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Moshe Arens, Jabotinsky Supporter and Netanyahu Mentor, Dies at 93
By World Israel News
Moshe Arens, former Israeli defense minister, passed away at 93 at his home in Savion
near Tel Aviv on Monday morning. Family surrounded him according to a statement. Arens
lived with his wife, Muriel. Four children and grandchildren survive him.
Arens, who served three times as Israel's defense minister and once as minister of foreign
affairs, was instrumental in bringing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu into the Likud
fold. In 1982, when Arens was appointed an ambassador to the United States, he brought
along Netanyahu, then 32, as his protégé. Similarly, in 1988, when Arens was
appointed the minister of foreign affairs, he brought Netanyahu along as his deputy.
On Monday, Netanyahu released a statement describing Arens as "my teacher and mentor" and
saying he'd visited Arens only a few weeks ago. "He was lucid as always, sharp as a razor,
marvelous in the splendor and nobility of his soul, an exemplar. There was no greater
patriot. Moshe Arens' great contribution to our people and our state will be remembered
Arens was born in 1925 in Latvia, Politically precocious, he joined the
Revisionist-Zionist movement when he was still in elementary school. When his family
immigrated to the United States in 1939 and settled in New York, he remained a politically
active Revisionist as a member of its youth movement Betar. Arens was present at the
Hunter, New York Betar camp where Revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky died in 1940.
A mechanical engineer who studied at MIT, Arens went on to teach at Israel's prestigious
Technion in the 1950s after moving to Israel, and in 1962, he became chief engineer of
Israel Aerospace Industries. Arens wrote several books, including a memoir In Defense of
Israel, published in 2018, and Flags Over the Warsaw Ghetto in 2011, a book which sought
to reconstruct the heroism of fighters from the Revisionist wing of the Zionist movement
who fought in that April 1943 uprising, but whose contributions were erased or ignored by
The Reform Movement Sabotages the Jewish-Gentile Symbiosis
By IsraelNationalNews.com (Op-Ed by Rafael Castro)
The Reform Movement takes pride in interpreting the Torah in what it considers a more
tolerant and open-minded way. Since the mid-19th century, this has meant stripping Judaism
and Jewish life of ritual commandments.
The result has been to turn most Diaspora Jews into Noahides effectively. That is, into
ethical monotheists. This appears to be harmless until we remember that according to
Judaism, Noahides are supposed to be Gentiles - not Jews!
Jews are meant to be a priestly nation and to take over a more challenging and
rewarding relationship with God. This allows Jews to serve as a light unto the
nations and gradually draw all of humanity towards biblical morality and the worship of
one God. The Seven Noahide Commandments intended for all humankind are: Not to worship
idols; not to curse God; to establish courts of justice; not to commit murder; not to
commit adultery or sexual immorality; not to steal; not to eat flesh torn from a living
animal (i.e. not to gratuitously hurt animals).
Jewish denominational differences have global reverberations. If the Reform Movement
hadn't co-opted Noahism, religious Jews might be able to successfully draw millions of
people disenchanted with Christianity, Islam and agnosticism to the seven Noahide
commandments that God enjoined upon all of humanity. This would promote the universal
message of Judaism and facilitate the accomplishment of the Jewish people's historical
Religious Jews in the Diaspora cannot do this. If they did persuade more non-Jews about
the merits and truth inherent in the Noahide commandments, these Gentiles might end up in
Reform temples, where they would be induced to think that Noahism is Judaism and that
Judaism is Noahism.
However, there has never been any requirement in Judaism to join the Jewish people in
order to embrace ethical monotheism. That is why centuries before the emergence of the
Reform Movement, synagogues in the Eastern Mediterranean attracted Gentile God-fearers.
These God-fearers embraced Jewish ethics and Jewish theology, without surrendering their
national, linguistic and cultural identities.
A representative of Reform Jews might object to this argument, claiming that religious
Jews should promote Noahism irrespective of how similar Reform credo and Noahism are.
Indeed, this argument might be legitimate in 50 years when most Reform Jews will be
halakhic Gentiles. In the meantime, it is clear that any Jewish efforts to promote Noahism
in the Diaspora will add to the number of Gentiles who convert via Reform clergy. These
conversions would, however, be regrettable since they aggravate the misunderstanding and
misconceptions on what constitutes Jewish peoplehood, thus further dividing the Jewish
It would be wonderful if in the 21st century, irrespective of language, nation and race,
the whole human family embraced the Noahide commandments. Expecting ethical monotheists to
join the fold of Judaism is misguided. Both Jews and Gentiles best fulfill our mission if
we accept the commandments assigned to us as God's priestly nation and God's lay children
respectively. Unfortunately, diluting Judaism sabotages the spiritual symbiosis between
Jews and Gentiles. This harms the advancement of humanity and ultimately the
attainment of universal peace.
(Rafael Castro is a Yale and Hebrew University educated business and political analyst based in Europe and politicians. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Where Did All the Jews from the Arab World Go?
Some quarter million Jews emigrated from Arab countries in the years surrounding 1948,
with the establishment of the State of Israel. Most came to Israel and helped build the
country, but thousands more immigrated to other countries and established Sephardic Jewish
communities, sometimes in unusual places.
A study conducted by Beit Hatfutsot on behalf of Ynet sheds some light on the matter. Jews
began leaving Arab countries even before the establishment of Israel, and more left as the
conflict between the Arab countries and the nascent Jewish state intensified.
