Farrakhan’s termite problem
How long, we wonder, did it take for Farrakhan to come up with that quip, about his not being an anti-Semite, but rather “anti-termite.”
Words to choke on, you would think.
Lucky for him, had he indeed choked, the Heimlich Maneuver would have saved him, as it has already saved millions around the world, thanks to Jewish scientist Henry Heimlich.
But no thanks from Farrakhan and the multitudes who think like Farrakhan…and who know not the debt they owe to such “termites” for their longevity.
Or maybe we can chalk it up to willful ignorance. They know, but would rather ignore the laboratory work that keeps them ticking.
Asking them to appreciate the enormous Jewish contribution to medical science, why that would be asking for an end to the disease of anti-Semitism.
As we can see, for that, even our finest minds have yet to find a cure.
Doctors for mind and body, Freud and Salk, never asked for gratitude. Jewish scientists just get back to work.
It is the kind of work that surely keeps Farrakhan going. He is 85 years-old, this leader of the Nation of Islam, and he seems healthy enough. Quite vigorous, in fact.
We wonder what ailments and diseases would have cut him short, if not for medicines that were developed by Jewish doctors against syphilis, polio, cholera, diphtheria and smallpox.
One of the more flavorful accusations against Israel by the Palestinian Authority is that Israel has “stolen the falafel and the hummus.” This “theft,” according to official PA TV, is part of a “brutal attack” against the entire “Palestinian heritage”:
Official PA TV reporter: “We are talking about a brutal attack against the Palestinian heritage in general, including Palestinian foods. There has been theft of the Palestinian falafel, the Palestinian hummus, and some popular foods by the occupation. Holding [food] festivals like these is essential in order to preserve the heritage and also the Palestinian foods.” [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Oct. 3, 2018]
This particular accusation is part of the overall PA lie that there is no Jewish history anywhere in the Land of Israel in general and in Jerusalem in particular. The PA falsely claims that everything in the land testifies to a “Palestinian history,” and to justify this goes to great lengths to falsify such a Palestinian history. The accusation that Israel has “stolen” the falafel and the hummus, which is Middle Eastern in its origin, is part of the PA’s denial of the existence of anything that can be associated with Jewish or Israeli history, and at the same time presenting everything as part of “Palestinian history.”
One of the more flavorful accusations against Israel by the PA is that Israel has “stolen the falafel and the hummus.” This “theft,” according to official PA TV, is part of a “brutal attack” against the entire “Palestinian heritage.”
Read more here: https://t.co/a79OSE5Yiz pic.twitter.com/JPEEDGZaDT
— Pal Media Watch (@palwatch) 21 October 2018
Hamas has rejected an Egyptian request to halt the weekly demonstrations along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, Palestinian sources said on Saturday.
The sources said the Egyptian intelligence officials who met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City last Thursday also demanded that the protesters stay at least 500 meters away from the border. However, Hamas also rejected this demand, the sources told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.
But it did appear to have called for restrained action at Friday’s weekly demonstration, which left the IDF and Hamas in a tense standoff, but failed to ignite a major escalation.
The weekend events were expected to have a significant impact on whether Israel would launch a military operation in Gaza. But the low level of activity kept the situation’s status quo.
On Friday, 10,000 Palestinians again demonstrated near the border, burning tires and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at IDF troops. There were three attempted infiltrations, in which Palestinians crossed into Israel and then went back to Gaza, the IDF said.
Sources in the Gaza Strip said approximately 130 Palestinians were injured by gunfire and tear-gas inhalation.
Rocket sirens blared in Israeli communities north of the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening in what the military said was a false alarm.
The alarms sent thousands of residents of the Netiv Ha’asara and Yad Mordechai communities rushing to bomb shelters, following a tense few days after a rocket fired from the coastal enclave exploded outside a home in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.
The Israel Defense Forces said it was investigating what triggered the system.
In a separate incident on Sunday, the IDF said a number of Palestinians breached the Israeli-Gazan border fence north of the Strip and threw explosive devices near the security fence.
“The terrorists escaped back into the territory of the Strip as a result of fire directed at them by our forces,” the IDF said.
The sirens shattered the relative calm that had persisted since a brief flareup between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group last Wednesday.
