Friday, September 15, 2023

From Ian:

Meir Y. Soloveichik: The Palm Frond and the Sword
In the midst of war against the mightiest empire on earth, Bar Kochba desperately sought for his army to observe the rituals of Sukkot. The date palm was a supreme agricultural symbol of Judea. That is why it is wielded on the biblical harvest holiday and why Vespasian had minted coins with the same tree and the triumphant words Judea Capta (“Judea has been captured”). The request for lulavim is made more poignant when we realize that in rabbinic thought, the ramrod palm branch represents the spine. Above all, it reminds us, as Rabbi Norman Lamm reflected, that “to be a Jew, to be possessed of this sublime historic faith…requires, above all else, the power, the moral strength, the ethical might, and the undaunted conviction that are symbolized by the unbending backbone, the lulav.”

Today, if one were to visit Jerusalem during the Sukkot, one would see a city with Jews holding lulavim aloft, reciting the very same psalms that were once uttered by Rabbi Akiva and Bar Kochba’s men, seamlessly linking past and present. The lulav letter thus reflects the unique nature of Jewish life. The Israeli scholar and diplomat Yaakov Herzog once conjectured that were most peoples to meet figures from their ancient past, they would find that their faith and culture had so profoundly changed that they would have little in common with the individuals from antiquity; these ancients would be seen as “great historical figures, but not necessarily part of the daily experience of the people among whom they had lived.” Yet were Rabbi Akiva to return, “Jews would speak to him, question him about his attitude towards the Bar Kokhba war, and what he thought about the destruction of the Temple. They would talk to him about the nature of the Jewish people, its dialogue with the God of Israel, and with the nations of the world, the historical experience, continuity and the future—as though he had never been away.”

Yadin reports that in standing among the skeletons of the Jewish soldiers, and finding the letter of Bar Kochba, awe settled over his cohort:
As we searched amid the ruins of the Roman camp, it occurred to us that we, who were unearthing the remains of the warriors of the cave in the cliffside below, were operating from a camp which had been set up by members of the Israel Defense Forces near the site of the old Roman camp. Israel’s soldiers of today were helping to restore to life, as it were, their comrades-at-arms of eighteen hundred years ago. The symbolism of it all was something which not even the most hardened cynic could gainsay.

With us in the Roman camp ruins then was a Jewish visitor from abroad. As he stood on the precipice, observing the scene, he blurted the old Hebrew formula: “Am Yisrael hai!” (“The Jewish people lives!”) He expressed what all of us felt.

They were right to be in awe, as it is indeed awe-inspiring to hold a Roman sword once wielded by fighters for Judean freedom. But it’s even more inspiring to ponder the fact that these weapons, once wielded by Hadrianic legions thought to be all but invincible, now remind us of an empire long gone, even as the world still has plenty of ideological heirs of Hadrians, who despise the Jewishness of Jerusalem. Yet the ultimate vindication of Rabbi Akiva is to be found in the countless lulavim that will adorn Jerusalem this year, embodying a living, vibrant Judaism that holds aloft the spiritual symbol of the Jewish spine, and therefore of Jewish endurance. Thus does this new archeological discovery, several weeks before Sukkot, remind us of the wonder of our age: The lulav has outlasted the Roman sword.
Phyllis Chesler: Jews, never give up!
It is not the best of times. It may actually be the worst of times.

While half of Israel continues to demonstrate in the streets against their own government, Iran is building an airport in Lebanon that is only 13 miles away from Israel’s northern border.

President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama’s hirelings have tied Israel’s hands so it cannot preempt the construction of such a dangerous, Hezbollah-controlled airport.

At the same time, the Biden administration has just given Iran $6 billion in exchange for hostages.

This is sold as a merciful decision, but it is also a craven and strategically disastrous one.

At the same time, the propaganda war against Israel is now breaking through the front doors and windows of every Western university.

More and more academics and public intellectuals are signing letters against “apartheid” Israel.

Professional associations are sponsoring panels with speakers who specialize in the most deranged lies about the Jewish state. Jewish students are being harassed.

Visible Jews around the world, including in North America and Europe, are being physically attacked and even murdered.

