Archive for the ‘Jewish’ Category

Learning from ‘sons of monkeys’ – Jewish Journal

In a Facebook post a few hours before he stabbed three Israeli Jews to death as they were enjoying a Shabbat meal, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed made clear what he thought of Jews:

You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of Al-Aqsa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.

A century of Arab lies, delusional swagger and Jew-hatred can be found in that one sentence.

First, the lies. The gates of Al-Aqsa were not closed. They were open. They just had metal detectors for everyones protection. Those detectors were installed after two Israeli security guards were killed by Arab terrorists using weapons that had been smuggled into the compound.

The hysterical and violent Arab response is very much about symbols. The metal detectors were a concrete, visible reminder to the world that Israel has ultimate sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, where the Al-Aqsa mosque is located and where the Jewish Temples of biblical times once stood.

Removing the detectors wont remove the deep, 3,000-year Jewish connection to Jerusalem, which Arab leaders consistently reject. As Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas once put it, Jews defile the Temple Mount with their filthy feet.

Of course, such blatant lies and incitement against Jews have long been par for the course for Arab dictators desperate to distract attention from how they oppress and fail their own people.

Next, the delusional swagger. The killer thinks that murdering a few Jews during a Shabbat dinner will encourage an army of Muslims to hit Israel with an iron fist. These kind of grandiose dreams date to the very beginning of the Jewish state, when Arab armies invaded the infant state but failed to destroy it. They have been failing ever since.

Recognizing this reality that Israel is too powerful to be destroyed is out of the question. Better to demonize and demean the Jews as sons of monkeys and pigs and spin military defeats as battles in a never-ending war against the Zionist monster.

Finally, the Jew-hatred. Its crucial to note that the Jew-hatred which permeates Arab consciousness long predates any settlements in the West Bank. Decades before anyone ever heard of an Israeli occupation, Jews were hated for trying to assert their sovereign rights in their ancestral homeland.

Arab countries rejected the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine of 1947 which allocated land for an independent Arab state and a Jewish state because they couldnt stomach the very idea and legitimacy of a Jewish state. For centuries, Jews were tolerated in Arab and Muslim societies only because they kept their heads down and accepted their status as second-class citizens.

Then, with the backing of the United Nations, these lowly Jews had the chutzpah to return to their biblical homeland and build their own country with universities, hospitals, roads, farming communities and a modern economy. On top of that, all of the Arab armies combined could not chase them away.

In a culture that prides honor and is repulsed by shame, can you imagine how much humiliation has been felt by failing Arab states next to the extraordinary success and power of the Jewish state?

Needless to say, there was another way. Had the Arab nations accepted the U.N. Partition Plan and started building their own state next to Israel, there never would have been an Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Had the Palestinian Arabs looked at Jews as potential allies who could help them succeed, there would be a Gaza Riviera today that would compete with the Tel Aviv beachfront as one of the worlds hotspots.

There would be a thriving high-tech sector in Ramallah that would compete with Israels Startup Nation and elite Palestinian universities, research centers and a cultural scene that would be the envy of the Arab world.

But instead of partnering with the Jews, Arab nations chose to hate the Jews. Instead of taking responsibility for their future, they blamed the Jews for their misery.

As pro-Israel activist Chloe Simone Valdary wrote last week on Facebook, in a message to Palestinians: Its the belief that Israelis are holding you back thats holding you back. Holding you back from letting go of all the hatred and the envy and the jealousy which is just so damn exhausting to hold on to.

The iron fist that is killing Arab hope is coming from Arab leaders who demonize Jews and use excuses like metal detectors to start holy wars. What a tragic irony that if Arabs ever wanted to build a better future, it would be in their interest to learn from people theyve been told are subhuman.

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Learning from ‘sons of monkeys’ – Jewish Journal

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Palestinian in Austria convicted of plotting murder of Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

(JTA) A jury in Austria has convicted a Palestinian man for inciting the murder of Jews.

The 27-year-old from the Gaza Strip was found guilty on Monday of belonging to the terrorist group Hamas and plotting a terror attack on Jews. He reportedly was sentenced to life in prison.

The man, who entered Austria as an asylum seeker, was arrested at a refugee center in Austria last July, the French news agency AFP reported.

He was accused of contacting two men in the West Bank and ordering them to kill Jews in Jerusalem by throwing hand grenades. The two men were arrested in Israel in June 2016, which led to the arrest of the Palestinian man in Austria, who has not been named in the media due to the countrys privacy laws.

He served nine years in an Israeli prison after being arrested in Gaza at 14 for attacking soldiers, according to AFP.

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Palestinian in Austria convicted of plotting murder of Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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Margaret Bergmann Lambert, Jewish High Jumper Excluded From Berlin Olympics, Dies at 103 – New York Times

With anti-Semitism on the rise in Germany she recalled signs in shops declaring, No dogs or Jews allowed she left home at 19 and moved to England, where she won the British high-jump championship in 1935. But when the Nazis pressured her father to bring her home, she returned to Germany to seek a position on the Olympic team.

Shortly after winning that June meet, held at Adolf Hitler Stadium in Stuttgart, she received a letter from Nazi officials informing her that she had not qualified. Looking back on your recent performances, the letter stated, you could not possibly have expected to be chosen for the team. Her accomplishment was removed from the record books.

Hurt and angry, she turned down the officials offer of a standing-room ticket, free of charge, for the Olympic track and field games. Travel expenses and hotel accommodations were not included in the offer. I never replied, she said.

In 1937, Gretel Bergmann was able to obtain papers that allowed her to emigrate to the United States. She landed in New York City with no more than $10 all the money the Germans would allow her to take out of the country. She worked as a masseuse and a housemaid and later as a physical therapist. In 1938, she married a fellow German refugee, Dr. Bruno Lambert, who was a sprinter, though not a world-class one. They had met at an athletic training camp in Germany.

Dr. Lambert died in 2013. She is survived by two sons, Glenn and Gary; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Ms. Lambert continued to compete in track and field events, but for only a few more years. She won the United States womens high-jump and shot-put championships in 1937 and the high jump again in 1938. She was preparing to try out for the 1940 United States Olympic team when war broke out in Europe, after which she focused her attention on trying to get her parents out of Germany, which she was eventually able to do.

She never forgot what might have been. In 1996, she spoke of watching an important pre-Olympics meet on television at her home in Jamaica Estates, Queens.

And suddenly I realized that there were tears just flowing down my cheeks, she said. Im not a crier. But now I just couldnt help it. I remember watching those athletes, and remembering what it was like for me in 1936, how I could very well have won an Olympic medal. And through the tears, I said, Damn it!

That spring Ms. Lambert received a letter from Walter Troger, the president of the German Olympic Committee, inviting her and her husband to be guests at the Atlanta Olympics.

We feel that Mrs. Lambert was not treated adequately at the time of the Berlin Olympics, Mr. Troger later told The New York Times. We wanted to do something for her; we felt she deserved it. She accepted his invitation.

I dont hate all Germans anymore, though I did for a long time, Ms. Lambert said. But Im aware of many Germans trying to make up for wrongs as well as they know how. And, yes, I felt that the young people of Germany should not be held responsible for what their elders did.

Although she had once vowed never to set foot in Germany again and had been gone so long, she said, that she could barely speak the language she was persuaded to return in 1999, when the stadium in Laupheim, where she used to train, was renamed in her honor. (A sports complex in Berlin had been named for her in 1995, and in 2010 the athletic field at Francis Lewis High School in Queens was renamed for her.)

Ms. Lambert said of her decision to attend the Laupheim ceremony, I was told that they were naming the facilities for me so that when young people ask, Who was Gretel Bergmann? they will be told my story, and the story of those times.

Ms. Lamberts story was also told in a 2004 HBO documentary, Hitlers Pawn, and, in partly fictionalized form, in the 2009 German film Berlin 36. A memoir, By Leaps and Bounds, was published in 2005.

Her German national high jump record was restored in 2009. Its very nice, she said at the time, except I wouldnt have committed suicide if it didnt happen.

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.

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Margaret Bergmann Lambert, Jewish High Jumper Excluded From Berlin Olympics, Dies at 103 – New York Times

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Jewish  Comments Closed

This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed. – Slate Magazine

An Israeli man waves a rainbow flag bearing the Star of David during a demonstration near the scene of a shooting at a gay youth club in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2, 2009.

Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Are you a Jew in Chicago whod like to march for LGBTQ rights and gender equality? Youll have to follow a few rules, helpfully laid out in recent weeks by the Chicago Dyke March and the Chicago SlutWalk.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.

