Tag: Argentina

“VICTORY IS ONLY WON WHEN INDIVIDUALS HAVE THE COURAGE TO STAND UP AND TAKE ON EVIL TOGETHER”—RABBI COOPER

Hanukkah Should Shine a Bright Light and Unite us all in the Battle Against Evil: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Fox News, Dec. 12, 2017 — Charles Dickens’ famous opening words from his 1859 novel “A Tale of Two Cities” accurately describe how many American Jews are feeling this year at the start of Hanukkah, our Festival of Lights, which begins at sundown Tuesday.

A Capital Idea: Elliott Abrams, Weekly Standard, Dec. 8, 2017 — President Trump on December 6 ended all hope of Middle East peace, recklessly encouraged terrorism, and ruined U.S. relations with all Arab countries.

How to Bring Peace to Palestine: Philip Carl Salzman, Frontier Centre, Dec. 11, 2017— The Canadian Government is sending $25,000,000 of taxpayers’ money to UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which is uniquely dedicated to supporting Palestine refugees.

Iranian Terror. Argentinian Cover Up. Justice at Last?: Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz, New York Times, Dec. 11, 2017 — One morning last week, Argentines woke up to a political earthquake: A judge had charged a former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with “treason against the homeland,” punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

 

On Topic Links

 

Most Jewish Life & Holiday Customs Are Both Joyful and Portable: Allan Levine, CIJR, Dec. 15, 2017

WATCH: Trump Elaborates on Ancient Jewish Ties to Jerusalem at White House Chanukah Party: United With Israel, Dec. 8, 2017 

List of Reasons Why all Foreign Countries Should Follow President Trump on Jerusalem: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 7, 2017

Thoughts for Vice President Pence: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Dec. 15, 2017                                       

 

 

HANUKKAH SHOULD SHINE A BRIGHT LIGHT

AND UNITE US ALL IN THE BATTLE AGAINST EVIL

Rabbi Abraham Cooper

Fox News, Dec. 12, 2017

 

Charles Dickens’ famous opening words from his 1859 novel “A Tale of Two Cities” accurately describe how many American Jews are feeling this year at the start of Hanukkah, our Festival of Lights, which begins at sundown Tuesday. Dickens wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness .…”

 

In 2017 American Jews have never been so free to pursue the American Dream. We have many blessings to be thankful for in this great country, which has opened its doors to Jews from around the world. And yet, we sense a new season of darkness casting shadows on our collective future. Jewish paranoia? No. For decades, FBI annual hate crime statistics have identified African-Americans as the top target of race-based hate crimes. Jews – despite being just 2 percent of the U.S. population – are atop the list of targets of religious-based hate crimes.

 

But anti-Semitism this year has been different in scope and diversity. This year saw Jewish Community Centers targeted by over 120 bomb threats. The evacuations of Jewish toddlers from child-care centers at these Jewish Centers – and the months of not knowing who was behind the criminal bomb threats – devastated young Jewish parents. Older Jewish students in grades K-12 were subject to bullying and worse. Meanwhile, anti-Semitic invective, graffiti, overt threats and intimidation were directed against Jewish students who dared stand up for the Jewish State of Israel on our nation’s university campuses from coast to coast.

 

For example, Jewish students at Rutgers University were confronted by a blatant anti-Semite among their tenured professors who posted anti-Jewish statements and cartoons on Facebook.  Fortunately, Professor Michael Chikindas was removed by Rutgers last week as director of the Center for Digestive Health at the university, was barred from teaching required courses and will receive training in cultural sensitivity. But despite all the promises of an intimidation-free campus, too many such bigots are consistently shielded in the name of free speech, while Jewish students are left twisting in the wind.

 

Even before President Trump’s declaration last week that he recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel – a simple acknowledgement of reality – universities, some churches and elements of the progressive movements had legitimized those who demonize Jews and anyone daring to publicly declare support for the Jewish State. The anti-black and anti-Jewish outpouring of hatred by neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and their allies in Charlottesville, Virginia in August introduced a new, younger, social media-savvy generation of anti-Semites and racists.

 

Gone are the days when neo-Nazis had to leave hate-filled flyers on car windshields. Today these hatemongers deploy bots to personalize attacks on Jewish reporters, upload high-quality videos of their marches, and fully deploy the bells and whistles of social media to find new recruits. Radical imams promote overt Jew-hatred and some have even declared “death to the Jews” at mosques in our nation. There has been nary a response from other clergy, law enforcement or politicians. Public solidarity against history’s oldest hatred has grown dimmer even as anti-Semitism grows.

 

Last week I testified at the House Homeland Security Committee in Washington on the growing threats of domestic terrorism as it relates to the Jewish community. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, expressed genuine concern about the scope of hate in America today and asked if the answer was more money. I told the congresswoman that while we could always use more funds to bolster the security of our institutions, some problems will not disappear by throwing money at them. We need the grassroots in all our communities to fight together against hate.

 

This brings me to a core lesson for Jews and all Americans from the story of Hanukkah, which commemorates two very distinct miracles. The first miracle was the incredible victory of a ragtag band of outnumbered Jewish fighters, known as the Maccabees, over a powerful Greek military force controlling the Land of Israel more than 2,000 years ago. Yet our ancient sages downplayed the military miracle.

 

It was the second miracle that is the centerpiece of Hanukkah. This was the rekindling of the lights of the Menorah in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with only a small container of pure olive oil that was untainted by the idol-worshipping occupiers. The oil, which should have kept the menorah lit for only 24 hours, lasted for eight days.

 

Our sages understood that military might is necessary in confronting and defeating evil. But they knew that embattled civilizations can only survive if they can defeat the enemy in the marketplace of ideas. The Maccabees, like all freedom-loving heroes through the ages, prevailed because they knew what they were fighting for. They would not allow their values about the sanctity of humanity to be erased by a conqueror, however powerful. Tuesday night and for the seven nights that follow, Jews around the world will place the lit menorah where neighbors and passersby can see it. By doing, so we remind ourselves and the world that ultimate victory is only won when individuals have the courage to stand up and take on evil together. It’s a lesson that must be applied this Hanukkah by Americans of all races and creeds if we are ever to prevail against evil.                                                    

 

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A CAPITAL IDEA

Elliott Abrams

Weekly Standard, Dec. 8, 2017

 

President Trump on December 6 ended all hope of Middle East peace, recklessly encouraged terrorism, and ruined U.S. relations with all Arab countries. Or so one would think reading the reactions to his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The foreign minister of Sweden called the decision “catastrophic.” Not to be outdone, the veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would lead to “chaos, lawlessness, and extremism.” That wasn’t enough, so Erekat added, “President Trump just destroyed any possibility of a two-state [solution]” and “President Trump tonight made the biggest mistake of his life.”

 

The move that produced this hyperbole was announcing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the United States would eventually build an embassy there. This was done in accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which Congress passed with huge bipartisan majorities. This week, Democrats couldn’t exactly eat those votes, but they could sure chew on the edges. Here was Nancy Pelosi: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish homeland. But in the absence of a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem now may needlessly spark mass protests, fuel tensions, and make it more difficult to reach a durable peace.” In other words, I used to be for it but now Donald Trump is for it so I’m not.

 

In the American Jewish community there was extremely widespread support—but the head of the Reform movement, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, cemented the view that it is a branch of the Democratic party by saying, “while we share the president’s belief that the U.S. Embassy should, at the right time, be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process.” The “right time” for him is apparently just after the arrival of the Messiah.

 

Why all the hyperbole? After all, it’s a simple fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and has been ever since its War of Independence ended in 1949. When an American president or secretary of state goes to see the Israeli prime minister or speak to the Knesset, that’s where he or she goes. In 2016 Barack Obama went to the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem to deliver a eulogy for Shimon Peres. The White House released the transcript under the heading “Remarks by President Obama at Memorial Service for Former Israeli President Shimon Peres, Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” Nine hours later, it released a corrected version with Israel crossed out, like this: “Jerusalem, Israel.” This ludicrous action raised a question: In what country did Obama and his White House think Peres was being buried?

 

This absurd incident helps explain why Trump took his action. It was a victory for common sense and as well for history. After nearly 70 years, it was long past time for the United States to acknowledge what is obvious: Like every country, Israel has a capital, and it is unacceptable that Israel be the only country on earth that is refused the right to choose that capital. Refusing to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is part of the campaign, as old as Israel itself, to deny the Jewish state legitimacy. So what explains the ridiculous overreaction? For someone like Pelosi, there’s a simple rule: Never give Donald Trump credit for anything, period. For the Europeans, hatred of Trump combines with longstanding anti-Israel bias, especially in the foreign ministries. The many phony statements of regret and copious crocodile tears about possibly forthcoming violence broadcast the clear hope that there would be plenty of rioting, just to prove Trump wrong. For Arab regimes, fearful of public sentiment that is always pro-Palestinian and often propelled by simple Jew-hatred, the path of least resistance and greatest safety was to denounce Trump’s move.

 

There will be violence if Arab rulers want violence, and very little if they want to stop it. The Palestinian Authority itself is the main exhibit here. It should be held responsible for violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank because its overreaction and its deliberate mischaracterizations of what Trump has done will fuel violence. When the PA closes schools, as it did the day following Trump’s remarks, so students can be free to riot, it is encouraging violence. We have seen this play before, initially under Yasser Arafat and as recently as July, when two Israeli policemen near the Temple Mount were shot and killed and Israel installed metal detectors to prevent weapons from being brought there. The Palestinians might have said, “well, there are metal detectors all over Mecca, and for the same reason, to stop terror, so what’s the big deal?” Instead the ruling Fatah party called for “days of rage” and got them. What is the proper American response? To bow to threats of violence or to do what President Trump did and move forward? After all, when threats of violence and acts of violence are seen to change U.S. policy, there will be more of them. If, instead, they achieve nothing, there will be fewer of them.

 

 

Contents

HOW TO BRING PEACE TO PALESTINE

Philip Carl Salzman

Frontier Centre, Dec. 11, 2017

 

The Canadian Government is sending $25,000,000 of taxpayers’ money to UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which is uniquely dedicated to supporting Palestine refugees. Some observers say that UNRWA actively supports Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews. Hamas controls Gaza, from which it launches rocket and tunnel attacks on Israel. “’I’m horrified,’ said Conservative foreign affairs critic Peter Kent, who said there is ample proof that ‘massive amounts’ of UN aid have been redirected to support Palestinian military efforts against Israel. We have abundant evidence that UNRWA is part of the problem.” Conservative M.P. Andrew Scheer said that “UNRWA is an obstacle to achieving peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Canadian official policy states that “Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.” The goal of Canadian aid to Gaza and the West Bank is to “support the establishment of a law-based, peaceful and prosperous society.” Canadians need to ask themselves whether Canada’s financial aid advances to cause of peace, or impedes it.

 

Champions of Palestine argue that Palestinians are victims of Israeli imperialism and colonialism, theft of Palestinian land, ethnic cleansing and genocide, apartheid, and white supremacy. Jewish Israelis are thus alleged to be oppressors of Palestinians, and the Palestinians are victims of Israeli oppression. It follows from this, goes the argument, that the hundred years of Palestinian mob violence and terrorism against the Jews in Palestine and Israel, the repeated invasions by Arab armies, the Palestinian and Arab refusal to engage with Israel or to “normalize” relations, the Palestinian rejection of all peace plans offered, and the continuing incitement to violence by the Palestinian Authority, are justified by the demand for Palestinian liberation from oppression. However poorly this argument fits with the facts, many Canadians seem to believe it. The demand for “liberation” from “oppression” is, however, not the same as a desire for peace. In fact, the Palestinians have multiple reasons for not wanting peace with Israel, all feeding together to strengthen one another and to reinforce the determination to reject peace:

 

The first reason that Palestinians reject peace with the Jewish State of Israel is the despised status of Jews in the view of Islam. Jews are viewed in the foundational texts of Islam as, at best, stubborn rejecters of the true faith, and, at worse, enemies of Islam. For 1400 years, Jews in Islamic lands had to pay heavy taxes not to be killed, accept ritual humiliation and a wide range of restrictions, and provide labour for the Islamic state, in order to claim “dhimma” protected status as subordinates. The idea that Jews could be politically independent and run their own state and society is monstrous to Islam and to many Muslims, and a violation of God’s order. The Palestinian Hamas Charter (Article 7) openly calls for the elimination not only of Israel but of all Jews everywhere: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews. (Related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).” (Hamas Charter, Article 7)

 

The second reason why the Palestinians reject peace with the Jewish State of Israel is that for 1400 years Palestine—so named by the Roman Empire after two centuries of wars with the Jews, to erase the names Israel and Judea—was occupied by invading Islamic forces, first the Arabs as they expanded their Empire from Europe to India, then the Ottoman Turks. Under Islamic law, lands governed by Muslims became Islamic waqf, Islamic foundations, which belong to Muslims in perpetuity. The establishment of a Jewish state on land long controlled by Muslims is thought by Muslims to be theft from God. Making peace with Jewish Israel would mean that the Palestinians would be surrendering Islamic territory to Jews, and by doing so betraying Islam and God…

[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]  

 

 

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IRANIAN TERROR. ARGENTINIAN COVER UP. JUSTICE AT LAST?

Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz

New York Times, Dec. 11, 2017

 

One morning last week, Argentines woke up to a political earthquake: A judge had charged a former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with “treason against the homeland,” punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Her crime? Nothing less than covering up Iran’s role in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the Americas before Sept. 11. On July 18, 1994, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, an operative of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, drove a van filled with 606 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil into the Buenos Aires Jewish community center, known as AMIA. More than 300 Argentines were wounded; 85 were murdered. It remains the bloodiest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history.

 

From 2004 until 2015, our friend, the prosecutor Alberto Nisman, tirelessly pursued the truth behind this crime. He knew from his investigation that the attack was an Iranian-planned operation. And he determined that Ms. Kirchner was behind a cover-up designed to whitewash Iran’s role. What drove Ms. Kirchner? Argentina faced deep economic problems at the time, and the financial benefits of closer relations with Iran might have tempted her. Her government also had populist ties to Iran and the Bolivarian bloc of nations led by Venezuela. Whatever the reason, never has Ms. Kirchner been formally charged in the crime. Until now.

 

When the federal judge Claudio Bonadio handed down the 491-page indictment against Ms. Kirchner; her foreign minister, Hector Timerman; her handpicked intelligence chief; her top legal adviser; two pro-Iran activists; and 10 others, he didn’t mince words. He called the attack on the Jewish community center an “act of war” by Iran and accused Ms. Kirchner of covering up the role of senior Iranian leaders and their Hezbollah proxies in exchange for a trade deal. If only Alberto Nisman were alive to see justice finally being pursued.

