Former female soldier demands millions from top BDS operative

‘Fake anti-Semitic news’: Former soldier Rebecca Re’em demands $6 million from senior BDS movement operative after receiving death threats.

Mordechai Sones , 22/09/20 19:44 Share
Rivkah Re'em today

Rivkah Re’em today Shurat Hadin Organization

Former soldier Rebecca Re’em today filed a $6 million defamation lawsuit through the Shurat Hadin organization against senior BDS operative Suhir Napal, who spread false information that led to threats and incitement to murder against her.

Re’em was accused by the BDS movement of being responsible for the murder of “Palestinian” paramedic Razan al-Najjar, who was killed by IDF fire on the Gaza border about two years ago.

Rebecca Re’em, 26, a young Jewish woman from California, immigrated to Israel in 2012 and enlisted in the IDF for a training position in the Education Corps. One day as part of her service, a recruiting photo of her holding weapons and protective equipment was published on the IDF’s official Facebook page.

About three years after Rivka’s release from the IDF, in 2018, Suhir Napal, a key BDS operative living in California, posted on her personal Facebook page claiming that Rivka was responsible for paramedic Razan al-Najjar’s death during one of the “return marches”.

The same post was circulated on social media among BDS operatives and pro-Palestinian organizations in the United States, who began threatening and harassing Rebecca and her family on a daily basis. About two years after the post was published, Rebecca decided to turn to the Shurat Hadin human rights organization. This week the organization filed a defamation lawsuit against Suhair Napal, the author of the post, for $6 million in California court. After receiving the lawsuit, Napal blocked her Facebook page profile to hide the incriminating evidence.

The indictment emphasized that this was a blood libel since Rebecca had never been in the Gaza Strip as part of her military service, as she had served in a training and non-combat role only. Rebecca was also discharged from the IDF in 2015, about three years before Al Najar’s death. After her release, Rebecca was an activist for human rights and even participated in joint Israeli-Arab delegations in Jordan and the Judea and Samaria area, as well as volunteering in refugee camps in South America and Greece.

Shurat Hadin organization President Adv. Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, stated: “It seems we’re returning to the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and the anti-Semitic blood libels of the past. Rebecca and her family were condemned and threatened with murder just because she was a soldier in the IDF. The war by haters of Israel has also taken a legal toll, and Rebecca’s lawsuit is at the forefront of the fight against the global boycott movement against the State of Israel. BDS activists will know that they themselves may be personally responsible for their anti-Zionist activities and even pay a heavy price.”

Tags: BDS movement Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Shurat Hadin

Trump restores UN sanctions on Islamic Republic: ‘I will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon’

“Never Again! No Nukes, Not Now; Not Ever!”

September 22, 2020 Trump restores UN sanctions on Islamic Republic: ‘I will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon’President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Sept. 18, 2020. (AP/Alex Brandon)

The order blocks those trying to sell, supply or transfer conventional arms to Iran or provide financial support, training or other services connected with arms sales.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order slapping new sanctions on Iran and also claiming to restore UN sanctions that are set to expire in October.

“My Administration will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, nor will we allow Iran to endanger the rest of the world with a fresh supply of ballistic missiles and conventional arms,” Trump said.

“To ensure this cannot happen, I am issuing a new Executive Order, restoring United Nations (UN) sanctions on Iran, and imposing new sanctions and export controls on more than two dozen entities and individuals that support Iran’s nuclear, missile, and conventional arms-related activities,” the president said.

The order blocks those trying to sell, supply or transfer conventional arms to Iran or provide financial support, training or other services connected with arms sales.

“This Executive Order is critical to enforcing the UN arms embargo on Iran. The order will greatly diminish the Iranian regime’s capacity to export arms to terrorists and dangerous actors throughout the region, as well as its ability to acquire weapons to build up its own forces,” Trump said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, joined by the president’s top national security aides, said at a press conference on Monday, “The Trump administration has always been honest about what the Iranian regime really is. A radical revolutionary and the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.”

“President Trump understood that the JCPOA [2015 Iran deal] was an abject failure. It didn’t bring Iran into the community of nations or block Tehran’s path to a nuclear weapon. Instead, it was an exercise in appeasement. It gifted the regime billions and paved the way for Iran to become the arms dealer of choice for terrorist groups and dictators all across the world in just five short years,” Pompeo said.

The 2015 nuclear deal with Iran lifted sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for halting its nuclear program. Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed some sanctions. It has since added additional sanctions.

On August 20, the Trump administration notified the president of the UN Security Council that it was employing the “snapback” provision in the deal to restore UN sanctions against Iran. However, 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council have disagreed with the U.S. position, saying it no longer has legal standing to reimpose UN sanctions given that it pulled out of the deal.

