Thursday, September 21, 2023

From Ian:

On Behalf of Their People
Any book on Jewish statesmanship must contend with the fact that for most of the past two millennia, Jews had no state. Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land came to a cataclysmic end in 70 C.E., when the Roman legions under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and burned its great temple. Not until 1948, with the proclamation of the new State of Israel, would Jewish statehood be revived in the Jewish homeland.

In Providence and Power: Ten Portraits in Jewish Statesmanship, Meir Y. Soloveichik sets out to fill a gap in the vast literature of political leadership—the lack, in his words, of any studies focused on “the particular nature of Jewish statecraft” or devoted to “outstanding exemplars of that calling.” To remedy that deficiency, he profiles an array of leaders drawn from the long history of the Jewish people, from the biblical King David in the 10th century B.C.E. to David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin 3,000 years later.

David, the quintessential Jewish monarch, reigned in Jerusalem during the First Jewish Commonwealth. Ben-Gurion and Begin, the most important prime ministers in the history of modern Israel, likewise governed a sovereign Jewish state. But just one other leader included by Soloveichik was a Jewish ruler in a Jewish land: the Second Temple–era Queen Shlomtsion (also known as Salome Alexandra), who became monarch of Judea a century before the Roman conquest.

In the context of Providence and Power, those four are the exceptions to the rule. All the book’s other subjects—among them the Sephardi sage and courtier Don Isaac Abravanel; the eminent 17th-century Amsterdam rabbi Menasseh ben Israel; and Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism—were individuals who lived after Jewish national independence was crushed and before it was reborn. They represented no Jewish government; they were not diplomats or foreign ministers answerable to a Jewish principal; they were not backed by the authority of any Jewish army, parliament, or regime. So isn’t it something of a stretch to hold them out as archetypes of Jewish statesmanship?
Antisemitism is an ancient hatred, merely its expression has changed
Antisemitism, it seems, spreads and takes shape according to circumstances. Recent attacks on figures like Russian-Israeli Jewish businessman Roman Abramovich exemplify this, reflecting a “soft underbelly” for antisemitic sentiments in Europe that has developed also into hatred for Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Anyone who is from Russia, even if they had to flee from there – especially when they are part of the Jewish collective – is an easy target for antisemitic hatred. The arguments against that person are irrelevant since there will always be a reason to hate them; either they are a rich person who takes advantage of others, or they are a poor parasite.

The hatred of Israel in Europe is influenced by pro-Islamic fundamentalist forces, while in the US, it thrives within “progressive enlightened” societies. They attack Jewish and Israeli morality with current terms that are unauthentic and while using “court Jews.” This winning card appeared in the past since its power is derived from “the fact” that the Jews criticize their own society.

It is crucial to recognize that the sources of hatred remain constant, whether “court Jews” join these ranks willingly or are co-opted by anti-Israel forces in a corrupt way to weaponize them and their messages. However, we must not be unduly alarmed by new manifestations of hatred, as they ultimately belong to the same age-old category of antisemitism.

Lastly, we should not use antisemitism as a means to absolve individuals, communities, or the Jewish people from self-examination or responsibility for upholding Jewish and human values. The presence of antisemitism should not serve as a justification for overlooking shortcomings within the Jewish community, society, or the state.

While we must remain vigilant against antisemitism in all its forms, we must not take too seriously the ultra-modern antisemitic attacks against individuals and communities stemming from illogical and irrational hatred.
The Jews of Uman ‘fear God’s judgment more than Russian tanks’
While Uman is hundreds of miles from the front lines, like all Ukrainian cities it remains a target of Russian missile attacks, such as one last April that claimed 23 lives, including three children.

But nothing seems to deter Menachem, a father of two who works in an art gallery. “In Israel, we can also be attacked at any moment, whether it’s rockets, a knife attack, or something else.

“There are all kinds of Jews in Uman. You can see Breslov Chasidim like me, but also Litvaks, Sephardim, Yemenite Jews, Ethiopians — we all have our differences, but we come together as one people around the grave of our master.” David and Yehouda, from Paris, came without much regard for what was happening in the news.

“Everyone in our community thought we were crazy, but here we are,” says Yehouda, a company executive.

They are seated at a long iron container that offers free coffee, tea, water and food to the pilgrims day and night.

Nachman supposedly promised that anyone who visited his tomb, gave to charity and recited ten psalms would be spared the fires of hell.

“That’s why it’s essential for us to be here. We fear God’s judgment more than Russian tanks,” says David.

The Caroline Glick Show : The Real Enemy of the People - the Media
Is the media complicit in creating division and hate in Israel? Have we been lied to all along?

In this week’s Caroline Glick Show, Caroline was reunited with her one-time co-host, historian and political commentator Gadi Taub.

They discuss
- how journalism in Israel has gone from bad to worse in its corruption and complicity with one side of the aisle.
- Gadi's own journey from left to right and how the left truly views the opposition.
- What the future holds for Israel as the opposition to judicial reform becomes more and more radicalized.

Missouri adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism
Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a declaration that adopted the working definition of antisemitism as established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The declaration additionally recognized September 2023 as Jewish American Heritage Month in Missouri on Tuesday.

The news was detailed in a Tuesday press release from the Missouri governor’s office.

