Wednesday, June 09, 2021

From Ian:

For American Jews, the honeymoon is over
For the past few decades, America’s Jewish community has been on a honeymoon of sorts.

Jews have been a part of the United States since the 1776 War of Independence when approximately 2,000 Jews lived in the country. Jewish emigration to America began in the early 1800s, primarily to the South, to cities such as Charleston and Savannah, expanding in the 19th century to New York and elsewhere around the nation. The first mass emigration to the United States, however, took place during the last two decades of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th. Almost 3 million European Jews came to America during this period.

There was discrimination aplenty, and the future of the Jews in this country was still unknown. Then came the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel in our ancestral homeland, followed by massive and miraculous military victories for the nascent Jewish state, which propelled Jewish pride and identity around the globe. Little by little, America’s Jewish community found its place. Some of it was the result of changes to the law, and some the result of the change to the sociological landscape. In a way, we’ve always been a part of the fabric of American life.

Unfortunately, we’ve also allowed this era to soften us as a people. We let our collective guard down. We began intellectualizing away our identity in an ill-fated attempt to fit in.

From the comfort of our American-style homes, we spent the last few decades losing our connection to our roots, our Jewish history, our peoplehood, our religion, our land and our identity. Many have simply forgotten who we are. But for what it’s worth, you can always count on the anti-Semites to remind those of us who need to be reminded. While the anti-Semites say this with disdain, I say it with pride: No matter how successful, how connected, how Americanized you think you are, you are always a Jew.

This past decade, we’ve all seen anti-Semitism appear in places that we never expected. On college campuses, in houses of worship, state legislatures, city councils, Congress, at right-wing rallies, left-wing rallies, anti-Israel rallies, in Arab communities, black communities and white communities—anti-Semitism is back.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: Psychologist: Antisemitism may be an illness
The task at hand is daunting because Israel and the Jews are trying to defend themselves from outrageous lies and slanders.

Israel is accused of being a settler, colonial, imperialistic, Jewish supremacist aggressor; a Nazi apartheid state that perpetrates ethnic cleansing and that has erased the history of the only indigenous people of the region – the Palestinian Arabs. Demands to boycott Israeli products and Israeli academics and to shame, harass, and attack Jewish students and professors who refuse to sign on to such genocidal propaganda have been underway for nearly 20 years.

As Israel won war after war in self-defense, Jew haters funded a lethal propaganda campaign, one in which Israel would increasingly find itself totally surrounded by ill-deserved hatred, not only in the Sunni and Shi'a Muslim worlds but also at the United Nations,, among celebrity artists, academics, in the media, the internet, and among student social justice activists on campus in the West.

Like so many, I had assumed that the hatred and persecution of the Jews had ended, that Jewish history would never again repeat itself.

I was wrong.

In 1990, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Theodore Isaac Rubin suggested that antisemitism is an illness – a madness – a virus, a plague, infectious, something evil that is not caused by Jews.

We must shed our illusions permanently as we search for the antidote.
Journalist and Author Bari Weiss Talks Antisemitism, ‘Sacrifices of Our Ancestors’ in Jewish History
Journalist and author Bari Weiss urged the public on Tuesday to have “moral courage” to act against the rising tide of antisemitism, and explained how looking back at Jewish history can provide the guidance needed to do so.

“Small groups of people, often from the fringes of Jewish society, have bent reality and changed the world,” said the former New York Times editor. “Oftentimes Jewish leadership, Jewish visionaries and Jewish moral courage does not come from people that have the name ‘president’ or ‘CEO’ by their name, it comes from people often at the fringes of Jewish life.”

Weiss, who penned the book “How to Fight Antisemitism,” was a featured guest at the 2021 AJC Virtual Global Forum and appeared alongside New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens and AJC Europe Director Simone Rodan-Benzaquen in a session titled “The Mainstreaming of Antisemitism: How Should We Respond?”

She highlighted how Jewish history serves as a “lighthouse” and “a moral manual of how to live” because it puts “whatever sacrifices that are asked of us right now into unbelievable perspective.”

