Title: With Might And Strength: An Autobiography – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Maggid Books

Title: With Might And Strength: An Autobiography Author: Rabbi Shlomo Goren Publisher: Maggid Books

For Americans under 50, mentioning the name Rabbi Shlomo Goren will often engender the response whos that? Sadly, the first Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces and then the 3rd Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi is somewhat of an unknown here.

In With Might and Strength: An Autobiography, Rabbi Goren tells his story, and an absolutely spellbinding one at that. In the book, one gets a glimpse into the mind of one of the most influential Israeli rabbis. Written in somewhat of a raw, clipped style, Goren holds no punches for those whom he admired, and those whom he scorned.

Goren led a fascinating life. Born in Poland into a family with Hasidic roots, they them moved to Kfar Hasidim in his youth. He entered the prestigious Hebron yeshiva and published his first scholarly work at 17. While in his early 30s, he becomes the first military Chief Rabbi.

The book achieves what a good autobiography is meant to, in that one comes out with a good understanding the character. Goren takes us through his many challenges, trials and tribulations, including those of his family during the extremely difficult years when they first arrived to Israel. Goren writes in a very open, raw style, and is not hesitant to criticize those who he felt were in the wrong.

He was a witness to a great deal of history which he shares here; from the founding of the State, various wars, struggles in developing the military rabbinate, and more. The book ends with two brief chapters about the Langer affair and the Yom Kippur War. Each subject alone could fill an entire book.

Goren writes extensively that during the wars, he recovered the bodies (and often only bones) of soldiers who died in battle and never received proper burial.

He writes of his struggles in how to create a code of Jewish Law for a modern army, that would simultaneously meet the needs of a modern army, while not compromising on Jewish tradition.

Goren heaps significant high praise on David Ben-Gurion (who was the one who suggested he change his surname from Goronchik). While never sharing any of Gorens appreciation for religious life, Ben-Gurion fully supported Goren in most of his endeavors as military rabbi. Goren writes that Ben-Gurion understood the importance of kashrut and Shabbos observance for the army.

Being both a Chief Rabbi and Brigadier-General is a feat achieved but once and likely never to occur again. Goren was a fascinating personality and the book is an equally captivating read.

Complex and controversial are terms often associated with Goren. While true, he was also a fascinating and multifaceted individual, whose dedication to Torah and Israel was exceptional.

This is a unique book written by an insider to some of the most historical events in Israeli history, both from a political and religious perspective. It a hard book to put down, and most definitely worth a read.

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Title: With Might And Strength: An Autobiography – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Police demand filmed materials of Israel Big Brother contestant – The Times of Israel

The production offices of Israels Big Brother reality TV show were visited on Friday by police, who demanded that producers hand over filmed material featuring current season contestant Andel Kabeda, Haaretz reported.

Police reportedly had a warrant for the materials, and told producers it had been issued in light of a complaint filed against Kabeda, though they would not give any more details. Producers refused to hand in the materials and said they would appeal the warrant on Sunday.

Kabeda, who is of Ethiopian descent, has railed against police treatment of his community, and in one recent exchange called policemen Nazis.

The controversial contestant has also been accused of sexual harassment of another contestant, Maayan Ashkenazi. Kabeda has frequently attempted to touch Ashkenazi in seemingly inappropriate ways and has often spoken to her in an offensive manner, suggesting she undress and that they engage in an orgy together, as well as expressing his desire to drink from your lips. Ashkenazis father recently said production staff had cautioned Kabeda about his behavior.

It was unclear whether Fridays police visit was tied to one of these matters.

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Police demand filmed materials of Israel Big Brother contestant – The Times of Israel

Features | Jewish identity in a pickle – The McGill Daily (blog)

Affirming non- and anti-Zionist Jewish people at McGill

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) McGill is a group of anti- and non-Zionist Jewish students on McGill campus.

In speaking about the origins of Zionism and contemporary anti-Semitism in this article, we have chosen to focus on the experiences and theories of European Jewry. We acknowledge the diversity of experiences, whether those are of violence or of thriving communal life, specifically in the contrasting experiences of Sephardic, Mizrachi, and other Jewish peoples. We also acknowledge the forms of violence and dispossession Zionism has imposed on these communities, like Operation Magic Carpet in Yemen, and general erasure from dominant conceptions and narratives of Judaism. For the purpose of discussing mainstream Zionism that evolved from European thinkers, as it is applied in Israel by its government, and how it manifests in North America, we are choosing to focus on Ashkenazi experiences and European political Zionism. However, we hope to acknowledge the failure of mainstream dialogue within and beyond the Jewish community to engage with non-Ashkenazi identities and histories. We hope to include these perspectives as we move forward with IJV McGills work.

A recent tweet by a student politician, which read punch a zionist today, has inflamed discussion over anti-Zionism, violence, and anti-Semitism at McGill. For many of us, this has been a difficult and turbulent time to be both a Jewish student, and an anti/non-Zionist student on campus. We would like to begin this article with the recognition that the tweet may incite violence against visibly Jewish people and Jewish communities in Montreal and beyond. We hear and support calls for the necessity of emotional, physical, and mental safety from anti-Semitic violence.

The conflation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism within and beyond the McGill community denies us, as young Jewish folks, the diversity of our Diasporic Jewish identities. We denounce anti-Semitism, and recognize the lived realities of the concerns expressed by the Jewish community. However, this conflation fails to recognize anti-Semitism an attack on members of the Jewish faith and peoplehood as separate from criticism of the actions of the Israeli state, in particular its illegal occupation of Palestinian land. The ongoing oppression of other peoples is not a project with the right to invoke Jewish peoplehood or Diasporic Jewish claims in our names. In integrating Israel into the fabrics of our communities, the plurality of political convictions held by Jewish peoples are erased, silencing anti-Zionist voices.

The ongoing oppression of other peoples is not a project with the right to invoke Jewish peoplehood or Diasporic Jewish claims in our names.

It is vital to state that anti-Semitism was and continues to be a violent threat to Jewish people and communities worldwide and leftist anti-oppressive spaces are certainly not free from such anti-Semitism. However, it is also vital to note: modern day systemic oppression cannot be justified by historic discrimination experienced by others. In coming from histories of oppression, we are tied to social justice struggles; as Rabbi Jill Jacobs explains, the obligation to show ourselves as having experienced discrimination [] means continuously working to alleviate the suffering of others. We are a collective of young Jewish folk identifying as non- or anti-Zionists, who share principles that are grounded not only in political conviction, but also in ethical imperatives of our shared Judaism. In that sense, we define non/anti-Zionism as a spectrum of political, moral, and religious views that encompass an opposition to the Zionist project, whether it be through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli state, actively fighting the notion that Israel is the Jewish homeland, or criticizing Israel for its injustices. While we each identify as non- or anti-Zionist Jews, we acknowledge that this article does not speak for all non- or anti-Zionist Jewish people.

In this piece, we aim to critically assess the Zionist theory from which todays North American Zionist communities and actions are grounded, and from which the principles embodied by the government of Israel originate. But beyond just discussing ideology, we aim to share our personal stories of how the conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has harmed us.

The obligation to show ourselves as having experienced discrimination [] means continuously working to alleviate the suffering of others.

Students identifying as Zionists have institutional resources and familial support systems at their disposal. As folk that face alienation from our greater Jewish communities and even our families for our solidarity activism, we are systematically and routinely denied these supports. We have expended tremendous emotional labour to publish our views and experiences, and ask that our Jewish identities be respected.

The Jewish State, a pamphlet published by the Jewish reporter Theodor Herzl in 1896, aimed to galvanize Jewish people to adopt a national identity and engage with the Zionist project. The text was written in the greater context of widespread anti-Semitism throughout Europe, and in the specific context of the anti-Semitic persecution of a French military captain in what is known as The Dreyfus Affair. The contemporary manifestation of anti-Semitism that Herzl responded to was new and radical; it departed from medieval myths of wicked Jewish crimes against Christian Europe, such as the alleged Jewish ritualistic murder of children, or the Blood Libels, and conspiracies against governments. As rising ethnocentric nationalism, the emergence of eugenics, and continentalism were embedded into European culture through academic acceptance and institutional normalization, so too were they embedded into anti-Semitism; the Jewish people became a singular, and more importantly, inferior ethnic group, irreconcilable with European ethnic and societal standards. Anti-Semitism pervaded all communities, from rural peasantry to the highest ranks of European intelligentsia. Violent persecution and nonviolent discrimination were widespread, and many Jewish people were denied their rights to bodily safety, economic security through employment and property, and freedom of movement. It is within this context that Herzl began his work on the Zionist project.

