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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘meet’

Vatican invites Exorcist Director William Friedkin to Meet a Real Dybbuk

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Jewish American filmmaker William Friedkin, 80, who directed the truly terrifying 1973 horror movie “The Exorcist,” this week told an audience at the Cannes film festival that he was invited by the Vatican’s chief exorcist to film a real exorcism earlier this month, AFP and The Local reported.

“The Exorcist,” named the scariest film of all time by multiple critics, including Roger Ebert  and Stanley Kauffmann, became one of the highest-earning films of all time, grossing more than $441 million worldwide, and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

A scene from The Exorcist

A scene from The Exorcist

Friedkin, who was born in August 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, told the Cannes audience at a late night masterclass, “I was invited by the Vatican exorcist to shoot and video an actual exorcism which… few people have ever seen and which nobody has ever photographed,” and, he insisted, was very similar to his own film. “I was pretty astonished by that. I don’t think I will ever be the same having seen this astonishing thing. I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome,” he said.

“There must be something in there,” said Friedkin, who also made “The French Connection,” “Sorcerer,” “Cruising,” “To Live and Die in L.A.,” “Jade,” “Rules of Engagement,” “The Hunted,” “Bug,” and “Killer Joe.”

The late Rabbi Elyah Lopian, one of the leaders of the Mussar Movement in late 19th century eastern Europe, related to his students that Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, the Chofetz Chaim, sent ten of his students in Radin, Poland, to exorcise a dybbuk from a woman. Rabbi Elhanan Wasserman would repeat the story every Purim. If you’re seeking confirmation of the fact that great Orthodox rabbis also performed exorcism, kindly check A Dybbuk Story.

JNi.Media

Meet The New Jew Haters, Same As The Old Jew Haters

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The hook-nosed Jew is making a comeback. He may not be featured in the blatantly grotesque caricatures of twentieth-century Nazi propaganda, but remove the thinly veiled overtones and the anti-Semitic content is much the same. New packaging, same vile taste.

Do I sound alarmist? Perhaps. But one can be forgiven for finding parallels to the greatest tragedy that has befallen the Jewish people, especially since that tragedy unfolded a mere seventy years ago. And especially when current parallels are beginning to mirror the origins of that tragedy in terms of methodology and gradual intensity.

Anti-Semitism in our day has been creeping up worldwide much as it did in Nazi Germany – slowly and seemingly linked to other phenomena. Germany did not become a Jew-killing machine overnight. Though the country was always rife with Jew hatred, no one, during Hitler’s early rise, anticipated an out-and-out policy of mass murder. A methodical and increasingly comprehensive trashing of the Jewish character was used to justify the marginalization of Jews, their subjugation, and, finally, their extermination.

A small but notable current exhibit at the New York Historical Society, “Anti-Semitism 1919-1939,” depicts the rise and power of the Nazi party through propaganda. After viewing the display of artifacts, publications, signs, book covers, even currency, I was struck by the dichotomy inherent in German indoctrination leading up to and following the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935.

A running theme of Nazi propaganda before the Nuremberg Laws was Jewish culpability for the economic disaster that befell Germany following World War I. And it ran the gamut of stereotyping Jews as rich moneygrubbers on the one hand to Bolsheviks and communists on the other. Conspiracy theories of Jewish world domination through capitalism and politics struck an eager chord with Germans ready to blame the devastating inflation and unemployment on anyone but themselves. A Nazi slogan printed on a 1,000 reichsmark banknote in 1932 read “The Jew takes our gold, silver and bacon and leaves us with this garbage…. Come to Hitler, become a National Socialist.”

Once the propaganda took hold, it was easy to transition from the written word to concrete forms of punitive legislation. Because after all, if Jews were responsible for all of Germany’s tribulations, why shouldn’t they be punished by being prohibited from working, studying, and generally living as other Germans? Nazi ideologues no longer had to resort to referencing the “capitalist” or “Bolshevik” evils of the Jews. The gloves came off. Now it was “Dirty Jews” or untermenschen.

It took nearly two decades for Nazi propagandists to push the anti-Semitic tendencies of the Aryan nation to their extreme and brutal conclusion. In our globalized world twenty years seems like an eternity. Which is why, despite the fact that the Holocaust is still recent history and there is widespread awareness that such atrocities can and did indeed happen, any resurgence of anti-Semitism today should be cause for alarm. Particularly when that resurgence seems to be following a distressing pattern.

Anti-Israel sentiment – usually indistinguishable from plain old anti-Semitism – began to grow and spread, almost imperceptibly at first, shortly after the 1967 Six-Day War; took on a harder edge during and after the 1982 Lebanon war; and fairly exploded in the aftermath of the failed Oslo Accords. In the span of two decades, the ill-begotten euphoria over Oslo turned into disappointment and frustration, with Israel almost universally blamed for Palestinian duplicity and terror. The flow of events presented the perfect opportunity for Jew hatred to become legitimate once more.

