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A Berlin rabbi has been fired amid mounting allegations that he preyed on young women

BERLIN (JTA) — As a teenager in Berlin, Adelle was honored when a rabbi began showing interest in her spiritual development. Rabbi Reuven Yaacobov’s offer of personal instruction was an appealing prospect to the Russian-speaking immigrant with no documentation of her Jewish heritage.

Over time, Yaacobov’s private lessons escalated to phone calls and text messages and, ultimately, an invitation to a Shabbat dinner at his apartment, located so far from her home that she would need to stay over to avoid the prohibition on traveling on Shabbat.

There, Adelle was surprised to discover that Yaacobov’s wife was away and she was the only guest. After setting up the couch for Adelle, Yaacobov told her she needed a massage. There were points in her body, he said, where her energy was blocked.

He began with her back but ultimately told her that the points that needed attention — he called them chakras, a Hindu term, and sefirot, a term from Jewish mysticism — included her uterus.

“He said, ‘If I am not pressing it now, basically all that hard work I did’ – half an hour of hard work pressing on my back – ‘all that hard work is going to go to waste. If you don’t activate it all the way, it’s not going to work,’” Adelle recalled.

“I was very fresh to Jewish life. I didn’t know much,” she said. “I was not sure, but if it is a rabbi telling you that something is wrong [with you], you know, I kind of accepted it.”

After her formal conversion to Judaism, the touching escalated to pressure to have sexual intercourse, which Yaacobov said was permitted under Jewish law if he took her as a secret second wife.

He told Adelle that through her conversion she had absorbed the spirit of Batsheva, the Biblical woman whom King David famously spotted from afar and took as his wife — even though he had to have her husband killed to make it happen. Yaacobov said that only he, as a self-described descendant of David, had special powers to heal her.

When she balked, he told her that she would “stay a zero, just like you are now” and that her spiritual development would remain stunted.

“He made it very clear that I am a nobody at that point,” she recalled. “And, so, 19-year-old me, from not a very good family background — that was a statement that sounded true.”

Rabbi Reuven Yaacobov stands on stage with security guards during the ceremonial handover of a new Torah scroll that he had written to the Jewish regional congregation in Erfurt, Germany, Sept. 30, 2021.(Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Yaacobov’s hold over her was so complete, Adelle said, that when her Orthodox girls school announced that students could no longer associate with the rabbi, she rejected the warning.

“They summoned me to speak about that, and told me some horrifying things about him, and I was in complete denial,” she said. “I said, ‘No, no, it cannot be, he is a holy person. It cannot be, it’s wrong, you guys are wrong!’ I was fighting against them.”

That was in 2010. For years, Adelle told her story to no one. But eventually, she learned that “there was a whole team of Batshevas” — women like her whom Yaacobov had identified as vulnerable and groomed for sex, leveraging their naivete about Judaism to his advantage.

Now, Yaacobov has been fired from his position as the rabbi of Tiferet Israel, Berlin’s Sephardic synagogue, because of the alleged misconduct. His termination came just one day after Adelle and other women — organized by a onetime champion of Yaacobov named Elena Eyngorn — brought their stories to the Jewish Community of Berlin, the group that oversees most Jewish institutions in the city and employs some of its clergy.

“In view of the seriousness of the allegations, the Executive Board was shocked and outraged and immediately released Rabbi Yaacobov and finally fired him without notice effective May 31,” Ilan Kiesling, the organization’s spokesperson, said in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

He said Tiferet Israel would be “closed until the facts have been fully clarified” and that worshipers could pray at a nearby synagogue instead. He also said steps would be taken to prevent “such incidents in the future” and noted that a religious court, known as a beit din, might try Yaacobov according to Jewish law.

“The community has promised the victims unlimited support,” Kiesling said.

Yaacobov did not respond to JTA’s queries sent via Facebook messenger and WhatsApp.

Although the women and their advocates are relieved to see Yaacobov lose his pulpit, Yaacobov’s firing — which has not been publicly announced — is raising broader questions about the community and its guardrails. How could his alleged misconduct have gone unaddressed for years? Could someone have taken action earlier?

In fact, the Jewish Community of Berlin, the local police and an Orthodox rabbinical court in Moscow all received complaints about Yaacobov’s behavior with women in the past. The complaints predated the sweeping cultural shift around responses to sexual misconduct, known as #MeToo, that began in 2017 when the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of being a serial sex abuser.

