Friday, January 24, 2020

It’s not trivial to know Bethlehem isn’t in a non-existent nation and 2.3 Million People Visited Auschwitz in 2019, (and I was one of them)

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement

Love Yehuda Lave

Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent People Ignore.

Albert Einstein

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.

Golda Meir

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

Albert Einstein

It's not trivial to know Bethlehem isn't in a non-existent nation

JONATHAN S. TOBIN

(January 14, 2020 / JNS) There's no escaping controversy any time that Israel or the Palestinians are mentioned. That's a lesson the producers, writers and star of the long-running "Jeopardy!" television game show learned to their detriment this past week when a clue involving the location of the Church of the Nativity was used in an episode that aired on Jan. 10, though it was taped last fall.

In a category titled "Where's That Church?" contestants were asked to identify the location of the house of worship that Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus. Katie Needle, a retail supervisor from Brooklyn, N.Y., and the show's defending champion at the time, answered (in the form of a question, as the game's rules require), "What is Palestine?" But to her surprise, longtime host Alex Trebek told her she was wrong. Another contestant named Jack Maguire countered, "What is Israel?" and won $200 for answering correctly.

The show then went to commercial break, and reportedly, after the producers and chief writer Billy Wisse huddled with Trebek, the question about the Church of the Nativity was eliminated. A new one was substituted, and the show went on with Needle ultimately defending her title. But when the show eventually aired, the deleted sequence mentioning Bethlehem was the one that viewers saw in a mistake that the show says it regrets.

It led to an avalanche of criticism against the game show, Trebek and Wisse (who is the son of Ruth Wisse, the distinguished Jewish scholar and eloquent advocate for Zionism) on social media from critics of Israel who saw it as an example of Zionist propaganda that sought to erase Palestine from the map

Adding to the storm over the segment is the fact that Needle is actually a supporter of the Palestinian cause and has defended the anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), while also criticizing Israel and proclaiming "Palestine should be free" on Twitter.

But while Alex Trebek won't decide the fate of the Middle East, the correct answer to the question he posed isn't a matter of trivia.

While much of the world agrees with Needle that Bethlehem is in Palestine, there is currently no such legally constituted nation.

Under the terms of the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority autonomously governs most of the territory that is commonly known as the West Bank, where Bethlehem is located. But Oslo did not grant the P.A. does sovereignty. Nor does it exert sovereign rule since Israel still maintains security control of the region. Final disposition of the area awaits negotiations that would, in theory, partition the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Repeated attempts at negotiations have been tried ever since the P.A. was established. Israel has made offers of independence that would have given the Palestinians an independent state in almost all of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip (now ruled as an independent state in all but name by the Hamas terrorist organization) and a share of Jerusalem in exchange for ending the conflict. Each time, the Palestinians have responded "no" to such proposals. The P.A., led by Mahmoud Abbas—who just entered the 16th year of the four-year term as president, to which he was elected in 2005—is still unwilling to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.

So rather than conclude peace with Israel, the P.A. has tried an end run around negotiations by asking the United Nations and other governments to recognize the existence of a State of Palestine that doesn't exercise the authority of a state. That's why it isn't actually a member of the United Nations, though the Palestinians have a delegate there and at many of the world body's agencies. Needle's answer notwithstanding, Bethlehem cannot be considered part of state that has no sovereign rights or legally agreed-upon borders.

But neither was her fellow contestant correct when he said "Israel" since the Jewish state doesn't actually claim it to be part of its territory. It is instead part of territories that are disputed.

The area is often wrongly termed as being part of "Palestinian lands" or "Palestinian territories." However, there has been no fully recognized sovereign nation there since Great Britain governed the entire country under a Mandate for Palestine granted it by the League of Nations in 1922 as part of its promise to help develop a "national home" for the Jewish people. Before that, it was governed by foreign conquerors such as the Turks and their Ottoman Empire. At no point in prior history was there a Palestinian Arab entity or state exercising sovereignty in any part of the country.

