September 26, 2018

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07/01 Links: Will the West cede the Golan Heights to a psychopath?; A quarter of Israelis worried Trump’s peace plan’s price will be too high; Iranian forces open fire on protesters

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/07/0701-links-will-west-cede-golan-heights.html

From Ian:


In joint ToI op-ed, Lapid and Ya’alon urge US to back Israel’s Golan sovereignty
In a joint op-ed Sunday, Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Lapid urged the US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and warned against the notion of ceding the strategic ridge to President Bashar Assad.

By recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the territory, the two politicians argued in an opinion piece for The Times of Israel, the US could “extract a price from Assad for his despicable behavior without putting boots on the ground in Syria.”

Lapid is the head of the centrist Yesh Atid party. Ya’alon is a former IDF chief of staff and defense minister, who is expected to seek to return to national politics in the next elections.

Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Lapid: Will the West cede the Golan Heights to a psychopath?

We live in a world full of complex diplomatic dilemmas, but for once here is a simple one: Would you take an area that is flourishing in a western democratic state, where fifty thousand people of different religions and ethnicities live in harmony, and hand it over to a violent dictatorship ruled by the worst mass murderer of our time so that he can destroy the area and murder most of the residents?

If your answer is “no” then you support recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In 1981 Israel applied its law to the Golan Heights. The Syrians insisted it be returned to them. Most countries, including the United States, have avoided taking a clear position. We believe it’s time to get off the fence.

The Golan Heights is a unique story in the Israeli-Arab conflict. It’s a mountainous region of around 1,155 square miles (around the size of a medium-sized ranch in Texas), in the north of Israel. It’s worth noting, of course, that it is entirely unrelated to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Not a single Palestinian lives in the Golan Heights.

Historically, the Golan is known as the biblical land of Bashan from the book of Deuteronomy. Just recently a major renovation of a 4th century Jewish synagogue was completed and in archaeological excavations a coin from 67 CE was discovered with an inscription which read, “For the redemption of Jerusalem the Holy.” It is an area with a long and deep Jewish connection.

The Syrians, on the other hand, ruled over the Golan Heights for only 21 years; between the years 1946 and 1967. During those years they turned the Golan into a military base, rained rocket fire on the Israeli communities which are under the Golan Heights and tried to divert Israel’s critical water sources to dry the country out.

In 1967, during the Six Day War, the Golan Heights was liberated by Israel. In the 51 years since then Israel developed the Golan Heights and turned it into an impressive center of nature reserves and tourism, with high-tech agriculture, award winning wines, a flourishing food-tech industry and in-demand boutique hotels. The Druze population of the Golan Heights, who make up about half the population, were granted all the same rights as any other citizen in Israel, as would be done in any genuine democracy.

IDF sends reinforcements to Golan as Assad offensive picks up

The Israeli military sent additional tanks and artillery cannons to the Syrian border on Sunday in light of a renewed offensive by dictator Bashar Assad and the Russian military against the remaining rebel holdouts in the country’s southwest, the army said.

The reinforcements were sent to the Israel Defense Forces’ 210th Bashan Division, which guards the Golan Heights, the army said.

“This was [done] as part of IDF preparations and preparedness in light of developments in the Syrian Golan Heights near the border,” the IDF said in a statement.

The military vowed a “determined response” to any strike — deliberate or accidental — that hits Israeli territory from Syria.

“The IDF sees great importance in maintaining the armistice agreement between Israel and Syria from 1974,” the army said.

“The IDF will continue to uphold its principle of non-involvement in what is happening in Syria, alongside a policy of delivering a determined response to violations of the sovereignty of the State of Israel and threats to its citizens,” the IDF said.

A quarter of Israelis worried Trump’s peace plan’s price will be too high

A quarter of Israelis fear that President Donald Trump will exact a price from Israel in the peace plan the White House plans to reveal in the coming weeks, a new poll revealed on Sunday.

Taken by Smith Consulting on behalf of the Middle East Forum and the Israel Victory Project, the poll revealed that only 21% of Jewish Israelis are concerned with the possibility that Trump will recognize a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. 62% do not believe that it will happen at all. The poll included a representative sample of 800 Jewish adults in Israel.

Most Israelis are not concerned with the upcoming presentation of the American peace plan. The survey found that 59% of Jewish Israelis consider Trump to be the most pro-Israeli president ever, compared to just 25% who were concerned that he might “set a price” for his support of Israel.

