November 19, 2019

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10/04 Links Pt2: Caroline B. Glick: American Jewry’s days of reckoning; Ruthie Blum: Owing Israel an apology; Bari Weiss Makes Her Case; Memorial service to be held in Ari Fuld’s honor

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/10/1004-links-pt2-caroline-b-glick.html

From Ian:


Caroline B. Glick: American Jewry’s days of reckoning
On September 29, President Donald Trump set out his nationalist political philosophy in his address before the UN General Assembly. Arguing that the nation-state is the best guarantor of human freedom and liberty, Trump set up a contrast between “patriots” and “globalists.”

“The future does not belong to globalists,” he said.

“The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

Jewish nationalists, that is, Zionists, could hear their core convictions echoed in Trump’s statement. Israeli political philosopher Yoram Hazony made much the same argument in his book “The Virtue of Nationalism,” which was published last year.

One of the regimes most opposed to nationalism is the Iranian regime. Iran’s leaders view the regime not as the government of the nation of Iran, but as the leader of a global jihad, which will end with the regime’s domination of the world, in the name of Islam – not Iran.

Anti-Semitism is one of the animating doctrines of Iran’s regime. The leaders ascribe to genocidal Jew-hatred. They use their commitment to annihilating Israel and war against the Jewish state as a means to build legitimacy for their regime and revolution throughout the Islamic world.

In his speech, Trump highlighted the regime’s anti-Semitism and its commitment to annihilate Israel.

Trump also excoriated the Arab world for refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, saying, “Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures.”

Trump pledged, “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate.”

Rather than earning him plaudits, American Jews were caustic in their response to Trump’s speech. Britain’s Independent reported that several American Jews condemned Trump’s speech as anti-Semitic. For instance, Laura Seay, a political science professor in Texas tweeted, “So … Trump condemns anti-Semitism in the same speech he started with anti-Semitic code language like ‘globalism.'”

Ruthie Blum: Owing Israel an apology

FINALLY, I APOLOGIZE if I have given anyone the impression that I would be bitter about whatever coalition is cobbled together, or would not accept a third round of Knesset elections, if that becomes necessary. My view – that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a great leader – has not changed; nor has my sense that the charges against him are flimsy, at best, been shaken.

In addition, I am less than thrilled about the prospect of a national-unity government, headed either by Netanyahu or by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, whether or not they reach a rotation agreement. Nor do I welcome new elections, which probably would result in an outcome nearly identical to that of the September 17 vote.

But as soon as a government is formed, including if its makeup is one I consider disappointing, I pledge to continue to use my pen to defend the country against its external enemies, such as Iran – whose regime boasts about possessing the will and means to wipe Israel off the map – and those at home and abroad who engage in equally serious efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state in order to call its existence into question.

I hope to keep the above promises in the year to come, and to live up to a different admonition by Isaiah – verse 5:20 – which is not recited on Yom Kippur, but should be remembered and applied by all of us every single day of each calendar year: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness.”

Battling BDS, one laugh at a time

I LIKE the idea that it’s time to stand up for ourselves through stand-up, among other means. Better to deliver punchlines than be the punching bags. It’s healthy to be able to laugh at ourselves and it beats BDS bitterness. Two days after last month’s election, the Government Press Office and Foreign Ministry arranged for a special screening of a new movie called Mossad. The comedy was presented as the perfect break from politics and a good way to help Israel’s image.

The satire directed by Alon Gur Arye has a star-studded cast, including heartthrob Tsahi Halevi of Fauda fame in his first comic role. Halevi plays a bumbling spy called Guy Moran (and you can imagine how that surname turns out in English.)

When he gives a woman his card, she says: “But it’s blank.”

“That’s because I’m a secret agent,” he replies.

The save-the-world plot in which the Mossad and the CIA compete and collaborate is totally implausible, but many of the one-liners are brilliant and the slapstick stunts are well-executed. When the evil masterminds capture an American billionaire in Jerusalem, they come up against a henpecked Mossad chief whose sole aim is to finish his term without incident and to get to light one of the torches on Independence Day. The (obviously unreal) Mossad head, played by Ilan Dar, demands a videotape of the hostages holding a newspaper showing the date. This leads RBG (the “Real Bad Guys”) to scream: “Who can even find videotape anymore? Nobody reads a newspaper!”

Unlike Diplomatic Relations, where the idea is good, but the performance is at times painful, I can happily recommend Mossad. Gur Arye admits that the film was inspired by gag-filled American movies such as Top Secret! and that making it was a dream come true. Noting that most of his Israeli peers want to make dramas, he preferred parody.

“And I wanted to spoof something very Israeli,” he explained in a panel after the screening.

Gur Arye was lucky and talented enough to get veteran Israeli director Avi Nesher and American director David Zucker (of the Airplane and the Naked Gun franchise) on board and the film definitely has Zucker’s wacky touch.