Cemeteries and synagogues are being defaced.

Psychoanalysts, or at least one division of the American Psychological Association, have hijacked the “Jewish science” founded by Freud and seek to pervert it into pro-Palestinian Arab indoctrination.

As I’ve written before, we have lost this round of the cognitive war.

But when faced with the prospect of joining World II on Britain’s side, despite Britain’s “White Paper” restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine, Ben Gurion famously said, “We shall fight the war as if there was no White Paper and the White Paper as if there was no war.”
Caroline Glick: A prayer for 5784
Some 3,500 years of Jewish history and 75 years of Israeli Jewish history expose the fraud of Oslo’s assertion of Israeli immorality. And 30 years of Palestinian terror and anti-Semitism exposed as a fraud the claim that the PLO is a moral actor. Just so, the Supreme Court’s effort this month to crown itself Israel’s sovereign with unlimited powers, including the power to overturn the results of elections, puts paid the notion that Barak and his followers are guardians of Israeli democracy.

They are its executioners.

The convergence of the Oslo revolution with the judicial revolution in the court and on the streets makes clear that the only way for Israel to remain a democracy is for it to remain a Jewish state.

Ehud Barak’s crony, leftist billionaire Kobi Richter, is one of the financiers of the left’s political war. In recent weeks he’s also been a wellspring of information about its worldview. Last month, he told Israel Radio that the leftist elites will win because they are more powerful than the government. “We are the military power. The economic power is ours!” he proclaimed.

This week, Richter explained that the problem with Israel’s Jews is that most of them are “nationalist.” The left, he said, will solve the problem of Jewish nationalism by joining forces with the Arab parties, who reject Israel’s right to exist and support terrorism.

The majority of the Zionist left opposed the hare-brained scheme of withdrawing from Gaza in 2003. But the incitement campaigns of 2004-05 gave the Oslo left a significant boost. Likewise, until recently, the overwhelming majority of leftists never questioned the basic premise of Zionism.

Aharon Barak and Ehud Barak are right about one thing: The Declaration of Independence is the most important document in Israel’s political history. But as David Ben-Gurion made clear in a 1950 speech before the Knesset, their claim that the declaration justifies their effort to transform Israel into a post-Zionist oligarchy is utterly false.

Ben-Gurion said that the declaration didn’t seek unity of values. It sought broad consensus. That is why the term “Jewish state” appears in the text repeatedly, but the “God of Israel” is replaced by the more inclusive “Rock of Israel.”

Ben-Gurion said: “All the parties sitting in this house signed the declaration—from the Communists to Agudat Israel. Unity that binds like this doesn’t happen every day, and it shouldn’t be minimized.”

It is my prayer for the coming year that in the weeks and months before us, the Zionist left remembers the message of that declaration. There is no contradiction between Jewish and democratic. It is post-Zionism—not Zionism—that guarantees tyranny.

May they also remember that their brothers and sisters on the right are not their enemies but their partners in a common destiny.

Jonathan Tobin: Will you help JNS tell the truth about Israel and antisemitism in 5784?
At JNS we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standards of fairness and accuracy in our news articles. Throughout 5783, our coverage of the issues facing both the United States and Israel gave our readers insights they couldn’t get elsewhere.

Unlike most media outlets, JNS presents the case for the justice of Israel’s cause. It also tells the truth about an anti-Semitic BDS movement that seeks Israel’s destruction and the silencing of its supporters, and whose influential supporters dominate academia and even sit in Congress.

And almost uniquely among media outlets, secular or Jewish, it provides coverage of the ongoing political strife in Israel that is not stacked on one side of the issue or joining in the chorus declaring it to be run by authoritarians, theocrats and opponents of democracy.

Whereas biased coverage has made most other news sources unwatchable and unreadable, at JNS, you get the facts not just about Israel, but about issues essential to Jewish interests everywhere.

In the past year, in addition to our array of regular columnists, including myself, we have continued to expand our staff and our features, offering podcasts and videos that offer one-of-a-kind, information-based interviews with great thinkers and important figures in the news, as well as timely political coverage in both Israel and the United States.