First, you must not carry any Zionist displays. What are Zionist displays? Thats for others to decide. A Star of David might be OK. But if its on a rainbow flag, it probably isnt because its connections to the oppression enacted by Israel is too strong for it to be neutral.

Second, you must express solidarity with Palestine. Marching in a parade with a pro-Palestinian stance is not sufficient, nor is advocating for a Palestinian state. As an openly Jewish person, youll need to satisfy more heightened scrutiny; other marchers may repeatedly demand that you disavow Israel and swear allegiance to the Palestinian cause. You must comply with these demands or else you will be expelled.

Third, you must renounce any previous connections you have had with Israel. Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of a group with ties to Israel? Repudiate and repent. Openly Jewish marchers are presumed to be in league with the Israeli government unless they can prove otherwise.

One final note: If you are a journalist who covers the implementation of these rules, you deserve to lose your job.

Listed all at once, these guidelines may sound too blatantly anti-Semitic to be stated openlyyet they are, at present, the operating principles of two widely celebrated progressive movements in Chicago. Both the Dyke March and the SlutWalk allege that these rules are compelled by intersectionality, the theory that all forms of social oppression are linked. In reality, both groups are using intersectionality as a smokescreen for anti-Semitism, creating a litmus test that Jews must pass to be part of these movements. American progressives should reject this perversion of social justice. No coherent vision of equality can command the maltreatment of Jews.

The anti-Semitism of the Dyke March and SlutWalk is not academic or novel but almost depressingly familiar.

The debate over intersectionality and anti-Semitism jumped into the headlines following last months Dyke March, an LGBTQ demonstration that avoids the corporate sponsorships and bland political undertones of mainstream Pride events. During the march, several organizers approached Jewish demonstrators who were carrying rainbow Star of David flags. The organizers asked whether these women held Zionist sympathies, their suspicions reportedly having been aroused when the flag-carriers allegedly replaced the word Palestine with everywhere in a group chant. (That chant: From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go.) One woman, Laurel Grauer, reportedly responded, I do care about the state of Israel but I also believe in a two-state solution and an independent Palestine. The organizers then ejected the Jewish demonstrators.

During the outcry that followed, the Dyke Marchs organizers scrambled to formulate principles that would justify this action. In a series of statements, they explained that Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology; that many people see the visuals of the flag as a threat, so we dont want anything in the [Dyke March] space that can inadvertently or advertently express Zionism; and that only anti-Zionist Jews are welcome at Dyke March.

Last week, the Chicago SlutWalk, which calls for gender equality and an end to rape culture, endorsed and adopted the Dyke Marchs policy regarding Zionist displays. Once again, the justification was intersectionalitynamely, a belief that Palestinian rights and womens rights are inseparable. The events combative Twitter feed retweeted a declaration that any flag featuring a Star of David is an Israeli flag with imagery invoking imperialism. A later tweet clarified that only individuals using the flag as a symbol of their agenda would be ejected from the event, which is scheduled for Aug. 12. How, exactly, would organizers differentiate between benign and malign flags? Its unclear; the only hint provided is that context matters. Organizers will, it seems, make ad hoc judgments about who is and is not allowed to carry a rainbow Star of David flag.

Critics of intersectionality have jumped at the chance to cite these controversies as proof of the theorys flaws. In a New York Times op-ed, Bari Weiss wrote that in practice, intersectionality functions as a kind of caste system in which people are judged according to how much their particular caste has suffered throughout history. Because of the existence of the Jewish state, Weiss explained, which todays progressives see only as a vehicle for oppression of the Palestinians, Jews are considered the oppressors, never the oppressed.

Weiss critique implies that the organizers of the Dyke March and SlutWalk were lured toward anti-Semitism via intersectionalitythat as they studied the Oppression Olympics, they came to view Jews at the real oppressors. I strongly suspect that this has it exactly backward because the articulation of intersectionality provided by the Dyke March and SlutWalk makes no sense. The organizers allege that, because the oppression of queer women and Palestinians is intertwined, marchers must renounce Israel and not express their Jewishness. But how does that follow? The reasoning makes sense only if expressions of Jewishness are tantamount to endorsements of the Israeli governments policies toward Palestinians. And the belief that all proudly Jewish people support the current subjugation of Palestinians is self-evidently anti-Semitic.

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Criticizing Israel’s policies is completely appropriate. Criticizing people for being Jewish is deplorable. This should be a really simple line to understand. More…

On July 13, the Dyke March provided further proof that its intersectionality functioned as a flimsy pretense for anti-Semitism. A tweet from the groups Twitter account used the term Zio, an anti-Jewish slur popularized by David Duke and his neo-Nazi followers. The Dyke March later sent another tweet apologizing for the insultand adding, We meant Zionist/white tears replenish our electrolytes. Indeed, the groups bizarre fixation on Jews frequently manifests itself as alt-rightstyle trolling. This is a mockery of intersectionality, not a defense of it.

It has long been obvious that left-wing anti-Semitism is a problem and that an overwhelming abhorrence of Israel often blurs into a generalized anger toward Jews. Organizers of both the Dyke March and the SlutWalk have not discovered the praxis of intersectionality; they have merely dressed up their bigotry in updated argot. Their anti-Semitism is not academic or novel but almost depressingly familiar, and we do not need to overhaul the progressive worldview to address it. We need only remind ourselves that anyone who would hold Jews to a different, higher standard is anti-Semitic, full stop. Whether it happens at a far-left march or an alt-right convention, the creation of special rules for Jews is irrational and wrong. By creating a stringent litmus test for openly Jewish demonstrators, the Dyke March and SlutWalk did not protect the oppressed. They became the oppressors.

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This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed. – Slate Magazine

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A new generation of Jewish farmers sees a fertile future in South Jersey – Philly.com

Nate Kleinman, aka Farmer Nate, stands straw-hatted under the fierce sun at an experimental growing field in Salem County.

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The unexceptional-looking expanse of sandy soil lies in the heart of Americas first Jewish agricultural settlement, a hamlet just off Route 55 near Vineland that Russian immigrants fleeing persecution founded as the Alliance Colony in 1882.

More recently, William and Malya Levin, a Brooklyn couple with New Jersey roots and big dreams, have begun to nurture 50 acres along Gershal Avenue in Pittsgrove Township back to productive life. Kleinman seeded two of those acres last spring with a variety of sample crops to figure out what will grow best there.

That little plant is a Guadalupe cucumber, says Kleinman, as the Levins, a group of Allegheny College students and their religious studies professor, several other visitors, and I fruitlessly fan ourselves in the midday heat.

There are Saudi Arabian okra and Cuban tomatoes, Kleinman adds, with a delightful, and contagious, relish.

See that plant that looks like a little corn plant? Thats the sorghum, from South Sudan.

CAMERON B. POLLACK / Staff Photographer

William and Malya Levin at the homestead of the Alliance Colony reboot in Pittsgrove, N.J. The house belonged to his grandparents.

Sorghum, spelt, and tartary buckwheat are among the heritage grains expected to become mainstays of the nonprofit Alliance Community Reboot, or ACRe. The Levins conceived the project in 2014. Last Sunday, the couple, who have spent about $500,000 to acquire property mostly from family members, hired Kleinman and his business partner, Dusty Hinz, to start clearing and cultivating the fields.

Theres a huge unmet demand for heritage grains, for gluten-free grains, says Kleinman, 35, whose deep regard for sorghum is such that his business card features an image of its deep red seed-head against a blue sky.

He and Hinz have been farming in nearby Elmer for more than three years. The two men also are the founders of Philadelphias Experimental Farm Network; it encourages online collaboration among plant breeders, researchers, and others involved in sustainable, community-supported agriculture, farm-to-table, food sovereignty, and similar grassroots initiatives.

I join the group for brunch in a Gershal Avenue house once owned by William Levins grandparents. About a dozen of us share a feast of salads, bagels and a smoked fish platter imported directly from Brooklyn; the talk around the table is all about the possibilities of the project.

Jewish farming is not just touchy-feely hippie B.S., says William, a 45-year-old animator who grew up in Vineland. His great-grandfather Moses Bayuk was a member of one of the 43 original Alliance families.

Farming is a way to create a meaningful, modern-day community, says Malya, 33, ACRes chief counsel and the mother of the couples 21-month-old son, Samuel.

Theres a global movement around agriculture as an expression of Jewish values.

