Friday, July 16, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The challenge of reconciling Christians and Jews
Even in godless Britain, progressive Christians have played a hugely disproportionate role in feeding the new antisemitism through the influence of the Church England itself, Christian non-governmental organizations, and other Christian institutions.

Shouldn't the Church of England be atoning for all this rather than an event that took place seven centuries ago?

The poisonous combination of Christian theology and the social-justice agenda is now making inroads even among America's bedrock Christian supporters. Earlier this year, a survey by the University of North Carolina at Pembroke revealed a sharp drop in support for Israel among young American evangelicals.

Asked whom they supported in the "Israeli-Palestinian dispute," just 33.6% said Israel, 24.3% said the Palestinians and 42.2% said neither side. In a similar survey in 2018, 69% said they sided with Israel, 5.6% said with the Palestinians and 25.7% said they did not take either side.

Supporting Palestinianism enables these young evangelicals to appear cool to their secular peers. The twist is that Palestinian "replacement theology" enables them also to tell themselves that they are still loyal Christian believers.

Only now, they believe the ludicrous fiction that Jesus was a Palestinian, and its grotesque spin-off that the Israelis are crucifying the Palestinians of today.

Saying sorry for the past just isn't enough. Addressing Christian antisemitism involves facing its anti-Israel element head-on.

This doesn't just mean acknowledging the pernicious lies and distortions about Israel perpetrated by the church; it also means acknowledging the roots of this bigotry in Christian theology.

Only such honesty can start to reconcile Christians and Jews, and open the path to a partnership between these two parent-and-daughter faiths that is essential if the West is to be defended against the forces threatening to bring its historic culture and values down.
How can Israel convince gentiles if it can't convince Jews? - opinion
The recent Pew survey shows that only a third of US Jews believe the Israeli government is making a sincere effort to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Of the Jews who support the ruling Democratic Party, only 20% think so.

The Lapid-Bennett government is unlikely to change this worrying picture because its existence depends on maintaining the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Consequently, the desire to restore a healthy balance to the triangular relationship will eventually encounter an unbridgeable obstacle: the lack of a credible Israeli intention to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.

The same obstacle will also prevent the success of Israel hasbara (PR) efforts in the US and the West in general. In 1993, Christopher and Peres feared that American Jewry would not support the Oslo Accords arguing that Israel had gone too far in making concessions to the Palestinians. Over the years this picture has completely reversed. Most American Jews believe that Israel is not at all interested in marching toward a settlement.

The Palestinian issue is not a matter of bad public relations that a shrewd argument could overcome. It is a living reality that threatens Israel’s identity and its future. The illusion that the solution to the problem exists in the realm of rhetoric did not begin with Netanyahu. When Menachem Begin outlined the ‘Foundations of Hasbara (PR) Abroad’ he wrote: “Do not mix into the language of the past the linguistic barbarity ‘Palestine’... Why can we not say: ‘Arabs of the Land of Israel’? And in saying this, we immediately create a different moral and political perspective.”

Compared to the Netanyahu era, the new government is indeed a refreshing breeze. But even this government will find that being nice and showing good manners do not create a “different moral and political perspective.” It would be useful to revisit the words of Shimon Peres: “Without a policy of a peace initiative, Israel cannot conduct an effective policy of hasbara… The problem is not just what we’re explaining, but to what extent are we believed.”

Israel’s hasbara problem is, of course, only a symptom of much more serious phenomena, among them: the threat to our relations with the US and its Jews. If we fail to convince the Jews, how can we persuade the gentiles?
The Tikvah Podcast: Daniel Gordis on the Rift Between American and Israeli Jews
It’s sometimes asserted, particularly in elite circles, that liberal American Jews have grown distant from Israel because of Israel’s actions, including those undertaken by longtime and now former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. With the ascension this year of a new prime minister and a new government in Israel, the time has come to reassess that argument and consider it anew.

The American-Israeli writer Daniel Gordis disagrees with this idea, that Israel’s actions determined American Jewish attitudes. To him, the growing divide between Israeli and American Jews is decidedly not about what Israel does. It is, rather, about what Israel is. The two largest Jewish communities in the world are animated by different attitudes about Jewish life and Jewish prosperity. In this rebroadcast conversation from 2019 between Gordis and Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, he argues that these more fundamental differences, not the policies of the Netanyahu government or the chief rabbinate, are the true cause of the widening rift between the Jews of Israel and the United States. That suggests that a simple change in a policy—as the new government may bring about—won’t bridge the gap


Lapid: Antisemitism never ends with Jews, always moves on to next target
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Wednesday that antisemitism was part of a broad family of hatreds, and that antisemites start by attacking Jews but “always” move on to focus their hate and violence on other groups as well.

