Tuesday, August 23, 2022

From Ian:

Phyllis Chesler: ‘Jewish Lives Matter’: Human Rights and Anti-Semitism, by Fiamma Nirenstein
Israel and the Jewish people have long borne the burden of envy and hatred for their views about monotheism, morality and law. So, too, Ukraine is now bearing the burden of representing the West in its fight against Eastern (Iranian, Russian, Turkish and Chinese) totalitarianism and aggression. The West is supplying the weapons; Ukraine is providing the human sacrifices.

Iran, which has been designated as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, has a long reach. On Aug. 12, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed 10 times by a 24- year-old Shi’ite Muslim supporter of Iran, Hadi Matar—someone who was not even born when Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or legal death decree, against Rushdie for having insulted Islam.

Iran funds the murders of Israeli Jews through its proxies such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It has been almost impossible to persuade Westerners, including the media and the professoriate, that Iran’s war is primarily a religious war against non-Muslims, Sunni Muslims, and against Judeo-Christian values and Western secular modernity. Such Islamists do not allow free thought or free speech. Criticizing any part of Islamist culture or religion is an insult; their dishonor can only be cleansed by your death.

As former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss pointed out, Western cancel culture is somewhat similar in that a single word or idea is experienced as a violent act and therefore demands being censored and/or a physically violent response.

This is the political moment in which Fiamma Nirenstein—an Italian-born, Jerusalem-based journalist and former Italian parliamentarian—has published a cri de coeur, an updated version of Zola’s J’Accuse. She has titled it Jewish Lives Matter. An English-language copy can be downloaded here.

Emile Zola was compelled to speak out in 1898 because of the Dreyfus case, in which French-Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus was falsely accused of treason, publicly stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island. He was innocent and had been framed by anti-Semites.

Nirenstein was driven to “cry out” over the extraordinary global cognitive war against Israel and the way in which the “good people,” especially the human rights activists and organizations, have all signed onto modern blood libels in the name of “human rights.” Nirenstein is passionate, angry and exceptionally eloquent. She writes:

“The criminalization of Israel has by now been disseminated worldwide. It is a mindset based on lies that have become part and parcel of the media’s daily fare since the Durban Conference in 2001 … The diabolical confusion between blaming Jews and exalting human rights has created a serious short circuit. The notion of an intersectionality that must identify oppressed and oppressors — espoused today from institutions such as the United Nations or the European Union to movements such as Black Lives Matter and those of the LGBTQ community — has proved to be a breeding ground for anti-Jewish hatred, to the point of spawning absurdities that range from imagining Israel as an apartheid state to asserting that Jews are ‘white supremacists.”
Lyn Julius: How Did Jews Flee to Israel from the Arab World?
It’s an incongruous sight: a WWII plane marooned among the trees at the Atlit Museum of Clandestine Immigration near Haifa.

But this latest addition to the army camp where illegal immigrants were detained during the British Mandate is no ordinary plane. It took years to be tracked down – and it was finally found in Alaska.

The plane, a Commando C-46, is a replica of that which was used for Operation Michaelberg – a 1947 mission to transport 150 illegal immigrants to British Mandate Palestine from Iraq and Italy.

It was the first time that a civil aircraft was used to transport illegal immigrants from the Muslim world.

Before the establishment of the State of Israel, most clandestine arrivals to Mandatory Palestine came from European countries, yet hundreds of thousands of Jews also risked life and limb to flee Arab and Muslim states.

Illegal immigration before 1948 was known as “Aliyah Bet,” short for “Aliyah Bilti Legalit“, which literally means “illegal immigration”. It was run by Mossad LeAliyah Bet, a section of the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, and was funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Aliyah Bet was mainly by sea in defiance of quotas imposed by the British White paper of 1939.

In the post-war years preceding the creation of the State of Israel, some 100,000 immigrants arrived. It is claimed that as many as a third came from Arab or Muslim countries. After Israel was established this task fell to the Mossad, Israel’s secret service.

Once founded, Israel could fling open its gates and accept all Jews who wanted to come. There followed some of the greatest migrations in history by land, sea and air: 650,000 Jews arrived from Arab countries – 90 percent of the communities of Libya, Iraq and Yemen, a third of the Jews of Morocco.

