Wednesday, March 08, 2023

03/08 Links Pt2: Expedia, Tripadvisor urge tourists to visit biblical heartland in ‘Palestinian territory’

From Ian:

Remembering The Scorpion Pass Massacre of 1954
March 17 this year will mark 69 years since one of the worst terrorist attacks on Israelis since the establishment of the State in 1948. Although I was only nine years old, this episode, called the Scorpion Pass Massacre, has a prominent place in my memory, perhaps because of the intense discussions it aroused in the Jewish community of Montreal that I was a part of, or perhaps because I was the same age as the Israeli boy who was severely injured. Or, perhaps it was the exotic name of the site of the attack, Scorpion Pass (Maale Akrabim).

The name obviously comes from the common appearance of scorpions (akrabim in Hebrew), venomous animals with two pincer claws and an articulated tail and stinger. Scorpions resemble crustaceans such as lobsters or crayfish, but are in fact related to spiders, mites and ticks. With an evolutionary history going back hundreds of millions of years, they were certainly around in biblical times. Maale Akrabim appears three times in the Tanakh (Numbers 34:3, Joshua 15:3 and Judges 1:36), as an indicator of the southern boundary of the Land of Israel.

The attack took place in 1954, when the population of Israel was 1.6 million and the southern port of Eilat, Israel’s only connection to the Red Sea, was a small development town with 500 inhabitants. As is true today, travellers from Eilat to central Israel could either fly (Arkia began flying from Eilat to Lod Airport, now Ben Gurion Airport, in 1950), or drive the 150 miles to Beersheba. In 1954 the drive to Beersheba was a lonely one that included a long and narrow grade with 18 hairpin turns, known as Ma’ale Akrabim. The ascent, about 60 miles south of Beersheba, is a 1000 foot escarpment that connects the Arava Valley of the south-eastern Negev to the central Negev plateau.

The attack was carried out in the middle of the day on an Egged bus (Israel’s largest bus company) containing 14 passengers plus a driver. The attackers shot at the bus as it was travelling very slowly around one of the hairpin bends, killing the driver. They then boarded the bus and shot most of the passengers. Eleven riders (ten passengers and the driver) were killed and three passengers were injured. One of the injured a nine year-old boy, Chaim Fuerstenberg, survived in a semi-conscious and paralysed state for 32 years, dying in 1986.
Morningstar lowers investment ratings of 28 Israeli companies for operating in contested territory

(This article has been taken down by the Jerusalem Post, apparently for inaccuracies.)
The Jerusalem Post has learned that Morningstar, a financial services firm that rates companies’ investment potential, has reduced the ratings of 28 Israeli companies due to their operations in what the firm’s ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) rating subsidiary Sustainalytics considers to be Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Of the 28 companies, 15 have been given a human rights score of “category 3” (significant controversy) or higher. The list includes several leading companies such as Elbit Systems and Caterpillar, as well as Israel-operating banks and telecommunications companies including PayPal Holdings and Motorola Solutions, which have been given their high controversy ratings due to their operations within East Jerusalem, the West Bank and/or the Golan heights — which Sustainalytics considers to be a human rights abuse.

Considering Morningstar’s significance within the financial ratings market, its negative rating of these companies is cause for concern to those who consider such actions to be in-line with BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) activity.

As well, over 30 American states have laws that prohibit investment or contracts with companies that cause economic harm to those based in Israel. As such, even if just one Israeli company is unfairly targeted on a Morningstar watchlist, it could potentially violate state laws.

Morningstar is now in the process of consulting with human rights experts in order to determine how to proceed with its assessment of these companies.
Dem Senators Blasted Ticketmaster Over Taylor Swift Debacle. They Have Nothing to Say About It Raking In Cash From Farrakhan Hate Rally.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) last fall trained their fire on Ticketmaster after bungled sales for Taylor Swift's concert tour led to price-gouging and automated scalping, calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the ticketing giant. But when the company doled out tickets to Louis Farrakhan's rally—in which the Nation of Islam leader defended Adolf Hitler and predicted another Holocaust against Jews—the Democratic duo had nothing to say.

Blumenthal went on a crusade against Ticketmaster in November, saying "consumers deserve better than this anti-hero behavior." Klobuchar said she had "serious concerns" about Ticketmaster's failure to get the so-called Swifties tickets efficiently and wrote to the company's chief executive officer demanding answers.