The rocket slammed into the top floor of the Beersheba house, causing significant damage but no injuries, as the mother inside had rushed her sons into their bomb shelter. In response, the IDF bombed some 20 targets in the coastal enclave, including a border-crossing Hamas attack tunnel, the army said.
In the following day, Egypt and the United Nations reportedly brokered a ceasefire between the two sides — though neither Israel nor Hamas formally acknowledged it.
Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman has ordered the re-opening of the Kerem Shalom Erez Crossings into Gaza following a decrease in violence, his office announced Sunday morning.
A decision to continue Qatari supply of fuel will be re-examined in a few days, according to the events, it added.
The crossings were closed last week following high-trajectory rocket fire towards Israel, with one landing in the sea south of Tel Aviv and another directly impacting a residential home in Beersheba.
Liberman also ordered the reduction of the Gazan fishing zone from six down to three nautical miles.
The Qatari-bought fuel was stopped in mid-October following heavy rioting along the security fence, including a serious infiltration by a group of 20 Palestinians some of whom approached an IDF sniper position, leading troops to open fire and kill several of them.
Israel is reportedly concerned that the Trump administration is considering recognizing Jerusalem as the Palestinian as well as the Israeli capital in a bid to bring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table.
That fear is born of an Israeli assessment that the administration sees getting a deal as a fairly simple task once both sides are at the negotiating table, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Sunday.
“Trump wants a deal and he’s very serious,” a senior Israeli official told the paper. “To the Americans, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is relatively easy to solve.”
Sources told the newspaper that US-led talks between the two sides will work on a strategy of give and take: Anyone who comes to the table has to ante up a concession, one the other side agrees to. Anyone who doesn’t come to the table has to pay a penalty, and anyone who rejects the draft deal risks being put in a weaker position for the next round.
However according to the newspaper, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to ask the Americans to hold off on an announcement about the plan until after Israel goes to the polls in 2019, as any clause regarding the possibility of Jerusalem also being a Palestinian capital could cause him problems in his coalition as well as opening him up to attack from the right.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced on Sunday he would not renew part of the 1994 peace treaty that granted Israel use of two small agricultural areas along the border.
In a statement, Abdullah said he would be pulling out of two sectioned annexed to the peace agreement that allowed Israel to lease the areas from the Jordanians for 25 years. The leases expire next year.
Abdullah said he had informed Israel of his decision.
“We are practicing our full sovereignty on our land,” he said. “Our priority in these regional circumstances is to protect our interests and do whatever is required for Jordan and the Jordanians.”
Abdullah did not give a reason for his decision, but he has been under domestic pressure to end the lease.
The lease includes areas at Naharayim in the north and the Tzofar enclave in the southern Arava desert, both of which will now return to Jordanian hands within a year.
The agreement is automatically renewable unless either side gives a year’s notice to terminate the deal, “in which case, at the request of either party, consultations shall be entered into.”
Israel will push the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to reinstate an agreement between the two countries leasing two areas under Jordanian control to Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced that his country would be terminating the lease of land in the Arava in southern Jordan and the Island of Peace in Naharayim.
As part of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace deal reached by then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, Jordan leased the land to Israel for a renewable 25-year period.
Jordan retained the right, under the agreement, to nix the lease after 25 years, but is required to give Israel a one-year notification.
“We have informed Israel (that we are putting) an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding Baqura [Naharayim] and Ghumar [area of the Arava],” Abdullah was quoted as saying according to the Petra news agency.
“Baqura and Ghumar are Jordanian land and will remain Jordanian. Baqura and Ghumar have always been at the top of our priorities, and we have decided to put an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding Baqura and Ghumar.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his closed-door meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Jerusalem on Sunday would focus on “ramping up the pressure” against Iran.
Welcoming Mnuchin on his second official visit to Israel, Netanyahu praised the strong Israel-United States alliance in a range of fields, including in their “common approach to preventing aggression” in the Middle East, notably in preventing Iran’s dual quest for a nuclear and conventional arsenal.
“We have seen in recent years that pressure is the only thing that arrests the forward movement of the Iranian nuclear program and pressure is the only thing that rolls back Iran’s aggression in the region,” Netanyahu told Mnuchin at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Netanyahu praised US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran in May, saying he would also be discussing issues of economic cooperation between the countries and the part that Israel and the United States play in the world economy.