But the window to leave soon closed. Arab countries would not allow their Jews out – they were hostages to the conflict. This was the case for six years in Morocco, until the 1970s in Iraq and Egypt and until the 1990s in Yemen and Syria.
Noor Dahri: Pakistani-born Muslim, counter-terrorism expert … and Zionist
Noor Dahri just published a new book on the Israel Defense Forces. He is a counter-terrorism researcher and a former officer with the London Police. He has studied at Herzliya’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and has lectured in front of Israeli security experts.

Dahri is currently in Israel gathering research for his next book on Israeli security threats, traveling along Israel’s often tense borders with Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. Details of his trip, including visits to the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and the Western Wall have made waves on social media. What makes Dahri different than other security analysts, is that he is a devout adherent to Islamic doctrine and a self-defined “Muslim Zionist.”

Born in Pakistan, Dahri came to London at the age of 30 as a secular Muslim, disappointed with violent adherents of the Islamic faith. In London, he joined a Marxist organization before meeting his Pakistani-born wife. Today, Darhi is a full-fledged practicing Salafi Muslim, praying five times a day, fasting during Ramadan and has made pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.

He believes that many of the intolerant sentiments and violent doctrines exhibited by large groups of Muslims are “manipulated by Jihadists” and not Koranic in nature.

He believes in a “more moderate” version of Islam, one that is not inconsistent with having strong ties with Jews and the State of Israel. For his friendship, he was named an “honorary member” of the Zionist Federation.

Dahri is currently the founder and executive director of the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism (ITCT).

He sat down with JNS for a wide-ranging interview covering theology, security, geopolitics, and his unique journey towards faith and friendships. The interview was often emotional, including many smiles and occasional tears.


Morningstar ESG rating system violates Arizona anti-BDS law, treasurer says
Arizona’s state treasurer notified Morningstar last week that the investment firm’s Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) rating system violates the state’s anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions law.

The move, first revealed in a release obtained by Jewish Insider on Monday, would place Morningstar on Arizona’s list of prohibited investments unless the firm can explain to the state, within 30 days, how it has not violated the law.

Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee wrote in a letter to Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor that, based on an outside report by law firm White & Case commissioned by Morningstar, the Treasurer’s Office had determined that Morningstar’s ESG subsidiary, Sustainalytics, “uses anti-Israel and antisemitic sources to negatively impact the scores of companies doing business in Israel and in Israeli-controlled territories.”

“Morningstar’s ESG rating subsidiary, Sustainalytics, appears to violate Arizona law by negatively impacting ratings of companies doing business in Israel,” Yee said in her statement. “I will not allow companies to promote policies that are antisemitic and discriminatory efforts against Israel, which is America’s longtime friend and ally, and a significant trade partner with Arizona.”

Arizona does not currently have any public funds invested in Morningstar, Yee spokesperson Alyssa Koury told JI, but added that a new law taking effect on Sept. 24 would require “any government entity in Arizona” to divest from Morningstar if the company is added to the prohibited investments list.

A Morningstar spokesperson told JI that the company “does not support the anti-Israel BDS campaign” and is “evaluating” Yee’s letter.

“The very fact that Sustainalystics has chosen to review companies doing business in Israel under the guise of its ESG rating system violates Arizona law as your company is ‘performing actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with entities doing business in Israel,’” Yee wrote in the letter.
Westchester’s Pro-Israel Community Is Livid With J Street
Shortly after J Street-endorsed candidate Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) lost in the Democratic primary, J Street lambasted AIPAC and Democratic Majority For Israel for supporting Rep. Haley Stevens. The progressive group took particular aim at the two groups “aggressive outside spending…[which] is harmful to American foreign policy, to the Democratic Party and ultimately to the State of Israel. (J Street’s emphasis)

It’s obvious sour grapes coming from a group that endorsed and funded a campaign just like AIPAC and DMFI, but lost.

Not three weeks later, J Street has entered the race of New York’s 16th Congressional District, in lower Westchester County. And in a hypocritical and disgusting fashion.

