03/20 Links: Israelis killed in Istanbul named; Implications of NGO Espionage for European Funders
NGO Monitor: Implications of NGO Espionage for European Funders
A March 17 investigative report on Israel’s Channel 2 TV showed activists from Breaking the Silence apparently collecting sensitive information on IDF methods and equipment. Beyond the ramifications for the NGO and its members, this has severe implications for their funder-enablers.
NGO Monitor’s research shows that during 2012-2015, 78% of this group’s budget (some NIS 6.8 million, or $1.8 million) was provided by European governments, including Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, and the EU. Additional amounts came from the US-based New Israel Fund.
“Major donations from European governments have enabled the members of Breaking the Silence to implement their radical agenda, including obtaining potentially classified information with no connection to ethics or human rights,” Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor said. “All of Breaking the Silence’s activities, including false campaigns regarding alleged war crimes and revelations regarding potential espionage, are enabled by the financial support of foreign governments. The latest revelations highlight the need for European governments to implement vital transparency and oversight, without the excuses offered in the past, and adopt strict guidelines regarding secret funding processes for political NGOs that do so much damage in the Arab-Israeli context.”
In correspondence with NGO Monitor following the Channel 2 program, EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faarborg Andersen stated that the EU was unaware of Breaking the Silence’s activities in collecting sensitive information on the IDF, and had not requested nor received such information from the NGO.
What we’ve learned about Breaking the Silence should shame those of its foreign backers who claim to be friends of Israel. That is particularly true of some liberal American Jews that enabled it to play a role in destroying Israel’s image, especially on college campuses. Seen in the context of competing claims by the overwhelming majority of IDF veterans who discount the atrocity stories the group peddled — and which have been largely discredited by army investigations — its time to strip away the public and the media’s illusions about Breaking the Silence. It ought now to be seen for what it is: a subversive organization whose purpose appears to be to undermine the efforts of the IDF at a time when Israel is under assault by a wave of bloody terrorism, as well as from threats from Hamas and Hezbollah. Its members are not victims of incitement but people who are actively attempting to impede the army from protecting Israel’s citizens.
The narrative promoted in the New York Times and other venues about the Jewish right trying to destroy Israeli democracy in an effort to silence well-intentioned human rights activists on the left who only want to save the nation’s soul and protect helpless Palestinians is a myth. Left-wing NGO’s like Breaking the Silence are not content to merely sabotage IDF counter-terrorism. The fundamental purpose of these organizations is to overturn the verdict of Israeli democracy as expressed by the overwhelming majority of the country’s voters who continue to re-elect Netanyahu and Knesset majorities for his governments. It is those who back foreign pressure to force Israel’s government to submit to Palestinian demands that are trying to kill democracy, not Netanyahu’s supporters.
Israeli authorities will investigate this spying on the army. But those who have cheered on efforts to promote Breaking the Silence and other like-minded organizations from abroad must now do some soul searching about their choices. No one, either in Israel or here is obligated to support every policy of the government in Jerusalem or to refrain from speaking out against actions they deem to be wrong. But there is a line between democratic dissent and espionage or other efforts that materially aid the efforts of terror groups. Breaking the Silence has crossed that line. Those who claim to be friends of Israel should never again grant it a platform or a penny of financial support.
Former Israeli soldier Sagie concurs. He is an artillery officer in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), serving as a platoon commander in the Israeli Artillery Crops, a commander in the Officers Artillery Course, and today is a deputy commander of an artillery battery. He feels “the media never shows the real picture. For example, they will show me as a soldier up against a young Palestinian child. People then get the impression that the Palestinian is the underdog. Sometimes the strong can also be underdogs. Even when reporting a terrorist attack inside Israel, people hear two Palestinians killed with two Israelis. But in actuality, the Palestinians were the terrorists and the Israelis were the innocent civilians.”
Sometimes it appears that the world is going back to the dark times of the Holocaust era. Just last month, Iran, flush with cash from the sanctions relief, announced that they will give slain Palestinian terrorists $7000 if they become “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem.” Since the Palestinian knifing attacks have started, thirty-four Israelis have been killed and 404 injured, with 202 stabbings/attempted attacks, 83 shootings, and 42 vehicular (ramming) attacks.
