Edwin Black: The Iraqi Farhud stymies invented Arab history
The Arab claim that they have no responsibility for the Holocaust is overturned by the Farhud, as is their claim to a unique refugee status.
When International Farhud Day was proclaimed at a conference convened at the United Nations headquarters on June 1, 2015, its proponents wanted to achieve more than merely establish a commemoration of the ghastly 1941 Arab-Nazi pogrom in Baghdad that killed and injured hundreds of Iraqi Jews.
Farhud means violent dispossession. The Farhud was but the first bloody step along the tormented path to the ultimate expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from across the Arab world. That systematic expulsion ended centuries of Jewish existence and stature in those lands.
Jews had thrived in Iraq for 2,700 years, a thousand years before Mohammad. But all that came to end when the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, led the broad Arab-Nazi alliance in the Holocaust that produced a military, economic, political and ideological common cause with Hitler. Although Husseini spearheaded an international pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish Islamic movement from India to Central Europe to the Middle East, it was in Baghdad—a 1,000-kilometer drive from Jerusalem— that he launched his robust coordination with the Third Reich.
In 1941, Iraq still hosted Britain’s Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which controlled the region’s oil. Hitler wanted that oil to propel his invasion of Russia.
The Arabs, led by Husseini, wanted the Jews out of Palestine and Europe’s persecuted Jews kept away from the Middle East. Indeed, Husseini persuasively argued to Hitler that Jews should not be expelled to Palestine but rather to “Poland,” where “they will be under active control.” Translation: send Jews to the concentration camps.
Husseini had visited concentration camps. He had been hosted by architect of the genocide Heinrich Himmler, and the Mufti considered Shoah engineer Adolf Eichmann not only a great friend, but a “diamond” among men.
Nazi lust for oil and Arab hatred of Jews combined synergistically June 1–2, 1941 burning the Farhud into history. Arab soldiers, police, and hooligans, swearing allegiance to the Mufti and Hitler, bolstered by fascist coup plotters known as the Golden Square, ran wild in the streets, raping, shooting, burning, dismembering, and decapitating. Jewish blood flowed through those streets and their screams created echoes that have never faded.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the body that oversees the Eurovision, said this week that it is paying no heed to reports of copyright accusations against Israel’s Eurovision-winning song “Toy.”
The EBU told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that it considers the plagiarism accusations “baseless rumors.”
On Tuesday, the composer of “Toy” confirmed he had received a letter earlier this month from Universal Music Group, alleging similarities between the song and the 2003 White Stripes track “Seven Nation Army.”
Composer and musician Doron Medalie told the Post on Tuesday that “it’s not a lawsuit, there’s no court here. It’s a letter of clarification, so we’re clarifying.”
Despite Hebrew media reports to the contrary, the EBU told the Post Thursday that it is not concerned with the issue.
“As we are busy working with KAN, preparing for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, we are not interested in entertaining such rumors,” it said.
David Collier: The dark clouds continue to gather for British Jews
From defence to offence with British Jews
The answer for Corbyn has always been a simple one. To hack the definition of antisemitism. If what is ‘antisemitic’ is not actually ‘antisemitic’, then the discussion ends and everyone can move on. Corbyn can declare he is against antisemitism AND he gets to keep all the antisemites in his party. This meant the focus has always been on chopping at the IHRA definition and refusing to accept those clauses that relate in any way to antisemitism that expresses itself as hate against Israel. For British Jews it means Corbyn is creating a party that protects people who hate Jews.
It was always just a matter of timing. Two months ago, before the appointment of Nardell, JVL released a ‘new definition of anti-Semitism’. It was a ‘watering down’ of the IHRA definition. As Corbyn and the JVL team operate in a synchronised partnership, it is now clear this was sent up as a ‘test-balloon’. It carries much of the same message as the new guidelines that the Labour Party have just released. It legitimises racism inside the party.
Yesterday the defensive phase of Corbyn’s relationship with British Jews ended. He feels he is strong enough to ignore the accusations of antisemitism by shifting the goalposts. It would be wrong to underestimate the move. Today we wake up to a different world. The sky for British Jews continues to darken.