But to continue to provide this service to the Jewish world, we need more than just your readership. We also need your financial help to keep on target as we continue to do the job that no one else does in this same way.

As 5783 ends and 5784 begins, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to While many worthy causes seek financial help, especially in these challenging times, I hope you will consider supporting Jewish journalism at a time when the truth about the threats from anti-Semitism, anti-Israel bias and global terrorism makes it more important than ever.

I hope you will agree that keeping JNS going is an essential cause that cannot be allowed to fail for lack of funds. And I hope we can count on you this year and next.
Daniel Greenfield: John Steinbeck and the Fall and Rise of Israel’s ‘Mount Hope’
In 1966, a year before the war that would fundamentally change the country and the region, John Steinbeck arrived.

“I want to see everything in Israel,” he told the press.

Outraged novels of class warfare like ‘Grapes of Wrath’ had once made the author a favorite of the leftist establishment, but Steinbeck had turned to other topics. He considered his life’s work to be ‘East of Eden’, a retelling of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel in California, which touched on his own dark family history that he had followed all the way back to Israel.

Steinbeck’s support for the Vietnam War had infuriated the literary establishment and even though he had won the Nobel Prize and his acceptance speech became one of the most famous of its kind, he continued to be dismissed as an outdated fossil. And the author, prone to an old school literary machismo, who never much liked parties and crowds, dismissed them.

After facing the establishment’s fury over the Vietnam War, Steinbeck was not worried about the leftist reaction to his visit to Israel. And he looked at Israel through the lens of a writer who had chronicled pioneers and messianists, but also a man who had come to see the world caught in a struggle between good and evil, the forces of democracy against those of Communism.

“The Israelis are the toughest and most vital people I have seen in a long time,” Steinbeck wrote to the LBJ administration with which he had developed a close relationship. “Their army is superb. They say that Israel’s secret weapon is ‘No Alternative’. They have no place to go and anyone who will invade them will have to kill them all, men, women and children, and they all go down fighting. Only they won’t go down. Right now with the weapons they have and they command, they could lick the whole Arab League single handed.”

Steinbeck was a little over a year away from being proven right when the Six Day War would see Israel, outnumbered and outgunned, defeat Egypt, Syria and Jordan, not to mention forces sent by Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But if the American author’s enthusiasm was especially passionate, it might have been because unlike a lot of visitors, his family had left blood here.

“I’ve started for there several times and never made it,” Steinbeck wrote. “I wonder if I have an unconscious reluctance because of what my great-grandfather tried to do there in the 1840s.”

One of his stops in Israel was to ‘Mount Hope’ and the ‘Steinbeck farm’ that his grandfather had left behind after his brother was murdered by the local Arab Muslims. The Grossteinbeck family (the name was later shortened) had joined a Christian mission in the 1850s that was the first to try and build outside Jaffa. But the idealistic farmstead had not taken into account the fanatical Muslim hatred for Christians and Jews who, under Islamic law, had no rights at all.

The Grossteinbecks and other settlers had faced Arab Muslim harassment but what happened in 1858 had international repercussions and brought American military power to bear in Israel.

90 years before Israel, as a Jewish country, had even been reborn.
Harvey Klehr: What "Oppenheimer" got wrong and the Origins of the Left's "anti-racism"
Did Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer tell the truth about the nuclear scientist? Also, Is the communist ideology alive and well in today's politics?

Hear from a leading expert in the Cold War and Soviet history

In this week’s episode of Top Story, JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin speaks with historian Harvey Klehr about the movie “Oppenheimer” and the legacy of American Communism.

They discuss
- the trend to deny that there were actual communists in America and that it wasn't all just a "witch hunt" by Sen. McCarthy.
- the romanticizing of communist spies fighting against an evil and powerful America
- the remnants of communist ideology in today's leftist ideology of anti-racism.

David Baddiel: Why I'm open to changing my mind on Israel
Either way, I’m going to take my Kippah off to JWS. Because, at one point in the podcast, he played a Knight’s Move of Bobby Fischer quality over my position on Israel (JWS is heavily equipped on this subject, having just written a book called Israelophobia). As many of you are no doubt aware, that position is: it’s a foreign country. Jews who don’t live there are not responsible for it, and the assumption by progressives that they are, is antisemitic. This position pisses off progressives, and I’ve noticed, also pisses off some Jews, including some progressive Jews, who feel deeply connected to Israel. I don’t.