Bethlehem was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, and came into Israel's possession in June of that year in a defensive war. Its right to the territory is just as valid as that of the P.A. But unless and until the Palestinians finally decide to make peace, it will remain in legal limbo.

Those who wish for Needle's answer to be considered correct should stop tweeting at Trebek or casting aspersions at Billy Wisse. Instead, they should direct their criticism at the Palestinians. As long as they remain unwilling to accept the existence of Israel, there will be no two-state solution to create a real state of Palestine.

In fact, it is now just as accurate to say that Bethlehem is in Judea. That was the biblical name of the region that was widely used throughout history to describe that part of a region the Romans renamed Palestine in order to try to erase its Jewish identity.

If the Palestinians want the existence of a state of Palestine to be recognized, they must choose peace and stop trying to expunge the Jewish history of the region. Until that happens, Bethlehem will remain as stateless as a Palestinian people that seem unable to give up their war on the Jews.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

2.3 Million People Visited Auschwitz in 2019, (and I was one of them)

A record 2.32 million people visited the sites of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz and Auschwitz II-Birkenau in Poland last year, the Auschwitz Memorial announced on Tuesday.

That number is about 170,000 more than in 2018, which also broke previous records.

At least 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz.

Some 81 percent of last year's visitors learned about the camp's history with one of the museum's 340 guides, who conduct tours in 21 languages. More than 14,000 people in organized groups visited the sites as part of study visits, which is approximately a 20 percent increase compared to the previous year.

According to data in the online reservation system, in 2019, the memorial was visited by at least 396,000 visitors from Poland, 200,000 from Great Britain, 120,000 from the United States, 104,000 from Italy, 73,000 from Germany, 70,000 from Spain, 67,000 from France, 59,000 from Israel, 42,000 from Ireland and 40,000 from Sweden.

"However, [the] data [is] not complete because in relation to the 730,000 visitors who came to the memorial in international groups, the organizers of the trips did not declare a particular country," said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. "Consequently, we are undertaking actions aimed at making the statistical data more detailed through the electronic system for booking entry cards."

The museum added that as many as 900,000 users follow its account on Twitter, and more than 300,000 use the museum's profile on Facebook with 80,000 on Instagram.

Synthetic Tzitzit Distributed in the Army

Q: I heard that there are problems with the tzitzit that are distributed in the army, because they are made of synthetic material. Are they 'kosher' according to halakha, and can a bracha (blessing) be made over them?

A: Let's start with the basics: Any garment that has four corners requires tzitzit. Indeed, there are poskim who are of the opinion that only a garment made out of wool or linen is obligated from the Torah, and garments made from any other material is obligated from Divrei Chachamim (rabbinical ordinance) (Rif, Rambam, and S. A. 9:1), while others say that all garments are obligated from the Torah (Tosafot, Rosh, and R'ma). In any case, whether the obligation is from the Torah or from Divrei Chachamim, one is obligated to place tzitzit on any garment, no matter the material it is made of, and recite a bracha over them when worn.

A Synthetic Garment

However, a leather garment is exempt from tzitzit, because it is not made by weaving as clothing is, rather, it is made out of one surface (S. A. 10:4; Levush, Shulchan Aruch HaRav). Also, nylon sheeting from which an apron or covering is made to protect workers while at their job, is exempt from tzitzit.

Some poskim say that a garment made of synthetic fiber is exempt from tzitzit, since it could have been made as a single casting like leather (Mahari Shteif 28; Iggrot Moshe, O.C. 2:1). However, in the opinion of the majority of Achronim, there is a difference between a leather garment, and a garment made of synthetic fiber. Leather is inherently not made like a garment, because it has no fibers, therefore, it is exempt from tzitzit.

However, when a garment is made from synthetic fiber, it is obligated in tzitzit (Har Tzvi 1: 9). But as far as reciting a bracha is concerned, some poskim had reservations, and due to the safek (doubt), they instructed not to recite a bracha on such a garment (Tzitz Eliezer 12: 3; Ohr L'Tziyon 2:3).

