Melanie Phillips on The fall of Boris Johnson and SEAN DURNS on ‘The Washington Post’ and the ‘Kashoggi way’ of journalism and tricks for life! and German museums return five Nazi-looted artworks to heirs of Jewish banker
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.
The Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12 gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't always agree with all the points of each article but found them interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
SEAN DURNS on 'The Washington Post' and the 'Kashoggi way' of journalism
The recent publication of a "Justice for Shireen" ad in the paper speaks volumes about where journalism is headed
On June 24, 2022, an ad appeared on page 26 of TheWashington Postcalling for "Justice for Shireen." The ad all but accused Israel of killing Shireen Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeeracorrespondent who was fatally shot while covering Israeli counter-terror raids in Jenin on May 11, 2022. The ad's appearance is revelatory. Indeed, the details surrounding its publication speak volumes about where journalism is headed. And it's nowhere good.
The ad, from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), declared that Abu Akleh was "killed in the West Bank, part of a worrying pattern of Israeli forces targeting journalists." CPJ also asserted that since 1992 "at least 19 journalists and media workers have been killed on assignment in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories—none have seen justice." CPJ added: "Israeli authorities refuse a criminal investigation. The U.S. and international authorities have a responsibility to investigate and stop attacks on the press."
(CPJ's ad couldn't even spell its own organization's name correctly. Instead of "Committee to Protect Journalists," the ad referred to CPJ as the "Committee to Project Journalists." Indeed, the ad itself was replete with errors, misrepresentations and other signs of sloppiness.)
In fact, Israeli authorities have called for a joint investigation with the United States and the Palestinian Authority into Abu Akleh's death. Evidence for that is abundant and has even been reported, on several occasions, in the Washington Post itself. The P.A.'s cooperation, however, is another matter entirely. For nearly two months—until the beginning of July 2022—the P.A. refused to turn over the bullet that it claims was taken from Abu Akleh's body. The P.A.'s decision to do so should draw suspicion and attention from actual journalists.
Ditto for the P.A.'s claim, made shortly after Abu Akleh's death, that not only had it determined that Israel had intentionally targeted the correspondent, but it had managed to identifythe weapon used: a Ruger Mini-14. Yet, matching a bullet to a weapon is quite difficult without access to the weapon and, importantly, the IDF isn't known to useRuger Mini-14s.
Yes, you read that correctly. As Reuters, among other news outlets, reported, the P.A.'s attorney general, Akram al-Khatib, has said that the Authority's investigation determined that Israel "directly and deliberately" targeted Abu Akleh and that the IDF used a Ruger Mini-14. But the IDF isn't known to use Ruger Mini-14s. Indeed, the Mini-14s have an entirely different operating system—known as a "manual of arms"—than the M4 and M16 variants that are commonly used by Israel. Nor does the Ruger Mini-14 share parts compatibility with the M4 variants—a key consideration for militaries that use professional armorers and which seek to standardize their weaponry.
And unlike other rifles that the IDF currently fields, such as Tavor X95 or modern Galils, the Mini-14 doesn't even have magazine interchangeability with M4/M16 variants. This means that a soldier in a platoon wouldn't be able to use the Mini-14 magazines of a fellow soldier—a key consideration in the event of a firefight or contact with the enemy.
Importantly, anti-Israel activists have sought to boycott Ruger, a U.S. arms company, for supplying the Ruger 10/22 rifle to the IDF for crowd control. That model, however, fires an entirely different type of bullet than the 5.56 which is alleged to have killed Abu Akleh. Could it be that the P.A.'s claim was motivated more by a desire to assist the BDS movement and not by an actual impartial investigation? Journalists haven't even bothered to ask.
It should have attracted attention, from the Washington Post and others, that the P.A.'s "investigation" was making easily disprovable claims. Yet not a single major Western news outlet bothered to note that the IDF doesn't even field the weapon that the P.A. says was used. Nor has the CPJ bothered to highlight the inconsistency.