The Columbia University graduate spoke about resigning from The New York Times last year over of what she called “unlawful discrimination,” saying that her experiences pale in comparison to the challenges faced by others, such as human rights activist Nathan Sharansky and Hannah Senesh, a volunteer paratrooper with the British Army who joined a 1944 mission to rescue European Jews during the Holocaust.

Weiss said, “Every one of those people had to sacrifice so much so we could have the privilege, frankly,” to be the target of social media backlash. “Consider it a privilege and a badge of honor that that’s what’s being asked of us right now.”

‘ISIS Leader An Israeli Actor’; HonestReporting Investigation Exposes Vice’s Israel Hatred
On Saturday, Vice released yet another one-sided anti-Israel documentary. The propaganda piece includes a shockingly uncritical interview in which Hamas’ claims that it “doesn’t want fighting” and has tried “peaceful resistance” are left unchallenged. Hamas is a US-designated terrorist group that is committed to Israel’s destruction and initiated last month’s war.

It is not the first time that Vice’s bias has been evident, with HonestReporting having critiqued the outlet numerous times over the past months (see here, here and here). Yet while Vice UK editor Zing Tsjeng on March 17 promised to address our repeated concerns, we never received an answer.

This prompted us to delve deeper into the possible reasons why Vice continues to pump out slanted media coverage about Israel. HonestReporting analyzed Twitter accounts of Vice journalists, freelancers and editorial staff, who reported on the recent conflict between the Jewish state and Gaza-based terror groups.

What we uncovered was shocking:
1. Mohammad Raafi

Mohammad Raafi recently made his first appearance on Vice with the piece, “This Graffiti Artist Was Arrested For His Viral ‘We Are Palestine’ Mural,” drawing a false parallel between the Palestinian territories and Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Over the last few months, the Kashmir-based journalist also contributed to Al Jazeera and Financial Times. These outlets seemingly turned a blind eye to Raafi’s long history of public anti-Israel remarks, most of which can be qualified as bluntly antisemitic. For example, in November 2014, Raafi alleged that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was an “Israeli actor trained by both CIA and Mossad,” an antisemitic conspiracy theory widespread in the Muslim world. That same year, Raafi wrote “Are these Jews human? I doubt.”

The posts link to his now-deleted Facebook profile. In addition, during the 2014 Gaza War, Vice’s new contributor tweeted out false charges of a “massacre” by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
NYPD Arrests Third Suspect in ‘Free Palestine’ Attack on Jewish Man in Times Square
A third man has been arrested by police in New York in connection with the violent antisemitic assault on Joseph Borgen, the young Jewish man ambushed and viciously beaten by pro-Palestinian thugs as he left a pro-Israel demonstration in midtown Manhattan on May 20.

23-year-old Mahmoud Musa of Staten Island was arrested on Tuesday night and charged with gang assault and hate crimes.

Police had previously arrested 25-year-old Faisal Elezzi, also of Staten Island, and 23-year-old Waseem Awadeh of Brooklyn for participating in the gang beating of Borgen. Awawdeh is alleged to have told prosecutors, “I would do it again.”

In a television interview last Friday, native New Yorker Borgen said that before the attack, he had never been “accosted verbally or felt threatened by the fact that I was Jewish, for wearing a kippah, or anything of that ilk or that nature.”

He continued: “In the wake of this incident, the amount of support from the Jewish community, from friends, family, and loved ones, has essentially just reinforced my faith in the people that are my brothers in this religion, just because they give me the strength to continue on.”

Police are still seeking at least two suspects in the attack, which took place in broad daylight and was captured on amateur video.
Grand Jury Indicts ‘Free Palestine’ Assailants in Brooklyn on Multiple Hate Crime Charges: Report
The three suspects arrested in connection with two ugly antisemitic attacks in Brooklyn last month have reportedly been indicted by a grand jury on a total of 64 charges.

Danial Shaukat, 20, Haider Anjam, 20, and Ashan Azad 19, all of Brooklyn, were indicted Monday on charges that included assault, menacing, attempted assault and aggravated harassment. Many of the counts were charged as hate crimes, the Orthodox newspaper Hamodia reported on Tuesday.

