Passover is not over – Jews have an exodus reminder every year and here’s why

April 19, 2019



An unbelievable Passover story of how an estranged Jewish-South Sudanese-Ethiopian family reunited in Israel.

 APRIL 19, 2019 15:24


An unbelievable Passover story of how an estranged Jewish-South Sudanese-Ethiopian family reunited in Israel.

 APRIL 19, 2019 15:24
A.Y. KATSOF with Piath Aguar and her two children, Ayen and Bior, celebrating their new life

A.Y. Katsof stood at passport control in Addis Ababa, a short, white Jewish man with two black kids. He held his breath as the airport official looked him up and down. An Israeli flag metal lapel pin shone from his jacket collar.

“Are these your children?” the airport official asked in suspicion, glaring down at the stoic seven- and 11-year-old children.


“These are the children of Israel,” Katsof responded. “I’m taking them home.”

Click. Click.

“The God of Israel is great,” the airport official said, as he placed the passports into Katsof’s hand.

The unlikely threesome sprinted to their gate and onto the plane. They made it.

“And I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment” (Exodus 6:6). Jews around the world will read this passage on Friday night, as they tell the story of how God brought the Jews out from slavery in Egypt, to bring them into the Holy Land that He had promised them.

It is believed that the Jews were helped on their journey by God, who parted the Red Sea to help them escape and helped in many other ways until they reached Mount Sinai, received their eternal covenant and finally entered Israel.

Katsof is a mix between Moses and Indiana Jones, traveling for the past month across Africa to reunite an estranged Jewish South Sudanese-Ethiopian family and help bring them to Israel.

This week, they landed at Ben-Gurion Airport. An identity card and a Jewish Agency representative holding a sign that read “Welcome Home” was waiting for mother Piath Aguar at the exit. Her two children, Ayen and Bior, traveling on tourists visas, will soon become citizens, too. Their grandmother, Tewabech Tashu, landed a few days later with more of the extended family.

The family is Jewish and returned to Israel via the Law of Return.
HOWEVER, JUST like the Israelites, who wandered the wilderness for 40 years before entering Israel, this family’s journey started 36 years ago.

Tashu’s family members were living in Ethiopia, and they, like many Ethiopian Jews, longed for Jerusalem. Her older brothers independently walked across the Sudanese desert to Israel. She stayed back with her father, who ultimately died waiting.

Then, Tashu also tried to cross the desert. But she was arrested and thrown into a Sudanese jail. Pretty, young and vulnerable, the prison warden took a liking to her. He released Tashu, married her, and they put her Jewish past behind. When the couple had their first daughter, they named her Piath, which means “good.”

Several years later, the prison warden took the couple’s children and moved to South Sudan, while Tashu continued her life in northern Sudan. In 2015, she saw a newscast of a group of Ethiopian-Israeli Jews who were visiting Africa as tourists, and she realized that her brothers’ dreams must have come true. She hunted down the group, begged an Israeli couple to take a video of her to share with any Ethiopians they knew back in the Holy Land.

Within months, Tashu’s brothers, Yaakov Alamo, a resident of Ofra in the West Bank, and Uri Ben-Baruch, a resident of Kibbutz Lavi up north, discovered their long-lost sister.

That’s when Katsof met her, too.

Katsof runs The Heart of Israel, a program of the Binyamin Fund, which raises money to bring the last Jews of Ethiopia back to Israel and resettle them in the biblical heartland. After meeting Tashu on a visit to Ethiopia, Katsof helped facilitate the DNA test that led to her acceptance as a Jew. Her DNA matched 100% with her brothers’, and the Interior Ministry granted her permission to come to Israel.

But Tashu wanted to return with her children. However, Piath said she could not leave without her own children, who were in the custody of their father in South Sudan. She feared that he, like Pharaoh, would not let them go.

Katsof would not allow the family’s aliyah to fail, so he flew to Uganda, which borders South Sudan, determined to help get the children to Israel.

