Martin Gilbert: Winston Churchill and the foundation of Israel
While Churchill was in Jerusalem, in March 1921, he spoke sternly to the Palestinian Arab leaders telling them: “It is manifestly right that the Jews, who are scattered all over the world, should have a national centre and a National Home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in this land of Palestine, with which for more than 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated?”
Churchill envisaged Britain holding the ring in Palestine until such time that the Jews formed a majority of the inhabitants, whereupon the Jewish State would come into existence. Pressed as to whether he meant that the Jews would have “control of the government,” Churchill replied to the Canadian Prime Minister at the Imperial Conference on 22 June 1921: “If, in the course of many years, they become a majority in the country, they naturally would take over.”
This the Palestinian Arabs refused to accept, and in London on 22 August 1921, they once more urged Churchill to bring a complete halt to Jewish immigration. Churchill rejected this appeal, telling the Arabs: “The Jews have a far more difficult task than you. You have only to enjoy your own possession; but they have to try to create out of the wilderness, out of the barren places, a livelihood for the people they bring in… they were in Palestine many hundreds of years ago. They have always tried to be there. They have done a great deal for the country. They have started many thriving colonies and many of them wish to go and live there. It is to them a sacred place.”
Churchill reiterated this view when he spoke to the Peel Commission in 1937, telling them that he had always believed that the intention of the Balfour Declaration was that Palestine might in the course of time become “an overwhelmingly Jewish State.” During the Second World War, although most of his Cabinet colleagues rejected this idea, Churchill clung to it and on many occasions intervened with senior Cabinet Ministers to prevent “an Arab solution” of the Palestine question being permanently fixed.
On 19 May 1941, in a secret memorandum, he wrote of his hope for the establishment after the war of a “Jewish State of Western Palestine” with not only the fullest rights for immigration and development, but also with provision “for expansion in the desert regions to the southwards which they would gradually reclaim.”
His electoral defeat at the end of the war meant that he could not carry out the policies he had outlined and had to watch powerless as Labour’s Palestine policy was put into effect. In 1952, four years after the establishment of the State of Israel, Churchill wrote, comparing the Greeks and the Jews: “Centuries of foreign rule and indescribable, endless oppression leave them still living, active communities and forces in the modern world, quarrelling among themselves with insatiable vivacity.
“Personally I have always been on the side of both, and believed in their invincible power to survive internal strife and the world tides threatening their extinction.”
Michael Oren: France Should Be Ashamed of Labeling Products Made By Jews
For Israelis, as well as many Jews worldwide, France’s labelling decision cannot be viewed in isolation from French history. From the Dreyfus trial at the end of the 19th century, to Vichy’s anti-Jewish laws 50 years later, France has much to atone for in its relations with Jews. During World War II, French Jews were prohibited from serving in the army or working as doctors, lawyers, journalists, or state officials. Jewish students were expelled from schools and banned from commerce and industry. The French government and police participated in the roundup of 75,000 Jews, almost all of whom were murdered by the Nazis.Why is France again labeling Jews?
Does the France that once extended these racist laws to the North African countries—Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia—under its control really want to inflict damage on Jews living in areas they consider part of their ancestral homeland? Does the France that once mandated the registration of Jewish businesses and made Jews wear the yellow star now intend to mark Jewish-made goods?
As a sovereign state, France of course has the right to express its opposition to another state’s policies. But as an ally of Israel which wishes to advance, rather than impede, the peace process, and to disassociate itself from former atrocities, France must find other means than labelling Israeli products. Such actions may appeal to a sense of self-righteousness or satisfy certain parts of public opinion, but they will only prevent France from playing any serious role in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. In the end, France will be negatively labelled, not Israel.
Israel is also a sovereign state, and one with an especially painful past. We have survived many other boycotts, formal and implicit, and thrived. Still, we have the right and the duty to defend ourselves from unjust practices, even when adopted by our friends. Israelis should not boycott French products, but we should certainly think twice before buying them. Or perhaps we should just label them with a sticker stating: “Made in a country that singles out Jewish goods”?
Last week, as Palestinian and Arab terrorists were busy setting fires all across Israel, France decided to join the fray by committing an act of diplomatic arson against the Jewish state.
In a move as hateful as it is hypocritical, French President Francois Hollande’s government chose to become the first European Union state to begin to enforce guidelines which single out Jewish-owned businesses in the Golan, Judea and Samaria by requiring that their products bear special labels of origin.
French authorities published the guidelines in the official government gazette, and they require that items state, “product originating in the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement),” or “product originating in the West Bank (Israeli settlement),” a move they claim is intended merely to provide the consumer with more information.
That, of course, is complete hogwash.
Who has heard of the 1947 Aden riots?
Shimon Sasson, 84, of Tel Aviv, was 15 when the riots broke out in the port city of Aden. It happened just after November 29, 1947, the date on which the United Nations approved the partition plan for Palestine, paving the way for the founding of the State of Israel.Student Assistance from the U.S. Jerusalem Consulate
“I heard the report on the UN vote on the radio with my family at home in Aden,” Sasson told Haaretz this week. “Afterward we went downstairs and told everyone who’d gathered outside the house who had voted for, who against, and who had abstained. There was cheering.”
But the joy was premature and replaced very shortly with alarm. “What happened was totally unexpected and hit us out of nowhere,” wrote Ovadia Tuvia, a Jewish Agency representative, describing the pogrom against local Jews to his superiors in Eretz Israel.
Today, November 30, Israel observes the Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews From the Arab Countries and Iran, an official memorial day established by the Knesset two years ago.
In Aden, which at the time was a British colony and today is part of Yemen, there was an ancient community of Jews numbering around 5,000 people, who lived alongside the local Arab population. The rioting began on December 2, 1947 and lasted three days. “On the night of December 2 the Arabs started to burn Jews’ cars in the streets,” Sasson recalled. “The next day they invaded our neighborhood. The streets were totally empty. We threw bottles at them.”
A day later Arabs started to torch Jewish stores, businesses, and homes. “A few families fled their homes and ran to our house, which was in the middle of the neighborhood. I opened the door and took in five families,” whose names he still remembers.
Here are two updates found on the US Jerusalem Consulate General Facebook page:Animal Rights Activists Deface East London Kosher Slaughterhouse With Antisemitic Graffiti
1. Are you a student between the ages of 20-24 with strong English skills and leadership potential? If so, you need to apply for the MEPI Student Leaders Program! This is a fully-funded six-week intensive leadership training program in the United States for undergraduate students from across the Middle East and North Africa. Apply via the link here and share with your friends.
If you go to the link, the first requirement is
Palestinian citizens, living and attending university in the West Bank, Jerusalem or Gaza. Note that applicants should be residing in one of these three areas at the time of application submission and during the interview process."
What is a "Palestinian citizen"? Is there a country called "Palestine"?
Can a Jew be an "Palestinian citizen" living in "Jerusalem" or the "West Bank"?
Animal rights activists scrawled antisemitic graffiti on the walls of a kosher slaughterhouse in east London during a protest last week, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported.South African Jewish Leader Tells Parliament: Anti-Israel Sentiment in Country Often Degenerates Into Antisemitism
According to the report, the Kedassia abattoir in Hackney Wick was defaced with “a Star of David, references to Nazism and the words ‘Kosher Holocaust.’”
The activists were from a group called East London Chicken Save.
Speaking on behalf of the abattoir owners, Shimon Cohen said, “If you want to protest against eating animals, that is your right…But [the activists] have proved they are nothing more than a bunch of antisemitic vandals who will end up arrested.”
“There are 760 million chickens a year slaughtered in this country, and the Jewish community is responsible for just under one million,” he went on to say. “I wonder why there is such a focus on us.”
Anti-Israel sentiment in South Africa often degenerates into antisemitism, a South African Jewish leader told a parliamentary committee in Cape Town last week.Following Kent State Decision to Retain Golda Display, Advocacy Group Threatens Legal Action Against University for Failing to Protect Students From ‘Network of Well-Funded Zionists’
“Fostering hatred and division amongst fellow South Africans is harmful to our society and does nothing whatsoever to bring an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement closer,” Mary Kluk — national president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) — said during an International Relations Portfolio Committee hearing last Friday.
An allAfrica.com report quoted Kluk as further saying, “It has been more than 20 years since democracy, but some organizations like the BDS SA (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions South Africa) are intolerant of Jewish people. These protests are issues that are supposed to be about Israel. There are some Jews who associate themselves with the message of the BDS movement. We welcome their opinions, but calling for Jews to be fired from universities and be killed is not tolerance.”
Kluk was joined in the appearance at parliament by SAJBD Parliamentary Liaison Chaya Singer, South African Jewish Federation Cape Chairman Rowan Polovin, South Africa-Israel Forum Chairman Benji Shulman and South African Friends of Israel Director Jamie Mighty.
According to SAJBD, the group “commended the South African government’s steadfast support for a two-state solution and reiterated the unique role that the country can play in facilitating a resolution to this complex conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
An anti-Israel legal advocacy group is demanding an apology from Kent State University for failing to protect its students from “a network of well-funded right-wing Zionist organizations” and sympathetic media, following the school’s decision to leave in place a campus display featuring a photo of and quotation by the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, The Algemeiner has learned.Diane Abbott Joins “Anti-Zionist” NUS President to Attack Counter-Terrorism
Palestine Legal issued a letter to Kent State President Beverly Warren on behalf of members of its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, who requested the display be taken down as it “threaten[ed] their ability to access equal educational opportunities.”
The legal group accused the university of violating its responsibilities under the First Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which prohibits programs and activities receiving federal funding from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin — and of exhibiting “callous treatment” towards those complaining about the Golda display.
Palestine Legal demanded that school administrators meet with members of SJP to “listen to [their] grievances and needs,” issue a public apology for “failing to defend them from the false and malicious accusations of supporting terrorism” and “make public” the process that went into the decision to keep the display.
Diane Abbott is joining NUS President Malia Bouattia at UCL tonight to attack the government’s Prevent counter-terrorism strategy. The Shadow Home Secretary doesn’t support what used to be a bi-partisan counter-terrorism strategy…Thornberry Pulls Out of Israel Event to Attend Castro Funeral
She will be sharing a platform with the student radical who called her own University “a Zionist outpost” and who managed to offend Jewish societies in 48 universities, who wrote demanding that she explain the numerous allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at her. Birds of a feather flock together…
Emily Thronberry has pulled out of an event on Britain’s relationship with Israel in order to attend Fidel Castro’s funeral, Guido can reveal. Thornberry was due to speak at today’s conference hosted by BICOM and the Jewish News discussing terrorism and “cooperation” between Britain and Israel. Guido understands she is now in Cuba. Labour’s foreign policy priorities summed up…PreOccupiedTerritory: Habima Theater In Uproar Over Non-Anti-Zionist Work (satire)
Israel’s leading drama company found itself in the midst of cultural controversy this week after it announced that it is preparing a production of a play in the coming season that does not engage in denial of Israel’s legitimacy.BBC reporting on the use of ambulances by terrorists in Iraq and Gaza
Habima released its schedule for the 2017-18 season yesterday, featuring one revival of a classic production and eleven new plays or adaptations, but one work has raised the ire of patrons and trustees alike: a June 2017 series of performances of a play that contains no implication, let alone outright assumption or assertion, that Israel must cease to exist as a Jewish state.
Arms Akimbo, an American play translated and adapted for the Israeli stage, portrays the story of an American expatriate living in Southeast Asia during the 1960’s. Its major shortcoming, contends Habima trustee Itba Halyahud, is that nowhere in the dialogue, setting, or characterization of the play can one find clear condemnation of Jewish sovereignty in the ancient Jewish homeland.
“As far as drama is concerned, I have no major objections,” he explained. “But I do not provide my time and money for this organization to violate certain moral principles, and I will not stand idly by while such basic values as anti-Zionism are trampled.”
On November 6th an article appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Iraq suicide attacks: Ambulances used in Tikrit and Samarra“.The Demise Of Cinema Jenin And The Art Of Biased Reporting
“Suicide bombers have used explosives-laden ambulances to kill at least 21 people and wound many others in the Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Samarra.
The so-called Islamic State (IS) group said it had carried out both attacks. […]
The deadliest of Sunday’s blasts happened in Tikrit, some 200km (123 miles) south of Mosul.
A suicide bomber drove a booby-trapped ambulance into a line of vehicles queuing at a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city, once the hometown of executed former leader Saddam Hussein. […]
In Samarra, further south, another ambulance was detonated in a car park for the al-Askari mosque – one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam. Iranian pilgrims were among the dead.”
During the 2014 conflict between Israel and terrorist organisations based in the Gaza Strip, Hamas’ use of ambulances to transport armed terror operatives (a practice also seen in previous conflicts in Gaza and during the second Intifada) was documented on several occasions.
