Wednesday, November 16, 2022

From Ian:

Meir Y. Soloveichik: The Prime Minister and the Minyan
While Jabotinsky’s own appreciation of civic religion may have grown over time, there was no guarantee that the nascent Israeli right in 1948 would have been sympathetic to the Jewish state being a place that cherished traditional Jewish faith. It was Begin who, as prime minister three decades after the founding, first demanded kosher food when making state visits abroad; and it was Begin who, as prime minister, first insisted that Israel’s airline not fly on the Sabbath. He argued, as Yehuda Avner recounts in The Prime Ministers, that “one need not be pious to accept the cherished principle of Shabbat. One merely needs to be a proud Jew.” It was Begin, in other words, who understood the role religious tradition would play in the Israeli future.

This understanding has been vindicated. Much has been written on the various and very different views of the members of Israel’s newest government. But less focus has been given to the remarkable fact that this seems to be the first Israeli coalition with a majority made up of Orthodox Jews. This includes not only the members of the religious parties themselves but also those MKs from the Likud who are part of the Orthodox community. And this is an accurate representation of what the country has become. As Maayan Hoffman noted in an article titled “Why the Israeli Election Results Should Not Be Surprising,” the makeup of the future Knesset reflects plain sociology: “Around 80% of Israel’s population is either traditional, Religious Zionist or ultra-Orthodox, according to official reports.”

Begin was a singular figure in Israel’s history—one who seamlessly joined deep familiarity with, and knowledge of, Jewish tradition, a personal, natural faith in the God of Israel, and a Zionism that defended both Western democratic traditions and the Jewish right to the Land of Israel. But there is no question that Israeli society today reflects the fact that only Begin among the nation’s founders sensed what the future of Israel would be.

No one, under the new government, will be forced to eat gefilte fish. But all future successful political leaders will have to understand and address the central role that traditionally religious Israelis are now playing in the country’s polity. In the ministerial offices of Israel’s 37th government—and its 47th, and its 57th—there will be many more minha minyanim yet to come.
Time for an Israeli victory, end 100 year rejections against Israel - opinion
ALL OF the polls undertaken by the Israel Victory Project show growing support for the idea that peace will only become possible when the Palestinian leadership recognizes that it has lost its fight against Israel, and that Israel is here to stay.

This is reflected in a growing acceptance among politicians and even senior IDF officials that Israel has to return to winning wars and not be continually stuck in a cycle of violence with no way to escape the loss of life and bloodshed.

It is not a simple task to defeat Palestinian violent rejectionism as it has been allowed to fester for generations but as with all wars throughout history, once the will of the antagonist to continue fighting has been broken and that their war aims will not be reached are accepted, the war can finally end.

This is the strategic solution that the government must reach now.

It might be painful and difficult but it is the only one that will finally end the conflict for the good of both Israelis and Palestinians.

It will be good for Israelis because the country will finally see peace without the threat of endless military operations and can focus on potentially greater threats like those posed by a nuclear Iran. It will allow Israel to dictate the terms for peace that will ensure its permanent security needs.

For the Palestinians, it will free them of hate that unrelentingly permeates so much of their lives, whether in the media, the education system or in the mosques. It will free up the budget of violent rejectionism that incites and pays for mass murder which can then be freed up for social welfare, education, health and public services. This will mean a better future for Palestinian society which is being crushed by its own crucible of hate and rejectionism. It will ensure that Palestinians elect leaders who do not distract and deflect from allowing greater progress, development and democracy for their people by constantly blaming Israel for all of their ills. It is a win-win for all.

Just as importantly, the international community is starting to understand that wars are still simply won and lost, and diplomacy, unfortunately, isn’t enough when one party insists on playing a zero-sum game.
A UN Seminar Teaches Antisemitism, Encourages Bias
So, who does control the media and the “strong machine,” according to Marai, a featured panelist at the UN seminar?

That would be the “Center of Powers,” declared Marai, who confided to the audience it makes him “scared to say anything” because of unfair accusations of antisemitism the “Center” employs against people like him. The same Center also targets Palestinian journalists “even out of Palestine,” he added.

Marai’s cited evidence for the existence of this monolithic media-controlling entity is the case of several Deutsche Welle journalists who lost their jobs after CAMERA exposed their promotion of anti-Jewish terrorism and tropes, including their claims of Jewish control and “fabricating” the Holocaust.

Conveniently omitting the journalists’ own objectionable rhetoric, Marai suggested they lost their jobs over unproven allegations of antisemitism and that this, in turn, is evidence of a shadowy “Center of Powers” that controls the media by weaponizing antisemitism for its own nefarious purposes.

