Caroline Glick: Israel and Obama’s political war
This brings us to 2015, and the fight in Washington and throughout the US about Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran. In the 2015 operation, the White House allegedly used intercepted communications between US citizens and Israeli diplomats and between Israeli diplomats in Washington and Jerusalem to defame opponents of the nuclear deal. Lawmakers and private citizens were repeatedly subjected to condemnations in the media where unnamed administration sources questioned their loyalty, alleged that they were serving the interests of a foreign power against the US, and that in the case of lawmakers, they were bought and paid for by rich Jewish donors.
Speaking to Smith, a pro-Israel activist who had participated in the battle against the nuclear deal explained how the White House operation worked.
“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s [National Security Agency’s] legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents….
“We began to notice that the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”
Weaponizing intelligence reports was only one way that the Obama administration abused its power to weaken, silence and criminalize its domestic opponents.
Weaponizing the IRS was another way.
And just as Obama’s IRS was used to hound conservative groups that opposed Obama’s domestic agenda, so it was used to discriminate against pro-Israel groups that opposed Obama’s Middle East policies.
The most well-known case of such abuse was the IRS’s failure to approve the request for nonprofit status submitted by Z Street, a pro-Israel educational organization.
No fewer than 16,000 British and Commonwealth troops died during the Palestine campaign in the First World War and are buried in the land where they fell. Yet a long-standing Foreign Office ban on royal visits to Israel looks likely to deny these men the honour that has been afforded to British soldiers killed in Europe, Gallipoli and other theatres of war during the centenary years. This policy must be overturned now to ensure their sacrifice is properly recognised.
Ninety-eight years ago today, on December 9, 1917, the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem surrendered the Holy City to General Sir Edmund Allenby’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force at the end of a bloody battle against the Turks that began on November 17.
The Palestine campaign has received little attention during the First World War commemorations, but was the second largest British theatre of operations in terms of strength of forces, with troops from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India. It achieved the first defeat of a central power in the war.
British Empire forces sustained 554,828 casualties during the campaign, including 16,000 dead. At the Jerusalem War Cemetery on Mount Scopus this year I visited the graves of two of them, Edwin Beard and Leonard Frost, both boys from my school, Colchester Royal Grammar. It saddened me to think that the British Foreign Office is ready to deny these British soldiers the honour they deserve.
There are 2,415 graves in this cemetery as well as the Jerusalem Memorial, which commemorates another 3,300 troops who have no known grave. This is the place that should be the focus of the centenary commemorations of our servicemen who died in that campaign, preferably in December 2017.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Considering the ways Israel’s opponents have changed over the decades, the collective yearning among Israelis for a decisive, 1967-style victory is unrealistic. The false hope for such success impedes clarity of thinking and causes the Israeli public to lose confidence in both the military and the political leadership. The only approach that can succeed in Israel’s current conflicts is a patient, attritional, repetitive use of force. Israelis should take comfort that time is on Israel’s side.
In June 1967, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) waged war alone against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It achieved a stunning victory in six days. The military skill demonstrated by the Israelis was remarkable – so much so that battles from the Six-Day War continue to be studied at war colleges around the world.
Israel’s military achievement had another extremely important effect. It went a long way towards convincing the Arab world that Israel cannot be easily destroyed by military force; Israel is a fact the Arabs must learn to live with. Indeed, ten years later – after Egypt had lost another war to Israel, this one in 1973 – its president, Anwar Sadat, came to Jerusalem (November 1977) to offer peace.
The swift and decisive victory of 1967 became the standard to which the IDF aspired – and the kind of victory expected by Israeli society in future engagements. This is problematic, considering the ways Israel’s opponents have changed and the means they now deploy.
I’ve written many times about the antisemitism that continues to plague the British Labour Party — a once noble party of both opposition and government that has now, under its current far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn, become a laughably ineffective opposition, with little hope of attaining government leadership.
One key reason for that involves the scandals around open expressions of antisemitism from party activists and leaders alike. This has discredited the party among voters in general, and is forcing Jewish members to leave what was once their natural political home in droves.
The antisemitism row returned to the Labour Party this week, when the party announced that it was merely renewing its suspension of Corbyn’s close friend and ally, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, rather than expelling him outright for the vile falsehoods he promoted in an interview with the BBC. In that interview, Livingstone claimed that Hitler had supported Zionism before he “went mad” and launched the Holocaust.
