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Prospects for a US-Israel mutual defense pact - Sen. Lindsey Graham and JINSA chief Michael Makovsky


In July, 2019 a working group run by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), under the leadership of former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis, issued a report making the strategic case for a U.S.-Israel mutual defense pact. JINSA drafted the text of a treaty that is similar to, but more narrowly defined than, existing U.S. arrangements with 50 countries, becoming the only organization to put out such a draft to date.

Since then, the organization said in recent a statement that various objections to a pact have been raised, “and we believe it now constructive to advance the policy conversation by elaborating the most salient counterarguments.” To that end, JINSA released a follow-up report addressing the main points of concern.

Michael Makovsky of JINSA at AIPAC 2020

In its new report, JINSA addressed six areas of criticism, beginning with freedom of action. It stated that “mutual defense pacts do not give allies a direct say in each other’s strategic decisions, nor do they obligate the parties to support or become involved in the others’ military activities.” The section on freedom of action added that the U.S.-Israel relationship “already features greater responsibilities than those officially contained in or required by a treaty alliance, without the extra deterrence provided by an explicit security guarantee.”

“We released that report because there’s been skepticism of the idea, even among many in Israel and some here in the United States who are pro-Israel. So we thought it was valuable to at least address some of the skepticism and objections head on,” Michael Makovsky, president and CEO of JINSA, told JNS.

“This is an issue we’ve been pushing—first quietly, then publicly—starting in the summer, when we released our own paper and draft treaty,” he added. “I would encourage anybody, if they have concerns, to at least read our draft first. If they have other suggestions of what a draft should look like, they should put forward those edits. But right now, that’s the draft that Senator Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.] is championing. The Israeli prime minister seems very supportive.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham discussed the plan with the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas.



Mr. Makovsky acknowledged concerns among some in Israel over potential restrictions to Israeli freedom of action, saying, “Obviously, we wouldn’t support any such treaty either that constrained Israeli freedom of action. But we don’t think it should. The U.S. has mutual defense treaties with 50 other countries, and it hasn’t stopped the U.S. or these other countries from various military action.”

Any significant Israeli military action in the Middle East would likely be preceded by Israeli consultations with the United States in any case, and a mutual defense pact could add a level of deterrence for Israel, he argued.

“If a war breaks out, it could also mitigate the intensity and scope of the conflict,” said Makovsky. “I would say that since we put out our report in July, the Iranian threat has become more serious. What’s going on internally in Iran is encouraging, but one never knows how that’s going to play out, and it could even lead the regime to conduct more provocative action. The situation is more serious regarding Iran.”

Referring to the Sept. 14 Iranian drone and cruise-missile strike on Saudi energy sites, Makovsky noted that “provocations in the region have only intensified.”

“I think Israel is more exposed, and therefore, the importance of having a mutual defense pact has grown,” he said. “But I would add that it’s not the only thing that needs to be done. We put out another report recently, detailing the the need and options for accelerating the delivery of weapons to Israel under the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding [MOU]. It’s in Israel’s DNA to rely only on itself. So it’s incumbent on U.S. also give Israel the tools it needs to continue its countering of Iranian aggression, and ultimately, also to prepare for major war against Iran Hezbollah, if it comes about.”

Makovsky said that in terms of timing, “on the Israeli side, I think it’s unfortunate that it’s gotten caught up in the elections. Certainly, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s interest has nothing to do with elections. The Israelis were interested before this long before the elections. We raised this idea first a year-and-a-half ago.”

He continued: “On the U.S. side, I think it’s a good time to engage the issue. No one knows how the presidential elections are going to turn out in a year, but at least for now, it looks like President Trump has shown interest. It’s important to seize that opportunity as much as possible. For us, the impetus is purely to contribute to regional stability.” In its follow-up report, JINSA said that Iran’s growing regional aggression, including providing more than 130,000 rockets and missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and its now-revived nuclear program create the potential for higher-level conflict that Israel alone “might struggle to deter or defeat.”

Watch TV High Holidays services of 3-denominations on JBS & JLTV! Shana Tovah v'Yikatevu!

As regular synagogue attendance is curtailed by health concerns, many traditional high-holiday attendees will only have participate via online and TV.  

New York/Jersey based Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS-TV), features Orthodox and Conservative services from, respectively, Hampton Synagogue on Long Island, and Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, as well as Reform services from Central Synagogue in Manhattan. The JBS schedule is as follows:





West-Coast based, Jewish-themed television network, JLTV (Jewish Life Television) offers High Holiday programming via cable and satellite TV in the U.S. and Canada. Jewish Life Television/JLTV is available in over 45 million homes through Bell, Comcast, DirecTV, Spectrum Cable, as well as other video providers.

 


EREV ROSH HASHANAH EVE  (For PDT, s
ubtract 3 hours, e.g., 4pm, 7pm, & 10pm).

Friday, September 18, 2020, 7:00pm, 10:00pm and 1:00am EDT 

Popular Jewish Music Performer and Composer Josh Nelson curates and leads Unwritten, a new High Holiday Prayer Experience, for Erev Rosh Hashanah. This is the time to return.

First daytime of ROSH HASHANAH, 

Saturday, September 19, 2020, 6:00AM, 9:00AM and 12:00N (Eastern)

Rabbi Mark Blazer curates and leads a Rosh Hashanah Service, joined by legendary Cantor Herschel Fox, Dr. Noreen Green from the Los Angeles Jewish Community Chorale, Popular Jewish Musician Craig Taubman and more.

Saturday, September 19, 2020, 7:00PM (Eastern)

The Pico Union Project presents My Israel. Ambassador Dennis Ross and Palestinian Activist Ali Abu Awwad discuss where we are and where we ought to be on the journey to peace and understanding in the Middle East.

Second Day ROSH HASHANAH, 

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 6:00AM, 9:00AM and 12:00N (Eastern)

Rabbi Mark Blazer curates and leads Rosh Hashanah Service, joined by legendary Cantor Herschel Fox, Dr. Noreen Green from the Los Angeles Jewish Community Chorale, Popular Jewish Musician Craig Taubman and more.

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00PM and 6:00PM (Eastern)

The Pico Union Project presents My Journey to Faith. Rabbi Brad Artson, Rev. Najuma Pollard and Aziza Hasan discuss their joys and struggles as faith leaders in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 5:00PM (Eastern)

The Pico Union Project presents My Israel. Ambassador Dennis Ross and Palestinian Activist Ali Abu Awwad discuss where we are and where we ought to be on the journey to peace and understanding in the Middle East.

YOM KIPPUR     KOL NIDRE 

Sunday, September 27, 2020, 8:00AM and 11:00AM Eastern  (5AM & 8AM Pacific Time) 

Groman Eden Mortuary & Eden Memorial Park presents a Kever Avot Virtual Memorial Service, to honor our loved ones. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020, 7:00PM, 10:00PM and 1:00AM (Eastern)

Popular Jewish Music Performer and Composer Josh Nelson curates and leads Unwritten, a new High Holiday Prayer Experience, for Kol Nidre. This is the time to return.

Sunday, September 27, 2020, 8:30PM, 11:30PM and 1:30AM (Eastern)

From the legendary 1950's television series The Goldbergs, the Goldberg Family attend synagogue for the solemn YOM KIPPUR


Monday
, September 28, 2020, 6:00AM, 9:00AM and 12:00N (Eastern)

Rabbi Mark Blazer curates and leads Yom Kippur Service, joined by legendary Cantor Nathan Lam, Dr. Noreen Green from the Los Angeles Jewish Community Chorale, Popular Jewish Music Performer Craig Taubman and more.

Monday, September 28, 2020, 5:00PM, 10:00PM and 1:00AM (Eastern)

The Pico Union Project presents My Song – The Art of Art. Leading Jewish musicians Craig Taubman, Dave Koz, Gabriel Mann and Chava Mirel uncover their process in creating music that touches the soul. 

JLTV will also be running additional high holiday special programming throughout this holy period in the Jewish calendar, from news magazine Good Week Israel, children’s program Rhythm ‘N Ruach, history-driven Unpacked and comedy YidLife Crisis.