The United States argued that it was forced to take action as Iran has failed to live up to its commitments under the deal and “the Security Council failed to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which had been in place for 13 years.”

The other members of the Security Council say they will ignore the U.S. move.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said, “As we have in the past, we will stand alone to protect peace and security. We do not need a cheering section to validate our moral compass. We do not find comfort based solely in numbers, particularly when the majority had found themselves in the uncomfortable position of underwriting chaos, terror and conflict. We refuse to be members of that club.”

Merkel’s malevolent advice to Netanyahu

“Butt Out (‘Hintern Raus’), Merkel.”





Merkel’s advice? Peace needs a 2 state-solution. Our advice? Germany has many problems, one is antisemitism, so solve them first..

Op-ed. Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld , 22/09/20 12:47 Share
Angela Merkel and Mahmoud Abbas

Angela Merkel and Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

The German press office published a release about a telephone call German Chancellor Angela Merkel made to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The report said that along with the mastering of the Covid19 pandemic regional themes were discussed.

-The Chancellor welcomed the ongoing conversations on the normalization of bilateral relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

-In this context she underlined the need for the reestablishment of relations with the Palestinian Arabs with the aim of a two state solution.

The latter was a malevolent advice. The word is chosen over more euphemistic terms such as misguided, counter-productive, antagonistic, confrontational, aggressive, disingenuous, disruptive, misplaced, erroneous and so on. In the Israeli agreement with the United Arab Emirates there is no mention of a Palestinian state. So what business is it of a Chancellor of Germany where remnants of its horrible past keep emerging?

There can in the future occur a situation where there will be two states on the West side of the Jordan river. Yet that is not a two-state solution. Turning the current Palestinian entities into a state, where the largest party, Hamas, is in favor of genocide of Jews — more or less like the generation of Merkel’s grandparents in Germany – is unlikely to solve anything. Also, the second largest Palestinian party, Fatah, is in favor of terrorism and the Palestinian Authority, which it controls, rewards potential or effective murderers. The glorification of death is a cult which permeates large parts of Palestinian society.

There are several other reasons why Merkel’s remark was brazen. Yet Germany is powerful and Netanyahu thus could not permit himself to say the following in reply to Merkel’s advice. As this, however, has to be said, we are publishing it here:

Dear Mrs. Chancellor,

You have done a number of good things for Israel, which I greatly appreciate. On the other hand, there are various highly negative aspects in the German government’s behavior under your leadership, which endanger both Israel and German Jews.

Nobody has indirectly promoted terrorism in the Middle East more in the past decade than the previous US President Barack Obama. Yet he holds the Nobel prize for peace which was given to him by irresponsible Norwegians. The 2015 JCPOA Agreement, which Israel strongly opposed has freed the hands of the Iranian government — with its genocidal intentions toward Israel — to foster terrorism in many parts of the Middle East. Germany has supported this agreement.

Even today, Germany has a far too soft attitude toward Iran.

Your ambassador to the United Nations also participates in the anti-Israel hate fest there. At the UN your country votes frequently with the enemies of Israel. Your ambassador has even made very negative remarks about Israel and you should have recalled him.


In view of its exceptionally criminal past, Germany should not have let in any antisemites. There is nothing humanitarian about importing antisemites into Europe, even if they are refugees.
Your government is the greatest importer of antisemites into Europe. Your welcome policy has let about 1 million additional Muslims into your country without any check on whether they are antisemites or not. According to studies, about half of them are Jew-haters.

In view of its exceptionally criminal past, Germany should not have let in any antisemites. There is nothing humanitarian about importing antisemites into Europe, even if they are refugees. This radically wrong decision has also led to a strengthening of activism, including against Jews, on the German right. Now a right-wing party, which has antisemitic members, is represented in your country’s parliament, the Bundestag.

Your predecessor, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, made a major effort to normalize the reality as much as possible for Germany’s Jews. He opened the German borders for Jews from Russia, which led to a major increase in the number of Jews and new Jewish communities in various German cities. Yet your policies have led to the opposite. German Jewish leaders have been extremely reluctant to tell the truth, but by May 2020 Josef Schuster, the chairman of the German Jewish umbrella organization Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, finally admitted that he had given up on the utopian idea that there could be a Germany without antisemitism.

Germany’s national Antisemitism Commissioner Felix Klein said: “I cannot advise Jews to wear kippot everywhere all the time in Germany.” Schuster also advised Jews not to wear kippot in public in major cities.

