April 21, 2024

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05/23 Links Pt2: The West Must Stop Pretending Palestinian Terrorism Against Israel Is Different From Other Muslim Terrorism Against The West


From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: The West Must Stop Pretending Palestinian Terrorism Against Israel Is Different From Other Muslim Terrorism Against The West
After news of the Manchester Islamic terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert broke, President Trump spoke from Bethlehem, Israel while standing next to master terrorist Mahmoud Abbas. Trump labeled the terrorists “evil losers.”
He should have added Abbas under that rubric.
Abbas is currently in a unity government with terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad; he heads the terrorist Palestinian Authority, which is responsible for the murder of hundreds of Jews. He was a member of the terrorist Fatah, led by master terrorist Yassar Arafat, and he was the financial source behind the 1972 Palestinian Munich massacre of Israeli athletes. He has named streets after Palestinian terrorists, and he finances their families. He paid tribute to Abu Jihad, the founder of Fatah and terrorist behind the hijacking of a bus and murder of 37 civilians, including 12 children, among many other terrorists to whom Assad has paid homage. Abbas regularly encourages terrorist attacks. In 2015, he stated, “Each drop of blood … spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood, as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every martyr will be in heaven.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly states that if the Manchester terrorist had been Palestinian, Abbas would have signed a check to him.
Yet there Abbas was, nodding along, as Trump ripped terrorism. There was Trump, saying the possibilities of peace remain good, and deeming Abbas a force for peace in the process.
This is all thanks to the latent anti-Semitism implicit in the notion that Islamic terrorists who murder Jews in Israel are differently motivated than Islamic terrorists who murder citizens of the United Kingdom or Germany or France or the United States. They aren’t. But the West is unwilling to face the true specter of radical Islam, which threatens Jerusalem the same way they threaten New York — or more so, considering that Jews are under attack from Muslim terrorists literally every day in the holy city.

WATCH: Sarsour Berates White Student For Quoting Her Tweet Saying Women Who Disagree Shouldn’t Have Vaginas

On May 12 at Dartmouth College, a young white male student confronted Linda Sarsour, the leader of the Women’s March and a rabid Israel-hater, about her malevolent 2011 tweet in which she referenced female genital mutilation survivor Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel, an Arab Christian who strongly supports Israel, both of whom have openly criticized Islam.
Sarsour’s 2011 tweet looked like this:

The young man confronted Sarsour:
Hi. So, um, this question is really important because I believe that women’s rights are also human rights. So I really want to know: under what circumstances it’s acceptable to say that “I wish I could take their vaginas away. They don’t deserve to be women.” Just to give that context, that’s one of the tweets off your Twitter.
There was a long pause while Sarsour decided how to mitigate the effect of the truth being thrown at her. She finally responded by evading the question:
So, let’s give some context here, because, y’know, we have — Uh, this is an event organized by an Asian American, right? Let’s just get — let’s get some context to what is going on here. Celebrating a community, right? Talking about communities of color who are being directly impacted by this moment and I have a young white man in the back who is not directly impacted by any of the issues I mentioned.
That elicited applause from the supine audience, which apparently didn’t care about the massive hypocrisy of a woman posing as a fighter for women’s rights who had called for literally ripping away the vaginas of women that she hated.

