Tuesday, March 21, 2023

03/21 Links Pt2: Phyllis Chesler: Israeli protesters, I can no longer keep silent; Ben & Jerry’s sued over child labor, after attempted Israel boycott; Thomas Friedman's fury

From Ian:

Bernard Henri Levy: Israel’s Genius, and Its Bad Shepherds
I love Israel.

I’ve loved it since day one, just after the 1967 war, when I discovered this unknown land where everything spoke to me in secret.

I love the miracle of this country, born of a publicist’s passion for a history that he knew very little about; baptized with a name from psalmists and poets who knew nothing of what makes a nation; built by practical dreamers who, while resuscitating Hebrew, realized this other miracle, which was the invention of one of the only true social contracts in history (“we decide to be a republic, therefore we are one”—who else dared, except maybe America?).

I love Israel when I feel it’s a refuge for persecuted Jews, and I love it when it’s being menaced, stigmatized or demonized by adversaries who, by arms or words, intend to weaken or destroy it.

And, unlike France, which after six years of war with Algeria suspended some of its fundamental liberties, or the United States, which needed only six weeks after September 11 to pass their Patriot Act, I love that Israel, even at war, not after six years or six weeks, but since the very day of its birth, i.e., for 75 years, has never removed its freedoms or ceased to be a democracy.
Phyllis Chesler: Israeli protesters, I can no longer keep silent
I can no longer keep silent. I may be sitting in Manhattan, but my heart is in Jerusalem and my heart is very heavy.

I may not be a lawyer or a legal scholar, but I have been an organizer, an activist, a leader who has acted on behalf of civil and human rights—especially women’s rights. But I have never acted in the way that Israeli rioters are now acting: Not stopping, threatening to continue until they’ve brought down an entire country.

These leftists/progressives/“good people” (my former people) seem to be behaving the same way that pro-Palestinian/pro-jihad students behave in the streets and classrooms of America. They are like hecklers in the classroom who will not allow a speaker with whom they disagree to speak, trying to chase them out of the lecture hall. These rioters are aiming to abolish a lawful and democratic election because they despise and fear the people’s choice. They aim to make their country odious in the eyes of the world.

Do they not understand that Israel is already defamed, that the noose has tightened around the Jewish neck globally, that Israel is already hated everywhere? Do they think that by standing for civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, minority and Arab rights (all important issues) they will be seen as the “good” Israel, the “good” Jew and will be sent to the gas chambers last?

Do they not see that their style of protesting, however righteously intended, resembles a Black Lives Matter demonstration, a jihadist uprising, a Jan. 6 storming of the American Capitol or an adolescent tantrum? Do they not see that they are enacting their own form of BDS?

Do they not understand that they reside in a neighborhood where such a dangerous riot would be put down with live bullets, prison, torture, execution, perhaps even chemical warfare? Do they not understand that they are lucky to live in a country that does not do such things? Do they have no better way to protest what they view as dangerous and awful as a “tyranny of the majority?”
Thomas Friedman's fury
Nothing riles New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman more than an Israeli government with the audacity to disregard his opinions and demands. His laceration of the Jewish state stretches as far back as his undergraduate years at Brandeis University. There, he was a member of Breira, a left-wing Jewish advocacy group that favored a two-state solution along the pre-1967 lines, thereby removing biblical Judea and Samaria (previously Jordan's "west bank") from Israeli control. Friedman has been an unrelenting critic of Israel ever since.

In a March 8 diatribe, Friedman fancifully warned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pursuing a "judicial putsch to crush the independence" of Israel's judiciary. He urged American Jews "to choose sides on Israel," but not any side – only Friedman's.

"Every rabbi and every Jewish leader in America," he wrote, must speak out to affirm his fury. Friedman's preferred Jewish leader seems to be Los Angeles Rabbi Sharon Brous, who recently delivered a sermon titled "The Tears of Zion," urging her congregation to challenge Netanyahu's "illiberal, ultranationalist regime." Only Netanyahu, it seems, is worthy of rabbinical laceration.

Given Friedman's rants, Brous's was mild criticism. In what he no doubt viewed as his nastiest insult, Friedman not only blamed Netanyahu for embracing "more and more ultranationalist and ultrareligious parties," but also claimed that the prime minister "has come to embrace the Trumpist playbook," whatever that means.

Friedman ignores the fact that, for Israel, former President Donald Trump was the most supportive American president since Harry Truman recognized the fledgling Jewish state back in 1948. Trump acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and relocated the American embassy to Jerusalem in 2017, affirming it as Israel's capital. Would that Friedman's preferred presidents, whoever they may be, had done as much for Israel.

In Friedman's indictment, Netanyahu is guilty of "radicalizing his base, attacking Israel's legal, media and academic institutions" and "inciting his loyalists against centrist and left-wing Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs."

