News Digest — 11/13/23

DC March,  American Jews To Rise To The Occasion: Editorial

On Tuesday (14th), Jews and their allies from across America will flock to Washington, DC, to participate in what promises to be one of the largest pro-Israel gatherings in recent memory.

Jewish schools have canceled classes, communities have chartered planes and major cities have virtually run out of coach buses.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA), which are jointly organizing the March for Israel, have called on Americans from all walks of life to attend the event, which will take place on the American capital’s Iconic National Mall.

“Hamas’ brutal and ongoing acts of terror have no place in a civilized world, and directly undermine global efforts to seek just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” said Conference of Presidents CEO Willaim Daroff.  “It’s imperative that America sends a resounding message of support to our ally that we stand in solidarity with the victims, hostages, and their families, that we reject extreme anti-Israel rhetoric and sentiment, and that we are united around shared values of peace, justice and freedom.”

“Americans have rightly stood by Israel at this critical moment because Americans understand that Israel’s fight against Hamas is no different than America’s fight against al-Qaeda and ISIS,” said JFNA CEO Eric Fingerhut.

“As patriotic Americans, we will gather on the National Mall to ensure that the entire world knows that America supports the people of Israel in its time of need, that America demands the release of the remaining hostages, and that America categorically rejects anti-Semitism and hate in every form.  This is a moment where all of us must stand together against terror and defend what the terrorists seek to destroy.”

Israel has no greater or more important ally than America and Americans remain staunchly  supportive of the Jewish state.  Public opinion polls show that Americans stand with Israel and back its military campaign against Hamas in the aftermath of the October 7 massacre.  They also back the steadfast support the US administration has extended Israel at this most challenging time.

American Jews have been a driving force behind America’s support for Israel since before the Jewish state’s creation and they remain so today.  A relationship with Israel is a core part of contemporary Jewish identity, and engaging with Israel is inherent to American Jewish life.  American Jews give generously to  Israeli causes, flying Israeli flags in their synagogues and communal institutions, singing “Hatikvah” at their gatherings, sending their children to learn about and visit the Jewish state, and advocate for a strong US-Israel relationship.  It is impossible to imagine Jewish life in America without Israel at its center.

Our message to American Jews and their allies is simple: Go to Washington and march.  March in support of our homeland.  March to demand the release of the hostages in Gaza.  March against anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism.

Now is a time for unity.  We derive our strength from one another and from our sense of community and peoplehood.  Coming together in Washington gives tangible expression to the term “Am Yisrael” – the Jewish people – and it offers our allies in other faiths and ethnic groups the chance to show that they stand by our side in our time of need.

There are moments in life when one must stand up and be counted.  This is such a moment.

For the future of Israel, for the future of the Jewish people, for the future of the US-Israel relationship, and for the future of the values we share – “Go March America!”



IDF Hits Targets In Lebanon After 21 Israelis Wounded By Hezbollah

Hezbollah terrorists launched anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) at the Dovev area, resulting in at least 14 civilians wounded, including one critically, the IDF announced on Sunday (12th).  In addition, seven IDF combat soldiers were also wounded by mortar fire Israeli media reported.

This prompted the IDF to strike numerous Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.  According to the terrorist group, Israeli strikes have killed 73 of its members.

Six of the wounded Israeli civilians are all employees of the Israel Electric Corporation.

One of the wounded civilians, a man in his 80s, has been evacuated to Ziv Medical Center and has been placed on a ventilator.  Two of the wounded have been evacuated in moderate and light condition with others being treated by IDF medics.

IDF Spokesperson R.-Adm. Daniel Hagari said late Sunday night (12th), “We have attack plans for the North to change the security reality there,” adding that Israel would not let the evacuated northern residents return to their homes without ensuring an enhanced sense  of security after the current conflict. 

Dovev is a community in northern Israel roughly half a kilometer from the border with Lebanon.

The IDF responded with artillery fire targeting the sources of the attacks.  In addition the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit revealed that before they had retaliated, they found another terrorist cell in a civilian area in Lebanon preparing to launch rockets.

Later in the day Sunday (12th), the IDF detected mortars launched from Lebanon into Israel and responded with artillery fire.

On Monday morning (13th), the IDF confirmed that two mortars were launched from Lebanon into Israeli territory, and fell in open spaces.

No injuries were reported.  IDF artillery struck the sources of the launches.

The IDF added that, “Overnight IDF forces attacked a cell of armed terrorists identified in Lebanese territory near the Biranit area.  A hit was identified.”




Netanyahu: Wherever There Is No Israeli Security Control, Terrorism Will Establish Itself (Prime Minister’s Office)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday night (11th):

• “We will not stop until the mission is complete.  The war against Hamas-ISIS is advancing at full force and it has one goal – victory.  There is no substitute for victory.  We will eliminate Hamas and bring back our hostages.”

