Tuesday, December 23, 2014

From Ian:

The 2014 Dishonest Reporting Awards
Scarlett Johansson’s brave stand against Israel-bashers seems so long ago. With three teenagers kidnapped and murdered, a Gaza war, violence in Jerusalem, an escalating tug of war over the Temple Mount, and unilateral PA efforts in the UN, Israelis will be glad 2014 is over.
Don’t forget the rise of ISIS, Iranian tensions, and frayed ties with the US.
For the first time, we decided to set aside the readers’ choice for the 2014 Dishonest Reporter. We believe readers will agree. More on that below.
We thank everyone for sharing their thoughts on the roller coaster that was 2014. And so, without further ado . . .
The 2014 Dishonest Reporting Awards
1. The 2014 Dishonest Reporting Award Winner: Gaza War Correspondents
2. Dishonest Reporting Award (People’s Choice): New York Times
3. Most Infected Medical Journal: The Lancet
4. Worst Video: Channel 4, Jon Snow
5. Biggest Op-Ed Train Wreck: Sydney Morning Herald
6. Most Dishonest Photo: Jim Hollander, European Pressphoto Agency
7. Worst Blurring of Journalism and Advocacy: Haaretz
8. Most Insensitive Cartoon: The Guardian
9. Most Memorable Gaffe: CNN

The 2014 Dishonest Reporting Awards: Why the Gaza War Correspondents Won
What It All Means
Media coverage of Operation Protective Edge contributed to dramatic spikes in anti-Semitism in Europe, Australia, US campuses, South Africa, and South America. Britain alone saw a 500 percent increase.
The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has been making a comeback as well.
And Israel refuses to cooperate with a UN inquiry led by William Schabas, a Canadian professor of human rights and international law who has his own axe to grind with Israel.
As 2014 draws to a close, all the players are drawing conclusions and moving forward. Hamas is already reconstructing terror tunnels, holding military exercises, and re-arming. The top US military leader, Gen. Martin Dempsey said the Pentagon was learning from the IDF how to minimize civilian casualties and deal with terror tunnels. And among other things, the IDF concluded that Hezbollah has probably dug cross-border tunnels.
Only time will tell what, if anything, Big Media has learned.
BBC chief: Anti-Semitism makes me question Jews’ future in UK
The director of BBC Television said rising anti-Semitism has made him question the long-term future for Jews in the UK.
Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, Danny Cohen said the past year had been the most difficult for him as a Jew living in the United Kingdom.
“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually. Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually,” he said in a conversation with Channel 2’s anchor Yonit Levi.
Cohen went on: “And you’ve seen the number of attacks rise. You’ve seen murders in France. You’ve seen murders in Belgium. It’s been pretty grim actually. And having lived all my life in the UK, I’ve never felt as I do now about anti-Semitism in Europe.”
Cohen, who grew up and went to school in London — including to a Jewish elementary school — is a TV whiz kid. Still only 40, he was previously the controller of BBC1 TV, the youngest appointee to that post, before taking over a director of BBC Television last year. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Edwin Black: Remembering Robert Wolfe and the History of the Holocaust
Robert Wolfe, the irreplaceable former chief archivist for captured Nazi documents at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., died December 10 at the age of 93. With his death, a legacy also dies.
Wolfe single-handedly galvanized a generation of Holocaust and Nazi-era historians and authors – including me.
He was assigned to the Nuremberg War Crimes prosecutor’s office, where he became familiar not only with the infamous testimony now published in many volumes of the Nuremberg Trials, but also the many thousands of linear feet of evidentiary documents still largely unexploited. These are millions of pages of letters, memos, reports, and other documents that construct the enormous case of genocide brought against the Hitler regime.
Later, Wolfe helped microfilm the voluminous cache, and helped create the archives both at the Berlin Documentation Center in Germany and the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Award-winning journalist talks about Ferguson, the Middle East
Before turning to the Middle East and Israel, [Edwin] Black responded to a question about why the New York Times published the city and street of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson the day a grand jury opted not to indict Wilson on murder charges involving the shooting death of Michael Brown.
"There are just some things that should not be published, but there are those that think they are almighty and think can do no wrong," Black said. "Personally, when I sit down to write I tremble, and this is what I teach journalism students."
In response to a question about how to impact the New York Times, Black quipped, "If you want to stop this kind of behavior, just don't subscribe to the Times."
With a quick change in topics to the Middle East and growing tensions, Black said he believes the world is not responding properly to the ISIS threat.
"They are the most serious threat to peace in the world since the Nazis," he said. "At least the Nazis tried to cover up their atrocities – these guys do it on YouTube ... ISIS even lets the girls they kidnap for sex slaves to keep their cell phones so that can call their parents and tell them how miserable they are."
Arabs expelled the Jews from all their Countries – Confiscated their asset
The Jewish exodus from Arab lands refers to the 20th century expulsion or mass departure of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Islamic countries. The migration started in the late 19th century, but accelerated after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. According to official Arab statistics, over 989,000 Jews were forced out of their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970’s. Some 650,000 resettled in Israel, leaving behind personal property valued today at more than $990 billion. Jewish-owned real-estate left behind in Arab lands has been estimated at 120,000 square kilometers (four times the size of the State of Israel). Valued today at about 15 trillion dollars
Not abused? I feel like swearing here. you can bet your rear end they were abused.
Patricia Metzger’s campaign to achieve justice sheds light on a little-discussed aspect of the Israeli-Arab conflict: In the wake of the War of Independence and the establishment of Israel, two major population movements took place in the Middle East. The one that is frequently mentioned is the Palestinian exodus, but at the same time almost one million Jews were forced to leave Arab countries where they had lived for hundreds of years. According to official Arab statistics, due to persecution, some 960,000 Jews left those countries from 1948 to the beginning of the 1970’s, and about 610,000 of them were absorbed in Israel. For the sake of comparison, the United Nations data estimate the original population of Arab-Palestinian refugees at 585,000.
Israeli Embassy In Dublin Speaks About HETI
The outcome of this meeting was an understanding that, at future events marking Holocaust Memorial Day, the ambassador of Israel or his representative will deliver an address in which the clear connection between the Shoah of the Jews during World War Two and the State of Israel will be stated.
The Embassy welcomes this outcome and believes that this understanding satisfactorily resolves the issue.
We wish continued success to HETI in its valuable work of propagating awareness and knowledge of the Shoah amongst Irish people, in particular the younger generation.
The Arab world’s vanishing Christians
At a time when the Middle East is aflame with sectarian strife, the observance of the Christian holiday is a sad reminder that the region’s distinctive religious, ethnic and cultural diversity is rapidly disappearing. At the beginning of the 20th century, Christians made up roughly 20 per cent of the Arab world. In certain areas – including southern Egypt, the mountains of Lebanon and southeastern Anatolia – they formed an absolute majority. Today, just 5 per cent of the Arab world is Christian, and many of those who remain are leaving, forced out by persecution and war.
Jews, too – once a vital presence in cities such as Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad – have all but disappeared from the predominantly Muslim parts of the Middle East, relocating to Israel, Europe and North America. Even in Muslim communities, diversity has been dwindling. In cities like Beirut and Baghdad, mixed neighbourhoods have been homogenized, as Sunnis and Shiites seek shelter from sectarian attacks and civil war.
The waning of diversity in the Middle East goes back more than a century, to the bouts of ethnic and religious cleansing that took place during the Ottoman Empire, including the murder and displacement of 1.5 million Armenian and Syriac Christians in eastern Anatolia. After the empire’s collapse in 1918, the rise of Arab nationalism placed Arabic language and culture at the centre of political identity, thereby disenfranchising many non-Arab ethnic groups, including Kurds, Jews and Syriacs. For example, many Greeks who had been living in Egypt for generations lost their livelihoods in the 1950s, when president Gamal Abdel Nasser, the great standard-bearer of pan-Arabism, nationalized privately owned businesses and industries. Others were forced to flee the country altogether.
Palestinian Christmas Rehashed
It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without some media outlet running the same tired old anti-Israel story with a Christmas theme complete with a Palestinian Santa Claus. This year it’s Mehdi Hasan in the New Statesman (cross-posted in the Huffington Post UK) who wins the prize for the least original piece of Christmas bias.
In the Washington Post, David Bernstein comments on Hasan’s article:
Well, since Joseph and Mary were Judeans, i.e., Jews, from Nazareth, they wouldn’t need to be afraid of Israeli roadblocks needed to combat Palestinian terrorism, but of being murdered by terrorists from Hamas or Fatah.
Seriously, this sort of historical revisionism, treating ancient Jewish Judeans as if they were Palestinian Arabs, and then analogizing modern Israel to the oppressors of Jesus and his family, a common trope in the UK, would be laughable if it were not so pernicious. Pernicious not simply because it’s a ridiculous distortion of history, and not simply because it’s often accompanied by a large dose of anti-Semitism, with Palestinians playing the role of Jesus and the Israelis being the foreign oppressors crucifying him. But pernicious because it goes to the true heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict–the failure of the Arab side to recognize that the “Zionists” are not the “European settler-colonialists” of Third Worldist imagination, but a people with a three thousand year plus tie to the Land of Israel, whose religion was born there, who ruled two separate kingdoms there, who have prayed toward Jerusalem for two thousand years in their ancient Hebrew language, and so on.
NGO Monitor: Come All Ye Haters: NGO Exploitation of Religious Themes to Demonize Israel
At the height of the holiday season, NGOs (non-government organizations), well-known charities, and church groups once again are exploiting Christmas to conduct political warfare against Israel. In 2014, groups such as Pax Christi, Sabeel, Amos Trust, Holy Land Trust, Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Adalah-NY, Wi’iam, and Bethlehem Bible College are using religious themes to advance immoral anti-Israel campaigns, such as BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions). In some instances, the rhetoric used reflects antisemitic theology and sentiments such as comparing Israel to 1st century Romans, portraying Israel as inherently oppressive, and referring to the “tribal god” of Judaism.
The NGOs discussed in this report use offensive and inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols, holiday messages and cards, nativity scenes, and other products. This year, a common theme is the promotion of anti-Israel political advocacy under the guise of religious obligation and motivation.
Born Is The King of Palestine?
Therefore, the legitimacy of any assertion that one’s ancestor might have baby-sat for Jesus or that Jesus was a Palestinian is nothing more than an effort to blur the lines between the Arab Palestinians who live in the political territories of Gaza and the West Bank today with the people who lived there during and before the time of Jesus. They are not the same, no matter how frequently or endearingly those claims are made.
The goal of such claims should be seen for what they are—an attempt to steer the affection and support of unsuspecting Christians away from Israel and toward the Palestinian liberation movement.
In principle, supporting the aspirations of the Palestinian people who want to live in peace and security next to Israel is a noble cause, but the solution to that quest cannot incorporate blatant or subtle attempts to undermine the historical connection that the Jewish people have to the land. But that is in fact what many Palestinians are attempting to do.
If you’re not sure about this, you might just want to ask them to sing The First Noel with you and see if their lips are moving when it comes time to declare…
Born is the King of Israel!
Ali Abunimah Attacks Sarah Tuttle Singer Of The Times Of Israel
Sarah Tuttle Singer is a young woman originally from the US who made Aliyah to Israel a few years ago. She is in charge of social media at the Times of Israel, and, quite frankly, the main reason that outfit has achieved some success. At least in my humble opinion.
She is also a beautiful writer, as her latest blog post illustrates. In it, she describes a conversation with a palestinian friend of hers in Gaza, in which they both ask after the other’s well being.
Into the light enters the darkness, or, in this case, Israel hater and serial liar Ali “Abumination” Abunimah, who tweets the following in response to the above heartfelt wish for peace.
US college professors completely off the mark when it comes to Israel
I have in my time read some terrible analysis on Israel and Palestine but last week’s Huffington Post article titled “Keeping the Keys: The Rise of the Palestinian Diplomatic Intifada, by two professors, a Mr Ibrahim Sharqieh of Georgetown University Qatar and a Mr Ghassan Shabaneh of Marymount Manhattan College an article that calls for a “diplomatic infitada” instead of a violent one is so full of lies, holes drivel and senseless advice, it’s mind boggling, if these two are the teachers of future generations then we truly are in trouble.
What is so concerning to me is that while I always knew that Arab leaders left a lot to be desired, its somewhat shocking that their intellectuals are no better. Mr Ibrahim Sharqieh and Ghassan Shabaneh article not only starts off with a lie but shows no real understanding of the temperature of the people or offers any real tangible possible solutions, they also glaringly fail to even mention Hamas, the Gaza Strip, along with so many other factors needed to frame this argument, but most appalling is the direction they are advising, flawed in every single way, and one of these esteemed gentlemen holds the title of “Conflict Resolution Professor at Georgetown University in Qatar” (go figure) and the other an Associate Professor of International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College NYC.
Something Is Rotten in UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies
Recently, UCLA’s federally subsidized Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) has come under fire by a pro-Israel watchdog that conducted a review of the Center’s programs from 2010-2013 and concluded that many featured “anti-Semitic discourse and anti-Israel bias.”
Among the findings of the report by the AMCHA Initiative:
CNES Israel-related events had an overwhelmingly anti-Israel bias: Of the 28 Israel-related events, 93% were anti-Israel;
CNES favors speakers who engaged in anti-Semitic activity prior to speaking at CNES: Of the 31 speakers at the CNES Israel-related events, 84% have engaged in Anti-Semitic activity, including the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, denying Jews the right to self-determination, comparing Israelis to Nazis and condoning terrorism;
U. California system moves to keep anti-Israel BDS out of the classroom
That is a huge win for those who seek to prevent faculty (and grad teachers) from using their positions of power over students to enforce their political activism.
Here is part of the press release from the AMCHA Initiative (which by the way, is viscerally hated by BDS faculty because it defends the rights of Jewish and pro-Israel students against faculty bullies):
"Twenty-two advocacy groups on Monday, Dec. 22, applauded University of California (UC) Provost Aimee Dorr and UC administrators for protecting the well-bring of Jewish students. For the first time ever, UC administrators publicly affirmed that UC faculty are prohibited from bringing hateful anti-Semitic propaganda and the boycott of Israel into the classroom…."
Amazon Falls Into The Swastika-Bearing Product Pit
You'd think that recent history would teach any company that, issues of freedom of speech or responsibility of expression aside, selling Nazi-related paraphernalia is not smart business.
But it seems that some lessons aren't easily learned. First there was Spanish clothing and accessories brand Zara caught selling such products on two different occasions that were years apart. Walgreens was excoriated over selling a Hallmark gift wrap with a swastika pattern embedded in a larger design.
Now it appears that Amazon's marketplace has some extensive amounts of swastika- and Nazi-themed merchandise from third parties,
As anti-Semitism heats up, so does Fuel For Truth
Harris, 30, from Brooklyn, is one of 20 in the current class that meets once a week in Fuel For Truth’s midtown office. Israel’s conflict with Hamas has spawned anti-Israel sentiment on social media, and anti-Semites in Europe have used it as an excuse to target Jews there. The anti-Semitism has hit closer to home, too: on the Upper East Side, a Jewish man was attacked, comedian Elon Gold was harassed in Los Angeles, and a student at Temple University was allegedly assaulted by an individual with Students for Justice in Palestine.
“Being pro-Israel today is a scary thing,” says Ron Wasserman, 35, who runs the boot camp. “Young Jews are afraid to be pro-Israel. That’s one of the biggest problems we face. Why are they afraid? Part of it is they don’t have the facts. Also, the other side seems very confident and is intimidating. Unless you have a baseline of knowledge you won’t have the backbone to come out in support of Israel. We do role-play; it’s live-action fire so people will be prepared.”
Wasserman said those selected for the 10-week Boot Camp examined articles, and discussed their online encounters. One focus has been dismantling the notion that Israel deliberately targets civilians. The group is comprised of both Republicans and Democrats, he added.
Anger simmers as EU Parliament shoots down anti-­Semitism task-force
Jewish organizations reacted harshly to last week’s failure by the European Parliament to establish a task force on anti-Semitism despite initial support by a significant number of legislators.
Last week the Jewish Chronicle reported that over 100 MEPs had expressed their support for such a body, which would deal with the precipitous rise in Jew-hatred across the continent in recent years.
While a task force dealing with racism and diversity in a general sense was established, Jewish leaders this week indicated that they believe it will prove insufficient in dealing with Europe’s rise in anti-Semitism.
“Anti-Semitism is an abomination which has been around for a very long time.
It has its specific roots and specific driving forces, not to mention the horrible results it produced in Europe – more so than anywhere else,” said Stephan Kramer of the American Jewish Committee’s European Office on anti-Semitism.
