November 30, 2021

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10/02 Links Pt2: Australians should say sorry to Jews; Is it Time to Boycott Spain?

From Ian:

Rowan Dean: Australians should say sorry to Jews for our lack of understanding
IF YOU bump into anyone today who’s Jewish, do yourself a favour. Reach out, shake their hand and say “I’m sorry.”

When they look at you with a puzzled expression and say “but you didn’t do anything”, you can reply “I know. But I should have.”

You can add: “I should have done lots of things that I didn’t do. I should have stood in silence at the Sydney Olympics for a few minutes to remember the Israeli Olympic athletes butchered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich games 45 years ago this month, but I didn’t.
Mosab Hassan Yousef said the Palestinian Authority is “the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people”.

“I should have been outraged at the slayings of Jews during the intifadas, but I was told it was their own fault.

“I should have wept tears of grief for Malki Roth, the young Aussie girl blown to bits along with 14 others in a pizza parlour, but it didn’t seem relevant. I should have been incensed when the murderess who organised that bombing was feted as an Arab TV celebrity.

“I should have been less critical of Israel’s settlements and more cynical about the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to agree to any peace proposals, but I condemned the first and merely shrugged at the second.
Netanyahu Blames Deadly Attack on Palestinian Authority’s ‘Systematic Incitement’ Credit – Israeli Prime Minister via Storyful

“I should have spoken out against the BDS campaign against Jewish businesses, but I figured it had nothing to do with me, so who gives a toss?

“I should have been more aware that what Israel has been going through for the past five decades is largely driven by the same fanatical passions and twisted religious fervour that now threatens shopping malls and rock concerts across the Western world, but I never joined the dots.”

Several things happened this month which shine a different light on how we in the West should view the Israel-Palestine “conflict”, and more importantly, how we should respond.

Melanie Phillips: The Faces Said it All

Musab Hassan Yousef is the so-called “Green Prince”. The son of one of the founders of the Hamas, Yousef turned against that terrorist organisation and became such a supporter of Israel that this Ramallah-born Arab served for some years as an informant for the Israeli Shin Bet security service.

Thus much is well known: there is a book and even a movie about this man. Nevertheless, when the campaigning group UN Watch brought him to speak to the UN no-one seems to have expected what was coming.

The reaction was as comical as the underlying situation is unforgiveable. The UN, the crucible of defamatory lies and libels against Israel because of the dominance there of the Arab block and its global allies, rarely hears the brutal truth about the Palestinian leadership – and certainly not by someone with Yousef’s pedigree. Watch this video of what Yousef said – and watch the faces around him as he said it.

Is It Time to Boycott and Divest from Spain?

Like Kurdistan, struggling to free itself from the violence of Arab and Persian imperialism, Catalonia now wishes to realize its national destiny and banish the long shadow of General Francisco Franco’s Spain—a fascist Catholic state that tried to Hispanicize the Catalans and Basques by eliminating their national languages, cultures, and legal rights. Franco’s ostensibly democratic successors in Madrid have hardly been kinder to the Catalan and Basque nations, and have repeatedly repressed their legitimate aspirations for statehood through brute force. The resulting cycle of violence, which has continued for decades, has badly undermined Spain’s own claim to democratic legitimacy.

Historically instrument used to unite the Iberian peninsula—once a “golden land” where Basques and Catalans dwelt peacefully side by side, as did Catholics, Muslims and Jews—was, of course, the Spanish Inquisition. It’s hard to see how an idea of Spanish “unity,” founded in the mass murder and cultural genocide of the peninsula’s Muslims and Jews, is worth preserving as a political idea in the 21st century, especially at the expense of innocent Catalan women, children, and elderly people who are savagely beaten in the streets on the orders of grasping politicians in Madrid. Surely the EU can understand the threat that repressing Catalan nationalism in such an ugly way in front of the entire world poses to its own project of cleansing Europe of the horrors of racism, colonialism, and the Holocaust.

