What a shame – Women of the Wall – home vandalized by ultra orthodox Jews!

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Anat Hoffman and other Women of the Wall praying at the Wall.

Anat Hoffman has written an article “Answered Prayers” in which she announced “Judge Moshe Sobel of the Jerusalem District Court issued a groundbreaking ruling saying our group was not illegal and we would be allowed to pray at the Wall without fear of further detentions. That same week, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky sat with Women of the Wall to discuss his plan for new section that would be set aside for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel. I began to receive congratulations from around the world as if the struggle was over, but, as is often the case in politics, the devil is in the details.”

Today I received the following mail informing me that Ultra Orthodox Jews have vandalized the home of one of the Woman of the Wall. What is with the ultra orthodox Jews why can’t they allow Jewish women to pray at the wall wearing their tallit? This is shameful.

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Dear Mark,

With Anat away on a speaking tour in the United States, I wanted to update you on some disturbing patterns we have been observing here in Jerusalem.

Since the landmark Sobel ruling in Jerusalem’s District Court, which enabled Women of the Wall to pray according to their customs at the Kotel, the backlash from the ultra-Orthodox community has been growing steadily. We witnessed a wave of violence at the Kotel last Rosh Hodesh. A week ago, Peggy Cidor, a board member of Women of the Wall, had her home vandalized with threatening graffiti.

The spiritual leader of the Shas political party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has threatened to bring 100,000 protesters with him on June 9th for Rosh Chodesh.  Hopefully, this will not lead to a repeat of last month’s violent outbursts at the Western Wall.

Given the increase in violent rhetoric coming from opponents of the Sobel ruling and the Sharansky plan, it is our duty to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions. Anat is the most visible leader in the Jewish world on this issue. Her safety is always our primary concern and we will make sure that all relevant security measures are in place, both at home and in the office, to enable her continue to lead us in the fight for equality and freedom.

Meanwhile, we need to keep up the flow of emails to the Prime Minister’s office until next week, letting him know that although the ultra-Orthodox can make a big show, we are still the majority of world Jewry.

Sincerely,

Noa Sattath
Director, IRAC
Please write to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Thank you.

Ultra Orthodox Jews at the Wall threatening women of the wall who had gone to pray

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I am a refugee

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“I am a refugee” campaign puts Jewish refugees from Arab countries on world agenda…

“It is time to correct an historic justice and deal with the Jews who were forced out of Arab countries.”

Top: Immigrants from Iraq arriving at Atlit transit camp, June 1951. Top right: Israeli stewardness at Lod Airport giving a drink to young immigrant from Morocco, Nov 1949. Bottom left: Registration of immigrants from Iraq at Lod Airport, May 1951. Bottom right: Every three hours a plane arrived at Lod Airport carrying immigrants from Iraq and Kurdistan via Teheran, May 1951

Many Jews who had lived for generations in Arab countries were driven from their homes as a result of antisemitism and anti-Jewish riots after the declaration of the Jewish state. Between 1948 and 1952, 856,000 Jews from Arab countries became refugees.

The “I am a refugee” campaign is being conducted online and on Facebook. On the Facebook page can be found personal stories of Israelis from Arab countries who were expelled from their homes and their countries, but not before their property was confiscated and their rights were taken from them by the rulers.

“The time has come to correct an ongoing historical injustice affecting half the population of Israel,” says Deputy FM Ayalon, and adds, “We started 64 years late, but not too late. For the sake of true reconciliation with our Palestinian neighbors, the issue of the Jewish refugees must be resolved.”

The campaign led by the deputy foreign minister has whipped up a storm in the Arab world, including the Palestinian AuthorityJordanAlgeriaEgyptAl-Hayat and more.

DFM Ayalon calls on all refugees and their descendents to take part in the campaign and to upload their personal stories, by means of videos, written text, documents and pictures, to the Facebook page. “Tell the world your personal story, which is an inseparable part of the story of the Jewish people and the story of the re-establishment of the State of Israel,” Ayalon urges.

The next stage of the campaign will be an international conference of jurists and experts. The conference will be held in Jerusalem on September 10, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Pensioner Affairs and the World Jewish Congress. In addition, a conference will take place in New York when the United Nations General Assembly convenes at the end of this month. The personal stories that appear on the Facebook page will be presented at the conference.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Live Encounters Magazine September 2012

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Live Encounters Magazine September 2012 is out on the cyber stand, It’s Free. Please Share.

