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March 17, 2011 | 11:54 am
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
At a community memorial service for the Fogel family held in New York City today, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Kehilath Jeshurun called the Fogel family’s murderers “modern-day Amalek.” (Video below.)
In the biblical narrative, Amalek attacked the Israelites in the desert and thus became the quintessential enemy of Israel. Latter-day enemies of Jews—like Haman from the Purim story—are often referred to as being descendants of Amalek.
Expect the analogy to be repeated at a memorial service in Los Angeles tonight. The event, set to take place at Congregation Bnai David-Judea (8906 West Pico Blvd.) at 6:25pm, is being sponsored by Jewish community organizations, pro-Israel advocacy groups and the Israeli Consulate, as well as a number of Orthodox synagogues, schools and youth groups.
March 15, 2011 | 11:59 am
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
[Note: Some links in this article lead to graphic imagery. Click at your own risk.]
On Monday, just days after the vicious attack in Itamar that left five members of the Fogel family dead, Glenn Beck spoke about the killings on his television show.
“I have the photos of the murder scene, but I can’t show them to you on television,” Beck said, holding a red file folder. “But I have two small children. What kind of monster can butcher an infant?”
By now, an untold number of people have seen the images that Beck couldn’t show. Many others chose not to look.
In a move almost entirely without precedent, Israel’s Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora Yuli Edelstein decided to release the graphic images on Sunday after receiving permission from members of the Fogel family.
In an interview with Ha’aretz, Edelstein said the decision was made in conjunction with representatives from the foreign ministry and the prime minister’s office. “The majority felt that since all red lines had been crossed, it would be impossible to just carry on normally, and so we decided to publish the photos,” Edelstein told Ha’aretz’s Nir Hasson.
According to a spokesperson from Edelstein’s office, the pictures were printed in all the major newspapers in Israel. Edelstein’s portfolio focuses on communicating Israel’s message beyond its borders, but the spokesperson could not say how many media outlets in other countries had printed the photos, if any.
The Israel Project’s Senior Director of Communications and Research Alan Elsner speculated that the decision to release the photographs was part of a broader effort to get people to see the members of the Fogel family as full individuals.
“There’s a way that the media relegates these people to not being real people,” Elsner said. “They become settlers and therefore anything that happens to them, they’ve got it coming.
According to Edelstein’s spokesperson, the only other instance when such graphic photos have been circulated in and outside of Israel was in Mar. 2001, when a Palestinian sniper shot and killed a 10-month-old girl, Shalhevet Pass in the Jewish settlement located within the West Bank city of Hebron. The chilling photograph of the infant’s lifeless face can be found on the LIFE website courtesy of Getty Images.
The photographs of the Fogel family members murdered in Itamar on Friday night, however, are being circulated largely on blogs and other sources outside of the professional media. They appear to have originated from a Picasa website administered by a settlers group.
“I have no problem with a journalist who decides not to print the image,” Edelstein told Ha’aretz, “but I want him to deal with it on his own and always remember the picture.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Edmund Sanders, who first reported about the killings in Itamar on Mar. 12, mentioned the photographs near the end of his Mar. 14 article about reactions to the attack.
“Fanning the public anger,” Sanders reported, “was the release by settler groups of what appear to be military crime-scene photographs, depicting the bloodied bodies of the victims with their faces digitally obscured. They said the family approved the release of the gruesome pictures in an effort to demonstrate the brutality of the attack.”
The photographs were not included in the Los Angeles Times’s print edition or on its website.
JTA declined to use the images, explaining in a statement that they only did so “out of respect for the victims and their privacy.”
Interested individuals can find the photos easily enough. “Who makes the call about which images to show is becoming an increasingly shared decision by non-journalists in today’s digital environment,” Barbie Zelizer, a professor of journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in an email. (Zelizer, an expert on journalistic images of war, crisis and violence, had not seen the images from the Itamar attack.)
Media consultant Esther Kustanowitz is one of those who chose not to look. “It may be important for people in the world to see these images and to be shocked by them,” Kustanowitz, said. She first found out about the events in Itamar on Saturday night from posts on Twitter and Facebook. “But I myself am already shocked enough and horrified enough, so I don’t feel the imperative to click on them.”
Individuals and groups regularly circulate images that are deemed too graphic for the nightly news. “Government officials, members of militias, human rights workers and bereaved parents are among those who push pictures or hide them from view,” Zelizer wrote. “In that regard, the Israeli officials are doing what others do all the time.”
In addition to focusing the attention of reporters on the brutal murder of five of Israeli civilians, the Israeli decision to release the photographs could be seen as a way to draw attention away from the government’s controversial reaction to that same event. Shortly after the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the approval of 500 new housing units in four other West Bank settlements.