In their first attack on May 22, the trio accosted two Orthodox Jewish men on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn on Saturday evening, during Shabbat. After pulling up alongside the victims in a blue Toyota, Shaukat and one of the other men jumped out of the car with a cricket bat to pummel and choke their targets when they refused to say, “Free Palestine.”

About five minutes later, Shaukat, Azad and Anjam chased four other Orthodox Jewish men, while shrieking, “Kill you Jews. Free Palestine,” prosecutors said.

The victims ran for refuge in a synagogue, Agudath Israel of Sixteenth Avenue in Borough Park. Shaukat and one of his cohorts banged on the doors to get inside the sanctuary and then kicked out the passenger window of an Audi vehicle parked outside.
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) Sends Different Emails to Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Israeli Constituents
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) has been sending different messages to constituents and correspondents based on whether they support Palestinians or Israelis in the Middle East conflict, Breitbart News has learned.

The separate messages came to light recently when Schneider’s office apparently sent a letter intended for a pro-Palestinian audience to a pro-Israel correspondent by mistake.

Schneider’s office then informed the recipient that it had sent the wrong message, and sent the pro-Israel version instead.

On Tuesday, Schneider’s spokesman, Matt Fried, confirmed to Breitbart News that letters intended for a pro-Palestinian audience were sent because of a “coding error” to “a number of people who had expressed support for Israel’s response to Hamas rockets.”

Fried stressed that “Schneider’s position was the same in both letters: Israel has the right to defend herself and, like all Americans, we mourn the price innocent civilians on both sides of the border pay because of Hamas actions.”

(Fried’s response is reprinted in full, at the end of this article.)

It is true that Schneider says in both letters that Israel has the right to defend itself. But in the letter intended for a pro-Israel audience, Schneider calls that right “absolute.”

There are other differences between the two letters.

While he condemns “Hamas’s attacks in the strongest terms possible” in the letter for a pro-Israel audience, and refers to Hamas’s tactics as “war crimes,” he leaves those messages out of the letter to pro-Palestinian correspondents.

In the letter to a pro-Israel audience, Schneider also notes that “Israel goes out of her way to minimize civilian casualties.” He does not say that in the letter aimed at pro-Palestinian correspondents.
French far-left candidate claims 2012 Jewish slayings an election conspiracy
A far-left politician who won 19 percent of the votes in France’s last presidential race and is running again next year suggested that a jihadist’s 2012 murder of four Jews in Toulouse was part of an elections conspiracy.

“You’ll see that on the last week of the presidential campaign, we’ll have a serious incident or a murder,” Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the Unsubmissive France movement, said Sunday in Toulouse during an interview with the France Inter radio station. “In 2012 it was Merah, last week it was Champs-Elysee.”

Mohammed Merah, a former combatant for jihadists in Syria, murdered three Jewish children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012. He was killed in a police siege days later.

On April 20, a police officer was gunned down on the Champs-Elysee avenue in Paris. A 37-year-old Muslim man is on trial for the shooting.

“All of this has been planned in advance,” said Melenchon, who has declared as a presidential candidate for ’22. “We get all kinds of people pulled out of nowhere at a very serious event which, once more, allows to point fingers at Muslims and to invent a civil war. It’s boring.”

Francis Kalifat, the president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, condemned Melenchon’s remarks as “an obscene attack on the memory of the victims” of Merah and of the Champs-Elysee shooting. “After pandering to Islamo-leftist voters, conspiracy theories. Reaching rock bottom,” he added on Twitter.

Melenchon has made multiple statements widely condemned as antisemitic.

Police alerted as Palestine car convoy set to return to London this weekend
Police are being urged to ensure there’s no repeat of the sickening scenes of rabid antisemitism on the streets of the capital this weekend following news of another “Convoy for Palestine”.

The convoy will travel from Bradford to the capital on Saturday, as it joins up with the ‘Justice for Palestine Protest’ outside Number 10 Downing Street, at 1pm.

This comes after Palestine activists were filmed driving down Finchley Road on 16 May, blasting their horns and screaming “F*** the Jews, rape their daughters.”

Four were arrested by the Metropolitan Police, and by Greater Manchester Police for a “similar” incident near Salford.

