Thursday, January 26, 2012

For Every Black Frock a Glock: Time to Arm the Rebbe's Army

For Every Black Frock a Glock: Time to Arm the Rebbe's Army
By Dovid Efune
On the 26th of November 2008 the world recoiled in horror as the infamous Mumbai terror attacks unfolded. Three days later, unthinkable death and devastation remained. For the Jewish community the brutal murder of Chabad emissaries Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg highlighted the vulnerability of many that stand at the forefront of community work in remote corners of the globe. 
Now, over the past few weeks, it has emerged that two other Chabad centers had been identified as targets in thwarted terror attacks.
On January 13th, Thai authorities announced that they had arrested a Lebanese citizen on suspicion of planning a terror attack in Bangkok. The New York Times reported that "Western intelligence agencies know that Hezbollah operatives have scouted El Al offices and counters in Thailand, as well as the Chabad House in Bangkok." Security analysis blog Debkafile went a step further claiming that "It was to have followed the same lines as al Qaeda's 2008 assault on the Mumbai Chabad center which killed 8 Israelis and Jews - only more ambitious."
On Monday, Haaretz reported that in Baku, Azerbaijan, "The Azeri ministry said it had arrested a cell that planned to "kill public activists," became apparent that the intended victims were two Israeli Chabad emissaries, a rabbi and a teacher employed by the "Chabad Or Avner" Jewish school in Baku."
Israeli Interior minister Eli Yishai was right when he explained to Israeli security chiefs that "Chabad Houses in many countries are "the soft underbelly" of attacks because of the high volume of Israeli tourists and backpackers." Additionally, Chabad houses and rabbis are highly visible and symbolic targets for would be terror planners.
It is admirable and a source of great inspiration that the 'Rebbe's Army' is by no means deterred by the inherent daily risks that they are undertaking for themselves and their families, standing at the forefront of Jewish communal activity wherever Jewish life is to be found. But what can be done to minimize the risk that many Chabad rabbis face?
Public displays of Jewish pride are an integral component of the Chabad modus operandi, precluding the possibility of lowering the profile of their activities. Whatever the risks, you won't find a Chabad center buried within a building complex - like a Synagogue I visited in The Hague, Holland a few years back - that wouldn't display so much as a small Star of David to mark its presence.
Of course investing in the hiring of security services and personnel is an option, but the expenses can become quite significant. The most effective security setup that I have seen, is in the South African Jewish community which established the Community Active Patrol (CAP) in 2006, an organization that in effect serves as a private Jewish army. Ex military personnel armed to the teeth, and dressed from head to toe in black, patrol communal areas in imposing vehicles, investigating any suspicious activity. Their budget in 2011 was over 4 million rand, about half a million U.S. dollars. Rabbi Wilhelm of Bangkok told Mishpacha magazine that "We have security 24 hours a day - at our expense, and at the cost of between 60 and 80 thousand dollars a year." Unfortunately, for many Chabad houses that are struggling to pay their bills for basic necessities like rent and electricity, the cost may be prohibitive.
A far cheaper and very effective strategy would be for the various Chabad emissary support groups to encourage the purchase of personal firearms for each rabbi and facilitate their weapons proficiency training. As recorded in Chabad literature they would be following in the footsteps of the previous Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Schneerson, who, when informed of a threat from 'gangsters' that intended to attack him, made sure to carry a pistol. Perhaps an appropriate next project for the billionaire patron of the 'shluchim' Gennady Bogolubov would be to establish a 'gun fund.'
Of course, this would only apply in countries where gun ownership is legal. According to this includes Thailand, India and Azerbaijan under the following terms, "Applicants for a gun owner's license are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, sports shooting, collection, and self-defense."
Additionally, if a Chabad gun policy were to be established and widely publicized, it would serve as an effective deterrent to would be attackers, who would likely rather seek the path of least resistance. 
After all, wouldn't one expect 'the men in black' to be strapped?
The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Why Donors like Chabad Part 2

Why Donors like Chabad Part 2

By Dovid Efune

When attending the annual conference of Chabad emissaries in New York, I am frequently tempted to contrast it with similar conventions whose attendees are mandated with securing the Jewish future. Particularly the Jewish Federations' General Assembly comes to mind as it often takes place around the same time.

