May 30, 2020

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04/01 Links Pt2: Even In a Pandemic, Columbia Students Promote BDS; The 5 Books About Israel You Must Read While Stuck Home During COVID

From Ian:

Mosaic: Even In a Pandemic, Columbia Students Promote BDS
Where, finally, is the Jewish community in all of this? In past struggles, the organized American Jewish community was careful always to frame its defense of Jewish rights, and its policy toward anti-Jewish discrimination, in terms of the liberties due to all other Americans similarly under threat. The approach, which had its drawbacks, was logical and justifiable even if not always successful. But whatever its virtues or deficiencies, as a strategy and a policy it is useless in the present situation. No other group at Columbia is under such systematic attack; in this fight, Columbia’s Jewish students are entirely alone.

That the referendum on Israel will likely be taking place online means there will likely also be reduced fanfare surrounding its result. Whatever happens, though, the hardships faced by Columbia’s Jewish students appear destined to endure. Many will continue to opt out of taking classes on the Middle East or in a range of other fields (like anthropology and modern history) because they recognize that, as Ofir Dayan puts it, “as soon as the professor realizes who you are, you are never allowed to talk again.” They will shy away from associating themselves publicly with Israel, be wary in picking their friends, and exercise discretion even among their fraternity brothers and sorority sisters and in their student clubs.

This academic year, for the first time in recent memory, Jewish students at Columbia did not even sing Hatikvah—the emblem of Jewish hope, and the Israeli national anthem—at their annual Simḥat Torah celebration. No doubt, they refrained out of an “abundance of caution,” as we’re all now learning to say.

It is common knowledge that among Columbia’s major donors are many Jews who are likewise heavily involved in the Jewish community. How bad will things have to become for those with power and influence to take action?

Corona Pandemic Souvenirs

Here’s the link: Souvenir.pdf

Yes, you can download Our Absolutely Free Paper Table-Top Pandemic Souvenirs. They’ll keep you company now, and you’ll treasure them for years to come.

PMW: Female terrorists are female role models: A mass murderer, a bomb maker, a plane hijacker – PA message to women on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, PA TV paused from its almost continuous reporting on Coronavirus, to present female terrorists as role models for Palestinian women.

Marking the day, official PA TV showed images of several prominent Palestinian women. But besides the worthy writers, politicians and educators, PA TV included several female terrorists and even a mass murderer:

Dalal Mughrabi
Terrorist murderer, who led killing of 37,
among them 12 children Shadia Abu Ghazaleh
Terrorist, bomb maker

Laila Khaled
Plane hijacker Fatima Barnawi –
Terrorist, who placed bomb in theatre

In addition, PA TV chose this day to honor terror mom Um Nasser Abu Hmeid, who is famous and admired for being the mother of 5 terrorist prisoners serving multiple life sentences for murder and one dead terrorist “Martyr.” [Official PA TV, Special Interview, March 8, 2020] Click here to view this video

In another broadcast, PA TV said that Palestinian women “are the prisoners and the Martyrs” and “the praiseworthy rebels who have carried the weapons.” While this was said, the edited broadcast showed visuals of terrorist Israa Ja’abis, who carried out a car bomb attack; terror mom Um Nasser Abu Hmeid; and mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi. A poster of Mughrabi included the text “Heroic Martyr Dalal Mughrabi”:

Official PA TV narrator: “[The Palestinian women] are the prisoners and the Martyrs, daughters of the Martyrs. They are the mothers of the leaders and the sisters of the heroes. They are the praiseworthy rebels who have carried the weapons and created generations of educated people.”
[Official PA TV News, March 8, 2020]

Palestinian Media Watch has exposed numerous times that the PA exploits International Women’s Day to put female terrorists on a pedestal, including suicide bombers and other murderers, and encourage Palestinian women to belike them. Even now, during the Coronavirus crisis, the PA and Fatah continue to promote female terrorists as role models.

Coronavirus in Lakewood: Have residents been unfairly singled out as lawbreakers?

“Lakewood should be put on a lockdown.” “When will he shut down Lakewood?” “Something has to be done with this town.” “This populace has no regard for state or federal law and is putting Ocean County residents in jeopardy.”

These are responses — each pulled from the Asbury Park Press Facebook page — to each new report of a Lakewood gathering broken up by police in Ocean County’s largest town, quickly becoming its COVID-19 epicenter, home to nearly 42% of all cases.

