Chosen Links – January 21, 2024

Articles, Threads, Videos and More about Israel and Antisemitism
January 23, 2024

Thank goodness I didn’t fall into the trap! This week, some friends sent me tragic info, shared by multiple trusted sources: 21 bodies of Israeli hostages held by Hamas were found. Something didn’t smell quite right to me. There are always trolls on every post, heckling and mocking in nasty disagreement, but this time I noticed something additional. A couple of seemingly friendly, pro-Israel comments were begging the sources to remove their tweets, because things were unverified. It was not trolling; it was caution. I saw more good people share it, but I still withheld until we knew more. Sure enough, my Spidey Senses were correct, and it appears to NOT have been accurate reporting. For the sake of the families and loved ones, I would far prefer to be late in sharing and disseminating accurate information, than possibly be wrong in my rush to be first to the party. You should too. When in doubt, just don’t press the share button:


And I’ll remind you to read my article on this very topic, which was put in print this week (though that version is cut down for space):


This week’s photo is a lovely one from touring Mahane Yehudah Market (aka “The Shuk”). Pictured with me and Adi are my dear cousins, Yonatan, Eitan and Ruth Ebenstein who is a far more accomplished writer than myself.


1a. Do you know those moments during a Shiva visit, where the mourner changes the subject and starts to laugh about something, and it gives you that complicated feeling of smiling with them, but also being on guard for the second he or she pivots back into sadness mode, making your smile disappear? That’s human nature for you, and certainly applies to how Jews cope with sadness.

Sarah Tuttle-Singer does a beautiful job as usual, telling the story of a man who tries to guilt a woman for enjoying her morning so near the suffering of Gaza. She finds small moments to make lovely stories from:


1b. Oh damn, this is another great one by Sarah. The world loves to hate us, no matter what/where/how we are. “They also love us for a moment when we are the victim…like always, like clockwork, they all find a reason to blame us for our own suffering: we are either too passive and weak – the eternal Ghetto Jew crawling in the gutter – or we are the constant Aggressor, the too-powerful villain who brought it on ourselves.” Damn she’s a powerful writer, and fun fact, Adi and her brother Adam went to school with her in LA:


2. Seth Frantzman writes a great thread about Hamas and the West. They sit in the lap of luxury in Qatar, and enjoy the wealth of support from around the world, while they attack Israel.

“Hamas leaders literally live in a sparkling city near a US military base…so it’s clear this attack could have been prevented. But it wasn’t. Because for a long time Hamas was coddled, empowered, enriched. It was even enriched MORE than the Palestinian Authority, which is backed by the West”. Worth reading:


3a. It’s strange to think that Turkey not long ago was getting closer to having a good relationship with Israel, because they are now siding entirely with Hamas. To that end, this week Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel merely showed solidarity with the hostages, and the result was his detention and charg by the police, and condemnation by the country.

Not to be outdone, a second player is also in trouble for being pro Israel, “pressure was also being seen on Turkish social media for the İstanbul Başakşehir soccer club to take action against a second Israeli soccer player in the Turkish top league, Eden Kartsev, who published an Instagram story similarly identifying with the Gaza hostages and echoing the slogan calling to “Bring them home now.” We live in a world where expressing solidarity with the victims of terror can get you in trouble:


3b. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his outrage effectively here with his tweet. But please also see the first comment by Seth Frantzman. It sharply points out that time and time again Turkey acts like this in bad faith against Israel, and time and time again Israel dresses up their relationship with Turkey as being friends. Almost like an abusive relationship where you keep going back to the one who hurts you:


4. This is a great thread by Shany Mor. He completely obliterates the terrible op-ed in the NY Times, and shows piece by piece how it was removing parts of quotes and any and all context. She completely reframed the facts to fit her own anti-Israel narrative:


5. Wow, this is a tough read, and not for the reasons you might think. There’s nothing graphic here, that’s not it. What’s tough is knowing that if this is the reality of Gaza, things are far more bleak than we had hoped. Israeli journalist Roi Yanovsky published a piece about Gaza that’s translated into English in this thread. It describes the beauty of the land that could have been ShangriLa. It describes just how many homes are full of weapon stockpiles. It splashes cold water on our hopeful faces, as we want to believe that Hamas is an evil leadership over a country of innocents. But reminders keep coming up that they may have far more support from the general population than we want:


6a. John Spencer serves as the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point. His analysis on battles and wars have been exemplary. He breaks down in great detail why Israel fighting in Gaza is simply incomparable to any and all previous wars. “Unlike other battles, the Hamas strategic goals are not to hold terrain or defeat Israel’s military but to sacrifice their civilians (so not human shields, but human sacrifices) to cause the international community to force Israel to stop their counter-attack.”

