Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Going home: Every step is a victory for truth.

Tuvia Grossman, 25, is moving to Israel. He is the young Jewish man from Chicago who had been dragged from a taxi, beaten, stabbed and nearly murdered by an Arab mob in Jerusalem in September, 2000 (Erev Rosh HaShanah). An Israeli soldier stepped in to shield him, probably saving his life.
The New York Times and other major news outlets published a dramatic photo of Tuvia, bloodied, with the visibly angry officer in the background. However, the photo featured an inflammatory caption implying that the victim was a Palestinian being beaten by an Israeli police officer on the Temple Mount.

This incident did not occur on the Temple Mount. A reporter who thinks that there is a gas station on the Temple Mount (examine the background) is either ignorant or blinded by bias. The angry cop is the good guy. The victim is a Jew, not an Arab. The bad guys--not in frame--are the Arabs who tried to murder him. How many key facts can a top news service get wrong in one little caption? Except maybe on purpose.

Please follow links to the historic Arutz Sheva (‘Channel 7’) radio interviews with spokesmen for The New York Times and Associated Press in the wake of the mis-reporting fiasco. These interviews are a revelation of mainstream media arrogance and evasion. AP--the source of the photo for papers around the world--thought that such a profound insult to the suffering of the victim and his family merited an editorial correction but no apology.

This classic instance of media bias--which is used as a textbook case in some journalism classes--led to the founding of

Tuvia Grossman is undeterred by hatred and lies.
He is going home to Israel today.
Every step in his journey is a victory for truth.

For Tuvia's first-hand account and a glimpse of Tuvia as he is today, see the Jerusalem Post: 'Palestinian' Makes Aliyah?

From Israel National News: Terror Victim One of 200 Olim on Way to Israel

(Photo sources: Top photo, Jerusalem Post; bottom photo, Israel National News.)

Monday, September 05, 2005

And now for some good news:
After Five Centuries, Bnai Anousim Visit Israel

From Israel National News

Friday, September 2, 2005 / 28 Av 5765

Twenty Bnai Anousim hailing from Spain, Portugal and Brazil have been touring Israel this week on a solidarity visit.

The tour was arranged by the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization, which assists “lost Jews” seeking to return to the Jewish people. Bnai Anousim is the Hebrew term for people whose ancestors were forcibly converted to Catholicism over five centuries ago, during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Historians have often referred to them by the derogatory term "Marranos."

The group, which includes a professor, three doctors, a psychiatrist and two psychologists, saw the sights in Tiberias, Haifa, the Golan and Tel Aviv, and spent the Sabbath in Jerusalem, where they paid an emotional visit to the Western Wall.

They also took part in the opening of a new museum-style exhibition organized by Shavei Israel at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem which outlines the past, present and future of the Bnai Anousim. Arrangements are already being made for the exhibition to be displayed next year at various universities, community centers and museums across Europe.

“There is a real awakening taking place among the Bnai Anousim, many of whom feel a strong and enduring connection to their Jewish heritage,” said Shavei Israel founder and Chairman Michael Freund. “I believe it is our responsibility to reach out to them, embrace them, and welcome them back home.” For Sarah Quinones, aged 16 from Barcelona, spending time in the land of her forefathers was a profoundly moving experience. “It is difficult for me to explain, but my visiting Israel has helped me to better understand my Jewish identity. Now, I would like to continue on this spiritual search that I have begun.”

Shavei Israel does not proselytize to descendants of Jews, rather the organization responds to personal expressions of desire to return to Judaism. The initial spark may result from a desire to recover a lost heritage, or from an intense need to understand various inherited customs and family traditions. According to Freund, Shavei Israel supports, guides and provides assistance for these personal journeys however varied they may be. The group's work is in complete accordance with Jewish Law and under the ongoing supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel.

For more information, contact:

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina & Katif

Some religious Zionists have wondered aloud whether the utter devastation brought by Katrina is somehow related to Gush Katif (a judgment upon America for having pressured Israel on disengagement). I was skeptical about the connection. Then I saw the cover of yesterday’s Daily News. (August 31, 2005)

An officer in a blue-gray uniform evacuates a terrified little girl in an orange T-shirt. For a moment I wondered whether the editor had gotten his New Orleans photo files mixed up with Gush Katif’s—but no. The man’s shoulder patch reads, “Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement.”

The headline: Katrina’s Horror—No Power, No Water, No Food, NO HOPE. NEW ORLEANS TO BE COMPLETELY ABANDONED.

Abandoned--not evacuated. The stories on the following pages are truly heartbreaking. Former mayor of New Orleans: “We’ve lost our city. I fear it’s potentially like Pompeii.”

It gets eerie. Pages 2/3 are a spread with the headline: NEW ORLEANS THE LOST CITY. I hate to read too much into apparent coincidences, but I have to mention this. Page 2 features a rescue ‘copter doing an airlift. The aircraft is orange. Right next to it is a picture of a traumatized woman being lifted from a rowboat. The boat is also orange.