Eugene Kontorovich: International Law for Just One Nation
Like a drunk looking for his keys under the lamppost, the authors invariably attach great weight to every scrap of evidence in favor of their arguments, while discounting or entirely ignoring contrary evidence. Both authors, for example, give almost conclusive weight to the International Court of Justice’s Advisory 2004 opinion in the Wall case, where the Court opined that territory can be deemed “occupied” even if it had no prior sovereign. But the ICJ opinion was, as the authors are aware, “advisory,” and thus not legally binding. As a formal matter, the ICJ’s opinion deserves no more legal weight than the quality of its legal arguments. On this point, it made none, but rather cited the numerous U.N. resolutions that had said the same thing, all solely in the context of Israel.Thomas Friedman’s Folly
In any case, the ICJ opinion was only issued in 2004, further discounting its value, for both legal and sociological reasons. Under basic principles of international law, the law that would govern Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the law as it was understood in 1967, not subsequent interpretations. Moreover, by 2004, and indeed, much earlier, the question of occupation of non-sovereign territory had become entirely synonymous with the question of Israel and the territories; it could hardly be treated as an abstract legal question. On the other hand, both authors entirely ignore the Cession of Vessels and Tugs for Navigation on the Danube case, which was decided before 1967, and would thus state the law as it was when Israel took control of the territories. That case held that the territory that was not under the sovereignty of any state could not become occupied. That means that the West Bank, which was not under any sovereignty when Israel ended Jordanian control, could not be deemed occupied. Dinstein’s failure to acknowledge this precedent, which goes contrary to his conclusions, is a particularly odd lapse given that he cites Danube Tugs as authority for other propositions of occupation law.
Yet even these authors, who largely track the conventional U.N. consensus on these matters, try to take seriously the fact that they are dealing with legal texts. Many readers will be surprised that both authors agree that the broad and undifferentiated treatment of Israeli settlers as “illegal” lacks any basis. In the commonplace understanding, any Jewish presence across the Green Line is ipso facto illegal. This is the view that animates groups such as Peace Now and Btselem, who condemn every individual Jewish-inhabited housing unit. But the authors note there is simply no colorable basis in Art. 49 for such a comprehensive ban: it does not prohibit the nationals of an occupying power from moving to or living in the territory. Rather, it regulates certain actions by occupying powers to move its population there. In particular, it requires acts of “transfer” by the occupying power, a term which the authors interpret sweepingly, but still excluding clearly private actions.
Thus, both authors agree that Israelis who purchase land in private transactions, or move to land they had prior title to, cannot conceivably fall within these prohibitions. Dinstein also points out that “so called ‘outposts’”–settlements established in the face of opposition by the Israeli government–would have to be considered legal under international law, precisely because they are illegal under Israeli law.
Yet neither book takes these points to their logical conclusion. They agree that “transfer” must refer to movements of people caused by official government action, but in practice they interpret causation in a “but for” way, rather than a more direct causation of the kind typically required by criminal prohibitions. That is, to say that “transfer” occurs when Israel makes it possible for its citizens to move to the West Bank, or does not discourage residence there relative to other places, is to interpret a ban on transfer as a requirement of discouragement, which appears nowhere in the convention.
Nonetheless, it is important to note the gap between the somewhat more limited version of the rule conceded by these authors and the absolute ban assumed by the international community and pro-Palestinian NGOs. It is an odd coincidence that the legal interpretation of the obscure Art. 49(6) adopted by so many happens to be entirely congruent with Palestinian political demands and negotiating positions.
Friedman, like his newspaper, routinely applied a double standard to Israel (that he imaginatively recast as a “unique double dimension”). He preposterously claimed that when Israel no longer was “judged by standards applied to no other country,” it meant that “something very essential in Israel’s character and the character of the Jewish people has died.” He declined to say what double standards revealed about journalistic integrity.
Returning to the United States as a Times columnist who could lacerate Israel at will, Friedman believed that there was “no hope for peace without a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.” Yearning for a “total Israeli withdrawal” to pre-1967 lines, he warned that without a two-state solution, “Israel will be stuck with an apartheid-like, democracy-sapping, permanent occupation.” Echoing a trope favored by his colleague Anthony Lewis, he feared that “scary religious nationalist zealots” might lead Israel into the “dark corner” of a South African future of apartheid.
