International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Homeland Security Asks Jewish Agencies to Institute Security

(Photo: DHS)

(Photo: DHS)

While the whole world is now a target for terrorists, the Jewish people still remain especially at risk. In the wake of the Paris attacks, JTA reports, the Department of Homeland Security has called for Jewish agencies to initiate greater security:

“If they have not developed security management plans, they need to get those plans,” Goldenberg told JTA. “We’re asking Jewish agencies to institutionalize security as a part of the culture…”

Mayorkas explained how even when a primary target is not Jewish, the attackers may seek out Jewish targets in a secondary attack. He noted the attacks in Paris in January, where a satirical magazine that had mocked Islam was the first target; subsequently, attackers targeted a kosher supermarket.

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 9:01 AM  | Stand for Israel

The Iran Deal and the Media’s Obsession with Congress Members’ Jewishness

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As more and more members of Congress have come out in opposition of the Iran nuclear deal, the media has begun to focus on something other than the legislators’ stances. The media has instead focused on the fact that many of these Congressmen and -women are Jewish. Writing at The Algemeiner, Ruthie Blum points out the alarming anti-Semitism in this emphasis:

Two well-known Jewish pundits took to Twitter on Sunday to question the practice of the newspaper, The Hill, to emphasize the Jewishness of members of Congress in relation to the Iran nuclear deal.

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept tweeted similar sentiments about what they consider the dubious practice, which neither actually refers to as “antisemitic” though this could be inferred from their banter with followers.

Jewish or not, those who believe in what is good and right must make their voices heard. Tell your congressmen and senators to say no to a nuclear Iran.

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Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 10:55 AM  | Stand For Israel

Spanish Festival Flip-Flops on Ban, Re-invites Matisyahu

(Photo: wikicommons/Jkupry1)

(Photo: wikicommons/Jkupry1)

While so much of the time, the world and the international media seems to be anti-Israel, it is comforting when a decision in favor of the Jewish state and Jewish people is made. We reported on the banning of Jewish singer Matisyahu from a music festival in Spain, due to his refusal to support the anti-Israel BDS movement. Now, The Times of Israel says that the festival’s organizers have changed their minds and will allow the musician to perform:

A Spanish music festival that disinvited Jewish American reggae singer Matisyahu over his refusal to endorse a Palestinian state apologized and extended a new invitation to the singer to perform, Spanish media reported Wednesday…

“Requiring a public declaration, which was demanded of him alone, is a violation of conscience and — to the extent that it came because Matisyahu is Jewish — challenges the principle of non-discrimination which is the basis for all plural and diverse societies,” the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

The United States Embassy in Madrid on Wednesday welcomed the ministry’s statement with its own condemnation of the incident. The embassy said the United States promotes and defends “fundamental liberties,” and called reports of the initial cancellation “troubling.”

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain also condemned Matisyahu’s exclusion, while in an editorial Tuesday, leading Spanish newspaper El Pais wrote, “He is the only musician performing at Rototom, which is funded with public money, who has been requested to make such a statement, and to make matters worse, he has been asked to do so solely on the grounds that he is Jewish: as said, he is not an Israeli national.”

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 3:00 PM  | Stand for Israel

The Matisyahu Incident and the BDS Anti-Semitism Connection

(Photo: flickr/maxim303)

(Photo: flickr/maxim303)

This week, a concert by the Jewish-American musician Matisyahu was canceled in Spain. This would not be news, except for the fact that the show was canceled because the singer refused to agree with the BDS movement’s agenda. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin discusses the incident before posting Matisyahu’s own response:

It shouldn’t have taken the decision of a music festival in Valencia, Spain to make this clear. Long before the Rototom Sunsplash told American singer Matisyahu that he must either sign a declaration of support for the creation of a Palestinian state or have his appearance canceled, it was clear that the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement had crossed the line between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism…

The facts of the Matisyahu incident are interesting because, as a religious Jew, his public image is so closely tied to Judaism. Though he no longer sports the look of a Hasid of the Chabad movement with which he was once affiliated, the singer whose real name is Matthew Miller is still very much identified as a Jew. Regardless of whether you think a Palestinian state would be a good thing, demanding that he make a political statement about the conflict with Israel is hardly reasonable. Nor does it appear that the pro-BDS organizers of the festival asked any of their other artists to weigh in on those nations and groups that threaten Israel with annihilation.

