Saturday, May 09, 2020

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: The US administration's effective peace work in Israel
On May 14, 2018, the US embassy was officially inaugurated in Jerusalem, and a double standard applied to Israel in the US for 70 years finally came to an end.

The moving of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem not only recognized Israel’s capital as it had seen it since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, but also removed a myth from any future negotiating table. Jerusalem, the United States determined, was non-negotiable. It was Israel’s capital.

“We were applying [until then] a double standard to Israel, relative to every other country in the world,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told The Jerusalem Post last week. “We were telling Israel, you don’t have the right to choose your capital city.”

That changed with the moving of the embassy even as some critics claim that beyond the symbolism of the move, it didn’t achieve much more. Other countries did not follow suit and the fact is that peace negotiations seem no farther away today than they were before.

Friedman did not agree. Don’t, he said, underestimate the power of symbolism.

“Americans who support Israel understand the significance of Jerusalem,” he said. “It’s what the Statue of Liberty, the Lincoln Memorial, Plymouth Rock and Valley Forge are. We understand symbols are more than symbols. Every nation that made a mark on this world stood for something. Nations that stand for something stand for deep historic principles. Because America was founded on those types of principles, Americans profoundly understand the importance of Jerusalem to the State of Israel.”

We agree. The moving of the embassy not only put an end to a historic travesty but also made clear to the world something everyone anyhow already knew – Jerusalem is not for sale. While the Palestinians can still lay claim to parts of the eastern side of the city, Jerusalem is Israel’s capital as it was 3,000 years ago when designated so by King David.

With that said, peace is not made between Jerusalem and Washington DC. It needs to be made between Israeli and Palestinian leaders and sadly, for the last three years of the Trump administration, when it comes to direct talks, there has been no tangible progress.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to swear in his fifth government in a few days, has served as Israel’s prime minister for 14 years. The thought that in his 15th year as prime minister he will suddenly change his policies and engage with the Palestinians in ways he has not until now also seems unlikely.
Republicans threaten to sanction Jordan for not extraditing terrorist
Seven Republicans in Congress warned Jordan that the United States was now in a position to sanction that country unless it extradites one of the terrorists who plotted the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria.

“The potential seriousness of these sanctions provisions reflect the deep concern of the Congress, the administration and the American people,” said the letter sent April 30 to Jordan’s ambassador and released this week by EMET, a pro-Israel group lobbying for the letter.

Why it matters: The letter was initiated by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., and signed by Congress members known for their closeness to the Trump administration. That signals an increase in pressure on Jordan to extradite Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who facilitated the bombing of the Sbarro restaurant that killed 15 people, including two Americans.

Jordan, a key ally to the United States and Israel, gets $1.7 billion in U.S. assistance.

The United States has sought Al-Tamimi’s extradition for years, but the law allowing the State Department to leverage aid to demand extradition did not go into effect until late last year.

Al-Tamimi was sentenced to life in Israel but released in a prisoner exchange with Israel in 2011. She has since become something of a celebrity in Jordan.

The parents of one of the victims, 15-year old Malki Roth, have led an effort to make Al-Tamimi face U.S. charges under American laws that allow the prosecution of terrorists who have harmed Americans overseas.
US Secretary of State Confirms Israel Trip Next Week, Says Ties Have ‘Never Been Stronger’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Friday he would travel to Israel to next week, in what will be his first overseas trip since the coronavirus crisis began.

Pompeo will be in Israel next Wednesday, May 13, and he will meet in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz “to discuss US and Israeli efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as regional security issues related to Iran’s malign influence,” a State Department statement said.

“The US commitment to Israel has never been stronger than under President Trump’s leadership,” the statement added. “The United States and Israel will face threats to the security and prosperity of our peoples together.”

“In challenging times, we stand by our friends, and our friends stand by us,” it concluded.

One issue that could be on the agenda during Pompeo’s visit is the possible Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank in the near future.