Kol Nidre Service. Famed Composer Vladimir Heifitz directs the Cantor’s Concert Ensemble.

Los Angeles Jews and Israelis rally support for Republican candidates; Police arrest spectator for pointing rifle

L.A. journalist-reported rumors about an alleged shooting overshadowed positive press-coverage of the first L.A. pro-Republican motor-parade in L.A.  On August 30th near the San Fernando Valley, eyewitnesses had reported seeing a rifle drawn against pro-Trump paraders - by an intolerant local resident and heard a popping, but no-one had gotten hurt. Yet, over 100 people in scores of vehicles expressed exuberance along a long stretch of Ventura Blvd to the elation of most watchers along the route. By September 10th, the police had made an arrest of the alleged, intolerant rifle-brandisher.
Los Angeles Jewish and Israeli-Americans enabled scores of citizens to encourage support to elect Republican candidates - which surprised many spectators along San Fernando Valley's Ventura Blvd

US Army vehicle bolsters the morale of 
L.A.'s first Judeo-Christian Caravan for Trump and Republicans


Gentiles join with Jews in vehicle parade saluting Trump/Pence & replacing L.A Democrats in Congress. Immigrant mothers and their children ride with pride for Republican candidates, respectfully tolerating the coarse response from many shocked onlookers.



The Los Angeles Police Department's Major Crimes Division arrested a 28 year old man for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, which occurred during a Pro-Trump parade in the Woodland Hills Community of Los Angeles.

On Monday, August 31, 2020, at approximately 11:20 a.m., several vehicles participating in a Pro-Trump parade were stopped in front of the Avalon Woodland Hills Apartments at 20544 Ventura Blvd, in the Los Angeles Police Department's Topanga Area. Suspects in a nearby apartment began to shout and throw glass bottles at the rally participants. One of the suspects then pointed a rifle at a participant, who was shouting back at their taunts. 



LAPD armored vehicles in Woodland Hills on Aug. 30, 2020. (OC Hawk)
Responding officers and a SWAT team wound up surrounding the apartment, believing the suspects might be holed up inside. Following an hours-long barricade, the SWAT team made its way into the apartment about 5:30 p.m. and found no one inside, but recovered a rifle during the search, according to the LAPD.

No suspects were located at the time of the incident, but a rifle was recovered, pursuant to a search of the apartment.

Andre Allen Young (photo: IMDB.com)

Detectives assigned to LAPD Major Crimes Division investigated the case and identified the suspect as Andre Allen Young.

On Thursday, September 10, 2020, at approximately 10:25 AM, detectives arrested Mr. Young for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and booked him at LAPD Van Nuys Jail under booking number 6009544. 


A second firearm was recovered during a subsequent service of a search warrant at his apartment.

After detectives identified Young as the suspect, he was arrested Thursday. He is being held on $100,000 bail, according to LA County Sheriff’s jail records, but his first appearance in court was not available.  Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Major Crimes Division investigators at (213) 486-7280. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on "Anonymous Web Tips" under the "Get Involved-Crime Stoppers" menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the "P-3 Tips" mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

Mass-media communicator, Phil Blazer, built L.A. Jewish newspaper and national Jewish TV channel, JLTV


Phil Blazer hosting show on his founded JLTV
Los Angeles media publisher, Phil Blazer,  died yesterday at 76 following a long struggle with Parkinson's. He parlayed his Israel Today newspaper into a weekly local TV show, and parlayed that into the Jewish Life TV (J.L.T.V.) channel, one of America's two, Jewish cultural cable/sat channels (along with Jewish Broadcasting Service / J.B.S. - originally Shalom TV). 

Phil Blazer's broadcasting career began at the age of 21 when legendary disc jockey Wolfman Jack gave him a chance to host a show about Jewish culture and music at KULX in Minneapolis. Over the next five decades, Phil continued as a radio host while building a media empire that included a nationally syndicated television show and a national newspaper, Israel Today.  His lifelong dream of creating a TV network dedicated to Jewish life and culture was achieved in 2006 with the creation of JLTV.  


