Tuesday, June 07, 2022

From Ian:

High and Low Israel Criticism
When it comes to Israel, it’s always the best of times and the worst of times. For the Jewish state, the sky’s the limit—or else it’s falling. According to its critics, Israel is on the verge of moral immolation, an apartheid regime living on borrowed time. Its boosters counter that Israel has never been stronger: The more the haters hate, the more peace agreements it signs with its Arab neighbors, and the more sophisticated the technology it develops and exports. It’s as if the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea can only be viewed through a fun-house mirror.

This schizophrenia finds expression in two recent books that read like they were written on different planets. Omri Boehm’s Haifa Republic: A Democratic Future for Israel approaches Israel as a failed state and Jewish sovereignty as a moral obscenity. As Boehm, an Israeli associate professor of philosophy at The New School in New York, puts it, “True Israeli patriots must now challenge Zionist taboos as we have come to know them, must dare to imagine the country’s transformation, from a Jewish state into a federal, binational republic.” If Thomas Jefferson believed that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” then Boehm believes that sometimes you need to cut the tree down altogether.

Yossi Shain’s The Israeli Century: How the Zionist Revolution Changed History and Reinvented Judaism argues that Israel’s success is so total that it has remade the Jewish people, reversed the misfortunes of their past, and secured their future. For Boehm, Israel is so compromised as to be ripe for demolition; for Shain, a Knesset member for Yisrael Beiteinu and professor of political science at Tel Aviv University, it is one of the greatest miracles in human history and the lodestar of the Jewish present. “Israel has consolidated its hold as the most dominant entity in the Jewish experience,” he writes. “The Jewish center of gravity—cultural, religious, political, demographic, and even economic—has decamped from New York, and is now to be found in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the foreseeable future.” In the Israeli century, “the majority of Jews will come to live in the historic Land of Israel and enjoy the protection of the State of Israel.” Zion is where it will be at.

Like his one-state fellow traveler Peter Beinart, Boehm knows his audience: He couches his advocacy for the dissolution of the Jewish state in language intended to convince Jewish readers and non-Jewish critics of Israel that it is perfectly acceptable and desirable to overturn the country’s national identity. Even as he seeks to detonate the Israeli national project, he insists that he is more Zionist than the Zionists, selectively citing clippings by Menachem Begin, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion to argue that sovereignty as such was never really necessary. A Jewish state—as opposed to a binational state with a Jewish minority—was a mistake, a wrong turn that has led to a dead end.

According to Boehm, Israelis have become more hardline and closed-minded than their founding fathers, who were open to a broader range of political possibilities. The book’s title refers to Boehm’s personal promised land: not contested Jerusalem or vibrant Tel Aviv, but Haifa, a city unshackled from Jewish history or yearning that in Boehm’s telling can be the model for the successor state to the Zionist entity.
Yisrael Medad: When Siegfried Sassoon was in Palestine at the Same Time as Jabotinsky
Siegfried Sassoon (1886 – 1967) was a scion to the wealthy India Jewish merchant family on his father's side with his mother being Anglican, of the Thornycroft farmers whose progeny had turned to becoming sculptors, painters and engineers. He grew up in rural Kent yet his father abandoned the family before Siegfried was five. His education was at Cambridge although he did not formally finish. He played sports, wrote poetry and developed into a homosexual.

He enthusiastically enlisted in the army when war was delcared but his war peorty became predominately critical with biting satire. While convalescing from a wound received at the Arras batle, he came in close contact with a pacifist circle and a protest of his was read out in Parliament in late July 1917 and published in The Times the following day.

And then, he returned to service and
In November 1917, Sassoon was passed fit for service. He was sent to Ireland where he served until February 1918 and was then transferred to Palestine as part of General Allenby’s army. He hated it there and described Jerusalem as ‘not a very holy-looking place’ and referred to the natives as ‘Hebrews’. His vague Jewish connections through his father meant nothing to him. After three months in Palestine, Sassoon returned to the Western Front.

