A Norwegian Jewish Community Returns to Life, Despite Anti-Semitism

This year, Rosh Hashanah services were held in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, for the first time since World War II. Menachem Wecker describes the revival of the city’s Jewish community, many decades after it was wiped out in the Holocaust, and places it in its historical context:

Norway, whose constitution banned Jews from entry until 1851, has struggled with anti-Semitism. It took until 2012 for Norway to apologize for the first time for complicity in arresting and deporting Jews during the Holocaust. . . . A December 2017 Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies survey found 8.3 percent of Norwegians held negative views of Jews—down from 12.1 percent in 2011. (More than 30 percent disliked Muslims.)

And . . . the Norwegian public television station NRK has recently broadcast [programs with] anti-Semitic tropes and references, including the Jewish domination of the media, “pizza ovens” in concentration camps, and the idea that it might be good if the COVID-19 vaccine didn’t work rather than protect Israelis.

Bergen Jews created a new organization, Det Jødiske Samfunn i Bergen, last year, and the city recognized it in December. On Rosh Hashanah, the group’s leader, Gideon Ovadya, a Beersheba native, read from the Torah, and a University of Bergen musician proved “the world’s greatest shofar player,” said Dániel Péter Biró, the deputy leader and a music-composition professor at the university. The menu featured High Holiday fixings like apples and honey and local pescatarian flavor: very-spicy cod and salmon.

Read more at Forward

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Norway, Rosh Hashanah


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security