Lapid was speaking via Zoom due to being in quarantine after an adviser tested positive for COVID-19, at the seventh Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism led by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in collaboration with the Diaspora Affairs Ministry.

During his address, the foreign minister related a story his father, Tommy Lapid, told him about his experiences during the Holocaust, and asked how it was possible that a person became “so full of hate, prejudice and venom” that they wanted to kill a young 13-year boy.

He asserted that antisemitism was akin to other hatreds in such as ones held by those who participated in the slave trade, the Hutu massacres of Tutsis in Rwanda, and Islamist extremists.

“Antisemitism isn’t the first name of hate, it’s the family name,” the foreign minister asserted.

Lapid said that modern antisemitism “exists everywhere” and that the Jewish people need allies and to enlist everyone who believes it is wrong to persecute people just because of their faith, sexuality, gender, nationality, or the color of their skin.
Dan Senor: Noam and Rachel’s Excellent Adventure
When I was a teenager, a ridiculous movie came out called “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Two goofball students from California were failing out of high school. They needed an A+ on their final history project. And so George Carlin shows up with a time machine, and Bill and Ted proceed to kidnap some of the greatest figures in history – Socrates, Joan of Arc, Beethoven, Abraham Lincoln – whom they bring back to modern-day San Dimas, CA to tell the story of Western Civilization. (Why they left out Moses, Esther, or King David is beyond me.)

Most young American Jews – fortunately – are much better students than Bill and Ted. But as I survey the scene of Jewish education in America, I wonder where the spirit of leadership will come from. There are surely bright spots in a number of Jewish day schools. But will most young American Jews – both those in full-time Jewish day schools and especially those enrolled in public and secular schools – ever really encounter the heroes of Jewish, Zionist, and American history? Are they invited to take human excellence – and Jewish excellence – seriously?

For generations, the central component of educating political and civic leaders was a classical education, which served two purposes: to attach young people to their own history, giving them a sense of responsibility for their own heritage; and to provide young people models of human achievement to learn from and emulate, as preparation for their future lives as statesmen, generals, religious leaders, or educators. Liberal education was a time machine, awakening a vivid sense of the past in preparation for the looming challenges and responsibilities of the future.

These days, education in many schools seems geared toward different ends: finding signs of oppression everywhere, debunking our heroes, and leveling the heights of human greatness. We are, too often, in the business of tearing down statues. In doing so, we are shrinking the moral and political imagination of the very young people – including young Jews – who might one day step forward to lead our nation and our community.
Do they even know what "Genocide" means?
This freewheeling use of the term “genocide” in situations that do not meet the definition undermines the public’s understanding of what the term really means. It would not be surprising if the word has become little more than a casual synonym for injustice in the minds of a part of the public.

The younger generation is particularly susceptible to such rhetorical excesses. Social media have been flooded in recent weeks by wild anti-Israel accusations from cultural celebrities, including the invocation of “genocide” by Roger Waters of the rock group Pink Floyd, social media star Mia Khalifa, and the actor Mark Ruffalo (although he later backpedaled). Others, including popular singer Dua Lipa and Canadian musician The Weekend, used the only slightly less incendiary term “ethnic cleansing.”

Impressionable young people pay attention to what their cultural icons are saying. It may not be a coincidence that in the new poll about Israel, the percentage of respondents who were aged 18 to 34 was 24%—almost identical to the number who said Israel is guilty of genocide.

Ultimately, then, the problem with the poll may be that the “genocide” question assumed that all the respondents understand what “genocide” means. Imagine if, instead, the question had briefly explained what it was talking about—something like: “Genocide means ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic racial or religious group’—do you think Israel is doing that to the Palestinians?”

It is highly unlikely that 22% of American Jews would have answered “yes” to such an obviously false allegation. Even many of those who are not well educated on the subject understand that “destroying” means wiping out, or at least significantly reducing, the targeted population, while the Palestinian Arab population has increased dramatically since Israel’s creation in 1948.

