Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hannukah Menorah stolen in San Francisco

A  large brass menorah  was stolen from Washington Square Park in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood ( Filbert and Stockton streets) this weekend. The menorah, erected by Chabad is 6 feet tall, 3 feet wide and weighed over 100 pounds. It was installed two weeks ago in the northeast corner of the park as part of a neighborhood celebration of Hanukkah.

The menorah was taken before it could be lit for the second night of Hanukkah Sunday.

We are a stubborn, resourceful people. You can’t take the light from us.
The community responded by bringing their family menorahs to the celebration, filling the park with light.

North Beach Chabad has filed a police report. It is hoped that surveillance footage from neighboring businesses and residencies will lead to an arrest. In typical San Francisco fashion, this is not being treated as a hate crime.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Cautionary Tale

You've all heard the maybe attributed to Gandhi ,but maybe not quote before: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

Its wrong. They are missing a step.

First they stalk you.

Club Z  trains high school students to respond to anti-Israel rhetoric in their schools and in their communities. Its about time.  As we just saw it Ithaca, the anti-Israel force are imposing their propaganda campaigns on younger and younger children. Club Z is creating the leaders of tomorrow.

From the Club Z mission statement:

Club Z is a youth movement that fosters a commitment to Israel and Zionism among today’s teens. We empower young people to become leaders with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to stand up to anti-Semitism, bias, and ignorance.
Now Club Z  has attracted the attention of the haters.

From an email received by our friends at Club Z. Could this be any more obvious?

Sam Elmore
Subject of email: Research assignment on Club Z

Dear Club Z,

My name is Samuel Elmore and I'm a student at the University of Georgia majoring in journalism and religion (with a focus on Jewish Studies). I'm finalizing a research project on Jewish and Israeli initiatives and movements within the US. With that said, I was wondering if I could get answered a couple of questions:

Club Z receives funds from generous donors. Are there specific groups that have contributed the most? Are they Jewish/Israeli or organizations allied to Israel?

And finally, are there members beside the board of directors and advisory members associated with Club Z?

Thank you!


Naturally, this particular “Sam Elmore” doesn’t appear to exist in the real world (you could have guessed that, right?) so this response was sent in reply

Dear Mr. Elmore, 

Thank you for your interest in Club Z.  

We find your questions rather inappropriate and none of your business.  
If you are curious about funding of various groups, why don't you look into how SJP or MSA is funded.  That seems to be a much more interesting topic of research, don't you think?  

Oh, and by the way, your question about other members of Club Z -- I am happy to answer.   We have a large and growing network of people who support us all across the United States and even the world.  We have advisory members in Canada, Mexico, Germany, Russia, Italy, Australia, South Africa and Ghana.  Club Z will soon become a Zionist movement the likes of which has never been seen before by American Jewish community.   The unstoppable Zionist youth will be outspoken and able to defend themselves against growing anti-Semitism inside their classrooms and on the campus quad.  No longer will SJP be able to bully Jews into hiding and no longer will the bigoted professors and apathetic administration be allowed to hide behind non-sensical proclamations.  

Any more questions? 

Club Z. 

This is a cautionary tale. Don't expect the enemies of Israel to fight clean. And if your teen is interested in learning more about our land and our people, consider sending them to Club Z's  Youth Conference on Israel and the Middle East in January

Sunday, December 18, 2016

BDS Fail Clip show for 2016

Did you see the gushing email from Anna Baltzer (aka Anna Piller) Director of Organizing and Advocacy of the US campaign for Palestinian rights?

She writes:

The numbers are beyond anything we could have imagined:

Over 150 actions in 101 cities  in 30 countries on 6 continents!

The Boycott HP Week of Action was a phenomenal success, with creative actions in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Sudan, and across the Middle East, Europe, and North America! In the U.S. alone, there were 40 actions in more than 30 cities across 16 states! It is extraordinary what we can achieve when we build together, and the victories have already begun

Anna ‘s bar for success has always been low.
Aging hippies holding signs! (sometimes even 5 or 6 of them!)
The momentum is unstoppable...

