Holiday bomb threats target 5 Jewish centers in US, Canada – CNN

None of the threats proved real in the latest wave of intimidating acts targeting the Jewish community.

For some centers, though, it was not their first ordeal.

The Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center in Rochester, New York, was evacuated Sunday morning for the second time in less than a week.

The center was hosting a “warming center” for people whose homes had lost power when the bomb threat came, Executive Director Arnie Sohinki said.

It reopened without incident a few hours later after receiving an all-clear from law enforcement, Sohinki said. he would not provide further details, citing the police investigation.

“We are open. We will remain open. Whoever is doing this doesn’t realize this only makes us #stronger, ” the center said in a Facebook post. “All are welcome to join us at the JCC.”

The Rochester JCC was one of several Jewish institutions to receive a bomb threat on Sunday. The threats coincided with the Jewish holiday of Purim, a festive commemoration of the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews in ancient Persia.

Other locations reporting similar threats included Indianapolis Jewish Community Center in Indiana; the Jewish Community Center of Greater Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada; and The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All reopened a few hours later without incident.

The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston also received a bomb threat — its second in three weeks, Executive Vice President Joel Dinkin said. The center, which received the threat via email, was not evacuated.

The threats were the latest acts in a recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the United States. Museums, houses of worship, advocacy groups and cemeteries have been targets of bomb threats and vandalism as federal officials work with state and local authorities to find those responsible.

Sunday’s incidents bring the number of threats since January in the United States and Canada to 154, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

The Louis S. Wolk JCC also received a bomb threat on Tuesday, March 7, the same day another center in Syracuse and the Anti-Defamation League’s New York City headquarters received threats. No devices were found at the locations and the centers reopened soon after.

After the first bomb threat, the Rochester center had opened its doors to those who lost power in a winter storm blanketing the Northeast. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, called the bomb threat “despicable” given the center’s service to the community.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the incident “cowardly,” especially on a holiday weekend celebrating “the resiliency of the Jewish people.”

“Like all New Yorkers, I am profoundly disturbed and disgusted by the continued threats against the Jewish community in New York. As New Yorkers, we will not be intimidated and we will not stand by silently as some seek to sow hate and division. New York is one family, and an attack on one is an attack on all,” he said in a statement.

Cuomo said he would direct state police to investigate the bomb threats in conjunction with federal officials. Last week, Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio increased a reward for information on hate crimes — not just bomb threats — to $20,000.

The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division vowed to investigate possible civil rights violations in connection with the threats.

“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner. As this matter is ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time,” the federal agency said.

CNN’s Kwegyirba Croffie, Sara Ganim and Laurie Ure contributed to this report.

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Holiday bomb threats target 5 Jewish centers in US, Canada – CNN

American Jews and the Trump Administration – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

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After the election of perhaps the most pro-Israel U.S. administration in history, American Jews seem to have lost the plot. When Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S., many Jews sat shiva to mourn Hillary Clintons defeat as if it was a death in the family, making religion out of politics. A number of Conservative and Reform synagogues held special mourning services to bewail the advent of fascism in America. One prominent Conservative rabbi in New York compared the Trump victory to the rise of Nazism prior to the Holocaust. The essence of politics is persuasion; not hysterics.

Trump repeatedly praises Israel and refers to Israel as Americas greatest ally. He has been closely associated with Jews in business and politics. His daughter observes an Orthodox religious lifestyle, after converting to Judaism. Apart from his family, his senior appointments include many Jews and staunch friends of Israel. He endorsed Israels position on defensible borders and stated that he has no objection to construction in the major settlement blocs and Jerusalem. He called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and stated that the only way to peace is by direct negotiations between both parties. He repudiated Obamas criticism of Israel for failing to make progress in peace talks, and Obamas application of moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians. He has begun to pressure the Iranians to adhere to their commitments to the treaty of catastrophe, and would terminate it for any violation by the Iranian terrorist regime.

One of the negative repercussions of the Trump victory is the growing influence of the radical anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party. The anti-Israel Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, who was initially funded by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, is the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee; supported by leading Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer. While, anti-Israel Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders emerged as a powerful force in the defeated radicalized Democratic Party.

The Jewish establishment ignored and pretended away the Democratic anti-Semites, even when they were burning Israeli flags at the Democratic convention. They condemned legitimate criticisms of anti-Israel financier George Soros as anti-Semitic while leaving unaddressed truly anti-Semitic assaults by Hillary backers on Trump donor Sheldon Adelson. Moreover, significant sectors of the Jewish community are falsely accusing the Trump administration of promoting anti-Semitism. It is noteworthy that the Zionist Organization of America protested against this partisan defamatory campaign.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) launched a scornful assault against Trumps chief strategist, former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon accusing him of being an anti-Semite, while ignoring Ellisons record of anti-Semitism and support for Israels enemies, as well as Ellisons ties to unindicted co-conspirators in funding Hamas. The accusation that Bannon is anti-Semitic is appalling on its face. Bannon is surrounded by Jews in his media company, Breitbart News, and is known for his fervent support for Israel, opposition to anti-Semitism, disapproval of anti-Israel activism on campuses, and condemnations of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of ADL, accused Bannon of being an anti-Semite who would pave the way for a return to anti-Semitism and white supremacy. In alleging that a friend of the Jews is a Jew hater while ignoring the actual anti-Semitism of another man, the ADL appears to be giving cover to the rising forces of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.

Greenblatt did not call for Jews to boycott the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement despite its anti-Semitism and promotion of BDS against Israel, and he referred approvingly to the positive aspects of its work. The use of the ADL, created to combat anti-Semitism, to promote Greenblatts partisan political agenda is scandalous.

Greenblatt had earlier used the ADL to condemn Republicans as anti-Zionist because they excluded a two-state solution in their Middle East policy platform. When Trump declined to dignify David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan by responding to their expressions of support for him, Greenblatt condemned him for tolerating anti-Semites. This contrasted with the muted response by Jewish liberals to Barack Obamas relationship with various radical anti-Semites.

Obama has long-held close alliances with Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, etc. Obamas political career was launched in the house of the anti-Semite Ayers, a former leader of the Weather Underground, a left-wing terrorist organization that issued a Declaration of a State of War against the U.S. government. Obama attended Wrights sermons with his family, and he officiated at Obamas wedding and was appointed by him in 2007 to the African American Religious Leadership Committee. He only dissociated himself from Wrights views after media exposure but refused to disown him personally, relating to him as an old uncle. No critic of Trump could suggest any comparable relationship with any identifiable anti-Semite.

Establishment anger over Trumps weeks-old administration is growing. The mainstream global media, progressive activists, Democratic Party leaders, and many Republicans are essentially at war with him. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently compared his victory to disasters in American history that killed and wounded thousands like the Pearl Harbor bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some op-ed writers and pundits have openly hoped for his violent death. The progressive Resistance talks of removing the new president through impeachment, or even military coup. About one-third of House Democrats boycotted the Inauguration. Congressional Republicans ignore the Constitution, ignore the balance of powers, and ignore written law, while relinquishing their own constitutional authority allowing the courts to run American foreign policy, just to be a part of the establishments Stop Trump movement.

After Trump had secured the Republican nomination, prominent Jewish conservative editors, like Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg, led the Never Trump movement. They betrayed the Republican Party, the American people, and Jews when they set out to undermine Trump, which could have elected the criminally challenged Hillary.

The sympathies of Hillary and Obama lie with the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that launched the Arab drive to destroy Israel and push its Jews into the sea. If Hillary and Obama had their way, Egypts leader al-Sisi would be overthrown, the Brotherhood would be back in power, and Israel could be facing a threat from the biggest military power in the Middle East and war with Islamic terrorists who openly call for the extermination of the Jews.

Elements of the U.S. government have been actively opposing the duly elected U.S. president. Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been disrupting Trump administration reforms. U.S. government employees recorded Trumps private calls to the president of Mexico and the Australian prime minister, and leaked selected segments to suggest that Trump was either a buffoon or trigger-happy. The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2017 that career intelligence officers have decided to withhold information from Trump, because in their view he is unfit to receive it. Kristol suggested in a tweet that if he faced a choice between the constitutionally, democratically elected president and career government officials efforts to thwart or remove him, he would come down on the side of the revolutionary, anti-democratic deep state.

American voters elected Trump because they regarded him as the only opportunity to break with the status quo, a revolt against the postmodernism that has undermined the moral fiber of the West and its willingness to defend itself, facilitating the emergence of brutal Islamic terror. The refusal of Trumps opponents to accept the outcome of the election was despicable and unprecedented, and contrasts with the acquiescence of the defeated Republicans when Obama won both of his elections. An aspect of the election result is the hysterical reaction by liberal segments of the Jewish community. It is not surprising that 70% of Jews supported Hillary Clinton. This is consistent with their long-standing obsession with liberalism. But the manipulation of Jewish issues as a political vehicle by some American Jewish leaders to oppose Trump could be an act of infamy.