Concerns have been raised about the route it will take through London, as members of the community go to and from synagogue.

A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust said: “We are aware of this proposed convoy and we will be discussing it urgently with police, with a particular focus on the routes they may be planning to take into central London.

“It appears to be by the same organisers as the notorious convoy from last month and we cannot have a repeat of the appalling intimidation and abuse of the Jewish community that we saw on that occasion.”

BDS Fails, June 2021 stories you likely didn't see in the British media
Cultural BDS Fails
Cannes festival to feature Israeli filmmakers for first time in years
This year’s prestigious film festival in French resort city of Cannes will feature three Israeli filmmakers after years with no blue and white representation.

Among the three films which are set to screen at the festival is NadavLapid’s latest movie “Ahed’s Knee”, which focuses on filmmaker’s struggle with the loss of his mother and his country’s creative freedom. The film will compete for the festival’s “Palme d’Or” prize, alongside some of the most well regarded independent films of 2020-2021.

This summer the safest Mediterranean beaches might well be found in Israel.
That’s because the majority of locals congregating on them have been fully vaccinated and the tourists who join them will have been too.

The UK and Israel are poised to announce a mutual travel corridor that is likely to open on May 23, with Israel expected to be on the green list of countries the government is set to announce on Friday.

This will mean Brits returning from Israel – and Israelis visiting the UK – won’t be required to quarantine.

Netflix buys Israeli crime drama ‘Blackspace‘
Television broadcasting and production company Reshet announced on Thursday that its crime-drama series “Blackspace” has been sold to the content-streaming service Netflix.

Blackspace, starring prominent Israeli actor and comedian Guri Alfi, entails the story of police detective Ram Davidi who investigates a school massacre in a small Israeli town that left four students dead.
University of Chicago Vote Fails to Retract Student Government Call for ‘Free Palestine From the River to the Sea’
A resolution by the College Council of the University of Chicago to retract a previous statement by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) calling for a “Palestine that is free … from the river to the sea” has failed, according to a report on Sunday by The Chicago Maroon.

The resolution — sponsored by student College Council member Julia Brestovitskiy and endorsed by student Jewish support groups including UChicago Hillel and UChicago JStreet — did not receive enough votes, even after Brestovitskiy removed its call for the USG to apologize to the school’s Jewish community.

Brestovitskiy reportedly removed the provision to give the resolution “greater institutional and legal basis.”

Because of a recently passed rule, the Maroon said, the vote count will not be made public.

On May 21, the Undergraduate Student Senate had issued a joint statement with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) declaring its “stand against the ideology of Zionism that has been used as a justification for the murder displacement and traumatization of the Palestinian people”

“From the river to the sea,” the statement said, “USG supports a Palestine that is free.”

The statement prompted a response from the university’s Hillel condemning the letter’s use of the “river to the sea” trope.

“It blatantly calls for the forced displacement of Jews from their homeland, and for the wholesale destruction of the world’s only Jewish state,” said the letter, which was joined by a number of Jewish groups on campus. “Its implications are clear: Jewish citizens living in the area from the river to the sea — including the State of Israel — should cease to exist.”
Canadian Jewish Group: Activists Behind Pro-Palestinian Letter Falsely Claimed Endorsements From Medical Student Groups
Canadian medical students were encouraged to sign a statement of solidarity with Palestinians using the “falsified endorsements” of leading medical student organizations, a leading Jewish group charged on Monday.

In a press release, B’nai Brith Canada said that “anti-Israel activists” had sent an email to medical student societies at Canadian universities including McGill, Dalhousie, and the University of Toronto, soliciting their signature on a “joint statement in support of the People of Palestine.”

It said the email came from a group calling itself “National Advocacy for Palestine” which claimed that the “Call for Solidarity” was drafted and endorsed by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), Ontario Medical Students Association, and the Black Medical Students’ Association of Canada.

A follow up email from the same account asked students not to bring the previous note up for a “town-hall type of discussion” because it could “make marginalized students feel more unsafe at their institutions.”

B’nai Brith Canada said on Monday it had viewed emails from CFMS President Henry Li denying that he was ever aware of the letter.

