Does Feminism Have Room for Zionists?
While the fairness of Ms. Odeh’s conviction is debated, the fact that she was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was categorized as a terrorist organization by the State Department, is not. The Anti-Defamation League referred to Ms. Odeh as a terrorist and raised concern that in recent years, “activism has been a tool for the legitimization of Rasmea Odeh, despite her criminal record in Israel.”
The organizers of the International Women’s Strike are not the first feminist group to position opposition to Israel as part of the feminist movement.
For example, in 2015, Columbia University’s anti-sexual assault advocacy group, No Red Tape, co-sponsored events connecting the experience of sexual assault survivors to that of Palestinians, and used its social media channels to promote anti-Zionist events hosted by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Julia Crain, a Columbia student who described herself as a former organizer in No Red Tape, denounced the move. “By picking a side, No Red Tape effectively politicized anti-sexual violence work on this campus. Doing so is detrimental to the cause and unfair to pro-Israel survivors,” she wrote in an op-ed for The Columbia Spectator.
That same year, the National Women’s Studies Association (N.W.S.A.), one of the largest academic feminist organization in North America, voted to endorse the boycott, divestment and sanctions (B.D.S.) movement against Israel, in part as an expression of feminism. That meant refraining from “economic, military and cultural entities and projects” that were sponsored by Israel, as well as academic partnerships and collaboration with professors or researchers at Israeli institutes. It is strange to see academic groups supporting the B.D.S. movement, which stifles the free flow of knowledge. But regardless of your opinion on the B.D.S. issue, it has nothing to do with feminism.
More and more frequently, my identity as a Zionist places me in conflict with the feminist movement of 2017. I will remain a proud feminist, but I see no reason I should have to sacrifice my Zionism for the sake of my feminism.
Question number one. How do you justify defending, or providing cover for such blatant Jew hatred, denying its existence, and weakening the Jewish defence against such antisemitic attacks, all in support of your ideology?
The second part relates directly to your absurdly fanciful political ideology. The utopian world that you describe, the one that provides the pillar for your entire political position. We both know that currently such a place does not exist. We also know (as people who study history) that we can call on many examples from the past, where such vision became a field of blood, as human failings overtook radical idealistic thought.
Surely, you should set about proving it possible elsewhere, and then invite the Jews to the party once it succeeds. One can hardly look at the Middle East, or anywhere currently on our planet, and gain confidence. How can anyone support the idea that within the current sea of blood, the Jews ‘of all people’, should rely on your assurance that human beings can live in peace and equality.
Don’t you think then, that it is incumbent on idealists such as yourself, and others that align with you, to create this utopian vision as a reality first? Or given Jewish history, don’t you think it absurd that you seek to use the Jewish state as a guinea pig?
I look forward to your response
Just when you thought the Palestine Solidarity Campaign would want to lie low and try not to get much attention in the wake of David Collier’s devastating reports on antisemitism and nutcase fantasism in their ranks they go and tweet these:
Update: @PSCUpdates the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Twitter handle has just been pulled.
Update 2: @fiona_bowden of the PSC says that their Twitter feed has been hacked [LOL]: which is plausible. The PSC generally avoids these sorts of statements. They are more closely aligned with Fatah than Hamas. The picture of the PSC leadership, although genuine and from a PSC source, was published on Harry’s Place some time ago, and is probably the source for the original tweet.
Soon after London Fashion Week concluded, Israel Apartheid Week began. Another week, another obsessive focus on Israel.
The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is mostly spearheaded in the West by people who have little to nothing attaching them to the Middle-East conflict.
Nothing, that is, beyond the fact that belonging to the hard-left and not supporting BDS has become the equivalent of claiming a love for fashion, while hating haute couture. Though unlike haute couture, BDS is an inelegant and simplistic solution to a protracted and incredibly complicated problem. But who cares for detail when you have a fabulous placard to wave?
The lazy analogy that BDS rests on is with South African apartheid. But unlike apartheid-era South Africa, Arabs make up 20 percent of Israel’s full citizenry. Most of these Arab-Israeli citizens are Muslim. There are mosques on Israeli beaches. Alongside Hebrew, Arabic is an official language of Israel. An Arab-Israeli judge has even impeached and convicted former Israeli prime minster, Ehud Olmert.