After Israel, the U.S. has the largest Jewish population in the world. Despite credible evidence that Islamic terrorists infiltrate migrants from Muslim conflict zones, American Jews have been at the forefront of the opposition to the Trump administrations plan to pause immigration for a few months from six Muslim countries with vetting challenges. In America, anti-Semitic attacks are generally by Muslims or radical liberals; however, American Jews supported the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton that promised significant increase in immigration from Muslim conflict zones. During the recent migration crisis in Europe, British Jews repeatedly clamored for massive immigration from Muslim conflict zones; however, in March 2017, the British Home Secretary issued a warning of significant radical Islamic terrorist threat to British Jews. From Bombay to Toulouse and beyond, Jews suffer disproportionately from Muslim attackers.

Some Democratic Party Muslim Americans with records of anti-Semitism condemned the recent anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries. The Democratic Party is becoming more open in its embrace of anti-Semitism. Terrorist murderers of Jews (Ramsea Odeh, etc.) and supporters of terrorist murderers of Jews (Keith Ellison, Linda Sarsour, etc.) have prominent positions in the party. Odeh is a terrorist that participated in a PLO attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 that murdered two Jews. Ellison is an anti-Semite that also defends cop killers. He was a long standing member of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Sarsour calls for Israels destruction and she supports Palestinian mass murderers of Jews. Malcolm Hoenlein, the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, pretends that even anti-Semites oppose anti-Semitism, stating that we cant afford a split on Israel among the Democrats and the Republicans. The fight against anti-Semitism is compromised if Jew hating Democrats are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting anti-Semitism, when they aid and abet anti-Semitism.

There are no Christian states striving to wipe Israel off the map, and there no groups in Hinduism or Buddhism seeking to push Jews into the sea; however, Iran repeatedly states its desire to wipe Israel off the map, and large sections of the Muslim world have become a cesspit of Jewish hatred. Polls of Muslims from various countries indicate significant percentages of Muslims have rabid hatred of Jews.

American Jews undermining Trump because of hurt feelings, irrational fear or lust for power will do more to put Israel and Jews in jeopardy than any Trump administration official or travel ban on foreign nationals from hostile regions ever could. Whatever tensions exist between Trump and both Republican-controlled houses of Congress, they share one thing in common: support of Israel. This should not be interpreted that the Trump administration will favor annexation or a one-state policy. Trump has made it clear that he endorses a two-state policy but, in contrast to Obama, he stipulates that it cannot be imposed without providing Israel with defensible borders and all of the security guarantees it requires. Presently, this objective is unattainable.

During the Obama administration, leaders of the American Jewish community demanded increased Muslim immigration, and supported the lawlessness promoted by BLM. Now, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, they are shocked, shocked that there are increased anti-Semitic attacks and increasing bomb threats to Jewish Centers in the U.S. Unfettered immigration from many Muslim countries pose a problem for Jews more than most. If Jews cannot remove leaders that put their party before their community, they should form new organizations to defend their interests. Moreover, American Jews should wish President Trump well. May his triumphs be many.

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American Jews and the Trump Administration – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Omidyar Network and the Anti-Defamation League are launching a center to combat cyberhate – TechCrunch

With hate crimes reportedlyon the riseacross the country and online, the Anti-DefamationLeague is setting up a new outpost in Silicon Valley, backed by the Omidyar Network, to look at ways to use technology tofight back.

Racially and religiously motivated threats were on the rise in the run-up to the election and have continued into the new year. Eventshave culminated inthe murder of an Indian man in Kansas Citylast month and the shooting of a Sikh man in a Washington state suburb outside of Seattle just last week. Meanwhile, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented over 1,000 incidentsthrough the month of January alone, following the election of President Donald Trump.

Jewish communities across the U.S. have also been targeted, with at least 152 bomb threats reported at community centers and synagogues around the country.

The ADLsees the Internet asincreasingly driving thedissemination and promotion of hate speech in the modern era and is looking to marshal the resources of Silicon Valleys techcommunity to create better tools to monitor, track, analyze and mitigate hate speech and harassment across the Internet, according to a statement.

As ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt has said:

1.8 billion people are on Facebook 500 million tweets are sent out every day. No matter how you cut it, its incredibly important to make sure we are taking the fight to where the country and the world is at. Simply put, its online.

Though the ADL has long maintained a presence in San Francisco, the new office in Silicon Valley will be a command center from which the organization hopes to combat all kinds of cyberthreats.

Beyond its work monitoring and reporting hate speech, the group will also look at methods to better secure the online presence of various minority organizations; examine the seam between digital rights and the creation of a civil society, and look to partner with leading technology companies to ensure the safety of online communities.

The ADL is already working with Alphabet and its Jigsaw division (formerly Google Labs), on ways to improve its software developed to identify and filter propaganda and hate speech.

Since the earliest days of the Internet, the ADL has tracked hate speech online. Now with the increasing importance of the internet in public life, the need is greater than ever, Greenblatt says.

Helmed by former Department of Justice lawyer,Brittan Heller, the new center will author reports and publish data on cyberhate and cyberbullying; engagepartners and provide insight to policy makers; and expose and combat specific cases of online harassment and cyberbullying, according to a report.

According tothe statement fromGreenblatt,

Now more than ever as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other hatreds have exploded online, its critical that we are bringing best-in-class technology and resources to this fight. Thats why we will build this center in Silicon Valley, and why we are so grateful to Omidyar Network for providing seed funding for this effort.This is a natural extension of the cyber hate work ADL has been doing for decades and builds on the new presence we established last year in the Valley to collaborate even closer on the threat with the tech industry.

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Omidyar Network and the Anti-Defamation League are launching a center to combat cyberhate – TechCrunch

Get your reservations in for Israel tour now – WND.com – WND.com

Now that David Friedmans nomination as the new U.S. ambassador to Israel is heading to the U.S. Senate for confirmation, the time is now to get registered for 2017s historic WND Israel tour this November.

Friedman is expected to the address the group along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the new relationship developing between President Trumps administration and the Jewish state.

Benjamin Netanyahu

This is going to be a very different and very exciting tour, said WND founder, Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah, who has led tours to Israel the last five years. It will still very much be a spiritual pilgrimage, but 2017 marks a major shift in the political landscape between the two countries, and we wanted to add that special dynamic to the trip this year.

Friedman was approved for a confirmation as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel Thursday morning by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a 12-9 bipartisan vote. The approval sends the nomination the full Senate where he is expected to be confirmed with significant opposition from Democrats.

By joining this tour, you will be among the first American groups to experience this new climate of partnership between the U.S. and Israel following the Trump Revolution, said Farah. This is something I am looking forward to personally with great anticipation. In fact, Ive been waiting for this for 28 years.

David M. Friedman

November may seem far away, but, in some previous years, registration has been cut off as early as June. To accommodate WNDs special guests, logistics will be more complicated than ever because Israel does not have an abundance of facilities that can handle groups of more than 400 people. Farah cautions the time to register is now.

Friedman is an invited keynote speaker in November on WNDs annual Israel tour, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And dont forget, this is the one and only U.S. tour of Israel that comes with the endorsement of Chuck Norris.

I would encourage everyone to check out WNDs Journey to the Holy Land from Nov. 2-12, 2017, led by our friend, Joseph Farah, who is the founder, editor and chief executive officer of WND, Norris said.Hes also an expert on Israel and the Middle East. Bibi and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have been invited to speak to the tour group, and I hope they do. Check out the educational and inspiring itinerary here.

For the fifth year in a row, WND will be leading one of the largest annual tours of Israel from Nov. 2-12 with the emphasis in 2017 on the restoration of U.S.-Israel relations and the deepening relationship between Jews and Christians.

Farah is looking forward to teaching from his latest book, the unusual prophetic thriller The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age, whichfocuses on what it will be like when Messiah Jesus returns to rule and reign the world from Jerusalem.

What a time to go to Israel whether its the first time or the perfect seventh, says Farah. President Trump and his new ambassador-in-waiting are talking about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. That could happen before we get there. Thats why this is a historic time.

Accompanying Farah will be his wife, Elizabeth, who co-founded WND with him 20 years ago on May 4 three days after Israels Independence Day is celebrated there in 2017.

We will joined by the absolute best Israeli guides in the business experts on the land, the people, the Bible and the intersection of all three in the greatest controversy in the world today, said Farah. These top guides have been screened and handpicked from among dozens the WND tours have worked with over the last five years. If you want to explore Bible prophecy, the current Middle East conflict and get to know and understand why Israel remains the apple of Gods eye in the world today, this is the tour for you.

The tour will include all the key sites, strategic briefings by the top U.S. and Israeli experts, musical guests, insightful talks and lively discussions all featuring the incomparable Jewish state and its people.

Trust me, this is like no other Israel tour you will ever experience. You will learn why Israel is so important to God and how this relates to you, as a Christian believer in Jesus-Yeshua, the Savior of the world, the future King of Kings, the Lamb of God and the future Lion of Judah, says Farah.

You will hear from top Israeli leaders, military brass and see with your own eyes why the Jewish state is so strategically positioned in the hotbed of the Middle East.

