Eugene Kontorovich: Canada corrects its ‘Made in Israel’ policy. Now it is time for the U.S. to do the same.
What makes the CFIA reversal significant is it explicitly says that if the product can be considered Israeli for customs purposes, it is not misleading to the consumer to label it as such. This is somewhat consistent with the EU position — which denies both Israel customs and labeling status to West Bank products and gives both Moroccan customs and labeling status to Western Saharan products.
It is, however, inconsistent with U.S. labeling policy. Under a 1996 piece of trade legislation, the president is authorized to give Israeli products from the West Bank Israeli customs treatment, which President Clinton immediately did. Since then, such goods are considered “articles of Israel” for trade purposes. It certainly cannot be misleading to label them “Made in Israel” if they are legally called “articles of Israel.”
An independent voice on law and public policy.
Yet soon after, the Customs Service issued a notice that such products must be labeled “Made in the West Bank.” This is particularly strange because the labeling of goods does not imply any sovereignty recognition — as evident by the fact that Customs had instructed such products to be labeled “Made in Israel” for decades before that, without any suggestion that this amounted to a recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza.
This Customs guidance has gone entirely unenforced for decades, but it was reissued — perhaps to keep it from desuetude — by the Obama administration in its final years.
The Customs directive flies in the face of the 1996 Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act and other laws. The Clinton/Obama regulations were a mistake, which helps explain why they have never been enforced (though they do have a chilling effect on importers). Yet they may be used by future administrations. Similarly, anti-Israel activists in Canada are already planning lawsuits over the revised directive.
Ottawa’s quick realization that products with Israeli customs status can and should be labeled “Made in Israel” is a wake-up call to the Trump administration to quickly revise the Clinton/Obama policies, which can be done through a simple executive action. Congress could also exercise its Foreign Commerce power to make clear in law that such goods can be labeled “Made in Israel.”
Certainly it would be incongruous for the Trump administration to find itself with a less pro-Israel policy than the Trudeau government has.
Shmuley Boteach: Canada attacks Israeli wines while exploiting occupied Tibet
For example, Canadian mining giant Hunter Dickinson sold Continental Mineral Processing, and with it the rights to its Tibetan mine, for almost half a billion dollars – the largest asset sale in its 30 years of operation.
Far worse than being complicit in theft from the Tibetan people, Canadian mining companies caused irreversible, often deadly, damage.
In 2011, the Chinese minister of land and resources warned that the ecology of the Tibetan plateau is “extremely fragile.” His warnings, however, were ignored by Canadian and Chinese companies alike, with tragic consequences. In March of 2013, a landslide at the Jiama copper and gold mine killed 83 miners. That mine was controlled by China Gold International Resources, another Canadian-based company.
This mine, it should also be mentioned, is in the Gyama valley – which the Tibetan people revere as one of their most sacred sites. They have tried, in the past, to protest the desecration and devastation caused to these sacred lands by Canadian mining companies, with similarly tragic consequences.
In 2010, four Tibetans were murdered and 30 others hurt when Chinese mining officials opened fire on crowds protesting the expansion of mine operations in their sacred homeland. In 2013, further protests saw another Tibetan activist shot to death by police.
And that’s not the end of Canadian involvement in the exploitation of Tibet; the creation of these mines was only made possible in 2006 with the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Rail Line, which allowed for the import of mining materials and machinery into Tibet. That rail line was made possible largely through the Bombardier Sifang Power Transportation company, a joint venture of three entities – two of which are Canadian.
Canadian companies seem knee-deep in some pretty serious exploitation of an occupied territory in the world today.
Yet, Canada didn’t seem nearly as worried about that as with checking the labels on Israeli wine.
While they might have failed this time around, those behind this bizarre action are likely to be back.
