Monday, June 30, 2014

Netanyahu slams Arab Israeli leaders for failing to condemn kidnapping of teens


BibiRespondsPrime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed Arab Israeli leaders for failing to condemn the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the West Bank earlier this month.

Speaking at a meeting of his Likud faction, the prime minister said, "These leaders are not even willing to do what [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas did, condemn a wicked kidnapping of children. If they want to live as part of Israel they must condemn it."

Netanyahu reiterated that he is pushing to outlaw the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, which led a demonstration over the weekend in Umm al-Fahm protesting the IDF's West Bank operation to bring back the kidnapped boys.

"We live in Israel, defended by the IDF, who defends all of our citizens and we expect minimal recognition of that from all citizens," Netanyahu said.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Futuristic skytrain track to be built near Tel Aviv

Sleek two-person pods will whisk travelers around experimental track at Israel Aircraft Industries campus

By Stuart Winer for The Times of Israel

SkyTrainThe Israel Aerospace Industries campus near Tel Aviv will soon host an experimental new method of urban travel, developed by a company that wants to change how people get around large cities.

The skyTran system uses high speed two-person ‘pods’ that levitate on a magnetic field to keep them floating above a track.

On Tuesday, IAI’s Lahav Division director Yosef Melamed and skyTran CEO Jerry Sanders signed an agreement to enter into the joint project.

SkyTran, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, hopes to one day build a full working system in Tel Aviv.

“The support afforded by IAI is a breakthrough for skyTran,” Sanders said. “IAI, as a world-class designer of aircraft and avionics, is the perfect partner to take skyTran from concept to construct.”

Engineers will use the project to test and fine-tune the system in preparation for installation in the city. The demonstration track, which will be several hundred meters long, is two years away from completion; there is as yet no schedule for beginning construction on the Tel Aviv system.

According to the planners, the SkyTran system will provide a cheaper, faster, more environmentally friendly and comfortable alternative to cars and buses, reducing congestion and pollution in Israel’s largest metropolitan area.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Break the cycle, we beg of you

by Robi Damelin for The Times of Israel

Robi DamelinThe Parents Circle Families Forum is made up of Israeli – Palestinian bereaved parents, brothers, sisters, children and wives who every day pay the consequence of the cycle of violence and the need for all of our leaders to be right. We, who understand what it means to lose a loved one, send our condolences to the family of the innocent young Palestinian boy killed whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We condemn the kidnapping of three innocent boys whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We of all people understand this pain of loss and the worry of parents who do not know what the fate of their children will be.

We beg for sanity, and the curbing of the repeated call for vengeance. We beg our leaders to end the blame game and think of a creative way to save the fate and future of those children who are still alive. Our loved ones scream out from their graves for a solution. We who visit their graves with broken hearts call for sanity. Call, not for behavior which will create more hatred. Call for respect for the dignity of the “other” call for the possibility of reconciliation.

We ask our leaders to respect the sanctity of human life and not to vote for the inhumane law to force feed the prisoners. We ask the political leaders to understand what these prisoners mean to the Palestinians, and that without their release, as was the case in South Africa and Ireland, there will never be peace. We have amongst our members a Palestinian family who lost their loved one when he was force fed in prison and yet they have chosen a path to reconciliation.

The recent BDS vote of the Presbyterian Church is yet another indication that Israel is fast becoming the pariah of the world, and of how we are losing our moral fiber. We as an organization would be grateful if the monies taken away from companies would be reinvested in projects of reconciliation. This would alleviate any claims of Anti-Semitism.

We ask all not to give in to the temptation of inertia, but to fight for both sides to experience their human rights, a life of dignity, and the safety for all, free of violence.

We at the Parents Circle – Families Circle, both Palestinians and Israelis, will continue with our work on the ground as we are convinced of the need for a reconciliation process to be an integral part of any future political peace process and are sure that without this work no political agreement will bring lasting peace, but rather a ceasefire until the next time.

Robi Damelin's son David Damelin was killed by a Palestinian sniper in the second Intifada. She is the spokesperson for the Parents Circle- Families Forum, a group of hundreds of Israel and Palestinian bereaved families working for peace and reconciliation.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

After losing Ayelet, Galenas find joy with new baby, thanks to NIH breakthrough

For news about Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, check out our special section.

