Author Archives: A Contributor
Israeli tourists traveling on a Norwegian cruise ship were prevented from disembarking at a stop at the Port of Tunis. The Israeli passengers were told quietly by staff aboard the Norwegian Jade that they were not welcome per the Tunisian government during the stop, B’nai Brith Canada said in a statement Sunday. The organization had been contacted by a Jewish Canadian passenger on the ship.
Dr. Daniel Berman, Infectious Disease Specialist at Albert Einstein Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center; Brenda Breuer Director of Epidemiologic Research at Mount Sinai Beth Israel; and Awi Federgruen Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, wrote the following letter to the Jewish Daily Forward:
In its February 14 editorial, “Protect the Children,” the Forward implores New York City’s mayor to “curtail” metzitzah b’peh (often shortened to MBP), a part of many ritual circumcisions that has been asserted to cause type 1 herpes simplex virus infections.
The editorial is misguided in its medical and policy assertions.
Arab foreign ministers on Sunday rejected Israel’s demands that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state, saying such a move would undermine the rights of Palestinian refugees. In a resolution released at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, the foreign ministers called the issue of Palestinian refugees an integral part of a comprehensive and just peace. It blamed Israel for the floundering of peace negotiations.
Emergency teams expanded their search early Sunday for a Malaysia Airlines flight that is presumed to have crashed in the Gulf of Thailand off Vietnam with 239 people aboard, including four that the Malaysian government said may have boarded with false documents, according to reports.
In a search operation involving at least a half-dozen nations that’s now lasted for more than a day, authorities have turned up no clear signs of wreckage, but Malaysia Airlines said it was “fearing the worst.”
German President Joachim Gauck has visited a synagogue and Holocaust survivors in the north-western city of Ioannina as part of a three-day visit to Greece. Ioannina had a large Jewish community during World War II, numbering thousands, most of whom were taken in March 1944 and sent to concentration camps such as Auschwitz. Gauck apologised and expressed sorrow and shame to the victims’ families. He laid a wreath at a village memorial and spoke of reconciliation between Greece and Germany. – Euro News
The Jewish Daily Forward editors are not happy: The Internal Revenue Service is an easy target for anger and disdain, especially now, as the deadline to file income taxes approaches and the IRS hasn’t quite recovered from the public battering it is receiving over questionable audits of politicized organizations. We don’t mean to pile on. But the startling story reported by our Nathan Guttman raises too many questions for us to stay silent.
Tax accountants working in Israel told Guttman that any American expat living there who files for a child tax credit in an annual return can expect to be audited. “I’ve seen more audits in the past year or two than I’ve seen in the previous 30 years combined,” one accountant said.
The president-elect of the British Veterinary Association called for a ban on slaughtering cattle without first stunning it, which in effect would outlaw traditional kosher slaughter. In an interview with the Times, John Blackwell called for prohibiting kosher and halal slaughter because it causes pain to the animal for “five or six seconds,” according to reports.
“They will feel the massive injury of the tissues of the neck,” Blackwell said in the interview. “They will perceive the aspiration of blood. They will breathe in before they lose consciousness.”
Two leaders of the youth division of the Dutch ruling party called for a ban on non-medical circumcision of boys. Tom Leijte, the vice president of the JOVD youth movement of the VVD ruling party, and JOVD senior board member Matthijs van de Burgwal made the plea in an op-ed Wednesday in the Trouw daily newspaper.
The article, “High Time to Ban Circumcision of Underage Boys,” cites the 1993 banning of female genital mutilation.
