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Chosen Links – January 14, 2024

Articles, Threads, Videos and More about Israel and Antisemitism
[additional-authors]
January 14, 2024

I helped break a pretty big story! Here’s what happened…

One of my oldest friends in the world, Itay Chamiel (seen in this week’s photograph), lives in Israel. He actually reads through my posts and links (crazy that someone actually has the patience, right?) He contacted me a few weeks ago, informing me of something that seemingly nobody has covered, and it’s quite big.

Itay went to Arabic Wikipedia to look up the translation of something. On the top of every page he saw a banner in Arabic. “My first thought was that the banner was probably something like, “Hello, we see that you’re browsing from Palestine, do you know that Wikipedia relies on donations etc?” Being curious, Itay looked up the translation, and found out that on every one of their pages, they refer to Israel causing a genocide in Gaza, and that they target schools and hospitals. WHAT??

It’s not just the children of Gaza who are indoctrinated with hate by Hamas and the PA. Anyone in the world who speaks Arabic, gets this messaging shoved down their throats anytime they browse this supposedly neutral informational website.

He messaged me, and asked if I could get this story into the public eye, since nobody has mentioned it online (anywhere we could find). Cut to my nephew Darius visiting LA; I told him that I was looking to help break this story. Within seconds, he texted a friend who writes for National Review, gave them the scoop, and the next day this was tweeted and published:

https://twitter.com/NRO/status/1744508120494174266

Unfortunately, it’s a paywall, but I’m so glad and proud that the story is out there! Furthermore, it was picked up the same day by The Daily Caller, in a much shorter piece that’s at least free to access:

https://dailycaller.com/…/arabic-wikipedia-hamas…/

The photo is from August, 2019. It was when I met up with Itay and Vered Chamiel on the roof overlooking the kotel, as we listened to the mournful tunes of Eicha (“Lamentations”) on Tisha B’Av.

Enough about me AFFECTING the news, now it’s time for me to CURATE the news, and present this week’s Chosen Links…

ARTICLES/THREADS:

1. I appreciate that the Daily Mail came out with this article. It’s full of photos of young women still held hostage by Hamas, and describes and displays the brutality. The family members fear they are not being prioritized. And the conditions we know they are in are just terrifying. “‘There were girls who spent 50 days and more alone,’ she said. ‘When they were sad, crying, their captors would stroke them and touch them. They described accounts of sexual abuse under gunpoint on a regular basis.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The original link to this article is dead, and I don’t know if they intentionally removed it from public pressure, but I did find a working way to access it at this link below):
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12936173/amp/The-faces-girls-held-Hamas-families-make-desperate-plea-release-three-months-captured.html

2. “Gazan youth and the entire society need to start the deradicalisation process so that they can enjoy a normal, peaceful life without being encouraged to be martyrs.'”

Photos and videos were released that show children in Gaza being sent to Hamas Terror Camps.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Israel-claims-cache…

3. What an article!! Abraham Cooper has spent decades as one of the heads of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Museum of Tolerance. His life has been dedicated to teaching about atrocities, injustices and inequalities. He takes the time to name the present day villains of the UN, who have been horribly awful and biased against Israel. This is a great piece: https://themedialine.org/…/opinion-the-2023-chief…/

4a. I told Fern Reiss last week, that she needs to stop writing so many compelling updates from Israel, because she’s hogging space on my Chosen Links! Joking aside, this is why I adore her articles, they are exactly my wavelength. They are highly informative. They give many short bursts of info. They often include sources. She puts herself into it, with built in commentary. And there’s a level of dry humor as well. She’s my sister from another mister.