Those of us who are proud Zionists know intimately the hardships of wrestling with colonial forces for independence, and understand just how valiant the struggle of indigenous people can be when they resolve to exercise their natural and historical rights and form a sovereign nation on their ancient homeland. That the European Union stands idly by as Spain violently suppresses these rights is a shame.

In his classic Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell captured the bravery of the local men and women who resisted the Nazi-backed Fascists in Madrid, aided by throngs of Jewish volunteers who came to fight on the side of liberty. “If you had asked me why I had joined the militia,” Orwell wrote, “I should have answered: ‘To fight against Fascism,’ and if you had asked me what I was fighting for, I should have answered: ‘Common decency.’” Those of us who believe in common decency should share the outrage and the wild hopes of the Catalans. If you believe that applying pressure on oppressive and imperialist regimes until they break is the right tactic, begin by boycotting and divesting from Spain.

In first, two women appointed as Mossad division heads

Marking a first for Israel’s national intelligence agency, the Mossad has revealed that two women were recently appointed division heads, the highest position reached by women in the secretive government body.

With the identities of the two withheld from publication for security reasons, Yedioth Aharonoth reported Sunday that “S” was appointed to the role of division head in the past few weeks while “L” was given charge of a parallel unit a number of months ago.

The Mossad confirmed the report but declined to give further details about the appointments or which divisions S and L are in charge of.

While a woman has previously held the position of division head, which is equivalent rank to an IDF major general, this marks the first time that two women have headed divisions at the same time.

NGO Monitor: PFLP Terrorist Leila Khaled at the European Parliament

On September 26, 2017, PFLP terrorist and plane hijacker Leila Khaled was hosted in the European Parliament by the GUE/NGL party. The audience, including Members of the European Parliament, gave her a standing ovation. NGO Monitor has compiled some of her more outrageous statements.

Anti-Semitism Is a Political Strategy, Not a Form of Discrimination

Motivated by the rising tide on college campuses of anti-Semitic sentiment—often in the form of hatred of the Jewish state—the U.S. Senate passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which would effectively expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act so as better to apply to discrimination against Jews. In particular, its passage would make it easier for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to respond to and punish the mistreatment of Jews at universities. It now awaits passage by the House of Representatives. Ruth Wisse, while applauding the bill, argues that it is poorly matched to the realities of anti-Semitism:

Anti-Semitism cannot be subsumed into the framework of the Civil Rights Act because anti-Semitism is not discrimination. It may exhibit the key features of prejudice, bias, and bigotry—and therefore result in discrimination. But it is different in kind. Anti-Semitism is a modern political phenomenon—an ideology that anchors or forms part of a political movement and serves a political purpose. It arose alongside other ideologies like liberalism, conservatism, socialism, Communism, anarchism, and (somewhat later) fascism, opposing some of them and merging with others. Anti-Semitism was the most protean of these ideologies and was therefore valuable in forging coalitions even among otherwise competing groups. To take anti-Semitism seriously, let alone to subdue it, requires first recognizing its political nature.

An ideology may be defined as a system of beliefs or ideals, a shaping concept in politics, held by an individual or a group. As a political ideology, anti-Semitism enjoys the protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. . . . The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act may better protect Jewish students from physical harassment and intimidation, but as long as our actual awareness of the roots and character of anti-Semitism in contemporary America remains shallow and poorly informed, it will not lessen the clear and present danger.

Israeli-Arab Facebook star: BDS is ‘pure politics’

The Facebook star who has launched a thousand viral videos has created one more – this one speaking out against the movement to boycott Israel.

Nuseir Yassin, an Israeli-Arab native of Arrabe in the Lower Galilee who goes by Nas Daily online, posted a video Sunday about Kuwait Airlines stopping him from flying from New York to India.

“Because I’m an Israeli, an entire airline is not allowed to take me on their plane even if I’m not going to Kuwait,” he said in the video. This behavior, he said, is discriminatory and “should be illegal.”

Yassin, who quit his job in New York in 2016 and decided to travel the globe, posting one-minute videos daily, said the “stupid ban is pure politics.”

“Dear Kuwait: If you want to boycott Israel, be my guest, refuse me service,” he said. “But also give me your USB flash drives, your phones, your safe-driving cars, your Viber, your Waze or your anti-virus – this is also Israel.”