Neither Blumenthal, who has warned that the "horrors of the Holocaust" could happen again if Americans don't fight anti-Semitism, nor Klobuchar, who has pledged "to confront anti-Semitism," have criticized Ticketmaster for profiting off of the Farrakhan ticketing sales. The two senators, who sit on the Senate's Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, did not respond to requests for comment.

Farrakhan during his speech claimed that Jews control the levers of power in Washington, Hollywood, and global finance and are using these powers to corrupt the world. "Somebody has to take on the synagogue of Satan," he said. "We cannot let them take the country." Critics had urged Ticketmaster, which charges service fees on each ticket it sells, to drop the Farrakhan event from its sales platform, but the ticket giant did not budge.

Among House Democrats, there has also been silence from lawmakers who criticized Ticketmaster in the past. Last November, more than two dozen House Democrats sent a letter to Ticketmaster, saying it "strangled competition for ticketing in the live entertainment marketplace." The Washington Free Beacon reached out to 28 members who signed the letter and are still in Congress to get their thoughts on Ticketmaster’s decision to sell seats at the Farrakhan event. None of them responded.

Democrats who signed the letter included Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.).

Current and Former New Hampshire Legislators Issue Call to Support Anti-BDS Bill
Two New Hampshire political leaders on Monday called for pubic support of an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) bill that will be the subject of public hearings on March 8.

House Bill 339 — introduced in January and sponsored by Rep. James Spillane (R), Rep. Kenneth Weyler (R), Rep. Jordan Ulery (R), and Rep. Jess Edwards — calls for banning investments in and contracts with companies participating in the BDS movement, which opposes Zionism and rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation-state. It is still being examined by the New Hampshire House Executive Departments and Administration Committee.

“We are not blazing new ground here,” Rep. James Spillane (R) and former representative Paul Berch (D) wrote in an op-ed published in Portsmouth Herald, a local daily. “Business owners remain free to say whatever they want about Israel. They also remain free to boycott if they want, but in that case the state will exercise its own right to decline to spend taxpayer money in business with them.”

Spillane and Berch emphasized the importance of New Hampshire’s trade with Israel, which, they said, has totaled over $1 billion since 1996 and $110 million in exports alone in 2021.

“Trade with Israel encompasses many of the state’s most vital economic sectors, including agriculture, water sciences, biotech, medicine, and aerospace,” they continued. “Companies and universities in our state engage in joint research, academic exchanges and trade with Israel that contributes materially to the everyday quality of life in our state. Protecting this trade and cooperation is a compelling interest.”

35 states have anti-BDS laws on their books, and the US Supreme Court recently refused to hear a case challenging a court decision that upheld one passed in Arkansas. Tennessee became the most recent state to adopt an anti-BDS law in April 2022, decreeing that all state contracts must include “a written certification that the company is not currently engaged in, and will not for the duration of the contract engage in a boycott of Israel.”

Expedia, Tripadvisor urge tourists to visit biblical heartland in ‘Palestinian territory’
Though Judea and Samaria are considered “disputed” under international law, certain companies, including Expedia and Tripadvisor, have labeled their properties there as being in “Palestinian territory.” Though no major company has ever successfully boycotted Judea and Samaria, representatives of many of these companies have made statements in the past showing their support for “the Palestinian cause.”

Expedia is a large U.S.-based company that operates both and Listings on both websites from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are described as being in “Israeli settlements, in Palestinian territory.” Laviana Rajaram, a representative of the Expedia group, told JNS that this decision was made in order to “provide transparency to our customers who are traveling to the disputed territories.” Rajaram further said that she stood by the decision to identify these accommodations as Israeli settlements located in occupied Palestinian territory. Expedia hosts nine locations in Judea and Samaria on their website.

Tripadvisor has also begun labeling listings in Judea and Samaria as being in “Palestinian territory.” In 2018 Tripadvisor had many of their listings in Judea and Samaria described as being in Israel. However, in 2019 Amnesty International began a campaign targeting the company. Amnesty International released a report targeting many booking platforms for the business they do in Judea and Samaria, accusing them of profiting from “war crimes against Palestinians.”

Tripadvisor was singularly targeted by Amnesty International for being “the largest driver of tourism” in Judea and Samaria. (Even though Tripadvisor has relabeled all of their Judea and Samaria listings, it continues to promote more than 70 listings in around 27 communities across Judea and Samaria, making it still among the largest promoters of tourism in that region.)

