March 26, 2019

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11/07 Links Pt2: The Democrats’ dismal failure to stamp out anti-Semitism; Haters Fall For Obviously Fake “IDF Testimony” Video; Alyssa Milano Refuses to Speak at Next Women’s March, Cites Anti-Semitism

From Ian:

The Democrats’ dismal failure to stamp out anti-Semitism
A common theme here is hostility towards Israel or Jews. This isn’t all that new on the American left. Louis Farrakhan (who refers to Jews as ‘termites’) and Congressman Hank Johnson (who compares Israeli settlements to the same) are both embraced by the Democrat mainstream. As is Al Sharpton. After an African-American boy was killed in a 1991 car accident by a Jewish man in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, Sharpton was arguably one of the foremost inflamers of the situation, announcing at one point: ‘If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.’ In the riots that followed, student Yankel Rosenbaum was stabbed to death.

Until now, anti-Israel bigotry was shunned by the Democrat Party establishment, even as it indulged some of the bigots themselves. This is changing, and changing fast. Following in the footsteps of the Labour party, the Democrats are becoming less welcoming for mainstream Jews, whom the new radicals see as symbols of ‘white privilege’, and for Zionism, which the leftists see as a racist, colonialist and imperialist enterprise to rival America itself. At least British Jews have the relatively benign Tory Party to turn to. The alternative in the United States is the Trumpified GOP. Republican John Fitzgerald, who is contesting the California 11th district, is an unabashed Holocaust-denier who rails against ‘Jewish supremacism’. While Steve King, hoping to retain the Iowa 4th for the GOP, recently endorsed white nationalist Faith Goldy for Toronto mayor.

Whichever party holds the balance in the House and Senate after tonight, the United States is becoming, like Europe, fertile ground for anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Poll: 40 Percent of British Jews Considering Leaving UK Over Antisemitism

A new survey has found that British Jews are growing ‎increasingly concerned over antisemitism in the ‎country. ‎

According to data presented by Gideon Falter, ‎chairman of the Campaign against Anti-Semitism NGO, ‎‎90 percent of British Jews believe the Labour Party is ‎antisemitic and 40 percent are considering leaving the UK ‎over the rise in antisemitism.‎

Falter presented the data Tuesday at a European Jewish ‎Association conference in Brussels, during a session ‎on the challenges facing British Jews. ‎

The British police on Friday launched an official ‎investigation into alleged antisemitic hate crimes ‎in Labour, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has faced ‎growing criticism about his tolerance of racism and ‎antisemitism in the party. ‎

The conference is expected to dedicate Wednesday’s ‎session to a proposal by EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem ‎Margolin detailing Jewish communities’ “red lines” ‎with respect to various agenda items Jewish ‎candidates wish to ‎promote as part of their ‎political activities in Europe.‎

This includes, among other things, ensuring freedom ‎of religion and worship across Europe, fully ‎adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance ‎Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, a commitment ‎to exclude antisemitic parties from coalitions, and ‎calling on all political parties to designate the ‎boycott, divestment and sanctions movement as antisemitic. ‎

Alyssa Milano Refuses to Speak at Next Women’s March, Cites Anti-Semitism

Actress Alyssa Milano said in a recent interview that she does not intend to support the Women’s March so long as it defends “bigotry or anti-Semitism.”

In an interview with The Advocate, a gay community magazine, Milano condemned Women’s March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory for supporting Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam leader has routinely made misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic comments. “Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano said.

Milano gained national attention through the #MeToo movement. Founded by Tarana Burke, the movement won household recognition after Milano encouraged followers on Twitter to reply “Me too” if they had been “sexually harassed or assaulted.”

Milano, a Hollywood actress, has strong bona fides as an activist California Democrat.

IsraellyCool: Haters Fall For Obviously Fake “IDF Testimony” Video

An Israel hater by the name of Saif Bitar has posted this video, supposedly of IDF soldiers admitting to horrendous crimes (hat tip: Elise).

This is obviously fake, with the subtitles bearing absolutely no resemblance to what the solders are actually saying.

