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Holocaust Center Yad Vashem Mourns Loss of French Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann

By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — July 5, 2018 … World-renowned filmmaker and director Claude
Lanzmann passed away earlier today at the age of 92 in France.

Lanzmann was born in Paris, France in 1925 to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His family went into hiding during World War II. He later joined the French resistance at the young age of 17.

Claude Lanzmann is most known for his non-fiction work entitled Shoah, which has
become one of foremost films in Holocaust remembrance since its release in 1985.

Shoah, a Hebrew word, eludes easy definition. It has bedeviled translators, who have wrestled its multitudes into grim English stand-ins such as “catastrophe” or “calamity” or “annihilation.” But no single term quite manages to bear the word’s weight.

“The truth is that there is no name for what happened. During the 12 years of my work, I had no name to name what I called – inside my heart, I called it ‘the thing,’ ” Lanzmann said, finding his words through his thick French accent. “How could exist a name for something which had never existed in human history?”

Lanzmann was a man of strong convictions.

He rejected the word “Holocaust” — literally, “burnt offering” — as a description of the genocide. He railed against its “commodification” in films like “Schindler’s List.”

He believed that Polish anti-Semitism was an “essential condition” of the genocide; indeed, the lack of anything in “Shoah” that would cast Poles in a better light led the Warsaw government to demand that the film be banned after its premiere in Paris.

Shoah marks a tectonic shift in Holocaust cinema—rejecting archival footage, docu-
drama, and all other genres, Lanzmann insisted on focusing on testimonies of
Holocaust survivors who had been closest to the mass murder of their people.

“Shoah is a work about the present, representing the way those who were there live
with trauma and the memory of it,” stated Yad Vashem Visual Center Director Liat
Benhabib.

“Holocaust films of all genres changed after Shoah, which also served to
shine a spotlight on survivor testimony in an unprecedented scope and manner.”

“Claude Lanzmann’s cinematic work left an indelible mark on the collective memory,
and shaped the consciousness of the Holocaust of viewers around the world, in
these and other generations,” said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev.

“His departure from us now, along with our recent separation from many Holocaust
survivors, marks the end of an era.”

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was established in 1953.
Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust commemoration, documentation, research and education. www.yadvashem.org

Edited by Joel Leyden

Israel Defense Forces Delivers Tons Of Humanitarian Aid To Syria

 

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 29, 2018 … Last night, during a special IDF operation, humanitarian aid was transferred to Syrians fleeing hostilities and who are presently living in tent camps throughout the Syrian Golan Heights.

The IDF has provided life-saving humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians through “Operation Good Neighbor” for several years, as a good-will gesture, while maintaining a policy of non-intervention in the Syrian conflict.

As part of the operation last night that took place over several hours, 300 tents were transferred to Syrian civilians along with 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine and 30 tons of clothing and footwear.

Thousands of Syrian civilians are presently living under poor conditions in these camps near the Israeli border, often lacking access to water, electricity, food, and other basic necessities.

Refugee camp for Syrians fleeing Deraa (Photo: AFP)

The UN’s Syrian envoy Jan Egeland said Thursday that humanitarian shipments to Deraa and the southern region of Quneitra have been disrupted since June 26.

“The extremely effective lifeline from Jordan across the border has been discontinued due to the fighting in recent days,” Egeland told reporters.

Israeli soldiers stand next to food supplies being prepared for Syrian refugees at an army base in the Golan Heights.

Assad’s offensive in the southwest has been backed by air strikes and shelling that have killed 96 civilians since June 19, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said, including 49 on Wednesday and Thursday.

The IDF states that it is closely monitoring events transpiring in southern Syria and is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios, including additional humanitarian aid distribution to Syrian men, women and children.

Israel is renowned for responding to humanitarian crises in Gaza and distant locales such as Haiti, in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake, Nepal, and Japan, following the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.

IDF humanitarian aid missions have helped thousands around the world for over 26 years, with 15 aid missions to countries struck by natural and man made disasters.

Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman: Temple Beth Hillel Brought Honor To Beth Ahm

By Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman

South Windsor, CT — June 25 … “When a synagogue needs to close its doors, it is never good.

However, we found a way to make the most and bring honor.
After an emotional open house and last Shabbat service, Temple Beth Hillel joined Congregation Beth Ahm and set out to carry the Torah the ten miles from Windsor to South Windsor.  We carried it under a chuppah (wedding canopy).
Along the way, names of the Torah portions were put on signs.  At each new portion, we gathered the group, read the name and called “tekiya” to prompt the shofar carriers to blow.
Churches rang their bells as we passed.
What started off as somber lightened as people from both synagogues shared the walk and talked with each other.  Halfway into the walk, we came to the Connecticut River.  We reenacted the crossing of the Red Sea.  The exodus from Egypt was marching into the uncertainty of the desert, yet we found a way to sing and dance.  This was the same.  We found a way to sing and dance across the river.
Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz and Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman take a well deserved rest after walking from Windsor to South Windsor, CT in a ten mile Torah march.