“If Elena was able to do this in two weeks, to pressure the head of the community and get it done and get him to lose his job, how come all the powerful people that knew about it for years couldn’t take him down?” Adelle asked. “How come?”

Yaacobov has long been a popular spiritual leader in a subset of Berlin’s large community of Russian-speaking Jews. Born in Uzbekistan and ordained by the Midrash Sepharadi Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Yaacobov, 46 and a married father of three, also studied at the Moscow Yeshiva in Russia and the Shavei Gola Yeshiva in Jerusalem before being hired by the Jewish Community of Berlin 17 years ago, according to a biography that was removed from the organization’s website this month.

Inner view of Berlin’s Tiferet Israel Sephardic Synagogue, as seen in 2016. (MaorX via Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to leading Tiferet Israel, Yaacobov has worked as a sofer, or ritual scribe, as a shochet or ritual slaughterer, and also as a mohel, performing brit milah, or traditional circumcision, on male infants. Sources in the community say he has performed circumcisions since being fired from his synagogue position. On his social media accounts, he posts inspirational videos and notes in Russian.

“Never, ever let others convince you that something is difficult or impossible,” he wrote in a post last week. “When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it.”

The full scope of the allegations against Yaacobov is still unfolding. JTA has met with two women who say Yaacobov lured them into sexual relations, using pseudo-religious justifications, and spoken with a third who said she got away before he touched her. The women are being identified by pseudonyms because they asked that their names not be published.

Others told JTA they are aware of additional survivors. Eyngorn said she has spoken directly with nine, including the three with whom JTA spoke; new accounts continue to emerge, she said, as word spreads about her inquiries.

What is clear is that the testimony given to the Jewish Community of Berlin instigated immediate action — offering a sharp contrast to what happened at multiple other junctures when people raised concerns about Yaacobov’s behavior.

At least twice, women went to law enforcement but no charges resulted. In one case, Berlin’s top prosecutor declined to investigate the report it received, telling an attorney that because their client was a legal adult at the time of the incident and appeared to have been able to leave the scene if she wanted, there was no grounds for a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, a woman who left Germany for Moscow gave a statement to the rabbinical court there over a decade ago, according to Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, then the chief rabbi of Moscow. Goldschmidt, the longtime head of the Conference of European Rabbis, said he passed the complaint along to Lala Suesskind, then president of the Jewish Community of Berlin. He was not aware of any action taken in response.

Suesskind told JTA that she did not recall hearing from Goldschmidt but said she had received a different tip about Yaacobov’s behavior — which she dismissed as a rumor.

She said a Berlin rabbi whom she would not name had come to her with reports of sexual impropriety by Yaacobov during her tenure, which lasted from 2008 to 2012.

“I said, ‘Then bring the women to me.’ No one came. No one did anything,” Suesskind said. “I am someone who does not react to rumors and doesn’t spread them. I had no facts.”

Lala Suesskind, then president of the Jewish Community of Berlin, stands during a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from Berlin to concentration camps during the Holocaust, Oct. 18, 2011.(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The turning point against Yaacobov came this spring after Liza Khurgin, a volunteer at a Berlin conference for Russian-speaking Jews held in March, raised concerns about his behavior following a lecture he delivered on the topic of “Kosher Sex.” She told JTA she had objected to Yaacobov’s “sexist” comments and left early — then began to get repeated messages from the rabbi.

“I don’t know how he got my Telegram contact,” she said, referring to a secure text platform. “He started to message me that I looked sad and someone broke my heart and he can help. He started to call on Telegram and tried to contact me again on Facebook, and I did not reply.”

She added, “It was not appropriate. It was very weird. You don’t expect a rabbi to act this way.”

Khurgin urged the conference organizers never to invite Yaacobov again. The organizers in turn informed Eyngorn, a former president of Germany’s Federation of Jewish Students who had nominated him to speak. Having known Yaacobov for years — he even performed her son’s bris — she was shocked.

“Before accusing someone you have to check,” Eyngorn told JTA. “I started to investigate and … realized this story had a much longer history and was more terrible than I imagined.”

