Douglas Murray: Academic Freedom Opposed by "Who"?
It is that time of year again. News arrives of 343 "university teachers" who signed a letter pledging that henceforth they will not cooperate with Israeli academic institutions. Their joint letter took up a full page today in Britain's left-wing Guardian newspaper (where else?) and has caused almost no stir in Britain. It comes days after a letter signed by 150 leading British writers, musicians and others -- including JK Rowling, Simon Schama and Hilary Mantel -- opposed any and all such boycotts against Israel, and pointed out that in the eyes of most people, intellectual and cultural exchange is a good thing.
The anti-boycott letter was signed by some of Britain's leading intellectuals. The main response to the pro-boycott letter, however, may well be, "Who?" Who knew, for instance, that Israel -- or any state -- would be diminished if it could not gain from the wisdom of Professor Alex Callinicos, one of Britain's most obscure Marxist academics? He is the author of numerous interminable tracts; his efforts to bring his thoughts into mainstream politics reached their summit during his involvement with the Socialist Worker's Party, an entity too extreme even for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party. As almost nobody in Britain wants Prof. Callinicos's thoughts, why would anybody in Israel be begging for them?
Or consider another figure on the letter, one Professor Jane Hardy who teaches at the University of Hertfordshire. It would come as a great surprise to most people in Britain -- and possibly to many people in Hertfordshire -- that such an institution exists. But a quick internet search reveals that it does, and that until 1992 it was known as "Hatfield Polytechnic." So what are the students in Israel unilaterally going to lose the right to know, thanks to the stance taken by Professor Hardy? Well, her own profile page says, "My research and publications on regional development, and the gender and class impacts of change have been underpinned by a concern with the lives of ordinary people and how they have contested neoliberalism." One tries to be polite, of course, but it is worth pointing out that this kind of "study" has never been helpful in finding a place in the job-market for British students (apart, possibly, in furthering their studies in low-grade academia). Why the withdrawal of Prof. Hardy's research on regional development, gender and class in a Hertfordshire context should be such a loss to students in Israel, one is at a loss to guess.
Those well educated and despicable anti-Semites
The Guardian, the leading British leftist newspaper, just published an appeal to sever any ties with Israeli universities. The appeal has been signed by 350 professors working in UK academia.
These BDS supporters are the grandchildren of those Max Weinreich called “Hitler’s Professors”.
If Italy’s Fascism had writers and philosophers such as Gabriel D’Annunzio, Luigi Pirandello, Giovanni Gentile and Tommaso Marinetti, Hitler’s Nazism had an even greater list of talents: Martin Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, Gottfried Benn, Ernst Jünger, Mircea Eliade, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Ernst von Karajan, Knut Hamsun, Emile Cioran and Louis Ferdinand Celine.
The best of European culture embraced Nazism just as today it is embracing new anti-Semitism. The cowardice of the intellectuals, academics and men of letters on the “Jewish question” is repeated today on the issue of Israel.
Henry Rousso called it “Le Syndrome de Vichy”. The reference is to France under Nazi occupation, when the cream of Paris’ writers continued their work, pleasing the Germans, getting favors, condemning the Jews to death by their indifference and hypocrisy.
Israel Is Beyond Logic
There’s only one place in the world where history, archaeology, empirical science, psychology and journalistic integrity don’t apply: Israel.
Consider that we live in a world that recognizes the claim of Palestinian Arabs to what they consider their homeland (which can be backed and documented for at best several hundred years — for the small percentage of those Arabs that didn’t arrive throughout the 19th and 20th centuries as transient Bedouins or marauding tribes), while ignoring the Jewish people’s documented connection to Israel that’s almost four millennia old. If the Torah were taken by the world merely as a historical document, and history supposedly mattered to the world, then the Jews of Israel should be considered the oldest landowners alive. But history doesn’t matter in Israel.