Sagie noted, “We are fighting on our own land. So when I am taking my soldiers with me to fight in Gaza, sometimes the missiles that we are viewing, that Hamas shot headed to Israel, sometimes my soldiers, even me myself, can see the missiles going towards my home and to my soldiers’ home. That’s something that you can’t understand from just watching the news. Regarding the stabbings, not only is Army personnel attacked, but also civilians, mothers, and children. The minute they know it’s an Israeli, it’s a Jew, they attack them. We want to protect ourselves and it is difficult because you can’t judge someone who is under attack, if he made the right decision by killing the attacker or by running away. It is very difficult to judge someone when you haven’t been in that situation yourself.”
Douglas Murray: Hmm, Where Could All This Hatred Be Coming From?
Not a month goes by in Britain without some left-wing proponent of anti-Jewish racism exposing themselves. Last month it was the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) that was found to be harbouring anti-Semites among its members. In recent weeks there have been a number of adult members of the Labour party who have been readmitted to the party or promoted within it while holding extreme anti-Jewish views.
The most recent case revolves around one Vicki Kirby, a Labour parliamentary candidate before the last general election, when she was suspended from the party for tweeting about Jews having “big noses,” Adolf Hitler being the “Zionist god” and other ramblings. Naturally, Ms. Kirby’s suspension has since been lifted. As with the Labour party students at Oxford, it is very hard to argue that party members should have zero-tolerance towards anti-Semites when the party’s current leader has spent his whole career happily tolerating them. Last week it came to public attention that Ms. Kirby had now become the vice-chair of her local party chapter.
The story was broken on right-of-centre websites, which ordinarily means that left-of-centre activists dismiss them as “smears.” But these stories are now coming in so thick and fast that an increasing number of people on the left are starting to admit they might have a problem. At least they are choosing to throw the more minor anti-Semites under the bus while preserving those at the top of their ranks. Had the charges aimed at Ms. Kirby been aimed at Mr Corbyn, we would still be being told that these were “rumours,” “innuendo” and the like.
Nevertheless, some Corbyn loyalists have decided that Ms. Kirby may indeed be a bit much, and realized that it is probably time to address the problem. Unfortunately, having failed to recognize the virus earlier, the remedies these people are now suggesting for cure are predictably wrong-headed.
Turkish and American officials identified the Israelis killed in the Istanbul terror attack Saturday.
They were Yonathan Suher, 40, Simha Dimri, 60, and Avraham Goldman, 69, according to Israeli, American and Turkish officials.
Suher and Goldman were named as US citizens by the State Department.
Eleven Israelis were hurt in the bombing, which took place at 11 a.m. Saturday and targeted Istiklal Caddesi, a bustling two-kilometer-long pedestrian street usually thronged with shoppers, tourists and buskers but which was still relatively quiet when the bomber struck.
The bodies of three Israelis killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul on Saturday were loaded on to an IDF airplane Sunday afternoon and taken to Israel, along with several wounded in the attack.
The victims were identified as Yonathan Suher, 40, Simha Dimri, 60, and Avraham Goldman, 69. Suher and Goldman were also named as United States citizens by the State Department.
Eleven more Israelis were hurt in the bombing on Istiklal Caddesi, a bustling two-kilometer-long pedestrian street usually thronged with shoppers, tourists and buskers. Turkish medical officials said that among the Israeli wounded, two were in critical condition, two were in moderate condition and six were lightly injured. The condition of one more injured Israeli was not immediately clear.
Five wounded were transported to Israel on the IDF plane on Sunday, including one woman who was in critical condition.
Those who do not condemn terrorism, support it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.
A day after the suicide bombing in Istanbul that killed four people, including three Israelis, Netanyahu said that terrorism “sows death and destruction throughout the world.”
Israel, he said, is at the front of the struggle against terrorism, and that this struggle, while first and foremost a military one, is also a moral one.
“The key in the moral fight against terrorism is to make clear that terrorism – the killing of innocent people – has no justification anywhere, not in Istanbul, the Ivory Coast or Jerusalem,” the prime minister said. “Those who do not condemn terrorism, support terrorism.”
The Prime Minister’s Office’s Counter-Terror Bureau raised the alert level on travel to Turkey on Sunday, emphasizing that the country was considered unsafe for Israeli citizens a day after a suicide bombing in Istanbul left 3 Israelis dead and 11 wounded.
