News Digest — 11/5/20

Lessons Of Kristallnacht Have Not Been Learned

On November 9, 2020, March of the Living will mark Kristallnacht with the “Let There Be Light” #LetThereBeLight campaign, designed to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht at a time when physical activities are not possible.

On November 9, 1938 – Kristallnacht, The Night Of Broken Glass – the destruction of over 1,400 synagogues began.

March of the Living invites individuals, institutions and Houses of Worship across the world to keep their lights on during the night of November 9, as a symbol of solidarity and mutual commitment in the shared battle against anti-Semitism, racism, hatred and intolerance.

As part of this historical virtual initiative, people from all over the world will be able to add their voice to the campaign.  Individuals of all religions and backgrounds are invited to write personal messages of hope in their own words.  Messages will be projected onto the Old City Walls in Jerusalem, at the central synagogue in Frankfurt and other significant sites across the world.

“Kristallnacht was one of the critical moments in the chain of events which led to the Holocaust.” Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, World Chair of March of the Living explained, “and this year we decided to launch an international awareness campaign, with the Jewish community in Frankfurt and many partners around the world.”

“By illuminating houses of prayer – synagogues, Mosques and churches – we convey the message that burning and destroying synagogues and Jewish institutions is not just a Jewish issue,” said Rosenman. 

“82 years have passed since Kristallnacht and synagogues are still burning, windows are still being smashed and anti-Semitism is on the rise.  Kristallnacht is not a chapter that is closed.  Today we see acts not only of Jew-hatred, but hatred of every kind across the world,” he added.



New York And Bahrain Synagogues To Commemorate Kristallnacht Together

The Hampton Synagogue and the Synagogue in Bahrain will join together in an historic solidarity to participate in the March of the Living’s “Let There Be Light” campaign, in which synagogues around the world will illuminate their buildings to commemorate Kristallnacht.

The two synagogues will keep their lights on during the evening of November 9 as a symbol of mutual commitment in the shared battle against contemporary anti-Semitism, hatred and intolerance.

“As the only indigenous Jewish community in the Gulf, it’s incredibly meaningful and impactful to have the synagogue in Manama partner with us,” said the Hampton Synagogue Founding Senior Rabbi Marc Schneier.

“This is far more than symbolic,” Schneier added.  “This is truly an important opportunity for the Jews of Bahrain to join with their brethren around the world in this commemoration.  Kristallnacht is a commemoration of the destruction of Jewish communities and today, the Jewish community of Bahrain represents just the opposite – a community which is in the process of enhancing its synagogue and growing its Jewish community.”

The event will be participated in by Rabbi Schneier, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Khalifa – Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Ephraim Nonoo – head of Bahrain’s Jewish community, and Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, chairman of the International March of the Living.

This is the first time that a Gulf leader will participate in a Kristallnacht commemoration.



UN Speaks Of Temple Mount As Solely Muslim Site – Ignores Jewish Ties

Some 139 United Nations countries approved a resolution on Thursday (5th) that spoke of the Temple Mount solely as an Islamic holy site, by referencing it only by its Muslim name, al-Haram al-Sharif.

It was one of seven pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel resolutions that the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee in New York passed on Wednesday (4th).

The resolution that spoke of Jerusalem included language that referenced the link of all three monotheistic religions to Jerusalem.  The resolution, in its language, spoke of Jerusalem as “occupied” only in reference to east Jerusalem.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the committee that the resolution “completely ignores any link between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount – our holiest site.  This is a disgrace.  The audacious attempt to rewrite history will not change the indisputable fact that the Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem dates back thousands of years.  They will not change the fact that today, our connection to Jerusalem is stronger than ever.  A growing number of countries are moving their embassies to Jerusalem, our united and undivided capital.”

The UN action takes place as the Trump administration has increased its efforts to underscore Israel’s link to Jerusalem, which is the capital of the modern state and where the Jewish Temple, the most holy of Jewish sites once stood in Biblical times.