However, in the opinion of most poskim, a bracha should be recited over tzitzit placed on a garment made of synthetic material (Rabbi Aurbach ztz"l in She'elot Shlomo 3:17; HaRav Eliyahu ztz"l in Ma'amar Mordechai, Yamot Ha'Chol 7: 67-68; Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, shlita in Milumdei Milchama 112, who testified that this was also the opinion of Rabbi Heinkin ztz"l).

Synthetic Fabric has become Standard

All the more so today should a bracha be recited over tzitzit placed on a synthetic garment, because over the decades, since the debate about synthetic garments began, the production of synthetic material has greatly improved. In the past, they were of poor quality – they were not warm enough in the winter, and caused sweating in the summer – only because of their low price was it used to make cheap clothing. In the meantime, however, their quality has improved amazingly, and today, quality clothing is made from it, sometimes even considered finer clothing than those made from natural materials.

In practice, when discussions about synthetic clothing began, only a small percent of the clothing was made from synthetic materials, and they were worse looking than other clothing. But today, more than 70 percent of the world's manufactured threads are made of synthetic material, and the majority of the world's garments are made from synthetic materials, thus a typical piece of clothing is made from synthetic material.

Therefore, a garment made of synthetic thread is considered a garment for all intents and purposes, and there is no safek one should recite a bracha over tzitzit placed on such a garment.

Tzitzit in the Army

Most of the tzitzit currently distributed in the army are from dri-fit fabric, which is a synthetic fabric woven by special technology, and used to make sports activity clothing. Its main advantage is that it is aerated and evaporates sweat, and therefore, is comfortable and pleasing to soldiers, and serves both as an undershirt, and a tallit katan.

These tzitziot arrived to the army with the help of Rabbi Yedidya Atlas (IDF Rabbi, res.). During Operation 'Pillar of Defense', when the soldiers spent long days in the field unable to wash or change clothes, sweat eroded the tzitziyot, and the army had to dispose of 10,000 tzitziyot. It was then that the initiative was made to produce talitot katanot from dri-fit.

In any event, these talitot are 'kosher' without safek for reciting a bracha. In addition, the army also distributes talitot made of cotton, and of course, there is no safek about them as well.

Mesh Tallit

In Judaica stores another type of tallit katan is sold, which is made of polyester, mesh material. In the distant past the army may have distributed them, but for at least twenty years, they are no longer distributed.

Regarding such mesh talitot, a more considerable safek arose, as they are not made like other garments woven from threads, but from cast threads. Nonetheless, in the responsa 'Az Nidbaru' (7: 52), Rabbi Binyamin Silber is of the opinion that one should recite a bracha over them, since in practice, they are made as a garment that has threads. This is also the opinion of Rabbi Rabinovich shlita. And although their reasoning seems compelling, since many poskim had their doubts about this, in practice, it is correct not to recite a bracha over them. This is what I wrote in 'Peninei Halakha: Likutim Aleph' 1:8, footnote 6.

This article appears in the 'Besheva' newspaper and was translated from Hebrew.

 

Israel develops drug to prevent type 2 diabetes

#Jerusalem biopharma develops drug to prevent type 2 #diabetes.

A Hero of Israel: Who Was Clark Clifford?

There have been many heroes who enabled the establishment and the success of the State of Israel. One person who does not receive enough credit for the integral role that he played in Israel's establishment is Clark Clifford.

Who, you ask?

We will get back to Clark Clifford soon.

While the United States has been Israel's greatest international ally, this wasn't a given in the spring of 1948. As the leaders of the future state of Israel were deliberating whether or not to declare a state as the British Mandate was coming to an end, the US State Department led by Secretary of State George Marshall, was doing everything in its power to stop Israel from declaring its independence.