Exclusive features – The Way of Apostle Thomas – a journey into antiquity by Mark Ulyseas: A poem by well known Irish Poet, Writer Playwright Terry McDonagh : Candess M Campbell Phd exclusive on Health: Romit Bagchi senior correspondent of The Statesman speaks about his book Gorkhaland: Joo Peter’s photo gallery on Geikos (Geishas) in Kyoto: Randhir Khare’s latest book Walking Through Fire: Henky Widjaja bites the bullet on Islamic Defenders’ Front of Indonesia: Natalie Wood is back with a column on her homeland, Israel: Civil & Human Rights Activist Anat Hoffman writes a letter to the readers: Arjun Bagga pens a short story to tickle our sense of proportion.

Knowledge is power and we are empowering people with the free distribution of knowledge.

Please share this magazine with everyone.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Ammunition Hill – a revisit by Israeli and Jordanian veterans

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NEWS REPORT

Flowers replace rifles at a unique encounter between Israeli and Jordanian veterans of the Six Day War.

Nearly 18 years have passed since Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein signed the Jordan Valley peace agreement, normalizing relations between Israel and Jordan. But even the most obsessive observers of Israeli-Jordanian ties find it hard to remember an encounter as extraordinary and emotional as the one that took place in Jerusalem mid-June, away from the limelight, between veterans of the Six Day War from both sides.

A group of 20 veterans, mostly-high ranking Jordanian and Israeli retired officers, met in Jerusalem June 18 and 19, and toured the sites of battles that pitted them against each other nearly half a century ago. “We once looked at each other through the barrels of guns,” said one man. “Now we shook hands and exchanged war stories.”

‘Humanity hasn’t yet found the way to avoid war, but when you meet the soldier who fought against you, you realize he’s just a person and you ask yourself, “What were we doing killing each other?”‘

Read More…LINK…By ELHANAN MILLER

Watch this video – Stand with Us – A Call for Peace!

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Everyone wants Peace.
In 2012 let us all work towards this, please 🙂

Words can kill – A message from the Pluralist – IRAC

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This is the Israel I know and love. Shukreya Natalie Wood for sending me this newsletter.



Dear friends of IRAC,Racial incitement in the name of Judaism is a regular occurrence in Israel. IRAC works to change this reality. On the last day of the summer Knesset session, we presented a bill supported by twenty Knesset members to better define racial incitement and to regulate enforcement.

Tomorrow, IRAC is organizing a conference in the Knesset to present a report about racist incitement by rabbis. This is the first report of its kind, compiling detailed cases of incitement by state funded rabbis. The forty-page report includes some material that is very difficult, such as the book Torat Hamelech which states that “Jews can kill non-Jewish babies because they may one day grow up to be enemies.”

Incitement is a criminal offense in Israel. Unfortunately, there has been almost no enforcement in the case of rabbis. Forty eight cases have been brought to court and in only one case was there a conviction. None of the rabbis featured in our report, most of whom are state funded, has had a disciplinary case opened against them.

We created this report to remind the Israeli public of the harm that incitement can cause. We are also showing that the racist interpretations that some rabbis have espoused are an extremely fundamentalist approach to halacha, Jewish law . The bible reminds us thirty-six times to treat strangers kindly because we were once strangers in Egypt. By bringing this report to the Knesset, we aim to raise awareness that these rabbis are being financed by the public and that there should be a limit to what they can or cannot do.

Words can kill. The language of incitement that the rabbis use can draw real blood as we learned sixteen years ago when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Yigal Amir murdered Rabin at a peace rally that followed a barrage of statements by radicals, among them rabbis, calling for Rabin’s death. Without rabbinic consent this would never have happened. Rabin’s murder was inspired by these extremists. They were using halacha to challenge the law of Israel.

Has anything changed since Rabin’s assassination? A poll was released today stating that 39% of Israeli Jews believe another politically motivated murder is possible. We continue to see the consequences of incitement. Rabin’s death is only the most extreme example but it doesn’t end there. Seven mosques have been burned in the last few months by price tag attacks inspired by rabbis.

The use of provocative language in this country is a dangerous threat to us all. Let’s do something about it.

L’shalom,
Anat Hoffman

P.S. We had our first freedom ride last week. See Katie, our Communications Fellows reflections on our new blog post“The wind of social justice” .