From some countries, the process was quick and most of their Jewish population left within
a few short years. But in others, it was a drawn-out process in which the Jews left in
various waves. The bottom line is that of the million or so Jews who lived in Arab
countries in 1947, only a few thousand are left today. Hundreds of years of history
disappeared, almost instantaneously.
As opposed to most Moroccan Jews who left quietly, Jews of other countries did not have
such an option. In Yemen and Iraq, most Jews left in operations organized by the State of
Israel, often with the assistance of local Zionist movements. Many of those who did not
join the mass exodus was left behind until this very day.
For most Jews, Israel was the natural and preferred destination. The excitement stemming
from the very establishment of an independent Jewish state in the land of Israel was
immense and was articulated the realization of generations of longing and prayers for the
return to Zion, out of a desire to be part of the Zionist enterprise.
There were other factors as well, often personal. Those who had family members who were
already settled in other countries and were capable of financially supporting their
relatives often joined them instead of immigrating to Israel.
Also, wealthy or well-educated families, such as those who mastered English or French or
had professions that would enable them to integrate into western countries easily, often
preferred to immigrate to countries other than Israel, at least initially.
The 6,000 or so Jews who lived in Libya in 1967 were transported to Italy due to the
dangers they faced following the 1967 Six-Day War. Most of them then immigrated to Israel.
Some Jewish communities from Arab lands left and settled in other countries long before
the State of Israel was established. Jews from Morocco settled in the Amazon in northern
Brazil and Peru during the 19th-century rubber boom.
The Sephardic community in the Canadian province of Quebec numbers some 25,000 today,
mostly in Montreal. Many Jews left Morocco in the late 1950s and as French speakers found
a home in the French-Canadian province.
Jews from Syria settled in various communities in Latin America, such as Mexico City,
Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Panama, around the turn of the 20th century. There were also
communities of Jews from Iraq who settled in India and the Far East, or in England, where
Yemenite Jews from Aden settled.
In most of the places where the Jews settled they established a traditional synagogue and
made an effort to preserve the religious and cultural customs from their land of origin.
Their customs served as an anchor to preserve their identity among the subsequent
As for language, many Jews spoke a unique Jewish-Arabic dialect which was different from
that of Jews from other locations. The Baghdad dialect was different from that of the Jews
of Tunis or Yemen. In countries that were colonized by France, many Jews adopted the
French language. Many of those locations had Jewish schools founded by the Alliance
Israélite Universelle, a Paris-based international Jewish organization founded the
French statesman Adolphe Crémieux to safeguard the human rights of Jews around the
Most first-generation emigrants continued speaking their native language, at least at
home. In Israel however, there was immense pressure to learn and adopt Hebrew. Arabic
speakers were also viewed with suspicion, as it was this language of the enemy.
Consequently, most first generation immigrants abandoned their mother tongue, aside from a
few words and expressions, and failed to pass it on to the next generation.
In general, Jews who immigrated to Latin America adopted Spanish (or Portuguese in Brazil)
and Jews in the United States adopted the English language. In recent years, there has
been a renewed interest by many in the language of their ancestors and some have begun
using the languages spoken by their parents or grandparents in their origin countries.
While most Yemenite Jews immigrated en masse to Israel, Jews from Egypt dispersed around
the world. More than 15,000 Egyptian Jews settled in South America, the reason being that
Egyptian Jews left in a number of waves, influenced by a variety of factors affecting the
community as well as the connections formed with the different destination countries over
The Jews who remained in Egypt for financial reasons lost all, or most, of their
possessions when Nasser nationalized the property of the wealthy in 1961. Following
Egypt's defeat in the Six Day War, there were anti-Jewish disturbances and all but 2,000
Jews left the country.
There are many Jews of Tunisian or Moroccan origin in Israel, but most Algerian Jews
settled in France; some 130,000 compared to only 30,000 who chose to settle in Israel. In
France, the Jews mostly settled in Marseilles, Paris and Strasbourg. Algeria was distinct
from the other North African French colonies in that it was like France proper and its
Jews carried French citizenship.
Dr. Yosef Sharvit, a lecturer at Bar Ilan University and an expert on Algerian Jewish
history, explains that Algerian Jews were the only ones among the Diaspora communities to
be criticized for not immigrating en masse to Israel.
The Jews of Syria can be divided into two separate communities: the Jews of Damascus
(Shami) and the Jews of Aleppo (Halabi) and each have their traditions. Jews from Aleppo
began immigrating to Mexico in 1912 and established the Magen David synagogue and
community. Those that remained in Syria were more inclined to Zionism, and many moved to
Israel before 1948, some even as early as the 19th century.
Many Syrian Jews left the country during the 19th century due to a deteriorating economy.
The opening of the Suez Canal eliminated the traditional land routes for trade and
affected many Jewish businesspeople. At first, many Jews moved to Beirut (then still part
of the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire) and from there to Egypt where the economy
was boosted by the canal, before leaving to western countries. Those that remained in
Syria after 1948 had difficulty leaving the country. Only in 1992 did the Assad regime
allow Jews to emigrate freely, and most left.
Iraq had one of the most ancient Jewish communities in the world. In 1948, the community
was relatively prosperous and had a profound impact on the local culture, and many did not
think of leaving. But after Israel's declaration of independence, Iraq sent troops to
fight alongside the invading Arab countries, and anti-Jewish sentiments soared. Local Jews
were persecuted, blackmailed and many were accused of espionage and fired from civil
The Iraqi government allowed Jews to emigrate, mistakenly believing that only a handful
would leave, but most of those who left lost much of their property. About half of those
who remained eventually settled in London. When Saddam Hussein came to power almost all of
the remaining Jews fled to Iran (under the Shah) and then to Israel.
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