Neither the bipartisan group AIPAC nor the centrist Democratic DMFI have spent one dollar on the NY-16 race. Neither group has even endorsed any of the three candidates running. While both groups strongly dislike the anti-Israel Rep. Jamaal Bowman who is the incumbent, they have refrained from engaging in the race as the odds of defeating him are low, so have opted to focus elsewhere.

J Street endorsed Bowman early but did not put in any money into the race. Until now.

Wealthy and Poor Voters Split
After witnessing the near loss of another anti-Israel incumbent member of “the Squad”, Ilhan Omar (D-MN), J Street has become nervous. Omar won her Democratic primary by 2,400 votes out of 110,000 cast. Omar won the poorer, densely populated city area of Minneapolis but lost the wealthy suburbs. If AIPAC of DMFI had put resources into the race, Omar would likely have been defeated.

There are potential lessons for the NY-16 race.

J Street endorsed Rep. Bowman in January 2022 when NY-16 included a large section of the Bronx section of New York City. In May, the district was redrawn, removing almost the entirety of the Bronx and replacing it with the wealthier suburbs of lower Westchester. This dynamic could theoretically swap the rank-and-file reliable liberal voters with more moderate ones, threatening a far-left incumbent like Bowman.


PreOccupiedTerritory: Groups Taking Qatari, Chinese Funding Slam AIPAC As Pushing Foreign Interests (satire)
Think tanks, commentators, academics, and activists whose activities enjoy financial support from undemocratic overseas governments, corporations, and institutions again criticized a grassroots US organization dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the relationship between the US and Israel, for promoting policies that they claim serve a foreign country.

Representatives whose groups depend on money from repressive dictatorships opposed to American interests such as Qatar, Iran, China, and Russia accused the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee and its new campaign-contribution arm of subordinating American policy to “what’s good for Israel.” AIPAC consists in its entirety of US citizens supportive of a robust alliance with the Jewish state, and its funding comes entirely from those citizens. Support for the robust alliance dovetails with the position of the vast majority of their fellow citizens.

“Dark money from foreign interests, that’s what they represent,” charged Motin Yorei of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Just look at the candidates they support. Not a single one calls for dismantling the Zionist enterprise, and they’ve blinded the American public for too long. I’m not allowed to say anything that they’ll jump on me for as antisemitic, so I’m going to stop now. As you can see, they have a chilling effect on free political expression in this country.” CAIR receives much of its funding from Qatari and, allegedly, Iranian, sources, states that jail people for expressing wrong opinions, instead of letting others merely criticize those opinions.

“I won’t be the one to invoke the antisemitic ‘dual loyalty’ trope,” acknowledged Duwazai Sei of the Brookings Institution, also a Qatari grantee. “That will get us nowhere. Especially since AIPAC also has support from non-Jews. So it must be that Jewish money has corrupted those non-Jews into thinking that support for Zionism is good. Is that an acceptable trope?”
The Guardian and the ABC join global media outlets in cutting ties with anti-Semitic freelance journalist Fady Hanona
The Guardian Australia has “no plans” to work with an anti-Semitic freelance journalist after horrific social media posts came to light.

Palestinian freelance journalist and “fixer” Fady Hanona was let go from his job with the New York Times after a series of anti-Semitic posts re-emerged on social media.

In one of the posts, Hanona expressed his support for killing jews and said: “The Jews are sons of the dogs … I am in favor of killing them and burning them like Hitler did. I will be so happy”.

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Media organisations from across the globe have followed the New York Times and cut ties with the Gaza-based journalist.

Hanona serviced the ABC, SBS and The Guardian Australia – filing one piece of video journalism for the latter.

A spokesperson for the ABC said Hanona had only carried out “ad hoc logistics” for the public broadcaster’s stories in Gaza and said it would end its affiliation with him.

“He is not an employee and the ABC hasn’t aired any stories by him. After being made aware this week of his past comments the ABC will not be working with him any further,” the spokesperson told SkyNews.com.au.

A spokesperson for The Guardian told The Australian that the outlet had published one piece of Hanona’s journalism but added: “We have no plans to work with him in the future”.

The SBS said it had used Hanona as a “stringer from Gaza” like “many global media outlets”.