Jewish leaders have reacted angrily after the Labour Party modified a new definition of anti-Semitism.
It comes after the Party published its code of conduct on anti-Semitism, based partly on the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition taken up by councils across England, and by the Welsh and Scottish parliaments.
However, amid a series of revisions, Labour’s new guidance – shared with the Jewish Labour Movement before publication – states: “It is not anti-Semitism to refer to ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionists’ as part of a considered discussion about the Israeli state.”
While the code spells out that anti-Semitism is “unacceptable” in the party, it says criticism of the State of Israel and its policies should not automatically be regarded as anti-Semitic.
It adds that even “contentious” comments on Israel “will not be treated as anti-Semitism unless accompanied by specific anti-Semitic content… or by other evidence of anti-Semitic intent”.
In an angry joint statement from the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, the leaders of which are due to meet Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s General-Secretary Jennie Formby later this month, the groups said: “It is for Jews to determine for themselves what anti-Semitism is.”
Every time the issue of Labour antisemitism raises its head, the same pattern repeats. The party – and its Dear Leader – says that they are deeply committed to the fight against antisemitism and it is outrageous to suggest otherwise. A smear, even.
And then that same party goes on to show why anyone who falls for that is, to put it at its most charitable, an idiot.
Look what’s going on this time, with this new definition.
Antisemitism is being given its own rules, separate to any other form of racism. Labour will say this shows just how committed it is to fighting antisemitism.
Meanwhile on planet real world, what this really means is that, because antisemitic intent is held to be necessary for any Israel-related language to be antisemitic, those who describe themselves as lifelong antiracists – who just happen to have a problem with what they call Zio-Nazis – can say that because antisemitism is indeed racism, and they are anti-racists, then by definition they have no antisemitic intent and thus cannot be antisemitic.
There are still those who think Labour can be dragged from this sewer. Many of them are admirable people.
But they are simply unwilling, or unable, to face what must surely now be clear to everyone else – that Labour is now in the grip of a hard left so malign that the party is no longer a mainstream vehicle for social change but a vehicle for race hate.
Labour is now institutionally antisemitic.
A Dutch anti-discrimination activist said he was assaulted while protesting a visit to the Netherlands by the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
The chairman of the CiJo group said he received several blows to his neck after he and two activists from the group unfurled a banner reading “Labour: For the many, not the Jew” at a meeting in The Hague hosted Thursday by the Dutch Labor party for Corbyn. Hidde van Koningsveld also said his glasses were damaged and that he intended to press charges.
The protest was over claims of anti-Semitic behavior by Corbyn, who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends” and in 2013 defended an anti-Semitic mural, and within his party.
Lodewijk Asscher, the leader of the Dutch Labor party, condemned the violence, as he called it.
Daphne Anson: Thank You & Best Wishes, Michael Danby!
I don’t belong to his party. I’ve never voted for it. The chances are I never will.
But you don’t have to be an ALP (Australian Labor Party) supporter to admire and appreciate that great stalwart champion of Israel, Member of the House of Representatives Michael Danby (pictured, in the heart of his constituency), who has just announced that he will not be contesting the next federal election.
He tells J-Wire readers, inter alia:
“Before I was elected to Parliament in 1998, there hadn’t been a single MP visit Israel for more than a decade. Thanks to the support of philanthropists Sol Lew and David Goldberger, I took the first mission of Australian Labor MPs to Jerusalem (led by the then opposition leader Simon Crean). Since then, the atmosphere has totally improved in Parliament, with many Members and Senators having visited Israel, the Australia-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group having one of the largest memberships in Parliament, we having regular speakers and functions thanks to the ECAJ [Executive Council of Australian Jewry], AIJAC [Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council] and the Israeli Embassy. Words cannot speak highly enough of my regard for our long-standing Labor stalwart Senator Glenn Sterle. He works with love and passion to continue my work with the Australia-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group. The same applies to my dear Liberal friend, the chairman of the Australia-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group and the chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (which I used to chair), Senator David Fawcett. Israel visits have generally benefitted Australian national security. The visits to Israel have had an important transformative effect on our national politics. You don’t have to explain to MPs and Senators Iran, Jihadism, counter terrorism, the extremism of Erdogan, of Hezbollah and Hamas’ role as terrorist organisations and threat, once parliamentarians have visited there.”