In a statement, the PMO said that the bureau had decided to “upgrade its existing travel warning and recommends that the public avoid visiting Turkey.”
In explaining the decision, the statement said that amid a spate of attacks by the Islamic State groups and Kurdish separatists, and notably the bombing Saturday, “it was decided to update the existing travel warning vis-à-vis Turkey from an ongoing potential threat to a basic concrete threat.”
Turkey has identified the suicide bomber behind Saturday’s attack in Istanbul as a member of Islamic State born in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said on Sunday.
“We have determined that Mehmet Ozturk, born in 1992 in Gaziantep, has carried out the heinous attack on Saturday in Istanbul. It has been established that he is a member of Daesh,” Ala told a news conference broadcast live on television.
Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Police were on high alert across Turkey on Sunday after the previous day’s attack by a suicide bomber in Istanbul’s most popular shopping district, killing three Israelis and an Iranian, with dozens more people wounded in the blast.
Time magazine on Saturday corrected an article that had been criticized by Israel’s Government Press Office for its depiction of a Palestinian terrorist who killed three people in October as a victim of Israeli security forces, making no mention of the people he had killed. The magazine had resisted complaints from the Israeli government for months. It amended the story, albeit under the same headline, but did not include an apology, after the Government Press Office publicly castigated it on Thursday.
The story reported on the October 13 terror attack in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, when two Palestinian men boarded an Egged bus and began shooting and stabbing passengers.
On its website on Saturday, the magazine’s editors added a passage clarifying that the subject of the story, 22-year-old Baha Allyan, had been shot after carrying out the deadly attack. The updated story also added that three people had been killed as a result of Allyan’s actions.
Time’s editors also added a statement at the end of the story, explaining that it had been updated “to give a fuller account of the attack.”
The Palestinian Authority continues to show its unequivocal support for and glorification of murder of Israelis.
In 2001, an Israeli teen, Ofir Rahum, was tricked into meeting with a Palestinian woman. The woman, Amna Muna, met Rahum in an internet chat room and engaged him in an online friendship that culminated in his agreeing to meet her. It was a trap and the woman drove him to Ramallah where two terrorists were waiting. They shot and murdered the 16-year-old.
Following District Governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam’s recent meeting with the family of one of the killers, Abd Al-Fattah Doleh, the Ramallah Facebook page called the killer a “heroic prisoner.” Governor Ghannam added that the district of Ramallah can’t wait to see the killer released:
“Ghannam noted that the Ramallah and El-Bireh district is counting the days until it can receive Abd Al-Fattah as a free man.” [Official Facebook page of Ramallah & Al-Bireh Governorate, March 16, 2016]
UN Watch has launched a massive diplomatic campaign and online petition opposing her appointment, leading to numerous protests and newspaper articles documenting her breach of objectivity and impartiality.
Reactions followed worldwide, in Canada, U.S., UK, Italy, and the Netherlands:
– Canadian Opposition leaders urged Prime Minister Trudeau to oppose Green and Lynk: Letter
– UK lawyers opposed Penny Green in a letter to Baroness Anelay, UK Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
– Former U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams blasted the nomination of Green National Review
– Tim Marshall, former Sky News Diplomatic Editor, published an op-ed opposing Green’s bid
– Italy’s Il Foglio published an op-ed by Giulio Meotti opposing Green, entitled “Quei burocrati dell’Onu che paragonano Israele allo Stato islamico” (Those UN bureaucrats who compare Israel to the Islamic State)
– Dutch news editor Paul van der Bas, writing in De Dagelijkse Standaard, called the nomination “A new low for the biased UN Human Rights Council.”
It’s time for Penny Green to understand what Hamas backer Richard Falk learned: That if you are a UN appointee or candidate who supports terrorist groups, we at UN Watch will continue to land on you like a ton of bricks.
For the past year and a half, an IDF officer with the rank of major has been quietly serving in the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Manhattan.
The role makes the officer responsible for collecting information for UN forces deployed in war zones around the world that are participating in, among others, battling Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the war in Donbass, Ukraine.