“In light of the comments revealed this week, we won’t be working with him going forward,” a spokesperson told The Australian.
Saltwire Columnist Claims Israel Escalated Conflict with Islamic Jihad Purposefully
Gwynne Dyer’s recent column in the Telegram, “Israel’s strategic proportionalism approach with Gaza makes ‘mowing the grass’ far more dangerous,” is one such example.

Dyer’s column barely acknowledges Israel’s security concerns vis-a-vis groups like Islamic Jihad, which he describes as a “resistance movement” that lobs “homemade” rockets. To wit, apple pies are homemade, while deadly rockets are manufactured and fired by terrorists. Dyer instead portrays the Jewish State as merely itching to provoke a war with Iran, the major funder, supplier and patron of many Islamist terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.

Claiming that Israel “is in a hurry” to escalate the conflict with Gaza-based terror groups, and that “Israel wanted retaliation” from Islamic Jihad so it could use the escalation to attack Iran, Dyer depicts Israel as wanting to create armed conflict leading to deaths and injuries for no other purpose, it seems, than to send a warning message to Iran, and to “get considerable satisfaction from seeing some of their missiles fall on Iran for a change.”

But beyond Dyer’s prognostications, there is simply no evidence for such outlandish and baseless claims.

In his column, Dyer describes the dynamic between the Jewish State and the Islamic Republic thusly: “Israel and Iran have been sworn enemies since the Islamic Revolution in Iran more than 40 years ago.” This statement, while superficially accurate, is in fact wildly misleading.
The Guardian erases Arab citizens of Israel
So, Ifaf appears to be an Arab Israeli, which matters because, as noted above, we were told that her “dreams to join the medical profession were dashed because she’s a ‘Palestinian’.

The fact is that, as an Arab Israeli, there aren’t many impediments to her training and being employed in Israel’s healthcare industry. As a religious Muslim woman, she likely faces obstacles due to the conservative culture she lives in, but not because she’s an Arab in the Jewish state. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Arab citizens’ who work in that industry are over-represented based on their percentage of the population.

As reported in Haaretz and other Israeli news outlets, data in 2021 from Israel’s Health Ministry showed that Arabs and Druze in Israel, who make up about 20% of the country’s population, “constitute almost half (46 percent) of recipients of medical licenses; half of the new nurses, male and female (50 percent, as compared with just 9 percent in 2000); and more than half the dentists (53 percent) and pharmacists (57 percent).”

Tellingly, on the Guardian contributor’s Instagram page, she uses the term “Palestinian village” to refer to what is clearly an Arab city in Israel.

So, the article deceived readers in two ways: First, by eliding Ifaf’s Israeli citizenship in calling her a “Palestinian”. (In fact, a small minority of Israel’s Arab population identifies as “Palestinian”.) Second, by falsely suggesting that she faced professional obstacles due to Israeli racism.

Once again, we see how, in the contest between the desired political narrative about Israel and the nuanced truth, the former wins nearly every time.
Actress Lisa Kudrow Talks About Family’s Holocaust Experiences in Podcast Episode
Jewish actress Lisa Kudrow opened up about her paternal family’s experience in World War II in a recent podcast interview and admitted that as a child she felt disconnected to what her ancestors endured in the Holocaust.

“My father told us about the Holocaust and I was too young to hear about it, honestly,” the former “Friends” star recalled on the Aug. 3 episode of the podcast “Podcrushed,” which is co-hosted by actor Penn Badgley.

Kudrow, 59, explained that when she was six years old, her father spoke to her about the Holocaust but she didn’t think it impacted her family much.

“I think I was a little too young for that and maybe as a consequence of that, all I knew was ‘Well, I haven’t heard that we had any relatives in concentration camps so the Holocaust, yeah, but maybe not my family,” she said.

Kudrow said although she did not think her family was affected by the Holocaust when she was younger, she now realizes how wrong she was and criticized herself saying, “It’s so stupid, this weird denial thing.”