When we arrived at Temple Beth Hillel, there was a Klezmer band and we shifted into wedding mode.  The parade circled the parking lot 7 times, then the Torah was handed from person to person, across the threshold and into the sanctuary where a bar mitzvah read the portion of the week, “Ma tovu ohalecha Yaakov…” “How good are your houses…” the first lines a traditional Jew recites when entering the synagogue in the morning.

“We have just carried the Torah 10 miles.  It was a challenge, but not a burden.
 Congregation Beth Ahm has carried Torah for several decades.  It was a challenge, but not a burden.  When a major project has ended, we recite, chazak, chazak vnitchazek, It is strong, strong and may we be strengthened by it.  The emotional walk has ended, as has the glorious decades of Jewish spiritual presence in Windsor.

Chazak, chazak vnitchazek.”

 

 Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman serves as spiritual leader at Temple Beth Hillel, on Baker Lane here in town, where he teaches “This is a house of prayer for all peoples.” Since arriving in South Windsor in 1995, his commitment of uniting diverse people remains central to his values. Rabbi Glickman is the current president of the Greater Hartford Rabbinic Association.

EXCLUSIVE: In Wheelchair, Attorney Mark Lewis, Blocks Al Quds Terror Rally in London

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

June 11, 2018 — London … A Jewish lawyer, Mark Lewis, who halted a rally for the terror group Al Quds on the streets of London for an hour by refusing to move his wheelchair told the Israel News Agency that he did so to protest against Hezbollah flags and “inflammatory rhetoric”.

“I wasn’t alone,” said Lewis.

“My friend Mandy was there too. I didn’t care if others joined. At first there were others but although the Police forced other pro-Israel protesters to the side, I refused to move and they didn’t know what to do. I was ready for violence. I might be disabled and can hardly lift my right arm or leg. My mind is ready to fight back. If I got hit they would suffer more.”

Thousands of pro Islamic terrorism demonstrators gathered outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in central London on Sunday, where they flew flags of Lebanese Islamist terror group Hezbollah.

Their march towards Downing Street was due to begin at 5 pm but demonstrators were unable to progress after Mark Lewis, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), refused to move.

The lawyer attended the counter-demonstration with a contingent from the UK branch of the Herut political party, a right-wing Zionist party founded by Menachem Begin.

“The problem is the government and the Home Secretary for allowing terrorists on our streets. I take exception with the Hezbollah flags and the inflammatory speeches calling for the destruction of a country,” said Lewis.

“Hopefully we got the message across. Enough is enough – we need to ban terrorists marching through our streets. 2018 has to be the last year, otherwise there will be an even bigger counter-protest next year.”

Lewis is a very well known, respected lawyer in the UK.

He started the “phonehacking” cases against Newscorp and represented the Dowler family in the case that closed the News of the World, the biggest selling newspaper in Europe.

On a Jewish level he was a director of the UKLawyers For Israel conducting much “Lawfare”.

Lewis, who is 53, has had MS for 30 years. Last year he was on a medical trial at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem and the subject in a documentary on channel 4 UK might that could be found on a YouTube search for a miracle cure.

Lewis is known for breakthrough law suits and standing up to bullies. According to a PBS documentary he says:  “I don’t have the fear gene”.  I have been profiled in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as well as many other papers from several countries.

Lewis advises several Jewish organisations and newspapers. And does so often behind the scenes.

As a teen he was active in BBYO (AZA) was a guide on two Israel tours and a counsellor at New Jersey Y Camps.

“There is no obvious reason why the UK government hasn’t proscribed Hezbollah, says Lewis.

“The UK government is quite successful at stopping a lot of terrorism but is under resourced and some terrorism gets through. There is more to do. The Foreign Office is notoriously anti Israel and has a blind spot where Hezbollah is concerned splitting it into a “terrorist wing” and a “political wing” TW is banned PW is not so marchers under the AK47 yellow flag claim to be political.”

“I describe myself as an “unapologetic Zionist”. I do not fetter myself with the organisations that spend time trying not to upset people,” says Lewis.

“The Police tried to do their job and I did mine, arguing with them and not giving an inch. It helped that in the phonehacking scandal I forced the Commissioner of the Metropolitan (London) Police to resign and sued the Police for libelling me.”

“Amazingly, a little knowledge of criminal law and the rights of protesters baffled officer after officer who challenged me.

 The saga which led to the bizarre situation that we were threatened with arrest to protect the rights of those waving the terrorist flag of Hezbollah adorned with an image of an AK47 gun was a farce but the fact that the Al Quds rally itself was allowed was not funny.”

Lewis says: “As a community we know that HM’s Opposition is a problem but HM’s Government is not much better. It was the Government that allowed this march to take place.

Seriously, the Police enforcing the will of the Home Secretary saw a wheelchair as a greater threat than a machine gun.

Before she was Prime Minister, Theresa May as Home Secretary said that the Al Quds march should be banned. She seems not to have passed the message on to her successors.