But Friedman’s dark fantasies about Israel unless it obeys his peace proposals reveal nothing more than his frustration that the Jewish state does not heed his advice for a return to its pre-1967 borders. That, of course, would heighten its vulnerability to new waves of Palestinian terrorism. He remains as he was as a Brandeis undergraduate: yearning for Palestinian statehood and furious at Israel for its determination to rebuild a state within its ancient Jewish homeland.
To be sure, Friedman is hardly alone at the New York Times. In an editorial (Sept. 17) celebrating the normalization of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, the Times reiterated its hackneyed insistence that “a true Middle East peace deal” requires “an accommodation” (a two-state solution) with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But even a cursory glance at the refusal of Palestinians under Yasser Arafat to accept a peace that would have given them the entire West Bank and Gaza for their own state would suggest otherwise. Thomas Friedman and the New York Times are a perfect match for the blame-Israel-first prize.
David Collier: Canadian research house EKOS spews a twisted anti-Israel survey
Ekos Research Associates is a social and economic research company in Canada run by Frank Graves. They have just put their name to some rather vicious anti-Israel propaganda. Lies, manipulation and EKOS
Long before anyone in the UK knew who I was, I put a comment under a Tony Greenstein blog pointing out a truly glaring factual error. Greenstein’s response was to delete my comment. This type of action speaks volumes and this event was part of my awakening into understanding the real danger these people pose. Who deliberately lies but those that set out to deceive?
Their need to spread lies is the key reason behind their refusal to engage or debate. It is why they block people like me on social media. We have nothing to fear from the truth – they most certainly do.
Which brings us to their methods. One of the more intelligent ways that they spread disinformation is through twisting surveys. They have long understood that if you ask the right question, you will get whatever answer it is you are looking for. A skill they have just put to good use in Canada. According to a recently published survey carried out by EKOS almost every Canadian thinks Israel should be investigated for war crimes:
Ekos Research Associates were commissioned to conduct an online survey on Canadian attitudes towards Israel by three groups – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), and the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel (UNJPPI).
UJPPI have a FB page with 184 ‘followers’. Their Twitter account has 132 ‘followers’. Their posts and tweets generally remain unsupported. Of their last 15 tweets, two received a single like, the other 13 got none. Their Facebook page is equally dormant. Their blog has numerous outrageous posts, even coming out in support of Linda Sarsour.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Zionist
To Linda Sarsour, who once angrily proclaimed that you cannot be a feminist if you are a Zionist, meet our fearless Jewish feminist champion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg z"l.
Proud and unapologetic Zionist. “I am sometimes asked ‘Who were your role models?’” Ginsburg said. “The term role model was not yet in vogue in my childhood,” she added, with a Hermione Granger-ish glint. “But thinking back, I recall two Jewish women both raised in the USA whose humanity and bravery inspired me in my growing up years.”
“Emma Lazarus was a Zionist before that word came into vogue,” Ginsburg said, praising the 20th century Sephardic writer. “Her poem ‘The New Colossus,’ etched on the base of the Statue of Liberty, has welcomed legions of immigrants including my father and grandparents — people seeking in the U.S.A. shelter from fear, and longing to find freedom from intolerance.”
Letting this swipe at anti-immigration politics — or, depending how you look at it, accurate representation of US history — hang in the air, the Justice went on. “My next inspirer: Hadassah-founder Henrietta Szold.” Szlold, who was apparently gifted with the same bottomless energy as Ginsburg, was a university lecturer, a prolific writer and editor, and an organizer who helped save thousands of Jewish children during the Holocaust. She also started night schools to educate Jewish immigrants who arrived in America in the late 19th century, the same kind, the Justice added, that educated Ginsburg’s father when he first arrived in America.
Additionally, as Ginsburg proudly added, “She was a Zionist even before Theodore Herzl came on the scene.”
Will @MSNBC discipline its anchor @AymanM for this lie? There is no civil marriage in Israel, never has been. Secular couples of the same faith have the same problem.— Gary Weiss (@gary_weiss) September 20, 2020
(Answer: don't hold your breath about consequences) https://t.co/QlZ6Z3aUMC
Jonathan Tobin: End fake anti-Semitism charges
The line between normal political warfare and actual dog-whistling to haters is one that seems to depend on party preferences.Measure To Fight Anti-Semitism Opposed By Majority Of House Democrats
Democrats say that when Republicans like President Donald Trump called Bloomberg an "elite" and a "globalist," that's dog-whistling to anti-Semites because those terms have been used by hate groups against Jews. But Republicans can argue that resentment against an out-of-touch press magnate and politician is permissible even if they are Jewish.