Nothing brings you closer to Jesus-Yeshua than a trip to the land and to Jerusalem, where He walked and preached and from where He will reign supreme over the whole world in the coming Kingdom, says Farah. Whether youve been to Israel before or not, prepare for the most politically exciting and spiritually meaningful adventure of your life.

Elizabeth Farah will oversee a Sabbath service and teach everyone some elemental Hebrew, while sharing her passion for Israel.

Joseph Farah will share his insights spiritually as well as draw from his unique experience as an Arab-American and former Middle East correspondent.

Seriously, It will be a most exciting time to visit Israel this fall as there are new political realities at play a new administration in the U.S. with a markedly different view of Israel and the Middle East than its predecessor, Farah says. Its a historic moment. Its a biblical moment.

Check out the itinerary all the details now!

Talk to your fantastic tour hosts in Israel at Coral Tours now (866) 267-2511.

THIS year in Jerusalem.

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Get your reservations in for Israel tour now – WND.com – WND.com

Korean crisis raises stakes of US-Israel missile cooperation – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader. (photo credit:KNS / KCNA / AFP)

WASHINGTON Meeting with senior Trump administration officials in Washington last week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman twice referenced the growing threat posed by North Koreas missile programs preoccupying the White House in its first days on the job.

Liberman described to US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson an axis of evil stretching from Tehran to Pyongyang, according to the Defense Ministry a striking reference to a past time, the era of president George W. Bush, in which Irans military cooperation with North Korea was said to have peaked. American security cooperation with Israel once again has implications beyond the Middle East, the ministry added.

The US and Israel have worked together for years to mitigate missile threats from Iran and North Korea, which have in turn worked jointly to advance their programs.

But Washingtons cooperation with Jerusalem has been fraught with complications that naturally come with the territory of missile defense.

While offensive missile technology can be easily exported, missile defense technology is threat-specific. It is unclear whether Israels response programs to its unique threat landscape are transferable to the US or its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, which face a multitude of missile challenges from an enemy already nuclear-armed.

The question of transferability has led to tensions over funding after Israel began drawing nearly 10% of the Pentagons own missile defense budget since its war with Hamas in Gaza in 2014. During negotiations over a new decade-long defense package with Israel in 2016, Obama administration officials suggested its own Missile Defense Agency was running dry of resources to conduct research for the unique intercontinental threats facing the US homeland.

Israels program provides the US with some clear strategic benefits: It is one of the few battlefields in the world in which missile defense programs have actually been tested, and may reasonably face future tests. And the Jewish state shares with the Pentagon much of the technology it produces with US parts using US contractors.

The question is whether Israels short, intermediate and long-range programs intended to diminish threats from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran can be of practical use to South Korea, Japan and the US as they seek to mitigate a decreasingly stable North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un.

The transferability of Israels programs in addition to proof of Iranian collusion with North Korea, still unseen might in the eyes of its advocates in Washington justify an increase in US aid beyond what was ultimately detailed in Obamas defense package.

Under that agreement, Israel obligated itself not to ask for more funds and even to hand back the check should Congress offer more money than the deal prescribes.

The MoU guarantees $5 billion in US aid for Israels missile defense over the next decade. Israel may ask for additional emergency funding only in the case of war, Jacob Nagel, Israels acting national security adviser, said during the signing ceremony in September.

The figure is large, but broken down into annual sums amounts to less than what Israel received in recent years a statistic not lost on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is considering whether or not to lobby for more aid ahead of its annual policy conference in Washington next week.

Some Republican leaders in Congress say they are prepared to write in more funding for Israels missile defense than the MoU allows and believe that President Donald Trump would sign off on it. But Jerusalem may treat the agreement as inviolable: Some Israeli officials fear that breaking the framework and increasing aid this year would open the door to future aid decreases.

Immediately following Trumps inauguration, a new White House website floated his intention to fund state of the art missile defense programs to counter threats from Iran and North Korea. He has since proposed the largest defense budget increase in modern American history and began campaigning against sequestration cuts that have crippled growth at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mattis suggested the US put together a combined air missile defense capability for our Gulf allies in order to deter Irans increasingly sophisticated program. He advocated for increased investments in the Pentagons ICBM and missile defense programs.

The Trump administration is actively exploring ways to foster Israeli-Arab cooperation against Iran, which it hopes will blossom into greater normalization of ties.

At the same hearing, Mattis was asked what the new administration could do to improve its strategy on the Korean Peninsula.

It is going to take an international effort, Mattis said.

While Israels role in this research is not yet clear, Libermans decision to incorporate North Korea into his discussions in Washington might signal Israels willingness to expand the scope of its missile defense work to incorporate the needs of Americas allies in Asia.

Its entirely unclear where were going yet, but the Israelis are looking to rebuild ties and Id think they would be very willing to demonstrate their value to the Pentagon, said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. As this relationship is starting off, I think the Israelis would be remiss if they didnt raise North Korea as part of their threat matrix, given what the US is looking at.

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Korean crisis raises stakes of US-Israel missile cooperation – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Lawrence Family JCC endures numerous bomb threats – San Diego Community News

Following a Feb. 20 bomb threat, which caused La Jolla’s Jewish Community Center to be closed and evacuated, officials are struggling to explain why and what can be done about it.

It was the third similar threat this year at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center at 4126 Executive Drive.

A 31-year-old man, Juan Thompson, was subsequently arrested March 3 in St. Louis. Thompson has allegedly been linked to at least eight bogus bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers across the nation, including La Jolla’s, as part of a campaign to harass a former girlfriend.

In a press release attributed to executive director Michael Cohen, the JCC stated that, at 4:30 p.m. on President’s Day, We received a bomb threat, similar to ones we received in the past and other JCCs have received throughout the country… Law enforcement quickly determined it to be a non-credible hoax. We followed our practiced emergency procedures and safely evacuated our facility. By 6:20 p.m., San Diego Police had concluded its on-site review and the JCC fully reopened to the community by6:30 p.m.

Concerning such hate crimes, JCC commented, It is the very nature of who we are, and the great diversity of those we serve, that draws attention to our work and our mission. As a JCC, we are part of a national Secure Community Network that monitors, advises, and supports the safety and security of Jewish institutions.

In response to these recent threats across the country, we have been working closely with our local police department and national security agencies to monitor the situation and review our protocols, continued JCC’s comments. We have been continually briefed by SCN, the Anti-Defamation League, and the JCC Association to help us understand the circumstances and support our safety and security efforts.

The JCCs leadership team and staff continues to work together, practice safety protocols and are prepared to respond to this type of incidents with the support of local law enforcement, including our adjacent neighbors, the San Diego Police Department Northern Division. We continue to take numerous security measures to ensure the safety of our members and guests.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” One of the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agencies, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

Tammy Gillies, ADL’s regional director for San Diego, noted that Thompson, or any other possible suspects in the series of hoax email threats to JCC’s nationwide, was acting to impart a sense of fear and terror in the community.

It is our job to help the community come together, and hopefully, overcome that fear, was Gillies’ response. We as a Jewish community, and a lot of other minority communities may be targets. We must stand together and continue to live our lives the way we always have. We cannot back down.

She added the silver lining in the series of nationwide bomb threats is that it’s allowed Jewish and other ethnic communities to really work together to help each other. It’s a matter of standing up for one another and being strong. Particularly in San Diego, where we have such an amazing, very diverse community. Standing together is going to make us stronger.

While fighting anti-Semitism, Gillies noted the ADL also stands against hate. Fighting hatred really is our mission. And we do that in a lot of ways, through education, advocacy, working with law enforcement. What we try to do is be a supporter, and a leader, in the community in fighting hate.

Gillies added the investigation into the national string of JCC bomb threats is not over.

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Lawrence Family JCC endures numerous bomb threats – San Diego Community News

Purim Provides a Guide for American Jews on How to Fight anti-Semitism – Haaretz

The heroes of Purim stood proudly as Jews. They worked with the non-Jews around them, especially those in power, and together they defeated those who conspired against them.

This Sunday we Jews will eat hamentaschen (triangular pastries), drink wine, and shake groggers (noisemakers) to celebrate Judaisms most fun holiday: Purim.

Yet, underneath all this frivolity, Purim is essentially about Jewish confrontation with anti-Semitism. In different historical contexts, anti-Semites from Haman to Pharaoh to Hitler have extended anti-Semitism to its ultimate expressiongenocide, the extermination of the Jewish people.

Purim strikes a particularly somber note this year. Many Jews had come to believe that anti-Semitism had largely subsided in the US. From an attitudinal perspective this may well be true:

According to Pew Foundation studies (most recent survey January 9-23, 2017), non-Jewish Americans feel more warmly toward Jews than toward any other religious group in our society, outside of their own.

Within the last few months, however, the FBI and ADL have tabulated a significant rise in anti-Semitic incidents, including 100+ bombing threats against Jewish Community Centers and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Rochester.

How are we to understand this discrepancy between the relative warmth non-Jewish Americans feel toward Jews and the recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents? How can both be possible at the same time the same society?

Numerous sociological studies indicate that relatively fewroughly 15%of members in any group are predisposed toward bigotry because of their psychologically authoritarian personalities.