Last year, following the Chabad conference, in an article entitled 'Why Donors like Chabad,' I pointed to a structure that secures almost immediate ROI for venture philanthropists free from red tape and bureaucracy. This year, surrounded by over 4000 emissaries at the grand banquet, I was inspired to expand on this idea from a different angle.

Chabad's rapid growth and unbridled success is undeniable, as Britain's Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks expressed in his keynote address to the gathering, "You, the Shluchim (emissaries) are among the most important people in the Jewish world today." Even for many of the other successful Jewish outreach groups that have emerged since the era of Chabad dominance, admittedly or not, it has been through a borrowed page from Chabad's book. So what is the secret to Chabad's success?

Since as early as the Israelite slavery in Egypt, the greatest threat to Jewish continuity hasn't been physical, but spiritual. Today, it is well known that far more Jews are lost to assimilation and out-marriage than to Islamic terror or any other threat.

In dealing with this crisis, two divergent groups emerged among activists. One group, pioneered by the founders of the Haskala movement argued that Judaism had to be brought to the people. The laws needed to be loosened, and the rituals modified to suit the more cosmopolitan zeitgeist. For the Orthodox, the opposite was true. The only way to secure the Jewish future they argued was to double down, expel all external influences and distractions, and create closed communities of Jewish observance and tradition.

The founders of the Chabad movement recognized the strengths and weaknesses in both schools of thought combing the ideologies in a winning formula. The Jewish principles of faith could never be diluted; after all, the process of dilution never ends. As such, Chabad maintains absolutist principles of authentic Jewish traditionalism. For some adherents they are practical, for others aspirational, but the core ideals are sacrosanct.

However, Chabad vigorously opposes isolationism, and endeavors to hand-deliver its messages to every single Jew on whatever level of practice they are comfortable with. The flexibility is within the Jew, not within Judaism.

Chabad has got it. Chabad has categorically answered all the questions and has understood the secret to guaranteeing the Jewish future. Now, their only focus is on the task at hand, getting the job done.

It is interesting to note, that at most grand Jewish conventions, the vast majority of attendees are donors. Conferences and banquets are peppered with organization staff. At the Shluchim convention however, donors are by far in the minority, illustrating the centrality in Chabad of the mission over the means.

Last Friday, commemorating three years since the horrific attacks on Mumbai that left a Chabad emissary and his wife dead, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by Warren Kozak. He wrote, "In another community, the violent deaths of such a young and promising couple might have sent shivers through the leadership, prompting them to pull other emissaries from the field. But Chabad's leadership did the opposite, immediately sending another couple to take their place," This bold act demonstrated yet again the degree of commitment and dedication that the movement's followers have ascribed to their mission.

Investor Warren Buffett famously said, "Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing." Chabad donors understand exactly what they are doing.

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Which Republican Presidential Candidate Is Best for Israel?