It may well be that a small number of American Jews are becoming more extreme in their criticism of Israel. But a casual embrace of poorly-understood language is not necessarily evidence of a serious trend in Jewish public opinion.
US Jewry failed to teach its youth about Israel, here is the result
THIS BRINGS us back to the survey. Perception is important. A perception is gaining traction in the US that American Jews are turning on Israel, especially young American Jews. This was especially true during the recent fighting in Gaza, when one report after the next appeared in the media – most based on the same spokespeople from the same left-wing Jewish organizations – chronicling this “phenomenon.” Polls showing that a third of young American Jews view Israel as an apartheid state committing genocide will only boost that perception. And if American Jews don’t support Israel, and in fact view it as evil, then – non-Jewish Americans and their elected representatives could legitimately ask themselves – why should they?

What was needed in May during the Gaza fighting when anti-Israel protests were taking place across America was a massive central rally in support of Israel.

Not a rally about antisemitism, but in support of Israel to make it clear that American Jews have not turned their backs on the Jewish state, that they still feel passionate about the defense of the country, and that it is possible to come out and publicly support Israel even if you don’t like all its leaders or support every last one of its policies.

To those who would argue that such a rally in support of Israel would not be a big draw, or would turn certain prospective participants away, and that what was needed was a theme – like antisemitism – around which all Jews could rally, the reply now is that a protest against antisemitism in Washington was just held, at a time when antisemitism in America is at a peak, and only 2,000 people showed up.

It is not clear whether a major pro-Israel rally, pure and simple, would have brought more people out. But what is clear is that a demonstration against antisemitism, something that for Jews should be the equivalent of being for motherhood and apple pie, didn’t do the trick – even though the focus, so as not to offend, was not primarily on Israel.
As more US Jews call Israel apartheid state, organizations struggle to counter
Harris pointed to an AJC poll last month that showed only 37% of respondents described their Israel education growing up as “strong,” and to separate data showing that young people increasingly are getting their news from social media “where untruths are rampant,” he said.

“Clearly, greater efforts at educating American Jews, especially younger cohorts, about all aspects of Israeli society, and connecting them with their counterparts in Israel, are critical for ensuring nuanced understanding about Israel and strengthening Israel-Diaspora relations,” he said.

Harris pointed to AJC programs aimed at reaching Jews under 40. So did Adam Teitelbaum, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of North America’s Israel Action Network. JFNA was also a sponsor of the rally.

“The best way to combat this phenomenon is to meaningfully and authentically engage young Jews with questions such as ‘what do you think apartheid means?’; ‘what is the best path forward?’; and ‘how can Israel address real security concerns while still fighting for peace?’,” Teitelbaum said. “Young people recognize that the situation in Israel is complicated. We at JFNA and through the Israel Action Network know that when Jewish Federations and Israel educators approach young people’s questions with compassion and authenticity, they engage meaningfully and elect to become changemakers themselves.”
Minister RIPS APART hypocrite Jeremy Corbyn on Labour’s antisemitism
Minister Victoria Atkins rips apart former Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn for making hypocritical accusations of inaction in tackling discrimination.

Jeremy Corbyn (0:00) Victoria Atkins (0:50)


Labour Party members Richard Burgon and Salma Yaqoob set to share platform with antisemitic suspended former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tonight
Labour Party MP Richard Burgon and prominent member and former candidate Salma Yaqoob are set to share a platform with the antisemitic former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at a demonstration in Bradford this evening.

Mr Burgon, the former Shadow Justice Secretary and MP for Leeds East, is best known for having stated that “Zionism is the enemy of peace” and then lied about having done so. He has also participated in rallies with suspended Labour activists without sanction. Mr Burgon is the subject of a complaint to the Labour Party by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Ms Yaqoob, the former Respect Party leader, is a relatively recent member of the Labour Party who unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of the West Midlands this year, and has her own deeply troubling record in relation to the Jewish community. In a 2013 tweet that she has since deleted, Ms Yaqoob stated: “Iceland arrests 10 Rothschild bankers…wow”, and linked to an article making this false claim and featuring a prominent image of the banker and philanthropist Lord Jacob Rothschild. The article linked in turn to a longer piece on the “Political Vel Craft” website, which is known for disseminating extreme conspiracy theories.