Stories started spilling out, spanning years and all following a similar trajectory. Eyngorn said several women told her about how Yaacobov “groomed” them over weeks and months — after checking their age, gradually winning their trust and fealty, and ultimately swaying them to accept intimate touching and submit to sexual acts by claiming that a secretive Jewish court had prescribed this treatment for them or — in another variant — claiming that only he, supposedly a descendant of King David, could rescue their souls.

Twisted invocations of scriptures and religious law are common among sexual predators who happen to be rabbis, said Rabbi Yosef Blau, spiritual guidance counselor and rosh yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University in New York, and a longtime advocate for survivors of sexual misconduct in the Orthodox world.

Blau recalled being consulted about a different rabbi who had been accused of abusing teens.

“They were people who at this point knew very little about Jewish law, and therefore it was possible for him to manipulate them to think what he tells them is permissible is permissible,” Blau said. “He is the rabbi who is bringing them into Judaism, defining Judaism in his terms, and that gives him a certain measure of control over them.”

While the two women who met with JTA were not legally minors at the time of the alleged misconduct, they described themselves in hindsight as impressionable and vulnerable.

Sara, who first came under his sway when she was 18, recalled Yaacobov progressing from lessons in Kabbalah and Jewish law to telling her how to walk, do her hair and nails in order to be attractive to men. The next step seemed to follow logically: photographing her in her underwear, supposedly in order to check her “chakras.” He also told her he was a physiotherapist, which further undermined her skepticism, she recalled.

Afterward, “I just left in a kind of shock,” Sara told JTA. “I thought something is obviously seriously wrong with me; that is why all of the things are happening to me that I find so difficult. So he will fix them, right? And this is the discomfort I will have to go through.”

In their final meeting, she said, he told her that a secret Jewish court required her to perform oral sex on him. He insisted he was only acting in accordance with her spiritual needs — while making her swear not to tell anyone because of the risk of consequences in the “spiritual realm.”

Estie was a bit older than the other women who talked to JTA, no longer a teenager, when Yaacobov started chatting with her after she attended a lecture he gave on family values.

She had been going through a difficult phase, having just ended a relationship. “He said, ‘I will help you,’ and he immediately started to give me advice on how to get a good guy,” she said. After they met once in public, he invited her for “training.”

From there, her story mirrored those of Adelle and Sara.

“He said, ‘Your chakras are closed, you need to open up,’” Estie recalled. Then, he invited her to his home. She was looking forward to meeting the wife and children he spoke of so warmly, and bought some kosher candy as a gift. But when she arrived at his apartment, she discovered she was alone with him.

“He said he wanted to give me a massage,” she said. “It was a weird, uncomfortable situation. I am alone with a rabbi in his apartment and he wants to give me a massage – a full-body massage. He said, ‘You should be more open, you should open your buttons.’”

Estie said she made up an excuse and left. “I did not let him do it. I got out with very little damage.” Afterward, she said, he called her incessantly.

“He said he can help me and I am denying his help, and he made me feel really bad about myself,” she said.

Estie said she had been able to cope with her trauma, in part by jokingly referring to Yaacobov as “Reuven the Masseur.” But she said she was “shocked” when she found out, through Eyngorn, that other young women had been in a similar situation to hers.

“I didn’t know that it was his hobby. I didn’t know he was so bad, that he did much worse things,” she said.

“I really trusted him,” she added. “I told him my story about my breakup and I cried. He looks for people who are weak or vulnerable at the moment. He told me, ‘I will help you.’”

Adelle, Sara and Estie were all immigrants to Germany from the former Soviet Union; about 90% of German Jews today have roots there. While Estie was exploring her Jewish roots on her own, Adelle and Sara were attending an Orthodox school created to serve young Russian-speaking women amid a broad push to connect immigrants with the Judaism they had been prohibited from accessing under communism.

Their profile — young, Russian-speaking Jews on the search for spiritual fulfillment — may have made them targets. “According to my humble understanding it is a matter of finding vulnerable people,” said Rabbi Zsolt Balla of Leipzig, who has counseled Eyngorn and some of the women as they prepare to seek redress in a religious court.

Rabbi Zsolt Balla speaks in a synagogue in Saxony, Germany, June 21, 2021. (Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“Someone who wants to groom people has to find the common denominator,” and in this situation, Balla said, “it was language.”

