Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From Ian:

Abu Toameh wins 2014 Pearl prize for journalistic courage
Khaled Abu Toameh, a reporter for The Jerusalem Post who has covered Palestinian and Arab affairs for the past three decades, is the recipient of the 2014 Daniel Pearl Award.
The award, named for Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, recognizes courage and integrity in journalism.
“Khaled Abu Toameh has been telling us, with courage and objectivity, what life is like in the West Bank and Gaza,” said Judea Pearl, father of the dead journalist. “Rarely has a reporter been so successful in penetrating a conflict so complex and remaining consistently and definitively on the side of truth.”
Abu Toameh, an Arab Israeli, studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In addition to the Post he has worked for many media outlets, including the BBC, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report. He also serves as a distinguished fellow with the New York-based Gatestone Institute.
Parents of beheaded reporter honor victims of Pakistan school massacre
Judea and Ruth Pearl could not turn down the invitation Tuesday to show their support and sympathy for 148 people - 132 children - slaughtered by the Taliban in the same lawless nation where their son was killed more than a dozen years ago.
The Dec. 16 attack at a military school in Peshawar, a city about 75 miles from the country's capital, Islamabad, has torn the mostly Muslim nation apart, but it brought a sadly familiar feeling to the Pearls, whose journalist son was killed in what would eerily foreshadow a decade of mindless brutality that engulfed much of the Middle East.
"Today, we are in worse shape than we were 12 years ago," Ruth Pearl told Pakistani officials and members of an interfaith group that attended the event at the Los Angeles Pakistani consulate. "Let’s hope that can be changed."
JCPA: Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends
In Western circles, BDS is commonly misunderstood. It is generally viewed as a progressive, nonviolent campaign led by Palestinian grassroots organizations and propelled by Western human rights groups, who call for boycotting Israeli goods produced in the “occupied” or “disputed” Golan Heights and West Bank territories captured from Syria and Jordan respectively in the 1967 war.
It is also widely assumed that the global BDS movement is further limited to boycott and divestment aimed at Israel’s presence over the 1967 Green Line, resulting in international actions led frequently by the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, at the UN-affiliated International Court of Justice, as well as petitions made to the International Criminal Court.
However, a closer investigation of the BDS movement reveals a starkly different picture. BDS is more accurately described as a political-warfare campaign conducted by rejectionist Palestinian groups in cooperation with radical left-wing groups in the West. BDS leaders and organizations are also linked to the Palestinian Authority leadership, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, other radical groups, terror-supporting organizations, and in some cases even terror groups themselves such as Hamas.
BDS boycott campaigns have effectively misled trade unions, academic institutions, and even leading international artists and cultural icons, with seemingly earnest calls for “justice” entailing the establishment of a Palestinian state living beside a Jewish state. These BDS supporters have been led to believe that the combined pressure of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions will force Israel to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, otherwise known as the 1967 Green Line, enabling a resolution of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, as some commentators – including the New York Times’ Roger Cohen and Professor Norman Finkelstein – have pointed out, the BDS movement seeks to eliminate Israel even before addressing the Palestinian issue.

Don’t Like Anti-Semitism? Then Don’t Encourage It.
The correlation between the demonization of Israel and attacks on Jews worldwide is hardly in doubt. The dramatic spike in anti-Semitic attacks throughout the diaspora that coincided with this summer’s Gaza war speaks for itself. That is not to suggest that Israeli policy is the underlying cause of anti-Semitism, but rather just as Church doctrine or Social Darwinism were ideologies used as a conduit for anti-Semitism, today anti-Zionism, with its depiction of events in Israel, takes the position as the primary outlet for anti-Semitism. And while both Danny Cohen and Ed Miliband are quite right to be concerned by the rising tide of Jew-hatred in Britain today, there is no escaping the fact that both the BBC and the Labor Party have played a role in stoking the kind of contempt for the Jewish state that leads directly to the increasingly common verbal and physical attacks on British Jews.