The New York Times Versus Its Own Archive on Palestinian Killed in ‘Protest’
Times readers would reasonably understand from this reporting that Mleitats uncle was killed by vicious Israeli soldiers who opened fire on peaceful Palestinian protesters who did nothing more than wave flags and chant anti-Israel slogans. Is that really what happened?

Sondos Mleitat’s uncle, Tayseer Hussein Odeh Mleitat, was killed on Friday, June 17, 1988, in the Palestinian town of Beit Furik, near Nablus. In a Facebook post written in his memory, he appears wearing military-like uniform (at left).

A review of coverage from that time uncovered multiple reports in the foreign and Israeli press about the incident. Haaretz, for instance, reported on June 19, 1988:
On Friday morning, a large military force arrived at Beit Furik to demolish the house of Ahmad Hanani, who took part in the murders of Jews and Arabs, including the mayor of Nablus, Zafer Al Masri.

The soldiers found the village blocked, and masses of rioters threw Molotov cocktails, blocks and stones at them. Two officers were injured by the stones, and the force commander – who felt that his soldiers’ lives were in danger – ordered to open fire. Tayseer Mleitat was killed from the shooting, and 4 other residents were injured.

Sky News presenter blames ‘Jew hate’ in the UK on Israel
Sky News presenter Mark Stone has sparked fury after suggesting “Jew hatred” in the UK can be linked to the “consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies” and an “untenable occupation.”

Stone was responding to a tweet that had suggested there was a connection between alleged unbalanced media coverage in the UK of the conflict in the Middle East and threats to Jewish life here.

He tweeted on Tuesday: “It’s interesting that so many *Israelis* tell me that the ‘Jew hatred’ you experience is actually the consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies; their prolongation of an untenable occupation.”

Sky’s Middle East correspondent had become embroiled in an exchange on Twitter with a user named Walter Merrick.

Merrick had claimed in a tweet “that we constantly see unbalanced reporting not just Sky but also BBC, ITV and Channel 4.” Mark Stone’s apology

He continued: “This is resulting in such Jew hatred in the UK. My children have to hide who they are I’m not sure they have a future in this country it’s got that bad.”

Stone responded initially by writing: “I am so sorry your children have to hide. Unacceptable.”

But he then caused uproar with his suggestion that any rise in antisemitism in the UK was linked to the actions of Israel’s government.

CAA submits complaint to Sky News over Mark Stone’s tweet giving credence to excuses for antisemitism
Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to Sky News over a tweet posted by its Middle East Correspondent, Mark Stone.

In response to a tweet stating that “unbalanced reporting” in the media “is resulting in such Jew hatred in the UK. My children have to hide who they are”, Mr Stone yesterday tweeted: “I am so sorry your children have to hide. Unacceptable,” adding: “It’s interesting that so many ‘Israelis’ tell me that the ‘Jew hatred’ you experience is actually the consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies; their prolongation of an untenable occupation.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the State of Israel” is an example of antisemitism.

Mr Stone has since deleted the tweet and apologised, but sought to blame others by claiming: “These are not my views; they are those of people I have spoken to in my reporting from Israel. I am sorry.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is appalling for Mark Stone to give credence to victim-blaming and excuses for antisemitism by portraying as legitimate the view that anti-Jewish racism is a reasonable reaction to the policies of the Israeli Government. Furthermore, his tweet also implies doubt about the experience of antisemitism by the victim to whom he was responding. Even his apology was inadequate, as he denied that the views were his but still held them out as being worthy of consideration.

“Anyone airing and disseminating such grotesquely antisemitic views is not fit to be entrusted with the responsibility of working at Sky News. We have submitted a complaint to Sky News and will also be writing to Ofcom. We look forward to hearing what action Sky News will be taking to avoid further loss of public confidence.”
BBC sticks to the narrative on the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute
In other words, once again the BBC avoided providing its audiences with the full background to that long-running story concerning property in the Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTsadik neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

The question of why BBC audiences have not been provided with a proper explanation of that story – and why not one BBC journalist has yet asked those Sheikh Jarrah residents why they failed to uphold their side of that 1982 agreement – is perhaps easier to answer in light of some recent comments from the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman who has been covering the story for some time.

