Ben Shapiro: Antifa, Nazism and the opportunistic politics that divide us
Yet many on the left have justified their behavior as a necessary counter to the white supremacists and alt-righters. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) justified the violence by appealing to the evils of the neo-Nazis. Professor N.D.B. Connolly of Johns Hopkins University wrote in the pages of The Washington Post that the time for nonviolence had ended — that it was time to “throw rocks.” Dartmouth University historian Mark Bray defended antifa by stating that the group makes an “ethically consistent, historically informed argument for fighting Nazis before it’s too late.”
This is appalling stuff unless the Nazis are actually getting violent. Words aren’t violence. A free society relies on that distinction to function properly — as Max Weber stated, the purpose of civilization is to hand over the role of protection of rights to a state that has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. Breaking that pact destroys the social fabric.
Now, most liberals — as opposed to leftists — don’t support antifa. Even Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) denounced antifa’s tactics in Berkeley, for example. But in response to some on the left’s defense of antifa and their attempt to broaden the Nazi label to include large swaths of conservatives, too many people on the right have fallen into the trap of defending bad behavior of its own. Instead of disassociating clearly and universally from President Trump’s comments, the right has glommed onto the grain of truth embedded in them — that antifa is violent — in order to shrug at the whole.
The result of all of this: the unanimity that existed regarding racism and violence has been shattered. And all so that political figures can make hay by castigating large groups of people who hate Nazism and violence.
Let’s restore the unanimity. Nazism is bad and unjustifiable. Violence against those who are not acting violently is bad and unjustifiable. That’s not whataboutism. That’s truth.
If we can’t agree on those basic principles, we’re not going to be able to share a country.
Think the ZOA is just as bad as Hezbollah? Believe The New York Times secretly harbors white supremacists? We have just the column for you.
Here are 19 people Jews should actually be more worried about than Linda Sarsour… Morton Klein; Ayatollah Khamanei (The Forward, August 3, 2017)
During the course of my conversations with several senior ayatollahs and prominent political and government officials, it became clear that there is high-placed dissent to the official line against Israel. No one had anything warm to say about the Jewish state. But pressed as to whether it was Israel’s policies or its very existence to which they objected, several were adamant: It’s Israel’s policies. (The Forward, August 12, 2015)
There is no shortage of think pieces these days — many from Jews — accusing the left of divisiveness and hate. Bari Weiss’ “When Progressives Embrace Hate” and Ann Lewis’ “I Did Not March for Hate” are two of the latest examples of white Jewish leaders employing the same talking points the white nationalist movement uses to attack Palestinian Muslims and Black people. (The Forward, August 22, 2017)
Richard Spencer Might Be The Worst Person In America. But He Might Also Be Right About Israel. (The Forward, August 17, 2017)
Introducing the latest column from The Forward, by Hannah Virtuestein, New York’s most woke social diarist. She can be reached here:
Javad Zarif is an honorary Jew in my book. Such a Mensch. Even with his busy schedule he agreed to come all the way out to Brooklyn to address our chapter of Iranian Centrifuges Matter. He’s right too. Netanyahu and the Likud in Israel are just a bunch of Chazars. That’s right. Iran’s foreign minister speaks Yiddish. I wish Bubbe was still alive, She’d like him.
Here’s my dilemma. I want to invite Linda Sarsour to our social justice Shabbaton at B’nai Ramallah, but the community can’t agree to separate seating by gender. I argued that we can support our Muslim sisters and still hold the line on gender equality. Rebecca Cohen-Shabazz and Running Deer Goldmanberg told me I was being problematic and Islamophobic. Double whammy! I wish I had more Muslim friends to dialogue with on this.
I wish more blue checkmarks on twitter would get behind my petition to require incoming Brandeis students to take a course on the Muslim Brotherhood, Queer Liberation and Climate Change in the Era of Netanyahu.
Brendan O’Neill: Students are the new masters – and the result is campus tyranny
In a few weeks, a new intake of students will arrive, all fresh-faced and excited, at universities around the country. They’ll be thrilled at the prospect of escaping the wagging finger of mum and dad, eager to absorb new ideas. But I’m afraid they are in for a rude awakening. Unless they’re very fortunate, they will soon find themselves enveloped in a world that’s more censorious than stimulating and taught not to question ideas but to learn by heart the progressive creed. It will take a brave and resilient youngster to survive university with their intellectual curiosity intact.
