Saturday, December 03, 2022

From Ian:

Happy Nakba Day
The Jewish/Arab conflict in the Middle East is not about the relative merits of Jew or Arab to live on the Land; there is enough land in what was formerly known as “Palestine” for all without Israel giving up any of the area it now possesses. The ongoing war in Israel is the fulcrum of the intellectual/spiritual conflict between the worldviews that oppose G-d’s rule on earth, and its manifestation through the return of the Jews to the Land.

They say: "Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel will be remembered no more. The consult together with a united purpose; against Hashem do they make a covenant. The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites. Gival, Ammon and Amalek; Philistine and the residents of Tyre. Assyria is also joined with them; they have become an appendage of the children of Lot, selah. (Psalm 83)

A sovereign Israel is an existential threat to the adherents of Christian & Moslem replacement theologies; it shakes their worldviews to the foundations. A thriving Jewish Commonwealth puts the lie to their system of beliefs. The destruction of the State of Israel and the re-expulsion of the Jews are critical to Christian and Moslem worldviews, in order to correct the “aberration” of the Ingathering of the Exiles, kibutz galuyot. All efforts to hobble and constrict the State of Israel, to push her back to indefensible borders, to murder Jewish women and children, especially new immigrants, are important milestones toward their ultimate goal of rolling back history to the good old days when the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the globe, easy prey for the Jew haters.

So the UN passes yet more Jew hating resolutions. Pish Tush, as Gilbert & Sullivan would say.. Should they ever succeed in uprooting the People of Israel from the Land of Israel, you can rest assured they would trip over themselves building elaborate memorials to the failed Jewish enterprise.

However, Israel and the settlement enterprise will endure because it is the mitzvah she’kol ha’mitzvot t’luyin bah (i.e., living in the Land of Israel is the mitzvah upon which every other mitzvah is predicated). Witness the open miracles in the battles of 1948, 1967, 1973. Nowhere in Biblical Prophecy does it suggest that Hashem will return us to our land only to be expelled again.

In a certain sense, Theodore Herzl was wrong: the establishment of Der Judenstaat has failed to solve the problem of Jew hatred. Israel is now reckoned as the Jew among the nations. But their strenuous objections to the Jewish State serve merely to reinforce the fundamental integrity of our worldview, our mission, and our hopeful vision for humanity.

So let’s celebrate Nakba Day! The proper response to the exasperated last gasps of our detractors is to build, build, build. Build up the Land. Build more houses in Yehuda, Shomron and the periphery.

And finally: let us extend our hand in brotherhood to those gentiles who see the Hand of G-d in historical events, and who wish to join with us to bring us closer to the day when G-d is One and His Name is One in the world.
How did Kohelet Forum become Israel's dynamic think tank?
What is the function of the Kohelet Policy Forum?
The Kohelet Policy Forum promotes Israeli national sovereignty and individual liberty. This makes it a “small c” conservative center. It was founded in 2012 by Prof. Moshe (“Moish”) Koppel, an American-born oleh and a true polymath. A specialist in machine learning and artificial intelligence (specifically, natural language processing), he also has written on the metalogic of Halacha and on constitutional law.

He recently wrote a witty book about Jewish identity in the modern age, Judaism Straight Up, which examines the differences between traditional societies and contemporary cosmopolitan ones.

Kohelet is basically a “libertarian” shop. This means that it seeks to broaden individual liberty and promote free-market principles in Israel. Much of its efforts have been aimed at driving deregulation, cutting government bureaucracy, reforming local and national government bodies, and eliminating impediments to free and fair trade (like tariffs, quotas, cumbersome product standards, and licensing requirements). In this it has been enormously effective.

Kohelet has tackled the (mis-)management of government corporations and pension funds, land use and housing policies, labor and social welfare policies, food cartels, the regulation of cannabis cultivation and export, policies meant to better integrate Arab women and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men in higher education and the productive workforce, and more.

Kohelet also singlehandedly has put on the national agenda the demand for reform of the legal system and the need to re-balance the anchors of Israel’s democratic system – the Knesset and the courts.

In many ways, legal or constitutional reform is the hottest and most acute partisan issue on the domestic agenda, something akin to abortion as the most piercing issue in American politics. And Kohelet put it there (correctly so, in my view). I am sure that Kohelet’s thinkers and legal experts will play a sizeable role in the coming debate over the contours of judicial reform.

If then-justice minister Ayelet Shaked gets credit for appointing approximately 300 judges largely in a conservative and libertarian mold (out of a grand total of some 800 judges in the entire judicial system), then Kohelet shares part of that credit. Kohelet specialists raised national consciousness about the importance of who gets appointed to the bench and how, and helped Shaked make wise choices.

