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Prominent Peruvian-Jewish journalist hit with antisemitic harassment after investigating protester deaths



LIMA, Peru (JTA) — Right-wing extremist protesters have targeted Gustavo Gorriti, a prominent Peruvian-Jewish journalist, harassing him with antisemitic chants and posters outside of his home over his website’s investigations into police violence stemming from the country’s ongoing unrest.

Jewish and non-Jewish organizations have defended Gorriti since around 30 people protested in front of his home in Lima last Tuesday, holding signs depicting him and one other non-Jewish journalist as rats holding bags of money. Videos posted to social media also show some of the protesters shouting antisemitic slogans, such as: “We will continue visiting this Jew, his days are numbered.” Others shouted “Gorriti isn’t Peruvian, he’s Jewish.”

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the protesters were part of La Resistencia, “an extremist right-wing movement whose leaders had published Gorriti’s address on social media and encouraged followers to harass him.”

Peru has been embroiled in a political crisis since December, when the left-wing former president, Pedro Castillo, attempted to dissolve Congress and unconstitutionally rule by decree. He was promptly impeached, and his vice president, Dina Boluarte, was sworn in as his successor. Many Peruvians, especially low income citizens and those of Indigenous heritage, oppose the new government.

Widespread protests — ranging from rallies to attempts to take over airports — have continued unabated since December. While the majority of the protest activity has been peaceful, Peru’s military and police have also resorted to violence on multiple occasions. At least 49 protesters and one police officer have been killed as a direct result of the protests.

On Feb. 12, the news website IDL-Reporteros, where Gorriti works as editor in chief, published an investigation into some of the deaths in Ayacucho, a southern city that has been a protest hotspot. The investigation found that some of the protesters killed by police were innocent; one was killed while assisting someone who was injured, while another, a 15-year-old, was not part of the demonstration. The team of journalists said some of the police killings could be classified as “extrajudicial killings.”

Gorriti, who rose to fame in the 1980s through reporting on Peru’s government, founded IDL-Reporteros in 2009. He has been the target of antisemitic harassment before from a range of critics, including a former Peruvian president.

In a 2005 interview, Gorriti spoke about his Jewishness.

“I am agnostic and I don’t like religious rituals. However, I identify with the vision of Judaism, which is to feel a great history that beats within oneself,” he said.

Jeffrey Radzinsky, a Peruvian-Jewish lawyer and political analyst, said that although La Resistencia is a fringe group, antisemitism in Peru is “something shared in both ideological extremes,” not only the far right. He gave the example of Vladimir Cerrón, a former leftist governor who has tweeted about “Peruvian-Jewish powers.” Gorritti’s news organization has previously reported on Cerrón’s antisemitism.

On their website, IDL-Reporteros condemned the harassment as “anti-Semitic” and noted that this is the fourth episode of attacks against the news organization and against Gorriti in the past 36 days.

On Saturday, the Jewish Association of Peru communal group released a statement condemning the attacks on Gorriti.

“We emphatically reject the harassment and threats laden with anti-Semitic racism that a group of people recently carried out in front of the home of journalist Gustavo Gorriti,” the group wrote. “Freedom of expression is one of the essential values of our society. Our country has a climate of polarization, and Peruvians need to look for spaces of dialogue and understanding, for which it is essential to eliminate racism and physical and verbal violence.”

The post Prominent Peruvian-Jewish journalist hit with antisemitic harassment after investigating protester deaths 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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