In the last two weeks, police in Lakewood have broken up five gatherings, including four weddings. Each report has engendered a cascade of recriminations. On Monday evening, Toms River police pulled over a school bus suspected of carrying students to an unidentified Lakewood school, but the district said the school bus was being used to deliver meals.

But the idea that Lakewood is some kind of hotbed of illegal activity?

That’s a misconception, said New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan.

“While there have been a few instances of group gatherings that were addressed by law enforcement, the vast majority of the community understands the importance of social distancing and are complying with the executive order,” he said in a statement Friday.

He added: “Law enforcement in our state have worked tirelessly to build relationships with our communities, and we will not let the actions of a few determine how a city is viewed.”

The reality is that illegal gatherings have been held — and broken up — across the state. There have been 70 incidents across New Jersey since Gov. Phil Murphy’s order banning gatherings went into effect, Callahan said.

Over the weekend, police in Ewing broke up a 50-person house party, including a DJ.

Biblical Archaeology Review: Brick by Brick What did the Israelites build in Egypt?

Buildings in ancient Egypt were constructed from either stone or mudbrick. Temples were generally built with stone that was meant to last throughout the ages. Palaces, on the other hand, were built for comfort out of mudbrick, which was cool in the day and warm at night. Each type of construction was considered specialized labor; in other words, people who did one did not do the other.

Contrary to popular perception, the Bible does not claim that the pyramids were built by the Israelites. Most pyramids, and certainly the famous Giza pyramids of the Old Kingdom period, were built hundreds of years before the time of Abraham. Furthermore, archaeological sources reveal that the pyramids were built by native Egyptians who specialized in stone brick construction.

The biblical text describes the Israelite slaves working with mudbricks. After Moses demanded a three-day holiday for the Israelites to go and worship their deity Yahweh, Pharaoh reacted by making the work harder: “You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it” (Exodus 5:7–8, NASB).

Pharaoh’s speech reveals that making mudbricks also included straw.a Mudbricks were made from Nile alluvium, a conglomerate of clay and sand. The proportion of clay within that alluvium determines much of the properties of the mud. When the content of clay is proportionally high, bricks can be made without the use of straw. When the content of clay is low, as is more typical, straw was added to prevent a brick from falling apart as it dried.1

Papyrus Anastasi IV (12.5–6) expresses one Egyptian soldier’s frustration over a lack of skilled labor and supplies: “I am residing at Qenqen-en-ta, without provision, and neither men to make bricks nor straw are in the region.” That the Israelites were primarily brickmakers as opposed to builders is apparent when the narrative shifts to the Israelite supervisors. Exodus 5:14-19 repeatedly mentions that the Israelites had a daily quota of bricks that they were required to make.

Mandate100 | ‘A Clean Cut’ for Palestine: The Peel Commission Reexamined

In this fascinating dive into the archives Oren Kessler reveals the dramatic exchanges that shaped Lord Peel’s 1936 proposal to partition Mandate Palestine. Kessler examines testimony given to the Royal Commission, to which Peel lent his name, from Chaim Weizmann, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, George Antonius, Winston Churchill and others. He assesses why the commission decided that only a ‘clean cut’ into two states for these two peoples, Jews and Arabs, had any chance of forestalling a descent into near-permanent conflict. The following is an excerpt from Kessler’s forthcoming book Fire Before Dawn: The First Palestinian Revolt and the Struggle for the Holy Land.

William Peel, the 1st Earl Peel, cut a stately figure. Tall, with a handlebar mustache, he favoured a top hat and tails – especially when touring the sultry Orient. His pedigree was similarly distinguished. His grandfather had founded the Conservative Party; his father was the first Speaker of the House of Commons to open the chamber to non-Christians and even atheists. Lord Peel himself had a formidable résumé, with a handful of Cabinet-level posts including secretary of state for India (twice). In late 1936 he was nearly 70, his body stricken with gout but his mind and manner full of vigour.

