Evelyn Gordon: Israel proves exceptional, once again
In January 2017, the Ipsos Mori research company published a shocking poll headlined “Six in ten around the world think their society is ‘broken.’ ” Out of 23 countries surveyed—13 Western democracies and 10 non-Western democracies, most with relatively strong economies—only in six did a majority of respondents disagree with that statement.
Moreover, almost four in 10 respondents agreed another troubling claim: “These days I feel like a stranger in my own country.” Though the proportion topped 50 percent in only two countries, it exceeded a third in all but three.
Pollsters then asked several questions designed to elaborate on those general sentiments—some exploring trust in national institutions and others exploring attitudes toward immigration. Their theory was that low trust in institutions would correlate to high levels of belief that society was broken, while negative attitudes toward immigrants would correlate to high levels of feeling like a stranger in one’s own country. And there was, in fact, some correlation, albeit not perfect. Notably, countries with both high trust in institutions and low concern about immigration had among the fewest respondents saying either that society was broken or that they felt like strangers in their own land.
And then there was the one glaring exception: Israel.
A majority of Israeli respondents voiced little or no confidence in all seven categories of institutions—international institutions, banks, the justice system, big companies, the media, the government and political parties. In five of the seven categories, more than 70 percent did so. Israel was among the top 10 most distrustful countries in all but one category; in most, it was in the top six.
Bethany Mandel: The Holocaust: What Happened and Why It Still Matters
The saying goes “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In Europe, even before the last survivors have passed, history is already repeating itself. In Paris recently a Holocaust survivor was murdered in her own home, the victim of an anti-Semitic attack. Not only was the 84-year-old woman stabbed eleven times, but she was then burned beyond recognition. The Times of Israel reported on the crime, comparing it to another similar attack on a Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, in her home last year.
France has been Ground Zero for anti-Semitic attacks in a continent not exactly unfamiliar with the phenomenon. Twelve years ago a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Paris. In 2012, seven were killed, including children at a school in Toulouse, France. The Times of Israel called those attacks the beginning of a wave of terror in the country; though one could argue it began with Halimi’s murder in Paris, a brazen attack which French authorities initially refused to attribute to anti-Semitism.
In her story on the disappearing knowledge of the Shoah among Americans, especially Millenials, Maggie Astor spoke with a number of historians and curators of Holocaust Museums and memorials, who suggested more personalized experiences; hearing directly from survivors whenever possible.
To be sure, ignorance of the slaughter of millions of Jews stems from ignorance of all history, not just that of that era. Americans know less and care less about history; it’s no coincidence the History Channel has somehow morphed into the alien chasing channel.
The sad truth about the study isn’t just that Americans don’t know about how anti-Semitism led to the mass death of Jews, but also that they don’t care. How many know of the continued attacks on Jews in the present day in Europe; at schools, grocery stores, restaurants, synagogues, and even their own homes? The news isn’t even met with a shrug here, so why should historical accounts of the murder of Jews elicit anything more?
As Haaretz is fond of reminding its readers and its critics alike, the Israeli broadsheet is the voice of the nation’s embattled intelligentsia, an unabashedly progressive publication that spends much ink criticizing Israel’s faults, small or large, real or imagined. It’s why the paper’s long-time marketing slogan was “a newspaper for people who think”—the same distinction, presumably, did not apply to those who started their mornings with, say, Yediot Aharonot—and why it opted to celebrate Israel’s 70th Independence Day by asking its reporters to choose which classic Israeli song, the national anthem included, they despised the most. You could write all of that off as the same sort of hilariously unaware and irritating condescension you get every day in The New York Times or any other bastion of self-appointed elites anywhere; but this weekend, the paper’s publisher, Amos Schocken, crossed a line.