The Jewish people became a singular, and more importantly, inferior ethnic group, irreconcilable with European ethnic and societal standards.

At the time of its conception, Zionism and the intent to leave Europe and form a Jewish state was not a widely accepted political ideology amongst European Jewish communities. Parallel to many other settler-colonialist projects, Zionism was spearheaded by the elite in this case, the upper-class Jewish intelligentsia of Central and Western Europe. Poor, mainly Eastern European Jewish communities were largely excluded from the Zionist intellectual project, but were instead expected to perform the labour of settling the land wherever or whenever that was to be.

Diasporic Jewry were proud of their status in the European secular world whether that pride was grounded in their insular and rabbinical religious communities, their assimilation into the European intelligentsia, or their radical political work. Many of these Jewish folk did not hold an intrinsic yearning to return to Israel, as Zionists often assert. It is important to note that many disenfranchised and oppressed Eastern European Jewish folk tended to favour workers organisations like the Bund and advocated for Yiddish Socialism, a Jewish workers movement, rather than Zionism.

Poor, mainly Eastern European Jewish communities were largely excluded from the Zionist intellectual project, but were instead expected to perform the labour of settling the land wherever or whenever that was to be.

Many contemporary Jewish people have noticed, as we do, that much Zionist theory harnesses the same nationalistic, ethnocentric rhetoric utilized by the anti-Semitic European powers at the time such as the portrayal of Jewish peoples as genetically of one ethnicity or race. These similarities expanded through the political discourse of the early- and mid-1900s. However, as European powers became more threatening and violent leading into World War II, many Jews took comfort in the adoption of Jewish unity as a means for Jewish strength. However, through this process, Jewish oneness, a foundational and ancient element of Jewish religious thought: , became conflated with nationalism and Zionism. Echoing early political Zionists like Herzl, contemporary groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Israeli government use this notion of a singular Jewish people to reinforce the myth of unanimous and unwavering Jewish support for the state. This narrative of oneness, rooted in the unification efforts of early Zionism, is a harmful tool of the Zionist project imposed to erase Jewish ethnic and lived diversity.

Contemporary Zionists draw upon the constructed concept of Jewish unity to suggest that all Jewish peoples are treated with equity within the state of Israel. However, from the initial entrance of these peoples into the land, they have been subjugated and segregated. For example, Mizrahi Jewish children were subject to unhealthy levels of radiation at the hands of Ashkenazi officials. Although the Israeli government long denied it, they recently admitted to forcefully sterilizing Ethiopian Jewish immigrant women upon entering the country, and the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel experiences rates of police brutality six times higher than their communities proportion to the population in the country. From its establishment, oppression has been evident in the social fabric of Israel: day-to-day discrimination and threats of violence are a prominent component of the narratives of non-Ashkenazi Jewry who immigrate to or live in Israel.

Although the Israeli government long denied it, they recently admitted to forcefully sterilizing Ethiopian Jewish immigrant women upon entering the country.

Similarly, the Zionist project responds to the Palestinian issue in a variety of ways: through the delegitimization of Palestinian people, nationhood, and citizenship, the depiction of the Palestinian people as primitive and a violent threat to the Jewish state, and the construction of a paternalistic fallacy that the State of Israel would better serve the Palestinians than the Palestinians themselves. In reality, Israeli Jewish citizens are placed in a position of institutional power and hold privilege over Palestinians; this imbalance of power manifests in a multitude of ways which systematically oppress Palestinians. Israel continues to hold Palestinian youths under administrative detention and deny youths access to education, Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes, and the Israeli government censors, arrests, and abuses Palestinian journalists and activists.

As Jewish folks with relative privilege in Israeli society, we cannot pretend to comprehend the experiences of Palestinians in occupied lands and do not wish to speak over their narratives. However, there is a discriminatory nature of Israel which we can speak to: particularly focusing on its privileging of white Ashkenazi (European) Jews and creating a class-structured society in which Soviet Jews, Sephardic Jews, Mizrachi Jews, North-African Jews, and African Jews are oppressed, marginalized and exploited. The Zionist project largely ignores the inequities of varying ethnic groups of Jewish folk in Israeli society and presents Israel as the protector of all Jews. The patriarchal saviour narrative of Israel as a safe haven for the Jewish people inspires steady Jewish Diasporic support for Zionism.

In order to further concretize Diasporic and domestic Jewish support of Zionism, the Zionist project infuses their political agenda into the architecture of Jewish religious life. However, political Zionism can be further distinguished from Judaism through some religious justifications for a Jewish Diaspora or Exile, known in the Torah as Geulah. We would like to preface these religious claims with an acknowledgement that the following is not the only true religious interpretation, but also that these views are far from fringe. Following the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, some Rabbis re-interpreted G-ds promise of the land of Israel and Judea to Abraham as a pact, and concluded that only the Messiah can rule a Jewish nation. Under this interpretation, until the Messiah is sent, humans cannot create or self-govern a Jewish state.

The patriarchal saviour narrative of Israel as a safe haven for the Jewish people inspires steady Jewish Diasporic support for Zionism.

Zionism has invaded religious practice, where those forms of prayer and practice that are centered around Israel are deemed superior. In contrast, non-Ashkenazi modes of prayer and practice are deemed impure. Zionism has, through time, modified all practices regardless of geographic or ethnic affiliation, damaging and erasing significant elements of them. Diasporic Jewish spaces and practices should not be invalidated by the Zionist project, nor should acceptance into these spaces be conditional on support of Zionist ideology.

Zionism is woven into the fabric of Jewish life and tradition, permeating familial, religious, secular, institutional, and emotional aspects of Jewish existence. Jewish day schools are the birthplace of many young Jewish folks strong Jewish identities; they are a place for teaching prayer, spreading culture, and providing a foundation for Jewish children to carry on the Jewish tradition. Unfortunately, these academic institutions use their position to perpetuate the Zionist agenda and encourage impressionable students to subscribe to Zionism. Like many other mainstream institutions, most Jewish day schools tend to erase the differences between a Zionist identity and a Jewish identity. Furthermore, Zionist conditioning occurs in the home, where Jewish families will preach their support and love for Israel as a distant homeland.

Hanna*, who grew up in a Russian Jewish family in the U.S., recounts her story of the pickle jar:

It was the second night of Passover: I had just sung the four questions, our plates were dotted with red wine, our bellies audibly growling. As the Seder came to a close, my mother left to carry steaming bowls of matzo ball soup in from the kitchen. She also brought a large pickle jar to the table. As my relatives began to slurp, the pickle jar was passed around, and it came to me. My eyes fell to its label: Made in Israel. My mother and I made eye contact as I passed the jar to my brother. Shocked, she said in her heavy Russian accent, Youre not eating pickles? I was ashamed, and angered. I thought to myself, there are so many varieties on the shelf, mama why choose Israeli imported pickles? How was I to explain my logic of abstaining, or my involvement in the boycott of Israeli products at the dinner table, in front of my grandparents? And who was I? A privileged girl, born to immigrant parents, who could choose what to eat, and choose to politically disengage from certain brined foods. Had I taken it too far? I myself, was in a pickle. The post-dinner kitchen clean up was icy, and my pickle-refusal has come up again, many times, as proof of me turning my back on our past. Yet again, Jewish culture was being placed inside an Israeli pickle jar.

Hadar*, a member of IJV McGill and a Jewish day school graduate, explains that her experience with Zionist indoctrination started in kindergarten:

With a Zionist Israeli father and a Zionist Canadian mother, I was enrolled in a Zionist institution by the ripe age of three. As a young girl, I recall looking up to Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers with pride and hoping to join them one day in defence of my country. Throughout elementary school, we performed plays about the state of Israel, wrote short stories about summers in Tel Aviv, and sang songs expressing our emotional connection to Zion. I distinctly recall an experience that I had in grade four: our Hebrew instructors decided to take a break from studying dik-duk, or grammar, to screen a film. We saw Kershners 1977 Raid on Entebbe; a film depicting the historical hijacking of an Air France aircraft by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. As an impressionable Jewish child, this film and our discussion of it thoroughly frightened me and taught me to fear Muslim-appearing peoples and erased the necessary context of Palestinian resistance to conditions of oppression. I have since worked to unlearn this early Islamophobia, but so much of my elementary schooling and domestic environment conditioned me to view Muslim Arabs as inherently bad and Israeli Zionists as ultimately heroic.

