“The meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” Ps. 37:11
JEWISH LAWMAKERS STEP INTO KEY ROLES: The new Democratic majority in the USA House of Representatives means that five Jewish Democrats are now set to chair key House committees: Jerrold Nadler, Judiciary; Eliot Engel, Foreign Affairs; Nita Lowey, Appropriations; Adam Schiff, Intelligence; and John Yarmuth, Budget. Despite the election of a handful of Democrats who have sharply criticized Israel, staunchly pro-Israel lawmakers still call the shots. Engel is one of Israel’s most reliable supporters in the House, and so is Lowey, who will be the most influential Democrat controlling government spending. New Jewish members of the House of Representatives elected in 2018 include Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin, who had worked for the CIA and won in Lansing, the state capital. New York Democrat Max Rose, 31, who won medals for his service as an Army officer in Afghanistan, won in Staten Island. Virginia Democrat Elaine Luria, a former Navy commander who once organized a Passover Seder on an aircraft carrier, won in Norfolk. Minnesota Democrat Dean Phillips, whose father was killed in the Vietnam War before he was born, won in suburban Minneapolis. Pennsylvania Democrat Susan Wild, a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, won in suburban Philadelphia. In Nevada, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, a former president of Ner Tamid, a Reform synagogue in suburban Las Vegas, defeated sitting Sen. Dean Heller. (JTA)
BRAZIL REITERATES STANCE ON EMBASSY RELOCATION: The new administration in Brazil has reiterated its position that despite mounting pressure from the Arab world, it will remain true to its word and relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, media sources reported on Wed. 7 Nov. 2018. “We’re going to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem,” Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro, wrote to Jane Silva, president of a leading pro-Israel organization in Brazil. Silva had approached Eduardo Bolsonaro in the wake of reports in the Brazilian press indicating that Egypt had called off the Brazilian foreign minister’s upcoming visit to Cairo in protest of the planned embassy transfer. In her letter to Bolsonaro, Silva wrote: “Jerusalem was always the capital of Israel. There was a partition plan; the Arabs rejected it and launched wars against Israel and persecuted Israel. Israel has suffered, but it held its head high. Israel has seized every opportunity and established a nice home for the sole and legitimate owners of the land of Israel – the Jewish people.
“It’s funny that there are over 50 Arab countries, none of which are willing to give a sliver of land to the Palestinians, while Israel is the only Jewish country in the world, smaller than the state of Sergipe in Brazil, and despite this they still want to divide Israel.” said Silva. PM Binyamin Netanyahu hailed Bolsonaro’s plan to relocate his country’s embassy shortly after it was announced, saying, “I congratulate my friend Brazilian President-Elect, Jair Bolsonaro, for his intention to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem, a historic, correct and exciting step!” Palestinian Arab officials, as expected, blasted the move. Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Hanan Ashrawi condemned Bolsonaro’s announcement, saying, “These are provocative and illegal steps that will only destabilize security and stability in the region.” The Palestinian Authority envoy to Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben, said he would lobby the new government against the move. (Arutz-7)
EGYPT CONSIDERS BANNING THE BURQA AS PART OF ANTI-EXTREMISM CAMPAIGN: Egypt is discussing a new draft law that would prevent women from wearing a burqa in public spaces as part of a government campaign against extremist interpretations of Islam. The burqa, used mainly in Islamic cultures, is the veil that covers a woman’s entire face except for the eyes. Last weekend, Ghada Ajami, a lawmaker, submitted a bill in the Egyptian parliament calling for a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($56) for women who defy the proposed ban. Ajami stressed that the purpose of the bill is “to support the state’s efforts in fighting terrorism.” The draft states that the burqa would be prohibited in Egyptian public spaces “at any time and under any circumstances.” Public spaces would include hospitals, health clinics, schools, cinemas, theaters, public libraries, museums, and government buildings, among others. Ahmad Sharbini, an Egyptian political analyst, said, “Egypt is going through a period of instability because of radical Islamic groups operating within the country,” adding that the burqa creates a security problem as “many male and female terrorists use it to hide their identities or sneak into places. If passed, this legislation would not infringe on freedoms or go against religions,” Sharbini continued, stressing that public safety and national security are more important than anything. (J.Post)
UK LABOUR PARTY BRANCH VOTES DOWN MOTION CONDEMNING PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE ATTACK: A draft motion condemning the murder of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue was voted down in a branch of Britain’s Labour Party in the country’s north. Steve Cooke, secretary of the Norton West branch in the Stockton North constituency of about 67,000 people near Scotland, submitted the motion for a vote following the 27 October 2018 shooting attack. When put to a vote, only two members backed the proposal and it was voted down, media sources reported on 3 Nov. 2018. Cooke wrote on Facebook that he was “aghast” that the motion was voted down and that members claimed there was too much focus on “anti-Semitism this, anti-Semitism that.” His draft motion said that the murders “demonstrate the dangers posed by the growth in anti-Semitic sentiments and hate speech internationally.” It spoke of a need to “stand in solidarity with the Jewish community around the world and send our condolences to all those affected by the tragic events in Pittsburgh.” Critics of the text at the Labour branch had said it should have condemned all racism instead of calling out anti-Semitism specifically, Cooke said. Labour is facing a criminal investigation initiated days ago by police in the London area over alleged anti-Semitic hate speech by members online. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has long maintained that Labour under party leader Jeremy Corbyn – who has called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends – has an anti-Semitism problem that the party is not doing enough to address. (Times of Israel)
