https://youtu.be/gZEsCWWskbY

Original Article

Angry users call out vice president for ‘shameful’ and ‘tone-deaf’ tweet commemorating Jewish Holocaust victims. The Hebrew translation of the imagery and wording he chose, however, is quite common in Israel

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has been excoriated on Twitter by Jews offended by what they view as his use of “Christ imagery” when memorializing Hitler’s victims on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Pence tweeted a video of him and his wife Karen laying a wreath and taking a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem during their visit to Israel last week. In the tweet, he paid tribute to what he called the “6 million Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust who 3 years after walking beneath the shadow of death, rose up from the ashes to resurrect themselves to reclaim a Jewish future.”

Angry replies to his tweet charged that Pence, an evangelical Christian, imposed – consciously or unconsciously – a Christian religious narrative on the tragedy that was disrespectful to the Jews who perished. Critics described it as “shameful” and “tone-deaf.”

One wrote: “Are you referring to my Jewish relatives who died or survived in the Holocaust or did we become embroiled into some sort of Jesus analogy?” Another called Pence’s use of the term resurrection “a Christian-tinged euphemism as the word is rarely used out of that specific context” and accused him of “glossing over the fact that they were murdered by saying they were resurrected, just like the Jesus he claims to believe in.“

Additional criticism followed:

skip – A tweet from Matthew Yglesias

The word “resurrection,” which has strong Christian connotations in English, is also a legitimate translation of the Hebrew word tekuma, which also can be translated as “rebirth,” “recovery” or “revival.” It is frequently used to describe the establishment of the State of Israel following the Holocaust in the phrase “Shoah v’tekuma.” Some on Twitter objected to the use of the word “martyr” as implying that the victims of the Holocaust sacrificed themselves willingly rather than being murdered. However, the word “martyr” is translated into Hebrew as kedoshim, which is the term most frequently used to memorialize Holocaust victims in Israel. The official name of Israel’s Holocaust memorial day is, in fact, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.

The controversy comes a year after the Trump White House came under fire for issuing an official message that omitted Jews for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and doubled down on the decision when it was criticized.

This year’s White House message included a clear reference to the Jewish victims, saying that “we take this opportunity to recall the Nazis’ systematic persecution and brutal murder of six million Jewish people. In their death camps and under their inhuman rule, the Nazis also enslaved and killed millions of Slavs, Roma, gays, people with disabilities, priests and religious leaders, and others who courageously opposed their brutal regime.”

President Donald Trump himself also made a point of mentioning Jews in his tweet on the subject:

skip – A tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump

Pence’s assertion that Jews “rose from the ashes” is also imagery that is not unfamiliar to Jewish or Israeli ears.

President Reuven Rivlin, in his eulogy for late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, said that “Shamir was a symbol of Israel’s rising from the ashes of the Holocaust to strength and staying power.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also referred publicly to Israel “rising from the ashes” of the Holocaust, as has World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder.

Beyond semantics, the larger issue is the implication in Pence’s tweet of an actual Jesus Christ-style resurrection of the Holocaust victims, through his statement that Jews “rose up from the ashes to resurrect themselves to reclaim a Jewish future” implies an actual return from the dead. Pence’s reference to “3 years walking beneath the shadow of death” was interpreted by many as making a deliberate parallel to the 3 days that passed between the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust did not ‘resurrect themselves.’ They are all dead and most of them not even buried. Mr. Pence should have left out the term ‘resurrect,’ which offended many Jews,” said Rabbi Ron Kronish, an expert on interreligious relations and a library fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

Kronish added that Pence’s “reference to a Jewish future was very vague and unclear. If he meant that the Holocaust led to the foundation of the Jewish State of Israel, this is blasphemy since it somehow justifies the Holocaust.”

The fact that “many Israeli politicians” often commit this sin themselves, he said, doesn’t make it right. “It would have been better for him to have said nothing about the Holocaust on this occasion if he or his advisers can’t figure out a sensitive and serious way to say it,” concluded Kronish.

IDF SPOKESMAN WARNS LEBANON OF WAR WITH ISRAEL IF IRANIAN PRESENCE GROWS

Original Article

“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,”  Manelis wrote on the Ahewar website.
“It’s no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has de-facto opened a new branch, the ‘Lebanon branch.’ Iran is here,” he said.

