Phyllis Chesler: At a meeting of the Cognitive Jewish Warriors
At an evening with well known figures in the Jewish public world, the ‘small talk’ revolves around the diabolical lies Jews have to face – and the black humor that helps them cope with it.
I once hosted a meeting at my home. The doorbell rang and the man who stood there introduced himself as “Daled Amos.”
Okay, sure, why not?
The next gentleman who arrived introduced himself as “Elder of Zion.”
At some point Sultan Knish and Ibn Warraq also joined us; Brian of London was too far away. These pseudonyms, clearly required in these times, ensure them a place in history.
Once everyone had arrived, my living and dining rooms literally vibrated with wit and brilliance and passion. The Cognitive Warriors had assembled.
Last night was a night just like that.
Yes, Elder was happily here again but this time he was joined by my dear friends Dr. Mordechai Kedar and his charming wife, the musician and singer, Rhyna; Tuvia Tenenbom and his deceptively quiet but all-perceptive wife and collaborator, Isi; and Naomi Wolinsky and her husband Steve, my beloved shul mates and Torah study partners.
Kedar held forth. Tenenbom held forth. Every word mattered.
In response to a question about his CUFI appearance, Franks asserted, “Israel is on the front lines in a battle to protect all humanity from an evil ideology that has no respect for innocent life anywhere on earth. Adherents of this ideology hate Israel’s existence – more than that, they hate Western Civilization. Israel deserves our support and respect. As co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, I am happy to stand with Israel at the upcoming Christians United For Israel Summit.”
Representing the White House will be Vice President Pence, whose evangelical and pro-Israel credentials have been well established. Augmenting Pence is the baritone-voiced Dr. Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s outspoken Hungarian-born, pro-Israel security advisor.
Malcolm Hoenlein, a fiery favorite at prior CUFI conferences, will appear again this year. As CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations—an assemblage of some 52 leading communal groups, Hoenlein is the gateway to much of Jewish leadership. He is known for his passionate presentations at CUFI. Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer joins the line-up. Best-selling author Erick Stakelbeck, now hosting the CBN series “The Watchman,” will deliver remarks based on his expertise in both terrorism and ancient Israel.
The irony escapes no one in either Israel or the United States that at a time when Israel is fighting an internal battle within parts of the Jewish community, it calls upon evangelical Americans, represented by CUFI, as one of its most reliable and demonstrative blocks of support.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Monday with former Mexican Ambassador to UNESCO Professor Andrés Roemer in Paris, and thanked the ambassador for his courage and the personal price he paid to defend the truth and the history of the Jewish people.
Roemer was appointed the Mexican Ambassador to UNESCO in April 2016. He was fired from the position just two months later after he refused to vote for an Arab resolution denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Although his government instructed him to vote in favor of the anti-Semitic resolution, Roemer refused to do so. Instead he got up and left the hall. His deputy took his place and voted for the Arab resolution.
Roemer was put on disciplinary trial and dismissed for his action.
During their meeting, Professor Roemer gave Netanyahu a copy of his latest book and the prime minister promised to read it. Half an hour after the end of the meeting, Netanyahu could already relate to selected quotations from the beginning of the book.
“The past year has been very moving, because usually there is a tendency to forget things within moments, but here it is not only the Israeli ambassador who remembered me and arranged the meeting, but the Prime Minister of Israel who saw fit to find the time to do so,” said Roemer.
“I am at peace with what I did. I did it not only as a Jew but as a person who believes that such resolutions have no place in the organization of education and culture, and they are harmful to everyone,” he added
BESA: Dismantle UNRWA
In a surprising change of policy, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has called for the dismantling of UNRWA. Such a move could benefit both Israel and the peace process. The new US administration might change its decades-old policy as well.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stunned many by declaring that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) should be dismantled.
Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu charged that “in various UNRWA institutions, there is a lot of incitement against Israel, and therefore the existence of UNRWA – and unfortunately its work from time to time – perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem rather than solves it. … Therefore, the time has come to dismantle UNRWA and merge its components with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR].”
