Complicity of Poles in the deaths of Jews is highly underestimated, scholars say
In a 1970 article, pioneering Polish-Jewish historian Szymon Datner estimated that 200,000 Jews died at the hands of Poles during World War II. Attempting to flee the Germans’ cattle cars and camps, they found their deaths after being handed over to the authorities, informed upon while in hiding, or through murder by their Polish neighbors.
From 1942 to 1945, according to Datner’s calculations, of the 250,000 Jews who attempted to escape the Germans in occupied Poland, only 10-16 percent survived.
A Jewish Holocaust survivor himself, Datner eventually became the head of the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw and worked as a historian for the precursor to Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). But were he alive today, he would potentially be prosecuted for his scholarly findings.
On February 6, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law amendments to the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation Act.
Among its amendments is this controversial section of the bill: “Whoever claims, publicly and contrary to the facts, that the Polish Nation or the Republic of Poland is responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich… or for other felonies that constitute crimes against peace, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or whoever otherwise grossly diminishes the responsibility of the true perpetrators of said crimes – shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years.”
With its vague language, this amendment could be read as mandating that Datner, a respected historian who worked for the institute the bill is named for, be locked up.
A former prime minister entered Poland’s fraught debate over a new law that prohibits discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi Holocaust, bluntly telling a leading newspaper that “of course” there were cases of Poles collaborating in the extermination of the Jews.
“Of course Poles took part,” former Polish premier Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz told the newspaper Rzeczpospolita on Wednesday.
Emphasizing that “today’s generation is not responsible for what happened,” Cimoszewicz — a social democrat politician who was Poland’s prime minister during the mid-1990s and also served as the country’s foreign minister — urged Poles to talk “openly and honestly” about the experience of Nazi occupation.
Among the historical examples he cited were the “tens of thousands” of “szmalcowniks” — Poles who informed on Jews or extorted their property. At least 60,000 Jews had been denounced by Poles to the Nazi Gestapo, Cimoszewicz said.
Ninety percent of Poland’s pre-war Jewish population of 3 million was murdered following the Nazi German invasion of September 1939.
The former prime minister also noted that more than 6,000 Poles had been honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. “We are all obliged to remember these heroic people, but we must not allow their heroism to cover the crimes and wickedness of a much larger group of Poles,” he continued.
“Antisemitism was and remains endemic in our country,” Cimoszewicz said.
Cimoszewicz accused Poland’s nationalist government of deliberately exaggerating the damage to Poland’s reputation through the use of phrases like “Polish death camp” to describe Auschwitz, the slave labor and execution factory constructed and operated by the Nazi German occupiers near the town of Oświęcim in the south.
The International March of the Living, an educational initiative that has brought more than 250,000 participants to visit concentration camps in Poland, has announced that it will continue its trip in 2018, despite the organization’s opposition to a new Polish law criminalizing statements such as “Polish concentration camps,” or similar statements linking Poland to the heinous crimes against Jews in World War II.
Instead, the organization is calling for “for an open discussion and dialogue on all aspects related to the history of the Holocaust in Poland and Europe, which is also the position of the government of Israel.”
In a statement, March of the Living said, “Like in years before, more than 12,000 participants, Jews and non-Jews alike, including thousands of non-Jewish Polish students, and students from other nations, will take part in the passing the torch of memory from survivors to the next generation. On each trip, the survivors share their precious stories in the very places they transpired, with their students who commit to becoming the bearers of their memories.”
Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, International March of the Living President, said, “We believe it is our sacred responsibility to carry the torch of Holocaust memory and we remain committed to teaching the importance of understanding the past as a means of protecting the future. Now, as much as ever, we believe our mission is of the utmost importance.”
The organization notes that despite the law — which has been panned by Israeli officials — that “great progress has been made in the arena of Polish-Jewish relations and in the relationship between Poland and the State of Israel,” since the inception of the March of the Living program.
Dozens of Holocaust survivors protested outside the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday, demonstrating against a new law in Poland that criminalizes suggestions of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.
The demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as: “No law can erase history” and “Poles, we remember what you did.”
The demonstrators broke into the compound of the embassy singing Am Yisrael Chai, “The people of Israel live.”
The protest was organized by the Haifa-based Yad Ezer La-Haver foundation, which runs a home in that city for Holocaust survivors.
