Waking up to a world where political allies are enemies of the Jews
One such dreamer who may be slowly snapping out of it is ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt, whose recent article in TIME magazine carries the headline, “Anti-Semitism is Creeping into Progressivism.” But to claim that it is “creeping” into the landscape of the political left is shockingly ignorant. It has been an integral part of it for decades.
Unfortunately, many decent liberals have turned a blind eye to left-wing anti-Zionist agitation that is indistinguishable from anti-Semitism. Those who say they wish to deny Jews statehood, the right of self-defense or the ability to live in peace in their homeland are practicing discrimination against Jews. This is the definition of anti-Semitism. And it is on the left, not the right, where support for such hatred, whether in the form of backing for the BDS movement or cultural boycotts, is growing.
It isn’t alt-right internet trolls who are orchestrating anti-Jewish protests like those of Sarsour or efforts to boycott Israeli plays at Lincoln Center, where the appearance of even the work of a critic of the Jewish state like David Grossman was enough to generate protest from mainstream artists. Nor is it Trump who is responsible for turning universities into places where Jewish students no longer feel safe to express their Jewish identity.
But unfortunately, all too many liberals would still rather believe Trump—their main political foe—is the real reason anti-Semitism is growing.
It’s long past time for the Jewish community to understand that its best allies in this struggle are conservative Christians with whom they disagree on social issues, while it is their alleged friends on the left who are preaching intolerance for Jews. That doesn’t obligate them to abandon their political principles, but they need to understand the world is a complicated place where Jewish safety can be endangered by solidarity with the left.
Why do half of French Jews want to leave France? The rise of violent anti-Semitism beginning around the turn of the century has made French Jews justifiably concerned about their personal safety.
A University of Oslo study published in June is one of the most methodologically sophisticated and comprehensive reports in dissecting the growth of Europe’s anti-Semitism problem.
Authored by Dr. Johannes Due Enstad of the Center for Research on Extremism, the study documents violent anti-Semitism from 2005-2015, analyzing seven countries based on comparable data for France, the U.K., Germany and Sweden, with additional non-comparable data for Norway, Denmark and Russia.
Since they feel unsafe as a direct consequence of violent anti-Semitism, one in five Jews in Sweden and the U.K., one in four in Germany, and as mentioned previously, half of the Jews in France have considered emigrating. But it is not just something that Jews think about. In 2015, 10,000 Western European Jews departed for a new life in Israel, the largest number leaving Europe since 1948.
There is no upward or downward trend in the period measured. There is a consistently elevated level of anti-Semitism compared to the 1990s.
French Jews are more likely than German, Swedish and British Jews to have personally experienced a violent attack in the final five years covered by the study. Although the incidence of anti-Semitism for France is the highest, responses about personal attacks during the study’s final five years from Swedish and German Jews is not far behind. The largest gap in anti-Semitism is between British Jews and Jews living in Norway, Denmark and Russia.
When I see Arab hatred directed at Israel, such as the Palestinian Authority’s repeated attempts through UNESCO to deny Jewish history in Jerusalem, I shake my head in disbelief. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Arab countries, even Egypt and Jordan which have signed peace agreements with Israel, gag pro-Israel opinions and promote antisemitic fallacies, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery. In Lebanon, it is a criminal offense to communicate with an Israeli for any reason.
If Jews behaved like us, Israeli media would ban any criticism of Israel and the Israeli government would disseminate lies about Arabs and Muslims. Instead, Israeli media and the Israeli parliament provide platforms for a wide range of opinions, including the most extreme anti-Israel opinions. In the Knesset, the Arab members who support Hamas, a terrorist organization openly calling for the killing of Jews, are free to speak just like everyone else. When Israel’s prime minister made a comment that was perceived as anti-Arab, he was widely denounced by other Israelis, including the Israeli president, and the prime minister later apologized.
During the Israel-Arab war in May 1948, Azzam Pasha, the General Secretary of the Arab League, announced, “This will be a war of extermination, a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”. Before the Israel-Arab war of 1967, Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad boasted, “The time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation”, and Egypt’s President Abdul Nasser threatened, “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel”.
IsraellyCool: Apartheid Fail of the Day: #KibbutzWashing Edition
No one from Kibbutz Eilon batted an eye last Friday when Hadil and Mahmoud Mazal—from the Bedouin village of Arab al-Aramshe on the border near Lebanon—were warmly welcomed as new members of the kibbutz.
The couple, who had been renting in the kibbutz for the past year, enjoyed the support of 116 members out of a total of 124 when it came time to vote.