Not all online tourism companies have adopted this approach, however. currently refers to lodgings in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as being in Israel. However, the organization has added travel warnings to listings in Judea and Samaria, instructing customers to review their government’s travel advisories for the region because it “might be considered a conflict zone.”

According to the Israeli Tourism Ministry, the original wording of the alert referred to the area as “occupied territory” and warned tourists that their stay might entail “human rights risks.” The ministry said it had had to pressure the company into adopting the new, milder formulation. justified its decision by saying that “certain areas in the world affected by conflict may pose a greater risk to travelers, so we provide our customers with information to help make decisions and encourage them to check their government’s official travel guidelines as part of the decision-making process.”

A representative of told JNS that the decision is “motivated by our dedication to customer service.” A number of other regions, including Northern Cyprus, also have alerts on, however these alerts do not refer to the areas as “conflicted zones.”

Furthermore, all locations on that are listed in areas under the administrative control of the Palestinian Authority are labeled as being in “Palestinian Territory.”

McKinsey says it canceled sponsorship of Arab Conference at Harvard
The consulting giant McKinsey & Company announced on Monday that it “stepped away” from last weekend’s Arab Conference at Harvard after learning of antisemitic views of one of its speakers.

The firm’s statement followed a Jewish Insider report from the McKinsey-sponsored conference, where speakers including former Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) urged students to protest “apartheid” Israel.

“When we learned late last week that a speaker at an event our recruiting team was sponsoring at Harvard University had a history of anti-Semitic comments, we immediately stepped away from the conference, canceled our in-person recruiting meeting and withdrew two speakers from the program,” the statement said. “We condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand for inclusion and tolerance everywhere.”

As of Tuesday evening, McKinsey is still listed as a “close circle sponsor” of the conference — the highest level of sponsorship — on the conference website. The recruiting session still appears on the schedule, and a page listing the time and place of the McKinsey recruiting session, which was set to take place on Sunday, is still active. (A revised schedule sent to attendees on Sunday morning did not list the McKinsey session. JI reached out to conference organizers to ask whether the session took place, but they did not respond.)

McKinsey’s statement does not specify which speaker the company was referencing, and a spokesperson declined to comment further. DJ Carella, the firm’s global director of media relations and corporate communications, did not respond to questions about the speaker or why the organization was still listed as a sponsor on the conference website.

In a Tuesday night email to students and donors, Harvard Hillel’s executive director, Rabbi Jonah Steinberg, lamented Sarsour’s message that Zionists are trying to silence her and “our Arab peers and colleagues at Harvard.” Jewish students at Harvard, Steinberg wrote, experience such accusations “as painful and prejudiced.”

College rejects formation of Students for Justice in Palestine chapter
Earlier this month, the college denied a group of students’ request to form a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) on campus. The Office of Student Life contends that the chapter’s events could violate college policy by targeting or disrupting other clubs and individuals on campus, a claim the student organizers say is baseless.

SJP is an international organization that “seeks to empower, unify, and support student organizers as they push forward demands for Palestinian liberation & self-determination on their campuses,” according to its website. Some chapters have faced controversy for their events, which have included spreading bogus eviction notices in dorms to protest the Israeli government’s practice of demolishing Palestinian homes and boycotting Hillel events.

The organizers of the SJP chapter at Lafayette said educating the campus about Palestine is their main goal.

“We want to educate people … and we’re not trying to create that divisiveness that doesn’t allow that,” Ariel Haber-Fawcett ‘24 said. She added that her Jewish identity inspires her to speak up about alleged injustices perpetrated by the Israeli government.

“I think our main goal was kind of just to get awareness out about the issues going on in Palestine right now,” Aidan Choate ‘23, another one of the chapter’s organizers, said. “I feel like it’s kind of in the back of everybody’s mind, but it’s not really something that you see a lot of people talking about day to day.”

Inside look at the anti-Zionist community in the heart of Jerusalem
Take a look at a Jewish anti-Zionist community based in Jerusalem, as i24NEWS correspondent Mael Benoliel walks the streets of the ultra-Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood to speak with members of the controversial, anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group.

Throughout the month of February 2023, thirty-one written or filmed reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, some of which were also published on other pages and seven of which were carried over from the previous month.

