Thursday, January 02, 2020

01/02 Links Pt2: Ben Shapiro: When Anti-Semitism Doesn’t Matter; The Attempt to Dejudaize Jesus; Digging the land: The top 10 Holy Land archaeology stories of 2019

From Ian:

After Monsey, it's time to say Jewish lives also matter
De Blasio should also reconsider the Democratic Party's flawed and specious addiction to identity politics, which pits groups against each other and, in its obsession with a difference and power dynamics rather than with universal ethics and spiritual transcendence, is in no way consistent with Dr. King's vision.

This brutal attack and those that preceded it are a reminder that prejudice, racism and anti-Semitic hate have no one face, no one race, no one religion and no one political ideology. Anyone can be either a victim or a perpetrator. While socioeconomic disparities and injustices are real – and some groups have suffered unique hardships – none of that gives anyone the right to abuse another person or group because they are different or perceived to be "privileged," as some imagine Jews to be. And being part of a historically disadvantaged group shouldn't provide immunity from the law.

Those quick to point to a "climate of hate" when it concerns the utterances of U.S. President Donald Trump, and who also embrace identity politics, should consider how they may unwittingly be contributing to this climate by dividing and apportioning values based on ethnic and racial identity without recognizing the deeper truths that we are all human, that no one has a monopoly on prejudice, and that we are all equal under the law. Are kids learning this at home and in school? They should be.

It's long past time to teach the simple truth that anyone, of any religion or race, is capable of dehumanizing others, which is the essence of racism. And anyone can be better than that.

Perhaps that's the first thing that Mayor de Blasio should insist be taught in Brooklyn's public schools as part of a new curriculum he has promised if he's serious about countering hate and the terrible ignorance we've seen spewing onto the streets of New York City in recent weeks.

Lesson One could be: There is only one race, the human race.

Ben Shapiro: When Anti-Semitism Doesn’t Matter
In October 2018, during Sabbath morning services, a white supremacist attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, murdering 11 people and wounding another six. In April 2019, in the middle of Passover, a white supremacist attacked the Chabad of Poway synagogue, murdering one person and seriously wounding another three. Both incidents started absolutely necessary conversations about the prevalence and nature of the white supremacist threat to Jews across the country.

Four people were murdered at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City by self-described Black Hebrew Israelites just weeks ago; five people were stabbed at a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York; this week alone, New York police are investigating at least nine anti-Semitic attacks. The upsurge of violence against Jews in New York in particular has finally prompted commentary from Democratic politicians ranging from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who just weeks ago expressed shock at anti-Semitism reaching “the doorstep of New York City”; to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who expressed puzzlement at the attacks, noting broadly: “This is an intolerant time in our country. We see anger; we see hatred exploding.”

This isn’t new. Back in 2018, The New York Times admitted there was a massive spike in anti-Semitic attacks in the city — and even acknowledged that the newspaper of record had failed to cover that surging anti-Semitism because “it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy.” But that has always been true of anti-Semitism. It’s possible, as the Times should recognize, to walk and chew gum at the same time in covering anti-Semitism.

But it’s not mere lack of focus and time preventing the media from taking anti-Semitism in New York seriously. It’s the identity of the attackers. Armin Rosen wrote for Tablet Magazine back in July 2019 about the Jew hatred in New York and correctly noted “that the victims are most often outwardly identifiable, i.e., religious rather than secularized Jews, and the perpetrators who have been recorded on CCTV cameras are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic.” This throws the media — and many left-leaning Jewish organizations — into spasms of confusion, since it cuts directly against the supposed alliance of intersectionality so beloved by the political Left. White supremacists attacking left-leaning Jews fits a desired narrative. Black teenagers beating up Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg doesn’t.

And so the Left ignores the wrong type of anti-Semitism.

Bari Weiss [C-Span Video]: How to Fight Anti-Semitism
New York Times editorial writer Bari Weiss talked about her book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism, in which she argued there is a rise in anti-Semitism in America.

The Attempt to Dejudaize Jesus
“Bishop Sasse! Do I, an Aboriginal, have to tell you how to be a Christian?”
– Australian Aboriginal leader William Cooper confronting Nazi Bishop Martin Sasse in the Kristallnacht Cantata: A Voice of Courage.