At least I thought it was obvious – even though this Saif Bitar seems to be passing it off as authentic. Yet most of the haters commenting on it believe it to be true.

Which just goes to show the kinds of lies disseminated by the haters, and how easily their fellow haters will gobble them up. Anything to demonize the Jews.

Update: The tweet with the fake video has been deleted.

Update: Here is the original video with correct subtitles by the way:

Israel Thrives: Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Aftermath

Even after the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre, Jews are still not granted Victim Status according to the rules of Political Correctness.

I strongly suspect that Jews will NEVER be granted Victim Status according to the rules of Political Correctness, regardless of how much they suffer.

According to the rules of Political Correctness, Black Lives Matter, but Jewish lives do not matter, and I strongly suspect that they never will matter.

Muslims and African Americans have both been granted Victim Status by the Leftist Political Correctness people, even though both of those groups include high percentages of people who hate Jews.

A related problem, which has become so completely normalized that most people do not even consider it to be a problem, is that Muslims and African Americans both get a free pass for their anti-Jewish-hatred, and not just a regular free pass, but an unlimited free pass. Louis Farrakhan and his Nation Of Islam organization have used that unlimited free pass to constantly propagandize against Jews, which has resulted in many millions of people believing that Jews are [or were] responsible for slavery, which is false.

Since the year 2000, thousands of Jews have fled from Europe, because of rapidly increasing anti-Semitism, including beatings and even killings. Thousands more Jews are seriously considering fleeing Europe, for the same reasons. This might not sound like a large number of people, but when you consider how few Jews live in Europe, it is a significant percentage of Jews.

Even with thousands of Jews fleeing from Europe, because of anti-Jewish violence, the so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) still have not granted Victim Status to Jews.

On the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

Antisemitic words and actions are on the rise in Australia. Most of this evil is perpetrated by far left or far right groups, organisations, and individuals, and by radical Islamists. Political, religious, business, academic, and social leaders are bombarded by lobbyists who are biased against or in outright opposition to Israel and the Jewish people. Many Australian colleges and universities welcome incendiary speakers and educators who spew hate for Israel and Jews, yet refuse to permit pro-Israel speakers and educators to be heard. Some so-called Christian denominations have consciously decided to join the Israel hate-fest and are a discredit to their Christian faith and the Bible that informs it. This hypocrisy fuels antisemites, Holocaust deniers, and radicals. Actions like the Tree of Life Synagogue tragedy are in large part rooted in these and other related factors. I appeal to Australian lawmakers, interpreters, and enforcers to take decisive action before it’s too late.

Members of Parliament and other political leaders have the responsibility to address these evils, to legislate against them, and to enforce that legislation. In many cases, simply enforcing the existing legislation would help stem the tide. Those who participate in BDS and hate need a wake-up call. Clear-minded Australians will not tolerate it. Those who falsely claim “human rights” abuses need to be confronted and have their “story” debunked. Australian politicians need to sift through the rhetoric and stand firm on truth and true justice – not the injustice falsely peddled as justice. Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to continue to take a lead on this, to do what is right because it is right, to reject voices that support antisemitic or anti-Israel libels and violence, and to be on the right side of history.
MPs who are being lobbied need to fact-check. They need to be informed by reliable sources and to be reminded of self-evident, easily confirmed facts. Those who promote libels need to be identified and exposed for their lies. Those who falsely accuse Israel of apartheid need to observe the obvious: Israel is a free and liberal democracy, and it is many of her neighbours that actually practice racial segregation – against Jews. This is vividly evident with the Palestinian Authority who wants their version of “history” and national aspiration to be respected while denying the Jews theirs. Worse yet, many seemingly intelligent Australian and world leaders act as if this is acceptable. Those who protest by boycotting Israel in Australian institutions and society need to reconsider whether there is any wisdom in boycotting the source of vast breakthroughs in technology, medicine, education, agriculture, defence, emergency response, and human aid, not to mention giving medical treatment to victims of civil conflicts in Syria and Lebanon.

Supporting Israel does not mean demonstrating hate for other nations and people-groups in the region. It’s time for people and organizations to get off the Israel hate-wagon and dialogue in a civil manner. Then maybe some of the fuel for these barbaric incidents would be gone. That sounds like a fair request.