Additionally, CPJ's statement that "19 journalists and media worked have been killed on assignment in Israeli and the Occupied Palestinian Territories" but "none have seen justice" is similarly misleading. As my CAMERA colleague Adam Levick pointed out, a search of CPJ's own database, using the filter of "Israel" and intentional killings of journalists, doesn't show a single instance of CPJ accusing the Jewish state of murdering reporters. So CPJ's own claim is belied by its own database. Apparently, CPJ is as good at fact checking as it is at using spell check.
The Post's decision to run the ad is equally revealing. After questioning, the newspaper acknowledged that the ad space was "complementary" since CPJ is a partner in the Post's Press Freedom Partnership, which "seeks to highlight organizations working vigilantly to promote press freedom and raise awareness of the rights of journalists worldwide."
This is certainly a worthy initiative. Journalists face threats worldwide. And a quick look at the Post's Press Freedom Partnership shows numerous articles and reports highlighting dangerous censorship and violence that journalists are confronting throughout the world. But the promise of "complimentary" ad space raises some questions when some of the partner organizations in the initiative have a history of bias and discrimination.
For example, Reporters Without Borders, is one organization that, along with CPJ, inaugurated the Press Freedom Partnership in 2018. Yet, Reporters Without Borders has a long and documented history of anti-Israel bias, as Abraham Foxman has highlighted (see, for example, "Reporters Without Borders and the Rush to Blame Israel," May 6, 2015). Indeed, NGO Monitor, an organization that works to ensure nonprofits are honest and accountable, has thoroughly highlighted numerous instances of the organization making questionable and misleading statements and omitting key evidence in an attempt to castigate the Jewish state (see here for multiple examples).
Yet, Reporters Without Borders, which has been accused of "engaging in a reflexive rush to blame Israel" before "all of the facts are known" can now get free ad space in the Washington Post. That's a problem. So is the questionable company who have associated with the Post's Press Freedom Partnership.
On June 16, 2022, CPJ and others took part in a ceremony to rename a street in front of Saudi Arabia's Washington, D.C., embassy after Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-born journalist who was murdered in a Turkish embassy in 2018. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was a fierce critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been accused of engineering his gruesome death.
Khashoggi's murder is a tragedy. But it also worth noting that not only was he a vocal supporter of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, he didn't even write his own columns. Yes, you read that correctly. The man being lamented as a fallen journalist didn't even write his own columns for the Post—and the newspaper has even admitted it.
Buried in a Dec. 22, 2018 article, the Postrevealed that "text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government." The newspaper also acknowledged that Khashoggi "appears to have relied on a researcher and translator affiliated with the organization."
Further, as the Security Studies Group, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, noted: "We heard from reliable sources familiar with the investigation [into his death] that documents showing wire transfers from Qatar were found in his apartment in Turkey," but were "immediately put out of reach by Turkish security services, so they did not show the collusion between Khashoggi, Qatar, and Turkey prior his death."
Whether or not Khashoggi was an asset of Qatar, a Saudi enemy and supporter of terror groups like Hamas, the Post's inability to properly vet his submissions and to tell the full truth about the columnist reflects poorly on the newspaper. It is standard practice for submissions to be both original and for columnists to disclose conflicts of interest.
As the late writer Petra Marquardt-Bigman noted in Haaretz in 2018, Khashoggi kept close company with Azzam Tamimi, a Hamas promoter who has praised suicide bombings. And in 2014, during the IDF's "Operation Protective Edge," Khashoggi described "smuggling 7 meter-long Grad rockets" into Gaza as "a miracle." He praised the "distinguished combat performance of [Gaza's] men and the huge network of tunnels that extends for miles under Gaza and the borders with Israel and Egypt," saying they "were used brilliantly." Hamas, he said, "wasted no time while ruling in Gaza."
None of this stopped several NGOs and D.C. city councilmen from holding a ceremony naming a street "Jamal Khashoggi Way"—after a Hamas supporter who didn't even write his own columns and violated the Washington Post's own standards. Indeed, those attending the ceremony included other anti-Israel activists from organizations like Code Pink and Amnesty International.
