Monday, September 04, 2023

From Ian:

Irwin Cotler: ‘I have a dream’: Martin Luther King's words are more relevant than ever
We all stood amid this brotherhood of humanity, rapt with attention as King told of his dream of an America in which his four little children would not be judged “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.

King spoke of the American Constitution as a promissory note. In his uniquely melodious and spiritual voice, he spoke movingly. Even 60 years later, Martin Luther King’s voice still resonates within me today.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

King’s message was a universal one of common cause wherever we may be – of the struggle against racism, against hate, against injustice – and the struggle for human rights, for human dignity, respect, and recognition.

Indeed, Martin Luther King Jr. ought to be seen as the metaphor and the message of this struggle of his recognition that we are all one human family; that we have all been created in the image of God, and that this is the foundation of equality; that respect for the inherent dignity of the human being requires respect for the equal dignity and equal worth of all persons; that this is what human brotherhood is all about; that the struggle for human rights and human dignity, for equality and respect, are (in the most profound and existential sense) the struggle for ourselves. For in what we say – or more importantly, in what we do – we make a statement about ourselves as people.

On this 60th anniversary, let us recall, then, that Martin Luther King Jr. – like Nelson Mandela, who later invoked him – was the embodiment and expression of the long march towards freedom, of the great struggles of the 20th and 21st centuries for equality, for human dignity, for social justice and for the brotherhood of man.

King was the architect of the politics of inclusion, equality, respect, and recognition – not only for Black Americans; not only for America, but for all of humanity. As he expressed in his “Letter from a Birmingham jail,” also 60 years ago, in 1963 we must affirm and act upon.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

May this clarion call to action inspire us as we continue to strive toward realizing King’s vision in the next 60 years and beyond.
Golda’s grit and Nixon’s ambivalence
Alexander Haig, Nixon’s chief of staff, reported in his memoir Inner Circles, Nixon’s sense of urgency in coming to Israel’s aid. Nixon summoned both Kissinger and James Schlesinger (a Jewish convert to Christianity), Secretary of Defense, to a White House meeting assessing the pace of the much needed airlift requested by Golda. Nixon asked Kissinger for an exact account of Israel’s military needs. Kissinger began reading from an itemized list. “Double it,” ordered Nixon. “Now get the hell out of here and get the job done.”

In another such meeting, Nixon informed about bureaucratic disagreements in the Pentagon over types of delivery planes, shouted at Kissinger “(expletive) it, use every one we have. Tell them to send everything that can fly.”

Though Nixon was in the throes of fighting the Watergate charges, in June, 1974, two months before he resigned his presidency, he became the first incumbent president to visit Israel. In his expansive airport tribute (no doubt with Golda in mind) Nixon said, “the respect and the admiration we have for the people of this nation, their courage, their tenacity, their firmness in the face of very great odds… makes us proud to stand with Israel.”

In sum, this president haunted by the specter of disloyal American Jews, had little to gain and much to lose by the bold steps he took in Israel’s defense less than a year earlier. None of this courage and defiance of the US State Department is documented in the biopic Golda.

In the absence of the astonishing 567 missions flown by the US air force, Israel might not have survived. Already in his second term (regardless of Watergate), Nixon knew that Republicans were not going to win over the largely liberal Jewish vote. Nixon’s unconventional airlift subsequently spurred an Arab oil embargo sharply raising gasoline prices.

Dismissing the advice of Kissinger, his Jewish adviser, Nixon risked a war with the Soviet Union to save Israel. According to Stephen E. Ambrose, Nixon’s biographer, he “knew that his enemies would never give him credit for saving Israel. He did it anyway.”

A proud Nixon boasted, “Christ, if it weren’t for me, there wouldn’t be any Israel. They know that in Israel. Golda knows that, even though they may not know it over here.”

