Wednesday, August 18, 2021

From Ian:

New York City’s Kristallnacht
Ed Koch called it “a pogrom.” So did Rudy Giuliani. The Reverend Al Sharpton—the chubby, agitating, last-century version—led a march along the streets as rioting young blacks rampaged through the neighborhood looking for Jews and Jewish businesses to attack. Hasidim cowered behind their mezuzah-trimmed doors while the sluggish police ducked rocks and bottles. New York’s first African-American mayor, the courtly David Dinkins, showed up, hoisted a bullhorn, and tried to pacify the mob.

“Will you listen to me for just a minute?” he pleaded.

“No!” they responded, trying to stone him.

“I care about you. I care about you desperately,” he shouted.

“Arrest the Jews!” they demanded.

That was the raw scene 30 years ago, in August 1991, when the worst race rioting in modern New York memory engulfed Crown Heights in Brooklyn. Caribbean immigrants, American blacks, and Hispanics shared the neighborhood with a heavily outnumbered community of Jews, most of them Lubavitcher Hasidim. The convulsive episode drove Dinkins’s handpicked black police commissioner back to Houston and helped doom his mayoralty, but not before that commissioner’s successor, Ray Kelly, began to reenergize the police force. This, in turn, gave momentum to Rudy Guiliani’s more muscular regime once he had defeated Dinkins in the mayoral election two years later.

Even today, many of the details about the traffic accident that touched off the riot and its deadly aftermath are in dispute, despite a 656-page investigatory report commissioned by Governor Mario Cuomo that was released two years after the event. The question for the future is whether Crown Heights was a one-time, perfect-storm explosion—or possibly an augury for Jews.

When Crown Heights erupted, I had been the editor of New York magazine for more than a decade. There had been flickerings of trouble between blacks and Jews before, but nothing on its ferocious scale. Some friction was inevitable because for decades poor blacks had done much of their food and clothing shopping at stores owned and run by Jews, lived in tenements owned or managed by Jews, and often worked as maids or janitors in Jewish homes and apartment houses. To be sure, many liberal New York Jews had been active in the civil-rights movement, contributing to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, journeying south as freedom riders, and—as in the case of Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman—dying for the cause at the hands of Dixie racists. But it was also true that some working-class Jews closer to them geographically and on the social ladder lived in fear of blacks or condescended to them.
Memorial Prayers in Brooklyn for Yankel Rosenbaum on Hebrew Anniversary of Murder in Crown Heights
Honor the sacrifice and elevate the soul of Yankel Rosenbaum HYD, murdered in Crown Heights in 1991. Thirty years ago, an angry mob shouting, “Kill the Jews!, chased Yankel through the streets of Crown Heights. Near the corner of President and Brooklyn, Yankel was surrounded and violently stabbed and beaten.

On the 30th anniversary of his murder, Wednesday evening at 6:45 pm ET, friends and family are gathering at the scene of the anti-Semitic attack to recite prayers in his memory.

Yankel’s only sibling, Norman Rosenbaum, flew to New York from Australia over 250 times in his never-ending quest for justice on behalf of his brother.

Norman never gave up and was in Crown Heights on the 25th anniversary of Yankel’s killing and held a memorial on the corner of President Street and Brooklyn. Sadly, Norman passed away in 2020.

“On Yankel’s 30th Yahrzeit (Hebrew anniversary of murder), let’s remember his story. Let’s continue Norman’s 30 year commitment to seek justice and keep Yankel’s memory alive,” said Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, leader of the Crown Heights ‘Jewish Future Alliance’ organization.

“Join the Rosenbaum family in saying Kaddish and Mishnayos in his memory. Norman’s son, Yoni Rosenbaum, will recite Kaddish and speak during the program.”
How Israelis can fight the Durban conference's Jew-hatred - opinion
From Israel it’s clear: such Jew-hatred isn’t about Palestinians or borders or Left-Right – it’s right-wrong, and it’s about survival. An increasingly vocal cadre of elite American Jews not only calls Israel “racist” and “apartheid,” but tries cleansing these terms of their Jew-baiting pedigrees or their genocidal implications – against Israel. Few Israelis fall for such nonsense.

It’s self-defeating to claim to oppose antisemitism while overlooking one of its most popular forms today – namely, anti-Zionism. Jew-hatred often mutates, attacking Judaism, Jews as a nation, and now Israel, the Jewish state. Refusing to fight Jew-hatred on all fronts is like vaccinating only strangers, not friends, against COVID-19.