BBC audiences saw no new reporting on internal Palestinian affairs during February and so they were not informed about protests against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a demonstration by teachers, a ban on a press conference calling for elections or the arrest of a lawyer.
AFP Publishes Weirdly Sympathetic Piece About Murderous Palestinian Teenage Terrorists
The latest example of “terrorism apologist journalism” came from the global wire service AFP, which published a piece this week that attempts to understand why young Palestinians have perpetrated several terror attacks.

The article, “Hardened and hopeless, young Palestinians commit bloody attacks,” describes how over the past few weeks there have been a number of knife and gun attacks on Israelis by Palestinian teenagers, including one in which a police officer was stabbed to death by a 13-year-old.

Focusing on the alleged motivation behind these attacks, AFP quotes the seemingly bewildered mother of the teen murderer, who stabbed Staff Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22, numerous times in the face and neck on a bus that had stopped at a security checkpoint:
The mother of one of them, Fidaa al-Zalabani, 38, recounted how she, her husband and eldest son were all questioned by police after her son was arrested for the attack.

‘They accused me of being an accomplice, of having known what my son was going to do and protecting him,’ she said, recalling that she was questioned for seven hours.

‘But no mother tells her son to go and stab a police officer.'”

While there is no suggestion that Zalabani had any prior knowledge of her son’s plans, the insinuation that Palestinian families are often blindsided by terror attacks bears no resemblance to reality considering perpetrators are frequently vaunted in their local communities.

Also quoted is Ramallah-based psychiatrist Mahmoud Sehwail who claims every young terrorist is haunted by “trauma” and asserts that the root cause of terrorism is the “Israeli occupation of the West Bank.”

Sehwail also confidently states that “violence will end when the occupation ends” — apparently forgetting that Arab-on-Jewish violence long predates the very establishment of the State of Israel, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.

Other individuals called on by AFP to speculate about the issues driving these young terrorists include fringe Israeli activists, who suggest youngsters are driven to murder because they feel “helpless” and are worried about being evicted from their homes.

Besides wild conjecture, AFP fails to mention the two most glaring motivational factors behind Palestinian terrorism — namely, the school textbooks taught in Palestinian schools that encourage “martyrdom” and the Palestinian Authority’s “pay-for-slay” policy that financially rewards terrorists.
Movie About Jewish Woman Betrayed to Nazis by Catholic Future Father-In-Law Gets Acquires by North American Distributor
Menemsha Films has bought the North American rights to a movie based on the true story of a Jewish woman in France who was reported to the Gestapo by her fiancé’s father and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust, the distribution company announced on Tuesday.

The Story of Annette Zelman from France’s Film & Picture Distribution is a wartime drama based on real events described in the book Dénoncer les Juifs sous l’Occupation (Informing on Jews during the Occupation) by Laurent Joly.

The French-language film takes place in 1940’s Nazi-occupied Paris and focuses on Zelman and her Catholic fiancé Jean Jausion. They met when they were students at a French art school, fell in love, and wanted to get married, but Jausion’s father was opposed to their union and took measures into his own hands to ensure the couple remained apart. He reported Zelman’s Jewish identity to the Nazis and soon after she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she ultimately died. Driven to despair by Zelman’s disappearance and his father’s role in the ordeal, Jausion committed suicide in 1945.

The film, directed by Philippe Le Guay, stars Ilona Bachelier as the title character alongside a cast that includes Vassili Schneider, Julie Gayet, Laurent Lucas, Guilaine Londez and François Creton.
Kristalnacht marks turning point for Europe's Jews

Georgia passes IHRA bill defining antisemitism, anti-Jewish hate crime
A bill officially defining antisemitism, which can be used by authorities when identifying anti-Jewish hate crime, was passed in the US state of Georgia’s General Assembly on Tuesday.

House Bill (HB) 30 passed 136-22 with bipartisan support. Democrat Esther Panitch, the only Jewish American representative in the state house, submitted and presented the bill with the support of several other members including Republicans like John Carson.

Panitch noted on Monday that the bill was assessed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of having a 26% chance of passing. The Jewish representative said that she would “channel my inner Queen Esther and beat the odds,” in honor of Purim.

“Hate has no place in Georgia,” said the Georgia House Republicans. “The House stands in solidarity with our state’s Jewish community.” Antisemitism: A pervasive problem in American society

The law contends that antisemitism is a pervasive problem in American society that needs to be addressed, with data showing that Jews are often the religious group most targeted by hate crime. Consequently, Georgia has a responsibility to protect Jewish citizens.

Under HB 30, Georgian law enforcement will now consider antisemitism as motivation for laws that prohibit discrimination against immutable characteristics and carry enhanced penalties.