Every aspect of campus life, from what you can say to how you should party, is minutely policed by what I called the Stepford Students in this magazine three years ago. ‘No Platform’ policies strictly govern who can speak on campus. Anybody, no matter what their political background or supposedly liberal credentials, can find themselves shunted off campus for having the wrong opinion in the eyes of the Stasi of student politics.
‘Safe Spaces’, controversy-free zones where students who find the real world brutalising can weep and hug ‘emotional support animals’ (this is not a joke), are almost compulsory. Newspapers are blacklisted: a growing number of student unions have banned the Sun, Mail and Express on the jumped-up basis that they’re racist and sexist and thus ‘harmful’. In the last academic year, even students at City University in London, famed for its journalism school, slapped a ban on tabloids. A journalism uni where you can’t read popular journalism? Thanks to the youthful jackboots of the National Union of Students, and the lily-livered vice-chancellors who bow down to them, the list of the undoable, unsayable and unthinkable grows longer every year. The adults have gone AWOL.
Any student society whose worldview isn’t a carbon copy of that of the NUS lives under permanent threat of censorship. Israel Society events are shouted down, pro-life groups are denied space at freshers’ fairs. At University College London, a Nietzsche Society was banned for fear it might stoke far-right thinking. Thus Spake the Censor.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Targeting Liberals?
Since the violence in Charlottesville 10 days ago, when white supremacists left one young woman dead and 19 others injured, the Southern Poverty Law Center has hit the jackpot. The Alabama-based nonprofit is set to receive millions of dollars in donations from some of the nation’s deepest of pockets. Apple pledged $1 million. JP Morgan Chase & Co.: half a million. George and Amal Clooney even got in on the action, promising to donate another $1 million.
Like every other decent American, I was outraged that the president of the United States equivocated in condemning neo-Nazi activity in this country. Nazism — not to mention white supremacy and racial bigotry — has no place in a civilized society.
But is donating money to the S.P.L.C. the best way to combat this poison? I think not. If Tim Cook and Jamie Dimon had done their due diligence, they would know that the S.P.L.C. is an organization that has lost its way, smearing people who are fighting for liberty and turning a blind eye to an ideology and political movement that has much in common with Nazism.
I am a black woman, a feminist and a former Muslim who has consistently opposed political violence. The price for expressing my beliefs has been high: I must travel with armed security at all times. My friend and collaborator Theo van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight.
Yet the S.P.L.C. has the audacity to label me an “extremist,” including my name in a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” that it published on its website last October.
Arab violence against Jews is often alleged to have begun with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 or as a result of Israel’s capture in 1967 of territories occupied by Jordan. But even before the Mandate for Palestine was assigned to Great Britain by the Allies at the San Remo Conference (April 1920) and endorsed by the League of Nations (July 1922), Palestinian Arabs were carrying out organized attacks against Jewish communities in Palestine. Systematic violence began in early 1920 with murderous assaults by groups of local Arabs against settlements in the north and by Muslim pilgrims against Jerusalem’s Jews. Again in 1921, Arab rioters attacked Jews in Jaffa and its environs. The primary agitator behind these attacks was Haj Amin al Husseini, who marshalled Arab discontent over Jewish immigration into violent riots.
In 1929, Husseini and his associates fomented a violent jihad as they called upon Muslims to “defend” their holy places from the Jews. As a result, pogroms were carried out across Palestine. Arab villagers sympathetic to Jews were often targets of murderous attacks by their Arab brethren as well. British forces were sharply criticized for not policing the territory adequately, for sympathizing with the Arabs, and for standing by and allowing havoc to be wreaked upon Jewish communities in Palestine.
In 1936, the Arab Higher Committee, led by Grand Mufti Husseini, launched a campaign of anti-Jewish violence across Palestine. Accompanied by a six-month-long strike, the campaign became known as “The Arab Revolt.” As the British increasingly became targets of Arab violence, they used massive force to suppress the aggression. The revolt was finally quashed in 1939. The resulting White Paper of 1939 reversed British commitment to a Jewish State (the raison d’etre of the Mandate) and drastically limited Jewish immigration into Palestine.
The Anti-Defamation League’s current counter-offensive against the US far-right is facing a coordinated campaign of online “trolling” from BDS activists pushing the message that Zionism is akin to “white nationalism,” an ADL official told The Algemeiner on Friday.