What a stretch for an excuse! I find it amazing that the demise of the Cinema is somehow turned on Israel, even though Israel did not impede the Cinema in any way. It is reminiscent of those who blame Israel for the terrorism of palestinians, as if the latter lack any agency to make moral decisions.Abbas’ Fatah reelection ignored by the BBC – in English
About the “mixture of conservative attitudes”, the report does expand a bit:
In 2012, the Israeli left-wing newspaper Haaretz said rumours of a so-called “lack of modesty” at a neighbouring guesthouse where volunteers stayed also damaged the cinema’s reputation.
Euphemistic, with no elaboration. But one can imagine this means something along the lines of couples engaging in lewd behavior. Which I am guessing is way more of a reason for the newly-released Cinema’s demise than the lame “fears that going amounted to accepting Israel’s nearly 50-year occupation of the West Bank.” Especially considering this little fact:
Juliano Mer-Khamis, a well-known actor from a mixed Jewish-Arab Israeli family who himself had been involved in the cinema, was shot dead in the city in 2011 by unknown gunmen.
So while this report is ostensibly about the demise of Cinema Jenin, it is really about the palestinians shooting themselves in the foot, and the media aiding and abetting them.
Back in late October, the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell produced an article concerning the question of who will succeed Mahmoud Abbas in his various roles. In that report, Knell speculated that:EU lawmakers, Jewish NGO join forces to fight hate crime
“One potential post-Abbas scenario would see the division of his titles: President, head of Fatah, and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
If different individuals took these jobs it would allow for a more collective political leadership.”
One might therefore have expected that the BBC would be interested in the story of Abbas’ unanimous reelection as head of the Fatah party at its long overdue seventh congress held this week, especially – as the NYT reported, among others – given the less than “collective” circumstances.
The first vice president of the European Commission is set to participate in the launch of an effort to fight hate crime, scheduled to be hosted at Google’s offices in Brussels next week.Jewish Rapper Called ‘Filthy Zionist’ by Hacker of Another Musician’s Twitter Account
The initiative is the fruit of a new project called Facing all the Facts, funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program of the EC, and coordinated by nonprofit organization CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe.
Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans will talk about the commission’s approach to dealing with hate crime and hate speech, at an event next Monday that will kick off an online training course to monitor such activity.
Law enforcement agencies from the UK, Italy and Hungary will attend the event, along with representatives from the EC, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Open Society Foundations and numerous civilian-society organizations that are stakeholders and collaborators in the initiative.
Canadian-Jewish rapper Drake was called a “filthy Zionist” and other slurs by a hacker who took over the official Twitter account of another singer, SPIN magazine reported.Israel firm has high hopes for new cancer-busting drug
Calling himself “rorylol,” the hacker hurled epithets at the 30-year-old Grammy award-winner from the account of American hip-hop artist Schoolboy Q.
In separate messages, the hacker wrote “#FreePalestine” and claimed that “Israel are the ones trying to shut down Kanye,” in reference to rapper Kanye West, reality star Kim Kardashian’s husband.
His posts were deleted about 40 minutes after they were uploaded, but not before various media outlets grabbed screenshots of his comments.
Drake, whose mother is Jewish and father is African-American, has not responded to the incident, while Schoolboy Q posted a video on Instagram on Tuesday saying that his Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat accounts were all hacked. He told his fans, “Anything you see, that ain’t me.”
For years, scientists have been trying to find ways to block angiogenesis, the process by which cancerous tumors give off chemical signals to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels that bring them the nutrients and oxygen they need to grow.Kurdistan in Iraq commemorates Jewish history
Angiogenesis inhibitors are now the standard therapy for many cancers, including of the colon, brain, lung and liver.
Scientists, however, are still seeking more effective medications with fewer side effects. If they succeed in their efforts to better target blood vessels, patients will be able to live with cancer, just as HIV patients now live with the virus.
Enter Israeli company Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (VBL), which believes it has found a way to target these vessels and impede their growth.
“Kurdistan has always believed in living peacefully and with respect for different faiths,” Sherzad Omer Mamsani wrote in a statement in Hebrew and Kurdish published on Wednesday. It was based on a speech he gave in Erbil to guests commemorating the Jewish community in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.The 98 companies recognized for their Corporate Social Responsibility employ 310,000, with annual sales of $94 billion, representing one-third of Israel’s GDP.
The event was held for the second year in a row under the auspices of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s directorate of Jewish affairs.
Looking back 71 years to the period at the end of the Second World War, the statement described the difficulties Jews faced in Iraq in the 1940s, which reached a crescendo with the pogrom in Baghdad of June 1, 1941, often called the Farhud.
According to Mamsani, up to 200,000 Jews were expelled or fled Iraq.