Marshall was not the first secretary of state to be against the establishment of a Jewish state in the Holy Land. Robert Lansing, secretary of state for President Woodrow Wilson told the president that the United States cannot support "turning the Holy Land over to the absolute control of the race credited with the death of Christ." The State Department even fought against a 1922 joint resolution in the US Congress expressing support for the "establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine." State Department officials even tried to torpedo the United Nations Partition Plan in 1947 and, once they realized it would pass, they tried to cut Israel's territory in half by taking the Negev desert region out of the plan's allotment for the Jewish state.

 

Related reading: Unspinning the UN Partition Plan That Created Israel

Even once the Partition Plan passed on November 29, 1947, State Department officials tried to replace it. Warren Austin, the United States representative to the UN, raised an idea on March 19, 1948 suggesting that the UN take a step back from partitioning Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state and instead place the Holy Land under the auspices of the United Nations "to maintain the peace and to afford the Jews and Arabs of Palestine, who must live together, further opportunity to reach an agreement regarding the future government of that country." They did so despite the fact that the US Consulate in Jerusalem reported that in their opinion "both Arabs and Jews regard trusteeship scheme undesirable and most observers feel bloodshed will now increase tremendously."

President Truman was incensed with this. He recorded the following words in his diary:

This morning I find that the State Dept. has reversed my Palestine policy. The first I know about it is what I see in the papers! Isn't that hell? I'm now in a position of a liar and a double-crosser. I never felt so in my life. There are people on the 3rd and 4th level of the State Dept. who have always wanted to cut my throat. They are succeeding in doing it.

But Truman also remained silent at this point. Secretary of State Marshall was a powerful force in Truman's cabinet and Truman wrote that the trusteeship idea was just temporary to deal with the emergency created by the British leaving the region on May 15, 1948.

As Israel moved closer to announcing independence upon the British departure, the State Department took further steps to try to prevent it. Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State, worked towards a proposal to give most of Palestine to the Arabs while in his words "leaving the Jews a coastal state running from Tel Aviv to Haifa" (a fraction of the area given to the Jewish state in the Partition Plan.) At the same time, UN representative Austin proposed a new UN resolution that would condemn Israel for declaring independence. Marshall went as far as telling Jewish leaders that not only would the United States not support a new independent Jewish state, but they would not provide any military support if that new state was in need of it in the face of Arab attacks.

On May 12, just three days before British forces and officials were to leave Palestine, Marshall held a fateful meeting with Truman. Marshall, who was America's highest- ranking uniform officer during World War II was not the only one arguing against US recognition of the Jewish state. Defense Secretary James Vincent Forrestal and Under Secretary of State Robert Lovett joined the meeting and strongly urged the president not to recognize a new Jewish state if it were to be declared.

Lovett suggested that recognizing a Jewish state was nothing more than an attempt to win Jewish votes in the upcoming November 1948 presidential election. He also suggested that the new Jewish state would be filled with Jewish immigrants who were in fact communist agents working for the Soviet Union.

But there was one more person in that meeting – White House Counsel Clark Clifford, a close friend and adviser to the president. Clifford argued that a new state committed to democracy would do wonders for the chaotic Middle East. In Clifford's memoirs he relates that Marshall was "red with suppressed anger as I set forth the case for the immediate recognition of the Israeli state." Marshall told the president that if he followed Clifford's advice, then "the great dignity of the office of president would be seriously diminished." He went as far as saying that if the president supported the new Jewish state then in the November election, "I would vote against the President."

Clifford further wrote that "When I finished, he (Marshall) exploded, 'Mr. President, I thought this meeting was called to consider an important, complicated problem in foreign policy. I don't even know why Clifford is here.'" According to Clifford, Truman replied, "Well, General, he's here because I asked him to be."

In the end, Truman recognized the newly declared Jewish state minutes after it was declared on May 15, 1948. It is clear that he did so based on his deep belief in the Bible which promises the Holy Land to the Jewish people. In fact he later said:

I had faith in Israel even before it was established, I knew it was based on the love of freedom, which has been the guiding star of the Jewish people since the days of Moses. I believe it has a glorious future before it, not just as a sovereign nation but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.

