Your First Read For Sep 19


Israeli Consulate in New York receives second threat in less than a week

New York (JTA) – The Israeli Consulate in New York was briefly closed after the second threat in less than a week.

The consulate was closed and employees prevented from leaving after an envelope containing a white powder and a threat against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sent to the building on Monday, Ynet reported.

The envelope arrived shortly after the conclusion of Netanyahu’s meeting Monday with U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

An envelope containing a similar threat and white powder was delivered to the consulate on Friday, leading to the evacuation of the building.

The powder in both envelopes was determined to be harmless.

Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before the General Assembly today.

US to deport Palestinian terrorist

A Chicago-based Palestinian activist with a decades-old record of bombings in Jerusalem will reportedly be deported to Jordan today.

Rasmea Odeh, 70, who pleaded guilty in April to concealing her convictions in two bombings in Jerusalem when she applied for U.S. citizenship in Detroit in 2004, will be flown to Jordan. Her record would have disqualified her from entering the U.S. a decade earlier.

Odeh insists she was tortured into confessing by the Israeli military. She was sentenced to life in prison but was released in 1979 as part of a prisoner swap with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

US campuses becoming less hostile to Israel

Anti-Israel activism on college campuses across the United States has declined, JTA reports. The paper cites a report by the Israel on Campus Coalition published that shows nearly three times as many total pro-Israel events on US campuses as anti-Israel events during the past school term..

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel also saw falling activity, with 20 BDS campaigns nationwide on college campuses last year compared to 33 the year before.  And Israel Apartheid Week, a series of events opposing Israel, declined for a second straight year.

The most popular baby’s name in Israel: Muhammad

For the third straight Jewish year, the most popular baby names in Israel were Tamar and Muhammad, the Jerusalem Post reports. The Population and Immigration Authority of Israel’s Interior Ministry released the figures ahead of Rosh HaShanah.

Joining Muhammad among the top 10 names for boys were Joseph, David, Daniel, Uri, Omer, Eitan, Ariel, Noam and Adam. For just the Jewish sector, the 10 most popular names were Uri, David, Ariel, Noam, Eitan, Joseph, Itai, Daniel, Jonathan and Lavi.

For all girls the most popular names behind Tamar were Adele, Miriam, Sara, Avigayil, Noa, Shira, Talia, Yael and Lia. For just the Jewish sector, the 10 most popular names were Tamar, Abigail, Adele, Noa, Shira, Talia, Yael, Sarah, Lia and Esther.

Russia rejects lawsuit about Wallenberg’s fate

A Russian court yesterday rejected a request to release classified documents about Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish hero of the Holocaust who saved the lives of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary, reports.

While a Russian report claimed he died of a heart attack in 1947 in the Lubyanka prison in central Moscow, no definitive proof of his fate has been put forward. In 2000 Russia admitted culpability in his death, with rumors suggesting he received an injection of poison while in the Russian prison.

A Moscow court rejected a lawsuit that sought to definitively determine Wallenberg’s fate, saying government documents could not be released because they contained personal information about other individuals.

Ex-chief rabbi’s visit draws protestors in Paris

Several dozen French Jews have taken part in a demonstration that protested communal leaders’ welcoming of a controversial Israeli rabbi.

The protesters, some of them affiliated with Liberal congregations, rallied at the Buffault synagogue in Paris ahead of the arrival of Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic Orthodox chief rabbi of Jerusalem, who recently equated Reform Jews with Holocaust deniers, JTA reports.

The rabbi was visiting France as a guest of the Consistoire organization, a state-recognized framework that provides Orthodox Jewish communities with religious services.