opponent of anti-Semitism."

Ellison, the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee and a Muslim, attended a private dinner in 2013 with Farrakhan, an outspoken racist and anti-Semite who espouses conspiracy theories about Jews and whites, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer recapped the saga, pointing out Ellison said in 2016 that his relationship with Farrakhan ended long ago.

"What exactly is your relationship with Farrakhan?" Blitzer asked.

"No relationship," Ellison said. "My political opponents keep pushing this out there in order to try to smear and distract from the key issues, but there's no relationship, Wolf. I have a clear record. I have always fought for equal rights for all people. I will continue to do so. I have always denounced and been a fierce opponent of anti-Semitism, from whatever source. I'll continue to do so."




Ben-Dror Yemini: An auto-anti-Semitic abomination
Zeev Sternhell published an article in Le Monde this week, under a title comparing modern Israel to the beginning of Nazism. Similar and identical articles have been published by Sternhell in Hebrew as well.

It didn’t start today. Sternhell has been trying to turn Israel into a fascist state for the past 40 years. For 40 years now, he has been repeating the same chorus of falsehoods again and again.

Forty years ago, Sternhell wrote about one Israel, which is liberal, moderate and educated, with a “very Western Ashkenazi nature,” compared to the other Israel, comprised of Jews of Sephardic descent, which he sees as “aggressive, radical, clerical.” Clearly, this generalization is racism, but Sternhell likely sees himself as the representative of enlightenment.

Nevertheless, Sternhell has won the Israel Prize, which is the most prestigious prize awarded by the State of Israel. Israel is, without a doubt, a special country, giving its most important prize to someone who calls it a fascist state. There is no other “fascist” state of this kind in the world. But Sternhell won’t give up. Fascism is no longer enough. Now, he’s moving to Nazism.

Criticizing Israeli policy is perfectly okay, both on issues related to the Palestinians and on issues related to the peace process and to the attitude towards Israel’s Arab citizens. That’s exactly what 80 percent of Israeli journalists and academics are doing. They are ceaselessly criticizing. This isn’t one of the characteristics of a fascist state, but Sternhell is insisting on creating a reality which has nothing to do with the facts.

According to Sternhell, Israel is a “monster for non-Jews living under its rule.” A monster, no less.
An Israeli Reporter, Undercover Among Europe’s Muslim Immigrants
In theory, Zvi Yehezkeli is the kind of reporter good liberals like to fantasize about. He covers the Arab world, speaks the language fluently, and commands the customs and tenets of Islam with impressive erudition. He goes where the story is, even if that means having the occasional murderous goon fire a semiautomatic in his general direction. And he is out to observe the world, not confirm his own biases.

Which is why it’s odd that, these days, Zvi Yehezkeli is also the reporter good liberals, at least in Israel, like to hate. After decades spent reporting on the Palestinian Authority, Yehezkeli took his family’s heritage—his parents immigrated to Israel from Iraq—and his rich Arabic and traveled to Europe, to look into the lives of young Muslims there. The result has been a stream of documentaries that began airing on Israeli television in 2012, in which Yehezkeli, often disguised as an Arab, entices his interviewees to admit the kind of inconvenient truth one rarely hears elsewhere. In Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, and England, he mostly meets disdainful men who, having left their faltering nations for the comfort of the European continent, look at their kind hosts with nothing but contempt while adhering to an increasingly radicalized version of Islam. Pundits and intellectuals were quick to accuse Yehezkeli of racism, but viewers, in Israel and elsewhere, found his grim insights fascinating.

Yehezkeli’s latest production, a five-part series called “False Identity,” premiered on Israel’s Channel 10 last month, but thanks to the internet’s disregard for copyright, his earlier work is readily available, in translation, on a host of websites. But the question of how to go ahead and watch it is more complicated.

