From: Holocaustnews@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Holocaustnews@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rick Halperin
Sent: May 29, 2012 19:00
Subject: Re: HOLOCAUST news
Russia says the Wallenberg case is still open–The chief archivist of Russia’s
counterintelligence service said Monday it will continue searching for clues
about the mystery of Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg, who vanished while in
The chief archivist of Russia’s counterintelligence service said Monday it will
continue searching for clues about the mystery of Holocaust hero Raoul
Wallenberg, who vanished while in Soviet captivity.
Lt.-Gen. Vasily Khristoforov said that his agency, the Federal Security
Service, has no reason to withhold any information about the Swedish diplomat
from the public eye. He rejected critics’ allegations that his service, the
main KGB successor, could be hiding documents related to Wallenberg’s fate.
“Believe me, had such an information been known to us, the Russia archivists
would have been the first to publish and show it,” Khristoforov told The
Associated Press. “When some people say that we are defending the pride of the
uniform … it’s ridiculous. This is another state and a different special
Khristoforov insisted that he and his colleagues would have no inclination to
whitewash the record of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s much-feared secret
police, known under its Russian acronym, NKVD.
“I doubt that any of the Federal Security Service officers today would
associate himself with the NKVD and would try to defend the uniform of the
NKVD,” he said. “That’s why this argument doesn’t stand criticism.”
Khristoforov was taking part in an international conference that included
researchers from Sweden, Hungary, Israel and Russia. Some of the speakers
strongly urged Khristoforov’s agency to give independent researchers
investigating the Wallenberg mystery free access to their archives.
“I think full access is really needed,” said Ingrid Carlberg, a Swedish author
who recently published a book about Wallenberg. “They can’t possibly know what
kind of puzzles I have that could be matched with pieces of information in
those archives. If we put them all together, we will have a clearer picture.”
Wallenberg is credited with saving thousands of Jews in Budapest by
distributing Swedish travel documents or moving them to safe houses.
He was arrested in Budapest by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. The Soviets
initially denied Wallenberg was in their custody, then said in 1957 that he
died of a heart attack in prison on July 17, 1947.
The Russian government has never formally retracted the initial Soviet version,
but some officials acknowledged that Wallenberg likely had been killed. In
2000, Alexander Yakovlev, the one-time chairman of a presidential panel
investigating the fate of repression victims, said he had been told by a former
KGB chief that Wallenberg was killed in Lubyanka prison.
That year, Russia also conceded that Soviet authorities had wrongfully
persecuted Wallenberg and posthumously rehabilitated him as a victim of
(source: Seattle Times)
Cannes cancels anti-Semitic film screening
The Cannes film festival screening of “The Anti-Semite,” a film by a French
comic with a history of anti-Semitism, was cancelled.
The film by and starring Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, was produced by the Iranian
Documentary and Experimental Film Center.
It reportedly pokes fun at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, where an
estimated 1.5 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and features
Dieudonne as a violent and alcoholic character dressed as a Nazi officer for a
fancy dress party. Robert Faurisson, a convicted Holocaust denier, also makes
a cameo appearance in the film. The film reportedly will be sold over the
“Anti-Semitism has no place at Cannes, and we welcome the clear statement to
that effect from the organizers of the film festival,” said Abraham H. Foxman,
ADL national director. “Dieudonne’s grotesque anti-Semitism and Holocaust
denial may play well to audiences in Iran, but the French entertainment
industry and society has clearly had enough.”
Dieudonne has been found guilty of inciting hatred in France.
Last year at Cannes, Danish director Lars Von Trier said he understood and
expressed sympathy for Adolf Hitler during a press conference for his film
Quebec’s largest concert promoter pulled the plug on four shows scheduled for
last month by Dieudonne, whose routine has included Holocaust denial and joking
praise for Adolf Hitler. Belgian authorities last month forced Dieudonne to
cancel two performances in Brussels. The French news agency AFP reported that
police stopped him mid-performance May 9 after determining his act contravened
Lithuania tracks Holocaust war crime suspects–Genocide and Resistance Research
Center head says historians believe there could have been around 2,000 people
in Lithuania who murdered Jews
Lithuania has concluded the first phase of a study aimed at identifying over a
thousand Lithuanians suspected of killing Jews in the Baltic state during
Holocaust, a senior researcher said Friday.
Terese Birute Burauskaite, head of the Vilnius-based Genocide and Resistance
Research Center, told Agence France Presse she will make a full list of
suspected war criminals available to justice authorities.
“Historians have reviewed 4,268 names mentioned publicly. Following our
investigations, it was reduced to 1,034 people,” Burauskaite told AFP, adding
she expected that number to double as the investigation is completed by the end
of next year.
“Our historians believe there could have been around 2,000 people (in
Lithuania) who murdered Jews” during World War II, Burauskaite said.
“These are people who probably held the gun in their hand,” she stressed.
A 5-member team launched the investigation in 2010 after an Israeli website
published a controversial list of possible war criminals, including respected
top anti-Soviet fighters, causing outrage in Lithuania.
Burauskaite said historians found no evidence that the leaders of the
50,000-strong Lithuanian anti-Soviet resistance movement in 1944-1953 could
have participated in the Holocaust.
Researchers say it is up to prosecutors to decide whether the list will be made
A majority of those on it were already sentenced by Soviet authorities, some to
death, and Lithuania “has no information that any murderer of Jews is now
living in Lithuania,” Burauskaite said.
During World War II, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 under
Moscow’s secret pact with Nazi Germany, and later the Soviets deported over
17,000 Lithuanians to Siberia.
Germany then drove out the Red Army when it invaded the USSR in 1941.
Some Lithuanians hailed the Germans as liberators, hoping they would grant
Lithuania a measure of sovereignty. Anti-Semitic propaganda was spread blaming
the Jews for the terror of the Soviet occupation.
Under the Nazi German occupation of Lithuania in 1941-1944, around 195,000
Lithuanian Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis and local collaborators.
No more than 5-10% of the country’s pre-war Jewish population of over 200,000
survived the Holocaust.
Dubbed the “Jerusalem of the North”, prior to WWII Lithuania’s capital Vilnius
was a major hub of Jewish culture and learning.
Auschwitz visit marks ongoing partnership with Holocaust Educational Trust
The FA and Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) have entered into a partnership to
produce an educational resource on the Holocaust for all secondary schools and
colleges in England.
This week, as part of the joint legacy project the senior England squad and
staff will hear the testimony of Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper and also meet
with his fellow survivor and weightlifting champion Ben Helfgott MBE, before
departing to Poland for the UEFA 2012 European Championship Finals.
Zigi, now aged 82, was sent to the Auschwitz death camp in 1944 before being
sent on a death march to the German town of Neustadt, where he was liberated in
1945, aged 15 years old. He now lives in England.
Ben, also 82, was born in Poland and in 1944 was sent with his father to the
Buchenwald concentration camp. After being separated from his father he was
transported to Czechoslovakia before being liberated by Russian troops. Like
Zigi, he was 15. In 1947 he came to the UK and was reunited with his sister. He
later represented Britain in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games as a weightlifter.
While in Poland, a group of England players, staff and FA executives will visit
Auschwitz I and Birkenau with the Holocaust Educational Trust. At the same
time, further members of the England squad will also make a visit to
Schindler’s Factory in Krakow.
Following both the visit and the Holocaust survivor talk, a joint educational
resource for young people will be produced. This DVD resource, created to
assist teachers in educating young people about the Holocaust, will feature
prominent England players discussing why they felt it was important to learn
about our shared history – and why combating prejudice today matters to them.
England, who are based in Krakow in Poland for the duration of the tournament,
will visit the site prior to their opening fixture against France, soon after
their 6 June arrival date.
