30 Years Later: Remembering Crown Heights
Thirty years ago, anti-Semitic mobs plundered the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn for three days, chanting Nazi slogans, destroying Jewish homes and businesses, and lynching a young Jewish seminary student.
On the night of Aug. 19, 1991, a 22-year-old Orthodox Jewish man named Yosef Lifsh lost control of his car and skidded onto the sidewalk, killing a seven-year-old black boy named Gavin Cato and injuring his seven-year-old cousin. Rumors quickly spread that Lifsh had been intoxicated and that a private Jewish community ambulance service had treated Lifsh while refusing to treat the injured children—claims that were later determined to be false.
The neighborhood, which was majority black with a growing Orthodox Jewish minority, erupted in violence. Within hours of the boy’s death, 250 rioters descended on a Jewish religious school and set its van on fire. Mobs marched through the streets shouting "death to the Jews," smashing car windows, and beating Jewish pedestrians.
Yankel Rosenbaum, a 29-year-old Jewish seminary student from Australia, was stabbed to death by rioters who shouted, "Let’s get the Jew!"
The police struggled to deal with the riots in the face of anti-law-enforcement sentiments in then-New York City mayor David Dinkins’s office and among city leadership. Department leaders "emphasized restraint, fearing that aggressive action would exacerbate already-strong feelings and make the police the focus of the crowds’ anger," according to a 656-page report on the riots compiled by Richard H. Girgenti under then-governor Mario Cuomo’s administration.
Police weren’t given helmets or shields, with the Brooklyn South chief explaining that this was "not our style of policing in New York City. We don’t use clubs or horses," according to the Girgenti report. One officer advised Jews to leave the neighborhood, telling Rabbi Joseph Spielman that the police were not able to "hold the street and guarantee the safety of the Jews in the area."
Without a strong police response, the riots raged on for three days as city leadership downplayed the unrest. Dinkins questioned whether Rosenbaum’s stabbing had anything to do with the riots, saying, "Whether that’s related, whether that’s retaliatory, I don’t know."
Self-proclaimed civil rights leaders stepped in to fan the flames. On the afternoon of Aug. 20, Al Sharpton showed up to address a growing crowd of black protesters in Crown Heights and called for the arrest of Lifsh, the Jewish driver who hit the 7-year-old boy. "We are on the verge of an explosion," threatened Sharpton, who claimed that "apartheid ambulance services" run by the Jewish community were responsible for the child’s death.
Hundreds of rioters pelted Chabad-Lubavitch’s headquarters with rocks and bottles, chanted "heil Hitler," and burned an Israeli flag. Mobs also looted businesses and firebombed a jewelry store as police looked on, under orders from department leadership to "stand fast and not take any action."
The Crown Heights Riot, In Context, Explained
The Crown Heights riot was hardly a spontaneous act in response to the tragic death of a child. In the days and weeks leading up to the fatal crash, black activists such as Leonard Jeffries Jr., a professor of black studies at City College of New York, had been priming the community for violence with their anti-Semitic tirades.
"Everyone knows rich Jews helped finance the slave trade," Jeffries said in a lecture delivered on July 20, 1991. He accused Jews of colluding with the Mafia to "put together a financial system of destruction of black people." Activists such as Sharpton aggressively defended Jeffries against charges of anti-Semitism. At a rally in Harlem just days before the riot broke out, Sharpton threatened his Jewish critics. "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house," he ranted.
Dozens of Jews were injured in the rioting, as were more than 150 police officers, some of whom reported being under orders to refrain from taking decisive action to quell the violence. A crackdown was ultimately carried out on the third day of rioting, after New York City mayor David Dinkins (D.) was confronted by a violent mob on his way to meet with Crown Heights community leaders and eight police officers were injured by a rooftop sniper.
By the time order was restored, at least 120 people had been arrested. Stores were looted, vehicles vandalized, and millions of dollars of property damage was inflicted upon the community. The Jewish residents of Crown Heights, already traumatized by the violence and destruction, were forced to watch as Sharpton and other charlatans stoked the fires of anti-Semitic hate.
The Last Acceptable Hate Crime
In New York’s Crown Heights neighborhood and nationwide, anti-Semitic violence is still common. Why is it taken for granted?
