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Monday, March 27, 2017

Community members did not report the information to authorities or social workers and tried to cover up the sexual crimes that were being committed. Members of the community preferred to employ "law of the jungle" methods to deal with the crimes. The incidents were documented by members of the community and police acquired this evidence.

22 arrested in haredi neighborhoods

Arrests and searches in Betar Illit, Bnei Brak, and Jerusalem for community sex crime cover up.

Haredi man being taken to court


The Israeli Police announced an undercover investigation into sexual crimes committed in haredi communities and in neighborhoods in Betar Illit, Bnei Brak, and Jerusalem. In the overnight operation police arrested 22 suspects and searched homes.



The crimes were allegedly committed over a period of two years. The ongoing investigation gathered evidence against suspects who carried out crimes within the communities.

Community members did not report the information to authorities or social workers and tried to cover up the sexual crimes that were being committed. Members of the community preferred to employ "law of the jungle" methods to deal with the crimes. The incidents were documented by members of the community and police acquired this evidence.

The ages of the suspects arrested range between 20 and 60 years old.

Police were faced with disturbances in the haredi communities during the arrests and damage was caused to police cars involved in the operation.

All suspects are being questioned at the Jerusalem police department and will appear before the courts based on the developments of the investigation.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/227343



Friday, March 24, 2017

I am talking about appreciating that, by and large, we are living the dream, and need to guard against constantly looking for boogey men, simply because they used to be more present, and defining ourselves by who hates us, rather than by what we love, even though it is often so much easier to do it that way.


This Is An Opportunity For Jews To Move Past Victimhood

 

This Is An Opportunity For Jews To Move Past Victimhood
Talk about a bomb shell, even if that is not necessarily the nicest metaphor to employ in a story about terror threats.  The vast majority of threats made against Jewish Community Centers around the nation, not to mention the bomb threats phoned in regrading two flights on Delta Airlines, were, it now seems clear, made by a 19 year old Jewish American-Israeli dual citizen.  That breaking revelation comes on the heels of news related to a similar, if smaller, story regarding swastikas spray-painted on a home in Schenectady, NY.  The vandal is thought to be none other than the Jewish home-owner himself.

If this weren’t so deadly serious, I would just shake my head and move on.  But it is serious, and we can’t simply look away, as much as some may want to – whether out of shame, embarrassment, fear, or simply out of exhaustion.

We can’t look away, because there is real anti-Semitism in our world, and “crying wolf” makes it all the harder to take that fact seriously.  After all, if people lied about it this time, others will remember that lie next time, even if the next threat is real.  And no, it’s not good enough to say, “Well, in these cases it was ‘crazy people’ who fabricated the anti-Semitic threats, but when responsible leaders and organizations alert us to real threats, we have to pay as much attention as ever.”

It’s not good enough because so many of those very same leaders and organizations were the first to jump on the “rising tide of anti-Semitism band wagon” in the past months.  I am not interested in questioning their motives for having done so, but it is precisely because I share their legitimate concerns for real anti-Semitism, that I would invite all those who have been wringing their hands since last fall, to ask themselves/ourselves what happened here, and how we can do better in the future, assuming that is even the goal.

“Assuming that is even the goal?  Are you telling us that it’s not totally clear that slowing our urge to hit the panic button is not everybody’s goal?”  Yes, that is exactly what I am saying, and it is the part of this story which I find most troubling.

We Jews, or at least far too many of us, find it hard to take “yes” for an answer.  We cannot imagine that, given our lives here in America – our successes, achievements and the overwhelming embrace of us as proud Jews – we should probably be at least a little less panicky and a bit more cautious regarding sudden bursts of anti-Semitism.

If you factor out the recent rash of phone threats, for example, the supposed doubling of such acts in the past year, turns out to be totally false.  There may have been some increase, and there is no question regarding the importance of figuring out the cemetery attacks, but the panic from both the left and the right, the mobilizing of that fear, and people’s willingness to accept the worst possible explanations – those are serious issues which demand at least as much collective Jewish introspection as they do collective Jewish mobilization against anti-Semitism.

Now, I get it.  It would be so much more convenient, for some, if the threats had come from the increasing hordes of white supremacists, which the left not only presumes, but imagines are in lock-step (goose-step?) alignment with President Trump and his closest advisors.  Or perhaps, for those on the right, if the threats had come from an organized group of Muslims, confirming the false and ugly claim that “they” all hate “us” (Jews, Americans, etc) anyway.  It would be so much easier for people animated by over-the-top fear mongering regarding whomever they hate most, if these threats had come from one of those groups.

It would have confirmed all that they fear, and being right about who they fear is what defines who they are, in so many cases.  But of course, that is not how it went down.  It seems that in the vast majority of these cases, one of “us” was the perpetrator.  And that may be the most threatening, and most important, reality to which we need to adjust – the shift away from being the perennial victims, not to mention the willingness to look both without and within when we are being victimized.

Again, I am not naïve.  Jews do get victimized in this world, and even in America, simply because they are Jewish.  That is repugnant, and it must be fought, but it is not the norm – not in the US anyway – and as hard as it might be, especially after millennia of actually being the perennial victims, we need to adjust to this new normal.  And to be clear, I am not suggesting that because we are generally no longer the victims, we have generally become perpetrators, as many real anti-Semites and Israel-haters too often contend.

I am talking about moving beyond the victim-perpetrator model.  I am talking about moving toward a model which is more aspirational than it is defensive, that mobilizes people around the dreams they have, more than around fighting the nightmares they have, and that doesn’t pit communal self-defense against communal introspection.  I am talking about appreciating that, by and large, we are living the dream, and need to guard against constantly looking for boogey men, simply because they used to be more present, and defining ourselves by who hates us, rather than by what we love, even though it is often so much easier to do it that way.

Abraham Maslow (or Mark Twain who is often credited with this line) was right when he said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail”The reverse is also true – if you always think of yourself as a nail, it is tempting to see everyone else as a hammer.   Today’s events remind us that the world is filled with both hammers and nails, but who is which, is less obvious than we often let ourselves believe.

http://thewisdomdaily.com/this-is-an-opportunity-for-jews-to-move-past-victimhood/

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I also believe that Rabbi Rosen doesn’t go nearly far enough in advocating for institutional-level change in buying practices. If the membership of a Jewish institution finds factory farming to be cruel and immoral then their concerns can be turned into action by applying those concerns to an institutional food policy that takes these serious matters into account.







In his recent blog post the honorable Rabbi David Rosen, a man I greatly admire, asks a provocative question, “Is any meat today kosher?” While never fully addressing the question posed in the article’s title he answers by advocating for Jews to eat more plants and fewer animal products. He also encourages Rabbinic figures to speak out about the abuses of the factory farm system and to advocate for plant-based diets. The Rabbi’s description of factory farming is disturbing, accurate, and astute. What Rabbi Rosen fails to do is present a path to resist the cruelty of factory farming while continuing to eat meat—and it is on this point that I wish to respectfully challenge him.

