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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Defining the Problem

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

I spent the last 3 weeks in the US and Canada on a speaking and fundraising tour for Standing Together 24/7 IDF and realized Israel, America, Canada and the entire world are in the same predicament when it comes to fighting terrorism. It seems all our governments are having a hard time defining right and wrong. It seems our countries and many of our people have given up on the idea that we are the good guys.

A month or so ago an Islamic terrorist pledged alliance to the Islamic State and murdered 50 people in a gay bar in Orlando.

It was like there was contest on who can better deflect the fact that this was a radical Islamic terrorist attack! Some immediately called the attack a homophobic attack while others were screaming about gun control. The President seemed to be flexing his executive muscles in order not to say three simple words; RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM

Some tried what I call the ’emotional escape’ and said, ‘what difference does it make! People died and I should be more sensitive.’ It is actually those who refuse to clearly define the Orlando attack as a radical Islamic terrorist attack who are being insensitive and cruel. Those who were murdered can no longer be helped, but to ignore the ideology that brought about the attack is cruelty to future victims.

Is there a gun control problem in America? Absolutely! How else do you explain how a guy who was investigated by the FBI TWICE for his radical Islamic views was still able to attain a gun legally.

Why was he able to attain a gun legally? Because, although the FBI saw red flags waving all over the place, they did not have anything incriminating and did not want to offend the terrorists “religious” beliefs by suspecting his radical views were actually dangerous. The wouldn’t want to offend him!

The liberal way is to defend the rights of all people except those that are actually being threatened by the people liberals are defending and if you dare point out the radical religious views and call them dangerous….you’re a racist!

Yes, there is a gun control problem in the U.S.A, but that is not what murdered the victims in Orlando. The radical Islamic terrorist did not murder people because he had a gun, he had a gun because he was looking to murder people! Read that again and internalize it!

What’s the difference?

Well, if Orlando is a result of a gun problem, is a 17 year old Muslim terrorist who broke into a Jewish home in Hebron and stabbed a sleeping 13 year old Jewish girl 35 times (!!!!) a knife control problem? Was the Boston bombing a pressure cooker problem? The terrorist in France a truck control problem?

Don’t people understand that by calling this a gun problem they are exonerating the perpetrators themselves! Would any of those gun-control people say in 1942 there was a gas problem in Germany? It’s ridiculous!

When it comes to Israel, we are seeing the same inability to define the actual base of the conflict. Many claim this conflict is about land. The fact of the matter is there was a time when all the “disputed” land was already in Arab control.

Between 1948-1967 the entire WB including Jerusalem, the entire Gaza strip and the Golan heights were in Arab control, was there peace? Anyone with any historic integrity should be able to admit that this conflict has nothing to do with the land. Radical Islamic terrorists were murdering Jews long before there were settlements or even a State of Israel. Just ask the Jews of Hebron in 1929 or those who attended the meeting between the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler in 1942!

Those that advocate a Two-State solution are actually strengthening the radical Arab (Mostly radical Muslim) narrative that was created in order to disguise their blind hatred for Jews and the Jewish country with a fabricated historic and political claim. There was no conquering or occupation of Palestine from the Arabs! Can we please stop making believe it happened and can we please stop making believe the solution will come as a result of our adopting a false historical national claim called Palestine! Not only will masquerading the real issue not stop terrorism, it will strengthen it!

Before discussing a solution one has to ask themselves what is the real cause of the problem. Why have Arab countries attacked Israel time and time again? Why did Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and some of their friends attack Israel in 48?

Was it because they were missing land in their countries?

Have you see a map of the Middle East lately!

Why did Nasser call for Israel’s destruction in 1966? Was it because of settlements that did not exist yet?

Why did Arafat start a terrorist organization called the PLO in 1964 with the soul purpose of destroying Israel when there were no settlements or “occupation”? (1964 was 3 years before the Six Day war and before the settlement block existed! The Arabs were under Arab control)

Israel left Gaza completely in 2005 with no demands from the Arabs, did it bring peace? Why did the Arab population democratically vote for a terrorist organization with a clear call to murder Jews? Was it because they wanted Gaza to be free?