Pompeo himself said last month that such a move was up to the Israeli government.
Masks, virus tests, closed meetings: How Pompeo will visit Israel amid pandemic
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo next week will become the first senior foreign official to visit Israel since it put in place strict travel restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Pompeo’s visit will require medical precautions to prevent infections, which were coordinated with Israeli officials, Israel’s Channel 13 reported Friday.

Dr. William Walters, the US State Department’s deputy chief medical officer, said Friday that everyone flying with Pompeo will be tested for the virus one or two days before the flight, will be checked for symptoms before boarding, and will wear face coverings during the trip.

Pompeo and his small traveling party will be exempt from Israel’s virus restrictions that bar foreign visitors from entering and require returning Israelis to self-quarantine for 14 days. Pompeo is currently undergoing daily checks by medical personnel, Walters said.

Pompeo will be on the ground in Israel for only several hours on Wednesday before returning to Washington from his first overseas trip since making an unannounced visit to Afghanistan in March.

Everyone who meets with the US team during the trip will be checked for COVID-19 symptoms. Pompeo’s movements will be strictly controlled and limited to working meetings and the airport, and he will not meet with anyone in public settings.

With no new virus deaths recorded, 15,000 Israelis visit nature reserves, parks
Some 15,000 Israelis on Saturday visited national parks and nature reserves throughout the country, after the sites were given the go ahead to reopen as Israel eases its coronavirus restrictions.

It was the first weekend since the government approved the reopening of nature reserves and national parks amid a sustained drop in new virus infections. Israel on Saturday morning reported no new deaths over the past day, the first 24-hour period since March 28 in which no new fatalities were recorded.

Among the sites that drew the most visitors were Caesarea, Beit Guvrin and the Ein Gedi reserve near the Dead Sea, parts of which were closed due to concerns of flash floods. A number of other sites in the area were also closed.

Only 20 parks across the country reopened Tuesday in accordance with an Israel Nature and Parks Authority plan that was approved by the Health Ministry, though additional sites could be reopened soon.

To meet the Health Ministry’s social distancing guidelines, the parks authority is limiting the number of people who can visit a given site at the same time and requiring visitors to purchase their entry tickets in advance.

It has also not yet reopened sites where swimming is normally allowed with a life guard.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Apartheid and Coronavirus in the Middle East
Many Arabs and Palestinians took to social media to remind everyone that the only apartheid in the Middle East exists in an Arab country [Lebanon].

The latest Lebanese measure did not surprise those who are familiar with this Arab country's long-standing discriminatory policies of apartheid towards Palestinians.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), "Palestinians in Lebanon cannot work in as many as 39 professions and cannot own property [real estate]."

The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Samidoun... revealed that Palestinian refugees are "barred from 72 regulated professions, including medicine, public transit, farming and fishery."

It now remains to be seen whether "pro-Palestinian" groups and individuals in the West will denounce Lebanon for its continued racism and discrimination against Palestinians.
Unlikely Allies - COVID-19 Israeli-Arab cooperation: Video Briefing with Khaled Abu Toameh
Video briefing and Q&A session with a leading expert on Palestinian affairs, Khaled Abu Toameh.

Shtayyeh: Banks to freeze decision to close prisoners’ accounts
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced on Friday that banks in the West Bank would freeze their decision to close bank accounts of Palestinian security prisoners.

Shtayyeh said his office has reached agreement with the banks to freeze their action until a committee established to look into the issue presents its recommendations.

Last week the banks started closing accounts of prisoners after receiving a warning from the Israeli research institute Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

In a letter to the banks, PMW warned that failing to close the accounts could result in potential criminal and civil action “for aiding and abetting the payment of the PA’s terror rewards to terrorist prisoners when Israeli legislation regarding this procedure is applied in two days.”

On February 9, the IDF Central Command issued amendment No. 67 to a key security order. This transformed facilitating the PA’s payment of monthly salaries to prisoners into a prohibited terror-financing action.

The new IDF legislation, which went into effect yesterday, declares “that any person who conducts any transaction with assets, including money, in order to facilitate, further, fund, or reward a person carrying out terror-related offenses, is himself committing an offense punishable with 10 years in prison and a substantial fine.”

