02/23 Links Pt2: Canada’s parliament rejects BDS movement; JPost interviews ICC Prosecutor
The 54-year-old Gambian Bensouda came out of the gates in her relationship with Israel mostly under attack by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for recognizing Palestine as a state for the purposes of her office deciding to open a preliminary examination into whether Israel and the Palestinians have committed war crimes.
Since her recognition on January 16, 2015 and her explanation that she felt compelled, in her own decision, to follow the UN General Assembly’s vote upgrading Palestine’s status within the UN, Jerusalem has worried that she would follow the UNGA and what is viewed as a general anti-Israel atmosphere in future decisions as well.
On Monday, Ms. Bensouda, who spent almost a decade as deputy chief prosecutor before taking the top job, put those concerns to rest.
In one of the most intense exchanges of the interview that will be music to Israel’s ears, Ms. Bensouda said that “the UN General Assembly do not tell me what to do, that the prosecutor should act in this way or that way, unless of course it is in accordance with the statute.”
Asked if this meant that the UNGA is now out of the picture of her legal conclusions, Bensouda, in one of her rare emotional moments of the interview where she let down her guard, said forcefully, “Completely! I’m not even thinking of why they would tell me why I should take this case and not this case. That would be interfering with my independence.”
The ICC chief prosecutor was clear that Palestine’s upgraded status within the UN by the UNGA in 2012 as “a non-member observer State” was relevant to her determination of whether it could accede to the Rome Statue, the Court’s founding treaty. This was for technical reasons, but she emphasized that she will never take directives from them, or any other institution, when deciding the central question of the war crimes debate: whether the IDF’s investigative apparatus for the 2014 Gaza war complies with international standards.
But Palestinians can take comfort in some of her other positions or non-positions (with Bensouda, like many legal officials, observers are sometimes left grasping at non-answers to shed light on issues which the official does not wish to discuss.) Israel tends to lose most battles in the international arena, with the exception being cases in which specific international figures are, from the start, ready to go against the grain and recognize the complex challenges it encounters in fighting its neighbors.
Bensouda is not ready to declare her acceptance of Israeli exceptionalism.
Usually, in regular Lenten services, solemn memories of divine mercy on the sinners of the world take center stage for Christians. But not in this liturgy. Center stage was instead given to committing a sin of evil speech: launching a lie about an Israeli-made water shortage suffered by Palestinians. The lie is a sin in which all the member churches of the WCC are invited to participate.
Those leaders of Protestant churches, turned into political propagandists, used the pulpit of Jerusalem unjustly to call upon the Protestant faithful worldwide to listen to Palestinian water libels against the State of Israel.
This liturgy abused the biblical readings as a means of invigorating the equally false Kairos Palestine message, that Israel takes the Land of Palestine and has no right to be where it is.
A close look shows no scientific analysis, neither of water distribution nor of water politics for the territories of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The Palestinians certainly are experiencing a water crisis; the question is to what extent are they themselves are responsible for it, and to what extent are their own leaders responsible for keeping them as victims for effective international “marketing.”
Honest Reporting: Is Israel an Apartheid State?
As Israeli Apartheid Week organizers prepare a series of public events demonizing Israel, we examine whether anything they say is actually true. Like it or not, they’ll probably be on your (or your children’s) college campus within the month.
David Horovitz: Malcolm in the middle
For 30 years, Malcolm Hoenlein has run the US Jewish community’s most influential organization. He meets with presidents and PMs, security chiefs and business leaders, kings and princes. In an outspoken interview, he discusses Iran, IS, Europe’s Jewish future and a West in retreat
For five days at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel last week, a parade of Israel’s most prominent politicians, analysts, defense heads, high-tech innovators and more took their turns to address a room filled with over 100 American Jewish leaders from the 52 member groups and the Leadership Council of the grandly titled Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
The American leaders, for whom this was a 42nd such consecutive annual gathering, came to Israel directly from Turkey and Egypt, where they were hosted in turn by presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Presiding over the “leadership mission,” as he has been presiding over the Conference for the past 30 years, was Malcolm Hoenlein, its executive vice chairman. A fast-talking, Orthodox, no-nonsense Philadelphia native, former Soviet Jewry activist and self-styled “activist executive,” Hoenlein is an endlessly fascinating interviewee, forever throwing out tantalizing tidbits of information about meetings with presidents and prime ministers and security chiefs and kings. He seems to have met most everyone — including Syria’s Bashar Assad — and been most everywhere — though not Iran. If Benjamin Netanyahu is Time magazine’s king of Israel, then Hoenlein is, at the very least, Mr. American Jewry, and arguably the most influential American Jew in the world (until or unless Bernie Sanders says different). He’s a key bridge between Israel and the American Jewish leadership; he’s also been a central player in relations between US administrations and Israel. He’s able to meet with world leaders who have no ties with Israel, some of whom doubtless see him, too, as an entrée to American corridors of power.
