Jerusalem News (30 July, 2014, 3 Av, 5774)
1. Metamorphosis: A Hungarian Extremist Explores His Jewish Roots by Jan Puhl
2. New Study Claims Marijuana Damages Brain for Life by Shawn Dwyer
3. Pirated Phone Conversation of Obama Slamming Bibi from Unverified Source
In an allegedly taped conversation made public, Obama demands Israel agree to a ceasefire and accept enemies as mediators.
by Lori Lowenthal Marcus
4. Truth is worse than the denied Oren Nahari reports on Obama Netanyahu conversation by Dr. Aaron Lerner
5. Hamas Terrorists Infiltrate Israel and Kill 5 IDF soldiers, by Yair Davidiy (Corrected Version)
1. Metamorphosis: A Hungarian Extremist Explores His Jewish Roots
By Jan Puhl
Csanad Szegedi was a prominent right-wing extremist in Hungary until he discovered his own Jewish roots in 2012. Since then, he has undergone a radical reinvention and is even learning Hebrew. His grandmother, though, continues to hide her Auschwitz tattoo.
Csanad Szegedi's second life began in the apartment of Rabbi Baruch Oberlander, located above the Synagogue in the Erzsebetvaros quarter of Budapest. A mohel -- a circumcision specialist -- had arrived from Israel. And with a single cut, the anti-Semite Csaned was transformed into Dovid, a Jew.
Csanad Szegedi, 31, had been the deputy head of right-wing extremist party Jobbik, which he also represented in the European Parliament. He had made a career of claiming that the Jews sought to plunder Hungary and that they had entered into an alliance with the Roma to turn "pure" Hungarians into a minority in their own country. In public, he would often wear the black military pants and vest of the Hungarian Guard, the banned right-wing extremist group.
But then he learned that his family was Jewish, a revelation that turned his life on its head.
Now, he calls himself Dovid Szegedi, eats kosher, is learning Hebrew and goes to the Synagogue every Friday. "This is my true identity," says Szegedi, who is almost two meters (6" 6') tall. He wears an Italian designer suit, scruffy stubble and a black kippah.
The story of Csanad's transformation into Dovid is one of radical reinvention, and also one of a desperate search for a reliable identity, one which continues to elude Eastern Europe even 25 years after the end of communism.
"They didn't believe that I would really change," Szegedi says. "Many could only forgive me my past with great difficulty. Which I can totally understand." After all, he has a hard time believing it himself.
In the summer of 2012, Szegedi left the Jobbik party, found a rabbi and began studying the Torah. He traveled to Israel, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and went to the Western Wall. He did everything he could to become Jewish.
But he continued to wake up in a cold sweat at night, burning with shame. He would turn on his computer and watch speeches from his past on YouTube. He was never one to scream and rant. Rather he recited his hatred of Roma, Slovakians, the EU and "international financial capital" in a calm and precise, almost cold, tone of voice. That is what made him particularly dangerous.
"Today, I want to make amends for my past with good deeds," he says.
Csanad Szegedi was born in eastern Hungary in 1982. When he started school, the old communist school books were being phased out and his history teacher was a fervent nationalist who spoke frequently of the Treaty of Trianon, the 1920 peace agreement which stripped the erstwhile Kingdom of Hungary of two-thirds of its territory, giving it to its neighbors. For Hungarian nationalists, it is an historical trauma which forms the core of their worldview.
In 2003, he became one of the founders of the Jobbik party; his membership number is 63. They saw themselves as the avant-garde, courageous enough to say what many Hungarians secretly thought: The Roma have to go, the left-wing should be locked up and Brussels wants to enslave Hungary.
Anti-Semitism was also widespread in the party. Many Jobbik members believed that the Holocaust and extermination camps like Auschwitz were nothing but Jewish inventions in order to make others feel guilty and extort money from them.
That was Szegedi's world back then -- and he became something of a radical thought leader for the far right. He even wrote a book entitled "I Believe in Hungary's Resurrection." In the forward, one of his Jobbik comrades writes: "He is our party's fist." Szegedi was also making a good living selling T-shirts with runic writing and other right-wing trinkets from his online shop.
