By Avi Lipkin/Victor Mordecai When Egyptian Field Marshall and Minister of War Mohammed Tantawi said recently that “Egypt would know how to cut off the arm of the enemy (Israel) when the time came,” it reminded me of something…
Op-ed: Many Europeans believe Israel is illegitimate, must be removed from Middle East
Giulio Meotti After the massacre of Jews in Toulouse, many people cried when seeing Miriam Monsonego’s little body wrapped in a white shroud. But most Europeans looked the other way, and the United Nations, EU and the chattering classes all washed their hands of the Jewish blood.
Europe has already forsaken the Jews. The same process can be seen in respect to Günter Grass, the Nobel Prize laureate who published an anti-Israel poem in European newspapers.
According to the polls, 70-80% of Germans support Grass. A Facebook page called “Support Günter Grass” already has thousands of “Likes.” A special Financial Times’ survey sheds more light on Grass’ popularity. Given the question “The statements by Grass are…”, only the 8% answered “dangerous” and “anti-Semitic.” Some 57% said “correct” while 27% said “worth discussing/arguable.”
The total figure of respondents who see Grass’ incitement against Israel as correct or arguable is 84%.
This Thursday Israel will mark its annual Holocaust Memorial Day, a solemn remembrance of the 6 million Jews who perished in Nazi-controlled Europe.
Sirens will wail throughout the country and public life will come to a standstill for two minutes in honor of the victims. Israel Radio will talk about the importance of not forgetting the horrible past. But soon enough, it will be very difficult for most not to do so.
There are still 198,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, but every hour another one of them dies. In 20 years’ time, no eye witness to that horrific chapter in human history will be left.
Today, Holocaust survivors talk to school children, students and soldiers to let them know their story first hand, a powerful means of conveying the message that something like this must never happen again. That is especially true in a time and region where Israel’s enemies don’t take the history of the Second World War seriously and even deny it for political gain.
Counter Terrorism Bureau warns Iran, Hezbollah may use coming holiday to mount terror attacks against Israelis traveling abroad
The Counter Terrorism Bureau (CTB) issued Wednesday renewed travel advisories to various destinations worldwide, prompted by the recent terror attacked on Israeli targets in India, Georgia, Thailand and the deadly attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse.
A top CTB source told Ynet that alerts suggesting Iran and Hezbollah will try to target Israelis worldwide have become more frequent. “It’s important to us to make clear that this reflects accurate intelligence leads – this isn’t an attempt to simply cover our basis. Some advisories have been known to foil potential terror attacks,” he said.
CTB experts said that given the failed attempts to seriously harm Israelis in Baku, New Delhi and Bangkok, it was likely that terror groups will now aim for “softer” targets, such as Israeli tourists, or known tourist hubs abroad.
The CTB also issued an imminent-threat advisory pertaining to Sinai and Turkey – which are still in effect.
By Aaron Kalman School shooting a ‘crime against humanity’PM says he fears ‘murderous anti-Semitism’ behind Toulouse shootingFour gunned down at Jewish school in France; Sarkozy: ‘It’s a tragedy’MK Ya’akov Katz called Monday for Jews to leave France in the wake of a deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse.
“There is no Jewish future in France,” Katz, of the National Union party, said, adding that the state of Israel is the future of the Jewish people, and that Jews should not trust their fate to “Sarkozy, Obama or other world leaders.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, by contrast, expressing shock over the attack, said Israel was confident the French authorities would do “everything possible” to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Opposition head Tzipi Livni posted on her Facebook page, calling it a sad day. “The state of Israel and the Jewish people are partners in battling antisemitism and hate crimes,” she said. Livni said France must protect its citizens from events like this one, adding that she trusts the French authorities will find the person responsible.
By Dan Calic One of the most difficult issues for Christians and Jews to navigate is how to relate to each other while the proverbial 800 pound gorilla is in the room.
What’s the 800-pound gorilla? The desire on the part of Christians to evangelize Jews, and the sensitivity Jews have about uninvited conversion efforts. As one Jew eloquently stated several years ago, “Christians have to understand Jews did not volunteer to become participants in the final act of a play they didn’t write.”
Serious Christians, many of whom have a genuine love of the Jewish people, might consider doing something important if they wish to develop a meaningful, or in many cases a better relationship with Jews. They should consider repentance.
Repenting for the centuries of misunderstanding, abuse, expulsions, and the Holocaust would be an excellent starting point. Doing the same for anti-Semitism and replacement theology would be recommended as well.
by Gavriel Horan
Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, currently the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Chairman of Yad Vashem, and the former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, is one of my personal heroes. I have long desired to meet him face to face ever since I first read about his life’s story. His tale of triumph and faith as a young boy during the Holocaust provides us with a model of personal greatness in the face of unimaginable hardship. Rabbi Lau’s bestselling autobiography has just been translated into English for the first time. “Out of the Depths” (Sterling Publishing) tells the story of his miraculous journey from an orphaned refugee to become one of the leaders of the Jewish people.
An Unbroken Chain
Rabbi Lau was born in 1937 in the Polish town of Piotrków where his father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau Hy”d served as the Rabbi. At the tender age of five, his family was brutally torn apart when his father and brother were taken to the death camps. His father was the 37th in an uninterrupted chain of rabbis in the family. As such, his last instructions to his sixteen year old son Naftali were to protect his little brother, Lulek, as he was called, to ensure that the Rabbinical chain remain unbroken. A few years later Rabbi Lau’s mother’s dying wish was the same. For some reason, they both felt that their youngest son was destined to carry on the thousand year old family tradition.