The bank’s decision to close the accounts has drawn sharp criticism from Palestinians. In the past 48 hours, a number of banks were attacked with gunfire and petrol bombs in some Palestinian cities. Palestinian sources said some of the attacks were carried out by Fatah gunmen.

Iran-Linked Hackers Recently Targeted Coronavirus Drugmaker Gilead, Sources Say
Hackers linked to Iran have targeted staff at US drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc in recent weeks, according to publicly-available web archives reviewed by Reuters and three cybersecurity researchers, as the company races to deploy a treatment for the COVID-19 virus.

In one case, a fake email login page designed to steal passwords was sent in April to a top Gilead executive involved in legal and corporate affairs, according to an archived version on a website used to scan for malicious web addresses. Reuters was not able to determine whether the attack was successful.

Ohad Zaidenberg, lead intelligence researcher at Israeli cybersecurity firm ClearSky, who closely tracks Iranian hacking activity and has investigated the attacks, said the attempt was part of an effort by an Iranian group to compromise email accounts of staff at the company using messages that impersonated journalists.

Two other cybersecurity researchers, who were not authorized to speak publicly about their analysis, confirmed that the web domains and hosting servers used in the hacking attempts were linked to Iran.

Iran‘s mission to the United Nations denied any involvement in the attacks. “The Iranian government does not engage in cyber warfare,” said spokesman Alireza Miryousefi. “Cyber activities Iran engages in are purely defensive and to protect against further attacks on Iranian infrastructure.”

A spokesman for Gilead declined to comment, citing a company policy not to discuss cybersecurity matters. Reuters could not determine if any of the attempts were successful, on whose behalf the Iranian hackers were working or their motivation.
Elected officials, social media fan flames of anti-Semitism in Lakewood
Since the Covid-19 onslaught hit the Garden State, infecting 123,717 residents and causing the deaths of 7,742 as of May 3, there has been an uptick in social media content blaming Jews for the crisis. Not that it’s surprising that hate groups would hold the town’s large charedi population responsible for the spread of Covid-19; Jews were blamed without evidence for the Black Plague in 14th-century Europe, so why not coronavirus in 2020?

“It’s the same kind of things we’ve seen for centuries,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), during an April 30 webinar on “Fighting Hate From Home: Viruses and Violence — Dealing with Antisemitism in the shadow of COVID-19.” “It’s the combination of myths like blood libel, Jewish power, and greed, or money, the pretense that Jews are profiting from Covid-19.”

It raises some eyebrows, however, when local elected officials are responsible for stirring the pot. Take Edison council member Sam Joshi, who tweeted on March 25 that “‘To save #India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,’ Modi posted,” quoting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The councilman continued, “No idea how this will work but it makes me wonder if Modi would have made an exception for #Lakewood, NJ,” followed by two smiling emoticons.

After speaking with friends, Joshi deleted the post and apologized. “It was a bad joke, and I realized quickly it could have been used for anti-Semitic purposes,” Joshi told NJJN in a phone conversation. “I am a public official and am in no way anti-Semitic. I am sincerely sorry about my mistake.”

Michael Cohen, Eastern director of the Wiesenthal Center, reached out to Joshi and arranged to visit Lakewood together the next day, giving the councilman the opportunity to see for himself that the charedi residents were adhering to social distancing regulations. Joshi said he is planning to return to Lakewood to meet with various rabbis when the coronavirus restrictions are eased.

“It’s constructive when you can evaluate certain situations and get people to realize what social media can really do, and, like Sam, are sincere in learning about our people,” Cohen told NJJN.

Ed Husain: British Jews should stop attacking Netanyahu
Israel is under attack again.

Not from the usual suspects of Hamas, or Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Jeremy Corbyn but, this time, from sections of Britain’s Jewish community who are missing the bigger picture.

