Friday, September 03, 2021

From Ian:

Should’ve Kept Those Jews
The results, though, were arguably much worse for the expellers than the expelled. The journalist Lucette Lagnado, who herself fled with her family from Egypt, described what happened as a “cultural Holocaust.” The Jews were often multilingual business owners, with ties to Western countries and economies. The Jews had made Arab societies more open, and their departures brought with them significant losses in human capital and connectivity to the rest of the world, with damaging consequences for Arab economic development.

Another nation that lost out because of how it treated its Jews was the Soviet Union. The Communist regime mistreated, discriminated against, and imprisoned its Jews, leading them to clamor for expatriation. The era of glasnost and the fall of the USSR led more than 1 million Jews to leave in the late 1980s and 1990s for Israel, where they have helped create Israel’s “Startup Nation” economic miracle. Israeli tech leaders with Soviet origins include Demisto’s Slavik Markovich, Twistlock’s Dima Stopel, Luminate Security’s Leonid Belkind, Guardicore’s Pavel Gurvich, and Lightricks’s Zeev Farbman. Another Soviet Jew, Sergey Brin, came to America and cofounded Google.

Even North America, for all the benefits it has provided its Jews, is not immune to this negative development. In the 1970s, Canadian Jews, wary of the Québécois movement and its less-than-friendly attitude toward Jews, left Montreal for Toronto. An estimated 10,000 Jews decamped from Montreal to Toronto from 1976 to 1985. They weren’t the only ones. Many non-Jewish Anglophones left, too, and a number of major financial institutions relocated as well. The institutions did not openly admit that the Québécois challenge led to their moves, but the reason for the Jewish migration was clear. As the late political scientist Stephen Clarkson wrote in Uncle Sam and Us: Globalization, Neoconservatism, and the Canadian State, “no one denied that Montreal lost a large part of its anglophone, and particularly its Jewish population which emigrated westward to what they felt were politically safer sites.” Toronto has surpassed Montreal in population and GDP and is now Canada’s leading city.

Despite the problematic recent rise of anti-Semitic violence, America today is clearly nowhere near emulating these previous examples. Yet, as the Canada experience shows, Jews are willing to move not only between nations but within nations if they feel the need. The three states with the largest Jewish populations at the start of the twentieth century were New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. New York remains at the top, but California and Florida are now second and third, respectively. These shifts came largely because of the attractions of better weather and economic opportunity, but future shifts could result from more negative reasons. Should Jews feel unprotected in urban environments where public officials don’t take anti-Semitic incidents seriously, they might begin leaving those areas for more welcoming places.

The new hate crimes figures, as well as the recent and insufficiently denounced anti-Semitic incidents, are worrisome to the Jewish community, and should be disturbing to the nation as a whole. America’s Jews will continue monitoring the situation closely. It doesn’t take concentration camps or expulsion orders to send Jews looking for happier pastures. All that’s needed is for a government and its police forces to look away as Jews get attacked in the streets. We should all hope that the day never comes when the U.S. has to say, as other countries said before it, “We should have kept those Jews.”
Melanie Phillips: When lunatics control the academic asylum
The vicious doctrine of “intersectionality,” which links different categories of “victims” together and demonises their purported “oppressors” such as white people, men or those who believe in biological differences between men and women, also targets Zionism and the Jews.

Those who support Zionism often find themselves “cancelled.” That’s because the Marxist dogma of identity politics divides people into powerful and powerless according to crude economic or political status.

Consequently, tiny, besieged Israel is viewed as a white oppressive country (even though the majority of its people are brown or even black-skinned) simply because it’s considered a western nation, has a powerful military (albeit solely for its defence) and is supported by America. So on account of these supposed “crimes,” its supporters are targeted for vilification, too.

Andrew Pessin, a philosophy professor at Connecticut College and a Jew, experienced this in 2015 when he was falsely accused of having dehumanised the Palestinians by supporting Israel during its 2014 war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Branded a racist peddling “hate speech,” he was subjected to death threats and antisemitic abuse and forced to take medical leave from teaching for two years.

Now he has fashioned his experiences into a literary weapon in Nevergreen, a sparkling and savagely satirical novel about campus “cancel culture”.

The book is set in the ultimate “woke” environment of Nevergreen, a college situated on a remote island. The name alludes to an infamous event in 2017 at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.

A biology professor there, Bret Weinstein, was hounded out of his post after he objected to the college asking white students to absent themselves for a day to attend a course on race issues. Like Pessin, Weinstein was physically intimidated and not allowed to defend himself against the accusations made against him.
People Love Dead Jews
In late 2019, antisemitic terrorists murdered three people at a kosher market in Jersey City. The killers, who had a large stock of explosives in their van (enough to destroy an area the size of five football fields, the police said), likely intended to bomb the Jewish school below the market.

