At funeral attended by mourners from an array of faiths, Samantha Woll hailed for fighting for everyone regardless of background, credited for outreach to Muslim groups, BLM
Beyonce Invites Recently Released Child Hostage of Hamas to Attend Her Concert Anywhere, Anytime
After the father of Emily Hand — an Irish-Israeli 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7 and recently returned home to her family — said he was “determined” to take his daughter to a Beyonce concert to lift her spirits, the Grammy-winning singer reportedly invited the young fan to attend any one of her concerts around the world.
Before the offer was made by the singer and businesswoman, Thomas Hand, Emily’s father, told Israel’s Channel 12: “One thing I’m determined to do when she recovered enough, I’m gonna find out where and if Beyonce is touring, and I don’t care where it is in the world, she’s going. She adores her.”
Emily Hand was one of the 240 people who Hamas terrorists kidnapped from Israel and forcefully hauled back to Gaza during their Oct. 7 onslaught across southern Israeli communities. She turned 9 while in captivity and was held hostage with her friend Hila Rotem-Shoshani and Hila’s mother, Raaya. The children were released just over a week ago as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Raaya was released days later.
The younger Hand had been at a sleepover at Rotem-Shoshani’s house when Hamas terrorists stormed Kibbutz Be’eri, where she lived with her family. Her mother died from cancer when she was just 2 years old.
Thomas Hand told CNN that after reuniting with Emily following her release from captivity, he offered her his phone in the van leaving the handover and “the first thing she did was get a Beyoncé song on,” adding that she also smiled and started to laugh again.
When asked by Israel’s Channel 12 if he will return to Kibbutz Be’eri with his daughter following the barbaric Hamas attacks that took place during the early hours of Oct. 7, Hand did not give a clear answer. “I found paradise on earth for 30, 31 years, and overnight it was turned into hell,” he said. “But still, they will never defeat us. We will rise from the ashes of that morning.”
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Jewish groups say antisemitism was the reason why a bus company didn’t show up to pick up Toronto passengers heading to a pro-Israel rally in Ottawa
A bus company contracted provide 17 buses to transport people from Toronto to Ottawa for a pro-Israel rally on Parliament Hill failed to show up on the morning of Dec. 4—despite being paid fully in advance and confirming their participation. “We can infer this is fuelled by a hatred of Jews and trying to prevent […]
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Shlomo Avineri, dovish Israeli political philosopher and public intellectual, dies at 90
(JTA) — Shlomo Avineri, a leading Israeli political philosopher, left-leaning former director-general of the country’s foreign ministry and clear-eyed critic of both sides to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, died on Friday. He was 90.
Avineri was a longtime professor of political science at Hebrew University, where he produced important scholarship on Zionist thinkers Theodor Herzl and Moses Hess as well as the works of Karl Marx and G.W.F. Hegel. He applied his historical perspective as a frequent commentator in the Israeli and foreign media, and as a regular columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz.
In 1975, the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin appointed him as director-general of the foreign ministry, then headed by Yigal Allon. The right-wing Likud party, then in opposition, bitterly opposed the appointment of Avineri, who in 1971 edited a book that explored the possibility of negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization when such talks were still illegal. When Likud took office in 1977 with the election of Menachem Begin, Avineri submitted his resignation.
At the time, many in Israel thought Avineri would lead a dovish challenge to the humbled Labor party. “During his one year tenure at the Foreign Ministry he became a familiar face on Israeli television, to such a degree that aides to Allon complained that Avineri was upstaging his boss,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported in 1977.
Nevertheless, he returned to teaching at Hebrew University. He headed the political science department and devoted himself to researching the intellectual origins of Zionism.
Even while producing more than a dozen books on 19th-century political thought, Avineri remained deeply engaged with current events in Israel. In a 2011 article for Haaretz, he urged Israelis to understand the Palestinian perspective, but also criticized the Palestinian leadership for denying essential facts about the founding of Israel.
The 1948 war should “not be taught as a battle between narratives. In the final analysis, there is a historical truth,” he wrote. “And without ignoring the suffering of the other, that is how such sensitive issues must be taught.”
Avineri was born Jerzy Wiener in Bielsko, Poland, in 1933. His family arrived in then-Palestine in 1939 and settled in Herzliya. He studied political science and history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received his doctorate.
As a visiting scholar he held appointments at Yale, Cornell, the Cardozo School of Law in New York and Northwestern University, among others. He was also a visiting scholar at the Wilson Center, the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, he advised Eastern European nations about democratization, and in 1989 he served as an observer to the elections in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Avineri was awarded the Rubin Prize in 1969 for his research, the Naftali Prize in 1971 and the Present Tense Award from the American Jewish Committee in 1982. In 1996 he received the Israel Prize, the country’s highest honor, for political science.
Avineri is survived by his daughter Maayan. His wife Devora (Nadler) Avineri died in 2022.
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