When you answer these 5 questions, you will understand what is the source of the conflict and what it is not.

Jerusalem an Arab capital? Really! When was Jerusalem ever an Arab capital or even an important city before the Jews came home? Do I know what the solution is?

The real question is, do you know what the problem is!

So why is the world and some Israelis so blind to this obvious reality? Why can’t Obama say the words radical Islamic terrorism? It’s not really about offending someone and whether you think Obama is a Muslim or not is totally irrelevant. The real issue is the belief in a fantasy word where everything can be solved with diplomacy. See, if Obama would call it radical Islamic terrorism, there would be no diplomatic solution. He knows as well as anyone else that the solution to a terrorist is a bullet.

Calling it a gun control problem basically throws the blame on all of us instead of on the terrorist and makes believe if we just work harder Orlando will not happen again.

Israeli leaders have been apologizing and bending over backwards in order to make offers to those who want us destroyed. Don’t you dare call it a radical Islamic terror problem because that would make the Two State solution as immoral as the Munich agreement that Chamberlain signed with Hitler.

Don’t you dare admit this is a religious war because that would make you a racist! It doesn’t matter that the only people blowing up buses, shooting fathers in front of their family, stabbing little Jewish girls in their sleep and firing rockets at Israel are 100% of the time radical ISLAMIC terrorists!

Forget all those facts. Take a big gulp of the Kool-aid and a puff of the peace drug and make believe all the terrorists want is a small sliver of Israel and they will stop murdering Jews Oh, and while you are apologizing for a crime Israel did not commit, make sure to uphold real apartheid by not allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount which is being occupied by radical Islamic terror supporters. We wouldn’t want to God forbid offend them and their beliefs and allow actual freedom of religion! That would have the UN condemning us and calling us racist…. Anyone else see the irony here?

What’s my solution? Let’s say I don’t have one. Does that mean we should adopt one that is historical, national and religious suicide? Doctors don’t know what to do, so they start cutting off limbs?

DEFINE THE PROBLEM!

Solution to radical Islamic terrorism?

A bullet!

Solution to a fabrication of history called Palestine used in order to justify starting wars with Israel and murdering Jews?

FIGHT!

Those who support the Palestine Arab narrative are either completely ignorant or intentionally aiding and abetting terrorism! No room for diplomacy there and it’s not because I want war, it’s because they do!

What’s the solution? Let’s start by reminding ourselves that we are the good guys. The fact that the Arabs lost the wars they started does not make them victims, it makes them losers and maybe they should get the hint. #AllahIsAZionist.

Those Arabs who want to live in peace in Israel as a Jewish State? Welcome! Those who want a new State called Palestine on land they think was an Arab country called Palestine?

1. Learn history!

2. Jordan sits on 70+% of British Palestine and has a majority of 73% Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Make Jordan Palestine!

I love when people hear that they call me unrealistic or say the Jordanians would not agree.

Let me get this straight. Hashemites who have absolutely no connection to this land and who came from Mecca and took over the area of Trans-Jordan don’t want to give the area to Arabs who call themselves Palestinians is an acceptable excuse but it is ok to demand of Jews who have a long history to give up land to those who advocate the destruction of Israel?

You think it is realistic that Israel, which is smaller than New Jersey, split up more of its land to hand it over to those who seek to destroy it but it is unrealistic to demand the Hashemites from Jordan, which is hundreds of times bugger than Israel, give up land to their own brothers? ENOUGH!

Realistic? The ‘peace’ camp gave guns to Yasser Arafat and the world awarded that terrorist the Nobel Peace Prize!

Don’t tell me about being realistic!

No more risk taking, no more concessions to those who start wars and justify terror! Israel is ours by right and it’s time we stop making believe we are the bad guys!

Three choices for our enemies:
1. Leave

2. Fight

3. Accept Israel as the Jewish homeland and live happily.

Ari Fuld

Finally: Congress Asking UNRWA for Real Number of Palestinian Refugees

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Both houses of Congress are at work to modify funding bills for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), as part of an effort to investigate the very legitimacy of the decades-old agency, Michael Wilner reported in the Jerusalem Post Friday. Both the House and the Senate want the State Department to, once and for all, define the term “Palestinian refugee,” and while they’re at it, reveal how many are receiving aid from UNRWA.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who had left Israel. Since then UNRWA has been a promoter of the Palestinian cause, funding as many as 5 million “refugees,” the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, the “West Bank,” eastern Jerusalem, or other Arab countries, to the tune of $1.23 billion annually, $250 million of which is donated by US taxpayers.