The stand off was not planned. I had moved to the route where the marchers had planned to go thinking that a large number of people would do the job that the Government should have but the Police following orders from on high moved us all away. Mandy and I refused to go.

A civilian support worker told me that I had to move. My lawyer’s mind kicked in, and I asked why? He walked away.

Two officers came and told me that the marchers would walk around me and they “could not guarantee my safety”. “That’s ok” I said, “I never asked you to, I’ll take the risk”. They walked away.  Two more took over and said they would stand by my side.

At that point, the IHRC “Deputy Chief” according to his coat, approached the Police “if he doesn’t move, we won’t”. The officers looked at me, and much to the amusement of one of the officers, I replied that “we’ve got a deal, I’ll stay if they stay, I’m not in a rush.”

 Another officer then told me that I had to move and that the Police had an order closing the street. I asked: “Can I see it?” He shrugged and walked away mumbling that it was in a van somewhere.

After 45 minutes, a different officer told me that she would arrest  us. I pointed out that the Police had said we could stay and so we were doing nothing wrong. She then went away and then came back to withdraw my permission at which point she warned me that we would be arrested. The Police had chosen the side of the terrorists.

And so it was that after nearly an hour a Police Support Officer moved me down the street. Farcical as the stand off was, none of this should have happened.”

Lewis concludes: “I have always fought anti-semitism and always will. I plan to make Aliya (immigrate to Israel) soon. I think Europe is over for Jews, we are fighting a losing action.”

New York Celebrates Israel At 70 With Parade, Times Square Block Party

Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — June 2, 2018 …  Local and international officials are expected to join over 40,000 marchers from more than 250 organizations, hundreds of thousands of spectators at the 2018 Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, from 57 Street to 74 Street.

The giant parade will include 15 world-class marching bands and more than 30 floats.

Among the dignitaries participating are: Governor Andrew Cuomo; Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Members of the City Council; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark; U.S. Representatives, Carolyn Maloney and Dan Donovan; Senators Joseph Addabbo, Phil Boyle, Leroy Comrie, Brad Hoylman, and Liz Krueger; Assembly Members Ed Braunstein, Steven Cymbrowitz, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Anthony D’Urso, Walter Mosley, Helene Weinstein, and David Weprin; Consul General of Israel in New York Amb. Dani Dayan; Minister of Culture and Sport of Israel Miri Regev (Likud); Minister of Science, Technology, and Space of Israel Ofir Akunis (Likuh); Israeli Knesset Members Shuli Mualem (Bait Yehudi), MK Oded Furer (Israel Beitenu), MK Yoel Hasson (Zion Camp), and MK Nurit Koren (Likud); Director General of the Ministry of Culture of Israel Yossi Sharabi; Adviser to the Director General of Knesset Vadim Braverman; and Knesset Staff Member Yuval Raz.

Grand Marshals Dina and Jonathan Leader and Honorary Grand Marshals, including actor, childhood icon and Birthright Israel alum Jonathan Lipnicki, TV personality Siggy Flicker, world-renowned and autodidact Chef Eyal Shani, singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer, and host of the Unorthodox Podcast, Liel Leibovitz.

Performers at this year’s parade include Ninet Tayeb, Omri Anghel, Kosha Dillz, Yarden Klayman, Six13, SOULFARM, and Milk and Honeys.

 This year’s creative theme for marching groups and floats is “70 and Sababa (70 & Awesome)!” in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Israel.

For the latest information on the 53 annual Israel Parade, please visit the Parade website at celebrateisraelny.org, follow us on Twitter,@celebrateisrael, using #TogetherOnFifth, visit us on our Facebook page, Celebrate Israel Parade and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: youtube.com/celebrateisraelny.


The Israel  70th birthday celebration continues with a big block party in New York City’s Times Square Sunday night.

The event sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel in New York and the Ministry of Culture and Sport will feature singer Shiri Maimon and DJ Omri Anghel.

The party will begin as Times Square’s famous billboards transform into a homage to Israel’s heritage of innovation and its miraculous first seven decades.

The whole Square area will transform into a giant Israeli block party for New Yorkers, Israelis and international tourists alike to celebrate together.

If you can’t be there in person, you can attend virtually. CBN News will be streaming the event on CBNNews.com and on the CBN News Facebook page beginning at 8:00 pm Eastern time Sunday.

Join the conversation by following the event using the hashtag #Israel70TimesSquare.

Colonel Richard Kemp: UN Encourages Terrorism Against Israel

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 21, 2018 … Speech made by Colonel Richard Kemp at the emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the deteriorating situation in Gaza on 18 May 2018.

Col. Kemp, decorated for his bravery with the UN Protection Force in Bosnia, tells the United Nations Human Rights Council: “Your failure to admit Hamas is responsible for every drop of blood spilt encourages their violence and use of human shields, makes you complicit in further bloodshed.”