For those who like their schadenfreude undiluted, taking Yehezkeli’s work at face value can be a treat. There’s certainly a reptilian sort of pleasure to be had when watching the beautiful people of Europe, those long-time critics of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, get sucker-punched by their protégés. When two smiley young women who left the comforts of Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp, for example, tell Yehezkeli with disgust that they do not recognize their Swedish ID cards—they collect all the financial benefits of asylum but deny any allegiance to their new Nordic neighbors—it’s hard not to feel as if the proverbial chickens have come home to roost.
IsraellyCool: Interview With Prof. Richard Landes About His New Video Doc on Media Bias
Richard Landes, former professor of history at Boston University, blogger, and long-time commentator on Middle East affairs, has just published a twenty-minute video, “Everyone Knows,” about media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Andrew Pessin, professor of philosophy at Connecticut College, interviews him about the film.

Who are you hoping to reach with the film?

Unfortunately I think too few people appreciate just how far off the path of accuracy and integrity allegedly “respected” reporters and networks are capable of straying. Mainstream journalists sometimes boast about “bearing witness” to their times; I, and I hope many others will, criticize them when they (all too often) bear false witness. To that end, I’m hoping to reach a wide variety of people with this film:
Those concerned about media integrity in general, including the phenomenon of “fake news”
Students of journalism and teachers/professors willing to discuss, even teach, a serious critique of current Middle East journalism in particular
Reading and discussion groups who want to deal honestly with the Middle East
Students on Western campuses who feel great sympathy for the Palestinian cause but who, due to media failures, fail to grasp just how extreme the true Palestinian perspective is
Those individuals who are pro-Israel but who may still not realize not merely how bad the media situation is but how dangerous it is (for example in promoting global antisemitism)
Anyone concerned about the possibility that “lethal journalism” that targets Israel may also be what I like to call “own-goal war journalism” (i.e. reporting your own enemy war propaganda as news), that targets the West in general
Savvy independents in cyberspace who appreciate revelations of foolish hypocrisy


Ruth Wisse: The Enduring Outrage of Hannah Arendt’s ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’
When Arendt volunteered to report on the Eichmann trial, it was presumed that she was doing so in her role as a Jew. . . . But Arendt actually traveled to Jerusalem for a deeper purpose—to reclaim Eichmann for German philosophy. She did not exonerate Nazism and in fact excoriated the postwar Adenauer government for not doing enough to punish known Nazi killers, but she rehabilitated the German mind and demonstrated how that could be done by going—not beyond, but around, good and evil. She came to erase Judaism philosophically, to complicate its search for moral clarity, and to unseat a conviction [that, in Saul Bellow’s words], “everybody . . . knows what murder is.”

Arendt was to remain the heroine of postmodernists, deconstructionists, feminists, relativists, and internationalist ideologues who deny the stability of Truth. Not coincidentally, many of them have also disputed the rights of the sovereign Jewish people to its national homeland. Indeed, as anti-Zionism cemented the coalition of leftists, Arabs, and dissident minorities, Arendt herself was conscripted, sometimes unfairly and in ways she might have protested, as an ally in their destabilizing cause. They were enchanted by her “perversity” and were undeterred in their enthusiasm by subsequent revelations, like those of the historian Bernard Wasserstein, who documented Arendt’s scholarly reliance on anti-Semitic sources in her study of totalitarianism, or of revelations about her resumed friendship with Martin Heidegger despite his Nazi associations.

At the same time, however, the Arendt report on the Eichmann trial became one of the catalysts for something no one could have predicted—an intellectual movement that came to be known as neoconservatism. A cohort of writers and thinkers, many of them Jews from immigrant families who had turned to leftism as naturally as calves to their mother’s teats, but who had slowly moved away from the Marxism of their youth during the Stalin years and World War II, now spotted corruption and dishonesty and something antithetical to them in some of their very models of the intellectual life.

