Thursday, August 26, 2021

From Ian:

Dozens of Civilians, at Least 12 US Troops Killed in Bloodbath at Kabul Airport
Suicide bombers struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport with at least two explosions on Thursday, causing a bloodbath among civilians and US troops, and bringing a catastrophic halt to the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans desperate to flee.

Two US officials put the US death toll at 12 service members killed, making it one of the deadliest incidents for American troops of the entire 20-year war.

There was no complete toll of Afghan civilians but video images uploaded by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies of people killed in packed crowds outside the airport.

A watery ditch by the airport fence was filled with blood-soaked corpses, some being fished out and laid in heaps on the canal side while wailing civilians searched for loved ones.

Several Western countries said the airlift of civilians was now effectively over, with the United States having sealed the gates of the airport leaving no way out for tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the West through two decades of war.

A Taliban official said at least 13 people including children had been killed in the attack and 52 were wounded, though it was clear from video footage that those figures were far from complete. One surgical hospital run by an Italian charity said it alone was treating more than 60 wounded.

The explosions took place amid the crowds outside the airport who have been massing for days in hope of escaping in an airlift which the United States says will end by Tuesday, following the swift capture of the country by the Taliban.
Israeli leaders condemn ‘horrific’ Kabul airport bombings
Israeli leaders on Thursday night expressed their condolences over the deadly attacks at Kabul airport earlier in the day, which killed at least 72 people and wounded dozens more.

“On behalf of the people of Israel, I share our deep sadness over the loss of American lives in Kabul,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted.

“Israel stands with the United States in these difficult times, just as America has always stood with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the United States,” he added.

Bennett is currently in Washington and was scheduled to meet Thursday with US President Joe Biden, but the meeting was delayed to Friday because of the attack.

“I am shocked and saddened by the horrific terror attack in Kabul,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said.

“The prayers of the people of Israel are with the families of the civilians and soldiers who were murdered today,” Lapid said, adding that “we stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorism.”
Jonathan S. Tobin: Why the Crown Heights Pogrom Still Matters
A look back at the rhetoric used then (and even today by those who seek to minimize or rationalize the anti-Jewish violence) shows that it was primarily focused on the notion that the ultra-Orthodox, and in particular, the Chabad movement, whose members lived in Crown Heights and were the targets of the mob, possessed a degree of “white privilege” that blacks were denied.

This should sound very familiar to us in 2021. In the last year since the death of George Floyd, the idea of white privilege has not only served to justify last year’s riots, committed in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement, but remains key to understanding the dialectic of critical race theory—a toxic patent nostrum that has migrated from the fever swamps of academia to mainstream discourse.

Critical race theory divides us all into groups in which we are either victims or possessors of privilege who benefit from what we are told is structural racism embedded into everything that happens in society. Nor is it an accident that the Black Lives Matter movement and its theorists, like Ibram X. Kendi, are prominent advocates of the notion that Jews, who come in all colors and nationalities, are white, and that the State of Israel is an expression of oppressive white privilege.

Myths about Jewish privilege helped justify an anti-Jewish riot in 1991, even though that was patently absurd since the Jews of Crown Heights had so little privilege that they were not even able to get the city government and police to take their plight seriously for days. But the same myths about privilege and conspiracy theories by latter-day race-baiters helped fuel not only the appalling attacks on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn in 2019, but also the anti-Jewish violence that took place on the streets of American cities in May of this year in reaction to the fighting between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Some may argue that the particular circumstances that created the pogrom in Crown Heights are not likely to recur. The truth is that the same justifications for antisemitic violence used then are no longer relegated to the margins of society, and are now treated as respectable ideas taught on college campuses and given deference by the press and government. A three-day riot against Jews may not be imaginable today, but Americans witnessed weeks of riots in the name of the BLM movement last summer with police similarly unwilling to step in to stop them. Not only is it easy to imagine a new round of Jewish violence in America, we’ve already witnessed it happen again with many Jews as indifferent to it today as they were to what happened in Crown Heights.

