Monday, October 02, 2023

From Ian:

Michael Doran: The Hidden Calculation Behind the Yom Kippur War
Controversy surrounds the issue to this day. Did administrative inefficiencies and logistical difficulties cause the delays in delivery? Or did someone actively scuttle it? Was that person Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, known to be unsympathetic to Israel? Or Kissinger? Or both? In 1976, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who had been chief of U.S. naval operations at the time, published a memoir claiming that Kissinger sought “to bleed” Israel to make it more compliant. For Israelis of a certain age, memories of this accusation evoke strong emotions.

But the testimony of Zumwalt, who was running for Senate as a Democrat when he made the accusation, is unconvincing. Throughout the war, Nixon and Kissinger remained true to their strategy of pursuing a balance that favored Israel—slightly—while trying to avoid any precipitous moves that would spark a direct Soviet escalation.

By the end of the first week of the war, Nixon realized that Moscow was exploiting American restraint beyond what he could tolerate. Brezhnev had launched a massive operation to resupply the armies of Syria and Egypt, and it was obvious to Nixon that the Arab coalition had no intention of pursuing a ceasefire. These facts convinced him and Kissinger that, in keeping with their promises to Meir in 1970, they had no choice but to match any weapons system that the Soviets might introduce into the Middle East. It was necessary to demonstrate to the world that America would put its weapons into more capable hands—Israeli hands—come what may.

Nixon called Kissinger on October 14 to emphasize that the resupply must not only be effective, but massive. “We are going to get blamed just as much for three planes as for 300. . . . Henry, I have no patience with the view that we send in a couple of planes. My point is, . . . if . . . we are going to make a move, it’s going to cost us. . . . I don’t think it’s going to cost us a damn bit more to send in more.” Two hours later Nixon called back for an update. “If I contribute anything to [this] discussion, it is [this]: don’t fool around with three planes. . . . Just go gung-ho.”

And they did. A total of 550 U.S. transport planes flew to Israel over the next few weeks. At its peak, one plane landed every fifteen minutes. Within a few days, the U.S. effort had surpassed the Soviet airlift to Egypt and Syria. At the same time, the administration placed before Congress a $2.2 billion request for emergency loans and grants to Israel.

Nixon and Kissinger delivered on all previous commitments to the Jewish state, risking a confrontation with the Soviets. When the administration placed nuclear forces around the world on alert, critics accused Nixon of manufacturing the crisis to distract from Watergate. If anything, the opposite was true. Fear that the United States might look impotent due to the president’s political travails convinced Kissinger and everyone else around the president of the necessity of sending a signal of seriousness to Moscow.

In sum, Kissinger and a wounded Nixon were behaving according to their strategy, which called for demonstrating that the United States would not be cowed by Soviet moves and that regional powers, such as Egypt, could attain their aspirations only within the American camp.

To Israelis traumatized by the Yom Kippur War, and by the deaths of friends, comrades in arms, and family members, Kissinger’s view that Israel is an asset in a larger game is disturbingly Machiavellian. To this day, mention of the former secretary of state often stirs strident reactions. In the view of the Israeli left, the Yom Kippur War could have been avoided, if only Washington and Jerusalem had been more attentive to Sadat. Instead, the argument goes, the U.S. let him stew in his own juices when a territory-for-peace agreement was already available. Those who accept this view take Kissinger to task for the strategic relationship that he and Nixon developed with Meir and Rabin between 1970 and 1973. In the view of the right, meanwhile, Kissinger deliberately weakened Israel—bled it, according to Zumwalt—in order to create a balance of power with Egypt.

In truth, neither accusation is true. Kissinger was completely transparent about his intentions. At a press conference on October 12, 1973, he stated them up front: “After hostilities broke out, the United States set itself two principal objectives. One, to end the hostilities as quickly as possible. Secondly, to end the hostilities in such a manner that they would contribute to the promotion of a more permanent, more lasting solution in the Middle East.” In other words, he wanted to use the war as a tool to achieve an important American objective.

V. The Upside
This leads us to the final way in which 1973 was unlike 1967: it produced a significant political settlement. With the help of Kissinger, Jerusalem and Cairo concluded a disengagement-of-forces agreement in February 1974. It was the first direct peaceful engagement between countries after nearly a quarter of a century of hostilities. In the 50 years that have passed by since, not a single shot has been exchanged in anger between Egypt and Israel. One day, Kissinger will meet his maker, and the totality of his actions will be weighed in the balance. When that day comes, his behavior on the Day Atonement 1973 will give him much less to atone for than his critics assume.

One could, of course, arrive at a very different conclusion based on the evidence presented here. If you believe that Israel’s failure to preempt—or even to mobilize sooner—was the essential blunder of 1973, then it wasn’t Golda Meir or Israeli arrogance or the konseptzia or Ashraf Marwan that was at fault. It was Nixon and Kissinger, who restrained Israel, and thus caused the meḥdal. But such an interpretation is narrowminded in the extreme. It ignores, first, how much the failure to understand the Egyptian concept of operations was responsible for the traumatic Israeli losses in the first few days of the war. More importantly, it fails to see the significance of the strategic alliance that Nixon and Kissinger cemented with Israel. They might have restrained Israel, but in return for Jerusalem’s cooperation they provided it with the arms necessary to win the war, a security commitment that endures to this day, and a strategic alliance.