Mahmoud, 49, and Hadil, 32, are both nurses by profession and have three sons, Yazan, Adam and Amari. Hadil works at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, while Mahmoud works for the National Insurance Institute and Clalit Health Services.
“In 1994, someone from the kibbutz studied with me and after college, I went to live on the kibbutz until 2000. The decision to become members was made after the children were born,” said Mahmoud.
Can you imagine Jews being accepted in to a palestinian Arab commune? Live ones, that is.
Yeah me neither.
In the meantime, let’s see if any mainstream media outlets pick up this story.
Melanie Phillips: NARENDRA MODI ‘S HISTORIC VISIT
The Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Israel broke new ground in many ways. Watch me here discussing with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network how this mutual vote for the future leaves hate-filled, defeatist, demoralised Europe scrabbling in the slip-stream of history.
By engaging with Israel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in one stroke, broke his country’s Nehruvian consensus about West Asia and ties with the Muslim world. Despite their intense relations, the policy of engagement with Israel was not acknowledged publicly in the past. Modi abandoned this narrative to recreate the relationship.
He now has the advantage of a clear majority, an irrelevant Left, and an ideologically marginalized Congress. It is this space that Modi continues to utilize by making bold decisions, both in national and international matters. Despite the rise of radical Islam, the Congress in its 10 years in power did not break the West Asian Nehru-Indira code because of legacy issues. Narendra Modi, on the other hand, has no such obligations, which gives him the freedom to navigate his country and the world through his own life experiences.
Very few would recall that Modi, in a very famous debate, snubbed the television panel by saying that it took India 9/11 to use the word “Islamic terrorism,” something his countrymen, otherwise, could not do by themselves. He also added that this reality needs to be acknowledged by Indians as well. Even though Vajpayee was then the prime minister of India, Modi’s vision of the international order seemed more candid. It not only reflected his vision, but also Modi’s upbringing through the rank and file of the Sangh Parivar.
The first state visit ever to Israel by an Indian prime minister – Narendra Modi – could generate the impetus President Trump needs to end the diplomatic void caused by the breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the PLO since 2014.
The obvious warmth, mutual admiration and friendship shared by Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly evident – contrasting with the hostility, acrimony and venom shown to Israel that has become the norm at the United Nations, UNESCO and UNHRC.
Israel has historically had a long love affair with India’s Vedanta Movement (also known as the Ramakrishna Movement) – a worldwide spiritual movement headquartered near Kolkota in West Bengal.
Vedanta wishes and prays for the well-being, happiness and enlightenment of all the people of the world.
Historically, relations between India and Israel, with a few exceptions, have been warm. In January 1992, then Indian Prime Minister P. V, Narsimha Rao established full diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Since then, economic, technological, military and diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Jerusalem have moved from strength to strength.
During the last few years Jerusalem has sold to New Delhi advanced military equipment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit (July 4-6) to Israel was the first by a prime minister of India to the Jewish state. After the meeting between Modi and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, India and Israel signed seven agreements in the fields of water, agriculture, and space, including a $40 million joint fund for research and development in innovation. Netanyahu and Modi also upgraded the current bilateral relationship to a “strategic partnership,” and agreed that “strong measures must be taken against terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups.” Netanyahu said the India-Israel relationship today could be described as “I-square T-square”—that is “Indian Talent and Israeli Technology.”
Modi held a meeting with CEOs of various companies, leading to the signing of agreements worth about $4.3 billion between the participating companies. The forum intends to take current bilateral trade of about $4-5 billion to $20 billion in five years. High-tech Israeli companies produce robotic waterless cleaners for solar panels and portable desalination units, which could help India solve its water and energy crises.
Israel and India could unleash up to $25 billion in sales in cross-border investments, a report by Dublin-based consultancy Accenture and India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies shows.
The report was released to coincide with the first-ever visit to Israel by an Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, last week, to mark 25 years of diplomatic ties between the Asian giant and the startup nation.
The study calls for the creation of the Israel India Startup Platform for Innovative Research and Entrepreneurship (or IINSPIRE), a program that will build upon a combination of India’s software talent pool and product development abilities with Israel’s “chutzpah,” hardware engineering talent and deep technology knowledge.
“Israel has built strong capabilities in technology, intelligent systems, defense and cybersecurity, and is setting global standards in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. India, meanwhile, has a large domestic market, a large public sector, big corporations, strong IT services and an expanding landscape of product start-ups,” the report said.