That means that not only are we still obligated to remember the events of August 1991, but we should also understand that far from being marooned in a dark past, the lies that helped kill Yankel Rosenblum have actually gained traction among intellectuals and popular culture. We ignore the consequences of legitimizing critical race theory and its advocates at our own peril.
The Tikvah Podcast: Elliot Kaufman on the Crown Heights Riot, 30 Years Later
Thirty years ago, in August 1991, riots broke out in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, a neighborhood shared by African Americans and Jews, the latter of whom were mostly members of the ?asidic Chabad-Lubavitch movement. During the riot, which was sparked by a car accident that killed one young black child and injured another, local black residents attacked Jews on the streets, burned their businesses, and killed one of them, often while chanting anti-Semitic slogans. For three days, local authorities looked on passively.

The episode is a sad one in the history of American Jewish-black relations. This week’s podcast guest believes that if Jews and blacks are to enjoy a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship in the future, as they have in the past, understanding how and why events like the Crown Heights riot came about is essential. Elliot Kaufman did just that in a recent essay for the Wall Street Journal. A Canadian who is too young to remember what happened, Kaufman—in the piece and in this conversation with Mosaic‘s editor, Jonathan Silver—forensically reconstructs what happened in Crown Heights, puts together what it meant at the time, looks at what it teaches us today, and suggests pitfalls that can be avoided so that the two communities can avoid such bitter antagonism.
Melaine Phillips: The state of the Jews in Britain and the world
On a podcast with Jonny Gould for his website Jonny Gould’s Jewish State, we ranged over some of the most noxious confusions of the age. We discussed the fact that, from Margaret Thatcher onwards, Britain’s Conservative party had increasingly forgotten what conservatism was, and how this had led it into some unwitting alliances with the most destructive elements on the left.

I talked about my own Jewish background in London, how my experiences while working at the Guardian shattered my assumptions about politics and also about whether Jews can ever be truly safe in the diaspora. We discussed how the response by Britain’s Jewish community leadership towards venomous prevailing attitudes ranges from supine to venomous in itself; we pondered whether zealotry can ever be good; and I talked about my… interesting relationship with Britain’s tunnel-visioned broadcasters. And we discussed my novel, The Legacy, which deals with antisemitism and fractured diaspora Jewish identity.
Unpacked: Do Jews Cause Antisemitism? | Antisemitism, Explained
It may sound bizarre, but a shockingly large number of people believe that Jews cause themselves to be hated. For centuries, bigots have blamed racial, religious, and sexual minorities for their own persecution. If we're going to beat back antisemitism, we'll need to understand why this claim is so egregiously wrong—logically, historically, and morally.

Dr. Fauci must apologize for comments on Hasidic Jews
COVID remains a global healthcare pandemic. It’s a worldwide problem and continues to wreak havoc on the world. Further complicating the ability to move forward are those who don’t receive the vaccine.

Wrongly, however yesterday on “CBS This Morning” Dr. Anthony Fauci was discussing herd immunity, and said we had over 90% immunity to measles but NYC had “Hassidic Jewish People” who were the cause of the outbreak, by choosing not to vaccinate.

The measles outbrreak has no bearing on Coronavirus vaccinations, but he initmated that it did.

Notably, he did not mention the NY Times headline which said only 28 percent of young blacks in NYC are vaccinated, or multiple studies which show that the biggest vaccine hesitancy is among African-Americans (a vastly larger population than “Hasidic Jews”)

In a time of rising Anti-Semitism in America, one wonders why the need for a leading government official to point the finger at a specific sub-culture of a religious group? The reality is that countless leading Rabbis have discussed the necessity for religious Jews to get vaccinated, including proclaiming religious rulings.

In May, as Forbes reported there were extensive efforts to educate Hasidic Jews on the importance of the vaccine., the official site of the largest Jewish organization in the world writes quite clearly “Guarding your own health doesn’t only make sense, it’s actually a mitzvah. That means that even if you don’t want to do it, for whatever reason, you are still obligated to do so,” and “Assuming that vaccinating when there is a high risk of catching a disease is similar to fleeing from an epidemic, then it’s mandatory for you to do it, and others can be compelled to do so as well.”

