Canada joins call to honor slain Israeli Oympians
(JNS.org) Canada is the latest country asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pay tribute to 11 Israeli team members killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The Canadian House of Commons unanimously voted June 13 to call for a moment of silence in honor of the Israelis at this summer’s London Olympics, the 40th anniversary of their deaths. Last month, the IOC rejected Israel’s request for a minute of silence at the start of the summer Olympics, saying it had paid tribute to the victims before. Earlier this month, the U.S.
House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a non-binding resolution asking for a moment of silence in London and at all future Olympics. “Given the impact of this tragedy, on the Olympic community as a whole and the world, it should be marked publicly,” reads a recent letter from Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird to IOC President Jacque Rogge.
Orthodox police recruit sues NYC
(JNS.org) Fishel Litzman, an Orthodox police recruit, has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department, the City of New York and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly after he was allegedly discharged for refusing to trim his beard. New York City police rules say religious recruits can only have one millimeter of facial hair. However, Lewin & Lewin, LLP, the law firm representing Litzman, said the incident constituted religious discrimination.
“Although Mr. Litzman advised the NYPD at the outset of the application process that his religious observance forbade the trimming of his beard, the NYPD swore him in as a Probationary Police Officer and caused him to resign the job he previously held as a paramedic. Since the NYPD permits police officers to grow beards after they graduate from the Police Academy, there is no legitimate governmental purpose in directing him to trim his beard to a length that does not exceed one millimeter while he is in the Police Academy,” the law firm said in a statement.
Three Israelis in finals of film competition
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive JNS.org) Three Israelis have reached the finals in the Your Film Festival competition, sponsored by British director-producer Sir Ridley Scott and YouTube. The competition began June 12, with 50 finalists selected by Scott from more than 15,000 short films submitted by creators from 160 countries. Results will be announced Aug. 1.
The 10 winners will have their work screened at the festival and judged by a jury of industry professionals, including Scott. The winners will then propose their next film project to Scott’s team at the Venice International Film Festival in August, vying for a $500,000 production grant to work with the award-winning crew in creating a new work for YouTube.
Hamas founder’s son: I love Israel
(JNS.org) Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founder and leader of Hamas, visited Israel to express his love for the Jewish state. Yousef converted to Christianity and operated as an undercover Israeli Shin Bet agent for more than a decade. Yousef came to Israel as a guest of Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee Ayoub Kara.
“I want to tell the people of Israel that I love you,” he said in an interview on Israeli television, according to Israel National News. “I don’t think there was ever something called ‘Palestine…I don’t think that what my people needs is a state—they need freedom.” Yousef has written a book, “Son of Hamas,” about his experience in the home of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef.
Congressman visits jailed American Jew in Bolivia
(JNS.org) U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) visited jailed American entrepreneur Jacob Ostreicher in Bolivia, continuing a push for the New York-born Hassidic Jew’s release after more than a year in prison without formal charges or bail. Ostreicher traveled to Bolivia in December 2010 to oversee rice production and was arrested in June 2011 on suspicion of money laundering and criminal organization. On June 11, Smith — chairman of a congressional panel overseeing global human rights — attended a hearing with Ostreicher during which the Bolivian judge passed the matter on to a higher court, “likely guaranteeing more months of delay,” according to the New Jersey legislator. “Jacob has been cooperative, patient to the extreme. There is no evidence offered against him,”
said Smith. “The rule of law must prevail in Bolivia. Innocent people must have a path to justice. He must be released.”
Shalit accepts job as sports columnist
(JNS.org) Gilad Shalit has found his calling for now, accepting a position as sports columnist for Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Shalit, who was abducted by Gaza militants in 2006 while serving in the Israel Defense Forces and held captive for more than five years, is an avid basketball aficionado and Maccabi Tel Aviv fan and has even attended a workout with the team in Tel Aviv.
White House refuses to pardon Pollard
(JNS.org) The White House reiterated June 13 that it has no intention of releasing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on humanitarian grounds amid Israeli President Shimon Peres’s Washington visit to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “Our position has not changed and will not change today…I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of very serious crimes,” White House Spokesman Jay Carney said at a press briefing. Peres asked President Barack Obama for Pollard’s release during their private meeting the same day, and the U.S. president reportedly “did not close the door” on the idea.
Palestinians groomed for jihad in kindergarten
(JNS.org) A recent article posted online by the Al-Quds Brigades — the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group — details how children of Gaza set out on a mission of violent resistance against Zionism as early as kindergarten, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported. The children, according to the article, are raised “on the love of jihad, of resistance and of Palestine, and on the massacres and crimes of the Zionists—to the point that their lives, even in kindergarten, have become similar to those of the resistance fighters, in all domains, and it is hoped that they [too] will become jihad fighters.”
In the story, a little boy says he plans to carry out a martyrdom operation against Zionists on a bus.
Jewish population increases in NYC
(JNS.org) A newly released study shows that the Jewish population of New York City has increased by 10 percent to nearly 1.1 million, primarily due to major growth of the Hassidic and Orthodox communities, the New York Times reported. The study, sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, reveals that a third of the 1.5 million Jews in the eight-county New York area are Orthodox. Additionally, the study shows that religious observance among non-Orthodox Jews has declined. The Reform and Conservative movements in New York each lost about 40,000 members between 2002 and 2011, according to the study.