The group will sign the museum’s guest book before lighting a candle of
remembrance on the train tracks at Birkenau.
FA Chairman, David Bernstein said: “This educational partnership brings
together the important work of teaching future generations about the horrors of
the Holocaust, using the ability of football to interest and engage young
“There are so many lessons to be learnt and understood, and we believe football
can play its part in encouraging society to speak out against intolerance in
all its forms.
“I am proud that Roy Hodgson and the England team are supporting such an
important initiative and I would encourage all English schools to take
advantage of the learning materials that will be created.”
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said: “We
are delighted to be working closely with the Football Association in
facilitating a visit for members of the England squad to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It
is a credit to our national team that they have set aside time to pay their
respects to those who died during the Holocaust and it’s fantastic that they
are so committed to building an educational legacy for young people in schools
Through footage of the England team’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and with
maps, images and archival footage, the DVD will offer a concise introduction to
the history of the Holocaust.
All secondary schools and colleges in England and Further Education (FE)
colleges, as well as a wider audience through circulation in social and other
media, will be engaged with as a result of the project.
The Holocaust is a compulsory topic on the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3,
and it is commonly included in GCSE and A-level History courses, as well as in
other subject areas such as Citizenship, RS and English.
England squad to visit Auschwitz
The England squad is set to visit the notorious Holocaust death camp Auschwitz
on June 6, prior to the team’s opening Euro 2012 fixture against France.
During the visit, members of the Three Lions setup will sign the Auschwitz
museum guestbook and light a candle of remembrance on the train tracks at
The squad will also visit the factory in Krakow once owned by Oskar Schindler,
the German whose efforts to save more 1,000 Jews was celebrated in a hit film.
Later this week, both players and staff will also be visited by Holocaust
survivors Zigi Shipper and Ben Helfgott MBE, who will speak to them about their
The visit is in conjunction with a partnership between the Football Association
(FA) and the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) which aims to create an
educational aid for secondary schools and colleges across England.
“This educational partnership brings together the important work of teaching
future generations about the horrors of the Holocaust, using the ability of
football to interest and engage young people,” FA Chairman David Bernstein
said. “There are so many lessons to be learned and understood, and we believe
football can play its part in encouraging society to speak out against
intolerance in all its forms.
“I am proud that Roy Hodgson and the England team are supporting such an
important initiative and I would encourage all English schools to take
advantage of the learning materials that will be created.”
The HET is also excited about the national team’s visit to Auschwitz and its
educational partnership with the FA.
“It is a credit to our national team that they have set aside time to pay their
respects to those who died during the Holocaust and it’s fantastic that they
are so committed to building an educational legacy for young people in schools
across England,” chief executive Karen Pollock MBE said.
(source: Yahoo News)
Italian town’s official resigns over Holocaust joke
A crude joke about the Holocaust has cost a public health official in the town
of Pavia his job, according to Italian media reports.
Giuseppe Imbalzano, 59, submitted his resignation Monday after a meeting with
Pavia’s public health service director, according to reports.
At a meeting last week with local and regional officials, Imbalzano reportedly
told a joke that asked the difference between Jews and cakes. The punch line
stated, “When you put cakes in the oven they don’t scream.”
Imbalzano told the newspaper Il Giorno that he had not meant any harm.
“It was a silly joke that didn’t have any offensive spirit,” he said. “I never
would have imagined that such nonsense would have stirred up such a storm.”
Imbalzano said others at the meeting smiled at the joke.
Albright, World War II hero among 13 to receive Presidential Medal of
Freedom–The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor
Bob Dylan and Toni Morrison will also be recognized
The award was established in 1963 by President Kennedy
The first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State and a Polish officer who
provided some of the first accounts of the Holocaust are among 13 people who
will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday.
The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor, awarded to those who make
extraordinary contributions to world peace, national interest and security, or
other cultural endeavors.
“I am so honored to have gotten the Medal of Freedom,” former Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright told CNN’s “Starting Point” last month. “It makes me
feel very proud to be an American, and that’s the story that goes together.”
Jan Karski, the former Polish officer who escaped Nazi imprisonment and
provided first-hand accounts to the Western Allies of atrocities he witnessed
in Warsaw, will receive the award posthumously, along with Gordon Hirabayashi,
who defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during
World War II, and Juliette Gordon Lowe, the founder of the Girl Scouts.
President Barrack Obama recognized Karski during remarks observing Holocaust
Remembrance day in April.
“We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen — because
so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts; because so many others
stood silent,” Obama said. “But let us also tell our children about the
Righteous among the Nations. Among them was Jan Karski — a young Polish
Catholic — who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings,
and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.”
Albright ‘honored’ by Medal of Freedom Also receiving the award are civil
rights enforcer and public servant John Doar; musician Bob Dylan; physician and
epidemiologist William Foege (who led a successful campaign to eradicate
smallpox); former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn; workers and women’s advocate
Dolores Huerta; novelist Toni Morrison; former Tennessee basketball coach Pat
Summitt; former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens; and
ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres.
The award was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.
“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different
walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of
our nation,” President Barack Obama said in a statement announcing the
recipients last month. “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve
made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this
Here is a list of this year’s recipients and some of the information released
by White House on why they were selected:
From 1997 to 2001, under President William J. Clinton, Albright served as the
64th United States Secretary of State, the first woman to hold that position.
During her tenure, she worked to enlarge NATO and helped lead the Alliance’s
campaign against terror and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, pursued peace in
the Middle East and Africa, sought to reduce the dangerous spread of nuclear
weapons, and was a champion of democracy, human rights, and good governance
across the globe.
Doar was a legendary public servant and leader of federal efforts to protect
and enforce civil rights during the 1960s. He served as Assistant Attorney
General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In
that capacity, he was instrumental during many major civil rights crises,
including singlehandedly preventing a riot in Jackson, Mississippi, following
the funeral of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evars in 1963.
One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan
released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his
work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and
has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.
A physician and epidemiologist, Foege helped lead the successful campaign to
eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He was appointed Director of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and, with colleagues, founded the Task
Force for Child Survival in 1984. Foege became Executive Director of The Carter
Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a Senior Fellow.
Glenn is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United
States Senator. In 1962, he was the third American in space and the first
American to orbit the Earth. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Glenn was
elected to the U.S. Senate in Ohio in 1974. He was an architect and sponsor of
the 1978 Nonproliferation Act and served as Chairman of the Senate Government
Affairs committee from 1978 until 1995.
Hirabayashi openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese
Americans during World War II. As an undergraduate at the University of
Washington, he refused the order to report for evacuation to an internment
camp, instead turning himself in to the FBI to assert his belief that these
practices were racially discriminatory. Consequently, he was convicted by a
U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle of defying the exclusion order and
violating curfew. Hirabayashi appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S.
Supreme Court, which ruled against him in 1943. Following World War II and his
time in prison, Hirabayashi obtained his doctoral degree in sociology and
became a professor. In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hirabayashi died on January 2, 2012.
Huerta is a civil rights, workers, and women’s advocate. With Cesar Chavez, she
co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the
United Farm Workers of America. Huerta has served as a community activist and a
political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of
California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance
for farmworkers in California.
Karski served as an officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and
carried among the first eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust to the world. He
worked as a courier, entering the Warsaw ghetto and the Nazi Izbica transit
camp, where he saw first-hand the atrocities occurring under Nazi occupation.
Juliette Gordon Low
Born in 1860, Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912. The organization strives to
teach girls self-reliance and resourcefulness. It also encourages girls to seek
fulfillment in the professional world and to become active citizens in their
One of our nation’s most celebrated novelists, Morrison is renowned for works
such as Song of Solomon, Jazz, and Beloved, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize
in 1988. When she became the first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize
in 1993, Morrison’s citation captured her as an author “who in novels
characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential
aspect of American reality.”