Which Republican Presidential Candidate Is Best for Israel?
By Dovid Efune
In a November 12th interview with The Algemeiner, ADL National Chairman Abraham Foxman declared that when it comes to positions on Israel, "with the exception of Ron Paul, there is not much difference between the parties." I cannot imagine how he arrived at this conclusion, as in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
It is correct, that in the United States, due to overwhelming popularity among the general populace, Israel as a political issue stands alone. Candidates take sides on every issue, from abortion to gay rights, to the size of government and deficit reduction. However when it comes to Israel, a mainstream American politician that openly champions an anti-Israel stance, more than likely renders himself unelectable.
In order to bypass this inconvenience, many politicians with divergent views on sticky Israeli issues have attempted to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel by formulating their own definitions on what is in Israel's best interests. If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted to run for Congress, he would first proclaim his great love for the Jewish State and then go on to explain that in his well-considered opinion it is in Israel's best interest to be nuked.
This is precisely the collective point of Republican divergence from Obama Administration positions on Israel. Every single candidate, including Ron Paul (with the exception of his opinion on aid) would look to Israeli government positions as the guide to its interests and for use as a barometer by which to gauge support.
While this is the case, for the sake of clarity and definitive evaluation, I set out to rank the Republican candidates purely in order of 'how good they would be for Israel.' Some of their positions on various intricacies have yet to be clarified, and not all relevant information was available to me at the time of publication. As the primary process progresses I suspect that this list will need to be tweaked, but for now, here is my assessment from worst to best:
8. Ron Paul
Paul's positions on Israel have been almost uniformly derided. Whilst claiming to be non-interventionist on the issue, he has routinely adopted Arab talking points on Israel, even comparing Gaza to 'a concentration camp.' His Isolationist mantra may appeal to fiscal conservatives, but in the real world its implementation would create a global power vacuum that would likely be filled by supporters of Israel's enemies.
7. Jon Huntsman
Although highly critical of Obama administration policies toward Israel, in a recent National Review article, he explained the unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood, saying that "when Israel lost confidence in its ally (the United States), their position understandably hardened. This led to the Palestinian Authority also losing hope in the peace process." While sympathetic, Huntsman blames PA actions on Israeli positions, representing a fundamental misunderstanding of Israel's predicament.
6. Herman Cain
At a recent New York fundraiser I heard Herman Cain firmly proclaim "if you're messing with Israel you're messing with the U.S.A." While his sentiments seem to be in the right place, his lack of experience and knowledge of the intricacies may mean that he will leave major decisions in the hands of others, which could prove more risky for Israel. This unfamiliarity was demonstrated when he was recently asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace about the Palestinian Arab 'right of return' claim, where he responded "Yes, they should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make."
5. Rick Perry
At a press conference in New York and earlier Jerusalem Post column, Perry outlined his positions on Israel. He strongly opposed the Obama induced settlement freeze, and called on Palestinian Arab leaders to "publicly affirm Israel's right to exist, and to exist as a Jewish state." Like Romney, Perry favors 'Negotiated Settlement,' and in the absence of Arab compliance, would refrain from placing the onus of the blame on Israel.
4. Mitt Romney
Famously accusing President Obama of "throwing Israel under the bus," in his book 'No Apology' Romney shows sympathy for and understanding of Israel's challenges. While still favoring and pledging to support a negotiated two state settlement, based on a position paper posted on his website and his comments in a recent National Review Online article, he would allow Israel to take the lead on security issues and he would fight against unilateral Arab actions and anti-Semitic attacks on the State. At Tuesday's televised foreign policy debate Romney was the first candidate to pledge that his first foreign trip as president would be to Israel. His policies would likely be most similar to those of George W. Bush.
3. Newt Gingrich
"No country can be expected to conduct peace negotiations with a terrorist organization, or with a Palestinian Governmental Authority that joins forces with such a terrorist organization," declared Gingrich at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. Like many of the other candidates, he supports the status of Jerusalem as the "undivided capital of the Jewish state." Widely viewed as the smartest candidate, his views translate into nuanced and comprehensive pro-Israel policy. 
2. Michelle Bachmann
A video posted on Bachmann's website demonstrates a notable understanding on Middle East issues. Her first trip to the Holy Land was in 1974, when, at age 17 she joined a group of Minnesota teens to spend a summer in Israel. At a recent dinner for the Zionist Organization of America she said "if I am President, not one inch of Israel will ever be on the chopping block," uniquely expressing the view that any territorial concessions are dangerous for Israel.
1. Rick Santorum
In a recent off the cuff campaign trail interview, Santorum broke ranks when he schooled a reporter on Israeli history. Regarding development in the territories of Judea and Samaria, he said, "the bottom line is that that is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country." He also denied the existence of 'Palestinians' as a distinct people, thus dismissing calls for the establishment of another hostile Arab state on Israel's border. He did not clarify what the legal status of West Bank Arabs should be. 
The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.