Across social media platforms, Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of the Labour Party expressed outrage. “You can keep Ken,” said one tweet, “I’m done.” Other statements implored the dissenters to stay and fight. “It’s the anti-Semites who should leave, not us,” declared another tweeter.
A member of the Labour disciplinary committee that failed to expel Ken Livingstone over his comments about Hitler and Zionism has criticised his colleagues for letting the former London mayor off the hook.
Peter Mason, an Ealing councillor and national secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement, is a member of the 11-person National Constitutional Committee but not one of the three who decided Livingstone’s fate.
He wrote on the website Labour List: “Reports in the press this week that some NCC panel members went into his hearing with their minds already made up to save him are deeply troubling and risk undermining the integrity of the process, the committee and the party. The allegation continues that in deciding on his punishment, the vital principle of proportionality under which the NCC operates was abandoned.
“Livingstone was found to have brought the party into disrepute on all counts. Expulsion would have been on the table as an option. A slap on the wrist is in not a proportionate punishment.”
A candidate at the upcoming local elections has been kicked out of the Conservative Party for writing a series of anti-Semitic tweets.
Obaid Khan was due to stand as a councillor in the Hall Green by-election in Birmingham on 4 May.
However, it has now emerged he published a number of social media posts, in which he used the word “Jew” as an insult, in a Twitter exchange about Pakistani politics. In the debate he claimed some of the country’s politicians had been backed by ‘foreign Jew agents’.
The Birmingham Mail was made aware of the 2014 posts and sent them on to the Conservative Party.
Within hours, his Twitter profile had been locked and his campaign material removed from websites and social media accounts of Birmingham Conservatives.
Tory MP Mike Freer gets in touch following Guido’s revelations on Labour’s Manchester Gorton candidate Afzal Khan. Freer says:
“It appears to be becoming clear that anti-Semitism spreads the width and breadth of the Labour party. Yet again they are showing just how out of touch they are with the values of ordinary working people.”
Meanwhile, remember how a Labour council candidate in Birmingham Hall Green was suspended by the party for anti-Semitism? Unbelievably, her Tory opponent in the same seat has now also been suspended for anti-Semitic tweets. Obaid Khan seems like a charmer:
IsraellyCool: Unrepentant Terrorist Rasmea Odeh Vows To Destroy Israel
And Electronic Intifada proudly publishes it.
But I will continue my struggle for justice for my people wherever I land. I will continue the struggle for the right of return, for self-determination and for the establishment of a democratic state on the entirety of the historic land of Palestine.
Of course, Zionists aren’t going to stop their land grab in Palestine either. The Palestinians there — and the Palestinians and our supporters here — have to stop them with our resistance and our organizing. With boycott, divestment and sanctions – including the cultural and academic boycott of Israel. With challenging the Jewish United Fund in Chicago, and with shutting down Zionists when they try to defend their war crimes. With defending our students and our community-based institutions and our organizers and our allies when they get attacked.
Anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour announced her support on Thursday morning for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff, who was paid an undisclosed amount of money last year by Qatari-owned network Al Jazeera.
Sarsour, who has called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “waste of a human being” and celebrated violence against the Jewish state, wrote that she can’t wait to call Ossoff a congressman.
Ossoff is running for the Georgia congressional seat vacated by Tom Price. He got his first taste of politics as a congressional staffer for Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.), who last summer compared Jewish settlers in Israel to termites.
After leaving Johnson’s office Ossoff moved to the United Kingdom to attend graduate school and become CEO of an investigative film company that produces films for Al Jazeera.
Financial disclosure forms required of congressional candidates showed that Ossoff received an amount of money in excess of $5,000 from Al Jazeera in 2016. Ossoff has yet to disclose exactly how much the network paid him.
Al Jazeera is widely viewed as a propaganda outlet for Qatar, which funds the outlet and also terrorist organizations such as Hamas, al Qaeda, and ISIS.
Daniel Pipes: A return to the academy
I just attended a two-day academic conference at the University of Pennsylvania, in part out of interest in the topic (“American & Muslim Worlds ca. 1500-1900”), in part to get a first-hand sense of discourse in the humanities at the contemporary university. As the founder of Campus Watch, I wondered if it is as bad as our reports suggest, or whether we focus on outliers.