However, despite Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, most Israelis still consider Jerusalem and the refugee issue to be the biggest obstacle to solve; 24% consider Jerusalem the greatest obstacle to settling the conflict and 25% believe that the refugee issue is the toughest to crack.

The full findings of the poll will be presented at the Israel Victory Caucus convention at the Knesset on Tuesday.

Palestinians planning mass protests against Trump’s peace plan

Palestinian activists in the West Bank said over the weekend they have received a green light from the Palestinian Authority to organize protests against US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-unveiled plan for peace in the Middle East.

The decision to launch the protests came following the recent visit to the region by US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. The Palestinians believe the two emissaries, who did not meet with any representative of the Palestinian Authority during their visit, came to the region to lay the final touches on the Trump plan before presenting it to Israel and the Arab countries.

Trump has referred to his upcoming plan as the “deal of the century,” while PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinians have denounced it as the “slap of the century.”

The new campaign is seen as the PA leadership’s response to the Hamas-sponsored “March of Return” demonstrations along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The PA leadership is hoping to show that it too is capable of sending Palestinians to the streets to stage protests.

“We believe that the countdown for publicly announcing the Trump plan has begun,” a senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. “This is why we have decided to act quickly in order to thwart this evil plan, which is aimed at liquidating our national rights and the entire Palestinian cause.”

The first protest is expected to take place in Ramallah on Monday.

Left disguises Palestinian liability

About six months ago, Israel Hayom exposed an amazing ‎phenomenon: A long list of left-wing organizations ‎consistently refuse to provide financial aid to Palestinians who fall victim to the Palestinian Authority’s security forces because, ‎among other reasons, these organizations aid only those who ‎pursue legal action against the State of Israel. ‎

Last August, Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ruled that ‎between 1995 and 2002, the Palestinian Authority was responsible ‎for the murder, abduction, imprisonment, torture and rape of 52 ‎people – Arab Israelis and Palestinian residents of Judea and ‎Samaria.‎

According to the ruling, the torture included atrocities such as electrocution, ‎prolonged hanging upside down, pouring boiling plastic on prisoners, pulling out nails and teeth, sterilization, sleep and ‎food deprivation, and the murder and rape of family members. ‎

In the 1,800-page ruling, Drori said that the ‎Palestinian Authority should be held liable for damages for the sufferings of these ‎Palestinians. The ruling was a huge victory for the ‎plaintiffs, but it soon became clear to them that to obtain the ‎compensation, they had to provide expert medical opinions – a ‎costly process. ‎

Prince of peaceUK tabloid claims William is now devoting himself to Mideast peace

The British tabloid The Mirror claims Prince William, second in line to the British throne, was so deeply affected by his visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority last week that he plans to make advocating for peace in the region “my lifelong mission.”

“The visit had a profound effect on the Duke,” a “royal source” told The Mirror.

“The places he visited, the people he met and the stories he heard have all moved him very deeply,” the source said.

According to a “highly-placed Palace source” the 36-year-old royal told his aides at the conclusion of his four-day trip: “This is the start of something new. I will forever honor my commitments to the people I have met.”

Britain’s royals are expected to remain above debates over politics and policy, so it is not clear what William, if the report is true, intends to do to fulfill his commitment to playing “a significant role in bringing ‘peace and prosperity’ to the Middle East,” as the Mirror report put it.

Western Wall Confusion in the UK Press

Jerusalem’s holy sites have been back in the news thanks to the royal visit of Prince William to the region.

During his stay in Israel, he visited the Old City, including the Western Wall, referred to erroneously in The Times of London‘s initial report as “the most holy site in Judaism.”

The story was updated a few hours later without reference to the Western Wall as Prince William continued his tour of Jerusalem holy sites.

Nonetheless, HR flagging the error clearly had an impact. The following day, the story was fully updated, this time correctly referring to the Western Wall as “the most sacred site accessible to Jews.”

The Times of London wasn’t the only media outlet to correct the error after we complained.

IDF Blog: Operation Brother’s Keeper: 4 Years Later

In June 2014, Hamas terrorists kidnapped 3 Israeli teenagers- Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel. Four years ago today, their bodies were found. This is the story of Operation Brother’s Keeper and how it led to Operation Protective Edge.

The three teens were last seen on June 12, 2014, in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. Israeli forces then launched Operation Brother’s Keeper in order to find them. The IDF and the Israeli Security Agency began a direct investigation in the region, spreading to several cities in Judea and Samaria.

