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Chosen Links – February 25, 2024

Articles, Threads, Videos and More about Israel and Antisemitism
[additional-authors]
February 28, 2024

So much to say this week, but I promised myself (and my wife Adi) that I wouldn’t pull any more all-nighters on these. Especially as I finish these on Saturday nights after Shabbat ends, and I wake up at 5am for my hospital shift on Sunday mornings. So, let’s see my time management!

The photograph I share, is of Adi with her wonderful brother Adam, in the Abuhav Winery, within the historic, gorgeous, and artistic city of Tzfat.

This week, Adam has been given official leave from the IDF, to fly in and visit us with his son Malachi, and we’re SO excited to see them! Adam Bodenstein is a licensed tour guide in Israel, but like most of the country 40 and younger, his job is on hold while he’s called into Reserve Duty. A visit from him, is therefore more special than ever.

Today I had setup a new friend, Ahmad4ISRL, to speak at the large Orthodox synagogue where I grew up, Beth Jacob. I met Ahmad thanks to my educational efforts here, connected by an old friend Ariel Jalali. Ahmad had lunch with my family a month ago, and it was the most amazing 3-4 hours of hearing his astounding life story. We were mesmerized. I told him that if he was ever comfortable talking to a crowd, I would definitely set it up. The thing is, he’s stuck wanting to have privacy and safety for his family, so his anonymity is crucial. This week he came to town, and realized that an orthodox shul on Shabbat is an ideal place to speak, if you want to guarantee that nobody will take a photo of you. Phones are already not allowed! So his privacy was built in whether he wanted it or not! Perfect, ha!

He was nervous, but it did not show from the fantastic speech he gave. 250 people hung on to his every word, yelled words of encouragement when he got choked up, and he got more rounds of applause than I’ve seen for years in a shul. When it ended, the Rabbi figured some people would want to say hello, but about 40 people stayed, and continued wanting to talk, until we had to leave just to let the Rabbi and security guards finally go home!

It was a memorable experience, and I appreciate Ahmad giving us his time, and speaking his truth. It is NOT an easy thing to do, and he puts up with a tremendous amount of abuse for it, so I want him to know that we did not take it for granted.

I could easily write more, and certainly might another time.

Unfortunately, this was at the tail end of a week where I was recovering from pneumonia, Liam has an ear infection, Natalia was vomiting from a stomach bug, and Adi started to have a fever today. So to say that it’s been an easy week, would be a lie. But I’m incredibly glad today’s event happened. And now I present this week’s Chosen Links by…me.

ARTICLES/THREADS

1a. From The Persian Jewess. A horrible but inspiring story about her grandfather in Iran, who had to literally avoid the rain touching his Jewish skin. “As a child, he was prohibited from being outside when it rained. By law, if rainwater hit his “Yahud” skin the entire water supply was deemed “impure.” Punishment for violating this law was death. When he walked in the street, if his family was recognized as being Jewish, Muslims were free to beat him and spit in his face.”

https://twitter.com/persianjewess/status/1753544773519192468

1b. She now tells the awful story of children in Iran, during regime change. “Each day in class, my cousins – some as young as 5 – and all their Jewish classmates had to stand up and recite “Death to America!” “Death to Israel!” as part of their morning ritual.” And then relates it to Hamas. Thank you for the compelling essay:

https://twitter.com/persianjewess/status/1760317349989961918

2a. Brianna Wu writes an excellent post, bringing up the year before Israel was given independence, the Brits were also involved in the India partition. “My question is, are we trying to rewind all of the injustices of 1947/1948? Or just the parts of history that affect the Jews?” She’s such an important, impartial voice coming from the left, where so much of the misinformation about Israel is coming from these days:

https://twitter.com/BriannaWu/status/1759295752574996698

2b. This thread is ONE OF MY FAVORITES I’VE EVER SHARED. Here you have Brianna Wu again, who isn’t Jewish, and is very left wing. She uses her important voice, to take you through a tour of the history of antisemitism. It’s so damn good, I couldn’t have done it better myself.

