Monday, November 16, 2020

From Ian:

Democrats, Media Stand On The Graves Of European Jews To Hit Trump
To even consider using Kristallnacht in the same sentence as Donald Trump, let alone in an attempt to compare Trump to the Nazi Party, is to stand on the ashes of European Jewry. Hitler and the Nazi Party openly acted upon their expressed desire to eradicate the Jewish people. Given that the Trump administration has yet to discriminate against Jews in any manner, when Amanpour said “after four years of a modern-day assault on those same values,” what exactly does she mean?

Donald Trump and the Republican Party do not have an official paramilitary wing, and any relevant policies during Trump’s first term have been overwhelmingly pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. When it comes to the targeting of Jewish businesses, homes, or places of worship, there are certainly anti-Semites on the radical wings of both sides, but the mainstream implicit endorsement of such actions are unique to one side of the political spectrum, and it’s not the political Right.

After all, it was not a Republican who used the same rhetoric of “hypnosis” and “wealth” when condemning the “evil doings” of the Jewish state. It was not a Republican who supported the boycott of Jewish businesses. It was not a Republican who endorsed a one-state solution which would result in the expulsion or mass murder of millions of Israeli Jews.

So, we must conclude that Amanpour is using one of the darkest moments in Jewish history as a proxy to describe a supposed attack on some unknown set of “values” which Biden and Harris will somehow defend and prevent. For her, the suffering of Jews is a disposable weapon which can be wielded in pursuit of Leftism and the Democratic Party.

It doesn’t matter that it is the mainstream Left who are burning books. It doesn’t matter that it is the mainstream Left who wish to actively enable nations who have called for the destruction of the Jewish State. And it doesn’t matter that it is the mainstream Left who are using the very same language which fueled Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.
Israel demands Amanpour apologize for comparing Kristallnacht and Trump
Israeli Consul-General in Atlanta Anat Sultan-Dadon wrote a letter to CNN executive vice president Rick Davis, obtained by The Jerusalem Post on the condition that it not be quoted. The letter, sent two days after Amanpour’s remarks, explained that the Nazis murdered at least 90 Jews on Kristallnacht. They also arrested over 30,000 Jews and deported them to concentration camps. The night of Kristallnacht was the opening chapter of the Holocaust.

The consul-general expressed outrage at Amanpour’s use of the Holocaust for political means, and said it disrespects those who perished. Amanpour’s statements set off an immediate backlash on Twitter.

Former Israeli consul-general in New York Danny Dayan tweeted that “the foolish comparison Amanpour made between Kristallnacht and Trump must bring about her immediate dismissal from CNN. There is no immunity for Holocaust deniers.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Amanpour's remarks "despicable," and said the CNN anchor "must apologize for trivializing the Holocaust & the tragic genocide of millions of Jews.

"They must also apologize for slandering the most pro-Israel President in history," she said.

Israel to send second astronaut into space
In about a year, Israel will send its second astronaut into space.

Former fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe will be trained in the United States, Germany and Russia before taking off from Florida in December 2021 for a 200-hour stay on the International Space Station (ISS).

This mission will be the first to the ISS manned entirely by private astronauts. Stibbe is donating his time and all costs of the journey, including expenses related to the experiments to be chosen for him to bring into space designed by Israeli scientists, entrepreneurs and students.

The announcement was made today at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem by the Ramon Foundation, the Israel Space Agency and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology.

Ran Livne, CEO of the foundation, will lead the project. He plans on special broadcasts from the space mission for Israeli children, including dozens of demonstrations, experiments and live calls from the ISS with schoolchildren across the country.

Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia in February 2003. Receiving his pilot wings in 1978, Stibbe flew under Ramon’s command in the 117 F-16 squadron.

Ramon’s son Tal said that Stibbe “and his family escorted us through the years through everything we went through, the good and the bad, and their family has become our family.”

Growing Peace in the Middle East
American Jews can help Israel and the entire region by strengthening the Abraham Accord. And please, come visit us.

For the UAE and Israel, the benefits of the accord are straightforward. The two countries have never been in a state of active hostility, so there is none of the baggage that attends other Arab-Israeli interactions. We expect to see substantial mutual gains quickly, in a number of areas, from health care to agritech and tourism.

Once the accord was signed, we started working with our Israeli counterparts to meet the enthusiastic demand by young people to see what life is like “on the other side.” There has been a lot of interest on the part of Israeli and Emirati students and academics in studying and teaching in the other country. One initiative that is coming together now is a UAE-Israel Youth Circle, bringing young professionals together in the arts, literature, diplomacy, science, to share ideas and make connections.