And that brings us to the most crucial fact about the Yom Kippur War: it was a joint Israeli and American victory, even if it was for Sadat a successful military operation of the kind that he had envisioned from the beginning. By simultaneously repulsing the Syrians and the Egyptians and going on to threaten Cairo and Damascus, even in the face of an overwhelming surprise attack, the IDF demonstrated that there was no way an Arab military coalition could defeat it by conventional means. Syria has remained Israel’s enemy, but it hasn’t dared to attack again. Egypt became an American and Israeli ally, and the relationship between the Jewish state and the United States emerged stronger than ever. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union’s best weapons proved to be no match for America’s.

It is true that there was no shortage of Israeli and American blunders in 1973, but there were Soviet and Egyptian blunders as well. The Jewish state may not have achieved a victory of biblical proportions as it had in 1967, but ultimately it achieved a more durable one. This was thanks to Golda Meir’s determination and the courage and resourcefulness of countless Israeli soldiers and officers, but also to Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, the greatest supporters of Israel that have ever run American foreign policy.
Mordechai Kedar: Israel won the Yom Kippur War - there should be no debate
A greater victory that the Six Day War in 1967
From a dry military point of view, and when you compare Israel’s situation at the beginning of the war to its end: among its army, leadership, and people, there is no escaping the conclusion that it was a huge victory. It could be argued that it was greater than the victory in the Six Day War in 1967 which took only a few hours to destroy the enemies’ planes.

The air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, were vanquished leading the army’s path later in the war and allowing it to conquer Sinai, Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights, and all this in only six days.

The victory in the Yom Kippur War was the main factor that pushed the president of Egypt, Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat, to seek peace with Israel.

Sadat realized that despite the fact that Israel had been caught by surprise, that Egypt had managed to cross the Suez Canal on the first day, and that Israel had to face two fronts acting in coordination, it was able to inflict a strong defeat on both the Egyptians and the Syrians, removing them from the territories they occupied at the beginning of the war – and eventually conquering additional territories far beyond.

President Anwar Sadat understood that Israel was invincible and all Arab attempts to conquer and destroy it, past and future, were doomed to failure.

Based on this conclusion, two years after the war he opened a series of secret talks with Israel and these talks led to a historic peace treaty signed in 1979.

This conclusion is still valid today and should be clearly understood. Only an Israeli victory can bring peace because in the Middle East peace is only accepted by those who see their enemies as invincible.
Yom Kippur War declassified: A look at the war like never before
“In the early afternoon of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on October 6, 1973, alarm sirens interrupted the silence of the fast, and the signal was given for the start of the Yom Kippur War, which has become a national trauma in Israel’s history. Although the war ended with military victories, 2,656 soldiers were killed, hundreds were taken prisoner, and over 7,200 soldiers and civilians were wounded. The fighting and its results were unbearably difficult for a country that just a few months earlier had celebrated its 25th Independence Day.”

This is the introduction to the newly declassified material from the Israel State Archives that has been posted on its website in accordance with a government decision ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. It comprises some 3,500 files, including about 1,400 paper files, 1,000 photographs, 800 audio clips, 150 transcripts, and eight videos.

The Israel State Archives (, which is part of the Prime Minister’s Office, said it has been working for the past two and a half years on making the files that tell the story of the Yom Kippur War – on the front lines, on the home front, and in the government – accessible to the public. “For the first time, it is possible to use original documents in order to research and feel the drama and the emotions among the public, the IDF, and the leadership, comprehensively and directly,” it said. “Some of the material relays the events minute by minute and allows us to relive the feelings of those who were present at the events.” What has been declassified from the Yom Kippur War?

There are audio clips and photographs; transcripts and original files from government ministries and the military; diplomatic documents and testimonies; protocols of government and war cabinet meetings; high-level discussions and civil defense assessments; information on the home front; and much more.

This material, most of which was previously classified, has been checked and scanned, and cleared by the censor. It is now available as an archival collection of information on the war, beginning with decision-making by the country’s leadership in a time of uncertainty; the fighting on the various fronts; the Israeli home front; diplomatic contacts with Arab states; and mediation by the major powers until the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement.

The documents provide records of deliberations between then-prime minister Golda Meir and security chiefs in the days before Syria and Egypt launched a coordinated attack on October 6, 1973. A day before, Military Intelligence Directorate chief Eli Zeira (who turned 95 this year) signaled that the intelligence establishment did not have enough information on a planned attack by the Egyptians and the Syrians. “I must say, we don’t have sufficient proof that they don’t intend to attack,” he said. “We don’t have conclusive indications that they want to attack, but I can’t say based on knowledge that they aren’t preparing.”

Chief Archivist Ruti Abramovitz said the State Archives had endeavored to show “the 360-degree story of the war,” which affected every facet of life in Israel.

'Prayer for religious freedom, unity': Rabbi Leo Dee planning service in TLV
Rabbi Leo Dee, who lost his wife and two daughters in a terror attack in Samaria in April, is helping to plan a shacharit (morning prayer) service at Dizengoff Square on Thursday morning, he announced in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Under the slogan “Praying for Freedom of Religion and Unity in all of Israel,” the service is set to have three sections: one for men, one for women, and one for mixed seating. “Jewish prayer is open to everyone,” said Dee. “Judaism doesn’t believe in coercion. People can pray as they wish, and they don’t have to pray if they don’t want to.” Dee said that the organizers were not seeking municipal approval as permission is unnecessary for events of 50 people or less and they are not expecting a larger crowd.

Significant response to Yom Kippur events
“I’m sure we will have the support of every liberal in the country and of every religious person,” said Dee. “This is about liberal values, freedom of religion – and this is something that all Israelis agree upon. This is a service for religious freedom and unity.”

