Tuesday, November 01, 2016

From Ian:

Assad Regime’s Grotesque PR Conference in Damascus Uses ‘New York Times,’ ‘Washington Post,’ NPR, and ‘New Yorker’ Reporters to Whitewash War Crimes
Bashar al-Assad’s regime has pulled off a grotesque PR coup by corralling a number of prominent American journalists from outlets like The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker to participate in a conference designed to legitimize the rule of Syria’s genocidal head of state. The conference held Sunday and Monday in Damascus, was organized by the British Syrian Society, a “foundation” chaired by Assad’s father-in-law, the London-based physician Fawaz Ahkras. The larger purpose of the conference appears to be raising money for the regime and its war effort, in part by relieving sanctions against major regime figures.
Many of the participants (here is a partial list of attendees) are British journalists, like Christina Lamb of The Sunday Times, and other UK figures drawn from Akhras’ London contacts. Indeed, the conference is meant to have something of a British ambiance, which is why it’s being conducted according to “Chatham House rules”—a phrase that misleadingly (and hilariously) suggests that the British foreign office is convening the panels. It seems unlikely that the Syrian intelligence officers speaking at the event, like Col. Samer, know Chatham House Rules from Hama Rules, nor do they care. The point is to legitimize the regime’s message with a vague atmosphere of Western ideas and methods—which is why having Western journalists in the audience, and even on panels, is important to the regime. Attending a conference that features at least four Syrian regime officials who are currently sanctioned for their role in Assad’s war crimes, are, among others, the New York Times’ Beirut correspondent Anne Barnard, NPR’s Alison Meuse, and Dexter Filkins of The New Yorker.
The stated purpose of the Damascus conference is to “facilitate a better understanding of a very complicated crisis.” And presumably journalists in attendance have rationalized their participation to their editors along those exact lines: Since we’re covering the other side of a war, they’re no doubt explaining, it’s a good thing to hear the Assad regime’s side of the story. And since we can’t get into Damascus safely otherwise, it’s fine if we go under the protection of the regime. How else could we get in there?
There’s a simple test for whether such excuses are valid: Will the Assad government provide access to non-regime figures, like the citizens that Assad and his allies have starved in the town of Madaya? Will the regime provide them access to the countless opposition figures, including peaceful activists, the regime has put in prison and tortured? The answers are “of course not” and “under no circumstances.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Ben-Dror Yemini: World is silent, except when it comes to Israel
The massacre in Mosul and its surroundings has already begun. Everyone is killing and massacring everyone. Not just ISIS. The world is watching. The world knows. And the world is keeping quiet. Only several weeks ago, it happened in Aleppo in Syria. The big hospital was ruined. The world knows, watches and keeps silent.
The world’s greatest power has decided not to intervene. A few observers. Some air support. Nothing more. This was legitimized by US President Barack Obama. He had promised to intervene if Syria were to use chemical weapons. There was a short-term illusion regarding an agreement. The use of chemical weapons continues. The massacre has only expanded.
Every mass slaughter requires every human being, definitely a Jew, to think about the world’s silence in the 1940s. There is a double lesson from the Holocaust, both national and human. The national lesson has been learned. Israel can defend itself. The human, universal lesson has never been learned.
It didn’t start today. Since World War II, 86 million people have been killed, and mainly slaughtered. According to a study of the American Public Health Association, the figure is 190 million. Five million in Congo. And the world kept quiet. A million during the Russian invasion and control of Afghanistan. And the world kept quiet. Three million in Bangladesh’s war of independence. And the world kept quiet. About half a million in Algeria’s war of independence. And the world kept quiet. Millions of children, refugees and hungry people in Nigeria and Somalia, because of jihad, and the world kept quiet. Most of these wars included similar—and even more serious—massacres than the one taking place in Syria. And the world kept quiet.
Just to put things in proportions, 80,000 to 120,000 people have been killed in all of Israel’s wars against Arab countries, and about 12,000 were killed as part of Israel’s control over the Palestinians. A majority of the people killed in the world are innocent. An absolute majority of those killed in Israel’s wars against the Palestinians are either fighters or terrorists.

Hillary’s Two Official Favors To Morocco Resulted In $28 Million For Clinton Foundation
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who is vice-chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and a vocal critic of the Clinton Foundation, agreed with Ross, saying “these facts seem to reveal the possibility of more pay-to-play activities at the Clinton Foundation.”