An influential minority of American Jews today still view antisemitism through partisan prisms. Durban is inconvenient ideologically. It disrupts the preferred American Jewish narrative treating antisemitism as right-wing. According to the American Jewish Committee, 89% of American Jews recognize the extreme Right as antisemitic, but only 61% “say the same about the extreme Left.” Durban’s parallel NGO meeting, which became a festival of Jew-hatred, with social-justice-seeking do-gooders lustily demanding Israel’s destruction, proves that antisemitism festers on the Left, too.

The new Israeli government is putting politics aside when confronting our enemies. We need zero tolerance for Jew-haters and all bigots. We don’t accept “useful Jew-haters” – conservatives who claim to be pro-Israel yet hate Jews – or “well-meaning Jew-haters,” progressives who hide their Israel-obsession behind human rights talk. Durban showed that fighting Jew-hatred requires clear redlines, broad coalitions and a laser focus, refusing to be duped by side issues or fake friends.

Israel also has the heartbreaking honor of representing the largest concentration of victims of Jew-hatred. They include Holocaust survivors, refugees expelled from Arab and Muslim lands, Russian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, French Jews, and those killed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, “lone wolves” and other terrorists inflamed by anti-Zionist antisemitism.

Most American Jews recognize – as President Joe Biden does – that anti-Zionism and antisemitism overlap. But many won’t connect the dots, refusing to acknowledge that Israel-bashing at the UN and elsewhere feeds Palestinian violence and rejectionism.

“Antisemitism has grown and continues to grow,” Theodor Herzl noted, “and so do I.” Fighting bigotry diminishes too many, making them pinched, angry, defensive, narrow-minded.

Israelis master Jew-jitsu, turning outsiders’ hatred into binding energy that unites us as a nation. The Jew-haters win when, by targeting us, they exacerbate divisions. The Israeli way is to see your enemy, unite our people, fight like hell, then argue about everything and anything once we’ve handled the threat.

JPost Editorial: Poland's Holocaust restitution law is an injustice - editorial
Poland’s refusal to accept responsibility for its role in the Holocaust is its Achilles’ heel. While most post-Communist countries have sought to right historical wrongs and address the issue of stolen Holocaust-era Jewish property, Poland has lagged behind, claiming it was the Germans, not the Poles, who were responsible for the atrocities against Jews in the Holocaust.

In fact, in 2017, Poland enacted a law making it illegal to accuse Poland or the Polish people of being responsible for World War II or the Holocaust. Many Israeli officials condemned the law, including then-president Reuven Rivlin, who said that Poland and the Poles “had a hand in the extermination” of Jews in the Holocaust.

The passing of the Polish bill has not just rankled Israel. The US has stood by the Jewish state, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that Poland must find a way to justly compensate victims of the Holocaust for property confiscated from them.

“We deeply regret the adoption of these amendments,” Blinken said, while urging the Polish government “to consult with representatives of affected parties and to develop a clear, efficient and effective legal procedure to resolve confiscated property claims and provide some measure of justice for victims.

“In the absence of such a procedure, this legislation will harm all Polish citizens whose property was unjustly taken, including that of Polish Jews who were victims of the Holocaust,” he said.

Poland’s bald attempt to heap another injustice on the millions killed in the Holocaust on its soil is nothing short of outrageous.

As Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat astutely said this week, “This story is absolutely not about money. It’s about memory and responsibility.”
Why Poland Is Right to End Holocaust Property Claims
So Israel’s foreign minister doesn’t believe that property claims following seismic shifts like major wars, large-scale border changes, and other transformational historical events should be time-dependent—or that countries have a right, indeed a moral responsibility, to draw a line under the past and move on in order to ensure the happiness and prosperity of the people who actually live there. Instead, he imagines generations of Jews brandishing the rusty keys to their family homes in Krakow, or in some no-longer existent shtetl, and vowing to one day obtain their ancestral properties, which have since become homes to other people, who are trying their best to build a future for their children.

Sound like anyone we know?

We have a word for endless attachment to mythic property claims while whining and beseeching and denouncing and appealing to tortured interpretations of international law while blaming other people for their problems: Palestinian. This strategy of perpetual pining and playing the victim and demanding compensation for history’s injuries has turned the Palestinians into political losers at literally every turn in their short and miserable collective history. So it’s nothing short of mind-boggling that a senior Israeli official would now giddily embrace the same backward-looking logic. In fact it’s doubly mystifying, because this way of being in the world is precisely what Zionism is meant to replace.

