Thursday, May 21, 2020

From Ian:

'Har Habayit Beyadenu' - The Temple Mount is in our hands!
In March 1968, J. B. Priestley, an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster, asked Weisgal the same question. Weisgal told Priestley about a cartoon in the Israeli press by the cartoonist Dosh showing Yisrolik, a little guy with a cap, who had become a symbol of the young state, explaining to King Hussein of Jordan how he might get back parts of Jerusalem. “Do what we did,” he told the king. “Say over and over again for two thousand years’ Next year in Jerusalem.’”

The phrase Next Year in Jerusalem “has been the umbilical cord which has tied the Jews of the world to the land of Israel for two thousand years,” Weisgal explained. “Jewish religious ritual and liturgy and biblical, medieval and modern literature is pervaded with longing for Zion. Agricultural and meteorological conditions in Israel are also a fundamental part of this identification."

-During January, when the cities in the Northeast might be covered with snow, Jewish children plant saplings because in Israel, it is the New Year of the Trees, when the almonds blossom for the first time. Even though the streets might be soaked from torrential rains in October, Jews pray that it should rain in Israel. The harvest has ended and the fields are parched. No other space on earth arouses such fervor and passion among the Jews, and infinite sacrifice to bring back the land to life. [1]

-When the Jews began to rebuild the land, they found the Valley of Jezreel infested with malaria. Today it is the agricultural heartland of the country. Reclamation cost the lives of hundreds of Jewish pioneers. No one forced them to engage in this dangerous work, yet they did so because it was their land. (Ibid)

-Observant Jews believed that simply by inhabiting the land, they were guaranteed a place in the world to come, while anyone who permanently left “is like a man who has no G-d.” [2[

On the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar ( June 7 in 1967) Israeli paratroopers captured the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, the portion of the Western supporting wall of the Temple Mount that remained since the destruction of the Second Temple (70 C.E.) When they reached the Wall, many of the secular soldiers who were not observant were overcome with emotion. One soldier remembered looking around at the officers and the other soldiers:

“I saw their tears, their wordless prayers, and I knew they felt as I did: a deep feeling for the Temple Mount… a love for the Wall on whose stones so many generations have wept. I understood that it wasn’t only I and my religious friends who sensed its greatness and sanctity; others felt it too, no less deeply and strongly.”
The Holy Six Day War
During the annual Yom HaAzmaut celebration at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem, some three weeks before the Six Day War, the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, gave a powerful and prophetic speech to the students and gathered guests, describing his initial anguished reaction when he had heard the news, some twenty years previously, that the United Nations had voted to partition the Land of Israel in approving the creation of a truncating Jewish State. While joyous Israelis danced outside on the streets, he sat at home, stunned by the announcement that the Inheritance of Hashem and Jerusalem had been cut into pieces and divided. Raising his voice, he shouted, “THEY DIVIDED OUR LAND!” Everyone in the hall was silent. “AND WHERE IS OUR HEVRON? AND OUR SHECHEM? WHERE IS EVERY METER OF THE LAND WHICH HASHEM BEQUEATHED TO US ALONE?! HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT ALL OF THE LAND IS OURS?!”

One of the yeshiva’s students, that late HaRav Yehuda Hazani wrote down his teacher’s words. “Yehuda had a phenomenal memory,” his wife, Hannah, told the Jewish Press. “After he made a neat copy of his scribbled writing, he showed it to HaRav Tzvi Yehuda for final editing, and then arranged for its publication in the HaTzofet newspaper. At the time, no one in the country spoke about our returning to Judea and Samaria, nor about capturing the Temple Mount. The idea was like a science fiction. Then, three weeks later, it came true.”

At the same time, in the late spring of 1967, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Chief Rabbi of Tzahal, was in Australia, raising money for Israel Bonds, when he read in a local newspaper that Egypt’s President Nasser had closed down the Straits of Tiran leading to Eilat. At Nasser’s request, United Nations Peace Keeping Forces abandoned the Sinai Peninsula, and vast numbers of Egyptian tanks and infantry units were stationed along the Israeli border. Certain that the belligerent actions would lead to war, Rabbi Goren decided to fly back home to Israel. “In a matter of weeks, I will pray at the Kotel and on Mount Sinai as well,” he prophesied to the large crowd at his farewell appearance in Australia.