After going through an abridged history of antisemitism and displacement, she finishes off with this statement. “NONE OF THIS IS PROGRESSIVE. At best it’s ignorant, and at worst you’re just the latest in a very, very long line of people to buy into antisemitic propaganda and decide Jews should find somewhere else to live.” Now go back to the beginning and read all of this. And realize that if every “progressive” was even half the person that Brianna is, critical of the Israeli government (just as most of Israel is), critiques about what should happen next, BUT a staunch defender of Jews and ZIONISTS, this would be a much safer world for us. Thank you Brianna, my new friend:

https://twitter.com/BriannaWu/status/1759968878887579749

3. Ali Adi, a Muslim Israeli, makes the argument that even if you want to play the devil’s advocate about all other hostages, why the babies??? He wants an end to Hamas, without releasing any more of their violent prisoners:

https://twitter.com/AliAdiOK/status/1759617953933177071

4. Hen Mazzig reports on further heartbreaking details of sexual assault to the hostages. “In released hostage Aviva Siegel’s first full interview on Israeli TV since her release, she recounted more details of sexual assault of young female hostages, who were forced to dress in tiny clothes, watched as they showered, and beaten with sticks by armed Hamas militants.” Read on if you can stomach it:

https://twitter.com/HenMazzig/status/1758886087567495526

5. Dr. Einat Wilf writing an open letter to President Biden, to think about certain things, before pushing peace on both parties. She understands that, “you cannot force Palestinians to want something – a Palestinian state in part of the land with the other part of the land belonging to the Jewish state – that they have never wanted for themselves.”

https://twitter.com/EinatWilf/status/1758221036544303569

6. This is a pretty incredible post, written by Cheryl, about her family history as an “Arab Jew”, and shared by Imtiaz Mahmoud. “Finally, in 1948, we declared independence, and Muslims declared genocidal war on us, after just one damned day.”

https://twitter.com/ImtiazMadmood/status/1749885497285968150

7. David Collier does his fantastic investigative journalism, and finds that the Washington Post was either the perpetrator of the unluckiest, most negligent bit of journalism, or was just flat out lying. “The Washington Post picked seven journalists to profile, and successfully avoided picking any of those who work directly for agencies of Hamas or Islamic Jihad. My research showed that 50% of those listed were directly employed by these proscribed terrorist groups…The odds of the Washington Post doing this by chance are worse than 1/128.”

https://david-collier.com/washington-post-lies/

8. Excellent point by Aviva Klompas, about protestors choosing targets that are Jewish, but not even Israeli. “Protesting outside these institutions sends a message that you hate Jews. It does not tell us that you seek a future of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

https://twitter.com/AvivaKlompas/status/1759448644426588289

9. A birth certificate where the father’s name is Israel, returned with vandalism. “We felt as if we had been taken back to 1930’s Germany where the Nazis would put notes on Jewish people’s documentation. ‘It is completely warped and it hurts my heart that my daughter is not even six-months-old and she has already been discriminated on in the worst way.'” Eirian Prosser reports on this disgusting story:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Jewish-father-reveals…

10. Simon Deng just honored me by calling, and telling me how much Israel means to him. He actually trekked from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the past few months, showing his support for the country every step of the way.

His story is so dramatic that I would rather not spoil it for you. I’ll just give you the first few sentences and if you aren’t interested from there, I don’t know what to say. “My name is Simon Aban Deng. I am from South Sudan. I am a Shilluk. I am a Christian. I am a former slave.” His story is….huge:

https://www.tabletmag.com/…/sudan-former-slave-jews-israel

11. Douglas Murray is always entertaining to watch speak, and just as captivating to read. On the ground in Israel almost non-stop since October 7th, he screams from the rooftops about how bad an idea a two state solution RIGHT NOW would be. “In this song — sung by Republicans and Democrats alike — if the Palestinian people had another state then all the other problems of the Middle East would be solved.”

https://nypost.com/…/shameful-biden-tries-to-reward…/

12. Fern Reiss explaining how bad things are around the world for Jews right now, comparing it 1934 Berlin. “Who would have thought in our lifetime we would see a repeat of the precursors to the Holocaust? Who among us (we, who grew up in this entitled, comfortable era), would have expected to again be contemplating removing our Kipot, leaving our Magen David in the drawer, stripping our identifying Jewish details?”

