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"We are Not Okay" - Five for Fighting joins Israel's Memorial Day / Independence Day Ceremony at Los Angeles' Temple Valley Beth Shalom

Video-screen collage shows David ben Gurion declaring Israeli Independence on May 14, '48
Approximately 1600 people, including over 700 children, gathered at the (Los Angeles, San Fernando) Valley Beth Shalom to commemorate the sequential holidays, Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers / Victims of Terror, and then Israel's 76th Independence Day. The event, led by Rabbis Nolan Lebovitz and Ed Feinstein, was predominantly Jewish-American with a complement of Israeli-American ex-pats. Said Rabbi Lebovitz in his opening remarks, "We need to support one another in our time of grief and pain during Yom ha Zikaron (Memorial Day). And hold one another in our appreciation and joy during Yom ha Atzmaut (Independence Day)!"

With a speech from Israeli Consul General Yisrael Bachar, the program demonstrated a strong sense of solidarity and responsibility within the community to defend Zionism during these challenging times. Songwriter John ("Five for Fighting") Ondrasik performed two of his numbers and recounted highlights of his April trip to Israel where he performed in Hostage Square.
UCLA Emeritus Professor Judea Pearl expressed his feelings of belonging to the community and the importance of the relationship between Israeli and American Jews. He also discussed the support Israeli academics have received from their colleagues in American universities during times of crisis, specifically in response to calls for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). Jewish professors in American universities have made an internal decision to provide special support and "affirmative action" to their Israeli colleagues, helping them defy these calls for BDS.

 

 

 



 

  

 


 

 

Rabbi Feinstein and Professor Pearl discuss the turnout and significance of a community event celebrating Israel's Independence Day in the Valley. Approximately 1600 people attended, including over 700 children, making it an impressive gathering for the community. The event was predominantly American Jews and Israelis, with a shift towards more Israeli attendees. Rabbi Feinstein emphasized the sense of solidarity and responsibility among the community to support Israel during challenging times. This was demonstrated through various celebrations, political actions, and open expressions of support. Professor Judea Pearl expressed his feelings of belonging to the community and the importance of the symbiotic relationship between Israeli and American Jews. Despite the changing climate in the United States, he believed that both communities should continue to support each other and protect their shared interests. 

 

Professor Pearl discusses the support Israeli academics have received from their colleagues in American universities during times of crisis, specifically in response to calls for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). He mentions that Jewish professors in American universities have made an internal decision to provide special support and "affirmative action" to their Israeli colleagues, as some universities have succumbed to pressure and made agreements with protesters. The professors aim to help their Israeli colleagues defy these calls for BDS.


Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony strives for normalcy amidst maelstrom of anti-Zionist protests

Rabbi Steve Leder addresses ceremony for
Holocaust Memorial Day at Los Angeles
Holocaust Museum, Pan-Pacific Park
For Holocaust Memorial Day '24 (Hebrew: "Yom ha Shoah') the senior Rabbi of L.A.'s Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Rabbi Steve Leder and Beth Kean, CEO of the Holocaust Museum L.A, come together in a solemn atmosphere to reflect on the importance of faith, hope, and resilience in the face of adversity. This year marks 80-years since the Nazi invasion of Hungary.
 
Rabbi Leder shares his personal connection to the Holocaust, describing how it affected him and his family despite their having been American long before the Holocaust. He emphasizes the ongoing relevance of the Holocaust and the importance of taking a clear moral stance in the face of current threats against the Jewish community. Rabbi Leder also speaks about the power of faith, life, and goodness, drawing parallels from Jewish traditions and historical events. He encourages the Jewish community to come out of their suffering not empty-handed but to use the experience to build a more united and effective community. The event emphasizes the importance of peace and unity.

05:00 In this section, Rabbi Steve Leder of the Los Angeles Wilshire Blvd Temple reflects on the Holocaust and the current threats against the Jewish community. He recalls how Jews were suddenly and brutally murdered during the Holocaust, with 6 million unique lives lost. Leder also mentions recent attacks against Israel and expresses feelings of abandonment and frustration, questioning where allies are in times of need. He acknowledges the moral complexity of the situation and the importance of taking a clear moral stance, distinguishing between murder and necessary defense.

Riot-police guard remnant of pro-Israel families leaving rally at UCLA from IslamoMarxist mob's hostile taunting 28 April '24.



10:00 Rabbi Leder speaks about the pain and heartbreak caused by the ongoing conflict between Israel and terrorist groups. He emphasizes that innocent people are not victims of Israeli aggression but rather of the terrorists' disregard for life. Leder explains that there is power in a broken heart and uses a verse from Jeremiah to illustrate this concept. According to the rabbis, God places words upon our hearts because it is only when our hearts are broken that the words can enter. Leder reflects on the importance of unity and the need for each other during difficult times. He also shares a metaphor about the Torah commanding the eternal light in the temple to be fueled by the purest olive oil, which only gives forth its purest light when crushed. Leder encourages the Jewish community to come out of their suffering not empty-handed and to use the experience to build a more united and effective Jewish community.

15:00 Rabbi Leder speaks about the importance of faith, life, and goodness in the face of adversity. He emphasizes the need to embrace one's faith more fully during difficult times and highlights the Jewish belief in the power of goodness to overcome evil. Rabbi Leder also discusses the significance of celebrating life and the numerous Jewish holidays that commemorate joy and goodness. He shares a joke about Jewish pessimism and optimism and the belief in the power of goodness to prevail. The rabbi also mentions an obscure law in Jewish law that requires a blind person to bless the new moon, emphasizing the importance of affirming what is hidden and difficult to see.