Phil was an early activist and visionary community leader who thrived on bringing together people of all faiths to battle hate, racism and anti-Semitism. His own career as an activist was born in 1973 when he urged his listeners to cut up an oil company's credit cards to protest its anti-Israel stance. Thousands responded, mailing enough cards to fill numerous trash bags, which Phil then deposited at the company's headquarters. The dramatic stunt made the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite, impressing upon Phil the powerful impact of activism. 

An inveterate risk taker, he relished his role in helping a rabbi smuggle a Torah into Leningrad under the noses of the KGB. Later, he organized the Skokie Skytrain to bring counter-protesters from California to confront neo-Nazis threatening the safety of Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois in 1978.

Phil considered "Operation Joshua" the highlight of his advocacy to "make a difference." In 1985, he personally appealed to Vice President George H. Bush to rescue 1,000 Ethiopian Jews starving in Sudanese refugee camps after fleeing a genocidal dictator amidst one of the worst famines of the 20th Century.  To bolster his case, Phil did something unthinkable by today’s standards. He leveraged his relationships with politicians and brokered a bipartisan appeal to the Reagan administration.  Within 38 hours, all 100 U.S. Senators had signed a letter urging a U.S. airlift. The secret mission was carried out by the CIA and U.S. Air Force on March 22, 1985.

Not all of Phil's activism involved such derring-do. But all were straight-from-the-heart.  Among them was Phil's arranging for his close friend Oscar® winning producer Branko Lustig to become a Bar Mitzvah at Auschwitz, the concentration camp where he was held during the Holocaust. Phil also worked tirelessly with legislators in several states to include Holocaust education in schools. And when elderly Jews in Los Angeles, many of whom were Holocaust survivors, were subjected to anti-Semitic attacks, Phil established the volunteer Peace Force to patrol their neighborhoods.

With a flair for show business and an innate understanding of what made a good story, he organized celebrity visits to Israel, acting as something between a media fixer and informal tour guide to such luminaries as Ben Kingsley, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Strauss, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden.


Former United States Congressman Henry Waxman, who became acquainted with Phil while serving in Washington, said Phil served as an example of how one person can make a difference. "He made a difference in lives of people he didn't know, whether they were Ethiopian Jews, Russian Soviet Jews, Israelis, or people here in the United States who were standing up against anti-Semitism," Waxman said. "And he didn't look at these tasks as overwhelming. He saw them as important issues that he wanted to be involved in, to see change and to make that difference that was so important. There are so many people who don't know about him, and may never know about him, but who owe him a great deal of gratitude for all the work he has done.”

Phil Blazer is survived by his wife, Kathy; daughter Alyssa (Charles) Peretz; sons Mark (Tracy), Adam and David; 6 grandchildren; and sisters Candace (Robert) Fagan and Glorianne (Richard) Letterman.


A family service is planned for Aug. 27 and a memorial minyan will be held on Zoom at 7 p.m. from Aug. 27-Sept. 1, each night except Friday.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8317484176 • Meeting ID: 831 748 4176 • Mobile: +14086380968,,8317484176#


In this episode of Main Street, Phil interviewed Tom Tugend, who volunteered in Israel's war effort, later becoming a well-respected journalist in Los Angeles.

Differences between Jews' and black / leftists' reactions to perceived "bias crimes" against us

Grafton Thomas slew Josef Neumann (z"l), among the 4
other people he stabbed at a Monsey, NY Hanukah party
Last Hanukah, Grafton Thomas stabbed 5 Jewish people with a machete, including stabbing Mr. Josef Neumann, 72, in the brain. Mr. Neumann struggled to survive for 3 months before dying at the end of March.

During December, in 6 separate instances, a black person attacked (at least) one Jewish person. In a Jersey City grocery, 2 blacks targeted a kosher grocery, killing 4 people, 2 of them Jewish. How wide was the public outcry? In response, did Jews rampage through local black neighborhoods there or in any other cities seeking vengeance? Had they, how would the public have reacted to that?

"Thoughts about Riots and Judaism" by Rabbis Zvi Block and Aaron Parry in Los Angeles.