Trump was also denounced this week for referring to Israel as "your country" during his annual Rosh Hashanah conference call with Jewish leaders. Democrats say that he was invoking the dual-loyalty canard against Jews that encourages far-right anti-Semites to smear Jews.
A president who was more careful about his speech would never have said something like that. American Jews are Americans, not Israelis, and Trump's use of the phrase was, as it has been in the past, inappropriate and wrong. But the notion that he was expressing anti-Semitism while promoting support for the Jewish state is more than a stretch. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people to which most Jews feel deep ties and for whose security many work tirelessly to help ensure. To the extent that extremists speak of Jews manipulating American policy for Israel's sake – the "Zionist occupation government" or ZOG, they are also usually referring to Trump and his pro-Israel policies.
The same people who are screaming "anti-Semitism" about that were silent when former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, met with an open anti-Semite who happened to be the father of a victim of a police shooting in Kenosha, Wis. Harris saying she was "proud" of Jacob Blake's family, despite the fact that Jacob Blake Sr. promotes anti-Semitic smears and is an open supporter of Nation of Islam hatemonger Louis Farrakhan that could be said to legitimize his extremism. Had Trump met with such an extremist from the right – no matter what the circumstances – he would be pronounced guilty by association.
Democrats also saw nothing amiss about Pelosi's endorsement of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), despite their backing for the anti-Semitic BDS movement and for spouting memes of-Jew hatred directly rather than engaging in dog-whistling. The speaker's party and its mainstream media cheerleaders gave both the coddling of the congresswomen and the meeting with Blake a pass.
All of these actions can be labeled questionable or worse. But it's also true that using them to validate claims that Biden, Harris or Pelosi are Jew-haters are unjustified. And as much as many Democrats take it as an article of faith that Trump is an anti-Semite is equally untrue.
There are plenty of examples of real anti-Semitism, both in terms of violence and open advocacy for hate, without seeking to weaponize words or actions that, while debatable, were clearly not intended to be hateful for partisan purposes.
In a country in which politics has replaced religion for many people and in which loyalty to their political tribe has priority over anything else, it's hardly surprising that too many Jews only see anti-Semitism when it can be associated with their political enemies and are blind to it when it comes from those they see as allies.
On the eve of the Jewish New Year and as the traditional period of cheshbon hanefesh ("accounting of the soul"), it's time for American Jews to stop politicizing anti-Semitism. The only people who benefit from such tawdry partisan exploitation of a real problem are actual anti-Semites.
An amendment opposing anti-Semitism was passed Wednesday despite being rejected by a wide majority of Democrats.
An amendment to the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA) aims to include anti-Semitism as a form of discrimination based on race, color, or national origin. The Republican-proposed amendment passed despite more than 70% of House Democrats voting against it Wednesday.
Representatives of districts with large Jewish populations were among those in opposition to this measure.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York was one of the 162 House Democrats to vote against the measure. Nadler’s district is home to the largest Jewish community in the United States.
The EIEA aims to strengthen Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by restoring “the right to individual civil actions in cases involving disparate impact.” This piece of legislation was introduced by Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia and Democratic Rep. John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan.
Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina proposed the amendment in an effort to include Jewish people in the protections offered to other minorities in the EIEA. (RELATED: Dems Attempt To Show Unity After Delay Of Anti-Semitism Resolution)
“With anti-Semitism on the rise around the world, the need for this amendment is clear,” Foxx said, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The bill was proposed following a year of increased anti-Semitic attacks. Anti-Semitic incidents rose by 12% in one year, the Anti-Defamation League found, according to the New York Times.
When congressmen and women do not recognize antisemitism to be far more than "religious discrimination", you know we have a systematic issue of antisemitism in this country, that is deeply rooted in ignorance wrt what it means to be Jewish. https://t.co/30HZHsx65M— Claire Voltaire (@Claire_Voltaire) September 20, 2020
PMW: Unrepentant terrorist heading to San. Fran. State U. SFSU has invited unrepentant terrorist Laila Khaled to take part in a university event this Wednesday, that is in breach of US anti-terror laws
San Francisco State University (SFSU) has invited unrepentant terrorist Laila Khaled to take part in a university event this Wednesday, Sept. 23, that is in breach of US anti-terror laws.HonestReporting Videos: Notorious Terrorist to Shape Hearts and Minds on Campus
Khaled is a member of and has held senior positions in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, Canada and Israel.
