On Saturday night, thousands of Israelis gathered in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to rally for tolerance. The twin demonstrations followed a weekend of violence that left a 16-year-old Israeli woman and a Palestinian toddler dead—the former stabbed at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade by an ultra-Orthodox man, and the latter burned to death in his home by suspected Jewish terrorists. The gatherings were addressed by many politicians and cultural leaders, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his predecessor Shimon Peres, who each spoke powerfully about the need to fight extremism. But perhaps one of the most moving speeches of the evening came from an unlikely source: an Orthodox rabbi named Benny Lau.
Lau, the nephew of a former Israeli chief rabbi (and cousin of a current one), leads a modern Orthodox congregation in South Jerusalem, and is known for his efforts to bridge the country’s wide secular-religious divide. Standing in Zion Square before hundreds of rainbow flags, he forcefully denounced those who use religious Judaism as justification for their homophobia and hatred.
Israel’s Shin Bet said it believes the deadly firebombing of a Palestinian home in the West Bank is the work of a Jewish terrorist network that has been operating since 2013.
The Palestinian Authority filed a report with the International Criminal Court over the firebomb attack on a Palestinian home that killed a baby boy.
New York, Boston and Miami are the three most Jewish cities per capita in the country, according to a new analysis of data gathered last year by the Public Religion Research Institute.
In the aftermath of a deadly firebombing in a West Bank Palestinian village believed to have been perpetrated by Jewish terrorists, Israel’s Shin Bet arrested its most wanted Jewish terrorist suspect.
Jewish and Muslim religious leaders prayed together for the recovery of a 4-year-old boy severely burned in a firebomb attack that killed his 18-month-old brother.
One the victims of the stabbing that occurred at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade last Thursday has died from her injuries. Shira Banki, 16, was left in a critical condition after a Haredi man named Yishai Shlissel attacked revelers at the parade with a large knife, just weeks after he was released from prison for committing a similar crime 10 years ago. Banki, a student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University High School, died on Sunday.
Haaretz reported that Banki took part in last Thursday’s parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs. They family also issued a statement yesterday:
“It was pretty easy,” said jockey Victor Espinoza of American Pharoah’s gallop to victory at Sunday’s Haskell Invitational in New Jersey. “He did everything by himself.”
Of course, American Pharoah’s special strengths are no mystery to oddsmakers, who set the odds for the first Triple Crown-winning horse in 37 years at 1-10, “the shortest price winner in Haskell history,” reported ESPN, “returning $2.20 for a $2 win bet.” And neither are horse racing fans, who came out in record numbers to Monmouth Park where they watched American Pharoah take the blocks as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” blared over the speakers. Reported Steven Falk of the Asbury Park Press:
With Iran Deal Under Review, the Obama Administration Tries to Bait Three Jewish Senators Into Supporting the JCPOA
And now The New York Times is playing its role in the Obama administration’s Iran deal smear campaign. On Sunday, the paper of record charged that Republican congressmen and senators opposed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are more loyal to the Prime Minister of Israel than the president of the United States: a Times editorial described the “vicious battle” as “the unseemly spectacle of lawmakers siding with a foreign leader against their own commander in chief.”
Of course, it’s not like Ted Cruz or Lindsey Graham care much about what the Times has to say. No, the old Grey Lady is echoing the White House, which is targeting three key Democrats from northeastern states where the Times is read as scripture, and who may be tempted to vote against the JCPOA. From this perspective, the three biggest threats to Obama’s foreign policy legacy are Maryland’s Ben Cardin, who co-authored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 with Republican Senator Bob Corker, and two of the bill’s co-sponsors, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and New York’s Chuck Schumer. To keep these three Democrats in line, the White House, with the Times as an echoing chorus, is warning them that if they go against the JCPOA, they’ll be tarred as dual loyalists, just like the aforementioned Republicans—a threat that’s especially poignant for the three Democrats since they’re Jewish.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has fired a staffer after racially charged and insulting Facebook posts under his name came to light, a person close to the campaign said on Sunday.
The last two years have been cruel to Annette Salomon, a young woman from a small town in central Israel. She had lost her mother and then, last month, just a few weeks before her wedding, her father passed away as well. Convinced, perhaps, that the bride-to-be was too mournful to proceed with her betrothal, Annette’s family members and friends stayed home this Sunday; and when she and her fiancé, Lior, entered the reception hall and took their place under the chuppah, they looked around and saw that they were all alone in the room. Things were hardly looking up as the simcha unfurled: as the hors d’oeuvres were being passed around the room during the cocktail hour, there were barely a dozen people in attendance to enjoy them.
Had this story occurred sometime in the dark ages, before St. Mark emerged from the mists of time and delivered us all—with his social network—from a life lived solely on this barren earth with its confines of space and time, Annette and Lior might’ve gone to bed that night despondent and distraught. But one of the groom’s relatives talked to another one, who told a third. Before too long a Facebook post was up, urging anyone who happened to be in the neighborhood to come and party with the young and lonely couple.
When reporting on the stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade, several ultra-Orthodox outlets abandoned both journalistic standards and Jewish ethics, Rachel Benaim writes. How can we view them as reputable news sources?
Tom Canning, Director of Development at the Jerusalem Open House and one of the organizers of the Jerusalem Pride March, speaks to our own Jay Michaelson about what he saw last Thursday, and who he thinks is to blame for the stabbing at the march.
Israel will allow harsher interrogations of suspected Jewish militants, and possibly let security services violently shake detainees, following a deadly West Bank arson attack blamed on ultra-nationalists, a minister said on Monday.
Current wisdom is that the nuclear deal will strengthen moderates within Iran, who will be seen as having delivered on their promise to strike a deal with the United States and deliver the country from crippling sanctions. However, the exact opposite may be even more likely to occur. Iran’s leadership may well pocket the deal and punish president Hassan Rouhani and his moderate allies for the concessions they made in Vienna. This is despite the fact that Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made every decision and compromise at the nuclear talks with the explicit approval of the supreme leader or of his appointed representatives. He would not dare do otherwise.
So, why should the Rouhani administration be blamed for the compromises when in fact it was the supreme leader who approved every single one of them? The simple answer in this case is: Why should the supreme leader admit to any compromise, when he can let Zarif’s boss President Hassan Rouhani and his government take the fall? That’s one of the downfalls of working as president for the supreme leader in post revolution Iran: You get all the responsibility, but much less in terms of authority. Or as Iran’s first Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan described after his resignation in November 1979, it’s like “giving a knife to someone, but the blade of the knife to someone else. He [the government] is holding a knife without a blade.” In other words, the real power is in someone’s else hand, in Bazargan’s case, Ayatollah Khomeini.
Hosted by Tablet Editor-at-Large Mark Oppenheimer and featuring Deputy Editor Stephanie Butnick and Senior Writer Liel Leibovitz, the weekly show includes fresh, fun, and “disturbingly honest” (says Oppenheimer) discussion of the latest Jewish news and culture, plus interviews with two guests—one Jewish, the other not.
Hundreds gathered in Jerusalem for a memorial to Shira Banki, the teen who died from injuries suffered in a knife attack at the city’s gay pride parade.
Bethany Mandel is cheering New York City’s decision to investigate 39 religious schools. The young Orthodox mom explains why we should all support the move — especially after Faigy Mayer’s tragic death.
If only the stabber at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade had paused to speak to the marchers, he would have realized how much he had in common with them, Ysoscher Katz writes.