They and their Gentile colleagues had constituted the only European-style intelligentsia to flourish in America. Most of them were only one generation removed from Europe, after all, so what could be more natural than for them to serve as the conduit of European intelligence to America? Arendt’s ingenious twist of the Eichmann trial showed them how Jewish and American they actually were—and how morally clear they aspired to be.
BDS: It’s Not Economics, Stupid!
Recently, the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS)’s editor-in-chief, Jonathan S. Tobin, wrote that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is simply an “annoyance to Israel.” Tobin claimed that BDS has done little damage to Israel’s prosperous economy,” and other articles at JNS — and in other Jewish media outlets — have proudly proclaimed that BDS is in decline.

While BDS may have a limited economic impact on Israel, evaluating the boycott movement in these terms is shortsighted — and possibly dangerous. Theories such as Tobin’s give a false sense of security to pro-Israel supporters, who should be vigorously battling BDS as if it was a war for Israel’s survival (which it is).

Tobin and his ilk often conflate two separate issues: 1) if the Israeli government should be in the anti-BDS business; and 2) whether BDS is succeeding or failing.

The first point stems, in large part, from Israel’s controversial decision to blacklist 20 actively pro-BDS organizations (and its members) from entering Israel.

BDS’ goal is not simply to stop Israeli settlements or to promote a peace process that leads to two states, Arabs and Jews, living together in peace. BDS’ documented goal is one state, as articulated by its founders. Therefore, I have no problem with Israel curtailing entry for people who openly work toward that country’s demise. In fact, all countries do this.

As for the second point, and specifically Tobin’s assertion that BDS is an annoyance based on Israel’s vibrant economy, my rebuttal is from a piece that I wrote after Ben Cohen wrote two years ago that “2016 may well be remembered as the year that the BDS movement targeting Israel finally died its death — in a clinical sense, at least.”
BDS Bullying Tactics: Emily Schrader and Hen Mazzig discuss with Alan Dershowitz


UC-Irvine Investigation Clears Pro-Israel Students of Misbehavior Accusations Made by Sanctioned BDS Group
The University of California, Irvine has dismissed charges that a pro-Israel group on campus behaved improperly toward members of Students for Justice in Palestine, following a months-long investigation.

Students Supporting Israel (SSI) faced allegations that it “aided or abetted” violations of university policy while hosting members of the advocacy group Reservists on Duty — which opposes the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel — at the school last year.

On May 10th, an SSI event featuring Israeli veterans associated with RoD was disrupted by a group of SJP protesters, who chanted, “Israel, Israel what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

UC-Irvine administrators concluded after an investigation that SJP — which supports BDS and has disrupted other pro-Israel events at the university — violated its student code of conduct during the incident, and placed the group on disciplinary probation until June 2019.

SJP has denied all wrongdoing, and instead alleged that its members were victimized during the event. It accused SSI of aiding and abetting misbehavior by RoD activists, who were tabling a booth on campus during the week of May 8th.
Emails Expose CAIR’s Ongoing Influence in San Diego Schools
San Diego’s school board continues to work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and enact its recommended anti-bullying curriculum — despite a July school board vote withdrawing from a partnership with the Islamist group.

A motion for a preliminary injunction filed in Federal court on Tuesday seeks to put an end to the ongoing work between CAIR and San Diego schools.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) originally sued the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) last May on behalf of several San Diego parents, arguing that CAIR — as a religious organization — cannot steer public school curriculum and programming without violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause (separating religion and state) — not to mention California state law.

Those concerns led SDUSD attorneys to recommend breaking off an anti-bullying partnership with CAIR last July. But school district emails obtained by the FCDF as part of the litigation make it clear that CAIR’s curriculum and program recommendations remain in play.

“Despite public statements to the contrary, Defendants have strengthened their partnership with” CAIR, the motion filed on Tuesday said. The school district is “delegating government power to a religious organization, and spending taxpayer money to advance a sectarian agenda.”