Major Jonathan Conricus is the first Israeli officer to hold a position at the UN. He has served since November 2015, beating out officers from all over the world. The role is that of an evaluation officer, which relates to intelligence. Conricus is responsible for collecting relevant information for a number of UN forces and penning evaluations of risks in certain areas. He is responsible for the area where MONUSCO is active in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for fighting Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, for fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia, and for fighting between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Amman is hosting a crucial round of meetings between an official Palestinian delegation and representatives of the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to discuss the legal aspects of Israeli settlements, the Jordanian daily al-Ghad reported Sunday.
According to the report, the parties will discuss several issues relating to the preliminary examination of whether the settlements constitute a war crime. The discussions will encompass “occupied” Jerusalem, environmental issues, land expropriation, house demolitions, and the Israeli use of Palestinian natural resources.
The Palestinian source who spoke with al-Ghad explained that “following the meetings, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda would decide whether the material collected by the Palestinians can serve as the basis a lawsuit against Israel in the ICC.”
Hatred of the UN member state of Israel is now routine at the UN – under the guise of “human rights.” On the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council on March 17, 2016, on UN premises, at a UN-advertised event, Israel was accused of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid,” “racism,” “brainwashing,” and on and on.
UN-accredited NGOs may hold “informal meetings” during the Human Rights Council sessions. UN rooms are allotted by UN staff to UN-accredited NGOs upon request. Requests are approved if facilities are available and if they meet the UN’s requirement that – in the words of the request form – “Accredited NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may organize information meetings of relevance to the work of the Human Rights Council.”
These meetings are perceived as fora to influence diplomats and UN staff. As the UN form explains: “NGO parallel events are public meetings and may be attended by NGOs, Permanent Mission Representatives, UN Staff and other persons with access to Palais des Nations.”
The meetings are advertised by the UN itself during Council sessions by being posted daily on the UN website under the title “Bulletin of informal meetings.”
On March 17, the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Rights, held an informal meeting entitled “Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians inside the occupied Palestinian territory”. Badil distributed at the meeting material containing a series of maps titled :”Maximum Land with Minimum Palestinians: The Ongoing NAKBA Since 1917- The Mechanism of Displacement Colonization, Apartheid and Occupation”
On March 17, the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Rights, held an informal meeting entitled “Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians inside the occupied Palestinian territory”. Badil distributed at the meeting material containing the following:
“Struggle in the pursuit of the right to self-determination is lawful and legitimate for people whose right to self-determination is denied because of their subjugation, domination and exploitation by a foreign power. Israel colonialism utilizes settlements (colonies) as a means of subjugation and domination…”
To the UN, such material isn’t abusive or offensive, and is relevant to a Human Rights Council allegedly dedicated to combating intolerance and terrorism.
Lake, nevertheless, went on to note that Cruz is naming a large group of national security advisers with a broad range of opinions on Islamism and other topics, including some who are strongly opposed to Gaffney’s views, including former Reagan official Michael Ledeen and former adviser to George W. Bush Elliott Abrams.
Abrams, in particular, is concerned with alienating moderate Muslims, calling it “the kind of foolish policy that the Obama Administration has engaged in when it comes to Arab states that are our allies.”
Cruz’s primary national security adviser, Victoria Coates, was quoted saying these disagreements between members of the Cruz team are “by design, and not an accident,” noting that both Gaffney and Abrams have been meeting with Cruz for years.
Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has worked to distinguish radical Islamist ideology from moderate Islam and has dismissed the “Islam is a religion of peace” line – essentially the bipartisan position of the American political class since the Bush administration – as simplistic.
Abrams stressed the accuracy of Cruz’s vision with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian situation:
Senator Cruz has a perfect record of support for Israel in the Senate, and he has made it clear that he believes a strong Israel is America’s key ally and asset in the Middle East. He understands the power relationships in that region and he will put an end to the tensions of the Obama years that have weakened the US-Israel alliance. He is very clearly the most pro-Israel candidate in the race today.
Obama addressed the Iranian people in his annual video message marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
The US president said the deal makes it possible for Iran to rejoin the global economy through increased trade and investment, creating jobs and opportunities for Iranians to sell their goods around the world.
He said the US still has “profound differences” with Iran, but the fact that the countries were talking regularly for the first time in decades could help solve them.
Citing his trip Sunday to Cuba, he said it was possible for old adversaries to start down a new path after decades of mistrust.
