Sunday, November 22, 2020

Breaking News: Thanks to Trump, US terminates Jonathan Pollard’s parole, ex-spy free to travel to Israel and How influential were Orthodox Jews in Trump's administration? - analysis By JEREMY SHARON a Rube Goldberg machine to keep yourself busy during the next knockdown and Jerusalem of Gold: Ancient juglet containing gold coins unearthed in the capital and THIS IS REAL: Twitter CEO Says Holocaust Denial Not ‘Misinformation’ Like Hunter Biden Report, Trump Tweets and Assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov 22, 1963

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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.

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The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
THIS IS REAL: Twitter CEO Says Holocaust Denial Not 'Misinformation' Like Hunter Biden Report, Trump Tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey surprised millions of Americans this week when he said Holocaust Denial was not considered "misinformation" on his platform after banning a report from the New York Post about Hunter Biden.

"Do you believe the holocaust really happened? You would agree that someone who says the Holocaust may not have happened is spreading misinformation," said Sen. Cory Gardner. "Iran's Ayatollah has questioned the holocaust, yet his tweets remain un-flagged on Twitter's platform."

You've decided to moderate certain content… It's strange to me that you'll flag tweets from the President but haven't flagged the Ayatollah's comments on the holocaust," he added. "Somebody denying the murder of millions of people doesn't categorize as misinformation?"

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza.[1] Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie when he was fatally shot by former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, firing in ambush from a nearby building. Governor Connally was seriously wounded in the attack. The motorcade rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where Kennedy was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the shooting; Connally recovered.

Oswald was arrested by the Dallas Police Department 70 minutes after the initial shooting. Oswald was charged under Texas state law with the murder of Kennedy, as well as that of Dallas policeman J. D. Tippit, who had been fatally shot a short time after the assassination. At 11:21 a.m. November 24, 1963, as live television cameras were covering his transfer from the city jail to the county jail, Oswald was fatally shot in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters by Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby. Oswald was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he soon died. Ruby was convicted of Oswald's murder, though it was later overturned on appeal, and Ruby died in prison in 1967 while awaiting a new trial.

After a 10-month investigation, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald assassinated Kennedy, that Oswald had acted entirely alone, and that Ruby had acted alone in killing Oswald.[2] Kennedy was the eighth and most recent US President to die in office, and the fourth (following Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) to be assassinated. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson automatically became president upon Kennedy's death.[3]

Thanks to Trump,

US terminates Jonathan Pollard's parole, ex-spy free to travel to Israel

five years after being freed from prison, Pollard says he plans to move to the Jewish state to care for ailing wife, thanks Israeli envoy Ron Dermer for assistance in effort

By JACOB MAGID, TOI 20 November 2020

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, left, with his lawyer, Eliot Lauer, leaves federal court in New York following a hearing, Friday, July 22, 2016. Pollard was freed in November 2015 after serving 30 years in prison after admitting to giving secrets to Israel.  (AP/Larry Neumeister)

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, left, with his lawyer, Eliot Lauer, leaves federal court in New York following a hearing, Friday, July 22, 2016. Pollard was freed in November 2015 after serving 30 years in prison after admitting to giving secrets to Israel. (AP/Larry Neumeister)

The US Justice Department on Friday declined to extend the parole of Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying on America for Israel, and the 66-year-old is now free to travel to the Jewish state.

The decision brings to an end a saga that threatened Israel's close military cooperation with its main ally and created one of the most serious rifts between Jerusalem and Washington in recent decades.

Given the high profile nature of Pollard's case, it is likely that the Justice Department's decision required an okay from government higher-ups. In setting the ex-spy free, the Trump administration bestowed yet another gift to Israel, which has lobbied for years for Pollard to be allowed to move to the Jewish state. Previous efforts have met fierce resistance from the US justice and intelligence communities.

Pollard's attorneys Jacques Semmelman and Eliot Lauer issued a statement saying the US Parole Commission had notified their client of the termination of the parole that had lasted for five years.

It released him from a raft of severe restrictions, including a ban on his longstanding request to be able to move to Israel.

"Mr. Pollard is no longer subject to a curfew, is no longer prohibited from working for a company that does not have US government monitoring software on its computer systems, is no longer required to wear a wrist monitor that tracks his whereabouts, and is free to travel anywhere, including Israel, for temporary or permanent residence, as he wishes," the statement said.

Jonathan Pollard, left, arrives at a federal courthouse in New York with his wife, Esther, to check in at a probation office just hours after he was released from prison, November 20, 2015. (Ilana Gold/WCBS-TV via AP Images/via JTA)

Pollard responded to the news by telling reporters he was glad to be able to move to Israel where he will be able to care for his wife who is sick with cancer. He also expressed "appreciation and gratitude" to Israel's Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer for his help in bringing about the end to his parole.

Pollard, who served 30 years in prison for providing sensitive intelligence to Israel, made a public appeal to Netanyahu last year and asked him to intervene on his behalf to urge Trump to commute his parole, so he could care for his sick wife.