The main reason for this advice was that hatred by Muslims sometimes results in violent acts. One of those who initially did not heed this advice was the Munich Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Brodman. He was harassed by four Arab speaking men this past July. We don’t know whether the attackers were part of your welcome immigration group or entered the country before. Rabbi Brodman has now decided to no longer wear a kippa in public or to speak loudly in Hebrew.

In view of the risks involved Jews have to heed advice to hide their identity in Germany. On the other hand a labor court has decided that Muslim women can show their identity by wearing headscarves when teaching at schools.

Berlin is now the capital of Europe’s antisemitism. A particular problem is some cases of extreme harassment of Jewish pupils in schools, mainly by Muslims. Your government manipulates the statistics and tries to blame almost all antisemitic incidents on the right-wing even if only half of the perpetrators are known.

Allow me to add one more remark. Your ambassador in Israel is a guest in our country. She should keep the German government opinion about the two state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to herself. In light of the above she should not publicly spread your unsolicited and malevolent recommendation about the “the two-state solution.” Guests should not insult hosts.

As you have made a recommendation to me, I would like to reciprocate by also making a recommendation. You have many problems in Germany, including growing antisemitism. So first solve the problems in your own backyard.

Netanyahu couldn’t say this. Yet there is one thing that he certainly could have said in his telephone conversation with Merkel: “Tens of millions of Germans think that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians like Nazis or alternatively that Israel intends to exterminate the Palestinians. I would politely but strongly request you to investigate this matter and see how the German government can act against these widespread extremely evil opinions.”

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He has been a strategic advisor for more than thirty years to some of the Western world’s leading corporations. Among the honors he received was the 2019 International Lion of Juda Award of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research paying tribute to him as the recognized leading international authority on contemporary antisemitism. His main book on the subject is: The War of a Million Cuts The struggle against the delegitimization of Israel and the Jews and the growth of New antisemitism.

Tags: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld Angela Merkel Germany-Israel

‘Tehran’

coming soon

Behind the scenes of Apple TV’s new Israeli thriller ‘Tehran’

Apple TV+ Deep in the heart of Tehran, a Mossad agent works against the clock to carry out a top-secret mission aimed at paving the way for an IDF airstrike against an Iranian nuclear reactor. For once, this isn’t a story ripped from the headlines. Rather, it’s the plot of “Tehran,” an Israeli-Iranian spy thriller coming to Apple TV+ this week after a successful run in Israel. Jewish Insider’s Amy Spiro spoke to the cast and creator about their experiences filming the much buzzed-about show

Blurred lines: In the series, the streets of Tehran are actually in Athens, the Iranian-born Mossad agent is an Israeli actress with Moroccan heritage and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard henchman is played by a Jewish-Iranian expat living in Los Angeles. And that dissonance perfectly personifies the fast-paced new thriller, which blurs the traditional lines of good guys and bad guys and works to humanize the very enemy people have been conditioned to hate. Actress Niv Sultan plays Tamar Rabinyan, an Iranian native who immigrated to Israel as a child, becomes a computer hacker with the Mossad and sneaks into Tehran for a top-secret operation that goes horribly wrong. 

Both sides: The show, filmed in Farsi, Hebrew and English, follows Tamar as she is stuck in Tehran, racing against both the clock and the enemy to carry out her mission without being caught. “I think one of the most beautiful things about this series, in my opinion, is that it tries to show both sides without favoring any of them,” Sultan, 28, told Jewish Insider in a recent interview from Tel Aviv. “As a viewer, your feelings are constantly changing every episode, you can relate to both sides. And you can also hate both sides.” Moshe Zonder, the show’s co-creator and co-writer, told JI that while the nail-biting series centers around espionage, hacking, evasion and violence, it is really about so much more. “The show is about identity, nationality and the importance of your roots and your family,” he said. “From day one it was not a show of good guys against bad guys. Israel is not a good guy and Iran is not the bad guy.” 

Complex characters:Shaun Toub (“Homeland,” “Iron Man,” “Crash”), a Jewish native of Iran who now lives in Los Angeles, portrays Faraz Kamali, the head of internal investigations with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, who is hot on the trail of Tamar. Toub said he was particularly drawn to Faraz because he was a “multi-dimensional character… one-dimensional characters really bore me.” With Faraz, he said, “you see the humanity in him. You see how he is able to juggle life and the love of country and the love of his wife and his family,” Toub told JI. “You see the complexity of the character and the struggles that he has — like anyone else.” 

