Sunday, June 30, 2013

Israel: That Speck on the Map That Is So Beyond the Norm

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

Why should so much attention be given to 8,000 square miles of land called Israel?  Florida is 8 times larger.   Many are lamenting the fact that it could be the downfall of the world today with the battle between the Palestinians and the Israelis.  It only has about 8 million population, 6 million being Jews.  Such a tiny place to cause a whole lot of whoopity doo seems unfathomable.

Moses, an adopted Israelite in Egypt, was called to lead the 600,000 slaves out of Egypt and felt the supernatural power over natural forces when he was trying to get the Pharaoh to agree to letting the slaves go after holding them for 400 years. That was 16 generations of enslavement of a people.   He himself possessed a supernatural power or influence that seemingly came from a supernatural source which he conceded was our one and only G-d.  So there were special things happening in this land.
This is the land that has birthed Judaism, for it was Moses who introduced it to the Israelite slaves and the others who accompanied them out of Egypt on their 40 year trek.   From here was also birthed Christianity who the Christians believe was because that Jesus was born to a Jewish teenager, Mary and her older Jewish husband, Joseph.  For the Christians, Jesus was the son of G-d who was the birth father and it is to him that they pray.
This is the land that the Arab nations coveted.  Israel is located on the crossroads between Asia and Africa, and  between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.  It's location has made the Land of Israel an object of imperial ambitions throughout history.  Ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans and British have all crossed the Land on their way to further conquest.  It is indeed the crossroads of the world.
                                               Israel, Judea and Samaria, Jordan
Today, the world is just a few hours away from Israel.  Mountains and plains, city and villages, fertile fields and desert of Israel are often minutes apart from each other.  Israel can be crossed by car from went to east in 90 minutes!  On the Mediterranean Coast to the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are but one hour apart.  Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea to Eilat on the Red Sea are only 5 hours apart.  These short distances mean that Israelis are familiar with their country and are involved in what happens in different parts of it.

Israel is 263 miles long and from 9 to 71 miles wide.  In contrast, 5.3 million square miles belong to the oil-rich Arab nations.  Yet they have no room or jobs at their inns for the Palestinians.

From Jerusalem to Haifa are 94 miles.
            "                Tel Aviv are 38 miles
           "                Jericho  are   21 miles
          "                Bethlehem are 5 miles
          "                Beersheba are 54 miles
From Tel Aviv to  Haifa       are 59 miles
                            Beersheba are 67 miles
                           Gaza are         48 miles
from Beersheba to Eilat are       146 miles.
Israel lives on the edge of the desert.  A large part of Israel is made up of the Negev, mostly desert.  Jerusalem is on the threshold of the Judaean Desert.    Its northern part is a prairie and the southern part is mountainous.  The Sinai Desert has throughout history been the region separating the Land of Israel from the Land of Egypt.  Israel had turned into swamps if not desert land and had mosquitoes and malaria to stave off when the 1st and 2nd Aliyot (Jews from Russia, eastern Europe) came to settle in the 1880's and on.

In biblical times, much of the Land of Israel was covered with forests.  In the centuries since 70 CE and especially during the Middle Ages, many forests were destroyed by nomads and their goats and some by the Turks as fuel for their military trains.   Israel has planted trees during the past 50 years.  Of the ancient forests, very few survive, mainly in the Galilee.  In 1948 there were 4,388,000 trees in Israel.  In 1970-71, there were 103,000,000 trees, almost all planted by the Jewish National Fund.

The boundaries of the Promised Land was given to us by Moses as written in the Torah.  I note that the land from Transjordan from the river Arnon to Mt. Hermon, and to the Valley of Iyon was to be part of Israel along with the rest of the description. Its total surface in the Torah was 17,500 square miles of which about 45% was in Transjordan.  It included most of Syria and altogether covered about 58,000 square miles.  This entire area was occupied by the Israelites under Kings David and Solomon.

The Jewish National Home under the British Mandate embraced  the area west of the Jordan River (Judea and Samaria) excluding part of the Upper Galilee north of the ladder of Tyre which was given to Lebanon.  The southern Negev beyond the Rafiah-gulf of Eleath line had been handed over by the Turkish government to Egypt for administration in 1906.  The UN resolution of November 29, 1947 recommended the establishment of a Jewish state in the larger part of the mandated area of western Palestine, although still with a complex frontier.  The armistice agreements of 1949 left Israel with 8,000 square miles, a larger area than envisioned, although still with complicated borders.  Judea and Samaria were left in Jordan's hands who had taken it illegally during the fighting in 1948 outside of the armistice agreements.

After the 1967 Six Day War, Israel was in occupation of all of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and the Sinai up to the Suez Canal.  Sinai was returned to Egypt in the early 1980's.

 Modern Israel has never known permanent boundaries.  Until 1967, its boundaries were made of temporary armistice lines, agreed upon in 1949.  Since 1967, and pending a peace settlement, cease-fire lines demarcate the area under Israeli control.  The cease-fire lines are 523 miles long, compared with the armistice lines which were 570 miles long.  Most of the urban regions of Israel are less than 2 hours away from the  nearest cease-fire lines.  Before 1967, the armistice lines bisected Jerusalem and were 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv.

Because Israel lives on the edge of the desert, its civilization has been pre-occupied throughout history with the supply of water.  In 1972, Israel and the USA signed an agreement for the establishment of 2 water desalination plants in Israel--the one in Eilat and a much larger one in Ashdod.  The technique to be used in these plants were developed by an Israel Government engineering corporation.  an experimental station was  established in San Diego, California as part of the agreement.

As Moses was blessed by G-d to be given so much knowledge to the Israelites, so the Jewish people have been blessed with creative minds and have continued to give to the world much that they daily create.  Israel  is the 2nd highest start-up nation in the world, creating more jobs in an economic stalemate.  Medical creations of benefit to the world come from here.  You are not to lament for Israel's creation.  Be generous in your praise for her and wish peace be upon her.  You are surely to benefit.

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Facts About Israel  by the division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Four Jewish Beauties in India's Beauty Contests

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

Four beautiful Jewish women have represented India in beauty contests.  This is quite a feat considering there are only 5,000 Jews out of 1.3 billion Indians. Of these, 3,000 lived in Bombay and the rest in 9 other communities.   Probably the Muslim population is low because most moved to Pakistan which was carved out of British India on August 14, 1947.  Many of the Jews have gone into the film industry in India. DNA testing shows that many of the men are descended from Aaron, Moses's brother, as they carry the Ydna haplogroup J1. Since the Y does not show up in a female's test, this has to be their father's haplgroup.  There is a female mtdna haplgroup and J1 is in that, but with different meaning.  "7% of Jewish women are found to be J1, (Jasmine) which originated about 40,000-45,000 years ago in central Asia and is associated with the spread of farming and herding in Europe during the Neolithic Period beginning 10,000 years ago. It’s common in the Middle East and among Jews."  

80.5% of the people of India practice Hinduism
13.4% are Muslims
 2.3% are Christians
1.9% are Sikhs
0.8% are Buddhists
0.4% are Jainists
0.0? are Jews
In 1947, Esther Victoria Abraham was chosen Miss India.  She was Jewish from Baghdadi and was a film actress known as Pramila.  "In the late 18th century, Arabic-speaking Jews, who became known as Baghdadi,  immigrated to southern India, constituting what became known as a third community.