This week gives so many fast updates of goings-on, that I feel like my brain needs to catch up. Here’s one great nugget from this one, “Some places (like Australia, that this week instituted a one-year prison term for offenses) have just banned Nazi salutes and displays. While banning Nazism is admittedly a good move (if about 79 years late to the party), the irony of the world suddenly being against Nazis (whose raison d’etre was to eliminate Jews) while marching for Hamas (whose raison d’etre is to eliminate Jews) seems to be lost.” Great stuff:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-94-a-sampler…

4b. Damnit. This one hurt my heart to read. The previous piece was all news updates, info, info and more info. This one by Fern is all feelings, and it stings. It’s the process of how families are informed by the army, if their loved one was killed. Just…read it:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-95-there-are…

4c. Fern gives a great breakdown of this massively hypocritical trial in South Africa. “The NYT suggests that though South Africa maintains it is pursuing its case to stop a genocide, analysts say officials are more likely motivated by domestic pressures: Support for Palestinians is popular in South Africa, and the governing African National Congress is exploiting that support in the prelude to an important national election this year. In other words, they’re here for the local votes.” Helpful and easy to read as always:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-97-israel-on…

4d. And Fern has now set a record for the most pieces in one week that I am compelled to share, because…they are just damn clear and helpful.

This one continues her great analysis of the disgusting and hypocritical case that South Africa is waging against Israel, for alleged genocide. “If the court doesn’t chuck this case out, it is less a court, and more a political lynch mob.” She also explains the ramifications if Israel is found guilty:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-98-israel-on…

5. Wow, I don’t know whether to give a standing ovation or roll my eyes. It took 3 long months for the so-called experts of the UN to loudly call out October 7. There has been plenty of the UN calling out against Israel’s response in Gaza, so apparently that part didn’t require as much fence-sitting.

““These acts constitute gross violations of international law, amounting to war crimes which, given the number of victims and the extensive premeditation and planning of the attacks, may also qualify as crimes against humanity”, the experts said.” Here’s their official release:

https://www.ohchr.org/…/un-experts-demand…

6. This is a great piece to keep bookmarked, as it addresses most of the common accusations against Israel. It nicely answers why Israel is not committing genocide, not an apartheid state, not a settler colony, and explains the so-called Nakba. Although I’ve read things about each topic elsewhere, I love having this resource, thanks to Eyal Yakoby:

https://jewishunpacked.com/debunking-5-common-myths…/

7. Oh man, this is disgusting. An exposé by HonestReporting shows two freelance so-called journalists, who were filmed excitedly discussing October 7 footage of brutalities against Israel, as if they were bragging about winning the Superbowl. There is video footage of them in this piece, and the fact that AP and Reuters has hired them, shows how little you can trust some reporters to be fair and balanced. Gross:

https://honestreporting.com/exposed-gaza…/

8. This gives me a glimmer of hope that things could actually change for the better. UNRWA is being discussed for a major overhaul. It better damn well happen, given all the proof we have seen about them literally supporting, and even assisting the terrorism:

https://x.com/HilzFuld/status/1744675293934002443

9a. Alex and Julie Fax went on a wonderful trip to Israel recently, and upon return, Alex wrote this blog about helping in-person there. It’s less of a journal entry of their experience, and more like an up to date travel guide, with how to help volunteer with their agriculture, food packing, and also meeting with soldiers. It’s published by their (and my) wonderful shul Bnai David Judea

https://www.bnaidavid.com/blog?post_id=1523894

9b. If interested, there are also other wonderful reflections you can link to, from Rav Yosef Kanefsky, Sari Abrams, Gail Katz and Mark Rosenbaum:

https://www.bnaidavid.com/blog

10. “In both the Jewish and Arab samples, this survey found the highest percentage of respondents who feel part of the state since we began asking this question in 2003. In both groups, but especially among Arabs, there has been a very sharp increase relative to the measurement taken in June 2023.”

I’m not a huge fan of reading polls, since it’s rather dry reading; and several people can look at one and extrapolate different things from the results. This can be due to the way the questions were asked, the samples were collected, and various other factors. However, I find it pretty eye opening and wonderful if the Arab and Muslim populations of Israel are seemingly increasing their identity as Israeli, as well as caring about Israel’s problems as their own.

https://en.idi.org.il/articles/51431

11. Here we are back in South Africa again, this time watching their response to a Captain of the Cricket team who has, heaven forbid, publicly expressed support for Israel. David Teeger, of Cricket South Africa, was officially removed for his personal safety, and that of his team. I read this statement skeptically, and then completely flushed it down the toilet as bull crap when reading the last few paragraphs of this article.

“Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (PSA) lodged an official complaint with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee…the PSA said Teeger’s comments caused a “significant rift within the cricket community,” and they continue to question whether he is “fit to represent a diverse South African team and more so, whether he has the necessary capacity to lead any such team.” The PSA called for Teeger’s suspension from the U-19 World Cup squad and vowed to protest during the tournament.”

What did I leave out in that (…) ellipsis? A whole slew of teams and organizations angrily filed grievances. Yeah right “this is for his safety”; dollars to donuts this is because almost everyone hates him there, and he doesn’t have organizational support:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/…/david-teeger-removed-as…

12. I love when there are people talking about Israel from completely different perspectives. This one analyzes the economic impact that the Houthi attacks on ships have on us. Brianna Wu is a Democratic strategist, with a big tech background.

“The attacks on ships are incredibly dangerous because they will skyrocket prices on everything, affecting people who can afford it the least…One of the best arguments for America’s alliance with Israel is having a partner in the region. Hezbollah is currently held in check by Israel. We’ll have intelligence on Houthi locations because of Israel.”

One cool part of the thread is that my best friend, Seth Isenberg, who works for the US Government, and helps send and vet MANY of the links I provide, chimes into her thread, which you’ll see she appreciates:

https://twitter.com/BriannaWu/status/1745051735964426518

13. I’ve shown a previous thread by this man Stu, who spends time attending classes and sessions to see what they are like, and shares recordings from them. Here he attends a Zoom class offered in NY by CUNY Clear, which per their own website is to support primarily Muslims “that are targeted by local, state or federal government agencies under the guise of national security and counterterrorism.” It’s a part of CUNY School of Law.

You don’t need to watch every video in his thread. What’s interesting and disturbing, is to note that this NY (public) City University school, is offering classes that actively teach how to avoid getting penalized by the law, or their benefits, thanks to terrorism-related activity. People ask through this session what to say if you support Hamas. People are using this public City University class to find ways to safely be supportive of terrorist organizations, without getting in trouble. Is it legal to learn these loopholes and tips and tricks? Of course. You can learn how to make bombs if you want, so why not. But should these be city-sponsored coursework?

https://twitter.com/thestustus…/status/1744914635612914164

14. It’s hard to believe any story from October 7 could not be heavy, but this one actually cracked me up. Geektime is an Israeli website that’s…well, geeky. This article tells the story of how on that awful, grotesque day, there was also a strategy to loot and rob, including a whole bunch of kibbutz farm tractors. The thieves had the forethought to turn off the alarms, but they couldn’t disable the fancy John Deere tracking system. Someone at the company saw all these tractors on their GPS, moving away from the kibbutzes and towards Gaza. They couldn’t reach anyone, and made the decision to remotely disable them all, and turned them into huge “iron sculptures”. Darkest of contexts, but hilarious. FYI this is in Hebrew, but your phone can auto-translate it pretty damn well into English for you, as it did competently for me:

https://www.geektime.co.il/john-deere-tractors-were-shut…/

15a. Dr. Einat Wilf helps spotlight this great article in Mosaic by Shany Mor. Would any other country on Earth be accused of the crimes that slander Israel daily, if they were doing the same? We know the answer is no. The UN, and their chronic obsession with Israel, at the expense of all other atrocities in the world, is the worst kept secret in the pro-Israel community. He analyzes how LANGUAGE is key, focusing on terms like “Proportionality”, “Collective Punishment”, “Occupation” and more:

https://mosaicmagazine.com/…/a-special-dictionary-for…/

15b. Dr. Wilf‘s tweet if you don’t have time to read Mor‘s fascinating essay:

https://twitter.com/EinatWilf/status/1745067306290462972

16. It isn’t speculation; we know that Iran is backing numerous terror groups to attack Israel, and destabilize the Abraham Accords. They use these groups like sponsoring mercenaries, while keeping less blood on their own hands, away the front lines. The question is, will our need to fight back these terror groups ultimately bring the fight with Iran to the forefront? Tabby Refaelhas an important conversation with us about Iran:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/we-need-to-talk-about-iran/

