BDS Movement Backfires, Deals Blow to Thousands of Palestinians
If these divestment campaigns, commonly referred to as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, are successful, all of these people will be put out of work, dealing an enormous blow to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
For many, including students here at Hunter College, Israel is not just a place on a map or a 30-second clip on CNN. It is home. It is where I feel most comfortable. It is also where people—including Christians and Muslims—enjoy a level of human rights that simply doesn’t exist in any of Israel’s Middle East neighbors.
Knowing that the efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine and its partners on other campuses to “punish” Israel don’t actually bring justice to the Palestinian people, we should be working to demonstrate that demonizing Israel only harms Palestinians. Simple truth, there is nothing pro-Palestinian about these groups. They exist to delegitimize the Jewish state.
I stand for human rights here at home and around the world. I care deeply about providing the best possible outcome for all people in any conflict. I also know that passing a toothless resolution through student government won’t do anything to address the conflict in the Middle East; it will only create more conflict here on our campus. I long to see students actually promoting peace in a region many call home.
If only. Banksy (who has never revealed his true identity) is calling for courage, but is protesting anonymously. His people explain on Facebook that he has taken the “loaded” view and turned the hotel into an “installation” against the occupation. They explain that the artistic boutique hotel creates a different reality through melting walls, courage and wisdom, creating change and making art. What lofty intellectual expressions to describe an anonymous anti-Semitic coward who refuses to identify himself or appear in the media, who came here from England to operate against Jews.
But whoever “courageously” leaves the building and looks at the bizarre hotel that was built in a strip of Israeli-controlled territory realizes that the hypocritical developer mostly wanted security. If Banksy looked out from his hotel at Bethlehem itself, he would see a particularly ugly view: the ghosts of a large Christian community that was wiped out by Bedouin rapists and Islamists from Hebron who stole the Christian bodies, souls, and property.
If Banksy had wanted to gaze at an ugly view, he’d look at the glass facade of the Park Hotel in Netanya, where he can envision the bodies of the Jews murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber while celebrating Passover there, when there was still no fence. Banksy might call the blood spilled on the walls and the floor “psychedelic conceptual art in a hotel of occupation.” He hasn’t shown his face there.
Since Operation Defensive Shield in the spring of 2002, the security fence has separated Palestinians with their terrorism and death lust from the flourishing, life-embracing Israelis, who, for Banksy, represent an “ugly view.” Banksy is trying to attach the stigma of apartheid and racism to Israel, tear down the wall, and make it easier for the Palestinians to carry out killing and murder sprees against the “apartheid” state. His staff is promising that Elton John will perform at the hotel, but perhaps Pink Floyd’s anti-Semitic Roger Waters is a better fit.
A new hotel in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem designed and owned by famed graffiti artist Banksy is one of the “most complex and nuanced” projects the mysterious Brit has ever undertaken, the head of a US-based pro-Israel artists group told The Algemeiner on Sunday.
“He is finally asking critical questions of both sides, far from his previous heavy-handed and one-sided works [in favor of the Palestinians],” Craig Dershowitz — the executive director of Artists 4 Israel — said. “And we support any fair and open discussion and are proud to [have played] at least a small part in moving him to a place of dialogue.”
The Walled Off Hotel, which was revealed to the public for the first time this week, is located next to the West Bank security barrier — built by Israel more than a decade ago as part of an effort to thwart Palestinian terrorist attacks. In the past, Banksy has painted murals on concrete portions of the barrier.
TH: That’s a bad narrative! I think we should tell the big story and the big story is 3,000 years of Jewish history. You know something, even through the exile, the Jewish people have the record of the highest percentage of Nobel prizes. We have 188 Nobel prizes — including Bob Dylan’s — and we have 12 from the young Israeli country that was re-established in 1948. This is amazing. It means something. I always say the three biggest revolutions of the 20th century were Einstein’s, Freud’s and Marx’s, no matter whether you like their revolutions or not. And they were all Jews. I think there is something revolutionary about Jewish thought, Jewish DNA. And I think this is what Israel, the modern Israel, also has in its DNA. We want revolution, we want a better world, and we always struggle to innovate things that will improve the world.