The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Maariv reported that survivor Shalom Steinberg, 95, from Haifa, shouted: “You should be ashamed. I escaped from Auschwitz and weep every night from the things I went through there. Many people like me did not survive, and we will not forget that the Nazis massacred us on your Polish soil.”
Motke Lieber, another Holocaust survivor, added: “How can it be that such a law is passed when the Poles did not help us, and certainly not the Germans?”
While Turkish President Erdogan and Pope Francis were in Rome complimenting each other on Jerusalem and the European Union was rolling out red carpets to Mahmoud Abbas, Israel was protecting the West.
This small state has hitherto prevented Iran from manufacturing the atomic bomb, it has ruined the nuclear plans of Saddam Hussein and Bashar el Assad thanks to two solitary bombings, it guards the security of Jordan that without Israel would collapse today like a cooked pear, it has foiled attacks by ISIS on European civilian flights and we now discover that Egypt’s el Sisi has recently asked Israel to bomb ISIS’ posts in Sinai.
Israel today is the fireman of the Middle East. Imagine the region, from time to time, without Israel as the anti-Semites of the whole world dream of it. A Middle East of beheaders facing the Mediterranean, a Middle East of planes full of Westerners flying from Sharm el Sheikh and sinking in the Red Sea, a Middle East of a race to atomic weapons by dictatorships of all kinds, a Middle East of even more millions of refugees going to Europe. Tonight we will sleep more peacefully thanks to Israel.
What an extraordinary country is the Jewish State! Tension is rising and extensive military simulations are under way, with the participation of the US Army, in the event of a missile attack Defense Minister Liberman has just warned that Israel will not allow images like those of 2006 to repeat themselves, when the citizens of Beirut were on the beach while the Israelis in Tel Aviv were in shelters.
Yet, this extraordinary little country has just been named the third most innovative in the world by the World Economic Forum. The others are all democracies that have known war 70 years ago, often succumbing to evil. How did Israel innovate despite the fact that it is a democracy at war since its creation? Brain, grit and the prospect of the imminent destruction.
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), which has been at the forefront of anti-Israel sentiment in Ireland, recently led to Israel banning some 20 activists associated with the Dublin-based group from entering the Jewish state as part of recent legislation by the Israeli government targeting anti-Israel BDS groups.
“It’s an Irish obsession to identify with the perceived underdog. It’s very disappointing and a complete distortion of the facts on the ground,” an Irish4Israel spokesman said. “If Israel wants to change the Irish mentality towards Israel, it needs to engage with Ireland more.”
However, one major looming challenge in engagement are recent reports that Israel is mulling closing down its embassy in Ireland as part of plans to shutter seven embassies worldwide due to budget concerns, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Israel first opened its embassy in 1996 — making it one of the last countries in the EU to have an Israeli embassy — after years of negotiations. Despite strained political relations since then, trade between Ireland and Israel has grown significantly, as both countries have become global leaders in areas such as technology and pharmaceuticals. In 2016, Israel was Ireland’s 11th-largest export partner, with $1.63 billion in goods.
Despite growing economic ties, Kittrie believes that Israel needs to improve its outreach to the Irish people if the Jewish state hopes to improve relations with the country.
“Israel has a good story to tell. It needs to do a far better job of telling it to the Irish people,” he said.
“Watching the debate in the Irish Senate, one would think that the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians is entirely the fault of Israel. That is just not true. I think education has a big role to play in improving relations between Ireland and Israel.”
Fred Maroun: Arab by birth, Zionist by choice
I was born an Arab, partly Lebanese, partly Syrian, and partly Egyptian. I was destined to distrust Israel, and let’s be honest, to be an anti-Semite who thinks that Israel exists only because Europeans feel guilty about the Holocaust and Jews control world banks and the US government.
But as luck would have it, I chose a different course. I chose to stand with a people (Jews) that defied all odds and became the only ancient civilization to reclaim its native land from imperialist invaders (Arabs, my ancestors).
I chose to support a state that managed to survive in 1947/49 against much more numerous invaders, and despite the indifference and even hostility of most of the world.
I chose to support a nation that stunned and repelled its allied Arab enemies in six short days in 1967 despite an embargo and condemnation by France which had previously been its main weapons supplier.
I chose to stand with the Jews who despite early setbacks in 1973, and despite a slow and hesitant re-supply by the US that had to overcome a flight ban by most European countries, forced the attacking Arab armies into retreat.