Much of the news media addressed the Jersey City slaughter from a blame-the-victims angle. Dara Horn, in her new book, People Love Dead Jews: Notes from a Haunted Present, remarks that “The ‘context’ provided by local news outlets after this attack was breathtaking in its cruelty. As the Associated Press explained in a news report about the Jersey City murders that was picked up by NBC and other news outlets, ‘The slayings happened in a neighborhood where Hasidic families had recently been relocating, amid pushback from some local officials who complained about representatives of the community going door to door, offering to buy homes at Brooklyn prices.’”

Horn comments, “Like many homeowners, I too have been approached by real estate agents asking me if I wanted to sell my house. I recall saying no, although I suppose murdering these people would also have made them go away.”

The attackers were not from Jersey City, and in fact there was little ethnic tension there, according to both Black and Jewish residents. Looking back at media reports from other recent mass slayings like the 2016 Orlando nightclub massacre or the 2015 mass murder at a Black church in Charleston, Horn could locate no similar efforts to contextualize the acts of other terrorists—nothing, for instance, about “how straight people in Orlando ... were understandably upset about gay couples setting up shop in the neighborhood and disrupting their ‘way of life.’”

“Presenting such analysis as a hot take after a massacre,” Horn concludes, “is not only disgusting and inhuman, but also a form of the very same hatred that caused the massacre.” Where Hasidim are concerned, the root cause of antisemitic bloodshed becomes, just like in the old days, “Jews, living in a place!”

This is Dara Horn at her acerbic best. You couldn’t ask for a cleaner and more devastating swipe at the journalistic double standard that treats Hasidic Jews as, well, not particularly human, though perhaps useful “as a warning—because when Jews get murdered or maimed, it might be an ominous sign that actual people, people who wear athleisure, might later get attacked!”

Think Tank Depicts Uniform and Hostile Progressive Response to Jewish, Israeli Concerns Since 2021 Gaza War
The May 2021 conflict erupting in Jerusalem and culminating in Israel’s military operation in Gaza, Guardian of the Walls, again rocked the foundations of Jewish and pro-Israel positioning in the progressive movement, state the authors of Jewish and Israel Erasure within Contemporary Progressive Discourse, a Reut Institute paper published on Thursday that analyzes how contemporary progressive discourse defined the debate on the left during and in the aftermath of the recent Gaza war.

The conflagration brought to the fore the power of dynamics in which contemporary progressive discourse threatens to undermine Israel’s status in the US, and, more broadly, Jewish legitimacy in defining Jewish identity, experience, and vulnerability within progressive circles.

The paper’s recommendations center on the urgent need to clearly articulate and define the challenge, and to mobilize a critical mass of organizations and initiatives to address it. Notably, impacting will require investment in community relations alongside significant adaptation of Jewish communal engagement models.

The report shows how progressive conceptual frameworks amplified a reaction on the left that was notable in the extremity of its rhetoric and the extent of its mainstreaming. Their influence was prevalent in framing designating Israel uniformly as a ‘white establishment oppressor,’ and in subsequent attacks on the U.S.-Israel ‘special relationship’ and demands to strip it of special consideration or protections in favor of ‘even-handed’ treatment.

The Reut report draws on recent events to generate new insights into this challenge, and the threat it poses in disempowering Jewish and pro-Israel agency and advocacy on the left, and on the Jewish communal response to it, describing for example:

This lack of shared understanding of the fundamental threat limited the efficacy of Jewish communal responses. This while a deeply polarized and highly disparate Jewish community focused on contradictory understandings of common issues. “Thus, a systemic challenge that emanates from decentralized networks and movements met a response that remained highly contextual and limited in systemic impact,” the authors suggest.
EU Lawmakers ‘Unanimous’ in Denouncing Antisemitic Content in Palestinian Authority Textbooks
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) at a Thursday meeting were unanimous in condemning incitement and antisemitic content found by a recent study of Palestinian Authority textbooks, in what one nonprofit called a “watershed moment” in the campaign to reform the curricula.

Members of the Foreign Affairs, Budgetary Control and Cultural committees met to discuss an EU-commissioned report by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), which concluded that PA textbooks promote antisemitic tropes, glorify terrorists and violence against civilians, and erase Israel from maps of the region.

German MEP Niclas Herbst, Budget Committee Vice Chair, said that there should be zero tolerance for antisemitism and the promotion of violence.

“All Palestinian pupils have the right for an education free of hatred and as long as we, the European Union finance an education system we are also responsible for this,” Herbst said.

“If we want to keep our credibility we need to talk about the funding of the educational system in general, because we cannot accept that this is financed with EU taxpayer money,” the conservative MEP said. “We should have zero tolerance when it comes to antisemitism and it has to be free of hate speech.”

