Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Most Revealing Video About The Middle East You Will Ever See

Is Israel the Middle Eastern country with serious human rights issues? If you can watch this movie from beginning to end and still think that Israel should be the focus of human rights violations, then you may just be a habitual anti-Israel basher.

Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and especially Iran have been violating every possible international norm of human decency over the last few decades.
Although graphic videos are difficult to watch, sometimes they are vital to watch in order to set the record straight.

This is not an enjoyable video, but it is very important to be informed.
We wish that every celebrity who is speaking out about Israel's human rights violations would watch this video.  It's easy to vilify Israel when it's the ONLY country in the Middle East with freedom of expression.

Watch video

Most revealing video

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Young Israeli Speaks Out About Gaza

"Stop the lies and misinformation."

Here's how you can help:

Mosab Hassan Yousef (Son of Hamas Founder) tells the truth about Hamas

Mosab Hassan Yousef (Son of Hamas Founder) reveals the truth about how Hamas Terror group aims to kill civilians and uses Palestinian Children as human shields. (CNN interview. July 24 2014)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not Pro Israel or Pro Palestine. No Either/Or. And-Both. I’m Pro Solution. Here’s why:

by Amichai Lau-Lavie

Pro SolutionI went to the UJA Federation organized rally today in NYC in front of the UN – to stand with Israel – with my own signs.
I went with Nigel Savage, Rabbi David Ingber, Sandi DuBowski, Molly Yavetz, Rabbi David David L Kline, and a few other Storahtelling LabShul friends.

The signs I made called for standing with Israel, while mourning with Gaza. They asked for no more dead – in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Some people were appreciative and grateful for the nuanced messaging, but others spat at me, pushed at me, wished me to go die in Gaza and Germany. To the older woman who kept following me with her own ” Stand with Israel” sign to block my own sign and yelling out loud – look at the traitor – he’s a mamzer – a bastard – I turned and said, calmly – my father is a Holocaust Survivor, please respect him if not me. To which she replied – he should have died there. There were other obscene and racist statements that I won’t describe.

Continue reading.
Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hamas official claims it rejected Egyptian deal to avoid recognizing Israel

Islamist group couldn’t accept Cairo proposal because it included acceptance of Israel, says Abu Marzouk, but official ceasefire text makes no such demand

By Elhanan Miller for The Times of Israel

Moussa Abu MarzoukThe Egyptian ceasefire proposal put forward on July 15 included a preamble calling on Hamas to recognize Israel on the 1967 borders and for the resumption of peace talks, conditions Hamas could not agree to, the movement’s deputy political chief claimed.

In a largely overlooked Facebook post on Saturday, Cairo-based Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, said that Hamas could not “recognize the legitimacy” of international demands to accept Israel on the 1967 borders, “norms that the resistance refuses to acknowledge.”

“[Hamas] has suffered siege, killing and arrests for its refusal [to recognize Israel]. Had it accepted these conditions following its victory in the 2006 elections it could have entered the White House and received red carpet welcomes in all world capitals,” Abu Marzouk wrote.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jewish rocker sings Israel support


Los Angeles-based Jewish rocker Peter Himmelman has released a new song in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas terror from Gaza. “Maximum Restraint” challenges claims Israel is responding disproportionately in the current conflict.

According to Himmelman, people “sitting in Santa Monica sipping lattes” are in no place to judge Israel’s response to Hamas rockets.

“It’s a disingenuous fantasy to think that Jews should just turn the other cheek. For Jews, turning the other cheek is a sin,” he says.

In explaining the threat Israel faces, Himmelman uses the analogy of people’s locking their front door when they go to bed. “When someone breaks in to your house, you call 911, not your mom. The people who come have guns and that sometimes leads to gore on the kitchen floor,” he says.

Continue reading. 

Almost 80 years after ordination, the first woman rabbi finally gets her due

By Toby Axelrod for JTA

first woman rabbiAsk most Jews where and when the world’s first female rabbi was ordained, and they’ll likely guess 1970s America.

But they’d be off by four decades and a continent.

The first woman rabbi was not Sally Priesand, ordained by the Reform movement in 1972, but Regina Jonas, who earned the title in 1935 in Berlin.

This week, Priesand — along with other pioneering women rabbis from various movements and countries — is in Berlin and Prague trying to bring some belated recognition to Jonas, who perished in Auschwitz in 1944.