Boycott the UN-Sponsored Hate Fest in Durban
Next month, the United Nations will convene its infamous Durban anti-racism conference for the fourth time. Despite the conference's innocuous branding, the event has provided a forum for participants to bash the Jewish state of Israel and revel in antisemitism. The history of the Durban conference is so ugly that it is worth reviewing.

The first conference was held in 2001 in Durban, South Africa. The only true democracy in the Middle East—Israel—was also the only country under discussion at the week-long conference. Iran, Russia, North Korea, Syria and China were all ignored. Nor was any other country with actual human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities called out.

While the declaration from that conference following U.S. and European pressure included "concern [with] the increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in various parts of the world, as well as the emergence of racial and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities," at the conference itself, speech after speech was dedicated to the demonization of Israel. Founder of the PLO terrorist organization Yasser Arafat decried the "ugliness" of "Israeli racist policies and practices against the Palestinian people." Arafat's rhetoric included every slanderous accusation, including calling Israel "a racist colonialist conspiracy of aggression, forced eviction, usurpation of land, and infringement upon Christian and Islamic holy places," and a "colonialist challenge against international legitimacy...moved by a mentality of superiority that practices racial discrimination, that adopts ethnic cleansing and transfer." To this day we hear echoes of Arafat's hateful language from those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish state.

Others who joined the anti-Israel chorus included Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who condemned what he called a "dreadful genocide perpetrated, at this very moment, against our Palestinian brothers." Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi opined that "the most vivid manifestation of institutionalized racism is Zionism" and accused Israel of "unabated killings and massacre of innocent Palestinians" and "the destruction of entire Palestinian villages."

Kharrazi went on to belittle the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust. He described those events as the "oppression of the Jewish people in Europe during the Second World War" so as to compare the Holocaust to "today's Islamophobia, anti-Arabism and anti-Palestinian practices."
Pro-Israel lawyers urge European countries to drop 'antisemitic' UN conference
The letter, addressed to UN ambassadors and foreign ministers, explains that the original intention of the "World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance," first held in South Africa in 2001, was to present a united global front against racism.

"The conference descended into an infamous hotbed of unbridled Jew-hatred, antisemitism and vilification of the State of Israel," the ILF wrote. "It revived the ‘Zionism is Racism’ slur, outrageously claimed Israel is an ‘apartheid state’, distorted the Holocaust and made numerous Nazi analogies. It also became the birthplace and catalyst of the modern Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Movement, which seeks the destruction of the State of Israel as its ultimate goal."

Countries receiving the letter include Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Each of those countries also adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. The ILF argues that the Durban conference's process and practices are in contradiction to this definition. Consequently, the states are morally obligated to withdraw from the event.

Three countries (Italy, Bulgaria and Poland) pulled out of the UN's 10th anniversary of Durban in 2011, but are thus far remaining for the upcoming one.

In July, Germany announced it will not attend the UN event.

The Durban IV Conference is slated to take place on September 22 in Manhattan.
‘Zionism Is Racism’ Myth Revived in New York Times News Articles, Including an ‘Extremely Weird’ One
On Tuesday another Times news article, which, like the first one, carried the byline of Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Patrick Kingsley, paraphrased Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of Al Aqsa Mosque: “The de facto change in policy is just part of a larger pattern of slights against Palestinian dignity across the occupied territories, he said.” Then came a direct quotation: “This is the prevalent reality, not only at the Aqsa Mosque, but also at checkpoints and other places in Palestine,” he said. “We face constant racist discrimination and infringement on our human rights.”

Again, the reference to “constant racist discrimination” won’t be lost on an American audience of progressive Times readers educated to be antiracist in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. One could say it’s just a quote, not the Times itself, but the Times chooses which quotes to use and whether to frame them with context and fact-checking cluing readers in to reality. And a pattern is a pattern.

Racism and segregation are wrong. The application of this American framework to Israel is also wrong: clumsy, misguided, and inaccurate, as are similar efforts to view Israel and the Palestinians through the lens of South Africa and apartheid. Those who apply it often do it one-sidedly; they don’t ask, for example, why it’s not “discrimination” for Ben & Jerry’s to refuse to sell ice cream to Jewish residents of the West Bank.