‘Hypocritical’: Ben & Jerry’s sued over child labor, after attempted Israel boycott
Ben & Jerry’s has been hit with a class action lawsuit and charges of hypocrisy for the use of child labor in its supply chain, despite the ice cream maker’s declared commitment to social justice causes, an image it holds up as a key part of its branding.

The company’s involvement with child labor came to light shortly after it settled a high-profile legal battle with its parent firm over an attempted boycott against Israel, which Israel supporters viewed as prejudiced. The Ben & Jerry’s board responsible for the boycott has stayed mum about the labor issue, while its leader has continued to take shots at Israel.

The Vermont-based company claimed in recent filings that it did not use child labor in its supply chain and has avoided divulging when it found out about the matter.

The labor issue surfaced publicly in a New York Times investigation late last month. The report revealed that American corporations and their suppliers use underage migrant laborers for dangerous and grueling factory jobs, including in dairy facilities that supply Ben & Jerry’s.

Many of the children fled destitution in Central America, arrived in the US as unaccompanied minors, and were then exploited for labor. They work to pay off debts to smugglers, send cash to their families back home, and pay for living costs. The jobs keep many of them out of school. The US Department of Labor said it would take action to rein in illegal child migrant labor in response to the report.

The injury rate for dairy facilities is twice the national average compared to all industries, said the report, which included testimony from a boy who crushed his hand in an industrial milking machine in Vermont.
VICE ‘Investigation’ Alleges Conspiracy to Cover Up Palestinian Rioter’s Death — But Fails to Prove Anything
VICE’s Unqualified ‘Expert’ Witnesses
Indeed, upon further examination, none of VICE’s expert witnesses seem qualified to comment on the complex case of Walid Al-Sharif’s passing.

Dr. Ahmad Tibi, a disgraced gynecologist and longtime member of Israel’s parliament for the radical Hadash-Ta’al alliance, is the only interviewee who saw Al-Sharif during his hospitalization. Yet when asked for proof of his vague theories, Tibi initially dodges the question, later only verifying that the man “had a head injury and an edema in the head.”

He at no point contradicts the official medical account, speaking only in hypotheticals when accusing the Jerusalem police of shooting Walid. Surely, if Tibi had noticed an injury consistent with that of a wound from a sponge-tipped bullet, wouldn’t he have spoken up?

Meanwhile, Jeremy Bauer is introduced as an independent expert who “testif[ies] in court as to why a person might have tripped, slipped, or fallen.” But Hind Hassan omits that Bauer is known to work closely with the anti-Israel group Forensic Architecture, having contributed in 2021 to a controversial report that sought to exonerate a Palestinian terrorist who carried out a car-ramming attack.

A biomechanist lacking any formal medical education or training, Bauer’s blanket assertion based on a short video clip that no heart condition could have caused Al-Sharif’s fall can hardly be given credence. Why would someone who studies the physics of human movement know better than cardiologists at Hadassah Ein Kerem, a world-renowned cardiology center, who had access to Walid’s full medical history?

For its part, the London-based anti-Israel collective Forensic Architecture has a long history of smearing the Jewish state, including by spreading conspiracy theories and using unreliable sources to inform its pro-Palestinian “investigations.” Forensic Architecture’s analysis seemingly confirms that Yasam officers fired in the approximate direction of Walid from a distance of 40-50 meters (130-165 feet). However, the collective fails to prove that the sponge grenade actually hit him — somehow without causing visible injuries.

Notably, while Hassan tells viewers that similar ammunition has “killed people before,” this involved cases where the person was shot from a much shorter distance (e.g., 10 meters / 33 feet).

In a court of law, the prosecution must prove without a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. Yet VICE’s “11-month investigation” into the death of Walid Al-Sharif boils down to nothing more than a meritless conspiracy theory. Without presenting medical records or eyewitness reports, the outlet essentially charges the Jewish state with conjuring up an elaborate scheme, involving countless officials, to cover up the death of a Hamas terrorist.

Clearly, for anti-Israel activists like Hind Hassan, the facts don’t matter.

Guardian ignores complaints over article that appears to endorse antisemitic blood libel
The Guardian, at the time of writing, has yet to respond to complaints submitted early last week in connection with an article that appeared to endorse an antisemitic blood libel.

In an article titled “Adelaide Writers’ Week: rare moments of empathy and nuance found amid a storm of controversy”, written by journalist Sian Cain and dated 11th March 2023, the write quotes a line from a poem by a young Arab activist with a history of inflammatory remarks on social media.

In the poem, Mohammed El-Kurd, a correspondent for The Nation, writes of Israel: “They harvest organs of the martyred, feed their warriors our own.”

The claim that Israel is harvesting of organs is reminiscent of the medieval blood libel, in which Jews were alleged to murder Christian children in order to use their blood in religious rituals.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is an example of antisemitism.