Kohelet also emphasizes “national sovereignty.” Indeed, Prof. Koppel wrote the very first draft of Israel’s so-called nation-state bill. Working with Avi Dichter MK and then many other parliamentarians on both sides of the Left-Right divide in Knesset, the Forum successfully drove passage of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People.
More media excuses for Palestinians and terror
As could be expected, the media is having a field day criticizing Israel for allowing citizens in a democratic election to choose some despicable characters to represent them in the next government. Outside of those who voted for them, you do not hear much support from Israelis for the views of Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. Nevertheless, their inclusion in the government is being portrayed in apocalyptic terms. The media has no such concern for the state of the U.S. government, with antisemites like Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Minn.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in Congress.

The Washington Post devoted nearly an entire page in its “The World” section to the article, “Palestinians fear for their children after Israeli vote.” Several Palestinians are quoted about their fears to give the impression that Israelis are targeting children. One says he tells his children to be careful around soldiers “because any kind of movement, and they will shoot them.” Similarly, another Palestinian says she won’t let her young children walk to school for fear they will be targeted by soldiers.

Claire Parker mentions Ben-Gvir’s position on giving security forces greater latitude to use live ammunition but provides zero evidence that Palestinian children are in any danger following the election, or that soldiers are shooting children on their way to school or by simply moving in an unthreatening way.

The article references a “spate of Palestinian attacks” but does not label the perpetrators terrorists or mention the number of Israeli civilians who have been murdered this year by terrorists. It does refer to the number of Palestinians killed and injured without any explanation of the circumstances.

What made the article especially galling, and just one more example of anti-Israel bias, was that a short article appeared below it about the protests in Iran. This merited four short paragraphs and did not mention that as many as 63 children have been murdered by Iranian security forces. So, while Iranian children are being killed, the Post devotes most of its attention to the parents of Palestinian children who have not been harmed.

The coverage of the twin bombings in Jerusalem by the Post and others was also problematic. In keeping with past practice, reporters could not bring themselves to use the word “terrorist” to refer to the attacks or the perpetrators. Some stories mentioned that Israelis have been victims of violence numerous times this year but, again, refused to label them as victims of terror. Many also could not simply report the facts about the bombings and were compelled to mention the number of Palestinians who have died in clashes with Israeli forces.

John Bolton: Bibi Netanyahu Could Upend Biden’s Weak Foreign Policy
Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, victor in its fifth national election in four years, is forming his seventh government (surpassed there only by David Ben-Gurion). Netanyahu’s coalition won a clear Knesset majority (by Israeli standards), 64 seats out of 120, but few recent governments have emerged easily. This new one is no exception, but the current tumult over Cabinet positions should not distract outside observers or Israeli politicians from what will follow thereafter.

For whatever is the duration of Netanyahu’s new government, and whatever the allocation of Cabinet positions, the critical reality is that Israeli national-security policy will rest essentially in his hands. He has firm, long-standing views on critical issues which will inevitably, and probably quickly, bring him into sharp conflict with President Joe Biden, both men’s emollient assurances to the contrary notwithstanding. How Washington responds to Jerusalem’s new government could materially affect Biden’s own foreign-policy legacy over what could be his last two years in office.

Even before then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned against an Iranian “nuclear Holocaust,” Netanyahu grasped that Tehran’s nuclear weapons were the existential threat facing Israel. In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “[W]e will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory. If regime change prevails in Iran and the new leaders understand that seeking nuclear weapons endangers Iran’s security, the need to destroy the nuclear program will diminish substantially, perhaps totally. And the likelihood of a post-ayatollahs’ regime supporting international terrorism is highly remote.

Obtaining full Israeli diplomatic recognition across the Arab world constitutes a closely related Netanyahu priority. Iran’s nuclear, conventional, and terrorist threats reordered the priorities of all the other regional governments in ways the Administration has yet to grasp. These tectonic shifts in the Middle East’s geostrategic alignments engendered the Abraham Accords, normalizing Israel’s relations with four Arab states.
Algemeiner Honorary Chairman Dovid Efune Issues Clarion Call To Fight Antisemitism
Honorary Chairman of The Algemeiner Dovid Efune told attendees of the 9th annual J100 Gala on Tuesday that The Algemeiner is the “home base” in the battleground of ideas for advocates of the Jewish people. “For fifty years now, with your partnership, The Algemeiner has served as a foremost media tribune for the Jewish people. It’s a proud legacy,” Efune said. “It’s our answer to Kanye and Khamenei. It’s our answer to Farakhan and Fuentes. It’s our answer to Omar and Abbas.”

