Yemen Coup Could Spell Trouble for Local Jewish Community

(Photo: wikicommons/ Cacahuate)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Cacahuate)

A takeover of the Yemenite capital of Sanaa by Houthi rebels may put the country’s Jewish community at risk. University of Haifa professor emeritus Yosef Tobi told The Jerusalem Post that given the Shi’ite group’s track record, it is clear the community is in danger due to religious hate and extreme Islam:

Sanaa’s Jewish community lives in a guarded district under the protection of the central government, after fleeing to the capital from the town of Saada following Houthis threats in 2007.

“We warn you to leave the area immediately… Ignore this message, and we give you a period of 10 days, and you will regret it,” a Houthi representative warned the Jewish community of Saada at the time.

“Rising societal tensions, and the government’s lack of resources and capacity to protect [the Jews] adequately from increased threats in late 2008 and early 2009, led to increased emigration of the community,” according to a report on the US State Department website.

After the Houthi rebels entered the capital last year, supporters gathered in the streets, some chanting “Death to America! Death to the Jews! Victory to Islam.” The Houthi logo features the phrases “Death to Israel” and “Damn the Jews.”

“The Jews of Yemen are in big danger now,” said Michael Jankelowitz, a former spokesman to the international media at the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization. …

Yemen boasted a Jewish population of more than 50,000 during the mid-20th century; there are now fewer than 100 Jews in the capital, with another community of similar size in the northern town of Raida. The majority of the country’s Jews immigrated to Israel shortly after the establishment of the state.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 9:06 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Ambassador to Europe: Take Stand Against Anti-Semitism

(Photo: wikicommons)

(Photo: wikicommons)

With attacks against Jews increasing throughout Europe – culminating in the recent Paris murders – something has to be done about the continent’s rampant Jewish hatred. Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has called on Europe’s leaders to stand against anti-Semitism:

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called on European leaders on Thursday to take a stand against anti-Semitism.

The UN General Assembly held its first-ever meeting devoted to anti-Semitism in response to a global increase in violence against Jews – a meeting scheduled even before the recent attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

“Let the message echo from the halls of the UN to the streets of Europe to the capital of every nation – stand for human rights and human dignity by taking a stand against anti-Semitism,” Prosor said.

Prosor asserted that “The struggle against anti-Semitism must be a priority for every nation because the hatred that begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. History has shown us time and again that when a nation’s Jews are not safe, the entire society is at risk.”

“Europe is being tested,” he said. “We don’t need any more monuments commemorating the Jews who were murdered in Europe, we need a strong and enduring commitment to the living Jews in Europe. If the governments of Europe succeed in defending their Jewish communities, then they will succeed in defending liberty and democracy.”

And vowed that “The days when Jews were the world’s victims are over. We will never again be helpless and we will never again remain silent. Today we have the State of Israel standing guard.

“We have seen the evil that man is capable of, and so we must be vigilant. We must spot the warning signs and act swiftly to condemn anti-Semitism. I call on every nation to stand tall beside us. Refuse to allow evil to take root. Refuse to be silent. And refuse to submit to indifference.”



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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 10:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Call for All Jews to Come Home

JERUSALEM_DAY.19.05.04-02-MUST_CREDIT_ZIV_KOREN_14130086-300x196Family of the four Jewish men gunned down last week in a kosher supermarket in Paris waited anxiously at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport for the bodies of their loved ones. It was heartbreaking to see the bodies being carried off the plane in wooden boxes, on the same tarmac where hundreds of thousands of Jews have taken a first step toward freedom and security after fleeing the same hatred that led to these young men’s deaths.

Addressing their families  and the thousands of Israelis who attended the joint funeral, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin bemoaned the fate of these young men: “This is not how we wanted you to arrive in the land of Israel. This is not how we wanted to see you come home, to the state of Israel, and to Jerusalem, its capital.”

Echoing the president’s sentiment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the declining situation faced by Europe’s Jews. In France, simply wearing a kippah or the Star of David makes one a target. Since the supermarket shootings, the nation’s Jewish schools are now under the protection of the French military.

