During the week covered by this review, we received 9 articles on the following subjects:
HaMevaser, November 9, 2015
The new Canadian foreign minister, Stéphane Dion, has stated that “Canada will go back to being a ‘fair negotiator’ between Israel and the Palestinians, and will strengthen ties with Arab countries.” Dion stated as well that this would be more helpful to Israel than former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s clear pro-Israel policy, which “made Israel into a party issue.” Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Rafi Barak, has stated regarding this issue that the new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has a background of “unshakeable support for Israel” and that “while the outward style might change, he did not think there would be any change in essence.”
Yated Ne’eman, November, 2015
The organizers of a Kristallnacht memorial ceremony in Umeå in north Sweden have apparently not invited anyone from the local Jewish community, “saying that they may not feel safe.” The right-wing parties in the local council, however, appear to be boycotting the event, saying that contrary to its avowed purpose of remembering the Holocaust and the events of Kristallnacht and standing against anti-Semitism, it will concentrate more on the Muslim refugees in Sweden.
Makor Rishon, November 13, 2015
This article surveys the statements made by US Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on his last visit to Israel, and emphasizes such statements as that “it is hard for him to understand the international community’s standpoint which seeks to prevent Israel from having safe housing in Judea and Samaria”; that the basis for peace must be “demanding that Arabs cease incitement and not demanding that Israel withdraw from her territory”; that “the Palestinians should have a country but not inside Israel’s area”; and that “it is delusional in his eyes that the US, as Israel’s friend, should press her much more strongly about the settlements than it presses Iran about the nuclear issue.” The article states, as well, that in saying these things Huckabee is remaining consistent with his former statements on the subject.
Mizkar, October 30, 2015
In this article, Colette Avital calls for Israel to remember her own refugee past in the face of the current crisis, and “not remain apathetic.” Avital calls upon Israel “to act generously and find ways to assist the attempts to save the refugees” in the wake of “such examples set by Angela Merkel; the Jewish Canadian businessman who saved 128 Christian and Yazidi women and girls from IS; the Israeli Holocaust survivor who distributed his restitution payment among survivors; the members of a remote Christian church in Kenya, who collected all they could for Holocaust survivors in Israel; and the many volunteers in Israel who are doing all they can to give warm holiday meals to any who need them.”
Avital, director general of the Berl Katznelson Foundation’s Ideological and Educational Center, has previously been ambassador to Portugal, consul-general in New York City, member of Knesset for the Labor party, deputy speaker for the 17th Knesset, and a presidential candidate in 2007.
Kol Herzliya, November 6, 2015
This article is an interview with Staff-Sergeant Sahar Elbaz of Herzliya (21), a lone soldier recently chosen as the lone soldiers’ representative for the Friends of the IDF fund-raising delegation. Elbaz, born and raised in the US, decided to come to Israel and enlist in the IDF. It is of particular note that in 2014 Elbaz received the Chief of Staff’s Citation for having fought and defeated four terrorists singlehandedly during Operation Protective Edge.
Chayim Acherim, November 11, 2015
This article, detailing various events taking place all over Israel during November and December, is notable particularly for the 929 Initiative of the Museum for Philistine Culture in Ashdod, beginning November 2, and taking place for the second year. Named after the number of chapters in the Bible, the initiative invites people from all areas of the country to read straight through the Bible, reading a chapter a day. Readers are invited to join a study and discussion group on the initiative’s website between 18:00 and 19:30 on Mondays ().
Makor Rishon, November 13, 2015
This article recounts the author’s recent trip to Ethiopia, specifically as it relates to the pastoral atmosphere to be found there—“the traveler feels as though he has gone back thousands of years in time”—and local opinion on Israel and the Jews, such as times when he was recognized on the street as Jewish, and how people told him that “we like Jews very much.” Ethiopian Orthodoxy preserves some Jewish customs such as circumcision and partial Sabbath observance, and Ethiopian Jews are accustomed to sing “Am Israel Chai” [“The people of Israel still live”, a popular Jewish song] after prayers. An Ethiopian Jewish folk legend still in circulation tells about how the Jews would ask the storks migrating in the spring if all was well in Israel and Jerusalem.
Makor Rishon, November 13, 2015
This article analyzes and compares depictions by Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) and Govaert Flinck (1615-1660) of Isaac blessing Jacob, Ghiberti’s depiction being in relief on the doors of the baptistery in Florence, and Flinck’s being an oil painting. The article concludes that despite the differences in time period, medium, and the portrayal of Isaac, both works ignore the issue of deceit, and show the transfer of the blessing to Jacob as being conscious and intentional. While unsurprised that the story should be thus portrayed—as church doctrine saw Esau as a symbol of the Jews and Jacob as a symbol of the Christians—the article nevertheless finds it “ironic” that the Christians, “who ‘stole’ the birthright from the Jews, should ignore Rebekah’s and Jacob’s deceit and show Isaac’s blessing as a deed full of harmony and mercy, while Jewish thought is mostly occupied with the moral obstacles in the story.”
Israel Hayom, November 13, 2015
Two 1,500-year-old winepresses have recently been found in Netivot during an excavation preliminary to the construction of a new neighborhood in the city. The winepresses, which served for industrial wine production, were part of a village which has been dated to the sixth or seventh century CE.