In the meanwhile, in recent BDS fail news

Oxfam boss admits errors over Scarlett Johansson row ‘PR disaster’ over actor’s involvement with Israeli company lost Oxfam America thousands of donors, says Mark Goldring

Fourteen US states (Ohio, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New York, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee)  have passed anti-BDS legislation

The US entertainment industry continues to see inspiration from the Israeli media. Netflix Picks Up Israeli Political Thriller ‘Fauda’

Azerbaijan to Purchase Israeli Iron Dome Air Defense System

Microsoft opens new 1 billion NIS  campus in Herziliya

The German Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) has closed the bank accounts of a BDS  group , claiming it stokes antisemitism, violates ethics.

Ontario's Legislature Passes Motion Rejecting BDS. First Canadian Province to Do So

287,900 tourists visited Israel in November setting an all time record generating over NIS 1.5 billion in revenue.

German corporation Daimler to open research and development facility in Israel 

Caterpillar, long the object of BDS ire is named Best Performing Dow Stock in 2016, Up 37%

20 Latin American Universities Sign Deals With Hebrew University

2016 proves yet again that aging hippies chanting slogans are no match for the innovation and creativity of the Israeli economy. Lets wish Anna and her friends a new year resplendent with even more of her special flavor of "success"

2016 BDS Fails from StandWithUs

Arabs honor the killer of Jews with an anti-violence event

Last October, a horrific terror attack on an Israeli bus left two dead and three hospitalized  with gunshot wounds. The combined shooting and stabbing attack  took place on Egged bus 78.
The two terrorists were shot by security forces. Baha Alyan, 23,  was killed at the scene.
This week, in Nazareth, Alyan was honored with....wait for it...an anti-violence initiative.
Nazareth, the largest Arab-Israeli city, recently held a pro-reading and anti-violence event for children in honor of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered Israelis in Jerusalem last year.
On December 10, the city, in conjunction with Inma’a Association for Democracy and Capacity Building, held its “Nazareth reads” event, which saw hundreds of children sit and read in a line that stretched from the plaza of the Spring Square within Nazareth’s old city until the Church of the Annunciation, according to Palestinian Media Watch, which first reported the event in English...
Saeb Masawrah, the local Nazarene who came up with the idea for the human reading chain in his city, told the Arab-Israeli news site Arab48, “We saw fit to establish the largest and longest chain of readers in the city of Nazareth as a completion of the message of Martyr Baha Alyan who came out of Jerusalem. We are gathering here in order to emphasize our unity as Arabs everywhere, and we will complete the message in all of the Arab cities and villages,” according to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch.
It is unfortunately quite common for the cold blooded murderers of Jews to be honored at all levels of Palestinian society

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hamas Drone Developer dead in Tunisia

Terror leaders in Gaza took to social media to mourn the death of Mohammed Al-Zoari, a member of the Muslim brotherhood and a leading figure in Hamas weapons development and drone technology.

Zoari  was shot at point-blank range in his car outside his home in Sfax, Tunisia. Arab media was quick to blame Israel for his death.
An associate of Zoari, Karim Abed a-Salam, told Tunisia’s Channel 9 TV that Zoari had visited the Gaza Strip several times in recent years, entering through the tunnels that run under the Gaza-Egypt border. He said that Zoari served as a liaison between Hamas and the Iranian and Syrian governments. It is currently unclear whether there is any truth to these claims.
The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Saturday that Zoari had also assisted Lebanese terror group Hezbollah in the development of drone technology in the past. 
According to Haaretz,
Four individuals were arrested in Tunisia on suspicion of involvement in the killing and authorities said three other rented vehicles were found that were linked to the case. Tunisian police also said that at least one individual who left the country a day before the killing was thought involved.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing has vowed revenge for Zoari’s death 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reuters Picture of the Year nominee dispels the notion of Israeli Apartheid

One of Reuters Pictures of the year was taken on the beach in Tel Aviv, by photographer Baz Ratner.

It provides yet another example of the abysmal failure of Israeli apartheid.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Jewish Voice for Peace. Creating a Wedge

NGO Monitor may have said it best:

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a U.S.-based organization, which views itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement.  Though JVP regards the organized Jewish community as its “enemy” and “opponent,” it nonetheless demands a seat at the communal table.  The strategy, as stated by JVP’s executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, is to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community to generate the impression of polarization over Israel.  The tactic is to dilute support for Israel in the Jewish community, toward the goal of reducing or eliminating the United States government’s economic, military, and political support for Israel.