Shana Aaronson, the executive director of Magen-Israel, an advocacy group for survivors of sexual misconduct in religious communities in Israel, said it was significant that the rabbi’s alleged misconduct came as the women were being steeped in Orthodox Judaism, where rabbinic leadership confers power.

In Orthodox communities, “we are trained from an early age to do what the rabbi says,” Aaronson said. A predator’s “first step is an overstepping of boundaries, involving themselves in aspects of the person’s life that do not fall into the rabbi’s role: ‘Let me guide you and advise you on this, that and the other thing not related to their spiritual observance.”

Then, she said, they break down emotional boundaries, and ultimately give Jewish legal or “halachic reasoning for why what I am now telling you to do is OK or necessary.” Some will even bring texts to justify their actions, she said.

“Yes, we are taught that this behavior is forbidden, but it always comes back to the fact that the rabbi knows best,” Aaronson said. “It sounds absurd, but even a young woman who is educated is certainly not as knowledgeable as a rabbi. If he says in this case it is allowed, who is she to question that?”

When Adelle realized that she had been victimized, she apologized to her school’s administration for not heeding its warning about Yaacobov. She also began realizing that she needed to unlearn the twisted version of Judaism that he had taught her.

“I started to wake up and reevaluate everything he taught me, everything he said, ever,” Adelle recalled. “Three years of telling me things, three years of nonsense, along with Torah, along with wrong information, wrong halacha, wrong everything. It was like being reborn.”

The girls school was not the only Jewish institution to keep Yaacobov at a distance. ORD, Germany’s Orthodox rabbinical organization, spurned his bid for membership more than once at least a decade ago after a majority of members voted against his application. Their reasons are not public.

Now, ORD is hoping to take action to prevent harm to other women. Rabbi Avichai Apel, a board member, said the group wants to convene a religious court or beit din quickly to adjudicate the claims of Yaacobov’s alleged victims under Jewish law.

A beit din cannot put someone in jail, but it can issue pronouncements that affect a person’s role in the community. It could “issue a public statement saying that [the accused] is not allowed to interact with women or declaring him unfit to serve as a rabbi,” said Blau, who has begun advising ORD about its handling of Yaacobov. “In effect he will have been found guilty.”

Rabbi and Torah scribe Reuven Yaacobov writes sections of a Torah at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, July 10, 2014. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

The beit din could come to that conclusion, Blau and Goldschmidt said, even if the person facing allegations is not present at its proceedings. And unlike the secular legal system in Germany, Jewish courts do not differentiate between alleged victims who are older and younger than 18.

In Jewish settings, Blau said, “an accused perpetrator is responsible whenever he takes advantage of a power imbalance, irrespective of the age of the victims.”

Apel declined to comment on Yaacobov’s case specifically but said he said he knew that sharing testimonies with rabbis could be hard for the women.

“It is a situation that nobody wants to imagine for himself, it is so terrible, really terrible,” he said. “But unfortunately they have to speak about it.”

He also said he planned to talk with his own congregation about the subject of sexual abuse, to help them recognize and prevent it, and to support survivors.

Goldschmidt said the more witnesses who appear before a beit din, the more likely the rabbinical court is to find in their favor.

“When it is a story of one man against a woman, it is her word against his,” said Goldschmidt,. “But if you are talking about a whole line of people who alleged that a person has been sexually improper with them, in 99% of the cases [it turns out] that where there is smoke, there is fire.”

Eyngorn said that, in her view, the situation is not just a fire but a conflagration. In the days after Yaacobov was terminated, she said her phone rang “every second moment” with people angry that she had worked against him.

“Women from his synagogue were accusing me: ‘You fired such a great rabbi! We are women and it never happened to us!’” she recalled. “I said, ‘It also did not happen to me; that is not an argument at all.’”

Since then, she said, some of them have called back or written to apologize, saying that they, too, have stories about Yaacobov.

