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People, celebrities, characters, criminals and others…

Holocaust Beauty Pageant Causes Controversy

A beauty pageant was held in Israel. Unlike a typical pageant, the contestants were not women in their early 20s with model-like figures. The 14 participating contestants were actually Holocaust survivors.

All the women were between the ages of 74 to 97. The contest was held in the city of Hafa, and each contestant walked in front of a red carpet and described the grisly details of their personal experience during their detention in the concentration camps.

After listening to personal accounts, a four panel judge awarded the crown to 79-year-old Hava Hershkovitz, who was forced to flee her home in Romania with her family.

While the pageant was clearly held to honor the victims – both the ones who perished as well as those who lived to tell their tales – not everyone sees it that way. Critics are slamming the event as being in poor taste as well as being outright offensive.

The pageant was organized by Shimon Sabag, who said the finalists were selected based on their personal experiences as well as contributions to their communities. While physical appearance did play a role in the selection, Sabag insists the role was minimal.

After being crowned the winner, Hershkovitz says that for her, this was her way of showing that she is still alive and well.

However, Collette Avital, the chairwoman of Israel’s Holocaust Survivors, says that it was not appropriate to judge these women based on their appearances, especially considering the harrowing experiences they endeared.

Roughly six million Jews were slaughtered in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. About 200,000 Holocaust survivors are still living today, with most of them residing in Israel.

Though there are mixed feelings about the pageant, it should not take anything away from the participants, who experienced a living nightmare that no one can even come close to relating to unless they’ve experienced it first hand for themselves.

Rescue 24 abused boys – save their home from closure!

Orr Shalom’s Reut home cares for 24 boys, who have suffered the most extreme physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse and neglect. Due to their traumatic life experiences they endure deep behavioral, learning, and psychiatric difficulties. Their vulnerability is so acute, that Reut is their last chance. No other program in Israel will welcome and care for such severe cases. Without Reut, these boys have nowhere else to go – they would end up on the street, in psychiatric wards or juvenile detention centers. Without Reut they have no other hope for a better future.

In 2010, the Ministry of Welfare decided to close down Reut because its facilities were cramped and dilapidated. Following a long battle, they finally allowed Orr Shalom to keep it open but only if we urgently renovate the entire facility.

We urgently need to raise $25,000 by 31 March 2012 for the first stage of renovations.

If we are unable to raise the money needed for the full renovations, Reut will shut down, and the boys will have nowhere to go. The work includes building a bomb shelter and totally refurbishing the living and sleeping quarters.

Rescue 24 abused boys – save their home from closure!

CLICK HERE!

Six Years without Gilad Shalit

It’s been 6 years since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. This is the Shana Tova (New Year) greeting that was mailed out to politicians and government officials by the family as a reminder.

A few days ago the Palestinian Prime Minister made his bid for Statehood and now waiting for an answer from the UN Council. You would expect that kidnapping and holding a soldier prisoner without basic humanitarian conditions or official communication, would be considered sufficient grounds for immediate disqualification of the bid. But not at the UN.

Gilad’s family will be spending yet another holiday at their tent outside the government offices in Jerusalem. They count the days (now 1920) since they saw their son. May this be the year Gilad comes home.

Boy Brings Life of Neo-Nazi Dad to an End

How about this one? On Sunday, May 1, a fourth-grader from Riverside, California, took a Rossi .357 revolver out of his dad’s closet and fired it at the sleeping man laying on the living room couch.

The 10-year-old child was arrested for the murder. Tried in juvenile court, the next hearing date is scheduled for July 22. If found guilty the boy will remain in juvenile hall until he is age 18, then he will be placed in another youth detention facility, until the age of 25.

So who was the dad? And why did the boy do it?

According to the court documents, Jeff Hall, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, was a well-known Neo-Nazi leader. The boy also claimed Hall beat he and his mother regularly, and he feared they were going to divorce.