Sassoon arrived in Palestine on 12 March 1918, some 3 months after Jerusalem had surrendered to Allenby. Sassoon’s unit, the 25th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was stationed north of Ramalleh, near the Jerusalem–Nablus road; by the time Sassoon reached Palestine the unit was engaged in holding the recently-secured line.


Queen Elizabeth II and the Jews
This year, people in Britain and around the world are celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch in Britain’s history, who ascended to the throne 70 years ago, in 1952. In Britain, the centerpiece of Her Royal Majesty’s Jubilee celebrations is a special Bank Holiday weekend June 2-5.

Over three quarters of Britons report feeling admiration and approval for their queen. In fact, one recent survey found that the most popular dream in Britain is having tea with the queen.

On her 90th birthday, in 2016, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, then Britain’s Chief Rabbi and who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, spoke for many when he noted that “the respect she has shown for all religions has enriched our lives.” In her 70 years on the throne, her Royal Highness has provided encouragement to many, including her nation’s Jews.

Her Mother-in-Law Saved Jews During the Holocaust
The third season of The Crown features a Greek-speaking, tough talking nun. Shockingly, that nun was Queen Elizabeth II’s mother in law, Princess Alice of Battenberg. Even more surprisingly, The Crown never explores Princess Alice’s heroism during the Holocaust, when she saved Jews by sheltering them in her home in Nazi-occupied Athens. It’s an amazing story that ought to be known.

Born in 1885 in Windsor Castle - where Queen Elizabeth II now lives - Princess Alice was Queen Victoria’s great granddaughter. She was deaf - a fact that the royal family hid - and learned to lip read as a child. Historians have speculated that this might have made Princess Alice more sensitive to other people who were different from the mainstream in some way.

When Alice’s brother Edward was crowned King Edward VII in 1902, one of the guests at his coronation was a dashing Greek prince named Andrew. The two fell in love and married. Alice moved to Greece where she had four children: three daughters and a son, Philip (Queen Elizabeth II’s husband). The family was riddled with dysfunction. Alice’s husband became a dissolute playboy and eventually moved away. Her three daughters all became ardent supporters of Hitler and each one married senior Nazis. Only her son Prince Philip resembled her, eschewing Nazism and spending time with Jewish friends and his British relatives.

When World War II broke out, Prince Philip volunteered for the British navy, and battled Nazis with distinction. Princess Alice resisted in more secret ways. Remaining in Athens, she invited the Cohens, a distinguished Greek Jewish family with whom she and her husband had long been friends, to hide in her house. Rachel Cohen, her daughter Tilde, and her son Michel moved in with the princess. The apartment was small and located just yards from Athens’ Gestapo headquartered. Once, Princess Alice was even brought in for questioning, but she refused to divulge the fact that she was sheltering Jews in her home.

After the war, Princess Alice founded an order of nuns. She returned to London in 1967 and died there in 1969. She requested that her remains be interred in Jerusalem, and in 1988 they were buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

In 1993, Princess Alice was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. Prince Philip traveled to Jerusalem for the ceremony, where he planted a tree in his mother’s memory. “The Holocaust was the most horrific event in all of Jewish history,” the prince said, “and it will remain in the memory of all future generations. It is, therefore, a very generous gesture that also remembered here are the many millions of non-Jews, like my mother, who shared in your pain and anguish and did what they could in small ways to alleviate the horror. I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special… She would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress.”
Emily Schrader: China threatens free press worldwide - opinion
The Chinese Embassy fired a stern warning to The Jerusalem Post last week, after the paper published an in-depth interview with Taiwan’s foreign minister.

Absurdly to anyone in western media, the letter demanded that the Post “respect China’s core interests” and threatened to downgrade relations with Israel should the Post not comply with China’s demands to remove the article.

The Post of course rejected this demand; Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz tweeted the letter in full and affirmed the Post’s commitment to journalism and truth-telling. Shortly after, the letter was also met with condemnation by MK Moshe Arbel.