Bari Weiss Makes Her Case

Does she focus too much on left-wing anti-Semitism given the danger from the right? In a way, Weiss replied, left-wing anti-Semitism is more insidious because it “speaks a language that is a siren song — the language of social justice, progress, defense of the oppressed.” It’s also far more socially acceptable: “Someone who photoshops your face into a gas chamber is not going to be received in polite society. Someone who calls you an Islamophobe and a racist for being a Zionist is going to be invited on television.”

She addressed difficult questions with both nuance and simplicity. Yes, “Netanyahu makes it harder to defend Israel” with his Arab-baiting, his alliances with racist parties and his cozying up to authoritarians in Europe. No, it’s not acceptable to blame him for anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, because “Jews should not be blamed for anti-Semitism, ever.”

I didn’t agree with everything Weiss said. I wasn’t, for instance, too impressed by her suggestion that Jews who support BDS are motivated by the desire to “belong” and fit in with surrounding society; it seemed needlessly dismissive of some people’s sincere beliefs.

I also had mixed feelings about the claim she made at the end of the evening, and which she also makes in the book: That anti-Semitism exists largely as a backlash against the “radical ideas” at the center of Jewish faith and culture. “The idea of one God, that slavery is wrong — those are Jewish ideas,” Weiss said. Obviously, the Jews’ role as the original monotheists had something to do with their historical contentious relationship with other cultures. But Weiss also oversimplifies this history and flirts with reinventing Judaism in the image of modern humanism. (Both the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud accept slavery as a given, though they also call for humane treatment of slaves.)

At the same time, Weiss had a strong point when she noted the remarkable fact that the Jewish people’s “original story is freedom of slavery” — and that Jews “often stand perpendicular to their societies,” demanding “the right to be different.” As she put it, “That drove people nuts and it still drives people nuts.”

Come to think of it, that’s not a bad description of Weiss herself. A liberal by any rational standard, she stands perpendicular to most of her social milieu, demanding the right to differ from its groupthink. And it certainly seems to drive people nuts. (h/t Dave4321)

Deborah E. Lipstadt: The Gray Lady and the Jewish State

In late April 2019, the New York Times international editionpublished a cartoon depicting a blind, kippa-wearing President Trump being led by a dachshund with a Jewish star around its neck. The dog’s face was a distorted caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visage. The message was indisputable: Israelis qua Jews, despite being the national equivalent of lapdogs, have the unique ability to blind presidents and shape political events. Beguiled, not only does Trump do their bidding, but he is, like the other unwitting victims on the world stage, blissfully unaware of what is going on. The cartoon gave vivid expression to the conspiracy theory, or rather myth, that is at the heart of anti-Semitism and did so in an image that, as was widely noted, could have appeared in Der Stürmer. How did it end up receiving the New York Times’s imprimatur?

Apparently, a single midlevel editor for the international edition of the paper chose the cartoon from a syndication service to which the paper then subscribed. Subsequent events followed a familiar pattern. The paper, after being inundated with outraged comments, including some from its own staff members, issued a short apology in the form of an editor’s note: “The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it.” Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokeswoman, added a subsequent statement on behalf of the Opinion section of the paper, identifying the cartoon as anti-Semitic and saying it was “deeply sorry” for publishing it.

In most cases, that would have been the end of the story, except for the scores of Jewish readers and supporters of Israel who were once again forced to decide whether to cancel their subscriptions. Two subsequent events made this incident noteworthy. Writing in the New York Times, op-ed columnist Bret Stephens scathingly lambasted not only the international edition but his own paper. For Stephens, the publication of a “textbook illustration” of anti-Semitism did not reveal institutional anti-Semitism, but it wasn’t much better than that. It was that the Times, “otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice,” could be so, well, blind:
Imagine, for instance, if the dog on a leash in the image hadn’t been the Israeli prime minister but instead a prominent woman such as Nancy Pelosi, a person of color such as John Lewis, or a Muslim such as Ilhan Omar. Would that have gone unnoticed by either the wire service that provides the Times with images or the editor who, even if he were working in haste, selected it? The question answers itself. And it raises a follow-on: How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry?

The answer, Stephens wrote, was that anti-Zionism has become so mainstream “that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry,” and the Times was complicit in that mainstreaming.

David Collier: St Anne’s Church in Soho, Miko Peled and an evening with antisemites

Peled in the Church

But this is Peled’s night. Peled is not a man of peace. He is a man clearly wired to seek revenge for whatever injustice his own mind has created for him. He is also someone who buckles when his weak arguments are exposed. I always put Peled’s leaving of the fold down to his inability to handle the weight of his family heritage, but it doesn’t really matter anymore what drove him over the cliff. What is certain is that he drove off it.