‘BRITISH JEWS LIVE IN FEAR’: At the annual European Jewish Association conference, held this week in Brussels, politicians, lay leaders and Jewish communal figures gathered from all across Europe to address the current concerns of European Jewry. Prominent among discussion topics was the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK as embodied by the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn as head of the Labor party and potentially next PM of the UK. “I think it’s one of the most incredible developments in my career as a journalist,” remarked David Maddox, Political Editor at The Sunday Express (UK). “I never thought I would see a mainstream party effectively be an anti-Semitic party” said Matthew James Offord MP. Gideon Falter, Chairman of the UK Campaign against Anti-Semitism, maintained that British Jews are very concerned about their future. “We don’t see anything that Jeremy Corbyn can do, it is too far now. He is an anti-Semite. You can’t ask an anti-Semite to clear out anti-Semitism from his political party.” (Arutz-7)
POLL: 40% OF BRITISH JEWS CONSIDERING LEAVING UK OVER ANTI-SEMITISM: A new survey has found that British Jews are growing increasingly concerned over anti-Semitism in the country. According to data presented by Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism NGO, an incredible 90% of British Jews believe that the Labour Party is anti-Semitic, and 40% are considering leaving the UK because of the spike in anti-Semitism. Falter presented the data last week at a European Jewish Association conference in Brussels, during a session on the challenges facing British Jews. The British police have launched an official investigation into alleged anti-Semitic hate crimes in Labour, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has faced growing criticism about his tolerance of racism and anti-Semitism in the party. The conference dedicated Wednesday’s 7 Nov. 2018 session to a proposal by EJA chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin detailing Jewish communities’ “red lines” with respect to various agenda items Jewish candidates wish to promote as part of their political activities in Europe. This includes, among other things, ensuring the freedom of religion and worship across Europe; fully adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism; a commitment ýto exclude anti-Semitic parties from coalitions; and calling on all political parties to designate the BDS movement as anti-Semitic. (Koenig)
SYNAGOGUE SHOOTER CONTACTED UK NEO-NAZIS: The gunman responsible for the recent massacre inside a Pittsburgh synagogue was in contact with British neo-Nazis prior to the attack, UK media outlets reported Monday 5 Nov. 2018. Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old resident of Baldwin, Pennsylvania, reportedly was in contact with fringe elements in Britain, raising concerns the 27 Oct. 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue could inspire copy-cat attacks in the UK. Bowers, whose social media accounts were filled with anti-Semitic and white supremacist comments, entered the Tree of Life synagogue during a circumcision ceremony and opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and three handguns. Seven congregants and four guests were killed in the shooting. Two others were wounded inside the synagogue, before police arrived at the scene. In the ensuing gunfight, four more officers were wounded, before Bowers was shot and surrendered himself to authorities. According to security sources, Bowers had been in touch with white supremacists in Britain who shared his belief in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. One security source said there was concern that British white supremacists would follow Bowers’ example and attack Jewish targets in the UK, including synagogues. (Algemeiner)
ECUADOR’S PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS JEWISH CONTRIBUTION TO COUNTRY: The President of Ecuador praised his country’s Jewish community on its 80th foundation anniversary. Several Jewish and non-Jewish officials attended the recent ceremony held at the Comunidad Judia de Ecuador synagogue in the capital Quito. President Lenin Moreno highlighted the contribution of Jewish Ecuadorans to the South American society. “Today allow me to feel like a proud heir of several generations of authorities and citizens, who opened the borders and the heart to all the Jewish brothers who chose my homeland to escape the horror and find peace,” Moreno said. Ecuador Jewish community leader Abraham Vigoda added that the country offers “full tolerance.” Israel’s ambassador to Ecuador, Edwin Yabo, read a message from Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, “We will not forget the humanitarian response of Ecuador,” Rivlin said. He also recalled Ecuadorian consul Manuel Antonio Munoz Borrero, who was declared “righteous among the nations” by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for saving the lives of some 700 Jews during World War II. Ecuador is home to some 650 Jews. “It is a Jewish community that was never very big but was always important in its contribution in industry, production, cattle-raising, pharmaceuticals and architecture,” said Yabo. (J.Post)
OCTOBER 2018 WAS BEST EVER MONTH FOR ISRAEL’S TOURISM INDUSTRY: October proved to be the best month for Israeli tourism, thanks to almost 500,000 tourists injecting $676.3 million into the economy. “The month of October breaks a historic record with an astonishingly unprecedented figure of almost half a million tourists who arrived in Israel in one month,” said Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin. “Incoming tourism contributes significantly to both Israel’s economy and, no less importantly, to its image,” added Levin. “I am convinced that we will continue to see the sharp rise in the number of tourists arriving in Israel, and we will end the year with another record.” Levin said also that a direct correlation can be identified between countries from which tourism increased and where the Tourism Ministry invested most in marketing over the past two years. In a year on year comparison, 65% more Hungarians visited Israel in October, 50% more Italians, 40% more Poles and Dutch as well as Romanians. The Tourism Ministry spent an average of 47% more on marketing in these countries. (J.Post)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff