Author Archives: Jacob Kornbluh

Israel – Rabbi Meir Soliveichik Forced Off Temple Mount By Muslim Rioters

Influential U.S. Rabbi and grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik was forced to cut short a tour of the Temple Mount Sunday morning when violent rioting broke out at the holy site.

The riots forced Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and his family, who were accompanied by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, to leave the site within two minutes of ascending to the Mount, according to Arutz 7. Two police officers were injured in the confrontation, and 24 arrests have been made.

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Marionville, MO – Alderwoman Resigns In Wake Of Mayor’s Anti-Semitic Comments

A Marionville Alderwoman has resigned following anti-Semitic comments by the mayor, sharing similar views with the man accused of killing three outside two Jewish centers in Kansas City.

Jessica Wilson, who had been on the board for about a year, gave notice of her resignation Wednesday, The Springfield News Leader reports.

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Florida – Man Skips Seder With Mother To Play Poker; Wins $1M Prize

courtesy of Sminole Hard Rock, Handou

courtesy of Sminole Hard Rock, Handou

Eric Afriat of Montreal, Quebec skipped the Passover Seders his mother on the two nights of Passover to compete in a world poker game. The skipping of celebrating the Pesach holiday and retelling the story of exodus didn’t bother him at the end of the day, as he won a whopping $1 million, the Sun Sentinel reported.

“Here I was moving up the ladder in a big poker tournament, yet I kept getting more depressed…I was so sad I thought about just leaving my chips at the table Monday night and going home,” he told the Sentinel.

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President Obama ‘Disgusted’ By E. Ukraine Anti-Semitic Flier

President Obama was ‘disgusted’ by the flier that threatened Jews in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, national security adviser Susan Rice said on Friday.

“The president expressed his disgust quite bluntly,” said Rice. “We all found word of those pamphlets to be utterly sickening, and they have no place in the 21st century.”

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NYGov – Astorino Under Fire For Firing Senior Jewish Waste Director ‘An Hour Before Passover’

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino came under fire on Friday for removing Bruce Berger from his job as executive director of Westchester’s Solid Waste Commission moments before the Jewish holiday of Passover came in, Capital NY reports.

Astorino terminated Bruce Berger—an appointee of former country executive Andy Spano, who Astorino defeated—to move in one of his own people, according to Westchester County sources.

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U.S. Intelligence Wants To Punish Israeli Students Seeking Entry In Fear Of Mass Flooding Of Spies

U.S. intelligence officials are opposed to the State Department’s admission of Israel – it’s closest ally in the Middle East – to the Visa Waver program for fear that it would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the U.S, according to Roll Call.

The Visa Waver program pushed by NY Democratic representatives, which already includes 38 countries, would allow Israelis to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.

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President Signs into Law Cruz Bill on No-Terrorist-Ambassadors

On Friday, in a rare moment in Washington politics, President Barack Obama signed into law Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill to deny U.S. visas to U.N. ambassadors who are known terrorists, such as Iran’s recent nominee Hamid Aboutalebi, a participant in the 1979 taking of American hostages in Tehran.

But while he signed the law, the president noted he still considers the law “advisory.”

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NYGov – Astorino Rips Into Cuomo For Slow Employment Growth Rate In Upstate NY

rob astorino govOn Friday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino seized the opportunity to blast Gov. Andrew Cuomo for this week’s Department of Labor jobs report that showed a 0.1 percent increase in the State’s unemployment rate.

“You don’t need yesterday’s jobs numbers to understand the answer. You just have to ask your neighbors wherever you live in New York. They know and so do you probably,” Astorino said in an online video. “New Yorkers continue to get hammered by government policies poisonous to economic growth.” Read more »

NY – Cuomo’s Pine Bush-Motivated Anti-Bullying Law Falls Through During Budget Season

Cuomo OHELGovernor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to address bullying in schools after disturbing allegations of anti-Semitism in the Hudson Valley district of pine bush, fell through during the budget negotiations, Capital NY reported Friday.

The law, proposed by the governor earlier this year, would require school officials to report racial or religious discrimination. In his State of the State address, Cuomo said when he read the article published in November, he called the state education department, the division of human rights and the state police, and all three agencies said they hadn’t been contacted about the allegations. Cuomo said if a school official doesn’t notify the state of such discrimination, he or she should not be a school official. Read more »

Report: Hezbollah Attack On Israelis Visiting Bangkok on Passover Thwarted By Local Authorities

Thailand authorities thwarted a planned Hezbollah attack against Israeli tourists visiting Bangkok during the Passover holiday, the Bangkok Post reported Thursday.

