Tag Archives: Jewish

Global News | Ethnic & Religious Minorities

Facebook announces ban on white-nationalist content

  • The world’s most widely used social media company announced a ban on “praise, support, and representation of white nationalism and separatism,” to be enforced beginning next week.
  • Users who search for terms related to white supremacy, nationalism, and separatism will be redirected to Life After Hate, an organization that supports the de-radicalization of members of far-right hate groups.
  • Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have come under fire for enabling the spread of hate content and the development of extremist networks.


Standing Against Hate (Facebook Newsroom | March 2019)

Facebook bans white nationalism, white separatism on its platforms” (Reuters | March 2019)

Facebook bans white nationalism from platform after pressure from civil rights groups” (NBC News | March 2019)


Life After Hate

U.S. News | Jews & Muslims

New joint Jewish-Muslim council arises to combat growing religious tensions in U.S.
  • The American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America announced the formation of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.
  • The Council will advocate on behalf of religious minorities on issues of concern, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, immigration, and civil rights policy.
  • Co-chaired by Stanley Bergman and Farooq Kathwari, the 31-person Council includes religious, business, and academic leaders from across the political spectrum.

Read more:
Trump Effect: Jewish and Muslim Organizations Form New Alliance” (Haaretz)
New Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council Gears Up To Work With Trump Administration” (The Huffington Post)
A new council will unite Jewish and Muslim-American groups in a US alliance after the election” (Quartz)

(Image Credit: Deanna Dent/Reuters, via Quartz)

Israel Feature | Ethiopian Jews

Ethiopian Jews, from Operation Solomon to the Present

Video Credit: AJ+

On May 24, 1991, Israel launched an aerial operation that lifted more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews (also known as Beta Israel) out of war-ravaged Ethiopia to begin a new life in Israel. Although similar operations (Moses and Joshua) had been carried out before, Operation Solomon, a coordination of Israeli, American, and Ethiopian efforts, was distinctive in its scale. It set the record for the largest number of passengers on a single flight as 1,087 registered Ethiopians boarded a single El Al plane, fleeing the country before an anticipated coup.

Twenty-five years later, the number of Israelis of Ethiopian descent has grown to more than 100,000, including a growing Israel-native generation. Last summer, the community was thrust into the international spotlight after anti-racism protests erupted following police officers’ assault on an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent. Discrimination, poverty, and relatively low educational attainment rates have continued to plague many Ethiopian Jews in Israel, but ongoing advocacy is pushing for increased public recognition of the vulnerabilities the community faces and steps to redress inequality.

On This Day in 1991, IDF Makes a Miracle With ‘Operation Solomon’” (The Jewish Press)
Operation Solomon: Airlifting 14,000 Jews out of Ethiopia” (BBC)
Tracking down the Ethiopian Jews who moved to Israel” (Haaretz)
Ethiopian Jews In Israel: 25 Years Later, A Mixed Report” (The Jewish Week)

Operation Solomon to rescue 14,325 Ethiopian Jews (The Jewish Agency for Israel)
Saving the Forgotten Jews (BBC)

The Ethiopian National Project
Friends of Ethiopian Jews
The Israel Association of Ethiopian Jews

(Image Credit: Doron Bacher, via Haaretz)

France & U.K. Feature | French Jewish Immigrants

The Exodus of French Jews

A rise in anti-Semitic sentiment and attacks in France has left many French Jews in fear of their future in the country. As the U.K. debates its European Union status, French Jews have leveraged the free mobility that comes with E.U. membership to cross the English Channel and build a new life in London. Thousands of Jewish families have reportedly fled France for the U.K., now the second-most popular destination for French Jews after Israel, according to the Jewish Agency. Better economic opportunities have amplified immigration to London, where rabbis have reported significant increases in the numbers of French Jews in their synagogues and Jewish schools. The New York Times and BBC investigate the causes of the exodus and how the largely Sephardic French Jews have been integrated into London’s predominantly Ashkenazi Jewish community and multicultural society as a whole.

London Becomes a Leading Destination for French Jews After Attacks” (The New York Times)
Why French Jewish people are moving to London” (BBC)

Additional reading:
Breaking the Cycle of Violence (Human Rights First report)
Anti-Semitic Incidents Explode in France — Report” (Forward)
6 in 10 French people think Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism, survey finds” (The Independent)
Jewish Leaders in Paris Speak of Community in Fear” (VICE News)

(Image Credit: Andrew Testa/The New York Times)

Interregional Feature | Holocaust Survivors

Finding Healthcare Justice for Aging Holocaust Survivors

With the youngest among them now in their 70s, Holocaust survivors are facing late-in-life issues compounded by the traumas from the policies of targeted persecution just over seven decades ago. Dementia has returned some to the nightmares of their youth, while social isolation, physical ailments, and other mental health issues stemming from the violence of the period have left many with high care needs as they age.