In Jersey City, Francine Graham, 50, and David Anderson, 47
murdered Mrs. Mindle Ferencz, 31, Moshe Deutsch, 24, and
Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, and Det. Joseph Seals, 40
In December 2019, criminals ran into a Jewish-owned grocery store in Jersey City and killed the Jewish owner, a customer, and a police officer. On Passover 2019, a gunman broke into a Chabad House in Poway, San Diego and shot to death a Jewish
Poway's Lori Gilbert-Kaye was murdered 6-months to the day
from the massacre of 11 Pittsburgh Tree of Life worshippers
woman who stood in the way of the rabbi she was protecting. These are only two of numerous attacks against Jews in recent times that were motivated by hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism.

Funeral for Jewish victims of Jersey City terror, Dec 2019

What was the Jewish response? Were there demonstrations, rioting, looting, carnage or confrontations with police? No, No, and No. Were there any peaceful protests to claim that JLM (Jewish Lives Matter)? No, No, No. What did Jewish people do? We mourned, we prayed, and committed ourselves to making this a better world.
In response to Farrakhan-influenced Black shootings of Jewish people, Jewish communal groups and political leaders
organized a multi-ethnic, march of solidarity to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge


We supported the bereaved families, we raised money for them, and renewed our determination to protect our people and to survive. We did not organize any protests, nor did we blame or harm innocent people!

Rabbi Zvi Block of Toras Hashem, L.A.
It must be therefore reasoned that Jews are of higher culture, a higher intellect and more civil than other people. Of course this is a racist remark and we all know racism is a distortion of truth. Anyone who judges a person or a group of people by their skin color, shape of eyes, or race forgets that we were all “created in the image of God.” You can meet a nice girl of a different race and dismiss the possibility of dating her, and you have just missed out on a most wonderful woman. You have the opportunity to employ a person with tremendous skills and a solid work-ethic but you dismiss that chance because of his skin color. Such people are foolish and self-destructive at best. 
Teacher, Rabbi Aaron Parry

For starters, Jews are not a race. There are Jews from all colors of the rainbow, hailing from countries all over the world. Since equality is God-given, Jews cannot claim they are superior or inferior. What is it then about the Jewish mystique that Mark Twain was impelled to write about in 1867 upon his return from the Land of Israel?

The answer my friends lies in a Hebrew National hot dog commercial. Simply put, “We answer to a Higher Authority!” The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote that the Mishna in Pirke Avot that instructs us to pray on behalf of the local government (to prevent “each man from swallowing up his fellow),” was really referring to Hashem. The word Malchus, in the Mishna, which we usually translate as government, in fact doesn't apply to human authorities, it only applies to the singular Melech, God Almighty. It is to Him that we must pray, devote our lives, and it is to His divine will of Torah values that we must follow. 

The only connection that unifies all Jews together as a group is Hashem and the eternal teachings of His Torah. No human government set of laws can match that for truth. Tragically there are Jewish people in the world who don't feel this reality and their ignorance makes us sad. The seminal factor that distinguishes us as a people is our faith, commitment and spiritual connection to a higher calling of human behavior. We therefore need to be a light unto the nations and a role model for the proper values of living. That is why our response is different and must reflect our religious principles.
Protesters across America (such as this in L.A.) set fires to police cars, looted stores, gov't offices, even homes in the absence of political officials' will (and restraint) in enforcing laws. (Photo: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP via Stripes.com)
We should not hesitate to condemn the Black Lives Matter and Antifa's responses the George Floyd arrest in protest. While initially well-meaning in intent, it has become totally uncivilized.

Under pretext of police mistreatment of George Floyd in Minn., CA protesters robbed stores in Santa Monica
Synagogue Cong. Beth El on Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles vandalized with "Fuck Israel" graffiti. How is this ugly
hatred about #BLM or #GeorgeFloyd?!" tweeted Lisa Daftari, the founder/ editor of The Foreign Desk
Criminals robbed and ransacked the clocks and jewelry
shop of Persian-Jewish,
Hooshmand Talasazan in
L.A.'s orthodox, Pico-Robertson neighborhood

Isolated acts of anti-Semitism and racism do not reflect the basic decency of the majority of fine people in our country.