How do you create the illusion of polarization on Israel when the vast majority of Jews worldwide and in America  feel differently?

After all, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll,

Jewish Americans feel a strong emotional connection with the Jewish state: A solid majority say they are either “very” or “somewhat” attached to Israel and that caring about Israel is either “essential” or “important” to what being Jewish means to them.

The Israel-haters at Jewish Voice for Peace have a strategy. Their current obsession is squashing any potential legislature that acknowledges and counters rising anti-Semitism. There is only one group of righteous victims to JVP, and its not the Jews.

How many members of "Jewish" Voice for Peace are Jewish?

Jewish Voice for Peace has launched a pressure campaign directed against the Jewish Federations of North America asking them to withdraw their support for the "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act", which has been unanimously approved by the US Senate.

This call to action was publicized on the Students for Justice in Palestine Facebook Page.

Call me a cynic, but I strongly doubt that members of JVP or SJP are contributors to the Jewish Federations of North America, which pledges to "work tirelessly to deepen connections between the Jewish State and the global Jewish community."  Groups and individuals operating in direct opposition to the mission of the Federation should not get a say in formulating group policy. The scripted calls by sock puppet accounts should be soundly ignored.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Are you ready for IsrAction Day, December 18, 2016?

Please consider participating in this great initiative- truly a triple mitzvah- from StandwithUs:
JOIN US for IsrAction Day, December 18, 2016!
StandWithUs is partnering with North West Friends of Israel and Sussex Friends of Israel for the 3rd annual IsrAction Day 2016 in an effort to fight BDS and win BIG (Buy Israeli Goods).
Launching this year on December 18, IsrAction Day is an International grassroots campaign where people buy Israeli goods in local supermarkets and donate the purchases to the needy in their community. It accomplishes its three major goals: people are able to stand up for Israel, fight BDS and support local communities.

Purchases can be dropped off at local collection centers or to directly to the selected charity. Photos and videos can be uploaded to the IsrAction Day 2016 FaceBook group and website.


IsrAction Days in Northern California will be December 18th and 19th!
StandWithUs Northern California drop off locations for your donations:

Temple Beth Abraham, Oakland: Dec 19 10a-4p
Congregation Kol Shofar, Tiburon: Dec 18 8:30a-noon and Dec 19 10a-4p
Congregation Beth Ami, Santa Rosa: Dec 19 10a-4p
Congregation Sinai of
San Jose California has joined us as well as a drop off location! Dec 18th from 9a-6pm and Dec 19th from noon-4pm!

You can find non-perishable Israeli food at Trader Joes. (Harvest grains and Israeli couscous), at Safeway and Luckys in the kosher aisle. Mollie Stones in Greenbrae and in Palo Alto has a great variety of Israeli foods.  Many of the small Arab grocers also proudly carry Israeli food, and have faced harassment and vandalism because of it.  The Berkeley Bowl (both stores) also carries Israeli products.

Lets us know where you buy Israeli products, and be sure to photograph your haul and post it here

Helping Israel. Helping our community. Whats not to love?

Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016 passes the Senate

S. 10, the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016”, a bipartisan bill to increase awareness of anti-Semitism has unanimously passed the Senate. The bill was cosponsored by Sen. Robert  Casey, Jr [D-PA], Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR], Sen. Lindsay Graham, and Sen. Michael Bennet. [D-CO]

The goal of the bill was to propose definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal anti discrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.

Full text is available here

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act was supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federations of North America, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Senator Scott Speaks on Senate Floor about Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

For more information:

With Attacks On The Rise, Sens. Casey and Scott Introduce Bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Self righteous virtue signaling hypocrites and Airbnb

Airbnb is the company everyone loves to hate, until they are looking for the perfect charming low-cost vacation rental with a view of the surf.  Because they refuse to discriminate against Jews who list their homes in Judea and Samaria,  Airbnb  has been in the Israel's hater cross-hairs for some time now.

Jewish Voice for Peace and friends launched the Stolen Homes campaign, which follows the JVP formulaic and entirely predictable modus operandi.  A petition!   A hashtag!  Aging hippies holding signs!  

No doubt the 30 billion dollar company was left quaking  in its shoes. No! Not hippies holding signs!