He told Channel 12 news at the time that Esther Pollard had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer for the third time.

"It's a matter of life and death, it's a very human issue, it's a crisis for my wife and me," he said.

A former civilian US Navy analyst, Pollard was given a life sentence in 1987 for passing secrets to Israel. His imprisonment was a longtime point of tension in Israeli-US relations, with Israeli and Jewish leaders petitioning their US counterparts for years in order to secure his release.

Pollard's supporters argued for years that his sentence was excessive and that others convicted for comparable crimes received lighter sentences.

Pollard's determination to move to Israel comes despite his previous accusations that Israel had not done enough to secure his release and his bitterness over the way Israel abandoned him when he was caught.

His capture and his subsequent treatment — by Israel, which threw him out of its Washington embassy and into the arms of waiting FBI agents, and by the United States, which agreed to a plea bargain and then sentenced him with uncommon severity — left him deeply embittered.

Jonathan Pollard, U.S. Navy I.D. picture (Wikipedia)

He was caught in November 1985 and given a life sentence two years later. There was no trial. Pollard, abiding by the prosecution's terms, cooperated with FBI investigators and pleaded guilty to one count of espionage, conspiring to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. The prosecution honored its commitment and requested a "substantial" prison term rather than life behind bars. Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr., not bound by the prosecution's plea bargain and apparently swayed by secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger's damage-assessment brief, nonetheless sentenced Pollard to life.

The content of Weinberger's memo remains classified until today.

For the first 11 years of his incarceration, Israel refused to acknowledge that Pollard had operated as an authorized spy. He was not granted Israeli citizenship until November 1995.

After his release in November 2015, Pollard was given a five-year probation period, during which he was not allowed to travel outside the United States. The parole terms also required him to stay in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to submit any computer he uses for inspection, and to wear a GPS monitoring device at all times.

The 66-year-old was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995 and has repeatedly expressed his desire to settle in the Jewish state with his family.

In 2017, a US federal appeals court rejected Pollard's request to lift his parole conditions.

In November 2018, Channel 12 reported the US Justice Department had refused a formal request by Israel to allow Pollard to emigrate. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also said to have asked Trump to let Pollard move to Israel.

How influential were Orthodox Jews in Trump's administration? - analysis

White House Channuka parties included a broad swathe of the Jewish leadership.


Pictures on the White House lawn of some two dozen Orthodox Jews gathering for Mincha, the afternoon prayer service, after the signing of the Abraham Accords in September was the apparent apotheosis of Orthodox Jewish political influence in the US. And during US President Donald Trump's presidency, Orthodox Jews constituted some of his most prominent and closest advisers during an administration that was more supportive of the positions of the Israeli government than at any time in recent memory.

How far was this a result of Orthodox Jewish influence, and to what extent will this influence wane with the introduction of US President-elect Joe Biden's administration?For liberal Jews, often on the non-Orthodox Jewish religious spectrum, the Trump years represented a cold and lonely exile from the warm embrace of the progressive Obama era, who was of similar mind to liberal Jewish social policy and on Israel.White House Hanukkah parties included a broad swath of the Jewish leadership, and liberal Jewish leaders were included in policy discussions on a wide range of issues, and also served ad policy advisers on Israel.But under Trump that changed. One senior figure in the Jewish community says that during formal White House events focusing on Israel and American Jewry, the guest list went from being a diverse representation of the entire gamut of the community to a far more narrow group of Orthodox and conservative leaders and groups."If you weren't in lockstep with their views on foreign and domestic policy, you weren't welcome at their gatherings," said the source.