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-137-the…

13. Color me surprised. Bill Maher, the king of embracing controversial interviews, thinks his two hours with Ye/Kanye is too dangerous to put into the world. So it’s remaining shelved. He calls him a “charming antisemite”:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Bill-Maher-Kanye-West…

14. This story is huge. An investigative journalist name Jordan Green, has been pulling the thread to see where it takes him, on a right wing extremist group in America. Known as 2119, or the Blood and Soil Crew, this hate-filled band of unmerry men have been targeting Jews, Blacks, and LGBTQ groups. He’s being threatened by the group, but refuses to be intimidated. The story is behind a paywall, but his thread is highly descriptive:

https://twitter.com/jordangreennc/status/1759930803851575346

15. Who didn’t see this coming? A divided House over Israel. This is why to date, Ritchie Torres is the only politician I’ve chosen as my Spotlight. He’s been amazingly steadfast in his support of Israel, to the point where he left the Progressive Caucus. Glad to have you on our side, Mr. Torres:

https://www.politico.com/…/new-israel-divides-00142292

16. I loved the essay written by Amanda Howe (shared last time) so much, that I decided to go back and see if she had written anything else on the topic. Sure enough, she didn’t disappoint. “Another way you could really help would be to cease victim-blaming. According to you, Israel wore a short skirt: therefore asked for her and all her daughters to be raped…You judged Israel as hysterical, overly cautious, cruel and inhumane as it built walls and borders to protect and put soldiers in place to defend. You judged Israel to be colonial brutalists as they installed check points and rationed what went in and out of Gaza. And whenever Israel attempted to play the pipes of peace, Hamas turned water pipes in to missiles.”

https://thecontentedlady.wordpress.com/…/while-youre…/

17. The principles and tenets of the Zioness Movement. Looking out for everyone in the world, including the Palestinians, but certainly remembering to be inclusive of Zionists. Thank you:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3X_li7pOXn/

18a. An excellent article by Dara Horn. It has a paywall, but if you have access, it’s really worth reading. And if you don’t, Debra Messing explains it here with screenshots:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3lrtBExGlD/

18b. “But there are nuances to sadistic barbarity against Jews, we are told, and sometimes gang-raping Jewish women is actually a movement for human rights. It hardly seems fair to call people anti-Semitic if they want only half of the world’s Jews to die. The phrase “Globalize the Intifada,” currently chanted at universities across America, perhaps widens the net a tiny bit—but really, who can say? Even the phrase “Gas the Jews,” chanted at a rally organized by NYU students and faculty, is so very ambiguous. How dare those whiny Jews presume to know what’s in other people’s hearts?” Yeah this article is really damn strong. I’m linking it here with gift access that’s good for just a few days:

https://www.theatlantic.com/…/jewish-anti…/677454/…

19. Marisa Douenias, aka The Snarky Semite, gives a great tutorial on what makes something antisemitic. It’s what she calls her 3-D test. Demonization, Delegitimization, and Double Standards:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3GzRCctkhw/

20. The “Son of Hamas” Mosab Hassan Yousef, writes this tweet. “If you care for the Palestinians, pressure Hamas to drop their weapons and free the hostages otherwise, the enemies of famine and disease will dominate the strip. Where are the Pro Palestine hypocrites? Why don’t they go down to Gaza and help the Palestinians?” He has no patience for people screaming at Israel in their fight against Hamas:

https://twitter.com/MosabHasan…/status/1760050394154033559

21. I have no way to know this person’s real name, but assuming he speaks the truth, it’s an incredible story. He is a “Palestinian Muslim Arab”, and just a few short months ago, he was not only anti-Israel, but he was glad for October 7. Him reading, researching, and watching images from that day, completely turned him around.