The governor’s proclamation highlights a historical connection between Missouri and Israel among its premises, recounting how President Harry S. Truman, who himself was from Missouri, was “the first world leader to officially recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state on May 14, 1948.”

“While we always want to recognize, honor, and appreciate the contributions members of the Jewish faith make to our culture and communities across the state,” Governor Parson said, “we especially want to do so during Jewish American Heritage Month. We also want to take this opportunity to unequivocally reject antisemitism towards Jewish people and bigotry of any kind. Today and every day, we say hate and discrimination have no home in Missouri."

The declaration goes on to celebrate the long history of Jews in the state, recognizing their roles as community leaders and contributors to Missouran society.

It also notes that, as of last year, Jews made up 1.1% of the state’s population.

Furthermore, the declaration notes that Jewish American Heritage Month plays a significant role in recognizing the contributions of American Jews to the country and recognizes antisemitism as an ongoing problem that Missouri categorically opposes and states that society should strive to eliminate.

MEMRI: The 75th Anniversary Of The Execution Of Iraqi Jewish Merchant Shafiq Adas And The Expulsion Of Iraq's Jewish Communities
The trial and execution of Shafiq Adas 75 years ago are fairly well documented. The purpose of this report is to shed light on the political atmosphere that prevailed in the Iraq that led to his tragic death, which ultimately triggered the mass emigration of Iraqi Jews.

For me, this story is also personal history, since I lived through these events. The events I'm describing occurred when I was 16 years old living in Basra, Iraq. I was not particularly close to Adas, but I saw him frequently, because a close relative of mine was Adas's right-hand man and sat next to him in the office of his car dealership (Adas and his brother Ibrahim were the sole agents in Iraq of Ford Motor Co., Michelin tires, and some other automotive companies). Almost every time I visited my relative, Mr. Adas was there, and we referred to him as Abu Zaki.

Martial Law In Iraq
The Iraqi government announced martial law several hours before the establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948. The reason for the martial law was allegedly to protect the rear of the Iraqi army, which participated in the war against the nascent State of Israel.

Initially, the Jewish community felt that martial law would provide them with sufficient security and prevent the mob from harming like it had in 1941, when a pro-Nazi government instigated violence against the Jewish community, an event that is commonly referred to as the Farhud.[1] However, the martial law in fact created four military tribunals. One of them was located in Basra and it was charged with trying "spies, Zionists, and communists." The Jewish community in Iraq soon discovered that the martial law was not meant to protect the rear of the Iraqi military, but to harass and punish the Jewish community, particularly given the poor performance of the Iraqi army in the war.

The Jews Will Be Fuel For A Fire That Will Consume Them
Life for Jews in Iraq became increasingly dangerous. An illustrative example is that in 1948, Iraq had one national radio station, and multiple times a day it would broadcast the chant: "Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv will be roasted by flames and the Jews, the Jews will be the fuel."

Newspapers also published vicious antisemitic stories accusing Iraq's Jews of being a fifth column for the "Zionist entity," and Adas was singled out in these accusations, on the basis for unfounded allegations. The Istiqlal Party, with the support of Defense Minister Sadiq al-Bassam, launched demonstrations in Baghdad and Basra demanding that Adas be executed. The mouthpiece of the party was the ultra-nationalist newspaper Al-Istiqlal, under Editor-in-Chief Fa'iq al-Samara'i,[2] who led a vicious campaign against the Iraqi Jewish community and against Adas in particular.

An even more vicious newspaper was Al-Yaqdha, edited by Salman al-Safwani. It said that the Jews are Zionists and should not be treated as equal citizens. It was obsessed with Adas and similarly carried out a campaign against him. Ishaq Bar-Moshe relates in his book The Exit from Iraq that while carrying a copy of Al-Yaqdha, he walked into a shop, and the Armenian shopkeeper, an acquaintance of his, looked at the newspaper and asked: "So what are the headlines about Adas?"[3]
Yisrael Medad: Marking the Centennary of Berlin's Scheunenviertel Pogrom
It was, as claimed, the first pogrom in Berlin.

It took place in the Scheunenviertel (Barn) quarter in the first week of November 1923. It was termed the "Ostjudenpogrom". The area is today, less than one-half square mile, is now Berlin's Mitte district, not far from the historic city center, north of the city wall between Hackescher Markt and today's Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

Earlier in 1923:
the Berlin police chief Wilhelm Richter ordered a large-scale raid against the Jewish population in the Scheunenviertel, during which around 300 Jewish men, women and children were picked up by the police and interned in a “Jewish camp” near Zossen, a chilling precursor to what would happen over the next 20 years.

This is from the JTA report on the events of the pogrom:
Jews of Berlin Attacked by Mob of 30,000 November 6, 1923
"...a mob of 30,000 stronge invaded the Jewish sections of the city and carried out the first pogrom in the history of Berlin. Anti-Jewish riots commencing in the afternoon in Grenadierstrasse, and Dragonerstrasse, inhabited largely by East-European Jews,
How Israel's Missile Defense System Is Being Used to Defend Europe
The Arrow 3 missile defense system is the most powerful and longest-range member of the Arrow Weapon System family. It is built to defend Israel against the most lethal Iranian ballistic missiles, with the capability to lock on, intercept, and destroy incoming missiles while still deep in outer space.

