The Chronicles

A Record of Times

Hidden Away From the Hustle and Bustle of New York Is This Amazing Church

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

It was a few days before Christmas and I found myself in the heart of Manhattan along New York’s famous 5th Avenue.

‘The Division’ News, Update: Ubisoft Massive Talks Sequel Possibilities and How Long They Plan to Support Current Game

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

While Ubisoft Massive does not plan to end its support on “The Division” anytime soon, the studio has started to entertain the possibility of creating a sequel.

Xbox Games With Gold January 2018 Free Games: ‘The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III,’ ‘Tomb Raider Underworld’ and More

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

The new year will be chock-full of free games and Microsoft’s kicks off 2018 with a set of compelling freebies for members of its Xbox Games with Gold program.

‘My Hero Academia: One’s Justice’ News: Producer Explains Subtitle’s Meaning

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

“My Hero Academia: One’s Justice” producer Aoba Miyazaki has revealed how the upcoming game based on the hit anime got its name.

‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ DLC News: Anime Music Pack Release Date, Content Detailed

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

One of the downloadable content (DLC) packs coming to the highly anticipated fighting game “Dragon Ball FighterZ” is the anime music pack.

‘Project Re Fantasy’ News, Release Date: Director Provides Update on Game

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Studio Zero has provided an update on the “Project Re Fantasy,” the highly anticipated fantasy role-playing game from the studio, along with a second concept video.

‘Soulcalibur VI’ Release Date, News: Game Not Planned for Nintendo Switch ‘for Now’

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

It looks like “Soulcaliber VI” will not make its way to the Nintendo Switch for its initial launch.

‘The of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ News: No More DLC Planned, but New Installment Already in the Works?

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Those who were holding out hope for more downloadable content (DLC) for “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” are in for a bad news.

‘Catherine: Full Body’ Release Date: Atlus Clears Up Nintendo Switch Launch Rumor

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

“Catherine: Full Body” is coming to the west, but the platforms it will release in are yet to be announced. One thing fans can count on is that it is not coming to the Nintendo Switch.

Sony Xperia XZ1 2018 Specs, Release Date: Benchmark Listing Reveals a Powerhouse

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Exciting new details have been revealed about one of Sony’s next-generation flagship, the follow up to the Sony Xperia XZ1.

Missionary Pilot Shares The Rest of the Auca Martyrs’ Story

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Growing up the home of missionary parents in Ecuador, Gene Jordan has always known the story of five men—Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian—who gave their lives in the jungle to reach an isolated Indian tribe.

But for Gene, it wasn’t a far-off story. The five martyrs and their surviving families were close friends of Gene’s parents. One of Gene’s prized possessions is a picture of him, age 2, standing with Saint in front of the famous, yellow Piper Cub airplane later shredded by spears on the riverbank.

As a teen, Gene helped Mission Aviation Fellowship pilots wash their airplanes and clean up the hangar, always hoping for an empty seat on the next flight. As an adult, Gene became one of those pilots and was sent back to Ecuador to follow in the footsteps of “Uncle Nate.”

Listen as he shares reflections on a life serving in missions, and the difference the gospel makes in the hearts of individuals, and even entire villages, as the people find in Jesus a reason to live.

Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the VOM Radio podcast on iTunes or Google Play Music.

      

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ICC Helps Build a Well for Persecuted Christians in Iraq

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

By Linda Jones

12/28/2017 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – In 2014, ISIS invaded the town of Qaraqosh in Iraq, forcing most Christians to flee the area. The perpetrators were very clear about their intentions toward Christians, forcing them to either convert, pay special taxes, or be killed. The extremists were finally chased out in December of last year, and now that Qaraqosh is free, many Christians are looking to return to the place they once considered home. However, this new beginning has been difficult after they witnessed the aftermath of ISIS’s destruction of their homes, churches, and businesses.

Several families have already resettled in Qaraqosh and many more continue to move back. After several visits to Qaraqosh, we realized that providing a clean water source would be a great help for these Christians since their water is usually sourced from Mosul, but is dirty and inconsistent. Additionally, when there is a water shortage in Mosul, officials usually cut Qaraqosh’s water supply first. Therefore, we implemented a project to help these victims obtain their water supply without depending on Mosul as a source.