Many in Congress have been saying, since about 2012, that the majority of Palestinians are permanently settled, and should not be under the jurisdiction of a refugee agency.

Needless to say, Wilner points out, “such a finding would fundamentally change the narrative of the decades-old conflict.”

The first Palestinian census was completed 15 years ago, and the head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) admitted then that the census was, in effect, “a civil intifada” rather than a scientific survey. In 2011 the Bureau attempted to correct that blatant misrepresentation, claiming that 2.6 million Palestinian Arabs inhabit Judea and Samaria.

But Israeli demographer Yoram Ettinger challenged those numbers, claiming they overstated the real number of Arabs there by as much as 66%. He explained that the PCBS’s total counts 400,000 Palestinians living overseas, and double-counts 240,000 Jerusalem Arabs. It also undercounted Palestinian emigration.

In 2014, UNRWA came up with the figure of 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and the US responded by providing hundreds of millions of dollars for UNRWA’s health, education, and social service programs.

“UNRWA is sort of becoming an entitlement program of the Middle East, and the desire is to increase transparency on who actually are refugees relevant to that conflict,” a senior Senate aide familiar with the language told Wilner, suggesting the new bill “goes to the heart of the debate over UNRWA funding.”

Republicans in both houses have launched parallel efforts to compel the State Department to go on the record with who qualifies as a “Palestinian refugee,” and the combined version of the law, once passed, will compel the secretary of state to provide “a justification of why it is in the national interest of the United States to provide funds to UNRWA.”

The bill’s language continues: “Such justification shall include an analysis of the current definition of Palestinian refugees that is used by UNRWA, how that definition corresponds with, or differs from, that used by UNHCR, other UN agencies, and the United States Government, and whether such definition furthers the prospects for lasting peace in the region.”

And, naturally, “the committee directs that such report be posted on the publicly available website of the Department of State.”

Finally, it should be noted that there are two distinct definitions of the term “refugee” in international law.

A refugee, according to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence.

It is rare for a refugee status to extend beyond the lifetime of the original refugee, because normally it is expected that their offspring will have settled someplace else.

Not so regarding Palestinian refugees, according to UNRWA’s definition of the term, which includes the patrilineal descendants of the original “Palestinian refugees,” limited to persons residing in UNRWA’s areas of operation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

JNi.Media

Israel Engaged in Secret Efforts to Obtain Restitution for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The State of Israel is engaged in clandestine efforts to obtain restitution for the lost or stolen property of Jews who fled Arab countries after the State of Israel was founded. This was revealed in a discussion of the Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday morning.

“The expatriates from Arab countries fled, leaving their property behind,” said MK Avraham Neguise, the committee chairman. “We want to do historical justice by making sure that this property is finally restored to its owners.”

Hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Arab countries and the Middle East already faced persecution on the eve of Israel’s establishment in 1948. Once Israel declared its independence, they had to flee.

According to Avi Cohen, director general of the Social Equality Ministry, which helps funnel support to the poorer sectors in Israeli society, Israel has already been acting clandestinely to restore some of the property that belonged to hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees, investing millions of shekels to do so.

“Classified work is currently underway, in conjunction with the Foreign Ministry, in which we will invest millions to restore the property of Arab and Iranian Jewry,” Cohen said. “The work will come to fruition within four to six weeks. I cannot say more than that.”

Although Iran’s Jewish community did not face the same repercussions as Jews in Arab countries did in 1948, tens of thousands of Iranian Jews fled Iran following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The officials at the meeting made other suggestions regarding restitution. Opposition leader and Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog hinted that a regional agreement would give Israel an opportunity to make the issue a top priority.

“The topic was mentioned explicitly in our elections platform,” Herzog said. “If there should be movement toward a regional agreement, the topic must definitely be placed on the agenda.”