The campaign began on August 17 — five days after a violent show of force by ultra right-wing groups in Charlottesville, Virginia — when a staff member of “Jewish Voice for Peace,” an extremist organization whose goal is the dismantlement of the State of Israel, penned a veiled endorsement of white nationalist Richard Spencer in The Forward newspaper.
Spencer is one of the leading figures of the so-called “alt-right,” whose views blend discredited theories about race with white pride identity politics. But after describing Spencer as possibly the “worst person” in America, the JVP staffer, Naomi Dann, hailed him for being “being right about Israel.”
Noting that Spencer — who has a talent for catchphrases — had referred to himself as a “white Zionist” in an interview with Israeli TV following the Charlottesville violence, Dann enthusiastically echoed this view, going on to describe Israel as a racially-based state built upon Jewish colonial privilege, and therefore one that Spencer would identify with.
An ADL official told The Algemeiner that Dann’s article had provoked outrage at the organization. “We felt we had to speak out,” the official said.”Here was a JVP member actually using words from the mouth of a white supremacist to make the case that Israel’s actions toward Palestinians are equivalent to white supremacy.”
Gerald Steinberg: BDS Lawyer Michael Sfard’s Disreputable Allies
Outside of Israel, particularly among groups and individuals who promote BDS and the “war crimes” campaigns, Michael Sfard is a particularly prestigious and influential figure. An attorney, Sfard represents groups like Yesh Din and Breaking the Silence, as well as engaging in his own political and legal activism, even serving as a paid expert witness for the PLO.
But for someone who claims a pure moral agenda, he’s not very careful about his allies. In speaking at an event sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Sfard crossed blatant moral red lines (Yishai Friedman, Makor Rishon, 11/08/17). These two NGOs participate in or lead almost every single anti-Israel campaign taking place in the US.
Recent JVP campaigns have morphed into direct and unmistakable anti-Semitism — which should make Sfard and his funders, both American and European, denounce any contacts or cooperation. JVP’s “Deadly Exchange” platform seeks to sabotage joint Israeli-American security training programs by alleging that they are implicated to the mistreatment of minorities by US law enforcement officials. To suggest that Israel is in any way responsible for the sometimes centuries-old tensions surrounding policing in America is not only willfully ignorant of history, but in parallel to the KKK, exploits the image of a villainous Zionist cabal.
JVP takes this conspiracy one step further and bizarrely attacks American Jewish organizations for these collaborations. The group’s “Deadly Exchange” website even urges its supporters to “Hold accountable the Jewish institutions who run and fund the deadly exchange.” The suggestion that the American Jewish community makes policy for local and federal law enforcement agencies, and is therefore responsible for abuses in Ferguson or Standing Rock would be laughable if not for its dangerous scapegoating of American Jews.
Ilana Herman, a senior at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, knows full well why it’s important for StandWithUs, the international Israel education organization, to have a presence on local high school campuses.
Herman is one of six South Florida high school interns for StandWithUs (SWU) who will spread pro-Israel messages on their campuses and in their communities following the recent StandWithUs High School Intern Conference in Los Angeles.
“I had a U.S. history teacher who brought up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while telling us about the Oslo Accords,” Herman said. “This teacher claimed that Palestine was a country and that Israelis were stealing land from the Palestinians — convincing my class that Israelis were horrible, selfish monsters.
“I wanted to say something, but felt that I wasn’t educated enough to have a debate with her. I was upset and uncertain how to proceed.”
Herman then contacted Rayna Rose Exelbierd, SWU Southeast Region high school coordinator, to ask advice. Herman ended up becoming involved with SWU as a high school intern and going on the recent conference.
“I was most surprised about how educated students were about politics in the Middle East,” Herman said. “Seeing students with so much background on this subject inspired me to want to learn more myself.”
“I feel that I have come out of this conference filled with confidence and the ability to combat anti-Semitism in high school and college,” Herman continued. “I think that students need to understand that Israel is not the bad guy in this conflict. Israel has made numerous attempts at making peace with the Palestinians by giving up land and the Palestinians have refused.”
The city of Frankfurt passed a historic bill on Friday outlawing municipal funding and rooms for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activities targeting the Jewish state.
Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor and city treasurer for Frankfurt, who initiated and steered the bill to passage, told The Jerusalem Post: “The BDS-movement does not only strongly resemble the ‘Don´t buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists, but the movement is built on the same toxic ground and it is poisoning the social climate in the same dangerous way.
BDS strongly attacks the fundamental basis of the legitimation of the Jewish State and takes the detour via antizionism to spread antisemitism.” Beck added:”That´s why we decided to ban any municipal funding or the renting of rooms for any activities of groups or individuals, who support the antisemitic BDS movement. We also instructed our city-owned companies and called upon private landlords to act in the same way.”
The anti-BDS bill will now be sent to the city parliament for a vote. Becker said with today’s backing of the city government, the bill “has already gained the necessary support.” The city parliament is slated to vote on the bill in a few weeks.
Several artists pulled out of a popular Berlin music festival because the Israeli Embassy in Germany provided a financial contribution.
The three-day Berlin Pop-Kultur festival, which runs through Friday, accepted 500 euros, or nearly $600, from the Israeli diplomatic mission.
Israeli artists are among the 70 acts scheduled to perform at the festival.
Four artists from Arab countries including Syria and Egypt pulled out last week, as well as bands from Tunisia and Britain, identified by the Electronic Intifada as Mohammad Abu Hajar of Syria’s Mazzaj Rap Band; Egypt’s Islam Chipsy; Syrian DJ Hello Psychaleppo; Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi and British experimental dance music collaboration Iklan ft. Law Holt.
The latest band to announce it was quitting the festival — on Wednesday, its first day — was the Scottish hip hop and rap group Young Fathers. In a statement on Twitter, the group called its move “a tiny act on our behalf in the grand scale of things but one we still believe is worth it.” Young Fathers noted the Israeli government’s logo on the list of festival partners and the group’s solidarity with the Palestinian people.
American musician Thurston Moore, a former member of Sonic Youth, called on the festival to cancel the Israeli Embassy sponsorship “in solidarity with [the] Palestinian call for cultural boycott,” according to Electronic Intifada.
Scrutinising the Facebook associations of Canadian MP Niki Ashton (New Democratic Party), who recently on the campaign trail disavowed the support of a Holocaust-denying Muslim publisher, Sheila Gunn Reid of the imperilled Rebel.media is convinced that while antisemitism i entrenched on the fringes of the Far Right movement, it flourishes on the Left, where it lurks behind the banner of ‘Peace and Justice’:
For more on the troubles besetting The Rebel, here’s Ezra Levant, who stresses that he and his cohorts are emphatically not alt-right, white supremacist, or antisemitic:
In his dystopian novel 1984, the British author George Orwell famously wrote: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
In a similar vein, a recent USA Today report that details anti-Jewish violence is headlined “Palestinians give peaceful protest a chance.”
In reality, the August 3, 2017, dispatch, by special correspondent Noga Tarnoplsky, reported the complete opposite.
The article covered Palestinian Arab objections to Israeli efforts to increase security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits on the Temple Mount — Judaism’s holiest site.
Israeli authorities sought to install metal detectors at the site after a July 14, 2017, terror attack in which three Arab Israelis murdered two Israeli policemen with weapons hidden in the mosque. Holy sites of all faiths around the world employ similar security measures.
Yet the Palestinians reacted to the announcement of measures designed to protect both them and Israelis from violence — with violence.
As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and others have detailed, Palestinian authorities employed the so-called “Al-Aqsa libel” — claiming that Jews held secret designs to “destroy” or “defile” the mosque — to incite anti-Jewish violence.
Twitter thread genius Thomas Wictor has become the latest victim of the liberal-left tech sector’s war on free speech.
If you’re unfamiliar with Thomas Wictor, you’re missing a treat. He’s a Venezuelan-born recluse with a rich and varied past who, besides being the world’s greatest (and only) expert on World War I flamethrowers, also happens to produce some of the most fascinating Twitter threads and social media video commentary you will ever see on subjects ranging from Antifa to Pallywood to what’s really going on in Syria and Iraq.
Some of his output is so kooky and recondite that, quite possibly, it strays into the realm of conspiracy theory.
But with Wictor you can never be quite sure because his exposition is so thorough and well-documented.
One of his specialties is forensic video analysis. This is how I first came across him, a few years back, when I wrote my first Breitbart News story based on his research. It concerned the four Palestinian boys supposedly blown up on a beach by Israeli artillery during the last Gaza conflict — but really, or so Wictor claimed, murdered by Hamas who then exploited the dead children for propaganda purposes.