Yassin said those who seek to boycott the State of Israel prove that they really don’t get it at all.

Alan Dershowitz speech at UC Berkeley back on

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said he will be speaking at the University of California, Berkeley in two weeks, after an invitation from Berkeley Law, the university’s law school, that allows him to bypass a campus rule requiring eight weeks notice for such a speech.

Dershowitz said in a phone interview Friday that he will speak at the law school on Oct. 10 following an invitation from Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, and that he is continuing to seek a department to host him so he can speak elsewhere on campus.

The Harvard professor had said Thursday that he was being blocked from speaking about Israel at UC Berkeley because organizers of his visit didn’t give campus police the required eight-week notice for the event — a requirement that only applies to non-departmental applicants.

“I will definitely be at Berkeley, I will speak at the law school,” he said today. “I want to make sure I will speak as well” to a larger university audience.

Dershowitz said the sponsors of his visit, the Chabad Jewish Student Center and the pro-Israel student club Tikvah, had been turned down by several departments as a sponsor of his talk, and that he was trying to find out if any of those departments had sponsored “anti-Israel speakers” in the past.

Greta Gerwig regrets signing letter against Israeli-backed play

Greta Gerwig — a potential Oscar frontrunner for her upcoming directorial debut “Lady Bird” — has exclusively told Page Six that it was a mistake to lend her name to a letter asking Lincoln Center to ban an Israeli-backed play.

Page Six previously reported that Gerwig’s name appeared on a letter with over 60 artists calling on Lincoln Center to cancel performances of “To the End of the Land,” which is being presented “with support of Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America.” A source said, “There is an Oscar campaign afoot for Gerwig, and her team doesn’t want her controversial anti-Israel opinions hurting her chances.”

On Friday, Gerwig told us in an exclusive statement that she regrets signing the letter.

“This past summer, a close friend asked me to lend my name to a letter,” Gerwig wrote in a statement. “I am generally careful about the causes I support, but in this case I was not. I was unfamiliar with the complexities of the letter and I did not take the time to study them.”

She added, “Instead, because the letter had already been signed by many other friends and collaborators I know to be thoughtful and honorable people, I agreed to add my name. While I respect the passion and integrity of others who signed this letter, for me to put my name to something outside of my personal realm of knowledge or experience was a mistake — my mistake — and I am sorry for any confusion or hurt I may have caused.”

The letter was organized by Adalah-NY, which aims to boycott Israel, and was signed by artists including filmmaker Ken Loach, rocker Thurston Moore and playwright Tracy Letts.

Glass Houses, Haaretz and Neo-Nazi Fans

The reference here is to Yair Netanyahu’s recent Facebook post featuring a cartoon with anti-Semitic motifs. Interestingly, racist leader David Duke did not share the Yair’s post itself – but the Haaretz story about it.

While Yair has no reason to be proud, Haaretz would do well to remember that people in glass houses should not throw stones. A search of Duke’s website reveals over 600 mentions of Haaretz. Links and citations include, among others, use of Haaretz to “prove” that Jews control the global pornography industry; a column by Gideon Levy about the situation in Gaza; a gleeful posting of an Haaretz Op-Ed which equates Israel and Nazi Germany; a story by Amira Hass that compared the Gaza Strip to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; an article that was copied in its entirety, as is, about the racist group Lehava; and many more.

Until it went offline a couple of days ago, the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, which had indeed declared itself as “Yair Netanyahu’s #1 fan site,” also contained over 200 mentions of Haaretz, including “exultant cheers” (as Haaretz put it) from David Duke. It should be noted that while Yair Netanyahu has deleted his incendiary post, Haaretz did not see fit to remove any of the content that its neo-Nazi fans celebrated. Before condemning Yair Netanyahu, Haaretz’s editorial board should engage in some serious introspection.

Indy story on Gaza student “denied” visa to study in UK riddled with distortions

McKernan obfuscates the fact that Garry Spedding is hardly an objective “consultant”. He’s a well-known pro-Palestinian activist who founded a group called Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University in Belfast. Spedding was deported from Israel in 2014 due to his reported involvement in organising a protest at Queen’s in which an Israeli official was attacked.