Investigations into two suspected foreign terrorists are progressing swiftly as one of the men admitted to a planned attack on Israeli tourists in Khao San Road during Songkran, according to an investigator. They were arrested on suspicion of links to Hezbollah.

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Google Earth Imagery Confirms Israeli Airstrike On Syria/Hezbollah Arms Facility

A utility building suspected to be a temporary Syrian long-range weapons storage facility for Hezbollah was the probable target of an Israeli airstrike on Lebanese territory near Janta in the Bekaa Valley two months ago, The Daily Star reported Friday.

Newly updated satellite imagery to the Google Earth portal dated March 6, 2014 – 10 days after the Israeli air raid – shows fire-scorched ground and possible debris where the building once stood beside a dirt track south of Janta. An earlier image of the same location dated Sep. 2, 2012, shows a 21 meter by 11 meter building with an angled roof and what appears to be two drive-through entrances.

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Kerry Vows To Ease Visa Restrictions For Young Israeli Tourists

John Kerry israelUS Secretary of State John Kerry will be investigating the sudden rise in the number of US visas rejected for young Israelis, after an initial report saw that the visa rejection rate has doubled since 2009.

Kerry announced the move in a letter Thursday, published by Al-Monitor, to House Representative Nita Lowey (D – NY). The letter acknowledges that the US has rejected more and more visa requests from young Israelis aged 21-26, and vows to “do more to encourage and assist young qualified Israelis to visit the United States.”

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NYC – Rabbi Teaches Fire Commissioner’s Son Tolerance After Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant

Rabbi Burg (seen standing from the left) officiating a Tu B'Shvat seder for City elected officials

Rabbi Burg (seen standing from the left) officiating a Tu B’Shvat seder for City elected officials

One of the most respected rabbis in New York City’s political landscape, helped a high-ranking City official’s son recant and rehabilitate his cyber-activity by learning about tolerance, after anti-Semitic Twitter rant.

Joseph Cassano, son of Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and former EMS worker, voluntarily met with Rabbi Steven Burg, Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center & Museum of Tolerance, a year ago, seeking cyberbullying sensitivity training after he posted hateful, anti-Semitic messages on Twitter, The Daily News reported Thursday. Read more »

Toronto – Mayor Ford Kicks Off Campaign With Arabic Keffiyeh

The embattled mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, kicked off Thursday evening his reelection campaign for mayor.

Mr. Ford, never short of scandals and controversies, was photographed greeting supporters while wearing a Jordanian/Palestinian ‘Kaffiyeh’ (headscarf) to his head. Apparently, the scarf was handed to him by a supporter, according to a tweet by a Toronto Star photographer.

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UK – Labour Leader Ed Miliband Hires David Axelrod As Senior Campaign Advisor

Barack Obama’s most influential Jewish adviser during his two successful presidential elections has been hired to advise the British Labour Party in the country’s 2015 parliament election campaign. David Axelrod has been given the title of senior strategic adviser to the first-to-become Jewish Prime Minister hopeful, Labour leader Ed Miliband, The Guardian reported Thursday.

“I have had some long conversations with Ed Miliband over the course of the past year and it was less about politics, and more about this issue of how in the 21st century you create healthy economies in which opportunity is broadly available, and people can stay ahead of the cost of living,” Mr. Axelrod said in a press release.

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Bubbe and Bubba Clinton Soon-To-Be!

20140417-181455.jpgHillary is soon to become a grandma, as her daughter Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child.

The Former First Daughter, 34, revealed the happy news this afternoon at a Clinton Foundation event. “Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year,” Chelsea said at the end of the event, as her mother looked on.

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Rep. Nadler: Unfortunately, Anti-Semitism ‘Is Alive and Well’

Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who represents the largest Jewish district in the nation, called Thursday the reports about anti-Semitic flyers in Eastern Ukraine “deeply disturbing.”