Sadly, this is not China’s first attempt to manipulate and control foreign press and its contributors, including in the Post with articles I have written.

Background
In February, the Chinese Embassy complained after I wrote about China’s gross human rights violations. The embassy called it “malicious slanders” and subtly threatened to downgrade Israel-China ties.

Referring to me, the Chinese Embassy spokesman wrote, “People would ask, what forces are behind this author to support the long-term groundless and malicious attacks on China? We warn those forces who smear China.... Their scheme will never succeed.”

Unfortunately for China, Israel’s press is both free and independent, and also unfortunately for China, I will continue to write about pressing issues, including the need to defend a democratic Taiwan or call out human rights abuses.

That being said, China’s attempts to interfere with foreign press should be internationally condemned, and governments around the world must work to ensure that robust freedom of the press is protected from any interests seeking to censor it.
PA’s Abbas dismisses US bid to boost ties unless consulate reopened
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his dissatisfaction with the series of steps the Biden administration is planning to introduce in order to boost ties with Ramallah, deeming the measures insufficient so long as the US consulate in Jerusalem remains shuttered, two US and Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel on Monday.

The US planned to announce that Hady Amr, deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, would be elevated to the role of special envoy to the Palestinians before US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and the West Bank in late June, the two officials said last month. On Friday, the White House decided to delay the trip until July.

Days earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared the administration’s plan in a phone call with Abbas. As part of Amr’s new portfolio, he would visit the region regularly and work closely with the Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU), which currently is a branch within the US Embassy to Israel and is housed at the old consulate building in Jerusalem.

In another move aimed at once again distinguishing between the diplomats serving the Palestinians and those serving the Israelis, the administration plans to have the PAU officially start reporting directly to Amr in Washington, rather than to the American ambassador in Israel, according to the US and Palestinian officials.

Abbas did not respond well to the proposals and asked Blinken to hold off on announcing them, according to the Palestinian and US officials.
The campus wars against the Jews
Ironically, many of these “progressive” anti-Israel college students actually are more Nazi-like than they realize. Remember: Not all Nazis murdered Jews with their hands or by building gas chambers or crematoria. Most Nazis simply voted quietly for Hitler and lined the streets cheering while Hitler’s motorcades drove by. Yet they, too, were Nazis. They were the ones who gave him power to destroy.

The Woke on America’s campuses today, as did Hitler’s minions, single out the Jews for BDS. They can’t boycott Arab Muslim countries because those dictatorships don’t produce anything meaningful. But college kids could boycott China, right? China is a hateful totalitarian dictatorship, the source of the Wuhan virus we call COVID, torturer of Uighur Muslims, suppressor of Hong Kong. If they sincerely cared about freedom and human rights, college kids could boycott Nike sports shoes, Apple iPhones, and all devices made in China, right? But they don’t.

Instead, like Hitler, with an entire globe from which to choose, they pinpoint the Jews — only the Jews. The one and only country in the world with a Jewish majority. That is their extent of foreign affairs activism. They try to mask their anti-Semitism by saying they are “only anti-Israel and anti-Zionist, not anti-Jewish.”

Understand with crystal clarity: Israel and Zionism are core to Judaism. You cannot be “against anti-Semitism” but also against Israel and Zionism. It’s not either-or. It’s both-and. Anyone against Israel and Zionism by definition is anti-Semitic. Period. Open the Bible. Abraham was a Zionist. So was Isaac. And Jacob. And Moses. And Joshua. And the Judges. And Kings Saul, David, Solomon, and all the Biblical kings. And the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all the Biblical prophets. And all the rabbis of the Talmud. And Maimonides. And Yehudah Halevi. Zionism is at Judaism’s core.