The Hamans and Hitlers of the world often start with Jews as their targets, but then add many others in their hatred. These authoritarian individuals tend to express bigotry against a range of others, such as Muslims, African Americans, gays and lesbians, refugees. Theyre even prejudiced against groups that dont exist, like Lilliputians.

Furthermore, they can be found throughout the political spectrum. Anti-Semites on the left, for example, tend to view Jews as financial and political elites who oppress the less affluent and educated; right-wing anti-Semites tend to condemn Jews for preponderant liberalism and cosmopolitanism.

This is why anti-Semitism is essentially best understood as one particular manifestation of human bigotry. Xenophobia may have different victims, but all of its expressions are prejudicial cousins to anti-Semitism. With roots in irrational stereotyping, anti-Semitism resists fact-checking. In the mind of the anti-Semite, Jews can be simultaneously communists and capitalists.

What is more, this recognition of the familial relationship of anti-Semitism to other bigotry is key to effectively fighting anti-Semitism. To do so, we enlarge the we standing strong together with our non-Jewish neighbors to oppose all prejudice.

Fighting prejudice universally, however, does not necessarily come easy. Prejudice comes from both nature and nurture, so almost all of us have biases to overcome. Biologically its hard-wired into us. Our cultural environmentand need to conform to itthen influences the targets of our bigotry.

Societally, the communities that have been most effective in eradicating prejudice have 1. Isolated the approximately 15% of hard-core bigotsand 2. Worked in coalition with everyone else to change culture, through leadership, education, government, laws and law enforcement, media, and religion.

This is why we need the President, Congress, the press, and other leaders to proclaim, together, a zero tolerance policy against all acts of bigotry whereby every perpetrator will be prosecuted and punished. The recent letter by all 100 Senators was a step in the right direction.

Such statements need to be more than lip service. Opposition to hatred needs to be enshrined in law and investigated seriously and prosecuted diligently. In Shushan, Mordecai and Esther could not have succeeded in their fight against Human without the support of King Ahasuerus.

On a personal level, overcoming our inherent prejudices takes focus and work. We need to open ourselves up to personal interactions with others, celebrate our differences, and commit to living in mutual respect.

We Jews, in particular, can best begin with ourselves. By studying and practicing Judaism, we can build inner resilience and outer dignity. When we stand tall, exemplifying Judaisms highest values and respecting others identities and practices, we can reach the peak pluralistic balance of living as proud Jews while nurturing friendships and partnerships with everyone else.

Let us learn from Esther and Mordecai. They stood up proudly as Jews. They worked with the non-Jews around them, especially Queen Esthers husband, King Ahasuerus. Together they defeated Haman and foiled his plot to exterminate the Jews.

When we too stand proudly as Jews and work in coalition with others, all of us can effectively fight anti-Semitism in our own day.

Mark L. Winer served as a full-time pulpit rabbi for 30 years in the New York area and 13 years in London, England. He is also a sociologist (Ph.D. Yale), and has written widely on interfaith relations and contemporary Jewry. Mark and his wife Suellen live in Boca Raton.

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Purim Provides a Guide for American Jews on How to Fight anti-Semitism – Haaretz

Israel Singer – Wikipedia

Israel Singer (born 29 July 1942 in New York City) was secretary general of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) from 1986 to 2001.

Singer grew up in Brooklyn, the son of Austrian refugees. He taught political science and political theories in New York and at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

In 1987, WJC leaders Israel Singer and Elan Steinberg warned, referring to Kurt Waldheim, “… Austrians that if they elected a former Nazi as president they would experience six difficult years.”[1]

In 1996, the Reuters news agency reported that at a meeting of the WJC congress in Buenos Aires, Singer said “more than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We are never going to allow this…. They’re gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be publicly attacked and humiliated.”[2]

Singer has been an activist and advocate on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust. As chairman of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), he managed efforts to compensate Holocaust survivors monetarily. He also negotiated with Germany and Austria about annuities and compensation for survivors.

In October 2001, he was appointed chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). In 2002 he was elected president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, the “Claims Conference”. In June 2002 he was appointed chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC).

Israel Singer is a co-founder of Yahad-In Unum, an organization founded by priest Patrick Desbois dedicated to research on the “Holocaust by bullets”.[3]

On 14 March 2007 Singer was forced to resign from most official functions by the President of World Jewish Congress, Edgar M. Bronfman as a result of alleged misappropriation of financial resources. [4]

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Israel Singer – Wikipedia

Not just prayers: synagogues are organizing to fight Trump’s agenda – Cleveland Jewish News

NEW YORK The day after the presidential election, as congregants gathered in her Brooklyn synagogue to air their feelings, Rabbi Rachel Timoner was already starting to organize against the incoming administration.

She called her local city councilman, Democrat Brad Lander, and together they organized an activists panel at her congregation, Beth Elohim, to discuss policy changes under President Donald Trump. More than 1,000 people packed the sanctuary for the event.

Four months later, Beth Elohim has been transformed into an activist hub in Brooklyns affluent and historically progressive Park Slope neighborhood. Together with Lander, the synagogue has set up 15 working groups on liberal causes ranging from combating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to protecting reproductive rights. Ten thousand people are active in the groups, and seven mass meetings of the activists, educating them on issues and teaching organizing tactics, have drawn an average crowd of 1,000.

Our people are awakened, activated, determined, in some cases alarmed, and deeply wanting to be part of preventing harm and healing this country, Timoner said. I have literally hundreds of members who are in acute pain, who are seeing their country become distorted.

Beth Elohim is among several synagogues that have doubled down on political activism since Trumps election. Synagogues are taking on roles usually reserved for nonprofits hiring professional activists, organizing protests, mobilizing congregants to lobby and educating them on immigrant and refugee rights. Several synagogues sent delegations to the Womens March on Washington and its local offshoots in January.

Some of these synagogues dont see the work as partisan, aimed as they are directly at Trumps policies. (Trump himself has called for loosening federal laws that prevent houses of worship from endorsing political candidates.) Others, citing overwhelming demand among their congregants, are less concerned about appearing political. But they all say that regardless of the risks, this is the moment for synagogues to offer their members a chance to engage on issues that matter to them in a Jewish context.

We have Torah, and Torah is very clear that we do not oppress the stranger, that we love our fellow human beings as we love ourselves, Timoner said. What I think it offers to have things like this happen in a synagogue is it provides the moral framework.

Beth Elohim has received a grant to hire a community organizer, a step Manhattans Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is also taking, fueled by more than $100,000 in congregant donations. Stephen Wise is organizing its members into three activist groups on refugees and immigrants; anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; and protecting civil liberties.

Stephen Wise helped raise $20,000 for Jews in Whitefish, Montana, when they were threatened by white supremacists in January. In June, a delegation from the synagogue will travel to Greece and Germany to aid refugees, while educating kids at the synagogue about refugee rights. Ammiel Hirsch, the synagogues rabbi, expects groups to lobby legislators on a range of issues as well.

Judaism is a faith that believes in action, in making the world a better place through policy, Hirsch said. Theres got to be a force of legislation behind it. Otherwise, its just a question of localized humanitarian action, without regard to collective policies that ensure were on a higher moral plane.

Other synagogues have collaborated in interfaith initiatives or served as spaces for activist gatherings. Bnai Jeshurun in Manhattan was the site of a rally that drew thousands before the New York City womens march in January. The synagogue has also set up an action alert list with 200 subscribers to mobilize congregants for protests.

Bnai Jeshurun congregants at the HIAS rally for refugees in February. (Courtesy of Bnai Jeshurun)

For some of these synagogues, the current activism is just an intensification of a historical tilt toward political engagement. Bnai Jeshurun has a longstanding program to aid New York State farmworkers, while Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C., led two trips to aid undocumented immigrants in Texas in 2014 and 2016, before Trumps election.Synagogues nationwide have long been active on Israel policy, and in the 1970s and 1980s, on behalf ofSoviet Jewry.

But some congregants see synagogue-based political action as a step too far. David Horowich, a Reform Jewish businessman from Syracuse who voted for Trump, appreciates Reform Judaisms cultural and communal aspects. But he feels synagogues shouldnt be in the business of political advocacy, because its not always easy to judge whether policies are successful.

I havent been in favor of coming out with statements that are political, because sometimes they can come back and haunt you, Horowich said. Im open to people expressing their opinions, but you have to wait until it all plays out.

For those who oppose him, Trumps policies on refugees and immigration have become a particular focus of synagogue activism. All four religious denominations and several major organizations opposed the first iteration of his immigrationban in January.

In response to Trumps immigration policies, several synagogues have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. For some synagogues, including Temple Sinai, that means setting aside rooms should undocumented immigrants need a place tolive. Others, like Philadelphias Congregation Beth Zion-Beth Israel, which is exploring becoming a sanctuary,are holding classes for immigrants and others on immigrant and refugee rights.

Our religious tradition teaches about not only welcoming the stranger but not oppressing the stranger, and making sure the most vulnerable in our midst has been protected and cared for, said Temple Sinai Rabbi Jonathan Roos. The level of fear is at a level unseen during the Obama years, even when the level of deportations was high.