On March 12, 1967, her daughter, Naqi Jahan,  was chosen as Miss India.  Though considered Jewish because of having a Jewish mother, her father was a Muslim actor, Kumar ne Syed Hasan Ali. and she was raised as a Muslim.   Their son was raised as a Muslim also and is also an actor in Bollywood.
Fleur Ezekiel of Bene Israel was chosen as Miss World in 1959. She was a model.   Bene Israel (sons of Israel) claim to be one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.  It is a historic Jewish community in India.  Assyria had attacked the Jews of Israel and had taken away many of 10 of the  12 tribes in 721 BCE which is when they might have made it to India.  "It is estimated that there were 6,000 Bene Israel in the 1830s; 10,000 at the turn of the 20th century; and in 1948—their peak in India—they numbered 20,000.  Many have now moved to Israel.  I met one beautiful lady there dressed in a sari, and she was indeed beautiful.  They were found in the neighborhood of Bombay.  Ethnically, they are Indian, and their origin is uncertain until DNA testing can uncover their origin.  By the 18th century their Jewish observance was at a low ebb, but they have since returned to a whole-hearted observance of Judaism.  Some of them, such as the Sassoon family, have attained great prominence.  There were 3,00 Bene Israel in 1948.  European Jews including German refugees settled in some numbers during the late period of British rule.  During the Middle Ages there were Jewish communities in Calicut and other places.  In the 16th century, hidden Jews (ex-Marranos, an unacceptable name) and their descendants came to live there through London or Amsterdam.  Jews even migrated to Madras where there was an organized congregation.
Salome Aaron, Jewish,  was chosen Miss India in 1972.  She has a Hindu husband.

Jews were in Cochin, India and said they originated from the time of King Solomon in 950 BCE.   Their emigration is recorded from the time of 70CE with the fall of Jerusalem.  "They settled in the state of Kerala. Becoming known as the Malabari Jews, they built synagogues in Kerala beginning in the 12th and 13th centuries and developed Judeo-Malayalam, a dialect of Malayalam language.

Following the expulsion from Iberia in 1492, a few families of Sephardic Jews eventually made their way to Cochin in the 16th century. They became known as Paradesi Jews (or White Jews). The European Jews maintained some trade connections to Europe, and their language skills were useful. Although the Sephardim spoke Ladino, in India they learned Judeo-Malayalam from the Malabar Jews.[4] The two communities retained their ethnic distinctions. After India gained its independence in 1947 and Israel was established as a nation, most Cochin Jews emigrated from Kerala to Israel in the mid-1950s. Most of their synagogues have been sold and adapted for other uses. The Paradesi Synagogue in still has a congregation and also attracts tourists as an historic site."

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia  India

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jon Stuart on Egyptian TV with Satirist Bassem Youssef's Show

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

John Stuart, born as Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, American Jewish political satirist, born November 28, 1962 in New York City, has been in Cairo, Egypt for the past 2 weeks.  Jon was invited onto Egypt's TV show with Bassem Youssef, another satirist.  Jon  spoke some Arabic when he came out on stage like Shohran (thank you).  He seemed to be a big hit as you can check out if you go to the website listed below which includes a video of the program.

However, he said something that was taken fairly quietly on the program but wasn't evidently appreciated  by the Muslim religious censors when he said that,   “As you know my people like to wander the desert, that’s what I’m doing now…it’s been two weeks, I’ve got 38 years and 50 weeks left.”  Of course, this was in reference to Moses and the Israelite slaves wandering during the Exodus for 40 years.  The Muslims were hep to why Moses had to wander for so long, being Israel is right next door to Egypt.  It was because the spies that Moses sent out were not faithful enough to the move and 2 reported back that they thought it was going to be too hard for them to accomplish.  It's considered a sin, and that's the way the Koran takes it.  They were not happy with the comment which I'm still trying to figure out how it is an affront to them.   I kid all the time using this as the reason I have no sense of direction and am always getting lost.  I thought it was genetic!  

Jon has had some experiences that he talked about.  One was of an Iranian friend in the film making-business that he contacted not knowing he was in Iran at the time of their revolution in the 90's.  

Just for this visit, Jon grew a beard and mustache.  He was led onto the stage with a black covering over his head which was whipped off to show who he was; a star-Jon Stewart!  

It was amazing to me that people in Cairo knew and laughed with Jon Stewart.  It shouldn't have surpised me since I was told that NCIS was seen in Syria.  Our culture does get around.  Satire is good.  Jon said if a government is sound, satire is not going to hurt it.  It doesn't kill anyone.  It's just words; but boy, words are as powerful as guns, Jon, sometimes even stronger.  Nice to see the the in house-audience was very receptive and that Jon has been treated royally.  

Update: 6/30/13 Resource:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Jewish Perspective on Rape

Nadene Goldfoot                                            
Going back to the 2nd millennium BCE to Abraham, we know that his son was Isaac and grandson was Jacob.  Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter, Dinah, whose mother was Jacob's first wife, Leah.    The family was living in the town of  Shechem, a part of Canaan and Dinah was raped by the chief or prince of Shechem named Shechem, who was the son of Hamor, the Hivite of one of the 7 nations occupying Canaan.   Dinah had been on her way to visit some Canannite women and was walking through fields alone.  Now,  to be raped by the head of the city is in any city of today a  serious accusation.  Who's going to believe you?  He has friends.  Jacob and his family were new immigrants into the land as far as the Canaanites of Shechem were concerned.

This was an event of 4,000 years ago.  What happened was that the family had to take the punishment for it into their own hands  Dinah had 12 brothers, but 2 of her 6 full brothers, Simeon, 2nd child and Levi, 3rd child,  avenged her by slaughtering all the men of Shechem.  Then they carried off the women and children and took their goods and livestock as spoils of the attack as revenge.  Dinah was young and so were her brothers.  They had not consulted with their father about doing this.  Notice that they never thought or considered that Dinah had brought disgrace upon her family, it was the other way around.  She was not blamed, the rapist was.

As it was, Shechem decided he wanted to marry Dinah, who was beautiful,  and asked his father to take him to her home.  Jacob would not have given Dinah to Shechem for marriage because he was from a different culture and was uncircumcised.  He would have to look for a suitable husband for Dinah among a Jewish  community, as they were the first into Canaan.  Her brothers were against this idea of marriage with Shechem and his people and they tricked Shechem and the other men to become circumcised.  While they were recovering, the brothers attacked them.  At the time, Dinah was in Shechem's house but was freed after the attack.

Jacob was appalled at his 2 son's reaction to Dinah's rape because he feared the reprisal of the whole country of Canaan for this, but Simeon and Levi said they didn't expect their sister to be treated like a whore.  Here we see the difference in the cultures.  Women were on a higher level in Abraham's family than with the Canaanites whose women could be expected to be taken and used at any time by leaders of the community.  It still sounds like the Neanderthals in the book by Jean M. Auel, "Clan of the Cave Bear, where this happened to the main character, Ayla.  and thus became pregnant eventually.  Jacob then took his family to Beth-el.  Rachel, the younger sister of Leah,  died on the way in childbirth with Benjamin.  Jacob's family stopped and settled in Migdal-eder.

The biblical patriots had camped under its walls upon entering with Joshua.  Shechem later became the land for Ephraim, son of Joseph and his 2nd wife, Rachel and Ephraim's wife, Asenath.  It was a levitical city and a city of refuge as well as the center of the House of Joseph.

Shechem is today's Nablus, which during 1948-1967 was controlled by Jordan.  Today it is under the control of  Israel and ruled by the PA.  It's earliest walls date back to 2,000 BCE.  It was under Egyptian control during Egypt's 12 dynasty.

