Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Sam Sokol

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One of Ukraine's chief rabbis endorses siege of US Capitol by Trump supporters

(JTA) — Rabbi Moshe Azman, a prominent Ukrainian cleric with ties to several Trump associates at the heart of last year’s Ukrainegate scandal, endorsed Wednesday’s violent attempt to prevent the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s...

 By Sam Sokol    News    August 7, 2020

A bipartisan protest movement is rocking Israel and growing by the week

TEL AVIV (JTA) - Noam Ofer might have been an unlikely candidate to join Israel's burgeoning protest movement. At 76, he is older than most of the people who have taken to the streets in recent weeks...

 By Sam Sokol    News    February 7, 2020

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes a lead role in pushing back against Europe's Holocaust revisionism

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Israeli President Reuven Rivlin assailed Polish complicity in the murder of European Jews during the Holocaust during a visit to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwit... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    January 31, 2020

Putin skews Holocaust history at global Auschwitz commemoration event in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Russian President Vladimir Putin's prime speaking slot at a Holocaust commemoration event here was generating controversy even before the longtime leader took the podium. His remarks... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    January 31, 2020

Israel gets dragged into Europe's memory wars

JERUSALEM (JTA)—A major gathering of world leaders in Jerusalem meant to highlight the world’s determination to learn the lessons of the Holocaust has become mired in controversy, dragging Israel into a battle over history debates still raging... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    January 24, 2020

Launch of Amazon's Hebrew storefront offers American expats a taste of home

(JTA)-Walk into an Israeli post office or one of the many local stores that have lately been serving as ad-hoc delivery centers and you'll be confronted by a jumble of boxes sealed with the telltale... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    December 27, 2019

Turkey allows Hamas to plan terror attacks against Israelis

JERUSALEM (JTA)—The Turkish government has allowed Hamas members to use the country as a safe haven from which to plan attacks against Israelis. The Daily Telegraph cited transcripts of Israeli interrogations of suspected Palestinian terrorists in... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    November 1, 2019

Squeezed for burial space, Jerusalem prepares to open an underground city of the dead

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Carved into the rock on the side of a mountain directly under the Har HaMenuchot cemetery here lies the entrance to Jerusalem's newest necropolis, a city of the dead that its... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    August 23, 2019

Israeli lawmakers say 2-state solution is 'far more dangerous'

JERUSALEM (JTA)—Twenty-one right-wing Israeli lawmakers rebuffed a House bill that endorsed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while rejecting efforts to boycott the Jewish state. In a letter addressed to U.S. Reps. Brad... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    May 10, 2019

Gaza battle 'not over'

JERUSALEM (JTA)—Despite Monday morning’s cease-fire, which ended two days of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas, the “campaign is not over,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “Over the last two days we struck... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    December 28, 2018

ACLU sues Texas over anti-boycott law meant to protect Israel

(JTA)—The American Civil Liberties Union announced that it is suing the state of Texas over a 2017 law prohibiting government contractors from engaging in boycotts of Israel, which is says is an unwarranted violation of Americans’ right to free... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    December 21, 2018

A soldier's death brings grief to Israeli army's fervently religious battalion

JERUSALEM (JTA)-"Yosef! Yosef!" wailed Rabbi Eliyahu Meirav, calling out the name of his stepson lying covered in a shroud on the marble slab before him. "You were righteous. I didn't want to believe... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    August 17, 2018

Haredi dropouts battle Orthodox extremists in a divided Israeli city

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (JTA)-Built in the 1990s in part to ease crowding in haredi Orthodox neighborhoods elsewhere in Israel, Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet is both an Orthodox boom town and a site of ongoing... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    August 10, 2018

Settlers welcome Mike Huckabee

EFRAT, West Bank (JTA)-Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee laid bricks in a new neighborhood in this settlement in a ceremony Wednesday that took its language and cues from Donald Trump's "Make... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    July 13, 2018

These academics want to mend Israel-Diaspora relations-but can this marriage be saved?

JERUSALEM (JTA)-When Adam Ferziger wants to describe the "deteriorating" relationship between American and Israeli Jews, he reaches back to a 2,000-year-old divide. "To use a metaphor, we have a... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    June 29, 2018

Social media groups are helping new immigrants navigate life in Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Vanessa, a Venezuelan-American olah, or immigrant, had experienced a hard landing in Israel. Faced with persistent financial problems, she had trouble holding on to an apartment.... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    June 22, 2018

'Terror kites' shake residents in southern Israel, but not their resolve to stay put

NAHAL OZ, Israel (JTA)-Dani Ben David fiddles with his radio, switching between it and his cell phone as he drives through the Beeri Forest, a nature reserve located on the border of Israel and the... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    June 15, 2018

For reporters covering Gaza, charges of bias overshadow the stories they witness and tell

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Of the more than 60 deaths that occurred during the recent clashes between Israel and Palestinians at the Gaza border, none was as divisive as that of Layla Ghandour. Ghandour, an... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    May 18, 2018

At US embassy dedication, a day for marking history

JERUSALEM (JTA)-Israeli leaders and citizens responded with euphoria as the Trump administration moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on Monday, designating a pre-existing consular building as the... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    October 28, 2016

Israel failed to mobilize Christians ahead of UNESCO vote

JERUSALEM—Israel could have done a better job of enlisting Christian allies in its efforts to prevent the United Nations from passing a resolution erasing the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, one South African legislator... Full story

 By Sam Sokol    News    October 21, 2016

Two killed in Jerusalem terrorist shooting

JERUSALEM-A police officer and a civilian were killed and six were wounded during a drive-by shooting in Jerusalem this weekend, raising concerns about the possible resumption of the wave of lone... Full story


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