The post A Berlin rabbi has been fired amid mounting allegations that he preyed on young women appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Hating Israel Isn’t New; How the CIA and State Department Undermined the Jewish State

“Teddy Roosevelt’s great-great-great grandson is an anti-Israel protester at Princeton,” blared a New York Post headline on May 4, 2024.
The Post reported that Quentin Colon Roosevelt, an 18-year-old freshman, and descendant of the 25th President, is an anti-Israel activist at the Ivy League university. But far from being hip and new, Quentin’s brand of anti-Zionism is old hat — he is merely continuing a long family tradition of anti-Israel activism.
There is an abundance of literature on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s views on Jews and Zionism, the belief in Jewish self-determination. Both FDR and his wife Eleanor had made antisemitic remarks. In a private conversation in 1938, then-President Roosevelt suggested that by dominating the economy in Poland, Jews were themselves fueling antisemitism. And in a 1941 Cabinet meeting, FDR remarked that there were too many Jewish Federal employees in Oregon. In his final days, FDR promised Saudi leader Abdul Aziz Ibn al Saud that he would oppose the creation of Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.
FDR is the president who led the United States to victory against Adolf Hitler. He also employed Jews in high-ranking positions in his government. But he is also the president whose administration failed to save more Jews fleeing Nazism, and who refused to bomb the railway tracks leading to Auschwitz and other death camps where millions of Jews met a ghastly end. Accordingly, it makes sense that his beliefs regarding Jews have been the subject of books and belated study.
Less examined, however, is the Oyster Bay branch of the Roosevelt clan, and their beliefs regarding Zionism. In part, this is easily explained by the unique place that FDR holds in American history. He is the only president to serve four terms, and presided over both the Great Depression, World War II, and arguably the beginning of the Cold War. His branch of the family, the Hyde Park Roosevelts, were Democrats and remained active in public life for decades after his 1945 death.
At first glance, the Oyster Bay Roosevelts were more of a turn of the 19th century affair. They were Republicans, and their scion was Teddy Roosevelt, a war hero turned governor of New York state who, thanks to an assassin’s bullet, found himself as the nation’s leader in 1901.
The famously ebullient Roosevelt helped redefine the country’s idea of a president, and served as an inspiration for his cousin Franklin. But Teddy largely presided over an era of peace and tranquility, not war and upheaval.
Teddy was a philosemite. He was the first occupant of the Oval Office to appoint a Jewish American to the Cabinet. He championed the rights of Jews, both at home and abroad, and was harshly critical of the numerous pogroms that unfolded in czarist Russia.
As Seth Rogovoy has noted, Roosevelt’s “special relationship with Jews was forged during his time serving as police commissioner in New York City, a post he assumed in 1904.” When an antisemitic German preacher named Hermann Ahlwardt gave speeches in the city, Roosevelt assigned a contingent of Jewish police officers to guard the man.
Roosevelt was also a Zionist. In 1918, shortly after the Balfour Declaration, he wrote: “It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist state around Jerusalem.” He told Lioubomir Michailovitch, the Serbian Minister to the United States, that “there can be no peace worth having … unless the Jews [are] given control of Palestine.” Six months later Roosevelt died in his sleep.
Not all his descendants would share his belief in Jewish self-determination, however.
Two of Teddy Roosevelt’s grandchildren, Kermit and Archie, served their country in the CIA during the early years of the Cold War. Both were keenly interested in Middle East affairs, and were fluent in Arabic. Both were well read and highly educated, authoring books and filing dispatches for newspapers like the Saturday Evening Post, among others.
They were also prominent anti-Zionists.
Kermit Roosevelt, known as “Kim,” played a key role in anti-Zionist efforts in the United States and abroad. He was not, by the standards of his time, an antisemite. But he was ardently opposed to the creation of Israel.
As Hugh Wilford observed in his 2013 book America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East: “the anti-Zionism of the overt Cold War foreign policy establishment is well known” but “less widely appreciated is the opposition to Jewish statehood of the individuals responsible for setting up the United States’ covert apparatus in the Middle East.”
This began with the OSS, the CIA’s precursor. And it included men like Stephen Penrose, a former American University of Beirut instructor, and Kim Roosevelt’s boss during his wartime service in the OSS.
“Documents among Penrose’s personal papers reveal him engaged in a variety of anti-Zionist activities at the same time that he was commencing his official duties with the OSS,” Wilford notes.
Like many of his fellow Arabists, Penrose was the son of American missionaries who, failing to convert the native population to Christianity, sought to foster Arab nationalism instead. Penrose described himself as a “chief cook” who was “brewing” opposition to Zionism. He became one of Kim Roosevelt’s mentors.
In a January 1948 Middle East Journal article entitled, “Partition of Palestine: A Lesson in Pressure Politics,” Kim called the 1947 UN vote in favor of a Jewish state an “instructive and disturbing story.”
Roosevelt believed that the US media was unduly supportive of the creation of Israel, and claimed that almost all Americans “with diplomatic, educational, missionary, or business experience in the Middle East” opposed Zionism.