Peled likes provoking Jews. Those who think his ‘Holocaust, yes or no‘ comment from the Labour Party conference of 2017 is a stand-alone remark haven’t been paying attention. At UCL the same year he spoke about ‘the witch-hunt against antisemites and Holocaust deniers.’ going on to suggest to Jeremy Corbyn that he should put away the ‘nonsense about Holocaust denial and the nonsense about antisemitism‘. If you follow his threads on Twitter and Facebook you soon realise his audience is little more than an extremist, racist mob.

So Peled stands in the Church and beats his chest about how the Labour Party Conference was little more than a ‘rally for Palestine’. He isn’t wrong. With the NHS, austerity and housing as major concerns for their voters, the Labour Party did little but obsess over Israel.

Peled spoke as he normally does – blaming everything on Zionists and Israeli discrimination. Context and humanity and reason are removed. Lies are created. The end result is raw demonisation. Then look at the laugh his jokes about antisemitism gets from the crowd in the Church.

There is nothing funny about any of this. With Antisemitism visibly on the rise across the globe, the Church provides a platform to someone who ridicules racism against Jews. Peled is feeding antisemitism. He is demonising Zionism and Israel to an audience containing many who already buy into anti-Jewish conspiracy.

PMW: Does The World Karate Federation authorize tournaments named after Palestinian terrorists?

The Palestinian Karate Federation has misused the sport of karate to promote terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who led the murder of 37 Israeli civilians, among them 12 children, as a role model for young Palestinian women:
“The Sisters of Dalal Mughrabi Championship for Young Women” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 13, 2019]

A banner displayed at the championship carried the name of the “Palestinian Karate Federation” and its logo (left), and the logo of the “World Karate Federation” (right):

[Official Facebook page of the Palestinian Karate Federation, Sept. 11, 2019]
“Palestine” is a member of the Asian Karate Federation, which is a member of the World Karate Federation. Two weeks ago, Palestinian Media Watch passed on the documentation of this Palestinian championship honoring a mass murderer to both federations, asking that they condemn the Palestinian Karate Federation and prohibit the recurrence of terror glorification by the Palestinian Karate Federation and any other of its federation members. In addition, PMW asked that if the federation’s “Statutes and Rules” currently do not prohibit naming sporting events after terrorists, that the statutes be amended immediately to include such a prohibition. However, neither federation has responded.

The championship in which 55 young Palestinian female athletes participated was held in Bethlehem by the southern branch of the Palestinian Karate Federation.

Dalal Mughrabi, after whom this tournament was named, was a female Palestinian terrorist who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounded over 70. PMW has documented numerous examples of PA and Fatah leaders promoting murderer Mughrabi as a hero for Palestinian society in general and for youth in particular. The PA has named at least 6 schools after murderer Mughrabi, many sporting events have been named after her, and a PA schoolbook teaches children to “be like” her.

UK to Release ’Pay to Slay’ Audits After Freedom of Information Request

The branch of the British government responsible for administering overseas aid will disclose audit reports regarding aid money allegedly used to pay salaries to convicted terrorists, after abandoning its appeal against a ruling by UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

In July 2018, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a British volunteer organization of lawyers who support Israel, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department for International Development for copies of audit reports for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program. The program is a World Bank multi-donor trust fund for the Palestinian Authority. The DFID refused to release the information, citing among other reasons the risk of potential harm diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the PA.

According to UKLFI, “Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi Donor Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.” According to the organization, “this is the account from which payments were made to convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.”

Commissioner Denham ruled on July 26 of this year that the reports were of “significant public interest,” which outweighed any potential harm that might be done to diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the PA Denham ordered the DFID to release the information within 35 days, or appeal.

Observing Labour antisemites in Brighton

For the efficient observer of anti-Israel hate mongering in Great Britain the seaside resort of Brighton in the UK was the place to be during the fourth week of September. There the Labour party’s annual conference took place. This gathering also claimed 450 fringe events.

Attendance was around 13 000 people. In a few days one could receive a concentrated overview of anti-Israelism in Labour as well as smatterings of antisemitism, its minimizing and whitewashing.

A few examples illustrate this.

At the conference the great majority of delegates voted for a motion to boycott Israeli “settlement” goods. This was a first for Labour. The delegates also voted to reject trade agreements with the country. It seemed that the party furthermore backed the “right of return” of Palestinian Arabs. This is tantamount to supporting Israel’s annihilation through swamping it with Palestinian Arabs. The common way to interpret this right is that those who fled can return. In the Palestinian case it is distorted by Israel’s enemies meaning that descendants of refugees from any generation are also entitled to immigrate to Israel where they have never lived.

Palestinian flags and chants of “Free Palestine” were prominent at the Labour conference. This, despite rules prohibiting flags from being displayed on the conference floor. Last year, hundreds of Palestinian flags were also flown with the approval of the Labour leadership after these were handed out to delegates.