By Uriel Heilman for JTA

GalenasEven before their daughter, Ayelet Galena, was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called dyskeratosis congenita around her first birthday, parents Hindy Poupko and Seth Galena knew they wanted to have more children.

But once the diagnosis arrived, the couple had a dilemma: There was a fair chance their next child would have the life-threatening genetic disease, too.

Over the course of the next year or so, Galena and Poupko didn’t have much time to think about other kids. They were busy tending to Ayelet, whose struggle they decided to document on a blog, Eye on Ayelet. It quickly gained a following in the thousands. While her kidneys failed her, Ayelet became an Internet sensation. Galena dubbed the phenomenon Ayelet Nation.

When Ayelet died on Jan. 31, 2012, less than two months after her second birthday, thousands of people from around the world who had never met the little Orthodox Jewish girl from Manhattan’s Upper West Side seemed to share in her parents’ grief, overwhelming Poupko and Galena with condolence messages, food packages and gifts.

This month, good news finally arrived in the Galena-Poupko household: The couple had a new baby, a healthy boy born two weeks ago. On Sunday at his bris, they named him Akiva Max Galena.

The journey that led to their second child was no easy feat, as Poupko and Galena told JTA this week in an interview squeezed between feedings and diaper changes.

When Ayelet was diagnosed, she immediately was tested for the seven known genetic mutations that cause dyskeratosis congenita. But the results showed she didn’t have any of them, which meant her illness was caused by an unknown genetic mutation that could not be identified by prenatal screening.

“From that moment we always knew that having more children and confidently healthy children would be a challenge,” Poupko said. “They couldn’t even tell us if the disease was inherited or not.”

Continue reading.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Jvillage Network is following this story very closely and we have created a special channel with breaking news, background and suggested prayers and psalms along with other pertinent information about Naftali, Gilad and Eyal.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Breaking news: Fatah-linked terrorists claim abduction of three teenagers

Group says boys are being held safely, will only be returned for thousands of prisoners

By Joshua Davidovich for The Times of Israel

Fatah AbductionA Palestinian terror group aligned with the Fatah movement claimed responsibility Monday for the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, saying the boys were safe and that it would prove this soon.

A statement posted online ostensibly by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the Thursday abduction of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16, south of Jerusalem.

However, doubts were raised as to the veracity of the claim.

The message claimed the group was holding the three, but not in the city of Hebron, and they would only be released in a swap deal.

“We won’t release the three children, except in return for thousands of prisoners,” the statement read, according to a translation posted online by the Israeli 0404 news outlet.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had blamed Hamas for the kidnapping, saying their involvement was a fact. The Hamas terror group, considered more hard-line than Fatah, had praised the abduction but denied involvement.

Two smaller West Bank groups earlier claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, but neither claim was considered credible.

Some 150 Palestinian suspects, including a large number of Hamas leaders have been arrested over the last several days as Israel and Palestinian forced conduct a massive manhunt for the kidnappers and the three teens.

The search has mostly focused on the Hebron area.

Earlier on Monday, Abbas condemned both the kidnapping and the Israeli response. Netanyahu also held a rare phone conversation with the Palestinian leader in which he requested Palestinian help in finding the perpetrators.

Netanyahu speaks to Abbas, expects PA help in finding teens

Abbas calls Netanyahu, two leaders speak for first time in over a year ● Palestinian president condemns kidnapping ● Palestinian killed in clashes with IDF outside Ramallah ● 40 Palestinians arrested overnight, including parliament speaker.

By Haaretz

Search for TeensThe search for the three kidnapped yeshiva students entered its fourth day on Monday. The Israeli military on Sunday called up a limited number of reserves and is now focusing most of its efforts to find Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, from Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon in the Hebron area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Hamas is behind the abduction. Netanyahu asserted that he holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the teens' fate. The Ma'an Palestinian news agency quoted Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, as saying that Israel "has a lot of information on the kidnapping case. The investigation is conducted in absolute secrecy."

On Sunday it was cleared for publication that one of the abducted teens managed to call the police emergency line immediately after he was taken, at 10:25 P.M. on Thursday and said: "We've been kidnapped."