Some in Jewish Community Advocate Bearing Arms After Pittsburgh

The attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was the worst attack on Jews in American history. It reignited the debate over how to deal with such mass-casualty attacks, especially in the Jewish community.

Progressive Jewish groups came out in favor of gun control in the days that followed. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism called for “commonsense” restrictions. The Jewish Reconstructionist Communities endorsed a “ban on assault weapons.” Rep. Ted Deutch (D., Fla.), a Jewish congressman whose district covers Parkland, where a school shooting killed 17 in February, stressed that “gun safety is on the ballot” Tuesday.

Pro-gun Jews, including a number who spoke with the Washington Free Beacon, took a different approach, with many advocating for those in the Jewish community to arm and train themselves.

Tomer Israeli, a former chief security officer in the Israeli Shin Bet and owner of the Israeli Tactical School, said the answer to anti-Semitic attacks is similar to that of other violent attacks: training and preparation.

“The best tactics should be prevention with countersurveillance skills side by side with firearms skills around sensitive locations. In simple words, deter, detect, and intercept,” he said.

The Israeli Tactical School he founded trains military members, law enforcement officers, and even civilians across the United States in how to respond to active shooter situations. The school even offers a specific program for how to protect synagogues. Tomer believes programs like his are key to preventing future anti-Semitic attacks.

Jewish producer booed off LA Israeli film festival stage for anti-Trump remarks

Jewish producer Jason Blum was booed and physically removed from the stage of the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles after he accused US President Donald Trump of fomenting rising anti-Semitism in the United States.

Blum was onstage at the Steve Tisch Cinema Center, Saban Theater on Tuesday evening being honored with the festival’s Achievement in Film & Television Award.

“The good thing about this country is that you get to like Trump, but I don’t have to and I don’t like him,” Blum said, according to Deadline. “We have a president who calls the press the enemy of the people. Thanks to our president, anti-Semitism is on the rise.”

Blum was booed and heckled during his speech. Some members of the audience walked out, while others yelled “get off the stage” and “we like Donald,” Deadline reported.

As Blum continued speaking, a festival organizer came on stage and called for security as an audience member appeared to pull down Blum, leading to others jumping on the stage to assist him. After insisting that “you are going to have to drag me off the stage,” Blum exited.

National Students for Justice In Palestine Refuse to Follow UCLA Cease-and-Desist Letter

The national chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine has apparently refused to follow a cease-and-desist letter from the University of California, Los Angeles—the site of the annual National SJP (NSJP) conference this month—a day past the deadline.

The letter, dated Oct. 31, stated that NSJP’s logo for the conference, which will be from Nov. 16-18, consists of “the unauthorized use” of UCLA’s Bruin Bear playing with a Palestinian kite, “which some may interpret as an intention to endorse violence against Israel.”

NSJP’s description of the logo is: “The bear native to California as inspiration for grassroots organizing in the west coast, the kite to signify the power and hope in the Gaza March of Return, the Kuffiyeh, and the birds of freedom leading our way with radical hope towards liberation for all and a Free Palestine.”

Michael Beck, the school’s administrative vice chancellor, wrote in the letter: “Taken as a whole, these uses claim, suggest, or imply an affiliation with or an endorsement by UCLA of NSJP and/or its annual conference, which is simply incorrect.”

He demanded NSJP redo the logo using UCLA’s name to demonstrate that the university is just the venue of the conference, and not an affiliate or endorser.

University of Leeds Denies BDS Claims That It Divested From Companies Over Israel Ties

The University of Leeds in England has pushed backed against claims that it divested from three companies in response to a petition by supporters of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

The school’s statement same after Leeds’ Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) alleged on Saturday that the university had become the first in the United Kingdom to withdraw its holdings from companies over their ties to Israel.

The group had launched a BDS initiative on October 24, which included an open letter calling for the university to immediately divest more than £2 million in holdings in four companies: HSBC, United Technologies, Airbus, and Keyence Corporation.