President Truman in the Oval Office, receiving a Menorah as a gift from Israeli PM David Ben-Gurion (center), and Abba Eban, the Israeli Ambassador to the US: 05/08/1951

But, with his most important cabinet members being strongly against this recognition, Truman needed the voice of a trusted friend arguing that supporting a democratic Jewish state in the biblical and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people would create a beacon of light and stability in the Middle East, and that this was in America's best interest.

And Clark Clifford was the right man in the right place to make that happen.

United States recognition of Israel was critical to its survival in the face of worldwide criticism and condemnation.

And that makes little-known Clark Clifford a hero of Israel.

See you Sunday bli neder

Shabbat Shalom

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Scotland Yard Considering Criminal Charges Against 5 Labour Anti-Semites By David Israel and Don’t Confuse Me With Facts. It’s Always About the “Occupation” and Yad Vashem Conference today and Netanyahu Gives Putin Disputed Old City Church in Exchange for Jailed Israeli Woman

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement

Love Yehuda Lave

Definitions*🀣🀣

*School*
A place where Parents pay and children play πŸΌ

*Life Insurance*
A contract that keeps you poor all your life
so that you can die Rich. 

*Nurse*:
A person who wakes u up to give you sleeping pills.

*Marriage*
It's an agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree and a woman gains her masters.. πŸΌ

*Tears*
The hydraulic force by which masculine willpower is defeated by feminine waterpower. 

*Lecture*
An art of transferring information from the notes of the Lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either" 

*Conference*
The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

*Conference Room*
A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on

*Father*
A banker provided by nature 

*Criminal*
A person no different from the rest
....except that he/she got caught πŸ»πŸ»

*Boss*
Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early

*Politician*
One who shakes your hand before elections and
your Confidence after 

*DOCTOR*
A person who tries to resolve your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills. πŸΌπŸΌ

*Smile*
A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

*Office*
A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life. πŸ»πŸ»

*Yawn*
The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth. 

*Etc*.
A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

*Committee*
Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together. 

*Atom Bomb*
An invention to end all inventions.

Netanyahu Gives Putin Disputed Old City Church in Exchange for Jailed Israeli Woman

Following a report on Channel 13 on Monday night that as part of the efforts to release Naama Issachar Russia is demanding possession of Alexander's Court in the Old City, Ma'ariv on Wednesday morning published a document confirming that Israel had already responded to the Russian demand, and did it three weeks ago.

MK Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) tweeted in response: "In 2003, Sharon informed Putin that he would hand over Alexander's Court if Russia stopped selling weapons in the Middle East. Tomorrow, Netanyahu will hand it over in exchange for a girl who shouldn't have been in custody for one second." And he concluded: "We used to have strong leaders."

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The land on which Alexander's Court was built, Which includes the Alexander Nevsky Church and several other buildings, was purchased in 1859 by Czar Alexander III, Emperor of Russia, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland.

 

The dispute over who owned Alexander's Court began after the Russian Revolution of 1917, with two organizations bearing nearly identical names claiming ownership of the complex. The first is the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, founded in 1882 by Vasily Khitrovo with the approval of Alexander III. It actually runs the complex. The competing organization is the Imperial Pravoslav Palestine Society, which is closely associated with the current czar in the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin.

In response to a Maariv inquiry, the Russian foreign ministry stated that on December 30, 2019, Israel hjad made a formal decision to transfer ownership of Alexander's Court to the Imperial Pravoslav Palestine Society, and even published a document confirming this transfer.

So, to be clear, Israel was going to recognize the ownership over the Russian compound in the Old City sooner or later anyway – although it had been sitting on that decision since 2015. The Naama Issachar arrest and ridiculously harsh sentence of seven and a half years in jail over possession of 9.5 grams of hashish was just an incentive. Initially, the Russians were hoping to prevent the extradition of a Russian criminal hacker to the Americans in exchange for the Israeli woman sniffed by a customs dog in Moscow airport. Now they'll get a nice piece of real estate.

As to MK Omer Bar-Lev's sentimental yearning for strong leaders – we have strong leaders, in the Kremlin.