Canada’s Parliament passed a motion formally condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
The motion passed Monday in a 229-51 vote, CIJ News reported. Introduced last week by members of the opposition Conservative Party, the motion won support from the ruling Liberal Party as well.
It calls on the Canadian government to “condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”
In addition, the motion notes Canada and Israel’s “long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations.” The motion says the BDS movement “promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel.”
Speaking in favor of the motion last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said “the world will win nothing for boycotting Israel but depriving itself of the talents of its inventiveness.”
As the Canadian Parliament passed a resolution to condemn the BDS movement by a vote of 229 -51 and received bipartisan support for the initiative, the picture on McGill campus in Montreal was the exact opposite.
On Monday in a general assembly of the undergraduates association at the university, which has one of the highest Jewish populations of any university in Canada, a motion in support of the BDS movement passed by a margin of 512-357. the vote was carried out in the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU).
The vote followed a lengthy, but orderly debate and both sides presented their cases to the assembly. The vote was conducted by a secret ballot and must be ratified by an online vote of the entire student membership.
This was the third time in less than one and a half years that the SSMU has tried to pass a BDS motion. The last attempt, which occurred in January 2015, was defeated by a total vote of 276-212.
The Canadian Jewish News (CJN) reported that the current motion called on the SSMU to support pro-BDS campaigns through the office of its vice president external and the SSMU president to “lobby” the McGill board of governors in support of BDS campaigns.
The chairman of Israel’s Yesh Atid Party said he phoned London Mayor Boris Johnson after boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists plastered hundreds of underground trains with posters extremely critical of any perceived support for or business ties with Israel.
“The government of Israel isn’t doing anything about what happened this morning in London,” a post on MK Yair Lapid’s official Facebook page said, referring to the placards.
The Facebook post said Lapid called the London mayor — who recently visited Israel on a business delegation — “and around that time they took down the placards.”
Entertainment magazine Variety refused to publish an advertisement that says “Don’t endorse Israeli apartheid.”
Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, a group that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, announced Monday that the magazine initially accepted payment for the group’s ad, but then said it could not publish it since “it would need to have a softer tone.”
The ad, whose top line reads “Free Trip to Israel at the Expense of Palestinians,” calls on Oscar nominees to refuse a free Israel trip worth $55,000 offered in their “swag bags.”
JVP said in a statement it had asked for suggestions of “specific edits,” but was told that: “The topic is too sensitive at this time and we will not be in a position to add it to next week’s edition.”
The pro-Israel sponsors of a student peace initiative at Cambridge University in the UK bemoaned the refusal of pro-Palestinian counterparts to participate in the week-long series of events, which comes to an end on Monday night.
Joel Collick and Jonathan Shamir, co-presidents of the Cambridge University Israel Society, told The Algemeiner that though the other group was invited to “Middle East Peace Week,” it refused “and called on other societies to not get involved. It was stressed on our part that they could still partake in [their own] Israeli Apartheid Week as the weeks do not clash. However, they would not change their mind.”
Collick and Shamir concluded, “[W]e would comment that a general theme in UK [universities] is that Israel societies are more open to dialogue and engagement, while Palestine societies prove time and time again that they are not interested.”
The Cambridge University Palestine Society (CUPalSoc) defended its decision not to participate in the peace initiative — which was also adopted by the university’s Arab Society, Middle East Society and Turkish Society.
“We made this decision on the basis that the only way out of the current stalemate and the first steps towards a viable peace is through demanding that Israel be held accountable for its crimes and that it abides to its obligations under international law,” a representative of CUPalSoc explained to The Algemeiner.