Consider that the world recognizes the antiquity of Haram al-Sharif — the al-Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount) — as the third-holiest site for Muslims and its centrality to Palestinian nationalistic yearning. And yet, this same world readily overlooks the archaeological digs that unearthed pieces of pottery and scrolls that prove absolutely the ancient and continuous connection between the Land of Israel and the Jewish People. With a world so passive to practical proof, the Palestinians (since Arafat and the mufti before him) have audaciously claimed that there’s no connection between the Jews and Yerushalayim, specifically the Temple Mount. As if the al-Aqsa mosque isn’t very clearly sitting atop the Western Wall that archaeologists have “scientifically proven” (through carbon dating) to belong to the ancient Israelite temple as originally mentioned — where else? — in the Torah. So the world believes in archaeology that dates back to the 7th century C.E. but not as far as the 9th century B.C.E.? Archaeology, it seems, is meaningless when the digs prove too Jewish. (h/t Cliff)
JPost Editorial: Reconsidering BDS
The classic argument in favor of boycotting Israel goes something like this: Israelis – even the secular, liberal variety – have fallen into apathy. Their economy is good, their military is strong and their geopolitical situation is stable. Israelis, as a result, see no reason not to continue managing the conflict with the Palestinians indefinitely.
Therefore, true lovers of Israel have no choice but to save Israelis from themselves by punishing them in various ways until they do the right thing and either make the concessions necessary for the creation of a Palestinian state or give up on Zionism and establish a binational state that provides Palestinians with full democratic rights.
There are, however, a number of major flaws in this bizarre argument.
Boycotters seem to think they know better than Israelis or their democratically elected government. There is condescension and lack of trust in Israelis’ moral judgment here.
But there is also no small amount of chutzpah. If the boycotters are successful, men, women and children will be forced to take the risks and pay the consequences for the policies advocated by the boycott lobby.
Michael Lumish: Eyeing Temple Mount Terrorists
In any case, according to the Jerusalem Post:
PA officials have over the past few days dismissed the idea, arguing that Israel would use the cameras to arrest Palestinians “under the pretext of incitement.”
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said earlier this week that the Israeli-Jordanian agreement to install the cameras, which was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry, was a “trap.”
A pretext and a trap, eh?
The implication is that incitement to genocide against Jews is merely a pretext for locking up Arabs. This can only mean that there is nothing morally wrong, not to mention illegal, about spreading such incitement. As for the cunning trap, my recommendation to Muslims who go upon the Mount is to play nice with others and then you will not have to fall into this insidious "trap."
Adnan Abu Odeh, a high-level Jordanian politician said, "The cameras will document anyone who caries out an assault or Jews who want to pray there.”
The obvious implication is that there is a moral equivalency between a thug endeavoring to assault an innocent person... and Jews praying. The ethical blindness and hypocrisy of those like John Kerry, Barack Obama, Ban Ki-moon, and all those European leaders for whom this stance seems fair, is profound.
NYTs: An Arab, Muslim, and Israeli Officer at the Center of a Storm
There was a time when news reporters listened to the crackle of scanners, eavesdropping on police radio transmissions in search of the next story. Now, many of them simply sign up with one of Superintendent Luba Samri’s WhatsApp groups.
On a recent night, as police choppers thumped overhead and security forces moved in to demolish or seal up the homes of suspects, a sleepless Ms. Samri sent an explanation of the events to her restless pack of reporters at 4 a.m.
For Ms. Samri, a 44-year-old Israeli officer and spokeswoman, police work has been a calling since she joined the force nearly 20 years ago. What makes her devotion all the more unusual is that she is an Arab Muslim citizen of Israel, putting her squarely in the storm of competing loyalties and emotions stirred up by the violence that she has been broadcasting about.
Over the past month, Palestinian assailants using knives, guns and their vehicles as weapons have attacked Israelis, often several times a day, and many of the suspects have been fatally shot by police officers, soldiers or civilians at the scene, generating a furor that has engulfed both sides.
Ms. Samri, whose steady stream of WhatsApp updates starts early in the morning and continues into the wee hours, says she has no inner conflicts about her role amid the surge in violence.
“Democracy is law,” she said. “I believe in the law, not because I want to be more Jewish than the Jews. I am a proud Arab with Palestinian roots, and I am the proudest Israeli.”
‘I came to defend Israel,’ says immigrant cop who shot attackers
A young French immigrant serving in the Border Police was praised by commanders and local leaders on Friday after shooting two Palestinian assailants as they tried to stab her and a second policeman in the West Bank.
The head of Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, who arrived at the scene and spoke with the corporal, said that the officer had told him: “This is why I came to Israel. To defend the nation.”
The two men attempted to stab Cpl. A and her partner as they inspected vehicles at the Tapuah Junction. According to a police statement, the attackers arrived at the intersection on a motorcycle, dismounted and advanced towards the officers with knives in hand.
Dagan called Cpl. A “a hero” for preventing “a big disaster.”