The PFLP is responsible for scores of terror attacks that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Israelis. Terror attacks of particular note include the assassination of Israel’s Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Ze’evi, the sending of suicide bombers, and the recent murder of Israeli teenager Rina Schnerb on August 23, 2019.
Khaled has been an active terrorist of the PFLP for over five decades. In 1969, Khaled and other terrorists hijacked TWA flight 840 from Rome to Tel Aviv. The plane was diverted to Beirut where all the non-Israeli passengers were released. While some Israeli passengers were released soon after, other spent months in captivity. Khaled was so motivated to continue hijacking civilian aircraft that after her picture appeared in the press, she underwent six plastic surgery operations to change her appearance. In 1970 together with an accomplice she attempted to hijack an EL-AL flight from Amsterdam to New York, in which a flight attendant was murdered. This hijacking was one of four simultaneous hijackings carried out by the PFLP. The hijacking was foiled by security personnel who shot Khaled’s accomplice, Patrick Argüello, and overpowered Khaled. Khaled was handed over and held by British police until she was exchanged on Oct. 1, 1970 for hostages held by the PFLP.
Khaled has never given up on terror as a means to achieve the goal of “liberating Palestine” – i.e., murdering Israelis and destroying Israel. The following are terrorist Khaled’s opinions on terror, hijackings, negotiations, and destroying Israel - in her own words:
Leila Khaled is a Palestinian terrorist known for her membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She conducted numerous attacks on behalf of the group.
This week, San Francisco State University is inviting her to participate in a conference via Zoom.
Universities should not give terrorists a platform to spread hate.
Why does State of California Ignore Iranian Jewish history?
In the late 1920s, Iranian Jewish academic and scholar Solaiman Haiim single-handedly created Iran’s first modern Farsi to English dictionary and English to Farsi dictionary. Haiim’s comprehensive two-volume dictionary was an invaluable resource, helping hundreds of thousands of Iranian students of all faiths to learn English and overcome the language barrier. For nearly five decades Haiim’s name appropriately appeared on the dictionary he created until the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran when the Khomeini regime removed the name of this Jewish man from this significant dictionary.Guardian corrects Raja Shehadeh's false claim over 'confiscation of Palestinian land'
To this day Haiim’s name does not appear on his dictionaries that are published in Iran. Likewise, the Iranian Ayatollahs have also removed or omitted the names of other prominent Jewish academics from hundreds of textbooks, journals and academic papers published in the country. For the last 40 years, most of Iran’s Jews have resettled in Southern California with the hopes of creating new lives and not only having a voice in their new homeland but having their history remembered. Sadly, last month the State of California’s Department of Education with its latest release of its Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum has totally ignored Iranian Jewry and their history in Iran. Moreover, it’s shameful that the state with the largest Iranian Jewish population in the country who claims to have created an all-inclusive educational material for the state’s schools, has failed to even mention the Jews of Iran and the anti-Semitism they faced at the hands of Iran’s Ayatollahs in their new proposed ethnic studies curriculum.
For the past 20 years I have had the special privilege of reporting on and sharing the stories of my Iranian Jewish community who have been living in Southern California and New York. Their experiences in escaping or fleeing Khomeini’s anti-Semitic Iran sometimes with only the shirts on their backs is heartbreaking. They still bear the scars from Iran’s Islamic revolution that almost overnight turned them into third class citizens in Iran and stripped them of nearly all of their rights. As a result, after several decades, still many Iranian American Jews are often too traumatized to even speak about the nightmares they experienced in Iran.
On Thursday, we posted about a Guardian op-ed by Raja Shehadeh (“Occupying Palestine is rotting Israel from inside. No Gulf peace deal can hide that”, Sept. 17) that was riddled with egregious distortions and falsehoods, including the following:BBC World Service radio coverage of the Bahrain-Israel agreement
It is all out in the open and the government and the courts are on the same page in supporting the settlers and working to achieve the goal of greater Israel. The Knesset has passed the regularisation bill, which “legalises” settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land via de facto expropriation.
As we wrote in our complaint to the Guardian’s Readers Editor: though the passage links to a 2016 Guardian article about the passage of the bill, in June 2020, the Israeli supreme court overturned that law, rendering it null and void.