On June 27, 2018, the Facebook page of New Democrats for BDS, Stephen Ellis, a Toronto-based barrister and solicitor, posted “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,” a legal notice saying: “So-called ‘Hate Preacher’ Serves Libel Notices on MP, right-wing media.”
Sheikh Shafiq Hudda accuses several organizations and individuals of defaming him because they misquoted him as wishing for the “eradication” of all 8.2 million Israelis. In fact, he claims, he was praying for the “eradication” of only 6 million Israeli Zionists.
Sheikh Shafiq Hudda’s lawyer’s statement reads:
Over the past week, Sheikh Shafiq Hudda and the Islamic Humanitarian Service (which Hudda directs) both of Kitchener, Ontario, have served Libel Notices on several organizations and individuals, including, but not limited to, the following: B’nai Brith Canada, The Toronto Sun, The Center for Jewish and Israeli Affairs (CIJA) and Peter Kent (MP-Thornhill), Waterloo Region Record.
The serving of a Libel Notice is a requirement under Canada’s Libel and Slander Act to sue for defamation.
“My clients intend to sue for the wildly defamatory comments made by each of these organizations and individuals following the Al-Quds rally of June 9, 2018,” said lawyer Stephen Ellis. “My clients have been accused of preaching hate and calling for genocide when a clear and honest look at the words spoken show a call for an end to unjust empires the world over.”
“The yearly Al-Quds event is attacked because it symbolizes resistance to Israeli apartheid. In my opinion, supporters of the apartheid system have launched an attack on Sheikh Hudda by deliberately taking his words out of context, painting him as a monster. Luckily, there’s a legal remedy for such acts.”
Edgar Davidson: On terrorism and environmentalism: a case study In hypocrisy
Difficult as it might seem to believe, this tweet today from SkyNews is not a spoof, even though the actual report by Lucia Binding clearly salivates over the Al-Qaeda linked group’s environmental credentials and also praises the Taliban for similar green ‘policies’.
In fact, anybody unfortunate enough to have watched Sky News in the last couple of years will know they they view plastic as a threat but not Islamic terrorists, so this story – which frames terrorists as allies in what Sky regards as the main threat to humanity – fits their narrative very well. In fact, there seems to be no environmental issue anywhere in the world that escapes Sky’s attention or concern no matter how trivial it seems (just look at their website – the same, of course, applies to the BBC and all other mainstream media). Yet there is one exception and, unlike every other environmental problem this one is both deliberate and without any apparent benefit*** to those carrying it out. I refer to the environmental catastrophe being inflicted on southern Israel by Hamas – another Al-Qaeda linked terror group that Sky views favourably. For nine consecutive weeks now Hamas has launched hundreds of kites and balloons with explosive devices every day from Gaza creating thousands of fires that have destroyed tens of thousands of acres of farmland and nature reserves, and obliterated much of the wildlife there. The financial costs already runs to billions of dollars, without considering the long-term effects of the toxic fumes. And the attacks keep coming at ever greater ferocity without a word of condemnation from environmentalists anywhere in the world outside of Israel and without any mainstream media coverage.
For over a decade, the NGO camouflaged behind the misnomer Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) was just a fringe anti-Israel agitprop group that barely registered beyond the University of California, Berkeley, where it was hatched in 1996. But in recent years its profile has grown along with its infamy. With a swelling budget from opaque sources, the JVP has become a major supporter of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and of Palestinian rejectionism. Along the way, it has excused Palestinian terrorism, engaged in Holocaust inversion (comparing Israel to Nazi Germany), and spread its disruption tactics across many college campuses.
Now it has gone academic with its first book, deceptively titled On Anti-Semitism. “Gone academic” is probably giving the JVP more credit than it deserves, as the book is actually a disjointed compilation of essays by 22 very different authors – not all of whom are academics, or even Jewish. Some of the authors assert, by virtue of their Jewishness, a special moral authority to criticize Israel and advocate for Palestinians. One contributor even claims he “is not a member of JVP and does not support BDS” (p. 223).
