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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Is Natalie Portman Right and Jews Need to Chillax about the Holocaust?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israeli born actress Natalie Portman, whose great grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz, told the Independent that she believes Jewish education puts too much emphasis on the Holocaust. “I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself is how much at the forefront we put Jewish education, which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things. We need to be reminded that hatred exists at all times and be reminded to be empathetic to other people who have experienced hatred also. Not used in a paranoid way of thinking that we are victims.”

Portman, 34, who starred in all three Star War’s prequels (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith), also portrayed Anne Frank in a 1997 Broadway revival. She recently made her directing debut with an adaption of Israeli novelist Amos Oz’s “Tale of Love and Darkness,” a story based on the life of his parents at the dawn of the Israeli state after the nightmare of the Holocaust. The actress returned to Jerusalem to shoot some scenes of the film. She was born in Jerusalem, but her family left for America when she was three years old.

“Sometimes the Holocaust can be subverted to fear mongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen.’ We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, anti-Semitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I don’t need to make false equivalencies. We need it to serve as something that makes us empathetic to people rather than paranoid.”

Natalie Portman is a Harvard graduate, and, while enrolled at the University, responded to a an essay in the Harvard Crimson critical of Israeli actions against Palestinians. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and worked as a research assistant for Alan Dershowitz, author of “The Case for Israel,” “The Vanishing American Jew,” and “Chutzpah.” Portman also took graduate courses at Hebrew University.

Portman said she started forming these attitudes about Holocaust education when she realized that, when she was attending college, the Rawandan genocide was going on, and not nearly enough was being done about it. In 2007, she traveled to Rwanda to learn more about the genocide there. “I was shocked that the [genocide] was going on while I was in school. We were only learning about the Holocaust, and it was never mentioned what was happening while I was at school. That is exactly the kind of problem with the way it is taught. I think it needs to be taught, and I can’t speak for everyone, because this was my personal education.”

Not surprisingly, Natalie Portman’s remarks drew criticism. Colette Avital, former Labor MK and Chair of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust survivors in Israel, said, “While I agree with Natalie Portman that hatred exists in every part of the world, our area included, her understanding of the Holocaust seems limited. Natalie should understand that the Holocaust that befell us cannot be compared to other tragedies–our empathy notwithstanding. It was not merely hatred, it was a policy whose aim was to systematically wipe out a whole people from the face of the world.”

Aaron Goldstein of “The American Spectator” says the reason Portman’s comments about the Holocaust are so disturbing is not that she is just another pretty actress with an opinion, not that she, as stated by Colette Avital, has “limited” understanding of the Holocaust. But because her great grandparents died in Auschwitz, because she was born in Israel, and if “the Allies had been unable to liberate the concentration camps 70 years ago, and had Hitler and the Nazis triumphed, there would be no Natalie Portman, no Israel and no Jews. If an Israeli-born Jew whose ancestors were killed in Auschwitz doesn’t understand what separates the Holocaust from all other acts of genocide, then we have a big problem,” Goldstein writes. He thinks Portman’s views may be an indication of the feelings of other Israeli-born young Jews who are descended from Holocaust survivors. In addition, she is a public figure with a fan base, and is likely to influence others. Her statements arrive at a time when fewer and fewer people are still alive who witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, and at this particular time, she questions the role of the Holocaust in Jewish education. Goldstein points out that Portman’s support for President Obama and her criticisms of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu over remarks he made on the eve of his re-election–which were offensive to Arabs–means that she might have been using her allegation to suggest that the Holocaust is used to promote “fear mongering” and “paranoid thinking” by those who oppose Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. “If she thinks Iran isn’t serious about wiping Israel off the map,” Goldstein writes, then it simply supports the idea that she doesn’t get what separates the Holocaust from all other acts of evil. That is why her comments are so deeply disturbing.”

Israel Calls British Petition to Arrest Netanyahu a ‘Publicity Stunt’

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has labeled a new petition in Britain to arrest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as “a public relations stunt that has no practical significance.”

The online petition on the Parliament’s official website has gathered approximately 80,000 signatures, according to the London Telegraph, only 20,000 short of the number needed for it to be considered as a possible topic for debate in the Parliament.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said in a statement that “the bilateral relations between Britain and Israel are closer than ever.” He noted that trade between Britain and Israel has doubled over the past several years and that academic and cultural cooperation continues, despite attempts by BDS to curtail it.

The petition states:

Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K. for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014.

The British Foreign Office also dismissed the petition as a “PR exercise, and Conservative MP Sir Eric Prickles said it was “completely absurd” and added:

The petition will have no impact upon the UK-Israel relationship which is stronger than ever and prime minister Netanyahu’s forthcoming visit will enhance it further.

Even the organizer of the petition, Damiam Moran, said he does not expect Netanyahu to be arrested. He told Al Jazeera:

[The government] will just say ‘blah blah blah, universal jurisdiction, good luck’

The British government responded to the petition in abatement:

We were all deeply saddened by the violence. However the Prime Minister [of Britain] was clear on the UK’s recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law.

