Thursday, November 24, 2022

From Ian:

Thanksgiving Reaffirms the 400-Year-Old US-Israel Nexus
Thanksgiving was reportedly first celebrated in November 1621 by William Bradford, the leader of the “Mayflower” and the Governor of the Plymouth Colony.

He enhanced his appreciation of the Bible — and especially the Five Books of Moses — in Leiden, Holland, where he found refuge from religious persecution in England. While there, he heavily interacted with the Jewish community.

Bradford and the other Mayflower passengers perceived the 66-day-voyage as a reenactment of the Biblical exodus, and the departure from “the Modern Day Egypt,” to “the Modern Day Promised Land.”

As a governor in this new land, Bradford announced the celebration of Thanksgiving by citing Psalm 107, which constitutes the foundation of the Jewish concept of Thanksgiving, thanking God for ancient and modern time deliverance.

The epitaph on Bradford’s tombstone in the old cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts, begins with a Hebrew phrase — “God is the succor of my life” (יהוה עזר חיי) — as befits the person who brought Hebrew to America. He aimed to make Hebrew an official language, suggesting that reading the Bible in the original language yields more benefits.

The Hebrew word for Thanksgiving’s central dish, turkey, is “Tarnegol Hodoo” (תרנגול הודו), which means “a chicken from India,” but also “a chicken of gratitude/Thanksgiving.”
The Original Puritans
Progressive causes and Protestantism in the U.S. frequently went hand-in-hand, from Prohibition to expanded public education, as the 19th century became the 20th. Indeed, the Social Gospel movement, the inspiration for many of the reforms of the Progressive Era, was led in its early years by Congregationalist minister Washington Gladden. In his book, Rothman quotes George McKenna, author of The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism, on the art of the overlapping Gilded Age and early Progressive Era: “The Puritans’ ethic of self-discipline and austerity was reflected in the numerous paintings and sculptures of Puritans that appeared during this period.” If this seems somewhat paradoxical—the cultural exultation of sober self-reliance alongside the excesses of the robber barons—consider that the progenitor of the New Deal was the blue-blooded FDR, himself the son of a cradle Congregationalist.

Rothman has a theory behind what he sees as a shift, from the late-20th-century paradigm of conservative Republicans as the “Just Say No” party fearful that “someone, somewhere, may be happy,” to progressive “New Puritans,” who, he writes in his book, “are draining life of its spontaneity, authenticity and fun.” Contending in his book that while the Democratic Party had broadened its tent by the 1990s to include upholders of the ’60s’ revolutionary legacy, by contrast, in 2016, Republicans were nominating a three-time divorced Howard Stern Show regular. “Conservatives didn’t so much lose the culture wars as much as they simply fled the field,” he writes.

Of course, the actual spiritual descendants of the New England Puritans, who began as radicals in their native England, are Congregationalists like the United Church of Christ, who are themselves fairly progressive on social issues. And when the idealistic utopianism of the Transcendentalist movement arose in the 19th century, with a focus on the primacy of the self and individual personal experience, it did so in the old Puritan stronghold of New England. Among its most prominent spokesmen was Ralph Waldo Emerson, the son of a Unitarian (itself an outgrowth of Congregationalism) minister at the First Church of Boston, which had been founded by the Puritan John Winthrop of “City Upon a Hill“ fame. In his landmark address, Winthrop warned his fellow New England Puritans that the eyes of the world were upon them, and as such, righteous living was essential. The reward, he wrote, would be a New England that was “a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, ‘the Lord make it like that of New England.’”

“Today,” Rothman said in his message to Tablet, “as the left gravitates away from liberalism and toward progressivism, they are assuming many of progressivism’s conceits—chief among them, a messianic utopianism that views everything, even life’s most banal pleasures, through the prism of political activism.”

But contradiction is something the Puritans accepted as a fact of life. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” wrote the Apostle Paul to the young church at Philippi, and the Puritans took this charge seriously. “The [P]uritan life,” Winship writes, was “much more likely to involve protracted struggle with fear and doubt than it would a steady sense of God’s love.” They were a people ill-at-ease: with themselves, with each other, and with the wider world. That we perennially recast each other and ourselves in the New England Puritans’ story may suggest that the real mark that they left on the American character is something altogether more ambiguous than the saccharine annual depictions at Thanksgiving suggest.
The Case for Israel Celebrating Thanksgiving
Mark Twain wrote in his book Innocents Abroad about how desolate Palestine was when he visited in 1867, before the indigenous Jewish pilgrims and pioneers returned and made the desert bloom.

The success of Israeli agricultural innovation in feeding the people here, as well as in the Third World, is certainly worth celebrating. Israel’s successful hi-tech economy can be revered, as well as its unprecedented success in water conservation that would have made the environmentally conscious Native Americans proud.

Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl wrote in his 1902 book Altneuland that the Jewish state could transport water great distances. His vision and the success of the pioneers who implemented it could be celebrated on Thanksgiving in Israel.

Former diplomat Yoram Ettinger pointed out this week that William Bradford, the leader of the Mayflower and the Governor of the Plymouth Colony, interacted with the Jewish community and enhanced his appreciation of the Five Books of Moses in Holland before initiating the voyage.