Not all the essays are about anti-Semitism. But all the contributors share a vision of Palestinian statehood, and all are defensive about having their anti-Zionism equated to anti-Semitism.
JVP founding member and prime-mover, Rebecca Vilkomerson, sets the tone for the book in an introduction that complains the Trump era is “a noxious stew of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and racism … that remarkably converges on one point: support for Israel” (p. 1).
The book’s subtitle, Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice, is as misleading as its title. The JVP isn’t really interested in justice; it just wants Israel supplanted by Palestine – the “one state” solution. The problem is, most of the authors aren’t honest enough to admit it. Honesty is one of the notable absences in this book.
In 2002, during the campaign of Palestinian suicide bombings known as the “Second Intifada,” and at the height of Israel’s counter-terrorist offensive to stop the attacks, Palestinian officials took to CNN to allege an Israeli “massacre” in the West Bank city of Jenin.
This charge, and the more specific allegation that Israel killed 500 people in the city, quickly spread through the media. Almost as quickly, it was walked back, after it became clear that just over 50 Palestinians, mostly combatants, and about two dozen Israelis, were killed during intense house-to-house fighting in the city.
“That’s not 500,” conceded one critic of Israel, in an article lamenting the “credulous response” by many of his fellow left-wing activists to false Palestinian claims about Jenin.
Reputations suffered. One of the Palestinian officials most responsible for the false rumors, Saeb Erekat, was ridiculed as “Mr. 500 dead in Jenin” by the director of the Center for Israeli Studies at University College in London. The New York Post was more direct, titling a column about Erekat and his accusations “Why TV News Loves a Liar.”
But according to the extremist website Electronic Intifada and its anti-Israel co-founder Ali Abunimah, Erekat never said 500 people were killed in Jenin. In fact, Abunimah insisted in the months following the operation, “there is no public record of any Palestinian official accusing the Israeli army of killing 500 Palestinians in Jenin.”
In article after article and letter after letter, Abunimah and his publication “rebutted” claims that Erekat and other Palestinian leaders were responsible for the embarrassing allegations.
Then, of course, comes the trump card: all the accusers are supposedly Islamophobes.
The next hearing has been set in July, in which Ramadan may well be slapped with that third indictment, for one, or several of, the nine rapes Ms Rabbouj accuses him of during 2013-2014. Ramadan denies the allegations.
Oborne’s rather spectacular pile of tendentious inaccuracies ends by referencing a petition supporting Ramadan. It was started by Ramadan’s usual Paris acolytes of the hard-left investigative website Médiapart and a handful of British academics who supported Ramadan’s elevation to a teaching post at Oxford, and may feel they need to protect their investment. They should cut their losses.
For those who are not familiar with her, British journalist Yvonne Ridley is an example of Stockholm Syndrome – she converted to Islam and became a vile terror supporter after being captured by the Taliban and released on condition she study Islam.
Naturally, she now hates Israel and lies shamelessly – both of which are evident in her latest piece entitled Who Killed Razan Al-Najjar, published by the equally detestable Palestinian Information Center.
A new petition circulating on social media serves as a reminder that the Israeli sniper who shot Palestinian paramedic Razan Al-Najjar on 1 June could be a British citizen with dual nationality. This is a real possibility as there are many British Jews, both men and women, serving in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
For a start, the person accused of killing Razan was not a British citizen with dual nationality – she was an American with dual nationality. And it was shown over a month ago that she has not even served in the IDF for a long time – the haters simply ripped her photo from a 4-year-old Facebook post and decided to pin the blame on her.
The identity of the soldier, however, is being protected by the Israeli military pending an investigation into the killing of the 21-year-old volunteer paramedic from Gaza.
There has been absolutely no evidence that the IDF knows who killed Razan, let alone is protecting their identity. All we know is the IDF’s preliminary investigation found she was not deliberately targeted.