20:00 Rabbi Steve Leder speaks about the importance of hope and peace in the face of adversity, drawing parallels from the 23rd Psalm and historical events such as the Jewish Nation rising after the Holocaust and potential peace with various Middle Eastern countries. He emphasizes that even in the darkest of times, there is always a source of light and that hate is not the end of hope but the beginning of a battle for deeper faith, clarity, and courage. The Rabbi encourages the audience to never allow their dreams and hope to be murdered and to emerge again into the light, emphasizing the importance of being morally clear, strong, and brave. 

25:00 In this final section, he leads the audience in the singing of Ose Shalom, the Hebrew prayer which means May He who brings peace in the heavens also bring it upon us and all the people of Israel. The atmosphere is one of solemnity and unity as they come together.

At N.R.B., center-right news editors react to Big-Tech's suppression, censorship of established publishers

For centuries, scribes and journalists have been tasked with the responsibility of seeking and sharing the truth. Today, however, finding solid journalism accurately reported by the news media is difficult. Considering this dilemma, who can the faith community turn to and trust to report the news?  Matthew Faraci, president of Inspire Buzz, moderated a lively panel discussion titled “Truth-Driven Journalism in an Era of Censorship.” 

Panel participants included Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, Christopher Dolan, president and executive editor of the Washington Times, Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter for The Epoch Times and Phil Boyce, senior vice president for spoken word format at Salem Media Group. The well-attended forum addressed several current issues impacting media producers and consumers, tying them to historical events. Philipp, for example, referenced the 1967 riots in China which began as a minor labor dispute in the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China. The riots then escalated into a large-scale protest against British colonial rule involving Chinese Communist Party sympathizers against the British Hong Kong government. In Philipp’s analysis, this event is an example of government enforcement of political correctness and crackdown on those who fail to comply. 

Salem Media's Phil Boyce and The Washington Times' Chris Dolan remark on Google, Twitter, and other Big Tech suppression and censorship of legitimate journalism from mainstream, right-of-center perspectives.


Censorship has been around for ages. During the Diocletian Period—the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire–Bibles were targeted as part of a larger program intended to wipe out Christianity. Today, the rise in media censorship has industry leaders expressing concerns. “There is a war going on and journalists are being brutally attacked,” Ruddy said. He noted that social media is playing a big role in censorship: “We are being deranked, delisted and depressed on Google and on YouTube.” 

Recorded at National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville




Ruddy went on to explain how rankings and listings attract viewers, and viewership determines the impact of a journalist’s efforts to get the news out. Others on the panel agreed that social media censorship is hindering the conservative voice in America and is driving journalists to find new ways to get their stories out to the public.

“It’s like a new religion,” Philipp said. “It’s socialism in the guise of political correctness.” “What people want is an accurate account,” Boyce added. Referring to a Daniel Webster quote, Boyce said: “It used to be all about truth. When we present truth, it has the ability to dispel lies.” Ruddy referred to a comment made by U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as an example of the type of censorship journalists now face. “When we reported that Rand Paul said masks don’t work, Newsmax could not post videos on some social media sites for a week,” Ruddy noted.

 Dolan said his media outlet has traditionally been focused on freedom, faith, and family. “We provide information so our audience can make decisions based on what is going on in the world,” Dolan said, noting that his publication was initially created as a “conservative voice” in Washington, D.C. According to Dolan, “fact checkers” play a big role in what gets into publication and that can be detrimental. “Fact checkers want to tell us what to put in and if they don’t like what we put in, they censor it. That is happening more and more.” On a more positive note, Dolan added, “The truth always wins out.”

After a lengthy and lively discussion on censorship, social media, the challenges reporters face in getting and delivering the truth, Faraci asked each commentator to give the audience a takeaway based on what they hope to see in the future. Philipp responded by saying “If we fearlessly tell the truth people will remember that.” Boyce said journalists should continue seeking ways “to make this a better world.” Dolan pointed out that “common sense policies, organizations committed to truth and the evolution of conservative groups with more access to social media” give him hope—and Ruddy wrapped it up by saying “this conversation is what gives me hope.” Faraci concluded the session by calling the panelists his heroes and pointing to the “legacy and impact” they are leaving for future generations.

Educators who downplayed lessons of the antisemitism-rise of Nat'l Socialists get a taste of their own medicine

Nazi invaders' systematic round of Jewish Hungarians, 1944
Islamo-Marxists at UCLA replicate National Socialists' asenscion, vilifying Jewish faculty and student.

Mensch International Foundation executive, Stephen Geiger, led a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the German Nazis' landing in Hungary, on March 19, 1944. The event also acknowledged Rabbi Marvin Hier for his significant impact on the Jewish community as Dean of YULA High Schools and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Hier's Mensch Award brought junior and senior high-school students to learn the lessons of history and today.

Mr. Geiger and the speakers shared personal stories about the Holocaust and expresses concerns over the rising anti-Semitism on college campuses, specifically at Univ. of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). 