Can you imagine your children’s elementary school under military protection, where the first people they see each morning are guards in military fatigues brandishing machine guns? That’s what life is like for Jews in France. If you think these measures are over the top, recall how not too long ago an Islamist gunman walked into a Jewish elementary school in Toulouse, France, shooting and killing little Jewish children (ages 8, 6, and 3) at point blank range.

But Israel is more than just a refuge for Jews escaping a world filled with anti-Semitism. Our land is the only place where the Jewish people have a future. We are here because God gave this land to us as an inheritance. We want Jews around the world to come home with their heads held high, not wrapped in prayer shawls and inside boxes to be buried.

To Jews in France, and everywhere else in the world, the time has come to return home. This…

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Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 8:47 AM  | Stand for Israel

We Haven’t Shown Enough Outrage: French PM Denounces Anti-Semitism

(Photo: wikicommons/Jackolan1)

(Photo: wikicommons/Jackolan1)

This week, four Jewish men killed in the Paris kosher market attack were buried in Israel. France is burying the other victims of last week’s horrifying terrorism. Speaking after the funerals of several victims, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke out strongly and courageously against the growing wave of anti-Semitism facing his nation and the world:

Valls was determined to highlight the threat posed by antisemitism, declaring: “I say to the people in general who perhaps have not reacted sufficiently up to now, and to our Jewish compatriots, that this time [antisemitism] cannot be accepted.”

The address brought to mind the impassioned “J’Accuse” letter, penned by the great French writer Emile Zola in 1898, in response to the antisemitism displayed by the French government during the infamous trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish military officer who was convicted and publicly humiliated on fabricated charges of treason. In that letter, Zola spoke with disgust “of the hunting for the ‘dirty Jews,’ which dishonors our time.”

When Valls asked with anger, “How can we accept that cries of  ‘death to the Jews’ can be heard on the streets?” the echoes of Zola’s words were unmistakable.

In his speech, Valls was explicit that the “first question that has to be dealt with clearly is the struggle against antisemitism.”

“History has taught us that the awakening of antisemitism is the symptom of a crisis for democracy and of a crisis for the Republic. That is why we must respond with force,” Valls said. Recalling a series of antisemitic outrages in France in recent years, such as the abduction, torture and murder of the young Parisian Jew Ilan Halimi in 2006, the murder of three small children and a rabbi by an Islamist gunman at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, and the rape of a young Jewish woman during an antisemitic assault on a Jewish home in the Paris suburb of Creteil in December 2014, Valls asserted that these and other incidents “did not not produce the national outrage that…

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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at 8:16 AM  | Stand for Israel

The Frightening Reality for the Jews of France

(Photo: flickr/smb_flickr)

(Photo: flickr/smb_flickr)

While last week’s terrorist attack at a kosher supermarket – which left four Jewish men dead – brought international attention to the problem of anti-Semitism in France, members of the French Jewish community have been dealing with heightened violence for the past year. Tablet’s Stephanie Butnick provides a disturbing timeline of some of the anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2014:

[T]his attack comes after a truly frightening year for French Jews. Nearly 7,000 French Jews moved to Israel this year, more than double the figure from the previous year. Smaller things, like the viral popularity of the quenelle gesture—a reverse Nazi salute—created by controversial Cameroonian-French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, compounded with attacks on visibly identifiable young Jews in Paris and the quickness with which anti-Israel protests during this summer’s Gaza war devolved into anti-Semitism, have fueled a climate in which many French Jews simply don’t feel safe.

Here’s what the past year looked like for French Jews.

Jan. 26, 2014: Video footage captures anti-government protestors shouting “Juif, la France n’est pas a toi”—“Jew, France is not yours”–at a demonstration in Paris.

March 2, 2014: A Jewish man is beaten on the Paris Metro by assailants who reportedly told him “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country…”

March 20, 2014: A Jewish teacher is attacked leaving a kosher restaurant in Paris. After breaking his nose, the assailants drew a swastika on his chest…

May 19, 2014: A poll of 3,833 French Jews reveals 74 percent have considered emigrating.