I think that by taking the Israeli policy in conflict to the centre we lost the real narrative of our country. The real narrative, besides of course the history, is why we are there. We are there to give the world universal solutions and ideas. I would say we are a thinking hub of Western civilisation. And I think this is part of what I would like to put at the front of the foreign ministry. After making a very clear statement of the fact that this is our country, we don’t apologise for it, we don’t apologise for being occupiers because we’re not, we would like to have co-existence with our neighbours. We have proved throughout all the years of our existence, from the declaration of independence of David Ben-Gurion to our current Prime Minister, that we want peace. I think we will prove that to the world. We don’t need to re-approve that message all the time. It’s very clear that most Israelis want to live peacefully and we are also willing to defend ourselves if it’s needed.
Despite losing two sons in combat, Miriam Peretz continues to speak to Israeli soldiers, inspiring them with her message.
It is 8:30 in the morning. There is a heat wave here in Jerusalem, which rivals the heat in almost any place in the world. Dry. Still. Sandy. Hot. As the air conditioning pumps in my car, I am nervous and excited. Driving east out of Jerusalem on Highway 443 towards Givat Ze’ev, I’m going to meet the “mother of the IDF”—a woman whom The Jerusalem Post called a “symbol of hope” for Israel: Miriam Peretz.
I met Miriam a few years ago after her son Eliraz was killed in battle in Gaza. We were celebrating my daughter’s first birthday while vacationing in Israel. My wife and her sister decided to invite a few families who had recently lost a loved one in war or a terror attack. In a country as small as Israel, it’s not difficult to get in touch with people. Someone always knows someone who knows the person you want to meet, and they are always eager to make the introduction.
We reached out to various families, but I knew Miriam was special from the moment I met her. She is short in stature, but a giant in personality. In her early 60s, she has short curly hair, a long skirt, and a huge infectious smile. What I’ve learned about Miriam since the day I met her is that she is truly a giant amongst us. Her strength and character are unmatched.
Even before the founding of the Jewish state, women played a prominent role in the Zionist movement, and this did not change when Israel was created almost seven decades ago. Today, women play leading roles in all areas of Israeli life, including politics, law, art, the high-tech industry, and more.
The images below show us the many faces of Israel’s most prominent women. First up is, of course, the extraordinary Golda Meir. In 1969, Israel became one of the first modern countries to have a female head of government when it elected Meir as prime minister. Affectionately known by all as simply “Golda,” Meir distinguished herself over years of public service. Ukrainian-born, American-raised, and quintessentially Israeli, she rose through the ranks of the Zionist movement, serving as a secret negotiator with Jordan, Foreign Minister, Labor party leader, and finally a prime minister renowned for her ferocious dedication to Israel’s security. Meir may have looked like a kindly Jewish grandmother, but she was in fact an iron-willed, tough-minded, and indefatigable leader who redefined what women the world over could accomplish.
Following in Meir’s footsteps are Dorit Beinisch, the first female president of the Supreme Court, and Ayelet Shaked, a former high-tech entrepreneur who has become a leading member of the Jewish Home party and Minister of Justice.
The die-hard traditions of the Dreyfus Affair
Just a few months ago, in October 2016, a dedication took place in the Swiss city of Mulhouse, bordering on France, that brought out crowds. The city was celebrating the unveiling of a statue of Alfred Dreyfus, born in the city, in commemoration of the 110th anniversary of his pardon. It certainly took them a while.
Today, witnessing the scandalous trial of distinguished scholar George Bensoussan, it is hard to withstand the temptation to recall the Dreyfus Affair and rename the case the Dreyfus-Bensoussan Affair.
We are personally acquainted with George Bensoussan, and he hosted and was a key speaker at the French national premiere of our film, “The Lessons of Survival,” shown at the Memorial de la Shoah in Paris in the spring of 2015. We are familiar with his academic work and the many books on the Holocaust in which he is shown to be an outstanding historian, a scholar of integrity, and a thinker who has contributed much to the understanding of the Holocaust as a process.
George Bensoussan also is a highly reputed authority in the specialized area of Jewish communities in Arab countries. He is a hard-working, productive academic who has contributed significantly to humanitarian causes.
Observing the current macabre-trial-in-progress, one cannot help but think of just two possibilities regarding the incomprehensible, completely irrational behaviour of both French organizations and the juridical authorities: either the Dreyfus Affair mentality is still thriving in the country of the officer who was utterly loyal to his country but had ‘sinned by default’ – that is, by being born Jewish; or French society’s way of life in the 21st century makes it prone to a recurrence of the one of the most shameful episodes of French history.
Daphne Anson: Balfour, Beasts and Bartolotti
They’ve been gearing up for quite a time now, the Israel haters behind the Balfour Project (it has been claimed, rightly or wrongly that the person who registered the domain name was a certain soon-to-be-ex-vicar).