Yes, you can be against a particular government in Israel, just as American patriots can oppose Biden’s miserable policies and utter incompetence in America. Those political preferences can align with deep loving attitudes towards America. Indeed, love for America can inform opposition to those whose foolish policies would destroy her greatness. In the same way, it is OK to oppose a Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu or Naftali Bennett government.

So a person can love Israel, yet despise its government. But that is not what “BDS” is. BDS is a Nazi-like ideology that says the one Jewish-majority country in the world uniquely deserves to be boycotted, divested, sanctioned. None others. Not Cuba. Not Venezuela. Not Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia. Not China. Not Russia.

And the thing is, Israel is a nation of goodness. Arab Muslims have full equal rights in Israel. The present governing coalition there exists because an Arab Muslim party gives them the determining majority. There is an Arab Muslim on Israel’s Supreme Court. (How many in America?) Israel pays families a “child allowance” to encourage parents to have more kids. Guess what? Israel pays that same bounty to Arab Muslim Israelis to have more kids, too. Apartheid? Arab Muslims receive all the same benefits that Jews do in Israel.
Standford students create 'Palestinian Apartheid Week' against anti-Israel activists on campus

BDS map ties police, media to Boston Jewish, 'Zionist' institutions
Boston Jewish and Zionist institutions were alleged to be "structurally tied" to US media, police, government, and other key local establishments in a mapping project by activists affiliated with the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement on Friday.

A system of "harms"
The interactive map, created by The Mapping Project, ostensibly shows a network of connections of institutions that support Israel and other "harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing," the activist group said on their website.

The map ties Zionism to the "harms" of US imperialism, ableism, ecological harm, gentrification, the prison-industrial complex, and more. Institutions perceived by the activists as guilty of these "harms" are connected to the network, and subsequently to Jewish and Zionist establishments.

The database includes profiles on each entry on the map and explains their connection to Israel and other crimes.

"Our interactive map illustrates some ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy here where we live, and to US imperialist projects in other countries," The Mapping Project wrote. "Our map also shows the connections between harms such as privatization and medical apartheid, which are often facilitated by universities and their corporate partners."

The Mapping Project told Mondoweiss that it was trying to overcome BDS limitations in which activists would focus on one institution at a time, and instead identify a "web of connections" so that activists could identify "strategic vulnerabilities" of the system to "weaken and dismantle them."


Charity Commission confirms investigation into NUS’ charitable arm following letter from Robert Halfon MP and CAA
The Charity Commission has confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the National Union of Students’ (NUS) charitable arm, following a letter calling on the regulator to do so from Robert Halfon MP and Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In his letter, Mr Halfon, who is the Chair of the Education Select Committee, wrote to “voice my dismay at the actions and behaviour of the National Union of Students and its trustees, in regards to their treatment of Jewish students and the Jewish community’s concerns regarding antisemitism. Together with Campaign Against Antisemitism…I politely request that the Commission launch a Section 46 inquiry, pursuant to the 2011 Charities Act into the NUS and look forward to receiving your response.”

Mr Halfon enclosed a dossier of evidence by Campaign Against Antisemitism detailing how NUS has failed Jewish students. He wrote that he is “particularly concerned about the enclosed dossier of antisemitic events that have taken place within the NUS over the past several years — and which come following decades of concerning trends — which was prepared by CAA.”

Mr Halfon made particular reference in his letter to the recent scandal involving the rapper Kareem Dennis, known as Lowkey, who was due to headline NUS’s centenary conference last month. After initially dismissing the concerns of Jewish students, who pointed out the rapper’s inflammatory record, the union came under media scrutiny and eventually Mr Dennis withdrew from the event.

As the scandal erupted, Mr Halfon excoriated NUS for failing to send a representative to attend a hearing held by his committee.

This scandal was immediately followed by the election of Shaima Dallali as NUS’s new President, despite her history of antisemitic tweets and other inflammatory social media posts. Prior to the election, she apologised for one such tweet.