I recall looking up to Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers with pride and hoping to join them one day in defence of my country.’

Continuing on with my Zionist activism, I joined my day schools own AIPAC club, assumed a leadership role in it, and travelled to Washington D.C. to lobby for the pro-Israel super-PAC. I didnt buy into it unequivocally I questioned the Islamophobic speakers and presentations and was wary of evangelical Christians that preached their support for AIPAC but I felt proud, empowered, and part of a larger purpose. I admired the Columbia and Barnard students that led a workshop on combating anti-Zionism in which they implied that this work also combated anti-Semitism on college campuses. I struggled with my connection to Judaism in a religious sense, but I thought that I had finally found my place in the Jewish community; my Zionism was my Judaism.

In Beit Knesset (temple), school, summer camp, and extra-curriculars, I was conditioned to unequivocally support Israel. After reading about the atrocities of Operation Protective Edge, when over 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli airstrikes, I completely abandoned my Zionism by the start of grade 11. I knew that my morals and my values hadnt a shred in common with those of the Zionists, who could avert their eyes from or even justify the massacre. Through interaction with anti-oppressive Jewish communities that acted as alternatives to my Jewish school community, I realised my Judaism once more and reclaimed my Zionist-free identity. However, my immediate community was still Zionist. I sat through my mandatory Israel-Advocacy course as a senior in high school as a mishloach, or representative, from Israel came to inspire us to further support Israel. He asked: Is Israel a racist country? Expecting an overwhelming NO, I raised my hand and curtly answered, yes. My fellow students looked at me in awe, processed my answer, and raised their hands to agree with me. I turned to our mishloach; Id never seen a more shocked look on someones face.

He asked: Is Israel a racist country? Expecting an overwhelming NO, I raised my hand and curtly answered, yes.’

To this day, my views would be met with the same shocked look coupled with an accusation of being a self-hating Jew at any given Zionist institution. I beg these Zionist organisations to validate and acknowledge that yes, anti-Zionist Jews exist and we are proud of it. I hope for non-Zionist spaces in which Jews can practise. I hope for Jewish schools that do not condition their students to support Israel. However, spaces on college campuses like Independent Jewish Voices are a step in the right direction for the creation of Jewish communities free of Zionist ideology.

Reba*, an IJV McGill member, recounts her journey towards separating Zionism from her Jewish identity:

In pursuing an active Jewish identity in the Diaspora, I am repeatedly confronted by a frustrating message that Jewish fulfillment is only possible in Israel. It was only recently, in the past couple of years, that I felt able to call myself religious even though I have no intentions of associating my Jewish identity with Zionism. My whole life, I learned that I should feel the most Jewish and the most at home when in Israel, despite its distance and difference from anywhere Ive lived long-term. I grew up being taught that the true uniting force of Jews all around the world was a shared ground, a sovereign land. I now find this argument, that is extremely normalized in Jewish communities, offensive and invalidating to the work I do in the Jewish community in the Diaspora. When I spent nine months living in Israel at the age of 18, I was still confused about how Judaism could mean so many different things to different people, yet by living within certain borders, we were fulfilling the most important Jewish demand. It angers me that Zionist rhetoric conflates a religious, spiritual identity with nationalism. As I have personally stopped holding nationalist ideology and supporting borders, Zionism sits in contradiction with more and more of my personal values.

Ive always connected to Jewish texts, holidays, and practices, and felt satisfied as an active member of Jewish communities in Montreal and Vancouver. However, the conflation of Judaism with Zionism gives rise to a disappointing erasure of Jewish practice and culture that occurs in the Diaspora independently from Israel. Consequently, claims of anti-Semitism in the face of anti-Zionist efforts have struck me as reductive and misguided. In response to criticisms of Israel, Jewish communities will tend to defend the rights and safety of Jews. If we are trying to defend the rights and safety of Jews, why is there not a more inclusive, diverse Jewish community on campus? Why dont we recognize the role of Yiddish and Arabic in Jewish history? Why dont we promote celebrations of Jewish holidays outside of Ashkenazi, European practices?

If we are trying to defend the rights and safety of Jews, why is there not a more inclusive, diverse Jewish community on campus? Why dont we promote celebrations of Jewish holidays outside of Ashkenazi, European practices?

Furthermore, conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism allows for an acceptance and ignorance of Israels violations of human rights. Rising to protect the rights and safety of Jews in response to anti-Zionism ignores Israels settler-colonialist oppression and violence. These kinds of responses have often left me wondering what Israel Zionist groups even support, since the country they choose to defend is an idealized, peaceful land of milk and honey so very far from the brutal reality on the ground. Zionist structures will often pick and choose what parts of Israel they portray and validate; on Birthright trips, for example, Israeli tourism is glorified and violence is hidden. Continuing to live with such a narrow understanding of Israel will only continue the oppression of Palestinian people. Jews must be honest with themselves about Israel, for its violations of human rights does warrant a global response that is not inherently anti-Semitic.

Recently, the Algemeiner, a Jewish and Zionist paper, named McGill as one of the worst universities for Jewish students in North America. The article argues that the McGill student body largely supports BDS, and is therefore anti-Semitic and hostile toward Jews. Due to its refusal to publish Zionist articles, The McGill Daily has been accused of anti-Semitism by the Algemeiner, as well as in articles by Bnai Brith Canada, McGill Hillel, Honest Reporting, and other Zionist organisations. This criticism is rooted in the above conflation, as Zionist is assumed as Jewish, and thus criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism. This continues to silence non/anti-Zionist Jewish voices many of which have appeared in the pages of The Daily. By clarifying the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, we would like to show that such accusations of anti-Semitism against The Daily are baseless, and that refusing to publish Zionist opinions is compatible with an anti-oppressive mandate.

This criticism is rooted in the above conflation, as Zionist is assumed as Jewish, and thus criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism.

Dominant narratives that conflate Zionism with Judaism result in the marginalization and negation of these non or anti-Zionist Jewish voices. At McGill, Jewish community groups either take an assumed Zionist stance or are apolitical which means upholding the status quo of conflating Zionist and Jewish identities. Apart from Independent Jewish Voices McGill, there is no other non/anti-Zionist Jewish group on campus organising around and speaking openly against Zionist abuses of power. Furthermore, there is not a single other Jewish institution on campus which has committed to a radical anti-oppressive mandate. Radical Jewish folks are left without the familial, communal, material, financial, and institutional support or resources with which to create radical Jewish spaces. Even when recognized, the non/anti-Zionist Jew identity continues to be a taboo on campus, which IJV McGill seeks to deconstruct and combat. The emergence of IJV McGill and non/anti-Zionist spaces for Jews echoes a growing transnational Jewish resistance movement, which includes organisations like Jewish Voice for Peace in the U.S. or Jewdas in the UK.

Independent Jewish Voices McGill is here to affirm that we will not be silenced. Opposing Zionism, an oppressive and violent execution of colonisation, is not an act of anti-Semitism. Furthermore, we aim to challenge the unquestioned harm inflicted on Jewish folks and communities by the Zionist project. We are proud Jewish folks who stand in solidarity with Palestine, the Daily, and criticisms of Israel and Zionism.

*names have been changed.

To contact the McGill Students Chapter of Independent Jewish Voices, email ijvmcgill@gmail.com.

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Features | Jewish identity in a pickle – The McGill Daily (blog)

Police Demand Footage of ‘Big Brother’ Contestant Who Called Officers ‘Nazis’ – Haaretz

Home > Israel News > Israeli Culture > Television

The show’s production company refused to comply with the warrant and said it would appeal the warrant on Sunday.