Prof. Michael Berenbaum shared his experiences of receiving awards and introduced Rabbi Hier as the recipient of the Mensch Award.  The speakers addressed the anniversary of the start of the Holocaust in Hungary. Rabbinic leaders and Holocaust survivors share their experiences of tackling anti-Semitism at UCLA and the challenges faced by Jewish faculty and students on campuses.  The speakers express concern over the erasure of symbols related to Israel and the lack of security and apologies from universities in response to disruptions. The importance of community support in fighting against anti-Semitism is emphasized, using the story of Esther from the Purim tale as an analogy. Rabbi Hier is honored for his efforts in fighting against anti-Semitism, and the deputy consul general of Hungary in Los Angeles, Dr. Imola Szabo addressed the event with a mea culpa for her country's apathy (and complicity) in 1944, neglecting to protect her citizens from Nazi deportation and genocide.


On 80th anniversary of Nazi invasion that holocausted Hungary's Jews, educators honored L.A. Rabbi Marvin Hier with teach-in at Yeshiva Univ. High School near Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, all which he founded.

  • 00:00:00 Mr. Geiger pays tribute to the 80th anniversary of the German Nazis' landing in Hungary and shares a recording from a synagogue in Gyor, the town where his father was born and where his grandparents and two sisters were deported to. He expresses gratitude to the musicians, Raymond Domby and Thomas Mochari, for making the recording.

    Rabbi Arye Sufrin, YULA's Head of School, acknowledges Rabbi Marvin Hier for his significant impact on the Los Angeles Jewish community and beyond, and presents him with the Mensch Award. The speaker praises Rabbi Hier's influence on countless students and alumni and wishes him and his wife Malka, good health as they remember the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who were killed during the Holocaust.
  • Rebbitzen Malka and Rabbi Marvin Hier, Steven Geiger, and Dr. Imola Szabo, Hungarian Consulate's Deputy Consul General (Photo: Orly Halevy)

  • 00:05:00 Mr. Geiger screens a film produced by Jewish Hungarian film producer Andrew Solomon about actual incidents that occurred in Budapest during the winter of 1944. His wife's grandmother survived the war by hiding after having an inkling of the impending danger. He notes that the extermination of Jews in Hungary, as well as in Poland and France, was not advertised as part of the planned German invasion in 1944, but rather a surprise and sheer luck for all the few who survived. Mr. Geiger mentions that Hungary was not initially a part of the plan for the systematic extermination of Jews throughout Europe.

  • 00:10:00 Geiger plays a History Hustle documentary video discussing Hungary's involvement in with the Axis powers and the German invasion of Hungary in 1944.

    Holocaust historian, Rabbi Michael Berenbaum shares his experience of receiving a Silver Angel Award and introduces Rabbi Marvin Hier, who is being honored with the Mensch Award. Rabbi
    Berenbaum then shifts the focus to Jewish history and that menschlichkeit represents decency, integrity, authenticity, passion, and compassion. Rabbi Hier is praised for his leadership and impactful work, and his wife, Malka, is also acknowledged for her support.

  • 00:15:00 Holocaust survivor Marvin Hier shares a personal story about his brother-in-law, Merlin, during the Nazi period in Hungary. Merlin's mother was taken away, pleading for him to save her young children. Merlin, believing a doctor would never harm the children, approached one named Joseph Mengele, who immediately gassed them. Hier reflects on the idea that destiny sometimes calls upon the unexpected to do the right thing. He shares his own experience of taking his son to Israel as his moment to make a difference. Hier expresses shock over Jonathan Glazer's acceptance speech for his Holocaust film at the Academy Awards, where he failed to acknowledge the atrocities committed by the honored film's subject, Mengele.

  • 00:20:00  Marvin Hier, the recipient of the Mensch Award, expresses his strong disapproval of filmmaker Jonathan Glazer's statements accepting an Academy Award for directing "Zone of Interest" (which dramatizes the lives of Auschwitz Death Camp operators) selected as Best Foreign Language Film. Rabbi Hier condemns Mr. Glazer for exploiting his Holocaust familiarity to infer Israel's, instead of Hamas' inhumanity for the Gaza War.

    Rabbi Hier is dismayed by the lack of reaction from the audience and believes that Glazer missed an opportunity to use his platform to stand in solidarity with the Jews and condemn Hamas. Hier also recalls the devastating consequences of the world's failure to respond to the Holocaust and warns of the dangers of not taking action against peoples, like Islamists, who seek domination and destruction of Western civilizations. The Mensch Award ceremony concludes with Hier expressing gratitude to those in attendance and acknowledging the importance of fighting for freedom every day.


  • 00:25:00 UCLA Professor Emeritus Judea Pearl shares his experiences and concerns regarding the rising anti-Semitism on college campuses, specifically at UCLA where he has spent 55 years. He recounts an incident where a music instructor switched the analysis of Wonder Woman's music score due to the Israeli actor's nationality, making students uncomfortable. He describes this as part of a larger campaign to erase the presence of Israel and Zionism from academia, treating it as toxic and nuclear waste material. He calls it a concerted effort and a crusade, and expresses his concern for future college students who may face similar situations

Muslim-whistleblower, Nonie Darwish, reveals the actual cause of 'the new antisemitism' (which is NOT Zionism)

Ms. Nonie Darwish, a
Nonie Darwish exposes the Islamic aspect
of the bigotry from the Islamo-Black Axis
among the Democratic Party's Left-Wing

 

n Egyptian Gaza-raised ex-Muslim author and speaker,
attending the American Freedom Alliance's "The War on Men" in Los Angeles, discusses the deep-rooted anti-Semitism in Arab and Islamic culture.  She believes that that is the basis of the Arab-Israeli conflict. She asserts that this hatred is not just towards Jews of a particular skin color but is rooted in the religion itself.