In the U.S., home to more than 100,000 survivors (most Jewish), politicians have begun calling on the German government to do more for victims, arguing that current caps on assistance leave many survivors struggling. While reparations have expanded since the 1951 establishment of the Claims Conference, questions over who shoulders the burden for late-in-life care have yet to be resolved. The increasing needs that come with aging have reignited debates about Germany’s obligations to those its government systematically disenfranchised, impoverished, and subjected to physical and mental anguish that outlived the liberation of the final concentration camp.

As Holocaust Becomes More Distant, Survivors’ Needs Intensify“(The New York Times)
Federal grants to assist Holocaust survivors draw praise, concern” (The Sun-Sentinel)
Harrowing story of the Holocaust survivors still fighting for a dignified life 75 years on” (The Daily Mirror)
Romanian Holocaust survivors aging without benefits” (Ynetnews, July 2015)
Holocaust survivors deported from France can now apply for reparations” (The Washington Post, November 2015)
Germany to Pay 772 Million Euros to Survivors” (Der Spiegel, May 2013)

(Image Credit: Kacper Pempel/Reuters, via The New York Times)

Israel News | Yemeni Jews

Israeli agency ends decades-long operation airlifting Yemeni Jews to Israel
  • 19 refugees and a 500-year-old Torah scroll were the last to be flown to Israel from Yemen as anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence has increased following the seizure of the Yemeni capital by Houthi rebels in 2014.
  • Through the covert mission, Israel’s Jewish Agency sought to provide refuge for Yemen’s small but millenia-old Jewish community, transporting tens of thousands to the country beginning in 1949.
  • The immigration mission took place over decades, leaving only 50 Jews in Yemen, 40 of whom are under the embattled government’s protection.

Read more:
17 Yemenite Jews secretly airlifted to Israel in end to ‘historic mission’” (The Times of Israel)
Israel flies in 19 Yemeni Jews, ending immigration mission” (Reuters)
19 Yemeni Jews Arrive in Israel, Ending Secret Rescue Operation” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Israel News | Interethnic

Israel’s education ministry denies inclusion of novel featuring Jewish-Arab romance
  • The request to include Borderlife by Dorit Rabinyan in the high school curriculum was denied out of fear of escalating already tense relations between Jews and Arabs in the country as violence continues.
  • As teachers and students protested, the ministry relaxed its ruling, saying the work could be studied in advanced literature classes, but that other controversial content—including its depiction of soldiers—and concerns about national identity would keep the book from the general curriculum.
  • The book centers on a Jewish Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, who fall in love while overseas in New York.

Read more:
Israel bars novel about Jewish-Arab love affair from school curriculum” (Reuters)
Bennett Backs School Ban on Novel About Jewish-Arab Love Affair” (Haaretz)
Education Ministry under fire for excluding novel about Jewish-Arab love story” (The Jerusalem Post)

(Image Credit: Ofer Vaknin/Haaretz)

Israel & Palestinian Territories News | Israelis & Palestinians

Palestinian teen dead, Israeli teen wounded as violence grows in Jerusalem and the West Bank
  • A Palestinian teenager was killed as Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces during a police operation in the West Bank town of Tulkarm.
  • Following the murder of two Israeli men in Jerusalem, a follow-up stabbing by another Palestinian wounded an Israeli teenager.
  • As Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the knife attack, PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced the homes of attackers would be destroyed and access to the Old City in Jerusalem limited.

Read more:
Violence intensifies in Jerusalem, West Bank, raising security concerns” (Reuters)
Jewish Teen Moderately Wounded in Latest Jerusalem Stabbing Attack” (Haaretz)
Israel bans Palestinians from Jerusalem’s Old City after knife attacks” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Atef Safadi/EPA, via The Guardian)

Israel & Palestine News | Israelis

Four Israelis dead following dual attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem
  • An Israeli couple was killed in the West Bank near the Israeli settlement of Itamar while their three children remained unharmed in the backseat.
  • The murder was followed by another attack on an Israeli family in East Jerusalem, leaving two men dead and a woman and child injured in violence claimed by the Islamic Jihad organization.
  • Riots by Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank followed, with outraged Israeli officials condemning Palestinian authorities for lack of response.