 

Three years ago, Mr. Nisman was set to testify to the country’s Congress on Ms. Kirchner’s role in the cover up. The day before his testimony, on Jan. 18, 2015, he was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires, with a bullet in his head. This, despite the fact that he had a 10-man security detail paid to protect him. Within hours, Ms. Kirchner announced that Mr. Nisman had committed suicide. In the days that followed, she strangely claimed his death was part of a lovers’ spat. Finally, she changed her story once more: His death may have been the result of rogue intelligence operatives.

 

When we heard the news of Mr. Nisman’s death and of Ms. Kirchner’s suspected cover-up, we were horrified, but not entirely shocked. Anyone who had followed Mr. Nisman’s pursuit of this case knew that he was assuming grave risks by taking on both a terrorist state and his own government. Through a decade of investigation, Mr. Nisman received death threats against not only him but his children as well. One email he told us about had a picture of bloodied and brutalized bodies lying on the ground, with a note saying this would be the fate of his young daughters if he did not cease his investigation.

 

None of it stopped him. Fearless and resolute, Mr. Nisman and his team had determined that former Iranian and Hezbollah officials planned the AMIA attack. He was able to show definitively that the plan included no less than Iran’s former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; its minister of intelligence; its foreign minister; the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; the head of the corps’ elite Quds force; the Iranian cultural attaché in Argentina; and the third secretary at Iran’s Embassy in Buenos Aires, as well as the former head of Hezbollah’s external security. His investigation led Interpol to issue red notices — akin to international arrest warrants — against six of the perpetrators. Argentina itself issued arrest warrants for Mr. Rafsanjani and Ali Akbar Velayati, then foreign minister, which Iran predictably disregarded.

 

But Mr. Nisman did not stop there. In May 2013, he released a 500-page indictment outlining how Iran had penetrated not just Argentina, but also Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Guyana, Paraguay, Trinidad, Tobago and Suriname, and how it used mosques, social service organizations and its own embassies to radicalize and recruit terrorists. Mr. Nisman also shared information that helped American authorities determine that Mohsen Rabbani, the Iranian embassy cultural attaché and one of the AMIA bombing masterminds, helped four men, including his disciple, a Guyanese official named Abdul Kadir, plot to blow up the fuel lines at Kennedy International Airport in New York. Mr. Kadir is serving a life sentence in the United States for the foiled plot, which could have led to the loss of countless lives.

 

In a normal democracy, investigating the murder of a man like Alberto Nisman would be a top priority. But Ms. Kirchner and her allies assured that justice for Mr. Nisman’s murder was stymied for years. That changed three months ago, when, under Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, a fresh investigation by the Argentine national police found that Mr. Nisman had been drugged with Ketamine, a drug used to sedate animals, then brutally beaten before he was shot in the head…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Most Jewish Life & Holiday Customs Are Both Joyful and Portable: Allan Levine, CIJR, Dec. 15, 2017—No doubt many traveling readers who've carried the Hanukkah/Chanukah Menorah & candles or oil while traveling during this well-known family centered Jewish holiday can relate memorable tales of others joining in with them, when engaging in honoring this practice in public places. 

WATCH: Trump Elaborates on Ancient Jewish Ties to Jerusalem at White House Chanukah Party: United With Israel, Dec. 8, 2017—President Donald Trump, addressing the annual White House Chanukah party, repeated his commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people. Demonstrating the ancient Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, he told the story of Chanukah, including the miracle of the oil – “a sign of God’s presence in his dwelling place and a symbol of the faith and resilience of the Jewish people.”

List of Reasons Why all Foreign Countries Should Follow President Trump on Jerusalem: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 7, 2017—Arab and Muslim leaders and spokespersons have been trying to frighten the entire world in order to prevent other nations from recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – Trump’s declaration notwithstanding – and from relocating their embassies to Jerusalem. It’s time to tell the world what it should have realized a long time ago.

Thoughts for Vice President Pence: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Dec. 15, 2017—Dear U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. As you prepare to visit Israel next week, I ask you to take a few minutes to contemplate history and to think about fate.          

                                                              

 

 

ISRAEL’S HIGH-TECH, SPACE, & BIOTECH FIELDS HAVE MUCH TO OFFER TO THE WORLD

After Imperva and Mobileye, Here's What's Next For Israeli Startups: Peter Cohan, Forbes, Aug. 21, 2017— Israel has taken plenty of companies public on the NASDAQ…

China’s Space Silk Road and the Middle East – The Israeli Perspective: Dr. Eytan Tepper, Space Watch Middle East, Aug. 2017— China’s U.S.$1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to establish a network of roads, railroads, and sea routes and ports is underway, and it has a space segment.

Coming of Age, Israel Biotech Sector Gets Ready for Market: Shoshanna Solomon, Times of Israel, Aug. 17, 2017— The sale of Israeli drugmaker NeuroDerm to Japanese pharma giant Mitsubishi Tanabe for $1.1 billion last month in the largest ever purchase of an Israeli healthcare company…

Latin American Allies: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2017— Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked Sunday on a whirlwind visit to Latin America, the first of its kind for a sitting Israeli head of state.

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel, China Sign $300M CleanTech Deal: Jewish Press, Sept. 11, 2017

SpaceIL Craft on Assembly Line as Race to Moon Nears: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c, Aug. 7, 2017

Foreign Investment in Israel’s Strategic Industries: Efraim Chalamish, BESA, July 27, 2017

China in the Red Sea: The Djibouti Naval Base and the Return of Admiral Zheng He: Gideon Elazar, BESA, Aug. 23, 2017

 

 

AFTER IMPERVA AND MOBILEYE,

HERE'S WHAT'S NEXT FOR ISRAELI STARTUPS

Peter Cohan

Forbes, Aug. 21, 2017

 

Israel has taken plenty of companies public on the NASDAQ — including Imperva, CyberArk, and Mobileye — which went public in August 2014 and was bought by Intel for $15.3 billion in March 2017. While many of these startups get acquired by big U.S. companies and most split their teams between the Tel Aviv area and Boston or Silicon Valley, that could be changing according to six experts I interviewed.

 

Before getting into that, let's look at the numbers. In the second quarter of 2017, 157…Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.26 billion… — the second highest quarterly amount in the past five years. For the first half of 2017 — 18% below the strongest period in recent history (the first half of 2016), 312 Israeli high-tech companies attracted $2.3 billion, according to Israel Venture Capital (IVC).

 

Israeli tech exits in 2016 were down — with mergers much higher than IPOs. Total exits last year totaled $10 billion. There were "93 M&A deals, eight buyouts and just three IPOs. The low number of IPO deals, totaling just above $15 million, made 2016 the year with the second-fewest IPOs in the past 10 years. In 2014, by comparison, Israeli tech IPOs reached a record $2.1 billion in 17 deals," according to Start-Up Israel. These declines are not a big surprise since the U.S. IPO market has been in the doldrums since 2014 and is showing no signs of recovery as I wrote earlier this month. After all, tech IPOs like Snap and Blue Apron have mostly cratered. And the biggest unicorns have so much capital that they are in no hurry to brave the public markets.

 

But Israel continues to invest in and create startups thanks to its engineering talent, capital, and investment from U.S. tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel and others. What's most interesting to me is that at least one company — run by Israel's most prolific info sec company founder, Shlomo Kramer, is that Israel is beginning to develop enough talent in marketing and sales that his latest company is able to operate out of Israel instead of being run from Silicon Valley.

 

Tel Aviv is the center of Israel's startup scene even though its top talent is educated 52 miles away at Haifa's Technion. As Edouard Cukierman, Managing Partner and Founder of Catalyst Funds, said in an August 10 interview, "When I was at the Technion, the joke was 'What is the nicest place in Haifa? The highway to Tel Aviv.' Entrepreneurs want to be in Tel Aviv — it's a place of fun; whereas Haifa is a serious place for studying."

 

Haifa 's Technion is not investor friendly according to one expert. Shlomo Maital, an emeritus professor of economics there, explained in an August 6 e-mail, "I have a personal ‘beef.' Universities in general, Technion in particular, in my view, cling too tightly to IP developed within the university. This deters investors like citronella deters mosquitos.  MIT let Bose use his Ph.D. results to launch a speaker company — later, Bose willed the whole company to MIT! Technion does not follow this model. I regret it. Technion is a public university, funded in part by government (at least, the operating budget). IP developed within Technion belongs to the people and should be more freely released…"

 

Pillar companies — local, publicly-traded tech companies that supply talent and capital to startups — are not big drivers of the Tel Aviv startup ecosystem. As Cukierman said, "There are 200 Israeli publicly-traded companies and thousands of private tech companies there; but besides Check Point Software, the public companies that help our ecosystem are Google, Intel, Microsoft, HP and others. These U.S. companies buy the private Israeli companies or open incubators here to get access to Israeli R&D talent." Indeed, demand for that engineering talent outstrips supply. "There is a 10,000 engineer shortage in Israel. Companies are setting up engineering operations in Eastern Europe. Most of the engineering talent comes out of the Israeli Defense Force — units like the 8200 — which specializes in information security. But there is a good amount of talent from the University of Tel Aviv, Hebrew University, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev," explained Cukierman.

 

The enterprise marketing talent in Israel generally comes from well-regarded U.S. companies. As Uri Goldberg, an expert on Israel's high tech ecosystem, said, "The vast majority of marketing and sales executives and general managers I know were trained at places like Google, Facebook, or Akamai. VCs want to be able to see that you have the best people — these U.S. brands represent quality. I can feed my family because I am a McKinsey alum." With 272 U.S. IPOs and 101 European IPOs, Israel has generated plenty of capital for startups…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]           

 

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CHINA’S SPACE SILK ROAD AND THE MIDDLE EAST –

THE ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE

Dr. Eytan Tepper

Space Watch Middle East, Aug. 2017

 

China’s U.S.$1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to establish a network of roads, railroads, and sea routes and ports is underway, and it has a space segment. Israel has an opportunity to be an important part of the BRI and its space segment, but it does not want to jeopardize its strategic alliance with the U.S., which is suspicious of the BRI. Additionally, there are also concerns emanating from participation of countries hostile to Israel. Israel has much to contribute and gain, and considering the opportunities the BRI and its space segment opens for Israel, it should take an active part in the BRI to the extent that it will not jeopardize its security interests and its strategic alliance with the U.S. Such a path is possible and should be carefully pursued.

 

The BRI, also known as the One Belt One Road (OBOR), is comprised of two main segments: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. There are two less known segments, the Air Silk Road and a space-based Silk Road – the Space Silk Road. The BRI will connect East and West, facilitate trade, and promote development along the routes. The transportation and development along the routes need space-based navigation, communication, and observation services. This is the purpose of the “Space Information Corridor” that will make use of existing as well as new, special-purpose satellites.

 

The latest white paper on space policy published by the Chinese State Council in December 2016 specifically refers to the BRI. The white paper calls for “strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation [in space activities] which is based on common goals and serves the Belt and Road Initiative”. It stipulates the goal of “construction of the Belt and Road Initiative Space Information Corridor, including earth observation, communications and broadcasting, navigation and positioning, and other types of satellite-related development; ground and application system construction; and application product development”. It further specifically sets the target for China’s Beidou navigation system to “to start providing basic services to countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in 2018 [and] form a network consisting of 35 satellites for global services by 2020…”

 

According to the published plans and statements, we can expect an array of existing and new satellites providing a range of services supporting transportation, communications, and development along the routes. The services will include traffic navigation and control and satellite-based mobile phone services with dedicated satellite smartphones. Further applications will facilitate mitigation of natural disaster, climate change tracking and mitigation, environmental sustainable development, smart agriculture, management of water resources, natural resources discovery, and management and preservation of cultural and natural heritage. We may expect further commercial applications that will provide services to residents, workers, and travelers along the routes and connect them with local service providers.

 

To accomplish all that there is a need for new satellites, ground stations, compatible receivers and smartphones, and new software and applications. This opens the door for a variety of private initiatives for applications that will provide related services. According to a report by the McKinsey & Company management consulting firm, the BRI will cover about 65% of the world’s population and about a third of global GDP, which renders the economic opportunities too high to be ignored.

 

There is an opportunity for Israel to be an important player in the Space Silk Road. Israel is already a close trade partner of China, a source of advanced technologies, and a founding member of another of China’s, and President Xi Jinping’s, flagship project – the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is likely to provide part of the finance for the BRI, along with the Silk Road Fund.

 

Israel, for which high-tech industry is the distinct growth engine that earned it the title “start-up nation”, is also a sophisticated spacefaring nation. Israel joined the exclusive club of spacefaring nations in 1988 and has demonstrated capabilities and products in space infrastructure, products, and services, including leading optical equipment and small satellites. Israel has the eighth largest share of global space services. Furthermore, in 2012 Israel adopted a new Civil Space Policy with plans to boost its civil space industry and place it amongst the top 5 leading nations, making commercial space the next growth engine for the Israeli economy.

 

Potentially, Israel could provide communications and observation satellites, ground segments, receivers, software and applications that are already part of its existing supply. Israel’s bustling app industry can produce new, dedicated apps that will use and support the utility of the satellites serving the BRI.

 

The white paper on the development of China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System published in June 2016 ‎[6] states that “China will jointly build satellite navigation augmentation systems with relevant nations, provide highly accurate satellite navigation, positioning and timing services, improve the overseas [Beidou] service performances, and promote international applications of navigation technologies.” Israeli companies like Gilat and Waze have long been providing receivers, satellite services, and leading applications utilising satellite navigation systems and Israeli companies can develop hardware and software that will utilize the Beidou system and boost its usability.

 

In almost every segment of the Space Silk Road, Israeli companies have proven capabilities of the highest level and can provide hardware, software and applications, existing and dedicated. The economic potential is significant, and can realize the goal of the Israeli civil space policy to be among the top five leading nations in the space sector…

[To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                   

                                                                       

Contents

COMING OF AGE, ISRAEL BIOTECH SECTOR GETS READY FOR MARKET                                                          Shoshanna Solomon

Times of Israel, Aug. 17, 2017

 

The sale of Israeli drugmaker NeuroDerm to Japanese pharma giant Mitsubishi Tanabe for $1.1 billion last month in the largest ever purchase of an Israeli healthcare company, has put the spotlight on Israel’s biotech sector, where a number of other firms are gearing up for commercialization of their product. “This is a big deal,” said Anya Eldan, vice president of the Israel Innovation Authority’s Startup Division, about the NeuroDerm deal. “We don’t see this kind of valuation often for a biotech company; it is more typical of an internet company. It shows big support for the Israeli biotech industry.”