June 9, 2014: Two Jewish teenagers and their grandfather are chased by an ax-wielding man and three accomplices as they walk to their synagogue in the Paris suburb of Romainville on Shavuot.

June 10, 2014: A Jewish teen wearing a yarmulke and tzitzit is attacked with a Taser by group of teens at Paris’ Place de la République square. In Sarcelles, two Jewish teens wearing yarmulkes…

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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at 8:15 AM  | Stand for Israel

It Can Happen Here

(Photo: screenshot)

(Photo: screenshot)

This past weekend, The Chicago Tribune reports that anti-Semitic graffiti was found on synagogues and homes in the Chicago area. Distressed at these incidents, Rabbi Eckstein speaks about against the anti-Jewish hatred in the U.S., in the Middle East, and around the world:

Those of us who live in the US and other western nations are prone to think of anti-Semitism that “it can’t happen here.” Well, over the weekend, in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago – a heavily Jewish area that is not far from where I used to live and where I raised my children – a number of synagogues and other buildings were defaced with hateful, anti-Semitic graffiti. The fact is, my friends, that anti-Semitism can rear its ugly head anywhere – and that is why we must always be vigilant, and willing to confront and attack this scourge wherever it occurs! Today, I ask you to pray for the safety of the Jewish community of Chicago, and everywhere, and for an end to this hatred.

Read more of Rabbi Eckstein’s musings on Israel, Judaism, and the world.

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Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 at 4:26 PM  | Stand For Israel

Jewish Student Hospitalized After Beating in Moscow



Throughout Europe we are seeing rampant anti-Semitism – on the streets and in the governments. Now The Algemeiner reports on an attack in Russia that left a young Jewish yeshiva student hospitalized:

Shlomo Romanevsky, a 26-year-old Russian yeshiva student was hospitalized after a brutal beating by three unknown assailants in a Moscow suburb, Israel’s NRG News reported Wednesday.

Romanevsky sustained a skull fractures, and a broken nose and jaw in the assault, according to officials.

He was heading back to his religious seminary, Yeshivat Torat Chaim, after giving a private lesson in a Moscow suburb, when the trio off thugs attacked him, according to Jewish officials. Police officials are investigating the background of the attack, and if it was motivated by anti-Semitism.

A spokesman for the Conference of European Rabbis, Moshe Friedman, said said Romanevsky was scheduled to undergo an operation for his injuries on Wednesday, and that the dean of the school, Rabbi Moshe Lebel, was with the student.

The head of the Department for Combating Antisemitism at the World Zionist Organization called on the Russian government to “take a hard line against any anti-Semitic violence in their country.”

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 2:47 PM  | Stand For Israel

Anti-Semitism on the Temple Mount

(Photo: he.wikipedia/ אסף.צ)

(Photo: he.wikipedia/ אסף.צ)

In today’s Daily Dispatch we reported on a visit to the Temple Mount paid by P.A. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. During this time when tensions in the area are particularly high, Hamdallah said that “there will not be a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital.” Writing at Israel Hayom, Zalman Shoval points out that, as opposed to how Israel has handled Jerusalem, Palestinians have been exclusionary and anti-Semitic when it comes to the Holy City and the Temple Mount:

Since 1967, all Israeli governments have employed balanced, carefully thought out policies on the Temple Mount in order to avoid any major conflicts with the Muslim world …

Israel agreed, despite the heart-breaking pain, to prohibit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and it granted, with certain limitations, autonomy to the Waqf to manage the area. Alongside that, it was promised that Jews, and people of other religions, had full rights to visit any part of the Temple Mount

However, while Israel has maintained its side of these agreements, the Palestinians have violated them almost since day one, both in their words and in their actions: From throwing stones and physically harassing groups of visitors, to using the front portion of the Temple Mount to attack Jews praying at the Western Wall below.

If in the beginning, these were thought to be sporadic actions, it later became more and more clear that the Palestinian political and religious leadership was behind the riots (with the help of Islamists among the Israeli Arab population, and yes, Arab MKs as well). The Palestinians, time has revealed, are not only against the agreement made in 1967, but are essentially against the right of the Jewish people to be in the place that has been most holy — both nationally and religiously — to them for all of history.