Antisemitism in Georgia will be defined along the outline of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition. The General Assembly agreed with the notion that while there was no exhaustive definition, it was an essential tool adopted by over 30 countries.
Federal grand jury indicts Los Angeles gunman who shot two Jewish men
A federal grand jury indicted a man for hate crimes in the shooting last month of two Jewish men as they left synagogues in Los Angeles.

The four-count indictment charges Jaime Tran, 28, with hate crimes and firearms offenses, specifically two counts of “willfully causing bodily injury and attempting to kill his victims,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

He is also charged with two counts of discharging a firearm in relation to a violent crime.

Authorities allege that on Feb. 15 at 9:45 a.m., Tran drove to the heavily Jewish Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles. He singled out a man who was “wearing a black jacket and yarmulke, and had just left religious services at a synagogue.” Tran allegedly shot the man “in the back at close range, intending to kill him,” but wounded the man instead.

The following day, at 8 a.m., authorities say Tran returned to the area “intending to kill another Jewish person.” His second victim, also dressed in dark colors and wearing a yarmulke, was injured in the attack.

Tran acquired two guns before the February attacks and had done an Internet search for “kosher markets” to see where “Jewish people congregate,” according to authorities.

A resident of Riverside County, about an hour east of Los Angeles, Tran has a history of antisemitic beliefs. The indictment stated that Tran left dental school in 2018 “after making hate-filled statements about other students whom he perceived to be Jewish.”

From August through December 2022, his rhetoric “escalated and used increasingly violent language,” texting a former classmate, saying “I want you dead, Jew. Someone is going to kill you, Jew” and “Burn in an oven chamber,” it added.

He also allegedly distributed fliers stating: “Every single aspect of the Covid agenda is Jewish.”
Judge tosses hate crime charges in S.F. synagogue shooting case
“It’s a form of prayer.”

That’s how a San Francisco police officer recapped what Dmitri Mishin told him he was doing the evening of Feb. 1 when he walked into a Russian Jewish synagogue and opened fire with a gun that shoots blanks.

The testimony this week from Sgt. Michael Zhang came on the first day of a preliminary hearing, a juryless proceeding where a judge decides which charges brought by prosecutors will stick. The hearing was the first time that prosecutor Jamal Anderson and public defender Olivia Taylor presented arguments at length in the case, as competing narratives emerged from witness testimony that was at times peculiar, and often emotional.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Loretta M. Giorgi affirmed the bulk of the charges brought against 51-year-old Mishin, but in a move that complicated the narrative brought by prosecutors and significantly changed the complexion of the case, Giorgi tossed out hate crime charges, determining they were not sufficiently supported. Mishin was arrested on Feb. 3, two days after walking into the one-room Schneerson Center, an Orthodox gathering place in the Richmond District, and shooting between six and eight rounds of blanks while a group of mostly seniors sat eating and learning.

Hate crime charges, known as “enhancements,” are appended to already existing crimes, but do not constitute crimes in and of themselves. In the Mishin case, the enhancements, added to felony charges for interfering with religious worship, had been held up by District Attorney Brooke Jenkins as symbolic of the city’s tough tack on bias-motivated crimes.

“I understand how deeply disturbing this event was,” the judge said. But in her view, Anderson did not produce enough evidence showing hate was a “substantial motivating factor” behind Mishin’s act.

Surveillance footage of the incident, which the judge called “bizarre,” did not contribute to claims of a bias motivation. In fact, it did more to show Mishin behaving in a way that appeared “affable” — he began by chatting with those gathered, and afterward waved goodbye.

“We’re dealing with a disturbed mind here,” the judge said.
Purim holiday marred by “Heil Hitler, I love Hitler” abuse from man reportedly in possession of a knife
The Purim holiday in London was marred by verbal abuse from a man reportedly in possession of a knife.

The assailant allegedly yelled “Heil Hitler, I love Hitler” at Jewish people leaving a synagogue on Darenth Road in Stamford Hill during the festival yesterday.

The incident was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, and a suspect has been arrested.

If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD7746 07/03/23.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over five hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than five times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

Orchestra Aiming to Build Bridges Between Israelis and Palestinians Performs First Concert at UN Headquarters
A United Nations-supported classical musical ensemble that is comprised of young Palestinian and Israeli musicians recently played its first concert at UN headquarters in New York.