Intense study: For several months before shooting began, Sultan was immersed in intensive Farsi lessons in order to convincingly play Tamar — something she said was harder than anticipated. “It was so challenging,” she told JI. “The pronunciation — it’s so different from Hebrew and different from Arabic,” which she was exposed to at home since her dad is a native of Morocco. “I thought, ‘oh it’s probably going to be similar’ — but it has nothing to do with Hebrew or Arabic.” Despite the physical challenges of the role, and the intensity of filming — almost entirely at night — for three months in Athens, Sultan said that “as an actress, this is the type of role that I dreamed of.” 

Melting pot: “There were so many languages on set and it was so, so special because we were so different, but also, at the end, the same,” said Sultan of the diverse cast and crew. “We have the same dreams and so many things in common, and we just put everything aside and focused on telling the story in the best way that we can.” Toub said he hopes the series can break down barriers and prejudices between Israelis and Iranians. “The way the script was written, the hope is that people can just really watch this as a series and enjoy it without any hesitation, without any prejudices,” Toub added. “The show basically tries to show that people are just people and everybody is the same — and we all have our issues and our problems in life.” 

Read the full feature and watch the trailer here.

PA quits Arab League role in protest against peace deal

“See Ya!” (“Don’t let the door hit you…!”)

PA resigns from presidency of the Council of the Arab League after League declines to condemn UAE, Bahrain for peace deal with Israel.

AFP , 22/09/20 15:15 Share
Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

The Palestinian Authority has stepped down from a key Arab League role in protest at the regional
bloc’s failure to take a stand against Israeli-Arab deals, an official said Tuesday.

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki announced the decision to resign from the rotating presidency of the Council of the Arab League, after its failure to agree a draft resolution condemning a normalization accord between the UAE and Israel.

“The state of Palestine… refuses to record in its history the association of its presidency with the regression in values and principles that was evident in the last meeting of the council of foreign ministers,” Maliki said in Ramallah.

The PA presided over the council’s latest session earlier this month and had been due to stay in the role until March.

Their delegation had tabled a draft resolution at the meeting of the council, which brings together foreign ministers of the 22-member bloc, to condemn the normalization accord.

The Cairo meeting came ahead of another such deal being announced by Bahrain with the Jewish state. Both deals were signed in Washington on September 15.

The Gulf agreements broke with years of Arab League policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict and were condemned by the PA as a “betrayal”.

In 2002, the bloc adopted a Saudi-proposed peace plan which was renewed as recently as 2017. It offered normalization only in return for a full Israeli withdrawal from territories it liberated in the 1967 Six-Day War, a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital and a “just” solution for the descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees.

The Arab plan has been pushed aside by the US administration, which after several delays unveiled a peace blueprint of its own in January.

It promised Washington’s blessing for Israel’s eventual application of its sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria.

The United Arab Emirates government hailed a clause in its US-brokered deal that appeared to put any Israeli sovereignty plans on hold.

But Israel has stated that sovereignty plans remained on the table.

Tags: Palestinian Authority

Gedaliah

גְּדַלְיָּה (“Yah has become Great”)

By Nissan Mindel
Published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia, had accomplished his purpose. He had completely subdued the Kingdom of Judah and destroyed its capital of Jerusalem and its most sacred shrine, the Holy Temple. He had slain or captured most of the royal family and the nobility of the land. The upper classes of the Jewish people, including the leaders of the priesthood and the chief civil and military officers, were led captives en masse to Babylon. Many of them were mercilessly put to death at Riblah. Judah was crushed and bereaved of its best sons.

However, Nebuchadnezzar did not wish to turn the land of Judah into a complete desert. He permitted the poorer classes to remain in Judah to till the soil and to tend their vineyards. Over them Nebuchadnezzar had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, as governor.

The prophet Jeremiah had been allowed to choose between remaining in Judah and going to Babylon as an honored guest of the Babylonian royal house. He chose to remain with his brethren on the holy soil. Jeremiah went to Mizpah, a short way north of Jerusalem, where Gedaliah had established the seat of his governorship, and offered him his fullest support. Gedaliah gratefully accepted, and Mizpah now became also the spiritual center of the people.

Gedaliah was a wise man, gentle and modest. He zealously began to encourage the people to cultivate the fields and vineyards, and thus lay the foundation of security. Under the wise administration of Gedaliah, the Jewish community began to prosper. Its fame began to spread abroad. Many Jews who had fled to places of safety in neighboring lands during the war of destruction were attracted by the news of the revival of the Jewish community in Judah. They came to Gedaliah in Mizpah and were warmly welcomed by him.