Monday, October 10, 2011

God is Doing Well in the Polls These Days”: Over 1000 Watch Senator Joseph Lieberman Deliver 6th Annual Gershon Jacobson Lecture

"God is Doing Well in the Polls These Days": Over 1000 Watch Senator Joseph Lieberman Deliver 6th Annual Gershon Jacobson Lecture

New York - Senator Joseph Lieberman was warmly welcomed by over 1000 people as the featured speaker at the Sixth Annual Gershon Jacobson Lecture, held on October 3rd in Manhattan's famed Park East Synagogue. Sponsored by Shefa Yamim, Senator Lieberman's historic lecture on "the two subjects banned from most families' dinner tables" – Religion and Politics – was hosted by the Gershon Jacobson Foundation and The Algemeiner.

Lieberman opened his speech with glowing praise for The Algemeiner and the GJCF, pointing out that these entities serve as the "independent truth telling advocates for the Jewish people and Israel" and bridge builders to bring the "wisdom of Jewish tradition to the modern world." He   noted especially the paper's use of modern media to reach algemeiner – everyone.
Lieberman's talk went on to combine the best of an exhorting sermon, an exciting rally, and an extraordinary commencement speech.
Emphasizing throughout his lecture America's founding fathers' cornerstone dream of national religious freedom and acceptance, Lieberman asserted passionately that America defines itself by "its values and its purposes," and was, from its beginning, an "initiative" based on faith. "Elected officials are not polling well ," the Senator quipped, "but God continues to do very well in America." The Senator attributes God's "edge in the polls" to the Declaration of Independence, where America's founders expressed the fundamental right to personal religious freedom – and the national freedom from establishment of an official religion. By guaranteeing this level of freedom, the Senator said, they founded a nation that lives by what President Lincoln termed "a kind of civic religion… (where) people of all religions are welcomed and given their pla ce in the public square."

And for that, the Senator said, "God Bless America," going on to note that in 5772 years of Jewish history, Jews have had more freedom, success and opportunity in America than anywhere except Israel. In the Senator's opinion, the only stumbling block to Jewish success in America is the limitations Jews place on themselves: "Fear of anti-Semitism among Jews is much greater than the reality of anti-Semitism among Christians," he said. When a hand lettered sign reading "Viva Chutzpa" appeared at an Hispanic presidential rally, said the Senator, it represented to him the "basic sense of opportunity that America provided…a ticket with a Jewish American got a half million votes more than the other ticket – an objective indicator of the religious tolerance that was the dream of our founders."

Commenting on the upcoming 2012 Presidential election, Lieberman said he "does not share the anxiety about candidates' open professions of faith…Jews get nervous, remembering that such discussions are often a precursor to bad times," he said, but quickly advised, "Keep in mind the extraordinary history of religious freedom, tolerance and acceptance, and the constitutional framework that protects us." Further, said the legislator, we are living in a "remarkable time when the relationship between Christians and Jews is at an unprecedented good level." He gave special recognition to the "great movement of change" among Christian Evangelicals.

Lieberman warned that the 2012 campaign "will be partisan, bitter, and personal." Clearly stating that he was "not endorsing any candidate," he noted that, should one of the two Mormon candidates in the Republican be nominated, "it will break a barrier – the first time a Mormon will be running. I hope the Jewish community is…in the lead to make sure they are judged in the American way – based on qualities and not based on their faith."

"It's a tough time in American life," Senator Lieberman acknowledged as he wrapped up his speech. "Hundreds of millions of Americans are pessimistic about America's future. I don't buy this pessimism. This century will be another great century for America. Don't ever sell such a nation short!"


