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Chosen Links – December 16, 2023

Articles, Threads, Videos and More about Israel and Antisemitism
[additional-authors]
December 17, 2023

Minutes before Shabbat began, I was given a cold, harsh reminder just how much our society needs this education on antisemitism and Israel, when a stranger from an underrepresented community drove by our home in his nice car, lowered his window, and screamed at me cursing out Israel, while giving me the middle finger.

This is why I’m honored that David Suissa and Jonathan Fong have looked through my 6 weekly posts of curated links, and created a new section on the home page of the Jewish Journal. If you scroll down, there is now a section called CHOSEN LINKS BY BOAZ, which is a very clever name that I can’t take credit for!

I’ll continue to post here, but the direct link for them is:

https://jewishjournal.com/tag/chosen-links/

I’ll continue to do this on weekends if I can, full of videos and threads and articles and other goodies (some even fun) that I have read/watched and at least attempted to vet for credibility. And I’m going to keep giving a short intro to each so you can decide what to watch or read and come back to it later. And always always share either the entire post or pieces of it that you enjoy. Just because you “already know this stuff” doesn’t mean your friends and family can’t benefit from less ignorance, and better algorithms.

Keep in mind that there are tons of other content out there that I can’t share because of paywalls, so I’m limited by it being freely accessible; thus no Wall Street Journal or NY Times or Washington Post that I might otherwise have shared.

And as always I’m going to try to include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (X), and YouTube, and avoiding TikTok, and memes like the plague.

This week’s photo honors my dear cousin Elisha Goshen who works as a doctor in Israel, and is currently helping the army with Emergency Medicine, assisting with traumas, and notifying families of missing persons when their bodies have been identified. He deserves all of our love and support, as this was certainly not what he imagined his life becoming when he went into Medical School. The photo is from our visit in 2019 in Haifa, Israel.

Without further ado…

ARTICLES/THREADS:

1. An analysis of the legal and financial consequences of Harvard, MIT and UPenn, after the disastrous testimony by their deans about antisemitism:

https://twitter.com/DWeisburd/status/1732422937204887834

2. Data from The Economist shows an alarmingly high number of young people in this country who either deny the Holocaust or think it was exaggerated. Since that article has a paywall, here is a decent analysis of the numbers:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/One-five-young-Americans…

3. A fascinating account of what really happened after the so-called agreement to pause the fighting. Turns out there were attacks immediately against Israel that they just quietly handled and didn’t want to make a fuss about, as it would endanger the return of the hostages:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-broke-temporary…/

4. Practical reasons for stripping down the people in Gaza who were turning themselves in, explained as very typical to prevent suicide bombings. Keep reading below the tweet to see his response to a good comment:

https://x.com/mikeeisenberg/status/1733713710391181389

5. Ron Hassner, a Political Science professor at UC Berkeley did a fascinating study that he wrote up in the The Wall Street Journal. They polled a large group of college students before and after a very basic education about Israel, and the numbers completely shifted. Due to WSJ being behind a paywall, this tweet gives a screenshot that’s easy to read:

https://twitter.com/Elad_Si/status/1732746096944796151

6a. When you name your piece after one of my favorite old singers, Tom Lehrer, and report on many antisemitic incidents happening in the USA, from bus drivers not helping Jews to food packages being delivered with graffiti propaganda, you have my attention and appreciation Fern Reiss: https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-65-and…

6b. Fern does it again, this time an insanely powerful letter to her (and so many of our) friends, neighbors and community who are not supporting us during this war. If you care about Israel this will likely strike very familiar chords with you, if you are indifferent or unsure about it, I suggest you read what so many of us are feeling:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-67-letter-to…

6c. Apparently Fern really speaks to me, because for the third week in a row I think some of the most easy-to-follow, and finger-on-the-pulse writing is coming from her computer in Israel. This one is a brutally honest assessment of who can take over Gaza when this is over:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-69-the…

7. This gathers reports directly from the released hostages, discussing their conditions during the kidnapping. Another great aspect of this piece is that it includes videos of each of them talking about it:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/intense-fear-zero-sleep…/

