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US Navy Aircraft Carrier Returning Home After Middle East Deployment in Response to Oct. 7 Massacre

The world’s largest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford steams alongside USNS Laramie (T-AO-203) during a fueling-at-sea in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in this photo taken on Oct. 11, 2023 and released by the US Navy on Oct. 14, 2023. Photo: US Naval Forces Central Command / US 6th Fleet / Handout via REUTERS

The US Navy said on Monday that the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier will return to its home port in Virginia, ending its deployment to the eastern Mediterranean following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel.

“Immediately following Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel, the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group was ordered to the eastern Mediterranean to contribute to our regional deterrence and defense posture,” the Navy said in a statement. “In the coming days, the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group will redeploy to its home port as scheduled to prepare for future deployments.”

The nuclear-powered Ford, the Navy’s newest and largest carrier with over 4,000 personnel and eight squadrons of aircraft, became a symbol of US support for Israel in the wake of the Hamas atrocities. It has the capability to independently launch strikes on Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, the main international sponsor of Hamas.

On Oct. 7, Palestinian terrorists led by Hamas invaded Israel, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others as hostages. Israel responded with a military campaign of air strikes and ground operations aimed at eliminating Hamas from Gaza, the neighboring Palestinian enclave ruled by the terror group.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had extended the Ford’s deployment three times, in large part to deter Iran and Iran-backed groups — especially Hezbollah, the terror group based in Lebanon — from attacking Israel and sparking a wider regional conflict. Clashes between Israeli and Hezbollah forces have intensified in recent weeks.

Iran-backed groups have also targeted US troops in the region, leading Washington to respond multiple times since Oct. 7 with limited military strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria.

“The Department of Defense continually evaluates force posture globally and will retain extensive capability both in the Mediterranean and across the Middle East,” the US Navy said, listing a range of military assets — including another aircraft carrier — currently deployed to the region. “Also, we are collaborating with allies and partners to bolster maritime security in the region. DoD [Department of Defense] will continue to leverage its collective force posture in the region to deter any state or non-state actor from escalating this crisis beyond Gaza.”

The post US Navy Aircraft Carrier Returning Home After Middle East Deployment in Response to Oct. 7 Massacre first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Tribute: Rabbi Dovid Schochet, 91, a pioneer in building Toronto’s observant community

The Jewish community in Toronto lost a towering leader when Rabbi Dovid Schochet, the president of the Toronto Rabbinical Council and the senior rabbi of the Chabad community in Toronto, passed away at the age of 91 on Jan. 28. He was born in 1932 in Basel, Switzerland, the second of 10 children, to Rabbi […]

The post Tribute: Rabbi Dovid Schochet, 91, a pioneer in building Toronto’s observant community appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Attacker in 2021 Antisemitic Assault in New York Sentenced to Three Years in State Prison

Joseph Borgen, victim of an antisemitic attack, addressing a rally in Long Island. Photo: courtesy

The final criminal proceeding for the case of Joseph “Joey” Borgen, a Jewish man whom a gang of antisemites mauled and pepper-sprayed in broad daylight during protests and counter-protests over Israel’s 2021 war with Hamas, resulted in another conviction Wednesday.

Mohammed Said Othman, 29, was sentenced to three years in state prison, according to a press release issued by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg.

Borgen, who is Jewish, was wearing a kippah while walking in Manhattan when Said Othman, along with several other men, ambushed him without being provoked. They shouted antisemitic slurs at the pro-Israel advocate, who suffered a concussion, wrist injury, black eye, and bruises all over his body.

Since then, three other sentences have been handed down in the Borgen case. Waseem Awawdeh, who continuously struck Borgen with a crutch while allegedly joining the others in shouting antisemitic epithets at him, pleaded guilty to attempted assault as a hate crime and received 18 months in jail, as part of a plea bargain negotiated with Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathon Junig.

In November, Mahmoud Musa received seven years in prison for his role in the attack. In December, Mohammed Othman was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in state prison and five additional years of post-release supervision.

As seen in footage of the incident, Othman kicked and repeatedly struck Borgen in the face while sitting on his chest to weigh him down. In court, he pleaded guilty to gang assault and third-degree hate crime assault.

“These defendants violently targeted and assaulted another individual simply because he is Jewish,” District Attorney Bragg said in a statement. “While this office always supports the right to peacefully protest and engage in open dialogue, these multi-year prison sentences makes clear that physically attacking someone because of their religion is never acceptable. I thank our hate crimes unit for its diligent work in this case.”

Throughout the criminal proceedings in his case, Joey Borgen called on New York City lawmakers to do more to eradicate antisemitic hatred in the five boroughs.

In December, he told The Algemeiner that while he is pleased with the outcome of the case he is worried that the group with which his attackers were allegedly affiliated, the extreme anti-Zionist organization Within Our Lifetime (WOL), is still engaging in antisemitic activity that could lead to more hate crimes.

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, WOL has posted (and deleted) a map, titled “Know Your Enemies,” showing the addresses of Jewish organizations in New York City, and staged numerous disruptive protests. The group is led by Nerdeen Kiswani, a former City University of New York (CUNY) student who once threatened to set on fire someone’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hoodie while he was wearing it.

“They’re still causing havoc; they’re forcing Jewish attendees of a fundraiser to speak at the backdoor of a police van, and they’re bombarding the mother of a hostage with horrible antisemitic chants,” Borgen said. “While I’m happy that I got a positive result in my case, I’m still disturbed that this same group is still going around causing issues for Jewish people, attacking restaurants, and putting people in danger.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Attacker in 2021 Antisemitic Assault in New York Sentenced to Three Years in State Prison first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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See Mark Breslin live in conversation with Ralph Benmergui

A special live taping of our podcast ‘Not That Kind of Rabbi’.

The post See Mark Breslin live in conversation with Ralph Benmergui appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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