Some were envious of Szegedi's success -- people like Zoltan Ambrus, a right-wing acquaintance of Szegedi's who served time for possession of a pistol and plastic explosives.
Four years ago, Ambrus was given documents -- likely from the archives of Hungary's communist secret police -- showing that Szegedi is of Jewish origin. Ambrus challenged Szegedi, who by then was a representative in European Parliament, and filmed the conversation. Szegedi reacted by trying to bribe Ambrus, offering him jobs and money in exchange for silence. But Ambrus refused and informed the party. In the summer of 2012, Jobbik leaders confronted Szegedi, with party head Gabor Vona initially enthusiastic about the news. "Super," he said. "You are now our shield against accusations that we are anti-Semitic."
But the majority of the party was of a different opinion. One member said: The best would be to shoot you in the head right now.
Suddenly, he was Jewish. And he was reminded of a subconscious feeling from his childhood that something wasn't quite right. On the one hand, Szegedi says, he learned early on at home "that being Jewish is somehow bad." On the other hand, though, his mother once slapped him when he told a Jewish joke that he had heard in school. It was only now, though, as an adult, that he learned more about his ancestors -- a history that had gone unmentioned until then.
Before the war, some 14,000 Jews had lived in Miskolc, where Szegedi was born. Only 105 of them returned from the concentration camps after the violence had ended. One of them was his grandmother. She kept her past from her children like a sinister secret. Even on extremely hot days, she would wear long-sleeved blouses or slapped a bandage over the prisoner number tattooed on her arm. Many Eastern European Jews continue to do so today.
It was Hungarian gendarmes who herded Szegedi's grandmother Magdolna Klein, 25-years-old at the time, into an Auschwitz-bound cattle car in 1944. The first German she saw was the notorious Holocaust doctor Josef Mengele. He sent her to the right -- to join those who were able to work. Most of the others were pointed to the left -- to the gas chambers.
One morning, Magdolna's blanket was missing, an infraction that usually resulted in death. But the guard merely slapped her and sent her to a different labor commando. It was intended as a punishment, but it likely saved her life: The work she was now asked to do was relatively easy, helping her to survive four months in Auschwitz before the Red Army liberated the camp on Jan. 27, 1945.
Magdolna Klein returned to Hungary and tried to lead a normal life. She married a Jewish man who had also survived Auschwitz, but whose first wife and two children had been murdered. The couple went to synagogue every Friday.
But then, in 1956, Hungarians rebelled against the communists and Szegedi's grandmother saw how a mob hanged a policeman from a tree and tore down his pants. He was circumcized. For the gathered crowd, it was proof that Hungary's communists and their henchmen were Jewish. It was back, the old anti-Semitism that Magdolna hoped had vanished along with Nazi Germany. On that day, she and her husband decided to cease being Jewish. They never again visited a synagogue and stopped speaking about Auschwitz.
With such a family background, says Szegedi, it was no longer possible to be a right-wing radical, much less a member of Jobbik. Which is why, one day, he wrote a text message to Rabbi Koves. "Please call me," he wrote.
The rabbi initially believed it was a joke, but then he agreed to a meeting in the austere conference room of the Lubavitch community. "I met with a man in freefall," Koves says. "He had lost all of his friends and all of his certainties."
Rabbi Koves, 34, consulted with his colleagues and came to the conclusion that "despite his past, Szegedi needed help." Soon, Koves arranged another meeting with Szegedi, during which they talked about anti-Semitism and Jewish faith. The discussion was akin to a wrestling match. "The Jews are buying up Hungary," Szegedi claimed, for example. "There are some Israeli investors who are creating jobs for Hungarians," the rabbi responded. It went on like that for a whole day.
