Friday, December 03, 2021

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Is it Islamophobic to call out Ilhan Omar for antisemitism?
The Democratic leadership has lined up behind Omar with a statement accusing Boebert of Islamophobia and racism, in addition to a demand that Republicans condemn "bigoted members of their conference."

Even if we concede that making remarks about a Congress member being a potential suicide bomber – as well as speaking of a "Jihad Squad" and then boasting about it in public is inflammatory, rude and un-parliamentary behavior – the notion that Omar is nothing more than an innocent victim of a smear is chutzpah on steroids. More to the point, this incident was made possible not just by Boebert's penchant for insults but by the failure of the Democratic caucus to discipline Omar and her fellow "Squad" member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), for their open antisemitism and extremism.

Omar is the darling of the left because she is an immigrant, a woman of color and, as the headscarf-wearing first Muslim woman in Congress, a symbol of diversity. But she is also someone who accused AIPAC and the Jewish community of buying Congress ("It's all about the Benjamins, baby"). She and Tlaib are also open supporters of the antisemitic BDS movement that targets Jews and seeks the elimination of the one Jewish state on the planet. They have embraced the "apartheid state" lie about Israel and sought to enter it on a trip arranged by a Palestinian group that promoted the classic blood libel that Jews bake Christian blood into Passover matzah. While claiming to oppose terrorism, they have acted as tacit defenders of the Hamas terrorist group, ignoring its criminal behavior while asserting that Israel commits war crimes.

So while Boebert's barbs went too far, the reason they resonate for many is because Omar is not merely just as extreme as her antagonist (she is an ardent supporter of efforts to defund the police while seeking police protection for herself), she is also someone who deserved to be censured for her antisemitism. Pelosi is mindful of the influence of the left these days and knows that Omar has been treated like a rock star by the liberal press, the late-night comedy shows and other pop-culture outlets. Instead of depriving Omar of committee assignments, she gave her a plum role on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to use as a platform for her hateful agenda.

Democrats may well appease Omar and their activist base by censuring Boebert. But all they'll be doing is turning Boebert into a Republican heroine. And if, as now seems likely, the GOP wins back control of the House in 2022, the following January we can expect Republicans to prioritize payback in the form of censures of Omar, Tlaib and other radical Democrats.

Congressman Says Jews Are Crazy
Maybe he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but a United States Congressman this week insinuated that Israeli Jews are all mentally unbalanced. If he had said that about another national or ethnic group, he would have been widely denounced as a bigot.

Following a visit to Israel, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) said on November 29: “I felt a tension in Israel, from the Jewish community, the psychology of occupation impacted the Jews who live there who are free….there’s a history of complex trauma that people are living with every day. Yad Vashem brought that home to me.”

Congressman Bowman is not the first observer to make the insulting and false claim that Israeli Jews are mentally disturbed as a result of the Holocaust, and that they are therefore incapable of making rational decisions about government policy. In fact, that allegation has become almost standard fare among armchair psychiatrists looking for ways to deride the Jewish state.

One of the first to level that charge was New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. In his 1989 book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, Friedman wrote at length about what he called “the Holocausting of the Israeli psyche,” that is, an excessive interest in the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.

“Israel today is becoming Yad Vashem with an air force,” Friedman asserted. He alleged that Israelis’ memories of the Holocaust were to blame for, among other things, their impatient driving habits, unethical business dealings, meek acceptance of high taxes, and reluctance to make more concessions to the Arabs.
The National Endowment for the Humanities Spends $250K to Fund a 1619 Project for Israel
Last year, Lior Sternfeld and Michelle Campos signed the so-called Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism which argued that calling for the destruction of Israel was not antisemitic.

The signatures of Sternfeld and Campos alongside numerous other anti-Israel academics was unsurprising. Sternfeld had previously signed a petition in support of BDS activists which concluded with the assertion that the signers might refuse to “enter the State of Israel”. He and Campos had also signed another petition accusing the Jewish State of “apartheid”.