This long overdue step was rejected for years by the Israeli establishment. Up to now, Jerusalem has prevented attempts to change UNRWA’s mandate or close it down because it perceived the agency as a stabilizing factor. Israel focused instead on anti-Israeli incitement in UNRWA’s education system and on its collaboration with Hamas. That collaboration implied an international imprimatur on egregious Hamas behavior.
Instead of fighting UNRWA’s very existence, Israel focused on its actions. This time, the prime minister is talking about a bigger shift in policy.
If you can’t condemn terrorism, be quiet, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said in a message directed to his Jordanian counterpart Monday.
Edelstein’s video came a day after Jordanian Parliament Speaker Ataf Tarawneh praised the terrorists who killed two Israeli policemen on the Temple Mount Friday, saying, “Their blood watered the pure land.”
“While we are mourning the murder of two young police officers in Jerusalem,” Edelstein said, “the speaker of the Jordanian Parliament called them martyrs, shaheedim, called their blood saints’ blood, and added some more thoughts in this very direction.”
Edelstein called for terrorism to be condemned, especially when it takes place on the Temple Mount, which is holy to three monotheistic religions.
“I want to say to my Jordanian colleague: If you’re unable to condemn terrorist attacks, just keep silent,” the Knesset Speaker stated.
Edelstein said that on his meetings with parliamentarians from around the world, he always calls for cooperation with legislatures of the region, saying lawmakers are welcome to Jerusalem to talk and bring their people and Israel closer together. (h/t Yenta Press)
Yisrael Medad: Remember the Surveillance Camera Fiasco?
A throwback reminder when Secretary of State John Kerry forced Israel’s Prime Minister to accept Jordan’s King Abdullah’s idea regarding the Temple Mount: surveillance cameras:
Israel and Jordan agree to put surveillance cameras on Temple Mount October 25, 2015
But Israel demanded that they also be inside buildings, like…a mosque, because that’s where youths were stockpiling rocks and firebombs.
Then it seemed it was proceeding
JORDAN: CAMERAS TO BE INSTALLED ON TEMPLE MOUNT TO DOCUMENT ISRAELI ‘VIOLATIONS’ MARCH 19, 2016
JORDAN ABANDONS PLAN TO INSTALL CAMERAS ON TEMPLE MOUNT APRIL 18, 2016
And now we learn that the weapons used to kill the two policemen were brought into the compound:
A terrorist attempted to carry out a ramming attack near the Beit Romano Jewish residence in Hevron Monday night. No injuries were reported.
An IDF soldier shot and neutralized the terrorist, who was transferred to security forces for questioning.
The attempted attack occurred as Arabs rioted in Jerusalem over the introduction of new security measures at the Temple Mount following a deadly terrorist attack Friday morning.
Arab rioters threw stones and blocked the Maale Mota Gur road in Jerusalem.
At the same time, dozens of Arabs gathered near the Lions’ Gate and attacked policemen.
Dozens of Arabs rioted tonight (Monday), throwing stones and blocking the Maale Mota Gur road in Jerusalem.
Police forces are on the scene and the rioters are being driven out using riot control measures.
At the same time, dozens of Arabs gathered near the Lions’ Gate and attacked policemen.
The Arab riots are part of the Arab protest against the metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount following the murderous attack on Friday.
During the day, hundreds of Muslim worshipers came to the Al-Aqsa mosque but did not enter and prayed outside the Temple Mount to protest the placing of the magnetometers.
Fred Maroun: Arabs who do not love Israel are fools
In the recent attack that took place on the Temple Mount, much of the international media missed the most important part of the story. Here in Canada, the National Post headlined, “Three Palestinian gunmen kill two Israeli police near Jerusalem shrine”. Buried in the article is the sentence, “Police identified the assailants as Arab citizens of Israel”, and nowhere in the article does it mention that Hail Stawi and Kamil Shanan, the two slain police officers, were Druse citizens of Israel.