Why the paper of record would give such a man a spot in its vaunted op-ed page is anybody’s guess, though it’s hard to believe that kooks of other stripes would’ve been welcomed so warmly. Can you imagine, for example, an anti-gay bigot writing heartily in support of “reparative therapy”? Neither can I.
Why, then, Wilkerson? Why accept a piece whose main thrust is so ludicrous as to make its author appear to be just a few twitches short of a trip to the loony bin? The answer is simple and scary: It’s because many on the well-groomed left, even if not subscribing to the classical definitions of anti-Semitism, inherently believe things about Israelis and Jews that are, at their very essence, absolutely and absurdly insane. This includes everything from the conviction that a small cabal of Jewish men are forever using their unending wealthy and their mystical sway over Congress to lead generations of innocent American soldiers into needless wars to the belief that Israel’s imperial appetites constantly lead it to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors in murderous and malicious ways.
Thankfully, most people on the left today are sensible enough to understand these ideas are patently lunatic and deeply hateful. Sadly, they can’t seem to shake them off. This is where “experts” like Wilkerson come in handy, flashing their credentials, however flimsy, to say what “everyone already believes.” This is how democracy dies, not in darkness but in the blinding glare of the spotlight publications that ought to know better give bigots like Lawrence Wilkerson.
Students Supporting Israel campaign to highlight the historical right of the Jewish people to live in their homeland focusing on the importance of The Law of Return and stories of immigrant communities to Israel from around the world. By Ilan Sinelnikov
Common accusations we hear on campuses these days include statements such as “Israelis are occupiers from Europe…”; “Jews are white colonialists …” ; “Israel is a racist state…” and the list goes on. In addition, while it should be clear that sovereign countries have the right to define their own immigration laws, Israel is constantly being criticized for the right of return it provides for Jewish people to the Jewish homeland.
Moreover, questions are raised as to why those who considered Palestinian refugees are not also given the right of return to Israel. All these accusations and critiques are being voiced while completely ignoring the unprecedented miracle of immigration absorption on a mass scale that happened in Israel, where people from many different backgrounds were successfully able to come together as one nation and create a new identity, the “Israeli”.
The new Students Supporting Israel campaign was created to shed the light on these topics above. The program brings together a unique panel of 4 speakers, Jewish Israelis from diverse backgrounds: Ethiopian, Russian, Mexican and North African, to include an overview of the Jewish law of return, its historical significance, how it fulfills the idea of Zionism and a Jewish homeland, and why having a country that defines itself as Jewish is not a topic for debate but an existing fact that questioning it means applying a double standards towards Israel.
From the historical archives, a reminder of the thin line between barbarity and civilisation, and that civilisation cannot be taken for granted. (The image at left is of still-breathing victims of the Kiev pogrom of 1919; the pogrom described below seemingly occurred in 1885, and the author briefly mentions one that took place in 1905.)
This article was printed in The Australian Worker, 16 August 1933; it was entitled ‘What a Jewish Pogrom Means’.
For centuries the Jews have been persecuted. But have you ever realised the terror of a pogrom? This description of anti-Jewish riots by David Katharas refers to pre-war Russia, but it might easily be Germany to-day.
This story may help Christians to realise the. horror with which world Jewry has heard of the outbreak of anti-Semitism in Germany, and the depth of feeling behind the protests of our people against the Nazi attacks on the Jews.
I am a trader in the City of London, but Russia is the country of my birth.
I am one of many thousands of Jews in this country and America who have lived through the terror of persecution in Eastern Europe, and who know what anti-Semitism can mean at the hands of the more brutal of the European peoples.
American Jewish leaders are bracing themselves for a documentary series made by the Al Jazeera network expected to claim that pro-Israel groups in Washington are helping Israel to identify and discredit US citizens whom they see as anti-Israel, including supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
Senior pro-Israel activists in the US capital were surprised last week to receive a request by the network for comment on the documentary after having received what they claimed was a promise from the Qatari authorities that the series would not see the light of day, the Haaretz daily reported Thursday.
“Al Jazeera is in the final stages of preparing a documentary concerning the role of pro-Israel advocacy groups in the United States,” the network said in an email dated February 2 and obtained by the Washington Examiner. “The documentary will investigate how such groups secure support for Israel in Congress and how they have been drawn into Israel’s covert campaign to defeat BDS, the movement to boycott, divest and impose sanctions on Israel.”
The email added that the network had “uncovered evidence, which suggests that this campaign may well involve these groups working with Israel to collect intelligence on and discredit US citizens who support BDS, as well as others who are perceived as challenging Israel.”