“The Comeback” star added that when she was seven years old “my grandmother told me that her parents were killed by Hitler and I went ‘was he like a serial killer? What are you talking about? You tell a lot of crazy stories, old lady.'” Her grandmother would then start crying while detailing how Hitler “killed my mother and sisters, brothers and the babies.”
CNN’s Dana Bash: We Must Be ‘Aggressive, Zealous’ in Educating Against Antisemitism
CNN’s Dana Bash has what she calls “a very, very Jewish response” to the question of why she’s hosting a special for her network on antisemitism in America.

“The bad news is there is antisemitism in America,” Bash told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “The good news is I work in a place that wants to shine a spotlight on it, and allow for an investigation into what is happening, why it’s happening and what are the solutions.”

Bash, a member of Temple Micah in Washington, D.C., is the great-granddaughter of Hungarian Jews who were murdered at Auschwitz. She told JTA that having the opportunity to report a special on modern antisemitism was “one of the most important things I’ve ever done.”

The hour-long special, “Rising Hate: Antisemitism In America,” will air on CNN Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. It’s a broad overview of the last few years of antisemitism in America, with a particular focus on how it has evolved in the digital age. Other topics include the Coleyville, Texas, synagogue hostage crisis that unfolded earlier this year; the role former President Donald Trump’s campaign played in fomenting antisemitic rhetoric; Jewish college students who have reported discrimination on campuses; and the operations of the Secure Community Network, a nonprofit that tracks and responds to antisemitic threats from an undisclosed bunker in the Chicago area.

The topic is a personal one for Bash, in more ways than one. To accompany the special, she authored an essay on CNN’s website in which she discusses her own recent apprehension when her preteen son asked her if he could wear a Star of David necklace in public. Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy on antisemitism, is interviewed in the special, and also discusses why she wears a Star of David as she works.
CNN Should Look Inwards & Act After Antisemitism Special
On Sunday, CNN aired a one-hour special by anchor Dana Bash entitled “Rising Hate: Antisemitism In America.” The program brought a much-needed focus on a serious topic.

However, if this topic is truly important to Bash and the network, then their first act now that the special has aired should be to look inward and address what CNN has thus far refused to do: retract the antisemitism the network itself aired last year.

This shouldn’t be much of an ask given that Bash’s own comments suggest CNN now does care about the topic. As Bash told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday, she “work[s] in a place that wants to shine a spotlight on [antisemitism], and allow[s] for an investigation into what is happening, why it’s happening and what are the solutions.”

That’s good to hear, because last year CAMERA sent CNN multiple corrections requests, which have yet to be addressed, following the airing of its error-laden six-part special, “Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury.” Beyond the constant historical revisionism and falsehoods, the series also veered into open antisemitism.

After repeated instances of the series downplaying and erasing Jewish history in the Land of Israel, and specifically in the city of Jerusalem, one of the final moments saw a guest, Huda Imam, state the following:
“The whole of Palestine continues to be eaten up like a cancerous disease. Deleting, erasing, arresting, demolishing, and the world is silent again.”

You don’t have to ask the genocidal Ayatollah Khamenei to know what the implied solution is (eradication) when the Jewish state is called a “cancer.”


One-Third of British Population Believe in Antisemitic Conspiracies, New Survey Says
A recent survey has found that antisemitic attitudes among British youth are “shockingly” high, amid an upsurge in anti-Jewish incidents in Britain perpetrated by minors.

Hope not Hate, a non-profit that describes itself as an anti-racist watchdog, found that 34% of Britons aged 18-24 believe it is “probably” or “definitely true” that Jews have inordinate control of the world’s banking and financial systems. 20% of the survey’s cohort of 4,010 respondents across all ages gave a similar answer.

Hope not Hate listed several factors contributing to the prevalence of the belief, including widespread unhappiness with COVID-19 lockdowns, deindustrialization, globalization, and the trans-rights movement. It also said that distrust of established media sources has led young people to seek out alternative information sources on social media, where antisemitic conspiracy theories prime users to accept theories of Jewish power and control.

“While openness to conspiracy theory does not indicate that people are necessarily bought into the idea, high degrees of openness among 18-24s in our poll should come as some concern,” the report said. “To some extent, young people’s low trust in political institutions explains their openness to conspiracies about a ‘new world order’ where a group of elites control events, this opens a clear route to more extreme beliefs.”