Non-Jewish Israelis killed non-Jewish Israelis because of the hatred of Jews. Even in the wacky world of the Middle East, it does not get more surreal than this. If this is not a wake-up call for Arabs, nothing will be.
Israeli Arab leaders condemned the attack, but additionally “condemned the subsequent closure of the mosque to prayers”. Also as reported in Haaretz, “a spokesman for the Jordanian government accused Israel of violating the status quo by barring Muslim worshippers from praying on the Mount”. Even though Israel’s handling of the situation was purely security driven and perfectly understandable, Arabs demonstrated yet again that for them any opportunity to engage in anti-Israel rhetoric is simply too tempting.
When will Arabs learn? When will Arabs understand that far from being their enemy, Israel is their best friend in the Middle East and the key to a better future?
Some two hours after the terror attack at Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem on the morning of July 14th in which police officers Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan were murdered and two others wounded, the BBC News website published an article titled “Israelis injured in gun attack near Jerusalem holy site”. As further details of the incident emerged the article was repeatedly amended and its tenth version now appears on the BBC News website under the title “Israeli police killed in attack near Jerusalem holy site“.
Unsurprisingly – given the BBC’s record of double standards in the language used when reporting terror attacks in different locations – in none the ten versions of that article did the writer/s use the word terror to describe the incident he or she was reporting.
From the second version onward readers found a paragraph that has been frequently seen in previous BBC reporting on terror attacks against Israelis since October 2015.
“Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”
Once again, it is worth remembering that since the surge in terror attacks began in late 2015, the BBC has consistently failed to provide its audiences with any serious reporting on the topic of incitement and glorification of terrorism by Palestinian officials. Readers are hence unable to judge for themselves whether or not what ‘Israel says’ is accurate.
As we see, Radio 4 listeners were also not provided with a full picture of the sequence of events including the fact that the terrorists were on Temple Mount – apparently with their weapons – before they launched their attack and that they returned there afterwards. Like World Service audiences, listeners to Radio 4 would therefore be unable to appreciate the context to the next part of Bateman’s report.
Bateman: “After the shooting police began a search of the site and sealed it off. Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque are usually attended by thousands of Muslims but the closure prevented that: a highly unusual decision by the Israeli authorities. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the preacher at the mosque, was defiant saying no force on earth could prevent prayers there. Instead though, they took place outside the compound amid signs of growing tension and angry scuffles at another of the Old City’s gates. Adnan Husseini – the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem – criticised the closure.”
Listeners were not told of Husseini’s record of inflammatory statements before they heard his comments.
Husseini: “This is the first time that they announce the prayer will not take place; the Friday prayer. And this has never happened before and I think this is very dangerous. They have to use their mind, you know, when they declare such things. This moment is very sensitive moment. We have to go to pray.”
Erasing all pre-1967 Jerusalem history in typical BBC fashion, Bateman continued:
Bateman: “The Old City is within East Jerusalem which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 war – a move not recognized by the international community. Israel’s government said today’s incident crossed red lines. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas – under pressure in the past from Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn such attacks – did just that during a phone call between the pair but also said that closing down the area could have repercussions. Since the autumn of 2015 there have been a wave of attacks involving knives, guns and car rammings which had decreased in frequency but had not stopped. Today’s shootings in Jerusalem have already led to concerns about a fresh escalation in tensions.”
It is of course highly doubtful that the BBC would find it appropriate to provide a platform to people in a European country who used veiled threats to demand access to the scene of a terror attack just hours after it had taken place and while the police were still carrying out investigations. However, as we see in these two reports, for Tom Bateman the focus of this story is exactly those people rather than the incident itself, which he fails to explain in a manner which would enable audiences to understand why such the highly unusual action of closing Temple Mount had to be taken.
On June 29-30, 2017, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) held a forum to “mark fifty years of Israeli occupation.” As anticipated, the event “Ending the Occupation: Creating the Space for Human Rights, Development and a Just Peace,” featured antisemitic rhetoric, calls for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), and demonization campaigns against Israel’s existence.