The article went on to say “El-Kurd, speaking to the crowd via video link from New York, addressed the line about organs that some had labelled antisemitic: it was based on easily found and widespread news reports from 2009 in which the Israeli military admitted pathologists had harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families for years.”

These are not Mr El-Kurd’s words but the journalist’s, and are grossly misleading in two ways.

First, the words are lifted almost verbatim from a Guardian article of almost fifteen years ago, an article that itself was subject to correction because it was misleading. The truth, as the correction recognised, was that Israeli pathologists had extracted organs from a range of categories of deceased persons, including Israelis. By emphasising “Palestinians” and marginalising “and others”, the article gives a misleading impression of the practice, implying that it was targeted specifically at one group.

Second, Mr El-Kurd had claimed in his poem: “They harvest organs of the martyred, feed their warriors our own.” The justification provided by the journalist of Mr El-Kurd’s line makes no reference to the consumptionof organs. The notion that Jewish people consume the blood and organs of others is a textbook antisemitic blood libel, and this was not only not addressed but, by ignoring it while appearing to justify the rest of the line, appeared indirectly to defend it.
Call on Penn to Condemn Antisemitism
The Jewish community at the University of Pennsylvania needs your support following the announcement that Mohammed El-Kurd and Noura Erakat, two of Twitter’s most prolific antisemites, will speak on campus on March 23.

‍El-Kurd and Erakat, invited by the anti-Israel hate group Penn Against the Occupation, have repeatedly indulged in grotesque antisemitic tropes of centuries past and denied Israel’s intrinsic right to exist in peace and security.

Antisemitic incitement by El-Kurd, including leaning into the antisemitic blood libel trope, is a well-documented pattern. In his book of poetry, El-Kurd alleged that Jewish Israelis and Zionists eat the organs of Palestinians. He also tweeted that Zionists have an “unquenchable thirst for Palestinian blood” and claimed that Zionism is inherently linked to “bloodthirsty and violent” actions.‍

‍El-Kurd has also invoked antisemitic tropes that Jews control the media, repeatedly denied the Jewish connection to Israel, and compared Jews and Zionists to Nazis, including implicating a non-Israeli Jew for the alleged actions of Israel.

Erakat, although hailed by many anti-Zionist activists as an expert in international law, also consistently peddles antisemitism. She has blamed Jews for perpetuating antisemitism in Europe, accused Israel of promoting Jewish supremacy, stated that Israel has no right to self-defense to protect its civilians against terrorism, has justified and glorified violent “resistance” against Israelis, and denied the existence of Judaism as a nation or an ethnicity. Erakat has also compared Zionism, the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their indigenous homeland, to Nazism, racism, and antisemitism.

Erakat also proclaimed “Palestinians will not attack Jews because they are Jewish” but merely “because they are their military occupiers and oppressors.” This hateful rhetoric aims to justify attacks against Jews under the pretense that they are perceived as oppressors.

U.S. university offers students college credits for watching anti-Israel film
The City University of New York (CUNY) will grant course credits to students who will arrive for the screening of the controversial Jordanian film Farha, in which IDF soldiers are depicted executing a Palestinian family and an infant.

Jewish and Israeli students and faculty at the country's largest urban university, which is funded by U.S. taxpayer money, were shocked to receive an invitation to the event which will take place at the end of the month at the Manhattan campus as part of a “Palestinian Solidarity” series of the Center for Justice and Social Equality.

Students who attend the screening will be awarded course credits towards their degree as part of an educational activities program held after regular school hours.

“We will close our ‘Palestinian Solidarity’ series with a movie,” the invitation reads. “Join us as we teach ourselves about the Palestinian struggle by watching Farha, which depicts the Palestinian diaspora through the point of view of a 14-year-old girl.”

The film was selected to represent Jordan in the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars. It received media attention in Israel and around the world after several ministers and politicians spoke out against the film and against Netflix for choosing to broadcast it in Israel.

CUNY's "Palestinian Solidarity" series also includes an exhibition that runs until April 3 with a "visual timeline of the occupied Palestinian land," and the "longest military occupation in history," the posters and graphics depicting the event said. The exhibition does not hide its bias regarding the conflict, stating that "there is no conflict - what is happening in Palestine is colonialism, military occupation, land theft, and ethnic cleansing. The word ‘conflict’ implies that there are two equal sides, which is not the case.”

The timeline depicts various historical events such as the intifadas and the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh. However, it fails to acknowledge instances of Palestinian terrorists attacking Israeli civilians and instances of conflict with terrorist groups.
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Representatives Speak at University of Cape Town
Representatives of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) addressed students at University of Cape Town (UCT) via video message during an “Israeli Apartheid Week 2023” event held on Monday by the Palestine Solidarity Forum (PSF).