“I realized that if I hesitated for a second the policeman beside me would no longer be alive,” Cpl. A told the press afterwards. “I didn’t think twice. I cocked my weapon and shot them.”
ADL slams British MP for accusing Israel of fabricating terror attacks
The ADL called on Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labor Party who recently committed to combating anti-Semitism, to take action in the wake of Kaufman’s remarks.
“Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn should condemn Gerald Kaufman’s rhetoric and take disciplinary action,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Corbyn pledged a month ago to stand up against anti-Semitism. Now is his chance."
Kaufman is the longest-serving lawmaker in the House of Commons. In 2011, he apologized for remarking: “Here we are, the Jews again” during a debate about Israel with another Jewish lawmaker who disagreed with his attitude to Israel.
Simon Johnson, the chief executive of Britain’s Jewish Leadership council, said the comments attributed to Kaufman on Tuesday “refer to all the old-fashioned anti-Semitic tropes.” Kaufman, he added, “owes the Jewish community a significant apology.”
A recent ADL poll found that 12 percent of those surveyed in the UK harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, compared to 24 percent in Western Europe.
British Media Slammed for Failing to Report on Parliament Member’s ‘Jewish Money’ Remarks
The political correspondent for the UK Jewish Chronicle noted the lack of British media coverage of the antisemitic diatribe elaborated by longtime Manchester Gorton Member of Parliament Sir Gerard Kaufman.
Marcus Dysch wrote on Twitter, “apparently no coverage of an MP’s antisemitic comments outside the Jewish media.”
The comments were published by blogger David Collier, who said he was sickened by both Kaufman’s statements, as well as the antisemitism of supporters who followed Kaufman at the meeting.
One British media outlet that covered the story was The Spectator, which accused the seasoned MP of drawing on “every last trope in the book: a Jewish-controlled media; a wealthy cabal of Jews buying off the political establishment; blood-thirsty Jews jumping at every opportunity to murder the innocent. Some felt that all that was missing was a reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
The Spectator called on the newly minted Labor chief Jeremy Corbyn, whose own associations with known antisemites as well as Hamas and Hezbollah have raised a few eyebrows, to condemn Kaufman’s comments and demand his immediate resignation.
Abbas: I don’t seek full ‘right of return’ and I won’t cancel Oslo
Mahmoud Abbas assured Dutch Jews that he neither intends to abandon the Oslo Accords nor insist on the absorption of millions of Palestinians into Israel.
“We never said we were going to cancel the Oslo Accords,” Abbas said Friday during a meeting near The Hague with members of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, Dutch Jewry’s main pro-Israel advocacy organ and watchdog on anti-Semitism.
“We are not going to cancel, we will not cancel anything,” he added, as long as “Israel respects its obligations.”
On September 30, at UN headquarters in New York, Abbas said: “We cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements with Israel” because “the status quo cannot continue.”
At the meeting, Abbas also said he and the Palestinian Authority “never asked anyone to boycott Israel,” only products produced in the settlements. Asked about what Ramallah calls the “right of return” of several million Palestinians to what is today Israel proper, he said: “I am not asking for a right of return for six million Palestinians; I want a solution for them.” (h/t Think of England)
Poll: Most Israelis miss Rabin but don't believe in Oslo process
An Israel Hayom poll on Rabin and his legacy also found that the majority of Jewish Israelis classified themselves as either right-wing or right-leaning. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they were right-wing and 24% said they were right-leaning. A further 26% characterized themselves as being in the center, while 11% were left-leaning and 7% were left-wing. An additional 4% declined to characterize themselves.
But despite their right-wing views, most Israelis still honored Rabin's legacy and respected his efforts to strike peace with the Palestinians. Seventy-six percent agreed that Rabin was a respectable leader and 55%, crossing political lines, said they missed him.
But when it came to the Oslo Accords, only a third thought that the process had been justified, while 42% felt that the accords were unwarranted. A relatively large number of respondents, 25%, did not have an opinion on the matter.
Asked whether they supported the Oslo Accords at the time they were reached, 33% said yes and 38% said no.
Knesset votes to make Arabic compulsory in schools
Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to make Arabic classes compulsory for students from the age of six, in a move backers hoped would help improve ties between Israeli Jews and Arabs.
The vote came amid increasing tensions, with a month-long wave of deadly attacks on Israelis and violent clashes at protests in Judea-Samaria.