8. This piece by Caroline Glick explains the problem Israel has in Lebanon brewing from Hezbollah. It explains that athough America continues to be nothing but supportive during the war with Hamas, both Democratic and Republican policies on Lebanon/Israel have for decades been leading to a disaster for Israel. This article made me uncomfortable in its pessimism, but felt like too important a topic not to share:

https://www.jns.org/israels-survival-clashes-with…/

9. I only just realized that I never shared this iconic piece from weeks ago. This helped shed light on the massive hypocrisy of the feminist groups of the world ignoring Israeli victims of rape. MeToo Unless You’re a Jew is well worth the read:

https://unherd.com/2023/11/metoo-unless-youre-a-jew/

10. What happens when a Jewish nonprofit creates a campaign in England to show pictures of the hostages in efforts to bring them home? Nobody wants to be the media company that takes on the work, and when one agrees it stops due to threats to its staff. A disgusting and short thread worth reading:

https://twitter.com/Elad_Si/status/1734573980344840590

11. This thread is awesome. If anyone accuses Israel of violating international rules of combat, commiting genocide, this provides 7 pieces of evidence to the contrary, with screenshots of evidence for each:

https://x.com/Aizenberg55/status/1734241355633770811

12. It’s interesting to read a piece by someone in Gen Z who’s admitting he doesn’t know much about the Israel/Hamas conflict. His point is that people need to adapt to the harsh new reality that his generation is going to keep getting its news from social media, in spite of the binary way that it makes you see all conflicts:

https://thehill.com/…/4353828-why-is-gen-z-so-pro…/

13. If this Palestinian poll is accurate, it’s really, really depressing news moving forward, though as long as Hamas is in power, I can’t trust any polling to be accurate:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/…/palestinian-poll…/

14. It’s sad that it surprises me when things are reported somewhat evenhanded by mainstream media, but yet here we are. I don’t envy Joe Biden, staunchly giving support to a country that he insists is in the right, and fighting an enemy it needs to eradicate; but yet he finds himself and America more and more depressingly isolated from the rest of the world in its support, and his own administration losing internal support to boot. I don’t know how long it will be before the other shoe drops, and they need to withdraw their support, but I appreciate what he’s done for 2 plus months, and pray it can continue:

https://www.cnn.com/…/biden-netanyahu…/index.html

15. Thank you Switzerland, for voting to remove funding to the UNRWA. Nothing can ever change to move the needle away from Gaza’s hatred of Jews and Israel as long as the schools are literally teaching antisemitic views. And this piece explains just how much worse the UNRWA has actually made things in that respect:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/swiss-parliament-votes-to…/

16. My dear friend Cindy Kaplan explains the irony of those who think it’s ok to hate Israel while wishing someone a Happy Chanukah. I suggest you follow her poignant writings:

https://open.substack.com/…/yes-chanukah-feels…

17a. As mentioned in prior weekly updates, I really enjoy these clear, concise messages from the (Scottish) Spokesman for the IDF, Lt Colonel Richard Hecht. This one explains their recent success, and how seeing people turn themselves in allows a domino effect of useful things:

https://idfspokesperson.substack.com/…/delivering…

17b. A crazy story that illuminates how dangerous it is for the IDF soldiers on a daily basis, and don’t worry, it has a happy ending:

https://idfspokesperson.substack.com/…/bombs-in-kids…

18. I’ve known of Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson for years, but only recently had the pleasure of getting to know him in person. He has been messaging the world with kindness, empathy and urgency about our situation, both in writing and testimonial videos. I want to share this article that eloquently explains how he may appear as a privileged white man, but like so many of us Jews, there are countless things that we go through regularly that the rest of Western civilization takes for granted, because they are not a genocidally targeted people. Thank you Rabbi Artson:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/letter-to-my-non-jewish…/

19. Monica Osborne has been a dear friend for years now, even with her moving across the globe to Italy we have remained in touch. I am doing you a favor when I tell you to READ THIS PIECE. She is a tremendously accomplished educator, writer and editor, and her life has taken her on a journey from being a professor of Jewish studies, to editor of the Jewish Journal. Now she finds that both friends and even some family have not only made her feel alone since October 7, but many have actively supported the cause of Hamas. A depressing but riveting read:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/there-are-wolves-in-my-house/

20. Daniel Hernandez Jr is a former member of Arizona’s House of Representatives, and a proud LGBTQ Mexican American. He speaks up for the Jewish community and Israel, and is begging his own underrepresented LGBTQ+ community to also stand by us:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/israel-has-stood-with-the…/

