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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘JEWS’

Annals of Obesity: Israeli Kids Drink More Soda than Americans, Arabs More than Jews [video]

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

At least 50% of the world population suffer from overweight and obesity, compared with the situation in the 1980s, when only 10% of the population was obese, according to worldwide management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. If the rate of weight gain remains as it is today, close to half the people on planet Earth will be obese by the year 2030. Israel’s figures are relatively good compared with the rest of the OECD countries, but still, according to the Israeli Health Ministry, 1.7 million Israelis, or 25% of adults and 14% of children, are obese, and out of those 700 thousand are considered pre-diabetic, and 500 thousand already suffer from type 2 diabetes. Also, adding those who are overweight (BMI of 25 and up) to the 25% who are obese, shows that almost half the population in Israel is overweight.

To illustrate, according to The Marker, in one of the meetings of the commission to promote a healthy diet, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said ironically, “We fail to understand how come 50% of the population are not overweight, considering the current consumer culture.”

The Health Ministry has recently launched a campaign against the consumption of soda drinks, which are a kind of statewide plague. A survey conducted in local schools has shown that Israeli children are at the top of the world average in their daily consumption of sweetened drinks. The world average for consuming sweet drinks is 25% of girls and 32% of boys. The average in the US is 30% among girls and 37% among boys.

In Israel the average is 41% for girls, 45% for boys — while for Israeli Arab children it is even higher, as 51% of Arab children ages 11 to 15 consume a sweet drink at least once a day.

© JNi.media

© JNi.media

It is well-known today that an overweight child will likely suffer from obesity in adulthood. In Israel every fifth first grader (20%) is overweight, and by the seventh grade 30% — one in three children — are overweight.

Among Arab children the situation is even worse, with close to 40% of Arab seventh graders suffering from overweight.

In Israel, some 70% of the food being consumed is processed, which is why Israeli children and teens consume 12 grams of sodium daily, easily double the recommended amount.

Diabetes in Israel harms the weaker population strata, most notably the Arabs. The rate of diabetes among the poor is three times higher compared with middle and upper class Israelis. An estimated 25.5% of Israeli poor are diabetic, compared with 7.1% Israeli middle and upper class. The rate of the rise of diabetes among the poor in Israel is swift and alarming, jumping in 12 years from 7.8% in 2002 to 25.5% in 2014.

According to the Health Ministry, the cost of obesity is estimated at $1.55 billion annually, with a third of the cost coming from direct care for obese patients and two-thirds from indirect losses, such as reduced earning ability, sick days and nursing care. Israel’s largest HMO, Maccabi Health Services, has submitted to the Health Ministry data suggesting it spends on diabetic patients 53% more than it does on the average insured member.


Israeli Health Ministry’s anti-soda drinking campaign

JNi.Media

Tomb of the Patriarch Closed to Jews on the Following Dates

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Due to the Islamic month of Ramadan, access for Jews to the Tomb of the Patriarch in Hebron will be forbidden on the following dates:

Friday: June 10 Friday: June 17 Friday: June 24 Friday: July 1 Saturday: July 2 Wednesday: July 6

There may be changes to the Saturday and Wednesday lockouts.

Jewish prayers on those dates will be held at the plaza of the 7th Step. It is called the 7th step, as when the tomb was under Islamic control, Jews were not allowed into the tomb, and not allowed to step higher than the 7th step.

The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the burial site of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Leah, Adam and Eve (and the head of Eisav).

It is sacred to Jews, and also to Muslims, who revere Abraham as a prophet and father of Ishmael.

For more information on scheduling changes, the Tomb of the Patriarchs administration can be reached at: 050-647-7776

Jewish Press News Briefs

Learning About Arabs and Jews from a Lifeguard

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

I would imagine that in most parts of the world, if you want to know what is happening, you need to read the newspapers and talk to experts. In Israel, however, that is not what you do. For years, people found out the real news from taxi drivers but today, in the modern world, the #1 expert to talk to is… the lifeguard at the beach!

