Black-Jewish Congressional Caucus, Israeli Election Update, Education in Israel
Hello and welcome to people of the pot brought to you by. Ajc and the Times of Israel each week we take you beyond the headlines and help you understand what they all mean for Israel and the Jewish people on Steffi Cogan. And I'm on your brochure. Cashman January and February have been full of commemorative moments for both the black and Jewish Communities. The birthday of Martin Luther King Junior the death anniversary of Anne Frank International Holocaust remembrance and Black History Month we sat down individually with three founders of the Black Jewish congressional caucus democratic congresswoman Brenda Lawrence Democratic congresswoman. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin to discuss why the caucus exists the issues. They think it will address and why it's important for black and Jewish leaders to work together. Not Apart I I asked about the original purpose of the Black Jewish congressional caucus how that purpose has evolved since its conception and what the main issues the caucus to address we. I posed the question to chief. Founder Representative Brenda Lawrence when I went to my colleagues. And ask them if they would be interested in forming a black Jewish Caucus. Civically this administration. I have seen an uptick in divisiveness and Rachel tension and also hate crimes been reported as validated being on Increasing and we have such a strong and long history of lack American and the Jewish community coming together in those times when our country lost its way the Jewish community came to the support of the black community during the civil rights movement. We have shared experience between the Holocaust. Slavery of being people oppressed by no other reason except for who we are and We know and we feel uniquely the stereotypes in the tension that are often placed on us as black and Jewish citizens of this country. And we are here in Congress to write laws and policies to ensure quality to make sure that we're forcing the civil rights of this country and we should be having a unique conversation around this and I can tell you I was so impressed with the support and willingness in a bipartisan way to form the caucus so what are the main issues that the caucus hopes to address. Well I want to know that as we look at hate crimes and discrimination as anti Semitic. It's racist xenophobic Often go back to Martin Luther King. Our unity is born of our common struggle for centuries not only to rid ourselves bandage but to make oppression of any people by others impossible so when we plan or what. Our jackets is our is that we will make sure that we are uniquely informed. We are aware of these incidents and policies and situations where we see Racism not being addressed properly or being able or being nurtured and that we can pass policies and enforce loss through our justice system to ensure we're holding true to one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all next. We asked Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz during the civil rights movement jewish-americans lent critical support to the N. Double ACP and fought alongside. Dr Martin Luther King Junior to challenge racial segregation in public accommodations and black leaders have stood with the Jewish community following the tragic shootings. At synagogues in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and POW California Joakim Prinz german-american Rabbi and refugee of Nazi. Germany represented the Jewish community as an organizer during the nineteen sixty three march on Washington. So that history is long and and significant and so the the The Black Jewish caucus is really important for us to be able to to retie those binds. And make sure that we can work on the modern day issues that are of mutual concern to both communities are purposes to assemble leaders to learn from one. Another advocate for joint concerns Regardless of party we believe And we exist because all partners are committed calling out hate and racism and discrimination anti-semitism and xenophobia whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head and you know our alliance in the Black Jewish caucus is really important so that we can work to honor and strengthen and safeguard the bond of our communities that have been developed in the struggle for equality in America. Then we asked representative Lee Zeldin. There is a need to better bridge the gap between the Jewish community and the black community and understanding a long rich history of the the black community fighting for on behalf of with the Jewish Committee and community and vice versa This isn't a new concept for us to be working closely and back in World War. Two was seven sixty first tank battalion. Bed Liberated gun skirt skin and God almost four hundred medals for their heroics their efforts and it was Jewish members who stood side by side with the black community during the civil rights push and some actually ended up giving up their lives in that fight for Justice and equality fast forward to two thousand and nineteen. This was announced in June But we were talking to each other about it for a few months leading up to that. Brenda Lawrence Really did a fantastic job taking a lead initiative. The American Jewish Committee was also influential and helpful with that. 