Police officers arrived at the set of the Israeli version of “Big Brother” Friday morning and presented the show producers with warrant to hand over all footage in which the contestant Andel Kabada is present. The production company refused to comply and said it would appeal the warrant on Sunday. The police said that the warrant was issued following a complaint that was filed against Kabada, but refused to say what the complaint was concerning or who filed it.

Several weeks ago members of the organization of wives of police officers and prison guards demanded that he be thrown off the show because he called police officers “Nazis.” The Production company and Channel 2 refused.

Kabada once again got in trouble this week, after views said that a sexually charged statement he made toward another contestant Maayan Ashkenazi, constituted sexual harassment. Ashkenazi’s father said that the production company told him they warned Kabada not to repeat this behavior.

Throughout the show’s season, Kabada has been harshly criticizing the police for its alleged mistreatment of Ethiopian-Israelis. Kabada, who is Ethiopian-Israeli, talked about his experiences being beaten by officers for no reason. He claimed that in most cases where Ethiopian-Israelis are charged with assaulting a police officer it is really they who are the victims of assault.

The production company declined to comment.

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Police Demand Footage of ‘Big Brother’ Contestant Who Called Officers ‘Nazis’ – Haaretz

What It’s Like to Be Both Mexican and Jewish – POPSUGAR

Although you may think that all Latinos are Catholic, this is incorrect. I was born in Mexico City, and, like my parents, I was raised Jewish.

My life in Mexico was pretty simple; I lived in a Jewish bubble. I went to a Jewish day school, had only Jewish friends, and lived in a primarily Jewish neighborhood. While I was aware that I was a minority, it never really affected me. I loved participating in traditionally Mexican events. One of my favorite memories of Mexico is when my mom took me to the cemetery to join the Da de los Muertos festivities. I was amazed at all the unique and beautiful colors, food, and photos that decorated the graves.

I never felt ashamed of being Jewish and only later realized that some Mexicans didn’t consider me a “real Mexican.” One day, a local vendor walking around Mexico City’s Centro Histrico called me a gera (blonde). He was basically calling me a gringa due to my pale skin. It caught me by surprise and probably hurt me more than I could even understand at that time.

My life changed when I moved to Miami when I was 8 years old. I no longer went to a Jewish school, most of my friends weren’t Jewish, and the people I met were from all over Latin America. My Latino-Jewish friends understood my background and upbringing perfectly, and most of them were raised with similar experiences. Just like me, they had grown up in Jewish neighborhoods in places like Colombia or Venezuela and moved to Miami seeking a better and safer life. I also had a lot in common with my non-Jewish Latin friends. We bonded over food and culture, as well as our nagging Latino parents.

My first real culture shock occurred when an American-Jewish girl asked me if it was my dad who was Mexican and my mom Jewish, or the other way around. She couldn’t fathom both my parents being Jewish and Mexican. Since then, I’ve probably gotten asked a variation of this question a million times. Even other Jewish people have a hard time understanding my background. People ask me, “If you’re a Mexican Jew, then that has to mean you’re Sephardic, right?” or “You can’t be Ashkenazi, you’re from Mexico” or even, “How are you white AND Mexican?”

Judaism includes several ethnic divisions, but Sephardic and Ashkenazi are two of the most common. A Sephardic Jew is someone whose family originates from places like Spain, Turkey, Portugal, and Greece; an Ashkenazi Jew’s family originates from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. A lot of people assume that because I’m from a Spanish-speaking country, my ancestors must have come from Spain, but I have no connection to Spain whatsoever. Three out of my four grandparents migrated from Russia, Lithuania, and Poland to Mexico after the Holocaust, making me three-fourths Ashkenazi. I’m also a fourth Sephardic because my paternal grandfather migrated from Turkey to Mexico in the 1900s.

My Mexican-Jewish traditions didn’t seem that unique to me until I moved to Boston for college. It was then that I realized I couldn’t relate to many American-Jewish traditions. Many of my new American-Jewish friends had gone to Jewish schools, attended a Jewish sleepaway camp every Summer, and joined Jewish youth groups during the school year. I had never stepped foot in a sleepaway camp, and the last Jewish school I had attended was in Mexico.

However, it was the different song and prayer tunes they used in synagogue that really opened my eyes. Songs that I had learned in Mexico and Miami were completely different in Boston. I ultimately realized that these are differences that every foreigner deals with. College introduced me to people from different parts of the world, of different cultures and religions. Although some Latinos viewed me as a faux-Latina due to my religion, others saw beyond that and saw me as one of them.

If there is one thing that being a Mexican Jew has taught me, it is the importance of both my family and my heritage. I may not know what’s ahead for me, but I do know this: my kids will be raised in a Spanish-speaking home with chilaquiles for breakfast, baklava for dessert, and Shabbat dinners every Friday night.

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What It’s Like to Be Both Mexican and Jewish – POPSUGAR

One MK yells at another: ‘Racist, get out of here.’ – Arutz Sheva

During the course of a Knesset session discussing the proposed law to revoke funding for educational institutions that are proven to reject students on ethnic bases, referring to haredi Ashkenazi schools that allegedly do not accept Sephardi girls, MK Meir Cohen(Yesh Atid) caused a commotion when he shouted at MK Moshe Gafni: “Shame on you, racist.. Get out! Sometimes racists need to keep a low profile. Shame on you, racist that you are. It’s time it was explained to racists like you that your place is not in the Knesset. I am Moroccan and you don’t accept girls from my family, racist that you are.” Gafni responded by calling him a “hypocrite.”

The law was submitted by the Yesh Atid party who claimed that haredi schools discriminate against Sephardic girls and do not automatically accept them to their schools based on academic ability.

Deputy Minister of Education Meir Porush said during the course of the discussion that “in the brief period that Yesh Atid served in the government, you didn’t discuss the question of ethnic motives because you removed summer camp budgets from all schools which are recognized by the ministry although they are not state schools – without checking whether there were Ashkenazim or Sephardim in them. Why? Because they are haredi.”

“You didn’t just cancel the summer camp budgets, you also revoked special incentive hours and augmenting hours from haredi schools. You revoked the haredi special children’s allocations simply because they are haredi. Why do I mention this? This is the ideology of Yesh Atid, this is their agenda. Maybe you should propose a law which funds schools in accordance with the level of violence or alcoholic beverages in them?”

Shas attempted to evade voting on the proposal and did not participate in the discussion. Before the vote however a number of Shas members entered the plenum and voted unwillingly against the proposal.

After the vote Shas presented a united front with UTJ and said that “the proposal submitted today to the Knesset was brought by the same party which invented ethnic discrimination, which cut the most vital funds without compunction and without distinguishing between Sephardim and Ashkenazim. This proposal is meant to embarrass the government, but the government will continue to exist and Shas will continue to fight discrimination in educational institutions.”

The proposal was rejected by a majority of 43 to 38.

Behind the scenes there was considerable drama when Shas refused to vote against the law and it was feared that the Yesh Atid proposal would pass but at the last minute UTJ managed to drag some members of Shas into the plenum to vote against the proposal.

After the vote Gafni rose to speak and shouted at the Yesh Atid MKs: “You are the racists! You try to make political capital via the Sephardic girls. You are liars, cheats, impudent. My granddaughters learn in a school with 65% Sephardic girls and I’m proud of this. You wouldn’t even give these girls summer schools! you are hypocrites.”

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One MK yells at another: ‘Racist, get out of here.’ – Arutz Sheva

Give me your tired, your poor – The Simmons Voice

By Mackenzie Farkus

Staff writer

In 1881, thousands of Ashkenazi Jewish refugees emigrated from Russia to New York to escape anti-Semitic violence that took place as part of the Russian pogroms.

Source: Business Insider

Emma Lazarus, a Sephardic-Ashkenazi Jewish woman and poet, saw the plight of these refugees and advocated on their behalf. She later helped form the Hebrew Technical Institute of New York to provide vocational training to Jewish refugees.

Inspired by the influx of refugees arriving in New York, Lazarus wrote the sonnet The New Colossus, which is now inscribed on a bronze plaque on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Although the sonnet itself was written in 1883, a few of the lines of The New Colossus in particular are relevant today:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me

President Donald J. Trump and the U.S. cannot ignore the work of Lazarus and the words of The New Colossus. The U.S. should remain a country open to immigrants and refugees alike and cast away the ban on travel from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan.

Many peopleincluding President Trump and his administrationare justifying this ban by claiming that former President Barack Obama instated a similar six-month ban on the visas of Iraq refugees in 2011.

This, however, is not true. According to the magazine Foreign Policy, President Obamas policy was not a ban; it was adding more steps to the vetting process for refugees from Iraq, thus slowing down the admission of refugees and adding more rigor to the vetting process itself.

According to The Washington Post, the vetting process imposed by President Obama is viewed by many intelligence officials to still be secure and sufficient today.

Despite this, President Trump is refusing to accept immigrants and refusing to take refugees out of harms way.

He is disrupting the education of students and academics, the lives of families separated in airport facilities, and the work of doctors, lawyers, researchers, and others in the U.S. through this policy.

To deny refugees and immigrants from these seven countries life in the U.S. is to deny the work of Lazarus and the message behind The New Colossus and the Statue of Liberty itself.

President Trump must reverse his policy so that the U.S. can continue to be a refuge for those in need.

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President Rivlin Backs Full Israeli Sovereignty Over West Bank Settlements – Breitbart News

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Speaking at the rightwing BSheva Jerusalem Conference, the president affirmed his belief that Zion is entirely ours, and the sovereignty of the State of Israel must be in all the blocs.

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It must be clear: If we extend sovereignty, the law must apply equally to all, he said. Applying sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there.

There are no separate laws for Israelis and for non-Israelis, Rivlin added.

A day earlier, the president said that annexation without granting full rights to Palestinians would make Israel look like an apartheid state.

Nevertheless, while the president criticized the recently approved so-called Regulation Law which recognizes thousands of Jewish homes in the West Bank he emphasized the importance of Israeli sovereignty, and even presented documents showing his own purchase of land four decades ago from a Palestinian in a West Bank neighborhood near Jerusalem.

This Ashkenazi is registered in Ramallah, Rivlin quipped.

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin also addressed the conference, and stressed the importance of accelerating construction in the settlements under the Trump administration after two moratoriums under former president Barack Obama.

Its obvious that there is much more understanding by the new American administration regarding the issue of an undivided Jerusalem, and the need to build in the capital, he said. The Jewish majority is only a little over 60%, so we need to build at least 4,000 flats every year to accommodate the Jewish population.

Elkin noted that he was confident President Donald Trump understood the need to build in the capital beyond the Green Line.

One of the big challenges now is that if we want to keep Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State, we need to build 6,000 flats every year to make up for the last eight years, he said. Its a strategic issue for us, and I hope the new administration will understand that the future of Jerusalem depends on our possibilities to build, and build a lot.

Elkin also highlighted his concerns over the current curriculum in Palestinian schools in Jerusalem, saying it was full of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content which only served to deepen hostilities between the capitals Arab and Jewish communities.

The content of the education system in east Jerusalem is established by Ramallah, and it is unacceptable from our point of view, he said. A whole generation of Arabs in east Jerusalem have been educated since the Oslo Agreement with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda. This is exactly the reason the last wave of terror saw the majority of terrorists come from east Jerusalem for the first time in our history.

Elkin added: If we want to change this, we need to first change the educational system of east Jerusalem, and we need to invest a lot of money in its infrastructure.

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President Rivlin Backs Full Israeli Sovereignty Over West Bank Settlements – Breitbart News

The Lounge – Jerusalem Post Israel News

URIEL AND Judith Lynn.. (photo credit:AVIV HOFI)

1. Music in Tel Aviv

The Friends of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, chaired by retired judge Michal Rubinstein-Shamgar, held its annual meeting last week at the conservatory.

The venue hosted musician and composer Yoni Rechter, who performed a concert of his best works, titled Every Time that I Play. Enjoying the show were Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and his wife, Yael, the conservatorys director, Costin Canellis-Olier, retired Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar, the conservatorys executive committee director Gaby Baron and former deputy president of the Supreme Court Theodore Or.

2. American football

The Israeli High School Football League, sponsored by the Kraft family, had its championship game last week, featuring the Kfar Saba Hawks facing off against the Haifa Rams. The Hawks offense dominated the day, winning 52-38. The Sharon region team won the title for the sixth year in a row, with coach Itai Ashkenazi happily receiving the trophy from Steve Leibowitz, the AFI president. Ashkenazis father, former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, met with the teams before the game to talk to them about fighting spirit. 3. Revolutionary book

President of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce Uriel Lynn, and his wife, Judith, were hosted at the Tel Aviv Hilton last Monday to launch Lynns new book Birth of a Revolution.

Speakers included Prof. Aharon Barak, former Supreme Court president and attorney-general; former minister and jurist Prof. Amnon Rubinstein; and High Court of Justice expert Dr. Rhanan Har-Zahav.

Others legal experts in attendance included Elisheva Barak, Yossi and Zvia Gross, Isaac and Rina Zamir, Uriel Reichman, Dorit and Yehezkel Beinish, Ayala Procaccia and Dalia Horovitz.

4. TAU friends

To mark the swearing in of the new US administration, Friends of Tel Aviv University Associations president Amnon Dick and CEO Sigal Adar hosted an event for its members. Last week, the members watched a pre-screening of the film Jackie, starring Natalie Portman. University president Prof. Joseph Klefter thanked Dafna Meitar Nechmad for leading the university in its fundraising campaign, which reached a billion dollars for the next 10 years, and he gave one of the universitys most important donors, Sami Sagol, a bouquet of flowers for his 75th birthday.

Before the screening, Dick spoke with Prof. Yossi Shain, head of the political science department, on the topic of female presidents and their role in history. Tova Sagol, Anat Levin, Meir Baron, Gabi Lest, Ayal Valdman and others were also there to watch the screening.

5 Limmud FSU

More than 650 people from more than 20 countries took part in the first pan-European Limmud FSU conference, dedicated to teaching Jewish studies in the Diaspora, in particular to those from the former Soviet Union. Aaron Frenkel, president of Limmud, chairman Matthew Bronfman, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein and Ambassador to the United Kingdom Mark Regev participated.

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The Lounge – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence – Wikipedia

Whether Ashkenazi tend to have higher intelligence than other ethnic groups has been an occasional subject of scientific controversy.[1]

A 2005 scientific paper, “Natural History of Jewish Intelligence”,[2] proposed that Jews as a group inherit higher verbal and mathematical intelligence with somewhat lower spikes in spatial intelligence than other ethnic groups, on the basis of inherited diseases and the peculiar economic situation of Jews in the Middle Ages. Opposing this hypothesis are explanations for the congenital illnesses in terms of the founder effect, explanations of intellectual successes by reference to Jewish culture’s promotion of scholarship and learning, and doubts about whether a group difference in intelligence really exists.

One observational basis for inferring that Jews have high intelligence is their prevalence in intellectually demanding fields. While only about 2% of the U.S. population is of full Jewish descent,[2] 27% of United States Nobel prize winners in the 20th century,[2][3] 25% of Fields Medal winners,[4] 25% of ACM Turing Award winners,[2] 9 out of the 19 world chess champions, and a quarter of Westinghouse Science Talent Search winners have either full or partial Jewish ancestry.[4] However, such statistics do not rule out factors other than intelligence, such as institutional biases and social networks. Undue weight is also given to the statistics because people of partial ancestry (half or less) are included, but only compared to the portion of the US population of full descent.[citation needed]

A more direct approach is to measure intelligence with psychometric tests. Different studies have found different results, but most have found above-average verbal and mathematical intelligence in Jews, along with below-average spatial intelligence.[3][5][6][7]

The average IQ score of Jews has been calculated to be 112115 (Cochran et al.),[8] and 107115 (Murray; Entine).[9][10][11] A study found that Jews had only mediocre visual-spatial intelligence, while their verbal IQ (which includes verbal reasoning, comprehension and working memory) compensated for this with a high median of 125.6.[12][13]

Assuming that today there is a statistical difference in intelligence between Jews and other ethnic groups, there still remains the question of how much of the difference is caused by genetic factors.[14]

“Natural History of Intelligence”,[2] a 2005 paper by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, and Henry Harpending, put forth the conjecture that the unique conditions under which Jews lived in medieval Europe selected for high verbal and mathematical intelligence but not spatial intelligence. Their paper has four main premises:

Other scientists gave the paper a mixed reception, ranging from outright dismissal to acknowledgement that the hypothesis might be true and merits further research.[15]

In a television interview, Cochran said:[16]

“It doesn’t have to be extremely heritable for this [intelligence inheritance] to have happened, because you only need small changes in each generation, and there might be forty generations over 1000 years. So if [ Jews] increased a third of an IQ point per generation, that would almost certainly be enough to make this effect happen.”