The security cabinet is scheduled to convene on Monday at noon to further discuss efforts to locate the three teenagers. One of the ideas being considered is to expel senior Hamas members from the West Bank to Gaza, as a way of pressuring the organization. The Justice Ministry convened on Sunday to explore whether such steps are in keeping with international law.

The U.S. on Sunday condemned the kidnapping, and called for the immediate release of the three teens. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S. is still looking for information as to who is behind the incident, but adds that "many indications point to Hamas’ involvement." The military's working assumption is that the three are still in the West Bank.

Rockets were fired late on Sunday toward the southern city of Ashkelon. Iron Dome battery intercepted two of them, the rest landed in open areas. No one was wounded and no damage was done.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Anne Frank Would Have Turned 85 Today

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”—Anne Frank

By Elissa Goldstein for

Anne Frank would have turned 85 today, and to honor her legacy, Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House asked followers to tweet about the impact the iconic teen diarist had on their lives, using the hashtag #AnneFrank2014. If you’d like to have your spirit lifted and your faith in humanity (and social media) restored, we recommend checking out the stream of tributes.

Other ways to remember Anne—aside from reading her book, of course—download a free copy of the audiobook (thanks, Random House!), make a donation to the Anne Frank House, and watch the lovely, powerful two-part 2001 miniseries based on her life, “Anne Frank: The Whole Story.”

Also, here’s an assemblage of interesting Anne Frank-related links we came across while perusing the internet today:

The Prescient Poem 10-Year-Old Anne Frank Penned in Her Schoolmate’s Friendship Book (h/t the ever-wonderful Brain Pickings)

 A Kiss in the Anne Frank House (h/t Sarah Seltzer, The Forward) — interesting piece about the controversial ‘make-out’ scene which takes place in Anne Frank’s attic in teen tear-jerker “The Fault in Our Stars.”

 Extraordinary new play brings Anne Frank’s secret world to life (CNN) — A new play based on Anne Frank’s life is receiving rave reviews in Europe.

Someone Made an Anne Frank Video Game (Tablet) — Bizarre, true.

Meyer Levin’s Anne Frank: A controversial radio play of the famous diary—rejected in 1952 as too Jewish—gets a second airing (Tablet) — Podcast!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Germany Rules Matisse Belongs to Jewish Heirs

The 1921 work, ‘Woman Sitting in an Armchair,’ was found in Munich in 2011

By Isabel Fattal for Tablet Magazine
Woman in ArmchairThe German task force investigating the trove of Nazi-looted art discovered in the Munich apartment of the late recluse Cornelius Gurlitt announced today that one of the paintings found, Matisse’s 1921 “Woman Sitting in an Armchair,” was stolen by the Nazis and rightfully belongs to the heirs of Paris art dealer Paul Rosenberg, the Associated Press reports.

The piece was one of more than a thousand works found in Gurlitt’s apartment, which were discovered by German authorities in 2011 and made public in 2013. Gurlitt inherited these pieces from his father Hildebrand Gurlitt, an art dealer who was was reportedly ordered by Hitler to acquire and sell the art to help finance Nazi activities. Gurlitt had initially claimed that all of the art belonged to him; however, a month before his death in May at the age of 81, he agreed to a deal with the German government under which the works would be investigated to determine their ownership.

Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, the head of the task force, stated that the “final decision” of whether to return the piece “lies exclusively in the hands of the heir or legal successor of Cornelius Gurlitt,” the AP reports. Berggreen-Merkel also stated that Gurlitt had agreed to abide by international agreements to return looted art before his death, and that in her opinion “this obligation also binds his heirs.”

The Rosenberg family, however, had not been informed of the task force’s finding before today’s announcement. Chris Marinello, the lawyer representing the family, expressed disappointment in the lack of communication; he told the AP that this recent update “continues the vein of disregard for due process and compassion that we have seen since the discovery of the Gurlitt hoard.”
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Palestinian lecturer who led Auschwitz trip quits after backlash

Prof. Dajani, castigated for taking students on unprecedented trip to death camp, had expected university to back him, reject his resignation

By Yifa Yaakov for The Times of Israel

DajaniA Palestinian university lecturer who led a delegation of Palestinians to the Auschwitz concentration camp has resigned, reportedly following weeks of pressure and threats.

Al-Quds University Professor Mohammed Dajani had served as head of the university’s Department of American Studies and the director of its brand-new library.