The event’s participants included NGO officials and activists, some of whom are known proponents of BDS and lawfare campaigns, and ‘48 agendas. Crucially, their economic and legal warfare campaigns target Israel as a whole, and not simply policies concerning the West Bank and Gaza.
As shown in the quotes below, many of the speakers repeatedly used the language of the infamous 2001 Durban NGO Forum, denying the rights of the Jewish nation to self-determination and calling for BDS against Israel.
Seventy-five years ago, on August 14, 1942, my father’s family — his parents, two sisters, brother-in-law and baby nephew, together with all their relatives and the Jewish community of their shtetl (little town) in Belarus — were all shot into a mass grave by the Nazis and their local collaborators. The victims of the Holocaust — six million of them, a third of the Jewish people — left us with the command that perpetrators of heinous crimes, anywhere, should be brought to justice. Prominent Jewish and Israeli jurists carried this torch. Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish refugee from Poland initiated the Genocide Convention. Dr. Jacob Robinson, a Jewish refugee from Lithuania, was an adviser in the Nuremberg trial and later in the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. Shabtai Rosenne, a renowned Israeli jurist, significantly contributed to various branches of international law. My generation feels the obligation to continue in their spirit.
Today, the international community marks International Criminal Justice Day, which originally stemmed from the adoption of the International Criminal Court Rome Statute, in 1998. As attorney general of Israel, I headed our delegation to the formation of the statute. In my remarks at the Rome Conference on July 17, 1998, I warned, inter alia, against the dangers of politicization of the Court processes. Israel actively participated in all stages of the negotiations leading to the Rome Statute. But later, I took part in the agonizing deliberations that took place in our government regarding the statute. Due to the above concerns, we were unable to join the Court. But our decision — not an easy one at all — does not for a moment diminish our deep commitment to the ideas of international criminal justice, which are embedded in our national values and in our long-time practice. That is why our country was an early supporter both of international treaties concerning humanitarian law and of constant prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The Kapo Trials in Israel during the fifties, and in particular the Eichmann trial in the early sixties and the Demjanjuk trial in the late eighties, attest to that. Having followed a part of the Nazi crimes investigations in Israel, I can personally testify to the seriousness and devotion of our teams.
France’s best-known Nazi hunter, Serge Klarsfeld, accused his country’s government during World War II of “complicity in a crime against humanity and genocide.”
Klarsfeld, a Holocaust survivor and historian, who, in 2014, received France’s highest civil honor together with his wife, Beate, made the assertion in an interview with the French news agency Agence-Presse France, published Saturday, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv deportations.
On July 16 and 17, 1942, French police officers rounded up more than 13,000 Jews at the Winter Stadium, or Velodrome d’Hiver. The men, women, and children were imprisoned there for days in unsanitary conditions and without sufficient water, leading to dozens of fatalities, including through suicide. Then the Jews were transported, partly on French national railway wagons, to Nazi death camps in Eastern Europe.
More than 1,000 people, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attended the commemoration of the 75th anniversary Sunday near a monument that was erected where the stadium, which was demolished decades ago, used to stand.
When it comes to the battle of Radiohead vs. Pink Floyd, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe has come down on the side of engagement and dialogue and against the call for boycott.
Stipe took to social media Sunday night to express his support for Radiohead performing in Israel this week, despite intense pressure on them to cancel.
“I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform,” he wrote. “Let’s hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution.”
Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has been waging a months-long battle with Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke over the band’s slated Israel gig.
Yorke has resisted Waters’s efforts to get the band to cancel, and hit back at the singer.
“It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves,” said Yorke in a Rolling Stone interview. “It’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that.
I found out who Roger Waters is through an anti-BDS post on Facebook. Before that, had I seen him in the street I would have assumed he was any other older man, ranting about who and what has done him wrong.
I realize he once was relevant, but, to be honest, he is well past his expiration date, which perhaps is why he became a social justice warrior, aiming his wrath at the Jewish state.