In Israel, the population was seized with worry and despair. Nasser’s promises to drive the Jewish State into the sea had unnerved the country. The armies of Syria and Jordan were mobilized to join Egypt in a devastating attack. Israel’s top military echelon advised Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, the acting Defense Minister, to strike first before Israel’s forces received a deadly blow, but the cautious and aging politician wanted to give the Administration in Washington time to convince Nasser to withdraw his forces and allow the UN troops to return to their positions. The IDF brass disagreed, not wanting to put the fate of the country in foreign hands, by counting on America to save it from extinction.
Remembering the "Road of Heroism"
Only one road supplied the people of Jerusalem in 1948 and suddenly they faced a dire situation. In the fourteen day old State of Israel, the future of the New City of Jerusalem hung in the balance. It was a week since vital supplies had arrived. The people of Jerusalem faced starvation. They needed medicine. Weapons were required to repel attacks.

A hastily constructed makeshift bypass road saved the city and perhaps the newly reborn State of Israel.

Following the passage of UN resolution 181, which divided the land into a proposed Jewish and Arab state, irregular Arab forces took control of the hills overlooking the road to Jerusalem from the coast and often attacked the road, firing upon convoys bringing supplies, causing heavy losses. Food shortages in Jerusalem were acute.

From April 4-20, the Haganah launched Operation Nachshon which succeeded in forcing through convoys of supplies. On May 8, for the next week, the Haganah launched Operation Macabi against Arab irregular troops occupying towns along the road threatening convoys.

Following the establishment of Israel on May 14, the situation facing the supply line to the New City of Jerusalem became even more perilous.

Three days after the May 15th exit of British forces from the strategically vital area of Latrun and its fortifications, which overlook the road to Jerusalem, it was seized by the Jordanian Arab Legion which then prevented convoys from reaching the road to the Holy City..

Costly attempts by Jewish forces to regain the strategic site over the next two weeks failed.

Finest hour of Jerusalem's civil society
This was the finest hour of the city's civil society. Something that we at the Jerusalem Foundation have been nurturing for many years.

I am proud to say that over these short weeks we were able to raise more than $1 million for Jerusalem's urgent needs and get the funds out into the field through our professional and volunteer networks to reach across all the communities in the city. Everything was done in coordination with Mayor Moshe Lion and the professional teams of the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Foundation, ensuring that our efforts would provide the most efficient response possible for those in need from all sectors, in all parts of the city.

And back to HaRav Eitan's request.. It forced me, with renewed energy, to get back on the phone, to Zoom and the countless emails, and indeed, just a few days later, I was able to proudly get back to HaRav Eitan and inform him that the Bat Melech organization's women's shelter will receive significant support from the Jerusalem Foundation in order to lighten the burden a bit for the women and children staying there.

It is clear to me that eventually the scientists will find a vaccine for the Corona virus and we will return to a routine, even if a different one, and we at the Jerusalem Foundation will be able to return to our long-term plans for the future of this city, strengthening its diverse communities, preserving its creative culture and ensuring future leadership. But I have no doubt that the residents of Jerusalem, who have demonstrated remarkable resilience and solidarity throughout this crisis, will not soon forget the days when we were all here for a truly united moment.
Is Israel heading for a second coronavirus wave?
Coronavirus: 2,680 infected, 36 on ventilators, 279 dead

Tightfisted testing policies and logistical delays may lead to a second wave of coronavirus infection in Israel sooner than most people expect, senior health officials told The Jerusalem Post.

Israelis need to be cautious, Cyrille Cohen, the head of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar-Ilan University told the Post, as the number of children and educational staff who entered isolation reached into the dozens on Thursday.

“It is hard to say if we are seeing the beginning of a second wave” of the novel coronavirus, he said, “but we have to be cautious. The numbers are very low, but the numbers were very low when we started this pandemic.”

As of Thursday, at press time, there were 2,680 active cases of coronavirus, including 36 people on ventilators. Some 279 people have died.
Cohen warned that if Israel starts to see infection rates spike in “school after school, it will be a second wave. People can behave like everything is okay, but it does not mean that COVID-19 has disappeared. We should not be alarmed, but we should be alert.”

Cohen made his comments on the same day that a particularly high number of students and teachers across the country entered isolation after a number of educational faculty and staff were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

Democratic senators release letter warning Israel against annexation
On Thursday, a group of Democratic senators released a letter they have been working on for weeks, warning Israeli leaders against efforts against unilaterally annexing portions of the West Bank.