In his new book, Deir Yassin: The End of the Myth, Prof. Eliezer Tauber, head of the Institute for the Study of Underground Movements at Bar-Ilan University and former Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies at the University, examines the events of that day in April 1948 when the Arab village of Deir Yassin was attacked by Lehi and Etzel (Irgun or IZL) fighters, and reveals step by step the origin of the myth that a massacre was committed against the villagers.
Prof. Tauber opened his recent interview with Arutz Sheva by highlighting the central conclusion of his book.
“Basically there was no massacre in Deir Yassin.”
In explaining what led him to that conclusion, Tauber noted that, since the Israeli-Arab conflict by definition consists of both Israelis and Arabs, it is not possible to reach real conclusions regarding the issues related to it without carefully examining the claims of both sides. This is in contrast to previous writers who examined the Deir Yassin affair by investigating only one side of those involved in the incident.
To write his book, Tauber thus turned to both Jewish and Arab sources, to the testimonies of Etzel (Irgun) and Lehi fighters, and to the testimonies of the Arabs at the scene. Not surprisingly, he said, the testimonies sound similar and express the same conclusion: There was no massacre at Deir Yassin.
The data collection process for the book included locating documents and recorded interviews conducted by the parties over the years, as well as interviews with some of those involved in the affair who are still alive.
UN Watch: A gift for Russia
Vladimir Voronkov, a Russian senior diplomat, will “coordinate” the U.N.’s counterterrorism activities with a budget of $15 million. (The U.S. funds 22 percent of the U.N. budget).
Multiple sources tell CBS News that Russia agreed to pass up its regional turn in the selection of Turtle Bay’s new secretary-general in exchange for the leadership post at the new U.N. counterterrorism office.
“It was the old U.N. spoils system at work, involving a retrograde Cold War invader who will undo what remains of U.N. relevance today,” writes Hugh Dugan, who has advised U.S. ambassadors as a longtime U.S. delegate at the world body.
As for Mr. Voronkov, he was the Kremlin’s representative in negotiations that led to the odorous Iran nuclear deal in 2015. His boss is an ex-KGB professional who makes his critics disappear. And his country is aiding Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the slaughter of his own people.
These are the qualifications for the U.N.’s new counterterrorism chief? Anyone familiar with the currents that churn Turtle Bay shouldn’t be surprised.
Here in the West, the BDS campaign has not quite reached the stage of boycotting artists simply because they have expressed support for Israel — you need to perform, exhibit, publish or lecture there in order to incur their wrathful campaigns, such as the one recently launched by aging rocker Roger Waters against the band Radiohead. Additionally, because the antisemitism of the BDS movement is carefully coded, its Western components tend to shy away from boycotting Jews whose only tie to Israel is that they have family there, and care deeply about what happens to the country.
Not so in the Arab world. In Tunisia, Boujenah’s personal relationship with Israel was enough for the UGTT, Tunisia’s labor union federation, to join Tunisian BDS advocates from the “International Campaign for Boycotting Zionism” in calling for his removal from the lineup at the Carthage Festival.
“We do not want a Zionist, whatever their nationality, on our stages and in our festivals!” the boycotters declared. “Michel Boujenah is known as one of the leading Zionist Franco-Tunisian figures who have always defended Israel, its wars and its army.”
But if the campaign against Boujenah is a reminder of how crude Arab antisemitism can be, the events that followed the call to boycott him are an even more important reminder that there are some very courageous individuals in the Arab world. These people are taking a stand against the political ugliness embodied by the campaign to oppose “normalization” with Israel.
Yamina Thabet, president of the Tunisian Association for the Support of Minorities, mocked the boycotters’ claim that Boujenah could not be a loyal Tunisian, “as if being non-Muslim requires one to prove one’s patriotism!”
“What I denounce is the cowardly behavior of those who do not have the guts to acknowledge their hatred and therefore hide the under guise of some general excuse,” Thabet declared, thereby acknowledging a simple truth that the Western BDS campaign, along with its enablers and excusers, continues to dance around: BDS is antisemitic.