Substitute the words “capitalists,” “cheaters,” or “parasites” for “occupiers,” “colonizers,” or “Zionist imperialists” and— presto! – you have the new lingo of 21st century anti-Semites. The Protocols of the
Elders of Zion
? Old school. Now there’s the “Powerful Jewish Lobby.” And in the ultimate debasement of language and reality, Jew haters use Holocaust references to castigate Israel for defending itself.

While it would be terribly gauche to yell “dirty Jew” while Holocaust survivors with tattoos on their arms are still alive, there seems to be nothing wrong these days with yelling “Zionist pig.” The virus infests academia and the UN, many mosques and some churches. It thrives in England’s Labour Party and in far left and far right political factions across Europe and South America. How else could BDS have spread so quickly in Europe and on college campuses the world over?

Traditional anti-Semitism from right-wing neo-Nazi type groups exists, but it is not nearly as prevalent as what is coming from the left. And while leftists can hardly be expected to malign Jews as socialists, they’ve borrowed a page from the Nazi handbook to justify singling out the Jew. How easy it is to condemn the Jew for his alleged abuse of others.

Fifty members of England’s Labour Party were recently suspended over anti-Semitic remarks that focused mostly on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. But can anyone doubt that in many or most of the cases their sentiments are uncomfortably close to the old-fashioned Jew hatred that reigns at England’s Oxford University? The harassment and intimidation of Jewish students there has reached a level that prompted Oxford’s Labour Club co-chairman Alex Chalmers to quit a few months ago after complaining that many of its members “have some kind of problem with Jews.”

Such an admission is a frank assessment of the animosity facing too many Jews today. Although Israel’s critics utilize the phrase “cycle of violence” in a dishonest manner, the cycle does exist between Israel and its enemies, notably the Palestinians. But it goes something like this: incitement against Jews leads to violence against Jews, which in turn increases incitement against Jews.

Last week Israelis celebrated Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Independence Day – immediately after marking Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. Some see the juxtaposition as one of cause and effect, with the horrors of the Holocaust paving the way for the birth of Israel. A vigorous counterattack is already long overdue against those whose vicious propaganda is aimed at reversing that cause and effect by using Israel to pave the way for more anti-Semitism.

From educators to politicians to the media, such indoctrination must not only be denounced but fought tooth and nail. The battle must begin with exposing the haters and their methods and end with ridding the world of its oldest scourge.

Sara Lehmann

Netanyahu and Herzog Meet to Discuss ‘Unity’ Coalition Amid Labor Party Backlash

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader and Zionist Union faction Chairman Isaac Herzog met on Sunday night to discuss the prospects of establishing a national unity government, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 2.

The meeting took place despite fierce backlash from members of Herzog’s Labor party and his political allies, who consider joining Netanyahu a betrayal, and recent polls showing Herzog’s support plummeting.

“I am not deterred by polls like these, which are about momentary fads,” said Herzog in comments to a closed conference aired on Tuesday by Israel Army Radio. “When checking them thoroughly, we can see that most of the public does not know what they mean, and still gives 30% support to the move, most of whom are from the bloc that I lead rather than the bloc on the right.”

Herzog explained last week that he will join Netanyahu’s coalition if he is given the “mandate” to deal with serious issues facing the country, including “to separate from the Palestinians” and “to make the United States and Europe our allies again.”

MK Shelly Yachimovich, a former Labor party head, is one of several of party members to strenuously object to a national unity government.

“This was an offer that should have been rejected with contempt long ago,” Yachimovich wrote last week in her weekly newsletter.

“It wouldn’t be a unity government,” she added. “It would be a right-wing government in every way, with Labor creeping in without conditions to get portfolios and positions.”

Opposition to a national unity government has also been pushed by members of the Coalition, including Likud MK Yoav Kisch.

“A narrow government that is faithful to settlements is better than a broad government lacking in values,” said Kisch last Thursday, implicitly claiming that a unity government with the Zionist Union would undermine the government’s ability to continue construction in Judea and Samaria.

“The very act of negotiating with Netanyahu is political profiteering and job trading. It’s disgraceful and constitutes a betrayal of the public trust,” Labor party MK Stav Shafir commented on Sunday.

Herzog dismissed such objections during a private meeting with Labor party activists in a recording aired Sunday on Israel’s Channel 10 news.

“If we can speak with Mahmoud Abbas, we can speak with Netanyahu,” Herzog said, referring to the president of the Palestinian Authority.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Meet the New Secular Israeli: Believes in God, Keeps Shabbat

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Israel’s Channel 2 News and polling service Sample Project Panel, directed by Dr. Ariel Ayalon, have published a survey that may change everyone’s long-held assumptions about the divide between religious and secular in Israel. The survey questioned 500 Jewish Israeli respondents ages 18 to 64, and here is what they had to say regarding a variety of Jewish-related issues:

70.6% don’t eat pig’s meat.