On a more personal level, this service is significant to Dee as a response to an incident on Yom Kippur during which a prayer service at Dizengoff Square devolved into fighting over gender segregation. Protesters disrupted the Kol Nidrei service and fought with congregants who tried to erect partitions to separate the men from the women.

Dee said that his family made a large sacrifice by moving from the UK to Israel, where they could live openly as Jews.

“The idea that Jews aren’t allowed to pray openly anywhere they want in the country is contrary to our values,” he said.
The story of Jonathan Pollard: The spy who loved Israel
Former U.S. Intelligence Analyst, who was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 30 years in U.S. prisons joins live to share his feeling on Israel, and Judaism after nearly 3 years in Israel.

The term “antisemitica” is a broad term, applied to a wide host of objects, and most of it denigrates Jews in a visual way or in words. However, it also is used to describe photographs that are reportorial or documenting cruelty. The latter category of antisemitica is particularly popular with Jewish museums. The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, for example, displays photographs of a vandalized synagogue in that city and a poster of a former Jewish mayor that was defaced with a swastika. The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia includes in its antisemitica collection a chair that was thrown at a gunman who entered and took hostages at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, in 2022.

It is antisemitica’s everydayness that may be its most troubling aspect, particularly for the Jewish institutions that house collections of it. “There is an ongoing conversation that is taking place” concerning how and even whether or not to display it among members of the Council of American Jewish Museums, said Josh Perelman, chief curator at the Weitzman Museum. “For us, antisemitism is part of the Jewish experience in America,” so displaying objects that show Jews in a derogatory light is part of the museum’s mission. Judy Margles, director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, on the other hand, doesn’t “ever want to exhibit it. We don’t want to inspire copycats. We don’t want to help create a cult around these objects, because creeps tend to fetishize them.”

She goes further, frequently recommending to people who contact the museum offering to donate objects in this category that they should destroy them. “I don’t want to inflict these images on my visitors, because they are so distressing.”

New York City’s Jewish Museum has a collection of antisemitica that ranges broadly from figurines from the 18th through the early 20th centuries to a collection of anti-Dreyfusard material which includes some 400 posters and newspapers. Some of those latter pieces were included in the museum’s 1987 exhibition “The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth & Justice,” although the institution otherwise takes what its director, Claudia Gould, called a careful approach in displaying antisemitica. “These materials are shown as a means of evidence, to illustrate through the tangible effects of material culture the existence of antisemitism throughout time,” she said.

Such caution inflects every museum’s display of antisemitic materials. “We often feel that an image is more offensive than a text, quite apart from the actual content of either one,” Jensen said. “Working with hatred and stereotypes is indeed a very delicate issue in general. If you teach people about them, you are always also triggering these stereotypes in those who listen to you. The goal is, of course, to teach people how to deconstruct antisemitism, but we can certainly fail to achieve this goal.”

He noted that at the Jewish Museum of Berlin, which is Europe’s largest museum of its kind, has similar worries, choosing not to use items from its own antisemitica collection in its exhibitions. The fears are justified, since cruel imagery may retraumatize those who already have suffered, while those with existing antisemitic tendencies may find derogatory images of Jews exciting. Visitors to Jewish museums are apt to be a self-selecting group that know of discrimination past and present and are unlikely to be turned on by drawings of greedy Jewish bankers. For that reason, Jewish museums may not be the most suitable sites for displays of antisemitica. Jensen stated that “I am working to educate non-Jewish audiences who can and do, in fact, harbor antisemitic sentiments and ideas. I believe that we are in dire need to educate the general public about antisemitism in Europe and in the U.S.”

There is a lot in human history that some people may want to “cancel,” other people may draw the wrong lessons from, and still others may see as relics of their own family histories, such as images of the enslavement and subsequent ill-treatment of African Americans, the history of Native Americans, the subjugation of women, and the negative caricatures and stereotyping of ethnic and religious minorities. In many parts of the American South, a call to remove Confederate flags and statues has grown in intensity, countered by others who view these emblems as part of their cultural heritage rather than an endorsement of slavery and Jim Crow laws. Just as Jews are the most prominent collectors of antisemitica, the most notable buyers of racist artifacts and caricatures of African Americans from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are modern-day African American collectors.

Meron Eren of the Kedem Auction House stated that it is wrong to destroy historical material simply because we don’t like the history, which is perhaps a self-serving statement from an auctioneer. Yet it is hard to argue that everything deserves to be saved, let alone displayed in museums. Does taking antisemitica off the market, and only making it available to researchers, lessen the appeal of antisemitism, and improve the standing of Jews—or does it imbue disgusting objects with the power of the forbidden? Or, to take the opposite stance, as Simon Cohen asked, “does exhibiting it do any good? That’s a debatable question.”
Is America guilty for associating with known antisemites?
WHAT CAN we do?
Be firm in condemnation: We must encourage American leaders, institutions, the media, and any other establishment that has a stance in the public domain to hold antisemites accountable for their hate by refraining from associating with them. Excuses like “but I am not antisemitic” should not suffice.

Engage in discourse: Don’t solely condemn someone based on associations. It is also essential to engage in thoughtful dialogue. Understanding perspectives, intentions, and values can lead to more productive conversations on the dangers of antisemitism to our common values.

Encourage accountability: Individuals should be held accountable for their associations and actions. If someone knowingly associates with antisemites, even if they don’t espouse direct antisemitism themselves, they should acknowledge their mistake openly, apologize if necessary, and demonstrate a commitment to change. We must hold ourselves and the ones we associate with in the highest regard and not make excuses.

Promote education: Fostering an environment of education and open discussion is crucial for recognizing the signs of antisemitism and other forms of hate and bigotry before they manifest themselves.