“Governor Bradford announced the celebration of Thanksgiving by citing Psalm 107, which constitutes the foundation of the Jewish concept of Thanksgiving, thanking God for ancient and modern time deliverance,” Ettinger wrote. “Bradford was also inspired by the Jewish holidays of Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew) and Tabernacles (Sukkot in Hebrew), which highlight the importance of gratitude, and commemorating Thanksgiving for the harvest.”

Proper gratitude for the Land of Israel can be shown by eating turkey, whose Hebrew name, as Ettinger wrote, means both “a chicken from India,” but also “a chicken of gratitude/Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving falls this year on Rosh Chodesh, the celebration of the new Jewish month, when Jews say the Hallel prayer and its signature line Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov, which can be translated as “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,” or “have turkey for God because it’s good.”

The final reason for celebrating Thanksgiving in the Jewish State is to remind the world and the often hostile international media that we – the People of Israel – are here in the Land of Israel, we belong here and we will always be here, even if we get bad press.

Lincoln, the Pilgrims and most of the Wampanoag are long gone, mostly due to tragic events that became part of history.

We the People of Israel have overcome countless tragedies, and yet we endure, which is clearly an excellent reason for us to be thankful.

Am Israel Chai!


Arsen Ostrovsky: Why We Filed a Civil Rights Claim Against UC Berkeley Law School
No individual should be forced to make such a decision or to hide a most basic and fundamental component of their Jewish identity, let alone in a public place of education.

It is for these reasons that we could not sit idly by, while Jewish students are being so brazenly discriminated against at Berkeley Law.

The fact that "only a handful" of student groups adopted this racist by-law, in no way diminishes the gravity of the discrimination and injustice, nor the fact that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, that is meant to protect students from the exact kind of discriminatory actions that have been implemented at Berkeley Law, is being so flagrantly violated.

In filing this claim, we have called on the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to initiate an urgent investigation of Berkeley Law and revoke the discriminatory bylaws.

In addition, OCR ought to compel UC Berkeley to adopt the widely endorsed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which specifically lists "Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination," which goes to the very core of Zionism, as an example of contemporary antisemitism.

The OCR should further require the university to create a training program, to educate about antisemitism, its history and modern manifestations, in order to foster an environment on campus that is open, inclusive, and does not discriminate or marginalize Jewish students, including those who publicly identify as Zionist.

Why did we file this complaint against the University of California Berkeley School of Law? Because we will use every tool at our disposal to fight against antisemitism. Rest assured that we will continue to fight to protect Jewish students across the country from discrimination.
Hen Mazzig: David Baddiel’s harmful stereotypes about Jewish people count
In his 2021 book Jews Don’t Count, English Jewish comedian David Baddiel urges the non-Jewish world to see Jewish humanity while calling out how certain elements of progressive identity politics have failed Jews in particular. In the wake of a recent surge in antisemitism in the US and the UK, Baddiel’s project appears to be particularly acute.

Unfortunately, any gains made by the book – and subsequent documentary of the same title that recently aired on Channel 4 – are immediately negated by the creator engaging in harmful stereotypes about Jewish people. Though it may appear Baddiel is ringing the alarm in an effort to protect Jews writ large, it turns out that he is only talking about his kind of Jews.

Baddiel’s attempt to galvanise support for Jews by encouraging non-Jews to fight stereotypes that harm our people falls flat as he commits the very sins he rails against by stereotyping and isolating a wide swath of his own community.

Baddiel’s first transgression comes when he denies any connection that Jews have to the state of Israel. When asked about his position on Israel, he writes, “I don’t care about it more than any other country and to assume I do is racist.” He also says that his family’s history of escaping the Nazis during the Holocaust has nothing to do with Israel, which he dismisses as simply “a Middle Eastern country 3,000 miles away.”

Of course, Jews shouldn’t be obligated to have to defend every decision made by the Israeli government. But Baddiel’s disposition is ignorant of the history and culture of the Jewish people.

In my book The Wrong Kind of Jew: A Mizrahi Manifesto, I carefully map the history of the Jewish people, which began in the land of Israel thousands of years ago. If not for our people being continually exiled and exterminated throughout the centuries, we would have remained there – in fact, almost half of world Jewry still does.

Further, in his unempathetic repudiation of Israel, Baddiel disseminates harmful stereotypes about Israeli Jews. “Israelis aren’t very Jewish anyway,” he writes, calling us “too macho, too ripped and aggressive and confident” while oddly highlighting a Jewish character he made up with the catchphrase, “Jews without angst, without guilt. So not really Jews at all.”
Irving, Stewart and Chappelle and the Double Standard for Jew-Hatred
The truth, which Chappelle’s “joke” tried to obfuscate, is that while Black Americans have also “been through terrible things” these things also can’t be blamed on “the Jews.” But the film promoted by Irving does just that, as do many of Irving’s and Ye’s biggest defenders. People like Louis Farrakhan, who regularly falsely blames the suffering of Black Americans, including the entirety of the trans-atlantic slave trade, on the Jewish people.

The indisputable fact is that Irving promoted a movie filled with antisemitic canards. Lies and tropes that some people (like the movie’s producer and Louis Farrakhan), have masked in a web of faux-scholarship to do what white supremacists have always loved to do: blame the Jews for everything they hate, or every bad thing they believe ever happened to them.