The latest Facebook post featuring Waters came from a pro-Israel writer. According to the post, American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses were thankful for the warm reception during their concert in Tel Aviv last week, which the post’s author considered a “win” over Waters and his ongoing anti-Israel campaign.
I beg to differ.
First of all, Waters’ only wins lately seem to be from statements like these, from so-called pro-Israel writers, who credit him with much more than he deserves. Every time he manages to upset a Jew he is thrilled, as it keeps him on the map and feeds his odd quest to wipe Israel off it.
Secondly, statements like these sell Israel short. Israel is officially a hot destination. Actors, models, hipsters and luxury vacationers are all flying in to take selfies on its shores.
Allowing BDS proponent Roger Waters to perform at a Long Island arena violates a local law against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a Nassau County lawmaker said.
Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman, is scheduled to appear at the Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 15 and 16.
The lawmaker, Howard Kopel, asked the county attorney last week to determine whether the Nassau Coliseum lease requires compliance with the county law adopted in May 2016 that prevents the county from doing business with any company that participates in the economic boycott of Israel.
Kopel, an Orthodox Jewish legislator who represents a district with a large Jewish population, said in a Facebook post that the Waters concert violates the anti-BDS law while calling the musician a “notorious front-man for the BDS movement and virulent anti-Semite.”
Last March, praising his own “clarity of thought” and “courage,” the chairman of the venerable Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) took to the pages of that organization’s journal, the Palestine Exploration Quarterly, to defend a decision to cancel a then-upcoming conference in Jerusalem. Citing international law and “the demands of neutrality,” Philip Davies explained that the conference could not accept papers based on the findings of “Jewish excavations” in east Jerusalem, lest the PEF “appear to condone illegal archaeology.” Rami Arav responds:
When I queried him [regarding] his use of the objectionable term “Jewish excavations” in his editorial, Davies stated in a written reply: “In my defense, I understand that the excavations in question are conducted by Jews and funded by Jews and have a Jewish purpose, so that you might perhaps be gracious enough to allow that I was factually correct.”
That one defensive statement not only defined “Jewish excavations” but seems to imply that the Jews have some sinister “purpose” behind their “Jewish excavations.” This is absurd. The PEF chairman willingly wished to collaborate with [his organization’s German counterpart, which] sponsored a dig in the Lutheran Church of Jerusalem [that employed] Lutheran archaeologists. [Should this] excavation be branded “a Lutheran excavation”? . . .
I have ascertained through correspondence that at least three Israeli scholars were initially rejected out of hand from the conference. . . . One presentation that fully complied with the [conference] guidelines and focused on the archives of PEF in London was at first rejected solely because the presenter was Israeli. If he had written under a name like “John Smith,” the conference would have accepted his paper. . .
Yes, you read that headline right.
In a series of Tweets, Asaf Ronel, world news editor of Haaretz, declared that he is an anti-Zionist. No, he’s not some off-the-wall opinion writer thrown into the newspaper for shock value: he’s the world news editor.
Ronel followed up his initial statement (above) by calling apartheid in Israel “reality,” and clarifying that such “apartheid” began in 1948.
In case you don’t have Twitter, or in the event this conversation gets subsequently deleted, you can follow some of the conversation in these screen shots:
Ross Kemp is an actor and investigative journalist who host’s Ross Kemp Extreme World on Sky 1, a show which investigates “important issues around the world, telling the powerful and dramatic stories of people experiencing war, poverty, crime and violence”.
The latest episode focused on drug addiction among Palestinians living in the West Bank.
Though the show – highlighting efforts by both Israeli and Palestinian police to address the problem – was largely fair, one interview conducted by Kemp during the show caught our attention. The man interviewed was identified as Issam, characterised as a former drug user and the “first person to conduct a comprehensive study of drug addiction on the West Bank”.
However, it turns out that he’s also evidently a bit of an anti-Israel conspiracy theorist (pay attention to the English subtitles, especially at the one minute mark):
Note how Kemp just sits there and doesn’t challenge the bizarre claim that “the occupation is using drugs to control the youth”.
