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Jewish life in Israel and in the world, humor, news, and commentary in OneJerusalem.com

Mormons to Hold Pesach Seder

Salt Lake TempleMembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah will be holding a Seder this week.

Avraham Gileadi, a Hebrew scholar and Mormon, will lead “A Passover for Joseph and Judah” at Provo’s Scenic View Academy on Friday. The Hebraeus Foundation is sponsoring the Seder.
The Book of Mormon, which the members of the religion abide by, along with the Old and New Testaments, claims that Israelites migrated to the New World and were the ancestors of Native Americans.

Passover HaggadahLatter-day Saints believe that the founder of their church, Joseph Smith Jr. translated this holy book from golden plates which was revealed by an angel in the 1820s and thereby restored authentic Christianity. The book tells the story of a family who leaves Jerusalem for the Americas around 600 B.C. In 1841, Smith sent

Apostle Orson Hyde to Jerusalem to dedicate the land for Smith’s prophecy of the Jews’ return to Zion. A park on the Mount of Olives commemorates Hyde’s pilgrimage.

Relations between the two faiths have been strained over the Mormon practice of posthumous baptisms, which include the baptism of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps. Holocaust survivors have said the church repeatedly violated an agreement banning the practice. Leaders of the Mormon Church have said that they are making changes to their genealogical database in order to make it more difficult for names of Holocaust victims to be entered for posthumous baptism by proxy.

Jewish leaders in Utah say that they have no problem with Mormons sitting down to a Seder at which Mormon men will wear yarmulkes on their heads and all will follow along in a Haggadah. One major exception is that wine won’t make it onto the dining tables since Mormons don’t drink alcohol.

Israel and the Jews of America

American JewsAccording to a poll by the Left wing J-Street lobby, which generally competes with the Right-leaning AIPAC, US President Barack Obama is 15% more popular among American Jews than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama apparently managed to maintain his popularity among 59% of American Jews, even after the harsh US criticism which followed Israel’s declaring the construction of 1,600 housing units in east Jerusalem.

Only 44% of American Jews continued to show support for Netanyahu. The prime minister had a warm reception at the AIPAC convention last week, but was later subject to a major embarrassment when he was stood up by President Obama for lunch.

The same poll revealed that 82% of Jews support the US administration’s effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 71% of respondents agreed that the US should maintain an active role, even if it means putting pressure on both sides at the price of a public disagreement.

On the level of importance regarding the given issue, Israel appeared in seventh place while Iran ranked at no.14, and only 2% of respondents claimed it was a topic of high importance. The issues ranked as top priority were the US economy 55%, health insurance 41%, deficit and overspending 17%, social security and Medicare 16%, terror and national security 13% and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan 10%.

Whether or not these polls mark an overall trend among the sentiments of America’s Jews, or whether or not it is relevant that 78% of American Jews do not give their children a proper Jewish education is for you to decide.

Fear and Loathing in Oslo

Oslo, NorwayJews in Oslo were taken aback over the weekend when the leader of the local Jewish Community, Anne Sander criticized haredi Judaism, the Chabad movement, the settlements and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The remarks came in an interview with the Dagbladet newspaper, on the milieu of the situation between Jews and Muslims in Norway.

Only 1,100 Jews live in Norway today, most of them in Oslo. They live alongside more than 70,000 Muslims. Anti-Semitic incidents from the past few years include harsh statements made by Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen, a plan by local Muslims to murder the Israeli ambassador and gun shots fired at an Oslo synagogue.

The journalist who interviewed Sander has in the past compared former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with Nazi leader Hermann Göring. The interview began with a poetic description of “the Israeli war machine”.
Sander said:

“Both sides are right. It’s something that we must learn to live with, accept the fact that we disagree…There is a radical polarization in the Jewish world today…You have the liberals, and on the other side you have the ultra-Orthodox – which look as if they may become dominant. We don’t like it. What’s happening is very dangerous. This is Judaism from the inside like in all other religions. Extremism exists everywhere, among us as well.”