The moderator of the panel, Director of the UN Information Service Alessandra Vellucci, did not challenge any of Marai’s conspiratorial and bigoted rantings. Rather, she expressed her gratitude towards Marai for his remarks, thus imitating earlier silent acquiescence by other UN officials to such claims of “Jewish lobby” control during the July 2022 anti-Israel UN Commission of Inquiry.

One might forgive Marai for conspiratorial thinking regarding media control, given that he works for an outlet controlled by the repressive Qatari government. However, many inside the UN seem all too comfortable with suggestions that a manipulative Jewish cabal controls the levers of power.

Gil Troy: The Israel we know is not the Israel Thomas Friedman knows - opinion
Democratic countries are more than their politicians – or one electoral outcome. “The Israel” of last year’s experiment in center-fielding, including Arabs in the coalition, was pretty much the same “the Israel” of this year’s right-wing backlash. Life is a continuously evolving multi-plot movie, not a simplistic snapshot, frozen in time.

Even regarding Israeli-Arabs, which moment defines them?

March 2020, when so many marveled about how many Israeli-Arabs were heroic nurses, doctors, pharmacists and ambulance drivers fighting corona?

May 2021, when some Israeli-Arabs rioted in mixed cities like Acre and Lod?

June 2021, when the Islamist Ra’am party joined the government?

Or November 2022, when Ben-Gvir triumphed, partially thanks to those same mixed cities where his vote quadrupled?

The day after Election Day, my wife and I visited Tel Aviv; it was as vibrant and tattooed and optimistic and hip as ever. That Friday, we visited our son Yoni at the base where he is doing reserve duty for a month near Hebron. Exploring Susiya, an ancient Jewish village nearby, reminded us how rooted we are historically in every inch of this land – no matter what we end up doing politically to live with the other inhabitants on that land.

A dose of reality, meaning complexity, is always good for the soul – and an invitation to the humility and nuance so many Finger-Pointers-of-America lack.

Patriotism means loving your country despite its politicians sometimes – and beyond just its politics always. America is more than the January 6 riots, even with 140 election deniers elected to Congress. Israel is more than Smotrich-Ben-Gvir – much more. My preferred candidates may have lost Israel’s election, but my hopes for Israel are not lost. Israel will not only outlast the bullying bigots of the moment, it will also outlast the sky-is-falling chicken liberals like Thomas Friedman who only think they know Israel.
Report: Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes on U.S. College Campuses Skyrocket
A "pervasive and relentless assault on Jewish identity" is occurring daily at colleges across America, according to a new report from a watchdog group that found assaults on Jewish students and their identity doubled in the 2021 to 2022 academic year, particularly on campuses most popular with Jewish students.

There were 254 attacks on 63 different college campuses with large Jewish populations, with Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Tufts University, UCLA, and Rutgers University having the highest number of incidents, according to a report by the AMCHA Initiative, a Jewish advocacy group that says its findings expose an "insidious," never-before-revealed campus trend.

While other watchdog groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League, have broadly examined whether campuses are safe for Jewish students, the AMCHA study is unique: It "investigated the nature, scope, and trajectory of the threats to Jewish student identity on U.S. campuses, and it found a staggering doubling of such threats at 60 percent of schools most popular with Jewish students." Instances of bullying and intimidation towards Jewish students, for instance, tripled in the past year, according to the report, which tracked incidents at more than 100 colleges and universities in total. More broadly, threats to Jewish identity rose 100 to 200 percent from the past year, according to the findings.

With rising anti-Semitism in America making front page news as a cadre of prominent celebrities promote conspiracy theories about Jews, the situation on America’s college campuses is growing bleaker. Anti-Israel and anti-Zionist movements are fueling this anti-Semitic hate, according to the AMCHA Initiative, which determined that campus "faculty and academic departments played a significant role in attacks on Jewish identity." The latest findings, the AMCHA Initiative warns, signal "a major crisis for American Jewry."

Incidents tracked by the group range from outright attacks on Jews to efforts to suppress pro-Israel voices and block them from participating in campus organizations, efforts that are reminiscent of the Nazis’ campaign to eliminate Jewish people from public life.

Chappelle is right. There ARE a lot of Jews in Hollywood
All of which leads us back to Hollywood and the Jews there who may or may not have wronged Kanye, Kyrie, Dave Chappelle, and any number of other celebrities who have had to deal with agents, managers, lawyers, producers, and the multi-billion dollar business of entertainment.

Are all of the Jews in Hollywood people of integrity? Certainly not. Are all of the non-Jews in Hollywood people of integrity? Certainly not. The problem is when one’s lack of integrity becomes an indictment of all of the members of that person’s religion, race, or ethnicity. Sadly, this type of bigotry exists, not only against Jews, but against blacks, Asians, Moslems, and all other minority groups. Yet antisemitism has seen a precipitous rise in recent years. The ADL reported that antisemitic cases “reached an all-time high in the United States in 2021,” marking a 34 percent increase from the previous year.

