Melanie Phillips: Denial: the Labour Party’s antisemitism
David Hirsh’s must-see video, Whitewashed: Antisemitism in the Labour Party (which you can view below) starts with a truly shocking clip of Jeremy Corbyn speaking. Having referred to the profoundly anti-Jewish, murderous terrorist organisations Hezbollah and Hamas as his “friends”, he says (of either or both): “The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about long term peace and social justice, and political justice, in the whole region should be labelled a terrorist organisation by the British government is a big, big historical mistake”.
Hirsh’s film not only highlights examples of the antisemitism in the Labour party, but observes the appalling way in which Jews who draw attention to this are dismissed as “lying for Israel”. It states what so many on the left deny: that while in theory it is possible to be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jew, in practice the distinction is meaningless.
As one speaker observes, the Labour Party cannot call itself an anti-racist party if it denies the existence of left-wing antisemitism. Through interviews with Jewish people whose evidence to Baroness Chakrabarti’s vacuous “inquiry” into the issue was ignored, it shows how a report that was supposed to point to solutions to anti-Jewish attitudes in the party ended up as just another manifestation of the problem.
On Friday, The Daily Wire spoke with former Democratic vice presidential candidate and former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman about the rising tide of anti-Semitism on the Left. Acknowledging the political divisions within the Democratic party itself following a contentious primary election battle between the centrist wing of the party, represented by Hillary Clinton, and the left-wing of the party, represented by Bernie Sanders, Lieberman suggested that the anti-Semitism on the Left is inherently intertwined with controversies surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“There are areas where there is a rising opposition [to Israel] but it’s not based on reality,” said Lieberman following a panel discussion in Paris about Iran’s expansionist policies.
But to Lieberman, this anti-Israel sentiment remains confined to the political fringes.
“I think America remains, by every public opinion poll I’ve seen, very pro-Israel,” he said.
When asked directly about the Bernie Sanders movement, and its disturbingly anti-Israel sentiments, Lieberman said he was hopeful about the future of the Democratic party’s relationship with Israel, however, it was impossible to deny that “an element” within the party had moved away from the American political establishment’s traditional bipartisan support for the Jewish State.
“I’m concerned about that,” said the former vice presidential candidate. “When I became active in politics the Democratic party [during the Kennedy era]” was very supportive of Israel.
But things have changed, noted Lieberman.
Caroline Glick: Who cares about Jewish unity?
But what was Netanyahu’s alternative? If the American Jewish community flies off the handle and declares war against the government, threatening to blackball the elected leaders of the Jewish state when they adopt measures that while impolite have little substantive effect on their positions, then why should Israel take their views into account? If everything that the government does is terrible, then dialogue is reduced to recrimination. Sitting with progressive Jewish leaders from America means being subjected to a lecture about how terrible Israel is by people who do not live here and are not interested in having a serious discussion about what is actually on the table.
The fact that they are not interested in having that sort of discussion, and that they have no interest in making Israel their home, is demonstrated by their indifference to the real implications of the draft conversion law. Leaders truly invested in the future of both their communities and of their communities’ ties with Israel would be appalled by the retention of monopoly control over conversions by rabbinic authorities who refuse to recognize the difference between children of intermarriage and non-Jews with no relation to Judaism and the Jewish people.
They would insist that religious-Zionist rabbis be reinstated in the state rabbinate, and work avidly to ensure that conversions once approved cannot be overturned.
The real problem here is that while everyone involved speaks of the need for Jewish unity, no one involved in the conversation seems to be motivated to work toward that goal.
Jewish unity isn’t achieved by mutual recrimination.
And it isn’t achieved by one-upmanship. It is achieved through compromise based on mutual respect and love for fellow Jews. Absent that, nothing good will come from negotiations or laws or agreements. Absent that, nothing good will come at all.
Russia has not engaged in soul-searching about its dark past, Knesset speaker and former refusenik Yuli Edelstein said Thursday, expressing concern over local admiration for the murderous Soviet-era dictator Josef Stalin.
During Edelstein’s three-day official visit to Moscow this week — marking 30 years since his release from Siberian labor camps for the crime of teaching Hebrew — there was no explicit acknowledgment in his high-level meetings of his past personal suffering, he said.
There were, however, some private conversations, including at a courthouse, where local officials expressed sympathy and admiration for his experiences, and a historic speech he delivered in the Russian parliament that provided powerful closure. Ultimately, he said, he didn’t need an apology, and felt he had “won.”
“I don’t think there is soul-searching here. This is one of the problems, because — and this is something that must be said — the ideology of that period is still considered legitimate in this country.” That, Edelstein continued, is exemplified by the active communist political party, and the fact that “recently, you hear voices talking about the need to recognize Stalin as a great leader.”
Wrapping up his trip, Edelstein spoke three days after the annual Levada independent poll showed that Stalin, who is considered the architect of millions of deaths, remains the most popular figure among Russians, ahead of President Vladimir Putin.
Islamic Christian Council member and former Gaza Latin Church head Manuel Musallam blamed churches in Judea and Samaria for helping the “Israeli occupation.”
In an interview with Hamas newspaper Palestin, Musallem said that there is a large number of unsupervised churches in the Palestinian Authority, and that there is no information on why they were founded.
Before the establishment of the State of Israel, European countries and the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, as well as other Christian denominations, purchased land in many parts of the country.
After Arutz Sheva exposed a deal in which the Greek Orthodox Church signed 140 year leases basically selling large portions of its land in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Talbieh and Rehavia to the “Nayot” company owned by the Ben David family, Musallam said that selling even one grain of the Church’s dirt given to the “Israeli occupation” is “a severe betrayal of the Palestinian nation and of all the Christians in Palestine.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
A pro-Palestine event due to be held in London will go ahead, despite government threats to ban it over alleged links to terror group Hamas.
The Palestine Expo is expected to draw around 10,000 people to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, on the weekend of 8 and 9 July.
Earlier in the week, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid wrote a letter to organisers, Friends of Al Aqsa, to express concerns over their links to terror groups.
He is quoted in the Guardian as citing “concerns that your organisation and those connected with it have expressed public support for a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, and that you have supported events at which Hamas and Hizballah – also proscribed – have been praised”.
Speaking to Jewish News on Tuesday, Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We have worked with the QEII Centre to carry out checks following concerns raised about the Palestine Expo 2017. Following these checks, we have agreed the event can take place as planned.”
The event is billed as “the biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine to ever take place in Europe”, and will feature speakers including anti-Zionist Israeli-born speakers Ilan Pappe and Miko Peled, journalists Ben White and Peter Oborne, and controversial former National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia.
‘Will you, Mr. Mayor, look after the interests of the Jewish population of London and write to the home secretary to ask for the clarification of the rules on what is a banned organization?” That is the very simple request that I made of London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, at our meeting last week.
When terrorist flags are being flown openly in your city and antisemitic slogans are being shouted from street corners – as they were during the recent al-Quds Day march in London – any mayor worth his salt should want to do something about it. Whilst freedom of speech is precious, nobody should have to feel intimidated walking around their own city, or put up with racist abuse being hurled at particular groups.
The problem here is that British law is unclear about whether the Hezbollah flag is legal or not – due to a bizarre distinction between the “military” and “political” wings of this terrorist group. Therefore, police were unable to arrest people who openly displayed what is generally agreed to be a terrorist flag.
So I asked our mayor to do something very straightforward, which was to take this up with the government so that this issue can be clarified. This would be helpful to the police – of which the mayor is in charge – in doing their job to protect Londoners and keep public order. And the protection of Londoners is an important part of the mayor’s job description.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) has filed a hate speech complaint with the Toronto police against a speaker at this year’s Al-Quds Day rally at Queen’s Park.
In his speech at the June 24 event, Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri of the Council of Islamic Guidance and the Al Mahdi Centre said, in English and Arabic, that, “Israel, Zionism, should and must know … it is the law that whoever oppresses, he has to be eliminated. One day or the other,” the FSWC alleges in its complaint.
The organization has provided police with a video of the statements.
In a letter to Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, the FSWC alleges that Baqri’s speech violates Sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code, “Advocating Genocide and Public Incitement of Hatred.”
Violations of both sections can lead to imprisonment, the FSWC pointed out in a press release.
“Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is disheartened by the vilification of Jewish Canadians and Israel on Toronto’s streets,” the group’s statement said.
