Sunday, March 19, 2017

From Ian:

Germany MPs investigate pro-Hezbollah academic Finkelstein
In a dramatic widening of an academic antisemitism scandal at the Max Planck Institute for the promotion of lectures delivered by a pro-Hezbollah instructor, German Green Party lawmakers began a parliamentary inquiry on Friday into Dr. Norman Finkelstein’s talks.
The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the Green Party questionnaire sent to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration, which includes her Education Ministry’s criticism of allegedly shoddy scholarship practiced at the Max Planck Institute in Halle.
Stefan Müller, an undersecretary of the Education Ministry, wrote that the ministry “sees with concern that in the context of a controversial academic discussion possible antisemitic theses were given a platform.”
Müller, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said the government called on the president of the Max Planck Institute, Martin Stratmann, to clear up the alleged misconduct. Stratmann, according to Müller, has not provided answers to the Merkel administration.
Pro-Hezbollah activist and US academic Finkelstein delivered two lectures, including one titled “Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom.”
The talks were held in January at the Max Planck Institute branch in the city of Halle, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Stand With Us: American Victims of Palestinian Terror: Naftali Moses
Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a child. Nothing can prepare a parent to hear the news of a terror attack and slowly discover that his son is among the eight shot down in cold blood. Nothing can prepare a father for the heartrending pain that burying his firstborn son brings.
On March 6, 2008, Naftali Moses’ 16 years old son, Avraham David, was murdered by a terrorist who opened fire on teenagers who were studying in a library in Jerusalem. On that day his life changed forever.
Hear the story of an American Victim of Palestinian Terrorism.
To support American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism sign the petition:

The UN 101: The UN Human Rights Council
What is the UN Human Rights Council and who is being helped by it?

Rare signs of fairness at the UN
The report, which consisted entirely of some of the worst anti-Semitic propaganda the world has seen since the Holocaust, was authored by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, a whitewashed name for a group of Arab states. Not that the organization's other reports were objective. You won't find any condemnation of Arab tyrants there, or any concern for those the committee members refer to as Palestinian refugees in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Even news exposes about the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, ranging from corruption scandals to incitement to jihadi terrorism and anti-Semitism, are routinely ignored by the committee.
But this time the hypocrisy and lies of the haters of Israel were too much even for an organization that has been accustomed to swallow them in large gulps. A document accusing Israel of apartheid practices was coyly presented as the official stance of the U.N. without having been approved by the regular channels. In other words, it's a fake. Guterres demanded that the committee shelve the delusional creation, and committee chairwoman Rima Khalaf was forced to resign.
The story doesn't end there. In our world, there is always someone who looks out for anti-Semites and lends his hand to anyone who makes war against the Jewish state. In case you were wondering, that is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He didn't waste a minute before calling the fired anti-Semitic Khalaf, expressing his deep appreciation and informing her that the PA would be awarding her its highest honor. You can judge people by their friends.

US is back
The Trump administration is not even 100 days old, but the Middle East is already feeling the change. The United States is once again taking an active role in the region, and more importantly, Washington is once again standing by the allies and friends it had abandoned. It is now abundantly clear that America can differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys in the region, and that it plans to act for the former and against the latter.
It is an open secret that the election of President Donald Trump, despite being portrayed as an enemy of Islam who gobbles up Muslims, was greeted with a sigh of relief in the region, and in some cases with overt jubilation. America's allies were fed up with former President Barack Obama and his administration, which turned its back on them during tough times and did not hesitate to criticize them and even question their legitimacy.
The Obama administration was obviously biased in favor of pro-Islamic elements in the region, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It also courted Iran and tried to appease it, in the hope of dissuading it from pursuing its nuclear ambitions and maybe scaling back its destabilizing activities in the region. This all created an unbridgeable gulf between Washington and its old friends, who came to conclusion that even the minimal understanding Washington had of the region's complexities was no longer there, and that perhaps the Obama administration had lost touch with reality.
BBC News erases identity of authors of UN ‘apartheid’ report
The BBC then published an article titled “UN’s Rima Khalaf quits over report accusing Israel of apartheid” on its website’s Middle East page.
“A UN official has resigned after saying the UN had pressured her to withdraw a report accusing Israel of apartheid over its treatment of Palestinians.
