Monday, November 25, 2019

From Ian:

The Blindspot in Bernie Sanders’ Anti-Semitism Manifesto
Bernie Sanders’ curious little manifesto on anti-Semitism in Jewish Currents on Nov. 11 reminds me why I could not possibly support the man—and why I sometimes feel a stab of regret about it. There is an impulsively decent quality in him that erupts now and then in rebellious outbursts of unexpected political principle, typically in ways that might offend his ideologically more cartoonish followers, but that render him pleasing, in my own eyes. And the mini-manifesto in Jewish Currents—the piece that Yair Rosenberg discussed in Tablet some days ago—offers an example.

It comes halfway through when Bernie recalls that, back in 1963, he lived the kibbutznik life in Israel. He was able to see and experience what he describes as “many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.” And he says: “I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.”

The striking phrase is, of course, “particularly for progressives.” Most Americans do acknowledge the enormous achievement. But, as everyone has noticed, a noisy percentage of the people who suppose themselves to be progressives believe, on the contrary, that Israel ought to be regarded as a white supremacist settler colonialist state, or an imperialist excrescence, or a center of world racism, and ought to be erased from the map—which are positions that sometimes award themselves the polite name of honest criticism.

But Bernie in Jewish Currents, with a knack for nuance, rightly says, “It is true that some criticism of Israel can cross the line into anti-Semitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews, or when it plays into conspiracy theories about outsized Jewish power.” He declares: “I will always call out anti-Semitism when I see it. My ancestors would expect no less of me.” His statement is good, then. It is solid. It is non-Jeremy Corbyn-like.

But everything else in the mini-manifesto is a disaster. Oh, maybe not everything. It has been said that Bernie makes a mistake in calling for the United States to return to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, on the grounds that anti-Israel manias and sympathy for outrageous tyrants long ago rendered the council a lost cause. But wouldn’t it be better to debate than to sulk? Hillel Neuer’s independent committee, UN Watch, participates in the Human Rights Council events, and strikes many a blow for common sense, and there is reason to suppose that a sufficiently feisty United States delegate seated at the table would be able to do the same, except more virally.
NGO Monitor: HRW’s Failed #WhoisNext Social Media Campaign
On November 5, 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Human Rights Watch (HRW) “Israel and Palestine Country Director” Omar Shakir had 20 days to leave the country. Shakir and his employer had asked the court to overturn a decision of the Israeli Ministry of Interior, which had already been approved by the Jerusalem District Court, not to renew Shakir’s work visa due to his BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) activities.

In the ten days leading up to Shakir’s departure, HRW launched a social media campaign under the hashtag “#WhoIsNext.” The campaign attempted to make a slippery slope argument, that if Shakir is deported, many other activists would be at risk. In reality, Israel has a vibrant and diverse civil society made up of thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As the Supreme Court found, Shakir, specifically, met the criteria in the Israeli law.

NGO Monitor analyzed the limited reach of HRW’s #WhoIsNext campaign, noting that it was primarily used in a self-promotional manner. The vast majority of Twitter users employing the hashtag were, in fact, employees of HRW; 71 of 100 (71%) uses of the hashtag originated with HRW-linked accounts. Tellingly, most of the non-HRW uses came from pro-BDS activists and NGOs.

David Collier: Perdition and Margaret Corvid, the Labour councillor from Plymouth
Margaret Corvid is a Labour Party Councillor in Plymouth. She is extremely active and appears to play an important part of Luke Pollard’s re-election campaign. Margaret’s Facebook and Twitter are full of pro-Corbyn material and she is always on the street canvassing. She made over 400 tweets / retweets in just the last few weeks:

Corvid is a solid Corbynite, joining the party after Corbyn took control in 2015. She describes herself as a Marxist and ‘proud entryist‘. Corvid does a lot of writing. Her name appears in the Guardian, Independent, Metro, Novara Media and New Statesman. Much of her writing is about the sex trade. Corvid makes her living as a dominatrix.