For two weeks, Israeli security forces continued to operate in the area as part of their ongoing mission to locate the three abducted teens. The forces also targeted Hamas operatives and the organization’s terrorist infrastructure in connection with the abduction.

IDF soldiers arrested about 400 suspects, of which 250 were associated with Hamas. More than 56 of the detained suspects were Palestinians released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011. The IDF acted against 63 institutions of the Dawa network run by Hamas. Many weapons were also seized during the search.

Hamas had established a system of public institutions, including mosques, schools and hospitals, all over Judea and Samaria. Hamas operated these institutions to recruit terrorists and spread its radical Islamic ideology.

Palestinians infiltrate Israel from Gaza, burn abandoned army post

A group of Palestinians infiltrated Israeli territory from the southern Gaza Strip Sunday and set fire to an abandoned IDF post along the border, before rushing back into the coastal enclave, the army said.

A military spokesperson said IDF troops spotted the breach, but the Palestinians had already fled back into Gaza by the time they arrived.

The Palestinians continued sending incendiary kites and balloons over the border sparking at least 12 fires in the western Negev, Hebrew media reported.

There were six fires in the Be’eri forest, five in the Kissufim Forest, and another adjacent to Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

The man who died twice: Report claims Palestinians staged Gazan’s death

Videos showing the death of Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, a double amputee that Palestinian officials claimed was killed by IDF sniper fire in protests near the Gaza border with Israel in 2017, were staged, a recent report by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) claimed.

Abu Thurayya, 29, was one of two Gazans killed in clashes with Israeli troops on December 17 of that year in protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Abu Thurayya, a prominent activist, had previously lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike in 2008, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported at the time of his death.

Palestinian released two separate videos claiming to show the moment that Abu Thuraya was killed by Israeli troops, the CAMERA report stated. The two contradictory videos were taken at different times of day and show different participants. Similarly, the videos show a different location for Abu Thuraya’s injury than that seen in a photo of his funeral, the report found.

Separately, an IDF investigation into Abu Thurayya’s death concluded that Israeli snipers had ceased firing an hour before he was killed.

As Anti-Regime Protests Heat Up in Iran, Israel’s Netanyahu Lauds Economic Pressure on Tehran Regime

A top Iranian official called for calm on Sunday after anti-regime protests in a southern city turned violent overnight with reports of police shooting at demonstrators who attacked banks and public buildings.

“Our effort is to bring these protests to an end as soon as possible with restraint from police and the cooperation of authorities, but if the opposite happens, the judiciary and law enforcement forces will carry out their duties,” Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

Shots could be heard on videos circulated on social media from the protests in Khorramshahr, which has been the scene of demonstrations for the past three days, along with the nearby city of Abadan.

According to an Al Arabiya report, at least four demonstrators have been killed.

At a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the current situation in Iran, stating, “The Iranian regime is feeling very well the coming reimposition of the economic sanctions against it. The Iranian economy is at a low point. One needs to see the data in order to believe. Iran is investing billions of dollars in financing terrorism in the region and around the world, and in aggression in the region, instead of investing them in the Iranian people, and the Iranian people are protesting this, and rightly so.”

Several reported killed as Iranian forces open fire on protesters

At least four protesters were reported killed in Iran as regime forces opened fire on demonstrators rallying against a water shortage in the city of Khorramshahr.

Vidoes shared on social media late Saturday night appeared to show Iranian forces opening fire on protesters in the Arab-majority city, in the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan region.

The reporters shooting comes after several days of unrest centered in Tehran where thousands have protested the country’s economic woes, including the collapse of the Iranian rial following the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The Saudi-based al Arabiya news outlet reported four people had been killed in Khorramshahr Saturday.

There was no confirmation of the death toll.

The BBC’s Persian service reported one person had been killed, citing eyewitnesses.

Video circulated by the news outlet appeared to show automatic gunfire as people protested in the streets. Fire could also be seen as well as people fleeing after tear gas was fired.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Iran Workers Now Demanding To Be Paid In Weimar Marks (satire)

Protesters gathered across the Islamic Republic today amid worsening financial and economic woes, and demanded that the country’s leadership address the plummeting currency by mandating payment of wages in the comparatively stable monetary units of pre-Nazi interwar Germany.