I am not Jewish but a Muslim who wants to see long-lasting, real peace between Israel and her Arab allies. That is not a naïve dream, but a reality being shaped today by many Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East

Attacking Israel is not only about Hamas lobbing rockets, sending terrified families into bunkers. Long-lasting damage to Israel is done by the political rhetoric of the Corbynite left, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran’s other proxies against Israel’s very legitimacy. The intended end-result of that rhetoric is a weakened, isolated Israel, boycotted and sanctioned by the world, which will then be on its knees, with its borders reshaped and Jews again expelled from the Middle East.

The latest uproar is about Israel annexing the West Bank in the coming months -- that somehow the British government must act to stop this ‘violation of international law’.

No. The British government must not act and British Jews should take a broader view, reverse out from the cul-de-sac of Bibi bashing and understand the new developments taking shape across the Middle East’s motorways of new ideas.

I have never met Bibi Netanyahu. The future of Israel in a modernised, moderate Middle East is not about Netanyahu. Since publication of my first book, The Islamist, in 2007, and the founding of Quilliam in 2008, I have been involved in various ways in undoing the damage done by political Islamists to my religion but also to Muslim-majority regions of the world.
UK Broadcaster Rejects Pro-Israel Group’s Call to Ban ‘Antisemitic’ Covid-19 Expert From Programming
The BBC, the UK’s national broadcaster, has rejected calls from a pro-Israel group to ban a public health expert from its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic after several of his antisemitic tweets were discovered.

Prof. John Ashton — a medical doctor and one of the UK’s leading experts on health — was alleged to have compared Zionism with Nazism in material posted on social media between 2012 and 2018. One tweet posted in 2014 suggested it was “time for Jews to reflect” on the situation in Gaza.

As a result, the lobbying organization Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) called on the BBC to drop Ashton from its roster of experts.

The professor had appeared several times in a recent edition of the flagship news program “Panorama” that focused on the British government’s response to the pandemic.

For his part, Ashton has denied the accusations of antisemitism.

In a letter earlier this week to CFI, the BBC‘s director of news and current affairs, Francesca Unsworth, pushed back against the demand to drop Ashworth because of his comments about Zionism.

“I understand that Professor Ashton was eminently well qualified to speak about this subject [the Covid-19 pandemic],” Unsworth wrote. “Professor Ashton did not, of course, make any comments of the kind that you describe in this program and I hope you understand that I would have grave doubts about the impact on freedom of speech, and the BBC’s ability to report freely and impartially, if we were to ban contributors from speaking on the subject of their acknowledged expertise because of the political views they have expressed, however abhorrent some members of the audience may find them.”

She added: “More broadly, we do not ban any contributors from our output as you would wish.”

NY Times Frames Iron-Dome Researchers as Killers and Destroyers
Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development is the same as America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Just not in the pages of the New York Times.

That’s because Halbfinger’s negative characterization is part of a pattern. The New York Times can’t seem to shake the habit of denigrating Israel for behaving in ways consistent with other Western democracies.

In an article last year about the U.S. designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terror organization, for example, the paper absurdly suggested that perhaps the State Department should sanction Israel’s intelligence service, too.

Even when the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief cited something as innocuous as the Israeli prime minister’s plea that citizens protect the elderly from the coronavirus,the reporter couldn’t seem to help himself, using the occasion to cast Netanyahu as a “scold.”

In defending his language about Israel’s defense research, Halbfinger insisted on Twitter that only those “predisposed to think Israel kills indiscriminately — or weary of such accusations” would find anything wrong with his language.

Jewish organizations are certainly weary of such accusations. That’s why American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris described the New York Times language as “vile,” and why the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt slammed it as “sensationalist” and “irresponsible.”

To understand why so many are so weary, we need look no further than the New York Times itself, whose reporting too often seeks to denigrate Israel and its attempts to defend its citizens from those seeking to harm them, even while soft-gloving the terror organizations that are sworn to the country’s destruction.
Dermer slams NYT for saying Israel’s defense research usually focuses on killing
Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer on Friday slammed the New York Times over an article about the Defense Ministry’s work during the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the newspaper was libeling and demonizing Israel by unfairly depicting the ministry’s research and development branch as being best-known for pioneering ways to kill people.