EHRC summons 25 former and current Labour staffers to give evidence in antisemitism inquiry in “daunting” letters

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to 25 former and current employees of the Labour Party requiring them to provide evidence as part of its inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The inquiry, which is a full statutory investigation, was launched by the EHRC on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

The letters reportedly advise that “the Commission is gathering evidence to investigate this matter in accordance with the terms of reference and has identified you as a person we require evidence from. Please do not ignore this letter or the Notice. We draw your attention to the consequences of failing to comply with the Notice which…may include committing a criminal offence.” The letter requires a response within fourteen days.

The EHRC has the authority to require any individual or organisation to disclose relevant information, and the notices have reportedly been described as “daunting” by some recipients.

Over 70 Labour whistleblowers have given evidence to the EHRC in relation to the antisemitism investigation.

University and College Union which rejected antisemitism definition apologises for excluding Jews from its extensive list of Nazi victims

Extraordinarily, the e-mail did not mention Jewish victims of the Nazis, who were the principal victims of the Holocaust. This was even despite the specific reference to non-Jewish Poles.

UCU indirectly apologised for the offensive omission in an e-mail from an “equality support official” for what were described as “drafting errors” and “human error”. The official stated that “UCU apologises for the offence this caused and reassures all members that it continues to fight against all forms of antisemitism, hatred and bigotry in society.” In the updated e-mail, a paragraph was added about the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust.

Ordinarily, such an omission might not have been noteworthy, but UCU has a poor record when it comes to fighting antisemitism, including refusing to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, repeatedly endorsing the antisemitism-riddled Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish State and fighting a legal battle against a Jewish academic who unsuccessfully sued UCU for breach of the Equality Act 2010.

It is hardly a stretch to imagine that there is a relationship between UCU’s cavalier approach to antisemitism today and its insensitivity toward commemoration of historic antisemitism. If the Union were to show greater awareness of the antisemitism of the past, perhaps its attitude toward Jews today will also find the correction it so desperately needs.

British Teenager Goes Public About Months of Antisemitic Abuse

A British teenager has gone public about a torrent of antisemitic invective she has faced in recent months, including taunts about the Holocaust.

Charlotte Nathan, 17, who attends school in Northwich, England, was moved to speak about her experiences after she received a derogatory message on her Snapchat account that said, “I wanna fart in your face to remind you of how your grandparents died.”

The Manchester-based Jewish Telegraph quoted her as saying, “Casual racism is a common feature of daily life, especially among the millennial generation, who perceive racism as a form of humor and so-called ‘banter.’”

“Catalysts, such as memes used on social media, seem to justify and sugarcoat the underlying racial tensions that as a society we fail to address,” she stated. “This can be exemplified through the lack of education supplied about different cultural groups to schools and other communities, exacerbating ignorance.”

“I am no stranger to antisemitic abuse,” she added, “and for the last six years, being in secular education and interacting with other cultures, I have encountered a fair share of comments and remarks.”

“This is evidence of inherited, underlying racism we see daily,” she said.

Revisiting a BBC Radio 4 Christmas report from the Gaza Strip

As was noted here at the time, Husain was conspicuously silent on the topic of how many Christians actually currently live in the Gaza Strip and her report was obviously intended to promote the politically motivated narrative that Gaza’s Christian population lives happily under Hamas rule, with its only tribulations caused by Israel.

Last week Israel’s Channel 12 aired an interview (in Hebrew and Arabic) by Arab affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo with a Christian who escaped the Gaza Strip four months ago.

“Since Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip the Christians living there have become scapegoats and the targets of that organisation as well as Salafist extremists. Due to their difficult situation most have fled and from a community of 4,200 people, now only a few hundred remain. Kamal Tarazi was there until recently. Four months ago he managed to escape: “Hamas people took over my home and turned it into a command post”, he recounts. […]

‘They put me in a number of prisons and Hamas’ prison is all just beatings and psychological torture’ he recalls. According to him the harming of the Christians in Gaza has become routine and does not stop even during times of conflict. […]

‘They harass and harm the Christian public and Christian institutions, churches and charities’.”

The calibre of Mishal Husain’s reporting on the topic of challenges faced by the Christian community in the Gaza Strip is again all too apparent.

Ha’aretz: The Fake Nazi Death Camp: Wikipedia’s Longest Hoax, Exposed

“The first gassing there took place on October 17, 1943, killing at least 150 Poles caught in a street roundup and about 20 Belgian Jews …. Bodies were either cremated in crematoriums or open-air pyres (including at a former sports stadium) or simply buried under collapsed buildings during the systematic demolition of the former ghetto …. [Some estimates] place the number of the camp’s victims well above 212,000, mainly Poles and several thousand of non-Polish.”