The second article, about Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, has additional flaws. It says, “To many Palestinians, the shift is provocative and unfair. They feel that Muslims have already made a big concession at the Western Wall, which is now used mostly by Jewish worshipers despite its also being important to Muslims. In 1967, Israel even razed an Arab neighborhood beside the wall to create more space for Jewish prayer.”
Dutch Lawmaker Finally Confronts Anti-Jewish Violence From the Palestinian Authority
HonestReporting has written extensively about Palestinian riots in the Samaria region of the West Bank that have been ongoing for over 100 days (see here, here, and here). Last week, the perpetrators from the Palestinian village of Beita on two occasions set fire to a makeshift wooden swastika embedded within a Jewish Star of David.

Our research subsequently revealed that the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) and its ruling Fatah faction are actively supporting these antisemitic extremists:
In another sign of high-level Fatah involvement, Mahmoud al-Aloul (“Abu Jihad”), [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas’ deputy, on June 12 headed an official delegation to Beita. Two weeks later, the senior official even participated in the night confusion activities. Footage distributed by Fatah shows al-Aloul marching with a torch. …

On June 24, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh visited the West Bank town. “Our presence here is not only symbolic, but practical,” Shtayyeh said. Accordingly, on July 5, the PA cabinet allocated NIS 3,124,000 (approximately USD 950,000) “to support the steadfastness of the citizens.”

That same day, Mahmoud Abbas invited representatives from Beita — including the families of “martyrs” — to his presidential headquarters in Ramallah. During the meeting, a video of which was posted to an official PA Facebook page, Abbas reportedly called Beita “the icon of popular resistance in Palestine.”

Sadly, nations that support Ramallah financially and diplomatically have remained silent. As of August 23, no country had sent an official demarche to the PA, or issued a public statement slamming the riots.

This, even though 11 EU diplomats, as well as those from the United Kingdom and Norway, recently paid a “solidarity” visit to Beita to oppose purported Israeli “settler violence” and the “worrying establishment of an illegal settlement outpost” called Evyatar that had already been evacuated in accordance with a government-backed deal.
Report: Canada's Green Party embraces politician who likened Israel to Nazi Germany
The Canadian Green Party has nominated a candidate for a Nova Scotia riding who was dropped by the country's New Democratic Party in 2019 for a tweet comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

In a series of social media posts from 2018, Rana Zaman blamed Israel for the deaths of Palestinian rioters, including also saying that Israel committed genocide against the Palestinians.

"If Israel is so advanced, then why can't they avoid shooting defenseless paramedics and journalists, unless they're killing innocent people deliberately! Israel's injustice and arrogance can no longer be defended and people are wise to Israel's tired old rhetoric," she tweeted on June 4, 2018.

On Tuesday, Zaman tweeted an announcement that she was the Green Party's candidate for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, the same district in which she was the NDP's candidate in 2019.

According to CTV News, Zaman apologized for her anti-Israel tweets shortly after she was lambasted for them, stating that her statements were "inappropriate, hurtful and sadly may be perceived as antisemitic."
California Appropriations Committee must reject the ethnic-studies bill
California’s Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote this week on AB 101, a bill that would require the state’s students to take a one-semester course in ethnic studies in order to receive their high school diplomas.

The bill may sound benign and even beneficial. But in fact, it’s dangerous. If enacted, AB 101 would permit local school districts to use the ethnic studies curriculum of their choosing. The ones developed in California so far have been anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. If any of them are used, high-schoolers will be encouraged to hate Israel and Jews based on lies—something that should be intolerable to us all, including the appropriations committee.

Take the first draft of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) that was under consideration in California in 2019. Jews were barely acknowledged as an ethnic group. According to the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, which opposed the draft, excluding Jews was purposeful and reflected the prejudice of the drafters.

Among its many failings, the draft included a glossary defining seemingly every “phobia” and “ism” under the sun, including terms we had never heard of. But it excluded “anti-Semitism,” which is a glaring and unacceptable omission in a state that year after year has one of the highest reported numbers of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States.