The event was also promoted by the National Press Club, which as CAMERA has documented, has gone so far as to hide the knife of a Palestinian "journalist" who was shot while trying to stab IDF soldiers at a checkpoint. In late June 2022, NPC bestowed the John Aubuchon Award to Post columnist Rana Ayyub. As CAMERA highlighted, Ayyub has indulged in conspiracy theories and blood libels, claiming that the Jewish state wantonly and intentionally murders Palestinians and journalists.
This is the state of journalism in 2022. Not writing one's own columns gets one memorialized as a "journalist." And blood libels aren't an impediment to getting awards from formerly prestigious bodies. And anti-Israel activists and allegations get free ad space and platforms.
Sean Durns is a senior research analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis.
The question for voters in Britain, America and Israel is whether a leader's gifts are more important than his character flaws—or vice versa.
Boris Johnson's decision to quit as prime minister of the United Kingdom followed unprecedented scenes in the British parliament this week, as he clung on to power despite the resignation of more than 50 of his ministers in an attempt to force him out.
The immediate cause of the revolt was a series of last straws over his perceived personal dishonesty—first by breaking his own COVID laws and, most recently, lying about his promotion of a "sex-pest" Member of Parliament.
The deeper issue was a profound disillusionment among those who had voted him into power for delivering Brexit. These constituents concluded that he had failed to use Britain's newly recovered independence to free up the country's capacity for progress and prosperity.
Nor was he resisting the culture war being waged upon core values, particularly the loss of control over illegal immigration and the trashing of Britain's history and identity.
For two crazy days, it seemed that Johnson intended never to surrender and would go down fighting to the bitter end.
Eventually, however, he was forced to realize the game really was up. Conservative party leadership contenders will now be declaring their candidacy in a further debilitating and destabilizing process which will probably last until October.
Johnson is to serve as a caretaker prime minister until then. Given, however, the calls for him to step down immediately to avoid a dangerous vacuum, he may yet be forced to do so.
Despite the singular characteristics of this British implosion, there are striking similarities between Johnson and two other extraordinary world leaders—Israel's former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and America's former president, Donald Trump. All three were brought to power by voters repudiating the defeatist and self-destructive story being told about their nation by a progressive elite that had lost touch with reality.
In Britain, a majority of the public revolted against an establishment that had sacrificed to the European Union the United Kingdom's power to make its own laws and govern itself as a sovereign and democratic nation.
In Israel, the public had turned decisively against a left-wing bloc that remained committed to empowering Palestinian Arabs whose real objective was the destruction of the Jewish state.
And in the United States, millions were outraged by a political establishment mindset that denied American exceptionalism, undermined the rule of law and surrendered control of the country's borders, without which a nation ceases to be a nation.
In these different contexts, Johnson, Netanyahu and Trump were all seen to deliver what the public had so desperately sought but been denied for so long. All three, however, are flawed characters.
Trump was narcissistic, impulsive, erratic, vengeful and paid no attention to detail.
Netanyahu became increasingly paranoid, dictatorial and abusive, and concentrated more and more power on himself.
Johnson was shambolic, dishonest and desperately sought everyone's approval. As a result, he refused to make hard and necessary choices and was driven instead by one objective alone: to stay in office.
All three refused to accept their own loss of power, a refusal that harmed their countries.
Johnson refused to face up to reality even while the house of cards was tumbling down around him. Now, Britain has been left with a ghost-ship government at a time when there's the biggest war in Europe since 1945, China is menacing Taiwan, Iran is poised to get the bomb, and there's a gathering fuel crisis and industrial unrest at home.
To this day, Trump insists that the 2020 election was stolen from him through fraud so widespread that it reversed the true result.
The consequence is that while the Biden administration is careering into economic and cultural disaster at home and courting catastrophic dangers abroad, public trust in American institutions has been further poisoned, and the Republicans are deeply divided.