The Jewish governor exhorted his brethren to remain loyal to the king of Babylonia, and promised them peace and security. His advice was well taken. The Babylonian garrison stationed in the land did not molest them—on the contrary, it offered them protection against unfriendly neighbors. The young Jewish commonwealth was well on its way to recovery when it was suddenly struck by a cowardly deed of treachery and bloodshed.

Among the refugees who had joined Gedaliah in Mizpah was Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, a descendant of the royal house of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. Ishmael was an ambitious man who would stop at nothing to attain his goal. The honor and success that Gedaliah had won filled him with cruel jealousy. Ishmael began to plot against Gedaliah. He found an ally in the king of Ammon, who had been following with apprehension the growth of the new Jewish colony.

The conspiracy became known to Johanan, the son of Kareah, a devoted officer of Gedaliah. Johanan warned the governor of the danger threatening his person. Gedaliah, however, being of a true and generous nature, shrank from believing such treachery. When Johanan offered to slay Ishmael secretly before the latter could carry out his evil plans, Gedaliah indignantly rejected the proposal.

In the meantime, Ishmael bided his time. Before long the opportunity which he was waiting for presented itself. He was invited by the governor to a feast at Mizpah on Rosh Hashanah. Ishmael arrived at the banquet in the company of ten followers. During the feast, the ruthless band attacked and slew the governor. Having assassinated their host, they commenced a terrible massacre. Ishmael murdered many prominent followers of Gedaliah, and put to the sword the small Chaldean garrison stationed at Mizpah. His murderous deed accomplished, Ishmael left Mizpah with many captives, heading for Ammon.

Johanan and a few of his brave men had escaped the massacre, for they were not in Mizpah at that time. When Johanan learned of the terrible tragedy, be rallied additional help and pursued the assassin. Overtaking Ishmael near Gibeon in Benjamin, Johanan succeeded in freeing the captives, but Ishmael, with a few followers, managed to escape to the land of Ammon.

The plight of the Jews was now sad indeed. The assassination of Gedaliah and of the Babylonian garrison would draw the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar upon the remnants of the people in Judah. They were sorely afraid of his punishment. Yet whither could they turn? The only haven of refuge seemed to be Egypt, where the hand of Nebuchadnezzar had not reached yet. But that country was hateful to them. Although some nine hundred years had passed since their ancestors had been liberated from Egypt after centuries of slavery, Egypt was still regarded with aversion. Their despair and fright was so great, however, that the poor people did decide to seek escape in Egypt, and set out on their way southward.

The hard-pressed Jews halted in Beit Lechem and turned to Jeremiah for advice. The faithful prophet, who had shared in all their trials and misfortunes and had clung to them with unwavering affection, was still among them. To him they now turned their anxious eyes, promising to abide by whatever counsel he might give them.

For ten days Jeremiah prayed to G‑d, and finally he received a divine message which he immediately told to the assembled people:

“Thus says the G‑d of Israel . . . If you will still dwell in this land, I will build you, and not destroy you, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up . . . Fear not the king of Babylonia, of whom you are afraid . . . for I am with you to save you . . . But if you say, ‘We will not dwell in this land,’ disobeying the voice of your G‑d, saying, ‘No, but we will go into the land of Egypt’ . . . then it shall come to pass that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof you were afraid shall follow close after you in Egypt; and there you shall die . . . G‑d hath spoken to you, O remnant of Judah, go not to Egypt; know you with certainty, for I have warned you this day!”

But Jeremiah’s words fell on deaf ears. The people had already formed their resolution, and had hoped only that the prophet would confirm it. In spite of their solemn pledge to Jeremiah that they would follow his advice, they accused the prophet of plotting together with his disciple Baruch, the son of Neriah, to deliver them into the hands of the Chaldeans. Then they all proceeded on their way to Egypt, forcing Jeremiah and Baruch to accompany them.

When the refugees reached the border of Egypt, they halted. Here Jeremiah once again warned his brethren that the safety they sought in Egypt would be short-lived. He predicted that before long Egypt would be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed. The prophet further warned them of the dangers besetting them in mixing with the idolatrous Egyptians. If they should return to idolatry, which had been the cause of all their misfortunes in the past, they would seal their fate beyond hope.

Unfortunately, the prophet’s warnings and entreaties were in vain. The Jewish refugees settled in Egypt, and before long, abandoned their faith in G‑d. They sank to the level of the heathen practices of the Egyptians.

A few years later there was a political upheaval in Egypt when Pharaoh Hophra was assassinated. Nebuchadnezzar took advantage of the situation. He invaded and destroyed the land, and most of the Jewish refugees perished in this invasion and war. Thus Jeremiah’s dreadful prophecy came true again.