“In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not conceal its attempt to take control of the state,” he continued, adding that “in the shadow of Nasrallah’s bullying behavior” the terror group has built “terror infrastructure and factories to manufacture weapons under the nose of the Lebanese government.”

Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon, for the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN force in the south.

“This past year (2017), like the 11 years that preceded it since the end of the Second Lebanon War, was characterized by relative stability on the Lebanese front. This quiet is for the benefit of residents on both sides,” Manelis wrote. “The fact that northern Israel and southern Lebanon have children who have not heard an alarm in their lives is a significant achievement of the Second Lebanon War, and the best proof of the stability of Israeli deterrence and the burning memory among the Lebanese about the magnitude of Nasrallah’s previous mistake.”

Nevertheless according to IDF assessments, Hezbollah has since rebuilt its arsenal with at least 100,000 short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach central Israel. In addition to a massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, Hezbollah is able to mobilize close to 30,000 fighters and has flouted its tunnel system, complete with ventilation, electricity, and rocket launchers.

Hezbollah has also increased its military capabilities due to its fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad, and has spread its troops across the entire Middle East.

“The past year has been further proof that Hezbollah serves as an operational arm of Iran. In every place where there was instability, we discovered the fingerprint of Iran and everywhere we discovered Hezbollah’s involvement,” Manelis wrote.

Some 200 villages in south Lebanon have also been turned into “military strongholds” from which Hezbollah militants are able to watch Israeli soldiers at any moment.

“The ordinary citizen will be mistaken to think that this process turns Lebanon into a fortress, it is nothing more than a barrel of gunpowder on which he, his family and his property are sitting,” Manelis said in his op-ed on Sunday.

“One in every three or four houses in southern Lebanon is a headquarters, a post, a weapons depot or a Hezbollah hideout. We know these assets and know how to attack them accurately if required.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and the growing Iranian presence on its borders, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.

Senior officials from Israel’s defense establishment have repeatedly stated that while the chance of escalation on the border is low, the smallest incident or a miscalculation by either side has the possibility to lead to conflict.

“The future of Lebanese citizens is in the hands of a dictator who sits in Tehran,” Manelis wrote, adding that “I think it is right to warn the residents of Lebanon of the Iranian game in their security and in their future.”

In September, Israel carried out its largest military exercise on the northern border in 20 years with tens of thousands of soldiers from all branches of the army simulating a war with Hezbollah.

“The past year has been used by the IDF to significantly improve preparations for war on the northern front,” Manelis wrote. “If our enemies understood how much we knew about them, they would be deterred from entering into another conflict for many more years to come.”

Maher Defends Jerusalem Decision: When You Win Wars You Take Land, Palestine A “Coiled Snake”

Original Article

On the Friday edition of his show Real Time, HBO host Bill Maher defended President Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, giving legitimacy to the country’s claim to the city. Maher said while he understands there will be repercussions, when you win wars you get land.

“I hate to agree with Donald Trump, but it doesn’t happen often, but I do. I don’t know why Israel — it has been their capital since 1949, it is where their government is. They’ve won all the wars thrown against them. I don’t understand why they don’t get to have their capital where they want,” he said.

“When you win a war you don’t get to take the other side’s land,” newly-minted New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg said.

“Actually, you do,” Maher responded.

“Especially because they were attacked. I mean the country was divided, which they were okay with. They were attacked more than once and they took land in those wars that they won and there has been peace offers on the table ever since to give part of that land back,” he added.

Maher asked why is it always up to Israel to come up with a two-state solution, and when they do it is rejected and blamed for making it “impossible.” He said what is making a two-state solution impossible is the “perpetually hostile,” “coiled snake” that is Palestinian leadership.

“But what is making the essential thing that is making the two-state solution impossible is that one party is perpetually hostile, a coiled snake,” Maher said in an argument with guest panelist Michelle Goldberg.

He also said Israel has given back land, including Gaza, and said the result was not hospitals and schools but tunnels and rockets.

“Israel gave back Gaza and what was the result? Did they use the funds to build schools and hospitals? No. They used them to build tunnels to get weapons and they invited Hamas in to shell Israel across the border,” he said.