News 12 Reports: An ongoing dispute in Orange County is stalling a land deal to double the size of the Hassidic community of Kiryas Joel. Three agencies are fighting to spearhead a study on the impacts of the plan, but the Department of Environmental Conservation has yet to make a decision. So far, Kiryas Joel has applied for lead agency, as well as the Town of Monroe and the Monroe-Woodbury School District. The proposal, and Kiryas Joel’s involvement, is highly criticized by some who say the town board isn’t trustworthy because they were voted in by Kiryas Joel’s block vote. See Video Here
Congressman Darrel Issa hit back yesterday at Democrats who claimed that he crossed the line when he cut off the microphone of Congressman Elijah Cummings; the ranking Democrats on the House Oversight Committee and an African American. Issa notes that he didn’t violate any rules (since the hearing was concluded). The Republican also reminded viewers that in 2008 then chairman of the Committee threatened Issa “I will have you physically removed if you don’t stop,” but notes Mr. Issa ”I certainly didn’t say that he is somehow are anti Arab-American.” Mr. Issa, who is an Arab American, is referring to claims from some Dems that he is racist for cutting of an African American Congressman. See Video Here
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard was hospitalized on Wednesday night after a deterioration of his medical condition. Pollard had been suffering from various medical ailments and has suffered from extreme pain for an extended period of time. The long list of ailments that he has suffered from over the years include diabetes, nausea, dizziness, blackouts and ongoing issues with his gall bladder, kidneys, sinuses, eyes and feet. He also suffers from Meniere’s disease, which causes him to lose consciousness and fall without warning. – JPost
Education Minister Christopher Pyne has called on Australian universities to take a firm stand against racism on campus following anti-Semitic incidents at three universities in the past week.
According to the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), members of far-left group the Socialist Alternative harassed and intimidated Jewish students in incidents at the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) during O-Week activities.
Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula…. The Crimean parliament voted unanimously “to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation”.
The channel isn’t even pulling in half the total audience that predecessor Current TV managed. Al Jazeera America has averaged just 15,000 total viewers in prime-time since bowing in August, with only 5,000 viewers in the target 25-to-54-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen figures. That’s low enough to be considered “scratch,” or negligible, by Nielsen. For the marketers that still worry about the channel’s perspective and its image in the U.S., those aren’t the kind of numbers to tempt a re-examination. – AdAge
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to California on Wednesday where he had a full day of business meetings, largely focused on the tech industry. Here are some key videos of his day:
Bibi signs trade deal with California Governor Jerry Brown:
Bibi meets with the Founders of Whatsapp:
Bibi visits the HQ of Apple welcomed by its CEO:
A Jewish girls school in Hackney has been redacting questions on evolution on science exam papers because they do not fit in with their beliefs. Fifty-two papers were altered by Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School to remove questions on evolution. The examinations body, OCR, says it was satisfied that the girls did not have an unfair advantage. It now plans to allow the practice, saying it has come to an agreement with the school to protect the future integrity of the exams. – BBC
Israel says it intercepted a civilian ship which was loaded with rockets that were made in Syria , then shipped to Iran, then Iraq and then onto ships for Gasa. Here are several videos associated with this incident. See the Videos
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday compared recent actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine to those implemented by Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s. Putin’s desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler’s actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she said. Putin has been on a campaign to give Russian passports to anyone who has Russian connections, Clinton said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “wasting time” with his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and was undermining the current peace negotiations. “The intention of Netanyahu’s continued demand to recognize Israel as the Jewish state is to waste time and avoid reaching a true, just and viable peace agreement,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas’ spokesperson, according to reports. – JTA
David Cameron’s rescheduled visit to Israel may take place next week, according to sources in Jerusalem. Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said Mr Cameron was expected to address Israel’s parliament on March 12. The Prime Minister was last month forced to cancel plans to make his first official visit to Israel since his election following the floods which affected parts of Britain. Downing Street does not comment on the Prime Minister’s travel plans and is yet to confirm a new date for the visit. – The JC
Spain’s offer of citizenship to the descendants of Jews who were expelled from the country over 500 years ago during the Inquisition has sparked a flurry of global interest. Maya Weiss-Tamir, an Israeli lawyer who specialises in applications for citizenship in European countries, said she had received over 1,000 enquiries since the Spanish government approved the draft citizenship bill on February 7.
Russia is not considering trying to make Crimea a part of Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. Only people who live in Crimea can determine their future, he said… Then, turning to the troop buildup in the Russian-dominated autonomous region of Crimea, Putin said Ukraine is a brotherly neighbor of Russia — and that the troops there have much in common. He also said Russian forces have not fired a shot since they crossed into Crimea.
He said any use of military force in Ukraine would be the last resort. But if Russian-speaking citizens in the east of Ukraine ask for Russia’s help, Russia has the right “to take all measures to protect the rights of those people,” Putin said.