 

NeuroDerm develops treatments for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, as well as other disorders related to the central nervous system. The firm’s leading product candidate is not even on the market yet, but is in advanced clinical trials in both Europe and the United States. The product could hit the market as early as 2019, Mitsubishi Tanabe said last month.

 

NeuroDerm was founded in one of the Innovation Authority’s technological incubators in 2003 and received the authority’s financial support for seven years, Eldan said. “It is very gratifying that one of our companies has done so well. The company now has a strategic partner that will help bring its product to the market.”

 

Biotechnology firms typically have a long and painful journey to success. Much money and patience and a lot of luck is needed to develop a drug, a process that takes years and goes through identifying a need, getting an idea for a drug, developing the drug and then undertaking clinical trials that may ultimately lead to regulatory approvals worldwide and commercialization. The chances of failure at each of these stages is huge. And little successes bring much joy.

 

“In biotech, it is very difficult to succeed, and building an ecosystem in Israel requires patience,” said Eldan. The NeuroDerm deal, she said, “is the beginning of the coming of age of the Israeli biotech industry, and it is the result of a long-term government policy. We are very happy to see this kind of maturation, and there is still a lot of work to do.” But, she added, “eventually out of these young innovative companies the next big Israeli pharma firm will emerge.”

 

There are some 1,350 life sciences companies active now in Israel, 612 of them having been created in the last decade, 2007-2016, according to a 2016 Life Sciences Report by the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) released in May. The IATI is an umbrella organization of the high-tech and life sciences industries in Israel. Some $823 million flowed into the industry last year, accounting for 20% of all investments in Israeli high-tech, the report showed. And the industry is becoming more mature, with some 33% of companies in preliminary revenue phase, and 5% in the revenue growth stage.

 

Indeed, companies like BiondVax, a developer of a universal flu vaccine candidate; Gamida Cell, a maker of cell and immune therapy technologies; RedHill Biopharma Ltd, a developer of drugs for gastrointestinal diseases; and Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (VBL), a maker of drugs that targets blood vessels to stop the spread of cancer are all gearing up toward commercialization of their products.

 

RedHill Biopharma, the biotech company founded by two kibbutz dwellers, Dror Ben-Asher and Ori Shilo, is traded both in Tel Aviv and on the Nasdaq. The firm is conducting late-stage clinical trials for several drugs, including two that aim to tackle Crohn’s disease and H. pylori, the bacteria that is the root of ulcers and a major cause of gastric cancer, respectively. RedHill also has a pipeline of other advanced clinical-stage experimental medications in the works, as a way to spread out risk. RedHill is currently setting up its US commercial infrastructure and salesforce, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, as it waits for its other products to ripen and get the potential approvals needed from the US FDA.

 

Vascular Biogenics, founded in 2000 by its CEO Dror Harats, a professor at Tel Aviv University and a doctor at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, develops anti-cancer gene therapies. Its flagship drug, VB-111, targets glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive and difficult to treat type of brain tumor. The company plans to set up a new manufacturing facility in Modiin in central Israel, which will bring the company closer to the potential commercialization of the VB-111 drug.

 

BiondVax, a Ness Ziona-based company whose shares are traded on the Nasdaq and in Tel Aviv, is a developer of a universal flu vaccine candidate. The company said last month it has signed an agreement to lease a space of approximately 1,800 square meters in the Jerusalem BioPark, located in the Ein Kerem Hadassah Campus. The mid-sized facility is expected to have the capacity to annually produce tens of millions of doses of its flagship M-001 universal flu vaccine candidate, either in single-dose syringe or in bulk. M-001 is designed to provide protection against current and future seasonal and pandemic flu strains…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

 

Contents

LATIN AMERICAN ALLIES             

Editorial                                         

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2017

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked Sunday on a whirlwind visit to Latin America, the first of its kind for a sitting Israeli head of state. It is part of a broader foreign policy push to develop ties with areas of the globe not traditionally on Israel’s diplomatic radar. While in the past the focus of Israeli foreign policy has been the US and Europe, in recent years there has been a concentrated effort to develop ties with countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Israel has much to offer these countries in the fields of agriculture, water management, cyber defense, counter- terrorism, crime fighting and other technologies.

 

Netanyahu’s first stop will be Argentina, where his day-and-a-half stay will coincide with the anniversary of the September 11 World Trade Center attack. He will visit the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, which was the site of a terrorist attack planned by groups connected with Iran that left 85 dead. He will also visit the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which was targeted by Islamist terrorists in 1992.

 

Netanyahu’s decision to choose Argentina as one his stops is no coincidence. In sharp contrast to the Kirchner government, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is a strong supporter of Israel. Macri broke off attempts by the previous administration to improve ties and cooperation with Iran. He has also vowed to do more to get to the bottom of the bombings of the Israeli embassy and AMIA, and he is unabashed in his support for Israel and desire to improve economic and diplomatic ties. Macri faces strong opposition from elements close to the Kirchner political machine and the anti-globalization Left. These groups are expected to hold demonstrations during Netanyahu’s visit, including a protest against the very existence of an Israeli Embassy in Argentina.

 

While in Argentina, Netanyahu will also meet with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, another strong supporter of Israel. Unlike countries such as Brazil, Peru, Chile, El Salvador and Ecuador – which recalled their ambassadors during Operation Protection Edge – Cartes stood by Israel. Paraguay has also voted for Israel or abstained from Israel-related votes in the UN and other international forums since Cartes was elected in 2013.

 

Netanyahu’s next stops will be Colombia and Mexico. In Colombia, Netanyahu will meet with President Juan Manuel Santos, sign bilateral agreements on science and tourism cooperation, and visit the local Jewish community. In Mexico, the prime minister will meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto and sign joint agreements on space, aviation, communications and development cooperation. While in Mexico City, Netanyahu will also address a forum to encourage bilateral trade and attend an event organized by the local Jewish community. Netanyahu’s travel plans were unaffected by Friday’s earthquake – the strongest to hit Mexico in a century – that killed dozens and was felt in the capital.

 

In the face of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, bias in the UN and other international forums, and the general prominence of antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric and sentiment, it is easy to forget that Israel also has quite a few friends scattered throughout the world. Widening our diplomatic efforts to those areas which have historically received less attention is important as part of the ongoing fight against unfounded attacks on the Jewish state.

 

In Latin America, criticism of Israel often goes hand in hand with anti-globalism or anti-American sentiments. But it is encouraging to note and celebrate those Latin American countries which are led by leaders who seek strong ties with Israel, not just out of appreciation for Israel’s democratic values, but out of a strong self-interest. Israel has much to offer. With the passage of time, more countries are beginning to realize this. Old prejudices are being set aside in favor of doing what is right from both a moral and pragmatic standpoint. Netanyahu’s visit reflects this simple fact.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel, China Sign $300M CleanTech Deal: Jewish Press, Sept. 11, 2017—Israel and China signed a $300 million extension of a financial protocol between the two countries in Beijing on Monday, aimed at increasing Israeli exports of clean tech and agricultural technologies to China.

SpaceIL Craft on Assembly Line as Race to Moon Nears: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c, Aug. 7, 2017—Israel’s SpaceIL, one of only five teams remaining in the multi-million-dollar Google Lunar XPrize race to the moon, is starting to assemble the craft to be launched in 2018, according to SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman.

Foreign Investment in Israel’s Strategic Industries: Efraim Chalamish, BESA, July 27, 2017—The changing map of foreign investment in Israel demands a new balance between market access and investment review. The Israeli government has not yet communicated to the global investment community its vision for foreign investment in Israel, especially in the banking, insurance, commodities and defense markets.

China in the Red Sea: The Djibouti Naval Base and the Return of Admiral Zheng He: Gideon Elazar, BESA, Aug. 23, 2017—On July 11, ships carrying military personnel set sail from the Chinese naval base in Zhanjiang for the Horn of Africa. Their destination was Djibouti, where China has opened its first overseas naval base. According to the Chinese Xinhua news agency, the base is intended to “ensure China’s performance of missions, such as escorting, peace-keeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and west Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WEEK THAT WAS: TRUMP DOMINATES, IRAN “VOTES”, NISMAN MURDER CONFIRMED & PALESTINIAN STATE STILL UNREALISTIC

 

 

Rubio, Trump and Israel: Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom, Feb. 26, 2016— During Thursday night's CNN-hosted Republican debate in Houston, Texas, candidate Marco Rubio finally took on leading contender Donald Trump, face-to-face, about Israel.

Iran’s Fake Reformers Win Bogus Elections: Terry Glavin, National Post, Mar. 2, 2016— In the matter of respectable opinion on the subject of last weekend’s sham elections in Iran, a new kind of Canadian consensus can be discerned from the headlines.

Argentine Prosecutor Asserts Alberto Nisman Was Murdered. Now, to Find His Killers.: Lee Smith, Tablet, Feb. 26, 2016 — A federal prosecutor in Argentina claimed yesterday that his former colleague, Alberto Nisman, was murdered last year…

Israel’s Options in a Chaotic Middle East: Yossi Klein Halevi, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26, 2016— One recent morning, a Palestinian teenager stabbed a security guard at the light rail station minutes from my home in Jerusalem.

 

On Topic Links

 

Orchestra of Exiles (Video): American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO), 2015

Trump Dominates on Super Tuesday – But Will Jewish Republicans Back the Donald?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 2, 2016

Bernie Sanders Is Jewish, but He Doesn’t Like to Talk About It: Joseph Berber, New York Times, Feb. 24, 2016

Torrent of Anti-Israel Advice Found in Hillary’s Emails: Shmuley Boteach, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2016

Donald Trump and the Art of the Mideast Peace Deal: Aaron David Miller, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 22, 2016

         

 

 

    RUBIO, TRUMP AND ISRAEL

       Ruthie Blum

       Israel Hayom, Feb. 26, 2016

 

During Thursday night's CNN-hosted Republican debate in Houston, Texas, candidate Marco Rubio finally took on leading contender Donald Trump, face-to-face, about Israel. Referring to Trump's statements that he would be a "neutral broker" between Israel and the Palestinians, Rubio argued, "The Palestinians are not a real estate deal, Donald." "A deal is a deal," Trump replied. "A deal is not a deal when you're dealing with terrorists," Rubio said.

 

This is what Rubio knows in a nutshell — something the Obama administration has ignored for the past seven years, and not only in relation to the Palestinian Authority. It is a key reason, though by no means an exclusive one, for getting the Democrats out of the White House and State Department. Rubio has been consistent about his grasp of why Israel and America are both the globe's good guys and natural allies.

 

At a rally on Wednesday night, in the lead-up to the final debate before Super Tuesday on March 1, Rubio was inspired and inspiring on this point. "We're going to have a policy of moral clarity," he said. "I'll give you a perfect example — Israel. Israel is the only pro-American free-enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East. I'll put it to you this way: If there were more Israels in the Middle East — more pro-American, free-enterprise democracies — the world would be so much safer." He also attacked the UN for being "obsessed" with the Jewish state. "Every week, they've got new resolutions condemning Israel," he said, using this to illustrate the "new face of anti-Semitism in the world."

 

As for the Palestinians, Rubio said, "They teach little kids — five-year-olds — that it's a glorious thing to kill Jews." Indeed, he emphasized, "The Palestinians don't want a deal, [and] they've already said, 'We want to destroy Israel.' So what are you going to negotiate? The rate of the destruction? The date of the destruction? We will not be an impartial advocate when it comes to the issue of Israel. When I'm president, we're going to take sides. We are going to be on Israel's side."

 

Even before Rubio announced he would be running for America's highest office, however, he made impassioned speeches on Israel's behalf. Two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected in March 2015 — nearly a year ago — Rubio delivered a 15-minute tribute to Israel on the floor of the Senate. Netanyahu had won by a surprise landslide, after polls predicted a very different outcome. Yet he was still under attack at home and abroad for asserting there would be no two-state solution on his watch.

 

"[Netanyahu's] right," Rubio stated unapologetically. "The conditions don't exist. But first, let's go through the history. In 2000 at Camp David, Israel offered the Palestinian Authority nearly all of the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and Gaza. And the Palestinians said no. In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon. You know what that is today? A place [from] where they launch rockets against Israel. In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza. You know what that is today? A place that they launch rockets against Israel from. In 2008, Israel offered the PA, again, nearly all of the West Bank — Judea and Samaria — and all of eastern Jerusalem. The PA said no. What about the Palestinian record? … About 6% of the Palestinian budget is diverted to pay the salaries of … terrorists, of people who have blown up centers and killed civilians, including Americans. And they are being paid salaries and benefits, including with money from donors, such as the U.S., Great Britain, Norway and Denmark."

 

He then listed ways in which the PA envisions and educates its people to hope for a world without Israel, quoting blatant anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist passages from a Palestinian school book and the PA-run press.

"And these are the people that we're pressuring [Israel] to cut a peace deal with," he said, referring to people who say "that there is no such thing as the Jewish people; that any method of destroying them is valid." Rubio concluded: "No people on earth want peace more than Israel. No people have suffered more at the hands of terrorism than the people of Israel. … If America doesn't stand with Israel, who would we stand with?"

 

Hearing Trump — whose consistently soaring popularity is due to Americans being rightly fed up with the totalitarianism of the left-wing "political correctness" that has been corroding American power, exceptionalism and free-market economics — assert even-handedness solely in relation to Israel is cause for serious concern.

 

If the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians were a real-estate problem, even the Democrats would have been able to solve it. In fact, if it were an issue of dividing up plots of land, the Arabs of Palestine would have had a state starting in 1947. Indeed, if killing or kicking the Jews out had not been the true bone of contention all along, the Palestinians today could and would be leading the kind of normal lives that Israelis take for granted.   

                               

Contents

         IRAN’S FAKE REFORMERS WIN BOGUS ELECTIONS

           Terry Glavin

National Post, Mar. 2, 2016

 

In the matter of respectable opinion on the subject of last weekend’s sham elections in Iran, a new kind of Canadian consensus can be discerned from the headlines. Here is a representative sampling: “Iranian moderates win majority in parliament, clerical body;” “Iranian reformists win all parliamentary seats in Tehran;” “Far from perfect, but democracy is in Iran (yes, really).”

 

This is all almost entirely rubbish, most obviously because it requires a suspension of disbelief made possible by a cavalier indifference to the objective meaning of words — such as “reformists” and “moderates.” But it allows a new unanimity of convenience among the regime’s Canadian apologists, the corporate lobbyists chafing for all those post-sanctions business opportunities and Canada’s new, fashion-conscious Liberal government.