There is little physical evidence of the bloody history at the corner of President St. and Brooklyn Ave., where in 1991 a gang of young, black men surrounded, beat, and stabbed Yankel Rosenbaum to death. Today, the corner is home to a Christian school and a defunct children’s Yeshivah. The surrounding blocks are dotted with shuls and kosher restaurants, everything you would expect in a thriving Jewish neighborhood.
But the three-decade interlude has not brought an end to anti-Semitic attacks against Crown Heights’ residents. Since 2019, there have been 20 anti-Jewish hate crimes in the surrounding 71st precinct, the fourth most for any single NYPD precinct. That includes multiple incidents of aggressive harassment, three robberies, two assaults, and one instance of "terroristic threats." As before, gangs of roving teenagers still feel comfortable beating Jewish men in broad daylight.
Rosenbaum’s death, and the ensuing riots, ought to have been a watershed for anti-Semitic violence in America. But three decades later it remains commonplace, as this past summer saw renewed aggression against Jews from Crown Heights to Los Angeles. In spite of this spike, however, the reality of anti-Semitic crime continues to receive little notice. Even as tens of thousands rally against other forms of hatred, anti-Semitism remains the blind spot.
In New York, anti-Semitic hate crimes surged this summer after a year of abeyance, with over 120 offenses reported by the end of June. A recently released repeat offender attacked an Orthodox family with a knife; a minivan driver tried to run over five Hasidic men; and four synagogues were vandalized in the Riverdale neighborhood.
The uptick has many fearing a return to the pre-COVID status quo, when a wave of hate crimes made assaults on conspicuously Jewish New Yorkers a weekly or even daily occurrence. The violence culminated in two shocking attacks in the greater New York area: a shooting at a kosher grocery in Jersey City, which left six dead, and then a mass stabbing perpetrated in the home of a Hasidic rabbi in Monsey, N.Y.
Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to that surge by deploying more NYPD patrols and expanding anti-bias education in the city’s schools. Eric Adams, the city’s likely next mayor, has promised a "zero-tolerance" policy for all hate crimes, including anti-Semitic ones.
Media Ghosts of the Crown Heights Riot
Thirty years ago, anti-Semitic violence erupted in Crown Heights, a neighborhood of New York City, as an angry mob of largely black and Caribbean-American residents descended on Lubavitcher Hasidic homes, businesses, and individuals in retaliation for a traffic accident.Video Flashback: Watch the Crown Heights Riots Unfold Through Contemporary Media Coverage
If you read the New York Times in the days that followed, you wouldn't have known.
It wasn't because the paper of record hadn't covered the violence. They had. But their reporting and that of other influential papers at the time was entirely divorced from what we now know occurred, consistently overlooking or obscuring the anti-Semitic nature of the attacks.
On August 19, 1991, a car taking part in a motorcade for Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Lubavitcher Hasidic Jewish movement, struck two Guyanese children in Crown Heights. One child died, and unfounded allegations quickly swirled that Jewish-operated ambulances had abandoned the child to treat Lubavitchers in the vehicle. A crowd formed and quickly turned violent, kicking off what would be four days of violence against the Lubavitcher community.
Rather than report about the aftermath, where protesters chanted "Hitler was right" and shouted "kill the Jew" before stabbing a Jewish man to death, the Times described the event as a "racial melee." The next day, the paper reported that "Blacks and Jews took to the streets of Crown Heights … screaming and taunting, flinging rocks and bottles and slurs" despite the violence and rage having been one-sided with the Lubavitcher community on the receiving end.
This coverage persisted. The definitive history of what the Times got wrong was written by Ari Goldman, a former Times writer who covered the riots, for New York Jewish Week. He recounts how the Times, having settled on a white-versus-black conflict, attempted to give each side identical attention and moral weight, even if the facts simply didn't fit that framing. Readers were left with a caricature of the violence that had unfolded; the complicated, multidimensional ethnic conflict that precipitated it; and unaware of the rampant anti-Semitism indivisible from the violence.
It wasn't just the Times that got the story wrong. A review of press coverage around the incident in 1998 by Holy Cross professor Carol B. Conaway found that other outlets—particularly the New York Post—fell at least initially into the same zero-sum racial framing. As a result, the coverage missed the real story. Newsday ran a flattering piece on Reverend Herbert Daughtry, who wrote to former mayor Ed Koch, "I will state it a thousand times and shout it from the rooftops that the Hasidim of Crown Heights symbolized the oppression to which African people have been subjugated for hundreds of years." Even 25 years later, the New York Daily News referred to the violence as "race riots."