Thanks to the assistance of our donors, we have already implemented the first two phases in which two wells were built, so that these returning families can have a safe, stable, and clean water supply for their everyday needs.

I could see how people were excited while standing around the well waiting [for] the first liter of water,” expressed one of the beneficiaries

The third well is currently being implemented, as our team already purchased the pipes, water pumps, tubes, and other required materials to work on the drilling process. Many of the beneficiaries who are waiting for this third well are very excited for this assistance since water is so imperative. This is another example of God caring and providing for His people in such difficult times.

Please pray for persecuted Christians in Iraq, so that we can continue to assist and support them. Pray specifically for these Christians who have returned home and have had to start all over again. Remember to also pray for those who want to return home, but need the means to do so. We ask that you also continue to ask God for the healing all of these victims who have suffered persecution, that their Muslim friends and neighbors would respect them and see the light in them.


Christmas Violence Shakes India’s Christian Community

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

ICC Note:

A series of attacks on and arrests of Christians celebrating Christmas has left India’s Christian community shaken this holiday season. The violence started two weeks ago when over 30 Christians out caroling were attacked and arrested because Hindu radicals claimed the carolers were attempting forcefully convert people to Christianity. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have dramatically increased under the current BJP-led government. In just the first six months of 2017, Christians in India had already endured over 410 separate attacks. Will Christians in India have to continue to endure these attacks? 

12/24/2017 India (The Guardian) – The strains of Hindi carols have rung out in the Aligarh Church of Ascension every Christmas since 1858. Armed police on the grounds is a more recent tradition.

This year the officers will be out in force. On Thursday night in the north Indian city, Rahul Chauhan was playing tabla drums while the rest of his Seventh–Day Adventist choir sang Christmas songs in the home of a follower.

Outside, a small group of men had gathered. One forced his way into the room. “He kicked the musical instruments before trying to attack my brother with a knife,” said Jitesh Chauhan, a singer in the group.

He claims the men cast anti-Christian slurs and damaged the instruments. Rahul and the 30 carolers were unharmed but shaken.

Days earlier in Aligarh, hardline Hindu activists distributed letters warning Christian schools in the city against involving Hindu students in Christmas activities. In nearby Mathura, seven Christians were arrested by police while praying inside a home. In Satna, Madhya Pradesh state, an entire choir was detained while going door to door.

Worries about religious persecution in India usually center on the country’s 180 million Muslims. Lynchings of Muslim dairy and cattle traders by “cow protection” vigilantes have become increasingly frequent. Hindu groups including members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) openly lobby to stop Muslims buying property in Hindu neighborhoods.

The series of Christmas incidents has turned the spotlight on another minority. More quietly, Indian Christians are also feeling the walls close in, says John Dayal, the secretary general of the All-India Christian Council, following a surge in attacks last year. “Anything that impacts the Muslims in a different way impacts the Christians,” he says.

In 2014, Indians elected a Hindu nationalist government in a landslide. Its leader, Narendra Modi, is a lifelong adherent of “Hindutva”, the conviction that India’s culture and institutions ought to reflect an inherent Hindu nature. Religious minorities – regarded as Hindus led astray by foreign influence – are tolerated, provided they acknowledge Hindu hegemony.

Modi has repeatedly emphasized his government will promote “complete freedom of faith”, but his elevation has been a green light for radical Hindutva groups, says Dhirendra K Jha, an author whose latest book studied these “shadow armies”.

“After Modi became prime minister, these groups started thinking they have assumed power, it is their government,” Jha says. “So they have gone amok. They don’t fear law and order or any democratic institution. They are on a rampage.”

A “perfect parallel”, he says, is the growing boldness of white nationalist groups in the US under Donald Trump.

“Modi would never come out and openly help them,” Jha says. “But he rarely criticizes them. Because of his silence, the message goes to the state machinery that they don’t have to take action against them.”

[Full Story]

For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.


Christians Prepare for their first Christmas back in Qaraqosh

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

ICC Note: Most Christians fled their homes after ISIS took over their towns in Iraq. After the extremist were defeated and kicked out, many Christians decided to return to the place they called home. Now that is Christmas season again, many of these Christians are looking forward to celebrating it again.

12/24/2017 Iraq (Christian Today) – Christian families in Iraq are preparing to spend their first Christmas at home after returning to their homes following ISIS’ retreat.

An estimated 20,000 people are returned to Qaraqosh, northern Iraq, which was home to around 50,000 Christians before the invasion. For dozens of families this will be the first Christmas back in their home town and the Kurdish government has declared a national holiday for the Kurdish regions of Iraq.

‘We waited for three years,’ said Merna, a local Christian woman, according to persecution charity Open Doors. ‘This year Christmas will be very different because we have returned to our town Baghdeda [the local name for Qaraqosh]. Being able to go to church and seeing that there are people who are celebrating Christmas is something great.’

[Full Story]


South Sudan Church Leaders Give Road Map to Peace

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

ICC Note

South Sudan’s Church leaders have issued a report that they say is a roadmap to peace in the war torn country. They are trying to end the country’s 4 year long civil war that has killed many and left the country devastated. They have long been a unifying force as they stand for all Protestants, Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Orthodox. The conflict is divided along tribal and ethnic lines and has been since the beginning. The church believes that it will be able to help because their congregations span these lines.

 

2017-12-24 South Sudan (ECUMENICALNEWS) The people of South Sudan are experiencing the most difficult time in their history of suffering and self-destruction, says the South Sudan Council of Churches, reaching out with an Advent and Christmas message of hope.

The SSCC has striven to be a unifier in the conflict-ridden country and issued an Advent and Christmas “message of hope” on Dec. 18, also releasing a paper titled “Peaceful Resolution to the Conflicts in South Sudan – The war must stop!”

In their season’s message the churches said, “Advent begins with the invitation to joy, because ‘the Lord comes’, because he comes to save us. The words of the Prophet Isaiah addressed the people of Israel in their exile in Babylon after the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.

“The Israelites were uncertain about their return to the Holy City which remained in ruins. The Prophet Isaiah encourages them that the Lord is coming, and he will bring light, he will dispel darkness and restore light with his presence.

“He urges them to abandon sorrow and despair, lift up their hearts because the Lord is at hand.”

The SSCC has worked unstintingly since 2014 crisscrossing the land to try to bring about peace in their country, the world’s newest, that is being torn apart by civil conflict.

After a meeting they held in the Zambian capital Lusaka in August the SSCC said, “Death, displacement, hunger and impoverishment have brought our people to their knees, and they are deeply tired of this unbearable situation.”

The United States, the biggest aid provider to South Sudan, is tiring of its support and at the United Nations Security Council on No. 28 it threatened to take unspecified measures against the government unless it moves to end the nearly four-year war and stop harassing UN peacekeepers and aid workers.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called on President Salva Kiir to take action, telling the Security Council that “words are no longer sufficient,” AFP news agency reported.

The following day the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, strongly condemned the attack that took place the day before in Duk Payuel village, Duk County, which resulted in at least 45 people killed, including six people working with two NGOs. Reports indicated that another 19 people were injured, including three aid workers.

 

Full Story


London van driver shouts anti-Semitic rant in road rage incident

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

(JTA) — A van driver let loose an anti-Semitic rant during a road-rage incident in north London’s Stamford Hills neighborhood.

The incident took place on Friday afternoon as the Jewish Sabbath was approaching, over a parking space. Stamford Hills is home to a large population of haredi Orthodox Jews.

The driver repeatedly said “Hitler was a great man,” at the urging of another driver in the rant captured on video.

“Hitler was a great man, he knew what he was doing,” the driver, who appeared to be of Caribbean origin, shouted at a haredi Orthodox Jewish resident of Stamford Hill, who was filming the altercation.

“You think you own the world? You don’t own the world. This is Stamford Hill, it’s not Israel,” the truck driver also said before driving away.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, president of Stamford Hill Shomrim, said that “the words used in this anti-Semitic rant is absolutely abhorrent and disgusting, I am deeply shocked that a person can hold and feel free to express such despicable views.”

