James Kirchick (LAT): The world faces many tragedies. The lack of a Palestinian state ranks low on the list
By investing the Palestinian cause with such monumental importance, politicians and polemicists mistake a regional quarrel for a global struggle. Even before the state of Israel was founded more than 70 years ago, Arab regimes and their Western sympathizers began pushing a narrative that the proverbial “Arab street” is stirred by nothing more deeply than the fate of Palestine. Yet, as the so-called “Arab Spring” demonstrated, what really motivates the Arab masses are not Israeli settlements in the West Bank but the daily indignities of their own lives, blame for which lies with their rulers, not the Jews. And as for those rulers, Shia Iran’s growing assertiveness on a variety of fronts — a nuclear program on the threshold of weaponization, suborning the genocidal Assad regime, fueling the ruinous war in Yemen — has led the Sunni Arab states to reach a historic realignment with the nation they used to lambaste as “the Zionist entity.”
The human cost of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is also marginal compared with other contemporaneous world conflicts. Since five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish state in 1948, the total number of casualties incurred on both sides pales in comparison to the lives lost in the Congolese civil war, the Russian carpet-bombing of Chechnya, or North Korea’s politically engineered famines. As you read this, some 1 million Uighur Muslims are languishing in Chinese reeducation camps, suffering a fate far more heinous than that endured by the average Palestinian.
The amount of global resources heaped upon the Palestinians appears wholly disproportionate when contrasted to the measly efforts expended upon other stateless peoples, like the Tibetans and Kurds, whose claims are at least as justified and whose tactics have been nowhere near as morally objectionable. (It was the Palestinians, after all, who pioneered the scourge of terrorism in the 1960s and ’70s.) And as for the argument that U.S. military aid to Israel validates heightened attention to the conflict, a comparison with U.S. commitments — in actual blood and treasure — to treaty allies in Europe and Asia renders it hollow.
That the Palestinians lack a state is a tragedy, but it is a tragedy largely of their own making. More than once have they been presented with the opportunity to create a sovereign country alongside Israel; each and every time they responded with violence. On the long and growing list of world problems, the absence of a Palestinian state ranks somewhere between the conflicts over Transnistria and Western Sahara, neither of which you are likely to read about on newspaper front pages.
Hen Mazzig: Who Gets to Speak for Mizrahi Jews?
When they arrived in Israel, my grandparents did not see themselves as Palestinian Jews—they had never before lived in Mandatory Palestine. They saw themselves as Jews of Iraqi descent returning to the ancient homeland they and their ancestors had dreamed of and prayed of for thousands of years, the land from which they were once expelled and to which they were overjoyed to return. And they also understood themselves to be distinct from their Ashkenazi brothers and sisters: They were all Jews, but my grandparents were proud of their Mizrahi heritage just as the 200,000 Israelis of Ethiopian descent are proud of theirs.
Lamont Hill ignores all that. He also turns the imperial narrative on its head, accusing Israel of the crimes that were, in reality, committed by its Arab neighbors in the name of pan-Arabism. Since the 20th-century rise of pan-Arabism, leaders advocated Arabization policies of indigenous national groups—whether the Kurds, the Berbers, the Arameans, or the Sudanese—and sought to permanently reduce the status and power of indigenous religious groups, such as the Copts and Maronites, across the region. This sort of abuse goes on: Two decades ago, there were 1.4 million Christians living in Iraq; today, there are fewer than 250,000, an 80% drop. It’s precisely the same imperialist policy, intolerant of minorities, that drove my grandparents out all these decades ago.
You’d think that Lamont Hill, a self-proclaimed researcher of these topics, would know these facts. And you’d think that, as a self-described progressive, he’d at least listen to me as I shared my personal family history with him. He did not: In response to my article, Hill merely claimed that he studied Mizrahi Jews, and thus he knows better than me about my own community. It’s a statement that would make any decent person cringe. Imagine if I claimed that I studied racism and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and had the right to make any claim I wanted about the African American community, lecturing it about its own history. Lamont Hill, I suspect, would be rightly outraged, and yet he and many of his allies on the anti-Israel left expect the Jewish people to sit back and listen to him—a man who doesn’t speak the language, hasn’t lived in the region, and doesn’t understand the culture—lecture us on our history and our identity.