The policy creates an unequal situation that makes it a “graver sin” to rip off a Muslim girl’s hijab than to knock off a Jewish boy’s kippah [skullcap], the motion said.
IsraellyCool: Great Moments in Self-Hatred and Delusion: The Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience
I was just made aware about a talk on the Israel Lobby and American Policy at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. It is hosted by a group called the Promised Land Museum, who will have their Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience on display there (hat tip: Jackie)

So I looked into this online “museum” – and what I found was appalling.

It is hard to know where to start with this exercise in self-hatred, but I’ll try.

The museum was founded with the express goal of providing “a Jewish perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict.” They reduce this to the “treat our neighbor as we would want to be treated” principle – giving it their own simplistic interpretation to coincide with their “liberal” values – conveniently ignoring other principles in our Torah, which provide the proper context, like:
- Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people
- The right and obligation of self-defense (which even extends to preemptive defensive war)

Turning the other cheek is not a Jewish value.

What makes this all the more infuriating is they do acknowledge “the continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land for thousands of years.” More than that, they implicitly admit we have been here longer than the palestinian Arabs, who they say have “been living alongside Palestinian Jewish families for centuries.”

But apparently we have been very naughty. Just ask this Quaker Religion professor (because he apparently is an expert on Jewish values)
French Government Ends Funding to Radical Anti-Israel Organization
The French government ended its funding this month of a radical organization—the Jewish French Union for Peace (UJFP)—watchdog group NGO Monitor reported.

In October 2017, the Jerusalem-based watchdog had found that UJFP was receiving funding from the French government for a project against racism. However, the entity had published a book demonizing Israel, and making false accusations against Israel and France. It also produced video clips that compare Zionism to Nazism and alleging that Zionism is antisemitic.

NGO Monitor alerted lawmakers, Jewish organizations and journalists regarding the misuse of taxpayer funds. Parliamentarians submitted questions and inquiries on the issue, and the research was published by the well-known French magazine Causeur.

In February, the French government asked that its logo be removed from the UJFP website, halted the grant and demanded the return of funding that was already disbursed.
IsraellyCool: The Daily Freier Helps Reem Assil Choose a Mural for Her New Restaurant (satire)
A few hints:
Not a big fan of the Jooz. Just like Rasmea!
You said that Rasmea “was an organizer”? Well this guy started his own organization!
Like Rasmea, he was in favor of direct action, and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
Just like the PLO, this man also had a bit of a thing for airplanes.
Like Rasmea, this guy also looked great in a scarf!
They both ran afoul of the United States justice system.
….. Need more hints? OK!……

Unlike some men, this guy was NOT afraid of commitment.
And he proved it by marrying 4 women!
Also, he came from a wealthy family but chose to live modestly. Namaste!
He was an avid traveler, spending time in Sudan, Afganistan, and Pakistan.
Best of all, he can’t sue you for royalties!
Give up? Here he is!

I’m thinking glass mosaic. Waddya think! Holla back!
Lawfare Project Threatens Suit Against Yahoo, Google and Twitter in Spain for Proliferation of Antisemitism
The Lawfare Project threatened legal action against Google, Yahoo and Twitter in Spain for failing to address the proliferation of Holocaust-denial websites and antisemitic materials on their platforms, announced Brooke Goldstein, director of the legal think tank and litigation fund.

“Unless Google, Yahoo and Twitter take down the anti-Semitic content on their platforms, they will be taken to court in Spain and elsewhere,” she said.

Goldstein spent the past week visiting the Spanish Parliament to learn more about legislative initiatives against discrimination based on national origin. She also met with members of the Jewish community in Spain who have been subject to boycotts that restrict relations with companies that import Israeli products or have connections to Israeli citizens.

In the last week, the Lawfare Project has sent cease and desist letters to a number of search engines, including Google and Yahoo, with possible action planned against Twitter.

“Google, Yahoo and Twitter are all hosting antisemitic websites and content on their platforms, which is a clear violation of Spanish law,” said the Lawfare Project’s Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios. “This cannot be allowed to continue. If they do not respond positively to the cease and desist letters sent last week, we will file lawsuits against them.”
500 Icelandic physicians back bill to outlaw circumcision
Hundreds of physicians in Iceland and some of Belgium’s top doctors came out in support of a bill proposing to criminalize nonmedical circumcision of boys in the Scandinavian island nation.