An ardent advocate for Israel’s security and for peace, Shimon Peres was
elected the ninth President of Israel in 2007. First elected to the Knesset in
1959, he has served in a variety of positions throughout the Israeli
government, including in twelve Cabinets as Foreign Minister, Minister of
Defense, and Minister of Transport and Communications. Peres served as Prime
Minister from 1984-1986 and 1995-1996.
John Paul Stevens
Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to
2010, when he retired as the third longest-serving Justice in the Court’s
history. Known for his independent, pragmatic and rigorous approach to judging,
Justice Stevens and his work have left a lasting imprint on the law in areas
such as civil rights, the First Amendment, the death penalty, administrative
law, and the separation of powers.
In addition to accomplishing an outstanding career as the all-time winningest
leader among all NCAA basketball coaches, Summitt has taken the University of
Tennessee to more Final Four appearances than any other coach and has the
second best record of NCAA Championships in basketball.
President Obama’s Medal for Karski Shines Light on Poland’s Real World War II
President Obama’s Presidential Medal of Freedom for Jan Karski shows how far
Poles went to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. After escaping Soviet
imprisonment and being savagely tortured by the Gestapo, Karski still risked
his life to sneak past German guards into the Jewish ghetto to see how the
Nazis were abusing Jews. Karski then disguised himself as a Ukrainian guard to
visit a transfer station that sorted Jews on their way to the death camps.
As an eyewitness to the German murder machine, the Polish underground sent
Karski on a secret mission to tell the Allies what was happening. In 1942, the
Polish underground government issued a report called “The Mass Extermination of
Jews in German Occupied Poland.” It said: “The new methods of mass slaughter
applied during the last few months confirm that the German authorities aim with
systematic deliberation at the total extermination of the Jewish population.”
Karski took his eyewitness accounts and the Polish government’s report to
London and Washington to ask Great Britain and the United States to stop the
The allies did nothing.
President Franklin Roosevelt showed more interest in how the Germans treated
horses than how they treated Jews. When Karski told Jewish Supreme Court
Justice Felix Frankfurter what was happening, Frankfurter replied, “I do not
believe you.” Winston Churchill refused to meet with Karski to discuss saving
the Jews. Had the allies acted when Karski spoke up, millions could have been
For Jewish-Americans, Poland is understandably a painful topic because it’s
where the Holocaust happened. But few know that the Polish government tried to
stop it. Yes, there were Poles who had blood on their hands. Their actions were
inexcusable. And yes, like all countries, Poland has its fair share of
anti-Semites and bigots. But Poland had more than its fair share of heroes.
They risked their lives, and the lives of their children, to save Jews from
Karski was not alone.
Poland was the only country where hiding a Jew was punishable by death for your
entire family. Hans Frank, the Governor General of German-occupied Poland,
ordered his army to hang posters in Polish cities that said: “Jews face the
death penalty for leaving their neighborhoods [the ghettos], but so will anyone
who in any way helps them to hide. This includes taking them in for the night,
giving them a lift in a vehicle of any kind, feeding runaway Jews or selling
Despite facing the death penalty, Poles risked their lives to save Jews. Many
were killed for doing so. Others, like Irena Sendler, were tortured, and still
did not reveal where Jews were hiding. Sendler rescued 2,500 Jewish children
from the Warsaw ghetto and found Poles willing to hide them. It took at least
ten Poles for every Jewish child that was saved. Once in Christian hands, the
children were fed, clothed and given a new home. They were taught to pray in
Polish in case they were stopped and questioned by Germans. They were given
Christian names and forged birth certificates provided by priests. Yet their
true identities were preserved, so that they could be returned to their parents
after the war.
The underground created a clandestine organization called Zegota, the Polish
Council to Aid Jews, which rescued tens of thousands of Jews from the German
killing machine. At Yad Vashem in Israel, which honors the righteous who saved
Jews during World War II, are the names of 6,339 people from Poland, more than
any other country.
And this still does not include people who should be honored, like Polish
Captain Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to be arrested by the Germans and sent
to Auschwitz to try to organize a prison break. Pilecki’s report smuggled out
of Auschwitz has finally been translated into English and published as, The
Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery.
The reason Hitler built concentration camps in Poland is that’s where the Jews
were. Poland is not just where Jews died — it’s where they lived. Poland was
the center of Jewish life for centuries, dating back to the Statue of Kalisz in
1264, which provided civil liberties for Jews and explicit penalties for crimes
against Jews. As a result, Poland is were where Talmudic scholarship grew and
Chasidim began. It’s where Yiddish flourished. It’s where numerous Jewish
artists such as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Artur Szyk, and Artur Rubenstein honed
Next year, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will finally be unveiled in
Warsaw. These exhibits about Jewish life and history must be told and
It is long overdue for an American president to listen to the message that Jan
Karski sent to the west about what was going on in Poland. If Roosevelt had
listened to Karski, many more Jews would have been saved. Let’s not forget
them. And let’s not forget the other Poles, who like Karski, risked their
Perhaps Poles could have done more to save Jews during WWII, but no one did
more than the Poles to save Jews during the Holocaust.
(source: Alex Storozynski.President, The Kosciuszko Foundation; The Huffington
Holocaust Gaffe–Printing Error Causes Donald Duck Chaos
It was an honest mistake with unfortunate consequences. In the most recent
German translation of the Mickey Mouse comics, the word “Holocaust”
accidentally appears as a gratulatory word.
The German publisher attributes the mishap to a printing error and immediately
recalled the issue, blacking out the word by hand.
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The word “Holocaust” is not some new way to say “Congratulations” in Duckburg,
home to Donald Duck and his comic cohorts. But in the most recent German
translation of the Junior Woodchucks comic from the Mickey Mouse universe, that
is exactly how it appears. In the episode titled “Where is the Smoke?” a
dignitary honors a team of firefighters, with the German words, in the bubble
above his beak, boasting of the “awards to our brave and always alert fire
The original comic, written by Carl Barks and appearing in 1972, used the word
as a synonym for “inferno” or “blaze.” The duck dignitary gives plaques to the
fire lookouts for pinpointing the “awesome Holocaust.”
German publisher Egmont Ehapa, which brings the Mickey Mouse comics to the
country, says the mistake was not a translation error. The word didn’t appear
in the translator manuscript, spokesperson Elke Schickedanz told SPIEGEL
ONLINE. The mistake came up during production, when the English text in the
word bubbles was not thoroughly removed, she said.
The comic book, which was supposed to appear on May 8, was promptly recalled.
The word “Holocaust” was blacked out by hand and the new edition should be
available in stores this week. There were still a few copies of the original
German comic sold in May before the recall.
Donald Duck Takes On The Nazis
Schickedanz says that Ehapa is very careful about avoiding sensitive
terminology. In Barks’ comic “April Fools,” a copy of Hitler’s tome “Mein
Kampf” repeatedly shows up in a Duckburg trash dump.
When the publisher printed the German version it reduced the number of times
that the book appears in the comic. Still Ehapa came under fire about seven
years ago for translating comic books that attempted to make the horrors of the
Holocaust more accessible to young readers.
It’s also not the first time that Donald Duck has been mixed up with the Nazis.
During World War II the US enlisted Walt Disney, creator of the comics, in
efforts using Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bambi and others to spread anti-Nazi
messages. In 1984 Donald Duck was awarded the rank of sergeant by the US Army
for his wartime service.