The enforcement of a religious norm requiring Jewish fathers to educate their sons, whose high cost caused voluntary conversions, might explain a large part of a reduction in the size of the Jewish population.[17]Persecution of European Jews maybe have fallen disproportionately on people of lower intelligence.[15]

In medieval society, wealth, social status, and occupation were largely inherited. The wealthy had more children than the poor, but it was difficult for people born into a poor social class to advance or enter a new occupation. Leading families held their positions for centuries. Without upward social mobility, genes for greater talent at calculation or languages would likely have had little effect on reproductive success. So, it’s not clear that mathematical and verbal talent were the prime factors for success in the occupations to which Jews were limited at the time. Social connections, social acumen, willingness to take risks, and access to capital through both skill and nepotism could have played at least as great a role.[14]

Genetic studies have suggested that most Jewish congenital diseases arose from genetic drift after a population bottleneck, a phenomenon known as the founder effect, rather than from selective pressure favoring those genes as called for by the Cochran, et al. hypothesis.[14][18] To take one example, the mutation responsible for Tay-Sachs disease arose in the 8th or 9th century, when the Jewish population in Europe was small, just before they spread throughout Europe. The high frequency of this disease among Jews today might simply be the result of their not marrying outside their group, not because the gene for Tay-Sachs confers an advantage that more than makes up for the fact that the disease usually kills by age three.[14] However, an examination of the frequencies and locations of the genes for 21 Jewish congenital diseases suggested that six of them do appear to result from selective pressure, including the mutation for Tay-Sachs.[18] There is still no evidence one way or the other about whether the reason for this is increased intelligence for commercial skills or something else.[19][20]

Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker suggested that “[t]he most obvious test of a genetic cause of the advantage would be a cross-adoption study that measured the adult IQ of children with biological parents and gentile adoptive parents, and vice versa”, but noted, “No such study exists, so [Cochran]‘s evidence is circumstantial.”[21]

Another type of explanation for higher intelligence in Jews is differences in culture which tend to promote cultivation of intellectual talents.

For example, after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Jewish culture replaced its emphasis on ritual with an emphasis on study and scholarship.[22] Unlike the surrounding cultures, most Jews, even farmers,[2] were taught to read and write in childhood. Talmudic scholarship became a leading key to social status. The Talmudic tradition may have made the Jews well suited for financial and managerial occupations at a time when these occupations provided new opportunities.[14][23]

The emphasis on scholarship came before the Jews turned from agriculture to urban occupations. This suggests that premise #3 of Cochran et al. may have the causal direction backward: mastery of written language enabled Jews to thrive in finance and international trade rather than the other way around.[14] Similar cultural traditions continue to the present day, possibly providing a non-genetic explanation for contemporary Jews’ high IQs and prevalence in intellectual fields.[14] Preoccupation with Torah and Talmud study keeps alive a certain intellectual acumen, attuned to weighing situations and opinions.[24][25]

Other proposed cultural explanations:

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Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence – Wikipedia

Rivlin supports one-state solution, full annexation of West Bank – Jerusalem Post Israel News

President Reuvin Rivlin holds land deeds he purchased from a Palestinian in the West Bank 40 years ago while speaking at the Jerusalem Conference. (photo credit:YISRAEL BARDOGO)

In a possible harbinger signaling an official shift in government policy, President Reuvin Rivlin on Monday said he supported the full annexation of the West Bank, in exchange for complete Israeli citizenship and equal rights granted to Palestinian residents.

Stating that he believes Zion is entirely ours, and that the sovereignty of the State of Israel must be in all the blocs, at the opening day of the 14th Jerusalem Conference, Rivlin may have tested the waters for the one-state solution he has long championed.

It must be clear, he cautioned a packed auditorium of right-wing participants attending the two-day symposium at the capitals Crowne Plaza. If we extend sovereignty, the law must apply equally to all. Applying sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there.

Rivlin continued: There are no separate laws for Israelis and for non-Israelis.

While the president condemned the recently passed Regulation Law, which retroactively grants ownership of thousands of contested Jewish homes built on Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank, he nonetheless expressed the importance of Israeli sovereignty.

On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Rivlin dismissed the law, which is likely to be overturned by the High Court, for engendering an apartheid state.

Still, while holding a 40-year-old Arabic deed proving his purchase of land in the West Bank, which was contested by the seller before Rivlin won a protracted court case in Ramallah verifying his ownership, he proudly asserted: This Ashkenazi is registered in Ramallah.

The 14th annual Jerusalem Conference features a wide array of the governments highest ranking officials to examine several key issues concerning the capital, and country, as it marks its 50th year after the 1967 War.

Hosted by the Besheva Media Group, the conference, which brings together the countrys most preeminent thought leaders, will continue on Tuesday between 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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Analysis: What happens to Netanyahu if the police recommend indicting him? – Jerusalem Post Israel News

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU consults with Avichai Mandelblit in December of last year while he was cabinet secretary. Today, the current Attorney General holds the fate of Prime Minister in the palm of his hands.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

A significant change may have occurred in the fate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend with the Channel 2 report that the police will recommend to indict him.

Until then, the Jerusalem Post had learned that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit viewed those wanting to indict Netanyahu in the police and the state prosecutors office as lower level officials.

At the highest levels of the police and the state prosecutors office, Mandelblit believed that there was unanimity that the Netanyahu cases, while problematic in appearance, were borderline and risky cases when it came to trying to win a conviction in court.

If the police recommend indicting Netanyahu it would be a watershed moment. No longer would he be able to credibly say there is nothing. No longer would he be able to say that he will provide answers and it will all go away after being questioned just like happened with Opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

One of the primary arms of law enforcement in the country would be saying that its highest levels officials believe the prime minister is guilty of a crime.

And yet Netanyahu would still have a strong chance of staying in power and dodging the bullet.

At the end of the day, the police do not decide who to indict, only Mandelblit does.

In fact, the past in major cases involving public officials, Mandelblits predecessor, Yehuda Weinstein overruled the police a number of times.

Weinstein overruled the police who had recommended indicting Avigdor Liberman in a massive multi-million dollar money-laundering scam (he was eventually indicted and acquitted in a much smaller affair) and former IDF chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi for breach of trust in the Harpaz Affair.

Notably, in the same Harpaz Affair, Weinstein overruled the police who wanted to indict Mandelblit, at the time Netanyahus cabinet secretary, for obstruction of justice in delaying advising Ashkenazi to provide evidence to the police in the Harpaz Affair.

The fact that the police in the past wanted him indicted, could also give Mandelblit some skepticism about automatically endorsing their recommendations for other public officials.

Little can be learned from the impact of a police recommendation regarding Ehud Olmert as he resigned even before they made their recommendation due to a much larger mountain of evidence and corruption affairs and much weaker political support.

But there are also other reasons that the police and an attorney-general see things differently.

Police interrogators often feel officials should be indicted if they are lying or seeming to evade questions or conceal something.

Attorney-generals think more in terms of what can be proven in court and what are the chances of a conviction.

The police also know that they will not be held responsible for bringing down a prime minister, since their recommendation is not binding.

In contrast, Mandelblit has made it clear that his standard for indicting a prime minister is super high in terms of chances of conviction since he would shoulder full responsibility for bringing down Netanyahu with an indictment.

That said, a police recommendation to indict shifts the incentives for Mandelblit.

As long as the top police and top prosecutors recommended not to indict, then Mandelblit could still be in a strong position defying lower level police and prosecutors, many in the media and Netanyahus detractors by not indicting him. He could fall back on simply following the recommendations of the rest of the system.

If the police at the highest levels recommend indicting Netanyahu, and Mandelblit overrules them, he is sticking his neck out.

Mandelblit at the end of the day is a man of the system and his next aspiration in five years would be an appointment to the Supreme Court.

