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Heat wave wallops Israel, Karlie Kloss backing Biden, LI docs issue Covid warning

Heat wave wallops Israel, Karlie Kloss backing Biden, LI docs issue Covid warning

Jerusalem sweltered under record-breaking heat, Sept. 4, 2020.
Jerusalem sweltered under record-breaking heat, Sept. 4, 2020.

Benjamin Netanyahu denied that he had privately approved the sale of American F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.

A New York Times report on Thursday said the Israeli premier privately gave Israel’s consent to the sale of the planes and other weaponry to Abu Dhabi, despite repeated public assurances that he is against the deal. Netanyahu’s office called it a “false allegation.”

Critics of the sale, including some opposition lawmakers, worry it will erode Israel’s military edge in the region. Last week Israel, the UAE and American officials made the historic announcement that the Gulf state and the Jewish state would seek to normalize relations.

Related: The tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain indicated Thursday it would open its air space to Israeli planes flying to the UAE, following the lead of Saudi Arabia.

Israel continued to swelter Friday under an extreme heat wave forecast to extend well into next week.

The temperature in Jerusalem had passed 105º as of 2:00 p.m., after reaching an all-time high of 107º on Thursday. In the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, the mercury climbed to 110.6º, the Times of Israel reports.

Jewish physicians on Long Island warned local Orthodox communities not to let down their guard amidst an uptick in Covid cases.

A group of 138 Jewish doctors issued an open letter referencing large weddings and other events with the potential to spread the virus, JTA reports. Local doctors in several Orthodox communities have noticed slight upticks in Covid cases, with many resulting from summer camps, travel, bungalow colonies and particularly large weddings.

Right-wing Jews, conservative websites and Donald Trump Jr. said the family of the Black man shot in the back by police last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin did not deserve a visit of comfort by Joe Biden because Jacob Blake’s father had posted anti-Semitic comments on Facebook.

Jacob Blake Sr., whose son’s shooting has led to weeks of unrest, made a slew of anti-Semitic and anti-white posts on Facebook in 2018 and 2019. They include comments that refer to “the Jewish controlled media” and insinuate that Jews in Pittsburgh were warned before the shooting at a synagogue there that killed 11 worshippers. He also expressed support for Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader whose rhetoric includes virulent anti-Semitism. Trump Jr. shared Tweets calling the senior Blake a “vicious anti-Semite.”

“Biden Shouldn’t Have Met With Jacob Blake, Sr. Due to His Antisemitic, Anti-Christian, Anti-Black, Anti-White, Pro-Farrakhan Misogynist Statements,” read the headline of a statement by Zionist Organization of America leaders. “Joe Biden, Do You Really Want To Meet Such A Rabid Antisemite?” asked Vos iz Neias, a charedi Orthodox news site, in its headline about Blake’s posts. Former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called Biden’s meeting with the father of the shooting victim “pathetic.”

The Democratic presidential candidate met for about an hour with Blake’s family and legal team, and spoke by phone with Blake Jr., who is said to be partially paralyzed as a result of what video suggests was an unprovoked shooting.

Another perspective: “Trump Jr., as well as his father, have often refused to address anti-Semitism coming from the right and far-right, including among right-wing militias and conspiracy theorists, such as the QAnon movement that has frequently trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes and attacks against Jewish individuals such as George Soros,” writes Seth Cohen, a columnist for Forbes.

Related: Supermodel Karlie Kloss, the wife of Joshua Kushner — brother to President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner — is helping out Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

A drone hovering over Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Thursday afternoon dropped hundreds of tiny bags of marijuana.

Tel Avivis rushed to scoop up the bags. The drop came courtesy of a group called Green Glider, which calls for the legalization of recreational drugs, Israel’s Channel 12 News reported.

Police arrested two men in their 30s who allegedly operated the drone and are accused of drug trafficking, the daily Maariv reported.

A history professor at George Washington University said she lied about being Black, and admitted she is a white Jewish woman. 

In an article published Thursday on Medium and attributed to her, Jessica A. Krug wrote that her career was based on a “toxic soil of lies.”

Krug has taught history courses at GWU since 2012, including classes about the African diaspora and African history, according to the university’s website.

Shabbat Shalom

The Torah “falls” when the Jewish People do not uphold its laws and values. In his Jewish Week commentary on this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin writes that it’s the obligation of rabbis and teachers to make certain that it is a Torah of love and a nourishing source of life.

More wisdom: Rabbi David Wolpe writes that the shofar is a lesson in listening.

Around the Agencies

Jewish National Fund-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel (High School in Israel) and Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE-JNF) welcomed a group of 100 American high school and college students for a gap semester in Israel. The students arrived in Israel on Sept. 2 and began a mandatory two-week quarantine, per Israel’s Covid-19 protocols. The students will undertake their studies online during this period. “JNF-USA’s High School in Israel made a strategic decision to move forward despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus,” said Chief Institutional Advancement Officer, Rabbi Leor Sinai. “So long as there is an opportunity to bring our youth to Israel we will – and we are. To see the faces of our students at Ben Gurion Airport was a dream come true.”


The Workers Circle celebrates its 120th anniversary with a discussion of how it is connecting to its activist roots and making use of successful organizing strategies to teach new generations how to be successful change-makers. Workers Circle CEO Ann Toback will share her experiences running successful and challenging organizing campaigns from her work as a labor leader at the Writers Guild of America, East and also championing labor and economic justice activism with the Workers Circle. Sept. 8, 2:00 pm. Register here.

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