The push for synagogue activism appears to be spreading. Timoner has held two conference calls with rabbis interested in Beth Elohims model. And Truah, the rabbinichuman rights group, drew 200 rabbis to a conference in February, called No Time for Neutrality, that ended with 19 rabbis getting arrested during a protest in front of a Trump hotel in New York City.

We have more power, privilege and social capital than weve ever had in this country, said Beth Zion-Beth Israel Rabbi Yosef Goldman.Its an opportunity for us to be vigilant about using our power to defend our own community, but [also] to defend those around us who are more vulnerable than we are.

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Not just prayers: synagogues are organizing to fight Trump’s agenda – Cleveland Jewish News

Trump Middle East: Palestinian leader invited to White House – BBC News


Deutsche Welle
Trump Middle East: Palestinian leader invited to White House
BBC News
US President Donald Trump has invited Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to visit the White House "very soon". He extended the offer in a phone call on Friday with the Palestinian Authority president, their first contact since Mr Trump took office. Mr
Trump invites Palestinian leader to White HouseDeutsche Welle
Trump to Palestinian leader: It's time for a peace dealThe Hill
Donald Trump invites Mahmoud Abbas to White HouseAljazeera.com
WAFA – Palestine News Agency -The Wire -Mehr News Agency – English Version -Oversight and Government Reform – U.S. House of Representatives
all 319 news articles »

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Trump Middle East: Palestinian leader invited to White House – BBC News

Trump to Palestinian leader: It’s time for peace – The Hill

President Trump spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone Friday night, calling for a comprehensive agreement to end the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The President emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal.The President noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world,” the White House release read.

Trump said that such a pact must be directly negotiated between Israel and Palestine, and the U.S. would work closely to help foster a deal.

He also invited Abbas to visit the White House “in the near future.”

Trump has vowed to be a steadfast ally of Israel, and recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. has long advocated for a two-state solution for the dispute, but Trump abandoned that stance during a joint press conference with Netanyahu last month.

Im looking at two-state and one-state [solutions], and I like the one that both parties like, he said. “I can live with either one.

Trumps remarks raised concerns in Palestines government that the Trump administration might not prove as friendly to its interests as past U.S. administrations.

But the Trump administration has also warned that expanding Israeli settlements in Palestine-occupied territory won’t help peace negotiations.

“I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump told Netanyahu at their press conference.

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Trump to Palestinian leader: It’s time for peace – The Hill

For Los Angeles Jews, Trump is a rallying cry the community hasn’t seen in decades – Los Angeles Times

The rise of President Trump has sparked a new streak of activism in Los Angeles Jewish community that many veteran leaders say they havent seem in decades.

Jewish leaders in the religious, political and cultural worlds have formed a coalition aimed at denouncing what they perceive to be threats to religious tolerance, democratic values, equal rights and a free press.

Trumps rhetoric and actions toward Muslim immigrants were the impetus for the coalition, known as Jews United for Democracy and Justice, said Rabbi Ken Chasen.

There a uniqueness to this moment, said Chasen, senior rabbi at Leo Baeck Temple in Bel-Air. Jews understand that an attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us. People who are at risk particularly immigrants that is a clarion call to Jews. Our concerns about the treatment of immigrants are not partisan or political, theyre Jewish. The single most frequently repeated command in the Torah is to care for the stranger, because Jews know what its like to be the stranger.

Not since the 1960s, when Jewish leaders embraced the civil rights movement and denounced the Vietnam War, has there been such a galvanizing issue as this one, Chasen said.

Jews United for Democracy and Justice has garnered the support of more than 2,000 Jewish people including prominent rabbis and elected leaders such as L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Atty. Mike Feuer who signed the groups organizing statement.

Jewish groups across the country have interpreted Trumps travel bans targeting migrants from Muslim-majority countries as a call to action. For many people, the policies have evoked painful memories of the countries that turned Jews away when they tried to flee Nazi persecution.

Some in the Jewish community fear Americas reputation as a welcoming place for refugees is being irreparably damaged as Trump has ordered a temporary ban on refugees from around the world.

The Iran-Iraq War forced Sam Yebris family to flee Iran and into exile in the United States when he was a child in the early 1980s.

Yebri, now a lawyer and president of 30 Years After, an Iranian Jewish nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, said he understands that Americans are concerned over the Syrian refugee crisis. people seeking asylum in the U.S. should be vetted, but that doesnt warrant Trumps hard-line policies, he said.

It betrays our history and values as a country to shut our doors when there are innocent people who are being persecuted, Yebri said. I hope the administration will strive to find the right middle ground as opposed to closing our doors and closing our hearts to folks like my family just a generation ago.

The Jewish coalition gathered signatures recently from more than 110 clergy members, L.A. Countys entire Jewish state legislative delegation, seven current and former members of Congress, and 60 current and former elected and appointed officials, according to the coalition.

The group is focused on three guiding principles: The U.S. is a nation of laws, a nation of immigrants and aspires to equality, respect and justice for all people.

Zev Yaroslavsky, a former L.A. County supervisor and a member of the groups organizing committee, said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the coalition. He said the group will stand by refugees fleeing oppression as well as immigrants in the United States who tonight as they go to sleep fear a knock on the door.

This is something the Jewish community wants to speak out on, Yaroslavsky said. It speaks to a thirst in our community to stand up and not be silent. We know what the costs are of remaining silent.

The vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and recent bomb threats to Jewish centers in L.A. and other cities have heightened anxieties in the faith community, said David Myers, professor of Jewish history and former chairman of the UCLA history department.

He said he fears the election of Trump has ushered in a wave of xenophobic populism not seen in decades.

Weve had that ilk before as candidates and prominent politicians, but not as president, said Myers, a member of the coalitions organizing committee. Its not just thats his rhetoric; a good number of the first actions taken seem to operationalize some of this exclusionary ethos of Trumps populism.

Trumps opening condemnation of anti-Semitic threats and hate crimes during his first address to a joint session of Congress in late February was welcomed, but long overdue, Rabbi Chasen said.

Its appreciated, he said. The reality, though, is that there is a mounting spate of threats to Jewish institutions all across the United States. The president needs to go beyond simply denouncing and demonstrate the desire to take action steps and send an absolute clarity of message to those who are doing this: Not in our America.

ben.poston@latimes.com

Follow @bposton on Twitter.

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For Los Angeles Jews, Trump is a rallying cry the community hasn’t seen in decades – Los Angeles Times

Abbas to increase outreach to US Jews; Hamas confirms platform change; Celebrating Purim in NY Prisons – Jewish Week

Abbas sees U.S. Jews as a force for peace

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intends to increase outreach to the American Jewish community, the Jerusalem Post reports. The paper cited Husam Zomlot, the PAs ambassador- at-large to the United States, following a meeting yesterday between Abbas, and 30 leaders of Reform Judaism, including Union of Reform Judaism presidentRabbi Rick Jacobsat the the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah.

This will not be a one-time meeting, Zomlot said. The president sees the mainstream Jewish community in the United States as a force for peace that can help us advance the cause of the two-state solution and combat voices of extremism.

Hamas confirms new pragmatic position

Hamas, the political terrorist group that has ruled Gaza for a decade, is drafting a new platform that will present a more pragmatic and cooperative face to the world, defining its enemies in Israel as occupiers instead of Jews, the New York Times reports.

Taher el-Nounou, a Hamas spokesman, confirmed yesterday that the platform will accept the borders of land Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War as the basis for a Palestinian state, but that Hamas will not recognize Israel.

The platform, designed to alleviate Hamas international isolation, still requires the approval of the Hamas governing bodies, the Times reports.

The medium-security Woodbourne Correctional Facility in New York, where Chabad rabbis will bring the Purim cheer this year. Wikimedia Commons

Purim behind bars: Chabad brings holiday to Jewish inmates

Rabbis and rabbinical students from the Chabad-Lubavitch chasidic movement will observe Purim with Jewish prisoners behind the walls of more than 40 correctional facilities in New York State this weekend, chabad.org reports. The holiday starts Saturday night. Some 4,017 inmates (3,981 men and six women) in the state identify as Jews, according to the New York State Corrections and Community Supervisions Under Custody Report.

The team of volunteer rabbis is led by Rabbi Kasriel Kastel of Brooklyn, N.Y., who has served as program director of theLubavitchYouth Organization for 49 years.

Swiss legislators defund anti-Semitic groups

Switzerlands lower house of parliament has voted to halt public funding fororganizationsthat promote racism, anti-Semitism and hate, JTA reports.

Submitted by Christian Imark of the right-wing populist Swiss PeoplesParty, the bill passed Wednesday by a vote of 111 to 78, with all center-rightmainstream parties in support. Voting against the measure were the SocialDemocratic, Green and Green-Liberal parties.

The matter now goes to the Council of States, Switzerlands upper house of parliament, which reportedly will consider the bill in May.

Amazon.com in UK removes Holocaust-denial books

The British arm of the amazon.com online bookselling firm has removed three titles from sale because they deny the Holocaust, the Times of Israel reports. The action follows requests from Yad Vashem and the Englands Board of Deputies umbrella organization.

