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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Press’

Leftist ‘Pro-Israel’ Anti-Zionists Hurting Federations Donations

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

American Jews are debating where Jewish federations in their communities draw the line on funding programs associated with varying opinions about Israel, especially activities by “Zionists” who are nothing but anti-Zionists.

Boston

In the Boston area, a recent test case for the local Jewish federation—Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)—revolves around its relationship with Leonard Fein, the founder of organizations including the National Coalition for Jewish Literacy, Moment Magazine, and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

In an Aug. 24 column for the Forward, Fein called for a boycott of the Israeli city of Ariel, which is located beyond the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines that existed until the Six-Day War in 1967.

“Specifically, I believe American Jews visiting Israel should stay away from [Ariel], treat it as an offense against peace,” Fein wrote.

He had been a guest speaker for CJP and has a long-term relationship with that federation’s leadership groups. Asked if that relationship would change due to Fein’s stance on Ariel, CJP Executive Director Barry Shrage said it would not, and regarding whether CJP is willing to continue to invite Fein as a speaker, Shrage said, “Sure.”

“Certainly an argument about settlements, and how to protest settlements and how to support settlements, is part of the daily life of the Jewish community that has a healthy ongoing debate about important issues,” Shrage told JNS.org.

While Shrage believes Fein’s call for a boycott of Ariel was “a very poor tactic,” he stressed that Fein is “a highly respected member of our community.”

“We’d be so much poorer a community if we drive out people like Leonard Fein,” Shrage said. “The future of the community is about binding people together.”

But Charles Jacobs, head of the Boston-based advocacy group Americans for Peace and Tolerance, believes CJP crosses a red line by continuing to work with Fein. Jacobs called the policy of welcoming a “big tent” of organizations and individuals with varying views on Israel a “slippery slope.”

“The CJP-certified Leonard Fein is now one more slip down the slope,” Jacobs told JNS.org. “Leonard Fein, who in the midst of Middle East madness, where Arabs are murdering and gassing and torturing each other—and each other’s wives and children, from Cairo to Damascus to Baghdad—Fein blames Israelis for the lack of peace in the region.

“Beholden to major donors, many of them on the left, it seems that some federations have become disconnected from the larger Jewish community. So if CJP does not excommunicate Fein—if it has no red lines—it will show just how disconnected it has become.”

Shrage said CJP does have red lines. Advocating for the destruction of Israel or harming Israel are “stances that place people outside the community,” but Fein is “a Zionist” and working with him does not cross a line, despite his stance on Ariel, according to Shrage.

“The line here is whether you are anti-Zionist, anti-Israel,” he said.

Fein told JNS.org that while he called for a boycott of Ariel because its location 10 miles beyond the 1949 armistice line presents “a very distinctive problem” and “essentially destroys the possibility of a two-state solution,” he opposes the broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“I think each potential target of that kind of approach of boycott, divestment and sanctions needs to be treated on its own terms, on its own merits, or lack of merits,” Fein said, explaining that he disagrees with a movement that issues boycott calls “with a broad brush,” like the BDS movement does.

New York

Shrage called hosting Fein a “far cry” from hosting BDS activist Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple, who appeared at New York’s 92nd Street Y in May, a story that The Jewish Press exposed here.

The Y also scheduled an event this spring with Roger Waters, the anti-Israel Pink Floyd band member, which was ultimately canceled after The Jewish Press revealed it here.

On Sept. 12, JCC Watch and Americans for a Safe Israel partnered on a protest outside the UJA-Federation of New York building that called for Jews to stop donating to the federation, due to a lack of guidelines preventing federation funding of programming that gives a platform to anti-Israel voices like Walker and Waters. The Y receives $900,000 annually from the federation.

“We have a pattern of forces within the UJA-Federation diverting charitable dollars to further political purposes, and these purposes are anti-Israel,” Richard Allen, head of JCC Watch, told JNS.org.

When a UJA donor and volunteer told Allen at the protest that the funding in question is “only a small part” of the federation’s budget, Allen said he replied, “Even if it’s one penny, it’s wrong, and it makes the whole organization basically treif.”

The UJA-Federation declined to comment for a JNS.org article on the Sept. 12 protest and did not return a comment request for this article.