Images of the event, as well as advertisements for it, were obtained by The Algemeiner. PIJ representative Nasser Abu Sharif and Hamas representative Khaled Qadomi, both of whom represent their organizations in Iran, gave remarks. PSF group also displayed the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah in the room where the event took place.

Hamas and PIJ both are listed are designated as terrorist organizations by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

University of Cape Town has been asked to comment on this story. It will be updated accordingly.

An unabashed partisan of the Iranian regime, Abu Sharif has for years suggested that Israelis would be expelled from Israel should Palestinians achieve “complete victory.” In 2014, he told an Iranian news outlet that “Palestine does not have room for the two sides,” adding that “either the Palestinians or the Israelis must reside in it.” He also, according to a summary of remarks provided by Tehran Times, in 2021, has denounced the efforts of Israel and Arab states to normalize diplomatic relations and foster peace in the Middle East, describing them as “dangerous.” In 2020, shortly after the announcement of the historic Abraham Accords he called the United Arab Emirates “a tool of Zionism in the region.”

‘Behavior of Colonizers’: Many Latino Millennials and Gen-Zers Don’t Believe Antisemitism Is a Problem: Survey
Over half of Millennial and Gen-Z Latinos believe that Jews face the least discrimination of all minority groups in the US, according to a survey results released by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) on Monday.

AJC interviewed one-hundred-and-twenty-five young Latinos, ranging from ages 18-40 and representing five cities, for the survey. Only 34 percent agreed that Jews experience “significant levels of discrimination” while 54 percent disagreed. 42 percent of the cohort also said the Jewish community can “fend for itself.” Thirty-nine percent said Jews need the support of the Latino community.

“We found that most Latinos believe that Jews are more like Whites than other minorities,” the report said. “Half of respondents made that claim, while only 40 percent responded that Jews were more like other minorities.”

The findings suggest that Latinos believe discrimination is an activity that targets perceived racial identity rather than ethnic and religious identity, the report continued, explaining that Latinos do demonstrate “some affinity” for the Jewish people because of their history of persecution.

“Our findings suggest that while there is a heightened awareness and sensitivity to discrimination in America, these views are more often associated with racial cues, rather than ethnic or religious ones,” it continued. “From impacting their ability to get ahead in the country to shaping their daily life experiences to dealing with discrimination, skin color is seen by Latinos as an important factor affecting their lives and life chances.”

When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Millennial and Gen-Z Latinos lean pro-Palestinian, with many surveyed describing Israel as the aggressor and intransigent party preventing peace. One respondent said, “The Jews are forcefully working against a resolution.” Another said, “I think that Israel has right to their land and also to defend it from terrorism. But at the same time I don’t like the behavior of colonizers.” Overall, the survey showed Palestinians sympathizers outnumbering Israeli sympathizers by a 2-1 margin.

High Court grants CAA permission to intervene in Ken Livingstone’s bid to overturn EHRC investigation into antisemitism in Labour Party
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and Labour councillor Pam Bromley have failed in their opposition to Campaign Against Antisemitism’s application to intervene in their judicial review of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

In a written judgment, Mrs Justice Lang decided that Campaign Against Antisemitism should be allowed to intervene formally in the judicial review proceedings in which Mr Livingstone and Ms Bromley are seeking to overturn the EHRC’s landmark 2020 report which concluded that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership had engaged in unlawful antisemitic harassment of its Jewish members.

Despite our role as originating complainant in the EHRC’s investigation into Labour, Mr Livingstone and Ms Bromley had strongly opposed the High Court giving permission to us to intervene in the case, arguing that our intervention would “not provide any benefits”.

Rejecting Mr Livingstone’s and Ms Bromley’s position, Mrs Justice Lang ruled: “In my judgment, the Court is likely to be assisted by CAA’s intervention…It made the complaint to [EHRC], and requested that an investigation took place. It provided substantial evidence, conceptual framework analysis and legal submissions to support the investigation. It has been particularly concerned with antisemitism denial as a form of harassment. As a Jewish community charity, it is rooted in the Jewish community and it has built up a longstanding expertise on the nature of modern antisemitism. Because of its expertise, it is likely to be able to contribute information, analysis and context more effectively than the other parties [the EHRC and the Labour Party].”

The EHRC supported Campaign Against Antisemitism’s intervention, while the Labour Party neither supported nor opposed it, remaining neutral.

Associated Press On Palestinian Terror Wave: ‘Many Settlers Carry Guns’
The AP’s insertion in a piece about Palestinian violence, while presumably intended to explain how a terror victim was able to return fire during a Palestinian shooting attack, is inaccurate and potentially inflammatory.

As HonestReporting recently outlined, very few Israelis own guns. Israel’s Firearm Law of 1949 and its related ordinances do not recognize any “right to bear arms,” and private gun ownership is subject to many restrictions.

Although the law makes it easier to obtain a carry permit for residents of designated dangerous locations, including communities beyond the Green Line, the AP’s assertion that “many settlers” are armed can be easily debunked.

