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White House blasts Fox News after host Mark Levin questions Wolf Blitzer’s Holocaust bona fides

WASHINGTON (JTA) — For the second time this year, the White House aimed fire at a Fox News Channel host for casting doubt on remembrance of the Holocaust.

On his Westwood One radio show on Wednesday, Fox News host Mark Levin went after CNN personalities for their questions about how careful Israel was in mitigating civilian casualties. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer had pressed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the U.S. House of Representatives minority leader and a New York Democrat, for his opinion of Israel’s strike on a Hamas target in Jabaliya refugee camp.

“We don’t yet know how many civilians were killed in today’s strike on that refugee camp, but is taking out one Hamas leader or maybe two Hamas leaders who may have been there worth the deaths of so many civilians?” asked Blitzer.

Levin ridiculed the question as betraying ignorance of the Holocaust.

“Wolf Blitzer, as I understand it, his parents weren’t victims in one way or another of the Holocaust,” Levin said. “But certainly his family comes out of that background — but you wouldn’t know it.” Blitzer documented his parents’ survival of Auschwitz in a recent documentary.

Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, took aim at Levin in an unsolicited comment emailed Friday evening to reporters. Unsolicited attacks on the media have been rare for the Biden administration.

“Not only is Fox News aligning with those who fan the flames of hate – Fox is paying their salaries,” said Bates, who in July blasted another Fox Host, Greg Gutfeld, for saying that being “useful” helped Jewish survivors make it through the Holocaust. “Lying to insult the pain that families suffered in the Holocaust has absolutely no place in America.”

Levin also said in his radio show, which is not affiliated with Fox News, “CNN is filled with a lot of self-hating Jews, in my opinion.” The comments followed ones he made the previous week about another CNN host, Jake Tapper, who, like Blitzer, is unabashed in his Jewish expression. He also called Tapper a “self-hating Jew” and “propagandist for the enemy.” (Media Matters, a liberal watchdog, first distributed the audio of Levin’s remarks.)

CNN accused Levin, who is Jewish, of “antisemitic” rhetoric.

“Mark Levin’s comments about Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper were wildly uninformed, inappropriate and shameful,” a spokeswoman said in an email. “Wolf is the child of Holocaust survivors and all four of his grandparents were murdered during the Holocaust, a fact that Wolf has personally reported on through a special documentary, trips to Auschwitz, written reflections, and decades of public speaking on Holocaust education and awareness. Levin’s antisemitic rhetoric is dangerous, offensive and should be universally denounced.”

Asked for a response, a Fox spokeswoman, Irene Briganti emailed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency a transcript of a subsequent Levin broadcast in which he addressed the criticism.

In it, Levin appears to acknowledge that he spread a falsehood about Blitzer and suggests that he did so unintentionally.

“I barely remember saying it,” Levin said. “But obviously, why would I say his parents ‘weren’t, weren’t’ in one way or another victims in the Holocaust? How can that even be logical? Why would I say somebody’s parents were or were not victims of the Holocaust? If they weren’t victims of the Holocaust, why would I say his parents weren’t victims of the Holocaust? Or why would I intentionally say that I didn’t? I didn’t.”

Levin said he’s “since looked it up” and that Blitzer’s parents were, indeed, Holocaust survivors, “a horrible, horrible, thing,” but that if anything that proves his argument that he — Levin — is the better supporter of Israel.

“In that entire clip, Mr. Producer, who’s defending Israel? Me,” Levin said. “In that entire clip who’s defending the IDF, taking out the Islamo-Nazi commander? Is it Wolf Blitzer? No, he’s questioning it. It’s me. I am.”


The post White House blasts Fox News after host Mark Levin questions Wolf Blitzer’s Holocaust bona fides appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Poland Bans Israeli Soccer Teams From Major City Due to ‘Safety’ Concerns

Stadion Widzewa is a multi-use stadium in Łódź, Poland. It is currently used mostly for football matches and serves as the home stadium of Widzew Łódź. Photo: maps.pomocnik.com.

Two Israeli soccer teams — Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Beer Sheva — that were set to play their European Championship matches in the Polish city of Łódź have been banned by the hosting country, after widespread outrage from Poles.

The Union of European Football Associations previously announced that Israel will not be allowed to host UEFA-sanctioned matches due to the ongoing war against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

As a result, the Israeli clubs announced on Sunday that their new “home stadiums” would be the Władysław Król Municipal Stadium and the Stadion Widzewa in Łódź. Soon afterward, two Polish clubs that play at the stadiums released statements distancing themselves from the decision, with many fans expressing antisemitic outrage on social media against Israel and support for the Palestinians.

The Polish city’s Cultural and Sport authority then released a statement saying that no Israeli teams would play at any facilities in Łódz because “the safety of Łódź residents and visitors is the highest priority for the city.”

Yacov Livne, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, slammed the decision and lodged a complaint with the Polish city.

“One should not give in to such threats. Lodz needs to remain a place of tolerance, not fear,” Livne said in a statement on X/Twitter.

Maccabi Haifa took second place in the Israeli top league, giving it the opportunity to play in the qualifying rounds for the European Conference League, while Hapoen Beer Sheva came third in the Israeli premier league.

One of the Polish clubs based in Łódz has a history of antisemitism.