Crown Heights Killer Lemrick Nelson Remains a Free Man
Lemrick Nelson, the black man who murdered 29-year-old Jewish doctoral student Yankel Rosenbaum during the 1991 Crown Heights riots, isn’t easy to find. His name last appeared in the New York press in December 2014, after police found him passed out in a parked car with an open bottle of scotch. Nelson had said he cleaned up his alcohol use, which was blamed for Rosenbaum's death. His murder of Rosenbaum, Nelson said in a 2003 trial, was just a mistake, if not the consequence of his crippling disease.From Anti-Semitic Agitator to Democratic Power Broker: The Preposterous Resurrection of Al Sharpton
For a brief period of his life, Nelson was one of the luckiest men in the city. After he was acquitted in a criminal trial, Nelson faced no consequences for over a decade. Nelson’s murder trial turned into a nationwide spectacle with race baiters and agitators like Al Sharpton and other black church leaders rushing to his defense, simultaneously justifying Rosenbaum’s murder while also arguing his innocence.
The evidence was clear. Rosenbaum identified Nelson as the man who stabbed him in his last hours of life, and police found a knife in Nelson's pocket with blood on it that closely matched Rosenbaum's DNA. Police testified during the trial that Nelson admitted to the crime. But the jury found him not guilty of murder.
Why the jury ruled that way in the face of indisputable evidence remains a subject of debate—some say the prosecution botched the case, but others point to bias on the jury. According to the New York Times, jurors were seen "[hugging] and [kissing]" Nelson at a dinner organized by his attorney the day after he was proclaimed innocent.
New York mayor David Dinkins, the city’s first black mayor, declared that the city's criminal justice system "operated fairly and openly" in a speech following the verdict. His conduct following the verdict indicated, as New York Magazine explained in December 1992, Dinkins's belief "that it is necessary to accommodate black rage."
Much of the media viewed Nelson’s conduct through this ideological prism. A reporter at the Times wrote that the violence against Jews that took place in Crown Heights was the result of "rage" of New York blacks whose "grievances were not the well-articulated ones of the middle class." Another similarly wrote in April 1992 that the arrest of a suspect in Rosenbaum’s murder "served only to expose the scars left from the racial violence last summer," indicating that the community's Jewish population shared the blame.
Hours after the New York attorney general released a scathing report on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D., N.Y.) serial sexual harassment of female subordinates, the tainted "Luv Guv" sought advice from one of the Democratic Party's most influential talking heads.Is Criticizing Israel Antisemitic? | Antisemitism, Explained | Unpacked
"Al, I'm telling you this is all a setup," Cuomo reportedly told Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime supporter. "You know setups when you hear them."
Sharpton leveled with his old friend, and refused to publicly defend him against the report's damning allegations. A week later, Cuomo announced his resignation.
In any event, Sharpton would have been too busy to ply his trade on the governor's behalf. The so-called civil rights leader and bon vivant was getting ready to board a private jet to Martha's Vineyard, where he would be among the celebrity attendees at former president Barack Obama's 60th birthday party.
In almost every respect, and in social status and physical stature in particular, the Al Sharpton of 2021 bears little resemblance to the Al Sharpton who, three decades earlier, was schlepping his way through Crown Heights in a shiny tracksuit while inciting one of the worst outbursts of anti-Semitic violence in modern American history.
"Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid," Sharpton fumed in his eulogy for Gavin Cato, a black child accidentally killed by a Jewish driver in August 1991, sparking several days of violent unrest. "All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffeeklatsch, no skinnin' and grinnin'."
Absent from Sharpton's eulogy was any mention of Yankel Rosenbaum, the 29-year-old Jewish scholar from Australia who, just days earlier, was severely beaten and stabbed to death by a mob of rioters shouting, "Get the Jew!" A banner displayed at the funeral reportedly read, "Hitler did not do the job." More than 150 police officers and 38 civilians were injured in the riots, which caused millions of dollars' worth of property damage. At the time, Sharpton told the New York Times that critics accusing him of anti-Semitism were "trying to turn the victim into the victimizer."
Is criticizing Israel anti-Jewish? Not necessarily. Israel—like all countries—is, and should be, subject to political criticism over its conduct. However, in many places where it is unacceptable to openly hate Jews, it is respectable to criticize the Jewish state, and so some bigots will say their problem is with Israel, when their real problem is with Jews. Here's how to tell the difference between the good faith critics and the bad faith bigots.
