Anti-Semitism In Jackson: Man Asked To Leave Restaurant For Being Jewish

In news from Jackson, Mississippi, a man was allegedly asked to leave a restaurant after admitting he was Jewish to the eaterys owner.

Ted Riter, a reform Rabbi from the Beth Israel Congregation, exposed the disturbing and openly racist incident on his Facebook page, following his experience at the Wraps in Maywood Mart last Tuesday.

Having ordered a salad for lunch, the owner of the restaurant allegedly asked the Rabbi if he wanted, A full size or a Jewish size?

When Riter looked at the man quizzically, asking him what he meant exactly he was told, Its small. Jews are cheap and small. Everybody knows that, to which Riter responded, Did you really just say that?

With that, the restaurant owner asked Riter if he himself was Jewish. When he confirmed he was, he was asked to leave the establishment.

The Clarion Ledger reports that Riter said, Expletives, F-bombs, and since Id never been the recipient of that before, I was in shock, so I didnt register it until the second or third time he told me to leave. It was a bit surreal. So I left.

By way of trying to explain what happened to him, Riter added, If he had said, Ugh, Im sorry, and laughed it off as, I shouldnt use that term or something of that nature, if he had just intended it as an off-color joke, I wouldnt have appreciated it but I would have been fine. But to turn around and tell me to get out of his restaurant I cant even offer a guess as to what he was thinking.

The 16 WAPT website, which contacted the restaurant owner for comment, said that John Ellis, also known as Yianni Allis, had quite a different version to the events that took place.

The guy said he didnt want to do any business with us. He was probably offended because we offer different salads thats all. I said, Greek salad or Jew? We have different salads. We have Carlitos Way Salad. We have Grecian Salad. We have Jewish Salad. We have Greek Salad. We have Cesar Salad we have a lot of salads. Names of salads derive from people; they dont derive from the sky.

Nevertheless, neither the menu at the restaurant nor the online version made any mention of a Jewish salad, even though Ellis reportedly said a Jewish salad contains French-fried potatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley, and mint.

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Anti-Semitism In Jackson: Man Asked To Leave Restaurant For Being Jewish

How a Synagogue of Kids Raise Their High Holiday Funds

How a Synagogue of Kids Raise Their High Holiday Funds for Yom Kippur the holiest day in the Jewish calender.

These honors are honors such as being called to the Torah, also known as an Aliya, or the opening of the Ark or the honor of holding the holy Torah scroll for the poignant Kol Nidre prayer on Yom Kippur Eve. Yet there is one honor that is the most sought after out of all High Holiday honors and this is the honor to be called up to read the story of the Prophet Jonah.

Rabbi Mendel Duchman of Los Angeles explains that the honor of being called up to read the story of Jonah is more than just superstition; it is an age old tradition that comes with many great blessings, blessings of health, wealth and prosperity. Last year alone, the main synagogue in Moscow was said to have sold the honor for $660,000, the equivalent of 20 million rubles. While in Israel, a New York man was said to have forked out $28,000 for the honor.

The story of the Prophet Jonah is one of hope and forgiveness and it is something that is at the epicenter of the entire Yom Kippur day. The people of Ninveh are forgiven for their sins. This year may even be more poignant as it was long believed that the Iraqi city of Mosul was the ancient city of Ninveh. It was also believed that this is where the Prophet Jonah was buried, the site believed as his burial spot was destroyed by ISIL as they marauded to conquer Mosul.

Like many others, Duchman is a firm believer that the merits and blessings that come with the honor of reading the story of the Prophet Jonah are evident for those that purchase the honor. Yet, Duchman is no ordinary Rabbi and nor is the way he sells the distinct honor of reading the Maftir Yonah, as it is known. Duchman runs a real synagogue for children. The children hold the official positions, from president of the synagogue to chairman of the synagogue; these positions are all held by children who bid for the positions in hotly contested elections.

Raising money in a synagogue run and managed by kids can be tricky, so Duchman came up with the reading of the story of Jonah co-op. While one child will read the story, people from all around the globe can chip in to the efforts and indeed reap the benefits and blessings of this unique Maftir Yonah.

It is something that he has been doing for close to 13 years now and it is something that has dual benefit. The synagogue for the kids receives the impetus of much needed funds and many people who would not have afforded the merits of purchasing the honor of reading the story of Jonah, receive all the merits and blessings that come along with it.

To be a part of this unique initiative, log on to!maftir-yona/c1fhd

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How a Synagogue of Kids Raise Their High Holiday Funds

Israel says Palestinian leader doesn't want peace

UNITED NATIONS Israel’s foreign minister said Monday it’s clear that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has no intention of making peace with Israel, calling his speech to world leaders last week “a message of hatred and incitement.”