Today the age of consent in Israel is 16.  Rape after this age is statutory rape.  It is treated as a felony and calls for being in prison for 16 years.  If one rapes a relative the punishment is doubled to 32 years of prison. Jewish women have always been treated with more respect than in other cultures.

"In cases of rape, a woman is generally presumed not to have consented to the intercourse, even if she enjoyed it, even if she consented after the sexual act began and declined a rescue! This is in sharp contrast to American society, where even today rape victims often have to overcome public suspicion that they "asked for it" or "wanted it." Traditional Judaism recognizes that forced sexual relations within the context of marriage are rape and are not permitted; in many states in America today, rape within marriage is still not a crime. " (from Judaism 101)

Sweden, on the other hand, has very lenient laws pertaining to rape.  Their rape crimes are the highest in Europe.  They just had  a gang rape this month of a 15 year old girl by 6 Muslim teenagers, also aged 15 and 16 that happened just outside of Stockholm.  The punishment was a fine equal to $8,500 to be paid to the victim and a few days of community service.  This will be followed up by social service.  Italy's age of consent is 14, and Japan is 16.  Sweden's history is one of being Vikings, raiding and pillaging and rape must have been a part of it, so they don't see harming women as such a terrible offense, evidently.  Maybe that's why my 18 year old grandmother emigrated and came to the USA in 1888.  That could be one good reason since she traveled with an older sister and her young son.

The state of Oregon in the USA has a complicated laws concerning rape, but the age of consent is 18.  3rd degree is rape under age 16 and that calls for probation or jail or prison.  2nd degree rape is that under 14 and calls for a prison term.  1st degree rape is under the age of 12 or a forced rape or with a relative or someone with a mental defect.

Tanakh, Genesis 34 (1-31)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jews of Latvia or Jews Outside the Pale

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                       

Latvia is a Baltic Republic. Courland, being close to Riga,  was made up of two sections called Piltene or Pilten and Courland.  The Livonian Knights took control of the region in the 12th Century made up of local tribes and they forbid Jews to settle in their kingdom.

 In 1561, however, Jews from East Prussia were allowed to live in Piltene but not in the rest of Courland.  Piltene Jews created great communities and were prominent traders and businessmen.   Piltene had valuable ports on the Baltic Sea and was owned by the head of the Church of Courland and was traded many times in ownership.

The first Jews arrived in Piltene about 1571 after the Bishop sold the land to the King of Poland who then gave it to his brother, the Duke Magnuss von Holstein.  Piltene became a sort of island within the province of Courland which led to many military conflicts until Poland bought it in 1585.   Jews have lived in Courland from the 16th century.  In the 17th century the Jews who came from Germany gradually settled in different areas of Kurzeme and Zemgale. They became the inhabitants of the German Duchy of Kurzeme,  the feudal territory of Poland. The Duchy often saw Jewish merchants from Poland and Lithuania. After the subjugation of Riga to Sweden, the Jews became the main mediators in trade with Poland-Lithuania. The dukes of Kurzeme were interested in the immigration of Jews, as they needed Jewish loans to carry out their business undertakings and Jewish skill in dealing with financial matters

Jews came to settle in the 1700's from Prussia and Lithuania.  Latvia had a war that lasted from 1700 to 1721 which decimated their population.  .Courland Jews were treated well until 1713 when they were expelled form the province.  In 1717 every Jew was forced to pay an annual tax of 2 talers, and then it was doubled in 1719. The Jews then made a deal with the duchy which allowed them to live there for the price of 400 talers.  This lasted until 1760 when  the duchy forced the Jews out of the province.   From 1727 to 1738, the government ordered the expulsion of the Jews, but never carried it out entirely.  Jews were labeled as foreigners and faced persecution, especially from competing merchants and craftsmen.

2,000 Jews of Piltene lived there  in 1795 when it was annexed to Russia. At the time, there were 4,581 Jewish males in Courland.  By 1799, the Russian Emperor Paul gave the Jews of Courland full Russian citizenship, but they had to pay double taxes.  They took part in the government and integrated into German society.   Courland Jews identified with German Jewish culture and the majority spoke German.  A dialect of German called "Courland Yiddish" also developed.  

In 1835, Courland and Livland were excluded from being a part of the Pale of Settlement where Jews were forced to live and had been excluded from Russia.  Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland  made up the Pale.  This was created by Catherine II in 1791.  The borders had been restricted by the oppressive "Statute Concerning the Jews" of 1835.  In the mid 1850's, despite restrictions on citizenship, Jews from the Pale managed to flee to Courland to escape suffering.

As a result of these restrictions, the May Laws were created in 1882 where Jews were excluded from rural areas inside the Pale as well.  This caused Jewish economic development to be severely damaged.  The Pale wasn't abolished until August 1915, and only legally in March 1917.  The population was 51,072, and on the eve of WWI, had climbed to 68,000.  No wonder there was an influx of Jewish immigrants to the USA.

During WWI, Jews were blamed for Russian military defeats, saying Jews had committed treason.  That was the same claim on Lt. Dryfuss in France.  The Jews were then expelled from western Courland in May 1915 and about 40,000 Jews were forced to leave the province.  By 1918, Courland was incorporated into the independent Republic of Latvia.  Some refugees and exiles returned.  In 1919, Latvia achieved independence and national minorities had autonomy until 1931. By 1925 there were only 22,548 Jews in the province.   The Jews were able to develop a Hebrew and Yiddish school system which was divided into Orthodox, Zionist and Yiddish trends.

Jews had also settled in Latgalia, the SW part of Latvia.  Their history is the same as Jews of Lithuania, Belorussia and the Polish kingdoms. " The first Jewish families arrived in Latgale in the 16th century as they fled the repressions of Ivan the Terrible's  troops. The families settled in the present-day Krāslava District. A considerable number of Jews immigrated to Latgale in the middle of the 17th century. They were refugees from the Ukraine and Belarus, where bloody massacres of Jews took place during the uprising headed by Bogdan Hmelnitsky. Polish authorities allowed the persecuted Jews to settle permanently in Latgale and to occupy themsel­ves with craftmanship, trade and money lending, and to become their tenants. According to approximate estimations, in the late 17th century Latgale might have had about 2000 permanent Jewish residents. Dau­gavpils and Krāslava experienced the development of Jewish communities."  Jews settled there in the early 17th century after severe pogroms in Poland from 1605 to 1639, and then again in 1648 to 1653.  These Jewish refugees spoke Yiddish.  At the end of the Polish rule in 1766, some 2,996 Jews lived in Latgalia.

 It was under Russian control in 1772.  Then,  5,000 Jews lived there, but by 1784, the number was reduced to 3,700.  Latgalia was divided in 1802 when the Vitebsk region became part of the Pale of Settlement.  Jews had to leave rural areas and live in cities or small shtetlach where they faced double taxes.  By 1847 the popultion had grown to 11,000.  They followed the Eastern European Orthodoxy tradition and were not as influenced by hashkala as the rest of the country.

In 1940 there were 85,000 mostly very poor Jews living here and then Russia overran Latvia and deported those belonging to the wealthy classes or intelligentsia to Northern Russia.  In 1941 Latvia was conquered by the Germans who established ghettos at Riga, Dvinsk, Libau,and other places and killed most all the Jews.

After the war, over 30,000 Jews returned to Latvia but about 1/3 of those immigrated to Israel.  The population in Latvia in 1989 was about 22,897 Jews.