According to a January 2023 data analysis by Haaretz, only a minority of Israelis living in settlements beyond the 1967 lines own firearms. For example, among large cities in the Judea and Samaria district, Ariel is the leader in gun ownership, but just under one in ten of its 20,000 inhabitants are licensed to carry a gun. Next on the list is Maale Adumim, where the number stands at six percent of its 38,000 residents.

While gun ownership is somewhat more common in smaller communities that have suffered from large-scale terror attacks, the notion that “Israeli settlers” are somehow armed to the teeth is far removed from the truth. In fact, one of the brothers murdered in the February 26 attack near Hawara was denied a gun permit due to his not meeting the requirements.

Meanwhile, recent figures published by the National Security Ministry reveal that, in total, only around 150,000 Israeli citizens have a personal gun license — or some 2.6% percent of the entire adult population (15-64). This figure excludes weapons held by IDF soldiers, police officers, border guards, and other security personnel.

So why doesn’t AP’s text reflect the facts?
‘New York Times’ article claiming ancient Judaism recognized ‘a range of genders’ draws criticism
The author and publication drew sharp criticism from Orthodox Jews.

“The New York Times has taken a break from bashing Jews to distort Judaism to push a radical ideology. But anyone who has a basic knowledge of Jewish law knows that this is absolutely false,” tweeted Jason Bedrick, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Citing the reference to “Male and female He created them” in Genesis 1:27, Bedrick wrote: “Judaism recognizes two sexes, period. … Jewish law also recognizes the existence of several aberrations. All relate to physical traits that are not chosen.”

“The tumtum, androgynous, aylonit, and saris are not genders. ‘Gender’ was not even a concept in the Talmud separate from biological sex,” he added.

Once extra flesh is removed from the tumtum, the child’s sex is revealed, and the androgynos is a hermaphrodite “or what today we would call ‘intersex.’ This is a very rare condition that is an aberration, but not a separate sex or gender itself,” wrote Bedrick. An aylonit remains female, although her “secondary sex characteristics do not develop, usually rendering her infertile,” he added, and “a saris is a male who has been castrated (a eunuch) or who otherwise had his male sex organ physically damaged or not develop.”

“Note that castration is against Jewish law,” said Bedrick.

Not only do the four refer to physical conditions, rather than genders as understood today, but it is “ridiculous that The New York Times wants to use the Talmud’s recognition of sexual deformities to push transgenderism when the Torah itself very clearly forbids cross-dressing and castration (what’s today euphemistically called ‘gender-affirming surgery’),” he wrote.

Bedrick noted he was not arguing that secular U.S. law should follow Jewish law, but that the Times is distorting Jewish law. “Let’s at least be honest about what Jewish law says if we want to talk about it,” he wrote.

“Hey, look, it’s the New York Times publishing a bunch of nonsensical garbage and pretending it’s actually reflective of Jewish law and philosophy!” added conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Twitter. “Nowhere does halacha humor the notion that a biological man can be a woman or that he should be treated as one.”

“It’s not enough for The New York Times to push a radical agenda. They also need to promote the false impression that Judaism supports it,” tweeted Joel M. Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District. “I look forward to seeing The New York Times opinion pages also publishing a strong rebuttal, such as the one presented by Jason Bedrick.”
For antisemitic comments, ‘France24’ fires Beirut journalist, reinstates three
France24 fired its Beirut correspondent Joelle Maroun, whose joke about Hitler barbecuing Jews came to light in a CAMERA investigation. The state-owned television network based in Paris reinstated three others suspended for anti-Israel comments.

“They asked Hitler ‘What did you do with the Jews?’ He said ‘Nothing extraordinary, just having barbecue with the guys,’ ” Maroun had tweeted, in Arabic, reported the London-based Jewish Chronicle. Other tweets of hers added, “Every Palestinian has to kill one Jew and the case is closed” and “Rise, Sir Hitler, rise, there are a few people that need to be burned.”

The three whom France24 brought back from suspension—Jerusalem correspondent Laila Odeh, Lebanon-based Sharif Bibi and Geneva correspondent Dina Abi-Saab—also shared antisemitic content on social media.

“I haven’t stopped hoping that Israel will be annihilated,” wrote Abi-Saab. “This Facebook status is for safekeeping.”

France24 said the three were reinstated after being warned that they broke the network’s “rules on impartiality.” The network had said earlier “as in all of France 24’s languages, the Arabic-language channel distinguishes itself every day by its commitment to the fight against antisemitism,” per The Jewish Chronicle.

Israeli MMA fighter knocks out opponent who sent him antisemitic messages
An Israeli mixed martial arts fighter had a knockout win against a Kazakh fighter who sent antisemitic messages to him in the lead-up to the bout.