This is the antisemitic elephant in the room that Chappelle’s “SNL” monologue ignored. It’s this history that Chappelle, and those lauding him and defending Kyrie, ignore. And it’s this history that causes many Jews to be so upset when someone with as many followers as Kyrie promotes a movie that blames Jews for everything.

A few days after Chappelle’s appearance on “SNL,” Jon Stewart appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and expressed fallacious reasoning and double standards as he defended Chappelle, and also voiced his disagreement with people exercising their freedom of contract and freedom of association, with someone who promotes Jew-hatred.

Stewart’s defense of Chappelle suggested that antisemitism is already so “normal” in America that it’s not fair to accuse someone like Chappelle of “normalizing” it. This is a complete cop-out. Chappelle is not a “flat-earth” believing, anti-vaxx promoting, NBA player like Kyrie; nor is he widely viewed as mentally unhealthy like Ye. Chappelle is seen as a very smart and sharp comedian with a penchant for poignant commentary. So when he endorses a view, it does a lot more to mainstream or normalize it than when someone like Ye does it or when a Jewish person’s Twitter feed gets filled with antisemitic comments.

Regarding those who choose not to do business with Ye or suspend their relationships with Irving, Stewart said: “But the one thing I will say is I don’t believe that censorship and penalties are the way to end antisemitism or to gain understanding … I don’t believe in that. It’s the wrong way for us to approach it.” Stewart went on to assert: “The whole point of all this is to not let it metastasize and to get it out in the air and talk about it.”

Stewart supports free speech, even when it is hate speech, without punishment, but apparently only when the target of the hate speech is the Jews.
Antisemitism is thriving in Kanye West’s slipstream
Ye’s own statements, however, promote an antisemitic tradition designed specifically to appeal to African Americans. The self-styled “Black Hebrew Israelites” posit that the European and Middle Eastern groups known as “Jewish” are impostors, whereas African Americans are in fact the true descendants of Biblical Jews. This is, of course, a conspiracy theory. There are many black Jews in the world, who usually trace a mixed-race heritage that includes some European Jewish ancestry, or have a history of religious conversion. What Ye is talking about, however, is something completely different. It is a theory that actively posits mainstream Jews as liars, deceivers and thieves of another race’s history.

Soon after Ye’s interview, basketball player Kyrie Irving promoted a video which repeated this theory. It also claimed the Holocaust is a hoax. Interviewed later, Irving implied his support for the idea that Jews have stolen Semitic culture from African Americans, telling a reporter “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.” On Saturday Night Live last week, the comedian Dave Chappelle minimised Irving’s antisemitism, claiming the player had simply posted the video without comment, then been too “slow to apologize”. Chappelle is a sharp comedian with a bugbear – which I share – about the ways public figures are made to silence uncomfortable opinions. But he underplayed Irving’s own antisemitism in an act of bad faith.

What Chappelle got right is that forced apologies do no good. Ye has been dropped by Adidas; this is spun as further evidence Jews really do run the world. (Adidas stuck by Ye after his claim that “slavery was a choice”, which some call double-standards, though that owed more to the brand’s reluctance to police a black man for anti-blackness.) Conspiracy theories about Jews are always popular among the powerless – no wonder they now hold appeal for African Americans. No one feels more powerful after being censored.

What can help is a broader recognition that Jews are feeling vulnerable. David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count documentary recently made this point and is vital watching. But it isn’t a point unique to Baddiel, and thus not undermined by his own flaws: though, if you don’t think a past perpetrator of racism can experience other racisms themself, I hope you’ve never defended Azeem Rafiq or Prince Harry.

The trauma of a racist genocide doesn’t lift within a century. It trickles down families and into dreams. Until it emerges, bold as brass, on Saturday Night Live.
Italy’s new far-right prime minister meets with Jewish groups, decries antisemitism
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni insisted on the “essential importance” of Italy’s Jewish community for the nation and Europe during a meeting Wednesday with the head of the World Jewish Congress and Italian Jewish groups.

Meloni’s office issued a readout of the meeting as she seeks to distance her far-right Brothers of Italy party, which has its roots in a post-World War II neofascist movement, from Italy’s anti-Jewish racial laws and the suppression of democracy under Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

The statement said that during the meeting “there emerged full agreement on the need for a strong and more incisive common commitment to combat every form of antisemitism, a phenomenon in worrisome growth including on the web and social networks.”

It said Meloni “underlined the essential importance of Jewish communities for the Italian and European national identity.”

The Brothers of Italy has its origins in the Italian Social Movement, or MSI, which was founded in 1946 by former Mussolini officials and drew fascist sympathizers into its ranks. It remained a small far-right party until the 1990s, when it became the National Alliance and worked to distance itself from its neofascist past.

Meloni was a member of the youth branches of MSI and the National Alliance, and founded Brothers of Italy in 2012, keeping the tricolor flame symbol of the MSI in her party logo.

During the campaign, amid Democratic Party warnings that she represented a danger to democracy, Meloni insisted that the Italian right had “handed fascism over to history for decades now,” and had condemned racial laws and the suppression of democracy.
Will Italy's new prime minister move its embassy to Jerusalem? - Opinion
This year, just a few weeks apart, Israelis and Italians cast their ballots for fresh national leadership, with Benjamin Netanyahu and Giorgia Meloni tasked with forming new, cohesive governments. Two conservative leaders with different personal backgrounds, but with very similar political positions, and who in Europe would be considered part of the same political family (i.e., European Conservatives and Reformists), with ideologies similar to the US Republican Party and the British Conservative Party.

