April 6, 2020

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02/21 Links Pt2: How many more school textbooks are spreading lies and hate?; Jewish leaders criticise McDonnell claim Assange case ‘the Dreyfus of our age’

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2020/02/0221-links-pt2-how-many-more-school.html

From Ian:


David Collier: How many more school textbooks are spreading lies and hate?
School based revisionist history and antisemitism took centre stage again yesterday as more evidence of the rancid distortions that are freely taught to our children came to light. In a sign of how bad things are – this news didn’t even break in the UK.

I first got hold of the story through a post published on the US based blogger ‘JewishChick’s Facebook page. She had uploaded an image of what seemed to be a school textbook posing a question for students – asking whether Israel bore ‘long term’ responsibility for the 9/11 attacks:

I tracked it down. Hachette UK, which owns ‘Hodder Education’, published the book ‘Understanding History: Britain in the Wider World, Roman Times – Present’. The book was co-written by Michael Riley, Alex Ford, Kath Goudie, Richard Kennett and Helen Snelson, all people engaged in teaching history in the UK. It is for KS3 (ages 11-14) and seems to have been well received by teachers and students alike:

The book only referenced Israel once – on pages 240-241 – in a section about causes of 9/11. Popular publisher – popular book – outrageous question. How is it possible that this has been published, distributed, taught in schools AND yet it still took an American blogger to tell us about it? Where are our own guards?

For 1000s of years people who have had control of children’s education have found ways to tell lies about Jews. Today they do it through demonising Israel. Just a few months ago Pearson’s were forced to take a revisionist textbook off the shelves – and now this. How many more are out there? Children who are taught this stuff – are going to become adults – with opinions, votes and power.

John McDonnell attacked for ‘deeply offensive’ comparison of Julian Assange to falsely persecuted Jewish soldier

After visiting the imprisoned Wikileaks founder at Belmarsh, Labour’s shadow Chancellor said his planned extradition was “the Dreyfus case of our age”.

This refers to Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer who was tried and convicted in 1895 on false charges of treason, with many believing he was court martialled just because he was Jewish.

He was later exonerated thanks to a long campaign, which included the publication of J’Accuse by the novelist Emile Zola, criticising his prosecution.

Mr McDonnell’s comparison drew condemnation, with Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust tweeting: “Dreyfus was a French artillery officer falsely accused of treason because he was Jewish.

“Go figure how or why John McDonnell could make such an inappropriate comparison with the Assange case.

“Outrageous, ridiculous and so deeply offensive.”

Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, posted: “What an absolutely ridiculous and offensive thing to say.

“Though I can see how you could confuse Dreyfus, a loyal soldier wrongly accused of treason because he was a Jew, with an entitled bloke who hid in a foreign embassy to evade extradition on a rape allegation.

“If you view *everything* through an anti-American lens, obviously.”

Euan Philipps, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism said: “It is deeply offensive of John McDonnell to compare Julian Assange to Alfred Dreyfus, and Mr Assange’s imprisonment to the Dreyfus Affair – a case that directly inspired a resurgence in the Zionist movement.”

Jewish leaders criticise McDonnell claim Assange case ‘the Dreyfus of our age’

The controversial case – which inspired Roman Polanksy’s 2019 drama “An Officer and a Spy” – divided public opinion and sparked a national debate on race.

Dreyfus’ plight inspired the acclaimed novelist Emile Zola, best known for his book Germinal, to pen an incendiary letter on the subject, accusing his contemporaries of antisemitism.

“I think it’s the Dreyfus case of our age,” McDonnell told reporters.

“The way in which a person is being persecuted for political reasons, for simply exposing the truth for what went on in relation to recent wars,” he said.

The remark sparked outcry from Jewish leaders, with Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, calling the comparison “inappropriate …. outrageous, ridiculous and so deeply offensive.”

A statement from the Antisemitism Policy Trust on Thursday called the remark “crass and offensive” and said McDonnell “should know better.”