The report also found a connection between “reactionary identity issues amongst young people” and the prevalence of antisemitic conspiracies.

“We find that it is younger people who are far more likely to voice support for a reactionary right party that stands against ‘woke culture,’ while the strongest opposition comes from older respondents,” the reported stated.
Argentina’s president blasted for comparing pandemic to Holocaust
Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez came under fire for drawing similarities between the coronavirus pandemic and the Holocaust.

He compared COVID-19 to “one or two Holocausts” while speaking at a seminar for the 33 members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The event concluded on Aug. 18 in the capital of Buenos Aires.

The Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA)—the umbrella organization of Argentina’s Jewish community—said “the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews practiced by Nazism cannot and should not be equated with another situation.”

The Anti-Defamation League also condemned the president’s remarks, saying in a Twitter post on Monday that “evoking the 6 million Jews who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust to reference the tragic COVID global death toll is an affront to the victims of the Shoah.”

B’nai Brith International said in a statement on Twitter that Fernandez’s “trivialization” of the Holocaust is “unacceptable and deeply disrespects the victims of the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind.”
Trump-backed Kari Lake pulls endorsement for Oklahoma candidate over antisemitic comments
Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed GOP nominee for Arizona governor, has pulled her endorsement of an Oklahoma state legislative candidate over antisemitism remarks he has made.

A spokesman for Lake’s campaign told the Arizona Mirror that Lake pulled the endorsement of Oklahoma GOP state Senate candidate Jarrin Jackson Monday after she had threatened to do so over the weekend.

Jackson was reported last month to have made offensive comments about Jews and people in the LGBTQ community.

“I looked at Jarrin’s resume as Combat Veteran in Afghanistan. It is impossible to dig into everything someone has said in their life,” Lake told Axios Phoenix in a statement on Saturday. “If his reported comments are true, I obviously rescind my endorsement.”

Jackson said in videos posted online that he is “not beholden to Jews or any other group,” saying: “I love Jews because Christ told me to, not because they deserve it.”

“All Jews will go to hell if they don’t believe the gospel of Jesus Christ … just like everybody else,” he added, according to The Oklahoman.

However, the candidate also seemed to characterize Jews as “evil” in a response he wrote to a documentary.

“Outline & detail the evil. Amen,” he wrote in February. “The Jews, Illuminati, Covid shots kill. Rothschilds. Communists. Woke pastors. Social gospel. Christ will chuck a bunch of stuff in the fire.”
Scott Jensen likens COVID-19 public health policies to Kristallnacht, Nazism
Republican nominee for governor Scott Jensen is set to appear Tuesday at a Republican Jewish Coalition event.

He may want to clarify to the group some remarks he made in April in which he off-handedly compared recent public health policies to Hitler’s rise.

Jensen was speaking to a group called MaskOffMN, which calls the government’s response to COVID-19 “a fraud.” The group also alleges the COVID-19 vaccines are not proven safe nor effective and warns that “A Peacetime Emergency could still be reinstated in Minnesota at any time, with all its mask mandates, lockdowns, and tyranny.”

Jensen was among like-minded people at the event — as of earlier this year Jensen was not vaccinated and once referred to COVID-19 as a “mild four day respiratory illness.”

Jensen sought to explain why it was important to ask questions of our government, and he seemed to imply that groups like MaskOffMN that resist government public health policies would help prevent a repeat of Nazism.

“If you look at the 1930’s and you look at it carefully, we could see something’s happening. Little things that people chose to push aside. ‘It’s going to be okay.’ And then the little things grew into something bigger. Then there was a night called Kristallnacht. The night of the breaking glass,” said Jensen, whose comments were also reported Monday by TCJewfolk.

He’s referring to two nights in November 1938 when violent mobs destroyed synagogues and plundered Jewish homes and businesses.

Jensen traced more history: “Then there was the book burning, and it kept growing and growing, and a guy named Hitler kept growing in power, and World War II came about.”
Camera catches two attacks on Jewish men in Brooklyn
Two acts of hate were perpetrated against Chassidic Jews in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sunday, and both were caught on security videos.