This dry description of the systematic murder of ethnic Poles by Nazi forces during World War II was taken from the English-language Wikipedia article for the “Warsaw concentration camp,” also known as Konzentrationslager Warschau. The site where the camp stood is an object of pilgrimage for some in Poland, who hold periodic ceremonies on what they believe is hallowed ground. They come to honor the memory of thousands of Poles murdered in a gas chamber located near the Warsaw West (Warszawa Zachodnia) train station – which still exists – and have even erected monuments and plaques in their memory.

There’s just one problem: No such death camp ever existed. There is no historical evidence of German gas chambers ever existing in Warsaw, and nowhere near 200,000 people died in the cluster of Nazi internment centers that did stand at the basis of the myth of KL Warschau.

“It’s fake history,” says Prof. Havi Dreifuss, a Tel Aviv University historian and Yad Vashem’s expert on Poland and the Holocaust, when asked about gas chambers in Warsaw. Other Holocaust historians share her unequivocal position: “It’s a conspiracy theory,” says Prof. Jan Grabowski, a Polish-Canadian historian from the University of Ottawa, when asked about the legend behind the death toll. Yet both claims appeared, almost without interruption, for 15 years on the English-language version of Wikipedia in what is said to be Wikipedia’s longest-standing hoax.

European Court: Holocaust Denial Is Not a Human Right

Denying that the Holocaust ever happened isn’t a form of freedom of expression protected under the European Human Rights Convention, a top court has ruled in a case that stretches back nearly a decade.

Udo Pastoers, a German who suggested in a 2010 speech that the Holocaust never occurred, was fairly convicted under the country’s laws against the intentional defamation of Jewish people, the European Court of Human Rights ruled while rejecting his complaints.

Pastoers’ argument that his statements were protected by Article 10, which protects freedom of expression, was “manifestly ill-founded,” given that he “had intentionally stated untruths in order to defame the Jews and the persecution that they had suffered,” the Strasbourg, France-based court ruled on Thursday. His complaint that he was denied a fair trial in Germany was also rejected by the ECHR.

Pastoers had given a speech a day after Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2010, saying that the “the so-called Holocaust is being used for political and commercial purposes” and also referring to a “barrage of criticism and propagandistic lies” and “Auschwitz projections.” He was first convicted in 2012 by a German district court, and then a regional court rejected his appeal of the verdict less than a year later.

Swastika, anti-Semitic slur painted on wall of former Krakow Ghetto

A swastika and other graffiti were painted on the wall of the former ghetto in Krakow.

“Whores Jews, get the f*** out of Poland” alongside the swastika were discovered drawn with a tar-like substance on Tuesday — the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Municipal services painted over the graffiti on the same day.

Police investigated in the area of Limanowskiego Street; there are no suspects.

“While I was extremely upset to see the hateful graffiti on the ghetto wall, especially on Rosh Hashanah, the quick reaction by the city and the police reminded me why Krakow is such a good place to be a Jew,” said Jonathan Ornstein, director of the Jewish Community Center of Krakow.

On Sunday, graffiti reading “Confederation against Jews #447” was discovered on the wall of the Jewish cemetery in Tarnow.

In 2018, the US Congress approved Law 447, or the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today, or JUST act, which insures that those who survived World War II or their heirs receive compensation for their losses, if it has not already happened. The Confederation is a right-wing political group that opposes the restitution of Jewish property.

India issues terror alert for Jewish, Israeli targets on Yom Kippur

Authorities in India have warned of a potential terror attack on Jewish or Israeli targets on Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday night.

According a Channel 12 news report on Friday, Israeli security services are working with their Indian counterparts to thwart any potential attack over the Jewish holiday period, which runs until October 21.

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi, synagogues, Chabad buildings, Jewish schools, restaurants and hotels known as popular destinations among Israeli travelers have all been put on high alert with increased security.

The Times of India reported last month that there were fears an attack could be carried out on a Jewish target by a cell affiliated with either the Al-Qaeda or Islamic State terrorist groups.

The report said the alert was issued on the basis of intelligence received from the security agencies of other countries. No further details were given.

In 2008, there were coordinated attacks on Mumbai’s luxury hotels, the main railway station, a restaurant popular with tourists and the city’s Chabad center. The Lashkar-e-Taiba group was blamed for the attacks that killed 166 people in total, including six Israelis.

3 out of every 4 LA county Jews view antisemitism as serious – poll

Three-quarters of Jewish people in Los Angeles County view antisemitism as a serious threat, a new survey found.

“The Pat Brown Institute (PBI) for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles conducted a poll of more than 1,800 Jewish voters in Los Angeles county [and it] revealed strong support for the survival of Israel as a Jewish state and also very significant fears of growing antisemitism,” said Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of PBI.

“More than 70% reported being concerned about it,” he said. “Written comments to an open-ended question revealed concerns from both the Right and the Left on antisemitism. Clearly though, fears of growing antisemitism are widespread.”

