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Los Angeles Jewish events highlights: Chanukah / December

ADL Pacific Region banquet keynote address by University of California President Martin Yudof, "Bearing Witness" holocaust educators Sister Sara Goggin and Rev. Alexei Smith, Humanitarian Award honorees Samuel and Ardyth Freshman.

Stand with Us Dan banquet featuring Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman, City Council candidates Paul Koretz & Adina Bleich;

Chanukah at Universal CityWalk with Lyle Weisman and family;

Orthodox Union West convention features debate between its Washington liason Nathan Diament and radio host Dennis Prager.

As the soul of Zionist activist Tsafrir Ronen enters shomayim, Israel is moved into action against antagonistic, Islamic jihadist Hamas

Just days after Israeli nationalist leader, Tsafrir Ronen, entered shomayim, Israel finally took defensive actions against Hamas' terrorism.  May his memory be an inspiration. Israel National News reports:

"Zafrir Ronen z"l, long associated with the establishment of new yishuvim throughout Israel, passed away over Shabbat (due to heart failure). Among Mr. Ronen's many accomplishments was the establishment of the "Nahalal Forum," which encompassed right wing, secular Zionist Jews. He also helped establish Kibbutz Gilgal in the Jordan Valley in 1973, and in more recent years was associated with efforts to help Jews settle in Judea and Samaria.

Tributes poured in mourning Ronen's loss. The "Homesh First" group said that "Zafrir Ronen was a true partner in the efforts to return to Homesh." Women in Green called him "a proud Jew who fought for the Land of Israel with his whole heart and soul." MK Aryeh Eldad said that "Zafrir was a tireless fighter for the Land of Israel and the right of Jews to settle in all its parts." His funeral will take place on Sunday at 2PM in the moshav Moledet in northern Israel."

Tsafrir Ronen's writings expose Jihadist Muslims' self-confessed, manufacturing fabricating a "Palestinian national" identity as a political device to de-legitimize a Jewish sovereignty amidst a Muslim region. Mr. Ronen references this in his article, Hadrian's Curse: The Invention of Palestine as a Psychological Weapon for Conquering Eretz Yisrael which was recently announced is being developed as a documentary for Israel Broadcasting. Mr. Ronen wrote:
At the Annapolis Conference, George Bush spoke about his vision regarding the virtues of two nations for two peoples.

One of those peoples has a clear identity – the Jewish People. Yet it would be interesting to know the identity of that second people: Already in 1977, one of the central spokesman of that "second people", a member of P.L.O. leadership, Zahir Muhsein, the leader of the al-Sa'iqa Organization, revealed the truth in an interview to the Dutch newspaper, Trouw:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."
Mr. Ronen's (pictured left with Boaz Ha'Etzni, son of Hebron pioneer Elyakim Ha'Etzni) fighting spirit can be heard in this Yishai Fleischer, radio interview on Pres. Bush's last political visit to the Middle East.

Bradley Burston writes of Israel's justification of today's defensive actions against Hamas in Ha'aretz:
It is both unrealistic and dangerous to believe that Hamas has abandoned its clearly stated and often reiterated goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in all of the Holy Land, including all land claimed, annexed by, or in any way occupied by Israel.

Israeli restraint, when practiced, has been met with contempt and additional Hamas and Hamas-tolerated strikes against civilian populations.

In an era of global revulsion against radical Islamic terror, Hamas' protracted program of suicide bombings, drive-by murders and shelling of civilian populations, coupled with its refusal to renounce violence, recognize Israel, or accept past peace agreements, coupled with its ideology of militant jihad, have drained the Palestinians of international sympathy and have, in fact, legitimized Israeli arguments of military self-defense.

Nothing has been more instrumental in harming the cause of Palestinian independence than Hamas, with its brutal take-over of Gaza in a war with brother Palestinians, and its frank efforts to build a large-scale regular army force in the Strip.

Merry Christmas from Southern Israel!

Show your friends why the IDF is overdue for a Gaza mop-up operation.