Although the BBC did not bother to report it, the Hamas terrorist organisation called for a ‘Day of Rage’ on Friday June 4th. On that day, Palestinian activists organised a two-mile protest run in Jerusalem from Sheikh Jarrah to Silwan which ended in a rally that the police dispersed as rocks and chairs were thrown at them. That context (along with the fact that the claim concerning a rubber bullet came from the Palestinian Red Crescent, as clarified in Hebrew by the Ha’aretz reporter whose Tweet Bateman used) was absent from a Tweet put out by Bateman in which he promoted the claim that:
“…Israeli police are protecting a current aggressive settlement expansion drive.”

Bateman did not provide evidence to support any part of that allegation.
Jewish-Owned San Francisco Cafe Again Tagged With Antisemitic Graffiti
A popular, Jewish-owned cafe in San Francisco’s Mission District was vandalized Sunday night with antisemitic graffiti, amid a rise in hate crimes in the city and a national spike in attacks on Jews.

Manny’s, a cafe and civic engagement space owned by Manny Yekutiel, was tagged with the phrases “Racist pigz,” Zionist pigz” and “Free Palestine,” local news outlet KTVU reported.

“Targeting Jewish businesses is straight up antisemitic. We must speak out & condemn this hate,” responded California State Senator Scott Wiener on Twitter.

After being targeted in 2019 with protests and antisemitic graffiti, Yekutiel penned an op-ed in San Francisco Chronicle, describing himself as a “proud” religious and liberal Jew whose family had found refuge in Israel after facing persecution in Afghanistan. He said that while he was not uncritical of Israeli government policies, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict called for “high-quality discourse,” not bigotry.

“The far-right has attacked the business and me when they’ve disapproved of a guest speaker. The alt-left has pushed vitriolic lies and hatred on social media. Claims such as the space is a Zionist takeover of the Mission has emboldened people to walk in off the street and demand to know if the owner is Jewish,” he wrote.

“Let’s show how San Francisco values of openness and acceptance trump intolerance and animus.”

Rabbi Gedalia Potash of the nearby Chabad of Noe Valley — where, on May 14, graffiti messages of “Death to Israil” were found on the gates of the center’s preschool — spoke of Yekutiel as an advocate for “civil rights and equality for all.”

After CAA investigation Graham Hart pleads guilty to eight charges of producing a programme with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred
A Cornish man has pleaded guilty to eight charges under the Public Order Act 1986 after investigations by Campaign Against Antisemitism prompted action by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Graham Hart, 69, of Penponds, Camborne, was charged earlier this year with five counts of using offending words or behaviour in a programme involving threatening, abusive or insulting visual images or sounds which was included in a programme produced with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred.

Three further charges arose from comments that Mr Hart made on another radio show in late December 2020.

Mr Hart pleaded guilty to all counts today of producing a programme with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred at Truro Crown Court. The Judge, HHJ Linford, noted that these are serious offences and scheduled a sentencing hearing for 6th August, pending a psychiatric report. The judge warned Mr Hart that he “should anticipate an immediate sentence of imprisonment”. The maximum sentence for each of these charges is seven years in prison.

We will be providing further information following sentencing.
Jewish passers-by report that police stood by as demonstrator outside Israeli ambassador’s residence shouts “F””” the Jews”
Jewish passers-by have reported to Campaign Against Antisemitism that police stood by as a demonstrator shouted “F””” the Jews” outside the residence of the Israeli ambassador in London.

The witnesses did not see the demonstrator but described the voice as being that of a woman.

The incident took place at around 19:10 at a protest last night outside the residence.

This is not the first time in recent weeks that police officers have failed to act in the face of antisemitic hate crime or have participated in political protests in contravention of policing protocols. Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted complaints in respect of the relevant officers.
New German airline will offer flights exclusively to Israel
A German company operated by two businesspeople – former German airline executive Paul Scodellaro and Shlomo Almagor, an Israeli who has lived in Germany for 30 years – has decided to found an airline that will fly to a single destination: Israel.