The timing of the ceremony in Erbil, which was attended by locals and politicians, coincides with the Knesset decision two years ago to mark November 30 as the day of “Exit and Deportation of Jews from Arab Lands and Iran Day.” It commemorates the uprooting of 856,000 Jews from the Middle East that was triggered by the UN Security Council passing the partition plan that led to the creation of Israel in 1948.
For Jews of Iraq, the discrimination that led to the expulsion began more than a decade before.
Minister of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan paid tribute to Israel’s world-renowned sustainable innovation at this week’s first-ever Israeli CSR Experience Conference hosted by Maala, the country’s CSR standards organization.Army bracelet aims to save wounded soldiers’ lives
“Today, nearly 90 percent of our waste water is recycled,” Minister Erdan stated. “That’s around four times higher than any other country in the world. It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.”
The conference saw leaders from Israel’s business community and key international opinion makers in the sustainability and CSR community gather to address Israel’s social and environmental innovation and the strides it continues to make in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A plethora of speakers and experts from the likes of Teva, Intel, 3M and Strauss Group headed an all-day summit in Tel Aviv Wednesday; also featured were on-site visits around the country to witness Israel’s cutting-edge sustainability in action.
From the world’s most environmentally friendly recycled paper to water shortage solutions, sustainable healthcare, energy conservation and the green construction and infrastructure of the future, Israel continues to lead the way in sustainable innovation, living up to its status as the world’s top innovator in the field of clean technologies according to the Global Cleantech 100 Index.
Wounded soldiers are often treated on site and under difficult emergency conditions when they are in war zones or undertaking military operations. They receive the immediate, first response attention from medics at the site and then are removed from the war zone to other locations for additional treatment. Only later are they actually moved to hospitals, often via helicopter.Ben-Gurion University, PayPal to join forces on R&D
During that arduous journey to safety, these soldiers are patched up, treated and dealt with by a number of medical professionals who are also likely treating many other wounded soldiers. These medics have just a few minutes to assess the situation, learn the circumstances of the injury and decide on the treatment. Often the information they receive about patients is incomplete, and at times, only via bloodstained scribbled notes of paper. The information that they pass on to the next doctor who will treat the injured soldiers is also often limited.
“Unlike in the civilian world, where the chain of treatment is generally limited to those in the ambulance and then the hospitals, soldiers get treated by a number of people under difficult circumstances,” said Major Nimrod Nocsenianu, a commander in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and head of the advanced officer training course in the army’s C4I Signal Corps. “Twenty-five percent of soldier deaths globally could be avoided with more precise care, better treatment procedures.”
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and PayPal, the US company that operates an online payments system, said they would partner in joint research and development in the fields of big data, machine learning and cybersecurity. It is the first such collaboration between PayPal and an Israeli university, BGU said in a statement.Israeli Startups Take Home Top 3 Prizes for Health Apps at Leading Int’l Medical Trade Fair
The collaboration with BGU will further enable PayPal to use machine learning and big data for cybersecurity, fraud detection and risk management that will enable its 192 million customers worldwide to make safer payment transactions, Matan Parnes, Paypal’s general manager in Israel said in the statement.
PayPal has been ratcheting up its activities in Israel. The US firm bought Israel’s Fraud Sciences in 2008 and has established a global risk and data sciences R&D center in Tel-Aviv. After PayPal acquired Israeli startup CyActive in 2015, which was part of BGU’s incubator program, the company set up a global security products center in Beersheba’s Advanced Technologies Park, adjacent to BGU.
Three Israeli startups—UpRight, Biop Medical, and TytoCare—took home top honors at the fifth annual Medica App Competition, held earlier this month during Medica, the world’s leading medical trade fair.Legendary musician Jordi Savall to perform in Israel
Development teams from all over the world traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany to compete in Medica’s annual challenge to create the “Best Medical Mobile Solution.”
UpRight won €2,000 for its combination app and wearable device to optimize posture and stimulate movement using an accelerometer and numerous sensors.
Biop Medical was awarded second place (€1,000) for its innovative point-of-care testing device for the early diagnosis of cervical cancer. It is expected to enter the U.S. market in 2017.
Third place (€500) went to TytoCare for its telemedicine solution, enabling home medical examinations of cardiac and lung function, skin, temperature, throat, and nose. Results are transmitted to the doctor for evaluation. The Tyto Stethoscope has already received FDA approval, and its associated hardware is FDA compliant.