For that, he will need to be taken seriously by the legal establishment far more than he will need political favors, even from Netanyahu.

In that sense, Netanyahus fate could come down to head state prosecutor Shai Nitzan. If Nitzan goes with the police, Mandelblit might be hard-pressed to agree. If Nitzan goes against the police, Mandelblit will still have cover to override the police claiming support from within the system.

Of course, Mandelblit could still override Nitzan, as Weinstein overruled the state prosecutor in his day regarding the multi-million dollar Liberman case.

But Weinstein was far older (about 20 years) and had no great future ambitions to join the Supreme Court (and he was too old to be eligible.)

At the end of the day, the chances of Mandelblit indicting Netanyahu are still low, due to prior Supreme Court rulings making it harder to win public corruption cases, but a recommendation by the police as an institution to indict Netanyahu would definitely move the flagpoles against the prime minister.

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Margalit: Dont let PM fly while under probe

Former IDF intel chief: Trump should push UN to ban Iran missile tests

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Remove and replace: Napa woman faces second breast surgery – Napa Valley Register

Growing up Kristi Jourdan Blasky witnessed several family members, including her mother, wearing hospital gowns and strapped to IV poles while battling various types of cancer. She was in the hospital only two months ago looking the same but for a different reason.

“It was a surreal moment,” she said. I remember looking in the mirror, in my hospital gown, tied to an IV pole and I looked like the cancer patients in my family. But Blasky didn’t have cancer, instead she was reducing her risk of getting it.

Blasky received test results confirming that she had a BRCA1 mutation, also called Heredity Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome, connected to her newly discovered Ashkenazi Jewish heritage on March 15 just five days after her 30th birthday. The results meant that Blasky had up to a 51 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 23 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer by age 50. Most women have a 1.9 percent and 0.2 percent risk, respectively, according to statistics.

Since then Blasky has begun taking steps to reduce her odds, the first being a preventative double mastectomy, which she had on Dec. 12.

That moment before surgery, Blasky was connected to an IV, had a blood pressure cuff on and was holding her husband Mikes hand when one of her doctors entered the room, opened her shirt and started to draw on her.

With the blueprints mapped out on her chest, Blasky said she felt confident in herself and her team at Kaiser Permanente.

I thought, Im ready for this, she said.

Blasky wasnt sure what condition her breasts would be in when she woke up. She didnt have any implants yet, instead she had tissue expanders in, meaning she would need another surgery to get her implants in.

“It’s interesting to wake up not knowing what you’re waking up to,” she said.

Blaskys plastic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Dr. Mark Price compared the expanders to water balloons. The temporary inflatable breast implants, he said, are put in a patients body under filled and then inflated into the shape of a breast later.

The expanders, which go under the breast muscle for up to six months, help increase blood flow and create space for the implants, Blasky said.

Although Blasky has tried to maintain her positive and humorous outlook, she admitted to her Facebook followers that just two weeks following her surgery, she was having some issues with her expanders.

These expanders feel like someone is stepping on my lungs with a boot, she wrote. “It causes muscle spasms and severe pain in my shoulders, back, and ribs.

During recovery she wore a mastectomy shirt which she called her boob-voyage shirt and was connected to four Jackson-Pratt Drains. Blasky kept the post-operative drains in for three weeks, her family helping her measure the fluids and clean them twice a day. To Blaskys relief, the JP Drains were removed Dec. 29.

While she was stuck at home, Blasky received help in the form of food, household cleaning, entertainment and emotional support from her family, friends and the community.

My family was unbelievably supportive, she said, especially her husband who took on the bulk of the chores. Mike was incredible.

Blasky was scheduled to be out until the first week of February, but returned to work nearly a month early Jan. 12.

“I felt up to it,” she said. “I felt better and I had a little cabin fever.”

I feel normal, but can definitely tell theres a change, she said during an interview on Feb. 1, despite still having the expanders in. My healing has gone really well.

She met with Dr. Price on Feb. 3 and decided to go with a silicone breast implant that Price says tends to have a more natural movement compared to some other options.

In other words, he said, if a patient is running or active there can be a little movement or bounce to the breast like a natural breast.

Blaskys next surgery is planned for late spring/early summer. She requested that she not miss BottleRock despite the fact that the expanders will trip the events metal detectors.

I dont want to miss Tom Petty, she said in all seriousness. Blasky treats herself to a 3-day pass to the Napa Valley event every year.

What her breast implant is going to feel like and look like isnt something that Blasky anticipated having to think about. In fact, even though she had a fear of getting diagnosed with cancer at a young age like her mother, none of this has been what she expected.

I never thought Id be talking this publicly for this long about my boobs, she said. But she said shes grateful to have the opportunity to reduce her risks and maybe even help others along the way.

For now she is doing that by sharing her story, connecting with others and participating in a Patient Advisory Council for Kaiser Permanente focused on avoiding hereditary cancer.

I want to take this experience and help others, she said.

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Remove and replace: Napa woman faces second breast surgery – Napa Valley Register

How do I tell my brother I don’t want his baby named after me? – Jweekly.com

My brother, who converted to Christianity, wants to name his kid after me if he has a boy. However, as an Ashkenazi Jew, that idea does not sit well with me. Isthere a good way to let him know how I feel or should keep it to myself? Gabe H.

Dear Gabe: Mazel tov, youre going to be an uncle and you have a brother who honors you to such an extent that he wishes to name his child after you. As you already know, Ashkenazi Jews are rather strict in their custom of not naming their children after individuals who are still living. Interestingly, Sephardic Jews often do name children after living relatives and Sephardic grandparents are honored to have grandchildren named after them. Your dilemma is one of custom, not halacha. There is no prohibition in the Torah or Talmud against naming a Jewish child after someone still living. Indeed, there are many who believe the Ashkenazi preference arises from a superstition wherein the Angel of Death, in coming for an older relative, might get mixed up and take a younger one with the same name. Are you superstitious, Gabe? Rabbi Simcha Cohen, an Orthodox rabbi writing in Jewish Values Online explains that Jewish law deems it disrespectful to refer to a parent by name and that giving a child the name of the living parent or grandparent would generate confusion and a belittlement of respect. thus, concern for proper respect for parents, mysticism, coupled with fear of the evil eye, serve as the basis for the custom.

However, there are some, including Rabbi Elianna Yolkut, a Conservative rabbi, who believe it is acceptable for a parent to name a child after a living relative providing that relative has been asked, and has given, permission. Your question indicates your brother wants to name his child, if its a son, after you and so perhaps we should consider that he has asked your permission. Mensch is of the mind you should grant it and enjoy the honor.

My husband and I recently divorced and share custody of our 10-year-old son (call him Seth). Seths Jewish education has always been more important to me than it is to my ex-husband and I belong to a Conservative shul where Seth is studying for his bar mitzvah. His father, although he is Jewish, does not at all emphasize that aspect of his life, which was one of the many differences that led to our divorce. Nonetheless, I was surprised to hear that my ex recently met a woman who is active in the Episcopal Church and has begun attending Sunday services with her. Then I was shocked to learn that he has taken Seth with him. I do not at all approve of my Jewish son attending church. How do you recommend I prevent him from doing so? DM

Dear DM: Mensch tends toward conflict avoidance and would recommend that you start by having a non-confrontational conversation with your ex-husband in which you explain that Seths Jewish upbringing and his commitment to his bar mitzvah studies are such that you feel strongly he should not be attending church on a regular basis at this time in his impressionable life. If you emphasize to him that you are advocating primarily for Seth in the interest of his education, rather than grinding your own axe, perhaps your ex will understand and refrain from taking the boy to church in the foreseeable future. However, its certainly not unheard of for ex-spouses to act in opposition and yours might not be inclined to respect your wishes in this matter. In that case, you might want to discuss the situation with an expert in family law, as there are matters in joint custody situations that ultimately can and need to be arbitrated by professionals. But before you act, Mensch recommends you ask Seth about these trips to church. Whether you are speaking to his father or a lawyer, you should understand your sons experience of these visits and their impact on his commitment to his Jewish education. And be careful, children should not be in the middle, much less the source, of conflict between their parents.

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‘Gefilte Manifesto’ seeks to make classic Jewish food great again – thejewishchronicle.net

Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern, authors of The Gefilte Manifesto Photo by Lauren Volo

The millennial duos mission starts with their book, The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods, which was released in September.