That summer he had been named chairman of the Palestine Royal Commission, appointed by Edward VIII months before his abdication. Its remit was to investigate the causes of the six-month spate of violence and civil disobedience that the British dubbed ‘disturbances’, the Jews called meora’ot (‘events’) and the Arabs hailed as al-thawra al-arabiya al-kubra – the Great Arab Revolt. Whatever the nomenclature, it had already claimed 80 Jews and 28 Britons in Arab attacks and at least 200 Arabs – but perhaps as many as 1,000 – in British counter measures.[i]

Peel led a committee of six. His deputy was Baron Horace Rumbold, a stout, monocled ex-ambassador to the Ottomans in their final years and the Nazis in their first, and among Whitehall’s first diplomats to comprehend the scope of Hitler’s ambitions. Rounding out the group were Morris Carter and Harold Morris, specialists in land and labor disputes respectively.[ii] Finally there was Laurie Hammond, a former provincial governor in India, and Reginald Coupland, an Oxford historian specialising in Africa but with wide interests and a reputation for unorthodox ideas.[iii]

On November 5, 1936 the commission set out for Marseilles, where the S.S. Cathay, bound for Port Said, waited.[iv]

That same day Colonial Secretary William Ormsby-Gore authorised a new six-month quota for Jewish immigrants to Palestine. The secretary had been a sympathetic participant in the Zionist project for twenty years: He had helped draft the Balfour Declaration, and Chaim Weizmann, president of the British Zionist Federation, lodged in his home while Cabinet debated it. So staunch was his commitment that rumour had it he had been a practicing Jew for decades.[v]

The announced immigration figure – 1,800 – was one-fifth what Zionist leaders had requested. But in Jerusalem, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini fumed. He insisted on a complete immigration stoppage if the Arabs were to cooperate with the committee. While Peel’s men traversed the Mediterranean, he declared Palestine’s Arabs would boycott the proceedings.[vi]

Veteran MP calls vote for new UK Labour head ‘a fight for the soul of the party’

For British lawmaker Margaret Hodge, the anti-Semitism crisis which has roiled the opposition Labour party for the past four years has been intensely personal.

“It’s affected my sense of identity,” says the veteran MP and former minister, who in January became the parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM).

“I have always been a very secular Jew,” Hodge tells The Times of Israel in an interview as Labour prepares to announce the results of its vote for new leader on April 4 following the party’s landslide defeat in December’s general election.

“I’m an immigrant; we came here when I was four,” Hodge says. “We never really kept the festivals. We were part of that generation that assimilated. My parents were refugees. I think that [they] were really anxious that we should be part of British society.”

But all that changed when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour party in September 2015.

My Jewish identity has now become part of my political action

“I suddenly started receiving a lot of anti-Semitic postings on social media and I realized that it was an issue,” recalls Hodge. “So, ironically, on a very personal level, my Jewish identity has now become part of my political action. I never believed that that would happen; I just never ever, ever thought that it would be part of what I worked on.”

But Hodge has also never been one to back away from a fight — as she showed in 2010 when the leader of the British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin, attempted to unseat her in that year’s general election. Barking — Hodge’s largely white, working-class constituency on the outskirts of London — was seen as fertile ground by the far-right party and its best shot at a parliamentary breakthrough.

Anti-racism charity trustee quits over failure to listen to Jewish community’s concerns over Ken Loach appointment

A trustee of an anti-racism charity has resigned, saying he was “troubled and uncomfortable” by the decision to recruit left-wing film director Ken Loach to judge an annual schools competition.

Azeem Ahmad – a member of the Show Racism the Red Card’s (SRtRC) Management Committee – confirmed to the JC he had resigned from the organisation, which bills itself as the UK’s leading anti-racism educational charity, in protest at chief executive Ged Grebby’s decision to ignore concerns from the Jewish community about Mr Loach’s appointment.

Mr Ahmad also accused Mr Grebby and the charity of failing to act over wider allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party and of neglecting to take a public stance over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Jewish racism.

He told the JC he had resigned after six years as a trustee on February 21 – before the charity dropped Mr Loach as a judge.

He said: “What makes the whole antisemitism issue and the whole Ken Loach issue so uncomfortable for me is that Ged is very clear on what is and what isn’t racism.

“He knows what he is doing, and it is not like he doesn’t understand what racism is and how it can manifest itself.

“That is where I have been left deeply uncomfortable with the way the Jewish community has been treated.

“Not just with the Ken Loach issue, but also with Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance at (the charity’s annual) Arsenal stadium event.