Maher told Goldberg, who protested he should go visit the West Bank, that it’s unnecessary to make the trip and that you don’t have to be a “moron” to understand the situation.

From the January 26th edition of HBO’s Real Time:

BILL MAHER, HBO: Okay, while we’re near the Middle East let me ask about a big story that happened while we were off in December. Donald Trump: ‘Today we finally acknowledge the obvious that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.’ He said that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like any other sovereign nation to determine its own capital.

I hate to agree with Donald Trump, but it doesn’t happen often, but I do. I don’t know why Israel — it has been their capital since 1949, it is where their government is. They’ve won all the wars thrown against them. I don’t understand why they don’t get to have their capital where they want.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEW YORK TIMES: Really, you don’t understand that?

MAHER: I understand there are repercussions.

GOLDBERG: First of all, when you win a war you don’t get to take the other side’s land.

RICK WILSON: Actually, you do.

MAHER: Actually, you do.

GOLDBERG: Under international law, you can’t.

MAHER: Especially because they were attacked. I mean the country was divided, which they were okay with. They were attacked more than once and they took land in those wars that they won and there has been peace offers on the table ever since to give part of that land back.

What happened for the 50 years before? I mean, this has been the fact on the ground for 50 years. Israel has been a state for 70, I think, right?

WILSON: It is the capital of Israel, okay. I recognize Ro [Khanna]’s point that if we’re going to be an arbiter in the peace process that just declaring this without having trying to use that as a point of leverage in those debates, in those discussions, it might have given away a card we might have held.

I don’t think though that this is going to ultimately alter the conditions on the ground there because the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian government is so collapsed in terms of being an effective political force in the process that the status quo is going to be the status quo for the foreseeable future.

GOLDBERG: But the problem is the message that it sent a message to everyone in the process. So it sends a message to the Palestinians that the United States is going to be even more pro-Israel than in the past. And it sends a message to the Lukid government that you can basically do anything you want. And so they responded by adapting a resolution essentially calling for the annexation of the West Bank. They passed legislation that would make it less harder to come to any sort of final status agreement on Jerusalem. And they’ve done all these things that are going to make a two-state solution impossible.

MAHER: But it’s always they’re making the two-state solution impossible.

GOLDBERG: They are!

MAHER: But what is making the essential thing that is making the two-state solution impossible is that one party is perpetually hostile, a coiled snake.

GOLDBERG: That’s not true. Come on. You should go and see what’s happening in the West Bank. If you look at the settlements, if you look at the facts on the ground. The fact that you have instead of a contiguous land mass you increasingly have these little cantons. And if you look at the way that Palestinians — most Palestinians alive today were not born during any of these wars and so the idea that their lives should be blighted because of them. Look at what Americans have to do when they go through a TSA checkpoint. They completely lose their shit. And if you imagine doing that for two hours every single day —

MAHER: But this is always what happens. We talk about what happened as a result; we don’t look at the beginning of it. Like the Israelis just put up those checkpoints for no reason. They put up those checkpoints because there was an intifada and they were having bombings every day – a pizza parlor or a bus stop was getting blown up, that’s why they built it, not for no reason.

GOLDBERG: No, because also they want to take that land.

MAHER: Some of them do, yes.

GOLDBERG: I mean they are not putting up settlements for self-defense. They are putting up the settlements because they want to have a Greater Israel, and they are going to get it.

MAHER: Some of them do, yes.

GOLDBERG: There is going to be a one-state solution. So then the question is what is that one state? Is it Jewish or is it democratic? Because it can’t be both.

MAHER: Absolutely, and that is a big problem.

GOLDBERG: So that’s the problem.

MAHER: But when the gun is to Israel’s head — it is a problem.

GOLDBERG: You’re a rich person, you should go see what life in the West Bank is like. Go to Hebron. Like, no, go see it.

MAHER: First of all, you don’t have to go to understand this. I’m not a moron.

GOLDBERG: No, but you do. I feel like it’s hard to really get your head around how bad it is unless you see it with your own eyes.

MAHER: I understand that but Israel gave back Gaza and what was the result? Did they use the funds to build schools and hospitals? No. They used them to build tunnels to get weapons and they invited Hamas in to shell Israel across the border.