Efune, who is the publisher of The New York Sun and The Algemeiner’s former Editor-in-Chief, noted that this year’s J100 Gala fell on the anniversary of UN resolution 181, the 1947 General Assembly resolution that called for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. “It was on this day, exactly 75 years ago on November 29th, 1947, that the United Nations passed what may just be its most recent good resolution,” Efune said.

The J100 Gala, which honors the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life in 2022, this year gave The Algemeiner’s ‘Warrior for Truth’ award to singer Pat Boone, human rights advocate and former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom, and former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for their efforts in combatting antisemitism, promoting tolerance, and in support of Israel and the Jewish people.

Efune also welcomed The Algemeiner’s new CEO Jason Pressberg who joins the paper following 16 years of experience as a dedicated Jewish non-profit leader. “Together, all of us here tonight, we’re focused on the mission at hand,” Efune said. “We know that we are surrounded by Goliaths, but we have also not forgotten that we hail from the stock of David, which means that we have a history of giant slaying.”

US Jews battle ‘mainstreaming’ and normalization of antisemitism
Fringe ideas hit the mainstream
The fact that West and Irving are both Black raised concerns about a surge of antisemitism among African Americans and young minorities.

But Cheryl Greenberg, a professor at Trinity College, said they reflected general trends in their communities.

“What I think it is, is the trend of mainstreaming otherwise fringe ideas.”

For example, she said, Irving highlighted an old video by the Black Hebrew Israelites, who are critical of Jews.

“They’ve been preaching the same stuff for decades,” Greenberg said.

“What’s unusual, I think, or what’s new, is that they’ve managed to move from New York street corners and elsewhere into the mainstream.”

A big reason for that is social media, which makes it easier to preserve and share anything, including hate.

Elon Musk’s haphazard takeover of Twitter showed how fast objectionable material of any kind — against Jews or others — can return if a platform is not extremely diligent.

Segal said bigger problems are the “ecosystem” of algorithm-based video hosts like TikTok and mostly uncensored messaging and discussion boards like Telegram and Reddit, where virtual, global communities are built around antisemitism.

“It’s just a toxic online environment, where the most vulnerable people are getting their worldview, where I think we’re starting to see the consequences,” said Segal.

Alliances unraveled
Greenberg said another problem is that antisemitism’s importance has dissipated among younger Americans who are less knowledgeable about the Holocaust and are focused on the issues of other marginalized or oppressed groups, whether ethnic minorities or LGBTQ.

“The ways the Jews have made antisemitism a primary issue has made it much more difficult to engage with the many groups,” said Greenberg.

She said the 1950-60s alliance between African Americans and Jews for civil rights has mostly unraveled.

A younger generation of Blacks and other minorities today don’t see Jews as “fellow sufferers,” in part because they consider Jews as successful whites, Greenberg said.

“There are many groups out there, it is not just about Jews, it’s about lots of people,” she said.

Greenberg said the only answer is to work more closely with other groups — even those critical of Israel — to keep the issue of antisemitism in the mix.

“It’s never-ending because as soon as people forget, we fall off the radar,” she said.
Liberal Jewish groups are more interested in gender-neutral bathrooms than Israel
Where to draw the line between defending free speech and enabling antisemitism and hate crimes? According to JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin, that’s the dilemma at the core of the question about censorship on social media platforms.

In the latest episode of “Top story,” Tobin explains that the sale of Twitter to Elon Musk has brought about a much-needed end to political censorship in what has become the virtual public square. But, he argues, the question of how to respond effectively to a rising tide of intolerance involves a recognition that opposition to the mainstreaming of antisemitism, especially from celebrities, is a matter of common sense, not cancel culture.

Tobin is joined by legal expert and author Thane Rosenbaum, author of “Saving Free Speech … from Itself.” Rosenbaum believes that while open discourse must be defended against those who wish to suppress opposing views, free speech must also involve “respect for human dignity” and and not protect “pervasive attacks on human existence,” which forms the basis of contemporary antisemitism.

The role of Big Tech
Tobin and Rosenbaum discuss the need to rein in Big Tech Internet companies and social media platforms, whose unprecedented monopoly gives them the power to skew debates and even elections, as happened with the suppression of Biden family corruption stories in 2020. Of special concern is both a biased corporate media that proved former President Donald Trump right when he coined the term “fake news,” and the way the Biden administration is seeking to collaborate with Big Tech to censor dissent against their policies, they say.