PSG’s alleged success was touted by the UK’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign and reported on by the websites Middle East Monitor and Electronic Intifada. The latter outlet linked to a university statement in the student-run Gryphon newspaper, which acknowledged that we “have divested of our holdings in Airbus, United Technologies and Keyence Corporation which were all held indirectly in a Global Equities Fund.”

A year and $72 million later, still nothing

It has been almost a year since Israel budgeted $72 million for anti-BDS projects funded by the government and Jewish donations. These resources were meant to launch a new organization that would oversee the fight against boycott attempts through public diplomacy.

I remember reading the news a year ago. Initially, I felt excited at the prospect that the Israeli government had finally acknowledged the need to tackle BDS. My subsequent reaction, however, was doubt on how the money would actually be used. Would it fall into the right hands or would this money be wasted by people who are, to put it bluntly, well past their sellby date? The task at hand requires more than a middle-aged man with a thick Israeli accent standing in front of multiple classes of bored kids, meticulously plowing through a PowerPoint presentation sharing stories of his time in Lebanon. Gone are the days where it is enough to show an Israeli history movie as the last activity of the week on a late Friday afternoon. These old-school methods have failed to educate the adults of the future on the very basics of Israeli current affairs. We have to do more.

You may ask why it is important to know all this “stuff” about the Israel/ Palestine conflict. How can we merit the name “Startup Nation” and be so far behind our opposition? As Jews in the Diaspora, we share summer stories and pictures of our trip to the “Holy Land” on Instagram, yet we can’t string together even a few basic answers to fundamental Israel-bashing tactics. It’s a farce. All we can talk about these days is “the rise of antisemitism.”

I don’t claim to hold the cure to the disease, but I can suggest a starting point. There are two elements to this equation. 1) As advocates, we must capitalize on the obsession with technology and understand the short attention span of the new generation. 2) Average Jews in the Diaspora must also be players.

Too many regard Israel education as unnecessary. This begins at Jewish the schools and scales all the way up to the hierarchy of the Israeli government. Just imagine every Jew understanding the reasons why Israel is not an apartheid/ racist state. At the protests and forums within campuses, the emotional plea of the BDS movement would not succeed among groups of people who are proud educated supporters of Israel.

BDS claims take less than a minute to debunk. There is a common misconception that one needs to endure many hours of lectures on the topic and that the debate cannot be handled by just anyone. “You must be trained in advocacy” is a mantra, unfortunately, too often accepted by the Jewish community. We must reject this attitude and shift away from this approach.

Raymond Ibrahim: How Saudi “Donations” to American Universities Whitewash Its Religion

Saudi funding of an American academic “doesn’t mean that he’s bought and paid for.” Rather, “there is a kind of silencing effect. It’s more about what doesn’t get written about… there may be some self-censoring on certain topics you don’t raise unnecessarily, topics that are sensitive to the Saudis.” — from a Washington, DC “insider,” quoted in Vox.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Islam, the birthplace of its history, the site of the two holy mosques and the focus of Islamic devotion and prayer. Saudi Arabia is committed to preserving the Islamic tradition in all areas of government and society….. The Holy Qur’an is the constitution of the Kingdom and Shari’ah (Islamic law) is the basis of the Saudi legal system.” — Website of the Saudi Arabian Embassy, Washington, DC.

A Saudi fatwa — in Arabic only — entitled, “Duty to Hate Jews, Polytheists, and Other Infidels,” was written by Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz (d. 1999), former grand mufti and highest religious authority in the government. It comes from the fatwa wing of the government, meaning it has the full weight of the government behind it.

FSU SJP Member Arrested for Throwing Chocolate Milk at College Republicans

A member of Students for Justice in Palestine at Florida State University in Tallahassee was arrested and charged with battery for throwing chocolate milk last week at a group of student Republicans tabling on campus.

Shelby Shoup, an intern for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum’s campaign, threw some of her beverage at Daisy Judge, SFU College Republicans vice-membership chair. She threw the rest of the drink on another student attempting to de-escalate the expletive-laden altercation, according to a statement by FSU College Republicans.

“You are supporting Nazis,” Shoup, who is Jewish, said in the video posted online. “Do you understand that?”

A student barked at Shoup, who was wearing a Communist pin: “And you are supporting communism?”

“Yeah, I [expletive] am,” she responded.

She briefly walked away from the table and launched more expletives, screaming that “Nazis are shooting my people” and mentioning the 11 Jewish worshippers shot dead on Oct. 27 at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

After ripping up what appeared to be paper and throwing it on the table, an unidentified female asked Shoup to leave.

Anti-Semitic fliers found in office at University of Rochester

Anti-Semitic fliers were discovered in an office on the campus of the University of Rochester.

The fliers were found on Monday morning on a printer at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at the university‘s River Campus, the local ABC affiliate 13WHAM reported.

“Anti-Semitic messages were faxed to a small number of University departments on Monday, Nov. 5. These messages are reprehensible and cowardly, and they are contrary to the University’s values. The University Department of Public Safety is working with law enforcement to actively investigate this incident,” university spokesperson Sara Miller said in a statement.

The fliers incident comes one week after a swastika drawn on a piece of paper was left inside an elevator on the Eastman School of Music campus in downtown Rochester.

Banksy creates replica separation wall for London travel fair

British artist Banksy has created a replica of the separation wall dividing parts of Bethlehem as part of an installation at a travel fair in London.

The installation is on display at the World Travel Fair at London’s Excel Center, at a stand promoting tourism to the Palestinian territories.

The artist’s Walled Off Hotel is located a few dozen feet from the Israeli security fence in the city. Banksy has described it as having the worst view of any hotel in the world, with every room looking out at the forbidding wall.

“In the replica that Banksy made here, it is a broken wall, and I think he is kind of making a statement that one day this wall will fall,” the hotel’s manager said at the exhibit.

Israel says the barrier, which is part wall and part fence, protects against Palestinian terrorism. The Palestinians see it as a symbol of oppression.

Accuracy, impartiality and context lacking in BBC Two film on Gaza

That monologue however came after viewers have been presented (from 42:27) with a fifteen-minute context-free, politicised and, in parts, inaccurate view of the Gaza Strip.

After a brief reference to “missiles launched from Gaza” Reeve told viewers:

“I crossed one of the world’s most heavily fortified borders. So this is a long walk through a cage – a caged passageway that takes us from the very modern, pretty wealthy state of Israel to the much poorer and densely packed Gaza Strip. I’ve never been through a border quite like this. It is extraordinary in every possible sense and – my God – you look across here…look at the barrier that encircles Gaza. It’s a very forbidding, foreboding place to walk towards, quite frankly. There’s a…there’s a dehumanisation of the people who live here. The whole process makes you feel like you’re entering the cage of the wild animals.”

The concrete barrier near the Erez Crossing pointed out by Reeve of course does not ‘encircle’ Gaza at all. Reeve however did not bother to interview anyone from Israeli communities such as Netiv HaAsara which are protected from Palestinian terrorism by that barrier or make any effort to explain its purpose.

Having entered the Gaza Strip, Reeve teamed up with “our guide in Gaza” – failing to clarify that he is a BBC employee before viewers heard Rushdi Abu Alouf promote political propaganda.

Abu Alouf: “Of course they keep calling Gaza the biggest open-air prison which is true because it’s closed from four sides. So Israel is calling this strip of land is like a hostile entity.”

Viewers got no explanation as to why Israel declared the Gaza Strip a hostile entity in September 2007 and Reeve next misled BBC audiences with an inaccurate portrayal of how and when Hamas wrested control of the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority.

A BBC programme from Jerusalem – and you can take part

The BBC television and radio programme ‘Global Questions’ will be visiting Jerusalem next month.

“As the state of Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its creation, Global Questions travels to Jerusalem to ask what the next 70 years might bring.

Ever since its birth, Israel has been dominated by conflict with Palestinians and its neighbouring Arab states. Is more conflict inevitable or could there be a lasting peace that allows the next generation to live without war?

The Middle East is awaiting President Trump’s much anticipated peace plan – billed as the “deal of the century”. But the Palestinians see America’s Embassy move to Jerusalem as a dangerously provocative gesture.

Global Questions brings together a high-profile panel and an audience of young Palestinians and Israelis to see whether they believe the next 70 years could bring an end to the conflict that has scarred the region for so long.”

Members of the public can take part in that December 5th programme by emailing

Macron praises WWI general who later collaborated with Nazis

French President Emmanuel Macron has waded onto controversial ground by praising a World War I general who subsequently collaborated with the Nazis in World War II.

Marshal Philippe Petain led the French army to victory in Verdun in 1916, but gained infamy and a conviction for treason for his actions as leader of Vichy France in 1940 to 1944.

Macron said Wednesday in Charleville-Mezieres that Petain deserved praise for being “a great soldier” in WWI, although he took “fatal choices during the Second World War.”

The council representing the Jewish institutions of France (CRIF) called Macron’s comments “shocking” and “an insult.”

“The only thing we will remember from Petain is that he was, in the name of the French people, struck with national indignity during his trial in July 45,” said the president of CRIF, Francis Kalifat, in a statement.

Petain was complicit in the 1942 deportation of 13,000 Jews from France in the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup that was part of the Holocaust.

IsraellyCool: Sinead O’Connor Announces Herself as a Bigot and Antisemite

A few weeks ago I posted about Irish singer Sinead O’Connor’s conversion to Islam. You may have noticed my post was devoid of judgment – I prefer a wait-and-see approach.

Well I waited and have seen, and it sure ain’t pretty.

Besides the attacks on Judaism and Christianity, it seems like she is also denying the existence of Islamic terrorism.

I get the feeling this is not the last we’ve heard of her – and none of it will be good.

Son of North Carolina judge arrested for allegedly threatening synagogue

The son of a North Carolina Court of Appeals judge was arrested Sunday after he allegedly threatened a synagogue.

William Warden, 20, also burned a cross in a local park, the Charlotte News & Observer reported.

On Saturday night, Warden rang the smart doorbell of Congregation of Shaarei Shalom in Cary, North Carolina. When a synagogue official remotely answered the bell, Warden made a “number of disparaging statements against the Jewish religion and people of the Jewish faith,” police told the newspaper. He also threatened to damage the synagogue, according to the report.

Warden was arrested Sunday night and charged with misdemeanor ethnic intimidation. For the cross burning, which occurred last month, he also was charged with a misdemeanor.

Police also suspect Warden of being responsible for recent anti-Semitic fliers that were distributed in a nearby subdivision, according to the report.

Royal Mint rejected Roald Dahl coin over antisemitic views

Plans to celebrate the life of Roald Dahl with a commemorative coin were rejected because of concerns about the author’s antisemitic views, it can be revealed.

Official papers obtained by the Guardian using freedom of information laws also disclose that the Royal Mint dropped proposals to issue a coin to mark the centenary of Dahl’s birth because he was “not regarded as an author of the highest reputation”.

The decision is set out in the minutes of a Royal Mint sub-committee meeting held in 2014, where the company instead opted for coins commemorating William Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter.

The decision was made despite the Royal Mail honouring the children’s author with a set of commemorative stamps celebrating his books, many of which have been adapted into films. These include Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG.

The minutes state: “The themes set out below were considered but not recommended. 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl. Associated with antisemitism and not regarded as an author of the highest reputation.”

Yad Vashem launches Kristalnacht exhibition for pogrom’s 80th anniversary

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum is marking the upcoming 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht by launching a new online exhibition about the infamous pogrom.

Kristalnacht was a broad, centrally-organized pogrom by the Nazi government across Germany and Austria over November 9 and 10, 1938 in which more than 90 Jews were murdered; 30,000 Jewish men arrested and sent to the Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and other concentration camps; 267 synagogues destroyed; 7,500 Jewish businesses vandalised; and looted and many Jewish cemeteries desecrated.

Yad Vashem’s new online exhibition, entitled “It Came from Within” details eleven stories as a microcosm of the experiences of the German and Austrian Jewish community that terrible night.