A South African Muslim preacher who once compared Jews to fleas was a featured speaker this weekend at a Palestinian culture festival in London.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism — a UK-based NGO — criticized the British government for permitting Sheikh Ebrahim Bham to enter the country to attend “Palestine Expo 2017” — which, as reported by The Algemeiner, had faced a cancellation threat due to its organizers’s support for Hamas, but was ultimately allowed to go ahead as planned at the Queen Elizabeth II Center.
“If Britain is to protect its Jewish citizens and indeed all of society, then its government cannot continue to be outwitted by extremists and terrorist sympathizers,” the CAA said in a statement.
In a past sermon, which is available online, Bham said, “People tell me that Jews are human beings. Yes, I know they are human beings. Just as fleas are also animals. Just as fleas are also animals, they are also part of human beings like that.”
In a different sermon, he accused Jews and Christians of being “agents of Satan.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Yesterday, the Palestine Expo began in London. Organized by terror enablers Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), this is the kind of thing to expect from it.
But you needn’t actually go inside and hear the speakers to see the antisemitism, hatred, terror support and ignorance on display.
The following is video I cut from footage taken by pro-Israel advocate Ambrosine Shitrit, who was protesting outside the event.
But it did not end there. A Jewish man named Jason, who had been attending speeches inside without incident, was evicted after donning a kippa. As you can see from the below video, the police sided with the antisemites doing the evicting – not the victim.
In the June 23 edition of The Algemeiner, Leonard Saxe disputed the results of Brand Israel Group’s (BIG) recent study, which showed a marked loss of support for Israel among American Jewish college students.
Mr. Saxe also criticized the way that BIG released its findings, claiming that we said nothing about how the sample was chosen, the questions written or the data analyzed. He has also made similar allegations about our research and methodology in other media outlets.
Here are the facts.
Brand Israel Group is comprised of a team of high-level marketing executives who volunteer their time to analyze Israel’s image in the US, to understand the barriers that prevent Americans from relating to Israel, and to develop communications strategies and efforts to overcome those barriers. We have no agenda, and no association with any other organization. The leaders of BIG founded the not-for-profit more than 10 years ago in order to use our professional skills to help Israel and the Jewish people. We ourselves are not researchers, but have always hired top level research firms to conduct studies on the issues that we deal with.
In the case of our most recent study, we hired the Global Strategy Group (GSG) to conduct the survey. GSG is one of the most prominent public opinion research firms in the United States. They have conducted opinion research for hundreds of distinguished clients, ranging from multi-national non-profits to government officials and Fortune 100 companies.
The boycott, divestment and sanctions effort (BDS) that seeks to delegitimize Israel received an endorsement from Hamas on July 5, 2017. Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, tweeted: “We salute and support the influential BDS movement.”
Hamas’ declaration of support is hardly surprising.
Hamas seeks the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of its inhabitants. As CAMERA has noted, BDS itself has links to individuals and organizations tied to Hamas. Jonathan Schanzer, a former analyst of terror networks for the U.S. Treasury Department, noted these links in testimony delivered before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on April 19, 2016.
One organization linked to Hamas is American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Schanzer noted that AMP is a “leading driver of the BDS campaign. AMP’s campus activities are extensive. AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States. It provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists.”
Schanzer stated that the organization spent $100,000 on college campuses in 2014 alone. The group has a campus coordinator on staff to work directly with SJP and “other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”
AMP also has strong ties to Hamas-linked “charities,” including the now-defunct Holy Land Foundations (HLF).
First, contrary to The Lancet’s suggestion, the overwhelming majority of east Jerusalem Palestinians are Israeli residents and can travel freely throughout both Israel and the West Bank. To conflate them with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank represents a gross distortion. Also, Palestinians living in major population centers in the West Bank (Area A) live under PA military and administrative control and can not reasonably be characterised as living under “military occupation”.
It gets much worse.
Before Israel occupied the West Bank, the health-care system for Palestinians was better than in Jordan, which had administered the territory up until then, says Walid Nammour, director of the Augusta Victoria hospital in Palestinian East Jerusalem. “Our health-care indicators were superior but the legacy of occupation means we are now lagging behind”, he told The Lancet.
“Until 1967, people would come from Amman to Jerusalem for health care and now it’s the other way round. What development we have is due to better technology over time more than anything else”, he said.
The suggestion that healthcare outcomes deteriorated in Gaza and the West Bank after 1967 is simply not true. Here are the conclusions of an analysis by Dr. David Stone, Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow, published at Fathom Journal.