South Sudan is a war-torn country. Citizens – those who survive – live through an endless litany of almost unimaginable horrors and human rights abuses. A report by the United Nations found that 60% of the population experience food insecurity.

In the country’s eight short years of independence, it has been submerged in a suffocating civil war. Though a ceasefire was signed between the warring parties, violence continues.

Katsof reached out to Come True, a project of the Become organization. Come True was founded in 2012, one year after the declaration of the independence of South Sudan, when the South Sudanese community was deported from Israel to their young country.

It is a small community of around 700 members, 500 of whom are children, who like the rest of South Sudanese residents, face illness, hunger and extreme poverty. Moreover, the schools are ill-equipped and few children attend. A group of Israelis are working to take children out of the country and provide them with an education.

Katsof told Aguar’s story to Come True’s Saiba Jacob Berry, who committed to calling Ayen and Bior’s father and asking him to allow his children to study in Israel.

“He calls the father and tells him about the opportunity, expecting to get turned down,” Katsof told The Jerusalem Post. Instead, the father replied, “I am a Christian, and I believe in God. If God wants my children to have a better future, I’ll take it. The alternative is to let them die in South Sudan.”

The father took his children by bus to Uganda, where Come True has a base. He signed the necessary paperwork to allow his children to be taken in by Come True and eventually come to Israel. Katsof met the children and their father in Uganda and took the children from there.

Ayen (left) and Bior

Credit: Courtesy

Together, they traveled from Uganda to Kenya, thinking they were on the first leg of their journey to Israel. But when they arrived in Kenya, police discovered that one of the children’s paperwork was wrong, and Kenya’s authorities accused Katsof of kidnapping the children. They were apprehended.

Katsof called a friend back in the West Bank who he knew had connections in Africa. That friend, in turn, connected Katsof with Pastor Dennis Nthumbi, a local politician and lover of Israel, who was willing to advocate for Katsof and help him navigate the corrupt Kenyan system. “These children don’t exist in a computer anywhere,” explained Katsof. “They made me fly their father into Kenya, who was then drilled before the South Sudanese ambassador to Kenya for 20 minutes until he had proved he was the father.”

Credit: Courtesy

Katsof said the authorities tried to convince the dad not to relinquish his children, but “by grace of God, he stood firm, saying, ‘My father used to tell me how the Jews left Egypt for the Promised Land. I want that for my children, too.’”
They were freed.

Katsof and the children, now accompanied by Nthumbi, continued on to Gondar. But the journey was not over yet. When they arrived in Ethiopia, they learned that the children did not have the necessary documentation again – this time for immigration to Israel. The only way to get it would be to send the children back to their father in South Sudan and ask him to procure the paperwork.

“This could take weeks,” said Katsof. “It meant sending them back to the mercy of a father who could easily change his mind.

“I cried like a baby that night,” he continued. “We had come so far, but I was convinced we had lost them.”

Nthumbi, however, would not let Katsof lose hope. He told the Post, “The matter looked dangerous and hopeless, but my first response to danger is courage and hope. A.Y. is the kindest man on earth, and he was willing to put his life on the line for others,” so Nthumbi said he believed God would help.

Nthumbi called a bishop, who called a pastor he knew back in South Sudan, who held the father’s hand through the whole process, ensuring he did not deflect. And one week later, a photo of the needed documentation arrived to Katsof’s phone with a message, “The God of Israel is mighty.”

“I now knew it would be OK,” Katsof said.

It took another week, more travels, more paperwork, bureaucracy, lots of sweat and tears, until, on Sunday, Katsof, the kids and Aguar arrived at the airport to board their flight. Aguar went ahead and Katsof accompanied the kids to passport control, as per the plan.

Now, the family is living with Katsof in the West Bank, and they were reunited with their relatives in Ofra and Kibbutz Lavi, who themselves arrived on a Jewish Agency flight from Ethiopia on April 17.

