‘May God Avenge Their Blood’ How to remember the murdered in Pittsburgh
In the Jewish tradition, it is commonplace to add the words zikhronam li-vrakhah (may their memory be for a blessing) after the names of the departed, but when speaking of those who have been murdered because they were Jews, a different phrase is used: Hashem yikom damam—may God avenge their blood. Meir Soloveichik explains:
The saying reflects the fact that when it comes to mass murderers, Jews do not believe that we must love the sinner while hating the sin; in the face of egregious evil, we will not say the words ascribed to Jesus on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We believe that a man who shoots up a synagogue knows well what he does; that a murderer who sheds the blood of helpless elderly men and women knows exactly what he does; that one who brings death to those engaged in celebrating new life knows precisely what he does. To forgive in this context is to absolve; and it is, for Jews, morally unthinkable.
But the mantra for murdered Jews that is Hashem yikom damam bears a deeper message. It is a reminder to us to see the slaughter of eleven Jews in Pennsylvania not only as one terrible, tragic moment in time, but as part of the story of our people, who from the very beginning have had enemies that sought our destruction. There exists an eerie parallel between Amalek, the tribe of desert marauders that assaulted Israel immediately after the Exodus, and the Pittsburgh murderer. The Amalekites are singled out by the Bible from among the enemies of ancient Israel because in their hatred for the chosen people, they attacked the weak, the stragglers, the helpless, those who posed no threat to them in any way.
Similarly, many among the dead in Pittsburgh were elderly or disabled; the murderer smote “all that were enfeebled,” and he “feared not God.” Amalek, for Jewish tradition, embodies evil incarnate in the world; we are commanded to remember Amalek, and the Almighty’s enmity for it, because, as Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik explained, the biblical appellation refers not only to one tribe but also to our enemies throughout the ages who will follow the original Amalek’s example. To say “May God avenge their blood” is to remind all who hear us that there is a war against Amalek from generation to generation—and we believe that, in this war, God is not neutral.
My beloved S—-, you become a bat mitzvah today, which confers upon you obligations and responsibilities as a member of the Jewish community and as an inheritor of a tradition dating back thousands of years. The haftarah you read today, from the Book of Kings, is about a struggle over King David’s inheritance. It concludes with Bathsheba speaking the words “May my Lord King David live forever.” What Bathsheba meant was that David’s line should live forever, that the Jewish people should live forever. After the unspeakable event last weekend at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, it is an obligation upon you and upon us to do what we can, every one of us, to make sure Bathsheba’s wish is fulfilled.
The theologian Emil Fackenheim said Auschwitz had required this of us—that we were not allowed to grant Hitler any posthumous victories. He called it the Commandment of Auschwitz. It is also the Commandment of the Tree of Life. The monster who slaughtered and wounded all those people wanted to kill Jews for being Jews. “All Jews must die,” he shouted as he murdered them.
The parshah from the Torah you read today is about the very first Jews. It begins with the death of Sarah and proceeds to tell of the death of her husband, Abraham. So here is my charge to you: If you want to make Robert Bowers’s words turn to ash, follow in the footsteps of Abraham and Sarah. Live as a Jew. Have Jewish children. Try as your mother and I have with you and your sister and your brother to teach those children how to live as Jews so that they can teach their children, and their children can teach theirs, and theirs and theirs and theirs and theirs—until it is 3,600 years from now and there are still Jews on this earth just as there were 3,600 years ago when Abraham and Sarah breathed their last. Nothing could make me prouder of you than to see you pass on our heritage and continue as part of this divine legacy.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: Imaginary “Palestine”
Even as barbarians terrorize civilians everywhere, (if not, the UK and Australia would have granted Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi asylum), the world remains divinely diverted, even obsessed by the alleged “occupation” of a country that does not exist.
I am talking about “Palestine” aka the disputed territories. And yes, I dare to surround this word with quote marks because it is a fiction, a concept that refers to an imaginary entity, an entity desired by the world, the more so because it is not real but is, rather, socially constructed.
The world’s honor is now bound up with this falsity. And why? Because this is an idea that allows Jew haters the world over to continue their genocidal lust towards Jews, both in Israel and around the world.