In 2016, a group of ŁKS Łódz hooligans set fire to “Jewish” effigies and paraded a banner calling for the burning of Jews. Years earlier in 2013, fans of the same team invited visitors to an indoor tournament to play a game in which they could throw objects at “Jews,” models dressed in uniforms of the club’s rival, Widzew Łódź. A sign next to the game informed players that for a meager price they would be given “three throws at the Jews.”

Antisemitism is increasingly creeping into Polish politics as well.

Last week a virulently antisemitic member of the Polish parliament who extinguished the candles of a lit Hanukkah menorah with a fire extinguisher won a seat in the European Parliament elections, riding a wave of far-right success across the continent.

The post Poland Bans Israeli Soccer Teams From Major City Due to ‘Safety’ Concerns first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Harassed in NYC by Anti-Israel Media Personality For Being a ‘Zionist’

Quentin Tarantino being harassed by anti-Israel media personality “Crackhead Barney.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

A notorious anti-Israel social media personality accosted filmmaker Quentin Tarantino at a New York City restaurant and called him a “Zionist piece of s–t.”

A woman known online as “Crackhead Barney” shared a video on Saturday of her confrontation with the “Django Unchained” director, 61, as he was eating alone inside a restaurant on St. Marks Place. She approached his table and shouted, “Quentin Tarantino, say ‘Free Palestine!’ Why are you a Zionist piece of s__t?!” Tarantino remained silent as Barney repeated herself and then asked him, “Going to Israel?” as workers from the establishment tried to make her leave the restaurant.

When Tarantino left the eatery, a rowdy crowd awaited him outside including Barney, who confronted him again. She repeatedly shouted “Free Palestine” and asked the director to “say ni–er” multiple times while also exposing herself to the “Pulp Fiction” director. The crowd of people outside the restaurant also chanted “Toes! Toes!” which is seemingly a nod to the director’s fixation with showcasing feet in his movies.

Tarantino is married to Israeli singer Daniella Pick, who is the daughter of legendary Israeli pop musician Svika Pick. The couple live in Tel Aviv with their two children and Tarantino spoke in 2021 about learning Hebrew. In 2022, he received an honorary degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, Tarantino visited an army base in southern Israel and met with Israel Defense Force (IDF) troops.

Earlier this year, Barney harassed actor Alec Baldwin inside a coffee shop in New York City and recorded their confrontation on her cellphone. She told the actor, “Free Palestine … F–k Israel, F–k Zionism.” She repeatedly asked Baldwin to also say “Free Palestine” and when she would not back down, Baldwin eventually knocked Barney’s phone from her hands.

The post Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Harassed in NYC by Anti-Israel Media Personality For Being a ‘Zionist’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Online Live Chat Service for Jews to Connect With Rabbis Sees 300% Increase Since Oct. 7 Attacks

A protester wrapped in an Israeli flag at a rally against antisemitism at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

A live web service provided by Aish.com that allows users to speak directly with one of the Jewish organization’s leading rabbis has seen a 300 percent increase in usage since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.

More than 5,000 chat responses (over 225 per day) are received each month, according to Aish, which added in a press release that many of the chats turn into extended conversations, sometimes on WhatsApp, in which rabbis help unaffiliated or disconnected Jewish users reconnect with their Jewish identities and form bonds with other Jews.

The Jewish organization said it believes the increase in usage of its live web chat service is due to the global rise in antisemitism and a newfound curiosity about Israel following Oct. 7, as well as a “yearning for meaning and community in the face of life’s uncertainties, and a desire for deeper meaning and spirituality in the face of a fast-paced modern culture where spiritual needs have been put on a backburner for too long.”

“We’re hearing from so many Jews who feel profoundly disconnected, whether due to living in areas with little Jewish community or lack of affiliation growing up,” said Rabbi Tzvi Broker, who oversees Aish.com‘s Live Chat. “The personal nature of these interactions, coupled with their anonymity, creates a safe space to ask questions and begin exploring. Having a live rabbi to connect and share with, has been a draw for many, and we’re seeing lives transformed as a result.”

Among their efforts, Broker and his team have helped people on the chat slowly incorporate Jewish rituals and traditions into their lives, and have connected them with peers through the organization’s new online community Aish+ so they can continue learning and engaging with other Jews.

“It’s amazing to witness lives being transformed in such profound ways,” said Broker. “Jews around the world are finding threads of connection to their heritage, and tapping into the depth and wisdom of our tradition to find meaning, community, and resilience in these challenging times.”

Bob Diener, the founder of hotels.com and the seed funder of Aish.com’s live chat, added in a statement: “The chat has been a powerful way for people to connect one-on-one with a spiritual leader and have their unique questions answered in a non-threatening and non-intimidating way. The chat’s rabbis are connecting so many people to their roots who otherwise don’t know where to go for guidance.”

“The chats have had a deep impact on many disconnected from the Jewish community,” said Aish CEO Rabbi Steven Burg. “Each of the people we connect with demonstrates a broad yearning to explore Jewish spirituality, peoplehood, and identity and that is why they have been turning to Aish for connection and guidance. We are happy to provide both while connecting them with local Jewish communities in their area, if there is one, to continue their journey.”

The post Online Live Chat Service for Jews to Connect With Rabbis Sees 300% Increase Since Oct. 7 Attacks first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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