In the wake of some of Lamont Hill’s recent controversial statements about Israel, several leading Jewish voices, including Peter Beinart, rushed to defend Lamont Hill against charges of anti-Semitism. It is hard, however, to see how distorting Jewish history and silencing Jewish voices to promote a vicious and false charge could be construed as anything but.
A new bill pending approval by the Irish government is just a few steps away from becoming law.
The proposed law would make it illegal for Irish citizens to buy goods and services from Israeli citizens in what they define as the occupied territories. That would make it illegal to buy an ice cream, a postcard or a bottle of water in the old city of Jerusalem.
Irish citizens Karen and Norman Ievers along with their twins Natalie and Nathaniel visit Israel often and would be significantly affected by the law
“We bought ice cream and we bought water here in the old city next to the Jaffa Gate and if this bill passes what we just did would be illegal,” Karen told CBN News.
“It’s an infringement upon our freedoms,” Normal added. “I just hope it won’t hurt anybody and that it won’t hurt Ireland.”
The bill is called the “Control of Economic Activity (in) Occupied Territories”. If convicted under the bill, an Irish citizen could be fined more than a quarter of a million dollars and spend up to five years in jail.
“The proposed Irish law is the most extreme anti-Israel legislation proposed anywhere outside the Arab league,” said Prof. Eugene Kontorovich. “If you come to the holy city and you buy some holy water, if you buy a Jewish prayer shawl or religious books and bring them back to Ireland, bang, jail.”
Prof. Kontorovich says the bill targets Israel.
“What’s shocking about this law is that it’s clearly discriminatory in nature. So, they say, ‘We consider this occupied territory. We have a problem with occupied territory.’ But other than the fact that it’s not occupied territory, the law does not apply to any other people or group other than Jews in their biblical homeland.”
JPost Editorial: Douze points
The thousands of fans and media who arrived and spent the week in Tel Aviv experienced the city in all its 24-hours-a-day fun splendor, proving in part the best hasbara (public diplomacy) Israel can put forth is hosting guests to see the country for themselves. Streets, restaurants, bars and beaches were full of celebrants witnessing a confident, exuberant country. And the sizable gay following that Eurovision attracts was able to witness the freedom that Israel offers to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inhabitants.
As StandWithUs Executive Director Michael Dickson wrote this week in the Post, “Israel’s humanity was on display. Viewers in their millions got a taste of what the Israeli people are like and in the hosts – Israeli diversity too, hailing from different backgrounds, Arab and Jewish, straight and gay. The truth shone through – that in Israel, quiet coexistence happens every day.”
Attempts by Iceland’s entry and by one of Madonna’s dancers to inject politics into the event by brandishing Palestinian flags proved more of a distraction than a problem. Displaying a Palestinian flag alongside an Israeli flag is totally commendable, but not at an event that has not an iota of political blood in its system. Ultimately, Eurovision proved that it’s possible to stage an international event that could emphasize Israel without the need to mention Palestine in the same breath.
Claims of Israel trying to whitewash its problems ring false. Eurovision is simply not the forum for that, and no other country that has hosted the competition chose to display its shortcomings.
Israelis themselves are quick to criticize their country’s institutions and each other. Perhaps one of the hidden benefits of Eurovision is that it enabled us to see the country – its beauty, its achievements and its people – through the eyes of its visitors.
We can relish in the glory of our Eurovision winner from last year, Netta, and empathize with this year’s entry Kobi Marimi, who despite placing dismally in the standings, endeared himself to the hometown crowd with his heartfelt performance. And we can take pride in the performance of the Shalva Band, who displayed what true resilience and determination is to 200 million viewers.
Rather than relying on the standard “yihye b’seder” (everything will be okay), the hundreds of people who worked on the Eurovision production left nothing to chance, and in the end, produced an event that was a sight to behold and music to the ears.
Israel is the only place “in the world to give the intelligence community the job of bringing large groups” of a specific population sector to another country to save them from persecution through secret dangerous operations, says Maj. (ret.) Yochi Erlich of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center. An up-coming exhibition at the center will tell the tale of the Mossad’s clandestine role in saving Jews under oppression in foreign lands.