Ms. Darwish also criticizes the censorship of criticism of Islam on platforms like YouTube due to the influence and power of wealthy Muslim countries. She shares her perspective on the region's focus on destroying Israel rather than improving its own society and expresses concern about the impact of lies on young people.

Nonie's father, an Egyptian Army General
was killed in their country's war with Israel.
She has since crusaded against Islamist
supremacist enmity towards minorities

Ms. Darwish argues that Hamas initiated the Arab-Israeli conflict and that the Western media propagates a false narrative vilifying Israel. She also criticizes President Obama for representing outdated Arab thinking and being influenced by his Muslim upbringing and potential communist connections.

Ms. Darwish urges Christians and Jews to speak out against their oppression and show support for their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. She defends Israel's right to defend itself against its enemies and criticizes those who believe Israel should apologize for collateral damage caused during military conflicts.

Ms. Darwish also discusses the importance of faith and culture in the Middle East and the potential consequences of abandoning religious institutions. She distinguishes between Islam and Islamism and expresses concern about the ongoing conflict between good and evil and the need to fight against radical elements within Islam.

  

(The video can be enjoyed more quickly if selected at 1.25 speed under the cog icon)

00:00-05:00 Ms. Nonie Darwish, discusses the deep-rooted anti-Semitism in Arab and Islamic culture, which she believes is the basis of the Arab-Israeli conflict. She explains that this hatred is not just towards Jews of a particular skin color but is rooted in the religion itself. She asserts that Islam teaches bigotry and that Muhammad's wars against Jewish tribes in Medina are still being followed today. She emphasizes that this is not just a fringe belief but a mainstream one in Islam, which focuses more on its enemies than on its own teachings.

00:05:00 Ms. Darwish discusses the taboo surrounding criticism of Islam and the resulting censorship on platforms like YouTube. She explains that while religious debates between Christians and Jews were once allowed, any criticism of Islam is now forbidden due to the influence and power of wealthy Muslim countries.

She asserts that the Quran and Hadith contain anti-Jewish and anti-Christian verses promoting violence against non-Muslims.

She argues that Islam's focus on its enemies, rather than its followers, is unhealthy and hinders self-analysis and self-critique within the religion. Ms. Darwish, who grew up in Gaza, shares her perspective on the region's focus on destroying Israel rather than improving its own society.

Survivors of Palestinian massacre of Jews address Hanukah event - relocated amidst antisemitic demonstrations in L.A.


On the day after Thanksgiving, Los Angeles' The Grove mall was mobbed by rabid, anti-Zionist protesters calling to "Shut It Down." Chabad relocated its annual menorah lighting ceremony (with concert) to the field in front of the L.A. Holocaust Museum (which ironically has been used by anti-Semitic B.L.M. and anti-Israel IslamoMarxists for rallies which lead to marches, such as the one which shut down the streets surrounding the Farmers Market and The Grove). 

This year's concert included performances by Israeli singer/songwriter Idan Raichel and Zusha Music with rapper Kosha Dillz, as shown in the video playlist. But the casualties and hostages of the Islamist war against Israel changed the tone of the typical commemoration of Hanukah. The organizer, Chabad of The Village, was able to include remarks of a survivor of the Palestinian Massacre at the SuperNova Festival, Daniella Kahane and her husband. You can see them in video #8 on the playlist here. 

The event was held in front of the L.A. Holocaust Museum at Pan-Pacific Park on Monday evening 11 December '23.

Playlist:

  1. Idan Raichel performs for public Hanukah gathering in L.A. Monday 11 Dec.

  2. Idan curses at international officials' discriminating against Jewish hostages in Gaza

  3. Idan performing song for Hanukah / Hostages event (057)

  4. Guitarist's perspective of Idan Raichel's finale

  5. Jews vibe for freeing hostages on the field that Marxists launched anti-Jewish protests on.

  6. Councilwoman Kay Yaroslavsky delivers address to audience.

  7. Actor, Ben Savage ("Boy Meets World," (Girl Meets World") speech.

  8. SuperNova Festival survivor, Daniella Kahane and her husband. Hamas murdered her father and cousins

  9. Chabad rabbi speaks:

  10. Menorah Lighting, brachot recital, and Ma'oz Tsur sung by Shlomo of chassidic, folk-band, Zusha.

  11. Zusha plays with rap-artist Kosha Dillz "This World is a Narrow Bridge" "Whomever Believes is Not Afraid"

  12. Zusha guitarist, Zach Goldschmiedt, interviewed on the playing field of L.A. Holocaust Museum

  13. Zusha's front-man Shlomo Gaisin interviewed on shows of Jewish identity in an antisemitic climate;

  14. Teens celebrate love of Zion - sing "Am Yisrael Chai!"

The annual, Mensch Awards ceremony at Temple of the Arts strives to restore normalcy to Jewish-Americans in turmoil

Shabbat prayers by Rabbi David Baron, Cantors Ilysia Pierce,
and Nathan Lam at Temple of the Arts

Amidst the apprehensiveness cast by Hamas' abductions in Israel during its 6th week, Steven Geiger's Mensch Foundation Awards kept-up its annual Mensch Awards ceremony November 17th at the Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills.

The dinner and ceremony following the erev-Shabbat service at the temple provided a needed lift to a community horrified at the casualties and abductions from the Palestinian invasion of Israel. 

