Monday, May 22, 2023

From Ian:

Seeking Jerusalem
The prophets command that the Jewish People constantly seek Jerusalem. "This is Zion, whose welfare is sought by none" laments Jeremiah (30:17). "From here we learn the obligation of 'derisha', of seeking the welfare of Jerusalem," teaches the Talmud.

Even today, as fortunate guardians of the restored capital of the Jewish people under Israeli sovereignty, there is a great deal of "derisha," seeking, to be done.

Firstly, Israelis and Jews everywhere must pay more attention to Jerusalem. To be more involved, to care, to build and develop, never to take for granted. To visit. An astonishingly sad fifty percent of young Israelis visit the national capital for their first time only when drafted into the IDF!

Outside of the primary schools and the Bnei Akiva Religious-Zionist youth movement not too many Israelis last week took note of Jerusalem Day, missing an opportunity to step forward and rediscover Israel's historic national lodestone.

It is time to make Jerusalem Day a formal civic holiday, like Independence Day.

"Derisha" also means imposition of a moral obligation, the requirement to live up to a certain heavenly standard that is implicit in the city of peace. "For Zion shall be redeemed in justice, and her returnees in charity – this is what God seeks of you" (Isaiah 1:27).

It must be asked: Are Israelis/Jews sensitive enough in Jerusalem to the plight of the poor, the unemployed, the orphan, the battered woman, the new immigrant, and the minority resident? Is Israel's justice system sufficiently suffused with knowledge of Jewish values alongside democratic norms?

Seeking Jerusalem also means ruling the city wisely. This involves curbing the activities of radical Islamic and hostile nationalist forces in Jerusalem, investing significantly to generously advance and integrate the eastern (mostly Arab) sectors of the city, expanding the geographical boundaries of the city to build at least 100,000 new homes for young couples, expanding the business base of the city, and cleaning it up.
Lahav Harkov: Poland cannot silence Noa Kirel, or any Israelis, about the Holocaust
Instead of confronting this complexity, that while millions of non-Jewish Poles were killed in World War II and over 7,000 Poles are recognized as saving Jews there were still Polish collaborators with the Nazis and Poles who inflicted violence upon Jews in their midst, the Polish government wants to censor anyone who talks about it. Their bullying campaign includes pop singers, historians - like Jan Grabowski, who faces legal battles in Poland - and journalists.

The suppression and elision of pertinent historic details about the Holocaust is a form of Holocaust denial, even if Jablonski is not comfortable with the assertion. In fact, he responded to that assertion, made by this reporter on Twitter, by taking his Holocaust distortion even further, claiming that talking about the role of Poles in the Holocaust is “outrageous theories that Jews are somehow self-responsible for the Holocaust - because some Jewish individuals also collaborated.” No, the argument is not that Poles killed themselves; the argument is that large numbers of them took part in killing the Jews in their midst.

Never go full Mahmoud Abbas if you don’t want to be accused of Holocaust denial.

What Warsaw doesn’t seem to realize is that, while the government may want to get diplomatic relations on track, and there is nothing wrong with that in theory, Cohen did not sign a censorship agreement.

Jablonski tweeted that he is optimistic that relations with Israel and Poland and Jews and Poland will grow stronger. That can only be the case if he does not seek to silence Israelis and Jews. Israelis are not ignorant or uneducated about the Holocaust and they’re not going to stop talking about what happened to our relatives in Poland, whether by the hand of the Nazis, which is statistically more likely to be the case, or by Poles, before, during or after Nazi occupation.

Rabbi Dee Considering $1.3 Billion Lawsuit Against CNN Over Amanpour Terror Coverage
Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were murdered in a terror attack, is considering a $1.3 billion lawsuit against CNN over their international anchor Christiane Amanpour describing the terror attack as a “shootout.”

Dee made the announcement via video during a May 21 event at The Carlebach Shul in New York titled, “Antisemitism: Is There No Solution?” as part of the third annual Yoav Boteach Memorial Lecture series, in honor of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s late father. Dee was speaking alongside Boteach, Elisha Wiesel, chairman of the board of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, and Rabbi Naftali Citron. Media watchdog HonestReporting had reported that Amanpour had said during an April 10 interview with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, “We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security — Israeli security forces. We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli British sisters. They were — they were killed in a shootout, and now the mother has died of her injury — injuries.”

