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This week the world remembered the Holocaust on January 27, vowing it would never forget the horrors that the Nazis perpetrated upon the Jewish people and other minorities. Yet the Jewish people still face unprecedented hatred and violence, and JNS reports that a new poll shows that a quarter of Israel’s Jews fear another such attempt at wiping them from existence:
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More than half (59 percent) of Israelis are afraid to travel outside the country, with 25 percent saying they are usually afraid to do so and 34 percent saying they have become more afraid this past year, a new poll commissioned by the World Zionist Organization shows.
According to the poll, which was conducted by the Midgam Consultants and Research Institute, more women than men say they are afraid to travel abroad (62 percent compared to 55 percent). Sixty-five percent of respondents say their concerns prompt them to play down signs of Israeli or Jewish identity while abroad, a group among whom 36 percent say they do so regularly and 29 percent say they have changed their habits and have recently started hiding their Jewish/Israeli identities.
Additionally, 25 percent of the Israelis polled say they believe there is reason to fear that another Holocaust will be perpetrated against the Jewish people, and 24 percent believe there is a chance that the State of Israel will cease to exist. More than two-thirds (67 percent) are worried about the safety of Jewish communities outside of Israel.
Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 8:47 AM | Stand For Israel
Stand for Israel is heartened that so many Americans – and the lawmakers who represent them – still ally themselves with the Jewish state, even in these times when so much of the world doesn’t. JNS’ Sean Savage reports that this week, Indiana passed a bill that targets businesses who would boycott Israel:
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The Indiana House of Representatives this week passed new legislation that targets businesses or other entities that engage in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, marking the latest victory in the fight against BDS on the U.S. state level.
House Bill 1378, which was introduced by Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and was passed unanimously by the legislature on Jan. 25, requires “the public retirement system to divest from businesses that engage in action or inaction to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.” The bill’s next stop is a vote in the Indiana Senate, followed by the governor’s desk…
Following in the footsteps of Tennessee and Indiana, three other states—New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida—last year passed similar legislation condemning BDS, while Illinois went even further by passing a bill that prohibits state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement. Early this year, a California state legislator introduced a bill to ensure that California doesn’t contract with businesses that engage in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender, or nationality. The Florida Senate, meanwhile, recently passed a resolution that requires a state board to identify all publicly funded companies that are boycotting Israel or are engaged in a boycott of Israel.
Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 8:29 AM | Stand For Israel
Col. Richard Kemp, a retired British Army officer, writer, and friend of the Jewish state, appeared before the U.N. to speak about the IDF’s high standards, especially in regard to the most recent war in Gaza. Col. Kemp shows us all how – even in the face of international bias – to stand for Israel!Comments (26) »
Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 8:16 AM | Stand For Israel
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) recently took a survey to see how many of the elderly in Israel need assistance with heating their homes in the winter. Sadly, tens of thousands of elderly go without heating or food in the winter because they simply cannot afford these basic necessities.
“For the elderly, giving up food, medications or heating can sometimes be a death sentence,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ…
According to the poll, 18 percent of the elderly population go without home heating, while 16% forgo basic necessities, particularly food, to pay for heat. A third of all elderly citizens must forgo either heating, hot water, food, medicine or other needs for financial reasons the study found.
Approximately 40% of those who forgo heating in the winter, amounting to some 59,000 people, have to do so frequently or very frequently, according to the poll…
According to IFCJ, the results “underscore that this winter’s cold, coupled with rising living costs, put major sections of the country’s population at risk,” and that the “supplemental incomes and pensions” granted to vulnerable citizens and the elderly “do not go far enough” in meeting their basic needs.
In related news, Haaretz reports on the dire circumstances of many impoverished Israelis this winter:
A homeless man in his 50s was found dead on a park bench in Bat Yam Thursday morning, apparently of hypothermia, the fifth hypothermia case this week…
Of the four other cases reported by Magen David Adom this week, another was in Bat Yam, where an 88-year-old man was found Wednesday freezing in his apartment and hospitalized in serious condition. Another was in Ariel, on Monday, where a 6-day-old baby was hospitalized with severe hypothermia and later released. In Petah Tikva a 63-year-old man was found lying on the floor in his home and was hospitalized with moderate hypothermia. Another homeless man, from Rishon Letzion, was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Tzrifin with slight hypothermia.
