Are Hotels Open In Your Area? This Israeli Website Knows and Archaeological Evidence Confirms Jerusalem’s Restoration Under Ezra and Nehemiah By David Israel and D.C. Black Lives Matter Protest Turns Anti-Semitic and surprise surprise -Jimmy Carter speaks out against Israeli sovereignty plans, touts former accords and this part of the world is split between Jews and Arabs and with the fireworks disturbing our Shabbat, respect works both ways
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. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column
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This part of the world is split between Jews and Arabs and with the fireworks disturbing our Shabbat, respect works both ways
Isn't respect for the other supposed to work both ways?
This last Saturday morning brought three hours of loud noises to our morning. Whether it was gunshots or fireworks or bombs it was loud and went on for the whole morning. It continued during the day and into the late night. It wasn't for a few minutes. It went on for three full hours on Saturday morning.
The Sunday morning front page of our local English paper the Jerusalem Post had a major story at the bottom front page with the headline "Arabs celebrating with fireworks on Shabbat throws Jeusalemites into panic".
For a Jew, it is especially hard to have on Saturday, because we are cut off from our news sources to calm our fears that it is "only fireworks". And of course, we did not know this at the time. We are not panicked in Israel, at every noise, but we have a right to fear for our lives. After the fact, minimizing our discomfort by saying it was "just fireworks", doesn't bring our peace back or the disturbance of Shabbat. The headline was unfair and minimized our discomfort. We are a war-torn society living on the edge every day, and it was perfectly reasonable for the population to be worried, and not for this to be classified as a "panic".
There were several other stories over the rest of Sunday, letting us know that the Arabs set up fireworks, not to be nefarious but celebratory of the high school students receiving their final exam grades. Because of the Virus, schools have been shut down, so according to the stories, all justifying the Arabs, this brought on the fireworks "celebrations".
What is the point of living in a Jewish country, if our leaders and police are not able to balance the Arabs right to celebrate with our living in peace. Who would think of the noises being fireworks at 8 o'clock in the morning?
Just like the Calls to Prayer, which happens every morning from 3:30 to 4:30 in the morning disturb our sleep, we are entitled to enjoy being in a Jewish country on Shabbat, with peace not in a war. While we know what these calls are, so it doesn't produce a "panic", no one in their right mind would put up with this in a civilized country.
While I personally am sold on Israel, and live here because for spiritual reasons, this is the only place for a Jew, I am embarrassed to push Aliayah to me friends to say this will fix all your problems. We have to take our country back if we want to be proud of it and respect has to work both ways.
Like Taking Candy from a Baby
Like Taking Candy from a Baby
Rachel Adler was a new mother and decided to take her baby daughter Adina to the supermarket for the first time. Rachel dressed her in pink from head to toe, cute as a doll. At the store, she placed her in the shopping cart and put her purchases around her.
At the checkout line, a small boy and his mother were ahead of them. The child was crying uncontrollably.
"He wants some candy or gum and his mother won't let him have any," Rachel thought.
Then she heard his mother's reply.
"No!" she said, looking in her direction. "You may not have a baby sister today. That lady got the last one!"
D.C. Black Lives Matter Protest Turns Anti-Semitic
A Black Lives Matter march in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday turned anti-Semitic as protesters began accusing the Jewish state of murdering children.
"Israel, we know you; you murder children too," protesters chanted at one point, following this with alternating chants of "Black Lives Matter!" and "Palestinian Lives Matter!"
Christian Tabash, a rising senior at Harvard, led the march from the Lincoln Memorial to Capitol Hill, according to the Washington Examiner.
Tabash said during the protest that Palestinian liberation was "intrinsically tied to Black Lives Matter." He also said "American capitalism" and the state of Israel were founded on the repression of minorities.
Poetry readings took place as part of the protest, with some of the poems invoking anti-Semitic stereotypes. One such poem referred to Israel as the "puppet master of continents."