The four titles are Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told, by Eleanor Wittakers; The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, by Arthur R. Butz and Did Six Million Really Die? by Richard Harwood.

Anti-Semitic holiday invitation in Lithuania

The mayor of a Lithuanian city this week invited residents to a party in honor of a local holiday and included anti-Semitic references on the invitation, Arutz Sheva reports. During the holiday in Naisiai, local residents chase away the winter, but Jewish residents of the town say the anti-Semitic undertones grow stronger every year, and include pictures of stereotypical Jews, similar to the ones from before World War II.

The leader of the Jewish community, Paina Kokliansy, harshly criticized the mayor and the citys Culture Committee Head, who published on the invitation pictures of people dressed up as Jews.

One Lithuanian who moved to Israel said, All of Europe has a holiday in which they chase away the winter. But in Lithuania there are also lots of characters witches, Satan, gypsies, and Jews. They show all the stereotypes, in a very insulting and anti-Semitic fashion.

They used to say Jews want to steal the holiday. It wasnt always like this, the former Lithuanian said. I wouldnt want to raise a child in Lithuania today, because I would not want to have to explain whats happening there. Sentences like, Lets take a stick and beat the Jew are sentences you dont hear here in Israel.

Trump immigrant policy reminiscent of earlier anti-Jewish measures

The revised travel issued by the Trump administration reminds novelist Ellen Umansky of anti-immigrant policies that excluded Jews, Chinese and other minority groups from the United States in the 1930s, she writes in slate.com.

Our rejection of refugees is an inextricable part of the American story, and Trumps ban hews to that narrative more than wed prefer to recall, she writes on the online news site. One such black spot on our history mirrors the present moment particularly closely. In the late 1930s, the United States had a chance to save 20,000 Jewish children fleeing Nazi persecution, by means of a program that would have mirrored the British Kindertransport.

Sen. Robert Wagner, Democrat of New York, and Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, Republican of Massachusetts, jointly introduced a bill to admit 20,000 unaccompanied child refugees, 14 or younger, into the United States. The bill stipulated that the costs of caring for the children would be borne by the private sector and, crucially, that the refugees admitted would not count against the quotas limiting U.S. immigration, she wrote. But the opposition struck back with calls to, yes, put America first.

Amid backlash, twoJewish museums open in Portugal

Two municipalities in Portugal opened museums about their Jewish heritage last week amid protests byresidents of thecapital Lisbon againstthe ongoing construction of a third and larger one.

In the northeastern city of Braganca, the municipality opened a two-story Sephardi Interpretive Center that focuses on the life of Jews under persecution in 15th and 16th centuries. And on Thursday, a smaller Jewish Memorial Center opened in the town of Vila Cova Coelheira east of the northern city of Porto.

Separately, the Association for Heritage and Population in Alfama organized a news conference Wednesday to express its opposition to the ongoing construction of the four-story Jewish museum being built in the neighborhood.

The building, which will feature a facade with a large Star of David, breaks with the neighborhoods tradition, a spokeswoman for the residents association was quoted by the Public newspaper as saying in an article about the opposition.

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Abbas to increase outreach to US Jews; Hamas confirms platform change; Celebrating Purim in NY Prisons – Jewish Week

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor to receive Indiana’s top honor – Indianapolis Star

Click the video above to see and hear Eva Mozes Kor tell her life story and how she survived the Auschwitz concentration camp and the bizarre medical experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele.

Eva Kor was interned at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Kor and her sister were Mengele twins, subjected to medical experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele while at the camp. She has spent most of her life in Terre Haute, Ind., searching for other twins and information on the experiments that were performed on them.(Photo: By Pat McDonogh, The CJ)

Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor who endured Nazi death camp experiments and founded a museum in Terre Haute to preservethat history, is being awarded one of Indianas highest honors.

Kor, who lost much of her family at the Auschwitz death camp but went on to be an advocate for forgiveness, will be honored next month with the Sachem Award, the office of Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday.

“I am flabbergasted,” said Kor, 83. “I had no idea I was going to be given anything.”

Kor was a Jewish farm girl in Romaniawhen the Nazis invaded her country and eventually sent her family off to the death camps in a cattle car. At Auschwitz, she was ripped away from her parents and her older sisters, who eventually died in the gas chambers. She and her twin sister, Miriam, were spared so they could become test subjects for Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

Eva and her sister survived until the camp was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1945, as World War II came to an end. She married a Hoosier she met in Israel and came to Terre Haute in 1960. By 1984, Kor founded an organization called CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors) devoted to finding other Mengele twins. And in 1995, she opened a museum to tell their story and promote forgiveness. Over the years, she has expressed forgiveness for Mengele, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. She even eventually exchanged a hugwith a former Nazi SS officer known as the accountant of Auschwitz because he gathered money and valuables from the belongings of death camp victims.

Holcomb showed up at Kor’s museum Friday to inform her of the award.”Eva is the living embodiment of true compassion, Holcomb saidin a statement released by his office. Her life proves there are no bounds on forgiveness and human decency. Eva shows us what our response should be to acts of bigotry and hatred through her daily mission to educate people and spread messages of peace, respect and civility.

Kor said she knew something was afoot when she saw local officials whom she had been trying to lure to her museum for years begin showing up out of the blue.

The honor comes to her amid a wave of bomb threats against Jewish centers and anti-Semitic threats around the country. Kor said she is saddened anytimepeople are targeted for hate. She said she hopes to use her award as an opportunity to spread her message of forgiveness.

“I think we need it more today than ever,” she said.

Kor used the access to Holcomb on Friday to see if she could use his connections to Vice President Mike Pence to get her an audience with Congress, whom she says could learn a thing or two from her about getting along with others. “I want to give them a little lecture of my life lessons, what I learned,” she said.

Kor will be given the Sachem (pronounced say-chum) at a ceremony next month in Indianapolis. Previous honorees include basketball legend John Wooden, businessman and philanthropist Bill Cook and radio broadcaster Amos Brown.

Kor is the subject of the latest documentary collaboration by Ted Green Films and WFYI. “Eva” is scheduled to premiere in January 2018.

Call IndyStar reporter Robert King at (317) 444-6089. Follow him on Twitterand Facebook.

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor: Nazis hug just kindness

Swarens: ‘I refuse to be a victim’ an Auschwitz survivor’s journey to forgiveness

Holocauast survivor and Mengele twin, Eva Mozes Kor met with the “Accountant of Auschwitz,” Oskar Groening, during his recent trial in Germany.

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Holocaust survivor Eva Kor to receive Indiana’s top honor – Indianapolis Star

Surprise! Jews are good at baseball – JNS.org

The Sandy Koufax precedent

On a completely different note, why is this team so good? Arent Jews in the Diaspora supposed to be studious scholars who pore over books all day? So first, a clarification: The fact that a team of American Jews has been winning at an international baseball tournament is surprising because the team doesnt include the most successful Jewish players in Major League Baseballlike Alex Bregman, Ryan Braun and Ian Kinsler. Actually, this Israeli team is just a footnote in the glorious Jewish history of Americas pastime.

At the inaugural Jewish American Heritage Month celebration in May 2010, President Barack Obama remarked, Weve got senators and representatives, weve got Supreme Court justices and successful entrepreneurs, rabbinical scholars, Olympic athletesand Sandy Koufax.

Koufax is widely considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Jewish or not. He earned his place in Jewish history, though, thanks to his decision to sit out game one of the 1965 World Series game because it coincided with Yom Kippur. He later won that years World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was named series MVP.

David Trager, a Brooklyn judge who also taught at Tel Aviv University, succinctly explained the meaning of Koufaxs Yom Kippur act. He said, Our parents generation was religious, but they still worked on the Sabbath.In the workshops and even at respectable companies, if you didnt work on Yom Kippur you were fired. Koufax didnt justify his decision with big words about religious faith. He was a completely secular man. He simply said, The Dodgers know I dont work on Yom Kippur. He set the precedent that, like any American, Jews can tell their employers that there are days when they dont work.

But Koufax wasnt the first. Thirty years before him, Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg also sat out a crucial game on Yom Kippur, at a time when Michigan faced a wave of anti-Semitism that was fanned by industrialist Henry Ford.

Israels sports landscape

American Jews are far better at sports than Israeli Jews. Jewish-American athletes have racked up more than 100 Olympic gold medalsto Israels one gold medal. It isnt about the quality of Jewish life in America. Even the Jews of Hungary won 50 gold medals under terrible anti-Semitism. Rather, an athlete performs well when the athletes in the surrounding environment are highly skilled. No Chinese child plays soccer as well as Argentine children. Similarly, Israel wont produce American-caliber baseball stars.

Yet theres no need to bash the Israeli sports landscape, and no need to slam Israels national soccer or basketball teams for not being as prolific as this newly renowned baseball team. The players that comprise the baseball team hail from a baseball superpower, America, even if they represent a different country at the WBC, Israel, that isnt an athletic superpower of any kind.