Im Tirtzu: Israel's Legal Rights in Judea & Samaria
Lt. Col. Maurice Hirsch, former Head of IDF Military Prosecution for Judea & Samaria and current Director of Legal Strategies for Palestinian Media Watch, explains why Israel has legal rights to Judea & Samaria.
Honest Reporting: The Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik Controversy: HonestReporting CEO Sets Record Straight in TV Debate
Israel’s Supreme Court has yet to render a final verdict on the possible eviction of several Palestinian families from properties claimed by Jews in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik. Recently, the court suggested a compromise: that is, Palestinian residents would be granted “protected status,” a designation that would effectively prevent their potential removal in the “coming years.”
In return, individuals from the four families in question would be allowed to stay for two decades while paying a small — essentially symbolic — rent fee of 1500 NIS per year ($465) to the Jewish trusts that owned the land before Israel’s establishment in 1948 and petitioned for the houses’ return.
HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz was invited by ILTV to debate the matter that has garnered widespread international media attention.
Another chapter in BBC campaigning on Silwan
Predictably, no effort is made to inform audiences of the political agenda of ‘Ir Amim’. Neither are viewers told anything about the history of the al Bustan area of Silwan or the specifics of the long-running efforts made by the Jerusalem municipality to resolve the problem of illegal construction on a recognised antiquities site and their rejection by residents. Those significant omissions mean that this filmed report does not in fact meet the supposed aim expressed in its title of informing viewers why demolitions are now taking place in Silwan.CUNY and the Warfare of Academic Antisemitism
BBC: “Some Palestinians have pulled down their own houses to avoid being charged for their demolition. Amani couldn’t bring herself to do that.”
Odeh: “It’s not related to stone. It’s more related to who I am. There is no other choice for us. It’s our identity to define our own lands. Even if we have to build a tent instead of each house, we will build a tent and stay in the tent. I believe that it’s my right to stand for my children’s right to live in Silwan.”
In May the BBC began to produce serially incomplete and politically partial reporting on the topic of the property dispute in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah (see ‘related articles’ below) which – like Hamas – it continues to present as one of the factors behind the conflict instigated by Hamas that month.
While the Silwan neighbourhood has been featured in BBC reporting on numerous occasions in the past, since late June audiences have seen augmented coverage of that topic with this latest superficial filmed report by Zlatopolskai coming just six days after multiple reports by another BBC staffer.
Clearly the BBC is very much invested in the one-sided political campaign run by local residents and assorted NGOs to which it has chosen to lend its worldwide outreach.
With both strategic and cynical shrewdness, Palestinian BDS advocates and supportive American far-left “social justice” proponents have assiduously worked to identify their two causes with each other. Jews have been identified as Europeans with “white privilege,” and Palestinians as both indigenous and people of color who have been socially marginalized and politically oppressed. Israel’s alliances with the US are thus said to implicate white, settler-colonial Israel with American racism. People of color and other empathetic Americans who genuinely desire universal social justice are then told that “the Palestinian struggle is our struggle.” As a tactical matter, proponents of such thinking, as do all perpetrators of big lies, rely on the short memories and low information of those whose passions they manipulate.New Israel-Hating Curriculum Coming to California Schools
This is now the cause spreading across academia. In California, for instance, new ethnic studies curricula, at both the college and K-12 levels, have been hotly debated — significantly over their marginalization of the historic, liberal Civil Rights movement (including omission of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and villainizing treatment of Zionism. With the most extreme version defeated and revised for California’s K-12, its proponents, The Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute now peddle their indoctrination to individual school boards, labeling Jewish groups that fought back “right wing demagogues and lobbyists.”
At universities, typical now is this statement by the “Gender Studies Departments In Solidarity With Palestinian Feminist Collective,” signed by over 50 departments, including at Berkeley, NYU, and Rutgers. It includes the same antisemitic “settler colonial” denials of incontrovertible Jewish history, the same misrepresentations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the repeated and embarrassing, grossly unscholarly political simplifications.
All of the above is to be found in the CUNY PSC resolution, which is so blatantly dishonest as to start its account of events of the Hamas-Israel war on May 15, 2021, three days after Hamas fired 1,000 untargeted rockets into Israel, killing eight people.
But the malice doesn’t end there.