An active Twitter user, Schocken, the son of the newspaper’s original publisher, Gershom, got into an argument on the social media platform on Saturday after several readers tweeted at him that commemorating Israel’s Independence Day by mocking the anthem was, at best, in poor taste. Schocken held nothing back, and several of the exchanges grew heated. At some point, one woman, Ravit Dahan, tweeted at Schocken that it was security-minded people like her who kept Israel safe and allowed Schocken “to continue and live here like a king and publish your surreal newspaper without interruption.” At that, the publisher lost his cool.
“You insolent woman!” he tweeted back. “My family led the Zionist movement when you were still swinging from trees.”
It didn’t take long for people to note that a privileged, wealthy, Ashkenazi man accusing a Mizrahi woman of apishness was, to put it mildly, wildly racist. Schocken must’ve realized it, too, as he deleted his tweet and issued an apology, claiming that he didn’t think accusing someone of swinging from trees had any racial connotations.
To be clear: the Right of Return is code for destroying Israel. If all those claiming to be palestinian refugees (in the millions) were to return to what they claim were their homes or homes of their parents and grandparents in Israel proper, Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish, democratic state.
In other words, the Right of Return is not consistent with the two-state solution, which foresees both a Jewish state and palestinian state living side by side.
Note how Carr speaks of saving the “two state solution being buried in settlements” – he wants the future palestinian state to be Judenrein, and the future Jewish state flooded with millions of palestinians. In other words, the only way he sees a two-state solution is if both are Judenrein.
And it gets worse. Also headlining the event is Kuwaiti poet Ahmad Alkandari. This guy:
Ahmad Al-Kandari: “Oh generation, strive for victory, and accept nothing less than victory. Tell the night about the men on the battlefront, who felled heresy with a deadly blow. We lay in wait, watching them advance, with a well-planned ambush ready for them. A voice arose: ‘Kill them, inflict endless wounds upon them.’[…]
“This is a message to the Zionists, the murderous, treacherous, and occupying Zionists, the Zionists who rob our history and steal our antiquities. Say to Zion: We have brought slaughter upon you, and we shall watch you dying. You will encounter our army of Al-Qassam, for whom death serves as a cloak.[…]
“Say to Zion: ‘We have brought slaughter upon you, and we shall watch you dying. You will encounter our army of Al-Qassam, for whom death serves as a cloak. We have turned your trickery back against you with soldiers who do not hesitate to slaughter you.’ A voice arose: ‘Kill them, inflict endless wounds upon them.’” […]
Shame on you, Bob Carr, but at least you are letting your true feelings out now.
I expect the Australian Labour party to condemn Carr and his participation in this disgrace of an event.
Update: Carr seems to have reacted to my post – without referencing it of course.
I am still not sure how he thinks endorsing the palestinian “Right of Return” is consistent with a “peaceful negotiated path.”
Update: Success! Carr has pulled out of the event, directly following my post.
I still find it hard to believe he would think an event billed as a “Right of Return” event would be synonymous with a peaceful, two-state solution.
Michael Steinhardt, the co-founder and major funder of Birthright Israel, flashed his middle finger at protesters outside a gala dinner in honor of the 18th anniversary of the free trip to Israel for young Jewish men and women.
More than 150 students from colleges in the New York and New England areas protested in front of the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York, where the annual gala was held on Sunday evening. The students represented groups including Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance and the Democratic Socialists of America, all of which support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
The protest was led by Return the Birthright, a campaign supported by Jewish Voice for Peace and Independent Jewish Voices. It calls on young Jews to boycott Birthright and to support the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel. During the event, the anti-occupation group IfNotNow, which does not take a stance on the BDS movement, projected on the ballroom building an image with the words “Birthright Lied To Us,” and “Jewish Youth Demand the Truth.”
If defending Tariq Ramadan is regrettable, Western silence is worse.
There are also those who blame Ramadan’s alleged victims. According to The New Yorker, “[Ayeri] is something of a heroine in the extreme-right circles of the fachosphère, where Islamophobia is a ticket of admission”. So, the “real” problem is “Islamophobia,” not the Muslim subjugation of women.