Van driver shouts “Hitler was a great man, he knew what he was doing” at Jewish motorist in London | via @antisemitismhttps://t.co/VpHWPjLykr

— Shomrim (Stamford Hill) North and East London (@Shomrim) December 23, 2017

Netanyahu promises to lead tour of holy sites in Israel next Christmas in video greeting

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted Christmas greetings on Facebook.

“It’s a pleasure for me, on Christmas eve, to be here, standing in Jerusalem, the holy city,” Netanyahu said in a video greeting, standing on a balcony overlooking the city.

“I’m very proud to be the Prime Minister of Israel. A country that says Merry Christmas, first to its Christian citizens, and to our Christian friends around the world,” Netanyahu said in the video released on Sunday evening, on Christmas eve.

“I’m proud that Israel is a country in which Christians not only survive, but they thrive! Because we believe in this friendship among people. And we protect the rights of everyone to worship in the holy shrines behind me,” the prime minister also said.

In the video Netanyahu promises that next Christmas he will lead a guided tour of Christian holy sites in Israel.

Merry Christmas from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu!

It’s a pleasure for me, on Christmas eve, to be here, standing in Jerusalem, the holy city. I’m very proud to be the Prime Minister of Israel. A country that says Merry Christmas, first to its Christian citizens, and to our Christian friends around the world!I’m proud that Israel is a country in which Christians not only survive, but they thrive! Because we believe in this friendship among people. And we protect the rights of everyone to worship in the holy shrines behind me.So now I have a proposition for all our Christian friends: I’m going to take, next year, on Christmas, for those of you who come to Israel – I’m going to take a guided tour. In fact, I’ll be your guide on this guided tour!And think of all the places you an walk – you can go to the “Jesus Boat” in the Sea of Galilee, you can get to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher right behind me. Any places that you want to visit in the footsteps of Jesus, and the origin of our Judeo-Christian heritage. So please come to Israel, next year in Jerusalem, and merry Christmas to all of you!

Posted by The Prime Minister of Israel on Sunday, December 24, 2017

2-day-old Syrian refugee baby flown to Israel for life-saving surgery

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A two-day-old baby born to Syrian refugee parents in Cyprus was flown to Israel to fix a severe heart defect.

The baby, who was born in a refugee camp in Cyprus, was airlifted to Israel on Friday night for the life-saving operation at Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer. He arrived with his father.

a 2 days-old Syrian refugee baby was brough to Israel from #Cyprus today for an emergency life-saving #heart operation at @SHEBA_ medical center. Praying for a full & quick recovery! ❤ https://t.co/x1b5d6cERE

(Photos – ‘Aviation Bridge’) pic.twitter.com/OrAVJNZR3F

— Israel ישראל (@Israel) December 23, 2017

Israel was alerted to the baby’s need after the Cypriot Health Ministry contacted Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Sammy Revel and asked that the baby be allowed to enter Israel and receive treatment.  The Foreign Ministry then asked Interior Minister Aryeh Deri for permission to allow the baby and his father to enter Israel.

The baby is expected to undergo surgery on Monday. Following the surgery, the baby will have to remain under observation for a “period of time,” according to the hospital.

“Praying for a full and quick recovery,” the foreign affairs ministry said in a tweet.

Federal judge partially lifts Trump refugee ban after Jewish groups’ challenge

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

(JTA) — A federal judge in Seattle has partially lifted the latest Trump administration ban on refugees.

U.S. District Judge James Robart of the federal court in Seattle on Saturday ruled that the federal government must process refugee applications for people “with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity within the United States.”

The new set of restrictions on refugees include a minimum 90-day suspension of admission of refugees from 11 countries, nine of which are predominantly Muslim, and a suspension of the so-called follow-to-join process, which reunites family members with refugees already in the United States.