Christmas has come and gone, and so we wait for next year to see some clerics and others ritually posing in front of the security barrier which has saved thousands of Israeli lives from ruthless killers. As usual they will express love for all (with a notable exception), while propagating the impossible mantra that Jesus was the first “Palestinian refugee.”

This attempt to dejudaize Jesus is not new. It forms part of a replacement theology formulated by the Nazis to justify their hatred of Jews that ended with the Holocaust. Modern day replacement theologians have therefore shamelessly utilized and revitalized Nazi propaganda to promote their agenda. For them, the parable attributed to Jesus about “old wine in new bottles” has come to mean something very different, and certainly not based on universal love.

In her book The Aryan Jesus, Susannah Heschel described the work of Professor Walter Grundmann, a prominent theologian from the prestigious University of Jena. Grundmann headed the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Religious Life. Its aim was the “Entjudung,” (dejudifying) of Christianity and to find intellectual solutions to the problem of the Jewishness of Jesus while simultaneously promoting antisemitism. The challenge was how to spread the idea of a German Aryan master race while integrating and repudiating the message of universal love spread by Jesus. This notwithstanding the fact that the Jewish Jesus was a disciple of Rabbi Hillel, whose school was a dominant force in rabbinic Judaism of the time.

Despite glaring intellectual and academic fraud, Grundmann gained much “scientific” respectability. His central thesis was that Jesus led a war on Judaism and therefore was not a Jew. In any case, according to Grundmann, Jesus was a Galilean not a Judean, which is like saying real Germans are from Prussia not Hesse or Bavaria. For Grundmann, Judea was the real Land of the Jews. After all, the word “Jew” derives from Judea. However, today, Judea has itself been politically dejudaized by Muslim countries and the EU among others, who now call it the West Bank. Historical revisionism has always mutated to suit ideology. Indeed, Grundmann instigated the publication of a New Testament in Nazi Germany with all Jewish references expunged.

Of course, Nazi attempts to dejudaize Jesus did not end in 1945. Hitler’s friend, the Palestinian leader Haj Amin al Husseini, who stayed as his guest in Berlin, continued to carry the flag of anti-Jewish hatred decades after the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. Al Husseini had been thwarted in his plans to establish death camps for Jews in Judea following the defeat of Rommel in North Africa. His fanatical ideologies, however, persisted; one of which was the dejudaization of Israel, including its history regardless of countless archaeological sites, writings, and artifacts from thousands of years ago.
Add her to the hero list
Kay Wilson is a certified Israeli tour guide, an expert in Israel’s fauna and flora, our archaeology and history, cultural nuances and culinary delicacies. She’s also a concert pianist, an artist and a gifted writer.

She’s also a survivor of a terrorist attack who, with hands tied, gagged and chopped by a machete, forced herself to walk barefoot across fields of briars to summon help.

When I saw the list of “heroes of the decade” published in a national Hebrew-language newspaper this week, I was surprised that her name wasn’t on it.

Coffee with Kay. We’re at a café in Mevaseret Zion, a suburban town near Jerusalem. Nine years after the attack, she still doesn’t like meeting early in the morning and prefers not traveling into Jerusalem. She’s petite and soft-spoken, and despite her proven resilience, she seems fragile.

I’ve read her memoir, The Rage Less Traveled, a rare, close-up and personal account of a terrorist attack, bringing the reader inside the experience of violence and the challenge of the physical and psychological recovery of her unlikely survival. A must read.
Monsey stabbing victim still unconscious, doctors not optimistic - family
Josef Neumann, one of the five victims of the Hanukkah stabbing attack in Monsey, New York, remains unconscious.

"Doctors are not optimistic about his chances to regain consciousness, and if our father does miraculously recover partially, doctors expect that he will have permanent damage to the brain; leaving him partially paralyzed and speech-impaired for the rest of his life," Neumann's family wrote in a statement released by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC).

The father of seven was "severely stabbed multiple times," his family wrote, adding that "The knife penetrated his skull directly into the brain."

Neumann's right arm was also reportedly "shattered" in the attack, but according to his family, doctors have yet to preform surgery on his arm because his "status is so dire."

The family ended the statement with a call to action, asking for people to pray for Yehosef Ben Perel and urging American Jews and Jews around the world to use the hashtag #MeJew and share their experiences with antisemitism.