- Life expectancy in WB and Gaza increased 56% from 1967 to 2014.
- Infant mortality rates in WB and Gaza decreased dramatically.
- The under-five mortality rate (the probability that a newborn baby will die before reaching age five) in WB and Gaza similarly decreased dramatically.
- Immunization coverage in the WB and Gaza was comparable to those of Jordan, and consistently higher than those of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and even Israel.
More relevant to the specific claim made by The Lancet, the study by Dr. Stone shows that in all of these categories (life expectancy, infant mortality, under-five mortality and immunization) outcomes for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are equal to or better than such health outcomes in Jordan (which has a majority Palestinian population).
While people of course have the right to freedom of speech, that does not extend to hate speech and incitement. And BDS is not just about expressing criticism of Israel and supporting nonviolent protest.
The LA Times says that BDS
calls on people and companies to boycott Israel until it ends its occupation of “all Arab lands,” tears down its border barrier separating Israelis from Palestinians, ensures equal legal rights for Arab citizens and acknowledges the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the former homes of their families in Israel.
But what the LA Times doesn’t explain is that the Palestinian “right of return” would mean the end of Israel as the Jewish state, which is exactly what BDS aims for. Although BDS may use the language of human rights, its true goal is not about helping Palestinians, it is to isolate Israel and undermine its very existence as the Jewish state. That’s why BDS activists don’t care about Palestinians who suffer because of their own leaders, or about when their efforts to harm Israel end up harming Palestinians and their livelihoods even more, for example in the case of SodaStream.
The editorial claims: “Israel has turned away travelers for political reasons in the past, including denying a visa earlier this year to a researcher from Human Rights Watch. It has also restricted the foreign travel of Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement.”
Reem’s in Fruitvale has been widely criticized for its lionization of convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh. Yesterday, a non-violent vigil meant to focus community attention on the local cafe’s glorification of violence ended in an assault on the participants, including a 78 year old survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto
Lara Kiswani, the Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) in San Francisco Bay Area has been identified as one of the attackers. She is reported to have ripped a sign out of a participants hands, then strutted around the outside patio with the remnants.
This self identified member of Jewish Voice for Peace can also been seen on the footage attacking the non-violent protesters
This person of indeterminate gender was reported to have assaulted a wheel-chair bound activist, cruelly twisting her fingers in an effort to steal her sign.
The 75,000 strong Mennonite Church-USA has joined a few other church organizations in voting to divest from companies “profiting from the occupation.” They seem rather proud of themselves for having chosen a “third way.”
What this means in the resolution’s terms is that the Mennonites will admit complicity in anti-Semitism and also admit complicity in Israel’s activities in the West Bank. They will form committees to navel-gaze concerning the first problem and single out Israel for economic punishment to deal with the second.
What’s shocking about this resolution, which Church leaders boast is the work of two years of study, is that it treats anti-Semitism and Israel’s presence in the West Bank as equivalent crimes. The Mennonites will resolve to avoid both! Although the drafters of the resolution acknowledged that “Palestinians have turned to violence,” they have evidently done so only to “achieve security” and “seek their freedom.” In spite of the resolution’s hand-wringing concerning anti-Semitism, there is not a word about Palestinian anti-Semitism and the role it has played in frustrating peace efforts in the region.
Nor are these peace efforts the subject of any reflection in the resolution. As far as the drafters are concerned, the Israelis marched into the West Bank in 1967—who can say why?—and have doggedly continued there, even though they could easily withdraw. The resolution recognizes that Israelis “feel threatened” but not that they actually are threatened. Indeed, that Israelis feel threatened is treated as evidence that security walls and other measures Israelis have taken for their security have been useless. It is hard to believe that intelligent and well-meaning people justify serious actions on so flimsy a basis, as if the ongoing need for security suggests that one ought to lay down one’s arms. But the Mennonite Church takes no risk, so they can afford to be frivolous about serious matters.
Crown Heights, July 10 – A prominent figure in New York’s African-American community invoked the race riots of summer 1991 today, asserting that the Jewish State deserves the current spate of automotive ramming attacks by Palestinians because a car driven by a Jew killed a young African-American boy, sparking the deadly riots.
During his weekly radio address, Pastor Eliphaz Amalek of the Solidarity Church in Crown Heights included in his pontifications a reference to the current Palestinian violence, which has been characterized in large part by automotive assaults or stabbing attempts. Dozens of Israelis have been killed and many more injured since the spree began nearly three years ago, a fact that Pastor Amalek attributed to divine justice for the death of seven-year-old Gavin Cato, killed when a car from the Lubavich Grand Rabbi’s motorcade struck and killed him.