Fathom | 1967 | How Nasser’s vendetta against America led to the Six-Day War

For 50 years historians have debated the question of what motivated Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s disastrous drift towards a humiliating defeat in the Six-Day War with Israel in 1967. Gabriel Glickman argues that the archives suggest we have underestimated the pivotal role of Nasser’s vendetta against America in driving Nasser’s actions. Current American and Israeli officials, he advises, should take note of this episode as a lesson in how history can play out when the US tries and fails to turn a formidable foe into a friend. With US policy now tilting towards the Sunni states and an angry Iran possibly left out in the cold, Glickman’s essay has more than historical interest.
Decisions leading to war are rarely understood without the benefit of documentation to show exactly what officials were thinking. However, in the case of the Six-Day War, historians have overlooked what has long been staring them in the face: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser mobilised his army against Israel in mid-May 1967 in part to get back at the US for refusing to provide economic aid that the Egyptian leader so badly needed after years of wasteful spending on ‘Egypt’s Vietnam’ in Yemen. Not only does this challenge the conventional notion that Nasser acted to stop an alleged Israeli plan to topple the radical Baath regime in Syria, it demonstrates the limits of a US foreign policy that relies on appeasement to turn adversaries into friends.
To begin with, US President John F. Kennedy’s officials dealing with the Middle East believed that a close personal relationship between the president and Nasser, and generous amounts of economic aid without attached strings, could buy the Egyptian leader’s loyalty. However, in spite of an unprecedented three-year credit agreement, Nasser refused to disengage from Yemen, where he was locked in a proxy war against Saudi Arabia for regional mastery. Unlike his predecessor, however, Lyndon B. Johnson (who took office at the end of 1963) had little regard for ‘personal diplomacy’. If Nasser wanted to continue receiving American economic aid, he needed to withdraw from Yemen. Thus, when Nasser still failed to make progress on Yemen even after receiving a new six month credit agreement following the expiration of the original one, Johnson and Secretary of State Dean Rusk hesitated through the end of 1966 and the beginning of 1967 to approve Nasser’s request for more aid. Evidently, Nasser resented being made to wait. He considered the delay an indication of American imperial pressure and readily turned to the very issue that US officials had sought to circumvent through years of aid: Arab liberation of Palestine.

In unseen snaps from ’67, soldiers, worshipers and a very bored girl

In the run-up to Israel’s celebration of 50 years since the capture of Jerusalem’s Old City from the Jordanians, the National Library on Monday published previously unseen photographs of the Western Wall immediately after it was taken by the Israeli army.
The black and white photographs of Judaism’s holiest place of prayer — the wall helped support the artificial plaza on which the since-destroyed Jewish temples stood more than 2,000 years ago — capture then president Zalman Shazar, a helmet on his head, observing a reading of the Torah while the Six Day War was still going on, as well as then prime minister David Ben Gurion, who visited the day after the war ended.
Jews were not allowed to access the Western Wall while the Jordanians controlled it, from 1948 to 1967.
The black and white images also picture Shlomo Goren, the Israeli army’s first chief rabbi, who was memorialized in published photographs of the time blowing the shofar (ram’s horn) and jubilantly carrying a Torah scroll to celebrate the capture of the wall.

IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Jerusalem, Right After The Six Day War (NY Times July 30, 1967)

A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
The Six Day War ended on June 10th, 1967 and less than to months later, the New York Times wrote a piece about the changes Israel had begun implementing in Jerusalem, following its liberation.
As usual, it is stunning, eye-opening and provides somewhat of an antidote to those infected with anti-Israel bias passed on by the current mainstream media – including the present day New York Times!
Note in particular:
  • The numerous historical references to the Jews’ presence in Jerusalem and connection to the city
  • Israel’s quick efforts to integrate the new Arab population and treat them like citizens, not enemies – despite the Arab’s generally hostile attitudes

Cops nab Palestinian suspected of plotting attack during Trump visit

Border guards arrested a Palestinian man at a West Bank checkpoint on Monday on suspicion that he planned to carry out a terror attack during US President Donald Trump’s state visit to Israel, police said.
Details of what the police believed the man to be planning were not immediately released.
The Walla news site reported the man planned to carry out a terror attack in Tel Aviv. The police would not confirm that this was the suspicion.
A spokesperson for the police would only say they believed the man had “terror attack tendencies,” without elaborating.
The man was picked up at the Hizme checkpoint, near Jerusalem, police said Tuesday.
He was identified as a 38-year-old Palestinian man from the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem.

Rocket launched from Sinai at Israel, IDF says

A rocket was fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula at southern Israel on Tuesday morning, amid a visit to the country by US President Donald Trump, the army said.
No injury or damage was caused by the missile, the army said.
Israeli troops launched a search for the impact site in the Eshkol region, which abuts the Sinai Peninsula. In some cases, rockets launched toward Israel do not cross the border and end up landing inside Egyptian territory.
No organization took immediate responsibility, but previous such incidents have been claimed by the Islamic State terror group’s Sinai affiliate.
The incoming rocket alert was not activated during the attack, as the military calculated the projectile was not heading toward a populated area.

