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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘JEWS’

Jews Rally, Counter-Rally outside Hoenlein’s Group’s Hanukkah Party at Trump’s DC Hotel [video]

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

More than 150 Jewish young adults yelled anti-President-Elect Trump slogans and sang traditional Hanukkah songs with anti-Trump twists marching from Freedom Plaza to the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC Wednesday night, during a pre-Hanukkah party that was being held inside by the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, the Washington Post reported.

Another, albeit smaller group of about 15 Jews called Jews Choose Trump held a counter-protest nearby. Lee Green, a Jewish member of the electoral college from North Carolina, traveled from his home state to voice her objection to the idea that US Jews demonstrate against Trump.

The group opposing Trump and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, was made up of the usual leftwing, Reform-affiliated suspects, including Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the URJ, who called Hoenlein’s decision to celebrate Hanukkah at a Trump owned joint “tone-deaf at best, naked sycophancy at worst.” The protest was organized by If Not Now, a leftwing, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian Jewish group.

Hoenlein told the Post a week ago that the Trump hotel was picked for the party “purely on a pragmatic basis,” and that “the reasoning behind it was nothing to do with the Trump name.” He explained that the Azerbaijani Embassy, which co-hosted the party with the Conference of Presidents, planned it close to a month ago, and couldn’t find a venue that was able to accommodate a kosher gathering.

The counter-protesters sang patriotic Israeli and American songs, and at one point, according to the Post, pro-Trump protester David Goldberg yelled at Sharon Kleinbaum, the clergywoman of New York City’s LGBT Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, “What is it that you think we celebrate on the festival of Hanukkah?” adding, “You would have been on the side of Antiochus rather than Judah the Maccabee.”

Back in 2014, Kleinbaum was chastised by many in her own congregation for reading the names of Arab children who were killed in the Gaza war, alongside the names of Israeli soldiers who gave their lives in the same war, creating the impression that the latter bore responsibility for the former. She is also infamous for her statement: “I do believe that Israel violates the human rights of Palestinians every single day. Both things are true.”


For David and Manya in Amona: Jews Must Speak Out

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

I visited my friends tonight in Amona –  David and Manya.  Manya is the daughter of Rabbi David Zeller, her devoted father who died 7 years ago.  I have known Manya her whole life, ever since she was a little girl growing up in Efrat.

There was an unusual peace in their home this evening, with all of their children coming and going, all knowing that the government and army of Israel plan to expel them from their kind home,  because the permits for building Amona  issued twenty years ago were challenged by constituent agencies of the New Israel Fund.

Not because the NIF wants justice for the Arabs in their specious claim to the land.

Instead, NIF imperiously decided that  Jews who live in Judea or Samaria are an impediment  to peace with the PLO , which does not hide the fact that it remains in a state of full war with Israel.

The PLO, through its proxy, the Palestinian Authority, promises no peace will be on the horizon until all of Palestine is liberated.

Politically correct media have difficulty reporting that reality.

Normally, if there is a retroactive problem of housing permits for a community, the community pays a fine through arbitration and that is that.

Instead, the government of Israel follows the lead of the NIF and is set to destroy the homes that belong to David and Manya and forty other families, in a carefully  planned military operation , ready to march 40 families with 200 children out of Amona , while destroying their homes in the process , with nowhere to go but a temporary student dorm.

Yet the government  Israel, which bears full responsibility for the bureaucratic entanglement  of Amona, holds out no carefully planned operation as to what to do with 40 families and 200 children as they plan to expel them from their homes.

The current government of Israel instead ascribes to  a cold, crass and inhuman decision of the Israel High Court of Justice which for some reason takes precedence over continuity of life for a peaceful Jewish community.

The Jewish people remain responsible for one another.

This is not a time for Jews to be silent. The phone numbers, e-mails and faxes are publicly listed.

IF 1,000 people in Israel and abroad who read this blog were each to organize  10 people before Shabbat to protest the Israel’s latest “Project  Removal”,  with direct communications with Israeli government spokespeople, this would have an effect.