The answer is not to stifle discourse or to immediately cancel anyone who dares to utter any mention of “The Jews.” As Chappelle drolly and insightfully pointed out, it doesn’t ever seem to work out well for anyone who publicly puts the two words “the” and “Jews” together. While blatant bigotry like Kanye’s needs to be swiftly condemned and countered, Chappelle’s brand of social commentary is worth engaging.

Jews need not deny the facts of our leadership in entertainment and a variety of other fields. On the contrary, we should appreciate the freedom in America that has enabled us to excel. We should correct misconceptions and combat antisemitism, but we must simultaneously hold accountable those of our co-religionists who are abusing their positions of power to exploit those subordinate or beholden to them. We should not be beyond scrutiny or reproach, and we should not hesitate to welcome constructive critique.

Ultimately, we must ask ourselves what we are doing with any of the positions of leadership that we are fortunate enough to occupy. Are we capitalizing on them for personal gain, or are we utilizing the influence with which we have been blessed in the service of the mission that we have been assigned, uniting all of God’s children and radiating light wherever it is dark.

Dave Chappelle 'should be ashamed' after SNL monologue

PreOccupiedTerritory: Farrakhan Not An NBA Player Who Can Be Suspended, Rendering US Powerless To Address Antisemitism (satire)
The removal of a basketball star from a Brooklyn franchise for several games over the player’s sharing of content online that incited hatred for Jews has highlighted for experts the shortage of remedies available to curtail the spread of such materials when the person spreading them is not a professional basketball player, and is, for example, a preacher touting Black-Islamic supremacism who for some reason enjoys popularity among prominent members of the Democratic Party who insist they abhor bigotry.

Anti-racism experts and activists described the quandary facing them in stark terms. “It’s not just [Nation of Islam founder and President Louis] Farrakhan,” explained Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “There are a handful of actual Congresswomen in the House who make frequent trips to the antisemitic trope shop – and I don’t just mean Republicans! Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar – they traffic in such rhetoric all the time. But the thing is, we’re not the National Basketball Association, and we can’t suspend them for a bunch of games and demand a non-apology-apology. We did once try to denounce antisemitism and ended up watering down the resolution into meaningless generalities. That’s it. That’s all, as mere national leaders, we have the capacity to attempt.”

“We’re stymied,” admitted former President Barack Obama, whose own past includes posing for pictures with Farrakhan. “I can offer the expected platitudes, of course, but that’s not what Jewish-Americans are looking for. I suppose what we need for the purpose is someone of stature, someone who held national office and is held in broad esteem, to denounce such figures as Farrakhan, [Rashid] Khalidi, and the broader ideologies of Black Hebrews and the Nation of Islam. It would help if that figure were also a person of color, for added credibility on the subject. But where are we to find such a person?”
Anti-Israel Activists Protest Israel Real Estate Expo in New Jersey
Visitors to the Israel Real Estate Expo in Teaneck, New Jersey, on Tuesday, were met on the streets by a few dozen anti-Israel protesters who blocked the road and entrance to the event.

Three police cars were stationed outside the event to protect the visitors from Israel and New Jersey. The local Jewish community also sent some people to be there, and some men from a nearby minyan came out – just in case. Some of the visitors said the protest delayed them, which is why it took a while for them to get in.

One of the Israeli exhibitors told she was very surprised at the protest. She also said she didn’t see or hear a single Arab among the protesters, which she said she would have expected. She added that many of the protesters looked like progressives from so-called “Jewish” anti-Israel groups as well as two or three “religious” anti-Zionists.

One of the visitors said to, “It was terrible to see the protesters. This is why moshiach isn’t coming.”

Still, despite the noise and roadblocking outside, exhibitors told that the event was a success. Visitors lined up to learn about homes in Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem, Ashdod, Efrat and other locations around Israel. Lawyers and mortgage experts were on hand to answer questions for the potential investors and new olim (immigrants).

Gidon Katz of IMPMedia, producer of the event told, “Once again, the American Jewish community feels very connected to Israel and many of them thrive to have a home there. People were very interested in learning about the different properties and options in Israel, including where to live and the different communities. This expo is helping them invest or plan their move to Israel.”
Official Publication of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Gives Extensive Coverage to the Threat of Contemporary Antisemitism
Far too often, in the face of problematic anti-Israel or antisemitic content being published or broadcast in the Canadian news media, HonestReporting Canada is forced to mobilize our 50,000 subscribers who call for corrective action be taken.

It’s very rare that we are able to expose excellence and applaud news outlets for doing praiseworthy work that deserves positive recognition.