The report was published by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), led by Under Secretary General Rima Khalaf. […]
Speaking in the Lebanese capital Beirut, Ms Khalaf, a Jordanian, said she had submitted her resignation to Mr Guterres after he insisted on the report’s withdrawal.”

The article goes on to amplify a statement made by Khalaf:
“”We expected of course that Israel and its allies would put huge pressure on the secretary general of the UN so that he would disavow the report, and that they would ask him to withdraw it,” she was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.”
However, readers are not told of an obviously relevant statement made by the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson:
“The secretary-general cannot accept that an under-secretary-general or any other senior UN official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the UN name, under the UN logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself.”
Neither are they told that Khalaf’s term of office was in any case due to come to an end.
At no point are readers informed which countries make up ESCWA or of the fact that all are members of the ‘Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’ which has a long history of anti-Israel campaigning at the UN.
At no point are BBC audiences informed of the identities of the authors of the report and the obviously relevant issue of their well-documented anti-Israel stances.
Argentinians demand justice for attack on Israeli Embassy
Hundreds of people gathered in the Argentinian capital on Friday afternoon at the memorial park where the Israeli Embassy used to stand, to remember the victims of the terrorist attack that destroyed it more than two decades ago.
On March 17, 1992, a car bomb exploded, killing 29 civilians and wounding 242 others. The perpetrators were never captured and Argentinians continue to demand justice.
Iran is widely believed to have been behind the attack.
Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti, Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, relatives of the victims, the presidents of the AMIA and DAIA Jewish organizations, and several ambassadors were among those who attended Friday’s commemoration.
Rabbi Tzvi Grumblat, representative of Chabad- Lubavitch in Argentina, recited kaddish for the victims, followed by the sounding of a siren representing sorrow and pain. Then a minute of silence was observed in honor of those who died.
Egypt's Sisi expected to meet with Trump in DC ahead of Abbas visit
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make his first state visit to Washington during the first week of April at the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Egyptian state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Sunday.
The trip will be Sisi's first US state visit since being elected president in 2014 as former US president Barack Obama had never extended an invitation.
Sisi was elected a year after leading the military's ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood's president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests. Trump invited Sisi in January but the date of the visit had not been announced.
Trump, Egypt's Sisi discuss fighting terrorism
The report of Sisi's upcoming visit came after Palestinian media reported over the weekend that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to meet Trump in Washington in mid-April.
The report stated that Abbas had received an official invitation from the White House.
Israeli airstrike said to kill driver in Syrian Golan Heights
An Israeli drone strike reportedly killed a member of a Syrian pro-regime militia Sunday afternoon, amid spiraling tensions between Jerusalem and Damascus.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that Israeli aircraft struck a truck driving near the town of Khan Arnabeh in the Quneitra province, on the road to Damascus.
The National Defense Force, a pro-regime militia set up in 2012, claimed the man killed was from among their ranks.
They named the man as Yasser Hussien Assayed.
“The national defense force mourns with pride and sorrow the news of the martyrdom of the heroic fighter Yasser Hussien Assayed,” the group said in a Facebook post.
The group published four pictures it said were from the scene of the alleged airstrike.
Liberman threatens to ‘destroy’ Syrian air defense systems
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.
“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Lieberman said on Israeli public radio.
Israeli fighter jets hit several targets in Syria on Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the strikes targeted weapons bound for the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.
Syria’s military claimed it downed one of the Israeli planes and hit another as they were carrying out the predawn strikes near the famed desert city of Palmyra that it recaptured from jihadists this month.
Iran: Israel’s ‘aggression’ in Syria proves it’s aligned with ‘terrorists’
Iran on Saturday denounced Israeli “aggression” over its airstrikes in Syria early Friday, and claimed Jerusalem’s interests were aligned with those of Syrian “terrorists.”
According to a report on Iran’s Press TV news channel, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi questioned the timing of the Israeli operation “at a time when [Syria’s] army and the anti-terror front have the upper hand against bloodthirsty terrorists, driving them back from cities and villages one after another.”
This, he said, proved that Israel shared interests with those of rebel groups, which Iran and Syria refer to as terrorists.
Qassemi called on the UN to condemn Israel’s “aggression” and to prevent further “acts of violation of peace and security by the aggressive and rogue Zionist regime.”