The initiative plans to operate direct flights from Hamburg to Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

The website for Tel Aviv Air shows photos of Tel Aviv and Hamburg, as well as a brief description of the airline's operations. The airline says it will begin with two weekly flights between the two cities, and that tickets will be available starting in July 2021. The airline will offer two main classes – Economy and Premium Economy, at prices it describes as "attractive."

Israelis who have been vaccinated for COVID are allowed to visit Germany and do not need to take COVID tests prior to departure or quarantine upon arrival. As far as the Germany population goes, over 20% have been fully vaccinated and 25% have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.
Intact 1,000-Year-Old Chicken Egg Unearthed in Central Israel
An intact chicken egg dating back to the Islamic period 1,000 years ago was discovered in Yavne, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday.

IAA archaeologists came upon the unbroken egg in an ancient cesspit during large-scale excavations at a site in the central Israeli city that revealed an extensive industrial area from the Byzantine period.

“Eggshell fragments are known from earlier periods, for example in the City of David and at Caesarea and Apollonia,” said the IAA’s Lee Perry Gal, a leading expert on poultry in the ancient world. “But due to the eggs’ fragile shells, hardly any whole chicken eggs have been preserved.”

“Even at the global level, this is an extremely rare find,” added Gal, pointing out that archeological digs occasionally uncover ancient ostrich eggs, whose thick shells preserved them.

“Even today, eggs rarely survive for long in supermarket cartons,” said IAA archaeologist Alla Nagorsky, excavation director at the site where the egg was found. “It’s amazing to think this is a 1,000-year-old find!”

Nagorsky attributes its “unique preservation” to the “conditions in which it lay for centuries, nestled in a cesspit containing soft human waste.”
Israel bans sale of fur to fashion industry, first country to do so
Israel has banned the sale of fur to the fashion industry on Wednesday, becoming the first country in the world to do so. "The fur industry causes the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals worldwide, and inflicts indescribable cruelty and suffering," Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said in a statement after signing the amendment, which goes into effect in six months.

"Using the skin and fur of wildlife for the fashion industry is immoral and is certainly unnecessary. Animal fur coats cannot cover the brutal murder industry that makes them. Signing these regulations will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally friendly and far kinder to animals."

The decision was welcomed by the animal rights NGO Animals Now, who praised it as a "historic milestone" that will "save countless animals from the hell of the fur industry."

In a statement, the NGO added: "We have been fighting for years to ban the sale of furs to the fashion industry, and from the start, 86% of the Israeli public supported this.
American Jewish Committee Opens First Office in Arab Country
The American Jewish Committee announced that it has opened an office in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, making it the first office in an Arab country and the 13th overseas office to date.

Called “AJC Abu Dhabi: The Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding,” it will be led by former ambassador Marc Sievers, said the organization on Monday. Sievers recently retired after serving in the US foreign service for 38 years.

David Harris, CEO of the organization established in 1906, said the new office “will enable AJC to expand on our decades of bridge-building in the region and create a wider network of stakeholders in the new relationships made possible by the Abraham Accords.”

The office will seek to strengthen ties related to the normalization agreement, as well as relations between Israel and the Gulf states.

First Holocaust Exhibit in Arab World Opens in Dubai

Sheba named among world's best smart hospitals
Sheba Medical Center was named as one of the world's best smart hospitals by Newsweek magazine.

Newsweek, in partnership with global data research firm Statista, ranked Sheba as the world's 13th best smart hospital and #1 within Israel.

The listing comes just months after Newsweek/Statista ranked the Ramat Gan hospital as one of the world's ten best hospitals for the third year in a row.

Sheba is considered the largest facility of its kind in Israel and the Middle East. The hospital, in the Tel Hashomer neighborhood, handles more than a million patients a year, including 200,000 emergency visits, and employs about 1,250 physicians, 2,300 nurses and 1,500 other healthcare workers.

Sheba Medical Center played a vital role in spurring the global 'smart revolution' when it created the ARC Innovation Center (Accelerate Redesign Collaborate), nearly three years ago. Its' acceleration was heightened during the recent COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, where telemedicine played a critical role in patient care, thus providing revolutionary digital healthcare solutions that are being implemented on a global scale.