Advice: Stay calm and do not lose your cool when you communicate with elected officials.

Sound reasonable. All you ask is that the government of Israel not bulldoze a Jewish community in Israel for no reason.

If anyone objects to you calling on a Friday, remind them that reliable sources indicate that the Israeli government and the IDF may conduct expulsions from Amona on  Saturday night, so you can  think of no better time to contact them except the hours before the Shabbat in

Here are the publicly available contact lists for all officials of  the Israeli government and the Israeli Knesset and their assistants.




David Bedein

Pew Research Study: Jews Are World’s Most Educated Religious Group

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Jews are the world’s most educated religious group, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

The study, published Tuesday, found that Jews worldwide have an average of four years’ more education than others.

Jewish women in the 25 to 34 age group have an average of more than 14 years of formal schooling, with nearly 70 percent also having attended higher education. Jewish men in the same age group have an average of 13.4 years of formal schooling, with 57 percent having also had some higher education.

American Jews have the highest rate of higher education, at 75 percent, and an average of 14.7 years of education. Jewish Israelis averaged 12 years of education, with 46 percent also attending higher education.

The next-most educated religious group is the Christians, who average about nine years of education.

The global average is less than eight years, with Muslims and Hindus rating as the least educated with each having about 5 and a half years of formal education.

Hana Levi Julian

Shaked: PA Must Remove Anti-Semitic Law Sentencing to Death Arabs Selling Land to Jews

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

A confrontation between Israel’s Justice Minister and a senior PA official at a Tel Aviv conference resulted in the former shaming the latter over his government’s anti-Semitic laws, Kippa reported Tuesday morning.

Deputy Chairman of the PLO Committee for the Interaction with the Israeli Society Elias Zananiri used the Globes Israel Business Conference Monday to attack Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked about the “land theft” that had taken place, in his opinion, in the Samaria community of Amona. He told Shaked, “Israel’s High Court of Justice determined in 1997 that the construction there was entirely illegal, and the land appropriation was illegal.” Now 20 years have passed and nothing happened, he continued.

“If a state like Israel, which keeps saying it respects the rule of law […] does not give me back my land, what can I as a Palestinian do? What answer do you have for me?”

“I have two things to tell you,” Minister Shaked responded. “One is that the government of Israel will honor the court’s ruling. Two, as a Palestinian you can convince the Palestinian Authority to erase the shameful, degrading and racist law prohibiting the sale of land to Jews, which sentences to death anyone who sells land to Jews.”

A few hecklers in the audience argued there was no connection between those two things, to which Shaked responded saying “They’re very much connected. This law is racist, it shames the law book of the Palestinian Authority. Had it not existed it would have been possible to resolve these cases with a straight purchase, and the land owner would have benefited. Because there are – let me tel you from my personal knowledge – many land owners who would have been eager to sell in such cases.”

Shaked added that the sellers would have received “very high returns” for their land. “They would have been compensated very well. But they’re afraid to sell because of the threat of the death penalty.”

In January 2016, Israel’s Channel 2 broadcast footage of Ta’ayush activist Ezra Nawi boasting that he has worked together with B’Tselem activist Nasser Nawaj’ah, posing as a prospective Jewish purchaser of Arab land, then provided the Palestinian National Security Forces with the names and telephone numbers of Arab land brokers willing to sell land to Jews. Nawi said on tape that these brokers are beaten and executed: “The Authority catches them and kills them. But before they kill them they beat them up.”

David Israel

Survey: Only 22% of Israeli Jews Completely Trust Supreme Court

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

A new survey published by Prof. Avi Degani, founder and President of the Geocartography opinion and marketing institute, points to a sharp, 25% drop in the Israeli public’s trust, Jews and Arabs alike, in the Supreme Court. Only 22% of Israeli Jews expressed their complete faith in the court.

A similar survey that was done in 1991, 25 years ago, showed that 80% of the Israeli public, including Arabs, had a high or complete trust in the Supreme Court, compared with only 56% today. 12% of the Jews say have no trust whatsoever in the court, as opposed to only 3% that held the same view in 1991.