Sources close to the Jewish Agency corroborated the details of Katsof’s story.

“I believe in miracles,” Aguar told the Post two days after her arrival. “I just want to thank Israel for taking me back. In Sudan, everyone is out for themselves. Here, the people are one.”

BUT THE reality is that not everyone in Israel feels like Aguar.

While in her first days in Israel she’s seen acceptance, the religious status of many Ethiopian Jews who cannot as easily prove their Jewish roots is fraught with controversy. Unlike the Beta Israel, of which Aguar is one, some 8,000 Falash Mura have waited decades to come to the Holy Land.

The Falash Mura are not considered Jewish by Jewish law, as they converted – albeit not through any formal means, in most cases – to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2002, the late Sephardi chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ruled that the Falash Mura had converted to Christianity because of fear and persecution.

A few years later, another Sephardi chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar, concluded that the Falash Mura are, “beyond a doubt, Jewish.”

Nonetheless, any Falash Mura who move to Israel undergo a formal conversion process, and even those who have converted sometimes still face religious persecution in the Jewish state.

Special government decisions have granted these Ethiopians permission to come to Israel in waves over the past decades – but not all of them.

Israel made two landmark rulings in 2003 and 2010, tasking the Jewish Agency with bringing thousands of Falash Mura to Israel. The 2010 cabinet decision delineated three criteria for Falash Mura making aliyah: that an individual has Jewish lineage from his mother’s side; that the individual apply from Ethiopia; and that his family in Israel also submit a request. Only those who met these criteria were brought to Israel in 2013.

Facing political pressure from Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee head Avraham Neguise (Likud), in November 2015, the government made a formal decision to bring the remainder of the Falash Mura to Israel, based on family reunification. The decision was not, however, made in conjunction with a budgetary allocation to cover its costs, so its implementation was stalled. In 2017, the government budgeted for the immigration of 1,300 people, who arrived during that year.

Another 1,000 are slated to come this year, some of whom have already arrived.

But there are no plans yet for the remaining Ethiopian Jews.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog has said that the government should quickly bring all those still left behind, and that the agency would be ready to absorb them at any time.

“There is no reason for suspicion and various excuses to prevent the completion of this process,” he said at an event earlier this year, noting that all the immigrants would undergo a conversion process during their absorption in Israel, as ruled by “my late grandfather Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi Herzog, and the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.”

A source at the agency said that Ayen and Bior coming on tourist visas would not hinder the aliyah process, and that many children of Ethiopian immigrants have to go through this procedure, ultimately taking a DNA test to prove their heritage.

Israel Gantz, head of the Benjamin Regional Council, played a strategic role in the success of the mission, too. He said The Heart of Israel and Katsof together spent close to $25,000 to save this family, mostly raised from private donors.

“When I found out that this family was the family of one of our residents in Ofra, I knew we had to do all we could to help,” Gantz told the Post. “I consider it saving a life.

“At the Passover Seder, we say, ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’” Gantz continued. “All of these people are waiting to come to Israel and be reunited with their families. We, as Jews, have a responsibility for one another. I welcome them with open arms.”

Credit: Courtesy

Obama Should Not Be President – OUR PRESIDENT has just called for the ETHNIC cleansing of the JEWS from their own land. This is not a “border” issue. This is ETHNIC CLEANSING

May 20, 2011

The arguments are the same.  The logic is equivalent.

If it is logical that Israel should give up their land then, the US should release the WEST to Mexico.

If the AZTECS want to CEDE from Mexico, because it was the SPANISH who came to Mexico, then should Mexico give up that portion of territory to them?  It was the Spaniards who unified a country of INDIANS and then settled it.  Doe that sound familiar?

Since the Jews would be cast out of their lives in their own country, then would that not indeed be the SAME as what occurred in Europe to the Czechs? and many other places where Jews and gypsies were driven out?