Netanyahu's refusal to stand down as leader of the Likud Party—despite the fact that he had become so divisive that many ideological soulmates refused to vote for him—condemned Israel to four stalemated elections and may result in a fifth such inconclusive result this November.
All three men have been sustained by their belief that there is no alternative to them because no one else can match their stellar talents.
Now, this is both true and untrue. In all three countries, there is no shortage of impressive candidates who display many of these leaders' strengths while not replicating their flaws. However, Johnson, Trump and Netanyahu all possess characteristics that made them uniquely valuable despite their all-too-obvious downside.
In Britain's Conservative party, able as many leadership candidates are, none possesses Boris Johnson's secret sauce—his unbounded optimism and ebullience, the fact that he made people feel better about themselves, and that he was not a creature of the establishment but a rebel against it.
He broke the mold of Conservative politicians because of his ability to make working people feel he was one of them—precisely because he was flawed. He acknowledged this through a kind of implicit knowing wink that made people feel that he was just like the rest of imperfect humanity and therefore would always be on their side. Until, that is, they became disgusted by him.
Not dissimilarly, Trump's unique selling point was that he was the ultimate establishment outsider who busted every convention of political behavior. This enabled him to break the hidebound and prejudiced inertia of the U.S. State Department by moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and helping to broker the 2020 Abraham Accords. And his very tendency to behave erratically and unpredictably meant that the bad guys in the world were always kept off-balance.
Like Johnson, his secret sauce was the line of communication he established with blue-collar workers—principally through his Twitter feed—precisely because he spoke in a way they understood and appreciated while the intellectual elites did not.
The question is whether a Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley or any other able candidate could do what Trump managed to do—bring to the ballot box for the first time so many voters who previously had been alienated from the entire political process.
Netanyahu's unique quality is different. It is his unrivaled strategic and analytical ability that enables him to see regional and global trends almost before they happen and to be several steps ahead of everyone else in working out how to manage them.
In a country where security issues are always paramount in voters' minds, that's what previously carried him to victory. Now, with the country also under a caretaker prime minister in the centrist Yair Lapid, both opponents and supporters of Netanyahu are terrified—the former that he will win power again in November's general election and the latter that he might fail to do so.
Rather like Trump, who may or may not run again in 2024, the question for Israeli voters is whether Netanyahu's perceived character flaws are more important than his gifts and the great benefits he has brought to his country.
The free world is currently at a critical inflection point. The threat posed by hostile regimes such as Russia, China and Iran has never been more serious. The public's needs, interests and values are being systematically trashed and destroyed by moral relativism, identity politics and "victim culture." The very future of the West is now at risk.
Johnson, as a boy, wanted to be "world king." Netanyahu thinks he is indispensable to the world. Trump thinks he can cut a deal with it.
In Britain, America and Israel, there's an overarching and urgent need for leaders who will robustly defend their nation against the onslaught being mounted against it both from within and without.
Nothing else matters. We can live with most flaws. We can't live without a stalwart, patriotic and courageous heart.
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for "The Times of London," her personal and political memoir, "Guardian Angel," has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, "The Legacy." Go to melaniephillips.substack.com to access her work.
Tricks for Life!
1. Don't get ice cream on the first date.
Social psychologist John Bargh who works at Yale University studies the role of unconscious processing on social behavior.
Some of his studies found an interesting connection between the body temperature of a person and their psychological state.
It turned out that when we are physically warm, we are more likely to be nice and friendly to other people.
This trick may really come in handy, for example, during a first date when it's especially important to gain the person's trust.
So remember this and make sure that in the future you choose only warm places, foods, and drinks so that every meeting you have (both romantic and business-related) goes well.
2. Chew a "Chewing Gum" if you get nervous.
Believe it or not, having a "chewing gum" in your mouth makes your brain believe that you are in the most comfortable situation.
Your brain is tricked into believing 'if you were in danger, you wouldn't be chewing anything.'