Oddly, Corvid’s Facebook friends list includes high profile players in the antisemitism row such as Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker. Interestingly Mick Napier, the head of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is in there too. Why would a local councillor in Plymouth be associated with a vile antisemitic group in Scotland?

It is because Margaret Corvid has not been using that name for long.

I could find no active record for Margaret Corvid before 2013. She admits in an article it is her ‘professional name‘. What I did find was a political activist in Scotland named Esther Sassaman. Here is one of her tweets:

Sassaman first appears in early 2003 with a blog about an upcoming visit to ‘Palestine’. She is American, defines herself as ‘ethnically Jewish but drawn to the black Baptist Christians’. She joined their Gospel Choir. It seems as if she was an anti-Israel ‘fanatic’ before she ever stepped foot there (she described herself as a ‘fanatic’ – Rachel Corrie was her inspiration).

Upon her return she continued with political activism. She even meets and interviews George Galloway during his visit to the States in 2005. Coincidence or not, within 7 months, Sassaman would surface as an activist in Galloway’s home town of Dundee.

Sassaman appears to have platformed with former Guantanamo Bay resident Moazzim Begg in 2006. At that point she was described as an ‘American’ resident in Scotland.

Oberlin College Students Erect Memorial to Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terrorists
Anti-Zionist students at Oberlin College in Ohio erected a memorial last week commemorating the death of multiple Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists.

Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine shared in a Facebook post on Thursday that it had installed a display in “commemoration of the 34 Palestinians killed by Israeli rocket fire this last week” in Wilder Bowl, a central outdoor space on campus where students often congregate.

A sign explaining the display stated, “Last week, Israel unleashed violent airstrikes on the Gaza Strip to assassinate Bahaa Abu al-Atta and his wife on Tuesday, November 12th. In the process, killing 34 unarmed Palestinian civilians, including 8 children.”

“Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine and Oberlin Jewish Voice for Peace have created this installation to commemorate the lives of these 34 Palestinians who died at the hands of Zionist Settler Colonialism,” it continued. “We list the names and ages of those who were lost on each black flag.” (h/t MtTB)
New York Times Tries Explaining Away British Labour’s Antisemitism
A New York Times news article reports about how “Britain’s Jews Are Feeling Politically Homeless” amid the rise of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Times reports that British Jews “flinch at handing power to Mr. Corbyn, seen by many as the only person who can stop Brexit, pained as they are by an avalanche of anti-Semitism accusations against the party.” That’s an odd formulation; it’s not the accusations that are causing the pain but the antisemitism.

The Times article’s low point is this breathtaking paragraph: “Scholars say certain strains of anticapitalism have historically risked casting Jews as a class of rich conspirators oppressing working people. Some of Mr. Corbyn’s supporters also stridently oppose Israel, occasionally resorting to anti-Semitic tropes to make their points.”

These “scholars” go unnamed by the Times, their identity undisclosed to Times readers. The larger problem, though, is the confusion of cause and effect. Blaming antisemitism on anticapitalism is backwards. It’s just as plausible that the antisemitism is the cause of the anticapitalism as that the anticapitalism is the cause of the antisemitism. Anticapitalism is, like antisemitism, so irrational that it defies logical explanation. But one possible explanation for why some people hate capitalism is that these people hate Jew, so they hate capitalism, which is a system that allows Jews to prosper.
Labour Candidate Vowed '100% Take Up Arms' Against Allies in Afghanistan
Voters know Corbyn poses a threat to national security, but Labour’s candidate in Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner has gone one step further, saying she would “100% take up arms” against British soldiers. Taking to Facebook four years ago in 2015 to vent her frustrations about the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Peymana Assad wrote:
If I was an Afghan villager… I would 100% take up arms against the government and its allies. The Kabuli elite wouldn’t understand that though”

And who were the Afghanistani’s allies at the time? The UK and the US…

When Guido showed David Simmonds, her Tory opponent, what she had written, he said understatedly “Crikey. There are no conceivable circumstances where I would ever take up arms to fight against British soldiers. My ancestors who died in World War II would be turning in their graves at the prospect.”