That is called ethnic cleansing.

OUR PRESIDENT has just called for the ETHNIC cleansing of the JEWS from their own land.

wiki defined ethnic cleansing:

Ethnic cleansing “is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas. (Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780)”.[1]

This presidents logic, if transposed on our own situation, would create an ethnic cleansing here.  If he didn’t follow the SAME logic, then the WORLD would see America as a hypocrite.  Which, would not be favorable to all you appeasers out there.  It’s a LOOSE / LOOSE LOGIC.

This argument WILL come up and be used.  Mark my words.

Rabbi: ‘The President of the United States is Asking for Ethnic Cleansing’

Thursday, May 19, 2011
By Fred Lucas

Obama taxesPresident Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

( – President Barack Obama has made an unprecedented demand on Israel, Jewish leaders said Thursday, after the president called for Israel to redraw its borders to where they were in 1967 before the Six Day War. One rabbi said Obama was, in essence, asking for “ethnic cleansing” of thousands of Jewish families.

“It’s immoral in that basically the president of the United States is asking that 500,000 people who live, work, and raise families around Jerusalem – Jewish families – that they be uprooted, resettled, deported from their homes, have their families broken,” Rabbi Aryeh Spero, founder of Caucus for America, told

“The president of the United States is asking for ethnic cleansing,” said Rabbi Spero.  “It’s ironic that the president, who speaks in humanitarian tones regarding the Palestinians, doesn’t have any humanitarian concerns toward 500,000 Jewish people and families that will be uprooted and deported from their homes.”

Obama made the demand on Israel during a speech on the Middle East, delivered at the State Department on Thursday, as a way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Spero believes Obama was not being honest.

“Every time Israel relinquishes land on the altar of peace, it gets not peace but rockets,” Spero said. “This has been played over and over by the Palestinian Authority, then with Yasser Arafat, with Hamas. He knows what will happen with the Israelis, and yet it doesn’t seem to bother him.”

“I’m just very disappointed that my president seems to be so indifferent to the plight of the Jewish people in Israel,” he said.

Though Israel has given up land to Palestinians in the past because of pressure from the United States, no U.S. president has asked this much, said Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.

rabbi aryeh speroRabbi Aryeh Spero

“It’s par for the course, but not to this extent,” Tannenbaum told “In other words, other presidents have also pressured Israel with the hope of achieving some kind of peace. But considering the history and considering facts on the ground, no president has been as severe as President Obama.”

However, Tannenbaum thinks the proposal is a non-starter primarily because the borders have never been the issue.

“The suggestion is going to die, this is not going to work,” he said. “It won’t go anywhere. If you notice, there was an attack on all the borders of the state of Israel. There was an attack on the 1967 borders. The problem with Israel for the Palestinians is the very existence of the state of Israel — not its borders — but that it exists at all. They will not rest until there is no Israel.”

But Spero is not so sure the proposal will just go away, even without support from Congress.

“While he [Obama] can’t force the Jewish people out of their lands, he can certainly pressure Israel to the point where it finds itself in a very insecure state of affairs,” said Rabbi Spero. “He could without certain military weapons and parts that are needed for Israel’s defense. So, it’s a tremendous amount of intimidation and pressure.”

Israel expanded its territory after the Six Day War defeating Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel gained the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula (the Sinai was returned to Egypt in a deal brokered in 1978). Since 1967, and most notably in the early 1990s, Israel gave up significant amounts of land for peace to the Palestinians. The conflict has nevertheless raged onward.

“The reason Israel today is bigger than it was in 1967 is because the Arab countries united in an attack against Israel,” Tannenbaum said. “Miraculously, Israel fought them off and won. Now Israel has returned a majority of the West Bank and Israel has returned the Gaza Strip. There still is no peace. So at this point, returning more land is counterproductive and is not the answer. And the president is wrong in his plan.”