North Dakota woman says she was kicked out of Chick-Fil-A for breastfeeding

Original Article

A North Dakota woman said she was asked to leave a Chick-Fil-A over the weekend for breastfeeding her infant daughter at the restaurant.

Macy Hornung said in a Facebook post that she and her husband took their baby to the soft opening of a Chick-Fil-A in Fargo, North Dakota. Hornung said she was breastfeeding her baby when the Chick-Fil-A owner, Kimberly Flamm, approached their table and criticized her for nursing in public.

“I was showing no more than the upper portion of my breast, barely more than what was visible in my shirt and [the owner] asked me to cover,” she said. “I tried to explain that I couldn’t, because my baby refuses to be covered and she started harping about the children and men who can see my indecency and I need to cover.”

Hornung said in the Facebook post that she responded to Flamm’s insistence that she cover up by citing North Dakota breastfeeding laws. Under North Dakota law, a womanis able to breastfeed in any public or private location.

“She told me if I chose not to cover, then she would have to ask me to leave, so I told her my review would reflect my experience and I would be relaying the experience in every local mommy group,” Hornung said in the post.

Following outrage on social media, Flamm issued an apology on the franchise’s Facebook page. 

“I would like to publicly apologize to Macy Hornung for the way I handled the situation on Saturday,” Flamm said. “I ask for your forgiveness on this matter as I learn from it. My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all of my guests.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Chick-Fil-A for comment.

COGAT HEAD: THE JEWISH BRAIN HAS FOUND A SOLUTION FOR ALL TERROR TUNNELS

Original Article

Following the destruction of another cross-border terrorist tunnel from Gaza, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai has praised the technology behind its discovery.

“Israeli genius and the Jewish brain have found a solution for all the terrorist tunnels,” he said in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Hurairah television station on Sunday. “Just as there is the Iron Dome in the air, there is a technological dome of steel under the ground.”
An air strike by the Israel Air Force late Saturday night in the southern part of Rafah in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip destroyed a 180-meter-long terrorist tunnel which stretched into both Israel and Egypt, the IDF Spokesperson confirmed on Sunday morning.

“I want to send a message to anyone who digs and approaches the tunnels: As you have seen in the past two months, there is only death in these tunnels,” Mordechai said. “Instead of investing millions in the fields of education and medicine, they buried it underground and now all of it has disappeared into oblivion.

“I am also surprised that in these days of reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah], that this tunnel was dug in the direction of Israel and from there to Egypt. What an important message that sends to Egypt, which was responsible and supported reconciliation.”

“This is a blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty, endangering the citizens of Israel and sabotaging the humanitarian efforts that Israel is making for the citizens of Gaza,” read a statement by the IDF.

Israel denied claims the tunnel was used for smuggling, asserting Hamas intended to use it to bring terrorists and weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip for a possible future combined attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing from the Egyptian side.

The target struck by the air force was a tunnel almost a kilometer in length that passed below the Kerem Shalom crossing, as well as beneath several strategic targets, such as a gas pipe, and continued into Egyptian territory. The tunnel was completely destroyed by the strike.

The terrorist organization Hamas is responsible for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip, an IDF statement said.

Too old for DACA, man who spent 30 years of his life in U.S. is deported

Original Article

DETROIT — His arms wrapped around his wife and two teenage children, Jorge Garcia’s eyes welled up Monday as he looked into their eyes one last timenear the entrance to the airport security gate.

His wife, Cindy Garcia, cried out while his daughter, Soleil, 15, sobbed into Garcia’s shoulder as they hugged, with two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents keeping a close eye on them.

After 30 years of living in the United States, Jorge Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper from Lincoln Park, Mich., was deported on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to Mexico, a move his supporters say is another example of immigrants being unfairly targeted under the Trump administration.

An undocumented family member brought Jorge Garcia to the U.S. when he was 10 years old. Today he has a wife and two children, all of whom are U.S. citizens.

► Jan. 15: American-citizen children follow their deported dad to Mexico
► Jan. 14: Trump blasts Dems as DREAMer debate heats up
► Jan. 13: Feds begin accepting DACA renewals following court order

Jorge Garcia had been facing an order of removal from immigration courts since 2009, but under the previous administration, he had been given stays of removal. Because of the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration, in November Jorge Garcia was ordered to return to Mexico.