Tuvia Tenenbom’s fantastic new book, The Lies They Tell, uses humor as a weapon to expose hatred.
The playwright, who runs the Jewish Theater of New York and is also a journalist, previously wrote books about modern-day antisemitism in Germany, and the large amount of Arab antisemitism in Israel.
Here, the Israeli native — who has lived primarily in New York for the past few decades — travels across the United States to see what “regular joes” think about Jews and Israel. In the book, former ADL chief Abraham Foxman tells Tenenbom to expect more antisemitism than ADL surveys report, because people reveal more to someone who talks to them informally than someone who calls with a survey.
The Lies They Tell is riveting because of the casual antisemitism that Tenenbom exposes. It’s hard to believe that so many people spoke this candidly to him on the record. Perhaps it was due to his vibrant appearance (Tenenbom sometimes wore pink glasses).
In Seattle, a cab driver from Somalia tells him that the “Jews own everything and they don’t help anybody who is not Jewish…that’s why Hitler killed them.” In Dearborn, Michigan, a man tells Tenenbom that Jews can pass through — but can’t live in — a certain area, and also claims that Jews carried out the 9/11 attacks. In Michigan, two women selling desserts proudly proclaim that they support Hezbollah.
Following widespread public furor over what has been compared to the world-changing Dreyfus trial and described as a “Stalinist show-trial”, a French court acquitted Jewish historian Georges Bensoussan of hate speech charges over his statement that Arabs receive anti-Semitism with their “mother’s milk.”
The 17th Criminal Tribunal of Paris acquitted Bensoussan on Tuesday, saying in their ruling that the plaintiffs failed to substantiate the hate speech charges and concluded that Bensoussan merely “misspoke” in quoting without intention to incite hatred.
Bensoussan, a Holocaust scholar and one of the world’s leading historians on Jewish communities in Arab countries, was put on trial in December after a Muslim lobby group and a French human rights organization founded by Jews in the 1920s initiated a criminal lawsuit against him for the statement he made during a 2012 radio interview.
In November 2015, the Paris prefecture hurried to prosecute the distinguished historian in criminal court for paraphrasing another academic, Smain Laacher, a non-Jewish French filmmaker whose family originates from North Africa. In reality, Laacher had said in an interview that for many Arab families, anti-Semitism is in “the air that one breathes.”
In the radio program discussion, Bensoussan praised professor Laacher for his bravery and said, paraphrasing Laacher, “As Laacher very bravely said … in France, in Arab families … anti-Semitism is imbibed with one’s mother’s milk.”
It took only three days for a group of pro-Islamic activists to bring a claim against Bensoussan to the French media watch-dog, CSA, accusing the historian of propagating “biological racism.”
American policy with regard to Jerusalem is incoherent. On the one hand, U.S. policy has long favored a negotiated settlement between Israel and its adversaries based in some way on the 1967 armistice lines, which places West Jerusalem firmly in Israeli hands. On the other hand, the U.S. government refuses to officially recognize that any part of Jerusalem is part of Israel, because the 1947 U.N. partition allocated Jerusalem to an international body, and the entire city’s fate must be determined by negotiation. As a result of this policy, American citizens born in West Jerusalem must register their country of birth as “Jerusalem,” not Israel. Moreover, the U.S. government keeps its embassy in Tel Aviv rather than in West Jerusalem, the seat of Israeli government.
Nevertheless, the U.S. government maintains a consulate in East Jerusalem [actually in “western” Jerusalem] that serves the Arab residents of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. My understanding is that Jewish Jerusalemites may use this consulate, but they generally avoid it in favor of the embassy in Tel Aviv because the consulate mainly hires Arabic but not Hebrew speakers, and, I’ve heard from former State Department employees who worked in Israel, the local Arab employees of the consulate are thought to be hostile to Israeli Jews. The consulate’s own website notes that “since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Consulate General has served as the de facto representative of the United States government to the Palestinian Authority.”
This raises an obvious question: If the U.S. government refuses to place its Israel embassy in West Jerusalem, what possible rationale could there be for its de facto Palestinian embassy to be in East Jerusalem?