When an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) was unanimously adopted in March by the California Board of Education, some members of the Jewish community pushed for various modifications and ultimately supported it. Now, the very people who authored earlier versions of the curriculum so explicitly anti-Semitic they were unable to pass it, are now pushing a "Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum" that contains even more extreme prescriptions.“Equity’s Inequity” Demonstrators say actors’ union helped escalate “upsurge in antisemitism in the UK”
Their website promotes a curriculum "toolkit" that refers to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Community Resource (sic) Council (JCRC), and Simon Wiesenthal's Museum of Tolerance as "Zionist organizations" whose "primary goal is to stunt the development of authentic anti-racist curriculum." They define Zionism as a "colonial ideology," claim that there is "current apartheid in Israel" and that Israel's "settler colonialism" must be included in California's ethnic studies curriculum.
What makes Israel an appropriate subject for a curriculum that is supposed to be about ethnic groups in the U.S.? The authors subscribe to the conspiracy theory that there are clear "connections between the struggle for Palestinian rights and the struggles of Indigenous, Black and brown communities" in the U.S. California is about to pass a bill mandating Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement, and 14 school districts have already passed resolutions endorsing this anti-Semitic version.
On Tuesday, demonstrators campaigned outside of the headquarters of the actors’ union, Equity, alleging that the union helped to escalate the “upsurge in antisemitism in the UK”.
The protesters, wearing sashes that read “Equity’s Inequity”, said that they represent 300 “usually anonymous theatre-goers, who sit in the dark and applaud” and delivered an open letter to the union condemning its reported association with London’s anti-Israel rallies in May, which were revealed to have been infested with antisemitic chants and signs.
Judith Ornstein, one of the protest’s organisers, said: “How can we enjoy the theatre knowing there are creatives on stage and behind it whose union Equity has made them unsafe?”
Speaking of the “vile antisemitism and violence” that occurred at some of the anti-Israel rallies, Ms Ornstein said that “A union should protect and support its members. All its members.” She added that Paul Fleming, Equity’s General Secretary, “should have made that his priority.”
Ms Ornstein stated that the demonstrators called upon Mr Fleming and Equity President Maureen Beattie “to acknowledge how ill-judged and partisan their intervention has been, and also its role in escalating the upsurge in antisemitism in the UK”.
The open letter said that both Mr Fleming and Ms Beattie should “undertake antisemitism awareness training and rebuild bridges with those union members they have let down”.
Academic with a history of incitement to violence and support for terrorism is behind the current "Globalize The Intifada" campaign.— DigFind (@DigFind_) August 19, 2021
Amin Husain is co-founder of Decolonize This Place @decolonize_this; this group is organised through collective MTL+ which he also co-founded. pic.twitter.com/FluOLiiSa5
Amin Husain and Nerdeen Kiswani (chair of WOL) have been featured by @canarymission for calling for violence and supporting terrorism.— DigFind (@DigFind_) August 19, 2021
In this video from 2016, Husain appear to be advocating for "Jihadis in all the ways possible”
Source: https://t.co/PL6QEuprF7 pic.twitter.com/8AAVD4KlZN
Instagram yanks Noa Tishby's post defending Afghani women's rights
In yet another show of how social media guidelines can be abused when it comes to social justice, Israeli model, actress and pro-Israel advocate Noa Tishby's Instagram post, in which she stated that Sharia law, and by definition the Taliban and Hamas, was oppressive to women, got removed by the networking giant, claiming the post went "against their Community Guidelines," Walla News reported Thursday.
Tishby took to social media to call out the Taliban, a notoriously misogynistic group, for vowing to protect women's rights while adhering to Sharia law that diametrically opposed them.
"Just so we're clear, Sharia law states that a woman is her husband's possession, she can't leave the house unaccompanied by her husband or father," she began. "It says that if a woman is raped, she has to produce four male witnesses in order to validate her claim or she is considered a cheater and can be stoned to death. But the rapist can be redeemed if he does the right thing and marries his victim, as one of his multiple wives, of course.
"It also states that if a woman is disobedient to her husband, he can beat her up. That is Sharia law."
Tishby also criticized celebrities and leaders who missed no opportunity to attack Israel during the latest conflict with Hamas but turned a blind eye when the Taliban, "an extreme Sunni Islamist organization," took over an entire country.