Songwriter, Prof. Tom Lehrer, amused generations "Spending Hanukah in Santa Monica"

Tom Lehrer wrote and performed "Hanukah in Santa Monica" among other original novelty and parody songs from the 50's to early '70's.

Here's to Judas Maccabeeus (boy if he could only see us)... Tom Lehrer also penned the naughty, "The Masochism Tango."

In the 1970s, Lehrer concentrated on teaching mathematics and musical theater, although he also wrote ten songs for the educational children's television show "The Electric Company." 

His last public performance took place in 1972, on a fundraising tour for Democratic US presidential candidate George McGovern.

Dr. Dan Kliman, SF Voice for Israel's co-founder, eulogized for fighting for justice

Medical doctor, Pro-Zionist, environmentalist, socially-conscious vegetarian, Dr. Dan Kliman, was remembered by friends and colleagues Sunday 14 December in Oakland, California's Temple Beth Jacob.

Featuring Rabbi Judah Dardik, Mike Harris, SF Voice for Israel's Rabbi Doug Kahn, Jewish Community Relations Council's Robert Raburn, Executive Director, East Bay Bicycle Coalition Bonnie Knight - reading eulogy from Peter Cohon, Founder of Veggie Jews, Israel Consul General Akiva Tor, Beth Jacob member Judith Schwartz. (Video courtesy Dan Cohen)

Rabbi Benny Elon, Knesset Christian Allies Caucus leader, to retire from Israeli politics

The religious Moledet ("Homeland") Party will run on a joint list with Dr. Arye Eldad's secular Hatikva ("Hope") Party in the upcoming general elections in February. by Abe Selig in The Jerusalem Post  (Member of Knesset, Rabbi Benny Elon pictured. Photo courtesy Jerusalem Post by Ariel Jerozolimski).
... Meanwhile, the the far-right Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (The Land of Israel is Ours) party, headed by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo and Baruch Marzel, issued a statement that called attention to the "violations" of the National Religious Party and National Union, and called the Knesset list "an NRP list that will not fight for the land of Israel."

But given the feelings of betrayal on behalf of the Moledet members, Bank said that his faction had very little choice but to split from Bayit Hayehudi altogether.

"It was clear all the way through that all three parties were sticking out their proverbial necks by joining this party," Bank continued. "And Moledet, including Elon, Alex Epstein and myself were all pushed out. It's as if they said, 'Thanks for your name, now we don't need you.' But it might have been NRP and it might not have. What's important is the outcome, and that the committee violated every principle they had pledged to hold to. [Bayit Hayehudi] has become a party that was born of sin, and on a public level, it's not going to bode well for them."

ADL hosts "Defiance" screening; Director Edward Zwick reveals religious influences underlying epic tale of partisan resistance against Nazis

Following-up on November's Annual Meeting of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), patriots against discrimination from across the U.S. meet in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the ADL's annual Pacific Southwest Dinner Celebration.

Supporters were presented to by an array of political leaders, journalists, Hollywood executives and experts on anti-Semitism. The League, which is celebrating its 95th year, released important new polls on American attitudes toward immigration, as well as religion and Hollywood, and issued a status report on anti-Semitism driven by the financial crisis.

Three national ADL awards were given to Los Angeles leaders.  Rabbi Harold Schulweis received the Daniel Pearl AwardLos Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten received the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize.  LAPD First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell received the Chief Giovanni Palatucci Courageous Leadership Award.

"Defiance" previewed by ADL; Director Edward Zwick reveals themes of Jewish defense and vengeance in new Daniel Craig epic drama.

The ADL Conference presented a pre-release screening of "Defiance" - a story of the Jewish Bielski brothers' inspired resistance against Nazi-era, Jew-hatred and genocide.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with (pictured from left to right) Hollywood Reporter Publisher, Eric Mika, Defiance director, Edward Zwick, and ADL Executive Director, Abraham Foxman about the story and the issue of combating anti-Semitism.

Director, Edward Zwick, intimates the personal and biblical Jewish influences involved in the structure and making of this movie.