17. I finally got a more full understanding of newly elected Argentina President Javier Milei. He’s been vocally supportive of Israel and Judaism, as many of us have seen in the news. I wasn’t sure if this would EXACTLY fit my criteria of articles about either Israel or antisemitism, but Roberto Loiederman didn’t let me down. “The fear that if Argentina’s economic situation continues to go downhill – given Milei’s close relationship with the Jewish community and with Israel – it’s Jews who’ll be blamed.” This is a great read:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/dont-cry-for-milei-argentina/

18. My gut reaction whenever someone does or says something abhorrent about Jews or Israel, is to wish they would go away. When Ye/Kanye lost his deal with Adidas, or when Susan Sarandon was dropped by her talent agency, I was relieved. When Claudine Gay was recently turned into an Ex-President by Harvard, although I was annoyed it was for plagiarism, (and not for badly failing her Jewish students) I was also relieved.

But what do these people actually learn from their punishments? Do they grow as people, with more nuanced views of Judaism and Zionism, or do they and their many followers just use it to fan the flames of hatred against us? The Hydra gets its head cut off, but we all know it will grow back time and time again, unless we actually find a way to prevent that. Hen Mazzig expresses his complex emotions at the Claudine Gay saga:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/harvards-presidents…/

19. The accusations have been frequent, countries and individuals claiming Israel is killing too many with its “indiscriminate bombing”. These words were even repeated most virally by President Joe Biden, who has otherwise shocked many with his unbelievably supportive friendship to Israel, and their fight. Rabbi Yitz Greenberg excellently explains how Israel is doing a historically great job at MINIMIZING civilian casualties. Against all odds. Fighting a group that attacks from within the homes, hospitals and schools of the population. Dressed as civilians.

Even if we were to take the Hamas-supplied death count as the real death count (and there are SO many reasons not to that I’ve explained elsewhere), he explains, “The conclusion is that about 1.5 civilians are killed for every 1 fighter killed. This is sharply lower than any ratio achieved by Western armies in recent decades.” I have read things on this topic before, but this is still very helpful at explaining it all clearly:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/indiscriminate-bombing…/

20. It’s really sometimes a headscratching puzzle to me, why Biden is watching people from his own administration loudly object, and resign over his support of Israel, but yet he keeps giving that support. “Yes, at times Biden paid lip service to calls for more precision in Israel’s bombing campaign…But overall, Biden sees Israel’s moral dilemma and geographic handicap clearly. Even his State Department, otherwise stacked with Iran Deal alumni, has cleared a path for Israel to maneuver.” I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but he still overwhelmingly is letting down the (mostly) anti-Israel Progressive part of his base, and gives Jews the feeling of having a friend in their corner. Thane Rosenbaum writes:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/bidens-zionist-bona-fides…/

21. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen uses history to explain why Hamas should just surrender already, and help the people it claims to serve in Gaza. He analyzes this current fight using “just war theory”, which is explained by Wikipedia as, “The just war theory postulates the belief that war, while it is terrible but less so with the right conduct, is not always the worst option. Important responsibilities, undesirable outcomes, or preventable atrocities may justify war.” He then brings history into the conversation, comparing this need to fight to that against Nazi Germany, and also that against Japan:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/its-time-for-hamas-to…/

22. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That certainly isn’t always true, but some things in life certainly start off well-intentioned, but then because of one or a hundred reasons, go south. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is something that, like the “In this house we believe…” sign, was supposed to be all about inclusivity, but ended up being loudly uninclusive to Jews and supporters of Israel. There are two avenues of thought of where to go from here:

a. To fix the problem, and start including us, such as the sign Artists 4 Israel made, that we now have on our front lawn.

b. To throw out the system that doesn’t work, and create something different.

“Even the decision of what to publish can depend on the author’s identity, or, especially, viewpoint. Such bias has enabled the academy’s purge of nearly every conservative and classical liberal who is unwilling to hide, and has transformed universities into an echo chamber.” Mitchell Keiter does a fabulous job explaining why DEI doesn’t and shouldn’t function any longer:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/should-dei-expand-to-cover…/