Through the use of personal testimonies, stories, documents, photographs and artifacts the exhibition depicts the terrible blow suffered by the Jews during the Kristallnacht pogrom: the physical violence, the property damage, the synagogue desecration and destruction, and the sight of holy books and Torah scrolls in flames.

The artifacts featured in the exhibition provide a window into the lives of those who experienced the events of 9 November 1938, and give a glimpse into German and Austrian Jewish life before WWII. Some of the stories displayed are told for the first time.

IsraellyCool: “Mr Big” Chris Noth Touched By Prayer of Jerusalem

We already knew actor Chris Noth aka Mr Big was a supporter of Israel (Ok, at least I did, and those of you who have been following Israellycool for a long time). But seeing him post this from his recent trip to Israel was still a pleasant surprise.

His tour guide Itamar also posted these great photos of Chris.

It’s been a great week for celebrity support of Israel.

Bosnian musicians keep Sephardi Jews’ disappearing language alive

Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, has been kept alive by Sephardi Jews in Bosnia ever since they were expelled from Spain in the late 15th century and found a home in Sarajevo, although today the language is spoken only by a handful of the city’s aging Jews.

Yet Ladino is becoming an inspiration for many musicians from across Bosnia’s ethnic divide.

“Ladino as a language is dying out even in predominantly Jewish communities, but it is our obligation here to maintain our shared heritage and preserve it, at least in our music,” said Tijana Vignjevic, a music teacher and leader of the Corona vocal ensemble.

Corona, whose seven members come from Bosnia’s different ethnic groups, combines storytelling with a cappella singing and a touch of modernity. The ensemble was among four groups performing Sephardi songs at the Sarajevo Jazz Festival over the weekend.

The Jewish community has played a significant role in Sarajevo’s cultural and economic life for more than 400 years. Expelled after the Christian re-conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, Jews found sanctuary in the town, then part of the Ottoman Empire.

Hold the camels: 2,000-year-old cistern in Beersheba engraved with sea vessels

A newly discovered water cistern in the landlocked desert city of Beersheba has turned out to be the 2,000-year-old canvas for a series of engravings depicting 13 sea vessels and even a sailor to steer them.

Technical details are included in some of the ship drawings etched into the cistern’s plaster walls, which suggests the graffiti artist had practical knowledge in ship construction, said Dr. Davida Eisenberg-Degen, a specialist in Rock Art and Graffiti at the Israel Antiquities Authority, in an IAA press release.

The art-covered cistern was uncovered during IAA excavations ahead of the construction of a new Beersheba neighborhood, Rakefet. The roughly 12 meter (39 foot) deep water storage pit, with an area of 5 x 5.5 meters, is thought to have been used by a nearby first century Roman era domicile, up through recent times. In excavating the sediment fill, archaeologists uncovered World War I-era ceramic sherds, ammunition shells and other weapon parts.

“The shape and form of the cistern, the technique of hewing and plastering, suggest that the cistern is of the first-second century CE, and likely served the residence of a Roman period site situated some 800 m. away, recently excavated by Dr. Fabian and Dr. Cohen-Sason of Ben Gurion University of the Negev,” said Eisenberg-Degen in an IAA press release.

Ethiopian Jews celebrate Sigd overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem
The holiday connects the renewal of the covenant with the return to Zion and the yearning for Zion.

Israeli, Indian Leaders Exchange Warm Greetings Ahead of Hindu Festival of Lights

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, exchanged warm Twitter greetings on Tuesday, ahead of Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights.

“On behalf of the people of Israel, I would like to wish my dear friend @narendramodi and the people of India a joyous Diwali,” Netanyahu wrote. “May this luminous festival of lights bring you happiness and prosperity. Reply to this tweet with the name of the city where you’re celebrating!”

Modi replied: “Bibi, my friend, thank you so much for the Diwali wishes. Every year, I visit our border areas and surprise our troops. This year too, will spend Diwali with our brave troops. Spending time with them is special. I will share photos of the same tomorrow evening. 🙂 @netanyahu” (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Festival of Lights

Did you know Israel and India both celebrate festivals of lights? We wanna wish all our friends celebrating a Happy Diwali

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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