It wasn’t the first time that a French president acknowledged his nation’s Holocaust-era guilt, but Emmanuel Macron’s speech Sunday was nonetheless groundbreaking in format, content and style.
Delivered during a ceremony at the Vel d’Hiv Holocaust memorial monument exactly 75 years after French police officers rounded up 13,152 Jews there for deportation to Nazi death camps, the 35-minute address was Macron’s first about the Holocaust since the centrist won the presidency in May.
Evocative and more forthright than any of the speeches on the subject delivered by Macron’s predecessors, his address “relieved the feeling of isolation” experienced by many Jews due to anti-Semitism today, according to Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur of the Liberal Jewish movement in France.
Macron’s speech “made me proud to be French and Jewish,” she said.
Here are six significant ways that the address differed from those of previous French presidents, including in scope; the unusual role played at the event by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; its references to present realities, and Macron’s emotional delivery.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer warmly applauded French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaration that anti-Zionism is antisemitism in a Senate floor speech on Monday.
“I’d like to applaud the French President Emmanuel Macron for his comments over the weekend about antisemitism,” Schumer said. “‘We will yield nothing to anti-Zionism,’ he said, ‘because it is the reinvented form of antisemitism.’”
Schumer continued: “He is absolutely right.”
Schumer explained that “antisemitism is a word that has been used throughout history when Jewish people are judged and measured by one standard and the rest by another.”
“So it is with anti-Zionism; the idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but Jews cannot,” he said. “That other nations have a right to exist, but the Jewish state of Israel does not.”
Schumer blasted the BDS campaign targeting Israel as a “pernicious effort to delegitimize Israel through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions” that fits Macron’s definition of a “reinvented form of antisemitism because it seeks to impose boycotts on Israel and not on any other nation.”
Moreover, Macron declared, without embellishing, that anti-Zionism is the new face of anti-Semitism. Macron thus justified his inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the memorial ceremony by showing the connection between anti-Semitism and opposing the existence of Israel, the Jewish state.
However, Macron’s historic speech contained an especially jarring comparison between the murder of Jews by Muslims and the racism Muslims themselves suffer in France. These are actually two very different phenomena that require different approaches. An attempt to placate the Muslim community and portray it as a victim of modern French society, without calling on this community to combat the radicals within it, is equivalent to the day-to-day silence in the face of racism that Macron himself denounced. Indeed, the modern murderous anti-Semitism in France and Europe is rooted in Islamic circles, and this must be stated clearly, as the president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions did.
Macron has taken it upon himself to bring about an all-encompassing internal reconciliation so that all the French may find their place. This reconciliation necessitates bravely coping with big problems facing immigrant Muslim communities in France and Europe. But it must be stated that those who wish to see us abandon humanity, democracy and liberty all generally come from a specific religious background. Ignoring this fact or denying it will only exacerbate the problem. Internal reconciliation will be facilitated not just by acknowledging that Muslims are victims of European racism, but also by demanding that Muslims take responsibility for the radicalism in their communities and encouraging them to integrate into European societies rather than trying to change them.
The killing of French Jew Sarah Halimi and subsequent efforts to deny its anti-Semitic motives represent a turning point for France’s Jewish community and must seen as a “warning sign” of the country’s changing attitudes towards Jews.
That is the message William Atel, Halimi’s brother, is seeking to stress to both the French community and to Jews around the world.
Speaking to the Times of Israel this week in the Paris suburb where he grew up and still lives, Atel, 62, described the killing and its treatment by police as “a modern day Dreyfus affair,” referring to the late-19th century trial in which a Jewish army officer was falsely labeled a traitor to the French Republic after he was accused of passing secrets to Germany.
“Here too, there is a willing blindness on behalf of the French authorities to see and do justice,” Atel said, during the first in-depth interview anyone from the family has given since the April killing.