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Additional Demographics of Jews in Israel Including Ways of Living in Different Places

Nadene Goldfoot                                                             

Kibbutz Degania Alef was established on the Sea of Galilee in 1908 from nearby Kinneret and started with 20 but had a population of 590 by 1990.  During the Israel War of Independence, Syrian troops reached the edge of the kibbutz and an old man and young girl of the kibbutz  held them off, who left this tank.  Talk about miracles!  
How good and how pleasant it is that brethren dwell together. (Bible, Psalms, 133.1)
One of the arguments that some Muslims are using against Jews establishing Israel is that they aren't people from the Middle East, which is completely unfounded.  Jews have been in the Middle East and in Eretz Yisrael being we came from Abraham from Isaac just like Ishmael did.  Abraham goes back to the 2nd millennium BCE.  Before Abraham was in Canaan, he came from Ur, which is a city in Iraq.  The Middle East is our homeland.

 The difference is that Jews had been forced to scatter at different periods of their history and some did live in Europe and gained a Western perspective of philosophy of living while the Arabs did not.  Leading Muslim leaders had found this background of having feet in both camps a plus in their coming back as it could only help their own people bridge that difference and uplift their own existence.  Others found this frightening and too competitive for them. As for religion, both believe in one G-d.  Islam teaches much of what is found in Judaism.  This seems to me to be a power struggle that is going on.

Israel did regain its independence to become a Homeland for what remained of the  Jewish people on May 14, 1948.  The majority of its population are Jews.  It is, however, a pluralist society where the different cultures and social traditions coexist.  Not only are the Jews from far and wide and come in different colors from different cultures, but  other peoples  are also residing in Israel with them.
The origins of the Jewish population of Israel by 1972 came from 3 sources.  27.1% came from people born in Europe and the Americas. They would be a mixture of Sephardis and Ashkenazis, as the USA was first settled by Sephardis.  25.7% came from people born in Asia and Africa, which were mainly Arab countries. At the onset of Israel, these people were forced out of their Middle Eastern homes and most made aliyah to Israel.  47.2% were Sabras, which means people that were born in Israel.  They would be a mixture of Ashkenazi and Sephardi origins.

The majority of Israeli Jews were born in Israel or other Middle Eastern countries.  Only about 1/4 of Israeli Jews were born in Europe and the Americas.

By 1972, Jews were 85.2%, Arabs, Druzes and others were 14,8%, Locally born Jews (Sabras) were 47.2%, Jews from Asia-Africa wee 25,7%, and Jews from Europe-America were 27.1%.
                                                The Israeli Mosaic of Peoples
During the 11 years between the census of May 1961 and May 1972, the population grew by 944,500 people.  That shows a growth of 44%.  Out of this growth, 629,500 was by natural increase and 315,000 was by immigration.  During Israel's first decade, the number of immigrants exceeded the number of births in Israel.  That was because from 1948 to 1958, most  people were survivors of the holocaust and were displaced persons.  Sephardim and Mizrachim were forced out of their Middle East homes and needed to emigrate to Israel.  Ashkenazim emigrated from Europe to Israel who were survivors.

Israel's population as of May 1948 was 650,000.
By 1952 it was..................................1,629,500
By 1960 it was..................................2,150,400
By 1970 it was..................................3,001,400
By 2013 it was .................................8,012,400

By 1972 the communities of Israel came from basically 4 sources:
      1. Jews made up 85.2% of the population with 2,636,600.
          Jews made up 75.4% of the population with 6,037,700 by March 2013.
     2. Muslims made up 11.1% with 343,900.
         Muslims made up 20.6% with 1,656,600 by March 2013.
     3. Christians made up 2.4% with 77,300.  By the year 2,000, there were 130,000 Christians in Israel, or 2.1% of the total population.  Out of this group, 107,000 were Arabs and 23,000 non-Arabs, many of who came to Israel with their Jewish spouses, mainly during the waves of immigration in the early 1980s and from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.  (Dateline:  World Jewry from World Jewish Congress)
     4. Druzes and others made up 1.3% with 37,300.
        Others make up 4% of the population with 318,100 by March 2013.

Since May 15, 1948, Israel has welcomed home almost a million and a half Jews by 1972.  More than half of them had been forced to flee from the Arab countries.  Since then, Jews from the free and affluent countries are coming home to be a part of Israel's life and development so are contributing.  Soviet Jews were not allowed to practice their religion and came to settle.  Thousands of Russian Jews had to overcome every imaginable obstacle to reach Israel.  When I made Aliyah in 1980, I was in a class of 40 immigrants of which many were from Russia.  People who immigrate to Israel are called the olim.

Most of the needy olim came from their tribulations and duress, and had few resources to get there and funds from Jews throughout the world aided them in their transportation.  They came without skills and the government housed and trained them as well as found employment for these newcomers.  Ethiopians were brought to Safed in the 80's.

People making aliyah today are motivated by a voluntary decision to make their home in Israel and share in the remaking of the Jewish Commonwealth.  Many come with skills and professions and only need help in their integration to the society which the Jewish Agency provides.  All people go through a 3 month intensive Hebrew course.  Teachers are to live at the Absorption Centers and study for 10 months.  English is a required course in all schools.  Students  also take either Arabic or French in jr high and high school.  Newspapers are available in English and in easy Hebrew with the vowels.

Jews have been deprived from working on the land since they were deprived of their country from 70 CE.  The return to the land has created 800 villages by 1972.  This was started in 1880 with the First Aliyah when young Russians returned and had to drain the swamps and fight malaria from the mosquitoes.  494 of the villages were founded since the 1950's.  There are 3 main types that are unique to Israel.

1.  Moshava is a village type of the late 19th century based on private land-ownership and private enterprise.  Many of these have expanded into towns or have become partially urbanized because it had its limitations, both economic and social.  56 villages were of this catagory.
2. Kibbutz-Kibbutzim:  The first was kibbutz  Degania Alef, which was established in 1908-1909 on Lake Kinneret by idealistic Jewish pioneers.  Their belief was "From each according to his ability-to each according to his need." Many have been followed by 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations.  All property, except for personal things, are held in common, and work is organized on a collective basis.  Service tasks are asssigned in rotation to all members.  They have communal dining-halls, kitchens and stores, social and cultural centers.  I visited several;  Degania and another who had a fantastic dining hall and served great cold borsht.  There were 231 kibbutzim by 1971 and there were 93,000 people living in them which was about 2.8% of the population.

3. Moshav:  This is a village based on the cooperative principle.  The cooperative moshav is where each member family has its own farm but produce is sold and supplies and equipment are bought through a central cooperative.  They work through a council.  They have absorbed a large number of newcomers to Israel from Asia and Africa.  There were 347 moshavim in Israel by 1972 with 123,600 people which was 4.4% of the population of Israel.

Most of Israel's population by 1972 was urban (82.5%).  The rural population continued to grow but became smaller compared to the growing population.  It is interesting that the Talmud in Ketubot 110 said that Living in a metropolis is a hardship.   Most of Israel's population is found in 3 major cities which are at risk in any type of attack; Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.  

Many of Israel's smaller towns go back to biblical, talmudic or mediaeval days.  I lived in Safed which has a rich history.  There are villages that have grown into towns, such as Petah Tikva.  Towns were also established in Mandatory times such as Ramat Gan.  I loved to drive from Safed to  Kiryat Sh'mona, which was closer to the border of Lebanon and was called a development town.  It had a department store in it that reminded me of Macy's.  Beersheba goes back to Bible days and had doubled in size by 1971.  Jews had resettled there after their return from Babylon and remained until 1929 when Arabs attacked the population and occupied it.  In 1948 the Arab population of 5,700 abandoned the town and Jews were able to live there again.  By 1990 the population was 113,200.  

