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Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA


September 21, 2018

Thousands mourn Ari Fuld, prominent Israel activist stabbed to death by Palestinian

JERUSALEM (JTA)—For more than four hours, thousands mourned at a West Bank cemetery for Ari Fuld, the victim of a terrorist stabbing who is being called a hero and “a lion of Israel,” a play on his name, which means lion. Many waved Israeli flags during and after the funeral for the U.S.-born Israel activist killed outside a shopping mall near Efrat, the Etzion bloc town where he lived.

The funeral for Fuld, a 45-year-old father of four, began close to midnight Sunday, less than a day after he was attacked by a teenage Palestinian assailant. The mourners wouldn’t leave until the wee hours of Monday.

Fuld’s widow, Miriam, delivered one of many eulogies by family members.

“I don’t know how I will go on without you,” she said. “We were born 24 hours apart from one another. We didn’t know it would end like this. You fought for what you believed in. I promise to take care of the children. Your job is to look after us from above.

“You were always running towards danger instead of away from it, and you never backed down from a fight because you knew you were in the right. You fought for what you believed in. You’ve left behind a legacy for the entire world to savor, videos and stories that we will be telling for many years to come.”

Fuld’s father, Rabbi Yonah Fuld, called his son a “true hero.”

“Zion cries and the land of Israel cries. Ari influenced thousands of people all over the world,” his father said. “He was so strong, he was so full of life. He celebrated every moment, every breath. How that voice can be silent?

“He gave his life to sanctify God, to sanctify the land. If you would have asked him, that’s way he would have said he wanted to go.”

Fuld, a dual American-Israeli citizen, chased after his attacker and shot him before falling to the ground. He was declared dead at a Jerusalem hospital.

He worked for Standing Together, a nongovernmental organization that provides support for Israeli soldiers. Fuld was well known for his social media posts defending Israel and its military. He was scheduled to leave in the coming weeks on a speaking tour in the United States. In addition, he reportedly was about to launch a new Israel advocacy website in English.

Several lawmakers and government ministers attended the funeral, many of whom had visited the family during the day prior to the funeral. He was a member of the National Union Party, which is part of the Jewish Home Knesset faction.

He also was eulogized on social media and in newspapers in Israel.

“Israel lost a great hero today but not really. We didn’t lose him. He’s just been moved to a new position,” blogger Paula R. Stern wrote in a post on Facebook. “Maybe you could say he’s been promoted. He’s now a Guardian. He was always one who guarded Israel, now he watches over us from above.”

Former Knesset member Dov Lipman wrote an appreciation of Fuld in The Jerusalem Post.

“Ari and I had our disagreements, and he would argue his points with firmness, clarity and strength,” Lipman wrote. “He believed that he had to convince me to change my mind, and did not want to finish the debate with a ‘let’s agree to disagree’ In certain cases, he believed that my stance was dangerous for the state and people of Israel, and he would continue pressing to win me over—Ari would not let me get away without answering his pointed and poignant questions.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tweet Sunday before the funeral called Fuld a “great Israeli hero” and said he met with his parents and brothers.

“I hugged them in the name of the entire nation in this time of terrible grief,” Netanyahu wrote. “We are alive thanks to heroes like Ari. We will remember him forever.”

Israeli soldiers on Monday raided the home of the assailant Khalil Jabarin, 17, in the village of Yatta near Hebron, and measured it in preparation for demolition—standard practice for the homes of terrorists who murder Israelis. The home reportedly is slated to be razed even though Jabarin’s parents told Palestinian and Israeli security forces about their son’s plans to commit a terror attack.

Haaretz cited a source close to the Jabarin family as saying that the teen informed his parents that he planned to carry out an attack at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. He was not found near the tomb, and then carried out the attack near Efrat.

Woody Allen’s wife Soon Yi Previn defends him against accusations of child sexual abuse

(JTA)–Soon-Yi Previn, the wife of filmmaker Woody Allen, defended her husband of 25 years against charges that he sexually abused his adopted daughter when she was 7.