As the singer explained on his Facebook page:

The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS movement. They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people. I support peace and compassion for all people. My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music. Music has the power to transcend the intellect, ideas, and politics, and it can unite people in the process. The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like…

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Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 1:33 PM  | Stand for Israel

Anti-Semitic Vandalism Attack Hits Texas Synagogue

(Photo: youtube)

(Photo: youtube)

In yet another anti-Semitic attack in the United States, a Texas synagogue was the target of vandals. The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus reports on the attack on San Antonio’s Rodfei Sholom Synagogue:

A San Antonio, Texas Orthodox Jewish community found itself covered in anti-Semitic graffiti on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The vandalism apparently took place overnight.

The local police department said that more than 30 cars, homes, buildings and other structures were spray painted with graffiti which included swastikas, “KKK,” and hateful epithets…

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Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at 10:01 AM  | Stand for Israel

The Freedom of Speech

(Photo: US Government)

(Photo: US Government)

Not long ago, in Garland, Texas, two radical Islamists tried to blaze their way into an event hosting a Muhammad cartoon contest. Thanks to an alert security guard, the only fatalities were the terrorists who came looking for blood.

Of course, this is not the first time that radical Islamists have responded to expressions of free speech with violence. The French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which wastes as much ink slandering Jews and Christians as it does Muslims, had twelve employees killed in cold blood by Islamic terrorists in January. And in February, a free speech event in Copenhagen was the scene of yet another massacre at the hands of Islamist terrorist gunmen. In each case, the perpetrators were radicalized Muslims who oppose free speech and believe that all of us should be subject to the same repressive laws under which the entire Middle East – except Israel – lives.

When we look at the Bible we are taught that speech – in the form of slander, gossip, incitement, or anything emotionally, mentally, financially, or physically damaging – is strictly forbidden. “Do not go about spreading slander among your people,” says Leviticus 19:16.

Jews have been not just slandered, but violently oppressed, throughout history. The Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, and countless massacres of Jews were all the result of propaganda that began with the slandering of Jews that incited anti-Semitic hatred.

However, the Jewish people have not responded – nor has any self-respecting people ever responded – to hate speech with a gun or a suicide belt.

A person’s right to choose what kind of life they want to live, what religion they practice, what food they place in their mouth, and what speech comes out of it, is the basis of the Jewish tradition.

The Bible has laws on how to live, how to think, how to talk and interact with others. It covers every area of life. But the Bible also makes it clear that we have free will to follow God’s laws or not. What value is…

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Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 10:36 AM  | Stand for Israel

At Dachau, Angela Merkel Warns of Resurgent Anti-Semitism

This weekend, German chancellor Angela Merkel attended a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. The Times of Israel’s Yannick Pasquet reports that Merkel warned that anti-Semitism must not be forgotten, lest it rise once again:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Sunday that society must “never close its eyes” to anti-Semitism as she joined Holocaust survivors to mark 70 years since the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau…

“We are all forever called upon, to never close our eyes and ears to those who today accost, threaten and attack people when they identify themselves somehow as Jews or also when they side with the state of Israel,” Merkel told a solemn ceremony…

“We all are forever called upon to make unmistakably clear that Jewish life is part of our identity,” Merkel added.

American forces liberated the Dachau camp on April 29, 1945, and discovered on arrival the unspeakable horror that had led to the death of around 43,000 people from starvation or disease.

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Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 11:12 AM  | Stand for Israel

Dark Days Ahead for the Jews of Russia?

