By Amy Zewe—
This week’s report is some progress and good news that we can rejoice in and be thankful for. Good news should be a part of our prayers and supplications to the Lord because our requests are brought to Him in worship and thankfulness. Here are some points to add to your thankful lists!
1. Germany, on April 30, outlawed Hezbollah within their borders designating it a terrorist organization. Thank you (and finally!).
David Israel of The Jewish Press reported on April 30 (along with other outlets) that German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced he was banning all Hezbollah activities in that country and classifying the group as a terrorist organization. Ministry spokesman Steve Alter Steve Alter tweeted:
BM #Seehofer today banned the operation of the Shiite terrorist organization Hizb Allah (Party of God) in Germany. Police measures have been taking place in several federal states at the same time since the early hours of the morning. The rule of law can be used in times of crisis.
2. The New York Daily News published an article in May by ASAF ROMIROWSKY and BENJAMIN WEINTHAL:
Romirowsky and Weinthal opined on some progress made in New York Universities giving a bit of push back to anti-Semitism and BDS (Boycott Divest and Sanction) on their college campuses.
NYU, Columbia, and Fordham all had leadership push back against Students for Justice in Palestine and their BDS initiatives on their campuses.
A. For example, a 2019 graduate of New York University, Leen Dweik served as president of the NYU chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, the main force on campus behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that targets the Jewish state.
When Israel announced its first COVID19 fatality, Dweik reacted to the news of Aryeh Evan’s death by posting on Twitter, “anyway should I paint my nails red or green today.”
Aryeh Evan was born on Budapest and survived the war in Hungary before emigrating to Israel by himself as a teenager in 1949. He went on to have four children and 18 grandchildren, then became the first Israeli to succumb to COVID-19. His death was tragic and Ms. Dweik engaged in a heartless tweet regarding it.
What’s surprising is that NYU leadership condemned Dweik’s brand of activism!
“With almost 500,000 alumni,” wrote NYU spokesman John Beckman, “NYU does not routinely respond to its graduates’ social media posts, but the reported Twitter post by a former NYU student about the first Israeli death from COVID-19 was shameful and callous.”
B. Another notable effort is with Fordham University, a Jesuit School in NYC. In 2017, Keith Eldridge, dean of students at the Jesuit university’s Lincoln Center campus, opposed a request from the student government to recognize SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine).
Eldridge said, “While students are encouraged to promote diverse political points of view, and we encourage conversation and debate on all topics, I cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group and against a specific country.”
Unfortunately, a New York court overruled the ban last year. But, the effort of the leadership is noted.
C. At Columbia University (where I have reported many an adversity felt by Jewish students, anyone who supports Israel’s existence, and various guest speakers who seek to annihilate Jews and Israel) Columbia President Lee Bollinger rightly openly opposed an upcoming undergraduate student BDS referendum. This referendum is for Columbia divest from eight companies doing business with Israel that profit from work in the disputed West Bank territory.
Bollinger appears to have internalized the growing danger presented by the link between anti-Semitism and the BDS campaign at his school. In a statement, he places BDS in the context of the widespread rise of Jew-hatred.
“When a swastika appears on campus, it is not just an isolated event. When there is a rising anti-Semitism in this country and around the world, even a single instance of it in any context is more alarming than it might otherwise be,” wrote Bollinger.
Romirowsky and Weinthal concluded their article with, “Anti-Semitism continues to proliferate in academia. BDS activism has generally subsided during the pandemic. It is too early to declare victory at NYU and Columbia, where BDS and other expressions of contemporary anti-Semitism have gained traction for years.”
3. Zachary Keyser reported in The Jerusalem Post on April 30 that Senator Ted Cruz: “Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies.”
To strengthen the partnership between the United States and Israel, Cruz introduced new legislation that will appropriate $12 million for investments in joint medical research with Israel.
4. And, what better anti-BDS movement event to highlight than a gathering of global supporters for United Hatzalah? United Hatzalah is an all-volunteer medical service operating in Israel and on the front lines of helping in the current Corona Virus. The Founder, Eli Beer, is recently recovered from a difficult bought with the virus. To celebrate his healing and release from the hospital and to raise money for his work to continue, Saving Lives Sunday occurred on May 3! You can watch the replay of charity event American where celebrity Jay Leno hosted celebrities, artists, workers, and supporters of Eli’s and his work.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as one, came together for this streaming virtual fundraiser, featuring tributes to Eli Beer, the founder of the volunteer medical response organization. You can learn about how this Israeli, this Jew, together with partners and support in the US and elsewhere, the goal is to save lives, all lives. And he is accomplishing this. Access the replay of the event on SavingLivesSunday.com.
Using humor, motorcycle themes, music, song, and genuine people-helping-people stories and testimonies, you will laugh and be moved to tears. Seeing the people of Israel will shine a light on the lies that BDS and JSP (and others) try to get the public believe about Israel and all its people and how they care for the community.
Celebrities included Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard, Israeli actress Rona Lee Shimon, American actor Adam Kantor, Israeli singer Dudu Aharon and Amar’e Stoudemire, an American-Israeli former NBA star and current Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball player.
These are the good things happening! Let’s pray this trend continues and that the word is out.
Let us rejoice in the good and the progress and let us give thanks as we continue to battle the gates of hell, because we know, ultimately, they will not prevail.