Ibrahim Barzilai, now 93, was one of 20 Mossad agents brought in during 1955-6 to train and organize local Jewish communities in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. All of the Mossad agents were married and sent as couples. Barzilai said the Mossad ran two full-time laboratories for cranking out a massive number of forged passports.
In 1957, when Morocco formally closed off legal aliyah to Israel, the Mossad exploited an area of Morocco which had remained officially part of Spain. Once they got the Moroccan Jews into the Spanish area, they would legally be in Spain and could make aliyah to Israel. Jews were also smuggled into France via Algeria, which was still officially French at the time.
In March, the Holy See announced its plan to make available to researchers the archives of the papacy of Pius XII, which lasted from 1939 to 1958. These documents may provide answers to many questions about the Church’s conduct during World War II; Toni Kamins points to one in particular:
Foremost among the lingering questions that Jewish leaders hope will be resolved by the newly opened archives are the names and birthplaces of Jewish children placed for safekeeping with Catholic families or Catholic institutions (monasteries, convents, schools) during the war. Many of those children were converted to Catholicism, an act that may have helped save their lives. But prominent Jewish leaders like Abraham Foxman, former head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) [who was himself such a hidden child], believe that even after the war, when it was safe to come out of hiding, most were not told they were Jews. In many instances, the children were the only members of their families to survive—but there were other cases where surviving relatives did exist, and sought in vain for the remnants of their devastated families. . . .
By late 1945 and early 1946, Jewish organizations, largely led and funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), estimated that around 10,000 of those survivors were in Catholic institutions or with non-Jewish families, and set out to find as many of them as possible.
Jonathan S. Tobin: What happens when Israel is your lowest priority?
The notion that anti-Semitism was somehow lying dormant until January 2017 and that throwing the most pro-Israel administration to date out of office and replacing it with the party that is prepared to tolerate the likes of boycott, divestment and sanctions movement supporters and anti-Semites like Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) will make Jews safer strains credulity.
In an era of almost unprecedented levels of partisanship, and in which Americans view those with different political views with the same sort of suspicion they once reserved for believers in other religious faiths, it would seem that Jews – who, along with African-Americans are among the most reliable supporters of the Democrats –are also prepared to believe the worst of those on the other side of the political divide. That doesn’t give Trump or the Republicans much reason for optimism in 2020 with respect to a Jewish community that seems to subscribe to the “everyone I don’t like is Hitler” view of politics.
There is, however, one reason for a sliver of hope for Republicans in the future. Greenberg’s summary notes that Jewish millennials are, like other young voters, more inclined to be culturally liberal. Yet the divide in other groups shows that older voters are more conservative and inclined to support Trump. However, in the Jewish population, it’s the reverse; older Jews are more against the president than the young, even among non-Orthodox. Trump’s levels of support among Jewish millennials and Jewish voters under 30 are significantly higher than among those who are older, even if those that back him are still a clear minority.
When you factor in the fact that the Orthodox – a majority of whom back Trump – are the only demographic slice of the community that is actually growing, and that the non-Orthodox population is declining, it’s clear that the Democrats advantage among Jews is likely to decline in future elections.
But anyone wondering why the Democrats’ toleration of Omar and Tlaib in their ranks hasn’t moved the needle in terms of Jewish opinion need look no further than Greenberg’s findings about Jewish priorities. When Israel isn’t one, then there should be no surprise about the willingness of so many Jews to believe in unsubstantiated allegations about Trump’s anti-Semitism and to be indifferent to his Middle East policies.
In a video from a 1941 meeting between Adolf Hitler and Grad Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini, the leader of the Muslim population of Palestine is seen saluting to Hitler with his infamous salute.
The video was posted to Twitter by the American Zionism account in an apparent response to comments made recently by US Rep. Rashida Tlaib in which she said she felt “a calming feeling” that the Palestinians were able to “create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.”