The three women who accused Ramadan of rape have been the subjects of intimidation, violence and threats.
“The blindness of the Anglo-Saxons on political Islam is frightening”. — Pascal Bruckner, French philosopher.
French Activist Henda Ayari on Her Salafi Past, Alleged Rape by Tariq Ramadan, and Struggle to Help Women Who Fell Prey to Extremists https://t.co/NQeMSekx2j
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) April 16, 2018
Two top British Jewish leaders urged Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday to protect Labour lawmakers who are fighting against antisemitism in the party.
In a Guardian op-ed, Jewish Leadership Council President Jonathan Goldstein and Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush recalled the March 26 demonstration they organized outside the Parliament building in London.
“When people accuse the protesters of being anti-Labour, they could not be more wrong,” Goldstein and Arkush wrote. “Many of those who came to the protest identify deeply with Labour and that is why they feel so betrayed. From the platform, courageous Labour MPs spoke with great pain, honesty and integrity about the problem.”
“We knew, as did most of the crowd, the huge risk that these MPs were taking for being there,” they continued. “It is these MPs and many other councillors and members who are now the most vital opponents of antisemitism. Inevitably, the MPs are now facing a perverse backlash for opposing antisemitism and for caring about their party. Corbyn’s leadership in defence of them will now be a crucial component of his promised commitment to combating antisemitism.”
In 2016, the UK was the first country to adopt for domestic use the antisemitism definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). But many actions of the leader of the British Labour party Jeremy Corbyn prove that this definition covers only part of the actions that can be considered antisemitic.
Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour party in September 2015. He is not only a long term anti-Israel activist, but has also been involved in many issues just outside the borderlines of antisemitism as defined by the IHRA. In 2009, Corbyn called the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah his friends and welcomed their representatives to the British parliament. Furthermore, for many years, he has attended meetings of an organization headed by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. He has also donated money to this group.
Soon after Corbyn was elected to his position, he appointed the former Labour mayor of London Ken Livingstone to a senior position in the party as co-chair of its defense review. Later, Livingstone was suspended for making antisemitic remarks. Corbyn also appointed Guardian journalist Seamus Milne as Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, a synonym for “spin doctor.” In 2007, this Hamas supporter called the creation of Israel a crime.
Corbyn has been a member of three closed Internet groups that have disseminated antisemitic posts. He also supported the creator of an antisemitic mural on Facebook in 2012. For this, he recently apologized.
Labour MPs tonight joined a pro-Assad rally alongside protesters with flags, hats and scarves bearing the face of the Syrian tyrant. Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, Chris Williamson, Emma Dent Coad and Lloyd Russell-Moyle were among those present at this evening’s Stop the War demo at Parliament Square. Williamson told an audience waving pro-Corbyn placards and communist flags that there was no evidence for the Douma chemical attack and that Assad had no motive to carry it out. Echoing Kremlin talking points, Williamson said:
“Why would the Assad regime at this stage of the appalling conflict in Syria, where he’s virtually won the battle for Eastern Ghouta, launch a chemical weapons attack when it would be bound to bring on the wrath of the West? … The motive is questionable, the evidence – where is the evidence? It just isn’t there. And it’s no coincidence, it seems to me, that on the day before the OPCW inspectors were due to start their inspection, these air strikes took place. What is going on? There are very serious questions, it seems to me, that need to be answered.”
One Assad supporter told Guido said the Syrian leader had not done anything illegal and that it was the UK parliament that was acting illegally. He added his message to Jeremy Corbyn was “well done”.
Latest from the Labour brains trust. Diane Abbott has accompanied her tweet about British intervention in Syria with a photoshopped image of an Israeli war plane supposedly bombing Iran, taken from this website:
“The following drawing, exclusively prepared by Al Clark for The Aviationist, shows how an attack by a formation of F-15Is on a nuclear facility located in downtown Tehran might look like. Obviously, it is only a fictional scene…”
If you search “bombing” into Google Images, the picture comes up on the second row, which may be how Diane cocked up. Doh!