The draft also promoted the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel BDS movement, as well as misrepresented its goal—namely, of eradicating the State of Israel. The draft’s glossary defined BDS as “a social global movement that currently aims to establish freedom for Palestinians living under apartheid conditions.”

Encouraging students to believe that Israel is imposing apartheid conditions on Palestinian Arabs is outrageous and offensive. There are approximately 2 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel, with full and equal rights. They serve in the Knesset and on the judiciary, and work alongside Jews and others in Israeli hospitals, universities and businesses.
University of Toronto Student Union Reverses Decision, Again Endorses ‘One-Sided’ Letter Calling for End of Israel Trips
A Jewish student group at the University of Toronto said Wednesday it was “deeply disappointed” in the school’s student union, following news that it had again voted to sign an open letter accusing Israel of “genocide” and demanding the cancellation of trips to Israel.

The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) July 25 decision, reported Sunday by campus newspaper The Varsity, reversed a prior vote to abandon its endorsement of the controversial letter, which came after criticism that it alienated Jewish and Israeli students on campus.

Rob Nagus, Director of Hillel at University of Toronto, told The Algemeiner Wednesday that the organization was “deeply disappointed by the UTSU’s decision to endorse such a one-sided letter.”

“The UTSU has a responsibility to support all students on campus, including the many Jewish students who feel entirely unrepresented by the union’s position,” he said. “Canada’s Jewish community is the most frequently targeted religious minority in the country, and especially those on campus, have experienced an alarming increase in vile vitriol in recent months.”

“As the school year quickly approaches, we call on the UTSU and the university administration to take immediate steps to ensure Jewish students are heard and represented at the University of Toronto.”

Spike Lee to re-edit documentary featuring antisemitic 9/11 conspiracy theorist
Spike Lee has announced that he is re-editing the final episode of his new HBO documentary series about New York, following reports of early media screenings that criticized the Oscar-winning filmmaker for prominently featuring a conspiracy theorist who has entertained antisemitic ideas.

“New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021½,” a four-part documentary examining the character of the city in the 21st century, began airing Sunday on HBO.

In its original cut, the final episode, which had been scheduled to air on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, featured extensive interviews with members of the conspiracy group, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

Lee did not specify whether he would cut the segment featuring the group or what other changes might be in the works.

“I’m Back In The Editing Room And Looking At The Eighth And Final Chapter Of ‘NYC EPICENTERS 9/11-2021½,’” Lee said in a statement released by HBO, and provided to Variety. “I Respectfully Ask You To Hold Your Judgement Until You See The FINAL CUT.”

The announcement followed articles in The New York Times and Slate about Lee’s flirtation with 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Slate in its article critical of Lee focused on the interview space devoted to Richard Gage, the leader of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. At a 2012 event, Gage appeared to endorse the suggestion by another participant that Israel was behind the terror attack. He regularly appears on podcasts where conspiracies about Jews and the Holocaust are common.

At the Guardian, everything in Israel is political
Further, as our colleague Gilead Ini persuasively argued in an essay published last year, even the most benign reference to, yet alone praise of, Israeli cuisine or street food often elicits hateful reactions by online activists and even journalists. As Ini aptly observed, in addition to the charge that what’s called ‘Israeli food’ merely ‘cultural appropriates’ traditional Palestinian or Arab foods, the criticism is also rooted in something far darker: a broader campaign to deny the humanity of its Jewish citizens.

And, this gets to the heart of the matter.

The CST’s Dave Rich wrote the following in a 2016 op-ed about the antisemitism problem in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, but it’s also relevant in the context of the media’s frequent insistence that, unlike in other regions of the world, everything in Israel is political:
The basic idea behind most modern antisemitism is that Jews must be up to something. Whatever Jews say and do can’t be taken at face value: they must have some ulterior motive or hidden agenda that needs to be uncovered.