The annual Al-Quds Day march and rally in Toronto made its way from Queen’s Park to the American consulate. Members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) organized a counter-protest directly across from the consulate.
Al Quds Day – Toronto – 2017 – Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri
The leadership of pro-Israel student groups in Illinois and Ohio both called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) a “hate group” after two chapters of the notorious organization supported the expulsion of LGBTQ Zionists from a Chicago pride march last weekend.
Elan Karoll, president of the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s (UIUC) IlliniPAC, and Sophia Witt, who recently stepped down as president of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Ohio’s Kent State University, spoke with The Algemeiner on Thursday after the SJP groups at their respective colleges applauded the Dyke March’s ejection of two Jewish women who came to the event holding pride flags with Stars of David on them. March organizers said the symbol made Palestinians feel “threatened.”
A couple of hours after IlliniPAC issued a statement on Facebook condemning the Dyke March organizers’ decision, SJP UIUC wrote on social media, “IlliniPAC cannot claim to respect the rights of all races, religions, nationalities, sexualities, and genders while supporting an occupation that systematically targets people of an entire ethnicity by denying them their lands, safety, and dignity.”
SJP UIUC also insisted that it was “committed to the liberation of all oppressed people.” It later added that “groups with an agenda have falsely accused [march organizers] of being motivated by antisemitism.”
Karoll said that SJP’s endorsement of the Dyke March has erased any doubt of the anti-Israel group’s true motives.
The Chicago Dyke March’s decision to boot three women carrying Jewish pride flags from their event last weekend was “deeply ignorant” and “ridiculous,” Michael Lucas, a gay pornographic film actor and director, told Breitbart Jerusalem in an interview.
Lucas is founder and CEO of Lucas Entertainment, New York’s largest gay adult film company and one of the biggest gay porn production companies in the world.
He compared the Dyke March’s actions to anti-Semitic policies carried out by Nazi Germany.
“One of the first things the Nazis did was claim that Jews were a threat, and exclude them from participating in public events and gatherings,” Lucas stated. “Eventually they required Jews to wear the Star of David on their clothing, the ultimate symbol of the persecution of the Jews.”
“And now these women say the Star of David is a ‘trigger,’ is threatening to them? These are deeply ignorant people who are turning history on its head.”
Lucas criticized the lack of significant response on the matter from major LGBT organizations. “What happened in Chicago was despicable, and it certainly does not represent the thinking of all LGBT people, who should be outraged by this hateful moment. All gay organizations talk about diversity and inclusion, so where are the condemnations now from those groups?”
The third Mediterranean Biennale in the northern Arab town of Sakhnin opened Thursday evening, but missing were several works whose creators asked to have them removed from the exhibition because it is taking place in Israel.
The exhibition, which is also being shown in the nearby Arab and Jewish towns of Misgav, Arrabeh and Deir Hanna until December 15, features works by 60 artists from 25 countries, including some who hail from Arab nations that have no diplomatic relations with Israel, such as Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria and Lebanon.
The artists who asked to have their works removed are of Algerian, Moroccan and Lebanese descent, though they currently reside in France and England. Some said they hadn’t been informed that their pieces were to be shown in Israel.
According to a spokesperson for the Mediterranean Biennale, the works in question are part of the collection of the FRAC Museum in Marseilles, which has been working with the Biennale for the past year and a half.
In adherence with the standard operating protocol, the museum forwarded the Biennale’s loan request to its art committee, which agreed to lend the works from the collection. The Biennale was required to pay a standard fee for the loan.
But the artists didn’t learn their works would be appearing in Israel until earlier this week, and several said they wouldn’t cooperate with an Israeli institution due to their support of the Palestinian cause.
The BBC has come under fire for publishing a news article on Wednesday stating that “The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the State of Israel.”
The British Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering anti-Semitism through education and law-enforcement, demanded on its website that the BBC “immediately and unequivocally apologise” for the line.
“The Holocaust is indeed a sensitive topic for many reasons, not least because six million Jews were systematically massacred. It should not be a sensitive topic to Muslims, or anybody else, because of the foundation of the State of Israel,” CAA stated. “Zionism, the movement to create the modern State of Israel began decades before the Holocaust, and had the country existed at the time of the Holocaust, millions of innocent Jewish civilians may have lived.”