Rabbi Rosen and I agree that there can be no doubt about the cruel and immoral nature of the factory farm system. Through my own experiences growing up on an Israeli factory farm, working as a shochet (kosher slaughterer) in an industrial beef plant in the midwest, and now working as an animal welfare advocate at the Jewish Initiative For Animals (JIFA), I have come to know the factory farmed industry first hand. My colleagues and I at JIFA are all staunchly opposed to factory farming regardless of the kosher status of the meat it produces, which is not an issue we feel qualified to comment upon. 

That said, I question why the only alternative to factory farming that Rabbi Rosen embraces is a move towards plant-based diets. The easiest way to avoid factory farming while keeping kosher may be to choose plant-based, but it is not the only way.

For example, the Rabbi failed to mention a once-common kosher meat product that just became available again for the first time in over 50 years, American Poultry Association (APA)-certified heritage chicken. In his post the Rabbi correctly states that “Chickens in today’s factory farms grow three times as fast as they did fifty years ago as a result of selective breeding programs and the use of antibiotics” and that “This leads to crippling bone disorders and spinal defects causing acute pain and difficulty in moving.” This cruel and commonplace practice of breeding chickens and turkeys to grow at an abnormal rate is of great concern to us at JIFA and addressing this problem was our first priority when founding the organization a little over a year ago.

Since then, we’ve worked with two kosher meat distributors, KOL Foods and Grow and Behold,  to help bring to market the first commercial run of certified heritage and certified kosher chicken in decades. These APA certified heritage breed birds are raised under robust animal welfare standards and come from genetic lines that can be traced back to before the advent of factory farming. They grow at a healthy and natural rate, reaching a normal slaughter weight of 5 pounds after a minimum of 112 days of growth. This is in contrast to the industrial Cornish Cross chicken, which typically takes only 42 days to get the same weight and, as a result, suffers from unnecessary and painful problems with skeletal development, organ function, obesity, and more.

There are also other higher welfare products that the Rabbi failed to mention. For example, KOL Foods deserves special recognition for being the only national purveyor of domestically farmed 100% grass-fed kosher beef. Grass-fed cattle take longer to raise but are able to live healthy and natural lives, totally removed from the factory farmed system. The fact that KOL is the only distributor of this product shows that this is a sector of the industry that needs more caring kosher consumers on its side.

Perhaps Rabbi Rosen’s most controversial statement is that“responsible rabbinic leadership should be advocating a plant based diet as much as possible, as the most kosher diet available for most people today.” I fear that this suggestion forgets the realities of the worldwide Jewish community. Many of us, myself included, feel that animal products make up an important part of our diets and is crucial for our health. To propose that Rabbinic authorities advocate for a plant based diet as the only  alternative to factory farming and not mentioning any higher welfare options leaves the vast majority of the kosher-keeping population feeling as if they have little to do but continue purchasing factory farmed products.

I also believe that Rabbi Rosen doesn’t go nearly far enough in advocating for institutional-level change in buying practices. If the membership of a Jewish institution finds factory farming to be cruel and immoral then their concerns can be turned into action by applying those concerns to  an institutional food policy that takes these serious matters into account. This is why the Jewish Initiative for Animals has made it a top priority to work with Jewish institutions to create ethical food buying policies that address animal welfare.

If you keep kosher and are concerned about the conditions described in the Rabbi’s article than there are many concrete steps you can take to fight factory farming. Here are a few suggestions:
Advocating for plant-based diets as the only alternative to the factory farm system is not the way to most successfully fight its extreme cruelty. Even the great Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook, mentioned at the end of Rabbi Rosen’s article, was known to eat some meat on Shabbat and holidays. If that great Rabbi, who advocated for a vegetarian diet, couldn’t make a full transition we certainly cannot expect the millions of everyday Jews throughout the world to become vegan overnight.

I believe that we can all play a vital role in the fight against factory farming. I invite Rabbi Rosen to join me and the diverse group of caring individuals that make up the Jewish Initiative For Animals in widening the tent and offering a path for each and every individual that wishes to make this world a more humane place for all of God’s creations.

Yadidya Greenberg Yadidya Greenberg serves as the Kosher Meat & Animal Welfare Specialist at the Jewish Initiative for Animals, where he works [More]

"Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, the founding dean of New York's Mesifta Torah VoDaath, became a vegetarian after the Holocaust/Shoah, simply yet powerfully declaring, "There has been enough killing in the world." 

 

 

READ IT ALL:

http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2015/05/rav-shraga-feivel-mendlowitz-founding.html

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On Religious Extremism




It is ironic that with Jewish observance and spiritual values at unprecedentedly high levels in Israeli society, the established religious leadership has sunk to its lowest nadir.


There are many wise, creative and worldly Israeli rabbis but in most cases, they are marginalized or even dismissed as being “Reform.”

Compared to their predecessors, the current chief rabbis are mediocrities. When headed by spiritual giants like Rabbis Isaac Herzog, the Chief Rabbinate courageously reviewed Halachah built up over 2,000 years of exile and sought ways and means to blend and harmonize it with the requirements of the modern industrial State of Israel.

Sadly, today’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi was selected as a puppet of the extreme wing of the haredim, who themselves regard the role of the Chief Rabbinate with utter contempt. He and his Sephardi counterpart dismiss the revolution brought about by the creation of a Jewish state and make no effort to harmonize Halachah with the modern needs of the state. They adamantly reject Torah im derech eretz (worldliness) and aggressively adopt the most stringent interpretations of Jewish law.


Their vulgar, boorish language and vile curses directed against the non-Orthodox have succeeded in creating a crisis in Israel-Diaspora relations. Their bizarre intrigues and broken undertakings in relation to access to the Western Wall demean the Jewish people.

The ultimate source of ultra-Orthodox control rests in retention of the political balance of power and the ability to extort vast sums of taxpayers’ funds from the state for their one-dimensional projects. It also enables them to indoctrinate their followers to engage in full-time Torah study in lieu of earning a livelihood, thus becoming lifelong recipients of welfare. They also discourage young adults from enrolling in the army.  


Draft evaders from this sector grew by 15% last year.

The situation is becoming explosive and statistics published this month note the vast increase in numbers attending haredi schools that provide no core secular education.

This has potentially catastrophic demographic and economic consequences because the shrinking productive sectors of the community will ultimately revolt against providing long-term welfare payments to able-bodied haredim.

Yet, in the current political climate, non-haredi Israelis are powerless to influence events because our dysfunctional political system pressures the secular political parties to succumb to haredi extortion to retain or gain political power.

Those who should be at the forefront of the battle against religious extremism are the leaders of Habayit Hayehudi — but they have abandoned their primary obligation of promoting religious Zionism as a unifying factor in the state. They have become so deeply entrenched in politics and focused on the settlement issue that they have neglected the soul of Israel. To his credit, Naftali Bennett as education minister is promoting greater appreciation of Jewish heritage in the secular school curriculum; he should be concentrating more on this rather than engaging in battles for individual political supremacy.