Ze’ev Ben Yosef, a member of the World Likud executive committee, was skeptical of Herzog’s idea.

“It’s problematic to link the issue of restitution to a political agreement because the other side is in no hurry to reach such an agreement,” he said.

Others who were present argued that the issue of the lost or stolen property belonging to Jews who fled Arab and Muslim countries should gain more international recognition, especially since the UN gave refugee status to Palestinians and their descendants who fled their homes during Israel’s War of Independence.

“The moment that the UN supports refugees from Arab countries, it must recognize that there are Jewish refugees,” said Eli Gabbay, a former MK of the National Religious Party. “It must be guaranteed, through a political process, that just as the UN grants funds to the Arab refugees, it will make restitution to the Jewish refugees.”

MK Anat Berko (Likud), a descendant of Jewish refugees from Iraq, echoed Gabbay’s statement. “If you want to recognize Arab refugees, you must also recognize Jewish refugees,” she said. “I, too, see myself as a daughter of Iraqi-Jewish refugees.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Suicide Bomber Turned ‘Peace Activist’ Refused Entry into Israel

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Shifa al-Qudsi was 24, a beauty technician from Tulkarem, when she was planning to blow up a supermarket in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya. Back in 2007, while still in Israeli security prison, she told Judith Miller that although the suicide vest that was stuffed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and various metal fragments, weighed close to 40 pounds, it felt “like roses on my shoulders. I was even more eager to do it after I put the vest on. Many would have died. No fence in the world would have stopped me.”

With that kind of a self professed reputation, is it any wonder that the same Shifa al-Qudsi was refused entry into Israel Thursday, when she wanted to attend the world premiere of a new documentary titled “Disturbing the Peace,” in which she appears.

According to the official press packet, “Director Steve Apkon’s documentary conveys a universal story about the human ability to see beyond the narratives which we tend to accept as reality, and challenging convention in the struggle for freedom.” In essence, the film’s protagonists liberate themselves from the war stories that no longer serve their purpose, because, let’s face it, most Israelis are not buying the Arab peace offers — in favor of an alternative narrative and a new vision which sees Israel giving up through peaceful means what it has been refusing to abandon in battle.

The special screening will take place Thursday at the Jerusalem Film Festival at 2:15 PM, by al-Qudsi’s brothers and sisters in arms who have not been barred by Israel’s visa authorities. The screening will be followed by Q&A with Stephen Apkon Apkon and the “Combatants for Peace” activists who appear in the film.

Al-Qudsi was arrested in a dawn raid at her home in April 2002, having been turned in by an Arab informer in the terrorists’ ranks. She was convicted and served six years in prison. After her release she joined the “Combatants for Peace,” a group of Arabs and Israelis who have served in the IDF and in terror organizations. “We – serving our peoples, raised weapons which we aimed at each other and saw each other only through gun sights – have established Combatants for Peace on the basis of the following principles,” their website states:

1. “We believe that the conflict cannot be resolved through military means by either of the parties.” (check)

2. “We call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the border of June 4, 1967, alongside Israel. The two countries will prevail side by side in peace, security and good neighborly relations.” Or, in other words, we insist that the agenda of one side (the terrorists) will be accepted over that of the other side (folks who served in the IDF). Totally evenhanded.

3. “Our direction is that of nonviolent struggle and we call on both nations to join us to achieve peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. We urge the political leadership to take bold steps to commence serious negotiations to end the conflict and desist from taking unilateral steps aimed at placing obstacles in the face of this goal and prolonging the conflict, including the construction of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, whose purpose is the perpetuation of the conflict and the blocking of any chance of real peace.” In other words, we’d like to have peace all around, but do remove those half a million pesky Jews from the homes where they’ve lived for the past four or five decades.

With so much peace and love, how could Israel refuse entry to Shifa al-Qudsi who merely asks the Jewish State to continue her unconsummated suicide bombing through non-violent action?

Which is why Combatants for Peace leaders Udi Gur and Mohamad Awedah released a statement saying, “Israel’s limiting visa policy for peace movements consistently encumbers the Palestinian voice calling for the end of the conflict from being conveyed to the Israeli public. Combatants for Peace Palestinian members’ voices are critical and non-violent. The Israeli public deserves to hear that change is possible, as Shifa’s process illustrates, and the attempt to silence her is meant to tear the two nations apart and bring despair — but we believe there is another path, the path of hope.”