'cause how has it evolved since then? I would say that more and more people have expressed interest in being part of it so it's become a bigger and it's allowed us to build a stronger network and we've seen a divide close But the challenges still exist and we just had a Hanukkah in two thousand nineteen that was marked by violent antisemitic attacks in and around the New York City area and some of the people who were paying attention to it saw that the individuals who are carrying out the attacks weren't neo Nazis. They weren't they weren't white supremacists. They weren't a radical Islamic extremists. And they they weren't Politically motivated it was a different dynamic than what you might have been talking about in June of two thousand nineteen You had some people who are talking about the the black Israel The Hebrew Israelite Movement But then others within that movement rejecting the acts carried out up in Munsey attacking the rabbi's home as well as attacking The the Jewish Kosher Supermarket in New Jersey. So in a way if you ask me how it evolved part of. It's been positive With all of the outreach in all of the new relationships and part of it has been an added challenge added friction as we witnessed what happened in the Hanukkah two thousand nineteen and struggling with figuring out how to as quickly as possible Deal with that next. We asked how the black community can support Jewish concerns and how the Jewish community can more forcefully advocate for African American issues. Here's what Linda Lawrence had to say. Yes the Jewish community has in the past as as you know during the civil rights movement Jewish communities one of our strongest legal and justice advocate on the judicial system but it is lifting the voice of Black America Black Lives Matter Institutional that is. Our biggest challenge institutional racism when it comes to the education when it comes to housing when it comes to the criminal justice lending voice to the black community and pointing out those things that are wrong and the black community. What we can do is make sure that we are calling out the stereotypes against the Jewish community. Then we heard from Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There is really some significant overlap that particularly with the violence and the Anti Semitism and bigotry. That is being hurled at our communities not just with these horrendous murders but with social media attacks and you know protest against our communities and discriminatory actions so we have a lot on our plate. Initially that I think are in my view important for our communities mutually and you know because the Caucasus really in its infancy as we mature and move down the road. Get to know one another issues that you know. We can be across the aisle and across our communities and the caucus focused on trying to prioritize the issues that the individual communities find important and lastly representative Lee Zeldin. Well we always spent a lot of times so far I talking about the way. The Jewish community has been targeted with not just Anti Semitic thoughts but antisemitic actions and violent and some cases of its cost people their lives. So you know the the ways for the the black community to identify what? The top issues are Right now for the Jewish community. We're seeing it. Play out really in the national news and the national debate for the Black Community The there still is racism in our country in many respects and I think that teaching tolerance and and understanding ensuring that policies aren't discriminatory that individuals have the ability to achieve the American dream and shouldn't be held back just because they might be someone of color or they might be practicing a different religion like Judaism. That discrimination racism still exists in our country. We saw it play out not too long ago on. Long Island where I'm from the first. Congressional district of New York is on the east end of Long Island There was a story that was in. Newsday was an investigative report of members of the real estate industry discriminating against people of color who were trying to find housing trying to Purchase a home to achieve the American dream. And unfortunately that's an exception and not the norm. It's rare But the response has been robust with investigations. That have been lost. launched as well as the real estate industry themselves Self policing Each Other To educate but educate each other and to push out of their industry people who are discriminating against Black individuals who are trying to own a home and then she the American dream so I would say as far as identifying some of the biggest needs right now of the black community. I would say that just like it was easy to identify anti-semitism as a top needed needs to get addressed for the Jewish community. I would say. Racism is something that's very prevalent and still needs to be addressed absolutely with regards to the black community next. We asked what issues of mutual concern? The caucus can address. Here's what Brenda Lawrence had to say. I think it's extremely important. That the black and Jewish community allow the history of oppression for either of our people to be forgotten. You know there's some people who like to say the Holocaust didn't happen. There are people who say You know black people so each other to slavery. So what's the big deal? We cannot allow the history that as horrific as it is to be forgotten. And that's something else that I think that we uniquely can do as citizens of this country and as survivor and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Right now we have a really significant challenge around white supremacy and the rise of white supremacists in United States white supremacist increasingly targeted and killed large groups of people in recent years because of their race or religion in the United States in Twenty fifteen we had nine African Americans who were murdered murdered by a gunman whose name I won't mention at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Mother Emmanuel in Charleston South Carolina. Because and this is quoting the murderer. He knew that it would be a place to get a small amount of black people in one area. You had Robert Bowers. Last year yelled antisemitic. Slurs before he opened fire and killed eleven worshippers at the tree of life synagogue in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and that was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community. American history you've had attacks on mosques where insecurity has had to be increased after fifty one people were massacred to mosques in New Zealand. So we have a very current urgent challenge with bigotry. Anti-semitism white supremacists who are engaging in in deadly violence and so that's at the security and houses of fighting. Anti Semitism and bigotry is Is really the top of our current list of issue the very tragic areas of mutual concern for for both communities and and I would also add Particularly because most of these crimes perpetrated with guns the Jewish community in the African American community have have really come together around