Margaret Thatcher was a staunch defender of Jewish causes and a supporter of Israel in her political career, unlike most Tory politicians before her By Charles C. Johnson
Margaret Thatcher, October 1986. (Keystone/Getty Images)When asked about her most meaningful accomplishment, Margaret Thatcher, now embodied by Meryl Streep in the biopic Iron Lady, did not typically mention serving in the British government, defeating the Argentine invasion of the Falklands, taming runaway inflation, or toppling the Soviet Union. The woman who reshaped British politics and served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990 often said that her greatest accomplishment was helping save a young Austrian girl from the Nazis.
In 1938, Edith Muhlbauer, a 17-year-old Jewish girl, wrote to Muriel Roberts, Edith’s pen pal and the future prime minister’s older sister, asking if the Roberts family might help her escape Hitler’s Austria. The Nazis had begun rounding up the first of Vienna’s Jews after the Anschluss, and Edith and her family worried she might be next. Alfred Roberts, Margaret and Muriel’s father, was a small-town grocer; the family had neither the time nor the money to take Edith in. So Margaret, then 12, and Muriel, 17, set about raising funds and persuading the local Rotary club to help.
Edith stayed with more than a dozen Rotary families, including the Robertses, for the next two years, until she could move to join relatives in South America. Edith bunked in Margaret’s room, and she left an impression. “She was 17, tall, beautiful, evidently from a well-to-do family,” Thatcher later wrote in her memoir. But most important, “[s]he told us what it was like to live as a Jew under an anti-Semitic regime. One thing Edith reported particularly stuck in my mind: The Jews, she said, were being made to scrub the streets.” For Thatcher, who believed in meaningful work, this was as much a waste as it was an outrage. Had the Roberts family not intervened, Edith recalled years later, “I would have stayed in Vienna and they would have killed me.” Thatcher never forgot the lesson: “Never hesitate to do whatever you can, for you may save a life,” she told audiences in 1995 after Edith had been located, alive and well, in Brazil.
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
Everything you need to know about the holiday of Chanukah – Hanukkah.
Chanukah (Hanukkah), the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, and lasts for eight days. On the secular calendar, Chanukah generally falls out in December.
This primer will explore:
(1) A Bit of History
(2) Lighting Instructions
(3) Other Customs
(1) A Bit of History
The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication.” In the 2nd century BCE, during the time of the Second Holy Temple, the Syrian-Greek regime of Antiochus sought to pull Jews away from Judaism, with the hopes of assimilating them into Greek culture. Antiochus outlawed Jewish observance ― including circumcision, Shabbat, and Torah study ― under penalty of death. As well, many Jews ― called Hellenists ― began to assimilate into Greek culture, taking on Greek names and marrying non-Jews. This began to decay the foundation of Jewish life and practice.
When the Greeks challenged the Jews to sacrifice a pig to a Greek god, a few courageous Jews took to the hills of Judea in open revolt against this threat to Jewish life. Led by Matitiyahu, and later his son Judah the Maccabee, this small band of pious Jews led guerrilla warfare against the Syrian-Greek army.
Antiochus sent thousands of well-armed troops to crush the rebellion, but after three years the Maccabees beat incredible odds and miraculously succeeded in driving the foreigners from their land. The victory was on the scale of Israel defeating the combined super-powers of today.
Jewish fighters entered Jerusalem and found the Holy Temple in shambles and desecrated with idols. The Maccabees cleansed the Temple and re-dedicated it on the 25th of Kislev. When it came time to re-light the Menorah, they searched the entire Temple, but found only one jar of pure oil bearing the seal of the High Priest. The group of believers lit the Menorah anyway and were rewarded with a miracle: That small jar of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply of oil could be brought.
From then on, Jews have observed a holiday for eight days, in honor of this historic victory and the miracle of the oil. To publicize the Chanukah miracle, Jews add the special Hallel praises to the Shacharit service, and light a menorah during the eight nights of Chanukah.
Read Entire Story in Aish Torah
Longstanding U.S. policy does not list Jerusalem as capital of Israel, says status of the city that is important to Jews, Muslims and Christians should be resolved in negotiations. By The Associated Press
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a Jerusalem-born boy’s challenge to U.S. State Department policy that prevents him from having his passport show he was born in Israel.
Middle Eastern politics and the battle between Congress and the president over foreign policy are at play in the case being argued at the high court Monday. The boy, Menachem Zivotofsky, and his parents, Naomi and Ari, flew in from Israel to attend Monday’s Supreme Court arguments.
The Obama administration, like its Republican and Democratic predecessors, says it does not want to stir up anger in the Arab world by appearing to take a position on the ultimate fate of Jerusalem. Longstanding U.S. policy says the status of the city that is important to Jews, Muslims and Christians should be resolved in negotiations.
But lawyers for 9-year-old Menachem argue that the foreign policy concerns are trivial. Thirty-nine lawmakers from both parties are siding with the boy and his parents, defending a provision in a 2002 law that allows Israel to be listed as the birthplace for Americans born in Jerusalem.