And that “hope,” as always, is the hope of seeing the Jewish State disappear eventually from the map of the Middle East, as it will be swallowed up by the already existing three Palestinian states of Jordan, the PA and Hamas-Gaza.

JNi.Media

UN Secy-Gen Ban Ki-Moon Rants to Security Council on Israel, Ramallah & Gaza

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday that he is dissatisfied with all the players in the Israel-Palestinian Authority drama. The outgoing international leader addressed the meeting on the situation in the Middle East, offering his assessment of how he believes peace can best be achieved in the region going forward.

Ban ranted in a long statement about myriad issues regarding Israel, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority government and Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. He clearly had long felt deep frustration about all three players.

High on the list of the issues that earned his “concern” was the passage in Israel this week of an NGO Transparency Law, approved by the Knesset on Monday. But Ban also expressed disgust over: – Israel’s continued plans to build housing for its residents in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, – Palestinian Authority leaders’ continued glorification of terrorism to its people and incitement of attacks against Israelis and Jews, and – Gaza’s Hamas rulers’ continued unwillingness to unite in a single government with the Ramallah-based PA leadership, stop stealing donated building supplies from its people for the construction of its terror tunnel infrastructure, and focus on peace, not war.

The NGO Transparency Law so despised by the UN leader forces some 27 mostly leftist Israeli non-governmental organizations who receive more than half of their financial support from foreign governments to report the source and amount of that funding to the government, and to reveal the information on every piece of literature they produce.

The United States Internal Revenue Service maintains similar regulations for tax-exempt non-profit organizations under the IRS 501(c)3 and other codes.

Ban visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last month. He said that a report issued by the Middle East Quartet (United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations) makes it clear that “the prospects of a two-state solution grow more distant,” even as “negative trends” are rising. He named Israel’s NGO Transparency Law as one of those trends.

“The failure of Israeli and Palestinian leaders to advance peace has created a vacuum. Extremist voices have filled that space,” Ban said.

“Recent incidents reinforce the mounting risks. Those responsible for recent terror attacks must be held accountable. However, closures – such as those in Hebron — as well as punitive demolitions and blanket revocations of permits penalize thousands of innocent Palestinians and amount to collective punishment,” he went on.

Ban said “Israel’s passage of the so-called ‘NGO Transparency Law’… contributes to a climate in which the activities of human rights organisations are increasingly delegitimized.

Just as bad, he complained, “All the while, Israel’s settlement enterprise marches on. Days after the Quartet called on Israel to cease settlement construction and expansion, Israel announced plans to advance building approximately 560 housing units in the West Bank and 240 more in occupied East Jerusalem. This is in flagrant disregard of international law. These actions constitute an undeniable contradiction to Israel’s official support for a negotiated two-state solution.

“I urge Israel to immediately cease and reverse these plans,” he said. “We must ask: How can the systematic expansion of settlements … the taking of land for exclusive Israeli use … and the denial of Palestinian development be a response to violence? Such policies will not bring the two-state solution closer to reality.

“Such policies will not make Israelis safer or more secure,” Ban insisted. “As many former Israeli military and intelligence officers have clearly stated, these policies will do precisely the opposite. Indeed, every brick added to the edifice of occupation is another taken from Israel’s foundation as a majority Jewish and democratic state.”

Hana Levi Julian

Danon Warns UN Security Council Hezbollah Snuggles Bases Among Civilian Homes, Schools

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon warned the UN Security Council at a special meeting Tuesday that Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist group is aiming some 120,000 missiles at Israeli cities; a number far higher than the 7,000 rockets the group had in 2006.

In fact, Danon produced evidence that supported his claim that Hezbollah possesses more missiles in its underground arsenal than the entire European membership of NATO together maintain above ground.

Worse, perhaps, is the fact that the group has built many of its bases next to children’s schools — a human-shield tactic used by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

At the meeting, which was held to discuss the situation in the Middle East, Danon shared new intelligence which included aerial imagery of a village that had been transformed into a terrorist base.