Kim’s pamphlet was reprinted by the Institute for Arab American Affairs, a New York-based group whose board he sat on. He also began working with the Arab League’s Washington, D.C., office and “turned elsewhere for allies in the anti-Zionist struggle, starting with the Protestant missionaries, educators, and aid workers.”
This nascent group soon received financial support from the American oil industry, which maintained close links to Kim’s OSS/CIA colleague, William Eddy.
As Wilford noted, the Arabian consortium ARAMCO “launched a public relations campaign intended to bring American opinion around to the Arab point of view.”
In addition to missionaries and big oil, Kim gained another important ally in the form of Elmer Berger, a rabbi from Flint, Michigan. Berger served as executive director of the American Council for Judaism, an anti-Zionist group that, among other things, opposed the creation of a Jewish army during World War II at the height of the Holocaust. Berger and Roosevelt became drinking buddies and close collaborators on their joint effort against the Jewish State.
Kim eventually became “organizing secretary” for a group called The Committee for Justice and Peace. The committee’s original chair, Virginia Gildersleeve, was both a longtime friend of the Roosevelts of Oyster Bay and the dean of New York City’s Barnard College, which today is part of Columbia.
Gildersleeve was “also a high-profile anti-Zionist” who “became involved with the Arab cause through her association with the Arabist philanthropist Charles Crane and the historian of Arab nationalism George Antonius.”
Crane, a wealthy and notorious antisemite, had lobbied against the creation of a Jewish state since the beginning of the 20th century, even advising then-President Woodrow Wilson against supporting the Balfour Declaration.
By 1950, the Committee had managed to recruit famed journalist Dorothy Thompson to their cause. Thompson was reportedly the basis for actress Katharine Hepburn’s character in the 1942 movie Woman of the Year. A convert to anti-Zionism, Thompson’s extensive network of reporters and celebrities proved crucial to Kim and Berger’s efforts to rally opposition to the Jewish State. In a 1951 letter to Barnard College’s Gildersleeve, Thompson wrote: “I am seriously concerned about the position of the Jews in the United States.” People, she claimed, “are beginning to ask themselves the question: who is really running America?”
Another ally emerged that year: the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA began funding the Committee, as well as its successor, the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME). Beginning in June 1950, Kim’s correspondence with Berger began making veiled references to the ACJ head taking on “official work” in Washington. This, Wilford believes, is a reference to working with the CIA. Indeed, the well-connected Kim and Archie Roosevelt had known top CIA officials like Allan Dulles since childhood.
With support from figures like Eddy, AFME also began encouraging Muslim-Christian alliances — ostensibly to counter Soviet influence, but also to attack the Jewish state. This led to some awkward alliances, including with Amin al-Husseini, the founding father of Palestinian nationalism and an infamous Nazi collaborator.
Husseini had ordered the murders of rival Palestinians, incited violence against Jews since the 1920s, and had led forces, equipped with Nazi-supplied arms, to destroy Israel at its rebirth in 1948. Now, along with the Secretary General of the Arab League, and Saudi King Ibn Saud, he was meeting with Eddy to discuss a “moral alliance” between Christians and Muslims to defeat communism. Kim himself knew Husseini, having interviewed him for the Saturday Evening Post after World War II.
AFME lobbied for the appointment of anti-Zionist diplomats and in favor of Eisenhower administration efforts to withhold aid from Israel. And both Berger and Thompson pushed for favorable coverage of the new Egyptian dictator, Gamal Nassar, who would wage war on the Jewish state for nearly two decades. Initially, they were successful, with TIME magazine writing that Nasser had the “lithe grace of a big, handsome, all-American quarterback.” Of course, there was nothing “all-American” about Nasser, who would become a Soviet stooge.
AFME officials like Garland Evans Hopkins would draw rebukes after claiming that Jews were bringing violence against themselves — a staple of antisemitism. Hopkins claimed that Zionists “could produce a wave of antisemitism in this country” if they continued acting against “America’s best interests in the Middle East.”
AFME itself would eventually lose influence, particularly after its boosting of figures like Nasser was revealed as foolhardy. Berger would go on to advise Senator J. William Fulbright (D-AR) in his efforts to get pro-Israel Americans to register as foreign agents.
In 1967, as Arab forces gathered to annihilate Israel, Berger blamed the Jewish State, accusing it of “aggression” and its supporters of “hysteria.” Top ACJ officials resigned in protest. That same year, Ramparts magazine exposed CIA support, financial and otherwise, of AFME.
Kim and Archie Roosevelt, however, would continue their careers as high-ranking CIA officers before eventually starting a consulting business and making use of their extensive Middle East contacts.
For some college protesters, attacking Israel — and American support for Israel — might seem new and trendy. Yet, both the CIA and big oil were precisely doing that, decades ago, forming alliances with anti-American dictators, antisemitic war criminals, the press, Protestant groups, academics, university administrators, and fringe Jewish groups claiming to represent “what’s best” for American Jewry.
As William Faulkner once wrote: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The writer is a Senior Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis
The post Hating Israel Isn’t New; How the CIA and State Department Undermined the Jewish State first appeared on Algemeiner.com

