Ben-Dror Yemini: Looking a gift horse in the mouth
After billionaire George Soros was discovered to be behind a plot to influence Israeli NGOs, practical action must be taken to prevent such a threat in the future.Real Tikkun Olam
Anyone who follows NGO Monitor’s reports on Soros knows that he isn’t involved in projects that promote peace, solidarity and conciliation among different peoples. That’s not his what he’s about. Rather, what Soros has focused on was the funding of different bodies, most of them Palestinian, which had all taken part in a campaign that delegitimized and demonized Israel. This is already known to whoever wishes to look into Soros' track record, as Soros himself has admitted that his actions promote anti-Semitism. This evil man, who has been indicted in France for insider trading, was reportedly behind financial speculation that threatened to topple entire nations. Noted philosopher Slavoj Žižek said of him that “Soros’ daily routine is a lie embodied: half of his working time is devoted to financial speculation, the other half to ‘humanitarian’ activities (the inside quotes are my own).” Žižek is admittedy a well-known anti-Zionist himself, but even anti-Zionists can get it right some of the time.
For a moment, a sneaking suspicion makes you wonder whether the relative quiet with which Solos’ leaked documents were received here was the work of some of the organizations that he had backed, such as the New Israel Fund and breaking the Silence. This only further stresses the ridiculousness of the “NGO Law” passed by the Right, which demands that all NOGs be transparent only in regard to the backing they receive from organizations outside of Israel, when private organizations and citizens intent on ushering in a new world order can be far more dangerous.
The take-home message from the Soros affair is that a practical response must be carried out. There has to be some legislation the deals more seriously with NGO donations. When private or governmental bodies, be they Soros or Sweden or an Irish church fund, begin assisting organizations that deny Israel’s very existence, or that support racism, they should not be allowed to donate to politically-affiliated NGOs in Israel. It is simply unacceptable that a body that denies Israel’s right to exist should be allowed to interfere in its inner workings through a generous donation to an NGO that supports, for instance, the Palestinian right of return. A country cannot stay indifferent to a campaign that works toward its undoing. Israel's Basic Law: the Knesset, which limits the extent of any body denying Israel’s right to exist to act as an elected representative, must also be implemented in regard to NGO funding.
From the Economist.
Tiny Israel gives aid to 76 countries.
A Sloppy Hit on Israel
Go to a library and toss a coin at the Israel shelf. You’re almost certain to bounce it off a title critical of the Jewish state. The latest contribution to this death by a thousand books is Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal by journalist Milton Viorst. At the heart of this book is the assumption that Israel is wholly to blame for the conflict between Jews and Arabs.Israel doubles sale of goods, services to UN institutions
Though himself a Jew, Viorst veers into racist-sounding rhetoric when he asks whether “the Jewish DNA contains an immunity to peace.” Given Israel’s many attempts to achieve peace, the question isn’t whether Jews are immune to peace but whether they are immune to reality. Viorst clearly is. Otherwise he could not declare that Israel adheres to the “Begin doctrine,” a “diplomatic principle” that purportedly maintains that if a small state “offers concessions at a time of pressure, it only invites more pressure upon itself.”
The manifold problems with this theory begin with Menachem Begin himself, who gave up the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1978 in return for a peace treaty, few provisions of which Egypt honored. In 1993, Yitzhak Rabin handed over large swaths of the West Bank to Yasser Arafat, the man known as the “founder of modern terror,” who showed his gratitude by launching a wave of suicide attacks. In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak didn’t even bother getting an agreement before pulling Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon, paving the way for Hezbollah to turn it into a launching pad for rockets into northern Israel. Similarly, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon uprooted over 8,000 Israelis from their homes in the Gaza Strip, declaring “I am convinced in the depths of my soul and with my entire intellect that this disengagement … will win the support and appreciation of countries near and far… and will advance us on the path of peace with the Palestinians and our other neighbors.” It did neither, as “the world community” became ever more hostile and Gaza became another launching pad for rockets.
Over the past two years, Israel has more than doubled its sale of services and products to the United Nations and its branches, the country’s UN mission said.Turkish parliament approves Israel reconciliation deal
A recent report released by the United Nations shows it acquired goods and services from Israel totaling $91.8 million in 2015 — a significant increase from 2014’s total of $69.8 million and more then double the 2013 level of $45 million.