Halimi’s family has remained mostly silent as the case has roiled the Jewish community. While French Jews widely regard the killing as the latest in a series of Islamist attacks on the country’s large Jewish population (estimated at some 500,000-600,000), the authorities’ have refused to mark it a hate crime.
On April 4, in Paris’s 11th district, 64-year-old Halimi was tortured and thrown out of her third-story apartment to her death. The suspect, Kobili Traore, a Muslim neighbor of Halimi’s who lives in the same building, was reportedly heard by witnesses during the attack shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “Allah is the greatest,” reciting passages from the Koran and declaring that he was “the devil” who had come to kill her.
William Attal, 62, whose sister Sarah Halimi was brutally murdered last April by a Muslim attacker who broke into her Paris apartment and threw her out of a third-floor window, still finds it hard to comprehend the horrific death of his sister.
In a special interview to Israel Hayom in Paris, Attal stressed that his sister’s murder had spurred him to move to Israel with his family. They intend to make the move in August.
“My children have been having nightmares since my sister was murdered, and they are pressuring me to leave this place and make aliyah to Israel as soon as possible,” Attal said.
“My sister dreamed of coming to Israel and wanted to live near her son there, but she didn’t make aliyah because of [the rest of] her family here in France, and she lived alone and helped raise her grandchildren. Now, the children are making aliyah without her, and will only be able to visit her grave on Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem,” he said.
Attal, who takes care to hide his kippah underneath a baseball cap, describes French Jews living in “existential fear.”
The Festival D’Avignon, one of the most prestigious contemporary theater festivals in the world, has become the target of criticism and outrage for its decision to include a play about the final hours of the life of Mohamed Merah, a Muslim terrorist who perpetrated a slaughter at a Jewish school in Toulouse five years ago.
Merah also killed three French paratroopers in two separate attacks.
The play describes the 30 hours Merah spent hiding in his apartment after carrying out the attack, before special forces officers burst in and shot and fatally shot him.
“I and the Death I Love Like You Love Life” is based on the notes of a dialogue between Merah and one of the members of the police counterterrorism force. Excerpts from the notes were published by French media outlets at the time of the attack.
Relatives of the Merah’s victims are accusing Algerian-born director Mohammed Al-Qasimi of turning Merah into a hero. A complaint has been filed with the Paris police department against the festival and the play for inciting terrorism.
“They are playing with the image of this man,” said Latifa Ibn Ziaten, the mother of the first army officer Merah killed, eight days before the slaughter at Ozar Hatorah, which claimed the life of Yonatan Sandler and his sons Gavriel and Aryeh, as well as Miriam Monsonego, the 8-year-old daughter of the principal.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) met today (Tuesday) with an economic delegation of senior officials from the US Treasury as well as a group of business leaders.
The delegation expressed interest in the promotion of investments in Israel, and asked Hotovely to provide them with an overview of the struggle against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
“You are the proof that the BDS movement has failed,” Hotovely told the delegation.
“Delegations which deal with investments in Israel are the best response to those who want to boycott Israel,” the deputy foreign minister added.
Hotovely noted that 21 states in the US have passed anti-BDS legislation in the last two years. “At the governmental level, this is the most effective action, and it is important that this trend continues and we see more and more states adopting this legislation.”
Chicago’s Dyke March made headlines recently when it kicked out Jewish participants flying a Pride Flag adorned with the Star of David and then doubled down on the anti-Semitism by taking to social media and using a racial slur popularized by neo-Nazis. Not to be outdone, the Women’s March, the pussy-hat-clad revolutionary guards of the #resistance to Donald Trump, showed just how woke it is by celebrating Assata Shakur, a terrorist who is currently hiding out in Cuba after murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a militant nationalist group composed largely of former members of the Black Panthers, was the mastermind behind the attack that claimed Foerster’s life on May of 1973. She was arrested after a massive manhunt, but managed to escape from prison, finding refuge with Fidel Castro’s homicidal regime.