The letter, signed by 18 Democratic senators and authored by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), is a watered-down version of the letter the trio drafted and distributed to fellow senators earlier this month. The initial draft threatened that unilateral annexation would end bipartisan congressional support for Israel.

The first draft of the letter had garnered seven signatures in addition to Van Hollen, Murphy and Kaine: Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

A second draft of the letter, which softened the original language, was circulated among Senate offices and gained additional signatories.

The letter released on Thursday appears to have been further revised. The second draft of the letter suggested that annexation would “undermine” the close relationship between the two nations. The final letter added that “unilateral annexation puts both Israel’s security and democracy at risk.”

The last paragraph of the finalized letter, which was addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, includes a warning that “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action.” Both prior versions of the letter read “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we could not support that action.”

The final letter’s signatories, in addition to the original 10, include Ed Markey (D-MA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Lecturer who said Starmer received 'Zionist' money suspended by Labour
Bristol University lecturer David Miller has been suspended by Labour just weeks after the JC revealed he had said Sir Keir Starmer was not going to conduct a proper investigation into a leaked antisemitism report because he was "in receipt of money from the Zionist movement."

Sociologist Mr Miller has been a repeated critic of Israel and has given frequent speeches on alleged propaganda operations by the state and what he claims are its corporate lobbies.

But he has confirmed to the Electronic Intifada website that he was suspended by Labour on Monday in what he claimed was ''the targeted harassment of socialist members".

He added the suspensions were designed to target members who understand the "racism of Zionism'', which he said was “obviously incompatible with membership of the Labour Party”.

On Thursday Labour sources confirmed Mr Miller's suspension from the party but told the JC this was not related to antisemitism allegations.

Last month the JC reported on the Prof Miller's appearance in an online broadcast hosted by former Labour MP Chris Williamson, entitled ‘Debate on the contents of and fallout from the #LabourLeaks document’.

During the broadcast the lecturer claimed Sir Keir is "obviously not going to" conduct "a proper investigation" into the leaked Labour antisemitism report because he has been "in receipt of money from the Zionist movement."
Miseducation on Israel
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on higher education, but the damage will likely be short-term. A far greater danger is the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of academia, where many faculty and administrators responsible for providing an education and teaching ethical values seem incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong. Nowhere is this more evident than in their inability to recognize antisemitism or combat it.

The latest example comes from George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, DC. GWU, along with neighboring Georgetown, are two of the most important schools for training current and future diplomats, national security officials, and other professionals who engage in foreign policy-related work.

According to the website of GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs, the school “prepares nearly 3,000 students each year for meaningful careers in international affairs.” Its mission is to “develop the next generation of leaders: leaders with knowledge, character, and skills” and “to engage the public and the policy community in the United States and around the world, thereby fostering international dialogue and shaping policy solutions.”

Sounds like just what you would want in a program to train foreign policy experts.

Any school of international affairs would be expected to educate students about America’s allies, and to engage with their leaders and institutions. One of those allies is Israel. In fact, it is hard to imagine taking seriously anyone who claims an expertise in foreign policy who does not have knowledge about a country at the center of our Middle East policy, and a significant actor in the region’s affairs.

So how do we explain the university’s decision to appoint — as the interim dean of that school — an advocate of the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement?
GWU Censures BDS, But Defends Appointment of BDS-Supporter as Interim Dean
George Washington University released a statement on Monday disapproving of the anti-Israel BDS movement, while also defending the appointment earlier this month of the interim dean of its Elliott School of International Affairs.

Ilana Feldman, vice dean of the Elliott School and professor of anthropology, history and international affairs, will serve as the school’s interim dean while a search is underway for a permanent successor to veteran US diplomat Reuben Brigety II, who was named earlier this year as vice chancellor and president of Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee, announced GW provost Brian Blake on May 11.

Her appointment came under fire from members of the pro-Israel community, including the GW pro-Israel student group, GW for Israel.

In a university statement, Blake said:
We have listened and heard the concerns from some members of our community about the appointment of Dr. Ilana Feldman as interim Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and personal views she has expressed about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The university’s policy on the BDS movement is very clear – GW does not support divestment or other actions called for by BDS. While the University supports academic freedom for all, members of the administration – including those in an acting or interim capacity – are required to comply with all University policies or actions, including those on BDS, and foster an atmosphere that allows all voices to be equally heard. As vice dean, and now as interim dean, Dr. Feldman has and will adhere to all of our policies and specifically committed to adhering to GWU’s policy regarding freedom of expression.
NGO Monitor: Oxfam Exploits COVID Pandemic to Call for BDS
In May 2020, Oxfam released a “briefing note” on “Violence and impunity in the West Bank during the COVID-19 pandemic.” In it, Oxfam claims to expose “The failure of Israeli authorities to prevent settler violence against Palestinians, and its contribution to de facto annexation of Palestinian land.”