Recently-deported-from-Israel Code Pinker Ariel Gold has tweeted her pleasure over being depicted in a cartoon by Carlos Latuff
I guess one person’s “bad ass” is another person’s vile antisemite.
Carlos Latuff is well known for his antisemitic cartoons. So much so, that almost every antisemite I have seen on social media has posted at least one of them.
The fact that Gold called him a “bad ass” indicates she is familiar with his work. Yet it does not bother her.
Just like the vile antisemitism she would have seen in the notorious Palestine Live Facebook group did not seem to bother her.
She not only chanted for an Intifada, she also chanted “Long Live the Intifada” –which “peaceful” Intifada was she referring to? pic.twitter.com/ylO5z9YDGl
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) July 5, 2018
BBC Watch submitted a complaint concerning that inaccurate portrayal, pointing out that while the Balfour Declaration was issued on November 2nd 1917, British forces did not complete their First World War ‘Sinai and Palestine Campaign’ until October 30th 1918 – almost a year after the Balfour Declaration was issued – and that the region was not under British control – “colonial” or otherwise – when the Balfour Declaration was issued as claimed by the BBC’s Middle East editor.
The response received from BBC Complaints includes the following:
“We raised your complaint with the programme team and senior staff, who respond:
The presenter, Martha Kearney, put it to our Middle East Editor that Prince William’s visit was being seen as an ‘indirect apology’ for the Balfour Declaration, in the words of the Palestinian Representative in London who had commented on the visit.
As this was the first mention of the Balfour Declaration, Jeremy Bowen responded by attempting to explain in a few words the significance of Balfour for the audience. His summary was not intended to mislead but rather help listeners unfamiliar with the complex historical background and give context to Prince William’s trip. His phrase ‘about a hundred years ago’ clearly indicated that he was précising the details for the benefit for the listener and not setting out an exact sequence of historical events. Nor do we think ‘colonial power’ is an inappropriate phrase to cover this period, given that at the time Britain had a large Empire and went onto administer Palestine at the behest of the League of Nations in 1923.”
Quite how that inaccurate presentation of the chronology of events can be claimed to “help listeners unfamiliar with the complex historical background” is of course unclear. So much for BBC editorial standards of ‘accuracy’.
For several years now, the millions of viewers of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal daily three-hour talk show have been routinely subjected to defamatory anti-Israel hate rhetoric by callers. Unfortunately, C-SPAN hosts rarely, if ever, challenge the unbridled hate rhetoric that distorts the truth.
A recent call demonstrates the type of questionable accusations launched at Israel without challenge:
“[My favorite story this week] was on the Christian Channel, news program [that] explained how Zionist Christians believe that Israel should take over the Middle East, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the whole Middle East… we cannot speak about their nuclear arsenal or … talk about when they blew up the USS Liberty and we had 17 soldiers killed …” (WJ caller “Mike from Ohio,” June 22 at 7:36 a.m.).
First of all, the caller’s “take over” claim is a gross distortion of what Christian Zionists believe. Secondly, the claim regarding the USS Liberty is false. As has been thoroughly documented, the attack on the U.S. ship near the Egyptian coast during the 1967 Six Day War was a fog-of-war tragic accident. Yet this false claim has become a staple for WJ’s numerous anti-Israel callers.
The charge against Israel’s alleged “nuclear arsenal” is also a common one among C-SPAN callers. In fact, Israel’s purported nuclear weapons role for deterrence in the volatile Middle East is analogous to the role of America’s nuclear weapons role in keeping the Cold War with the Soviet Union from turning hot. Israel does not threaten other countries with destruction.
Neo-Nazis in Sweden assaulted two pro-Israel activists on Thursday outside a pavilion set up by the Israel-Sweden Friendship Association.
Dozens of members of the Nordic Resistance Movement gathered around the pavilion on the island of Gotland, south of Stockholm, for what they said was a “protest demonstration,” the Aftonbladet newspaper reported.
One of the victims, Christina Toledano Asbrink, told the paper that the neo-Nazis tried to cover the pavilion’s Israeli flag with their banner. When she intervened, several men grabbed her and shook her violently before pushing her to the ground as other members of the Israel-Sweden Friendship Association began calling for police.