The GEI report analyzed 156 textbooks and 16 teacher guides published between 2017 and 2019 by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, in a range of subjects. It also found that previously-included references to Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements had been removed, and that violence against civilians was sometimes portrayed as part of a “narrative of resistance.”
Biden Vows to Confront ‘Scourge of Antisemitism’ in High Holidays Call With Rabbis
US President Joe Biden on Thursday pledged to confront “the scourge of antisemitism” during a virtual call with rabbis and Jewish leaders for the High Holidays.

The annual event traditionally takes place at the White House but Biden explained during the Zoom session, which was broadcast live on the White House website, that the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions made an in-person event impossible. The president promised to host the event next year in Washington.

“Not only next year in Jerusalem, next year at the White House, God willing,” he said.

The US leader also reaffirmed his administration’s support for the Jewish state, saying that “we will never waver in our support for the future security of the State of Israel.”

Biden also mentioned his recent meeting at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, calling him “a gentleman.”
Biden Claims He Visited Pittsburgh Synagogue after the Shooting, Synagogue Director Insists He Never Did
This is a direct, unedited excerpt from the White House transcript of “Remarks by President Biden in Virtual Call for the Jewish High Holidays,” which were delivered via teleconferencing at 2:03 PM EDT, Thursday, September 2, 2021:

Biden: “I remember spending time at the — you know, going to the — you know, the Tree of Life Synagogue, speaking with the — just — it just is amazing these things are happening — happening in America. And I guess the point I want to make is that it just shows that if we walk away from ‘never again,’ it’s going to happen again. It can’t happen again.”

Except that according to Barb Feige, executive director of the Tree of Life, it didn’t ever happen – the Biden visit to the synagogue, that is. Feige told the NY Post shortly after Biden’s speech (Tree of Life synagogue disputes Biden’s claim he visited after massacre) that Biden didn’t visit her synagogue, not right after the massacre of October 27, 2018, when a shooter killed eleven people and wounded six, and not any other time, including his presidential campaign.

The Republican Jewish Coalition suggested Biden “flat out lied about visiting” the Tree of Life synagogue, and scored on the rebound, stating, “The ultimate irony: the person who actually did visit in 2018 with members of the Jewish community? His predecessor.”

President Donald Trump did visit the Tree of Life synagogue, three days after the attack, accompanied by the Jewish members of his administration, including his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was on hand as well. They met with Tree of Life spiritual leader Jeffrey Myers and Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. Trump lit candles for the victims, then visited the wounded at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
StandWithUs Condemns Rep. Rashida Tlaib for Fundraising Appeal for Foundation with Hamas Ties
StandWithUs condemns Rep. Rashida Tlaib for retweeting a fundraising appeal for Baitulmaal, a Texas-based foundation that donates money to Hamas-affiliated “charities,” according to a report by the Alma Research Center. The original tweet, posted on August 21, 2021 by Wayne State University associate law school professor Khaled Beydoun, no longer appears on Twitter.

“Why is a Member of Congress supporting a foundation that forwards funds to groups affiliated with Iranian-backed Hamas, an antisemitic terror group that has murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians, imprisons gay men for 10 years, represses women’s rights, crushes dissent, and rules Gaza with an iron fist?” said Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO. “It cannot be considered normal for a sitting member of Congress to be soliciting funds for an organization that has links to a radical Islamist terror organization. Imagine the justified outcry if a member of Congress were to solicit funds for the KKK.”

The Alma Research Center’s report documents that Baitulmaal operates in the Gaza Strip and supports Hamas' activities in the West Bank. Baitulmaal has raised funds for the Hamas-affiliated Yazour Medical Clinic and has donated funds to “an organization called UFA (Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development) based in Gaza. This association has close ties to senior Hamas figures and supports the families of so-called ‘martyrs.’” UFL has posted overtly antisemitic statements on its Facebook page.

One post translates as, “We ask Allah to free our prisoners imprisoned in the Nazi Zionist jails and to free the Al Aqsa Mosque polluted by the most dirty Jews.” (see below)

Baitulmaal's current director, Mazen M. Mukhtar is the former Executive Director of the Muslim American Society. He was quoted in 2015 as justifying suicide bombings as “an effective way to attack the enemy and continue Jihad… These are not people committing suicide because they are fed up with life; these are people who are sacrificing their lives for Allah.”
LA Teachers Union Set to Vote on Motion Endorsing Israel Boycott
Los Angeles’ 35,000-strong teachers union is set to vote in the coming weeks on a controversial endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, months after a similar motion was passed by several local chapters.

The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) will consider the motion, which accuses Israel of human rights abuses and demands the end of US aid to Israel, at the union’s September 23 House of Representatives meeting on September 23.

After at least two UTLA chapters passed similar resolutions in in May, a newly-formed group, L.A. Parents Against Antisemitism (LAPAA) launched a petition lobbying against it, amassing hundreds of signatures from city teachers. The petition also included a form letter for parents to send to their children’s teachers.