UN Mideast envoy ‘horrified’ by killing of Palestinian stabber who wounded officer
The United Nations envoy to the Middle East on Saturday said he was “horrified” by the killing of a Palestinian stabber who security forces said wounded an Israeli police officer in the West Bank.

On Friday afternoon, Ammar Mifleh tried to enter a vehicle of an Israeli couple in the town of Huwara, near Nablus, Border Police said. While trying to break through the locked door, one of the occupants — an off-duty IDF officer — shot and wounded Mifleh with his handgun.

Mifleh then ran at a nearby Border Police officer and stabbed him in the face, lightly injuring him.

Graphic footage posted to social media showed another Border Police officer trying to apprehend Mifleh after the stabbing, as two other Palestinians were trying to pull him free.

The second officer managed to pull Mifleh away from them in a headlock, but he then briefly freed himself from his grasp and appeared to try and grab the officer’s automatic weapon. The officer then allowed the weapon to fall to the ground as he pulled a handgun from a holster and fired four times point-blank, killing Mifleh.

The footage was partial and did not show the initial stabbing.

“Horrified by today’s killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, during a scuffle with an Israeli soldier near Huwara in the o[ccupied] West Bank,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said on Twitter.

“My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Such incidents must be fully & promptly investigated, & those responsible held accountable,” he added.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon slammed Wennesland’s statement, calling it a “total distortion of reality.”

'I take marching orders from Palestinian rep.' - Canadian politician
Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May met and hosted known antisemite, Holocaust denier and Meshwar Media editor Nazih Khatatba on Tuesday, according to an antisemitism watchdog.

"Two days ago, Canadian Members of Parliament, including Federal cabinet minister Omar Alghabra and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, met with and hosted a dangerous antisemite and Holocaust denier," Documenting Antisemitism Canada reported on their Twitter account.

A Canadian politician, standing in front of a Canadian flag and a Palestinian flag, dressed in a kfiyah as well as a Palestine scarf said, "I take marching orders from the official representative of Palestine to Canada."

"Particularly at a time when Canadians are increasingly concerned about foreign interference in Canadian politics, no Canadian elected official should get their 'marching orders' from a foreign government and its official representatives," The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) wrote on their Twitter with a video of the Canadian politician saying this.

Thomas Friedman tours Hebron’s Jewish community
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and Opinion Editor Kathleen Kingsbury visited Hebron on Thursday, hosted by Yishai Fleisher, international spokesman for the city’s Jewish community.

“It is obvious that we disagree about many things; nevertheless, I enjoyed spending time with our visitors. I believe that the tour was enlightening and that they now better understand our narrative,” Fleisher told Arutz Sheva.

Their stops included the Beit Menachem overlook in the Tel Rumeda neighborhood, which is linked with the biblical city of Hebron.

“The left never bring visitors to this location,” Fleisher said. “From here, you can see that the [Jews] live on one defended street, within a giant and thriving Arab city, most of which Jews are barred from going into—this is, in fact, a Jewish ghetto.”

Rocket fired from Gaza lands in open field in south; first launch in a month
A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Saturday night, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the projectile landed in an open field, causing no injuries or damage.

Incoming rocket sirens did not sound in Israel as the rocket was projected by defense systems to land in uninhabited areas, but an alert was activated near the Gaza border towns of Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza on the Home Front Command mobile application.

Residents of the area reported hearing a large explosion.

The IDF said there were no special instructions for residents following the rocket fire.

The rocket fire came as Israeli officials were reportedly concerned about potential retaliation, including in the form of rocket fire from Gaza, over the deaths of two Palestinian Islamic Jihad members.

Both PIJ and the Hamas terror group that rules the Gaza Strip threatened to hit back over the deaths of the pair, who were killed Thursday during a military raid in the West Bank.

Over the past year, the PIJ has launched rockets at Israel in response to members being killed or arrested in the West Bank.
Qatar warns Hamas, PIJ against firing rockets at Israel during World Cup - report
Qatar has reportedly been pressuring Palestinian terrorist group Hamas to refrain from escalating security tensions with Israel in the Gaza Strip until after the FIFA World Cup, which is being hosted in the Gulf state until mid-December.

According to a KAN News report, Qatari envoy to Gaza Mohammad al-Emadi flew out to the strip at the beginning of the tournament to convey the message to the Palestinians.

The Qatari envoy is also attempting to communicate with the Islamic Jihad (PIJ), as per the report, to prevent an escalation with Israel that could distract from Qatar's soccer showpiece.

Will PIJ respond to killing of commander in Jenin?
The report comes amid concerns within Israel's defense establishment that PIJ may fire rockets at Israel in the coming days as a response to the Thursday killing of an Islamic Jihad commander in Jenin.

PIJ spokesman Tariq Ezz El-Din warned that “the massacre committed by Israel against our people and our resistance fighters in the Jenin camp at dawn today will not go unnoticed, and this criminal occupier will pay the price for his heinous crime.”

Qatar's influence on Palestinian officials
Doha had played a role in ceasefire negotiations between Hamas and Israel in the past and has considerable influence over decision-makers in the terror organization due to helping it pay its fuel bills and providing humanitarian aid.

Hamas itself also communicated to Islamic Jihad that, if it must respond to the Israeli operation in Jenin, it should do so from the West Bank rather than Gaza, KAN News previously reported.
Two Senior Palestinian Militants Killed in West Bank Raid; Israel Warns Against Retaliation
Two senior Palestinian militants who were involved in attacks against Israeli forces were killed during an overnight exchange of fire with Israeli troops in the West Bank, the military said Thursday.

One of the men, Muhammad Saadi, was described by the IDF as a high-ranking operative in Palestinian Islamic Jihad, blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, and Israel. He was involved with the kidnapping of Tiran Fero, an Israeli Druze teenager who was critically injured in a car accident near Jenin and brought to a local hospital for emergency treatment, according to Israeli media reports.

The second fatality was identified as Naim Zbeidi, “who was involved in a number of shooting attacks at Israeli forces,” according to the IDF. He was the cousin of the incarcerated Zakaria Zubeidi, a former senior commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades blamed for suicide bombings and shooting attacks.

The caskets of both men were draped with Palestinian Islamic Jihad flags before burial. No Israeli injuries were reported.

Israeli forces did not arrive at the town where the shootout took place — Wadi Bruqin , located near Jenin — seeking to target the two operatives, who were only killed after opening fire on commandos from the Duvdevan unit, according to security sources cited by Israeli media. Three others were apprehended during the operation.

Biden Administration Turns a Blind Eye to Iranian Regime's Brutal Crackdown
The Biden administration appears to be repeating Obama administration's policy of choosing to be silent in the face of the Iranian regime's bloodshed, human rights violations, and crackdowns that kill and wound peaceful protesters -- and has the same policy regarding brave Chinese protestors as well.

One hospital staff member wrote in a message to CNN about a female detainee: "When she first came in, [the officers] said she was hemorrhaging from her rectum... due to repeated rape. The plainclothes men insisted that the doctor write it as rape prior to arrest...." -- CNN Special Report, "How Iran's security forces use rape to quell protests," November 21, 2022.

Will the Biden administration ever stop appeasing the regime of Iran, called by the US Department of State "the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism"?

Will the Biden administration ever start standing with Iranian -- and Chinese, Brazilian and Venezuelan -- men and women asking only for what we purport to care about -- liberty and freedom -- but who suffer brutality and suppression from their own governments?
Iran said using more hired assassins in plots against dissidents, Israelis and Jews
Iran has increased efforts to target critics of the regime living abroad, as well as planning attacks on Israelis and US citizens, often subcontracting the attacks to hired local proxies, according to a Thursday report.

Members of the Jewish community and individuals with links to Israel were among those targeted, as well as dissidents and media outlets critical of Tehran, The Washington Post reported.

The newspaper based its reporting on government documents and interviews with 15 officials in Washington, Europe and the Middle East.

The newspaper revealed further details on a thwarted plan last year to kill Israelis in Colombia, saying the assassins were recruited in a Dubai prison.

The report said Rahmat Asadi, an operative for the intelligence arm of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was initially jailed in the United Arab Emirates for the kidnapping and death of an Iranian British businessman.

While in prison, he is alleged to have met two Colombian brothers who were involved in international jewelry theft.

Officials told The Washington Post that Asadi trained the brothers to carry out “lethal operations” and assigned them to kill Americans and Israelis in Colombia after they were released in 2021

The report said the brothers “never followed through with the operations” but that their recruitment shows that Iran had built a global network to carry out attacks. Colombian reports at the time said the plot was uncovered by the Mossad.
Iranian Foreign Minister Dismisses UN Concern Over Supply of Drones, Missiles to Russia
The Iranian regime’s foreign minister has rebuffed ongoing concerns about Tehran’s supply of Shahed-136 drones and other weaponry to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Gutteres on Friday that anxiety in the international community over the Iranian-Russian alliance was really a ruse to camouflage NATO’s “wrong policy of expansion to the east.” He flatly denied that Iran had supplied weapons to Russia after the invasion was launched, describing the accusation as “baseless.” Abdollahian also insisted that Iran was opposed to the supply of weapons to either side in the conflict, saying that the Islamic Republic’s only goal was to “stop the war and promote lasting peace in Europe.”

Abdollahian’s claim that western states have deliberately exaggerated and distorted the degree of Russian-Iranian military cooperation stands in stark contrast to the assessments of American, Ukrainian and Israeli intelligence services.

For example, US officials told the Washington Post that on Aug. 19 — six months after the invasion — transport planes left Iran bound for Russia carrying drones that have been used to deadly effect against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.

A Ukrainian assessment on Nov. 7 determined that Russia had exhausted 80 percent of its missile arsenal and was turning to the Iranians for ballistic missiles — an assertion that was also denied by Abdollahian during his conversation with Guterres.

Israel has already indicated that verified evidence of Iranian missiles reaching the Russians would reverse its policy of not arming Ukraine. Speaking at a summit in Bahrain last month, Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata warned Moscow that if Iran begins supplying ballistic missiles to the Russians for their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, “Israel will start supplying high-precision missiles to Ukraine.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have implored the Israelis to supply anti-missile defense systems to the democratic government in Kyiv, arguing that Iran’s intervention on the side of Russia necessitates a change in Jerusalem’s stance.
Canada sanctions Iran research, delivery firms over supply of drones to Russia
Canada announced Friday another round of sanctions against Iran, including a technology company that developed components of drones that the West says have been used by Russia to attack Ukraine.

“Canada will not stand idly by while the regime’s human rights violations increase in scope and intensity against the Iranian people… (and it takes) actions that continue to threaten international peace,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.

In November, Ottawa had already sanctioned two Iranian drone makers, Shahed Aviation Industries and Qods Aviation Industries.

Added in this new round was the Baharestan Kish Company, which has contracted with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp to provide drone research.

Also making the Canadian sanctions list was Safiran Airport Services for having “coordinated Russian military flights between Iran and Russia, through which the Iranian regime transferred lethal Iranian-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Russia,” said the statement.

The United States had already taken measures against both companies.
Elnaz Rekabi: Family home of Iranian climber demolished
The family villa of Elnaz Rekabi - an Iranian climber who competed abroad with her hair uncovered - has reportedly been demolished.

Ms Rekabi, 33, broke Iran's mandatory dress code at the contest in South Korea - but later said her headscarf had fallen off "inadvertently".

The BBC was told her apology was forced.

Opposition to the headscarf has fuelled protests that have swept Iran, with the climber being hailed as a hero.

A video showing the ruins of a house with sports medals on the ground started circulating this week.

Davood - Elnaz Rekabi's brother and also a top athlete - is seen crying in the video.

Anti-government activists denounced it as an act of revenge against Ms Rekabi - although it is not clear when the footage was shot.

Now, the semi-official Tasnim news agency has confirmed that the house has been demolished, but says this was due to the family not having a valid permit for its construction.

It said all this took place before Ms Rekabi competed without a headscarf in October.

Unilever: Ben & Jerry’s Has No Power to Sue Over Israeli Ice Cream Sale
Unilever plc asked a US judge to dismiss a lawsuit by Ben & Jerry’s over the sale of its Israeli ice cream business, saying the subsidiary’s “insistence on taking sides” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gives its board no authority to stop or even sue over the sale.

In a filing on Friday afternoon in Manhattan federal court, Unilever said Ben & Jerry’s board “is no ordinary board.”

The board, it said in the filings, has some responsibility to preserve its “social mission” and safeguard the brand under the shareholder agreement from 2000, when Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s. But Unilever said that the board cannot sue.

Unilever also said the board’s “recent insistence on taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict created an untenable situation” for both sides.

Ben & Jerry’s could not immediately be reached for comment.

The maker of Cherry Garcia and Chubby Hubby ice cream originally sued Unilever in July to block the sale of its business in Israel and the West Bank to local licensee Avi Zinger.

Ben & Jerry’s products have been on sale in Israel for more than three decades, but the company said last year that West Bank sales were inconsistent with its values.

In August, a judge rejected Ben & Jerry’s bid to immediately halt such sales.

Atlanta synagogue finds new way to approach antisemitism in new initiative
With antisemitism on the rise in the United States, it comes as no surprise when a Jewish synagogue is trying to find new ways to raise awareness. The Temple Sinai synagogue in Sandy Springs, Georgia, started a new way to approach antisemitism.