Juvenile court Judge Charles Koosed agreed last Wednesday to delay taking the plea from the 10-year-old. The judge said he and the boy’s attorney agree the child should first have a psych evaluation. Among possible pleas are not guilty by reason of insanity.

The boy’s stepmother, Krista McCary, has been charged with child endangerment and failure to properly store a firearm. Police officers said not only did Hall and McCary keep numerous weapons in the home, but that three of their children knew how to access the .357 revolver that was used in the shooting.

In 2010, Jeff Hall gained media attention during his campaign for a seat on the Western Municipal Water District in Riverside. During his campaign for the seat he was open about his Neo-Nazi convictions. During his tenure at the National Socialist Movement, Hall piloted demonstrations in Los Angeles and Riverside in which supporters yelled “white power” and waved swastika flags while giving the ‘heil Hitler’ Nazi hand salute.

OneJerusalem.com Jew of the Year: Richard Goldstone

South African corporate and intellectual property barrister and judge, head of United Nations Human Rights Council fact finding crusade for Operation Cast Lead and 21st century bard, Richard Goldstone, has much of Israel singing a familiar tune. The “See I Told To You So Blues.”

Richard Goldstone as fruhmHis Op-Ed in the Washington Post last week was sent to the wrong newspaper. Why wouldn’t Goldstone have sent it to Yediut Achronot or Haaretz? Does the South African Jew not know Hebrew? Does he need ulpan? Nefesh bNefesh perhaps?

Goldstone wrote:

“To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government.”

So Goldstone said, “whoops, I forgot to let the Judenräte explain itself.”

He also wrote:

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes…”

Justice Goldstone gave the impression that Israel is an acerbic cum sadistic child-killing pariah state, that carpet bombs refugee camps stuffed with innocent Arabs (the punching bag of Hitler’s victims as it where). Hitler’s victims that sell the organs of Palestinian children.

However the United Nations is resolute in its artful, underhanded anti-Semitism. The very same UNHRC which:

“Commissioned an investigation of Israel’s 2009 incursion into Gaza will continue to treat it as a legitimate working document, even though the lead author has backtracked from some of the report’s most damning allegations against Israel.”

In other words, they will continue to damn Israel.

“U.N. reports are not canceled on the basis of an op-ed in a newspaper,” said one representative.

Bibi told his cabinet that Goldstone’s article in The Washington Post was a rare instance “in which those who disseminate libels retract their libel.”

He said:

“This leads us to call for the immediate cancellation of the Goldstone report…”

Ironic timing though. Operation Cast Lead was in response to hundreds of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilians. Israel is still, two years later, under an almost-constant rain of rockets fired from Gaza.

Click here to see how Israel responds to post-Operation Cast Lead bullying.

Beck Commends Orthodox Judaism

Glenn BeckOn his February 22 radio show, Mormon-convert, ex-drug-addict and media mogul, Glenn Beck, compared Reform Judaism to “radical Islam,” saying that both were more about ‘politics'; that is changing what is outside of oneself, rather than actually being about ‘religion’, changing what is inside of oneself.

Beck’s comments came one month after 400 rabbis, many of whom are affiliated with the Reform movement, paid for a full page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, denouncing what they saw as inappropriate references to the Nazi Holocaust, made by Beck, when referring to George Soros.

Beck said this:

“When you talk about rabbis, understand that most people who are not Jewish don’t understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis and then there are the Reformed (sic) rabbis. Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It’s almost like Islam – radicalized Islam – in a way to where radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics…It’s not about terror or anything else, it’s about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith. Orthodox rabbis that is about faith. There’s not a single orthodox rabbi on this list. This is all reformed rabbis that made this list…”

One Syrias Issue

The Jerusalem Chronicle reported Saturday night that the British government is refusing to release documents with information concerning the fate of three Israeli soldiers missing since 1982. They claim the sensitive material could potentially harm diplomatic ties with Syria.