Israel and the UAE have so many complementary interests and strengths, that the possibilities for action and innovation really are endless, and exciting. We expect these connections to grow and evolve quickly, in step with the number of people traveling to the other country for business and tourism. This will be made infinitely easier by 28 weekly direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

We are looking into other ideas, including the construction of platforms for collaborative action, where Arabs and Jews (and others) can meet and share ideas, and start new initiatives and businesses. We want the youth of the entire region to imagine how this widening diplomatic space can open doors for them.

It is essential that the Palestinians see the concrete benefits from the accord. While the task of peacemaking is up to the Israelis and Palestinians, we in the United Arab Emirates will continue to do what we can to support the process. We have seen proposals already from various groups and individuals with ideas about how to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together through creative logistics solutions, virtual education, and collaborative opportunities for Palestinian and Israeli women in tech, and more.

Last but certainly not least, we believe there is a place for the Jewish and Arab diasporas in this process. These are dynamic populations with world-class skills who care about the future of the region, and have influence in their own countries. We extend a very warm welcome in particular to the American Jewish community and hope more will come to visit us in the United Arab Emirates, which is home to a growing and dynamic Jewish community.
JNS top 40 global advocates for Israel online
In this day and age, the State of Israel is fighting on multiple battlefronts, none more so important than online.

Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or TikTok, battles of the narrative are being waged, anti-Semitism is spreading, and extremist forces are seeking to undermine efforts towards peace.

In compiling this list, which is by no means exhaustive (or ranked), JNS has sought to include individuals from all walks of life, from around the world, and both Jews and non-Jews alike.

Each of these inspiring leaders has two things in common: He or she is making a real difference, and is a fearless and tireless advocate for the Jewish state.

Dave Collier (@mishtal)
Dave Collier is a British investigative journalist who has uncovered a wealth of news-breaking stories on Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party, as well as Islamist groups in the United Kingdom.

Michal Cotler-Wunsh (@CotlerWunsh)
In the short space of a few months, Michal Cotler-Wunsh, a Knesset member for the Blue and White Party and one of Israel’s top international law experts, has become the leading voice in the Knesset making the case for Israel and fighting online anti-Semitism.

Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer)
Hillel Neuer of UN Watch is a man who makes tyrants and dictators nervous every time he comes up to the microphone at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, holding the world body to account and fearlessly standing up for the State of Israel, while also championing the oppressed.

Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A)
Arsen Ostrovsky is a leading pro-Israel voice online with a regular monthly Twitter reach of more than 8 million users. Earlier this year at the Knesset, he single-handedly took Twitter to task for continuing to give a platform to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Poll: Most Arabs Don't View Israel as Greatest Threat (PDF)
According to the Arab Opinion Index (2019-2020), published in October, 51% in Jordan and 48% in Lebanon see Israel as the greatest threat to their country, while only 25% in Egypt, 24% in Sudan, and 23% in Kuwait agree.

50% in Iraq, 29% in Saudi Arabia, and 34% in Kuwait see Iran as the greatest threat.

61% in Algeria see France as the greatest threat.

Overall, the number of those who say Israel poses the greatest threat to the Arab countries has fallen from 52% in 2012-13 to 37% in 2019-20.

88% of Arabs disapprove of recognition of Israel by their home countries. Saudi Arabia was the country with the lowest level of disapproval of recognition - 65%, while 6% approved, and 29% did not answer.
The 2020 Presidential Election: How Jewish-Americans Voted
A study of 540 Jewish-American respondents after Election Day looked at the role Jewish identity played and asked about "pro-Israel" attitudes. We also looked at which issues played a role in determining how Jewish-Americans voted.

When asked, "Would you consider yourself definitely "pro-Israel"?, a majority had no problem saying "yes" (over 57%), while only 5% said "no." 37% preferred the choice: "The term is too vague for me to give a 'yes' or 'no' answer."

Among Trump voters, 87% said they were definitely "pro-Israel," with 1% saying "no" and 12% saying "the term is too vague." Among Biden voters, 52% said they were definitely "pro-Israel," with 6% saying "no" and 42% saying "the term is too vague."

Fully half of our sample said their Jewish identity did not figure at all into their choice for president. While the other half did say it had an impact, only 13% said it figured a "great deal," and only 8% said it figured "a lot." In this particular election, Israel took a back seat to something else.