“That last event the Labour leader attended after the EHRC investigation had been announced. That to me is deeply troubling.’’

Dame Louise Ellman condemns Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘shameful’ time as Labour leader

Dame Louise Ellman has said Jeremy Corbyn should be remembered as a party leader who presided over a ”shameful period of Labour history” which had the effect of ”horrifying Jewish people and disgusting many of the general population.”

Speaking to the JC ahead of Mr Corbyn’s departure from the role at the weekend, the former Liverpool Riverside MP urged the party’s new leader to ”decisively turn a new page and rid Labour of the propagators of antisemitism.”

Dame Louise – who quit the party she first joined 50 years ago ahead of the last General Election because she could not stomach Mr Corbyn as a possible Prime Minister – said she feared the outgoing leader would be unable to “recognise his culpability” for the situation Labour now found itself in as he took his seat on the back-benches.

She said that she now “doubted very much” whether the Islington North MP would now sit quietly on the backbenches to allow a new Labour leader to change the culture of the party.

Dame Louise said that it was not just Mr Corbyn but his “fellow travellers” who should move aside to properly defeat the scourge of antisemitism from with the ranks of the party.

Asked for her thoughts on Mr Corbyn’s five year stint as party leader, Dame Louise said: “Jeremy Corbyn has presided over a shameful period of Labour history.

Virtual Campus, Real Hate

This is a moment in our lives — and in the history of the planet —when we are supposed to be pulling together to confront a dangerous and unseen enemy. Yet, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still some diehards who have time to engage in spreading another persistent virus: antisemitism.

Such was the case last week when Leen Dweik, the former head of New York University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), tweeted the following in response to the death of 88-year-old Aryeh Even, a survivor of the Holocaust and Israel’s first Coronavirus fatality: “Anyway, should I paint my nails green or red today?”

The response from NYU was quick and unequivocal. Spokesman John Beckham said that “the reported Twitter post by a former NYU student about the first Israeli death from COVID-19 was shameful and callous….NYU denounces such insensitivity; it is at odds with our campus values.”

Jewish groups, including B’nai B’rith, praised the NYU statement, but the dictum “you reap what you sow” comes immediately to mind in looking back at the activities of Dweik and her BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) fellow travelers who made life impossible for pro-Israel Jewish students during their time on campus.

Though colleges have shifted to virtual campuses, the ability for SJP to spread its hate online is perhaps more of a threat.

StandWithUs: How I Stopped Hating Jews & Israel

Are you stuck in quarantine? Don’t worry, StandWithUs has got you covered!

Join our StandWithUsConnect webinar with Hussein Aboubakr Mansour. Hussein fled his homeland to escape the radicalization and hatred forced upon far too many Egyptians.

Today, he is an advocate for peace and tolerance and a fighter against antisemitism. He lives as a political refugee in the United States, and is working on his autobiography, “Minority of One.” It’s free! Watch Live here!

NY Times, LA Times Falsehood PM Netanyahu Shut Courts

In a March 21press release, Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut clarified that the courts continue to function throughout the country, providing essential services to the public. Her statement emphasizes that the courts are not closed, and adds: “The reduced activity of the courts due to the Coronavirus crisis until now – and everything necessary will be done in the future as well – to ensure that everything first and foremost will be carried out according to her opinions and decisions.”

Like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times has repeatedly falsely reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu shuttered Israel’s courts. On today’s front-page, for instance, Laura King falsely reports (“Pandemic festering ‘coronavirus coups’; Authoritarian leaders, invoking the need to stem the outbreak, are amassing power with little or no resistance”):

While launching a decisive early campaign to contain the virus’ spread, Netanyahu and his allies put off the scheduled start of his trial by closing the courts …

On March 18, special correspondent Noga Tarnopolsky erred (“Critics in Israel say Netanyahu using coronavirus as pretext for massive power grab“):

But Netanyahu may be ahead of the curve in another way: In only four days, he has shut down Israeli courts . . .

CAMERA has contacted editors at both papers to request corrections of the various false assertions that Prime Minister Netanyahu shuttered the country’s courts. Stay tuned for updates.

AFP Corrects Captions Which Misidentified Judaism’s Holiest Site

The Western Wall is a retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and its holiness derives from its proximity to the Temple Mount itself. The Holy of Holies, within the Temple, was permissible to enter just once a year – when only the High Priest was granted entry on the most sacred day of Yom Kippur. In Jewish tradition, theEven Hashtiyah, or foundation stone upon which the whole world was created, is located on the Temple Mount.