In reality, Oxfam took pre-existing, misleading, distorted, outdated, and sloppy research, and artificially relabeled it “COVID-19 and annexation” in order to push a BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) agenda. On the title page, Oxfam acknowledges that the publication was prepared based on research conducted in December 2019, months before COVID-19 spread in Israel and the West Bank (to the degree that it did). To this, Oxfam added a handful of quotes and false statistics from UN-OCHA reports.

BDS is the goal
The recommendations highlight Oxfam’s ongoing support for BDS. In the concluding section, Oxfam calls for the international community to impose an arms embargo against Israel. This demand is followed by one to “Cease financial transfers and technical support for, and cooperation with, Israel and Israeli companies in the development of military technologies where there is a clear or overriding risk that they might be used in the commission of serious violations of IHL or IHRL, including acts of violence committed by settlers in an environment of impunity” – as alleged in the report. Similarly, the organization expects, at the very least, “third states” to apply “differentiation,” a code word for targeting Israelis and Israeli companies with BDS tactics.
Pro-BDS group settles lawsuit for discrimination against Israeli entities
In a significant legal victory against efforts to boycott Israelis and the State of Israel, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a civil rights group in the US which supports such a boycott, has come to a settlement with an Israeli organization for refusing to grant it advertising space in one of its publications.

The settlement could have a sizeable impact on the viability of Boycott Divestment Sanctions activity in the US more broadly given the acceptance by NLG in the settlement that discrimination on the basis of national origin violates anti-discrimination laws.

In 2016, an Israeli organization called Bibliotechnical Athenaeum sent an advertisement for publication in the dinner journal of the NLG’s Annual Banquet at its annual “Law for the People” convention.

NLG, which in 2007 explicitly endorsed the BDS campaign against Israel, refused however to publish the advertisement, saying “Unfortunately, we have a resolution barring us from accepting funds from Israeli organizations.”

Bibliotechnical Athenaeum, represented by The Lawfare Project Jewish civil rights group, argued that New York State’s Human Rights Law, specifically its anti-boycott provision, prohibits BDS-motivated commercial discrimination and the case eventually made its way to the New York State Supreme Court.

Bibliotechnical is not an operational, commercial business enterprise and although it is incorporated in Israel as a company and authorized to do business in New York its primary purpose is “to fight for Israeli equality interests.”
‘Hateful’ Anti-Israel Tweets of Undergraduate Senator Stir Controversy at Stanford
A candidate for reelection to the Stanford University Undergraduate Senate is facing criticism after a series of anti-Israel tweets she made in the past came to light.

In a May 15 Facebook post, the Stanford College Republicans (SCR) published screenshots of a number of tweets and retweets by Undergraduate Senate member Mia Bahr that expressed intense hatred toward Israel and its backers.

“If you still support Israel, you can choke, honestly,” said one.

Another said, “Some of these st*nford leftists suddenly forget their values when their white friend is pro-Israel.” She then appeared to compare being pro-Israel to being a rapist.

She also retweeted a tweet of an article about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that said, “Anyone who claims to be shocked and horrified by this but won’t support BDS is full of s**t.”

Another retweet simply read, “FCK ISRAEL, FREE PALESTINE.”

The SCR called Bahr’s tweets “hateful, violent, anti-Israel, antisemitic and racially charged.”

The student newspaper The Stanford Daily reported that Bahr had responded to the controversy, expressing contrition to the campus Jewish community but blasting the SCR.

To the Jewish community, she said she regretted the tweets, but lamented what she called the “lack of context the screenshots SCR’s post came with.”

“I recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people,” Bahr said.

Toward SCR, however, she hurled contempt, saying, “The organization [SCR] has called me antisemitic for my support of a peaceful two-state solution and the admonishment of police and military violence.”

ITV shows contempt for Jewish community as Good Morning Britain features antisemitic Prof. John “so much for the Holocaust!” Ashton again
ITV has shown contempt for the Jewish community as Good Morning Britain, its flagship morning show, features Prof. John Ashton on its programme yet again today.