Many observers have accused international media sources—including the BBC—of focusing more on the Israeli government’s reaction to the killings in Itamar than on the horrific events themselves.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an Israeli government official said that these newly announced housing starts were most likely projects that were already in the pipeline. “The projects will sit, pending approvals and [the government will] issue them when it’s comfortable,” the official said.
March 15, 2011 | 9:58 am
Posted by JewishJournal.com
The National Council of Young Israel has Established and Emergency Fund To Assist the Fogel Children Who Survived The terror attack that killed their parents Udi (36) and Ruth (35), and siblings Yoav (11), Elad (4) and Hadas (3-months).
The family members were brutally stabbed to death in their sleep by Palestinian terrorists in the town of Itamar.
The National Council of Young Israel announced that it has established a fund to assist the three Fogel children - Tamar (12), Roi (8) and Yishai (2) , who survived.
“The senseless act of violence in Itamar that tragically claimed the lives of five members of the Fogel family is a jarring wake-up call and a stark reminder that we must continue to be vigilant and focus on combating the incitement that is preached on a daily basis in the Palestinian world,” said NCYI President Shlomo Z. Mostofsky in a press release. “It is extremely difficult to preach about the importance of peace when Palestinian terrorists relish the opportunity to prey on innocent Israelis and butcher Jewish families.”
“It is time for the world to rouse from its slumber and finally pay heed to the realities that unfortunately have come to define the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” continued Mostofsky. “It is time for the international community to come to the realization that while Israel is constantly vilified and the Palestinians are inexplicably victimized, it is in fact Israel who has taken substantive steps to achieve peace, while the Palestinians mock the process by shunning progress and advocating hatred against Israel and the Jewish nation.
“May God comfort the family among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”
Individuals and shuls who are interested in helping the Fogel children are encouraged to get involved in this important effort. Contributions should be made payable to “Young Israel Charities - Fogel Family Emergency Fund” and mailed to the National Council of Young Israel, 111 John Street, Suite 450, New York, New York, 10038. Donations can also be made online atwww.youngisrael.org (simply click on “Donate” and select “Fogel Family Emergency Fund”).
For more information about the Young Israel’s fund for the Fogel children and to learn how you can help, call 212-929-1525 x100.
March 15, 2011 | 8:47 am
Posted by Orit Arfa
Apparently, this woman “Chaya Suri” is acting. In what is fast becoming a viral youtube hit, she parodies an extreme Chassidishe view of “Jewish modesty”—tsinyus—by telling the story of her shvimpkleid (long, modest swim dress) through perfect Yiddish idioms and stereotypical chassidish inflections. What follows are parodies of the parody. If you get the religious terminology, this is some good Jewish humor (if you don’t mind a few laughs on the Chassidishe community’s expense).
March 14, 2011 | 3:09 pm
Posted by Orit Arfa
I wish I would have heard famous mPUA (master pickup artist) Neil Strauss divulge his techniques and tactics for celebrity interviews before I interviewed him back in December about his Bible for the dateless: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.
Although I don’t know how the tips would have applied: All I got was a phoner; he kept getting delayed (playing hard to get?); it was brief, somewhat rushed; and I couldn’t seduce him into opening up about his Jewish background.
Nowadays, through blogs and seminars, he still pumps techniques and tactics for seducing and dating women, but let’s not forget that Strauss’ accomplishments go beyond relationships and threesomes with HBs (hot babes, in pickup lingo). He is an award-winning journalist (New York Times, Rolling Stone, among others), bestselling author and all-in-all fabulous writer.
He kicked off the book tour of his just-released Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead with an intimate “master class” in Hollywood with the LA Press Club on March 10. The book covers the journalistic journey behind his best work—revealing profiles of the likes of Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Chuck Berry. As it turns out, techniques and tactics for “gaming” HBs into bed aren’t much different from those needed to “game” hot celebrities into intimate interviews, particularly when the Twitter-age renders journalists dispensable to dysfunctional stars.
Here are top ten tips he gave the 25 or so journalists who gathered to hear him speak (along with odd AFC–Average Frustrated Chump–who came to meet their pickup guru.)
1. Research. Find out everything you can about the person you’re interviewing. (He bowed out on an interview with Mariah Carey so he wouldn’t have to listen to all her songs).
2. Don’t write the piece that other journalists are writing; take it to the next level. For example, speaking on the eve of his interview with the overly-interviewed Charlie Sheen, he said: “I want to advance the idea of who Charlie Sheen is.”
3. Write and sort out all your questions, whether smart or stupid, with the first question setting the tone. Memorize them before the interview.
“The worse thing you can do is have a list of written questions,“ he said. “You also have to follow where they go.”