“A shootout is two sides firing at each other,” HonestReporting tweeted on May 11. “A mother & her two daughters were shot at close range by Palestinian terrorists. @amanpour, you owe a grieving family an apology.”

During the event, which was livestreamed on Boteach’s Facebook and Instagram pages, Dee showed attendees an email he received from Amanpour where she apologized to him, claiming she “misspoke.” Amanpour also offered her condolences and said there was no “ill intent” on her part. Dee responded with a lengthy email saying he did not accept her apology because she spread false information to millions of people and asked her to apologize publicly; he claimed to have received no reply from her.

“It’s funny, CNN will correct the misspelling of someone’s name publicly, as will The New York Times, but CNN won’t correct this,” Boteach told the Journal.

Dee then claimed to have received a call from CNN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Richard Allen Greene separately apologizing for Amanpour’s error. Dee asked Greene if he understood the difference between his family being murdered by Palestinian terrorists and Israeli forces neutralizing the threat of Palestinian terrorists. Dee alleged that Greene replied, “I am not in a position to make a judgment” due to his position as a journalist. Dee had previously been interviewed by CNN on-air in April, and the segment ended with CNN London Bureau Anchor Christina MacFarlane saying, “Just as we heard Rabbi Dee’s story, coming up we’ll hear similar stories from Palestinians.” Dee excoriated CNN for drawing a false “moral equivalency,” telling The Jewish Chronicle at the time: “There is no equivalent on the Israeli side. I don’t know of any Israeli terrorist who has murdered Palestinians in cold blood in almost 30 years.”
SUCCESS: Amanpour Apologizes for ‘Shootout’ Comment after HonestReporting campaign
CNN’s top anchor Christiane Amanpour issued a public apology on her show on Monday for calling the murders of an Israeli mother and her daughters a “shootout,” following a 10-day campaign by HonestReporting that made waves around the world.

“On April 10, I referred to the murders of an Israeli family: Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee,” Amanpour said. “I misspoke and said they were killed in a ‘shootout’ instead of a shooting. I have written to Rabbi Leo Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”

On May 11, HonestReporting exposed an offensive throwaway comment by Amanpour during an interview with the Palestinian prime minister on her show the previous month.

According to Amanpour:
We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security — Israeli security forces. We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli British sisters. They were — they were killed in a shootout, and now the mother has died of her injury — injuries.

HonestReporting’s tweet calling for an apology, which included video footage of Amanpour saying that Lucy Dee and her daughters Maia and Rina “were killed in shootout,” has reached nearly a million views.

Upon seeing our expose, Lucy’s widower, Rabbi Leo Dee, issued a statement exclusively to HonestReporting, echoing our call for an immediate apology. That tweet has racked up a further 137,000 views, indicating significant public outrage at Amanpour and CNN.

HonestReporting contacted CNN to demand a public apology.

A spokesperson for CNN subsequently informed us that Amanpour had written privately to Rabbi Dee, who confirmed to us that he had, indeed, received an email expressing heartfelt condolences and apologizing for the pain that her words had caused.

Over 500 rabbis say Biden’s antisemitism plan should embrace disputed IHRA definition
More than 550 rabbis on Friday called for the Biden administration’s forthcoming strategy on fighting antisemitism to include a definition of anti-Jewish bigotry that has come under debate.

The rabbis’ letter endorsing the definition was sent as progressive groups are seeking to dissuade the administration from using the outline because they believe it chills legitimate criticism of Israel. The letter’s signatories disagree with that assessment.

“IHRA is critically important for helping to educate and protect our congregants in the face of this rising hate,” said the rabbis’ letter, which was sent to the White House via the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The acronym IHRA refers to the 2016 working definition of antisemitism crafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“We believe it is imperative that in its National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism, the administration formally embrace the IHRA Working Definition as the official and only definition used by the United States government and that it be used as a training and educational tool, similar to European Union countries’ use of the definition in their Action Plans,” the letter said.

The IHRA document consists of a two-sentence definition of antisemitism followed by 11 examples of how antisemitism may manifest. Most of those examples concern speech about Israel that the IHRA defines as antisemitic.

