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‘Today, I won’t condemn’: Some Netanyahu allies are declining to decry Sunday’s West Bank settler riot



(JTA) — The day after hundreds of settlers rioted in the Palestinian West Bank village of Huwara, torching houses, shops and cars, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned their actions from the floor of parliament, declaring, “We won’t accept a reality where all do as they wish — igniting houses, torching cars, intentionally injuring innocents.”

Other lawmakers in Netanyahu’s coalition denounced the riot while expressing understanding for the settlers who rioted. But earlier on Monday, a lawmaker from Netanyahu’s own Likud party, Tali Gottlieb, stood up at the same dais and struck a different note.

“They asked me: ‘Don’t you condemn what happened in Huwara?’ I said to them, ‘Not today,’” Gottlieb declared as Netanyahu looked on from the floor of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. “Tomorrow, but not today.”

Gottlieb attributed her delay in decrying the settler violence to her focus on the two Israeli victims of a shooting attack earlier on Sunday, when a gunman from Huwara killed two brothers driving on a thoroughfare that runs through the town. The settler riot in Huwara was a response to the attack. A Palestinian was killed in a town to Huwara’s south amid the riot, and dozens were injured.

“So today, I won’t condemn,” Gottlieb said subsequently in her speech. “Today, I am just sending a unifying message to the people of Israel.”

Gottlieb was not the only member of Knesset to stop short of condemning the riot. While many lawmakers in Netanyahu’s government have criticized the rampage and declared that it doesn’t represent Israel’s values, a number of his partners have shown sympathy for the rioters or even endorsed their actions. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, recently put in charge of settlers’ civilian affairs, indicated a measure of understanding for the riot, even as he came out against vigilantism.

The small but significant measure of support for the rioters comes as Israel’s government, which includes far-right parties, contends with a growing wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel. Terror attacks have killed more than a dozen Israelis, most of them civilians, while Israeli raids have killed dozens of Palestinian militants and a number of civilians. But if Sunday’s riot indicates that some settlers feel emboldened to settle scores on their own, the response to their actions shows that they have support from a few members of the sitting government and its allies.

“A closed, burnt Huwara — that’s what I want to see,” said Zvika Fogel, a lawmaker from the far-right Otzma Yehudit party and a member of Netanyahu’s coalition, according to the Times of Israel. “That’s the only way to achieve deterrence. After a murder like yesterday’s, we need burning villages when the IDF doesn’t act.”

The chair of Fogel’s party, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, gave a speech from the site of an illegal West Bank settlement outpost in which he called for the Israeli military to “cease the policy of containment” and said “the enemy needs to be cut down.” He evinced sympathy for the rioters even as he condemned their actions.

“I understand the difficult feelings, but this is not the way,” he said. “We do not take the law into our own hands. The government of Israel, the state of Israel, the security forces, they are the ones who need to cut down our enemies.”

Yishai Fleischer, a pro-settler activist who has served as Ben-Gvir’s spokesman, also sympathized with the rioters while criticizing their actions. “Vigilante behavior is generally wrong and is certainly illegal,” he tweeted. “However, years of Israel’s abandonment of policing and looking away from the jihadism, illegal weapons, and no-go zones, that have grown within us – have led to wanton Arab terrorism – and now to a human reaction.”

Another advocate for the settlements, Smotrich, condemned vigilantism alongside other Israeli leaders, writing on Twitter, “It is forbidden to take the law into one’s hands and create dangerous anarchy that will likely go out of control and cost human life.”

But screenshots show that he liked a since-deleted tweet from a regional settlement official declaring that Huwara “needs to be wiped out today.”

Later in the day, another Twitter user wrote a viral series of tweets both condemning the riot and endorsing “collective punishment of the family and surroundings of the terrorist.” The tweets also appeared to compare the riot with the weekly nonviolent mass protests in Tel Aviv of Israel’s proposed judicial reform.

Smotrich shared the tweets along with the message: “The whole thread.”

The post ‘Today, I won’t condemn’: Some Netanyahu allies are declining to decry Sunday’s West Bank settler riot 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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