23. In a pretty significant move, the ADL seems to be finally shifting toward at least some of anti-Zionism counting as antisemitism. “Jonathan Greenblatt first declared in a 2022 speech that he believes anti-Zionism is as antisemitic and dangerous toward Jews as white supremacism…stating in November that ‘recent activism had clarified and confirmed that fanatical anti-Zionism from the hard left is as dangerous to the Jewish community as rabid white supremacy from the extreme right.'” If we were mostly getting reports of antisemitism from the right, and brushing under the carpet the reports of antisemitism from the left, I have to think this is a positive change. Arno Rosenfeld reports:

https://forward.com/…/anti-defamation-league-adl…/

24. “It is in Qatar’s interest to put obstacles in the way of the normalization process between Saudi and Israel…Any refitting for the balance of power is going to undermine Qatar’s position as the top diplomatic player that can do everything.” Matthew Karnitschnig writes an excellent article for Politico, analyzing not only motive, but clues that Qatar knew far more than they let on about the October 7 attacks. But everyone treats them with kid gloves, at least for now. A very interesting piece, well worth reading:

https://www.politico.eu/…/west-search-truth-qatar…/

25. This is a VERY helpful thread! Salo Aizenberg (from Honest Reporting) presents 8 clauses from the actual Geneva Convention, and shows how each one acts as a defense for the actions of Israel. Especially with the farce trial in South Africa right now, it’s really important to understand clearly that Israel is performing legally defensible actions, that it needs and has every right to be doing:

https://twitter.com/Aizenberg55/status/1745107759463305418

26. I have seen many reports about how bad things have gotten for Zionists in Oakland, but this article by Emma Goss really spells it out with numerous examples. People are literally escaping that school system for safer waters:

https://jweekly.com/…/citing-safety-dozens-of-jewish…/

27. Seth Frantzman makes a GREAT point in his thread. Iran consistently finds a way to make the world forget that it is sending out its “proxies” to attack all over the place, but when anyone retaliates, it’s the retalation that is “escalating” things. Not them, but the response to their initial attacks. It reminds me of the famous quote by Charles Baudelaire, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

As Frantzman writes about Iran, “It backs Hamas. It arms Hamas and Hezbollah and funds them. Hamas attacked. Hezbollah attacked. Houthis attack. The Iran proxies in Iraq and Syria attack. And this is rarely called ‘escalation’.” It’s such an obvious point that I’m glad he spelled out:

https://twitter.com/sfrantzman/status/1745809063261217188

28. Shai Grabie happens to be a friend, but he’s also a truly impressive combo of an anthroplogy/history/theology lesson wrapped into one. He just started printing a great 4 part series about the historical (plus today’s) conflicts in Israel. And to be honest, I had the pleasure of reading both last night in bed, and it warrants more of my usual commentary, but I’ll be late for work, so I’ll leave it at that! Here’s the first 2 parts of his fascinating essays:

a.

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ideology-psychology-and…/

b.

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-practical-and-the…/

VIDEOS:

1. Watching this video is extra special to me. Adi dedicated years of her life as the phenomenal Director of Development for American Friends of Sheba Medical Center (Tel HaShomer Hospital). It is the largest hospital in the entire Middle East, right in Tel Aviv. She loved the organization so much, and the only thing that made her stop working there, was her big picture desire to be a stay-at-home mother, which she equally excels at.

It therefore brings me joy and pride to see this wonderful hospital, which I should add has always treated both victims of terror, as well as those who perpetrate the terror. Everyone, from every religion, is helped with the best of care. And seeing the celebrities, patients and volunteers in this video, who have spent time there since October 7, fills my heart:

https://youtu.be/vmaB9lE0jaU

2. How am I only seeing this wonderful woman speak now? Sophia Khalifa is a Muslim Israeli Arab, and in this speech you not only hear her explain why it’s ridiculous to call Israel an apartheid, but she tells you her incredible life story that speaks for itself. A great few minutes of your time:

https://youtu.be/mLzsIFPVVKw

3. Jake Tapper gives a really good interview with the brother of one of the hostages. We have no way to be sure, but are praying his sister is still alive. The most interesting part though, is just after the 3 minute mark. He recounts what happened when they asked the Red Cross to help get her important medication. “You should care more about what’s happening to the Arabs than to your family.” Sounds like an impartial organization to me! Shameful:

https://x.com/havivrettiggur/status/1744659585493807117

4. This is a pretty well explained A-Z of the response from the Israel Defence Forces since October 7. As soon as I saw it was made BY the IDF I watched it with an extra critical eye, because obviously it acts as propaganda, even if it’s highly necessary propaganda.