This is one of those cases.

In the September 20 edition of eDialogue, the official publication of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), published a 4,000+ word feature article entitled: “A Dark History, a Persistent Fear,” which gave in-depth coverage to the issue of contemporary antisemitism, and specifically how it relates to medical practitioners in the healthcare system, as part of an ongoing series on racism and cultural discrimination in the health care industry.

The feature-length article began by citing anecdotes of how antisemitism can manifest in healthcare, and interviewed a urologist at Humber River Hospital, Dr. Sharon Sharir, who shared examples of antisemitic incidents she experienced. These included her having a patient who spewed anti-Jewish comments at her, to an incident where an organizer at a diversity program expressing disquiet over having a Jewish speaker present to marginalized communities, because Jews are viewed as privileged.

Referring to the disproportionate amount of hatred that Jews face – though representing 1.25 percent of the Canadian population, they face 60 percent of religiously-motivated hate crimes, according to Statistics Canada – eDialogue cited new procedures from the CPSO aimed at combatting hatred in healthcare, including one draft policy called ‘Human Rights in the Provision of Health Services,’ which aims to create “obligations for physicians to create and foster a safe, inclusive and accessible environment” for patients from diverse backgrounds.”
Podcast: Lawfare: Who is Using the Law More Effectively? Pro-Israel or Anti-Israel Activists? A Fireside Chat with Aaron Rosenberg, Partner at RE-LAW LLP
When it comes to combatting anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discrimination, using the law has been an increasingly popular tool used by pro-Israel advocates. But behind the headlines, how has pro-Israel lawfare changed in recent years, and how have anti-Israel activists been using the same laws to push anti-Israel disinformation?

In this week’s podcast, we sit down with Aaron Rosenberg for his in-depth analysis.

Aaron is a partner at RE-LAW LLP, a Toronto law firm, where he specializes in employment and human rights law. Aaron has been actively involved in a number of cases in recent years and offers a very rare insight into both the strategies and tactics used on both sides.

Aaron is a civil rights advocate devoted to the defense of civil rights, the pursuit of social justice, and mobilizing communities toward positive change. His advocacy work has inspired changes to legislation and has improved conditions for vulnerable groups in the workplace. Aaron’s work has been featured in national media, including the CBC, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the National Post.
Rachel Riley awarded £50,000 in damages after libel victory over blogger
Countdown presenter Rachel Riley has been awarded £50,000 in damages after winning her libel battle against a political blogger who accused her of the online abuse of a 16-year-old girl.

The TV star, 36, sued Michael Sivier over a 2019 article about a Twitter debate on anti-Semitism within Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, which she said had triggered a torrent of abuse.

Mr Sivier claimed his article was in the public interest as he fought the libel proceedings in the High Court.

But in her ruling on Wednesday morning, Mrs Justice Steyn said that while Mr Sivier honestly believed his article was in the public interest, it was a “wholly unreasonable” belief which was not supported by the evidence.

“He had no reasonable grounds for making the factual allegations that he did, which misrepresented the evidential picture, and the article was wholly unbalanced”, she said, noting Riley had not been given a right of reply.

The judge ordered Mr Sivier to pay £50,000 in damages and - afetr highlighting that he has not taken down the article or apologised and continues to believe his allegations were true - she imposed an injunction banning him from repeating the defamatory words.

Breaking Travel News Loses Its Way In Anti-Israel World Cup Coverage
With the FIFA World Cup about to kick off in Qatar, ready yourselves for a possible slew of sports, lifestyle and travel publications veering out of bounds with misinformed coverage touching on international affairs, a topic well outside these media outlets’ normal beat and area of expertise.

Qatar Airways sports the FIFA World Cup 2022 logo, February 2022 (Photo by Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Breaking Travel News, which bills itself as “the leading online resource for travel industry executives from around the world,” gets an early start on the pre-games act, with a Sept. 9 article rife with factual errors and tendentious language demonizing Israel (“Qatar calls on Israel to allow Palestinians to attend FIFA World Cup“).

But the travel publication’s first error did not entail any kind of specialized knowledge. Indeed, the capital of a country is exactly the type of information that one would expect a travel publication to know. To be sure, a June 2020 Breaking Travel News article did correctly cite the “capital Jerusalem.”

Despite the fact that Israel’s capital has not relocated within the last two and a half years, Breaking Travel News now cites a new location for the Jewish state’s seat of government.

Indeed, the September World Cup article twice employs the journalistic shorthand of referring to a nation by its capital, wrongly citing Tel Aviv for Israel. Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, is Israel’s capital.
Where Are The Editors at The New York Times?
The same Times article claims “water is a critical national security issue in Jordan, and shortages threaten to destabilize a stalwart U.S. Arab ally that has been an oasis of calm in a turbulent neighborhood.”