Ms Assad also complains that “it’s a shame that so many of us view the critique of the military as against national interests”. Not Corbyn, he would probably make her a Defence Minister…
'Take Up Arms against Brits' Labour Candidate Asked to Explain 'Israel Gassed' Tweet
Labour’s Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner candidate Peymana Assad is in hot water after social media posts surfaced of her saying she would “100% take up arms against the [Afghan] government and its allies” which at the time included the US and the UK. Now Jewish people are questioning an oddly worded tweet from Peymana, which talks about a “10 lost tribes of Israel joke” and a man who “got gassed”. She has now deleted her Facebook account, you have to wonder why?

Human Rights Watch's Shakir defiant as Israel deports him: I'll be back
In his final public appearance in Israel before being deported later Monday, Human Rights Watch Israel-Palestine Director Omar Shakir was defiant saying that, “I’ll be back when the day comes that we have succeeded in dismantling the system of discrimination impacting Israelis and Palestinians.”

Shakir’s deportation marks the end of one of the most controversial fights ever between Israel and one of its human rights critics.

While the UN, EU and others condemned Israel’s deportation of Shakir as an attempt to quash criticism of human rights violations, the majority of Israeli politicians, including centrists like Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid, have supported it as combatting the global movement to boycott Israel.

The final order to deport Shakir came last week after High Court President Esther Hayut denied him a stay of the deportation order pending his request for a broader panel of the court to overturn the order.

The order was issued against the Israel-Palestine HRW director on November 5 by a smaller three-justice panel endorsing the government’s decision to deport him.
Israel Slandered for Deporting Omar Shakir

Investigation: ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ Locked Down Its Annual Conference, What Was It Hiding?
Last week, we reported on the disruption of Israeli Hen Mazzig’s talk by Vassar College Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in Vassar President: It was anti-Semitic to shout at Israeli Jewish speaker “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free”.

In a breath of fresh air, Vassar president Elizabeth Bradley issued an admirably strong condemnation of SJP’s behavior, stating that shouting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”—a call for the extermination of Israel and the subjugation of Israeli Jews—at an Israeli Jewish speaker was anti-Semitic:
“the use of the chant—in this way, directed at this speaker—crossed the line into anti-Semitism.”

The reactions of some other university administrations to SJP’s characteristic anti-Semitism, however, have often fallen short of the standard president Bradley has established. SJP’s annual hate-filed conference, held only a few weeks earlier at the University of Minnesota, elicited barely a peep from the UMN administration, despite clear evidence of bigotry, secrecy, and even possible building code violations taking place.

Table of Contents
Students for Justice in Palestine: A Vicious History
National SJP Conference 2019 at the University of Minnesota
UMN’s Reaction
Conference Tactics: Hateful Language, Questionable Funding, & Secrecy
American Muslims for Palestine Connection
Conference Secrecy
Here’s What SJP Was Hiding
External Reaction – SJP as Liberators
Protest Outside – But No Disruption Unlike SJP Protests
Toronto Sun Editorial: Hatred at Canadian Universities
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford have condemned the latest incidence of violence, hatred, racist chants and anti-Semitism at York University, hatred of Jews masquerading as criticism of Israel has been going on for years on university campuses. On Nov. 20, York Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) attempted to shut down a university-authorized panel discussion with former members of Israel's Defense Forces, sponsored by a York student group.

York University President Rhonda Lenton promised to review ways to encourage vigorous but civil debate on controversial subjects, but such promises amount to little when one group of students is determined to disrupt the lawful assembly of students with opposing views. There would have been no confrontation had not one side come to the event with the intent of not allowing it to proceed.

Universities need to stop pretending they don't know this as they talk about the importance of preserving free speech and maintaining civil discourse on controversial issues. When demonstrators come to an event with no other purpose than to silence the views of those who oppose them, they are violating the constitutional right of their opponents to free speech. All universities should be reading the riot act to any student group which engages in such tactics, rather than allowing students to run amok without consequences.
University of Cape Town Rescinds Motion to Boycott Israel
The University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday rescinded a motion for an academic boycott of Israel, Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, reported.