“And the only way to accomplish this, in my view, is for the Arabs to leave the Palestinians alone. Stop pushing them to “resist” because that will only end in more displacement and more wars and death.”

https://twitter.com/MNeigham/status/1760136316157849738

22a. Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib fights the good fight, and keeps getting attacked in the process for it. Pro Palestinans scream at him for wanting an end to the “resistance”. “They entirely overlook the fact that maybe because half of my family in Gaza is dead, the other half are hungry, homeless, or displaced, I’m not a fan of Hamas’s choices & decisions, which are part of decades-long failures by Palestinian leaders. Maybe I don’t want my people to live in perpetual “resistance” wars and Intifadas? Maybe, just maybe, we need to try something fundamentally different that’s based on reality and pragmatism, not empty slogans and feel-good activism that gets us nowhere?”

https://twitter.com/afalkhatib/status/1760048428330144203

22b. On the other side, he will get attacked by pro Israel people, who are angry when he speaks against the war or IDF. “You can’t love me when I criticize Hamas and Palestinian/Arab leadership and failures but lose your mind when I point out the genuine & serious problems with Israeli policies, politicians, and positions.” Voices like his are so important to hear. The amount of abuse he withstands from both sides, I would not be able to handle:

https://twitter.com/afalkhatib/status/1760127593381290216

23. I reported on this story a few months ago, when MIT professor Mauricio Karchmer resigned from the school, due to the antisemitic atmosphere there, with little support for the Jews like himself. So his resignation letter went viral. I’m glad to report he was hired at Yeshiva University, where he can feel comfortable with his public Jewish identity:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/professor-who-quit-mit…/

24. Interesting new strategic update. They are creating a road in Gaza that acts as a new crossroad. They are trying to make it harder for Hamas to smuggle weapons from one part to another. Or Fialkov gives his expertise, “”In my opinion, Israel should also establish a similar barrier south of Khan Yunis,” he said, “so that if Hamas smuggles weapons through Rafah again, they will not spill over into the entire Gaza Strip but will only remain in the Rafah area. That way, Hamas in the Gaza Strip will not be able to arm itself as it has armed itself in recent decades.” I’m not sure the ins and outs of this, and would want to read an analysis, but it’s an interesting update. Matan Wasserman reports:

https://www.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-788050

25. Gershon Baskin makes a good point about getting Qatar to apply some do or die pressure on Hamas. The only flaw I can see in the logic, is his assumption that Hamas taking the time to, “figure out how to end the war it started without the continued death and destruction that they brought on to the Palestinian people” would be viewed as a bad thing from their POV.

https://twitter.com/gershonbaskin/status/1760008435029160132

26. It’s entirely possible that I shared this old thread months ago, but even if so, it’s worth sharing again. Hillel Fuld goes through the so-called human rights groups, and how insane it is for them to be on the side of Hamas in this fight:

https://twitter.com/HilzFuld/status/1736624207197307331

27. Are you ready to hear an incredible Holocaust story? Leibel Mangel, who is in the IDF, describes his grandfather encountering the infamous Mengele. Twice. Just wow:

https://twitter.com/LeibelMangel/status/1123994169461170180

28. Matisyahu pours his heart out in this thread. He is experiencing protests and vandalism to his concerts, a true sign of antisemitism. Why is he being protested? Because he’s Jewish. And he cares about Israel. That’s all it takes these days. You’re ok if you’re a Jew who hates Israel, there aren’t many of those, but if that’s you, you’re embraced by the protesters. For now. While it’s convenient for them to utilize you as an ally. It’s gross:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3oMRw_sCux/

29. An extremely well argued, if depressing look at the push for a Palestinian state. “Diplomats can’t afford to allow the impression that there is a military solution to terrorism. Or too much of anything else. And so they’re rushing to impose their diplomatic solution that would empower terrorists because that is all that diplomacy with terrorists ever accomplishes. Since Oslo, diplomacy has consistently proved the flip side of the Roman “si vis pacem, para bellum” or “if you would have peace, prepare for war.”