Israel critics, and some progressive supporters of Israel, say two of those examples are so broad that they inhibit robust criticism of Israel: “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” and “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

MEMRI: Speakers at Raleigh, N.C. Demonstration Salute Rocket Attacks against Israel
At a May 13, 2023 Nakba Day rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Lebanese-American environmental organizer Rania Masri said that Israel has no right to exist and the Palestinians have the right to armed resistance. She saluted the armed fighters in Palestine and the rockets launched from Gaza. Dana Al-Hasan, an American activist who is also a postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), said that the fighters in Gaza are coordinating with “freedom-fighters” in Jenin and in Al-Aqsa, and she praised the unity between the various armed Palestinian factions.

American transgender rights activist Claire Clark of the Party for Socialism and Liberation said that claims that she should support Israel because of the “supposed LGBTQ-friendly policies of the Zionist government and the supposed enmity of the Muslims and Palestinian people” are a “bold-faced lie.” She added: “There is not one enemy of mine among the Palestinian people fighting for their freedom.” Clark also said that her enemies, who are the enemies of the entire LGBTQ community, are in the United States. Another activist named Iyad spoke in Arabic and said that the Palestinian and Muslim people, as well as the “free people of the world”, say to the resistance in Palestine: ”Go fight, we are fighting with you.” Footage of the rally was uploaded to DART VIDEO channel on YouTube.

Palestinian Terrorism and Holocaust Denialism Given Free Pass in Confused Op-Ed
Muddled, melodramatic and mistaken are some of the words that could be used to describe the latest anti-Israel opinion piece published by the Irish Times this week.

The article, jointly bylined by Palestinian human rights lawyer and activist Zaha Hassan and Daniel Levy, the president of the US/Middle East Project and former Israeli negotiator under Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin, is ostensibly about how Ireland can help Palestinians (and Israelis) by becoming a “more robust voice in Europe and beyond.”

However, far from setting out this bold vision of a new Irish-Israeli-Palestinian peace partnership, the op-ed instead reads like nothing more than an unfair diatribe against the Jewish state.

The problems start in the first paragraph:
Gaza is again, perhaps fleetingly, in the headlines. An Israeli assassination strike, inevitably inflicting civilian casualties, led to rockets being launched towards Israel and waves of Israeli bombings. Palestinians in Gaza have been under an Israeli land and sea blockade for 16 years. A very simple fact about Gaza that is rarely mentioned is that it is overwhelmingly a community of refugees; 70 percent of its population live in refugee camps. Many were expelled from areas in today’s Israel just on the other side of the electrified, highly surveilled and fiercely guarded prison-like fence surrounding the enclave.”

First, there is the obvious issue of confusing the timeline of the latest Israel-Islamic Jihad conflagration — specifically, Hassan and Levy’s assertion that Israel’s “assassination strike” to take out senior figures in the Gaza-based terror group started the conflict. The truth is that Islamic Jihad fired the opening salvo with a volley of 100 rockets into Israel following the death of one of its commanders as the result of a hunger strike in prison.

Second, aside from failing to mention that Egypt also maintains a blockade on Gaza for security purposes, the colorful description of the coastal enclave as being surrounded by an “electrified, highly surveilled and fiercely guarded prison-like fence” is plainly false.

Rather, the barrier that runs the length of the border merely has electronic sensors designed to detect tunnels being dug underneath — not to electrocute every person who unwittingly touches it.
BBC Jerusalem bureau reports from the Gaza Strip
As noted here previously, all the ten civilians killed on May 9th were were either family members or neighbours of the three Palestinian Islamic Jihad commanders targeted on that day.

Bateman’s claim that “tens of thousands” of Israelis had to “take cover” from rocket attacks is of course a gross underrepresentation of the number of people affected. He continues with a portrayal which, like previous BBC reports, fails to clarify that twenty of the thirty-three fatalities were members of terrorist organisations and at least three were killed by missiles launched by terror groups in the Gaza Strip which fell short of the border:

“Last week’s fighting killed 33 Palestinians in Gaza and two people in Israel – an Israeli and a Palestinian. It left more than 1,200 Palestinians displaced, according to the UN.”

Readers are not informed how many Israelis were displaced due to Palestinian rocket attacks on their homes. The apartment building in Rehovot where 80 year-old Inga Avramyan was killed and five others wounded, for example, is to undergo structural work in order to make it habitable again. It is nevertheless highly doubtful that BBC audiences will see any reporting on the topic of the displaced Israeli civilians who of course did not receive any warning whatsoever from Palestinian terrorist organisations before their homes – which did not house military assets – were hit by rockets.
Guardian chooses narrative over facts about Jews and Jerusalem
In 2018-19, the Guardian routinely described the weekly Hamas-organised violent Palestinian riots on Israel’s border benignly as “protests“, and the rioters as “protesters“. Readers typically had to scroll down many paragraphs before the article even alluded to the violence that the IDF was responding to.

Reporting on periodic unprovoked Palestinian attacks on police at the Temple Mount over the years, the Guardian has routinely described those violent Palestinian Muslims – who sometimes desecrated the holy site by launching attacks from inside the mosque – as “worshippers”. Similarly, readers often had to scroll down many paragraphs before getting any sense that that “worshippers” had engaged in violence.

But, as we’ve documented thousands of times, when it comes to Israel, coverage of events where a small number of Israeli Jews engage in violent or hateful behavior, is far, far different. Here’s their headline in a Guardian article by Ben Lynfield and Quique Kierszenbaum about the estimated 50,000 Israelis celebrating Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) on Thursday.

Most of the article – ten out of fourteen paragraphs – focuses on the relatively few incidents of violence and racism.
When Hitler Tried to Take Over Hollywood
In 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany, solidifying his terrifying rise to power. Pretty soon, he would initiate his plan to take over Europe and exterminate its Jews.

While Hitler and the Nazis were busy in Europe, they were also hiding out in Los Angeles and attempting to break into Hollywood – the biggest propaganda machine in the world. Their scheme? To murder 24 prominent Hollywood figures like Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, and Louis B. Mayer, sabotage military operations along the West Coast, and go around Boyle Heights, the Jewish neighborhood, and gun down as many Jews as they could.

All of this is documented in “Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America,” a fascinating book by Steven J. Ross. The author is a professor of history at the University of Southern California and director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life.

“Hitler in Los Angeles” follows Leon Lewis, an attorney the Nazis called “the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles.” He ran a spy operation consisting of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated the Nazi groups and foiled their devious plans.

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Lewis, who served as the first national executive secretary of the Anti-Defamation League, devoted his life to protecting the Jewish people. When Hitler came to power, people didn’t take it seriously – but Lewis knew that he was a dangerous man and the Jews could not stand idly by.

“Many Americans viewed Hitler and his followers either as thugs or fools,” writes Ross. “They assumed that the Nazi leader’s virulent anti-Semitism was a passing phase, and once in office he would moderate his policies toward the nation’s Jews. But Lewis realized Hitler was using violence to get into power, and once in office, Nazi leaders would likely eliminate all political opposition.” (h/t jzaik)
Over 150 Dutch soccer fans arrested over antisemitic chants
Dutch police arrested more than 150 soccer fans after they chanted antisemitic slogans while on their way to a game in Amsterdam

Opponents of Ajax often refer to the club as “The Jews,” and it is associated with Amsterdam’s large Jewish population before they were deported to Nazi death camps during World War II

Why Nikki Glaser says her stand-up show in Tel Aviv will be ‘the best of the tour’
Comedian Nikki Glaser says her upcoming appearance in Tel Aviv – at the tail end of a whirlwind tour of European cities – is bound to be her best yet.

“You always want to see someone on their last show of the tour, because they’re tired, but they’re excited, and they’ve had a lot of time to practice, so it’s honestly going to be the best show on the tour without question,” Glaser told The Times of Israel in an interview just before embarking on her tour. “Don’t tell the other places.”

The stand-up comic, reality TV host, podcaster and late-night TV fixture is heading to Israel for the very first time, and will perform one show in Tel Aviv on May 27.

“I know plenty of Israeli people and they’re always nice and cool, so I expect it to be no different,” she said of her expectations for her inaugural visit to the country.

As a vegan, Glaser said she has heard Tel Aviv is full of great places for her to eat, and — since it’s her last stop — she hopes to extend her visit for a few days and check out the culinary scene.

“I’ve heard good recommendations, and that’s always what I’m most excited about going to a city – performing and then also eating,” she said.

Glaser said she has received some comments from people calling on her to support the cultural boycott against Israel due to its Palestinian policies and cancel her performance, but she is unfazed by the messages.

“You could argue not visiting pretty much anywhere,” she said, noting that also includes a number of states in the US whose policies she disagrees with. “I’m deeply ignorant to world issues, so that helps me, but also I just want to tell jokes for people who want to hear them. There’s not a political statement in my tour.”
Madonna said set to visit Israel for Shavuot
Pop superstar Madonna is set to visit Israel this weekend for the Jewish festival of Shavuot, though she will not perform during the private trip, according to Hebrew media reports

The singer, who unofficially added “Esther” to her name in 2005 and marks some Jewish festivals though she isn’t Jewish, will reportedly visit the grave of her spiritual leader, Rabbi Philip S. Berg, as well as that of the 16th century mystic rabbi Isaac ben Solomon Luria Ashkenazi (known in Hebrew as Ha’Ari Hakadosh).

Shavuot begins on Thursday at nightfall and continues until Friday evening.

The singer, 64, does not perform on Friday nights and Saturdays because of Shabbat and has declared Israel “the energy center of the world.”

Madonna owns a home in Tel Aviv. She has performed three concerts in the country.

In 2019, when Israel hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, Madonna arrived to participate and performed two of her songs, drawing criticism for her singing and for injecting politics by displaying the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the backs of two of her dancers.

The European Broadcasting Union quickly released a statement saying that the Israeli and Palestinian flags in Madonna’s performance were not approved.
Israeli gov't to invest NIS 500 m. in Jerusalem projects
A number of initiatives, worth close to NIS 500 million were approved for Jerusalem projects at Sunday’s cabinet meeting at the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalem.

According to a statement on behalf of the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry, the government approved a five-year investment program, which includes various projects to be carried out to strengthen the city in the fields of academia, employment and tourism.

In addition, budgets will be invested in construction and development operations of the Western Wall Plaza and the Western Wall tunnels, including the excavation and preservation of archaeological findings, upgrading infrastructure and transportation services as well as expanding educational activities for students, immigrants and soldiers. The special meeting took place in honor of Jerusalem Day and by invitation of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Meir Porush.

What will the plan focus on specifically?
The plan will focus on a number of key areas, including local and international tourism, development of physical infrastructure including improving traffic and accessibility to the Old City, improving traffic in general, maintenance issues, economic and business development, the development of open space and national parks while preserving nature and other projects.

NIS 476m. were allocated for this project, which is set to be approved by the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry. Annually, the government’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister will present the multi-year and annual budget data and the data of the implementation of the program.

The Tourism Ministry announced it will increase the budget for encouraging visits to the Western Wall in 2023-24 to NIS 8m. (from NIS 4m.).

A number of entities joined together to make Jerusalem’s Old City more accessible, in a joint project between the Tourism Ministry, Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem Development Authority and in the implementation of the East Jerusalem Development Company (PAMI).
Moshe Dayan’s Eye Patch
Last week, Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day, the celebration of the reunification of God’s Holy City after Israel’s miraculous victory during the Six-Day War of 1967. Among the IDF leaders photographed in the newly reunified Old City was Moshe Dayan. While famous for overseeing Jerusalem’s reunification, Dayan is just as iconic for the eye patch he wore. So, as this week’s Israeli You Should Know, we’ll look at how this hero of the IDF came to wear the black eye patch for which he is remembered.

Born on Kibbutz Dagania Alef by the Sea of Galilee, Moshe Dayan was destined for military greatness from birth. He was named for Moshe Barsky, an early Zionist hero and the first resident of the kibbutz to be killed in a terrorist attack, while trying to deliver medicine to Dayan’s father. Raised on Nahalal, the first moshav (an Israeli agricultural community), Dayan was a true child of the Holy Land.

At age 14, Moshe joined the Haganah, the precursor to the IDF. When WWII broke out, Dayan served under the Allied forces during the campaign in the Middle East.

On the eve of the Syria-Lebanon Campaign, Dayan’s unit crossed the border into Nazi-supporting Vichy French Lebanon. They secured two bridges and then secured an enemy police station.

While atop the station’s roof, scanning the horizon for enemy forces through a pair of binoculars, Dayan was struck by an Vichy sniper bullet from hundreds of yards away. The round shattered the binoculars, sending metal and glass shrapnel into his left eye. No rescue evacuation could be attempted for several hours, and he would have died if not for his comrades’ help.

