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Two Terror Attacks In Center And North of Israel As War Rages

Israeli security officials stand next to a damaged vehicle, following a terrorist attack in Haifa, Israel, January 29, 2024. REUTERS/Shir Torem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Terror struck two locations in Israel on Monday, one in the Gush Etzion settlement block in the West Bank and the other in Haifa. In both cases the terrorists were shot dead by soldiers before they succeeded in murdering civilians and soldiers.

Near a military checkpoint on the highway between the Jewish and Arab cities of Tekoa, a terrorist attempted to stab soldiers, after which he was shot dead by the IDF. In this case, no injuries were reported among the forces or civilians.

In Haifa, just 150 meters from the Haifa Navy Base, a terrorist rammed his car into pedestrians, before heading towards the entrance of the base with an axe. In this incident as well the terrorist was killed by a soldier from the base.

Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency response service, reported that a 20 year old man was seriously injured  in the lower part of his body when he was hit by the car, and was taken to the city’s Rambam Hospital. It was reported that his injuries were not life-threatening. Paramedic Hanan Zohar on the scene told Hebrew media, “When we arrived at the scene, we saw the injured man lying next to the wall while he was conscious and suffering from severe bruises on his lower limbs. We gave him medical treatment that included dressings and painkillers and evacuated him in an MDA intensive care unit to the hospital when he was in serious condition.”

The terrorist was an Israeli citizen from the Lower Galilee town of Tamra, a city that is 99.6% Arab Muslim per Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, as is common in many towns by the Galilee.

Attacks in Haifa, and by Arabs with Israeli citizenship, are rare. Haifa is a mixed city, with 25% of the population being Arab. It is considered a place where tensions between them and Jews are relatively low, considering the long history of the two peoples living in the city together.

The last attack in the city was in 2022, when a 15 year old girl stabbed a 47 year old man who survived the incident.

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French National Assembly Speaker Again Highlights Record Levels of Antisemitism Amid New Hate Crime Statistics

French National Assembly speaker Yaël Braun-Pivet. Photo: Screenshot

The speaker of the French National Assembly has warned that the resurgent antisemitism in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel posed a threat to “the foundations of our republic and what we are, as French people.”

In an interview on Sunday with broadcaster France Inter, Yaël Braun-Pivet — who is Jewish — spoke of her alarm at the spread of bigotry targeting Jews and at her own experience of antisemitism in the wake of the Hamas massacre.

Referring to what she called “the liberation of speech,” Braun-Pivet noted that antisemitism was spreading in the mainstream media as well as on social media platforms. Increasingly, she said, antisemitic opinions are being expressed on camera without those articulating it feeling the need to “hide their identity.”

Braun-Pivet revealed that she had filed 23 separate complaints over antisemitic barbs directed at her. “They send me yellow stars, they regret that my family was not completely exterminated in the [concentration] camps,” she said, referring to the six pointed Star of David which the Nazis forced Jews to wear on their outer clothing.

Braun-Pivet’s interview came at the end of a week in which France’s main Jewish organization published disturbing statistics for the current wave of antisemitism.

In a report last Wednesday, the French-Jewish umbrella organization Crif disclosed that 1676 antisemitic incidents had been recorded in 2023 — four times the number registered during the previous year and an unprecedented record,

While in past years the majority of the incidents involved vandalism of property, in 2023, 58 percent of the incidents recorded were directed against people, with 13 percent occurring in schools.

The Oct. 7 atrocities had “acted like a catalyst for hatred by activating latent antisemitism,” Crif president Yonathan Arfi told the AFP news agency.

The assault “could have had an effect of compassion, like a vaccination,” Arfi added. “The opposite has been the case.”

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Search this new list of Jewish family names from Cairo, Alexandria, Baghdad, Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut

(JTA) — In his retirement, Jacob Rosen-Koenigsbuch is passionate about surnames. Specifically, the last names of Jews who were living in the Arab world before the Mizrahi exodus in the middle of the 20th century around the establishment of Israel. 

Rosen-Koenigsbuch spends much of his time with his head buried in archival material from bygone communities searching for names. And when he feels that he’s collected a critical mass of names from any particular city — it would be impossible to find them all — he compiles an index. So far, he’s done Cairo, Alexandria, Baghdad, Damascus and Aleppo, and earlier this month, he published his latest, Beirut — which lists nearly 800 surnames, from Abadi to Zilkha.

“I have the time. And I love it. So I don’t mind sitting for five, six hours to dig out a name,” he said. 

If you’re assuming the last name Rosen-Koenigsbuch makes him Ashkenazi, you’re not wrong. And if you’re wondering why he decided to spend his retirement as a genealogist focused on other peoples’ heritage, he gets it and he likes to joke about it. 

“I connect with a lot of people who see my work through social media and it’s very nice but you probably realize that if a guy called Rosen-Koenigsbuch is asking questions about Egypt, or Beirut, it sounds a bit suspicious,” he said with a long chuckle. 

The answer to the question of why he does what he does is that he spent his career as a diplomat for Israel, including a few years as ambassador to Jordan, and after investigating his own Polish roots, he came to realize something: Much of his family perished in the Holocaust, but at least he can learn something about them because the archives in Europe are open. Jews with Middle Eastern roots and a genealogical itch, on the other hand, have only scraps of written material available, like circumcision ledgers and community newspapers. 