It gave the Jewish organizations until February 22 to respond.
The Jewish magazine Tablet reported in January of last year that the Israeli embassy in the US; the nongovernmental organization The Israel Project; and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank, were likely to be targeted in the program.
Top legal experts recently gathered in Jerusalem for a three-day summit focused on countering a global delegitimization campaign against Israel. The first-ever Legal Network Initiative was organized by the International Legal Forum, an Israeli nonprofit, in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and the Israel Bar Association.
“This is the first time where [more than] 150 legal experts from around the world are coming together in one room, at one time, for one conversation — and thinking about the next moves, ideas and legal narratives that should be developed to counter both the delegitimization of the state of Israel, and the various boycott movements taking place around the world,” said Tzahi Gavrieli, director of the Task Force Against Delegitimization within Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
While efforts to delegitimize the right of the Jewish people to have a state have existed since Israel’s establishment, the advent of social media has made this movement more widespread. And Israel has only recently started targeting these campaigns on a state level.
“There are two [issues]: The higher level is delegitimization; the lower is the boycott divestment function,” said Gavrieli. “Until two years ago, boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] movement organizers were vocal and active with no boundaries. In the last two years, there has been a major and substantial turning point, whereby organizers of boycott movements now feel that they cannot carry out large and significant steps against Israel.
An anti-BDS resolution spearheaded by a Christian-Zionist organization is set to pass in the Ohio Senate, which will make it the 12th state in the union to do so.
“This resolution will provide another hurdle for the antisemitic BDS movement in states across the US,” Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president and founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. “Ohio is the 12th state to introduce a version of the resolution passed in Tennessee in 2016. Proclaiming Justice to the Nations will continue to do everything in our power to defend the rights of our children and grandchildren to study in a safe learning environment without threats or intimidation from antisemitic groups with known ties to terrorism that masquerade on campus as human rights advocates.”
The Ohio Senate will be presented with resolution HCR 10, which condemns the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The resolution was introduced in the Ohio House by Representatives Andy Thompson and Dave Greenspan. “This is the 12th resolution of its kind to be presented to a US State legislature as a result of the efforts of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations,” said PJTN’s Ohio state director, Mike Goldstein.
This bipartisan resolution passed the entire House on December 5, 2017 by a vote of 92-2. HCR 10 was sent to the Senate where it was assigned to the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee, chaired by Senator Frank LaRose.
The resolution focuses on the plight of students that are being harassed, intimidated and attacked in the name of BDS.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak with Stuart Robert MP, a Queensland Liberal Parliamentarian who is staunchly supportive of Israel, and then feature a two-part interview with Devorah Halberstam, a New York expert on terrorism, but which began with her own personal tragedy.
We also hear from Pakistan-born West Australian Muslim academic and commentator Sherry Sufi whose views you will find very refreshing, and Isi Leibler joins us as usual from Jerusalem.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying international news, it’s the importance of the so-called Status Quo when it come to Jews and what governs their relations with non-Jews. Anything that disrupts or violates the status quo must be prevented. Well, that means we shouldn’t be letting Jews put up an Eruv in our town, because there never was one before, and as everyone with half a brain can tell, that would violate the status quo.
It’s a principle in play in numerous arenas. The international community castigates Israel for disrupting the status quo on the Temple Mount: no Jewish prayer there because it might disrupt the status quo, regardless of the fact that the status quo came to be only as a result of violent Islamic supremacism. The point is that Jews may not disrupt the status quo. In Mahwah, we wish to uphold that principle as well. Do not call us antisemites because we take the same principled stand as most of the world!
The same attitude prevails regarding Jewish settlements in areas beyond the 1949 armistice line with Jordan. Any new Jewish construction creates “facts on the ground” that risk prejudicing the final outcome or feasibility of a final status agreement with the Palestinians, so any Jewish move to alter the sacred status quo is met with international condemnation. All we are saying is apply that test to Mahwah. We cannot allow Jews to create facts on the ground that would prejudice the final demographic character of this township.
NOTE: Since publication of the critique below, much of the Newsweek editorial staff has been fired, and there is speculation that the publication might close entirely. Newsweek is also being investigated for lying about its finances and its web traffic.
There are few journalistic lapses more obvious and unprofessional than simply making up a statement by a public figure. Yet Newsweek’s serial offender, Tom O’Connor, has done exactly that — again.