It’s here that JWS burrowed in, like a mole into my arguments, by using not just Jews Don’t Count but my new book, The God Desire. In The God Desire, I say that it’s impossible for me, even as an atheist, not to have an emotional response to Judaism, because the religion, or at least the continuance of it over so many centuries, is emblematic of Jewish survival, and I will always be moved by Jewish survival. JWS said: “So why don’t you feel an emotional connection to Israel — surely it’s a great example of Jewish survival?”

I felt a twinge of something here, of a different attack strategy than I’m used to. But I had a defence: “The Jewish survival I’m talking about is the one my family, on both sides, are examples of: survival against the odds, of small communities clinging on to their culture whilst fleeing away from much more powerful regimes. Israel is not an example of that.” Sorted, I thought. Another W for me.

But no. JWS had another well-researched comeback: “Yes, but you are a big fan of Dara Horn’s book People Love Dead Jews. And in that, she speaks of the fetishization of the vulnerable Jew — of the dysfunctional tendency for people to revere Jews but only as long as they are weak and fleeing, never when powerful or strong… haven’t you fallen into that trap?”

I opened my mouth for the response. And realised the only true one was: yeah, maybe. Which is what I said. Because this was a really good point that I hadn’t considered before. I’m still thinking about it. It hasn’t changed my basic argument about non-Israeli Jews and the Middle East — because I just don’t feel the kind of reflex emotional (and political) connection that many Jews do — but it has given me pause to consider why that might be.
Israel Wins Five Medals, Including Gold and Silver, During First Appearance in Invictus Games
Israel walked away with five medals after its first time competing in the Invictus Games, an international multi-sport competition for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women — both veterans and those currently serving.

Two Israeli teams went head-to-head in the mixed doubles table tennis tournament on Wednesday as part of the Invictus Games, which was founded in 2014 by Prince Harry. The final score was 2-0, with Menashe Zorik and Yagur Caesari winning the gold over Yigal Lagziel and Boaz Arad, who took home the silver. Zorik and Caesari defeated competitors from Denmark, Australia, Colombia, Romania, France, and Germany before making it to the finals and taking home a gold medal.

“Seeing the Israeli flags flying proudly on German soil made me emotional,” Zorik said after the award ceremony, according to Israeli media. “We were mentally strong today. This honor goes to Israel.”

Caesari added: “To win both the gold and silver medals in the first time an Israeli delegation has participated in the games is a very impressive achievement. Israel is now considered a powerhouse in table tennis. During the games, we saw our families crying from joy on the screens, and we were very moved.”

Israel also gave medal-winning performances in the swimming category of the Invictus Games. Amitai Arnon won bronze in the men’s 50-meter backstroke finals on Wednesday. That same day, Shalom Zanzuri and Jacob Gershoni each won a bronze in the men’s 100-meter freestyle finals, in different classifications.

Israel joined the Invictus Games Foundation’s “Community of Nations” in 2022 and, alongside Columbia, became the newest countries to participate in the competition, which took place this year in Düsseldorf, Germany. The delegation of injured Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers that competed this year was led by the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Rehabilitation Department and the IDF Disabled Veterans Fund, Ynet reported.
Israeli Professional Fighters Challenge Pro-Palestinian Opponent Who Wants to ‘Break’ Israel’s ‘Strongest’
Two professional fighters from Israel invited Swedish mixed martial artist Hamzat Chimaev to challenge them in the ring after Chimaev shared a pro-Palestinian message on social media and said he wanted to go head-to-head with Israel’s “strongest man.”

Chimaev, who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, shared a video on social media of a Jewish man confronting a Muslim in Israel. He wrote in the caption: “You are just guests of Palestine, respect them for giving you asylum. One day you will be expelled from Palestine, Inshallah. Give me the strongest man from Israel, I will break him.”