Nazi and Soviet Conspiracy Themes in the Palestinian Discourse: Policy Lessons for Israel
Since its founding in 1994, the Palestinian Authority, an internationally recognized pre-state authority, has advanced antisemitic themes to fuel its decades-old political warfare campaign to isolate, destabilize, and subvert the State of Israel. The PA’s antisemitic discourse, rooted in Nazi and Soviet-era conspiracy theories, has resulted in violence against Israelis and diaspora Jews. Ironically, both Israel and the international community have largely overlooked this flagrant violation of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PA: to desist from incitement to terror and violence.1 This essay documents nearly 30 years of Palestinian Authority antisemitic rhetoric in its media, social networks, official government statements, and educational system. This essay will also assess Israel’s willful blindness to these violations and offer a prescription and remedy through Israeli policy that will hold the PA to account and reform.

Since its inception in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Authority’s source organization, has perpetuated Nazi and Soviet antisemitic tropes and conspiracy libels that characterize Israelis and Jews as racially inferior, devious, conniving, and imperialistic.2 Palestinian Arabs’ hatred of Jews has a long history. The first Palestinian Arab political leader, “Grand Mufti” Haj Amin Al-Husseini, was closely aligned with the Nazi regime and even called for the Reichstag to bomb Tel Aviv. He accused the pre-state yishuv of desecrating the al-Aqsa mosque, depicting Jewish worshippers as “evil marauders,” statements that ignited bloody anti-Jewish riots in the 1920s and 1930s.3 The PA lodges the exact charges, claiming “al-Aqsa is in danger” from “settlers storming al-Aqsa”4 – to depict peaceful Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

Husseini’s widely distributed sermons of the 1930s incited and spread Jew-hatred across the broader Middle East.5 His speeches on a German-based radio service in Arabic blamed Jews for World War II.6 Historian Jeffrey Herf writes, “The fusion of antisemitism with anti-Zionism was the key ideological weapon of the Nazi regime in its efforts to win support from Arabs and Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East.”7

The Mufti’s widely distributed “Proclamation to the Muslim World” rallied Muslim opposition to the Zionist project:
Since the earliest days of their history, the Jews have been an oppressed people, and there must be a good reason for that. As far back as the Egyptian pharaohs, energetic oppressive measures had to be taken against the Jews…. The Jews hate Muhammad and Islam…. The battle … began when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina…. The Jews have been the bitterest enemies of Islam and continue to try to destroy it. They know only hypocrisy and guile. Hold together, fight for Islamic thought, fight for your religion and your existence! Do not rest until your land is free of the Jews.

Both the Fatah-led PA and its rival Islamist Hamas have perpetuated a tradition of anti-Jewish declarations, blood libel discourse, and calls to jihad against Jews based on dar al-Islam,9 blaming Jews for wars10 as a justification for killing or harming them.11 Referencing Islamic writings, Islamic clerics and spokespeople such as Raafat Alayan, the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem spokesman, consider Jews to be “sons of apes and pigs.”12 Palestinian officials have invoked accusations reminiscent of the medieval “blood libel” against Jews. Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi retweeted a medieval-themed claim that Israelis purposely drowned an Arab boy from Beit Hanina in east Jerusalem, after he slipped into a flooded area.13 In 2016, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told a European Commission assembly that Israeli rabbis told their followers to poison Arab wells, a claim that he retracted after Israeli and international condemnation.14 Abbas also falsely claimed that Adolf Hitler facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel by reaching a deal with the Anglo-Palestine Bank (now Bank Leumi) under which Jews who moved to the British Mandate of Palestine could transfer their assets to the bank, a claim also made in his dissertation.15

JPost Editorial: Eritrean asylum seeker clashes are unacceptable – don't make them worse
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday urgently convened a special ministerial task force to evaluate ways to deal with the violent Eritrean protesters. Netanyahu said Saturday’s disturbances “crossed a red line” and could not be tolerated.

According to a statement released after the meeting, among the steps the panel is considering is the immediate expulsion of those who took part.

Netanyahu said: “It is hard for me to understand why we would have a problem with those who declare that they support the regime; they certainly cannot claim refugee status.”

The prime minister added: “I would also like this forum to prepare a complete and updated plan to repatriate all of the remaining illegal infiltrators from the State of Israel.”