“The Lord’s retribution surely comes to those who incur His wrath,” railed the pastor on his Sunday appearance on WEVD-AM radio. “The state of the Jews now faces a storm of death by car, in the name of poor Gavin Cato, cut down in his precious youth by a Jewish car. The Lords remembers, and the Lord chooses the times and places to exact His retribution.”
Jewish leaders expressed more puzzlement than outrage at the pastor’s assertion. “I’m actually just confused,” answered Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Kehillath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I mean, does this guy realize Israelis have been dying in large numbers due to car crashes since long before the Crown Heights riots? The impact, so to speak, of the wave of automotive terrorism on statistics is negligible.”
One of the New York Times’ favorite methods of treating people it dislikes is to hurl adjectives at them.
So, for example, the newspaper has described the views of the president of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, as “controversial” and “inflammatory,” and described a former American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, as “combative.” Prime Minister Netanyahu is labeled “brash,” as well as “loquacious” and “usually taciturn,” two diametrically opposed terms.
The latest example comes in a Times news article about a United Nations body naming Hebron a Palestinian “world heritage site.” The Times reports:
Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defense minister of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, described Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as “a politically biased, disgraceful and anti-Semitic organization.”
The entire sentence could have used an editor. Why not just write, “The Israeli defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, described Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as ‘a politically biased, disgraceful and anti-Semitic organization’”? Or if the Times feels it necessary to say what political party Mr. Lieberman is a member of, describe it in some useful way. What is “nationalist” supposed even to mean in this context? Does it mean that a party is in favor of the nation of Israel continuing to exist? If so, wouldn’t it kind of go without saying?
A New York Times columnist has accused President Donald Trump of systematically “dissing” Jews, alleging that Trump, whose daughter and trusted confidant Ivanka converted to Judaism, has displayed a pattern of behavior which is intentionally insulting to the Jewish community at large.
Frank Bruni, a former restaurant critic turned op-ed columnist for the Times, admitted that there is little evidence to suggest the president actually harbors anti-Semitic sentiments, but nevertheless drudged up claims by the president’s opponents that, at the very least, he has shown “insensitivity” towards Jews, citing a handful of examples from the president or his administration.
“When something happens once,” writes Bruni, “it’s a curiosity. Twice, it’s a coincidence. Three times or more, it’s a pattern. And Donald Trump has established a pattern of offending — or at the very least ignoring — Jews.”
The argument is not a new one; critics of the president were quick to accuse him of going soft on anti-Semitism when he did not address a wave of bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the first weeks of his presidency.
An Independent update on the latest from Hebron is no big deal, but it’s accompanied by a puzzling photo slide show purporting to show “The world’s strangest guided tour highlights the abuse of Palestinians.”
None of the photos bear out any abuse of Palestinians and none of the 12 otherwise innocuous images contain captions anyway.
The title of the slideshow suggests ignorance, or at worst, actual malice.
Normally, I’d be charitable and attribute the lack of captions to a glitch. But given the slideshow’s title, the missing captions become more problematic. Captions explain what you’re looking at, but we’re left with a lack of context.
When Narendra Modi, the leader of the world’s most populous democracy, pays the first visit by an Indian PM to the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, Israel, this rapprochement between democracies should be cause for celebration, no? Not for The Independent’s Sunny Hundal.
The elected Modi meeting the elected Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is a meeting of “authoritarian strongmen”, aka quasi fascists. They represent, apparently, a global threat to liberal democracies. Eh? Weren’t they actually elected in liberal democracies?
Skimming the rest of this ridiculous article, it seems that Modi and Netanyahu are Bond villains because they have both met and actually shaken the hand of the Prince of Darkness himself, Donald Trump. The current writer certainly holds no candle for this particular PotUS, but if this is the qualification, how many others have cloven hoofs? Is Theresa May the new Lucrezia Borgia? And what then of Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto?
The Foreign Ministry on Sunday clarified that its call for the Hungarian government to end a billboard campaign against Jewish billionaire and philanthropist George Soros was due to the perceived anti-Semitism and not because of criticism of the man himself.
Billboards posted nationwide in Hungary show a grinning Soros, who was born in the country, and the words “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh,” which Jewish leaders have said is provoking anti-Semitism.
The Budapest government objects to Soros’ call for Hungary to allow migrants to enter the country. Many of the billboards have been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.
Israel’s ambassador to Hungary had called on Saturday for a halt to the government campaign against the Jewish-American billionaire.
