Archive for the ‘Ethiopian Jews’ Category

Give resistance wings: opposing the whitewashing of Israel’s racism and anti-blackness – The Daily Vox (blog)

International Israeli Apartheid Week is once again upon us, and civil society organisations around the world are displaying solidarity with the Palestinian people, who struggle against an apartheid system of occupation, systematic discrimination and segregation enforced by Israel.

True to form, Israels apologists have tapped a reservoir of reactionary energy, making peace the enemy of justice and vacuously deploying platitudes in a quest to pacify. This year, at the centre of their campaign to whitewash ethnic cleansing and apartheid, sits a single, spurious claim the Zionist state is a multi-ethnic democracy that cherishes diversity. A touch of melanin is on display, aiming to drown out the evidence of institutionalised racism.

Israel has black friends, how could it possibly be racist?

As a rule of thumb, those who feel the need to repeatedly declare that theyre not at all racist those who scramble to point at the black friend are ordinarily seeking to obscure the realities of structural racism. It is a worn tactic, deployed by those who are unwilling to engage the racial injustices in which they may be complicit. It is also a disingenuous indulgence in identity politics, grounded in the misplaced belief that having a person of colour speak in your favour is enough to dismiss allegations of racism.

In the instance of Israeli apologetics, the case is unambiguous and damning. The Israeli state imposes upon the people of Palestine a system of apartheid a system of racial and ethnic categorisation, segregation, and discrimination that is enforced through brutal military occupation. This is not merely the opinion of the Palestinian solidarity movement, but is the conclusion reached by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Apartheid is a crime against humanity, and sits at the apex of institutionalised racism. No number of glossy posters and misappropriated Madiba murals can erase this.

Beyond Israels institutionalised racism towards Palestinians, however, the Africans for Israel line is both ludicrous and insulting because it is an erasure of the material realities faced by Africans (most of whom are African Jews) living within Israel, who struggle daily with the anti-blackness of the Israeli state (and indeed Israeli society, too). Over the past five years, there has been a wave of demonstrations by Mizrahi Jews who dont originate from Europe, as Ashkenazi Jews do, but in the Middle East and North Africa from African countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia.

In mid-2016, Ethiopian Jews took to the streets with a list of grievances that included unjust incarceration, deportation, police brutality, the perpetuation of separate educational and housing streams for Ethiopian Israelis, and the coerced sterilisation of Ethiopian migrants as a means of demographic control. The Eurocentric identity of the Israeli state, coupled with the ethno-nationalist, settler colonial ideology of Zionism, has resulted in the systematic desecration of rights for those citizens of Israel who originate in the continent that knows the price of colonialism all too well. Many African migrants to Israel, as well as progressive Jews of colour, hold that Israeli state and society, both explicitly and implicitly, back a form of European Ashkenazi Judaism which is exclusionary towards the diversity of Jews around the world. They are also frustrated by the unwillingness of Israeli society to even acknowledge their struggle.

These frustrations are shared by many among South Africas dispossessed black majority. There is a common thread that runs through the discourses of racism denial in South Africa, as well as Zionist apologetics surrounding the Israeli state. The white whine that weve been forced to sample again and again during protests for free education is brought out in barrels when the largely privileged caucus of white, Zionist South Africans assemble to try and impede progressive internationalism. We witness the same unwillingness to come to terms with the manner in which historical injustices influence present realities. Yesterday, it was apartheid at home, today it is the Nakba in Palestine their cry is the same: Its in the past, get over it.

The reactionary faction that appeases, and even perpetrates injustice has a long history of globalism. Oceans and deserts did not stand in the way of the European project of colonial land theft. Today, that globalism remains alive. We see it in police exchange programmes between Israel and cities in the US, where persistent police brutality and anti-blackness birthed the movement for black lives. And we see it in the groups of apartheid beneficiaries whove linked hands in their refusal to see race (or more accurately, to see racism).

Tactics to crush protest and harass vulnerable communities are being shared by oppressive state actors, and we are witnessing the globalisation of authoritarianism. We are also witnessing the accelerating globalisation of the tactics of unseeing and erasure that serve to appease it.

In response, I echo writers Arundhati Roy and Angela Davis, and appeal for us to rapidly, urgently, globalise dissent. At a time when fascists have seized the reins of power in some of the worlds most powerful nations when ultra-nationalists like Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump are finding common ground in a taste for hyper-masculine militarism and in an obsession with erecting walls, it is necessary for us to reiterate our commitment to progressive internationalism.

Now more than ever, it is necessary for us to give resistance wings.

Raees Noorbhai is a student activist, writer and researcher, currently studying astrophysics at Wits. He is also the chairperson of the Wits Chapter of Amnesty International.

See the original post:

Give resistance wings: opposing the whitewashing of Israel’s racism and anti-blackness – The Daily Vox (blog)

Fair Usage Law

March 9, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

A direct connection for a Holy Land education – Jewish Journal

Aviv Mussali believes theres one surefire way to effectively teach American Jews about the Holy Land while they are at camp: introduce them to native Israelis like him.

Bringing Israeli education to camp cant be done better than bringing Israelis to camp to do that, said Mussali, who became a senior scout at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu in the summer of 2009. Israelis come with passion for education, especially after finishing the army. They have seen the conflicts, and they have lived through rough times. Speaking about their stories, and even just being there as friends, is a great tool.

His role at camp involved hosting Israeli activities, integrating costumes and props from the country and rewarding campers with Hebrew T-shirts. Mussali had such a great experience that he went on to serve two more summers there, leading its Israel Day and giving a weekly update on events in the Jewish state.

This approach to Israel education is by no means unique among local Jewish overnight camps, many of which offer special programming, hire Israeli staff members and integrate Israeli education into regular activities.

For example, this summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, and Bnei Akiva of Los Angeles summer camp in Running Springs will be commemorating it with special art, dance, music and cooking programs. It will focus on the traditions of the different ethnicities Russian, Ethiopian and American that have immigrated to Israel.

According to Executive Director Menachem Hecht, this program will be a really integrated, immersive, holistic educational experience. It brings to life our heritage and our relationship to Israel.

A number of the Bnei Akiva staff members are Israeli, flying in to work for the summer. Often, when campers or staff go to Israel to visit or study, this helps provide them with a social network there and a place to spend Shabbat, he said.

At the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps (WBTC) in Malibu Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp staff from Israel teach attendees about their country and serve as role models. Campers who are at least sophomores in high school also have the opportunity to go to Israel for four weeks with WBTC and the North American Federation of Temple Youth, according to the WBTC website.

Bringing Israeli education to camp cant be done better than bringing Israelis to camp to do that. -Aviv Mussali

Camp Ramah in California in Ojai is another camp that offers opportunities to learn about Israel by actually going there. It sends campers to the Holy Land through the Ramah Israel Seminar, a six-week exploration and study trip for former Ramah campers entering the 12th grade.

According to Rabbi Joe Menashe, executive director of the camp, there are currently 12 campers on a semester-long program in Israel called Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY). Students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades go to Israel to learn secular and religious studies, participate in simulated army training and do community service.

These campers may be inspired to travel because of the 30 Israeli emissaries who work there every summer. Ariella Moss Peterseil, an Israeli who is associate director of Camp Ramah, started out at Camp Ramah in Canada in 2000 right after she finished her army training.

She said that in Ojai, the camp has a Yom Israel (Israel Day) each session thats run by the Israeli educators: They choose a topic and the campers and staff have an experiential day all around camp, which includes food, music, educational programming, dress up, ceremonies, activities, debates and sometimes social action for a cause in Israel.

Peterseil emphasized that in order to gain a real education on and relationship with the Holy Land, campers need direct contact with Israelis.

Our kids cannot have a positive connection or real knowledge about this place we call home unless they get to have real hands-on experiences and relationships with Israelis, she said. We achieve this by bringing a group of 30 young Israelis every summer and believe that the friendships and relationships are the most important part of the shlichut [mission].

During the weeks that Camp Alonim in Simi Valley is in session each summer, campers there also have the chance to interact with Israeli staff members. According to Executive Director Josh Levine, the camp has an extensive Israeli folk dancing program, and kids are taught how to broadcast Israeli music over their camp radio station. An Israeli song plays as a signal to campers that its time to clean their bunks.

Levine said its important that the campers gain an Israeli education because the country is a major fact of Jewish life today, not only for Israelis but also for Americans.

We want campers to learn about Israel and the diversity and vibrancy of the life and culture there in a short amount of time, he said.

Read more:

A direct connection for a Holy Land education – Jewish Journal

Fair Usage Law

March 9, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Despite promises, Ethiopian immigration still stalled as Israelis pass … – The Times of Israel

In October 2016, 63 Ethiopian immigrants touched down at Ben Gurion Airport to the joy and tears of eagerly waiting family members. They were the first Ethiopian Jews to make it to Israel since the government announced an end of immigration from Ethiopia over three years earlier, a move that angered Ethiopian Israelis who still had family in Gondar and Addis Ababa.

Amid speeches and flag-waving at Ben Gurion, leaders from the Jewish Agencys Natan Sharansky to Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver applauded the beginning of a new era, which would bring approximately 1,300 Ethiopian Jews to Israel each year, until the 9,000 Jews still living in Ethiopia all arrive in the Jewish state. But now, eight months after that government decision, the several dozen people who arrived on that October flight remain the only Jews to leave Ethiopia.

Despite a high-profile campaign and a much-celebrated agreement, not one member of the Ethiopian Jewish community has had an immigration request processed by the Interior Ministry to date, let alone been granted permission to come to Israel.

Octobers immigrants were approved by the Interior Ministry before the moratorium and prevented from coming immediately because there was no budgetary allocation for their absorption. But government promises have not been kept and their arrival has not yet been followed by mass immigration from Ethiopian.

On Monday, 500 members of Israels Ethiopian community packed into the Knessets auditorium for a celebratory session of the Immigration and Absorption Committee marking 25 years since Operation Solomon. But while Landver, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Supreme Court justices and other senior officials lauded the daring operation that airlifted almost 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to the Jewish state, the festivities were marred by the uncertainty over the members of the community who still remain in Ethiopia.

MK Avraham Neguise addressing a special session of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee marking 25 years since Operation Solomon, March 6, 2017. (Courtesy)

The celebration and the joy is mixed with a deep sense of pain and worry, Knesset member Avraham Neguise (Likud) told The Times of Israel after addressing the gathering. Neguise came to Israel from Ethiopia as part of Operation Moses in 1984, the precursor to 1992s Operation Solomon.

In the past 25 years, over 50,000 more Ethiopians have come to Israel and have become and integral part of society. But we need to remember that the aliyah has not ended and there are still Jews that are stuck in Ethiopia and suffering there, he said. We cannot accept this discrimination and we will not give up the fight. If the government continues to disregard the community by failing to implement its own decision, we will fight like we have never fought before.

For many of the hundreds of participants at the Knesset ceremony who still have family in Ethiopia, Neguises fighting talk was far more than an exercise in protest politics.

Berahoun Kibrout, who came to the Knesset from the southern city of Beersheba, has seven siblings waiting for permission to immigrate to Israel. They have been waiting for 15 years.

They are in a terrible situation, they are really suffering. Its a horrible feeling that nothing is being done, he said. Our family has been split up. I have a life here but they are stuck there.

Atenkut Setataw (right), with his wife Alesa Netere (left) and a neighbor outside of their home in Gondar, which Setataw painted. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

There are approximately 9,000 people still living in Ethiopia who were not allowed to immigrate to Israel because the Interior Ministry determined they were not Jewish. Ethiopian Jews counter that the process to determine their Jewishness was poorly executed and inaccurate, dividing families. At least 80 percent of the Jews in Ethiopia have first-degree relatives living in Israel.

The Jews left behind in Ethiopia are classified as Falashmura, a term for Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity, often under duress, generations ago. Falashmura are not considered eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, which requires at least one Jewish grandparent and disqualifies someone who has converted to another religion, even if the conversion happened a long time ago.