But on May 18, less than two months after the Auschwitz trip, Dajani resigned, telling the Israeli daily Haaretz that he believed he had “no choice” but to do so after the university gave in to fellow faculty members’ “incitement” against him, refused to support him publicly and expelled him from the staff union, to which he said he never belonged.

In March, Dajani led a delegation of 30 Palestinian students to Auschwitz-Birkenau, in what was said to be the first organized visit by Palestinian students to a concentration camp. The delegation, which also spend several days in Krakow, was guided by two Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Dajani was praised in Israel and the West for taking the trip to the former Nazi death camp in Poland, but was condemned by Palestinians, who called him a traitor.

One article about the trip, in the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds, was removed from the paper’s website after online comments got out of hand, according to the Washington Post.

The academic, a former Fatah fighter who was banned from Israel for 25 years, said the university had distanced itself from his decision to lead the student delegation to Poland, and added that he had acted “in a personal capacity” while “on leave.”

Continue reading.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jewish Humanitarian Group Sends 15 Tons of Aid to Balkans Flood Victims

From The Algemeiner

Serbian – In response to last week’s massive floods in Serbia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), along with the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, have dispatched five aid convoys carrying 15 tons of aid for flood victims.

“We immediately responded to the news that flooding had left countless people without basic necessities and shelter, as we have done many times in the past when natural disasters have struck communities in Europe,” said Diego Ornique, JDC’s incoming Europe Regional Director.

“We’re especially proud that in this moment of tremendous need, we could partner with the Jewish communities of Romania, Serbia, and Bosnia to bring life-saving aid to those who need it most,” Ornique added.

The emergency aid products include food, personal hygiene products, water, milk, powdered milk, diapers, liquid soap, bedding, and replacement furniture for flood victims in the towns of Belgrade, Doboj, and Banja Luka.

JDC said it would distribute the items to the most needy victims, including Jewish families in Doboj and Banja Luka.

51 Facts About Israel That Will Surprise You

The highs and lows of your AOL Instant Messaging years and the lowest place on Earth have something in common. These tidbits and 49 other facts will have you ReThinking what you thought you knew about Israel.

From BuzzFeed

51 Facts1. There are over 100 sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv…
2. …making it the city with the most sushi restaurants per capita after Tokyo and NYC.
3. Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world.
4. It has the highest rate of entrepreneurship among women and people over 55 in the world.
5. Israel was the first country to ban underweight models.
6. Israeli banknotes have braille markings on them.
7. Israel won the Eurovision song competition three times.
8. The last time they won, they were represented by a transgender pop star, Dana International. The only other time that’s happened is this year’s winner, Conchita Wurst, from Austria.
9. Israelis consume the third most amount of vegetables and sweets in the world.
10. When Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel in 1969, she was only the third woman elected to lead a country in the modern world.
11. The largest known dog cemetery in the ancient world was discovered in the coastal city of Ashkelon.
12. There’s a rollerblading party that happens every Tuesday night in Tel Aviv.
13. Out Magazine names Israel the gay capital of the Middle East.
14. The country has the most Bauhaus buildings in the world.
15. Israel has 137 official beaches (but only 273 km of coastline).

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Monday, June 9, 2014

At the J Street national summit, wondering what’s next

BDS is still a ‘red line,’ says J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami, who claims his group is ‘squarely in the middle of the conversation’

By Arno Rosenfeld for The Times of Israel

J Street national summitSAN FRANCISCO — At J Street’s national summit, which wrapped up here Sunday night, one question has been front and center: What do advocates for a two-state solution do now?

J Street was founded six years ago with the motto “pro-Israel, pro-peace” to lobby for the American government’s support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Initially treated as a pariah by many in the organized American Jewish establishment, the group has gained members and legitimacy in recent years. A sign of its arrival in the mainstream came last fall when American vice president Joseph Biden and leaders from across the Israeli political spectrum spoke at its Washington, D.C., conference.

But with the collapse of the latest round of peace talks J Street is being forced to grapple with the future direction of its advocacy, especially as the prospects for a negotiated two-state settlement look increasingly bleak.

“We’ve gone into hibernation,” Daniel Kurtzer, who served as the American ambassador to Israel from 2001-2005, told a crowd of several hundred during the conference’s opening night Saturday. “Everyone has stuck their head into the ground like an ostrich.”