He also concludes that he is amazed by how well they are assisting civilians against all odds:


6b. Spencer here writes an article analyzing the strategy of the tunnels. “Hamas has built a tunnel network to gain not just a military advantage, but a political advantage, as well…Hamas weaved its vast tunnel networks into the society on the surface. Destroying the tunnels is virtually impossible without adversely impacting the population living in Gaza…Hamas’s strategy is also not to hold terrain or defeat an attacking force. Its strategy is about time. It is about creating time for international pressure on Israel to stop its military operation to mount.” I love getting his American, military, strategic perspective:


7a. Fern Reiss goes into great length, explaining the 100 days that have passed with so many of the hostages still gone, and what options Israel has at this point. “We need a solution that deters future kidnappings, because the penalty is perceived as being too onerous by the terrorists, or we will be having our citizens kidnapped on a regular basis. In the meantime, no one has a good solution.” There really are no good solutions yet, and we continue to see the world try to tie Israel’s hands behind its back, while victim-blaming them incessantly:


7b. Fern gives one of her great updates full of quick hits, that I highly recommend. Among other things mentioned, she lists the numerous actual genocides since the Genocide Convention was created, none of which were actually brought to court. But Israel was, shocker.

She also mentions this part, which plays directly into my recommended “For Your Consideration” section this and last week. “Israel’s health care system is preparing for its largest post-trauma wave in history. An estimated 30% of the population may develop post-trauma disorders in the next few months. There are already months-long waiting lists for trauma/mental health needs. Psychiatry experts estimate that one in three people affected by the war, including families and friends of the kidnapped or injured, or who have lost loved ones—might develop post-trauma disorders in coming months.” This is why the efforts of my cousin Micki Lavin-Pell, and the organization NATAL are so crucial:


8a. An awesome exposé by Hillel Neuer and UN Watch about the UNRWA. UN Watch had revealed a Telegram account full of UNRWA teachers celebrating October 7. So the organization denied everything, and claimed those weren’t their teachers. So just like that, Neuer is giving proof after proof that YES THEY ARE YOUR STAFF. Epic:


8b. It appears that this tweet by Eitan Fischberger, was the breaking of the story about this Telegram account:


9. It’s great that this is being discussed and prepared for, but it’s also really brutal to even think about. Israel is trying to plan for the event of pregnancies due to rape, in the hostages who are still being held. “When the pregnancy is a result of a terrorist who previously murdered her relatives, and brutally raped her, the emotional aftermath is unimaginable.”

Know what else would be helpful? If the Red Cross would actually help check on the hostages and get them medications! ” We have been pressing for a long time with requests to allow medical examinations and the transfer of medications. If there is a captive woman who, God forbid, has conceived from rape, it is imperative to bring her home urgently.” A necessary topic that someone needed to bring up; thank you Dr. Itay Gal:


10a. Really great tweet that’s clear and to the point, by Hussain Abdul-Hussain, Research Fellow for the FDD. He goes into what would realistically happen if the world got what it wanted, and Israel was taken over by Palestinians – abject failure. “Their demand for the destruction of Israel and their whining for being everlasting victims is the only thing they can do, and they do it to deflect attention away from their own failure.” I really find his commentary fascinating:


10b. Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a proud Arab, also takes huge issue with who he calls the most prominent Palestinian in America, Rashid Khalidi. “This is is exactly what Khalidi wants Jews who moved from Europe to Palestine to have done: Learn Arabic, become Arab, not have your own national state with your own Jewish heritage…But here you have Khalidi, a prominent historian, blaming Jews — without blinking — for not Arabizing.” It’s a wonderful explanation of what the Arab leaders were comfortable offering other nations (like the Jews) to live with them, versus what is unacceptable to them. I’m sharing his great rebuttal, but if you so desire to watch the video of Khalidi, who literally worked for Arafat’s PLO in the past, that link is at the bottom of his tweet:


11. Avi Siegel created this extremely helpful guide, to help teenagers navigate the antisemitic waters of today. It includes links and tips, and I find it very useful. He happens to be a friend who works at the Federation in NJ, but who’s from LA:


12. A scathing article about Netanyahu and his government, that can objectively be described as highly divisive. This piece in the New Yorker was written by David Remnick. “Naftali Bennett, a former Prime Minister, told me that Israel was experiencing a self-defeating level of division. “In the past year,” he said, “Israel has been tearing itself apart and its immune system became weak. Our enemy saw that and attacked.”