We secured the budget, we dealt with all every question that was asked of us, and fulfilled all the needs that were required. Why are the Jews not being brought here yet? MK Avraham Neguisa

Kibrout said that the 2016 government decision gave his family hope, but it has been bitterly disappointed by the failure to implement the move. The government is not taking us seriously. They keep telling us stories but nothing is happening, he said.

Two weeks ago, at a Knesset hearing on Ethiopian immigration, lawmakers heard about factors that have prevented the process from getting underway: protests in parts of Ethiopia, a lack of office space in Addis Ababa, ongoing work on the embassy in the Ethiopian capital, civil action over the salaries for Israeli envoys, and bureaucratic disagreements between government agencies in Jerusalem.

Ethiopian Israelis attend a Knesset committee meeting on the governments failure to implement a decision to bring 1,300 member of the Jewish community from Ethiopia to Israel, February 20, 2017. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

This is the most ridiculous game of pass the buck I have ever seen in my life, bellowed Knesset House Committee chair MK David Bitan (Likud) over the complaints of various representatives of government ministries. I have chaired hundreds of Knesset meetings and I have never seen such an absurd situation.

Bitan, along with Neguise, helped to secure the government agreement to restart Ethiopian immigration, at least partially, by refusing to vote with the coalition until funding was found for the move. With the coalition at the time encompassing just 61 of the 120 members of Knesset, the two were able to hold the governments legislative agenda hostage with their own demands. Now that the coalition has been expanded, their political capital is much less valuable.

Although the government unanimously approved the immigration of all the remaining Jews from Ethiopia in November 2015, the decision faltered three months later when the Prime Ministers Office refused to implement the program because the $1 billion it said was needed to fund the absorption process was not in the state budget.

Ethiopian families are reunited on October 9, 2016 as the first group of Ethiopian immigrants arrives at Ben Gurion airport since the government announced the end of Ethiopian aliyah in August 2013. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In August 2016, the Finance Ministry finally reached a compromise and agreed to allocate a budget that would enable 1,300 Ethiopians to move to Israel, with the money divided among a number of entities, including the Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Jewish Agency.

Now, those three government bodies are blaming each other for a failure to begin the process, let alone fulfill the agreed quota of approximately 100 people a month.

We secured the budget, we dealt with every question that was asked of us, and fulfilled all the needs that were required. Why are the Jews not being brought here yet? Neguise asked the government representatives at the February Knesset meeting.

Each had a different answer.

The head of the Foreign Ministrys consular services unit, Eyal Siso, said that violent protests in Ethiopia had caused massive delays in getting the project underway.

Ethiopia has been dealing with widespread anti-government protests, the most significant civil unrest in decades, centered in the Oromo and Amhara regions. Gondar, which is home to approximately 6,000 of the 9,000 Jews still left in the country, is located in the Amhara region.

MK Avraham Neguisa (R) and MK David Amsalem at a meeting of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee, February 21, 2017. (Yizhak Harari/Knesset Spokespersons Department)

But challenged by Neguise, Siso admitted that the Israeli consular building in Gondar had not been at risk for more than two weeks, while the embassy building in Addis Ababa had not been affected at all.

The head of the Jewish Agencys Aliyah and Special Operations Department, Yehuda Scharf, said that the problem in Addis Ababa was not violent protests but a lack of office space at the embassy.

According to Amos Arbel, director of the Interior Ministrys population registry, a new building is being constructed that will be finished in the coming months. Arbel said the work of processing immigration requests cannot start until there are appropriate facilities, a claim ridiculed by Neguise and others, who pointed out that over 50,000 people had immigrated via the Addis Ababa embassy in the past 30 years.

Conceding that the work could indeed have begun in Gondar, Arbel said that a dispute over the salary for Israeli envoys to Ethiopia had prevented Interior Ministry representatives from traveling to the country to start processing applications.

After the Knesset meeting, the Jewish Agency reported to its board of governors that the Interior Ministry would begin its work soon and flights would resume before the Passover festival in April.

Representatives from the Ministry of Interior will be travelling to Gondar on February 26th and together with our shaliach [emmissary] will begin the process of interviewing the potential Olim [immigrants]. Once the offices in Addis Ababa are built the Ministry of Interior representatives will be travelling and interviewing potential Olim together with our shaliach in both these locations, the report, seen by The Times of Israel, read.

Where are the French Jews? Where are the American Jews? Children and adults are dying while waiting. This is the only aliyah that any one is trying to stop. MK Eli Alaluf

We hope that the Ministry of Interior will grant eligibility to those waiting in a timely fashion and that by Passover the first group Olim from Ethiopia will be here to celebrate the holiday in Israel, the report concluded.

Unconvinced, Neguise last week organized an emergency cross-party delegation of Knesset members Hilik Bar (Zionist Union), Eli Alaluf (Kulanu) and Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) to travel with him to Ethiopia to assess the situation.

Returning to Israel a day before the House Committee meeting, the MKs told the gathering on Monday about their experiences vising the Jewish communities in both Gondar and Addis Ababa.

I came back from the visit both embarrassed and enthused. It was emotional for me to see how, living in inhumane conditions, 9,000 people are still preserving their Judaism and yearning to come to Israel, Cohen said. But its a horrible feeling to know that those Jews are waiting while the State of Israel is not fulfilling its promise to bring them here.

MKs on a cross-party delegation to Ethiopia attend a service with members of Gondars Jewish community, March 3, 2017. (Courtesy)

Ethiopian Jews live in poverty in the cities of Gondar and Addis Ababa, after they left their villages 15 to 20 years ago in order to register with Israeli officials and wait their turn to move to Israel. Because they have been in limbo for years, always assuming they would be leaving for Israel momentarily, Jews often did not invest in businesses or real estate, plunging them further into poverty as the years passed. In Gondar, 6,000 Jews live in rented mud shacks, most without electricity or running water.

Members of the Jewish community are also poorer than the average Ethiopian. In 2011, researchers found that 41% of the Jewish children in Gondar were malnourished, and in the 12-23 month age range, 67% were malnourished. The average urban malnutrition rate in Ethiopia is 30%.The Jewish Agency used to run a feeding program for the Jewish community, for nursing and expectant mothers and children up to age 6, but that program ended in 2013 when they announced the end of Ethiopian aliyah.

Alaluf said he was shocked at the ineptitude of the Israeli officials in Ethiopia, noting that one told him the delay had been due to a lack of air conditioning in the embassy. The elevation of Addis Ababa is 2,300 meters (7,700 feet), a cool to cold climate where air conditioning is unnecessary. They should be immediately returned to Israel and replaced with people with the minimum level of empathy and understanding, said Alaluf.

A view outside the Jewish Agency-run synagogue in Gondar. (Michal Shmulovich/ToI)

Alaluf also directed criticism at Jewish communities around the world, which he said have diverged from the massive support they gave for operations Moses and Solomon, and remained largely silent over the suspension of Ethiopian immigration. Where are the French Jews? Where are the American Jews? Children and adults are dying while waiting. This is the only aliyah that any one is trying to stop. This embarrassment needs to end now, he said emphatically.

According to Neguise, learning of the incoming delegation, the Interior Ministry envoys who arrived in Ethiopia last Sunday had rushed to begin processing requests so that the Knesset members would see that the government decision was finally on the way to being implemented.

But even with the renewed pressure and the modest progress, representatives of the community in Ethiopia say a first flight before Passover the festival celebrating the Jewish peoples exodus from Egypt is seeming increasingly unlikely.

A spokesperson for the Interior Ministrys population registry declined repeated requests from The Times of Israel to comment on the delays, the conditions of the facilities in Ethiopia, the processing of requests and the date immigration is expected to resume.

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem Headquarters in Katamon, Jerusalem. (CC BY-SA: Deror Avi, Wikimedia Commons)

In the meantime, the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem has offered to pay approximately $800 per person to cover the transportation costs from Gondar or Addis Ababa to the absorption centers in Israel, according to spokesman David Parsons. For the past 25 years, the ICEJ has paid for about 10% of all annual aliyah flights from around the world, and it is currently sponsoring flights from India, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, in addition to Ethiopia.

Parsons said the ICEJ has already transferred money for about 900 plane tickets for Ethiopian Jews, and is fundraising to pay for the remaining 400 tickets. That would cover the first year of Ethiopian immigration, in which the government approved the absorption of 1,300 Jews.

We are anxious to see them come and we know that these people have had hopes about coming and its been deferred and deferred far to many times already, said Parsons. Weve got another donation to make soon, but it would help to see more flights.

Members of Gondar’s Jewish community attend gathering hosted by a cross-party delegation of Knesset members to Ethiopia, March 3, 2017. (Courtesy)

Visit link:

Despite promises, Ethiopian immigration still stalled as Israelis pass … – The Times of Israel

Fair Usage Law

March 7, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Christian groups launch TV series defending Israel – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A screenshot of the trailer.. (photo credit:TBN)

A partnership of Christians groups have collaborated to create a series called Why Israel Matters, which intends to set the record straight on Israel and the Jewish state.

Christians in Defense of Israel (CIDI), Liberty Counsel and the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) produced the 13-part original series that demonstrates the crucial importance of the Jewish state to Christians, to the United States and to the world in general. The first episode, which debuted February 28, can be seen online on TBN.

At the end of each weeks airing, the Christian television network posts the episode on its website. The second episode will air March 7.

Even though I have lived with this series for over two years and reviewed the rough cut version, I was still moved by the impact of this powerful story about Jews being drawn to Israel from around the world, Mat Staver, chairman of Christians in Defense of Israel and Liberty Counsel, said.

Filmed in the Holy Land and featuring a multitude of guests, Why Israel Matters explores how such a small country plays such an important role in the world.

It reveals how the miracle nation sprung up from its biblical roots and went through a heartbreaking history after having its two temples destroyed and becoming a scattered people, finally reemerging as an independent nation, just as the prophets foretold, and today is the role model of a hopeful, persevering and courageous nation, inspiring the world throughout with its successes in every field.

Each week, host Mati Shoshani, an expert on Israeli history and the director of operations at TBN, the worlds largest religious television network, guides viewers through the fascinating elements of Israels still-unfolding narrative.

In the first episode, called Homecoming, Shoshani presents three stories that capture the beauty of the Jewish people coming home to their ancient homeland.

Peppering his narration with quotes from the Bible, in the first story, Shoshani interviews Jews from Kaifeng, China, revealing how even in a far-off region, they never lost touch with their roots. Jin Jin, a Chinese Jew speaking in broken Hebrew, recalls her father telling her about her heritage One day you must return to Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel], Jin says her father told her. Because it is the land that God has given us.

Former member of Knesset, Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a position in the Knesset, and Hanna Goslar, a Holocaust survivor who lived next to Anne Frank while their two families found refuge in Amsterdam, echoed Jin Jins feelings after their trials and tribulations in the country where they were born, there was only one place that they could truly call home.

There has never been a more important time for Christians and others of good will across America and around the world to stand in solidarity with the nation and people of Israel, said Staver.

Why Israel Matters is designed to help viewers grow in their understanding of the strong bond each of us shares with Israel through our faith, our heritage and our worldview. Every viewer will be inspired and empowered to be thoughtful, compelling participants in the global conversation about Israel.

The next three episodes will be: Neighbors, how Israel has survived and thrived in the hostile Middle East; Miracles, a look at Israels advances in technology, agriculture and military security; and Survivors, how Israels past gives its citizens courage and perseverance to thrive and prosper.

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Prev Article

Naddaf: As surviving Christian, Im proud to be Israeli

What’s your Israel story?

Next Article

See original here:

Christian groups launch TV series defending Israel – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Fair Usage Law

March 7, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Thousands attend rally to Stand Against Hate – Philly.com

Thousands of people of many faiths and backgrounds filled Independence Mall on Thursday in a Stand Against Hate, to protest the recent desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, and a spate of bomb threats to Jewish community centers and day schools.