Alpern and Yoskowitz, who were featured in Forbess 30 Under 30 list for food and wine in 2014, are drawing praise from prominent chefs. Mollie Katzen a bestselling author-illustrator of vegetarian cookbook classics such as The Moosewood Cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, and The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation said the new cookbook from Alpern and Yoskowitz beautifully manages to frame traditional Ashkenazi cuisine with perfect twists and newness.

Its no small feat to retain the character of an old, emotionally held culinary culture while imparting fresh life to the standards, Katzen said. Jeffrey and Liz nailed it, not only with outstanding recipes but also with history and stories and context, impeccably written. The passion of yet another generation carries it forward; we Jewish mothers can be collectively entranced, inspired, and proud.

The Gefilte Manifesto includes recipes for pantry staples, pickles, breads, soups, dumplings, lighter side dishes, deli sides and specialties, main courses, desserts, and beverages, as well as a chapter on choosing your own leftover adventure.

In 2011, Yoskowitz, Alpern, and Jackie Lilinshtein founded The Gefilteria, a food venture whose mission is to adapt classic Eastern European Jewish cuisine to the values and tastes of a new generation. The initiative launched a reimagined brand of gefilte fish and started hosting pop-up dining events.

For us, it all started with gefilte fish, states The Gefilterias website. We took the classic dish and reimagined it, making it colorful, gluten free and responsibly sourced (with non-GMO olive oil and the highest quality fish). And we also made sure it tasted really great.

Published five years after The Gefilterias founding, The Gefilte Manifesto is essentially the food ventures playbook.

As an undergraduate student at McGill University in Montreal, Alpern baked challah out of her home and sold it because there was no kosher bakery in her neighborhood.

I fell in love with baking and cooking big meals and Jewish holiday cooking, and after university I worked on a magazine and then got a job working for [cookbook author] Joan Nathan, Alpern said. I did recipe testing for her, and she got me a job in a pastry kitchen and on a food truck. Then I crossed paths with Jeffrey and we both were super on fire about Jewish foods.

After hitting it off, Yoskowitz and Alpern would go on to launch The Gefilteria.

Raised in New Jersey by parents who loved Ashkenazi culture, Yoskowitz attended a Jewish day school and became well-versed in traditional Jewish cuisine from a young age.

My dad took me to the Jewish delis and kinisheries and the Jewish food institutions of New York when I was a child, he said. I was always interested in food and even studied the kosher food industry for my senior thesis [at Brown University]. When I graduated I became a farm fellow and moved to Adamah Farm, a Jewish organic farm.

At Adamah, Yoskowitz became a pickle apprentice, falling in love with the art of lacto-fermentation a style of pickling and preserving that does not involve vinegar and is the classic style of making the Jewish deli pickle.

Pickling helped Yoskowitz discovered the wisdom that is inherent in Jewish cooking.

Not only does the pickle have a lot of flavor, the method of making it relies on a natural occurring bacteria acidophilus, whats in yogurt which is very good for your digestion and is probiotic, he said. Growing up eating a pastrami sandwich with a full sour pickle next to it, wow, its the best way of helping digest that fatty pastrami sandwich. Thats when I learned this tradition has a built in wisdom to it. This inspired me.

It was an awakening, where food comes from, the experience creating it, Yoskowitz added. Then I got into writing.

Now an entrepreneur, consultant, cook, and public speaker, Yoskowitzs writings have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Gastronomica.

Jewish food writer and cookbook author Leah Koenig, whose latest book is 2015s Modern Jewish Cooking, praised The Gefilte Manifesto for digging deep into our Ashkenazi ancestors recipe boxes.

It pulls out time-tested favorites and lost gems, and finds ways to make them taste at once fresh and innovative, and utterly authentic, Koenig said.

Indeed, whether it is old country sour cream, schmaltz and gribenes, summer beet borscht, beef kreplach, sweet lokshen kugel with plums, spiced herring in oil, smoked whitefish gefilte terrine, chopped liver pate, blintzes, or wine-braised brisket with butternut squash, The Gefilte Manifesto screams out with its authors passion to contemporize classic Jewish cuisine.

Gefilte is not just about your bubbe, they write. It is not about kitsch or a foodie revolution. Gefilte is about reclaiming our time-honored foods and caring how they taste and how theyre sourced. It is about serving a dish with pride, not simply out of deference to hollow convention. It is about taking food traditions seriously and reclaiming the glory of Ashkenazi food what it has been and what it can be.

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‘Gefilte Manifesto’ seeks to make classic Jewish food great again – thejewishchronicle.net

Have You Got a Story for Us? Sweepstakes Winners – Forward

On a brisk December night, a crowd gathered into the Center for Jewish History anticipating the launch of an exciting new book. Have I Got a Story for You translated 42 astonishing Yiddish stories into English for the first time. The touching collection of Yiddish stories intertwined the old world and the new, traditional and modern, to give a sense of what it was, and is, like to be a Jewish Ashkenazi immigrant.

As part of the conversation, the Forward asked to hear the first sentence of your Jewish story. Have You Got a Story for Us, called upon people of different ages and backgrounds to give a window into their complicated and wonderful lives.

Today, we celebrate the five winners of the sweepstakes! Each lucky winner receives a free copy of Have I Got a Story for You, and gets there story published in the Forward.

In no particular order, read the sentences of the most entrancing, intriguing, and bewildering one-line stories that were submitted to the Forward:

These sweepstakes winners tickled us, but they werent the only ones. The stories below are just as entrancing, intriguing, and bewildering, but didnt have luck on their side to win the sweepstakes. Read them and write the rest of the story – in your head, or on paper.

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Have You Got a Story for Us? Sweepstakes Winners – Forward

Former chief rabbi asks court to accept plea bargain – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Former chief rabbi Yona Metzger. (photo credit:YONAH JEREMY BOB)

Former chief rabbi Yona Metzger, through his lawyers, asked the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday to endorse the 3.5-year jail sentence and NIS 5 million fine that are part of his plea bargain reached with the prosecution in light of his conviction for bribery last January.

Unusually, Metzger himself did not speak, though he had confessed at an earlier hearing, and did submit several letters of support from famous rabbis to try to garner sympathy from Judge Moshe Yoed Hacohen.

The letters came from former chief rabbi Shlomo Amar, Rabbi Dovid Grossman and former major.-general Gershon Hacohen.

The state prosecution started the hearing by reiterating how severe Metzgers crimes were, quoting relevant portions of the Bible, the Talmud and Maimonides legal code the Mishneh Torah about the grave offense of bribery and how Metzger was supposed to set an example for others.

During this part of the prosecutions arguments, Metzgers usual smile changed to a stricken and broken stare, looking as if he might be near tears.

But then the prosecution asked the court to accept the plea bargain on the grounds that he was one of very few public figures who had confessed to his crimes early, sparing the state and the country a years-long, expensive and messy trial.

Metzgers defense lawyers added that the indictment he confessed to was heavily amended to contain fewer charges and much smaller amounts of illegal funds accepted.

They added that he would have had a real chance at beating all or many of the charges at trial, and the deal saved the prosecutions having to take on this risk.

Further, they said that he had suffered more than a typical defendant by the irreparable tarnishing of his public image after years of devoted service to the state.

The final sentence is set to be issued on February 23 and Metzger is expected to enter prison sometime in May.

Metzger was indicted in October 2015 accused of accepting NIS 10 million in bribes and his trial opened in March 2016, but never got deep into the trial phase due to ongoing plea deal negotiations.

Besides bribery, the charges include fraud, breach of public trust, fraudulent receipt of a benefit under aggravated circumstances, theft, money- laundering, tax violations and conspiracy to commit a felony, all while using his position as chief rabbi. He held the post of Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel from 2003 to 2013.

In the original indictment, in the Conversion Affair, Metzger allegedly received large bribes from foreigners who wished to convert or to clarify whether they were Jewish under standards acceptable to the Chief Rabbinate.

The indictment said that Metzger and Rabbi Gavriel Cohen, the former head of the Beit Din of Los Angeles, split funds paid to Cohen regarding the issues in question.

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Former chief rabbi asks court to accept plea bargain – Jerusalem Post Israel News