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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 forever." 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 political opponents.

The Reform Movement Sabotages the Jewish-Gentile Symbiosis

By (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 mission. 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 world. 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

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 generations. 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 world. 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 years. 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 service jobs. 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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