 

 

“I commanded British troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland and served with NATO and the UN. I’ve come straight from the Gaza front line to share my assessment.

Based on what I observed, I can say that everything we just heard here is a complete distortion of the truth. The truth is that Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews everywhere, deliberately caused over 60 of its own people to get killed.

They sent thousands of civilians to the front line — as human shields for terrorists trying to break through the border. Hamas’s goal, in their own words, was, quote, ‘blood… in the path of Jihad’. I ask every country in this Council: you have all been telling us that Israel should have reacted differently. But how would you respond if a Jihadist terror group sent thousands to flood your borders, and gunmen to massacre your communities?

Your failure to admit that Hamas is responsible for every drop of blood spilt on the Gaza border encourages their violence and use of human shields. It makes you complicit in further bloodshed.

Your failure to admit that Hamas is responsible for every drop of blood spilt on the Gaza border encourages their violence and use of human shields. It makes you complicit in further bloodshed.

If Israel had allowed these mobs to break through the fence, the IDF would then have been forced to defend their own civilians from slaughter and many more Palestinians would have been killed.

Israel’s actions therefore saved lives of Gazans; and if this Council really cared about human rights, it should commend the Israel Defence Force for that, not condemn them on the basis of lies.”

Richard Kemp has spent most his life fighting terrorism and insurgency, commanding British troops on the front line of some of the world’s toughest hotspots, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. He is now a writer, a prolific journalist, media commentator and motivational speaker. He provides strategic consultancy services on leadership, security, intelligence, counter-terrorism and defence.

Gaza, Syria, Iran – Is Israel Controlling The Narrative?

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 9, 2018 … Somewhere in the United States, Europe and Asia, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe are waking up. They crawl slowly out of their beds, make their way to the bathroom, then to the kitchen to boil some coffee or tea. As they sip their Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts they glance down with eyes half open at the Sunday paper.

The front page has something to do with Trump, a volcano in Hawaii, North Korea then some local news about their school board and the opiate crisis. Minutes later they will reach the bottom of page 12 where a buried headline reads: “Dozens of Palestinians wounded in 6th weekly Gaza protest”.

Most will read the headline, few will read the story.

But that same headline, seen week after week on page 10 or page 12 or page 14 remains deep in their conscience. It’s a headline that cries out that once again Israel is brutally attacking the poor, victimized Palestinians.

There is no context. There is no editorial balance.

The story comes directly from the Associated Press which feeds thousands of global print, broadcast and digital media. AP reporter Fares Akram writes from Gaza City that black smoke from burning tires mixed with streaks of tear gas hover over the Palestinians, 70 of whom have been wounded by Israel fire.

There is no mention of Hamas until the last paragraph and that only comes with a brief description that Hamas is an “Islamic militant group”.

In reality, Israel once again is being forced to defend her civilian population on the southern border with Gaza and on her northern border with Syria and Lebanon against Iran and her US designated terror organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. But that totally escapes the reader. That reader could be a carpenter, a car salesman, health care worker, taxi driver, waitress, an officer in the Pentagon, a congressman or Senator.

Bottom line, Israel is once again losing the PR war.
The battle for souls and minds lost to a professional propaganda machine based in Tehran and outsourced to “peace organizations” in the UK and US.

Jews from London, Paris and Rome to New York, Toronto and Melbourne are again tragically on the defensive as they attempt to speak out proudly about Israel. Many truly don’t know what to say and some are even ashamed of Israel’s basic right to defend herself.

Any Jew who ventures to visit #GreatReturnMarch or #GolanHeights on Twitter will be greeted with a barrage of anti-Israel, anti-semitic comments, videos and photographs which depict suffering Palestinians. Much of the content is professionally staged.
It’s called Pallywood. But Mr. and Mrs. John Doe do not know that.

Yes, we have a few, strong, articulate online Jewish advocates coming from the IDF, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the World Jewish Congress and even the Mossad – but it is not enough. It is not effective. We are heavily outnumbered on social media by fifty to one!

 


Today it starts with the AP reporting from Gaza City. One cannot file an objective news story from Gaza City that is in any degree critical of the Hamas ruled government.
Do that and you will get a bullet to the head.

AP, which should have another correspondent reporting from the Israeli side – for editorial balance, is missing in action.
Is AP to blame?
Partly.

Can professional Jewish advocates i.e. – HonestReporting.com, Stand With Us or the Israel Project fix this?
No.

Mostly it is Israel’s negligence not to provide professional, basic media resources in a comfortable, air conditioned, computerized environment in Jerusalem and on the Gaza and Syrian borders. All it takes are a few IDF army tents with tables, chairs, electricity, Internet and coffee.

In the many years that I have worked as a journalist and or as a senior media consultant in Israel – we have always had a professional media center in operation to provide real time, 24/7 information to the global media during military operations.

When public opinion has a direct impact with lives on the ground there is no debate. The Prime Minister’s Office needs to immediately coordinate a media center(s) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Government Press Office to provide access to both the Gaza and Syrian border, photographs, news releases and spokespeople to answer questions.