BBC continues to conceal Gaza missile attacks from its audience
Yet again the BBC chose not to report the attack.
Since the beginning of the year seven missile attacks against Israel have taken place – five from Gaza and two from Sinai – none of which have been reported by the BBC’s English language services. Israel’s response to three of the attacks launched from the Gaza Strip has however been the subject of coverage on the corporation’s Arabic language website.
The pattern of reporting whereby the majority of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip are not covered in the English language but Israel’s response to those attacks is reported in Arabic has been in evidence since the end of the summer 2014 conflict. Throughout 2016 just one of ten attacks received BBC coverage in the English language.
In first, Hamas sentences two drug dealers to death
A Hamas military court sentenced two Gazan drug dealers to death on Sunday, the Gaza interior ministry said.
Until Sunday, only people found guilty of spying for Israel or murder received the death penalty in Gaza, controlled by the Hamas terror group since 2007.
The two men sentenced to death, according to a statement, were caught with thousands of pills of tramadol, an opiate that has swept through Gaza in recent years. The dealers were also in possession of hashish, the ministry said.
“The Gaza military court announced the death penalty for two civilians from Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, for selling narcotics,” the Interior Ministry statement said.
One of the men, described as a sergeant in Hamas’s internal security force, was sentenced to death by firing squad. The other man was sentenced to death by hanging.
Labour Candidate Deselected Over Israel-ISIS Posts
A Labour council candidate in Birmingham has been deselected after Guido revealed her anti-Israel Facebook posts. Alison Gove-Humphries had shared Facebook posts claiming Israel was the “key link in exporting ISIS oil”. A Labour Party spokesman said:
“Alison Gove-Humphries has been removed from the panel of approved local candidates.”
Birmingham Theology Major Hailed by International Jewish Peers as 'Political Activist of 2016' Running for Senior Role in UK's Largest Student Union
A University of Birmingham theology major recently hailed by international Jewish peers as 2016’s “Political Activist of the Year” has announced her campaign for a senior role in the Britain’s’s largest student union, the UK’s The Jewish News reported.
Izzy Lenga is running for National Union of Students (NUS) vice president of welfare in the upcoming April elections, after being recognized in January by the World Union of Jewish Students as a key player in “calling out and challenging antisemitism in [the NUS].
Lenga has served on the NUS national executive council for two years and has been a vociferous internal critic of the student movement, saying it has become “toxic” for Jews and holds anti-Israel “double standards,” according to the UK-based Jewish Chronicle.
The Jewish News reported that Lenga’s campaign promises include easing students’ financial burdens and doing away with the British government’s “racist, hostile and failing” Prevent program, which requires public figures to report those harboring extremist views.
Lenga first garnered attention in 2015, when she was “bombarded” by Holocaust-glorifying posts on social media when she tweeted that a poster announcing “Hitler was right” had been found on the Birmingham campus, The Mirror reported.
Teen Vogue Promotes Palestinian Narrative to Adolescent Readers
Teen Vogue, a Conde Nast publication aimed at teenage girls with a circulation of over a million, has shifted away from a focus solely on fashion and shopping to include political issues. Its February 27 piece entitled "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What You Need to Know" suggests that shift also entails publishing factually shoddy commentary.
Despite the ambitious title and long length, the one-sided account omits many things that teens trying to learn about current events ought to know and instead reads like a fact sheet from the Palestinian side of the issue.
Author Emma Sarran Webster has no apparent knowledge or background on the complex issues involved, billing herself as an expert on health and beauty with a "deep love for social media and cat videos." She relies heavily in the article on a single "expert," University of Wisconsin professor Nadav Shelef. Shelef's writing, which has been praised by far-left professors, focuses heavily on settlements, and as a result, Webster's article also focuses overwhelmingly on "controversial" settlements as the central issue. This, while completely ignoring Palestinian incitement and incentivizing of violence, as well as Palestinian intransigence. In fact, Webster includes an entire four-paragraph section subtitled, "What are settlements, and why are they so controversial?"
Yet, there is no section on Palestinian cash payments to convicted terrorists or to the families of terrorists who were killed, and there is no section that discusses the glorification of violence in the Palestinian government and society.