• “IDF forces have completed the encirclement of Gaza City.  They are operating in the heart of the city and are on the outskirts of Shifa Hospital.  They have eliminated thousands of terrorists including senior commanders and arch-murderers who were among those involved in the terrible massacre on the cursed Saturday of October 7.”

• “We are also prepared on the northern front.  We are operating there with heavy fire – from the air and on the ground…. We are also fighting on additional fronts.  Every day, we are taking action against terrorism, its emissaries and militants, in Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, Syria, the Red Sea and anywhere necessary.”

• “About the hostages, my directive and that of the Cabinet is clear: There will be no ceasefire without the return of our hostages.”

• “To the leaders of the Arab states…you must come out against Hamas.  In the 16 years of its tyranny, Hamas has brought disaster to Gaza.  It has brought only two things to the residents of Gaza: blood and poverty.  Hamas is an integral part of the axis of terrorism led by Iran, and this axis of terrorism and evil endangers the entire Middle East, and the entire Arab world as well.”

• “As to the talk about the day after, this will only come after Hamas has been eliminated, and Gaza is demilitarized and no longer able to threaten the State of Israel.  In order to ensure that there is no such threat, the IDF will continue to have security control over the Gaza Strip for as long as necessary to prevent terrorism from it.”

• “The  massacre on October 7 proved once and for all that wherever there is no Israeli security control, terrorism will return and establish itself: therefore, I will not agree to concede security control under any circumstances.”

• Netanyahu also ruled out the possibility of the Palestinian Authority controlling Gaza, saying, “There will not be a civil authority there that educates their children to hate Israel, to kill Israelis, or to eliminate Israel.  There cannot be an authority there that pays the families of murderers.  There cannot be an authority that didn’t condemn the massacre.”



Why Was Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ Found In Hamas Base In Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) found a copy of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf” book in a children’s room at a civilians’ house in Gaza that Hamas used as a base, President Isaac Herzog  on Sunday (12th) told the BBC.  The base with explosive laboratories is said to have been discovered recently during the ground operation.

The Nazi manifesto was found among the personal belongings of a terrorist, according to the President’s Residence Spokesperson’s statement.  “By looking at the book, one can notice markings and underlining alongside written comments, which teach about the deepening of his life and the anti-Semitic and monstrous perception of Hitler by the terrorists.”

“This book led to the Holocaust and to World War II.  This book was found a few days ago in northern Gaza, in a children’s room, which became a base used for terrorist activities by the terrorist organization Hamas,” Herzog told BBC.

“The terrorist wrote notes, marked the sections, and studied again and again, the ideology of Adolf Hitler to hate the Jews, to kill the Jews, to burn and slaughter Jews wherever they are.  This is the real war we are facing.”

A statement by Herzog’s office emphasized that “after the massacre and atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 – the day on which most Jews were murdered since the Holocaust – the finding testifies to the sources of inspiration of the terrorist organization Hamas, and proves once again that all its actions have one goal  – the destruction of Jews, as the Nazis did.”

Herzog also addressed the disinformation spread by terrorists during the interview.  “Hamas lies – there is electricity in Shifa Hospital, everything is working, we are talking to the hospital administrators.”  He reiterated Israel’s commitment to avoid harming the Gaza residents.  “We are calling on all uninvolved civilians  – to move to another hospital nearby, we are coordinating this very delicately with all the forces around the place.  Hamas is the one stopping them.”



Swastikas Found On Gravestones At Cleveland Jewish Cemetery

Swastikas were found on gravestones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery on Sunday (12th), according to the local Jewish Federation.

Photos from the scene showed red swastikas scrawled on a number of gravestones.

“It is absolutely sickening that anyone could have so much hate for the Jewish people that they would desecrate Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery,” said the Cleveland Jewish Federation.  “This cowardly act to violate the memory of our elders only confirms what we already know: The hatred of the Jewish community here and around the world now is at a level not seen in generations.”

“We will support law enforcement in any way we can to see that those who are responsible face the consequences of their actions,” it said.  “We will restore the damage of the cemetery and return the dignity to the damaged gravesites.  And we will continue to combat hate against all communities with an unbending resolve.”

According to the Federation, about 20 people went out to the cemetery after the incident to help clean off the graffiti, saying this was “further proof of the strength of our community and the unwavering commitment to one another that connects us.”

US Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio 11th District) condemned the vandalism, posting on X (formerly twitter) that she was “saddened and outraged that a Jewish cemetery has been desecrated.  Sending my thoughts to the local Jewish community–we are with you.  Anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise and we must speak out.  Anti-Semitism and all forms of hate have no place in NE Ohio, including Cleveland or anywhere else.”

Chesed Shel Emeth (Kindness of Truth) Cemetery was founded in 1902 for Jews in need in Cleveland, according to the local Jewish Federation.  It did not have any affiliation to a specific synagogue for most of its tenure, although now it is affiliated with Menorah Park Synagogue.  The cemetery had been neglected and vandalized for years until the federation took control of it and raised funds for upkeep and improvements.