Israelis have learned the hard way that if they prepare for peace, they will have war.” Daniel Greenfield writes:

https://www.israeltoday.co.il/…/rewarding-the-oct-7…/

30. This is an interesting and creative angle. We know thanks to Honest Reporting, that many journalists reporting on October 7th, were actually assisting Hamas. Not much different from how we know UNRWA had many members assisting. So there is now a lawsuit against the Associated Press, for knowingly rewarding terrorist activity, by paying for the photos. Susan Edelman and Allie Griffin report:

https://nypost.com/…/oct-7-survivors-sue-associated…/#

31. Salo Aizenberg giving us the latest baseless accusations from the UN, this time claiming that Israeli soldiers have been raping Palestinians. Zero evidence provided, but the accusation is all it takes to make millions believe it. “Do not expect “experts” will ever follow up because that’s not the aim of this release. The true goal, which was successful, was to get media & NGOs to report UN says IDF soldiers are raping Palestinians, so you see it’s not just Hamas (allegedly) the Jews are doing it too.”

https://twitter.com/Aizenberg55/status/1760654967621185895

32. Iran’s Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi is the cover story this week, with an incredible backstory and interview done by Tabby Refael. Not to be missed, he also gave a speech at the Museum of Tolerance, and that transcript is included at the end. He, like so many who escaped from Iran, truly love the country. He feels the people are not in any way represented by the horrible ones in charge since he was exiled. To most of the Western world, Iran is one of the biggest evils around. To many FROM Iran, their country has been taken hostage for many decades, and they are waiting to get it back:

https://jewishjournal.com/cove…/368406/a-prince-among-men/

33. Karen Lehrman Bloch, who has no love lost for the antisemitism of the Progressive Left, takes a huge swing at the antisemitism of Candace Owens on the “America First” Right. “Sure, there are Marxist Jews. And they’ve caused us a lot of problems. But they don’t like Israel any more than you seem to. They are not the ones defending Israel against the incessant attacks from Democrats that you have proclaimed to hate. In fact, some have helped to create terrorism-friendly campuses and are taking part in the daily, violent pro-Hamas protests.”

https://jewishjournal.com/…/dear-candace-owens-part-2/

34a. Shai Da has been a one-man crusader at Columbia University, showing us their endless supply of ill intent against anything Zionist. Here he creates a thread, showing not only have they not corrected anything, but they haven’t even acknowledged the scandals. “You’d think that a leader would at least send some message to their Jewish community, stating their commitment to fighting antisemitism…Two lawsuits and a Congressional hearing within six months. This must be one of the most rapid value destructions in academia.” Keep fighting the good fight, Shai:

https://twitter.com/ShaiDavidai/status/1760694712237732137

34b. Want to sign this letter from StandWithUs to Columbia University? Here you go:

https://p2a.co/dgWJErN

35a. Seth Mandel is an excellent writer, who I need to follow more closely. Here he discusses Harvard and Columbia in particular, with regards to how bad antisemitism on campus has been. In reference to the House Committee letter that Shai Davidai referred to, demanding Columbia report all documentation about Jews and antisemitism from the past 3 years. “I look forward to seeing what they find, but I know what they won’t find: the slightest bit of effort to make Jews feel anything but unwelcome on campus. You would think, in the wake of October 7 and the spectacularly embarrassing congressional testimony of some elite school presidents, these institutions would at least go through the motions to appear to act consistent with their professed rules, norms, and values.”

35b. Here Seth tells us about how many places left, right, up and down are cancelling, withdrawing or just not having speakers because they have…. At some point in their lives shown an affinity for Israel. We’re grasping at straws here, people:

https://www.commentary.org/…/are-american-jews…/

36. Bianna Golodryga writes a necessary thread, about the horrendous sexual violence against women and men on and since October 7th. “Analysis of the data reveals that sexual and gender-based violence systematically occurred in all arenas where the Oct 7th massacre occurred, as well as in captivity”:

https://twitter.com/biannagolo…/status/1760330784831901973

37. Dr. Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to America, writes a great article about what to expect from Hamas after this. As a structured, formal military operation, it will be destroyed. And that’s crucial. But as an idea, it cannot be eradicated. “The government can reduce the threat of a resurgent Hamas, but only by taking bold diplomatic decisions that include the demilitarization of the Gaza strip and efforts to deradicalize its population.” Excellent analysis:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/what-will-happen-to-hamas/