So you’re mad that an Israeli journalist trolled (checks notes) the *Taliban* into having its spokesman get interviewed by a Jew. Talk about misplaced priorities in the outrage hierarchy. https://t.co/TNvt4EgZRZ— Elliott Hamilton (@ElliottRHams) August 19, 2021
Rash of Antisemitic Vandalism in Toronto ‘Extremely Disturbing,’ Says Canadian Jewish Group After Synagogue Defaced
A major Canadian Jewish group called a recent spate of antisemitic acts of vandalism in the Toronto area “extremely disturbing” and urged action on Thursday.Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz to be ‘sent to jail’ after losing appeal
On Wednesday night, a Toronto synagogue was defaced with a swastika, marking another in a series of antisemitic incidents over the course of 24 hours.
Previously, antisemitic graffiti was found on a local school, a sign denouncing antisemitism, and election posters for Jewish political candidates in Montreal.
In the second case, the sign calling for “#nohate against Jews” was defaced with “Free Palestine” and “Zionists aren’t Jews.”
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center President and CEO Michael Levitt said in a statement, “This rash of antisemitic incidents reaffirms what Toronto Police hate crime statistics had revealed, which is that antisemitic attacks are on the rise and the Jewish community continues to be the most victimized group.”
“It’s extremely disturbing to see such anti-Jewish hate be spread across the Greater Toronto Area,” he said. “It’s urgent for all Canadians to reject and call out antisemitism in all its forms and work to eradicate this type of hate from our society.”
“Hate against any one of us is hate against us all,” he asserted.
The blogger was convicted of three charges for posting offensive songs about the Holocaust and handed a suspended jail sentence in May 2018.
Now the Daily Mail reports Chabloz-Tyler has since breached her suspended sentence with raving antisemitic comments as she telephoned in twice as a guest to the podcasts Realist Report and The Graham Hart Show.
The musician reportedly said in the podcasts that Jewish parents are “indoctrinating their children that their grandparents were gassed because they were Jews.”
She also reportedly claimed the Auschwitz gas chambers were fake, and that Jews “were promoting homosexuality, promiscuity, the same things they are promoting today.”
Chabloz-Tyler, of St Johns Wood, Westminster, lost her appeal against conviction of three counts of sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material.
She is set to be sentenced today.
Judge Beddoe, sitting with magistrates, said: “Presently we do not consider that the sentence passed in the court below was sufficient.
“The sentence we will pass will return you to prison, you will be returned to custody and brought back here for the completion of the sentencing exercise.”
Chabloz-Tyler had been banned from broadcasting, posting on the internet or in any form, any reference to Judaism or the Jewish people.
Honestly, this just makes me so sad and angry. The vandalism targeting La'ad Canada's anti-hate ads is antisemitism plain and simple. There's no other way to describe this response to a campaign calling for no hate against Jews. ??1/2 pic.twitter.com/W9ddyR05f8— Ya'ara Saks ???? ??? (@YaaraSaks) August 18, 2021
Weimar: ‘I am sorry for my poor choice of words’
Victoria’s COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar has apologised to Melbourne’s Jewish community after publicly stating that within the St Kilda mystery cluster, “We have accountants, we have architects, we have a sex worker, we have members of the Orthodox Jewish community and a pizza guy who works in a pizza shop.”
Weimar’s comments during Wednesday’s press conference were picked up by several media outlets, and triggered widespread anger from members of the community and state politicians.
Victorian Opposition leader Michael O’Brien lamented, “What was the religion – if any – of the pizza shop worker? We don’t know? Because it is not relevant.”
Caulfield MP David Southwick added, “If this was reported about other religions there would be an uproar.”
In a statement to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) on Thursday afternoon, seen by The AJN, Weimar issued a lengthy apology.
“I am sorry for my poor choice of words yesterday. I was attempting to highlight the sheer diversity and range of people in the St Kilda area who were – through no fault of their own – COVID positive,” he said.
This is inexcusable @Channel7! No other religious group would ever be singled out like this! Why do so for Jews? This is irresponsible and will only inflame hatred and violence against Jews! h/t @CombatASemitism pic.twitter.com/4rbkr84wZz— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 19, 2021
Former UKIP candidate claims wearing yellow star is “ultimate tribute” to Holocaust victims
It has been reported that at a demonstration held outside Westminster yesterday, an anti-vaccination protester claimed that wearing the yellow star that was forced upon Jews during the Holocaust was the “ultimate tribute” to Holocaust victims.