Read more:
2 Israeli men killed in Jerusalem attack were Nehemia Lavi, Aharon Benet” (The Times of Israel)
Palestinian Gunmen Kill Israeli Parents of 4 in West Bank” (The New York Times)
Thousands attend funeral of murdered Israelis as tensions flare in W. Bank” (i24 News)
Israéliens tués: des colons réclament vengeance” (Radio France Internationale, in French)

(Image Credit: via The Times of Israel)

Czech Republic News | Refugees & Migrants

Missteps in the Czech Republic’s handling of migrants draw ire
  • Czech police have discontinued numbering migrants by pen at the Breclav train station after human rights and Jewish advocacy groups expressed outrage.
  • Authorities said the numbering, which critics said had resonance with Holocaust-era practices, had been an attempt to keep from separating families.
  • Despite having had only a fraction of the asylum requests received by larger European countries, the Czech Republic has experienced a surge in anti-immigrant (largely anti-Muslim) sentiment.

“This incident shows how certain countries in Europe have been hit completely off guard. … The image of labeling refugees brings historical images of the Second World War to mind, and the police and border guards should understand the requirement under international conventions to treat migrants with the dignity they deserve. Countries can’t punish people for being migrants.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Igor Zehl/CTK, via Associated Press)

Israel News | Ultra-Orthodox Jewish

Israel detains third far-right Jewish Israeli suspected of extremist ties
  • Israeli police have placed the three men in “administrative detention” for six months, allowing them to be held without charge.
  • Police have accused the men of being involved in terror attacks, although no evidence has been presented for formal charging.
  • The arrests follow the recent arson attack by Ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremists against a Palestinian family’s home in the West Bank that left a toddler and his father dead.

“Right now there are three detentions. In the coming days it could be 30, and we could end up with 300. … These orders endanger the entire justice system.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

India Perspectives | Jewish Indian

Jewish in India

Nathaniel Jhirad shares his perspective on growing up Jewish in India, a country where the religions of the world often find themselves in close quarters. From Muslim-majority Jewish schools to overlapping calls to prayer, Nathaniel offers an optimistic view on interfaith relations in the world’s second-largest nation.

Read Nathaniel’s story at Forward.

(Image Credit: Nathaniel Jhirad, via Forward)

U.A.E. Feature | Jewish Israeli

Eli Beer: Diplomatic Daredevil

Middle East Eye interviews Eli Beer, an Israeli citizen who traveled to Dubai and recorded a video greeting despite the U.A.E.’s lack of diplomatic recognition of Israel. Raising money on a dare for the volunteer ambulance service he founded in Israel, Beer speaks about his perception of Dubai, his home country’s place in the Middle East, and the future of the Arab world’s relations with Israel.

Read the full interview at Middle East Eye.

Interregional Feature | Kazakhstani & Indonesian Jews

Asian Jews from Steppe to Sea

One the “bridge between Islamic and Jewish countries” and the other the largest Muslim nation in the world, Kazakhstan and Indonesia have strikingly different attitudes towards their Jewish communities.  While the former hosts the largest synagogue in Central Asia despite being a Muslim-majority country, the latter pushes Jewish religious expression to the margins and sees rampant, politically opportunistic anti-Semitism.  The Jakarta Post takes a comparative look at the conditions faced by Kazakhstani and Indonesian Jews.

Read the full feature at the Jakarta Post.

Italy News | Refugees & Interfaith

In Milan, Holocaust memorial doubles as accommodations for African refugees
  • With the help of Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim community partners and volunteers, the Holocaust Memorial has dedicated part of its space to sheltering the refugees, providing food, beds, and washing facilities.
  • The Memorial stands at the site of Platform 21, the only remaining intact deportation site from the Holocaust that had part of its plan converted into a museum in 2013.
  • The Italian Jewish community–including famed Holocaust survivor Liliana Serge–has drawn parallels between the situations and indifference faced by Holocaust-era Jews and African migrants fleeing violence, persecution, and hardship.

“When I was expelled from school, very few people noticed that my seat had suddenly been emptied; very few people didn’t turn their faces when they ran into me on the streets. Today I witness with astonishment what is happening to these migrants who are seeking help from our opulent Europe, where people waste food and are obsessed with buying new things even if their houses are already full.”

Read the full story at the Times of Israel.

(Image Credit: Rossella Tercatin/The Times of Israel)