38. I’ve shared many videos of Biggah in the past, and he’s been an incredible supporter of Israel, and against the hatred. This one is different; it’s not a video. He shares some of the hateful messages he’s gotten, and shows how angry people talk to him, with ears, eyes and minds already closed:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3s0H23LRY6/

39. South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein recently went to Israel, to help solidify the bond between the two countries, that was damaged when they took Israel to international court. “I reassured them that despite the ANC government’s morally repugnant support for Hamas and Iran, most South Africans have distanced themselves from the ANC’s position. Millions of South African Christians pray for and support Israel. Israel has many allies and friends here in South Africa who are ashamed of their government’s support for terrorist regimes and despots. Moreover, the ANC’s support has sunk to 40% and is still falling.” Obviously we know that the Jewish community over there has our support, but it’s nice to hear that most of the country also disagrees with the disgusting ANC:

https://www.jns.org/creating-a-parallel-diplomatic…/

40. Rafael Medoff gives the history of politicians trying to “look at the bright side” of things such as…the murder of Jews. Because it leads to good things, like finally having a Palestinian state, right? Comparable examples of this happening are given, including about Mussolini and even Hitler. The latest politician to suggest such a thing is Martin Indyk. “Martin Indyk is saying, in effect, that while October 7 was a nasty piece of business, that’s just what Palestinian Arabs do, so we should look on the bright side—it might convince Israelis to give in to U.S. pressure for a Palestinian state. That’s an ugly sentiment, and unfortunately, it’s nothing new; Indyk is just finally saying the quiet part out loud.”

https://jewishjournal.com/…/does-palestinian-violence…/

41. People turned away from the Toronto Raptors game, unless they would remove their “Free The Hostages” sweaters. Because that’s really too political. But yet when the stadium was asked if someone is asked not to wear a BLM sweater, they didn’t answer, and I can’t imagine the answer would be yes. Ari Blaff reports:

https://nationalpost.com/…/raptors-fan-told-to-remove…

42a. Brian Fishbach writes about this great new account that’s tongue-in-cheek, but based on a very serious point. How much of the world’s hatred, is based on the factually incorrect assumption, that Israel is just a bunch of white Jews. “The caption of each quick video features the identity of the ancestors of the speaker. There’s Sherry (Yemenite and Libyan), Leah (Ethiopian), Yuval (Iraqi and Moroccan), Shahar (Tunisian and Iranian), and Liav (Moroccan and Turkish).” They each speak to the camera and say, “I am a white colonizer”. So simple, and so great. It’s all thanks to filmmaker Ben Younger, who was kind enough to talk to me on the phone when I was straight out of college, and surely wouldn’t remember that generosity:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/israel-so-white-instagram…/

42b. Here is the account itself to follow:

https://www.instagram.com/israelsowhite/

43. Brian Fishbach writes another piece, this time covering a wonderful event that I’m sad to have missed, because I feel quite personally connected to it. A fundraiser for Sheba Medical Center, one of the main hospitals helping victims of terror, and soldiers, and so much more in Israel. Adi used to be the Friends of Sheba Director of Development. And here comes the shameless name dropping, because you’ll see why I should have been there. Avi Liberman helped host, Rob Kutner and David Waghalter helped produce it, and Daria Lesnik Hoffman even did the graphic design. Throw in Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Nealon, Rachel Bloom, and Dan Ahdoot, and I would have had a blast:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/rachel-bloom-tiffany…/

44. Sam Abrams writes a rather worrisome piece, breaking down things even further than we had been looking. We know college students are more liberal than conservative, but we are seeing it more with women than men. We know younger people are more in favor of cancel culture than older ones, but we are seeing it far more from women than men. And all of this even more so, with Jewish women in particular. “That there is little viewpoint diversity among Jewish women on campus today is concerning. The data show that Jewish women are far more open to shutting down views that they find objectionable and what is distressing is that as these women, notably those who are in the elite schools, become leading voices of the Jewish community in years to come…we need leaders of diverse backgrounds who know how to embrace and work with difference. Silencing dissent not only slows down progress and creates anger and animosity, but also it is antithetical to Jewish ideals, which encourage debate and dialogue and celebrate difference.” One of the key tenets of Judaism has always been about debate, and the importance of reasoning out multiple sides. If our next generation is doing that less than ever, it is troubling. If it’s even more true for one gender over another, that’s depressing:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/368237/the-jewish-gender-gap/