This distinction in access aside, neat geographic lines don’t neatly separate Jewish identity categories like Mizrahi, Ashkenazi and Sephardic. Rosen-Koenigsbuch has been surprised to learn of the extent of geographic intermixing long before the Israel ingathered the Jewish diaspora. 

“For example, I found out that at least 20% of Jews of Cairo and Alexandria were Ashkenazim,” Rosen-Koenigsbuch said. It was a “big, big, beautiful thing,” he said, when he got hold of the document, “Annual Report of the Ashkenazi Community of Cairo 1938.” “It has hundreds of names!” he said. 

As another example, the standard story on Baghdadi Jewry is that the community was massive, at one point making up one-third of the metropolis, with roots going back to antiquity when the Jews were exiled from the Holy Land and held captive by a Babylonian Empire. While that narrative is not exactly wrong, successive plagues in the 19th century wiped out much of the city’s population and Baghdadi Jewish families are to a large degree transplants who arrived afterward. 

“You could see by the names that people started coming from other places,” Rosen-Koenigsbuch said. “Shirazi, Darshatim, Yazdi — Persian place names — or Kirkuki. Some people came from Georgia. That’s why we see the given name Gorgi. And Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire. So you have families from Thessaloniki.”

When a name appears on Rosen-Koenigsbuch’s list, that means it came from a historical document somewhere. If you’re doing genealogical research, now you’ve got a paper trail, a lead. Rosen-Koenigsbuch makes himself available through his Facebook profile to people who’d like to get or give more information, or make a correction. 

“There is a new generation of young Jews all over the world who are trying to figure out where they hail from,” he said. “This searchable index reveals to them that their surname existed also in Aleppo or Damascus or Beirut.”

Sarina Roffé, a leading expert in Sephardic genealogy, called Rosen-Koenigsbuch a “genius.” 

“Jacob loves lists and is meticulous about them. I love the data that goes with the lists, names and dates and what they are for,” said Roffé, the founder of the Sephardic Heritage Project and a past board member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. 

Up next for Rosen-Koenigsbuch is an index for Basra. Or maybe Mosul. Or Port Said. 

“They all deserve an index,” he said. “The work is never-ending.”

The post Search this new list of Jewish family names from Cairo, Alexandria, Baghdad, Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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‘Crossed The Line’: MK Calls for Sky News Anchor Resignation After She Compares Hamas War to Holocaust

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein standing next to him, speaks to the media outside the General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, June 26, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Shannon Stapleton.

Likud chairman and MK Danny Danon called for the resignation of Belle Donati, an anchor on the British broadcaster Sky News, after comments she made in an interview with Danon last Friday which were widely panned as antisemitic.

In the interview, Donati pushed back on Danon’s calls for voluntary emigration of Gazans to Arab or Western states, calling the proposal “ethnic cleansing” and sought to compare the move to the Holocaust, calling the Jews transfer to concentration camps “voluntary relocation.”

Danon told The Algemeiner in an interview “I’m used to some of the anchors being hostile, but what happened on Friday crossed the line… She started with line of ethnic cleaning, and then the comparison to the Holocaust.”

Danon said he is normally calm, but this caused him “to lose it. I told her she needs to apologize.”

In a letter he addressed separately to the executive chairman of Sky News, David Rhodes, Danon wrote “I found it particularly distressing when [Donati] audaciously likened the present situation in Gaza to the Holocaust, the largest premeditated mass murder of Jews in history.”

Sky News issued an apology later in the day of the interview, denouncing the “comparison between Mr. Danon’s comments on Israel’s war with Hamas and the treatment of Jewish people in the Holocaust. Sky News recognizes the complete inappropriateness of this comparison and the offensive nature of those comments. Sky News would like to apologize unreservedly for the comparison and to Mr. Danon personally for making the comparison.”

Danon acknowledged the apology, but wrote “My disappointment lies in the absence of a personal and sincere apology from Ms. Belle Donati herself… Furthermore, my concern deepens as I observe her Twitter feed, which exhibits a discernible bias and a clear anti-Israel stance.”

He then called for the media group “To facilitate the immediate resignation of Ms. Donati from her current position.”

The former UN ambassador said there has yet to be a response from the group, but “I won’t be quiet until she is removed from the position.” He added that he has “received a lot of comments from people all over the world who were shocked by what happened last Friday.”

Danon has emerged since the war as a moderate voice on what he views as a humanitarian solution to the situation of Gazans – voluntary emigration. In his Wall Street Journal op-ed published with opposition MK Ram Ben-Barak, they wrote “One idea is for countries around the world to accept limited numbers of Gazan families who have expressed a desire to relocate.” He drew comparisons to other conflicts around the world, pointing out that emigration is a natural outcome of war.

“Looking to these examples, countries around the world should offer a haven for Gaza residents who seek relocation. Countries can accomplish this by creating well-structured and internationally coordinated relocation programs. Members of the international community can collaborate to provide one-time financial-support packages to Gazans interested in moving to help with relocation costs and to ease refugees’ acclimation to their new communities,” the pair wrote.

Stressing the importance, they added “The international community has a moral imperative—and an opportunity—to demonstrate compassion, help the people of Gaza move toward a more prosperous future and work together to achieve greater peace and stability in the Middle East.”

He added on this front that voluntary emigration is “a very legitimate discussion. Allowing those seeking to leave to facilitate that.”

Asked why he takes on combative interviews like Friday’s, he said “It’s important to have zero tolerance for antisemitism.” More so, “I hope it can be an example for advocates for Israel.”

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