Who Is Most Targeted in America? Muslims or Jews? Haaretz Corrects
"America and Europe are awash in hatred toward minorities. The Jews are the least of its victims," argues Haaretz's Gideon Levy last week in his Op-Ed entitled "Envy the Jews of the World." To make his case, he cites the following statistic: "There were 5,818 hate crimes recorded against Muslims in America in 2015, a 67 percent increase over the the previous year … "
But Levy has his numbers wrong. FBI statistics on hate crimes in 2015 show the exact opposite: Jews were the most targeted religious group in the United States, not the least, as Levy argued.
According to the FBI's hate crimes statistics for 2015, there were a total of 5,818 single-bias incidents, including those targeting Jews, Muslims, gays, people with disabilities, etc. In addition, of the 1,402 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 52.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders' anti-Jewish bias and 21.9 percent were victims of anti-Muslim bias.
Jews most targeted group in Toronto hate crimes, police say
Jews in the Toronto area were targeted by hate crimes more than any other group in 2016, according to a recently released police study.
Of 145 reported hate crimes in the region last year, 43 of them targeted Jews, according to the report. The total figure was slightly higher than the 134 hate crimes reported a year earlier and above the 10-year average of 141 hate crimes per year.
The report by the Toronto Police Services is expected to be discussed by city officials at a meeting later this week.
According to the statistics, “the Jewish community was the most victimized group for mischief to property occurrences; the L.G.B.T.Q. community was the most victimized group for assault occurrences; and the Muslim community was the most victimized group for criminal harassment occurrences.”
Some 200,000 Jews live in the Toronto area, making it Canada’s largest Jewish community.
Advertisers Drop YouTube Over Anti-Semitic Videos, Extremism Concerns
YouTube and its parent company Google have been accused of continuing to host thousands of anti-Semitic hate videos in defiance of their own guidelines, as the UK government announced it was withdrawing advertising from the global video-sharing giant.
French advertising agency Havas, one of the world’s largest marketing groups, pulled hundreds of UK clients out of Google’s advertising network Friday after revelations in the Times newspaper that taxpayers and commercial brands were unknowingly funding extremists through adverts. Dozens of other brands have also allegedly withdrawn their business while Havas said it was also considering a global freeze on YouTube and Google ads.
The Times found adverts were appearing alongside content from supporters of extremist groups, making them around £6 per 1,000 viewers, as well as making money for the company.
The Times has now revealed why the commercial retreat from YouTube has gathered pace with its analysis showing that more than 200 anti-Semitic videos are hosted on YouTube. In selective cases, the offensive videos were uploaded years ago and have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Some even hosted advertising, suggesting anti-Semites may be enjoying a commercial advantage from perceived association with well-known brands, the newspaper reports.
‘What is the Right Punishment For Blasphemy?’ asks Muslim-focused BBC Radio Network
The BBC’s Asian Network, a ratio station aimed at British citizens of South Asian descent, today asked its viewers what the “right punishment” for blasphemy is, amid news that Pakistan has asked Facebook and Twitter to help it enforce its blasphemy laws.
Britain has a large population of South Asian immigrants, mostly from the Muslim-dominated countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as from India, another country with a large Muslim population.
In the segment, BBC reporter Shazia Awan asks informs views of Pakistan’s upcoming crackdown on social media blasphemy.
“Pakistan have asked for the help of Facebook to crack down on blasphemous content on the site. Facebook even agreed to send a team out there to help.”
Awan went on to cite the ruling party of Pakistan’s official Twitter page, which calls blasphemy an “unpardonable offence.”
Iran leader blasts objectification of women as Zionist plot
In honor of Iranian mother’s day, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to Twitter Sunday to share his views on gender issues, asserting that the West considers women to be “goods and means of pleasure” and that this is the product of the “Zionists’ plot.”
The seven-tweet ramble came on the birth anniversary of Fatimah Zahra, the daughter of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, which is also designated as mother’s day in the country.
Accordingly, Khamenei began his message by identifying Fatimah’s positive traits that make her the “perfect role model for Muslim women.”
These included “grandeur & stature beyond human’s understanding and imagination.”
But the supreme leader made sure to stipulate that “one of Hazrat Zahra’s roles was being a mother, wife & housewife,” using an alternate name for Fatimah.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Surplus Of Gentile-Blood Matza From 2014 Still Keeping Prices Low (satire)
Manufacturers of unleavened bread for the Jewish holiday of Passover are struggling to turn a profit for the third year in a row, as the market is still glutted with merchandise from the overproduction of matza using the blood of the plentiful corpses of Palestinians from the 2014 war in Gaza.