Highlights of their five-day tour, organized by the Jewish Women’s Archive and the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives to honor Jonas, included installing a plaque in Jonas’ memory at the Terezin concentration camp, where she was initially deported, and visiting Centrum Judaicum Archive, where Jonas’ personal papers were stored for safekeeping on the eve of her deportation.

“They came out with this little box,” said Priesand, who said she had been expecting a much bigger trove. “Her whole life was in this little box. And it reminded me of how important it is to tell the story. I wonder how many other stories were there” and never told.

Born in 1902 in Berlin, Jonas studied at the city’s Liberal Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums (Higher Institute for Jewish Studies) and was ordained by Rabbi Max Dienmann. Leo Baeck also signed the ordination papers.

But after her death, she was largely forgotten until after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when her papers were rediscovered.

Continue reading.

Follow our    page.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shimon Peres bows out as president praising Israel ‘the great state’

By Marcus Dysch for

Shimon PeresIn his farewell speech as president of Israel, Shimon Peres has spoken of his belief in the country’s strength to overcome Hamas, and his intention to continue his public service.

Speaking at the Knesset as he prepared to hand over to incoming-head of state Reuven Rivlin, Mr Peres said he had watched Israel become a “great state”.

“I know of no other country on the face of the earth or throughout history, which amazed and surprised so much,” the 90-year-old said.

“It is a great privilege to be a citizen among citizens who know toil and struggle. Who made a supreme effort and carried determined hope until the first dew of our dawn.

“We returned. We built. We fought. We prayed. Until we began to see contours that even surprised us. We are an ancient people who are getting older. We are a people, first and foremost, that rebuilds itself time and again.”

Charting the history of the Jewish people and their state, Mr Peres said there were “still idols to be smashed, slaves to free, lives to save and justice to uphold. There is still a world to fix”.

Continue reading.Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.

United by their faiths in Allston

Jewish, Muslim, Christian teens and parents break fast together in Allston as Mideast violence rages

By Faiz Siddiqui, Boston Globe Correspondent

United by their faithsThe dozen or so children and teenagers dug into mounds of yellow rice, and scooped heaps of creamy hummus, and devoured doughy, nut-filled katayef as the sun disappeared over the horizon. But faith, not food, proved to be their uniter, even as some like Shayan Raza took their first sips of water after a daylong fast.

They came, these Jewish and Christian and Muslim teens and parents, to extend a mutual gesture of peace. They came even as, half a world away, strife roiled the lands considered by their faiths to be holy.

Around the table Sunday, the teenagers found common ground not only in their frustration, but also their faith in the Abrahamic religions. They weighed the similarities between Ramadan and Passover, between kosher and halal food, between the Jewish and Muslim calendars. They marveled at the significance of the moon to both religions. They considered the importance of Abraham to their scriptures.

“When you see the news, you see all the horrible stuff that's going on,” Raza, a 13-year-old, said after breaking his nearly 17-hour fast. “But you come here, and kind of see a different outlook.”

The youths had gathered at the Palestinian Cultural Center for Peace in Allston for an interfaith iftar, a traditional breaking of the fast that takes place nightly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Many were part of the interfaith leadership community Kids4Peace Boston.

They met at a time when airstrikes continued to rain down on the Gaza Strip, leaving at least 175 dead over the course of a weeklong offensive. They dined together as rocket fire continued pouring into Israel, causing at least one serious injury and leaving multiple Israeli soldiers wounded.

 Continue reading.

Follow our    page.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

From Shimon Peres' facebook page; spot-on, as usual

I regret that airlines have suspended flights. The real answer is not to stop flights but to stop the rockets. If airlines will submit to terror then they invite more rocket fire and a greater danger not just here, but across the world

(President Peres in a meeting this morning with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon)

צר לי על ההחלטה להשעות את הטיסות לישראל. התשובה האמיתית לאיום על ישראל היא לא לעצור את הטיסות אלא לעצור את הטילים. אם חברות התעופה ייכנעו לטרור הן יזמינו עוד טילים ויעצימו את סכנת הטרור בכל העולם.

(נשיא המדינה שמעון פרס בפגישת עבודה מדינית עם מזכ"ל האו"ם באן קי מון. צילום: מארק ניימן/לע"מ)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jewish Owned Stores Burned to the Ground, Synagogue Firebombed in ‘Paris Intifada’

From The Algemeiner

For the second straight day on Sunday anti-Jewish rioters defied a protest ban in Paris to rampage in the predominantly Jewish suburb of Sarcelles in what one police official called the “Paris Intifada.”
Hundreds of mostly Arab and North African youths marched through the streets wielding bars and clubs while shouting, “Death to Israel.”
The neighborhood’s main kosher grocery Naouri was burned to a shell as was a local Jewish owned pharmacy. The nearby synagogue in Garges was firebombed, but little damage was done.
Riot police attempted to disperse protesters and block access to another synagogue in Sarcelles and a few dozen Jewish vigilantes gathered nearby.
Journalists were assaulted and some police officers were injured by the rioters, France’s Le Figaro reported.
“I live in Garges, near the synagogue, but I’m afraid to go home,” a young woman told the newspaper.
“We are seeing real scenes of urban guerrilla warfare,” Thierry Maze, a local law enforcement officer, told Le Figaro.
Multiple Jewish individuals living in the neighborhood, which was compared by one to Brooklyn’s Borough Park for the density of its Jewish population, told The Algemeiner that they feared leaving their homes.
Sunday’s violence came on the heels of a similar event on Saturday in which 3000 people gathered near the Gare Du Nord train station and began marching up Barbes Boulevard. 14 policemen were injured and 38 arrests were made in the incident.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Israel holds moral high ground in Gaza

Monday, July 14, 2014

In Commemoration of Bastille Day, some Judeo-Franco Facts

French Jewish History, 1650-1914

The Republic's liberal principles brought tolerance and opportunity.

By Michael Shurkin for

Jews in FranceThe French monarchy progressively expelled its venerable Jewish community during the 14th and 15th centuries, largely because of religious anti-Jewish sentiment and popular resentment fueled by money lending.

France ended its ban on Jews in the 17th century when it acquired a few thousand Ashkenazic Jews by conquering the Germanic lands of Alsace, Lorraine, and Metz. At the same time Portuguese "New Christians" who had settled in Bordeaux and several other smaller communities in the 16th century were gradually dropping the pretence of being Catholic and beginning to live openly as Sephardic Jews. In the early 18th century, they, too, won official recognition.

Continue reading.

A Jewish Food Writer Explores France

Finding, and Tasting, That ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’

By Leah Koenig

JoanNathanFrenchAuthor and Jewish food connoisseur Joan Nathan may be best known for her award-winning cookbooks on Jewish cuisine in America and Israel. But long before any of those projects began, there was Paris.
Like so many people, Nathan first fell in love with food in the City of Light, where she traveled as a teenager in the 1950s and was introduced to buttery tarts layered with plums, squares of softened chocolate pressed inside crusty baguettes, and decadent potato and cheese gratins. In her newest book, “Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France” (Knopf, $39.95), Nathan revisits this land of first food loves to explore the role that Jewish cooks played — and continue to play — in shaping the country’s celebrated culinary traditions.

Despite her lifelong adoration of France, Nathan said she did not immediately think to explore the country’s Jewish connections. “[For years] I was naively unaware of the history of Jews in the country,” she writes. She is not the only one. The French Jewish community is one of the oldest in Europe (dating back to the first century C.E.), and the country houses the world’s third-largest Jewish population, behind Israel and America. Still, French Jewish cooking does not claim the same global recognition as other European Jewish cuisines.

Continue reading.

Also check out Joan Nathan's Tarte au Citron (Lemon Tart)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Conversion bill scheduled to come to vote in committee Monday, coalition tensions likely


Conversion BillThe controversial conversion reform law proposed by MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) could take center stage in the political debate next week with the bill scheduled to be brought back to committee for a final vote.

The bill has passed its first reading and its process through the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice committee is almost complete apart from one final vote on an amendment, which will likely be defeated if voted upon, paving the way for the legislation’s second and third readings in the Knesset plenum.

However, Bayit Yehudi has vigorously opposed the bill in its current format and is likely to seek ways to block its passage, which could lead to a political showdown over the legislation.

Stern’s bill seeks to increase access to conversion courts for conversion candidates by increasing the number of courts and allowing chief municipal rabbis to establish them.

The chief rabbinate is strenuously opposed however, arguing that the law would empower rabbis not sufficiently versed in the laws of conversion to perform conversions, while also taking too much authority out of its hands, and Bayit Yehudi and its Deputy Minister for Religious Services Eli Ben-Dahan have sought to halt the bill for fear of damaging the standing of the chief rabbinate.