I don’t go to the beach too much, so talking to lifeguards is not something I usually do, but last week I attended the bar mitzvah of a close friend’s son and one of the guests was Itzik, the lifeguard at the separate beach in Herziliya. My friend introduced us and for the next 30 minutes I found myself listening to a man who had incredible insights into life. As soon as he heard my American accent he insisted on speaking in broken English, even though I understand Hebrew perfectly. He told me that he is “the lifeguard at religion beach” (yes, that is a direct quote) and works all week but not on Shabbat. He has been a lifeguard since 1985 and told me things that proved what I had been saying for years.

The beach in Herziliya is 7.5 kilometers long and for all the years that Itzik worked there (over 30 years already!), the Arabs who came to enjoy the beach always bathed at the farthest northern point. There is actually a mosque at that location and it is next to the historical Apollonia National Park, which contains the remains of a Crusader city, built around 1250. While never officially declared the “Arab section of the Herziliya beach”, it was in fact the unwritten rule that Arabs go there. This happens to be a very nice section of the beach, with an official lifeguard, as well as all the comforts that exist everywhere else. Itzik told me that all that changed about 3 years ago.

He said that 3 years ago he noticed how Arabs began coming to all the areas of the beach – including the separate beach! He saw buses and buses of Arabs and found out that these Arabs were being bussed in from Hebron and Ramallah. He couldn’t understand what happened so he asked one of the Arabs whom he befriended, and this is what the guy told him; “The leaders of the Palestinian Authority told us not to go to the northern part. They told us to spread ourselves over the entire beach to show that this is our land and we can go wherever we want.” The Arab then told him that the leaders said, “Only the Jews remain in ghettos and small areas but we will show that all of Israel is ours.”

I want you to read that last paragraph again… and then again. The Arabs are not just talking or writing emails. They are acting and conquering even when they go to the beach! Stay in a corner?? Not us, they say! The entire land is ours, we are the home owner – the “Ba’al Ha’Bayis” -and nobody tells the Ba’al Ha’Bayis where to sit in his home!

Just a minute, please…. Itzik wasn’t finished yet. “My Arab friend told me another unbelievable thing. He said that those same Arab leaders told them that when they shop in the malls in Israel, they are not to speak in Hebrew (which they speak very well), but only in Arabic. These leaders said that they want the shoppers and store owners/workers to know that they are Arabs and that, once again – just like the beach – they can walk freely in any mall and shop in any store.”

I left my discussion with Itzik the Lifeguard and wondered; how many people realize this? What he said was nothing new to me… but I’m sure it will be revolutionary to most others. Too many people have their head in the sand and refuse to see the non-politically correct truth, but here it is: The Arab of today is not the Arab of yesterday. He is not apologizing. He is not making excuses. He is not hiding… and he is at war with the Jewish state 24/7, in everything he does.

The Arab of today declares to the entire world that Israel is his, and when he says “Israel” he doesn’t just mean Gaza, Jenin and East Jerusalem. “Israel” includes Herziliya and Ra’anana and Tel Aviv. It is all his and this is why he swims near the 5-star hotels and not near some Crusader ruins from 760 years ago. This is also why he shops in the fanciest malls in Ramat Aviv, Petach Tikva and Netanya and talks Arabic the whole time. He is not “undercover” nor is he a member of an illegal “underground” movement. He is proud and very vocal about his beliefs.

And the most important lesson of all? He wants the entire land of Israel – which is what I have said for over 40 years – and not just a small strip of land like some fools would have you believe. My blessed Rav, the great Rabbi Meir Kahane ztz”l said, “I understand the Arabs and they understand me but neither of us understand the Jews!” How true that comment was in 1980 and how true it still is in 2016.

People who supported the horrific “Gaza Disengagement Plan” believed that the Arabs would be happy with Gaza and that this would bring peace. Those people are fools yet most of them now support “The Two-State Solution”. I guess it’s true that fools never learn.

We need to talk straight and clear; The Arabs want one state and they want it Judenrein. They want every Jew out, even the ones that help them, and they will never be satisfied until their “Final Solution” has been successfully implemented, G-d forbid. You need to know this if you want to seriously deal with the issues confronting Israel today. Only strong, proud leaders who are not afraid to say this will be successful in leading the Jewish nation to greatness. All others are part of the problem and will never have a hand in the solution.