The ruling to allow the reuniting of refugees with family members in the United States was in response to two challenges heard in court on Thursday. One of the challenges – Jewish Family Service v. Trump, was brought by HIAS, the Jewish immigration advocacy group, on behalf of its partners, Jewish Family Service of Seattle and Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley. The second case was ACLU of WA v. Trump.

“We are thrilled that families will have the chance to be reunited and refugees who have suffered so much will have the chance to make it to safety. As we celebrate this moment, we remember our ancestors who did not have anyone standing with them or for them,” Rabbi Will Berkovitz, Jewish Family Service of Seattle CEO, said in a statement.

Denmark will limit funding to Palestinian NGOs following investigation

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Dalal Mughrabi

Palestinians hanging posters with pictures of Dalal Mughrabi in Ramallah, March 13, 2011. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Denmark will limit the number of Palestinian NGOs that it supports and increase oversight of the ones that it does fund following an investigation.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced on Friday that his ministry would halt funding to some 14 Palestinian organizations that have ties to terror groups. Starting in 2018, aid will be provided to 10 Palestinian NGOs instead of the current 24.

The Danish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it will “continue to support civil society organizations focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine, which is a priority under the Danish foreign policy.” However, “the funds will be transferred under new and stricter conditions.”

Under the stricter conditions the NGOs cannot have ties to terror groups or use the money to promote the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS movement against Israel.

The Danish investigation started in May came after the opening of a women’s center in the West Bank village of Buraq named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 massacre on a highway near Tel Aviv that killed 37 civilians, many of them children, and injured dozens. The town refused to change the name saying it was chosen by the villagers “to commemorate a Palestinian hero who sacrificed herself for her country and therefore they have no intention to change its name regardless of the price.”

The center was built by the Palestinian Women’s Affairs Technical Committee, which received aid money from Denmark through the Ramallah-based Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, a donor program sponsored by Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Danish investigation was opened at the urging of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.

Following Friday’s announcement, Erdan praised the Danish Foreign Ministry’s decision, calling it “a significant achievement for Israel in its resolute struggle against the boycott organizations, which suffered a severe blow today.”

He also said: “I’m glad Denmark has realized the Danish tax payer does not wish to fund – directly or indirectly – Palestinian organizations with ties to terrorism. I call on other nations on the European continent to take the same measure of moral responsibility and take similar steps.”

The Jerusalem-based watchdog organization NGO Monitor said in a statement that it has been following for more than ten years European government funding of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, and its previous incarnations.

“We identified grants to a number of NGOs linked to the PFLP (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), which is listed on the E.U.’s list of terror organizations, as well as others promoting incitement to violence, anti-Semitism, BDS, and anti-normalization. The evidence also revealed that managers of the Secretariat were similarly involved in anti-Israel political warfare,” the statement said.

Between 2006 and 2018, Denmark provided $12 million, of $45 million total budgeted in these mechanisms, NGO Monitor said. The Secretariat received $24 million from 2013-2018, of which Denmark donated $6.5 million.

“NGO Monitor applauds the Danish decision to stop funding this broken program. Taken together with Norway’s decision reversing participation in the Secretariat NGO funding mechanism, and with parliamentary scrutiny in Switzerland and the Netherlands (two additional donor countries), Denmark’s action highlights the belated awareness among Europeans of the need for due diligence and full transparency in NGO funding,” the group said.

Norway’s government withdrew its financial support for the center in June, saying it would not be associated with the glorification of terrorism. The United Nations also withdrew its funding at the same time and asked that its name be removed from the building.

‘Kosher’ and ‘hummus’ added to official Spanish language dictionary

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Hummus (Shutterstock)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — The Royal Spanish Academy added the words “kosher” and “hummus” to the latest update of the online version of its official dictionary.

The words will appear in the next print edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language to be published next year.

Spanish is the most common second language spoken in the United States, which is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world after México. The Royal Spanish Academy, or RAE, is the main institution that establishes and reinforces the use of the. Spanish language worldwide.

Approximately 570 million people around the world speak Spanish. The countries with the most Spanish speakers are:  Mexico with 122 million, the United States  with 57 million,  Colombia with 48 million, Spain with 47 million and Argentina with 44 million.