According to the findings, 41% of the participants said that antisemitism is an extremely serious problem, and 31% said they consider it “very serious.”

Seventy-six percent of the participants said that remembering the Holocaust is “essential” for them, and an additional 19% viewed it as “important.” Thirty-six percent of participants said that caring for Israel is essential for them, and an additional third said it is important, while 25% of those polled expressed their opinion that they did not see caring about Israel as important.

Vandals smash windows of Brooklyn synagogue during Rosh Hashanah prayers

The windows of a synagogue in Brooklyn were smashed by vandals this week during Rosh Hashanah services.

A video showing people throwing milk crates at the Rivnitz synagogue in the Williamsburg neighborhood was circulated Wednesday on social media.

Police said that the incident took place on Monday afternoon and they were searching for two females who were seen in the video, according to WPIX-TV.

Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the vandalism.

“This is a shocking act of hate,” he wrote on Twitter. “We WILL find the perpetrators and hold them responsible.”

The Anti-Defamation League said it was “deeply disturbed” by the video.

“At a time when the Brooklyn Jewish community is already on edge in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic incidents, it is extremely upsetting to see this congregation targeted during what is otherwise supposed to be a joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year,” Evan Bernstein, the regional director of the organization’s New York-New Jersey office, said in a statement.

Teen allegedly attacked Jewish woman in Brooklyn, pulling off scarf, wig

Police said a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.

The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.

Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.

The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

There has been a spate of attacks in recent months against visibly Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.

Arabic-speaking man tosses rock at Israeli’s head in Germany

A 27 -year-old Israeli woman was the victim of a violent antisemitic attack in Bavaria after an Arabic-speaking man tossed a rock at her after she spoke Hebrew.

She suffered a head injury, according to the Bavarian daily Merkur, which reported on Thursday that the police are searching for the suspect who fled the scene of the alleged crime.

That attack took place on Wednesday near a cemetery in the town of Massing. The Israeli woman was walking with her two sons near the cemetery. After the woman called for one of her sons in Hebrew, the man screamed in Arabic “Jew” and tossed a stone at her head.

The Merkur reported that the suspect is between 40 and 50 years-old and has short, black hair. He spoke broken German with a foreign accent.

Israeli startups raise more than $1 billion in September

Israeli startups raised $5.9 billion so far in 2019 and are on track to pass last year’s record-breaking figure of $6.4 billion, the Israeli business daily Globes reported on Wednesday.

Based on press releases from Israeli companies that have completed financing rounds, more than $1 billion was raised in September alone.

However, the true figure is likely even higher, as some companies do not reveal investment data, according to the report.

Israeli tech companies raised $650 million in July and $350 million in August, according to the IVC Research Center.

In September, credit company Fundbox raised $326 million, fintech firm Tipalti raised $76 million and open security platform Snyk raised $70 million. In addition, drone defense company D-Fend raised $28 million, and 3D-printing company Xjet raised $45 million.

Early clinical trial for ALS sufferers shows biotech firm ‘on the right track’

Kadimastem Ltd., a biotechnology firm that develops cell therapies, said it has received “promising interim results” from a first group of patients treated with its new therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative condition that causes the loss of muscle control.

“Looks like we are on the right track,” said Rami Epstein, the CEO of Kadimastem, in a phone interview. “The interim results are important because they demonstrate that we have managed to inject the live cells into a human body without any treatment-related significant adverse effect, while also showing a measurable therapeutic effect. Our cell therapy managed to significantly slow down the disease progression and halt deterioration of the disease.”

The cell therapy aims to slow or even halt the progression of the disease and improve patients’ quality of life and life expectancy, he said.

ALS leads to muscle weakness, loss of motor function, paralysis, breathing problems, and eventually death. The average life expectancy of ALS patients is two to five years. According to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, there are approximately 450,000 ALS patients worldwide, 30,000 of them in the US. According to the ALS Foundation for Life, the annual average healthcare costs of an ALS patient in the US are estimated at US$ 200,000. Thus, the annual healthcare costs of ALS patients in the US alone amount to $6 billion.

In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last week, the firm said that the treatment administered to one group of patients in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial held in Israel apparently caused a significant slowdown in the progress of the disease and was found to be safe.

Israel Mounts See-Through-Wall Radar on Robots

Israel’s Camero is positioning its Xaver see-though-wall technology for networked use by unmanned systems, according to company officials.

Ilan Abramovich, Camero (and sister company Meprolight) senior vice-president of sales and marketing for defence, said the company’s Xavernet, a wireless Toughbook-based networking capability, enables the handheld sense-through-wall radars to be operated from 100–200 m line-of-sight.

The concept places the radars on robotic or unmanned platforms for remote control. Currently, four radars can be controlled at once, Abramovich said. It works with the Xaver 100 and Xaver 400 systems, he added.