Joining a chorus of criticism, Mike Katz, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement said it was “an absolutely ridiculous and offensive thing to say” in a tweet on Thursday.

A statement from the Community Security Trust claimed it was a “disgraceful false equivalence to one of the key learning moments of modern Jewish history.”

New video shows details from fatal shootout at kosher US deli

Newly released video from a fatal shootout at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City shows the moment one of the shooters exited the van he drove there, took three steps and raised a long gun before entering the market, sending passersby scattering away from the shop.

The seven video files obtained Thursday through the US state’s open records law span roughly three hours from the December 10 barrage. Three people at the market, plus the two shooters, died. The attackers also killed a Jersey City police detective earlier that day, according to authorities.

Authorities identified the attackers as David Anderson and Francine Graham and said they were fueled by a hatred of Jewish people and law enforcement. Authorities had said Anderson exited the white rental van they drove to the scene carrying an AR-15 style weapon, while Graham carried a 12-gauge shotgun into the shop.

The video shows police arrived at the market less than two minutes after the shooters exited the van.

One video capturing part of the shootout shows a Jersey City police officer firing his pistol toward the market from the window of a Catholic school across the street. The officer is seen reloading his weapon as numerous volleys of gunfire are heard.

“I think he’s down. No he’s still moving,” the unidentified officer is heard saying.

Security Officials Give Defense Primer to Jewish Business Leaders in Lakewood, NJ

Some 200 people gathered at Congregation Sons of Israel in Lakewood, NJ, on Tuesday night not to pray, but to learn about new security technologies and hear from law-enforcement experts and others about how to stay safe.

The security summit took place as antisemitic incidents and vandalism continue to be reported in Ocean County, NJ, particularly in the towns of Lakewood and Jackson.

According to the ADL, Ocean County recorded 21 antisemitic incidents in 2018—a number that experts believe is low because of the underreporting of incidents.

Presenters at the event included Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer and Michael Geraghty, New Jersey’s chief information security officer, who spoke on protecting businesses and institutions digitally from ransomware, malware and cybercrimes.

The director of the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Jared Maples, was given an award from a Jewish community leader from Jersey City. Maples also spoke during the program.

One of the goals of the evening was to empower businesses and local institutions with the knowledge and tools to be proactive in protecting themselves and others, Duvi Honig, executive director of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, told JNS. He added that the evening was also designed to show people that “they have a voice in Trenton”—the capital of New Jersey—and that state politicians are eager to hear about their concerns.

MEMRI: Egyptian Regime On Restoration Of Alexandria Synagogue: An Expression Of Egyptian Tolerance And An Important Tourism Enterprise; Muslim Brotherhood: A Waste Of Money And Pandering To Jews

On January 10, 2020, the Eliyahu Hanavi (Prophet Elijah) Synagogue in Alexandria was reopened following comprehensive restoration and renovation lasting over two years and costing some 70 million Egyptian pounds (~ $4.5 million). The synagogue was built during the reign of Ottoman ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha in the late 19th century, over the ruins of a 14th century synagogue that had been destroyed following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798. In 2018, after years of neglect that caused parts of the building to collapse, the Egyptian government decided to restore the synagogue and reopen it.[1]

The restoration of the Alexandria synagogue serves two of Egypt’s goals: first, it presents Egypt to the world as a tolerant and open country which respects all the religions and their places of worship. At the inauguration of the renovated synagogue, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anany stressed the importance that the Egyptian government attributes to the heritage of all religions, noting that he had also participated in inauguration of churches, monasteries, and mosques.[2] Magda Haroun, head of the Jewish community of Egypt – which numbers only a handful of people – reinforced this message in her speech at the ceremony. She praised the efforts of the Egyptian government to renovate the synagogue, as well as other synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, saying that it demonstrates the extent to which the Jews were an integral part of Egyptian society and culture.[3] This goal is in line with objectives set out by Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, who since coming into office has been calling for “a renewal of the religious discourse”[4] and has acted to establish Egypt as a civil state belonging to Egyptians of all faiths, not only Muslims.