The auction price of the Jewdas anti-capitalist beetroot has plummeted after Ebay ruled the sale infringed its terms and conditions. The price had topped £50,000 when the auction site removed the listing. It was re-listed and now stands at a meagre £5,000. Capitalism gets its own back on Jewdas…
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri declined to allow the mayor of the Parisian suburb of Gennevilliers, Patrice Leclerc, to enter Israel Monday. The move follows the recommendation of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
Leclerc came to the Allenby Crossing with Jordan with his wife Monday claiming that they were coming to visit Israel.
A thorough examination of the Population Authority’s border controls revealed that in November Leclerc was part of a delegation of mayors who attempted to enter Israel for the purpose of visiting the terrorist Marwan Barghouti in prison, among other reasons.
The arrival of some members of the delegation was prevented in advance after Minister Deri announced that he would refuse them entry. According to Deri, Leclerc knew that his entry was forbidden but chose not to arrange his entry before his arrival.
In light of the above, in addition to the fact that he changed his story regarding the reason for his arrival in Israel, and in view of the fact that he is a of the anti-Israel BDS movement, according to information provided by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Deri decided to refuse Leclerc entry into Israel a second time.
Deri said: “We will not allow anyone who acts against Israel to enter Israel in order to act and incite against the state. This is the authority given to me in the law and I will use it as long as I am required to do so and as long as there is a need to prevent the entry of people who will act to incite against Israel and call for its boycott. “
— Jewish HR Watch (@jhrwatch) April 15, 2018
Kearney – apparently unwilling to distinguish between Western strikes on targets related to Bashar al Assad’s chemical weapons and the separate topic of Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons shipments to Hizballah – then asked:
Kearney: “Is there any evidence that airstrikes are effective? After all the United States carried out an airstrike on a Syrian base last year and still we have allegations of a chemical attack this year.”
After Amidror had taken issue with Kearney’s use of the word “allegations” he went on to state that while he did not know if the US and its allies would carry out strikes in Syria, “I know that without attack, for sure the Syrian regime will continue to use chemical weapons against civilians” and commented on the role of “the free world” in stopping such attacks.
Kearney closed the interview at that point with listeners left none the wiser as to whether Amidror had been invited in to speak about what was at the time the possibility of a US strike in Syria or about the entirely different topic of an alleged Israeli strike on an air base in Syria used by Iran’s IRGC.
Nevertheless the notion that of all the things going on in Syria, an alleged Israeli airstrike is what is “destabilising for the wider region” had been promoted to Radio 4 listeners.
In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 114 attacks with petrol bombs, nine attacks using improvised explosive devices, three shooting attacks, one stabbing attack, one vehicular attack, one stoning attack and one arson attack. A vehicular attack was recorded in Acco and incidents in the Gaza Strip/Sinai sector included one shooting attack and one IED attack. No missile or mortar attacks were recorded during March.
Two members of the security forces were murdered in a vehicular attack near Mevo Dotan on March 16th which was reported on the BBC News website. One civilian was murdered in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on March 18th which was reported the next day .
Nine people were wounded in attacks during March – four of them in the vehicular attack in Acco on March 4th which did not receive any BBC coverage. A stoning attack on a civilian motorist near the Hizme checkpoint in Jerusalem was not reported and neither was an IED attack on the Gaza Strip border on March 15th.
In all, the BBC News website reported 1.47% of the terror attacks that took place during March 2018. Since the beginning of the year the BBC has reported 1.49% of the attacks and 100% of the fatalities. Just one of the six separate incidents of rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip that have taken place since the beginning of the year has been mentioned in BBC News website coverage.
McNeil, this is your first big assignment. You want to jump start your career in Gaza, and it’s the perfect venue for such an ambitious goal. But you’ve made a rookie mistake, and I’m here to take you under my wing and help you along: the way it works in journalism is you only treat Israeli claims with qualifying skepticism such as “Israel says” or “Israel’s military says.” When it comes to Palestinian claims, you just pass them along as fact.