RAE defined kosher in its online version 23.1 of the dictionary as: “A product, a meal, a menu, etc. 1. Obtained or prepared according to the precepts of Judaism. 2. Said of an establishment: selling or serving kosher products.”

Hummus is defined in the dictionary as “Chickpea paste typical of Arabic cuisine, usually seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, sesame cream and garlic.”

Both words were presented on December 20 as part of the first update of the online dictionary, available since 2015 and the main source for online searches about the correct use of the Spanish language.

The online dictionary will end this year with thousands of million searches, “approaching a billion” searches, according to RAE authorities.

Based in Madrid, Spain, RAE is the institution that centralized the normative use of the language among 23 national institutions of the Hispanic world, mostly located in Central America and Latin America

Lorde cancels Tel Aviv concert after pro-Palestinian fans’ backlash

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

Lorde

Lorde performing at the Glastonbury Festival in Glastonbury, England, June 23, 2017. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Pop star Lorde has cancelled a summer concert in Tel Aviv announced less than a week ago after pro-Palestinian fans in her native New Zealand criticized her.

Israeli concert organizers announced the cancellation Sunday night, according to local media, including the Hebrew-language Ynet, and said ticket sales would be refunded.

Producer Eran Arieli in a post on Facebook apologized to fans, and said that the 21-year-old performer would tweet “sometime” about the circumstances of the cancellation

“I was naive to think an artist of her age could handle that pressure,” he wrote in the post.

He added: “It’s important to me that the end of the day we will thank her for considering us and giving us the opportunity in the first place, and also apologize to her, she doesn’t deserve all the shit she’s been through in the last week since the announcement. The last thing she needs on her comeback tour is the army of globalist anti-Semites weighing down on her head.”

He also said: “My esteem for her has not been affected by this incident.”

“This is not the first cancellation we’ve experienced and it won’t be the last,” he also wrote.

Following her announcement of a Tel Aviv concert date in June on Monday, New Zealanders Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs — the former Palestinian and the latter Jewish — wrote an open letter on Thursday on the website The Spinoff saying that Lorde’s scheduled performance in Israel “sends the wrong message.”

“Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation,” they wrote.

In response, the 21-year-old singer said in a tweet she was “considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.”

Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too 🌸

— Lorde (@lorde) December 21, 2017

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in a statement condemned the singer’s decision to cancel.

“This is a classic example of the world’s singular obsession with one country, the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the statement. “The fact that Lorde still intends to perform in Russia, and has no issues with that country’s multiple human rights abuses in the Ukraine, is a clear example of the hypocrisy the international community applies to the Middle East’s only democracy,” he also said.

“This double standard smacks of anti-Semitism.  Not performing in Israel will only embolden extremist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad,” Hier concluded.

Earlier this year, former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters clashed with Thom Yorke, the singer of the British band Radiohead, and Australian rocker Nick Cave over their performances in Israel. Waters, a leading proponent of the BDS movement, urged Yorke and Cave to cancel their concerts in Israel. Both refused — Yorke called the BDS campaign “offensive” and Cave said Waters subjects musicians to “public humiliation” over the issue.

Several popular musicians, such as Elvis Costello and Lauryn Hill, have cancelled past concerts in Israel over the government’s policies towards the Palestinians.

Lorde co-wrote her latest album “Melodrama” with Jewish producer Jack Antonoff, who wore a visible Jewish star to the MTV Video Music Awards in August.

Planned exhibit about art dealer Max Stern reinstated by German mayor

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

(JTA) — A planned exhibit about world-renowned Jewish Montreal art dealer Max Stern has been reinstated by the mayor of Dusseldorf, Germany, after he canceled it last month.

Due to open in February after more than three years of planning by Dusseldorf’s Stadtmuseum, the exhibit – titled “Max Stern: from Dusseldorf to Montreal” – also was slated to include a stop in Israel before finishing in Montreal.

At the time of the November cancellation, German city officials cited “current demands for information and restitution in Germany” as the reason for the exhibit’s abrupt cancellation.