This piece is so vast and thorough, it is like reading a novella on the subject, covering the history of Bibi, attitudes of the West Bank Palestinians, dissent from Israelis, and so much more. ““Politically, Bibi sold himself as Mr. Security, but that was obliterated on October 7th,” a leading conservative in the Knesset told me. “Now he is Mr. Standing Up to America Who Will Impose on Us a Palestinian State. He is pivoting. After his grand failure, he needs a new story. He is going to try to sell the story that the security establishment failed, not him, and he is the only one to kill a Palestinian state.””

I find some of the language unfair, such as the usual repeating of Gaza death toll that we know is highly flawed to say the least. However, I’m not sure if you’ll find a better attempt to fairly represent both sides, and what most of Israel thinks of their Prime Minister:


13. Still waiting for the story I helped break (discussed as the focal point of last week’s Chosen Links), to actually break big, and get Wikipedia to even respond. But in the meantime I’ll beat the drum again, and show that another outlet reported the story:


14a. David Suissa kicks off every issue of the Jewish Journal with his thoughts, feelings and commentary on the world that week. Recently, he brought up the idea that we need to start focusing some of our talking heads, and PR, on the people in Israel who have actually GROWN to care about it as their own – Israeli-Arabs. “Because they value the freedom and opportunities that Israel has brought to them, Israeli-Arabs can become our most powerful allies. It’s time we enlist their support in a dignified way. They deserve a chance to become an integral part of the public face of Israel…We should initiate a major outreach effort and seek their input. This campaign, once formulated, should become a top priority for 2024.” I fully endorse this idea:


14b. Taking this idea a few steps further is Uri Dromi, Israeli Government Spokesman in the 1990s. He takes us through his own personal history of unsuccessful peace attempts. On the other side of it, he recommends making things as economically successful for the Arab-Israeli citizens as possible, and in doing so, they would organically be our best allies in the fight. “If Israel was smart, it should have made its Arabs citizens the happiest people in the Jewish state, enjoying full equality, respect and opportunities. As such, they could have served as our best marketing agents, telling the rest of the Palestinians: You want to be free and prosperous like Lutfi Mashour? Then hurry and make peace with the Israelis.” I really do feel like these ideas need to be further explored:


15. Thane Rosenbaum cleverly writes about how we used to be given empathy and sympathy for our multitude of persecutions. You know, things like the Holocaust and pogroms. But good luck finding that goodwill anymore, it’s often turned against us. “But we can still go see a Broadway show or catch a movie if we need cultural confirmation that Jews have always been the object of insatiable malice—the planet’s most enduringly persecuted people.”

There is a Broadway play and a theatrical movie coming out, and each very much about Jewish persecution. But between it’s marketing, and actual narrative, each one has been altered to minimize who the aggressors are, or who the victims are:


16. I’m torn about sharing this one, because I have generally avoided anything that’s graphic. Don’t worry, there are no photographs, but the mere imagery of what’s described here is nauseating. So read the short news piece, about a father of a fallen soldier looking for the rest of his son’s body, at your own peril:


17. I try to either share things because they are new ideas, better written versions of the same ideas, or interesting perspectives. This article by The Guardian isn’t offering anything new that we haven’t read in many Jewish publications, and the eventual exposé in the NY Times. However, I do like to point out when a mainstream publication actually reports on something that isn’t just crapping all over Israel, since that’s what we’re used to.

“Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, said: “Everyone is looking for that golden piece of evidence, a woman survivor who testifies publicly about what happened to her. But think about it: someone suffering with that kind of trauma, why would they put themselves through that? Sexual violence is underreported everywhere. This is no different.” Yes indeed, rape is always one of the most disgusting crimes on earth, and it’s nice to see acknowledgement when its victims are Jews, too:


18. Very interesting take by Mira Fox, on social media deliberately linking up politics with hotness.

“That substance-free quality is a feature, not a bug; the politics of promoting an ideology’s sex appeal often feels disconnected from any actual, well, political beliefs. Being hot online will not #freepalestine or #releasethehostages. In fact, it seems distracting from the real issues at play, more about building your personal brand than working toward world peace.”