Ashkelon, 56 km (34.8 miles) south of Tel Aviv,  is an ancient city on the shores of the Mediterranean that has welcomed about 43,000 immigrants and residents from about 1993 to 2005's  12 year period which doubled its population so that by March 2005, had over 116,000 people.  35,000 were from the Soviet Union and 3,000 were from Ethiopia.  The rest were from South America, France and other countries.  250 South African families immigrated in 2002-2005.  The temperature here is pleasant year round.  They predict a population of 150,000 by 2020.  80% of the immigrants found work in industry, construction, tourism, trade and services.  Many medical personnel work in Barzilai Medical Center and local health clinics.  They even offer professional retraining courses.  Ashkelon's marina serves as an official international port with mooring for 650 boats of all sizes. The port dates back to the Canaanite period.   It is also a tourist site with its 12 kilometers of magnificent beaches.  .  

Update on Christians: 10/25/16, 7:21am Resource: Facts About Israel 1972, Dividion of Information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Stanley Goldfoot, Chief of Intelligence of Lehi: Two Men of Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                                              

            Grand Mufti of Jerusalem meeting with Hitler November 1941
Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini was born in 1893 and died in 1974.  He was appointed the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the Jewish British High commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel in 1921.  He was also appointed the head of the Supreme Moslem Council at the same time.  This is when Arabs were attacking Jews in Jaffa and Petach Tikvah with the help of  the British officials.  As a result of the attacks,  the British  suspended Jewish immigration.  They used this as the reason why.

Again in 1928 al Husseini incited Arabs to attack Jews at the Wailing Wall (Western Wall)  in Jerusalem.  He went on to incite Arabs to attack Jews in other towns  of Safed and Hebron, two of the four Holy Cities  of Israel.   Jews were massacred in Hebron on August 24,  1929 for which Mufti and his party were responsible.   67 Jews were killed of which 23 were college students. The Arabs were incited by rumors planted that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem.  Many were left wounded or maimed.   Then on August 29, 1929, the Arabs massacred Jews in Safed in the Galilee  "The Mufti of Jerusalem, told his followers that Jews were preparing to take over the Al Aqsa Mosque.   Anti-Jewish riots erupted across Palestine that became known as the 1929 Palestine riots. The Safed pogrom was part of this wave of violence."  Homes were pillaged and synagogues were ransacked.  They rioted and assaulted Jerusalem Jews and many Jewish villages.  This was deliberate religious inflammation.  By now Husseini had made friends with Jack Philby, double agent and spy, a  traitor to Britain who was working in favor of the USA and in creating oil reserves in Saudi Arabia.  Jack converted to Islam to please the Grand Mufti, Husseini.

In 1933 Husseini gave a violent speech against Jewish immigration which caused strikes and anti-Jewish riots.  Hitler came into power at this time.
Stanley Goldfoot was born on May 2, 1914 in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa, and died in 2006 in Jerusalem.   I met this 3rd cousin of mine when he was  67 in 1981 and he was tall and  lanky with a very marked British accent. We met in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel.  I asked how I would know him and he answered, "Don't worry.  I'll know you.!"   He had heard a speech about the Zionist vision by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, which appealed very strongly to him. It was all he needed to hear before packing a bag, leaving a shocked family and heading for Palestine at age 18 after graduating high school. He joined a HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz and had the job of  picking eggplants in the fields  and making floor tiles, called "balatot".

Since he arrived alone without an entry permit, the British police soon shipped him out of the country together with another South African.  In South Africa, he was drafted into the South African Army, where he learned to handle a rifle.

 In 1936 Goldfoot had returned to Israel. On his return trip, the German ship he was on put up the Swastika flag.  He didn't know if he'd make it to shore or not.  He did, and was approached by members of the Stern Group (Lehi) and joined  this underground Revisionist Party (another name for Lehi). It was the Fighters for Freedom of Israel Party, a militant group founded by Avraham Stern.  "Its avowed aim was forcibly evicting the British authorities from Palestine, allowing unrestricted immigration of Jews and the formation of a Jewish state."  Soon he was appointed the Chief of Intelligence for the Stern Group.  He was rubbing elbows with such people as Yitzhak Shamir.

At first opportunity, he returned to Tel Aviv to open the first "School of English" which gave him entry into the British High Society where he was privy to important information from the top echelon of the British Army. He was now able to pass this invaluable information on to other Lehi members.Stanley Goldfoot did this with alacrity, under cover of legitimately representing English and French news. His valuable "press cards" gained him admittance everywhere!  This was when he and many of his Sternists were imprisoned by the British in Acre, which is on the coast of the Mediterranean.  I went through it and saw that they hung some of these young fellows.  It was hot and horrible in there.  Evidently they were yelling and carrying on in there a lot.

He was active in many other activities against the British Mandatory Power, while working in Jerusalem as a respected journalist.  Some of those activities were so sensitive that they were never made public.

In 1936 when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem  was Chairman of the Arab Supreme Council, The Mufti  organized the Palestine disturbances which were anti-Jewish pogroms and riots that were happening all over Palestine.  He hated the Jews and the British.  Arabs were striking with the imported assistance of hired Syrian and Iraqi mercenaries.  This became known as the Arab Revolt.   For this he was sentenced to exile in 1937 which meant 10 years in prison.  Instead, he fled to Lebanon right next door. It was Herbert Samuel, a Jew who had appointed him as the Grand Mufti, who then gave him amnesty.   In return, Husseini managed to cause guerrilla warfare which was supplemented with imported Arab rebels in Palestine in 1938.  They occupied the Old City of Jerusalem.  The Mufti had a plan of systematic extermination of his opponents, the Jews.  In 1939 he had a rival, Nashashibi.  They entered into their own violence and rebellion with 348 dying in the first quarter of that year.  Arab leaders collaborated with the Nazis.  England declared war on Germany and the axis powers.

In 1942, almost all the Sternists, including Goldfoot, had been jailed by the British. Many were hung by them.   Most of them were teenagers.  In 1946, Stanley Goldfoot and the Stern Group were involved in the King David Hotel of Jerusalem being bombed.   Later, on September 17, 1948 they planned and carried out the assassination of Count Bernadotte, who was the U.S. appointed Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden to mediate between the Arabs and the Israelis.  They considered his plan disastrous.

During WWII The Grand Mufti participated in Rashid Ali's pro-Axis coup in Iraq before leaving for Europe, where he helped Hitler and was largely responsible for the liquidation of the Jews in the Moslem areas of Bosnia.  In 1946 he escaped to Egypt.  After 1948, he set up a short-lived "Palestine Government " in Gaza and later in Cairo.

After the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel, Stanley  made aliyah legally in 1956. His main goal became his desire to establish a Zionist English newspaper "The Times of Israel", which eventually appeared on the streets of Israel, New York and the West Coast of the USA. For this purpose, he even spent a year in New York to raise funds to promote his newspaper.

In the first issue of the "Times of Israel", Stanley Goldfoot wrote his famous controversial "Letter to the World from Jerusalem", which at the time, caused a huge stir. His article is still relevant. Stanley had a lovely home in Jerusalem near Golda Meier's home.

Later in life Stanley was involved with the Temple Mount group.  "Dolphin, a Christian Evangelical,  seems to be promoting the works of Stanley Goldfoot and another Temple Mount zealot, Gershon Solomon, who is the founder and leader of a group called The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement."  He spent time speaking in large football stadiums in California and other states about building the 3rd Temple.