Bennett has failed to confront the extremes of the haredi establishment. He has not only deferred to extremist haredi initiatives but has nurtured the hardalim within his party, the influential elements seeking to prove, as dedicated Zionists, that they are equally or even more zealous in their interpretation of aspects of Halachah than the haredim.

They have become totally obsessed with gender issues in which they impose unprecedented standards of separation, modesty and dress codes that even the most pious former leading religious Zionists never required.


 There are legitimate halachic concerns with mixed-gender combat units, which moderate rabbis also recognize.

One of their outspoken charismatic leaders, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, co-head of the prestigious Bnei David pre-military religious academy, created outrage with a series of derisive statements vilifying female soldiers, claiming that the IDF “has driven our girls crazy. … They enter as Jews but they are not Jews by the time they leave.” He was supported by the chairman of the Shas party, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, and several radical religious Zionists, including Rabbis Dov Lior and Zalman Melamed.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman demanded Levinstein’s resignation, asserting that his outlook is “in total contravention of the values of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” If his resignation was not forthcoming, he threatened to revoke state recognition of the pre-military academy. Education Minister Bennett criticized Levinstein’s comments as “wretched and disparaging” but adamantly opposed any effort to suspend the academy’s recognition.


Allowing that there are no calls to close state-supported universities when radical left-wing professors publicly support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, some consider it hypocritical to call for the closing down of a religious Zionist institution whose head, Rabbi Eli Sadan, only last year was awarded the Israel Prize for life achievement. In response to Lieberman, Sadan also reiterated his opposition to women serving in combat units but insisted that any woman serving in the IDF deserved respect and was a righteous woman.

However, this is not a question of freedom of expression. It rather represents a challenge to the religious Zionist leadership. Bennett should have been the first to state that Levinstein had to resign. Such crude remarks by a spiritual leader and educator make Levinstein unfit to retain a leadership role in a prestigious national religious pre-army academy that sets the moral standards for impressionable youngsters. There may be differences regarding the role of women in the army, but there should be no tolerance for anyone denigrating the increasing proportion of religious women who opt to serve the nation by choosing military service.

In this complex potpourri, it is extremely difficult to provide religious Zionist youngsters with a worldly and balanced education and upbringing.

There are outstanding rabbis in the community but they face constant opposition from the haredi establishment.

Tzohar, the organization of moderate religious Zionist Orthodox rabbis, has made major contributions in providing religious services for those who have no religious educational background. But they decline to confront the Chief Rabbinate out of a misplaced fear that this would contribute to the further denigration of religious Judaism.

A bright light in the arena was the creation of an independent rabbinical court by religious Zionist rabbis to specifically challenge the monopoly relating to conversions imposed by the restrictive haredi-controlled Chief Rabbinate. The highly respected director of the Birkat Moshe hesder yeshiva in Maaleh Adumim, Rabbi Nahum Rabinovitch, heads this court, which includes Rabbi David Stav, chairman of Tzohar, and others.

This court is also reluctant to stand up and confront the Chief Rabbinate on other, broader areas that are currently undermining the religious status quo of the country.

Other organizations doing excellent work include Beit Morasha, headed by Professor Benny Ish-Shalom, which inculcates moderate religious standards into the educational system.

On the more academic side, Eretz Hemdah, an institution headed by Rabbi Yosef Carmel, is an impressive Talmudic college constructively reviewing halachic issues that the Chief Rabbinate is inclined to ignore or reject.

It is incredible that, despite the office of the Chief Rabbinate, which deters rather than inspires spirituality, the country is nevertheless experiencing a major spiritual revival with a greater appreciation of the Jewish heritage and tradition among rank-and-file Israelis than ever before.

Regrettably, until there is political reform, the haredim will continue to inhibit progress. And unless Habayit Hayehudi rejects its extremist elements, it will not succeed in promoting the moderate religious Zionism that should be its principle raison d'être.

Economics will ultimately lead to an upheaval but while the status quo persists, the nation is obliged to pay a bitter price. The only solution would be a mutual undertaking by the government and opposition parties to prevent their exploitation by the haredim.

Regrettably, the prospects for political parties to agree to any such undertaking at the expense of their own self-serving interests are inconceivable — and thus they bear the responsibility for the hijacking of state religious instrumentalities by the haredi extremists.


Isi Leibler may be contacted at ileibler@leibler.com




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Elizabeth attempted to advance her biased viewpoint not by offering false data or overt lies, but by the deliberate omission of any information — genetic history, the time and location of the event, the relationship between twinning and SIDs, and the massive body of research addressing the subject — contrary to her preferred anti-vaccination narrative.

Elizabeth did an impressive job of reporting a misleadingly minimum amount of factual information about a tragic event in an effort to support claims of a link between vaccinations and SIDS — claims that have been repeatedly rejected (and rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected) by the scientific community.

Infant Twins Die Simultaneously After Vaccines?

 

A 15-year-old tragedy has been warped into a scientifically flawed indictment of vaccinations by those with an anti-vaccine agenda.

Shutterstock



CLAIM

 

The simultaneous death of infant twins in Turkey in 2002 was connected to their having recently received vaccinations.

 

 

RATING

  Unproven

 

 

WHAT'S TRUE

In June 2002, twin infants in Turkey passed away within 24 hours of each other two days after receiving vaccinations

WHAT'S FALSE

The infants were diagnosed as having died of SIDS, and reports framing this event as evidence of the harm caused by vaccinations do so by misleadingly omitting any mention of contrary evidence.

 

ORIGIN

On 1 February 2017, Erin Elizabeth of “Health Nut News” published an article bearing the headline “Infant Twins Die Simultaneously After Vaccines, Medical Board Rules ‘Just a Coincidence’” that implied the simultaneous death of infant twins was caused by childhood vaccinations:
PubMed reports that identical twin girls, aged 3.5-months and delivered via c-section, were found dead (by their poor momma) in their crib, both laying face up. Not surprisingly, both babies were healthy will no serious medical history. Two days before their death, both of the girls had received their second dose of oral polio, DPT, and their first dose of hepatitis B vaccines. They had a fever the day after the vaccines and were given a teaspoon of acetaminophen.
All that and yet, “the death scene investigation, judicial investigation, parental assessment, macroscopic and microscopic autopsy findings and the toxicological analysis didn’t yield any specific cause of death.” Because the case was so rare it was referred to a board of multidisciplinary medical professionals at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, in the Ministry of Justice, in Istanbul. And yet, the Board still decided that the data they had was consistent with [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS].
Elizabeth’s article was a highly deceptive one that deliberately omitted a wealth of contrary information in order to further her anti-vaccination agenda, starting with the fact that nowhere did she inform her readers that the report she was referencing was ten years old (2007), and that the infant deaths it examined occurred nearly fifteen years ago (2002). Instead, she left readers with the misleading impression that she was describing a recent event and suggested that it was somehow suspicious that the non-homicide deaths of two infants in a remote part of the world fifteen years ago didn’t garner the attention of the U.S. national press — likely because doing so served to further the anti-vaccination narrative that the “mainstream media” is withholding the truth about the dangers of childhood vaccinations.