Washington, DC

Like JCC Watch, Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art (COPMA) is calling for a halt to donations to its local federation, citing the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s funding of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Theater J.

COPMA was formed in 2009 as a response to Theater J’s work on “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza,” a series of short plays in which parents repeat anti-Israel narratives while mulling how to speak to children about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One actor advises a parent not to tell a child that “Arabs used to sleep in her bedroom.”

Robert G. Samet, COPMA’s chairman, said his group does not intend to impede artistic freedom, but rather specifically opposes the federation’s support of Theater J.

“It’s just, don’t do it on our nickel,” Samet told JNS.org. “Don’t do it on [federation] contributors’ support, it’s not appropriate. It’s a fringe view that’s being supported by mainstream contributors.”

Four days after The Jewish Press exposed Jewish funding for Theater J here, Robert Levi, chairman of the board of the National Council of Young Israel, wrote an an Aug. 26 letter to the DC Federation and joined COPMA’s call for the discontinuation of federation support for Theater J, due to the theater group’s planned performance of Motti Lerner’s “The Admission” from March 20-April 27, 2014.

“As you may be aware, [‘The Admission’] reflects a neo-anti-Israeli perspective, which is contrary to the mission of the Federation,” Levi wrote. “The climatic scene of play implies a fictitious 1948 massacre conducted by a colonel in the Israeli defense brigade. You may not be aware that many of Mr. Lerner’s dramas are not performed in Israel due to their harmful message.”

Last week, the federation responded to COPMA with an “open letter to our community.”

“Love of Israel and openness to a diverse array of thought are compatible goals,” the federation’s letter stated.

Ari Roth, artistic director of Theater J, told JNS.org that “The Admission” is all based on “actual research done by three historians,” rather than implying the “fictitious 1948 massacre” that Young Israel’s Levi described in his letter. “The Admission” was also featured in an April 2013 workshop that was underwritten by the Israeli Consulate of New York, which Roth called an Israeli “hechsher” on the play.

COPMA does not acknowledge Theater J’s slate of more than 35 plays and workshops relating to Israel over the last 16 years, said Roth, who among other plays the group has performed cited “Dai” (“Enough”), which details the experiences of 14 different Israelis in the moments before a suicide bombing.

Theater J also never actually produced “Seven Jewish Children,” explained Roth. Instead, the group held a “critical dissection” of the play, featuring readings of “Seven Jewish Children” and response plays, as well as a talk to start the event that included “what troubled me about the play,” Roth said.

The DC federation, in an April 2011 statement, said it would not fund “any organization that encourages boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel in pursuit of goals to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish State.” Theater J “stands squarely” against the BDS movement, Roth told JNS.org.

“We are all about bringing Israeli art over here, engaging with Israel,” he said. “We are a leading importer of Israeli cultural talent to Washington.”

In its letter on COPMA last week, the federation said it was not its job to meddle in the “autonomous decision making” of its partner agencies, or to “single out a few programs from the thousands we support that may make some uneasy.”

Samet, chairman of COPMA, told JNS.org that it was “only with great reluctance that we went to a mass email campaign urging people to suspend or terminate contributions until such time as [the] federation does something about [the Theater J issue].” But the federation ultimately crossed COPMA’s red line.

“We didn’t want to take it that far, but they pretty much forced our hand by ignoring us, and ignoring the issue,” he said.

US Does not Know If Israel Freed Terrorists or ‘Freedom Fighters’

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The U.S. State Dept. is not able to decide whether the 26 murderers and attempted murderers whom Israel freed early Wednesday morning are “terrorists,” “prisoners” or  “freedom fighters.”

As Jewish Press journalist Lori Lowenthal Marcus wrote Tuesday in her profile of the State Dept.’s song and dance on whether Jewish “settlements” are “illegal “ or “illegitimate,” Associated Press reporter  Matt Lee also wanted to know how the United States agrees with the Palestinian Authority title of freed terrorists as “political prisoners.”

A rose is a rose is a rose, but Gertrude Stein isn’t around today, when a murderer is a freedom fighter.