“This is the first stop on my trip to the Middle East this week,” Mnuchin said ahead of the meeting. “I will be going to six countries and this is my first stop because we have no better partner than Israel in our fight against terrorism and combating terrorist financing.”
Mnuchin added that the key purpose of his Middle East trip is to discuss the implementation of a second round of US sanctions which will target Iran’s oil and gas sector, due to enter into effect on November 4.
Australia’s former ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, lost a special election to fill a vacant Parliament seat near Sydney, putting the potential move of the country’s embassy to Jerusalem in doubt.
Sharma lost Saturday’s election to fill the Wentworth seat in the House of Representatives left vacant following the resignation in August of Malcolm Turnbull, a Liberal Party lawmaker and former prime minister, who was replaced by current Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Wentworth is home to a significant-sized Jewish community of 20,000 Jews, or 12.5 percent of the population.
Independent Party candidate Kerry Phelps, a convert to Judaism, won the seat in the traditionally Liberal seat.
With Sharma’s loss, Morrison’s Liberal government has lost its one-seat majority.
The loss comes days after Morrison announced that he was considering officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the Australian Embassy there. Critics suggested that Morrison was playing politics with the announcement by pandering to the Jewish community in order to maintain his one-seat majority. Morrison had credited Sharma with suggesting the move, a major departure from Australia’s foreign policy on Israel.
An Oct. 17th article at Times of London about comments by Australia’s prime minister – days before an important election for the seat vacated by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – suggesting he’s open to the idea of moving their embassy to Jerusalem, included the following context:
We complained to Times of London – and tweeted the journalist – arguing that whilst it’s perfectly fair to note that a significant minority (13%) of the residents of Wentworth are Jewish, in the context of noting why the prime minister suddenly expressed a willingness to consider moving the embassy, it’s far less clear why the income of the Jewish residents mattered. We stressed that most of the residents of the community are very wealthy, not only Jews, and singling out the wealth of the Jewish community seemed gratuitous and, though likely unintended, evoked toxic tropes about the influence of ‘Jewish money’ on democratic politics.
We further pointed out that the Guardian, in 2011, amended an article that had originally included a similarly gratuitous reference to the wealth of Jews – on the Spanish island of Mallorca – after their readers’ editor determined it to be in “contravention to the Guardian’s editorial code on reflecting antisemitic tropes”.
The security cabinet on Sunday approved a delay of the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar by “several weeks” to provide time for negotiations for an agreed-upon evacuation of the residents of the central West Bank Bedouin hamlet.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the coalition’s Jewish Home party were the lone votes against the proposal submitted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett and Netanyahu had reportedly met prior to the meeting to discuss the matter.
Facing a fierce backlash from his coalition’s right flank, Netanyahu vowed earlier in the day that the Bedouin hamlet east of Jerusalem “will be evacuated.”
The promise came hours after Netanyahu’s office announced the planned evacuation would be delayed indefinitely amid new talks between the government and the ramshackle village’s residents. The delay drew angry responses from Jewish Home party lawmakers, who called the decision “infuriating and outrageous.”
Facing a fierce backlash from his coalition’s right flank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday morning that the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin hamlet east of Jerusalem “will be evacuated.”
The promise came hours after Netanyahu’s office announced the planned evacuation would be delayed indefinitely amid new talks between the government and the ramshackle village’s residents. The delay drew angry responses from Jewish Home party lawmakers, who called the decision “infuriating and outrageous.”
In a statement to the press alongside US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is visiting Israel, Netanyahu said, “Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated. That’s the decision of the court, that’s our policy, and it will be carried out. I have no intention of delaying indefinitely, unlike what the press is reporting, but for a limited and short period.”
The High Court of Justice did not order the state to carry out the evacuation, as some right-wing leaders have claimed. Rather, it ruled last month only that the state was legally permitted to do so, but urged a new effort to negotiate a better outcome for the residents.
“The timeframe for the attempt to ensure an evacuation with [the residents’] agreement will be decided by the security cabinet, which I am convening today,” Netanyahu said. “It will be short, and I believe it will be with [the residents’] agreement.”