 

It’s rubbish all the same, and it stands as a rebuke to what was once a robust, evidence-based Canadian consensus about how to make sense of the theocratic torture state that calls itself the Islamic Republic of Iran. But now that U.S. President Barack Obama has unleashed a corporate free-for-all by effectively decoupling the NATO countries’ Iranian sanctions system from the cause of universal human rights, it is not at all certain that the former Canadian consensus can be sustained. It’s not even clear why we would bother trying.

 

But before the Obama administration decided to exchange the American-patrolled order across the Middle East for a barbaric Russian-Iranian-Baathist hegemony of barrel bombs and starvation sieges, there really was a Canadian consensus. This is where the same “reformists” whose poll-count victories we are all now expected to be happy about come into it quite directly. Set aside the fact that Iran’s elected bodies are subservient under Iran’s constitution to the unelected Guardian Council and the supreme leader. Also set aside the fact that at least half the candidates for the 290-seat parliament and about 600 of the 800 candidates for the assembly of ayatollahs who advise the big boss, Supreme Leader Ali Khameinei, were disqualified for being insufficiently Islamist.

 

Let’s just pretend for a moment that “reformists” have just now been elected in a slight majority over the candidates we are further encouraged to comprehend as “hardliners.” Who are these “reformists,” exactly? They are by no means the reformists of 2009, when Iran was gripped in a non-violent “Green Revolution” that ended in bloodshed, state terror and the “election” of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (a “hardliner”). The reformist contenders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, remain under house arrest.

 

The term “reformist” nowadays refers to the clerical faction in the Khomeinist ruling class that is most gluttonous about the $100-billion windfall in sanctions relief that comes with the regime’s nuclear deal. So, if you are unashamedly pleased to admit Obama as a willing accomplice with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the slaughter of nearly 500,000 Syrians over the past five years, you’re a “reformist.” If you are content to reconfigure the American-led coalition against the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant as an ally in the expansionist brutality the Shia theocracy has been waging against the region’s Sunni Arab majority, you’re a “reformist.”

 

Such rhetoric allows a new unanimity of convenience among the regime’s Canadian apologists. By the specific terms of what was once the Canadian consensus on Iran, however, these “reformists” are the same individuals that the House of Commons was unanimous only three years ago in wanting to see in the prisoners’ dock at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, rather than standing for election to Potemkin assemblies in Tehran.

 

Throughout the Conservative years under prime minister Stephen Harper, Canada led the way at the United Nations with an annual General Assembly excoriation of the Khomeinist regime’s gross abuse of the human rights of its captive subjects. The tradition was begun by Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien in 2002.

 

As for the sanctions, when the Liberals were in opposition, they used to complain that the Conservative government’s strategy of diplomatic and economic isolation of the Iranian regime — rather than being “irrational and ideological,” as Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion recently described it — didn’t go far enough. The Liberals used to insist that sanctions should encourage regime change.

 

Three years ago, the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act enjoyed all-party support in Parliament. Now, the judge in a civil suit being brought against the Iranian government under the act has expressed doubts about whether he’ll still have a statute to rule under by the time all the evidence and testimony are in. The case has been proceeding in a Toronto courtroom, pitting plaintiffs against the Khomeinist state for terrorist outrages committed by the regime’s proxies in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Argentina.

 

It’s not as though the Iranian government has sworn off its habit of sponsoring terrorism outside Iran’s borders. Just ask any Syrian who has had to watch his children starve to death in one of the Syrian towns encircled by Iran’s Hezbollah mercenaries. As if to rub it in, Iran’s “reformists” are now replicating the terror-subsidizing practices pioneered by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein: last week the Iranian ayatollahs announced cash rewards worth $9,400 to the families of every Palestinian “martyred” in the current wave of stabbings targeting Israeli Jews…                                                         

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents

ARGENTINE PROSECUTOR ASSERTS ALBERTO NISMAN WAS MURDERED.

NOW, TO FIND HIS KILLERS.

Lee Smith                                       

Tablet, Feb. 26, 2016

 

A federal prosecutor in Argentina claimed yesterday that his former colleague, Alberto Nisman, was murdered last year after accusing former President Cristina Kirchner of trying to sabotage his investigation into the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more. A day before Nisman was to testify about Kirchner’s alleged cover-up of Iranian responsibility in the bombing, he was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment.

 

The prosecutor, Ricardo Sáenz, explained in an 11-page legal brief that “Tests done on Nisman’s hands and on the gun used show that we are looking at a homicide.” Other evidence Sáenz cited includes: the assertion by a doctor present at the crime scene that Nisman’s body had been moved; Nisman’s apartment was cleaned of fingerprints that would have been left by those who were there in the days and hours before his death; Nisman’s laptop had been manipulated after his death and his cellphone wiped of key information, including registries of calls, text messages, and chats.

 

Presumably, the investigation into Nisman’s death will now be re-opened. As I noted when Nisman was found dead last year, there are plenty of parties who had an interest in silencing him. Principally, there was Kirchner and other high-ranking officials who were helping to whitewash Iranian culpability for the bombing in exchange for improved bilateral relations. Such relations would, among other things, give Argentine agricultural products privileged access to Iranian markets, while Iran would send cheap oil to Argentina.

 

The fact that Nisman was murdered virtually clinches his case regarding the 1994 bombing. If Iran wasn’t responsible then there was nothing for Kirchner to conceal. But he was, which may turn out to be an even bigger scandal than the fact that the attack on the Jewish Community Center was sponsored by a nation-state, and covered up by the nation-state Iran targeted. Now the task is to find out who is responsible for killing Nisman. Buenos Aires will have to sort out whether its own intelligence service murdered a man for revealing the authorship of a huge state-sponsored terrorist crime on its own soil that targeted Argentine citizens; or whether the murder was committed by the same foreign power that sponsored the original crime: Iran.

 

Perhaps the likeliest scenario would point to Iranian and Argentine coordination. In any case, you can bet Cristina Kirchner is somewhere in the middle of it all. Now it’s up to her successor, Mauricio Macri to win the justice that he promised Nisman’s daughters when he was elected in November. Justice for Nisman, for the victims of the 1994 attack as well as the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, and justice for an Argentina that deserves better than a corrupt government which took Iran’s bloody hand in partnership.

                                                                                   

Contents

            ISRAEL’S OPTIONS IN A CHAOTIC MIDDLE EAST

                Yossi Klein Halevi                            

                                                Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26, 2016

 

One recent morning, a Palestinian teenager stabbed a security guard at the light rail station minutes from my home in Jerusalem. About an hour later, I drove past the station and was astonished to see—nothing. No increased police presence, not even police barricades. The guard had managed to shoot his attacker, and ambulances had taken both away. Commuters were waiting for the next train. As if nothing unusual had happened.

 

The ability to instantly resume the pretense of normalcy is one of the ways that Israelis are coping with the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism. For the last six months, Palestinians—some as young as 13—have attacked Jews with knives and hatchets and even scissors, or else driven their cars into Israeli crowds, killing over two dozen people. (About 90 Palestinians have been killed carrying out the attacks.) The violence was provoked by the unsubstantiated Palestinian claim—strongly denied by the government—that Israel intended to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a place sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

 

The almost daily attacks tend to blur together, though several have become emblematic—like the stabbing murder of a mother of six in her home while her teenage daughter ran to protect her siblings. Still, by Israeli standards, the violence so far has been manageable. Israelis recall that in the early 2000s, when suicide bombers were targeting buses and cafes, almost as many victims would die in a single attack as have been murdered in the current wave of terror.

 

Israelis have been here before. In 1992, a monthslong stabbing spree by Palestinian terrorists in Israel’s streets helped to catalyze one of the great upsets in Israeli politics, the election of Labor Party leader Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister, ending over a decade of rule by the right-wing Likud Party. The stabbings were the culmination of a four-year Palestinian revolt against Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. This first intifada (“uprising” in Arabic), as it came to be known, forced the Israeli public to come to terms with Palestinian nationalism. It also convinced many Israelis that the Likud’s policy of incremental annexation of the West Bank and Gaza was simply not worth the price.

 

Until the first intifada, Israelis had tended to regard control of the territories won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War as benign, bringing prosperity to the occupied as well as to the occupiers. As the intifada took hold, Israeli anger turned not only against the Palestinians but against the ruling Likud. There were antigovernment riots, and Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was widely ridiculed for his passivity and lack of vision.

 

Today, too, there is widespread disaffection with a Likud government’s response to stabbings. Some 70% of Israelis say that the government has been ineffectual, and nearly as many say they feel personally unsafe. Yet, unlike 1992, there are no antigovernment demonstrations, and few calls for a resumption of the moribund peace process.

 

Indeed, a private poll recently commissioned by one of the parties in the coalition government reveals that only 4% of Israelis consider the peace process their highest priority—the lowest percentage for any major issue. Improbably, the Likud remains the most popular party. And what little support the Likud is losing isn’t to the left but further to its right, to parties advocating a tougher response to terror and the annexation of large parts of the West Bank.

 

One reason for the radically different responses in 1992 and 2016 is that Israelis are living in a very different Middle East. The Middle East of the early 1990s seemed a place of promise: An American-led coalition, including Arab states, had defeated Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, while the Soviet Union, sponsor of Arab radical regimes and the Palestinian cause, had vanished. Palestinian leaders seemed ready to negotiate an agreement with Israel, and a majority of Israelis, especially after the first intifada, were ready to try. In today’s disintegrating Middle East, by contrast, Israelis question the viability of a Palestinian state. Which Arab state, Israelis ask, will be a likely model for Palestine: Syria? Iraq? Libya?

 

Few Israelis believe that a Palestinian state would be a peaceful neighbor. In part that’s because the Palestinian national movement—in both its supposedly moderate nationalist wing and its radical Islamist branch—continues to deny the very legitimacy of Israel. The Palestinian media repeat an almost daily message: The Jews are not a real people, they have no roots in this land and their entire history is a lie, from biblical Israel to the Holocaust. The current wave of stabbings has been lauded not only by the Islamist Hamas but by the Palestinian Authority. “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem,” said Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in September. “Every martyr will reach paradise.”

 

The result is profound disillusionment with the peace process across the Israeli political spectrum. Writing recently in the left-wing newspaper Haaretz, the political scientist Shlomo Avineri, long one of Israel’s leading voices against the occupation, lamented that the Palestinian national movement regards Israel “as an illegitimate entity, sooner or later doomed to disappear.” Labor Party leader Yitzhak Herzog, in a dramatic reversal of his rhetoric in last year’s election, recently conceded that there was no chance anytime soon for a deal with the Palestinians.

 

Most Israelis still support, at least in principle, a two-state solution. Many understand that the creation of a Palestinian state is an existential necessity for Israel, extricating it from a growing pariah status in the world at large, from the wrenching moral dilemmas of occupying another people, from a demographic threat that endangers Israel as both a Jewish and a democratic state. And they understand that the continuing expansion of settlements on the West Bank will only complicate Israel’s ability to withdraw eventually…                  

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

On Topic

 

Orchestra of Exiles (Video): American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO), 2015

Trump Dominates on Super Tuesday – But Will Jewish Republicans Back the Donald?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 2, 2016—Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the clear victors on Super Tuesday, with each winning seven of the ten states voting to determine the 2016 election nominees. But as Trump makes enormous strides towards the Republican party nomination, many members of the GOP are drawing back from supporting him – especially Jewish ones.

Bernie Sanders Is Jewish, but He Doesn’t Like to Talk About It: Joseph Berber, New York Times, Feb. 24, 2016—When Senator Bernie Sanders thanked supporters for his landslide victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, he wistfully reminisced about his upbringing as “the son of a Polish immigrant who came to this country speaking no English and having no money.”

Torrent of Anti-Israel Advice Found in Hillary’s Emails: Shmuley Boteach, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2016—It’s already been established that one of Hillary Clinton’s most trusted advisers, Sid Blumenthal, sent her anti-Israel articles, ideas and advice during her time as secretary of state. But the stream of anti-Israel advice received by Clinton was much more comprehensive.

Donald Trump and the Art of the Mideast Peace Deal: Aaron David Miller, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 22, 2016—Presidential elections produce stunning bursts of pro-Israel sentiment and support from candidates of both political parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

WHITE HOUSE CALLS ANTISEMITIC ATTACK “RANDOM” — BUT JEWS IN SWEDEN, ARGENTINA & IRAQ KNOW BETTER

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Anti-Semitic Horrors Don‘t Exist in Obama’s World: John Podhoretz, New York Post, Feb. 11, 2015 — At Tuesday’s press briefing, White House mouthpiece Josh Earnest said something disgusting — I don’t know how else to describe it — about the massacre at the Hyper Casher kosher supermarket in Paris one month ago.

Sweden Imports Jew-Hatred: Ingrid Carlqvist & Lars Hedegaard, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 11, 2015 — If anyone had thought that the slaughter of four Jews in a Paris supermarket — for the reason that they were Jews — would have caused the Swedish mainstream press and the government to explain who is behind Europe's growing anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence, he would be sadly mistaken.

Cry For Me, Argentina!: Isi leibler, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 2015 — The assassination of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman reflects the endemic corruption of the Kirchner regime and focuses the spotlight on the devil’s pact consummated by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in 2013 with Iran…

Remembering Babylon: New Exhibit Explores Roots of Jewish Life in Iraq: Anav Silverman, Jewish Press, Feb. 11, 2015— The only museum in the world, dedicated to the history of the Ancient Near East from a biblical perspective, has a new exhibition examining the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people as never seen before.

 

On Topic Links

 

Calgary’s Pro-Gaza Rioters Push for a Plea Deal (Video): Ezra Levant, Sun News, Feb. 12, 2015

Sephardi Community Remembers Hyper Cacher Victims: Sheri Shefa, Canadian Jewish News, Feb. 11, 2015

Decades of Anti-Israel Hatemongering by Sweden’s Social Democrats: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Feb. 6, 2015

European Anti-Semitism Starts from the Top: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, Feb. 11, 2015

                                                                     

         

ANTI-SEMITIC HORRORS DON‘T EXIST IN OBAMA’S WORLD                                                          

John Podhoretz                                          

New York Post, Feb. 11, 2015

 

At Tuesday’s press briefing, White House mouthpiece Josh Earnest said something disgusting — I don’t know how else to describe it — about the massacre at the Hyper Casher kosher supermarket in Paris one month ago. “The individuals who were killed in that terrible, tragic incident,” Earnest droned, “were killed not because of who they were but because of where they randomly happened to be.” Take it from someone who keeps kosher: Nobody “randomly” happens to be in a kosher supermarket, not even in Manhattan.