I found a video 📽️of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini meeting with Hitler in 1941 and doing the Nazi salute. pic.twitter.com/lKopDezPGn
— 𝘼𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙕𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙢 (@americanzionism) May 23, 2019
The comments were widely slammed by the Jewish community, arguing that they misconstrued the historical facts by insinuating the Arab population in Palestine at the time were friendly to the Jewish immigrants who had survived the Holocaust.
Hey there @thrasherxy. Seems you preemptively blocked me, despite us never interacting. Fat lot of good that did! https://t.co/13pNqpkaS1 cc: @nyuniversity
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 24, 2019
What led to a young Jewish woman walking away from an education at such a prestigious institution as NYU, you ask? A thread on anti-Semitism at NYU… (1/?)
— Melissa Weiss (@melissaeweiss) May 22, 2019
A YouGov survey has found that only 19% of British voters say that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are not antisemitic.
Just 18 percent of voters say that the Labour Party does not have a problem with antisemitism, while 50 percent think that it does.
The polling shows that in the past year, approximately a further 5% of the public has lost confidence in Mr Corbyn over this matter, reducing those who support him on this issue to less than 20% of the population.
Some of the other key findings for all voters are that:
- 80 percent say that they had seen either a little or a lot of news coverage about antisemitism in the Labour Party. Campaign Against Antisemitism has been at the forefront of exposing antisemitism in the Party in the national media.
- 36 percent of all British voters say that Mr Corbyn is antisemitic and 28 percent say that the Labour Party is antisemitic. Only 19 percent say that neither are antisemitic.
- 65 percent believe that Mr Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism accusations has been incompetent while only 16 per cent think that he has been competent.
- 60 percent say that Mr Corbyn has been neither honest nor transparent in responding to accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, with only 18 percent thinking that he has been honest and transparent.
- Only 27 percent agree that Labour MPs who are concerned about antisemitism in the Party should remain in the Party nonetheless. So far, just eleven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism. They have been joined by numerous councillors and members.
A banner emblazoned with the words “Honor to Mussolini,” unfurled just steps from the Milan piazza where the fascist dictator’s body was hung upside down after his 1945 execution. One-armed salutes and fascist slogans shouted at protests. Italy’s right-wing interior minister skipping commemorations for the 74th anniversary of the country’s liberation from Nazi occupation.
Fascist symbols, rhetoric and salutes — long a public taboo — have made their way out of the hooligan sections of soccer stadiums and into Italian streets in the run-up to this week’s European Parliament elections.
The leader of the right-wing party leading in the Italian polls, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, has faced criticism for perceived complacency toward neo-fascist extremists in his bid to see his once regionally based League party finish No. 1 in Italy, and perhaps Europe, when Italians vote Sunday.
Salvini, who has attracted the admiration of European far-right leaders for his anti-immigrant, anti-Islam stances, makes a show of dismissing extremist labels and the existence of fascist ideology on the Italian political spectrum.
Last November 12, EU co-operation officials in the Palestinian Arab territories and the EU Education Agency’s officials launched the new Erasmus program between European and Palestinian Arab universities in Ramallah. Among the European academia involved there are Cork (Ireland), Siena (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Evora (Portugal) and the Union of the Mediterranean Universities in Rome.
Siena is the first in the world to send students to the Islamic University of Gaza. A Siena delegation even visited the University of Gaza.
Except that the University of Gaza is not like the others.
“The university presents the philosophy of Hamas”, Jameela El Shanty, a professor at that university and politician in Gaza, told the Baltimore Sun. Founded by the Sheikh of Hamas, Ahmed Yassin, the university was accused by Israel of turning its laboratories into rocket factories, as well as serving as a venue for secret meetings of military leaders.
This is why Israel hit it in 2009. Al Fatah – the rival of Hamas – confiscated weapons from that university. Former Israeli intelligence officer Jonathan Halevi said the university is a “Hamas indoctrination” center. American MPs made interpolations on that university and Fatah accused Hamas of hiding Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit there.
Student government representatives at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed a resolution on Tuesday rejecting “misinformation” against the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group — including claims that it promoted antisemitic content, UCLA’s student-run Jewish newspaper Ha’Am News reported.