Where and when the aged prophet died is not known with certainty. It is believed that he and his faithful disciple Baruch spent their last years with their exiled brethren in Babylon.

In memory of the assassination of Gedaliah and the tragedy that it brought upon our brethren in those days, so soon after the destruction of the Holy Temple, we fast on the third day of Tishrei, the Fast of Gedaliah.

By Nissan Mindel Excerpted from The Complete Story of Tishrei, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY

Jews caused the Holocaust? Study finds ‘shocking’ ignorance among US millennials, Gen Z

Never Again!

September 17, 2020 Jews caused the Holocaust? Study finds ‘shocking’ ignorance among US millennials, Gen ZThe former the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany, Jan. 27, 2020. (AP/Jens Meyer)

Claims Conference study shows lack of knowledge about the Holocaust for American millennials and Gen Zers.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also known as the Claims Conference, revealed a shocking study on Wednesday that highlights the lack of knowledge American millennials and Gen Zers have about the Holocaust.

The Claims Conference’s newest study states “that nearly 20 percent of millennials and Gen Z in New York feel the Jews caused the Holocaust.”

New York is one of 15 states to require Holocaust education in schools, but the guidelines for such curricula is vague. Louisiana, Tennessee, Montana, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada and New Mexico also have 15 to 16 percent of millenial and Gen Zers believing Jews caused the Holocaust.

“The results are both shocking and saddening and they underscore why we must act now while Holocaust survivors are still with us to voice their stories,” Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, said.

“We need to understand why we aren’t doing better in educating a younger generation about the Holocaust and the lessons of the past. This needs to serve as a wake-up call to us all, and as a road map of where government officials need to act.”

The survey found that 63 percent of the aforementioned age groups don’t know that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. Thirty-six percent of millennials and Gen Zers actually believe two million or fewer Jews were killed between 1938 and 1945.

The study is the first conducted by the Claims Conference in all 50 states.

“Not only was their overall lack of Holocaust knowledge troubling, but combined with the number of millennials and Gen Z who have seen Holocaust denial on social media, it is clear that we must fight this distortion of history and do all we can to ensure that the social media giants stop allowing this harmful content on their platforms,” Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider said.

“Survivors lost their families, friends, homes and communities; we cannot deny their history,” he said.

Forty-eight percent of people surveyed could not name one of the concentration or death camps that the Nazis instituted during the Holocaust.

The Claims Conference found states that require Holocaust education, such as New York, California and Indiana, have higher percentages of younger people believing the Holocaust never happened.

Meanwhile, states without a Holocaust education requirement have the best knowledge, among them being Minnesota, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

For the study, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany partnered with Schoen Cooperman Research to interview 1,000 people nationwide and 200 interviews per state with people between 18 to 39 years old.

Scorecard 2020

Face it my friends. The old game is over. Life will not return to the way it was.

Op-ed. Tzvi Fishman , 18/09/20 16:00 Share
Soldiers in prayerSoldiers in prayerFlash 90

On Rosh Hashannah, we are judged regarding what will be in the year to come. With this in mind, let’s look back on the past twelve months. Was it a good year? Or was it cursed?

In the beginning of the year, the Land of Israel was blessed with an incredible abundance of rain, which completely filled up the Kinneret, a clear sign, according to the secrets of Torah, that Hashem is pleased with His People. Even in the eyes of the average citizen, since Israel depends on rain for its water supply, obviously the beneficent rainfall was a tremendous blessing.

In the middle of the year, the Corona epidemic began and still continues, bringing chaos throughout the world, and forcing the Jewish People in the Holy Land to retreat into yet another quarantine.

Then, just days ago, at the end of the year, came the historic “Abraham Agreement” and its obvious blessing of potential prosperity and peace.

Thus the past year began and ended with great and obvious blessing. What happened in the middle? How are we to weigh the plague of Corona? In the humble opinion of this writer, Corana is a great blessing as well, perhaps even more monumental than its towering bookends of beneficial rain and peace.

The word Corona, as many people have noted, is associated with the word crown and kingship. You can claim that the choice of the name was mere coincidence, something meaningless which entered the head of a laboratory virologist when he or she first gazed at the crown-shaped COVID-19 molecules under a high-powered microscope. But for believers accustomed to perceiving the world from a theological point of view, it is obvious that the King of the World, the Creator of the Universe, He who brings all things into being by His decree, wants mankind to be more aware of His existence and Kingship over our lives.