More recently, Campos, Sternfeld, and Orit Bashkin had signed on to the Statement on Israel and Palestine in Jewish Studies accusing Israel of engaging in “state violence” against Hamas. In language echoing Soviet propaganda, it denounced Zionism as “ethnonationalist” and “settler colonial” systems of “Jewish supremacy” that led to the “segregation” of “Palestinians”.

Israel, all of it, it asserts, exists on occupied territory, not only from the 1967, but the 1948 War of Independence.

From an academic standpoint, the various professors and graduate students declare that they will support their colleagues who boycott Israel and as scholars to “amplify, and support our Palestinian and other colleagues” and emphasize the “place of Palestine in Jewish Studies”.

With the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEH is one of the more toxic components of the federal government. While the Trump administration tried to defund it, the Biden administration is using it to push critical race theory into classrooms. But not to leave anyone out, it’s also funding a 1619 Project for Israel.

Sternfeld, Campos, and Bashkin were showered with a nearly $250,000 grant to “reimagine” Jewish life in the Middle East before Zionism. The NEH grant, one of the two largest in Pennsylvania, funds a “large-scale collaborative project to rewrite the histories, narratives, and memories of and by Jews in the Middle East in the 19th-21st centuries.”

David Collier: Antisemites are trying to delete my Wikipedia page
The antisemites who want to delete it
So who are these editors? Because the arguments to delete the page – and the arguments over the content of the page – are both public, it is easy to see the history of those taking either side. Which means if someone wants the page deleted – you can check to see whether it is an unbiased editor – or someone with an extreme anti-Zionist obsession. There were no surprises in what I found. Here were some of the key names opposing the page:

There are a couple of others listed who hang around these five almost as lackeys, but I will save those for another day.

For those that don’t know – under the hood of *some parts* of the Wikipedia engine there is little more than a bunch of people with extreme anti-Zionist bias, scurrying around trying to demonise Jews, Zionism, and Israel. Sure, there are some people pushing back the other way, but as always in a numbers game, the Jews don’t do so well. Unsurprisingly some of the editors trying to delete this page are well-known to me. Take the editors ‘Nishidani’ or ‘OnceinaWhile’ as perfect examples. I have written about them both several times before – and there can be little doubt they know it. Which raises an issue.

These are editors I have researched and criticised at great length (a couple of examples 1, 2) – who are now working hard behind the scenes to have my Wikipedia page deleted. In fact, between editing the page, arguing for deletion and adding a ‘criticism’ section’ – Nishidani alone made no less than 30 edits to the page in less than 48 hours. Did Nishidani declare a conflict of interest here? Because he certainly should have done. How about OnceinAWhile? Another editor whose bias and online butchery I have previously covered. I’ve dealt with Zero0000 before as well.

In fact all five of those listed – those obsessively swarming over my page to have it deleted – are actually named as the top five anti-Israel editors on Wikipedia by the Israel Group. Isn’t that a coincidence! I’ve seen enough to call at least three of them antisemites. All five! If this was a game of Bingo you would have to call ‘house’.

I have no idea if the page will stay or go. TBH, it doesn’t matter to me either way. What I do know is that this page is a Wikipedia page about a Jewish person in the UK who fights antisemitism – and a bunch of antisemites and Zionist haters are swarming over the page to try and have it deleted. Chances are on Wikipedia that the antisemites will win. Make of that what you will.
Does the Vatican have the Jewish Temple treasures?
At the end of the day though, as mentioned above, the proof is in the pudding. First-hand Vatican sightings that I’ve included in my book series The A.R.K. Report include the oldest (and very fragile) Torah scroll taken from the Temple building, the golden head plate of the High Priest with the holy Name of God engraved on it (tzitz in Hebrew), the giant curtain that hung from the Temple entrance (parokhet in Hebrew) that still has the tear from Titus’ sword in it, trumpets, and various other ritual utensils to boot.