Such a move is not easy and has many diplomatic, legal, and domestic ramifications.

At a time when tensions within Israeli society are particularly strained over the judicial reform and the protest movement, the intra-Eritrean violence naturally was seen in the context of this divide.

Much of the impetus for the government’s proposed reform stems from the High Court’s overturning of Knesset laws designed to handle the issue of illegal migrants – including deportation or imprisonment in the Holot detention center.

The police must examine for itself why it was so unprepared for the level of violence despite early intelligence and the experience from the migrant community and police abroad.

But Netanyahu is correct in saying that the violence is absolutely unacceptable – and ultimately the blame lies with the protesters themselves.

It should be remembered, however, that the majority of migrants in Israel, including members of the Eritrean community, are not seeking violence and every effort must be made to ensure that Saturday’s clashes are not exploited in a way that leads to further lawlessness and chaos.
Tel Aviv Riot: How Intra-Communal Eritrean Violence Was Used To Malign Israel
Spotlighting the Israeli Police, Downplaying the Intra-Eritrean Riot
Several international news outlets played down the violent clash between the two groups of Eritreans and instead focused heavily on the Israeli police’s response.

For example, the BBC’s initial headline reported it as “Police clash with Eritrean asylum seekers.” Even though the headline was later updated, the article continued to dedicate several paragraphs to the police response while only briefly referring to the violent confrontation between the Eritrean groups in two paragraphs.

The BBC report even went so far as to implicitly blame Israel for the rampage, claiming that it “was sparked after activists opposed to the Eritrean government said they asked Israeli authorities to cancel an embassy event on Saturday.”

Similarly, The Guardian’s report, under the headline “Eritrean asylum seekers and police injured in clashes in Israel,” dedicated the majority of its coverage to the skirmish between the police and the Eritrean rioters.

When referencing the initial clashes that pre-empted the police response, The Guardian only mentioned a “demonstration” that “turned violent” as well as “clashes…between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean regime.”

This is a far cry from its coverage of a similar riot in early August in Sweden. In that instance, nearly the entire piece was dedicated to describing the intra-communal fighting and not the police’s response.

This false portrayal of the riot as primarily a clash between the police and Eritrean refugees was also evident in Sky News’ headline, “More than 140 injured in clashes between Eritrean asylum seekers and Israeli police.”

Voice of America’s one-minute video, “Eritrean Asylum-Seekers Clash With Israeli Police,” predominantly featured images of the police response and almost no coverage of the violent skirmishes that precipitated the response.

The story was not newsworthy for The New York Times until, 24 hours later, the Israeli government began discussing a plan to deport those who had engaged in the violence, contributing to a false and misleading media narrative that portrays the Israeli police and government as the aggressors and victimizers of Eritrean refugees.

'No chair unturned' – massive damage of Eritrean rioters in Tel Aviv
Ariel Oseran breaks down the damage done by Eritrean asylum seekers clashing in Tel Aviv – and what the Netanyahu-led government is planning to do about it.

Clashes break out in Tel Aviv between Eritrean migrants
Amir Weitmann, Sigal Rozen, and Dan Perry debate Israeli migrant policy after pro- and anti-Eritrean government demonstrators clash violently in Tel Aviv.

Elon Musk is amplifying a self-declared antisemite’s call to ban the ADL from X
Elon Musk is engaging with white nationalists and antisemites who want to ban the Anti-Defamation League from Twitter, the influential social media platform he now calls “X.”

Musk on Saturday asked his followers whether he should poll the platform about a hashtag, #BanTheADL, embraced in recent days by white nationalists and others on the far right.

Musk had earlier “liked” the tweet launching the hashtag by Keith Woods, an Irish white nationalist and self-described “raging antisemite.”

“The ADL’s favourite tactic is financially blackmailing social media companies into removing free speech on their platforms,” Woods said in his Aug. 31 tweet. “Why should they have a platform on X to hold @elonmusk to ransom? It’s time to #BanTheADL.”