I know that’s different from what you were taught back in J-school, and in fact it’s just different from covering most other places and stories. But there’s a professional tradition to maintain, McNeil, and one of the most important informal lessons I can give a budding young journalist is to respect the conventions of the field. A quick rule of thumb: if it makes Israel look bad, report it without verification; if it doesn’t, use your investigative nose. There’s a rich history behind it, and you’ve got to honor that history if you want your colleagues and superiors to view you as worthy of advancement.
It’s easier for some correspondents than for others. Some reporters see their journalistic mission as speaking truth to power, and they by default side with the party they perceive as weaker in any conflict. Others maintain objectivity where they can, but the exigencies of the job demand certain compromises: local fixers or activists on whom the reporter depends for access and information, and who toe the Hamas line, for example. That prejudices the narrative in favor of one side, especially when you’re working on deadline and there isn’t much time to apply extensive critical thinking. But there’s no one way to favor the Palestinian narrative over the Jewish; you do you.
German prosecutors brought charges Monday against a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard, accusing him of abetting murder in the latest 11th-hour attempt to use the criminal justice system to address the Holocaust.
The public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart said it had filed charges of accessory to murder with the regional court in nearby Mannheim against the unnamed suspect, a German citizen born in Ruma in today’s Serbia.
The then 19-year-old began his training as a guard at the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in October 1942 and worked from December 1942 until January 1943 “supporting camp operations and thus acts of extermination,” prosecutors said.
“In this time, at least 15 rail transports arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp after which people were immediately ‘selected’ based on their ability to work,” they said.
“The prosecutor’s office assumes that at least 13,335 of these people were classified as unfit to work and murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.”
Big business on Sunday joined a growing chorus of criticism in Germany over the awarding of an annual music prize to a pair of rappers accused of anti-Semitic lyrics.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders added his condemnation of the decision, telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper he was shocked by what he considered widespread ambivalence about the Echo award in the hip-hop/urban national category that was given to rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang on Thursday, ironically coinciding with Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
In their song “0815,” the rappers talk about their bodies being “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” Another line says, “I’m doing another Holocaust, coming with a Molotov.”
“That hurts Germany’s international reputation,” Enders told the newspaper. “Is anti-Semitism becoming acceptable in Germany?”
Enders added that it was his belief that an anti-Muslim text would have generated far more outrage.
The BVMI German music industry association has drawn increasing criticism in recent days for honoring the rappers’ album, which has sold more than 200,000 copies despite containing lyrics considered offensive by many Jewish groups and others.
Charlotte Knobloch, former head of the Central Council of Jews, said Friday the award was a “devastating sign” amid growing signs of “anti-Semitism in our society, especially in schools.”
She said the two rappers “reach millions of mostly young people with their inhuman message.”
A Jewish man was assaulted in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York near 770 Eastern Parkway, the international headquarters of the Chabad movement.
The man, who was walking with another ultra-Orthodox man, was attacked late on Friday night by three black men and two black women near the Chabad headquarters, CrownHeights.info reported. One of the assailants asked the man, “Do you want to fight?” and began to kick and punch him with others joining in the attack.
A neighbor who heard a man’s shouts for help called the Crown Heights Shomrim, a local neighborhood watch, who found blood on the sidewalk but not the victim.
The Shomrim volunteers followed a trail of blood into the building at 770 Eastern Parkway, where the injured man had called for medical assistance from the Hatzalah ambulance service, according to CrownHeights.info.
Police reportedly have opened a bias investigation into the attack.
Two Jewish sport clubs in Argentina honored their counterparts in Vienna and Warsaw, that were shuttered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The Buenos Aires-based Hacoaj and Macabi sports clubs, as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day activities, wore authentic uniforms of the Hakoah Vienna and Makabi Warszaw teams during a match on Sunday.