(source: Spiegel Online)
Suspected Hungarian Nazi faces extradition from Australia as top Israeli Nazi
hunter criticises country’s ‘terrible record’ of convicting Nazi war criminals
Australia’s High Court in Canberra prepares to rule on the eligibility for
extradition of suspected Hungarian-born Nazi Karoly (Charles) Zentai.
As Australia’s High Court in Canberra prepares to rule on the eligibility for
extradition of a suspected Hungarian Nazi, one of Israel’s leading Nazi hunters
has spoken out about Australia’s “terrible record” of prosecuting Nazi war
criminals, which has resulted in a zero conviction rate to date, despite
hundreds of war criminals being suspected of finding refuge there after the
Speaking of the ongoing case against 90-year-old Hungarian-born Karoly
(Charles) Zentai – which has lasted seven years and was lately referred to
Australia’s highest court by the government to support its decision to approve
his extradition to Hungary in 2009 – the head of the Israel branch of the
(international Jewish human rights and Holocaust education organisation) Simon
Wiesenthal Center, Dr Efraim Zuroff, condemned Australia’s belatedness in
implementing a Budapest People’s Court appeal for arrest dating back to 1948:
“It’s hard to be optimistic about a case of a Nazi war criminal in Australia
given the country’s terrible record to date”, he said. “But in this case, the
government has acted in the proper manner and perhaps we will finally see a
The Australian government was forced to appeal to the country’s top judicial
authority, after their original decision to extradite Zentai in 2009 was
overturned on appeal on the basis that a “war crime” is not an extraditable
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was, in fact, responsible for eventually tracking
down Zentai to Perth in 2005, where he was arrested. Having always protested
his innocence of Nazi war crimes, his son now claims he is too frail and that
extradition to Hungary would be “a virtual death sentence”.
Zuroff, however, disputes the legitimacy of such an argument, saying: “The
passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers. Old age should
not afford protection for people who committed murder.”
This is an argument that Hungarian-born Australian Holocaust survivor Deborh
Weinerger keenly advocates. Weinberger, who lost much of her immediate family
in concentration camps, said: “My grandmother was also nearly 90 when she died
at Auschwitz. That doesn’t do anything for me when they say he’s an old man. I
don’t care; there were lots of old men and women who were taken to the gas
Australia has been widely criticised for its record on convicting Nazi war
criminals with a special unit set up in 1987 by the federal government
investigating 841 suspects without a single successful conviction, before it
was dismantled in 1992.
A 2006 US Justice Department report criticised Australia’s attitudes to Nazi
“persecutors” as “ambivalent”, describing attempts by the US government to
extradite suspected Latvian-born Australian Nazi Konrads Kalejs in 2000 as a
Mark Aarons, author of War Criminals Welcome, an exploration of successive
Australian governments’ failure to tackle the issue, wrote in 2009: “Future
historians may well conclude that some of the world’s last surviving Nazis died
peacefully in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth. This would be a deserved judgement –
and a pity.”
(source: European Jewish Press)
Turkey has filed charges against four senior IDF officers for the deaths of the Turkish citizens during the Mavi Marmara fiasco. This in itself would be understandable if not logical considering that the UN Palmer Report exonerated Israel. However the Turkish step has taken a giant stride towards outright lunacy with the prosecution demanding up to 18,000 years imprisonment. Yes, eighteen thousand years. We should all live so long.
Turkey has taken other hostile steps against Israel since the flotilla, including demanding that NATO exclude Israel from a military exercise and that NATO not share anti-missile intelligence information with Israel.
In the light of this excessive belligerence, Dan Margalit in Yisrael Hayom asks what is behind it all: (my emphases):
A predatory virus must have infected Turkey. The decision to indict senior Israel Defense Forces officials who were involved in blocking the Mavi Marmara points to one of two…
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In 2000, he oversaw a week of events that raised money for Islamic terrorists murdering Jews. From 2005 until the present, he oversaw a left-wing blog whose contributors used language that even he admittedwas anti-Semitic. And now Faiz Shakir is about to become a senior advisor to the Democratic Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
What happens to a top left-wing operative when he loses control of a media operation so badly that the White House has to distance itself from its allied think tank? He gets a job offer from Nancy Pelosi.
After the use of bigoted language by ThinkProgress contributors turned into a growing scandal, the White House publicly distanced itself from ThinkProgress, an outlet of the Center for American Progress, which Time Magazine called the think tank with the largest influence on the Obama administration. Jarrod Bernstein, the White House’s liaison to the
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Sivan 3, 5772 / Thursday, May. 24 ’12
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- 1. Iran Declares ‘Impasse’ in Nuclear Talks
- 2. New IAEA Report: Iran Installing Centrifuges in Fordow
- 3. Rivlin: ‘Lawmakers Must Guard Their Words!’
- 4. Eilat Mayor Presses for Immigration Enforcement
- 5. Rachel Atias Released from Hospital
- 6. IDF Official: 20 Kidnap Attempts So Far This Year
- 7. Israel Day Concert Theme: Let Your Voice be Heard for Jerusalem
- 8. Republicans Now Believe That The White House Is Winnable In 2012
1. Iran Declares ‘Impasse’ in Nuclear Talks
by Gabe Kahn
Iran on Thursday rejected the proposal from the P5+1 in talks over its controversial nuclear program.
Tehran and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – were in the second day of talks in Baghdad seeking to resolve international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.
The P5+1 plan reportedly called on Iran to halt enrichment past 3.5%, ship its stores of 20% enriched uranium out of the country, and shut down its heavily fortified Fordow enrichment facility.
They had also called on Iran to live up to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow IAEA inspectors unrestricted access to its nuclear sites.
In exchange, the group offered benefits including medical isotopes, some nuclear safety cooperation, and spare parts for civilian airliners – much needed by Iran.
Iran criticized the proposal from the six-nation group, saying it makes too many demands of Iran while offering too little in return. Namely, Iran has said the only way forward in talks is the easing of sanctions on its vital oil industry.
Western powers rebuffed Tehran’s call for an immediate easing of economic sanctions, saying they will not give up their key lever in negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
In turn, Iran accused world powers Thursday of creating a “difficult atmosphere” with its demands.
Talks were scheduled to continue into late afternoon, but Iran is signaling the impasse is significant and could derail further talks.
AFP quoted an Iranian official as saying “the basis for another round of negotiations does not exist yet.”
Of key international concern is Iran’s secretive uranium enrichment program, especially its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity – a key jumping off point for enrichment to 90% weapons grade material.
Iran says its enrichment work is meant for medical research and generating electricity.
However, proliferation experts have noted that 3.5% enrichment is all that is needed for power generation, and that Iran has enriched far more uranium to 20% than is needed for medical isotope research.
Nor, they say, is Iran’s nuclear medicine research industry advanced or robust enough to justify the claim.
In November 2011, the IAEA released a report citing credible Western intelligence indicating Iran had engaged in – and likely continues to engage in – nuclear research of a military nature.
The report cited the construction of a high-explosives test chamber at the Parchin military base near Tehran, where IAEA officials believe Iran has been attempting to develop a charge that can detonate nuclear material.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano in March charged Iran was engaged in an attempt to cover up nuclear activity of a military nature saying, “Iran is not telling us everything.”
2. New IAEA Report: Iran Installing Centrifuges in Fordow
by Elad Benari
Western diplomats said on Wednesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded that Iran installed 350 new centrifuges at the Fordow underground facility since February.
The diplomats said, according to reports in the Israeli media, that the IAEA will reveal this information in a new report to be released on Friday. The installation of more centrifuges has increased the Islamic Republic’s potential to enrich uranium.
The remarks were made after Iran and the P5+1 traded proposals in Baghdad on Wednesday, as a new round of talks over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program got underway.