This week’s cover of a popular German news magazine depicting US President Donald Trump draped in the American flag while giving a stiff-armed Nazi salute drew sharp criticism from a prominent Jewish group.
Stern magazine’s illustration was part of a cover story headlined “Sein Kampf,” which translates as “His Struggle” and is a play on Adolf Hitler’s infamous “Mein Kampf.”
Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center said it has been “outspoken in criticizing President Trump for failing to make a distinction between Nazis and KKK protesters and those who opposed them” but “the depiction of the president as a latter-day Hitler by a major German publication is untrue and beyond the pale.”
It said “Germans must surely know that by misappropriating” Nazi symbols, “they belittle and becloud” past crimes.
The International Business Times reports:
Whoever came up with the headline clearly didn’t read the actual story, which states:
Israeli broadcaster Channel Two reported that most of the people on the list are Arab Israelis. … But two of the Isis recruits on the list are reportedly Jews who have converted to Islam, according to the Times of Israel.
So most of the “Jews fighting for ISIS” aren’t Jews but Arabs, and the two ISIS “Jews” no longer identify as being Jewish.
The headline writer has simply assumed, incorrectly, that all Israelis are Jews. The result is an inflammatory headline that falsely associates Jews with a murderous Islamist terror organization.
Shortly after the publication of this critique, the IBT amended the headline to more accurately reflect the story. We commend the IBT for taking prompt action.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been imprisoning and harassing Palestinian journalists. And many major U.S. outlets have failed to cover the repression.
The PA’s General Intelligence Service arrested five Palestinian journalists on Aug. 8, 2017. They were held on suspicion of “leaking sensitive information to hostile authorities,” according to a Jerusalem Post report (“Palestinian Authority arrests five journalists for ‘leaking’ sensitive information,” August 9). All five were arrested on the same night. Two of the “journalists,” Tariq Abu Zayd and Ahmad Halaika, work for al-Aqsa TV, a propaganda outlet for Hamas, a rival of the Fatah movement that dominates the PA. The other three were Qutaiba Kasem of the Asdaa website, Amer Abu Arafa of the Shebab news agency, and Mamdouh Hamamreh of the pro-Hamas al-Quds television.
The Jerusalem Post quoted an anonymous who Palestinian journalist who speculated, “The arrests might be aimed at pressuring Hamas to release Fouad Jaradah, a reporter for the PA’s Palestine TV, who was arrested in Gaza on June 8 and was later accused of collaborating with the authority.” The paper also highlighted that the arrests came on the heel of increased PA repression of journalists, including the June 2017 decision to block access to websites that support Hamas or Muhammad Dahlan, a rival who was exiled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas several years ago.
The families of those arrested by the PA characterized the detention as Abbas’ “revenge,” Ha’aretz noted.
Continued outrage over the rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, has scuttled plans by an upstate New York gun show organizer to display a writing desk used by Adolf Hitler.
The show organizer planned to display the desk, a chair and a valet stand from Hitler’s Munich apartment at the two-day show at the Saratoga Springs City Center that begins Sept. 2.
But center executive Director Ryan McMahon nixed the plan after getting complaints from the community.
Show organizer David Petronis says the furniture will still, however, be going up for auction in Ohio.
The New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates has held the gun show for years.
This year’s show also is to include the display of a Confederate general’s frock coat and other Civil War memorabilia.
Parents of children born with Tay-Sachs disease talk about “three deaths.”
There is the moment when parents first learn that their child has been diagnosed with the fatal disease. Then there is the moment when the child’s condition has deteriorated so badly — blind, paralyzed, non-responsive — that he or she has to be hospitalized. Then there’s the moment, usually by age 5, when the child finally dies.
There used to be an entire hospital unit — 16 or 17 beds at Kingsbook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn — devoted to taking care of these children. It was often full, with a waiting list that admitted new patients only when someone else’s child had died.
But by the late 1990s that unit was totally empty, and it eventually shut down. Its closure was a visible symbol of one of the most dramatic Jewish success stories of the past 50 years: the near-eradication of a deadly genetic disease.