Also scheduled to appear at the event is the former Liberal Democrat MP David Ward, who has had a number of antisemitism-related incidents, one of which involved him tweeting: “#Auschwitz happened and never can be compared but would be betrayal of its victims to use it to protect #Israel Govt from condemnation”. Mr Ward lost his council seat in this year’s local elections, running as an Independent after being expelled by the Liberal Democrats in 2017 for standing against the Party in an election, having previously been disciplined for comments about Jews, the Holocaust and Israel. He recently appeared at another anti-Israel rally in Bradford, along with the disgraced Labour MP Naz Shah, where calls were made to “lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine!”
Green Party fails to respond after CAA notifies Party leadership of severe antisemitic conduct by officeholders, including by former Equalities and Diversity Coordinator
The Green Party has failed to respond after Campaign Against Antisemitism notified the Party’s leadership of severe antisemitic conduct by two prominent members of the Party.

Claudine Letsae, who recently served as the Green Party Equalities and Diversity Coordinator and now holds the International Coordinator portfolio, has among the worst and most prolific record of antisemitic comments of any political officeholder that we have ever seen.

Using an anonymous account which has recently been suspended by Twitter, she has tweeted that “the Zionists Own the media and everything else inbetween [sic]” and said of London’s Royal Free Hospital that “They are run by Zionists, they are one NHS Trust that is extremely corrupt”.

She described antisemitism in the Labour Party as “the biggest con of the electorate”. She has also defended Ken Livingstone.

In reference to the Western coalition’s retaking of the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, Ms Letsae commented: “The cruelty of this Zionist nations [sic] knows no limitations to their barbarity and cruelty #FreePalestine.”

Protesting the closure of the controversial Exhibit B installation at the Barbican Centre, she wrote: “It would not happen if it was Jewish exhibition #ExhibitB @BarbicanCentre because it is minority that has less of a voice-if its black people [sic].” Then, responding to a question by another user, she replied: “well the Jews are no longer persecuted and they have received their reparation. None for the African slaves yet.”

She has also promoted the antisemitic Khazar myth, which claims that Jews are descended from a Central Asian people and have no connection to the Land of Israel.
The Ultimate Guide to Boycotting Israel

After causing uproar, Israeli musician Noga Erez clarifies she doesn’t back BDS
Israeli musician Noga Erez said Thursday that she had erred in making comments earlier this year that were understood as supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state.

“I do not support BDS. And I never did. I love Israel and do not support any kind of boycott of my people and country,” Erez wrote in a Facebook post.

The response came after comments she made to Britain’s Huck magazine in March gained widespread media attention and criticism last week.

“I believe BDS did an important job in putting the spotlight on the situation, but I hope all the effort, time, and money they put into it will be invested in discourse and connection,” she told the London-based magazine at the time.

“There are a lot of people on both sides who want it. Governments will not do it, it is very difficult to do. It’s from the inside, and that’s what makes the conflict deeper,” she added to the magazine.

The Palestinian-led international boycott movement seeks to pressure Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has taken a hardline approach against it, passing a law barring foreign supporters of the movement from staying in Israel.

On Thursday, after a week of online backlash, Erez said her choice of words had been wrong since they fueled media headlines that only focused on the remark that “BDS did an important job.”
Bay Area Labor Union to Weigh Endorsing BDS, Blocking of Israeli Ships at Port
Weeks after a group of Bay Area longshoremen helped prevent an Israeli ship from unloading in Oakland, a 100,000-strong San Francisco Labor Council plans to vote on becoming the latest union to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Labor Council, an AFL-CIO affiliate, will vote on a resolution to back BDS against “apartheid in Israel” and to “stand in solidarity with dockworkers in Italy, South Africa, the US West Coast, and elsewhere, who have refused to handle military equipment and weapons and other cargo destined for Israel.”

The motion was proposed on June 14 by 19 members of its delegate assembly, and may come up for a vote as soon as August 9, reported the local Jewish news outlet J.

In addition to the call for a boycott of Israel, it praised the Block the Boat campaign, a protest effort organized by the Bay Area-based Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) that aims to prevent Israeli ships from docking and unloading in cargo ports.