CAA claimed that the line published by the BBC was anti-Semitic in nature: “For the BBC to lend credence to the notion that it is legitimate to be ‘sensitive’ about the Holocaust because of the existence of the State of Israel invokes antisemitic notions that the existence of the State of Israel is in some way racist, and it is offensive to tar ‘many Muslims’ in this way.”
The line appeared in a BBC News article about German Muslim schoolgirls who went to visit concentration camps in Poland and suffered racist abuse from locals. The BBC has since removed the controversial statement.
The program closes with Bowen opining that Hamas — the terror organization whose activities and abuses he has downplayed throughout the whole report — should be party to negotiations.
Until matters change in Gaza there will be more wars between Hamas and Israel. Change means a new attempt at peace with the participation and consent of all sides. Right now, there is no chance of that happening.
Perhaps one of the more disturbing points emerging from this series of programs by the BBC’s Middle East editor is the fact that the passage of time has done nothing to alter Bowen’s opinions and analysis.
Having publicly claimed that he did not come across human shields in the few days that he was in Gaza in the summer of 2014, three years later Bowen cannot accommodate the ample evidence that shows otherwise. Having promoted his own pseudo-legal interpretations of the Law of Armed Combat in his 2014 reporting from Gaza, he is incapable of subsequently adjusting that view in line with the facts.
That, of course, is what happens when the agenda takes precedence over the actual story.
It is almost impossible that a historian would miss this controversy (even after a quick Google search), and no responsible historian would omit it from an article, but Bytwerk did. After the controversy broke, National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi publication came to Wall’s defense, as did Veterans Today, another racist publication affiliated with Veterans News Now. (No links.)
What makes Bytwerk’s omission even more astounding is that he is an expert on Nazi propaganda and is the curator of Calvin College’s online archive of German Propaganda. Veterans News Now, where Wall served as associate editor, traffics in many of the antisemitic tropes that the Nazis used and would be familiar to Professor Bytwerk.
Did Randall Bytwerk not know about the controversy surrounding James M. Wall’s affiliation with Veterans News Now and his unwholesome enmity toward Israel and its supporters which manifested itself as his career progressed and came into full bloom in his retirement?
How could he miss it?
In any event, CAMERA supporters can be glad because Wikipedia can be edited by its readers. It may take some effort, but the information about James M. Wall’s transformation from a respected mainline Protestant journalist into a purveyor of hate can be inserted into the Wikipedia article by anyone with a computer and a modem.
It is a sad subject, but the fact is, James M. Wall tarnished his legacy all by himself and no encyclopedia article about his life can legitimately ignore the issue.
Similar conclusions were reached by additional parties including the US, Turkey and the UK as well as Human Rights Watch – an NGO usually considered by the BBC to be an impeccable source.
Is it possible that the BBC is not aware of those reports and hence is still describing the attack as “suspected” and amplifying Assad’s propaganda on the topic? That possibility is ruled out by the fact that included in the related reading at the bottom of this article is a link to a BBC report from April 26th titled “Syria chemical ‘attack’: What we know” that informs readers of the results of the investigations carried out by the OPCW, Turkey and France.
And yet despite that, visitors to the BBC News website still find plenty of content relating to that story which is presented using language and punctuation which suggests to audiences that there is reason to doubt whether an attack took place, what type of weapon was used and who carried it out.
This is of course far from the only case of false balance in BBC reporting that obstructs audience understanding of a story. The BBC News website, for example, still carries a report amplifying inaccurate Hamas claims concerning a 2014 incident in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza despite the fact that the circumstances have been repeatedly clarified over the last three years. The practice of promoting false balance clearly hampers the BBC’s purpose of providing the public with accurate and impartial reporting that enables understanding of global issues.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier denounced growing antisemitism in his country on Wednesday, German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine reported.
Speaking at the 100th anniversary of the Augsburg synagogue, the president noted that while most Germans stand against antisemitism, a growing trend of anti-Jewish hatred is being spread on social media, in part due to some Muslim immigrant groups.
“Social media often propagates the spread of hate messages and antisemitic provocation,” he said, noting the trend is growing across Europe.