Israel's Arrow 2 system can intercept ballistic missiles fired from Iran but its interception altitudes were inside the Earth's atmosphere, where the blast and radiation from a nuclear explosion could still cause severe damage on the ground.

The Arrow 3 addresses this by destroying nuclear missiles on their way to Israel when they were still in outer space. Arrow 3's first successful interception test took place in 2015 and the first production missiles were delivered to the Israel Air Force in 2017. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Germany became practically disarmed. But its largely complacent worldview was shattered by Putin's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, resulting in a veritable U-turn in German national security policy, with missile defense high on Germany's rearmament priority list. Germany selected Arrow 3 over the U.S.-made Lockheed Martin THAAD.

In response to the perception of the growing threat from Russia, in July 2022 Germany announced the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) to create a European air and missile defense system. 19 European nations have joined the initiative. The three-layer system will be based on the German-made Iris T short-range system, the mid-range U.S.-supplied Patriot system, and the Israel-supplied Arrow 3 system providing the upper layer.
Why I Continue to Invest in Israel
As the founder and CEO of several companies that went from startup to IPO, I've raised more than $1.7 billion through public and private debt and equity markets. The lessons of this experience have driven me to make increasingly significant investments in Israel over the past decade. The cold-hearted business case for investing in Israel has never been clearer.

Israeli start-ups have the best track record of success. Israel now has 41 unicorns, the most per capita in the world. I've been involved with a number of these unicorns and witnessed their explosive growth. You just can't argue with Israel's success in penetrating new areas of technology, and the financial benefit it brings.

In fields from AI to blockchain to water and sustainable energy to cultured meat, Israelis bring together a density of expertise, a bold attitude that allows for risk-taking and experimentation, and a unique pipeline connecting world-renowned academic institutions with business. I am confident that the economic miracle that has been the Startup Nation over the past two decades is just getting started.
UK Signs Deal with Israel to Collaborate on Science, Innovation and Technology
Israel and the UK have signed a memorandum of understanding for "faster and deeper collaboration" on science, innovation and technology.

The agreement commits the parties to a total of 1.7 million pounds in support to research focused on technologies critical to our future prosperity and quality of life.

The funding includes 1.1 million pounds earmarked for the UK-Israel Innovation Mobility Scheme, supporting UK-based researchers to travel to Israel and work jointly with Israeli partners at top Israeli institutions.
Palestinians Need their own Vision 2030
Arab animosity toward Israel has been based on Palestinian loss of land. Starting with the Camp David Accord in 1979, and the Fes Plan in 1981 and 1982, re-endorsed as the Arab Peace Initiative in Beirut in 2002 and again at the Arab League Summit in Jeddah in May, Arabs have imagined that a better Palestinian future is incumbent on a land-for-peace arrangement with Israel.

But judging by the economic model of the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and other countries, land has stopped serving as an instrument of wealth generation. For example, the territory of Singapore, an economic miracle, is double the size of the Gaza Strip, with twice the population. The economy of Singapore, however, is among the best in the word. Gaza’s economy is among the worst.

Like land, sovereignty is not a prerequisite for economic prosperity anymore. Self-governed territories, such as Catalunya in Spain and Scotland and Wales in the United Kingdom, are thriving. From time to time, these territories hold referendums for independence.

Palestinians have yet to factor in the heavy cost that “resistance” is inflicting on their economy. According to the IMF, “following the post-pandemic rebound in 2021, growth nearly halved to 3.9% in 2022 and is expected to further decline to 3% in 2023.” Early “signs of asset quality deterioration are emerging, and continued vigilance is required in view of rising interest rates and accumulating domestic [Palestinian Authority] arrears.” Soon, Palestinians might suffer a loss of deposits, similar to what happened in Lebanon, given the exposure of their banks to unsustainable public debt.

For a better future, Palestinians need their own Vision 2030, regardless of when Saudi Arabia normalizes relations with Israel.

Instead of insisting on governing the mostly arid and sparsely populated Area C in the West Bank, Palestinians should build capacity in territory they already govern — Area A, B and the Gaza Strip. Capacity means the rule of law, the development of human resources and infrastructure, and joining Israel and the world in global economic growth multipliers, such as IMEC.

Since the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli conflict, almost a century ago, many Arabs — starting with Palestinians in 1936 — put the economy at the service of their conflict with Israel. Now is the time for the Arabs and Palestinians to put peace with Israel at the service of their economy and prosperity.
BBC WS radio presentation of the PA succession conundrum – part one
The question of who will succeed the octogenarian Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is one which has long been under discussion by regional analysts and commentators. However, the BBC’s serial under-reporting of internal Palestinian affairs means that audiences have to date been given little insight into that topic.

On September 14th the BBC World Service radio programme ‘The Inquiry’ aired an edition titled ‘What’s next for Palestinian leadership?’ which will remain available online for over a year.
“The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is ageing and his ruling Fatah party is deeply unpopular. There have been protests against him and the Palestinian Authority. Many Palestinians feel the PA has lost legitimacy.

There’s no plan for how to choose a successor to Mahmoud Abbas and any candidate is likely to be controversial. There’s a risk that an unpopular replacement may throw the occupied territories into chaos, even violence, and have major implications for the future goals of Palestinian people.”