“What’s happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust,” Previn, 47, told New York magazine in an interview published in the Sept. 17 issue and posted on the magazine’s Vulture website late last week. “[Mia] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn’t.”

Previn is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and her ex-husband Andre Previn. She met Allen when the filmmaker was Farrow’s boyfriend. Allen and Farrow have a biological son and also adopted two children.

In May, in the wake of accusations by dozens of women against movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the launch of the #MeToo movement, Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow revived her accusation that the acclaimed director had molested her in Farrow’s home when she was 7 years old in 1992. Allen has denied that he ever molested his adopted daughter, and an investigation in 1993 determined that Dylan Farrow was coached to make the accusation, which she denies.

The New York article was written by Daphne Merkin, who said in the piece that she has been friends with Allen for more than 40 years. The revelation has led to accusations of bad journalism policies against the magazine.

These are the first comments that Previn has made on her relationship with Allen and the accusations against him in their years together.

Allen and Previn began their relationship in 1991, when Allen still had some kind of relationship with Farrow, and when Previn was a freshman in college studying art. They had planned to keep their relationship a secret and guessed that it would end quickly. Upon discovering the relationship, Farrow called it a virtual case of incest because of the complicated relationship between Allen and the women.

Previn said that Farrow was abusive and considered her to be “retarded,” but that she and Allen did not start a relationship to punish Farrow.

“I wasn’t the one who went after Woody—where would I get the nerve? He pursued me,” she told Merkin. “That’s why the relationship has worked: I felt valued. It’s quite flattering for me. He’s usually a meek person, and he took a big leap.”

Allen’s adopted son Moses has defended him, saying most recently in a blogpost in May that he was present when the molestation of Dylan Farrow is said to have taken place, and that no such assault occurred. His biological son Ronan Farrow, who goes by his middle name after growing up as Satchel, has defended his sister in the controversy. Ronan Farrow is the author of several groundbreaking articles in the New Yorker on high-profile men accused of sexually abusing women.

Several stars of Allen movies have repudiated him in recent months or donated their earnings from Allen films to organizations that support women who have been sexually abused or marginalized.

New York couple die in crash of small plane near Boston

(JTA)—A married couple from New York were killed when their small plane crashed near Boston.

Dr. Michael Graver, 65, and Jodi Cohen, 52, of Long Island, were killed Saturday morning when the plane crashed into the woods in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Graver, an experienced pilot, was flying the plane when it crashed about seven miles from the airport and minutes before it was scheduled to land, NBC New York reported.

No one on the ground was injured in the crash and no homes in the residential area were damaged, according to reports.

The couple were scheduled to meet Graver’s son, Adam, 33, of Washington state, for lunch in Boston, where he was attending a conference

Graver was the chief of adult cardiac surgery at North Shore University Hospital. Cohen was a certified public accountant and worked as a real estate agent. They were married in September 2010.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Republican Jewish Coalition launches $1 million ad campaign against senator who backed Iran deal

(JTA)—The Republican Jewish Coalition launched a $1 million television and digital advertising campaign in North Dakota against its incumbent senator over her support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The campaign targeting Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, was launched last week and will air throughout September in the Fargo and Minot markets.

Titled “Roots,” the ad says that Heitkamp abandoned her “North Dakota values” by “siding with liberals and her party to support the disastrous Iran deal.”

“Those are not our values, they are their values,” the ad continues, showing photos of Heitkamp and three key Democratic supporters of the agreement.

“Heidi Heitkamp voted for the Iran deal, putting party loyalty above American security and the desires of her constituents,” RJC director Matt Brooks said in a statement. “She knew the deal was a dangerous risk that would give Iran access to some $100 billion, money that Iran has used to support terrorists like Hezbollah and the cruel Assad regime in Syria. The deal has made America less safe.

“Now the voters of North Dakota can finally make Heitkamp answerable for her votes in Washington, especially her support for the dangerous Iran deal.”

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear agreement in May.

In June, the RJC said it planned to spend more than $500,000 to target Scott Wallace, a Democratic congressional candidate in a Philadelphia-area district whose charity has given to anti-Israel groups.


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