She also shed a negative light on the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in her country, which seeks to spread kabbalistic and Chassidic Judaism, as well as the practice of basic mitzvoth, to non-practicing Jews around the world:

“The ultra-Orthodox movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, has been in Oslo for four years. It represents a more distant side in religion than we are able to accept.”

She said that the movement’s values “are completely different than the average. It’s a movement which mixes religion and politics and has an anti-democratic structure.”

Sander mentioned that the movement supports a Greater Israel:

“from Egypt in the West to ancient Babylon in the east, between today’s Iraq and Iran. We are busy with democracy, with volunteering and with being socially responsible, and this conduct is completely destructive towards the environment, and as I said – very dangerous.”

Sander explained that people in Norway were wrong when comparing the country’s Jews to Israelis on all matters:

“Naturally, we have a lot of cooperation on cultural exchanges and similar things, but I don’t engage in politics. That’s the embassy’s responsibility.”

On the topic of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, she said:

“I think he has bad advisors, he received false information, he knew only half of the story, he responds emotionally and he talks with his local audience. No one can hit people in the head and call them anti-Semites just because they criticize what the State of Israel does, even if anti-Semitism is hidden undoubtedly in some of the criticism against Israel.”

She said that Jews benefit from West Bank settlements, like Palestinians benefit from suicide bombings:

“When it comes to settlements, I just can’t understand it. It’s completely incomprehensible to me, completely incomprehensible. It’s supposed to be in Israel’s favor. This is not the situation, like suicide bombings for the Palestinian side.”

Rabbi Shaul Wilhelm, who manages the Chabad House in Oslo, told Ynet that Sander’s remarks put the city’s Jews in danger:

“She is simply putting the security of Jews living here in risk. Such statements are a type of incitement. We have been feeling very uncomfortable since the article was published, and so far no one has taken these remarks back…”

The remark about Chabad, said Wilhelm:

“is not true and it’s particularly dangerous when it is said by a central Jewish public figure. Comparing Jews to radical Islam in a country with some 100,000 Muslims is terrible, especially when there is not a lot of sympathy for Jews and Israel in the media.”

Another Jewish resident of Oslo claimed an objection as well:

“There is no problem with Chabad. They are working for the sake of the community like in any other place. I view this as an internal and dangerous political dispute.”

Eric Argaman, a 30-year-old Israeli who has studied in Norway and lives in Oslo, said:

“It’s a product of internal hatred. What’s Chabad got to do with it? It’s an apolitical body. We are working here to prevent anti-Semitism and a person comes along and destroys it. It’s not easy being a Jew here as it is. She did injustice to everyone…Some guys working in security at the Jewish center have resigned. In Israel she wouldn’t have stayed in office. It’s enough that people are looking for reasons to hate the Jews here.”

International Temple Mount Awareness Day

Israeli law prides itself on two cardinal principles of democracy: freedom of access to places of worship, and the freedom of worship to practitioners of all religions.

Israeli government has always cited the Jewish Country’s unflinching assurance of the freedom of worship for Muslims and Christians in the city of Jerusalem. This fact is vitally presented in its case to maintain Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli sovereignty.

Temple MountThe irony is this: in the heart of Jerusalem lies a piece of real estate which has been granted de facto some sort of extra-legal, extraterritorial status, a sort-of “wild West” where the rule of law does not exist and the most basic and inalienable democratic rights are not honored. That is the Temple Mount.

The facts are as such: The Muslim Waqf, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, has been granted absolute say over the administration of the Temple Mount. Illegal destruction of archaeological findings from the first and second Temples takes place on a daily basis, and so does illegal construction. The Waqf’s unambiguous aim of this policy is the transformation of the entire Temple Mount plateau into one massive Mosque, thereby achieving exclusivity to the site for Muslims.