Les Miserables' "Bring Him Home" - sung as an ode to Israeli liberators of Palestinian-abducted Jewish and Christian hostages- performed by members of the Temple of the Arts Choir.

 

The event attendees are (as are most Jews in the diaspora) also stunned by the hostile nature of the Leftist, Muslim, and people-of-Color anti-Israel protests in cities around the globe with Muslim or considerable Jewish populations.

The mostly Muslim & left-wing atheist, Jewish Voice for Peace block Hollywood Blvd to incite public frustration against Israel's mission to free its families abducted by jihadists

The dinner and ceremony following the erev-Shabbat service at the temple also provided a needed lift to Jewish people also stunned by the revelation of (what liberal people expected to be anti-Israel protests in cities around the globe) being in many cases Islamo-Leftist mobs incited to violence by Marxist-propagandized blood libels against Jewish people and places in general!

L.A. Jewish counter-demonstrator Paul Kessler, 69 and
Muslim anti-Israelist, Loay alNaji, 50, accused in his killing

Los Angeles area Jews were especially disconcerted by the death of a local, Israel-rally'er Paul Kessler, 69, at the hand of a Muslim anti-Zionist teacher, Loay al-Naji just 11-days prior. Mr. Kessler, an ardent Democrat, relocated to Los Angeles from Scranton, Pennsylvania, also the home state of former Temple president, James Blatt, being honored at this ceremony.

Mensch Int'l Foundation director Steven Geiger also honored Temple Cantors Ilysia Pierce and Nathan Lam and musical director Sharon Farber.


Video playlist below (advance via arrows on lower-left of raster) includes: 

Mensch Int'l Foundation director Steven Geiger acknowledges ceremony attendee, Shoah survivor Reneé Firestone, 99; Presents award to Temple's female Cantor Ilysia Pierce;

Award presentation to Sharon Farber, Temple's musical director, composer and arranger for Jewish and Israeli community events; Esteemed L.A. Cantor Nathan Lam.

Rabbi David Baron and friend, Richard Stellar, praise and introduce recipient, James Blatt, Esq., longtime Temple Board member and president; 

 
Video playlist below (advance via arrows on lower-left of raster) includes:

Ode to Israeli liberators of Palestinian-held hostages "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables;

Interviews with honorees
about receiving Mensch Awards:
 
Cantor Ilysia Pierce about the satisfaction of performing liturgical, compared to secular, music;
 
Sharon Farber, musical director, on her efforts for the Temple and community; 

James Blatt, Esq, Jewish War Veteran & 10-year president of the Temple on how he has seen its congregation and facility improve.

 
Rabbi David Baron chided Jewish communal agency (and rabbinical) leaders with a responsibility to reduce antisemitism - who diverted from addressing Muslim antisemitism in order to signal their virtue (and perhaps increase business) opposing Islamophobia and pariah-fying dissenting from the Leftist agenda.
 
 

Holocaust survivor Reneé Firestone, 99, on coping with Jew-hatred yesterday, today, and tomorrow 

 

Ceremony luminaries: Former Temple Pres. James Blatt, Rabbi David Baron, Cantor Ilysia Pierce,
Musical Director Sharon Farber, Cantor Nathan Lam, Mensch Fndn chief Steven Geiger.
(Photo courtesy: Orly Halevy)
 

 

Zionistic reporters relate first-hand experiences from the Gaza War front

 

Israel reporting by editors, Alex Traiman
of JNS, and Joel Pollak of Breitbart at RJC
At the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Meeting last weekend, attendees filled a session (without microphones) to hear Alex Traiman, CEO and Jerusalem bureau chief of the Jewish New Syndicate (JNS) and Joel Pollak, 
 senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart Newsdiscuss the immediate action taken by JNS after the attacks on October 7th. Traiman personally conducted about 70 interviews on various media outlets and highlights the importance of reliable and accurate reporting in the midst of a rapidly changing conflict. Traiman was on the phone with the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson and the prime minister's advisor, who confirmed that it was actually a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket that had hit the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, and not the IDF. He emphasizes the need for journalists to be skeptical of narratives and claim to know the truth and to actively seek out firsthand information in order to understand complex events like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
.

 

  • 00:00:00 In this section, Alex Traiman discusses the immediate action taken by JNS after the attacks on October 7th, which saw the bombing of a hospital in Gaza. JNS launched an immediate campaign for mainstream media, with Traiman personally conducting about 70 interviews on various media outlets. The information war, alongside the soldiers on the front lines, was one of the key battlefields in the conflict. On October 17th, 10 days after fighting, rumors began to circulate that the IDF may not have been behind the Hamas-alleged strike on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which they claimed resulted in the death of 500 people. Traiman was on the phone with the IDF spokesperson and the prime minister's advisor, who confirmed that it was actually a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket that had hit the hospital, not the IDF. JNS was the first news organization to report this, and Traiman discusses the importance of reliable and accurate reporting in the midst of a rapidly changing conflict.