Issam’s full name is Issam Jwehan, director of Al-Maqdese for Society Development, a European government-funded NGO which claims to “raise awareness among Palestinians in Jerusalem of their rights and international humanitarian law,” and “disclose, document, and publish Israeli violations.”
On July 16th an article titled “Netanyahu in Paris to commemorate Vel d’Hiv deportation of Jews” appeared on the BBC News website’s Europe and Middle East pages. However, the version of that report which is currently available is markedly different from its earlier editions.
The article originally opened as follows:
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Paris to commemorate the victims of a mass arrest of Jews in Nazi-occupied France in 1942.
More than 13,000 Jews were rounded up and detained at a cycling stadium, the Velodrome d’Hiver, before being deported to Nazi death camps.
Mr Netanyahu will also hold direct talks for the first time with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The visit has been criticised by some groups as politicising a tragedy.”
About an hour after publication, that latter sentence was amended to read:
“The visit has drawn consternation from critics of the Israeli PM.”
BBC website visitors who read the article’s first two versions were later told that:
“Mr Netanyahu’s attendance at the commemoration ceremony has not been welcomed by everyone in France.”
Police in Montreal, Canada, have issued an arrest warrant for a Palestinian-Jordanian imam accusing him of willful promotion of hatred, following speeches that demonize Jews and use the Quran to call for their destruction.
The warrant follows a probe by Montreal police’s hate crimes squad, after a complaint by B’nai Brith Canada about a December speech at the Dar al-Arkam mosque during which Muhammad bin Musa al Nasr described Jews as “the most evil of mankind” and as “human demons.”
The imam then quoted from the Quran, saying at “the end of time … the stone and the tree will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me – come and kill him!’”
The mosque allowed the West Bank-born imam, a prominent member of the hard-line Salafist movement in Jordan, where he lectures at the al-Ahliyya University in Amman, to deliver more than a dozen other speeches as well.
Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, told the Montreal Gazette, “Today, the Jewish community of Montreal can sleep safer, knowing that there is a price to pay for inciting violence against our community.
Following complaints from a leading Jewish organization in Canada, global music distributors have begun removing songs recorded by a viciously antisemitic rapper that exhort listeners to kill Jews.
B’nai Brith Canada announced on Friday that songs recorded by Iraqi-Canadian Jonathan Azaziah – who records under the name Madd Cold – were being removed from online distribution platforms. On Sunday, the songs were no longer available on popular platforms like Soundcloud, BandCamp and Spotify, although YouTube continues to host some of Azaziah’s content.
The group added that the Hate Crimes Unit of the Montreal Police Service has launched an investigation of its own into Azaziah.
“Azaziah’s self-proclaimed goal with his music is to ‘liberate the current discourse in Western circles that centres around appeasing Zionist Jews, who constitute the greatest threat to the survival of human beings on Earth,’” a statement from B’nai Brith Canada said.
Azaziah, who calls himself “the Iraqi destroyer of Jewish lies,” has published dozens of songs where he calls members of the Jewish community “demons” and “parasites,” while describing them as servants of Shaytan, the Arabic term for Satan. Many of his verses propagate Holocaust denial, while others advocate genocide.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will be joined by President of Germany, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, together with the hosting Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, as he inaugurates a new memorial in Munich in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes and trainers murdered by terrorists in the 1972 Munich Massacre, marking 45 years since the attack. Also attending the ceremony will be members of the bereaved families, with whom the President will meet during his visit.
President Rivlin commented, “I am honored to join my honorable friend the President of Germany, to inaugurate this moving tribute to our fallen brothers. These proud sportsmen were murdered in cold blood, by vicious terrorists, and though 45 years has passed since that dark day in September, their memory is engraved in our hearts. This memorial must stand as a witness to the dangers of hatred and the cruel brutality of terrorism, as well as to the promise that those who perpetrate and support terrorism will pay the price.”
The elegant ballroom of the Indian consulate general in New York has been the venue for many cultural and other events attended by Indian and American audiences. But on June 29 a special event brought two communities, Indians and Jews, together to witness a hitherto unknown chapter of history, captured in a documentary film called “Little Poland in India.”