No less pernicious is the manner in which non-Muslims are treated both atop the Mount and upon approaching it. The discriminatory policy is enforced by the Israeli police, go figure. Non-Muslims are simply not allowed to carry with them a Bible or prayer book and are not even allowed to pray. Jews who ascend the Mount, in accordance with Jewish law are singled out and discriminated against in a derogatory fashion. They are detained at the security booth, identification cards inspected and given oral instructions on what they cannot do.

Furthermore, unlike any other group of human beings ascending the Temple Mount, Jews are not allowed to be in gatherings of more than 10 or 20 at a time, and they are accompanied during the entire duration of their visit by police officers and a Waqf official to ensure that they do not violate the prohibitions. It is needless to say, prayer books, the Tanach, tefillin or a tallit are forbidden.

In recent rulings, the Supreme Court has categorically upheld the right of Jews to pray on the Mount, and has had to reprove the police for not honoring this law. If the danger exists that Jewish prayer on the Mount could be met by a disturbance of the peace, then freedom of worship is denied.

The Temple Institute has declared this coming Tuesday, March 16, the first of the month of Nisan, to be International Temple Mount Awareness Day. Supporters are called-upon to petition the government of Israel for change.

Restoring Egypt’s Synagogues

Farouk HosnyJust in time for the festival of Pesach, Egypt’s culture minister says that it will shoulder the costs of restoring the country’s synagogue’s.

Farouk Hosny says that his ministry views Jewish sites as much a part of Egypt’s culture as Muslim mosques or Coptic churches and the restorations would not require any foreign funding. This marks a turn in attitude for the Egyptian artist and culture minister.

On Sunday, the 12th century Ben Maimon synagogue, named after Maimonides, was rededicated in a ceremony including half a dozen Egyptian Jewish families who fled the country long ago.

Ben Ezra SynagogueHosny committed his ministry to restoring all 11 synagogues across Egypt, three of which have already undergone renovation. The most visited synagogue is that of Ben Ezra – located in Cairo’s Christian quarter near a number of old churches, was restored some years ago.

“There were some lectures on the Jewish sites in Egypt and the temple. It was nice, emotional and nostalgic,” said Raymond Stock, an American “close” to the Jewish community in Cairo.

The Jewish community of Egypt, which dates back millennia and at its peak in the 1940s numbered around 80,000, is down to several dozen, almost all of them elderly. The remainder were driven out decades ago by mob violence and persecution.

Synagogue, CairoEgypt and Israel fought a war every decade from the 1940s to the 1970s until the 1979 peace treaty was signed. None the less, Egyptian vibrations remain deeply unfriendly to Israel, and anti-Semitic stereotypes still appear in the Egyptian media.

Last September, Hosny blamed a conspiracy “cooked up in New York” by the world’s Jews when he lost a bid from becoming the next head of the U.N.’s agency for culture and education.

During this time, Hosny’s candidacy raised an outcry because of a threat which he had made in the Egyptian parliament in 2008 to personally burn any Israeli book he found in the Alexandria Library.

Guilty as Charged: Being Jewish

The Zionist country has issued a formal complaint with Spain, charging individuals in Spanish elementary schools of promoting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel ideas among young children. The letter comes after Israel’s ambassador to Spain, Rafi Shotz, received recently dozens of postcards from Spanish school students bearing statements such as:

“Jews kill for money,”

“Leave the country to the Palestinians”

and

“Go somewhere where they will accept you.”

A Foreign Ministry official confirmed that the handwriting appears typical of children six to nine years old. The official said:

“Apparently there are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel individuals who get permission to operate within schools…Each time, the embassy has received several dozen postcards from a different school. And it seems as though whoever is doing this is moving from school to school.”

The Foreign Ministry considered summoning Spain’s ambassador to Israel, Alvaro Iranzo, but spoke to the envoy by telephone instead.