The big story about the AIPAC conference is the appearance of Donald Trump and the possibility of a walkout or otherwise negative reaction from some of those in attendance. Trump is deeply despised by many in the pro-Israel community because of his vulgar style of politics and his encouragement of hate and violence. Others at the annual AIPAC gathering are just as unhappy about him because of his inability to articulate a coherent foreign policy, as well as his talk about neutrality between Israel and the Palestinians that is frighteningly reminiscent of the Obama administration he seeks to replace. But while Trump at AIPAC will be yet another edition of the political world’s greatest show on earth, another story that is, in its own way, even more significant, is getting buried. That involves Bernie Sanders’ decision to be the only presidential candidate that is still in the race to decline an invitation to speak to the umbrella pro-Israel lobby group.
Sanders hasn’t yet announced why he will stay away from an event that has always been considered a must for any serious presidential candidate and perhaps there is a chance that he will reconsider. But his decision to avoid AIPAC is important not just because of what it might or might not mean about his own campaign but also because of what it tells us about the base of the Democratic Party that has embraced him.
After Hillary Clinton’s latest primary victories, the already untenable scenarios about Sanders stealing the nomination from the frontrunner are no longer viable. In a statist party that is primarily about holding onto power, the challenge to Clinton was never going to work even if the books weren’t cooked by superdelegates to ensure her victory. But the ability of even a 74-year-old socialist to give Clinton a strong run for her money and to win several states where her hold on African-American voters couldn’t ensure victory has been impressive. Clinton has the money and the party establishment backing that is crucial for the Democrats (though neither factor means much among Republicans this year), but Sanders has won the affection and the enthusiasm of much of the party base as well as young voters.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to support a bill proposed by MK Yoav Kish (Likud), which would limit the funding that political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may receive from foreign governments and international bodies.
The bill seeks to limit the activities of NGOs seeking to influence voter choices during elections and amend the current law.
“As I have previously explained, the amendment to the current law is especially needed after the recent elections which saw NGOs funded by unnamed sources attempting to influence the voter’s decision,” said Kish, praising the approval.
According to Kish, without the amendment the previous election in which the American-funded V-15 NGO sought to have Likud voted out may be the first of a new trend.
Israel has cancelled permits for Palestinian Arab residents of Gaza to travel to Jerusalem to attend Friday prayers at the Temple Mount, and Hamas is unhappy about it.
On Saturday, the terrorist group condemned Israel’s decision, branding it “an escalation of the Israeli blockade on Gaza and call on the international community to intervene and stop these Israeli crimes,” according to the Ma’an news agency.
The Israeli Defense Ministry on Wednesday cancelled the permits due to what it termed rampant “exploitation and misuse” of the permits system.
The agreement had allowed 200 Gazans above the age of 60 to worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as part of a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 Gaza war.
But Israel ditched the arrangement, reporting that Palestinians were not returning to Gaza on the same day in violation of the agreement rules.
Three Palestinians were seriously injured and five others were declared missing after a tunnel collapsed underneath the Gaza City town of Khan Yunis, Palestinian press reported on Saturday.
If the report is confirmed, this would mark the 10th time over a two-month period that a tunnel has collapsed inside the coastal enclave.
Last Monday, a Gaza tunnel collapsed on in Shujaiyeh, in the eastern part of Gaza city, killing a Hamas operative who was inside.
Izzadin Kassam, Hamas’s military wing, named the operative as 36-yearold Al-Salam Al-Batniji. It described the collapse as a work accident.
And earlier this month, The Jerusalem Post, citing Palestinian sources, reported that Hamas operatives were afraid to enter underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip fearing they will collapse.
This week in her New York Times column called “Ramallah Journal,” Diaa Hadid examined corruption and intimidation within the Palestinian Authority legislature. The article was as important as it was unusual, in shining a spotlight on the problems in Palestinian government that create challenges for Israelis and Palestinians alike. New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has addressed the importance of this kind of coverage: pointing out that New York Times Readers were not receiving the full context about how Palestinian leadership actually triggers much of the violence that Israelis and Palestinians face.
Yet even in a piece about Palestinian government, Hadid took a detour to criticize Israel, and in doing so fell short of accepted journalistic standards. Referring to Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, Hadid wrote, “…the Israeli military issued an order limiting her movement. (She was later arrested on charges that have not been made public.)”