“Therefore, combating anti-Semitism in as efficient a way as possible would have been aided by a special framework designed to do just this. I think that most of those who voted the proposal down realize this. Therefore we have to assume that they succumbed to a warped political correctness which frowns upon calling anti-Semites anti-Semites.
This is a terribly wrong signal.
I am afraid that it will be interpreted by more than just a handful of people as a wink that hating Jews is, sort of, acceptable.”
Fleeing civil war, thousands of Ukrainians take refuge in Israel
They streamed off the shuttle buses into Terminal One of Ben-Gurion Airport, amid loud Hebrew music and green-clad soldiers waving Israeli flags.
Chatting in Russian, the new immigrants, many of them refugees from the ongoing civil war in Ukraine’s industrial east, arrived here seeking a new life in the Jewish state.
More than 5,000 Ukrainian Jews have immigrated over the past year, seeking a refuge from the shelling, shortages and anarchy that have characterized eastern Ukraine and decimated the communities of the Donbas region, where Moscow-backed separatists have waged an increasingly violent war against Kiev’s rule.
Israel Readies to Welcome 70,000 Visitors for Christmas Period
The Israeli Tourism Ministry is working in cooperation with church officials and other bodiesto facilitate the celebration of Christmas by the 70,000 visitors expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas period.
“This festive season carries with it a message of hope and peace and underlines the importance of family values and solidarity,” said Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau. “It reminds us how important it is that we preserve these values common to us all.
“The State of Israel has a close relationship with Christian leaders and we will continue to invest in the sites that are holy to Christians. Christians will always enjoy freedom of worship in Israel,” said the tourism minister.
Sister of fallen lone soldier Max Steinberg living in Israel
Max Steinberg, 24, a southern California native, was killed in July by Hamas explosives while riding in an armored vehicle in Gaza with six other members of the Golani Brigade during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. He was a sharpshooter in the elite brigade who had enlisted in the army several months after his first visit to Israel on Birthright.
Paige Steinberg returned to Israel for Max’s funeral with her parents, who came to Israel for the first time. An estimated 30,000 people attended the funeral at the Har Herzl military cemetery.
“During the ceremony, we felt the support of the people, and it was amazing,” Paige Steinberg told Ynet. “We realized that it was one of the biggest funerals ever held in Israel.
“My parents realized the extent of love the country had for Max and they were at peace with their decision to bury him in Israel. Had the disaster not occurred, I would have never been living here; the tragedy triggered the change in my life.”
Celebrities celebrate Hanukka via social media
Our favorite Jewish celebrities are in the Hanukka spirit this holiday season, and they are plastering social media with proof of their festive celebrations.
Jewish actor James Franco, who has been making headlines recently after the premier of his comedy The Interview was canceled due to terror threats from the North Korean government, has other things on his mind. He posted to his Instagram page a picture of him and the queen of pop Lady Gaga.
Ancient Glass Bracelet Decorated with Menorahs Found in Israel
Archaeologists in Israel recently unearthed a glass bracelet decorated with a timely design. The ancient piece of jewelry is engraved with a seven-branched candelabrum, or menorah — the symbol of the Hanukkah holiday.
The bracelet was discovered in Mount Carmel National Park, which researchers think was a large settlement during the late Roman or early Byzantine period. Archaeologists have been working in the park, a declared antiquities site, before the excavation of a new water reservoir in the area.
During a routine dig last Thursday (Dec. 18), a team of excavators uncovered a box containing hundreds of glass fragments that had been thrown into a refuse pit. Among the old pieces of glass was a small fragment of decorated glass from an ancient bracelet.
Israeli NGO sends team to typhoon-hit Phillippines
The Israeli aid group IsraAID sent an emergency response team to the Philippines in the wake of a typhoon which has left hundreds of thousands of families homeless.
The team has been providing medical, psychological and social services and distributed food and supplies to the residents of Can Avid, in the country’s Eastern Samar province.
IsraAID said in a statement Monday that its medical team has treated over 400 people so far and that supplies had been delivered to some 400 affected families.
The supplies included food and non-food items, according to IsraAID, such as rice, noodles, water, mosquito repellent, and hygiene kits.