The incidence of two infant twin siblings dying within 24 hours of each other two days after receiving vaccines is factual. The information Elizabeth cited was originally published as a conference presentation and later as a case report in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. (PubMed is a government repository of published journal abstracts, and as such does not “report” anything on their own.) This event was described in that report as follows:
Twin girls (3.5-month-old) were found dead by their mother in their crib, both in supine position. The infants were identical twins and delivered at a hospital by cesarean section. Both infants were healthy and did not have any serious medical history. Two days prior to the incident, the twins had received the second dose of oral polio, DPT and the first dose of hepatitis B vaccines …
Both twins had been given 2 teaspoonful of acetaminophen due to fever on the first day of the vaccination. On subsequent two days they had no complaints of fever.
The purpose of that report was to present the totality of information doctors and Turkish government officials had available to them to prior to making a ruling on the cause of death, the main objective of which was to determine if any evidence of criminal wrongdoing existed.
A team of doctors, technicians, and judicial investigations did not find any clear cause for the deaths, so the case was referred to the Turkish Ministry of Justice’s Forensic Medicine Division, who ruled that the best available diagnosis was sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
The death scene investigation, judicial investigation, parental assessment, macroscopic and microscopic autopsy findings and the toxicological analysis did not yield any specific cause of death. Likewise, the clinical history of the parents and the infants, the gestational follow up during the pregnancy did not imply any pathologic condition the death can be attributed to. The case was referred to a supreme board composed of multidisciplinary medical professionals at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Ministry of Justice, in Istanbul. The Board decided that the available data was consistent with SIDS.
Elizabeth makes it clear that she believes the two died as a result of their vaccinations, an assessment based on no evidence whatsoever other than the temporal proximity of the twins’ deaths to their vaccinations (a classic expression of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc logical fallacy). Anti-vaccine advocates commonly try to draw a line between SIDS and vaccinations, but citing a temporal relationship alone is not convincing evidence of any link, since by definition the time period during which a death can be considered to be the result of SIDS generally corresponds to the same time period when children receive a bulk of their vaccinations. To determine whether any possible causal connection exists between vaccines and SIDS, researchers have to look at the epidemiology of SIDS and vaccination as a whole.

Several studies have attempted to investigate a possible connection by comparing populations of vaccinated SIDS victims against unvaccinated SIDS victims. One of the earliest large scale studies, published in 2001 in the BMJ, surveyed populations of infants in five regions of England and concluded that “Immunisation does not lead to sudden unexpected death in infancy, and the direction of the relation is towards protection rather than risk.”

A similar study conducted in the United States in 2001 using data collected between 1990-1997 from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System also found no causal relationship, noting that the time period studied actually showed an increase in vaccination but a decrease in SIDS cases.
Later studies published in 2007 also demonstrated a lack of a causal relationship between SIDS and vaccination, and they even suggested that vaccinations provided a protective effect against SIDS. Although the protective element remains a subject of debate, more recent work has continued to confirm a lack of association between vaccination and SIDS.

A VAERS-based study published in 2015 that used death- after-vaccination reports from 1997 through 2013 documented (similar to the 2001 study) a continued decline in deaths from SIDS in the United States and, once again, no correlation between vaccination and SIDS:
No concerning pattern was noted among death reports submitted to VAERS during 1997–2013. The main causes of death were consistent with the most common causes of death in the US population.
Because SIDS peaks at a time when children are receiving many recommended vaccinations, it would not be unexpected to observe a coincidental close temporal relationship between vaccination and SIDS.
Despite Elizabeth’s derision at the use of the term “coincidence,” it should be noted that given the high numbers of children vaccinated in the world, an infant death occurring 24-48 hours after a vaccination by chance alone — in small numbers — is highly probable on an annual basis. A 2005 study published in the journal Pediatrics investigated this question for the population of Australian children and found that:
The overall estimated probability of vaccination within the last 24 hours for a child who has died of SIDS in Australia is estimated as 1.3%. In the last 48 hours, it is 2.6%. With the average number of SIDS deaths for the period 1997-2001 equal to 130 cases per year, we estimated that a case of SIDS will occur when vaccination was given in the last 24 hours in 1.7 cases per year and within 48 hours in 3.5 cases.
That the specific infant death event discussed here involved two simultaneous cases of SIDS, of course, makes that Turkish tragedy more rare — but not quite as rare of Elizabeth suggests. That’s because the probability of SIDS is higher for twins in general, and much higher for an infant whose twin sibling has been a victim of SIDS, as noted in the case report:
In [a 2005 study looking at Danish birth and death records from 1995-1998] the incidence of SIDS was 82% higher in twins as compared to singletons. The excess was especially prominent in term infants. The probability of a 2nd twin dying of SIDS, given that at least one twin had died of SIDS was 4.9 times higher than the overall risk of a twin dying of SIDS.
Avoiding any mention of these significant factors was not the most egregious omission Elizabeth made in her article, however. That award goes to her neglecting to mention the mother’s family history of SIDS, also described in the case report:
There is always the possibility of some familial metabolic or other genetic disease. When the familial history of the mother is explored; the mother’s mother had 3 twin births to 6 children, of whom 5 died sometime after the delivery. And the mother’s own twin sibling and the twins of the uncle of the mother also died.
Although samples were collected to test this line of inquiry, the Turkish government did not pursue it due to a lack of facilities and cost. This factor, the researchers argued, was the largest limitation to their study (and study limitations are typically a factor mentioned in objective coverage of scientific papers).

We reached out to Elizabeth to inquire whether she had read this portion of the paper (or anything more than its abstract), and if so, what her thoughts were on the probability of genetic mechanisms (rather than vaccinations) being responsible for the infants’ deaths. A response from her “part-time assistant” stated “Erin has read the entire paper” but provided no further comment.

Elizabeth did an impressive job of reporting a misleadingly minimum amount of factual information about a tragic event in an effort to support claims of a link between vaccinations and SIDS — claims that have been repeatedly rejected (and rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected) by the scientific community.

Elizabeth attempted to advance her biased viewpoint not by offering false data or overt lies, but by the deliberate omission of any information — genetic history, the time and location of the event, the relationship between twinning and SIDs, and the massive body of research addressing the subject — contrary to her preferred anti-vaccination narrative.


Monday, March 20, 2017

“The cover-up was like something that all religious communities around the world would do, so I was disappointed but not shocked...

Private lessons: Dassi Erlich’s story of sexual abuse - Erlich herself would not understand what it all meant until years later, when memories haunted her and then almost killed her.


Damages: Dassi Erlich received one of Australia’s largest sex abuse payouts. 
 