Scotland Yard Considering Criminal Charges Against 5 Labour Anti-Semites By David Israel

Scotland Yard Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on Wednesday announced that six individuals, five of them Labour party supporters, had been arrested or interviewed with a warning following an investigation of their Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism on social media.

According to the Daily Mail, four men and one woman were Labour Party members, and another man remains under investigation. They all face charges of "publishing or distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred."

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The Scotland Yard released the following quotes from the suspects' Facebook comments:

"We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all."

"Be good, these Jewish [expletive] are the devils."

"As for the Jews, red see (sic) ideal destination, no need for gas chambers anyway as gas is so expensive and we need it in England."

Another reference was to "a Zionist extremist MP who hates civilized people, about to get a good kicking."

Commissioner Dick spoke on LBC radio, and said, "I think actually we've now arrested six people, and that was earlier in 2019. We've submitted five files to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in September of last year."

As to the anticipated timeframe of the prosecution of these anti-Semites, the commissioner said: "It's a very complex crime type, to be honest. So there is a lot for them to look at and a lot for them to consider, as to whether there is either sufficient evidence to charge and whether it is in the public interest so to do. They've got the files and we look forward to hearing what they say about them."

As do we.

Don't Confuse Me With Facts. It's Always About the "Occupation"

By Asaf Romirowsky

Like clockwork, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent observation that "the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law" was immediately denounced by the Jewish Left.

The head of the Reform movement in North America, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, said the US government's new position on Israeli settlements will undercut the fight against BDS and the delegitimization of Israel in the US, specifically on college campuses.

It is not clear when Rabbi Jacobs was last on a campus, but the debate on North American college campuses is not about the so-called "occupation" but about whether Israel has a right to exist, period. Pro-BDS groups, including "Jewish" ones, are talking about the illegitimacy of the 1949 armistice lines, not those of 1967.

Moreover, a recent survey conducted by Ron Hassner at the University of California, Berkeley shows that most students who care strongly about the "Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories" do not have knowledge of even basic facts on the subject.

Jacobs's lack of understanding speaks to the divergent lexicon of the conflict, and more pointedly to the growing split between American Jews and Israelis. In many "progressive" circles there is little to no understanding of what areas are even in dispute; witness the continued claims that Gaza is "occupied" by Israel. For the BDS movement, everything Israeli, including Haifa and Tel Aviv, is a "settlement" and hence "illegal."

Far more than American policy, it is the language of "occupation" that plays a key role in what has become the religion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The main feature of that religion is the Palestinian claim that their (alleged) territories are "occupied" by Israel, regardless of where they are located on the map, much less in any legal sense under international law. The mantra of "occupation," and the demand that Israel be shunned until the "occupation" is ended—meaning the time when Israel is dissolved by the implementation of the Palestinian "right of return"—is the key demand of the Palestinians and the BDS movement.

Part of the problem is deliberate confusion over semantics. Historically, the word yishuv is usually defined as "the Jewish community in pre-State Palestine." It relates to those Jews who aspired to the national revival of the Jewish People in Palestine under the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate or, as they called it, the Land of Israel. Moshav, which stems from the same root, connotes a place of residence. Over the years, Israelis have used the word hityashvut (residingand hitnahlut (settlement) interchangeably, all referring to building the land of Israel in terms of the nation-state. Biblically, the term nahala, which comes from the same root as hitnahlut, referred to the geographic location of each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

The weaponization of the term hitnahlut (settlement) began after 1967 by the PLO and the Arab world. For the government of Israel under Levi Eshkol, newly established communities were an outgrowth of military outposts that had been created with the clear understanding that they were the first line of defense between Israel and its enemies. But 52 years later, no one remembers that Eshkol headed the Labor government or that Israel made overtures toward reconciliation in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War. The only legacy preached by rabbis like Rabbi Jacobs are condemnations of the "occupation."

Naturally, Rabbi Jacobs continues to echo the left-wing mantra that "The US is giving a green light to settlements and settlement expansion. This could also be interpreted as a first step toward supporting any Israeli annexation efforts."