ZOA urges Pres Bush to rescind support for UN vote endorsing Palestinian state

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush Administration to rescind support for a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution tomorrow which seeks to enshrine endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state. The text, co-sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, is seen by officials as "geared to binding a future Israeli government to a commitment to a two-state solution," and will reaffirm international support for the Annapolis process begun in November 2007 (Harvey Morris, 'UN to drive Middle East peace settlement,' Financial Times [London], December 15, 2008).

The ZOA is urging the Bush Administration to rescind its support for the UNSC draft resolution, saying that its passage would convey a stark message to the Palestinians that they can receive massive concessions without having to reform their society and institutions to end support for terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews that feeds it.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "We oppose any diplomatic effort or United Nations resolution, such as that supported by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, designed to anchor the concept of creating a Palestinian state in accordance with the process commenced in November 2007 at Annapolis . As the ZOA observed at the time of Annapolis , this conception of peace-making is deeply flawed and unrealistic, because it fails to take account of the 15 years since the 1993 Oslo Accords in which all the commitments undertaken by Palestinians have remained unfulfilled. (Secy Rice pictured with Saudi al-Faisal Hassan Ammar).

"These commitments include arresting terrorists, dismantling and outlawing terror groups, confiscating their weaponry and ending the incitement to hatred and murder in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror.
"In such circumstances, creating a Palestinian state would simply mean creating a terror state. Such a state would enjoy sovereign powers, would be free to enter into hostile alliances against Israel and import weaponry without control or supervision of any kind.
"The one reason Judea and Samaria are relatively peaceful is because, unlike Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are on the ground and able to intervene to prevent terrorist acts and break up terror cells when and where necessary. That would no longer be the case the moment a Palestinian state is established. Just as Ashkelon and Sderot are already under constant bombardment from Palestinian shells and missiles fired from Gaza , Jerusalem , Ben Gurion Airport and most of Israel 's major population centers would be in range of Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria . Cross-border raids would become routine along what would become Israel 's longest border. To do this runs contrary to all logic and prudence: We should be dismantling terrorist states, not establishing them.
Under Mahmoud Abbas, the record shows that, within the PA, few opportunities are missed to glorify a terrorist, celebrate a suicide bomber, or inculcate Palestinian youth into worshipping cold-blooded murderers. The record also shows that all aspects of PA life – the schools, youth movements, sports teams, newspapers, TV, even the names of streets – are made vehicles for honoring and praising terrorists and their vile deeds. This in turn breeds more terrorists and bloodshed. Only last year, Fatah, the Palestinian party co-founded by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, issued a new official emblem, showing a map of all of Israel, even within the pre-1967 armistice lines, covered with a Palestinian head-dress, including pictures of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle.
"In January this year, Abbas mourned the passing of veteran Palestinian terrorist George Habash, saying, 'The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people.' He also declared three days of mourning and ordered Palestinian flags lowered to half mast. In February last year, he called for uniting the blood of Fatah and Hamas in a common struggle against Israel . In May 2006, Abbas named Mahmoud Damra, wanted by Israel for supervising various terror attacks against Israelis, as commander of Fatah's Force 17.

"Abbas, like Arafat before him, has sheltered wanted terrorists in the Muqata, his presidential compound in Ramallah, including Khaled Shawish, a senior Fatah commander responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis, until Israeli forces captured him when he ventured outside the compound in May 2007. Abbas personally congratulated the family of the multiple murderer Samir Kuntar when the Israelis released him this year. In fact, Abbas' Fatah even organized a rally in Ramallah to celebrate the event. In December 2005, Abbas approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists. He has described wanted terrorists as 'heroes fighting for freedom' and dead terrorist leaders like Yasser Arafat, Hamas' Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's Fathi Shikaki as 'martyrs.'

"These are not the words and deeds of someone who opposes terrorism and fights it. To the contrary, these are the words of someone who does not accept Israel 's existence as a Jewish state, as Abbas indeed made explicit at the time of Annapolis and since.