We must call antisemites out in public and educate others about the hate that is underlying their views. Antisemitism often serves as a disguise for anti-American sentiments and is a threat to democracy. This connection should be made explicitly. Education helps inform individuals to make informed decisions about their associations.

Confronting those who openly espouse antisemitism is often easier than standing up against those who validate or provide platforms for this hate. Association with antisemites emboldens them to continue in their hateful course of action.

To combat hate, bigotry, and antisemitism effectively, we must collectively establish clear norms and hold individuals accountable not only for their actions, but for the unavoidable results of their actions as well. By doing so, we can work toward a more tolerant society where antisemitism has no place.
‘An unreasonable man’: the story of Pinchas Rutenberg
When Pinchas Rutenberg first switched the lights on in Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street in 1923, exactly 100 years ago, he was carried through the streets by an ecstatic crowd cheering his achievement. Here was the man who electrified the whole of Palestine by building a huge hydroelectric plant on the Jordan River, just south of Lake Kinneret, together with a series of diesel-powered plants in Tel Aviv and elsewhere.

He achieved all this by a mixture of drive, initiative, and chutzpa as he convinced the British Mandatory Government to grant him the concession against serious opposition in Parliament. He certainly had the whiff of Satan about him and his history as a Russian revolutionary and as an assassin certainly did not help his case. He had also plotted the killing of Lenin and Trotsky before he escaped to Palestine in 1919, none of which recommended him to Britain.

But, described as “a mixture of a steam-roller and a whirl-wind,” he managed to convince Winston Churchill and Herbert Samuel, the first high commissioner, that he was a serious hydroelectric engineer and that his plans for his generator on the Jordan would open up an arid and long-neglected land to great agricultural and industrial development. And they agreed.

Churchill, as colonial minister, pushed it through a reluctant Parliament, and by the 1930s, Palestine was almost entirely electrified by Rutenberg’s generators. Much of Mandatory Palestine’s development was dependent on his innovation. He had started life as a socialist revolutionary and now he was rapidly becoming an entrepreneur as he turned his energies to new ventures. In 1934, he set up Palestine Airways, flying regular services between Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beirut. After the Second World War, his Airways formed the backbone of El Al.

Through hard times
HE TOOK on the leadership of the Yishuv on two occasions when the Jews of Palestine were losing faith in the Zionist Organization of Weizmann. Times were bad as the Arabs became increasingly hostile and the British Government was losing patience. He worked hard with King Abdullah of Jordan and other leading Arabs to reach some sort of agreement, but he was unsuccessful in this and in his efforts to persuade the government to make larger grants for developments in the land.
Avoid creating another Mideast dictatorship
Palestinian Arab journalist Bassam Tawil recently described a “fierce crackdown” on Palestinian reporters by the Palestinian Authority, including arbitrary arrests and beatings.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden, in his recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly last week, emphasized the importance of “upholding democratic values.” Then the president called for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state next to Israel—a state that would be governed by the same regime that is arresting and beating Palestinian journalists for the crime of disagreeing with P.A. policies.

Tawil reports that on July 17, journalist Akil Awawdeh wrote something criticizing the spokesman for the P.A. security forces for claiming that the P.A. does not arrest anybody based on their political affiliations. Within hours, the P.A. security forces arrested him.

Later that month, journalist Sami Al-Sa’i was arrested by P.A. police for daring to disagree with the P.A. on social media. And it was not the first time. “Because of his repeated incarcerations, he has been unable to find work,” Tawil reports. “Recently, to support his family, he has been selling juice on the streets of Tulkarm.”

A video posted on social media in August showed P.A. security men beating a journalist named Nidal al-Natsheh. “His crime,” according to Tawil, was that “he tried to report about a protest by university students against human-rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority.”

Tawil is not alone in recording these outrages. According to Amnesty International’s latest annual report, “Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continued to heavily restrict freedom of expression, association and assembly. They also held scores of people in arbitrary detention and subjected many to torture and other ill-treatment. Justice for serious human rights violations remained elusive.”

Human Rights Watch concurs: “The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza arbitrarily arrest dissidents and torture Palestinians in their custody.” HRW also points out that the P.A.’s laws “discriminate against women, including in relation to marriage, divorce, custody of children, and inheritance.” In addition, “[the P.A.] has no comprehensive domestic violence law.”
New York State Funds Islamist Hatred of Jews, Christians, Promotes Enslaving Women and Children
New York State taxpayers have handed over $23 million to a number of divisive Islamist groups over the last ten years, including one institution banned in the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization, according to state funding reports obtained by Focus on Western Islamism. The funds came from several state agencies, but primarily from New York’s Department of Education.

“This information is shocking. It’s unbelievable that New Yorkers’ tax dollars are going to groups that preach and advocate hatred. Not one penny should go to them,” former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told FWI. Hikind served in the legislature for 36 years and founded Americans Against Antisemitism in 2019. “I will call on the governor to stop this,” he said.

New York taxpayers have given the Muslim American Society (MAS) of Upper New York $2.5 million since January 2013. In 2004, federal prosecutors said MAS’s national organization “was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” The UAE designated MAS as a terror organization in 2014.

Other funding recipients in New York include a number of Islamist schools. Al Madrasa Al Islamiya, a religious school located in Brooklyn, has received over $1.6 million. The school’s curriculum includes a book named, Muhammad the Last Prophet: A Model for All Time. The book calls Judaism “a tribal religion,” and portrays killing and enslaving the enemies of Islam as a good thing.