“We cannot allow any group of students to feel that their teachers are collectively poised against them,” the letter said. “Our school district is one of the biggest in the world and it serves students from nations all around the world. It is inappropriate for our union to promote only one side in a complex international conflict that alienates and threatens students on campus.”

LAPAA was also backed by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, StandWithUs, the Israeli American Council, and the California Board of Rabbis.

Critics of the motion have included Nick Melvoin, Vice President of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, who noted recently that few city officials had joined his opposition.
New report finds 'disturbing' levels of antisemitism at Univ. of Illinois Chicago
Last week, the University of Illinois at Chicago welcomed students back to campus. But how welcome can the university's Jewish population feel sharing a campus with a student group whose members have a long history of horrific antisemitic social media posts?

The group, Students for Justice in Palestine, runs a very active chapter at UIC. Even with the COVID-related shutdown of in-person learning in the past academic year, SJP made great headway in its campaign to demonize Jewish students.

A new report released by the anti-hate watchdog group Canary Mission found "disturbing" levels of antisemitic activity by this group going as far back as 2015.

The report broke this activity down into three categories: a campaign to attack and malign Chicago's largest Jewish charity; an effort to bully "Zionists;" and spreading antisemitism, support for terrorism and hatred of Israel on social media.

Additionally, the report takes a look at the evolving strategies used by SJP.

Attacking the Chicago Federation
The 2020-2021 academic year saw SJP UIC take their attacks into the larger Jewish community of Chicago for the first time. In the hope of appealing to their intersectional allies, the group branded the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago's Jewish Federation, as "racist," "Islamophobic, anti-Arab, transphobic and homophobic" and a "hate group."

Among its other activities, the Federation provides food, refuge, health care, education and emergency assistance to 500,000 Chicago residents of all faiths and funds a network of more than 100 agencies, schools and initiatives.

As documented in Canary Mission's report, in February 2021, SJP UIC began a two-month campaign to pressure UIC to cut ties with the JUF for sponsoring a Zoom talk by Israeli professor Gabi Bin Nun of Ben-Gurion University at the university's School of Public Health.

What Rabbis Need to Know About the United Church of Christ A Primer
As the Jewish new year approaches, rabbis and other Jewish community leaders will find themselves organizing and attending interfaith events intended to promote comity and friendship among various faith communities in the United States. Jewish leaders and rabbis who organize and participate in these events should know that leaders and activists in the United Church of Christ will use their relationship with Jewish institutions and leaders as cover for “peace” activism that promotes hostility toward Israel and its supporters in the United States. Here is what rabbis and other leaders need to know before participating in events organized by the United Church of Christ:
1. The United Church of Christ is a denomination in decline that has not been successful in recruiting people into the Christian faith since its founding in 1957.

2. The denomination has, however, been a potent force in promoting a false and one-sided narrative about the Arab-Israeli conflict that serves to justify violence against Israel in the Middle East and hostility toward Jews in the United States. As a result of this propaganda, (which is broadcast by many institutions in addition to the UCC), Jews in the United States are now facing challenges to their safety similar to those faced by Jews in Europe.

3. In its so-called peacemaking, the church has downplayed Arab and Muslim hostility toward Israel and Jews in the Middle East. On this score, the denomination has lied by omission about the causes of conflict in the Holy Land even as it purports to bring peace to its inhabitants.

4. The denomination’s publishing house, Pilgrim Press, has published (and profited from), a notoriously dishonest and hostile text, Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians are not being told about Israel and the Palestinians by Rev. Dr. Gary Burge. This text is filled with blatant misstatements of fact and theological complaints against the Jewish state.

5. The denomination has also mainstreamed anti-Israel propaganda put forth by Palestinian Christians such as Naim Ateek and others. These commentators have used scripture to judge and demonize Israel while remaining silent about the Palestinian leaders who control their society. In numerous venues, the denomination has promoted the Kairos Palestine Document, which deploys scripture and theology to universalize the land of Israel, thus undermining the Jewish claim to the land. It does this while affirming the Palestinian claim to the land.
CNN Erases Jews from the Story of Jerusalem
Missing Jewish Refugees; Unique Definitions for Arab “Refugees”
Considering the tone of the series, it isn’t very surprising that CNN devotes substantial attention to Palestinian Arab refugees from the 1947-49 war. Equally unsurprising, no mention is made of the Jewish refugees forced out of Arab countries in the wake of the Arab failure to destroy the Jewish State.

Jewish residents leaving the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, captured by Transjordan during the 1947-49 Israeli War of Independence.