Musk liked two subsequent tweets by Woods, who touted Musk’s support to his followers. The hashtag was widely embraced on twitter by the far right, including by Andrew Torba, a Christian nationalist who refuses to speak with Jewish reporters and who founded Gab, a social media site, as a redoubt for the far right after Twitter started banning extremists. The shooter who killed 11 Jews at prayer in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 broadcast hours plans on Gab before the attack.

Woods’ tweet came after a day after Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO spoke with Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X, about users trafficking in hate on the platform. The ADL has tracked massive spikes in racist, antisemitic and homophobic content and harassment since Musk bought then platform last year and restored extremist accounts banned under the previous management.

Greenblatt sounded positive about his conversation with Yaccarino, named to the job earlier this year after Musk ostensibly promised to cede leadership to a professional.

“I had a very frank + productive conversation with @LindayaX yesterday about @X, what works and what doesn’t, and where it needs to go to address hate effectively on the platform,” Greenblatt tweeted on Aug. 30. “I appreciated her reaching out and I’m hopeful the service will improve. @ADL will be vigilant and give her and @ElonMusk credit if the service gets better… and reserve the right to call them out until it does.”

Antisemitic London mosque is a 'place of peace,' Jeremy Corbyn claims
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised Finsbury Park Mosque on X as a “place of peace, hope and solidarity” only a few days after the Jewish Chronicle exposed the tax-funded mosque as having hosted a number of antisemitic imams and other Muslim officials.

On September 2, Corbyn published on X: “Finsbury Park Mosque offers a place of peace, hope and solidarity to so many people in our community. We will not be divided by those in our media who seek to sow hatred and fear. It is love for our neighbours, whatever their faith, that unites us all.”

The Mosque, which is based in north London, has received almost £300,000 (NIS 1,433,145.60 or $377,549.70 USD) from Islington Council between 2017 and 2022, according to the JC.

In one of several incidences at the mosque, they hosted an Egyptian imam who pledged to “liberate” Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem from the “filth of the Jews.”

Additionally, the mosque’s general secretary Mohammed Kozbar praised Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a “the master of the martyrs of resistance, the mujahid [holy warrior] sheikh, the teacher” during his trip to Gaza in 2015. While Hamas is registered as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, at this point in time it was only the military wing of the organization that was categorized as such.

Gary Mond, chairman of the UK's National Jewish Assembly told the Jerusalem Post that "Hate speech being promoted by places of religious worship, whether taxpayer funded or not, is utterly unacceptable in our society and should be prosecuted with the full force of the law."

NYTimes smears Hasidim again… now, in Yiddish
For months now, the New York Times has pursued a campaign to slander and defame Haredi Jews, primarily but not limited to Hasidim and the yeshiva education system. Most recently, the Times demonstrated that it is happy to print blatant pejorative falsehoods about Haredim, especially Hasidim, even when discussing, of all things, Yiddish. That the author of “Yiddish Is Having a Moment” is a professor at Amherst College, Ilan Stavans, only makes the display of ignorance and animus that much more embarrassing.

The untruths begin at the beginning, as he claims that Yiddish, “a language without a physical address,” has “come frighteningly close to extinction.” Stavans ignores the obvious connection between Yiddish and Jews, who for nearly two thousand years had no physical address and were relentlessly persecuted, and were murdered by the millions less than a century ago.

Yiddish was the lingua franca of European Jewry, and remains so for Hasidic Jews today. At no time was Yiddish at any unique threat of extinction, at greater danger than Jews themselves.

It is not Yiddish that has survived, rebuilt, and thrived – it is the Orthodox Jewish community. But to point out that the use of Yiddish has consistently tracked the exponential growth of the Hasidic population would contradict the author’s narrative that Yiddish is only now “having a moment.” To Stavans, Yiddish is only relevant if it is being used by non-Hasidim, no matter the burgeoning Hasidic community that speaks Yiddish as their first language.

This is all the more bizarre when one considers that each and every example he touts of Yiddish appearing in modern entertainment concerns a show or film about Hasidim. As the Hasidic community has grown, so has curiosity about its unique lifestyle – and entertainment writers have responded with pieces offering greater and lesser accuracy in their portrayals, as well as lesser and greater bias against the community they claim to depict. (Also notable: at a time of great emphasis on “diversity,” no one has suggested that a Hasidic character ought to be portrayed by an actual Hasid. But I digress.)