The protester, identified as Jeff Wyatt, wore a yellow star armband with the words “Not Vaccinated” written below, as well as the German translation of “Nicht Geimpft”. “It’s the ultimate tribute – because where we are heading is where the Jews went,” Mr Wyatt reportedly said.
He added: “Bear in mind in the 1930s, the Nazis didn’t just suddenly become the tyrants they were – they slowly had their evil way over the public of Germany. And the Jews, for years and years, said ‘just do what they say’ – and eventually they gassed them.”
The individual is believed to be the same Jeff Wyatt as the former Deputy Leader of the For Britain Movement who stood as a UKIP candidate in Milton Keynes. The For Britain Movement has been described as a “far-right UKIP splinter group” and has been accused of antisemitism and racism.
On a video uploaded to the official YouTube account for UKIP Cambridge & SE Cambs, Mr Wyatt can be seen talking to the camera at an anti-lockdown rally from last year whilst holding a sign that reads “No Gestapo Policing”.
This is not the first time that the yellow star or comparisons to the Nazis have been used by anti-vaccination demonstrators.
.@AboodSwaiti, medical student at @ECUBrodySOM, has a frightening and obscene hatred of Jews.— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) August 19, 2021
???? “Jew bastards”
???? “Zionist run most of our sh*t”
???? “long nose stingy f*ckboys”
Hate has no place in medicine! pic.twitter.com/8qr7Rdni2P
For children of Holocaust survivors, time heals no wounds
Seventy-five years after the Holocaust, descendants of survivors continue to bear great animosity toward Poles who collaborated with the Nazi regime during WWII, a recent survey by Sapir Academic College has found.Japanese foreign minister views Children's Memorial, honorary tree at Yad Vashem
The study, conducted in Israel by Dr. Villy Abraham in cooperation with researchers from the University of Florida, was published a week after Poland adopted a bill preventing Holocaust survivors and their descendants from reinstating property confiscated during the war, igniting the ire of Israeli politicians and Jewish organizations worldwide.
The survey included 240 people, who, as descendants of Holocaust survivors, were gravely affected by Nazi atrocities and, in some cases, continued to experience trauma to this day.
On a scale from one-to-seven, participants ranked their hostility towards Poland at four.
On a scale from one-to-five, they pegged their grief at 3.21.
On a scale from one-to-five, they ranked their curiosity to learn more about the Holocaust at 4.99.
The study revealed a peculiar pattern as to how descendants of survivors view traveling to concentration camps in Poland. It revealed that the greater the animosity among descendants, the less likely they were to visit the sites, even if, in theory, they would want to do so to learn more about the history of the Holocaust.
Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Wednesday.‘A Sign of Faith’ in Jewish German Life: University of Potsdam Opens City’s First Synagogue Since the Holocaust
Motegi toured the current exhibit, "Flashes of Memory: Photography During the Holocaust." He also participated in a memorial ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance and observed the tree planted at the "Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations" in honor of Chiune Sugihara, who died in 1986 at the age of 86.
Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat, the first to have served in Lithuania, during World War II. On his own initiative, he issued handwritten transit visas in 1940 to more than 6,000 Lithuanian Jews, enabling them to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. He continued to do so for more than a month until the Japanese consulate was closed. More than 40,000 descendants of those Jews are believed to be alive today because of his courageous actions.
Motegi also viewed the Children's Memorial, which is a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who were murdered during the Holocaust. The visit concluded with his signing the visitor's book at the Holocaust memorial and museum.
"I wish to express my deepest condolences to the victims and pay tribute to those who, guided by their moral compass, did not remain indifferent in the face of the tragedy of the Holocaust. I pray from the bottom of my heart that such a tragedy will never be repeated," he wrote.
The city of Potsdam opened its first synagogue since the Holocaust on Wednesday, nearly 83 years after the last Jewish house of worship was destroyed by the Nazis. Complementing two rabbinical seminaries, it was the highlight attraction of the day’s opening ceremony of the European Center for Jewish Scholarship at the University of Potsdam.In First, Israeli Avocado Farmers to Grow Superfood in Morocco to Meet Surge in Global Demand
Funded by donations from around the globe, the 40-person-capacity institution’s Shabbat candlesticks, Torah pointer, and Torah shield — with symbols representing the twelve tribes of Israel carved in high relief — were all made in Israel, according to Germany’s Jüdische Allgemeine newspaper.