Certainly, there is a long list of wrongdoings for which humanity and modern society could be held in account, but without pointing to this transgression or that, it can simply be deduced that in sending the Coronavirus throughout the entire world, paralyzing life as we know it, from one country to the next – and showing us all how helpless we are in the face of the Edict of the King of all kings, Hashem wants us to start paying more attention to His supreme majesty and rule. He wants people to talk about His Kingship the way we banter obsessively about the news. He wants newscasters to proclaim His great deeds at the start of all broadcasts. He wants presidents, prime ministers, and kings to acknowledge His Guiding Hand all through their speeches, not merely at the end.

We know that everything Hashem does is good, but Corona? How can such a lethal virus which has killed hundreds of thousands of people the world over, crippled national economies, and left myriads without employment and income, be considered good?

Before I answer, look at another seeming coincidence. We learn from Rabbi Akiva and his teacher, Nahum Eish Gamzu, that everything that the Almighty does is good, as the famous expression avows, “Gamzu l‘tova,” meaning “This also is for the good!” What is the name of the health expert whom the Government of Israel appointed to lead the battle against Corona? Professor Gamzu! “Gamzu l‘tova!” Corona is also for the good!

Ladies and Gentlemen – we have entered a new phase of global existence, and a new stage of World Redemption! Of course we should be happy! This is what devout Jews have been praying for every day for the past two-thousand years – Corona! The crowning of Hashem as King over all the world, exactly what we pray for on Rosh Hashannah. We hoped that the Geula would come in a less painful manner, but Hashem is not to blame for the fact that people didn’t take the Corona warning seriously. Instead, they arrogantly flouted the rules of social distancing and the wearing of masks. And still, after all of the deaths and damage, people continue in their stiffed-necked ways, not paying attention to the Source of the virus, living a grand illusion that a vaccine will be found, and that life will return to usual.

Face it my friends. The old game is over. Life will not return to the way it was. No more theater going. No more cheering from the bleachers when the star batter slams a homer in the bottom of the ninth. If scientists come up with a vaccine, then Hashem can send Corona 2 and Corona 3 if need be in order to achieve His aim. Or He can send uncontrollable fires, unstoppable hurricanes, or simply shut off electricity all over the world in an instant. The time has come to enter a new level of existence, and Hashem will bring it to pass whether we agree with His methods or not.

What does this mean? What new level of Geula am I talking about? The New Level of Existence is that life must be lived with the constant awareness of the King. Not the once-weekly recognition of Hashem’s Kingship on Shabbat, but the minute-by-minute awareness of His Presence every day, all day long, all through the year, the way Jewish Life is supposed to be lived. In the past, mankind believed that the physical, material world was what mattered, and paid lip service to the spiritual, if at all – what Rabbi Kook terms, “non-believers with the Name of Hashem on their lips, and forgetters of Hashem in their hearts.”

Now, with the advent of Corona, the ground rules have changed. We cannot return to what was – to a world filled with forgetters of Hashem. He simply won’t allow it. His patience has been expended. The 6000 years which He allocated to this world, is coming to an end. Either we catch on to the change – or He will have to teach us, in ever-more unpleasant ways, Heaven forbid.

How can we reach this new level? The darkness of the physical world is so thick, how can we learn to see the light of Hashem every moment of our lives? At the very beginning of the “Shulchan Aruch,” the Ba’er Hetev commentary brings clever advice from the Arizal. To always set Hashem in front of one’s eyes, a person should look at the world through the Four Letters of Hashem’s Name: Yud, Kay, Vav, Kay. Hard to do? Try writing the letters on the lens of clear eyeglasses and wear them wherever you go until you can picture the letters wherever you gaze – when you look at your wife and children, when you watch the news on TV, when you view the wonders of nature.

This new and exalted level of awareness and uninterrupted connection is what Hashem demands from us now, for our good, the ultimate goodness a human can achieve, as King David says in the Psalm we have been reciting throughout the month of Elul: “Regarding You, my heart has said, ‘Seek you My Presence.’ Your Presence, Hashem, I do seek.”

Baruch Hashem that this new phase of Redemption has come! What an incredible blessing! The Mashiach is on the way! Blow the great shofar for our freedom from the darkness of the material world, from the blind pursuit after money, power, and fame; from the darkness of Exile; and from the plague of human arrogance and conceit. This Rosh Hashannah, let us open our ears and hear the call of Corona. Let us open our eyes and see the royal messengers of His Covod (read Covid), filling the sky, crowned with the tiaras of Corona. Sound the shofars! Welcome the King! Bow down before Him. Make every day Rosh Hashannah – the crowning of the King.

Tags: Rosh Hashannah Tzvi Fishman

Rosh Hashannah: Personal Judgment

Israel’s first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi on the Day of Judgment: Musaf on Rosh Hashannah, the longest prayer of the year.