As the dossier produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism observes, “Despite [its] ostensible and much-vaunted commitment to anti-racism, NUS has a long record of controversy in relation to Jewish students and antisemitism, dating back decades.
Headlines with the Haddads - Chile, Poland, and Bad Takes!
Emily and Yoseph wrap up a month of travels for Israel and discuss what they saw and learned in Chile and Poland.


Mark Ruffalo calls for Paypal to offer service in Palestinian territories
Actor Mark Ruffalo called for online payments provider Paypal to make their services available in the West Bank and Gaza regions on Monday afternoon.

“Paypal operates in Israel’s illegal settlements – but is refusing to provide service to Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, in direct violation of UN guidelines,” tweeted Ruffalo, who has been a vocal critic of Israel in the past.

Ruffalo posted the message on Twitter along with a link to a petition to bring Paypal to the Palestinian territories – a petition organized by the non-profit organization “SumOfUs” – who claims their pressure on ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s helped lead to its withdrawal from Palestinian territories.

“SumOfUs members like you made a huge difference in getting Ben & Jerry’s to be the first large global corporation to pull out of the illegally Occupied Palestinian Territory in years,” the petition reads. “Multiple sources within the company said the ten of thousands of you that took action had a huge impact in this decision.”

“Now is the time to join the tens of thousands SumOfUs members who have already signed the petition calling on PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians,” the petition declares.


Media Bury Terror Ties of Palestinian Fatalities
AFP’s articles that day (June 2) also neglected to note that Kabha was a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (See “Third Palestinian in 24 hours killed by Israeli army: health ministry” and “Palestinian killed in West Bank clash with Israeli army: Palestinians“). Kabha was not the only Palestinian casualty whose terrorist affiliation was buried that day. Thus, AFP’s June 2 news stories neglected to identify Ayman Muhaisen, a second Palestinian killed that day in clashes with the IDF, as a member of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another terror organization.

In this case, the news agency’s funeral captions did commendably note that PFLP members are carrying Muhaisen’s body.

AFP’s photographs clearly show that Muhaisen’s body is draped in full PFLP regalia. AFP clearly knew about Muhaisen’s status as a member of a designated terror organization, so why didn’t its reporters note it in the stories?

There was nothing exceptional about AFP’s burial of the Palestinian casualties’ terror affiliations last week.

Indeed, Reuters June 2 article (“Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinians as violence simmers“) also did not report that the aforementioned Bilal Kabha, killed that day in Yabad when Israeli troops came to demolish the home of the terrorist who murdered five last month in Bnai Brak, is a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.

In addition, Reuters’ story ignored the army’s information that Kabha fired on Israeli troops, drawing fatal return fire. Reuters’ account cited stone-throwing on the part of the Palestinians, but not shooting or the use of Molotov cocktails and explosives.
Success! Canadian Anti-Israel Detractor's Original Account No Longer Exists On TikTok
We are pleased to report that with the help of the entire HonestReporting Canada community, the original account from Firas al-Najim, which had a following of over 8,000 people, and which hosted multiple antisemitic videos, no longer exists on TikTok.

Original Story Below
Just days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, HonestReporting Canada is alarmed to see that a Canadian anti-Israel detractor, Firas al-Najim, used his TikTok account comprised of 8,281 followers, to spew antisemitism and to intimate Jews.

In a video entitled: #StopPalestinianHolocaust, al-Najim says that: “On the Holocaust Remembrance Day, we want to talk about the Palestinian Holocaust that is happening every minute and every hour inside the holy occupied land of Palestine that they call Israel.”

He went on to say that : “Jewish Rabbis… say that Zionists are using the Holocaust Remembrance Day to play a victim role so they can occupy Palestine and hurt the Palestinians…“

The description of his video says that: “Antisemitism is a fraudulent card being used & abused by Zionists to justify occupation.”

Al-Najim spread this antisemitic conspiracy theory on TikTok asserting that antisemitism is a fraud that “Zionists” use to justify occupation and that “Zionists” use Holocaust Remembrance Day to “play a victim role” to occupy Palestine.
Belgium Jews to fight kosher slaughter ban
European Jews are preparing for a final battle to prevent a ban on Jewish slaughter in Brussels, a move that would in practice prohibit Jewish slaughter across Belgium.