The movement to reclaim that Jewish homeland was never centered in the notion that our ancestors, from Abraham onwards, owned a bit of real estate in the most promised land; Herzl was hardly a Bible scholar. We gravitated back to the Land of Israel not because of some yellowing historical deed to property someplace that we didn’t want to ever see again but because it was the crucible of our people, the seat of the cultural and historical memory that invited us to build a nation of our own and each time make it more perfect, more timeless, more Jewish. Put more crassly, Zionism’s key lesson is this: We only have one homeland, not 10.

If the point of Zionism was instead the infinite revival of ancient real estate claims, why stop with Israel? We should now, following Lapid’s logic of infinite grievance, turn our eyes on Cordoba and Madrid and reclaim the haciendas that once housed our ancestors. Ah, the golden age of Spain! And why stop there? What about Sura and Pumbedita, the Babylonian homes to the twinned Talmudic academies that between 589 and 1038 CE gave birth to much of what we now know as Judaism? Surely, we have claims there, too—as well as in Aleppo. How about Maimonides’ house in Cairo?
Polish Justice Minister in Furious Attack on Independent Court’s Decision to Dismiss Lawsuit Against Holocaust Historians
Poland’s Minister of Justice on Tuesday launched an extraordinary attack on a judge’s decision to reject a lawsuit brought against two leading historians of the Holocaust.

In a post on Twitter, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said the decision of the Appellate Court in Warsaw in favor of the historians Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking — who edited the two-volume, 1,600 page study “Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland” — amounted to a “judicial assault on justice.”

In February, a Warsaw court ruled that the two scholars had to apologize for an entry in the study stating that Edward Malinowski — the mayor of the village of Malinowo in north-eastern Poland — had betrayed Jews to the German occupiers. The lawsuit was filed by Malinowski’s 81-year-old niece, Filomena Leszczyńska, who also demanded an admission from Grabowski and Engelking that the purpose of their work was to accuse Poles of murdering Jews during the Nazi occupation.

Leszczyńska’s legal expenses were paid by the Polish League Against Defamation, an ultranationalist group that targets historians and others researching the issue of Polish collusion and participation in the genocide of their Jewish neighbors.

On Monday, however, an appeals judge in Warsaw overturned the original court decision, emphasizing the right of academics to carry out research and publish their findings without fear of legal censure.

In his Twitter post on Tuesday morning, Ziobro angrily derided the appeal court’s decision.
Ben and Jerry’s Founder Doubles Down on Anti-Israel Boycott
Ben & Jerry's defended its decision to restrict its sales in Israel on Monday, with the founder telling the anti-Israel activist group Americans for Peace Now that he was "proud" of the boycott.

"We did it. We're proud of it," said Ben & Jerry's founder Ben Cohen on the Monday call, even as the company faces legal blowback from several U.S. states. "We consistently use our voice to stand up for justice, and the amazing thing that we discovered over the years is that the more we do that, the more ice cream we sell."

At least eight U.S. states have said they are considering sanctioning Ben & Jerry's, or its parent company Unilever, under anti-boycott laws, after the ice cream maker announced that it would halt sales in Jewish neighborhoods in disputed areas of Israel, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The conference call was hosted by the left-leaning Americans for Peace Now and included Ben & Jerry's board chairwoman Anuradha Mittal and Suhad Babaa, the director of Just Vision, a group that advocates for the anti-Israel boycott movement. Peter Beinart, a writer who opposes the existence of a Jewish state and has been working internally with Ben & Jerry's to defend its boycott efforts, was also on the call.

Cohen denied that the company's decision was driven by anti-Jewish sentiment. He said he supports the notion of a Jewish state and did not realize that other people were living in the area prior to the establishment of Israel.

"I understand that at the end of World War II, these countries got together and said the Jews should have a homeland. Yes, I agree with that. I was under the impression at the time that there were not people living in that area, but apparently there were, and they did not like the idea of a Jewish homeland being established where they were living, and I understand that," Cohen said.
Unilever moves to block Israeli knock-off of Ben & Jerry's brand
Unilever has sent a response to an Israeli NGO's attempt to seize Ben & Jerry's trademark in the West Bank, following the parent company's decision to stop selling ice cream across the Green Line.

