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Grapevine August 31, 2021: Biased Behavior

CM 31/08/2021

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If Jewish journalists in other countries were treated the way that Arab journalists and press photographers are too often treated in Israel, there would be a global outcry of protest at this show of antisemitism.
The excuse for humiliating Arab members of the media at events attended by Israeli and visiting presidents, prime ministers and other high dignitaries is that while Arab terrorism exists, all Arabs are suspect. It is most unlikely that the Government Press Office would issue a press card to an Arab journalist or press photographer – especially one who is an Israeli citizen – if that person had a record of violence, political incitement and/or other anti-Israel activity. Yet, time and again, Arab media personnel holding valid Israeli press cards are denied entry to events, and are often subjected to humiliating strip searches.
When such people represent foreign media outlets, the Foreign Press Association immediately lodges a complaint with the relevant authorities, but all this achieves is to draw attention to an ongoing abuse of civil rights. It does not stop that abuse, as happened on Sunday to one of Israel’s best-known sports photographers, Radad Jabara, who had gone to Kfar Maccabiah to cover the 100th anniversary celebration of Maccabi World Union (MWU) for ONE, a digital news agency specializing in sport.

The event was attended by President Isaac Herzog and Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper. Jabara was stopped at the entrance and told that he would have to wait for a security clearance. He is an Israeli citizen and holds a GPO press card. He saw all his Jewish colleagues enter without any trouble. In addition, a Jewish reporter working for ONE, who had not registered in advance, entered without having her identity checked. It was a galling experience, and Jabari eventually left without fulfilling his assignment.
The humiliation of Arabs in this manner is not confined to the media alone. There are countless stories of the indignities inflicted on Arab travelers at Ben-Gurion Airport and even at local airports. In February 2014, Arab teacher Ezies Elias Shehadeh was returning with her Jewish students from an outing in Eilat when she was pulled aside by security personnel at the airport and strip-searched.
In June 2017, Israeli-Arab photographer Ali Wanus, who was working for Channel 2, was pulled aside by security guards of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and detained for an hour while his Jewish colleagues filed into Ziv Medical Center to cover an event in which the prime minister was participating.
In January 2011, Al Jazeera’s Najwan Simari Dab, who was pregnant at the time, went to the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem for the annual reception for the foreign press that is hosted by the GPO with the participation of the prime minister. She was strip-searched and forced to remove her bra.
Six months later, in another venue, Sara Hussein, a journalist for Agence France-Presse, was subjected to a similar indignity.
Even worse still, at the time that Shimon Peres was president, invitees to an iftar dinner that he hosted included a prominent Arab dignitary from the Negev, whose wife is Palestinian. Realizing that this might cause a problem, the dignitary got in touch with all the relevant authorities prior to the event, supplied them with all the information and documentation that they needed, and received permission for her to accompany him. On arrival at the President’s Residence, he was allowed through with a minimal security check, and was halfway up the path to the reception hall when he realized that his wife was not behind him. Turning back, he saw that she had been detained and was not permitted to enter the grounds.
The two, who had been fasting in the heat of the Negev, and who had driven all the way to Jerusalem, drove back without breaking their fast because it was not yet sunset.
Peres heard of the incident when it was too late to do anything about it. He subsequently telephoned to the couple and apologized, but the insult had already run deep.
 SHIMON PERES, then prime minister, visits a sick girl at the Laniado Hospital in Netanya in 1985. (credit: NATI HARNIK/GPO) SHIMON PERES, then prime minister, visits a sick girl at the Laniado Hospital in Netanya in 1985. (credit: NATI HARNIK/GPO)
On another occasion, in June 2018, Nebi Qena, an ethnic Albanian of the Muslim faith, and a veteran employee of The Associated Press, was detained for 45 minutes by security forces when, as AP’s chief television producer for Israel and the Palestinian territories, he went to cover an event with Britain’s Prince William, who was visiting Israel. Qena was the video pool photographer, and as a result of his being prevented from doing his job, not only AP missed out, but so did all the other media outlets which were depending on Qena.
Had Herzog been aware of Jabara’s unfair detention, he might have tried to intervene. MWU officials who know Jabara, and saw what had happened, did try to intervene – but to no avail.
Herzog was at the centenary celebration at which the 2022 Maccabiah, which will open in Jerusalem next July, was officially launched, and was pleasantly surprised when presented with a photograph of his father with MWU leaders at the Twelfth Maccabiah Games.
Among those in the photo was the late Israel Peled. His son Amir Peled is the current MWU chairman. Naturally, among the photos taken on Sunday were several of the double second generation.
The Herzog family’s connection with MWU goes back to long before the current president of Israel was a twinkle in his father’s eye. In his youth, Chaim Herzog was an athlete who loved boxing, a sport in which he excelled to the extent that he was bantamweight champion of Ireland and an enthusiastic member of MWU. In later years, the senior Herzog developed a passion for yachting.
In congratulating MWU on its 100th anniversary, Herzog noted that it represents a wonderful combination, in which it succeeds in being a symbol of excellence in sport, ambition and the pursuit of victory, and is also a Zionist educational movement that reaches young Jews around the world and kindles the spark of Zionism in them.
As for the Maccabiah Games, Herzog noted that they are not just a sporting enterprise but a national, Zionist, educational enterprise of historic importance, whose name precedes it. “It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of the Maccabiah Games to the Jewish people, to Jewish peoplehood. Its influence on this enterprise, on the most important building blocks of our nation, is evident every day and every hour,” he said.
“The Maccabiah has become the second-largest sporting competition in the world, after the Olympics. It is also the biggest Jewish-Zionist gathering in the world, and thousands of athletes and their supporters are expected to come to Israel in a year for a true sporting celebration.
“There will be athletes here of all ages, from 12 to 90. Among them will be athletes with cognitive and physical disabilities. Thank you to you, the leaders of Maccabi, for wisely opening the gates to everyone. The medals won by Artem [Dolgopyat], the Maccabi member [who brought us the first gold medal in Tokyo], and his friends are important and precious, but the participation of people with disabilities warms our collective Jewish and Zionist heart.”
■ ANOTHER CENTENARY this year is the appointment under the aegis of the British Mandate of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook as the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the Land of Israel – a position that he held until his death in 1935.
Kook is widely considered to have been the father of religious Zionism. His only son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, who died in 1982, was the head of Jerusalem’s Mercaz HaRav yeshiva. He died childless. He was a cousin to Hillel Kook, the son of Rabbi Dov Kook, the younger brother of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who served as a rabbi in Afula.
Hillel Kook was an Irgun and Revisionist activist, who led a like-minded group in America under the pseudonym of Peter Bergson. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Bergson and his group focused on creating awareness of the fate of Jews in Europe. In 1943 Bergson established the Emergency Committee for the Rescue of European Jewry. In 1947, the Bergson Group purchased the famous illegal immigrant vessel Altelena, which was also used to ship arms to the Irgun.
After the establishment of the State of Israel, Hillel Kook served as a Herut representative in the first Knesset together with another member of the Bergson Group, Ari Jabotinsky. He died in 2001 and is survived by two daughters.
■ OTHER CENTENARY celebrations include the founding of the first moshav, Nahalal, and the only official visit to the Holy Land by Winston Churchill, who was known to be well disposed to Zionism, and in subsequent years a staunch friend and admirer of Israel. In November 2012, the Jerusalem Foundation unveiled a bust in his memory at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, and inaugurated the annual Winston Churchill lecture. Members of the Churchill family, including his grandson Randolph, were in attendance.
 SARAH CHURCHILL, daughter of Winston Churchill, at a dedication ceremony held at the Churchill Auditorium at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, in 1958. (credit: MOSHE PRIDAN / GPO) SARAH CHURCHILL, daughter of Winston Churchill, at a dedication ceremony held at the Churchill Auditorium at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, in 1958. (credit: MOSHE PRIDAN / GPO)
When Winston Churchill was still alive, in 1955, his son, Randolph Churchill, visited Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and signed the cornerstone scroll for the Churchill Building. He brought a message from his father apologizing for his inability to be present.