The second goal of the renovation project is to establish the synagogue as a tourist attraction, as noted by Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Engineering Affairs Hisham Samir, in statements he made to the Al-Masri Al-Yawm daily. The article, titled “After Its Restoration, Will the Alexandria Synagogue Become a Tourist Attraction?”, also quoted a source in the Jewish community in Egypt, who said that “the synagogue is a historic site belonging to all Egyptians,” and called to open all of Egypt’s synagogues to the general public and to renew prayers at the restored Alexandria synagogue.[5]

The reopening of the synagogue was widely covered in the Egyptian press. Reports about it featured photographs of the renovated synagogue, and briefly described its history, structure and contents. Assistant Tourism and Antiquities Minister Hisham Samir boasted that the synagogue holds “important Torah scrolls,” as well as menorahs and extravagant ornaments.[6] Other articles in the Egyptian press praised the restoration of the synagogue and stressed that it was a sign of the openness and tolerance of the Egyptian regime, and that it would promote tourism to Egypt. Conversely, news websites of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which opposes the regime, criticized the restoration project, calling it a waste of public funds and an act of pandering to the Zionists and Israel.

After synagogue re-opening, Egypt sending mixed signals to Jews

The re-opening of the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in Alexandria demonstrates that Egypt is sending mixed signals to its former Jewish citizens: on the one hand it wants to revive the Jewish community, on the other hand Jews cannot practise openly (as in Morocco) and must be protected against real threats by strict security at al times. Insightful article in the Economist (with thanks: Alec):

When it comes to Egypt’s Jewish community, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi says all the right things. Only a minuscule fraction of the 80,000 Jews who once lived in Egypt remain in this Arab, Muslim country.

Nonetheless, Mr Sisi promises a resurgence of local Jewry. He has invited back Jews who were pushed out after Israel’s invasion in 1956. He has listed dilapidated Jewish cemeteries as heritage sites and spent millions of dollars restoring what was once the world’s largest synagogue, Eliyahu HaNavi, in Alexandria.

On February 14th about 180 Jews of Alexandrian origin returned to rededicate the synagogue. They hammered a mezuzah onto its walls, danced with the Torah scrolls and sang psalms to the tune of “Inta Omri”, the anthem of Egypt’s most famous diva, Umm Kulthum.

Old men sipped espressos at nearby Café Delice, still playing Edith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien”, and swapped faded wedding photos taken on the synagogue’s steps. They cried over memories of leaving Egypt, surrendering their passports and signing documents promising not to return.

Leftists, Islamists, and Us

In December, the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) at the University of California, Berkeley, hosted an event in Paris, titled ‘Islam and Politics: the Great Discord.’ Participating organizations include Parti des Indigenes de la Republique (PIR), as well as the Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France, which is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Berkeley’s IRDP director is Hatem Bazian, a widely-denounced anti-Semite and a key official in America’s Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood networks. His counterpart in France, meanwhile, is notorious French Algerian activist Houria Bouteldja, PIR’s spokesperson and co-founder.

Bouteldja was extensively criticized in France after the release of her 2016 book, Whites, Jews, and Us. The book, which she presented as an act of “revolutionary love,” presents the dismantling of Israel as a priority, praises former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for declaring that there are no homosexuals in Iran, and expresses unambiguous antisemitism.

When France’s Left and Right reached the obvious conclusion that her ideas were appalling and denounced her work, Bouteldja claimed to be the victim of a witch-hunt.

Now, despite her severely damaged credibility in France, she has somehow successfully managed to build a new reputation in the United States as an inspiring activist and brilliant academic.

Bouteldja begins her 2016 book by adopting the French nationalist call for the shooting of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre because of his opposition to French colonial control over Algeria, with Bouteldja wishing he could instead be shot for his Zionism. According to Bouteldja, Sartre “prolonged the anti-Semitic project in its Zionist form and participated in the construction of the greatest prison for Jews.”

