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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘David’

‘The Way To Fight Anti-Jewish Is By Doing Jewish’: What David Nesenoff Learned From His Infamous Encounter With Helen Thomas

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

David Nesenoff travels the world talking about his May 27, 2010 encounter at the White House with the late Helen Thomas, longtime star reporter and dean of the White House press corps.

Invited by Brooklyn’s Chabad of Sea-Gate, Nesenoff spoke last month at Kneses Israel (the Big Shul). Rabbis Chaim Brikman, Leiby Brikman, Pinny Marozov, and Heshy Ceitlin thought it important for their fellow Jews to know the backstory of Nesenoff’s exchange with Thomas, especially with anti-Semitism and hostility to Israel on the rise in so many parts of the world.

Nesenoff – rabbi, filmmaker, blogger, author (David’s Harp), cartoonist, musician, motivational speaker, and professional comic – delivers his serious message leavened with humorous anecdotes.

At the heart of the story are Nesenoff, his then-teenage son Adam, and Adam’s friend Daniel Landau, who were attending a Jewish Heritage Month celebration on the White House lawn.

Nesenoff’s idea was to tape people’s responses to the question “What do you think about Israel?” He planned to publish the responses on his RabbiLive.com website. Suddenly, Nesenoff spotted Thomas walking toward them.

“Any comments on Israel?” Nesenoff asked her.

“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” said Thomas, a daughter of Lebanese immigrants.

Nesenoff reacted like he’d been stun-gunned to the core of his being. “Oooh!” he said. “Any better comments?”

Weirdly laughing, Thomas admonished Nesenoff: “Remember, these people [the Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany. It’s not Poland.”

Though not a seasoned journalist, Nesenoff knew enough to keep it going and ask the logical follow-up: “So where should they go? What should they do?”

Thomas: They should go home.

Nesenoff: Where’s home?

Thomas: Poland. Germany.

Nesenoff repeated it back, making sure he’d heard what he thought he’d heard: “So the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany.”

“And America – and everywhere else,” added Thomas, who then asked rhetorically, “Why push people out who live there for centuries?”

To which Nesenoff asked her, “Are you familiar with the history of that region and what took place there?”

Thomas replied: “Very much! I’m of Arab background.”

The video of that conversation was posted online and quickly went viral, with media reps and reporters condemning Thomas, while contacting Nesenoff with interview requests.

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President George W. Bush, called Nesenoff and told him it was important to find a “message” to go with the story.

But what, Nesenoff wondered, was the right message? His son asked him, “You can speak to anyone in the world – who do you want me to call?”

Nesenoff’s first choice, Elie Wiesel, said he’d read about Nesenoff’s habit of davening with ChabadFind out what the Rebbe would have said about putting a message to the story, Wiesel suggested.

Nesenoff contacted Chabad Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, who had known the Rebbe well.

What the Rebbe would have advised, said Shemtov, was something like this: “We are not the friends of Israel; we are the Children of Israel. Sometimes we are away for a little while in galus or sometimes we are away for a few years in Auschwitz. But we are still the Children of Israel. Israel and the Children of Israel are one – forever.”

Nesenoff repeated the Children of Israel message on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program a couple of weeks after his encounter with Thomas.

Yale University professor Charles Asher Small was near a TV when the CNN show aired. Small asked Nesenoff to be the keynote speaker at Yale’s inaugural 2010 Symposium on Global Anti-Semitism, which Small was chairing later that summer.

Meanwhile, criticism of Thomas’s remarks, which had come fast and furious from the moment Nesenoff put the video online, continued unabated, even after Thomas apologized a week after the encounter and retired a few days later.

President Obama condemned Thomas’s comments, calling them “offensive” and “out of line.” Lanny Davis, special counsel to former president Bill Clinton, said Thomas “showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot.” Ari Fleischer called for Thomas to be fired, adding, “If this isn’t bigotry, what is? What she said is as bad as someone saying all blacks should leave America and go back to Africa.”

Poster advertising Nesenoff’s appearance in Sea Gate last month.

Poster advertising Nesenoff’s appearance in Sea Gate last month.

Thomas’s agency, Nine Speakers, Inc., dropped her as a client. Craig Crawford, who had co-authored Thomas’s book Listen up, Mr. President, said he would “no longer be working with Helen on our book projects.” Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, canceled the commencement speech Thomas was scheduled to deliver at the school.

The White House Correspondents’ Association, over which she had once presided, called her remarks “indefensible” and the plaque engraved with her name was removed from her front row seat in the White House briefing room. In January 2011, the Society of Professional Journalists voted to do away with the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her alma mater, Wayne State University, took back the tolerance award it had bestowed on her.

There were plenty of people who still loved Thomas, though – some perhaps more than before – and Nesenoff (who would go on to receive the National Jewish Hero Award from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute) was deluged with hate mail, even death threats, and required police protection.

Her fans included consumer advocate Ralph Nader, television personalities Joy Behar and Rosie O’Donnell, and political commentator Keith Olbermann, who called Nesenoff’s video a totally unfair “ambush” interview.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) gave Thomas a lifetime achievement award in October 2010. And, a bit belatedly, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s General Mission to the U.S. gave Thomas an award in April 2012 in honor of her “long career in the field of journalism, during which she defended the Palestinian position every step of the way.” PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi presented the honor to Thomas on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Nearly a year after her confrontation with Nesenoff, Thomas admitted her apology was disingenuous, telling writer David Hochman that she really didn’t regret her anti-Jewish, anti-Israel statements. In the course of that interview, published in the April 2011 issue of Playboy, she unabashedly proclaimed her belief in an “Elders of Zion”-type Jewish conspiracy that entailed “total control” over the White House, Congress, and U.S. financial markets.

“Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood,” Thomas told Hochman.

An incredulous Hochman asked her whether she really believed “there’s a secret Jewish conspiracy at work in this country.” To which Thomas replied: “Not a secret. It’s very open. What do you mean secret?”

And she revealed to Hochman that shortly after she’d made the comments that would end her career, a sympathetic Jimmy Carter called to offer his support. “He talked about the Israelis in the Middle East, the violations. It was very nice of him to call, but I don’t want to get him into trouble,” confided Thomas.

Having aired her true feelings to Hochman, Thomas doubled down on her defiant and unapologetic attitude, telling an Ohio radio station a few months later that she realized soon after talking to Nesenoff that she would be fired because “I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive.”

She added that she issued an apology because people were upset but she still “had the same feelings about Israel’s aggression and brutality.”

Helen Thomas died on July 20, 2013, at the age of 92.

As for Nesenoff, the lesson he took away from his fateful encounter with Thomas is simple and straightforward.

“Each time I tell my story,” he says, “I tell my audiences the way to fight anti-Jewish is by doing Jewish. I know this is what the Rebbe would have wanted me to say.

Do Torah! Do Mitzvot! Do Shabbat! Do Kosher!”

Beth Sarafraz

David Duke: Jews Plagiarized Michelle Obama’s Speech, Shamed Melania Trump

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

“This is a con job, sabotage, political character assassination plan from the get go!” declared the former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke regarding the embarrassing Monday night GOP convention speech of Donald Trump’s wife Melania, which lifted several key segments from a 2008 speech in a similar setting by then Democratic candidate Barak Obama. “Did a Jewish Neocon Speechwriter Sabotage Melania Trump’s Big Speech?” he wondered.

“I would bet a gefilte fish that this was sabotage,” Duke continued, “I would also bet a bagel it was orchestrated by an Israel Firster who wanted to damage the American Firster.”

Thank God, he didn’t bet a matzo or a Hamantash on anything…

According to the NY Times, two sources inside the Trump campaigned actually confirmed it was a Jew — Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who commissioned a draft of Ms. Trump’s speech from Matthew Scully and John McConnell, two former speechwriters for George W. Bush.

The two writers were told that the timing of Melania’s speech had been shortened, and that she worked with a person inside the Trump organization to make substantial revisions.

Those revisions obviously included lifts from that great 2008 Michelle Obama speech.

Melania said: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect . . . They taught and showed me morals in their daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to many generations to follow because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Michelle Obama said: “… Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them . . . And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller explained away the plagiarized text, saying, “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”

But KKK Duke believes it was the Jews looking to humiliate candidate Trump. “Nobody could have been so stupid as to make about five or six common quotes out of Michele Obama’s Demo convention speech just a few years before and put it in Melania Trump’s speech and not think it would get exposed,” he wrote.

So, what did the Jews stand to gain from humiliating Trump, who, as we all know, is surrounded by Jews, including some of his own offspring? “Of course, that’s easy to answer,” writes Duke. “A vicious corrupt lying Zio Media who are going all out to destroy Donald Trump just as they are setting out to destroy this nation with a flood of immigrants in their bid to divide-and-conquer!” and he reminded his readers of Israel’s Mossad motto, “By deception Thou Shalt Wage War.”

Of course, Duke got that one wrong, too, or perhaps he lifted it off of a White Power website. The Mossad logo is Proverbs 11:14, which goes: “Without clever tactics an army is defeated, and victory comes from much planning.”

Have another bagel, Mr. Duke.


Trump Pulls Star of David from Anti-Clinton Image

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Donald Trump was criticized Saturday for combining a popular Jewish symbol with an attack on Hillary Clinton, who is, apparently, the “Most corrupt candidate ever!” which is a tall order indeed, considering who has run for the highest post in the land over the centuries. Still, the image featured a six-pointed star, or, let’s have the courage to say it, a Star of David, against a background of heaps of cash which, if we didn’t know better, would have brought to mind some classic anti-Semitic imageries.

The rebukes arrived on schedule, with leftwing columnist Ana Marie Cox tweeting that the “Symbolism here is pretty… unsubtle.”

The Trump campaign did not release a statement to explain the offensive tweeted image, but shortly thereafter released an almost identical image with a circle where the Jewish symbol used to be. So now it’s time for circle Americans to take offense.


Roger Waters Open Letter Calls on Musicians to Boycott Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.

“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.

The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.

Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”

He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.

“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” Waters wrote.

Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.


The Collective Jew

Monday, August 19th, 2013
I keep trying to make this point to show what I believe is the unique Israel. In the last few weeks, three incidents have happened that once again reinforce what I have known all my life. Am I wrong to believe there is no other country in the world that would do these things?

Here’s the first amazing story:

A young cancer patient on the way to the US with a bunch of other sick kids can’t find her passport.

With no other choice, the young girl was removed from the plane and the plane prepared to depart after a fruitless search on the plane, in the airport, everywhere. Minutes before takeoff, while the plane was taxiing to the runway, they found the passport in another child’s backpack.

Too late, no? The stewardess told the pilot – the pilot radioed the tower and was given permission to turn back. The story appears here.

As the child cried, so too did people on the plane – and the stewardesses, and people on the ground. Amazing.

And the second story…

David Finti is 19 years old. He is a Romanian Jew. While boarding a train, David was electrocuted and severely burned. The local Jewish community contacted the Jewish Agency. They recognize the collectivism of our people just as on the Israeli side it was recognized as well. And so, Israel flew the young man to Israel, making him an Israeli citizen so that he could get critical care free of charge. David and his parents were flown to Israel and are now at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem hospital. The story appears here.

Yet another story in the last few days has come to light. Israel recently managed to bring in another 17 Yemenite Jews – leaving 90 left.What amazes me is that we were able to bring another group here to Israel and more, that we know how many remain. We are watching, waiting, hoping to bring the last remnants of what was once a great community here to Israel.

It is what we do. Three stories of how Israel watches, Israel waits, Israel acts.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

Religious Right and ACLU Protest Judge’s No Messiah Ruling

Monday, August 19th, 2013

It began when Jaleesa, 22, took the father of her baby, Jawaan P. McCullough, 40, to family court in Tennessee, to establish paternity and to set child support. Oh, and the baby’s name was Messiah, according to the LA Times.

In court it was revealed that the father had wanted to name the baby Jawaan P. McCullough Jr., but he no longer objected to calling the boy Messiah Deshawn. But the judge decided to change the baby’s name anyway.

“It is not in this child’s best interest to keep the first name ‘Messiah,'” Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew wrote in her decision. “‘Messiah’ means Savior, Deliverer, the One who will restore God’s Kingdom. ‘Messiah’ is a title that is held by only Jesus Christ.”

An entire Jewish family of Iraqi extract named Mashiach would argue differently, but you don’t get many Iraqi Jews in Tennessee. But even without that Iraqi-Jewish input, “Messiah” is an increasingly popular American baby name, according to the LA Times, as are the names Lord and King.

The name would impose an “undue burden on him that as a human being he cannot fulfill,” the judge wrote, although she really didn’t know just how spiritually gifted the baby Messiah was.

She also noted that in Cocke County, Tenn., where the new Messia resides, there is a “large Christian population” as evidenced by its “many churches of the Christian faith.”

“Therefore,” the judge concluded, “it is highly likely that he will offend many Cocke County citizens by calling himself ‘Messiah.'”