  • 00:05:00  Traiman and Pollak address the attacks in Israel and the psychological warfare being waged by Hamas through their control of the narrative, taking of hostages, and misrepresentation of events. They argue that the media plays a major role in spreading false news and undermining public support for Israeli military action. Traiman recounts his own experiences in Israel, where he was taken to witness the devastation caused by the attacks and interviewed volunteers in the affected communities. He emphasizes the impact that these experiences had on him, stating that his colleague's discovery of food in a refrigerator left for the holiday weekend only added to the sense of tragedy and despair he felt about the situation. Pollak also shares his own observations from Israel, including seeing evidence of the attacks and speaking to Israeli government officials. He highlights the importance of journalists being able to access firsthand information in order to accurately report on events, and the impact that false reporting can have on public opinion and decision making. Overall, the two speakers reiterate the need for journalists to be skeptical of narratives and claim to know the truth, and to actively seek out firsthand information in order to understand complex events like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • 00:10:00 Mr. Pollak recounts their experience of witnessing the aftermath of the 2014 Israel/Hamas conflict, specifically on the last day of the Sukkot holiday. The witness reports seeing devastated families with their Sukkot decorations destroyed, and observes a tight connection to the events in Gaza at that time. The next day, Pollak was taken to a military base where he witnessed the process of identifying the dead and the lack of recognition afforded to some bodies. The speaker also recalls seeing raw footage of the Hamas attacks, including a particularly distressing scene of a father and two sons trying to escape from their home before being killed by a terrorist. The witness reports feeling very disturbed and sad about the experience, and notes that it has had a lasting impact on his memory.

  • 00:15:00 Mr. Pollak begins with a discussion of the bravery, resilience, and humanity of ordinary people in Israel during the Palestinian rocketing of Israel proper. He indicates the determination of Israel's population and leaders to obtain the release of the hostages - as well as to eliminate Hamas' ability to wage hostilities against the Israeli citizenry.

    Audience poses questions at Republican Jewish Coalition forum with
    Alex Traiman and Joel Pollak

Five years after Pittsburgh, mass murder has a new meaning

 

Israeli soldiers around the bodybags of Hamas-slain
Jewish people in Southern Israel
By Jonathan S. Tobin
Fueled by support for Hamas terror and hatred for Israel, a surge of antisemitism presents challenges that are not so easily understood as the Tree of Life shooting.

(October 27, 2023 / JNS)  On Oct. 27, 2018, American Jews experienced the worst incident of violence against them in their history. The shooting at the Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 worshippers, most of them elderly, dead as they prayed during Shabbat-morning services. It was every American Jew’s worst nightmare come to life, but it was also a threat they thought they understood and could place in proper perspective.

But five years later, as American Jews are facing a massive surge of antisemitic activity in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 that left more than 1,400 dead, the challenge is one that many in the community are finding it harder to cope with or to comprehend. The threats and acts of intimidation, as well as the open display of hatred towards Jews on the streets of the nation’s largest cities and on the campuses of universities, have not yet led to a crime of the magnitude of the Pittsburgh shooting.

The shock and the sense of betrayal felt by many Jews now are in some ways harder to absorb than the grief felt five years ago. Whereas in 2018, they were reassured by universal support from other ethnicities, faiths and nations, as well as politicians from across the spectrum, right now they are feeling far more isolated and at risk.

As the title of Dara Horn’s collection of essays on antisemitism goes, Everyone Loves Dead Jews. But if there is a lesson to be learned by an increasingly embattled Jewish world, it is that as popular as dead Jews may be, the identity of their killers goes a long way towards determining just how much solidarity Jews should expect after a terrible crime is committed against them.

If the assailant is a right-wing extremist who can be linked—whether or not it is completely unfair—to a politician that liberal Jews and their political allies detest, the attack can generate enormous sympathy and support for Jewish communities. But if the people brutally assaulting Jews claim to be intersectional victims of white privilege and their supporters, then don’t be surprised that those thought to be “allies” suddenly become either silent or join the ranks of those vilifying the Jewish victims and actually supporting the murderers.

As terrible as it was, the Tree of Life massacre was a tragedy that was embraced by the overwhelming majority of Americans. Members of other faiths and their spiritual leaders joined in interfaith services with their Jewish neighbors as the nation—the world even—came together in mourning. There was genuine anxiety about other mad gunmen turning up at Jewish and other institutions—a fear that was justified when another shooting took place exactly six months later at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, Calif.

Blaming Pittsburgh on Trump

The shooters in both cases—lone gunmen motivated by a mixture of extremist right-wing ideas—were exactly the sort of people most members of the Jewish community recognized as their natural enemy. And many Jewish organizations and their leaders knew just what to do about it. They blamed the terrible crime on someone most American Jews already despised: President Donald Trump. He was, after all, the man who had said there were “good people on both sides” at the neo-Nazi “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017. If America no longer felt like a safe place, then many, if not most, Jews were sure it was his coarse rhetorical style and social-media posts, as well as stances on issues like illegal immigration, which had made it so.

For all of Trump’s faults, that was an injustice. He hadn’t actually characterized the Nazis as “good people” or anything like that. And the Pittsburgh shooter’s crazed writings made it clear that he despised Trump as much as the Jews because of the president’s historic support for Israel.

True or not, putting the blame on him and political conservatives was the sort of thing that allowed many Jews—whose politics and historical memory make them inclined to think that all antisemitism comes from the right—to view Pittsburgh as something that made sense rather than the random act of a lunatic.

And it was that sense of solidarity with fellow liberals and minority communities that sent many Jews into the streets in the summer of 2020 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis created a moral panic about American racism. The Black Lives Matter movement and the rest of the intersectional left may have been linked to antisemitism and hatred for Israel. But liberal Jews had no doubt which side of that argument they should be on, and what happened in 2018 played a significant role in that way of thinking.