The Knesset voted unanimously in favor of the bill in its first reading Wednesday, with about half of the 120 total MKs in attendance. It will now be studied in committee before returning to parliament for a second and third reading.
Both Arabic and Hebrew are official languages of Israel, but while the majority of Arabs citizens of Israel speak at least some level of Hebrew, Arabic is not spoken among the majority of the Jewish population.
The bill was introduced by MK Oren Hazan (Likud), who said it was meant to reach out to Arab Israelis.
New Zealand circulates UN draft resolution for new peace effort
A proposed UN resolution aimed at setting the stage for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is almost certain to raise objections from both sides with its calls for a halt to Israeli settlement construction and Palestinian action at the International Criminal Court.
The draft resolution, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, notes “with alarm the escalating cycle of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians. It declares that a two-state solution, achieved through direct negotiations, is the only path to peace.
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully, whose country is serving a two-year term on the Security Council, told a council meeting last week that recent events “cry out for action.”
'As long as I'm president, Honduras will stand behind Israel'
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández declared Wednesday while on a visit to Jerusalem that relations between his Central American country and Israel have never been closer. “As long as I am president, Honduras will stand behind Israel,” Hernández said in a speech before the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR) and the World Jewish Congress under whose auspices it operates, at the King David Hotel.
Hernández met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day to discuss ways in which the two countries could assist each other. The Honduran president told guests of the ICFR that “after this visit, relations, which have been solid for 65 years, would be even stronger.”
The Honduran leader, who studied in Israel in 1992 in a Mashav program (an Israeli development and cooperation program) was accompanied on his visit this week by a high-level delegation that included Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Arturo Corrales Álvarez, Secretary of Infrastructure and Public Services Robert Antonio Ordoñez, Secretary of Agricultural Affairs Jacobo Paz Bodden and Secretary of National Defense Samuel Reyes. Hernández explained that the delegation was especially interested in learning from Israel’s experience in the realms of security and irrigation.
Honduras signs development cooperation deal with Israel
President Hernandez thanked President Rivlin for his warm welcome, and reaffirmed his country's support for Israel.
"It is an honor for me and my wife, and all the delegation to visit Israel. We bring a message from the people of Honduras to the people of Israel; we have supported you and will continue to support you, and your choices, as a state and as a people."
He stressed that Israel's wealth of experience in the field of water conservation and agriculture was of great importance, and his hopes for his own country to gain such expertise from the Jewish state.
"Our country, in Central America, in the past years has been especially impacted by climate change. We are here in order to benefit from your experience, and we hope to receive your support on this issue.
"The issue of water management in agriculture is among our highest priorities for our increasing cooperation, and I call on both the public and private sectors to invest in the agricultural areas across Honduras. We have the water, and we hope to learn from you how to manage it for effective irrigation."
Effort to 'sanitize'? Equipment missing at Iranian military site during nuke inspection
Key equipment at a sensitive Iranian military site turned out to be gone when international nuclear inspectors visited, Fox News is told, suggesting Tehran tried to “sanitize” the facility to further obfuscate how far its program had progressed, leading up to the nuclear deal.
It was only last month that the Iranians granted access to its secret military site known as Parchin.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, had previously confirmed that Parchin contained a so-called "containment vessel" -- a special chamber -- for testing nuclear equipment including triggers to detonate a warhead.
Yet Fox News is told that when the IAEA toured the site for its upcoming report on Iran’s past and present program, the containment facility and equipment were gone, making it that much harder to test for radioactive residue. The source was not authorized to speak on the record.
Iran to send ‘fleet of warships’ to the Atlantic Ocean
Iran intends to dispatch “a fleet of warships” to the Atlantic Ocean shortly, the semi-state Fars news agency reported Thursday, quoting the regime’s navy chief.
“Our warships will soon berth at ports in the Atlantic Ocean,” Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari promised at a ceremony on Wednesday marking the return to port of Iranian warships that Fars said had taken part in joint drills with the Russian navy.
Sayyari said the Iranian vessels had been in the Caspian Sea and at the Russian port of Astrakhan. “The presence of Iranian warships in international ports shows the Iranian Navy’s prowess,” Fars quoted him saying.
Sayyari made a similar pledge to deploy warships in the Atlantic in early 2014. At the time, Iran promised to send its fleet close to American maritime borders as a counter to the US navy’s presence in the Gulf. But in April, the navy chief said the move had been canceled “due to a change in schedule.”