Shakur is now a hero to the Black Lives Matter movement. She’s also a hero to Jew-haters online, who use her case to argue that you-know-who run America and keep its blacks oppressed. When Jewish-American government contractor Alan Gross was finally freed after being seized and detained by Cuban authorities, for example, Shakur’s fans cried foul, suggesting that Gross was only permitted to return home to America, while their cop-killing hero was not, because of the undue influence of the Jewish lobby. “The Jewish press have [sic] its own story to demonize Shakur,” rhapsodized one Shakur fan before linking to a story in Vice magazine, which is owned by people who are neither Jewish nor particularly fond of Jews. Then there’s assatashakur.org, a site devoted to the fugitive terrorist in which one can find such thoughtful opinions as the one about how “it is in the interest of the JEW to keep poor whites and poor blacks fighting amongst themselves.”
Another so-called social justice movement, another case of putting up with, if not outright promoting, hatred of Jews.
That very evening, the Dyke March tweeted a neo-Nazi slur, defended it, then deleted it. This explicit expression of anti-Semitic bigotry from the march prompted Hammond to open up about similar abuse she’d received from them after publishing her story. Writing on Facebook on Monday about the Dyke March’s Twitter slur, Hammond commented:
Not remotely surprised and thoroughy [sic] disgusted. They attacked me in much the same manner only using words like ” k*ke” and also said they would “make sure your bitch ass never writes in Chicago again.” Selfishly, I could claim to be vindicated by this disgusting tweet but I feel no cause for anything but the deepest shame that I ever was associated by acronym or by requirement to such vile hatred.
She also tweeted this at the Dyke March itself after it belatedly attempted to backpedal on its slur:
Hammond’s account strongly suggests that the Dyke March’s pressure led to her silencing, something which should trouble all those who care about freedom of the press in this fraught time.
Hammond’s experience also offers further evidence of the anti-Semitism that has clearly infected the Dyke March and its organizers. They expelled Jews waving Jewish symbols, sent anti-Jewish invective to the reporter who wrote about it, and then blasted out a white supremacist slur on social media, while referring to Israel as a “fugly slut” that had no right to exist. Any one of these incidents could perhaps be have been dismissed as misunderstandings, exceptions, or ignorance. Together, however, they constitute a damning pattern of abuse.
Hammond, who is Jewish, told JTA that in the wake of her article, she received dozens of threatening anonymous phone calls. She said one caller called her a “kike,” while others told her she should lose her job or said she “betrayed” the LGBT community.
“One of them said, ‘I’m going to get your bitch ass fired,’” Hammond told JTA of calls and text messages she received. “It was vicious. It wasn’t even a request for dialogue. It was, ‘You f**ked with us. We’re going to f**k with you.’ They pretty much blamed me for the whole thing blowing up at them.”
The Dyke March itself has fielded criticism for using an anti-Semitic slur, tweeting on July 13 that “Zio tears replenish my electrolytes.” White supremacists, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, have used the term “Zio,” derived from Zionist, as a slur for Jews.
On July 14, the Dyke March deleted the tweet and apologized, saying it “didn’t know the violent history of the term.”
Hammond was transferred to the sales department on July 10, and told JTA that she was looking for a reporting position elsewhere.
Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim confirmed last week that Hammond had been moved, but would not elaborate. Regarding the newspaper’s coverage of the Dyke March, Baim said the editors “stand by our reporting by Gretchen and our other reporters on that story.”
A Palestine festival linked to extremists and to be held in Scotland at a council’s facilities raises “serious questions”, Jewish leaders have said.
Community figures have urged West Dunbartonshire Council to “review their decision” to allow the planned ‘Palestinian Weekend Festival’ to go ahead, at The Denny Civic Theatre and East End Park, Dumbarton
Members of ’West Dunbartonshire Supports the People of Palestine’ (WDSPP), who are hosting the event, were shown to post “shocking” anti-Semitism online in a blog by pro-Israel activist David Collier.