Rabbi Koves prescribed Szegedi a rigorous regime of study and contemplation -- and told him not to speak to the media. And step by step, Csanad Szegedi overcame his past. He says he would have left Jobbik if the party hadn't kicked him out. He closed down his online shop, sent his unsold stock back to the suppliers and threw away his books. The only thing he held onto was his seat in European Parliament, so that it wouldn't be filled by another right-winger from Jobbik.
Some, such as the Budapest philosopher Gaspar Miklos Tamas, have accused Szegedi of remaining a racist. As long as he believed he was a "pure Hungarian," Miklos has said, he saw things through a nationalist lens. But as soon as he learned of his past, he began seeing the world from an exclusively Jewish point of view.
His entire family has now returned to being Jewish -- except for his grandmother. "She still thinks that the Holocaust could be repeated at any moment and that hatred of the Jews will never disappear," Szegedi says. When she learned that he was planning to become circumcized, she tried to talk him out of it. And she still doesn't go to the synagogue.
Translated from the German by Charles Hawley
2. New Study Claims Marijuana Damages Brain for Life
By Shawn Dwyer
A study conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago has determined that chronic use of marijuana during teen years causes long-term brain damage.
Released in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, the study showed that heavy pot smoking during adolescence altered users, brains in the sub-cortical regions; primitive structures that are part of memory and reasoning circuits. 'We see that adolescents are at a very vulnerable stage neurodevelopmentally,' said research team leader Matthew Smith. 'And if you throw stuff into the brain that's not supposed to be there, there are long-term implications for their development.'
Researchers compared brain scans of a controlled group of non-using healthy subjects with those of past marijuana users who were all in their mid-20s and smoked pot heavily in their teens. The pot-smoking subjects were broken into three groups: people with cannabis use disorder, people with cannabis use disorder and diagnosed with schizophrenia, and people with schizophrenia and no past use of marijuana. Researchers then scanned three sections of the brain: the striatum, which is linked to reward and motivation; the thalamus, which is the brain's central hub for cognition input; and the globus pallidus, which covers movement and memory. The results were that heavy users showed brain abnormalities in all three regions regardless of whether or not they suffered from schizophrenia. Meanwhile, all participants performed a memory test that showed heavy users fared worse than healthy non-users and non-using schizophrenics.
3. Pirated Phone Conversation of Obama Slamming Bibi from Unverified Source [USA reports say the Transcript is false but see item no.4 below.]
In an allegedly taped conversation made public, Obama demands Israel agree to a ceasefire and accept enemies as mediators.
By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Published: July 30th, 2014
Much of the Israeli media was abuzz Tuesday, July 29 over a report filed by Israel's Channel One's well-respected reporter Oren Nahar, who claimed that a 'senior U.S. official' had turned over a tape of a phone call between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The transcript of the alleged call has Obama browbeating Netanyahu, demanding that the Israeli government imposed an immediate ceasefire, while the Israeli Prime Minister repeatedly attempts to explain why a ceasefire at this point would be suicidal for Israel.
Channel One stands behind its story and the other Israeli media outlets which wrote about the conversation stand behind it as well. Mostly everyone else is lampooning the conversation as 'not credible' and 'unsubstantiated.'
Indeed, both Obama and Netanyahu issued statements dismissing the allegedly taped conversation to be a fabrication, calling it 'shocking and disappointing' that someone 'would sink to misrepresenting' a private conversation between Obama and Netanyahu in fabrications to Israeli press.
The following is an excerpt of the alleged conversation, published in Hebrew by Channel One:
Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities, particularly airstrikes.
Netanyahu: What will Israel receive in return for a ceasefire?
Obama: I believe that Hamas will stop firing rockets, silence will be met with silence.
Netanyahu: Hamas violated all five previous ceasefires, it is a terrorist organization which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Obama: I repeat and expect Israel to unilaterally stop all its military activity. The pictures of destruction from Gaza distance the world from Israel's position.
Netanyahu: Kerry's proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas the military and diplomatic advantage.
Obama: Within a week of the end of Israel's military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas on the basis of the 2012 understanding [following the end of Operation Pillar of Defense - ed.], including Israel's commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza,
Netanyahu: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It is impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.