On June 4, dockworkers representing the Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 (ILWU) — several members of which signed the San Francisco Labor Council BDS resolution — helped AROC protesters turn away a ship owned by Israel’s ZIM International Shipping from unloading at the Port of Oakland.
Cartoons in British Arabic outlets erase Jewish history, peddle antisemitism
PREFACE
The erasure of Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem’s heritage, in an attempt to depict a holy city where only Islam and/or Christianity are worthy of inclusion, is a unique antisemitic practice which seldom receives the attention it deserves. Thus, those peddling such ahistorical, hate-driven claims are rarely denounced or held accountable, even when this habit is intertwined with other forms of antisemitism – including support for violence against Jews.

The cartoons and articles in this review were mostly published in UK-based media outlets, typically affiliated with Gulf monarchies, and all except one (Middle East Monitor) are Arabic language outlets.

CARTOONS: MOHAMMAD SABAANEH AND EMAD HAJJAJ
The above cartoon by Palestinian Muhammad Sabaaneh, for instance, appeared in the Qatari-owned London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi (Arab Jerusalem) – which we previously posted about in relation to its repeated publication of antisemitic cartoons.

Commenting on the February 2021 snowstorm in Jerusalem, Al-Quds Al-Arabi featured the city’s Dome of the Rock in the middle of the storm, along with three snow formations: a snowman holding an Israeli flag on the right; an Israeli/Jewish settlement on the bottom left; and a hooked-nosed Jew, complete with the sidelocks and Yarmulke, on the top left. The hopeful title of the cartoon, “Snow, and it shall melt away…”, sharpened the contrast between the steadfast Islamic structure and the putativelytemporary Jewish presence on top of it – as unpleasant and brief as bad weather.
Luxembourg Holocaust Survivors Encouraged to Apply for Million-Euro Direct Support Program
An agreement reached earlier this year between Luxembourg and an international Jewish organization for payments to survivors of the Holocaust is now operational, with over $1 million available for direct support payments.

Nearly 4,000 Jews lived in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg — a tiny, landlocked country bordered by France, Belgium and Germany — on the eve of the Nazi invasion in 1940. Historians estimate that around half of Luxembourg’s Jewish community were murdered during the Holocaust.

After World War II, around 1,500 Jews returned to Luxembourg and today about 1,200 still reside there.

The agreement inked between Luxembourg and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) in January committed the Luxembourg authorities to make a one-time payment of 1,000,000 euros to directly support Holocaust survivors, which will be distributed equally to approved applicants.

To be eligible for the program, an applicant must have been persecuted as a Jew by the Nazi regime or their allies between January 1933 to May 1945, and either live in Luxembourg now or have lived there during the period of Nazi rule in Europe.

One survivor praised the agreement for providing concrete recognition of the suffering of Luxembourg’s Jews.
Jews ‘Learned Evil’ From Nazis: Leading COVID-19 Conspiracy Theorist in Germany Loses Publisher Over Antisemitic Comments
A Germany-based microbiologist whose profile surged during the COVID-19 pandemic as he spread various false accounts of the virus has been exposed as an antisemite who believes that Israel “is worse than Nazi Germany was.”

Sucharit Bhakdi, a former professor of microbiology at the University of Mainz, made several antisemitic comments in an online video promoting his parliamentary candidacy for “Die Basis” — a political party founded during the pandemic by conspiracy theorists who charge that governments have deliberately misled their populations over both the nature of the virus and its cure.

In the video, Bhakdi — a German citizen born in the US to parents who were Thai diplomats — said that Jews were a people who had “learned the evil” from their Nazi persecutors, according to the Berliner Zeitung news outlet.

“The people who fled this country, where there was arch evil, and founded their own country, they have turned their country into something that is even worse than [Nazi] Germany was,” Bhakdi opined.

“That’s the bad thing about Jews: They learn well,” he continued. “There is no people that learns better than they do. But they have now learned the evil — and implemented it. That is why Israel is now … a living hell.”

The Austrian publisher Goldegg Verlag, which has published three of Bhakdi’s sensationalist books on the coronavirus pandemic, said on Friday that it was severing ties with the former scientist.
Spate of Antisemitic and Racist Graffiti Shocks Residents of Alliance, Ohio
Police in Alliance, Ohio are investigating a spate of antisemitic and racist vandalism in the downtown area which they believe are connected.

All three incidents targeted Jews. The same symbol — a Star of David crossed out in a red circle — was daubed on the front of the YWCA building on E. Market St and upon another building on S. Webb Ave.

The third incident involved the words “F*** BLM” (Black Lives Matter) sprayed along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Viaduct, which features a series of photographic panels honoring the late US civil rights leader. Alongside that slogan was another that read “Down with ZOG” (an acronym that stands for “Zionist Occupation Government) accompanied by the same crossed-out Star of David.