Shurat HaDin Israel Law center has claimed that Ben & Jerry's has "abandoned" its trademark in the West Bank, however, Unilever disagrees. “Unilever unequivocally rejects all your assertions set forth therein including that Univeler has abandoned its trademark rights for Ben & Jerry's in what you refer to as the Judea and Samaria region of Israel." A letter dated August 12 reads, signed by Natalia Cavaliere, in response to a letter sent by Shurat HaDin's President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner that reads,

“The Shurat HaDin Law Center has now registered a commercial entity with the Israeli registry of corporations called “Judea and Samaria’s Ben & Jerry’s."

The plan involved selling "Judea and Samaria's Finest Frozen Chosen People" complete with a portrait of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement.

"Please note that we deem any use of the trademark or tradename Ben & Jerry's to be a violation of our intellectual property rights." The letter continues.

Rejecting the notion that its decision to end sales in the West Bank was motivated by antisemitism, the company concludes: "Finally, and most importantly, Unilever and Ben & Jerry's reject completely and repudiate unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance. Antisemitism has no place in any society."

Ken Loach, Labour and anti-Semitism revisited
I recently wrote to the political philosopher John Gray about a fascinating piece he had written for the New Statesman about China, Russia and the liberal West. We were discussing the unlikelihood of any Chinese interest in Jewish ideas. He wrote, “I would not count on any sympathy for Jewish suffering from China.”

Not just China, I replied: “One thing I have learned from the Corbyn years, and since, is not to count on any sympathy for Jewish suffering from some quite surprising quarters – the BBC and large parts of the British media, much of the Labour Party, including its then leadership, many of whom still pretend that they care about racism when in fact they only care about one kind of racism, but seem surprised that anyone remembers what they said and did at the time.”

The amnesia about all of this on the Labour Left is astonishing. Politicians like Dawn Butler, Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have spoken about racism as if they had never campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister and served in his Shadow Cabinet, knowing full well that he had associated for years with Holocaust deniers and anti-Semitic terrorists . They know, too, that Labour under his leadership had been castigated by the EHRC for “serious failings in the anti-Semitism complaint handling system ” and “significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism”.

There is some kind of cognitive dissonance at work here. Leading Labour politicians know this and yet they don ’ t know it. Or they seem to assume that others have forgotten and that this won ’ t affect the way we think of how they speak about racism or, indeed, about anything else.
Three simple ways you can beat Wokeness and Cancel Culture
Learn which companies and institutions support the woke lunacy, and then don’t patronize them.

Over the years, I have been amazed at the number of good Jews I have encountered who would repeatedly criticize The New York Times for its constant anti-Israel propaganda. My surprise not being in response to the criticism, but rather to its repeated nature.

For these same Jews would continue to subscribe to the Times, and thus, in effect, support its hostility to Zionism. Heaven forbid they should miss the theater critic’s review of the latest Broadway hit. Or the sports page.

My friends, if you are patronizing woke companies, you are not only not opposing leftism, you are paying the leftists for the very rope that they will later use to hang you and your children.

Woke companies are a primary funding source for the evil that the left now perpetrates. Cut off the funder’s funds and the problem will be solved.

All the above is also applicable to the schools and universities you choose to send your kids to. Don’t go broke helping a school that’s woke.

Having made my case, I would grant that there are exceptions. In the real world, it isn’t feasible for all people to cut all ties to all woke businesses. Happily, however, to paraphrase Pirkei Avot, you are not expected to personally complete all the work required to combat leftism. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your fair share.
UK Jewish Group Demands ‘Suspension’ of Bristol Professor Pending Inquiry Over Antisemitic Remarks
The head of a top UK Jewish group has urged the University of Bristol to suspend a sociology professor facing a probe over harassing Jewish students, as the British government joined calls to school administrators for more details on the ongoing investigation.

On Tuesday, Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD), wrote to the University of Bristol demanding that it take action against David Miller, who has been under review since March for a series of incendiary comments about Jewish students.

Jewish groups on campus recently urged the same, after noting that Miller appears slated to teach two courses in the upcoming academic year despite the inquiry.

“Mr. Miller must be suspended from his position while the investigation into his conduct is ongoing,” wrote BOD President Marie van der Zyl. “Failure to do so will cause the UK Jewish community to assume that either the University is not taking the behavior exhibited by [him] seriously, or, perhaps even worse, that this entire investigation is a sham.”