Here’s a photograph of two members of the Scottish Parliament, posing gleefully outside Holyrood with anti-Balfour propaganda. Both are in favour of a unilaterally recognised state of Palestine.
On the left of the picture stands Sandra White MSP, of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).
Got into a beastly spot of bother a while back did short and and perhaps not so sweet Sandra, co-convenor of the cross-party group on Palestine at Holyrood.
She retweeted an antisemitic cartoon showing a porcine beastie with wee porcine beasties representing Israel, Isis, Al Quaeda and so on suckling at its udders and the word “Rothschild” written across its belly.
This caused outrage in many quarters, including calls for her prosecution, but with the SNP’s backing Sandra weathered the storm. The retweet had been made “accidentally”. Apparently.
A petition demanding the expulsion of a McGill University student government representative who urged Twitter followers to “punch a Zionist” has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures, The Algemeiner has learned.
“We the undersigned call upon McGill University to immediately expel student leader Igor Sadikov for the incitement of violence,” the petition reads, in the latest development in the the ongoing controversy that has forced Sadikov to resign from one of his numerous student government roles. This is in spite of his retaining other posts, due to what Jewish students recently told The Algemeiner is widespread anti-Israel sentiment on campus.
The MoveOn petition, which was started on Feb. 15, cites McGill’s “code of conduct” to insist that the university take action. The creator of the petition has promised it will be presented to McGill President Suzanne Fortier.
Signatories of the petition hail primarily from Canada and the US, though some are from the United Kingdom and South America. A few have added comments, such as: “No donations will be given” to McGill if Sadikov is not expelled, and, “How would McGill react if it was ‘punch a Muslim?’”
Quotes at length article by anti-Israel activist exonerating Rasmea based on demonstrably false assertions.
Snopes developed a reputation as a highly reliable debunker of internet hoaxes. It was one of the first sources I used to turn to.
Now I find it often reads more like PolitiFact, a supposedly neutral fact checker that seems to lean left, or at least often seems to have a political angle on a fact check.
I had noticed a change in Snopes a while ago, and even considered writing about it earlier, but Snopes coverage of Rasmea Odeh pushed me to a response.
Rasmea has been in the news lately because of her involvement in launching the March 8 so-called Day Without A Woman.
Rasmea’s involvement has generated a lot of publicity because of Rasmea’s conviction in the 1969 bombing of the SuperSol supermarket in Jerusalem, which killed Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.
Israel’s ambassador to France is asking the country’s mayors to reject events in their cities as the French branch of the anti-Israel BDS movement launches “Israeli Apartheid week” on Tuesday under the slogan “100 years of occupation/ 100 years of popular resistance for justice,” referring to the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
“The 2017 edition of this annual meeting reveals the true face of the BDS movement: that of antisemitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Israel,” Aliza Bin-Noun wrote in an open letter to French mayors published on Friday. “By presenting the entire country as a ‘colony,’ the BDS tries to delegitimize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, contrary to other governments, like the French and the British, who recognized and approved Israel as such.”
She warned that such events could disturb public order, especially against the backdrop of the current state of emergency in France.
Bin-Noun told The Jerusalem Post the embassy is working against BDS on two levels; first by curbing its activities, and second by promoting the Israeli narrative.
“Concerning the first category of actions, we constantly approach decision makers, heads of universities, mayors and others to not open any windows to BDS events,” she said. “We do it all year long, not just ahead of this Apartheid Week. On the other hand, we work diligently to advance academia cooperation programs between Israel and France, French-student delegations to Israel and more.”
Bin-Noun said the embassy puts a lot of effort into maintaining French law, according to which boycotting is illegal.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Crackdown on Israel Haters on UK Campuses
Anti-Israel website Middle East Eye has come out with this video showing Israel-hating “activists” on British university campuses whining about being silenced, following the cancellation of several events affiliated to the Israeli Apartheid Week hate-fest, and increasing regulation and monitoring of their activities.
This is great.
For a start, it shows these hate groups going through some tough times and, in the words of whining Millie Harris in the video, a lot of “stress.” Good.
It also shows the utter hypocrisy of those who silence pro-Israel voices now whining they are being silenced. I spat out my coffee when the girl complains it is “shutting down discourse and dialogue.”
But more than that: the clamp down on these organizations is a recognition of fact they promote hatred, antisemitism and terrorism.