This annual lecture is a program of the Gershon Jacobson Jewish Continuity Foundation (GJCF), established in 2005 after the death of Gershon Jacobson, the long-time editor and publisher of the The Algemeiner. Jacobson, one of the most respected and influential Jewish journalists of recent history, was described by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel as a "warrior for truth." He served as a courageous, independent advocate for the most important issues facing the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

The GJCF, which bears Jacobson's name, is dedicated to perpetuate his pioneering spirit by serving as a valiant media voice addressing the most compelling issues of our time, with vision, integrity and moral clarity, informed by the power of 4000 years of Jewish experience and wisdom. The organization is directed by Simon Jacobson and Dovid Efune, and is overseen by a highly prestigious tribute committee. The GJCF is responsible for publishing the weekly Algemeiner and has recently been referred to by Fox News as the fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America. For a comprehensive description of Algemeiner and GJCF activities, please visit or

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Ultimate Jewish New Year Greeting

The Ultimate New Year Greeting

By Dovid Efune

For many Jews this time of year provides an opportunity, not just for personal renewal, but for the revival of thinning bonds and the reestablishment of relationships that have withered. A pervasive mood of collectivism descends upon Jewish communities around the world and a numerous variety of well-wishing expressions are mutually exchanged.

Among the shared sentiments are the usual suspects of health, wealth, success and any number of cliché greetings. Although well-meaning, most are superficial and at some point develop an aura of monotony. So I found myself considering, what in truth would be the most meaningful blessing one could impart on a good friend, a significant other, a family member or colleague. What would I wish most for myself?
I came across inspiration last weekend while working my way through the epic two volume biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky entitled 'Lone Wolf,' which was authored by famed historian Shmuel Katz over a period of seven years. Jabotinsky, as a very young man, before he had been introduced to Zionism, enjoyed tremendous popularity as a writer. In fact Katz points out that the writer and dramatist Ansky was quoted as saying, "there isn't a beautiful woman in the world who enjoys as much adulation as did Jabotinsky in his young days in Odessa." Then something occurred that changed his life forever. It didn't happen to him but to others, yet it affected him so deeply that his life's focus and purpose radically shifted. From the sixth to the eighth of April 1903 a pogrom took place in the Russian city Kishinev, during which fifty Jews were killed, hundreds more injured and many women raped. Katz writes that "Jabotinsky went to Kishi nev to distribute food and clothing. He visited hospitals talked to eyewitnesses and burrowed through the ruins." From that point on, he adopted the cause of Zionism with all his being, championing it as a path to preserving Jewish pride, dignity and life.
One can't help but wonder what it was about Jabotinsky that compelled him to give up a life of comfort, renown and achievement to focus all his efforts and talents on attempting to actualize a distant dream which had a small chance of succeeding. How many people do you know who are that sensitive to the needs of others, who care deeply enough to uproot themselves from their set path of comfort and routine for the sake of the greater good?
The tragedy of Kishinev took place one hundred and eight years ago and the furor that it and other similar horrors provoked ultimately led to the rebirth of Jewish independent sovereignty. There is no question that to some degree the goal of Zionism has been achieved and Jews around the world are safer now than they have been throughout the last millennium. But one could argue that as long as Jewish lives are at risk on a day to day basis anywhere in the world Zionism has failed to deliver on all of its promises, necessitating that we establish for ourselves new goals and set about compiling a manifesto that will chart the course to their realization.
Modern day manifestations of Jewish persecution live on. On Friday Asher Palmer and his one year old son Yehonatan were killed in a terror attack. Did even an act as horrific as the Fogel family murder change anybody's life so significantly as to fuel a movement whose goals where designed to forever prevent it's repetition? I know in New York, most shook their heads, attended a memorial service and went about their daily lives.
It seems that the most profound New Year wish is one that calls for not only a better future for the recipient but on their capacity to create a better future for others. One that challenges their apathetic and indifferent status quo and calls upon them - in the words of Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel in a recent Algemeiner interview– to 'think higher and feel deeper.' To actually care.
British statesman Benjamin Disraeli said it best, "Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor." 