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Canada’s economic growth projected to be about 1% in the first half of 2024

Canada is a country with a thriving Jewish community and has traditionally offered the security of a strong economy for residents. The national economic outlook is naturally something that everyone in Canada’s Jewish community keeps track of – especially those involved in business in the various provinces.

With this in mind, the July 2023 Monetary Policy Report from the Bank of Canada made for interesting reading, projecting a moderate economic growth figure of around 1% for the first half of 2024. This is in line with growth figures that had been forecast for the second half of 2023, and sees the country’s economy remain on a stable footing.

Steady projected growth for first half of 2024

Although projected economic growth of around 1% in early 2024 is not as impressive as figures of around 3.4% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, it is certainly no cause for alarm. But what might be behind it?

Higher interest rates are one major factor to consider and have had a negative impact on household spending nationally. This has effectively seen people with less spending power and businesses in Canada generating less revenue as a result.

Interest rate rises have also hit business investments nationally, and less money is being channelled into this area to fuel Canada’s economic growth. When you also factor in how the weak foreign demand for Canadian goods and services has hit export growth lately, the projected GDP growth figure for early 2024 is understandable.

Growth in second half of 2024 expected

Although the above may make for interesting reading for early 2024, the Bank of Canada’s report does show that economic growth is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. This is projected to be due to the decreasing effect of high interest rates on the Canadian economy and a stronger foreign demand for the country’s exports.

Moving forward from this period, it is predicted that inflation will remain at around 3% as we head into 2025, and hit the Bank of Canada’s inflation target of 2% come the middle of 2025. All of this should help the country’s financial status remain stable and prove encouraging for business leaders in the Jewish community.

Canada’s economic growth mirrors iGaming’s rise

When you take a look at the previous growth figures Canada has seen and also consider the growth predicted for 2024 (especially in the second half of the year), it is clear that the country has a vibrant, thriving economy.

This economic growth is something that can be compared with iGaming’s recent rise as an industry around the country. In the same way as Canada has steadily built a strong economy over time, iGaming has transformed itself into a powerful, flourishing sector.

This becomes even clearer when you consider that Canadian iGaming has been a major contributor to the sustained growth seen in the country’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry, which rose by around 1.9% in Q2 of 2023. The healthy state of online casino play in Canada is also evidenced by how many customers the most popular casino platforms attract and how the user experience these operators offer has enabled iGaming in the country to take off.

This, of course, is also something that translates to the world stage, where global iGaming revenues in 2023 hit an estimated $95 billion. iGaming’s global market volume is also pegged to rise to around $130 billion by 2027. These kinds of figures represent a sharp jump for iGaming worldwide and show how the sector is on the ascent.

Future economic outlook for Canada in line with global expectations

When considering the Canadian economic outlook for 2024, it is often useful to look at how this compares with global financial predictions. In addition to the rude health of iGaming in Canada being reflected in global online casino gaming, the positive economic outlook for the country is also broadly in line with expectations for many global economies.