“It would be especially troubling if the Clinton Foundation was working with the EPA to suppress the American phosphate industry in favor of Morocco. The EPA and Clinton Foundation should be forthcoming about their dealings with the Moroccan government and the American phosphate industry.”
Clinton’s 2012 support of a rider on the U.S. foreign aid bill permitting foreign aid to be sent to the Western Sahara arguably legitimized Moroccan occupation of territory and depopulated the Sahrawi Arabs. Native Moroccans were sent into the country by the government to extract the minerals.
The rider approved by Clinton said that U.S. foreign aid funds “may be used in regions and territories administered by Morocco,” meaning, the Western Sahara. The Western Sahara is classified a “Non-Self-Governing Territory” under international law.
“Previously, United States excluded Western Sahara from bilateral assistance to avoid seeming to endorse Moroccan control,” said Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, in a legal review of occupied territories around the world.
Hans Corell, the U.N. Security Council’s Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs, said in January 2002 that “if further exploration and exploitation activities were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the international law principles applicable to mineral resource activities in Non-Self-Governing Territories.”

It has never been about the ‘occupation’
Next year will mark many important anniversaries in the history of Zionism, Israel and its conflict with our neighbors.
It will be 120 years since the First Zionist Congress, held in Basel in 1897, which formulated the Zionist platform and plan of action for the implementation of its goals.
It will also be 70 years since the United Nations Partition Plan, which won the support of the UN General Assembly for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in Mandatory Palestine.
Significantly, it will also be 50 years since the miraculous victory by Israel against five Arab nations intent on extinguishing the Jewish state. However, after only six days Israel not only defended itself, it liberated Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, the cradle of Jewish civilization.
One would assume that given Israel’s opponents’ and detractors’ claims, this date will be the focal point of activity against Israel over the year ahead, as we are constantly being told that the root of the conflict and the lack of peace is a result of the so-called occupation. However, last week, at the House of Lords in the British Parliament a panel discussion was held to commemorate another important milestone, the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration was a letter written by British minister Lord Arthur James Balfour recognizing the rights of the Jewish People to their ancestral homeland. The declaration was then adopted by the international community at the League of Nations, the predecessor to the UN.
Britain’s self-inflicted wound
Ironically, for more than a decade, the UK has served as a primary location for similar campaigns targeting Israelis, and the British government has actively supported these NGOs with tens of millions of pounds to implement their agenda.
Palestinian political NGOs such as the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Haq and Al Mezan, and their British attorneys badger Israeli officials traveling to the UK by seeking arrest warrants for bogus war crimes charges. While these efforts are largely designed for propaganda impact and none has advanced in the courts, many high level meetings and diplomatic engagements in the UK have been disrupted as a result. For instance, in July, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni was served a police summons for suspicion of involvement in “war crimes” in Gaza due to anti-Israel activists, leading to tensions between Israel and the UK. Of course, the same fringe activists eagerly targeting Israelis have never lined up at the magistrate’s door to obtain warrants when Palestinian officials or other terrorism-linked individuals come to London.
Many of these organizations have enjoyed British government largesse, either directly or via the European Union. Between 2005 and 2009, PCHR, in partnership with OxfamNOVIB (based in the Netherlands), received nearly $330,000 from the EU ostensibly to campaign against the death penalty. PCHR used this funding for legal strategy sessions for contemporary and future universal jurisdiction cases singling out Israeli officials involved in military operations against Hamas. British courts were just one of the venues where PCHR routinely sought arrest warrants against Israeli officials.
The UK is also the primary financial backer of “vexatious claims” on an “industrial scale” in Israel itself.
Since 2011, Britain has funneled a staggering $20 million in taxpayer funds to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and local NGOs, which in turn have flooded Israeli courts and administrative bodies with lawsuits.
StandWithUs+: 100 Years of the Balfour Declaration
100 years ago today, the Balfour Declaration was penned. The declaration confirmed the UK's commitment to and recognition of the right to a Jewish state in their historic homeland. Through this document, the re-birth of Israel became a reality for Jews already living in their homeland, and for Jews in the disapora who had been expelled historically.
Today, we celebrate and thank Arthur Balfour for writing the Balfour Declaration and believing in Israel!