Kuwait loses Olympic qualifying event for denying visa to Israeli official
The IOC revoked the Olympic qualifying status of a shooting championship in Kuwait on Thursday after an Israeli official was denied a visa to enter the Gulf country for the event.
The IOC executive board stripped the Asian Shooting Championship of its Olympic status on the request of the International Sports Shooting Federation. The event is scheduled from November 1-12.
The IOC said the federation’s technical delegate, Yair Davidovich of Israel, was scheduled to supervise the event on behalf of the ISSF but was denied a visa by the Kuwaiti immigration department.
“The denial of a visa is against the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter,” the IOC said. “The Olympic Charter must apply for all Olympic Qualification competitions.”
Abu Dhabi didn't want the Israelis to play...
The 2015 Judo Grand Slam, to be held in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) October 30 through November 1, has agreed to accept the team from Israel—which includes 2013 gold medallist at the World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro Yarden Gerbi—but, for some reason, out of 94 participating countries, only the Israeli white and blue flag will not be raised above the proceedings. Also — instead of competing under the letters ISR, the Israeli team will go with IJF, as in International Judo Federation.
In fact, Abu Dhabi refused to allow the Israeli team to enter the country, and it took the very vigorous intervention of IJF president Marius Weiser to get the local authorities to accept the Zionist entity in their midst.
Despite its impressive international status, the 8-member Israeli team will compete as a stateless delegation. In fact, Israel will be competing as a non-state while the representatives from Palestine, who competes as the Palestinian Judo Federation Palestine (PLE), will see their flag flying over the matches.
Roger Waters Condemns Life-Saving Surgery for Palestinian President’s Relative Because… Israel (satire)
While knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists continue to imitate the less sexy parts of Game of Thrones with Israelis instead of the Starks, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ wife’s brother recently went under the knife for life-saving heart surgery at a private hospital in Tel Aviv. The only person more upset about this than the Grim Reaper is former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters.
Despite the vicious attacks and random violence, Israel approved the entry of Mrs. Abbas’ brother-in-law to receive treatment in the country. And despite the price tag attacks and the burning of Palestinian olive farms at the hands of crazy asshat Jewish settlers, Palestinian leadership let him go.
Waters, a virtual pied piper for rock stars and musicians who want to boycott Israel, was reported as having written numerous letters to President Abbas encouraging him to have the family member’s surgery be performed in Gaza. His letters apparently went unanswered.
“With all the hard work I have put into demonizing Israel- and I’m not getting any younger here- this ungrateful little shit goes and does something hypocritical like this?”
Norwegian doctor Confirmed: Mad Mads Gilbert to speak in Berkeley
Extremist Mads Gilbert is coming to Berkeley, sponsored by the usual suspects, including Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area, Middle East Childrens Alliance, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, NorCal Friends of Sabeel, American Muslims for Palestine, the American Friends Service Committee and Bay Area Women in Black and Students for Justice in Palestine (UC Berkeley). Mads Gilbert is a political activist and member of the fringe Norwegian Maoist ‘Red’ party. He rose to notoriety in the days following the attack on the World Trade center, when he justified the attack that left nearly 3,000 innocents dead.
In an interview for the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet Gilbert said "The oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with." When asked directly "Do you support a terror attack against the USA?," Gilbert replied, "Terror is a bad weapon but the answer is yes within the context which I have mentioned."
He’ll be speaking at the South Berkeley Senior Center Thursday night, Nov. 12 at 7pm.
Iberia Airlines Pilot Suspended for Announcing: ‘We Will be Landing Soon in Palestine’
Iberia Airlines Flight 3316 from Madrid was approaching Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday afternoon when passengers were shocked to hear the captain says in Spanish, “Dear passengers, we will be landing soon in Palestine.”
In his subsequent announcement in English, the captain changed the word “Palestine” to “Tel Aviv,” but he did not use the word “Israel” in either announcement.
Iberia Airlines acknowledged the incident and issued an apology. A spokesperson for the airline said an internal investigation had been launched into the incident and that the captain has been suspended from the airline’s Tel Aviv route until the investigation is complete.
The flag carrier of Spain, Iberia Airlines has operated regular flights on the Madrid-Tel Aviv route since 1983. Flying on Iberia Airlines with a stopover in Madrid is popular way to travel between Israel and North and South America.