Further down in the article, the Indy contextualises COGAT’s putative delay of Awad’s travel request by alleging that “permission to leave Gaza is notoriously difficult to obtain for the enclave’s two million residents”, an Israeli process characterized by McKernan as “Kafkaesque”.

However, the statistics (provided to us by COGAT) tell a completely different story.

  • In 2014, 65,539 crossings were coordinated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.
  • In 2015, 103,784 crossings were coordinated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.
  • In 2016, 99,864 crossings were coordinated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.
  • In the first quarter of 2017, 39,219 crossings were coordinated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

Somehow, since 2014, more than 300,000 Palestinians have managed to navigate this “Kafkaesque” process.

Finally, in a perfect example of the advocacy journalism that routinely compromises the media’s objectivity in covering the conflict, here’s how McKernan ended her “news article”:

We’ve lodged an official complaint with Indy editors over the misleading and false claims in the article.

Washington Post: A One Word Correction That Means So Much

Recent comments by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman created some controversy as covered in the Washington Post, which dissected his statements including:

The article links to the text of UN Resolution 242, which has served as a basis for solving the Arab-Israel conflict since 1967. The text specifically:

Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict

HonestReporting pointed out to the Washington Post that its story referred to “the territory” but the actual resolution says “from territories.” It may look like a small issue of language but the difference is significant.


Yom Kippur war inaccuracies persist in BBC archive content

Four years ago we pointed out that an article concerning the Yom Kippur War (that is still available online in the BBC’s ‘On This Day’ archive under the date October 6th 1973) tells audiences in both its text and in a photo caption that:

“Both sides have accused each other of firing the first shots, but UN observers have reported seeing Egyptian and Syrian troops crossing into Israeli-held territory.”

That misleading forty-four year-old claim has still not been amended.

The same report also includes an inaccurate portrayal of the number of Israeli casualties in that war.

“Most hostilities ended on 22 October. Both sides suffered heavy losses. An estimated 8,500 Syrian and Egyptian soldiers died, while Israel lost about 6,000.”

As was also noted here four years ago, while various sources give slightly differing figures for Israeli casualties during the Yom Kippur War, “none of them reaches even half of the 6,000 claimed in this BBC article and others”.

“The Official Discourse Was That the Jews in Malmö Were Harassed by Swedish neo-Nazis” (video)

Ten minutes of sheer good sense. Left-leaning Swedish intellectual Göran Adamson, who was sacked from his academic post as a political sociologist for offending the tyrants of political correctness, here gives a searing critique of multiculturalism (“It ought to be a good thing for certain cultures to change”) and the suppression of free speech and of truth itself, that its tsars have imposed on western societies (“You no longer have a discussion about things”).

Video of Holocaust survivor forgiving Mengele goes viral

Last month Eva Mozes Kor, 83, made a video entitled, “The Power to Live and Forgive,” produced by Buzzfeed, in which she describes her journey from a naked 10-year-old being experimented on by the ‘Angel of Death,’ to forgiving him.

Kor’s story of the strength she gained from granting forgiveness has been watched over 120 million times on Facebook since it was posted on September 27 and more than 3 million times on YouTube, where it was posted on September 15.
Mengele twin Eva Mozes Kor points herself out in an image in the Auschwitz Memorial Museum during a 2007 trip. (courtesy)

Kor describes how she and her twin sister, Miriam, were deported from Romania to Auschwitz in May 1944 along with the rest of their family.

As they waited at the entrance to the concentration camp, a Nazi walked along shouting “Twins, twins.” He asked Kor’s mother whether her two 10-year-old daughters were twins. “Is that good?” asked her mother. “Yes, it is good,” replied the Nazi. So her mother admitted that they were twins.

And that was the last Kor saw of her mother, who was taken away to be exterminated minutes after her father and older siblings had been murdered, all within half an hour of getting off the cattle car they arrived in.