When asked which were the "most important" issues in choosing a president, 59% chose "character and trust." When asked about the "second most important issue," respondents chose Covid-19, climate change, the economy, and health care (in that order).

It appears that many Jewish-Americans are increasingly more concerned about the principle and substance of certain issues as related to their personal ideology and party affiliation and are less inclined to apply identity-based labels such as "pro-Israel" to describe themselves or define their behavior.
Eli Lake: The Pro-Israel Progressive Movement Notches a Win
Ritchie Torres, a gay Afro-Latino Democrat from the Bronx, will join Congress next year as a charter member of what might be called the anti-anti-Israel caucus.

Not only did Torres win without the help of the police union or the institutional left, but he also won despite opponents who tried to paint him as a pawn of the Jewish state. Whereas many progressive Democrats are wary of bucking their party’s left flank on Israel, Torres is not. “The progressive position is to promote a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, not to end the existence of Israel as a Jewish state,” he told me.

Torres stands in contrast to Democrats such as Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who last year accused her fellow members of Congress of being more loyal to Israel than to the U.S. Some Democrats initially sought to censure Omar. But in March the Democrat-controlled House failed to pass a resolution formally condemning Omar for her remarks.

In that moment, it was fair to say the Democratic Party had turned a corner. The majority of its members remain supporters of the U.S.-Israel alliance. But after the vote, the party’s tent widened to include representatives who sought to portray Israel as a toxic and apartheid state. Now it’s possible that Democrats are turning a corner again.

For Torres, the journey began with a trip to Israel in 2015 sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel pounced. They protested on the steps of city hall, singling out then-city councilman Torres for “pink-washing” — that is, using Israel’s openness towards LGBTQ citizens to obscure its occupation of Palestinian lands.
Democratic Socialists of America Run 6 Candidates for NYC Council with BDS on their Agenda
First, the media are full of reports on the distress of many Democrats in purple states who say their party’s failure with blue color and Latino voters has to do with its inability to push back the GOP’s portrayal of democrats as Socialists, as did Representative Donna Shalala of Florida, who lost her seat in a Hispanic district, according to a NY Times report. As did Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from South Texas, who said, “Defund police, open borders, socialism — it’s killing us.”

Republicans made incremental gains with voters of color in a campaign in which Joe Biden’s two main agenda items were: I am not Trump, and I am against systemic racial injustice.

Now, on their path to self-destruction, national Democrats are looking on with horror as a group known as Democratic Socialists of America, led by renowned politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), is launching attacks to establish a bridgehead in the NY State Assembly and the NY City Council.

On Saturday, the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed six candidates for City Council, including Tiffany Caban, who in 2019 lost by a hair her primary bid for Queens County’s District Attorney; as well as Adolfo Abreu from the Bronx; Jaslin Kaur from Queens, and Michael Hollingsworth, Alexa Aviles, and Brandon West from Brooklyn.

There are 51 seats in the City Council (3 of them held by Republicans), so even if all six DSA candidates win, they won’t be able to establish a Marxist government just yet. But Socialists are also converging on both NY Statehouses: on Nov. 3, five DSA candidates have won their races: Jabari Brisport in the Senate, and Phara Souffrant Forrest, Marcela Mitaynes, Zohran Mamdani, and Emily Gallagher in the Assembly.
CAA reiterates call for intervention by Charity Commission after another senior figure at Islamic Relief Worldwide has resigned over alleged antisemitism
Yet another figure at Islamic Relief Worldwide has resigned over alleged antisemitism in the third such incident in just six months.

It has now emerged that Tayeb Abdoun, a former interim-CEO at the charity who has worked there for 25 years, resigned on 14th October after being confronted over a picture he reportedly posted on Facebook of a knife with a thumbs up and wrote: “Lay the bodies of the Jews on the top of the mountains, so that no dog in Palestine must suffer hunger.” Other controversial posts were also uncovered, and Mr Abdoun resigned after the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger confronted him.

In a statement, Islamic Relief Worldwide reportedly said: “We continue to work as an organisation to root out anyone that does not meet our core values as a respectful, faith-sensitive, non-discriminatory and principled charity.”

Back in August, the entire board of Islamic Relief Worldwide resigned after a new trustee-director was discovered to have a history of antisemitic posts on social media. He had been appointed to replace another trustee who had previously resigned after his history of antisemitic social media posts was uncovered.