The post has been since deleted, but not before Natan Levy — a Jewish Israeli fighter in the UFC — took a screenshot of Chimaev’s remarks, shared it on X/Twitter, and responded with his own message on Thursday. Levy, 31, asked if the 29-year-old Swedish fighter would like to spar with him.

“Khamzat, If you have a problem with me or my people, I’m very easy to find. One phone call to [UFC President] Dana White is all it takes,” wrote Levy, whose nickname is “Lethal” according to ESPN.

Levy then tried to “educate” Chimaev about geography in the region, saying in part, “WE ARE NOT GUESTS, WE ARE HOME … We are willing to share the land and we have, but we will never leave it! Your hateful statements do nothing but intensify the conflict and tear us further apart.”
Critical Anti-Zionism and Ethnic Studies
The fox is in the hen-house. What many of us have warned about has come to fruition. Antisemitism has been institutionalized within the K12 public school system. Over the summer of 2023 a group of scholar-activists formed an “institute” whose mission is to “critically study” Zionism and disconnect Jewish identity from it. Although anti-zionist antisemitism is nothing new in academia, it is new in K12 education. Leaders of the Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism hold positions of power and privilege within multiple university systems, including the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), which is at the forefront of pushing educators to adopt critical ethnic studies into all subjects in K12 classrooms.

Professor Christine Hong, Chair of the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) department and Director of the Center for Racial Justice at UCSC, is a founding member of the Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism (ICSZ). She is also a leading voice, advocating that antisemites like herself be in charge of ethnic studies in K12 schools across the Golden State. The University of California Santa Cruz department that Hong heads, CRES, is also one of the co-sponsors of ICSZ’s upcoming conference, Battling the IHRA definition: Theory & activism.

I strongly believe in academic freedom, where scholars and students explore multiple positions on issues . However, K12 students should not be subjected to radical indoctrination that has been promoted by a narrow band of ideologues from the University of California system. UC Santa Cruz’ CRES department is doing just that – indoctrinating future teachers to bring antisemitism into their K12 classrooms. In fact, in an informational video, the CRES department states, “Our focus spans the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the African Diaspora, Palestine, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the United States,” mentioning “Palestine” while not specifying other foreign nations.

If this were only occurring in one obscure academic department, perhaps I wouldn’t be so concerned. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The CRES department at UCSC boasts that it is the “…only department within the Humanities, Social Sciences or Arts to partner with Education (department) to offer 4+1… and after 5 years graduate with a BA in CRES, an MA in Education, and a teaching credential that prepares you to teach at the K12 level.” CRES’ entire mission is to produce educators who are fully indoctrinated in antisemitism, and the mandate to teach ethnic studies in California classrooms is providing them cover to do exactly that.

Penn leaders cite academic freedom, allowing event to proceed despite some speakers’ antisemitic history
Although much of the discussion has centered on antisemitic and anti-Israel speakers at the event, the itinerary also includes sessions that spout Jew-hatred.

“Whether it be against the Crusaders or Napoleon, the British Empire or Israel, Palestinians have continued to assert our will to determine our own outcomes and have sacrificed heavily to deliver a steadfast tradition in the face of colonialism, that seeks to subdue it and replace it,” reads the description of a panel on Palestinian youth.

A panel on “culinary appropriation” accuses the “Zionist occupation” of claiming “Arab indigenous cuisine from Palestine and the region as their own—hummus, falafel, couscous,” and “it has exploited the labor of Palestinian cuisine, stolen it and denied such actions.” Another panel description refers to “the daily struggles of Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal military occupation,” while three others reference Israeli “apartheid.”

“Penn’s inaction here speaks volumes, which makes their statement meaningless,” said Liora Rez, CEO of Stop Antisemitism, in a statement provided to JNS.

“Their position not only fosters an environment that’s conducive to increased antisemitism and bigotry but also highlights a troubling double standard,” she added. “If this conference was targeting any other marginalized group, it would likely be canceled.”

The watchdog group CAMERA stated that it “unequivocally supports free speech,” but “institutions of higher learning are also expected to provide intellectual rigor and a certain level of cultural sophistication. By providing a platform for antisemites, Palestine Writes is failing to fulfill the school’s academic mission.”