Once evacuated, Dayan lost his eye, and doctors couldn’t reverse the severe muscle damage, either, meaning he couldn’t be fitted with a glass eye. Thus, he began to wear the black eye patch he would become known for.

But in the beginning, Moshe Dayan didn’t embrace this new change to his lifestyle. Letters found after his death show that he begged the military brass to let him return to combat, which he wasn’t allowed to do. He also “reflected with considerable misgivings on my future as a cripple without a skill, trade, or profession to provide for my family.”
‘I Believe in Heroism’
A Dutch physician named a Righteous Gentile for her heroic work during the Holocaust, Dr. Tina Strobos spent her life saving the lives of others.

From Medical Student to Resistance Member
Born Tineke Buchter in Amsterdam, Tina grew up in a family with a history of helping the needy. Her parents took in refugees from various conflicts, and her grandmother sheltered refugees during World War I. So it surprised no one that young Tina not only chose to study medicine in order to help others, but acted with bravery and selflessness when the Nazis overtook Europe.

When the Nazis invaded Tina’s homeland of Holland in 1940, they ordered university students to sign oaths of loyalty to Hitler. Only 20 years old, Tina refused to sign. Because of her and her classmates’ refusal, the Nazis shut down the medical school. The students then joined the underground against their German occupiers.

Hiding Jews from the Nazis
Tina’s first act of resistance involved hiding her best friend, a young Jewish woman named Tirtsah Van Amerongen. But Tina saved far more Jewish lives than just her friend’s. Working with her mother and grandmother, she hid more than 100 Jews from the Nazis, keeping four or five hidden in the family home at a time. A carpenter friend built a hiding place in the attic, and while the Gestapo searched the house eight times, they never found the Jews hidden there. Tina and her mother also installed a warning bell that told the hidden Jews of sudden Gestapo raids. If they had no time to hide, the Jews escaped through the attic window into the building next door.

Tina’s home only sheltered Jewish refugees on a temporary basis. Soon, they moved to the safety of the countryside, or to Spain or Switzerland. Tina and her mother often bicycled many miles to visit the Jews they had hidden.

One of the Jewish families hiding nearby was the family of Anne Frank, only ten minutes from the Strobos’ home. When Tina learned of Anne’s fate after they war, she lamented, “If I knew they were there, I would have gotten them out of the country.”

Besides hiding Jews, Tina and her mother also sheltered members of the anti-Nazi underground. In addition to hiding Resistance members, Tina helped in other ways. On her bicycle, she smuggled weapons, radios, and explosives, also stealing identification cards that Jews could use to escape certain death.
Broadway showcases the story of a real antisemitic lynching

A Joyful Song in Jerusalem after the Misery of World War One: “Let Us Rejoice.”
In April 1918, the Jewish children in the picture below were recovering from the traumatic World War I years of starvation, locust plagues, and diseases spread by Ottoman soldiers, such as cholera, typhoid, malaria, and more. In addition, the 1918 influenza plague brought by British soldiers would also wreak havoc in the Holy Land.

These children, some orphans and from all sorts of Jewish schools — cheider, ultra-Orthodox, and modern Orthodox – were returning on Nablus Road to their homes in Jerusalem’s Old City after visiting the Tomb of Simon the Just. Were they singing as they marched? If so, what song?

The children were still recovering from their traumas. Aid for rehabilitation, food, and schools poured in for the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael, mainly from American Jewry.

Compare the Jewish children on Nablus Road to the despondent visages and clothing of children in a Red Cross orphanage in Jerusalem in 1918. Some were survivors of the Armenian massacre. Recovery was not easy for them either.

When the British army entered Jerusalem in 1918, they found 2,700 orphans of all religions wandering the streets.

A Song Lifted the Jewish Community’s Spirit
Today, many people remember the stirring song “Jerusalem of Gold,” which became a prayer and anthem for Jews before and after the 1967 Six-Day War.

In 1918, a music teacher and cantor in Jerusalem, Avraham Zvi Idelsohn, transcribed an old tune (nigun) of the Sadigorer Hasidim (from today’s Ukraine) and composed a song to celebrate the liberation of Jerusalem and the Balfour Declaration in 1917. It was called “Hava Nagila — Let Us Rejoice!”

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