The Xaver 100 hand-held radar was designed for teams breaching a room or a door, to give them a ‘go or no-go’ decision by simply showing if a person was behind the wall by displaying an arrow that indicates if the person is moving towards or away from the wall.

All the Xaver series systems are radar-based, and use ultra wide-band radio signals between 3 –10 GHz. They have a 120° field of view (FOV) and can see through drywall, concrete, and various structures, though not solid metal. Metal drywall studs or concrete reinforced with rebar can block the signal as well, but can still make the system function if a non-metal through-spot can be found, Abramovich said.

Israel Shipyards Sells Patrol Craft Worldwide

Israel Shipyards has received orders for its newest patrol craft, the OPV 45, and is in discussions towards the first sale of a Sa’ar S-72 vessel, according to Noam Katsav, managing director at Israel Shipyards.

The Sa’ar S-72 is 71.8 m long, has a 3,200 n mile range, an 800 tonne displacement, and a 30 kt top speed. Contract talks are ongoing with one country, and one Sa’ar S-72 has begun construction in the meantime, Katsav said.

In September Israel Shipyards has sold two OPV 45s, which are 45.7 m long, have a 3,000 n mile range, a 290 tonne displacement, and a 24 kt top speed. The yard will start building those soon, he added. The OPV 45 is driven by fixed-pitch propellers and the power plants depend on the customer’s needs. It can mount stabilised naval gun systems of up to 30 mm in the primary position, and 12.7 mm machine guns.

Meanwhile, the yard is building more of its Shaldag fast patrol craft. Shaldag variants – Mk II, III, IV, and V – are broken down by size to meet user-specific needs. The Israeli Navy, for example, typically wants small and fast vessels that can be operated by younger sailors.

Army inducts Israeli ‘tank killers’ till DRDO develops indigenous ones

Indian infantry soldiers now finally have a new weapon to destroy advancing enemy tanks on the western front with Pakistan. The Army has begun to induct a limited number of Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to meet immediate operational requirements till the indigenous man-portable “tank killers” being developed by DRDO are ready for induction.

Sources on Thursday said the “first lot” of the 210 Spike missiles, with a dozen launchers, “arrived in India about 10 days ago” as part of the “Army vice chief’s emergency procurement powers” exercised by the force amidst the ongoing heightened tensions with Pakistan.

The Army moved to buy the initial amount of the fire-and-forget Spike ATGMs, which have a strike range of up to 4-km, for around Rs 280 crore after the Jaish-e-Muhammed training facility at Balakot in Pakistan was bombed by Indian Mirage-2000 fighters on February 26.

“The order will be repeated if the man-portable ATGM being developed by DRDO is not ready by next year. We don’t want to be slowed down any longer in plugging our critical operational deficiencies by DRDO,” said an Army source.

Cyprus Stocking Up on Israeli Drones

Cyprus’ National Guard is said to have received its first four unmanned drones from Israel, allowing Cypriot agencies to obtain clear views from high above over land and water.

The drones, Aerostar Tactical UAS (TUAS) made in Israel, are described as accurate, programmable, and one of the most efficient and cost-effective systems of its class. The specific make has logged over 250,000 operational flight hours with missions flown worldwide.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been delivered to Cyprus National Guard by Aeronautics, an Israeli company, extending the Cypriot range of capabilities for a number of agencies with high definition cameras that can get images from very high flying altitudes.

The purchase of the four UAV’s came at a total cost of 12 million euros the report said, adding that the use of the drones would include monitoring Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Additional uses would include patrolling forest areas in the summer to detect fires as well as assisting in rescue missions within the Nicosia Flight Information Region.

Paul McCartney to Get Back to the Yarkon, sources say

It might seem like only “Yesterday” that Paul McCartney performed in Israel, but maybe you’ll be amazed to learn that it was 11 years ago and Maariv is reporting that it’s “highly likely” that the beloved pop star and former Beatle will get back to Park HaYarkon (or possibly a different venue) for another concert.

Citing information from “close associates,” the publication said that McCartney was “in talks” with officials and promoters and the chance for another Tel Aviv show by the man once dubbed “the cute Beatle” is “extremely high.” Apparently, these sources think that they can work it out or in other words, McCartney will soon be showing us again that he loves Israel, yeah yeah yeah.

McCartney, who is currently married to the Jewish transportation mogul Nancy Shevell (rhymes with “Michelle”) – and whose first wife, the late photographer and animal-rights activist Linda Eastman, was Jewish – was able to master a few words of Hebrew in his 2008 performance, including, “Shana Tova” (Happy New Year) and “Ahava” (love) in addition to the obligatory “Shalom.” He ended that concert with the word, “Nitra’eh” — “We’ll see each other again.”