In later years, another Churchill grandson, also visited the Technion and was involved in the restoration of the Churchill Building after it had been damaged by a fire. There are other facilities at the Technion which bear the Churchill name.
■ POINT OF disclosure. The writer of this column has never been a Facebook friend of any member of the Netanyahu family, and certainly not of former prime minister and current opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. It therefore came as a surprise on Saturday night to receive a Facebook post from the opposition leader.
Written in Hebrew and English, short and to the point, it stated in Hebrew how proud Netanyahu was of his son Yair for the public diplomacy work that Yair does on Israel’s behalf around the world. In both English and Hebrew, Netanyahu asks recipients of the post to “please watch an interview that my son Yair gave to a Norwegian Christian TV channel.”
The basic message that Yair Netanyahu delivered with calm proficiency was that in order to survive, Christians and Jews must cooperate because both are under threat from radical forces.
 YAIR NETANYAHU, during his appearance on a Norwegian TV channel. (credit: Courtesy) YAIR NETANYAHU, during his appearance on a Norwegian TV channel. (credit: Courtesy)
■ OUTGOING GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel canceled her farewell visit to Israel due to the crisis in Afghanistan, but the crisis and the intake of refugees by Germany will not impact on Germany’s elections on September 26. However, the outcome of the elections could possibly impact on Germany’s future relations with Israel.
To help those Israelis who are interested in understanding Germany’s upcoming elections, the Israel office of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, together with the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, will hold a discussion evening at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem, on Monday, September 13, at 5.30 p.m.
Participants will include German Ambassador Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer, Director of the Konrad Adenauer Israel Office Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy, ICFR Director-General Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, Prof, Gisela Dachs of the Hebrew University’s DAD Center for German Studies, and Dr. Oded Steinberg, assistant professor, department of international relations and European studies at HU. Moderator will be David Witzthum, an ICFR board member and former foreign policy affairs editor at Israel’s now defunct Chanel 1. Before that, Witzthum spent several years in Germany as the representative of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
Due to Health Ministry regulations, only people with a green pass will be permitted to attend
■ THIS YEAR marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction, and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
Throughout the years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, women from both sides have been meeting and talking to each other, often forming close bonds of friendship and mutual concern. The new issue of the Palestine Israel Journal, which was published in cooperation with The Canaan Project and supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, is devoted to Resolution 1235, and will be launched at a Zoom event on Wednesday, September 1, at 4 p.m., Israel time.
Moderated by Prof. Galia Golan and Lucy Nusseibeh, it will include among the speakers Prof. Naomi Chazan, former Meretz MK, deputy speaker of the Knesset and professor emerita at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Huda Abuarquob, regional director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace; Prof. Frances Raday, president, Concord Research Center for Integration of International Law in Israel, former rapporteur, UN Human Rights Council; Dr. Nadia Naser-Najjab, lecturer in Palestine Studies at University of Exeter; and Sister Jayanti, European and Middle Eastern director of the Brahma Kumaris, one of the largest international spiritual organizations led by women.
Opening and closing remarks will be delivered by Palestine-Israel Journal coeditors Ziad Abu-Zayyad and Hillel Schenker and Ina Darmstaedter, founder of The Canaan Project. Registration is at pij@staff.pij.org.
Women quietly building bridges of peace come in for far less criticism than do men, as witnessed following the meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who each came under attack from their own people.
It’s interesting that the women’s meeting falls on September 1, which is the 82nd anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, which sparked the Second World War, after which the catch-phrase was “Never Again.” But the world has witnessed many wars, much bloodshed and millions of casualties since then – and the killings continue.
■ IN THE days preceding the opening of the new school year, there was a lot of confusion and controversy over teachers who refuse to be vaccinated and also refuse to submit to an examination to determine whether they have coronavirus, with which they could infect anyone with whom they might come into contact.