On the eve of a visit to the U.S. by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the timing of the announcement seemed calculating, said Rabbi Yehuda Levin, a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America.

“I’m not a political Zionist,” said the rabbi. “I have my problems with the state of Israel and the things that they do that flies in the face of our religious traditional heritage. Nevertheless, in terms of security for human beings, one has to be totally concerned. I have many family members and extended family members and fellow Jews in Israel and I’m concerned for their safety.”

“I’m just prayerful that the Congress of the United States will respond to the Jewish people and residents of Israel that the position of one human being as president does not reflect what the country feels,” Levin said.

Obama recognized the negotiations would be a challenge because of the agreement between the Fatah, the leading Palestinian political party and the terrorist group Hamas, but he reaffirmed America’s relationship with Israel.

Still the speech has sparked concern and widespread coverage.

“We welcome the president’s recognition of Israel’s security needs and that Hamas cannot be a partner in the peace process, but a call to a return to 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, even with ‘land swaps’ is a non-starter, when at least half of the Palestinian rulers are committed to Israel’s destruction,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in a written statement. “The road to peace has been clear for a long time — direct negotiations between parties who recognize each other’s legitimacy.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), in a statement released after the president’s speech, said: “This proposal is a slap in the face of our friend and democracy’s only ally in the Middle East: Israel. As a nation, we should support and promote freedom and democracy in the region, but we should not do so at the expense of Israel.  That land belongs to Israel – period.”

“Based on archeological evidence and historical right, that land belongs to Israel,” said Inhofe. “As I have outlined several times before, Israel is a strategic ally to the United States that acts as a roadblock to terrorism.  Every other country in that region hates Israel and would stop at nothing for Israel’s destruction just as they would stop at nothing to see our own destruction.”

“President Obama’s speech today kowtows to the very forces that hate us,” said the senator. “I will try to address all these issues on the Senate floor next week to refute President Obama’s message today.”

Happy Passover – my post from Pesach 2011 – revisited in 2019

April 19, 2011

Today begins Passover2019

Most Christians and many Jews don’t connect that Easter is Easter BECAUSE of Passover.

This is how closely WE in America are connected.  Christianity without Judaism is like a tree without roots.

We should be mindful of what we worship, because a birth of something is not always good – just like change.  Unless we direct change toward what is moral, then we give lea way to that which is it’s opposite.

Easter and Passover are like mini end of times.  A sort of mini Revelations.  When god passes over and it’s us who must re-affirm  our devotion to god.  There is blood spilled, figuratively, so that we remember what it means to spill real blood.  Just like the lamb of god who’s blood was spilled for mans sin.

We must embrace uncomfortable thoughts and come to affirm our convictions as a culture.  Lest, a Passover of world proportion becomes the Revelation that SOME wish for.

Post from 2011 —

This Passover is extremely symbolic

It almost DOES feel like the exodus.  The emotions within the society and our freedoms and laws used to ENslave us and not set us free.

The book of KINGS had examples of such “rulers”.  They put themselves above the people.  There were others that chose to even put themselves above G-D.

Pharaoh was an UNFAIR taskmaster. The idea that Jews would never have their own governance is why the Exodus occurred.

We seem to have a similar heavy heart.  It’s that which is hearkening to the Exodus time.  This is also why it may be more understood today then at some recently past years.


The seder plate:

The Seder Plate contains symbolic foods: Zeroa is the roasted shank bone or roasted wing of a fowl, representing the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb.

-Today was are told that we must sacrifice and “do without” so that we give our proper share to PHARAOH, who chooses to be frivolous with our WORK.  We toil for the silver, which is used to buy our families the things they want and need.  It is OUR LABOR that is reduced to  a hourly quantifiable sum.  The “government,” which is no longer OF the PEOPLE, now demands, with the threat of JAIL (at gun point) to GIVE of our LABOR to PHARAOH, who “distributes” some of the money, but also takes a TAX for the honor of stealing our LABOR.  This is our sacrifice still today.  How many have forgone having another child or something similar, because they would not be able to “sustain” themselves?  These are our lambs.

