September 11, 2018

At Rosh Hashanah, Figures Show 14.7 Million Jews Around The Globe

At the Jewish New Year 5779, there are some 14.7 million Jews in the world, a rise of about 100,000 since last year, with the vast majority of them in Israel and the United States.

According to figures released by Hebrew University demographer Sergio Della Pergola, Israel is home to  the world’s largest Jewish population, with some 6.6 million Jews in Israel.

Another 8.1 million Jews live outside Israel, with some 5.7 million living in the U.S.  Other significant populations include France (453,000), Canada (391,000), and the UK (290,000).

According to studies conducted by Della Pergola, the world’s Jewish population has been rising by about 100,000 per year.

The criteria used to define Jews were anybody who defined themselves as Jewish and did not identify with another religion.  However, the research also found that there are 23.5 million people who would qualify to emigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.

Israel’s law of Return gives every Jew, or child or grandchild of a Jew, the right to Israeli citizenship on demand.

According to Della Pergola, Arab and Muslim nations are home to just 27,000 Jews, with 15,000 in Turkey, 8,500 in Iran, and 2,000 in Morocco.  The Muslim world was home to an estimated 850,000 Jews before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

In contrast, Germany is today home to 119,000 Jews, up from some 37,000 Jews immediately after the Second World War.  Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

There are a total of 98 countries that are home to 100 or more Jews, the new data established.



Trump: Jews’ Strength And Perseverance Inspire Us All

U.S. President Donald Trump wished the Jewish people a Happy New Year ahead of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which began Sunday evening (9th).

“Melania and I wish all Jewish people Shana Tova and send our warmest greetings to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah and the start of the High Holy Days,” he said in a statement released by the White House.

“Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the New Year in the Jewish faith.  Far and wide, the trumpet of the shofar signals both a time of reflection and repentance.  Along with devout prayer and fellowship, Jews worldwide will practice teshuva during the Ten Days of Repentance to deepen their relationship with God,” continued Trump.

“Today, we reflect on the importance of religious liberty and ask that the Almighty bless Jewish families, both in the United States and around the world.  The Jewish people have endured and overcome unthinkable persecution and suffering. Yet, despite the challenges they have faced, their strength and perseverance continue to inspire us all.”

“Melania and I pray that the High Holy Days are filled with God’s peace, love, and mercy.  We wish a blessed and happy New Year to all those observing Rosh Hashanah,” concluded the President.



Liberman: We’ve Thwarted Terror Attacks In Recent Days Meant To Disrupt The New Year

Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman said Sunday (9th) that the IDF had thwarted several terror attacks in the last few days meant to disrupt Rosh Hashanah celebrations.

“In recent days, we have arrested suspects and prevented terror attacks,” said Liberman, addressing company from the Armoured Corps at a toast for the Jewish New Year that began Sunday evening (9th).

“The people of Israel will be able to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with confidence and quiet thanks to IDF soldiers and security forces who will continue to tour and protect us all during the holiday,” he said, without divulging further details.

The defense minister thanked the company of Armoured Corps soldiers, who are also responsible for guarding the West Bank settlement of Nokdim, where he lives.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered similar praise to the Shin Bet security service at a New Year’s toast last week where he claimed that “not a day goes by in which there is no thwarting of an attack.”

Netanyahu credited the work of the security agency with helping Israel avoid much of the violence that has engulfed other countries in the Middle East.      

“The Shin Bet deters, thwarts and defeats on a daily and hourly basis those who want us dead,” Netanyahu said at a toast with security chiefs for the Jewish New Year.



Hamas: Abbas Foiled Truce Talks, Should Be Brought To Court For “High Treason” – Khaled Abu Toameh

Hamas officials have accused Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas of thwarting regional and international efforts to achieve a truce between Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist groups and Israel.

On Friday (7th), a senior Hamas official called for bringing Abbas to trial before a Palestinian court for “high treason.”

The appeal came amid reports that Egypt, under pressure from Abbas, has suspended its efforts to mediate a truce agreement between Hamas and Israel.

Ahmed Bahr, A Hamas official who also serves as deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said Abbas was refusing to end the Hamas-Fatah dispute.  Abbas, he added, was also continuing to insist that Hamas hand over its weapons to the Ramallah-based PA government.

Bahr made his remarks during the weekly Friday (7th) Hamas-sponsored protests along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which Palestinians call the “March of Return.”

He also accused Abbas of “collusion” with Israel in imposing the blockade and sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil also lashed out at Abbas and accused him of thwarting efforts to “lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas officials said that protests against Israel will continue until the blockade on the Gaza Strip is lifted.

“Abbas has foiled the Egyptian efforts to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip,” he said.  “Abbas is no longer authorized to represent the Palestinian people.”



Jewish Restaurant Owner Injured, Restaurant Vandalized During German Neo-Nazi Riots

Jewish groups are incensed that an attack on a Jewish restaurant and its owner in Chemnitz during August riots in that former east German city went unmentioned for several days.

According to Die Welt newspaper, during anti-migrant demonstrations that turned violent on August 27th, about 12 masked neo-Nazis injured Uwe Dziuballa and vandalized his Schalom restaurant.

The attackers threw rocks, bottles and sawed-off steel pipe at Dziuballa and shouted, “Get out of Germany, you Jewish pig.” Windows in the restaurant were broken and Dziuballa was injured when a rock hit his shoulder.

Dziuballa told Die Welt he has often been subjected to anti-semitic incidents, such as having swastikas painted on his storefront and pig heads left at the door.  He nevertheless continues to keep his restaurant open.

Germany’s new commissioner against Anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, told the newspaper that the incident appeared to represent a turn for the worse in anti-semitic crimes.  “It is reminiscent of our worst recollections of the 1930s,” he said.

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Bavaria, said in a statement before the Jewish New Year that the violent anti-migrant demonstrations in Chemnitz were already a wakeup call for the German government and society.