Earlier this year the hard left National Lawyers Guild passed a  resolution by a vote of 67% to 33%  to boycott Airbnb, declaring: 

Whereas: Airbnb, the biggest listing service for short term and vacation rental housing, recently began listing rentals in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and thus both the websites and their users glean profit from stolen land. These settlements are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from moving its civilian population onto the land it is occupying. There are over 650,000 Jewish settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and settlement growth is rapidly increasing. Israeli settlements serve an exclusionary, Jewish-only population, are a clear form of state segregation. Settlers confiscate Palestinian land, homes, and resources, severely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, and prevent any possibility of a contiguous Palestinian State. By listing homes in Israeli settlements, and earning a 9 to 15 percent fee from hosts and guests, Airbnb directly profits from and promotes Israeli apartheid and land theft. 

Airbnb has steadfastly ignored the Israel haters, even hosting a wedding at the Airbnb Headquarters  at 888 Brannan St, San Francisco for a couple who met through its listings in Israel. After a  initial Airbnb-related misunderstanding,  Ben from San Francisco enjoyed a blossoming romance with Tel Aviv's Noa.

From SF Gate:

"We wanted a private marriage ceremony but in a place that would be meaningful to us, [and] the Airbnb office seemed like a cool idea since we had met through Airbnb two years ago," the couple tells SFGATE. "We loved the Airbnb atrium and headquarters. We had great help from the staff and one of the founders, Joe [Gebbia]."

Airbnb has cancelled the listings of those that discriminate against Israelis.  During the recent fires in Israel, Airbnb took the compassionate step of waiving its service fees for those who opened their listings to victims of the fire. 

Airbnb set up "disaster response" page to help match hosts with guests and waived all posting and service fees. Those hosting for free were still be covered by standard Airbnb insurance policies. 

The Israel-haters don’t seem to be hurting Airbnb at all.

In July 2015, Airbnb raised $1.6 billion at a $25.6 billion valuation, according to Equidate. With the $850 million disclosed in last week’s filing, Airbnb has raised about $3.2 billion in equity.

Why has the campaign against Airbnb turned into yet another BDS fail? Could it be as simple as good old fashioned hypocrisy?

Rachel Lederman is the president of the San Francisco Chapter of National Lawyers Guild. Her Airbnb profile is available online. Perhaps she didn't get the Guild memo. Perhaps she was one of the 33% of the Guild members who voted against the boycott. Or perhaps she is one of those virtual signaling   “Do as I say, not as I do” activists.

Andy Griggs and Emma Rosenthal are members of  Labor for Palestine, the  Los Angeles Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee and the Cafe Intifada, and have been involved in many social media campaigns designed to demonize the only democracy in the Middle east.  No one doubts their commitment to quashing the state of the Jewish people,  unless of course, their personal livelihood is involved. That would be different.

Andy and Emma list rooms at their Dragonfly Hill Urban farm on Airbnb, and choose to ignore the “call from Palestinian civil society” ostensibly because it might interfere with their bottom line.  They’ll endlessly harangue community organizations to divest "from companies doing business in Israel", but they can not be bothered to do so themselves.

Makes me wonder. Could self righteous virtue signalling hypocrites be at the core of the failure of the BDS movement  in America?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sister Act. Thank you, Mayor Ed Lee

San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee wants to help its sister city Haifa get back on her feet following the devastating fires. He just tweeted

" #SF is proud to be Haifa's Sister City & we encourage you to support the recovery efforts from the fires. Donate now at sfgivesback.org"

The donations are channeled through the venerable Jewish National Fund (JNF)
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has more info:

Tens of thousands of residents of the Israeli port city of Haifa, a San Francisco Sister City, were forced to evacuate last week when high winds pushed fires into residential areas. More than 700 homes were damaged or destroyed, and residents are only now returning. While among many serious fires in Israel, Haifa's were some of the worst. In response, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has launched a new website at http://sfgivesback.org/ to help bring attention to the situation and drive donations.
“On behalf of the residents of San Francisco, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by the fires that have struck our Sister City Haifa, Israel. San Francisco stands ready to support and assist...," he said in a statement.
This is an impressive action by the mayor and we have sent him our thanks. We encourage anyone who feels grateful to reach out to him at:

Mayor Edwin M. Lee
City Hall, Room 200
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 554-6141, Fax: (415) 554-6160
Email: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org 
Facebook: Mayor Edwin M. Lee
Twitter: @mayoredlee

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Debunking the "pine libel"

Anti-Israel sites are anxious to pass responsibility for the current rash of fires in Israel back to the Jews. What better way to reclaim the mantle of eternal victimhood  than blaming the  Jewish National fund for planting pine trees during Israel's formative years, instead of, oh, lets say, this guy:

Read the truth about the "Pine libel" from the Elder of Ziyon

The pine tree that the JNF has been planting for so many years is the Aleppo pine, pinus halepensis (known in Israel as the Jerusalem pine.)  It is found throughout the Mediterranean, from Morocco to Syria. The JNF did not choose the tree to make Israel look like Europe, a lie repeated by Mondoweiss.  Native Aleppo pine forests exist in the Carmel and Galilee regions.

Moreover, pine trees were observed in Palestine by travelers in the 19th century. From The Popular Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, 1856:

 The tall cypress only exists in Palestine, as cultivated by man in gardens, and in cemeteries, and other open places of towns. But as the spontaneous growth of the country, we find upon the heights and swelling hills, the walnut-tree, the strawberry-tree, the laurel-tree, &c.; while on the formerly wooded heights, various kinds of pine-trees, large and small, still maintain their ground.

As far as Mount Carmel is concerned specifically,  the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1907 says it is "covered with helm-oaks and pine trees."

Carved Pine cones, Palmyra, Syria.

Mazin Qumsiyeh writing on behalf of the  Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability continues the "pine libel" stating:

The choice of European pine trees was because a) they grow fast, b) they give a European look to the otherwise “Arab” landscape, c) their leaves on the ground make  acidic preventing growth or regrowth of endogenous trees.

In total KKL boasts that it planted 240 million pine trees. Resinous pine is like petrol and burns with a ferocity. 

Read about the local pines mentioned in the Bible here

Three pines are frequently encountered in the Middle East. One, Pinus pinea, the stone pine or umbrella pine (in allusion to its umbrella-like appearance when mature), was once grown on a large scale for its seeds which are an important ingredient in Middle East foods. Today, most of these seeds are imported from China and may be produced by trees other than the stone pine. All pines have edible seeds, most, however, are too small to harvest.

The two native pines are Aleppo pine, P. halepensis, and P. brutia which has no widely acceptable common name. Pinus brutia is widespread in Syria and Turkey. There are remnant forests of Aleppo pine in Israel and Jordan. Both pines are fire maintained in nature.

In Nehemiah 8:15 and Isaiah 41:19 the Aleppo pine brutia pine is probably meant. In each of these three references the beauty of the trees is emphasized. This is applicable as the pine is evergreen, fragrant, but also produces good wood for construction and furniture.

In Hosea 14:8 reference is made to a pine tree which apparently produces an edible fruit perhaps the stone pine. It is often difficult to say with certainty which pine is intended in the scriptures as the same word can be used for other evergreen trees such as the cypress and the fir.

Read more about the "pine libel" here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Arabs fiddle while Israel burns

Heavy winds and dry conditions are driving wildfires across Israel. Some of them are suspected to be the result of arson. Israel is struggling to save property and save lives, and is planning on asking for firefighting assistance from Greece, Croatia, Cyprus.

In the meanwhile, trending first in the world under the Arabic hashtag is    (Israel burns).

Its celebratory.
For a land they claim is holy to their people, the Arabs of the world are thrilled to see the devastation. There isn't a moments thought about the million Arabs living in Israel, or to the potential ecological devastation to the region. 
Hate lit the match, and hate continues to fan the flames.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Anti-Israel Activist Cheryl Davila wins a seat on the Berkeley City council

Don't ever think your vote doesn't count.

Thanks to the algorithms of ranked choice voting, Cheryl Davila has won a seat on the Berkeley City Council by 34 votes.

Cheryl's been a regular at local anti-Israel functions in the Bay area.