In her introduction, presenter Emily Wither (who is based in Istanbul) described the programme as presenting “one question, four expert witnesses and an answer”. However, as is all too often the case in BBC content relating to Palestinian affairs, listeners rapidly discover that a significant proportion of the programme’s portrayal of the declared topic of internal Palestinian politics is devoted to Israel.

Wither’s introduction begins thus:
Wither: “This year has been the deadliest on record for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. In July Israeli forces carried out their largest scale military operation there in decades, focused on Jenin. Israel says the city was being used to launch attacks on their citizens. Palestinians say they’re defending their land against increasing expansion of Israeli settlements – illegal under international law.”

BBC audiences around the world are not informed that the overwhelming majority of the Palestinians killed so far this year were terrorists or males engaged in terror attacks or violent rioting at the time rather than just random “Palestinians”. Neither are they told in the BBC’s own words that Jenin is a hub of terrorist activity from which around fifty attacks had been launched as well as a hiding place for wanted terrorists. Wither does not bother to clarify that there are no “Israeli settlements” in Area A where Jenin is located before continuing with yet more portrayal of armed terrorists as mere “Palestinians”:
BBC WS radio presentation of the PA succession conundrum – part two
Abdel Razek goes on to claim that the “international community” is also complicit because it prefers to maintain the PA’s political status quo “in the name of stability instead of actually giving Palestinians their political agency and freedom”.

The Abraham Accords are portrayed by Wither as potentially having “implications for the Palestinian cause” without any clarification of what that “cause” entails. Listeners are told that the agreements normalise “the current situation in which basically the Palestinians are completely left out and marginalised” but no effort is made to inform BBC audiences that the Palestinians themselves chose to boycott the Abraham Accords.

Abdel Razek’s final contribution clarifies that what interests her is not in fact internal Palestinian politics or the everyday lives of the Palestinian people when she claims that “the only sustainable path” is for “Palestinians to be allowed to have again a renewed national representation that can challenge the occupation”.

The programme closes with Wither summing up “what’s next?”. The scenarios include “continuity” with a take-over by one of Abbas’ allies, a mention of “unlikely” elections and “more violence” leading to the collapse of the PA. Withers’ final conclusion is that in the current situation, the “prospects of statehood are even further from grasp”.

Clearly this programme did not provide BBC audiences with much information to familiarise them with any of the people who might potentially succeed Mahmoud Abbas. Instead, a twenty-three-minute programme supposedly purporting to give an answer to the question of “what’s next for Palestinian leadership?” put far more focus on issues other than internal Palestinian politics, including Israel (although without even one Israeli contributor) and the ‘peace process’, while making no serious effort to objectively inform listeners on the obviously relevant topic of why that process has failed to date and the connection between that and the “prospects of statehood” for Palestinians.

In fact, the main purpose of this production appears to be consistent with the BBC policy in recent years of providing a platform from which inadequately presented ‘one-staters’ can mainstream their idea of a ‘solution’ to the conflict while failing to clarify that what they advocate is in fact the demise of the Jewish state.

Archbishop of Canterbury hosts hardline Islamists for tea and cake
The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed two controversial Muslim leaders to Lambeth Palace for tea and cake last week, including a cleric with close ties to the brutal Iranian regime, the JC can reveal.

Mohammad Ali Shomali, who met Justin Welby, spent five years as the UK representative of the Iranian supreme leader in his role as the head of the Islamic Centre of England (ICE), the London mosque that is currently the subject of a Charity Commission inquiry because of its role in promoting extremism.

Also on the guest list was Mohammed Kozbar, a leader of the Muslim Council of Britain who praised the founder of the Hamas terror group as a “holy warrior”.

Welby posted a gushing message after the event, saying it was a “pleasure to welcome friends”, adding that he had enjoyed “the honest sharing of different perspectives”.

Lord Carlile KC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said the Church had to be more careful in choosing its partners for interfaith events, citing the report published earlier this year by Sir William Shawcross on the government’s Prevent programme that is supposed to curb extremism.

He added it was a "serious error of judgment" to engage in discussions with those who have been seen as "apologists" for "extremism".

Stephen Crabb MP, the Commons Parliamentary Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, said: “These reports represent another painful reminder of the Iranian regime’s increasingly emboldened interference in the UK. It is particularly troubling that invaluable interfaith work is being undermined by extremists.”

The day-long gathering at Lambeth Palace library was organised by the Christian Muslim Forum (CMF), a taxpayer-funded group of which Welby has been patron since it was founded in 2006. Welby has welcomed Shomali to Lambeth Palace on at least two previous occasions, in 2016 and 2017.
Despite What Those Shadowy, Elite, Rich Jews Say, We're Not Antisemites
The "Palestine Writes Literary Festival" is being held at the University of Pennsylvania later this week. This has attracted severe criticism from Jewish groups and individuals within and without Penn because some of the speakers have a history of engaging in antisemitic rhetoric.

The Penn administration acknowledges that people have raised concerns about several speakers who "have a documented and troubling history of engaging in antisemitism by speaking and acting in ways that denigrate Jewish people." Penn nevertheless defends hosting the conference on academic freedom grounds, but adds that the conference was not organized by the university.