President Trump promised to move the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but has run into resistance from the professional diplomatic corps and from America’s Arab allies, who warn that an embassy move would stir anti-American unrest. Fine. Leave the embassy in Tel Aviv for now. But inform Jordan and the Palestinian Authority that the U.S. consulate is moving to Ramallah, so that U.S. government policy on Jerusalem will now be consistent and not seem to prejudice the future of either half of Jerusalem. Such an announcement might even make the P.A. rethink whether it really wants to oppose having the U.S. Embassy relocate to West Jerusalem. (h/t Think of England)
Rebel Media is a Canadian-based media outlet that describes itself as “your fearless source of news, opinion and activism.”
They have come to Israel on a fact-finding mission “to see for ourselves, everything from the Israeli security fence, to Israel’s border with Syria, and even the settlements in the West Bank….We’ll show you what it’s really like — the Israel that you never hear about from the mainstream media.”
In this, one of their first reports from Israel, they interview Shachar Liran-Hanan about My Truth, which gives IDF soldiers a way to tell the truth about their missions
Israel’s army was the first in the world to introduce mandatory military service for both men and women when it implemented the policy in 1949, but in a country where one is expected to serve in a military combat unit before rising up the military echelon to top defense decision-making ranks, it’s still a boy’s club.
But some women are making great strides in the IDF. Ahead of International Women’s Day, three high-ranking women in the Home Front Command spoke to The Jerusalem Post about their roles and the challenges they face while protecting the country as women and mothers.
Maj. Shiran Hashay Levy, head operations officer of the Haifa District, has served in the IDF since 2000 and is the mother of three boys; the eldest is six years old and the youngest is one year old.
“I have a lot of support from my family and my husband, and that is really necessary when it comes to my work,” she told the Post. “There are days that I come home really late, when my children are already sleeping, and there are other days when I don’t even see them. But because of my family I am able to deal with that.”
We Asked Women in the IDF What Makes Them Different From Men
Anti-antisemitism is suddenly in vogue. Why?
Melanie – Growth of Antisemitism? Also on Trump/Obama/Russia/Jeff Sessions Scandal
When Cincinnati’s Mayerson Jewish Community Center was hit with a bomb threat on Jan. 18, Adam Bellows was satisfied with how the staff handled the preschool kids, including his two-year-old son.
The kids, said Bellows, had no idea the threat had happened. They were evacuated and taken to a secure location where they watched cartoons.
But after he got home, Bellows’ son started having a tough time. He couldn’t sleep, and was scared to return to preschool the next day.
“It was hard to see how much it disturbed him,” Bellows said. “He wasn’t scared at the time or anything, but the next day he was saying, ‘I don’t want to go to the JCC.’ He kept asking, ‘Are we going to watch Mickey Mouse again? Is mommy going to come pick me up again?’ His world was interrupted.”
More than 100 bomb threats have targeted JCCs, day schools and other Jewish institutions, coming in six waves since the beginning of the year. The latest wave, on Tuesday, targeted more than a dozen locations — including JCCs, schools and offices of the Anti-Defamation League.
Leaders in the Jewish community are condemning a rising tide of anti-Semitism after two more Canadian Jewish centres received bomb threats on Tuesday.
In Toronto, toddlers and young children attending a daycare at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in the downtown core were evacuated after the centre’s school received a robo-call of a bomb threat shortly after 10 a.m. At almost the same time, the Jewish Community Centre of London, Ontario, received an identical threat — the second time that centre has been threatened in two months, according to the The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
That organization cites over 120 bomb threats against Jewish community centres across North America since the start of 2017.
“The Jewish community unfortunately is being targeted quite extensively now here in Canada. We saw it in Calgary as well, and it’s follows what’s happening in the US,” said Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday said that the Trump administration condemns anti-Semitism “in the strongest terms” as Jewish institutions across north America were hit with a fresh wave of bomb threats.
“We denounce these latest anti-Semitic and evil threats in the strongest terms,” Spicer said, speaking at the daily White House press briefing.
“I share the president’s hopes that we don’t have to continue to share these disturbing reports with you,” he added.
He spoke shortly after at least ten Jewish community centers across North America and four offices of the Anti-Defamation League received attack threats, in the sixth such wave since the beginning of the year.
Spicer said that as long as the threats continue, the administration will keep condemning them and look at ways to stop them.