Both the Grand Mufti and Stanley Goldfoot were in and out of Jerusalem.  They were fighting against each other but most likely never met.  Each stood for different values.  The Mufti wanted Jews out and Goldfoot fought to have Jews in.

Resource: Stanley Goldfoot, "Letter to the World" -
  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Genesis 1948-The first Arab-Israeli War by Dan Kurzman,_Israel

Friday, June 14, 2013


Nadene Goldfoot                                                                

                                             View of Northern Tehran, Iran
Today is Election Day in  Iran. Iran is the 6th largest Muslim majority state in the world with 76,923,300 or more people.  It is 98% Muslim Shi'a of the Jafari fiqh.   50 million voters could go to the polls.  The good news is that Ahmadinejad is stepping down after serving 2 terms in office as President.  There are 3 contenders for his position.

1.  Saeed Jilili:  (b: September 6, 1965) Age 47, white hair, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council since 2007,  Iran's chief negotiator in the nuclear program.  He's for nuclear energy and the present program that is threatening Israel and the whole Middle East.  He just warned the nations against unconstructive measures that harm negotiations.  He was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005-2007.  "A European Union official who met Jalili "was struck by his seeming inability or unwillingness to deviate from the same presentation ... calling him ‘a true product of the Iranian revolution’."

2.  Mohammed Baqer Ghalibaf, PhD: (b: August 23, 1961) Age 52, receding black hairline He's a member of the Islamic Revolution  and the mayor of Tehran. was commander of Iranian Police Force, PhD in political geography, a pilot, served in 1980's Iran-Iraq War, Professor at U. of Tehran, and has many credentials.  His resume is huge, but he lost to Ahmadinejad in the previous election.
3.  Hassan Rowhani, PhD: (b: November 12, 1948) Age 64, gray hair, white turbaned, white bearded, politician and Mujtahid.  "Mujtahid is recognized as an Islamic scholar who is competent in interpretting sharia by ijtihad. Today, there are many different opinions surrounding the role of ijtihad in modern society, and whether or not the “doors of ijtihad are closed.” He was a nuclear negotiator and the more moderate of the three. He is a cleric and has "membership in the Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council and Supreme National Security Council.".Liberals and moderates will vote for him.  He would also improve women's standing and that of ethnic minorities.  He has received a "bachelor’s degree in judicial law in 1972."  Then he continued and has a "master’s degree in public law followed by a doctorate degree from Glasgow Caledonian University.  "Hassan Rouhani is considered a leading candidate in the June election because of his centrist views and close ties to Iran’s ruling clerics."

Will this be an honestly run election?  Is there any credibility here?  Everyone knows they have to be beholden to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the end.  Many people are thinking of boycotting this election.  It is said that the president has little control so that the winner will make little changes.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Demographics of Jews in Israel and Their DNA Haplogroups Updated

Nadene Goldfoot                                                              
Notice the cartoon I chose of the Jewish man cutting off his nose.  His Roman nose has been a sign of him being Jewish.  Not all Jewish men have such noses but many do, something they have in common with many Arabs as well.  Many caricatures have been drawn of a Jewish man with a hook nose in anti-Semitic articles.  The reasoning is that non-Jews had made a distinction between the "perfect" white Aryan and the Semitic language-groups.  This started in the 18th century which gave rise to the unsound theory of Aryan and Semitic "races."  That led to the majority non-Jews to see different characteristics to Aryans and Semites.  The Aryans were the Teutonic peoples and were made out to be the elite of humanity and Jews were its antithesis.  This view became popular in Germany and thus led to the Holocaust where 6 million Jews were slaughtered and said to be inferior people.  Jews have been the scapegoats of humanity for about 4,000 years, suffering from Greeks, Romans and then the  Europeans throughout the ages and on into the USA.  One characteristic that shows up is our stubbornness to adhere to our religion.  Among one of the oldest people on earth as a people, Jews are still alive, and are being studied for their dna.  We find almost half of us are descended from Aaron, brother of Moses  as they have the Cohen haplogroup gene, J1 and J2.   I wonder what haplogroups we lost in the Holocaust  that almost wiped out all the Ashkenazi Jews and many of North Africa where the Nazis had taken over.

The population of Israel is 8,012,400 people from all four corners of the earth as of March 31, 2013.  6,037,700 of them are Jewish, or 75.4%.  The state of Israel was created for Jews, so this is a comfortable majority.   1,656,600 are Arabs or 20.6%.  318,100 are listed as others which makes up 4%.
  Update: 5/7/14 now at 8.18 million with an increase from last year of 137,500.
  Update: 5/31/16:  Population is now 8.522 million citizens, 10 times more than at its founding in 1948.
  Update: 5/14/17 Population Independence Day is 8,680,000 with density of 385 Pkm2 which was 343 Pkm2 in 2010.  
  Update: 4/16/18 Population is now 8,842,000 just announced.  
Out of the Jewish population,  there were 2,921,000 Mizrachim and Sephardim living in Israel.  That was 50.2% of the Jewish population. One million of them are Moroccan Jews which is 15% of the population of Israel.  Some are found to have come to Morocco fleeing the Spanish Inquisition.(Update 3/15/14)    Ashkenazim population numbered 2,767,000 or 47.5% of the Jewish population.  Jews have been scattered all over the world and are now going back to Israel. Some of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel are being found once again after being forcefully taken away as slaves or resettled in distant lands by the Assyrians in 721 BCE. Ethiopian Jews make up 1% of the population.   Other people were brought in that the Assyrians didn't want.

  Mizrachim  are Jews that came from North Africa and the Middle East.  Sometimes they are included in the Sephardim Jews who are Jews from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East.   40 % of the Sephardim Jews belong to haplogroup J1, the Cohen gene.   The other high haplogroups are E1b1b (now called E-L117) , E1b1a,  R1b1a2, and I .  Arabs have also been found with haplogroup  J1, specifically J1c3d or P58- (L147.1-L858/L859) an Arab branch of the Cohen gene. We may have parted company with this group about 4,000 years ago with Ishmael and Isaac as their father, Abraham lived at the beginning of the 2nd millennium.  .

We can also say that 35-43% of all Jewish men belong to the J haplogroup and its sub haplogroups.  15 to 30% of all Jewish men belong to E1b1b (E-M35.).  The non-Jewish DNA in both groups are generally from southern Europeans, meaning the Greeks.  5% to 8% of Ashkenazim also have a European contribution to their DNA such as Haplogroup R1b.  This could be be a Khazarian element.  The Sepharim's DNA is very close to the Kurds, Turks and Armenians more that it is to the Arabs.

Half of today's Kohanim (Jews knowing that they are Cohens in the synagogue) have the haplogroup of J1c3 or (J-P58). The Cohen I know personally is J1  (M267) and matches with J1c3d (L147.1) and J1c3-P58.   15% of the Kohanim today have the haplogroup of J2a (J-M410).  This line goes back a good 3,200 years to 4,200 years ago to Aaron, brother of Moses or his descendants who would have the same Ydna haplogroup but would have had time to pick up a few mutations.  .
Ashkenazim share the same DNA with Jewish and Middle East groups but  not as a rule so much with their non-Jewish population.  It was not common for them to "mix in."  In about the 8th century CE,  the Kingdom of Khazaria, which was south of Russia in the lower Volga region decided to convert to Judaism and the royal house did so. The descendants of the Jewish converts may be of the R1b haplogroup, which is a European marker.   Others of the kingdom were free to choose their own religion if they wished.  70% to 82% of all the  Jews share the the same DNA with Arabs.  The last few thousand years show they have been sharing from the same chromosome pool.  5% of Jews today have Q1b1a haplogroup, which is my father's line.  They have the distinction of belonging to a line that stemmed from Mongolia, Siberia and parts of Turkey about 15,00 to 20,000 years ago and share their Q lineage with many Native Americans.  It could be that they worked their way from Siberia to the Middle East by the year 4,000 BCE in 10,000 years.