Naor Gilon, the ministry’s deputy director for Europe, called Iranzo on Sunday saying

“Israel is greatly distressed”

by the postcards. The envoy insisted the letters are not part of any Spanish Education Ministry program, but the initiative of private citizens.
Meanwhile, in higher education news: universities campuses in more than 40 cities across the world are holding, Israeli Apartheid Week.” They are marking the week with multimedia events, films, lectures, cultural performances and demonstrations.

The participation of several Israelis in the anti-Zionist events is “atrocious,” said David Katz, a member of Britain’s Jewish Board of Deputies who grew up in South Africa and has fought the comparison between that country’s racial segregation and Israel’s ethnic divisions.
Katz said:

“They are free to do as they please, but it’s atrocious…I think they don’t understand the analogy they are making… which is insulting to those who suffered under apartheid…It’s like calling things ‘holocaust’ which are not the Holocaust or terming something ‘genocide’ which is not genocide.”

One Jewish charity brought over Benjamin Pogrund, a South African immigrant to Israel who is the former deputy editor of the Johannesburg-based Rand Daily Mail, to speak to British university students about why Israel is not by any stretch of the imagination, an apartheid state.
He said:

“The game plan of those who seek the destruction of Israel is to equate us with South Africa, a pariah state which had to be subjected to international sanctions…Israelis coming to take part in this week should know better.”

In Canada, the legislature in the province of Ontario unanimously condemned Israeli Apartheid Week, and are voting on a resolution that denounces the campus events.

Conservative legislator Peter Shurman told Shalom Life, a Toronto-based Jewish Web site:

“If you’re going to label Israel as Apartheid, then you are also… attacking Canadian values…. The use of the phrase ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ is about as close to hate speech as one can get without being arrested, and I’m not certain it doesn’t actually cross over that line.”

Celebrating Purim on a Rainy Day

Rain got you down? Don’t want to leave the house to hear the Megillah again at shul? Well, in honor of Purim, the Israel Antiquities Authority is presenting a new virtual exhibition on its Website of masks and rattles which were discovered in archaeological excavations throughout the country.

Appearing in the exhibition are various masks that portray humans and animals, the oldest of which is from the Stone Age and dates to c. 6500 BCE.
Many ceremonial masks were used for ritual purposes such as rainmaking, curing disease and exorcising spirits and demons. Oftentimes such masks were in the image of deities or demons.

The use of rattles during the reading of the scroll is a symbolic expression of the extermination of the Amalekites, the first people whom the Israelites fought when they were wandering in the desert. According to tradition, the wicked Haman was a descendant of the Amalekites.

Clay rattles that contain small stones or other materials for making noise were found in archaeological excavations around the country. The rattles occur in a variety of shapes, some adorned with a painted or engraved decoration, but all of them produce the same noise that is characteristic of a rattle.

The majority of the rattles were found in a cultic context or inside tombs and therefore there are those who believe that they were primarily used for ritual purposes. The frequency with which rattles occur in excavations throughout the country is explained by the fact that they are small objects which were relatively simple to manufacture and were used by the general population.

There is also the assertion that the clay rattle was a very important musical instrument in the religious services of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah during the First Temple period.

Now Dig This

Diggers for the truth have had a lucrative month. A Jewish archaeologist on Monday said that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem, not only date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon, but attest to the authenticity of the biblical narrative.

If the estimated age of the stone structure is true, the finding is an indication that Jerusalem housed a strong government which had the resources and manpower to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C.

This certainly matches the Bible‘s account that the Hebrew Kings David and Solomon ruled from Jerusalem at about that time. The archaeologist behind the dig, Eilat Mazar belongs to that school of thought.

Other archaeological chuckle heads in the Jewish country claim that they know enough to prove that the kingdoms of David and Solomon are strictly mythical.

Dr. Mazar, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, called her find

“the most significant construction we have from First Temple days in Israel.”

She also said

“it means that at that time, the 10th century, in Jerusalem there was a regime capable of carrying out such construction.”