The approximately 500 Icelandic physicians who backed the bill that was submitted last month to the parliament cited the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki on ethical principles.

“Potential complications should offset the benefits” of male circumcision, “which are few,” the Icelandic physicians wrote in a joint statement published Wednesday.

Advocates of male circumcision include many physicians who believe it reduces the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and genital infections.

In Belgium, several prominent physicians, including Guy T’Sjoen of Ghent University Hospital, told the De Morgen daily they also support a ban.

“As a physician, I find it very regrettable that we have thousands of unnecessary circumcisions annually of boys who can’t have their say about it,” he said in an interview published Tuesday.
German Olympic skater sparks Twitter outrage with ‘Schindler’s List’ routine
A German figure skater earned the ire of Twitter Friday with an Olympic routine choreographed to the theme music to Holocaust movie, “Schindler’s List.”

Nicole Schott was slammed by social media users for her choice of music — a haunting violin theme used in the 1993 film about German factory owner Oskar Schindler who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis.

USA TODAY sports columnist Nancy Armour wrote that, “No one should be skating to ‘Schindler’s List.'”

Ariel Helwani, another sports journalist, felt it was particularly inappropriate to have a German competitor dancing to a Holocaust-themed melody.

That view was echoed by Karen Gesell, an American figure skating coach.

“No matter how it is skated and after all these years I still have a problem with a non Jewish athlete, representing Germany, skating to ‘Schindler’s List,'” she wrote.
Royal Spanish Academy to open Ladino academy in Israel
The Royal Spanish Academy, the main institution which establishes and reinforces the use of the Spanish language worldwide, announced the creation of the National Ladino Academy in Israel.

Based in Madrid, Spain, the Royal Spanish Academy, or RAE, is the institution that centralized the normative use of the language among 23 national institutions of the Hispanic world, mostly located in Central America and Latin America.

The new academy in Israel was announced Tuesday by RAE and the president of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, Darío Villanueva, during a news conference following a two-day academic convention on Judeo-Spanish in Madrid.

Israel will be the 24th branch of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, or ASALE.

Ladino, sometimes referred to as Judeo-Spanish, is an endangered species in the linguistic world. Some estimates say less than 100,000 people currently know how to speak Ladino. (h/t Zvi)
Ohio Hits a Record $200 Million in Israel Bonds
The Ohio Treasurer’s Office purchased $52.8 million in Israel bonds on Feb. 15 to increase the state’s holding to a whopping $200 million — the first time a state has reached that figure in US history, according to the treasurer’s office.

“First and foremost, we’re making this investment because it’s a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio,” Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel told the Cleveland Jewish News. “Second, we’re making this investment to combat the bigotry of the [BDS] movement. Third, we’re making this investment to stand with the only country in the Middle East that shares American values.”

Israel bonds are the only foreign bond held by the Ohio Treasurer’s Office, said Mandel, adding that he believes Israel bonds are mutually beneficial to both Israel and Ohio.

“I believe a strong America is good for a strong Israel, and a strong Israel is good for a strong America,” he said. “Whenever the economy and the backbone of each country is strong, it’s good for the other nation as well.”

Michael Siegal, a member of the international board of directors of Israel Bonds and chairman of the board of trustees at the Jewish Agency for Israel, praised the purchase. “I think it shows a strong commitment to democratic principles on both sides of the water,” he said.

Gary Gross, chairman of the board of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, also expressed his gratitude to the state, the treasurer’s office, and in particular, to Mandel for the investment.
Israel Donates 50 Wheelchairs to Needy Children in South Africa
Fifty colorful, lightweight child-sized wheelchairs from Israeli nonprofit organization Wheelchairs of Hope are being distributed to needy disabled five- to nine-year-olds in South Africa through the South African chapter of WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization) and the Israeli Embassy in South Africa.