Similarly, when Israelis excel at protecting their population from the ravages of COVID, the story isn’t about the state’s efficient and innovative healthcare system that other countries can learn from, but about a racist decision to prioritise the health of their own citizens over that of the Palestinians. Talented Israelis dancers from the Batsheva Dance Company aren’t merely performing their art in London, but are complicit in a process of hoodwinking audiences into ‘believing’ Israeli is a normal country. Tel Aviv’s internationally renowned Pride Parade isn’t a rare example in the Middle East of acceptance towards LGBT communities, but a PR campaign orchestrated by Jerusalem and its supporters to whitewash the occupation.

The same impulse which, as Rich explained, is continually in search of Jews’ ‘true’ motives and insists that Jews must constantly demonstrate their loyalty and virtue similarly informs the Manichean framing of Israeli behavior, one which reduces every interaction, endeavor or opinion – be it quotidian or profound – to how it impacts the Palestinians. As with the former, the latter is a test designed so that the pupil will fail.
US Jewish Group Asks Jack Dorsey to Enforce Twitter Ban on Accounts Linked to Hezbollah, Hamas
A Tuesday letter from the head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to end the presence of accounts on the social media platform linked to US-designated terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

“I write to you today to raise concerns about a gap in Twitter’s enforcement of its stated policies toward accounts linked to US-designated terrorist groups that exploit social media to incite antisemitism and deadly attacks,” wrote ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

“These accounts should be removed for representing terrorist organizations, for glorifying violence and terrorist groups, and for spreading hate speech or other harmful disinformation, all in violation of Twitter’s most basic stated policies on these issues,” he argued.

Greenblatt said that despite Twitter previously deleting the account of the Hezbollah affiliate Al-Manar, at the request of a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, it continued to host an account for Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV, which boasts over half a million followers.

He also flagged another Hezbollah media outlet, al-Nour Radio, and two accounts attributed to Palestine TV, which according to the State Department is run by Islamic Jihad terror group.

“These Twitter accounts are expressly for the purpose of promoting stories from media outlets serving terrorist organizations that propagate horrific antisemitism on their media platforms,” Greenblatt wrote.
Suspect in Stabbing of Boston Rabbi to Be Arraigned on Nine Counts
The suspect in the stabbing of a Boston rabbi last month in what is believed to be an antisemitic hate crime will be arraigned on nine counts on Thursday, including violating his victim’s constitutional rights.

Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was stabbed outside a Jewish day school in Brighton, a suburb of Boston. His attacker, Khaled Awad, was caught by security cameras committing the attack, and arrested shortly after by police.

Noginski was stabbed nine times in the assault, suffering serious wounds to his chest and arm, but is recovering well.

Awad appears to have cased the school, having been filmed in proximity to the institution the day before the attack.

The Boston Herald reported that among the charges Awad is facing in Suffolk Superior Court are several counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds, and violating Noginski’s constitutional rights.

He was previously arraigned on hate crimes charges in July, in Brighton Division of Boston Municipal Court

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins commented Wednesday, “This act of violence nearly killed the victim. But it also traumatized the entire Jewish community and deeply impacted the people of Brighton.”

Former friends of Noginski have testified that he was a violent antisemite.
Fifth suspect arrested in murder of Denver yeshiva student
The fifth suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Denver, Colorado yeshiva student Shmuli Silverberg was arrested on Wednesday night, Yeshiva World News reported.

Samuel Robert Fussell, 18, will likely be charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree auto theft, felony menacing, first-degree burglary and felony menacing.

Four other suspects are already in custody for the shooting death of Silverberg.

The four, all young men between the ages of 18 and 21, are suspected of multiple shootings and carjackings in the area. They face charges of murder, burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated motor vehicle theft, menacing and assault.

Silverberg, 19, was shot and killed on the night of August 17 in front of the dormitories of Yeshiva Toras Chaim when a vehicle pulled up and an assailant opened fire from inside, striking and killing the young man.

The fatal shooting was part of a deadly crime spree, which began with a carjacking without injuries, a second carjacking and a shooting, and then the third shooting.
Jewish couple believes they were targeted after burned cross found in yard
A New Mexico family believes they were targeted recently because of their Jewish faith. Last week, they found a burned cross in the yard of their Mountainair home.