In March, the university's senate initially voted in favor of such a motion by 62-43 with 10 abstentions. However, the UCT Council, which governs the university, blocked the boycott motion.

Following months of investigations by the senate, a motion to rescind the boycott was approved by 68%.
Ukraine foreign minister decries ‘appalling’ defacing of Sholem Aleichem statue
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko called Monday for an immediate investigation into the “disgusting” daubing of swastikas on a monument to prominent Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem in the Ukrainian capital.

Moshe Reuven Azman, the chief rabbi of Ukraine, posted pictures of the monument to Aleichem, located outside Kyiv’s synagogue, with big red swastikas spray-painted on it Monday.

In a tweet, Prystaiko denounced the anti-Semitic act as “disgusting, appalling and in need of prompt investigation.”

Police have opened a probe into the incident, which was carried out by unidentified vandals.

Dissemination of the Nazi symbol is illegal in Ukraine and punishable by a jail term of up to five years.

Some reports said that nearby security cameras caught the perpetrators vandalizing the monument, which was erected on Rohnydinska Street in 1997.

No evidence stabbing on New York Jewish man was hate crime, police say
The stabbing attack on a 29-year-old Orthodox man in the Town of Ramapo, New York is not being classified as a hate crime.
“Although there are those who believe that this was a hate crime, the official position of the Town of Ramapo Police Department is, that at this time, there is no evidence to support that contention,” Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Weidel said in the statement if anyone has facts that the attack on Wednesday morning was a hate crime, “we strongly encourage them to come forward and report this information to our agency.”

Weidel said the police department’s Patrol Division has increased patrols in the community, using both marked and unmarked cars as well as police bikes for patrol purposes.

The victim, a teacher and father of four young children, was approaching the synagogue, Toshnad Heichel Torah Utfila in Spring Valley, New York, when at least one man got out of a car, began beating him and stabbed him multiple times.

The victim on Thursday underwent a second surgery on his fractured skull. He is scheduled to have a third surgery on to try to save his eye that was seriously injured in the attack, the Vos Iz Neias news website reported.
Play on Lithuanian WWII-era collaborators sparks controversy
Two years after Our People; Journey With an Enemy was taken off the shelves in Lithuania because of its allegations of collaboration between the local population and the Nazis during the Holocaust, it has once again become a source of controversy in the Baltic state.

The book has been adapted into a play, and was to debut this month despite the fear of protests.

A source close to the production told Israel Hayom that "the very announcement on this play caused heavy criticism ... we have been pressured by many people to scrap the entire project because it might come off as defamatory against Lithuania."

Ruta Vanagaite, the author of the book, told Israel Hayom: "Personally, I am not concerned, but you can feel the tension in the air. Locals have told me to expect widespread protests."
Bosses of frozen pizza giant Dr Oetker are to hand back the company's huge art collection after finding out some of the pieces were looted by the Nazis
A food firm is returning part of its vast art collection after discovering some works were looted under the Nazis.

Dr Oetker, a household name for its frozen pizza and baking products, has given a painting back to the heirs of a Jewish tobacco dealer murdered at a concentration camp.

Sorcerer and Dragon, by German artist Carl Spitzweg, is believed to be one of several works the firm possesses through its association with the Nazis.

The 19th century painting is the seventh returned after a lengthy trawl to find relatives of the rightful owners.

It had been in the collection of Leo Bendel, a Jewish Berliner who fled Germany to escape persecution after the Nazis came to power in January 1933.

To finance his escape, he sold some of his paintings to a gallery in Munich, from where the Spitzweg was purchased by Caroline Oetker, a member of the food family.

Bendel moved to Vienna but was arrested and sent to Buchenwald in 1939 following the annexation of Austria by Germany. He was murdered at the camp, which is near Weimar, a year later.

His widow Else, who was not Jewish, survived the war but saw attempts to secure compensation for their lost property rebuffed by a string of German governments.

Jörg Schillinger, a spokesman for Dr Oetker, said the firm had been aware of the painting’s tainted history but it took some years to identify Bendel’s heirs.
I’m a Nazi girl: Argentina students film video with singing Nazis; teacher fired
Students in a history class in a private secondary school in a northwest province of Argentina made a music video featuring singing Nazis as a class assignment.