For context, an equal or perhaps even greater number of Jews became refugees as a result of the 1947-49 war. Some, such as the approximately 1,300 Jews of the Old City of Jerusalem, were directly expelled from what land was conquered by the Arab armies in the war. The rest were forced out of their homes in Arab countries as a result of anti-Jewish violence and severe discrimination. In 1948, approximately 850,000 Jews lived throughout the Middle East and North Africa (excluding Israel). By 1968, that number would be cut down to under 70,000. Today, just a few thousand, mostly in Morocco and Tunisia. The vast majority ended up in Israel and were integrated into Israeli society.

On the other hand, Palestinian refugees were never resettled or integrated into the Arab countries that launched a war against Israel. Instead, Arab states perpetuated the refugee crisis. As one former UN official put it in 1958:
“The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.”[13]

The Palestinian Arab refugee problem became so central to the war against Israel, a unique definition of what constitutes a “refugee” was even created at the UN; a definition which applies to no other group.

And speaking of unique definitions, CNN manages to come up with its own. During Part 6, one commentator, Fadi Elsalameen, states:
“There were three kinds of Palestinian refugees at the time. West Bank. Gaza. And then there were the Palestinians who were living inside Israel who stayed there after the 1948 war.”

Yes, CNN shockingly manages to label Israeli Arabs who were never actually displaced, who are citizens of Israel, and whose descendants continue to live in the same land, as “refugees.”

Ignoring the existence of Jewish refugees, while including expansive definitions of refugees for Arabs who never left home, just further demonstrates CNN’s disturbing pattern of downplaying and outright erasing Jews from the story while inflating Arab victimhood.
The Times corrects claim Israel occupied east Jerusalem since 1948
An article in The Times by Allistair Dawber (“Israel holds its tongue over Joe Biden’s deal with Iran”, Aug. 30) included the following:

Of course, Israel only took control of east Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967, a fact we noted in a tweet to the journalist and in a complaint to editors. Soon after, Mr. Dawber acknowledged the error and the sentence was revised accordingly.

Editors noted the revision on The Times’ official correction page:
Be Aware, Not Afraid, Jewish Communal Security Expert Advises in Advance of High Holiday Celebrations
Concerns over rising antisemitism along with the lingering COVID-19 pandemic should not prevent American Jews from embracing the forthcoming High Holidays, the US Jewish community’s leading security executive has told The Algemeiner.

“Despite these two ominous factors, antisemitism and the pandemic, as Jews we can’t allow these to prevent us as a community from celebrating our New Year and connecting with our Judaism,” observed Evan Bernstein, chief executive of the Community Security Service (CSS), a volunteer-based security agency, during an extensive conversation about security planning for the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, which falls on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, and Yom Kippur, which falls on the Thursday of the following week.

Bernstein nonetheless emphasized the importance of individual members of the Jewish community being alert to potential threats. “We are still in a time when antisemitism is very ugly,” he remarked. “Even though we saw a bit of a dip during the pandemic, we also saw over the summer, with the war in Gaza, a significant rise in antisemitism and many documented incidents across the country. We have to be aware of that as we go into the holidays, because this is when the most Jews are going to be congregating.”

FBI hate crime statistics released on Wednesday reinforce Bernstein’s point. Jews are the most vulnerable religious group in the US, experiencing nearly 60 percent of all religiously-motivated hate crimes in 2020. In addition, a survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in June, in the immediate aftermath of the latest hostilities between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, revealed that three-quarters of American Jews were more concerned about antisemitism in the US and abroad, and that 60 percent had personally witnessed antisemitism because of the May conflict.

Bernstein commented that many Jews are reluctant to report hate crimes out of fear of further retaliation from the offenders themselves. “I understand where they are coming from,” he said. “I’ve been the target myself of a serious death threat, you want it to go away, you don’t want to think about it.”
Jewish group gives ‘trauma kits’ to South Florida synagogues ahead of holidays
For the first time, an organization in South Florida is distributing “trauma kits” to Jewish houses of worship that help treat life-threatening injuries before first responders can arrive.

The kits being distributed this week by the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County contain bandages, gloves, burn-care gel, mylar rescue blankets and other equipment.

The kits were being distributed to area synagogues and Chabad houses of worship ahead of the Jewish holidays which start next week with the Jewish New Year.

“Safety must be a component of every organization’s culture,” the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County said on its website.

The safety efforts follow several attacks on US synagogues in recent years.

During the last day of Passover services in April 2019, a man opened fire at Chabad of Poway in California, killing a 60-year-old woman and and wounding three others. In October 2018, 11 people were killed during a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Hasidic rabbi makes Shabbat jacket for carrying guns at synagogue
So Cohen, a firearms instructor who goes by the moniker “The Tactical Rabbi,” worked with Shaul Snovsky, who sells kapotas in South Florida, to create the Tactical Kapota. The jacket, which looks like any other kapota, closes with snaps instead of buttons for easy opening. Its cost: $550.