“I judge that the men be killed and their property divided up and that their children and women be taken as slaves,” reads an excerpt from the book from the school’s website. The text continues, “The Messenger of Allah said, ‘You have given the judgement of Allah regarding them.’”

The state has also given more than $800,000 to Al-Mamoor School in Fresh Meadows which promotes the teachings of Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, who has said “the punishment for blasphemy is indeed death.” Qadhi has also defended the Taliban and called for stoning adulterers and killing homosexuals “if we had an Islamic State.”

Al-Ihsan Academy in Queens is another recipient of public funds, receiving more than $5.6 million since 2013. Last October, the school hosted a lecture by Deobandi Islamist Shaikh Shafayat Mohamed. Mohamed currently directs the Darul Uloom Islamic Institute in Florida, which he founded in 1994. He has described most Jews and Christians as “perverted transgressors” and called Jews “apes and swine.”
Pro-Palestinian activists face jail after beating up Jewish man in horrific antisemitic attack
Three pro-Palestinian activists have pleaded guilty to beating up a Jewish man in a violent antisemitic attack in New York.

Joseph Borgen was attacked by the men in May 2021 as he made his way to a pro-Israel rally in Times Square while wearing a kippah.

The attackers were caught on video, which went viral, punching and kicking the man in Midtown, New York.

During the attack, the group shouted antisemitic slurs at the 31-year-old including “You filthy Jew”, “We're going to f*****g kill you”, “Go back to Israel” and “Hamas is going to kill you.” Borgen was also pepper sprayed.

The 31-year-old was left with a concussion, wrist injury, black eye and bruises all over his body after the attack.

Mahmoud Musa and Mohammed Othman pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree assault as a hate crime and a third man, Mohammed Said Othman, pleaded guilty to attempted gang assault.

Musa and Othman face between three and a half and 15 years in prison when they are sentenced on October 25 after no plea deal was offered. Prosecutors promised Said Othman a three-year prison sentence in a separate deal.

A fourth man, Faisal Elezzi, had earlier pleaded guilty to attempted assault in the third degree as a hate crime, and was sentenced to three years’ probation. Another man, Waseem Awawdeh, was filmed beating Borgen with crutches. He was jailed in June for 18 months after a plea deal.

Borgen told the New York Post the guilty pleas were “great news”. Addressing the prospect of the three men who pleaded guilty going to prison, he said: “If you beat up a Jew in the streets, this is what’s going to happen.

"You’re not going to get a slap on the wrist or a BS deal. You’re going to spend real time in jail.”

Recalling the incident, he added: “After I wound up on the ground, I was literally just in a fetal position, trying to guard my head and face, literally just trying to make it out of their alive.

“I thought I was going to die. I thought I was really going to die."
Sharon Osbourne: Roger Waters is always making jokes about Jews, comments about money
Sharon Osbourne, in an interview with Talk TV on October 2, claimed that Roger Waters was antisemitic, adding to the growing number of accusations of antisemitism against the Pink Floyd Singer.

The Jewish star said “I’m Jewish…I know him… I know his reputation that precedes him in our industry…He laughs, he’s always telling jokes about Jews, always making comments about money, the cliché, you know, old-time opinion.”

“You have got to remember; this man is 80 years of age. If you were to ask anybody in the street that’s under 40, and you showed them a picture of him, and said, 'Do you know who this is?' Nobody would know.

“So in today’s music industry, yes he’s got his old fans, but he is not really relevant as far as anybody cares about him… to know what he is doing or anything like that.

“I think that he must have really lost the plot. I think he should go and actually take his life…live in an old people’s home and leave the Jews alone.

“This has been going on for years, it isn’t because he is old and has lost the plot.”

Osbourne, when asked if she thought Waters was antisemitic, responded, “Is the Pope a Catholic?”

Osbourne's interview has also seemingly inspired other witnesses to speak out against Waters.

James Marlow, a UK-based journalist wrote on X that "As someone who worked in two of the UK’s most famous studios from 1979-85 as a sound engineer and we had engineers working on the Wall album and their tour, Roger Waters had some seriously issues with “Jews”. So @MrsSOsbourne words are of no surprise at all."

Israel-bashers headline Jewish center’s speaker series at Temple University
While attention has been focused on the anti-Israel literary festival at the University of Pennsylvania, harsh critics of Israel are also being featured just across town—at Temple University’s American Jewish Studies Center, also in Philadelphia.

The line-up of speakers during the 2023-24 academic year at Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History features one critic of Israel after another. It seems that you have to be angry at the Jewish state in order to qualify to be part of the series.

One of the speakers who already delivered their talk was Eric Alterman, whose latest book, We Are Not One, depicts Israel as an oppressor and derides American Jews for supporting it.

Speaking at Tel Aviv University last year, Alterman announced his personal break with Israel. “I’m sorry; I’m abandoning you and your colleagues,” he declared. “I’m going to devote my attention to rejuvenating American Judaism. Those are my people. I used to have in my will Israeli peace groups, I’m changing my will and I’m funding American Jewish scholarly and charitable institutions.”

In a recent issue of the Jewish Review of Books, a prominent Jewish scholar questioned some of the distortions in Alterman’s book. Alterman responded by denouncing the reviewer as “chief of [the magazine’s] pro-Israel thought police.” That kind of slur gives you a sense of his temperament.

To discuss the current judicial reform debate in Israel, the Feinstein Center chose Gilat Bachar. She’s one of the leaders of a legal initiative to reclassify Israeli anti-terror actions as “policing” (rather than combat) so that more Palestinian Arabs can sue the Israeli government.