"We shall not let this terrible hate-driven attack be forgotten, and let us all work to eradicate all sorts of hate," the family wrote.
33% of those arrested for antisemitic crimes in NYC were black, 60% white
New York Police Department statistics for the first three quarters of 2019 document 45 arrests for anti-Jewish hate crimes in New York City. One third of those arrested were African-Americans, while 60% were white individuals.

This represents a rate similar to that in 2018, when of the 69 arrests made for antisemitic hate crimes in New York, 40 of those arrested, or 57%, were white, and 25 of those arrested, or 36%, were black.

The African-American population in New York City is approximately 25%, while whites account for 44% of the city’s residents.

In the first three quarters of 2019, there were 166 complaints of anti-Jewish hate incidents out of a total of 309 hate incidents of all kinds, meaning antisemitic attacks constituted 54% of all hate crimes in New York, despite the fact that the Jewish population is only 13% of the city’s residents.

The NYPD does not provide information on the ethnic backgrounds of alleged perpetrators in hate crime complaints.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, former longtime Democratic New York State assemblyman Dov Hikind said that there is “a problem with many young people in the black community, but not just young people.”

He pointed to antisemitic comments made by Joan Terrell-Paige, a member of the Jersey City Board of Education, following the Jersey City antisemitic shooting, who alleged that “brutes of the Jewish community” had “waved bags of money” at black homeowners, and alleged that “six rabbis were accused of selling body parts.”

Hikind also noted that members of the Hudson County Democratic Black Caucus, representing elected officials at the state, county and local levels in New Jersey, said that while it did not agree with “the delivery of the statement” made by Terrell-Paige, they said that the issues she raised “must be addressed and should be a topic of a larger conversation” between the African-American and Jewish communities.

“This is unreal,” said Hikind. “This to me indicates something much deeper at play. Whatever it is, we shouldn’t be afraid to discuss it.”

Monsey Attacker’s Mom: He Was a Shabbos Goy
It turns out that even anti-Semites who attack Chassidic Jews on Chanukah with a machete have mothers, and the mother of Grafton Thomas, 37, Kim, 55, told the press on Wednesday that her “was born in a Jewish neighborhood in Crown Heights,” and “grew up going there on a Friday afternoon to turn off the lights for them,” the NY Post reported.

OK, so she didn’t get the whole Shabbos goy thing right – his job is to turn on the lights on Shabbat, and only then turn them off again. He also does air conditioners, ovens, and stove tops.

Kim Thomas, who shares a home in Greenwood Lake, upstate NY, with Grafton, said that “If he goes down there,” meaning the old neighborhood in East New York, “anyone that sees him on the block, in the neighborhood, hugs him, welcomes him.”

So the NY Post went asking and couldn’t find any Jewish local in the old neighborhood who recalled the machete guy.

Kim works as a nurse, and claims her son suffers from schizophrenia and that she had begged a judge that heard the case of his assault of a policeman last May, to have him committed to a mental hospital. She claimed the entire incident that time had begun when she called 911 asking for mental health assistance, but cops showed up instead and got into a clash with Grafton.
Hasidic man assaulted in Brooklyn, attacker yells 'I will kill you Jews'
Two women shoved a Hasidic Jewish man to the ground and yelled “F*** you Jew” and “I will kill you Jews” in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood on Wednesday, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). One of the assailants grabbed the victim's cellphone and punched him in the throat, JTA reported.

Last week, on December 24, another Brooklyn attack was caught on video. The New York Police Department (NYPD) released the clip on January 1, which shows what appears to be a group of teenagers assaulting a 23-year-old Hasidic man in Brooklyn.

The NYPD said he was struck in the head with a chair and punched in the face. Police are urging anyone with information about this attack to call or message its tip line at 800-577-TIPS.
Jewish teen robbed at knife-point on Brooklyn bus: cops
A Jewish teen riding a bus in Brooklyn was threatened at knife-point by two assailants who snatched his earbuds and yarmulke while making anti-Semitic remarks Tuesday, police said.

The attempted robbery in Sheepshead Bay is at least the 11th reported anti-Semitic attack on city streets in the past week and follows a horrific stabbing attack at a synagogue in Monsey on Saturday night.

Zachary Hershkovich, 15, was on the MTA’s B3 bus on Tuesday when two strangers flashed a knife at him and removed his earbuds and yarmulke, the skullcap worn in public by Orthodox Jewish men, police said.