Locally, the Jewish Farm School is incredibly excited about the possibility of a larger-scale Jewish community farm less than an hour from our base in West Philadelphia, says Nati Passow, executive director of the nonprofit educational program.

William and Malya are tied into the contemporary movement, and, through their land and family history, they have the potential to build much stronger bridges between past and present, he says.

The past is still very much in evidence: In June, Ruth Bogutz, of Cherry Hill, helped organize a bus tour of a half-dozen historical Jewish farming communities in South Jersey, including Alliance, Woodbine, and Rosenhayn. About 35 people took the trip.

There were Jewish farming colonies all over the world, and many of them were in the United States, Bogutz says. Alliance was the oldest, and the ones that lasted the longest were in South Jersey.

In the late 19th century, Jews fleeing Russia, many of them urban professionals or merchants, arrived in the United States under the auspices of charitable organizations seeking to save them from annihilation.

They escaped the worst possible life imaginable, and they came here, not knowing how to farm, says Jay H. Greenblatt, a Vineland lawyer who helped establish the Alliance Colony Foundation, and is a descendant of those pioneers.

The immigrants were assisted by nearby farmers, some of them Quakers. They lived in tents at first and ate in a communal kitchen, eventually building a cluster of tiny villages, including Alliance, Norma, and Brotmanville.

CAMERON B. POLLACK / Staff Photographer

Farmer Nate Kleinman shows William Levin and his wife, Malya, test crops growing in an experimental field in Pittsgrove, N.J., where the couple seek to re-establish Jewish agriculture.

Within a generation or two, many of the settlers children had moved on; one of the synagogues was sold to a Christian congregation.

The reboot project is fantastic, says Howard Jaffe, 62, of Pittsgrove. The unofficial caretaker of what is commonly called the Alliance Synagogue, a beautifully restored Gershal Avenue landmark, Jaffe is one of three Jewish farmers still active in the area.

And now theres also Nate, of course, he adds.

A Philly native who got into agriculture through the Occupy and other progressive movements, Kleinman says hes happy to be part of writing the next chapter in the history of the Alliance community and Jewish farming in South Jersey.

Leaving the experimental field, Im chatting with William Levin when he spots a grapevine that was winding up into the trees at the edge of the cultivated area.

When I was a kid, I came here with my dad, who died last year, he says.We picked grapes together.

Kleinman tastes a green grape, says its most likely a Concord variety, and describes it assuper-resilient.

Rather like Alliance may turn out to be.

Published: July 25, 2017 3:01 AM EDT | Updated: July 25, 2017 8:43 AM EDT

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A ‘Gay Jewish Kangaroo’ Takes on Wagner at Bayreuth – The New … – New York Times

I felt I had done enough Wagner, Mr. Kosky said in a recent interview in his office here, and Id always found it exhausting to work on Wagner. It unnerves me too much. Meistersinger, a medieval fantasy about a guild of singing masters that is arguably its composers most nationalistic work, struck Mr. Kosky as particularly daunting.

Of all the pieces, I felt Meistersinger was difficult for me to deal with because of the nature of the investigation of German culture and German identity and the history of the piece, he said. The works finale is a monologue delivered by the operas hero, the cobbler Hans Sachs, that is a rousing defense of holy German art, and a warning that it must be safeguarded against foreign incursions.

The opera was a favorite of Hitlers and its rousing prelude was a staple at Nazi rallies. (Nuremberg, the setting of the opera and near Bayreuth, was a popular rally site, as well as the location of the postwar trials of German war criminals.)

Ms. Wagner asked Mr. Kosky to take his time to reconsider. A half-year later, he accepted the challenge.

I discovered that this opera is not about German culture or ideology, because Wagners idea about German historical time and fact is pure fantasy, he said. Once I made the decision that I didnt have to have the weight of German history, identity and culture on my shoulders, and that I could look at everything through Wagners eyes and Wagners distorted, contradictory, frustratingly complex genius, it opened up all these possibilities.

Mr. Koskys early career was based in Australia, including at the Gilgul Theater in Melbourne, the countrys first professional Jewish theater company, which he founded in 1990. During the past two decades, he has spent the bulk of his time in Europe, bringing his analytical and frequently eccentric sensibility to everything from tragedies by Euripides to Cole Porter musicals. His clever silent-film-inspired production of Mozarts Magic Flute, a collaboration with Suzanne Andrade, Paul Barritt and the troupe 1927, brought him his first success in the United States, in 2013.

He is contractually forbidden from revealing details of what his Meistersinger will look like, but he was at liberty to discuss his process and his thoughts on the work.

We started, for example, with the end, he said. We made sure very early on that we had found a very strong solution to the monologue and the last chorus, and what that meant for how it played backwards, or how that led to that moment. Because in almost every production of Meistersinger Ive seen, thats always the problem moment, where either the director has run out of ideas or doesnt know what to do with the monologue or somehow its tacked on at the end. His solution to that climactic moment remains to be seen, though his comments emphasizing the theatricalized uses of Nuremberg by both Nazis and Allies may provide a hint.

Wagners virulent anti-Semitism is another topic that cannot be brushed aside. Some have viewed Sixtus Beckmesser, a pedantic mediocrity who is the closest thing that Meistersinger has to a villain, as a veiled Jewish caricature. And the embrace of the Nazis by some Wagner descendants has cast a shadow over the Bayreuth Festival that continues to this day.

Wagner did not put Jews onstage, said Mr. Kosky, the first Jewish director to work at Bayreuth in the festivals 141-year history. Beckmesser is not a Jew. Wagners too clever for that. But along with Mime and Alberich, hated figures from Wagners Ring cycle, Beckmesser is, Mr. Kosky added, a figure who is marinated in the juices of 19th-century anti-Semitism, and consciously and unconsciously Wagner and his audience knew that.

Beckmesser, viewed through Mr. Koskys eyes, is a sort of Frankenstein monster who combines aspects of Eduard Hanslick, the conservative music critic whom Wagner despised (and mistakenly thought was Jewish), as well as assimilated 19th-century Jews in Germany, who Wagner considered threats to the nations culture.

Its ridiculous to say that its not anti-Semitic, he said. Were not just dealing with the abstract nature of musical sound. Were dealing with text, character, narrative, history, psychology and the fact that he wrote a huge amount of essays that articulated his ideas about theater and German culture and Jews.

Mr. Kosky said that Ms. Wagner, who directed a rowdy Meistersinger at Bayreuth in 2007 featuring life-size bobblehead versions of Drer, Bach, Goethe and other German cultural luminaries, has been unstintingly supportive of his vision. He even admitted that a gig he once had feared has turned out to be unexpectedly fun.

If anyone had said to me 10 years ago that youll find working for three years on Meistersinger enjoyable, he said, I would have laughed.

A version of this article appears in print on July 25, 2017, on Page C5 of the New York edition with the headline: An Unlikely Man Takes on Wagner At His Home Base.

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July 25, 2017: Jewish Cyprus – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

With reference to A short skip and jump to the wonders of Cyprus (Travel Trends, July 24), which also mentions the Jewish presence there, I would like to add that on June 12, 1941, the entire Jewish community of Cyprus (429 people) was evacuated by the British government, initially to Palestine, and from there to Tanganyika (today Tanzania) and Nyasaland (today Malawi). My parents and I were part of this transport.

The story of this evacuation aboard the S.S. Hana is available at the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem and the Jewish Community Center in Larnaca.

JOE GELLERT Netanya Remember Exodus

With regard to First Israeli monument to Exodus inaugurated in Haifa (July 19), a most hearty salute to Jerry Klinger, president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, and to the sculptor Sam Philipe for initiating the memorial in the Haifa Port, which represents so graphically the passionate story of the Exodus voyage.

The momentous events the Holocaust, the termination of the British Mandate over Palestine, the War of Independence and David Ben-Gurions declaration of the State of Israel were among the pinnacles of 2,000 years of Jewish history.

The Exodus was a part of this dramatic story, and the memorial is erected at the very point where the vessel was berthed in July 1947, exactly 70 years ago.

The Exodus evoked deep feelings of unity, brotherhood and peoplehood throughout the Jewish world, and it should still have a very important contemporary message for Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.

Interestingly, the crews of the 10 Aliya Bet ships that brought the so-called illegal immigrants to Palestine were mainly young American Jews, and this started what became known as MACHAL, the Hebrew acronym for Mitnadvei hutz laretz, or volunteers from abroad. These people were the forerunners of the 4,800 volunteers, most of whom were veterans of World War II, who came from 59 countries to fight with their brethren in Israel in the War of Independence and played such a pivotal role in the countrys victory over six Arab armies.