Last year’s total places Israel fortieth out of the 193 member-states in terms of procurement from the United Nations, which purchases goods and services worth more than $15 billion annually.
Israel has frequently accused the UN – whose general assembly in 1975 labeled Zionism a form of racism in a resolution that was later reversed — and many of its branches of anti-Israel bias.
Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted 19 resolutions condemning Israel, and only one resolution on the civil war in Syria, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.
Notwithstanding, “The United Nations understands that Israel is the ‘Startup nation’ and that Israeli goods and services of are of the highest quality in the world,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to promote the Israeli economy and assist and encourage our companies to work with the UN procurement offices,” he added.
Turkey’s parliament has ratified a reconciliation deal reached with Israel last month, ending a six-year rift and paving the way for the restoration of full diplomatic ties.Concern for World Image, Not Love for Israel, Drives Egyptian Public’s Criticism of Judoka’s Snub of Israeli Rival, Analysis Finds
Parliament voted to approve the pact early on Saturday before it closed for a summer recess.
Relations between the former allies imploded in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The raid left 10 Turks dead and several IDF soldiers wounded.
Under the terms of the reconciliation agreement, Israel will pay a “lump sum” of $20 million in compensation to the victims within 25 days.
Individual Israeli nationals also would not be held criminally or financially liable for the incident.
Israel had already offered compensation and an apology over the raid several years ago, but with the agreement it also eased slightly its part in the blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, transferring humanitarian aid from Ankara through Israel’s border crossings with the Strip.
The Israeli Cabinet has already approved the deal.
One of the main worries aired by Egyptians was how the incident would affect their country’s global image. “The concern for Egypt’s positive image is regarded as extremely important at the present time, when Egypt needs the world’s support in dealing with its economic distress,” the article said. “Egypt’s image as a peace loving, stable, and advanced country combating extremism, rather than a stronghold of radical Islam, political chaos, and backwardness, is regarded by Egypt’s leaders as a key to attracting foreign investment, rehabilitating the tourist industry, and increasing exports, growth, and development. Egypt’s peaceful relations with Israel constitute an integral part of Egypt’s positive international reputation.Trump more consistent on Israel than Obama, Zeldin says
“In this sense, sports in general, and the Olympics in particular, should have been part of Egypt’s showcase of its favorable qualities, and leverage for rebranding itself as a regional power with an open and tolerant cultural heritage.”
Despite the warming of relations between the Egyptian and Israeli governments since Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rose to power in Cairo in 2013, normalization “remains a complex and sensitive idea for the Egyptian public,” the article said. “Indeed, most of El-Shehaby’s critics did not criticize him for ignoring his Israeli competitor and were not motivated by a desire for normalization, but by reasons involving sportsmanship and Egypt’s image and international standing.”
However, the article went on to highlight that “the very existence of an open public debate, in which opinions on all sides are heard on an issue considered taboo for many years, constitutes a notable development.”
Given the Egyptian public’s reticence regarding the development of closer ties with Israel, the article said, “Israel should continue to focus on what is common to the leadership of both countries, not what divides the peoples, while maintaining the separation of political, security, and economic issues from more sensitive questions involving cultural and social matters covered by the ‘threatening’ term of ‘normalization.’”
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has been more consistent in expressing support for Israel than President Barack Obama has since taking office, Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, asserted in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Friday.Top 5 Most Antisemitic Things Hillary Clinton Has Done
Zeldin, who endorsed Trump in May, said he is confident in Trump's long-term commitment to the security of the Jewish state– a factor he considered before choosing to publicly support the nominee.
"There's been more clarity from [Trump] on that as it relates to many of those countries in the region compared to the lack of clarity we've had during the current president's term in office," said Zeldin. "Right now, the president's foreign policy in ways has looked like we're treating Israel like Iran, and Iran like Israel."
Zeldin has been highly critical of the nuclear deal reached between world powers and Iran last year, and of subsequent news developments of a transfer of cash to Iran over a Hague tribunal settlement timed with Tehran's release of four American political prisoners.
As news of the timing of those transfers unfolded, Zeldin questioned where Obama's loyalties lie: "When deals like this are cut," he said at the time, "one has to truly wonder whether the president has no idea what he is doing, or if he knows exactly what he is doing and is playing for some other team."