This week Jethro Tull front man Ian Anderson will be staging two concerts in Tel-Aviv as part of his world tour. Apart from his famed flute and the good music he brings to our shores, the good news for Israel is Anderson’s continued refusal to give in to pressure from ex-Pink Floyd bass player, BDS activist and incurable anti-Semite Roger Waters. The latter’s pet passion, when he isn’t flying a pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with the Star of David as he did so flagrantly in a concert in Belgium in 2013, is convincing rock musicians to boycott Israel.
Waters has not managed to sway Anderson who, in his last visit to Israel in 2012, said: “I don’t let those people bully me and tell me where to play, I make my own decisions.” Anderson is in good company with Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other big acts who have performed here in recent years. What makes Anderson unique among his peers is that he also donated his personal earnings from previous concerts in Haifa, Jerusalem and Ranaana to non-profits that promote Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and cooperation. Now, there’s an old rock and roller who wants to stimulate change and knows how to set an example.
Anderson’s arrival here flies in the face of Waters and BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions directed against Israel. One wonders why a movement that calls for an end to Israeli Apartheid doesn’t seem to care if its boycott victims are Palestinians. Last summer BDS managed to induce Soda Stream to close down its West Bank factory, put hundreds of Palestinians out of work and claim success. “This is a clear-cut BDS victory against an odiously complicit Israeli company,” BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti stated, adding: “Israel should not be allowed to exploit its occupation by operating factories in Palestinian lands.”
Not to limit its damage to the occupied territories, BDS has no qualms about targeting Israeli companies on the west side of the green line, calling for boycotts of Teva Pharmaceuticals, Ahava Dead Sea skin care products, Israeli fruit and vegetables and even Ben & Jerry’s ice cream if doesn’t shut down its Israeli branches. Strangely, according to an investigation by the Zionist Federation in the UK, two pro-BDS websites called “Students for Justice in Palestine” at Cornell University and the “Palestinian Holocaust Museum” (just the name raises eyebrows) are powered by WiX, a website platform based in Tel-Aviv.
WAR CORRESPONDENT? NOT EXACTLY
Despite Blumenthal having written a book as if he was a bona fide war correspondent, that is not quite accurate.
The writer Petra Marquardt-Bigman painstakingly put together a timeline of Blumenthal’s whereabouts while the Gaza conflict raged. She then published an article in the Algemeiner in June of last year. In that article, she revealed her findings: Blumenthal could not have been in Gaza for more than a week of the entire 51 day war.
Marquardt-Bigman reveals that Blumenthal was not in Gaza when the war started, and that “the Israeli army had withdrawn its ground forces almost ten days before Blumenthal arrived in Gaza.” Nonetheless, a promotion for his book claims that ‘Blumenthal brings the battles in Gaza to life, detailing the ferocious clashes that took place when Israel’s military invaded the besieged strip,’ and that ‘Max Blumenthal was in Gaza throughout this catastrophe’ (i.e. the 2014 Gaza war).”
Even Amazon’s description of Blumenthal’s book was misleading. It claimed, Marquardt-Bigman discovered, “that ‘Max Blumenthal was in Gaza and throughout Israel–Palestine during what he argues was an entirely avoidable catastrophe.’”
As Marquardt-Bigman points out, if “you write a whole book that you want to market as an ‘explosive work of reportage’ about a recent war that lasted some seven weeks, it is of course tempting to claim that you actually witnessed what you ‘report’ about.’” Blumenthal, she points out, didn’t come close.
The Muslim Lawyers Association of South Africa is working to have former Israeli President Shimon Peres arrested during his upcoming visit to the country, Channel 10 News reported on Monday.
According to the report, the organization has asked the state prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant for Peres, who is supposed to visit the country later this week and meet senior officials in the local Jewish community.
The cause for the request, according to Channel 10, is Peres’s alleged support for France in its war against Algeria and his responsibility for Israel’s shelling in 1996 of the southern Lebanese village of Qana during IDF’s Operation Grapes of Wrath.
It appears, however, as though the main motive behind the campaign is Peres’s support of the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, the channel noted.
The Media Review Network (MRN), a Johannesburg-based organization which says it is dedicated to “exposing Zionist Apartheid and the occupation of Palestine”, on Monday published a statement in which it welcomed the Muslim Lawyers Association’s move to arrest Peres.
One of the pro-boycott ‘witnesses’ invited to the programme was John Hilary – introduced as “the executive director of ‘War on Want’ which has been leading the campaign against this ban”. Listeners were not told, however, that ‘War on Want‘ is also a principal player in the BDS campaign and its anti-Israel agenda was – as usual – not clarified despite the requirement to do so under BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality.