 

But you didn’t need to take it from someone who keeps kosher, did you? You already know that the clientele of a kosher supermarket is almost entirely made up of Jews. You know this because you’re not an idiot. Yes, if you want to find Jews, a kosher supermarket is the place to be on a Friday morning, as people are preparing for the Sabbath. Since Earnest is the press secretary of the most important person in the world, I assume he isn’t an illiterate dope. Which means he knows this too. So what he did was speak a vile lie, and a deeply dishonorable one. It’s dishonorable because his remarks suggest these murders were meaningless acts of nihilism, when they in fact were terrifyingly meaningful acts of anti-Semitic murder on European soil 70 years after the Holocaust — acts that are causing many if not most of the 600,000 Jews in France to think seriously about emigrating.

 

Alas, it appears that Earnest’s vile lie can’t be excused away as an expression of his own moral cretinousness. For only a few minutes later, about half a mile away from him in Washington, Earnest’s fellow administration mouthpiece Jen Psaki took to the podium at the State Department’s press briefing and with similar moral cretinousness dismissed the purpose and goal of the Jew-killers at Hyper Casher. “I believe if I remember the victims specifically,” said Psaki, “they were not all victims of one background or one nationality.” Asked point-blank by AP’s Matt Lee whether the Obama administration believes “this was an anti-Jewish or an attack on a Jewish community in Paris,” Psaki responded, “I don’t think we’re going to speak on behalf of French authorities.”

 

After a firestorm of criticism on Twitter, Earnest and Psaki both tried to pretend they hadn’t said what they said. “Terror attack at Paris Kosher market was motivated by anti-Semitism,” tweeted Earnest. For her part, Psaki said, “We have always been clear that the attack on the kosher grocery store was an anti-Semitic attack that took the lives of innocent people.” Well, no, you weren’t always clear, now, were you? What madness was this? What madness is this?  The most comforting explanation is that the administration chose to circle the wagons around President Obama after his flabbergasting remarks on Monday — when he spoke of “violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” As we’ve established, it wasn’t “a bunch of folks” but four Jews who were shot — and not, by the way, eating corned beef on rye at Katz’s while Sally faked an orgasm but as they shopped for ingredients for their Sabbath meals.

 

Which means it wasn’t done “randomly” but purposefully and in a directed fashion. It didn’t matter who they were individually, true. What mattered was this: JEW. JEW. JEW. JEW. That isn’t random, bub. So this is the exculpatory argument: Obama stepped in it on Monday. He said something stupid and ill-advised. (After all, he had previously said the attack was an act of anti-Semitism.) And rather than walk it back, the administration’s blatherskites on Tuesday foolishly chose to step in it even more deeply by twisting themselves into pretzels on the “randomness” issue. This is what Earnest and the White House want us to believe. In a late-afternoon tweet, Earnest said, “Our view has not changed . . . POTUS didn’t intend to suggest otherwise.” But what if this is disingenuous and false? What if the administration is now so committed to its bizarre assertion that the acts of terror in Paris and the horrifying butcheries of ISIS have not been perpetrated in the name of Islam that it chose to dance around the anti-Semitic agency of Islamist Jew-killers — until it was caught out, that is? If this is so, the moral cretin is the man now resident in the Oval Office.                                                  

 

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SWEDEN IMPORTS JEW-HATRED                                                                        

Ingrid Carlqvist & Lars Hedegaard                                                                                       

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 11, 2015

 

If anyone had thought that the slaughter of four Jews in a Paris supermarket — for the reason that they were Jews — would have caused the Swedish mainstream press and the government to explain who is behind Europe's growing anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence, he would be sadly mistaken. With the exception of one television program, the connection between anti-Semitism, Islam and Muslim mass immigration remains a mental no-go area in Sweden. Sweden's history when it comes to Jews is not a pretty one. It was not until 1870 that Jews were permitted to settle wherever they wanted in the country. Sweden was behind the proposal to stamp a big "J" in the passports of German Jews, to prevent Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany from entering. And now the Swedish authorities close their eyes to the new Jew-hatred that is imported in the wake Muslim immigration…

 

By the end of the 1930s, there was a growing stream of Jewish refugees from Germany to other European countries. Few countries wanted them, but how might one determine who were Jews and who were not? In 1938, Sweden and Switzerland approached Germany with the proposal to furnish Jews with special passports, and on October 5 that year the Germans complied. All passports belonging to Jews were declared null and void, and Jews who wanted to travel had to get new ones — stamped with a big red "J" on the first page. In 1943, when is became clear that Hitler would lose the war, Sweden hurried to restore some of its reputation. In Nazi-occupied Denmark, about 8,000 Jews had escaped deportation to Nazi concentration camps because they were under the protection of the Danish government, and were never forced to wear the yellow Star of David. But on August 23, 1943, all cooperation between the Danish government and the occupation authorities broke down. The government resigned and the Germans imposed a state of emergency. After that, Danish Jews had no other protection than the Danish resistance, including remnants of the state administration and a largely sympathetic population. As Denmark's former Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior told Danish television some years ago, not a single Jew knocked on the door of his gentile neighbor without getting help.

 

The Danish resistance got wind that the Germans planned to round up all 8,000 Danish Jews in the night between October 1 and 2, 1943, to deport them to German camps. In no time, the resistance, with the aid of a great many civilians, managed to thwart the operation. Fishing boats were mobilized to smuggle more than 7,000 Jews across the Øresund Sound to Sweden. Others were able to hide in Denmark. The 1500 German soldiers that took part in the operation only managed to catch 284 Jews on the night of the round-up. Unfortunately, more were apprehended later; altogether 474 Danish Jews ended up in the German concentration camp Theresienstadt, which was not an extermination camp. Most of them returned to Denmark after the liberation, but 53 died in German captivity, most of them old or sick. The Danish Jews and a number of Danish resistance fighters were housed in Swedish boarding houses, youth hostels, hotels and private homes. (Among the resistance fighters was a gentleman, Leif Larsen, who had taken part in a shoot-out in Copenhagen. He found refuge in the home of one of the authors of this piece, the grandmother of Ingrid Carlqvist, and eventually married her aunt Solveig.)

 

After war's end, most of the Jews in Sweden returned to Denmark, but Sweden's self-image was forever changed. Finally, Sweden had something to be proud of after its highly dubious behavior at the time when it appeared that Hitler was on a winning streak. Unfortunately, the Swedes drew an erroneous conclusion from their rescue of the Jews. Many Swedes are now firmly convinced that everyone seeking shelter in Sweden is in the same desperate predicament as the Jews were in 1943. One reason Swedes are more welcoming to asylum seekers than the inhabitants of most other European countries, is that they are distancing themselves from their despicable treatment of Jews before World War II, until 1943.

 

But this is precisely what has paved the way for a new Jew-hatred in Sweden. Swedes know nothing of the Jew-hatred in the Koran and the hadiths, so they just don't understand why Muslims attack Jews. If they even manage to hear about the attacks (the Swedish media seldom write about them), they will believe it has something to do with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Maybe the Arabs have a reason to be angry at Jews? And since the influential Jewish organization SKMA keeps saying that Jew-hatred and "Islamophobia" are birds of a feather, why should ordinary Swedes think anything else? Swedes now tend to view all immigrants as victims of totalitarianism and refuse to acknowledge that not all immigrants think like Swedes. They cannot comprehend that people would flee unless they were hated and threatened.

 

Swedes have a minimal knowledge of the Jew-hatred that is part and parcel of Islam, and the authorities and politicians refuse to acknowledge that Jews are now fleeing the southern city of Malmö due to its steadily growing Muslim population. Quite simply, most Swedes have never realized that one minority group may expose another minority group to violence and intimidation. There are other reasons Malmö's politicians turn a blind eye to Jew-hatred. Malmö is Sweden's third-largest city and probably has the greatest proportion of Muslims. (It is hard to give exact figures because Swedish law forbids registration based on religion.) It is normally assumed that approximately one-third of Malmö's 300,000 inhabitants have a foreign background and that their number is steadily increasing. Currently, most refugees come from Syria and Somalia, and most are Muslims.

 

Malmö has nearly always been governed by Social Democrats — a party that has every reason to keep on the good side of Muslims. In municipal elections, the Social Democrats can normally count on 30% of the general vote, and on 70% of the Muslim vote. This circumstance was undoubtedly the most important reason the city's former Social Democratic Mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, refused to do anything about rampant Jew-hatred. He surely must have been aware that the perpetrators of anti-Semitic excesses were his own voters. For many years, Malmö's Jews have reported a growing number of hate crimes against their synagogue and themselves, but nobody has taken their complaints seriously. Eventually, a journalist by the name of Andreas Lovén from the local newspaper Skånska Dagbladet wrote in a series of articles that Jew-hatred was causing more and more Jews to move to other Swedish cities or to Israel.

 

For the first time, it was openly said who was behind the anti-Semitism — the city's Muslim population. Many Jews told the paper that they dared not let their children grow up in Malmö — the town where, on January 25, 2009, a Muslim mob was allowed to pelt a peaceful Jewish demonstration in support of Israel with bottles, eggs and smoke bombs…Instead of breaking up the anti-Israel demonstration, which took place without a police permission and which seriously threatened the Jews and friends of Israel assembled at Malmö's Great Square (Stortorget), the police chose to revoke the Jews' right to assemble. This decision was harshly criticized by Parliament's judicial ombudsman, who wrote: "To permit counter-demonstrators to more or less systematically prevent their opponents from voicing their opinions at public gatherings is unacceptable in a democracy."…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

                                                                       

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CRY FOR ME, ARGENTINA!                                                                                                      

Isi leibler

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 2015

 

The assassination of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman reflects the endemic corruption of the Kirchner regime and focuses the spotlight on the devil’s pact consummated by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in 2013 with Iran, whose leaders inflicted the worst-ever act of terrorism in the country’s history on her own citizens. Today there are approximately 250,000 Jews in Argentina. Since the days of Juan Peron the government’s attitude to Jews has been ambivalent. Peron displayed friendship to the Jewish community but enabled Argentina to serve as a haven for the most evil of Nazi war criminals – including Adolf Eichmann.

 

In March 1992, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was the target of a terrorist bombing that killed 29 and wounded 242 people. Two years later, in July 1994, a second bombing was directed at the Jewish community center (AMIA), killing 85 and wounding hundreds. There were protracted investigations and eventually two Argentine prosecutors, Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Burgos, formally accused the Iranian government of orchestrating the attacks and utilizing Hezbollah agents to carry out the bombings. In 2007, the Argentine government even issued arrest warrants for six Iranians, including former Iranian defense minister Ahmad Vahidi and former Iranian president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. They were placed on Interpol’s “Red List” of wanted criminals. None were apprehended and, not surprisingly, Iran adamantly refused to cooperate. Subsequently, prosecutor Nisman exposed a cover- up in which a judge was impeached for bribery.

 

There were also allegations that the Iranian intelligence service had deposited $10 million in a Swiss bank account held by former Argentine president Carlos Menem in return for his hushing up the affair, and in March 2012 he was ordered to stand trial for obstruction of justice. In 2005, President Nestor Kirchner described Argentina’s failure to move forward in this matter as a “national disgrace.” But on January 27, 2013, his widow and successor, President Cristina Kirchner, in a shocking reversal, consummated a pact with the Iranians to create a joint “truth commission” in order to investigate the AMIA terrorist attack by the “judicial authorities of Argentina and Iran … and issue a report with recommendations about how the case should proceed.” Lest there be any doubt as to the outcome, the statement unabashedly stressed that the project would be “based on the laws and regulations of both countries.” In a formal declaration, Kirchner stressed that she would “never allow the AMIA tragedy to be used as a chess piece in a game of faraway geopolitical interests” – clearly conveying Argentina’s opposition to efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear power.

 

That the current Argentine leaders could collaborate with such cynical whitewashing of the murder of their own fellow citizens and create a “truth commission” with a barbaric, Holocaust-denying regime warranted the condemnation of the Argentine government by the civilized world. This pact with the devil was clearly motivated by Argentina’s economic crisis and its escalating debts to the World Bank and other global institutions. This was preceded by media reports alleging that Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman had offered to freeze the AMIA inquiry in return for an upgrade in economic relations with Iran, exchanging Argentine grain for Iranian oil. Timerman was also said to have proposed that Syrian President Bashar Assad act as an intermediary to facilitate such a deal. A leaked cable from Iran’s then-foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi explicitly stated: “Argentina is no longer interested in solving those two attacks, but in exchange prefers improving its economic relations with Iran.”

 

Israel’s then-deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon stated that “it was clear to all that the Iranians and their Hezbollah minions were involved in the attack” and that bringing the Iranians into the so-called “truth commission” was equivalent to “inviting the murderer to participate in the murder investigation.” This led to an enraged response by Timmerman, who summoned the Israeli ambassador, Dorit Shavit, and accused her government of providing “ammunition to anti-Semites who accused Jews of dual loyalties.” He added, “Israel has no right to demand explanations. We are a sovereign state and Israel is not entitled to speak on behalf of the Jewish people and does not represent it.”

 

Timmerman was a former Argentine ambassador to the US who promoted himself as both a human rights activist and a committed Jew. It is noteworthy that his father Jacobo, an Argentine Jew and editor of a leftist weekly news magazine, was arrested in 1977 by the right-wing military junta, held in solitary confinement, and tortured. Through the secret intervention of Israeli authorities, he was released in 1979 and came to Israel, where he documented his persecution in Argentina in a book titled Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number. But he turned on his benefactors and in 1983 published a second book, brutally attacking Israel’s policies and accusing prime minister Menachem Begin of destroying the moral integrity of the Jewish people, transforming Israelis into “efficient criminals.” He even compared Israel to the fascist government of Argentina that had incarcerated and tortured him. Shortly after publishing his tirade, he returned to Argentina and died in Buenos Aires in 1999.