The attackers taunted the teen with anti-Semitic remarks while attempting to rob him on the King’s Plaza bound bus at East 17th Street and Avenue U.

A police spokeswoman said the attackers gave the teen his property back before jumping off the bus in Marine Park at Flatbush Ave and Avenue U.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.
Democrat ‘Bail Reform’: Woman Involved In Anti-Semitic Attack Arrested, Released For 3 Crimes In 5 Days
As reported earlier in the week by The Daily Wire, a woman named Tiffany Harris was arrested and released for two different alleged attacks within three days due to early-implemented “bail reform” in New York. On New Year’s Eve, Harris was arrested yet again.

Harris “was nabbed for allegedly slugging three Jewish women and yelling ‘F-U, Jews!’ but let go Saturday with no bail, despite an open assault case. Last month, she got no jail for a felony in another incident,” The New York Post reported. “Nabbed again Sunday in a new attack, she was once more freed, on no bail, Monday.”

Harris was then most recently picked up on Tuesday at a Brooklyn area hotel “on an arrest warrant issued earlier Tuesday after she allegedly failed to comply with court-ordered monitoring,” the Post reports, citing officials.

“They issued a bench warrant around 5 p.m. this evening,” said New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito, according to the outlet.

“At 6:18, I was notified that she was a fugitive. We put together teams of deputy sheriffs that did basic background investigation, and started conducting interviews and canvassing known locations,” Fucito added.

“She went to the office as instructed, gave the information she needed, clearly she wanted to leave,” Lisa Schreibersdorf, Harris’s lawyer, said of her client. “Anyone would want to leave in that circumstance, no one felt she did anything wrong.”

New York Enacts Strict ‘Eight-Strikes’ Law to Stop Attacks on Jews (satire)
Promising to finally get tough on attacks against Jews, New York has instituted a stringent ‘eight strikes’ law promising legal consequences to anyone who commits more than seven felony assaults against random Jewish citizens.

The law was spurred by outrage after Brooklyn resident Tiffany Harris was arrested twice within a week for attacks against Jews, in one instance screaming “fuck you Jews” while slapping a group of Orthodox women in Crown Heights, and immediately released each time. She was finally arrested and held in custody after assaulting a gentile.

“This law shows that we are deadly serious about protecting our Jewish citizens,” New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio told reporters. “Our message to the thugs looking to attack our Jewish community is this: You may get away with it once, or twice, or three times, but if you keep sucker-punching Jewish New Yorkers eventually you will have to do some serious community service

What’s really happening on American college campuses today
ZAHAVI-ASA points to the Maccabee Task Force as an organization that works closely with Jewish student leaders and staff. Created in 2015, the organization has funded more than 1,600 pro-Israel events and is active on 80 campuses in the US and Canada. While the Task Force is not shy about providing suggestions for activities, ultimately, they let their local campus partners decide what to do with the funding they give, Zahavi-Asa says.

Jewish support for Israel on campus is malleable and changes over time, Zahavi-Asa adds. Students fresh out of Zionist Jewishday schools, or who are returning from a gap year in Israel, come to college ready to fight. “They immediately join or start an Israel club. But by their junior or senior years, a switch takes place.”

It’s not that they become less passionate about Israel. “But they are exposed to aspects about world history they might not have studied in their Jewish day schools,” Zahavi-Asa notes. “They also meet immigrants from many other places. They start to see that not everything revolves around Israel. Israel becomes a piece of a bigger puzzle.”

This nuanced view may turn out to be the best result of the college experience – and the reason Leibovitz’s admonishment to “get out” is so ill-advised in the eyes of the other Liel. Sticking around allows mature Jewish students to build their own intersectional groups.

“They can develop greater authenticity in their pro-Israel activism,” Zahavi-Asa says. “It’s a more effective way of creating ‘allyship’ than the pro-Israel advocacy groups that push students into battle mode.”

Visiting Israel can help. But not via the standard Birthright trip. A better approach, Zahavi-Asa says, are mixed groups of Jewish and non-Jewish student leaders.
Teaching at Princeton — with blood on his hands
Seyed Hossein Mousavian is an ex-Iranian diplomat whose tenure in Germany coincided with the regime’s assassination of four dissidents on German soil. Yet he currently lives in comfort in the United States. Does he belong here? That’s the question raised by a number of prominent Iranian-Americans in a recent letter to Attorney General Bill Barr.