Miller drew outrage on campus after calling for “the end of Zionism” and accusing Jewish students of being “pawns” of Israel, among other remarks. The University of Bristol has confirmed an investigation into Miller’s conduct, but has declined to provide details on its status, citing confidentiality.

“Either inadvertently or deliberately, the University appears to be suggesting it believes that by pretending no problem exists, the anger and disquiet surrounding this issue will disappear,” van der Zyl continued Tuesday. “I feel the need to emphasize that this is not going to happen.”
Honest Reporting: Inconvenient Facts: Media Reports Obscure Reality That Killed Palestinians Were Terrorists
“Massacre” and “Heinous Crime” Claims
Despite the Palestinians themselves acknowledging the connections of the “martyrs” with terror groups, Palestinian officials were quick to point an accusing finger at Israel, describing the incident as a “massacre” and employing other strikingly incendiary terms. The Times of Israel reported that Akram Rajoub, the governor of Jenin, told the official Palestinian Authority broadcasting station, “This was a massacre perpetrated by the Israeli occupation. All the accounts disseminated by the occupation are falsehoods.”

The English-language site of China’s Xinhua News also cited Rajoub as characterizing the incident as having occurred “after the [Israeli] soldiers stormed the city and clashed with dozens of Palestinians.”

In its report, Associated Press (AP) quoted another senior Palestinian official, Hussein al-Sheikh, who accused Israel of a “heinous crime.” The article also mentioned a tweet sent by al-Sheikh: “The international community should be ashamed of its silence about this and its failure to provide protection to the Palestinian people from this oppression.”

Those words were quoted verbatim in The Guardian, which republished the AP piece. Meanwhile, the BBC cited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called the killings “an ugly crime” and warned it could lead to a further escalation of violence.

Terror Ties Omitted From News Reports
Omissions are one of the most insidious forms of media bias. Whereas a respectable news outlet may, potentially, apologize or retract a faulty claim, it’s rare for media sources to acknowledge a failure to provide crucial context. The reporting of this story represents a classic example of the tendency of the media to excise critical aspects of an incident which, in turn, serves to promote a narrative that’s hostile to Israel.

While numerous reports did label those killed as “gunmen” or “attackers,” not one of those mentioned above referred in any way to the statements put out by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, despite the fact that photos and videos showed a number of the deceased clutching assault rifles.
BBC News report on Jenin incident sidelines terrorism
The BBC fails to adequately clarify in its own words that the “four Palestinians” were killed because at the time, they and others were shooting at the Israeli forces. Only when reaching paragraphs five and six (out of eleven) would readers perhaps manage to understand what actually happened:
“The Israel Border Police said officers from an undercover unit “came under heavy fire from close range from a large number of terrorists” as they sought to arrest the suspect in the early hours of Monday.

The officers returned fire and “neutralised” the attackers, it added.”

However immediately after that, the BBC chooses to use the ‘he said-she said’ formula by amplifying an unsubstantiated claim concerning an “ambush”.

“According to the Palestinian news agency Maan, the Israeli forces opened fire after setting an ambush.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the killings “an ugly crime” and warned it could lead to an escalation of violence.”

The BBC has so far not bothered to update its report to clarify that one of the “four Palestinians” killed – Nour Jarrar – was claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and that the others were also members of terrorist organisations.
Honest Reporting: Terrorists on Twitter: Platform A-OK With Taliban, Hamas & Hezbollah
Social media giant Twitter has made what can only be described as a controversial decision. As armed militants rampaged across Afghanistan and the United States scrambled to evacuate thousands from the capital city Kabul, the platform was asked: Will you remove official Taliban-linked accounts?

After all, the radical Islamist group has used its 280 character-limit tweets to boast about “conquering” their enemies and organize its violent takeover of the landlocked country.

In response, a spokesman for Twitter released a statement that simply said it would continue to enforce rules against the “glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam.”

“Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant,” it added.

But is the Silicon Valley firm really that committed to preventing extremists from spreading harmful propaganda?

An analysis of the platform shows all manner of high-profile terrorist organizations use Twitter to encourage the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel.