Iran is keen to ease sanctions on its vital oil ministry and central bank by Western nations, who have said they are unwilling to give up their key leverage point without a comprehensive agreement.
Ahead of talks the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – indicated they may be willing to limit their demands to Tehran halting enrichment to 20%, shipping all uranium enriched to 20% out of the country, and closing the highly fortified Fordow facility.
The Islamic Republic admitted last year it was moving more centrifuge machines for enriching uranium to the underground facility, which is carved into a mountain to protect it against possible attacks.
The existence of the facility near Qom only came to light after it was identified by Western intelligence agencies in September 2009. The UN’s nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran begun enriching uranium at the plant.
In March, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said that a tripling on the enrichment of uranium at the Fordow nuclear site, along with Iran’s rejection of IAEA attempts to inspect nuclear facilities, point to concern that the Islamic Republic might be developing nuclear capability for other than peaceful purposes.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Iran will sign an agreement to cooperate with the IAEA nuclear watchdog agency.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Vienna after a one-day visit to Tehran and announced that “a decision was made to conclude and sign the agreement. I can say it will be signed quite soon.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed skepticism over the agreement, saying the Iranians are trying to create a more pleasant and relaxed atmosphere during negotiations but that their goal remains the same – to obtain nuclear weapons.
“While sanctions on Iran have an impact, it is not enough of an impact to bring a real change in the situation,” Lieberman said. “We should also pay attention to the negative Iranian involvement in every possible place in the Middle East.”
Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak also expressed doubt over the value of an agreement between the IAEA and Iran.
“It appears that the Iranians are trying to reach a ‘technical agreement’ which will create the impression of progress in the talks, in order to remove some of the pressure before the [P5+1] talks tomorrow in Baghdad; as well as to put off the intensification of sanctions,” Barak said.
3. Rivlin: ‘Lawmakers Must Guard Their Words!’
by Gabe Kahn
Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin on Thursday called for lawmakers to moderate their language and avoid incitement when dealing with emotionally charged issues of public policy.
“There is no doubt that Israel faces a serious problem regarding illegal aliens and asylum seekers, and the government must find a solution and act,” Rivlin said.
“Our duty to society is to protect our national interests, but difficult and emotional social issues must still be approached with Jewish values, which also seeks to protect and help the helpless,” Rivlin said.
The people “may demonstrate and protest and demand the government formulate a solution, but there should be no incitement – and it is forbidden to use the same tactics anti-Semites used against us [in the Exile].”
“We suffered greatly from incitement and harassment,” Rivlin said. “We must be committed to sensitivity and finding just solutions. The main problem is not the infiltrators and refugees, but the lack of a clear policy from the government of Israel.”
He then presented Likud MK Miri Regev as a positive example of good leadership in her approach to Israel’s illegal immigration problem.
“I compliment my friend Miri Regev who has been vigorous and active in her efforts to demand from the government clear policies and workable solutions to the problematic reality of illegal aliens in Israel,” Rivlin said.
“The anger of residents and business owners in south Tel Aviv is completely understandable,” he added. “But when an angry mob takes to the streets it is too much!”
“Leaders must guard their words, restrain their anger, and find solutions rather than inflame passions,” he said.
While Rivlin did not single anyone out by name, he appeared to be referring to Likud’s firebrand MK Danny Danon.
Danon – who chairs the Knesset committee tasked with preventing illegal immigration to Israel – declared at Wednesday’s rally, “The state of Israel is at war with an enemy state that has formed within Israel and has its capital in southern Tel Aviv!”
However, Danon was joined by fellow Likud lawmakers Miri Regev and Yariv Levin, and Michael Ben Ari of the National Union party.
Regev told those in attendance that “we will not allow” illegal immigration to “spread like a cancer in our society.”
After the rally some protesters smashed windows, lit garbage cans on fire, and damaged a car that had three illegal aliens in it. No one was hurt in the incident. On Thursday police arrested 12 people on suspicion of attacking the vehicle, and running riot.
However, witnesses say vast majority of those who attended the rally both arrived and departed peacefully.
4. Eilat Mayor Presses for Immigration Enforcement
by Gabe Kahn
Eilat mayor Yitzhak Halevi warned Monday that the deluge of illegal aliens passing into Israel from Sinai poses both a strategic and demographic threat to the state.
He called on the government to implement the decisions it has already made to deal with the matter.
Halevi said the security fence on the Egyptian border needs to be completed within a short time, and that the government needed to expedite the construction of a detention center for illegal aliens. He also called on the government to fine those who employe illegal aliens.
Halevy told Israel Radio “Infiltrators hurt the ability of local leaders to improve the quality of life for residents” and have a negative impact on public safety.
On Tuesday, MK Danny Danon (Likud) led a 1,000 strong rally to pressure the government into deporting illegal aliens to their countries of origin saying, “The terrible situation that has formed here has only one solution and we need to talk about it and we must not be ashamed: expel them now!”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has described the growing number of illegal aliens in Israel, mostly from Africa, as a “national catastrophy” and “demographic threat.” Israel, a small nation with a population of some 8 million – 75% of its citizens being Jewish – does not have the capacity to absorb large numbers of illegal aliens and refugees while maintaining the Jewish character of the state.
Late last year he promised to personally travel to Africa to meet with leaders and arrange the safe return of their citizens.
Israel previously offered an assistance basket to any illegal immigrant who identified themselves and agreed to return home voluntarily.
The deadline to receive the assistance basket passed on April 30, and Immigration officials are now supposed to arrest and detain illegal aliens pending deportation. However, with no detention facility to place illegal aliens in – meaningful enforcement is effectively impossible.
Israel’s left has denounced moves to deport illegal aliens as “racist,” and also argue it is not safe for those illegal immigrants from war-torn Sudan and South Sudan – some of whom are refugees – to return to their homeland.
However, discussions between the Foreign Ministry and the Attorney General earlier this week, concluded that in most cases refugees from Sudan and South Sudan can be safety returned hom.
Israel’s state prosecutor has been tasked with investigating the circusmstances of illegal aliens who do claim to be legitimate refugees on a case by case basis. However, most illegal aliens come to Israel seeking work and are expected to be returned home.
5. Rachel Atias Released from Hospital
by Gabe Kahn
Rachel Atias, 7, the sole survivor of a tragic accident on Thursday that killed her parents and six siblings was released this morning from Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.
She went to live with her aunt Esther Cohen in Tzfat.
Rambam Medical Center chief of pediatrics Prof. Amos Etzioni told Arutz Sheva that Rachel is in overall good physical condition, but “left in a wheelchair due to mild pain she still feels making it difficult to walk.”
“She suffered a slight hip injury and some slight bleeding around the eye,” Etzioni said, adding “She doesn’t require further medical treatment.”
However, he noted, that hospital social workers will continue to work with the family due to the psychological trauma of losing her family and adjusting to a new home.
The Atias family late Monday night was returning to their home in the national religious community of Bar Yochai, located near Meron and Tzfat.
The driver, Rafael Atias, 42, realized his brakes were not working and phoned the emergency hotline.
As the car sped down a hill out of control, Atias’ wife Yehudit, 42, abruptly stopped a conversation with the hotline and screamed. “G-d. Save us. HaShem, save us.”
The victims, besides the parents, are Avia, 17, twins Eliyashiv and Neria Shimon, 16, Shira, 11, Tair, 8 and Noa, 4.
They were laid to rest in Tzfat on Monday morning.
6. IDF Official: 20 Kidnap Attempts So Far This Year
by David Lev
A top IDF officer said Thursday that the army has had to deal with ever more aggressive and frequent attempts by Arab terrorists to kidnap IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians. So far this year some 20 kidnap attempts have been recorded in Judea and Samaria, the officer said.