The details are grim. Late evening on Sept. 17, 1992, four men were dining together in the backroom of the Mykonos restaurant, a Greek eatery in central Berlin. They were Iranian exiles who had gathered to meet a prominent Kurdish opponent of the Tehran regime.

At 10:47 pm, two masked assailants entered the restaurant and began firing at the men, killing all four. The killers immediately fled the scene. The German government launched an investigation, which led to the identification of an Iranian intelligence officer, three Hezbollah jihadists and an Iranian-German businessman who jointly coordinated the assassination.

After a lengthy trial, Berlin’s highest court concluded in April 1997 that the plot had been hatched at the highest echelons of power in Tehran, including by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian.
BBC Arabic Quietly Scrubs Program Promoting Map Which Erased Israel
In late October CAMERA’s BBC Watch posted an article by CAMERA Arabic concerning BBC Arabic’s promotion of an “educational” project by environmental engineer Omar Asi: an Israel-free, child-friendly map of “Palestine” from the river to the sea (“BBC Arabic radio promotes Israel-free map of ‘Palestine’ for children”).

During his interview with the BBC Arabic radio show “Dardasha Layliya,” Asi elaborated on several of the areas of “Palestine” featured on his map including Jaffa and the Negev, both of which are internationally recognised as Israeli territory.

He spoke disapprovingly of the geographical education children from the “interior of Palestine” (i.e. Israeli Arabs) are getting, namely the fact they are being exposed to “maps of Israel” rather than “maps of Palestine.”

He revealed that the map contains a reference to the autobiography of a Hamas mass-murderer Abdullah Barghouthi, currently imprisoned in Israel. Barghouthi is a bomb-maker who was given 67 consecutive life sentences for his part in the murder of 66 Israelis in numerous suicide bombings during the early 2000s.

He expressed his conviction that the illustrations of places on the map would prompt children to find out more about stories behind them which relate to the Palestinian national struggle.

He received full and complete support for his campaign from the show’s host Heba ‘Abd al-Baqi who wished him and his team the best of luck and stated he was calling “from Palestine.” At no point during the interview did Abd al-Baqi challenge, criticise or contextualise Asi’s ideas.
1000 in Torchlight March in Kiev Honoring Nazi Collaborator
An estimated 1,000 Ukrainian nationalists marched carrying torches in a procession honoring the January 1 birthday of Stepan Bandera, the head of a militant wing of the Ukrainian independence movement, and a leader and ideologue of Ukrainian nationalists, who collaborated with the Nazis.

In September 1944, Bandera was released from a VIP camp by the German authorities, and collaboration between his OUN expeditionary groups and Nazi Germany continued until the end of the war, in sabotage operations against the advancing Red Army. With German consent, Bandera set up headquarters in Berlin.

Bandera did in 1959, and in January 2010, the outgoing President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, awarded him the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine.

Bandera’s plan for an independent Ukraine under the Nazis, titled “Directives for organizing the life of the state during the first days,” proposed that “ethnic Russians, Poles, and Jews that are hostile to us are to be destroyed in the struggle, particularly those opposing the regime, by means of: deporting them to their own lands, eradicating their intelligentsia, which is not to be admitted to any governmental positions, and overall preventing any creation of this intelligentsia (e.g. access to education etc). […] Jews are to be isolated, removed from governmental positions in order to prevent sabotage. […] Those who are deemed necessary may only work under strict supervision and removed from their positions for slightest misconduct. […] Jewish assimilation is not possible.”
2019: Point of No Return's Year in Review
It's that time of year again, when this blog looks back on the main events of 2019 - the good, the bad and the ugly. Point of No Return is getting some 66,000 page views a month from visitors across the globe, from the US to Indonesia. It has had 4 million since its humble beginnings in 2005.

The year began as it ended, with talk of the evaluation commissioned by Israel's Social Equality Ministry into Jewish property lost in Arab countries. Minister Gamiel's claim of $250 billion has been downgraded to $150 billion - still a substantial sum. The results of the evaluation will be formally announced imminently. For the first time, British MPs debated the subject of Jewish refugees at Westminster. Commemorative events were held and press articles published on Jewish refugees from Arab countries around the globe on or around 30 November. Israel intends to submit a UN resolution demanding recognition for Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran.