A stalwart US ally? Jordan sided with Iraq against America in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Oasis of calm? There were violent clashes during the Black September of 1970 in Jordan between Jordanians and Palestinians. As recently as 2021, the Brookings Institution reported that “Jordan is in the midst of what may be its most serious political crisis in 50 years,” with “unprecedented turmoil in the ruling family.” To the extent that there is “calm” in Jordan it is because the country isn’t particularly free (Freedom House rates the country “Not Free.”)

The New York Times reporter on the Jordan article, Karen Zraick, is a board member of the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association. That organization issued a statement urging news organizations to avoid the term “terrorism” or “terrorist” when writing about the September 11, 2001 attacks. It also publishes an absurd “media resource guide” on “Palestine/Israel” that is full of false claims and tendentiousness such as “Do not call Gaza ‘Hamas-controlled’” and “do not use the identifiers ‘Arab-Israeli’ or ‘Israeli-Arab”…instead use ‘Palestinian.’” The odd language in Zraick’s article about “occupation of the Palestinian territories” directly echoes language in the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association media guide, which states, “Israel occupies Palestinian territory, and Palestinians—whether in the West Bank, Gaza or inside Israel—are subject to an unjust and unequal system.”

If some Times reporter wants to volunteer to serve on the board of an organization that insists that other reporters deny the truth that Gaza is “Hamas-controlled,” and that the September 11 attacks not be called “terrorism,” I guess that is up to the reporter, but maybe New York Times management might pick up on that as a caution sign to edit her coverage a little more carefully?

Between error-prone Kingsley and Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association board-member Zraick, adult editing supervision is badly needed to provide accuracy and background knowledge guardrails. Judging by what has been appearing in the paper lately, such editorial supervision is lacking.
Economist abandons journalism to promote Palestinian narrative
What precisely Yair Lapid could have done during his four months on the job to achieve a two-state solution is unclear, especially considering Palestinian political and religious leaders not only show no interest in peace, but continue to promote incitement, glorify terror and reject Israel’s very right to exist.

The article continues:
During his previous 12-year stint as prime minister, Mr Netanyahu undermined the PA. He periodically withheld the tax revenues that Israel collects on its behalf, starving the authority of funds. He had no interest in peace negotiations;

Readers aren’t told that the occasional, and temporary, withholding of tax revenue was a response to the PA’s insistence on continuing its payment of salaries to terrorists and their families – a practice which incentivises terror and is inimical to peace. Further, contrary to the assertion that his government had “no interest in peace negotiations”, in 2013-14, Israel and the PA engaged in serious (US sponsored) peace talks.

Finally, there’s this bizarre assertion:
Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza, the other bit of a would-be Palestinian state, since 2007, when Hamas, a militant Islamist group, took control. Egypt, which borders Gaza, also keeps tight restrictions on it. Many Israeli security officials argue it is time to rethink the embargo, which has not dislodged Hamas from power but has brought misery to Gaza’s 2m people.

Our research was unable to find even one “Israeli security official” who has argued that it’s time to end the partial blockade of Gaza designed to prevent the import of deadly weapons into the strip by antisemitic terror groups – such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – committed to the Jewish state’s annihilation. The “misery” brought to Palestinians in Gaza is the result of Hamas’s malign obsession with Israel, and their decision to divert limited resources to guns, rockets, and terror tunnels instead of education, healthcare and other pressing social needs.

The egregious omissions, distortions and errors in the article suggest that the journalist who wrote it set out to advocate on behalf of the Palestinians. Of course, you can be an activist. Or, you can be a journalist. But, you can’t be both.
BBC News leads with Israeli reaction to a story not yet told
The BBC’s article made no effort to explain the timing of the US Justice Department’s decision to open an investigation six months after the incident took place and despite previous contrary US statements on the matter. The fact that the US already conducted a related probe in July after the Palestinian Authority had finally handed over what it claimed was the bullet which killed the journalist was not mentioned. Neither did the article clarify to readers the particular circumstances under which the FBI is authorised to investigate the deaths of US citizens abroad or what might be the response to any request to investigate Israeli citizens or to receive classified information.

Meanwhile, the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman took to Twitter to promote – as he has done in the past – statements from the Abu Akleh family.

That unsatisfactory report – perhaps produced by less than competent night shift staff – was available on the BBC News website for some eleven hours until the early afternoon when it was replaced at the same URL by an article written by David Gritten which was retitled ‘Shireen Abu Aqla: Israel rejects US reporter death probe as mistake’.