Executives from the largest matza manufacturers in Israel told a trade association conference last week that emerging technologies that made the extraction of Palestinian blood more efficient than in the past had produced an unexpected oversupply of the raw material for matza, driving retail unleavened bread prices down and threatening the profitability and sustainability of the enterprise.
“Operation Protective Edge, framed as an effort to suppress rocket fire by Hamas, was actually an elaborate ruse to kill Palestinians to use their blood in matza,” explained Eli Latdam, a vice president with Jerusalem-based Yehuda Matzos. “We and our fellow manufacturers placed an order with the IDF for a certain number of freshly killed enemy corpses, basing our calculations on the traditional method of draining blood from goyim for matza manufacture. But the new technologies came on line right around then, resulting in five times the volume of harvested blood that we had expected. We miscalculated both how much Palestinian blood we would receive and the quantity of product we could move.”
The Simpsons Predicted Trump and 911 - A Call to Satan and Antichrist
Palestinian Cleric Khaled Al-Maghrabi in Al-Aqsa Mosque Lecture: The Simpsons Predicted Rise of Trump; 911 - A Call to Satan and the Antichrist
In a lecture given at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Khaled Al-Maghrabi described an episode of "The Simpsons" - a TV show "created by devil worshippers" - in which Trump was elected U.S. President. "They were plotting for 17 years to make it reality," he said in the lecture, which was posted on the Internet on March 9. Claiming that folding dollar bills in a certain way showed the destruction of the Twin Towers and that calling 911 was asking Satan and the Antichrist for help, Al-Maghrabi, who was imprisoned in the past for inciting and racist comments, summed up his belief that it is all a conspiracy to vanquish Allah.

4 people arrested in vandalism of Chandler family's menorah into swastika
Four people have been arrested on suspicion of contorting a Chandler family's decorative light-up menorah into a swastika in December.
Chandler police responded early on Dec. 30 after Naomi and Seth Ellis said they woke up to find a menorah, which they had placed in their front yard, disfigured overnight into the shape of a swastika.
Seth Ellis, who works in construction, had built the 8-foot-tall menorah out of PVC pipe. Ellis' children had seen Christmas displays and had asked their father if they could have a display to celebrate their Jewish faith.
One of the suspects was identified by Chandler police as 19-year-old Clive Jamar Wilson. The other three suspects are male juveniles, according to Sgt. Daniel Mejia, Chandler police spokesman.
All four were arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal trespass and aggravated criminal damage.
'Cowardly' graffiti on Belfast mural to Irish Zionist who fought in WWI being treated as a hate crime
The defacing of a Belfast war memorial to a soldier who led the "Jewish Legion" has been condemned as a “cowardly attack" on an Irish hero.
The words “scum” and “Nazis” were daubed on a mural honouring Lieutenant Colonel John Henry Patterson who commanded the volunteer battalions of the 'Jewish Legion' as they fought against the Ottoman Empire during World War One.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it was treating the incident as a hate crime.
Stephen Silverman, the director of investigations and enforcement at the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA), told The Independent: “Lt Col John Henry Patterson commanded the so-called Jewish Legion during the First World War.
“Whilst his men fought with distinction, Lt Col Patterson had to defend them from the anti-Semitism of his superiors, even threatening to resign his commission.
“This cowardly attack on a memorial to one of Northern Ireland’s heroes must be punished with the full force of the law.”
Britney Spears said set to play first show in Israel
Britney Spears will reportedly perform her first-ever show in Israel in the summer of 2017 as part of her upcoming world tour.
A date for the show has not yet been set, but according to Channel 2, the Princess of Pop will perform a one-night show in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park in early July.
The final date and ticket information would be announced by the production company in the coming days, the report said.
Shows scheduled for Israel did not appear on her website at the time of publication, nor was there mention of a trip to Israel on her social media feeds.
Local music producers have been working to bring Spears to Israel since last year, and rumors of a concert have been swirling in recent months.
IDF Blog: IDF Cyber Cadets “Catch ‘Em All” in Pokemon-Inspired Training Exercise
A group of IDF cyber cadets from the air force, navy, and infantry were split up into 6 teams that represent different pokemon types, and tasked with fending off a series of intruders attacking their “cities.”