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Help for Terror Attack in Norway

"A Little Help" for Terror
By Dovid Efune
As Friday's horrific events unfolded in Norway, I was reminded of a scene from the 1997 dark comedy film Wag the Dog starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman. The ever pertinent movie, written by David Mamet and Hilary Henkin, explores the crossroads between, power, the media, public relations and show biz.
In the plot, less than two weeks before Election Day, a sitting President is caught in a closed room making advances on an underage girl. He drafts De Niro's character to handle the PR crisis, who, as a diversionary tactic, promptly sets about staging a fake war against Albania with the aid of an eccentric Hollywood producer played by Hoffman. "Why Albania?" asks a Presidential aid, "why not," answers De Niro as he instructs her to encourage media interest in the 'war' by outright denying it. At a press conference shortly afterwards, attention has already shifted away from the President's misdemeanor and members of the media pry for more information on the 'war,' suggesting possible catalysts. One journalist asks, "Is the situation in Albania anything to do with the Muslim fundamentalist, anti-American uprising?" "Now they're getting this," says De Niro, "there you go, there&r squo;s a little help."
In the movie, the press not only swallow whatever they are fed, but also serve as useful fools in furthering the false narrative by jumping the gun, presupposing and making false assumptions.
As the initial news coverage of the atrocities was unfolding, there was still much uncertainty over the particulars. Whilst most of the programming pertained to the events alone, much of the commentary was focused on suggesting who was responsible for this horror and why. The initial general assumption in the media was that this attack bore all the hallmarks of an Islamist group, shortly afterwards this appeared to be confirmed when an Islamist organization claimed responsibility on its website and the New York Times, as well as other newspapers, carried the headline. A few hours later it became clear that this was not the case.
What happened in the interim was disturbing, as journalists and commentators rushed to provide a 'little help,' albeit likely inadvertently, by suggesting a litany of possible agitators that may have prompted this bloody outburst. Among the suggestions repeated by terror experts and anchors on the BBC, was Norway's involvement in the ongoing NATO strikes of Libya, having soldiers in Afghanistan and the publication of cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad in a Norwegian newspaper.
It is interesting to note that once it was confirmed that the suspect was actually an anti Islamist extremist, there were no explanations from the media, only blame leveled at other anti Islamist writers and activists most of whom have never advocated violence. The hypocrisy is just stunning; when the belief was that the perpetrators where Muslim extremists the blame was directed towards those at the polar opposite of the political spectrum for fueling the Islamist hatred of the West. However once this was discovered not to be the case, the blame fell yet again on the same side of the political spectrum as media pundits pointed fingers at the political right. The logically consistent approach, which is of course nonsensical, would have been to lay blame with stalwarts of politically leftwing multiculturalist ideology for inspiring the rampage.
Herein lies an important lesson that is to be learned. It is a point that has been made before but still hasn't been internalized; there is no catalyst for terror, no excuse, cause, justification or explanation and it is time that members of the press stopped acting as useful fools in delivering a 'little help' to its protagonists by presupposing that there is.
At an August 2006 speech to the World Trade Affairs Council in Los Angles former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "Still now, I am amazed at how many people will say, in effect, there is increased terrorism today because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. They seem to forget entirely that September 11th predated either. The West didn't attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it."
British Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove makes this point at length in his book, Celsius 7/7, where he demonstrates that Western activities around the globe have had no impact on the spread of Islamic terror. He quotes ICM polls that show "the proportion of Muslims supporting either September 11th or al Qaeda or similar organizations' attacking the United States was 15 percent in 2001, 11 percent in 2002 and 13 percent in 2004."
Despicably, Norway's Ambassador to Israel, Svein Sevje, even went so far as to tell the Israeli newspaper Maariv that there are "distinctions between the Norwegian attacks and terrorism in Israel." "We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel," he said. "Those who believe this will not change their mind because of the attack in Oslo."
Killers need no excuse to kill, barbaric ideologies will thrive regardless of the allegiances and activities of the public, and the principles of the victims are certainly not to blame. Evil demands no invitation in rearing its ugly head, and we dare not provide justification.
The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Never Again Is Not Just a Slogan

By Dovid Efune

Following the Holocaust, two phrases stand out above all others as concrete universal Jewish resolutions. The first, 'Zachor' (to remember), is to ensure that the past will never be forgotten and its memory will always serve as a guide for the future. The second,  'Never Again,' is not limited to the horrors of a particular time or place, nor by extent or methods, but rather it symbolizes the Jewish people's collective resolve to never stand by the blood of their brethren and to never allow innocents to be brutalized for the crime of being Jewish. Yet it was only days ago that communities around the world were devastated once again by news emanating from Israel, that five innocent souls were murdered in cold blood.