The three Israeli soldiers, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman, went missing after clashes with Syrian and Palestinian troops near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub during the Lebanon War in June, 1982.
Baumel, Feldman, Katz

Ivor Lucas, the UK’s ambassador to Syria, submitted a report to London on the day of the clash, and may have even witnessed the soldiers’ capture by Syrian troops.

A legal team from Manchester is reportedly taking action over the silence from the UK government, acting on behalf of Zachary Baumel’s mother, Miriam. They are demanding the release of information from the British government.

The common response received by the British Foreign Office, after petitions for the release of information, according to Baumel, has been:

“We are conscious that the release of sensitive information would cause harm to our relationship with Syria.”

To which Baumel protested, according to the Jewish Chronicle:

“I just want the public to know this is a humanitarian matter…We keep getting information that these boys and my son were seen in Damascus and that there were witnesses, and anyone who saw something or who could help must help. I feel the possibilities are great that he is still alive, but certainly the families of those who were seen in Damascus are entitled to closure…I am calling on the British government to act in a humanitarian manner and let the families know by releasing this document, for us to go further in finding our children. If you have children, if one of your children would be lost, how would you feel?”

Meanwhile, Syria is very much a point of suspicion for Israeli and Western intelligence lately.

According to the Jerusalem Post:

“A compound in western Syria with buildings and hundreds of missile-shaped items has been identified as functionally related to a nuclear reactor Israel destroyed northeast of Damascus in 2007…Satellite footage of the site in Masyaf was obtained by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security and shows a compound built in a ravine and surrounded by what appears to be a line of trenches.”

The facility could also possibly be a Hezbollah stronghold. A WikiLeaks cable reported increased Syrian support for Hezbollah, including domestic facilities and the donation of longer-range rockets and guided missiles that “could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive” than the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

A U.S. Defense Department official told the New York Times Hezbollah has 50,000 missiles and rockets, including 40-50 missiles able to reach Tel Aviv, and 10 Scud missiles.

A Conversation with Fatima

Ramat Gan, Israel — The Israeli cabinet approved a proposal requiring new immigrants to pledge loyalty to the “Jewish and democratic” state on October 10. The bill was greeted by hot and cold receptions from critics in the international community. The bill, which still faces a wider parliamentary vote, passed initially by a 22-8 margin – finding strong domestic opposition from the Labor Party and Israeli Arabs.

Perhaps I am naive, but I was a little chagrined by the amount of negative hoopla the news caused; I always saw Israel as a Jewish state and a democracy — this is what I love about little Israel. But in the unseasonably hot weather and proverbial prickly atmosphere, one should prepare them self to never feel too surprised in this land of mystery.

Fatima, an 18-year-old student of linguistics and English literature at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan said, “I don’t think it makes any change. Everyone here is supposed to say that they swear to the country.” Fatima, donning a lime green hijab and traditional silk black dress spoke over the mellow hum of copy machines amid an ethnically mixed handful of college students. “I don’t know what he [PM Netanyahu] said and what he meant – I don’t know his aim.” She stressed that the facts for her are freely explained on her Facebook page, she is a proud Palestinian.

“The Palestinians have long rejected that, [the Jewishness of Israel]saying Israel may use it as a pretext to deny Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war that created Israel the right to return to their former homes.” wrote Vita Bekker of The National. However, chief of the Fatah-ruling PA, Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Arabs in the “occupied territories” had already done that during the 1993 Oslo Accords. Recent research shows, the ratio of Palestinians in the territories who object to Israel being a Jewish state and those who don’t is almost cut in half – just slightly a larger percent for the latter.

But the law really applies to those who are thinking of immigrating to Israel. Andrea, 40, is a non-Jewish American woman married to an Israeli. She also studies at the university, of which she complains the tuition is too high. “I won’t make Aliyah if I have to swear to a Jewish country.” The two had to marry outside the country, “A rabbi would not recognize our marriage,” she said, “I feel my husband” placed in a “50% tax bracket” and a career military officer for fourteen years “is being discriminated against.”