AFP’s usual formulation accurately refers to the Western Wall “as the holiest place where Jews can pray.” This is true, as Israeli law prohibits Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, Islam’s third-holiest site. (Most recently, the correct references appeared in AFP articles on March 6 and March 19).
In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably corrected all of the inaccurate captions from earlier this month appearing in the AFP photo archive. The captions now accurately refer to the Western Wall as “the holiest site where Jews can pray.”

Guardian Reviewer Compares Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to HBO’s ‘Nazi’ Collaborator

A TV review in the Guardian compares Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a lifelong anti-genocide activist, to a fictional rabbi in HBO’s The Plot Against America who collaborates in the rise of a Nazi-like, antisemitic regime in the U.S.

The review, written by Charles Bramesco, compares Boteach to Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf, a character who backs Charles Lindbergh, the pioneering aviator whose opposition to U.S. involvement in the Second World War, and antisemitic prejudices, inspired Philip Roth’s dystopian 2004 novel about a pro-fascist American president.

Actor John Turturro plays Bengelsdorf in HBO’s television adaptation of Roth’s book.

Bramesco writes of Boteach:
He [Turturro] plays as a searing comment on the likes of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a worldwide shanda cozying up to President Trump in the presumptive belief that he’ll be exempt from the hatred now being seeded. He represents a sizable Jewish component in Trump’s base, hardline conservatives convinced that he’ll have their back.

The term “shanda” is a Yiddish word meaning “shame,” suggesting public disgrace. It has been used frequently by Jewish leftists to refer to Jews who support President Donald Trump.

Boteach worked closely with the late Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, and has written extensively — including for Breitbart News — on the topics of prejudice and genocide.

His columns for Breitbart include reflections on the lessons of the Rwandan genocide; criticism of past homophobic statements by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-ND); advocacy for human rights in North Korea; passionate denunciations of the efforts of the Qatari regime to woo American Jewish leaders; and opposition to China, among other topics.

Boteach is a Republican and has supported Trump for his policies, particularly on Israel and Jewish affairs. He has defended Trump against claims of antisemitism — and has also criticized Trump for his past controversial rhetoric.

‘Zoombombing’ exposes Jewish online gatherings to antisemitism

As the deadly coronavirus spreads across the world, schools and universities are increasingly moving to remote online learning through apps such as Zoom. But the shift has left meetings susceptible to “Zoombombing” by antisemites and white nationalists.

According to the Anti Defamation League, a webinar about antisemitism hosted last week by a Massachusetts Jewish student group was interrupted by a white supremacist. The man “pulled his shirt collar down to reveal a swastika tattoo on his chest,” the ADL said in a blog post. “The Center on Extremism examined a screenshot of the individual and believes him to be Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, a known white supremacist and hacker,” the organization added.

“Auernheimer has referred to himself as a ‘white nationalist hacktivist,’ and previously was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, where he served slightly more than a year on federal charges related to computer hacking,” the ADL said.

And that’s not the only incident of antisemitic interruption for online gatherings, a phenomenon called ‘Zoombombing.’

NBC News reported that last week, during a Torah lesson by Rabbi Asher Weiss, “someone unmuted and shouted, ‘Hitler did nothing wrong.’ Soon after, someone made their background on Zoom a picture of a kid holding ‘Mein Kampf’ and people on the call started shouting, ‘Heil Hitler.’”
In Thousand Oaks, California, an online school board meeting was reportedly interrupted with pornographic images, as well as a Nazi flag and swastika.

Israel Raises $5 Billion in Record Bond Issue to Help Cope with Coronavirus Outbreak

Israel sold $1 billion of 100-year bonds in international markets as part of a record $5 billion fundraising to finance government aid to help the economy cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

Israel joins a handful of countries such as Austria, Mexico and Argentina, which have sold “century bonds.”

The Finance Ministry said it sold the 100-year bond at a coupon of 4.5%.

“The 100-year issue is a testament to the country’s financial strength and its solidification in international markets. The offering will be an important pillar in financing government activity in the near future,” said Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu.