(Photo: wikicommons/Андрей Романенко)

(Photo: wikicommons/Андрей Романенко)

As we noted yesterday, The Fellowship continues its Freedom Flights, allowing Ukrainian Jews to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) to escape the war and anti-Semitism they face in Ukraine. Today, Commentary’s Seth Mandel notes that an all-too-familiar anti-Jewish sentiment is growing in nearby Russia:

The ultimate goal of state censorship is self-censorship among the citizenry. If you can get the people to police themselves, and each other, it takes part of the burden off the state and also makes people complicit in their own oppression. And so it’s disturbing to see things take this turn in Putin’s Russia. As the New York Times reports, Moscow bookstores removed from their shelves–voluntarily (sort of)–their copies of Maus, the pathbreaking graphic novel of Nazi crimes against the Jews. It’s the “voluntarily” part of this that stands out, and makes it clear that Putinism has not been, and will not be, good for the Jews of Russia…

Putin’s war on Ukraine scattered the remaining Jewish community in the war zone. His explicitly militaristic nationalism feeds a state-sponsored xenophobia that always has and always will mark Jews as outsiders and a “nation apart.” And of course, “fascist” is in the eye of the beholder; as Paul Goble reported in late March:

Even as Moscow denounces anything it views as a manifestation of fascism abroad and prepares to mark the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, the Russian authorities are hosting tomorrow a meeting of Europe’s neo-Nazis, extreme nationalists, and anti-Semites who share one thing in common – their unqualified support for Vladimir Putin.

Such cultivation and tolerance of hateful anti-Semitic ideologues is par for the course in Putin’s Russia. He isn’t an anti-fascist; he’s merely against the wrong kind of “fascists”–who are often not fascists at all. It’s a catchall term for Putin’s enemies.

And it fools too many people, especially those who want to be fooled. But the Jews of Russia and its near-abroad cannot afford to let themselves be fooled. They probably don’t need…

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Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel

France Launches Plan to Combat Anti-Semitism

(Photo: wikicommons/Jackolan1)

(Photo: wikicommons/Jackolan1)

The terrorist attacks earlier this year against a Kosher market in Paris highlighted the growing anti-Semitism facing French – and European – Jews. The Times of Israel reports that France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has launched a plan to combat the anti-Semitism and racism causing violence in his country:

France’s prime minister announced Friday the government would pour 100 million euros into a major anti-racism and anti-Semitism action plan devised in the aftermath of the deadly Paris jihadist attacks…

In schools, teacher training will be overhauled, and principals will be encouraged to report racist or anti-Semitic incidents. Organized visits to memorials and other sites will also be held throughout the school year, according to the plan.

“It is through education, teaching skills and understanding of the other that we can counter the stereotypes and negative images,” said Valls…

And the Jewish community is also increasingly worried, with anti-Semitic acts doubling last year compared with 2013, prompting a rising number of Jews to leave for Israel.

“French Jews must no longer be scared to be Jewish…”

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Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 11:36 AM  | Stand for Israel

A Coalition Against Anti-Semitism

(Photo: wikicommons/ א.ינאי)

(Photo: wikicommons/ א.ינאי)

This Thursday, April 16, is Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. Despite the Jewish people – and those who stand with them – vowing never to forget the Holocaust and the anti-Semitism that brought it about, anti-Jewish hatred and violence is again on the rise worldwide. Writing at Israel Hayom, Yitzhak Eldan calls for Israel and her allies to form a coalition in the critical fight against anti-Semitism:

This year marks 70 years since the Second World War, and, as if symbolically, anti-Semitism has returned and soared to new heights, especially in Europe. Jews have been murdered in the streets in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen. Hundreds of cases of anti-Jewish violence occur each week, including the shooting, beating of rabbis and Jews, attacks on synagogues and the destruction and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and memorials. Many European Jews live in fear, with no sense of personal security.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ 2013 report found that nearly a quarter of European Jews hide their identity because of anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League’s 2014 report found that 26% of the world’s population — an estimated 1.09 billion people — hold anti-Semitic views. The same was found to be true for 24% of people in Western Europe and 34% in Eastern Europe. During July and August of 2014, there was a 400% rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe from the same period a year earlier. In France and Germany, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has risen by 100% this year.

Anti-Zionist and anti-Israel demonstrations calling to isolate the Jewish state (through boycotts, divestment and sanctions) are growing in number and spreading throughout the world — particularly in Europe, but also in the United States and many other countries. The campaign to delegitimize Israel — which is actually a cover for the new anti-Semitism, led by the unholy coalition of Palestinian officials, Muslims and the extreme Left — is growing stronger as it threatens…

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Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 8:21 AM  | Stand for Israel