While Gritten’s version on the story is an improvement on the one previously presented to BBC audiences for almost half a day, it too makes no effort to enlighten readers as to who or what brought about this sudden about-turn from the US administration.
180 groups call on Twitter to adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism
In a Nov. 16 open letter to Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Twitter management, 180 non-profit and civil rights organizations called on the social media giant to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

“Jewish users are subject to unrelenting harassment on Twitter,” the letter said.

“Twitter’s guidelines should afford protection to Jewish Twitter users from antisemitic content and harassment,” said the letter, signed by groups such as StopAntisemitism, The Lawfare Project, Students Supporting Israel, the Zionist Organization of America, B’nai B’rith International, Christians and Jews United for Israel, and Endowment for Middle East Truth.

Saying that “to fight antisemitism properly, it must be defined,” the letter proposed the IHRA definition as a “guiding tool to stymie the spread of Jew-hatred.”

According to the IHRA website, 38 countries including the U.S., along with a wide range of political entities and regional, state and local governments, have adopted the IHRA Working Definition.

Romania passes ‘landmark law’ guaranteeing the right to kosher slaughter
Romanian authorities adopted a law that recognizes and gives specific protection to shechitah, or kosher ritual slaughter of animals, the Conference of European Rabbis said in a statement, hailing the move as a “landmark” example for other countries in Europe.

The new legislation, which the Romanian parliament passed Thursday, comes roughly a year after the Court of the European Union upheld the bans of both the Muslim and Jewish traditional methods slaughter of animals for food in two Belgian states.

Jewish leaders and organizations decried the ruling, which the Israeli ambassador in Belgium called “catastrophic and a blow to Jewish life in Europe.” They have worked to lobby the European Union for protections and were heartened last month after the EU convened Muslim and Jewish leaders for the first time to discuss ritual meat production.

“I hope that other leaders across Europe will follow the initiative of the Romanian Parliament, valuing and protecting the continued future of Jewish life on the European continent,” said the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, who attended the signing ceremony in Bucharest. (Goldschmidt was until recently the chief rabbi of Moscow.)

Many European countries ban the slaughter of animals without stunning them first, a move that animal-rights activists say is more humane but which is not permitted under Jewish law. Many countries grant exceptions for shechitah, according to the Conference of European Rabbis, and Romania had previously allowed such an exception. But the new law enshrines the right to shechitah more formally.
Auschwitz Exhibit to be Held at Reagan Presidential Library in California
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is set to host a global exhibition aimed at underlining the point that the events leading up and resulting in the Nazi Holocaust in World War II were “not long ago” and “not far away.”

The traveling exhibition “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away” arrived in California from Sweden. Created by Spanish company Musealia together with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, the exhibition will feature more than 700 original artifacts in an exhibition space of 12,500 square feet.

The first of those artifacts arrived last week at the presidential library in the form of a German-made, World War II-era Model 2 freight car that was escorted by motorcade through Simi Valley and up Presidential Drive to the Reagan Library.

The artifact, led by more than 50 motorcycles — including those of the Patriot Guard Riders, veterans and the Simi Valley Police Department — was installed in the museum’s main courtyard. Hundreds of personal items such as suitcases, eyeglasses and shoes of the deportees will be displayed when the exhibition opens on the West Coast on March 24, 2023.

Two Auschwitz survivors, David Lenga and Joe Alexander, delivered remarks upon the arrival of the car, which took place on the anniversary of the horrific November Pogrom known as Kristallnacht 84 years ago, in which an estimated 91 Jews were killed and thousands of Jewish-owned commercial establishments, synagogues and Jewish homes were destroyed.
Mass Jewish grave from 100 years ago found in Moldova

German Jewish Man Slaps Alleged Antisemite Then Reportedly Flees Home After Continued Harassment
A German Jewish man who says that he and his family were forced to leave their home because of a neighbor’s antisemitic harassment has expressed concern that the courts will deny him the justice he seeks.

Speaking to the German broadcaster SWR, the Jewish man — identified only as “Michael R.” for legal reasons — recounted a harrowing tale involving antisemitic insults, threats and stalking going back to 2013, when he and his family moved into their new house in the central German town of Teningen.

The family’s confrontation with their 62-year-old neighbor, who has not been named, began when Michael R., concerned for the safety of his children, approached him with a request that his son drive his car more carefully. The neighbor responded by insulting Michael R. as a “filthy Turk” before adding: “When I say Turk, I mean Jew.”

Following this outburst, Michael R. filed a complaint with the town hall, which he told German media yielded nothing. In the meantime, the neighbor stepped up his harassment with repeated antisemitic insults.