Israel also sold $2 billion of 10-year debt at a coupon of 2.75% coupon and $2 billion of 30-year bonds at a 3.875% coupon. Hizkiyahu said these were relatively low rates for international debt offerings.

The government on Monday said it would spend 80 billion shekels ($22 billion) to help the economy cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

Demand for the issues topped $25 billion, the ministry said.

Haunted by a disaster in South Korea, doctors enter uncharted territory by opening special facility — having hired actors to help simulate scenarios staff may have to deal with

With doctors wearing hazmat suits that have been reinforced in case patients attack them, an Israeli hospital has opened what it says is the word’s first psychiatric coronavirus ward.

After coronavirus spread through a psychiatric ward in South Korea, infecting 100 people, staff at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan decided that Israel urgently needed a plan for when coronavirus made inroads among the country’s 3,500 psychiatric in-patents.

“The situation we have worked to prevent isn’t science fiction, it happened in South Korea and also in China,” Mark Weiser, head of the Sheba’s psychiatric division, told The Times of Israel. “We’ve seen how quickly the virus can spread in a psychiatric ward, and while patients aren’t typically old, they are at risk because of various conditions and because many are taking anti-psychotics.”

There are already four patients in the ward, which opened on Thursday, and it is has a capacity of 16.

Entering uncharted territory, staff have needed to think through every possible scenario — a task so hard that they hired actors to play out different possible situations. “We took actors and simulated things that could happen, and had our staff deal with the actors and learn from it,” Weiser said. “For example, we had a protective clothing and found it was too easily torn when an actor became violent.”

Sheldon Adelson donates 2m. face masks to hospitals, first responders

Casino mogul and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson has purchased nearly two million face masks to help hospitals in the US that are facing a shortage of protective gear, the Jewish Insider reported.

A source close to the Jewish billionaire told JI that Adelson bought the masks from China, and they are now on the way to hospitals in New York and Nevada. Some 250,000 units are designated to go to the Trump administration to assist health workers.

US President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force weighed in on Tuesday during a press conference about the option to require Americans to wear face masks. The president said he prefers that hospitals will have a priority over the public in purchasing the protective gear.

“We want them to go to hospitals,” the president said. “But one of the things that Dr. Fauci told me today is we don’t want everybody competing with the hospitals where you really need them,” he added.

“You can use a scarf,” he continued. “A lot of people have scarfs. A scarf would be very good. My feeling is if people want to do it, there’s certainly no harm to it. I would say do it, but use a scarf if you want, rather than going out and getting a mask.”

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Washington announced on Tuesday night that Moscow is sending a plane full of medical equipment to help the US, which is suffering from the largest number of coronavirus cases worldwide. All US states, except for Wyoming, have reported deaths from the virus.

“Being aware of the serious epidemiological situation in America, the Russian side offered medical equipment and protective gear as assistance,” the embassy tweeted.

As orders surge and delivery times peak, stores to offer set Passover baskets

The list of products was compiled together with the Ministry of Economy and Industry, and the basket costs NIS 767 ($214). It includes, among others item, a six-pack of mineral water, one kilogram chopped meat, sweet Kiddush wine, red wine, kosher-for-Passover crackers, one kilo chicken thighs and two kilos of drumsticks, one kilo salmon fillet, hummus, cheeses, matzah (the unleavened bread used for Passover), rice, vegetables, coffee, tuna and eggs.

There is apparently no separate list for Ashkenazi consumers who don’t eat legumes on Passover.

Shufersal, too, is preparing a fixed basket of Passover products for customers, a spokeswoman for the chain said in a text message. The chain will offer customers a “quick and limited basket of products” that can be ordered online, so that delivery services can be expanded.

The basket, which will contain a variety of products that is “significantly smaller” than can be found in the stores, will be available for delivery within a week of ordering, the text said. No other details, such as price or contents, were forthcoming.

Both Shufersal and Rami Levy said the shortages customers have been complaining about — including eggs and other staples — are temporary, and empty shelves fill up again.

Ofer Levy, a 43-year old owner of a grocery store in north Tel Aviv, told The Times of Israel that he is seeing a surge of customers as more and more people are frustrated by the long delivery times of the bigger supermarket stores.

He also complained about the shortages, but said it was always temporary.

“There is a shortage of eggs, of course, and vinegar and flour,” he said. “I also forecast a shortage of matza and matza meal too.”