 

His hatred of Israel – the country that saved his life – was bequeathed to his son Hector, who as foreign minister played a central role in the loathsome effort on behalf of the Argentine regime to sanitize the Iranian murderers of his own people. Prosecutor Nisman resisted and dedicated himself to obtaining justice for the victims of the terrorist bombings and bringing the perpetrators to trial. In recent years, he also displayed determination to expose the government’s attempt to cover up the Iranian involvement…   [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                                                                                                                  

 

 

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REMEMBERING BABYLON:                                                                     

NEW EXHIBIT EXPLORES ROOTS OF JEWISH LIFE IN IRAQ                                                     

Anav Silverman                                                                                                  

Jewish Press, Feb. 11, 2015

 

The only museum in the world, dedicated to the history of the Ancient Near East from a biblical perspective, has a new exhibition examining the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people as never seen before. The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem has amassed a collection of over 100 cuneiform tablets, original documents from the Judean community, which are now on display to the public for the first time. “The exhibition shares the unique artifacts that illustrate the devastation and resilience of the exiled Judeans as they built their lives in Babylonia,” exhibition curator Dr. Filip Vukosavović told Tazpit News Agency. “Until now we had been unable to tell the complete story of the Babylon Exile and to understand what actually happened to all the Jewish refugees once they were forced out of Judah,” said Dr. Vukosavović of the new exhibition, By the Rivers of Babylon.

 

The cuneiform clay tablets are known as the Al-Yahudu Tablets because most were written in the Babylonian city of Al-Yahudu (the city of Judah), located near a river. The tablets are small in size and with text in Akkadian, the extinct Semitic language of Mesopotamia, along with occasional text in Aramaic and Paleo-Hebrew. They contain dozens of personal names of Jewish exiles, whose biblical Hebrew names are still in use today. “This outstanding exhibition focuses on one of the most significant periods for the Jewish people; a brief chapter in time that changed the culture, cohesion, and practice of Judaism and the Jewish people,” notes Bible Lands Museum director, Amanda Weiss.

 

Many important elements of Judaism today originated in ancient Babylon including the Hebrew calendar and Babylonian Talmud. “The exhibition was inspired by the loan of the Al-Yahudu Archive from David and Cindy Sofer, who entrusted the museum with the once in a lifetime opportunity to research study, publish and exhibit this important historical evidence,” she told Tazpit. By the Rivers of Babylon, which also features innovative multi-media, original animations and local archeology from the First Temple, traces the family tree of fourth-generation Judean exile, Hagai Ben Ahiqam, all the way back to his great-grandfather, Samak Yama, who was born in Judah. One tablet describes the division of inheritance among Haggai and his brothers in Bablyon – the kind of information that Dr. Vukosavović says that one could find in a lawyer’s file cabinet today. Hagai’s family lived in the Babylonian city known as Al-Yahudu, an important city, among many cities, which were settled by Judean exiles over 2,500 years ago, following Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple in 586 BCE.

 

The earliest document on display from the Al-Yahudu archive, written barely 15 years after the destruction of Jerusalem offers a glimpse into the lives of the Judeans in exile and their relationship with the Babylonian rulers and society. The administrative and legal texts document many facets of life including business transactions, tax payments, and rentals in Babylonia, which show that the status of Judeans was one of state dependents and not of slaves. “In Babylonia, Jews were considered quite unusual; their belief in one invisible God stood in stark contrast to the Babylonians’ belief in multiple gods that could be seen and touched,” said Dr. Irving Finkel, an archaeologist of the British Museum during a recent lecture at the Bible Lands Museum. “Some of the best cuneiform tablets I have ever seen are in this collection,” added Dr. Finkel.

 

While many Jews returned to Jerusalem once the Persian King Cyrus the Great allowed them to do so in 539 BCE, many like Hagai and his family remained in Babylonia. As one of the longest surviving Jewish communities in the world, 2,500 years of Jewish history in Iraq came to an abrupt end when 130,000 Jews were evacuated to Israel during Operation Ezra and Nehemiah from 1949 to 1951. Today, there are five Jews left in Iraq. “For Jews of Iraqi heritage, this exhibit is especially meaningful,” added Weiss. By the Rivers of Babylon exhibit will be on display at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem throughout the next year.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

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On Topic

 

Calgary’s Pro-Gaza Rioters Push for a Plea Deal (Video): Ezra Levant, Sun News, Feb. 12, 2015— Violent Pro-Gaza rioters who attacked a Jewish family in Calgary last spring attempt to work out a plea deal – will justice prevail?

Sephardi Community Remembers Hyper Cacher Victims: Sheri Shefa, Canadian Jewish News, Feb. 11, 2015— In a religious ceremony to mark the shloshim – the 30th day of mourning – in honour of the four Jewish victims of the Paris terror attack at the kosher supermarket, about 100 people gathered at Sephardic Kehila Centre in Thornhill on Feb. 10 to pay their respects.

Decades of Anti-Israel Hatemongering by Sweden’s Social Democrats: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Feb. 6, 2015—Last month the Swedish foreign minister Margot Wahlstrom postponed her visit to Israel after foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other Israeli top officials refused to meet her

European Anti-Semitism Starts from the Top: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, Feb. 11, 2015—The Obama administration’s inexplicable denial that last month’s attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris could possibly be anti-Semitic overshadowed yesterday’s other interesting tidbit from the anti-Semitism front: German Jewish organizations are furious because a blue-ribbon panel set up by the German government to advise it on fighting anti-Semitism doesn’t include a single Jew.

 

 

                                                                    

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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ISRAEL TODAY FACES GREAT OPPORTUNITIES— DESPITE ONGOING ANTISEMITIC & ISLAMIST THREATS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Israel at a Turning Point: Jonathan Adelman, Huffington Post, Feb. 2, 2015 —The news today about Israel is often negative.

Theories Over Death of Alberto Nisman Stir Dark Memories in Argentina: Stephanie Nolen, Globe & Mail, Jan. 30, 2015 — Was the death of Alberto Nisman intended as a message?

Remembering Auschwitz and the Enormity of Evil: Rex Murphy, National Post, Jan. 31, 2015— January 27th was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most infamous beyond infamy of the Nazi factories of torment and death.

‘Pugnacious Zionist’ Martin Gilbert Was the Chronicler of Modern Jewry: Jenni Frazer, Times of Israel, Feb. 4, 2015 — To the outside world, Sir Martin Gilbert was an eminent historian, a member of Britain’s Iraq Inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilcot, and – overall – Churchill’s biographer.

 

On Topic Links

 

'Accountant of Auschwitz' To Go On Trial in Germany in April: Ynet, Feb. 4, 2015

A Murder in Argentina: Clifford D. May, Natioanl Post, Jan. 29, 2015

Balancing Faith and Reason: Joseph Epstein, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 2, 2014

A Diamond Among Diamonds: Dovid Winiarz OB”M: Sandy Eller, Jewish Press, Jan. 30, 2014

                                                                     

                                      

ISRAEL AT A TURNING POINT                                                                                        

Jonathan Adelman                                                                                                       

Huffington Post, Feb. 2, 2015

 

The news today about Israel is often negative. While 135 nations have recognized a Palestinian state, the PLO has gained admission to the International Criminal Court where it wants Israel to be found guilty of war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A recent study found that the State Department has cited Israel as the #4 state in the world for "unacceptable behavior." Already one of the most hated countries in the world, Israel faces a new wave of anti-Israel sentiment in Europe and is surrounded by radical Islamic fundamentalist groups including Hamas (Gaza), Hizbollah (Lebanon), ISIS (Syria and Iraq) and Al Nusra (former Syrian Golan Heights).

 

The threat to Israel is at a level not seen since 1948 and 1967. The highest level of existential threat is posed by Iran and a "soft" nuclear deal that would leave it on the threshold of having nuclear weapons. With most Israelis living in 3,400 square miles, only two atomic bombs could kill nearly one million Israelis. Iranian bases, 700 miles from Israel, would need only 11 minutes to fire missiles that could hit Tel Aviv.

 

The second moderate level of threat is the 100,000 missiles and rockets that Hizbollah possesses in Lebanon. Several thousand rockets could hit any target in Israel with more accuracy than Hamas' weapons. In war Ben Gurion International Airport would likely be shut down, thousands of Israelis might be killed and Hizbollah might try an invasion of the northern Galilee. The lowest level of threat would come from the radical Islamic groups near Israel's border who could kill dozens or hundreds of Israelis.

 

Yet, perhaps surprisingly, there has also been much positive news about Israel. This year 15,000 French Jews are likely moving to Israel and 50,000 could come in the next five years. In a region lacking any Arab democratic states, Israel is holding its 20th democratic election since its founding in 1948. Egypt has closed 80% of its tunnels with Hamas-ruled Gaza. General Al Sisi has called for a "religious revolution" among Moslems and repeatedly ordered attacks on 2,000 jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula. The Syrian civil war has driven one million Sunnis into Lebanon, thereby decreasing the power of Shiite Hizbollah already mired down in fighting in Syria. The Syrian civil war has lessened any Syrian threat as the country has fractured into feuding Alawite, Kurdish and radical jihadist areas. Saudi Arabia and the UAE see Israel as a counterweight to Shiite Iran. The Saudi cleric, Iyad Madani, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, just paid an unprecedented visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jordan has turned even closer to Israel from fear of ISIS.

 

Israel has developed strong relations with three BRIC countries. India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to develop closer relations with Israel, especially in the development and military arenas. Sino-Israeli trade is moving towards 10 billion dollars. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently denounced anti-Semitism and compared the importance of Crimea to Russians to the Temple Mount's importance to Moslems and Jews. Despite its small size, Israel has emerged as a top 5 high tech nation in the world with over 20 billion dollars of high tech exports. A MIT-Skolkovo study found Technion to be sixth among 120 universities in high tech entrepreneurship and innovation. The Global Cleantech Index named Israel as the #1 innovator globally in clean technology. The United States (Roosevelt Island), Russia (Skolkovo) and China (Shantou) have asked Israel and Technion to partner in developing hi-tech zones and universities. Tel Aviv is #2, after Silicon Valley, as the best place in the world to bring out a start-up in high tech.

 

Israel exports seven billion dollars of weapons a year. This provides futuristic defense systems ranging from the relatively simple Iron Dome to the highly complex Arrow 3 anti-missile system under development. Its military intelligence, as seen by its successful attack on Hizbollah leaders in Syria this week, is excellent. Even unexpected events — the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Israel and the massive fall of oil prices costing the Iranians tens of billions of dollars — show there is hope for Israel. Israel today faces great dangers — and also great opportunities.

 

                                                           

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THEORIES OVER DEATH OF ALBERTO NISMAN STIR DARK                                            

MEMORIES IN ARGENTINA                                                                                            

Stephanie Nolen                                                                      

Globe & Mail, Jan. 30, 2015

 

Was the death of Alberto Nisman intended as a message? And if so, who sent it? After two weeks of near-unceasing drama, this uneasy question hovers over the Argentine capital. Mr. Nisman was a special prosecutor tasked with investigating one of the most brutal terror attacks in Latin American history. He was found dead on Sunday of a gunshot wound in the bathroom of his elegant Buenos Aires apartment. He had been set to testify on Monday to Congress about charges he filed implicating President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, her Foreign Minister and political aides in a plot to cover up Iranian responsibility for the suicide truck bombing of a 1994 Jewish community centre here that killed 85 people.

 

Police are investigating whether Mr. Nisman killed himself or was murdered, a question still not answered to anyone’s satisfaction. Ms. Fernandez de Kirchner first vigorously proclaimed his death a suicide – and now just as fiercely says he was murdered. Few Argentines are likely to trust any official conclusions in the case, given this country’s history of political state violence and how deeply the government’s tentacles still reach into the police and the judiciary.

 

But in cafés beneath bright awnings, and at scarred wooden tables in parilla steakhouses, theories are debated intensely. The cast of potential suspects includes assassins sent by the President or her allies to eliminate a critic and frighten others following his work; the Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah seeking to shut down the investigation of its patron, Iran; and the President’s own latest favourite that Mr. Nisman died at the hands of rogue agents from Argentina’s shadowy domestic spy service.

 

The theories are so complicated, and sometimes so lacking in logic, that it is difficult to imagine them being floated, let alone seriously debated in endless television coverage, in any country but this one, so steeped in political division and dark history. If it was murder, carried out on the watch of an elite security detail, the specific message remains opaque. But the larger tactic is perfectly clear, and it has unsettled many Argentines, stirring dark memories of an era they had hoped they were leaving behind. “It’s like a signal: nobody else investigate power,” said Patricia Bullrich, spreading worried hands across her dining room table. “It’s like when drug traffickers send a message: stop here or you will be next.” Ms. Bullrich, an opposition member of Congress from a patrician family with shifting political ties, chairs the parliamentary committee that had called Mr. Nisman to testify. She spoke to him two days before he died, and recalled in an interview this week that he seemed utterly normal – just tired, a bit worried. Not remotely suicidal.

 

She is among those who believe his accusations against the President had merit. She says she knows he built the case on 5,000 hours worth of wiretapped telephone conversations. “But I can’t imagine the President gave the order to go and kill him,” Ms. Bullrich added, her brow creased with anxiety beneath heavy auburn bangs. Plenty of other powerful people, however, might have been keen to silence Mr. Nisman to demonstrate the price of asking questions. It’s a blunt-force mode of communication in a country where most people have vivid memories of life under dictatorship. “It’s the return of political violence,” Ms. Bullrich said. “That is the feeling. Can you sense it?” The prosecutor’s death is profoundly damaging for Argentina, where an air of progress on some key national issues has been sharply undermined by the tumultuous events of the past few weeks.

 

Mr. Nisman, known as a hard-working federal prosecutor with a tendency for the occasional grandstanding accusation, took charge of investigating the AMIA bombing – it is known by the name of the community centre – in 2004. It was already a politically charged file. In the late 1990s, a group of Argentinian police officers and others were brought to trial on charges of assisting in the bombing, but were acquitted after the judge and investigators were found to have faked evidence and bribed witnesses. A new series of indictments alleges those irregularities extended all the way to the office of former president Carlos Menem, who is among eight people expected to go on trial for obstruction of justice in that case in June. Then, on Jan. 14, Mr. Nisman filed a stunning charge sheet with a judge. President Fernandez de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, he said, had conspired with Iranian officials to cover up the role of Iranian nationals in the bombing. The allegation is that they subverted the course of a nationally important investigation – in effect, as a senior legal official described it in an off-the-record conversation about the charges, they committed treason.

 

Mr. Nisman said that he had uncovered hints of the alleged plot in the course of his AMIA work, and it so disturbed him he had no option but to pursue it. Essentially he said that Ms. Fernandez de Kirchner, eager to build ties with Iran and bolster an economy crippled by her government’s policies, made a secret deal with Iran to cover up Iranian involvement in the bombing. That deal, he charged, was made before the countries publicly agreed in 2013 to work together on a so-called Truth Commission to investigate the attack. Under the secret deal, Mr. Nisman alleged, said Argentina would drop the Interpol notices for seven Iranian suspects in the bombing, and redirect its investigation away from Iran, likely onto a local fascist organization. In exchange Argentina would trade food for Iranian oil. The pact was allegedly brokered by aides including Luis D’Elia, a provocative left-wing social activist who dealt with Mohsen Rabbani, the former Iranian cultural attaché in Buenos Aires who some believe was the mastermind of the bombing. Ms. Bullrich compares it to the idea of a U.S. president conspiring with Osama Bin laden on a 9/11 truth commission; she called it “a very dark, illegal negotiation with people not in government.”