Editors promptly upheld our complaint and deleted the erroneous claim from the article.
So while BBC audiences did not hear any comment on the story from representatives of either the Bahraini or Israeli governments, they did get an obviously partisan opposition view from a “human rights defender” who does not currently reside in Bahrain.US journalists group take stand in support of Al Jazeera
An edited version of that interview with al Khawaja were also aired in one of the September 12th editions of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Weekend’. Presenter Pascale Harter used a similar introduction (from 00:42 here) to the one given by Marshall the previous evening.
Harter: “But we start today in Bahrain in what might be described as a win for the current US administration ahead of November’s presidential election, two Arab states will be at a signing ceremony next week at the White House making their peace with Israel. As widely expected, Bahrain has followed the decision of the United Arab Emirates to normalise relations with Israel. It was President Trump who Tweeted the news, describing the Bahraini move as another historic breakthrough. And indeed it does break with the history of Arab states – Jordan and Egypt aside – refusing to establish ties with Israel until there is a settlement of the Palestinian issue. The Bahraini king said that this was a new era of peace, however not everyone welcomed the deal. Maryam al Khawaja is a member of Bahrain’s Shiite Muslim majority. She spoke to the BBC from Denmark.”
Al Khawaja: “I think a lot of the outrage is because the people of Bahrain were not expecting the Bahraini regime to go to the point of making this deal against the will of the Bahraini people. The former speaker was talking about how this was for the benefit of the Bahraini people. Nothing about this deal has anything to do about the well-being or the protection of the Bahraini or the Palestinian people. The Bahraini people are not a free people. Bahrain is not a free country. People don’t have the right to have opinions or to express those opinions. It’s very obvious that this is a decision made by the government and it has nothing to do with the Bahraini people.”
Listeners to this programme did at least get to hear an alternative view from Ebrahim Nonoo, a member of Bahrain’s small Jewish community which was confusingly described by Harter as “indigenous” despite its 19th century origins. One of Harter’s questions was particularly interesting:
Harter: “What if the Shiite youth doesn’t support this deal and you see more demonstrations on the streets, perhaps stoked or encouraged by your neighbour Iran?”
That phrasing implies that the BBC is in fact more aware of the broader background to the topic of dissenting voices in Bahrain than its coverage clarified to audiences worldwide.
Two officials from the US National Press Club have issued a statement criticizing the US Depart of Justice's order from this past Monday requiring that a US-based affiliate of the Al Jazeera network register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).NY to direct hate crimes unit to investigate antisemitic graffiti at NYU
According to National Press Club President Michael Freedman and president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute Angela Greiling, the Department of Justice's decision "effectively says that the US government views Al Jazeera to be a propaganda arm of the Qatari government rather than the independent news organization that journalists all over the world know it to be."
The statement from Freedman and Greiling points out that "FARA was developed during World War II to block Nazi propaganda from influencing Americans," and requires designated foreign entities to reveal their sources of funding and to file regular public disclosures about their activity.
"The classification of Al Jazeera under FARA seems wholly political. The Trump Administration has close ties to UAE and Saudi Arabia even as the United States shares long-term strategic interests with Qatar exemplified by the Air Force's reliance on the large air base at Al Udeid," the statement argues.
Freedman and Greiling's statement also calls the timing of the DOJ order, which was issued a day before the United Arab Emirates signed a peace agreement with Israel, "of note," and points out that the UAE has made it "one of its priorities" to "undercut Al Jazeera's journalism since it worked with Saudi Arabia in 2017 to impose a blockade on Qatar, which provide state funding to the news organization."
Following the recent appearance of antisemitic and racist graffiti scribbled across the side of a New York University (NYU) buidling, the state government has decided to direct the Hate Crimes Task Force to assist with investigations.French Court Jails Neo-Nazi Apologist and Holocaust Denier for Antisemitic Messages
"I am appalled to see media reports of hateful antisemitic and anti-Black graffiti scrawled on the side of an NYU building," the NY Governor's Office said. "The fact that Rosh Hashanah begins tonight makes this bigoted graffiti all the more hurtful, as does the placement on a building dedicated to education.
"This is not who we are as New Yorkers and I am directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation immediately."
The graffiti itself was found on an NYU Silver Center for Arts and Sciences building in Greenwich Village, and the suspect appears to be a heavyset man who on the day in question was wearing a gray hat and a white bandana covering his face.