“I couldn’t feel anything for the child I was carrying – it scared me so much,” she says. “It got worse after she was born. I was getting lots of flashbacks and I literally could not deny it any more. I was ­suicidal, I was self-harming and I felt like the worst mother in the world.” 
In a cafe in Melbourne’s south-east, not far from her old school, Dassi Erlich is writing about her former school principal, Malka Leifer. “I see her pleading fingers undressing me, the slow crawl of her touch over my exposed skin,” she types. “But I am not there. I am empty. In that room, I do not exist. She has killed me. A silent death that no one will ever know of. No one will believe me.”

Erlich was only 15 years old and no one in her ultra-orthodox Adass Jewish neighbourhood in East St Kilda knew then that she was being abused by a doyenne of that community, the respected female principal of the Adass Israel School. Erlich herself would not understand what it all meant until years later, when memories haunted her and then almost killed her.

She would have to reject the tightly knit religious community of barely 2000 people and all she had known in order to seek justice. Then came the police statements, the court case, the million dollars in damages and the stunning news that her community leaders had spirited Leifer out of Australia in the dead of night to Israel, where she continues to evade justice. In a cruel twist, Erlich also learnt that two girls close to her were abused by the same woman.

Erlich, now 29, has good reason to be angry with those who have let her down, from her ­former school to the leaders of Melbourne’s Adass community to the Israeli justice system, which has so far blocked the extradition of her former principal. Instead, she cradles a coffee in her hands at her favourite cafe and says she doesn’t want to throw another grenade after the bad ­publicity her court case has already garnered for the reclusive Adass. “I don’t want to talk badly about the community because there are many people there who haven’t done anything wrong and who are just living their lives to the best of their ability and who are happy,” she says. “But from the outside, when I look at the kids who grow up in that community and the way of life, I can’t condone it, I think it’s wrong. I think a lot of the rules about keeping the community so excluded and making the outside world seem so dangerous breed that kind of [sexual] abuse.”

Now, almost 18 months after former Victorian Supreme Court judge Jack Rush ordered the school to pay $1,024,428 in damages – one of the largest sex abuse payouts in Australia’s history – and nine years after Leifer fled the country, Erlich is ready to tell her story for the first time.


Culture of silence: Adass Israel School. Picture: Ian Currie
Culture of silence: Adass Israel School. Picture: Ian Currie
Over the past year I have met Erlich regularly at the cafe as she ponders how to tell her remarkable story in the book she is writing. At each meeting she is friendly and upbeat, talking about her nursing studies and showing me pictures of her six-year-old daughter Leah. She dresses in hip modern clothes, wears red lipstick and large jewellery, a world away from the dour wigs and flowing Amish-style dresses of the Adass women. “This is about owning my own story,” she says. “My daughter will one day grow up and read about my life. I want it to be a story of strength and inspiration rather than victimhood.”

Yet it is hard to imagine a more vulnerable ­target than Erlich and at least 15 of her fellow Adass schoolgirls who say they were assaulted by Leifer, a mother of eight who was then in her late 40s. “Children were raised not having knowledge of world events and were completely isolated from anything beyond the community they were within,” Erlich told the court in 2015. “We weren’t to know that a relationship could exist between a male and a female.”

Erlich and her six siblings were brought up in the strict Adass tradition of no access to television, radio, internet, magazines or news­papers. Her ­parents met at a Jewish youth club in London and in 1981 emigrated to Australia, where they joined Melbourne’s small Adass community. These so-called Adassniks, the most insular of the Haredi or ultra-Orthodox spectrum of Jews, live almost entirely within an eight-block radius of East St Kilda. Women are not expected to have careers but rather to raise large families, often with more than 10 children in each. Adass men dress as if they are roaming through 19th-century Europe, with tall mink fur hats, black silk knee-length coats, white pantaloons, stockings and black slip-on shoes. They are the closest Australia has to an Amish community. “I didn’t realise it was an unusual community until I left it,” says Erlich. “It was my way of life and I didn’t know anything else. We were told that ours was the best way of life and the superior way of life; it was just accepted that you didn’t interact with people who are not part of your community unless absolutely necessary.”

When Leifer began to take an interest in her, Erlich, then 15, was so naive that she had no idea that a kiss on the mouth “was something that could be done”. In any case, there was no reason to imagine that someone like Leifer could be a sexual predator. The Adass community had recruited her from Israel in 2000 to head the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick, which had around 500 children enrolled in the separate boys’ and girls’ campuses. Among the Adass, Leifer was a towering figure who inspired awe. “People looked up to her and listened to her as if hers were God’s words,” recalls Erlich. “She was someone who everyone looked up to and idolised. She was like an angel who had flown in from overseas.”

So when Leifer offered to give “private lessons” to Erlich, the student was flattered. “I would go to her office and study and she would put her arms around me,” she recalls. “I found it quite comforting, I felt quite loved and really ­special that she was giving me her attention.” But as the ­lessons progressed, first in Leifer’s office and then at her home, she says the principal began to rub her thighs against her student and slide her fingers up her legs. “I thought it was weird but it was also like, ‘Well, she is the boss, she is the adult here so it must be right.’”

The meetings would continue on and off for the next three years, with Leifer going further each time and Erlich becoming more confused about what was happening to her. “Every time we walk away as if it has never occurred… I have no one to talk to and even if I did what would I say,” she writes in her book. “It is much easier to make believe it is all OK.”


Former principal Malka Leifer.
Former principal Malka Leifer.
In his 2015 judgment against the Adass Israel School and Leifer, Justice Rush stated: “I accept that because of her [Erlich’s] extremely sheltered background she did not understand what was happening to her, particularly as to whether she was right or wrong.”

Erlich’s encounters with Leifer ended when she entered an arranged marriage at the age of 18 with a 23-year-old partner chosen by her parents. “I was very nervous,” she recalls of her first visit with her future husband. “Suddenly I was supposed to speak to this guy I didn’t know and have a conversation about marriage as my mother was in the next room listening in. We talked about the guiding principles of life and what sort of home you wanted to be in and what kind of kids you want to bring up. How many kids is never a question because birth control is not an option – you have to get the Rabbi’s ­permission for that.”

Within a week of their first meeting, she was engaged. “I met him [for the first time] at his house on a Monday… I met him four times over that week and I got engaged to him on the Saturday.”

After they were married, they left for Israel so that her husband could pursue religious studies. Erlich struggled to get pregnant and when she finally did, she had a miscarriage. She became depressed and started to see a therapist. It was during those ­therapy sessions in Israel that she began to open up for the first time about what had happened with Leifer, something she had not even shared with her husband. “It was like a very shameful secret because I believed it was all my fault – it was like self-loathing,” she says.