My first impression was one of intellectual coziness. A broad consensus on a common base of liberal assumptions crowds out dissenting opinions. A series of hierarchies exists:
• Modern bests old
• Non-American bests American
• Female bests male
• Dark skin bests white skin
• Muslim bests non-Muslim
The word “Islamophobia” is used as though a normal English-language word rather than a propagandistic tool to shut down criticism. A prominent 19th-century missionary, Henry Jessup, was anachronistically called a “pre-eminent Muslim-basher.”
Statement from the Jewish Community Relations Council on this weeks events at San Francisco State University
JCRC Deeply Concerned about Climate at SF State University for Jewish and Pro-Israel Students
JCRC is deeply disappointed by the events which led to the cancellation yesterday of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s speaking engagement at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The opportunity to welcome Mayor Barkat back to campus was especially important given that his speech last year was disrupted by protesters.
Mayor Barkat requested that his April 6 scheduled appearance be a fully accessible public forum for “the kind of healing needed after the assault on free speech last year.” We believe that this request was very important given the intention of disrupters to prevent the normalization of Jewish and pro-Israel voices on campus. The university should have been able to provide such a forum and also done more to assure the event was widely promoted. Instead, the university’s insistence that this be a ticketed, limited event and lack of publicity communicated that it will go to lengths to prevent students from engaging in important conversations rather than advancing its purpose of fostering civil discourse and promoting the free exchange of ideas.
Roger Waters was recently interviewed By Dan Rather. The full interview has not come out online yet, but certain snippets have, including this one of Waters addressing claims he is antisemitic.
I have no idea how he can keep a straight face while claiming he is “even-handed” and supports the right of Israeli self-determination. This is not consistent with the BDS movement nor Waters’ previous statements. He is completely one-sided when it comes to the conflict.
How he can say this while keeping a straight face makes me never want to play poker against him. That, and the fact he’s a douche
World-renowned Harvard University professor emeritus Ruth Wisse told The Algemeiner on Thursday that the warm welcome extended to anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi by US and British universities is a symptom of the “culture of destroyers silencing the culture of builders on today’s campuses.”
Wisse — distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund and the former Martin Peretz professor of Yiddish literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard – was referring to Kanzi’s ongoing appearances on campus, most recently for Israeli Apartheid Week programming Thursday at Smith College.
Kanazi, a Palestinian-American who sits on the organizing collective of the United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, has encouraged “fierce resistance” against the “Israeli occupation,” accused Israel of having “methodically butchered” children,” called Zionism an ideology of “calculated racism” and mocked the Holocaust.
His appearance late last month at the University of Iowa was heavily debated in the pages of the school paper The Daily Iowan, with one Jewish student defending Kanazi as doing “[t]he job of a poet” and “facilitat[ing] dialogue.” Others found the event “troubling,” particularly in light of those behind the event including such “influential bodies” as the English department.
Kanazi has jeered efforts to protest or cancel his appearances on social media.
Mock parking tickets on the windshields of cars in a University of Michigan at Dearborn (UM-Dearborn) lot last month — which accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and other crimes – were placed there by two people in “Muslim garb,” a witness told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
UM-Dearborn student Amanda Gosline said that on March 22 she saw the individuals distributing the fake tickets, reminiscent of the mock “eviction notices” posted on dorm room doors by anti-Israel students at New York University, Connecticut College and others.
The “tickets” also advertised two events on “illegal settlements and Israeli apartheid,” hosted by the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — the group behind the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution passed March 10 by the student government.
Gosline, who is currently in the process of converting to Judaism, said, “I knew this was falsified information, but not everybody is very well-versed on either Israel or Palestine. My concern was that these fliers would create a bias in people without a firm background on the issues.”
Miriam Starkman, executive director of the Hillel of Metro Detroit — which services UM-Dearborn — said that if SJP was behind the stunt and was in “knowing violation of the rules; there need to be consequences.”
As Israeli authorities and companies brace for an annual cyber attack expected this Friday, the country’s capability to thwart website defacements and data pilfering attempts will be put to the test.