Rafael Aronov, who also works as a police officer in the city of Be'er Sheva in southern Israel, received threatening private messages on Instagram from his opponent Ilyas Sadykov which included a picture of Hitler accompanied by the message “I will burn you like this guy”.

Sadykov, 23, also wrote “I’m gonna kill you b***h”, and “do you like German music?” to his Jewish opponent in the days leading up to the March 9 fight in the Israel World Combat Championship.

Aronov, who has family members that survived the Holocaust, chose not to respond to the threats he received and instead screen-shotted them and shared them with an Israeli news channel.

He told Now 14 that he “preferred to respond in the arena” and that the victory seemed like “a double win” because of the antisemitic messages he received. He said “trash talk” was to be expected between MMA athletes before a match, but Sadykov’s messages “crossed the line.”

Aronov said: “In this case my opponent was revealed to be an antisemitic person who sent me a picture of Hitler about two weeks before the battle and told me that he would burn me like Hitler burned the Jews. There are lines that you do not cross and there are things about which there is no forgiveness,”

The fight lasted about five minutes and resulted in Aronov winning his first MMA championship belt.
'White supremacist' hosted podcast station called Radio Aryan to stir up racial and anti-Semitic hatred by playing racist songs about lynchings and spreading Nazi propaganda about Jews, court hears
A 'white supremacist' hosted a a 'highly racist and antisemitic' podcast station called Radio Aryan to stir up hatred, a court has heard.

James Allchurch, 50, from Pembrokeshire, is charged with 15 counts of distributing audio material to stir up racial hatred over a two-year period.

The jury at Swansea Crown Court heard today that Allchurch was heard on the podcast being 'threatening, abusive and insulting' about ethnic minorities, and perpetuating the idea that black and white people in Britain are in a race war.

Allchurch previously pleaded not guilty to all 15 counts, BBC reported. His trial began in July last year but it had to be adjourned due to barristers' strikes. A new jury was selected at the court today.

Jonathan Rees KC, prosecuting, said each charge relates to a separate audio file uploaded between May 17, 2019 and March 18, 2021 to a public website called Radio Aryan, which was later renamed Radio Albion.

Mr Rees claimed the content of the episodes was 'highly racist and antisemitic', and 'white supremacist in nature'.

Often uploaded along with inflammatory cartoons, the recordings had titles such as Rivers Of Blood, Banned In The UK, the Leftist Supremacist Mindset, and the Usual Suspects.
A Florida bill banning ‘ethnic intimidation’ flyers aims to stop the state’s neo-Nazi rise
Responding to a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity in his state, a Jewish lawmaker in Florida is trying to outlaw displays of “religious or ethnic animus” on private property in his state.

H.B. 269 takes aim at a variety of activities that neo-Nazi groups in the state have undertaken, from distributing flyers with hate speech to broadcasting intimidating messages in public places.

Those groups’ activity has been rising in Florida for several years, according to a 2022 report by the Anti-Defamation League titled “Hate in the Sunshine State.” The report was published before the founder of the Goyim Defense League, which distributes antisemitic literature in public places and to private homes, relocated to Florida.

“We have actual Nazis who have proudly taken up residence in Florida,” the bill’s co-author, Rep Randy Fine, recently told the Algemeiner. “The things that they are doing, all of which I find disgusting, are reprehensible, and we are going to make them felonies.”

Fine, Florida’s only Jewish Republican state legislator, did not respond to Jewish Telegraphic Agency requests for comment.
Italian Jewish community condemns Lazio fans’ antisemitic chants, ‘Hitlerson’ jersey
The Jewish community of Rome denounced on Monday alleged antisemitic behavior from Lazio fans during Sunday’s soccer derby win against Roma (1-0).

“An entire stand chanting antisemitic chants, a ‘fan’ in the stands wearing a Hitlerson jersey and the number 88, and we, as always, the only ones outraged and protesting,” wrote Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish community of Rome, on Twitter.

The post was accompanied by a photo of a supported in a Lazio shirt with “Hitlerson” as the player name on the back with the number 88, code for “Heil Hitler,” and a video of Lazio fans chanting.

“Can it be that everyone continues to pretend that nothing is happening?” she asked.

These images had been “verified,” said a spokesman for the Jewish community of Rome.

Italian Sports Minister Andrea Abodi responded by retweeting Dureghello’s post with the comment: “Impossible to pretend that nothing is happening. I will do my part, as I feel a duty to do. Respect is due and is non-negotiable!”

Bnei Menashe immigrant from India becomes Israel’s new kickboxing champion
Obed Hrangchal, a recent immigrant to Israel from India, became the Jewish state’s kickboxing champion on Friday.

Competing in the 57-kilogram (125-pound) division, Hrangchal took the championship in the town of Kfar Yasif in the Galilee at an event that drew 150 competitors from clubs throughout the country.