This is crisis communications, reputation management 101.

In some minds in Jerusalem, controlling the narrative is solely defined as opening fire to defend your civilian population.

With others it takes the shape of educating your fellow Jews, Western democracies, the UN and the International Criminal Court in The Hague of the defensive action Israel is taking to preserve her existence.

Without this critical, real time flow of accurate information coming from our public affairs experts in Jerusalem, that AP story will slowly transcend into cancerous anti-semitism.

Israelis are Jews and Jews are shooting at “innocent Palestinians”.
Jews are once again creating suffering in the world. Forget that Israel was in Haiti, Nepal, Japan and on the Syrian border with field hospitals. Forget every medical, tech and humanitarian achievement Israel has created in saving thousands upon thousands of lives.

Twitter and Facebook cannot and will not replace an active, government sponsored media centers with computer terminals, coffee and live interviews with articulate, professional spokespeople who speak English, French and Spanish.

That the Giro D’Italia bicycle race warrants a media center in Jerusalem and thousands of Iranian paid, Hamas inspired rioters attacking our southern border does not – truly boggles the mind.

AntiSemitism – From Gaza, Germany To France, Durham

Israel has one of the most diverse,
inclusive police forces in the world.

An Open Letter To Durham, NC Mayor Steve Schewel:                    April 25, 2018

Dear Mayor Schewel,

I just finished watching the Durham City Council meeting of April 16, 2018 which implemented a ban on working with Israeli security forces. The first and only US city to create a ban working with Israel.

If you had not stated that you were a Jew and Zionist, that your father had worked for the ADL, I would not be writing this letter.

You appear to be a good man, but lacking knowledge on several historical facts.

As the ADL states: “The charge that American police exchange programs play a role in political militarization and oppression is malicious and false. This effort was orchestrated by one of the most vocal anti-Israel hate groups in America without any attempt to gain the facts from other mainstream organizations and law enforcement leaders themselves who can attest to the value of these exchange programs.”

The ADL statement which appears in Durham’s Herald Sun newspaper continues: “The Durham City Council is empowered to act on a variety of topics, but it should never do so based on maliciously erroneous assertions. Here the Council failed to do its due diligence in separating truth from propaganda.”

There is no occupation of “Palestinian land”.
There was a war in 1967 and Israel won that war.

Under international law, there is no occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank or what we in Israel refer to as Judea and Samaria.

As for Gaza – there is no occupation – not one Israeli civilian or solder is there.

In 2005 Israel unilaterally left Gaza in a peace move which resulted in Hamas rockets being fired at Jewish civilian communities in Israel.
It was never about land. It is Jihad, the same Jihad that brought us 9/11.

Gaza is ruled by Hamas – defined as a Foreign Terror Organization by the United States Department of State.

The term “occupation” came into being by Yasser Arafat in 1967 and has been used as a propaganda tool for Israel’s destruction ever since.

But even given that legally there is no occupation – Israel continues to reach out for peace. A Palestinian state has been rejected by the Arabs 5 times since 1948.

There truly is no Israeli – Palestinian issue. It is an Israeli – Iranian issue as Iran directly funds Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

As one of the leading facilitators of police exchanges between America and Israel, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) works closely with law enforcement in the U.S., training thousands of law enforcement officials to identify and investigate hate crimes, as well as extremist and terrorist threats against all vulnerable groups in our society. The ADL also trains thousands of federal, state and local police each year on managing implicit bias, and the role of police as protectors the people – all people – and of the Constitution and individual rights.

ADL’s law enforcement programs are well-respected and recognized by the nation’s leading law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are designed to equip officers with the knowledge, understanding, and sense of accountability necessary to help safeguard all communities and ensure that everyone’s civil rights and liberties are rigorously protected. And ADL submitted testimony for the Obama Administration’s forward-looking Task Force on 21st Century Policing on how to address police misconduct and how to advance police-community relations.

Lastly, I served as a humanitarian officer in the IDF for over 16 years.

We are not a perfect army but we do provide basic respect with all we come into contact with. We do not indiscriminately shoot civilians. In fact we risk our lives at security check points and on our borders not to injure and or shoot civilians as Hamas and Hezbollah use civilians as human shields. We provide tons of humanitarian aid on a daily basis to Gaza.

I implore you to rethink the resolution that you and the Durham city council just passed.

I can assure you that if the ADL and several other Jewish organizations are in complete agreement (something they never are) that singling out Israel constitutes anti-semitism – please listen to them. It demonizes Israel and plays right into the BDS playbook. Never mind that it was used only as a quote in your Council’s statement or you were just referring to Israel’s police and IDF.

Mayor Schewel, you had anti-semitism thrown in your face at that council meeting. You didn’t tolerate it. I kindly ask you to remove Israel’s name in a resolution that singles out Israel in regards to police training – unless of course you care to add a few dozen nations that also provide security training to the US to that list.