To be honest, all of the details and explanations rang true to me, as backed up by countless facts I’ve found and shared over the past few months. So they did a great job with this, and I endorse it as presenting the facts really well. This is what Hamas did, these are their continued dirty tactics, this is how we are responding, this is how we are trying to prevent innocents from being killed. All true. Even if it’s also ra-ra propaganda, which is as mentioned, totally necessary for them to be creating. It’s just important to know your sources, as I’ve explained repeatedly:

https://youtu.be/hXTwiLnS5DE

5. As implied above, I don’t really love heavy-handed propaganda. But it exists, and it’s used against us all the time, so I do understand the need to use it as well. I just don’t think it sits well with me when I see it, for some reason. Anyway, this is pretty well done:

https://twitter.com/BringThemH…/status/1746209054702067723

6. Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) helped make this video of some famous women (not all Jewish), speaking out against the sexual violence by Hamas, and reinforced the “Bring Them Home” message. Thank you to Ginnifer Goodwin, Mayim Bialik, Patricia Heaton, Sheryl Sandberg & kathy ireland:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2Ayj5DNH7L/

SPOTLIGHT:

Time to spotlight someone who I’ve actually thought of as a true friend and ally to Israel for most of my life. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a famously complicated heritage. His father served in the Nazi party, and he spent the height of his fame cultivating a beautiful relationship with the Simon Wiesenthal Museum . My older siblings used to tell me that “Schwarzenegger came to (their highschool) YULA today, and he said ‘I’ll be back’ to some of the kids!” Because YULA was connected to the Wiesenthal Center, which later opened the Museum of Tolerance, it was a really cool occurence when he would visit. He truly wanted to make his life meaningful, and in his own way try to make up for the sins of his father.

A man who truly fights against antisemitism, and tries to ensure that we “Never Forget” the painful lessons of the past, I want to thank “Ahnold” for his life as what we would call a “righteous gentile”. Last month he joined Rabbi Marvin Hier at the Museum and met with some of the families of hostages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzYZkP3b9UI

Of cool note, his on-screen “Total Recall” wife Sharon Stone, actually met with the families of hostages in her own home recently!

https://www.instagram.com/sharonstone/p/Cz7Y73FP2rW/

And if you missed this in March of 2022, he gave this incredible speech against Putin and Russia, and brought up his father’s past:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsETTn7DehI

PODCASTS:

1a. Parts of this podcast make me uncomfortable and disappointed, and parts give me relief and make me cheer. And I think finding perspectives we aren’t used to is healthy for all of us. And I’m so impressed that two Palestinians have gotten together, and created a podcast where they are totally honest and comfortable being critical of everyone. They truly want a peace with Israel, where both Jews and Palestinians really can live freely and safely. They are devastated by the devastation to their people, and are critical of Israel. Whether you agree with them or not, you must admit that if we were in their shoes, we likely wouldn’t be so measured about it all. They are some of the few voices from their community willing to speak up against Hamas, the PA, and corruption.

If you are looking for a chance to feel empathy for victims on both sides, in their podcast there’s no battle cry of From the River to the Sea (in fact they are critical of the slogan), there’s criticism of ripping down hostage posters, and there is Amira Mohammed talking to Ibrahim Abu Ahmad on Unapologetic: the Third Narrative:

https://www.instagram.com/unapologetic3n

1b. There’s a good piece about them from a few weeks ago, by Nora Berman:

https://forward.com/…/unapologetic-third-narrative…/

2. A great podcast (in a series of great podcasts by EconTalk) with Haviv Rettig Gur of Times of Israel about the history of the Zionist / Nationalist experience, and the fundamental disconnect of the Palestinians writ large. It really helps you understand why the standard terrorist playbook will not work for them to achieve their goals.

https://pca.st/wot5k3id

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:

1. My cousin Micki Lavin-Pell has been living with her family in Israel for many years, and she dedicates her life as a therapist, specializing in trauma among other things. She has created workshops and support groups for the families of chayalim/soldiers.