Kosher slaughter is already banned in two of the country's three regions.

In closed meetings now underway in Munich, the Conference of European Rabbis expressed concerns that if passed, a Belgium ban on kosher slaughter could lead other countries to follow suit.

In a conversation with Israel Hayom, Brussels Rabbi Abraham Gigi called the ban an "injustice. The slaughter in Belgium is crueler. Hundreds of thousands of animals endure terrible suffering before slaughter, and they don't care. They slaughter 10 million pigs by suffocating them with gas, they hear them screaming, and they don't care …..

"We are worried that if this passes, it could snowball. There are voices in France and many countries in Europe that demand kosher slaughter be canceled," Gigi said.

European Jews have been offered to allow the animals to be stunned before slaughter, something that would violate Halacha. The rabbis, however, believe a solution can be found and are debating whether to agree to a compromise.
Alex Davies jailed for over eight years after being convicted of membership of neo-Nazi terrorist group, National Action
Alex Davies, 27, has been sentenced today to eight and-a-half years after he was convicted last month of membership of the neo-Nazi terrorist group, National Action.

Mr Davies, of Swansea, was found guilty last month by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of being a member of the proscribed group, which he founded in 2013, between 17th December 2016 and 27th September 2017.

National Action was proscribed by the British Government following repeated calls by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others.

Following the ban, Mr Davies was involved in the development of a “continuity” organisation, designed to continue the work of the banned group and initially called the Southern Activist Network, later renamed NS131. That group was also banned as an alias of National Action nine months after the proscription of its predecessor organisation.

During the trial, Mr Davies explained his ideology, saying that “If we were to take power, our aim is to have an overwhelmingly white Britain as it more or less has been for centuries. It’s only in the past 50/60/70 years we have had mass immigration. It would be to return to the status quo of before the Second World War.” He was asked if he would repatriate Jewish families with British heritage dating back centuries and replied: “Yes, that’s how repatriation would work.”

The court also heard that he was photographed in 2016 performing a Nazi salute in the Buchenwald death camp execution chamber, and said that he did not believe that the Holocaust occurred. He said that he felt “badly” about the photograph, and, regarding the Holocaust, insisted: “I do not believe there was a systematic extermination of Jews. I can’t be a national socialist if the Holocaust occurred, I cannot support an ideology that supports genocide. I have the same moral compass as anyone else, I believe murder is wrong and I cannot support something that engaged in systematic genocide of people because they are Jewish.”
First kosher restaurant in Abu Dhabi opens
The first kosher restaurant has opened in Abu Dhabi, bringing flavours of Jewish culinary culture to the capital.

The Kosher Place, situated in the Venetian Village at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, will boost efforts to integrate the cuisine into the emirate's dining scene.

Rabbi Levi Duchman, who is behind the Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification (EAKC), the UAE's own government-approved Kashrut certification, is delighted to see Abu Dhabi's first dedicated kosher spot open its doors.

“Back in 2020 or 2021, we signed a partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism ― Abu Dhabi, when they were seeking to help all of the hotels in Abu Dhabi to have kosher food available,” he told The National.

“We have been working with hotels in the emirate to assist them with kosher food.

“But what’s really exciting about this is, finally, we have the first full-time kosher restaurant.”

Putting kosher on the menu in Abu Dhabi
There are several kosher kitchens in the capital, which prepare food according to Jewish dietary rules for venues such as hotels.

It is challenging, however, for ordinary restaurants to serve kosher food, because there are certain rules guiding its preparation, which include separate sinks and utensils for dairy and meat.
‘Deadly Scrolls’: Jewish Mystery Book Takes Place in Jerusalem, Qumran
Since The Da Vinci Code hit shelves nearly two decades ago, publishers have eagerly proclaimed a number of titles “the next Da Vinci.” But Ellen Frankel’s new novel, The Deadly Scrolls, book one in the “Jerusalem Mysteries” series, may be the first Jewish contender for the crown.

