Your First Read For Sep 11


Israeli film wins prize at Venice film festival

The Israeli film “Foxtrot” has won the second-place Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, and drew criticism from Culture Minister Miri Regev over its portrayal of the Israeli army, according to the Times of Israel.

The film, which shows Israeli soldiers killing and burying an Arab family, is “spreading lies in the guise of art,”  Regev said, accusing the production of giving “a tailwind to BDS [the Israeli boycott movement] and haters of Israel all around the world,” while calling for the state to end funding to films that “become a weapon of propaganda for our enemies.”.

Foxtrot” director Samuel Maoz defended the film, saying no society can flourish when “critics are considered to be traitors.”

Moment of Silence to commemorate 9/11

Ceremonies took place across the country today commemorate 16 years since the September 11 attacks. At 8:46 a.m. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, emerged from the White House in Washington, D.C. and stood at attention while a bell was rung one time. Ceremonies were also held at Ground Zero here in New York City, at the Pentagon, and at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. You can watch Ground Zero ceremony live below, and view more photos here.

Jewish boxer enters NY congressional race

Boyd Melson, 35, a West Point graduate and retired boxer has entered the race to unseat New York City’s lone Republican congressman, Daniel Donovan. Donovon covers the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and a sliver of Brooklyn, the Times of Israel reports. Melson is a Democrat.

Conservative rabbis may criticize Israel in holiday sermons

Conservative leaders in the United States have warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that they may speak against him in their upcoming High Holy Days sermons because of his withdrawal of support for an egalitarian prayer area at the Western Wall, reports.

The leaders handed Dani Dayan, Consul-General in New York, a letter—signed by hundreds of leaders, rabbis, and presidents of Conservative Jewish communities around the world—that indicates that Netanyahu’s actions may” directly affect the spirit of the sermons that will be heard in the synagogues on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur,” according to the news site. “We find it unconscionable that Israel, the Jewish State, is the only democratic state in the world in which not all Jews are recognized or supported equally under the law or in the public square,” the letter states.

Romanian march honors Elie Wiesels yahrzeit

Some 1,500 people yesterday marked the first anniversary of Elie Wiesel’s death by marching along the route in Sighet, the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s hometown in Romania, where the 14,000 Jews deported from the city were forced to walk in May 1944.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the route went pass the Sighet Holocaust memorial and ended at the railway station, where a ceremony was held and a plaque was unveiled, renaming the station after Wiesel. The participants, comprised of both Jews and non-Jews, held torches and wore caps with “Never again” printed on them. They wore white T-shirts with a picture of Wiesel on the front and the slogan of the march, “Antisemitism led to Auschwitz,” on the back.

Wiesel’s family was among those who were marched to the train station and sent to Auschwitz, where most of the deportees were gassed on arrival.

Mayor Horia Vasile Scubli said he expects the march to become an annual event. “We are the city of Elie Wiesel, and it’s necessary to keep his memory alive.”

Parisian thieves target Jewish family

A Jewish family was beaten, held hostage and robbed in their home near Paris last week because of their religion, French authorities and anti-hate groups said yesterday, according to The Guardian. Three attackers burst into the house in the Paris suburb of Livry-Gargan, cut off the electricity and confined three members of a Jewish family, beating them and threatening to kill them, until one of them managed to escape and alert the police.

One of the asssilants reportedly told the family,“You are Jews, you have money. We take money from Jews to give to the poor.”

Home of parents of NY State assistant attorney general attacked with anti-Semitic graffiti

The parents of New York State’s Assistant Attorney General Jenny Michael were attacked with anti-Semitic vandalism.

Michael’s father, former New York City Budget Director Philip Michael, discovered the vandalism Sunday morning on the door to the family’s home in a Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx.

The word “Jew” was spray painted in large white letters on the black front door while the family was sleeping.

A New York Police Department spokesperson told the New York Post that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Despite the fact that several Jewish families live in the neighborhood, Michael’s house was the only one vandalized, Jenny Michael told the Post.


Anti-Semtic graffiti painted on Toronto overpass

A week after a message in bright, neon orange spray paint that read, “Hitler was right,” was discovered on a concrete barrier on Highway 400 near Vaughan Mills Mall north of Toronto, police responded to where the same message spray painted nearby, likely by the same person, the Canadian Jewish News reports.

Police spokesperson Const. Laura Nicolle said,“It was the same expression and the same orange spray paint as the previous incident. York Regional Police will not tolerate hate crime in any form. These kinds of crimes not only hurt the community that has been targeted, but they hurt us all.”