Avigdor Lieberman also questioned Abbas’ legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, saying he doesn’t control the Gaza Strip, where Hamas remains in charge of security and elections have been postponed for more than four years.

Lieberman spoke to reporters ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the annual ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. Netanyahu said before leaving for New York that he will refute “all of the lies directed at us” about Israel’s recently concluded war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas accused Israel in his speech on Friday of carrying out “war crimes” and conducting a “war of genocide” in Gaza, but stopped short of saying he would pursue war crimes charges against Israel. He said he would ask the U.N. Security Council to dictate the ground rules for any talks with Israel, including setting a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.

With memories of the Nazi Holocaust still fresh in Israel, use of the word “genocide” is regarded as particularly provocative both to Netanyahu and Israelis in general. An angry Netanyahu promised an appropriate response in his U.N. speech.

Lieberman said Abbas has “lost his way.”

“Because he failed with all his domestic issues, he tries to resolve his domestic problems with some escalation in his rhetoric here in U.N., on the international arena,” Lieberman said. “But it’s clear he has no support.”

Mohammed Ishtayeh, an aide to Abbas, responded to Lieberman’s comments, saying: “If Lieberman and his government seek peace, why they are building settlements on our land? They left no land without settlements, no land for the Palestinians to live in.”

Ishtayeh added: “Lieberman was trying to cover the war crimes his government committed in Gaza, but we have prepared the indictment list to take Israel to the ICC,” using the acronym for the International Criminal Court. “We are going to build an international coalition against the Israeli occupation and its crimes, particularly building settlements on our land.”

During the 50-day Gaza war, which ended Aug. 26, Israel launched thousands of airstrikes against what it said were Hamas-linked targets in the densely populated coastal territory, while Gaza militants fired several thousand rockets at Israel. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority civilians, and some 18,000 homes were destroyed, according to U.N. figures. Sixty-six soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side.

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Israel says Palestinian leader doesn't want peace

Israel Chemicals Drops in Tel Aviv After Cut Price Stake Sale

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), the fertilizer maker that listed shares in the U.S. last week, headed for the biggest decline in a year after Israel Corp. sold part of its stake at below market value.

Israel Chemicals declined 4.4 percent to 26.56 shekels ($7.22) at the close in Tel Aviv, the steepest retreat since October 2013. Israel Corp. slid 3.7 percent to 2,075 shekels, after the holding company sold more than 60 million shares of its subsidiary at a price of $7 in a secondary offering as ICL listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Thats a 7 percent discount to the closing price in Tel Aviv on Sept. 23.

The discount at which Israel Corp. (ILCO) sold Israel Chemicals shares surprised the market, Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Brokerage in Petach Tikva, Israel, said by phone today. Israels regulatory environment and the spectre of added taxes puts Israel Chemicals in an inferior position to peers, and foreign investors were not willing to pay more than $7 for the company.

Israel Chemicals, (ICL) the countrys second-largest publicly traded company, faces the threat of higher fees after a government panel recommended raising the public share of mining profits to at least double its current payment. The company said it sought a U.S. listing of shares as part of a push to broaden its investor base.

Israel Corp. has also given the underwriters on its sale a 30-day option to buy as much as 6 million additional shares in Israel Chemicals.

ICLs Tel Aviv shares trade at 10 times 12-month estimated earnings, compared with an average of 13 times among industry peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its New York shares closed at $7.20 on Sept. 26 after two days of trading. Before the listing, Israel Chemicals traded in the over-the-counter market in the U.S.

Michel Udi, a spokesman for Israel Corp., declined to comment when contacted by phone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at Dana El Baltaji

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

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Israel Chemicals Drops in Tel Aviv After Cut Price Stake Sale

Israel's 2015 budget will help small businesses, create jobs -FinMin

By Steven Scheer JERUSALEM, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Israel's finance minister said on Sunday that measures to boost employment and aid smaller businesses will help to speed up economic recovery in 2015 and enable the government to meet its budget deficit target of 3.4 percent of GDP. Yair Lapid said the 2015 budget will include a number of growth drivers including aid to small and medium-sized …

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Israel's 2015 budget will help small businesses, create jobs -FinMin

The Holocaust as metaphor

One week before the end of David Wakstein’s exhibition, “Explosion,” Professor Mordechai Omer, the director of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, decided to remove nine paintings from the exhibit.

The paintings, which were hung two-and-half months ago, feature swastikas, some of which are merged with a Star of David. “It is a gesture to Holocaust survivors,” said Omer, explaining his decision. Numerous visitors to the museum had sent incensed letters, and demanded that the works be removed. Some of them claimed that the images in the exhibition – most of which are borrowed from anti-Semitic caricatures and anti-Zionist illustrations that have appeared in the Arabic and German press – create a comparison between Nazi crimes and crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.