Princeton president defends antisemitic book in curriculum, citing free speech
In response to mounting criticism over the inclusion of a controversial book in a course syllabus—as initially broken by Ynetnews—Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber has issued his first public statement, emphasizing the institution's commitment to academic freedom and to "fostering a welcoming environment for students." This development comes on the heels of Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) publicly urging the removal of the book in a letter earlier this week.

The book in question, titled “The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability,” is part of the syllabus for NES 301: The Healing Humanities — Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South, a course taught by Prof. Satyel Larson. The book's description characterizes Israel as using "liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies."

Efforts to remove the book from the syllabus have been met with resistance from various campus groups, including the left-leaning Alliance of Jewish Progressives and the pro-free speech Princeton Open Campus Coalition.

Gottheimer’s letter to Eisgruber accused the book of delving into "antisemitic blood libel" and promoting "false" allegations against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He called on the university to reconsider its decision to include the work of author Jasbir Puar on the school's reading list. In his letter, Gottheimer also pointed out that Princeton's inclusion of the book could be viewed as running contrary to the law in New Jersey, which prohibits support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement.

Gottheimer, a centrist Democrat, represents a district in Northern New Jersey and has previously criticized higher education institutions for allegedly promoting antisemitism. Up until this point, Princeton University had not publicly addressed the controversy surrounding the book, a story initially exposed on Ynet.

However, President Eisgruber recently spoke about academic freedom during a faculty meeting, addressing the growing trend of faculty members being targeted on social media for teaching controversial topics. Eisgruber reaffirmed the university's commitment to supporting faculty in such situations.

#EndJewHatred leads protest against CUNY
End Jew Hatred, a movement dedicated to fighting antisemitism held a protest outside of the City University of New York (CUNY) on Tuesday.

The protest came in the wake of a series of incidents deemed as antisemitic by many observers including the university’s opening of investigations into four Jewish professors who raised the issue of antisemitism on campus to university leadership and the university’s platforming of anti-Israel commencement speaker Fatima Mohammad.

Mohammad used her platform to accuse Israel of settler colonialism, indiscriminately murdering Palestinians, encouraging lynch mobs, expelling Palestinians, committing an ongoing “Nakba” against Palestinians, and more.

Mohammad additionally encouraged a fight against Zionism around the world.

In response to a perceived ongoing state of antisemitism at the university, Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY (SAFE CUNY) released a 12-page report in March slamming CUNY as the most systemically antisemitic university in the United States.

Speaking with the Jerusalem Post, attorney Gerard Filitti noted, "There is absolutely systemic antisemitism at CUNY and the administration has done nothing to address it. And this is why we were there to protest."

Filitti is senior counsel at the Lawfare project, one of the organizations that founded the End Jew Hatred Movement.

Filitti went on to add that there had been a brazen lack of action on behalf of university leadership in regard to combating antisemitism, even while local individuals and bodies were attempting to engage the university in such efforts.

The protest at CUNY took place outside the chancellor's office on New York’s E 42nd Street. Filitti estimates at least 150 people showed up to the rally to make their voices heard.

The Lawfare Project senior counsel went on to highlight what he saw as a spread of antisemitism across campuses nationwide.

Florida man arrested for hanging swastika banner on highway overpass
A Florida man who authorities described as being a member of an extremist group has been arrested for displaying a banner with swastikas on a highway overpass, a violation of a new state law that makes it a crime to display images onto a structure without permission.

The law was passed earlier this year in response to the distribution of antisemitic literature and the projection of racist and antisemitic words on buildings.

The man from Cape Canaveral was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Brevard County Jail on an arrest warrant from Orange County in Orlando.

According to the arrest warrant, the man, along with others dressed in black and camouflage, displayed the banner with swastikas and a “white power” flag over an overpass that crossed Interstate 4 in Orlando in June.

“The displaying of these signs and banners onto the fence was knowingly and intentionally done without the written consent of Orange County,” the arrest warrant said.

The man is part of an antisemitic extremist group, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a news release. He is facing a charge of criminal mischief.

There are three outstanding arrest warrants for other demonstrators who live out of state, the FDLE said.