Currently in my possession are Medieval travelogues, manuscripts from the 1930s and ‘50s, materials from the 1990s, and right up to something recent that happened just two years ago concerning an Israeli guard working at an Italian security firm, who went down there and saw what he saw. These are accounts from all walks of life, including big Rabbis, Italian soldiers, Holocaust survivors, and perhaps most importantly to me, a personal acquaintance I used to pray with at the Western Wall. I must note that it’s not just the Vatican that is involved. I also have reason to suggest that the British Museum in London has many smaller vessels from Herod’s Temple, specifically copper altar utensils.

The main concern here lies on the political level: Why wait until some arbitrary ruling comes forth from the powers that be (think UN Security Council Resolution 2334) designating, in this case the lost Temple vessels, as something other than that of 100% Jewish/Israeli ownership? Indeed, it’s worthy to raise some awareness that potentially this could amount to a huge betrayal of Jewish history. Although the status quo vis-à-vis the hidden Temple treasures has remained stagnant for millennia, one can assume that it won’t go on like that forever. Either way, like in the case of Jerusalem, decisions will eventually be made.

Unless the State of Israel starts preparing a legal case proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that these ancient Temple artifacts fully belong here in Jerusalem as the everlasting national heritage of the Jewish people, we all might have to face a new reality coming down from the UN sometime soon.
Christian Century Misreports Israel’s Response to Settler Violence While Downplaying Palestinian Attacks
Beck editorializes by declaring the attacks were “unprovoked” and took place “for no reason.” How would he know this? After all, he ignores the fact that numerous attacks – including deadly ones—were perpetrated by Palestinians against Israeli settlers over the past few years.

For example, Israelis were shocked by the murder of Esther Horgan in December, 2020 while she was running near her home in Tal Menashe in the West Bank. Ironically, CC never covered this killing, which had a profound impact on the mood of Israelis.

More recently, Israelis have witnessed displays of Nazi symbols on numerous occasions over the past few months, a car-ramming attack in early October. Additionally, Palestinians have been throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at cars and buses in the West Bank.

Omitting facts like these deprives CC readers of the information they need to fully understand the context in which Israeli citizens live and in which Bennett is called to govern. While most Israelis are sickened by attacks on Palestinian civilians, Palestinian leaders have lauded and celebrated attacks on Israeli civilians and the Palestinian Authority has a policy of paying salaries to the families of Palestinians convicted of terror attacks. In 2016, at the height of the stabbing intifada, which terrorized Israelis, a majority of Palestinians told pollsters they supported a continuation of knife attacks. For a useful summary of polling data regarding Palestinian support for violence, please go to this section of the Jewish Virtual Library. All of this information, which Beck omitted from his article, undermines his assertion that settler harass and attack Palestinians “unprovoked” and “for no reason.”

Why is CC omitting this context from its reportage on conflict in the Holy Land?

12-Step Program for Anti-Israel Addicts (satire)
On Thursday evening The Mideast Beast sat down for an interview with Dr. Omer Rashida-Cortez, Director of the Anti-Israel Addicts Anonymous group, who has developed a 12-step program not just for “Israel = apartheid” addicts but specifically tailored for addicts who get every. fucking. thing. wrong. about Israel. Rashida-Cortez noted, “At least drunks can be fun and a potential source of hook ups, whereas netizens who have become meme-educated historians are factually annoying. We believe that this carefully-designed 12-step program may help with their serious affliction.”
1. Admit you are an addict, and that “apartheid”, “Zio-Nazi”, and out-of-context map memes turn you on more than alcohol and porn. This is something that may cause you to feel shame…but you’ll eventually get over it. Probably. Possibly.
2. Admit that you’ve never stepped foot in Israel. (*Having an Israeli or Palestinian friend doesn’t count.)
3. Confess that you don’t really understand what Zionism means or the difference between the varying types of Zionism, and of course that you don’t understand the difference between the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It’s probably best to be totally honest and confess that you don’t understand the Middle East at all.
4. Admit that when you think of Israel you imagine white people. This is applicable for the far-right and far-left. (*Majority of Israelis are of Middle Eastern and Middle East-North Africa descent.)
5. Do not put your faith in a delusional and failing idea to remove your addiction. Speak to a doctor about the right pills for you. 6. Make amends with those whom you have pissed off. Take your time; we know the list is long.
Our take on the Guardian's new Jerusalem correspondent
In July, Guardian Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes stepped down after three years in the position, and they’ve been without a correspondent in the region ever since. Today, we learned on Twitter than his replacement is Bethan McKernan – previously their Turkey and Middle East correspondent.