Palestinians call general strike in solidarity with security prisoners

Palestinians in the West Bank called a general strike on Monday in a show of solidarity with hunger-striking security prisoners in Israeli jails, closing shops in Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem and east Jerusalem.
The hunger strike was called in late March by Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader serving five consecutive life sentences for murder. While 1,300 security prisoners began the strike, hundreds of them have quit since. According to the Israel Prison Service, some 840 prisoners remain on hunger strikes. Several dozen hunger-striking prisoners have been transferred from their cells to special wings for additional medical supervision.
Turkey’s Anadolu news agency quoted Qadura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club in the West Bank, as saying that Israeli and Palestinian officials continue to be in contact regarding the strike. He stressed that no negotiations were being held between the parties.
Israel maintains that the prisoners’ hunger strike is a ploy by Barghouti to promote his political agenda.

Turkey Summons U.S. Ambassador After Police Subdue Erdogan Bodyguards Beating Protesters

Turkey summoned U.S. ambassador John Bass in Ankara on Monday to complain about “aggressive and unprofessional” actions taken by American security personnel against Turkish bodyguards in Washington D.C. last week.
The UK Independent reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry gave the American ambassador a “written and verbal protest” and called for a “full investigation of this diplomatic incident.”
The incident in question was a brawl on Tuesday in which Turkish security personnel attacked protesters outside the Turkish embassy in Washington during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the United States. The protesters displayed flags for the Kurdish People’s Democratic Union (PYD), which the Turkish government sees as a political arm of the violent PKK separatist party.
“During the meeting with the Ambassador, it was emphasized that the lapses of security experienced during our President’s stay in Washington, which were caused by the inability of US authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official program, will not overshadow what in every other aspect was a very successful and important visit,” said a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

OUTRAGE: Turkey Blames U.S. For Turkish Bodyguards Attacking Protesters On American Soil

In yet more outrageous actions from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime, Turkey’s foreign ministry lodged a formal complaint on Monday blaming the U.S. for Turkish security personnel brutally attacking a group of Kurdish protestors outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Here’s video footage of the chaotic melee that broke out in front of the Turkish Embassy on May 16:
According to The Washington Post, Turkey summoned U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass on Monday to lodge its formal complaint, marking a “sharp escalation” of the diplomatic feud:
American and Turkish officials have provided directly contrasting versions of how the violence unfolded. Local police officials said the Turkish guards savagely attacked a peaceful protest outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence as Erdogan was visiting, in a bout of violence that was captured in detail on video. Turkish diplomats, though, criticized the local police for failing to quell an “unpermitted” and “provocative” demonstration.
The Turkish foreign ministry’s statement on Monday went even further, criticizing “the inability of U.S. authorities to take sufficient precautions at every stage of the official program.” And it demanded that the United States conduct a “full investigation of this diplomatic incident and provide the necessary explanation.”

Turkish industrial leaders call for trade increase with Israel

Voicing their support for a boost in business relations with Israel, Turkey called for a tripling of trade volume between the two countries in the next five years.
“We need to change the perception of the Israeli citizens and the Turkish citizens toward one another and we can do this by maximizing the frequency of meetings,” Mehmet Buyukeksi, chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “It’s about meeting together, coming together.”
After a very successful first quarter of 2017 – in which Turkish exports to Israel increased by 20% and Israeli exports to Turkey rose by 45% – Buyukeksi expressed his confidence that Israeli-Turkish trade volume could grow from today’s $3.9 billion figure to $10b. within five years time. By combining their distinct and complementary areas of expertise, Israeli and Turkish business leaders could not only increase trade between countries but also fuel increasingly positive political relations, he explained.
Buyukeksi was speaking with the Post while in Israel with the biggest Turkish business delegation to visit in the past decade.

Israel Advocates Relieved After Labor Union at Canadian University Fails to Pass Pro-BDS Referendum

Israel advocates expressed relief on Tuesday following the failure of an academic professional labor union to pass a pro-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) referendum into its bylaws last week.
Aidan Fishman, the campus advocacy coordinator for B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights group, said that there could have been serious ramifications if BDS had been approved by the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia (BC).
“Since the TSSU is a bona fide labor union, rather than a mere student association, any adoption of BDS would have been unlawful, likely triggering a legal response,” Fishman explained. “Section 7 of the BC Human Rights Code makes it illegal for a labor union to publish any intent to discriminate based on ancestry or place of origin, of which BDS is a classic example.”
According to Section 7, on “Discriminatory publication”:
(1) A person must not publish, issue or display, or cause to be published, issued or displayed, any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that
(a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a group or class of persons, or
(b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age of that person or that group or class of persons.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a private communication, a communication intended to be private or a communication related to an activity otherwise permitted by this Code.