making sure that we can close all the loopholes that allow people who shouldn't have a gun under federal law here in the US be able to get them Now that issue is unfortunately not bipartisan. I was just getting ready to say. That's gotta be bipartisan. doesn't mean that That the hawks On Black Jewish relations can't take it on then we hear from Lee Zeldin. There's an underlying sentiment of hate in our society. There's a lack of tolerance of education of community so we are both stronger working together united and where we are mutual partners on his where we want to talk about. How do we combat hate? How do we educate our young kids to to be more tolerant to understand the history of racism in the history of anti-semitism and there's no requirement that we can only teach about one and Getting out in the community Partnering with each other also shows how to build bridges. It sets a strong example for not just young kids but also adults as well to see people of different backgrounds working together to partner and we're diverse too. I mean we have the this includes not just a black members of Congress and Jewish members of Congress and includes Republicans and Democrats includes conservatives moderates and Liberals So the the background of the caucus you see it. In the membership and you'll see with the groups that have connected themselves to the caucus Working with the caucus coming from diverse backgrounds across this country as well finally we asked how the caucus of federal law makers and local leaders can address any existing or new tension between the Black and Jewish Communities Representative Lawrence. Had this to say you know I'm driven by a lot of things being black woman in America but I'm driven as a member of Congress by our law. Our freedoms are right our constitution. You know the civil rights amendments. I am held accountable to that. And so when we talk about What we can do specifically with the Black Jewish caucus we are the gatekeepers of freedom and rights in America. And so when we talk about the Justice System I sit on government oversight. I sit on appropriations. How DO WE FUND PROGRAMS IN AMERICA? How does he ensure that? Our Justice System held accountable that we collect data that we make sure that we mandate training that we are using our FBI to be able to identify those Hate groups of social media now has taken Racism and the growth of this domestic terrorism to a whole `nother level so we are constantly being confronted with a responsibility as members of Congress to ensure that we are not allowing this this ugly seed to grow in our country and we have been doing it now for decades. They've not a century so we still have that responsibility. Unfortunately it has been magnified in these last four years. And that's why I'm so compelled and committed to the work of like Jewish Caucus. Here's how Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded. I I think it's important not to overstate And the increase any increase tension because Quite frankly I'm I'm not aware of really any well-developed comprehensive increased tension between the African American communities and the Jewish community. You know certainly. I think it's more of a concern and the need for the caucus on black Jewish relations and Congress was Really propelled by that. We have maybe had some of the ties between our communities fray as an from under-use and so bringing us together and making sure that we can affirmatively bring our communities together. Do things like what I do in my district which has hold community dialogues roundtables about solutions and causes I know I do regularly in my district where we convene your leadership from both both communities. We have one another's back. I represent one of the largest Jewish communities and a large African American community in south Florida and our community. Leadership has one another's back when there is an issue that is important to the other. You know we've made a special point of bringing a cross section of faith and community leaders together when there are times of increased racist incidents or tragedy for example you had many Jewish community leaders stood side by side and my community in south Florida to press for the change of the names of three streets in the city of Hollywood Florida which were named after a confederate general a Ku Klux Klan leader and another icon of the racist past and we were able to successfully come together and the city agreed to change the name of those streets. So those are the kinds of things where we need to step up and and you know those. Those might seem like more minor every day aggravations or insults. But those are the kinds of things that you know if you are. A member of the group has been hurt and has lived through the fending experienced by an individual who honored with a street name Then you know making sure that we can address that concern and have one another's backs as important and lastly lease elden apply. Well I I would say if anyone is is silent. They're they're wrong. Step number one. Is You have to be willing to stand up to speak out to confront the hate. That is out there. And if you're silent and not willing to say anything about what we just witnessed in Hanukkah's Hanukkah two thousand nineteen and around the New York City area. Then then you're wrong but then when you speak out there are some people who brainstorm a whole long list of options in order to choose one. Check a box and then move on saying well. I did my part. There's nothing else I need to do. Here my attitude is different than I would say. You should brainstorm every single possible option that you can do to help and then do every single option that you just identified to to assist. There's a lot that needs to get done and you asking strictly from a federal standpoint. Whether it's on the education standpoint from never EDUC They Never Again Education Act. Or It's the house passing S. One which was passed with about eighty percent or so of of the Senate strong bipartisan support to combat the BCS movement We we have let pieces of legislation. That are out there. You see it from the appropriations where you're providing support to organizations and communities that need help. It's different