Omer’s belated response may have been an attempt to mollify the complainers, but it may also be an admission of the inability of the museum director and the curator of the exhibition, Varda Steinlauf, to find in the works justification for the use of such emotionally charged images and symbols. Steinlauf insinuated that as a curator she also had her issues with some of the images, adding that even before the exhibit opened, she and Omer tried to dissuade the artist from exhibiting these works, but he refused. It seems as if the museum chose not to get into a curatorial conflict with Wakstein, so as not to be accused of censorship.

In recent years, the Holocaust has been a more frequently occurring, almost fashionable, theme in the art world, perhaps as a reaction to the long years in which it was ignored.

“Nowadays, every work of art has a swastika or Hitler’s mustache,” commented one of the artists who recently took part in an exhibition in Germany about the Holocaust.

Contemporary artists at times relate to the Holocaust with cynicism, at times with humor. They are provocative, they test the boundaries. This may be the reaction of a generation that has broken loose from the rigid ways of remembrance that were enforced by the establishment, but it may also be reflective of contempt for the Holocaust, as if it were only an image in a stock of images offered by post-modernist culture.

One could relate to Wakstein’s exhibition as a courageous, subversive exhibition that attempts, as he notes, to use the language of illustration and comics, and those hard, ready-made materials to offer Israeli society a reflection of itself – perhaps even to warn of the potential outcome of the occupation. It could also be seen as another legitimate step in the commercialization of the Holocaust for political and ideological purposes.

One is it an easy way to spark provocation?

These and other questions were debated last week when, at the initiative of Haaretz, Wakstein met with three scholars engaged in study of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism: Professor Dina Porat, head of the Institute for Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University; Dr. Roni Stauber, the coordinator of the Institute; and Zvi Bacharach, a Holocaust survivor who is an expert on anti-Semitism. The three scholars came to Tel Aviv University last Monday in order to meet the artist whose exhibition had enraged them so, and caused them to send Omer a sharply worded letter about it two weeks ago.

Porat and her colleagues first visited the exhibition in the wake of complaints lodged by Holocaust survivors. They were shocked by what they saw. “He equates Jews with Nazis and Nazism,” says Porat. “How can we be opposed to anti-Semitism abroad if this comparison is held up before us in a public institution?” Porat relates that in the 12 years of the institute’s existence, its faculty members have not intervened in cultural affairs related to the Holocaust, and most certainly never sought to censor any exhibitions. Unlike the Wiesenthal Institute in Los Angeles, for instance, which reacts to every instance that bears a whiff of anti-Semitism (it recently came out against Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion”), the institute in Tel Aviv has preferred not to meddle. “Our role is to gather and investigate materials,” says Porat,” but in this case, we couldn’t restrain ourselves.”

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The Holocaust as metaphor

The biblical concept of 'emptiness'

Rabbi Mark H. Levin, Congregation Beth Torah: Two biblical Hebrew words translate as “emptiness.” One, pronounced “rake,” most often means physically empty, as in “Don’t appear before me empty-handed” (Exodus 23:15), but may also describe “wicked people,” as in Judges 11:3.

The other word, “Tohu,” more philosophically describes the emptiness of the world before God’s creation. It is chaos, the opposite of Creation’s orderliness.

But this primordial physical disorder becomes symbolic of moral disharmony. Biblical order is both physical and moral.

“It is a fundamental biblical teaching that original, divinely ordained order in the physical world has its counterpart in the divinely ordained universal moral order to which the human race is subject.” (JPS Torah Commentary, Genesis, p. 6)

When the prophet Jeremiah describes the coming destruction of Israel, he teaches, “. . .Watchers are coming from distant land, they raise their voices against the towns of Judah. Like guards of fields, they surround her on every side for she has rebelled against me.” (Jeremiah 4:16-17) The prophecy concludes, “I look to the earth, it is unformed and void (tohu); at the skies, and their light is gone.”

This reversal of Creation occurs because the people refuse God’s commandments and worship idols. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes in “The Prophets,” “Civilization may come to an end and the human species disappear . . . the world’s reality is contingent on compatibility with God.”

The Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer AME Church: I am not sure “emptiness” is a concept that the biblical writers share with us moderns.

We often use the word to express the lack of spiritual hope and joy; a feeling of nothingness/no feeling/despair. It is also the way we express the feeling that appears when we are spent, when we have nothing more to give, no empathy or compassion, nor are we feeling able to receive from others such expressions.

I went looking for feelings of emptiness in the Psalms, where almost all human emotions can be found, but I found in the midst of lack of hope and joy there was always a cry to receive from God new hope, new joy.

In the midst of Jeremiah’s cries in Lamentations 3 that God has left him to dwell in darkness, without hope, Jeremiah still lifts these immortal lines:

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The biblical concept of 'emptiness'

Jon Voight Pens Letter to 'Ignorant' Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz on Israel: 'Hang Your Heads in Shame' (Guest Column)

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry, I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.

They are obviously ignorant of the whole story of Israels birth, when in 1948 the Jewish people were offered by the UN a portion of the land originally set aside for them in 1921, and the Arab Palestinians were offered the other half. The Arabs rejected the offer, and the Jews accepted, only to be attacked by five surrounding Arab countries committed to driving them into the sea. But the Israelis won. The Arabs tried it again in 1967, and again in 1973, launching a sneak attack on the holiest Jewish holiday. Each time the Jews prevailed but not without great loss of life. And when Israel was not fighting a major war, it was defending itself against terrorist campaigns.

And yet Israel has always labored for a peaceful relation with its Arab neighbors. It voluntarily returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace, and gave the Palestinians all of Gaza as a peace gesture. What was the response? The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.

After years of trying to make peace, the wars they had to fight, being attacked by their enemies, and still being attacked, and finally after years of running into bomb shelters and having hundreds of civilians killed by suicide bombers, civilians being killed in their sleep, stabbed to pieces, finding enough is enough and finally retaliating, instead of my peers sticking up for the only democratic country in that region, they go and take out poison letters against them.

You have forgotten how this war started. Did Hamas not kidnap and kill three young teenagers for the sake of killing, and celebrated after the killing? What a travesty of justice.

I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives. Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now?

You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America. Do you think you would have been able to accomplish this in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et cetera? You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel.

You should hang your heads in shame. You should all come forth with deep regrets for what you did, and ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel.

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Jon Voight Pens Letter to 'Ignorant' Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz on Israel: 'Hang Your Heads in Shame' (Guest Column)

Palestinian leader accuses Israel of genocide, demands deadline to end Israeli occupation

President Mahmoud Abbas, of Palestine, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)(The Associated Press)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sit in the ceremonial chair after his addresses to the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)(The Associated Press)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledges audience applause after his address to the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)(The Associated Press)

The seats of the Israel delegation are empty as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)(The Associated Press)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)(The Associated Press)

UNITED NATIONS Facing pressure at home to come up with a new strategy for achieving Palestinian statehood, Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he would ask the U.N. Security Council to dictate the ground rules for any talks with Israel, including setting a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.

In a speech to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, the Palestinian leader also accused Israel of conducting a “war of genocide” in Gaza, but stopped short of saying he would pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

“This last war against Gaza was a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world, moment by moment,” Abbas said. The devastation unleashed, he asserted, “is unmatched in modern times.”

While the Palestinian president spoke forcefully, appearing visibly angry at times, the address was short on specifics. He did not offer his own deadline for an Israeli withdrawal, as some had predicted, nor did he say anything about joining the International Criminal Court as his aides have repeatedly said he is prepared to do.

And while he signaled he would seek accountability for alleged war crimes by Israel against Palestinians during this summer’s 50-day war in Gaza, he made no mention of taking the case to the International Criminal Court.

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Palestinian leader accuses Israel of genocide, demands deadline to end Israeli occupation

West Bank delegation aims to strengthen bond with Pendle

STUDENTS from Pendles twin town in Palestine are set to strengthen their bond with the borough during a special visit next week.

Six boys, aged between 13 and 17, from the West Bank will meet their counterparts at five Pendle schools during the trip.

They will also be joined by the Mayor of Beit Leed The trip has been arranged by the Pendle Palestine Twinning Group (PPTG), a group formed in 2007 by Pendle people who were concerned about the treatment of Palestinians.

Richard MacSween, chair of the PPTG, said: This trip almost didnt happen because Israel changed the rules about visas during the war and bombardment of Gaza this summer.

The hold-up in the visa system shows the difficulties faced by Palestinians who want to travel.

All movement in and out of Palestine is controlled by the Israeli military occupation, which is completely unjust.

The group hopes that the trip will help Pendle high school students learn more about the conflict in Palestine.

Mr MacSween said: I hope that friendships are forged and that in some small way, that makes a difference to their lives.”

The mayors of Pendle and Beit Leed will meet each other in Nelson Town Hall next Saturday.

The public will also have the chance to meet the delegation during an event entitled Palestinian Children Speak Out, on Friday, October 3 at 7pm in Brierfield Community Centre.

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West Bank delegation aims to strengthen bond with Pendle