After enduring his neighbor’s antisemitic taunts for several months, Michael R. finally lost patience and slapped the man with the back of his hand. As a result, he was fined 900 Euros by the district court in nearby Emmendingen and banned from approaching or contacting his neighbor.
‘You Big Noses Should Have Been Cremated,’ Italian Teacher Allegedly Tells Jewish Students
Jewish students at a high school for the arts in Rome have allegedly been subjected to crudely antisemitic insults by an art teacher, leading to calls for disciplinary proceedings against the alleged offender, according to Italian media reports.

According to the OSA Collective — a left-wing student organization — the same teacher at the Enzo Rossi school made offensive comments to both Jewish and female students.

Addressing Jewish students, the teacher is alleged to have told them “You big noses should have been cremated” — a reference to the Nazi gas chambers.

Female students seen bending over to pick up pens and other objects were told, “This is how you provoke me,” by the teacher.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that on Wednesday, the school would hold a special assembly enabling students to recount their experiences with the teacher. Danilo Vicca, the director of the school, will be leading an investigation into the claims. Both parents and students said they had reported the harassment to the Regional Education Office to “no avail.”
London Police Arrest 16 Year Old for Spate of Assaults on Jews in Stamford Hill
The Metropolitan Police of London arrested on Tuesday a suspect accused of assaulting several Jewish residents of the Stamford Hill section of the borough of Hackney.

The news follows a “hate crimes pandemic” reported by Shomrim (Stamford Hill), a neighborhood watch group that protects London’s Hasidic Jewish community — the largest in Europe —on November 1.

In one incident, a known local assaulted a Jewish resident of Stamford Hill while yelling, “You Jews, you think you run the world.” In another, a man broke into a synagogue’s school, stealing $340 worth of salmon and, Shomrim said, “leaving the children without a proper lunch.”

A 16-year-old, responsible for six of the eight hate crimes that occurred, has “been arrested for those offences and is currently in custody,” according to a communication from Safer Neighbourhoods Hackney (SNH) shared with The Algemeiner.

“We would like to reassure the community in relation to hate crime and to thank the Shomrim for their help and assistance on this matter,” SNH inspector Robert Bradley said. “Safer Neighbourhood officers will be out in the are conducting high visible patrols to provide reassurance.”

Antisemitic hate crimes are an ongoing problem in London, where 466 have already been recorded this year.
Taxi driver reportedly accused pregnant Jewish woman of “killing Muslims in Israel”
A heavily pregnant Jewish woman has reportedly been abused in a taxi.

The incident occurred after the woman called a minicab service to collect her from Homerton University Hospital.

Upon getting in the cab, the driver allegedly said to the woman: “This is the last time I am taking Jews as you kill Muslims in Israel.”

New NASA moon rocket carrying Israeli experiment lifts off, 50 years after Apollo
NASA’s new moon rocket blasted off early Wednesday on its debut flight with three test dummies — and an Israeli experiment — aboard, bringing the US a big step closer to putting astronauts back on the lunar surface for the first time since the end of the Apollo program 50 years ago.

If all goes well during the three-week, make-or-break shakedown flight, the rocket will propel an empty crew capsule into a wide orbit around the moon, and then the capsule will return to Earth with a splashdown in the Pacific in December.

After years of delays and billions in cost overruns, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket thundered skyward, rising from Kennedy Space Center on 8.8 million pounds (4 million kilograms) of thrust and hitting 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour) within seconds. The Orion capsule was perched on top, ready to bust out of Earth orbit toward the moon not quite two hours into the flight.

The moonshot follows nearly three months of vexing fuel leaks that kept the rocket bouncing between its hangar and the pad. Forced back indoors by Hurricane Ian at the end of September, the rocket stood its ground outside as Nicole swept through last week with gusts of more than 80 mph (130 kph). Although the wind peeled away a 10-foot (3-meter) strip of caulking high up near the capsule, managers gave the green light for the launch.

NASA expected 15,000 people to jam the launch site, with thousands more lining the beaches and roads outside the gates, to witness NASA’s long-awaited sequel to Project Apollo, when 12 astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and 1972. Crowds also gathered outside NASA centers in Houston and Huntsville, Alabama, to watch the spectacle on giant screens.
Two Israeli companies join $545m innovation program in Abu Dhabi
Two Israeli companies will be opening new offices in the United Arab Emirates as part of a $545 million government incentive program for innovation-focused firms in high-growth sectors such as agtech, IT, health services and biopharma, and financial tech and services (fintech).

Israel-headquartered global venture firm OurCrowd said Wednesday that it would be expanding its existing operations in the UAE with a venture capital (VC) office in Abu Dhabi and an artificial intelligence (AI) tech hub as part of a new agreement. On Tuesday, Israeli fintech company Liquidity Group said it signed a deal to open an R&D center in the UAE.

Both agreements were announced during Abu Dhabi Finance Week 2022.