A clear expression of this sentiment can be found in the recent words of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who in his…

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 8:08 AM  | Stand For Israel

Does Anti-Semitism Make You Poor?

(Photo: flickr/Jeff Barnes)

(Photo: flickr/Jeff Barnes)

Recently we have reported on the spread of anti-Semitism across Europe and the rest of the world. Yet even as we are alarmed, we still wonder why this historical hatred continues to occur. Writing at The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead looks at the economic causes – and effects – of anti-Semitism:

Anti-Semitism appears and flourishes among those who don’t quite get modern life, who jump to simplistic but powerful seeming generalizations about cause and effect in a complex world. The world of the anti-Semite may be dark, with all-powerful, string-pulling Jews controlling everything behind the scenes, but the simplicity and clarity of that picture outweighs the darkness: the anti-Semite thinks he understands the world, and that helps ease the pain of feeling tossed about by incomprehensible forces.

But the clarity is false. The anti-Semite is still baffled, confused and at sea; he or she just doesn’t know it. It’s not surprising that someone laboring under these conceptual handicaps would make foolish life choices and bad investment decisions. Even more alienated and embittered because those poor choices have real consequences, the anti-Semite feels more victimized than ever, and attributes the natural result of his or her poor choices to the scheming Jews who make sure that no gentile will ever get an even break.

The linkage of anti-Semitism with a general distrust of finance could also explain one of the mysteries of our time. Radical jihadi groups boast about their intention to purge the Islamic world of the decadent legacy of Europe, but they’ve made an odd exception. There is one kind of ‘boko’ (western knowledge) that is not ‘haram’: the anti-Semitic filth spewed by European tyrants and demagogues in the last 150 years has found a ready audience among the most radical and anti-western of jihadi groups. It’s an anomaly that we don’t think enough about; why is this piece of western ‘knowledge’ so attractive and compelling while everything else coming from the west is suspect?

The ‘suspicion of finance’ that the…

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand for Israel

UNRWA’s Anti-Semitism and U.N.’s Anti-Israel Bias

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO/Haim Zach)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO/Haim Zach)

In yesterday’s Daily Dispatch, we reported that the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Gaza, even witnessing Hamas’ terror tunnels. Yet Ban’s visit didn’t seem to make much of an impression, as The Algemeiner reports that he blames Israel for the war, and that the UNRWA has even published anti-Semitic text on its website:

Investigative pro-Israel blogger, Elder of Ziyon, on Monday uncovered a report, in Arabic, posted on the the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) website, that accuses Jews of supporting “social corruption.”

Entitled, “The Historical Development of Human Rights Throughout History,” the document purports to be a summary of human rights policies held by a number of civilizations over the ages …

But soon enough, the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel stereotypes kick in.

“But if we look around us at communities supposedly protecting human rights and at well-known oases of democracy we do not see [human rights] but instead charges that the victim was a terrorist or supporter of terrorism, and also pornography justified freely as rights. We see monopoly and fraud justified by the right of ownership and earnings in any form (Mokbel: 2005: 5) All of this happened as a result of distortion and misinformation by the Jewish clergy. The Jews in the sixth and seventh centuries promoted social corruption (1981: 39), and the claim that they are God’s chosen people demonstrates that the Jews did not know anything about human rights,” the author claimed.

In a related development, both the Bnai-Brith and the Anti Defamation League on Tuesday criticized recent remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holding Israel almost exclusively responsible for the summer’s clashes with Hamas in Gaza.

Ban, speaking at a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo on Sunday, and in Ramallah a day later, said Israel was at fault for “a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations.”‎

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Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 8:40 AM  | Stand For Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
Terror Returns to the Holy Land — Again

Recently our attention has been focused on brutal terrorist attacks around the world. But with Wednesday’s attack on Israelis aboard a Tel Aviv bus, our focus returns to Israel, where we must continue to defend the society and the values we have taken so long to develop and build.

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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