The blog highlights social media posts in which anti-Israel activists claim Mossad committed the 7/7 terror attacks and murdered princess Diana, accuse Israel of harvesting children’s organs and training ISIS fighters, and some link to Holocaust denial sites.
When asked if they was concerned about hosting the event, due to be held between 29-30 July, a West Dunbartonshire Council spokesperson said: “The Denny Civic Theatre and East End Park are both public facilities and are available for use by the public, provided they agree to the standard terms and conditions.”
As we noted in a previous post, British film director Ken Loach published an op-ed at The Independent last week to rebuke Thom Yorke, lead singer of the band Radiohead, for refusing to cancel his band’s July 19th Tel Aviv concert. In our post, we highlighted one particularly egregious lie by Loach: that there are “racially segregated roads” in the West Bank.
Here’s the paragraph in question:
The facts couldn’t be clearer: there are not, nor have there ever been, anything resembling “racially segregated roads” or “Jews-only” roads in Israel or the West Bank. There is absolutely no wiggle room for Indy editors here.
Various versions of this claim – meant to support the Israeli “apartheid” smear – have been definitively refuted, and have led to CAMERA prompted corrections at major news sites, including one at The Washington Post in a March 2017 op-ed by Richard Cohen titled “Is Israel Losing its Soul?”
For years Palestinian and Muslim figures – including the PA president himself – have been inciting violence by means of made-up ‘threats’ to the Muslim holy sites on Temple Mount. While the BBC’s Middle East correspondent described that site as “one of the most acute flash points in this decades-old conflict” as recently as last Friday, the corporation in fact has a long record of consistently under-reporting incitement and glorification of terrorism from such sources and on occasion has even amplified their conspiracy theories concerning Temple Mount.
The absence of any sober, factual BBC reporting on this latest example of anti-Israel delegitimisation and dangerous incitement dressed up as faux outrage (once again) over the installation of security measures of the kind already found at public places in Israel and around the world is not merely a technical issue of record. On the BBC’s home turf – where it is obliged to “contribute to social cohesion” – there are elements that are already promoting misinformation on this story to sectors of the UK population.
Such misinformation thrives in the vacuum created by the absence of responsible, accurate and impartial reporting by the media organisation with the broadest outreach in the UK.
PreOccupiedTerritory: NY Times, Meretz In Content-Sharing Agreement (satire)
A leading news and opinion powerhouse has joined forces with like-minded figures on Israel’s political scene, and will devote some of its online and print space to giving those figures a voice in exchange for the Israeli group distributing material the media company seeks to give exposure.
The New York Times inked an agreement with Israeli political party Meretz this morning, under which the Times website and print editions will contain daily opinion and analysis by figures from Meretz and those whose views Meretz endorses, and Meretz will include select New York Times content in mailings, tweets, and other materials directed at its constituency. The arrangement is officially scheduled to begin August 1, but representatives of both parties acknowledged it has de facto been in place for close to twenty-five years.
“It is good to finally reach a formal framework for this exchange of materials,” declared NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzburger Jr. “To date everything has been handled on an ad hoc basis, following the various policies the Times has for the publication of outside pieces. Over the years the overlap between the editorial mindset and assumptions here and in Meretz has only increased, and it makes sense to consolidate and leverage our assets in this respect, albeit in a limited capacity.”
Half a century after Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was convicted and hanged in Israel for engineering the deaths of millions of Jews, the bulletproof glass booth where he sat facing justice has come to New York for a multimedia, you-are-there recreation of the courtroom.
It’s part of an exhibit at Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage that opens Sunday, created by a former agent of the Mossad, which captured Eichmann a decade after he fled to Argentina.