SMOKY SIMON Herzliya The writer is chairman of World Machal.

There would have been no Exodus if there was not a large group of men in the US, most of them veterans of World War II, who volunteered to sail the old vessel.

Over three hundred men volunteered to sail 10 rust buckets to rescue Holocaust survivors, and I might not be exaggerating when I say there might not be a State of Israel if these men had not volunteered. We do not need buildings erected in our name, but something more should be in place.

Leon Uris, the author of Exodus, drank my whiskey with Ike Aronowicz, the captain of the Exodus. He was captivated by the stories (and the whiskey).

During my last visit with him, Uris repeated to me that our volunteerism was one of the most glorious chapters in Jewish history. I said it was a bit of an exaggeration, but that we hardly get footnotes is a pity.

MURRAY S. GREENFIELD Tel Aviv The writer served in the US Merchant Marine during World War II and was one of the volunteers who sailed aboard the rust buckets running the British blockade to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine.

Media control

With regard to Free the media market (Editorial, July 18), does The Jerusalem Post believe that this would guarantee a free press? Who would prevent business and political interests from making deals? And what about journalistic integrity? Worldwide, the unholy trinity of business, politics and a privileged journalistic elite who report real news has had a devastating effect on the quality of broadcasting, the environment and scores of other issues.

After working as a journalistic intern for an environmental group in the 1970s (the New York Public Interest Research Group, which was reporting on the Love Canal scandal), I spent decades wondering why major newspapers and press agencies werent full of articles about environmental destruction.

It wasnt until about a decade ago when things had gone much too far that the environment became a significant issue in the mainstream press.

Shouldnt it have been obvious 50 years ago that cutting down the worlds forests and paving over vast tracts of land for more than a billion exhaust-emitting vehicles would have devastating consequences for nature and humanity? Shouldnt journalists have realized this? Arent they to a great extent to blame for our current predicament? The truth is that newspaper owners knew all too well that their advertisements were paid for by oil and car companies, and journalists knew on which side their bread was buttered.

You rightly point out that following the deregulation of Italian media, programming was quickly dominated by reality and game shows. You then argue that if air time is soon taken over by game shows and reality TV, at least it will be the result of a free and open market determined by supply and demand. As if viewers will have a choice! Not only in Italy, but also in the Netherlands and undoubtedly many other countries, quality and thought-provoking programs and media have been largely replaced by mind-numbing entertainment.

Placing media in the hands of large corporations is a political decision. It will guarantee that programming will uphold the interests of a political and business elite to the detriment of critical thinking and quality.

ASAF SHIMONI Dafna

China on Xizang

Im really frustrated and irritated by Shmuley Boteachs Canada attacks Israeli wines while exploiting occupied Tibet (No Holds Barred, July 18). It attempts to discredit China on a topic that is totally unrelated, and is filled with factual mistakes.

First, there is no comparison between Xizang (the official name of Tibet) and the Israel- Palestine issue. Since the 13th century, Xizang has been an integral part of China. Today, it is one of the five autonomous ethnic regions of China, so depicting it as an occupied land is sheer nonsense.

Second, China does not intend to sacrifice Xizangs ecology to mine local resources.

Adversely, Beijing has taken vigorous efforts to promote its ecological progress. So far, a total of 47 nature preserves have been established, accounting for 34% of its total land.

Xizang, a typical society of feudal serfdom 60 years ago, is now fully enjoying the fruits of modern civilization.

As Chinas and Israels relations get closer, we do hope such irresponsible articles never come up again.

FU LIHUA Tel Aviv The writer is spokesperson of the Embassy of China in Israel.

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July 25, 2017: Jewish Cyprus – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

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London Orthodox rabbis call for boycott of Jewish cultural center over LGBT programming – The Jewish Standard

A group of Orthodox rabbis in London have called on their members to boycott the citys JW3 Jewish cultural center because it holds events for LGBT Jews.

Signed by seven haredi Orthodox rabbi, the letter released Friday calls on members of their communities to distance themselves fully from JW3, its activities and services, and avoid using this centre.

JW3, an American-style Jewish community center thatopened in 2013, includes a kindergarten, movie theater, fitness facilities, a kosher restaurant and a library. In early March, the Jewish center held a GayW3 festival to mark 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain. A poster outside the center advertising the event was vandalized with the word shame drawn on it, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.

The rabbis letter referred to the JW3s LGBT programming as Toievah Hebrew for abomination, the word used in the Bible to describe homosexual acts and said it promotes a way of life which is in total contradiction to [O]rthodox Judaism and Halacha, or Jewish law.

We are of the strong opinion that a red line has been crossed in launching campaigns and initiatives that promote lifestyles and behaviours forbidden and condemned by the Torah, the letter also said.

Raymond Simonson, the chief executive of JW3, told theJewish Chronicleon Monday that he had received supportive messages from members of the Jewish community, including a number of Orthodox rabbis, since the letter was made public.

At JW3, were really about looking for and celebrating a unified and diverse British Jewish community, he said. And I dont really like us to try and get dragged into incidents where people are doing things that are anti that.

The publication of the letter follows areview processset up by the countrys chief rabbi that examined the teachings and statements ofRabbi Joseph Dweck, Britains top Sephardi rabbi, after he said at a lecturethat societal acceptance of homosexuality is a fantastic developmentbecause it opens the door to a more loving society.

In recent years, a growing haredi Orthodox community in Great Britain has become more assertive in communal affairs, often clashing with the centrist Orthodox United Hebrew Congregations represented by the chief rabbi and other denominations.

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London Orthodox rabbis call for boycott of Jewish cultural center over LGBT programming – The Jewish Standard

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Gabrielle Sasson – Tablet Magazine

Gabrielle Sasson is entering seventh grade at Ramaz. Her family, in connection with her bat mitzvah, visited the Jewish communities of Addis Ababa and Gondar for ten days during early July. These are her impressions of the trip.

Two weeks ago, instead of starting summer camp together with my friends, I traveled to Ethiopia to visit its Jewish community. In important ways, the kids in Ethiopia felt deeply familiar to me. The children sing the same Jewish and Hebrew songs I learned in Jewish day school in New York. They recite the same tephilot. In fact, in many waystheir strong belief in God and their desire to make aliyahthey can seem even more deeply rooted in Judaism and the Jewish story.

Yet, the differences were starkand important. The Jews in Addis Ababa and Gondar live in shacks. Large families share two small mattresses, and one or two small blankets. Their clothing is full of holes. In honor of my bat mitzvah and my cousin Micahs bar mitzvah, our families made a small Kiddush after shul on Shabbat in Gondar. I was surprised by the excitement both adults and children felt when candy and soda was distributed. These are items my friends and I receive daily; we take them for granted. Here, kids do not have enough basic food to eat; many are malnourished.

When I visited the homes of the kids I played with in the synagogue compound, I was upset by the awful conditions. No child should have to live without running water, beds, blankets and toilets. We were so alike in so many ways yet I had so much and they had so little.

Poverty also prevents the kids from receiving medical treatment. We visited the medical clinic where Jewish childrenbut only those under fivehad recently begun to receive medical care. The doctor said that since the program began six weeks earlier he had saved 17 lives. What would happen to the children over five, the ones I had talked to and played with in the compound, the children who still had no access to medical care? The diseases the doctor talked abouttyphoid, typhus, malaria, intestinal parasitesdo not even exist in New York.

These differences are heartbreaking and angering, but there is one above all others that I think is impossible to explain: That these children are not allowed to even travel to Israel.

My family has a strong connection with Israel. We travel there frequently to visit family. If we wished to make aliyah, it would be easy; we would just get on a plane. When we asked the 1,100 community members present at Shabbat services how many had close family living in Israel, almost all the hands raised. And yet, Israel will not let these children make aliyah. To prepare for my trip, I read about the difficult decades-long struggle to bring the Ethiopian Jewish community to Israel. There are currently 140,000 Ethiopian Jews in Israel; for reasons I do not understand the government of Israel is reluctant to complete the aliyah by bringing the last 10,000 to the Jewish homeland. What makes these different from all other Jews around the world? We met orphans with no one to take care of themyoung childrenwho were not allowed to travel to Israel where their grandparents could take them in. So they live here, deprived of all of the resources that so many other Jews have, including the most important one: family.

I am only twelve years old. I do not understand why the Israeli government wont let Jewish children rejoin their families in Israel. I certainly do not understand why the American Jewish community, which has so much and helps Jews throughout the world, refuses to help them.