About 100 headstones were discovered toppled at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Wissinoming on Sunday. It was the second reported act of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in weeks. Headstones at a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis were discovered damaged on Feb. 20.

As the demonstration began at noon in front of Independence Hall, there were reports of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, N.Y.

The rally was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, which estimated that as many as 5,000 people filled the expanse on Independence Mall.

In the crowd was the Rev. Donna Maree, an Episcopal priest who is rector of Trinity Memorial Church in Center City.

Maree said she had just come back from a visit to Israel with a group of Christians and Jews on Feb. 23, just days before the news of the toppled headstones at Mount Carmel in Northeast Philadelphia made headlines and news coverage worldwide.

“We talked to Palestinians, Jewish Israelis, Ethiopian Jews,” said Maree, who made the trip with the Jewish Community Relations Council, which is part of the Jewish Federation.

“People want peace,” Maree said. She said she has had contact with Jewish people in Israel about the spate of hate incidents targeting cemeteries, schools and community centers.

“It’s disappointing to Jews in Israel that people here have turned to hate.”

The Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, was also at the rally. He said hewas saddened by the recent incidents and that it was important to speak out.

“I am reminded of the quote by Martin Niemoller,” Tyler said, a reference to the Protestant pastor who spoke out against Adolf Hitler by noting persecution of one group after another, when nothing was said. It ends: “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

I am incredibly heartened by the outpouring of so many generations of people who are taking their time to come out in the cold to stand against hate, said Naomi Adler, CEO of the Jewish Federation.

She urged those in the crowd — blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics; Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists to take the spirit of the rally back to their homes and communities. Share your stories of what justice, love, and mercy are, Adler said.

Among the speakers was Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who got loud applause when he said he had just spent time in Washington telling President Trump that vandalism and bomb threats were hate crimes and needed to be treated as such.

To my fellow Jews, Shapiro said, today it is us, tomorrow it will be LGBTQ people, and another day it will be our African American brothers and sisters or our Latino brothers and sisters.

But no matter who is being targeted, we are all less safe.

Max Buchdahl, 21, a junior at Temple University and president of Hillel at Temple, said he was encouraged by the gathering of so many people at the place where American democracy was born.

Its great to see this many people here, and its incredible that its across faiths and across racial groups, Buchdahl said. He added that he and other Temple students, Jewish and non-Jewish, went to Mount Carmel, at Frankford and Cheltenham Avenues, to help with restoration efforts.

Also in the crowd was Amnah Ahmad, 29, associate director of the Arab American Development Corp. at Al-Aqsa Mosque in North Philadelphia. She carried a sign that read, Islam = Peace.

We came to show love and peace to the Jewish community, Ahmad said.

As she talked to reporters, Barry Ungar, 73, of Haverford, who is Jewish, walked up to her and said, “Any attacks against you are attacks against us.”

He continued: “I never thought I would see in my lifetime this kind of danger and fear.”

Also at the rally were two other Jewish groups, If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Spokespersons for both said that while they condemned the vandalism against Jewish cemeteries, they also condemned hate crimes against Muslims, African Americans and others.

“We stand here as Jews with our fellow Jews,” said Ezra Nepon, a spokesman for Jewish Voice for Peace. “We’re so glad that they have condemned all kinds of oppression.”

Published: March 2, 2017 3:47 PM EST | Updated: March 2, 2017 6:09 PM EST

Follow this link:

Thousands attend rally to Stand Against Hate – Philly.com

Fair Usage Law

March 3, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Awarded MLK Prize in Jerusalem – Forward

On Sunday, former NBA player and now Israeli basketball star Amare Stoudemire, was awarded Israels Martin Luther King Jr. Award, given to individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of Dr. King.

I am truly honored to be receiving this amazing award, said Stoudemire, who signed a two-year contract with Israels Hapoel Jerusalem club last year. In a video to his Instagram followers, Stoudemire stood against the night skyline of Jerusalem and described the award as honoring my courage to be an Israelite and also to be able to work and talk about equality to all nations.

Every Black History Month, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the State of Israel give out this award to individuals who promote diversity and tolerance, a press release read.

Stoudemire runs the Amare and Alexis Stoudemire Foundation with his wife, Alexis which supports at-risk youth around the world, according to the foundationss website.

In Israel, Stoudemire is continuing his philanthropic work. He hosted a basketball peace camp this summer, which drew participants from a range of distinct Israeli communities, including Palestinians, Hebrew Israelites and Ethiopian Jews. Stoudemire also hosted another childrens camp at the Israel Museum, part of an annual series called In The Paint, which joins together basketball and art activities.

Israeli officials lauded Stoudemire.

Stoudemire has again set an example that sportsmanship supersedes nationality, ethnicity, or religious affiliation, said Russell F. Robinson, CEO of Jewish National Fund-USA. Robinson said that all of these qualities are welcome in Israel, a country he called a beacon of democracy in an otherwise turbulent part of the world.

Amare Stoudemire has spearheaded many initiatives that empower the less fortunate and advance important principles like tolerance, peace, creativity and healthy living, said Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York.

Past recipients of Israels MLK Award have included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the author Toni Morrison, entrepreneur Russell Simmons and Harry Belafonte.

When Stoudemire signed his deal with Hapoel in early August moving to Jerusalem with his entire family his spiritual and professional paths converged.

Stoudemire has been on a years long journey into religion and heritage, a path that has fascinated and at times bewildered, American Jews and Israelis. He is not Jewish, as some continue to report, but a Hebrew Israelite meaning he views the Torah as an ancestral record of African Americans, and sees the land of Israel as part of his heritage.

Stoudemire maintains close ties with the Hebrew Israelites of Dimona, and even executive produced a documentary film about that community. Stoudemire regularly peppers his social media with biblical quotes.

If your ancestors were brought to America, or any other part of the world by slave ship, you are from the ancient tribe of the Hebrew Israelites, Stoudemire said in a February 2016 YouTube video alongside a Hebrew Israelite pastor in Chicago. This is black history, this is true black history.

Despite the praise from Israeli officials, since the move to Jerusalem Stoudemire has faced some adversity.

The Stoudemires 12-year-old son, Deuce, was barred from playing games with Hapoel Jerusalems youth team because he is not an Israeli citizen. Deuce was invited to play baseball instead.

Stoudemire has also clashed with Israeli basketball referees on a number of occasions, even taking to social media to rail against the officials. I have witnessed the worst officiating in the world of basketball, Stoudemire wrote on Instagram. Way to discourage other top players from coming to play in Israel.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

Here is the original post:

NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Awarded MLK Prize in Jerusalem – Forward

Fair Usage Law

February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Reading, Writing, Chanting – The Smart Set

I was elated. By an act of fate, this years Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference was scheduled to be held in Washington, DC. Id been attending the conference for over 20 years, but this would be the first time that the conference would be located in the eye of an American political storm of this magnitude. Participants from all 50 states would find themselves in Washington during Trumps first 100 days.

When AWP organized its first conference in 1973, it became an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Since then, the conference has grown in size to over 12,000 attendees. It runs four days with formal presentations scheduled from eight a.m. to eight p.m. and informal, off-site events at nearby restaurants and bars. Attending the conference is akin to a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. How will you as a writer react when confronted with 12,000 others, many with national reputations? Believe me, you arrive at a dark place, unsullied by your own success. Still, others feel differently, Being at AWP inspires you to do more, the novelist Elizabeth L. Silver told me as we walked the book fair together. It reminds you of what you aspire to be, no matter where you fall in the literary world.

For me, its a situation that forces me to confront myself. I traveled to the conference by Amtrak, knowing that the passengers scribbling in notebooks were all headed to the same place. If Id visualized them crowding me in like this when I was writing, alone in my room, Id never have committed a single word to the page. Once I arrived, I headed directly to the book fair, searching for kind editors to whom to pitch my work. I experienced emotions that put me at a loss for words as these editors either encouraged or resisted my offer to submit to their press. The aisles were filled with writers I admire, and I got to attend their book signings and stand face to face with them in extended conversations, as I did this year with several of my heroes, including E. Ethelbert Miller and Dave Eggers. Its how I met the Haitian-American author Fabienne Joshaphat who has since become a friend.

Its a situation that forces you to confront your most competitive, bitter self. Every year that I attend the conference, I experience a different range of emotions, from tears and outrage at the publishing worlds narrow biases, to elation at being chosen for publication and reaping its rewards. But to get the most out of the conference is to be free of the picture of success it offers. Publications, prizes, and awards are distractions. The real goal is to enhance your teaching and to produce beautiful writing, that which transforms peoples versions of reality and makes an impact, and that is what keeps me going back to the conference year after year.

The conference schedule listed presentations with titles such as Which Comes First Activism or Art, Global Narratives Within US Culture, and Translation as a Political Act, this in the first hours. At the Global Narratives Within US Culture talk, I listened to five authors discuss how their immigrant experiences shape their writing. Born in either Iran, Cuba, Ethiopia, Uruguay, or the Philippines, these five authors, (Achey Obejas, Carolina De Robertis, Laleh Khadvi, Patricia Engel, and M. Evelina Galang) connected through their protest against the Trump administrations dehumanization of refugees and immigrants. I never stop thinking of myself as a Cuban immigrant. Not for a minute. Every minute of every day, the world reminds me, Achey Obejas said, but she could have spoken for everyone on the panel.

In the 1980s, as an MFA student at the nations premier writing program, the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, my class of 60-some aspiring writers and poets was mostly white with three Asian students and not a single black student. Weaned on Baldwin, Hughes, Brooks, and Ellison, I was aware of the bleached-out aesthetic the workshop promoted in the absence of black voices. I had been writing since I was ten, Toi Dericotte writes in Gathering Around: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canems First Decade:

[I]n all my years of study from grade school through graduate school I had never read a black poet. I had never been taught by a black teacher . . . There was a suspicion that black people werent really good enough to be published, to be poets. My journey as a poet has been to face the locked places in myself that have blocked expression shame, self-loathing, doubt finding inside me, that dead eye that is able to discern its way down deeper than what is stopping it.

I am familiar with that dead eye Dericotte describes. As one of a handful of Jewish students in workshop at the University of Iowa, we sought each other out and banded together. We called ourselves The Rescue Squad and appeared at one anothers apartments when one of us was passed over for a merit scholarship or our writing came under attack in the workshops hostile and competitive atmosphere. In an effort to fit in, I practiced talking without using my hands. I often resorted to sitting on them to keep them still. I only contributed to a discussion when I was absolutely sure I wouldnt be shot down for what I had to say. It wasnt necessarily our teachers who discouraged us from speaking from a point of view or writing about topics that were considered too Jewish. There in the freakishly cold, near-zero winters of the 1980s Midwest, it was a deep-seated cultural message. I winced when one of my friends used the word challah in a poem. Another, compelled to write about the Holocaust, had an especially hard time. We were clearly discouraged from writing about anything political. In a weird interpretation of Adrienne Richs famous cry, the personal is political, we were taught again and again that to take a political stand would cause our writing to become didactic. As women, as Jews, we walked a fine line between being true to our own experiences, yet reprimanded when our politics seeped in. Instead, we were praised for writing pastoral poems or poems exploring family relationships. My breakthrough poem was about my grandmothers barbituate habit, yet my gut feeling is that if I had placed her within the particular Jewish context in which she lived, Id have faced disapproval.

Our workshops were more focused on aesthetics, poet and publisher Henry Israeli, who attended the workshop a decade after I did, told me. I dont remember anyone writing about being Jewish. He grinned. The only thing I remember is that we werent supposed to be writing apocalypse poems for some reason. One of my professors actually warned us not to write them.

The second day of the conference, I joined up with a group of fellow Pennsylvanians to march to the Senate House to voice our complaints to our state Representative, Senator Toomey. Poet Lisa Sewell had managed to get an appointment. The nine of us, residents from across the state, sat at a polished mahogany conference table and one by one denounced the Trump Administrations threats to health care, free speech, schools, and immigrants. The young staffer who met with us wore an Eagles sweatshirt. He stoically recorded our complaints in a copy book. We did not quote poetry, but throughout our meeting, Shellys famous statement, Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, clung to my lips.