But the Foreign Ministry issued a clarification Sunday, saying that Israel also objects to Soros’ activities. The clarification came on the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.
Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray painted on a highway underpass near a high school in a Denver suburb.
“Build that wall” and “Hitler was right” were painted next to a drawing of a swastika near a high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
The graffiti discovered last week by a resident out jogging is the sixth incident in the Metro-Denver area in recent months, The Denver Channel reported.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crime, but closed the case after not finding any clues with which to identify a suspect, according to the report.
A Jewish family in Phoenix decided to leave anti-Semitic graffiti painted on their mailbox for all to see in an effort to raise awareness about the issue.
Shoshana and Ari Simones of Phoenix found the graffiti, including a spray painted swastika and the word Jew, when they returned home from a July 4 trip last week.
A neighbor had noticed the graffiti and taped a piece of paper over it. In a note to the Simones, the neighbor wrote: “I am so sorry and disgusted by this.” She noted that she tried to call a company to come wash the graffiti off the mailbox but that they were completely booked.
The couple told the daily newspaper the Arizona Republic that they decided to remove the paper covering the anti-Semitic graffiti so that everyone who passes by the house can see it.
When Megan Corbin was in school, she learned about the Holocaust as an optimistic story.
Her grade school, she said, “highlighted Anne Frank as the voice of hope, and that really wasn’t the reality.”
Now, as an eighth-grade language arts teacher outside of Seattle, she teaches about victims, perpetrators and civilians who were bystanders to the genocide or who rescued Jews. She asks her students — some of whom are refugees from dictatorships — to delve into questions of right and wrong that arose during the Holocaust. Next year, Corbin plans to devote more time to examining Jewish life in Europe before 1939, and the context that allowed the Holocaust to occur.
“To understand the Holocaust is not just to understand what happened during the years we talk about,” she said. “It’s to understand a much broader context of what happened before, and understand anti-Semitism and… how it was so ingrained into society. It didn’t just happen out of thin air.”
Brazil’s newly appointed ambassador to Tel Aviv has praised the Israeli duo Static & Ben El Tavori, whose latest hit, with a title in Portuguese has taken Israel by storm.
Titled “Tudo Bom,” or “Everything is good” in Portuguese, the song has become a summer hit in Israel. The lyrics, full of words in Portuguese such as “Carnaval,” “favela,” “caipirinha” and “berimbau” as well as some full sentences in the language, tell the story of an Israeli guy flirting with a Brazilian girl.
“Every time someone here knows I’m Brazilian, the first thing they say is ‘Tudo Bom.’ Thank you for bringing a little bit of Brazil to Israel,” ambassador Paulo Cesar Meira de Vasconcellos said during a Thursday meeting at the embassy, which was recorded and posted on Facebook by the embassy, garnering over 3,000 views during the first two days.
Launched last month, the song’s video on YouTube has been viewed nearly 22 million times. “Tudo Bom” mixes Brazilian funk and samba with an Israeli Middle-Eastern rhythm.
Tourism to Israel hit a record high in the first six months of 2017, with 1.74 million tourist entries – 26% more than the same period in 2016 (which saw 1.38 million tourist entries) and 24% more than the same period in 2015.
According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, when compared to the same period in 2016, tourism from China in the first half of 2017 jumped 76%, and from Russia increased 30%. In addition, tourism from the US – Israel’s largest source country for tourism – jumped 20%.
During the month of June 2017, 303,000 tourists entered Israel, representing a 28.4% rise from the previous year.
Of June’s tourist entries, 275,000 were via air, representing an increase of 26% from June 2016 and 27% from June 2015. 28,600 tourist entries were recorded via Israel’s land crossings: 24,000 via Jordan, and 4,500 via Egypt.
For day visitors, the numbers were 19,300 in June 2017, versus 8,700 in June 2016.
Retired Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo expressed pride this week in his eldest son’s participation in the quadrennial Maccabiah Games, which got underway in Israel on Thursday.
“A special hug for my son @ronald_lima who is on the under-18 soccer team. Good luck, guys! Go for it, Brazil! #maccabiah2017,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram in the caption of a photo showing his son and other members of the Brazilian delegation at an airport before their departure for Israel.
According media reports, Ronaldo’s son, 17-year-old Ronald Nazario de Lima, is not Jewish, but he and his mother Milene Domingues (a model and ex-professional soccer player herself from whom Ronaldo is divorced) are active members of Sao Paulo Hebraica — which JTA described as a “cross between a Jewish community center and a country club.”
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