Surrounding Eichmann’s actual booth are screens with original video footage — seven minutes culled from 350 courtroom hours — that makes visitors feel like they’re spectators at the 1961 proceedings. They hear the voices of survivors who testified against the SS lieutenant colonel, as well as the prosecutor and the defense attorney.
The balding, 55-year-old German who once planned the routes of cattle-car trains that brought Jews to Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps sits stone-faced in footage rolling on a screen right behind the original booth. To the right is another screen beaming the traumatic, tear-drenched testimonies, with one man collapsing to the floor in exhaustion after he speaks.
The co-founder of France’s far-right National Front (FN), Jean-Marie Le Pen, faces trial for inciting racial hatred over a swipe at a Jewish singer that was seen as anti-Semitic, judicial sources said
Le Pen, 89, has a long history of lashing out at minorities. He already has several convictions for inciting racial hatred and Holocaust denial.
He made the remark about pop singer Patrick Bruel in a video interview posted on the FN’s website in 2014.
Asked about criticism from Bruel and other singers, he chuckled and said: “Listen, we will make an oven load next time”.
The remark was widely seen as a veiled reference to the crematoria used by the Nazis to incinerate Holocaust victims.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday acknowledged Hungary’s “sin” in not protecting the country’s Jews during World War II, seeking to quell a controversy over his recent praise for Hungary’s wartime leader and Hitler ally Miklos Horthy.
Standing next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Hungarian leader also promised a “zero tolerance policy” toward anti-Semitism.
“We are aware of the fact that we have quite a difficult chapter of history behind us. And I wanted to make it very clear to him that the Government of Hungary, in a previous period, committed a mistake, even committed a sin, when it did not protect the Jewish citizens of Hungary,” Orban said. “I want to make it clear that it is our belief that every single Hungarian government has the obligation to protect and defend all of its citizens, regardless of their birth and origins.”
Hungary’s Nazi-allied regime instituted anti-Semitic laws modeled on Germany’s Nuremberg laws beginning in 1938. After German tanks rolled into Budapest in 1944, Nazi-installed Hungarian leaders ordered the mass deportation of Jews to Auschwitz. Some 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the war, through deportation to death camps or in massacres on Hungarian soil.
Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate on Tuesday visited the site of a former Nazi concentration camp at Stutthof in Poland, where they met with two British survivors of the facility where 28,000 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
Nazi Germany set up the camp in 1939 in what was then the free city of Danzig and is now the Polish city of Gdansk.
The royal couple are currently on a goodwill tour of Poland and Germany aimed at underscoring Britain’s intention to maintain friendly relations with the European Union after it leaves the bloc.
On Wednesday, the two flew from Warsaw to Gdansk, to tour the camp and meet with Manfred Goldberg and Zigi Shipper, both 87, according to the Holocaust Educational Trust, which arranged for the meeting and tour.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw displays of discarded shoes, clothing and other personal items that were taken from prisoners after their arrival. They were also shown a gas chamber where prisoners too sick to work were murdered.
“This shattering visit has reminded us of the horrendous murder of six million Jews, drawn from across the whole of Europe, who died in the abominable Holocaust,” they wrote in the guest book at the camp, according to the Daily Mail. “All of us have an overwhelming responsibility to make sure that we learn the lessons and that the horror of what happened is never forgotten and never repeated.”
Our bodies are in constant motion – not only on the outside but within. Our hearts beat, our chests rise and fall with each breath, the composition of our blood changes as we take in alcohol or sugar. Each motion, great and small, generates vibrations on the molecular level.
Two scientists – Zeev Zalevsky, professor of electro-optics at Bar-Ilan University, and Javier Garcia-Monreal, professor of physics and optics at the University of Valencia in Spain – have been collaborating for a dozen years on developing ways to measure the tiny, “nanometric” vibrations the body emits.
The result of their decade-long research is a revolutionary way to monitor patients’ vital signs without any physical contact – no more intrusive cables, wires, tubes or IVs.
