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Middle East Community Discussion, May 30, Follow-up 

Thank you so much to everyone who participted in our enlightening discussion.  As requested by many participants, we are posting links to the videos we had prepared to help guide our discussion together with commentary by Cantor Jeremy.

VIDEO 1 - What Mainstream Media SHOULD look like

Australian Sky News interviews the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Jonathan Peled – In contrast to most other mainstream media outlets, this panel of interviewers validate the Israeli narrative.

VIDEO 2 - Corruption in the United Nations

At the Shaar HaShamayim synagogue in Montreal, UN Watch Director, Hillel Neuer interviews former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley who attests from her personal experience with all of the UN delegates that behind closed doors, most nations understand and agree with Israel’s actions.  They will not, however, support Israel publicly for fear of being cut off from oil supplies in Arab countries.

VIDEO 3 - American Foreign Aid to Israel

US foreign aid to Israel is a controversial subject even within the Jewish community, begging legitimate questions such as, is the US foreign aid really an obstacle to peace?  To what extent does US aid force Israel to be subject to American influence, and could there be any problems with that relationship?  Or in other words… what’s in it for the US?  In this video General Chuck Wald, former Deputy Commander of the US European Command explains why it is in America’s interests to give large amounts of aid to Israel.

VIDEO 4 - Hamas

Who is Hamas?  Is it really true they use children as human shields?  What is their game plan?  Mosab Hassan bin Yousef was not only a member of Hamas who plotted and carried out terrorist attacks against Israel, but also the son of one their leaders who groomed him to one day assume command.  Attempting to infiltrate the Mossad as a spy for Hamas, he was discovered and apprehended by Israel.  After being taught about Israel’s side of the story, Mosab Hassan came to see the world outside of the propaganda fed to him all his life by Hamas.  After becoming a double agent for Israel, he retired to California and converted to Christianity.  In this 2017 video at symposium in Oslo, he answers all of the questions that the world should understand about Hamas.  (An interesting note: typically in pro-Israel YouTube videos, we expect to find of racist trolling, and responses from the Palestinian side.  There are none here that I could find, which speaks volumes.)

VIDEO 5 - Israel's Response to Jewish Terrorism

Israelis are very aware that there have been horrific Jewish terrorist attacks on Palestinians (diaspora Jews tend to be somewhat more ignorant of this very critical fact).  While every group has their fringe extremists and fundamentalists, this is by no means excuses the mainstream group from some accountability, or the responsibility to speak out and take decisive action against those fundamentalists in order to monitor, curb and intercept domestic terrorism (like the Department of Homeland Security in the US).  Through the example of Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli extremist who, in 1994, opened fire and murdered 29 Arabs as they prayed at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, we see how Israel responds to Israeli terrorism, the way a moral democracy should.  Accountability is what earns a society's right to statehood.

VIDEO 6 - The threat Israel faces is existential

Palestinians claim that they will not stop fighting Israel until all of their historical land has been reclaimed.  If such a thing were to happen, what would happen to Israelis?  The answer to this question is absolutely fundamental because it determines whether or not Israel’s fight is truly an existential one.  If Israelis are literally fighting for their survival, this determines what level of security measures are needed, and what constitutes proportionality in retaliation strikes.  In this video, average Palestinians offer their thoughts on what should be done with Israelis once they reclaim Palestine.  WARNING – DISTURBING CONTENT

VIDEO 7 - The Myth of Israeli Apartheid

The vast majority of Jewish people know that it is entirely unwarranted and incorrect to refer to Israel as an apartheid regime.  Unlike Apartheid South Africa in which black people were subject to all manner of institutionalized discrimination, Israeli Arabs, Christians, and peoples of all races, religions and ethnicities participate equally in all levels of Israeli community, professional and political life.  Of course, those with a poor understanding of South African apartheid conflate the with the necessary security measures Israel takes in order to protect all its citizens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, etc., against a hostile EXTERNAL population (Palestinians have on numerous occasions rejected the idea that Israel bears any civil responsibility for them, because that would be the beginning of the road to a 1-state solution), of which some are dedicated to its destruction by violent means.  Olga Meshoe, a South African human rights activist, explains why this critical distinction makes all the difference, and how BDS capitalizes on people’s ignorance of both the history of South African apartheid, and the current situation in the middle east.