All my eyes still see is their dedication to Torah. My ears hear the prayers they offer to the God I pray to every day. And my heart still feels their pain, the pain that comes from realizing that almost no one in the Jewish world seems to care.

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Learning from ‘sons of monkeys’ – Jewish Journal

In a Facebook post a few hours before he stabbed three Israeli Jews to death as they were enjoying a Shabbat meal, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed made clear what he thought of Jews: You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of Al-Aqsa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you. A century of Arab lies, delusional swagger and Jew-hatred can be found in that one sentence. First, the lies. The gates of Al-Aqsa were not closed. They were open. They just had metal detectors for everyones protection. Those detectors were installed after two Israeli security guards were killed by Arab terrorists using weapons that had been smuggled into the compound. The hysterical and violent Arab response is very much about symbols. The metal detectors were a concrete, visible reminder to the world that Israel has ultimate sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, where the Al-Aqsa mosque is located and where the Jewish Temples of biblical times once stood. Removing the detectors wont remove the deep, 3,000-year Jewish connection to Jerusalem, which Arab leaders consistently reject. As Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas once put it, Jews defile the Temple Mount with their filthy feet. Of course, such blatant lies and incitement against Jews have long been par for the course for Arab dictators desperate to distract attention from how they oppress and fail their own people. Next, the delusional swagger. The killer thinks that murdering a few Jews during a Shabbat dinner will encourage an army of Muslims to hit Israel with an iron fist. These kind of grandiose dreams date to the very beginning of the Jewish state, when Arab armies invaded the infant state but failed to destroy it. They have been failing ever since. Recognizing this reality that Israel is too powerful to be destroyed is out of the question. Better to demonize and demean the Jews as sons of monkeys and pigs and spin military defeats as battles in a never-ending war against the Zionist monster. Finally, the Jew-hatred. Its crucial to note that the Jew-hatred which permeates Arab consciousness long predates any settlements in the West Bank. Decades before anyone ever heard of an Israeli occupation, Jews were hated for trying to assert their sovereign rights in their ancestral homeland. Arab countries rejected the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine of 1947 which allocated land for an independent Arab state and a Jewish state because they couldnt stomach the very idea and legitimacy of a Jewish state. For centuries, Jews were tolerated in Arab and Muslim societies only because they kept their heads down and accepted their status as second-class citizens. Then, with the backing of the United Nations, these lowly Jews had the chutzpah to return to their biblical homeland and build their own country with universities, hospitals, roads, farming communities and a modern economy. On top of that, all of the Arab armies combined could not chase them away. In a culture that prides honor and is repulsed by shame, can you imagine how much humiliation has been felt by failing Arab states next to the extraordinary success and power of the Jewish state? Needless to say, there was another way. Had the Arab nations accepted the U.N. Partition Plan and started building their own state next to Israel, there never would have been an Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Had the Palestinian Arabs looked at Jews as potential allies who could help them succeed, there would be a Gaza Riviera today that would compete with the Tel Aviv beachfront as one of the worlds hotspots. There would be a thriving high-tech sector in Ramallah that would compete with Israels Startup Nation and elite Palestinian universities, research centers and a cultural scene that would be the envy of the Arab world. But instead of partnering with the Jews, Arab nations chose to hate the Jews. Instead of taking responsibility for their future, they blamed the Jews for their misery. As pro-Israel activist Chloe Simone Valdary wrote last week on Facebook, in a message to Palestinians: Its the belief that Israelis are holding you back thats holding you back. Holding you back from letting go of all the hatred and the envy and the jealousy which is just so damn exhausting to hold on to. The iron fist that is killing Arab hope is coming from Arab leaders who demonize Jews and use excuses like metal detectors to start holy wars. What a tragic irony that if Arabs ever wanted to build a better future, it would be in their interest to learn from people theyve been told are subhuman.

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Palestinian in Austria convicted of plotting murder of Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

(JTA) A jury in Austria has convicted a Palestinian man for inciting the murder of Jews. The 27-year-old from the Gaza Strip was found guilty on Monday of belonging to the terrorist group Hamas and plotting a terror attack on Jews. He reportedly was sentenced to life in prison. The man, who entered Austria as an asylum seeker, was arrested at a refugee center in Austria last July, the French news agency AFP reported. He was accused of contacting two men in the West Bank and ordering them to kill Jews in Jerusalem by throwing hand grenades. The two men were arrested in Israel in June 2016, which led to the arrest of the Palestinian man in Austria, who has not been named in the media due to the countrys privacy laws. He served nine years in an Israeli prison after being arrested in Gaza at 14 for attacking soldiers, according to AFP.

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Margaret Bergmann Lambert, Jewish High Jumper Excluded From Berlin Olympics, Dies at 103 – New York Times

With anti-Semitism on the rise in Germany she recalled signs in shops declaring, No dogs or Jews allowed she left home at 19 and moved to England, where she won the British high-jump championship in 1935. But when the Nazis pressured her father to bring her home, she returned to Germany to seek a position on the Olympic team. Shortly after winning that June meet, held at Adolf Hitler Stadium in Stuttgart, she received a letter from Nazi officials informing her that she had not qualified. Looking back on your recent performances, the letter stated, you could not possibly have expected to be chosen for the team. Her accomplishment was removed from the record books. Hurt and angry, she turned down the officials offer of a standing-room ticket, free of charge, for the Olympic track and field games. Travel expenses and hotel accommodations were not included in the offer. I never replied, she said. In 1937, Gretel Bergmann was able to obtain papers that allowed her to emigrate to the United States. She landed in New York City with no more than $10 all the money the Germans would allow her to take out of the country. She worked as a masseuse and a housemaid and later as a physical therapist. In 1938, she married a fellow German refugee, Dr. Bruno Lambert, who was a sprinter, though not a world-class one. They had met at an athletic training camp in Germany. Dr. Lambert died in 2013. She is survived by two sons, Glenn and Gary; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson. Ms. Lambert continued to compete in track and field events, but for only a few more years. She won the United States womens high-jump and shot-put championships in 1937 and the high jump again in 1938. She was preparing to try out for the 1940 United States Olympic team when war broke out in Europe, after which she focused her attention on trying to get her parents out of Germany, which she was eventually able to do. She never forgot what might have been. In 1996, she spoke of watching an important pre-Olympics meet on television at her home in Jamaica Estates, Queens. And suddenly I realized that there were tears just flowing down my cheeks, she said. Im not a crier. But now I just couldnt help it. I remember watching those athletes, and remembering what it was like for me in 1936, how I could very well have won an Olympic medal. And through the tears, I said, Damn it! That spring Ms. Lambert received a letter from Walter Troger, the president of the German Olympic Committee, inviting her and her husband to be guests at the Atlanta Olympics. We feel that Mrs. Lambert was not treated adequately at the time of the Berlin Olympics, Mr. Troger later told The New York Times. We wanted to do something for her; we felt she deserved it. She accepted his invitation. I dont hate all Germans anymore, though I did for a long time, Ms. Lambert said. But Im aware of many Germans trying to make up for wrongs as well as they know how. And, yes, I felt that the young people of Germany should not be held responsible for what their elders did. Although she had once vowed never to set foot in Germany again and had been gone so long, she said, that she could barely speak the language she was persuaded to return in 1999, when the stadium in Laupheim, where she used to train, was renamed in her honor. (A sports complex in Berlin had been named for her in 1995, and in 2010 the athletic field at Francis Lewis High School in Queens was renamed for her.) Ms. Lambert said of her decision to attend the Laupheim ceremony, I was told that they were naming the facilities for me so that when young people ask, Who was Gretel Bergmann? they will be told my story, and the story of those times. Ms. Lamberts story was also told in a 2004 HBO documentary, Hitlers Pawn, and, in partly fictionalized form, in the 2009 German film Berlin 36. A memoir, By Leaps and Bounds, was published in 2005. Her German national high jump record was restored in 2009. Its very nice, she said at the time, except I wouldnt have committed suicide if it didnt happen. Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.