The “hot threat” warnings are no longer limited to a specific time and place, as they had been in the past, but are ongoing, meaning that there is an imminent danger of a kidnapping taking place anywhere at any time of the day. “Terror groups are constantly on patrol looking for situations they can take advantage of,” the officer said. “Their preference is for soldiers, because they feel that can extract the highest ‘price’ for them.”
The motivation of terrorist groups to kidnap Israelis in order to use them as bargaining chips to release terrorists has shot up since Israel released over 1,000 terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit. There are currently over 8,000 terrorists and security prisoners in Israeli prisons today.
As a result, the IDF has revamped its instructions to soldiers traveling in Judea and Samaria. “Do not stand alone at an intersection, do not stand at a bus or transport station alone, make sure you are in constant touch with touch with your commanders, and report any unusual activity.” While those instructions were issued to soldiers, the officer said, civilians would do well to adopt them as well. In order to reduce the opportunities for kidnappings, the IDF has instituted regular patrols on popular routes. The patrols will increase the presence of the IDF on the roads, and will also be on the lookout for soldiers who violate the instructions.
The dangers of kidnapping are not limited to Judea and Samaria, nor to the rest of Israel. Jews around the world are vulnerable, the officer said. “Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, and other Iranian-backed groups are still looking to take revenge for Israel’s elimination of some top terrorists. We have been receiving information from security sources all over the world indicating the dangers, which are still strong. Even though the warning against civilians to travel to Turkey, for example, has been lifted, anyone who goes there needs to be very careful. IDF soldiers are forbidden to go there under any circumstances,” the officer added.
7. Israel Day Concert Theme: Let Your Voice be Heard for Jerusalem
by Dr. Paul Brody
The 19th Annual Israel Day Concert in Central Park is expected to draw 20,000 people this year.
The Carl Freyer Tribute and Dr. Manfred Lehmann Memorial event, which will be held at Central Park’s Summer Stage on Sunday, June 3rd , takes place after the Salute to Israel parade and is in honor of the 45th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the re-unification of Jerusalem.
Dr. Joseph Frager and Dr. Paul and Drora Brody, organizers and chairpersons for the past 7 years, have announced the concert’s themes:
1.Jerusalem United Forever–Never to be divided again
2. No further concessions of ANY part of the Land of Israel and
3. Stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons NOW, before it is too late!
The concert, which effectively is the largest Zionist rally in North America, possibly in the world, is sponsored by the Israel Concert-In-The-Park Committee, associated with Young Israel Chovevei Zion and the National Council of Young Israel. It pays special tribute again this year to the late Carl Freyer, who together with his wife Sylvia, founded the annual event in response to a call by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, to mount some form of protest to the disastrous 1993 Oslo accords.
Mr. Freyer was a leader of the Nationalist camp and a supporter of numerous causes for many years, impacting every aspect of Jewish life in America and Israel. He and his wife were founders of Arutz Sheva and the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP). The Concert/Rally also salutes noted Jewish activists and philanthropists Dr. Manfred R. Lehmann z’l, who was the event’s first Chairman, and Rose and Reuben Mattus z’l, of Haagen-Dazs fame.
The keynote speaker will be MK Danny Danon, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and Chairman of World Likud. Rabbi David Algaze, President of the World Committee for the Land of Israel; Israel Prize winner and head of the hesder yeshivas, former MK Rabbi Chaim Druckman; Soviet refusenik and “Prisoner of Zion” Yosef Mendelevitch; Mark Langfan, creator of strategic maps of Yehuda and Shomron; and Scott Feltman, Executive Vice President of the One Israel Fund, are among the many exciting speakers.
A burst of musical and singing talent will entertain the crowd: Yehuda Green, protege of Reb Shlomo Carlebach; Sephardic stalwarts Avi Peretz and the Ouri Bitan Band, and Avner Levy; Tal Vaknin and Shlomi Aharoni, directly from Israel, both alumni of the Rabbinical IDF Orchestra & Choir; Chaim Kiss; Izzy Kieffer, also an alumnus of the Rabbinical IDF Orchestra & Choir, with Heshy R.; and Yitzy Bald’s dazzling New York Boys Choir. Mendel Piekarski and Shlomo Skolnick, “Jewish Star” Junior Finalists, will make their debut on the SummerStage.
Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Shloime Dachs Orchestra & Singers.
The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind will poignantly remind us just what Israel is capable of when they exhibit their inestimable value to visually impaired clients.
There will also be cantorial performances. Hatikva and the Star Spangled Banner will be sung by Chazzan Joel Kaplan of Cong. Beth Sholom of Lawence. Aveinu Shebashamayim and the theme from Exodus (“This Land is MINE, G-d GAVE This Land to ME”) will be rendered by Jerry Markovitz.
Nachum Segal will again Emcee. Zev Brenner will be producing a show of the Concert/Rally for television.
Delicious, strictly kosher food and drinks will be available, supplied by Mendys.
Message from the organizers: Bring your spirit, determination and Jewish pride, together with your family and your friends, to this massive Concert/Rally, so our voices will be heard around the world.
Concert information: June 3, from 2:30-7:30 PM, rain or shine. Early arrival is advised (enter at 5th Ave. & 72nd St.),as there will be added security checks. Admissiojn is free. Anyone interested in joining the SPONSOR/VIP LIST, contact 917-650-5623 immediately.
8. Republicans Now Believe That The White House Is Winnable In 2012
by Amiel Ungar
Politico ran a story essentially summing up what has been obvious for the past couple of weeks: Republicans now believe that their candidate Mitt Romney has a genuine shot at winning the presidency.
It is worth recalling that Republicans had despaired of their chances back in March when the primaries were still in full swing; some had even suggested a form of triage, where Republicans would concentrate on winning both houses of Congress while resigning themselves to a second term for Barack Obama at the White House.
The Republicans feared that Romney’s reputation had been irretrievably damaged by the primaries and even if this political invalid could manage to stand up, he would be merely smacked down again by the legendary Obama campaign organization and fundraising juggernaut.
A billion-dollar Obama reelection campaign would be channeled into the mother of all negative campaigns, totally obliterating Romney. The Democrats and their allies in the media constantly projected the November elections as a done deal – and this was no mere bravado.
Now the tone among liberal commentators has become more circumspect and one can even spy columns such as “Why Obama is Losing”, or another on the need for Obama to move to the middle etc. There is no panic yet but the triumphalism is gone.
The first thing that the Republicans have learned is that the Obama campaign is not as invincible and overwhelmingly funded as they feared.
The Obama evolution on same-sex marriage showed that the Obama strategists can miscalculate. Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage has hurt him politically, while failing to establish him as a courageous statesman.
Obama effectively united the Republican base and insured that Romney will not have to constantly soothe that base, but he is free to pursue the political center and the undecided.
The conservative base may not turn out en masse due to enthusiasm for Romney, but due to animus towards Obama.
If the Obama campaign is not 10 feet tall, the Romney campaign is not a midget either. Even during the troubled primary season, it was well organized and exuded an aura of competence. A campaign organization reflects on the nominee’s competence and therefore if the campaign looks good, the candidate also wins approval. In the reverse case, the public wonders how a person who cannot run a decent campaign can run the country.
In the fundraising derby, the Republicans have done much better than they expected, while the Democrats are doing less well.
Romney has not wilted under the first negative barrages, while the Obama campaign appears to be tailored for a challenger rather than an incumbent.
The economy remains the major issue and the polls are consistent in establishing that this is Romney’s strong point – as opposed to the 2008 campaign, where the economy was an albatross around the Republican neck.
All this is showing up in the polls, revealing Obama and Romney running neck and neck in the race. It is likely to remain competitive till the finish.