A mixed martial arts and kickboxing champion in his native India, Hrangchal is now a yeshiva student in the Israeli city of Ma’alot.

He is a religiously observant member of the Bnei Menashe community who grew up in Aizawl, a city of 300,000 in northeastern India. Hrangchal made aliyah with his family in 2020 with the help of the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization. His parents, Gabriel and Ruth Hrangchal, live in Nof HaGalil, near Nazareth.

“I am very happy with this win. I always dreamed of making aliyah and becoming an Israeli champion. I now dream of representing Israel in international kickboxing competitions,” said Hrangchal.

Michael Freund, Shavei Israel’s founder and chairman, said, “We are very proud of Obed’s incredible accomplishment and we look forward to his representing Israel abroad.”

Obed is another “outstanding example” of how the Bnei Menashe can contribute to Israeli society, “each in his or her own way,” said Freund. “I hope that we will soon see him winning medals for Israel worldwide,” he added.
Indonesia’s Jews Come Out
“I feel I have a duty to represent the Jewish community—and other religious minorities, too,” said Ezra Abraham, a 29-year-old resident of Cirebon, West Java, in Indonesia. He is part of a new generation of young Indonesian Jews whose visibility is growing. “The time is now,” he said. “If not us, then who?”

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, is currently home to around 500 Jews, out of a population of over 275 million. But as Indonesians of Jewish ancestry have started to publicly reclaim their heritage over the past two decades, the community is thriving like never before.

Rabbi Benjamin Meijer-Verbrugge leads the United Jewish Indonesian Community, a nondenominational group with 180 registered members across the country; while he identifies as Ashkenazi and Orthodox, his organization is open to all traditions within Judaism. “We have also had several conversions,” he said, “mainly from Christians.”

Abraham belongs to the Sephardic branch of Indonesian Jewry, one with a history stretching back to the Iraqi Jews who arrived in what was then known as the Dutch East Indies in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Led by Emma Mizrahie, these Iraqi Jews joined Surabaya’s existing Jewish community—made up of Jews from Dutch, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Polish backgrounds—under the leadership of Izaak Ehrenpreis and Rechte Grunfeld. The community registered with the colonial government under the name of Israelitische Gemeente van Soerabaia (the city’s old spelling), East Java, and went on to build the first synagogue in the city in 1923: Beth Shalom, which gradually went into decline after WWII. The communal organization was resurrected in the early 2000s some 1,000 miles away in Tondano, North Sulawesi, under the name Shaar Hashamayim Indonesia (Israelitische Gemeente Indonesie in Dutch), and now runs the only legally recognized synagogue in the country: Kahal Kadosh Shaar Hashamayim, which follows the Portuguese and Spanish rites under the supervision of Rabbi Yaakov Baruch.

Abraham, however, lives more than 1,200 miles from Tondano in Cirebon, a city of around 340,000 on the northern coast of West Java. Starting out as a fishing village in the 15th century, it soon became the seat of power for the Sultanate of Cirebon, from whose lineage Abraham’s mother is descended. A port city in the old days, Cirebon attracted multiethnic settlers to its shores, including Jews, Chinese, and Arabs.

Israel’s first-ever brain cooling at Jerusalem hospital saves life of Filipina nursing assistant
The life of a 46-year-old woman from the Philippines has been saved by the first in-Israel treatment by cooling her brain cells for over a week at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center (SZMC).

A 46-year-old woman named Norila was rushed to SZMC unconscious and suffering from a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage. After multidisciplinary and life-saving treatment that included cerebral catheterization, brain surgery and a unique treatment performed for the first time at Shaare Zedek in Israel, her life was saved

Norila underwent a groundbreaking method for cooling brain cells, which is currently being researched in various parts of the world. Studies show that this technique to prevent strokes in 20-50% of the relevant patients at risk can prevent death in half. This is because it preserves brain cells and brings a better outcome in patients with low survival rates. Patients who are at an 80% to 100% risk of death will have a renewed chance to live with a good neurological outcome, the doctors said.

This first treatment of its kind here was performed by Dr. Stephan Mausbach of the hospital’s neurological intensive care unit – the only one of its kind in Israel. His experience includes working for a decade in bringing leading units in Germany.