OK, but one may wonder why several academic departments are "sponsors" of the festival, meaning that they are providing funding. It's not an academic conference, as such; some of the speakers are neither Palestinians, academics, nor poets; and it's hard to imagine these departments funding a conference featuring speakers with a similar history of denigrating other minority groups.

Be that as it may, the organizers of Palestine Writes want you to know that the charges of antisemitism leveled against their conference are false. Hmm.

Well, if you want to know how NOT to start a letter defending yourself from accusations of antisemitism, you can use this letter as a model. After noting that the festival has been harshly criticized by "the Jewish Federation and the ADL," the organizers have this to say:
unlike our detractors, we do not operate in the shadows nor among elite decision makers and funders. Rather, we value transparency and public access, accountability, and scrutiny. We are also acutely aware of the power disparity between these highly funded, connected and organized Zionist organizations versus our small cultural institution run by volunteers and student organizations, most of them Penn students.

Talk about self-owns… The organizers are so clueless about antisemitism that they engage in classic anti-Jewish tropes while defending themselves from charges of antisemitism. Which kinda undermines anything else they have said or will say in their defense.

UPenn hosting ‘antisemitic’ literature festival featuring speakers who said ‘death to Israel,’ donned ‘Nazi’ outfit
A Palestinian literature festival that will be hosted at the University of Pennsylvania this week is coming under fire for featuring speakers who have made “antisemitic” comments, including “Death to Israel,” and someone who has worn a Nazi-style uniform.

Penn will host the Palestine Writes Literature Festival from Friday through Sunday at various locations on campus.

It’s sponsored by school groups that include the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Kelly Writers House, and the Middle East Center, according to an event page on Penn’s website.

The event is billed as showcasing “dozens of writers, artists, publishers, performers, and scholars to explore the richness and diversity of Palestinian culture.”

Weeks before the event was set to kick off, students and Jewish groups sounded off that many of the planned speakers have a history of making antisemitic comments and that Jewish students could be vulnerable to discrimination from “anti-Jewish propaganda” at the event.

“While we appreciate the learning opportunity that can come from Palestinian literature, we are concerned that the students will be exposed to anti-Jewish propaganda, harm Jewish students who take Arabic, and open the Jewish community at Penn to discrimination,” a group of 15 students wrote to school administrators, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper.

The event has drawn harsh criticism from others across the country, including Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Giménez, who told Fox News Digital the literature festival “fuels hatred.”

“Antisemitism has no place anywhere,” Giménez said. “I strongly condemn an event like the Palestine Writes Literature Festival that fuels hatred and perpetuates despicable antisemitic canards.”

Antisemitic tirades at San Diego City Council meeting highlight perils of anonymous public comment
The San Diego City Council is denouncing hate after a handful of anonymous public commenters repeatedly launched into antisemitic tirades at Monday's council meeting.

The disruptions highlight the downsides to opening council meetings to virtual, anonymous participation. The council has allowed public comment via phone or Zoom since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has since embraced the option as a way to make council meetings more accessible.

Nearly all the disruptive commenters used fake names, some of which called for violence against Jews or referenced figures in Nazi Germany or neo-Nazism. When they began to make antisemitic remarks, Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe directed them to speak about the topic at hand or else their microphone would be cut off.

University of San Diego law professor Miranda McGowan said that kind of regulation of speech is allowed under the First Amendment. While the Constitution protects almost any kind of speech from a public place like a park or sidewalk, she said, government meetings are considered "limited public forums" where free speech rights can be weighed against the government's need to get through their agenda.

"The City Council has to do its business," McGowan said. "Though the City Council can't shut people down because they think that they are expressing a viewpoint in an offensive way, they can limit people to talking about certain topics."

The council released a joint statement after Monday's meeting saying in part: "As one of the most diverse councils in San Diego's history, we speak in solidarity that there is no space for hate speech and violent misinformation in our city."

San Diego has seen a series of worrisome incidents of antisemitism in recent weeks. Antisemitic flyers were distributed this summer in Allied Gardens and Del Cerro, and in July a rabbi was assaulted at a convenience store near SDSU.
The Missing Terrorists: Media Vague & Uninformative in Reporting on Palestinian Deaths
Six Palestinians were killed in three separate violent clashes with Israeli security forces on September 19 and 20.

One was killed while taking part in violent riots along the border fence between Gaza and Israel, four were killed during armed clashes with Israeli forces conducting an arrest raid in the terror hotbed of Jenin and one was killed after throwing explosives at Israeli forces conducting an arrest operation in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp.

Of the six Palestinians killed, all were involved in violent confrontations with Israeli forces and at least four were known members of internationally recognized terror groups.

However, some mainstream media outlets as well as alternative news sources on social media blurred this salient detail, leaving their audiences uninformed and with the false impression that those Palestinians killed were not actively engaged in violence prior to their deaths.

The Missing Terrorists: The Media’s Vague Headlines & Uninformative Reports
In reporting on these incidents, several news outlets headlined their articles without any reference to their violent background or to the terrorist affiliation of the majority of those who were killed.

The BBC’s headline merely reported that there were “Six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank and Gaza.”