'Hitler Was Right' Posters Popping Up At UK University Campus
A number of anti-Semitic posters have been plastered across the campus of Birmingham University, including one depicting Adolf Hitler emblazoned with the slogan “Hitler was Right”. The West Midlands Police are investigating
The posters were discovered by Students’ Guild Education Officer Izzy Lenga, who posted a photo to Twitter. She commented: “For those who don’t think antisemitism is a serious issue, these were plastered over campus on Tues”.
The poster, and others like it, have since been removed from campus by the police who are investigating the matter as a hate crime. They will be forensically investigating the posters, as well as examining CCTV footage and talking to students and staff in an attempt to track down the perpetrators.
The posters are part of a wider trend of increasing anti-Semitism which seems to be taking hold across the country. In Stamford Hill, London, police are investigating after graffiti saying “death to da jew” was found scrawled across a window ledge.
A spokesman from the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This is a worrying and disturbing thing to see at a British university at a time when the number of recorded antisemitic incidents is rising, and when Jewish people are actively being targeted and killed in Europe and beyond.
Irish Court Hands Holocaust Denier Prison Term for Public Disturbance With an Ax
A man who claimed on YouTube that the Holocaust was a hoax was sentenced to five months in prison by an Irish court for displaying that view in the middle of Ennis, a town in Ireland.
The defendant, a former taxicab driver, was arrested smashing an ax through his television set at the Daniel O’Connell monument in the center of town, the Irish Times reported on Wednesday.
Irish police said the man was snapping photos of what he called a “conceptual art piece” in the middle of downtown and uploading them immediately to his social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Police rushed to arrest him as they watched him smash the TV on closed circuit television monitoring the area.
The man said he put on the “performance art show,” which he called “Liberation of the Mind,” to launch “International Holocaust Hoax Day.”
Kissinger on Liberating Ahlem Concentration Camp
Scores of articles and books published over the past half-century have sought to understand Henry Kissinger’s role as National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, and confidante of American presidents, to say nothing of his position as the conflicted American Jew. Niall Ferguson’s Kissinger, Vol. 1, 1923-1968: The Idealist is the first to devote several pages to a hitherto-unexplored aspect of Kissinger’s wartime military service: His liberation of a Concentration Camp. As Ferguson explains: “On April 10 , just days before the roundup of the Gestapo sleeper cell, Kissinger stared the Holocaust in the face when he and other members of the 84th Division stumbled upon the concentration camp at Ahlem. For many years, this was an event Kissinger did not talk about. Indeed, his presence only came to light because one of his fellow GIs, a radio operator named Vernon Tott, decided to publish the photographs he had taken on that day. Seeing Ahlem, Kissinger later acknowledged, was ‘one of the most horrifying experiences of my life.’”
Kissinger wrote a two-page letter describing his emotions at encountering the thirty-five malnourished prisoners who survived out of the original 850 Jews who had been sent to Ahlem. These very raw emotions that the young Kissinger expressed in the weeks after the liberation remained hidden among his papers, which he donated to the Library of Congress in 1977, until Ferguson published them in his new volume. Under the title “The Eternal Jew,” Kissinger wrote the following stark and horrifying description of what he saw:
Immigrants from Cyprus resist transfer
In this newsreel from 1946 Haifa, nearly 4,000 Jewish refugees arrive in Haifa on the Knesset Israel, only to be stopped by British troops.
“When she docked, violent resistance broke out against troops ordered to transfer the Jewish refugees to a ship, presumably bound for Cyprus,” the narrator announces.
“Fire hoses and tear gas were used in a battle lasting half an hour,” he continues, “during which a number of the refugees jumped overboard, apparently intending to swim ashore.”
In the end, despite the refugees’ fierce resistance, the transfer was completed. The violent battle left casualties on both sides.
Israel boldly goes into prestigious UN space body
Israel was accepted Thursday as a full member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
A vast majority of the committee’s members voted in favor of accepting Israel to COPUOS, the Maariv website reported, with only Namibia voting against the move, and Qatar abstaining.
COPUOS is part of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), whose job is to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
That includes efforts to clean up space debris (the thousands of now-defunct satellites that orbit the earth, getting in the way of new satellites), establishing legal codes for space exploration (claims of planets by specific countries, etc.), and developing applications based on space technology to solve earthly problems like food shortages and desertification.
Israel Defense Industries Unveil Prototypes for 2 New Armored Vehicles
Israeli defense manufacturers unveiled a prototype for a new armored personnel carrier, named Eitan, which will accompany and weigh just half as much as Namer APCs.