“Most of these people have been convicted of murder, of killing people, and the Israelis are very clear on the fact that they think that these people are terrorists,” Marcus quoted Lee as saying. “The Palestinians say that they are political prisoners, and…they have instructed their ambassadors, all their representatives around the world, to refer to them as freedom fighters, political prisoners.

“Do you object to the Palestinians referring to them as political prisoners?’ Lee asked State Dept. deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

He response was, “I do not have a position on that.”

The State Dept. indeed has to be careful about every word it uses regarding the Palestinian Authority’s demands. Every word is placed under a microscope by each side and by the predominantly pro-PA media.

As yesterday’s article by Marcus clearly illustrated, the State Dept. refused to be backed into a corner by Lee when it comes to defining settlements as illegal. Doing so would effectively be a position that Israel’s borders are those that existed under the Temporary Armistice Lines in 1949 until the Six-Day War in 1967.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf settled for the not very complimentary word of “illegitimate.”

But the American government has no problem in labeling as a “settlement” every place where Jews live in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, and areas in Jerusalem claimed by the PA. The word itself is a disguise for “illegal” because “settlements” that are legal are called cities and towns.

The United States even uses the word “settlement” to describe the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Gilo and Ramot, each of which are home to more than 50,000 Jews.

At least the State Dept. does not call Gilo an “outpost,” but the word “settlement” implies is should not part of Israel.

The U.S. government does have a serious problem of stating where the capital of Israel is located. It does not place the capital as Tel Aviv, where the American and virtually every other foreign embassy is located. It also does not call Jerusalem the capital, and it even refuses to allow Americans living in Israel to state on their U.S. passports that their residence or their children’s birthplace is “Jerusalem, Israel.”

If it were to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would open up a can of worms, very violent worms, with the Arab world by recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem as its  capital. Of course, the United States could simply state that Jerusalem, based on the old borders, is Israel’s capital. But even that would be too much for the Arab world to swallow, out of fear that such recognition might leave open the future possibility of acknowledging the entire city as Israeli.

But what is the United States’ problem with stating that murderers are not freedom fighters or just plain “prisoners,” even if not terrorists? Calling them “political prisoners” would be an outrage to any sane person in the Western world. Recognizing them by either term would be a justification for terror.

Would that affect the outcome of the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Apparently so.

Calling them terrorists would imply that the Palestinian Authority employs terror, and that would contradict the ugly lie that the State Dept. perpetuates with the claim that Abbas has stopped terror, even though it is the IDF that has been mainly responsible for the decrease, but not the eradication, of terror.

The U.S. government, outside of the Congressional branch, has never condemned Abbas for glorifying terrorists and his official media for encouraging “martyrdom.”

When Lee asked, “If there isn’t anything that you call them, do you object to the Palestinians referring to them as freedom fighters?” spokeswoman Harf replied,  “The answer is I don’t know, and I will endeavor to get an answer for you on that as well.”

Stay tuned, but rest assured that although a rose is a rose is a rose, a terrorist is not a terrorist and a murderer is not a murderer.

JewishPress.com #1 News Site for Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The staff of this excellent website is not sure they should be proud of the stats below, but since the numbers represent irrefutable facts, they felt obligated to share:

It turns out there’s no boycott of The JewishPress.com by the writers and readers of the white supremacist website Stormfront, which include ex-KKK Wizard David Duke, White Power scum, and your garden variety neo-Nazis.

In fact, a quick Google search of that seriously disturbing website would reveal that JewishPress.com is their most quoted Jewish website with more than 74,500 linked references back to JewishPress.com.

The editors of JewishPress.com discovered this curious fact through their monitoring of the “talkback” comments on various Jewish Press articles. Some of the comments on specific articles were so strongly antisemitic, it was difficult to figure out why would people who feel such vehement hatred for Jews be spending so much time on a Jewish website?

But taking a look at their statistics pages, a pattern emerged. Many of the horrible comments were all traced back to Stormfront. Every time they posted a link to a JewishPress.com story on their forum (sometimes a few times a day), their devoted ghouls would follow the link back to the Jewish website to get their fix of Jewish news.

Invariably, the linked JewishPress.com articles represented the website’s staunch pro-Zionist, pro-Jewish, pro-halachic stand – provoking neo-Nazi wrath.