The resolution focused on condemning the Canary Mission website, which lists students and faculty members that promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, as well as materials distributed by the David Horowitz Freedom Center against campus groups, including SJP and the Muslim Students Association.
More controversially to some students, the resolution also included language criticizing UCLA Chancellor Gene Block for issuing “marginalizing statements” about SJP — namely, a 2018 op-ed he published expressing disagreement with the group and the BDS campaign that it supported.
Block also made claims in the op-ed “that allude to the content of SJP’s national conference as being anti-Semitic without evidence to support those claims, ostracizing and stigmatizing the conference and attendees,” the resolution maintained.
SJP’s national conference was hosted at UCLA this November, with conference organizers calling for Zionism — a movement that recognizes the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination — to “be destroyed.” The group’s UCLA chapter was involved in the forceful disruption of an event held by the school’s Students Supporting Israel (SSI) group last May.
E. decided to withdraw from NYU and attend Stern College, the women’s campus of Yeshiva University. Professor Phyllis Chesler shared with Arutz Sheva the letter E. wrote to the university in order to communicate her decision:
To whom this may concern:
I have decided to withdraw from NYU beginning in the Fall of 2019. This decision is made with real sadness as I was very excited to apply early decision to NYU and have looked forward to attending for a many years.
My family has a long connection to NYU going back to my great-grandfather X who founded the department of music and was a professor at NYU for many decades. Notably, when my great-grandparents passed, they asked that their ashes be sprinkled around Washington Square Park due to their close connection with NYU.
Unfortunately, it appears the NYU my family has known is changing. It has now become clear to me that as a Jew, if I were to attend NYU I would be affiliating myself with an institution that accommodates faculty members and student organizations that are dedicated to anti-Semitic ideologies.
Some on your campus differentiate between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, however, I am not one of those people. This age-old hatred of my people wears different disguises in different generations but it’s root objective is always the same.
I will not stand by as it is allowed to take form at NYU and will certainly not attend an institution where my core beliefs and very existence is being threatened.
Hey @hamasinfoEn, meet @itsdanieldart (if you haven’t already). Perhaps you can offer him a job as new spokeshit for your terror org? https://t.co/LkTvnv0shp
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 23, 2019
Are Israeli villages in the Golan “settlements”?
Not according to the Israeli-Syrian General Armistice Agreement (20 July 1949). The opening passage of Article V reads thus: pic.twitter.com/rJ7HUNFn6m
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 24, 2019
Wildfires in the Jerusalem area on Friday ravaged one of Israel’s prettiest and largest memorial forests.
The fires, aided by a scorching heat of over 104ºF (40ºC) and eastern winds, consumed the Jewish National Fund’s forest around the Kdoshei Zaglambia Holocaust monument, Ynet reported.
Situated on the western slopes of the Judean Hills, the forest planted decades ago for Polish victims of the genocide has a unique biodiversity owing to its location on the seam line connecting Israel’s humid coastal plain to its mountainous and arid interior.
On Friday, the fire was still raging across large areas of the coastal plain and creeping uphill in the direction of the Ben Shemen Forest. Mevo Modi’im, located 15 miles east of Tel Aviv, saw several of its homes destroyed, as did Kibbutz Harel near Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv.
Jewish leaders are warning about antisemitic speech here amid a debate over the fate of property seized from or abandoned by Jews during the Holocaust.
The Association of Jewish Religious Communities has appealed to Polish politicians to “abandon hate speech towards Jews.”
Politicians on the extreme right raised the topic of property restitution ahead of this week’s elections for the European Parliament. The vote in Poland is being held Sunday.
Members of a far-right coalition called the Confederation are protesting American legislation meant to ensure that survivors of World War II or their heirs receive compensation for their losses. According to the law, the U.S. secretary of state is to prepare a progress report this year on the fate of property left behind during the war in 46 countries, including Poland.
The debate led to sparring between the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party here and the opposition. One opposition leader, former prime minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, refuted the claims of the right-wing critics of property restitution by saying “nobody will take away from the heirs the right to go to court and claim their property.”
Cimoszewicz also criticized the right for claiming that “world Jewish organizations” would claw back property not claimed by actual heirs. Property with no living heirs will not be passed on to anyone, he said, and would remain the property of the Polish state.