In that patriotic song, “America the Beautiful,” we sing a line; “Crown Thy good with brotherhood,” implying that Hashem will bless America with this divine idea. The United States has been dubbed by leading rabbis as a “Malchus Shel Chesed, “a kingdom of kindness.” Jewish people therefore are appreciative of (and loyal to) our country - while enjoying and sharing the blessings of brotherhood with everyone.



Looted, Jewish watchmaker, Hooshmand Talasazan,
stands in shattered glass behind a copper-tooling of

Moses bringing forth G-d's Ten Commandments
to the people of the world.


Isolated incidents will not change the above attitude. We call upon all people of goodwill to fulfill the Biblical dictum to “love your fellow as yourself,” for we are all children of one God, the father of mankind. This understanding should give us the direction we need to establish a law abiding society under the rules of the seven universal laws of Noah, which will ultimately hasten the coming of Moshiach and usher in a new harmony in the world. 


"How Covid-19 Taught Us the Value of Shabbos" - Rabbi Zvi Block

How Covid-19 Taught Us the Value of Shabbos

by Zvi Block, Rabbi Emeritus of Toras Hashem in Valley Village, Los Angeles 
 
A CEO of a major company was overwrought with stress and pressure from his work. He was full of anxiety and couldn't think straight to make proper decisions. Seeking a break in some manner to relieve his stress and relax he decided to spend the weekend in San Diego at the beach. But he made a big mistake because he took his cellphone with him and was constantly responding to calls. The relentless 9-5 existence, and pressures that we are all subject to, seem to rob and deny us the “luxury” to reflect on our lives, re-set our priorities, recharge our batteries. Can this unprecedented phenomenon of Covid-19, and the forced moratorium on “life as usual,” that it has imposed, provide an unforeseen benefit with a new insight into the value of Shabbos observance?

The average Jewish person who has his fair share of stress and anxiety, needs a break as well. While he can't afford a weekend in San Diego, he does have a Shabbos without his cellphone and a path to relieve stress very well. By observing the restrictions of Shabbos we liberate ourselves from the tyranny of the urgent and throw off the shackles that modern technology has latched onto us. For the last several weeks we haven't been running around as much and have been restricted from working, shopping, traveling, and entertainment venues. Sounds like Shabbos doesn't it? Guess what, most of us have adjusted quite well. Moreover, we have tasted the blessings and benefits of Shabbos at the same time. The family is home more often, we sit down to meals together, and we are finding creative ways to get along with each other. We are also finding the blessings of simplicity such as fresh air, blue skies, and green trees. While we are connecting with each other and our neighbors, we're also discovering Hashem and His gifts that form our world. Is this not “Shabbos?”

The Gemora teaches that Hashem told Moshe that I have treasured gift in my treasure house and it's name is Shabbos. I wish to give this to the Jewish people. The Gemora further teaches that once there was a princess who came to a rabbi's house for dinner. She remarked how tasty the food was. She commented that “there must be a special spice in this food; where did you get it from and how distant is the land you got if from?” The rabbi replied, “It's not distant at all, it's called Shabbos and it doesn't cost anything. All you have to do is observe the day and it's yours.”

The imperative correlation between Shabbos observance and the delights and serenity of Shabbos is compelling. The ethical message is implemented in the form of practical halachic observance. To truly experience the joys of Shabbos we need to accept upon ourselves a quarantine of 39 forbidden labors. Get rid of the cellphone, the air-polluting car, the idiot box that fills our heads with depressing misinformed news and entertainment of questionable moral worth. Instead fill yourself with values of family, education, discipline and spirituality. Quarantine is not a popular word these days, in fact the human spirit might reject such an imposition. Truth is, that it is particularly the restrictions of Shabbos that allow its beauty and sanctity to emerge.