In his Newsweek article, entitled, “Middle East’s Next Oil War? Israel Threatens Lebanon Over Hezbollah and Natural Gas,” O’Connor fantasizes that at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference on January 29:
Israel has threatened to invade Lebanon amid a recent spat over natural resources and militant groups that, once again, raised tensions between the longtime foes.
He then claims that at the same conference, Israel’s minister of defense, Avigdor Lieberman:
…threatened to wage a full-scale war against Lebanon if Hezbollah launched any attacks against Israel.
But Lieberman never said that in his speech. Period.
HonestReporting has obtained the full text of Lieberman’s remarks, in the original Hebrew.
In their Los Angeles Times article yesterday (“Neither Israel nor Hamas wants another war in Gaza. . . “), Noga Tarnopolsky and Rushdi Abu Alouf err: “Egypt’s border with Gaza is closed and Israel allows only trucks carrying food or other humanitarian necessities in and out.”
Israel allows commercial goods in and out of the Gaza Strip — not just humanitarian goods. In fact, according to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Gaza Crossings’ Operation Status: Monthly Update (December 2017), in December, 10,327 truckloads of commercial goods entered the Gaza Strip from Israel. This compares to just 460 truckloads of what the United Nations terms humanitarian goods. In other words, the amount of commercial goods which entered the Gaza Strip was more than 22 times greater than the amount of humanitarian goods which entered that month. This ratio is pretty much consistent for all of 2017.
Since 2010, has allowed just about everything into Gaza without restrictions aside from weapons and goods that it considers dual-use items (ie military and civilian use).
We are already used to Facebook’s double standards when it comes to penalizing pro-Israeli people, yet leaving up the most vile antisemitic and pro-terrorism content. But I believe they have now hit a new low.
If you go to change your profile pic, you can choose from a variety of frames.
Notice the first one I am offered?
Perhaps this is clearer:
That is a frame of terrorist Ahmad Jarrar, murderer of Rabbi Raziel Shevach.
I assume anyone can create frame for use, but how Facebook have allowed this is beyond me.
Please join me in reporting it by clicking on the arrow (desktop) or three dots (mobile) next to the frame, and selecting “Report Frame.”
Update: Success! It seems to have been removed.
But I just noticed this other one:
Of the twelve filmed reports relating to the story which appeared on the BBC News website during December, only one – which, significantly, was presented as a backgrounder: “Yolande Knell explains why the city is so important” – gave any historical information. Knell told BBC audiences that:
“Most Israelis see Jerusalem as their “eternal, undivided capital”. Not long after the modern state of Israel was created in 1948, the Israeli parliament was set up in the west of the city. But it wasn’t until the 1967 war with neighbouring Arab countries that Israel captured east Jerusalem, including the Old City, and it later annexed it in a move that’s not recognised internationally.”
As we see, Knell’s ‘backgrounder’ made no mention whatsoever of Jordan’s nineteen-year occupation of parts of Jerusalem and the fact that the later Jordanian annexation was unrecognised by the international community.
Like all the BBC’s numerous reports, this ‘backgrounder’ too failed to note the inclusion of Jerusalem in the territory assigned by the League of Nations to the creation of a Jewish homeland. The belligerent British-backed Jordanian invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing of Jews from districts including the Old City in 1948, together with the destruction of synagogues and cemeteries, was completely ignored, as was the fact that the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan specifically stated that the ceasefire lines were not borders. Israel’s warning to Jordan not to participate in the Six Day War was also eliminated from all the BBC’s accounts of events.
An outspoken Holocaust denier and anti-Semite poised to become the Republican nominee for a US House seat reiterated his vitriolic views on Thursday, when he was confronted by on CNN.
In a six-minute segment with Alisyn Camerota during the news network’s morning program, Arthur Jones, a former chair of the American Nazi Party, dismissed the Holocaust as “poppycock” and a “scam,” blamed the pro-Israel lobby for miring America in endless Middle East wars, and said the Jews controlled the nation’s government, its economy and the media.
“It is shocking to hear how vocally and unapologetically racist you are,” Camerota began the segment, after airing remarks he made at a neo-Nazi rally last April. “Are you a Nazi?”
After saying that he had not had any affiliation with a “national socialist organization” for 15-20 years, Jones answered: “I don’t call myself a Nazi. I call myself an American patriot and statesman.”
He did, however, stress that he only belonged to one organization — his own, the America First Committee.
