News Digest — 12/2/21

129 Nations Ignore Jewish Ties To Temple Mount, Call It Solely Muslim

The United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution 129-11 on Wednesday (1st) that disavowed Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and called it solely by its Muslim name, al-Haram al-Sharif.

The text, referred to as the “Jerusalem Resolution,” is part of a push by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab states across the UN system to rebrand Judaism’s most holy site as an exclusively Islamic one.

The United States, which opposed the text, said that the omission of inclusive terminology for the site sacred to three faiths was of “real and serious concern.”

“It is morally, historically and politically wrong for members of this body to support language that denies both the Jewish and Christian connections to the Temple Mount and al-Haram al-Sharif.”

The US has not been the only country to voice concern over the lack of inclusive language in an attempt to ensure support for the resolution – its authors had made some small amendments since the UNGA last approved the resolution in 2018 by 148-11.  That text referenced al-Haram al Sharif twice, one in the action portion of the resolution and once in the introduction.

This time, the phrase al-Haram al-Sharif was mentioned only once in the introduction.  Despite this shift, support for the resolution dropped, with the number of countries that abstained growing from 14 to 31.

Three years ago, all the European countries supported the text, but this year, a number of them changed their votes.

Hungary and the Czech Republic opposed the resolution, while Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia abstained.

A British envoy said “the resolution adopted today refers to the holy sites in Jerusalem in purely Islamic terms without recognizing the Jewish terminology of the Temple Mount.”

“The UK has made clear for many years that we disagree with this approach and while we welcome the removal of the majority of these references, we are disappointed that we were unable to find a solution to the final reference.”

“The UK has therefore moved our vote today from a ‘yes’ to an ‘abstention.’  If the unbalanced reference had been removed, the UK would have been ready and willing to vote ‘yes,’” the British envoy said.

“This should not be misunderstood as a reflection of a change in UK policy toward Jerusalem.  Instead, it is an important signal of our commitment to recognizing the history of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions,” he said.



‘Near Lynch:’ 2 Israelis Rescued In Ramallah

Two Orthodox-Jewish Israelis, members of the Breslov hasidic sect, were rescued in Ramallah Wednesday (1st) after entering the Palestinian Authority capital, apparently by mistake.

The Israelis reportedly were noticed by Palestinian youths who began to attack them.  Reports based on testimonies from local residents indicate that the Israelis who were in their vehicle “survived a certain death” as a mob forced the two Israelis out of their car and then set it ablaze.

PA police arrived at the scene, removed them to an IDF checkpoint at the entrance to the city, where Israeli security personnel met them.

In a statement, the IDF Spokesperson said, “Two Israeli citizens entered the city of Ramallah.  The civilians left accompanied by Palestinian security forces.”

The two were questioned as to how they managed to drive into Ramallah, as there are warning signs not to enter as well as a checkpoint.

“We emphasize that entry into Area A is prohibited and dangerous for Israelis,” the IDF Spokesperson said.



Latin American Embassy Celebrates Israel/Hanukkah On Anniversary Of UN Partition Vote

In a first-ever, historic event, the Latin American Embassy in the United States held a Hanukkah party this week.  The celebration was organized by The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) and the Central America Forum for Israel.  The event, which was held at the residence of Guatemalan Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Alfonso Quinonez, coincided with the 74th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan on November 29, which passed with crucial support from several Central American countries and paved the way for the State of Israel’s establishment.

The festivities were attended by ambassadors and high-level diplomats from Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Israel.

Ambassador Quinonez noted the long commitment that Guatemala has had with Israel, stretching back to the Partition Plan, and being one of the first nations to recognize the State of Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.  He also addressed his country’s ongoing commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is alive, and we need to work together to fight it,” Ambassador Quinonez said.  In his remarks, he called on more nations to join the Central American Forum for Israel.

The event featured a menorah-lighting ceremony led by Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, a CAM Advisory Board member, who also noted the significance of holding a Hanukkah event during the UN Partition Vote anniversary.

“We again express our gratitude to your country for this, as well as being the first country after the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Rabbi Weinblatt said.  “We appreciate your standing up to the forces who would seek to divide our people.  For when we celebrate the victory of the Maccabees, we celebrate a battle that was won, but unfortunately one which is not over.”

CAM director of Hispanic Outreach Shay Salamon presented each of the ambassadors with a Hanukkiah thanking them for their support for Israel and the fight against anti-Semitism.



‘Canadian Jews Are Not Alone Because Hate Impacts Us All’

A majority of Canadians believe their government can and should be doing more to combat hate online and in person, according to a newly-released poll on race relations.

Conducted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Nanos Research, the study found that 72% of Canadians support having hate crime units as part of local police forces, while nearly 80% support introducing legislation to combat serious forms of harmful online content.

The study results dovetail with what Jewish organizations are finding on the ground, according to the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations across Canada.

“According to Statistics Canada, Jewish Canadians remain the most targeted religious minority in the country, a fact exacerbated by the pandemic and by the conflict between the terror group Hamas and Israel in May when we witnessed a new, continuous, and dangerous surge in anti-Semitism.” Richard Marceau, vice president of external relations and general counsel at CIJA, said.  “This poll confirms what Jewish Canadians – and many others – know from first-hand experience: Canadians need and want swift action to remove hate from our online communities.”

Marceau urged the Canadian government to step up and “create a national strategy to combat online hate, which should include clear direction to social media companies active in Canada that they must clean up their platforms.”

“Jewish Canadians are not alone,” he said.  “Hate impacts us all.  If we aspire to build a society where everyone truly belongs, then there is no time to lose.”

According to the B’nai Brith Audit of anti-Semitic incidents in 2020, more than 2,600 attacks took place in the country.  While statistics for 2021 are not yet available, there is an indication that the numbers will remain high given the number of anti-Semitic incidents in cities across Canada in May alone.



Hanukkah Candles Lit At Place From Which Nazi Laws Came

Representatives of the Jewish community in Berlin, together with Chabad representatives in the city, on Wednesday evening (1st) lit Hanukkah candles at the German Ministry of Justice.

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal of the Jewish community and Chabad emissary in Berlin, lit the menorah, together with the German Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht.

Taking part in the candle lighting was Cantor Zvi Greenheim, a Chabad Hasid himself, who came especially from Israel to attend Hanukkah events in Berlin.

“For me this is really moving.  You can say ‘Am Yisrael Chai,’” Greenheim said in a conversation with Israeli media.  “In the place where 80 years ago, in the same Ministry of Justice and in the same building, annihilation laws were enacted against the Jews – today we lit candles with the Minister of Justice and other senior officials.”