"The pandemic has accelerated a trend that has been years in the making. Information technology and other tools that make hospitals 'smarter' have already become a big differentiator in most health care markets," said Newsweek. "Technology is not only the best way for hospitals to achieve these goals, it may be the only way."
40 years ago - Operation Opera: Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear program and saved the West
At the time, the attack was widely criticized. Israel responded that its actions were self-defensive and thus justifiable under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Critics rejected the idea of “pre-emptive self-defense”. France, in particular (again no surprise), was outraged over the loss of a French national as a result of the attack, and since the raid diplomatic ties between France and Israel have remained strained.

The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 487, calling upon Israel “to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”, and stated that Iraq was “entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it suffered”. Israel has not complied with these requests. The United States supported the resolution condemning the Israeli action — but not the country as other nations tried to do. Their course of action was to withhold a contingent of aircraft already promised to Israel.

Files released by the British National Archives in 2011 show that Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Nicholas Henderson, was with US Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger as the news came of the bombing came in:

“Weinberger says that he thinks Begin must have taken leave of his senses. He is much disturbed by the Israeli reaction and possible consequences,” Sir Nicholas cabled London.

Britain’s ambassador in Baghdad, Sir Stephen Egerton, disclosed that the Iraqis had been just as surprised when the Israeli F15 fighters appeared in their skies.

“The diplomatic corps had a ringside view of the belated ack-ack and missile reactions to the raid when we were gathered for the Italian national day reception on the Bund [waterside],” he wrote.

Of course, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution trashing Israel for saving herself.

Over twenty years later, when the world began to face a terrorist threat as never before, it began to realize the service performed by Israel, the IAF, and Menachem Begin.

Just imagine a world with Iraq or, God forbid, a terrorist with their hands on a nuclear weapon. If it wasn’t for Menachem Begin, a Prime Minister with guts to give the orders to protect Israel, knowing (but not caring) that the world would absolutely freak, and the heroes of the IDF who flawlessly performed their mission, this scary world have happened already.

Eventually, Israel also destroyed a nuclear plant in the middle of the Syrian desert, preventing Assad from gaining nukes. When Israel wanted to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, Barack Obama warned the Jewish State not to protect herself. Instead, the anti-Israel president negotiated a deal that essentially delays the Iranian Nuclear weapons program for up to ten years. As soon as the delay is over, Iran would need three months to jump to nuclear weapons.

In the end, if Israel hadn’t acted when the U.S. invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein would have already had nuclear weapons, as would Assad.

President Biden is expected to put the U.S. back into that flawed Iran deal. If he does reenter the deal, and Iran develops its nuclear weapons. They will use them against the Big Satan and the Little Satan, the U.S., and Israel.

Israeli and Lebanese musicians unite in healing prayer
An unexpected and moving collaboration between Israeli and Lebanese singers has been made possible due to social media.

Last spring, when the world was already months into the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli musician Yair Levi wrote and produced a tune to accompany a Jewish prayer for healing, motivated by his grandmother's illness and the pain of many afflicted by the virus.

The song went viral overnight, earning tens of thousands of shares and multiple covers by other performers in many different languages. At the same time Carine Bassili, a young Lebanese singer living in California to earn money to help her struggling family back home, was searching for songs based on scriptures and stumbled across an Instagram post of Yair singing "Al Na Refa La" with Tel Aviv-based musician Shai Sol.

"There was something very powerful about that song," Bassili says. "When I heard it, something happened in my heart, and I said I wished I could do this in Arabic for my people."

Bassili reached out to Levi with some trepidation, as her knowledge of Israelis came only from growing up in war-torn Lebanon. She asked him if she could translate his song into Arabic.

Levi agreed immediately. The two discussed the song and Bassili asked if he would like to sing it with her. "It took a while to learn how the correct pronunciation of the Arabic words," Levi says. The two worked for two months via Zoom, perfecting their duet.

While Bassili received a slew of condemnation from listeners in the Arab world, not all reactions were negative.

She says she also had a lot of interest and was even approached by a Dubai television station who wanted to interview her and Levi. "We have to do what we have to do," Bassili says. (h/t L_King)


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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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