It’s interesting to note that nine years ago, Bachar chose to serve as an intern at the extremist HaMoked center, which defends Palestinian Arab terrorists. Does that disqualify her from speaking about Israeli affairs at the Feinstein Center? No. But it does give you a sense of her orientation when she talks about Israeli legal controversies.
Exclusive: Oberlin College’s 17-Year Refusal To Return Artwork Stolen By The Nazis From A Jewish Holocaust Victim
Oberlin College was in the news recently after a drawing, Girl With Black Hair, by Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele, was the subject of a criminal seizure warrant out of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

The D.A. is attempting to recover that drawing and others located at other museums and private collections, which were stolen by the Nazis from Fritz Grünbaum, a prominent Jewish art collector and cabaret artist, who was forced under duress to sign over rights to his collection as part of the Nazi confiscation of Jewish property, while interned at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany, where he died in 1941.

While the criminal warrant to Oberlin College and two other institutions put the dispute in the current headlines, the Grünbaum heirs have have been trying at least since 2006 to get Oberlin College to return the drawing, to no avail. We have not seen that long history reported before, and we learned of it while reviewing court filings in a civil case filed against Oberlin College and others in late 2022, which Oberlin College also is fighting. Among other things, Oberlin College disputes the constitutionality of applying the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016.

Oberlin College’s fight to avoid returning this stolen art is in contrast to the college’s repatriation of an item of Native American craft returned to the Nez Perce tribe in 2002. Are items stolen from Jews during the Holocaust less worthy of return than items obtained from Native American tribes?
PreOccupiedTerritory: Man Who Insists Tiny Percentage Of Non-Zionists Are ‘Real’ Jews Calls Zionist Arabs ‘Tokens’ (satire)
An area pro-Palestine activist who uses as political cover the tiny minority of Jews who do not accept the modern reestablishment of ancient Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland railed today against those who trot out non-Jewish Israelis to put forth pro-Israel talking points, calling the practice dishonest and a distortion of the true essence of Zionist policies and administration in the land.

Hussein Jalali, 25, criticized the use of “token” Arabs by Zionists who argue that the establishment and maintenance of Israel as a Jewish state provides the world, and the Middle East in particular, with a net positive that features democracy, rule of law, equality, human rights, and economic development for all citizens regardless of ethnicity or race – and that the authentic position for a Jew involves anti-Zionism, such that of the perhaps eight percent of Jews worldwide, and not the Zionism of various degrees that characterizes the worldview of more than nine tenths of global Jewry.

“It’s tokenism, is what it is,” insisted Jalali. “You can’t take a handful of Arabs, who are the exception, and are probably bribed or blackmailed into pro-Israel advocacy, or at the very least are deluded, and hold them up as some genuine expression of the Arab experience under Zionism. Everyone knows Arabs under the Zionist regime are oppressed and denied basic civil and political rights, and they suffer institutional and everyday racism. You can’t take Arabs with Israeli citizenship at their word. They’re not representative.”
The Times Cartoonist Peter Brookes Says He’s ‘Pro-Israel’… His Cartoons Tell a Different Story
During the 2014 Gaza War, Brookes produced numerous cartoons on the subject for The Times, including one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referencing airstrikes on schools in Gaza in the style of the famous U.S. Army recruitment poster that shows Uncle Sam pointing his finger and urging men to enlist.

Remarking on his art during the 2014 conflict, Brookes said: “For instance, my cartoons over the summer about Gaza started off being pro-Israel. If you send rockets into people’s territory, they are going to get pretty angry. Then Israel started bombing UN schools … Of course, I got quite a bit of stick from readers who were pro-Israel and readers who were anti-Israel.”

What Brooks failed to note is why the Israeli forces were compelled to conduct strikes on schools in Gaza: Hamas has and continues to store rockets and other weaponry beneath civilian buildings including schools, hospitals and mosques.

More importantly, the United Nations actually confirmed that Hamas launched rockets from its schools during the 2014 conflict.

Also in 2014, Brookes waded into the “disproportionate force” row with his depiction of a Palestinian terrorist standing on a small pile of bodies next to an Israeli soldier perched upon a much bigger mound of corpses.

But as we have consistently observed over the years, the problem with the international media’s focus on the supposedly non-commensurate loss of life on both sides is that it ignores that international law does not hinge on which side loses the most people or has the most firepower. Proportionality must be gauged by the necessity of military action.

So when Hamas fires rockets at Israel from civilian infrastructure, they can technically be seen as legitimate targets for Israeli airstrikes to prevent further terror attacks.

Back in 2014, Brookes’ commentary on Israel’s operation in the Rafah camp in Gaza also turned a blind eye to the reality of Palestinian terrorism. The operation was designed to destroy terrorist tunnels and followed the deaths of nearly a dozen Israeli soldiers in two separate attacks.

Depicting the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a bulldozer smashing into buildings in Gaza, the cartoon criticized Israel for demolishing civilian homes in the Strip.

A more accurate cartoon would have shown the network of tunnels stuffed with rockets and bombs that snaked underneath the apartment building complex.

While pleased that Peter Brookes is proud to call himself “very pro-Israel” today, we can only hope this position will be reflected in his Israel-focused cartoons in the future.

Work begins in Austria on turning Hitler’s birthplace into police station
Work started Monday on turning the house in Austria where Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 into a police station, a project meant to make it unattractive as a site of pilgrimage for people who glorify the Nazi dictator.

The decision on the future of the building in Braunau am Inn, a town on Austria’s border with Germany, was made in late 2019. Plans call for a police station, the district police headquarters and a security academy branch where police officers will get human rights training.

On Monday, workers put up fencing and started taking measurements for the construction work. The police are expected to occupy the premises in early 2026.

A years-long back-and-forth over the ownership of the house preceded the overhaul project. The question was resolved in 2017 when Austria’s highest court ruled that the government was within its rights to expropriate the building after its owner refused to sell it. A suggestion it might be demolished was dropped.

The building had been rented by Austria’s Interior Ministry since 1972 to prevent its misuse, and was sublet to various charitable organizations. It stood empty after a care center for adults with disabilities moved out in 2011.

A memorial stone with the inscription “for freedom, democracy and liberty. Never again fascism. Millions of dead remind us” is to remain in place outside the house.

The Austrian government argues that having the police, as the guardians of civil liberties, move in is the best use for the building. But there has been criticism of the plan.

Historian Florian Kotanko complained that “there is a total lack of historical contextualization.” He argued that the Interior Ministry’s intention of removing the building’s “recognition factor” by remodeling it “is impossible to accomplish.”
Teacher gave Nazi salute, had students say 'Heil Hitler,' but district says didn't 'intend to cause harm'
A teacher at a Wisconsin middle school made an antisemitic gesture and remark in class, but allegedly didn't "intend to cause harm," according to an investigation by the district.

According to the local parent newsletter "Elmbrook Community Need to Know," on Sept. 21 an eighth grade math teacher from Wisconsin Hills Middle School gave the Nazi salute to her class and told the students to respond with either "Heil Hilter" or "Heil [Teacher Surname]."

After garnering media attention, the school sent a letter to all families following a similar message that was only sent to students and families directly impacted earlier in the week.

The Elmbrook school district declined further comment, but provided FOX News Digital with the letter Principal Matt Schroede sent to all families of the middle school Friday. TN teacher social media

The letter acknowledged the incident occurred and said a "complete investigation" took place.

"Regrettably, one of our teachers made an antisemitic gesture and remark during class that is highly offensive to both Jewish and non-Jewish individuals, something we would not tolerate from any student or staff member at Wisconsin Hills," the letter said. "Following a complete investigation, it was our determination that the teacher did not intend to cause harm, yet it was a clear violation of our staff professional responsibilities."

The letter added that in the course of the past week, "disciplinary action and corrective measures" were implemented "including antisemitism education."

"To be clear, the behavior described above is not condoned nor does it represent the attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors of our staff members," the letter concluded. "As we do with our students, we will hold our staff to the highest standard of professionalism and respond quickly when that standard is not met."

An anonymous parent of Elmbrook schools said the incident seemed to be "part of a pattern of inappropriate behavior in staff at Elmbrook in the last few years," citing a sex survey given to students, an inappropriate link in an email signature and explicit books brought into school that didn’t follow policy guidelines.
Will a small Galilee factory deliver Nvidia’s superconductor?
Tal Kaufman's electronic components coating company Simtal may be on the verge of a breakthrough in the production of graphene.

Even at a distance, the Simtal Nano-Coatings factory stands out from its surroundings in the dusty Tsiporit industrial park in the Upper Galilee. The facade is mauve, and the color also dominates inside, where dozens of women work delicately alongside orderly rows of electronic boards, peering at electronic components through microscopes and deftly coating them with mauve-colored polymer.

The workers on the production floor - women only - represent all strata of the population residing near the factory: religious girls from Nof HaGil with head-coverings; Bedouins from Zarzir dressed in burqas; war refugees from Ukraine; Jews from Migdal Ha'emek, and Muslims from nearby Mashhad and Bu'eine Nujeidat.

Mauve/pink is the color of the kitchenette, too, with rose-colored microwaves and toasters. It is kosher, keeping meat and dairy separate, and if girls from the ultra-Orthodox community take up Simtal’s offer to work there, it may one day be separated by gender. For the time being, of the 100 workers, only four are men, of which three are electricians and one is CEO Eran Bar-Rabi, life partner of Simtal founder, president, and sole owner Tal Kaufman.

"I couldn’t find any female electricians - women who work with electricity professionally -- that's why I also employ some men here," Kaufman, tells "Globes". "In our field, women are better workers than men." she states. "It’s like a manicure; have a man work for nine hours doing delicate work through a microscope and he won't last. When men encounter a problem, they use strength, and if that doesn’t solve it, they use even more strength. Women know how to overcome problems elegantly and gently."
Meet the man developing Israel's first AI-powered citrus picking robot
Israeli tech company Nanovel has been stealthily developing a game-changing solution for the challenges facing the citrus-harvesting industry. Leveraging a combination of robotics, computer vision, and Artificial Intelligence, the company has created a tractor-drawn citrus-picking robot that uses robotic arms to precisely grip, snip, and harvest ripe oranges from orchards.

In a market currently grappling with labor shortages and increasing demand for fresh produce, Nanovel’s solution aims to ensure a steady supply of citrus fruits while streamlining operations for growers.

The challenge at the heart of the robot’s creation lies in the labor-intensive process of picking citrus fruit. Reliant on the unpredictable availability of human workers, citrus picking is limited by sun-up to sun-down hours of work and the varying speed at which workers can operate.

While robotic harvesting methods exist for several crops already, the world of citrus has been left out to dry due to its challenging picking conditions – namely deep foliage and tall trees. Recognizing the lack of automated citrus-harvesting solutions in the industry, seasoned serial entrepreneur Itzik Mazor seized the opportunity to found Nanovel, personally funding the company for its first two years before securing additional support through seed funding.

“There are several companies that are working on similar automation, but we are going after a much more significant challenge,” he said. “Our robotic arm is very robust and can go very deep into the tree, about one or two meters into the foliage, and pick the fruit,” he noted, adding that thanks to the use of advanced computer vision and edge computing, the robot is able to “pick the one fruit you want, and not the one you don’t want to eat.”

The machine is essentially a large cart with an array of stiff, but very mobile, robotic arms. When hitched behind a tractor, Nanovel’s robot observes nearby trees, identifies ripe fruits and picks them accurately and gently, using a combination of vacuum suction and clamping blades in order to ensure the fruit is harvested with care.
Chelsea Football Club launches fan group to encourage Jewish identity
The London-based Chelsea Football Club is one team trying to combat antisemitism and encourage Jewish fandom. The day before Rosh Hashanah, the club announced a new fan-driven Jewish Supporters Group that celebrates Jewish heritage and identity. The fan group and the club will collaborate, they stated.

“We are looking forward to welcoming new members to the group and are hopeful we can provide a voice for Jewish fans all over the world,” stated Stephen Nelken, founder of the fan group.

Lord Daniel Finkelstein, who directs the club, is Jewish.

“Football and faith bring people together, and we are excited to provide a forum for our Jewish supporters to connect and celebrate their religion and culture together,” he said.

The new Jewish Supporters Group’s first event is a Chanukah party scheduled for Dec. 11 at the Stamford Bridge stadium.

“Chelsea have been pioneering in their efforts and dedication to eradicating antisemitism from football and society, and the creation of this group is another example of that,” stated Lord John Mann, a member of the U.K. Parliament and independent adviser to the government on antisemitism. “I would urge other clubs to follow their example and celebrate their Jewish supporters.”
Helen Mirren defends Bradley Cooper wearing 'Jewface' nose in Leonard Bernstein biopic
Helen Mirren has defended Bradley Cooper wearing a prosthetic nose whilst portraying Leonard Bernstein in the biopic Maestro.

A trailer for the upcoming Netflix biopic about the late composer provoked disagreement across the Jewish community after shots showed Cooper donning the nose.

Many, including Bernstein's children, defended the Hollywood actors decision to don the nose, and said it accurately portrayed their father's "nice big nose." However, other antisemitism groups said the nose perpetuated historic antisemitic stereotypes of Jews with hook noses or was deliberately contrived to make Bernstein seem "more Jewish" than he actually was.

Dame Helen, 78, plays the former prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, in upcoming biopic Golda and was asked if she understood the recent backlash and whether she can see why people are uncomfortable with what some term "Jewface".

Speaking on BBC Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, the actress said: "I think I can see, but sometimes I can't see, because, I can't see who in this room is Jewish.

"We are all such an amazing mix and certainly I don't have an issue with Kirk Douglas playing a Viking. Kirk Douglas was Jewish.

"I think the whole question of assuming a certain physiognomy because you're playing a particular race. There is something offensive about that.

"On the other hand, if you're playing Leonard Bernstein, and this is really what Leonard Bernstein looked like, you know, maybe it's a good idea. It's as I said it's a very delicate balance."
Jewish scientist awarded 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine for contribution to COVID-19 vaccine
Jewish scientist Drew Weissman and Hungarian scientist Katalin Karikó were awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for their efforts in developing the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

The Nobel committee explained that Weissman and Karikó's discoveries "were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020."

Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times," the committee added.

Drew Weissman is an immunologist who studies vaccinations. He met Karikó in a photography shop in 1997, the two shared their frustration over the lack of funding for RNA research for neurological illnesses.

In 2005, the two published a trailblazing study in the field which used synthetic nucleosides which prevented damage to the body as they did until then.

This study laid the groundwork for the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.
How a Jew shot to posthumous fame in Tunisia
He lived in an obscure suburb of the French town of Besançon, spending his meager busker’s earnings on food for his pet cats and dogs. Since he died in 2013, no one has combed through the shambles he left behind – thousands of cassette tapes, photos and scraps of writing – until a young Tunisian journalist, Yassine Redissi, decided to make a film about Henri Tibi in 2016. It took him seven years.

Since the release of ‘Je reviendrai là-bas (I’m coming home), Henri Tibi has shot to posthumous fame. Young Tunisians are playing his music and humming the songs he wrote. An exhibition of his photos has been held in Paris, and a website memorializing him has been set up by a group of his Jewish friends. Even the town of Besançon is about to name the square where the unwashed Demis Roussos lookalike spent decades begging, next to a large sign ( ‘Let he who is free of sin cast the first coin!’ ).

As a young Tunisian Jew, Tibi showed early promise. He was a champion ping pong player, swimmer and prolific photographer, but soon made his name as a chansonnier entertaining his Jewish friends in the summer resort of La Goulette, making up witty lyrics to other people’s songs. He never became a professional performer, he never married, and left for France along with the last wave of Jews after 1967. In Paris he became a poverty-stricken outsider, alone but for the stray cats he adopted.

When a report was made about Tibi’s eviction and shown on TV, the famous animal lover Brigitte Bardot pleaded:’someone please help this man!’ Help came from a generous resident of Besançon, who allowed Tibi and cats to move into a house they owned.

Thus Tibi found himself in a nondescript and Judenrein French town, a world away from the sunshine and the beaches of Tunisia.

The film is a paen to the ‘coexistence’ unique to La Goulette, in contrast to its large neighbor, the city of Tunis. In La Goulette, Jews rubbed shoulders with Muslims, Italians and Maltese while all sipped their cocktails in the Café Vert, gambled at the casino or spent languid days on the beach. Tibi celebrated that coexistence and his love for Tunisia. His songs play well with a new generation of Tunisians, who since the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011, have been rediscovering the pluralism and tolerance of an earlier era.

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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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