My advice to those weak, impotent and politically correct Jewish leaders is simple. Grab a towel, sun screen and a cold beer and talk to Itzik the Lifeguard. That beach experience can change your life.

Shmuel Sackett

Tiberias Hospital Brings Health Knowledge to ‘Lost Tribe’ Jews

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, located on the ridge above Tiberias by the Kinneret, is accommodating the special needs of Jewish immigrants who must be transferred not only geographically, from the exotic regions of earth, but also in time, from forgotten ages to the 21st century.

A case in point is the community of Bnei Menashe, a small group of indigenous people from northeastern India, who claim they are descendants from the lost tribes of Israel, and have adopted the practice of Judaism. The Bnei Menashe speak Tibeto-Burman languages, and they probably migrated into northeast India from Burma in the 17th and 18th centuries. Israeli Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, of the group Amishav which seeks evidence of the existence of exiled “ten tribes” in the world, named the group Bnei Menashe based on their account of descent from the tribe of Menasseh.

When a group of about 7,000 of these northeastern Indian Jews arrived in Israel six years ago, some of whom settled down in the vicinity of Tiberias (which is quite aways to the north of where the Biblical tribe of Menashe originally lived), the local hospital has taken upon itself to usher them into the wonderful medical advantages of modern times. And so the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, a week ago hosted a meeting of agroup of Bnei Menashe women with its infectious diseases supervisor, Nurse Ilana Aharon from the Epidemiology Department.

The meeting, at the local chapter of WIZO, explored hygiene as the key to health. This included personal hygiene and dental hygiene, as well as keeping homes, courtyards and streets clean. Aharon also covered the importance of proper nutrition—eating vegetables every day—and physical exercise in maintaining health.

Another issue stressed in the meeting was the danger of smoking, which causes a long list of damages to health in addition to lung cancer: diminishing vitamin C deposits, blood diseases, impaired vision, and impotence. Most of the smokers in the Bnei Menashe community are the husbands, but family members suffer by exposure to secondary smoke.

JNi.Media

Analysis: Jews Vs. Arabs May Yet Blow Up the DNC Convention this Summer

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Against her best judgment and because she’s been slipping in the polls in trying to capture the support of her opponent’s followers once she is crowned Queen of the Democrats, candidate Hillary Clinton agreed to give Bernie Sanders 5 out of the 15 spots on the Democratic party’s platform committee. She took 6, and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz got 4. So then Senator Bernie Sanders went ahead and appointed his peeps, and now two of them, Cornel West and James Zogby, on Wednesday condemned Israel for its “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and Gaza (Gaza? Really?) and let the world know they plan to get their views into the platform at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, the NY Times reported.

“Justice for Palestinians cannot be attained without the lifting of the occupation,” West said in an interview, adding that with all due respect to thousands of years of persecution, the platform should reflect “the plight of an occupied people.”

Nothing there about the plight of half a million Syrians being butchered by everyone and their uncle only a fee miles away. Nothing about weekly hangings in Iran, flogging and beheading in Saudi Arabia, the tyranny of Islamic terrorism in Syria and Iraq, those are not the important injustices in Cornel West’s Middle East, it has to be a defunct plan from 1993 that has been rejected so many times by the PLO leadership, it brought to near-tears three, count them, three US presidents.

Dr. Zogby, who is the president of the Arab American Institute and a career advocate of “rights of Palestinians,” said in an interview, “Any honest assessment would say that the debate on this issue has shifted over the last 30 years and the platform has reflected that but lagged slightly behind, and it’s now time to catch up. Clearly most Democrats agree. But we will see what happens.”

Republican candidate Donald Trump has good friends in Cornel West and James Zogby, who will surely rattle and shake one of the Democratic party’s most third-ralish third rail issues, in public, while Clinton is trying to unify the troops against Trump. There’s no other issue more likely to turn away middle class voters than the Democrats criticizing US support for Israel. But the left is not concerned. In fact, the NYT cites an April Pew Research Center survey showing liberal Democrats are twice as likely to sympathize with Palestinians over Israel than they had been two years ago. 40% of liberals sympathized more with Palestinians, only 33% sympathized more with Israel.