This is therefore the third such incident to rock Britain’s largest Muslim charity in just six months, making our representations to the Charity Commission all the more urgent.
Yisrael Medad: And Yet Another Non-Published Letter to the New York Times
Robert Malley and Phillip H. Gordon suggest that President Trump’s "proposed peace plan was...drafted without input from the Palestinians" and so, it was "dead on arrival" ("Trump Still Has 70 Days to Wreak Havoc Around the World", Nov. 11). Unfortunately, we are left to wonder why there was no input.

Was it because Palestinian Authority communications systems failed? Perhaps the Trump Administration made demands they considered outrageous, such as to halt funding the acts of terrorists and stop anti-Israel incitement in the schools? Maybe President Mahmoud Abbas refused to make any compromises or even to return to the negotiating table? Could it be that the PA is fearful of Hamas? Does Malley and Gordon actually know why?

Yisrael Medad
Shiloh, Israel
LA Times Fails To Correct After Reporting Saeb Erekat Was Treated ‘Near Tel Aviv’
The Los Angeles Times has failed to correct a basic factual error, apparently originating from the Palestine Liberation Organization, that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was transferred from his home to Jericho to a hospital near Tel Aviv for treatment of COVID-19. In fact, Erekat was treated in a Jerusalem hospital, a politically inconvenient fact for the Palestinian leadership which does not recognize Israel’s capital city.

In their Nov. 10 article, “Longtime chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat dies,” Tracy Wilkinson and Noga Tarnopolsky inaccurately reported near the bottom of the story that Erekat “was transferred to the Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv, by an ambulance heavily guarded by Israeli army vehicles.”

As was correctly reported at the top of the article, Erekat died in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, and that’s where he was transferred when he left his home in Jericho.

The misinformation about the Tel Aviv hospital apparently originated with Fatah, which initially tweeted that Erekat was receiving treatment in an Israeli hospital in Tel Aviv.

While the PLO subsequently clarified that original, erroneous Tweet, The Los Angeles Times inexplicably has yet to amend its report.
Reuters Errs on ‘New Settlement’ in Golan Heights
In a Nov. 8 article, “Loved or Hated, Trump stamped his face on the Middle East conflict,” Reuters erroneously reported:

“Trump Heights” was the name given to a new settlement in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after he recognised Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the plateau that was captured from Syria in a 1967 war. (Emphasis added.)

Though Prime Minister Netanyahu promised the establishment of a “new community” on the Golan Heights in 2019, Trump Heights is not a newly established community, but the renaming of Kela-Beruchim, home to a tiny, neglected elderly population (14 retirees and five students).

As Haaretz reported (“Netanyahu Promised to Name a ‘New’ Community After Trump. We Went There and Locals Are Not Pleased“):

on May 12, Netanyahu announced thata site had been located for the new community named for Trump, and it would initially comprise 110 plots for religious and secular families

But the location chosen by the government is anything but new. Indeed, 63-year-old Nina Missin has been calling it home for well over 20 years.

Israel has not founded a community, or “settlement,” in the Golan Heights in decades. Though CAMERA has notified Reuters of the error, editors have yet to correct.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes in the US rose by 14% in 2019, FBI report says
The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States increased significantly in 2019, according to the FBI, in a year that saw three lethal attacks against Jews in the country.

Anti-Semitic incidents once again made up the majority of hate crimes based on religion.

In addition, federal officials recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, with the number of murders nationwide more than doubling the previous year.

The total number of hate crimes rose to the highest level in more than a decade.

The Anti-Defamation (ADL) League cautioned that the FBI’s numbers probably represent just a fraction of total hate crimes committed nationwide.

The FBI recorded 953 hate crimes against Jews in 2019, a 14 percent increase from the 835 recorded in 2018, and similar to the 938 recorded in 2017. In 2019, hate crimes against Jews constituted 62% of all hate crimes based on religion, slightly up from 58% in 2018 and 2017.

Last year saw a series of lethal anti-Semitic attacks that sparked fear and anxiety among American Jews. A synagogue shooting in Poway, California killed one person exactly six months after the 2018 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in which 11 Jews were murdered.

In December, a shooting in Jersey City, New Jersey that ended at a kosher supermarket killed two Jews and two others. Later that month, a stabbing at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York killed one. The New York-area attacks came amid a spate of anti-Semitic harassment and assaults in Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
German sports body condemns vandalism of exhibition honoring Jewish athletes
The German Olympic Sports Confederation has condemned an act of vandalism against an outdoor exhibition highlighting Jewish sports stars in Bochum.