Prof. John Ashton, a public health commentator, has a long history of antisemitic and infammatory comments, including comparing Israel to the Nazis and holding Jews responsible for the actions of the State of Israel, both of which are breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism, as well as trolling Jewish women MPs.

He therefore has no place on our television screens, which is why over one thousand people have signed our petition calling on the BBC, ITV and Sky News to cease featuring him in their programming. You can sign the petition here.

So far, BBC and Sky News have both dismissed Prof. Ashton’s antisemitism as “political views”, and now ITV has shown contempt for Jews by featuring him again, even after his dreadful antisemitism has been exposed.
The BBC’s one-sided ‘annexation’ binge continues
Making no effort to challenge Zomlot’s egregious claim that ‘Palestine’ includes all Israel’s territory, Menendez closed the interview at that point.

The take-away messaging which would be understood by most listeners to this interview is that Israel intends to do something which is ‘against international law’ and which would destroy the chances of a two-state solution that is supported – indeed demanded – by the Palestinians and the ‘international community’. Given his rich previous experience of unchallenging BBC interviews, Zomlot could be confident that his recycled talking points would not come under any serious scrutiny but it is worth remembering that just seven months ago, he gave a different audience a more realistic view of his and his colleagues’ stance, which we summed up as follows:
“…Zomlot is saying that although the Palestinians would prefer a more ‘desirable’ one-state option which would eradicate the Jewish state and bring an end to Jewish self-determination, they are prepared to settle in “the immediate future” for their partisan interpretation of a two-state solution which – notably – does not include recognition of Israel as the Jewish state because they consider all of Israel to be “rightly” theirs.”

This long ‘Newshour’ item obviously failed to include the “range of views” demanded by BBC editorial guidelines and made no attempt to provide listeners with the full background information necessary for proper understanding of the topic under discussion. It represents yet another BBC effort to preemptively frame a story which has not yet even happened but nevertheless was the subject of two additional radio items and four written reports (see ‘related articles’ below) between May 13th and May 17th alone.
CAMERA UK prompts corrections to two BBC News website reports
CAMERA UK submitted a complaint to the BBC on that matter pointing out that while that issue may or may not be brought to the cabinet on or after July 1st, it is certainly not the case – as suggested in these two BBC News website reports – that Israel plans to “annex part of the occupied West Bank” on that date.

We swiftly received the following response:
“Thank you for getting in touch about our article Israel’s new unity government delayed by dispute over cabinet posts.
After considering your point we have amended both articles.”

The amendment to the first report reads:
“Mr Netanyahu has said he will also press ahead with a controversial plan to annex part of the occupied West Bank, a process which the coalition deal says can get under way from 1 July.”

The amendment to the second report reads:
“The two men have agreed to press ahead with a controversial plan to annex part of the occupied West Bank – a process that could get under way from 1 July.”

However, no footnote has been added to inform readers of the amendment and the continued absence of a corrections page on the BBC News website means that those who read the reports when they were first published – and are of course unlikely to revisit them at a later date – will remain unaware that information they were given was inaccurate.
CAMERA Prompts VOA Correction on ‘Palestinian Lands’
May 20 UPDATE:
VOA Corrects Amends Editor's Note

In response to communication with CAMERA, VOA commendably amended the Editor's Note which erroneously stated that West Bank lands had been on Palestinian administration before 1967. See below for a detailed update.
CAMERA's Israel office today prompted correction of a May 18 Voice of America article, "Palestinian PM: Moment of Truth as Israeli Annexation Looms," which had erroneously misidentified disputed West Bank land as "Palestinian land." In its efforts to correct that error, however, VOA unfortunately introduced a new error, wrongly stating that before 1967 the West Bank land in question had been under Palestinian administration.

Originally the article had erred, stating that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "reaffirmed his plans to annex Palestinian lands in the West Bank."

The West Bank's rightful and ultimate disposition remains under contention, and so designation of the disputed West Bank as “Palestinian lands” is a violation of journalistic impartiality. Since 1967 and until the Trump plan, the West Bank’s status was to be resolved by negotiations anticipated by U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim accords, the 2003 international “road map” and related diplomatic efforts taking 242 and 338 as reference points. The co-authors of resolution 242, U.S. Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg, and British ambassador Lord Caradon made clear at the time and subsequently that Jews and Arabs both had claims in the territories, no national sovereignty over the territories had been recognized since the end of Ottoman rule and negotiations would be necessary to resolve competing claims.