Although non-existent, “Palestine” is so sacred a concept that one risks being shamed and shunned for saying so. The world’s honor is now bound up with this falsity. And why? Because this is an idea that allows Jew haters the world over to continue their genocidal lust towards Jews, both in Israel and around the world. It is the way European Christian and non-Western Muslims can continue their gruesome history of pogroms, massacres, and the industrial-scale slaughter of Jews—and still virtue-signal their compassion for the other Semites: displaced Arab Muslims, a compassion they sadly lack for persecuted Arab and African Christians.
This imaginary Palestine is similar to other imagined and socially constructed realities. For example, Caucasian Rachel Dolezal believed she was an African-American. An increasing number of men believe they are, in truth, women trapped in men’s bodies; as such, they are seen as both victim and hero for embracing this destiny. A smaller number of women believe that they are really men trapped in women’s bodies. They, too, are seen as victim/heroes.
Arab “Palestinian” style Intifada and Jihad has gone global. Antifa activists in America are also face-masked, aggressive, verbally vulgar, and violent. They shout down anything and anyone with which they disagree and operate as a mob both on campuses and at demonstrations. No matter what their real issues are (Wall Street, police anti-Black racism, climate apocalypse, the prison system, women’s rights), “Palestine” is often signaled by the wearing of checkered Arafat-style keffiyehs and Hamas-style face masks.
Amb. Alan Baker: Saeb Erekat, Airbnb, and BDS
Has “Airbnb” become “AirBDS”?
In recent Tweets and statements, Palestinian chief negotiator, propagandist, and PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat has been celebrating a decision1 by the “Airbnb” international home-rental company to remove listings of vacation apartments in Israel’s West Bank towns, villages, and settlements that the company considers to be “at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
The Airbnb decision is based upon a January 2016 letter sent by Erekat, in the name of “The State of Palestine,” to the CEO of Airbnb condemning “illegal colonization of Palestine” and the promoting of house rentals “in illegal settlements in the occupied State of Palestine.”
Mr. Erekat’s oft-repeated and tedious propaganda on this, as well as other issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, is based on flawed, slanted, and highly partisan determinations, exaggerations, and lies. All these in fact belie his own deep involvement in negotiating the Oslo accords with Israel.
The Distortions of Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat should know better than to distort facts, law, and history, thereby manipulating Airbnb and other companies and bodies into involving themselves in issues to which they have no connection and cannot, in any way, contribute positively.
To the contrary, in allowing itself to be manipulated by Mr. Erekat, Airbnb is prejudicing a large basis of customer support among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all of whom work together in the very areas that Airbnb is now boycotting. In fact, the homes in the West Bank that are now being boycotted by Airbnb are a subject for ongoing negotiation under the Oslo accords.
But above all, Airbnb has rendered itself politically motivated and involved in a most partisan manner, singling out Israel only. It is supporting and sanctioning an openly hostile movement that is intent on causing economic and cultural damage to Israel and aligning itself with hostile organizations and groups supporting acts of violence and terror against Israel.
No, the worst part is that Airbnb has singled out Jews, and only Jews, as the one group in the world that is worthy of such censure. That’s what makes its boycott a naked act of corporate anti-Semitism.
Airbnb says an entire team “struggled to come up with the right approach.” And the right approach evidently was to bar Jews from listing the apartments and homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Airbnb is only targeting Jews — not the present government of Israel or the “Zionists” or any political entity — who live on disputed land.
“Many in the global community have stated that companies should not do business here because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced,” reads an Airbnb blog post that sounds like it was written by some poli-sci freshman who just wrapped up his first Chomsky tome.
The “global community” is a euphemism for a conglomerate of theocrats and authoritarians, who use the Middle East’s sole democratic state as a distraction to deflect from their own transgressions. It also includes various Western Israel obsessives with misleading names like Human Rights Watch.
Bravo, Airbnb! You have now adopted the immoral hypocrisy of that community.
Did Airbnb Make a Racist Decision by Removing West Bank Settlement Listings?
Is Airbnb’s decision to remove listings in Israeli settlements in the West Bank a bold statement in favor of human rights, or a disgraceful double-standard in a war to delegitimize the Jewish state? The Kohelet Policy Forum’s Professor Eugene Kontorovich Human Rights Watch’s Eric Goldstein debate.
This decision to involve themselves in a dispute and stand against the Jewish State is unfair and disproportionate – a call for a de facto boycott of Israel. There’s a simple double standard at hand here when refusing to recognize cities in Israel – a country the size of New Jersey.