OurCrowd and Liquidity are taking part in a program, launched in 2020 through the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), that offers financial and non-financial incentives for global companies to expand their intellectual property in Abu Dhabi. The government says the program is meant to fuel the development and diversification of the economy.

The two Israeli outfits will join over three dozen companies from across the world that have taken part in the program over the past two years. The UAE has positioned itself as “a gateway for financial services companies to expand, serving as a bridge between time zones, while providing a favorable regulatory environment via the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM),” according to an ADIO description.

OurCrowd received a license to operate in the UAE last November, becoming the first Israeli venture capital firm to be approved by the ADGM, the international financial center in the capital. The company also opened a local branch, OurCrowd Arabia headed by Dr. Sabah Al-Binali, in 2021 to manage deals for its existing platform and cater to emerging markets.

Israeli NGO Sends Medical Supplies to Newly-Liberated Kherson in Ukraine
Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization IsraAID is sending a shipment of urgently needed medical supplies to three hospitals in Kherson this Thursday, entering the city for the first time since Russian troops withdrew last Friday.

Russian forces overtook the capital of Kherson Oblast in March. Throughout the city’s occupation, humanitarian groups could not access Kherson. The Israeli organization is among the first to provide much-needed aid supplies, as large swaths of the city remain without power and water.

The shipment includes vital medications worth over $2 million, donated by Heart to Heart International, and will be distributed to three branches of Kherson City Clinical Hospital. The donation was received, processed, and shipped through IsraAID’s Tulcea Humanitarian Logistics Hub, located just across the border in Romania.

From the first weeks of the fighting, the hub has been a crucial player in delivering aid to Ukrainian cities, securing one of the only humanitarian corridors into the country’s southeast. With the support of a vast network of local NGOs, municipalities, and governmental partners, the hub has procured and shipped over 1,900 tons of essential relief items. These include 5.6 million food rations, bedding, clothing, medications, medical supplies, generators, and hygiene items.

With renewed access to Kherson, IsraAID is now looking to expand its work of restoring access to safe drinking water in southern Ukraine.

Since June, the group has been working to address the water crisis in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv. The city’s main water source, which originates in the Kherson region, was cut off after the infrastructure suffered widespread damage in the fighting. The presence of Russian troops in Kherson had prevented water engineers from reaching the source of the damage.
Israeli company on the edge of finding diabetes cure
On diabetes awareness day, the world health bodies are focusing attention on making sure patients know how to manage their condition to prevent complications.

We speak with a researcher who is working on developing a cure for the disease.

Europe’s Oldest Painting of the “Real” Jerusalem
In medieval Christian art, it’s easy to find depictions of Israel’s ancient and modern capital. These were not based on the city’s actual layout at any given time, but instead on artists’ imagination. For this reason, the Cleveland Museum of Art touts a triptych by an anonymous Austrian painter, dating to around the year 1500, as an “exceptional” attempt at a “topographically accurate” cityscape. Menachem Wecker notes that the painting is itself based on a 1486 woodcut by the Dutch artist Erhard Reuwich—who had visited Jerusalem himself—and comments on its significance:
Many artists drew upon theological conceptions of heavenly and earthly Jerusalems, and it was easy—particularly for those who never visited the city—to think about the Holy Land as a symbol, rather than a real place. This remains the case today. No matter how much one reads in the news about Jerusalem, or no matter how many pictures one sees or how much time one spends on Google Maps “walking” old city streets, one can only approximate the sense one has of actually navigating Jerusalem.

When I see images like Reuwich’s [woodcut and the Jerusalem triptych], I think of abundant news story, even in major newspapers, that leave me scratching my head when they state that the Aqsa complex is Islam’s third-holiest site, without also noting that Jerusalem is central to Christianity and is the holiest city in Judaism. . . . I often wonder how many readers come away from those stories thinking that Muslims have revered Jerusalem from the start, and Jews and Christians are Johnny-come-latelys (or St. John-come-lately).

Of course, when one considers the history of Jerusalem and sets aside the different theological positions of the various faith groups, one is likely to conclude that Jerusalem was significant to Christians and Muslims respectively precisely because it was central to Judaism first. If not for all of the prophecies about the Holy Land in Jewish scripture, it is easy to imagine that Jesus, who was Jewish, would not have set out for Jerusalem, which would mean there would be no reason to require a church on a site that would be so central to his story. And if there had not been two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, and a long prophetic association with that city, would Mohammad have taken his night journey to and from [what is now] al-Aqsa? Doubtful.

The 1486 woodcut and ca. 1500 painting show a then-modern city superimposed on a biblical and ancient one, with Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy sites nearly built on top of one another. All are pieces of the Holy Land puzzle, and although centuries have passed, quite a lot remains the same.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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