Indeed, in no time in history was the West Bank “Palestinian land” until the Oslo Accords put certain areas (called Areas A and B) under control of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli plans to extend sovereignty in parts of the West Bank apply to Area C, which is under full Israeli control, and not Areas A or B.

Will Arizona Revise State Law to Track Crimes Tied to Antisemitism?
Arizona legislators are trying to amend their existing state hate crime law to track crimes “that manifest evidence of prejudice based on antisemitism.” A version of the bill passed the House 52-8 in late February with overwhelming bipartisan support. It was expected that the Senate would also pass their version of this legislation. That is, until some Democrats did an about-face due to pressure from the ACLU and others.

Current Arizona law gives the judiciary the option to enhance sentencing in crimes motivated by malice due to a victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, disability, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. The proposed amendment, carefully designed to cover only criminal acts, adds the category of “antisemitism” when state officials investigate and track crime with potential discriminatory motivation. Additionally, under the bill, officials are required to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism as an evaluative tool to decide when criminal conduct is motivated by antisemitism.

The sponsors of this legislation believe that the addition of the category “antisemitism” to existing law will result in better tracking of bias crimes, and provide more accurate data to help policy decision-making. Arizona is not alone in its efforts to use the IHRA antisemitism definition as an evaluative tool. Legislators in Iowa are arguing for the inclusion of this definition in their discrimination law as well.

The internationally-accepted IHRA working definition of antisemitism, also adopted by the US Departments of State and Justice, encompasses the age-old hatred targeting Jews, as well as modern antisemitism aimed at Israel as a proxy for Jews. It clearly distinguishes between legitimate criticisms of Israel that are protected as free speech, and expressions that cross the line into unprotected antisemitic hate speech. Among the many examples of contemporary Jew-hatred are “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” claiming that the existence of Israel is a “racist endeavor,” and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Giant Swastikas and Hateful Slurs Deface Golf Course in Australian City of Melbourne With Historical Jewish Ties
Two outsized swastikas were among the hateful words and lewd images sprayed onto the playing surface of a private golf club in Melbourne, Australia, this week, in an outrage denounced by witnesses as “cowardly” and “vile.”

The offending symbols — located alongside obscene drawings and crudely-homophobic slurs — were discovered on the fourth green of the Cranbourne Golf Club on Tuesday night. The club, founded by Jewish golfers in 1953, retains close links with the Jewish community and is open to all.

Cranbourne Golf Club General Manager Cameron Mott told The Age newspaper on Thursday that the graffiti was being painted over.

“We’re cleaning it off at the moment and covering it up with turf paint so that people aren’t exposed to it,” he said.

Attorney General Jill Hennessy, who has commissioned a review into banning Nazi paraphernalia and symbols such as swastikas, said the perpetrators should be ashamed of themselves and that “items that promote hatred and violence have no place in [the state of] Victoria.”

Members of the club quickly reported the graffiti to Australia’s main Jewish civil rights organization, the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), which has been urging action to counter a recent outbreak of swastika vandalism in Melbourne.
Jewish Community, Foreign Officials Reject Image of Nazi Supporter on New Banknote
Argentina’s Jewish community was shocked to find that the country decided to print a new banknote with the face of a doctor who expressed support for Nazi ideology and supported Josef Mengele’s cruel experiments on Jews at Auschwitz.

One of the new notes is a 5,000 peso bill (around $73.5) and has the face of Dr. Ramon Carrillo, a doctor of sanitation known for his support of the Nazis, according to a Ynet report on Wednesday.

Israel’s ambassador to Argentina tweeted on Monday: “When we say ‘never again,’ in reference to the Holocaust, there is no point in commemorating someone that, at least sympathizes with this ideology.”

British Ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent also expressed disapproval of the decision to put Carrillo on the banknote and tweeted on Monday: “Nazism was the greatest evil of the 20th century, It led to the Holocaust. The death of millions of innocents. We should not commemorate anyone who participated in this terrible episode.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center slammed the Argentinian government for paying homage to an admirer of Adolf Hitler.

“We emphatically reject the choice of such a character that will sully Argentina with his image on its highest denomination banknote,” stated Dr. Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, directors of international relations and for Latin America of the Wiesenthal Center, respectively.
Muslim German sets new bar for interfaith relations with kosher-halal chocolate
As a guest in the Forum for Islam religious community center in Munich several months ago — before the coronavirus pandemic — I was given a book and a bar of chocolate. Written on the wrapper of the confection in German, Hebrew, and Arabic were the words “kosher” and “halal.”