45. Jacob Shofet is a law student at UC Berkeley, and gives an interesting take on the “Accuracy in Media” truck campaign. You know, those trucks that are there to help us fight antisemitism, by parking by the campus, and publicly shaming those who have spoken against us. He encounters a Muslim student privately, and would normally use that chance to open a dialogue. Instead that student is afraid of being doxxed. “It could be a time to build trust, a time to correct lies and errors that give otherwise decent people repugnant views on Jews and Israel. But he demurs, afraid that his words will land his face on a truck and name on an online list. He’s afraid of telling me his sincere beliefs and I lose my chance to privately challenge his views in a lasting way…I cannot change his mind, or anyone else’s, if they cannot trust me with their real thoughts. Only after their guard is down can I change the narrative on Israel’s war against Hamas. Other Jewish students have voiced similar missed chances, with the Accuracy in Media truck frustrating our efforts.” Sometimes things that are well intentioned, can come at a cost:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/accuracy-in-media-at-uc…/

46. Aidan Djavadi has lived his life hoping to go to West Point, and now that he’s there, he’s experiencing the wonderful Jewish community they have built. “Being Jewish at West Point is wonderful. We’re a small community, 136 of 4,400, but we’re responsible for representing our people. Many cadets never met a Jew before West Point; our job is to introduce ourselves, ensuring all cadets know that as future Army officers, we will have a Jewish soldier who, like all soldiers, is entitled to excellent leadership. Simultaneously we have an unspoken duty to dispel notions within the Jewish community that Jews don’t serve. We do and we have since the beginning.” He then gives examples of Jews at West Point over the years. It’s quite patriotic and inspiring. Thank you Aidan:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/368398/the-jews-of-west-point/

47. Keren Setton writes about Netanyahu, and how realistic new elections actually are. “The only plausible scenario for early elections is one in which there is widespread public rage and substantial American pressure on the government…This will also not happen so easily; it is very difficult to bring about elections.” Are we stuck with a prime minister, who was already being protested by half the country prior to October 7th, or will the other shoe finally drop for him?

https://themedialine.org/…/opposition-to-israeli-govt…/

VIDEOS:

1a. How often do you see me share a commercial? Well, this one is beautiful. El Al is the only airline that didn’t cancel all of its flights to Israel after October 7th, so here you have a saga of Israelis hearing about the massacre, flying to join the IDF, and being shown appreciation after. Whoa. Thank you to the Persian Jewess and Sarah Nadav for sharing:

https://twitter.com/sarahnadav/status/1759586580673474702

1b. This isn’t a video, but it’s a beautiful thing El Al is doing, so I’m gonna place it right here. Free trips to Europe for soldiers. “The tickets will include a pre-selected seat and luggage, and they will be able to be used on a flight departing Israel any time between May 5, 2024 and February 17, 2025.” Love it:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/…/el-al-to-gift-free…/

2. Noa Cochva, Miss Israel 2021, wears her IDF uniform and explains that the country is in mourning:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3X9oupoj2G/

3. Hillary Clinton giving a speech about how they had a forum at Columbia about Ukraine, and it went off without a hitch. And then they had a forum about sexual violence as a weapon against women around the world, discussing multiple countries including Israel, and there were angry protests. She also brings up the frequency of Holocaust denial among young people:

https://youtu.be/T32eD18bDxg

4. South Africa Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, who wrote an article shared this week, went to Israel recently, and recorded this video documenting his visit. Visiting scenes of the massacre was still worse than he could have imagined. One particular victim, had been working on peace, and helping people in Gaza. But she too was not only murdered, but it took months to identify her remains. The tragedies were endless, and Rabbi Goldstein was there to show the support of the South African community, not fairly represented by their horrible government:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M32c0_mI37E

SPOTLIGHT:

David Draiman was one of these cool names that I grew up knowing was “one of us”. How many times in college did I hear someone say, “The guys from the Beastie Boys are Jewish! So is the guy from Disturbed!”