Stavans suggests that the use of Yiddish is somehow tied to secular Jews before the Holocaust and that its use primarily by Hasidim today reflects a decline. This is inane: as he himself writes, Yiddish dates back at least to the Twelfth Century of the Common Era, a time when essentially all Jews practiced Judaism. Early secular Jews used Yiddish for no other reason than that they all came from religious homes.
‘NY Times’ column: Hebrew symbolizes ‘far-right militarism’
The HonestReporting media watchdog group accused the Times of Jew-hatred.

“Singling out and maligning the language of the world’s only Jewish state (that’s spoken across the political spectrum) is antisemitic,” the organization charged in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Gilead Ini, a researcher at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), pointed out that the Grey Lady has published numerous articles that condemned anti-Arabic prejudices.

“The newspaper and its writers know exactly what to think of those who recoil at hearing Arabic,” wrote Ini, adding: “They might want to self-reflect on they sound so much more sympathetic to other prejudices.”

“When did [the Times] become anti-Jewish poison?” posited veteran Israeli journalist and JNS columnist Caroline Glick on X.

“I mean, they were always bad. They hid the Holocaust, demeaned Jewish immigrants to the U.S. and were always anti-Israel. But when did they begin a policy of actively inventing and disseminating mind-bendingly hateful slanders?” Glick asked.

Hebrew, the language of the Bible, has been spoken by Jews for thousands of years before being revived as the official language of the modern Jewish state.

Archaeology or Politics: Does Newsweek Question the Existence of the Jewish Temple?
It should have been a straightforward journalistic report on an archaeological find in Jerusalem.

Yet some media outlets needlessly managed to cast doubt on basic facts while covering it, thus undermining the validity of Jewish history.

The reports – by Newsweek, the Science Times and two archeological journals – generally follow a statement by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announcing the discovery of mysterious, three-millennia-old structures just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls last week. According to experts, the structures date back to the period of the First Jewish Temple which stood nearby.

Yet for some reason, these outlets decided to add a sentence questioning this Temple’s very existence – an undebated historical fact (here is a Britannica entry detailing its history from construction to destruction).

This is Newsweek’s version:
The structures were in use when the city’s First Temple was thought to have existed, researchers said.

The attribution to researchers is puzzling and was obviously not included in the IAA announcement. It is doubly suspicious, because the next paragraph accurately paraphrases the IAA press release, from which one can clearly conclude that there is no scholarly question whatsoever regarding the existence of the Temple; it says that the location of the structures near the site of the Temple or Palace suggests it was connected to these prominent institutions.

It is unclear, then, what Newsweek’s source was for their mistaken historical caveat.

The Science Times goes further, using words like “claimed” and “believed,” which cast doubt on the very existence of the bedrock of Jewish heritage:
The scholars claimed that the buildings were used throughout the time that the city’s First Temple is believed to have existed.

A Bavarian Scandal Shines a Light on Germany’s ‘Holocaust Guilt’
For the best part of a week, Germany has been gripped by an antisemitism scandal centered on Hubert Aiwanger, the deputy premier of the southern state of Bavaria. Now 52, Aiwanger has been accused of producing, when he was a 17-year-old schoolboy in 1987, a viciously antisemitic leaflet parodying the Holocaust that was distributed at his school and resulted in him being punished by a disciplinary board.

The details of the scandal read like the plot of a dark political comedy. You might also wonder why a politician’s youthful stupidity rises to the level of a national scandal more than three decades later. In which case, it’s important to remember that this is Germany, where guilt about the Holocaust—along with other emotions like rage, confusion or simply wishing that all the talk about the Nazi genocide would end once and for all—still looms large.