The Israeli baseball teams American players, meanwhile, arent likely to become heroes in Israel anytime soon. But due to their achievements on the international stage, the world finally knows that Jews are good at baseball.

This op-ed first appeared in Israel Hayom, whose English-language content is distributed in the U.S. exclusively by JNS.org.

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Surprise! Jews are good at baseball – JNS.org

Trump tells Abbas ‘time has come’ for peace deal with Israel – Washington Times

President Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud AbbasFridaythat its time for a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The president emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal, the White House said in a readout of the phone conversation between the two leaders. The president noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world.

Mr. Trump invited Mr. Abbas to a meeting at the White House soon.

The president underscored that such a peace agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Palestinian and Israeli leadership to make progress toward that goal, the White House said.

The president noted that the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other, the statement said.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah saidAbbas stressed the commitment to peace as a strategic choice to establish a Palestinian State alongside the state of Israel, according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.

alestinians are concerned at the more favorable approach shown by Washington toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Mr. Trump came to power. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump have spoken on the phone at least twice since the inauguration, and Mr. Netanyahu visited Washington last month.

Palestinian officials indicated Abbas would emphasize his concern about Israeli settlement-building on occupied land and the need for a two-state solution to the conflict. This article is based on wire-service reports.

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Trump tells Abbas ‘time has come’ for peace deal with Israel – Washington Times

This Sephardi Jew sees preserving Ladino as ‘act of resistance’ against Trump – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Devin Naar says Ladino connects Jews with Latinos and Muslims, two communities he considers marginalized in Trumps America. (Meryl Schenker Photography/The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at Washington University)

(JTA) One-year-old Vidal doesnt know the significance behind the lullaby his father sings him at bedtime. He knows it helps him fall asleep, but notthat the Ladino song is part of an effort to teach himwhat served asthe lingua franca of Sephardi Jews of the Ottoman Empire for over 500 years.

And he doesnt know that whenhe says his first words, he will join a shrinking cadre of Ladino speakers, most of them elderly, who hold the keys to a culture that is on the brink of extinction.

To lose a language is to lose a world, and were on the cusp of that,his father, Devin Naar, told JTA.

Naar, a professor of Sephardic studies at the University of Washington, is deeply passionate about preserving Ladino which is also known as Judeo-Spanish, Judezmo or Judio the language his grandfathers family spoke in their native Greece. By teaching Vidal Ladino, Naar hopes to fulfill a longtime dream of transmitting itslegacyto his son.

In recent months, theres something else at stake too. The 33-year-old Seattle resident sees the linguistic roots of Ladino, which include Hebrew, Spanish, Turkish and Arabic, as providing a way to connect Jews with Latinos and Muslims.Preserving Ladino is a specific political act of resistance in Trumps America, Naar said.

Its a language of linguistic fusion that is based in Spanish but really brings together a lot of other linguistic elements that I think give it a special resonance, especially in todays world, because it serves as bridge language between different cultures between Jewish culture, between Spanish culture and between the Muslim world, Naar said.

President Donald Trump has signed executive orders to builda wall between the U.S. and Mexico and to banimmigrants from some Muslim majority countries.

If Trump is interested in building a wall, Judezmo serves as a bridge, and I think that we need bridges such as this in our time, Naarsaid.

Naars grandfather came to the United States with most of his familyin 1924 from Salonica, Greece, in the midst of discriminatory measures being passed against Jews there. Family members left behind later perished inthe Holocaust, along with 95 percent of the citys Jews.

In the U.S., there were other difficulties. Naars grandfather heard anti-Semitic slurs and other insults from bigots who mistook him forSouth American or Middle Eastern.

Speaking Ladino serves as a method of reclaiming that heritage and activating that heritage not only for personal and family reasons but for political reasons, Naar said.

Devin Naars grandfather, far right, in Salonica, Greece, in the early 1920s, before they moved to the U.S. (Courtesy of Naar)

Ladino emerged following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, when the communitydispersed throughout the Ottoman Empire and came in contact with local languages as well as different Iberian dialects. At its height in the beginning of the 20th century, the languagehad abouthalf a million speakers, Naar estimated.

Estimates of current Ladino speakers vary widely, from between 160,000-300,000 people with some familiarity withthe language to around 50,000-100,000 speakers. Most of the population today is elderly, but there is renewedinterest in the language in some universities in the U.S. and Israel as well asamong Sephardi Jews.

Teaching VidalLadino has its challenges there is no complete English-Ladino dictionary and most speakers are older.Naarwas recently reading Vidal a childrens book about a dinosaur with slippery flippers and found himselfat a loss for how to translate that expression into Ladino. He consulted a scholar in Israel and a local Ladino speaker to get it right.

Its a learning process for me, both speaking to him and recognizing the limits of my vocabulary and trying to expand my vocabulary, Naarsaid.

But he isnt alone. Naar enlisted the help of a Seattle-basedgroup of elderly Ladino speakers, who translated Little Red Riding Hood into the language as a gift to Vidal. And his wife, Andrea, speaks to their sonin a mix of English, Spanish and Ladino.

Rachel Amado Bortnick, the founder of an online community for Ladino speakers, told JTA thatshe had only heard of one other casein the last decade of a child being taught to speak Ladino.

Theres no community that uses it daily its very challenging, to put it mildly, to actually pass on the language in the way that a person like me grew up in, said Bortnick, who learned Ladino as a child in her native Turkey.

Naars interest in the language goes back to his family history. He grew up hearing his grandfather and older relatives speak the language.

But by the time he started college in 2001, he had only learned a few words: greetings, curses, food-related words and liturgical passages. Questions from classmates about his last name, which did not sound like the Ashkenazi Jewish names they were familiar with, motivated him to dig deeper into his heritage.

He started studying Sephardi history and asked his grandfather to teach him Ladino.

A year later, Naar was able to read letters detailing the fate of family members who had perished in Auschwitz. The letters, written in Ladino by a family friend after World War II, had been tucked away in a closet, and some of Naars family members had been unaware of their existence and the details they provided ofthe deaths of family members.

The older generation, they couldnt believe it. They hadnt heard somebody speak like that in years, so that was very powerful for me, Naar said.

Now hes doing his part to pass the language on to the next generation and with it, a set of values.

One of my goals in trying to teach Vidal Ladino would be so that he has a sense of connection and awareness, not only of where he comes from, but also how the culture that he is connected to is connected to many other people, so that if he sees that immigrants in general or Spanish-speaking immigrants or Muslims in America are being maligned, I hope that he would be inspired to stand up.

Devin Naar is reading his son, Vidal, childrens books in Ladino as well as translating books from English into the language. (Courtesy of Naar)

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This Sephardi Jew sees preserving Ladino as ‘act of resistance’ against Trump – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Not just prayers: synagogues are organizing to fight Trump’s agenda – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Congregants of Bnai Jeshurun in New York City rally on behalf of immigrants Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017. Bnai Jeshurun is one of several synagogues more assertively embracing activism since Donald Trumps election. (Courtesy of Bnai Jeshurun)

NEW YORK (JTA) The day after the presidential election, as congregants gathered in her Brooklyn synagogue to air their feelings, Rabbi Rachel Timoner was already starting to organize against the incoming administration.

She called her local city councilman, Democrat Brad Lander, and together they organized an activists panel at her congregation, Beth Elohim, to discuss policy changes under President Donald Trump. More than 1,000 people packed the sanctuary for the event.

Four months later, Beth Elohim has been transformed into an activist hub in Brooklyns affluent and historically progressive Park Slope neighborhood. Together with Lander, the synagogue has set up 15 working groups on liberal causes ranging from combating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to protecting reproductive rights. Ten thousand people are active in the groups, and seven mass meetings of the activists, educating them on issues and teaching organizing tactics, have drawn an average crowd of 1,000.

Our people are awakened, activated, determined, in some cases alarmed, and deeply wanting to be part of preventing harm and healing this country, Timoner said. I have literally hundreds of members who are in acute pain, who are seeing their country become distorted.

Beth Elohim is among several synagogues that have doubled down on political activism since Trumps election. Synagogues are taking on roles usually reserved for nonprofits hiring professional activists, organizing protests, mobilizing congregants to lobby and educating them on immigrant and refugee rights. Several synagogues sent delegations to the Womens March on Washington and its local offshoots in January.

Some of these synagogues dont see the work as partisan, aimed as they are directly at Trumps policies. (Trump himself has called for loosening federal laws that prevent houses of worship from endorsing political candidates.) Others, citing overwhelming demand among their congregants, are less concerned about appearing political. But they all say that regardless of the risks, this is the moment for synagogues to offer their members a chance to engage on issues that matter to them in a Jewish context.

We have Torah, and Torah is very clear that we do not oppress the stranger, that we love our fellow human beings as we love ourselves, Timoner said. What I think it offers to have things like this happen in a synagogue is it provides the moral framework.

Beth Elohim has received a grant to hire a community organizer, a step Manhattans Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is also taking, fueled by more than $100,000 in congregant donations. Stephen Wise is organizing its members into three activist groups on refugees and immigrants; anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; and protecting civil liberties.