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This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed. – Slate Magazine

An Israeli man waves a rainbow flag bearing the Star of David during a demonstration near the scene of a shooting at a gay youth club in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2, 2009. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images Are you a Jew in Chicago whod like to march for LGBTQ rights and gender equality? Youll have to follow a few rules, helpfully laid out in recent weeks by the Chicago Dyke March and the Chicago SlutWalk. Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues. First, you must not carry any Zionist displays. What are Zionist displays? Thats for others to decide. A Star of David might be OK. But if its on a rainbow flag, it probably isnt because its connections to the oppression enacted by Israel is too strong for it to be neutral. Second, you must express solidarity with Palestine. Marching in a parade with a pro-Palestinian stance is not sufficient, nor is advocating for a Palestinian state. As an openly Jewish person, youll need to satisfy more heightened scrutiny; other marchers may repeatedly demand that you disavow Israel and swear allegiance to the Palestinian cause. You must comply with these demands or else you will be expelled. Third, you must renounce any previous connections you have had with Israel. Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of a group with ties to Israel? Repudiate and repent. Openly Jewish marchers are presumed to be in league with the Israeli government unless they can prove otherwise. One final note: If you are a journalist who covers the implementation of these rules, you deserve to lose your job. Listed all at once, these guidelines may sound too blatantly anti-Semitic to be stated openlyyet they are, at present, the operating principles of two widely celebrated progressive movements in Chicago. Both the Dyke March and the SlutWalk allege that these rules are compelled by intersectionality, the theory that all forms of social oppression are linked. In reality, both groups are using intersectionality as a smokescreen for anti-Semitism, creating a litmus test that Jews must pass to be part of these movements. American progressives should reject this perversion of social justice. No coherent vision of equality can command the maltreatment of Jews. The anti-Semitism of the Dyke March and SlutWalk is not academic or novel but almost depressingly familiar. The debate over intersectionality and anti-Semitism jumped into the headlines following last months Dyke March, an LGBTQ demonstration that avoids the corporate sponsorships and bland political undertones of mainstream Pride events. During the march, several organizers approached Jewish demonstrators who were carrying rainbow Star of David flags. The organizers asked whether these women held Zionist sympathies, their suspicions reportedly having been aroused when the flag-carriers allegedly replaced the word Palestine with everywhere in a group chant. (That chant: From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go.) One woman, Laurel Grauer, reportedly responded, I do care about the state of Israel but I also believe in a two-state solution and an independent Palestine. The organizers then ejected the Jewish demonstrators. During the outcry that followed, the Dyke Marchs organizers scrambled to formulate principles that would justify this action. In a series of statements, they explained that Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology; that many people see the visuals of the flag as a threat, so we dont want anything in the [Dyke March] space that can inadvertently or advertently express Zionism; and that only anti-Zionist Jews are welcome at Dyke March. Last week, the Chicago SlutWalk, which calls for gender equality and an end to rape culture, endorsed and adopted the Dyke Marchs policy regarding Zionist displays. Once again, the justification was intersectionalitynamely, a belief that Palestinian rights and womens rights are inseparable. The events combative Twitter feed retweeted a declaration that any flag featuring a Star of David is an Israeli flag with imagery invoking imperialism. A later tweet clarified that only individuals using the flag as a symbol of their agenda would be ejected from the event, which is scheduled for Aug. 12. How, exactly, would organizers differentiate between benign and malign flags? Its unclear; the only hint provided is that context matters. Organizers will, it seems, make ad hoc judgments about who is and is not allowed to carry a rainbow Star of David flag. Critics of intersectionality have jumped at the chance to cite these controversies as proof of the theorys flaws. In a New York Times op-ed, Bari Weiss wrote that in practice, intersectionality functions as a kind of caste system in which people are judged according to how much their particular caste has suffered throughout history. Because of the existence of the Jewish state, Weiss explained, which todays progressives see only as a vehicle for oppression of the Palestinians, Jews are considered the oppressors, never the oppressed. Weiss critique implies that the organizers of the Dyke March and SlutWalk were lured toward anti-Semitism via intersectionalitythat as they studied the Oppression Olympics, they came to view Jews at the real oppressors. I strongly suspect that this has it exactly backward because the articulation of intersectionality provided by the Dyke March and SlutWalk makes no sense. The organizers allege that, because the oppression of queer women and Palestinians is intertwined, marchers must renounce Israel and not express their Jewishness. But how does that follow? The reasoning makes sense only if expressions of Jewishness are tantamount to endorsements of the Israeli governments policies toward Palestinians. And the belief that all proudly Jewish people support the current subjugation of Palestinians is self-evidently anti-Semitic. Top Comment Criticizing Israel’s policies is completely appropriate. Criticizing people for being Jewish is deplorable. This should be a really simple line to understand. More… On July 13, the Dyke March provided further proof that its intersectionality functioned as a flimsy pretense for anti-Semitism. A tweet from the groups Twitter account used the term Zio, an anti-Jewish slur popularized by David Duke and his neo-Nazi followers. The Dyke March later sent another tweet apologizing for the insultand adding, We meant Zionist/white tears replenish our electrolytes. Indeed, the groups bizarre fixation on Jews frequently manifests itself as alt-rightstyle trolling. This is a mockery of intersectionality, not a defense of it. It has long been obvious that left-wing anti-Semitism is a problem and that an overwhelming abhorrence of Israel often blurs into a generalized anger toward Jews. Organizers of both the Dyke March and the SlutWalk have not discovered the praxis of intersectionality; they have merely dressed up their bigotry in updated argot. Their anti-Semitism is not academic or novel but almost depressingly familiar, and we do not need to overhaul the progressive worldview to address it. We need only remind ourselves that anyone who would hold Jews to a different, higher standard is anti-Semitic, full stop. Whether it happens at a far-left march or an alt-right convention, the creation of special rules for Jews is irrational and wrong. By creating a stringent litmus test for openly Jewish demonstrators, the Dyke March and SlutWalk did not protect the oppressed. They became the oppressors.

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A new generation of Jewish farmers sees a fertile future in South Jersey – Philly.com

Nate Kleinman, aka Farmer Nate, stands straw-hatted under the fierce sun at an experimental growing field in Salem County. Advertisment of The unexceptional-looking expanse of sandy soil lies in the heart of Americas first Jewish agricultural settlement, a hamlet just off Route 55 near Vineland that Russian immigrants fleeing persecution founded as the Alliance Colony in 1882. More recently, William and Malya Levin, a Brooklyn couple with New Jersey roots and big dreams, have begun to nurture 50 acres along Gershal Avenue in Pittsgrove Township back to productive life. Kleinman seeded two of those acres last spring with a variety of sample crops to figure out what will grow best there. That little plant is a Guadalupe cucumber, says Kleinman, as the Levins, a group of Allegheny College students and their religious studies professor, several other visitors, and I fruitlessly fan ourselves in the midday heat. There are Saudi Arabian okra and Cuban tomatoes, Kleinman adds, with a delightful, and contagious, relish. See that plant that looks like a little corn plant? Thats the sorghum, from South Sudan. CAMERON B. POLLACK / Staff Photographer William and Malya Levin at the homestead of the Alliance Colony reboot in Pittsgrove, N.J. The house belonged to his grandparents. Sorghum, spelt, and tartary buckwheat are among the heritage grains expected to become mainstays of the nonprofit Alliance Community Reboot, or ACRe. The Levins conceived the project in 2014. Last Sunday, the couple, who have spent about $500,000 to acquire property mostly from family members, hired Kleinman and his business partner, Dusty Hinz, to start clearing and cultivating the fields. Theres a huge unmet demand for heritage grains, for gluten-free grains, says Kleinman, 35, whose deep regard for sorghum is such that his business card features an image of its deep red seed-head against a blue sky. He and Hinz have been farming in nearby Elmer for more than three years. The two men also are the founders of Philadelphias Experimental Farm Network; it encourages online collaboration among plant breeders, researchers, and others involved in sustainable, community-supported agriculture, farm-to-table, food sovereignty, and similar grassroots initiatives. I join the group for brunch in a Gershal Avenue house once owned by William Levins grandparents. About a dozen of us share a feast of salads, bagels and a smoked fish platter imported directly from Brooklyn; the talk around the table is all about the possibilities of the project. Jewish farming is not just touchy-feely hippie B.S., says William, a 45-year-old animator who grew up in Vineland. His great-grandfather Moses Bayuk was a member of one of the 43 original Alliance families. Farming is a way to create a meaningful, modern-day community, says Malya, 33, ACRes chief counsel and the mother of the couples 21-month-old son, Samuel. Theres a global movement around agriculture as an expression of Jewish values. Locally, the Jewish Farm School is incredibly excited about the possibility of a larger-scale Jewish community farm less than an hour from our base in West Philadelphia, says Nati Passow, executive director of the nonprofit educational program. William and Malya are tied into the contemporary movement, and, through their land and family history, they have the potential to build much stronger bridges between past and present, he says. The past is still very much in evidence: In June, Ruth Bogutz, of Cherry Hill, helped organize a bus tour of a half-dozen historical Jewish farming communities in South Jersey, including Alliance, Woodbine, and Rosenhayn. About 35 people took the trip. There were Jewish farming colonies all over the world, and many of them were in the United States, Bogutz says. Alliance was the oldest, and the ones that lasted the longest were in South Jersey. In the late 19th century, Jews fleeing Russia, many of them urban professionals or merchants, arrived in the United States under the auspices of charitable organizations seeking to save them from annihilation. They escaped the worst possible life imaginable, and they came here, not knowing how to farm, says Jay H. Greenblatt, a Vineland lawyer who helped establish the Alliance Colony Foundation, and is a descendant of those pioneers. The immigrants were assisted by nearby farmers, some of them Quakers. They lived in tents at first and ate in a communal kitchen, eventually building a cluster of tiny villages, including Alliance, Norma, and Brotmanville. CAMERON B. POLLACK / Staff Photographer Farmer Nate Kleinman shows William Levin and his wife, Malya, test crops growing in an experimental field in Pittsgrove, N.J., where the couple seek to re-establish Jewish agriculture. Within a generation or two, many of the settlers children had moved on; one of the synagogues was sold to a Christian congregation. The reboot project is fantastic, says Howard Jaffe, 62, of Pittsgrove. The unofficial caretaker of what is commonly called the Alliance Synagogue, a beautifully restored Gershal Avenue landmark, Jaffe is one of three Jewish farmers still active in the area. And now theres also Nate, of course, he adds. A Philly native who got into agriculture through the Occupy and other progressive movements, Kleinman says hes happy to be part of writing the next chapter in the history of the Alliance community and Jewish farming in South Jersey. Leaving the experimental field, Im chatting with William Levin when he spots a grapevine that was winding up into the trees at the edge of the cultivated area. When I was a kid, I came here with my dad, who died last year, he says.We picked grapes together. Kleinman tastes a green grape, says its most likely a Concord variety, and describes it assuper-resilient. Rather like Alliance may turn out to be. Published: July 25, 2017 3:01 AM EDT | Updated: July 25, 2017 8:43 AM EDT We recently asked you to support our journalism. The response, in a word, is heartening. You have encouraged us in our mission to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community. Subscriptions are available for home delivery of the print edition and for a digital replica viewable on your mobile device or computer. Subscriptions start as low as 25 per day. We’re thankful for your support in every way.