Meloni, the President of the European Party and Fratelli d'Italia, has definitively distanced herself from fascism and its sympathizers. There are few, if any, cases of political proponents close to her who can be accused of antisemitism or hatred towards Israel. On the contrary, several cases have recently emerged in the Italian media of proponents of the Italian Left supporting antisemitic positions, the delegitimization of Israel, and in some instances, even aligning themselves with organizations connected to the Hamas terrorist group.

Instead, Giorgia Meloni and her political allies have shown closeness to Israel, supported Israel's right to defend itself, condemned the antisemitic BDS movement, and spoken harshly about those Italian politicians espousing antisemitism and anti-Israel causes.

Within Meloni's parliamentary majority in the government, there are also two long-time friends of Israel: Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini. Both men have historically taken strong positions of support for Israel, as well as the harshest positions of condemnation against the criticism and demonization of Israel. Both Berlusconi and Salvini have always defined Israel as the most important liberal and democratic country in the Middle East, the bulwark of Western values, even referring to Jews as "elder brothers."
Malaysia gets new PM with history of controversial comments on Jews, Israel
Malaysia’s perennial opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as prime minister before the king in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, ending a five-day political impasse after inconclusive polls.

The ceremony at the palace closes the chapter on one of the most dramatic elections in Malaysia’s history, after no party managed to secure a majority to form a parliament for the first time since independence in 1957.

Anwar’s ascension to the premiership caps a turbulent political life, which has not only propelled him into the corridors of power but also landed him inside a jail cell.

“I, Anwar Ibrahim, after being appointed to hold the position of prime minister, solemnly swear that I will honestly fulfill that duty with all my efforts and that I will devote my true loyalty to Malaysia,” the 75-year-old said while dressed in traditional Malaysian clothing.

Malaysia is often seen as one of the world’s most antisemitic countries. Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad notoriously said he was glad to be called antisemitic, and alleged that “hook-nosed” Jews run the world.

In the late 1990s, Anwar served as finance chief and deputy prime minister under Mahathir, though the two later became political enemies. He has also been accused of making antisemitic remarks, including alleging while opposition leader that Mossad spies were controlling the Malaysian government and that Jews controlled a public relations firm hired by then-prime minister Najib Razak.
‘Wellesley News’ Endorses The Mapping Project: The Fragmentation of Journalistic Integrity
Wellesley College’s student newspaper, Wellesley News, has launched an attack on Jewish students and the overall Jewish community by endorsing The Mapping Project, a website that libelously accuses Jewish schools, synagogues, and community organizations of promoting white supremacy and the “colonization” of Palestine.

The Mapping Project was first launched this past June by BDS supporters, with the goal of revealing “the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them.” This endeavor was incredibly dangerous to the entire Jewish community of Massachusetts, as it exposed identifying information including addresses and phone numbers of Jewish individuals and institutions, and gave a tacit green light to go out and put an end to their so-called “devastation.”

The founders of The Mapping Project are determined to spread, “a deeper understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing.”

Such links are not only wholly inaccurate, but seek to malign Israel and any entities tied to the sovereign state. The effort is also plainly antisemitic, as it claims that American Jews are representative of Israel.

Wellesley College President Paula A. Johnson made sure to distinguish between the institution and its student newspaper’s editorial board, by calling out the conspicuous antisemitism that The Mapping Project embodies, stating “While it is not my practice to comment on the newspaper’s editorials, I do feel the need to make it clear that Wellesley College rejects The Mapping Project for promoting anti-Semitism,” adding she was concerned that the project “poses a significant threat to the physical security of the Jewish community of Greater Boston, including neighbors and partners of the College.”

Following sharp criticism from organizations in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities, the Wellesley News editorial board walked back their claims, stating, “We intended to use the Mapping Project only as a source of information about Wellesley College and its affiliated institutions,” adding that, “We do not endorse The Mapping Project. The Wellesley News editorial board would like to reemphasize that we condemn antisemitism and all discriminatory beliefs, including the use of The Mapping Project for antisemitic rhetoric and actions.”

Just days before, however, Wellesley News advocated for The Mapping Project, stating that it provides “a vital service” and that “Collecting data about these institutions, tracing their financial and political activity and publicizing this information is incredibly important.”
McGill Tribune Publishes Op-Ed Calling for a Boycott of Sabra Foods Due To Support For Israel
As a growing number of Arab countries establish diplomatic ties with Israel – not just Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, and Sudan, but recently, the Gulf state of Oman has opened the door to important steps in normalization – the Jewish State has never before enjoyed such widespread acceptance around the world, and in the Middle East in particular.

Despite this real-world progress, a small, but loud cacophony of voices, despite all momentum against them, continue to attempt to demonize Israel and call for boycotts against the country.

In a November 22 opinion article in The McGill Tribune entitled: “McGill needs to boycott Sabra—for real this time,” authors Adam Benzaari, Kareem Abuali, and Sepideh Afshar call on McGill University’s administration to ban Sabra food products from the university campus. Sabra is a well-known manufacturer of hummus and other dips.