As legal Professor Eugene Kontorovich noted, this is an anti-Semitic policy – noting that AirbNb “…won’t list places in “disputed territories” only when those residences are owned by Jews, and not otherwise. That’s not a policy about disputed territories, but about Jews.”
He added, “Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria – not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea. Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism.”
Israel wants peace and endorsing this boycott of Israel is a fundamental rejection of Israel’s right to defend itself.
The Israeli government – and people – seek peace and long have. As Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu once put it best, “The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war.”
Israel is a proud democracy, the leading stable democracy in the Middle East – this Airbnb racist campaign is unjustifiable, hypocritical and simply wrong. All people who support decency and peace must stand against Airbnb.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that he seeks to ask the US to activate anti-Boycott Divestment and Sanctions legislation while addressing Airbnb’s recent decision to remove West Bank listings, while speaking at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday.
“BDS and terror are two sides of the same coin,” said Erdan. “Both justify violence against Israeli civilians.”
“Their aim is the same, only their means are different,” he added.
The minister described that the policy to distinguish between Israel and Judea and Samaria is discriminatory, counterproductive and dangerous.
Erdan called on countries to adopt anti-BDS legislation, saying “there is no difference between discriminating against Jews or the Jewish state.”
“We won’t allow anyone to deter us, not Iran, not the UN, which condemns us for defending ourselves, and not the BDS campaign,” he said.
He slammed the Airbnb decision as “appalling, hypocritical and outrageous, discriminatory and counterproductive.”
The decision to delist Jewish properties is directly contrary to the company’s declared policy limiting hosts from rejecting would-be renters based on their race, religion, nationality, disability, gender, or age.
As the company headquarters are located in California they are bound by California civil rights laws.
Perhaps some lawyer could give an opinion about whether the blacklist is conflict with Assembly Bill 2844 and other California legislation such as The Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code Section 51). If not illegal by the letter of the law the boycott is certainly illegal in its spirit.
51.a. All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.
What can we do? Action items
- Avoid airbnb while this policy is in force.
- Let the company know how you feel and that you will not be using their services until they change their policy.
- Address: 888 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 USA
- Internet contact: https://www.airbnb.com/help/contact_us/channel
- Twitter: @Airbnb
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/airbnb
- Use and share the right graphic as your round Facebook profile. Click for appropriately sized image.
- Share the left graphic at the beginning of this article.
- Add you name to online petitions, such as Airbnb – Don’t Delist Judea and Samaria Rentals! and Oppose Discrimination by Airbnb, Tell AirBNB they need to reverse their discriminatory decision!
- Write a letter through the Action Network, Airbnb, Stop Discriminating Against Israelis.
- Comment on media reports.
Travelers looking for a vacation on the wrong side of an internationally-recognized “Green Line” needn’t fret now that global rentals agency Airbnb is boycotting properties in Israeli communities in the West Bank — they can use Airbnb’s services in the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” instead.
A Tuesday morning search of Airbnb’s listings for a last-minute Thanksgiving holiday vacation showed the availability of more than 1,000 apartments and villas in Northern Cyprus — a Greek territory invaded and occupied by Turkey in July 1974, in a brutal war inflicted by Ankara on Greek and native Turkish Cypriots alike.
More than 150,000 Greek Cypriots were driven from their homes during ethnic cleansing operations carried out by Turkish forces. Hundreds of Greek women were raped by Turkish soldiers, in what one Greek writer called “one of the darkest and most agonizingly painful aspects” of the 1974 invasion. Following the invasion, Turkey consolidated its hold over 40 percent of the island of Cyprus — but its satellite republic continues to be regarded by the entire international community as “occupied territory.”
For now, though, residents of Northern Cyprus — including thousands of Turkish “settlers” who moved to the island from mainland Turkey after 1974 — can freely advertise their properties on Airbnb.
An Airbnb official told The Times of Israel Wednesday that the company is evaluating whether to drop its listings in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, two days it announced that it would remove homes in Israeli settlements from its site.
“In the statement we issued on Monday, we noted that we have developed a framework for evaluating how we should treat listings in occupied territories around the world. Western Sahara is one example of a place where we will use this framework,” the official said.
Israeli officials, including Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, have lambasted the the vacation rental giant initial decision as “racist” and anti-Semitic,” arguing that it applied a different standard to the Jewish state than to other disputed territories around the world.