What’s the Truth?
It turns out that Khalida Jarrar was charged by Israel with inciting violence and being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated as a “terror organization” by: Canada, Israel, and the United States, and the PFLP “General Command” is also so designated by the United Kingdom.
By way of background, this is the same designation those countries give to groups such as Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and Boko Haram.
IsraellyCool: More Facebook Nazi Translation Problems
Facebook’s inability to translate the Hebrew for “The Nazis” gets even stranger.
Following on from Dave’s post about Facebook translating the Hebrew for “The Nazis” as “master race” a disbelieving Facebook friend tried to re-create this. Instead of master race, however, he got “Germany”.
Update 20 March 2016: Israellycool’s Orit tried it out for herself. In her case “The Nazi” translates to “My Mom”
Facebook Translation of Nazis is a bit strange
Karlis Serzants, a senior lawmaker in Latvia, said in an interview that Jews were working to undermine Latvia’s position in disputes with Russia.
Speaking last week on the LR4 Russian-language radio station, Serzants at first said the people he was talking about were “mostly of a very smart ethnicity with lawyers [among them].”
Asked if he was referring to Russians, Serzants, who is a member of the ruling coalition and on the national security committee of the Saeima, the national parliament, replied, “No, I mean the Jewish ethnicity.”
He went on to emphasize that these Jewish legal experts were particularly skillful in operating “on the edge” of the law, LSM, the Latvian broadcasting authority, reported.
Hundreds of Russian-speaking Jews gathered to protest anti-Semitism in New York this past Wednesday. The rally was organized by a number of the community’s leaders, including Ari Kagan, Margarita Kagan and Gregory Davidzon.
Eugene Lekakh, the Director-General of the American Forum on Russian Jewry, explained that Islamist violence has been reaching New York and poses a threat to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel. Some present called the phenomenon the “American Intifada.”
The demonstrators claimed that local authorities, the police and the media are ignoring the danger. They believe that the violence results from incitement on social media, as well as by pro-Palestinian students and faculty in colleges.
“These trends are especially strong in the four CUNY colleges,” said Lekakh. “Jewish students on these campuses are subjected to daily anti-Semitic abuse.”
The eleven Israelis murdered by the Black September Palestinian terror group at the 1972 Munich Olympics will be honored at a ceremony during the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
A ceremony is scheduled to take place on August 14 at the Rio City Hall, held by the Israeli Olympic Committee and the Israeli consulate.
Brazilian Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported that the widows of Yosef Romano and Andre Spitzer will light eleven candles at the ceremony.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also announced that a special area in the Olympic Village will be set up to remember all the Olympians who have died, including the Israeli athletes.
Families of the eleven murdered Israelis lobbied hard for a minute’s silence to be included at the opening ceremony, however, the IOC decided instead to dedicate a “moment of reflection” commemorating all perished Olympians during the closing ceremony.
A 300-year-old violin that helped its owner and dozens of musicians flee Nazi Germany will be played Monday at Lincoln Center, the New York Post reported on Saturday.
The Huberman Strad violin –named after Polish-Jewish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, the instrument’s original owner, whose visit to Israel in 1929 inspired the founding of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (then known as the Palestine Philharmonic) — will be performed by Grammy-winner Joshua Bell, its current owner.
Bell, whose Russian-Jewish great-grandparents emigrated to Israel, said, “When I perform in Israel with the Israel Philharmonic, I am always touched to think how many of the orchestra and orchestra members are direct descendants of the musicians Huberman saved from the Holocaust — with funds raised by concerts performed on the same instrument I play every day.”
Huberman auditioned musicians from all over Europe during World War II and managed to get exit visas for 60 of them to settle with their families in pre-state Israel. Jewish physicist Albert Einstein helped Huberman raise money for the cause, according to the New York Post.
We live in an age where we are promised freedom and democracy in the majority of countries around the world.
We are promised that as Jews we are equal to all other citizens and are reassured our lives will be safe in our country of choice.
We are promised “never again.”
We are promised freedom and yet what is it’s worth when Jews still cannot walk safely in many streets with a kippah on their heads?
We are promised equality and safety and yet what is it worth when terrorist attacks against Jewish people and places such as synagogues and stores occur all the time?
Faces of Israel – After watching this video how can you not be proud to be a part of Israel!