A man accused of showering the prominent French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut with antisemitic insults on the fringes of a demonstration in Paris last February appeared in court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors demanded a six-month suspended sentence and a $50,000 fine for Benjamin Weller — a 26-year-old convert to Islam and an activist with the populist “yellow vests” movement. Weller was prominent among the small crowd of protesters who rounded on Finkielkraut after they spotted him near his Paris home during a demonstration on Feb. 6. Insults and slogans thrown at the philosopher by Weller and his comrades included, “dirty Zionist,” “dirty race,” Zionist sh*t,” “God will punish you,” and, “France is ours!”
Asked by the presiding magistrates to explain his actions, Weller insisted that he had merely been trying to tell Finkielkraut “my positions.”
Claiming that he was an “anti-Zionist” not hostile to Jews in general, Weller told the court about the “influence of Zionism … there are lobbies in France, who run France.”
Pressed on whether he believed that France was governed by a “Zionist lobby,” Weller replied, “Yes, a Zionist lobby that stigmatizes us. The ‘yellow vests’ are also against the Zionist lobby.”
The “influence of Zionism on French politics … hurts everyone,” he continued.
Sweden will host an international conference against anti-Semitism in memory of the Holocaust in October 2020, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced Friday.
The gathering heads of state and government will be held in Malmo, southern Sweden, on October 27 and 28 — 20 years after the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust and 75 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“You find anti-Semitism in Sweden, in Europe and all over the world. Anti-Semitism isn’t only a Jewish problem, it is a poison for all of society,” Stefan Lofven told AFP in an interview.
He had previously expressed his willingness to host a major conference on anti-Semitism.
But the official announcement, at the end of the campaign for the European elections, also served as a reminder that they are “all the more important as the election is a referendum on populist forces.”
“It’s a choice of values, for equal rights, it’s about standing up for your beliefs,” he added.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven will meet with leaders of the ruling Social Democratic Party’s youth movement over allegations of antisemitism in its ranks.
Members of the SSU youth league in the southern city of Malmo were recorded chanting the slogan, “Long live Palestine, crush Zionism!” at an international workers day rally on May 1.
The chant is based on a socialist song by a Swedish-Arabic musical group called Kofia.
The spectacle prompted an outcry from the small Jewish community in Malmo, a city where antisemitic incidents have been a frequent occurrence for at least a decade.
Joakim Sandell, chairman of the Social Democrat Party in Malmo, later offered an official apology to the city’s Jews.
Lofven’s press secretary, Gosta Brunnander, told journalists in Stockholm that the prime minister would visit Malmo on Friday.
“There should never be any doubt that the Social Democrats stand up against antisemitism,” she added. “If these values are not followed, the party leadership must take a clear stand. This is Stefan Lofven’s position.”
According to our 2018 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, there were 2,041 antisemitic incidents in Canada last year. 80% of them took place on social media.
Introducing, “#MeanTweets – Antisemitism Edition.”
— B’nai Brith Canada (@bnaibrithcanada) May 23, 2019
Launched in 2017, a weekly newsletter from a coalition of establishment Jewish and pro-Israel groups has been providing talking points on anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel to a select list of Jewish influentials.
The Focus Project, according to its director of strategic communications, Scott Piro, provides “collective, nonpartisan guidance to members of the community who choose to subscribe to our list,” and that all partner groups have an “equal voice” in shaping the messaging.
Those partner groups are the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Anti-Defamation League — along with StandWithUs and The Israel Project, two groups known for their sharp-elbowed defense of Israel’s government and pushback against Israel’s critics.
Dovid Efune, the editor in chief of The Algemeiner, a Jewish newspaper with an editorial stance generally seen as right of center, has advised the effort in a personal capacity, according to Piro.
But the newsletter’s language recently led the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, or JCPA, an umbrella group of local Jewish public policy organizations, to remove its name from the newsletter’s masthead, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned from sources familiar with the matter.
JTA also learned from multiple sources that the decision, made in April, followed an internal conversation among JCPA leadership and a number of Jewish community relations professionals under the JCPA umbrella.