The Airbnb official clarified that the decision — which will go into effect in the coming days — will only be applied to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and not homes in East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.
As of Wednesday, there were 24 Airbnb listings in Western Sahara.
The calls for justice are growing louder. The drumbeat for change has continued growing louder every day. Jewish women have been fierce forces for change for over a century in the American social justice movement and we will not stand silent as anti-Semitism and bigotry are allowed to poison the movement. We will not back down, we will not be shamed into silence, we will not go away. The time has come—the Women’s March leadership must heed our cry for change.
Teresa Shook, the founder of the Women’s March, who gave us the original, historic vision of a march on Washington, D.C. the day after President Trump’s inauguration, has called for the march’s co-directors to step down. In her statement, Shook aligned herself with Sister Marches, the grassroots movements that organize local marches, and accused the main march’s co-directors—Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland and Carmen Perez—of violating the group’s Unity Principles by allowing anti-semitism, anti-LGBTQIA sentiments, and hateful rhetoric to take root within the national platform.
Shook found an ally in Mercy Morganfield, the former President of the DC Women’s March. Mercy Morganfield levied a series of disturbing allegations at co-directors in a viral Facebook post. She claimed that not only had co-directors failed to uphold the Unity Principles, but they had misused funds and refused requests to share financial records. Morganfield paints a picture of a lavish lifestyle with five-star hotels and glam squads that pampered the high profile leadership while starving local organizers of the resources necessary to build and sustain a grassroots movement. She depicts a Women’s March that is deeply hierarchical and privileges national leadership over accountability to local chapters of the group and members of its board.
This is not a sustainable or empowering model for progressive organizing.
Linda Sarsour released a statement apologizing on behalf of the Women’s March for causing harm to the movement’s Jewish members and for being too slow to show its commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.
“We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism. We regret that,” said the statement, issued Tuesday afternoon. “Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members. We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting with you.”
The Women’s March has come under renewed fire recently for co-chair Tamika Mallory’s associations with Louis Farrakhan, the virulently anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. The women’s group organized mass protests against US President Donald Trump in January 2017 and has since been a leading liberal activist group working on behalf of women’s empowerment.
In February, Mallory posted a photo of herself with Farrakhan after he gave a speech laced with anti-Semitic statements. After an outcry over that incident, the Women’s March released a statement saying “Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles.”
The controversy bubbled up again recently when actress Alyssa Milano said she would not speak at next year’s Women’s March because she felt that they had not adequately addressed anti-Semitism.
The Palestine Convention 2018 – the “largest gathering for Palestine in the US” – is to be held tomorrow until Saturday in Chicago (hat tip: Anarcho-Zionist)
With the tagline “70 Years Later Committed to Return”, and conference hashtags including #We_Shall_Return, this is clearly not a gathering of people interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The agenda only confirms how this is a hate conference espousing antisemitism and terror support, with sessions including:
- Palestine: The Current State of Affairs
- From changes in media coverage and the Great March of Return in Gaza to the
- ethnic cleansing of Khan al-Ahmar and the Judaization of Jerusalem, this panel
- will discuss the ever-evolving political situation and challenges facing Palestinians
- on the ground.
- Islamophobia & Zionism: An Unholy Alliance
- This session will analyze the connection between the Islamophobia industry and
- Zionism, as it contributes to fueling anti-Muslim bigotry and support for Israel.
- From the Nakba through the Naksa, to Oslo and in between
- The entrenchment of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, including East
- Jerusalem and Gaza. Moreover, we will highlight the resistance of Palestinians
- from the First to the Second Intifada.
None of this is surprising, given the convention is the brainchild of American Muslims for Palestine, founded by terror supporter and Jew hater Hatem Bazian. This is the same group instrumental in National SJP’s formation., who just held their own hate conference this week.
Ben & Jerry’s says that it selected the groups because they are “working on the front lines of the peaceful resistance, building a world that supports their values.” But the values of Women’s March leaders, especially anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour — who was photographed with founders Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, and others for the Pecan Resist announcement — don’t fit Ben & Jerry’s own ideals.
“We may not agree on everything,” Ben & Jerry’s Twitter feed responded, after an immediate wave of criticism following the announcement, “but the work that Linda has done to promote women’s rights is undeniably important and we are proud to join her in that effort.”