I attended a talk that Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok gave on their Voices of Witness project. The project has produced a book series of oral narratives that takes a humanizing, literary approach to illuminating the stories of people around the world who have experienced injustice. Volunteers were called up to read excerpts from narratives. One DACA recipient appeared on a screen and told us how crucial telling her story had been to her, especially now amid her fear of deportation since Trumps election. I moderated a panel called When Writers Move In and Out of their Countries and Genres. Dina Elenbogen, Fabienne Joshaphat, and I spoke about the difficulties we faced publishing works set outside the US with protagonists who are not American. My own novel, based on the life of a South Sudanese refugee, spans three continents; Dinas about Ethiopian Jews takes place in Israel; and Fabiennes is set during the Duvalier regime in Haiti. I just dont know how to market this book, several editors whod rejected my novel had told me because they did not know how to make room for a book about a South Sudanese protagonist. If youd filtered it through your point of view . . . if youd written it as nonfiction . . . theyd remarked as if my protagonists voice and experience would be recognizable only if an American narrator represented it as her own experience of a foreign culture. Fortunately, I didnt give up, and when I couldnt find a commercial press that was willing to take a chance on my book, I submitted it to an independent press, Harvard Square Editions a press with the dedicated claim to breaking through cultural boundaries.

The conference site, the Washington Convention Center, was located a mere mile from the White House: close enough to walk. But it was cold outside, so I rode in a Lyft people were still protesting Uber with four other writers to a candlelight vigil for freedom of expression in Lafayette Park, adjacent to the White House, which was sponsored by Eric Sasson along with the writers organizations VONA and Split this Rock. Writers Kazim Ali, Gabrielle Bellot, Melissa Febos, Carolyn Forche, Ross Gay, Luis J. Rodriquez, and Eric Sasson spoke and read poetry to the hundreds assembled. Melissa Febos began: This gathering is called a vigil, but what is a vigil? Its a period of keeping awake when everyone else is sleeping, and thats what we are doing here. Keeping awake. I joined in with the others, clapping our hands together and raising our fists.

My mind is on the trees, Ross Gay followed, in a stunning nod to the occasion of hundreds of writers assembled in a park, holding candles in the darkness, many from small towns far from DC. He read Cornelius Eadys gorgeous poem, Gratitude, written several decades ago about being a 36-year-old black man in America, yet moreso holds true today:

A lucky man/gets to sing/his name./I have survived/long enough/to tell a bit/Of an old story/. . . I want to tell you/Im 36/Years old,/I have lived/in and against/my blood/I want to tell you/I am grateful/because/(after all)/I am a black,/American poet. . .

Standing among the trees, among the candlelit flames, a member of a very solitary and competitive profession writing I experienced feeling like a member of a community, chanting in unison: What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Poetry/When do we want it?/Now!

Earlier that afternoon, escaping the insensate air of the convention center, author and editor Jill Bialosky and I walked down 9th Ave. to the White House. The streets in DC run slantwise and we had to consult google maps to find our way. When we arrived, however, there was no mistaking the 20-foot-tall metal fence surrounding the perimeter that had been installed for the inauguration and still glared back at us in the sunlight. Oh, its going to come down soon, a guard in black militia gear and helmet told us. We asked him to snap our picture, but he said he was not permitted to do so and we had no choice but to take selfies of the two us standing in front of that fence, the house where Trump lives behind it, wondering how soon would be soon enough.

Images courtesy of the Fintrvlr, dionhinchcliffe, bookishjulia, Geoff Livingston, and Richard Ricciardi via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Read more here:

Reading, Writing, Chanting – The Smart Set

Fair Usage Law

February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Feeling like you’re home – The Jewish Standard

Five Bergen County women visited Israel earlier this month as part of the Jewish Federations of North Americas Heart to Heart mission. The mission included 68 women from 19 communities across the country.

In addition to four packed days visiting projects funded by JFNA and partner organizations such as the Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and the Joint Distribution Committee, some of the local participants spent time in Nahariya, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jerseys P2G Partnership City in the north.

It was a special visit, as we were able to spend some quality time with the folks on the ground who run the programs that are directly supported by JFNNJ, said Dana Post Adler of Tenafly, a board member of JFNNJ and the National Womens Philanthropy Board of Jewish Federations of North America and co-president of the Womens Philanthropy Board of JFNNJ.

We had an emotional visit at the training center within Nahariyas firehouse, where we presented one fireman, Gil Barsano, with a photograph and plaque of his son Adar, who was killed in action during Operation Protective Edge and who had also been a volunteer firefighter in Nahariya, Ms. Adler reported. The training center was funded by JFNNJ.

We visited Bayit Cham Warm House where we met two successful young women who had used the services of the home when they were considered youth at risk during their teenage years. We met with a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who told us her story at the survivors group that our dollars support, and we toured a small food pantry and thrift shop for needy families. Having lunch by the Mediterranean with the P2G leadership and the deputy mayor, my friend Orna Starkmann, is always a special treat.

Ms. Adler recruited the other local participants. One of them, Lisa Hecht of Tenafly, had never been to Israel before.

The best part of the trip for me was seeing Israel through my dear friend Lisas eyes for the first time davening at the Kotel, walking through the Old City, and soaking up the connection that we all have to the history of our people, Ms. Adler said. I also hope that she was impressed by all the good work we do through our federation.

Ms. Hecht said she indeed was impressed by projects such as Masira, a JDC program to help integrate and empower disabled Arab-Israelis in their communities; the Ethiopian National Project, which runs a variety of support programs for Ethiopian-Israeli youth and adults, and JAFIs emergency assistance to families in the Jerusalem area who lost their homes in the November forest fires.

I got to see and do many things, and meet many people that I wouldnt have had I been on a tourist trip, she said. Being with Dana on this very special journey was like having my own personal scholar in residence.

Ms. Hecht said her most moving experience was being asked to lead the Shehecheyanu prayer with three other first-timers as their bus reached Jerusalem at sunset. I will always remember that moment: my first trip to Israel, arriving in Jerusalem the City of Gold and reciting this ancient prayer surrounded by so many amazing women.

It was the fifth Heart to Heart Mission for Gale S. Bindelglass of Franklin Lakes, and her 13th trip to Israel in 11 years. She said that on every trip she comes away thoroughly impressed by the spiritual, agricultural, and technical wonderment of Israel and feels romantically in love with this complicated and glorious land.

On last years mission she marked her adult bat mitzvah alongside Russian women who spent a lot of their lives not even knowing they were Jewish, she said. This year she held one of the four poles of the chuppah over a group of Ethiopian-Israeli bnot mitzvah.

The women attended the group bnot mitzvah of these Ethiopian girls. They have come a long way in their lives and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families, Franci Steinberg said.

Ms. Bindelglass has many communal affiliations: past co-president of Womens Philanthropy, immediate past chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, past chair of the Brotherhood Sisterhood Interfaith Committee, member of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, and board member of JFNNJ and Jewish Family Service of Northern New Jersey. She built a teaching kitchen in her home to host outreach events for the Jewish community revolving around her philosophy of food, love, and gratitude.

Thats why one of her favorite experiences during Heart to Heart was cooking alongside grandmothers in Petach Tikvah who earn an income preparing traditional Moroccan, Tunisian, and Iraqi dishes for needy neighborhood children, a program the federation supports through JAFI and JDC.

While enjoying the lunch we all made together, quite to my surprise after spending real quality time talking with the chefs running the event I was tapped on the shoulder, asked to stand up, and they bestowed me with their apron, Ms. Bindelglass said. I was basically named Top Chef of a group of 70 women, and they asked me to go home to my teaching kitchen, cook in their apron, and email them photos. To me, this was very exciting and affirmational.

Franci Steinberg of Tenafly, a member of the Womens Philanthropy Board, said she saw Heart to Heart as an opportunity to visit Israel not as a first-time visitor or to see the usual sights, but to see Israel from another viewpoint and to see how Jews in America help Israel.

Ms. Steinberg said one highlight was watching the parents at the Ethiopian group bat mitzvah. These families were beaming with joy, and I will never forget the pride and smiles on their faces as they watched their daughters, she said. They have come a long way in their lives, and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families.

Suzette Diamond of Cresskill, a JFNNJ board member, said she participated in Heart to Heart to see the impact of donor dollars firsthand, and she was not disappointed.

Our first morning in Jerusalem we visited an oncologist at what used to be his home before a forest fire over Thanksgiving weekend completely burned everything they owned, Ms. Diamond said. They are three generations living in one home he and his wife, daughter and son-in-law, and their two children. Luckily they escaped without injury, but also with no time to take anything with them, including their shoes.

By the Monday morning after the fire, funds collected by JAFI from partners including JFNA were presented to this physician and about 600 other families affected by the fires.

With hugs and checks, federation was physically there for our Israeli brothers and sisters who suffered in these forest fires, providing love and money to buy immediate necessities, Ms. Diamons said. Once you travel on a mission, you realize the impact we have in other communities.

Ms. Adler noted that even a short mission like Heart to Heart is enough to dispel mistaken impressions about Israel.

Israel is so many wonderful things, and unfortunately what we read and see in the news is often distorted and wrong, she said. My biggest message is to go, and go often. See for yourself what the country is like, learn the precarious geography, sample the fabulous food, speak to the people.

Trust me, youll feel like youre home.

See original here:

Feeling like you’re home – The Jewish Standard

Fair Usage Law

February 26, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Rushing to conclusions – Jerusalem Post Israel News

FRIENDS AND RELATIVES carry the body of Yacoub Abu al-Kiyan during his funeral in the Beduin village of Umm al-Hiran.. (photo credit:AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

The Justice Ministrys unit that investigates alleged police wrongdoing will soon publish its findings about last months tragic incident in Umm al-Hiram.

The findings will refute the initial false claim, made an hour after the incident by the police commissioner, Roni Alsheich, and the public security minister, Gilad Erdan, that it was a terrorist attack.

The findings will expose three worrying Israeli tendencies: the polices hypocritical double standard treatment of Israeli Arabs versus Israeli Jews; the culture of lies embodied in the police force; and the practice of Israeli politicians to portray almost any violent incident involving Israeli Arabs be it a demonstration or a civil protest as a terrorist act.

During an extensive police operation in the middle of the night in the Beduin village in the Negev Desert to demolish illegal homes on January 18, policemen killed a local teacher, Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, who was driving his car. As a result of the shooting a police officer, Erez Amadi Levi, was killed when Abu al-Kaeeans car crashed into a group of policemen. Despite the initial claim that by Alsheich and Erdan that Abu al-Kaeean was suspected of supporting ISIS and intentionally tried to kill members of the police force, it seems that after being shot he lost control of his vehicle.

Unlike in other Western democracies, where politicians respect the judiciary and police due processes and refrain from comments before inquiries are completed, Israeli politicians, mainly from the Right, violate all basic principles and rush to conclusions that suit their ideology. Instead of holding their tongues, they land themselves in embarrassing situations; nevertheless, they rarely apologize.

But the more fundamental issue is the reality in which Israel has a police force that treats people from different sectors differently. A few weeks before the Umm al-Hiram incident, the police were sent to demolish houses in Amona, an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. They arrived in daylight, carried no weapons, and were instructed to be sensitive and considerate. This showed that if the police really want perform their duties as expected in a democratic state, they can. This kind of a police double standard is not confined to the treatment of Arabs.

The police have shown that when it comes to other weak and less privileged Jewish minority groups, such as Ethiopian Jews or the ultra-Orthodox, they arrive at the scene with an aggressive attitude.