Thousands of Iranians attended a march toward the Majlis parliamentary building in Tehran, as well as in cities around the country, and were met by paramilitary units that attempted to disperse them with tear gas. The crowds, standing firm, called on the Ayatollahs who run Iran to stop focusing on foreign adventures in Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere, and instead take care of the people at home, first and foremost by taking steps to salvage some of the population’s spending power as the rial continues to drop in value, perhaps by replacing the rial with early 1920’s German marks.

“Mullahs, mullahs, listen, hark – drop the rial, use the mark,” some chanted. “To save the rial you’re not able, Weimar’s mark was much more stable,” yelled others. The crowds called on the police to join them instead of suppressing the protest.

Iran’s currency has plunged in value over the last several months in reaction to economic sanctions reimposed by the administration of Donald Trump over Tehran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and its meddling in the affairs of numerous countries in the region. The crisis has worsened as thousands of foreign companies have ceased their operations in Iran lest continuing to do business with the Islamic Republic subject them to the loss of far more lucrative contracts with entities in the US. While the government continues to insist people and businesses adhere to the official exchange rate with foreign currencies, the official rate does not reflect consumers’ and traders’ panic, nor the true value of the rial, which has lost almost half its value since the end of 2017 and keeps falling.

Birthright, Camp Ramah have Only Themselves to Blame for IfNotNow

At some point within the next month or so, we’ll learn if Camp Ramah succeeded in temporarily keeping the anti-Israel IfNotNow activists away from their young campers.

Last week we witnessed IfNotNow provocateurs, in cooperation with another radical leftwing group, Breaking the Silence, infiltrate a Birthright tour.

On Friday, JewishPress.com blogger Ari Fuld was walking in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Shuk, when he overheard a member of a radical leftwing group tell his fellow activists to “find the American students, we are looking for Birthright participants.”

Ari confronted those activists both on and off camera and tried to engage them in a debate – they only agreed to talk with him when the camera was off.

Ari discovered they were ignorant of Israeli and Jewish history, their knowledge apparently limited to what they had been taught to parrot. They couldn’t form a single cogent argument to defend their positions.

When Ari pointed out that historical facts disagreed with the narrative they were spouting, their leader claimed he “sees the truth differently.”

Exposing the Underbelly of BDS – Grant Makers for IfNotNow

The anti-Israel ‘IfNotNow’ organization is escalating its campaign to drag diaspora Jewish organizations to turn away from their pro-Israel focus, according to an article written this weekend by journalist Eliana Rudee. The organization is working hard to persuade American Jewish organizations to begin to teach their participants the “Palestinian narrative” and distance American Jews from supporting Israel. The group is also beginning to gain traction as an attractive funding option for those who hate Israel.

The types of organizations who are now funding IfNowNow and helping to bring its hate to a larger stage also bear watching. NGO Monitor North American Desk director Yona Schiffmiller notes that one of the funding sources for the organization is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, something he said was ‘very worrying.’
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The Foundation for Middle East Peace is also funding the group, Schiffmiller says. IfNotNow just received a grant, in fact, on June 18 that is intended, among other things, to “insert authentic Palestinian voices into mainstream American media coverage.” According to Schiffmiller, the Foundation consistently supports groups that back the BDS movement and those who seek to delegitimize Israel, as does the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Now, IfNotNow will also take its place among that list.

One major target of the group has been the Taglit Birthright program, which was recently infiltrated by a group of five members of the IfNotNow organization. The infiltrators went on the trip only to quit the tour on the last day, brazenly making a speech on the bus to the rest of the participants about their having been “misled” and then inviting them to join a pre-arranged tour of Hebron with the anti-Israel ‘Breaking the Silence’ NGO.

ACLU lawsuit in Kansas against state BDS law dismissed

A federal judge in Kansas dismissed a lawsuit over a state law requiring contractors to swear they will not boycott Israel.

The lawsuit in the U.S. Court for the District of Kansas was dismissed Friday after the state amended the legislation. The state still must pay $41,602.50 for the plaintiff’s legal fees.

The plaintiff, Esther Koontz, brought the case in October 2017 with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Koontz was denied a state contract because she participates in the anti-Israel boycott. The law, which took effect one year ago on July 1, 2017, requires that any person or company that contracts with the state submit a written certification that they are “not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel.”

The Kansas law, which went into effect last July, had required that any person or company that contracts with the state submit a written certification that they are “not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel.”