Stefan Dozzi, the pro-Israel group’s secretary, was lightly injured in a scuffle that erupted outside the pavilion after Toledano Asbrink was thrown to the ground. She was hit in the head and treated for minor injuries.
The association set up its pavilion in Almedalen this week as part of Almedalen Week, an annual forum that gathers Sweden’s political, business and media elite together on a small corner of Gotland. This year is the event’s 50th anniversary.
A classified advertisements website in France removed an ad marketing a secondhand showerhead as coming from Auschwitz.
A spokesperson for the LeBonCoin website said Thursday on Twitter that as soon as the ad was flagged last week, moderators “immediately removed it, and were of course shocked by its content. We apologize to anyone who, like us, became upset by this ad.”
The website may press criminal charges against the author of the ad, who sought 455 euros, or $535, for the metal object.
The Nazis killed more than a million people at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, including tens of thousands of French Jews. Most victims were poisoned in gas chambers disguised as showers.
Max Fuchs, an American soldier who helped lead a historic Jewish religious service in Germany during World War II, has died.
Fuchs, an Army rifleman who led the 1944 Shabbat service in Aachen alongside Army chaplain Rabbi Sidney Lefkowitz, for some 50 Jewish-American soldiers, died Tuesday, according to The New York Times. It was the first Jewish service broadcast from Germany since the rise of Hitler more than a decade earlier, and was shown throughout the United States and in Germany.
“The emotion was tremendous,” Fuchs said of the service in an interview for the American Jewish Committee in 2009. “The soldiers had heard of all the atrocities. Most of them had families that perished in the Holocaust. We had so many of my family.”
The Army division had no cantor, so Fuchs agreed to fill the role.
“Since I was the only one who could do it, I tried my best,” Fuchs told The Times.
Fuchs, a native of Poland, moved to New York at age 12 with his family. After the war he studied cantorial music and served as the cantor of the Bayside Jewish Center in Queens, and also worked as a diamond cutter in Manhattan, The Times reported.
Contrary to widely-held beliefs, Anne Frank and her family were never denied an entry visa to the United States, a new study by the museum for the Jewish diarist confirmed.
The museum in Amsterdam known as the Anne Frank House published Friday its report on the immigration attempts of the family of Anne Frank, who penned journals of her time in hiding from Nazi occupation for two years until 1944. The journals became the world-famous “Diary of a Young Girl.” She, her sister and parents were sent to concentration camps where only her father, Otto Frank, survived.
“Although the United States had a far from generous policy with regard to Jewish refugees, it is clear that Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne Frank were not refused entry to the United States,” the new study states. Due to rapidly-changing circumstances connected to World War II, the family’s “immigration visa application to the American consulate in Rotterdam was never processed.”
The finding follows decades of uncertainty as to how exactly US immigration authorities handled the Franks’ immigration applications. And it contradicts an oft-repeated claim of critics of the United States’ past and current visa policies, including Washington Post columnist Elahe Izadi, who in 2015 penned an op-ed titled “Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the US.”
More recently, journalists Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan made the same claim on the “Democracy Now!” show syndicated by Pacifica Radio. “The US Rejected Refugee Anne Frank — Let’s Not Make the Same Mistake Again,” read the title of their article from February.
Among the inspiring words delivered by Knesset member Michael Oren to a group of 30 emergency responders from the United States was a shared belief that the two nations are in the battle against terrorism together. “We are fighting for the same cause, defending the same civilizations, with the same values and same beliefs. We are you, you are us,” said Oren, who currently serves as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s.
Along with their Israeli counterparts in Israel, the American first-responders were recognized for their bravery and dedication at a festive awards dinner in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
The June 27 event, attended by Israeli government ministers and Knesset members, also featured guest speaker U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, along with other dignitaries. It was hosted by the Advanced Security Training Institute, or ASTI.
A nonprofit established in 2003, it works to ensure the safety and security of citizens in the United States by instructing professionals on the most current methods to do so. In the past 16 years, the group has provided more than 300 U.S. emergency responders, military veterans, government decision-makers and others with advanced security and medical training in Israel, based on battle-tested methods that have been honed by decades of conflict.