100 People Pay $33,000 To Meet Obama At Las Vegas Jews’ Home

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

President Barack Obama turned up at the home of Las Vegas Sun newspaper owners Brian and Myra Greenspun Monday night, where 104 people each shelled out $33,400 for the privilege.

Greenspun, who was a college classmate of Bill Clinton, is a longtime backer of President Obama and boosted the fundraiser for the state’s Democratic party, Politico reported.

Retiring Sen. Harry Reid asked the president to show up to help pump cash into the campaign for former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to replace Reid in the Senate.

Greenspun took over the paper from his father Hank, who  conducted secret missions to transport military equipment to Israel during the War for Independence.

Pro-Israel Howard Stern Says Trump Will Be President

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern told listeners Monday that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

Why?

Here is his explanation:

I’ll tell you why I think he’s going to be the nominee: He’s proven that no matter what he says, people dig him.

[Voters} hate illegal immigrants but they just feel funny saying it — whether it’s rational or not — ‘Is the illegal immigrant draining your economy?’ Possibly. ‘Is he taking away your job?’ Possibly.

Trump has been a frequent guest on Stern’s show, which the media star used last year to wildly back Israel in the latest against Hamas missile attacks.

He is against Judaism as an organized religion, but his daughter Emily reportedly has become Orthodox.

The Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s Rob Eshman wrote last year about Stern:

Stern was born Jewish, suffered through—his words—Hebrew school and bar mitzvah studies—and has nothing kind to say about Judaism in particular or organized religion in general.

But the 60 year-old Long Island boy is deeply, tribally, culturally Jewish—and for Jews like him, Israel is the obvious answer to the enduring problem of anti-Semitism, as well as to anti-American, anti-Western, anti-democratic forces in the Middle East.

Stern may be anti-religion, but he is pro-American, pro-democracy, pro-Western and pro-Jews.  So, he is pro-Israel.

 

Record Number of Israelis Take the Train

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Israel Railways reported a 6% increase in passenger traffic in the first half of 2015, according to Globes.

A record number of 25.9 million passengers rode the trains from January through June, compared with 23.7 million in the same period last year.

For the first time ever, more than 200,000 Israelis take the train every day, except for Shabbat, an 11% jump from last year’s 180,000.

Cargo traffic increased by 3% to 3.7 million tons.

Traffic will grower even more starting next month, when Israel Railways launches the Be’er Sheva-Sderot-Netivot-Ashkelon line.

The new high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line is scheduled to begin operation by the beginning of 2018. The project costs nearly $2 billion, and the trains are to whisk passengers from city to city in 28 minutes, less than half the time by car or bus.

Israeli Wins Silver Medal in World ‘Triple Jump’ Championships

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko’s, 25, won a silver medal in the women’s triple jump finals in the world championship competition in Beijing Monday.

Her performance set an Israeli record.

It was the third time an Israeli has won a medal at the championships since 1983,

“Everybody in Israel was watching this event and hoping for the first female medal at the world championships,” she said. “I cannot describe how emotional this moment is.”

PA Terror Cell Arrested for Plotting to Shoot Jews at Joseph’s Tomb

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Israel security forces have arrested an Islamic Jihad in Samaria terror cell for plotting to plant bombs and shoot at Israeli civilians at Joseph Tomb (Kever Yosef).

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the IDF arrested the cell earlier this week and lifted a gag order on the operation Tuesday afternoon.

The cell received directives from Rafat Mohamed Darwish, an Islamic Jihad terrorist operating in Gaza and who is responsible for connecting the terrorist organization with operatives in Judaea and Samaria Region.

Darwish was in charge of arming the cell in order to execute the attack.

Members of the cell arrested are:

Nisim Mohammed Ramdan Rashid Damiri, 30, is of Tulkarm, located east of Netanya. Damiri has been previously arrested on multiple occasions and associated with the Tanzim terrorist group;

Mohammed Mufak Rafik Damiri, 23, also from Tulkarm (’92) and who served as a Palestinian policeman;

Yasir Gaudet Abed Zaruri, 35, a former Hamas terrorist from Shechem and who previously has been arrested; and

Aduen Padel Hassan Nazel, 24, from the village of Qabatiya, south of Jenin in northern Samaria. .

The investigation revealed that each member of the cell held a specific position, such as acquiring weapons, gathering intelligence and executing the attack.

The residents of Nablus and Qabatiya were in charge acquiring the weapons, training and logistics, while the residents of Tulkarm were responsible for executing the attack. Nisim Damiri was planning to execute the attack, and Mohammed Damiri gathered intelligence information regarding the worshipers’ activities in Joseph’s Tomb.

Zaruri admitted to agreeing to teach Nisim Damiri how to prepare an improvised explosive device (IED).

Nazel revealed he was contacted by Darwish from Gaza, who asked him to supply the cell with weapons for the attack.

The case has been transferred to the Military Court in the in the Samaria Region in order to indict the four terrorists.

IDF spokesmen added:

The investigation revealed the clear and continued intent of operatives in the Gaza Strip to recruit terrorists as well as direct and lead terror activities in the Judea and Samaria Region.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-terror-cell-arrested-for-plotting-to-shoot-jews-at-josephs-tomb/2015/08/25/

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