RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Palestinian Federation of Chile threatened the country’s Jewish umbrella organization over its support of Israel’s decision to bar a Chilean boycott activist from entering the Jewish state.
“We warn the Jewish leadership not to play with fire,” read a statement issued Monday in Spanish by the Palestinian federation regarding its executive director, Anuar Majluf, prominent anti-Israel activist who was refused entry by the Israeli government on April 10.
“Such claims are absolutely false. Majluf has only exercised his right to legitimate political criticism of Israel and BDS, which he supports, is an essentially peaceful movement, framed in political activity,” added the statement, referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Chile’s Jewish community released a statement last week defending Israel’s ban on Majluf after the Chilean Foreign Ministry condemned the move.
Bill O’Reilly was forced out from his perch as a prime-time Fox News host on Wednesday, after the disclosure of multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations led advertisers to abandon the program.
Here are five of the longtime pundit’s most Jewish moments.
1. Jon Stewart and O’Reilly
O’Reilly and Jon Stewart, the Jewish former host of The Daily Show, sparred numerous times over the course of their careers — developing something of a combative camaraderie. When asking Stewart why he wasn’t sufficiently afraid of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, O’Reilly prodded, “You’re a Jewish guy, right? … [Former Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad wants to drive you and ever other Jewish person into the sea.”
2. The ‘War on Christmas’
For years, O’Reilly sought to expose the so-called “war on Christmas” by spotlighting a supposed trend of companies saying “Happy Holidays,” which would encompass non-Christian winter holidays like Hanukkah, rather than “Merry Christmas.” When a Jewish audience member called in to The O’Reilly Factor to say he was, in fact, concerned by Christmas celebrations in schools, O’Reilly suggested that the caller should “go to Israel” if he was offended.
3. Killing Jesus
In 2013, O’Reilly co-wrote a book titled “Killing Jesus: A History,” about Jesus and his death. In it, the Jewish teacher Jesus is cast as what the Guardian described as a “Tea Party son of God.” The British paper called the book “a breathy retelling of the gospel stories by two conservative Catholics, one of whom, O’Reilly, believes that he was inspired to write the book by the Holy Ghost.”
4.’That Falafel Thing’
One of the most unusual pieces of evidence presented alongside accusations that O’Reilly engaged in sexual harassment was a recorded telephone call between O’Reilly and then-associate producer Andrea Mackris. O’Reilly vocally fantasized about how he’d like to fondle Mackris with a shower loofah, which he mistakenly called a “falafel thing” later in the call. Falafel is widely seen as a national food in Israel.
5. Jewish Conservatives
O’Reilly hosted many Jewish conservatives on his program, including Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, with whom he often theatrically sparred over subjects like President Trump’s Russia ties and the celebrity performers (or lack thereof) at Trump’s inauguration. “I find it hard to get exercised over the fact that we may be short a Rockette at the inaugural celebration,” Krauthammer said, mocking O’Reilly’s outrage about celebrities boycotting the inauguration.
Jury selection began on Wednesday in the federal fraud trial of Christopher St. Lawrence, the supervisor of the heavily Jewish New York State town of Ramapo.
Ramapo, in New York City’s northern suburbs, includes the Orthodox-dominated villages of New Square, Monsey, Airmont and Kaser. It also includes the troubled East Ramapo School district, where Orthodox and non-Jewish residents have struggled for control.
Prosecutors are charging St. Lawrence with misrepresenting the town’s finances in municipal bond offerings, in part to conceal the damage that the construction of a baseball stadium had done to the town’s finances.
St. Lawrence’s co-defendant, Aaron Troodler, the former executive director of a local development group, pleaded guilty last month.
In court, attorneys barraged potential jurors with questions, according to a report in the Journal News.
Among other things, jurors are being asked whether they have had “previous issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” according to the paper.
Despite the charges, St. Lawrence has yet to resign his post.
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Palestinian sisters attempting to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip so that one could receive cancer treatment were caught smuggling explosives.
The explosives, used in the production of homemade bombs, were hidden in tubes carried by the women labeled “medical materials,” the Shin Bet security service said in a statement issued Wednesday evening, hours after the women were stopped at the Erez Crossing.
The sisters were approved for entry into Israel so that one could receive potentially life-saving treatment for her illness.
According to the Shin Bet statement, a preliminary investigation showed that the explosives were sent by Hamas be used in a terrorist attack on Israeli targets in the “near future.”
The incident “attests to the ongoing efforts by terrorist organizations based in the Gaza Strip, especially Hamas, to exploit Israel’s humanitarian initiatives and the medical assistance that it provides to residents of the Gaza Strip, in order to perpetrate attacks in Israel,” the Shin Bet said.
The women are being held for questioning.
“To our regret, it has been proven again that Gaza Strip-based terrorists are continuing their efforts to exploit the humanitarian channel in order to carry out attacks in Israel,” Defense Ministry Crossings Authority Director Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Kamil Abu Rokon said in a statement. “The security inspectors acted exactly as expected, with exemplary professionalism.”
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