Sympathizing for the murderers

Five years later, many of the same Jews who were most determined to stay in sync with their minority allies are now realizing that solidarity is a one-way street. In an America where critical race theory teachings declare Jews to be guilty of “white privilege” and Israel to be a white state oppressing Palestinian people of color, the Oct. 7 atrocities could not be viewed in the same way as the Pittsburgh shooting.

What happened along the border with Gaza was the worst mass slaughter since the Holocaust. The toll of more than 1,400 dead men, women and children—with thousands left wounded and more than 200 kidnapped by Hamas terrorists—along with acts of rape, torture and desecration of bodies was a crime of an order of magnitude that made it impossible to compare to the synagogue shooting.

Yet instead of generating an even greater wave of sympathy for Jews than was expressed in 2018, what followed was something that shocked even the most cynical observers. Many of the “allies” that liberal Jews counted on the most were silent. Celebrities, including Jewish ones, had nothing to say about that many dead Jews.

Worse than the silence, however, was the open support that Hamas generated on the political left. Instead of sympathizing with the Jewish victims, Muslims and their leftist supporters cheered the killers. That led to acts of intimidation on the streets and on campuses as Jews were bullied and/or assaulted.

In New York, the spectacle of crowds bellowing hate for Jews in Times Square was hard to ignore. The same was true this week when Jewish students barricaded themselves in the library at Cooper Union College as pro-Hamas demonstrators taunted them. And with the prospect of a mass pro-Hamas rally at the Brooklyn Museum on Oct. 28—not far from the center of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Crown Heights, a neighborhood that has seen a pogrom before—Jews were being warned to stay home and not take Shabbat walks near the expected mob of supporters of Jewish slaughter. Even in the city with the largest Jewish population in the country, they aren’t safe.

This appalling situation doesn’t lessen our sense of mourning for the Pittsburgh victims or our concern about right-wing extremism where it exists. But it does require the Jewish community to rethink the post-Pittsburgh obsession for seeing violent antisemitism as purely a right-wing problem.

No one should be under laboring any illusions about the support for the Palestinians after Oct. 7 being a function of humanitarian sentiments or worries about the plight of those who live in Hamas-ruled Gaza as the war against the terrorists continues. The hatred expressed in the rallies against Israel should make it clear to even those most determined to ignore the problem that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The terrorists want to kill as many Jews as possible and those Americans supporting them aren’t shy about showing us that more dead Jews is exactly what they want.

Instead of being able to ascribe those threatening us to a political bogeyman, American Jews must instead acknowledge that they are the targets of an international antisemitic movement that is supported by supposedly liberal opinion and rooted in the same intersectional politics that created the Black Lives Matter protests.

Dealing with this threat requires more than heightened security measures and indulging prejudices against traditional political foes. It requires American Jewry to accept that they are, like Israelis, locked in a battle with an enemy that cannot be reasoned or compromised with. As sad and as dangerous as the Pittsburgh shooting was, five years later, the threat Jews now face is far more insidious. And they are confronting it without the help of the traditional friends who have abandoned them.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS (Jewish News Syndicate). Follow him: @jonathans_tobin

The real (and awful) reason Israel's "ally" Biden flew to meet Netanyahu, who's trying to avert an Obama checkmate

"As Biden turns against Israel, Netanyahu must stand strong" by Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor of Jewish News Syndicate.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
US Pres. Joe Biden (Getty Images, Reuters via Fox News)

(Oct 16/ JNS Israel)
  On Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan all announced that the United States expects Israel to permit “humanitarian aid” into Gaza. The implications of this position are devastating for Israel. According to reports, there are “hundreds of trucks” lined up on the border in Egypt to enter the Gaza Strip carrying so-called “humanitarian aid.” These trucks, if permitted to enter, will not be inspected in any significant way. There is no reason to believe they are carrying baby formula and foodstuffs that will be delivered to the needy. There is every reason to believe they are carrying war materiel and jihadist fighters who have arrived to augment Hamas.

To the extent that there is food in the trucks, who will it feed? The hostages? The infirm? Who will the medicine be delivered to? The hostages? Will the fuel in the trucks be used in refrigerators to feed the captive Israelis?

Of course not.

Hamas is Gaza. All the “ministries” in Gaza are Hamas. All hospitals are Hamas. Hamas’s military headquarters is located under Shifa Hospital.

So whatever and whoever is in the trucks carrying “humanitarian aid,” all of it will be delivered to Hamas and will be distributed to benefit Hamas.

The idea that it could be otherwise is absurd. And the fact that the Biden administration is arguing this absurdity is an outrage.

Even if the “hundreds of trucks” are completely empty—and they manifestly are not—the trucks themselves are instruments of war. Their presence in Gaza will also advance Hamas’s military effort against Israel. They will augment Hamas’s capacity to kill and wound untold numbers of IDF soldiers now poised at the border waiting for the Netanyahu government to finally order them to enter Gaza.

Biden, Blinken and Sullivan—like their counterparts in Europe and the United Nations—insist that they want to give Hamas the trucks to avert a humanitarian disaster in Gaza. But their position is actually devastating for Gaza’s civilians.

By barring civilians from escaping Gaza to its territory, even for the purpose of transiting to third countries, Egypt is collaborating with Hamas’s war effort. By enabling Egypt to maintain its position, and demanding that Israel allow Hamas to resupply while calling that resupply “humanitarian aid,” the Biden administration is trapping the civilians of Gaza it claims to care about protecting. They will remain under Hamas’s jackboot. They will remain its human shields and cannon fodder.