Tom and Merrie Bigham moved to Mountainair just over a year and a half ago. They say it’s been an adjustment settling into the small New Mexico town. “We don’t belong to any temple right now here in Mountainair,” said Merrie Bigham. “It’s important because we’ve never really experienced this before.”

However, their quiet living took a dark turn last week. An early morning walk last Thursday gave them quite the surprise. “I let the dog out every morning and then I went out the door,” said Tom Bigham. “I went straight out and there was a burned cross in the yard.”

They called the Mountainair Police Department to make a report, and while there are no leads as to who is responsible, the Bighams have their suspicions. The Jewish couple believes they were targeted because of their faith and the police report suggests it’s being looked into as a hate crime. Tom says they’ve even gotten the FBI involved.

“He walked around with me, he took some pictures,” said Tom. “I don’t feel safe here at all.”

The Bighams say it’s not the first problem they’ve had since moving to Mountainair. They say they put up a fence after issues with someone routinely flashing their headlights at the home, both day and night.
Jewish Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii harassed and targeted with antisemitic flyers by protesters
The State of Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor, Josh Green, has reportedly been harassed and targeted with antisemitic flyers by demonstrators protesting COVID-19 restrictions.

One of Hawaii’s recent changes that have come into effect is that state and county workers must show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly tests. It has been reported that Mr Green is also considering people wishing to enter restaurants, gyms, and other indoor venues to provide proof of vaccination.

Since the announcement of the mandate concerning state and county workers earlier this month, protesters have gathered outside Mr Green’s condominium building almost nightly, where the Lieutenant Governor lives with his wife and two children, aged 14 and 10.

Some protesters have been yelling into bullhorns and shining strobe lights into some of the condominium apartments. Others have been posting flyers that feature a photo of Mr Green and the words “fraud” and “Jew” around his neighbourhood. The Lieutenant Governor has been tearing them down himself and handing them to the state attorney general’s office.

“They should protest me at my place of work, where I’m the Lieutenant Governor,” Mr Green said. “But it’s different than flashing a strobe light into a 90-year-old woman’s apartment or a strobe light into a family’s apartment, where they have two kids under age four.”
Four Attacks on Jews Now Linked to Suspect Still Wanted by London Police
London Metropolitan Police police said Tuesday that as many as four unprovoked attacks against Jews were perpetrated within a matter of hours by the same suspect, who remains at large.

In the first incident reported to police, a 64-year-old Orthodox Jewish victim was on his way to synagogue before being struck by the unidentified man at around 8:30 pm on August 18. The victim was knocked to the ground, and was hospitalized with facial injuries and a broken foot.

Police said Tuesday they are linking at least two other incidents to the same man, who was dressed in traditional Muslim garb.

At 6:41 pm, a 30-year-old Jewish victim was struck on the head with a bottle while standing on the street. The Stamford Hill Jewish security force Shomrim released footage of the incident, calling it “yet another racially motivated assault.”

About 30 minutes later, a 14-year-old boy was “approached and assaulted without warning” while walking in Holmdale Terrace N15.

Met Police officers also said that they had been informed of a fourth victim from the same day who has yet to contact authorities.

“Anyone who recognizes the man, or who witnessed the assault and is yet to speak with officers, is asked to come forward,” police said of the suspect. “Crimes of this nature will not be tolerated.”

How 2 Jewish Sisters Built a Cultural Oasis During World War II
Midway through “The Sisters of Auschwitz,” Roxane van Iperen’s book on two Dutch Jewish sisters who aided dozens of people during World War II, there is a moment of merriment that one doesn’t usually expect from a Holocaust narrative.

In a neighborhood “crawling with fascists,” she writes, the sisters, Janny and Lien Brilleslijper, organized a celebration of Yiddish culture at their countryside estate in Naarden, about 30 minutes from Amsterdam.

“There is dance, music, song and recitation,” van Iperen writes. “Simon drums, Puck plays the violin and Jaap builds Kathinka a little piano. Lien uses the death mask for a Yiddish story.” The attendees “quietly dissolve into the night — without a single Nazi, German soldier or overzealous neighbor even noticing they were there.”