Sayed Kashua's Revisionism: 1948 and 2016
Revisionism: 2016
It's not only the events of 1948 that Kashua subjects to revisionism and manipulation. Returning to the present at the end of his column, he writes:
Instead, I find that Habima Theater is going to perform in Kiryat Arba; that the prime minister is continuing to boycott; that two more Arab women were brutally murdered. Suddenly, I remember the river next to the hotel, run to the window, open the curtain and discover that I’m looking at the wrong “screen” again: instead of a flowing river, my window overlooks a backyard enclosed by a peeling concrete wall. (Emphasis added.)
Sayed's column is a litany of alleged Israeli wrongdoings past and present (the brutal murder of his grandfather while picking grapes, his grandmother's flight, "more settlements, killing and theft," Jewish lordship, occupation, etc), and therefore any reader not completely up to date with Israeli current events would surely understand that Israelis brutally murdered two Arab women last week.
But that was not the case. A hyperlink on the Hebrew digital edition (which does not appear in the English article) indicates that Kashua is referring to an Israeli Arab woman in Jaffa who was, by all accounts, killed by her brother, and another woman found dead in a car along with her injured husband, who is the police's suspect. Haaretz's coverage from last week of these two murders are clear that the women are reportedly victims of domestic violence and not examples of Israeli violence against Arabs.
IsraellyCool: Scottish Parliament Welcomes New Pro-Israel Group To Its Ranks
Good news from Scotland, with a new pro-Israel group accepted in to the Scottish parliament.
Bonus: It’s representatives come from across all Scottish political parties (except for the Greens who are, unsurprisingly, beyond the pale).
A ROW has broken out after a pro-Israel lobby group was approved at Holyrood in a bid to counter claims that MSPs are overly hostile to the state.
MSPs from all parties, with the exception of the Scottish Greens, will be represented on the ‘Building Bridges with Israel’ cross-party group, which aims to establish closer cultural, academic and economic links with the country.
It has been set up in a bid to oppose anti-Semitism and offer an ‘alternative viewpoint’ to what it says is a pro-Palestinian stance that has been dominant since the Scottish Parliament’s inception in 1999.
The group will hold its first meeting early in the New Year, with members including Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie, Labour’s Mary Fee and SNP MSP John Mason.
Soros group supports Breaking the Silence in not disclosing sources
One of George Soros’s foundations has jumped into the legal battle between Breaking the Silence and the government which has been playing out since May before the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court, in which the NGO says it is fighting for its survival by not revealing its confidential sources.
On Sunday, the NGO Ad Kan!, which some say helped bring on the current legal case, disclosed to The Jerusalem Post a legal brief filed on behalf of Breaking the Silence by a group of top global and Israeli international law professors organized by Soros’s Open Society foundation.
Breaking the Silence is under pressure to reveal the identity of an Israeli soldier who spoke to the NGO confidentially about incidents that occurred during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, as well as to provide the full transcript of his comments.
The newly revealed brief makes the controversial claim that Breaking the Silence should be treated as if it were a media organization, which would give it protection from unveiling its sources to the government.
Shocking Testimony From UK University’s Anti-Israel ‘Pogrom’: ‘They Weren’t Afraid to Hurt Girls’
A mob of protesters responsible for the violent disruption of a pro-Israel event last week at the University College London (UCL) “weren’t afraid to hurt girls,” a female victim told the Jewish Chronicle on Friday.
According to the report, Devora Khafi, the campus director of Israel advocacy group StandWithUs UK, said she was registering attendees outside the room in which a lecture by Israeli activist and former IDF soldier Hen Mazzig was set to take place, when “all of a sudden, about 40-50 protesters appeared in front of us.”
Khafi recounted:
They approached and I was pushed against the doors by one of them — a girl. I was held there for about two minutes. Her back was to me and she was pressing me against the door. She didn’t move. Then her friend came and she moved. She took a step forward, but she still stood in front of me the whole time.
Khafi said she was able to make her way outside, where she “had a bit of a panic attack. It was the feeling of claustrophobia — that was really terrible.”
Another female student — Liora Cadranel, co-president of the UCL Israel Society — “was [also] assaulted,” Khafi said. “She got pushed by a man. She’s okay, but shaken up,” she said.
During the event itself, Khafi said, “Two men managed to open a window and get into the room. They jumped over two girls sitting there, who were very shocked.”
Canadian Jewish Group Outraged Over BDS Stickers on Israeli Products in Winnipeg Mall
A major Canadian Jewish group expressed outrage after stickers supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement were found on products in two department stores at one of Winnipeg’s largest malls.
B’Nai Brith’s Winnipeg programming coordinator, Adrianna Glikman, was “disgusted and upset,” according to a Canada Free Press report, to find warning labels on SodaStream boxes alerting customers not to buy the carbonation machine as it is “Made in Israel, a country violating international law, the 4th Geneva Convention and fundamental human rights.”
The stickers, found in the Hudson’s Bay and Sears department stores at the Polo Park shopping center, also encouraged consumers to “stand up for human rights” and “boycott Israel until it respects international law.”
Glikman told Canada Free Press that she notified both store managers, who were “shocked and disturbed,” adding that “it’s important to let people know that the managers took action quickly.”
“We had to address a very angry call about this,” Glikman said. “A couple took photos of the stickers and brought them to the office. They wanted B’Nai B’rith to take action.”
Anti-Israel event to be held at City of Ithaca youth center
As with the anti-Israel third-grade event, some level of subterfuge appears to have been used.
We recently wrote about Miko Peled after Jewish Voice for Peace accused him of posting an antisemitic tweet, Jewish Voice for Peace disavows BDS activist Miko Peled: “No place 4 antisemitism in our movement”:
Peled denied that the tweet was antisemitic, as detailed in the prior post. But the fact that an anti-Israel group like JVP would make this accusation against Peled and would support the cancellation of his speech at Princeton was pretty remarkable.
After an intense pressure campaign by supporters of Peled, JVP stated that it was not completely ostracizing Peled, but stood by its critique of the tweet, A second group, San Diego State University Students for Justice in Palestine also cancelled a Peled appearance for that same reason.
Peled comes from a famous Israeli military family. His father, Matti Peled, was a well-known General. Playing off his father’s legacy and name is a key component of Miko’s public relations strategy, and the main reason he is so attractive to anti-Israel groups. There is no one so valuable as an anti-Israel Israeli. An anti-Israel Israeli from a famous family is like gold to the anti-Israel movement.

Peled does not accept Israel’s existence. He considers all of Israel occupied territory, illegitimate, and in need of liberation:
The NY Times is out of touch with Israel’s mainstream
Anyone who follows the news about Israel in the western media could not have failed to notice a feature about Israel’s culture minister Miri Regev in the New York Times magazine recently.
Regev’s profile by Ruth Margalit ran to 6,000 words and pulled no punches: despite her personal warmth and underneath her blood-red lipstick, Miri Regev is a female Donald Trump — vulgar, populist, bigoted. The article’s title: ‘Israel’s culture commissar’ left no doubt that Regev was not interested in promoting culture – rather, she was in place to censor it.
Among such acts of stalinism is her walk-out in protest at the rap of a poem by the anti-Zionist Palestinian Mohammed Darwish. She has threatened to cut funding to Israel’s film industry, with its penchant for producing pro-Palestinian, or even anti-Zionist films.
So far has the NYT, dubbed Pravda on the Hudson, moved to the anti-Zionist left, that what the NYT deems Regev’s ‘McCarthyist’ attacks on ‘freedom of speech’ are in fact a mainstream position in Israel.
Regev has declared a cultural war against Israel’s Tel Aviv elite. Their output does not reflect the ‘low-brow’ culture of half of Israel’s population, those Israelis who hail from Arab and Muslim countries and were resettled in Israel’s border towns in the 1950s and 60s. Traditionally, the culture of the ‘peripheria’ has attracted a fraction of the public finds allocated to cultural projects. Regev, who boasts that she has never read Chekhov, is determined to change all that.
The far left, personified by Ms Margalit, has never been shy to push a narrative of ‘discrimination’ by Israel’s Ashkenazi establishment against the more disadvantaged Mizrahim. But now Mizrahim – and particularly Mizrahi women – occupy prominent posts in the Netanyahu government. There is Gila Gamliel, of Yemeni and Libyan parentage, Tsipi Hotovely, of Georgian heritage, Ayelet Shaked, who is half-Iraqi, and Miri Regev herself, whose parents come from Morocco.
Israel Blamed For Palestinian Oppression of Women
For Bindel, it is not enough just to equate the struggles that women face in the vastly different Israeli and Palestinian societies, and to brush over the persecution of gays in Palestinian society while accusing Israel of “pinkwashing.”
She talks to an Israeli activist, Iris Stern-Levi – who is also a BDS supporter – who “believes that feminism must be part of the struggle to end the Israeli occupation in Palestine.” But this “intersectionality” is conflating and politicizing two completely separate issues, that ultimately only mitigates the very important issue of women’s rights.
It gets worse. The Palestinian feminist activist Nivine Sandouka “focuses on the way the Israeli occupation effects women,” for example, if a woman wants to leave her village and work or study elsewhere, “she will be prevented from doing that because the male community will be afraid that she is going to cross check points on a daily basis, and because she is a woman she holds the family honour.”
How exactly can Israel’s security checkpoints be blamed for Palestinian women being oppressed by their “male community”? These activists are seriously misguided if they really believe that removing checkpoints will lead to an improvement in how Palestinian society treats women.
The issue of equality and respect for women is a global one that applies to Israelis and Palestinians alike, albeit to different degrees. But taking a genuine problem, politicizing it by highlighting and downplaying selected aspects, and projecting blame where it is not due, will contribute nothing towards solving it. Writers and activists who actually want to make a difference might like to focus on the problem itself instead of letting themselves get distracted by their hatred for Israel.
BBC ignores extension of Gaza fishing zone
Over the years BBC audiences have been given a very specific, largely context-free, portrayal of the fishing industry in the Gaza Strip. In August 2014, for example, Orla Guerin told viewers that:
“In Gaza harbour plenty of boats were idle today. Only a few would set sail, even in a ceasefire. Our skipper was Ramez Bakr [phonetic]. Seventy relatives depend on the income from this boat but Israel’s blockade limits where he can fish. It controls access to Gaza from land, sea and air. He’s looking to the negotiators in Cairo to secure a seaport – a key Palestinian demand. ‘The people are hungry’ he tells me ‘and the economy has died. This is why Hamas is fighting Israel: to open the siege and the borders. We’ll be very unhappy if the talks fail.’”
In a backgrounder called ‘Life in the Gaza Strip’ which was originally produced in 2012 but updated in July 2014, BBC audiences are told that:
“Following the November 2012 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the fishing limit was extended from three nautical miles to six. However, it has been periodically reduced to three nautical miles in response to rocket fire from Gaza. Israeli naval forces frequently open fire towards Palestinian fishing boats approaching or exceeding the limit. The UN says if the limit was lifted, fishing could provide employment and a cheap source of protein for the people of Gaza.”

In April 2016 the Gaza Strip fishing zone was extended for the duration of the spring season to nine nautical miles but the BBC’s English language services did not report that change at the time.
BBC Education ignores assault on free speech at UCL
A first-hand account of the incident can be found here. This latest pre-planned disruption aimed at closing down free speech for an Israeli speaker at a British university has been condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and additional Jewish groups as well as by Sir Eric Pickles. The university has announced that it will carry out an inquiry into the incident.education-page
The incident of course received wide media coverage, including from many of the UK’s prominent outlets such as the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Express, the Evening Standard and LBC.
However, members of the BBC’s funding public looking for that story on the corporation’s website – including the regional and ‘Education‘ pages – over the last four days would not have come across any coverage of the incident whatsoever.
500th Anniversary of Reformation Would be 'Perfect Time' for Protestants to Apologize for Luther's Antisemitism, US Jewish Official Says
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation would be the “perfect time” for Protestant leaders to recognize and apologize for the “horrific antisemitism” of their movement’s founder Martin Luther, an official with a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization told The Algemeiner on Monday.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles — spoke with The Algemeiner the same day Pope Francis visited a Lutheran cathedral in Sweden in a show of inter-Christian unity at the start of year-long festivities marking the anniversary of when Luther famously posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.
“It would be appropriate, especially when antisemitism is so rife in Europe for Protestant leaders and groups, like the World Council of Churches, to directly address the issue [of Luther’s antisemitism] in the overall context of what they’re celebrating in terms of this anniversary,” Cooper said.
Luther’s loathing of Jews, Cooper went on to say, “is a theological hatred that still reverberates among some people today.”
Swastikas painted on US Jewish school
Swasitkas and other abusive graffiti were painted at the entrance to a Jewish grade school in Montgomery county, Maryland. Police were summoned to investigate the scene.
According to local media, the members of the local Jewish community conduct the Shaharit morning prayer service at the Jewish school.
One of those praying there discovered the graffiti and alerted the local police who initiated an investigation.
This is not the first time that Maryland has suffered anti-Semitic events. About a year ago anonymous elements sprayed graffiti and anti-Semitic inscriptions on a whiteboard in the dorms of Maryland University, sparking a stormy reaction from Jewish students there.
Besides investigating the identity of the graffiti sprayers, dorm residents decided to answer them with their own missive which they hung near the main door of the university.
Catskills Lawsuit Settlement Shows that Anti-Jewish Prejudice Is Alive and Well
This presidential campaign season has drawn attention to the grim persistence of anti-Semitism in the American political discourse. As bracing as it’s been to see what Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy has meant for the nation’s most vocal Jew-haters, the settlement of a lawsuit pitting developers and Jewish community figures against local government in upstate New York is a timely reminder that there are more instrumental and more insidious forms of anti-Semitism still active in certain corners of American life.
Last week, the Bloomingburg Jewish Education Center and developer Shalom Lamm settled its lawsuit, first filed in 2014, against the village of Bloomingburg and the town of Mamakating (Bloomingburg is an incorporated village in the town of Mamakating). The governments of Bloomingburg and Mamakating will pay $2.9 million in total damages ($1.595 million from Mamakating and $1.305 million from Bloomingburg) connected to the upstate New York communities’ alleged efforts to block the settlement of Hasidic Jews in the area. Filings in the case, accessed through PACER, the federal court system’s online record of system, read as if they belong to an entirely different time and place. Soberingly enough, their record of official discrimination and communal acrimony unfolded over the past two years, just 75 miles north of New York City.
The governments of both Bloomingburg and Mamakating were eager to keep out Hasidic Jews themselves, using an arsenal of procedural trickery to make Hasidic settlement as difficult as possible. As the plaintiff’s initial complaint recounts, the lawsuit was brought in response to “pervasive, government-sponsored religious discrimination,” with the defendants, which included local government officials, “acting on behalf of an aggressive and hateful group of their residents.”
Sony Music, producer apologize over Nazi-like outfits
Sony Music and the producer behind a Japanese girl band that performed in military-style costumes resembling Nazi uniforms apologized on Tuesday following a protest lodged by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Teenyboppers Keyakizaka46 had sparked anger with their black one-piece dresses and capes, complete with peaked caps bearing a golden bird symbol resembling the Nazi eagle above a swastika, donned at a Halloween concert in Yokohama on October 22.
The Jewish documentation, monitoring and human rights organization in a statement issued Monday expressed “disgust over the use of Nazi-themed uniforms donned” by the group.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said the display was “inappropriate and deeply offensive” and called for Sony Music Entertainment — the group’s label — and producer Yasushi Akimoto, to apologize.
“Watching young teens on the stage and in the audience dancing in Nazi-style uniforms causes great distress to the victims of the Nazi genocide,” Cooper said.
“We expect better from an international brand like Sony which has caused embarrassment to Japan.”
‘None Shall Escape,’ Hollywood’s First Holocaust Film, Was All But Unknown for 70 Years. Now It’s Been Rediscovered.
Part prophecy, part educated guess, None Shall Escape is a one-of-a-kind film: the only wartime Hollywood production to depict what would later be called the Holocaust—a flash-forward to an unimaginable event somehow imagined on a backlot at Columbia Pictures in 1943. Viewed today, the machine-gun slaughter of a group of Polish Jews being rounded up for deportation and herded into boxcars plays as docudrama. In its time, it must have seemed wild fantasy or jingoistic propaganda.
Unavailable on (legal) DVD, seldom screened on the repertory circuit, and cropping up only sporadically on TCM, a serviceable 35mm print of None Shall Escape is now in circulation. It played in May at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival and will be shown tonight, Nov. 1, at the Wasserman Cinematheque at Brandeis University. The 35mm screenings are prelude to a full-on restoration for Home Entertainment release and on DCP for wider theatrical exposure by Sony Pictures.