Point of No Return marked the following anniversaries: 70 years since the airlift of Jews from Yemen, 50 years since the Baghdad hangings; 45 years since four Jewish girls were murdered in Syria; 45 years since the death of the Palestinian wartime Mufti; 40 years since the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty; 40 years since the outbreak of the Iranian revolution and 180 years since the forced conversion of the Jews of Mashad.

It was a good year for Fischel Benkhald, Pakistan's only self-identifying Jew, who gained permission to visit Israel; Elan Carr, named US government antisemitism 'tsar' (although his file is ever more burdensome), Albert Memmi, the 98-year old Tunisian-born writer, who was given a Lifetime Achievement Award; Mizrahi spies, put on the map by Matti Friedman and Netflix, Dana Avrish, whose exhibition 'Leaving, never to Return' in Tel Aviv helped raise awareness of Jewish refugees; Jews in the Gulf states, who can now practise openly; Rabbi Pinto, named Dayan of the Moroccan Beth Din, Alexandria's Nebi Daniel synagogue, now completely restored.

It was a bad year for the family of Sarah Halimi, whose killer is not likely to stand trial; for the 1941 Farhud survivors, whose petition to the Israeli courts for compensation was rejected, and for Jewish heritage in Arab countries, whose theft is being legitimised by international law.

Deaths: Singer Maya Casablanca, Writer Lucette Lagnado, Community leader Shalom Tesciuba, Writer Shimon Ballas, Professor Sasson Somekh, Campaigner Raphael Bigio, Mossad agent Abu Nur.
Egypt registers 13 Jewish artefacts as protected antiquities
The restoration of the Nebi Daniel synagogue in Alexandria has been greeted with rejoicing and gratitude. But this is the price Jews are paying for the preservation of their heritage: according to this article in Egypt Independent, the Egyptian government has declared 'protected' 13 artefacts. This means that it is starting to nationalise moveable communal property that might

The Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt has approved registering 13 artifacts, including Torah scrolls, candlesticks and lanterns, belonging to synagogues in Alexandria and across Egypt’s governorates, in preparation for listing them under the Antiquities Protection Law.

Mohamed Mahran, head of the Central Department of Jewish Antiquities at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, said that the move to approve registering the pieces as antiquities represents the first of its kind.

In a conversation with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Mahran said that specialized scientific and technical committees had submitted a list of 500 pieces from 13 different Egyptian synagogues, including the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria.

The Permanent Committee for Antiquities then approved the selection of 13 artifacts from the list.
Jewish student unions call on Israel to bring remaining Ethiopian Jews
The World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) called on the Israeli government to bring the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel at the Union's annual Congress this week. Over 40 international Jewish student unions were represented at the Congress.

Baye Alemye, who attended the Congress, was the first ever representative of the Ethiopian Jewish community. Baye is the cantor of the Tikvat Zion Synagogue in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and his community is still waiting to make aliyah to Israel.

"Every Jew from all around the world can easily make Aliyah," said Baye, according to a WUJS press release. “Israel has open borders for any Jew who wants to return home, yet this does not seem to be true for Ethiopian Jews.”

Baye stressed that while other WUJS members had mentioned that the average global aliyah process is less than 6 months, Ethiopians have been waiting for 21 years.

"Upon my arrival for the first time to Israel, the first thing I did was reunite with my family that I have not seen for 21 years," said Baye.

"This should not be the reality for the remaining Jews in Ethiopia. We should not have to plead with the Israeli government to uphold their commitment of bringing the remaining Ethiopian Jews to the land they pray to and yearn for.”
Porsche looks to Israeli startup to bring better visibility to drivers
Israeli startup TriEye, a developer of short-wave infrared (SWIR) sensing chips that enable drivers to see in adverse road conditions, said Thursday it will collaborate with German sports car manufacturer Porsche to test out and improve the performance of some of its products.

TriEye, which in August received an investment from Porsche in a Series A funding round, said the two firms will collaborate to improve the performance of its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles (AV) products.

“The fact that Porsche, a leading car manufacturer, has decided to invest in TriEye and evaluate TriEye’s CMOS-based SWIR camera to help further improve advanced driver assistance systems is a significant vote of confidence in our technology,” said Avi Bakal, CEO and co-founder of TriEye.