Jewish groups criticized the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016 for endorsing the BDS movement and calling Israel an "apartheid state" and accusing it of "genocide."
Following coverage of the protest by the Examiner, the Republican Jewish Coalition called on presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to condemn the anti-Semitic chants by protesters.
"We are horrified by this vicious hate-mongering by Black Lives Matter protesters. The Black Lives Matter charter is filled with anti-Israel and antisemitic lies. It is deeply disturbing, but not surprising, to hear those sentiments chanted in the streets of Washington, DC," they said in a statement. "We call on former Vice President Joe Biden, as the standard bearer of the Democrat Party, to condemn these antisemitic chants by BLM protesters."
The left wing of the Democratic Party has threatened to withhold U.S. security assistance to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moves forward with a plan to annex parts of the disputed West Bank. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) has led this effort, touting the support she has from groups that are prominent leaders of the BDS movement.
| Are Hotels Open In Your Area? This Israeli Website Knows
As hotels start the slow process of reopening around the world, it's not always clear which properties are once again available for travelers.
This is a problem for tourists tentatively looking to vacation and for travel industry professionals who need to know which locations they can recommend.
Tzafrir Blonder, CEO of UpStay, an Israeli startup that has developed software that allows hotel guests to bid for upgrades before arrival, was confused, too.
"I was searching for a source of information to understand what hotels are open in different geographies to focus our marketing and sales efforts," he tells ISRAEL21c, "but I couldn't really find any."
So, in true Israeli startup fashion, he built his own.
The result is Hotel Reopen Map, a website that lists hotel properties with their current open or closed status and, for the latter, information on when a re-opening might take place.
The UpStay product is really just a data layer on top of Google Maps. If a hotel wants to be listed, it fills in a brief online form. The site is self-serve – hotels are only listed if they opt-in – and fully automated.
"It's a democratic tool for the community," Blonder says.
Hotel Reopen Map already has information from countries all over the world, particularly in Europe, the US, Australia and, of course, Israel.
There are now more than 600 hotels and bed-and-breakfasts listed on the map. In Israel, most of the listed hotels are in the Tel Aviv area, the Dead Sea, Eilat or near Tiberias. There is only one hotel listed in Jerusalem – the lonely Leonardo Plaza.
"The objective of this tool is to make it easier for hoteliers to return to their work after the coronavirus," Blonder says simply.
While the map is useful for travelers and professionals, Blonder hopes it will also help build UpStay's brand awareness. UpStay launched in 2019 and has 250 hotels using its software "and increasing their revenue thanks to it," Blonder says.
UpStay's Bid-for-Upgrade system prompts guests to make an offer online for a room upgrade prior to their arrival. It automatically upgrades winning bids to match the hotel's unsold premium inventory.
The system integrates into a hotel's existing booking and payment systems, so there's no extra work for hotel front desk or reservations teams. UpStay charges a commission on the up-sell revenue generated from guests.
The eight-person company has clients in Israel and abroad, including several leading hotel chains.
Blonder assembled a team for UpStay that includes travel professionals – but he is not one of them. He worked formerly as a venture capitalist and before that for the Israeli government.
"Both jobs got me used to spending a large portion of my time away from home in hotels and airplanes," he tells ISRAEL21c."As much as I enjoy these days being with my family at home [because of coronavirus lockdowns], I wish for all of us to go back to traveling around the world, staying at great hotels and making new experiences again."
Blonder adds that while "no doubt corona slowed us down for a while, now more than ever Hotel Reopen Map can have significance to hotel revenues."
Hotel Reopen Map is free to use. Click here to see if your next hotel is on the map
Archaeological Evidence Confirms Jerusalem's Restoration Under Ezra and Nehemiah By David Israel
How did Jerusalem deal with the tremendous destruction wrought by the Babylonian army in the 6th century BCE? A double stamp impression on a bulla and a seal made of re-used pottery sherds, dated with high probability to the Persian period, may provide an answer to this question.