Jewish foundations and federations effectively boycott investments in Israel. This strange phenomenon, while unintentional and seemingly preposterous, is true. Worse still, Jewish endowments actually invest more in Qatar, a primary funder of Hamas, than in Israel. Yet these very same organizations also fund Israel advocacy and efforts to combat BDS, the effort to delegitimize Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions. How did this bizarre turn of events come to be and what can be done about it?
Speak to any investment committee member of a Jewish endowment about the connection of their organization’s mission and the endowment, and they will give you one answer. The endowment should seek to maximize income in order to maximize grants. Granting philosophy should be wholly separate from investment policy, they say. As one committee member put it, our hearts shouldn’t override our brains when it comes to investing.
In contrast to Jewish endowments, as much as 20 percent of endowment funds in the U.S. connect their endowment investment policy with their mission. In practice, these so-called mission-based endowments invest their money according to their values, for example, in green or social companies. They also divest their money according to their values, for example from blood diamonds or forest clear-cutting.
Monday’s new law blocking foreign BDS activists from gaining entry to Israel leaves far more questions than answers about how it will work.
Ostensibly, the law blocks any foreign activists who call for or try to influence others to boycott Israel from being able to enter the country.
But does this include a left-wing Jewish college student who calls for a boycott of Israel on his Facebook page? Does it include an individual who made a small one-time donation to a BDS organization? Are foreigners who only wish to boycott the settlements, but not the rest of Israel, included in the ban?
Mostly, the different sides of the debate can agree on one thing: that agreement on such questions will be hard to find.
Richard Gere arrives in Israel rude, tactless and boorish
When you come as a visitor to another country the first rule is to behave respectfully and politely.
After all, you are a guest in someone else’s home.
Richard Gere, on a trip to Israel this week to promote his latest film, chose rudeness. All that money, all that fame, and no class.
He lectured the Israelis. Why not? When it comes to Israel, everybody has a say, everybody has a plan, everybody is an expert, and nobody worries about insulting the Jewish people. We expect it from France, the UN and most of the world anyway. But Richard Gere, last I heard, is still a practicing Buddhist.
That’s supposed to be about calm reflection, embracing wisdom and practicing compassion (which sounds so very Jewish to me).
The Palestinians came along as a “people” somewhere in the 1960s – that’s the 1960s AD – so why they get half the Land, as people insist, beats me.
So what’s his beef, Richard Gere? Says in the media that he demands “an end to the Occupation.”
He also wants an end to one people “ruling over another people.”
Following the cancellation of a number of on-campus events connected to ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’, and the criticism this has sparked from a number of academics, the ways in which institutions can deal with anti-Semitism within the student movement has reared its head once again.
Tempting as it is to attribute any problems to the divisive nature of ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ however, it is clear that the issue runs much deeper.
Last weekend, the current National Union of Students (NUS) president, Malia Bouattia, spoke at a conference in London hosted by the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in partnership with Friends of al-Aqsa, appearing alongside the group’s founder, Ismail Patel.
A driving force behind divisive pro-Palestinian activism on UK university campuses, Friends of al-Aqsa has published writers with a history of anti-Semitic views, such as Khalid Amayreh, while Patel has stated that: “Hamas is no terrorist organisation…we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel”.
Two violent attacks campus speakers have gained widespread media attention in recent months — the attack on Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance at UC-Berkeley, and Charles Murray at Middlebury.
Less violent, but still disruptive, attempts were made to shut down Rick Santorum and Michael Johns at Cornell, Christina Hoff Sommers at Oberlin, Georgetown and elsewhere. and other conservative speakers.
Finally, there is widespread condemnation even from the left, particularly after Middlebury.
Yet we have been covering shout-downs and violence directed at speakers on campus for several years, but for the most part these events never gained national media attention much less condemnation from the left. Because the speakers who were disrupted were mostly Jewish Israelis and supporters of Israel. Not all those shouted down or attacked were Jewish, but all were deemed supportive of Zionism, the recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jews.
The perpetrators frequently acted under the banner of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and Students for Justice in Palestine, or similar anti-Israel groups.
Anti-Israel BDS activists at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa were prevented on Tuesday from attacking an Arab member of an Israeli delegation by students dancing and chanting in Hebrew, the head of the delegation told The Algemeiner.