In the most benevolent way possible, our Creator “quarantines” us once a week. The Talmudic passage that refers to Shabbos as a gift directs the Jew to acknowledge this gift and to use it properly. In doing so, not only is the Jew quarantining himself from pernicious elements and distractions from truth, but he is also receiving an all encompassing embrace from Hashem. The Master Physician, has prescribed a potion to keep us happy, healthy and holy. Give that weekly quarantine a try on Friday night and throughout the Shabbos and you just may find how liberating it can be! Maybe this is Hashem's message from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why to appreciate the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli governance

Former Israel UN Amb. Dore Gold authored "The Fight for Jerusalem"
In The Fight for Jerusalem, bestselling author and former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold explained why radical Islamists seek to divide and conquer Jerusalem and raze sites holy for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. With the United Nations untrustworthy and global jihad making waves, the city is a ticking time bomb. Amb. Gold shows why only Israel can preserve its sanctuaries for different religions and why uncovering Jerusalem's past and biblical truths prove crucial to saving it.

Excerpt from “The Fight for Jerusalem” in David Suissa's Opinion article in the Jewish Journal
“After seizing East Jerusalem in 1948, Jordan’s Arab Legion completely evicted the Jewish population from the Old City. The Jewish Quarter was set aflame, its homes were looted, and dozens of synagogues were destroyed or vandalized. Tombstones from the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives were converted into latrines.

“For the following nineteen years, Jews were prevented from praying at their holy sites, including the Western Wall. The Jordanians also barred Christian institutions from buying land and otherwise restricted the rights of Jerusalem’s Christian population, which dropped by over 50 percent during the period of Jordanian rule.”

Now compare those 19 years to what followed: “Upon capturing the Old City in 1967, Israel decided on a new approach to governing the city — it adopted a law protecting the holy sites of all religions and guaranteeing their free access to all worshippers.”

In other words, the Jewish connection to Jerusalem is not just good for the Jews, it’s good for the whole world. Ambassador Gold, who leads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, addressed the subject in this 2007 talk at Nessah Synagogue in Los Angeles.

Mr. Gold was subsequently selected as political adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in December 2013.

Celebrating Israeli Pride under sequestering - inside & outside of Israel

Yaakov Kirschen cartoon courtesy 246mag


Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Shimon Deri seen at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem,
where the official national celebrations were held in honor of Israel's
72nd independence day. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 courtesy: Times of Israel)
With Israeli Independence Day events limited or canceled amid coronavirus pandemic, the IDF’s Home Front Command invites parents and kids to recreate part of traditional festivities at home on video to air nationally on television. 

Read more in  "Army calls on families to film home foot drills for Independence Day." The Times of Israel, 25 April 2020.

The good news is that Israel's vigilance against the Wuhan Virus has resulted in keeping her mortality rate lower than in China, the United Kingdom, or the United States.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued this video statement - praising the Israeli public for its patience - and looking forward to more interpersonal conditions in the near future.



According to the Hebrew calendar, Israeli Independence Day (also known as Yom ha Atzma'ut) falls on the 5th of Iyar, which results on a different Gregorian calendar date each year. In 1948 it coincided with May 14th, which is the date it's popularly known for. But in 2020, in falling April 29th rather than later, the absence of celebrations on this date have been anti-climactic.
 
So without outdoor celebrations in N. America this year, let's revisit some of the interesting lovers of Israel we met at last year's outdoor Celebrate Israel Festival in Los Angeles:

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti tells Celebrate Israel Fest of his experiences and
views upon returning from AJC's Project Interchange in Israel
At the Celebrate Israel Fair, L.A. Mayor Garcetti recounted his experience returning from Israel on bi-a partisan, AJC Project Interchange organized trip (led by AJC CEO David Harris) with four other American mayors. They met with Israeli officials and Palestinian civic and business leaders in Judea and Samaria. They also attended the Eurovision song competition in Tel Aviv.


L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz contests mainstream L.A. media's smearing Mayor Eric Garcetti over his support for President Trump's moving the US Embassy to Israel's capital - Jerusalem:



L.A. Councilmember Paul Koretz praises L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's endorsement of the USA relocating her embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's capital- which the L.A. Times reported Friday 17 May - with criticism from two anti-Israel organizations, C.A.I.R., and the "Jewish Voice for Peace."


During the German occupation of France, the SS arrested French Jew, Marc Wiesenfeld, 88, on three separate occasions.