‘Fauda’ Remake in India Gets Confirmed for a Second Season
The Indian adaptation of the hit Israeli televisions series Fauda has been renewed for a second season, Israel’s yes Studios announced on Thursday.

The production and distribution company said the format rights for the second season of the Fauda remake in India, called Tanaav, have been secured by Applause Entertainment, the content studio of India’s Aditya Birla Group.

The first season of Tanaav — which premiered in India in November 2022 and was also adapted by Applause Entertainment — took place in Kashmir and centered on a special task force fighting terrorism in the region. Season one featured an Indian cast that included Manav Vij, Sumit Kaul, Rajat Kapoor, and Shashank Arora. It was directed by Sudhir Mishra (Serious Men) and co-directed by Sachin Mamta Krishn (Hostages).

Details about the show’s second season have yet to be revealed.

Sameer Nair, managing director of Applause Entertainment, said in a statement that he is excited for the second season of Tanaav following the first season’s “resounding success.” He added, “The teams at Applause and Sony LIV are pumped as we set out to craft an even more gripping tale for our audience with a season two. Stay tuned for an extraordinary tale of courage, conflict, and camaraderie as we embark on this exciting new adventure.”

Sharon Levi, managing director of yes Studios, praised the show’s success.

“Fauda was our first big global hit and Tanaav its first local adaptation,” she said in a statement. “It was very important for us to work with the right partner, one that could deftly cover differing perspectives in a highly complex situation and create interesting and relevant characters anchored in its own unique local setting and circumstances. The Applause Entertainment team did all this brilliantly, and we can’t wait to see what they have planned for season two.”
Air taxis fly over Jerusalem for 1st time as Israel builds airspace network of drones
Israel on Wednesday expanded test flights of air taxis to urban areas in Jerusalem as it prepares the airspace for a drone delivery network of passengers and heavy cargo to ease traffic congestion on the country’s roads.

During the demonstration, which is part of a NIS 60 million ($15.7 million) two-year government-led pilot project, also known as the Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI), experimental flights of an autonomous flying vehicle, a Chinese-made electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with long-distance capabilities, took off from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, flew over the hills of the city and landed back at the medical center’s premises after less than half an hour.

The overall aim of the project is to fly passengers and heavy cargo from one place to another and relieve traffic congestion on Israel’s busy roads by using drones, as well as provide commercial and public services, in particular in life-saving missions in emergency scenarios such as earthquakes with mass casualties, and for urgent medical supplies and tests.

“What we’re looking at here is how Israel’s National Drone Initiative is expanding its scope to move beyond transporting packages to transporting human beings,” said Daniella Partem, senior director at the Israel Innovation Authority. “We are looking to improve the economic viability of this model and advance connectivity in urban areas and further afield around the world.”
United Hatzalah opens medical clinics in Atlas Mountains to aid quake victims
United Hatzalah’s disaster-relief mission has been operating in Morocco since Sept. 10, two days after the nearly 6.9 magnitude earthquake devastated parts of the country, particularly in the west in and around Marrakesh, killing nearly 3,000 people.

The team’s first goal was to assess the needs of the Moroccan people and coordinate efforts with the government and community leaders to determine how best to assist affected citizens. The decision was made to open medical clinics in villages in the Atlas Mountains that have not yet been able to receive medical care or other assistance.

Early Thursday afternoon, the team had set up two medical clinics in different villages in the Atlas Mountains to treat injured and ill people. There are still many villages deep in the mountains that have not yet received any medical or humanitarian aid, although in many places, search-and-rescue crews are busy trying to find survivors in the rubble.

“We chose the specific villages in coordination with local leaders who told us that they have yet to receive medical care in their villages,” said Linor Attias, deputy director of emergency operations. “We are coming to be a force multiplier for local services and assist where we people have not yet received aid.” The team, which will now focus on operating the medical clinics, is comprised of both Muslim and Jewish volunteers, several of whom are Arabic and French speakers. Credit: United Hatzalah.

The team, which will now focus on operating the medical clinics, is comprised of both Muslim and Jewish volunteers, and includes two doctors, as well as a dozen EMTs and paramedics. Several of are Arabic and French speakers. Three of the volunteers are part of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit and can provide psychological first aid and stabilization where needed. Three other volunteers have expertise in search-and-rescue operations, including one firefighter, and one member of Israel’s search-and-rescue teams.
Global Jewish population hits 15.7 million ahead of new year, 46% of them in Israel
The global Jewish population climbed to 15.7 million over the last year, while the number of those living in Israel hit 7.2 million, according to figures the Jewish Agency released on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

The data showed that the global Jewish population grew by some 100,000 over the past year. Israel accounts for 46 percent of the world Jewry, similar to the previous year, with 8.5 million living in communities in the Diaspora.

Following Israel, the United States has the second-largest Jewish population with around 6.3 million.

The countries with the next 10 largest Jewish populations are France (440,000), Canada (398,000), the United Kingdom (312,000), Argentina (171,000), Russia (132,000), Germany (125,000), Australia (117,200), and Brazil (90,000). The figures were based on estimates by Prof. Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Jewish Agency said some 27,000 Jews live in Muslim-majority countries, with 14,200 in Turkey, 9,100 in Iran, 2,100 in Morocco, 1,000 in Tunisia, and 500 in the United Arab Emirates.

There were 80 countries in the world with Jewish populations between 100 and 10,000 people.
How roving rabbis help the few Jews of rural Australia celebrate Rosh Hashanah
Ruth Hannah has lived in the Australian coastal town of Mallacoota for more than 30 years. The 72-year-old daughter of Holocaust survivors knows of only one other Jewish person in her town, which has a population of 1,183 people.

Known for its beautiful beaches and wildlife, Mallacoota is located near the middle of a 650-mile coastal route from Melbourne to Sydney. Along that route, there is not a single city with more than 50,000 people within a 5-hour drive. Unsurprisingly, preparing for Jewish festivals in the region can be challenging.

“Mallacoota is one of the most remote towns in [the state of] Victoria, so we don’t have a shul,” or synagogue, said Hannah.

Since the 1980s, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement — a Hasidic sect that focuses on outreach to Jews in countries around the world — has filled the void for Hannah and thousands of other Jews scattered across the less populated areas of the outback. Most Chabad emissaries focus on Jewish life in one locale, but Rabbi Menachem Aron and his wife, Rebbetzin Shevi Aron, who are based in Melbourne, coordinate the Chabad of RARA — short for Regional and Rural Australia.

“People want connection. You see how much they need it and appreciate it. It’s really rewarding,” Menachem Aron told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “You see on their faces. Living in these places is not just far away from a Jewish community, it’s also isolating. People don’t have access to the most basic things…like groceries or healthcare. You can wait eight weeks to see a [doctor]. So, it’s quite challenging for anyone.”

Like other Chabad chapters around the world, the RARA branch often sends Jews care packages with food and materials to use in celebrating holidays. For Rosh Hashanah, Jews like Hannah will receive honey cookies and shofars.

But Chabad of RARA also sends out groups of roving rabbis to drive thousands of miles across Australia’s outback to visit Jews and deliver supplies in person. The Arons coordinate groups of young Chabad students from yeshivas around the world who come to Australia for the Northern Hemisphere summer, to conduct visits to Jews living across Australia in some of the least inhabited places on earth.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Rosh Hashanah Greeting
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Rosh Hashanah greeting: "To the Jewish communities around the world, Shana Tova.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, I want to wish all of us and all of you two things: unity and peace. Unity doesn’t mean that we don’t have arguments. We do. Israel is a vibrant democracy and will remain so. But we should always remember as we seek to reach a consensus that we are one people, one state, we have one army and we have a shared past and a common future. If we remember that, if we keep in mind these basic truths, we’ll have less division and more unity.

And the other great opportunity we have is peace. We’ve already achieved a historic breakthrough with the Abraham Accords, peace between Israel and four Arab states, in addition to the peace treaties we had with Egypt and Jordan. But this year affords—as I hope—the promise of a great opportunity: peace with Saudi Arabia. That will begin to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and will also begin to foster a new relationship between the Jewish people and billions of Muslims around the world.

These are my hopes for this year: unity and peace. I know you share that with me. May it be a blessing for all of us."

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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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