"The current Cohens descended from a small number of paternal ancestors. In the summary of their findings the authors concluded that " Our estimates of the coalescence time also lend support to the hypothesis that the extended CMH represents a unique founding lineage of the ancient Hebrews that has been paternally inherited along with the Jewish priesthood."

Do Jews belong in Israel?  Yes, we were Jews, and now Jews have returned and are still  returning.  After 400 years of living as slaves in Egypt, Jews did not remain as the 70 members of Jacob's  and Joseph's family members.  They should have been of the haplogroup of J1 or J2 as this line is traced back to Noah.  All 12 sons of Jacob should carry this J1 haplogroup.  What has happened is that sometimes a family group would only produce daughters.   By the time they were on the Exodus and listened to Moses read the Ten Commandments to them, they were a slightly mixed group of former slaves.  At that time they became the Israelites, as Jacob's name was changed to Israel.  They were no longer a family group or a clan anymore, but a nation.  Wars, disease, weather conditions, starvation periods all played a part in mixing the Jewish family members with a few other haplogroups.  Their husbands that they found among the slaves or Jewish population in their village would have to take over as heads of the family group, and may have come from a different haplogroup. With all the times of being carted away as slaves and moving here and there through force or necessity, family trees were lost.

While the old joke telling of 2 Jews stranded on a small island that decide to each build their own synagogue and a 3rd which neither one would enter, showing their individuality and stubbornness, Dr. Eran Elhaik, a molecular geneticist of Israel disagrees with most of the population geneticists  that I agree with.  He thinks Ashkenazis all came from Khazaria, siding with an old theory of Arthur Koestler, author of the Thirteenth Tribe, which was before the days of DNA.  I say that no doubt people in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia most likely carry some evidence from Khazaria, the haplogroup of Q1b1a  has not been established at all as having originated from there.  Khazaria had become a refuge for many Jews of that period who were being victimized, and it was a safe haven for them.  They came from many different routes.  It was also on the silk road so would have been a good rest stop.

As for the  theorists who think the Aryans were so classy, I have another thought for them.  Look at Israel.  See what it has produced from its former descendants of slaves.  We came from an empire and famous kings such as David and Solomon.  We can hold our heads high among the nations.  Israel is the 2nd highest start up nation in the world, pretty outstanding for such a teeny state.  It has the largest % of Nobel prize winners. It creates medical inventions that are outstanding and are helping everyone in the world.  We have produced outstanding musicians. Is it the environment we came from or our DNA?  Whatever,  we are still here; survivors.  Am Yisrael Chai--  the Israeli people live.

Update: 5/7/14  This tells us that population today stands at 8.18 million.  The population has increased by 137,500 since last year on Independence Day.  Jews make up 75% of Israel's population.

Update: 1/14/15:  January 2015 population is now 8,296,000 residents which is a 2% increase from 2014.  In 2014 the population grew by 162,000.  Now, 6,218,000 or 74.9% are Jews, and 1,719,000 or 20.7% are Arabs and 359,000 or 4.22% are other-Christians, etc.

2014 had a 32% rise in immigration over 2013 of about 20,000 immigrants.  In 2014, France had the most immigration to Israel with nearly 7,000.  In 2013 3,400 made aliyah.  France has the largest Jewish population and has been plagued by much anti-Semitism.  Also, there was 190% increase to immigration from Ukraine.  5,840 made aliyah compared to 2,020 in 2013.  This was a result of ongoing political instability in Ukraine related to tensions between the Ukrainian government and Russia.  In 2014 from North America were 3,870 who made aliyah or about 3,470 from USA and 400 from Canada.  In 2013 3,600 made aliyah.  (The Jewish Press 1/9/2015 from JNS).

Update: 1/6/17:  Camera just came out with these facts:  The Jewish population of Judea and Samaria has increased from 275,000 at the end of 2008 to 377,000 at the end of 2015 according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.    Also, Jews living in  eastern Jerusalem in 1946 had been expelled by the Arabs of Jordan.  Then they had attacked 58 of the synagogues and either desecrated or destroyed them.  Finally, the Muslims took over the empty homes left by the Jews.  By 1967, only Palestinians were living in this part of Jerusalem for that reason.  Jews could not live there as this and Judea and Samaria had been taken over by the Arabs.  It wasn't until Israel won against the huge attack of 5 armies in the Six Day War of 1967 that they could again settle in these areas.

Update 6/20/17 Israel's population in 2017 is about 6,399,000.
USA has from 5,300,000 to 7,039,000
France has          465,000
Canada has         385,000
UK has               269,568
Russia has          186,000
Argentina has     181,300 to 230,000
Australia has       112,500
Brazil has             95,000
South Africa has  70,000

In 1939 the world Jewish population was 17 million or 0.8% of the global population
The Holocaust reduced our numbers to 11 million by 1945.  
By the 1970s, the number increased to reach 13 million.  
By 2015 it has only reached about 14,31 million.  

Resource: (Judaism 101).
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia (anti-Semitism)
Kike! by Selzer (anti-Semitism)  added 11/1/13 added 11/1/13
update: 3/15/14

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Who Were the Armenian Jews? DNA Finds for Q-L245

Cher, descent from Armenia

Setting the Scene of Where Jews were Living
Nadene Goldfoot
King Saul was the first king of Israel.  He lived in the 11th century BCE.  King David ruled Israel from 961-920 BCE.  King Solomon ruled Israel and lived from 961-920 BCE.  When Solomon died,  Jereboam ruled Israel from 933 to 912 BCE. Hoshea was the last king and ruled from 730-721 BCE.

At the same time when Solomon died, the kingdom split in two, creating Judea.  The first king to rule this southern part of what was Israel was Rehoboam from 933 to 917 BCE.  Their last king was Zedekiah who ruled from 597-586 BCE.
                                         Armenian Jew-from Dean

Assyria was an ancient state in Western Asia made up of aggressive Semites.  The Assyrian, Tiglath-Pileser III overthrew the Syrian confederacy from 745-27 BCE.   The Assyrian, Sargon  captured about 721 BCE when Israel fell to them. Then he annexed the country and deported 27,290 Israelites to Assyria and Media, replacing them with Syrian and Babylonian prisoners. By 700 BCE Sennacherib took Ashkelon and Joppa, sacked Lachish and Jerusalem.  Judah was ravaged but its king Hezekiah (730-692) held out and received more moderate terms by paying tribute and ceding some territory.   Historian Tournebize feels that the Jews may have been deported directly to Armenia but not to the Khabur Valley.  Historian Aslan thought that the Jews of Samaria were deported to Armenia.       Jews settling in Armenia goes back to the destruction of the 1st Temple by  Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.  It had been built by King Solomon of Israel. who lived from 961 BCE to 920 BCE.

When Assyria lost their power, the Babylonians took over. Nebuchadnezzar II 604-561 BCE  took Judah in 597 and 586 BCE.  Many Jews were then exiled to Babylon.

King Tigranes II the Great (140-55 BCE) brought with him 10,000 Jewish captives to Armenia when he left Israel and Judea  during his conquests because of the Roman attack on Armenia in 69 BCE.  He became king of Armenia. They were Jewish, practicing Judaism, but I wonder if their origins were the Syrian and Babylonian prisoners who might have become Jewish.   He had even invaded Syria and probably northern Israel as well.