Jacobs's interpretation characterizes the entire Arab-Israeli conflict as a territorial one, ignoring its religious foundations and thus all the many ingredients necessary for peace to actually come about. The relegation of the conflict to a matter of land alone is the reason why all peace proposals over the past century have been rejected by the Palestinians. The essence of the two-state placebo is the belief that peace will come when there are two states living side by side. But the reality is that the resilience of Jewish-Israeli survival has been overshadowed by the false Arab-Palestinian notion of being "occupied" and "robbed" of their true destiny by religiously ordained supremacy.

Consequently, Israel is the "oppressor." The Palestinian concept demands that the "occupation" remain the root cause of all that society's problems, self-imposed and otherwise, from social and economic woes to terrorism. The fact that the Trump administration decided to acknowledge historical fact—that the 1949 boundaries were neither sacred nor a permanent border and were always subject to adjustment—has been known for over five decades. This reality will not change no matter how falsely the facts are described on campus or by the Reform movement.

A Jew is a Jew is a Jew By Justin Amler

Because for the last few days I've seen articles on social media and on online publications about Mizrachi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews and Eastern Jews and all other kind of Jews, articles that seem to imply some are more Jewish or have more rights than others and I thought to myself.

Does it really matter?

I understand the reasons for this, because in this day and age of arguing about skin color and whether you are brown enough or white enough, it works really well for our enemies to weave a false fantastical narrative that shows that Jews are some kind of white colonialists taking over the poor Arab's lands in Israel.

But in my view, there is too much focus these days on whether Jews are white or brown or black or from Arab countries or from European countries, because in all honesty, these are distinctions we often bring upon ourselves. To the larger world, including those who wish us harm – it really doesn't matter to them at all.

A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

And we are the Jewish people – a people that came into being many thousands of years ago when a man called Abraham broke away from those around him to make a covenant with an invisible God – a covenant that continues to this day. Now it's true that we have many genetic markers that have travelled through history that are distinctive to the Jewish people, but being a Jew isn't solely in your blood. That's the reason that people who convert through the proper Jewish laws (halachic law) are considered 100% Jewish. And it's also true that just having Jewish blood doesn't make you Jewish either – as you are only considered a Jew if your mother is Jewish.

It's also true that the most observant Jew in the world who follows every single Jewish law there is is no more Jewish than the most secular Jew in the world who doesn't.

It's also true that every Jew in the world has a birthright – a right that includes being able to live in our Jewish homeland of Israel, but that right doesn't extend to be able to determine the future of Israel – not unless they choose to make Aliya and become part of the country and its voting public, which is something I completely agree with.

Jews are indigenous to Israel, not because of the colour of our skin, but because our nation was formed there, including our laws, our traditions, our history, our achievements, our successes and even our failures. You only need to look down and bury your hands in the earth beneath you and you'd be sifting through the sands of time looking back in the very places our ancestors existed. And you only need to look up and you'd be looking upon the future of where our people are heading. And you only need to look around its streets at the kaleidoscope of people passing you by in this very day to understand that being a Jew is not about what colour you are either.

No, being a Jew is far more than the superficial trapping of the pigmentation of our skin. It's far more than whether your grandmother was born in Egypt or born in Poland. It's far more than whether your family once spoke Yiddish or Ladino.

It's a spirit – a spirit that has flowed through the fabric of time from its simple beginnings to its more complex present. It's not an identity that you choose, but rather something that identifies you instead. It lives in us and influences us. It speaks to us – sometimes from the desolate recesses of our mind and sometimes from its blaring and booming center.

We all hear it and we all feel it – and even though far too many of us choose to ignore it, it doesn't ignore us.

It binds us and connects us from the kindness of Abraham to the struggles of Jacob to the dreams of Joseph, to the anguish of Moses to the beauty of Rachel to the daring of Devorah to the military prowess of King David to the ingenuity of Esther and to hundreds of generations more, because in each of us, we hear them.