Beitza is roasted hard-cooked eggs, symbolizing the festival offering brought to the temple.

-Today the EGG is the same symbol.  Hope for the future.  Hope through our CHILDREN.  The same hope that is sometimes the lamb, which is sacrificed as the bone shank above.

Moror is horseradish, the bitter herbs that represent the bitterness of slavery.

-Today the sting of horseradish is just as sharp.  The bitterness that jabs at us, as we leave our families to go the “work” for a taskmaster.  The bitterness that is repeated and is made heavier with the notion that we are “educating” our kids to become the best little slaves that they can be.  The “government” is all knowing and good?  That sort of brainwashing.  You can’t rebel against the government.  The governments job is to isolate individuals so that they could never come together against the task master and revolt.  But these things do happen.  But to revolt without knowing what the revolution is fighting FOR, is asking for an even harsher taskmaster, because the one that comes after will not be at all lenient and freedoms will be limited.

Karpas is parsley or celery, used to symbolize spring, which brings rebirth and redemption.

-Today even the sprig of HOPE is an elusive concept.  There is NO symbol of HOPE that we have right now.  Israel and America seem to be the only blood left and that blood is turning fast.

These leaves are dipped in salt water to recall the sweat and tears of slavery.

Today – Salt water is used as a cleaning agent.  The greenpeace people have even enslaved SALT.

Chazereth is another form of bitter herbs, such as a piece of horseradish root or watercress. Charoset is a mixture of nuts, fruits, wine and spices that represents the mortar used by the Hebrews in making bricks while they were slaves in Egypt.

Today – We have the bankers that have removed our hope, brick by brick.  We are universally under attack by a few that will enslave the many.

May passover 2011 bring about the true change that will set a righteous course.

Let us look at each other with HOPE in our eyes.

Let us not leap to CHANGE that we have not set a specific course to.

Let us have a PLAN and a MISSION.  True HOPE comes from understanding the end goal and Change should be approached with great head.

G-d Bless everyone.

Passover in Israel – Jewish Ethiopians welcomed and will celebrate the Passover seder – 5500 in 16 centers.

April 13, 2011


Obama held a seder begrudgingly last year:

Passover (Pesach) is celebrated by Jews and Muslims celebrate Ashura

Later citing how wonderful Muslims and Jews had lived together.  LIE!

Unfortunately, Tantawi’s antisemitic formulations are well-grounded in classical, mainstream Islamic theology. However, understanding and acknowledging the Koranic origins of Islamic antisemitism is not a justification for the unreformed, unrepentant modern endorsement of these hateful motifs by Tantawi—with predictably murderous consequences. Within days of the Netanya homicide bombing massacre on a Passover seder night, March 27, 2002, for example, Sheikh Tantawi issued an abhorrent sanction (April 4, 2002) of so-called “martyrdom operations,” even when directed at Israeli civilians.

Lets not forget the Maccabees and the first Temple.

Lets not forget all the wars between Jews and the Exodus!

Celebrate passover!  Even if your Christian.  Celebrate Passover, because without passover, there would be NO Christians.

This doesn’t hold true for Muslims.  Muslims were said to be the bastard children of Abraham – they were already a separate people.  The people that later became Muslim.  The people which created the Pedophile, Murderer,  Sociopath, Conqueror and all around criminal,  Mohammad.



Ethiopians to hold large seders in Israel

April 13, 2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 5,500 Ethiopian immigrants will celebrate the seder together in 16 absorption centers throughout Israel.

Even though the hard boiled or roasted egg that is placed on the Passover seder plate is symbolic of mourning and destruction of the Beit Hamikdash in Jerusalem, Jewish Hostesses worldwide can still beautify their seder plates by using this unique idea from Apartment Therapy’s thekitchn. Hop on over to thekitchn to create your own unique Passover seder patterns that may even impress Eliyahu Hanavi!