The charge against Breitbart News is ludicrous, but since the Clinton campaign has decided to open that particular Pandora’s box, it is useful to explore some of the deeply antisemitic things Hillary Clinton and her campaign have said and done.Blue State Blues: Obama & Hillary Let Iran Take Israel and the Jews Hostage
1. Attacking Bernie Sanders for his religion. Last month, Wikileaks released emails showing that senior officials in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) discussed helping Clinton by targeting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for being a Jew and, they believed, possibly an atheist. “Does he believe in a God. He had scated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps.” The scandal forced several resignations.
2. Embracing the antisemitic Black Lives Matter movement. Clinton has tied herself closely to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization, whose platform accuses Israel of “genocide.” Clinton supporter Alan Dershowitz said: “Until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform and renounces it, no decent person — black, white, or of any other racial or ethnic background — should have anything to do with it.” Clinton has yet to renounce BLM or its views.
3. Promoting anti-Israel articles by anti-Israel authors. The State Department’s email dump of Clinton’s correspondence — revealed that she often shared and promoted articles attacking Israel. Some of them referred to the work of Max Blumenthal, the rabidly anti-Israel author who compares Israel to Nazi Germany — and who happens to be the son of her closest adviser, Sidney Blumenthal. Clinton was forced to distance herself from the younger Blumenthal after he attacked the late Elie Wiesel.
4. Kissing and embracing terrorist Yasser Arafat’s wife after she accused Israel of gassing Palestinians. In 2000, on a visit to the West Bank, Clinton kissed Suha Arafat (above) after the latter “accused the Israeli government of poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gas.” The charge was particularly jarring, given that the Nazis used poison gas to murder millions of Jews in the Holocaust. Clinton’s bizarre explanation for her behavior: “I did what I was expected to do.”
5. Supporting the Iran deal, the ransom, and Tim Kaine. Clinton not only supported the Iran deal, but takes credit for the early negotiations that led to it. The deal shovels billions of dollars to the most antisemitic, terrorist regime in the world. She failed to condemn the $400 million cash ransom paid for American hostages. And she chose Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) as her running mate, who not only backed the deal but boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in 2015.
And the indirect hostages are the State of Israel, which is in constant danger of attack by Iran or its terrorist proxies; as well as the Jewish people as a whole, whom Iran continues to target in word and in deed.Three Modes of Persuasion
Israel’s vulnerability was laid bare this week when it was revealed that Russian warplanes are using a base in Iran to launch attacks inside Syria. In the past, Israel has tried to thwart the delivery of advanced Russian S-300 missiles to Iran as a “red line,” since the missiles would make any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, if necessary, more difficult. Instead of crossing that line, Russia has just walked around it. Putting Russian air assets inside Iran risks a wider conflict if Israel ever strikes.
That is a major strategic failure for Obama and the West. As my friend Ed Morrissey notes at HotAir:
For centuries, the West has employed a policy to deny Russia easy access to major shipping lanes in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean by denying them access to a warm-water port. That is the reason that both Great Britain and later the US deemed Iran and Afghanistan strategically critical. Russian entry into these shipping lanes could create dangerous confrontations and will certainly require more vigorous oversight.
(Amidst all the talk about Donald Trump’s friendly posture towards Russia, it is important to remember just how weak and accommodating Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been.)
Obama’s strategic failure is Israel’s strategic disaster. Iran now enjoys a Russian military and diplomatic shield, meaning that it can continue to threaten Israel — and Europe, by the way — with ballistic missiles and a creeping nuclear research program.
Moreover, Iran can continue to threaten Jewish communities around the world.
Speaking of fiction vs. non-fiction (or, more specifically, falsehood vs. truth) one last crucial rhetorical lesson has to do with the difference between being honest and being fair.BBC Sport ‘overlooks’ BDS linked agitprop in Glasgow
In a propaganda war, it is vital that our side sticks to telling the truth since (a) getting caught in a lie destroys a speaker’s ethos quotient, and (b) just maintaining a lie-based narrative creates tremendous cognitive burden on the liar. But beyond these utilitarian concerns, honesty is a personal virtue that every individual has an obligation to uphold (easy to do in our case, since the truth is on our side).
Fairness, in contrast, is transactional, in that we are under no obligation to treat an opponent fairly who is not playing fairly with us. For example, that fact that BDS proponents intentionally avoid any and all points made by our side means that they are not entitled to demand we respond to each and every accusation they hurl at the Jewish state – no matter how much they scream in our faces that we must.