“The issue came up with when you wear a kapota … the ‘gartel’ gets in the way and the kapota gets in the way and it can make it dangerous to draw your weapon,” Cohen said, using the Yiddish word for the belt worn over the kapota.

By adding snaps underneath the buttons, the Tactical Kapota looks like a regular jacket.

“Usually in a shul we try to keep a low profile, we don’t want to look like we’re in a war zone,” Cohen said.

A video ad for the kapota shows a man studying in a synagogue when the building is attacked. The man fumbles to unbutton his kapota to reach his holstered gun until the words “every second counts” flash across the screen. The video then shows the man unsnapping the Tactical Kapota in seconds before drawing his gun.

London Police Arrest Man in Connection with Series of Five Antisemitic Assaults
Police in London have announced the arrest of a man alleged to have carried out a series of antisemitic assaults on Jews in the borough of Hackney.

The three reported assaults were all carried out on a single day, Aug. 18. All of them took place in Stamford Hill, a north London neighborhood with a large Hasidic community. In the first incident, a 30-year-old man was struck on the head with a bottle, while the target of the second incident was a 14-year-old boy who was physically assaulted. The third victim was a 64-year-old man who was brutally punched in the face, causing him to fall and break a bone in his foot.

Metropolitan Police have said that they are aware of a fourth and fifth victim, but they have yet to come forward.

In a statement, the Stamford Hill Shomrim — a volunteer security service for the Orthodox Jewish community — welcomed the news of the man’s arrest.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts by our dedicated @Shomrim volunteers who worked hard assisting @MetPoliceuk with the investigation, #CCTV & supporting the victims,” the organization said on Twitter.

Police officers have yet to name the suspect. The police investigation into the attacks revealed that the assailant was from the north of England and spoke with a regional accent. He is reported to have stayed in a hotel in the area from Aug. 17-19.
‘Unbearable’: German President Bemoans Continued Threat of Antisemitism in Rosh Hashanah Message to Jewish Community
Germany’s president on Thursday bemoaned the fact that the gun attack on a synagogue on Yom Kippur two years ago had not led to a “turning point” in the fight against antisemitism in his country.

In a Rosh Hashanah message to the German Jewish community, the federal republic’s President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, candidly described the present situation as “unbearable.”

“I very much wish I could tell you that the attack in Halle had led to a turning point,” Steinmeier said, referring to the Oct. 9, 2019 armed attack on the synagogue in the central German city. The gunman, a lone neo-Nazi named Stephan Balliet, drove to the synagogue on Halle’s Humboldtstrasse just before noon, as more than 50 worshipers inside the sanctuary held services to mark Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Balliet was equipped with eight firearms, several explosive devices, a helmet and a protective vest for the attack.

After failing to break through the synagogue’s locked entrance despite exploding a grenade, a frustrated Balliet shot dead a 40-year-old female passerby. After additional violent attempts to force his way inside the building were similarly unsuccessful, Balliet sped away from the synagogue in his car.

He then drove to his next target — a Muslim-owned kebab restaurant where four diners and an employee were present. Balliet shot dead a 20-year-old man at the restaurant, believing him to be a Muslim.
Antisemitic Incidents in Austria More Than Double in First Half of 2021
Antisemitic harassment and attacks reported in Austria in the first half of 2021 have more than doubled since the year prior, led by incidents at anti-Israel protests and demonstrations against pandemic-related measures, according to the Jewish community in Vienna (IKG).

According to the IKG report, there were 562 antisemitic incidents registered during the first half of the year, compared to 257 in the same period in 2020 and 585 incidents for the full year. The actual number of antisemitic attacks is unknown and is estimated to be far higher, the report said.

The Jewish community in Austria said tally was the highest number of incidents since it started the systematic recording of such incidents 20 years ago.

“Even if the numbers seem catastrophic at first glance, they do reflect reality,” said Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish community of Vienna. “We rely on the cooperation with civil society, politics and the authorities in order to continue to secure self-confident Jewish life.”

Most alarming, according to report, were the numerous cases of attacks during the first six months of the year involving insults and threats. There were 58 cases of damage to property, such as antisemitic graffiti, along with 11 threats and eight physical attacks.

“The sharp increase in the number of antisemitic incidents in Austria unfortunately confirms to me that we must continue the fight against antisemitism consistently and uncompromisingly,” said Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the Austrian National Council.

“It is a shame that the number of attacks, threats and insults against Jewish fellow citizens is increasing more and more.”
Hulk Artist Under Fire Again For Accusations Of Antisemitism
The new artwork in question, from 2017, features Jair Bolsonaro - president of Brazil - decapitating political opposition. His political opponents are caricatured with large noses, big teeth, and pointed ears. They have rodent-like characteristics and are being cut down, while another figure is depicted as a vampire - complete with fangs, wings, and a vintage hairstyle. Bolsonaro is depicted in golden armor, a sword raised above his head as he rides a white horse - similar to how knights have been depicted. However, this image is less than gallant. The image has now been circulating and has gotten the attention of comic creators within the community, including Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing.

This past February, Bennett drew a panel in Immortal Hulk, which featured the Star of David underneath backward lettering that read "Cronemberg Jewer". Bennett responded on Facebook with an apology and an explanation regarding the incident. He claimed it was a genuine mistake during an attempt to pay homage to David Cronenberg, the famous horror film director. He misspelled both "Jewelry" and "Cronenberg" by mistake as they were written backwards and reflected. Paying homage to horror directors is something the Hulk artist has done in his work before, but the finding of this new work calls this occurrence into question again. Jewish people have long been offensively depicted in the exact same manner that Bennett's political work does. Even if the work is older and he has since learned from the events of Immortal Hulk #43 being recalled, there are major problems with the perpetuation of Jewish stereotypes.

It isn't out of the realm of possibility for artists and cartoonists to use art to comment on politics. Politically satirical cartoons have long been part of journalism and comics. However, perpetuating offensive stereotypes through caricatures is another matter entirely. This is particularly true when the stereotypes have been applied to a particular group across the world. Negative depictions of Jewish people are not limited to any single country and regardless of nationality, religious denigration of any kind is not okay. Comics have been striving towards inclusion and broadening the representation of characters within stories.
DC Comics to Release Comic Book With First Jewish Superhero in Over 40 Years
A young adult graphic novel from DC Comics starring a new Jewish superhero for Gotham City will go on sale next week.

Willow Zimmerman is a 16-year-old activist, volunteer at a local pet shelter and an adjunct professor of Jewish studies. The character, who is followed around by a stray dog she named Lebowitz, strives to help those in need but struggles to care for her mother, recently diagnosed with cancer.

Desperate for help, she reconnects with estranged family friend Edward (aka E. Nigma) — a party promoter and real estate tycoon who is also, unbeknownst to her, the super-villain Riddler. Paid to host his private poker nights with Gotham City’s elites, Zimmerman earns money to provide for her family and her mother’s medical treatments.

But her world changes when she and Lebowitz are attacked by Gotham City’s familiar antihero, Killer Croc.

“When Willow and Lebowitz collide with the monstrous Killer Croc outside the local synagogue, they are both injured, only to wake up being able to understand each other,” DC Comics explained. “And there are other developments, too … strange ways in which they’ve become stronger together.”

“But when Willow discovers that Edward and his friends are actually some of Gotham’s most corrupt criminals, she must make a choice: remain loyal to the man who kept her family together, or use her new powers to be a voice for her community.”
New Drama Series From ‘Fauda’ Producer Centers on American Living in Kibbutz Who Defends Israel’s Borders
“Fauda” producer Maria Feldman and Israeli director Dror Shaul have collaborated to create a new series about an American who moves to a kibbutz and becomes its leader in defending Israel’s borders, Variety reported on Wednesday.

“The Collective” follows a character named William who is caught up in an incident that forces him to leave the US. Because his uncle works in the Israeli government, he joins a group of Americans heading to Israel to start a kibbutz, one located on the edge of Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. Soon enough, Israel is preparing for a war and members of the kibbutz are expected to help defend the young state.

“Many of the volunteers didn’t really understand what they were signing up for. Some stay, some leave, some even die,” said Feldman, who called the show “at times half comedy, half tragedy.” She said the drama is envisioned as a three-season series, with each building up to a different conflict: the 1956 Suez War, the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

William steps up and leads the kibbutz in defending Israel’s border against the Egyptian army.

Shaul is the show’s creator, writer and director, and was born and raised in Kibbutz Kissufim, near the Gaza Strip. The series is inspired by his father, a New York-born musician who was involved in its jazz scene of the early 1950s, according to Variety. Most of the series will be in English and its soundtrack will include classics from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as icons such as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Brook Benton, Pete Seeger and Billie Holiday.

“‘The Collective’ is an epic series that brings alive a story that has not been told before, a modern Western of sorts,” he said. “More than seven decades after the group of Americans sat around a campfire singing songs by Brook Benton, Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie, the lyrics of the immortal ‘This Land Is Your Land’ beg the question of why the kibbutz flame cannot die.”
Biblical 'super fruit' hailed as way toward fair trade and sustainability
An Israeli foodtech startup is seeking sustainable farming methods of bringing an ancient fruit to the modern table, benefitting consumers and farmers.

CarobWay, Ltd., based in Kiryat Shmona, cultivates locally-grown carob trees to boost carob-based product development.

A fruit known in antiquity and celebrated in the Bible, the carob fruit pod consists of about 90% pulp and 10% seeds by weight at full maturity. Carob seeds have been the most valuable part of the pods, used to produce locust bean gum (LBG). Carob sugars and fibers are widely used in the food industry, mainly in the form of carob powder.

Climate change and other environmental stresses demand that agriculture turn its attention to neglected or sidelined crops. Carob is a highly resilient species of tree that flourishes in arid climates, mostly in Africa and Asia. Genotypes of the carob tree demonstrate great tolerance to drought, low soil fertility, brackish water, pollution, and high temperatures (up to 50°C, or 122°F).

Carob can grow on non-arable land where no other crops can grow without significant, often unsustainable investments.

According to CarobWay CEO Udi Alroy, "The key ingredient in developing a sustainable carob crop is using advanced agri-tech knowhow to grow the trees more intensively and efficiently."
2 new synagogues open in Hungary, bringing rival Jewish groups together
Jewish communities in Hungary opened two new synagogues as part of the annual Jewish Cultural Festival in this capital city.

One is situated in the bustling center of Budapest, while the other is a 50-seat synagogue in an apartment building.

The latter — the Vorosmarty Street Synagogue — is owned by MAOIH, an umbrella group of Orthodox congregations. But MAOIH has neither the congregants nor funds to renovate and operate the place, so it will be run by EMIH, a larger umbrella organization affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. EMIH has about 20 synagogues along with some 30 emissaries.

“It’s better that the synagogue lives than to have it remain disused as it has been for decades,” Robert Deutch, the president of MAOIH, told reporters last week.

The country’s three largest Jewish groups — EMIH, MAOIH and the largest, Mazsihisz — have a tenuous relationship, rife with disputes over ideology, theology and finances.
Birthright to Resume Trips, No Quarantine in Israel for Those Fully Vaccinated
Birthright Israel received confirmation from the Israeli Ministry of Health that it can resume its trips to Israel, JNS has learned.

The first Birthright Israel trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic took place in May, but the 10-day programs were stopped again in August due to new travel restrictions aimed at curbing the Delta variant of the virus.

To join a Birthright trip, participants must now be fully vaccinated with two or three shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, with no more than a six-month gap from the last shot and the trip’s departure date. Alternately, they can be fully vaccinated by one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with no more than a six-month gap from the shot until their trip’s departure.

Birthright Israel will not have to enforce a seven-day quarantine period for people who have completed their vaccination process within the past five months.
Rare First Temple Era Fraudulent Weight Uncovered in Ancient Jerusalem
Israeli archeologists digging in the City of David in Jerusalem’s Old City came upon an extremely rare finding from the days of the First Temple – a biblical weight called a gerah that was probably used by a cheater.

Although inscribed as weighing two gerah it weighs three times as much, evidence of possible fraudulent trading dating around the time period of 589 BCE.

The weight is made of reddish limestone, smoothed and well polished, and on its upper part appear two deeply engraved straight, parallel and thick lines, indicating a weight of two gera which are 0.944 g.

However, when weighed, the researchers were surprised to find that it weighed 3.61 grams – more than three times its expected weight.

Only one other gerah weight was discovered in Israel.

Archaeologist Eli Shukron, who conducted the excavation and investigated the find together with Hagai Cohen Kolonimus from the Hebrew University, said the obvious conclusion is that it was a weight that was used for forgery and fraud in the trading process.

“The Bible indicates that the problem of weight deception is nothing new. Merchants cheated and held separate heavy and lightweight systems and used them when buying or selling,” the researchers explained.
The importance of the March of the Living - analysis
It is our fervent hope that the messages and lessons of the Holocaust projected online were clear and that through the myriad programs available, our viewers’ awareness was heightened, and their hearts motivated to engage in acts of social responsibility in pursuit of ‘Never Again.’ While, of course, we encourage and appreciate any and all forms of Holocaust education wherever and however such education occurs, we also clearly understand the impact of the physical experience. The value of personal on-site visitation is simply irreplaceable.

As it has been said many times, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The visuals of the sites of death and destruction imposed on its victims by the Nazi German regime defy the imagination and leave an indelible impression. The opportunity to learn about the past in the actual places history unfolded is a powerful and unparalleled experiential educational journey.

The long-standing commitment and motivation of the International March of the Living has always been its dedication to memory and education. Our collaborative efforts with members of the Polish Government and leading Polish academic institutions over the last three decades have enabled us to ensure that the next generation – regardless of their background – can learn about the dangers of intolerance, antisemitism, bigotry and all forms of baseless hatred in a most meaningful and constructive way. We are on the ground in the cities, towns, shtetls and at the sites themselves.

Three decades of education have also afforded us the opportunity to remember, reflect and honor our communal past. A living past provides for a meaningful present and hope for the future. It is the responsibility of each generation to remember those who came before and upon whose legacy we build for the future.

Furthermore, participants visiting Poland see more than just sites of genocide and suffering. They witness a thousand years of Jewish history.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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