Since the ‘70s, the incidence of Tay-Sachs has fallen by more than 90 percent among Jews, thanks to a combination of scientific advances and volunteer community activism that brought screening for the disease into synagogues, Jewish community centers and, eventually, routine medical care.
Until 1969, when doctors discovered the enzyme that made testing possible to determine whether parents were carriers of Tay-Sachs, 50 to 60 affected Jewish children were born each year in the United States and Canada. After mass screenings began in 1971, the numbers declined to two to five Jewish births a year, said Karen Zeiger, whose first child died of Tay-Sachs.
Basketball legend Mickey Berkowitz on Wednesday capped his illustrious career by becoming the first Israeli player to be selected into the International Basketball Federation Hall of Fame.
Berkowitz, the second Israeli to be named to the FIBA Hall of Fame after journalist and former sports official Noah Klieger, will be inducted during a special ceremony on Sept. 30 at FIBA headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Widely considered the greatest Israeli basketball player of all time, Berkowitz won 16 Israeli championships, 13 State Cups and two European cups while playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He also led the Israeli national team to second place at the 1979 European Championships.
Joining Berkowitz in this year’s Hall of Fame class are: Shaquille O’Neal (U.S.), Toni Kukoc (Croatia), Rajiza Mujanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Pero Cameron (New Zealand) and Valdis Valters (Latvia). Coaching great Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia) will also be inducted.
They were selected from a list of more than 150 candidates.
The American “Dream Team,” which won the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, will also be inducted on the 25th anniversary of its historic appearance.
On July 9, 1943, newly-elected member of the Irish parliament Oliver Flanagan rose to make his maiden speech.
“There is one thing that Germany did and that was to rout the Jews out of their country,” he declared, saying that Ireland should follow suit. “They crucified our savior 1,900 years ago and they are crucifying us every day of the week.”
No one objected to Flanagan’s words. Certainly, his constituents did not appear unduly concerned. A year later, Flanagan was re-elected to the Dail, Ireland’s lower house of parliament, with twice as many votes as he had previously received.
He would continue to hold the seat for the next four decades, and, rising through the ranks of the Fine Gael party, would go on to serve in the government and enjoy a brief stint as Ireland’s Minister of Defense in the 1970s.
Shortly after that now notorious speech, Flanagan was on his feet again in the Dail, questioning the Irish prime minister on plans for the country to take in 500 Jewish children from France. Under pressure, Éamon de Valera denied that the children were Jewish. Flanagan’s intervention, however, had the desired effect and the political row he had helped to stoke ensured that Ireland ultimately opted to leave the children to their fate.
While the virulence of Flanagan’s anti-Semitism may have been unusual, Ireland, which adopted a position of neutrality during the war, displayed precious little sympathy for Europe’s persecuted Jews. As Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times has argued, Irish policy was “infected with a toxic combination of anti-Semitism and self-pity.”
A lonely monkey at an Israeli zoo has found a way to soothe her maternal urges: by adopting a chicken.
Niv, an Indonesian black macaque, has spent the past week caressing, cleaning and playing with the bird at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv.
“It seems that Niv, who is four years old and has reached the age of sexual maturity, has difficulty finding a partner,” the zoo’s spokeswoman Mor Porat said.
“This probably explains the maternal instinct she expresses to this chicken,” he said.
The bird, which doesn’t have a name, could easily escape through the bars but chooses to stay near Niv.
“These kinds of relationships are rare,” Porat told AFP. “Sometimes macaques kill and eat chickens that enter their pens or play with them until they die.”
The Venus research satellite, operated by the Israel Space Agency at the Science and Technology Ministry, transmitted its first images from outer space on Wednesday, among them images of the Jerusalem area.
The state-of-the-art imagery makes it possible to see Jerusalem and its environs with unprecedented quality.
The Jerusalem area is prone to brush fires, particularly during dry seasons. The information Venus provides will help scientists develop new methods of characterizing the area’s ecosystem, understand and reduce risk factors for the fires, and study the effects of global warming.
“The beauty of Jerusalem can also be seen from outer space,” Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said. “This is just the beginning. In the coming years all of humanity will benefit from these images, which will help trailblazing research in the fields of environment protection, earth sciences, water and food.”