In this race, Romney may not be the preferred bread of Republican hopes, but neither is he the dead horse of their fears.
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Palestinians insist on posing as victims instead of taking responsibility for their catastrophe by Asaf Romirowsky
In the Israeli collective memory Holocaust Commemoration Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day embody the story of the creation of the modern State of Israel. These three days represent the modern Jewish experience and the mantra propagated by the founding fathers – From Holocaust to Independence – connoting the concept of the enduring Jewish spirit of survival and the promise of Never Again.
Yet the resilience of Jewish-Israeli survival has been overshadowed by the false Arab-Palestinian notion of being “occupied” and “robbed” from their true destiny. Consequently, Israel is the “oppressor “and Palestinian nomenclature demands that the “occupation” remains the root cause of all problems, from social and economic woes to terrorism.
For the anti-Israel community, these days have embodied the Palestinian-Arab narrative, which argues that Israel had a “master plan” to evict…
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Wednesday, May. 23 ’12, Sivan 2, 5772
1. MK ‘KETZALEH’ WITHDRAWS ULPANA BILL
2. NETANYAHU ORDERS TWO-WEEK DELAY ON ‘ULPANA LAW’
3. DISCOVERY PROVES BETHLEHEM PART OF KINGDOM OF JUDAH 4. PA BARS JOURNALISTS FROM BRITISH SUPERMODEL VISIT 5. EU STATEMENT SUGGESTS ARABS CAN THROW STONES AT PROTESTS 6. KHARTOUM ALLEGES ISRAEL RESPONSIBLE FOR CAR BLAST 7. NETANYAHU TO 7-YEAR-OLD CRASH SURVIVOR: WE ARE WITH YOU 8. FORENSIC EXPERT RECONSTRUCTS ATIAS CRASH
1. MK ‘KETZALEH’ WITHDRAWS ULPANA BILL
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
National Union party chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) told the Knesset Wednesday he is withdrawing his bill on the Ulpana neighborhood, threatened with a court-ordered demolition.
The bill would require compensation for those adversely affected by a legal determination that their homes, approved by previous governments, were built on private Arab land.
He withdrew the bill moments before a scheduled first vote on the proposed law, which would have circumvented the court order that was issued after the justices accepted a left-wing petition claiming five homes were built on private Arab land.
The neighborhood is located in Beit El, one of the leading national religious communities in Samaria (Shomron).
Ketzaleh made his announcement during a stormy debate after he was promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the government would not oppose the bill if he introduces it two weeks from now, the period in which the Prime Minister hopes to find a solution to the problem posed by the court order.
The National Union chairman charged that left-wing Knesset Members are acting against fellow Jews. “Netanyahu has conceded to Barak over building in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “A Jew no longer cares about his brother – he has a heart of stone.”
Likud Minister Benny Begin responded to MK Katz, “Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to find the correct solution within the boundaries of legal restrictions.”
Barak has argued that passing a law that would cancel a standing court order is not suitable for a democratic country and would serve as ammunition for the anti-Israel movement.
2. NETANYAHU ORDERS TWO-WEEK DELAY ON ‘ULPANA LAW’
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the coalition to block National Union Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz”s bill to compensate potential expulsion victims at Beit El”s Ulpana neighborhood and also told Defense Minister Ehud Barak to postpone demolition plans. The Prime Minister wants two weeks to solve the dilemma.
A court order for expulsions and demolitions of the five Ulpana apartment buildings is hanging over the heads of approximately two dozen families, some of whom have been living in the neighborhood for 10 years. There was no question of their legal presence until the High Court agreed with a left-wing organization petition that the land is owned by a Palestinian Authority Arab.
The government authorized the residents to move into their homes, which they argue were legally bought. But the High Court rejected their claim.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told coalition leader Ze”ev Elkin to work against advancing the bill proposed by MK Katz – whose party does not sit in the coalition – so that the government can find an alternative solution in two weeks.
Barak has said he opposes the proposed law because it would scuttle a standing court order and would give ammunition to the international anti-Israel movement. “In an advanced democratic country, there is no possibility of passing legislation that cancels a standing court order. Beit El is a large and important community that in the future will remain a part of the State of Israel in any future arrangement [with the Palestinian Authority). We must find a solution to carry out the court order while strengthening Beit El,” he said.
The implication is that Barak would agree to additional housing units in Beit El in exchange for carrying out the demolitions and expulsions. He has blocked thousands of homes from being built for Jews in Judea and Samaria by using the legal definition of the Jewish communities in the region as being under military law.
3. DISCOVERY PROVES BETHLEHEM PART OF KINGDOM OF JUDAH by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Archaeologists have discovered the first evidence outside of the Bible that Bethlehem was part of the First Temple era Kingdom of Judah.
The dramatic archaeological find was announced Wednesday, five days before Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Shavuot and hear the recital of the Book of Ruth, which mentions Bethlehem.
A half-inch clay seal was discovered at the ongoing excavations at Ir David (City of David) located across the road from the Western Wall.
The stamp, with ancient Hebrew script, is one of a group of seals used to stamp official documents that were to be opened only by authorized officials.
Three lines in the stamp state:
?? ??? (Bat Lechem)
The writing means that the stamp was sent from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem in the seventh year of his reign.
Eli Shukrun, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that it is unclear if the reference to the king is to Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah.
The stamps, or seals, were used to seal tax shipments in the Kingdom of Judah in the late eighth century and the seventh century BCE.
“The tax could have been paid in the form of silver or agricultural produce such as wine or wheat,” according to Shukrun.
He added,” This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible, in an inscription from the First Temple period, which proves that Bethlehem was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods”.
Bethlehem is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis (Bereishit) when it named concernng the death and burial of the Matriarch Rachel.
Bethlehem also is mentioned in the Book of Ruth as the place where “the children of Judah dwelled,” including the family of Boaz, who is a central figure in the Book of Ruth, almost all of which takes place in Bethlehem.
Bethlehem is cited in the Book of Samuel as the city where David was anointed as king.
4. PA BARS JOURNALISTS FROM BRITISH SUPERMODEL VISIT by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Palestinian Authority forces threatened to break press cameras, and barred coverage of British supermodel Naomi Campbell”s visit to Bethlehem Tuesday.
She celebrated her 42nd birthday with a trip to the Church of Nativity in the city, located between Jerusalem on the north and Gush Etzion and to the south, amid a call for “good vibrations, not destruction” in the region.
Either at her own request or through the initiative of the Palestinian Authority, journalists were warned by private and Palestinian Authority guards to keep their distance, drawing a stern protest from the Freedom Committee of the PA Journalist. The complaint is one of a growing number of appeals from international journalists on Palestinian Authority restrictions.
The Freedom Committee expressed “anger and resentment” at Palestinian Authority security forces who threatened to confiscate and break cameras.
Campbell”s visit apparently was made in relatively secrecy, and she was escorted by her private security bodyguards as well as Palestinian Authority guards during her tour of Bethelhem, which is under full control of the PA.
She did not refer to the threats on journalists and instead told the Associated Press she hopes that “weapons and war [and] greed and oil will end. The news agency also reported that as she ate in a Bethlehem restaurant, Palestinian Authority officials threatened to punish employees who talked with journalists.
Campbell also visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
5. EU STATEMENT SUGGESTS ARABS CAN THROW STONES AT PROTESTS by Elad Benari
A statement issued by the European Union on Tuesday seemed to suggest it supports Palestinian Authority Arabs” rights to throw stones during non-violent protests.
The statement, released on Tuesday by the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, criticized Israel for convicting PA Arab Bassem Tamimi of dispatching stone-throwers and protesting illegally.