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A ‘Gay Jewish Kangaroo’ Takes on Wagner at Bayreuth – The New … – New York Times

I felt I had done enough Wagner, Mr. Kosky said in a recent interview in his office here, and Id always found it exhausting to work on Wagner. It unnerves me too much. Meistersinger, a medieval fantasy about a guild of singing masters that is arguably its composers most nationalistic work, struck Mr. Kosky as particularly daunting. Of all the pieces, I felt Meistersinger was difficult for me to deal with because of the nature of the investigation of German culture and German identity and the history of the piece, he said. The works finale is a monologue delivered by the operas hero, the cobbler Hans Sachs, that is a rousing defense of holy German art, and a warning that it must be safeguarded against foreign incursions. The opera was a favorite of Hitlers and its rousing prelude was a staple at Nazi rallies. (Nuremberg, the setting of the opera and near Bayreuth, was a popular rally site, as well as the location of the postwar trials of German war criminals.) Ms. Wagner asked Mr. Kosky to take his time to reconsider. A half-year later, he accepted the challenge. I discovered that this opera is not about German culture or ideology, because Wagners idea about German historical time and fact is pure fantasy, he said. Once I made the decision that I didnt have to have the weight of German history, identity and culture on my shoulders, and that I could look at everything through Wagners eyes and Wagners distorted, contradictory, frustratingly complex genius, it opened up all these possibilities. Mr. Koskys early career was based in Australia, including at the Gilgul Theater in Melbourne, the countrys first professional Jewish theater company, which he founded in 1990. During the past two decades, he has spent the bulk of his time in Europe, bringing his analytical and frequently eccentric sensibility to everything from tragedies by Euripides to Cole Porter musicals. His clever silent-film-inspired production of Mozarts Magic Flute, a collaboration with Suzanne Andrade, Paul Barritt and the troupe 1927, brought him his first success in the United States, in 2013. He is contractually forbidden from revealing details of what his Meistersinger will look like, but he was at liberty to discuss his process and his thoughts on the work. We started, for example, with the end, he said. We made sure very early on that we had found a very strong solution to the monologue and the last chorus, and what that meant for how it played backwards, or how that led to that moment. Because in almost every production of Meistersinger Ive seen, thats always the problem moment, where either the director has run out of ideas or doesnt know what to do with the monologue or somehow its tacked on at the end. His solution to that climactic moment remains to be seen, though his comments emphasizing the theatricalized uses of Nuremberg by both Nazis and Allies may provide a hint. Wagners virulent anti-Semitism is another topic that cannot be brushed aside. Some have viewed Sixtus Beckmesser, a pedantic mediocrity who is the closest thing that Meistersinger has to a villain, as a veiled Jewish caricature. And the embrace of the Nazis by some Wagner descendants has cast a shadow over the Bayreuth Festival that continues to this day. Wagner did not put Jews onstage, said Mr. Kosky, the first Jewish director to work at Bayreuth in the festivals 141-year history. Beckmesser is not a Jew. Wagners too clever for that. But along with Mime and Alberich, hated figures from Wagners Ring cycle, Beckmesser is, Mr. Kosky added, a figure who is marinated in the juices of 19th-century anti-Semitism, and consciously and unconsciously Wagner and his audience knew that. Beckmesser, viewed through Mr. Koskys eyes, is a sort of Frankenstein monster who combines aspects of Eduard Hanslick, the conservative music critic whom Wagner despised (and mistakenly thought was Jewish), as well as assimilated 19th-century Jews in Germany, who Wagner considered threats to the nations culture. Its ridiculous to say that its not anti-Semitic, he said. Were not just dealing with the abstract nature of musical sound. Were dealing with text, character, narrative, history, psychology and the fact that he wrote a huge amount of essays that articulated his ideas about theater and German culture and Jews. Mr. Kosky said that Ms. Wagner, who directed a rowdy Meistersinger at Bayreuth in 2007 featuring life-size bobblehead versions of Drer, Bach, Goethe and other German cultural luminaries, has been unstintingly supportive of his vision. He even admitted that a gig he once had feared has turned out to be unexpectedly fun. If anyone had said to me 10 years ago that youll find working for three years on Meistersinger enjoyable, he said, I would have laughed. A version of this article appears in print on July 25, 2017, on Page C5 of the New York edition with the headline: An Unlikely Man Takes on Wagner At His Home Base.

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July 25, 2017: Jewish Cyprus – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