Similarly, the LA Times used an outdated Associated Press headline, “At least 6 Palestinians killed in latest fighting with Israel, health officials say.”

In its report on the clash in Aqabat Jaber, France24’s headline read “Israel army raid in West Bank kills Palestinian.”

As studies show that a large percentage of news consumers just read the headline and not the whole article, it is imperative that news sources relay vital information in their headlines and not just further on in their pieces.
Releasing Storm ‘Daniel’ From The Antisemitic Lions’ Den
What’s the connection between a centuries-old antisemitic conspiracy theory, a deadly storm across the Mediterranean and the world’s top two news agencies?

Unfortunately, it’s more about Judaism than journalism. Here’s why:

Tunisian President Kais Saied apparently found who to blame for Storm Daniel, which killed thousands of people in Libyan floods this month: Zionism.

In an hour-long diatribe in front of his cabinet this week, reminiscent of the worst antisemitic conspiracy theories against Jews, Saied actually said that naming the storm after a Hebrew prophet proved that “The Zionist movement has penetrated to attack the mind and thinking; we’ve fallen into a cognitive coma.”

His absurd claims drew immediate criticism and various media outlets reported them for what they really were: outrageous antisemitic remarks.

But not the Associated Press. The news agency’s headline saying the Tunisian president’s remarks were merely “denounced as antisemitic” created a false dichotomy between fact and interpretation. Thus, it subtly suggested the possibility of seeing what is quite literally gross antisemitic propaganda in a different light:

While it’s understandable that a news agency would try to keep its distance from over-interpreting reality, in this case, AP actually ended up questioning the very label of antisemitism. It’s doubly shocking, because they added the following paragraph:
Names of storms are chosen by meteorological authorities through an alphabetical list alternating female and male easy-to-remember names. Daniel is a very common name across the world.

It’s really as if they avoided the conclusion of calling a spade a spade. And it’s not the first time that AP has let antisemites off the hook, like it recently did with none other than the President of the Palestinian Authority: Won’t Face Facts About Palestinian Terrorists in Push For Punchy Headline
Summarizing the turmoil that has once again roiled the West Bank and the Gaza Strip over the last couple of days, a headline screeched: ‘Six Palestinians Killed In Three Separate Incidents By Israeli Forces Over 24 Hours.’

It is undoubtedly a compelling headline. Before even clicking on the piece, readers are given four distinct pieces of information that paint a profoundly disturbing picture: Israeli soldiers are responsible for the deaths of six Palestinians during incidents that were independent of one another and occurred in an incredibly short time frame.

Now, imagine how different that picture would look if readers were told the following salient facts:
Three of the four men killed during the counterterrorism raid in the terror stronghold Jenin were confirmed terrorists and claimed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Israeli forces came under a brutal assault when they attempted to carry out the arrests, with Islamic Jihad confirming that its members opened fire and detonated explosive devices.
Another Palestinian man killed during a counterterrorism raid in Jericho on Wednesday morning was hurling explosives at soldiers when he was shot.
The sixth man died during violent riots that were instigated by Hamas on the Israel-Gaza border, and it is thought that he may have died from shrapnel wounds after a device he was attempting to ignite exploded.

Unfortunately, the rest of the article by staff writer William Skipworth reads little better.

Not only are Hamas and Islamic Jihad not mentioned once in the entirety of the piece — despite both groups confirming their involvement in the unrest — but the circumstances in which the men died are presented as in doubt.

Even though Islamic Jihad stated that it had commanded fighters to attack Israeli forces, the fact that gunmen opened fire is still expressed as something that is merely “claimed” by Israel:

Lithuania president honors those who saved Jewish artifacts during and post-Holocaust
New York Jewish Week via JTA — The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research welcomed Lithuania’s president to its Manhattan headquarters Monday to honor the Jews who rescued rare books and documents from the Vilna Ghetto and the non-Jewish Lithuanian librarian who protected the same material from destruction by the Soviets.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda was the guest of honor at a small ceremony unveiling two plaques in YIVO’s Strashun Rare Book Room.

The first plaque recalls the Jewish slave laborers, led by Avrom Sutzkever and Shmerke Kaczerginski, who in 1942 and 1943 defied the Nazis’ orders and protected a trove of Jewish documents and artifacts that the Germans had intended to house in a museum dedicated to the “exterminated race.”

The second plaque honors Antanas Ulpis, then director of the Lithuanian National Book Chamber, who in 1948 hid the archival materials from the Soviets, who also intended to seize and likely destroy them.

The materials saved by the Jewish “Paper Brigade” and Ulpis form the heart of YIVO’s collection of some 25 million rare books, diaries, maps, photographs and films documenting the extent of Yiddish civilization prior to and during the Holocaust.

“These acts [of rescue] are without any doubt unique examples of universal human principles to fight the evil, to fight the darkness with every bit of light,” Nausėda said in prepared remarks. “We say we must remember, we must never forget.”
Yad Vashem chairman 'encouraged' by Holocaust remembrance in Lithuania
"I am encouraged by their understanding of the issues concerning Holocaust remembrance in Lithuania. The attitude of the current Lithuanian leadership gives me hope,” Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan said during a special meeting of the Lithuanian Parliament on Thursday morning, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto.