“This cowardly act is a blow for the whole of German sports,” confederation president Alfons Hörmann said in a statement Thursday.

Plexiglas figurines of track and field athlete Lilli Henoch and gymnasts Alfred and Gustav Felix Flatow were destroyed on Monday night or the early hours of Tuesday morning. The figure of Walther Bensemann, one of the founders of the German soccer federation (DFB), was already damaged in the previous weeks, when the Flatow cousins’ memorial had been targeted with anti-Semitic graffiti.

“We condemn the devious attacks on the important memorials to our sports comrades Lilli Henoch, Alfred and Gustav Felix Flatow, and Walther Bensemann. We also stand in solidarity with our member associations the DFB and Makkabi Germany, and all those who actively promote the values of sport,” Hörmann said.

The traveling exhibition focused on Jewish stars in German sport until 1933 — when the Nazis began persecuting Jews — and beyond, as the Nazis also exploited some of the athletes to avoid a threatened boycott of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

“The willful destruction of the figures in this important exhibition has stunned us,” said Bochum mayor Thomas Eiskirch, who had opened the exhibition on Oct. 7. “It’s the limit. Bochum was and remains a cosmopolitan and tolerant city in which the culture of remembrance will always have its place.”
UAE’s Etihad formally announces launch of daily direct flights to Israel in 2021
Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, announced Monday it will start direct flights to Israel in March 2021 after the countries’ recent agreement to normalize ties.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline “will launch daily scheduled year-round flights to Tel Aviv,” it said in a statement.

It added the service will begin on March 28 — approximately six months after the UAE signed a US-brokered deal to formalize relations with Israel, the first such accord between a Gulf nation and the Jewish state.

“The commencement of scheduled flights is a historic moment and as an airline, cements Etihad’s commitment to growing opportunities for trade and tourism,” said Mohammad al-Bulooki, chief operating officer of Etihad Aviation Group, according to the statement.

Last month an Etihad flight lauded as the first commercial shuttle between the two countries landed at Ben Gurion airport, before departing for Abu Dhabi later that day with an Israeli travel and tourism delegation on board. The crew of an Etihad Airlines flight wave Israeli flags after landing at Ben Gurion Airport, October 19, 2020 (Sivan Farag)

Dubai’s budget airline flydubai had already announced that it would start direct flights to Tel Aviv this month, operating 14 flights a week.

Unlike Dubai and the other emirates that make up the UAE, Abu Dhabi has placed stringent coronavirus restrictions on entering the city.

Israeli carrier Israir has announced that it will offer direct flights from Ben Gurion Airport to Abu Dhabi and Israeli national carrier El Al will also reportedly offer flights on the route.

Sigd - A sign of social and personal vaccination
For many generations, the Ethiopian Jews have dreamed of returning to Jerusalem, touching its stones, inhaling the mountain air, walking through its ancient and unique streets and praying there. We even managed to imagine the first time we would encounter the temple, while we still thought it was standing - until we arrived in Zion, and were greatly disappointed to discover that it had been destroyed. The Sigd holiday enables Ethiopian Jews to do communal introspection, become stronger, unite and dream of a better future: a mutual and spiritual future in Jerusalem.

Despite the sadness over the destruction, and the amazement they felt, the Ethiopian immigrants to Israel were able to realize their long standing dream of seeing Jerusalem with their own eyes. And the dream, after a long, terrifying, painful and arduous journey, has become a reality that surpasses all imagination.

A vaccine is needed for social correction to cure Israeli and world society. What is a person's value if we are socially injured? As it is said: "if the mind is healthy, the body is healthy."

The values of Sigd can be a bridge and an opportunity for the Israeli society for social and personal correction while creating unity. As a young girl in Ethiopia, I remember the excitement I felt with every fiber of my being whenever we spoke about Jerusalem, the respect we felt for it and the strong spiritual feeling we had – especially on the Sigd holiday, the greatest traditional, social and communal event.

Every year, about 50 days after Yom Kippur, just like at Mount Sinai and the covenant between the children of Israel and God, the whole family would ascend a mountain. United and together, we would pray, bow down and ask God to return us to the Land of Israel, with prayers like it's described in the Return to Zion section in the Book of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The prayers and songs were led by the Keses, the high priests of Ethiopian Jews. I remember the beautiful white clothes and the two days of coming to the mountain by Ambuber, one of the important villages of Beta Israel in Ethiopia until their immigration to Israel.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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