All these could be understood though not justified if at least the police had been drawing lessons from past events. But they dont. In 2000, the police used excessive force to disperse Arab protesters who blocked the main road of Wadi Ara. The incidents resulted in the death of 12 Israeli Arab protesters and a Palestinian, shot by policemen using live ammunition. Following the tragic events, a governmental commission of inquiry recommended that the police change its approach.

Seventeen years later, it seems that the lessons were not drawn. It was said about the House of Bourbon that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The same holds true for the Israeli police and government when it comes to the Arab minority.

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Prev Article

Dershowitz: Israel does not cause antisemitism

Letters to the editor: Readers react to sentencing of Elor Azaria

Next Article

Continue reading here:

Rushing to conclusions – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Fair Usage Law

February 25, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Give resistance wings: opposing the whitewashing of Israel’s racism and anti-blackness – The Daily Vox (blog)

International Israeli Apartheid Week is once again upon us, and civil society organisations around the world are displaying solidarity with the Palestinian people, who struggle against an apartheid system of occupation, systematic discrimination and segregation enforced by Israel. True to form, Israels apologists have tapped a reservoir of reactionary energy, making peace the enemy of justice and vacuously deploying platitudes in a quest to pacify. This year, at the centre of their campaign to whitewash ethnic cleansing and apartheid, sits a single, spurious claim the Zionist state is a multi-ethnic democracy that cherishes diversity. A touch of melanin is on display, aiming to drown out the evidence of institutionalised racism. Israel has black friends, how could it possibly be racist? As a rule of thumb, those who feel the need to repeatedly declare that theyre not at all racist those who scramble to point at the black friend are ordinarily seeking to obscure the realities of structural racism. It is a worn tactic, deployed by those who are unwilling to engage the racial injustices in which they may be complicit. It is also a disingenuous indulgence in identity politics, grounded in the misplaced belief that having a person of colour speak in your favour is enough to dismiss allegations of racism. In the instance of Israeli apologetics, the case is unambiguous and damning. The Israeli state imposes upon the people of Palestine a system of apartheid a system of racial and ethnic categorisation, segregation, and discrimination that is enforced through brutal military occupation. This is not merely the opinion of the Palestinian solidarity movement, but is the conclusion reached by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Apartheid is a crime against humanity, and sits at the apex of institutionalised racism. No number of glossy posters and misappropriated Madiba murals can erase this. Beyond Israels institutionalised racism towards Palestinians, however, the Africans for Israel line is both ludicrous and insulting because it is an erasure of the material realities faced by Africans (most of whom are African Jews) living within Israel, who struggle daily with the anti-blackness of the Israeli state (and indeed Israeli society, too). Over the past five years, there has been a wave of demonstrations by Mizrahi Jews who dont originate from Europe, as Ashkenazi Jews do, but in the Middle East and North Africa from African countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia. In mid-2016, Ethiopian Jews took to the streets with a list of grievances that included unjust incarceration, deportation, police brutality, the perpetuation of separate educational and housing streams for Ethiopian Israelis, and the coerced sterilisation of Ethiopian migrants as a means of demographic control. The Eurocentric identity of the Israeli state, coupled with the ethno-nationalist, settler colonial ideology of Zionism, has resulted in the systematic desecration of rights for those citizens of Israel who originate in the continent that knows the price of colonialism all too well. Many African migrants to Israel, as well as progressive Jews of colour, hold that Israeli state and society, both explicitly and implicitly, back a form of European Ashkenazi Judaism which is exclusionary towards the diversity of Jews around the world. They are also frustrated by the unwillingness of Israeli society to even acknowledge their struggle. These frustrations are shared by many among South Africas dispossessed black majority. There is a common thread that runs through the discourses of racism denial in South Africa, as well as Zionist apologetics surrounding the Israeli state. The white whine that weve been forced to sample again and again during protests for free education is brought out in barrels when the largely privileged caucus of white, Zionist South Africans assemble to try and impede progressive internationalism. We witness the same unwillingness to come to terms with the manner in which historical injustices influence present realities. Yesterday, it was apartheid at home, today it is the Nakba in Palestine their cry is the same: Its in the past, get over it. The reactionary faction that appeases, and even perpetrates injustice has a long history of globalism. Oceans and deserts did not stand in the way of the European project of colonial land theft. Today, that globalism remains alive. We see it in police exchange programmes between Israel and cities in the US, where persistent police brutality and anti-blackness birthed the movement for black lives. And we see it in the groups of apartheid beneficiaries whove linked hands in their refusal to see race (or more accurately, to see racism). Tactics to crush protest and harass vulnerable communities are being shared by oppressive state actors, and we are witnessing the globalisation of authoritarianism. We are also witnessing the accelerating globalisation of the tactics of unseeing and erasure that serve to appease it. In response, I echo writers Arundhati Roy and Angela Davis, and appeal for us to rapidly, urgently, globalise dissent. At a time when fascists have seized the reins of power in some of the worlds most powerful nations when ultra-nationalists like Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump are finding common ground in a taste for hyper-masculine militarism and in an obsession with erecting walls, it is necessary for us to reiterate our commitment to progressive internationalism. Now more than ever, it is necessary for us to give resistance wings. Raees Noorbhai is a student activist, writer and researcher, currently studying astrophysics at Wits. He is also the chairperson of the Wits Chapter of Amnesty International.

Fair Usage Law

March 9, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

A direct connection for a Holy Land education – Jewish Journal

Aviv Mussali believes theres one surefire way to effectively teach American Jews about the Holy Land while they are at camp: introduce them to native Israelis like him. Bringing Israeli education to camp cant be done better than bringing Israelis to camp to do that, said Mussali, who became a senior scout at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu in the summer of 2009. Israelis come with passion for education, especially after finishing the army. They have seen the conflicts, and they have lived through rough times. Speaking about their stories, and even just being there as friends, is a great tool. His role at camp involved hosting Israeli activities, integrating costumes and props from the country and rewarding campers with Hebrew T-shirts. Mussali had such a great experience that he went on to serve two more summers there, leading its Israel Day and giving a weekly update on events in the Jewish state. This approach to Israel education is by no means unique among local Jewish overnight camps, many of which offer special programming, hire Israeli staff members and integrate Israeli education into regular activities. For example, this summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, and Bnei Akiva of Los Angeles summer camp in Running Springs will be commemorating it with special art, dance, music and cooking programs. It will focus on the traditions of the different ethnicities Russian, Ethiopian and American that have immigrated to Israel. According to Executive Director Menachem Hecht, this program will be a really integrated, immersive, holistic educational experience. It brings to life our heritage and our relationship to Israel. A number of the Bnei Akiva staff members are Israeli, flying in to work for the summer. Often, when campers or staff go to Israel to visit or study, this helps provide them with a social network there and a place to spend Shabbat, he said. At the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps (WBTC) in Malibu Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp staff from Israel teach attendees about their country and serve as role models. Campers who are at least sophomores in high school also have the opportunity to go to Israel for four weeks with WBTC and the North American Federation of Temple Youth, according to the WBTC website. Bringing Israeli education to camp cant be done better than bringing Israelis to camp to do that. -Aviv Mussali Camp Ramah in California in Ojai is another camp that offers opportunities to learn about Israel by actually going there. It sends campers to the Holy Land through the Ramah Israel Seminar, a six-week exploration and study trip for former Ramah campers entering the 12th grade. According to Rabbi Joe Menashe, executive director of the camp, there are currently 12 campers on a semester-long program in Israel called Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY). Students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades go to Israel to learn secular and religious studies, participate in simulated army training and do community service. These campers may be inspired to travel because of the 30 Israeli emissaries who work there every summer. Ariella Moss Peterseil, an Israeli who is associate director of Camp Ramah, started out at Camp Ramah in Canada in 2000 right after she finished her army training. She said that in Ojai, the camp has a Yom Israel (Israel Day) each session thats run by the Israeli educators: They choose a topic and the campers and staff have an experiential day all around camp, which includes food, music, educational programming, dress up, ceremonies, activities, debates and sometimes social action for a cause in Israel. Peterseil emphasized that in order to gain a real education on and relationship with the Holy Land, campers need direct contact with Israelis. Our kids cannot have a positive connection or real knowledge about this place we call home unless they get to have real hands-on experiences and relationships with Israelis, she said. We achieve this by bringing a group of 30 young Israelis every summer and believe that the friendships and relationships are the most important part of the shlichut [mission]. During the weeks that Camp Alonim in Simi Valley is in session each summer, campers there also have the chance to interact with Israeli staff members. According to Executive Director Josh Levine, the camp has an extensive Israeli folk dancing program, and kids are taught how to broadcast Israeli music over their camp radio station. An Israeli song plays as a signal to campers that its time to clean their bunks. Levine said its important that the campers gain an Israeli education because the country is a major fact of Jewish life today, not only for Israelis but also for Americans. We want campers to learn about Israel and the diversity and vibrancy of the life and culture there in a short amount of time, he said.

Fair Usage Law

March 9, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Despite promises, Ethiopian immigration still stalled as Israelis pass … – The Times of Israel