Before that, McKernan was Middle East correspondent at the Independent.

Whilst you can read all of our posts about McKernan’s coverage of Israel here, there’s one post in particular we published in 2017 that demonstrates the ideological baggage she’s bringing with her to Jerusalem.

In the post, we noted an article she wrote which contextualised Donald Trump’s White House invitation to Mahmoud Abbas by highlighting the “analysis” of someone named Ralph Schoenman, who McKernan characterised as a “leading academic” and author of a “highly influential” book about Zionism.

As we revealed in our post, however, Schoenman is a fringe extremist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist and fraudulent scholar who erroneously claimed that Jews dominated the slave trade. In his “influential” book that nobody’s ever heard of (Hidden History of Zionism), he alleges that pre-state Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to murder millions of Jews and then, when the state was born, “emulated the Nazis” in planning and carrying out their own genocide against Palestinians.

In response to our complaint to Indy editors, they reviewed the evidence we provided and made the decision to fully retract the entire article from their website.
BBC WS radio’s ‘The Explanation’ flops on Palestinian-Israeli conflict – part one
Listeners hear nothing about the Arab initiated violence that followed the Arab rejection of the Partition Plan and they are not told that the proposal was accepted by the Jews.

Bowen: “David Ben Gurion, the first founding prime minister of Israel and the leader of the Zionist movement at that time, declared Israel’s independence in Tel Aviv in 1948.”

Following a recording of Ben Gurion speaking, listeners hear a context-free account that erases the invasion of Israel by five Arab countries.

Anand: “Within hours of declaring its independence, Israel was at war.”

An unexplained archive recording of shooting in Jerusalem is followed by portrayals from Bowen and Anand which erase the Jordanian occupation of parts of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the Egyptian occupation of the Gaza Strip, while failing to clarify that “the UN plan” of 1947 was rendered null and void by the Arab refusal to accept it and that the territory left in Israeli hands at the end of the War of Independence was less than that assigned to the creation of a Jewish homeland by the League of Nations.

Bowen: “It was a tough fight for the Israeli side and there were times when they might have lost but they were absolutely determined and of course in the years after the Holocaust, there were people fighting there who’d come in from Europe as well as native born. In the end it was a comprehensive victory for the Israeli side and a defeat that sent the Arab world into a tailspin for decades.”

Anand: “The new state of Israel had not only expelled invading Arab countries; it had captured much more territory than was mandated by the UN plan.”

Bowen: “For Palestinians it was…well they call it the catastrophe, the Nakba. Estimates vary; some of the most reliable are around three quarters of a million Palestinians were forced out of their homes. For Palestinians the events of 1948 destroyed their society. This was not some kind of a desert that the Israelis made bloom. It was the fertile coastal strip. It was a place where people lived.”

Bowen’s partial portrayal of “Palestinians…forced out of their homes” of course comes nowhere near to telling the whole story and listeners hear nothing about the ethnic cleansing of Jews from parts of Jerusalem and Judea & Samaria or the relevant topic of Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands.

In part two of this post we will discuss the second half of this programme and its presentation of events after the establishment of Israel.

New German Chancellor Vows to Fight Antisemitism at Event Honoring Holocaust Survivors
Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz talked about Germany’s commitment to combating antisemitism at the annual International Holocaust Survivors Night (IHSN) hosted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which took place virtually.

“Antisemitism, the belittling of Jewish citizens, hatred towards Israel—we will not tolerate any of it in Germany. Be assured: Our commitment will not waiver,” Scholz said during the online event on Tuesday. “Today, Jewish life is once again enriching our society. Israel and Germany are close partners. We must not put these precious gifts at risk. That is why I promise you: We will continue to do everything we can to protect Jewish citizens in the future and to counter all antisemitism. We will fight darkness with light.”

The celebration, which took place on the third night of Hanukkah, honored Holocaust survivors for their sacrifice and contributions to the world; a number of them spoke as part of the proceedings.

Also in attendance was Israeli President Isaac Herzog; leaders of international Holocaust institutions; and Holocaust envoys from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. Emmy-nominated entertainers Jason Alexander, Tovah Feldshuh and Mayim Bialik also shared remarks, and musical performances were given by Barry Manilow, the Maccabeats, and the duo Steven Skybell and Jennifer Babiak.
‘Jews Are Leeches’: Rafal Ziemkiewicz, Poland’s Most Outspokenly Antisemitic Pundit, Lands His Own TV Talk Show
A Polish pundit notorious for vitriolic antisemitic tirades has landed his own television show on one of the country’s most popular broadcast networks.

Rafal Ziemkiewicz — a columnist for the Polish far right weekly Do Rzeczy — will host a forthcoming news and chat show titled “Bez Ogrodek” (“Without Inhibitions”) on the Polsat television channel. Billed as an “infotainment” program, the show’s format will feature Ziemkiewicz discussing the day’s news and events with two co-thinkers, the columnists Monika Jaruzelska and Wiktor Swietlik. Pilot episodes are currently being recorded, though a launch date for the show is still to be announced.

A science fiction writer who took up punditry following the collapse of Poland’s communist regime in 1989, Ziemkiewicz has emerged in recent years as a standard bearer for the influential antisemitic, homophobic and anti-immigrant nationalist current in Polish politics.

In its annual report on global antisemitism for 2018, Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry highlighted Ziemkiewicz’s role as Poland’s leading antisemitic propagandist. In the wake of the passage that same year of legislation in Poland that enables civil prosecution of historians who examine the collusion of some Poles with the Nazi occupiers during World War II, Ziemkiewicz declared, “For many years I convinced people that we must support Israel. Today, because of a few stupid and greedy scabs, I feel like an idiot.”
Hunt for three men over anti-Semitic attack on Oxford Street: Police release images of suspects who abused Jewish teenagers with Nazi salutes and spat at their bus after they danced together while celebrating Hanukkah
Police have launched a hunt for three men who abused Jewish teenagers with Nazi salutes and spat at their bus in an anti-Semitic attack on Oxford Street.

Footage released today shows a group dancing together in a circle, clapping and chanting as they celebrate Hanukkah on London's flagship shopping strip at around 8pm on Monday.

But shortly afterwards a gang of yobs are seen screaming 'Free Palestine' before spitting at a privately hired bus carrying the youngsters as part of a city tour.

The Met has since released images of three suspects they wish to identify and speak with in connection with the incident.

Detectives also said they would like to identify a woman, described as being aged 25-30, dark skinned with long black hair, who was present shortly beforehand.

The Prime Minister has spoken out over the footage, describing it as 'disturbing'.

He added: 'Racism of any kind will never be tolerated in our society and we will continue to do all we can to root it out.'

Florida Cops Searching for Suspect Who Hung Antisemitic ’88’ Banner Outside Jewish Center
Police in Florida are searching for a suspect who was captured on CCTV while vandalizing a Jewish community center.

The police department in the city of Homestead, which lies in Miami-Dade County, on Thursday released photos of the suspect who hung an antisemitic banner on the fence outside the Homestead Jewish Center early last Saturday morning — the Jewish Sabbath.

The handwritten text on the banner declared “The Goyim Know” alongside the numerals “88” — code in neo-Nazi circles for the greeting “Heil Hitler.”