Well, Draiman from Disturbed IS not only Jewish, but very proud to show that on full display. And I thank him and salute him as such.

A few examples of him being an out and proud Zionist:

https://twitter.com/davidmdraiman/status/1759732591295439261

He’s even sticking up for Matisyahu, who’s having shows cancelled lately:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3q6ZPWpiV6/

And succeeded and creating a security fund for his tour!

https://twitter.com/davidmdraiman/status/1761396366822064244

Follow him here:

https://x.com/davidmdraiman

https://www.instagram.com/davidmdraiman

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:

This week my “Charity” here is going to instead be a recommendation. Something that most of us rarely if ever do, takes a little bit of effort, and can really help. I’m referring to leaving a POSITIVE review for someone’s business.

It’s a fact that most people are motivated to leave reviews when they are emotional. A business screws up and irritates you, so writing a review is one of the only cathartic things you can do. But what about all of those people who run businesses that just…do it well? Are you usually left with the same motivation to write up a really BEAUTIFUL review? Sometimes, but less often. And that’s a shame, because it’s a really wonderful feeling receiving that glowing feedback. My recommendation is that this week, you think of 1-2 places that you enjoy going to repeatedly over the years, it could be a restaurant, your hair salon, your mechanic, just….choose. And if you haven’t done it, leave them a great review, post it on Yelp, copy to Google Reviews, and submit. It’s so damn easy, and costs you nothing. Think of it as a free way to give charity.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE:

1a. OMG this might be my favorite one The Daily Brine has done yet. Really clever take on today’s college kids:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C3sQfVmLIYY/

1b. A gross concept made into a cute little meme, courtesy of them again: https://www.instagram.com/p/C3pL46ONvgM/

2. L.E. Staiman did this great song parody this time. He finds a way to rhyme George Clooney with Khan Younis. Need I say more?

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3q37GEtEzL/

3. This is more TikTok-like than most of my shares, but I watched it 3 times in a row and laughed more each time. Also the comment under the video “it’s not my fault I keep noticing patterns” is gold:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3A582_OStM/

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

1a. Creative Community For Peace have helped move forward some great petitions in support of Israel. They are doing it again now with Eurovision coming up. “We, the undersigned members of the entertainment industry, are writing to express our support for Israel’s continued inclusion in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest. We have been shocked and disappointed to see some members of the entertainment community calling for Israel to be banished from the Contest for responding to the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.”

It goes on from there, and has signatures from people as varied as Helen Mirren and Gene Simmons. Thank you.

https://www.creativecommunityforpeace.com/…/eurovision…/

1b. Adam Albilya shares the lyrics of the song, which was written by Keren Peles, and supposed to be sung by @Eden Golan:

https://twitter.com/AdamAlbilya/status/1760735269798429061

2. You mean they AREN’T broke? Considering all the people from the UNRWA fiasco, and Hamas stealing the money, I’m totally not shocked by this:

https://twitter.com/Aizenberg55/status/1759934221039051108

3. Elizabeth Savetsky has been a wonderful voice for Israel, and against antisemitism. Here she brings up my alma mater, UCLA, and the latest attempt to bring the BDS movement to the school. What especially disgusts me, is when I look at the resolution, there are SO many student groups signing off on this. It’s nauseating:

https://twitter.com/LizzySavetsky/status/1760127848508006731

WHAT I’M ENJOYING THIS WEEK:

I think I could watch this repeatedly and still smile every step of the way. Irish man Tadhg Fleming, gets his “fadder” into a balloon:

https://x.com/tadhgfleming_/status/1759875013069378021

Also, the 2-part season finale of Quantum Leap, was a joy to watch.

Adi with her wonderful brother Adam, in the Abuhav Winery, within the historic, gorgeous, and artistic city of Tzfat.

 


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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