With reference to A short skip and jump to the wonders of Cyprus (Travel Trends, July 24), which also mentions the Jewish presence there, I would like to add that on June 12, 1941, the entire Jewish community of Cyprus (429 people) was evacuated by the British government, initially to Palestine, and from there to Tanganyika (today Tanzania) and Nyasaland (today Malawi). My parents and I were part of this transport. The story of this evacuation aboard the S.S. Hana is available at the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem and the Jewish Community Center in Larnaca. JOE GELLERT Netanya Remember Exodus With regard to First Israeli monument to Exodus inaugurated in Haifa (July 19), a most hearty salute to Jerry Klinger, president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, and to the sculptor Sam Philipe for initiating the memorial in the Haifa Port, which represents so graphically the passionate story of the Exodus voyage. The momentous events the Holocaust, the termination of the British Mandate over Palestine, the War of Independence and David Ben-Gurions declaration of the State of Israel were among the pinnacles of 2,000 years of Jewish history. The Exodus was a part of this dramatic story, and the memorial is erected at the very point where the vessel was berthed in July 1947, exactly 70 years ago. The Exodus evoked deep feelings of unity, brotherhood and peoplehood throughout the Jewish world, and it should still have a very important contemporary message for Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. Interestingly, the crews of the 10 Aliya Bet ships that brought the so-called illegal immigrants to Palestine were mainly young American Jews, and this started what became known as MACHAL, the Hebrew acronym for Mitnadvei hutz laretz, or volunteers from abroad. These people were the forerunners of the 4,800 volunteers, most of whom were veterans of World War II, who came from 59 countries to fight with their brethren in Israel in the War of Independence and played such a pivotal role in the countrys victory over six Arab armies. SMOKY SIMON Herzliya The writer is chairman of World Machal. There would have been no Exodus if there was not a large group of men in the US, most of them veterans of World War II, who volunteered to sail the old vessel. Over three hundred men volunteered to sail 10 rust buckets to rescue Holocaust survivors, and I might not be exaggerating when I say there might not be a State of Israel if these men had not volunteered. We do not need buildings erected in our name, but something more should be in place. Leon Uris, the author of Exodus, drank my whiskey with Ike Aronowicz, the captain of the Exodus. He was captivated by the stories (and the whiskey). During my last visit with him, Uris repeated to me that our volunteerism was one of the most glorious chapters in Jewish history. I said it was a bit of an exaggeration, but that we hardly get footnotes is a pity. MURRAY S. GREENFIELD Tel Aviv The writer served in the US Merchant Marine during World War II and was one of the volunteers who sailed aboard the rust buckets running the British blockade to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine. Media control With regard to Free the media market (Editorial, July 18), does The Jerusalem Post believe that this would guarantee a free press? Who would prevent business and political interests from making deals? And what about journalistic integrity? Worldwide, the unholy trinity of business, politics and a privileged journalistic elite who report real news has had a devastating effect on the quality of broadcasting, the environment and scores of other issues. After working as a journalistic intern for an environmental group in the 1970s (the New York Public Interest Research Group, which was reporting on the Love Canal scandal), I spent decades wondering why major newspapers and press agencies werent full of articles about environmental destruction. It wasnt until about a decade ago when things had gone much too far that the environment became a significant issue in the mainstream press. Shouldnt it have been obvious 50 years ago that cutting down the worlds forests and paving over vast tracts of land for more than a billion exhaust-emitting vehicles would have devastating consequences for nature and humanity? Shouldnt journalists have realized this? Arent they to a great extent to blame for our current predicament? The truth is that newspaper owners knew all too well that their advertisements were paid for by oil and car companies, and journalists knew on which side their bread was buttered. You rightly point out that following the deregulation of Italian media, programming was quickly dominated by reality and game shows. You then argue that if air time is soon taken over by game shows and reality TV, at least it will be the result of a free and open market determined by supply and demand. As if viewers will have a choice! Not only in Italy, but also in the Netherlands and undoubtedly many other countries, quality and thought-provoking programs and media have been largely replaced by mind-numbing entertainment. Placing media in the hands of large corporations is a political decision. It will guarantee that programming will uphold the interests of a political and business elite to the detriment of critical thinking and quality. ASAF SHIMONI Dafna China on Xizang Im really frustrated and irritated by Shmuley Boteachs Canada attacks Israeli wines while exploiting occupied Tibet (No Holds Barred, July 18). It attempts to discredit China on a topic that is totally unrelated, and is filled with factual mistakes. First, there is no comparison between Xizang (the official name of Tibet) and the Israel- Palestine issue. Since the 13th century, Xizang has been an integral part of China. Today, it is one of the five autonomous ethnic regions of China, so depicting it as an occupied land is sheer nonsense. Second, China does not intend to sacrifice Xizangs ecology to mine local resources. Adversely, Beijing has taken vigorous efforts to promote its ecological progress. So far, a total of 47 nature preserves have been established, accounting for 34% of its total land. Xizang, a typical society of feudal serfdom 60 years ago, is now fully enjoying the fruits of modern civilization. As Chinas and Israels relations get closer, we do hope such irresponsible articles never come up again. FU LIHUA Tel Aviv The writer is spokesperson of the Embassy of China in Israel. Share on facebook

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Jewish  Comments Closed

London Orthodox rabbis call for boycott of Jewish cultural center over LGBT programming – The Jewish Standard

A group of Orthodox rabbis in London have called on their members to boycott the citys JW3 Jewish cultural center because it holds events for LGBT Jews. Signed by seven haredi Orthodox rabbi, the letter released Friday calls on members of their communities to distance themselves fully from JW3, its activities and services, and avoid using this centre. JW3, an American-style Jewish community center thatopened in 2013, includes a kindergarten, movie theater, fitness facilities, a kosher restaurant and a library. In early March, the Jewish center held a GayW3 festival to mark 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain. A poster outside the center advertising the event was vandalized with the word shame drawn on it, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported. The rabbis letter referred to the JW3s LGBT programming as Toievah Hebrew for abomination, the word used in the Bible to describe homosexual acts and said it promotes a way of life which is in total contradiction to [O]rthodox Judaism and Halacha, or Jewish law. We are of the strong opinion that a red line has been crossed in launching campaigns and initiatives that promote lifestyles and behaviours forbidden and condemned by the Torah, the letter also said. Raymond Simonson, the chief executive of JW3, told theJewish Chronicleon Monday that he had received supportive messages from members of the Jewish community, including a number of Orthodox rabbis, since the letter was made public. At JW3, were really about looking for and celebrating a unified and diverse British Jewish community, he said. And I dont really like us to try and get dragged into incidents where people are doing things that are anti that. The publication of the letter follows areview processset up by the countrys chief rabbi that examined the teachings and statements ofRabbi Joseph Dweck, Britains top Sephardi rabbi, after he said at a lecturethat societal acceptance of homosexuality is a fantastic developmentbecause it opens the door to a more loving society. In recent years, a growing haredi Orthodox community in Great Britain has become more assertive in communal affairs, often clashing with the centrist Orthodox United Hebrew Congregations represented by the chief rabbi and other denominations.

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Jewish  Comments Closed

Gabrielle Sasson – Tablet Magazine

Gabrielle Sasson is entering seventh grade at Ramaz. Her family, in connection with her bat mitzvah, visited the Jewish communities of Addis Ababa and Gondar for ten days during early July. These are her impressions of the trip. Two weeks ago, instead of starting summer camp together with my friends, I traveled to Ethiopia to visit its Jewish community. In important ways, the kids in Ethiopia felt deeply familiar to me. The children sing the same Jewish and Hebrew songs I learned in Jewish day school in New York. They recite the same tephilot. In fact, in many waystheir strong belief in God and their desire to make aliyahthey can seem even more deeply rooted in Judaism and the Jewish story. Yet, the differences were starkand important. The Jews in Addis Ababa and Gondar live in shacks. Large families share two small mattresses, and one or two small blankets. Their clothing is full of holes. In honor of my bat mitzvah and my cousin Micahs bar mitzvah, our families made a small Kiddush after shul on Shabbat in Gondar. I was surprised by the excitement both adults and children felt when candy and soda was distributed. These are items my friends and I receive daily; we take them for granted. Here, kids do not have enough basic food to eat; many are malnourished. When I visited the homes of the kids I played with in the synagogue compound, I was upset by the awful conditions. No child should have to live without running water, beds, blankets and toilets. We were so alike in so many ways yet I had so much and they had so little. Poverty also prevents the kids from receiving medical treatment. We visited the medical clinic where Jewish childrenbut only those under fivehad recently begun to receive medical care. The doctor said that since the program began six weeks earlier he had saved 17 lives. What would happen to the children over five, the ones I had talked to and played with in the compound, the children who still had no access to medical care? The diseases the doctor talked abouttyphoid, typhus, malaria, intestinal parasitesdo not even exist in New York. These differences are heartbreaking and angering, but there is one above all others that I think is impossible to explain: That these children are not allowed to even travel to Israel. My family has a strong connection with Israel. We travel there frequently to visit family. If we wished to make aliyah, it would be easy; we would just get on a plane. When we asked the 1,100 community members present at Shabbat services how many had close family living in Israel, almost all the hands raised. And yet, Israel will not let these children make aliyah. To prepare for my trip, I read about the difficult decades-long struggle to bring the Ethiopian Jewish community to Israel. There are currently 140,000 Ethiopian Jews in Israel; for reasons I do not understand the government of Israel is reluctant to complete the aliyah by bringing the last 10,000 to the Jewish homeland. What makes these different from all other Jews around the world? We met orphans with no one to take care of themyoung childrenwho were not allowed to travel to Israel where their grandparents could take them in. So they live here, deprived of all of the resources that so many other Jews have, including the most important one: family. I am only twelve years old. I do not understand why the Israeli government wont let Jewish children rejoin their families in Israel. I certainly do not understand why the American Jewish community, which has so much and helps Jews throughout the world, refuses to help them. All my eyes still see is their dedication to Torah. My ears hear the prayers they offer to the God I pray to every day. And my heart still feels their pain, the pain that comes from realizing that almost no one in the Jewish world seems to care.

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Jewish  Comments Closed


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