The docufilm, which had a special screening in New York with the support of the Indian consulate general and the American Jewish Committee, looks back to the dark chapter of history during World War II when Hitler’s deadly war machinery rolled over Europe, spreading terror and destruction on the continent.
Orphaned Polish children — Jews and Catholics alike — faced an uncertain future, but in the midst of the gloom a ray of hope appeared when a kindhearted Maharaja (member of Indian nobility) in a princely state in Gujarat agreed to accept the Polish children and look after them.
The emotionally charged subject of children finding refuge in an alien culture is deftly handled in “Little Poland in India,” produced by enterprising Delhi-based female Indian filmmaker Anu Radha whose films generally deal with children’s issues.
As the horrors of the Holocaust and WWII unfolded in Europe, General Władysław Sikorski — the first prime minister of the Polish Government in Exile and Commander in Chief of the Polish armed forces — wrote to British prime minister Winston Churchill to plead for the safety and protection of the starving young children, the “treasure of Poland,” as he called them.
Ten ancient jugs unearthed at the West Bank site of the ancient city of Shiloh could lead researchers to new discoveries about the Jewish tabernacle that existed there before the First Temple was built in Jerusalem.
The jugs, only some of which were broken, date to the time when the Jewish people first entered the land of Israel. The vessels were unearthed approximately half a meter (20 inches) underground in a large room that is part of an ongoing archaeological excavation. The Bible attributes the tabernacle at Shiloh to the time of the high priest Eli and the prophet Samuel.
In recent years, the Archaeological Unit of Israel’s Civil Administration has been excavating together with the Shiloh Association. The goal of the work is to locate the southern wall of ancient Shiloh.
The newly discovered jugs indicate that in ancient times, the area was vacated abruptly, with residents not having enough time to collect and pack up their belongings. Among the jugs, the archaeologists also found a goblet known as a kobaat, a type of ritual chalice. The discovery of the kobaat ties in with the stone altar that was unearthed in the area a few years ago, and could indicate that researchers are closing in on the precise location of the Shiloh tabernacle.
Hanina Hizami, coordination officer for archaeology at the Civil Administration, said, “This is a very exciting find. The destruction could have been caused by the Philistine invasion and the fire that raged [at Shiloh].”
Like nerds the world over, I was delighted to learn this weekend that the role of Doctor Who will soon be played, for the first time in the show’s history, by a woman. In case you’ve somehow missed the iconic show’s 36 seasons, you should know that this is a very big deal: the Doctor is a Time Lord, a merciful being who hops across space and time and keeps the universe safe from no-goodniks, occasionally slipping into a new body and a new personality whenever a new actor is ready for the challenge. Twelve have assumed the role so far; all have been men. And now comes, Jodie Whittaker, a fine British actress.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey,” Whittaker said in a statement. “It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
It’s a touching sentiment, because it neatly captures the original intent of the show’s creator, Sydney Newman. The son of impoverished Jews who emigrated from Russia to Toronto and eked out a living running a small shoe shop, Newman dropped out of school at 13, made propaganda films for the Canadian army during World War II, and found his way to England where, in 1963, he came up with the idea for the Doctor. And the Doctor, as I wrote in a paean to the show a few years ago, is arguably the greatest Jewish character in television history: “wildly intelligent, intergalactically cosmopolitan, with a biting sense of humor and a commitment to quite literally repairing the world. He is constantly wandering, never at home. His relation is not to space, a place to call his own, but to time, which makes him highly dependent on memory.” Sounds familiar?
Whittaker’s casting, then, fits in neatly with this neverending story, the story of the struggle for a slightly more equitable world. But as we celebrate her much deserved ascension, it’s hard to ignore another fact, seemingly unrelated but deeply troubling: while the beloved show, created by a Jew in Britain, breaks new boundaries of social progress, actual British Jews are persecuted like never before in modern history, and very little is being done to offer them the security and the protection they deserve.
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