If the archive must be returned, let it go to Kurdistan

Harold Rhode was in Baghdad when waterlogged Jewish documents and books were discovered in the basement of the secret police headquarters in 2003. In this interview with the JCPA’s Lenny Ben-David, he pays tribute to Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi leader who first drew Rhode’s attention to the trove. If the collection has to go back to Iraq, Rhode says that it should go to Kurdistan, where the population is sympathetic to Israel. (With thanks: Imre)

Harold Rhode: Here’s the problem. According to international law, you cannot steal the patrimony of another country that you take over. So the Americans, the State Department decided you can’t allow this material, it has to go back to Iraq. But the question really is, and periodically it comes up. Now, the Iraqi government – because it is still basically anti-Israeli – the Iraqi government cannot be seen to allow this to be coming to a place like Israel, because then all their Arab brothers are going to get upset with them and they will be shamed and Middle East shame is more important than anything. Shame is what other people say about you and they lose honor, so they can’t agree to us. So how do you solve this problem? Well about five years or so ago, the Iraqi government graciously agreed to let the material stay in the United States for about five years, if I’m correct, and they had exhibits all over the place in the United States. And the material in the meantime remained in the American archives. Now we’re getting to the end of that five-year period…what do we do? Well, the American government wants to return it to the rightful owners by international law which they have decided, since they signed an agreement with an American, that it belongs to Iraq. Well no, it didn’t belong to Iraq! It is the heritage patrimony of the Jewish community; it is their materials, their documents. Who and where are these people? About ninety percent of them today are here in Israel. That’s who it belongs to!

Lenny Ben-David: So it’s going to go to the Iraqis and they’re going to put it in another basement? Can that move be stopped?

WW2 paratrooper Donald Malarkey, portrayed in ‘Band of Brothers,’ dies at 96

Donald Malarkey, a World War II paratrooper who was awarded the Bronze Star after parachuting behind enemy lines at Normandy to destroy German artillery on D-Day, has died. He was 96.

Malarkey was one of several members of “Easy Company” to be widely portrayed in the HBO miniseries, “Band of Brothers.” He died September 30 in Salem, Oregon of age-related causes, his son-in-law John Hill said Sunday.

Malarkey fought fight across France, the Netherlands and Belgium and with Easy Company fought off Nazi advances while surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

He was often praised for his actions during the war, and was presented with the Legion of Honor Medal — the highest honor awarded by the French government — in 2009.

Malarkey was haunted by memories of combat and the devastation of losing fellow soldiers and friends, his family members said. Still, the release of the “Band of Brothers” miniseries was cathartic for him and helped him come to terms with the emotional scars of the battle, Hill said Sunday.

Israel, China set up first accelerator program in Beijing

Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry said Sunday it was setting up a first China-Israel accelerator program in Beijing together with Chinese partner ShengJing Group, a fund-of-funds manager and consulting firm.

The program aims to help Israeli technology companies penetrate the Chinese market by providing five selected Israeli firms with the knowledge, mentorship, and fundraising resources necessary for a successful foray.

The ShengJing Group, through its global investment division, Peakview Capital, has invested almost $20 billion in fund of funds and direct investments in China, the US and Israel in past few years. Its portfolio includes investments in nearly 50 of China’s top VCs, which have invested in Chinese technology listed companies, including Tencent, Alibaba Group and Baidu.

In Israel, ShengJing has invested nearly $100 million in recent years, including in Israeli venture capital and private equity funds, among them Jerusalem Venture Partenrs (JVP), Vintage Investment Partners, Viola Group and Canaan Partners. The firm has also made direct investments in Israeli startups, the ministry and the ShengJing said in a joint statement.

South Korea and Israel complement each other in tech, report says

With its 51 million residents and a per capita GDP of $35,920 in 2016, South Korea has become the most innovative economy in the world, according to the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, topping the ranks for R&D intensity, value-added manufacturing and patent activity. Israel moved up to number 10 in 2017, included for the first time in the top 10 economies.

A synergistic relationship based on complementary contrasts exists between the State of Israel and the Republic of Korea in the fields of innovation and commerce, a 2017 report by the Israel Innovation Authority published on Monday said.