“Unlike this chamber, which is detached from reality, a growing number of nations are acknowledging that Jerusalem is the undeniable capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.  As Minister of Public Security, I ensured that all religions had access to Jerusalem’s holy sites,” the ambassador said.

“No resolution passed here will change the eternal connection between the Jewish people and the holiest site of our faith – Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount,” said Erdan, as he used the Hebrew words for the site.

The resolution is the latest step in a long battle between Israel and Muslim nations with regard to the status of Jerusalem, particularly the Temple Mount, that Muslims say is their “third” holiest site.

Eight countries besides Israel voted against the Jerusalem resolution, including Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Hungary, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and the United States.  



Iranian Official To Students: Burn Israeli Flags At Home This Year Due To COVID

Iran’s traditional Student Day March, which marks the anniversary of the Iranian seizure of the United States Embassy in 1979, will not be held for the first time in 40 years, due to coronavirus concerns, the London-based Iran International reported on Monday (2nd).

Iran, which has recently seen another major surge in coronavirus cases, has also been dealing with the financial fallout of the ever-expanding list of US sanctions on the country.

However, one official from the student section of the Basij militia organization is getting creative with his methods of Protesting the US regime.

While talking to a local television news station, Mojtaba Bastan, Acting Head of the Student Basij Organization announced a new campaign, titled ‘Everyone together [says] down with the USA.’

Bastan said that instead of the Student Day March this year, parents and students should come together to “trample on and set fire” to flags of the US, Israel and France at home, where they can safely play with fire without worrying about catching a deadly virus. 

In addition, a special website has been created where students are encouraged to upload minute-long videos, adding their names to the statement ‘US must exit the Middle East region.’

The website also features a writing competition for students on ‘Why Down With The USA?’

The Basij is one of the five arms of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), consisting of volunteers for a paramilitary unit that roughly translates as “mobilization,” similar to the “popular mobilization” units in Iraq, that Iran backs.

In February, the group threatened to destroy the tombs of Esther and Mordechai, a Jewish site in Iran, in revenge for the Trump Administration’s proposed “Deal of the Century.”  Three months later the tombs were set on fire.


Israeli Anti-Algae Technology To Save Florida Waterways

Florida will soon be using Israel’s BlueGreen Water Technologies’ treatment to stop harmful algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee from reaching the state’s waterways.

Lake Okeechobee, also known as Florida’s Inland Sea, is the state’s largest freshwater lake.  It has become overrun by cyanobacterial blooms (blue green algae) that renders the water toxic for drinking and agriculture.  It’s also not safe to eat fish from the lake or swim in its waters.

Left untreated, cyanobacterial blooms can hijack all the  resources in a lake or reservoir and turn it into a dead aquatic zone.

With the toxic algae of Lake Okeechobee threatening to spill into the surrounding ecosystem via the C-44 Canal, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave the go-ahead to deploy Israel’s BlueGreen’s tech, which applies a nano-coating to existing anti-algae chemicals, making them significantly more effective.  

Results can be seen within 24 to 48 hours, CEO Eyal Harel told Israel21c in May.

Existing algicides, Harel explained, sink too quickly, missing much of the algae bloom on the surface of the water.  This requires more chemicals to be used, driving up the cost and adding potentially harmful substances into the water.

When BlueGreen’s Lake Guard pellet-solution is tossed into the water the active ingredients are released from their coating within four to six hours.

BlueGreen, which launched in 2018, is already working with most of the water reservoirs in Israel – some 600 of them.  It has also successfully been used in waterways in South Africa and China.   

“Harmful algae blooms have a debilitating effect on our ecosystems and our communities,” said DeSantis.  “That is why, for the first time, I made it a priority to secure dedicated funding to deploy innovative technology to mitigate blue-green algae blooms.”

BlueGreen’s head of US operations Dr. Waleed Nasser says that “the modular nature of our technologies allows us to be able to respond to any emergency within hours of a call,”

BlueGreen also works with a local partner, Modika & Associates, in Florida.