Similarly, the United States is providing material support for Hamas’s propaganda campaign blaming Israel for the carnage of which Hamas is the sole author—in Israel and Gaza alike.

The United States is also acting in breach of binding international law. As professor Avi Bell of the Bar Ilan University and University of San Diego law schools explained in an interview on “The Caroline Glick Show” on Sunday, while Biden and his aides have insisted repeatedly that they expect Israel to respect the international laws of war in its prosecution of its war effort against Hamas, the administration’s positions in relation to that war are illegal.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 jihadist attacks on the United States, the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1373 under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. Chapter 7 resolutions, unlike others, are binding on all U.N. member nations.

Resolution 1373 stipulates that all U.N. member nations must “Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.”

Any provision of any aid to Gaza, which is completely controlled by Hamas, is of course either “active or passive” assistance to Hamas, and hence illegal.

Resolution 1373 also requires all U.N. member states to “Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.”

Following Blinken’s visit to Israel last Thursday, he traveled to Qatar. Qatar houses Hamas’s top terror masters. They planned their atrocities from Qatar. Iran’s cash and arms are funneled to Hamas through Qatar. Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel is an integral component of Hamas’s terror machine. On Monday morning, the IDF announced that Al Jazeera reporters are transferring information about IDF troop placements and numbers to Hamas both directly and through their broadcasts.

Qatar is Hamas.

Rather than designate Qatar officially as a state sponsor of terrorism, last Friday Blinken embraced Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassin Al Thani as an ally. And that makes sense because from the administration’s perspective, Hamas’s host is a U.S. ally. Shortly after entering office, the Biden administration designated Qatar a major non-NATO ally—the same designation Israel enjoys.

By embracing Qatar as an ally rather than punishing it for its central role at all levels of Hamas’s terror infrastructure, the administration is breaching international law, yet again. It is also betraying Israel.

In his interview with 60 Minutes, Biden said that the United States opposes Israel’s war goal of obliterating Hamas and destroying its capacity to govern in any way in Gaza. Instead, Biden drew an obscene, imaginary distinction between Hamas and “extreme elements in Hamas.”

Biden also endorsed the idea that Israel should knock down Hamas a few notches, but not conquer Gaza. Instead, he intimated that the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority, which supports Hamas and is serving as its foreign ministry at the United Nations and in world capitals, should rule Gaza.

As a superpower, the United States is in a position to side with Israel and Hamas simultaneously. And that is clearly the Biden administration’s current policy. The administration’s goal, apparently, is to block Israel from winning and force it to fight to a draw—in the best-case scenario. This is perfect for Hamas, which would survive, and with its friends in the United States, the United Nations, Iran, Qatar and throughout the Arab and Western world, rebuild itself stronger than ever.

For Israel, it would be a calamity of biblical proportions. Alone in the world, and treated infamously by its ostensible U.S. ally, Israel would emerge from the war with its regional position in tatters. The peace with Egypt and Jordan would likely not long survive. The Abraham Accords would be undone. And the very notion of normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia would be pushed down the memory hole. Iran would stand as the regional superpower, and within months could be expected to test a nuclear weapon. Israel’s future, in short, would be bleak.

Zionistic-Americans vent consternation at Palestinian war-crime atrocities & abductions - at W. Los Angeles protest

Hamas' terror invasion of Israel massacred, abducted, and rocketed civilians (photo: AllSides)

On October 7th, a Palestinian Hamas-led invasion and rocketing of Israel shocked the world. Casualties exceeded 1,200 Israeli and foreign-national people, including 260 attendees of the Supernova Dance-music festival. At least 5,100 other people were wounded around the country. Approximately 240 others were abducted into Gaza as hostages.

The next day, Los Angeles, the city with the largest community of ex-pat Iranian Jews and Israeli-Americans, local activists called an impromptu rally, which drew a large crowd of both Jews and Gentiles to two corners of the Federal Building.

Jewish, Christian, and Israeli-Americans outraged at Islamist Palestinians savaging 100's of innocent Jewish civilian families call for activism against the vilifying of Jewish retaliation against Islamist atrocities.

 

The first speaker we interviewed discusses the aftermath of the prior day's Islamist massacre and how it highlights the importance of the message of "never again." He emphasizes that the Islamic-backed groups that carried out the attack in Israel are no different from the Nazis and that they are being funded and trained by Iran and its proxies. He also talks about how the release of $6 billion to Iran, how it can be utilized for terror purposes, and used against innocent people in such cases. 

He asserts that the responsibility for the bloodshed in Israel on the day after the attack falls on the government, and that the message being sent to the Muslim world is that people are not condemning the attack enough.

This Iranian-Israeli man expresses concern about the recent anti-Semitic demonstrations in Los Angeles and argues that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the Jewish community and give out harsher sentences to those guilty of such crimes.
A local judges' jail-avoiding sentence for a group of Muslim thugs who beat up Jews at a cafe 2-years ago is empowering those that seek the destruction of the Jewish community, he feels.

Zionistic protesters of atrocity-committing Palestinians on Jewish babies rebuff Islamist-antagonist

 

Muslim foreign student to UCLA lashes out at Jewish-Amers protesting Palestinians' massacring of civilian, Jewish Israelis. Jewish builder rebuffs Muslim antagonizing protest of Jihadists torturing US& Israeli civilian hostages,