Both institutions made their tributes to the European Zionist sports clubs that suffered during the Holocaust during Sunday’s events, recreating the atmosphere of the WWII era, and imagining an encounter between the two clubs. “The match that didn’t happen: A tribute to the Jewish sport before the Shoah” was the title of the soccer event.
In 1909 followers of Zionist Max Nordau founded Austria´s first Jewish sport club, Hakoah Vienna. On a tour in 1921, Hakoah became the first continental club to defeat an English team on their home pitch, when they thrashed current Premier League team West Ham, 5-1. The team also won the Austria championship in 1925 and then visited the US in 1926.
The iconic European Jewish club was formally shut down by the Nazis in 1938. With more than 5,000 members, the club was especially successful in swimming and soccer. It was reopened in 2008.
Makabi Warszaw was founded in 1915 and had 3,000 members that practiced sports such as basketball, soccer, wrestling, fencing, tennis and rowing.
The Jewish Argentinean sport organization, Macabi, produced a replica of the same uniform worn during soccer matches during the Holocaust.
The largest-ever Eurovision promo event took place earlier this week at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, showcasing artists from 27 countries in a free outdoor concert for a crowd of thousands.
It’s the third consecutive year that the organization Israel Calling has taken Eurovision Song Contest contestants on a pre-show tour of Israel.
The 2018 group included journalists from various European countries and of course Israel’s own Netta Barzilai, who will perform “Toy” in the first half of Eurovision Semi-Final 1 on May 8 in Lisbon.
In all, songsters from 43 countries will compete.
“The Eurovision is not just a song contest; it’s a cultural phenomenon, promoting tolerance, open-mindedness, respect for one another and a love for humankind. The Eurovision holds a special place in the heart of many Israelis; the song contest is a night where we put our differences aside and share a feeling of pride,” said Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo.
During their travels around the Israel, contestants from countries including Belgium, Australia, Great Britain, Montenegro, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Ireland and Serbia, among others, planted trees in Kayemet L’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF)’s President’s Forest in Tzora. All participants received a planting certificate with their name and the country they are representing in Eurovision.
Hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash announced Monday that he’ll be returning to Israel this summer. The trailblazing DJ and artist – the first hip hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – will be playing at the Barby in Tel Aviv on September 5.
Grandmaster Flash, whose real name is Joseph Saddler, has been performing since the 1970s, and has released dozens of singles – both solo and with his group The Furious Five. His biggest songs include “The Message,” “White Lines” and “Beat Street Breakdown.” The musician and DJ performed in Israel in both 2009 and 2011, but not since.
According to Walla, tickets will be NIS 195 each from barby.co.il
Israel’s summer music calendar is quickly heating up, with the Backstreet Boys, Jason Derulo, Rita Ora, Enrique Iglesias, Ringo Starr and Ozzy Osbourne among the biggest acts slated to perform.
Reggae superstar – and former hassid – Matisyahu will be returning to Israel to perform this summer, this time at the Beersheba student festival in May.
The rapper, singer and songwriter will be headlining the event alongside Israeli superstars Sarit Hadad, Ivri Lider, Avraham Tal and more. Matisyahu, known for his hit songs “One Day” and “King Without a Crown,” will take the main stage on May 29.
The Jewish American, who grew up in New York, famously identified as a Chabad hassid while writing and recording some of his biggest hits. Matisyahu left observant Judaism in 2012 but still writes songs with heavy Jewish content, including his 2014 album Akeda.
Though Matisyahu does not hold Israeli citizenship, he has still been the target of some anti-Israel activists. In August 2015 he appeared at the Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival in Spain – after being disinvited and then reinvited amid a BDS scandal. Though Matisyahu was allowed to perform, many in the crowd held Palestinian flags and shouted at and taunted the singer.