This anti-Israel campaign is a bizarre pick for these anti-Israel detractors. After all, Sabra is a US-based company half-owned by PepsiCo, and only half-owned by The Strauss Group, an Israeli conglomerate.



Nevertheless, the authors maintain that the Strauss Group’s affiliations with Israel are enough to warrant a boycott, citing the company’s support in creating care packages for Israeli soldiers – a connection that the New York Times described as “not particularly direct.”



In general, the charges made by the three authors are nothing new: claims of “continued ethnic cleansing and settler colonialism,” as well as “crimes against humanity” allegedly committed by Israel.

These allegations are not now, nor have they ever been, anything close to resembling the truth.


See No Evil: Are Media Letting Neo-Nazi Goyim Defense League off the Hook?
On November 17, 2022, in remarks that went largely unreported outside of Jewish and Israeli media, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the prevalence of antisemitic hate crimes in the United States is rising to a level of “national priority” as the Jewish community is “getting hit from all sides.”

Less than 48 hours later, the NYPD thwarted yet another imminent terror attack on a synagogue. Suspects Christopher Brown and Matthew Mahrer were stopped at New York City’s Penn Station on November 19 after authorities identified Brown as the culprit behind a series of Twitter threats. The men, one wearing a Nazi swastika armband, possessed a firearm, ammunition, and a hunting knife, police revealed.

Brown and Mahrer were reportedly radicalized after being exposed to white supremacist content on social media.

In a live stream on his Goyim TV website, Jon Minadeo II, founder of the neo-Nazi movement Goyim Defense League (GDL), that same day offered a prayer for “all the people that are suffering in jail for exposing the synagogue of Satan.” He added: “Much love to all those men that have stood up and fought against Jewish supremacy, and please keep them safe.” The video has thus far received some 4,000 views.

Founded in 2018, Jon Minadeo II’s GDL network is responsible for countless anti-Jewish events over the past few years, including harassing parents at a Jewish preschool in Florida, hanging a banner in California that stated “Kanye is right about the Jews,” and posing as Orthodox Jews to apologize for “lying” about the Holocaust and 9/11.

The GDL has also endorsed the BDS movement’s Mapping Project, a list of Jewish institutions and entities in Massachusetts that are supposedly connected to the “colonization of Palestine” and the “harms that [it sees] as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing.”

With another month to go until the end of 2022, the number of incidents attributed to the Goyim Defense League is already up by more than 300 percent since last year — but the media have seemingly failed to take notice.
The BBC’s one-sided Masafer Yatta campaigning continues
Knell went on to cite the UN, failing – as in her previous reports – to clarify that the persons concerned are special rapporteurs rather than UN employees and that one of those who has commented on the Masafer Yatta case is Francesca Albanese who both before and during the time that she has held the role of ‘special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967’ has displayed considerable anti-Israel bias.

Knell: “Israel first designated a large area here for military training in the 1980s. The UN’s warned that any forceable transfer of Palestinians could be seen as a breach of the 4th Geneva Convention and thus, as a war crime.”

Failing to inform listeners that some of the petitioners have additional permanent homes in the nearby village of Yatta, Knell continued:
Knell: “But after decades of legal battles, six months ago the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the army’s argument that local Palestinians couldn’t prove they were residents before the firing zone was set up.”

In fact the Supreme Court ruled that the petitioners had failed to prove permanent residency in the area in question. The court found that no one lived there permanently before the area was declared a military zone in 1980 and that between then and 1993 it had been used by the air force for aerial attack practice, which the court deemed showed that no-one lived there permanently at the time. Knell however continued with her one-sided portrayal which included the BBC’s usual partial presentation of ‘international law’.

Knell: “Since the ruling there’s been an increase in the demolition of Palestinian properties here. Israel sees these as illegal. And after Israel’s recent election, Mohammed feels things could take a turn for the worse. ‘Honestly, we’re afraid they’ll now implement the court decision’ he confides. ‘Everyone’s worried about Ben Gvir’. The ultra-nationalist Israeli politician Itamar Ben Gvir lives in a settlement just south of Hebron which I passed on my way to Masafer Yatta. Such settlements are seen as illegal under international law but Israel – and Mr Ben Gvir in particular – disagree. In fact Mr Ben Gvir seeks to strengthen Israel’s 55-year occupation of the West Bank as part of his campaign pledge to make Israelis ‘the landlords of this country again’. That has appeal for Jewish settlers who now number half a million and have helped drive his recent rise to a presumptive cabinet minister.”

Knell next introduced an “activist” who also appeared in her previous reports. As was the case in August, she once again refrained from informing BBC audiences of her contributor’s affiliations with the political NGO ‘B’tselem’ and two radical websites.
NYC man accused of antisemitic assaults pleads guilty to hate crime charges
A man accused of a string of antisemitic assaults in New York City pleaded guilty to federal hate crime changes on Tuesday.

Saadah Masoud, 29, of Staten Island, faces a maximum of five years in prison, the Associated Press reported.

Masoud allegedly beat up Matt Greenman, who is Jewish, in April due to his “actual and perceived religion” after a pro-Palestinian demonstration on April 20 in Manhattan, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan US Attorney’s office, the New York Post reported.