For example, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has used his verified account to explain to 890,000 followers his ideas on how Israel can be “eliminated,” while also spreading the conspiracy that “Zionists” murdered former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

In 2014, Khamenei suggested that a “Zionist network” controls the United States and claimed that year the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, was caused by the “domination of Israel.”
In Arabic, France 24’s Jerusalem Coverage Is Abysmal
While CNN recently took the commendable step to review, then completely rewrite, a grossly tendentious Arabic report covering Tisha B’Av (July 18) events on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, France 24 has failed to redress the biased and inciteful language in its own coverage of the same incident. France 24 is a French public television channel, owned and overseen by the French government.

First, responding to the anchorperson’s question regarding an alleged “act of intrusion into al-Aqsa Mosque,” correspondent Layla Odeh used the same false language, fallaciously charging that “settlers” entered the mosque, thereby sparking clashes between Israeli security forces and Muslim protesters. But as CNN’s corrected Arabic report made clear, the Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount did not enter a single building; none of them “intruded” anywhere. In addition, their place of residence is unknown (and altogether irrelevant to what had happened), and therefore the pejorative label of “settlers” is unfounded.

Moreover, Odeh absurdly claimed that the Jews’ visit was the sole instance of violence that day. In fact, the Jews’ visit to the compound was non-violent, while the Muslims’ response to the visit — stone-throwing — was clearly violent. She further whitewashed the Muslim violence by referring to the stone-throwers as “Jerusalemites practicing Ribat” (1:36). This Islamic term referring to a voluntary act of self-defense protecting an outpost against non-Muslims is regularly used in Arab media to dress up violence as a religious act, especially in Jerusalem.

Finally, Odeh referred to Israeli Arabs protesters as “Palestinians from the 1948 territories.” This terminology, used by France 24 Arabic not for the first time, delegitimizes the State of Israel in its entirety, even within boundaries recognized by the international community, France included.
Guardian refers to slain PFLP terrorist in Gaza as a 'civilian'
The Guardian published yet another report from Gaza focusing on Palestinians ‘civilians’ killed during the May war between Hamas and Israel. (The reason we placed the word civilians in scare quotes will become apparent.) The article, “Among ruins of bombed city towers, Gazans still reel from shock and pain”, Aug. 15, by Middle East correspondent Bethan McKernan, focuses on what’s characterised as “the deliberate targeting of high-rise tower blocks, all of which were home to civilians and offices”.

However, though she quoted an IDF Spokesperson explaining that “terrorist organisations intentionally place military assets in the heart of densely populated areas”, she didn’t do due diligence when detailing the deaths of individual Palestinians as the result of the IDF’s bombing of putatively civilian homes.

A case in point follows, where the journalist devoted the last paragraphs of the article to the fate of the Hamid family in Beit Hanoun.

In Beit Hanoun, a dusty town near the strip’s northern border, the Hamid family lost 34-year-old Raed, one of six sons, in May. He had been asleep in a room on the second floor of the large family home when an Israeli shell ploughed through the roof, destroying the back of the house and starting a fire that consumed much of what was left.

“We already lost our house in the 2014 war,” said Zakaria Hamid, 65, Raed’s father. “We rebuilt as three separate houses after that, lower structures. We thought if some of us were going to die, at least it wouldn’t be all of us.”

However, as reported by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Ra’ed was active in the military wing of of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.
Denver yeshiva student murdered in shooting - report
A yeshiva bachur was shot and killed late Tuesday night in front of the Yeshivas Toras Chaim in Denver, Colorado, Hamodia reported. The victim was initially injured by the shooting and was later pronounced dead, the Denver Police Department announced over Twitter.

The student has not been identified publically, and will remain as such until his family has been notified, the Lakewood Scoop reported, adding that they confirmed he grew up in Cleveland and has family in Lakewood, New Jersey.

According to Yeshiva World News, the funeral will likely be held in New Jersey.

The shooter remains at large, and police are continuing to investigate the incident.

The murder appears to be part of a single crime spree that took place late Tuesday night. According to local Fox affiliate KDVR, the spree began with a carjacking around 10:50 p.m. CST. Around 10 minutes later, this progressed into a shooting and another carjacking, which resulted in one person being critically injured. After that, the carjackers shot and killed the yeshiva student at around 11:30 p.m.

Denver police indicated that these crimes were linked to a single armed and dangerous group, and identified three vehicles linked to them, calling on the public for information and offering a reward of up to $2,000.
New York’s Jewish Museum Unveils Exhibit Featuring Nazi-Looted Art by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse
An exhibition opening Friday at The Jewish Museum in New York City will showcase 53 works of art that were stolen from Jewish art collections by Nazi forces before and during World War II.