The police department added that the same suspect was wanted in connection with a burglary attempt on a store in Homestead in May this year, as well for the vandalizing of a local movie theater in August with the slogans “Gentrifiers Out” and “Eat the Rich.”

The use of the term “goyim” — a Yiddish and Hebrew pejorative for non-Jews that has been embraced by some white supremacists — suggested a possible link with a neo-Nazi group that has staged openly antisemitic demonstrations in several US cities.

In October, supporters of the so-called “Goyim Defense League” hung a banner at an overpass in Austin, Texas that declared “Vax the Jews” along with a link advertising the group’s website. In the same week, members of the group appeared in nearby San Antonio, where they wore T-shirts decorated with Nazi swastikas and unfurled a banner reading “Honk if you know the Holocaust is fake.”
Fresno State University’s Madden Library to be renamed over Nazi sympathies
Fresno State University in California announced on Monday that the Henry Madden Library will be renamed after Madden’s history of antisemitic beliefs and sympathies for the Nazis was discovered.

The new findings come from what Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval called a “special collection” of writings donated by the Madden estate in 1982 – with the stipulation that they remain sealed until 2007.

“Last week, my senior leadership team and I were made aware that Henry Madden held deeply antisemitic views and Nazi sympathies, as reflected in his own writings and papers,” Jiménez-Sandoval announced in a campus-wide email.

“The views attributed to Dr. Madden are more than allegations; they are reflections of his beliefs as captured in his own words and in documents he curated and donated to the Library before his passing,” Jiménez-Sandoval declared.

The Fresno State library has been named after Madden, who was the university’s librarian from 1949 to 1979, since 1981. He passed away just a year later, around the time the original documents were donated, according to an in-memoriam article by ACRL College & Research Libraries.
Exclusive: Interview with NBA superstar Enes Kanter
This week on the Jerusalem Post Podcast, Editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz and Diplomatic Correspondent Lahav Harkov share an exclusive interview with NBA superstar Enes Kanter.

Kanter, a Muslim, has been playing basketball for more than a decade and recently has been using his popularity to help heal the world - talking about issues of social justice and democracy.

“Live for others” is Kanter’s message, he told the Podcast. “We rise by lifting others.”

He said he also has a message of respect: “It does not matter what your religion is, whatever you are, respect other religions and countries.” Kanter has most recently been tweeting about the human rights abuses in Turkey and China. He said that the young generation of Turks is growing up anti-West and antisemitic because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regularly shares those messages at his rallies.

“It breaks my heart,” Enes said, “people growing up hating Israel, burning Israeli flags - and this is all Erdogan’s fault.”
In Israel, Reigning Miss Universe Gifted Star of David Ring Engraved With ‘Am Yisrael Chai’
The reigning Miss Universe winner was gifted a Star of David ring by El Al Airlines after she arrived in Israel this week ahead of the beauty pageant’s upcoming competition in Eilat.

Andrea Meza, 27, was in Israel in mid-November to tour Jerusalem’s Old City before the start of the 70th Miss Universe contest, set to take place on Dec. 12, but then flew to New York City to take part in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She returned to Israel on Wednesday.

After Meza landed in Ben Gurion Airport, Jewish jewelry designer Rachel “Rachie” Shnay was invited to board the plane and personally give Meza the symbolic diamond ring on behalf of El Al Airlines. The 14K white gold Mazel Baguette Ring designed by Shnay is engraved with the Hebrew words “Am Yisrael Chai” (“The nation of Israel lives”).

The airline also presented Meza with a personalized note, signed by El Al CEO Avigal Soreq, expressing hope that this “stay in Israel is a highlight of your reign as Miss Universe. Please accept this symbolic gift … the Magen David, a Jewish and the national symbol of Israel, as a reminder of your flight with us and your visit to Israel.”

The ring is part of Shnay’s popular Mazel Collection, which donates 10 percent of its proceeds to the organization My Soldier in support of IDF soldiers.