The inexpensive, low-maintenance wheelchairs were conceptualized by Israeli couple Pablo Kaplan and Chava Rotshtein as a humanitarian mission to help children with disabilities in developing countries. The chairs were developed with the aid of professionals at ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, a pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation center.

Bearing stickers with the message “To the children of South Africa with love from Israel,” the wheelchairs are being donated mainly through the Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, The Give a Child a Family organization in Margate and Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children in Durban.

In South Africa, an estimated 600,000 disabled children cannot go to school because their parents cannot afford a wheelchair.

“The idea is not the chair itself, but the mobility and independence it gives to children who would otherwise not have any access to school or community life,” Kaplan said.
What We Thought of the Rev. Billy Graham
His willingness to embrace Israel is significant because the world in which he made his mark as an international religious celebrity was not one in which Jews were widely accepted. Nor was his advocacy for Zionism rooted in dispensationalist beliefs about Jews being converted and bringing on the end of days. Unlike some Evangelicals — and in spite of the fact that conversions were a prominent part of his ministry — Graham opposed proselytizing Jews, reminding Christians that seeking to impose faith on those who resisted such overtures was wrong.

Seen in that context, a Jewish rejection of Graham and the tens of millions of other Evangelicals not only makes no sense, but also is deeply self-destructive. Why continue to question the good intentions of people who not only think well of Israel, but also donate generously to charities that help Jews (as Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has proved) and who only vote for candidates that support Israel with a single-minded mindset that most Jews reject.

In remembering Billy Graham, Jews can acknowledge his flaws, but they must also understand how much good he did not just for his own flock of believers, but for them as well. At a time when Israel remains beset by hatred and many are urging boycotts rooted in antisemitic animosity, friends like Billy Graham — and all the many other evangelicals who followed in his footsteps in support of Israel — should be embraced, rather than disdained. To do otherwise says more about our own prejudices against Christians than it does about the shortcomings of Evangelicals.
Israel appoints first female ultra-Orthodox judge
The Judicial Selection Committee on Thursday appointed Havi Toker to serve in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, making her Israel’s first female ultra-orthodox judge.

Toker, 41, was born in England and grew up in Bnei Brak as the eldest of 12 brothers and sisters in a well-known ultra-Orthodox family.

She began her legal career in 2003 and has since spent time clerking in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, before working as an attorney in the police investigators unit followed by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office.

The mother-of-four’s nomination was widely praised in Haredi media.

According to the ultra-Orthodox Kikar Hashabat website, Toker defines herself as “modern Haredi,” but a friend told the outlet that she is more Haredi than modern, “even though her eldest son serves in the army.”
Ex-NBA Star Stoudemire Launches Line of Israeli Kosher-for-Passover Wines
Along with being a six-time NBA All-Star, Amar’e Stoudemire can add Israeli wine maker to his resume.

On Tuesday, Stoudemire launched a line of kosher-for-Passover Israeli wine at a news conference in New York, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

“It’s a blessing for me and my family to be able to produce such great wines from a land like the land of Israel, so we’re constantly counting our blessings for that,” Stoudemire told reporters.

The line includes two red wine blends and one Cabernet Savignon. They are all produced, in limited quantity, at the Tulip Winery in Kfar Tikva. The wines are currently on sale in New York and New Jersey, just in time for Purim.

In 2016, Stoudemire signed a 2-year deal to play basketball with Hapoel Jerusalem, where he is also a part-owner. After helping the team win the Israel Basketball League Cup, he retired from playing last year.

During this time, Stoudemire started talking with the Israel Wine Producers Association. “Once I moved to Israel, it was the perfect connection to meet with the vineyards and go to the tastings and figure out the different blends for each bottle,” said Stoudemire.

“I prefer to keep the wines strictly from the grapes in Israel,” he said. “It’s my way of giving back to the land. I try to do what I can to stay rooted.”



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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