Global growth is also predicted to rise steadily in the second half of 2024 before becoming stronger in 2025. This should be driven by the weakening effects of high interest rates on worldwide economic prosperity. With rate cuts in Canada already expected after Feb 2024’s inflation report, this could happen in the near future.

The performance of the US economy is always of interest in Canada, as this is the country’s biggest trading partner. Positive US Q2 performances in 2023, powered by a strong labor market, good consumer spending levels and robust business investments, were therefore a cause for optimism. As a US economy that continues to grow is something that Canadian businesses welcome, this can only be a healthy sign.

Canada set for further growth in 2024

Local news around Canada can cover many topics but the economy is arguably one of the most popular. A projected GDP growth figure of around 1% for Canada’s economy shows that the financial state of the country is heading in the right direction. An improved financial outlook heading into the latter half of 2024/2025 would make for even better reading, and the national economy should become even stronger.

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The Legal Landscape of Online Gambling in Canada

Online gambling has grown in popularity around the globe in recent years. While many jurisdictions have legalized land-based gambling, it hasn’t applied to online platforms. Nonetheless, Canada is one nation that has legalized online gambling with their provinces’ licensing and regulating sites.

Nonetheless, Canadians of legal age can enjoy playing their favourite online games where available. So many games like slots, blackjack, and roulette still maintain their popularity even in the digital sense.  Want to learn about what’s legal in Canada for online gambling? Let’s take a look.

What is legal for online gambling in Canada?

What is the best online casino in Canada? The list we provide you here should be a good start. It’s also important to note that most Canadian provinces do not have laws that prohibit offshore online casinos.

Many provinces provide licensing to online casinos. They even regulate them as well. For example, Alberta and British Columbia have sites regulated by their respective governing bodies. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) allows legal online gambling and oversees the services it offers to Maritime provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, there are some caveats to address. In Newfoundland and Labrador, online gambling that is not offered by the ALC is considered illegal. Therefore, it is the only Canadian province as of 2024 that prohibits offshore options.

In terms of the legal age, there are three provinces where the legal age is 18: Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The remaining provinces establish 19 as the legal age for gambling including online.

Who are the regulatory bodies for gambling in Canada?

At the Federal level, the Canadian Gaming Association is the regulatory body for gambling in Canada. Thus, they cover both land-based and online gambling in the country. There are also provincial and regional regulatory bodies such as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) – which covers the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.  

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. A handful of provinces also have their regulatory bodies covering lottery and gaming.

Canada requires online casinos that wish to accept players from the country to adhere to regulations and licensing. These licenses are provided by provincial regulatory bodies. When licensed, online casinos must follow the regulations and security standards.

However, there is the belief that many of the laws about gambling in Canada may be outdated. This could be because these laws were created long before the advent of the Internet. Therefore, such laws may need to be modernized. Nonetheless, online gambling for the most part is legal, just dependent on the province.

Are there any legal grey areas to discuss?

The grey area that is considered a concern pertains to the use of offshore sites. As mentioned earlier, Newfoundland and Labrador is believed to be the only province that prohibits it. Even online casinos with no licensing by Canadian or provincial authorities accept residents of the country.

On the players’ end, many Canadians are allowed to play at online casinos. However, they may be restricted from certain platforms. This is to ensure that the players themselves are protected from unknowingly playing on platforms that may be illegal. 

What are the other laws and regulations about online gambling in Canada?

Online casinos have implemented measures for responsible gambling. This includes providing support and resources to problem gamblers on their site. They are also restricted regarding the marketing and advertising aspects of promoting their platform. 

One restriction of note is that marketing that is targeted at minors is prohibited. Another prohibits professional athletes from appearing in online casino ads in Ontario.

Even offshore casinos must adhere to these laws and regulations. Especially if they have obtained a license from the provincial bodies that allow them to operate.

Canada’s online gambling is legal – but will things change

As it stands right now, the legality of online gambling in Canada seems to fall under the purview of provincial laws and regulations. Canadian citizens must perform their due diligence further to see which online casinos are allowed by their respective provinces. Just because it may be legal in one province, it may not be the same in others.

Nonetheless, the question is: will any laws relax certain restrictions? Will Newfoundland and Labrador change their tune regarding offshore casinos? It’s unclear what the future holds – but watch this space for any changes about online gambling in Canada.  

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