"In short, Abbas is not a genuine peace partner, and the idea of constructing a peace settlement based upon agreement with him and the PA is divorced from reality. We dare not create a new terror state and increase the enormous dangers already facing Israel . Until fundamental changes occur within the Palestinian leadership and society, there should be no rewards or concessions to the PA.

"In these circumstances, were the UN to declare that a Palestinian state must come into being, this would be one of the biggest rewards imaginable for the unreconstructed and terror-promoting PA. It would convey the clearest possible message the world could deliver that the Palestinians need not honor signed agreements and need make no reforms, in the certainty that the world will continue to pressure Israel for concessions to them leading up to statehood. They will learn, as they have already done, that there are no consequences for extremism, terrorism and hatred.

"This would be a travesty of any diplomatic approach that can be called a 'peace process.' A true peace process must be designed to maximize the prospects of Palestinians making these essential reforms and changes, without which no genuine peace is possible. Those truly interested in the cause of peace will oppose the UN taking such a counter-productive step.
"We urge the Bush Administration to rescind its support for this UNSC draft resolution and to instruct the United States ' Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, accordingly."

Stand With Us' Festival of Lights - Israel U.N. Amb Dan Gillerman offers insights from 6-years inside the U.N.

Addressing an annual, Israel-supportive, Stand With Us, "Festival of Lights" Dinner audience, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Israel's outgoing Ambassador to the U.N. looks backward and forward upon stepping-down from having represented the Jewish State at the U.N. for the past 6-years.

Amb. Gillerman professes optimism that the threats from imperialist Iran might motivate the Arab world to unite with Israel.  He declares that Islamic militantism is as great a threat to moderate Muslims as it is to the general public - yet the Muslim world is not adequately routing-out militantism from its midst - to everyone's peril.

"Will Arabs ally with Israel to thwart Islamist imperialist Iran?" Israeli UN Amb. Dan Gillerman asks Stand with Us.

Stand With Us' annual Chanukah-time dinner, the "Festival of Lights," is a gathering for the Los Angeles, pro-Israel advocacy community.

New Israeli group, "the18," seeks support in fighting "Two-State Solution"

Here’s a powerful new video produced by a group named The 18, formed to oppose the “two-state solution” that Barack Obama and his advisers plan to force on Israel. (Hat-tip LGF)

We look to the hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising for inspiration. In April 1943, a young Jew named Mordechai Anielewicz showed that a fearless handful of committed men and women can make a rebellion and he forever laid to rest the myth of the passive Jew.
the18 will challenge every aspect of the 2-state solution.
the18 will be organized as a 21st century political campaign.
the18 will operate strategically, intelligently, and relentlessly.
the18 will join the fight on a worldwide basis.

If two-state is frighteningly near its tipping point, what does this mean for those of us who reject a two-state solution? What are the consequences for those of us who carry a Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland from the river to the sea? How does this affect those who advocate a return from exile, the unification of Jerusalem, restoration of the Temple, and await Moshiach?

Well, it means turn out the lights, the party’s over.

Once two-state is tipped over into ir-reversibility, the deluge will leave Judea and Samaria bulldozed flat as surely as disengagement flattened Gush Katif; a divided Jerusalem a fait accompli; an internationalized Jerusalem a possibility; the Temple Mount in the possession of the Waqf in perpetuity; and the image of a bifurcated, ethnically neutral Israel looming on the horizon. Peace Now will be driving the bus.

And we must always factor in Arab propaganda. Holocaust denial has been joined by "Temple denial" as part of the ongoing Arab strategy to delegitimize Jewish claims to holy sites and to Jerusalem itself.

Naomi Ragen wrote recently that she feels, “helpless to stop this juggernaut towards disaster.” Yes, ma'am. I know how you feel

Is there anything we can do? Maybe.

To give ourselves a chance, a long shot maybe, but a chance, we must first recognize that the front line for the Israeli Right is two-state.

All other issues are a diversion. No matter how drawn we are to other battlegrounds we must steel ourselves to the reality that all else must be secondary to fighting two-state.