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Jewish Activists Gathering In Budapest To Discuss Balancing Jewish And Global Needs

From Me to We 

By Mel Fabrikant for The Paramus Post




Between Tribal & Global

Scores of young Jewish social justice and environmental activists from across the globe will come together this month in Budapest to explore the connections between their commitment to supporting the Jewish community and their passion for helping the wider world.

More than 70 young Jewish activists and leaders from Europe, Israel and North America will convene in Budapest June 9-11 for “From Me to We- Between Tribal & Global,” a gathering designed to explore the creative tension between particularism and universalism. Together with an impressive array of thinkers and visionaries, participants will address issues such as balancing community resources between Jewish and global causes and addressing collective Jewish needs without sacrificing global concerns. The gathering will also focus on Jewish identity in the 21st century; the future of Jewish communities; and whether the Jewish people can make a unique impact on the pursuit of a more just and green world.

Selected from a pool of 120 highly qualified applicants, these leading activists will network to create new global partnerships and promote this provocative dialogue in Eastern and Central European Jewish communities. They will also tap into the collective wisdom of the event’s dynamic participants in order to help design event workshops and discussions.

“As the tension between universalism and particularism is as old as the Jewish people itself, we will explore this dilemma to add a deeper layer to the conversation and tie it back to our Jewish heritage and activism,” said Limor Friedman, who with Tamas Buchler organized From Me to We.

“When people hear about the Hungarian Jewish community, they often connect it with the Holocaust and growing anti-Semitism,” added Buchler. “However, beyond these headlines, Budapest is one of the most exciting Jewish communities in Europe: a regional hub for innovation and revival. The "From Me To We" event is an amazing opportunity for our community to get involved in the global Jewish dialogue on social justice.”

 Continue reading.

Normandy Kaddish Project

From Jews in Green

Jews in Green DDayOn June 6th, the world will pause to remember the hundreds of thousands of troops who fought in the D-Day invasion, including the thousands who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the invasion and, thanks to the follow through of one man, synagogues across the United States will be remembering the fallen at Normandy in a very special way.
Alan Weinschel, a member of Temple Sinai of Roslyn in New York was inspired on a recent trip to Normandy and the American cemetery at Omaha Beach.
[My wife and I] were there right after the High Holidays. I saw that some of the Magen David [tombstones] had coins and stones placed on top of them, but many others were bare. I know that this was the time of year that people often visit graves of family members. Seeing the empty gravestones triggered something in my mind that had me asking, “who is saying kaddish for these guys?”

When he returned, Alan met with his rabbi, Michael White, and the president of his temple to try and arrange for a community effort to do something to remember these young men at the cemetery. Initially the thought was to arrange for a congregational trip to Normandy to say kaddish at the cemetery, but logistics and costs proved prohibitive for such a large contingent. Despite the setback, the group realized that they could still do something back stateside. Alan asked his rabbi, “We don’t have to be there to say kaddish right? Why can’t we do it here?”

Inspired by the enthusiasm expressed by others about the idea, Alan and Rabbi White reached out to people on the Reformed congregation listserv. The response was incredible. Alan could not recall the exact number of congregations that volunteered to participate, but he assured me it was in the hundreds.

Continue reading.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rolling Stones Concert In Israel Time Changed For Jewish Fans Observing Shavuot

 By Michelle Chabin for the Huffington Post

(RNS) The Rolling Stones will begin their first concert in Israel 45 minutes later than originally scheduled to accommodate religious Jewish fans.
The Stones’ June 4 Tel Aviv concert was initially set to begin at 8:30 p.m., just minutes after the end of the Shavuot holiday, the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which commemorates Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.
Orthodox Jews do not drive on the Sabbath or holidays, so it would have been impossible for them to arrive at the venue on time. Many of the Stones’ biggest Israeli fans — modern Orthodox baby boomers who moved to Israel from English-speaking countries — had begged the event promoter, Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production, to push forward the starting time.
“Following many requests from the public, particularly the observant public, to delay the starting hour for the performance, the City of Tel Aviv, together with the production team, decided to change the starting time,” the promoter said in a press release.