21. Julie Gruenbaum Fax works at the fantastic USC Shoah Foundation, and writes about the heartbreaking case of Shaylee Atary Winner, who survived the brutal October 7 attacks with her 4 week old baby, but her husband was murdered in the process. Steven Spielberg founded the organization decades ago, and is ensuring that people will have their stories recorded and heard, just as he has done for those who survived the Holocaust:

https://sfi.usc.edu/…/35786-urgent-campaign-records…

22. Kylie Ora Lobell has been writing about her journey and experiences in Judaism throughout the years before/during and since her conversion. She highly recommends something that I agree with SO much – talking to your non-affiliated and nonjewish friends. If all we do is talk to our own echo chambers, it may make us feel less alone, but it doesn’t make a dent into the masses of ignorance that abound. Invite your other friends to your home, your Shabbat table, have conversations, let them know more than what their social media feeds show them in THEIR echo chambers:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/fellow-jews-lets-not-talk…/

23. Arsen Ostrovsky explains what the Red Cross has actually been doing in Israel, and spoiler alert: it isn’t a whole lot for the Israelis:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/the-red-cross-has-become-a…/

24. David Bernstein does a really good cover story this past week that really analyzes the culture ingrained in the university system, and what realistically is needed to change things:

https://jewishjournal.com/cover…/366280/poison-ivy-league/

VIDEOS:

1. I must say, this was so much better than I expected. Dr. Phil gets into the crazy testimony of the college deans defending calls to genocide, and he finishes beautifully by lighting a menorah to honor those still taken hostage. I really appreciated this message:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JFveQyHolnE

2. In this very short clip, an old lady in Gaza tells Qatar run Al Jazeera News that Hamas is stealing their humanitarian supplies for themselves. Assuming this is real, I hope she hasn’t been harmed for speaking up: https://twitter.com/GonenYonatan/status/1732514165984518175

3. A friend to many of us in the community, Raphy Nissel, was violently attacked this past Shabbat. Thankfully the man was immediately arrested by the police, and Raphy is comfortable speaking out about the assault and hate crime. Thank you to his sonTzvika Alan Nissel for bringing this to the light:

https://www.nbcnews.com/…/elderly-jewish-couple…

4. This podcast is a great resource to watch or listen to. Phyllis Zimbler Miller and Evelyn Markus interview dozens of great guests about the rising tide of anti-semitism around the world:

http://www.youtube.com/neveragainisnowpodcast

5. The embattled president of Harvard Claudine Gay did a photo-op lighting the Chanukah candles loud and proud on the campus. Right? Well, here’s Harvard Chabad Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi explaining what happens every day the minute the photo-op ends. On the one hand she claims it’s a welcoming and safe campus for Jews, on the other hand the chanukiah (correct word for what everyone calls a menorah) needs to be hidden every night for fear of antisemitism:

https://x.com/JacobBaime/status/1735141702468259966

6. Michael Rapaport is visiting Israel and posting everything from interviews to political sketch comedy. This one spoke to me personally, because he connects to Omer Vankert, a young hostage because both of them have ulcerative colitis, something my wife Adi Hepner lives with and publicly speaks about. Here he is talking to Omer’s father Shay:

https://fb.watch/oXlVJOH4BV/

7. Ashriel Moore is a proud black African Israeli. He has never shied away from speaking out when he sees racism around the world, including Israel. As such, here he calls out the ridiculousness of progressive people expecting all people of African descent to support Hamas and Gaza in rising up against their “racist oppression”. In reality he points out how African black people have been treated as second class citizens there, and the cause would be supporting that which subjugates them:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0PrseuI1qd/

8. This is why it was so important that Gal Gadot brought the sensitive footage from October 7 to be seen by executives. Chris Cuomo watched it, and it transformed his entire realization about the war. He admits and clarifies what he thought about the crisis before versus now. This is far and away one of the best explanations I’ve seen the last few months, bravo to Cuomo, a must-watch:

https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/1735473602806399155

9. Full disclaimer: I have no idea if these numbers are accurate, and I cringe at the mispronunciation of the word Arab. That being said, I’ve seen memes with this same explanation of how many Jews were in each surrounding Muslim country versus today, but it works very effectively as a video:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0tN6YlOlqR/