YWCA Executive Director Stacie Weimer said the antisemitic symbol was discovered on Tuesday morning by a resident.

“This goes against everything that we fight for every day with the YWCA and our mission,” Weimer told local news outlet The Repository.

YWCA volunteer Korena Pow and her son Noah cleaned the wall of the offending symbol later in the day.

Local Rabbi David Komerofsky of Temple Israel said that the vandalism was intended to “terrorize people.” He emphasized that the Jewish community should “remain vigilant and not be intimidated or frightened by such actions.”
Toronto Cops Arrest Same ‘Swastika Man’ for Two Separate Antisemitic Assaults
Police in Toronto have arrested a local man who carried out two separate antisemitic attacks in the space of four days.

In both incidents, the assailant — 32-year-old Michael Park — displayed a swastika drawn on his bare chest. Park was alleged to have yelled antisemitic invective at the victims in the two assaults.

The first incident occurred on July 6, when police were called to Stanley Park in the King Street West and Walnut Avenue area around 8am. According to the police, Park was seen with a drawing of a swastika on his chest, and allegedly yelled antisemitic slurs at a person, before throwing an object at them.

He was arrested nearby and charged with assault with a weapon as well as two municipal bylaw infractions related to behavior in parks, broadcaster CBC reported.

Four days later, police say a separate victim encountered Park, this time in the Yonge Street and Elm Street area. Again, Park displayed a drawing of a swastika on his chest and was heard yelling antisemitic slurs at three Jewish women.

When a man who witnessed the outrage confronted Park about his antisemitic language, he was punched multiple times.

Park was arrested not far from the scene and charged with one count of assault. He was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.


UAE, Israeli soccer clubs to face off in practice match in Serbia
Israeli and Emirati soccer squads will face off next week for a practice match at a training camp in Serbia in the latest demonstration of friendly ties between the two countries that normalized relations less than a year ago.

Ironi Kiryat Shmona will take on Sharjah FC next Thursday in one of the first matches between teams from Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this month, Maccabi Netanya faced off against an Emirati squad of up to 23-year-olds.

The UAE’s Al-Ain club had been scheduled to play Israel’s Maccabi Haifa earlier this year, but the match was canceled due to the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the two teams signed an agreement of cooperation in February that Al-Ain club chairman Mohamed Thaaloob said “will consolidate the policy of bridge-building and cooperation between the two major clubs in various fields including marketing, technical cooperation, investment, commercial activities, media and sport.”

“I am pleased to witness this important moment in the history of the Israeli and Emirati game, and for sport in general,” said Yaqoub Shahar, president of Maccabi Haifa.
Countdown Has Begun: Israel Redoubles Efforts for Second Attempt to Land on Moon
SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit organization that strives to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and dreamers through innovative space missions, announced this week that it has secured crucial funding towards the launch of the “Beresheet 2” spacecraft mission in 2024 with the goal of sending Israel back to the moon.

In 2019, with its first “Beresheet” spacecraft, the organization became the first private entity in history to reach the moon, thereby securing Israel’s position as the seventh country to reach the moon and the fourth country attempting to land on the moon after the United States, Russia and China.

Unfortunately, on April 11 of that year during the landing process, a malfunction caused a series of disruptions that resulted in an engine shutting down and the spacecraft crashing.

Thanks to several generous donors, $70 million was raised in a new round of financing; it’s estimated that the cost of the mission is approximately $100 million.

The funding was obtained from a group of entrepreneurs and philanthropists, including Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn (Kahn Foundation), who was also involved in the first attempted moon landing. Kahn was also appointed chairman of the board of directors of SpaceIL.

The other two donors include Patrick Drahi (Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation), an Israeli-French businessman, and South African Israeli businessman Martin Moshal through the Moshal Space Foundation in partnership with the Entrée Capital venture-capital firm.

In reaction to the announcement, Shimon Sarid, CEO of SpaceIL, told JNS, “It is too good to be true to raise this amount at such an early stage of the program. The reason it happened is that we have a highly inspiring mission, and our donors truly believe in our ability to execute it.”

The “Beresheet 2” mission is hoping to break several records in global space history, including a double landing on the moon in a single mission, along with landing on its far side, which to date has only been accomplished by China.











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