A hot girl, saying that “hot girls hate genocide” with a Free Palestine hashtag. A hot guy in Yemen on his way to attack a cargo ship, suddenly making the Houthi terrorist look like a rugged Timothy Chalamet. People are influenced by beauty, and it shapes their politics more than you’d like:


19a. I love that we have an insider at Columbia giving us insight into their BS. Shai Davidai is mad and hell, and can’t take it anymore. He reveals that the university is bringing in antisemitic speaker Hatem Bazian to lead a “day of dialogue”. He then brings proof after proof at how insulting that is:


19b. Shai brings proof after proof that Columbia is continuing to allow these pro-Hamas, inciteful groups to use the campus as their soapbox. “Columbia has completely ceded control over campus to explicitly pro-terror organizations. Columbia cannot guarantee the safety of its Jewish and Israeli community member. Columbia is engaging in selective enforcement of its rules.” I really hope he gains traction, because it feels like he’s one man against a massive institution:


20. Wow, this is an incredible thread. A detailed history of how Hamas actually got it’s money, the timeline when many became millionaires, and how signing up was financially incentivized. “Militancy was no longer just ideological; it became a job with a monthly salary and other benefits in a society with persistent unemployment and poverty.” I’m always amazed by how intellectually honest Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib is about Israel and Gaza, given the famous history of his family being killed by the IDF:


21. “Dimpy Sanganee works in the Foreign Office’s Gender and Equalities department and has an “instrumental” role in tackling violence against women and girls.” In a case of sickening irony, she signed a petition that denied any evidence of sexual crimes against Israelis, in the NY Times article that was literally full of evidence. The number of people in influential positions in media, politics, the UN and more who seem comfortable committing the equivalent of present day Holocaust denial, is truly astounding:


22. Anna Stanley recounted her experiences taking a course about terrorism in Kings College. “The mere mention of Islamist extremism makes Muslims ‘feel uncomfortable’, she argued…I raised the point that nearly 70 per cent of terrorist attacks in the UK are Islamist. Similarly, 70 per cent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. It would be absurd to avoid mentioning this in the study of cancer so smokers don’t feel uncomfortable. Unsurprisingly, this comparison was not well received.” This shows how civil servants like herself were being taught the usual binary methods of Israel being the oppressor:


23. This is reprehensible. The MLA, which we have used as our English language handbook throughout school, has completely sided with the anti-Israel movements. They passed a motion to protect any student or faculty who denounce Israel, BUT refused to give that same protection to students or faculty who defend Israel. WOW. “Enraged at Israel, the MLA has decided to discount the attacks on its Jewish members and their students. With this vote, the MLA allies itself decisively with anti-Zionism. Worse still, by considering Jewish students unworthy of equal protection, it crosses the line into antisemitism”. One speaker had the audacity to suggest that ALSO affording those same rights to pro-Israel people is as insulting as the “All Lives Matter” counter-movement:


24a. This hits VERY close to home. Nicholas Merkin and his wife Sharon are friends since, well, forever. I grew up with Sharon and her family the Steins, with her parents Etti and Alexander like second parents. Later in life I would see Sharon and Nick in my shul Bnai David, and then they said goodbye to our Pico Robertson community, and moved to Israel with their awesome family.

Then last week happened. A terrorist attack, where a car deliberately rammed into many people in Ra’anana. 2 people from the West Bank did this, stealing multiple cars violently, and ramming then into people repeatedly, and stabbing a few to boot. Just awful. And our friend’s youngest son Ilan was one of the injured, though thank goodness he’s physically going to recover:


24b. Here comes the part where insult is added to injury. In addition to Ilan, multiple other victims are also American citizens. And yet, there hasn’t been a word of US government condemdation nor even compassion to the families. “Not as much as an acknowledgement from a US official, an email, or a phone call recognizing that several American children were the victims of a brutal terrorist attack. This is despite the fact that I contacted the US embassy in Israel within a day of the attack to report what had happened.” This just isn’t okay, and I appreciate Nick writing this up:


25. This is the first of a 2-part essay, where Tabby Refael tries to explain what it’s like to be Jewish while still living in Iran. It’s incredibly complicated for her to even write about this, because, as she explains, “If writers, even those in the West, condemn the regime too much, especially by making the grave mistake of actually quoting sources from within Iranian Jewry who might describe life as miserable, they may risk actual Jewish lives back in Iran. But if Western journalists…downplay the risks and paint a rosy picture of a community that is generally doing well in a Middle East otherwise plagued by violence and antisemitism, they aren’t telling the whole story.” She does such a great job writing week to week about Jewish Iranians/Persians, in a way that truly helps them be seen. I can’t wait for Part Two:


26. Dan Schnur comes up with this punny title for something that I was completely unaware of. I think of the LA Times as being like most mainstream media, more often bad than good with its Israel coverage. It turns out, things might only get worse soon, with their editor Kevin Merida resigning recently. The daughter of the LA Times owner posted the following dangerous statement after the events of October 7, “It’s not journalistic malpractice to describe the state of Israel as an Apartheid state. This is well-established in international law.” If we thought things were biased already, it’s possble they are about to get worse:


27. Marcus Freed writes a witty column for the JJ that he called “Satirical Semite”. This time he points out the dichotomy between being from England, a famously colonial country, and a Zionist, who are seen as oppressors while actually being the oppressed. “Of course, being British and Jewish means that I have to apologize to myself for colonizing and oppressing myself, although rather than having an equally split identity, this level of internal conflict sounds one hundred percent Jewish.” The best satire comes from the truth, and this one is just full of it:


28. Yaara Segal specializes in the Abraham Accords, and she is frustrated by the constant push for a 2-state solution, before there is any partner for such a thing. We are well aware that Hamas is not a partner for peace, but she points out that the PA itself follows much of the same genocidal hate rhetoric towards Israel. “Asking Israel to support a two-state solution at this time is tantamount to asking Israel to commit suicide. Israel simply cannot allow the creation of an Iranian-backed Islamist State at its doorsteps…Israelis are eager to see a brave Palestinian leader who would stand up and denounce terrorism, recognizing Israel’s right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people. For now, a leader like this is nowhere to be found. Sadly, one of the only times we see Palestinian leaders united is in their radicalization against Israel.” A depressing take, but one that’s important to read:


29. Dr. Masua Sagiv does a fabulous job breaking down the legal reasons why the case against Israel in South Africa should be, and is, on Israel’s side. She explains it analyzing the law, the politics, and the antisemitism behind it. “In a court of law truth should matter, and from a legal perspective Israel’s case is ironclad. However, this legal case is also clad with politics and tinged by antisemitism. Unlike most of the world’s democracies, South Africa has refrained from identifying Hamas as a terrorist organization…with the politicization of today’s international institutions, it is unclear whether Israel will receive a just trial. ” Really great, and clear way she explains it:


30. Thank you Mayor London Breed! The San Francisco mayor was asked to sign a statement demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, and instead she wrote this amazing letter and returned the resolution unsigned. She even explained that vetoing it would put it back in the hands of the very people who inappropriately sent it to her, and by NOT signing it, it could end there. Bravo:


31. Great post by Hillel Fuld. “The line between legitimate criticism and full blown Jew hatred is a fine one, but a good litmus test is to ask yourself “Is what I am demanding from the Jewish state something I demand from other nations/countries or is this opinion of mine only applicable to the Jews?”” He gives many examples of legitimate criticism versus antisemitism within:


32. You must read this accounting from 17 year old released hostage Agam Goldstein-Almog. She recounts being held for a time in the tunnels, and seeing many other girls around her age. “These young women were scared and feared for their lives. They begged us to meet with their families if we were released. Tell them you saw us, they said, but don’t tell them everything. Save their souls from the ghastly details, they said, some of them close to their breaking point. They pleaded with us to continue to fight for them. To make sure they come home. Don’t let the world forget us, they whispered.” We need to bring them ALL home:


33. What??? This can’t be real. “The U.N. just announced the Islamic Republic of Iran will take the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, starting March 18th.” But it IS real. And it’s insane.