How did this take place in 1943, during the most lethal phase of Jewish deportations from the Netherlands to extermination camps? “Luck, I guess. A lot of luck,” van Iperen said in an interview. “For a short while, nothing was very public, and after a while, people knew, the milkman and the baker knew, but for one reason or another they chose to keep silent.”

Van Iperen now lives in that house, whose name, ’T Hooge Nest, or the High Nest, appears on its facade. That was also the Dutch title of her book, which was published by Lebowski Publishers in 2018. It became a best seller in the Netherlands, spending more than 130 weeks on the national Bestseller 60 list.

On Tuesday, Harper Paperbacks is publishing it in the United States with an English-language translation by Joni Zwart, and it is slated for release in at least 11 other countries.

When van Iperen moved into the house in 2012 with her husband and three children, she was working as a corporate lawyer in Amsterdam and writing on the side. Her first book, “Schuim der Aarde” (“Scum of the Earth”), a novel, was published in 2016. But when she began renovations, the house started to speak to her.

“We tear away carpets and in almost each room we discover trap doors in the wooden floors, hiding places behind old paneling,” she writes in her preface. “There we find candle stumps, sheet music, old resistance newspapers.”

Then van Iperen started hearing rumors. Some people said the High Nest had been a Dutch Nazi stronghold; others said the resistance had been based there. Unsure what to believe, she delved into local archives and discovered the story of the Brilleslijper sisters.
The Hasidic Rebbe Who Helped Defeat Napoleon
The old, sloping Jewish cemetery in Haditch, Ukraine, is one of those rare windows into the past. Look out from the hilltop, as I did recently, and a vista nearly unchanged in two centuries opens up below. During the winter you’ll see a frozen, grassy clearing dotted with barren birch trees descending to the banks of the placid Psel River. There, at the bottom and to the right, sits the original red brick mausoleum of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), the Alter Rebbe.

The founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, Rabbi Schneur Zalman lived and taught in White Russia all his life. How he came to rest in central Ukraine’s Poltava region, 600 kilometers south of Liadi, is part of the dramatic tale of the Hasidic master’s last journey in this world. It is also the story of a Jewish leader who, during the great and terrible year of 1812 confronted and ultimately helped to destroy Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of the French and torchbearer of the Revolution, changing the trajectory of Jewish history and with it the world.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman was born in 1745 in the White Russian town of Liozna. As a young married man, he traveled to the Volhynian town of Mezritch where he first met the Baal Shem Tov’s successor, Rabbi Dovber, the great Maggid of Mezritch, becoming one of his leading students. In the aftermath of the Maggid’s death in 1772, his students divided Eastern Europe into spheres within which each one would continue the work of spreading the Baal Shem Tov’s message.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s territory was Lithuania, White Russia, and eastern Ukraine. It was here that, expounding upon the core ideas of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid, he developed a comprehensive intellectual framework for exploring the unity of God as it manifests itself in the world and man. It was among the Jews of this vast territory that his vision of the “mind’s dominion over the heart” first gained hold, and among them and their descendants that he came to be known simply as the Alter Rebbe, the Old Rebbe.

By 1812, the eve of Napoleon’s world-historic invasion of Russia, the Alter Rebbe’s name as a mystic and Halachic authority was well known. Just 14 years earlier he had been imprisoned on false treason charges in St. Petersburg, and his subsequent vindication and release by Czar Pavel on the 19th of Kislev was celebrated far and wide.

Despite his own suffering at the hands of the Russian Empire, when the emperor’s eastward designs became clear that summer, the Alter Rebbe announced his unconditional opposition to Napoleon. He was, writes biographer Andrew Roberts, “the Enlightenment on horseback.” He was the apex of the French Revolution, heralding the dawn of modernity and rule by, in the words of French historian François Furet, “the force of ideology and … the militants who embodied it.” Far more than simply a reflection of Russian Jewry’s broader loyalty to the czarist order, the Alter Rebbe saw in Napoleon an unprecedented threat to God’s world.


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