41% of Israelis had complete faith in the Supreme Court in 1991 – today it’s down to 22%.

Another institution that has suffered a severe loss of prestige is the State Auditor. In 1991, 80% had complete or high trust in this institution – today only 55% do. In the Arab sector, the drop was from 57% in 1991 to only 47% today.

The Knesset has maintained most of its status, but that’s only because it was very low 25 years ago – 27%. Today it’s down to 23%.

Prof. Degani cautioned that the fate of democracy is uncertain when the two branches of government whose job it is to restrain the executive branch are being held in such low regard by the public.


Mikhail Gorbachev, Friend Of The Jews And Israel

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Mikhail Gorbachev’s first years after coming to power in the Soviet Union in 1985 reflected a continuation of the Soviet approach to the “Jewish question” and anti-Zionism, long-established trends that had been intensified when Russia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Soviet regime persisted in denying that it persecuted Jews, and Gorbachev attributed claims of Soviet anti-Semitism to “an inflated anti-Soviet campaign.” Nonetheless, there were gradual changes in the expression and content of Soviet commentary, as Soviet attention to the Jewish question slowly diminished and common anti-Semitic publications gradually disappeared.

Gorbachev was among the first Soviet leaders to foresee – or at least to acknowledge – the looming economic and political failure of the Soviet system and, in an effort to forestall the Soviet Union’s impending collapse, sought to develop closer relations with the United States. Toward that end, he enacted perestroika, a “restructuring” designed to save the Soviet revolution, and glasnost (“transparency”), under which he relaxed Soviet censorship and the government’s characteristically totalitarian falsification of history.

However, President Ford had signed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, pursuant to which the United States would not enter into the enhanced trade agreements with Russia that Gorbachev so desperately wanted and needed until the Soviet Union lifted restrictions on Jewish emigration.

To convince the United States of his new thinking about the Mideast, Gorbachev re-established diplomatic relations with Israel and opened the long-sealed doors to Jewish immigration, leading to the largest Jewish exodus in modern history. In 1989, 71,000 Soviet Jews were permitted to emigrate. Only 12,000 went to Israel but two years later more 325,000 Soviet Jews had made aliyah. President Chaim Herzog hailed Gorbachev as “the person who opened the gates for Soviet Jewry and enabled them to make aliyah.”

In a remarkable reversal of the old Soviet position, Gorbachev exchanged the first delegations with Israel in 1987 and 1988 and unequivocally urged PLO leader Yasir Arafat to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Although he maintained that he continued to advocate for the self-determination for the Palestinian people and preferred a settlement in the Middle East that included Israeli withdrawal from the “occupied territories,” he told Arafat that Israel’s interests, including its security interests, has to be taken into account.

When Gorbachev visited Israel in June 1992, accepting an invitation extended by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, he was greeted at the airport by Foreign Minister David Levy, who warmly welcomed Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa, and said that “there is a warm corner in Israel for you, who have done so much for the freedom of our people.”

Gorbachev, genuinely touched by the honor and the dignified reception accorded him even though he was no longer a head of state, responded that he would “not hide my deep feelings and honor toward this people.” He was embraced as a conquering hero; public adulation ran high; and editorial hyperbole was rampant. For example, Maariv editorialized that Gorbachev was “the most important person who ever visited the land of Israel” before humorously qualifying that over-exuberant conclusion by noting that while Moses had also freed Jews, he – unlike Gorbachev – had never received an entry visa.

singer-120916During his visit to Israel, Gorbachev bemoaned the great Soviet Jewish migration, characterizing the outflow of so many Jews as “a loss for our land and society.” He had voiced similar sentiments in October 1991 on the 50th anniversary of the Nazi massacre of more than 30,000 Jews at Babi Yar in Ukraine, when he faulted the “Stalinist bureaucracy” for practicing anti-Semitism; admitted publicly that Soviet society had been poisoned with Jew-hatred; and stated that despite his best efforts to introduce reforms, intolerance remained and Russia had suffered from the emigration of millions of skilled and talented Jews.