"Jews = N*****s" and "Kill the N****r," the graffiti said, according to New York Daily News.
A French court jailed an unrepentant antisemitic activist on Friday for two postings on the internet that defamed Jews and a third that denied the Holocaust.Auschwitz survivor speaks out on the atrocities of the Holocaust
Hervé Lalin — who also goes by the name Hervé Ryssen — has now begun a 17-month jail term at the Fleury-Mérogis prison near Paris for the three offenses, committed between 2017 and 2020.
The court convicted Lalin for a series of antisemitic postings on Facebook and Twitter, as well as for a video he published on YouTube in 2018 — called “The Jews, Incest and Hysteria” — in which he attacked Jews as a “people of incest.”
A book-length screed by Lalin — published in 2018 and titled “Antisemitism Without Complexity or Taboo” — was condemned for denying the truth of the Nazi Holocaust, a criminal offense in France.
In a recent analysis of the French far right, the newspaper Liberation identified Lalin as an integral member of a network of propagandists who were dedicated to the denial and distortion of the Holocaust.
Milanese-born Auschwitz survivor Liliana Segre, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, is recognized as an Italian patriot, so much so that in 2018, President Sergio Matarella named her a Senator for life.Israel sends emergency supplies to malaria-stricken Chad
Segre’s mother died when she was a baby, and she was raised by her father and his parents.
The family was secular, and Segre barely knew she was Jewish until after November, 1938, when the Italian racial decrees were enacted.
Segre experienced the evils of antisemitism while still in elementary school. Under the racial laws, Jews were excluded from public office and higher education, and were deprived of many of their civil rights.
After a brief period of persecution, Segre’s father, Antonio, obtained false documents and hid her with friends.
Milan is only 166 kilometers from the Swiss border, and Segre’s father planned to get them to safety in the neighboring neutral country.
They left Milan on December 10, 1943, but Swiss border guards denied them entry. They were arrested in Italy the following day, and after more than a month’s detention in different places, were deported to Auschwitz.
When Israeli Flying Aid delivered several shipping containers full of donated medical equipment and food to refugees and orphans in Chad last October, IFA founder and CEO Gal Lusky said they would be back.The first Haredi and Ethiopian women in Knesset
Last week, despite the pandemic, a Hercules military transport aircraft took off from an Israeli military base in the south, filled to capacity with items donated by IFA and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — 2,000 six-person tents, personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical teams, backpack sprayers to eradicate malaria-carrying mosquitos, and more.
“The operation was completed tonight after 24 nerve-wracking hours,” Lusky told ISRAEL21c on September 17. “It was amazing. The pilot was so emotional when they finally landed at 1 a.m.”
With all the turmoil in the world, people aren’t paying attention to what is happening in Chad, Lusky says. The African country has absorbed many refugees from neighboring countries who have been victimized by radical Muslim jihadis including Boko Haram. One of the biggest refugee camps, with 30,000 people, is near Lake Chad.
“Nobody is speaking about the floods at Lake Chad,” Lusky tells ISRAEL21c. “They suffer from terrible malaria there. In that one refugee camp there are 12,000 cases of malaria.”
Israel faces a turning point in its history amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s diplomatic successes this year.
“We see a huge awakening of aliyah that we haven’t seen since the 1990s,” says Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata. Tamano-Shata is Israel’s first government minister from the Ethiopian Jewish community, a milestone in history that she says is a recognition of the community and the Jewish people’s accomplishment here.
Tamano-Shata was joined in this year’s unity government and Knesset by another first, Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevitch is also the first ultra-Orthodox woman to run a ministry. Yankelevitch sees a unique opportunity today for a different kind of dialogue, not only as the first ultra-Orthodox woman in the Knesset but also an opportunity “to connect the entire Jewish people to a unifying and inclusive discourse, to talk about what unites us and not what separates.” These two groundbreaking women from two different communities represent the diverse face of Israel and are contributing to influencing Israel’s role in the world and the Jewish people’s successful journey in the world. In late August, Tamano-Shata was one of the many victims of COVID-19 in Israel and she spoke to The Jerusalem Post from her home while recuperating.
“The desire to come to Israel in the Jewish world during the pandemic illustrates how the Jewish community sees how important Israel is, and my office is working closely on their right to aliyah,” she says. She estimates that 12,000 olim may arrive this year with an additional 70,000 to 90,000 estimated to come next year.