They live on through us.

We were together when we left Egypt and we were together in the ghettos of Europe and we were together in the darkest days of European persecution and we were together in our brightest moments as we returned to our homeland of Israel.

And even as antisemitism has exploded again sweeping through this world, we will stand together once more.

For we are the Jews, a people who sometimes appear divided, yet share the same indomitable spirit within all of us – no matter where we come from and no matter whether we live in Israel or have not yet found our way home.

So when my son asked me what kind of Jews we are, I simply replied, we are the same Jews as every other Jew in this world – an ancient people with a birthright that cannot ever be extinguished. And although we may have lived in different countries for many years, we all once came from the Land of Israel many thousands of years ago and one day we will all return there.

The Fifth World Holocaust Forum – 23 January 2020

Heads of State from Europe, North America and Australia are converging at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, taking place on 23 January 2020.

The event, entitled "Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism," is being organized by the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, headed by Dr. Moshe Kantor, in cooperation with Yad Vashem, under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr. Reuven "Ruvi" Rivlin.

As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the message is clear – antisemitism has no place in our global society.

This historic event takes place against the background of the rise in hateful and violent expressions of antisemitism, especially in Europe. Given this alarming situation, efforts to educate about the dangers of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia and foster Holocaust commemoration, education and research have made this event more crucial and relevant than ever.

The Holocaust, aimed at the total annihilation of all Jews everywhere, and the eradication of their culture and history, was fueled by extreme racist antisemitism. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the international community enacted universal principles and instituted international organizations with the express purpose of averting future crimes against humanity. The ways in which antisemitism has persisted since the war and proliferated over recent years need to be identified, studied and understood. World leaders must be alert to antisemitism's current manifestations, and remain resolute in combatting it where it appears. It is the responsibility of all humanity, and especially the leaders that are gathering at Yad Vashem, to work to fight antisemitism, racism and xenophobia.

Yad Vashem works tirelessly to increase the knowledge and awareness of the history of the Holocaust, not only to ensure that its meanings continue to be relevant 75 years after the end of WWII, but also as a lighthouse warning against the alarming racism that is on the rise around the world today.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett: 7 new nature reserves in Area C, expansion of 12 more

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett approves 7 new nature reserves in Area C and expansion of 12 existing reserves in Judea and Samaria

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday approved the announcement of seven new nature reserves in Judea and Samaria, along with the expansion of 12 existing reserves.

A directive was given to the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria to advance the move, after years of political inaction.

Following the administrative procedure, the new reserves will soon be opened to the public by the Nature and Parks Authority. The seven newly announced reserves are as follows: Ariel Cave, Nahal Og, Wadi Malcha, South Jordan River, Bitronot, Nahal Tirza, Arvot Hayarden, and Rotem Maskiot.

At the same time, an area of ​​12 existing reserves will be expanded in the following places: Matzok Ha'atakim, Nahal Kana, Sartaba, Petza'el, Um Zuka, Einot Tzukim, Haruba, Salvadora persica (plant species), Gadir Mountain, Kane Vasmar, Wadi Malcha Marsh, and Qumran.

Notice will be given to the Palestinian Authority accordingly.

Defense Minister Bennett said: "Today significantly strengthens the Land of Israel and the continued development of Jewish communities in Area C. By deeds, not by words. In Judea and Samaria, there are many nature sites with stunning views and, among them, we will be expanding existing nature reserves and opening up new ones as well. I invite all citizens of Israel to get up and walk around the country, to come to Judea and Samaria, go on hikes there, and discover for yourselves the beauty of our continuously expanding Zionist enterprise."

Yaron Rosenthal, Director of the Kfar Etzion Field School, praised this new venture: "The Defense Minister's decision to add nature reserves in Area C is a lifeline to the ecological continuum of the Jordan River and the Jordan Valley. This is an area of ​​unique plant species, rare animals, and the last remaining natural habitat of these and other flora and fauna as well."

See you tomorrow bli neder

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202

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