Reprint of earlier article from Ben Sales for JTA

 The top 10 Rolling Stones Shavuot songs.

(Props to the Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov for this idea.)

  1. Sympathy for the Devil’s Food Cake — We can’t have meat, but at least we can have great dessert.
  2. (Don’t) Gimme Shellfish — The laws of kashrut, put to hard rock.
  3. Wild Moses — Check out Charlton Heston’s beard in “The Ten Commandments.” Now tell me Moses wasn’t wild.
  4. Dairy Tuesday — This one really only works this year.
  5. 19th Nervous Breakdown — The song title is the same, but this time it’s about a Jewish mother.
  6. Let’s Spend the Night Together… Learning Torah — Probably not what you expected from a Stones song.
  7. Holy Talk Woman — Shavuot night at Yeshivat Maharat.
  8. It’s Only Lox and Rolls But I Like It — Nothing like a good bagel.
  9. Write with Fire – According to legend, God wrote the Ten Commandments with black fire on white fire. Don’t try this at home. 
  10. Hey, Jew, Get Off of My Cow – Moses gets angry about the Golden Calf

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

‘The Jerusalem Post’s’ top 50 most influential Jews of 2014

Top 50 JewsWelcome to The Jerusalem Post’s annual Shavuot list of the world’s 50 most influential Jews! The point of putting together such a list is to recognize the achievements of our tribe across the world, people who in one way or another have worked tirelessly for the improvement of humanity and, in doing so, have made their mark on history.

Talent and the ability to use it for the greater good are not necessarily Jewish traits, but Jews have certainly contributed enormously in a variety of fields around the globe – not only in Israel.

Before the creation of the Jewish state, in the throes of rampant anti-Semitism and horrors of the Holocaust, it would have been unthinkable to put together such a list. But today, thanks in great part to the strength and stature of Israel and the unprecedented freedom that Jews enjoy in the United States and elsewhere, there has been a Jewish renaissance.

Rising anti-Semitism in Europe is a worrying trend, and it is especially important that prominent Jews with influence in Europe are supported in their struggle against this phenomenon.

Still, it is an indisputable fact that Jews have brought immense value and worth to the family of nations in every conceivable sphere, as evidenced by the inordinate number of Jews who have won Nobel prizes.

Continue reading.
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Did a French Comedian Inspire the Killings at the Jewish Museum in Brussels?

Links between Dieudonné, the Belgian anti-Semite Laurent Louis, and Iran show how anti-Semitism is spreading in Europe

By Marc Weitzmann for Tablet Magazine

DieudonneImmediately after an unknown killer walked into the Jewish museum in Brussels and gunned down four people, the president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, Joël Rubinfeld, made the following statement: “What just happened was foreseeable. It was bound to happen. For the past few years, we witnessed a liberation of anti-Semitic words. It grows up again, most notably through the speeches of both the comedian Dieudonné and the representative Laurent Louis.”

Three hours later, Laurent Louis answered with a very long statement whose rhetoric calls to mind the Nazi answer after the Reichstag burning. He said in substance that blaming him or Dieudonné for the massacre was “too easy.” He had nothing to do with this “fool deed”—“fool” as in not anti-Semitically motivated—and implied that those responsible were to be found among his fiercest enemies, secret organizations who were trying to weaken his party “Stand up Belges!” on the eve of the European elections—the implication, obvious to those familiar with Louis’ national crusade against Israel, being that the Jewish state itself was behind the museum massacre. (Despite the length of his declaration, Louis had not a word for the victims.)

Bu then what was Rubinfeld alluding to? What is the connection between Louis and Dieudonné M’Bala M’bala, the notorious anti-Semitic French comedian? in 2013, Louis briefly enrolled in Parti Islam, a small organization with apparent links to Iran. Dieudonné, on the other hand, is involved in the “anti Zionist party,” which is led by Yahia Gouasmi, a French Shiite imam of Algerian background who claims to have met Khomeini in 1978 during his exile in France. The author Alain Soral has publicly admitted that the “anti-Zionist party,” of which he is a member, had received 3 million euros from Tehran, in order to finance the party’s electoral campaign in the 2009 European parliamentary elections; although the number shrank to 300,000 euros in a second statement that Soral was forced to make, he has never denied receiving large sums of money from Iran.

Continue reading.

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