About 1,000 of the new Ethiopian immigrants have arrived in recent months and will celebrate their first Passover in Israel, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The large seders are organized by the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

March 27, 2010 - -Some 200 new immigrants from Ethiopia attended a model seder Thursday at the Jewish Agency Absorption Center in Mevasseret Zion outside Jerusalem, in preparation for their first Passover in Israel. “I am committed to bring the rest of the Falash Mura community to Israel,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, who attended the model seder.

At a model seder Thursday, some of the new immigrants will learn about Passover holiday customs and practice the holiday songs at a model seder at the Jewish Agency`s Mevasseret Zion Absorption Center. They will be joined by Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive; Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews; and Sofia Landver, Israel’s minister of immigrant absorption.


Israel – Planning on a International News Network launch.

April 9, 2011

It’s about time that they started to try and answer all these propagandists.

Coming soon: Jewish ‘al-Jazeera’


Dr. Alexander Mashkevich announces plan to form pro-Israel international news network. ‘It won’t be a propaganda channel, but will simply tell the truth,’ he tells Ynet during Jewish leaders conference

Liron Nagler-Cohen

Published: 04.09.11, 08:07 / Israel Culture



WASHINGTON – Dr. Alexander Mashkevich, president of the United Israel Appeal’s annual conference of Jewish leaders in Washington, has announced his plan to form a pro-Israelinternational news network, similar to al-Jazeera and the BBC.


This year’s conference focused on attempts to deal with the de-legitimization campaign against Israel, and was attended by some 200 Jewish community leaders and key philanthropists.


Al-Jazeera studio in Washington (Photo: MCT)


An announcement on the creation of the international news network was made at the end of the conference, with the aim of dealing with anti-Israel defamation in the media and influence public opinion.



Mashkevich, who also serves as president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, said that the network would offer programs in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, focusing on news only.


“My intention is not to create a propaganda channel,” he told Ynet, “but simply a channel telling the truth.



“Unfortunately, in the current situation most channels simply don’t tell the truth about Israel,” he explained. “Every day that passes we lose the battle for Israel’s image. I am sure thatGoldstone is a decent person, who didn’t want to damage Israel consciously and intentionally, but if everything he gets from the media every day is anti-Israel propaganda, I assume it’s hard to make the right decisions.”



Presentation within 3-4 months

Mashkevich, whose fortune is estimated at some $3.7 billion, plans to recruit other philanthropists and senior businesspeople for the mission. “The international de-legitimization has become a huge risk for Israel,” he adds.

Anchor Anderson Cooper. ‘We’ll get talents from everywhere’ (Photo: AP)



“It’s unthinkable that Israel has no television network like the channels operated by countries such as the United States, Britain and Russia. The creation of such a channel is necessary, and does not require something out of nothing, as there are existing models we can work according to.”


The channel is in the thinking stages, without a target date for the launching or even a revelation of the other names behind it. All Mashkevich agreed to say was that it would be a private, independent channel.



“We are preparing a work program, and in about three-four months we’ll hold a presentation in Israel. We’ll purchase talents from all other channels,” he promised. “From BBC, CNN – everyone.”



‘If we don’t fight back, we’ll be in trouble’

The conference was also attended by outgoing Israeli Ambassador to Britain and newly appointed Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who analyzed the anti-Israeli incitement on international media.


Student protest in UK (Photo: Leon Ferri)



“We deal with creating awareness,” said Prosor. “Today there isn’t one university campus in Britain which I, as an Israeli ambassador, can enter without facing horrible protests. If we don’t fight back – we’ll be in trouble.



“The current situation is that Jewish students in Britain feel uncomfortable in their own campuses. What I saw in Britain could definitely be seen here, in the United States, in the coming years,” he warned the Jewish community leaders.