Some of the teachers interviewed on radio and television were so illogical in their arguments against the vaccine that some parents must surely have wondered whether it would be safe to entrust their children into the care of such people, who are not only physically dangerous but also mentally.
One such person interviewed on Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet by Yair Weinreb was totally convinced that everyone and anyone promoting the vaccine was on the Pfizer payroll – and nothing that Weinreb could say could convince him otherwise.
Someone else, interviewed on KAN 11 by Riad Ali, refused to be inoculated, because Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted on several charges, set the ball rolling for vaccinations.
One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Regardless of how sick and tired the public may have been with Netanyahu’s nightly prime-time appearances on television with his endless spiel about vaccination, masks, social distancing and hand washing, those who heeded his urging are glad that they did. Politics and legal problems aside, they owe him big-time.
■ ON ANOTHER issue regarding infection, Gavy Friedson, the global ambassador of United Hatzalah, noted that in reports of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to Washington, the El Al crew was not bound to the same restrictions of the Covid bubble as the prime minister’s official entourage and the journalists accompanying him, who had to remain in their hotel over Shabbat in order to avoid quarantine on their return to Israel.
Yet the entourage and the journalists were exposed to the crew on the homeward journey. The crew, in roaming around Washington, had been exposed to numerous people, some of whom may possibly have been infected.
■ IT IS unlikely that Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli will be home for Rosh Hashanah. In a relatively long tweet, Michaeli, who after facing a storm of criticism for going abroad was inundated with congratulatory messages, once the reason for her trip to the US became known, wrote to thank everyone for “the wonderful comments” which she stated had moved her so much. She seemed surprise by the volume of well-wishers, and apologized that it would take her some time to answer them all. Implying that the goodwill messages were still coming, Michaeli wrote “they continue to warm my heart.”
Referring to her partner, Lior Schleien, she wrote: “We are still far away, and it will take some time until we will be able to come home with Uri (who is perfect of course), who was ahead of his time. Meanwhile, I’m working remotely, and grateful to my wonderful team and the men and women of the Transport Ministry who continue to work as normal.”
The subtext of the tweet is that whatever she may have said about motherhood before Uri was born no longer applies, and like any other new mother, she is bursting with love for her baby.
It will be interesting to see what happens when Uri is strong enough to travel. Although they live in the same building, Michaeli and Schleien do not live in the same apartment, which was a great way for a couple to give each other space. But now that they’re parents, will one of them move in with the other, or will they continue to live in separate apartments and have a baby’s room in each?
■ THE SPIRIT of people who create institutions and movements designed to help and to heal, often remains, long after the founders are gone.
A case in point is the Laniado Medical Center in Netanya, which was founded by Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam, who was also the first Klausenberger Rebbe. The hospital is administered by Klausenberger Hassidim.
Halberstam’s wife and 11 children were murdered by the Nazis. Of his extended family of 150 souls, he was the only survivor. After the war, he lived for a few years in New York, and had seven more children – five daughters and two sons.
After coming to Israel, he kept a promise that he had made to himself during the war and built a not-for-profit hospital, in which all the staff are committed to maintaining human dignity and saving human life.
The ongoing battle with the COVID pandemic has brought out the best not only in Laniado staff, but in medical staff in hospitals and clinics throughout Israel. At Lianado, there is an annual Am Ehad (One People) award in recognition of selfless service to every patient. Many staff members were considered deserving, but none more so than senior social worker in the emergency and trauma department Hadas Rucham, a married woman with two young children, who many colleagues consider a real-life heroine.
Rucham, who is also a volunteer in United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma & Crisis Response Unit, in early July, without thinking twice, put all her other responsibilities on the back burner and traveled to Florida to the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers building, where so many people were killed and injured, and joined in efforts to help the local Jewish community.
Her actions were directly in line with anything that Halberstam would have done or recommended. A perfect example of One People.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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