“2022: Ayatollah joins UN Women’s Rights Commission

2023: Ayatollah chairs UN Human Rights Council forum

2024: Ayatollah chairs UN Conference on Disarmament

2022: We expelled IRI from UN Women’s Rights commission: https://unwatch.org/victory-iran-expelled-from-u-n…/

2023: We exposed IRI’s appointment to chair UN Human Rights Council forum

2024: We’re leading the campaign for walkout of UN Disarmament Conference when Iran takes the gavel”

Read the thread by Hillel Neuer and UN Watch. If you know anything about Iran and nuclear weapons, then you know this is pure insanity:



1. I had no idea that Micah Smith was doing this, I’ve known him many years! If you were to take a program like John Oliver or The Daily Show, and do segments that were actually pro Israel, this would feel like the end result. It’s snappy, with witty little cutaways, plus highly informative:


2. Decent video courtesy of HonestReporting. The important point it makes is the obvious difference between how Hamas present themselves to Western media, versus Muslim or Arab media. In the former they dodge the questions about their plans to massacre the Jews, in the latter example they proudly boast they will repeat October 7 again and again. People see what they want to see, helped by what their news chooses to show them:


3. This is a very meaningful, quick video of Israeli Soccer Team Captain Eli dasa holding the shoe of an 8 year old taken hostage:


4. Canadian journalist Daniel Bordman filmed what happened at their local Red Cross office, when they announced that the Jewish community was bringing over care packages for them to bring the neglected hostages. Spoiler alert: they fled the scene:


5. This is just brief a clip from an interview on Piers Morgan, but I really feel the sadness behind the frustration for this man. Thomas Hand is sitting with his 9 year old daughter Emily, who was held hostage by Hamas, and he is asked how he feels when he hears the usual chants against Israel. His stammering frustration, his baffled anger, he just does not understand how people can be this ignorant and call Israel apartheid when it so clearly is not:


6. Last week I shared a thread from Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, giving proof that UNRWA teachers were celebrating October 7 on a large scale. More recently he went on TV and did a good interview explaining the same thing:


7a. I’m really glad I watched this, and thought it would be more upsetting than it was. Konstantin Kisin visited a large pro-Palestine March in London, and asks many people some very basic questions, such as why they are there, what they believe, what the signs they are holding literally mean, and what they want to happen in Israel/Palestine.

What makes this different from many I’ve seen, is that it’s not quick cuts and edits where you have no idea what’s was fully said, nor do you know if it’s a true representation of the crowd. You also usually have questioning that does not usually feel neutral. Here he lets you in many cases watch the beginning, middle and end of his interview, and he is very polite and neutral with his questions. In between he gives you his takeaway. So many of those protesting are holding signs they say they were given, and have no idea what they mean. Many answer that they want Israel and Palestine to be free with no idea what the from the river to the sea slogan actually refers to. And there’s even a Hindu man he talks to, who’s there in support of Israel. A huge takeaway he mentions is that when he was at the march against antisemitism there were tons of British flags in addition to Israeli ones. Here he didn’t see a single British flag. Hmm…

Oh and don’t miss the 26 minute mark when he meets Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers Corbyn, and you get to hear him spout his crazy “Israel was in on it” conspiracy theories:


7b. On the flip side, this made me go back and watch his previous video at the march against antisemitism. I enjoyed observing the contrast between the two. In each one, Konstantin just let people speak their minds, and didn’t try to bias the conversation. He noticed how patriotic and proud the pro Israel crowd was, brandishing their British flags all over the place. He also noted that this was entirely peaceful and full of love. The one contention was against the Neturei Karta fringe Jews, who for religious reasons, are so against the idea of Jews being allowed to live in Israel, that they literally side with the Iranian regime. But otherwise it was all peace and love. And I appreciated seeing many non Jewish allies there.

Notably, it was a less young crowd, which speaks volumes about the anti Israel crowds being more of the social media crowd.

Ironically, neither crowd was a fan of the coverage of the BBC or mainstream media:


8. Wow, color me shocked and impressed that a band as big and famous as Five For Fighting, would create a song so blatantly in support of Israel and Jews. It’s wonderful, good music, and shows dozens and dozens of headlines and footage since October 7. The title of the song is self explanatory, “We Are Not OK”. No we aren’t, but we very much appreciate getting your public support:



Patricia Heaton has been such a tremendous ally. Whether on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, her feed has been an incessant barrage of pro-Israel, Bring Them (the hostages) Home, decrying antisemitism information. Just one thing after another, and we really do appreciate it! Follow the actress here:




1. Hillel Neuer runs UN Watch, and his life is a neverending battle against the double standards and hypocrisy of the UN’s anti-Israel bias. I’ve shared and will continue to share many of his and their great information. But today you get a chance to actually hear him explain why human rights organizations became particularly obsessed with Israel.