Then, a week ago, Israeli PM Netanyahu instructed Justice Minister, Ya’akov Ne’eman to prepare a draft bill that would also require Jews to pledge allegiance to Israel “as a Jewish and democratic state”.

Standing outside the university synagogue, without a yamulke on his head, Rotem Nisan, a 25 year-old geography student at the same university as Fatima said, “This is a country of Jews. I have no problem with Muslims and Christians, but if you want residence and an ID, you must be Jewish. To tourists, the country is open.”

The day after we chatted in the Xerox room near the English language building at Bar Ilan University, Fatima sent me a message on Facebook; she had lots more to say:

“dear Scott,

I just read your article. You have such a nice way in writing. But when I said “I don’t know what he [PM Netanyahu] said and what he meant – I don’t know his aim.” I looked like a very unconscious girl which I am not. I don’t know if this is the right word but when I heard about this law I kinda felt a way of harassment from the government.. that’s why I said I don’t know his aim. If it comes to me, I would highly reject this law because it really against our own believes and thought. Who said that if I want to live in a country i should admit its nationality? so what? go to Canada and see how people leave peacefully and leaving all this political issue behind them, because they want real peace and they are not looking for any excuses to kick their non-Canadian out.”

For an 18-year-old in this country, Fatima’s English is quite good, perhaps better than the average Jewish Israeli 18-year-old. But the average Jewish Israeli 18-year-old would not be studying in the university at the age of 18. They would be serving in the army or doing another form of community service. The message continued:

“I live in Israel, which is for me and for every Palestinian , occupied Palestine, and I will never ever pledge loyalty to this country because it doesn’t reflect me.. Moreover, they should not forget that I was born here, it means that i’m a resident who gets all my absolute rights! and one of my rights in a “democratic country” is my freedom of speech and thinking. How
come they force me to do something I don’t believe in, in a democratic country!?”

In appreciation for giving her honest opinion and feeling so open with me, I responded to Fatima:

“Israel is still a new country. It is a democracy and I think it will always stay that way. Other places in the world aren’t the same, like the Islamic Republic of Iran or occupied Lebanon. But Canada and the United States are democracies which were founded by French, English, German, Dutch and colonizers from elsewhere – and only after much of the native population was displaced, sold off to slavery and killed. You should never feel unsafe or nervous because of your ethnicity. Hopefully we can be friends. And if we all become friends: Jews, Muslims and Christians, then G-D willing there will be peace. And enjoy reading Beowulf!”

Fundamentalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fundamentalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina probably deserves more attention as a sociological and political phenomenon, than it does in other European countries. It is a country with a very weak democratic and parliamentary tradition, until 15 years ago Bosnia suffered from extremely destructive war which in this case was more than just a civil war. The territory of the country was literally trampled by many paramilitary forces and by ambiguous political regimes from both inside of country and the neighborhood. Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the rare European countries with a Muslim majority, struggles with a difficult political system, an economy that is in an unsustainable state. It has huge unemployment and corruption rates and the highest illiteracy rate in Europe. This small country is comprised of three constitutive peoples: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, which are characterized by three different and strong religious communities: Muslims, Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians.

Many of European and domestic officials have for some time believed that Bosnia might be the potential zone of rising terrorism. The terrorist attack in the town of Bugojno on the 27th of June and the case of the village of Gornja Maoca where, on the 2nd of February, Special Forces of Bosnian security agencies entered the isolated Wahhabi community are a few major incidents which exemplify the rise of Fundamentalism in Bosnia in 2010.

Fundamentalism seems to be growing in the country, notably among the youth and even in the youth intellectual circles. Individuals, shaken by uncertainty, search for ways to secure themselves. Several internet based sites promote the alternative ways of surviving. Domestic media promote Fundamentalism often enunciated by people close to clerical institutions.