Israel’s decision to delay the demolition of a Bedouin village in the West Bank, whose slated razing has brought international condemnation in recent months, was due to an offer from residents to voluntarily relocate to a nearby site, Army Radio reported Sunday.
Tawfiq Jabarin, the attorney representing Khan al-Ahmar, told The Times of Israel that the residents of the Bedouin hamlet had offered during legal proceedings to move 500 meters north away from the highway to lands belonging to the village of Anata.
However, the government did not respond to the proposal, Jabarin said, adding that nobody from the government had reached out to let the residents know that it would consider it.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said they was looking into the report.
Israel on Saturday indefinitely pushed off the razing, giving no date for when a decision would be made on whether to move ahead with the demolition.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved a bill that would prevent Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails from receiving family visits as long as the terrorist group continues to hold Israeli citizens captive and keep the remains of IDF soldiers.
Two apparently mentally ill Israeli civilians — Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed — who entered Gaza of their own volition in 2014 and 2015, respectively, are currently being held by Hamas, along with the remains of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, killed in the 2014 Israel-Gaza war.
Approval by the committee gives the bill the backing of the coalition parties, easing its passage through parliament to become law.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan welcomed the development and said in a statement that it would give legal backing to policies he is already implementing.
“The bill will allow me to continue to prevent family visits for Hamas terrorists imprisoned in Israel, as long as this terrorist organization holds the bodies of our soldiers and Israeli citizens without allowing anyone to see them, and will upgrade to the status of law the policy I have spearheaded,” Erdan said.
“The new law will enable us to apply the principle that no terrorist from a terror organization which is holding Israeli citizens will have prison visits [from family],” added Erdan, whose ministry is responsible for the Israel Prisons Service.
The bill, sponsored by Likud MK Oren Hazan, would apply to all Hamas members convicted of terrorism, whether they are from the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.
Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, is believed to be holding the soldiers’ remains to use as bargaining chips in negotiations for the release of its members held Israeli prisons.
Israeli security forces arrested Palestinian Authority Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith Saturday evening, the Palestinian official’s brother and the Palestine Liberation Organization said on Sunday.
A large group of Israeli security forces nabbed Ghaith on his way out of a family member’s wedding in Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood, Hani Ghaith said.
“Several cars of Israeli forces kidnapped him on his way out of the wedding,” he said in a phone call.
A spokesperson for the Shin Bet security service referred questions to the Israel Police.
When asked about Hani’s comments, Mickey Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israel Police, said, “Two people were arrested and there is an ongoing investigation taking place.”
Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), and Hezbollah have trained Bahraini Shiite terrorists in camps near Damascus. Dissident Syrian military officers told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that the Assad regime and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) supervised the training.
Iran’s embassy in Damascus provided logistical and material support for the terrorist training. IRGC Quds Force leader Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani also reportedly was involved. PFLP-GC and the PLA remained loyal to Iran and the Assad regime throughout Syria’s seven-year civil war.
The Bahraini terrorist trainees reportedly were taught to manufacture and use explosives. The training took place in regime-held territory near Damascus, because Western and Arab intelligence operatives are well established in Iraq and Lebanon. Previous training by Hezbollah took place in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
Bahraini terrorists have been trained in this way since 2008, in groups ranging from 15 to 30 fighters, a dissident Syrian officer told Al-Hayat. “They are moving to follow up with other courses in Lebanon and Iran.”
Iran has been involved in destabilizing Bahrain, its Persian Gulf neighbor. Bahraini officials arrested more than 116 people on terrorism charges and for plotting attacks on government officials in March. They accused the IRGC of being behind this Bahraini terrorist network. IRGC commander Gen. Saeed Qasemi urged Iran to “annex” Bahrain in 2016.
Who will be teaching Alqasem? The Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law is making its best minds available to curious students like her, who – as Hendel wrote – have “an honest desire to get to know Israeli society, culture and history.”
Let’s start with Professor Yuval Shany, who will teach her that Israel isn’t really a democracy because of “the [occupied] territories and its control of millions of people for so long” and because of issues of religion and state, which he calls an area “in which Israel is more aligned with the norms of the Middle East.”