Maybe, maybe not – there’s a slew of Jesus’s out there and no one seems to mind, and then, come to think of it, using that same logic, the name David should also irk some people. So the ACLU of Tennessee got on the case, and, surprisingly, received many calls of support from the religious right, which typically threatens to blow up their offices over abortion cases.

“I got the classic call the other day,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, told the LA Times. “They said, ‘I really don’t like the ACLU, but I support what you are saying and doing about the baby Messiah.”

UC Davis constitutional law professor Carlton F.W. Larson said the judge’s “entire line of reasoning totally violates basic freedom of religious purposes. This kid can’t be a Messiah because the Messiah is Jesus Christ? Judges don’t get to make pronouncements on the bench about who is the Messiah and who is not.”

The ACLU’s Weinberg agreed: “The judge is crossing the line by interfering in a very private decision and is imposing her own religious faith on this family. The courtroom is not a place for promoting personal religious beliefs, and that’s exactly what the judge did when she changed the baby Messiah’s name to Martin.”

On the other hand, if a certain Miriam from Nazareth had gone ahead and changed her own child’s name to Martin, we’d all be spared a lot of embarrassment…

Yori Yanover

2700 Year-Old Inscription in City of David Excavations

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Archaeological excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the area of the Gihon Spring in the City of David, in the Walls around Jerusalem National Park, have unearthed a layer of rich finds including thousands of broken pottery shards, clay lamps and figurines. Most intriguing is the recent discovery of a ceramic bowl with a partially preserved inscription in ancient Hebrew. While not complete, the inscription presents us with the name of a seventh century BCE figure, which resembles other names known to us from both the Biblical and archaeological record (see examples below) and providing us with a connection to the people living in Jerusalem at the end of the First Temple period.

This fascinating find will be presented at Megalim’s Annual Archaeological Conference which will take place on Thursday, August 29th in the City of David.

The most similar name to our inscription is Zechariah the son of Benaiah, the father of the Prophet Jahaziel. The name Zechariah the son of Benaiah appears in 2 Chronicles 20:14 where it states that Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, prophesized before the Biblical King Jehoshaphat before the nation went off to war against the ancient kingdoms of Ammon and Moab.


Pottery Sherd of a Bowl from the end of the First Temple Period, bearing the inscription "ryhu bn bnh". Photo: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority

Pottery Sherd of a Bowl from the end of the First Temple Period, bearing the inscription “ryhu bn bnh”. Photo: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority


Israel Antiquity Authority archaeologists Dr. Joe Uziel and Nahshon Zanton, who discovered the bowl while excavating remains associated with the First Temple period destruction, explained that the letters inscribed on the shard likely date to the 8-7th centuries BCE, placing the production of the bowl sometime between the reign of Hezekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah. The archaeologists also explained that the inscription was engraved on the bowl prior to firing, indicating that the inscription originally adorned the rim of the bowl in its entirety, and was not written on a shard after the vessel was broken.

While the purpose of the inscription on the bowl is unclear, archaeologists have posited that the bowl may have contained an offering, likely given by the individual whose name was inscribed on the bowl, or alternatively given to him. Inscription Analysis

The first letter of the ceramic bowl’s partially preserved inscription in ancient Hebrew script is broken and is therefore difficult to read, but appears to be the letter ר. The next three letters יהו constitute the theophoric suffix (the component in which the name of the deity appears as part of the first name, such as Yirme-yahu and Eli-yahu, etc). These letters are followed by בנ (the son of) after which appears the patronymic name composed of the three letters בנה. According to archaeologists Uziel and Zanton, “If we consider the possibility that we are dealing with an unvowelized or ‘defective’ spelling of the name בניה (Benaiah), then what we have before us is the name “…ריהו בן בניה”

Many of the first names mentioned in the Bible contained the theophoric component יהו, as is the case of this inscription from the City of David. Besides the biblical references, other examples of this have also been found in archaeological excavations, written on a variety of objects such as seals, bullae, pottery vessels or even carved on rock. Noteworthy among the many names that end with the theophoric suffix יהו are several prominent examples that were previously discovered in City of David by Professor Yigal Shiloh, such as Gemar-yahu the son of Shaphan, Bena-yahu the son of Hoshayahu, etc. which were also found in the destruction layer and the ruins of the Babylonian conquest.


Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/2700-year-old-inscription-in-city-of-david-excavations/2013/08/18/

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