By 360-370 CE there were many Jews from the Hellenistic states immigrating into Armenia and many Armenian towns because predominately Jewish."Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the European culture and language of Hellenism after the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great."

During this time, the Persian Shapur II (309-379 CE) began deporting thousands of Jews to Persia (Iran) to the city of Isfahan. Isfahan is one of the main modern cities for finding the haplogroup for Q L245 in the Middle East. The Assyrian Y-DNA Q belongs to the Q1b1a-L245 subclade. Were these Jews the original Jews of Israel and Judea, or were they the prisoner swaps of Syrians and Babylonians?
They also settled in Artashat, Vaghasabat, Yervandashat, Sarchavan, Sarisat, Van, and Nakhichivan.  .  It looks like Jews were the desired commodity in the economics of slavery  I don't believe Jews here were able to carry on their Halakhic studies and the religion started to dissipate through intermarriage and  slavery as there were few references to Judaism found in the Hellenistic sources.  By Medieval times, it vanished or became part of the Kurdish Jewry.

An ancient Jewish cemetery was found by Vayots Dzor in the city of Eghegis, SW of Yerevan.  There 40 tombstones from  the 13th century have been found of which 16 tombstones had Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions on them.

Eastern Armenia came under Russia rule in the early 1800's and Jews began arriving from Poland and Iran, creating Ashkenazic and Mizrahi communities in Yerevan.  More Jews moved to Armenia as the Soviet republic had more tolerance here than in Russia or Ukraine.

Polish and Persian Jews arrived in the early 19th century.  There have been both Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities in Yerevan since 1840.  By 1924, the Sephardic synagogue, Shick Mordechai, was the leading house of prayer in the Jewish community.

By 1939 when the Nazis were starting their attacks on exterminating the Jews, there were only 512 Jews remaining in Armenia.  Though the population had gone as high as 1,049 by 1970, by 2010 there were only 100 left, probably all older Jewish residents.

Update: 6/12/13 Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946 in California to John Sarkisian, of Armenian heritage and her English-Cherokee mother.

Resource: , Khabur Valley

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Israelis Are Such a Happy Lot

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

Nadene Goldfoot
They are home!  They waited for 2,000 years to come home.  They have been through hell to get here.   That's why they are so happy.  John F. Kerry doesn't understand this.  He's complaining about Jews being a happy and contented lot.  He thinks this is why it's they who won't end the conflict with the Palestinians.  That's like not understanding that a horse pulls the carriage, not the carriage that pulls the horse.

He just doesn't get it at all.  The fact of the matter is that Israelis know that it's the Palestinians who have been saying NO to having their own state ever since Israel was created.  After 65 years of hearing NO, and realizing that they think their whole state of Israel is being "occupied" and that they want all of the land, not just a portion, they are not holding their breath waiting for the peace table to be occupied.

Daniel Pipes wrote that in a recent survey, 93% of Jewish Israelis are proud to be Israeli.  I don't know what happened to that other 7%.  Maybe they didn't understand the question.  It's hard to believe.  Even with the threat of extinction from Iran, things are bubbling along quite well for Israel.  The shekel is not devaluing.

How do we know they are happy?  Usually, western women have 2 children only in a marriage and Israelis are more western-minded.  To maintain their population, they need 2.1 children each.  Their birthrate is 2.65.  Though the orthodox are having large families like our Catholic families in the USA have had, it's also the secular families that are having lots of children, too. I wrote an article about their sperm count falling.  Evidently it's not hindering their  production of a family.

All this time oil has never been discovered in Israel, where it lies in all the surrounding states.  Israelis have had to mine their own minds and be the most inventive to make up for this loss.  However, gas and oil finds have now been found with more modern technology and it could now be the most valuable country in the world.  In a way that's bad, because now Muslim countries will really want to take it away from the Jews.  It should, however, enhance Israel's position.  Jordan should be happy because they are still peaceful neighbors and at times have scratched each other's back.  This would mean they could rely on Israel for this energy.

When I lived in Israel in 1980-85, Iran and Iraq were fighting each other, leaving Israel alone.  We only had the Lebanon War to contend with at the time, and I, as a shaking American Jewish princess had my taste of war and fear.  Today it is Egypt and Syria who are very busy with their own internal problems to work on, keeping them off of Israel's back.  There are lots of threats riding the airwaves, but Israel has a most dependable service core such as the IDF, the best in the world.  When Israel has been in wars, the whole population knows it is life or death and they fight with their heart for each other.  The invaders have wondered if they were doing the right thing and really didn't have their hearts into death and killing their new neighbors.  There is a difference.  There is quite the story at Kibbutz Degania Alef about how a child and a very old man  held off the invaders.

Perhaps the reason why Kerry is demanding talks today is that it is his job to do so which is right on his resume.  His job description is to get Israel and the Palestinians to sit down and talk.  He is not to mind that the timing is not right, and the whole Middle East is ready to explode over a bad season of the Arab Spring.  He could be using his time to bone up on the history,  so I will help him.

Robbie Sabel, professor of international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,  and of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs compiled  some facts Kerry should know and consider.  I've thrown in a few, as well.

1.  Israel's opponents have manipulated international law by inventing rules only applied to Israel, no one else.  .

2. Illegal Occupation is an invented concept that the opponents have pulled out of a hat, not a legal fact.  In an armed conflict or war, Israel is permitted military occupation.  The UN Security Council has never said their occupation is illegal.  The US occupied Iraq after the 2nd Gulf War and this was a legal act.

3.  The Green Line is not a binding border.  Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement.  This terminated the Armistice Agreement and its green line.  There is no legal validity to the Green Line, though there have been problems along this line.  Some Christian friends were living near the green line and their children were hassled by neighbor thugs from the nearest Muslim community, putting their children in harm's way.  They have since moved to a safer community.  Israel is going to have to work a little harder to protect citizens.

4. Gaza is not under Israeli occupation.  They kept certain rights involving the protection of Israel, but there are no more Jews living in Gaza and haven't been for a long time.  Opponents have rewritten a new term called occupation that defies the legal definition.

5.  Opponents have made up their own tailor made rules for Israel.  A legal system is one in that a law pertains to all.

6. The USA is still Israel's ally.

7.  Israelis can be most proud of the contributions that they have made to improve the world in medical and technical areas.  They have helped the USA to combat terrorism, to protect their airports, etc.  They have contributed to culture all over the world, especially in classical music.  Israel is a "pocket superpower in the arts."  They stand for morality for themselves and for others.

8. They are the hub of Democracy in the Middle East.  Perhaps this is the reason they have not received the Welcome Wagon.  This upsets the apple cart in a sea of kings.

This is why Israelis are happy people.  They are a legal minded people, having been given 613 laws to follow by Moses himself, and respect law.  The USA is full of Jewish lawyers.  Israel has a most complicated legal system with laws left over from the Ottoman Empire to add to their own.  One has to be a genius to understand it all.  Each and every Israeli is a human rights advocate and genocide expert, having lived on the other end of the lollipop for a good 2,000 years.  Samantha Power, the new outspoken  UN representative for the USA,  may  have a degree in this, but she doesn't understand the half of it.  She's coming into her new position after having believed in invading Israel!  That's not what our friend, the USA, should be entertaining in her mind and papers.  Academic papers and reality are not always in sync.  However, Israelis are home.  It's a beautiful sentence.  It's music to our ears.  They had to re-buy the land and bleed for it.  They have the deed.