Norila, the first patient in Israel to undergo the cooling treatment, came to Israel about 20 years ago to support her family, working as a nursing assistant and raising her daughter, who is now 17. But then her health suddenly deteriorated. After several days during which she suffered from persistent headaches that she shrugged off, she collapsed and was taken by ambulance to the hospital’s emergency medicine. There she underwent a comprehensive series of tests by a multidisciplinary team of the neurology department headed by Dr. Roni Eichel, the neurosurgery department headed by Dr. Nevo Margalit, and Dr. Yaakov Amsalem of the interventional neuroradiology department.
How the Vatican Acquired One of the World’s Most Impressive Collections of Hebrew Manuscripts
According to a widespread, persistent, and entirely unfounded legend, the menorah and other ritual objects from the Second Temple remain hidden in the secret archives of the Catholic Church in Rome. While the Vatican in fact possesses no such artifacts, it does posess an impressive trove of rare Hebrew manuscripts—including volumes of Talmud, ancient and medieval Bible commentaries, liturgical poetry, and much else. There is nothing secret about these texts, however: they were microfilmed for the use of the National Library of Israel in the 1950s, and Jewish researchers have had regular access to them since. Lawrence Schiffman describes the collection and explains its history:

Many of the manuscripts are beautifully illuminated, having been copied in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance (i.e., from the 9th to the 16th century). The collection includes a manuscript that is probably the earliest Hebrew codex (bound book) in existence: a copy of the Sifra [a halakhic exegesis of Leviticus] dating from the end of the 9th century or the first half of the 10th. . . . There are well over 50 codices of biblical texts, excluding small fragments, among them a copy of the entire Tanakh written around 1100 in Italy. . . . No other collection includes as many copies of tractates of the Talmud as the Vatican Library.

Over the course of the 16th century, cardinals, bishops, and popes occasionally contributed various Hebrew books, which numbered 173 by the 1640s. A few manuscripts were transferred from the estates of converts or sold by Jewish vendors to Christian collectors. . . . In 1472, the city of Volterra was laid to waste by the forces of Count Federico of Urbino. Among the victims of the indiscriminate pillaging was the wealthy merchant Menahem ben Aharon Volterra, whose Hebrew manuscripts were secured by Federico himself for his personal library. In 1657, the collection of the dukes of Urbino became part of the Vatican Library.

[W]hile we can never be sure how the previous owners got their manuscripts, the Vatican did not pillage them from Jews. What we can say is that if these manuscripts had been in the hands of Jewish institutions, they would certainly have been stolen by the Nazis.
Olive tree planted in memory of Israeli ambassador Shlomo Argov
An olive tree, symbolising his dearest wish for peace, was dedicated in the garden of Israel’s embassy in London to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Shlomo Argov, Israel’s ambassador to the UK between 1979 and 1982.

Members of the Argov family were present for an emotional ceremony, addressed by Israel’s foreign minister, Eli Cohen, and Middle East minister Lord Ahmad.

Argov, who thought of London as his second home — he and his wife Hava were married at Finchley Synagogue — was one of Israel’s most admired diplomats. On June 3 1982, he was shot and critically wounded by terrorists outside the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, where he had been attending a dinner.

After three months in a coma, he was transferred to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital, where he spent the next 20 years as a permanent patient, finally dying of his injuries in February 2003. The three terrorists, members of the Abu Nidal cell, were caught and sentenced to 30 and 35 years in British prisons. Tributes were paid at the memorial ceremony to the ambassador’s police bodyguards and his driver, all of whom were involved in helping him after the shooting.

His two daughters, Edna and Yehudit, noted that today they and their brother were older than their father had been when he was shot. But they told the JC how much their father’s legacy meant to them.

“He was a real Israeli,” Edna said. “He was such a man of the world, brilliant, with a huge interest in books, music, ballet — and in London he made the most of what the city had to offer. But his life mirrored the arc of Israel. He came from a really old Jerusalem family, the Salomon family, a ninth generation Jerusalemite. He volunteered for the Palmach and then fought in the [1948] War of Independence.”
Holocaust survivors, once classmates in a DP camp reunited after 76 years
The last time Michael Epstein, 87, and Abe Rosenberg, 82, were in the same room, they were in Germany, studying in a classroom in a displaced person’s camp in Bavaria after the Holocaust.

On Sunday, March 19, the two men — along with Rosenberg’s older sister, Ada Gracin, who was also in the DP camp — reunited after 76 years. This time around, it was in the social hall of Young Israel of New Hyde Park, New York, where the pair embraced, said the Shehecheyanu prayer to mark their reunion and shared their survival stories with an in-person audience of about 100.

The reunion came together quickly, just a few weeks after the two men learned they lived less than 40 miles from one another — Rosenberg in New Hyde Park, on the eastern border of Queens, and Epstein in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Originally intended to be an intimate meeting between the two families, the reunion soon broadened to a festive brunch and celebration open to the public.

“The Torah says it’s a mitzvah to relate what happened to us,” Rosenberg said. “Hitler’s goal was to destroy Yiddishkeit, Judaism. When we gather here, we are involved in a victory over him.”

The two were brought together by a sharp-eyed videographer. In February, Epstein participated in an interview at a Jewish day school in Edison, New Jersey as part of the “Names Not Numbers” oral history project, which is dedicated to preserving the memories of Holocaust survivors and ensuring their legacies live on in future generations. As part of the project, high school students interview survivors about their experiences, which are filmed and made into mini-documentaries.

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