Is Kevin Myers – the Irish journalist – a Holocaust-denier?
In 2009, the firebrand columnist wrote in the Irish Independent, “There was no holocaust (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths.”
But earlier this week, the Irish national broadcaster RTE was criticized by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, after a morning-show host categorized Myers as a Holocaust-denier last year.
On Tuesday, the Broadcasting Authority published a decision that upheld a complaint against the Morning Ireland radio show.
The authority claimed, “It was evident from the article as a whole that his description did not in fact amount to a statement denying the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazi regime. Rather, the article was a comment on how language is used and the criminalization of individuals or groups who engage in Holocaust-denial.”
And just as Myers was supposedly vindicated, he appears to be gearing up for a comeback, with an upcoming appearance at The Little Museum in Dublin. It has been just over six months since he was ousted as a columnist from The Sunday Times.
Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, writing under the pen name Céline, published his novel Journey to the End of the Night in 1932; it was praised by his contemporaries as a work of genius, and still retains its place as a seminal work of French modernism. A few years later, he began expressing his admiration for Hitler and hope for a Franco-German alliance, writing a series of viciously anti-Semitic pamphlets. In Céline’s eyes, the fall of France in 1940 was a proud moment. Reviewing a recent, meticulous study of the novelist’s views on Jews and race, Frederic Raphael explores how he returned to polite society after the war:
After France’s capitulation in 1940, . . . Céline was one of a band—Robert Brasillach, Drieu la Rochelle, and Lucien Rebatet at its head—whose gloating collaboration with France’s overlords ensured that their articles and books were printed in unprecedentedly large numbers. . . .
Céline’s post-war affectations of never having meant what he said, or even of never having said it, leave him without the cover of honest monstrosity. Annick Duraffour and Pierre André Taguieff [the new book’s authors] unpick the selective quotations and outright lies that allowed Céline and his bande to pervert the truth about his wriggles and wangles. As early as 1950, he had his supporters. . . .
The factitious category of “genius” spared Ezra Pound, as it has Céline, the consequences of “mere words.” Tactfully confined for a few years, Pound returned to sanity and celebrity status in 1949 by being awarded the first Bollingen prize by a jury of T.S. Eliot and friends. Only the poet Karl Shapiro dissented, to his cost. A veteran of the war in the Pacific, he made the bad career move of taking it seriously that, at the [zenith] of the Holocaust, Pound—while a guest of Mussolini—wrote that Jewish profiteers were transporting Europe’s best men to their deaths in—yes, he actually specified—cattle trucks.
German Jewish businessman Paul Leffmann who in 1938 sold Picasso’s painting “The Actor” to two art dealers for $13,200 so he could escape from Nazi-allied Italy to neutral Switzerland with his wife, was not under duress, and therefore the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is allowed to hold on to the painting, a Federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
In what might be one of the most insensitive decisions regarding Jewish property appropriated between 1933 and 1945, Judge Loretta A. Preska, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled against Leffmann’s estate, arguing that “although the Leffmanns felt economic pressure during the undeniably horrific circumstances of the Nazi and Fascist regimes, that pressure, when not caused by the counterparties to the transaction (or the defendant) where the duress is alleged, is insufficient to prove duress with respect to the transaction.”
Meaning that since the Met itself did not send out its own thugs to bargain down terrified Jewish refugees out of their dwindling riches, it is OK for the museum to continue to display the million dollar artwork.
Actually, it’s $100 million, the amount Leffmann’s great-grandniece, Laurel Zuckerman, administrator of the estate, is demanding from the Met in damages, in addition to the painting.
A 6-year-old British girl has undergone special surgery in Israel that will allow her to keep her leg and her doctor called it a success.
Kyra Warrell, of Brighton, located on the south coast of England, is afflicted with proximal focal femoral deficiency, which will leave her left leg about 8 inches shorter than her right if left untreated. The surgery took place on Sunday at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Dr. Dror Paley, an Israeli-born physician who is internationally recognized for his expertise in limb lengthening and reconstruction, told the London-based Jewish Chronicle that Kyra will be ready for a more difficult leg-lengthening surgery next year.
The family must now raise $132,000 for the second operation, which will take place in Florida, where Paley is the director of the Paley Institute in West Palm Beach, and require them to remain for three months for daily physiotherapy near the hospital to ensure the best chance of success. The family has said they will sell their house to cover the costs, if necessary.