Despite this, however, Steinmeier noted that, in comparison to France, Germany’s Jews are staying put, rather than immigrating to Israel. He affirmed his hope that Germany “can once again be the home of which the Jews were robbed.”
German lawmakers are poised to pass a bill designed to enforce the country’s existing limits on free speech — including the long-standing ban on Holocaust denial — in social networks. Critics including tech giants and human rights campaigners say the legislation could have drastic consequences for free speech online.
The proposed measure would fine social networking sites up to 50 million euros ($56 million) if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content, including defamatory “fake news.”
It’s scheduled for a vote in parliament Friday, the last session before summer recess and September’s national election, and is widely expected to pass.
The U.N.’s independent expert on freedom of speech, David Kaye, warned the German government earlier this month that the criteria for removing material were “vague and ambiguous,” adding that the prospect of hefty fines could prompt social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to delete questionable content without waiting for a court to rule it’s unlawful.
Police in Russia-annexed Crimea are investigating the desecration of a mass grave of Holocaust victims near the city of Simferopol.
The investigation opened Tuesday following the unauthorized exhumations performed last week at the site of a firing trench where Nazis and their collaborators killed hundreds of Jews, the Russian TASS news agency reported. Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014.
“A local resident saw at night strangers digging and immediately informed us,” Anatoly Gendin, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Crimea, told the news agency. His organization also complained to police about the dig, which he said was likely the work of robbers looking for precious items.
The incident, the second case of its kind in five years in Crimea, came amid preparations for enclosing known burial sites with concrete.
“There is a preliminary decision of the Crimea State Committee and Jewish community organizations on setting up concrete enclosures and establish there a surveillance system,” Grigory Ioffe, a deputy speaker of the parliament of Crimea, one of Russia’s semi-autonomous regions, told TASS.
The Germans captured Simferopol in November 1941 when it had approximately 12,000 Jews, including many Krymchaks — a nearly extinct ethnic group of Jews of Turkmen descent who had lived in Crimea for many centuries before the Holocaust.
“This is the first step on a long path,” Archbishop of Palermo Corrado Lorefice said Thursday upon receiving the Raoul Wallenberg Medal for having transferred to the Jewish community a churchowned facility built atop the ruins of the Great Synagogue of Palermo.
Addressing the audience at a celebratory event at his residence, Lorefice was moved to tears as a he delivered a heartfelt speech.
“This is the first step on long path that we are called to together, to reach God on the day when all the people will be together in paradise,” he said.
He described the medal as “a sign of friendship that warms my heart, and warms the heart of all the Christians of Palermo, and particularly this archdiocese.”
Students, professors and alumni of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology now have a new way to finance their cutting-edge projects: a $200 million venture capital fund focused on creating companies out of the research conducted at the Haifa-based university.
The new fund is a joint venture between the Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF) and UG Capital Management (UGC), a fund management company based in Hong Kong.
The management team for the joint venture will be based in both Israel and Hong Kong. It includes Jonathan Mitchell, CY Lau and Thomas Lau of UGI, and Eddy Shalev, Dr. Eyal Kishon and Gary Gannot, the founders of the Genesis venture capital fund, who are joining the new Technion group.
“The Technion has been increasing its commercialization activities in recent years and we have already noted many successes in this field, including more than doubling the number of startup companies set up at the Technion through the new Technion DRIVE Accelerator,” said Prof. Wayne D. Kaplan, executive vice president for research and director general of TRDF.
UGI’s Jonathan Mitchell praised the new venture and team as a kind of “alchemy.”
Since January of last year, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus have been working to create a pipeline that could transport natural gas to Europe from the reserves in Israeli coastal waters; Italy joined the negotiations two months ago. If this initiative, which is technically difficult and expensive to implement, does not pan out, Israel will be forced to choose between the less desirable options of cooperating with either Egypt or Turkey. George Tzogopoulos writes:
Turkey will not be considered a reliable partner by Israel for as long as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dominates the political sphere, despite the rapprochement achieved last summer. Israel also has reservations vis-à-vis Egypt: the growing Russian role in Egypt’s energy sector cannot be ignored.
If the EastMed project, [as the proposal is being called], develops, it will certainly improve Israel’s relationship with the EU. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete has said construction of this pipeline would contribute to the reduction of Europe’s dependency on Russian energy, a potential result also viewed with favor by the U.S.
