November 1, 2018

Pittsburgh Buries First Victims Of Synagogue Massacre

PITTSBURGH – Grieving families and friends gathered on Tuesday (30th) for the first funerals for victims of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.  

Mourners from across the United States went to the Rodef Shalom synagogue to pay their respects to David Rosenthal, 54, and Cecil Rosenthal, 59.  The two brothers were among the 11 mostly elderly congregants shot to death on Saturday (27th) at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Pennsylvania city’s Squirrel Hill section.

Funerals were also held for Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, and Daniel Stein, 71.

“Words can’t describe it. It’s so tragic. The world we live in leaves individuals who are so deranged to take actions like this,” Bob Farrow, who knows members of the Rosenthal family, said outside the Rodef Shalom Temple.

“Everyone wants to show their support of the Jewish community,” said Farrow, who is not Jewish.

Robert Bowers is accused of storming into the synagogue yelling “All Jews must die” and opening fire on members of three congregations holding Sabbath prayer services there.

A federal judge on Monday (29th) ordered Bowers, 46, held without bail.



New Poll Shows Most Gazans Oppose Border Riots – David Pollock

Two new, reliable Palestinian opinion polls taken inside Gaza this month demonstrate that the majority of its people actually oppose the violent border protests by Hamas against Israel and at least half would support a formal ceasefire with Israel.  Most Gazans say they want direct dialogue with Israelis, and would like Israeli companies to provide jobs for them inside the territory.

Most also blame Hamas, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, or the UN, not Israel, for their severe economic woes.  Moreover, a plurality of Palestinians in Gaza say they want Hamas to change its rejectionist position and agree to make peace with Israel.  Altogether, popular attitudes in Gaza are more attuned to reality than either the militant image propagated by Hamas or the desperate anger at Israel often portrayed in outside media.



Death Of Oslo?  Palestinian Council Votes To End Recognition Of Israel

The Palestinian Central Council voted to suspend its recognition of the State of Israel until Israel recognizes a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders.  The council made the decision Monday night (29th) after a two-day meeting in Ramallah.

“We recognize the right to resist the occupation in all methods that comply with international law,” the Palestinian Central Council said.

The Council, which is the policy-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) urged Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas to follow its ruling, which also called for cutting all ties with Israel, including security and economic cooperation.

The decision itself is non-binding, requiring approval of another committee before reaching Abbas’ desk.

It follows a similar declaration made in January, 2018, a reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s December announcement to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

“Today is the day that the Oslo Accords end.  Israel killed them,” Mahmoud Abbas said at that time.

Another vote in 2015 called for suspending security cooperation.  Neither that vote nor the January vote were implemented.

Many see a PA reversal on recognition of Israel as the end of the Oslo Accords, the peace agreement reached between Israel and the PLO in 1993.  That agreement required that the PLO recognize the State of Israel. The Palestinian Authority has at various times over the years mulled revoking the Oslo Accords.

This latest move comes as Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt is to arrive in Israel to push the president’s “deal of the century” peace plan.

(; israelhayom)


Israel Strikes Targets Even After Russian Warnings

A senior Israeli official stated that Israel has carried out strikes in Syria even after a Russian military aircraft was shot down in an incident Moscow blamed on the Jewish state, reported Algemeiner and Reuters on Monday (29th).

While the Israeli official quoted did not furnish details surrounding Israel’s strikes, he commented, “Military coordination with the Russians continue as before.”

Among the strikes to which the official may have been referring was an attack directed at a shipment of Iranian arms destined for the Hizbullah terror group based in Lebanon, reported Israel’s Channel 1.

Following the September incident, in which Syrian forces bombed a Russian IL-20 aircraft out of the sky near Latakia in an apparent attempt to down Israeli fighter jets that had just struck, Moscow both publicly admonished Israel and then transferred the S-300 air defense system to brutal dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

Russia also communicated that it expected Israel to modify its operating procedures with regard to missions in Syria, which target Iran’s creeping military presence in the war-torn nation.

Israel has consistently identified Iranian military activity in Syria as a “red flag” that it will not tolerate, launching hundreds of strikes on Syria since 2017 to beat back the Islamic Republic’s advance.



Israeli Ambassador Dermer: Democrats And Republicans Have Come Together To Condemn The Heinous Attack Against The Jewish Community In Pittsburgh – Ayman Mohyeldin

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer spoke to MSNBC on Monday (29th), in answer to this question:

→Q: How do you, as an Israeli government official, explain this explosion of anti-Semitism in the U.S.?  Dermer: “This is not a new problem, it did not start in 2016.  Anti Semitism has been going on for many, many centuries.  In fact in 2014 and 2015, according to FBI statistics, attacks against Jews accounted for over 50% of hate crimes in America.”

→“This is a growing problem around the world.  It’s a huge problem in Europe – for Jewish communities in France, Britain, Belgium.  For half a century after the Holocaust, people thought anti-Semitism was a thing of the past.  Unfortunately, it has been growing for about two decades and it hasn’t stopped. With the advent of social media, it has allowed these purveyors of hate to spread their message far and wide, and to connect with other purveyors of hate in a way that they couldn’t do before.”

→“We were pleased to hear very strong statements from the president and from leaders of both parties condemning anti-Semitism.  President Trump said: ‘To those who seek to destroy the Jewish people, we will destroy them.’ I’ve never heard a non-Israeli leader say that, and so we appreciate that very much.  And we know that it wasn’t just on one side of the partisan divide in America. I’ve met with congressmen, both Democrats and Republicans, who have come together to condemn this heinous attack against the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and I think it sends a very strong message.”

→“When people attribute anti-semitism to one side of the political debate, they make a very big mistake.  Jews have been accused of being capitalists. Jews have been accused of being communists. Jews have been accused of being the biggest doves.  Jews have been accused of being the biggest hawks. There have been people on all sides of the debate who have been accusing Jews for centuries.  The people who we should blame for anti-Semitism are the anti-Semites. This guy who came in and killed eleven people at prayer – he is the one to blame”.

→“I hope that people from both sides of the political aisle will put the politics aside and will work together to confront anti-Semitism.  The President of the United States is not the reason why you have Jeremy Corbyn in Europe, a leader of the Labour party in Britain who is an anti-Semite, or why you have attacks against Jews in European countries.”

→“To simply say that this is because of one person or only comes from one side is not to understand the history of anti-Semitism or the reality of anti-Semitism.  One of the big forces on college campuses today is anti-Semitism and those anti-Semites are usually coming from the radical left. So we have to stand against anti-Semitism whether it comes from the right or the left.”