Greenman was part of a pro-Israel counter protest. He had the Israeli flag draped around himself when he was attacked. The 28-year-old was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for a concussion and other injuries, according to the criminal complaint.

In the now unsealed June 10 complaint, special agent Lavalle Jackson testified that Masoud had been part of two other assaults against Jews in 2021. Prosecutors said that he also threatened pro-Israel supporters on Instagram, writing, “I wish I could show you the things I do to Zionists but I can’t post them” and “I feel bad for you Zionist people when judgment day comes and we slaughter all of them like sheep.”
NYPD Arrest Suspects Allegedly Involved in Attack on Yeshiva Student Forced To Say ‘Free Palestine’
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has arrested and charged two of the young men suspected of pelting a Jewish yeshiva student with eggs and forcing him to say “Free Palestine” last month.

A fifteen-year-old was arrested Tuesday, according to the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit and charged with aggravated harassment. A second alleged assailant, a 16-year-old, soon after turned himself in, according to New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov.

On October 24, three yeshiva students were walking home in the Midwood section of Brooklyn when a gang of eleven students approached them, punched one of their group in the face and hurled eggs at the others, according to eyewitness accounts. The gang ordered them to say “Free Palestine” during the attack.

One of the victims, the son of Michael Einhorn, who spoke to The Algemeiner on Wednesday, was assaulted while his friends managed to run away. After the incident, the NYPD released surveillance footage and photographs of several suspected assailants, which show five young men walking toward Yeshiva Ohr Shraga, a Jewish school in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, with eggs in their hands.

Nine other suspects are still at large, some of whom may attend the Edward R. Murrow High School (ERWHS), an institution of over 4,000 students close to the location of the attack, Vernikov told the The Algemeiner earlier this month.

Einhorn, however, said he has faith the perpetrators will soon face justice.

“I think they’re going to get the rest of the bunch at this point, and they’ve been telling us they will,” Einhorn told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Antisemitic murder in Arizona could have been prevented says NY security group
A top Jewish community security consultant accused the University of Arizona of ignoring antisemitism as a warning sign in a case that culminated in the shooting death of a professor.

“Professor Thomas Meixner lost his life because antisemitism is not being taken seriously enough,” Michael Masters, the CEO of the Secure Community Network, wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Arizona Republic.

Masters said the alleged assailant’s explicitly antisemitic threats should have been a red flag for the campus police, which, Masters said did not aggressively pursue criminal charges, and the Pima County Attorney’s Office, which did not file charges. The assailant in one text to a teacher wished “death to all Jews.”

“Too often reported violent antisemitic threats like these are dismissed as a byproduct of poor mental health and are not treated with necessary precautions,” Masters wrote. “More could and should have been done to prevent a senseless murder.” Mitigating attacks, including last week's threat to "shoot up a synagogue" in NYC

Masters’ group coordinates security for Jewish organizations across the country. Last week, it alerted authorities in New York City to an online post by someone who said he would “shoot up a synagogue”; police apprehended the man alleged to have made the post, who had a gun, ammunition and a Nazi armband. Previously, people who have received Security Community Network training have credited it with mitigating attacks, including during the hostage situation at a Texas synagogue last January.
Antisemitic hate crimes spike against London's Jewish community - Shomrim
A number of tweets posted by Jewish volunteer watch group Shomrim have recorded a spike in antisemitic crimes in London over last week.

Two incidents occurred on November 18, according to the posts. The first involved a brick being thrown through a synagogue window during evening prayers in Stamford Hill, a neighborhood known for its large hasidic Jewish population.

The second reported hate crime, also in Stamford Hill, was described as three Jewish girls being confronted by attackers running towards them while screaming "Jew."

Another antisemitic incident in east London took place last week, when a minicab driver told a pregnant Jewish woman after picking her up from a hospital on November 15 that he would no longer transport Jews because of Israeli action against Palestinians, the Stamford Hill Shomrim claimed, citing a Hackney Police report.

"This is the last time I am taking Jews as you kill Muslims in Israel," the driver reportedly said after noticing she was Jewish.


Some of Russia's Biggest Talents Flee to Israel, Seeking Freedom
Some of Russia's biggest artistic talents have immigrated to Israel this year, finding a safe place to rebuild their careers and voice their conscience about their country's war in Ukraine.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it has cracked down on even the slightest opposition to the war, forced thousands of citizens to enlist to fight and drawn tough sanctions from the West. All this has prompted many Russians to flee.

More than 28,000 Russian nationals have acquired Israeli citizenship since the war began, according to Israeli government figures. They include a pop superstar, a top photojournalist and many other creatives in art, theater, film, music and dance.

"Staying behind the Iron Curtain was incredibly scary," Russian artist Victor Melamed says, comparing Russia's current isolation to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Melamed, whose portraits have appeared in the New Yorker magazine, fled to Israel in June. He says: "I want to be a person of the world."

Russians are relocating mostly to Turkey, Kazakhstan and Georgia. But Israel offers one big advantage: Those with at least one Jewish grandparent can get Israeli citizenship for themselves and their close family.

"When the war started, I think, like, everybody literally remembered their Jewish grandma," says Liza Rozovsky, a Russian-born Israeli journalist tracking Russian celebrity arrivals for the Haaretz newspaper.