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performed at the UN on Feb. 23 as part of a special event called “Equal in Music,” organized by United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UNDGC). The eight-member orchestra is creating a “discourse of music, harmony, reconciliation, empathy, fraternity, and solidarity” in the hope of bridging alliances between Israelis and Palestinians, said UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Ángel Moratinos.

The West-Eastern Divan Ensemble, led by the orchestra’s concertmaster Michael Barenboim, was founded in 1999 by Daniel Barenboim, a renowned Israeli pianist and conductor, and his friend, Palestinian scholar and author Edward Said. The orchestra was appointed in 2016 by then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a United Nations Global Advocate for Cultural Understanding.

“We have musicians that come from countries that are in conflict with each other in one way or another. We show that by cooperating in a project such as this one, it’s possible to bring together people from states which are in conflict so that they’re able to work together towards a common goal,” said Barenboim. “I think that’s showing an alternative model and alternative way of thinking for the Middle East region. Which is not based on arms, bombs, war, blood and conflict, but based on understanding, dialogue and listening to each other. When you play music, you play, but you also have to listen to others.”
‘You Can’t Stop Him’: English Premier League Team Hails Israeli Soccer Star Manor Solomon After He Scores In Fifth Consecutive Game
Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon continued his show-stopping performance in England’s Premier League by scoring on Monday for the fifth match in a row.

The 23-year-old Fulham winger equalized in Monday’s contest with west London rivals Brentford, firing a rebound into the net after teammate Andreas Pereira’s freekick hit the crossbar to take the score to 1-1. Brentford went on to win the tie 3-2.

Solomon has now scored five goals in his last five games with Fulham — four in Premier League and one during Fulham’s 2-0 FA Cup third round victory over Hull. He is also one of only four Fulham players to score in four consecutive Premier League matches.

Fulham’s official Twitter account tweeted, “You can’t stop him!” during the match and on Tuesday shared a clip highlighting Solomon’s “5 in 5” goal, including an emoji of the Israeli flag in both tweets. Sky Sports Premier League also praised the Israeli athlete despite his team’s loss in the game by tweeting, “Manor Solomon can’t stop scoring.”
WNBA Players Open Up About Playing in Israel While Country
Current and former players in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) shared with The Athletic recently their stories of traveling overseas to compete in the offseason and two athletes revealed what their experiences were like being in Israel when the country was facing rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups.

WNBA Chicago Sky player Rebekah Gardner, who shared on Instagram a video from her visit to Tel Aviv in February, recalled her first year playing in Israel in 2012 and wanting to hit the town the night before the country was attacked with missiles. That same year, in response to intense rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.

“Once, our coaches told us to stay in for the night, but in Israel there’s a big night life and we noticed that no one was out,” she remembered. “We didn’t understand why, and we came to understand that the next day there were missiles being flown to Israel. So when we told them we went out they were scared for us and we were scared for ourselves. That’s when I realized I’m in a foreign country. That was kind of like when I realized I’m overseas. I need to be more aware of my surroundings.”

Gardner played in Israel during the first four years of her professional basketball career. She played for the women’s team Hapoel Petah Tikva during the 2012-2013 season; with Elitzur Holon in the 2013-2014 season; and with Maccabi Ramat Hen from 2014-2016 season. She was also named the Israeli League MVP during her time with Ramat Hen and in the 2019-2020 season she returned to Israel and played with Bnot Herzliya.
'Mr. Kohl’s Final Hour' is the first Israeli film shown at ICARO Film Festival in Guatemala
“Mr. Kohl’s Final Hour,” a film based on Joshua Sobol’s award-winning play, was recently screened at the ICARO International Film Festival held in Antigua, Guatemala. The festival, which is held each November in the Central American country, hosts more than 50 films, along with a significant number of international guests.

The Ícaro International Film Festival in Central America is a project created and produced in Guatemala by Casa Comal Arte y Cultura with the financial and organizational support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, in cooperation with diplomatic representations accredited in Guatemala, organizations, companies and friends of the Festival. ICARO International Film Festival held in Antigua, Guatemala

The film is a monologue delivered by a single actor. Attorney Mickey Kohl has an hour left before he enters prison for assaulting a judge who has ruled against him. Standing at the entrance to the jail, Kohl’s receives a phone call from the courthouse librarian – she has information that may change the trial’s verdict that has cost him his wife, his career and his freedom. During that final hour, through telephone conversations with the women in his life and flashbacks of memory, Kohl discovers the truth about the trial and takes stock of his life.