An Israeli court convicted Tamimi on Sunday, according to an AFP report. The 45-year-old was charged with soliciting stone-throwing based on evidence that he directed such incidents from the roof-tops.
He was arrested on March 24, 2011, AFP reported, and accused of organizing illegal gatherings and incitement in connection with a series of weekly demonstrations in the Arab village of Nabi Saleh.
Nabi Saleh is a regular hotspot where Arabs, radical leftists and anarchists engage the IDF and Border Police in clashes every Friday, for the purpose of disseminating propaganda footage to the world. Much violence occurs there regularly and is initiated by the demonstrators, who injure soldiers who attempt to use non-violent means such as water and tear gas to disperse them.
Tamimi’s arrest sparked international condemnation, AFP noted, with the EU recognizing him as a human rights defender, and Amnesty International declaring him a prisoner of conscience.
Tuesday”s statement by Ashton”s spokesperson said that “The High Representative is very concerned by the conviction of Bassem Tamimi in an Israeli military court on 20 May 2012 on charges of taking part in illegal demonstrations and of soliciting protesters to throw stones.”
“The EU considers Bassem Tamimi to be a ‘human rights defender’ committed to non-violent protest against the expansion of an Israeli settlement on lands belonging to his West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. The EU attended all court hearings in his case and is concerned at the use of evidence based on the testimony of a minor who was interrogated in violation of his rights,” the statement continued.
“The EU believes that everyone should be able to exercise their legitimate right to protest in a nonviolent manner,” it concluded.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, the Independent Media Review and Analysis, pointed out the problem in the EU”s statement.
“The EU doesn’t deny that Bassem Tamimi engaged in soliciting protesters to throw stones. And the EU doesn’t take a stand against stone throwing,” he wrote, adding that the question is “Does the EU consider stone throwing to fall within the classification of “non-violent protest”?”
Last week, as part of EU”s assessment of its partnership with 12 neighboring countries, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton listed a set of characteristically harsh “recommendations” regarding relations with Israel.
The recommendations include a call on Israel “to continue to step up its efforts to minimize settler violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring all perpetrators to justice” and “address the excessive use of administrative detention.”
Ashton previously made a skewed comparison between the lethal, unprovoked shooting attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse and the unintended deaths of children in Gaza when Israel attempts to stop missile launchings and apprehend terrorists. She later categorically denied making that comparison.
6. KHARTOUM ALLEGES ISRAEL RESPONSIBLE FOR CAR BLAST by Rachel Hirshfeld
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti suggested Tuesday that Israel was involved in an explosion that killed a suspected arms smuggler in the eastern Sudanese city of Port Sudan. The blast happened just before 8:00 local time on the western edge of Port Sudan town, the AFP news agency reported.
“I heard a big explosion and I came out and saw a [Toyota] Prado car on fire, and two craters in the ground,” one resident told the news agency.
Sudanese TV has been broadcasting pictures of the damaged front of the car. It said an “unknown source” had “attacked a civilian vehicle”.
While the minister stopped short of explicitly blaming Israel, he said the explosion resembled a blast in April 2011, which Khartoum blamed on an Israeli missile strike. “The style of the car explosion was similar to Israel’s attack on Red Sea state (in 2011),” he told the pro-government al-Shorooq television station, according to its website.
A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the remarks.
Israeli government spokesman Yigal Palmor declined to comment on the explosion.
The official SUNA news agency identified the driver as Nassir Awadallah Ahmed Saeed, 65, a Port Sudan businessman.
Spokesmen for Sudan’s police and armed forces were not immediately available for comment. Israel, which Sudan considers an enemy state, declined to comment on the 2011 blast that killed two people, and neither admitted nor denied a similar attack in eastern Sudan in 2009.
While Sudan denies allowing illegal weapon shipments across its territory, analysts say smugglers bring in weapons through the country’s east, then route them through Egypt’s Sinai desert and into the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip.
7. NETANYAHU TO 7-YEAR-OLD CRASH SURVIVOR: WE ARE WITH YOU by Elad Benari
Thousands of people attended the funeral on Tuesday evening of the eight members of the Atias family, who died in the horrific car crash near Tiberias on Monday night.
Rafael Atias (42), his wife Yehudit (42) and six of their children – 17-year-old Aviya, 16-year-old twins Elyashiv and Neria, 11-year-old Shira, eight-year-old Tair and four-year-old Noa – were laid to rest in the cemetery in Tzfat.
Only the couple”s seven-year-old daughter, Rachel, survived the crash.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his condolences over the deaths on Tuesday evening and wrote on his Facebook page, “A terrible tragedy happened in the north. An entire family perished. The whole country is now concentrating on little Rachel. Rachel – all the people are with you. All the people are hugging you.”
One of the attendees at the funeral was Minister of Science and Technology, Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, who just a few hours before the accident met the family at the opening of a synagogue. The tragic accident occurred as the family made its way back home from the ceremony.
“Just last night I celebrated with the Atias family, and this morning I learned that Rafi, son of Shimon who was the driving force behind the synagogue dedication ceremony, perished along with his wife and six of their children,” Hershkowitz said during the funeral.
“Rafi looked happy and excited, and it was an uplifting evening in which all of us were moved,” added Hershkowitz. “This is a chilling tragedy that is beyond our ability to comprehend.”
Police officials said on Tuesday their initial investigation had concluded the accident that claimed eight members of the Attias family resulted from mechanical failure.
However, police stress the investigation is not complete. Investigators are now reportedly looking into the cause of the mechanical defect, and have not ruled out possible negligence on the part of vehicle inspectors.
To this end, police are bringing in engineers from the Ministry of Transportation – and experts from an outside firm – to examine the car in detail.
The car passed inspection only three months ago, but the steep hills from Tzfat to Tiberias wear out brakes very quickly.
8. FORENSIC EXPERT RECONSTRUCTS ATIAS CRASH by Gabe Kahn
The former head of the Israel Police accident investigation team, Jacob Netzer, spoke with Arutz Sheva about his findings at the accident scene where eight members of the Atias family died.
He said reports in the media that police had concluded “mechanical failure” was the root cause of the accident were correct, but somewhat simplistic.
Netzer noted that preliminary findings showed the vehicle had passed the Motor Vehicle Bureau inspections as recently as three months ago, and that the brakes were listed as being in good condition.
While police are investigating whether there may have been negligence on the part of the inspectors, Netzer said other causes for the brake failure have not been ruled out.
Police have brought in engineers from the Ministry of Transportation and outside consultants, like Netzer, to determine the exact cause of the brake failure.
“We saw tread marks indicating the vehicle was traveling downhill when it entered a sharp curve in the road,” Netzer said. In the first third of the curve he had control of the vehicle, but in the middle third, and into the end, he began to lose control.”
Netzer said that the car hit the barrier on the side of the road, “He crashed into the railing, righted the car, and then struck again and righted the car. This happened four times.”
“In the end, the vehicle rolled over the barrier into the opposite lane, flew about 7 meters in the air, and landed on its roof.”
Netzer said he believes the fire that destroyed the vehicle and killed all but one of its occupants started when flammable material ignited around the wheels due to friction from the metal brakes.
At very high speeds break friction can reach 600 degrees Celsius, which is more than sufficient to ignite flammable liquids. Ordinary tire rubber has a flashpoint of 435 to 557 degrees Celsius.
Netzer said, if the data released today is correct, the vehicle travelled about 7 kilometers and navigated five turns while the driver was on the phone with police.
“If this had happened when vehicles were passing on the other side of the road it could have been even worse,” Netzer said, noting that the car flipping over the divider required tremendous speed and force.
He added that it is possible for a driver with inoperable brakes to slow his vehicle by shifting down through the gears, or intentionally skidding along the safety barrier.
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