The article, about Israel’s dozens of teams, from a variety of backgrounds, all working toward defeating the coronavirus, was headlined “Israeli Army’s Idea Lab Aims at a New Target: Saving Lives,” and began: “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up, with stealth tanks and sniper drones among its more lethal recent projects. But its latest mission is lifesaving…”

“The @nytimes, which buried the Holocaust, is best known for pioneering ways to libel and demonize the Jewish State. Now it is doing the same,” wrote Dermer on Twitter, referring to criticism in the past that the newspaper, and others, failed to recognize and publicize the plight of European Jewry during World War II.

Last year, Dermer called the New York Times a “cesspool of hostility towards Israel” after it published a caricature that the paper has since acknowledged was anti-Semitic and for which it later apologized.

Israel’s consul general in New York, Dani Dayan, also criticized Thursday’s article, drawing attention to the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems, which were developed by the same teams profiled in the story.

San Diego man walks around stores wearing swastika medical mask
A San Diego man was spotted perusing local stores on Thursday evening, wearing a medical mask with a photo of a swastika taped to the front, local news channel CBS8 News reported on Friday evening.

NBC7 claimed that they had contacted the man for comment, who claimed that the mask was being taken out of context, and that in fact he had only worn it as a form of peaceful protest against the governor. He nevertheless stated that he would not return to the store wearing the mask.

The man reportedly complied after deputies asked for the symbol to be removed, the sheriff's office said, according to CBS8. "Sheriff's investigators will continue to look into the matter," it said. "The Sheriff's Department does not condone hate or acts of intolerance. We are a county that is welcoming of people from all backgrounds."

Employees of the supermarket where the event had occurred, called Food 4 Less, said, in contrast to the sheriff's report, that they had asked the man to remove the symbol numerous times, and he only complied when he reached the check-out counter.

The incident is currently being investigated by the local sheriff's department.
When WWII ended there was no armistice, there was surrender
If the events of 75 years ago teach us anything (and they certainly do!), then it’s that the path to peace lies not through attempts to conciliate genocidal aggressors, but through defeating them unequivocally.

The territories which Germany lost in 1945 certainly infuriated and humiliated the German population.

But those territorial changes swiftly became a fait accompli. No German politician, political party, or individual has ever demanded that Poland “return” the Ehemalige deutsche Ostgebiete (formerly German eastern territories).

No one disputes that Gdansk, Szczecin, and Wrocłau are Polish cities, or that Kaliningrad is a Russian city, or that Klaipėda is a Lithuanian city. No one – not even the furthest-Right of German politicians and parties – demand that Poland, Russia, and Lithuania “return” those “occupied territories” to Germany, and allow their dispossessed German populations the “right of return”.

No one still refers to those cities by their old German names: Gdansk isn’t Danzig, Szczecin isn’t Stettin, Wrocłau isn’t Breslau, Kaliningrad isn’t Königsberg, and Klaipėda isn’t Memel. And they’re not going to be in the foreseeable future.

If Israel would only have applied the same measures after the Six Day War of 1967, insisting on unconditional surrender instead of a cease-fire, if Israel would have done to the Arabs and for the Arabs the same as what the Allies had done to the Germans and for the Germans just 22 years earlier, then by today we might have been living in a truly peaceful Middle East.

If Israel would have immediately annexed all the territories she captured from the aggressor-states, from the Suez Canal in the west to the River Jordan in the east, as well as the entire Golan, then Israel’s borders with Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt might today have been as peaceful and as secure as Germany’s borders with France, Poland, and Russia are today.
A Paris Luxury Hotel Filled With Concentration Camp Survivors
The doorman bustles about the Hotel Lutetia’s revolving wooden door ensuring it twirls as effortlessly as it did when it first welcomed guests in 1910. This iconic Parisian landmark was once a favorite of Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett as well as France’s most prestigious writers, politicians, and publishers.