If we lose the two-state battle – and we are badly overmatched, out-gunned and out-manned – we lose the whole game. The fight must be joined on the issue of two-state. Period. We cannot let our attention wander or our resources be diverted to other fronts.

'G-d withdrew his angels from India to atone for our failing to live His ways' - religious Zionist doctor at Chabad memorial

At the Chabad (West Coast) memorial for Mumbai emissaries Rabbi Gavi & Rivka Holtzberg (slain in the sanctification of the G-d of Israel (Kiddush Hashem)), this Swiss immigrant to Israel asserts that the couple was martyred to atone for our sins of failing to behave in godly ways.

The Muslim atrocities to destroy the G-d of Israel were sadistic. Indian and Israeli pathologists confirmed that the Jews were tortured by their Muslim captors before being bound together and killed in cold blood.

DEBKAfile adds: Israelis were the largest group of foreigners murdered by the Islamist terrorists. The single captured gunman confirmed they had been specifically targeted.

Laid to rest Tuesday, Dec. 2 in state ceremonies were Norma Schwartzblatt-Rabinovitz, 50, from Mexico, who was due to immigrate to Israel and two of whose children already live there; the center's director Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivka, 26; Ms Yocheved Harpaz, 59, mother of four from Givatayim; Bentzion Chroman, 28, father of three, who held dual US-Israeli citizenship, and Leibisch Teitelbaum, father of 8, an American from Brooklyn.

Rivka Holtzberg was six months pregnant. Her two-year old child, Moshe Holtzberg, was saved by his Indian nanny who fled the building with him in her arms. He was found later to be covered in bruises from a beating.

Pro-Israel social activist found dead in suspicious circumstances at San Francisco's Pacific Arabic Resources' offices

A memorial service is being held for a prominent San Francisco physician who was found dead inside the elevator shaft of the Arabic-language night-school he attended.

Dr. Daniel Kliman, 38, was believed to have fallen down the elevator shaft on Tuesday evening 11/25/08, on the same day as the Mumbai terror attacks. The memorial service will be held on Sunday, Dec 14, at 7:30 pm at the Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland.

There were no classes the week of 25 November. There were very few people in the building at the time. The defective elevator was "secure". It is still unclear how this happened. The S.F. Gate reports:
Brad Bernheim, the building manager, said the elevator was not working last week and had been secured so that no one could enter it. Workers showed up Monday to repair the elevator and discovered the body.

Last Tuesday, a surveillance camera recorded Kliman waiting for the elevator in the lobby. It wasn't clear, however, how he ended up in the elevator shaft or whether he fell from that floor or higher, Bernheim said.
He said the victim was a student at the Pacific Arabic Resources School on the seventh floor of the building. He said there were no classes last week.

"I don't know why he was there. That's what we're investigating, how he got down there," Bernheim said. "Yeah, it's strange. You don't normally find bodies in the elevator shafts."
Kliman was scheduled to fly to Israel on Thanksgiving Day as part of the Honest Reporting Mission, a pro-Israel media initiative.
"He was the public face of grass-roots Israel advocacy in the San Francisco Bay area," said Mike Harris, his colleague at Voice for Israel. "He was passionate about standing up for Israel, literally -- standing up in public with flags and signs."

Kliman, also known as a fervent environmentalist, often was seen bicycling around the Bay Area instead of taking rides to reduce his carbon footprint, friends said.
Harris told the Chronicle he knew of no specific threats against Kliman, but he had been assaulted before at a pro-Israel rally. Kliman's body was buried in his hometown of Schenectady, N.Y.

A memorial service being held for Dan on Sunday, Dec 14, 7:30pm at the Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland.  The blog, Zombietime, has ongoing coverage of the controversial investigation of the circumstances surrounding Dr. Kliman's death.
(photo by Dan Kliman of anti-Israel demonstrators; Courtesy: Zombietime)

Mumbai doctors shocked at Muslims' torture of Jewish hostages

"Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks," remarked Mumbai-hospital doctor.

 Rediff India Abroad reports:
Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. 
It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Corroborating the doctors' claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. "During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis," an
Intelligence Bureau source said.