One of Bouteldja’s chapters is addressed to “You, the Jews.” She claims that Jews made a deal with the West “to be the weaponized wing of Western imperialism in the Arab world.”

Bouteldja recounts that when her Algerian cousin asks who Hitler is, she thanks him for his “precious words,” which taught her that “for the South, the Shoah [Holocaust] […] is nothing but a ‘detail.'”

She then generously offers a deal to Jews: if they “lay to rest these ideologies that glorify [them] as supreme victims” and “[..] recognize that Nazism’s origins lie in the “trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism,” then she will ally with them and recognize that the Holocaust “will never be a detail.”

Al Arabiya: Rep Ilhan Omar’s ‘peace’ proposal puts her duplicity on display

Omar has a track record of opposing America’s sanctions policy, arguing that they hurt ordinary people more than their state. In October, the Congresswoman penned an article for the Washington Post titled “Sanctions are part of a failed foreign policy playbook,” arguing against sanctions on Turkey, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government backs the Muslim Brotherhood extremist organization and is a close ally of Omar.

However, she appears to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement when it applies to Israel.

In each one of her proposed foreign policy actions, Omar’s double standards are on display. She calls for sanctions against America’s allies that allegedly violate human rights, but at the same time argues against sanctions for Iran, which has a well-established track record of supporting terrorism around the world and suppressing basic freedoms in their own country.

And when Omar calls for withholding American defense and intelligence cooperation with allied countries that violate human rights, she seems to forget that she broke ranks with her Democratic Party in Congress and voted repeatedly against sanctions on Turkey designed to punish Ankara’s military operation against Syria’s Kurds.

Omar’s bias is clear. She has clearly allied herself with Erdogan, whom she met in 2017 and whose Turkish-American cousin donates to her campaign. Her foreign policy advisor was Iranian-American Mahyar Sorour – who is affiliated with NIAC, an organization whose founder Trita Paris was found to be lobbying for the Iranian regime.

Whether Omar’s double standards are because of malice or naiveté is anybody’s guess. Either way, her duplicity does not reflect American democracy and her self-styled “progressive” policies for peace would empower America’s most hostile enemies.

Omar Pal Says Congresswoman Married Her Brother

A Somali community leader who claims to have known Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for an extensive period of time said she married her brother to help him stay in the United States.

The Daily Mail reported that Abdihakim Osman alleged that Omar told friends the second man she married was her brother, and that she married him for immigration purposes:

Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi.

But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him.

‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, exclusively told DailyMail.com.

The allegations are the latest in a series of controversies Omar has faced concerning her personal life.

Last month, the New York Post reported that the FBI was reviewing the claims that Omar married her brother. The allegations have not been conclusively proved because of a lack of paperwork about their relationship from Somalia, but the agency is reviewing documents concerning the 2009 marriage.

Ben Shapiro Clashes with a Bernie Sanders Supporter (Ariel Gold)

Ben Shapiro asks Ariel Gold about Bernie Sanders, American foreign policy, socialism, and more!

‘Zionist’ Labour leadership candidate endorses Palestinian right of return

A British Labour party leadership candidate who has called herself a Zionist signed onto a series of pro-Palestinian pledges last week, including one recognizing the Palestinian right of return.

Responding to a letter from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) calling on all Labour candidates to support its commitments, Lisa Nandy said in a tweet, “I have and always will support Palestinian rights. That’s why I oppose Trump’s ‘plan,’ have campaigned against British business profiting from the Occupied Palestinian Territories and support any embargo on arms deals which violates human rights.”

While Nandy has long been a vocal critic of the Israeli government’s policies regarding the Palestinians, she has also spoken out against anti-Semitism in her party and last week received the endorsement of the Jewish Labour Movement, one of the oldest societies affiliated with the party.

But JLM officials came out against Nandy after she tweeted that she was “happy to back” the PSC commitments.