The bill has the potential to destabilize the coalition given Bayit Yehudi’s strenuous objections. At the end of the Knesset winter session in March, Bayit Yehudi successfully appealed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to halt the progress of the bill through committee.

Netanyahu subsequently asked senior national-religious leader Rabbi Haim Druckman, who has publicly opposed the bill, to mediate between Stern and Ben-Dahan but the negotiations have broken down without agreement.

A spokesman for Stern said the Hatnua MK made far reaching compromises on the bill but that Bayit Yehudi would still not accept the bill.

Two weeks ago, Rabbi Dov Lior, a hardline national-religious rabbi who wields significant influence over the Tekuma bloc within Bayit Yehudi Knesset faction, spoke out publicly against the bill and said it was the reason behind the kidnapping, and subsequent murder, of Eyal Yifrach, Gil’ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel.

Follow our    page.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

We need one another

by Yair Lapid for The Times of Israel

Following is the eulogy for Gil-ad Shaar, delivered at his funeral by request of the family:

Yair LapidToday we are burying a child. To bury a child is unnatural; parents are not supposed to march in a funeral procession for their children; grandparents are not supposed to shed tears over their grandchild’s grave. It’s supposed to be the opposite. When we bury our deceased elderly, we cry over the lives they had lived – over the many memories they’ve left behind. When we bury a child, we cry over the lives they haven’t lived. Today we are burying a wedding; we’re burying the first breath of a new born child. Today we are burying an entire Shabbat table that will never come into being. And so let’s remember every second that we are burying today a child.

Today we are burying a child who could have been any one of ours and therefore he is one of ours – all of us. We aren’t burying a “settler”; we aren’t burying a soldier who fell in the never ending struggle for this land of ours. This is not the funeral of a particular population sub-group or “sector”; it isn’t one particular group that is grieving this loss. We need one another on this day. We need one another. We don’t need anger; we don’t need yet another division among us; we don’t need a competition over whose rage is holier or whose hate is purer. Rage is not holy. Hate can never be pure. I can certainly understand all those demanding revenge; how could I not understand when I share those same sentiments – when each and every one of us feels this way.

But today, at this funeral, in the presence of this family, we need love. We need to speak in one language. We need to rediscover the paths that connect all of us. If in fact we seek to punish our enemies, there is no greater punishment than for them to behold this sight and to see that nothing can divide us. If we want to take revenge on these murderers, and we find them and punish them, the true revenge will be the ability to transcend the differences among us and to embrace one another, despite all of our shortcomings and the disagreements among us. If indeed we want to sanctify Gil-ad’s memory, we need to choose what to sanctify: the hostility towards the other or the love for each other – that which divides us, or that which binds us; the suspicion or the trust among ourselves.

Children don’t write wills, so we must therefore write Gil-ad’s will. If the family and those assembled here permit me, I would submit that we begin the writing of this will with the words of the Holy Ari:

I hereby take upon myself the commandment of loving thy neighbor as thyself and I hereby love each and every child of Israel as my own soul and my own being.

May Gil-ad’s memory be a blessing.

American-Israeli scientist recognized for excellence in biochar research


Charcoal from biomass could reduce greenhouse gases, improve plant health.

Ellen GraberFor Dr. Ellen Graber, researching the carbon-rich black substance known as biological charcoal – or “biochar” – is her humble contribution to the global fight against climate change.

Graber, an American-Israeli transplanted from New York, received the "Scientist of the Year" award for 2013 on Monday morning from the Academic Committee of the Volcani Center for research achievements in this ever expanding field of biochar – charcoal created through the pyrolysis, or thermochemical decomposition, of biomass. The founder of the Israel Biochar Research Network, Graber is a researcher the Volcani Center's Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, based at the Agriculture Ministry's Agricultural Research Organization in Beit Dagan.

Graber's entrance into biochar research stemmed from a desire to explore the possibilities of biochar for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in the face of climate change, and improving soil fertility. To generate energy-rich products like solid biochar or gaseous biofuels, researchers are tasked with decomposing and carbonizing biomass through a pyrogenic process. Biochar can be for energy, but Graber's research primarily focuses on the use of the product as a soil amendment, with fertility-enhancing properties.

"It's a really new field," Graber told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, adding, however, that researchers around the world are now fervently working on the subject.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.