 

Reactions to the Nisman charge cleaved along political lines, in accordance with the roughly equal parts admiration and loathing inspired by President Fernandez de Kirchner, a champagne socialist with a flair for populism and a fierce with-me-or-against-me political ethic. Those who hate the President, and there are many, are fully prepared to believe she ordered the prosecutor killed. “She has a sick hunger for power and to keep it she is capable of anything,” said Gabriel Levinas, author of a book about the bombing and commentator on a prominent current-affairs program with the Clarin media group, with which she has battled. Supporters of the President reject the Nisman indictment as legally flimsy and full of fantastic and baseless allegations. A former Interpol chief has said that the Argentine government never tried to get the warrants on the Iranians lifted, noted Horacio Verbitsky, a prominent investigative journalist who also heads a human rights organization. He also pointed out that Argentina does not import the petroleum products Iran sells. In an interview in his book-lined living room, he waved a copy of the Nisman denuncio, fringed in Post-it notes, then threw up his hands. “It’s self-contradictory and rebuffed by reality. It’s an impossible crime.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                       

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REMEMBERING AUSCHWITZ AND THE ENORMITY OF EVIL                                                               

Rex Murphy                                        

National Post, Jan. 31, 2015

 

January 27th was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most infamous beyond infamy of the Nazi factories of torment and death. It was here the “blood-dimmed tide” unleashed by Hitler reached its most swollen, where a million Jews went in unspeakable humiliation and pain to their end. Anniversaries, perhaps especially those of the most grim event, provoke recollection, and in the case of the Holocaust in particular are meant to reinforce memories. “Lest we forget” is not an idle injunction. Some things have to be remembered.

 

The capture and famous trial of Adolf Eichmann was perhaps the real beginning of Holocaust memorialization, certainly the key event that pushed the horrors of the Nazi era back into the mind of the world. Yet curiously, the most singular account of that trial, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, gave birth to a terrible shorthand description of that period in its subtitle: A Report on the Banality of Evil. That one phrase, “the banality of evil,” has become a commonplace, a near-signature designation for events so much larger than the words it encompasses. It is grotesquely inadequate, utterly wrong.

 

The scale and depth of the horrors of the extermination machine, invented, set in motion, and kept demonically in exercise for the entire six years of war, are not so much diminished as sidelined, obscured and obliterated from primary notice by Arendt’s semantic sleight of phrase. Nazi evil reached nearly unscalable dimensions, possessed an inverted, perverted sublimity — a negative sublime, for which of all words in all languages “banality” is the last and least it suggests. When we think or read of Auschwitz and its brethren slaughterhouses, most of us don’t have ready or adequate words for its scene — and even in the highest poetry it is difficult to find worthy correlatives, though Milton’s words on Hell are, singularly, very close: No light; but rather darkness visible//Served only to discover sights of woe,//Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace//And rest can never dwell, hope never comes//That comes to all, but torture without end …

 

Auschwitz was a scene not of banality, but enormity — of vast, incomprehensible, massive evil. The operative understanding is not simply the “enormousness” which the associate word instantly implies, but far more centrally the essence of the act being denoted — evil. Enormity is not, first, a word of magnitude; it speaks cardinally of evil and disaster. It is a word of judgment far more than measure. Banality is so far removed from this dimension, is so placid, clinical and even self-satisfied a term — it is, in the worst sense, a writer’s word — that it will not do as anything more than a smart, blunt effort at facile paradox. Arendt was wrong, wrong from the very beginning to deploy it, and however much, in whatever sense it has been used since to dismiss, scorn or reduce Eichmann, it has also been wrong. It is a spectacular misreading. Her error lies in taking the reading of Eichmann’s personality, his demeanour, his dull face, his “boring” presentation of himself, as ascriptive of the character of the deeds which he ruthlessly and with such passionate (not banal) efficiency pursued.

 

The phrase is the very end chord of her long piece, in which she dismisses Eichmann’s speech from the gallows as “grotesquely silly,” and his thoughts and words as rancid with cliché. But the famous equation that concludes the coda is not about Eichmann. It is about evil: “It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us — the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.” That the sadist fanatic in the Israeli dock had no horns and didn’t speak with the manic fluency of his master, Hitler, emphatically does not mean the “work” he superintended with such reptilian frigidity was banal, or that the moral category in which it was so perfectly enfolded — Evil — was itself banal. An easy but unpalatable speculation discloses the error quite succinctly. Were it Hitler that day on the gallows, would his dark, fearsome charisma have suggested a different ascription — the insanity of evil, the monstrousness of evil? Or bloated Goering — would he have suggested the gaudiness, the bestial appetency of evil?

 

Arendt’s urge for a flare of originality, a reach after cleverness, betrayed her, but such was the unexpectedness of the conjunction between the two key words — banality and evil — that her phrase has become fixed in altogether too many glancing minds as something of an assessment. It lowers the moral and intellectual temperature of the reality of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and all those other halls of Hell. Banality is not a word that serves history or language, and “banality of evil” is a hollow, nullifying, profoundly — let me borrow Arendt’s term — silly formulation. Seventy years on from Auschwitz, 54 years after the trial that seized the mind of the world, it is past time to retire it.

 

                                                                       

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PUGNACIOUS ZIONIST MARTIN GILBERT

WAS THE CHRONICLER OF MODERN JEWRY                                                                    

Jenni Frazer                                                                                                                             

Times of Israel, Feb. 4, 2015 

 

To the outside world, Sir Martin Gilbert was an eminent historian, a member of Britain’s Iraq Inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilcot, and – overall – Churchill’s biographer. But to the Jewish world Martin Gilbert, who died Tuesday, was a passionate Jew and Zionist, a Soviet Jewry campaigner and chronicler of the Holocaust, repeatedly using his forensic skills to unpick telling details of the Jewish experience in the 20th century.

 

Just over 10 years ago this writer sat for two fascinating hours as Gilbert, sitting in his book-lined Highgate, London workroom, recalled how it was ultimately Winston Churchill, the man who dominated his life, who was responsible for the young Gilbert’s homecoming after he and his cousins had been evacuated from London to Canada in the summer of 1940. Gilbert was almost 4 at the time and had been sent to Toronto with his aunt. Then an only child, he was very upset to be parted from her and farmed out to foster parents. He recalled, “I used to walk to see my aunt every Shabbat. I thought it was an enormous distance, but when I went back a few years ago…” As Gilbert explained it, by April 1944, Churchill had examined the state of British trans-Atlantic shipping and realized that the RMS Mauretania, which had been converted into a troop ship, was carrying a relatively small number of military personnel. Churchill suggested the ship bring back as many of the evacuated children as possible and, typically, gave orders for there to be extra lifeboats on board.

 

So, on May 22, 1944, Gilbert landed in Liverpool, clutching among his few belongings a suitcase containing oranges, presented by his Canadian hosts and destined to be given to his parents…His father was a manufacturing jeweler based in London’s Hatton Garden and had spent the war years working with industrial diamonds. Gilbert’s grandfather, Aaron, was one of 17 brothers and sisters of whom, Gilbert estimates, around one-third stayed in Russian Poland and perished in the Holocaust…After a brief time in Oxford, the Gilbert family resumed life in London, and Gilbert was sent as a weekly boarder to Highgate School, where, he said, “I was very keen on geography but I fell into the clutches of the history master.” The master in question, Alan Palmer, himself a noted author and historian, laid down for Gilbert guiding principles of his approach to history. Always, Palmer said, be inquisitive about subjects beyond that which you are immediately studying. His other piece of advice also resonated with Gilbert: “Never pass a wall plaque without reading it.”

 

It was, perhaps, in this way that Gilbert maintained his astonishing output. At the time of our meeting he had published 75 books (not just about Churchill, but about Israel, Natan Sharansky, the Holocaust, and war-time appeasement) and was to embark on his 76th, “Churchill and the Jews,” as soon as I left the premises. He ended his long career as the author of more than 80 books, many featuring his trademark history maps showing the paths taken by Jews back and forth, criss-crossing Europe and Russia. He also published a series he nicknamed “Gilbert’s Ghetto Guides,” pocket guides with pull-out maps to allow informed walks around ghettos from Vilna to Venice. Gilbert was frequently criticized as a historian because of his tendency to set out the facts and allow the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. But he demurred. “I don’t think that’s the case. In fact, I was reluctant to publish ‘Auschwitz and the Allies’ because I was concerned that my own voice was too strong. I was worried that my book on Israel might be deemed to have too strong a Zionist voice, and in my history of the Holocaust, my voice is in part the voice of the survivors. Although in one way, I would like to feel that my voice is not there… if I present the evidence fully and honestly, why should my voice be any more interesting than the reader’s voice?

 

School was followed by National Service, and Gilbert used the opportunity to learn Russian, something which stood him in great stead in his later work. He was dismissive, however, of his ability with languages. Despite stints teaching at both Tel Aviv and the Hebrew University, he said his Hebrew was not great. “I struggle with language,” he said. “But one skill I do have is to extract from a mass of documents a clear, strong, narrative.” In his last summer vacation from Magdalene College Oxford, in 1959, Gilbert, who described himself as a “pugnacious Zionist” at university, went with a group of friends to visit Treblinka, Auschwitz and Birkenau, seeing “the doors of the huts, flapping in the wind.” It was an unusual trip to have made at the time, but it undoubtedly sowed the seeds of Gilbert’s life-long, clear-eyed commitment to recording the Holocaust. It eventually led to one of Gilbert’s most popular and accessible books, “The Boys,” the personal stories of 732 concentration camp survivors, men and women, who ultimately made their second homes in Britain…

 

His workload was prodigious, but Sir Martin Gilbert was that rare bird in the British Jewish community, open, always up for a new challenge, and bursting still in his later years with profound enthusiasm and a commitment to the Jewish and Israeli experience. For many years his was the only voice of a professional historian to look at some of the most painful issues of the Holocaust, which has been followed – only relatively recently – by a new generation of Jewish academics. His will be large shoes to fill.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

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On Topic

 

'Accountant of Auschwitz' To Go On Trial in Germany in April: Ynet, Feb. 4, 2015—Oskar Groening, a 93-year-old man dubbed the 'accountant of Auschwitz,' will go on trial in April on allegations he was accessory to 300,000 murders as an SS guard at the Nazis' death camp, a German court said on Monday.

A Murder in Argentina: Clifford D. May, Natioanl Post, Jan. 29, 2015 —“When heads of state become gangsters, something has to be done.” Winston Churchill said that. It’s a proposition not many people nowadays endorse. Fewer still take it upon themselves to stand up to the thugs-cum-statesmen.

Balancing Faith and Reason: Joseph Epstein, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 2, 2014—A high percentage of the best historical novels have been written with the classical world as background.

A Diamond Among Diamonds: Dovid Winiarz OB”M: Sandy Eller, Jewish Press, Jan. 30, 2014—It was January 12th when I got an email asking me to write about the Facebuker Rebbe, an individual named Dovid Winiarz who used Facebook as a kiruv medium.

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S. JEWS INCREASINGLY SECULAR, AS POLLARD LANGUISHES IN PRISON WILL U.S. – KHAMENEI NUCLEAR DEAL BETRAY ISRAEL? IN ARGENTINA, KRISTALLNACHT PROTEST AGAINST POPE’S LEGACY

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 Contents:         

 

The Coming Betrayal of Israel: Cal Thomas, Fox News, Nov. 12, 2013 — In Geneva, Switzerland, The United States and other major powers appeared close to a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions against the terrorist-sponsoring state.

U.S. Issues Belated Condemnation of Khamenei After Israel Protest: Yuval Bagno & Sof Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2013 — Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned on Thursday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks in which he referred to Israeli officials as those who “cannot be even called humans” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a “rabid dog.”                                          Loving Us To Death: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Nov. 01, 2013 — In the first half of the 20th century, the political and social perspective of the American Jewish community was defined by its collective experience of anti-Semitism—both in the countries from which Jews had emigrated and, in far more muted form, inside the United States.                                                   In Argentina, Catholic Supporters Opposed to Pope Francis Challenge His Legacy of Jewish Relations: In Argentina, Kristallnacht has come to be known as “el pogrom de noviembre”—the “November pogrom.”                                                                                              Pollard Supporters to Mark 28 Years Since Israeli Spy’s Arrest: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2013 —Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will enter the 29th year of his life sentence Thursday, the 28th anniversary of his arrest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington.

 

On Topic Links

 

Unless You Are Antisemitic, Consider This Before You Promote Boycotting Israel: Ari Lesser, Tent of Abraham, Nov. 18, 2013

Israel: It’s Time to Stand Up: Jerrold L. Sobel, American Thinker, Nov. 22, 2013

10 Tel Aviv Apps, Startups and Alternative Vehicles That Will Make Travelling So Much Easier: Adam Van Heerden, No Camels, Nov. 11, 2013

Saul Kagan Pursued a Relentless Quest for Justice: Paul Vitello, Globe & Mail, Nov. 19, 2013

                                 

                                                               

THE COMING BETRAYAL OF ISRAEL

Cal Thomas

Fox News, Nov. 12, 2013

 

In Geneva, Switzerland, The United States and other major powers appeared close to a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions against the terrorist-sponsoring state. Negotiations, however, fell apart at the last minute when France and Iran balked at the final wording on the interim draft. Talks are expected to resume within a few weeks, but it is worth pausing to consider what was nearly agreed to and what the outcome could likely be.

 

President Obama has pledged to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America has Israel’s “back.” Who knew he had a knife? An agreement that trusts Iran’s promises and allows it to surreptitiously complete development of nuclear missiles would stab Israel in the back. North Korea promised former President Jimmy Carter during his 1994 visit to Pyongyang it would close a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon in exchange for food and humanitarian aid. The reactor was subsequently re-opened. Memo to the Obama administration: tyrants lie. Unlike North Korea, an officially atheist state, Iranian mullahs have repeatedly said they have a religious duty to annihilate Israel, not to mention America. How do secular diplomats negotiate with people who, in their minds, would be violating “Allah’s will” by making deals with the “great Satan”? While the negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran were taking place in Geneva, Ynetnews.com claims, “…the Iranian government sent a different message with a broadcast on state television of a simulated missile attack on Israel.” How much more evidence of Iran’s intentions and ultimate objective are needed?