VIDEO 8 - Israel's cause is a progressive cause

The criticism of Israel that Jews in the west are most often forced to endure today comes from the liberal left.  While outrageous accusations of genocide and ethnic cleansing abound, the majority of westerners are quietly unconvinced of the legitimacy of those claims because they acknowledge, at least to some degree, that Israel has no specific desire to kill Palestinian civilians who tragically get caught in the crossfire.  However, the propagandists’ claims that Israel is an imperialist colonial power subduing an indigenous population is gaining traction.  While almost any Jewish person with a basic Hebrew afternoon school education can easily explain the indigeneity of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, it is also valuable to point out to a person who may be “on the fence” that Israel, itself, is a liberal state, founded on progressive values and ideals, more so than most other western countries.  Mark Regev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK explains.

Pre-Passover Lecture Slides

Fast of the First Born Siyyum: Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021 | 9am

Join Cantor Burko for a quick Siyyum (He's a first born too, and it will only take a few minutes!)

Click Here to Zoom-In

July 26, 2020 - Interview with Shekhinah Larks

Shechiynah Larks
Program Coordinator and Diversity Trainer for Be'chol Lashon
www.globaljews.org

In this week's show, in light of continuing protests in the USA, Canada and around the world, Larks speaks with Cantor Jeremy about racism and the movement for Black Lives from the perspective of a Jew of colour.

Full Unedited Interview
 

Be'chol Lashon Virtual Event: Multicultural Kabbalat Shabbat for Families
Friday, Jul. 31, 2020, 5pm - registration required

 

For further reading, Lark' recommends:
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
"One Dies, Get Another" by Matthew J. Mancini
"Black, White and Jewish" by Rebecca Walker
"Lovesong" by Julius Lester
"Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps" by Aaron Samuels
"How Jews Became White Folks" by Karen Brodkin

 

 

July 19, 2020 - Interview with Cantor Zachary Mondrow

Update this content.

 

 

Cantor Zach Mondrow's Chocolate Raspberry Martini:

 

1 part Raspberry flavoured vodka

1 part chocolate liqueur

1 part milk/cream

Combine ingredients in a drink mixer and shake well.  Add ice, shake again.  Strain into martini glass.  Garnish with a raspberry skewer.

Further Resources

Disclaimer:  The weekly Live From the Living Room program with Cantor Jeremy is designed to keep our members engaged in community activities during the COVID-19 era, and broaden our knowledge and understanding by inviting guest speakers to offer their thoughts and opinions on topical issues.  Views and opinions expressed by guests on the program do not necessarily reflect the position of the Beth Radom Congregation.

August 9, 2020 - Interview with Cantor Jeremy Stein

Cantor Jeremy Stein serves Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid in Milwaukee, WI.  Cantor Stein hosts a weekly live Facebook concerts on Wednesday nights, which includes some on his own new material.

Cantor Stein's Ani Ma'amin is particularly poignant for our COVID era world today.

August 6, 2020 - Cantor Louis Danto z'l 10th Yhartzeit Concert

In Cantor Louis Danto's honour, Cantor Jeremy Burko debuts a new music video of a piece of traditional chazzanut. The liturgy of Atah Chonantanu can be found in the Saturday night Ma'ariv amidah in which we proclaim the formal separation between the sacred time of Shabbat and the ordinary week.  It is written by Cantor Israel Alter, set to piano accompaniment by Morris Barash.  Robby Burko accompanies on the piano.

Aug. 16, 2020 - Interview with Dylan Bell and Suba Sankaran

Watch Dylan and Suba perform live as FreePlay Duo every Friday at 4pm until the end of August.

http://www.youtube.com/c/freeplayduo

 

Jan. 31, 2021 - Holocaust Rememberance Day

Fri, June 18 2021 8 Tammuz 5781