“I’m a grandchild of four Holocaust survivors and the Magen David [“Star of David”] was a symbol that was used against us,” she told The Algemeiner on Thursday. “The Nazis made it something we were ashamed and afraid to wear so I wanted to create a collection that would encourage people to be proud of their Judaism, and chic, cool and relevant.”

She said giving the ring to Meza “was a pivotal moment in my career and in Israel’s history.”
Peace is being written in new Israeli-Emirati art exhibit
At a new Jerusalem exhibition featuring works by Israeli and Emirati-based artists, the writing is literally on the wall.

Entitled “Maktoub,” which means both “written” and “destined” in Arabic, some 29 pieces by 10 artists – five based in each country – display swirling calligraphic scripts in Hebrew and Arabic. The show is a result of the cultural flowering that is beginning to take root in the wake of the signing last year of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Part of the monthlong 5th Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art taking place in the city through the end of the year, the exhibit, mounted in a quiet corner of the Jerusalem Theater, offers an eclectic mix of geometric and flowing letters, as well as words and texts forming mystical and defined shapes such as hamsas and horses, stars and circles.

And the twist? The co-curators, one based in Jerusalem and one in Dubai, in the UAE, like to paint letters belonging to each other’s languages.

“There are connections and similarities between the languages in the works and the way the artists think about letters, modernizing them and doing different things with the scripts — there is already a lot of common ground,” Lenore Mizrachi-Cohen, a New York-born artist of Syrian heritage, who conceived the installation and is one of the co-curators, told Jewish Insider in an interview last week.

Mizrachi-Cohen, 31, who made aliyah to Jerusalem two years ago, was raised in the Syrian-Jewish community in Brooklyn where Arabic customs and language are part of everyday life. The daughter of a sofer, or scribe, who works with Hebrew texts, Mizrachi-Cohen said that “Hebrew didn’t appeal to me in the same way Arabic letters did. Artistically, I have always loved the beautiful form and flow and curvature of Arabic.”

Being able to write in Arabic but not converse fluently has always been a source of frustration for the young artist. So has the lack of formal instruction in an artform that is strict and uncompromising in its rules.

“Even if it appears to be a more free-form, flowy type of script, it still has its own structure and to the trained eye it looks ridiculous if you’re not doing it properly,” Mizrachi-Cohen, who taught herself using videos, told JI.

10 best new books to gift your loved ones for Hanukkah
This holiday season, there’s nothing more we’d like to do than curl up with a good book and a glass of wine or hot chocolate in hand. If you, too, find the idea a superbly good one, or have family or friends who do, we suggest you scroll down.

We’ve picked the 10 best books recently published in English by Israelis or about Israel, ranging from good old-fashioned thrillers and heart-wrenching dramas to kiddie fun and fabulous cookbooks. There’s something to suit every taste.

We wish you and your loved ones hours of pleasure, and of course healthy and happy holidays!

1. More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman
Hebrew readers have had the pleasure of losing themselves in David Grossman’s latest book for the past couple of years already, and now English-speaking audiences can do the same. More Than I Love My Life is based on the true story of one of Grossman’s elderly acquaintances and focuses sharply on love, war, cruelty and family. A truly beautiful novel, it makes a very poignant read and is sure to delight fans of the celebrated Israeli author.

2. Above Us Only Sky: The Diaries of Ilan and Asaf Ramon
The diaries of Ilan and Asaf Ramon, the famous father and son who tragically found their deaths in the sky – Ilan in the Columbia space shuttle disaster and Asaf while training as a pilot in the Israeli army – provide an opportunity to read the thoughts of two exceptional men. The diaries reveal stories surrounding Israel’s bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, theological discussions with Israel’s greatest philosopher and the ins-and-outs of being an IAF pilot. Accompanied by handwritten entries and photos, it makes for a personal and unusual read.
Nissim Black and Kosha Dillz release 'The Hanukkah Song 2.0'


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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