Rabbi Avraham HaCohen Kook , 18/09/20 13:21 Share
Rabbi Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook

Rabbi Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook Courtesy

Samuel_dedicated_by_Hannah

Nine Blessings

The longest prayer of the year is the Musaf prayer of Rosh Hashannah. The Talmud in Berachot 29a teaches that this prayer is connected to Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel:

“Why are there nine blessings in the Rosh Hashanah prayer? Because Hannah mentioned God’s Name nine times in her prayers for a son. For it was taught: The prayers of Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were answered on Rosh Hashanah.”

Rosh Hashannah, at the start of the new year, is a time when all creatures are judged by God. The Sages used the imagery of a shepherd who inspects his sheep as they pass, one by one, under his staff. Such is God’s judgment on Rosh Hashannah; the Divine inspection is not only on the level of nations and species, but also for each individual

What is the significance of the number nine? If we analyze numbers, we find that ten indicates a unit that is also a group of smaller units. The number nine, on the other hand, emphasizes the individuality of each unit, without being combined into a larger group. Nine is therefore an excellent choice for a number emphasizing the aspect of Rosh Hashannah as a time of personal judgment for each individual.

Hannah’s Prayer

Is there a deeper connection between Hannah and our Rosh Hashannah prayer?

Hannah was naturally barren. Medically, she was incapable of bearing a child. Yet she pleaded for a child by virtue of her personal merits and intense yearnings. She beseeched God for special assistance, beyond that which was decreed on a general, natural basis. Hannah’s prayers truly exemplify the aspect of Divine providence for the individual, to the extent that Divine intervention was necessary in order to fulfill her request.

Especially on Rosh Hashannah, we need to impress upon ourselves how God judges each individual. When we are able to truly internalize this concept, we are motivated to correct our deeds and actions. And the moral elevation of each individual will bring about the overall repair of society and the entire world.

(Silver from the Land of Israel (now available in paperback), pp. 47-48. Adapted from Ein Eyah vol. I on Berachot 29a (4:44)., sent to Arutz Sheva by Rabbi Chanan Morrison, ravkooktorah.org)

Illustration image: ‘Samuel Dedicated by Hannah at the Temple’ (Frank W. W. Topham, 1838–1924)

Tags: Rosh Hashannah Rabbi Avraham HaCohen Kook

US Ambassador Friedman: Palestinian leaders ‘need to join the 21st century’

September 17, 2020 US Ambassador Friedman: Palestinian leaders ‘need to join the 21st century’

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during a visit to Efrat on February 20, 2020. (Flash90/Gershon Elinson)

“We have reached the beginning of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Friedman said.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman spoke out about the how the Abraham Accords will affect diplomacy in the Middle East, the future of Judea and Samaria, and the Palestinian leadership in an interview with Israel Hayom on Thursday.

Friedman, who was heavily involved in negotiating the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and later between Israel and Bahrain, shared his thoughts on the likelihood of other Arab countries normalizing relations with Israel.

Earlier this week, President Trump said he believed there were an additional seven to nine Arab countries that would be interested in joining the Abraham Accords, up from his prediction of five-to-six on Tuesday. Friedman agreed with Trump’s assessment that the agreement would produce a ripple effect.

“We have reached the beginning of the end of the Israeli-Arab conflict,” Friedman told Israel Hayom. “We broke the ice and made peace with two important countries in the region.”

“And as the president said, and I know this is true, there will be more breakthroughs. When the dust settles, within a few months or a year, we will reach the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Friedman slammed the Palestinian leadership, calling them ineffective and backwards.

“They need to join the 21st century,” he said. “They are on the wrong side of history right now.”.

“The people are not being served by their leaders,” he said. “I believe the people living in Judea and Samaria want a better life. This is possible for the Palestinian people.”

“But their leadership clings to old-fashioned strategies, which I do not think are relevant anymore.”

Friedman dismissed settlement leader claims that Netanyahu traded sovereignty over Judea and Samaria for the normalization agreements.

“I believe [sovereignty] will happen,” he said. “We had some obstacles because of the pandemic as well as some diplomatic difficulties.”

“At the moment, Israeli flags are flying above Gush Etzion, Beit El, in Shiloh and Hebron, and according to our vision for peace, they will continue to fly there.”

“Peace is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” he said to Israel Hayom. “The opportunity arose and we thought we needed to take it, and the opportunity [Bahrain normalization] that came after that.”

Ending the interview on the eve of Rosh Hashana (New Year) holiday, Friedman wished “all of Am Israel, all of the Jewish people, and all of the citizens of the world… good health, and that we will all have a good and sweet New Year.”