Technion Robot Likes Hanukkah Candles – but What about the Blessings?
High schools students have programmed a robotic trio at Technion University to light Hanukkah candles as well as pour olive oil for the lighting and serve “sufganiyot,” the traditional fried doughnuts.
“The robots we built are programmed to respond to noise, and start operating upon the sound of three hand claps,” said Mor Pikman, an Ort Bialik 10th grader student participating in the program.
Another student, Kfir Lavie, added, “As part of the program, we developed a special program that makes the robot light Hanukkah candles according to the right order, and then place the candle used for lighting at the spot of the ‘Shamash,’ the ‘attendant’ candle. For humans this is a simple task, but for a robot it is quite complex, and required hours of programming work until we were able to accomplish it in the best possible way.”
NY Chabad Stabbing Victim Lights Hanukkah Candles with NYPD
Levi Rosenblatt (22), who was stabbed in the head two weeks ago in a shocking nighttime attack on the Crown Heights' 770 Chabad Lubavitch center in Brooklyn, New York, lit candles for the seventh night of Hanukkah on Monday at the Crown Heights police station.
In the lighting ceremony, dozens of NYPD police officers and senior members of the local police station took part.
According to the site Chabad Online, during the lighting Rosenblatt and his friends took the opportunity to thank the officers for preventing the stabber, Calvin Peters (49), from stabbing other students at the Chabad center.
Rivlin Lights Hannukah Candles with Holocaust Survivors
President Reuven Rivlin lit Hannukah candles at the President’s Residence Monday, together with survivors of the Holocaust.
The event was entitled ‘Heroism and Rebirth', and was attended by around 150 guests, including representatives and heads of the various Holocaust survivor organizations, Yad Vashem, and the children of survivors.
“Your story is the story of an entire generation," Rivlin stated. "A generation which emerged from the depths of evil, and chose life. A generation, whose belief in the justness of our path, was a guiding light. A generation of heroic deeds. A generation which has contributed to every aspect of Israeli society."
"Clinging to life despite the painful burden of dark memories, is the message that you carry, now and always," he continued. "Continuing to act, to give, to build the Land of Israel."
Giulio Meotti Lights a Menorah at the Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus, built by Domitian in 81 C.E., is a triumphal Roman commemoration of the bloody victory of his father Vespasian and brother Titus over Judea and their burning of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
For the Jews, the arch is not so much a commemoration as it is an open wound. Jews traditionally would not walk through the arch because of its boastful depiction of the plundering of the holy treasures of the Temple, most central of which is the relief of the seven branched menorah being carried by Jewish captives to Rome. The relief became a symbol of exile and oppression for the Jewish people, while rumor has it that the menorah and other holy vessels of the Temple are hidden in the Vatican.
When the state of Israel was declared in 1948, Roman Jews gathered at the Arch spontaneously and walked joyfully backwards through it. The Knesset chose the menorah, copied from the arch, as the emblem of the State of Israel.
And now, in a step further along the path returning to Zion of old. Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva's intrepid op-ed columnist, writer at il Giorno and author of the books A New Shoah and The Vatican Against Israel, lit a menorah at the Arch of Titus on the sixth night of the holiday, the start of the new month of Tevet.
Dreidel Feels Completely Misunderstood (satire)
Gyrone, a four-year-old decorative dreidel, has become increasingly frustrated over the years with the ignorance displayed by anyone and everyone he encounters, and their short attention span.
“Nobody seems to have any idea what I’m all about, and their misapprehension of my purpose,” he lamented in a recent interview. “People seem to think I have some inherent connection to Hanukkah – and I have no idea how that happened.”
“I’m just a teetotum,” he added, wondering how anyone could confuse gambling with a celebration of divine wisdom as represented by light.
IDF Blog: 8 Miraculous Moments in IDF History
#MiraculousMoment 7: Fighting Side by Side
Establishment of the Co-ed Caracal Battalion, 2004
Throughout IDF history, women have always taken part in protecting Israel and filled key positions. The revolutionary idea behind the Caracal Battalion was having men and women fight side by side. Soon to be in service for 10 years, the Caracal Battalion has had a crucial role in defending Israel’s southern border. The establishment of a co-ed combat battalion is a miraculous milestone on the way to true gender equality in Israel, and around the world.

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