Just after midnight on Aug. 21, two African-American teens were seen chasing a Jewish man down the street. The man, who is wearing a shtreimel—a fur hat worn by some Chassidic men on Shabbat and Jewish holidays—drops it as he’s running. One of the teens stops to pick it up and waves it around like a trophy as the other teen continues to chase the Jewish man.

In a second instance, which happened at around 6 a.m. on Sunday, an African-American male carries a fire extinguisher and runs towards a Chassidic Jew in the same general area, spraying him with flame-retardant chemicals. Police are said to be investigating the incident.

The Anti-Defamation League said in a social-media post that it is aware of the second incident and urged people with information to call the local police, as well as report it to their organization.

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From Food Rationing to the Startup Nation: A Brief History of the Israeli Economy
The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the inflation rate for July 2022 rose to 5.2%, the fastest yearly rate in 14 years. Described as “one of the most difficult economic environments in recent years,” this dramatic swell in inflation and the corresponding rise in prices is but the latest episode in Israel’s 74-year economic history.

Marked by incredible lows and dizzying highs, the country’s economic history is the story of how one small state went from relying on food rationing and price controls to becoming an advanced economy and one of the world’s leading technology hubs.

In this piece, we will focus on this fascinating story by taking a look at the three eras that define the history of Israel’s economy: 1948-1973, 1973-1985, and 1985-present.

1948-1973: From Austerity to Growth
The early years were difficult ones economically, as Israel was slowly rebounding from the 1948-1949 War of Independence — which claimed the lives of 1% of the nascent state’s population — while also being inundated with hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

In order to ensure that all of Israel’s citizens were receiving their essential needs while also seeking to keep the cost of living low, the Israeli government instituted a number of austerity policies, including food rationing and price controls.

During this period, which was marked by high unemployment and rising inflation, each Israeli adult was given food tickets to use at their local grocery store in order to obtain their daily allowance of 1,600 calories.

As the economy grew and there was less need for strict austerity policies, regulations began to loosen until the rationing regime was ultimately ended in 1959.

Between 1950 and 1965, the Israeli economy grew by 11% annually as the Jewish state began to see an influx of capital from American loans, a rise in the sale of Israel bonds to overseas Jewish communities, transfers to public institutions, and the payment of Holocaust reparations by the German government.

Aside from this influx of capital, one of the major engines of this economic growth was the Israeli government’s 1952 new economic policy, which gradually ended price controls, drastically devalued the Israeli currency, encouraged exports, and embraced fiscal restraint.
Are the Ruins of the Lost Temple of Israel Really Hidden in the South Pacific?
One afternoon, a little over a year ago, I received a more or less random-seeming email from a colleague that had no particular connection to either of our busy professional lives. The main purpose of such emails, containing links to the weirder corners of the Internet, is to waste time, and having some time on my hands that day, I followed the two links inside. The first was to a Facebook post, on which I viewed a lo-res video of Papua New Guinea’s Gogodala people—in grass skirts, their bodies decorated with palm leaves, body paint, feathers, shells, and other accessories, and with one man wearing barnacle goggles—singing the Shema, the holiest of Hebrew prayers. When I followed the second link in the email, I came across the text of a 2006 book titled Bine Mene: Connecting the Hebrews, by “geoscientist” Samuel Were, which made a linguistics-based case for a tribe of ancient Israelites who “journeyed down to Lake Tanganyika and in an unexplained way ended up in Fiji.” Elsewhere that day, as the result of my research (or Google searches), I found this: “Growing numbers of evangelical Christians in North Malaita believe that the Lost Temple of Israel lies hidden at a shrine … in the mountainous interior of their island.”

It was one of those frigid city days that make it easy to want to go—anywhere. I clicked over to Google Maps, punched in “Malaita Province,” then zoomed out and sat back and considered what now appeared to be the makings of a truly great story—the kind I could tell in hotel bars for the rest of my life. A story about how the Internet said Solomon’s Temple was on Malaita in the Solomon Islands, an archipelago whose half a million people inhabit nearly 1,000 atolls, islets, reefs, cays, and islands including Guadalcanal, the site of the famous World War II battles—and about how I actually went there to see myself, which is something that very few of us do anymore, which is a shame, because the mysteries of the world are only revealed in person. How did the destinies of Israelites and the inhabitants of the most remote member of the British Commonwealth become intertwined? What did this Solomon’s Temple in the Pacific islands look like? I then bought a ticket online—which was surprisingly cheap, considering that I would be traveling 8,505 miles, or one-third of the way around the circumference of the globe.