The film was shown at the festival before a capacity crowd on December 8 on a giant screen placed on the wall of the old church in the city. Director Doron Eran spoke to the audience before the screening and discussed the making of “Mr. Kohl’s Final Hour” and independent filmmaking in Israel.

The screening of the film at the festival took place with the assistance of the Israeli Embassy in Guatemala. "We were very happy to take advantage of director Doron Eran's stay in Guatemala for the purpose of presenting his films to the local audience at the ICARO festival. Israel and Guatemala share a great friendship, and the promotion of Israeli culture in the country is an important part of our work here.”
Why a Leading Nazi Invoked Purim with His Dying Breaths
A member of the National Socialist party since 1922, Julius Streicher may have been less directly involved in mass murder than the other nine men sentenced to be hanged by the Nuremberg tribunal, but as the editor of Der Stürmer he did more even than Goebbels to produce anti-Semitic propaganda, usually of the most explicit kind. Just before his execution—between a shout of “Heil Hitler” and a farewell to his wife—he cried “Purimfest 1946!” Jeff Jacoby notes that Streicher was well informed about the holiday:

At Pleikhershof, his country estate, [Streicher] had a collection of books about Purim, in which he underlined in red the references to Haman and his fate. In 1934, Der Stürmer published a lengthy article on Purim headlined “The Night of Murder: The Secret of the Jewish Holiday of Purim Is Unveiled.” Fitting, then, that as Streicher went to his death, uppermost in his mind was the parallel between the hanging of Haman’s ten evil sons and the hanging of Hitler’s ten Nazi accomplices. His outburst—“Purimfest 1946!”—may have mystified those who were present, but it wasn’t meaningless. . . .

At one point in the book of Esther, Haman reveals his true mind. At a banquet he boasts of all the glory, wealth, and influence he has achieved. “Yet all this is worthless to me,” he said, “so long as I see Mordechai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” That is the unforgivable offense: Mordechai the Jew refuses to blend in, to disappear, to be indistinguishable from everyone else. Underneath everything, it is the Jew’s identity—not his money, his success, or his customs—that the anti-Semite cannot bear.

Streicher imagined that Hitler and Germany would succeed where Haman had failed; in the end, approaching the gallows, he knew it was a “Purimfest” all over again. But the defeat of anti-Semitism is never permanent. The hatred of Jews is again on the march, even in America, where for so long it was banished from respectable society. Purim is a joyous holiday, but more and more Jews are watching their backs.

WATCH: IDF officer who shot down City of David terrorist makes emotional return Nadav was filmed as he was accompanied by friends and family to reunite with the 202nd Paratrooper Brigade at the Western Wall.
The IDF paratrooper who shot the teenage Palestinian terrorist responsible for the City of David gun attack in January returned to his unit for the first time on Wednesday since being hospitalized after the incident.

Nadav, of the 202nd Paratrooper Battalion returned on an emotional occasion as his comrades troops had just completed their march to the Western Wall.

The IDF officer and his father were wounded by 13-year-old Mahmud Aliyat as they were walking home from Shabbat prayers on Saturday morning near the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem.

While his father, 47, was suffered moderate wounds, Nadav was severely wounded but managed to shoot back and wounded his attacker.

Some six weeks later, Nadav was filmed accompanied by friends and family as he reunited with his unit at the Western Wall.

Students on northern Israel field trip stumble onto 1,500-year-old lioness carving
A group of students taking a class on the history of early Jewish villages in northern Israel became part of the story they were studying last week after stumbling across a 1,500-year-old carved lioness sculpture that likely adorned an ancient synagogue.

Prof. Mordechai Aviam of the Kinneret Academic College on the Sea of Galilee was leading 23 masters students on a three-day practicum called “The Jewish Village in the Golan and Galilee in Antiquity” on March 1 when they discovered the carving.

They were hiking around northern villages, and Aviam wanted the students to apply what they’d learned over the past few days.

At an ancient synagogue in Ein Nashut near the modern town of Katzrin, Aviam told the students to wander through the site on their own. The site was excavated in the 1990s by Prof. Zvi Maoz, also of the Kinneret College.

“It’s a small Jewish village on a little hill, and right now it’s surrounded by green and so beautiful,” Aviam said. “I told them, go out on your own to the site, identify the walls and buildings, write down some remarks, take photos, and come back after half an hour.”

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