My curiosity piqued, I sought out and managed to sit down with Nadia Doukali, the woman who marketed and sold the candy — and who insisted, despite what detractors said, on labeling it with Jewish and Muslim dietary certification side by side.

The 49-year-old entrepreneur moved to Germany together with her family from their native Morocco in 1975. Recalling the summer vacations spent back in Morocco each year, Doukali said it was completely normal to see Jewish children in yarmulkes playing next to Muslim kids with crocheted headgear.

“Both head coverings were made by the same tailor,” she said.

In Germany, Doukali was shocked to discover the word “Jew,” which she claims in Morocco was a playful stand-in for “shrewd,” was used as a curse in her new school. At the age of 12 she realized that most people in her clique were Jewish, and ended up attending bat mitzvah celebrations at synagogue.

“When I told them I knew [about the custom] from Morocco, they were surprised because they didn’t know there were still Jews there. We learned a lot about each other. Later on, some of these friends opened Jewish restaurants in Frankfurt,” Doukali said. That’s where she got her first taste of kosher food.

Doukali is an articulate, friendly and modern Muslim businesswoman who tries to use her religion to build bridges with others — such as through a children’s book she wrote about the Prophet Muhammad which was later recorded on audio. The book contains positive references towards Jews.
Dan Aykroyd’s Love of Vodka and Israel
In 2008, he traveled to Israel with a friend involved with the HESEG Foundation. As he explained, the organization “encourages [IDF enlistees] to stay and have kids in Israel, instead of going back to wherever they came from. So, they have housing projects, subsidies, et cetera. So, if a Polish or South African officer is serving in the IDF, and he wants to stay in Israel, and wants to have his family there, they make it happen.”

His tour also took him “right on the Galilee and near the Golan Heights” in addition to Tel Aviv, where the air force “scrambled a couple of jets for me.”

“A man and a woman about 19 or 20, got into these F-18s and took off. It was so impressive. It was really just great. The rest of the region there has no air power that can compare to Israel – thank God. Just to see those professionals doing a good job such a young age, is really cool.”

“As a Christian going there, I really enjoyed it. I want to go back.”

That probably goes for the rest of us too; but until things go back to normal, let us clink a l’chaim with Crystal Head and celebrate its Bar-mitzvah, until we can begin celebrating actual Bar-mitzvahs again!
Sodastream Hosts Iftar Event for 2,000 Families in Plant that Replaced BDS-Targeted Facility
On Wednesday, SodaStream International continued its tradition of hosting Israel’s largest Ramadan break-fast (Iftar) event, this time virtually, for more than 2,000 families, making it one the largest Iftar events in the world.

The company distributed thousands of food baskets to their Muslim workers in advance of the event, which included a ceremonial meal, blessings from a local imam and a live concert from Jewish-Arab duo Dudu Aharon and Sharif.

SodaStream’s home since 2015, Rahat, is a Bedouin village, 14 miles from the Gaza border in the Negev desert. At this facility, 2,000 people from a range of religious, national and cultural backgrounds, including Jews and Arabs, work side by side in peace and harmony. The factory has dubbed itself the “Island of Peace.”

Back in 2016, the SodaStream plant in Lehavim, which stood just a couple of miles on the wrong side of the 1949 armistice border, a.k.a. the green line, was forced to lay off its remaining 74 Arab workers and close down. The BDS coordinator for the PA, one Mahmoud Nawaja’a, called the loss of the jobs at SodaStream “part of the price that should be paid in the process of ending the occupation.”

Cry, crocodile, cry.

150 rabbis commemorate 75th anniversary of Jewish liberation from Nazis
More than 150 rabbis around the world, including chief rabbis and senior community leaders, participated in an online celebration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Jews from Nazi control at the end of the Second World War.

The Day of Salvation and Liberation, as it has been designated, marks the Jewish calendar date of 26 Iyar, which in 1945 was May 9, the day marked by the Soviet Union as Victory in Europe Day.

The commemorative event, which took place this week, began with a collective prayer at the Western Wall led by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former chief rabbi, and new Religious Services Minister Ya’akov Avitan.

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Chief Rabbi of France Haïm Korsia, chairman of the Council of European Rabbis Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, Rabbi Shimon Baadani of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, together with dozens of other rabbis and senior rabbinical judges from 20 countries, also took part in the prayer through an online video conference. The ceremony was also attended virtually by outgoing UN Ambassador Danny Danon and interim Ambassador to Russia Eli Belozerkovsky.