The entire country is in a state of PTSD, with rockets still sending people to bomb shelters on a daily basis, all while everyone has brothers and sisters, and mothers and fathers, and sons and daughters, who are helping as soldiers. Therapy is quite helpful and even necessary for those left behind.

As she states, “The workshops address emotional coping, community connection, maintaining healthy relationships with their soldier children, and essential self-care.

Your contribution will directly fund these workshops, providing critical support and resources to these families.” https://www.jewcer.org/…/stress-relief-parents-of…/

2. “Noam, texted David: “I hope you are not there,” and received the following text in response: “Pray for me and your car.” The next text that came was more serious: “Praying for a miracle. Something terrible has happened.” That was the last text.”

This harrowing story about a group of friends is not only worth reading, but it is incredible how they have turned the tragedy into a beautiful charity. I thank my sister Abigail for bringing this worthy cause to my attention, Kylie Ora Lobell for connecting me to Ayala Or-el, who I sincerely thank for writing it up, and any of you who consider a donation:

A. The story: https://jewishjournal.com/…/providing-for-idf-soldiers…/

B. The charity:

http://soldierssavelives.org/

ON A LIGHTER NOTE:

1. This is either tasteless or amazing…or somewhere in between. And I’m fine with that. Hanan Isakson did a great job finding this couch in Ramallah during a foot patrol, filming his buddies, and turning it into the opening of “Friends”. Excellent:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C13qBBIM2XK/

2. One of countless great zingers from the always biting Gaza Ministry of Health parody account:

https://x.com/GazaHealth/status/1744479500493041807

3. “West Side Story” as performed by Hamas! So ridiculous, and so funny:

https://youtu.be/ielqi4OkTbc

4. From a shameful and embarassing incident of the Chabad “tunnels”, comes humor:

https://twitter.com/Yair…/status/1744928380598812689

5. This is so witty, I could totally picture this as a segment by Stephen Colbert in the old days. Frank J Fleming replies to a menacing tweet that threatens America and England if they fight the Houthis. This is his hilarious response:

https://twitter.com/IMAO_/status/1745894675951575050

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Early on in this war, there were 3 petitions of note from the Hollywood establishment on Israel/Hamas:

A. Creative Community for Peace made this nice one condemning the attacks, and asking for solidarity for Israel against Hamas:

https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSdwY6Ohgv6QsX…/viewform

B. This important one called for everyone to ensure no hostage taken by Hamas is left behind; and lists the many countries that they come from, including America:

https://www.nohostageleftbehind.com/

C. This was the one we all saw coming a mile away, and were dreading. The inevitable call for Biden to stop supporting the fighting in Gaza, and to push for a ceasefire. To someone who knows nothing, the word ceasefire could only have positive connotations. To anyone actually paying attention, a ceasefire means allowing Hamas to continue attacking you, not getting back your hostages, and basically belly up and die. A horrible petition, ironically signed by a few who also signed the aforementioned good ones, going to show that many people just say things out of virtue signaling without actually thinking things through:

https://www.artists4ceasefire.org/

That leads me to this week, when a new Hollywood petition has finally been circulating, and it’s a very interesting one. It’s about being sick and tired of Hollywood not including Jews in their diversity and inclusivity initiatives. We aren’t all white. We are proportionally the most severely affected by hate crimes per the FBI, and we are not seen by others as the marginalized group that we are. Additionally, it goes into examples of how depictions of Jews have been limited to stereotypes, to the exclusion of many types of real Jews. Glad to see many names on there, but there should be so many more, including non Jewish people. Get this to every screenwriter, actor, editor, agent and every person you know who works in the industry:

https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfdPwEa3bz1R8…/viewform

WHAT I’M ENJOYING THIS WEEK:

Our baby boy’s smile. More like a smirk at times, but it’s adorable. Now if we can just get him to go to freaking sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, I might be able to actually smile back…

With Itay and Vered Chamiel on the roof overlooking the kotel

Boaz Hepner works as a Registered Nurse in Saint John’s Health Center. He moonlights as a columnist, where his focuses are on health, and Israel, including his Chosen Links section of the Journal. He is a Pico/Robertson native, and lives here with his wife Adi, and children Natalia and Liam. He can be found with his family enjoying his passions: his multitude of friends, movies, poker and traveling.

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