To prove this point, a Google search through Stormfront’s links to other highly popular Jewish, English language websites, revealed that Ha’aretz barely makes it past 10,000 neo-Nazi links, and the Jerusalem Post doesn’t even reach 5,000.

Undoubtedly, the Nazi scum found fewer objectionable ideas on Ha’aretz and the Jerusalem Post.

“If we get quoted so often by people who believe the Jews rule the world, what does that say about who really rules Jewish news online?” joked Stephen Leavitt, the JewishPress.com’s Editor in Chief, who made the statistical discovery.

Yori Yanover, the website’s senior editor, was wondering “how someone could make a buck off of this.” A veteran of Jewish journalism, Yanover suggested: “There must be some advertiser out there who would want our Nazi traffic – the problem is we probably wouldn’t be able to run any of their ads…”

Still, being considered the most quotable and powerful Jewish website by the worst Jew haters must mean the website, which has been growing exponentially in readership and influence since its re-launching in early 2012, has arrived. It’s official, then: for news that provokes the enemies of the Jewish people, check out JewishPress.com.

NY Times Finally Gets it Right: Kerry Needs a Map

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief and a correspondent in Washington have woken up and realized that there are a few matters in the Middle East a bit more urgent than fawning over the fossil of the peace process.

Under the headline “Chaos in Middle East Grows as the U.S. Focuses on Israel,” Judi Rodoren and Mark Landler wrote that  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in “tranquil Tel Aviv” while Syria is embroiled in a bloody civil war and Egypt’s “democratically elected leader [is] fighting for legitimacy with many of his people.”

“With so much of the Middle East still convulsing from the effects of the Arab Spring, Mr. Kerry’s efforts raise questions about the Obama administration’s priorities at a time of renewed regional unrest,” they wrote.

Rudoren and Landler are a bit late.

Jewish Press’ editor Yori Yanover wrote on Sunday, “While in Egypt millions are getting ready for a clash that could bring down the Morsi government and wash Egypt in rivers of blood, and while Syria and Iraq are already awash in blood, and Turkey is about to implode, Secretary of State John Kerry is focusing all his efforts on the truly important thing – making sure that Jews who live in East Jerusalem won’t be allowed to close up their porch, as this would violate the Prime Minister’s decree against settlement construction.”

Anthony Weiner to Attend Jewish Press’s Mayoral Forum For Jewish Community

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Anthony Weiner’s aide has confirmed that the newest mayoral candidate will attend The Jewish Press’s mayoral forum, making it one of his first public forums.

The Jewish Press newspaper, the largest independent Jewish weekly in America, will be hosting a mayoral forum for the Jewish community, featuring the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

When: Wednesday, May 29 at 8:15 pm

Where: The Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, 60 West End Ave, Brooklyn, NY. Questions for the candidates will touch upon crime, economics, education, among other topics.

Members of the community are invited to submit questions for the candidates by emailing sgreenwald@jewishpress.com (use the Subject line “Mayoral forum”), and The Jewish Press will select the best questions for inclusion in the forum.

Mounting Evidence that Boston Bombers Involved in Triple Homicide

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Mounting evidence indicates that the Boston Marathon bombers were involved in the unsolved murder of three men, two of them Jewish, in a suburb of Boston on September 11, 2011.

Police officials have said that some crime scene forensic evidence was a match to Tamerlane Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two brothers who are alleged to have set off two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month, ABC News reported over the weekend. The officials also said records of cell phones used by the brothers put them in the area of the murders on that date.

Three men — Brendan Mess, Rafael Teken and Erik Weissman — were found dead in September 2011 in an apartment several miles from the campus of Brandeis University in the Boston suburb of Waltham.

Jewish Press correspondent Lori Lowenthal Marcus reported two weeks ago, “Despite efforts of officials and the mainstream media to avoid any linkage between the bombings…and a violence emanating from a particular form of radicalized Islam, everyone has now been forced to acknowledge that connection.”

Tamerlane Tsarnaev knew Mess well but did not attend his funeral despite once referring to him as his “best friend,” and participating in boxing and martial arts training together.