10. I’m not sure who the people are behind this new website, but I applaud the goal of exposing the Jew hatred being taught on college campuses. They are clearly just starting out, and recruiting for help with the projects, but I’ll link you to their 3 short previews of what they are trying to produce, and it’s pretty well executed:

https://fightbackfilm.org/#media

11. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had a really informative interview with Israel’s N12 News. He answers questions about Biden and American support and expectations of Israel and what needs to happen next. This is a way for Israelis to understand how closely aligned or far apart their leadership is from their American allies:

https://x.com/LeviYonit/status/1735616101965353265

12. This is what we need. An honest and healthy interview and dialogue between an Israeli and Palestinian, where they actually agree on many more issues than you might have thought. Think Tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) interviewed Eyal Hulata, former Israeli national security advisor, and Ghaith al-Omari, former negotiator and advisor within the Palestinian Authority. It was moderated by Nahal Toosi, Politico foreign affairs senior correspondent. Not a short dialogue but a really worthwhile one, in which they both agree that this current Benjamin Netanyahu led-government is not going to get us to whatever the next step is that we need to move forward:

https://www.youtube.com/live/J5H09174AfA

SPOTLIGHT:

My first 6 to spotlight have been Amy Schumer, Debra Messing, Jessica Seinfeld, Jon Lovitz, Julianna Margulies, and Michael Rapaport.

This time I present the celebrity who likely has the largest social media following of any loud and proud Pro-Israel influencer in the world. I’m referring to Gal Gadot, a former IDF soldier who did more than just speak; she brought the little-seen footage of the October 7 heinous atrocities, and had them shown to high up Hollywood executives. She’s a game-changer, and I thank her for putting herself in the line of fire of hatred that she inevitably brings on herself in the public eye. A true woman of valor – a Wonder Woman indeed:

https://www.instagram.com/gal_gadot

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:

Thank you to my sister Abigail Hepner Gross for bringing this amazing organization to my attention.

Soldiers Save Lives is an extraordinary group of young people who have successfully moved tens of millions of dollars worth of essential gear and lifesaving equipment since Oct 7. They work with manufacturers and wholesalers, have strategic partnerships with El Al and other cargo shippers, and most importantly they coordinate with the IDF and Ministry of Defense to distribute the most necessary supplies directly to the bases that need them the most urgently.

Please look at their website and consider lending your support:

https://www.soldierssavelives.org/

ON A LIGHTER NOTE:

1a. This is just beautiful, the president of Finland’s Jewish community, Yaron Nadbornik his wife Galith went to a ball, and look at the dress she had custom made – it lists the hostages, such a thoughtful and gorgeous tribute:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C0rkL8KOdnc/

1b. And here in NY, Councilwoman Inna Vernikov proudly wore a beautiful custom made dress ALSO proudly showing off her love of Israel:

https://twitter.com/InnaVernikov/status/1733678493215453664

2. This is actually good, sharp satire, a music video showing where all of the money sent to help Gaza REALLY goes, and I wish this was just fiction but it’s been long proven:

https://www.facebook.com/reel/3534538296856472

3. Nothing subtle about this sketch “comedy”. Michael Rapaport who doesn’t give a you know what about cancel culture, keeps speaking up about Israel, and this time plays Dumbledore in this sad but necessary parody of the Harvard, Penn MIT hearing. It’s still far funnier than the awful and tone deaf SNL sketch on the same topic:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0xDwtFtZ4w/

4. My cousins Yonatan and Ruth Ebenstein attended this beautiful song that was an interfaith event in Israel, and trying to bring some LIGHT this Chanukah. Noa (Achinoam Nini) sings her “Hymn of the Night”, and it was introduced by a Muslim woman. Here is the link and the lyrics translated into English:

https://youtu.be/NJnaZwSXzcU

It covered up all the stars,

Engulfed the moon in all black

From the North all the way to Yemen

There’s no ray of light.

And the morning is a faithful widower

It shall strap a gray sack unto its waist,

From the North all the way to Yemen

There’s no ray of light.

Please light up a white candle

Inside my heart’s black tent,

From the North all the way to Yemen

The light will shine.

The light, the light will shine

The light, the light will shine

The light, the light, the light will shine

The light, the light, the light will shine.

My dear cousin Elisha Goshen who works as a doctor in Israel. The photo is from our visit in 2019 in Haifa, Israel.

Boaz Hepner works as a Registered Nurse in Saint John’s Health Center, and provides health education to the community at large. He grew up in LA in Pico/Robertson and lives here with his wife Adi, daughter Natalia, and son Liam. He helped clean up the neighborhood by adding the dozens of trash cans that can still be seen from Roxbury to La Cienega. He can be found with his family enjoying his passions: his multitude of friends, movies, poker and traveling.

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