Dayan added that “significant actions are still to take place,” with regard to issues concerning Holocaust remembrance in Lithuania.

“Though the attitudes expressed by much of your country’s leadership are cause for hope, as are some of its policies, much remains to be accomplished," Dayan shared in his speech.

Dayan was invited as the keynote speaker for this significant event and to participate in commemorative activities honoring the Holocaust victims in Lithuania, by the Lithuanian Parliament Chairman, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen.

Following the meeting, Dayan joined Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Shimoneta, in the March of Life, which began at Rudniki Square and proceeded to the Vilnius train station, retracing the path that the Jews of Vilnius were forced to march on their way to extermination. Subsequently, both Dayan and Shimoneta also participated in a memorial ceremony at the Ponar murder site, where approximately 70,000 Jews lost their lives.

On Friday, Dayan is scheduled to hold a working meeting with the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament. This marks Dayan's second visit to Lithuania in the past year, together with Prof. Dina Porat, a senior academic advisor at Yad Vashem, who is also part of this delegation.

The Holocaust's impact
Dayan continued, emphasizing the gravity of the Holocaust's impact: "Insane, poisonous antisemitic hatred eradicated an entire civilization - my people’s civilization - here, in your homeland."

Dayan touched upon a sensitive topic regarding Holocaust remembrance, inspired by his predecessor at Yad Vashem, Yitzhak Arad: "An antisemite, especially a murderer, cannot be considered 'otherwise a good person,’ let alone a hero. Lithuania must consistently acknowledge that many of the Lithuanian Jews massacred in the Holocaust died at the hands of their Lithuanian co-nationals and that Lithuanians also took part in the extermination of Jews in neighboring countries."
Leader of group which sparked fury for wearing SS uniforms at 1940s festival is pictured performing Nazi salute near Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest' mountain retreat in Bavaria
The leader of a group which was kicked out of a WW2 festival at the weekend after dressing up as the SS has been photographed performing a Nazi salute near Hitler’s Summer retreat, the ‘Eagle’s Nest’ in Bavaria, MailOnline can reveal.

Diving instructor and father-of-four Jim Keeling, 53, has also shared anti-Semitic tropes on his Instagram account.

At the weekend, his antics at wearing the insignia of a senior officer of the Waffen SS outraged other WW2 re-enactment enthusiasts.

If our exclusive photos of Keeling giving the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute were indeed taken in Bavaria, as his now-deleted Facebook album suggested, he could be in trouble, as giving the Nazi salute in Germany is illegal and punishable with a six-month prison sentence.

In June of this year, Mr Keeling and friends posted a series of photos on Facebook of their trip to Nuremberg and Berchtesgaden, where the Fuhrer’s summer retreat is now a seasonal restaurant.

However, it is understood that he claimed he was 'mimicking' the salute, rather than doing it for real.

In 2011 a 30-year-old Canadian tourist was arrested after he was photographed giving the Nazi salute outside the Reichstag, the German parliament building, in Berlin. He escaped with a fine and several hours in police custody.

Relatives of Mr Keeling described his antics as ‘disgusting’.

‘I don’t know what’s got into his head,’ one told MailOnline. 'His father who served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War would turn in his grave to see him dressing as a Nazi and doing their salutes.'

Mexico on track to have its first Jewish, female president
The way things stand now, Mexico is headed to elect its first woman president next year. The two leading candidates in the polls for the 2024 election are Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s former mayor, and Xóchitl Gálvez, a senator representing the center-right opposition bloc.

The polls point to another first: Sheinbaum, currently the frontrunner, could become the country’s first Jewish president, too.

Earlier this month, Sheinbaum, 61, was announced as the candidate for the left-wing Morena party, which has been led by the country’s outgoing president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Since then, her momentum has only grown — a poll taken by the El Pais newspaper has 47% of voters supporting her, while Gálvez, her closest competitor, notched 30%.

If elected, Sheinbaum would join the ranks of the few Jews outside Israel who have been elected to their country’s highest office, including Janet Jagan of Guyana, Ricardo Maduro of Honduras, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

Here is a primer on Sheinbaum and how her Jewishness has become part of the campaign.

She is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and political liberal who has beaten back crime.

Born to two science professors in Mexico City, Sheinbaum herself studied physics and became an engineering professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her research focused on, among other things, energy usage in Mexico’s buildings and transportation system. Along with a group of other experts on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, she would go on to win the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Israel Using Bacteria to Detect Landmines
Researchers in Israel are using bacteria to detect landmines. They've developed tiny pellet-sized biosensors based on E. coli.

The biosensors are dispersed over the target area, where they sniff out the buried explosives and become luminescent. A drone then photographs them and reveals the location of any landmine.

"This new biosensor is a game changer. It can be cheaply deployed anywhere in the world to safely detect a variety of hidden explosives and do so more accurately than current alternatives," said Gideon Lapidoth, CEO of Enzymit.
Israeli Aid Team in Morocco Saves Lives
Israeli United Hatzalah emergency medical services volunteers working in earthquake-stricken Morocco have pivoted from search and rescue to treating victims.

Within 24 hours of the Sept. 8 earthquake, a Hatzalah delegation was on the ground, involved in search and rescue operations. The delegation has been traveling around rural Morocco, setting up a field clinic in small communities.