If he needs more inspiration this time around, he might want to check out a Yiddish version of “A Hard Day’s Night” by Gerry Tenney which will surely inspire him to throw in a few Yiddishisms once he arrives here by jet, even if he doesn’t fly in from Miami Beach BOAC.

No word on whether Shevell will accompany him, which might prompt him to croon some silly love songs to his wife of nearly eight years. There’s also no word on whether his daughter, the acclaimed fashion designer Stella McCartney, will be leaving home to attend the show.

Kevin Spacey shows up in Israel, wearing a kippah

Kevin Spacey was spotted in an Israeli restaurant in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, catching the locals by surprise.

The former “House of Cards” star, who has recently faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, arrived in Israel to visit a friend who was sitting shiva (the traditional seven-day mourning period following the death of a family member) in Jerusalem.
Kevin Spacey at a restaurant in Tel Aviv

The actor was seen wearing a kippah during his shiva visit, but later took the kippah off when he dined at the Tel Aviv restaurant Coco BamBino.

Spacey is just one of a number of celebrities who have visited the Jewish state over the past few weeks, among them Demi Lovato and popular Eurovision contestant Mahmoud. Spacey’s legal cases have been closed, but he has been fired from “House of Cards” and has remained a source of controversy.

Times Are A Changin’: Saudi Citizen Sings Jewish Prayer Marking Jewish New Year

On Thursday, outgoing U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt posted a video indicative of how much has changed in the Middle East in recent years, with a Saudi citizen singing the moving Jewish prayer “Avinu Malkeinu,” which is sung frequently during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, which marks the Jewish New Year and was celebrated at the beginning of this week, and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, in which Jews ask God for forgiveness for their sins.

Mohammed Saud was singing the version of “Avinu Malkeinu” written by the composer Max Janowski.

According to Jewish belief, on Rosh Hashanah God opens the book of life and death to decide who will live or die in the coming year; he closes the book on Yom Kippur, making the ten days noteworthy for serious introspection. On Yom Kippur, Jews are permitted to ask for forgiveness for their sins against God and sins they are unaware they have committed, but any sins against their fellow man must be dealt with by having apologized to the person who was hurt in the process and asking for their forgiveness personally.

Memorial service to be held in Ari Fuld’s honor

On Sunday, a dedication and memorial ceremony will be held in honor of Ari Fuld who was stabbed and killed by a terrorist just over one year ago.

The Ari Fuld Project, which Fuld’s widow, Miriam Fuld, founded with the non-profit organization Standing Together, completed fund raising for a “hospitality truck,” something that Fuld was trying to fund around the time of his death.

The truck is meant to help IDF soldiers and was intended to be in memory of Fuld’s friend Yehoshua Friedberg, a lone soldier from Canada who was murdered by terrorists in 1993. Now, the truck will have Fuld and Friedberg’s photos side-by-side.

The ceremony will be held on Fuld’s first yahrzeit (first anniversary of his death) at Gush Etzion Junction, where he was murdered.

Before he succumbed to his wounds, Fuld shot the terrorist that stabbed him, preventing him from harming anyone else. For this act of bravery, Fuld was posthumously awarded Israel’s Medal of Valor.

At the age of 18 Fuld moved from New York to Israel and enlisted to the Golani Brigade, an IDF infantry unit. He later served as a reservist in an elite paratrooper unit and served in Efrat’s counter-terrorism unit. He was a rabbi, educator, fundraiser, karate instructor and pro-Israel activist.

One of the Last Living Heroes of Israel’s Fight for Independence

At 99, Harold “Smoky” Simon is one of the heroes of Israel’s War of Independence. He was Chief of Air Operations in the war after flying as a navigator-bombardier for the South African Air Force (SAAF) during World War II. In 1948, as newlyweds, Simon and his wife, Myra, who had been a meteorologist in the SAAF, joined a South African Zionist Federation group to volunteer to fight in Israel. “Fighting the Nazis gave us the skills and the experience we needed to fight for Israel,” he says.

“We had to muster all of our nerve to do the job against these powerful enemies. We were up against six Arab armies – the Egyptians were supplied by the Brits, the Syrians by the French, and we didn’t have a single combat plane of our own.” Israel had old German planes sold by the Czechs, smuggled in and reassembled.

Simon reminds us of Arab League Secretary-General Abdul Rachman Azzam Pasha, who said on May 1, 1948: “If the Zionists dare to establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated.” Simon continues, “These were difficult times. None of us knew how it would turn out. But as proud as I’d been to be one of millions fighting to defeat the Nazis, it was even more emotional when you are part of a small bunch fighting for your own people, your own country.”

“With all the odds against us then, there is far more than human effort behind that victory. Returning to our ancient land, we are living a miracle of biblical proportions here.” In 1968, Simon was elected as chairman of World Machal, representing nearly 5,000 volunteers from 59 countries who fought in the War of Independence. He has served in that capacity for a half-century.



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