The Venus satellite was launched on Aug. 1 from French Guyana, with its mission to last three and a half years. It is a joint project between Israel and France’s National Center for Space Studies. The satellite was built by Israel Aerospace Industries and includes a sophisticated Elbit Systems-designed camera capable of snapping photos on 12 different wavelengths, and a new electric engine developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
After an 8-year-old girl picked up her little sister from kindergarten, she picked up a little something else from the ground on her way back home — an extremely rare 2,000-year-old “half-shekel” coin.
When she returned to her home in the settlement of Halamish that day last May, Hallel Halevy did a Google search for “ancient coins” and came up with something that looked like a match. So, she of course put it in her special little box where she kept her prized little mirror and her favorite necklace. “Childhood treasures,” laughed Hallel, a rising fourth grader, in conversation with The Times of Israel on Thursday.
And there the coin stayed until about a week ago, when her 11-year-old sister glimpsed it and advised her to show their father.
“I recognized that it may be a genuine ancient coin,” said father Shimon, a lawyer. But lacking the proper education to confirm it, he took a picture on his cell phone and sent it to the wife of a local scholar, Bar-Ilan University Prof. Zohar Amar.
Amar, a historian of ancient Land of Israel flora and fauna, had actually written an essay on the wine presses in the nearby archaeological site, Chubalta, near which the coin was found. Amar was intrigued by what he saw and asked Shimon to bring the coin to his house so he and his wife, Tamar, who is also knowledgable on such subjects, could study it.
At first glance, the Amar couple thought it was a rare full shekel coin, minted by Jews during the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. They were partly right.
Turns out they did have her in Israel, and Gadot immediately realized the opportunity she was being handed, both as an actor and as a feminist. “I’ve had my moments where I’ve felt like men were misbehaving – nothing sexual, but inappropriate in a sexist way. Dismissive. Life wasn’t always rosy and peachy for me as a woman in the world.” Even after she landed the role, she was worried about being thought weak, so she waited to tell her Justice League co-stars that she was pregnant. “I didn’t want attention,” she says. “The default should be that women get the job done, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of reprogramming that needs to be done to both genders.”
Nor was it immaterial that Wonder Woman – who, Gadot says, “stands for love and hope and acceptance and fighting evil” – debuted in 1941, the year America entered World War II. While Gadot’s father is a sixth-generation Israeli, her mother’s mother escaped Europe just before the war. Her mother’s father, who was 13 when the Nazis came to his native Czechoslovakia, was not so lucky. His father died in the army. The rest of his family was sent to Auschwitz, where his mother and brother died in the gas chambers. After the war, he made his way to Israel alone. “His entire family was murdered – it’s unthinkable,” says Gadot. “He affected me a lot. After all the horrors he’d seen, he was like this damaged bird, but he was always hopeful and positive and full of love. If I was raised in a place where these values were not so strong, things would be different. But it was very easy for me to relate to everything that Wonder Woman stands for.”
Now, Wonder Woman was Gadot’s story to tell, and she and director Patty Jenkins were obsessive about getting it right. “It was almost emotional, because we were so united in our desire to make something so delightful that people didn’t mind also talking about this deeper issue,” says Jenkins. Gadot had trained for eight months to put on muscle – “Strength is not something you can fake” – but she also felt that the most feminist approach would be for Wonder Woman to remain feminine, to be strong because of, rather in spite of, being a woman. “I didn’t want to play the cold-hearted warrior. We didn’t want to fall into the clichés.” Instead, she and Jenkins thought long and hard about how a woman raised only by women would respond when plunked into a world dominated by men.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot had an easy time relating to what Wonder Woman — the superhero she plays on the big screen — stands for because of what her late Holocaust survivor grandfather taught her, she told Rolling Stone magazine in its latest issue.
Gal Gadot on the latest cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Photo: Screenshot.
Gadot’s grandfather was 13 when Nazis invaded his native country of Czechoslovakia. His father died in the army while the rest of his family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where his mother and brother died in the gas chambers. After the war, Gadot’s grandfather traveled alone to Israel.
“His entire family was murdered — it’s unthinkable,” Gadot told Rolling Stone. “He affected me a lot. After all the horrors he’d seen, he was like this damaged bird, but he was always hopeful and positive and full of love. If I was raised in a place where these values were not so strong, things would be different. It was very easy for me to relate to everything that Wonder Woman stands for.”
She added that the Amazonian superhero represented “love and hope and acceptance and fighting evil.”
Gadot shared a photo of her grandfather and a tribute to him on Instagram in April in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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