Set in modern Jerusalem and the desert ruins of Qumran, an American professor’s murder reveals his discovery of a lost Dead Sea Scroll, whose text encodes the secret hiding places of the lost Second Temple treasures. Meanwhile, the protagonist, Israeli intelligence agent Maya Rimon, races against the clock to stop a religious extremist from launching a deadly terrorist attack at the next Blood Moon, bringing the apocalypse to Jerusalem.

The page-turner, entangled with car chases, mysterious puzzles and Sherlockian logic, is targeted to a wide audience: Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, Zionists and especially mystery lovers in general, “people who are interested the Middle East, interested in ancient history, especially around the time of the beginning of Christianity and the destruction of the Second Temple,” Frankel told The Jerusalem Post.

“I also hope to appeal to Evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews who are fascinated with Jewish history,” she said. “I would say I’m hoping for a fairly broad audience.”

Frankel said she’s been writing since age 10. The author of 11 books who served as editor-in-chief and CEO of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) for 18 years before retiring in 2009, is a seasoned writer, but The Deadly Scrolls, released last month, is her first adult fiction series. She said writing fiction was a different experience, one that required a lot of persistence.
"A First: More Women than Men Published Hebrew Books in 2021"
The National Library of Israel has presented its annual report on the Israeli publishing industry for the year 2021, which points to a resurgence in the Israeli book market, and indicates that for the first time, female authors published more books of Hebrew prose and poetry than their male counterparts.

As it has every year ahead of Hebrew Book Week, the National Library of Israel has presented the Israeli publishing figures for the past year. In 2021, a resurgence in the book market was evident, following a COVID-related slump in 2020. In 2021, 7,344 printed books were published in Israel in addition to 982 digital books. This represents an increase in comparison with the previous year when only 6,487 books were published, but still less than the record figures of 2018 and 2019 when over 8,000 books were published in each of those years. These figures do not include final papers written in academic contexts, academic journals, magazines, or press articles.

In 2021, 447 biographies and autobiographies were published in Israel, primarily by independent publishing houses; 72% of them were written about men and only 28% about women. There were 381 releases in the “Instructional Books” category, most of them dedicated to self-empowerment, relationships, and family life, as well as methods for earning money. Seventy-four books were published in 2021 dealing directly with the COVID pandemic.

The vast majority of the books published in Israel were released in Hebrew – 91.4%; 4.8% were published in English; 2.2% in Arabic; 0.6% in Russian; and 1% in other languages.


Oldest Concentration Camp Survivor Dies at Age 108
The oldest known survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, Boris Pahor, died on Monday in the Italian city of Trieste at the age of 108, reported Deutsche Welle.

Pahor was born on Aug. 26, 1913, in the city of Trieste, which belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. He was part of the Slovenian minority in the city and fought with the Slovenian resistance against the Nazi occupation during World War II.

He was arrested by the Nazis in 1944 and deported to Dachau, which he survived along with four other Nazi concentration camps: Natzweiler-Struthof, Dora-Mittelbau, Harzungen and Bergen-Belsen.

Pahor published the autobiographical novel “Necropolis” in 1967 about the horrors of the Holocaust. He also wrote “Flowers for a Leper” (2004) and “Piazza Oberdan” (2006), about the brutality of Italian fascists towards the Slovenian minority in Trieste, and “A Difficult Spring” (1978), based on his experience of moving to Paris after the war.

The Holocaust survivor was a recipient of Slovenia’s highest award for cultural achievement in 1991 and was appointed to the country’s Academy of Sciences and Arts.

In one of his last public appearances, he talked about the importance of remembering the Holocaust, saying, “I wanted to testify and explain what I experienced so that others can learn how and what can happen.”






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