But in the summer of 1945, the Lutetia had some unlikely guests—20,000 emaciated, ragged survivors of the 160,000 Jews, socialists, communists, and members of the resistance deported from France during WWII stepped into the lobby. They were greeted by a blast of white powder—DDT—to kill the lice that infested them. Photographs show survivors with sunken eyes and emaciated faces still dressed in their striped prison garb drinking water from silver cups and eating crusts of bread in the hotel dining room.

One of them was a 25-year-old Polish born Jew, Jacques Goldzstein, who had moved to Paris with his parents as a baby. He weighed just 32 kilograms and was extremely ill, but like every returnee he was subjected not just to medical checks but a police interview, designed to weed out collaborators posing as survivors. It was during that interview that he discovered the “miracle of the Lutetia” when officials told him his wife had survived the camps and passed through the hotel just a week before.

In the elegant corridor between the restaurant and the bar, the survivors studied notice boards, brought in from Boulevard Raspail, that were covered in photos left by the families of the missing in their life “before,” smiling, at weddings or on holiday. If someone was looking for them, a relative had survived. But could they identify any of the faces? Joseph Bialot, a Jew from Belleville, who was just 18 years old when he was deported to Auschwitz, looked at the pictures in wonder as “the photos exhibited were of normal people with chubby faces, with hair, and we only recalled empty faces and shaved heads.”

An endless stream of trucks and buses drove just over a mile from the Gare d’Orsay ferrying almost 500 survivors a day. Although the closest hotel was the luxurious Crillon, Gen. de Gaulle considered it too ostentatious. The owners of the nearby Le Bon Marché department store had built the Lutetia to put up the provincial bourgeoisie on shopping trips. It suited de Gaulle’s taste and he had spent his honeymoon there. He handed the hotel over to the Red Cross.

Marguerite Duras caught the feverous atmosphere as the survivors returned in her novel La Douleur. When her husband, Robert Antelme, a member of the resistance, finally came home, she was so shocked by his appearance she collapsed. It took Duras until 1985 to write the story down.
Pompeo Highlights ‘Unique Suffering of Jewish People’ in Message Marking Victory Over Nazis in Europe
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday marked the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory over the Nazis with a heartfelt message that emphasized the “unique suffering of the Jewish people in the Holocaust.”

Six million Jews were exterminated during the Nazis’ so-called “Final Solution,” along with millions of other victims that included gypsies, Poles, political opponents, disabled people and gay men.

In a statement on the occasion of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, Pompeo said that the US paid “tribute today to all those who stood up for humanity and freedom in the face of tyranny, and we honor the sacrifices of all service members involved in ridding the world of Nazi, fascist, and other aggression.”

Continued the secretary of state: “We remember with sorrow the unique suffering of the Jewish people in the Holocaust and the merciless slaughter of so many other innocent civilians. As we honor their memory, we renew our vow to never allow such atrocities to take place again.”

Pompeo also paid tribute to those populations who came under Soviet rule at the end of the war.

“We remember today, too, that for many people living in countries that were behind the Iron Curtain after the war, the end of the war marked the start, or continuation, of a different kind of oppression,” he noted.
Queen Tells Britain ‘Never Give Up’ in Tribute to World War II Generation
Queen Elizabeth led tributes to veterans of World War II recalling the “never give up, never despair” message of Victory in Europe Day 75 years ago as the coronavirus damped commemorations for the end of the war on the continent.

In a rare televised address that brought together the themes of wartime and the coronavirus, the 94-year-old monarch said those who had served during the conflict with Nazi Germany would admire how their descendants were coping with the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

“When I look at our country today and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride, that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors, and airmen would recognize and admire,” she said.

On a day that should have been filled with parades and street parties, the national commemorations to herald the day when Allied forces accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender were scaled back after social gatherings were curbed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

But flags and banners still fluttered across Britain, and people stuck at home due to the lockdown enjoyed a day of special television and radio programs.

Britain paid tribute to the war generation with flypasts, a two-minute silence, and the broadcast of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech to mark the anniversary of victory in Europe.

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