While the details of who exactly authored and distributed these flyers are still emerging, the world must not ignore these anti-Semitic attacks,” Congressman Nadler (NY-10) said in a statement released. “Throughout history, forced government registration of Jews and the counting of Jewish assets have led to some of the most atrocious acts in human history. If this attack is being used for political purposes, that is a particularly manipulative and callous act in a country where the Jewish community has already been subject to a rise in anti-Semitism.” Read more »

Marionville, MO – Residents Call For Mayor Clevenger’s Resignation over Anti-Semitic Comments

clevengerThe mayor of a Missouri town has come under fire for comments he made Monday about accused Kansas City shooter Frazier Glenn Miller and his anti-Semitic views, as expressed in the interview. Merely a week in office, residents of the town of Marionville are now calling for mayor Daniel Clevenger’s resignation from office and, failing that, impeachment.

According to KOLR10, group of citizens, many of whom backed Clevenger’s opponent in the recent mayoral election, are calling for Clevenger’s ouster. Clevenger defeated the incumbent last week by 30 votes and claimed 55 percent of the vote, according to KOLR. Read more »

Mayor de Blasio Release Comprehensive Sandy Recovery Report On Beach Front

bdb sandyThe de Blasio administration today released a comprehensive diagnostic report on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy, including an extensive set of recommendations to provide financial relief to homeowners and businesses and engage communities directly in the rebuilding process.

“We can’t stand idly by as red tape and bureaucratic bottlenecks prevent far too many New Yorkers from getting the relief they need. That’s why, from day one, we prioritized more efficient recovery. And now, we’ve laid out a blueprint to provide critical financial relief to homeowners and directly engage communities in the rebuilding process—all while continuing our work to ensure a stronger and more resilient New York,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. Read more »

Sec. Kerry: Crimea Jew Leaflet ‘Intorerable’ and ‘Grotesque’

CRIMEA-LEAFLET-JEWSUS Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday condemned notices which were sent to Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, asking them to identify themselves as Jews. Kerry called the move “grotesque.”

“Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews … or suffer the consequences,” Kerry told reporters in Geneva. “In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable.” Read more »

Netanyahu Takes Family On Chol HaMoed Outing, Touring North of Israel [Video + Photos]

netanyahu chol hamoed trip #2Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his wife, Sarah, and sons, Yair and Avner, on a Chol HaMoed Pesach holiday trip to the Galilee. The Netanyahus visited the Manara Cliffs near the Lebanese border and overlooked the Hula Valley. Read more »

Ancient Chinese Jewish Community of Kaifeng Hold Passover Seder for First Time [Photos]

Nearly 100 members of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, attended a first-of-its-kind traditional Passover Seder on Monday evening. The Seder was conducted by 28-year-old Tzuri (Heng) Shi, who made Aliyah (moved to Israel) from Kaifeng a few years ago with the help of Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization and completed his formal return to Judaism last year.

The Seder was led by Boaz and Ram, the Chazan (cantor) of the community. Read more »

Texas – BD”E: 6-Year-Old Raphael Elisha Cohen Passed Away

rafael elisha cohenThe famous 6-year-old ‘Raphael Elisha Meir Ben Devorah’ Cohen from Texas, who was battling cancer for two years, passed away on the 1st day of Chol HaMoed pesach.

“Our beautiful son Rafael Elisha Meir HaCohen passed away this morning,” his mother Devorah announced on Facebook.

The levaya (funeral) is now taking place at LaGuardia Airport en route to Israel. The levaya in Israel will be held on Firday afternoon. Read more »

Prosecutor, Rep. King: Disbandment of Muslim Surveillance Unit ‘Dangerous’ To NYC’s Security

via VOA news

via VOA news

The NYPD has ended its controversial Muslim surveillance program, which began in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The NYPD’s Demographics Unit (Zone Assessment Unit) has acknowledged that it engaged in monitoring that included Muslim-owned business and mosques across the New York region.

“The Zone Assessment Unit, previously referred to as the demographics unit, has been largely inactive since January,” the department said in a statement Tuesday. “Recently, as part of an ongoing assessment of Intelligence Bureau operations, personnel assigned to the Zone Assessment Unit were reassigned to other duties within the Intelligence Bureau.” Read more »

Happy Passover Phone Call, By Obama To Cantor, Turns Into Clash On Immigration

Eric-Cantor-Tefilin-ChabadA holiday phone call between President Barack Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, apparently turned into a boxing match over immigration reform, Politico reports.

According to the White House, President Obama was just trying to wish Cantor, who is Jewish, a happy Passover. However, a statement by Cantor following the phone call said the conversation was about immigration. “The president called me hours after he issued a partisan statement which attacked me and my fellow House Republicans and which indicated no sincere desire to work together,” Cantor said in the statement. Read more »

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