Similarly, while it might seem unfair to wrap the excesses of the most violent and irresponsible chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine around the neck of that tiny chapter at your own school consisting of just a few soft-spoken undergraduates, such a line of attack is perfectly reasonable – indeed required – until the “movement” that group represents earns the right to be treated fairly by those under assault by the BDS project as a whole.
Sky News’ reporter noticed them. So did journalists from the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Mirror and numerous other media organisations. In fact, one might well have concluded that only BBC Sport failed to spot the Palestinian flags which were part of a pre-planned political provocation at the Champion’s League match between Celtic and Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Glasgow on August 17th.Celtic matchJerusalem, if I forget you. JVP Rabbi David Mivasair's failure to fact check
In its three separate reports on the match – here, here and here – BBC Sport apparently did not find the breach of UEFA rules by a group of Celtic fans and the potential punishment of the football club worthy of mention. The only coverage of incident came in the form of a cryptic mention on BBC Sport’s ‘Football gossip’ page on August 18th and in the BBC News website’s coverage of the Scottish papers:
“Meanwhile, the Daily Record says that Celtic face another UEFA “rap” after their fans flew Palestine flags during the Champions League clash with Israelis Hapoel Beer Sheva.”
The BBC’s funding public (and even some politicians) in Scotland might of course have an interest in being fully informed about the background to this and other fringe groups tarnishing their country’s reputation as a hospitable tourist destination year after year with agitprop based on falsehoods and propaganda.
They're not making rabbis like they used too. From a tweet by "Rabbi" David Mivasair of the JVP Rabbinic councilFrom a dank bunker somewhere: Nasrallah: I'm not hiding in a bunker
The link goes to this page.
If David Mivasair had done 5 seconds worth of fact checking, he would know that photo has been in use since at least 2012. If he had done 10 seconds worth of fact checking, he'd know that photo is not an "uprooted tree"- it is a pruned tree.
Failure to fact check. Linking to sites abhorrent to the Jewish people. All in a days work for a member of the Jewish voice for Peace Rabbinic Council.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denied on Friday that he has been hiding in an underground bunker for the past decade, since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.Yalla Ya Nasrallah
Speaking to Hezbollah’s television network, Al-Manar, Nasrallah also said that his group would defeat Israel if it were to start another war.
"After the war I visited the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon. They (Israel –ed.) say their achievement is that they forced me to hide in a bunker. That's not true, I’ve met with many people away from the spotlight [not in daylight]. I live and get around in a natural way. I do not live in a bunker,” claimed the Hezbollah leader.
Nasrallah further said that the missiles that Hezbollah fired against Israel during the 2006 war came from the Syrian military industry and that the Lebanese government did not assist the terrorist organization in the war against Israel.
The interview is the latest in several appearances by Nasrallah in recent days. Last week, the Hezbollah chief claimed that Israel is deterred by Lebanon and also said that the Second Lebanon War caused the IDF to be undermined.
Photos show IS forces fleeing while using human shields
New photos released over the weekend show Islamic State forces fleeing the Syrian city of Manbij last week, as they surround themselves with human shields to prevent air strikes on the convoy.Iran vows to improve its missiles, offers support for ‘anti-Zionist front’
IS fighters had controlled the key city in northern Syria since early 2014, and the city had become a vital waypoint for the group as they funneled foreign fighters from the Turkish border to other parts of their self-declared caliphate.
But as it became clear that US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would re-capture the city last week, some 100-200 jihadists fled in cars and trucks, Baghdad-based coalition spokesman Colonel Chris Garver told reporters in a video call.
Unlike in Fallujah in Iraq, where local and coalition forces destroyed about 175 IS vehicles as they fled that city, the SDF outside Manbij did not open fire on outgoing cars.
“Civilians were observed in the convoy intermingled with fighters in every vehicle,” Garver said.
Iran vowed Saturday to continue its efforts to advance its missile technology, and expressed its unceasing support for those who form the “anti-Zionism front” as well as for fighters in other “proxy and terrorist wars in the region.”Ukraine’s honoring of war criminals leaves its Jews uneasy — and divided
The pledge came as part of a statement from the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces to mark the country’s National Defense Industry Day, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Iran’s army and defense experts “will continue the trend of increasing the power and enhancing the precision striking and the destructive power of our missiles,” the statement said.
“We declare very clearly and firmly that with regard to the proxy and terrorist wars in the region, we will respond to all the needs of the Islamic resistance and anti-Zionism front and will help them on the scene of the current decisive battles in Iraq and Syria,” the statement continued.
When Vladimir Putin grabbed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the Russian president claimed it was to protect minorities from anti-Semitic fascists whom Putin maintained were behind the revolution that year that ousted his ally in Kiev, former President Viktor Yanukovych.CellSavers – Uber for smartphone repairs – raises $15m.
But a physicist named Josef Zissels, who heads one of the groups representing Ukraine’s fractured Jewish community of 350,000, wasn’t buying it.
In hundreds of media briefings and interviews, Zissels called the revolution “an expression of the Ukrainian people’s desire for independence, Western democracy and an end to the corruption by sellout leaders,” as he put it at one news conference in Kiev in 2014.
That defense of the revolution, coming from a former political prisoner who spent nearly 10 years in a Soviet prison, severely undermined Putin’s narrative.
Two years later, Zissels finds himself at the center of another controversy that confounds good guy-bad guy narratives in Eastern Europe, especially when it comes to anti-Semitism.
Unlike other Ukrainian Jewish leaders who remained neutral as they waited for the dust to settle on the revolution, Zissels emerged as a proud pro-revolution nationalist. Distinguishing himself from other Jewish leaders who used their personal wealth to gain influence, Zissels, a poker-faced man with a wry sense of humor and modest means, accused anti-revolution Jews of “thinking with their pockets.”
Smartphone users in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta are already using the CellSavers technology platform which sends highly-vetted technicians to quickly fix smartphones at the time and place of the customers’ choice. Now, new customers around the US will benefit from this on-demand repair service thanks to a successful $15 million financing round.New Israeli Road-Safety App Allows Drivers to Snitch on Traffic-Law Violaters
CellSavers – often dubbed the Uber of smartphone repairs — announced today the new capital financing round, led by Carmel Ventures, with participation of Sequoia Capital Israel. The current funding follows the company’s $3 million round in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital in December 2015.
“CellSavers’ vision is to reliably, easily, and quickly repair or replace any malfunctioning technology product. For this purpose, we have built a very sophisticated technology infrastructure, which allows a real-time matchmaking between technicians, skills, parts and consumers,” said Eyal Ronen, CEO and Co-Founder of CellSavers.
“In the near future, when any electronic device – game console, smart TV, Wi-Fi router, or any other device – will need to be fixed, a skilled technician, specifically trained for the task and equipped with all necessary replacement parts, will arrive at the location of the consumer’s choice within 60 minutes. The technician will provide a professional, warranty-backed service, complemented with full customer service,” said Ronen.
A new Israeli app enabling drivers to photograph traffic violations is being launched by road-safety organizations and the police, Geektime reported on Wednesday.‘Expedia’ for global shipping sets sail
The initiative, called “Guardians of the Road — Social Change on the Roads,” is a joint venture of the National Road Safety Authority, Israel Police Traffic Department and the NGO Nativ Batuach (Safe Lane). Its goal is to deter reckless driving.
Users of the app are able, via smartphones set up on their dashboards, to continuously photograph the road and other vehicles through their front windshields. When witnessing a traffic violation, users can record a voice description of it. The photographs and voice descriptions are then automatically and anonymously sent to the National Road Safety Authority, where they are thoroughly examined for veracity. If the information reveals that a violation did, in fact, occur, it is passed on to the Israel Police.
During a pilot run last year, around 7,500 moving violations were recorded, hundreds of which were passed on to police, Geektime reported.
Freightos, an Israeli pioneer in logistics technology, has launched the world’s first online marketplace for international freight, providing instant comparison, booking and management of freight services from multiple logistics providers.Tiny nation is a leader in desalination
Initially the product is focused on US imports from China by air and ocean, the largest trade lane in the world.
The company says that “90 percent of everything we eat, wear, and use is shipped. But online sales and automation for the trillion-dollar freight industry is non-existent. We believe that process of moving goods around the world should be smooth. So we’ve created the online freight marketplace and SaaS software to usher the logistics industry into the digital era, making global shipping faster, more cost-effective and smoother.”
Founded in December 2011 by serial entrepreneur Zvi Schreiber, Freightos is incorporated in Hong Kong and has a sales, marketing and product development team in Jerusalem. It also has offices in Europe and the United States.
Last week, we began a three-part series on the agriculture sector in Israel, which I toured one year ago.China opens world’s greatest, Israeli-made, glass bridge
Israel has more tech start-ups and more people working in research and development than any other country in the world. So what about agriculture innovation in Israel? This could run into pages, so I will just highlight some that may be of interest to you.
The usage of a plastic emitter in drip irrigation was developed in Israel. Instead of releasing water through tiny holes easily blocked by tiny particles, water was released through larger and longer passageways by using velocity to slow water inside a plastic emitter. The first experimental system of this type was established in 1959, and from this an irrigation company called Netafim was created, which developed and patented the first practical surface drip irrigation emitter.
Israel is in one of the driest regions on earth, traditionally relying on a short, rainy season each winter to replenish its limited supplies. But rainfall only covers about half of Israel's water needs, and in 2014, that amount was far less.
Israel has managed to close its water gap through a mixture of conservation efforts, advances that allow nearly 90 per cent of wastewater to be recycled for agricultural use and, in recent years, the construction of desalination plants.
Since 2005, Israel has opened five desalination plants. Roughly 35 per cent of Israel's drinking-quality water now comes from desalination. That number was expected to exceed 40 per cent by 2015 and hit 70 per cent in 2050.
China will open the world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge this weekend, designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan.At 80, a Munich Olympics and Holocaust survivor is still the sportsman
The bridge is 6 meters (20 feet) wide, 430 meters long (about 1,410 feet) and hangs 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet) high above a ravine in southern China’s Hunan province. Authorities plan to hold fashion shows on the stunning crossing, and have built a platform for bungee jumpers.
Located in Zhangjiajie National Park, which is said to have inspired James Cameron’s film Avatar, it was completed in December at a cost of $3.4 million.
Most remarkably of all, it is fitted with 99 huge three-layer glass panes through which visitors can glimpse the terrifying drop below.
Though many will no doubt be concerned for their safety on the walkway, Chinese officials have made repeated assurances that the bridge is entirely safe. To prove the point, in June they staged an event in which a glass pane was repeatedly bashed with sledgehammers, then driven over with a car full of passengers.
The glass did indeed hold.
Shaul Ladany, a two-time Olympian, acknowledged that he was “very happy” that the International Olympic Committee finally held an official memorial for the 11 Israelis who were killed in a terrorist raid at the 1972 Munich Games.Elie Wiesel: A Life in Pictures
But Ladany, an Israeli racewalker who still holds a world record, didn’t need the Aug. 3 ceremony at the Rio Games to remember the tragedy. He was there, forced to flee the dorms where the terrorists held his teammates hostage.
“I remember everything that happened in Munich. I don’t need special memorial services to remind me,” said Ladany, who watched clips of the ceremony on the TV news. “What the [Rio] event did, though, was to mark the IOC’s recognizing that this was part of the Olympic movement and that the Israelis and others must be remembered.”
He added: “Anyone with a head on his shoulders, and especially Israelis who were there, wanted this [commemoration] very much.”
The ceremony, held two days before the Olympics opened in Rio, culminated a 44-year struggle by victims’ families to attain official recognition of their loved ones.
“I think a big reason for that [breakthrough] is that the president of the Olympic movement is German, and he understands his obligation,” Ladany said of Thomas Bach, adding that he hopes such commemorations are held at every Olympics.
A new exhibit of photographs featuring Elie Wiesel, a voice for Holocaust survivors, and a Nobel laureate, who died in July, is set to open this month in Moscow. The show, titled “Elie Wiesel: From Sighet to New York via France and Israel,” will be on display at the Israeli Cultural Center. It is curated by Yoel Rappel, the founder and director of Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Archive.
Using pictures, documents, and other images, the show will present a comprehensive overview of Wiesel’s remarkable life, including information about his birthplace and family in Romania; his imprisonment at Auschwitz and subsequent liberation from Buchenwald; his work as a journalist; his many published books, such as The Fifth Son, The Trial of God, The Jews of Silence, and Night; receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986; and decades of international Holocaust activism.
According to the announcement, a number of prominent Jewish figures will be present at the exhibition’s opening, including the chief rabbis of Russia, Berel Lazar and Avraham Shayevich; Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kenner; Israel’s Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver; Conference of European Rabbis President Pinchas Goldschmidt; Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Secretary General Mikhail Chlenov; Israeli-Russian Business Council Chairman Dr. Temur Ben Yehuda; Adlofand the founder and chairman of Limmud FSU, Chaim Chesler.
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