Magen David Adom called on people to keep in…Read More » Comments (13) »
Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 8:02 AM | Stand For Israel
Wednesday, January 27, was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. More than 6 million of the 11 million Jews living in Europe at that time were systematically murdered by the Nazis. While others observed this tragic chapter in history, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, posted a video denying the magnitude of the Holocaust and condemning nations who support Israel.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• In another wave of terror attacks this week, a 23-year-old Israeli woman died from her wounds in a West Bank stabbing. On Wednesday, an Israeli man was seriously injured in another stabbing attack at a gas station north of Jerusalem.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israel’s relationship with the U.S. and reacted to the Iran nuclear deal at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
• A Fellowship-sponsored survey revealed that 18 percent of elderly in Israel go without heat in the winter because they cannot afford to pay their heating bill. The Fellowship’s Winter Warmth campaign begins this month providing heating units, clothes, and funds to pay energy bills for the elderly and needy.
• Hackers broke into Israel’s power grid, one of the most sophisticated in the world, paralyzing computers at the country’s Electricity Authority.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on remembering the plight of Israel’s elderly during the winter.
Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 4:54 PM | Stand for Israel
Thirty years ago today, the world watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff. Seven brave astronauts perished that day. Jewish News’ Victoria Gindick remembers one of them – Judith Resnik, who was an astronaut, a PhD in electrical engineering, and Jewish:
Judy Resnik was born in 1949 in Ohio, the daughter of immigrants from the Ukraine. She was a perfectionist, a pianist, a private yet popular person. Her father sparked her interest in science and nurtured her desire to succeed.
While earning a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and a doctorate in electrical engineering, Resnik sought challenges and pushed her limits to achieve, but took time to help younger students. Her first job introduced her to NASA projects.
A NASA recruitment ad seeking women and minorities inspired her to apply to be an astronaut. She immersed herself in a vigorous exercise regimen, read extensively, and sought advice from John Glenn. Success came to Resnik in January 1978 when she was chosen as one of only six women, including Sally Ride, who “had the right stuff.”
Without fear, she focused on helping to design and then operate the remote shuttle manipulator arm. Before her first space flight on the 36-orbit Discovery shuttle mission in 1984, she asked Rabbi Abraham Feffer, her spiritual leader, for a blessing…
How prophetic that Resnik once said, “I want to do everything there is to be done. I’ll never get old.”
Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 12:26 PM | Stand For Israel
This week we’ve already discussed the fate of some of Hamas’ terror tunnels, as well as the terrorist group’s ridiculous accusations. But it seems that Hamas is still hard at work, reports The Times of Israel’s Tamar Pileggi, as Israeli residents on the Gaza border have experienced the effects of their digging:
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Residents of Moshav Pri Gan, a community adjacent to the Gaza border, said Thursday that tunnel digging into Israel from the Hamas-run territory has come so close to their homes that it has caused their floors to shake.
The head of the Eshkol Regional Council, Gadi Yarkoni, told Israel Radio that many residents have been complaining of hearing and feeling increased underground digging activity in recent weeks, and were disappointed that the IDF had failed to build protective barriers against the cross-border terror tunnels, as it had promised it would after the summer 2014 war in Gaza…
Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, built dozens of tunnels into Israel, many of which were used to carry out attacks against soldiers during the 2014 war. The IDF said it destroyed over 30 tunnels during the war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge, but officials have expressed fear the terror group is rebuilding its infrastructure.
Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 11:00 AM | Stand For Israel
While much of the world observed International Holocaust Remembrance day yesterday, honoring the memory of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis, Iran once again set itself apart in a particularly disturbing manner. The Times of Israel reports that Iran’s supreme leader marked the occasion by airing a video denying that the Holocaust happened:
In a video titled “Are the Dark Ages Over,” a series of photos showing killed or injured Palestinian children is displayed on screen, while a Farsi-speaking man, presumably Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself, can be heard condemning the nations of the world for offering support to Israel.
“It is Western powers headed by America that are [supporting Israel],” the narrator says. “This is while they say in their slogans that they are opposed to terrorism and [the Islamic State terrorist group].”
The speaker goes on to accuse European nations of silencing any view that does not conform to the historically accepted account of the genocide against the Jews by Nazi Germany.
“No one in European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of the matter is reality or not,” the narrator continues. “Even if it is reality, it is not clear how it happened. Speaking about the Holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin. If someone does this, they stop, arrest, imprison and sue him. This is why they claim to be supporters of freedom.”
The video was uploaded as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani visited Europe, with trips to Italy, where he met with the pope on Tuesday, and France. Before leaving Rome for Paris on Wednesday, Rouhani charged that the “Zionist lobby” in the US was preventing warmer Iran-US ties.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 8:38 AM | Stand For Israel