In addition to the winners, six additional Israeli companies were among the 15 finalists chosen to present their product in a three-minute pitch to the jury.
Catalan viol virtuoso Jordi Savall and his musical ensemble Hesperion XXI will be performing in Israel for the second time at a concert marking the 700th anniversary of the death of Ramon Llull, one of the most prominent thinkers of Catalan culture.When a Muslim MK beseeched Israel to fund a Moroccan synagogue
Savall, one of the busiest musicians in the world, performed in Israel for the first time at the 2008 Israel Festival. His coming concert, in Jerusalem on Dec. 14, is being hosted by the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra.
Ramon Llull was a Christian philosopher, poet, composer, scientist, mystic and theologian who expressed acceptance of other cultures and religions. He learned Arabic, showed interest in the Kabbalah, and sought to create a dialogue among the monotheistic religions.
The concert will include Moorish music from North Africa and secular and religious music from 13th and 14th century Spain.
Savall formed his Hesperion ensemble in 1974 and together they perform and record a rich repertoire that ranges from medieval to modern music. Savall has expressed great enthusiasm for Jewish music from the Middle Ages and has been conducting and performing it for many years.
Fresh upon his return from the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, an Arab Israeli lawmaker last week imparted what he described as a pressing plea from Morocco’s Jewish community: They desperately need money for the upkeep of their synagogues, the Muslim Knesset member said in the plenum, and the Israeli government has a “duty” to intervene.Remembering 850,000 invisible Jewish refugees
But the Council of Jewish Communities of Morrocco said it was “surprised” by the claims presented by Zionist Union MK Zouheir Bahloul, insisting the statements “do not fit with the reality” on the ground and rattling off dozens of Jewish heritage preservation projects backed by the crown. Meanwhile, Israel’s Diaspora Ministry, responding to a query from Bahloul on the dearth of funding, said it does not have the budget to support the maintenance of synagogues abroad.
Bahloul took to the plenum podium twice last Monday to declare that Jews overseeing the synagogue in Marrakech’s mellah quarter were mired in financial straits.
“Obviously, it receives support, as a Jewish community, from King Mohammed VI. In any event, the good Jews of the Jewish community, who are trying to uphold their rights and obligations in their holy places, cannot afford to do so,” Bahloul said.
“They are crying out [that they are struggling] to observe the rituals of the Jewish religion in that place. They asked us to convey, in any way possible, this message to the Israeli government.
Today is 30 November, the remembrance day for Jewish refugees from Arab lands. Events are being organised all over the world, and articles are appearing in the Jewish press to mark the day. Lyn Julius writes in The Times of Israel:StandWithUs+: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries
One autumn day in 1956 Lilian Abda was swimming leisurely in the Suez Canal when Egyptian soldiers arrested her. “I was brought in my bathing suit to the police station,” she recalls. “The next day they expelled me and my entire family from the country.”
Lilian Abda, who now lives in Haifa, was one of 25,000 Egyptian Jews caught up in the brutal aftermath of the Suez crisis 60 years ago.
Fearful that Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s military dictator, would nationalise the Suez Canal, Britain and France colluded with Israel to attack Egypt. The Israelis were responding to Nasser’s act of war – the closure of the Straits of Tiran – and to years of terrorist raids.
Nasser’s revenge against the Jews was not long in coming. Lilian Abda was accused of passing intelligence to Israel. “They called me the Mata Hari of the canal,” she says. British and French passport-holders were given days to leave. Another 500 Jews were also expelled and their property seized, including stateless Jews or those who held Egyptian nationality.
Today we remember the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled or forced to flee from Arab countries.
Unique inscription confirms name of Roman ruler of Judea
A unique Roman-era stone carrying a Greek inscription that was found underwater off the coast south of Haifa confirms that the Roman procurator who ruled Judea just before the Bar Kochba revolt (132-136 C.E.) was named Gargilius Antiques, University of Haifa archaeologists have announced.
The rectangular stone, 87 centimeters (34 inches) long and weighings more than 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds), was discovered by University of Haifa archaeologists in the waters at the Tel Dor archaeological site.
The two archaeologists in charge of the excavation, Professor Assaf Yasur-Landau and Dr. Gil Gambash, said in a statement that the find was unique on two levels.
"Not only does this confirm the identity of procurator who controlled Judea during the critical years before the Bar Kochba Revolt, it is also only the second Roman-era artifact to include the name Judea in an inscription," they said in a joint statement.