The bodies of the three men were discovered with their throats slit and about seven pounds of marijuana dumped on the bodies, as well as $5,000 in cash left behind.

Weissman and Teken were Jewish.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police several days after the Boston bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested after a shoot-out n which he was seriously wounded, and he was charged with using a “weapon of mass destruction, a charge that could bring the death penalty.

The brothers were identified as suspects after authorities reviewed photos and video taken on the afternoon of the marathon on April 15, when two bombs killed three people and wounded more than 170.

Technology, the Move to the Right and The Jewish Press

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

We live in a world of great technological flux. When I was growing up, life was fairly predictable. Things hardly changed at all. Decades would go by and a newspaper stayed pretty much the same… reporting news, commentary, sports, and entertainment. TV was about network broadcast. TV news was the most widely used method for people to get the news.Telephones were land lines and used exclusively to make phone calls.

Then… at the tail end of the 20th century – along came cable TV, the VCR, the mobile telephone, and the internet. That changed everything. The world as we knew it then no longer exists. With the advent of these things and improvements to them occurring in near rapid fire fashion – the only thing that seems constant now… is change. The moment you buy one item, a new improved one comes along making the one you just bought obsolete. It’s truly hard to keep up. And it’s expensive to buy all these new items all the time. Not to mention the expense of data plans required to use most of them.

The most stable items of the past are now running the risk of extinction. Telephone calls are giving way to text messaging. Books are giving way to e-books. Newspapers are giving way to internet news sites.

As a lover of technology I used to be able to keep up on new developments. But things are happening so fast that I can no longer do that without spending time on it that I don’t have. Which is a bit distressing for a technophile like me.

One of the industries that seems to be suffering the most is the newspaper industry. Giants like the New York Times are struggling to stay alive. Weekly periodicals like Newsweek have already conceded defeat and have gone entirely electronic.

As it affects me and other observant Jews the idea that newspapers and books are becoming obsolete is not a good outcome. That is because of Shabbos. On Shabbos observant Jews turn off their electronics. It is a violation of Halacha to use electronic devices on that day. The reasons for that are complex and beyond the scope of this essay.

The elimination of electronics on our day of rest assures the continuation of the publication of Seforim and books that interest the observant reader. Like those published by ArtScroll. And it gives a reprieve from extinction to Orthodox newspapers and magazines. My observation is that there has never been a better time for them than right now.

Which brings me to three publications worthy of discussion. The Jewish Press, Mishpacha Magazine, and Ami Magazine. The two latter ones having debuted relatively recently. They both seem to be flourishing. With Ami, the newest ‘kid on the block’ catching up to rival Mishpacha in circulation.

These two magazines are quite modern in terms of design. With its glossy paper, good photography,state of the art layout and graphics they are easily on par with any secular counterpart like Time and the now defunct Newsweek. The articles are for the most part well written… and an easy read on a Shabbos afternoon. And for the most part pretty informative.

And then there is the Jewish Press. I believe they must be suffering a loss of readership because of competition from these magazines. If that is true, it is very sad although understandable. It’s hard to complete with a couple of ‘glossies’ who have some very talented regular columnists writing for them. Like Jonathan Rosenblum, Avi Shafran, Eitan Kobre, and Emanuel Feldman among others. They also try to cater to a broad based observant readership including Modern Orthodox Jews by featuring articles about Rav Hershel Shachter, the Rav, Rav Aharon Soloveichik and other non Charedi figures – placing them all in a good light forthe most part.

Although these glossies do a good job in attracting readers, they do not represent in any way a moderate all inclusive Hashkafa. Nor do they have the broad representation of Hashkafos as does the Jewish Press.

The truth is that the Jewish Press is really the best of the three in terms of what really counts – content. Even though I do not always agree with their editorial positions. The only thing missing is the ‘glossy’ look of its competitors. But on every other level it is better than both Ami and Mishpacha. There is no doubt in my mind that they represent every Hashkafa in a fair and unbiased way, They feature columnists from all segments of Orthodoxy. And they refuse to cater to the extreme right by not publishing pictures of women. Something both Mishpacha and Ami do. The Jewish Press is definitely fair and more balanced.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/technology-the-move-to-the-right-and-the-jewish-press/2012/12/11/

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