“The village of Shakra in southern Lebanon has become a terrorist stronghold,” Danon told the Council. “One in every three buildings there is being used for terrorist infrastructure which includes launching pads for missiles, weapons caches and more.

“Nor has Hezbollah stopped here; it chose to situate its bases next to schools and other public structures. And in so doing, it has endangered innocent civilians,” he said.

Weapons are also being stored in civilian areas, according to IDF soldiers who spoke with the BBC. “Every mission that I’ve been on personally has been observing Hezbollah operations in a heavily populated area,” a soldier told the UK-based media outlet. “In a house with a family living in it, or in a house next door or behind it.” “It is the responsibility of the UN Security Council to evict Hezbollah from southern Lebanon,” Danon emphasized.

The IDF pointed out in an article published Tuesday on its English-language blog that Hezbollah has joined Iran in working to destablize the entire Middle East, with footholds around the world. “This Shi’ite militia from Southern Lebanon has grown into a sizable international threat,” according to Israel’s military analysts.

Hezbollah trains, funds and fights alongside armies and militias that promote Iranian interests and ideologies, exacerbating conflicts not only throughout the Middle East, but also by exporting chaos well beyond their borders.

Former national security adviser IDF General (ret.)Yaakov Amidror told the BBC on Tuesday that Hezbollah’s firepower is magnified more than ten-fold over what it was before the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

“Now they have more than 120,000 rockets and missiles,” Amidror said. “It’s a huge number that you don’t find in any country in Europe, for example. When you see all these efforts, you ask yourself one question: what for?”

Hana Levi Julian

Spanish, Portuguese Jews Support Sephardi and Mizrahi Heritage Empowerment Program

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Reconectar, the movement to reconnect the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities and the Jewish world, welcomed the recommendations made by Israel’s Ministry of Education’s Committee to Empower the Heritage of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the Education System, led by Chairman Erez Biton.

“It is an important day for Sephardi Jews where our history, culture and tradition will be recognized and taught in the Israeli school system,” President of Reconectar Ashley Perry (Perez) said. “This has taken far too long, but it is vital that the scope of Jewish history and culture be widened to include Jews from the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East.”

“However, there is still more work to be done and it should be widened further to include our millions of Sephardi brothers and sisters who were forcibly disconnected from us over the centuries and are seeking a reconnection to the Jewish world. Our education system should be preparing the formal Jewish world for the immense and necessary challenge of reconnecting our people,” Perry said.

Beginning in the 14th Century, hundreds of thousands of Jews were forcibly converted, or otherwise disconnected from the Jewish People, and many among their descendants, numbering around 100 million, are seeking different levels of reconnection with Israel and the Jewish world.

Perry, who is also Director General of the Knesset Caucus for the Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities, Chaired by MK Robert Ilatov, said that the more Israeli children travel to Spain, as the recommendations state, the more they will encounter the story of the Anousim who are becoming more and more aware of their Jewish roots.

“We have an enormous opportunity to use our shared history and traditions, to empower and embolden relations with those who share our roots and heritage whether in the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America or among Latinos and Hispanics in the US,” Perry said. “We have a moral, ethical and even a halakhic mandate to do so, and the more we learn about our roots in the Hispanic world and the more the Hispanic world learns about their possible Jewish roots, the closer the potential relations between our communities will grow.”

Perry was also heavily involved in placing the issue of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries on the national and international agenda while he worked in government as advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other politicians, including former MK Dr. Shimon Ohayon, who passed a law to create a day of commemoration in the official Israeli calendar.

“The history of the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa is sadly overlooked, even though every other Jew in Isr

ael comes from this region,” Perry said. “It is vital for Jewish Peoplehood that the vibrant and ancient Jewish communities of the Middle East and North Africa and their subsequent ethnic cleansing in the Twentieth Century are understood and studied.”

“It is absurd that it has taken 68 years for Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews to be able to learn about their own history and culture, and it is hoped that their history will be placed on an equal plane to the history of other Jews from around the world,” Perry said.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/spanish-portuguese-jews-support-sephardi-and-mizrahi-heritage-empowerment-program/2016/07/08/

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