"We're treating on average 150-200 people a day," said Hatzalah's director of French operations, Samuel Arrouas.

The aid work meant spending Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in the Atlas Mountains. But saving lives "comes before everything," Arrouas stressed.
Nick Clegg [Meta/Facebook President]: Holocaust Survivor Shows How Technology Can Help Us Learn From the Past
“No one will believe you. No one will remember.”

That’s how the guards in Nazi concentration camps would taunt their victims. But we do remember, in large part because many people who survived the Holocaust have told us their stories, and the stories of those they knew.

But the generation who lived through those dark days is dwindling. If their stories disappear as their voices fade, we endanger the future by risking a repeat of the past.

To teach new generations about the horrors of the Holocaust, we need to find ways to preserve these stories. And new technologies can help.

This week, I had the privilege of sitting down with Inge Auerbacher, who was just seven-years-old when she was a prisoner in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, in what is now the Czech Republic.

In addition to being a remarkable person — an accomplished chemist, author, and poet, who speaks with huge clarity and compassion — Inge’s story is the centerpiece of a new and ingenious virtual reality experience.

Technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality might sound futuristic, but they have the potential to connect us to our past in profound ways.

Inge’s experience — called “Tell Me, Inge” — seamlessly combines conversational video AI technology and hand-drawn 3-D animations to vividly bring Inge’s memories to life. Viewers can speak to her, learn about her experiences, and get a sense of her indomitable spirit, which carried her through the unspeakable horrors of the time.
Hundreds of Evangelicals led by Fiji dep. PM to take historic flight to Israel
A chartered flight of more than 250 Evangelical Christians from Fiji will fly to Israel next week to participate in the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem’s annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration.

Among the delegation will be Fiji’s deputy prime minister, Viliame R. Gavoka, leading his government’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem next year, along with cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, and other dignitaries.

The more than-16,000 km. flight will be run by Fiji Airways, which will be making the airline’s first-ever landing in Israel.

Visitors will also come from Africa and the Middle East, including small groups of Christians from Egypt and Turkey. Featured speakers will include Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, and Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.

The week-long event from September 29 to October 6 will draw 3,000 Christians to celebrate Sukkot in Jerusalem, the Galilee, and the Negev. The Feast of Tabernacles celebration is Israel’s largest annual Christian tourist event.
How the First Yom Kippur in Japan Put an 800-Year-Old Debate to the Test
In September 1941, the students of Poland’s Mir yeshiva found themselves in the Japanese city of Kobe, having fled Hitler’s advancing forces via Siberia. As the Jewish new year approached, they found themselves confronted with an urgent dilemma: on what day should they observe Yom Kippur? Nobody had yet clarified where Jewish law places the international dateline—a question first raised in the 12th century—and it was possible that they were to its east. Baruch Sterman and Judy Taubes Sterman explain:
The two main opinions at the time began with the assumption that Jerusalem is the center of the world. Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tucazinsky, a prominent yeshiva head in Jerusalem, set the dateline 180 degrees opposite Jerusalem. Rabbi Avraham Karelitz, the leading ḥaredi authority of the time (known as the Ḥazon Ish), argued that since noon in Jerusalem means sunset in China, the date line should be set at the eastern edge of the Eurasian continent. A third view held that there is no uniform date line, and Jewish law should follow the local date.

Japan lies to the east of the Ḥazon Ish date line but to the west of the line drawn by Rabbi Tucazinsky. The Jewish community in Japan had generally accepted the local reckoning of the date, but the Mirrer yeshiva in exile was looking for a more authoritative answer.

They sent a telegram to the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, Isaac Herzog—who had been instrumental in their rescue—asking for an opinion. He quickly summoned a council of rabbis to discuss the matter. While they provisionally decided that Kobe lies west of the line, Herzog returned to the question in his later writing:
He considered the opinion of the Ḥazon Ish, which was based on an analogy to a related position first expounded by the 12th-century Spanish scholar Rabbi Zerachiah Halevi of Gerondi. “This opinion,” Herzog wrote, “is built entirely on the premise that the top hemisphere of the Earth contains the land and all inhabitants, while the bottom is all water, with Jerusalem at the center of the top hemisphere.” As a modern, Herzog could not bring himself to accept this ruling. “Though I am but a thousandth of the dust under their feet,” he wrote of his rabbinic predecessors, he was unable to deny the obvious: “in reality this premise is erroneous.” Likewise, he saw no justification or precedent for “turning Jerusalem into our Greenwich” and setting the line 180 degrees opposite the Holy City, as Rabbi Tucazinsky had done.
Unpacked: The Secret History of Ethiopian Jewry
The story of the Beta Israel’s return to the Land of Israel is one of broken promises, secret agreements, and the tenacity of an ancient community in the face of unimaginable danger. While the origin story of Ethiopian Jews remains unclear, their courage, faith, and love for the Jewish homeland, along with the daring of the Mossad and the activism of North American Jews, resulted in the return of thousands of Jews to Israel.

Showcasing Israel's ancient wine roots in the desert
Where the past meets the present: Israel's ancient wine roots in the Negev desert showcase two grape varieties as they are planted in the area where they were originally cultivated 1500 years ago

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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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