levels of government where the federal law enforcement can work with state and local law enforcement And every level of government you can identify different legislative issues. Initiatives DIFFERENT APPROPRIATION INITIATIVES. Talking with each other getting out in the community and encouraging other community leaders to to step up I could identify legislative solutions. That Albany can do that. Let's save solutions. That New York City can do And at the end of the day it's not just something that the The elected officials and government need to pass laws. It really comes right down to as you point out in your question. It's it's on the streets and it really requires people at the community level to to take charge of their community to work together and again it gets back to the reason why it's good to have a black Jewish caucus for people to feel like you. You don't have to only talk to people who are just like you in order to solve a problem actually in the military recall force multipliers. If you want to solve a problem the best thing to do is to find anyone who can be an ally of any background and work together to solve it in just under two weeks on Monday march second Israelis will vote to elect a new Knesset. It has been over a year since Israel last had a functioning. Coalition government and the country has been voting every five months or so to elect a new set of legislators. Is the third time the charm will this next vote. Finally break the gridlock here to help us understand what's going on in Israeli politics is Avi Tol Labor Vich the director of AJ seizures. Obviously thank you so much for joining US pleasure. So I'll I'll let our listeners peek behind the curtain a little bit as to you know how the sausage gets made. I don't have all these questions in my head. Sometimes I'll reach out to colleagues of ours or to a friend of mine and say you know what's the number one question you have about. Whatever the topic is and so. I reached out to a colleague. I asked her. What's the number one question you have about? These upcoming Israeli elections the third round of elections that Israel having in a year. And she said why so? I'll tell us why is Israel going back to elections? Well I'll make some sense into it but it's still very much annoying for us living in Israel In order to have a government in Israel a party or leader of a major party needs to build a coalition of parties with sixty one mandates. Currently we have fourteen parties running to the government of Israel In the last elections and the ones before that We actually didn't have a leader. Who was able to form a coalition? The Likud party did not make it to sixty one mandates. The only received thirty two with the other partners right-wing parties. They didn't even come close to sixty one. And the opponents the major opponents of the Likud which is not the part the cold blue and white headed by guns They again did not manage to build a coalition with left-wing parties and maybe even the Arab Lisp Party and therefore Here we are again. Less than two weeks. Israel will be facing its third elections in in over just over a year which is quite a problematic frost leaving here. Many things are in a stalemate here in Israel including international relations including budgetary issues of different ministries and this is not really a healthy situation for successful country like Israel to be in So like you said the Center Party. Blue and white these challengers. They had the most seats in September. They got thirty three seats out of one hundred and twenty the Likud. The ruling right-wing party had one fewer. They had thirty two next up was the predominantly Arab party the joint list which got thirteen and on and on down getting smaller and smaller basically it almost matters less how many seats each individual party gets as it does how much the two kind of big blocks get the right and religious block and the left and Arab block neither of which are actually such natural partners washing these polls closely as I'm sure you do are the March elections or the elections. That'd be taking place on March second. Are they shaping up to be any different to have different results so I would say the following the polls in Israel are never right right but the it is you're right? It is the only measuring tool we have but the fate of the elections coming up in less than two weeks will be determined by two factors number one is the percentage of voters in other words in Israel. We are quite I would say politically involved nation. We do have a very high percentage of voting. It's around sixty eight percent down a slow year more than that more or less a lot more than in the US but the question is which sector of the population will go out to vote. For example it's known fact that the Ultra Orthodox which vote for the Ultra Orthodox parties. They go usually to voting very high percentages. The question is whether those you know Liberals in Tel Aviv will go to volt or stay home or maybe the settlers will go to vote or decide to stay home. This will be a very crucial factor in determining the results of the elections. The second factor. That will have a direct impact. Ease Lieberman Avigdor. Lieberman is erecting. A party Bayton Israel our home and According to the latest polls his party should get between seven and eight mandates. Now he's natural positioning. Would be with the right block. But he does have some sort of resentment to Netanyahu in therefore he can find himself from political reasons to be on the centrist Liberal bloc so he is also a relative factor. And we'll have an impact on the results of the elections in American politics. We sometimes talk about an October surprise. We voted at the beginning of November and in October surprises. When something comes out you know just in the few weeks before it could be a devastating piece of news usually for one of the main candidates. Something they don't have enough time to recover from so there were maybe a couple of February surprises for Israel which is about to vote at the beginning of March. Actually technically they were end of January surprises and also neither of them. Were all that unexpected of it will just roll with the metaphor here on the same day. Actually on January twenty eighth in the morning Prime Minister Netanyahu was finally formally indicted on several charges of bribery fraud and breach of trust and later that day he stood at the White House next to president trump and kind of triumphantly. The two of them announced this American peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians which is seen as very good for Israel which much of the Israeli kind of center and center right are really Happy about to. What extent did either of those things move the needle? Are we seeing people more? Skeptical of the prime minister as a result of the indictment or more supportive of him as a result of this deal. So I think you can say a lot of things about these rallies but one thing is for sure. Israelis are not naive so when the whole ceremony took place in the White House. Yes Israelis hearts were filled with prides and with a strong sense of strong. Us ally but no one actually thought the discipline will happen tomorrow morning and in every single poll in the last year two years when Israelis were asked who is better equipped to be the prime minister. Netanyahu our guns by very big margin Netanyahu gut the most percentages so from a leadership perspective. I don't see any constable October surprise. That will change that. There is no arguing. In the fact that on Yahoo does have an indictments. There is no argument of the fact that Netanyahu has very good relations with president trump and President Putin and many other leaders in the Arab world but also in other countries all over the World Africa we just seen a visiting Sudan. And so on so. I don't think that's really plays out. As some major factor in changing or influencing the results in a different way altogether. The really big question as I said these Lieberman which side will take and how many voters will actually go out on March. Second as we record on Thursday morning last night there was just a big and fiery primary debate among the Democratic candidates. Here in the. Us Are there debates that people could be tuning into in the Israeli Prime Minister Race? Say No actually. Israel took a lot of things from America but the debate culture was not really one of them. I would say the less serious debate we had here between. Two major leaders of parties was in nineteen ninety nine and the one before that was nineteen ninety-six. So this is not a very popular kind of situation for politicians here. Politicians here like really to Bargain with the media. Offer different kinds of exposures interviews and so on actually in the last couple of days Netanyahu ditch challenge guns and called him to debate him on national TV. But the guns Actually took the advice of his advisers and declined this knowing that he has significantly less experience with public appearances. The Netanyahu and that he could likely lose such a debate so as far as I can see ahead. I don't expect the debate between the two of them which is a shame because I think could be quite interesting Interesting as well because I think Netanyahu has kind of been avoiding dates himself for the past ten years or so that he's now pushing for one don's indeed but all the political leaders not only in this young refuse to have debates and so that never happened. The last one I said was really years and years ago but here actually. I think guns lost points because guns was the first one to call Netanyahu for debate because he thought that as you said. Traditionally Netanyahu doesn't do debates. And this time he will refuse. But Netanyahu surprise guns and agree to it and then guns back down so I think actually in this situation guns really lost a little bit and and really demonstrated lack of confidence abby. Tell you spoke about turnout a little bit before and I want to return to that as we close. Is there a point at which the Israeli public just gets exhausted? I mean just gets like totally tired elections. Are we at that point now? Are we going to see turnout? Plummet in this third round. Might we have to wait for a fourth-round could we see one of the main parties revolt against their leadership? What's going to be the game changer? That will ultimately break the stalemate so I think that the Israelis are very very indifferent at this point of time to the upcoming elections. I mean if you would be An alien from another planet visiting Israel right now and I would not tell you that there's elections. There will probably not be away for you to know that because really people are so indifferent the third time around and they're so angry with this kind of situation and therefore the again. The question of turnout is a critical one for these last couple of days before the elections the heads of parties are really going all over the country meeting with all sectors. You know Netanyahu for example as a major interviewing the biggest Arab new sites called pundits the day before that Guns had a big conference with Ethiopian community in one of the status here and so on and so forth there. Touring the country. They're trying to you. Know raise awareness. They're trying to recruit more votes but at the end of the day. The big question still remains whether Israelis will overcome the sense of indifference and lack of trust politicians than really go out and vote. This will know in less than two weeks. Well we'll be watching closely and we'll look forward to giving our listeners a another update when we do know in two weeks. Obviously thank you again so much for joining us. Thank you listeners. Whose children are applying for colleges. This month might find this next segment interesting. As many as twelve thousand international students are currently studying in Israeli colleges and universities but the Council for higher education in Israel wants to double that it has launched a national initiative called study in Israel to create a brain gain for what's often referred to as the startup nation dozens of degree programs including stem subjects as well as Middle Eastern Studies Agriculture Urban Studies. Environmental Studies have all been translated to English for North American students with us in the studio to discuss the program. Is Professor Yaffa Zuber Shots Chair of the Council's Planning and Budgeting Committee to talk