Jerusalem: The nation’s journalistic community is in shock today after police launched an early morning raid on the Times of Israel’s Headquarters and arrested key personnel. A Jerusalem Magistrate issued a warrant early this morning for the arrest of the Times of Israel on the charges of stealing the identity of Haaretz. As the nation’s venerable Lefty newspaper, Haaretz is widely read outside of Israel by the Jewish State’s many critics while being read by as many as three dozen people who actually live here. But anyhoo, the Times of Israel, which started out a few years ago after telling the Jerusalem Post that it was time that they started seeing other people, used to be kind of normal. Reflecting an Anglo readership that was socially liberal but kinda to the Right on Security issues. Then things got a bit weird. Both with their coverage of Israel and abroad. Especially the States. It kinda felt like we were trapped in our childhood Reform Temple’s Wednesday Night Confirmation Class. Like forever…. And they kept ranting about Trump. A lot (And trust us, we know that there is a lot about Trump that you can make fun of.)…. But then they started stalking Haaretz. And sifting through Haaretz’s trash. And changing their hairstyle and their clothes to match Haaretz. And copying their voice intonation. Like that film in the 90’s with Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh or something.
Yet despite the Times’ recent leftward funk, today’s events came as quite a shock, especially to the folks who got arrested. As police escorted the handcuffed journalists out of the Times of Israel building, one unidentified female in her early 30’s screamed “My flask! My flask! Hey be careful you idiots! That’s Laphroaig dammit!”
After the journalists were led away, the police held an impromptu Press Conference which was attended by the victims of this Identity Theft. Amira Hass got up to speak first. “Today I stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. For today I too had my identity taken away from me. Today was my Naqba.” Then it was Gideon Levy’s turn, and he described further details of the alleged theft. “I know that the Times of Israel broke in and stole my ideas. I mean, My Dream Journal is missing. Also my windchime. But they’re going down. My cat saw everything.”
However, Greenstein only included a portion of Kaufman’s speech, a hateful diatribe that was arguably one the most antisemitic talks given in the Commons.
Kaufman also argued during his address that “the present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.” The implication, he continued, “is that the lives of Jews are precious, but the lives of Palestinian do not count”. He went on to explicitly charge that an IDF spokesperson had engaged in ‘Nazi-like’ reasoning in arguing that most Gazans killed in the war were militants. He then added: “I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”
Let’s be clear about a few things.
Greenstein’s decision to cite Kaufman’s Holocaust analogy is not at all surprising, given that Greenstein himself has (on multiple occasions) evoked Nazi Germany while criticising Israel – including the ‘Zionist collusion with Nazis’ candard.
Canadian Jewish groups are asking why the federal government allowed a British woman accused of Holocaust denial into the country to speak at a neo-Nazi event.
The racist group Blood & Honour said on its website that Alison Chabloz would be the “special guest” at a $10-per-person event it was hosting in Calgary on Thursday night.
Blood & Honour is named after a Hitler Youth slogan, publishes a magazine “promoting neo-Nazism” and has chapters in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, according to the RCMP.
“B’nai Brith is disappointed that Canadian authorities have allowed notorious British Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz to enter this country, especially when the express purpose of her visit is to propagate her anti-Semitic views.”
B’nai Brith Canada said it had notified Calgary Police. The incident comes amid concerns over rising hate crimes, including Holocaust denial posters at the University of Calgary.
Chabloz allegedly posted a mocking song about the Holocaust on YouTube last year, prompting the charity Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to take action in the U.K. courts.
A former culture minister of France distanced herself from an up-and-coming journalist who interviewed her recently following the discovery of virulent anti-Semitic tweets he authored.
Christiane Taubira, who last month granted a wide-ranging interview to Mehdi Meklat, 24, of the Les Inrocks magazine, said she would not have afforded him that access had she known that in the years 2012-14, he wrote under a pseudonym on Twitter numerous anti-Semitic, myogenic and homophobic messages.
The revelations have stunned France as Meklat, a native son born to a Muslim family from Northern Africa, had been widely regarded as a progressive proponent of religious and ethnic coexistence amid rising tensions among Muslims, Jews and others in France.
The tweets, which surfaced as Meklat was promoting his latest book, included reference to Jewish greed, Hitler and gas. Some were authored by Meklat on his Twitter account, while others appeared under the pseudonym Marcelin Deschamps.
In one tweet, published less than a month after the slaying of four Jews at a school in Toulouse by the jihadist Mohammed Merah, Meklat wrote that he was in the same building as Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front party, adding: “I’m going to pull a Merah on her.”