In the Wednesday interview, Dr. West, who once called President Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface,” accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of “war crimes.” He also blamed “the role of money and lobbies” for the absence of “a candid dialogue” on Israeli-American relations.

Of course, Hillary will do the only sensible thing and ignore the party platform as best she can. Otherwise, as Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations told the NYT, the party could be perceived as adopting “positions that could be seen as hostile to Israel.” (You think?)

Hoenlein was unhappy not just with the presence of Zogby and West on the DNC platform committee, but also with a third Sanders appointee, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Muslim. It’s as if Sanders had decided to force Hillary to touch that rail, or look bad jumping over it. “For us, the concern is that it legitimizes and potentially puts into a major party platform” the extreme left’s view “that undermines the principles of the Israeli-US relationship that have been bipartisan for decades,” Hoenlein warned.

And all Donald Trump has to do is sit back and watch his opponent disintegrating on an unwinnable issue. Former Florida congressman Robert Wexler, a Clinton supporter, who served on the platform committee back in 2012, told the NYT, “My concern is that the Democratic platform is not the venue in which to litigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Ah, a lucid voice in a sea of crazy. How refreshing.

JNi.Media

Rhode Island Residents Riled About Anti-Semitic Attack on Local Synagogue

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Police in Pawtucket, Rhode Island continue to investigate a hate crime after a big red Nazi swastika was found spray-painted on the welcome sign of Congregation Ohawe Sholam.

Worshipers found the swastika on Sunday. It was painted on the sign for the Kollel Center for Jewish Studies outside their Orthodox synagogue.

A news conference was held Monday morning by city and religious leaders, who condemned the vandalism.

“It can’t be tolerated, it shouldn’t be tolerated, and it won’t be tolerated,” said Rabbi Raphie Schochet. “This symbol that’s been blotted out over here is a symbol of bigots and bullies.”

Officials immediately condemned the crime.

“The police department will go through any neighborhood video, hopefully we can catch anyone coming from or leaving the scene,” said Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King. “We’re asking neighbors, we’ll check Facebook, but what we really need is the help of the public. If you thought you saw something that looked a little bit off – please notify us.”

“The vandalism that has occurred at Congregation Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket is demonic and depressing,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

“I’m angry and disgusted,” said U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) . “This despicable act of vandalism has only one purpose – to intimidate members of our community and it won’t succeed.”

Congregation Ohawe Sholam president David Pliskin told local WPRI-TV in an interview that Holocaust survivors among the congregants found the graffiti to be a painful reminder of the past. “This is the kind of thing that makes your whole body roil inside if you’re a Jew,” he said. But for those who survived the death camps, “It’s like someone trying to stab you in the heart again.”

Ohawe Sholam is the only synagogue in Pawtucket.

Pliskin rejected claims the graffiti might have been a childish prank. “This person clearly had some knowledge,” he told WPRI. “A lot of people draw the swastika with a cross, but this person has actually done it the way it was done on the Nazi flag, with an ‘X’.” He called it a hate crime.”

Nor has it been the first.

Last October, flyers were distributed just a few blocks from the synagogue with an illustration of a hooded man bearing a rifle, captioned, “Revolution is the only solution to Jewish pollution.”

But Pliskin also said the community has been incredibly supportive. One person gave a blanket to cover the sign. Another offered money to repair it.

‘The immediate result has been an outpouring of compassion and many acts of kindness from the entire community,” Pliskin said. ‘We should be thankful there are so many good and wonderful people around us.”

The city’s Department of Public Works has taken the sign off-site and is in the process of restoring it, according to WPRI.

Hana Levi Julian

Why are American Jews and Israel Drifting Apart?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

In the last few weeks a number of pundits have proposed similar reasons for the divide between Israel and what is now, unfortunately, a majority of American Jews. They point to the extent to which Jews in America now identify more with their Americanism than with their Judaism, manifested both by intermarriage and by a lack of understanding of what Israel means as a Jewish state.

I want to suggest that the reason is somewhat deeper: the loss of Jewish identity is due to an attenuation of Jewish self-esteem.