Israel defines itself as a refuge for Jews, which is why it's already home to 1 million Russian-speakers who fled the crumbling Soviet Union in the 1990s.
How is the experience of being an Israeli in Qatar?

UN approves Israeli proposal on entrepreneurship 145-26
The United Nations Economic and Financial Committee approved a resolution by the Israeli delegation titled "entrepreneurship for sustainable development" on Wednesday in a vote of 145-26. Six countries abstained from the vote.

The countries that voted against the resolution included the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Sudan and Syria, among others. The UAE and Bahrain voted against a similar resolution on entrepreneurship sponsored by Israel in 2020.

The resolution highlights the importance of entrepreneurs worldwide and the need for governments and the UN to recognize their potential and create targeted policies to support them.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Japan, Ireland, Tajikistan, Turkey and Ukraine, among other countries.
Israeli startup, US firm join forces on indoor mini-drone for first responders
CyberBee, an Israeli maker of the thinnest-ever flying drone, is teaming up with California-based EyeCloud.ai to jointly develop an indoor mini-drone to be used by first responders in Israel and the US as a navigation tool in challenging locations where there is no GPS.

The project was selected by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and Israel’s Public Security Ministry and has received $1.75 million in funding from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, which encourages US-Israel cooperation.

Megan Mahle, director of industry partnerships at the Science and Technology Directorate, described the “innovative project” as “offering a significant leap in first responder capabilities.”

The indoor mini-drones are developed to help first responders rescue people trapped in a building during a terror attack, fire, or earthquake, or to follow robbers, terrorists, and shooters in indoor locations such as banks, malls, and schools.

As part of the homeland security project, Rosh Ha’ayin-based CyberBee’s vision-based spatial intelligence for robotic indoor navigation in locations without GPS will be joined with EyeCloud’s AI camera capabilities and real-time cloud processing technology. The high-accuracy, indoor, lightweight, and low-cost autonomous mini-drones are expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2024.
Bosnian Jews mourn Moris Albahari, one of Sarajevo’s last Ladino speakers
Moris Albahari, a Holocaust survivor, former partisan fighter and one of the last Ladino speakers in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s dwindling Jewish community, passed away at the age of 93 last month.

It is believed that he was one of four native Ladino speakers remaining in a country where the Judeo-Spanish language once flourished and was spoken by luminaries like Flory Jagoda, the grande dame of Ladino song, and Laura Bohoretta, the founder of a uniquely Sephardic feminist movement in Bosnia.

Bosnia’s small Jewish community — with barely 900 members throughout the country, 500 of whom live in Sarajevo — is mourning the loss of a living link to communal memory as well as a dear friend.

“From you, uncle Moco, I learned a lot about Judaism, about life, about nature and especially about people. About both the good and the evil,” Igor Kožemjakin, the cantor of the Sarajevo Jewish community, wrote in a memorial post on Facebook, referring to Moris as “Čika,” or uncle, a term of endearment in Bosnian.

“It is a terrible loss, especially for Sarajevo. Our community is very small, especially after the Holocaust,” Eliezer Papo, a Sarajevo-born Jew and scholar of Ladino language and literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “We’re not speaking just in terms of prominent members of the community, we’re speaking in terms of family members. Everyone is like a family member.”

When Albahari was growing up in the 1930s, the Jewish community of his native Sarajevo numbered over 12,000. Jews made up more than a fifth of the city and it was one of the most important centers of Jewish life in the western Balkans.
Eighty years ago, Operation Torch marked turning point in WW2
After Operation Torch, President Franklin D. Roosevelt vowed to purge the Vichy presence in North Africa, and to liberate the thousands of prisoners who languished in dozens of internment, concentration and forced labor camps in Morocco and Algeria.

These camps held a tremendously diverse prisoner population. Local Jews and Muslims, European refugees (Jewish and Christian), and a wide array of perceived “undesirables” — enemies of Vichy France — were held there.

Rather than immediately dismantle these camps, Great Britain and the United States signed a power-sharing agreement with the French Vichy leadership on Nov. 10, 1942. Admiral Jean Francois Darlan remained in power, and the camps remained in place.

During these post-Operation Torch years, camp prisoners were overseen by the same sadistic overseers who had overseen them during the war. Despite widespread protests, the inhumane camp system existed for years. As in Europe, where traumatized Holocaust survivors lingered in Displaced Persons camps, in North Africa, the postwar era was still a time of de facto internment for many.

Al-husin Al-gedari, a native of Morocco’s Anti-Atlas mountains who is now in his 10th decade, said that on the North African homefront, children, women and men struggled to survive famine and malnutrition. Some of this devastation was brought on by the French Vichy regime, which redirected food from North Africa to continental France during World War II. But in his memory, Operation Torch threatened the local food supply even further.

The arrival of so many soldiers, combined with the demands of existing European settlers, meant that foreigners’ hunger continued to be prioritized over the hunger of native Jews and Muslims.

Local Muslims and Jews suffered the effects of the war and its tumultuous end. They experienced Operation Torch as a force of liberation and opportunity, but also as a perpetuation of their hunger, imprisonment and vulnerability.