The typewritten leaflet in question was discovered in the lavatory, among other locations, of the Burkhart Gymnasium in the Bavarian municipality of Mallersdorf-Pfaffenberg, where the young Aiwanger was a student. Unsurprisingly, given its creation at the hands of a teenage boy (or boys, plural—the matter of authorship still remains unclear), the content of the leaflet managed to be both repellent and puerile at the same time.

Parodying national history competitions for school students, the leaflet posed questions like, “Who is the greatest traitor to the fatherland?” with the “prize,” in this example, “a complimentary flight through the chimney at Auschwitz.” Other “prizes” included a “lifelong stay in a mass grave,” “a free shot in the back of the neck,” “a ticket to the entertainment quarter of Auschwitz” and a “night’s stay in the Gestapo cellar, then a trip to Dachau.”

After seemingly being forgotten more than 30 years, the leaflet was discovered and then splashed across the pages of last Saturday’s edition of the Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung. In most circumstances, a story like this generates overwhelming interest in Germany, and this was especially true for Aiwanger, given that his Free Voters (Freie Wähler) Party—currently the junior coalition partner in the Bavarian state government with the Christian Social Union—will be contesting state parliamentary elections on Oct. 8.
Who Is Actually a Sexual Pervert? The Far Right’s Lust Libel Hypocrisy
“Why do neo-Nazis keep getting arrested for child sexual abuse material?” Vice News recently asked. “A surprising number of far-right extremists have been caught with some of the worst content imaginable — is this a trend, or is child sexual abuse material just distressingly more commonplace than most realize?”

Whatever the answer to that question, one thing is certain: sexual perversion has been a far-right trend for a long time, going back to Nazi Germany itself. A running theme in William Shirer’s classic history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, is that National Socialism knowingly attracted sexual deviants, including in the party’s top brass.

“Hitler had known all along, from the earliest days of the party, that a large number of his closest and most important followers were sexual perverts and convicted murderers,” Shirer reports. “These things Hitler had not only tolerated but defended; more than once he had warned his party comrades against being too squeamish about a man’s personal morals if he were a fanatical fighter for the movement.”

An especially appalling example of Nazism’s toleration for perverts and psychopaths was Oskar Dirlewanger, a convicted child rapist and sexual sadist, who commanded a military unit called “the Black Hunters” that committed unspeakable horrors against enslaved women and children. For his brutality, the pedophile Dirlewanger was honored with the “Knight’s Cross,” a big deal to Nazis.

Other German pedophiles also scurried from the shadows like orcs to serve the Third Reich. One of the creepiest passages in Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust memoir, Night, occurs in chapter four when young Elie is relocated from Auschwitz to the nearby Buna slave labor warehouse — and there discovers “a veritable traffic of children” among the master race.

The versatile tech that can cure radiation sickness and culture meat
Haifa-based biotech company Pluri recently signed a $4.2 million contract with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop its cell therapy for a deadly form of radiation poisoning. The versatile tech that can cure radiation sickness and culture meatYaky Yanay, Pluri CEO. Photo by Michael Brikman

This is the same Pluri that last year co-created Ever After Foods with Israeli food giant Tnuva, aiming to overcome a major technological hurdle in the scalability and affordability of cultivated meat.

Treating diseases and commercializing cultivated meat don’t seem like related endeavors. But as Pluri CEO Yaky Yanay explains: “The story starts with cells, the building blocks of life.”

Healing and regeneration
Many cell types cooperate in the healing process, Yanay tells ISRAEL21c.

Pluri (formerly Pluristem) was founded in 2003 to propose a new model of treating diseases: a cell-based pharmaceutical that could trigger the body’s own regeneration capabilities.

The first target was improving the success of bone-marrow transplantations with hematopoietic stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

For the first 15 years, Pluristem worked with placental cells because “the placenta is a remarkable organ for healing and generation,” says Yanay.

“To make a widely available product, we need new technology that mimics that environment, allowing us to manufacture large numbers of cells that communicate with the body – just as the mother’s cells communicate with the baby through the placenta –and read signals that tell it to secrete proteins that lead to healing and regeneration.”

The pivot
About two years ago, when this platform was safely protected by 140 patents, Yanay had an “aha” moment.

“I realized that our very scalable technology didn’t have to be limited to the expression of placenta cells,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
Thousands welcome first Israeli headliner to Madison Square Garden
Orthodox Jewish singer Ishay Ribo has become the first Israeli artist to headline a near-sell-out concert at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Ribo, whose rock and folk music has attracted a diverse audience of religious and secular Israeli fans, played to around 15,000 people in New York on Sunday.

Thousands of fans expressed joy as the 34-year-old star performed. One fan, Ronn Torossian, said on Twitter: “I was there. It was a gorgeous event. Secular and religious. Israelis and Americans. Beautiful. Pretty damn packed and amazing.”

Another fan, Jacob Cohen, who brought his seat just 30 minutes before the event, said: “I bought my ticket less than an hour before it was scheduled to start... It was a very large crowd, not sold out. But doesn't really matter cause it was a great show.”

A third fan, Neil Kleid said: “Amazing time seeing @IshayRibo tonight - first Israeli singer to sell out the Garden.

“15,000 Jews United together in harmony and community. So glad I got to experience this.”

Pictures and videos from the concert also show thousands of delighted fans holding up their phone lights whilst Ribo performs.

Posting on Facebook when he first announced his performance in May, Ribo said: “I’ve been keeping this inside for a long time, and more than once I pinched myself to check if I was dreaming or if this is real. It seems that both answers are correct, thank God.”
In Israeli first, man's life saved thanks to artificial intelligence
Innovative artificial intelligence-based technology has recently saved the life of a patient at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

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A resident of the city, the 50-year-old patient arrived for a routine CT scan – after complaining of strong headaches for an extended period – and after its completion, left.

The results usually take one-to-two weeks to arrive, but in this case, an alert by the AI-based program warned that he might have intracranial bleeding, prompting doctors to call the man – who was still near the hospital – to return swiftly.

He was operated on in an emergency procedure that saved his life.

The AI-based program - called – leverages advanced, FDA-cleared algorithms to analyze medical imaging data, like CT scans, providing real-time insights and automated assessments to accelerate diagnosis and treatment.
Israeli aid group powers Hurricane Idalia first responders
As Hurricane Idalia traversed through the United States’ southeastern coast at the end of the week, Israeli aid group SmartAID prepared to help local first responders by providing them with clean energy, telecommunications and Wi-Fi access.

SmartAID volunteers towed one of the organization’s Smart Trailers from Fort Myers to Tampa, Florida, at the end of the week, and it has since been used as a mobile coordination hub providing power and telecommunications.

On Sunday morning, a second trailer was brought in, serving as a refrigerated storage unit for medicines. Israeli aid group powers Hurricane Idalia first responders

“Our commitment involves aiding first responders and affected communities globally, including in the USA itself,” says Shachar Zahavi, SmartAID’s founding director.

“In the past five years, SmartAID has proactively provided crucial technological support during natural disasters across the United States, bridging an important gap in national and international aid systems,” he says.

“By offering immediate access to electricity, Internet and communication tools, we empower first responders and communities to extend their assistance effectively and rapidly to a larger number of people.”
African-American Imams Visit Israel to Promote Faith-Based Peace in Middle East
Throughout the week-long trip, the delegation traveled throughout Israel, touring sites including the Muslim Quarter and Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, a Bedouin village in northern Israel, as well as the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center. They heard more than a dozen lectures from leading experts and activists on the geopolitical realities in the Middle East, such as the deputy mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Israeli-Arab filmmaker and journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Rabbi Sarel Rosenblat, co-founder of the Ohr Torah Interfaith Center.

Sharaka is a unique organization, as it is made up of Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze from around the Middle East, all working together in “partnership” to educate and build off of the Abraham Accords.

“One of the things that was mentioned a couple of times is that Jerusalem is a model because we see the mixture of different religions, different ethnic groups, but all sharing a common history,” said Imam Rashad Abdul Rahmaan from the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam in Atlanta, Georgia. “I think it’s important as leaders, as teachers, first you have to know what you’re talking about.”

He plans to teach his congregation lessons of coexistence he witnessed first-hand during his tour of Jerusalem. “I had no idea all of these layers were added one on top of the other, which lets us know it’s not only a sacred site for one group, it’s a sacred site for several groups, and we have all been contributing to it. And not just as Muslims, Jews, and Christians, but also as human beings, this is our shared inheritance,” said Rahmaan.

That’s exactly why the delegation of American imams traveled halfway around the world, to learn about their own history and how the Abrahamic faiths are intertwined. Now, they will bring their new perspectives back to the United States, and help promote a future geared toward peace.
FC Barcelona legends land in Israel to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Haifa veterans
A lineup of Barca Legends, soccer players from the first generation of FC Barcelona, arrived in Israel on Monday, ahead of two matches this week against veteran Israeli soccer players from Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa.

Tuesday evening, at Bloomfield Stadium, the now middle-aged stars will go up against a team of former players for Maccabi Tel Aviv, including ex-captains Avi Nimni and Tal Ben Haim.

The Barca Legends include Brazilian ace Rivaldo Ferreira, one of the top goal-scorers in Barcelona history, and former forward for the team Javier Saviola.

“My expectations are high, but I have to lower them because what everyone wants and expects from us is not what will happen,” Nimni said during the team’s press conference at Tel Aviv’s Carlton Hotel, where the athletes are staying ahead of the first game.

“We’ve trained two times and although my body is betraying me, not letting me do the things I was once able to, it’s still very exciting,” he added.

When asked whether he’s the “Israeli Rivaldo,” Nimni quipped that such a statement is “flattering for me, but sad for him.”

“I’m very excited to return to Israel,” said Rivaldo, who visited two years ago to compete for Barcelona Legends against its longtime rival Real Madrid in front of an Israeli audience.

“All of us retired years ago, but we don’t like to lose any game, just like Maccabi Tel Aviv doesn’t like to lose. We’ll go on the field to win,” said Rivaldo.
Hisham Ibrahim tapped to head IDF’s Civil Administration in West Bank
Brig. Gen. Hisham Ibrahim has been named the new head of the Civil Administration, a Defense Ministry body that’s part of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, which regulates much of daily life in the West Bank.

Ibrahim will replace Brig. Gen. Fares Atila, who has served in the position since February 2021.

Ibrahim, one of the most senior Druze officers in the Israel Defense Forces, currently serves as commander of the Armored Corps.
Archeological Discoveries Confirm the David and Goliath Story
Twenty-eight charred olive pits cracked the archaeology case.

Remember the story of David using his slingshot to kill the Philistine giant Goliath? Archaeologists believe that they found where that happened and Israel has now turned the site into a national park.

The 3,000-year-old site is known by its modern name, Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Beit Shemesh southwest of Jerusalem. It overlooks the Elah Valley.

Lead archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel says 28 charred olive pits unearthed from 2007 to 2013 helped crack the mystery of the site’s age. His team used carbon-14 dating to figure out how old the olive pits were.

A Fortified City from King David’s Time
“This fortified city is the only archaeological site from the time of King David,” asserts Prof. Garfinkel, the Yigal Yadin chair of archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Cultic room at Khirbet Qeiyafa.

The ancient olive pits proved that the site now known as Khirbet Qeiyafa existed in the early 10th century BCE.

Archaeologists discovered the city’s two gates—a western one, which faced the Biblical city of Philistine Gath, and a southern one, which faced Judah. They connected the site of Khirbet Qeiyafa with the Biblical city of Sha'arayim, Hebrew for “two gates,” mentioned in the story of David and Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:52)

In a building near the southern gate, archaeologists excavated a group worship room. They uncovered two building models, one made from clay and the other carved in limestone. The latter proved the royal architecture that the Bible attributed to the palace and temple in Jerusalem was known in this region too.
Ben Gurion University fights climate change with the help of the Desert
Ben Gurion University is leading the charge on combatting climate change. Professor Noam Weisbrod, Director of the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research tells i24NEWS Science and Technology Correspondent Ariel Levin-Waldman.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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