She says the therapist did not believe her at first but when Erlich told her that two other girls close to her had also been abused, the therapist passed on her claims to a colleague in the Adass community in Melbourne. In late February 2008, those claims were relayed to a teacher at the Adass school, Sharon Bromberg, who briefly confronted Leifer. The principal deflected the ­questions. When Bromberg heard in the following weeks that two other former students were alleging abuse by Leifer, she raised the issue with the school and senior Adass community members.


Ex-Victorian Supreme Court judge Jack Rush.
Ex-Victorian Supreme Court judge Jack Rush.
By the time school and community leaders met at the house of the late businessman Izzy ­Herzog on March 5, 2008, they had become aware of at least eight separate allegations of abuse involving Leifer and girls at the school. In attendance that night was school board president Yitzhok ­Benedikt, school board member Meir Ernst, ­barrister Norman Rosenbaum, psychologist Vicki Gordon and Bromberg. What then unfolded would later be described by Justice Rush as ­“disgraceful” and “deplorable”.

The group put Leifer on speakerphone and put the allegations to her. She denied them. “You have destroyed my reputation, I’m not going to stand for this,” she replied. The group then told Leifer she would be stood down as the head of the Adass school. But then, in a fateful decision, it was agreed that rather than report Leifer to the police, the principal should be spirited out of the country.

Dassi Ernst, the wife of school board member Meir Ernst, asked a local travel agent to open her shop at 10pm that night, only hours after the meeting, and to book a plane ticket to Israel for Leifer. Less than four hours later – at 1.20am – Leifer and four of her children flew to Israel. (She was later joined in Israel by her husband Jacob, a rabbi.) The school paid for her ticket.

In his judgment, Justice Rush stated: “In such circumstances the alleged perpetrator should not be assisted to urgently flee the jurisdiction. The failure of the board to report the allegations to police prior to arranging Leifer’s urgent departure is deplorable.”

Three of those at the meeting – Gordon, ­Rosenbaum and Bromberg – have declined to comment, but school board president Benedikt maintains they did nothing wrong. “We have acted as any normal person would act, we have responsibilities for our children and for our community,” he tells this magazine. “We could not allow at that time a teacher like that to stay anywhere near the children. Don’t you agree with me that the best thing is that they don’t have anything more to do with the children?” Benedikt maintains it was ­Leifer’s choice to leave that night and that her departure had “nothing to do with the school”.

Rush disputes this, saying it was done to protect the community’s reputation and hide its embarrassment. “I have no doubt the conduct was deliberate,” he says. “The conduct of Messrs ­Benedikt and Ernst on behalf of the board in facilitating the urgent departure of Leifer was likely motivated by a desire to conceal her ­wrongdoing and isolate the conduct and its ­consequences to within the Adass community.” Victoria Police is conducting what it describes as an “ongoing investigation” into whether an offence was committed in relation to Leifer’s departure.

Erlich did not learn of the clandestine arrangement for Leifer’s exit for seven years until her civil trial in 2015, but says it didn’t surprise her that the Adass community would try to hide the problem. “I wasn’t shocked by that when I finally heard about it,” she says. “The cover-up was like something that all religious communities around the world would do, so I was disappointed but not shocked. It is what [the Adass] do with a lot of their problems, they shove it under the carpet, pretend it didn’t happen and move on.”


“I have found a new life and I love it” says Erlich. Picture: Julian Kingma
“I have found a new life and I love it” says Erlich.
In 2009, a year after Leifer’s departure, Erlich began displaying signs of post-traumatic stress ­disorder. She returned to Melbourne from Israel and became pregnant but was alarmed by her lack of emotional response to the baby. “I couldn’t feel anything for the child I was carrying – it scared me so much,” she says. “It got worse after she was born. I was getting lots of flashbacks and I literally could not deny it any more. I was ­suicidal, I was self-harming and I felt like the worst mother in the world.”

She was admitted to a mental health clinic. Her marriage broke up. Yet the clinic proved to be her window to a life beyond the confines of the Adass. “Until I went into hospital I had no connection with people outside my community,” she says. “In there I met other mums and it opened up a whole new world for me. They had the internet and I started reading books on religion, history, philosophy – everything I could get my hands on.”

Erlich realised she was drifting away from the Adass and into a new life. For the first time she weighed up whether she should pursue Leifer and the school in court, knowing that to do so would see her forever locked out of the only community she had known. She had by then bonded with her daughter Leah and that helped her to see Leifer’s crimes in a more chilling light. “I started thinking about Leifer flying to Israel and maybe committing the same crimes there,” she says. “I now had a daughter and I couldn’t imagine that happening to her. But I knew if I did [take legal action] there would be no going back to the community.”

In the biggest decision of her life, she went to court, knowing that she was, in effect, also putting the Adass in the dock. “I knew nothing else but that community,” she says. “I didn’t have a penny to my name, I had left my husband and I was in a psych­iatric hospital with literally only the suitcase that I had taken there.”

Erlich writes of how frightened she was as she sat in Moorabbin police station, about to tell her story to the police for the first time. “Panic ­pulsates my throat. The culture of silence, seeped into the fibres of my nation, ­strangles my voice. My words crack and break. I must continue and think of the motivation ­driving me to be present in this moment.”

The civil trial in 2015 was a turning point for Erlich and her faith in the system. Justice Rush’s withering judgment and the damages he ordered against the school and Leifer finally convinced her that someone was ­listening. “I felt vindicated,” she says. “I was proud of myself for sticking it through.”

Since the verdict, Erlich has juggled nursing studies with writing her book and being a single mum. She says she is frustrated by the fact that Leifer remains in Israel with no immediate prospect of returning to face her accusers. Leifer is wanted in Australia on 74 criminal counts of child sex offences but has repeatedly claimed to be too mentally unwell to attend extradition hearings. Late last year an Israeli judge halted extradition proceedings and placed Leifer on a psychiatric treatment regimen that can be extended for six months at a time for up to 10 years.

An Adass community elder, Shlomo Abelesz, says the community would like to see the former principal brought back to face justice. He maintains that the decision to send her to Israel was done to keep her away from the students. “That was the only reason they wanted to get rid of her,” he says. “But maybe yes, I agree they should have gone to the police. But they were convinced that had they gone to the police, [the response] would have been: ‘What can the police do?’”

Erlich says Leifer is using the Israeli justice ­system to her advantage. “I have no confidence that she will be brought back. It’s disappointing and very sad.” But these days she tries not to dwell on Leifer or on the world she has left behind. She still has friends in the Adass community and remains close to her siblings. She has just qualified as a nurse and, after her rocky start, embraces being a mum. “I wanted to try to take the secrecy and the shame away from my story by telling it in my own voice. Maybe I can even inspire others,” she says with a smile. “I have found a new life and I love it.”


Sunday, March 19, 2017

IN MEMORIAM: DR. SHLOMO SPRECHER MD Z"L --- Metziza B'Peh:Therapeutic Touch or Hippocratic Vestige?

 
DR. SPRECHER Z"L
Metziza B'Peh:Therapeutic Touch or Hippocratic Vestige?