Gilad Kabilo, the leader of the group, brought to Wits by advocacy organization StandWithUs to observe and counter Israeli Apartheid Week events, said that the confrontation occurred during a speech on the quad by Yahya — whose full name was withheld to ensure his safety — about the merits of being an Arab citizen of the Jewish state.
The BDS supporters “freaked out and rushed at us to get to him,” Kabilo said. “Two of the main instigators were immediately surrounded by Jewish students and Israel allies, who sang ‘Am Yisrael Chai.’ The singing made them even crazier, and at a certain point, they finally backed off.”
Yahya, a StandWithUs educator, told The Algemeiner that when the audience noticed the activists beginning to rush at him, they created a “human barrier” to protect him.
“The BDS people came waving their flags, screaming and cursing me, giving me the middle finger. They cut the electrical cord to our area, so we lost power. They were very violent and unethical,” he said. “When I finished my speech, one person approached me and started telling me all my personal information and that of my family to intimidate me. Feeling very unsafe, I have involved campus security.”
Terry Joffe Benaryeh, the niece of one of two men murdered in the Palestinian terrorist bombing of an Israeli supermarket in Israel, is slamming the involvement of Rasmea Odeh, one of the alleged perpetrators of the attack, in an upcoming women’s protest against President Trump.
“[E]xplain how my family is supposed to reconcile the reality that the woman who stripped my uncle of his life is now deemed a hero by many of my fellow Americans,” Benaryeh wrote in an op-ed she penned in the Huffington Post. “What justification is there for Rasmea Odeh, a woman who killed two people (with the intention of killing more!) to lead a peaceful fight for human rights?”
She asked, “What is the difference between the acts of Omar Mateen, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Dylan Roof, and Rasmea Odeh? There is no difference. They all carried out acts of terror in the name of their causes, which resulted in the death of innocent civilians. Whether they were targeting the LGBT community, Americans, African Americans, or Jewish Israelis, these were all terrorist acts.”
The Day Without A Woman protest is scheduled to take place on International Women’s Day. “On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity,” reads the group’s website.
Co-organizing the protest is Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a former member of the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In 1969, Odeh and several cohorts planted two bombs at a Jerusalem supermarket. Her actions resulted in the death of two Hebrew University students: Leon Kaner and Edward Jaffe. In 1970, Odeh was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in a prisoner swap after serving just ten years. Odeh currently faces deportation for falsifying her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship by concealing her terrorist background.
Odeh is not the only one with a violent past. It appears that several of the speakers and organizers of these Women’s March activities are the ones with violent backgrounds.
One of the featured speakers at the Woman’s March was convicted felon Donna Hylton who, in 1985, along with several others, kidnapped 62-year-old real-estate broker Thomas Vigliarolo and tortured him to death.
Angela Davis was also a speaker at the March. Davis came to prominence in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party U.S.A. and the militant Black Panthers Party. She is best known for being the second black woman to make the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for her role in a courtroom shootout that resulted in the death of Judge Harold Haley. She was later acquitted in a 1972 trial, despite having fled the country and her proven ownership of the guns involved in the murder.
One of the March’s principle organizers, Linda Sarsour, has a track record of both disturbing behavior and statements. Sarsour supports the discriminatory and terror-tied BDS Movement and has called for solidarity with Muhammad Allan, a member of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad who helped recruit suicide bombers.
That little picture up on the right bothered me for days. Finally, I opened Google and searched “Israeli settlements”.
“How obvious,” I thought, “how amazingly pathetic.” Within a second I found the picture. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t taken in Ma’ale Adumim, but in Modi’in Illit – some 50 kilometers away. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t taken in 2017…or 2016…or 2015, or 2014, or 2013, and not even in 2012.
The picture has been used (and abused) dozens of times – from a Swedish newspaper to Peace Now to CTV. The journalists, Paul Workman and Orly Halpern, wanted to see building in Ma’ale Adumim and made comments about attributing it to the change in the relationship between Israel and the US now that Donald Trump is president.
They were able to see a grand total of 9 buildings that we started over a year ago (no connection to Donald Trump’s election, obviously) and of course showcased these buildings to justify the “controversial expansion” they decided existed in Maale Adumim.
It’s true that a picture can speak a thousand words and that the media knows this and will attempt to use pictures for this very purpose. But when the thousand words are inaccurate, it falls to the consumer to remember that not all reporters are ethical; not all television agencies worthy of the trust we all too often put in them.