The findings were discovered in the course of archaeological excavations undertaken by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University in the Givati Parking Lot Excavation of the City of David, in the Jerusalem Walls National Park. They were found next to the rubble of a large structure that was destroyed during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.
According to Prof. Yuval Gadot of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Yiftah Shalev, of the IAA. "despite the numerous excavations conducted in Jerusalem to date, so far the findings revealed from the Persian period are extremely meager and therefore we lack information regarding the character and appearance of the city during this period.
The researchers emphasized that "discovering these artifacts in an archaeological context which can be dated with a high probability is very rare."
A seal made out of a piece of clay from the Persian Period. / Shai Halevy / Israel Antiquities Authority
The seal impression – bullae – were small pieces of clay used in ancient times to sign documents or containers (storage jugs of produce collected as a tax), and were intended to keep them sealed en route to their destination. Oftentimes, the objects on which the seals were stamped were themselves left unopened or did not endure (especially the documents), but the bullae remained preserved, leaving evidence of the administrative authorities, and even of the people representing them.
According to Prof. Gadot and Dr. Shalev, "the finding of the stamp and seal impression in the City of David indicates that despite the city's dire situation after the destruction, efforts were made to restore the administrative authorities to normal, and its residents continued to partly use the structures that were destroyed."
The double seal impression was discovered on a large piece of clay. The size of the clay piece, about 4.5 cm, indicates that it was used to seal a large container, perhaps a jar, and not a document. The imprint bears the image of a person sitting on a large chair with one or two columns in front of him. The design of the image is indicative of Babylonian-style composition. The character is probably a king and the columns are the symbols that represent the gods Nabu and Marduk.
The Givati Parking Lot Excavations. / Israel Antiquities Authority
According to Dr. Ido Koch of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University, only about ten artifacts of this style have been found in Israel, in places such as Ein Gedi and Jerusalem, which appear to have been in use during the Persian period. Another bulla of this style, also from the Persian period, was discovered in excavations carried out by Dr. Eilat Mazar on the eastern slope of the City of David.
The seal is made of a large, locally made pottery shard, with a circular frame engraved on its outer side, and is divided into two sections containing several linear inscriptions. The engravings probably represent two characters, and it may be a pseudo-epigraphic seal (bearing drawings designed to resemble letters). On the other side of the seal is a fragment which may be indicative of a handle that was attached to it in the past. The size of the seal, about 8 cm in diameter, indicates that it was used to seal large objects.
Other artifacts were discovered along with these items, including a broken pottery vessel decorated with a face of the god Bes. According to the researchers, "discovering the new findings on the western slope of the City of David adds much information about the city's structure during the period of the Return to Zion, a period we knew about mainly from Biblical literature (the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). The paucity of the findings from this period made it difficult to understand the status and extent of the city. The findings from the Givati Parking Lot Excavation shed light on the renewal of the local administration, in a location similar to the one that existed before the destruction of the First Temple, about 100 years prior."
Jimmy Carter speaks out against Israeli sovereignty plans, touts former accords 07/03/2020
(JNS) Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has criticized Israel's plans to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, more commonly known as the West Bank.
"Israel's planned annexation of up to 30 [percent] of the West Bank as early as today would violate international laws prohibiting the acquisition of territory by force and changing the status of occupied territories," said Carter in a statement on Wednesday. "The planned move would violate the Oslo and Camp David accords, and jeopardize Israel's peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt."
"For decades, Jewish settlements in the West Bank have expanded, jeopardizing any possible establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel," he said. "Formal annexation will signal the end of the internationally agreed-upon two-state framework for peace, and with it the possibility for a just solution to the conflict."
Carter, 95, concluded, "The envisioned annexation would amount to a massive, illegal expropriation of Palestinian territory. Annexation must be stopped, and the Israelis and Palestinians should return to meaningful negotiations based on U.N. resolutions and previous bilateral agreements."