“There is a nice twist,” Dudu Mimran, the CTO of Telekom Innovation Laboratories at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and BGU Cyber Security Labs, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “It’s kind of a training for Israelis.”
The forthcoming attack, called #OpIsrael, has been coordinated by the Anonymous network of anarchic “hacktivists” since April 7, 2013 – timed for Holocaust Remembrance Day that year – in retaliation for the previous November’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Although the 2017 #OpIsrael kicks off on a weekend and runs through all of Passover, when most government offices are closed, cybersecurity experts are confident that the country is no more vulnerable than in previous years.
“I think in normal warfare – physical warfare – it matters more than in cyber warfare,” Mimran said. “Cyber is mostly automated, especially in these types of attacks. The main idea is creating volume of attacks. The main way to deal with that is automated defense.”
The Dublin City Council, the Capital City of the Irish Republic, will wave the Palestinian flag for a month as of 15 May, the day which the Palestinians refer to as their Nakba Day, the day which in real history books, not in fake ones, should be referred to as the day of the illegal Arab invasion to the newly-declared State of Israel. So, this council of a country which has full diplomatic relations with Israel, makes it known what they think about Israel’s very creation. In fairness, there is a legitimate question to be asked-why, on earth, do I care about what the Council of a Capital City of a not significant country in Europe has to say about our conflict with the Palestinians?. Well, I need to respond-I have a weakness to the Green Island, to Irish music, to Irish movies, to Irish history. I felt empathy to a people which fought British imperialism, the same imperialism which we fought against, though for only few years, whereas the Irish had it for centuries. So, Sympathy to Ireland seemed a natural feeling for me.
All the more so, when I became aware of the life story of three Irish people, who played a role in Jewish history.First, one of Israel’s more beloved presidents, Haim Herzog, whose father was the Eminent Chief Rabbi of Ireland, before becoming the Chief Rabbi of Israel. Another was Colonel John Henry Patterson, a former commander of the Zion Mule Corps, a battalion of Jewish volunteers, who fought on the side of Great Britain in the First World War, organized by the great leader and teacher Ze’ev Jabotinsky,as part of his effort to create a basis for a Jewish-Zionist diplomacy after the war.
Patterson remained loyal to Zionism and to Jabotinsky himself to the last day of his life. At a later stage in his career, in the 1930’s, he became friendly with and a partner of a great Irish Jew, Robert Briscoe, a member of Jewish immigrant family from Lithuania, who was an Irish nationalist leader, and as of 1927, a member of the Irish parliament. Briscoe fell to the charm of Jabotinsky, and alongside Patterson was involved in fund raising to the Irgun in the US, on behalf of Jabotinsky. In 1956, Briscoe became the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Let me reassure you, my dear readers, that under him, no City Council in Dublin, would have waved the Palestinian flag. With people like Patterson and Briscoe, how could I not be so pro-Irish?. So much so, that I glossed over the significance of an ugly event in modern Irish history.
Both January and February 2017 saw one vehicular attack take place. In 2016 two vehicular attacks took place in March, one in May, one in June, one in July and two in October. In the second half of 2015, one vehicular attack took place in August, three in October, eight in November and six in December – data here. So while the rate of vehicular attacks has dropped since the last quarter of 2015, it does not differ vastly from the rate in 2016.
The same is true of terror attacks in general. While in late 2015 the frequency of attacks was far beyond “near-daily”, with around a hundred attacks still taking place every month, they remain a daily occurrence on average, despite the BBC’s claim.
Perhaps if the BBC reported terror attacks against Israelis more consistently, it would be able to provide its audiences with more accurate information.
The article closes with a paragraph seen in numerous previous BBC reports:
“Israel has accused Palestinian leaders of inciting the attacks, but they have blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”
It is worth remembering that since the surge in terror attacks in late 2015, the BBC has consistently failed to provide its audiences with any serious reporting on the topic of incitement and glorification of terrorism by Palestinian officials. Readers are hence unable to judge for themselves whether or not what ‘Israel says’ is accurate.
Likewise, it is noteworthy that the portrayal of terrorism as being attributable to “frustration rooted in decades of occupation” conforms to a guidance document for members of the international media put out by the PLO in November 2015.