4. Ask for time to observe, to be in the room.
5. Don’t do the interview all at once. Apply the hypnotherapy technique of “fractionation” in which you take the subject into a trance then break it, only to have them go deeper during second round. (See video below for more)
6. Don’t be judgmental.
“If you’re not judgmental, they’ll tell you their secrets.”
7. Find out and use their “trance” or key words. For example, when interviewing Tom Cruise, the actor repeatedly used the word “extraordinary.” To entice Cruise into opening up about Scientology, he used the word “extraordinary”, as in, “it would be extraordinary is actually going to the [Scientology] Celebrity Center with you and watching how it’s actually done.”
8. Ask the interviewees questions that sincerely interest you.
“Genuine curiosity is the best tactic to have in an interview.”
9. Let the star bring up the “elephant in the room” topic.
“I will wait and wait and let them bring it up first, and then I can follow up with questions.”
10. Tell them things they didn’t know about themselves. He did so with Britney Spears, in the famous interview chronicled in The Game. When he couldn’t break through her one-liner responses, he revealed her personality type by studying her facial expressions. He ended up leaving the interview with her number.
Video by Dennis Wilen
March 11, 2011 | 3:20 pm
Attorneys representing the Irvine 11 – Muslim college students who face misdemeanor criminal charges over the disruption of a 2010 speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UCI – asked a judge to remove the O.C. District Attorney’s office from the case during an arraignment in Santa Ana Superior Court on Friday.
Defense lawyers are requesting that the state Attorney General handle the prosecution instead, claiming that the O.C. prosecutors illegally issued subpoenas and referred to the case internally as the “UCI Muslim Case,” the Orange County Register is reporting.
Prosecutors said the defense motion is based on slender evidence.
“The evidence that they say supports the motion is incredibly thin, so we’re happy to litigate that motion,” said Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson set an April 15 date for the next hearing at which he could decide whether to allow the motion to be litigated.
Wagner said the use of the “UCI Muslim Case” in the subject line of the email was simply shorthand for saying the Muslim Student Union “and I think it will be found very clearly that that’s no basis to recuse our office.”
About 150 supporters jammed the hallway outside the courtroom and then for a news conference following the hearing, with several of them using blue painter’s tape to cover their mouths.
The reference to the matter in an internal e-mail as the “UCI Muslim Case” shows a concern on the district attorney’s part not for justice but “for the perceived religion of our clients,” Daniel Mayfield, one of the attorneys representing the students, said at the news conference.
Prosecutors illegally convened a grand jury, illegally subpoenaed materials and illegally issued search warrants for materials to the grand jury, which finally resulted in an “immoral and illegal complaint,” he said.
Prosecutors said that search warrants can be used in certain misdemeanor cases.
“We’re not at all alarmed that they’re saying they’re going to file these motions. It’s typical in these cases and we’ll just litigate it. I don’t think they have stated any grounds at all that would lead to the suppression of the evidence (obtained),” Wagner said.
March 9, 2011 | 2:37 pm
Posted by Rob Eshman
I deeply don’t understand the timing of New York Congressman Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalism in America. He has presented no evidence that this is an urgent problem. He has presented no evidence that the majority of mosques are breeding extremism. There is no independent law enforcement official that has come out and said Islamic radicalism presents an immediate threat.
What is a threat, what is always a threat, is extremism and fanaticism in all its forms. By focusing on just one source of it—Islam—King is singling out one minority group in America for some kind of special suspicion and censure. He could have reframed the hearings to look at all extremists threats, from the crazy white men like Buford Furrow who target Jews and Phillipinos to crazy Islamists like the Ft Hood shooter to the (let’s be fair, very occasional) crazy Jew. (From 1980 through 1985, there were 18 terrorist attacks in the U.S. committed by Jews; 15 of those by members of the Jewish Defense League).
Both Jewish extremism and Christian/Aryan terror have subsided to a great degree in this country. If King were truly interested in solving the “crisis” of Islamic fanatacisim in America, a broader hearing focusing on all forms of terror would have enabled him to understand what it takes to stem the tide.
But that “If” is a big one. Maybe, as CNN’s Dan Gilgoff has pointed out, King is more interested in feeding some kind of anti-Islamic base in some wing of the Republican party. These are the people that went ballistic over the not-mosque at not-Ground Zero. In my years at The Jewish Journal I’ve interviewed many of them, including Brigitte Gabrielle. There is a kind of competition among them to get the most attention for sounding the loudest alarm. They are incentivized for hyperbole. That’s not to say there isn’t Islamist infiltration here, but you need to demand clear evidence for every statement.
If King wants to create fair hearings and not show trials, the most important two words he’ll speak over the next few months are, “Prove it.”