Danny Cohen only took over as head of BBC television in May 2013, and so can hardly be held responsible for the BBC’s long legacy of slanted reporting on Israel. And in fairness, Cohen has pledged to give prominence to programming about the Holocaust to mark the upcoming memorial day. Still, during the recent Gaza conflict there were several troubling moments at the BBC. One particularly memorable incident was news anchor Emily Maitlis’s grilling of Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. Maitlis—who is herself Jewish—hounded Regev on the point of a UN shelter that had been hit, possibly by Israel, possibly by Hamas. The implicit suggestion in Maitlis’s questioning was that Israel had the exact coordinates of the shelter, that Israel knew that it was full of women and children, that Israel had refused to permit an evacuation of those in the shelter, and that Israel had intentionally gone ahead and hit it anyway. Her accusatory questions became fiercest when she asserted: “But you said you were going to hit it, you hit it, you killed them! You knew there were children in that building!”
Meanwhile, under Ed Miliband Labor has veered toward being far more overtly hostile to the Jewish state. While it is true that this process has been taking place on the left of that party for some time, under the stewardship of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Labor policy remained resolutely supportive of the Jewish state. Yet under Miliband, the son of Holocaust refugees, this has begun to change. Not only did Miliband condemn Israel’s war against Hamas this summer, but he publicly attacked Prime Minister Cameron’s refusal to join in with the chorus of condemnation, calling Cameron’s stance “unacceptable and unjustifiable.” Miliband further outraged Israel supporters when he recently attended the gala dinner for Labor Friends of Palestine—a group which reportedly backs anti-Israel boycotts.
Holiday Jew-Hatred on the Sidewalks of NY
The effort to separate opposition to a Jewish state from anti-Semitism has always rested on the notion that there is a distinction between the two points of view. But, increasingly, as it is expressed in European demonstrations as well as here in the United States, that is a distinction without a difference. Those who would deny the Jews the same rights of sovereignty and self-defense that they never think to oppose anywhere else are practicing an invidious form of discrimination. One may disagree with Israeli policies, but those who support efforts to end its existence are engaging in a form of hatred.
That hatred has increasingly taken the form of the BDS—boycott, divest, and sanction—movement that attempts to wage economic war on Israel and its supporters. As the street theater taking place in Manhattan that Boteach witnessed clearly shows, it is no longer possible to pretend that boycotts of Israel are not merely a new way to boycott and discriminate against Jews. In other words, the effort to pretend that this is not a form of anti-Semitism has officially failed.
While all too many good people, including some supporters of Israel, try to pretend that this hatred can be answered by forcing Israel to change its policies, the BDS crowd and their Palestinian allies have always made it clear that they generally agree with Hamas in claiming that all areas of Israel, including the part that made up pre-1967 Israel, are “settlements” that must be destroyed. The time is over for treating these practitioners of hate with kid gloves and understanding. What they are preaching, in principle and in practice, is a form of hatred.
They should not be allowed to do so without being called to account by decent Americans of all faiths and political affiliations.
Stakes High for PLO, PA in Shurat Hadin Lawsuit
Legal rights group Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) is helping represent 11 families who charge the PA and PLO of inciting, supporting, planning and executing seven terror attacks which killed American citizens between 2000 and 2004.
The trial, Sokolow vs. PLO, was recently cleared to be held on January 12, 2015 after the rejection of a petition against it by the two organizations - marking the first time the PLO will be held legally responsible for its actions.
The verdict could be precedent-setting, Shurat Hadin's Nitsana Darshan-Leitner stated in a special interview with Arutz Sheva Monday night.
"The Palestinian Authority is trying to create this image of being an entity worthy of becoming a state, and a judgement declaring that the Palestinian Authority sponsors terrorism or is involved in terrorism would make harder their efforts to become a state," Darshan-Leitner explained. "It would have to work very hard to clear up its name."
"During the trial, there will be evidence showing that the Palestinian Authority, to this day, supports terrorism, pays money to terrorists, and the conclusion will be inevitable that they don't deserve to be a state."
US Gov't to Pay Alan Gross $3.2 Million in Compensation
Alan Gross, the American freed last week after five years in a Cuban jail, has reached a $3.2 million settlement with the US government, media reports said Wednesday.
The US government office he was doing work for in Cuba, the Agency for International Development, released a statement Tuesday confirming that a settlement had been reached, without disclosing the amount.
The firm Gross worked for directly, Development Alternatives, was also a party to the agreement, USAID said.
"The settlement, agreed in principle in November, calls for payment by USAID for unanticipated claims under the cost-reimbursement contract, including claims related to Mr. Alan Gross," the agency said.
"The settlement avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party."
The Natalie Portman-Ryan Seacrest Gaza Strip Reply-All Chain from Hell
I freaking promise you that whatever debate over current events you get trapped in this holiday season will not be as bad as a reply-all chain argument about the Gaza Strip, featuring Russell Simmons, sent to Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Ryan Seacrest. And I can promise you that because I have seen one.
Imagine being forced to listen to other people discuss the following question: "Is the Gaza War Really Over?"
Now imagine those people include Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, baby-resembling GOP talking point-scribbler Frank Luntz, producer Ryan Kavanaugh, former NBC and Universal co-chair Ben Silverman, actresses Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman, at least three rabbis, and, of course Ryan Seacrest.
Thanks to emails included in the recent Sony mega-dump, you don't have to use your imagination:
Pro-Israel Groups Ship SodaStream to Harvard Leaders Following Ban
Two new Israeli-made SodaStream machines have been shipped to Harvard’s top brass following the school’s decision to ban the product and economically boycott the Jewish state, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
Pro-Israel activists on Tuesday shipped two of the soda-making devices to Harvard President Drew Faust and dining services head David Davidson following the elite university’s decision to boycott the Israeli product due to pressure from pro-Palestinian group on campus.
The stunt is being viewed as a shot across the bow to Harvard leadership on the heels of its controversial decision to cut ties with SodaStream, which is jointly manufactured in Israeli territory by Jewish and Palestinian workers.
Anti-Israel activists on Harvard’s campus have been celebrating what they believe is a massive coup for their cause after a pressure campaign convinced Harvard’s Dining Services to stop buying SodaStream as part of a larger bid to wage economic warfare on Israel.
Brandeis Pro-Israel Leader Under Threat by Progressive Activists
A pro-Israel student leader at Brandeis University has been deluged with threats following his exposure of a fellow student who expressed support for the violent execution of two New York City police officers.
Brandeis student Daniel Mael has been criticized in recent days after he exposed the tweets of fellow student leader Khadijah Lynch, who had endorsed on Twitter the execution-style murder of two NYPD officers.
“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today,” Lynch publicly tweeted before locking her account.
Brandeis officials immediately distanced the school from Lynch’s comments, calling them “hurtful and disrespectful.”
After Mael’s article about Lynch’s controversial tweets went viral, he became the target of a campaign by progressive Brandeis leaders to see him suspended from the university, or worse, according to those familiar with the situation.
Students sympathetic to Lynch are now trying to ensure that Mael is suspended or expelled from Brandeis as a result of his article.
U. Illinois Faculty Committee fails to call for Steven Salaita position restoration
The faculty Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has issued a Report and recommendations on the refusal of the Board of Trustees to grant tenure to former Virginia Tech Professor Steven Salaita.
The Report is being spun by Salaita supporters as a victory, but the details actually should disappoint them and hearten the University Trustees. A full copy of the Report is embedded at the bottom of this post.
For one thing, the Committee did not demand “restoration” of Salaita’s position, as some of his faculty supporters had expected. Rather, the Committee, while criticizing the University’s conduct, merely recommended formation of another committee of “academic experts” to review the situation.
The failure to call for restoration of position was based, in part, on the Committee finding “legitimate concerns” about whether Salaita’s anti-Israel (and some say anti-Semitic) tweets reflected on Salaita’s professional fitness, competence and care since his scholarship is “almost indistinguishable from a political purpose.” That political purpose, of course, is the destruction of Israel.
Shmuley Boteach: The story behind an ad condemning the treatment by Hamas and Iran of the LGBT community
I expect to be attacked from two camps this week. The first, as usual, is the Israel haters who follow my trail on the Internet like dogs in heat. The second is people who love Israel but who think homosexuality is Judaism’s greatest sin. Both might find common cause to condemn a full-page ad that my organization, This World: The Values Network, and Stand With US have taken out in The New York Times this week.
The ad features a close friend of mine named Rennick proclaiming in a bold headline: “My name is Rennick Remley. I’m a gay American. And I support Israel.”
I first began conceiving the ad during the Gaza war this summer. I was astonished that the LGBT lobby in the US did not come out forcefully to defend Israel and condemn Hamas. I was even more appalled that so many liberally-minded students and academics, who fight for gay rights every day, could be on the side of Hamas. In the ad Rennick, a very special young man who courageously agreed to speak out, is candid and plainspoken: “If I lived in Gaza or Israel’s neighboring states, I would be thrown in jail, mutilated or killed. Though I am not Jewish, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where I can live without fear. I am free to adopt children, serve openly in the military, advocate for my community’s rights and be accepted as a human being.”
Today I Was Asked By CNN If I Am Brain Dead
As everyone filed out for lunch, I decided to go get in one last word with Richard Davis. I questioned him on the HarNof headlines again. I first had to prove to him that I had in fact even seen the headlines I was questioning. When I managed to satisfy his questions, I wanted to know why CNN, when releasing the headlines at issue, couldn’t call it a terrorist attack. Davis explained that they would never jump to a conclusion that anything is a terrorist attack. “Okay”, I said, fully understanding the weight that the word “terrorist” carries. “But by the time it was known that it was four Israelis and two Palestinians, it was known that there were meat cleavers and stabbings involved. Why couldn’t you call it an ‘attack’?” I continued. His response? “You’ve got to be kidding me? One word? Are you brain dead?”
As I was already late to lunch, I found myself being pushed out of the room and toward the lunch line. As I shared this stunning question of Davis’ with my friends and staff, I was reassured that the only thing that could drive someone to ask me this was his knowing he had been defeated. While this thought was comforting, it didn’t shake my feeling that I needed to respond to his question.
Richard Davis – to answer your question, “Yes, I am serious. Yes, it’s one word. It makes a difference. No, I am not brain dead. I am a seventeen-year old girl from New Jersey who is appalled by the biased media coverage of Israel here in America. I am disgusted by the false headlines. I am pained by the ignorance of so many people, yourself included. And, most importantly, I am saddened and ashamed that there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
BBC reports on Wafa hospital shown to be inaccurate
As has been noted here previously, the Israeli Military Attorney General (MAG) has published the findings of some of the investigations conducted into incidents which occurred in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge. In relation to Wafa hospital the findings are as follows. [all emphasis added]
“Allegations Concerning Attacks on Al-Wafa Hospital (11-23 July 2014) –
"In reports received by the MAG Corps, and in correspondence from various NGOs, it was alleged that the Al-Wafa Hospital was unlawfully attacked by IDF forces on a number of occasions between 11-23 July 2014. As a result, and in accordance with the MAG’s investigation policy, it was decided to refer the incident for examination by the FFAM [Fact Finding Assessment Mission – Ed.].
According to the factual findings and materials collated by the FFAM and presented to the MAG, Palestinian terrorist organizations used the hospital compound for a range of varied and multiple military purposes throughout the period noted above, as well as beforehand. Such, it was found that Hamas used structures in the hospital for positioning surveillance devices so as to track IDF operational activity, that the hospital structures were used on multiple occasions as firing positions towards IDF forces, and that rockets were launched from the immediate vicinity of these structures. Further, according to materials presented to the MAG, reliable information indicated that the sole use that was made of the hospital, from a certain date onwards, was for the military purposes of Hamas, by Hamas’ military operatives. At this point, the hospital had already been evacuated of all civilians – patients and staff."
Argentine Tourist Town Launches Boycott Of Israeli Backpackers
A boycott campaign against Israeli backpackers was launched in the Patagonian region of Argentina.
“Boycott Against Israeli Military Tourism” was written on posters that appeared Monday in the city of Bariloche, a major tourism center located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. They were signed by the Palestine Solidarity Committee in Argentine Patagonia.
Israelis make up about 10 percent of the lucrative tourist trade there and most of the stores have signs in Hebrew to attract Israeli visitors.
Also, “Jews Out of Patagonia” appeared on two pesos bills, the lowest denomination of Argentine money. (h/t Bob Knot)
French town must remove plaque honoring Palestinian terrorist
Municipal authorities in Bezons were ordered to take down the plaque for Ihrima Majdi Al Rimawi, who was convicted in the 2001 assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in Jerusalem.
The judge told the Communist Party-dominated Bezons Council on December 19 that it had one month to remove the plaque dedicated to Rimawi, who has been associated with several terrorist attacks and is serving a life sentence plus 80 years in an Israeli jail.
In response to a complaint filed by Sammy Ghozlan of the National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, the judge also invalidated the Bezons Council’s February 2013 decision to grant Rimawi honorary citizenship.
Rimawi’s murder of Ze’evi in October 2001 was carried out in the name of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the group that claimed responsibility for last month’s terror attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.
French sell ‘cure’ for anti-Semitism
On December 16 the European Jewish Organization launched a bold digital campaign, called “Antisémitox: First aid for anti-Semitism.” The much shared meme features a white-coated stethoscope-wearing doctor holding a box of honey candies.
Based in Levallois, a northwestern suburb of Paris, the European Jewish Organization was founded six months ago to combat a rising French anti-Semitism.
“Anti-Semitism has become a plague in France, and it is growing towards a crescendo,” OJE leader Fabien Bellahsen told the Times of Israel this week. “Our objective is to raise awareness in the media, the public authorities and the civil society.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was presented with a box on Monday following a meeting with Jewish French MP Meir Habib, who recounted the encounter on French website JSSNews.
“We decided to use humor as a weapon against the resurgence of violence,” said Bellahsen. “However, I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep that sense of humor, especially when it comes to such serious matters.
Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty For Anti-Semitic Killer
The Chief Prosecutor's Office in Kansas announced Thursday its intentions to seek the death penalty against Frazier Glenn Miller.
Miller, 74, was charged in April with one count of capital murder for the deaths of a 69-year-old physician and his teenage grandson outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
He also faces one count of first-degree murder for the death of a 53-year-old woman at the nearby Village Shalom retirement community where she was paying a weekly visit to her mother.
The reasons for the shootings, which occurred on Passover eve, were racially motivated.
Miller, who suffers from emphysema, stated last month that he “wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”
'Shadow in Baghdad' reviewed
The film is a documentary of the story of Linda Menuhin who fled the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein in Dec 1970 when she was 20 years old to go to Israel awaiting the rest of the family to follow, which they did some 5 months later except for her father Yacoob Abdul Aziz, a well-respected lawyer who stayed awaiting the right moment.
In 1969 the Ba'ath party staged a mass execution of nine Jews and displayed their bodies in the main square amongst cheering fans. They were scapegoats to make up for the loss of the 1967 war and the writing was on the wall for the Jews of Iraq.
In 1970 and 1971 many Jews fled through Kurdistan in small groups arriving to Iran passing over precipitous mountains and dangerous terrain to avoid border police patrols. It was indeed a risky adventure requiring a lot of courage for, if caught, they would be subjected to the horrors and torture as Saddam’s prisoners but such was the level of despair that some 2300 out of 3000 people took that route.
How This Grade-School Dropout Broke Israel's Food Cartel
Four decades ago, Rami Levy arrived every weekday morning at dawn to hawk produce at Jerusalem’s open-air market. The work wasn’t lucrative, but as a school dropout from a poor family, he couldn’t complain.
Today, Levy still rises before dawn to sell food, and continues to do it without complaint. Now, though, he’s head of a company with 32 supermarkets across Israel and his net worth tops $500 million. This year, the Rami Levy chain became Israel’s top supermarket operator by market value even as sales remain less than a third of those of leader Shufersal Ltd. (SAE)
“You know the difference between me and every other CEO? I cleaned the floors. I stocked the shelves,” Levy said between bites of a cheese sandwich at his headquarters, a maze of shared working spaces and stacks of paperwork atop his original supermarket, in a Jerusalem industrial zone. “I started from the bottom and I know everything about my business.”
Levy has built his fortune by undercutting competitors with promotional campaigns such as what the media dubbed the “Chicken War,” which in 2008 brought the price of a bird below 1 shekel ($0.26) per kilo. That approach, enabled by high-volume stores the size of warehouses and a lean layer of middle managers, helped him surpass established chains.
Israel's Largest Solar Plant to be Inaugurated
Energix Renewable Energies, the Alony Hetz Property and Investments Ltd. group controlled by Nathan Hetz and the Wertheim family, announced Tuesday that Israel's biggest solar energy project, at Neot Hovav in the Negev, has received a permanent license for producing electricity, the Globes business newspaper reported.
According to the company's estimates, power production will yield annual revenue of 42-45 million shekels for twenty years.