Directed by Hungarian émigré Andre DeToth, shot by ace cinematographer Lee Garmes, and scripted by Lester Cole from an original story by Joseph Than and Alfred Neumann, None Shall Escape was an ambitious, albeit low-budget, project from the often B-movie-class specialists at Columbia Pictures. After a couple of title changes (in preproduction the film was called The Day Will Come, and then Lebensraum), the studio settled on None Shall Escape, a callback to a promise made by FDR to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.
Shot and edited from Aug. 31 to Oct. 26, 1943 (not until June 6, 1944 would the Allies storm the beaches at Normandy), the film looks forward to a postwar reckoning in which a United Nations-like Tribunal sits in judgment of a Nazi war criminal whose twisted course is traced in flashback from 1919 onward. “The time of our story is the future,” reads an introductory scroll. “The war is over. As was promised, the criminals of this war have been taken back to the scenes of their crimes for trial. In fact, as our leaders promised”—and here the screen devotes full frame to the boldfaced imperative—“None Shall Escape.”
Sweden declares hero Wallenberg officially dead
World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg, who is credited with helping at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews escape the Holocaust, has been pronounced dead by Swedish authorities 71 years after he disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
The Swedish diplomat is believed to have died in Soviet captivity, but when and how remains unclear.
Wallenberg was officially considered a missing person in Sweden, long after authorities gave up hope of finding him alive. But the Swedish Tax Agency, which registers births and deaths in Sweden, confirmed a report Monday in newspaper Expressen that Wallenberg had been pronounced dead.
Pia Gustafsson, who heads the agency’s legal department, told The Associated Press that the decision was taken on October 26 after an application from Wallenberg’s trustee.
Casting Underway for New ‘Samson and Delilah’ Movie, Based on Jabotinsky Novel, to Be Filmed on Location in Israel, Morocco
A new film about the tale of Samson and Delilah from the biblical Book of Judges is scheduled to go into production next summer on location in Israel and Morocco, Deadline reported.
“Samson and Delilah” — like its 1949 Cecil B. DeMille Oscar-winning predecessor of the same name — is based on the 1930 novel Judge and Fool by Russian Jewish revisionist Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky, the ideological father of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
Casting for “Samson and Delilah” is currently underway, with various significant names circulating for possible lead roles, according to Deadline.
Israeli scientists see breakthrough in AIDS cure
HIV and AIDS patients may find new hope in a drug developed at Hebrew University in Jerusalem which is currently being tested at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
The drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of ten AIDS patients currently being treated at the hospital, and was found to decrease the HIV virus count in the blood samples by as much as 97 percent in just eight days, Channel 2 reported Monday.
The active ingredient in the drug is a peptide, or smaller version of a protein, that was developed by Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University. The peptide causes several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter the infected cell, instead of just one copy, causing the cell to self-destruct.
HIV is currently treated with a cocktail of drugs that slow the progression of the infection in the body but never rid the patient of the virus entirely. These drugs have allowed doctors to treat AIDS as a chronic illness as opposed to a fatal one.
'Italy will always stand with Israel'
President Reuven Rivlin met Monday with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who is visiting Israel for the first time.
Rivlin welcomed Mattarella to the country, and offered his condolences for those killed in the spate of earthquakes that has hit Italy in recent months.
"We are experiencing a period of unprecedented friendship and brotherhood between Israel and Italy," Rivlin said.
"We have advanced trade relations and close ties in the fields of science, culture, sports and security. Both countries are located on the Mediterranean coast and are highly sensitive to the recent turbulence in the region, from waves of immigration, refugees and threats of terror."
Mattarella said, "Israel, with its vibrant democracy and vitality, is as an example for the entire region. Italy will always stand with Israel, at any time when Israel's right and duty to exist in peace are placed in doubt by any side in the world."
Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train will reach Western Wall — report
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz reportedly plans to extend the upcoming high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line to the Western Wall.
Katz spoke of his intentions at a meeting attended by experts from the transportation and finance ministries, Israel Railways and the Jerusalem Transport Master Plan team, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.
The line would be extended via a tunnel that would skirt the Old City and end near the Western Wall.
Katz reportedly said that the extension of the line would relieve pressure on the main Jerusalem station and make it easier for tourists, students and others to reach the Western Wall directly from the center of the country.
“The fast lane to Jerusalem is the largest project to date in the development plan of Israel Railways,” he was quoted as saying. “It will allow thousands of workers to commute to Jerusalem, and to arrive in the capital quickly and comfortably.”

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