Rabbi Bradley Levenberg found a way to put together training sessions for teens and parents to talk about the best ways to approach and respond to antisemitism in a new initiative, Addressing Antisemitism Initiative.

"By now we are all aware that there has been an alarming rise over recent years of acts of antisemitism. Just a few months ago, reports surfaced of swastikas being drawn on bathroom walls in school and of zoom bombing services and educational programs sponsored by synagogues and Jewish institutions, to say nothing of the increase in antisemitic statements face-to-face or through social media and other online forums," Temple Sinai wrote on their site.

"Add to this list more subtle acts that, candidly, some of us think may be antisemitic but are not certain and the use of the word 'alarming' seems hardly sufficient."

Antisemitism on the rise
Antisemitic graffiti depicting three hanged people and the words ''no mercy for Jews''. (credit: JCRC OF GREATER WASHINGTON (DC)) Antisemitic graffiti depicting three hanged people and the words ''no mercy for Jews''. (credit: JCRC OF GREATER WASHINGTON (DC))

A tenth-grade student in Atlanta told Atlanta News First that she had recently experienced antisemitism for the first time while at school.

"I was walking down the hallway and there were two kids behind me and one was like 'so you really hate the Jews?'" she said. "And the other one was like 'yeah, it's because of that post, isn't it?'"

"Some of our kids feel more comfortable confronting and some of our kids feel uncomfortable doing that," Rabbi Levenberg told Atlanta News First. "So our teens were able to hear from each other and develop some strategies."

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), antisemitism in Atlanta has doubled throughout 2022 since 2021, with the most attacks being after Kanye West's "death con-3" tweet in September.
Antisemitic works on display at Warsaw Historical Book Fair
Blatantly antisemitic books painting Jews as ritual murderers, usurers, and conspiratorial Freemasons were displayed at the 30th annual Historical Book Fair held in Warsaw, Poland, in late November.

The fair—meant to foster an environment where all feel safe to remember the ups and downs of history—featured works that many have said falsely antagonized and threatened Jewish people.

Books from the organization 3DOM—a far-right Polish imprint—were featured at the book fair, an event officially backed by the office of Polish President Andrzej Duda. Proudly boasting of its lack of “political correctness,” 3DOM’s website displays over 80 blatantly antisemitic works, according to research from the “Never Again” Association, an NGO that monitors and reports on racist and antisemitic incidents in Poland.

Why are the books being criticized?
Several of 3DOM’s bestselling books purvey antisemitic bias, including Dr. Mira Modelska-Creech’s Lichwa (Usury in English) and Father Mateusz Jeż’s Tajemnice Żydowskie (Jewish Secrets in English).

Modelska-Creech conjures anecdotes of her grandmother suffering from Jewish usury, which she claims helped the Jews dominate their Polish ancestors, a baseless accusation that catalyzed the Holocaust. Not only does the book opine that Jewish usury was prevalent then, but it also warns that it is on the rise in current times, warning Poles to tread carefully around Jews.

Mateusz Jeż does not merely warn readers of Jews; he accuses them of outright murder. “If anyone sees a heretic (one who rejects the Torah) has fallen into a pit, and there is a ladder in the pit, let him quickly pull it out and say that he must get his son down from the roof, and then, that he will bring it, or something like that,” he erroneously quotes the Talmud. Mateusz Jeż removes context to smoothly interpret the Talmud as instructing Jews to murder all Christians. However, he fails to mention Maimonedes and the Chazon Ish—two of Judaism’s most respected commentators—who explain the Talmud as referring to only first-generation non-Torah-believers in a time where God’s providence is obvious to the entirety of the world.
Czech museum to return original Beethoven score to family that fled Holocaust
A musical manuscript handwritten by Ludwig van Beethoven is getting returned to the heirs of the richest family in pre-World War II Czechoslovakia, whose members had to flee the country to escape the Holocaust.

The Moravian Museum in the Czech city of Brno has had the original manuscript for the fourth movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet n B-flat Major, Op. 130 in its collection for more than 80 years. The museum put the score on display for the first time this week in anticipation of handing it over to its rightful owners.

“It’s one of the most precious items in our collections,” museum curator Simona Šindelářová said.

The museum said a restitution law on property stolen by German Nazis made the return possible. Details about how the family, whose wealth came mainly from the mining industry and banking in Central Europe, after World War I acquired the piece from one of the German composer’s late quartets is unknown.

“We’re sorry about losing it, but it rightly belongs to the Petschek family,” Šindelářová said.