about? Why American Jews might want to apply for the program Professor Shots Welcome? Thank you very much for inviting me. So tell us about this study for Israel initiative. How did it develop? What was the purpose behind it? Okay so we. In Israel have a wonderful academic system a system it consists of over sixty institutions most of them sponsored by the government in this way under our auspices. No we figured out a thing. Endettes it did. We're very excellent in many things but we're farro remote from the average of the OSCE countries having foreign students. Now you would ask. What is that for and we do understand it in this world. You need diversity in part of diversity is of foreign students coming to your country and making your system much richer than just you know. Same People Same Age. Same same same same. And that's why academic consideration will launch the product of studying Israel because if the averaging oil OECD countries is six percent foreign students. Israel has one point five percent forest considerably lower. It's very low and we think it's wrong for the system. That's why we were launching. No our academic institutions to have many international cluber goes usually easer professor versus professor research versus or Israeli. Going up to teach someplace or do there pushes students someplace but we have less. People coming from America is an example to Israel to use our institutions as lecturers as researchers postdoctoral students or a summer undergraduate students. Okay and we figured out. Let's go with the campaign about studying as well make the magic of started playing started country the Stop the plan. Something that you touch that you feel make the Jewishness. The Christianity. The special culture of the state were religious. Were born part of your life. May Diversity reach you meet. You were campuses. You'll see Arab C- choose you see jury and you'll see the students of all ages religious ultra-orthodox nonreligious come in touch. This is real experience study. Newsreel engage in our excellence. So you said that. The percentage of foreign students is very low. What about study abroad programs because I know a number of colleges and universities across America have study abroad programs and options in Israel you very. They do have but probably doesn't amount to begin amounts of students for example. We visited yesterday. Princeton. They've a study abroad for in Israel the sending every year to three students. Two or three right. So it's a mean it. It's there the MO you assigned but people are not lining in rose to go on the airplanes in come Well people are lying on rose on airplanes to come to Israel in the business and try to invest in our stock nation. What I am calling upon as head of my committee is responsible for education as well take one step before. Don't come only when you mature. Then you want to make your business look at our institutions because they are the seed where the start of nation grew up Is this knowledge that made this country. Suspicion right come fairly that it'd be part of you. So now the courses I would presume half to be translated into the languages of the countries that you're recruiting found I. Where are you recruiting from? Which countries are you targeting to bring International Students? And what translations are indeed available. So let's start from the very beginning of the defect that we have such a low number of foreign. Students is the fickle teaching Hebrew. So it's very difficult to calm studying Hebrew so in order to come up with a call of studying Israel we head to make sure that universities and colleges have capacity to do it And Force and foremost capacity is translating forms to English. Okay entrance eighteen courses and programs to English okay because if you cannot teach in English you cannot have non-israelis coming to study how many Jews can study academic courses in Hebrew very few. How many foreign Andrew Skin to it. So actually what we have done in the last two years we've invested a lot of money and energy to build capacity within institutions. We have now twenty three four degrees undergraduate in our institutions and over hundred graduate degrees so in a certain way when we come we call you in America. Come to his. Well we know that you have forward to come now we prioritized. The United States is from the Western Hemisphere as a first target of bringing foreign students in all degrees up two postdoctoral experience to Israel and from the East we speak really about China in India Seeing the very important countries for the relations of Israel for future business for understanding probably they can get him our institutions more than can in this. But it's still worth the contacts with the best advocates of the country and the best people really to convey the statistician a vision mission when they go back so India in China and United States so of those twenty-three programs you mentioned undergraduate. What's available I mean? Are you talking predominantly math science? Every history everything you can go. We've built a wonderful Internet site which is called studying Israel. Okay engaging excellence dining is going to start in Israel you will see each everything that we have Eddie. Universities won't course is who teaches how is life. How'RE THE EXPENSE SAYS? What should you leave? Who should contact? It's all they're like everything in the modern world a good Internet site the work so what about extracurricular activities because obviously coursework is just a small part of college. Have you made adjustments or accommodations elsewhere on candidates is very very important question so first of all? We've built foreign students offices so that the students have home because they're aware of home they must have an address for each and every question that is being raised. They must have support So this year we'll find in each of institutions that calls upon for students to arrive in its gates. The other thing is that we believe that many of the students that arrive slash will soon or eventually will arrive to Israel that we all desire not only to sit in the campuses but actually touch upon the magic of the start of nation and see how start the porks and really feel that they're part of