In 2015, Zalevsky and Garcia-Monreal formed a company, ContinUse Biometrics, to commercialize their work and bring it to consumers and medical professionals.
Israeli startup Bitemojo has developed an app for cellphones that provides travelers with guided food tours in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Rome and Barcelona with the aim of exposing them to the crème-de-la-crème of local cuisine.
Bitemojo offers customers guided tours of neighborhoods with stops at preselected restaurants. Eight tours are offered in Jerusalem, each highlighting a different aspect of the city’s culture and cuisine. The Jerusalem “Food Tour Between East and West” showcases the diversity of cuisine in the city, while the “Food, Artists and Craftsmen in the Old City” tour immerses Bitemojo travelers in an aesthetic as well as culinary experience.
Other cities have fewer options; Berlin has six tours, Tel Aviv has four, including the yuppie Florentin neighborhood, and the newer locations, Barcelona and Rome, each have two.
The app, which is free for download in iPhone and Android app stores, allows users to purchase a food tour from a variety of options in the cities it covers.
The terrorist attack on Friday in Jerusalem brought back memories of terror in Iraq for Diana, a member of a group of Assyrian youth leaders touring the country. “You go out and you don’t know if you are going to come back safely,” she recalls. “I saw people acting normally as if nothing happened, life goes on, memories came back.”
Her family of Chaldean Catholics left Kirkuk in Iraq in 2008 and moved to Canada, part of a wave of immigration of Christians who have left Iraq since the 1990s. She is one of 28 young Assyrians from North America spending a week and a half touring Israel.
In the last decades the population of Iraqi Christians has declined from some 2 million in the 1990s to less than 500,000 today. When ISIS attacked Nineveh plains around Mosul in 2014 more than 100,000 Christians fled numerous villages and towns that they have ancient roots in. Now a movement has begun abroad to encourage Christians whose families fled Iraq to take a new interest in rebuilding communities and reconnecting young people to their identity.
The idea of bringing young Assyrians to Israel was pioneered by the Philos Leadership Institute and its Passages Israel program. Juliana Taimoorazy, who was born in Iran and now runs the Iraqi Christian Relief Council says that the Philos Project program partnered with the Museum of the Bible Foundation to sponsor and bring young Christian millennials to experience Israel.
One remarkable development, among others, has been the realization by overseas Indian communities in places like the US, Canada and Australia that the Jewish minorities in those societies seem to have greater political clout than their numbers warrant. For too long, the three million Hindus living in the US, adding up to 1% of the total US population, had been deprived of a seat in the US House or the Senate, whereas the six million American Jews — a mere 2% of the population — had not only several representatives on Capitol Hill, but many friends in high places as well.
Hindu communities in the US are now attempting to emulate US Jewry by developing intra-leadership networks across liberal professions in their communities, as well as by organizing lobbying campaigns. They have begun to build coalitions with local US Jewish communities over common causes such as fighting discrimination, racism, and terror; lobbying Congress on matters relevant to India; and India-Israel relations. These efforts are producing increasingly positive results.
One such victory was the attainment of representation in Congress for the US Hindu community. Another was the reversal of the Clinton-era prohibition on Israel’s transfer of Falcon/AWACS technology to India. The joint efforts of the two increasingly brotherly groups are expanding.
India’s new pragmatism in foreign policy is such that its excellent strategic ties with Iran and Afghanistan need not create an insurmountable obstacle to its expansion of ties with Israel, which has become one of its three major arms suppliers. After all, Israel is a longtime friend and ally of the US, with which India has begun entertaining overt links of alliance.
Modi’s decision not to go to Ramallah during his first visit to Israel should not feed speculation about some putative change in Delhi’s equations at the expense of Palestinian interests. Modi’s decision was just another manifestation of India’s pragmatic approach to parallel relations with the two parties in conflict. Should the opportunity to intercede arise, India could even serve as a catalyst for boosting the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
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