Activists pressure EU to exclude Israel from research projects

Anti-Israel activists in Europe have renewed their efforts to exclude ‎Israel from the European Union’s next research and development ‎initiative, Israeli officials said. ‎

Israel is part of the current R&D initiative, Horizon 2020.

The next ‎program, dubbed FP9, ‎will run from 2021 to 2027 and lays the foundation for Horizon Europe, an ambitious €100 ‎billion ($117 billion) research and innovation program meant to ‎succeed Horizon 2020, the eighth framework program.‎

Israel, a world-renowned innovation hub, has been the top ‎dependent on these funds among non-EU member states.

But ‎earlier this month, hundreds of European Parliament members received a letter signed by ‎‎154 groups, organizations and unions from 16 ‎countries, urging the EU “to uphold its legal responsibilities and ‎exclude Israeli military companies from EU framework programs.”

The letter is titled “No EU Money to the Israeli Arms Industry.”

“The EU has been funding security-industrial research ‎for many years,” it claims.

“European taxpayers’ money is being ‎channeled to military companies, among them many Israeli ‎corporations, under the disguise of research and a promise that the ‎technologies and techniques developed will be used solely for ‎civilian purposes.‎

Roger Waters Thinks Rampaging Palestinians Should Just Be Allowed To Cross into Israel

It seems to be an almost daily occurrence: rock’n’roll BDS-hole Roger Waters ranting against Israel, speaking about the virtues of BDS, while denying he is antisemitic. And he did it again during a recent concert in Amsterdam.

But what stands out for me this time is when Waters speaks of Israel “shooting down and murdering defenseless palestinian protesters” who are just trying to “cross a fence that borders the open air prison that is Gaza.”

Remember, these so-called “defenseless protesters” include people like this

And when they cross the fence, their intention is not quite to sit on the grass and have a nice picnic

Not that any of this matters to Waters. He has already slipped up in the past, letting us know he sees Israel’s very existence as a mistake. So having Israel flooded with tens of thousands of palestinians hellbent on murder is not a problem to him.

Dare I say to him it may be a solution.

Times of London improves article, but smear that IDF uses “expanding bullets” (against kids) remains

Moreover, there’s absolutely no evidence by any reputable source that Israel used such bullets. The only source appears to be one Gaza physician, Dr. Ayman Sahbani, who was treating Palestinians shot during the riots and claimed, whilst commenting on the severity of bullet wounds he’s treated, that “a noticeable number of the gunshot injuries comprise an exit point larger than the entry point, suggesting explosive bullets.”

However, back in April, after communication with CAMERA, who cited the expertise of ballistic experts and doctors regarding the injuries described by the doctor, Associated Press (AP) revised a story which initially used the quote by Dr. Sahbani. The new language notes that such wounds are actually quite consistent with normal rifle fire. CAMERA also prompted Haaretz and the Times of Israel to correct their copy of the AP story.

Note also that even the fringes of the anti-Israel biosphere (e.g., Richard Silverstein) eventually walked back the initial claim that Israel had used such ammo.

We lodged an official complaint with Times of London editors, who refused to remove the quote but did agree to add an additional sentence:

Though we’re pleased that editors added Israel’s denial, it’s still appalling that the baseless smear remained in the article.

Dutch Muslim political activist wishes cancer on ‘filthy Jews’ at pro-Israel paper

A former staffer at a Muslim political party in the Netherlands sent an email to a newspaper that was attacked this week saying “May you get cancer, you filthy, far-right cancer Jews.”

Hussein Jamakovic, who worked for the Denk Muslim party, which Dutch Jews allege is anti-Semitic, wrote the message to Telegraaf, the country’s largest-circulation daily, as well as three other news organizations.

The message came amid elevated concern in the Netherlands for the safety of journalists following the attack Tuesday on Telegraaf, when a van drove into the newspaper’s entrance in Amsterdam. Police do not have any suspects in custody.

Telegraaf is seen to have a center-right editorial line. The pro-Israel publication features an activist and a hostile attitude toward radical Islam. It also covers organized crime regularly and thoroughly.

Jamakovic’s message was over reports of his alleged expressions of sympathy for the Islamic State terrorist group. He also sent the email to the DDS, WNL and GeenStijl news sites.

Ugly caricature posted by leading Australian designer

Richard De Chazal has posted an image on his Facebook stating that there are laws to stop hating “you” supported by a caricature of a Jew accompanied by the words “Give back Palestine”.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff condemned the post: “The cartoon and accompanying text are vile and bigoted. As for the law in question, no law can effectively stop people hating you; however, the law can and should stop people inciting violence against you.