The Nazi music video received nine points out of 10 from the teacher at the Escuela Modelo of San Juan, or Model School, whose website says that “we mold people with integrity, solidarity and entrepreneurship.”

The video is a parody of the song “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, in which a student sings changed lyrics: “I’m a Nazi girl in a Nazi world.” The video includes Nazi symbols and shows the singing Nazis humiliating students dressed as Jews and homosexuals.

The video was widespread on social media.

The video includes lines like “Come on Jews let’s go (to the) camp” and “Come on Joseph let’s make soap.”

On Monday, a representative of the national Jewish political umbrella DAIA was set to meet with officials from the Education Ministry of San Juan province.
Auschwitz museum hits milestone of a million social media followers
The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum has reached 1 million followers on social media and is hailing that milestone as it works to educate the world about the crimes committed by the Nazis during World War II.

The memorial is located in southern Poland, which was under German occupation during the war.

The state-run institution said the number of followers worldwide that it has on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined hit 1 million Monday.

Pawel Sawicki, a museum official who runs the social media accounts, credited celebrities and media figures for helping to spread word about its education mission.

He noted that Mark Hamill, the American actor who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” films, once tweeted: “It may be difficult, but @AuschwitzMuseum is the most important account I’ve ever followed.”
Merkel to Make First Visit to Auschwitz as German Leader
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp next month for the first time in her 14 years in office, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Merkel has accepted an invitation to attend the 10th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation on Dec. 6. Her office confirmed that a visit is planned but declined to specify the date, most likely because her appointments are generally announced only a week in advance.

Merkel has already visited other Nazi camps, including Dachau and Buchenwald, as well as the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem.

Nazi Germany killed more than 1 million people at Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland during World War II, most of whom were Jews. Auschwitz will mark 75 years since its liberation in January 2020.

The World Jewish Congress honored Merkel in October with its Herzl Award, given to individuals whose actions promote Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl’s “ideas for the creation of a safer and more tolerant world for Jews.” However, the decision by WJC to honor Merkel was met with criticism by members of Germany’s Jewish community.
Three Rome streets, once named for antisemities, rededicated to Jews
Two streets in Rome that were named after Italian scientists who signed the antisemitic Manifesto della Razza (Racial Manifesto) in 1938 have been rededicated to two pioneer Jewish female scholars. A third has been renamed after an anti-fascist professor who was one of the very few academics who refused to pledge loyalty to dictator Benito Mussolini.

The streets of the Italian capital previously carried the name of psychiatrist Arturo Donaggi and Edoardo Zavattari, a biologist who promoted the idea of scientific racism.

The Manifesto, which they both promoted along with other prominent Italian scholars, became the ideological and pseudo-scientific base of the racial policies of Mussolini’s fascist regime.

A few weeks after the Manifesto was published, the regime passed anti-Jewish legislation, an Italian equivalent of Nazi Nuremberg Laws.

The streets in Rome named after Donaggi and Zavattari were renamed after Enrica Calabresi, Nella Mortara and Mario Carrara.

After 1938, Jewish zoologist Calabresi devoted herself to teach Jewish students who were expelled from Italian schools. She took her own life in prison in 1944 to avoid being sent to Auschwitz.

During the persecutions, Mortara, a physicist, fled to Brazil. After the war, she was given back her position in 1949.

Carrara, a forensic physician, was arrested in 1936 for promoting anti-fascist activities and died in prison in 1937.
PepsiCo reportedly seeks grant for SodaStream plant expansion in the south
PepsiCo has plans to expand a production plant of Israel-based carbonated water company SodaStream, which it acquired over a year ago, Globes financial website said, citing government sources familiar with the plans.

The US food and drinks giant is planning to expand SodaStream’s plant in the Idan Hanegev industrial park near Rahat, with an investment of over NIS 320 million ($92.5 million), the people familiar said. SodaStream will expand its workforce at the expanded plant to 1,000 new workers, who will join the current 1,500 workers at the plant, Globes said on Sunday.