Similar to the State of Israel, Korea was only declared an independent state in 1948 and has since undergone accelerated economic development; it has been in the midst of a continuous state of conflict with its northern neighbor; and its natural resources are sparse.

The Koreans specialize in the gradual growth of small and medium-sized companies into large corporations, and use advanced technologies as a base to set up a complete production chain. Its largest conglomerate, Samsung, constitutes approximately 17 percent of the entire Korean economy, and includes 80 subsidiaries developing, producing and marketing in a wide range of fields such as electronics, engineering, shipbuilding, construction, retail & leisure, insurance, medical services and others, in which hundreds of thousands of people are employed.

Pentagon gives green light to install Israeli defense system on US tanks

The US Army has approved the installation of Israel’s Trophy active-protection system on a number of its M1A2 Abrams tanks, making it the first army aside from the IDF to use the system.

The Pentagon said Thursday the decision was made following “an urgent material” request.

Designed to detect and neutralize incoming projectiles, the Trophy system has four radar antennae and fire-control radars to track incoming threats such as anti-tank guided missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. Once a projectile is detected, Trophy fires a shotgun-type blast to neutralize the threat.

Developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries’ Elta Group, it is the only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world.

Michigan-based General Dynamics Land Systems was contracted to add the system to an Armor Brigade Combat Team’s M1A2 SEPv2 at a cost of close to $10 million with an expected completion date by the end of March 2019.

The estimated cost per tank is $350,000.

IAI develops drone to evacuate wounded soldiers remotely

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the nation’s largest aerospace and defense company, said on Monday that it has expanded the capabilities of its unmanned vehicles, which are now able to carry wounded soldiers away from battlefields and bring supplies to isolated troops in the field – all through remote maneuvering.

The company said that it presented its Air Hopper system to senior officials of Israel’s defense industry and the IDF.

The demonstration of the recently developed Air Hopper covered two scenarios — one simulating carrying a seriously wounded soldier to an extraction point for life-saving treatment, with airborne monitoring of vital signs and sending real-time updates to the ground. The second scenario simulated carrying logistical supplies to an isolated force at the front line, which could not be accessed otherwise without risking more troops, IAI said in a statement. Both demonstrations were carried out successfully, IAI said.

The model of the Air Hopper takes inspiration from a small, manned helicopter. But it is unmanned. It can carry from 100 to 180 kilograms (220-400 pounds), depending on the model, and can fly for two hours at a speed of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour.

Thousands of Christians Set to Arrive in Jerusalem for Feast of Tabernacles

More than 6,000 Christian pilgrims from some 100 countries are set to arrive in Jerusalem this week ahead of the 38th annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).

The event, which runs this year from Oct. 6-11, is the “largest annual Christian gathering in Israel,” David Parsons, vice president and senior spokesman for ICEJ, told

According to ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler, the event is expected to see its largest crowd ever this year, drawing Christians to the Holy Land for a “dynamic worship experience.”

“There also is the added attraction of celebrating the 50-year jubilee of a reunited Jerusalem, and this means we are truly in for a banner Feast,” said Bühler.

The event commences Oct. 6 with an outdoor meal and concert at the Ein Gedi nature reserve near the Dead Sea. The Feast then moves to Jerusalem throughout the remainder of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, with most activities taking place in capital’s Pais Arena.

“For most of the pilgrims,” Parsons said, “the biggest highlight is the march through the streets of Jerusalem,” which sees thousands of evangelical Christians walk in solidarity with the Jewish state alongside Israelis.

Menasce synagogue is added to Egypt’s heritage list

The Egyptian government’s decision, announced in Al-Ahram online, to classify the Menasce synagogue as ‘national heritage’ is welcome. It means that it will be obligated to preserve and protect the building at its expense, ending the sort of wrangles that we have seen recently over who should pay for repairs to the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, for instance.

Antiquities officials have decided to add the Menasce Synagogue in Alexandria to the national heritage list of Islamic, Coptic and Jewish monuments.