whatever is going on so I call upon from the stage to see the two we have created a panel sheep in innovation synthesis in each and every university. And I think that the universities and colleges that call upon foreign students who will bring them through these centers and will teach them on one hand because this is an academic institution but will also open them up to what's calling beyond the ivory tower and we really make sure that everything that we do to date. Universities are sank u eighteen basic knowledge in basic research in the other tower simultanously opening the ivory tower to the world This combination exists in our campuses. And we really invite each and everyone to come in heavy zone experience. Okay so I mean the pressure on. Campuses is just one expression of many forms of hostility that Jewish students feel on American campuses. These days and I know a lot of parents shop around for colleges that are safe for their children and are very concerned about this level of hostility. Should they yes? Initiative be viewed as an option for families to consider to avoid that kind of problematic situation. No question about the answer is of course yes okay. I just want to make it very clear actually. Our motivation is very academic in that sense but if the outcomes are also beneficial to American Jewish families then that's what the state of Israel exists for That whenever your problem any place it's us. So we have the academic motivation. But it's not steady in technion for example which is in the Himalayas It studying take neon which is in Haifa Israel And he's well is the country of the Jewish people so this what we're therefore okay professors over shots. Thank you so much for joining us in the studio and we hope you enjoy your stay in the states. Thank you very much for hosting me in. I really apologize to the audience for my horse voice. Not just the outcome of this winter well winter and travel right and I wish everybody a bachelor I said about Shalom. Now it's time for our closing segment. Chabad table talk and joining us about table. This week is Judah Gross. The military correspondent for the Times of Israel. Judah when you're talking with your family and friends at your table this weekend. What are you going to be talking about? So this Chabad. I'll be up in the picturesque community of Iran Jakko and Israel's Northern Coast. Where will undoubtedly be talking about an article that was published this week about a Lebanese man who became a spy for Israel collecting intelligence and recruiting assets from the Hezbollah terror groups and whom Israel abruptly cut ties with last year leaving him stranded in a foreign country facing deportation and imprisonment back home? So I'm legally barred from disclosing his name. But in the article I referred to him by the student in Benjamin Philip and so I'll do the same thing here so oddly enough. The first time I spoke to Benjamin I was also run in August. It was shortly after. My inlaws moved there from London and he'd contacted the Times of Israel because he'd been cut off by the Mossad and was facing deportation back to Lebanon and at that point. He said he would sooner commit suicide than go back. Benjamin had already been imprisoned by Hezbollah twice once for a few months on suspicion that he'd been aspired for the CIA and then again for two years when he was caught looking at the most. That's website and Lebanon. Pretty sure and he has reason to be correct that if he does get sent back to. Lebanon. He'll be in prison for a far longer time and face significant torture and abuse because in addition to being a spy for Israel. He's also get so. He provided Israel with information for years and even commenced a member of the Turks elite Redwan unit to defect and spy for Israel and yet suddenly Israel was ghosting him though in September. I traveled abroad to meet bench-men I still can't say to wear. And he told me his story including a particularly depressing childhood in southern Lebanon. It took a considerable amount of time and effort for us to be able to get her story approved by Israel's archaic in my opinion military censor but even though it's been published. The story is not over since I met with him abroad. Benjamin since travel to Europe and his currently seeking asylum there. He's hopeful about his chances and he's also getting therapy from a local. Lgbt organization so this Chabad will be sitting around the table talking about what we owe the folks who make Israel's incredible intelligence and military operations. What about you might you as a really powerful story? Judah thank you for sharing it and I also since I have you here at the table. I can thank you personally for translating the IDs poem for children last week I use that translation for this various segments and when we talked with my family at the Chabad table so in case any of our listeners have not figured this out yet. I was not raised particularly Jewish yiddish. Words do not roll off my tongue with ease and household names or titles in the Jewish. Canon. Don't come naturally Savvy here can attest to the fact that before some episodes I occasionally to run names and terms by him to make sure. I don't sound like an utter fool and this segment was no exception. So imagine you ever sounding like an utter but I just did a moments ago. Sevi- I was particularly excited that the Oxford English dictionary has included dozens of quote unquote Jewish terms in. Its latest edition. So here we go fuxing batch. Capelle was that okay. Do Okay all right and here are some easier ones that also included. Glatt Kosher Hanukkah Gelt. Awesome sauce okay. The last ones not Jewish but it is one of the new words. There were a number of terms though that some people also found offensive yet or yet oh to refer to a Jewish person. Ju- York For New York Jew like to refer to a stereotypical characteristic of Jewish person. Now I have no problem with the inclusion of offensive terms in fact I welcome it as long as the definition includes the fact that those terms are indeed offensive. Some entries did some did not some were noted as used regularly in certain contexts regardless of their offensiveness for example fans of the Tottenham's hotspurs sometimes call themselves