They don’t belong here, they should go back to the places where they come from… They have nothing to do with Bosnia and Bosnian traditions, they have never existed in Bosnia before the war…

Said Samra, a 22 year old student of Sociology, about Wahhabi movement members in Bosnia.

There are many Wahhabi followers in Bosnia. They came here from Arab countries during the war. Nobody asked them to come, and they should return… They are destroying the dignity of Bosnian people…

Samra added.

Male members of Wahhabi movement are easily recognizable on the street by their specific wardrobe and their long beards. Females are required to wear a hijab. It is widely believed, as Samra said, that members of Wahhabi and other similar groups came to Bosnia from the Middle East. This is actually not true. Most of them, about 97%, are domestic or from neighborhood countries.

It’s not about ideology, it is about surviving. Everybody knows that every girl that ’covers’ herself gets money, I don’t know how much, but they say it’s about 300 euro’s per month. Anyone can do it, even me…

Said Selma, 21, other student from the University of Sarajevo, but she fails to say where that money comes from.

When analyzing diverse forms of Fundamentalism there is one other term that is used a lot in the field and that is the notion of supremacy, although the groups following this ideology of supremacy usually avoid this term and often identify them self’s as a part of Neo-Nazi movement.

In the Bosnia’s case, things are more specific. First of all there is an anti-Semitism, motivated mainly by the emphasized empathy of Bosnian Muslims exclusively with Muslims from Israel and Palestine. Many of Bosnian Muslim citizens are very critical of Israeli political decisions, and often blame Jewish people globally for most of today’s World’s problems. The wars on the Middle East are seen as pure aggression and never as a multisided conflict or civil war caused by complex dynamics on the region. There is actually inflexibility in the reasoning of the majority which is often governed by the notion of Muslims brotherhood and not by the fact that there are people belonging to no matter what ethnicity in the Middle East who are affected by or involved in war. Such deviation and generalization lead often to increasing of the prejudices’ against Jewish people, and fit into the concept of Neo-Nazi ideology.

Bosnian Movement of National Pride is a Neo-Nazi group represented in February 2010 in Bosnia. Aside of proclaiming Jews as their enemies, this group lists many others: Gypsies, ex-Yugoslavian president and Communist leader Josip Broz Tito, Communists, homosexuals and blacks, than Chetniks (Serbian nationalist paramilitary organization), Croatian separatists and even radical Islamists. This group launched the site, where they declared radical views about Bosnian constitution, and made announcements of their future actions. Yet again, they are blaming the Zionists for the current disrupted state in the World.

Today I went to buy my breakfast before going to my Faculty, but I didn’t know what to buy. Everything is produced by Jews. There was one ‘free’ Serbian company that produces food, but recently Jews bought it too. I don’t want to buy anything that is made by Jews. I don’t want to sponsor an evil.

Says Amela, Medical student from Sarajevo.

In general, Bosnian Fundamentalism is most often associated with Islamic terrorism. It is believed that Fundamentalism in Bosnia is getting stronger every day because of the lack of the political will to resolve the problem, and because of desperate economic circumstances that are getting worse with the time.

Bosnian politicians are not aware of the urgency and size of the problem, and in rare moments when they are, they are using it for their political aims…

Said Nihad, professor from Sarajevo, after Bugojno terrorist attack in June.

Such situations are defining more and more the image of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe and the rest of the World. Government officials recently stated that there are three thousands of potential terrorists in the country.

It remains to be seen if freshly formed Government can change directions of ideological temptations in Bosnian society. It is believed, also, that the travel visa free regime, that Bosnia is about to reach in few months, will assist in opening up communications and help to deflect people from fundamentalist ideas.

Israel’s Green Business Tycoon

Shari Arison
Mazal Tov to Shari Arison! Forbes recently unveiled a list of the “Top 10 Greenest Billionaires.” The Israeli heiress to the Carnival Cruise Line was included.

For Arison, profits and environmental sustainability are not opposing forces at all. Being environmentally friendly actually has increased her companies’ success.

In an interview with BusinessWeek she said,

“Sustainability is the key to our survival on this planet and will also determine success on all levels.”

Arison’s net worth is 3.4 billion dollars thanks to her lucrative companies such as Miya, a water company based on technology which eliminates water loss in transit.

While her father, from whom she inherited Carnival Cruise, was still living, the now 52-year-old tycoon did her best to stay out of the limelight. When she inherited a large chunk of the company in the late 90’s all of this changed.

Ms. Arison chose to focus her attention on the two largest assets in the estate: Bank Hapoalim, which is now Israel’s second-largest financial institution; and Housing & Construction Holding, the Jewish Country’s biggest construction firm.

Last year, Arison published a book in Israel in which she talks about her spiritual journey and lays out a vision for how to save the planet.

Now the english translation of her book, When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together, has been released in the U.S.

Arison holds that it is possible for businesses to succeed while benefitting their natural surroundings; and economies can thrive if they would only take the environment into consideration.

Arison has sold off her personal jet and yacht, switched to a hybrid automobile, and she even ordered a retrofit of her home to make it more environmentally friendly.

About her company, Housing & Construction she says:

“Within five years it will be a 100%-green company.”

The construction giant is taking steps in this direction by planning and building Israel’s first “green” neighborhoods in Kfar Saba and Netanya, and a huge shopping mall in Beer Sheva which takes into account the city’s desert conditions.

Her start-up, the Luxembourg based Miya, which she launched in 2006 is underwritten with $100 million of her own money. This is a consulting and audit company which advises municipal water utilities on how to reduce leakage from underground pipes.

Unique Israeli Artist Jack Jaget

Jack Jaget is a graduate of Music and Art High School and the Cooper Union Art School of New York. For some years he was the Art Director at the World Publishing Company. Once, this master designed books for most major publishing companies in the States, for which he won many awards, among these:

Best 50 Books – American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA children’s book selection (A total of 14 books), honor book for the Caldecott Medal, and he was a member of AIGA and the American Heritage of Graphic Arts.

In 1974 Jaget, his wife and three children immigrated to Israel and founded a graphic studio which turned out designs for companies, hotels and banks such as the Sheraton and Carlton Penta, Bank Hapoalim, the BIRD Foundation, and others.
Hebrew Wood Mezuzah Case by Jack Jaget
Wood-working has long been Jack’s great love – so he turned it into an occupation. Each Jack Jaget piece is individually fashioned in various woods and decorated with gold leaf. All of the metallic parts are gold plated. He uses the finest lacquer finishes, to give his creations a unique and mysterious Middle Ages aura.

A number of Jack’s pieces have been presented to CEOs and notable scholars. Among well-known personalities who were the recipients of Jack’s books are, the late King of Jordan, as well as US President George W. Bush.

His work includes; Bibles, Tehillim, Sidurim, Pesach Haggadot, Machzorim, Tzadakah Boxes, Torah Pointers and Mezuzah Cases.

Plausible Political Victory for a Dutch Jew

Job CohenMazel Tov to Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam. He is the likely candidate to be the Dutch prime minister in their upcoming elections. Mr. Cohen announced that he will be running for the office of Labor Party chairman after its current leader, Wouter Bos, announced that he would resign his post.

News agencies in Holland reported that Cohen had more than 50% of votes, giving him a substantial advantage over his two opponents, Christian Democrat leader and leaving Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, and far-right PVV leader Geert Wilders.

A poll conducted by Maurice de Hond sees that Cohen has 55% of votes, Balkenende 25%, and Wilders 17%.

Another poll of 16,000 people by TV show EenVandaag showed 52% of voters would prefer Cohen as prime minister, compared with the 17% and 15% for Balkenende and Wilders, respectively.

Wouter Bos submitted his resignation over the controversy surrounding his placement of Dutch forces in Afghanistan. He says that he is leaving politics to devote more time to his family.

The two polls show a percentage of backing for the three candidates, not support for their parties, but a win for Cohen is expected to see more votes for the floundering Labor Party and shift public backing from Wilders’ far-right party.

Cohen, who is known for his inter-culture politics, helped relieve tensions in Amsterdam in 2004 after the assassination of the anti-Muslim filmmaker Theo Van-Gogh. The mayor met with Muslim leaders and quelled threats of rioting, following his death.

Should he win, Job Cohen will not be wearing a kippa at the inauguration ceremony – he is a “non-practicing Jew.”

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.

The Test

construction of new apartments in the West BankPalestinian construction workers should be finding new work soon, as Bibi has authorized the construction of new apartments in the West Bank.

Is it:

a) To put Palestinian construction workers back to work

b) To house more Jews in Samaria…resuscitating the injured Zionist dream

c) To tell the Obama administration that Israel is NOT a territory of a Middle-Eastern American empire, and therefore under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction, despite any amount of welcome donations, as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in the Holy Land for a piece of the Peace Talks with our Bibi and Mahmoud Abbas.

d) To deny Palestinians of their human rights

Only G-D knows!

There will be 112 new apartments in the Beitar Illit ultra-Orthodox settlement, known as the “The Torah city of the Judean Hills.”

In this action, the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of trying to undermine the peace talks even before they began:

“If the Israeli government wants to sabotage Mitchell’s efforts by taking such steps, let’s talk to Mitchell about maybe not doing this (indirect talks) if the price is so high… put a big question mark on what it is that we came to do.”

The Palestinians presented the U.S. envoy with a document outlining their desired agreement: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, with minor border adjustments.
This is what Bibi said after speaking to Biden:

“I believe we will succeed in advancing the diplomatic process…But the diplomatic process is not a game, it is real, and rooted first and foremost in (Israel’s) security.”

Peace Now settlement expert, Hagit Ofran said:

“The Israeli government is welcoming the vice president by demonstrating, to our regret, that it has no genuine intention to advance the peace process.”

Hamas and other known trouble-makers, have condemned Abbas’ decision to renew talks, accusing moderate Palestinians of caving in to U.S. pressure.

On Monday Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad unveiled a $3.13 billion budget for 2010, about $80 million more than last year, funded by the international community. He said that after years of a conflict-driven downturn, Palestinian government revenues are up, partly due to economic growth projected at 7% this year. Fayyad also said he will more than triple spending on development projects to $667 million, in accordance with donor countries desiring to see more money earmarked for infrastructure, health and education.

Mr. Campbell

Tom CampbellRepublican US Senate candidate, former congressman, Tom Campbell, running in the state of California was accused by his opponents of anti-Semitism and taking an anti-Israel stance. He denies these accusations.

His opponents, Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore have claimed that Campbell opposes Israel because of the way he has voted while in office and because of the donations which he accepted from Sami al-Arian, a prominent leader of Islamic Jihad.

When asked whether he has ever supported Israel during his ten years in the House of Representatives his response was, “There’s no place for calling me an anti-Semite and then denying it. That whispering campaign, that silent slander stops today.”

Campbell was a Stanford law professor and spearheaded a House of Representatives claim against former President Bill Clinton for the manner in which he commanded the war in Kosovo.
Fiorina mentioned that Campbell voted in favor of a cut in financial aid to the Jewish Country and was one of 34 members of the House who voted against the move to define Jerusalem as its undivided capital – 435 others supported the move.

DeVore called Campbell “a friend to our enemies”, alluding to the fact that he accepted $1,300 from al-Arian in 2000, after he was arrested on suspicion of running an Islamic Jihad campaign in the University of South Florida.

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