In October 2016, 63 Ethiopian immigrants touched down at Ben Gurion Airport to the joy and tears of eagerly waiting family members. They were the first Ethiopian Jews to make it to Israel since the government announced an end of immigration from Ethiopia over three years earlier, a move that angered Ethiopian Israelis who still had family in Gondar and Addis Ababa. Amid speeches and flag-waving at Ben Gurion, leaders from the Jewish Agencys Natan Sharansky to Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver applauded the beginning of a new era, which would bring approximately 1,300 Ethiopian Jews to Israel each year, until the 9,000 Jews still living in Ethiopia all arrive in the Jewish state. But now, eight months after that government decision, the several dozen people who arrived on that October flight remain the only Jews to leave Ethiopia. Despite a high-profile campaign and a much-celebrated agreement, not one member of the Ethiopian Jewish community has had an immigration request processed by the Interior Ministry to date, let alone been granted permission to come to Israel. Octobers immigrants were approved by the Interior Ministry before the moratorium and prevented from coming immediately because there was no budgetary allocation for their absorption. But government promises have not been kept and their arrival has not yet been followed by mass immigration from Ethiopian. On Monday, 500 members of Israels Ethiopian community packed into the Knessets auditorium for a celebratory session of the Immigration and Absorption Committee marking 25 years since Operation Solomon. But while Landver, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Supreme Court justices and other senior officials lauded the daring operation that airlifted almost 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to the Jewish state, the festivities were marred by the uncertainty over the members of the community who still remain in Ethiopia. MK Avraham Neguise addressing a special session of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee marking 25 years since Operation Solomon, March 6, 2017. (Courtesy) The celebration and the joy is mixed with a deep sense of pain and worry, Knesset member Avraham Neguise (Likud) told The Times of Israel after addressing the gathering. Neguise came to Israel from Ethiopia as part of Operation Moses in 1984, the precursor to 1992s Operation Solomon. In the past 25 years, over 50,000 more Ethiopians have come to Israel and have become and integral part of society. But we need to remember that the aliyah has not ended and there are still Jews that are stuck in Ethiopia and suffering there, he said. We cannot accept this discrimination and we will not give up the fight. If the government continues to disregard the community by failing to implement its own decision, we will fight like we have never fought before. For many of the hundreds of participants at the Knesset ceremony who still have family in Ethiopia, Neguises fighting talk was far more than an exercise in protest politics. Berahoun Kibrout, who came to the Knesset from the southern city of Beersheba, has seven siblings waiting for permission to immigrate to Israel. They have been waiting for 15 years. They are in a terrible situation, they are really suffering. Its a horrible feeling that nothing is being done, he said. Our family has been split up. I have a life here but they are stuck there. Atenkut Setataw (right), with his wife Alesa Netere (left) and a neighbor outside of their home in Gondar, which Setataw painted. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) There are approximately 9,000 people still living in Ethiopia who were not allowed to immigrate to Israel because the Interior Ministry determined they were not Jewish. Ethiopian Jews counter that the process to determine their Jewishness was poorly executed and inaccurate, dividing families. At least 80 percent of the Jews in Ethiopia have first-degree relatives living in Israel. The Jews left behind in Ethiopia are classified as Falashmura, a term for Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity, often under duress, generations ago. Falashmura are not considered eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, which requires at least one Jewish grandparent and disqualifies someone who has converted to another religion, even if the conversion happened a long time ago. We secured the budget, we dealt with all every question that was asked of us, and fulfilled all the needs that were required. Why are the Jews not being brought here yet? MK Avraham Neguisa Kibrout said that the 2016 government decision gave his family hope, but it has been bitterly disappointed by the failure to implement the move. The government is not taking us seriously. They keep telling us stories but nothing is happening, he said. Two weeks ago, at a Knesset hearing on Ethiopian immigration, lawmakers heard about factors that have prevented the process from getting underway: protests in parts of Ethiopia, a lack of office space in Addis Ababa, ongoing work on the embassy in the Ethiopian capital, civil action over the salaries for Israeli envoys, and bureaucratic disagreements between government agencies in Jerusalem. Ethiopian Israelis attend a Knesset committee meeting on the governments failure to implement a decision to bring 1,300 member of the Jewish community from Ethiopia to Israel, February 20, 2017. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel) This is the most ridiculous game of pass the buck I have ever seen in my life, bellowed Knesset House Committee chair MK David Bitan (Likud) over the complaints of various representatives of government ministries. I have chaired hundreds of Knesset meetings and I have never seen such an absurd situation. Bitan, along with Neguise, helped to secure the government agreement to restart Ethiopian immigration, at least partially, by refusing to vote with the coalition until funding was found for the move. With the coalition at the time encompassing just 61 of the 120 members of Knesset, the two were able to hold the governments legislative agenda hostage with their own demands. Now that the coalition has been expanded, their political capital is much less valuable. Although the government unanimously approved the immigration of all the remaining Jews from Ethiopia in November 2015, the decision faltered three months later when the Prime Ministers Office refused to implement the program because the $1 billion it said was needed to fund the absorption process was not in the state budget. Ethiopian families are reunited on October 9, 2016 as the first group of Ethiopian immigrants arrives at Ben Gurion airport since the government announced the end of Ethiopian aliyah in August 2013. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) In August 2016, the Finance Ministry finally reached a compromise and agreed to allocate a budget that would enable 1,300 Ethiopians to move to Israel, with the money divided among a number of entities, including the Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Jewish Agency. Now, those three government bodies are blaming each other for a failure to begin the process, let alone fulfill the agreed quota of approximately 100 people a month. We secured the budget, we dealt with every question that was asked of us, and fulfilled all the needs that were required. Why are the Jews not being brought here yet? Neguise asked the government representatives at the February Knesset meeting. Each had a different answer. The head of the Foreign Ministrys consular services unit, Eyal Siso, said that violent protests in Ethiopia had caused massive delays in getting the project underway. Ethiopia has been dealing with widespread anti-government protests, the most significant civil unrest in decades, centered in the Oromo and Amhara regions. Gondar, which is home to approximately 6,000 of the 9,000 Jews still left in the country, is located in the Amhara region. MK Avraham Neguisa (R) and MK David Amsalem at a meeting of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee, February 21, 2017. (Yizhak Harari/Knesset Spokespersons Department) But challenged by Neguise, Siso admitted that the Israeli consular building in Gondar had not been at risk for more than two weeks, while the embassy building in Addis Ababa had not been affected at all. The head of the Jewish Agencys Aliyah and Special Operations Department, Yehuda Scharf, said that the problem in Addis Ababa was not violent protests but a lack of office space at the embassy. According to Amos Arbel, director of the Interior Ministrys population registry, a new building is being constructed that will be finished in the coming months. Arbel said the work of processing immigration requests cannot start until there are appropriate facilities, a claim ridiculed by Neguise and others, who pointed out that over 50,000 people had immigrated via the Addis Ababa embassy in the past 30 years. Conceding that the work could indeed have begun in Gondar, Arbel said that a dispute over the salary for Israeli envoys to Ethiopia had prevented Interior Ministry representatives from traveling to the country to start processing applications. After the Knesset meeting, the Jewish Agency reported to its board of governors that the Interior Ministry would begin its work soon and flights would resume before the Passover festival in April. Representatives from the Ministry of Interior will be travelling to Gondar on February 26th and together with our shaliach [emmissary] will begin the process of interviewing the potential Olim [immigrants]. Once the offices in Addis Ababa are built the Ministry of Interior representatives will be travelling and interviewing potential Olim together with our shaliach in both these locations, the report, seen by The Times of Israel, read. Where are the French Jews? Where are the American Jews? Children and adults are dying while waiting. This is the only aliyah that any one is trying to stop. MK Eli Alaluf We hope that the Ministry of Interior will grant eligibility to those waiting in a timely fashion and that by Passover the first group Olim from Ethiopia will be here to celebrate the holiday in Israel, the report concluded. Unconvinced, Neguise last week organized an emergency cross-party delegation of Knesset members Hilik Bar (Zionist Union), Eli Alaluf (Kulanu) and Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) to travel with him to Ethiopia to assess the situation. Returning to Israel a day before the House Committee meeting, the MKs told the gathering on Monday about their experiences vising the Jewish communities in both Gondar and Addis Ababa. I came back from the visit both embarrassed and enthused. It was emotional for me to see how, living in inhumane conditions, 9,000 people are still preserving their Judaism and yearning to come to Israel, Cohen said. But its a horrible feeling to know that those Jews are waiting while the State of Israel is not fulfilling its promise to bring them here. MKs on a cross-party delegation to Ethiopia attend a service with members of Gondars Jewish community, March 3, 2017. (Courtesy) Ethiopian Jews live in poverty in the cities of Gondar and Addis Ababa, after they left their villages 15 to 20 years ago in order to register with Israeli officials and wait their turn to move to Israel. Because they have been in limbo for years, always assuming they would be leaving for Israel momentarily, Jews often did not invest in businesses or real estate, plunging them further into poverty as the years passed. In Gondar, 6,000 Jews live in rented mud shacks, most without electricity or running water. Members of the Jewish community are also poorer than the average Ethiopian. In 2011, researchers found that 41% of the Jewish children in Gondar were malnourished, and in the 12-23 month age range, 67% were malnourished. The average urban malnutrition rate in Ethiopia is 30%.The Jewish Agency used to run a feeding program for the Jewish community, for nursing and expectant mothers and children up to age 6, but that program ended in 2013 when they announced the end of Ethiopian aliyah. Alaluf said he was shocked at the ineptitude of the Israeli officials in Ethiopia, noting that one told him the delay had been due to a lack of air conditioning in the embassy. The elevation of Addis Ababa is 2,300 meters (7,700 feet), a cool to cold climate where air conditioning is unnecessary. They should be immediately returned to Israel and replaced with people with the minimum level of empathy and understanding, said Alaluf. A view outside the Jewish Agency-run synagogue in Gondar. (Michal Shmulovich/ToI) Alaluf also directed criticism at Jewish communities around the world, which he said have diverged from the massive support they gave for operations Moses and Solomon, and remained largely silent over the suspension of Ethiopian immigration. Where are the French Jews? Where are the American Jews? Children and adults are dying while waiting. This is the only aliyah that any one is trying to stop. This embarrassment needs to end now, he said emphatically. According to Neguise, learning of the incoming delegation, the Interior Ministry envoys who arrived in Ethiopia last Sunday had rushed to begin processing requests so that the Knesset members would see that the government decision was finally on the way to being implemented. But even with the renewed pressure and the modest progress, representatives of the community in Ethiopia say a first flight before Passover the festival celebrating the Jewish peoples exodus from Egypt is seeming increasingly unlikely. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministrys population registry declined repeated requests from The Times of Israel to comment on the delays, the conditions of the facilities in Ethiopia, the processing of requests and the date immigration is expected to resume. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem Headquarters in Katamon, Jerusalem. (CC BY-SA: Deror Avi, Wikimedia Commons) In the meantime, the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem has offered to pay approximately $800 per person to cover the transportation costs from Gondar or Addis Ababa to the absorption centers in Israel, according to spokesman David Parsons. For the past 25 years, the ICEJ has paid for about 10% of all annual aliyah flights from around the world, and it is currently sponsoring flights from India, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, in addition to Ethiopia. Parsons said the ICEJ has already transferred money for about 900 plane tickets for Ethiopian Jews, and is fundraising to pay for the remaining 400 tickets. That would cover the first year of Ethiopian immigration, in which the government approved the absorption of 1,300 Jews. We are anxious to see them come and we know that these people have had hopes about coming and its been deferred and deferred far to many times already, said Parsons. Weve got another donation to make soon, but it would help to see more flights. Members of Gondar’s Jewish community attend gathering hosted by a cross-party delegation of Knesset members to Ethiopia, March 3, 2017. (Courtesy)

Fair Usage Law

March 7, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Christian groups launch TV series defending Israel – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A screenshot of the trailer.. (photo credit:TBN) A partnership of Christians groups have collaborated to create a series called Why Israel Matters, which intends to set the record straight on Israel and the Jewish state. Christians in Defense of Israel (CIDI), Liberty Counsel and the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) produced the 13-part original series that demonstrates the crucial importance of the Jewish state to Christians, to the United States and to the world in general. The first episode, which debuted February 28, can be seen online on TBN. At the end of each weeks airing, the Christian television network posts the episode on its website. The second episode will air March 7. Even though I have lived with this series for over two years and reviewed the rough cut version, I was still moved by the impact of this powerful story about Jews being drawn to Israel from around the world, Mat Staver, chairman of Christians in Defense of Israel and Liberty Counsel, said. Filmed in the Holy Land and featuring a multitude of guests, Why Israel Matters explores how such a small country plays such an important role in the world. It reveals how the miracle nation sprung up from its biblical roots and went through a heartbreaking history after having its two temples destroyed and becoming a scattered people, finally reemerging as an independent nation, just as the prophets foretold, and today is the role model of a hopeful, persevering and courageous nation, inspiring the world throughout with its successes in every field. Each week, host Mati Shoshani, an expert on Israeli history and the director of operations at TBN, the worlds largest religious television network, guides viewers through the fascinating elements of Israels still-unfolding narrative. In the first episode, called Homecoming, Shoshani presents three stories that capture the beauty of the Jewish people coming home to their ancient homeland. Peppering his narration with quotes from the Bible, in the first story, Shoshani interviews Jews from Kaifeng, China, revealing how even in a far-off region, they never lost touch with their roots. Jin Jin, a Chinese Jew speaking in broken Hebrew, recalls her father telling her about her heritage One day you must return to Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel], Jin says her father told her. Because it is the land that God has given us. Former member of Knesset, Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a position in the Knesset, and Hanna Goslar, a Holocaust survivor who lived next to Anne Frank while their two families found refuge in Amsterdam, echoed Jin Jins feelings after their trials and tribulations in the country where they were born, there was only one place that they could truly call home. There has never been a more important time for Christians and others of good will across America and around the world to stand in solidarity with the nation and people of Israel, said Staver. Why Israel Matters is designed to help viewers grow in their understanding of the strong bond each of us shares with Israel through our faith, our heritage and our worldview. Every viewer will be inspired and empowered to be thoughtful, compelling participants in the global conversation about Israel. The next three episodes will be: Neighbors, how Israel has survived and thrived in the hostile Middle East; Miracles, a look at Israels advances in technology, agriculture and military security; and Survivors, how Israels past gives its citizens courage and perseverance to thrive and prosper. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article Naddaf: As surviving Christian, Im proud to be Israeli What’s your Israel story? Next Article

Fair Usage Law

March 7, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Thousands attend rally to Stand Against Hate – Philly.com