 

Last month, Kerry and Netanyahu met for seven hours in Rome. Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, citing the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, writes, “The secretary of state told the prime minister that he heard from his European friends … that if the negotiations (with the Palestinians) fail, Israel can forget about participating in the European research and development program ‘Horizon 2020’.” Kerry is then quoted as saying, “And that will only be the beginning.” Doesn’t Kerry have this backward? Sanctions might be lifted against Iran for a promise that won’t be kept, but possibly imposed on Israel if it won’t agree to what amounts to assisted suicide? It would also appear that this “deal” had been in the works for at least several months before the Geneva meetings. The Daily Beast reports: “The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, well before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.” The administration pledges to watch Iran closely and if it violates any provisions in a final agreement, sanctions would be re-imposed. If sanctions and other means, such as the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into Iran’s computers, failed to deter Iran’s nuclear program, why would anyone think additional threats and more sanctions would produce the desired results? Iran is playing for time and it appears the United States is willing to give it to them.

 

History is a great teacher, but not everyone pays attention. In The Guns at Last Light, Rick Atkinson’s chronicle of World War II, the author recalls President Franklin Roosevelt’s view of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin following their meeting at Yalta in February 1945: “‘Stalin doesn’t want anything other than security for his country,’ the president said. ‘He won’t try to annex anything and will work for a world of democracy and peace.’” Winston Churchill similarly misjudged Stalin, writes Atkinson, telling his war cabinet, “‘Stalin I’m sure means well to the world and Poland. … He will not embark on bad adventures.’ He added, ‘I don’t think I’m wrong about Stalin,’ whom he had called ‘that great and good man.’” Times and dictators change, but human nature remains the same. Roosevelt and Churchill were wrong about Stalin and the Obama administration is wrong about Iran.

 

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U.S. ISSUES BELATED CONDEMNATION                                                OF KHAMENEI AFTER ISRAEL PROTEST

Yuval Bagno & Sof Hashavua

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2013

 

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned on Thursday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks in which he referred to Israeli officials as those who “cannot be even called humans” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a “rabid dog.” In an interview with CNN, Power said the remarks were “abhorrent.” Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “obviously we disagree with [Khamenei’s statements] profoundly.” "It's inflammatory and it's unnecessary, and I think at this moment, when we are trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we need are names back and forth," Kerry said.

 

Israeli officials expressed shock Thursday that world powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, and the US in particular, remained silent in regard to the scathing comments by Khamenei. Khamenei took swipes at Israel and France during a speech to tens of thousands of volunteer Basij militiamen in Tehran, broadcast live on Iran’s Press TV. “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” said Khamenei. “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” he said. The Iranian leader referred to the "Zionist regime" as the "rabid dog of the region."

 

Jerusalem awaited condemnation of the comments from senior officials of the states taking part in nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, but such a reaction was not forthcoming. The P5+1 group of world powers negotiating with Iran consists of the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. "We knew the Americans were eager, even more so than the Iranians themselves, to reach an intermediate deal in Geneva, but we did not estimate to how great an extent," a senior official in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew-language sister publication Sof Hashavua Magazine. The official added that "the West is choosing not to direct its gaze at Khamenei, who is the true face of Iran and its de facto ruler, and to accept the "pretty face" of Iran's new diplomacy instead. The comments by the supreme leader, who cursed America and France at the height of the talks, constitute spitting in the face of the enlightened world, not just Israel, but the world remains silent, thinking it is rain, and continues to talk with this leader's emissaries, who are masters of deception. They then blame us for making comparisons to the 1930s." An official in the US delegation to the Geneva talks skirted questions Thursday from journalists on the issue, saying, "Naturally, there are still expressions of the deep lack of trust between us and the Iranians – which stem from more than three decades of severed relations. We are trying to reach an agreement whose goal is to peacefully prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, while dealing with this atmosphere, and it is not easy."

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who flew to Russia on Wednesday to appeal for tougher terms, said Khamenei's comments showed Iran had not changed since so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected as president in June. "He called Jews 'rabid dogs' and said that they were not human. The public responded to him with calls of 'Death to America! Death to Israel!' Doesn't this sound familiar to you? This is the real Iran! We are not confused. They must not have nuclear weapons. And I promise you that they will not have nuclear weapons," the premier said.
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LOVING US TO DEATH

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary, Nov. 01, 2013

 

In the first half of the 20th century, the political and social perspective of the American Jewish community was defined by its collective experience of anti-Semitism—both in the countries from which Jews had emigrated and, in far more muted form, inside the United States. Four percent of Americans were estimated to be Jewish at mid-century, twice as many as at present. But the Jews of that time were insecure about their place in American society and often unwilling to make a show of their background and faith. They felt themselves a people apart, and they were. It was difficult if not completely impossible for them to live as American Jews entirely on their own terms.

 

Now the situation is reversed. As an explosive new survey of 3,400 American Jews reveals, 94 per-cent say they are proud of being Jewish. That data point dovetails neatly with the current place of Jews in American society—a society in which they make up 2percent of the population but in which there are virtually no barriers to full Jewish participation. American Jews can live entirely on their own terms, and they do. But the stunning finding of Pew’s A Portrait of Jewish Americans—the most comprehensive portrait of the community in 20 years and, in the richness of its detail, perhaps of all time—is the degree to which American Jews are now choosing not to live as Jews in any real sense. Secularism has always been a potent tradition in American Jewry, but the study’s analysis of what being Jewish means to its respondents reveals just how much irreligion has taken center stage in American Jewish life.

 

There has been a startling increase over the past quarter century of Jews who say they regard themselves as having “no religion.” Intermarriage rates are now at 70 percent. And the proportion of families raising their children as Jews by religion is 59 percent, while only 47 percent are giving them a Jewish education. Jews are not being driven from Judaism due to social difficulties. Fewer than 20 percent claimed to have experienced even a snub in a social setting, let alone an anti-Semitic epithet, in the last year. Such numbers are not only without precedent in American history; they are without precedent in the millennia-long history of the Jewish people. The Pew survey paints a portrait of a group that feels none of the shame or fear that once played a major role in defining Jewish attitudes toward other Americans. But this loss of shame, and the concomitant growth of pride when it comes to having a Jewish heritage—these have come at a heavy cost, it appears. It is now inarguable that American Jewry, or at least the 90 percent that does not hew to Orthodox practice, is rapidly shrinking, and the demographic trend lines are stark.

 

The same American Jewish community that is bursting with pride also now regards Jewish identity as a matter of ancestry and culture almost exclusively. Forty-two percent think a good sense of humor is essential to being Jewish; almost exactly the same number, 43 percent, think it means supporting the State of Israel. When asked about the fundaments of Judaism itself, Jews speak of values and qualities that apply equally to other faiths and are followed just as readily by those who have no faith at all. After all, there is nothing distinctively Jewish about believing one should lead an ethical and moral life or about working for justice. And yet these are the defining characteristics of Judaism for American Jews. Only 28 percent think being Jewish has something to do with being part of a Jewish community. Only 19 percent think it means abiding by Jewish religious law.

 

This is what happens after several generations of the most highly educated minority group in the United States have allowed themselves and their children to become functionally illiterate about Judaism itself, its belief system, its history, and the obligations of Jewish peoplehood. The Pew data make it abundantly clear that the cultural values of secular Jews have proved to be perfectly portable—they can carry their liberal political and cultural beliefs everywhere without having to carry the Jewish trappings that go with them.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link – ed.]

 

Contents

 

 

IN ARGENTINA, CATHOLIC SUPPORTERS OPPOSED TO

POPE FRANCIS CHALLENGTE HIS LEGACY OF JEWISH RELATIONS

Natasha Zaretsky

Tablet, Nov. 22, 2013

 

In Argentina, Kristallnacht has come to be known as “el pogrom de noviembre”—the “November pogrom.” Last week, on the 75th anniversary of that tragic night, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, a cavernous space in the symbolic center of the city, hosted an interfaith commemoration of the violence of that November pogrom convened by the archdiocese of Argentina and the nation’s B’nai B’rith.

 

Diana Wang, the daughter of survivors and president of the Argentine group Generations of the Shoah, was at the cathedral for the event and did not expect it to be different from any previous commemorations, including the one last year, which was led by then-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—and his friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka. As in other years, the cathedral was full, crowded with representatives of various Christian denominations, rabbis, Jewish community leaders, politicians, and Holocaust survivors.

 

But this year, for the first time in the nearly 20-year history of such memorials in Argentine churches, a protest erupted: Members of a far-right religious group, the Society of St. Pius X, staged a group prayer to oppose what they called “the profanation of this space.” According to Wang, it started as a murmur of “Our Father” and other prayers, and then the protesters began chanting the rosary louder and louder. Between 20 and 40 young men, some just teenagers, kneeled down and began praying fervently, their eyes fixed straight ahead. The Society, an international organization formed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council by Catholics who opposed the liberalization of church doctrine, rejects the promotion of interfaith dialogue—strongly promoted by Pope Francis, who from Vatican City described Jews as “big brothers” to Catholics in his own observance of the Kristallnacht anniversary. It has gained a particular reputation for anti-Semitism. One of its bishops has been convicted of Holocaust denial in the German courts. In October, the Italian branch offered to hold a funeral for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who had been extradited to Italy from Argentina.

 

The Kristallnacht protest at the Metropolitan Cathedral was a disruption of remembering, an assault on a key moment in Jewish history and Holocaust memory. But it was also a challenge to Pope Francis, on his home turf, and to the entire post-Vatican II infrastructure of interfaith dialogue Francis has reinvigorated since his election as pontiff earlier this year. Wang—whom I first met through my fieldwork as an anthropologist working with survivor groups in Buenos Aires—told me she felt a sensation of fear. She worried that violence might erupt, in a church filled with elderly survivors. But they surprised her: The survivors in the cathedral, she told me, stood their ground “like soldiers,” refusing to leave. “I am not going anywhere from here,” they said later. “Ni loca”—not for anything—“would I go.” Others in attendance tried to intervene and stop the protest. Martha de Antueno, president of the Argentine Judeo-Christian Confraternity, decried their use of the rosary—a holy prayer—as a “weapon” against the memory of Holocaust victims being remembered that evening. But the men continued their prayers, murmuring louder and louder as they stared ahead. “They then confronted me, asking, how can I as a Catholic be supporting an event with those who had killed Jesus?” de Antueno told me afterward. One of the protesters took over the microphone and called out, “Leave, and stop this profanation.” After nearly an hour, the protesters finally left.

 

Jews have long occupied a tenuous position in Argentina, home to the seventh-largest Jewish population in the world, and the largest in Latin America. They built an array of synagogues, schools and social service organizations, but the country where they found refuge also became an infamous haven for Nazis, many living under assumed identities—including, of course, Adolf Eichmann, who was known as “Ricardo Klement” until his capture by the Mossad in 1960. At the time, neo-Nazi groups responded by unleashing violence that included the kidnapping of a young Jewish student named Graciela Sirota; they tattooed a swastika onto her body. Since then, Jews have experienced waves of anti-Semitism, especially during the political repression of the military dictatorship, from 1976 to 1983, and the trauma of two terrorist attacks that targeted Jewish sites in the early 1990s. But today, three decades after the collapse of the junta, Argentines memorialize the Holocaust through museums, monuments, archives, and commemorative programs like last week’s, as well as through active outreach to society at large, Jews and non-Jews alike, undertaken by the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires and survivor groups, like Generations of the Shoah. Argentina, as the only Latin American member nation in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, also gives official state support for Holocaust commemoration in the national school curriculum. Holocaust remembrance ceremonies like the event at the cathedral are generally not controversial affairs—simply part of the landscape of memorial practices in Buenos Aires.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link – ed.]

 

                                                   Contents

 

 

POLLARD SUPPORTERS TO MARK 28 YEARS SINCE ISRAELI SPY’S ARREST

Gil Hoffman

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2013

 

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will enter the 29th year of his life sentence Thursday, the 28th anniversary of his arrest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington. Pollard’s wife Esther said she and her husband had not lost hope that US President Barack Obama would commute his sentence to the time he has already served.
“It is a terrible blow to Jonathan and to me that all the anguish and suffering he has endured for a full 28 years in prison now continues into year 29,” Esther Pollard said. “We had such high hopes that this nightmare anniversary would not occur again. After all the recent developments, we really hoped that by now we would be recovering from our ordeal and rebuilding our life , that we would finally live together here in Israel and get on with our life together.” She said she was encouraged by the numerous ranking American officials who have come out in support of her husband’s release, the declassification of materials exonerating him and many other factors. She called upon Obama to commute the sentence of her husband, whose health is deteriorating, as a matter of compassion and mercy.

MKs Hilik Bar (Labor), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) and David Azulay (Shas) jointly called for Pollard’s release in a special discussion in the Knesset plenum. Bar said the effort to bring Pollard home crossed party lines. He complained that the US, which did not want Pollard’s deeds to be seen positively, had made him a hero by holding him so long. “Pollard paid a price for his actions that is higher and heavier than usual,” Bar said. “He should be allowed to go home to Israel and his family.” The government’s liaison to the Knesset, deputy minister Ophir Akunis (Likud) rejected charges that the government was not doing enough to bring Pollard home. He said the issue was not in the hands of the Israeli government, but of the president of the United States.

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

On Topic

 

Unless You Are Antisemitic, Consider This Before You Promote Boycotting Israel: Ari Lesser, Tent of Abraham, Nov. 18, 2013 — Friends and supporters of Israel, even those of us who don’t believe the Jewish State is beyond criticism, always find ourselves wondering why so many people support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that encourages consumers, countries and the private sector from doing business with Israel.

Israel: It’s Time to Stand Up: Jerrold L. Sobel, American Thinker, Nov. 22, 2013 — Growing up in a tough Bronx neighborhood further back than I like to think, it was good to have an older tough friend.

10 Tel Aviv Apps, Startups and Alternative Vehicles That Will Make Travelling So Much Easier: Adam Van Heerden, No Camels, Nov. 11, 2013 — Tel Aviv is a hub of innovative transportation solutions that will help you get from A to B efficiently and in style.

Saul Kagan Pursued a Relentless Quest for Justice: Paul Vitello, Globe & Mail, Nov. 19, 2013 — Saul Kagan, a former refugee who for decades led the Jewish service organization that was primarily responsible for securing more than $70-billion (U.S.) in restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs, died Nov. 8 in Manhattan. He was 91.

 

On Topic Links

 

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