Open Letter to Dartmouth Administrators Following BDS Scandal

On May 19, 2017, the Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD) organization sent out an email to the Dartmouth community “to address statements made against the appointment of N. Bruce Duthu as the Dean of Faculty, and to emphasize [their] full support for his appointment.”
In it, NAD defended Duthu’s support for BDS, a campaign that targets the State of Israel with academic and economic boycotts, advances divestment from Israeli corporations and has a long-term mission of getting international sanctions imposed on the country.
BDS has three goals: (1) to end the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank, (2) to grant the “Right of Return” to all Palestinians, and (3) to give Palestinians equal rights in Israel. The first makes no distinction between disputed holy Jewish areas, such as the Old City of Jerusalem, and other regions in the West Bank. The second supports a policy that would lead to the destruction of the Jewish state qua Jewish state. The third falsely implies that Palestinian-Israelis in Israel do not have equal rights.
BDS unfairly singles out the State of Israel for human rights violations and inaccurately argues that Israel’s “occupation” of the disputed West Bank is illegal. It demonizes Israel and holds the country to a double standard.

Dartmouth Prof withdraws as Dean of Faculty after BDS past revealed

We previously wrote about the firestorm that erupted over the appointment of Professor N. Bruce Duthu to be Dean of the Faculty at Dartmouth College, New Dartmouth Dean of Faculty endorsed academic boycott of Israel, here’s what that entails.
In that post, I questioned how Duthu could fulfill the duties of the position of Dean of Faculty in light of the sweeping nature of the academic boycott guidelines:
As you can see, the academic boycott guidelines are sweeping in their effect and implications….
Should endorsement of the academic boycott by Prof. Duthu in and of itself disqualify him from leading the faculty at Dartmouth? …
It’s hard to see how, if Duthu believed and believes what he was endorsing when he signed onto the academic boycott of Israel, he can fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
Academic BDS is anathema to the core values and responsibilities of a Dean of Faculty.

Reuters Corrects Six Day War Jerusalem Infographic

Improvements to the amended graphic include the addition of the following information:
For Israelis, all the of the city is the eternal and indivisible capital the Jews prayed for through 2,000 years in exile, home to the Western Wall and Judaism’s holiest site.
In addition, regarding the city’s Arab population for the years 1948 and 1961, the chart still shows zero Arabs, but now includes the explanatory note:
Figures for 1948 and 1961 only reflect the number of Arabs living in the Israeli-controlled part of Jerusalem, while at least 65,000 Arabs lived in the city during those years, when the eastern part was under Jordanian control.
Finally, Reuters added CAMERA as one of the sources of information for the graphic.
The corrected English image has replaced the original, misleading graphic in Reuters’ images archive. The original erroneous Spanish and French versions have been apparently been removed. The updated, corrected graphic does not yet appear in those languages.

HuffPost Arabi Falsely Reports That Trump’s Flight Was First From Arab Country to Israel

While President Trump’s flight was the first known direct flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel, it is not the first direct flight from an Arab country to Israel. Multiple flights every week, virtually every single day, fly from Amman and Cairo to Tel Aviv. Air Sinai flies from Cairo and Royal Jordanian flies from Amman.
Today, for instance, two flights are scheduled to land in Tel Aviv from Amman, and one from Cairo.

BBC’s Bowen on CAMERA complaint result: still ‘indignant’ after all these years

One of the two complaints which eventually reached the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee was submitted by CAMERA. The aim of that complaint was of course to ensure that BBC audiences were provided with accurate and impartial information in a report concerning a particularly significant Middle East event. However, Jeremy Bowen is clearly unable to accept that fact, preferring instead to promote the bizarre notion that it was “intended to give ammunition to [the BBC’s] enemies” – whoever they are supposed to be.
Eight years have passed since that BBC Trust ESC ruling about which Bowen “remains indignant” and remarkably, his ability to accept and embrace criticism does not appear to have improved over the years. As was noted by CAMERA in 2009:
“Instead of admitting error, Bowen and others in the BBC redoubled their commitment to the flawed article, spending their time (and British stakeholder resources) coming up with disingenuous defenses to the article’s distortions.”
The subject has been raised by Bowen in interviews before and as we can see from this latest one, the man entrusted with ensuring that all BBC reporting on Israel meets standards of accuracy and impartiality has made no progress whatsoever in the decade since the article which was the subject of the complaint was published – and is still apparently entirely convinced of his own infallibility.

Trump visit coverage on BBC Radio 4 promotes unchallenged inaccuracies

Majed Bamya (who, despite the claim in his Twitter handle to be ‘from Yaffa’ was actually born in the UAE) was then given an unhindered platform from which to mislead BBC Radio 4 listeners.
Bamya: “We are hoping that President Trump will be able to shape his message and his positions – including during his upcoming visit – on things as important as the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, which is enshrined in international law, on the two-state solution – and the two-state solution means ’67 borders – on settlements. We believe that’s an important issue as well and we hope that his feeling of the ground will reveal to him that we are facing an occupation that is annexing land instead of withdrawing from it, which is the basis of peace.”
Rather than explaining to listeners that (as the BBC well knows) there is no such thing as “’67 borders”, that the two-state solution does not necessarily mean the establishment of a Palestinian state according to 1949 Armistice lines and that land is not being ‘annexed’, Bateman instead encouraged listeners to believe that it is all about “narrative”:
“Donald Trump will not only have to deal with the competing narratives in this conflict but attempt to restart talks with the two sides deeply polarised”
While narratives undoubtedly exist, so do facts. It is the BBC’s job to help it audiences distinguish between narratives and facts –as defined in its public purposes.
“The BBC will provide accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world.”
The failure to challenge inaccurate claims promoted as part of politically motivated messaging actively hinders that public purpose.

Elderly man wearing kippah attacked near LA synagogue

An elderly man wearing a kippah was attacked as he walked to morning prayers in a Los Angeles neighborhood.
The attack took place Monday morning in the Fairfax District, near the Congregation Bais Yehuda synagogue, according to the local ABC affiliate, KABC.
Surveillance video shows the assailant punching and kicking the man, knocking him to the ground. The assailant then walks away from the scene.
Los Angeles police have not classified the attack as a hate crime or robbery but rather a random attack, KABC reported.
There has been an upsurge of anti-Semitic attacks in the US in recent months.

Muslim convert accused of killing neo-Nazi roommates in Florida

Investigators found white supremacist propaganda, bomb-making materials and a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh at a Florida apartment where a teenager killed two roommates who had once shared his neo-Nazi beliefs before he converted to Islam, police and the FBI said.
Devon Arthurs, 18, led police to the two bodies inside his Tampa apartment last Friday, saying he killed them after they showed disrespect for his new faith, according to police and FBI reports released Monday.
A fourth roommate, a member of the Florida National Guard, was arrested on charges related to the alleged discovery of bomb-making materials.
The investigation began unfolding Friday, when Arthurs held two customers and an employee hostage at gunpoint at a Tampa smoke shop, police said.
Arthurs said he converted to Islam and was upset about American bombings in Muslim countries, among other issues, according to a Tampa police report. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges, and court records did not list an attorney for him.

ADL Calls on Google to Take Action After Revelations That Deniers Included in ‘Holocaust Historian’ Search Results

An Anti-Defamation League (ADL) cyber-hate expert has called on Google to take action following revelations that Holocaust deniers are included in the image bar results for a search of “Holocaust historians.”
Jonathan Vick — the ADL’s associate director of investigative technology and cyber-hate — said he was certain that Google would edit the algorithm for the search results to ensure the exclusion of deniers and antisemites.
“[Google has] been confronted with this sort of issue in the past, and there is not real question of how they will respond,” Vick said. “These are unintended and painful consequences of an algorithm that clearly needs human intervention.”
The very first “historian” listed is David Irving, with other results including David Hoggan, author of The Myth of the Six Million, and one-time Columbia University historian Harry Elmer Barnes, who wrote a 1964 article titled “The Zionist Fraud,” in which he claimed Israel manufactured the Holocaust to squeeze reparations from Germany.
All three individuals were discussed in Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust, published in 1993 and considered by many to be a seminal text in the study of Holocaust denial. This was the book that triggered Irving’s failed 1996 libel suit against Lipstadt, a case immortalized last year in the film, “Denial.”

Israeli spy Shulamit Cohen-Kishik dies at 100

Shulamit “Shula” Cohen-Kishik, a a spy for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency who worked undercover in Lebanon for 14 years, has died at 100.
Cohen-Kishik, who was code-named “The Pearl,” died Sunday at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native was raised by Zionist parents who moved the family to pre-state Israel. She married Joseph Kishik, a wealthy Jewish-Lebanese businessman from Beirut, when she was 16 and the couple settled in Lebanon.
At 27 she began working for the Mossad, spending the next decade and a half helping to bring persecuted Jews from Arab countries to Israel and gathering intelligence information about Arab military activities — information she was able to collect by getting herself accepted into Lebanon’s high society.
She was caught smuggling in 1952 and taken to jail just three weeks after giving birth, where she spent 36 days in confinement. Cohen-Kishik continued her clandestine activities for another nine years before things became too dangerous and she moved to Rome for three months.

IsraellyCool: Sir Roger Moore’s Connection To Israel

Sir Roger Moore, most famous for having played James Bond in more films than anyone else (7), has died at the age of 89.
I’ll leave it to the news sites to inform about his tremendous career. Given my main topic is Israel, I thought I would post about Roger’s connection to Israel.
Sir Roger’s first trip to Israel was in the late 60s, when he received a personal guided tour from Teddy Kollek, then mayor of Jerusalem. He would later recall his fond memories of it.
Then in 2009, Sir Roger was the guest of honor at the Eilat Chamber Music Festival. He donated his fee to a UNICEF program where Israeli expertise is used to train doctors to perform male circumcision as a way of reducing AIDS transmission in Africa. BDS-holes tried to talk him out of it, but he remained neither shaken nor stirred by them.
“Although I received an open letter from some organization advising me not to visit Israel, I didn’t pay attention,” he said, adding that he recommends visiting and already hopes to return.
Roger expressed his amazement at how the country – especially its capital – had grown and developed during the four decades between his trips. And he went out of his way to see as much as possible.

US Veterans in Israel: Memorial Day Profiles in Courage and Healing

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 20 veterans commit suicide across the US each day. But an organization providing spiritual healing, suicide prevention and peer support programming for veterans believes that Israel is part of the solution.
Leading up to Memorial Day, JNS.org is spotlighting the stories of six American veterans who traveled to Israel with the Heroes to Heroes Foundation, which works with veterans suffering from mental and emotional stress. The foundation’s Israel programming is sponsored in part by the Jewish National Fund’s Boruchin Israel Education and Advocacy Center.
Igrain “Iggy” Padilla, 55, of Concord, North Carolina, spent 12 years in field artillery with the US Army, and 14 years in the military police. His tours of duty included deployments to Iraq, where he was physically injured in a head-on collision with a suspected bomber vehicle, and to Afghanistan, where he inspected sites at which US soldiers were killed or injured due to accidents.
“I came home in 2012 on medical retirement, and began having depression, nightmares, mood swings. It got so bad that I felt I had lost my identity, lost all interest in life. I couldn’t work, couldn’t do anything, and I started drinking too much. I was 50-years-old and didn’t know what to do,” he says.

8 Panamanian Jews get Spanish citizenship under law of return

Eight Panamanian Sephardic Jews received Spanish citizenship from Spain’s ambassador to Panama in a ceremony at the embassy in Panama City.
In a ceremony Friday, the group swore allegiance to the Spanish Constitution and the king, the local news website Telemetro reported.
Spain passed a law passed two years ago that allows the conferring of citizenship on those who prove to be descendants of Jews expelled from the country in 1492.
The ceremony “is an act of historical reparation” with the Sephardic Jews who suffered “the intolerance that was then not only in Spain,” said Spain’s ambassador to Panama, Ramon Santos.
“Sepharad is the Hebrew word which designates Spain, and Sephardim are those Jews expelled from Spain 500 years ago who formed communities in North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Portugal and many of which were distributed throughout America,” the diplomat recalled.

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