Alqasem can also read Shany’s articles about why legal rulings on warfare that justify IDF actions are no longer sufficient and that they need to be expanded to include “human rights law” to infuse “international law and the political and international reality with new vitality.” All in all, we need to remember that the legal questions about war in Gaza are not the main point, as he puts it: “The moral and political questions are more important – what price are we willing to pay? Why are we fighting? How will it end?”
There is also Professor Alon Harel, who can introduce Alqasem to a chapter of Israeli society. The terrorist shooting at the Barkan industrial zone, he wrote on Facebook, was “undoubtedly cold-blooded murder … and as such is very similar to the acts of murder that the IDF carried out on the southern [Gaza] border.”
That could be an excellent subject for an M.A. thesis under his supervision. Harel’s justifications for soldiers to refuse to serve in Judea and Samaria could help Alqasem fulfill her “desire to move from a path of boycott to one of dialogue and direct exposure to Israeli academia and society,” as Judge Hendel put it.
A U.S. student’s court victory against the Israeli government’s attempt to bar her from the country may prove only a short reprieve in the “battle” over a law targeting some pro-Palestinian activists, one of her lawyers said on Friday.
Lara Alqasem, 22, was allowed out of Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport on Thursday after Israel’s Supreme Court overturned her Oct. 2 detention there. She was detained over her support of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The case has touched off a debate in Israel over whether democratic values were compromised by the 2017 law that bars the entry of foreigners who publicly support boycotts of Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians.
Israel’s government slammed the Supreme Court ruling as short-sighted and detrimental to its fight against the attempts to boycott the Jewish state.
But a lawyer for Alqasem, who is of Palestinian descent and a former president of a small local chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine group at the University of Florida, hailed the ruling as “an incredible day for Israeli democracy.”
“We’re celebrating, but yesterday was an intermission and the battle goes on,” the lawyer, Leora Bechor, said.
High Court rules State must release Lara Alqasem from airport for studies, October 21. 2018 (Reuters)
A group of Hebrew University students protested the arrival of Lara Alqasem, hanging “welcome” flyers around the campus on Sunday, ahead of her expected arrival. The flyers included messages such as, “Lara, have you no shame?,” and “Keep your BDS off my campus.”
A poster hung up on Hebrew University’s Mount Scoups campus ahead of Lara Alqasem’s arrival, October 21, 2018A poster hung up on Hebrew University’s Mount Scoups campus ahead of Lara Alqasem’s arrival, October 21, 2018
“We don’t want you here,” was punctuated across the bottom of the posters.
Alqasem was detained and not allowed to enter Israel as the State alleged she fit the criteria of a BDS supporter, to whom Israel bars entry. A protracted legal battle ensued culminating in a Thursday decision from the High Court of Justice ruling for her release. The decision was slammed by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who has worked to bar BDS activists’ entry into Israel.
“The court unfortunately granted a big victory to BDS,” Erdan said on Thursday, adding the decision proved the justices failed to understand the way the BDS Movement works and that now BDS activists could come from around the world and say they no longer support boycotting Israel.
HonestReporting: Hyenas Publishing News Scraps Are No Laughing Matter
In the past week we noted the lack of coverage in the UK press of a Palestinian rocket attack from Gaza that landed on a house in Beersheba. That the occupants were not killed was thanks to a single mother getting her three children into their reinforced safe room with literally seconds to spare before the rocket blew their home apart.
Out of the British newspapers that did cover the incident, The Times of London published a few poorly edited sentences from the AFP wire service in its News in Brief section on the Thursday. That was all Times editors devoted to the story.
So what were Times editors’ priorities in the aftermath of the Beersheba attacks?
The following day, there was this story from Israel correspondent Anshel Pfeffer.
Hyenas in the Israeli city of Modi’in are a fun local story (in the interests of full disclosure, I happen to live there and one of the hyenas dashed past my son just a few weeks ago near my home) and it is refreshing to read articles ‘beyond the conflict.’ However, why is this more important than a rocket strike?
Refraining from challenging Azzam Tamimi’s absurd portrayal of an Islamist movement as ‘defenders of democracy’, Davis went on:
Davis: “And Hamas of course, in its struggle against Fatah and against Israel…”
Tamimi: “No; Hamas is a national liberation movement. Hamas is struggling for liberation of Palestine which is occupied by the Zionists. But that’s a different issue. Let’s not confuse issues.”
