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Israeli lawmaker grabs megaphone from NYC protester, who files a police report



(JTA) — A far-right Israeli lawmaker grabbed a megaphone from a protester on a New York City street and rushed away, leading the protester to file a police report against him.

The altercation on Friday came ahead of this year’s Celebrate Israel Parade, which is expected to attract a large turnout of Jewish and expatriate Israeli anti-government protesters. Israeli right-wing lawmakers in town for the parade have been dogged by protesters who oppose the Israeli government’s efforts to weaken the judiciary.

A number of videos on social media show legislator Simcha Rothman, a key architect of the judicial overhaul, walking along a street in New York on Friday night and chatting with companions while being followed by Israeli protesters heckling him in Hebrew.

“Go back home and repair everything you’ve done, repent for what you’ve done and perhaps we will forgive you one day,” an unidentified female protester says in a video posted by Shany Granot-Lubaton, an Israeli expatriate in New York who is a leading organizer of local anti-government protests. “In the end, we’re all Jews.”

Until that moment, Rothman had not responded to the small coterie of protesters. But at that point, he spun around, wrested away the megaphone and rushed away.

מיד אחרי שחכ רוטמן חטף את המגפון מהפעילה בניו יורק. הפעילה שנפגעה, סטודנטית לתואר שני בקולומביה ועו”ד במקצועה, בדרכה להגיש תלונה במשטרת ניו יורק כעת.

אי אפשר שלא להשוות בין המראות המזעזעים של האלימות כלפי המפגינים בחדרה והאלימות המזעזעת של חבר הכנסת רוטמן כלפי הצעירה שהפגינה…

— דמוקרטTV (@Democrat_TV) June 3, 2023

A separate video posted by an Israeli news outlet, Democrat_TV, shows the protesters scuffling with Rothman’s entourage, and with Rothman eventually returning the megaphone. The outlet identified the protester as a lawyer studying for a master’s degree at Columbia University. Granot-Lubaton later posted a photo of the police report the protester filed. An officer will assess the complaint, but the fact that it was filed does not necessarily mean any charges will follow.

Rothman is one of a number of prominent and controversial Israeli lawmakers who are in New York to join Sunday’s parade. Israeli-led protests against those lawmakers, led by a movement called UnXeptable that supports mass anti-government demonstrations in Israel, already led one Israeli minister to cancel a speech in Los Angeles. UnXeptable has appealed to the parade’s organizers, the New York Jewish Community Relations Council, not to allow leading members of Israel’s governing coalition to join the proceedings.

Rothman, a member of the far-right Religious Zionist Party, is a leading target of the protests. He also backs changes that would make Israel’s Law of Return more restrictive. His participation in a panel in Israel in April convened by the Jewish Federations of North America descended into pandemonium when protesters kept interrupting him.

In a statement after the New York City incident reported by The Jerusalem Post, Rothman decried the protesters as “violent.”

“At some point, the demonstrators realized we were not moved by them, at which point they put a megaphone up to our ears (an attack) and shouted,” he said. “The security guards and I repeatedly told them to stop and to stay away, and they continued. After all the warnings, I took the megaphone that the demonstrator had pushed into my ear — without touching [the demonstrator], of course. After about half a block we reached a place [where] we could go inside and wait for the police.”

Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister who leads Rothman’s party, said in a tweet that Rothman was the victim of violence and called on U.S. and Israeli authorities to prosecute the “trolls” who have pursued him.

In addition to the mass weekly protests in Israel, the judicial overhaul has sparked the censure of Diaspora Jewish organizations that customarily refrain from commenting on Israel’s internal politics.

In March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended the advance of the reforms under pressure of the protests, international opprobrium and dissent within his own Likud Party. He has not yet brought the reforms back to the table, although he is under pressure from far-right partners and has said he plans to do so. Protests against the overhaul have continued unabated.

The post Israeli lawmaker grabs megaphone from NYC protester, who files a police report appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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