Marc Wiesenfeld, 88, explains what he went through during the Nazification of France - and how, after abandoning his identity to survive among Christian antisemitism, he finds a sense of security from the Jewish autonomy and sovereignty in the Holy Land.



Israel's former National Security Advisor, (ret.) Brig Gen. Jacob Nagel, negotiated the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding with Pres. Barack Obama's administration. Here in 2019, he lauds praise on President Donald Trump's benevolence towards the Jewish state.



Brig. Gen. Nagel is currently a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and visiting professor at the aerospace faculty at the Technion in Haifa. He is also a former head of Israel’s National Security Council and national security advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He led the Israeli experts' team working with the international teams negotiating with Iran on the JCPOA (Iranian nuclear program). He led the negotiations with US on the ten- year, "Memorandum of Understanding," and signed the agreement. While Israeli Brig. Gen. Nagel did secure Obama's negotiators to guarantee 10-years of military aid to Israel, the Democrat administration took away longstanding conditions on for Israel to spend any of the subsidy in its domestic defense industry.


Israeli-American entrepreneur and  Naty Saidoff, on international support for Israel (and Israelis) on their 71st year of independence.


Festival impressario, Naty Saidoff with the Israeli-American Council, discusses views as an Israeli-American riding along with the visiting, Israeli Bicycle Racing Team.


How Jewish-American songwriter, Sam Glaser, reacts to daughter, 19, making her life in Israel?


Performer and producer, Sam Glaser, discusses and describes his experiences in Israel and at the fair - and encourages American support for Western civilization's outpost in the Middle East.


L.A. Jewish Journal publisher, David Suissa, discussed his perspectives on the evolution of Celebrate Israel Fest:


When public gatherings were free and unfettered, in 2018, publisher of Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, David Suissa, remarked on the successful evolution of celebrating Israel's independence in L.A. - during varying conditions for Jews - and certainly for the expression of Israeli pride in public. He expresses how the ability to hold such non-denominational fairs across America is a compliment to how our country has been a largely tolerant refuge for our Jewish-American citizens.


Israeli-Americans, Israel Discount Bank executive Mr. Gal ben Naim and photographer, Orly HaLevy.


Israeli-Americans, Mr. Gal ben Naim of IDB (Israel Discount Bank) and photographer Orly HaLevy, comment on Israel's Independence Day at the Celebrate Israel Fest in L.A. 2019. Mr. ben Naim discusses sending his American kids to learn there - and why int'l citizens should respect Israel. Ms. HaLevy offers kudos to the I.A.C. Israeli American Council and JooTube.TV.


How might a physician's religiousity influence a patient's perception and relationship? Orthodox, Persian-American anesthesiologist:


Dr. Isaac Kourosh Noormand, an orthodox Jewish, Persian-American discusses life as a kippah/yarmulke-wearing anesthesiologist / pain-manager. How would you feel if - in entering a hospital procedure, you encounter a technician, nurse, or doctor wearing an open religious display? Such as a Christian cross pendant? Or a hijab or niqab? How would it vary based on your religion and the medical-provider's religion, such as a Christian patient being treated by a Jewish doctor? What role does the practitioner's orthodoxy or devotion play?

Pastor Rich Escobedo: Celebrate Israel - Christianity's first-line of defense from worldwide jihadism!


Hispanic-American Pastor Richard Escobedo of Compton, Los Angeles (introduced by I.A.C.'s Miri Shepher) interprets why he feels it essential that Christians stand by Israel (and Pres. Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson) for America's supporting her).

Heydon Morales, a Protestant, Latino-American political science student: Why I admire Israel - also what I don't like: - 


The Episcopalian, Latino-American, volunteering at the Fair, considers Jerusalem the capital of the world and believes that Jews should continue managing the reunited city. He voices support for Pres. Trump's Middle East policies, particularly in support of Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran, despite Saudi Arabia's limitations on Christianity and Judaism. The political science student recognizes the need for a strong US - Israel relationship to protect liberty from fascism, Socialism, and Communism around the world.  

Though Israel held no local Yom ha Atzmaut celebrations outdoors in 2020, here's what Israeli audiences got to see on the annual broadcast television event:


(Live English translation courtesy of i24 News)