The building will sit inside the Neues Palais in Palace Park, connecting two seminaries — the Abraham Geiger College and Zacharias Frankel College — with the School of Jewish Theology. The institution currently enrolls about 80 students, the school said, including 31 vying to be cantors or rabbis.
“A synagogue at an academic institute, that’s quite unusual,” said Walter Homolka, Chairman of the Union of Progressive Jews, to the German outlet.
At the opening ceremony of the Center on Wednesday, the Torah scrolls were placed inside the synagogue by Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and Sonja Guenter, President of the European Union of Progressive Jews.
Israel’s largest grower and exporter of citrus is for the first time venturing out of the country to grow avocados, in a move to meet the constantly rising global demand for the tasty superfood.
As ties between the Jewish state and the North African kingdom have continued to deepen since their normalization agreement last year, Mehadrin has entered into a joint venture to grow avocados in Morocco, looking to expand production to Africa and Latin America in the hopes of producing the fruit year-round and at lower costs.
“Planting the avocados in Morocco is part of a larger plan to be able to supply our European customers more easily than from Israel in terms of geography and in terms of more competitive costs,” Shaul Shelach, CEO of Mehadrin, told The Algemeiner. “The strategy to grow avocados outside of Israel will be to have agricultural business in the Southern hemisphere like Africa, and some geographies in Latin America, which will be exactly the opposite part of the year to be harvesting avocados.”
Mehadrin revenues come in large part from growing the profitable avocado crop and citrus, as well as Israel’s prized medjool dates. Over the next decade, the avocado is expected to be the fastest growing commodity of among fresh tropical fruits like mango, pineapple and papaya, as demand continues to outstrip supply.
“Avocado is a superfood and the per capita consumption is growing very fast in the US and in Europe, while at the same time there are very large amounts of planting of avocado also in Israel, in Latin America, and in Africa,” Shelach remarked. “What we experience today is that everyone is running after the avocado, as most of the year, there are some low stocks or shortages of avocados — which is not what will be the case five years from now.”
Hard not to be impressed by #Israel’s incredible contributions to the world ?? on #WorldHumanitarianDay! This clip is from #Dubai where Israeli company @watergen_official has developed tech to literally create water from thin air. ???? ?? pic.twitter.com/2AS6yNTH6P— Emily Schrader - ????? ?????? (@emilykschrader) August 19, 2021
Junior Israeli judokas crowned European champions
Junior Israeli judokas Kerem Primo and Jonathan Wexler were crowned champions on Wednesday in the prestigious Cadet European Championships, held in Latvia.
Kerem Primo, 15, whose 20-year-old sister Geffen is a Judo World Championship bronze medalist, won the gold medal in the under 57-kilogram class.
Judoka Jonathan Wexler, 17, took the gold in the under 60-kg event, with peer Robert Sorkin taking the bronze in the same event.
Chairman of the Israel Judo Association Moshe Ponti told reporters, "These are wonderful achievements that are not accidental. The next generation of judo is following in the footsteps of the current generation and this is the result of many years of in-depth work, a work that creates a promising future for us."
MDA is a world leader in #medical and emergency services.— Magen David Adom (@Mdais) August 19, 2021
While our home base is #Israel, we believe ourselves to be a light unto the nations, and that's why we answer #emergency calls internationally to help people in need. pic.twitter.com/sFNnZYdV25
Israeli astronaut to take 1,900-year-old Bar Kochba revolt coin to space
An ancient coin minted during the Bar Kochba revolt and uncovered recently in a Judean Desert cave will soon make its way to outer space.
Israel’s second-ever astronaut, Eytan Stibbe, has chosen to take the 1,900-year-old coin with him on the Rakia mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for early next year. Stibbe said that he is taking the artifact with him as a symbol of his Jewish heritage.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a statement on Thursday that Stibbe has recently visited the IAA’s Dead Sea Scrolls laboratory in Jerusalem, where he was shown various artifacts, including the coin, as well as 2,000-year-old fragments of the Book of Enoch.
That book tells the story of Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, who ascended to the heavens and was accompanied by angels who showed him the sun, the moon and the stars.
Stibbe ultimately elected to take the coin along, rather than the ancient fragments.
“As part of ‘Rakia’ mission to the International Space Station, I will be taking with me a bag filled with items that have a special meaning to me. It was clear to me that one of these items will be a symbol of Jewish history,” Stibbe said, according to the statement.