SodaStream has applied for government backing for its investment, under the law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment, as it is an exporter operating in the south, in the country’s geographic and economic periphery.

SodaStream could get an NIS 80 million grant, accounting for 20% of the investment plan, plus tax benefits, Globes said.

The Economy and Industry Ministry, which is in charge of approving the grant, together with the Finance Ministry and the Israel Tax Authority, will hold a meeting next month to discuss the company’s request, Globes said.
5 Israeli inventions that are about to transform shopping
Your supermarket and department store know who you are, what you’ve bought and where you’re shopping next.

That may sound invasive, but if it allows you to check out faster and get the products you want cheaper, is it a fair trade-off? Ethan Chernofsky, VP of marketing at, one of the Israeli companies vying to change the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, says yes.

Big stores like Target and Walmart already had access to this kind of data through less technical means such as reviewing Mastercard sales reports, Chernofsky tells ISRAEL21c. Emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a strong “democratizing influence that levels the playing field.”

Companies like, Chernofsky adds, can provide big-data insights to smaller retailers, non-profit organizations and municipalities to strengthen their overall economic growth and optimization.

The key to preventing an all-out consumer rebellion is ensuring anonymity. Data must be scrubbed of any identifying information. If done right, Chernofsky maintains, “data provides for a greater good.”

ISRAEL21c takes a look at five Israeli startups that are betting the benefits they offer will tip the scale from spooky to superlative.
Israeli tech keeps retail giants in the game
Deloitte: Retailers worldwide invested $6.2 billion in installing Israeli technology in 2018.

Amazon launched its retail website in Israel just one month ago. In recent years, however, Israeli startups have become prominent developers of technologies for the retail sector. A new report by consultancy and accounting firm Deloitte finds that there are now 450 Israeli startups in this sector, which have raised an aggregate $1.5 billion capital in the past four years. The report reveals that the global retail industry invested no less than $6.2 billion in installing Israeli technology in 2018.

The report, written in cooperation with the investment fund of Nielsen and Salesforce, will be presented this week at an event entitled, "The Future of Retail-Tech." The report reviews the Israeli startups operating in the sector and the various areas in which their technology can be applied. The writers of the report also listed the major merger and acquisitions deals made in Israel in the sector in recent years, headed by the acquisition of Dynamic Yield by MacDonald's for $300 million.
‘Woodstock Meets the Bible’ as Tens of Thousands Flock to Hebron for Chayei Sarah Pilgrimage
Jews from around the world made a pilgrimage to the city of Hebron in Judea and Samaria over the weekend to pay homage to the Jewish biblical matriarch Sarah, whose death led to the purchase by her husband Abraham of a burial plot in Hebron, a transaction recounted in last week’s Torah portion of Chayei Sarah.

An estimated 40,000-50,000 Jews converged on Hebron and its adjacent sister city of Kiryat Arba over the weekend, with festivities centering around the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the edifice built 2,000 years ago by King Herod atop the burial cave, which according to the Bible is the final resting place not only of Sarah, but also of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as Rebecca and Leah.

Just before the beginning of Shabbat, Hebron Jewish Community spokesman Yishai Fleisher tweeted a picture of Jews holding a large banner which thanked US President Donald Trump for his support for Jewish life in communities in Judea and Samaria, such as Hebron.

Multiple high-ranking Israeli officials and dignitaries arrived to take part in the event, including Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin; Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich; Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel; Yamina Knesset member Moti Yogev; Shas Knesset member Michael Malkieli; Knesset member and former National Security Council head Uzi Dayan; Chief Rabbi of Tzfat Shmuel Eliyahu; Chief Rabbi of Beersheba Yehuda Deri; Israeli radio personality Yoram Sheftel; and musician Etti Ankari.

The 1,000 Israelis living in Hebron are currently allowed access to just 3 percent of the 250,000-person city. Their portion contains the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, but is highly regulated by the Israeli government.

Despite the extensive Jewish history at the location, UNESCO declared the tomb a Palestinian World Heritage Site in 2017.

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