In addition, large numbers of Evangelical Christian leaders were also now a customary and significant presence at such events in a way they had never been under US president Barack Obama.Orthodox advisers such as Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, US Ambassador and former Trump attorney David Friedman, Jason Greenblatt, Avi Berkowitz and others all had the ear of the president as it pertained to Israel policy and the Jewish community.Orthodox organizations and leaders have had significant and prominent access to the White House, as have leaders of the Israeli settler movement, which is overwhelmingly Orthodox.Given that Orthodox American Jewry tends to have views more in line with the current right-wing Israeli government than their liberal counterparts, is it that Orthodox presence among Trump's advisers and the general Orthodox support for Trump that brought about this greater friendliness to Israel?A senior Jewish US figure not associated with the liberal, non-Orthodox movements said not necessarily. Yes, access for Orthodox Jews to the Trump White House was considerable, and this increased over the course of the Trump presidency.And, said the source, the presence of Kushner, Friedman, Greenblatt and others was important in, for example, the generous terms given to Israel in the Trump peace proposals that were announced with great fanfare in a ceremony also noticeable for the large number of Orthodox Jews present.But it is possible and even likely that it was Evangelical Christians, ardent political supporters of Trump, who were the real driving force behind the president's pro-Israel policies."Everything Trump did was calculated," said the source, saying that his massive backing for Israel would likely not have happened "if there was not enormous Evangelical support for it."Trump himself admitted during a recent election campaign rally that he moved the US embassy in Israel to the US "for the Evangelicals."An example was the issue of Israeli sovereignty over significant portions of the West Bank, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially thought would be immediately permitted by the Trump administration.Trump was initially prepared to let it go ahead, but he took it off the table when it became clear that a normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates could be of greater value, the source said.
The President also took a tough stance on Iran, ripping up the deal negotiated by the Obama administration that had been so opposed by the Israeli government and by elements in the Orthodox Jewish leadership.But there, too, Trump had indicated ahead of the election that he was keen to quickly come to an agreement with Tehran should he be reelected, saying a new nuclear deal could be reached within four weeks of the election, with Kushner also making overtures to the Iranians.Where does this leave Orthodox and liberal Jews with Trump's defeat and the forthcoming Biden presidency?It seems very likely that the ideas and positions of liberal American Jews will have much greater currency with the incoming administration, and their bitter exile will be ended.US Jewish leaders speak of their "very positive relationship" with Biden for many years, and the president-elect has spoken at conferences and events of non-Orthodox movements, and has long had a connection to the liberal part of the community.The more conservative, right-wing Orthodox elements of the Jewish movement may not feel the icy banishment under Biden that the liberals felt under Trump, but it seems likely that their influence will decline.But given Trump's personal and political priorities, whether that influence was as great as it appeared made it is questionable.

Jerusalem of Gold: Ancient juglet containing gold coins unearthed in the capital

Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem unearth ancient pottery juglet containing four gold coins more than 1,000 years old.

A juglet (a small pottery jar) containing four pure gold coins dating from more than a thousand years ago (the Early Islamic period), was unearthed during archaeological excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), as part of the Jewish Quarter Development Corporation's plan to build an elevator and make the Western Wall Plaza accessible to visitors coming from the Quarter.

The juglet was found by Israel Antiquities Authority inspector Yevgenia Kapil during preliminary digging at the site last month. Some weeks later, as excavation director David Gellman was examining the finds, he emptied the contents of the juglet.

"To my great surprise," says Gellman, "

along with the soil , four shiny gold coins fell into my hand. This is the first time in my career as an archaeologist that I have discovered gold, and it is tremendously exciting."

According to Israel Antiquities Authority's coin expert, Dr. Robert Kool, "The coins were in excellent preservation and were immediately identifiable even without cleaning. The coins date from a relatively brief period, from the late 940s to the 970s CE."

"This was a time of radical political change, when control over Eretz Israel passed from the Sunni Abbasid caliphate, whose capital was Baghdad, Iraq, into the hands of ​​its Shiite rivals—the Fatimid dynasty of North Africa, who conquered Egypt, Syria and Eretz Israel in those years. The profile of the coins found in the juglet are a near perfect reflection of the historical events."

"Two gold dinars were minted in Ramla during the rule of Caliph al-Muti‛ (946–974 CE) and his regional governor, Abu ‛Ali al-Qasim ibn al-Ihshid Unujur (946–961 CE). The other two gold coins were minted in Cairo by the Fatimid rulers al-Mu'izz (953–975 CE) and his successor, al-'Aziz (975–996 CE)."

According to Dr. Kool, "This is the first time in fifty years that a gold cache from the Fatimid period has been discovered in Jerusalem's Old City. In the large-scale excavations directed by Prof. Benjamin Mazar after the Six Day War, not far from the current discovery, five coin and jewelry hoards from this period were uncovered south of the Temple Mount."

"Four dinars was a considerable sum of money for most of the population, who lived under difficult conditions at the time," added Dr. Kool. "It was equal to the monthly salary of a minor official, or four months' salary for a common laborer."

"Compared with those people, the small handful of wealthy officials and merchants in the city earned huge salaries and amassed vast wealth. "A senior treasury official could earn 7,000 gold dinars a month, and also receive additional incomes from his rural estates amounting to hundreds of thousands of gold dinars a year."

Herzl Ben Ari, director of the Jewish Quarter Development Corporation, who chanced to visit the excavation site when the coins were exposed, said, "Although we are used to archaeological discoveries once in a while, it is always very exciting to uncover Jerusalem's unique and turbulent past. Once the elevator project is complete, we intend to allow the public to view large numbers of the archaeological finds.

A Rube Goldberg setup to keep yourself busy during the next knockdown

The Swish Machine: 70 Step Basketball Trickshot (Rube Goldberg Machine)

his outdoor Rube Goldberg Machine goes around my entire yard, and swishes a basketball shot after 70 steps. This video was filmed in one take, meaning there are absolutely no hidden cuts or edits. The machine took a month to build and another month to successfully work, so please share this with anyone who needs some entertainment during these strange times!

See you tomorrow bli neder

We need Mosiach now!

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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