As a Jew, as a Zionist, as a human – I and many others are prepared to find the resources to create an economic and cultural boycott of Durham.

Hate can start with Durham and spread like a cancer.

When Israeli Arabs chant: “From the River to the Sea” – they are not referring to from the Mississippi to the Atlantic.

When Jews chant the words never again, we mean, never again.

Hate must not find an anchor in Durham, North Carolina.

Sincerely,

Joel Leyden
Publisher
Israel News Agency

Israel Warns Hamas – Do Not Attack Our Border

Members of the Hamas terror organization who were
killed
trying to breach Israel’s border with Gaza.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — April 5, 2018 … The Israel Defense Forces is warning the international terror group Hamas, its supporters and all who cooperate with Hamas not to approach Israel’s border with Gaza.

“We will protect our borders from being breached and protect our civilians in the face of terror,” said IDF Major Keren Hajioff.

“The IDF will not allow any breach of the security fence, which protects Israeli civilians, and will continue to operate in order to prevent terrorists who are involved in these acts of terror. The IDF wishes to emphasize that approaching the security fence is a dangerous act.”

Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated: “Anyone who comes close to the fence will endanger their lives.” Liberman made these comments during a visit to the Israel Gaza border in which he tried to discourage participants in the “Great March of the Return” from trying to cross into Israel.

“I think the other side [the Palestinians] understand that it is not worth it to continue, and I warn those who do continue against any additional provocation,” the Defense Minister said.

“Most of those who were killed trying to breach the border last Friday are well-known terrorists who are active in Hamas’s military wing or in Islamic Jihad,” said Liberman. “These are not innocent civilians who came to peacefully protest.

“We are not provoking the people in Gaza. We are protecting our citizens,” he said.

“We have set very clear rules [of engagement] and we have no intention of changing them,” Liberman said. “We are determined to protect the security of Israeli citizens, of course, first and foremost, in the area of Gaza, and there will be no compromise on this issue, no flexibility.”

Hamas, which is designated as an international terror organization by Israel, the United States and several other nations, is actively recruiting new members.  Hamas which has a long history of killing civilians through blowing up buses, planting bombs in restaurants and hotels and launching rockets into Israel is now paying Palestinians who are critically or moderately wounded in the protests $500 and for  the families of Palestinians killed $3000, Hamas spokesman Hazim Qassim is quoted as saying.

Hamas, whose stated mission is to destroy the State of Israel through Jihad (Holy War against Jews and Christians) rules over Gaza. There are no Israeli civilians or military in Gaza which shares a border with Egypt.

The IDF has described the protests as “violent riots,” illustrating through photos and video that many protesters have thrown Molotov cocktails and rocks at its soldiers, opened fire on them, attempted to infiltrate Israel’s borders and has set tires on fire.

Hamas acknowledges that at least five of its men were killed by IDF snipers during last Friday’s riot adjacent to the border with Israel. Israel has identified at least 10 members of Hamas and other terror groups were among those killed, and says the terrorists tried to used the chaos to plant bombs on the border or carry out terror attacks.

Hamas leaders  have threatened renewed violence on Friday, with Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh saying Sunday that protests might not stop at the border next time around.

Hamas, which is controlled and funded by Iran, is coordinating its efforts with international, anti-semitic organizations including Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, Students For Justice in Palestine and The International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

The ADL has made the following statement: “Hamas is once again cynically exploiting its civilian population to draw attention away from its own flawed leadership and once again with tragically deadly consequences. Their call for ‘return’ is a call for the end of the State of Israel.”

Americans who are supporting and or cooperating with Hamas in protests in Europe, Gaza and the United States are being identified with their names being forwarded to the US State Department and the FBI.

United States law is very clear:

“It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to a designated FTO. (The term “material support or resources” is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A as “any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who maybe or include oneself), and transportation.”

Remembering The Passover Massacre

Passover Massacre 2002: The Victims

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem—Updated from April 2004 – March 27, 2018 …. It was 16 years ago and the days before Passover in Israel were no different than today.

With only three differences. Iran is closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon. US President Barack Obama, who has not missed an opportunity to attack Israel and it’s Prime Minister, was allowing Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Today, President Trump says he is moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

An Israeli child struggles for his life.
There would be no Passover questions, no hidden matzah. Photo: Reuters

Obama was also demanding that Israel withdraw to suicidal 1967 borders. To make peace with Palestinians (Hamas) who have turned down every peace offer made to them.
To make peace with those who gave us the Passover Massacre.

Sixteen years ago, Israel was under cloudless skies, sun drenched streets, birds chirping as the Spring weather began to smile. The summer’s intense sauna was ahead of us, and the winter’s steady, freezing rain has just passed.  Israeli shopping centers and Internet chat rooms were abuzz with Israelis discussing Passover recipes, cleaning tips
vacations up north.

My new born daughter Amanda and I had just arrived at my in-law’s home for Passover dinner in Netanya.

As we stood around the carpeted living room sharing compliments and jokes as last minute Passover table preparations were being made, we heard a crack of thunder.