Holocaust remembrance has been a commitment that the Jewish community has consistently lived up to, but what of securing a safe Jewish future?  What is the purpose of a moving memorial or museum, if not to serve as a stark reminder of what human beings are capable of and what is likely to occur if the guardians of moral justice are not vigilant in their duties?

Whilst mindful of a history of tragedy, Jews must not be defined by their victimhood but by the strength of their moral resolve. It is the Jewish ability to act as the vocal moral conscience of the world that will ensure that 'Never Again' is not just a slogan, but a universal clarion call to concrete action.

Today, the Israel Defense Forces stand at the forefront of this battle, and one can have no doubt that they will spare little effort in capturing the killers and bringing them to justice. Their ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and security of Israel's citizens will be intensified as the gravity of what they are fighting for has become more real.

But Israel is not only defended by its brave soldiers; everyone can take action – specifically within the US – where silent or active facilitators, excusers, and those who seek to misdirect the blame abound. It is crucial that they are held responsible and accountable for their public positions and statements and are never allowed to embolden the wretched hand of terror.

In this particular case there are two specific morally perverse agendas that many are working to propagate.  The first is the myth that Jewish development in Judea and Samaria is the motivating force behind Arab barbarism. The second is that this attack was an isolated incident with no context or responsible party beyond the direct perpetrators.

The first and obvious culprits are the Palestinian Arab Authority, who, with a statement by Mahmoud Abbas on Israeli radio, denied outright that incitement is rampant. Even as the Itamar victims were buried on Sunday, Fatah named a square in El-Bireh after the leader of the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre.

There is much that can be done to combat Arab incitement. First and foremost, a concerted domestic political effort to keep this issue at the forefront of all Arab-Israeli discussions, and support those groups that monitor and bring attention to the daily fever pitch vitriolic anti-Semitism rampant in state-sponsored Palestinian Arab media.

The News Media reporting was atrocious, with various networks using neutral terms to describe the killers whilst other generally buried the story.

The BBC of course was worst of all, as was pointed out by

"The BBC, however, virtually buried the Fogel family's massacre, once again demonstrating its obsession with the settlement issue above all other issues relating to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. No dedicated reportage of the brutal attack was featured elsewhere on the site. Instead, subsumed in a story of settlements, it warrants only a few lines. The BBC does, however, report that the attack "has shocked many Palestinians". Of course, the BBC failed to mention that Hamas described the attack as a "heroic operation" while sweets and candies were handed out in Gaza in celebration. The BBC has exercised its own moral judgment that says that the issuing of building permits in settlements is the cause of terror. Otherwise, the story may have included statements from Israel's Prime Minister Netanyah u attributing the terror attack to Palestinian incitement."

Many have partaken in letter writing campaigns to various media outlets, but what is far more effective is an active campaign to discourage advertisers from using these platforms. Protesting to companies that support CNN and the BBC with their advertising by explaining the moral implications of their activities may go a long way. When businesses are made aware that the overwhelming majority of Americans are favorable to Israel, they may think twice about establishing affiliations with the guilty networks.

What was most disturbing of all was the statement issued by the White House that to the untrained eye may have appeared appropriate. However, statements of this significance are very carefully crafted and every word is expertly positioned; it opened by saying: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of five Israelis in a terrorist attack in the northern West Bank, and we offer our condolences to their loved ones and to the Israeli people," and concluded with this troubling statement, "we call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack and for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be held accountable."

By juxtaposing the request for Palestinian condemnation with the desire for the perpetrators to be held accountable, the Obama administration effectively exonerated the PA from Netanyahu's accusation of incitement.

It will take constant vigilance and courage on the part of Jews around the world to combat the tide of injustice and to impart the narrative of truth to misguided decision makers. Over time this is a feat that can be achieved, and is crucial to fulfilling the eternal Jewish promise of 'Never Again.'

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at Please visit for more information.