Stephane Savary, a national vice chair of JLM, accused Nandy in a tweet of “playing both sides.”

Labour Friends of Israel tweeted that a Palestinian right of return would mean “the end of Israel as a Jewish state, so is incompatible with support for two states for two peoples.”

Labour suspends councillor alleged to have suggested Jews created Isis

Labour has suspended a Blackburn councillor who is alleged to have shouted “murderers, murderers, murderers” at an Israeli peace protest and suggested that Jews created terror group Isis.

It is understood that Tasleem Fazal has been suspended by the party pending an investigation.

In a video, posted by the now deactivated account “CH Tassy Fazal”, a man’s voice shouts at a group of demonstrators holding Israeli flags and “peace for Israel and Gaza” signs “murderers, murderers, murderers… you’re all murderers”.

“Murderers, mate, that’s what you are… Cowards and bullies, that’s what you are… Shame on you f**kers…

“Look us up, Drive4Justice… We’re here for the people who’re getting killed; they’re the people getting killed by your guys… How long you been killing people?”

The protest appears to have been one which took place in Manchester in 2014 during the Gaza conflict.

Protesters in the video can be seen holding signs with slogans such as “Yes to peace, no to terror”, “End Hamas terrorism” and “Jewish people will not be put out of business by antisemites”.

Some also hold Israeli flags.

UK: Jewish student body warns of “difficult time” with 200 anti-Israel events planned for campuses

Jewish students are preparing for a month of heightened anti-Semitism as anti-Israel campaign groups plan to spread lies and hate against the Jewish state.

The so-called “Israel Apartheid Week”, which runs from 16 to 21 March, will see some 200 events on campuses around the world next month. With the spurious theme,“United Against Racism”, anti-Israel groups say they seek to advocate for “Palestinian rights in the context of global struggles against racial oppression.”

But Daniel Kosky, campaigns organiser at the Union of Jewish Students, said the week “can be a difficult time for Jewish students.”

“Too often anti-Zionism is used as a mask to cover underlying antisemitism. Year after year we see incidents such as ‘mock checkpoints’ and guest speakers who engage in antisemitism which intimidate and sometimes target Jewish students,” he said.

“Israel Apartheid Week is divisive and wrong, and those wanting to truly bring peace closer should invest their time into projects that bring Israelis and Palestinians together, rather than promoting one-sided boycotts which only exacerbates division,” he added.

More BBC News promotion of its politicised narrative on Jerusalem

They did however see one-sided portrayal of parts of the city of Jerusalem, including a frequently used map sourced from the political NGO B’tselem.

“A 3km (2-mile) tunnel will lead to the Western Wall – one of Judaism’s holiest sites – in the city’s occupied east.”

“The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided” capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war – as the capital of a future state.”

Predictably however, readers were not told that what the BBC chooses to call “East Jerusalem” was invaded and occupied by Jordan nineteen years earlier or that in June 1967 it was Jordan which opened the hostilities on that front. Neither were they provided with any significant background information concerning the Waqf and its status before being informed that:

“Jordan has special responsibility for overseeing the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem – including the compound behind the Western Wall, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount – via an Islamic trust called the Waqf.”

The BBC is obliged under the terms of its Charter to “provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them”. Its adoption and exclusive promotion of one-sided politicised narratives which deliberately omit relevant information cannot possibly be claimed to serve audiences in accordance with those obligations.

White supremacists increasingly collaborating across borders, experts say

Shortly before he killed 51 people, the gunman who perpetrated the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shooting posted a manifesto to the website 8chan in which he praised a fellow white supremacist — the attacker who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

A few weeks later, the Christchurch shooter was praised by another gunman — the one who perpetrated the synagogue shooting in Poway, California. Four months after that, yet another gunman, in the El Paso shooting, posted a similar white supremacist manifesto to 8chan.

The attacks happened across the globe — in Europe, Oceania and America. But they followed similar play books and shared the same noxious ideas.