In another he wrote to Le Pen: “Welcome to my cave, I will slit your throat according to the Muslim tradition.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Holocaust Tourism Thriving, Prompting Europe To Mull Another One (satire)
Each spring as tens of thousands of Jews from around the world visit the site of the most notorious death camp in the Nazi system, Polish, German, and other European governments note the resulting revenue accruing to the tourism industry, and revisit the question of arranging another Holocaust that will pay off in similar terms several decades hence.
Preparations for this year’s March of the Living ceremony, a procession from one segment of Auschwitz-Birkenau to another, have intensified in advance of the throngs of visitors, primarily Jews from North America and Israel, expected to participate in the march and related programs after Passover. Different groups visit different sites throughout Poland in the lead-up to the march, which occurs every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HaShoah – the anniversary on the Hebrew calendar of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Hotels, charter bus companies, and some branches of the retail sales industry look forward to the influx each spring, and the dramatic impact the ever-growing size of visiting groups has European leaders wondering what long-term impact another organized, mechanized mass-murder of Jews might contribute to the Continental economy fifty years from now.
Hungarian President János Áder has formed a committee of like-minded European statesmen and local officials to examine the potential tourism benefits of having thousands of Jews flock to former killing centers to commemorate the victims, in places outside southern Poland.
The wheels are in motion for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a state visit to Israel sometime later this year. Whatever the outcome of the visit, the very act of visiting Israel will be historic. No serving Indian prime minister has ever visited Israel. There are also increasing signals that Modi will break the traditional diplomatic hyphen New Delhi has maintained between Israel and Palestine and will not include a stopover in Palestine in his itinerary. Such a decision would fit in with Modi’s general attitude that Indian foreign policy should reflect the rising global profile of India, adhere strictly to the national interest and be less concerned about ideological and symbolic actions.
More fundamental is that such a trip would reflect the sea-change that has taken place between India and Israel since the former normalised diplomatic relations in 1992. Israel is now one of the three largest suppliers of arms and weapons to India, a major source of assistance in the country’s counterterrorism programmes and, uniquely in the world, a partner in the development of India’s nuclear arsenal. The last fact alone would indicate Israel has become strategically more trusted by India than any other country in the world.
That New Delhi should have continued to follow a path of diplomatic distance and security promiscuity with Israel has not made any sense for several years now. Modi’s visit will hopefully bring diplomacy into alignment with political reality. The arguments against such an act have proven demonstrably false. No Arab or West Asian government has diluted its relationship with India. Quite the opposite: New Delhi’s relations with many such countries have never been more intimate.
Air India is set to operate direct flights between Delhi and Tel Aviv as early as May, after Tourism Minister Yariv Levin met Sunday with the CEO of the Indian airline, Ashwani Lohani, to seal the deal.
Air India has asked the Israel Airports Authority to allow it to run three weekly flights between the two countries.
India is a popular destination for Israelis, particularly young people just discharged from army service.
But increasing numbers of Indians have been visiting the Holy Land, too.
Out of 158,000 passengers traveling between the two countries last year, some 45,000 were Indians coming into Tel Aviv.
Acclaimed British actor Hugh Laurie arrived in Israel Sunday, and met with President Reuven Rivlin, ahead of his participation in a Jerusalem conference.
The celebrity, best known for his portrayal of the cantankerous Dr. Gregory House in the hit American series “House” (2004-2012), was accompanied by colleagues Susan Bier and Stephen Garrett, the director and producer, respectively, of the British show “The Night Manager,” in which Laurie also starred.
Laurie is set to speak Tuesday at the Innovative TV (INTV) Conference hosted by Keshet Media Group, a two-day conference, now in its fourth year, that brings top leaders and creatives from the show business industry to Jerusalem for a series of talks, interviews, and brainstorming sessions. The event aims to tap the specifically Israeli brand of creativity that has created such international TV successes as Homeland,” “In Treatment,” “Rising Star” and “Traffic Light.”
Laurie, 57, will be speaking on the convention’s closing panel Tuesday evening along with Bier and Garrett. The trio will discuss their award-winning six-episode miniseries, “The Night Manager.” In the 2016 hit, an ex-military night manager of a Cairo hotel is recruited by the MI6 to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms dealer, played by Laurie.
When the the writer-director of “Footnote” — arguably the best Israeli film of the last 10 years (with arguing being the key point) — makes a new movie, it’s a big deal. It even deserves to have a big name: “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.”
Joseph Cedar, who has bounced between New York and Israel his whole life, is working in English for the first time with this newest movie. The cast of “Norman” includes known international stars like Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi and Charlotte Gainsbourg — but front and center of the whole production is Richard Gere in a wildly unexpected turn from the one-time American Gigolo.