Each day for a week, Team Rocket – a team of IDF cyber trainers, attacked the cadets’ cities and attempted to capture their Pokemon. Over the course of the exercise, the cyber cadets had to mark flags – or Pokemon – hidden in their system. The team that managed to “catch ‘em all” first would be the winner.
“The exercise is designed to mimic a real large scale cyber attack,” said Lt. Roi, commander of the cyber officers training course. “The attacks are based off of real attacks that have taken place around the world. The soldiers need to defend the network against the attack, eliminate the threat, understand how they were attacked, and then restore the network to normal.”
For the first time, the exercise included attacks through mobile and internet-of-things devices. One attack consisted of Team Rocket gaining access to a mobile device and then using it to access all of the networked data. In another attack, Team Rocket attacked the network itself, targeting routers, modems, and other pieces of internet infrastructure.
Replica of 2,500-year-old ship found off Israel christened ahead of maiden voyage
A replica of a 2,500-year-old trading ship found off the coast of Israel was christened in Haifa Friday morning, ahead of its first voyage out of the shelter of the bay later this month.
The keel of the “Ma’agan Michael II,” named after the kibbutz where its ancient forerunner was found in 1985, was laid in July 2014 as part of a joint project by the University of Haifa’s Department of Maritime Civilizations and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
On Friday morning, the university and IAA poured a libation of wine to Poseidon and cast off for a quick jaunt around the bay. Later this month, however, the ship will make its maiden voyage down the coast to Herzliya, a three-day sail.
The archaeologists involved in the project seek to learn how ancient mariners sailed against the winds and currents with the technology existing at the time, a quandary that historians still don’t understand despite vast evidence that Mediterranean seafaring existed for centuries before the Ma’agan Michael ship sank.
Hoard of coins from 1,400-year-old Byzantine site tells story of Persian invasion
As a Persian army supported by a horde of Jewish rebels marched on Jerusalem in 614 CE, Christians inhabiting a town on the main route inland to the city hid a hoard of valuables in the hope of returning in more peaceful times.
Fast-forward 1,400 years to the summer of 2016, when Israeli engineers were widening that same highway, running from the Mediterranean past Abu Ghosh west of the caital, and archaeologists were called in to excavate some Byzantine ruins. Beneath the rubble of a building they found a hoard of nine copper coins dating to around 614 CE, when a Persian empire briefly reigned in Jerusalem just before the rise of Islam.
The Byzantine site, located next to the modern town of Ein Nakuba, was a waypoint situated along the main Christian pilgrim route leading from the coast to the holy city, said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Annette Landes-Naggar, who announced the discovery to the press Sunday.
The announcement was timed to precede the upcoming Easter holiday, which falls this year on April 16, as part of a push coordinated with the Tourism Ministry to boost Christian pilgrimage to Israel.
Files reveal Bolivian 'tin baron' saved 9,000 Jews from Nazis
More than 50 after his death, the extraordinary story of Mauricio Hochschild, a German Jewish immigrant and mining magnate who helped thousands of Jews escape the Nazis in the late 1930s, has been revealed in documents recently found in La Paz, Bolivia.
The cache of decomposing files and photographs mixed with trash was found in a storage unit in the Bolivian capital, and details Hochschild's prominent role in saving at least 9,000 lives. The documents show that in many cases Hochschild paid out of his own pocket for Jews to travel to Bolivia and for their initial residence there.
The discovery surprised many, as Hochschild had been previously vilified as a ruthless tycoon in the local mining industry.
"These papers are going to change many things in Bolivian history; the political ramifications are yet to come," said Edgar Ramirez, the archive director of the Mining Corporation of Bolivia.
Hochschild was born in Biblis, western Germany, in 1881, and migrated to Bolivia in 1921. He made his fortune mostly from tin mining, and had an empire that stretched from Peru to Chile. Hochschild is known as one of Bolivia's "tin barons," and was an influential figure in political circles in the 1930s.
In 1938, he used his considerable political clout to persuade Bolivian President German Busch to issue special visas to Jews who were fleeing mounting Nazi persecution in Europe. He argued that they could contribute to the country's workforce, particularly in agriculture.

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