yields a nickname I adopted by their opponents now embraced by the fans. Themselves now is Tottenham Tottenham Tottenham. Oh well see there you go. I can't even say British terms correctly. This is angered the soccer club. This this reference to their Fandom in the Oxford English dictionary but linguists have rightfully argued. That part of a dictionaries role is to document the history of words their origins and their modern adaptations the addition of dozens of yiddish words and Jewish phrases and yes. Derogatory terms provides a way to keep track of that now. Interestingly Judy got its own entry as well. And the definition of Anti Semite gotTA revision it's defined as characterized prejudice hostility or discrimination toward Jewish people on religious cultural or ethnic grounds. Now Judah Saffy I ask you. Is that definition. Accurate is it sufficient. I think sometimes there's Anti Semitism even when no Jews are involved Interesting Okay Judah what about you? I mean it doesn't say that it has to be in the room for it to be antisemitic. It's just against Jews. I think that's enough for a dictionary. Definition Anthony Hey obviously books have been written about what is Anti Semitism but you know captures the a line in a book. Okay well I honestly wondered whether anyone considered the working definition of antisemitism that we often discuss an are circles adopted by the International Holocaust REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCE IN MAY TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN. The definition of antisemitism refers to a certain perception of Jews which may be expressed as hatred. It can be manifested. Rhetorically and physically and those manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel when it's conceived as Jewish collectively however criticism of Israel as we all know similar to that level against any other country can't be regarded as antisemitic now. Anti-semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity. And it's often used to blamed Jews for why things go wrong. None of this was mentioned in the dictionary definition. The IRA also insists that the hyphen be removed from the term anti-semitism because it allows for the possibility of something called Semitism and this was a pseudoscientific racial classification used by Nazis. But using it in this context also waters down anti-semitism meaning which is the opposition and hatred toward no one else but Jews. This is all missing from the dictionary's definition and the spelling of the term. And this is something that we're all concerned about the rise of anti-semitism. I think it's important that the dictionary be documenting. These terms be documenting the trajectory of these terms and I think that's what will probably be discussing at our table. Steffi went about you well folks the Kinara is almost full. It feels like for most of my life. Israel has been facing a drought or near drought conditions. But for the first time in years the Sea of Galilee the Freshwater Lake in the north of Israel is almost full. You know when we talk about Israel and often the first kind of color line that comes to mind is the Green Line in the nineteen sixty seven border between Israel and the West Bank but there are some other colored lines that are important to understand what you're talking about the keynote. There's the upper red line that's when the lake is full and threatens to flood the nearby city of of Tiberius. Then there's the lower red line when the sea is dangerously low and that is when people are supposed to stop pumping water from out of the Kinara to meet the needs of the local population. And then there's the lower black line which is the really bad one that is when the level is so low that it's actually below the pipe so it's impossible to pump water out and it's below the pipes by design because pumping it further could be ecologically irreversibly damaging for the lake. So perhaps unsurprisingly for people forged in the desert water is a critical component of Judaism. It infuses our traditional liturgy. It permeates our folk songs and poems and awareness of water flows throughout much of what we know about modern Israel. We know that the Dead Sea is the lowest body of water on earth. We know the importance of the Jordan River. We know about Israel's incredible innovations desalination technology turning the water from the Mediterranean into a portable resource. But the dead. Sea is dying drying up leaving nothing but salty pillars and it's wake and the Jordan River never the Mighty River of myth is often barely a trickle and desalination poses. Its own ecological drawbacks. And so it can't necessarily be relied on a reversal of fortune for the keynote. Could change all that if the keynote rises about a meter more. It'll hit that upper red line. When it threatens to flood the city of Tiberius end so Israeli officials will open a damn by kibbutz to Ganja the first ski boats to prevent flooding and when the damn opens water will flow down from the Galilee into the Jordan River and eventually into the Dead Sea. This is how the water ecosystem is supposed to work. In Israel water from the Golan Heights fills the Kinara the Kinara it flows into Jordan and the Jordan nourishes the population and replenishes the Dead Sea. A mix of geopolitics and climate. Change has disrupted that system in recent decades but at least right now. The Circle of water life is basically backward. Should be and that's something to be thankful for and something we'll be talking about at my table. She'll botulism everyone that's him. Actually you can subscribe to people of the pod on itunes or Google play or spotify or learn more at AJC dot org slash people of the Pie. The views and opinions of our guests don't necessarily reflect the positions of AJC and the Times of Israel. We'd love to hear your views and opinions or your questions. You can reach us at people of the pod at AJC DOT Org. If you like this podcast. He sure to rate it and writer view to help more listeners. Find US thank you for listening. This episode is brought to you by AJC and the Times of Israel. Our producer is condo are sound. Engineer is T K Broddrick tune in next week for another episode of people. Love the POD.