The fortifications found, including a monumental gatehouse and a 77-yard (70-meter) long section of an ancient wall, are located just outside the present-day walls of the Old City in Jerusalem – right next to the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

Archaeologists have previously excavated the fortifications, first in the 1860s and again in the 1980s. But Mazar claims that her dig was the first complete excavation and the first to turn up strong evidence for the age of the wall: a large number of pottery shards.

Abraham’s House Hold Breaks Out in Riot — again

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in one of his most Jewish moments, decided to include the Cave of Machpelah in his national heritage plan.

For those not in the know…the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron was the first piece of land purchased by a Jew – Abraham from the Hittite inhabitants. And this is where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah are all buried.

During his reign, King Herod of Judea built a splendid yet humble fort around it. The architecture might seem eerily familiar to tourists traveling to Hebron from the Kotel in Jerusalem.

But on Monday about 100 Palestinians marched toward the Cave, hurling stones at security forces. One soldier was injured and received medical treatment there at the scene of the ugly riot.
Hebron Palestinians declared a general strike. Businesses and Palestinian Authority’s offices were closed, and protest rallies were held in the local schools.

The comprehensive plan to preserve heritage sites across the country entails an investment of some NIS 400 million (about $106 million). At the last minute, following pressing by right-wing lobbyists and ministers, Bibi added Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave in Hebron. The plan was unanimously approved.

Sitting Shiva in Shame?

Rabbi Menachem Froman of the community of Tekoa sparked a controversy during a TV program when he told a young religious lesbian woman who claimed that her parents had disowned her and her partner on Shabbat,

“I’m willing to talk with your parents. Give me the address, I’ll talk and tell them ‘parents, come and sit shiva for her, cry (for her)’.”

The rabbi continued,

“You want legitimacy for your world? There’s (also) my world. The world of the primitive, of Menachem Froman, who is a proud primitive.”


The two appeared in a program titled “Vacuum” to be aired by Israeli Educational Television. Several segments were already uploaded to the Havruta website, which actually seeks religious gays as a target audience.

Rabbi Froman told Ynet that the expression to “sit shiva” implies great suffering and that he didn’t intend on making a halachic ruling, according to which the parents should grieve:

“I wanted to say that I would meet her parents in order to try and console the parents and reconcile the family with words of encouragement and support…I may have opted for an expression which doesn’t sound good.”


According to the Rabbi, the case amounts to a great human loss since relations between a man and a woman are at the center of life:

“Instead of bringing a groom home and giving her parents grandchildren that come from the source of the good, healthy and natural life – instead they need to come to terms with her choice.”

He stressed that he has strong respect for those with “inverse tendencies” who manage to put up with the great stance which he himself was not required to stand, but will not legitimize those who do not overcome their “instincts”.

Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, who is considered one of the leading moderate figures in religious Zionism, criticized Froman for his statements during the television program and was quoted as saying:

“This does not come from the Torah, it’s not a halachic stance, it’s Rabbi Froman’s personal viewpoint. It’s an extreme position which completely strays from the halachic way. It’s a halachic deviation.”

The chief Rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu also participated in the panel and defined homosexuality as a disease.

“There is a solution…it’s not part of who you are.”

Rabbi Lau protested against those who do not recognize what he defines as a “dead-end reality” and claims that the viewpoint according to which sexual orientation may be changed by a declarative statement is “a grave mistake.”

In Preparation for Purim

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, had a go at Mahmous Ahmadinejad, during his weekly Saturday evening sermon. He called the Iranian president the “Haman of our generation” referring to the upcoming Purim holiday, and added the he “can go to hell”.

The rabbi, whose address was centered on the laws of Purim, spoke about the followers of Haman, the grand vizier of Persia.

“In every generation we have Hamans,”

he said.

“Now we have a new Haman in Persia, threatening us with his nukes.”

He went on to further curse the Iranian leader, using verses from the Bible.

In the halachic part of his sermon, Rabbi Yosef made the ruling that Sephardic students in Ashkenazi yeshivot should not take part in the prayer quorum on the Saturday before Purim in order to read the “Zachor” Torah portion separately, in keeping with their custom.