It has taken historians eight decades to listen to local accounts of wartime North Africa. As we remember the campaign that ended the war in this region, we would do well to remember that the pain of global conflicts lingers locally, complicating the very meaning of victory.
The silent shofar marking an incredible event 75 years ago -opinion
On a sandy hill overlooking the traffic-choked Route 2 coastal highway, a memorial is being constructed, with a giant shofar horn pointed toward Jerusalem.

It is mounted on two supporting pillars that are painted sky blue, flanked on either side with 3-meter-high numbers “1947,” and mounted above a base with the flags of 33 nations.

The 1947 memorial is impossible to be missed by the 250,000-plus eyes per day that travel north and south along the coastal road. It will be impossible for tour guides, with their busloads of curious visitors, not to see it. The guides will have to answer questions about it even if they are more interested in telling the tourists about the sports stadium across the road.

It is a shofar – seemingly nothing special. Perhaps it is an oddity for the Guinness Book of World Records. But what does 1947 have to do with the shofar?

The “giant shofar,” as many have come to call it, though those of us involved call it “the 1947,” commemorates an event two millennia in coming – an incredible event that happened 75 years ago.

On November 29, 1947, 9,000 km. to the west, in Flushing Meadows, New York, 33 nations, 72% of the members of the UN, voted to rebirth the Jewish state. The last Jewish state had been destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years earlier. The Romans changed the name of the land to “Palestine.”

Jews throughout British Mandatory Palestine gathered about their radio sets, anxiously counting each vote as it came in. Jewish history was being made.

The final tally came in and an explosion of thrill, exuberance and happiness burst out into the streets. Cars stopped. People got out. There was dancing everywhere.
My memories of 75 years ago
We miraculously arrived in Eretz Israel from Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Slovakia in early 1943 and were educated in Kibbutz Shaar Haamakim within the framework of the Youthalia.

At the beginning of 1946 – most of us were just 18 years old – we decided to volunteer for the Palmach, the Haganah’s commando unit. We had the feeling of a tragic omission because of the Shoah – as did most of the Jews of the Yishuv. The formation of the Palmach and the reinforcement of the Haganah made it possible for the Jewish leadership after the end of World War II to also actively oppose the British Labour government’s policy of using force to prevent the immigration of survivors. We felt part of an anti-colonial national liberation movement.

In the summer of 1947, I was ordered from the First Regiment of the Palmach to the Second Regiment in the Negev, to the religious kibbutz Beerot Yizchak to guard the water pipeline. In order to legally carry a weapon, I took an oath to King George VI and was given a rifle, ammunition and the uniform of an auxiliary policeman. My new comrades were all Zabarim (born in the country) except for one immigrant from Turkey.

That same day, my group of five men received orders to patrol in an open car to protect the water pipeline from attack. We kicked up a lot of dust and always drove along the water pipeline. After a week, the duty changed and we had to go on patrol at night, walking 10 or 15km in the dark, lying in the sand all night, hoping to catch the Bedouins, who often enough shoveled away 50-60cm of sand during the day or night to shoot into the water pipeline. Never could we catch them at it. Although they also benefited from the water pipeline, some of these nomads had taken to sabotaging it.

In October, we were transferred to the new religious cooperative village of Tkuma near Gaza. From here we also guarded the water pipeline.

I planned to spend my annual leave with my brother Erwin in Jerusalem at the end of November 1947. I felt very privileged because some of my friends who had come to the country as I had in 1943 had lost their entire family in the Shoah. Erwin was 15 years older and had been in the country since 1935. After six years in the British military, he was discharged 1946 and was working for the city government.

My brother was waiting for me at the bus station on November 28 and we walked to the Bukharian quarter, where my brother had rented a room with a religious family. On November 29, we listened to the radio to watch the UN General Assembly vote. We cheered when we heard that the majority had voted for partition.

Fifty years after the founding of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl’s dream came within reach. Often forgotten today, there was also to be a state for the Arabs of Palestine, who had never had one before. But on September 21, 1947, Mufti Amin el Husseini had met British officials who wanted his opinion on the partition plan. He appeared confident of victory: “We do not fear the Jews,” he said. “We would have many losses, but in the end we must win […] They will eventually crumble into nothing and we do not fear the results unless Britain, America or some another great power intervenes. Even then we shall fight and the Arab world will be perpetually hostile.”[1]
Looted coin of Hanukkah villain found during bust of suspected artifact thief
A house search of a suspected artifact thief in the northern town of Kiryat Shmona led to the discovery of illegally obtained artifacts on Wednesday, most notably a coin depicting the Seleucid King Antiochus IV, the villain of the Hanukkah story, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

According to Danny Synon, an IAA coin specialist, the bronze coin found at the suspect’s home was minted in Tyre, today part of Lebanon, and was “common currency” during the era.

It was the “small change” of the day and hundreds of such coins have been found in digs throughout Israel, Synon told The Times of Israel.

While it is impossible to know how much the coin was worth during the reign of Antiochus IV, it would have been used to purchase everyday items from the local market, he said.

“I can’t say whether it was worth a loaf of bread or a chicken, but something along those lines,” said Synon.

The suspect, 33, was caught “in the act” by Border Police, who found him illegally using a metal detector at a registered archaeological site in Ramot Menashe in northern Israel.






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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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