In a separate statement defending their partnership, Ben & Jerry’s claimed the Women’s March has been “unequivocal in denouncing religious discrimination, and anti-Semitism specifically.” It pointed to a Women’s March statement in which it claims to seek a world “free from anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and all forms of social violence.”
That fits Sarsour — as long as you pay no attention to everything she has done and said for years.
She opposes the state of Israel’s very existence – a viewpoint that by itself meets the State Department definition of antisemitism. And, in a recording obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Sarsour blamed Jews for police shootings of unarmed black people in America. She considers ultra-conservative Muslim clerics — those who advocate for strict, Saudi-styled restrictions on women and who are virulently anti-gay — as her heroes and mentors. And she embraced an actual Palestinian terrorist in Rasmea Odeh, who was responsible for a 1969 Jerusalem grocery store bombing that killed two college students.
That’s just part of a record that Ben & Jerry’s dismisses with the claim, “We may not agree on everything.”
After all, as an advocate of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, the British musician continues the policies of boycott and marginalization of Jews that the Nazis implemented in the 1930s. Today, Waters seeks to apply these measures exclusively against the Jews who live in Israel.
Roger Waters is not just an adherent of BDS, but one of its most prominent members. Not only has he taken a personal stance against performing in the Jewish state, but he has also pressured other musicians not to play there either. Boycotting Israel is his own personal mission. Thus, he keeps company with anti-Zionist Jews such as Ilan Pappe, Naomi Klein, and Judith Butler, and with well-known Islamists such as Syrian cleric Omar Bakri and the head of Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah.
Much of the Western public may see Waters and his ilk as a clan of well-intentioned humanists and pacifists. However, they are the visible faces of a global extremist and antisemitic movement that only targets Israel. They have yet to mount campaigns of marginalization against Iran for hanging homosexuals, against China and Russia for imprisoning Muslims and committing other gross human rights violations, and so on. Their selective moral outrage betrays them.
As American Jews grapple with rising anti-Semitism on college campuses and in other arenas, they would be well-served remembering the root cause of much of the world’s Jew-hatred: the Islamic Republic of Iran, the leading state sponsor of terror.
For many, last month’s murder of 11 Jewish worshippers in Pittsburgh, which marked the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, served as a wakeup call on an already alarming situation regarding domestic anti-Semitism. According to figures released by the FBI on November 13, anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States rose 37% in 2017. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has documented that the rise in anti-Semitic incidents is directly related to an increase in disdain for Jews on college campuses, where 207 anti-Semitic incidents occurred that year, representing an 89% increase from the 108 such incidents in 2016.
While this growing trend can be directly linked to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, evidence also reveals that the regime in Tehran has a hand in increased campus hatred toward Jews. Last weekend, UCLA hosted the national conference of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) despite calls by numerous Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, a California congressman, and the Los Angeles City Council for the university to nix its hosting of the forum due to SJP’s history of anti-Semitism. SJP has issued calls to “kill Jews,” ‘kill all Zionists,” and “stuff some Jews in the oven.”
At the same time, it is well-documented that SJP receives funding from the U.S.-designated Palestinian terror group Hamas. Concurrently, Hamas is funded and takes its marching orders from Iran. These facts make the regime in Tehran a major supporter of the SJP conference. Regardless if Iran directly or indirectly funded the conference, it is conceivable that the Iranian regime may have played a role in ensuring that UCLA proceeded with hosting the conference despite vocal opposition. According to the Clarion Project, the Alavi Foundation, a front group for Iran, has funded UCLA.
Washington Post reporting on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) continues to omit key context and mislead readers. A Nov. 19, 2018 front-page dispatch, “U.S. cuts add to Palestinians’ misery,” adds to the paper’s poor coverage of the U.N. organization. The Post is unable, or perhaps unwilling, to offer straightforward reporting on the agency.
Originally envisioned as a temporary agency, UNRWA was created in 1949, following the unsuccessful attempt by several Arab states to destroy Israel. Over time, UNRWA developed into the only U.N. organization whose stated mission is to assist a specific group of refugees, Palestinian Arabs. All other refugee populations in the world fall under the jurisdiction of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Importantly, UNRWA’s definition of “refugee” is not dependent on need and even applies to citizens of recognized states, such as Jordan.