America has been very good for the Jews. The generations who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries found a land of great opportunities, and their offspring benefited from access to higher education and the booming economy, such that there are few areas of life in which American Jews have failed to excel.

But the State of Israel represents the ‘specialness’ of the Jewish people, which started with the Patriarchs and the M, and has continued through the enslavement in Egypt and the Exodus, the giving of the Torah at Sinai, and the conquest of the Land of Israel, and the Temple service. Despite millennia of exile from the Land and of anti-Semitism, Jewish ‘specialness’ persists to this day. Despite attrition, not only by attempts at genocide, forced conversion but also by assimilation and intermarriage, the Jewish nation has survived and flourished. None of the efforts of nation after nation have succeeded in erasing the underlying identity of the Jews, which is based on the self-esteem of each Jew and the communal self-esteem of the Jewish people.

Throughout the generations and in all the places in which they lived, in the Land of Israel and around the globe, the Jews preserved and continue to preserve their particularity, by means of the use of the Hebrew language for prayer and learning, and, for the last century or so, in Israel, as the vernacular.

Authentic Judaism requires that Jews respect and draw inspiration from the past, that they live in the present and use their abilities for the benefit of mankind, and plan for the future age of the ingathering of all Jews to the Land of Israel and the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In this way they kept their particularistic national identity in all those centuries in which the vast majority of Jews lived outside the Land.

Authentic Judaism requires devotion of time and energy to learning and performing mitzvoth. It also requires Hebrew literacy, stable family life, and an understanding of the links between Jews of the current generation with those of all past generations and their obligations to the future and to the world. Self-esteem is created and preserved by the strong family, communal and national connections, which are ensured by common identification with the Torah. Authentic Judaism rejects postmodernism, with its distrust and deconstruction of any ideology which is clear and lasting.

In the absence of one or other of these features of Jewish identity and self-esteem, the road to assimilation and the disappearance of a connection with the State of Israel and its Jews is wide open.

Modern movements in Judaism base their content on selected ideas which are taken from parts of the Jewish sources (“prophetic Judaism”) and, translated into terms which purport to be universal, appear to be consistent with values which are deemed to be politically correct: equality, human rights, non-discrimination, internationalism and Tikkun Olam (a misrepresentation of a complicated halachic concept, by which the Rabbis of the Talmud preferred certain rabbinical interpretations over others in the light of specific exigencies).

By doing so, the adherents of these movements are deprived of exposure to the texts and ideology of Judaism, in all their depth and breadth, their dynamism and the interrelationship between each part of the Torah (in the broadest sense) and each other part. In this way, these movements deprive Jews of their self-esteem, their distinctiveness, and ultimately their identity.

Those who identify Judaism only as a national liberation movement, with Israel at the center, may become disenchanted with this or that policy of the Israel government, and their Jewish identity reveals itself only in a hubristic attempt to dictate to Israel how it should behave, usually without sufficient knowledge of or regard for the history, geography or the exigencies of daily life in Israel.

Those whose Jewish identity is centered on commemoration of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism have chosen a negative narrative in which a specific period of Jewish victimhood is central and Jewish self-esteem is absent. The specific anti-Semitism of the Nazi exterminations is often subsumed into a general universalization of racism, without a specific Jewish context.

Those whose Jewish identity is manifested only by attendance at occasional Bar Mitzvahs and weddings, and visiting houses of prayer once or twice a year, or eating “jewish” foods, or having a particular sense of humor, or even donating large sums to Jewish institutions, which are at most nostalgic expressions of loyalty to past generations, are unable to pass a love of Judaism and the Jewish people to their children.

Those for whom the history and authentic ethos of the Jews mean nothing will act and think no differently from the gentiles with whom they mingle, and are at risk of becoming indistinguishable from them (except to anti-Semites).

So the repair of the distancing of American Jewry from Israel requires rigorous rethinking of the relationship between each Jew and his heritage, and between him and his American identity. Reestablishment of Jewish self-esteem is the key to this.

Philip Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-are-american-jews-and-israel-drifting-apart/2016/05/24/

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