According to Mohammed Metwali, general director of antiquities in Alexandria, the synagogue was built by philanthropist Baron Yacoub de Menasce in 1860.
The decision by the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ board of directors comes after inspection and investigation of the synagogue’s architectural and archaeological conditions.

Mohamed Abdel-Latif, a deputy minister of antiquities and head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish Antiquities Department within the ministry, told Ahram Online that the decision came within the framework of the ministry’s keenness to add all Egyptian monuments to the country’s heritage list, regardless of era or religious affiliation.

Remembering Leonard Cohen’s Yom Kippur War Tour of Duty

A few days after Yom Kippur, 1973, with Israel still fighting a bitter war for its survival with Egypt and Syria, a handful of entertainers were sitting in Pinati, a popular Tel Aviv café, and planning a tour of the front lines, eager to give the men fighting and dying there a few hours of much needed distraction. They were Oshik Levy, a handsome pop star; Ilana Rovina, a singer and the daughter of the legendary theater actress Hannah Rovina; the actor Pupik Arnon; and a young musician named Mati Caspi, who would soon become one of the country’s most iconic stars. As they planned their act, Levy noticed a familiar looking man a few tables over, and he said to his friends that the man looked a little bit like Leonard Cohen.

“Don’t you wish!” said Rovina. The Canadian-born singer-songwriter was a superstar in Israel, having played two sold-out shows in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem just a few months earlier. What were the odds that the internationally renowned musician would now be plopped down at a small café in the middle of the war?

But Levy couldn’t look away. “I swear on my life,” he said to his friends, “it’s Leonard Cohen.”

He got up and walked over to the thin stranger with the soulful eyes.

“Are you Leonard Cohen?” he asked.

“I am,” the man said.

Cohen had heard the news of the war, and felt he had to come and see it for himself. Instinctively, Levy asked Cohen if he wanted to join their tour. Cohen did, so Levy ran to the café’s phone, rang up a friend in the army, and arranged for a guitar. A few hours later, the small band of entertainers, with Cohen in tow, were en route to the southern air force base in Hatzor.

Tens of thousands of lulavs imported from Gaza for Sukkot

Some 20,000 palm branches grown in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip were transferred to Israel ahead of the Sukkot festival.

The palm branches will be sold in Israeli markets for use as lulavs – one of the “four species” used during the Sukkot holiday.

The importation of the palm branches was conducted in coordination with the Defense Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, and the Palestinian Authority’s representatives in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Trucks carrying the palm branches passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing point from Gaza, a spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories’ (COGAT) Coordination and Liaison Administration of the Gaza Strip reported.

“Along with weekly shipments of tons of fruit and vegetables, we also coordinate one-time shipments like this one,” spokesperson Uri Madar said.

Ami Shaked, manager of the Kerem Shalom crossing point, said some 800 trucks through the checkpoint every day.

This Panoramic Sukkah re-creates Jerusalem in your backyard

When it comes to Sukkot, the weeklong festival in which Jews live and eat in temporary huts known as sukkahs, no place does it better than Jerusalem. City schools and plenty of workplaces close, and a festive spirit permeates the air.

Many Jews around the world make a tradition of visiting Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday, which is also known as the Feast of Booths. But if you can’t make it to the Holy City, fear not. Your sukkah can now transport you and your loved ones here.

Well, sort of. The Panoramic Sukkah is a creation by Andy “Eliyahu” Alpern, a photographer specializing in 360-degree images. Thanks to his sukkahs, which consist of panoramic photos of famous places in Israel, celebrants can easily pretend that they are actually at notable Jerusalem sites such as the Western Wall at night or smack in the middle of Mahane Yehuda market.

Alpern, 50, is a native Chicagoan who now lives in the northern city of Safed, where he runs his own gallery. Five years ago he was wandering through Safed during the festival, listening to the voices of families who were celebrating in their sukkahs, when the idea for the Panoramic Sukkah hit him.

By providing an immersive, inside-Israel experience, the Panoramic Sukkah is “a way of sharing Eretz Yisrael with people all over the world who can’t be here,” he told JTA, using the Hebrew term for the Land of Israel. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

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