In particular, the shooters in Christchurch, Poway and El Paso all cited the so-called Great Replacement theory — that Western countries and their white populations are under attack from a mass immigration of nonwhite immigrants orchestrated by Jews. The Great Replacement term was itself coined by Renaud Camus, a French writer.

The connectivity between those massacres and their ideology is just one example of how white supremacists are forming alliances, working together and inspiring each other across borders. While white supremacists will sometimes call themselves “white nationalists,” experts say it’s more accurate to view them as members of an international movement that aims to advance a shared agenda.

“They view themselves as part of a white collective that is transnational and that represents a race, the white race,” said Heidi Beirich, who founded the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism following a 20-year career at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “One of the big things motivating violence today… is this wish to bring whites together across borders to fight for control of what they consider their historic homelands.”

German authorities tackle far-right extremism; Jews: ‘What took so long?’

Following multiple high-profile attacks by far-right nationalists, German officials are ramping up their efforts against extremists in a move that Jewish leaders in Germany are carefully watching.

Both the Yom Kippur attack on a synagogue in Halle last October and the assassination in June of a pro-refugee politician, Walter Lubcke, were carried out by assailants affiliated with the far right.

Those high-profile events happened against a backdrop of anti-Semitic attacks that officials say have been mostly motivated by far-right ideologies — not by Islamic extremists who have preoccupied most of the government’s recent anti-terrorism efforts.

In 2018, there were five reported physical or verbal attacks daily against Jewish people in Germany, according to the country’s Federal Criminal Police Office — numbers that are widely seen as undercounting the true number of incidents.

Neo-Nazi Who Burned Own Face During Attempted UK Synagogue Arson Now Out of a Job

A British white supremacist who set his own face on fire during an arson attack on the third-oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom has been banned from his profession by medical authorities.

Tristan Morgan — who worked as a radiographer at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in southwestern England — was removed from register of licensed practitioners by the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service at a hearing last week.

Morgan attempted to set fire to the synagogue in Exeter, which dates back to the eighteenth century, on July 21, 2018.

The 51-year-old neo-Nazi activist was caught on CCTV camera splashing fuel through a window of the synagogue and lighting a match, before taking the full blast of the explosion in his own face.

Morgan immediately fled the scene, anxiously patting down his burning hair as he ran away.

The synagogue itself suffered damage amounting to nearly $40,000.

Australian Jewish Civil Rights Group Condemns Flying of Nazi Flag on New South Wales Light Tower

An Australian Jewish civil rights group on Thursday condemned the flying of a Nazi flag on a light tower in a city in New South Wales.

The chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr. Dvir Abramovich, called the incident “a desecration of the memory of the victims and the brave Australian soldiers who died fighting the Third Reich, and a punch in the guts of the Holocaust survivors.”

The Canberra Times reported that the flag was discovered on Monday attached to a light tower in the city of Wagga Wagga.

The city’s mayor, Greg Conkey, said, “I’m outraged, and I know a vast amount of people in Wagga would be outraged.”

“It doesn’t reflect this city in any way, shape, or form,” he added. “I’ll get onto it and make sure the flag is removed first thing.”

The flag was indeed removed the next day.

Abramovich, who is leading a national campaign to criminalize the public display of Nazi symbols, said in a statement, “By now it’s obvious that the campaign by homegrown neo-Nazi and white supremacists to take their ideology of murder from the online sphere to the physical world is at an all-time high and is expanding.”

King Felipe VI omits to apologize for expulsion of the Jews from Spain

On March 31, 1992, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the issuance of an edict by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordering the expulsion of Jews from Spain, King Juan Carlos I paid an historic visit at the Madrid synagogue. Wearing a white yarmulke, the monarch prayed together with the late president Chaim Herzog for peace and brotherhood.

In his speech, Juan Carlos stated, “May hatred and intolerance never again provoke expulsion or exile. On the contrary, let us be capable of building a prosperous Spain in preach among ourselves on the basis of concord and mutual respect…. That is my fervent wish. Peace for all. Shalom.”