Thousands of people of many faiths and backgrounds filled Independence Mall on Thursday in a Stand Against Hate, to protest the recent desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, and a spate of bomb threats to Jewish community centers and day schools. About 100 headstones were discovered toppled at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Wissinoming on Sunday. It was the second reported act of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in weeks. Headstones at a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis were discovered damaged on Feb. 20. As the demonstration began at noon in front of Independence Hall, there were reports of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, N.Y. The rally was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, which estimated that as many as 5,000 people filled the expanse on Independence Mall. In the crowd was the Rev. Donna Maree, an Episcopal priest who is rector of Trinity Memorial Church in Center City. Maree said she had just come back from a visit to Israel with a group of Christians and Jews on Feb. 23, just days before the news of the toppled headstones at Mount Carmel in Northeast Philadelphia made headlines and news coverage worldwide. “We talked to Palestinians, Jewish Israelis, Ethiopian Jews,” said Maree, who made the trip with the Jewish Community Relations Council, which is part of the Jewish Federation. “People want peace,” Maree said. She said she has had contact with Jewish people in Israel about the spate of hate incidents targeting cemeteries, schools and community centers. “It’s disappointing to Jews in Israel that people here have turned to hate.” The Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, was also at the rally. He said hewas saddened by the recent incidents and that it was important to speak out. “I am reminded of the quote by Martin Niemoller,” Tyler said, a reference to the Protestant pastor who spoke out against Adolf Hitler by noting persecution of one group after another, when nothing was said. It ends: “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” I am incredibly heartened by the outpouring of so many generations of people who are taking their time to come out in the cold to stand against hate, said Naomi Adler, CEO of the Jewish Federation. She urged those in the crowd — blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics; Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists to take the spirit of the rally back to their homes and communities. Share your stories of what justice, love, and mercy are, Adler said. Among the speakers was Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who got loud applause when he said he had just spent time in Washington telling President Trump that vandalism and bomb threats were hate crimes and needed to be treated as such. To my fellow Jews, Shapiro said, today it is us, tomorrow it will be LGBTQ people, and another day it will be our African American brothers and sisters or our Latino brothers and sisters. But no matter who is being targeted, we are all less safe. Max Buchdahl, 21, a junior at Temple University and president of Hillel at Temple, said he was encouraged by the gathering of so many people at the place where American democracy was born. Its great to see this many people here, and its incredible that its across faiths and across racial groups, Buchdahl said. He added that he and other Temple students, Jewish and non-Jewish, went to Mount Carmel, at Frankford and Cheltenham Avenues, to help with restoration efforts. Also in the crowd was Amnah Ahmad, 29, associate director of the Arab American Development Corp. at Al-Aqsa Mosque in North Philadelphia. She carried a sign that read, Islam = Peace. We came to show love and peace to the Jewish community, Ahmad said. As she talked to reporters, Barry Ungar, 73, of Haverford, who is Jewish, walked up to her and said, “Any attacks against you are attacks against us.” He continued: “I never thought I would see in my lifetime this kind of danger and fear.” Also at the rally were two other Jewish groups, If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace. Spokespersons for both said that while they condemned the vandalism against Jewish cemeteries, they also condemned hate crimes against Muslims, African Americans and others. “We stand here as Jews with our fellow Jews,” said Ezra Nepon, a spokesman for Jewish Voice for Peace. “We’re so glad that they have condemned all kinds of oppression.” Published: March 2, 2017 3:47 PM EST | Updated: March 2, 2017 6:09 PM EST

Fair Usage Law

March 3, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Awarded MLK Prize in Jerusalem – Forward

On Sunday, former NBA player and now Israeli basketball star Amare Stoudemire, was awarded Israels Martin Luther King Jr. Award, given to individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of Dr. King. I am truly honored to be receiving this amazing award, said Stoudemire, who signed a two-year contract with Israels Hapoel Jerusalem club last year. In a video to his Instagram followers, Stoudemire stood against the night skyline of Jerusalem and described the award as honoring my courage to be an Israelite and also to be able to work and talk about equality to all nations. Every Black History Month, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the State of Israel give out this award to individuals who promote diversity and tolerance, a press release read. Stoudemire runs the Amare and Alexis Stoudemire Foundation with his wife, Alexis which supports at-risk youth around the world, according to the foundationss website. In Israel, Stoudemire is continuing his philanthropic work. He hosted a basketball peace camp this summer, which drew participants from a range of distinct Israeli communities, including Palestinians, Hebrew Israelites and Ethiopian Jews. Stoudemire also hosted another childrens camp at the Israel Museum, part of an annual series called In The Paint, which joins together basketball and art activities. Israeli officials lauded Stoudemire. Stoudemire has again set an example that sportsmanship supersedes nationality, ethnicity, or religious affiliation, said Russell F. Robinson, CEO of Jewish National Fund-USA. Robinson said that all of these qualities are welcome in Israel, a country he called a beacon of democracy in an otherwise turbulent part of the world. Amare Stoudemire has spearheaded many initiatives that empower the less fortunate and advance important principles like tolerance, peace, creativity and healthy living, said Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York. Past recipients of Israels MLK Award have included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the author Toni Morrison, entrepreneur Russell Simmons and Harry Belafonte. When Stoudemire signed his deal with Hapoel in early August moving to Jerusalem with his entire family his spiritual and professional paths converged. Stoudemire has been on a years long journey into religion and heritage, a path that has fascinated and at times bewildered, American Jews and Israelis. He is not Jewish, as some continue to report, but a Hebrew Israelite meaning he views the Torah as an ancestral record of African Americans, and sees the land of Israel as part of his heritage. Stoudemire maintains close ties with the Hebrew Israelites of Dimona, and even executive produced a documentary film about that community. Stoudemire regularly peppers his social media with biblical quotes. If your ancestors were brought to America, or any other part of the world by slave ship, you are from the ancient tribe of the Hebrew Israelites, Stoudemire said in a February 2016 YouTube video alongside a Hebrew Israelite pastor in Chicago. This is black history, this is true black history. Despite the praise from Israeli officials, since the move to Jerusalem Stoudemire has faced some adversity. The Stoudemires 12-year-old son, Deuce, was barred from playing games with Hapoel Jerusalems youth team because he is not an Israeli citizen. Deuce was invited to play baseball instead. Stoudemire has also clashed with Israeli basketball referees on a number of occasions, even taking to social media to rail against the officials. I have witnessed the worst officiating in the world of basketball, Stoudemire wrote on Instagram. Way to discourage other top players from coming to play in Israel. Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

Fair Usage Law

February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Reading, Writing, Chanting – The Smart Set

I was elated. By an act of fate, this years Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference was scheduled to be held in Washington, DC. Id been attending the conference for over 20 years, but this would be the first time that the conference would be located in the eye of an American political storm of this magnitude. Participants from all 50 states would find themselves in Washington during Trumps first 100 days. When AWP organized its first conference in 1973, it became an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Since then, the conference has grown in size to over 12,000 attendees. It runs four days with formal presentations scheduled from eight a.m. to eight p.m. and informal, off-site events at nearby restaurants and bars. Attending the conference is akin to a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. How will you as a writer react when confronted with 12,000 others, many with national reputations? Believe me, you arrive at a dark place, unsullied by your own success. Still, others feel differently, Being at AWP inspires you to do more, the novelist Elizabeth L. Silver told me as we walked the book fair together. It reminds you of what you aspire to be, no matter where you fall in the literary world. For me, its a situation that forces me to confront myself. I traveled to the conference by Amtrak, knowing that the passengers scribbling in notebooks were all headed to the same place. If Id visualized them crowding me in like this when I was writing, alone in my room, Id never have committed a single word to the page. Once I arrived, I headed directly to the book fair, searching for kind editors to whom to pitch my work. I experienced emotions that put me at a loss for words as these editors either encouraged or resisted my offer to submit to their press. The aisles were filled with writers I admire, and I got to attend their book signings and stand face to face with them in extended conversations, as I did this year with several of my heroes, including E. Ethelbert Miller and Dave Eggers. Its how I met the Haitian-American author Fabienne Joshaphat who has since become a friend. Its a situation that forces you to confront your most competitive, bitter self. Every year that I attend the conference, I experience a different range of emotions, from tears and outrage at the publishing worlds narrow biases, to elation at being chosen for publication and reaping its rewards. But to get the most out of the conference is to be free of the picture of success it offers. Publications, prizes, and awards are distractions. The real goal is to enhance your teaching and to produce beautiful writing, that which transforms peoples versions of reality and makes an impact, and that is what keeps me going back to the conference year after year. The conference schedule listed presentations with titles such as Which Comes First Activism or Art, Global Narratives Within US Culture, and Translation as a Political Act, this in the first hours. At the Global Narratives Within US Culture talk, I listened to five authors discuss how their immigrant experiences shape their writing. Born in either Iran, Cuba, Ethiopia, Uruguay, or the Philippines, these five authors, (Achey Obejas, Carolina De Robertis, Laleh Khadvi, Patricia Engel, and M. Evelina Galang) connected through their protest against the Trump administrations dehumanization of refugees and immigrants. I never stop thinking of myself as a Cuban immigrant. Not for a minute. Every minute of every day, the world reminds me, Achey Obejas said, but she could have spoken for everyone on the panel. In the 1980s, as an MFA student at the nations premier writing program, the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, my class of 60-some aspiring writers and poets was mostly white with three Asian students and not a single black student. Weaned on Baldwin, Hughes, Brooks, and Ellison, I was aware of the bleached-out aesthetic the workshop promoted in the absence of black voices. I had been writing since I was ten, Toi Dericotte writes in Gathering Around: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canems First Decade: [I]n all my years of study from grade school through graduate school I had never read a black poet. I had never been taught by a black teacher . . . There was a suspicion that black people werent really good enough to be published, to be poets. My journey as a poet has been to face the locked places in myself that have blocked expression shame, self-loathing, doubt finding inside me, that dead eye that is able to discern its way down deeper than what is stopping it. I am familiar with that dead eye Dericotte describes. As one of a handful of Jewish students in workshop at the University of Iowa, we sought each other out and banded together. We called ourselves The Rescue Squad and appeared at one anothers apartments when one of us was passed over for a merit scholarship or our writing came under attack in the workshops hostile and competitive atmosphere. In an effort to fit in, I practiced talking without using my hands. I often resorted to sitting on them to keep them still. I only contributed to a discussion when I was absolutely sure I wouldnt be shot down for what I had to say. It wasnt necessarily our teachers who discouraged us from speaking from a point of view or writing about topics that were considered too Jewish. There in the freakishly cold, near-zero winters of the 1980s Midwest, it was a deep-seated cultural message. I winced when one of my friends used the word challah in a poem. Another, compelled to write about the Holocaust, had an especially hard time. We were clearly discouraged from writing about anything political. In a weird interpretation of Adrienne Richs famous cry, the personal is political, we were taught again and again that to take a political stand would cause our writing to become didactic. As women, as Jews, we walked a fine line between being true to our own experiences, yet reprimanded when our politics seeped in. Instead, we were praised for writing pastoral poems or poems exploring family relationships. My breakthrough poem was about my grandmothers barbituate habit, yet my gut feeling is that if I had placed her within the particular Jewish context in which she lived, Id have faced disapproval. Our workshops were more focused on aesthetics, poet and publisher Henry Israeli, who attended the workshop a decade after I did, told me. I dont remember anyone writing about being Jewish. He grinned. The only thing I remember is that we werent supposed to be writing apocalypse poems for some reason. One of my professors actually warned us not to write them. The second day of the conference, I joined up with a group of fellow Pennsylvanians to march to the Senate House to voice our complaints to our state Representative, Senator Toomey. Poet Lisa Sewell had managed to get an appointment. The nine of us, residents from across the state, sat at a polished mahogany conference table and one by one denounced the Trump Administrations threats to health care, free speech, schools, and immigrants. The young staffer who met with us wore an Eagles sweatshirt. He stoically recorded our complaints in a copy book. We did not quote poetry, but throughout our meeting, Shellys famous statement, Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, clung to my lips. I attended a talk that Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok gave on their Voices of Witness project. The project has produced a book series of oral narratives that takes a humanizing, literary approach to illuminating the stories of people around the world who have experienced injustice. Volunteers were called up to read excerpts from narratives. One DACA recipient appeared on a screen and told us how crucial telling her story had been to her, especially now amid her fear of deportation since Trumps election. I moderated a panel called When Writers Move In and Out of their Countries and Genres. Dina Elenbogen, Fabienne Joshaphat, and I spoke about the difficulties we faced publishing works set outside the US with protagonists who are not American. My own novel, based on the life of a South Sudanese refugee, spans three continents; Dinas about Ethiopian Jews takes place in Israel; and Fabiennes is set during the Duvalier regime in Haiti. I just dont know how to market this book, several editors whod rejected my novel had told me because they did not know how to make room for a book about a South Sudanese protagonist. If youd filtered it through your point of view . . . if youd written it as nonfiction . . . theyd remarked as if my protagonists voice and experience would be recognizable only if an American narrator represented it as her own experience of a foreign culture. Fortunately, I didnt give up, and when I couldnt find a commercial press that was willing to take a chance on my book, I submitted it to an independent press, Harvard Square Editions a press with the dedicated claim to breaking through cultural boundaries. The conference site, the Washington Convention Center, was located a mere mile from the White House: close enough to walk. But it was cold outside, so I rode in a Lyft people were still protesting Uber with four other writers to a candlelight vigil for freedom of expression in Lafayette Park, adjacent to the White House, which was sponsored by Eric Sasson along with the writers organizations VONA and Split this Rock. Writers Kazim Ali, Gabrielle Bellot, Melissa Febos, Carolyn Forche, Ross Gay, Luis J. Rodriquez, and Eric Sasson spoke and read poetry to the hundreds assembled. Melissa Febos began: This gathering is called a vigil, but what is a vigil? Its a period of keeping awake when everyone else is sleeping, and thats what we are doing here. Keeping awake. I joined in with the others, clapping our hands together and raising our fists. My mind is on the trees, Ross Gay followed, in a stunning nod to the occasion of hundreds of writers assembled in a park, holding candles in the darkness, many from small towns far from DC. He read Cornelius Eadys gorgeous poem, Gratitude, written several decades ago about being a 36-year-old black man in America, yet moreso holds true today: A lucky man/gets to sing/his name./I have survived/long enough/to tell a bit/Of an old story/. . . I want to tell you/Im 36/Years old,/I have lived/in and against/my blood/I want to tell you/I am grateful/because/(after all)/I am a black,/American poet. . . Standing among the trees, among the candlelit flames, a member of a very solitary and competitive profession writing I experienced feeling like a member of a community, chanting in unison: What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Poetry/When do we want it?/Now! Earlier that afternoon, escaping the insensate air of the convention center, author and editor Jill Bialosky and I walked down 9th Ave. to the White House. The streets in DC run slantwise and we had to consult google maps to find our way. When we arrived, however, there was no mistaking the 20-foot-tall metal fence surrounding the perimeter that had been installed for the inauguration and still glared back at us in the sunlight. Oh, its going to come down soon, a guard in black militia gear and helmet told us. We asked him to snap our picture, but he said he was not permitted to do so and we had no choice but to take selfies of the two us standing in front of that fence, the house where Trump lives behind it, wondering how soon would be soon enough. Images courtesy of the Fintrvlr, dionhinchcliffe, bookishjulia, Geoff Livingston, and Richard Ricciardi via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Fair Usage Law