Much has been said lately about a changing Middle East, but those changes do not include a wholesale reshuffling of countries’ locations. Nevertheless, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) photo captions earlier this week, distributed also by the Associated Press, remapped the Middle East, placing Libya on Israel’s northern border in place of Lebanon. Following communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, the news agencies set the record straight and restored the Middle East map to its correct configuration.
The erroneous photo captions follow:
Otorhinolaryngologist Ejal Sela stands in an underground room of the Galilee Medical Center in Naharija [sic], Israel, 1 March 2017. Injured Syrians wait for the nex [sic] treatment in the hospital which is partially under ground and bomb-proof due to the close-by Libyan border.
This is an important omission given the context, as merely saying that (some) Jews were slave financiers is narrowly true, and far different than saying many Jews were the “chief” or primary slave financiers – the latter representing a far more libelous claim.
Further, it’s important to stress that Walker’s accusation – possibly inspired by an antisemitic book published by Nation of Islam called “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews” – is not true according to an examination by historian Eli Farber. Farber documented his research in a book titled ‘Jews, Slaves and the Slave Trade: setting the record straight’. Jews’ role in the slave trade was actually minimal, according to Farber’s examination of original sources. (Interestingly, the “Jewish responsibility for the slave trade” narrative is also advanced by prominent white supremacists.)
After tweeting the journalist about the error, we complained to the Guardian Readers’ Editor office about the quote, and editors upheld our complaint. Here’s the new passage:
As the Nazis rose to power, a Jewish newspaper publisher named Rudolf Mosse became a vocal critic of facism. Forced to flee soon after Hitler became chancellor in 1933, Mosse left behind a massive, priceless art collection. Nearly eight decades later, several German public institutions have announced an unprecedented plan to help fund efforts to restore Mosse’s looted art.
At a press conference this week in Berlin, the organizations announced the first alliance of its kind to identify and locate the stolen artwork. The group will assist the heirs of the stolen art who are collaborating with a privately funded investigation managed by a San Francisco law firm.
“It was necessary for all parties to generate a reserve of trust in the other participants through their actions,” says J. Eric Bartko, the director of investigations for Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Miller (BZBM), the firm representing the Mosse Foundation in its recovery efforts.
“German public institutions are publicly committing themselves to searching for looted art that belonged to the Mosse family collection,” says Bartko, who believes the project will become an important example of what can be accomplished through collaborative means.
“This level of cooperation did not occur overnight,” he says. “The project was never about recrimination, but about locating and making restitution for the art.”
A traveling photo exhibit launched this weekend in Paris honors the life and legacy of world-renowned Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, its initiators announced.
The display features dozens of photographs of Wiesel’s family and upbringing in Sighet, Romania, and significant subsequent events, including: imprisonment at Auschwitz and liberation from Buchenwald; living in France after World War II; receiving the Nobel Prize in 1986; and Holocaust-commemoration activities.
Called “Elie Wiesel: from Sighet to Ukraine via France and Israel,” the exhibit was initiated by the international Jewish education organization for Russian-speakers, Limmud FSU, and was first displayed in Moscow in August, a month after Wiesel’s death at the age of 87. Curated by Dr. Joel Rappel, founder of the Elie Wiesel Archive at Boston University, it has since been showcased in London, New York and Jerusalem.
Limmud FSU Executive Director Roman Kogan said in a statement that his organization is proud to present the exhibit for the first time in France, where Wiesel studied and began his writing career as a journalist and, later, an acclaimed author. Kogan said, “His legacy is important for us, especially because of his contribution to the struggle of Soviet Jewry for the right to emigrate. We of Limmud FSU are also waging a struggle for the Jews from former Soviet Union, not in a physical sense but in the spiritual and educational sphere. The work of strengthening our Jewish identity is the struggle of our generation.”
As the dust begins to settle on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Australia, it is worth taking stock of the specifics of what exactly was accomplished during this short four-day trip. While much has been written elsewhere about the visit and the broader Australia-Israel relationship, a number of specific concrete projects were also realised – which are discussed below.