An event will be held on Wednesday at Neot Hovav to mark the inauguration of the solar power plant, which has an output of 37.5 megawatt.
The event will be attended by Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Silvan Shalom, the director of the Prime Minister's Office, the chairman of Israel Electric Corporation, and the chairman of the Electricity Authority.
The plant is on reclaimed land formerly used as an evaporation pond for industrial waste, on which some 400,000 photo-voltaic panels have been erected for collecting the sun's rays and converting them to electricity.
Hippocratic Oath trumps security fears at Israeli hospitals
The commitment of Israeli hospitals to treating perpetrators of terror, says Charles Sprung, director of the general intensive care unit at Hadassah in Ein Karem, and head of the hospital’s Institute of Medicine, Ethics and Law – is indeed one of those things that cannot be changed. Nor, he stresses, should it be....
Sprung, a religious man, also cites the Oath of Maimonides, the famed 12th-century Jewish physician, which obligates doctors to “never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain.” Sprung shrugs. That is all there is to it, really...
“Is it incumbent upon individuals in a nation whose very existence is constantly being threatened to act compassionately toward those who set out to destroy them?” asks Avi Rivkind, head of Hadassah’s Division of Emergency Medicine and Trauma, in an oft-quoted 2009 paper co-authored with colleagues from the IDF and Haifa's Rambam Medical Center in the American Journal of Bioethics (“Medical Care for Terrorists – To Treat or Not to Treat” by Gesundheit, Ash, Blazer and Rivkind). “Should hospitals expend limited public health care resources on a terrorist, thereby perhaps depriving other patients of medical care?” the authors wonder.
The answer, they conclude, is clearly “yes.”
Israel 21c: The 12 top stories of 2014
In a year in which international media coverage of Israel focused almost exclusively on conflict, there was so much else of note going on.
We covered those stories on ISRAEL21c, bringing to our readers the most uplifting and positive developments taking place here.
You obviously appreciated it. Our readership has doubled in the last two years, and in every field – from social media, to YouTube, and Twitter — traffic has swelled significantly.
To say goodbye to the old year, and to celebrate the new, we’ve brought you our most popular 12 stories of the year. It’s a significant list that demonstrates the incredible diversity and innovation of Israeli life even during the most difficult of times.
Postcard from Israel: Christmas in Nazareth
If Christmas is close, Santa is sure to be seen in the streets of Nazareth, the 2,000-year-old Galilee city that is home to Israel’s largest Christian Arab community.
Any time of year, Nazareth is a picturesque and fascinating city to explore for its rich history and architecture as well as its present-day mix of Christian and Muslim citizens living peaceably together.
Enjoy our video of Christmas in Nazareth:
Europe’s Biggest Menorah Stands at Brandenburg Gate in Germany Where Nazi Rallies Took Place
Europe’s largest menorah is erected in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, a site once marked by hatred and racism where Nazi rallies took place.
“In the center of Germany, Europe’s largest menorah and one of the largest menorahs in the world stands tall at over 30 feet saying that light will always at the end prevail,” said Rabbi Yeuhuda Teichtal, head of the Chabad Lubavitch orthodox community in Berlin. “The message is today, with all the challenges we face, with all the anti-Semitic acts we unfortunately have to experience, nevertheless we are here and we will continue with acts of goodness and kindness.”
Thousands of Berliners gathered outside on Dec. 16 to watch Teichtal and German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere light the first Hanukkah candle on the menorah. Other dignitaries present at the ceremony included Mayor Michael Müller, Israeli Ambassador Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, and German parliament members Maria Böhmer and Petra Pau. Chabad has lit a menorah on same site for over a decade, reported.
Teichtal told NPR Berlin there is nothing more symbolic than lighting the candles in front of the Brandenburg Gate, which he described as “a center of darkness and of evil where Hitler stood.”
IDF Blog: 8 Miraculous Moments in IDF History
# MiraculousMoment 8: Iron Dome’s First Interception
Interception of Grad Rocket Above Ashkelon, 2011
Every time the Iron Dome Missile Defense System intercepts a rocket and prevents it from striking a populated area, it is a truly miraculous moment. The first real-time Iron Dome interception occurred on April 7, 2011, when a Grad rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted before hitting Ashkelon. Since then, the Iron Dome has intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives.

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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 18 years and 38,000 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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