Beethoven composed the six-movement String Quartet in B-flat Major in 1825-1826 as part of his work on a series of quartets commissioned by Russian Prince Nicholas Galitzin. It premiered in March 1826 at the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria.

Museums, archives and libraries in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland and the United States currently have almost 300 pages of the entire autograph in their possession.
‘Living encyclopedia’ Stuart Rosenblatt donates Irish-Jewish family records to National Library of Israel
Genealogist Stuart Rosenblatt on Dec. 19 will donate his treasure trove of records on Irish-Jewish families, which spans centuries, to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. For decades, he has been the go-to source for everyone with Irish Jewish ancestry seeking to learn about their lineage.

Rosenblatt is currently head of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society, formed in 1999 as a division of the Irish Jewish Museum, and president of the Genealogical Society of Ireland.

“My own quest began when my parents passed away 30 years ago- within eight months of each other. My sister then made a startling revelation: our paternal grandmother who we had loved so much was not our ‘real grandma,’” he told JNS. “It turned out that our biological grandmother, Marjan Klajn, had died in Poland, so my grandfather got remarried to the woman who I knew as my grandmother. I subsequently began researching my own roots.”

Over time, recording his own family tree branched off, and he uncovered information on the entire Irish-Jewish community. The records span over 70,000 individual names. Many lineages go back 300 years but the oldest stretch as far back as 1555 (when most Irish Jews were of Spanish-Sephardic heritage). But today, most of their ancestry hails from Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews from Lithuania and neighboring nations who arrived in the 1870s.

Common folktales hold that unscrupulous captains told them they had reached the U.S., so they could resell their tickets; not knowing the English language they would disembark in “Cork” thinking it was “New York.” One particular individual was in Limerick for two weeks before he realized that he was not in the U.S. Others say that the ships ran out of kosher options so the starving Jews got off — but whatever grain of truth there is to these fables, they became an integral part of Irish history.

“America’s loss was Ireland’s gain,” Rosenblatt says, “Our ancestors settled in Portobello, Dublin’s South Circular Road—which would be dubbed ‘Little Jerusalem.’”

The Irish-Jewish community peaked at 5,000 people in the 1950s; afterwards many emigrated to Israel, the U.K. and the US. Smaller numbers live in Australia, Canada and even one individual in Vietnam. In the Republic of Ireland, there are now 500 registered Jews in two congregations in the Republic of Ireland and one in Belfast. Many synagogues have shut down in the last few decades. As the community dispersed and the elderly who remember their heyday in Ireland passed away, this research gained increased importance.
Adam Sandler talks about ‘The Chanukah Song’ and a new film with the Safdie brothers
Adam Sandler recounted a funny remark from a celebrity mentioned in his famous “The Chanukah Song” when he spoke to a crowd at the 92nd Street Y (now called 92NY) in Manhattan on Tuesday night.

Following a screening of his new film “Hustle,” Sandler said he showed his daughters the spot on 56th and Broadway where he stood in front of a diner and had the idea for the tune.

“I am so proud of that song, I love it,” Sandler said, explaining that he excitedly wrote the song at the NBC studios of “Saturday Night Live.” He didn’t have Google back in 1994, and he went by what he thought was correct. The lyrics include: “Harrison Ford’s a quarter Jewish…” and Sandler later found out he was off by 25 percentage points.

“I remember when I met Harrison Ford, he goes: ‘Half!’ ” Sandler recounted as the crowd erupted in laughter.

In “Hustle,” which can be seen on Netflix, Sandler plays Stanley Sugarman, a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers who spots a Spanish phenom he thinks can be great in the NBA. Sandler said the character has the same name as his father, who passed away 20 years ago. Stanley Sandler, like the character, had a beard and taught his children sports. Sandler said when his father got mad, Sandler would do impressions of him.

He also said family events were fodder for comedy.

“All my family’s Jewish, everybody kind of has a funny way about them,” Sandler said. “I definitely, after every family get-together, couldn’t believe what I saw sometimes.”

Sandler said his brother told him he should be a comedian like Eddie Murphy and even reserved a spot for him to perform at a club.

“My brother is the reason I got into this whole thing,” he said.

Sandler recounted that he began doing stand-up comedy at the age of 17. It didn’t click at first.

“I would bomb every night,” he said.

Of course, Sandler landed a gig as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and was known for being “Opera Man,” along with other characters. He went on to an illustrious film career in which he played Israeli secret agent Zohan in 2008’s “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.” He also made a string of comedies and dramatic films such as 2002’s “Punch-Drunk Love.”

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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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