That's the reason a lot of people chew gums in public.
3. Set up a routine
It's no wonder that most people nowadays wake up feeling tired because they sleep too late and wake up too early.
One of the side effects of a more sedentary lifestyle is not following a routine.
This may not affect you much as an adult in your 20s.
However, if your body is always going to be confused, you're soon going to face symptoms of exhaustion.
Premature ageing, poor metabolism, and mood swings are just some of the signs that you need to fix your schedule.
This will affect all aspects of your social, professional, and personal growth too.
It's best to set up a healthy routine that is customized for your comfort & growth.
4. Take regular breaks
I suggest you to work for 90 minutes and then take a 15-minute short break.
You can utilize this time to go fresh yourself, fill your water-bottle or go for a quick stroll outside your workplace.
If you can afford, take a 10–20 minutes power-nap in your lunch time to replenish your energy.
5. In a 2010 study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, showed that couples who went to sleep and woke up at the same time reported higher satisfaction in their marriages.
6. Remember relationships need attention.
It's seems obvious, but a working marriage or relationship is dependent on the effort both people put into it continuously.
You can't show affection just every now and then and expect your feelings for each other won't be affected. Instead, do a little everyday.
For example, whoever comes home from work first should greet the other by the door and offer some kind of affection, whether it's a hug or a kiss; you should also take turns listening intently to the other.
When you stop putting in the effort and doing those little things continuously, you feel disconnected emotionally.
7. Force his natural male instincts to work for your relationship instead of against it.
Basically, this formula does one thing. It triggers his desire to be needed.
Imagine his drive to be needed is like a river. It's constantly flowing. And like a river, it's always going to flow down the path of least resistance. Letting him meet your needs opens a new path. An outlet. Water will naturally flow into that new opening.
If you don't have these openings in your relationship, it's like a large dam has been erected. Picture one of those huge dams that holds back a massive river.
Imagine the amount of pressure that builds up behind that dam. That's what it's like when you don't open up outlets for his drive to be needed.
It's the top reason men have affairs (even men who are still in love with their partner). Some woman comes along and fulfills his need to feel important, significant, and capable. That other woman has created an outlet for the pressure building up behind the dam.
It doesn't take long for that outlet to become a new river, a new channel. And then it becomes emotionally painful for him to shut it off. Close it down. And ignore that opening.
German museums return five Nazi-looted artworks to heirs of Jewish banker
One-piece restituted was Johann Jakob Schillinger's "Devil's Bridge" from Berlin's Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings). Kupferstichkabinett, or the Museum of Prints and Drawings, a prints museum in Berlin, Germany. It is part of the Berlin State Museums and is located in the Kulturforum on Potsdamer Platz.
Several German museums have handed over five artworks to the heirs of a Jewish banker who was forced to sell them when he faced persecution by the Nazis during World War II.
The Nazi-looted pieces of art were returned to the family of Carl Heumann on Monday, announced the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, also known as Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK). They include Albert Emil Kirchner's "Fischerweide" (1854) from the Lenbachhaus in Munich; Jakob Gensler's "Girl with Parrot" (1840) from the Dresden State Art Collections; and two watercolors by Peter Fendi titled "Catholic Priest with Communion Vessels" and "Porch of a Church with Crucifix, Priest and Altar Boy."
Also restituted was Johann Jakob Schillinger's "Devil's Bridge" (around 1800) from Berlin's Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings).
The Berlin State Museums attributed another work to Heumann's collection that had been bought at auction—Friedrich Jentzen's "Portrait of the Master Builder August Stüler" (around 1830)—but it was agreed with Heumann's heirs that the portrait will remain with the museums.
SPK president Hermann Parzinger said "it is very moving to see the connection between the Heumann family and Germany when you know the fate of Carl Heumann and his children during the National Socialist era. A great collector, and yet his name and fate are almost unknown today. Provenance research brings his and many other life stories to light again, and every return is also a bit of memory."