Following a week of training in Israel, the U.S. delegates go back home and share their newly learned skill sets with the first-responders in their counties and states. To date, more than 7,000 American emergency personnel throughout the country have received training sessions based on the Israeli methodologies.
US Department of Defense official Adam Tarsi’s June trip through Israel to work on joint cutting-edge technology projects to combat terror was far from his first run through “Start-up Nation.”
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post during Tel Aviv University’s Cyber Week and Combating Terrorism Technology Conference in which he announced two new technologies who will receive special seed funding from the US, Tarsi explained that his department has been working with Israel for years on these issues.
Tarsi, whose specific division is called the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), said that the technologies his department helps fund for combating terrorism sometimes are for military and classified use, but sometimes are for use in the civilian sector.
His goal is to “look where venn diagrams intersect…where we have shared needs, so we only all need to solve problems once.”
The US defense official said that Israel is one of America’s “chief partners” on these issues due to its “long history in this business,” while adding that the US has similar agreements with England, Canada, Australia and Singapore.
If you have seen the film Casablanca, you will know that Morocco was a conduit for refugees escaping Europe during WW2. Less known is a remarkable Jewess called Helen Cazes Ben Attar, who spearheaded the effort to support the refugees and found them jobs. Here is a post by North African Jews in World War 2:
Not many people are familiar with Helen Cazes Ben Attar.
Helen was in the forefront of the progress of women’s rights in Morocco and worked tirelessly for the Jewish refugees who had escaped Europe.
Helen had been a trailblazer from early on, when she was one of the first Jewish girls to complete the Moroccan matriculation exams. She went on to study law and became the first female Jewish lawyer in Morocco. She soon became active in the Jewish community in Casablanca and worked with welfare organizations, the Jewish National Fund, and was appointed the first head of WIZO (the Women’s International Zionist Organization).
Helen was also first in other respects. Following the outbreak of WWII she was the first to recognize the dire straits in which the Jewish refugees from Europe found themselves. She acted to alleviate their hardship and worked to mobilize the Jewish community to welcome and support them.
After the liberation of North Africa by the Allies, Helen continued to work for the refugees – she found work for 1,276 Jewish refugees in the American Army and in the factories which supported the Allied fighting forces. She also became the head of the Joint.
The story of a Jewish baseball player risking his life to potentially assassinate the Nazis’ top physicist seems tailor-made for a movie. But “The Catcher Was A Spy” needs tighter fabric to be a great film.
The movie tells the unbelievably true tale of Morris (Moe) Berg, a Princeton graduate who played for a number of teams, including the Boston Red Sox. He was later dispatched to Zurich to kill noted German scientist Werner Heisenberg if Berg determined that Heisenberg was close to building a nuclear weapon for the Nazis to use.
Based on the book of the same name by Nicholas Dawidoff, Berg comes across as an enigma. He has a girlfriend, but is rumored to be gay. He isn’t a great baseball player, but somehow manages to play for 15 seasons. He is an intellectual and speaks several languages, but has a tough-looking face.
Starring in the title role is Paul Rudd, a fine actor who is seemingly too good-looking for the part. But Rudd carries the film as much as he can. Although his throw to second base when a runner is stealing looks weak, he seems like a man who can get things done, although the moments of vulnerability are too few here.
The main problem with the film is poor pacing and the lack of a sense of danger. Other than a brief wartime scene where some bullets fly, everything feels too safe. Also, we should see some inner conflict. This is a man who must be grappling with a lot, yet we barely see him sweat. In a scene where he is handed a poison capsule to take if he is captured, the camera pans away from Berg’s face and we get a shot of him from the back while he is sitting down. This is a curious choice.
התרגשתי מאוד לראות את הוידאו הזה של אחי האהוב יוני ז״ל, מדבר מהשטח ברמת הגולן לאחר מלחמת יום הכיפורים. אני מתגעגע אליו בכל יום בחיי pic.twitter.com/w1nZJb7vFt
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 5, 2018
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