The paintings and drawings that will be on display in the exhibit — titled “Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art” — include works by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Franz Marc, Paul Cézanne, Pierre Bonnard, Gustave Courbet and Paul Klee. The exhibit also includes items stolen from French Jewish art collector and philanthropist David David-Weill, who had more than 2,000 artworks seized by the Nazis.

Two famous Matisse works included in the show, “Daisies” and “Girl in Yellow and Blue with Guitar,” are from 1939, and once belonged to French Jewish gallerist Paul Rosenberg. They were stolen from a bank vault in Bordeaux, France, where Rosenberg had stored them for safekeeping before he fled to the US. The latter artwork remained in Nazi commander Hermann Goering’s personal collection of looted art until the end of the war, when it was recovered by Allies forces and returned to Rosenberg.

After the war, an estimated one million stolen artworks and 2.5 million stolen books were recovered, while many more were destroyed, according to the museum. The exhibition “chronicles the layered stories of the objects that survived, exploring the circumstances of their theft, their post-war rescue, and their afterlives in museums and private collections … [It] follows the paths taken by works of art across national borders, through military depots, and in and out of networks of collectors, looters, ideologues, and restitution organizations.”
Canadian PM Trudeau ‘Angry’ and ‘Disgusted’ by Swastika Vandalism of Jewish Candidates’ Election Posters
Politicians in Canada have roundly condemned the antisemitic vandalism of election posters in Montreal promoting two Jewish candidates ahead of the Sept. 20 snap general election called last Sunday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau led the declarations of solidarity with his two fellow-Liberal Party candidates — sitting MPs Anthony Housefather and Rachel Bendayan — after swastikas were discovered scrawled on their posters in their respective ridings, or parliamentary constituencies, of Mount Royal and Outremont in Montreal.

“I am disgusted and I am angry that Rachel Bendayan and Anthony Housefather had signs vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. It is completely unacceptable,” the Canadian leader declared on Twitter. “I stand in solidarity with Rachel and Anthony, and the entire Jewish community, against this type of hatred.”

Housefather himself was defiant. “Pretty sad to see antisemitism hitting the campaign on Day 3,” he tweeted. “I can assure whoever did this that no swastika is going to scare me or stop me from speaking up for Jewish Canadians.”

Separately, Bendayan warned that “we’ve seen the road that the politics of the far right leads us to in the US and around the world.”

She continued: “That is not us. That is not our Canada.”
Egyptian President Invites Bennett for Official Visit: Israeli Statement
Egypt’s president invited Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday for an official visit in the next few weeks, a statement issued by Bennett’s office said.

“The invitation from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was conveyed by Egypt’s intelligence minister during a meeting with Bennett in Jerusalem,” the statement said.

Bennett’s predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, was the last Israeli prime minister to make an official visit to Egypt, in 2011, when the late Hosni Mubarak was in power there. Israeli media reports said Netanyahu secretly met Sisi in Egypt in 2018.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Relations have been cool over the years, but Egypt has played a key role in mediating ceasefires between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza in various rounds of fighting.
Israel Signs Deal With Jordan for Agricultural Imports During Sabbatical Year
Israel and Jordan signed a deal on Tuesday to prioritize agricultural imports from the Jewish state’s eastern neighbor during the upcoming shmita (sabbath year) that starts in September.

The agreement was inked during a meeting at the Allenby Bridge border crossing between Israeli Agriculture Minister Oded Forer and his Jordanian counterpart Rasan al-Majali. The Israeli and Jordanian ambassadors were in attendance.

They agreed that Israel would import Jordanian produce during the biblical sabbatical year that takes place every seven years of the agricultural cycle. Shmita is mandated by the Torah and is observed in Judaism.

Israeli farmers must leave their land fallow and cease all agricultural activity for the year in order to be certified kosher.

Purchasing agricultural produce from Arab neighbors is one solution for obtaining fruits and vegetables to feed Israel’s observant Jewish population.

The ministers also discussed boosting agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
How Morocco and Israel are cementing gains from the Abraham Accords
On 11 August, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrived in Rabat as the highest-ranking Israeli official to come to Morocco since it became the fourth Arab state to join the Abraham Accords last year.

The Israeli diplomat’s high-profile two-day visit served to cement relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv and inaugurate Israel’s diplomatic mission in the North African country.