This was not unusual. There was a slight drizzle coming down as we parked the car minutes earlier.

Thunder storms are still generous in Israel’s March before we enter the seven months of endless days of sun.  Then we heard an ambulance siren. Again nothing usual about that either, there are an abundance of nursing homes mixed in with the hotels marking Netanya’s tranquil seafront. A second and third siren screamed passed our building.
The TV was turned on and we heard the first reports of what is known today as the Passover Massacre.

In one of the most brutal terror attacks sustained by Israel, an Islamic suicide terror bomber from the Hamas terrorist organization walked into Netanya’s Park Hotel on March 27, 2002. He strode passed the reception desk and calmly walked into the main dining hall. As elderly Jews and children were sitting over matza and chicken soup, the terrorist detonated a lethal charge, murdering 30, and wounding 140.The dead included babies, grandmothers and six married couples.

It was 7:30 p.m. and I had to make a judgment call, leave my family at the start of this festive family meal or cover another terror attack in Israel. I struggled with the decision, my family kept saying don’t go. But I really had no choice.

When I arrived on the scene, which was two blocks away, there were about a dozen ambulances caring for the wounded.

Five dismembered and blood soaked bodies lay covered with blue and grey blankets outside on the hotel’s sidewalk. Many of the guests who had survived the terror attack and were being rushed to nearby hospitals were still dressed in their holiday best; the women in festive dresses, the men in white shirts and dark pants.

Shreds of glass were sprinkled throughout the ground. The hotel lobby and the second floor of the hotel had all of its windows blown out. The only thing moving were the torn, white window curtains twisting in the cool wind.

A large pool of water created by the hotel’s safety sprinkler system and broken water pipes filled the reception area.

But this was not ground zero – broken glass and water were only a prelude to the horror which was about 50 feet passed the front desk, the burned and blood stained remains of a festive Passover dining room. White tables and chairs were thrown several feet into the air, landing against the hotel wall.

Unopened bottles of Passover wine and colorful flowers now littered the floor.

An eerie, death filled quiet had settled in where moments before there was laughter, life and hope.

People were slowly walking out of the hotel in a silent daze, all frozen in shock.
One elderly man walked slowly down the street with no apparent direction wearing a blue dress suit with blood spilling out of his grey hair.

“I saw little children, bodies. And I want to say something to the Arab leaders in Beirut. This is not resistance. This is murder. This is terrorism it’s most purest form,” Netanya Mayor Miriam Feyerberg told the TV cameras.

Among the dead and wounded in the bombing were entire families, Israelis and foreign Jews visiting from abroad for the holiday. The force of the blast devastated the dining hall, knocked down the facade of the hotel lobby, shredded the paneled ceiling inside and crumpled cars parked on the street outside.

Nichama Donenhirsch, a guest at the hotel, said that as she and her family fled, they saw a little girl, about 10 to 12 years old, lying dead on the ground, her eyes wide open as if in surprise.

Some of the wounded staggered out of the lobby, which was plunged into darkness by the explosion. Others were taken to ambulances in stretchers, including a young boy who had an oxygen mask pressed to the face. One elderly man was covered by a blue blanket, blood dripping from his face. An elderly woman, her face covered with blood, sat on the sidewalk, attended to by several people.

The Park Hotel is located directly opposite the city square and on a hill overlooking the beach. There are several other hotels in this residential area of Netanya.

The mutilated bodies of murdered Israel men, women and children, who minutes earlier were celebrating a Passover meal, lay lined up outside the Park Hotel in Netanya.

As police arrived they started to create a perimeter, a safety area as police sappers began searching for additional explosives. About one hour after the attack took place, Israeli security forces discovered that explosives had been placed inside one of the many ambulances at the scene.

Immediately all of the ambulances and rescue workers were evacuated.
Mayor Miriam Feyerberg spoke with me and stated that Israelis must remain strong. That we all must continue with our lives, go to work, continue shopping, visit restaurants, otherwise the terrorists would win.
“In recent days, these terrorist groups have begun describing their actions as acts of
resistance’, but resistance is not blowing up children and babies,” Feyerberg said.

“As the Arab leaders are talking peace in Beirut, their associates are committing some of the worst acts of barbarism ever witnessed in present history. The Israeli government will not swallow this. The same people who destroyed New York’s World Trade Center are the same one’s responsible for tonight’s atrocity.”

When the bomb exploded tonight, the Mayor had been attending a Seder – with mothers of the victims of last summer’s (2001) terror bombing in Tel Aviv.

Over 62 people were rushed to Laniado Hospital, 15 in serious condition among them a 45-year-old man and a 5-year-old boy, both with head injuries, who were later moved from Laniado to Beilinson Hospital in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva.

Hospitals were overwhelmed, setting up triage in their synagogues and shuffling the less seriously wounded to their cafeterias. As is usually the case, the bomb contained nails and other metal pieces to enhance its lethal effect.