The traditional division among EU member states regarding their view of Moscow can work in EastMed’s favor. While Germany is looking favorably toward the Nord Stream 2 [pipeline], which will complement Nord Stream 1 in the transporting of Russian gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea, the EU might well emphasize energy security instead and push (with the support of the U.S.) for the realization of EastMed.
A diagnostic system developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology enables rapid and accurate customization of the antibiotic to the patient. The system makes for faster diagnostics, earlier and more effective treatment of infectious bacteria, and improved patient recovery times. The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Antibiotics are one of the most effective ways to treat bacterial infections. However, the widespread use of antibiotics accelerates the development of bacterial strains that are resistant to specific antibiotics. In 2014, infections with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) claimed the lives of more than 700,000 people worldwide, in addition to a cumulative expenditure of $35 billion a year in the US alone.
For patients with threatening infections, urgent treatment is required for their health. According to established estimates, for every hour that effective antibiotic treatment is delayed, survival rates drop by ~7.6% for patients with septic shock. Therefore, in order not to leave the patient without adequate protection while awaiting the results, many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic with a broad spectrum of activity in large doses. This phenomenon facilitates the emergence of AMR and also affects the microbiota – the population of “good bacteria” found in the human body that protects it.
Sir Tom Jones, in his performance in Tel Aviv, proved to the audience that despite being 77 and gray-haired for several years now, he is still a successful singer who has the endurance to hold a crowd captive for a 90-minute show. Jones is still able to hit the standard of professionalism he’s set for himself for the past five decades.
The consummate performer showed up on time, without delay. He began with a big bow to the huge crowd that greeted him at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena. He earned brownie points with the crowd after mentioning that he visited Jerusalem for the first time and enjoyed his visit to the Holy City very much.
He began to sing his songs when the audience joined him in applause, with the third song earning him a standing ovation.
The legendary singer did not forget to mention Leonard Cohen, who recently passed away, and performed one of his songs.
In the middle of the performance, he sang to the audience “Yiddishe Maman” followed by his big hit “Delilah.” With the audience’s average age leaning towards an older crowd, most in attendance were able to follow along easily with these old classics . With his booming voice, which may not even need a microphone at all, and his hips, which were constantly in motion, he made sure the audience got their money’s worth.
The cornerstone laying ceremony for Ariel University’s new School of Medicine and Health Sciences, named after Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, was held on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Adelsons, who donated $5 million to the project, saying, “You are not only great friends, you are great patriots of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu said the school reflects Israel’s values.
“We will live with our universal mission to provide medical care and relief, but we will simultaneously continue fighting terrorism and lead the global efforts to counter terrorism,” he said. “The School of Medicine and Health Sciences will leave a lasting imprint and will serve as a hub for true excellence, and attract great doctors and the sharpest minds. It will train generations of students to come.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett lauded the establishment of a medical school in Ariel. Like Netanyahu, he also thanked the Adelsons.
Another absolute pearl from part one of Pillar of Fire (which I posted here): Listen to former British politician and diplomat Philip Noel-Baker explaining how he was converted to Zionism.
In 1922, a few years before he fled the Soviet Union, the sixth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson petitioned the Russian government to return 35 crates of books they had seized years earlier.
The books had been passed down to his father, Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneerson, by his grandfather and had belonged collectively to generations of Lubavitch Hasidim going back to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady, who began the collection in the 18th century.
There was an illustrated haggadah, published in 1712 in Amsterdam, its pages stained by wine that was spilled at Passover seders hundreds of years ago. There was a book printed in 1552 in Venice, not long after the printing press was invented, with a handwritten inscription in cursive Hebrew reminiscent of Arabic. There was a Torah from 1631, with comments in Latin, written in pencil by Christian scholars who had studied the Jewish holy book.
The Soviet government did not return the books, and for almost a century they remained on the shelves of the Lenin public library in Moscow. But this month the Russian State Library will finish scanning and putting online the more than 4,500 books in the Schneerson Collection, making them accessible to everyone in the world at the click of a mouse.
“We have about 10 to 20 books left to scan. They’ll be on the site in a month,” said Svetlana Khvostova, the Russian State Library employee in charge of the Schneerson Collection at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.
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