Stephen Wise helped raise $20,000 for Jews in Whitefish, Montana, when they were threatened by white supremacists in January. In June, a delegation from the synagogue will travel to Greece and Germany to aid refugees, while educating kids at the synagogue about refugee rights. Ammiel Hirsch, the synagogues rabbi, expects groups to lobby legislators on a range of issues as well.

Judaism is a faith that believes in action, in making the world a better place through policy, Hirsch said. Theres got to be a force of legislation behind it. Otherwise, its just a question of localized humanitarian action, without regard to collective policies that ensure were on a higher moral plane.

Other synagogues have collaborated in interfaith initiatives or served as spaces for activist gatherings. Bnai Jeshurun in Manhattan was the site of a rally that drew thousands before the New York City womens march in January. The synagogue has also set up an action alert list with 200 subscribers to mobilize congregants for protests.

Bnai Jeshurun congregants at the HIAS rally for refugees in February. (Courtesy of Bnai Jeshurun)

For some of these synagogues, the current activism is just an intensification of a historical tilt toward political engagement. Bnai Jeshurun has a longstanding program to aid New York State farmworkers, while Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C., led two trips to aid undocumented immigrants in Texas in 2014 and 2016, before Trumps election.Synagogues nationwide have long been active on Israel policy, and in the 1970s and 1980s, on behalf ofSoviet Jewry.

But some congregants see synagogue-based political action as a step too far. David Horowich, a Reform Jewish businessman from Syracuse who voted for Trump, appreciates Reform Judaisms cultural and communal aspects. But he feels synagogues shouldnt be in the business of political advocacy, because its not always easy to judge whether policies are successful.

I havent been in favor of coming out with statements that are political, because sometimes they can come back and haunt you, Horowich said. Im open to people expressing their opinions, but you have to wait until it all plays out.

For those who oppose him, Trumps policies on refugees and immigration have become a particular focus of synagogue activism. All four religious denominations and several major organizations opposed the first iteration of his immigrationban in January.

In response to Trumps immigration policies, several synagogues have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. For some synagogues, including Temple Sinai, that means setting aside rooms should undocumented immigrants need a place tolive. Others, like Philadelphias Congregation Beth Zion-Beth Israel, which is exploring becoming a sanctuary,are holding classes for immigrants and others on immigrant and refugee rights.

Our religious tradition teaches about not only welcoming the stranger but not oppressing the stranger, and making sure the most vulnerable in our midst has been protected and cared for, said Temple Sinai Rabbi Jonathan Roos. The level of fear is at a level unseen during the Obama years, even when the level of deportations was high.

The push for synagogue activism appears to be spreading. Timoner has held two conference calls with rabbis interested in Beth Elohims model. And Truah, the rabbinichuman rights group, drew 200 rabbis to a conference in February, called No Time for Neutrality, that ended with 19 rabbis getting arrested during a protest in front of a Trump hotel in New York City.

We have more power, privilege and social capital than weve ever had in this country, said Beth Zion-Beth Israel Rabbi Yosef Goldman.Its an opportunity for us to be vigilant about using our power to defend our own community, but [also] to defend those around us who are more vulnerable than we are.

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Not just prayers: synagogues are organizing to fight Trump’s agenda – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Hate crimes in America: either a trap or an opportunity for Palestine advocates – Mondoweiss

Fox News tweet of St. Louis cemetery with gravestones overturned, February 20, 2017

A collusion exists between the anti-Semitic, White supremacist forces that have ascended to the White House and Zionists. While the former advocate for global apartheid and a race battle between Europeans/Whites/Western values and an imaginary construct of dark-skinned barbaric hordes, the latter promote a Jewish-only settler-colonialist villa in the jungle as an anti-Muslim, Western stronghold and a means to salvation in the form of the second coming (Christian Zionists) or the construction of the third temple (Jewish Zionists).

This relationship contains a glaring paradox: anti-Semitism is a central tenant of White supremacy, neo-Nazism and the alt-right just as much, if not more than, anti-Muslim sentiment.

There is a long history of collaboration between anti-Semitic forces and Zionists. Anti-Semites aim to get rid of Jews and all other races, while Zionists have worked to entice Jews, by any means necessary, to Israels shores, i.e. Judaizing Israel as a means to fight the demographic threat posed by native Palestinians.

This collaboration has recently culminated in a grotesque display of brotherly love between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of the United States Donald Trump.

Immediately following Trumps surprising victory, Netanyahu, the self-anointed representative of world Jewry, praised Trump for his friendship and support of the state of Israel, as exemplified by his campaign rhetoric.

In their first joint press conference, which included reciprocal ego-stroking, Netanyahu clearly defined the currently convenient mutual interest that binds modern day Israel and Zionists with Trump and his anti-Semitic enablers: radical Islamic terrorism.

However, since the American elections there have been a series of anti-Semitic bomb threats and desecrations of Jewish cemeteries that are unrelated to Islamic terrorism. In fact, these add to a growing number of racist expressions against immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQI and other members of minority communities, apparently fueled by the emboldening of racist groups and individuals inspired by Trumps ascendency.

In response to these incidents , Trump ignored his obvious culpability in this spike of violence and regressed to anti-Semitic rhetoric, claiming that the desecrations and attacks could be false flags perpetuated by Jews themselves. Furthermore, when directly asked by a reporter about the spike in anti-Semitism, Trump referenced Netanyahus support as a sort of vindication.

In this context, Netanyahu and his ilk are directly aiding and abetting anti-Semites. It is painfully ironic to recall the words of the newly-confirmed Israeli ambassador David Friedman, who accused members of the liberal Zionist group J Street of being far worse than kapos. Friedman has been serving Trumps agenda in one capacity or another for years.

Trumps particular claim underlines a nexus where anti-Zionists and anti-Semites sometimes converge and is a dangerous trap for Palestine advocates. Claims that dismiss an anti-Semitic and racist reality, such as those vocalized by Trump and supposedly backed by anecdotes of Jews involved in hate crimes, serve to validate notions of a Zionist conspiracy that foments anti-Semitism for the purpose of Jewish immigration (Aliyah) to Israel. Whereas fear has undoubtedly been used by Zionist propaganda (Hasbara) to promote Aliyah, it is erroneous to associate all, or even most expressions of anti-Semitism with this phenomenon. In fact, it is extremely counterproductive for Palestinian advocates to promote such claims as it serves to excuse the real culprits who are frequently White supremacists and anti-Muslim, and associates the Palestinian cause with right-wing anti-Semites.

Instead of falling into this trap, Palestinian advocates and members of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement would do well to continue to focus on forming allegiances with progressive and radical groups who represent other victimized minority communities with goals of equality and justice, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and others. The recent wave of Trump-inspired violence and bigotry inflicted on both Jewish and Muslim American communities has presented opportunities for building bridges of interfaith solidarity that have proved highly successful (see here and here).

Collaboration between repressed communities may be the best and only hope of fighting the divisiveness and ongoing cycle of violence and inequality, which plagues societies in America and Israel/Palestine.

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Hate crimes in America: either a trap or an opportunity for Palestine advocates – Mondoweiss

British And American Police Probe Link Between Threats Against Jews – Forward

Scotland Yard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating more than a hundred bomb threats made to Jewish groups in the United States and Britain since Jan. 7, U.S. and UK law enforcement and Jewish community officials said.

Investigators said there is evidence that some of the U.S. and British bomb threats are linked. According to people in both countries who have listened to recordings of the threats, most of the them have been made over the telephone by men and women with American accents whose voices are distorted by electronic scramblers.

Waves of threats against U.S. Jewish groups – including community centers, schools, and offices of national organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) civil rights group – have been followed within hours by similar but smaller waves against Jewish organizations, mainly schools, in Britain, Jewish community representatives in both countries said.

FBI officials in Washington confirmed that the agency is investigating the threats against U.S. Jewish organizations. Sources in Britains Jewish community said Londons Metropolitan Police, otherwise known as Scotland Yard, is conducting its own investigation and collaborating with the FBI.

Scotland Yard did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

Some of the most recent threats were called in Tuesday to ADL offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York, and Washington. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said President Donald Trumps administration would continue to condemn them and look at ways to stop them.

NO BOMBS FOUND

The threats, 140 of them in the United States alone, according to Jewish community leaders, usually have involved callers claiming that improvised explosive devices have been placed outside the buildings that have been threatened.

However, no homemade bombs have been found outside any of the threatened premises in either the United States or the UK, community officials said.

Earlier this month, all 100 U.S. senators signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey expressing concern that the wave of threats will put innocent people at risk and threaten the finances of Jewish institutions.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed charges against Juan Thompson, a former writer for the investigative website The Intercept, earlier this month alleging that he was responsible for at least eight threats emailed to Jewish community centers as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship.

The Intercept, a news website, had fired Thompson months earlier for allegedly fabricating quotes.

Jewish community officials in the United States and Britain said they think the threats that investigators linked to Thompson were not related to the larger campaign against Jewish organizations in their countries.Reuters

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British And American Police Probe Link Between Threats Against Jews – Forward