His supporters say he has no criminal record — not even a traffic ticket — and pays taxes every year.

Nevertheless, Jorge Garcia had to be removed, ICE agents said. On Monday morning, accompanied by the government agents, Jorge Garcia went through security at Detroit Metropolitan Airport as supporters around him held up signs that read, “Stop separating families.”

“We love you, Jorge,” said Mayra Valle of Detroit as he hugged his wife and children. “They’re a good family. They’re hard-working. … This is so sad. This is outrageous. We never expected this would happen.”

Jorge Garcia is too old to qualify for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows children of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before age 16 and were born after June 15, 1981, to legally work and study here.

Jorge Garcia said he had asked ICE officials if they could wait until new DACA legislation is passed, which might expand the age range for immigrants to qualify. But they refused and said he had to leave by Jan. 15.

“How do you do this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?” said Erik Shelley, a leader with Michigan United that advocates for immigrant rights and other issues. “It’s another example of the tone-deafness of this administration. … If Jorge isn’t safe, no one is safe.”

Shelley said he’s concerned that minority immigrants increasingly are being targeted, citing remarks Trump has made about African and Hispanic immigrants. Other immigrant advocates and an official with the United Auto Workers joined him at the airport.

► Jan. 13: Indonesian immigrant finds sanctuary in N.J. church
► Jan. 12: Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave U.S.

An ICE spokesman told the Free Press on Monday that he could not immediately comment because it was a federal holiday and ICE offices were closed.

“I feel kind of sad,” Jorge Garcia said Sunday night, his hands interlocked, pressed against his forehead in worry. “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they’re probably going to have a hard time adjusting, me not being there for them for who knows how long. It’s just hard.”

Especially painful will be the separation from his children, Soleil and Jorge Garcia Jr., 12. The Garcias said their 12-year-old son has been taking the news hard, not expressing himself, which is concerning his parents.

“I’m going to be sad because I’m not going to be able to be with them,” Jorge Garcia said at the table of a friend in southwest Detroit hosting a farewell party for him. … It’s going to be kind of hard for me to adjust, too.”

Jorge Garcia may be barred from entering the U.S. for at least 10 years, Cindy Garcia said. Diego Bonesatti, legal services director for Michigan United, and others have been fighting for Jorge Garcia for years and now will try to get him back.

Jorge Garcia’s wife is a U.S. citizen, but being married to a U.S. citizen does not automatically qualify immigrants for legal residency.

Immigrant advocates say deporting people like Jorge Garcia is ripping up families and communities that have been losing population. Immigrants such as Jorge Garcia are an asset that stabilize and grow metro Detroit, they said.

“It’s like plucking a main artery, like, their lifeline, taking it from them and then just putting it somewhere else,” said family friend Norma Garza Jones, 44, of Detroit. “Those that are left behind are left to just try and compensate for that artery that main blood vessel, you know, that’s been pulled from them.”

► Jan. 12: Deportation stay granted for caregiver ‘daddy’ of paraplegic boy
► Jan. 12: ICE 7-Eleven raids showcase new immigration strategy

“It’s heartbreaking,” Bonesatti said. “If you’re going to pick someone who’s ideal,” he would be it.

“He came at age 10,” the Michigan United legal services director said. “He’s never been in trouble, period. He’s never even gotten a traffic ticket.”

Moreover, Mexico is a foreign place for him, and he’s worried about finding work and creating a new life.

► Jan. 8: How Trump’s wall pledge is complicating a DACA bill for ‘Dreamers’
► Jan. 5: Each day, 120 ‘dreamers’ lose protection from deportation

“This is his home,” Bonesatti said. “This is the place he knows.”

The administration wouldn’t even stop the deportations on a national holiday, said Adonis Flores, an immigrant rights leader at Michigan United, calling it shameful.

Cindy Garcia, a retired Dearborn, Mich., truck plant worker, worries about supporting her family.

“It’s a nightmare coming to life,” she said. “You have no choice but to face it head on and accept what is being thrown at you because there is nothing else that you can do.”