Oddly, UNRWA considers individuals living in areas ruled by Palestinians—as well as descendants of those who fled during and before Israel’s 1948 War of Independence—to be Palestinian “refugees.” As CAMERA has noted, according to UNRWA’s spurious definition, the twenty-year-old, Los Angeles-born millionaire fashion model, Bella Hadid, is considered a “refugee” from a seventy-year old event that occurred after Arab countries rejected a U.N. plan for a Jewish state and an Arab state, opting for war instead. Further, UNRWA has become the only refugee agency in the world whose purpose is not to resettle refugees (“UNRWA Has Changed the Definition of Refugee,” Foreign Policy Magazine, Aug. 17, 2018).
Instead of helping resettle refugees, UNRWA schools and facilities have been used to promote hatred and murder of Israelis. For example, a March 7, 2016 ceremony at an UNRWA school in Gaza City celebrated stabbing Jews. UNRWA officials have posed with maps erasing Israel and have been caught disseminating antisemitic materials.
For the first time in history, the president of the European Union plans to hold a conference on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
The “Europe Beyond Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism – Securing Jewish Life in Europe” conference is scheduled to take place in Vienna on Wednesday. It is the initiative of Austrian Chancellor and current EU President Sebastian Kurz, in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress and Austria’s Jewish community.
Among those set to address the event is German politician Manfred Weber, 46, head of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament and a member of the conservative Christian Social Union in Bavaria.
Weber has been a delegate in the European Parliament since 2004 and was elected head of the European People’s Party in 2014. If the conservatives continue to maintain their majority in the European Parliament after the coming May elections, Weber will become the parliament’s president.
In an interview with Israel Hayom, his first with an Israel media outlet, Weber warned of growing anti-Semitism in Europe.
“The development in recent years is an absolute warning sign,” he said.
A sign placed by a Jewish realtor at the site of one of her listings was vandalized with antisemitic graffiti last week in California.
Kendra Fuchs shared on Facebook a photo of the defaced sign, which included her picture and her contact information. A Star of David was drawn on Fuchs’ forehead and below her photo was written, “Nice Jewish S**t Screwing People on Real Estate Deals.” The picture shows that the vandal also wrote, among other hateful messages, “Jewville,” in parenthesis over of the words, “For Lease,” that are featured at the top of the sign.
“This is NOT okay!! I will not stand for such ignorance and hateful behavior!!” Fuchs wrote in the Facebook post. “My children deserve to grow up and be proud of who they are not be afraid to practice their religion openly and with full and loving hearts….When are we all going to realize that the world will be a better place if we are tolerant and kind to one another?! WE CANNOT LET HATE WIN!!”
She noted at the beginning of the post, “For centuries my family has been persecuted for their religious beliefs. Expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition, they fled to Holland hoping to live peacefully. Then hate reared it’s ugly head again in the 1930’s, and many of my family members were brutally murdered by the nazi regime. My maternal grandparents survived and came to America, the Land of the Free so we could be Jewish and proud.”
Fuchs, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, spoke about the incident to “Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik for Bialik’s blog, “Grok Nation.” The two went to college together and live in the same neighborhood. Fuchs told Bialik that she wondered why she was targeted.
A Jewish burial ground in Poland reportedly has been damaged and another had some headstones defaced with anti-Semitic symbols in two separate incidents.
The alleged damage occurred earlier this week at Wysokie Mazowieckie, a town located 70 miles northeast of Warsaw, the J-Nerations organization, which is involved in the preservation of Jewish burial sites in Poland, said in a statement Wednesday. The municipality denied any damage to Jewish burial sites.
At least ten skeletons “have been extracted without permit or permission for the enlargement of a local bus station,” the statement said. The group’s founder, Meir Bulka, said that bulldozers remained working there even after the mayor promised to halt earthworks on the site, which dates back to the 18th century.
The construction site was supposed to border on the oldest Jewish burial site of Wysokie Mazowieckie but encroached on the graveyard’s territory, Bulka claimed. The graveyard does not have headstones, though fragments of them, including ones with Hebrew letters, are scattered across it. The city has a newer Jewish cemetery that does have headstones, Bulka said.
But Anna Niemyjska, head of the town’s municipal property office, denied this in an email to JTA. “No construction works are carried out in this area,” she said. The municipality had commissioned archaeological works in which “graves were revealed, but as of today, we do not know exactly where the graves are,” she added.