Doctors at Britain’s National Health Service had decided that an above-the-knee amputation, to allow for a prosthetic limb, would be the best option. But Kyra’s parents, Rima and Neil Warrell, wanted their daughter, who loves dancing and gymnastics, to be able to keep her leg.
The Warrells, who are not Jewish, started a crowdfunding campaign to bring Kyra to Israel for the first of three surgeries between now and the time she is 16 to save her leg. They raised about $71,500 of the approximately $78,500 needed for the surgery.
After an action-packed year for Gal Gadot on the big screen, another Israeli star is heading for the spotlight, but this time it’s on the Broadway stage.
Starting in September, Shiri Maimon is expected to star as Roxie Hart in Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago,” a production that has been running for more than 20 years. The Israeli pop star will follow in the footsteps of icons like Liza Minnelli, Brooke Shields and Melanie Griffith, who have all played Roxie on Broadway.
Maimon made her first major mark on the Israeli entertainment scene almost 15 years ago, when she placed second in the inaugural season of “Kochav Nolad,” similar to “American Idol” in the US. A series of hit records helped solidify the Haifa-native as Israel’s representative at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, where she placed fourth.
As reported on Tuesday by Israeli entertainment journalist Guy Pines, it was her lead role in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical “Evita” that captured the attention of the “Chicago” producers. “Evita” ran for a year and half at Habima Theater, the national theater of Israel, and received rave reviews.
Other noteworthy Israeli appearances on the Great White Way include Chaim Topol as Tevye the dairyman in “Fiddler on the Roof” and Dudu Fisher’s Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables.”
In Israel, a country with its own history of water struggles and triumphs, experts are weighing in on how Israeli innovation and mindset may be able to help Cape Town and other water-scarce locations avoid future disasters.
“We are known around the world for being experts in water and having developed the most advanced technologies to cope with water scarcity,” says Prof. Eilon Adar, director of Israel’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben Gurion University.
“But it’s not necessarily so that these technologies can be adapted as is and save the rest of the world. Every society has its own constraints – social, physical, natural – and the most we can do is to try and adapt the Israeli concept to see which technologies or innovations can be tailored for the local needs.”
The road to disaster isn’t set it stone
According to Seth Siegel, author of Let There be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World, water problems like the one in Cape Town are almost always avoidable.
“These problems tend to come at you pretty slowly; therefore you have lots of lead time to fix the problem or prepare your population,” said the New York-based author, activist and businessman. In order to arrive at the point of humanitarian crisis, he says, “you have to have a willful ignoring of your problems.”
Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology all ranked in the top 50 in the 2018 Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings released this week.
Tel Aviv University ranked 25th in Asia, down three spots from last years, making it the highest-rated Israeli institution in the Asia rankings, while the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ranked 27th and the Technion came in 41st.
Also in the rankings, the University of Haifa ranked 100th while Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba was No. 104.
These are the sixth annual Asia University Rankings published by the Times Higher Education weekly magazine, which this year ranked the top 350 institutions in Asia based on the same criteria as the World University Rankings – but with modifications to better reflect the characteristics of Asia’s universities.
The rankings judge schools based on 13 performance indicators across all areas including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The National University of Singapore was ranked No. 1 for the third year in a row, while five of the top 10 universities were from China or its special administrative region of Hong Kong.
A rare, colorful mosaic dating from the 2nd-3rd century was recently uncovered in the ancient port city of Caesarea, located halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. It is one of the few extant examples of mosaics from the time period in Israel and its craftsmanship is compared by archaeologists to the fine artistry found in Antioch.
A rare Roman mosaic from the 2nd–3rd centuries CE, bearing an inscription in ancient Greek, uncovered in Caesarea during conservation work by the Israel Antiquities Authority. (Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)
During work on an expansion of Caesarea National Park in what is arguably Israel’s largest conservation and reconstruction project to date, the mosaic was discovered under an opulent commercial structure from the Byzantine period. According to archaeologists Dr. Peter Gendelman and Dr. Uzi ‘Ad, directors of the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, the mosaic predates the shopping structure by some 300 years and was once part of an even earlier building from approximately 1,800 years ago.
According to the archaeologists, the mosaic measures 3.5 x 8 meters and is “of a rare high quality” comparable to that of Israel’s finest examples from Lod or Tzippori’s Mona Lisa.
There are three figures depicted on the uncovered section, as well as typical multicolored geometric patterns, which were formed using small tesserae (mosaic pieces) placed densely at about 12,000 stones per square meter.
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