A day later, the prestigious Spanish newspaper El Pais published a lucid chronicle of the visit, authored by Ignacio Cembrero. The first paragraph of the article read, “In his visit to the Madrid synagogue, Don Juan Carlos did not apologize for the expulsion of the Jews 500 years ago.”

Cembrero points out that the monarch went on by portraying the gathering as “endearing to the crown as it represents the encounter between the king and the Spanish Jews.” He added, “The king barely mentioned in his speech the forced departure from the peninsula of hundreds of thousands of Jews, which he did not justify, but explained as a consequence of a state reason, which saw religious uniformity as the pillar of its unity.”

Twenty eight years later, the omission by the monarch of that time was reiterated by his son and successor, the reigning king of Spain.

IDF’s Pioneering All-Women Tank Crews to Provide Protection of Israel’s South

The all-female tank crews that the Israel Defense Forces will create this coming year will have the mission of defending the Egyptian and Jordanian border against intrusion by terror squads.

The creation of the border-defense tank units announced last month also seems to reflect the IDF’s need to allocate additional numbers of male tank personnel to units that will have a very different task: crossing into enemy territory in the event of a land war.

The IDF’s Border Defense Array specializes in defensive operations, unlike the wartime divisions—dubbed the “spearpoint” divisions in the IDF—that must be able to move deep into the enemy’s territory and destroy numerous targets on the way while providing cover fire for the infantry in built-up areas.

The tank units in the wartime divisions train for combat against the well-equipped terrorist armies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. In contrast, the Border Defense Array units help free up the wartime units for more training by permanently taking over border-defense missions in the south of Israel.

“The IDF does indeed require quality personnel in combat units, and it is always lacking in this respect,” Eitan Shamir, former head of the National Security Doctrine Department in the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and a research associate at the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told JNS on Tuesday.

“It seems the IDF is trying to kill two birds with one stone—allocating quality male personnel to the maneuvering units that would move into enemy territory and showcasing gender equality, an important topic for the IDF in the context of military-societal relations,” he said.

However, he added that further clarification was needed for the precise roles of tanks in border-defense missions.

Watch: Chinese Touched by Mass Jewish Prayer at the Wall for their Health

In China millions have been reacting with great excitement to the Israeli gesture of praying for the coronavirus patients.

On Sunday, Tsfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu organized a mass prayer at the Kotel, for the people of China who are suffering from the epidemic.

China’s international radio has covered the heartfelt reaction. Enjoy.

Bringing latest laser tech, Israeli surgeons help young burn victims in Haiti

A team of burn and plastic surgery specialists from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel, traveled to Haiti in January, where they delivered and operated the country’s first medical laser. The laser, donated by the New Jersey-based nonprofit Burn Advocates Network, is primarily used to treat pediatric patients suffering from catastrophic burns, a major health crisis in the Caribbean nation.

Sheba National Burn Center director Prof. Josef Haik and two Israeli colleagues mentored 30 surgeons, nurses, and therapists from six hospitals in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on how to use the laser and carry out other state-of-the-art care to reduce and alleviate disfiguring, painful and motion-restricting scarring.

The introduction of the Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 fractional laser to the Sacre Coeur Hospital in Milot constituted the first international satellite project of I-PEARLS (Israel Pediatric and Aesthetic Reconstructive Laser Surgery Center of Excellence), a recent partnership between Sheba and BAN creating the first laser treatment and research center in the Middle East focusing on healing pediatric burn survivors.

BAN provided the funding to renovate existing space in Sheba’s advanced technology wing and outfit it with an array of lasers and other equipment necessary to make it a center of excellence.

According to Haik, the I-PEARLS center at Sheba has conducted 1,000 procedures annually in the last three years, with around half of the patients coming from the Palestinian territories. Unlike procedures carried out on adults that can often be performed with local anesthesia, those done on children require full anesthesia.

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