Davis: “Well I don’t want to…I don’t want to get in there but I was just wanting to make that point.”
Not only did Davis not “make that point” but his introduction of the unrelated and irrelevant topic of Hamas actually served no purpose other than to provide Tamimi with a cue for an inaccurate portrayal of Hamas and its aims which went completely unquestioned by Davis.
Like Hamas, Azzam Tamimi’s definition of ‘occupation’ includes every square metre of Israel. And thus – with no challenge whatsoever from the BBC’s presenter – an extremist terror supporter got a free pass to mainstream the concept that the eradication of the Jewish state is ‘liberation’ on prime time British television.
A university lecturer and senior executive of one of Belgium’s main trade unions wrote that Israel poisons Palestinians and kills their children for their organs.
Robrecht Vanderbeeken is the cultural secretary of the ACOD trade union and a philosophy of science scholar affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His column repeating charges vehemently rejected by Israel was published in August on the left-wing news site De Wereld Morgen.
This week, the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, or UNIA, a state watchdog on racism, received a complaint against Vanderbeeken for his claims by Wilfried Van Hoof, a reader who found the text anti-Semitic, the Joods Actueel Jewish magazine reported Thursday.
The population of Gaza, which has a border with Israel and Egypt, is being “starved to death, poisoned and children are kidnapped and murdered for their organs,” Vanderbeeken wrote.
Following the complaint, De Wereld Morgen on Thursday removed the part about stealing organs but kept in place the claim about poisoning and death by starvation.
A Pakistani Muslim cab driver was indicted for beating an identifiably Orthodox Jewish man at an intersection, and charged with a hate crime.
A grand jury indicted Farrukh Afzal on Friday and included the hate crime charge, after it was presented by the District Attorney’s Office, the local ABC affiliate WABC reported. The NYPD recommended Farrukh be charged with a hate crime, and the District Attorney’s office initially declined those charges, according to the report.
Afzal originally was charged with attempted assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, menacing and harassment, but not with a hate crime since prosecutors believed it to be a case of road rage after being told that Afzal thought the victim was an Orthodox Jewish man who had stepped in front of his car earlier in the day. A second Orthodox man attempted to assist the victim and ran away while being chased by Afzal.
The victim, Rabbi Lipa Schwartz, 62, claims that Afzal shouted “Allah, Allah,” said he wanted to “kill all Jews,” and made references to Israel throughout the October 14 attack, which happened as Schwartz walked to synagogue for morning services. Afzal’s wife told the New York Daily News that her husband is schizophrenic and was acting out because he did not take his medication.
Afzal reportedly has an extensive police record of violent assaults, including eight previous arrests.
The attack took place at about 7:30 a.m. in the Borough Park neighborhood. Schwartz, a Hasidic Jew, was on his way to morning services and was standing at an intersection, when Afzal stopped his car suddenly, rushed at him and began to beat him, according to surveillance footage from the scene.
A museum dedicated to the Jews who suffered in the Warsaw Ghetto during Nazi Germany’s wartime occupation of Poland came one step closer to becoming a reality Friday with a key handover ceremony.
Plans call for the Warsaw Ghetto Museum to be housed in a former children’s hospital that was within the ghetto’s walls. It is scheduled to open in 2023, on the 80th anniversary of the uprising by Jews in the ghetto.
Museum director Albert Stankowski received a key to the property from a government official and signed a long-term lease Friday during a ceremony at the future museum site.
Jewish philanthropists established the hospital in the late 19th century and treated both Jewish and Christian children, among them tuberculosis patients.
During World War II, the hospital was encircled within the crowded ghetto that the Germans erected to imprison Warsaw’s Jewish residents before sending them to their deaths in the Treblinka death camp.
One of the stories the future museum will tell is of the harrowing decision that some Jewish doctors made to give many children fatal overdoses of morphine to spare them worse deaths in Treblinka.
“This museum will be very important for all Jews because it’s a symbol of the Shoah [Holocaust] and the extermination of the Jewish people,” Stankowski told The Associated Press. “But even more importantly, it has a universal message important for the whole world. It shows what can happen when people are dehumanized.”
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