However, at 05:31 minutes into the programme, Taylor did provide listeners with the sole example of what he termed ‘state terrorism’.
“Terrorism can mean different things to different people; it isn’t black and white. States allegedly resort to it too, as Israel did to avenge the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre. Eleven Israeli athletes died following an attack by Palestinians from a shadowy group known as Black September. In revenge, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, covertly assassinated those suspected of involvement in the attack. […]
The Mossad assassinated at least eleven of its targets. Since then, Palestinian attacks on Israelis have continued and Israel has continued to retaliate with targeted killings; a tactic more recently replicated in Western drone strikes against IS and Al Qaeda.”
However, when Taylor later (at 21:07) described a British response to terror attacks he did not categorise it as ‘state terror’.
“In the wake of Brighton and other IRA atrocities, the Brits hit back. The SAS was the cutting edge. Between 1983 and 1992 they shot dead 28 IRA suspects.”
As we know, the BBC’s ‘rationale’ for avoiding the use of the word terror and its derivatives is that the term “carries value judgements” and so it comes as no surprise to see the perpetrators of the Munich Olympics massacre described – as usual – without that word being used.
However, the BBC is clearly nowhere near as reluctant to make a “value judgement” concerning Israel’s response to acts of terrorism – but, notably, refrains from describing its own government’s very similar actions in the same terms.
Although AFP (Agence France Presse) is officially a commercial business independent of the French government, three of its fifteen board members are appointed by government ministers and two more come from government-owned media outlets.
As readers may recall, one of AFP’s local employees in the Middle East is also chairman of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate – which has instigated restrictions on foreign journalists and related boycotts. Late last year that same AFP employee, Nasser Abu Baker, unsuccessfully ran for a seat on Fatah’s revolutionary council.
One can only hope that the BBC’s new subscription to “full AFP services” does not ultimately mean that its funding public will be getting news from such an obviously compromised source.
The following is a hadith that appears on SesameSoft’s website:
Ahadith about Dajjal and Portents of the Hour
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said, “The Last Hour will not come until the Muslims fight against the Jews, until a Jew will hide himself behind a stone or a tree, and the stone or the tree will say: `O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him, but Al-Gharqad tree will not say so, for it is the tree of the Jews.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Gharqad is a thorny plant which is well-known in the area of Palestine. Allah can bestow the power of speech to whatever thing He likes. When Allah wills, He will give mastery to the Muslims. He will help them even by means of plants and stones which will assist the Muslims against the Jews by informing them about the whereabouts of the Jews.
The Jews have predominance over the Muslims in spite of the fact that they are a minority. But according to this true narration, the situation will definitely change before the Day of Resurrection, and the Muslims will dominate the Jews. Allah is the Master and Rubb of everything.
The budget committees of the Florida State House and Senate each voted to set aside funds to upgrade security at Jewish schools.
The amounts set aside by the lawmakers in the votes on Wednesday range from $254,000 up to $500,000, the Associated Press reported.
There have been threats made to 17 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish institutions in the state so far this year.
Many of the threats were part of the more than 100 bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers and Jewish organizations. by a minor holding dual Israeli-American and living in southern Israel, who has been arrested, accused of making most of the threats from his bedroom using high tech-equipment.
Anti-Semitism is increasing in New Zealand and those responsible need to better understand the implications of their actions, a Jewish leader says.
New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman said hate speech towards Jews was particularly prevalent on social media.
“A lot of anti-Semitism comes out of ignorance and thinking this is a fashionable thing to do,” Goodman said.
“I don’t think that legislating really works. The real issue is education.
“It’s really understanding that we’re all people and we all have a right to be in New Zealand.”
Goodman’s comments come following a police investigation into posters featuring Nazi signs and Jewish slurs plastered around Queenstown Resort College last week.
Belgian Jews protested the unilateral decision by the city of Antwerp to move its main Holocaust monument from a place where victims were rounded up to another part of the city with less traffic.
The Forum of Jewish Organizations of the Flemish Region — one of the three autonomous entities that make up the federal Belgian state — came out against the plan in a statement Wednesday. The statement followed reports in the media of the city’s plan to move the monument from Belgiëlei Avenue.