He explained that listening to the verses, which discuss Amalek’s war on Israel, is a Torah mitzvah and therefore each person must do it according to the common pronunciation of their own community.

Rabbi Yosef did not miss an opportunity to tease the Ashkenazim. After imitating the way they read that Torah portion, he said,

“The Sephardim’s pronunciation is the real one. Their accent is wrong. But they insist. They’re stubborn… They don’t want to change. Even their Ashkenazim testify that our pronunciation is the right one, the truth.”

Fur Heaven’s Sake

On Sunday, The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs approved the expansion of a bill banning fur trade in Israel.

The committee unanimously approved an amendment to Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh’s bill, which called for the prohibition of the trade of the fur of cats and dogs. Currently the bill calls for a ban on the trade of fur from all animals. Although this does not apply to fur that is used to make clothing items regularly worn by the ultra-Orthdodox, such as shtreimels – while on the other hand there is no halachic requirement to wear such hats.

A comprehensive ban on all fur is also expected to ease the work of the Customs Authority in preventing the importing and distribution of fur products, because its agents will not have to distinguish the animal of origin of each particular item.

Now that the amendment has gone unanimously approved by the legislative committee, the Education, Culture and Sports Ministry committee is scheduled to hold a vote on the new amendment later in the month. After the committee’s approval, the bill will be put to a second and then third reading before finally being passed into law.

The sale of fur in Israel is relatively limited because of the short winters and the steep prices of imported clothing items. Boutiques that do sell fur get by with importing a very small amount of items.

One boutique owner who has imported fur coats to Israel for years, expressed her dissatisfaction with the legislation:

“I don’t understand who they are trying to target with this bill…Over the past few years importers have reduced the number of fur coats they order in the wintertime due to the warm climate, so now they want to pass a law that would ban the importing of fur items? Who exactly does this law relate to? Four boutiques at Kikar Hamedina?”

A store owner in Bnei Brak said of his shtreimels:

“Contrary to popular belief, the hats are made from tails of animals that have already been killed for the fashion industry. So they should first stop making fur coats for all the millionaires.”

Once Upon a Time in Sheikh Jarrah

Either it’s all in their mind or police officers in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah give a disproportionate dose of force to ultra-left protesters than those fighting for the Jewish claim to the neighborhood.
A few Jewish families moved into the Palestinian area recently, causing the eviction of a few permanent Palestinian residents.

Avner Inbar is a left-wing activist, he claims:

“The police are calling us outlaws and anarchists, despite the fact that the crowd here is mostly composed of professors from the Hebrew University and Jerusalemite teens who sing protest songs to the sound of drums.”

The peacenik continued:

“While the officers suppress our protests, sometimes violently, haredim and settlers riot unhindered in the neighborhood and attack Palestinian residents – sometimes to the point at which they require medical treatment.”

Complained Inbar:

“Jerusalem Police see themselves as the operating arm of the settlers in east Jerusalem, and this conduct harms the police’s credibility.”


Sarah Beninga another ultra-left activist was detained for more than 36 hours in a holding cell, she tells her story:

“I was standing next to an ultra-Orthodox family that had entered the neighborhood and the officers just jumped on me and took me to their car. I didn’t push anyone or do anything…I found myself undergoing a strip search and handing over all of my personal belongings,”

she said.

“The sheets in the holding cell were dirty, and when I asked for a blanket I got a wet one. I wasn’t treated like a human being, but like a criminal.”

She contrasted the treatment which she received to that received by the haredi Intel protestors:

“The haredim who protested at Intel torched garbage cans violently and without permits, but almost no one was arrested.”

This is what a police spokesperson had to say:

“In recent weeks leftists and anarchists have held illegal protests that disturbed the peace time and again. The protestors tried to break into Jewish homes, blocked roads, and attacked Jewish passersby and police officers…Officers arrested a few dozen protestors when they refused to respond to calls to disperse. They were brought before a court and released after indictments were filed against them. Law enforcement will continue without discrimination, and no violations will be allowed in Sheikh Jarrah or anywhere else.”