Hilary was allowed to make the inaccurate and misleading claim that the BDS campaign began in 2005 as the result of a call from “Palestinian civil society” and listeners were not informed of the actual roots of the campaign in the ‘Durban Strategy’ conceived in 2001. Together with the second pro-boycott ‘witness’ – Rob Harrison of ‘Ethical Consumer’ magazine – Hilary was not challenged on the inaccurate claim that the boycott campaign against Israel relates solely to what he termed “illegal settlements” and what Harrison called “stuff going on in the occupied territories”.
But the most notable feature of this programme is to be found in the discrepancy between the across the board agreement amongst its participants that boycotting is a “tactic” – i.e. a means to an end – and the reluctance to discuss the true nature of that end and the “moral issues” arising from it.
‘Witness’ Daniel Johnson of Standpoint magazine made an attempt (from 18:03) to raise an issue rarely – if ever – addressed in BBC programmes or reports: the real end-game of the anti-Israel BDS campaign.
“The BDS movement does not accept Israel as a Jewish state. It wants to destroy that state.”
Panel member Matthew Taylor quickly interrupted:
“But…it….we’re not discussing the specifics…the specificities of that; we’re talking about boycotts in general.”
The whitewashing of Muslim honor killings in America has seeped into academia. And the PC police have found a new scapegoat: Hindu Americans.
In January, the Journal of Family Violence published “An Exploratory Study of Honor Crimes in the United States” by Brittany E. Hayes, Joshua D. Freilich and Steven M. Chermak. It was an act of cowardice as well as a shoddy piece of research. It broke absolutely no new ground, either theoretically or statistically, and is so “politically correct” that it completely misses an entire forest for a tree.
The study’s first error consists of comparing violence against women in general with femicide. Being battered is not the same as being murdered.
A classic honor killing is a family conspiracy mainly against a young daughter; fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins — sometimes even grandfathers — may join in. Westerners don’t often kill their teenage daughters.
The reason Hayes et al. place honor killings within the broader context of “violence against women” is clear. They don’t want to be accused of “Islamophobia” or of targeting any ethnic or religious group.
They don’t tell us the names of any of the 16 honor-killing perpetrators or the names of their victims. The phrase “Muslim perpetrator” and “Muslim honor killing” appear nowhere. In 10,000 words, only 14 are related to “Islam,” “Muslims,” “Arabs” or “Middle Easterners.”
As was noted here at the time, that interview was particularly remarkable for the fact that the words Iran and Hizballah did not appear in any of Bowen’s questions and the points made in the Times editorial which followed it still ring true a year later.
“The worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War has its origins in President Bashar al-Assad’s decision to crush dissent in Syria four years ago instead of listen to it. Assad lied about this in an interview with the BBC, broadcast as UN negotiators arrived in Damascus yesterday for peace talks. He called the demonstrators terrorists.
He lied, too, when he said his armed forces have not used chemical weapons or barrel bombs against civilians. The evidence in both cases has been painstakingly gathered and is overwhelming. Yet the fact that Assad is willing once again to answer questions from western reporters reflects an awkward reality. […]
Assad’s aim in speaking out is to persuade those with short memories that in a region convulsed with violence he is a leader with whom the wider world can do business. […] Assad is busy rewriting history to rationalise atrocities and lay spurious claim to power.”
We’ve posted frequently on UK media headlines about the current wave of Palestinian terror that are biased, inaccurate or misleading, and late yesterday The Independent provided yet another example in an article by Ben Lynfield.
“Israels army chief admits that troops sometimes take unnecessary lethal action”
As the article itself makes clear, General Eisenkot made no such ‘admission’.
Eisenkot, during an address at an Israeli high school, stated that the IDF’s current rules of engagement were “adequate”, and that “security forces must shoot to kill perpetrators of attacks only if the circumstances are life-threatening”.
“Mein Kampf” is a bestseller again in Germany, with demand so outstripping supply that it is virtually impossible to get one’s hands on a copy.
Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic screed, which was republished in Germany earlier this year in a scientifically annotated edition, is currently the country’s second-best selling nonfiction book, according to one bestseller list, surpassed in sales only by a book about “The secret lives of Trees.” But this reporter was unable to purchase a copy, learning from salespeople in about a dozen bookstores in three cities that “Mein Kampf” can only be pre-ordered, is unavailable for immediate purchase and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
“You can order it, but I don’t know when it’ll arrive,” a shop assistant in a bookstore at Berlin’s famous KaDeWe department store told The Times of Israel during a recent visit.
By January 8 — when the new edition of “Mein Kampf” hit German bookshelves — the Institute for Contemporary History, which published the book, had received some 15,000 preorders, which were immediately sold out. “We will therefore now increase the circulation bit by bit. The book will thus remain available at all times,” Simone Paulmichl, the head of the institute’s public relations department, promised The Times of Israel at the time.
That projection turned out to be incorrect. Looking up “Mein Kampf” in the computer, a saleswoman on the third floor of Cologne’s centrally located Mayersche Buchhandlung found that the book was currently sold out, and had sold out immediately on the six or seven times the store had received deliveries. “It’s been reprinted six or seven times, and we always ran out of stock,” she said. “I can’t even order it. I can make a note that you’re looking for it, but it could take four to six months, or even longer.”
When Doreen Alhadeff signed her Spanish citizenship papers in Toremmolinos, Spain, a few weeks ago, she became the first Jewish American to officially embrace Spain’s unusual 2015 law. For the first time since Jews were expelled from the country more than 500 years ago, the new legislation, and a similar law in Portugal, allows descendants of Sephardic Jews the option of applying for national rights.
After months of gathering documents and going through numerous legal hoops, Alhadeff, a 65-year-old grandmother from Seattle, knew she was making history.
“I felt a bit as if I were walking in the footsteps of my grandmother who was the first Sephardic woman to arrive in Seattle,” said Alhadeff after the signing ceremony. “At that moment, I thought of her, and of course, my parents who would have been proud of the achievement.”
Alhadeff’s husband, Joseph, who travelled with her, is also planning to apply once he learns Spanish, a skill his wife picked up during her college years studying in Spain in the late ’60s and ’70s.
Israeli cloud software start-up Revello Systems has been purchased by the US technology giant Oracle in a transaction estimated at up to $500 million.
Oracle announced the purchase on its website Monday evening. The details of the transaction were not released but several US business news sites have reported the deal as well exceeding the previously rumored price of $430 million.
Ravello Systems has made its mark in recent years as a top-tier developer of cloud technology known as “visualization,” which allows applications work with multiple cloud providers or platforms. The company last year developed a new software enabling the transfer of data between different cloud platforms and servers.
Founded in 2011 by Israeli entrepreneurs Rami Tamir and Benny Schnaider, Ravello currently employs 70 people at its Ra’anana offices north of Tel Aviv.
An Israeli-developed “nano-nose” could help homeland security officers sniff out explosives — as well as drugs, large amounts of cash, and even small metal items that are banned from planes. “And we do it with far less false positives than dogs or other technologies that are being used now to analyze the odor of explosives and other items,” said Matan Barami, chief chemist at Israeli nanotech start-up Tracense.
Barami was speaking Monday at this year’s edition of NanoIsrael, a biennial event on the burgeoning Israeli nanotechnology industry. Over the past nine years, Israeli nanotechnology researchers have filed 1,590 patents (769 granted so far), published 12,392 scholarly articles on the subject, and had 129 nano-success stories, which include establishing start-ups, selling ideas or technology to multinationals, licensing a patent, etc., according to Rafi Koriat, chairman of the event at Tel Aviv University.
The conference, Koriat said, is a place for top researchers and leaders from Israel and abroad to meet and discuss the latest developments in nanotechnology, “and provides visitors with a first look at cutting-edge technologies, leading scientific achievements and unique business and investment opportunities.”
The U.S. government has reached a deal with Haifa-based Pluristem Therapeutics to stock the company’s therapy for treating patients who have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, asked Pluristem to join its trials, which are designed to protect people exposed to lethal radiation levels, such as nuclear terror attacks or accidents at power plants.
By definition, lethal radiation is a level that would kill 70% of the exposed population. Pluristem’s clinical trials on large animals have shown a nearly 100% recovery rate—within two days of receiving an injection of the company’s placenta cells, the subject’s blood production returned to normal.
“We saw that injecting the placenta cells enabled nearly 100% of the population to recover, compared to 30% of the [animal] group that did not receive the injections,” Yaky Yanay, president and COO of Pluristem, told the Post.
