News Digest — 7/7/21

July 7: Isaac Herzog To Be Sworn In As 11th President Of Israel

President-elect Isaac Herzog is slated to be sworn into office Wednesday (7th), at a special ceremony in the Knesset plenum.

Herzog, who is set to replace outgoing President Reuven Rivlin, will be sworn in as the eleventh president of Israel at a special session of Knesset, which is set to convene at 4:30 p.m., a half hour before the president-elect is called up to take the oath of office.

At 5:00 p.m. Knesset Speaker Micky Levy will begin the inauguration, swearing Herzog in as president.

During the inauguration, rabbis from the IDF rabbinate will blow shofars as the Knesset Speaker declares: “Long live the President of Israel.”

Once he is sworn in, Herzog will sit alongside his predecessor, Reuven Rivlin, and Speaker Levy.

Levy will then give an address, followed by Rivlin, who will deliver his farewell speech, with Herzog giving the final address.

The inaugural ceremony is set to end at approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (7th), at which time President Herzog and his wife will leave the Knesset.



Hundreds To Rally Outside US Capitol To Protest Anti-Semitism

A diverse group of people will flock to the US Capitol in Washington on July 11 for a rally held in solidarity with the Jewish people amid rising anti-Semitism worldwide.

Titled “NO FEAR: A rally in solidarity with the Jewish people,” the rally will feature prominent faith leaders, elected officials, activists, celebrities and the victims of recent anti-Semitic attacks.

“It is time for the Jewish people and our allies to speak out against anti-Semitism with the many voices in our resilient community,” the rally’s website states.  “Our tent is big.  We welcome all Zionist, Jewish organizations, and allies.  If you believe we have a right to exist in peace and security as a Jewish people both here in the United States and in Israel, then you belong with us.”

Among the speakers attending will be Elisha Wiesel, son of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel; former US Senator and Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) chairman Norm Coleman; former Congressman and Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) chairman Ron Klein; and many others.

Sponsors include the RJC, JDCA, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Federation of North America and more.

Registration is available on the rally’s website.  Free buses are available from Boston, New Jersey, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia, but require registration.

Though it is unclear if it is related, the rally’s name is similar to the “No Hate Nor Fear” rally against anti-Semitism held in January of 2020.

At that time hundreds gathered outside the Jewish Agency’s offices in Jerusalem, parallel to 25,000 people walking in a solidarity march held in New York.

Those rallies came following another spree of anti-Semitic attacks, most notably a stabbing in Monsey, New York and a shooting at a Jersey City kosher supermarket 



Israeli Defense Ministry Offers Humanitarian Aid To Lebanon Via United Nations

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is offering to send humanitarian aid to Lebanon through the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

In light of the dire economic situation in Lebanon, and considering Hezbollah’s attempts to deepen Iranian investments in the country, Defense Minister Benny Gantz contacted IDF liaison officials and discussed a proposal to transfer humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

On Sunday evening (4th), at a ceremony inaugurating a monument in honor of South Lebanese Army (SLA) soldiers, Minister Gantz said: “As an Israeli, as a Jew and as a human being, my heart aches seeing the images of people going hungry on the streets of Lebanon.  Israel has offered assistance to Lebanon in the past and even today we are ready to act, and to encourage other countries to extend a helping hand to Lebanon so that it will once again flourish and emerge from its state of crisis.”



Nasrallah: ‘There Are No People In Israel, Only Settlers And Occupiers

“There are no people in the Israeli entity – they are all occupiers and settlers,” said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah during a speech on Monday afternoon (5th).

The speech was delivered at the opening of a conference titled “Palestine is Victorious,” convened in Lebanon in order to renew media discourse and manage the conflict with Israel.

Nasrallah did not specify whether Arab Israelis were also considered occupiers and settlers.

With tensions rising between the US and pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq, Nasrallah stressed on Monday (5th) that Hezbollah is “facing the American Hegemony” in Iraq and Syria.

The Hezbollah leader added that the conflicts with Israel and the United States cannot be separated as Israel’s existence is contingent on American support, saying “Every massacre committed by the Israeli enemy is an American massacre, and every aggression of this enemy is American aggression. 

Concerning the worsening economic crisis in Lebanon, Nasrallah blamed the US, saying American policy is the “main reason” for the crisis, as “the Americans want to besiege, punish and prevent any aid that comes to Lebanon.”

While Nasrallah admitted that incorrect government policies were also “among the causes” of the economic crisis, he stressed that the  US was the “main cause.”

More than half of Lebanon’s population is living in poverty, and its financial crisis is likely to rank in the top 10, and possibly even in the top three, most severe crises in the world since the mid-1800s, according to the World Bank.



Boston Rabbi Who Survived Stabbing Attack Said ‘It Was A Miracle’

Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, a Chabad emissary, was attacked and stabbed outside a Jewish school in the Boston neighborhood of Brighton late last week.

He spoke in Hebrew to reporters who gathered in his home, according to the Boston Globe, “If people want to see a miracle, they should look at me, because the same man tried to stab me tens of times, maybe even hundreds of times, over the course of seven or eight minutes.”

According to Rabbi Noginski, he ran from the man in an attempt to draw him away from the school after he realized it was a terrorist attack.

“He wanted the van, and I said to him, take the keys,” Noginski said to the Boston Globe.  “I told him once, I told him twice, and it was documented on the Shaloh House cameras.  He didn’t want the keys, he told me he wanted me to get into the van with the keys.”

With the help of his two older sons, Rabbi Noginski was able to walk to his synagogue for Shabbat service on Friday afternoon (2nd).

“Against darkness, against evil, the answer and the cure is goodness, grace and light.  If you light a match in a dark room, that bit of light eliminates the darkness,” Noginski said.

“So my plan for the immediate future is to increase the amount of good that we do, to increase the Torah teaching that we do.  To help more people.  And that will help me heal, and help the entire environment around me.”

Khaled Awad, 24, was held without bail Friday (2nd) at his arraignment pending a hearing to determine whether he is a danger to society.  He pleaded not guilty to assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer.

“Every Jewish person in every place is told to be alert and careful,” Noginski told the Boston Globe on Sunday (4th).

“We don’t have to be ashamed of being Jewish.  We don’t have to hide our kippah, or the tzitzit we wear, or the clothes that show we are Jewish.  We need to be proud of the fact that we ar Jewish, and The Holy One, blessed be He, will watch over us, like He watched over me.”



‘World Grovels To Jews’ Says Belarusian Leader Lukashenko

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko under heavy international security for allegedly falsifying  the Belarus elections last year as well as a long list of alleged human rights violations, also appears to have exposed anti-Semitic leanings that lie at the base of his political worldview.

Speaking recently to an assembly of youth and members of the Belarusian army to mark the victory of the Soviet Union and Belarus, which was then a part of Russia in World War II, Lukashenko compared the memory of the war and the Soviet war effort to the memory of the Holocaust, claiming that Jews “ruled the world” and the media.

“The Jews Managed to force the world to remember the Holocaust.  The entire world grovels before them and gives in to them – they are afraid to say a single word out of place.  We are tolerant and likeable.  We left things alone until it got to the point where others started attacking us and the memory of our efforts,” Lukashenko said.

While it is possible that Lukashenko was trying to praise Jews for their willingness to stand up for the memory of the Holocaust, he inadvertently revealed his own feelings about the supposed influence Jews exert in the world, the widespread anti-Semitism in eastern Europe and its roots in writings such as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Lukashenko made his speech a few days before receiving a warm message from outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.  On Monday (5th), Israel Hayom  revealed that Rivlin had sent the message under heavy pressure from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, but the reason for the pressure was unclear.