Prosor told Ynet that the organizations behind the de-legitimization must be exposed, denounced and suffer a counter attack. “We have no choice but to strike back at them, to give a ‘price tag’ to those who demonize Israel. Too much is at stake here. We are all at the front, but if we coordinate, we’ll be able to win the battle.”


‘Situation like in 1947’


“It’s time for us to stop complaining about how bad Israel’s PR is,” added Hoenlein. “It’s not just Israel that’s in danger – but all of us. The entire Jewish people are under attack, and this is about the future of all the Jewish people.

Hoenlein with Peres. ‘World recognizes Jewish power, Jews don’t’ (Photo: Avi Hayun)



“Those who undermine Israel’s right to self-defense – hurt the entire Jewish people’s right to self-defense. We are not talking about a situation like in 1967, but like in 1947 – about the entire Jewish people’s right to exist.


“If we unite, others will join us too. So we must launch a well-coordinated campaign. It’s unthinkable that according to research we’ve conducted, the European governments are more committed to Israel than the public opinion in those countries. These are the enemies rising to destroy us – from the inside and the outside.



“Jews today have power, and the entire world recognizes it – apart from the Jews. We can make a difference, if only we remember that it’s a battlefield. We must educate our children from an early age – know what to answer.”


Hoenlein believes the establishment of a news network like al-Jazeera is vital. “People are influenced by it,” he says, revealing that he has already held several meetings in a bid to strike a collaboration with media organizations and Israeli governmental bodies.



Mashkevich lives in Britain and has an Israeli citizenship as well. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish oligarchs in the world, and a “warm Jew” who donates in many fields close to his heart. He built seven synagogues in different countries, named “Beit Rachel” after his mother, and donated 17 Torah scrolls. He also participates in the bringing in of each new Torah scroll.



“I still remember as a child, how difficult it was for me to get to the synagogue, which was far away and crowded,” he said.



His parents fled the Nazis and gave him “a proud Jewish education”. His childhood in Kyrgyzstan contributed to shaping his Jewish awareness as well. “In Soviet Russia people would never let me forget I was a Jew, not for one day,” he said.


“I feel the persecution of Jews on my skin. We can’t just be indifferent. Every year the situation gets worse, and we monitor it. People tend to think that the American Congress members know the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it’s not true. All their information comes from the media.


“Seventy percent of what the international media reports in terms of the conflict is of anti-Israel nature. We check the ‘anti-Semitism index’ in 27 countries, and there is definitely a rise in anti-Semitism, which I believe is a direct result of what the media reports.”,7340,L-4054096,00.html


California – Santa Monica – Homemade bomb goes off outside of Synagogue

April 8, 2011


Jews are threatened and harassed one thousand times more than others.

Muslim are “protected” even though they don’t even get harrassed 1/4 the times as Jews




Homemade explosive device reportedly caused blast next to Santa Monica synagogue; police seek suspect

April 8, 2011 |  5:48 pm



Santa Monica explosion

Law enforcement officials believe that an explosion outside a Jewish organization in Santa Monica on Thursday — first believed to be some type of gas blast — was actually a homemade explosive device purposely placed there, according to sources.

Santa Monica police Friday issued an alert to other law enforcement agencies, saying there was a specific man who detectives want to talk to in connection with the case. They said the man frequents synagogues and Jewish community centers and should be considered “extremely dangerous.”

Law enforcement sources told The Times the explosive device contained gun powder and concrete.

The blast sent a 300-pound metal pipe encased in concrete hurtling through the air and crashing through the roof of a home next door to the Chabad House synagogue. On Thursday, police had said they believed it was a freak industrial accident.

— Andrew Blankstein

Caroline Glick: The Way Forward for Israel – Strong, courageous, morally clear, and articulate – She reminds me of Golda Meir

April 7, 2011

Golda Meir

Now THATS a woman!


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