The decision reflected the discomfort of professionals who felt that the newsletter focused more on pro-Israel advocacy than anti-Semitism, and was too quick to call anti-Israel activity anti-Semitic.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the decision which demonstrates the Church of Scotland’s solidarity with the Jewish community in Scotland at this worrying time.
Reverend Dr Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church and Society Council, put forward the proposal to adopt the definition and noted that “antisemitic incidents in the UK are at a record high for the third year in a row.” His motion said that adopting the definition would “aid the Church in challenging antisemitism.”
Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism, Lord Eric Pickles and others worked hard for over many meetings with officials at Downing Street. The Church of Scotland’s move follows adoption of the definition by the Church of England in September last year.
Ultra-Orthodox “Marathon Mother” Beatie Deutsch from Jerusalem has had a stellar career full of firsts, since discovering her talent for running at age 26 and wowing crowds by completing a full marathon while seven months pregnant.
She has won the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem marathons as well as the national championship. This week she became the first ultra-Orthodox woman to win an international athletics competition, finishing first among the women in Sunday’s 21-kilometer (13-mile) half-marathon race in Riga, Latvia, clocking at 1 hour, 17 minutes and 34 seconds.
Deutsch, who is known for running in modest clothing including a skirt, sleeves below her elbow, and headscarf, is now eyeing her next goal: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
But for Deutsch, her career is about much more than running and smashing stereotypes.
Since December 2017 — when her husband’s cousin Daniella Pardes, 14, died by suicide after a struggle with anorexia nervosa — Deutsch has been using her running to raise awareness and funds for a new day center called Beit Daniella, a rehabilitation facility for adolescents with eating disorders and other psychiatric disorders who have been hospitalized or dropped out of school.
Young Gravy – Exodus
Twenty years ago, a baby girl, Balkis, was taken to Israel to undergo critical surgery. Balkis had been born with a severe congenital heart defect, and in her native Zanzibar she could not receive the proper treatment.
However, only a couple of years before, in 1995, an Israeli non-profit organization, Save a Child’s Heart, had been established precisely with the mission of providing high-quality medical care for children from developing countries.
Balkis was therefore flown to Israel and hospitalized at the Wolfson Medical center in Holon. After the surgery, she made a full recovery and returned to Zanzibar. But when her daughter Fatma, now one-year-old, was diagnosed with the same heart defect, once again the doctors in Zanzibar could not help and Save a Child’s Heart offered their assistance.
Fatma was the 5,000th patient who underwent a life-saving procedure at the hands of the organization’s doctors, the NGO announced on Wednesday.
“I never thought I would make the journey from Africa to Israel again,” Balkis said, according to a statement released by Save a Child’s Heart. “I already owe my life to this incredible NGO and now that they have saved my baby, I owe them my happiness as well. We are going back to Zanzibar soon, but a piece of our hearts will always stay in Israel.”
Save a Child’s Heart has treated children from 59 countries, including more than 2,500 Palestinian patients from the West Bank and Gaza. All patients are treated free of cost.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday met with the son of the Air France pilot who, along with his crew, insisted on remaining with Israeli and Jewish hostages after pro-Palestinian terrorists hijacked his flight and diverted the plane to Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976.
Pilot Michel Bacos died in March at the age of 95. His son Eric, met with Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem. Earlier, he accepted an honorary award on behalf of his father at the Israel Aviation Conference in Tel Aviv.
The prime minister’s brother, Yoni (Yonatan), was killed leading the Israeli commandos who flew to Entebbe and carried out a daring mission to rescue the captives.
Bacos told Netanayhu that even 40 years later his family owes a great debt and appreciation for the IDF operation and Yoni’s actions. He also confirmed to the prime minister that his father had requested that the Israeli national anthem be played during his funeral.
Netanyahu expressed his regret at the death of the pilot.
PM Netanyahu heard from Eric that the Israeli anthem was played at his father’s funeral and said that Michel Bacos was very brave. Eric added that even after 40 years his family owes a debt of gratitude and appreciation to the IDF operation and the actions of Yoni Netanyahu. pic.twitter.com/2TnMsJHRuR
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) May 23, 2019
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