Which is a short way of explaining how, by late spring, I came to be seated in the black leatherette of an Air Pacific red-eye, reading Conrad’s Victory en route to the South Pacific by way of LAX. I transferred to Air Nadi, where I took my seat in a hand-me-down Boeing behind a sandal-and-skirt-wearing member of Fiji’s National Rugby Delegation. In Suva, we were met by customs agents and Mormons wearing skirts and sandals, and by a Tiki band. Live orchids hung over the bathroom stalls. From Vanuatu’s Bauerfield International Airport, named for the American World War II fighter pilot Harold Bauer who made 11 enemy kills, we flew low over Guadalcanal’s Weather Coast, across unbroken green canopy on volcanic slopes, and touched down in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands—on the site of the Japanese-built landing strip that in 1942 was a fulcrum of Pacific theater supremacy before America dropped the bomb.

Jonathan, a diminutive, trim islander who sat next to me on the last leg from Vanuatu, introduced himself and inquired about the purpose of my journey.

“I’ve come to meet the Malaitans,” I explained, as he downed as many free international-flight gold-label SolBrew beers as he could. “I’m told they have a kinship with Israel. I’ve read that Solomon’s Temple is buried in the bush.”

“Matthew,” he said. “I believe God has sent you here.”
New envoy to Germany: 'The past is part of our relationship'
Israel's new ambassador in Berlin, Ron Prosor, on Monday presented his credentials to the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and officially undertook his duties.

Immediately after the ceremony at the presidential palace, Prosor delivered a moving speech at Bebelplatz, where the Nazis burned more than 20,000 books in 1933, only because they were written by Jewish authors.

"When this happened, my late father Uri was a little boy here in Berlin," Prosor said. "His mother, my late grandmother Friedel, realized that Germany was no longer a home for Jews and within a few months picked up her family and left for Palestine, the Land of Israel. Today, 84 years later, I stand here as a proud son of the Prosor family and a proud son of the Jewish people, and I come full circle as Israel's ambassador."

The newly appointed envoy then concluded, standing next to young Israelis and Germans who have participated in exchange programs: "Here, in Bebelplatz, I am thrilled to declare – Am Yisrael Chai (The people of Israel live)."


Luxury digs: Sprawling 1,200-year-old mansion found in Israel’s Negev Desert
Luxury can be found in unexpected places. Archaeologists announced Tuesday the discovery of a 1,200-year-old estate in Israel’s southern Negev desert, boasting unique underground structures that allowed its owners to overcome the searing summer heat.

In a statement on the discovery, the Israel Antiquities Authority said the sprawling property may have been the residence of a wealthy landowner overseeing farmsteads in the area. It was discovered during excavations conducted ahead of the expansion of the Bedouin city of Rahat, just north of Beersheba.

Archaeologists said the mansion, dated to the early Islamic Period in the 8th or 9th century CE, had four wings and was erected around a main courtyard. Finely colored frescoes adorned the walls and floor in one of the wings, they said, while other rooms featured very large ovens, likely used for cooking.

The most surprising discovery, however, was made under the courtyard – a three-meter-deep cistern dug into the rock that provided the residents with cool water throughout the year, and adjoining vaulted structures.

The archaeologists directing the IAA excavation, Oren Shmueli, Elena Kogan-Zehavi and Noé D. Michael, said that the subterranean vaulted structures were used to store foodstuffs, and enabled the residents to move around freely underground without having to emerge into the punishing sun.

“The luxurious estate and the unique impressive underground vaults are evidence of the owners’ means,” the archaeologists said in the statement.

“Their high status and wealth allowed them to build a luxurious mansion that served as a residence and for entertaining; we can study the construction methods and architectural styles, as well as learn about daily life in the Negev at the beginning of Islamic rule,” they said.






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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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