The new location, on the other side of the city’s main park, “is a quieter place,” Paul Cordy, the district mayor, told the Gazet van Antwerpen daily on Tuesday. The annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony that the Jewish community organizes near the monument will therefore “have less of an impact on traffic,” said Cordy, adding the new location is also closer to the city’s historic center.
But the Forum, which was not consulted about the move, said the new location is “inferior” to the current one because it bears no historic connection to the Holocaust, during which German and Belgian officers concentrated thousands of Antwerp Jews at the Belgiëlei location ahead of their shipment to death camps.
Israeli scientists have developed a better way to detect polio outbreaks quickly in countries where the virus has effectively been eradicated, Ben-Gurion University announced in a statement Monday.
There are two ways to detect an outbreak in a country that is considered polio-free. One is to wait until there is a reported case of paralysis. The other is environmental surveillance (ES) of sewage treatment facilities, a method Israel utilized during a 2013 outbreak of polio in the country.
ES involves regularly checking sewage treatment plants for the presence of the wild polio virus to see if it has somehow been transferred into an otherwise polio-free country. Polio could, for example, be brought over from a neighboring country. There are still three nations in the world—Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria—where polio has not been eradicated, and large percentages of their populations have not been vaccinated.
Until now, ES was considered unreliable. However, in a paper published last week in Science Translational Medicine, Dr. Yakir Berchenko and his colleague developed a model for establishing the accuracy of ES, which is actually better than the alternative. Moreover, using the model, ES can be “detected earlier, the extent of the outbreak determined more quickly and accurately, and the termination of the outbreak declared more definitively,” according to the statement.
Plus-size American model Ashley Graham, who returned to the US on Thursday after spending a few days in Israel, gave a shout out on social media to “everyone who made my trip so special.”
Graham was in the Jewish state April 2-6 for Forbes magazine’s Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) Summit, where she hosted the conference’s music festival on Wednesday night in Jerusalem. The “30 Under 30” alum, who posted her gratitude on InstaStory, also visited Tel Aviv and toured the Sea of the Galilee. During her stay, she posted a a video on Instagram of her doing the line dance The Electric Slide.
Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre braved heavy winds that led to a late start for his concert at the Dead Sea aimed at drawing attention to environmental issues.
The concert that began late Thursday and stretched into Friday saw Jarre and others perform in front of the ancient Masada fortress next to the Dead Sea.
Weather conditions led to a start that was some two and a half hours late. The 68-year-old Jarre arrived and greeted the crowd by saying “Shalom, Israel” and spoke of the need to draw attention to the shrinking Dead Sea.
He played a range of music from throughout his career for the several thousand in attendance, including parts of his best-known album “Oxygene.”
Matzah is an unleavened flatbread that takes center stage in the Passover diet. According to tradition, it is forbidden to eat chametz – leavened breads, cookies or cakes – during the Passover holiday and thus matzah, an unleavened flatbread, is eaten instead.
According to the Torah, the Israelites were in such a hurry to leave Pharaoh’s land that there was no time for their bread dough to rise before baking it.
Although technology has made it possible to bake bread quickly, traditions take precedence and matzah is eaten to remember the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt.
Today, Israeli matzah factories send kosher-for-Passover matzah products to over 50 countries around the world.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) announced the winners of its JerusaLens Jerusalem photo contest, held in honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Israeli capital’s reunification.
Participation in the competition saw 2.4 million people around the world cast public votes, the organization reported. The massive global involvement nearly surpassed participation in a similar photo contest held by the city of London.
After receiving more than 14,500 photo submissions from more than 70 countries, the “Top Photographer” title and a $5,000 grand prize were awarded to David Mor from Ramat Gan, Israel. Dalia Rajuan, from the Israeli city of Kiryat Ono, received the prize for “Top Photo,” and Ariel Lavanon, a veteran of the 1967 Six-Day War, earned the “Guru’s Top Pick” designation.
“I want to extend my thanks to each and every participant who shared their unique images of Jerusalem with the world. This historic photo challenge has showcased the beauty, diversity and rich history of our city,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said.
“For centuries, civilizations around the world have looked toward Jerusalem as the center of the world,” said JNF National President Jeffrey E. Levine. “This is all the more evident with the thousands of unique pictures received displaying the myriad nationalities, religions and creeds that this city of Gold represents.”
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