With artists like Elton John, Chris Cornell, Brian Wilson and Simply Red already on the roster, as well as rumored concerts by Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and maybe even The Boss himself, it seem that Israel is gearing up for a summer of old-school music madness.
The latest additions to this star-studded lineup include a few fresher faces that are currently on the pop charts.
International DJ sensation Avicii, aka Tim Bergling, will be returning to Israel on July 22 to perform at Live Park in Rishon Lezion. The 26-year-old Swedish DJ was ranked 3rd on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs in 2012 and 2013 and has been nominated twice for a Grammy Award, once for his work on “Sunshine” with David Guetta in 2012 and once for his song “Levels” in 2013. Some of his other hits include “I Could Be the One” with Nicky Romero, “Wake Me Up,” “You Make Me,” “Hey Brother” and “Addicted to You.” His list of musical collaborations also includes Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Santana and Matisyahu.
Australian singer and songwriter Sia will perform her first Israeli concert on August 11 at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park. Before becoming a household name, Sia was active in the music industry for almost two decades, writing songs for the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Celine Dion and Rihanna, for whom she wrote the worldwide number one smash hit “Diamonds.” She gained international success with her 2014 album 1000 Forms of Fear which featured the hits “Chandelier,” “Elastic Heart” and “Big Girls Cry.” She recently released her seventh album, This is Acting, which she co-wrote with Adele.
Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday in welcoming visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to his Jerusalem office.
Kenyatta arrived in Israel on Monday for a three-day state visit, the first by a Kenyan president since 1994.
Netanyahu characterized as “remarkable” the relationship between the two countries that goes back “over half a century.” He pointed out that Kenyatta’s father Jomo, the founder of Kenya, “demonstrated that friendship most dramatically 40 years ago in helping Israel in the raid on Entebbe.”
Kenyatta allowed Israeli planes to refuel in his country during the 1976 rescue of the hostages in neighboring Uganda.
“We have since developed a relationship in many areas,” Netanyahu said, noting that he and Kenyatta speak regularly on the telephone.
Israel on Tuesday announced an ambitious new project aimed at finally piecing together some of the thousands of fragments of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls that have mystified experts since their discovery in the 1940s and 1950s.
The $1.75 million project aims to utilize the latest digital tools to help researchers identify connections between fragments, the Israel Antiquities Authority said. It also involves unprecedented cooperation between key scholars, computer science experts, and archives in Israel and overseas.
Ultimately, said the IAA, the aim is to publish a new generation of digital editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, “rich in information and updatable” on the basis of the evolving research and technical advances.
Some 16,000 of an estimated 20,000 fragments have been digitally imaged to date, Pnina Shor, curator and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority, told the Mail website on Tuesday, with scientists constantly developing improved tools to piece them together. “It is the ultimate jigsaw puzzle.”
President Reuven Rivlin was among those attending the funeral Monday of Samuel Willenberg, the last remaining survivor of the revolt at the Treblinka death camp in Poland, who died on Saturday at the age of 93.
The funeral took place at Moshav Udim on the coastal plain.
Willenberg was born in 1923 in Częstochowa in southern Poland. He was 16 when World War II broke out with the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.
At the age of 19, he was rounded up with the Jews during the liquidation of the ghetto in Opatow in southern Poland, and sent to Treblinka.
The death of 93-year-old Holocaust survivor Samuel Willenberg marks the passing of the last link to the revolt at the notorious death camp of Treblinka, perhaps the most vivid example of Nazi Germany’s attempt to destroy European Jewry.
But the death of Willenberg, who was buried Monday, also symbolizes a looming transition in the field of Holocaust commemoration, as historians and educators prepare for a world without survivors and the challenge of maintaining the memory of the Nazi genocide without the aid of those who witnessed it.
Willenberg, one of just 67 men known to have survived Treblinka after a revolt, devoted his final years to preserving the memory of more than 875,000 people systematically murdered in a one-year killing spree there at the height of World War II.
He was a frequent public speaker, wrote a book that was translated into eight languages and led dozens of youth missions to the remnants of the destroyed camp in Poland. Later in life, he took to sculpting to describe his experiences, and his bronze statues reflected what he saw — Jews standing on a train platform, a father removing his son’s shoes before entering the gas chambers, a young girl having her head shaved, and prisoners removing bodies.
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