February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Feeling like you’re home – The Jewish Standard

Five Bergen County women visited Israel earlier this month as part of the Jewish Federations of North Americas Heart to Heart mission. The mission included 68 women from 19 communities across the country. In addition to four packed days visiting projects funded by JFNA and partner organizations such as the Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and the Joint Distribution Committee, some of the local participants spent time in Nahariya, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jerseys P2G Partnership City in the north. It was a special visit, as we were able to spend some quality time with the folks on the ground who run the programs that are directly supported by JFNNJ, said Dana Post Adler of Tenafly, a board member of JFNNJ and the National Womens Philanthropy Board of Jewish Federations of North America and co-president of the Womens Philanthropy Board of JFNNJ. We had an emotional visit at the training center within Nahariyas firehouse, where we presented one fireman, Gil Barsano, with a photograph and plaque of his son Adar, who was killed in action during Operation Protective Edge and who had also been a volunteer firefighter in Nahariya, Ms. Adler reported. The training center was funded by JFNNJ. We visited Bayit Cham Warm House where we met two successful young women who had used the services of the home when they were considered youth at risk during their teenage years. We met with a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who told us her story at the survivors group that our dollars support, and we toured a small food pantry and thrift shop for needy families. Having lunch by the Mediterranean with the P2G leadership and the deputy mayor, my friend Orna Starkmann, is always a special treat. Ms. Adler recruited the other local participants. One of them, Lisa Hecht of Tenafly, had never been to Israel before. The best part of the trip for me was seeing Israel through my dear friend Lisas eyes for the first time davening at the Kotel, walking through the Old City, and soaking up the connection that we all have to the history of our people, Ms. Adler said. I also hope that she was impressed by all the good work we do through our federation. Ms. Hecht said she indeed was impressed by projects such as Masira, a JDC program to help integrate and empower disabled Arab-Israelis in their communities; the Ethiopian National Project, which runs a variety of support programs for Ethiopian-Israeli youth and adults, and JAFIs emergency assistance to families in the Jerusalem area who lost their homes in the November forest fires. I got to see and do many things, and meet many people that I wouldnt have had I been on a tourist trip, she said. Being with Dana on this very special journey was like having my own personal scholar in residence. Ms. Hecht said her most moving experience was being asked to lead the Shehecheyanu prayer with three other first-timers as their bus reached Jerusalem at sunset. I will always remember that moment: my first trip to Israel, arriving in Jerusalem the City of Gold and reciting this ancient prayer surrounded by so many amazing women. It was the fifth Heart to Heart Mission for Gale S. Bindelglass of Franklin Lakes, and her 13th trip to Israel in 11 years. She said that on every trip she comes away thoroughly impressed by the spiritual, agricultural, and technical wonderment of Israel and feels romantically in love with this complicated and glorious land. On last years mission she marked her adult bat mitzvah alongside Russian women who spent a lot of their lives not even knowing they were Jewish, she said. This year she held one of the four poles of the chuppah over a group of Ethiopian-Israeli bnot mitzvah. The women attended the group bnot mitzvah of these Ethiopian girls. They have come a long way in their lives and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families, Franci Steinberg said. Ms. Bindelglass has many communal affiliations: past co-president of Womens Philanthropy, immediate past chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, past chair of the Brotherhood Sisterhood Interfaith Committee, member of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, and board member of JFNNJ and Jewish Family Service of Northern New Jersey. She built a teaching kitchen in her home to host outreach events for the Jewish community revolving around her philosophy of food, love, and gratitude. Thats why one of her favorite experiences during Heart to Heart was cooking alongside grandmothers in Petach Tikvah who earn an income preparing traditional Moroccan, Tunisian, and Iraqi dishes for needy neighborhood children, a program the federation supports through JAFI and JDC. While enjoying the lunch we all made together, quite to my surprise after spending real quality time talking with the chefs running the event I was tapped on the shoulder, asked to stand up, and they bestowed me with their apron, Ms. Bindelglass said. I was basically named Top Chef of a group of 70 women, and they asked me to go home to my teaching kitchen, cook in their apron, and email them photos. To me, this was very exciting and affirmational. Franci Steinberg of Tenafly, a member of the Womens Philanthropy Board, said she saw Heart to Heart as an opportunity to visit Israel not as a first-time visitor or to see the usual sights, but to see Israel from another viewpoint and to see how Jews in America help Israel. Ms. Steinberg said one highlight was watching the parents at the Ethiopian group bat mitzvah. These families were beaming with joy, and I will never forget the pride and smiles on their faces as they watched their daughters, she said. They have come a long way in their lives, and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families. Suzette Diamond of Cresskill, a JFNNJ board member, said she participated in Heart to Heart to see the impact of donor dollars firsthand, and she was not disappointed. Our first morning in Jerusalem we visited an oncologist at what used to be his home before a forest fire over Thanksgiving weekend completely burned everything they owned, Ms. Diamond said. They are three generations living in one home he and his wife, daughter and son-in-law, and their two children. Luckily they escaped without injury, but also with no time to take anything with them, including their shoes. By the Monday morning after the fire, funds collected by JAFI from partners including JFNA were presented to this physician and about 600 other families affected by the fires. With hugs and checks, federation was physically there for our Israeli brothers and sisters who suffered in these forest fires, providing love and money to buy immediate necessities, Ms. Diamons said. Once you travel on a mission, you realize the impact we have in other communities. Ms. Adler noted that even a short mission like Heart to Heart is enough to dispel mistaken impressions about Israel. Israel is so many wonderful things, and unfortunately what we read and see in the news is often distorted and wrong, she said. My biggest message is to go, and go often. See for yourself what the country is like, learn the precarious geography, sample the fabulous food, speak to the people. Trust me, youll feel like youre home.

Fair Usage Law

February 26, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Rushing to conclusions – Jerusalem Post Israel News

FRIENDS AND RELATIVES carry the body of Yacoub Abu al-Kiyan during his funeral in the Beduin village of Umm al-Hiran.. (photo credit:AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS) The Justice Ministrys unit that investigates alleged police wrongdoing will soon publish its findings about last months tragic incident in Umm al-Hiram. The findings will refute the initial false claim, made an hour after the incident by the police commissioner, Roni Alsheich, and the public security minister, Gilad Erdan, that it was a terrorist attack. The findings will expose three worrying Israeli tendencies: the polices hypocritical double standard treatment of Israeli Arabs versus Israeli Jews; the culture of lies embodied in the police force; and the practice of Israeli politicians to portray almost any violent incident involving Israeli Arabs be it a demonstration or a civil protest as a terrorist act. During an extensive police operation in the middle of the night in the Beduin village in the Negev Desert to demolish illegal homes on January 18, policemen killed a local teacher, Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, who was driving his car. As a result of the shooting a police officer, Erez Amadi Levi, was killed when Abu al-Kaeeans car crashed into a group of policemen. Despite the initial claim that by Alsheich and Erdan that Abu al-Kaeean was suspected of supporting ISIS and intentionally tried to kill members of the police force, it seems that after being shot he lost control of his vehicle. Unlike in other Western democracies, where politicians respect the judiciary and police due processes and refrain from comments before inquiries are completed, Israeli politicians, mainly from the Right, violate all basic principles and rush to conclusions that suit their ideology. Instead of holding their tongues, they land themselves in embarrassing situations; nevertheless, they rarely apologize. But the more fundamental issue is the reality in which Israel has a police force that treats people from different sectors differently. A few weeks before the Umm al-Hiram incident, the police were sent to demolish houses in Amona, an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. They arrived in daylight, carried no weapons, and were instructed to be sensitive and considerate. This showed that if the police really want perform their duties as expected in a democratic state, they can. This kind of a police double standard is not confined to the treatment of Arabs. The police have shown that when it comes to other weak and less privileged Jewish minority groups, such as Ethiopian Jews or the ultra-Orthodox, they arrive at the scene with an aggressive attitude. All these could be understood though not justified if at least the police had been drawing lessons from past events. But they dont. In 2000, the police used excessive force to disperse Arab protesters who blocked the main road of Wadi Ara. The incidents resulted in the death of 12 Israeli Arab protesters and a Palestinian, shot by policemen using live ammunition. Following the tragic events, a governmental commission of inquiry recommended that the police change its approach. Seventeen years later, it seems that the lessons were not drawn. It was said about the House of Bourbon that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing. The same holds true for the Israeli police and government when it comes to the Arab minority. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article Dershowitz: Israel does not cause antisemitism Letters to the editor: Readers react to sentencing of Elor Azaria Next Article

Fair Usage Law

February 25, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed


Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."