Obama: I trust Qatar and Turkey, and Israel is in no position to choose its mediators.
Netanyahu: I object, because Hamas is able to continue and to fire rockets and to use tunnels for terror attacks.
Obama interrupts Netanyahu mid-sentence: The ball is in Israel's court, it is obligated to end all military activities.
4. Truth is worse than the denied Oren Nahari reports on Obama Netanyahu conversation by Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 29 July 2014
American and Israeli officials charged that the transcript reported [above] is
In truth, the White House press release describing the conversation is far
worse than the transcript presented by Oren Nahari.
According to the White House press release "The President stressed the U.S.
view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the
demilitarization of Gaza."
While the EU declares that the terrorists in the Gaza Strip should be
disarmed, Mr. Obama doesn't see the demilitarization of Gaza before there is
a "lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".
Put bluntly: if we don't agree to divide Jerusalem then Hamas can keep its
So while this transcript has Mr. Obama arguing with Netanyahu over the
choice of mediators, the White House has Mr. Obama stating for the record
that the demilitarization of Gaza is off the agenda until Israel can reach
a "lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".
In this case the truth is worse than what is now claimed to be fiction.
5. Hamas Terrorists Infiltrate Israel and Kill 5 IDF soldiers, collated by Yair Davidiy (Corrected Version)
Previously in (the first sending of)
JN-1067. Jerusalem News
#5. Hamas Terrorists Infiltrate Israel and Kill 5 IDF soldiers, by Yair Davidiy
we sent out a report that was mistaken on some points.
Below is a slightly corrected updated version.
More information may be forthcoming in future postings of JN.
Terrorists entered Israel via a cross-border tunnel from Gaza, surfacing in the Nahal Oz area on Monday evening (28 July 2014).
Nahal Oz is a kibbutz in the southwest of Israel on the border with the Gaza strip.
Hamas has released a clip of the action. The clip has been edited and shows only part of the action.
The clip shows at least four terrorists emerging from an underground tunnel and advancing towards an IDF "pillbox" watchtower.
The pillbox was protecting the kibbutz.
Together with the person making the film that makes for at least five terrorists and there may have been more.
The terrorists open the door of the tower and fire into it killing the five Israeli occupants.
They are shown attempting to drag one of the bodies away with them but desist.
A sixth IDF soldier was at the top of the tower and was supposed to have been guarding the approaches to it and watching the surroundings.
This soldier saw what was happening and claims to have fired at the terrorists and hit one of them. This is what made the terrorists retreat and stop trying to drag away an IDF body.
Early reports said that the IDF had already been already aware of the tunnel and supposedly had examined and neutralized it.
Five Soldiers Killed During Attempted Terrorist Infiltration
# The IDF was reportedly aware of the tunnel's existence and it is thus not clear how the terrorists managed to use it. One possibility is that the terrorist squad had been ensconced in a hidden room inside the tunnel network and emerged to carry out the attack. #
Something went wrong.
Where did the terrorists come from?
The IDF has numerous women soldiers monitoring camera screens that supposedly show everything going on along the border.
Up until now they had very good results. On several occasions they have been highly praised for having spotted attempts at infiltration and enabled their interception.
These girls are known as Tatspitaniot i.e. viewers.
We sent the following e-mail to:
"Dr. Aaron Lerner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, who runs
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations
From: Yair Davidiy
To: Dr. Aaron Lerner
# Where were the Tatspitaniot? Why was the tunnel not neutralized after its discovery? #
We received the following reply:
"Dr. Aaron Lerner" <email@example.com>,
Assuming for the moment that the hole came up on the border side, the problem in the middle of the day is that the long distance view of the cameras give a view that hard to pick put people in very bright sunlight, at night the infrared picks up tremendous contrast between hot faces and the cooler background. The screw up probably the person in the tower not watching. ... the video shows the terrorist coming up to the unlocked gate and coming in and shooting the soldiers one by one.