Many Russian olim who lived under the Soviet regime under his rule, who arguably knew him best, were understandably not as willing to forget the past and protested against Gorbachev’s presence in Israel. Natan Sharansky, perhaps the best-known Soviet dissident, undoubtedly shared their views but he nonetheless attended a formal dinner at the residence of President Herzog and shook the hand of the former Soviet leader who had released him from prison six years earlier.

Gorbachev, who met with many Israeli leaders, made a point of visiting Yad Vashem and was mobbed by a friendly Jewish crowd during a visit to the Kotel. During a meeting with Prime Minister Shamir he made the stark and surprising admission that Zionism had triumphed over communism. Shamir thanked Gorbachev for his personal intervention in three events which, he said, would prove critical in the history of the Jewish people: the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries; the opening of the gates of the Soviet Union for Jewish immigration to Israel; and Soviet leadership at the Madrid Conference. In his acceptance speech after being awarded a $35,000 Peace Prize from the Technion, Gorbachev declared that “the democratic Russian public rejects and denounces anti-Semitism, and will do everything in its power to uproot the phenomenon from our society.”

Exhibited with this column is a lovely association piece, a program for an October 25, 1998 State of Israel Bonds dinner celebrating the tenth anniversary of the mass emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union, signed by honoree Gorbachev, who was presented with the prestigious Gates of Freedom award, which read:

“To Mr. Gorbachev, who opened the gates of the Soviet Union to the Great Aliyah and who thereby has earned the undying gratitude of the Jewish Nation.”

During his address Gorbachev again spoke of the great loss the Soviet Union had sustained through the emigration of Russian Jews. He recalled that he regretted the response by Russian Jews to the call of their homeland because “they had done so much for our country,” citing Jewish contributions in science, culture, medicine, and law, but “nevertheless, I could not tell them not to go” because that was the “position of freedom.”

The guests of honor included former prime minister Shamir who in his address at the dinner said that “Israeli officials had long appealed to Soviet officials in almost biblical terms to `Let My People Go.’ He heard. And more, he listened. He recognized the implications and acted.”

Shamir credited Gorbachev with bringing “new light to the Jewish people” and enriching “the life of the state of Israel.” Other speakers throughout the evening credited Gorbachev with almost single-handedly being responsible for freeing Russian Jews, though there were undoubtedly other factors that played an important part, including the Soviet Jewry movement and Soviet negotiations with the United States.

While Gorbachev called the Israel Bonds event “an amazing experience,” many of those in attendance were no less dumbfounded by the astonishing historical turn of events. Joining Gorbachev and Shamir on the dais were community activists – many of whom had actively crusaded against Soviet policies – who were honored for their work on behalf of Soviet Jews,. Audience members included Jews from the former Soviet Union who had been imprisoned during that period for their open identification with Jews or for their support of Israel.

Saul Jay Singer

Rabbi Adin Even Yisrael Steinsaltz Hospitalized in Jerusalem

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Rabbi Adin (Even Yisrael) Steinsaltz, 79, was rushed to Sha’are Zedek Medical Center on Wednesday after he suffered a possible stroke.

The Israel Prize-winning Torah scholar underwent a catheterization procedure to remove a cranial blood clot. He is reportedly awake and responsive to his surroundings in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

Born in Jerusalem in 1937, Rabbi Steinsaltz is known to Jews around the world as a teacher, philosopher, social commentator, and spiritual mentor.

He was referred to by TIME magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar,” who has devoted his life to making the Talmud accessible to all Jews, in The Steinsaltz Edition of the Talmud and a simpler book called, “The Essential Talmud.”

The rabbi authored many other volumes, including: “The Thirteen-Petaled Rose,” a discourse about Jewish existence and belief, “We Jews,” “My Rebbe,” and “A Guide to Jewish Prayer.”

The family has asked the public to please pray for the recovery of Rabbi Adin ben Rivka Leah.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbi-adin-even-yisrael-steinsaltz-hospitalized/2016/12/07/

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