The Israeli company has developed a high-definition SWIR camera that is smaller in size, has a higher resolution and costs a fraction of the price of current technologies, the company says. TriEye has also already proven that the technology works and can be mass-produced.

Once integrated, the camera allows ADAS technology and AVs to achieve high-resolution vision capabilities under common adverse weather and low-light conditions such as fog, dust, rain, and night, according to the firm.
Celebrating a decade of life-changing Israeli inventions
As we enter 2020, The Times of Israel has taken a look at some of the coolest Israeli technologies and inventions of the past 10 years — those that are already hugely impacting the way we live and those that have the potential of changing our lives and health.

The list is of course purely subjective, and there are so many other Israeli technologies and startups out there that are making a difference to our world.

Helping those with paralysis to walk: ReWalk Robotics
This Israeli firm has developed the ReWalk “exoskeleton system” that enables people who are paralyzed to walk by letting computers and motion sensors do all of the “heavy lifting” of the body. The system controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics natural gait and provides a functional walking speed, enabling people who are paralyzed to stand up straight again, walk down the aisle with their loved one and even run marathons.

ReWalk Robotics is a Nasdaq-traded Israeli company. The inventor of the system, Amit Goffer, is a mechanical engineer who became paralyzed from his upper back down after an accident.

Shooting rockets out of the sky: The Iron Dome missile system
The Iron Dome is an air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. Using advanced radar and software, this device, which predicts an incoming rocket’s trajectory and shoots it out of the sky, has helped save lives in Israel during rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The system was initially deployed in 2011 near Beersheba, where it successfully intercepted its first rocket. Brigadier General Danny Gold and Chanoch Levine were behind the development of the system.

Shooting for the Moon: Beresheet, by SpaceIL
Beresheet was an Israeli spacecraft that never managed to land on the moon, crashing on it instead, but was a winner anyway because of the chutzpah and daring it represented. Had the landing succeeded, it would have made Israel the fourth country, with the first privately owned spacecraft, to land on the moon.

“We are on the moon, but not in the way that we wanted to,” operational control director Alex Fridman said grimly to engineers in the control room after the spacecraft crashed on the moon in April this year.

The spacecraft, roughly the size of a compact car, was budgeted at fraction of the cost of vehicles launched to the moon by major powers US, Russia and China in the past.

It was a crazy idea that was hatched by three friends at a bar in Holon, Yonatan Winetraub, Kfir Damari and Yariv Bash, who set up the SpaceIL startup to propel their moon-landing dream. Together they somehow collected $100 million in donations, harnessed a team of dozens of engineers, and captured the attention and dreams of Israel and the world.
Digging the land: The top 10 Holy Land archaeology stories of 2019
As a mother of six, I know that while it’s not kosher to pick a child I like the most, there are definitely times that I like them differently. That is also the case with my articles on archaeology for The Times of Israel.

Looking back on what I’ve written in 2019, it was a challenge to pick only a handful of pieces to highlight since each and every topic is so innately interesting. However, since I often find myself sitting behind a computer for hours on end, on a purely subjective level my favorite pieces usually involved visiting a fascinating laboratory or going out to an excavation site. And if there was a sweaty hike to see the finds — all the better.

For the following list, I’ve also included the academically “important” discoveries that take our knowledge of ancient eras or issues forward, or bring us some really nice treats from the past.

Below are excerpts from a selection of 10 stories written in 2019.

Biblical archaeology:
From tiny seal impressions to structures built for a giant of a man

Tiny First Temple find could be first proof of aide to biblical King Josiah

In March, we reported on two minuscule 2,600-year-old inscriptions uncovered in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavation that are vastly enlarging the understanding of ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE.

The two inscriptions, in paleo-Hebrew writing, were found separately in a large First Temple structure within the span of a few weeks. One is a bluish agate stone seal “(belonging) to Ikkar son of Matanyahu” (LeIkkar Ben Matanyahu). The other is a clay seal impression, “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech). Nathan-Melech is named in 2 Kings as an official in the court of King Josiah.

The inscriptions are “not just another discovery,” said archaeologist Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Rather, they “paint a much larger picture of the era in Jerusalem.” According to Shalev, while both discoveries are of immense scholarly value as inscriptions, their primary value is their archaeological context.

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