She recruits her campaign volunteers directly from UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine

Her contributors read like a who's who of anti-Israel activists. Hatem Bazian. Hassan and Margaret Fouda. JVP's Andrew Gutierrez,  Cindy Shamban and Glen Hauer. Barbara Lubin of the Middle East Children's Alliance. Donald Wagner from Fiends of Sabeel.  The entire Ezzeddine family.  The Zayour family. Anti-Israel activists from as far away as Texas and New York have contributed to her campaign.

Cheryl Davila knows this support didn't come cheap.Faced with the sky-rocketing cost of housing, homelessness, and parking shortages, the last thing Berkeley should need to worry about is establishing its own foreign policy.  Nevertheless, expect her to introduce a Berkeley Divestment from Israel resolution into the City Council next year.


As of November 14 the votes have not yet been certified, but Davila remains in the lead.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

California and Israel: working together to defeat climate change

The memorandum of understanding signed in 2014 by Benjamin Netanyahu and California Governor Jerry Brown has led to some ground breaking collaborations.

Over the summer, a delegation of 18 California policymakers traveled to Israel  to explore issues related to climate change, water use and smart agriculture.  Their  travels included a tour of a water management facility in Jerusalem, plant breeding company Kaiima Ltdin Moshav Sharon (listed by MIT as one of its top-50 smartest companies.) a visit to a nursery near Gaza,  a trip to Netafim, an Israeli Ag technology company in the Negev Desert, and a visit to the  Ben Gurion University Desert Research Institute. They meet with agricultural innovation, climate change and water use experts across Israel

Karen Ross at the California Department of Food and Agriculture blog, Planting Seeds wrote of her trip "The sense of history here leaves me in a state of awe"

Read her reports at Planting Seeds

Climate Smart Israel – a report from Secretary Ross

This week November 9, 2016 • 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. PDT AM PDT (California) • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. IDT (Israel) experts from California and Israel will be sharing their experiences and expertise in a webinar

Webinar: The Extent, Development and Potential of Recycled Water Use for Specialty Crop Production.

Steven Moore, State Water Resources Control Board
Dr. Anat Levingart, Israeli Ministry of Agriculture
Alvar Escriva Bou, Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)
Mr. Aryeh Bosak, South Judaea Growers Association
Mr. Asher Eizenkot, Israeli Extension Service
Dr. Pinchas Fine, Volcani Center
William Wong, City of Modesto

Secretary Ross with members of the delegation for the California Climate-Smart Agriculture Policy Mission
Can California learn to quench its thirst and feed its hungry from a tiny nation in the Middle East? Its happening already.

Rest in Power. A hero of Zion: Sylvia Siegel z'l

Written by Phyllis Chesler, regarding local Bay area activist Sylvia (Thyme) Siegel. Originally published in Arutz Sheva

And now, it is time to praise a hero of Zion: Sylvia Siegel z'l, otherwise known as Thyme (Zipporah) Siegel. She died and was buried yesterday. Thyme was once a feminist separatist leftist "living on the land" (think of this as a misguided feminist kibbutz experiment) in Oregon when one fine day, she visited Israel. Everything changed for her.

She also flew from far-off California to meet with me. Her questions were simple.

"Phyllis, where am I? What's happening? What must I do? All my friends have, overnight, become my enemies. All my political comrades spit on me. Literally. And they are so wrong yet they think they alone have the truth."

"Welcome to the Resistance," I told her and sent her on her Mission.

Thyme did not fail me or the moment. Thyme would stand at Berkeley's Sproul Plaza,  (!) holding an Israeli flag, just waiting for anyone to mess with her. And mess with her they did. She kept holding that flag. Thyme also became one of the best undercover journalists, working with bylined journalists. She would go into the BDS or Israel Apartheid Week planning meeting, blend in, take notes, reveal what took place to distinguished journalists, who would publish what was said and planned.

When I was asked to be part of a "Feminism and Anti-Semitism" panel by Jennifer Roskies--it took place at Yale at the very best conference on anti-Semitism in the 21st century, under the aegis of Dr. Charles Small--I immediately suggested that Thyme join us. And so she did, together with Nora Gold, whose novel, Field of Exile, memorialized the various "intifadas" on Canadian campuses.

One of Israel's counter-terrorism experts came to shake all our hands.

"I had no idea the war was this hot over here, among women, among academics, among progressives."

It sure is.

May Thyme Zipporah Siegel rest in peace and may we all be comforted. The death of heroes is always the hardest for me to bear.