While in Casablanca, Lapid told a news conference that within several months the Israelis will open an embassy in Morocco and also a Moroccan embassy will open in Jerusalem.

Israel’s top diplomat also presented his Moroccan counterpart with an invitation from the Israeli president to the King of Morocco to visit Israel.

On 16 May, during the latest Gaza-Israel war, there were protests in 46 Moroccan cities with demonstrators showing their support for the Palestinian cause.

None of that, however, has slowed down the strengthening of ties between Rabat and Tel Aviv over the course of the past three months.

Bilateral relations seem unscathed by the events in Gaza and East Jerusalem which unfolded in May and stirred up much anger across the wider Arab region.

“When intensive bombing by Israel unfolded on Gaza in May, many commentators declared that Arab countries that had opened relations with Israel in 2020 were ‘embarrassed’ or had misgivings,” said Dr Jalel Harchaoui, a non-resident fellow at Noria Research, in an interview with The New Arab.

“This is absolutely not true. And Yair Lapid’s Rabat trip is to show that Morocco-Israel relations are firmly on the right track. There is no cloud on the horizon.”
Alexander Hamilton was raised Jewish by convert mother, historian claims
A historian is claiming that Alexander Hamilton, first Treasury Secretary of the US who was also instrumental in the ratification of the Constitution and whose popularity has risen in recent years due to the musical "Hamilton," had Jewish ties as a child in the Caribbean.

According to a report in Bloomberg News, "The balance of evidence suggests that Hamilton in all likelihood had a Jewish identity in his youth in the Caribbean," said Andrew Porwancher, a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma and author of The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton.

Porwancher went on to explain that he believes Hamilton's mother, Rachel Faucette, who was born a Christian in the British Caribbean, converted to Judaism to marry a Jewish merchant named Johan Levine.

"Although she bears Alexander out of wedlock to a non-Jew, in all probability she chooses to raise him in her adopted faith of Judaism," he claims.

Porwancher, who spent years studying archives in the United States and in the Caribbean, adds that the founding father and co-author of the Federalist Papers likely had some Jewish education while growing up on the island of Nevis, where 25% of its free population was Jewish.

"There was a Jewish school that Hamilton later told his children that he attended, where we know he began at least rudimentary study of the Torah because he recalls how his teacher would put him on a table so it would be eye level, and he would recite to her the Ten Commandments in Hebrew."
Jewish people across GCC to join together for first selichot gathering in decades
Jewish residents of the six GCC countries are set to join together for the first-of-its-kind selichot gathering in the Middle East, the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC) has announced.

The selichot prayers are said nightly throughout the Hebrew month of Elul and are meant to ask God for forgiveness. They are said in the lead-up to the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

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On Sunday August 22, AGJC will live stream an authentic Sephardic service to members of the Jewish faith in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The AGJC is a network of the Jewish communities from the GCC countries who are developing Jewish life in the region, Rabbi Dr Elie Abadie, the association’s spiritual leader, told Al Arabiya English.

“As we usher in the Hebrew month of Elul and prepare for the upcoming High Holidays, we gather as a community to recite the Selichot prayers,” said Rabbi Abadie. “It was very important to us to host a genuine Sephardic service as we celebrate the rejuvenation of Jewish life in the region through the formation of the AGJC.”
Building project unearths ancient history in Tel Aviv suburb
Archaeological finds at a construction site indicate there was residential and industrial activity at the location of a Tel Aviv suburb some 1,500 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday.

The modern city of Ramat Hasharon, where the excavation was carried out, was established in 1923 as an agricultural community by Jewish immigrants from Poland.

Among the items uncovered at the site of a new residential neighborhood were a mosaic-floored wine press, a chandelier chain, and a gold coin that appeared to have been hand-signed by its owner.

The coin was minted in 638 or 639 CE by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, the IAA said. One side shows the emperor with his two sons and the other the hill of Golgotha in Jerusalem, which Christian tradition identifies as the site for the crucifixion of Jesus.

Scratched out on the coin in Greek, and possibly also Arabic, is an inscription that experts assess is likely the name of its owner, according to Robert Kool, head of the IAA’s Numismatics Department.

“The coin encapsulates fascinating data on the decline of Byzantine rule in the country and contemporary historical events, such as the Persian invasion and the emergence of Islam, and provides information on Christian and pagan symbolism and the local population who lived here,” Kool said in a statement.


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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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