Conclusion:
I hope this excursion through the arcana of medical history has not obscured the basic message that paramount halakhic authorities, such as the Hatam Sofer and most of the Litvishe Gedolim, accepted at face value the nascent medical evidence that MBP poses a risk. Now that the process of person-to-person transmission of infection is so firmly established, can we really be cavalier about that risk? For example, the CDC Hepatitis C guidelines include the risk of transmission of this deadly disease via even occasional sharing of a toothbrush! Can we guarantee that no mohel performing MBP can transmit this illness, which can be latent for several decades? Can our community anticipate a nes nigleh each time MBP is performed?

READ ENTIRE HALACHIC ANALYSIS BY RABBI DR. SOLOMON SPRECHER MD Z"l.


City evaluating Hasidic community’s cooperation in herpes cases

http://nypost.com/2017/03/13/city-evaluating-hasidic-communitys-cooperation-in-herpes-cases/




6 More New York Babies Get Herpes After Undergoing Circumcision Rite

Daniel J. Solomon
Six babies are said to have been infected with infant herpes in New York City since Mayor Bill de Blasio cut a deal with the Hasidic community that continues to allow ritual circumcisers mouth-to-genital contact.
The news emerged Thursday after a newborn was rushed to the hospital two weeks after undergoing the procedure, known as metzitzah b’peh, in which the mohel sucks the blood out of the circumcision wound using his mouth.
The Health Department under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg cracked down on the practice due to hygienic concerns, with his administration requiring parents to sign a waiver before the procedure.
De Blasio, who derives a large base of support from the Hasidic community, rolled back that policy, setting instead for a compromise in which the community was supposed to help test circumcisers from herpes and prevent those infect from oral-genital contact with infants.
Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon
News

31%, That’s Trump’s Job Approval Rating Among Jews, Says Poll


A national poll by Gallup shows that the president’s approval rating among Jews stands at 31%. That’s 11% below the national average.
On the negative side, Gallup suggests, are the lack of mention of Jews in his statement for International Holocaust Remembrance day, his slow and lackluster response to the wave of anti-Semitism in the first two months of his tenure and the appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon, the report comments, “has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments.”
On the positive side, Trump did eventually denounce anti-Semitism, has a Jewish daughter and son-in-law closely involved with his administration, and he has mouthed strong support for Israel.
But, Gallup notes, Trump has sent mixed messages on Israel — where he has now said to “hold off” on new settlements and the movement of the Embassy to Jerusalem.
Mostly, the pollsters say, the low approval rating just reflects the political affiliations of the Jewish population, which leans 64% democratic.

Three Senators Call On Trump To Investigate Gorka’s Immigration Papers


Three Democratic senators are calling on the administration to investigate whether President Trump’s counter-terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka broke the law by not disclosing to immigration authorities that he was a member of a Hungarian Nazi-allied group.
Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Ben Cardin from Maryland and Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, asking them to examine Gorka’s immigration papers.
The senators based their letter on the Forward’s report which found that Gorka swore loyalty to Vitezi Rend, an ultra nationalist organization which according to the State Department, its members are presumed to be inadmissible to the United States.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that Dr. Gorka concealed the material fact of his membership in the Vitezi Rend, a far right anti-Semitic Hungarian organization, when he applied for U.S. citizenship,” the three senators wrote.
Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman
News

Trump Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson To Honor Trump Troll Mark Cuban


Donald Trump’s No. 1 critic is about to get an award from Trump’s No. 1 donor.
Mark Cuban, the Texas outspoken billionaire who had trolled Donald Trump on Twitter and made a point of sitting in the front row during presidential debates only to get under Trump’s skin, will be awarded later this month the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson’s “In Pursuit of Excellence Award” at a gala dinner the Adelson’s educational campus will hold in Las Vegas.
Sheldon Adelson backed Trump financially throughout the campaign to the tune of tens of millions of dollars and has become one of the president’s closest allies, spending inauguration week with the Trump family and sitting down for a private White House dinner with Trump last month.
The Adelsons established the school a decade ago, building on the already existing Hebrew Academy of Las Vegas and expanding it to include pre-school to 12th grade Jewish education.
Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman
News

Mennonite Sect Wrestles Publicy With Its Nazi Ties In Paraguay


Decades after officials worried they might be sheltering the infamous Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele, members of the Mennonite sect in Paraguay are coming to terms with their historical ties with the Third Reich.
Mennonites are supposed to embrace non-violence and shun political life. But that was not the case in Fernheim, the Paraguay settlement where a group of Mennonites fleeing the Soviet Union put down roots after the Russian Revolution. Founded in Germany, the Mennonite religion has retained ties to the country, and the Fernheim community received funding from Hitler’s government, which it celebrated.
Following the outbreak of war, Fernheim was severed from much of its contact with the Third Reich, leading to disturbances as settlers argued and eventually came to blows over how to best continue the National Socialist legacy. The unrest became severe enough that American diplomats and Paraguay’s military intervened.
Uwe Friesen, head of the colony’s historical association, spearheaded the drive to talk about that history, sponsoring a conference titled “The Racialist Movement and National Socialism among the Mennonites in Paraguay.”
He told the Religious News Service that it was the right time to re-examine the history, a process that he said was true to Mennonite ways and could lead to healing.
“Making peace means living out and offering reconciliation,” he said at the conference. The effort in Fernheim follows larger initiatives among Mennonites to consider their religion’s ties to National Socialism.
Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon
News

Chuck Schumer Willing To Shut Down Government Over Budget Fight


Following President Trump’s controversial budget proposal boosting the military and slashing Meals on Wheels and other safety net programs, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that his caucus is willing to shut down the government to defeat the White House’s blueprint.
“If they put those poison pill amendments in and try to shove them down the American people’s throats, of course they might be responsible for shutting the government down,” the New York senator said in a Thursday press conference. According to him, proposals to slash domestic spending, defund Planned Parenthood and allot monies to a border wall are non-starters in budget negotiations.
Schumer’s Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell accused his fellow leader of hypocrisy, now that Democrats are in the minority.
“I’m amused by the Democrats apparently warming up to the idea that threatening to shut down the government is a good idea. It seems to me everybody’s got kind of memory loss on the other side,” he told reporters. Republicans briefly shuttered the government four years ago after a budget disagreement with former President Obama.
The two sides have until late April to fund the government and avert a shutdown.
Contact Daniel J. Solomon at [solomon@forward.com](mailto:solomon@forward.com] or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon



Read more: http://forward.com/fast-forward/365526/6-more-new-york-babies-get-herpes-after-undergoing-circumcision-rite/

 SIX MORE NEW YORK BABIES GET HERPES AFTER UNDERGOING METZIZA B'PEH:


Six babies are said to have been infected with infant herpes in New York City since Mayor Bill de Blasio cut a deal with the Hasidic community that continues to allow ritual circumcisers mouth-to-genital contact.
The news emerged Thursday after a newborn was rushed to the hospital two weeks after undergoing the procedure, known as metzitzah b’peh, in which the mohel sucks the blood out of the circumcision wound using his mouth.
The Health Department under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg cracked down on the practice due to hygienic concerns, with his administration requiring parents to sign a waiver before the procedure.
De Blasio, who derives a large base of support from the Hasidic community, rolled back that policy, setting instead for a compromise in which the community was supposed to help test circumcisers from herpes and prevent those infect from oral-genital contact with infants.
Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon
News

Sebastian Gorka’s Tough Media Weekend


It’s been a tough media weekend for Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to the president who was the subject of an article in the Forward about his membership of a Nazi-allied group in Hungary.
The Chicago Tribune published a critical review of Gorka’s scholarship by Dan Nexon, an associate professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Nixon notes that a scholar of Islam should be able to read Arabic (Gorka can’t), that Gorka uses out-of-date statistics and uses them wrongly, and that Gorka has published little but a dissertation that is no support for his chosen position.
The Huffington Post foreign affairs reporter Jessica Schulberg drew out the relationship between Sebastian Gorka’s mother and the infamous Holocaust denier David Irving. She was, she asserts, one of the main Hungarian translators helping with his book “Uprising!”
CNN noted that a Gorka statement to Breitbart News Daily Radio about Trump’s Muslim policy is false. Gorka told the far-right opinion outlet, “There is not one instance on the campaign trail or after the President took office in which the travel suspension was mentioned without reference to national security — it was never mentioned, ‘we’re doing this because of a certain religious group.’” But six months after Trump declared his candidacy, his campaign’s December 7, 2015, press release states clearly
News

Roman Archaeologists Discover Second Arch Of Titus


Archaeologists in Rome have discovered the remains of a second Arch of Titus commemorating the siege of Jerusalem by Roman emperor Titus in the 1st century C.E.
Like the original Arch of Titus, it was built around 82 C.E. by Domition, the younger brother and successor to Titus as the leader of the Roman empire. The second arch was located less than a mile away from the first one.
According to a Haaretz interview with lead archaeologist Marialetizia Buonfiglio, it was rare for Roman leaders to build two monuments to the same war. Domition may have built the second arch as a way to boast of his power after Rome had just weathered a devastating fire and the destructive eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The original arch of Titus is one of the most iconic depictions of Jewish history in the world. Located on the Via Sacra in Rome, it includes a detailed relief of the siege of Jerusalem.
A menorah on the arch was used as a model for the official symbol of Israel. Until the founding of Israel in 1948, rabbis prohibited Jews from walking under the arch.
Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff
News

Yehuda Glick: Israel Owes Apology For 2009 Gaza Sisters Death


A parliament member of Israel’s ruling Likud party who survived a 2014 assassination attempt by a Palestinian is calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to apologize for the death of three Palestinian sisters in one of the most high profile incidents of Israel’s 2009 war with Gaza.
The father of the sisters, Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gaza infertility doctor who now lives in Canada, sued Israel in 2010. He asked Israel to apologize, accept responsibility for the killings and for compensation.
Likud Knesset member Yehuda Glick wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday evening that Abuelaish is an “amazing man” who is owed an apology by Netanyahu on behalf of the country. Glick said he was impressed by Abuelaish’s foundation, Daughters for Life, which provides scholarships to young women, including Israelis, to study abroad.
Israel said it bore no responsibility for the deaths of Abuelaish’s daughters because they happened during wartime. At a hearing in March, Israel acknowledged that it fired on the building, but also claimed that the deaths occurred because of a Palestinian weapons cache in the building. Abuelaish has rejected this claim.
Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff
News

31%, That’s Trump’s Job Approval Rating Among Jews, Says Poll


A national poll by Gallup shows that the president’s approval rating among Jews stands at 31%. That’s 11% below the national average.
On the negative side, Gallup suggests, are the lack of mention of Jews in his statement for International Holocaust Remembrance day, his slow and lackluster response to the wave of anti-Semitism in the first two months of his tenure and the appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon, the report comments, “has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments.”
On the positive side, Trump did eventually denounce anti-Semitism, has a Jewish daughter and son-in-law closely involved with his administration, and he has mouthed strong support for Israel.
But, Gallup notes, Trump has sent mixed messages on Israel — where he has now said to “hold off” on new settlements and the movement of the Embassy to Jerusalem.
Mostly, the pollsters say, the low approval rating just reflects the political affiliations of the Jewish population, which leans 64% democratic.

Three Senators Call On Trump To Investigate Gorka’s Immigration Papers


Three Democratic senators are calling on the administration to investigate whether President Trump’s counter-terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka broke the law by not disclosing to immigration authorities that he was a member of a Hungarian Nazi-allied group.
Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Ben Cardin from Maryland and Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, asking them to examine Gorka’s immigration papers.
The senators based their letter on the Forward’s report which found that Gorka swore loyalty to Vitezi Rend, an ultra nationalist organization which according to the State Department, its members are presumed to be inadmissible to the United States.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that Dr. Gorka concealed the material fact of his membership in the Vitezi Rend, a far right anti-Semitic Hungarian organization, when he applied for U.S. citizenship,” the three senators wrote.
Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman


Read more: http://forward.com/fast-forward/365526/6-more-new-york-babies-get-herpes-after-undergoing-circumcision-rite/

Six babies are said to have been infected with infant herpes in New York City since Mayor Bill de Blasio cut a deal with the Hasidic community that continues to allow ritual circumcisers mouth-to-genital contact.
The news emerged Thursday after a newborn was rushed to the hospital two weeks after undergoing the procedure, known as metzitzah b’peh, in which the mohel sucks the blood out of the circumcision wound using his mouth.
The Health Department under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg cracked down on the practice due to hygienic concerns, with his administration requiring parents to sign a waiver before the procedure.
De Blasio, who derives a large base of support from the Hasidic community, rolled back that policy, setting instead for a compromise in which the community was supposed to help test circumcisers from herpes and prevent those infect from oral-genital contact with infants.
Read more: http://forward.com/fast-forward/365526/6-more-new-york-babies-get-herpes-after-undergoing-circumcision-rite/
Six babies are said to have been infected with infant herpes in New York City since Mayor Bill de Blasio cut a deal with the Hasidic community that continues to allow ritual circumcisers mouth-to-genital contact.
The news emerged Thursday after a newborn was rushed to the hospital two weeks after undergoing the procedure, known as metzitzah b’peh, in which the mohel sucks the blood out of the circumcision wound using his mouth.
The Health Department under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg cracked down on the practice due to hygienic concerns, with his administration requiring parents to sign a waiver before the procedure.
De Blasio, who derives a large base of support from the Hasidic community, rolled back that policy, setting instead for a compromise in which the community was supposed to help test circumcisers from herpes and prevent those infect from oral-genital contact with infants.
Read more: http://forward.com/fast-forward/365526/6-more-new-york-babies-get-herpes-after-undergoing-circumcision-rite/