“We thank the State Government for introducing this vital piece of legislation to ensure the safety of the people of NSW, and we applaud the state parliament for passing it unanimously.”

Alhadeff is referring to the laws passed in NSW making it a personable offence to make public threats or incitements to violence made on the basis of race, religion or sexuality.

De Chazal is described on his web page as “one of Australia’s most respected haute-couture designers, make-up artists, stylists and photographer. A member of the Australian design hall of fame and winner of numerous photographic, design and art awards.

J-Wire believes the image was shared from another Facebook page. Facebook has been alerted.

Salvaged Holocaust-era artworks unveiled at Haifa exhibit

The University of Haifa has launched an exhibit dedicated to showcasing recovered and restored works of art created by 18 French artists who suffered in the Holocaust.

“Arrivals, Departures: The Oscar Ghez Collection” focuses mainly on artwork donated by Ghez, a Swiss art collector, to the university in 1978.

Ghez himself had escaped from Nazi-occupied France to the United States, and after the end of the war began collecting works of Jewish-born artists who had gone into exile or had been deported during the war. (Most of the artists died in the Holocaust itself, but four of them died either during that period or later of other causes.) The full collection has 138 pieces; over half are on display in the exhibit.

Dr. Rachel Perry, the exhibit’s creator and a professor at the University of Haifa International School, told The Jerusalem Post that the collection had sat “untouched and unresearched” for many years until she and her students began research and restoration efforts for the collection two years ago.

The Jerusalem Post Magazine reported last year that the collection was mostly kept out of the public eye because the university had trouble finding the best place to showcase the pieces.

Pantheon burial honors French rights icon, Holocaust survivor Simone Veil

Thousands of people gathered in Paris on Sunday to pay their final respects to Holocaust survivor and women’s rights icon Simone Veil as she was given the rare honor of burial at the Pantheon a year and a day after she died.

Veil’s death at the age of 89 prompted an outpouring of emotion as she had long been considered one of France’s most popular and trusted public figures.

The Pantheon in the heart of Paris houses the remains of many great French figures, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.

But she is only the fifth woman to be buried there, being laid to rest alongside her husband Antoine, a high-ranking civil servant who died in 2013.

Their two coffins were escorted by Republican Guards through Paris from the Holocaust Memorial where they had stood for 48 hours to allow the public to pay their last respects.

Tour de France winner LeMond rides with Holocaust survivors

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, two Holocaust survivors and some 200 others took part in a symbolic ride from Auschwitz-Birkenau to a Jewish cultural center in Poland to support the renewal of Jewish life.

The ride Friday began at the site of the former Nazi German death camp and ended at the Jewish Community Center of Krakow, 89 km [55 miles] away, site of a growing Jewish community.

LeMond described the ride as a powerful experience, saying, “It was an amazing event riding with two survivors 73 years after the Holocaust. … We should never forget!”

Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the center in Krakow, who himself took part in the ride, said one survivor, Marcel Zielinski, cycled the entire distance, while the second did 14 miles and traveled the rest of the way by car.

Recently uncovered Jewish Revolt coin shows rebels aware of impending disaster

A rare bronze coin from the fourth year of the Great Jewish Revolt was recently discovered in excavations in the City of David National Park. A testament to the final days of the rebellion against the Romans, the coin was minted shortly before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

Symbolically, the coin was rediscovered on the eve of the 17th of Tammuz, the commencement of the three weeks commemorating the conquest by the Romans of Jerusalem and the Temple’s destruction. The three-week mourning period culminates on Tish B’av, considered the saddest day of the Jewish calendar.

In the first few years of the rebellion which lasted from 66-70 CE, coins inscribed in First Temple paleo-Hebrew lettering sounded the battle cry, “For the Freedom of Zion.” Illustrating the rebels’ waning confidence, Year Four coins (69-70 CE) are inscribed with the words, “For the Redemption of Zion.”

“The difference between ‘freedom’ and ‘redemption’ expresses the change occurring in the rebels’ subconscious, and the reality of those days,” said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Eli Shukron, who is leading the City of David excavation.

Year Four coins are also decorated with Jewish symbols. In the case of this coin, the four plant species associated with the pilgrim holiday of Sukkot — palm, myrtle, citron and willow. Others depict a chalice that may have been used by priests in the temple.



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