The exhibit will now go ahead in a “more complete and revised form” at a later date, the city said in a statement. It will now take place in the Stadtmuseum with an additional, yet-to-be-appointed curator and a “scholarly advisory board,” the city statement said. Mayor Thomas Geisel told the New York Times that the target date for the revised exhibition is October 2018. The city also is planning an international symposium about Stern to “offer a forum for research on the subject and to discuss possible forms of communicating and documenting it.”

A native of Dusseldorf, Stern took over his late father’s art gallery there in 1934 until the Nazis made it illegal for Jews to sell art. During this period, the Nazis looted hundreds of valuable artworks from his gallery.

Stern soon left Germany and settled in Montreal, where he established the renowned Dominion Gallery.

Following his death in 1987, Concordia became the base for the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, which uses funds left by his estate to Montreal’s Concordia and McGill universities and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to seek out and recover gallery artworks stolen by the Nazis.

To date, 16 have been recovered and returned to their rightful owners, with hundreds still unaccounted for.

The list of Stern gallery artworks includes some works in the collection of the Stadtmuseum and the city of Düsseldorf.

 

Two Bedouin Israelis indicted for killing Israeli soldier in terror attack

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Bedouin Israelis were indicted for the stabbing death of an Israeli soldier in Arad in southern Israel.

Ron Yitzhak Kokia, 19, of Tel Aviv, was stabbed while waiting for a bus on Nov. 30. The stabbing was a nationalistically motivated terror attack, the Israel Security Agency determined at the time of the attack. The Bedouin men, whose names remained under a gag order until Friday, were captured a day after the stabbing.

The men were named as Khaled Abu Jaudah, 22, from an unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel, and his half-brother Zahi Abu Jaudah, 22. They had originally planned to kidnap a soldier or settler and trade him for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Khaled Abu Jaudah stabbed Kokia as the IDF sergeant waited at a bus stop. He was charged Sunday in Beersheba District Court with first-degree murder, attempted murder, possession of a knife, preparing for an act of terror and using a weapon. He has admitted to killing Kokia and stealing his gun. He told interrogators that he committed the attack “out of a desire to do something on behalf of the Palestinians, and as revenge for IDF activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

His half-brother was indicted for attempted murder, possession of a knife and obstruction of justice. Neither brother had a history of terror-related activities, according to the ISA.

Teenage boy shoots, kills girlfriend’s parents who thought he was a neo-Nazi

Posted on | December 25, 2017 | No Comments

(JTA) — A teenage boy shot and killed the parents of his girlfriend after they convinced her not to see him anymore because he was an “outspoken neo Nazi.”

The boy, 17, of Lorton, Virginia, on Friday shot and seriously injured himself after killing his girlfriend’s parents in their home. He was charged on Saturday with killing the couple: Scott Fricker, 48, and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43.

The teens began dating over the summer. Janet Kuhn, Kuhn-Fricker’s mother, told the Washington Post that her daughter told her over the summer that the boyfriend was very good at history and that her daughter asked, “Did you know that Jews are partly to blame for WWII?”

Kuhn Fricker also discovered tweets and Twitter messages connected to the boyfriend on her daughter’s cell phone that included praise for Hitler, support for Nazi book burnings, calls for “white revolution,” and derogatory comments about Jews, according to the Post.

“We can’t allow her to see someone associated with Nazis,” the newspaper said an anonymous friend of Kuhn-Fricker quoted her as saying. “We don’t associate with hate groups in our house.”

In an email to the principal of the teen’s school sent a week ago, Kuhn-Fricker wrote: “I would feel a little bad reporting him if his online access was to basically be a normal teen, but he is a monster, and I have no pity for people like that. He made these choices. He is spreading hate.”

The teenage girl broke off the relationship on Thursday. Kuhn-Fricker texted a friend Thursday night, according to the Post, saying she had sent a message to the boyfriend’s mother which read that he “was sneaking into our house at night . . . and is an outspoken Neo Nazi. These things render any legal redemption void.”

Early Friday morning the couple checked on their daughter after hearing noises and found the boyfriend in her room. He shot the couple and then shot himself in the head, a detective told Kuhn, according to the Post.

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