On the very first day of the visit, the two countries finalised a new Air Services Agreement deal. While Australia and Israel previously signed an Air Services Agreement in 2001, this new agreement is the first air services framework between the two countries that is at treaty-level. One difference between treaty and non-treaty level agreements concerns transparency: All treaty-level agreements are made public by the Australian government. In contrast, those of less than treaty status are kept private “as they are traditionally regarded as being confidential between aeronautical authorities. ”
Notably, the new agreement also allows designated airlines of the two countries to enter into “cooperative marketing arrangements”. In this vein, the visit also heralded a new Memorandum of Understanding signed between Qantas and El Al, introducing a new “codeshare agreement”. This second agreement allows the two airlines to operate a single flight with two different flight numbers. As such, Qantas now “plans to add its QF code to EL AL operated flights to three Qantas destinations – Hong Kong, Bangkok and Johannesburg – and Tel Aviv.” On its part, “EL AL plans to add its code to Qantas services that operate between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hong Kong; between Sydney and Bangkok; and between Sydney and Johannesburg.”
Hugh Laurie is worried that spy films and television may be a thing of the past. After all, the current state of world affairs may have more twists and turns than fiction can keep up with.
“I would say the frightening thing about the world today is that everything is precisely as it seems,” Laurie told the audience Tuesday at Keshet’s Innovative TV Conference in Jerusalem.
“It’s complete f#@king mayhem.”
Laurie, the veteran British actor, comedian and musician best known for his role on House, was in town to participate in a panel at the conference about his latest project, the British TV miniseries The Night Manager.
The six hour-long episodes of the show, based on the book by John le Carre, follow a British hotel manager turned spy tasked with infiltrating the inner circle of a dangerous international arms dealer.
A wide, impressive road that dates back 2,000 years to the Roman period was uncovered last month in an unusually well-preserved state during an archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in conjunction with students from the Amit Noga girls’ school.
The dig, located off of Route 375 near Beit Shemesh, is being carried out as part of the requisite exploration work Israel carried out prior to any modern-day infrastructure project — in this case, the installation of a new water line from Ramat Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem by the Mei Shemesh water and sewage corporation.
Irina Zilberbod, who is directing the excavation for the IAA, said that the road — which in some parts was as wide as 6 meters (20 feet) — for a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers (almost 1 mile), and was apparently meant to link the Roman settlement that existed in the vicinity of Beit Natif with the main highway, known as the Emperor’s Road.
Zilberbod said that the road was a main artery that lined the large settlements of Eleutheropolis (Beit Guvrin) and Jerusalem.
From roughly 100 BCE to 68 CE, there was a Jewish settlement at Qumran, near the Dead Sea, that seems to have been populated by members of a particular sect. Most experts believe that the Dead Sea Scrolls—all found close by—include documents pertaining to the beliefs and practices of the Qumran sectarians. Jutta Jokiranta explains:
Part of the Qumran collection consists of sectarian documents that reveal a distinct socio-religious movement with unique features within this larger matrix of diversity. The members of this “Qumran movement” formed an association that kept property in common and had regulations concerning meals and consumption of food, marriages and sexual practices, purity practices, Temple rituals, Sabbath observance, the festival calendar, and education. Determinism and expectations of the end-time characterized the belief system of the movement.
We do not presently know if the archaeological site at Qumran, close to the caves where the scrolls were found, served the whole movement or only this particular community. It is very likely that the movement was not restricted to this desert location. Most probably the movement was the same as or similar to the one later known as the Essenes.
Some of this movement’s regulations opposed what we know of other Jewish teachings and practices from the period. For example, . . . according to the Qumran community’s regulations on the Sabbath, it was forbidden to help anyone out of a well with the aid of an instrument, whereas the rabbis allowed saving a human life. Such Qumran rules may represent the common norms and ideals of their time, whereas the rabbinic rules may reflect an evolution toward leniency.
Israel was ranked 30th (out of 80) on US News & World Report’s newly-published 2017 list of “Best Countries.”
Switzerland headlined the list, followed in the top 10 by Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the US, Australia and France. The categories on which the countries are ranked include Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.
In the “Power” category — ranking the globe’s most influential nations — Israel finished 8th, behind only the US, Russia, China, the UK, Germany, France and Japan.
“Israel, the only Jewish nation in the world, is a small country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea,” US News & World Report wrote. “For its relatively small size, the country has played a large role in global affairs. The country has a strong economy, landmarks of significance to several religions and strained relationships with many of its Arab neighbors.”
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