A silver cigarette case that was used as a bribe to secure the release of a Jewish man from the Lodz Ghetto prison was recently discovered in the home of a Polish man who said he found the artifact in Nazi-era rubble.
The Polish man turned over the artifact over to the Shem Olam Institute after keeping it in his home for over 10 years. Shem Olam, a Holocaust educational organization, said the cigarette case will be taken to Israel, where it will go on display.
The case was made by Jewish artist Chaim Klieger, who used it to bribe the warden of the Lodz Ghetto prison, Salomon Hercberg, to secure the release of one of his friends who was being held there.
The case is made out of silver and is etched with the word “Lodz” and a Magen David star on one side and Hercberg’s name on the other.
According to Shem Olam, Klieger’s case would have carried an extremely high value in wartime Europe, when luxury items were scarce.
The institute said Kliger’s bribe saved his friend from almost-certain death at the hands of the Nazis, as prisoners were usually the first Jews to be shipped to labor or death camps.
Former British prime minister Clement Attlee secretly took in a Jewish child fleeing the Nazis in 1939, The Guardian revealed on Tuesday.
Attlee, who served as prime minister from 1945 to 1951 and died in 1967, sponsored a Jewish mother and her two children who fled Germany in 1939. One of the children stayed with the Attlee family for four months, something that the politician never spoke about.
The story was revealed to the public for the first time ever in The Guardian this week. At the time, Attlee was the leader of the opposition and the leader of the Labour Party.
According to the report, the child in question is Paul Willer, who is now 90 and was 10 when he stayed with the family. Willer is slated to meet Attlee’s granddaughter for the first time on Wednesday at an event marking the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport.
“It was a remarkable kindness, a generous offer,” Willer told The Guardian. “Attlee was a modest man. He did not try and glorify himself in any way. He did it for the right reasons.”
Willer’s mother was desperate to find homes for her children, and was connected with the Attlee family through a church in Stanmore, in northwest London. The reverend connected the family with the Attlees, who were regular churchgoers and agreed to take one of the boys.
Willer remained there for four months before he was sent to a school in Northern Ireland, and today lives in Gloucestershire in southwest England.
In 1945, Attlee became the British prime minister and – among other things – oversaw ending the UK mandate of Palestine.
Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, attended a special tea party at St. James’s Palace in Westminister on Tuesday in honor of the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport.
The Kindertransport was an organized evacuation of nearly 10,000 predominately Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to the United Kingdom in the nine months before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Prince Charles, who celebrated his 70th birthday last week, drank tea and listened to stories from Jewish refugees who had arrived in the U.K. on the Kindertransport.
Renate Collins, who arrived from Prague, said, “My mother put me on the train and that was it, I never saw her again, and I lost 64 members of my family in the Holocaust. I was adopted in Wales and apart from losing all the family, I’ve had a good life.”
An extremely rare, minuscule biblical stone weight inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the word “beka” was discovered in rubble taken from excavations at the foundations of the Western Wall.
Only a handful of similar stone beka weights have been unearthed in Jerusalem, said archaeologist Eli Shukron, who directed the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He told The Times of Israel that none had previously been found with this exact inscription.
The “beka,” a First Temple-period weight measure used by pilgrims paying their half-shekel tax before ascending to the Temple Mount, was recently discovered by a volunteer in the City of David’s wet sifting project in Jerusalem’s Emek Tzurim National Park.
The word “beka” appears twice in the Torah: first as the weight of gold in a nose ring given to matriarch Rebecca in the Book of Genesis, and later in the Book of Exodus as a weight for the donation brought by the Jewish people for the maintenance of the Temple and the census, as recorded in Exodus 38, Verse 26: “One beka per head; [that is,] half a shekel, according to the holy shekel, for each one who goes through the counting, from 20 years old and upward, for 603,550 [people].”
The beka stone was discovered in dirt taken from 2013 excavations under Robinson’s Arch. According to Shukron, the earth came from a drainage canal under the foundation of the Western Wall.
PA to complain @UN after Israelis vote Palestine viper as Israel’s national snake. “They seized the symbol of Palestinian diversity,” said PA rep. Meanwhile, to treat venomous bites, PA “buys the antiserum from Israel, which developed it a few years ago.” https://t.co/RFALdSFDV1
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) November 20, 2018
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