66% believe in God. 20% believe in a higher power, but prefer not to use the G word. Out of those who identified themselves as secular, only 27% said they don’t believe in God.

55.5% have participated in separating the challah.

53.1% were married at the chief rabbinate.

51.4% of women, including secular women, maintain a modest appearance. Out of that group, 28% wear their skirts below the knees, 16% below the ankle, and 56% wear pants.

49.5% fast on Yom Kippur.

45.2% perform Kiddush on Friday night.

43.2% light Shabbat candles.

37.7% don’t drive on Shabbat.

38% keep family purity (avoiding sex during the menstrual period). Incidentally, of the respondents who defined themselves as religious, 9% say they do not observe family purity.

36.5% attend synagogue services on holidays.

29.6% keep kosher.

According to the survey, Israel is definitely becoming more religious. Younger Israelis are more religious than their elders: 80% of respondents ages 18-24 believe in God, compared with 57.5% of ages 55-64. And 25.9% of young Israelis say they are religious, compared with 11.5% of the older generation.

In fact, only Israelis ages 35 and up are majority secular, whereas among ages 24-34 only 48.8% say they are secular, and among ages 18-24 only 37.6% are secular. Out of the younger age group, 50.6% observe Shabbat, compared with 16.1% of their elders. 47.1% of the younger group keep kosher, compared with 21.8% of the older group. 22.4% of the younger Israelis attend synagogue on Shabbat, compared with 14.9% of older Israelis.

In fact, the only area where older Israelis are more traditional than their children is modesty.

On intermarriage, 65% of all Israelis say they would not consider marrying a non-Jew. Among the secular, 42% would not intermarry.

In some areas, however, Israelis are still more secular than religious: 62% of Israelis drive on Shabbat, and 64% use their phones on Shabbat.

JNi.Media

Determined to Get Kerry a Nobel, Obama Planning to Squeeze Netanyahu

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The man who brought peace to Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and Syria (did I forget anything? Yes – Turkey!), our own President Obama, is about to throw his weight into the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the NY Times reports this morning.

When he welcomes Netanyahu to the White House on Monday, tye White House leaked to the Times, Obama will press him to embrace the Secretary of State John Kerry framework for a “conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations,” which is being drafted as we speak. Then, a few weeks later, Obama will meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, “to make the same pitch.”

By the end of April, if all goes according to plan, both sides will have a road map (didn’t we already have one of those?). In April the self-imposed 9-month time limit will expire, and in a television-driven political world, a date is a date, ergo the big gun.

“Now is a very timely opportunity for him to get involved,” a senior official told the Times, setting up the newest great expectation in a tone that didn’t convey much conviction: If the two sides agree to the framework, which would set out general terms on issues like Israel’s security and the borders of a future Palestinian state, the negotiations could be extended, with a new target of completing a treaty by the end of 2014.

Of course, should things not work out as expected, we could always come up with new shticks, rename the whole thing, possibly divide the topics of discussion into columns A and B and pick targets Chinese restaurant fashion, slap a new target date on it and go on with the show. The idea is to keep having a peace process—never mind the peace.

If they keep doing this through the 2016 presidential election, there’s a good chance Kerry could still get the Nobel Peace Prize even if he doesn’t get anything accomplished peacewise. After all, Obama got it just for being black and promising – couldn’t Kerry take one for being tall and lanky? Good teeth? No?

It is far from clear, notes the Times, that Mr. Obama can pull off what has so far eluded his secretary of state. Here’s another thing that’s been eluding the Americans – over the past several weeks, the Arabs and the Jews haven’t been meeting face to face. They talk to Kerry and to his special envoy, Martin S. Indyk, and that’s it. It means, “analysts say,” that there’s been no movement on anything.

If you ever sold cars for a living, or watched any sitcom or movie about selling cars, you know that the time to bring in the owner is after it’s been established that the customer really wants the car, he just needs to discuss terms. You bring in the boss, right away he knocks of two grand off the list price, everybody’s smiling – and you close. But to bring the boss in before both sides are buying anything, anything at all, that has desperation written all over it.

Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator who is a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told the Times that bringing the president in at this stage is admission of defeat on Kerry’s part. “What is it going to take to get to a comprehensive deal if the president has to do heavy lifting?”

It means Kerry has little credibility left with either side. And the Jews hate him for the boycott threats, which he has since been backtracking from so fiercely, you worry he’d hit his head on the end of the pool.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/determined-to-get-kerry-a-nobel-obama-planning-to-squeeze-netanyahu/2014/02/27/

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