But within a few days the supply resumes, he said. “We try to do what we can to get our hands on the products.”

Honest Reporting: The 5 Books About Israel You Must Read While Stuck Home During COVID

If, like much of the rest of the world, you’re getting restless at home during the coronavirus pandemic, you could do worse than make use of the time saved to finally read up on Israel’s history. Gain a better understanding of the conflict and the issues which repeatedly arise in conversation about the Jewish State with these top five must-read modern books about Israel.
Einat Wilf — Winning the War of Words: Essays on Israel and Zionism

From the United Nations to the media, and from academia to international NGOs, the attacks on Israel’s legitimacy as the nation-state of the Jewish people are growing. To win this war of words, Israel’s defenders must be able to clearly explain the ideas and circumstances that led to the creation of modern Israel and underpin its existence today. This collection of articles by Dr. Einat Wilf on the Middle East, Israel, Zionism, and public diplomacy, aim to serve as an accessible public resource to meet that end.

The book’s various chapters cover a range of topics. The first explains how the violent upheaval over the Middle East in recent years will take decades to be resolved, and that Israel should position itself as a “neutral bunker” in the region. Elsewhere, Wilf focuses on the negative role played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which makes peace harder to achieve by inflating the number of Palestinian refugees and encouraging them to believe that Israel will one day disappear, presents a formula for Israeli-Palestinian peace based on the concept of “two states for two peoples,” and reframes the story of the Zionist movement as an inspiring drama that must not be portrayed as the outcome of the Holocaust, because such “Zionism denial” robs the Jewish people of their role in reviving their ancient homeland in the decades before World War II.

With much of the battle being fought in the media and via social media, any list of books about Israel has to include Wilf’s contribution, which offers a clear understanding of the issues at the core of the conflict.

Looking for a good book to read? Here are a few of our top picks

We thought this would be a good time to recommend a few of our favourite books relevant in some way to our work or otherwise of interest to our loyal followers:

1. “The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism” by Dave Rich, head of policy at the Community Security Trust (CST). If you really want to understand the intellectual and political roots of the antisemitism crisis that rocked the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, this is a true must-read.

2. The Finkler Question, by award-winning novelist and commentator Howard Jacobson, is one of our favourite works of fiction. Its funny, moving and extremely perceptive in its depiction of anti-Zionist British Jews, those ‘progressive’ souls who are ‘proud to be ashamed’ of being Jewish. The 2010 novel won the Man Booker Prize.

3. Spies of No Country by journalist and commentator Matti Friedman. This 2019 book, which tells the incredible true stories of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, which became the nucleus of the Mossad: Jewish immigrants of Middle Eastern descent who carried out dangerous missions across enemy lines – by posing as Muslims – around the time of the state’s birth.

4. Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation, by Yossi Klein-Halevi. Interweaving the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem, Klein-Halevi uses his considerable writing talent to trace the history and divergent ideologies of Israel from the Six Day War to the present.

5. The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict‘ by Jonathan Spyer, a journalist specializing in Israel, Lebanon, Syria and broader regional strategy. The late Middle East scholar Barry Rubin characterized it as “probably the best book on Israel to be published in 30 years.” The 2010 book seeks to explain how the rise of Islamism changed the nature of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Larry David rants about ‘idiots’ leaving home in California PSA

Comedian Larry David is asking Californians to curb their enthusiasm about going outside at this time in a new public service announcement for the US state.

“Obviously, somebody put me up to this ’cause it’s generally not the kind of thing I do, but I basically want to address the idiots out there — and you know who you are,” David rants in his unique style in a video posted Tuesday on social media by the office of Governor Gavin Newsom.

“You’re going out — I don’t know what you’re doing. You’re socializing too close, it’s not good,” he said.

“You’re hurting old people like me — well, not me. I have nothing to do with you. I’ll never see you. But, you know, other — let’s say, other old people who might be your relatives! Who the hell knows,” he added.

And he had some advice.

“Go home! Watch TV! That’s my advice to you. You know, if you’ve seen my show, nothing good ever happens going out of the house, you know that. It’s just trouble out there. It’s not a good place to be.”

“So stay home and, you know, don’t see anyone except maybe if there’s a plumbing emergency, let the plumber in and then, you know, wipe everything down after he leaves… but that’s it.”

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