“Together in conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, he asks several pressing questions about this history…How did the human-rights movement and Israel start together? How did they grow apart? Can the human-rights movement change course, so that it can still highlight violations of human-rights law without falling prey to the obsession with Israel that today undermines its credibility?” A great episode for your listening interest:


2. Haviv Rettig Gur is wonderfully interviewed by Amanda Borschel-Dan on this TOI podcast. He points out that 80% of polled Israelis, thought that compassion for the suffering of Gazan civilians should be taken into consideration, whereas 80% of Gazans felt that they should not take into consideration the suffering of Israeli civilians.

They discuss “Israelis’ awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the death toll, and how much this is taken into account by Israelis, who are still overwhelmingly supportive of the stated goal of toppling Hamas.” Great stuff: https://www.timesofisrael.com/what-matters-now-to-haviv…/

3. This is pretty clever. The famously antisemitic and anti-Israel singer Roger Waters, was legally forbidden from displaying or proclaiming his usual hateful info on stage in Argentina. In America this wouldn’t fly, but in Argentina they warned him that he could be criminally liable if he said anything antisemitic. Phyllis Zimbler Miller and Evelyn Markus interview the lawyers in their Never Again is Now podcast:



NATAL is Israel’s Trauma and Resiliency Center. My beloved shul B’nai David-Judea has chosen it as our current Israeli organization that we highlight and encourage. “We are in awe of the work that NATAL does, and all the work that still lies before the enormous number of doctors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals who are treating so many individuals and families as they return to a new reality in their daily lives.” They have a helpline that people call for their trauma and PTSD, and it has proven fantastic:


An informational video about them:


An excellent interview with Dr. Itamar Barnea, psychologist, who explains his own history as a prisoner of war in 1973, and the psychological trauma that ensued. He recommends the work of NATAL for both personal and professional reasons:



1. If you wanted to better understand the bizarre Chabad tunnel story, but absolutely HILARIOUSLY, then this video is for you! Alex Pearlman yells the news with his own style:


2. Not a new one, but plays as well today as it did in October:


3. I haven’t shared any of the gems by Daniel-Ryan Spaulding in too long. Let’s end that drought now, with his rant against the ironic genocide name-calling against Israel:


4. Hehe, I’ll need to start following The Daily Brine account:



1. MIT Computer Science lecturer Mauricio Karchmer, just resigned from his teaching position at the prestigious university, due to his disgust with the school’s handling of antisemitism. “Some areas of study at MIT seem to prioritize promoting a specific worldview over teaching critical thinking skills. This seems to have been institutionalized in many of MIT’s departments and programs.” He posted this letter on LinkedIn:


2. Before being comfortable sharing, I needed to know the accuracy of these numbers, comparing Qatar contributions to US universities, versus AIPAC‘s all time contributions. Then my contact in the financial side of the US government told me no, it’s not accurate, it’s even WORSE. The Qatar number is merely what the universities have REPORTED. It’s clearly higher than that. So who’s really causing the larger societal influence? Might not be the big bad Rothschilds after all, in spite of what the antisemites like to say:


3. Did you see this really great update? The EU are actually stating what we’ve been wanting everyone to say all along. Condemnation of Hamas, which need to dismantle and release all hostages. Was that really so hard? Better late than never:


Or here:



Godzilla Minus One. It was an awe-inspiring 2 hours in the movie theater this week, something we rarely have been able to do since Liam was born. It plays like an Oscar movie, taking place in the immediate aftermath of WWII Japan. Entirely in subtitles, you may think you’re watching an international drama, except…Godzilla. It’s really damn good, you care about the characters so much, and they managed to make their 15 million dollar budget look as good as any 300 million dollar comic book movie. (Full disclosure: Part of that is reportedly because of sketchy Japanese labor laws). But as a cinematic experience, just, wow.

This week’s photo is a lovely one from touring Mahane Yehudah Market (aka “The Shuk”). Pictured with me and Adi are my dear cousins, Yonatan, Eitan and Ruth Ebenstein who is a far more accomplished writer than myself.

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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