In a change of fortune, a Jewish teenager from Ethiopia participating in the International Bible Quiz in Israel was granted full Israeli citizenship, a week after he was reportedly asked to deposit thousands of shekels as a guarantee that he would leave Israel when the contest was over.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri gave Sintayehu Shafrao, 18, from Gondar in Ethiopia, an Israeli identity card in a small ceremony in his office on Monday and welcomed him as an Israeli citizen.
Shafrao, who reportedly has siblings living in Israel, reached the final stages of the annual Bible competition and will be representing Ethiopians who claim Jewish descent, known as Falashmura, in the event held as part of Israel’s Independence Day celebrations.
When news broke of the demands placed on the teen, Israeli Ethiopian activists took him to meet with several ministers and Knesset lawmakers, and he was photographed with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
The Interior Ministry regularly demands such deposits from Ethiopian Falashmura visiting Jewish relatives in Israel, Channel 10 news reported last Monday. That is despite a government decision to bring all 9,000 remaining Falashmura from Ethiopia to Israel — a decision that is dependent on state funds being made available.
Yitzhak Dreksler, an IDF soldier seriously injured during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, passed away on Saturday afternoon following medical complications relating directly back to the injuries suffered in battle.
Dreksler served in the Orthodox Nahal Hareidi Battalion and in the Armored Corps during reserve service. During the war a rocket struck his tank in the Golan Heights but he escaped the burning tank, suffering severe, debilitating burns. After undergoing 70 surgeries, he was declared a disabled IDF veteran on 95 percent disability.
He went on to help found the ultra-Orthodox town of Emmanuel in Samaria and spent the last years of his life in the Orthodox town of Elad, where he dedicated his time to commemorating fallen ultra-Orthodox IDF soldiers, helping to found the Netzah Yehuda Battalion in the Kfir Brigade and advocating for ultra-Orthodox Israelis to enlist in the IDF.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman honored him in a tweet, noting that Dreksler “was a yeshiva student who left his studies and his pregnant wife and went to serve as a reserve soldier to protect the country and the nation,” adding, “I salute you.”
IDF Blog: 70 Years of the IDF
For Israel’s 70th anniversary, the Ministry of Defense revealed a rare collection of photographs from the establishment of the State of Israel which can be seen below..
The Cavalry Unit of the Givati Brigade participating in a parade on Herzl Street – 1948
Israel’s only English-language ceremony marking Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism will be livestreamed for the first time this year, and is expected to be watched by Jewish communities and in Jewish schools around the world.
The English-language ceremony is organized by the Jewish Agency’s Masa project, which brings Jewish youth to Israel to train as community leaders. Some 7,000 Jewish youths and community leaders are expected to participate in this year’s event, to be held on Tuesday evening at the Yad Lashiryon armored corps memorial site at Latrun, outside Jerusalem.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett and the outgoing Jewish Agency chairman, Israel Prize laureate Natan Sharansky, will attend the ceremony. Simultaneous translations into French, Spanish and Russian will be provided.
The Masa Facebook page will carry a live feed of the event.
On the eve of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, its population stands at 8,842,000, of whom 74.5 percent are Jewish, according to figures released on Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The Jewish population stands at approximately 6.589 million, while Arabs number some 1.849 million, 20.9% of the population. There are approximately 404,000 citizens, 4.6%, who are non-Arab Christians or members of other ethnic groups.
Over the past 12 months some 177,000 babies were born, 41,000 Israelis died and 28,000 immigrants arrived. Overall, the population increased by 1.9%, and at the current rate will hit 15.2 million by the time Israel celebrates its centennial in 2048.
Independence Day celebrations begin on Wednesday night, as the country transitions from Memorial Day — 24 hours of mourning for its fallen soldiers and terror victims.
In 1948 there were just 806,000 people in Israel, less than a tenth of the current number. At the time, the global Jewish population was 11.5 million, and just 6% were in Israel. There are now estimated to be 14.511 million Jewish people worldwide and 45% of them reside in the Jewish state.
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