According to global weekly Defense News, which reported the unveiling, the Eitan is meant to replace Israeli infantry’s older M113s, one of which was destroyed by Hamas fighters during the 2014 Gaza war in an attack that killed all seven soldiers manning the vehicle.
“Sources here said it will weigh no more than 35 tons and will incorporate a new generation of active protection, an advanced turret and a full complement of munitions and sensors,” Defense News reported.
Commander of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Guy Zur, said the new tank “may be less good [than the Namer], but it will be affordable and allow us to equip a large part of our force.”
The Israeli Defense Ministry’s MAFAT Research and Development Bureau is also working on a research-and-development project called Carmel for a treaded, medium-weight combat vehicle, according to the report. At about 32 tons, the Carmel weighs in at about half of the IDF’s Merkava Mk4 tank.
Israeli cleantech firms get top China tech honor
Thirteen Israeli cleantech firms are being hosted this week at a special roadshow event in China, where they are meeting top investors, government officials, and business leaders in a first-ever high profile visit as members of the “country of honor” at the Pujiang Innovation Forum. Now in its seventh year, the Forum, jointly organized by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Municipal Government of Shanghai is considered one of China’s most influential high-level international forums focused on innovation.
Prior countries of honor have included Germany, Finland, and Russia, and in China, being chosen for this event is a sign that a country has “arrived” as a tech power, said Avi Luvton, Executive Director, Asia Pacific, at MATIMOP, the executive branch of the Economy Ministry’s Office of the Chief Scientist. “A company participating in the roadshow achieves in one week what it would achieve independently over a long period of intensive work. The China desk at MATIMOP invested months of work in building an intensive, high-quality schedule with meetings tailored for each and every one of the companies selected to make up this unique delegation.”
The roadshow brings the participating companies in contact with hundreds of potential partners, venture capital firms, private investors, research institutes, industrial parks and others. In the past, say Forum officials, many business and research deals have emerged from participation in the Forum, and the same is expected this year.
Sweet dreams: El Al, in its biggest deal, buys 9 Boeing Dreamliners
Israeli national carrier El Al on Thursday signed a $1.25 billion deal to purchase nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners for its long-haul fleet, the largest purchase ever made by the company since its establishment in 1948.
El Al will also lease six additional 787 jets from independent companies, with the aim of increasing capacity and route flexibility.
Boeing describes the 787-8 and 787-9 variants in the deal as "technologically advanced, super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features."
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner arrived in Israel to take part in the signing ceremony with El Al CEO David Maimon.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz also participated, and announced that his ministry's plan to convert the military airfield in Ramat David, near Haifa, into a civilian airfield is now underway. He noted that construction of Ramon International Airport in Timna Valley in southern Israel is also progressing.
Helen Mirren on Israel boycott: ‘It’s the craziest idea’
British actress Helen Mirren spoke out against the cultural boycott of Israel on Wednesday upon being honored at the 29th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, California.
Talking to press before the ceremony, the Academy Award winner described the campaign to boycott Israeli through cutting off cultural ties as “a really bad idea.”
“The people who are the most inspiring in Israel tend to be from the cultural community. The writers, the directors, the poets, the musicians, they are truly extraordinary people doing amazing work, peace giving work, working towards peace all the time,” she said. “To cut them off is the craziest idea, I don’t agree with it at all.”
Mirren said she agreed with prominent British figures who signed an open letter, published in The Guardian last week, that endorsed cultural engagement with Israel rather than a cultural boycott, as a way to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mirren received the Career Achievement Award at the annual festival Wednesday and used the occasion to revel her “relationship with that beautiful country Israel.”
Opening her acceptance speech with memories of her first visit to Israel in 1967, “just 6 months after the Six Day War,” the British actress told of how she worked on Kibbutz Ha’on with her Jewish boyfriend.
“After we worked there on the kibbutz we hitchhiked around Israel and I actually slept on the beach in Eilat, so that was my first experience of Israel and I was very taken by the country and especially by the people at that time,” she recalled.
She described the trip as “absolutely a part of the building blocks that have made me the actress I am and doing the kind of work that I do.”
“I love Israel, I think it is a great, great country,” she finished emotionally. “I think that through all the difficulties, and all the pain that Israel has suffered in the past and will in the future, the great thing that Israel has is Israelis, and they will guide it through.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Helen Mirren: Israel has an "important place in my heart"
Diane Lane & Helen Mirren -29TH ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL
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