Another 33 of the injured were taken to Meir Hospital in Kava Sava, two of them in serious condition.

Israel accused Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat of doing nothing

to rein in terrorists. Raanan Gissin, a Sharon adviser, said the attack in Netanya “will require us to reevaluate our overall policy. We are still working to achieve a cease-fire to which we are fully committed, but if the Palestinians have decided to choose the road of terrorism … then we have to decide what measures we will take,” Gissin said.

Secretary of State Colin Powell had urged Arafat to go on television and demand an end to terror attacks against Israelis. The attacks endanger any negotiations toward a Palestinian state, Powell said.

“This sort of activity and the tolerance of this sort of activity will destroy the very vision the Palestinian Authority stands for and Chairman Arafat says he’s committed to,” Powell said in Washington.

The 2002 massacre in Netanya came just hours after Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah presented a new peace initiative at the Arab summit in Beirut, offering Israel normal relations with the Arab world in exchange for a complete withdrawal from the territories it occupied in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israeli police had been on high alert for possible attacks during the Passover holiday, with more than 10,000 officers deployed in potential trouble spots.

The country’s police commissioner, Shlomo Aharonishki, said it was impossible to prevent all attacks. “Even with more policemen and a broader deployment, we cannot block the centers of the cities,” he said. “This attack is more evidence of that.”

Police and IDF roadblocks had been set up throughout the country with increased patrols within both commercial and residential areas after the Passover Massacre.

The mood in Israel had turned from festive Passover joy to depression and anger.

Many Israelis who once held out hopes that a breakthrough peace agreement might still be within reach, were eating matzah in March 2002 with salt in a more realistic and pragmatic environment.

It takes two willing parties to negotiate a peace agreement and Israelis have no plans to make a second Exodus here in the Middle-East.

After the Passover Massacre bombing, President Bush called on Arafat once again to do all in his power to stop the escalating cycle of bloodshed.

 “This callous, this cold-blooded killing must stop. I condemn it in the strongest terms. I call upon Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to do everything in their power to stop the terrorist killing because there are people in the Middle East who would rather kill than have peace,” Bush said during a stop in Atlanta.

In Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Colin Powell formally labeled an Arafat-linked militia a terrorist organization yesterday. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a branch of Arafat’s Fatah organization, has claimed responsibility the week before for a suicide

bombing at a Jerusalem shopping mall that killed two and injured more than 60.

If Hamas, Hezbolah, Islamic Jihad and Fatah believe that they can wear down the Israeli people – then don’t know the Israeli Sabra and his resolve. As Americans became stronger after September 11th, Israelis have also closed political and religious ranks and prepared for measures which will prevent future terror attacks. Those measures in the Spring of 2002 took the form of the IDF’s Operation Defensive Shield.

Today, Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz announced during the government

cabinet session that the closure imposed on Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip will last until after Independence Day. Mofaz added that security authorities have decided on a series of preventative measures to thwart terror attacks, including increased pressure on terror hubs, particularly in Nablus.

The army and security services have once again gone on high alert in anticipation of the Passover holidays. Defense sources report 50 warnings of possible terrorist attacks, some in revenge for the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin two weeks ago.

The IDF has imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip for the duration of the holiday. The Israeli border passes at Karni and Erez have closed down to workers, but will enable the passage of merchandise. The Erez industrial park will continue operating during the holiday. Authorities repeat that all humanitarian aid will continue to flow into the West Bank and Gaza.

Thousands of policemen, border police, IDF troops and civil guard volunteers will safeguard the borders, entertainment places and recreation sites over the holiday. Security in synagogues, hotels and West Bank settlements will also be beefed up with troops and technological auxiliaries.

Israeli police are beefing up security in shopping malls, market places and other crowded places. Police also intend to set up more road barriers and intensify its search for illegal Palestinian workers.

As Israel readies for this 2004 Passover, the news headlines are filled with “Russia Condemns Israel’s Threat Against Arafat” and “US Tells Israel Not to Harm Arafat.”
The Passover Massacre did not take place in Washington or Moscow.
Israel in it’s war against terrorism, killed Hamas master terrorist Achmed Yassin.

Yassin was responsible for the murders of 377 Israelis in at least 425 terrorist attacks over the past three-and-a-half years of the Palestinian Authority’s war against Israel. Among the most devastating attacks Hamas claimed responsibility for the Park Hotel Passover Massacre in Netanya on March 27, 2002; 29 killed, a suicide bombing of the number 2 bus coming from Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Aug. 19, 2003; 23 killed, including three children and two babies; a suicide bombing at the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv on June 1, 2001; 22 killed, mostly teens; a suicide bombing of Sbarro’s in Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001; 15 killed, including five members of the same family – three children and their parents; a suicide bombing of the Matza restaurant in Haifa on March 31, 2002; 15 killed, including two fathers each with his two children and the list goes on.

On Passover night we traditionally ask at the Passover dining table:
“Why is this night different from any other night?”
We must now remember – it’s not.