The Tale of Aharon Lipner: The Un-Zionist

Turkey makes it clear that they are disturbed by Israel, but not THAT disturbed – that is to say, when it comes to the threat of losing money, their attitude changes, fast!
So amidst inter-government turmoil, Turkey is trying to draw in the ultra-Orthodox community.
The sad part is that the Israeli tourism industry is letting the ultra-Orthodox be exploited.
A delegation of haredi journalists will be traveling to Turkey next week, to visit Jewish attractions. The delegation will ride courtesy of the Turkish Tourism Ministry. The brains behind the idea belong to one Aharon Lipner, owner of Club Kosher, a haredi tourism company.
While the haredi journalists are there, among other cool things to look at, they will find a brand new glatt kosher restaurant – Turkey’s first in the resort town of Antalya. The restaurant will be called the King David, with kashrut under the supervision of Rabbi Moshe Nahshoni – and the restaurant manager, none other than Lipner. The opening of the restaurant is the initiative of another Israeli tourism company, Eshet Tours.
So, why might we be angry?
These guys are totally disrespecting an unofficial Israeli tourism embargo on Turkey.
First Israel gets cut out of aviation training activities by Turkey – with complete disregard for all of the favors that the IAF has done in training the Turkish air force.
Then, if that didn’t leave you offended – your blood began to boil when Turkey for the second year in-a-row, aired the second television program, which slanders Israel and Israelis.

In 2009, Israeli tourism to Turkey plunged 44%.

Well…good.
Lipner said:

“The idea is to clear the slate in the hearts of Israelis… Turks will continue to accept the Jews very respectfully. They have great confidence in the religious and haredi sectors, so they decided to finance the delegation.”

In other words, as long as my company makes money, so can an Israeli-bashing Turkey!
No they’re not as bad as some countries, but shouldn’t we make an example? We will not stand aloof while you spread lies about us!
Efraim Kramer, CEO of Eshet Tours, says that
the religious sector is a major “player” in the tourism industry, and

“designing special resort packages to suit the needs of this sector will constitute a completing product for public of conservative, institutional and young customers of Eshet Tours as well.”

IRAQI NO-NO

According to recent reports, Iraq is moving to remove the Jewish elements from the tomb of the prophet Ezekiel, and turn it into a mosque. A MOSQUE?! Yeah, a mosque. You might say they are making a mosquery of a very holy site.
Ezekiel lived about 2,500 years ago and preached about the salvation of the Jewish People – you may recall his Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones.

Ezekiel lived in Babylon at the time of King Solomon’s temple. Legend holds that he is buried in the village of Al Kilf, to the south of Baghdad.
Professor Shmuel Morre, former head of the Arabic Language and Literature Department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, had this to say:

“I received information from a senior Iraqi scholar pertaining to the local authorities’ intention of turning the tomb into a mosque under the guise of ‘preservation’ of the holy site…the man who provided me with the information stressed that the Iraqi antiquities department has been under heavy pressure to erase any proof of the Jews’ connection to Iraq.”

Iraq is also the home of the tombs of Ezra the Scribe, the Prophet Jonah and King Zedekiah.
Local authorities in Iraq have already begun to erase Hebrew inscriptions off Ezekiel’s tomb, in order to turn the site into a mosque.
For hundreds of years the tomb has been placed carefully in the hands of leaders of the Jewish community in Iraq.
Currently the country contains only eight Jews. Two short and too short of a minyan, sadly. The rest have become Muslim or are in hiding for fear of being murdered by terrorists…something which has been known to happen in Mess-O-Patamia.
Manager of the “Justice for Jews” organization, Shlomo Alfassa has approached US government authorities and has demanded to

“stop the Islamization of the Jewish prophet’s tomb.”

An appeal has also been made to the UNESCO headquarters, which is responsible for maintaining the religious character of holy sites.

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