Gere’s Norman Oppenheimer is either a brilliant businessman or an elaborate BS artist: forever on the go, making deals, on the phone, waiting for his opening and pouncing when opportunity strikes.
He’s a nuisance but also a great help, and, thanks to a whirlwind series of events, he ends up being a key friend to the prime minister of Israel, and eventually finds himself at the center of a great many important decisions. How it all goes down is extremely entertaining.
I had the opportunity to speak with Cedar in New York ahead of a special Jerusalem preview screening and conversation with the director hosted by The Times of Israel this upcoming Monday, March 6 at Cinema City.
Israel’s national team got its World Baseball Classic campaign off to a dream start on Monday, beating host South Korea 2-1 after 10 innings in Seoul.
Mike Meyers scored the winning run for Israel in the top of the 10th inning thanks to Scott Burcham’s single. Pitcher Josh Zeid was credited with the win for Israel, pitching three scoreless innings.
Israel plays Chinese Taipei in its second game on Tuesday before wrapping up Pool A action against the Netherlands on Thursday.
The top two teams in the pool advance to second round Pool E which will be played in Tokyo, Japan. The top two in Pool E will progress to the semifinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Israel is participating in the event for the first time in its history, qualifying after one previous failure.
At a ceremony last week, the rabbi chaplain recently assigned to the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, honored an American Jewish soldier killed in the line of duty days before the surrender of Japan in World War II, by granting his 72-year-old wish to have a Star of David engraved on his tomb stone, a feature published by the Honolulu-based Air Force 15th Wing website detailed on Friday.
First Lieutenant Levy Pekar, 29, who is currently undergoing basic training at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama — led the headstone-replacement ceremony for Staff Sgt. Jack Weiner.
Pekar said that Weiner’s story “resonated with me on so many different levels. With both of us being Jewish and airmen, I felt like his story could have easily been mine. His story affected me on a spiritual level and as my duty as chaplain I knew we had to correct this mistake…I found out about Sgt. Weiner’s story from his cousin. At first, it sounded like miscommunication, because we couldn’t find anything about him. But after some digging, we were able to find the Quarter Master General’s form that confirmed Sgt. Weiner’s wishes to have the Star of David on his headstone.”
Sarah Kaminsky can’t pinpoint the exact moment when she learned that her father Adolfo had been a forger during World War II. His clandestine past was just something that revealed itself over time.
“I don’t think anybody told me,” Kaminsky explains to The Times of Israel over the phone from LA. The French-Algerian actor, scriptwriter and author is currently co-writing a screenplay there. “I think my brothers and I heard it during conversations over dinners. But when we were young we didn’t really understand what forgery was.”
By the time she was in her teens, she was aware that her father’s name was mentioned in books, written by friends of his who had been members of the French Resistance.
“When I realized that he did forgery,” she says, “I couldn’t really believe it because he’s really moral and respects the rules. He always taught us to be respectful of the law so we couldn’t believe that he was involved in illegal activity. But [eventually] we understood that even though he did things illegally, it was within his parameters of a fierce moral structure.”
Sarah Kaminsky’s biography, “Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger’s Life” chronicles her father’s experience as a forger, which spanned a period of almost three decades.
As the Purim holiday approaches, the National Library of Israel has put a 400-year-old hand-illustrated copy of the Book of Esther on display.
The scroll, dating back to the 1600s in Italy, will soon be uploaded to the national library’s website. The curator of the library’s Judaica collection, Dr. Yoel Finkelman, said the illustrations on the scroll are full of violence, bloodshed and beheadings in an apparent attempt to portray the ancient Purim story as vividly as possible.
“A study of the rich detail reveals hints that the illustrator expected that given the tense relations between Jews and Christians and because of the antisemitism throughout Christian Europe at that time, God would inflict the same violence on the Christians if they dared to attack Jews,” Finkelman said.
The scroll was commissioned by Mordechai Ben Eliyahu Halevy from the city of Brescello, near Parma, in 1616. A scribe named Moshe Ben Avraham Peshkarol copied and illustrated the scroll in 1617. The scroll covers 27 parchment pages and was much-used, as evidenced by the many stains and damage to its colors.
Israel’s national library boasts a Book of Esther collection that includes more than 100 scrolls from dozens of Jewish communities around the world. The oldest copy of the Book of Esther in the library’s possession is a 14th-century translation of the text into a Jewish dialect of Arabic.
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