“We will never forget the soldiers of the Allies’ armies and the Red Army, which liberated Auschwitz, as well as about a quarter of a million soldiers, our brothers, Jewish people, who went out and did not return,” said Lau at the event.

Goldschmidt said that until recently there had never been an appropriate date to say the kaddish mourners prayer for Jews who fought in the Second World War for the Allied forces, and that the Day of Salvation and Liberation was now a fitting commemoration to do so.

The initiative to commemorate the day has been the project of Russian-Jewish businessman and vice president of the Russian Jewish Congress German Zakharyayev, and is now in its seventh year.

Israel formally commemorates VE Day on the secular date of May 9, after a decision to mark the day was adopted by the Knesset in 2017.
Warsaw Jewish community sending care packages for righteous among nations
Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich together with the Jewish community of Warsaw, Poland has initiated a program for sending care packages to the 31 residents of the Polish capital recognized by Yad Vashem as righteous among the nations.

The new initiative stems from a care package program already in place for needy members of the Jewish community in Warsaw, and has been expanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has led many elderly people in Poland, as in many other countries, to self-isolate due to the virulence of the disease among the aged.

“Many of these people don’t leave their houses because of the epidemic, and we wanted to help and make sure they were taken care of,” Schudrich told The Jerusalem Post.

“Righteous among the nations” are those non-Jews who helped save and rescue Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust without any financial gain, as determined by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center.

One man recognized as “righteous among the nations” to receive the care package is Ryszard Witkowski, 94.

Witkowski was an activist with the Polish Home Army resistance movement during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and he, his mother and his sister sheltered and rescued three Jews in their home during the Second World, helping one of them obtain false documents.

Since the events of the Holocaust began some 80 years ago, all righteous among the nations are now very elderly, many of whom have been negatively impacted by the need to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The care packages provided by the Warsaw Jewish community include various staple food items, as well as tea and cookies, flowers, and a greeting card from the Jewish community.

Rivlin marks the memory of those who died in the Six Day War
President Reuven Rivlin honored the memory of IDF soldiers who died in the Six Day War in 1967 and the following War of Attrition at a ceremony held on Mount Herzl on Thursday.

Rivlin told those present, which included family members of fallen soldiers, that while the coronavirus restrictions are being lifted, “we still cannot embrace you as we would have liked to do,” according to a press release.

"We can't forget the heroism, devotion, comradely spirit, dedication, and sacrifice [of those who fought]," Rivlin said.

“Jerusalem is returning to her children! We, who had fought, felt immense pride,” he added.

Rivlin participated in the war and took part in the Battle of Jerusalem as an intelligence officer in the 55th Paratroopers Brigade.

The Six Day War led to Israel taking over the Gaza Strip and Sinai from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria.

The war offered Jewish Israelis unlimited access to holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and Hebron and was lauded by many as a triumph.
Past and Present Jerusalem Merge in Stunning Virtual Exhibition by City of David
Using images from the G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection of the Library of Congress, the “City of Gold in Black & White” Virtual Exhibition offered by the City of David Archive juxtaposes black & white photographs of Jerusalem taken during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with full-color photographs of the the same spots as they looks today.

The viewer is invited to become mesmerized by the effect of landmarks that remain wholly recognizable and virtually unchanged alongside the tremendous development of the area as a whole.

The exhibit will serve as an homage to Jerusalem, presenting the history of thousands of years and the progress of one hundred years and enabling viewers to experience the eternal Jerusalem in its here and now moment.

“The seamless merging of the images is the result of the unique eye of the exhibit’s photographer, Koby Harati, who not only shot from the same angle used in the older pictures, but at the same time of day, and under the same weather conditions – creating a true integration of past and present,” said Atara Spero Harow, Director of the City of David Archive.

“We spent days going through the Library of Congress collection to find high quality photographs whose specific location we could re-capture,” said Harati. “The greater challenge was pinpointing the exact position and camera angle at which the older photographs were taken – to imagine buildings and structures that no longer stood and how they would have impacted the view. We used aerial photographs and even a 3D model to visualize the spaces. When it came time to photograph, I decided to ask passers-by to be volunteer to hold the old photos. Their hands in these pictures perfectly encapsulate the variety of people and characters who experience Jerusalem, who derive meaning from it and make it what it is.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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