Saturday, December 22, 2018

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: In Wake of Khashoggi, Pressure for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Is Dangerous
So far from advancing stability and peace, renewing a peace process — even one based on more realistic assessments of the situation on the ground and what the parties can reasonably achieve — will weaken and destabilize Israel and increase the chance of war.

Obviously, none of this advances U.S. interests either regionally or globally.

Given this state of affairs, perhaps the apparent breakdown of the Trump administration’s efforts to coddle the Saudis into playing a significant role in negotiations between Israel and the PLO is a blessing in disguise. It gives the administration the opportunity to reconsider its efforts to reach a deal in the first place.

The steps that the Trump administration has already taken to end its predecessors’ unhealthy unconditional support for the mordant peace process – ending the ritualistic condemnations of every new Israeli home built beyond the 1949 armistice lines; ending U.S. subsidization of Palestinian terror financing through aid to the PA; ending U.S. support for UNRWA, the UN “refugee” agency that has played a central role in ensuring there will never be a resolution of the Palestinian conflict against Israel; and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem – have all played a key role in stabilizing the region. They have also made it easier for the Arab states to work cooperatively with Israel.

Rather than push a “peace deal” that will fail to bring peace while harming Israel and America’s Arab allies, if the Trump administration were to publicly acknowledge that there can be no peace between Israel and the Palestinians so long as the Palestinian people remain committed to Israel’s destruction, and that the U.S. is abandoning efforts to reach a deal in light of this reality, it would stabilize the situation still more by diminishing the chance of a major Palestinian campaign against Israel.

Were the Trump administration similarly to give Israel a green light to secure its long-term strategic interests by applying its laws to the areas of Judea and Samaria that it requires to defend itself against invasion from the east and from Palestinian attacks within Judea and Samaria, the move would similarly diminish the chance of war in the medium and long term.
We Remember: Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, December 21, 1988
According to the FBI, the case is still open and “being actively investigated” with its Scottish partners. The FBI believes there are more co-conspirators involved in the plot.
30 years ago this week, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 sent a shock wave around the world. #FBIWFO & our Scottish partners are still actively seeking justice for the victims & their families. #PanAm103 #Lockerbie
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) December 17, 2018

Some U.S. investigators also reportedly believe that Iran was involved in the attack, possibly as revenge for a July 1988 incident in which a U.S. warship accidentally downed an Iran Air plane.

Claims that Teheran ordered the destruction of Pan Am 103 (and not Gaddafi’s Libya) have re-surfaced in an article published yesterday in the Daily Mail. In it the daughter of a now deceased Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist insists that she has proof that a PFLP terrorist cell, under the direction of mastermind Ahmed Jibril and in the “pay of the Iranian regime”, perpetrated the bombing.

Scottish MSP Christine Graham says that these new allegations increase the fear that Megrahi may have been “the fall guy” and wrongfully convicted, with Libya “taking the rap” for various reasons. Jim Swire, also quoted in the article, agrees.

Obviously, the new claims underscore the need to keep this investigation open and to push hard for further indictments and convictions.

According to this week’s FBI report on the bombing:
Then as now, the goal is to hold everyone involved responsible for the crime and to bring justice to the families of the victims…the FBI does not forget. The American people—and our adversaries—need to know that we don’t give up”.
Edgar Davidson: Lockerbie 30 years on: the atrocity was committed by Palestinian terrorists but it is their 'privilege' not to be blamed
Lockerbie 30 years on: the atrocity was committed by Palestinian terrorists but it is their 'privilege' not to be blamed
Today is the 30th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing. The fact that a Palestinian group (funded by Iran to do it) got away without blame is just another example of their privilege.

This is something I have reported on many times before including here recently. The fact is, it was politically inconvenient for the British and American governments at the time to go after the Palestinians and Iranians (and as - far as European governments are concerned - the same applies even more so today).

Fortunately, although many relevant articles about it are censored by Google, the true story is finally being told - there are even articles in today's Mirror and Express with the real story.

JPost Editorial: Trump’s gift
The US is truly Israel’s greatest ally, but the impact of that alliance has grown weaker in recent years. Trump is the second president in a row who has both shown that Israel can ultimately only rely on itself in the Middle East, and who has decided to pull back from American involvement in the world.

The result of an increasingly isolationist American policy can only be bad for Israel. Our alliance with the US is a strategic asset that makes Israel significantly stronger, both in quantifiable military might and in how we look in the eyes of other countries in the region.

On the first count, the US has kept up its side with a 10-year commitment to give military aid worth billions of dollars to Israel each year.

But Israel has more to worry about on the second count. When the US decides, of its own volition, to make itself a weaker player in the Middle East, Israel is weaker as a result. Israel is stronger with an involved America backing it up.

US support is one of the considerations our enemies likely weigh when considering whether to lash out at Israel or not, and while the US hasn’t backed down from its support from Israel – and in many ways has increased that support – it won’t carry as much heft without the US continuing to be engaged in the Middle East and the world.

After the American announcement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Trump had informed him of the decision and “made it clear that they have other ways of expressing their influence in the area.” Netanyahu added that “we will take care to maintain the security of Israel and to defend ourselves in this area.”

But that ability took a hit, and Israel will have to work that much harder to keep its citizens and its borders safe. Withdrawing American troops from Syria is a mistake for which the US and Israel may end up paying dearly.
Erdogan: We will take command of the fighting in Syria
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Friday following the US withdrawal from Syria.

Erdogan claimed his country will take command of the fighting against ISIS in Syria, and continue its fighting against the Kurds in northern Syria.

A US official speaking anonymously said that US considers putting special forces in Iraq, to respond to events in Syria.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi that the U.S. is still committed to fighting Islamic State in Iraq and other areas despite its planned troop withdrawal from Syria, Abdul Mahdi's office said on Saturday.

US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US forces from Syria was followed by harsh criticism from Israeli intelligence officials.

"A feeling of abandonment," An official told The New York Times. "Trump threw us under Israel bus - and in this case the bus is a Russian truck supplying weapons to Syria and Hezbollah."

Trump's decision also received criticism in the Republican camp. "It is an Obama-like mistake made by the Trump administration." Senator Lindsey Graham called the withdrawal. "This will be a great victory for ISIS, Iran, Assad and the Russians."

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted on Trump's decision, saying "It will haunt America for years to come."
Trump’s Syria pullout was last straw for Mattis; others may quit Pentagon
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned after clashing with President Donald Trump over the abrupt withdrawal of American troops from Syria and after two years of deep disagreements over America’s role in the world.

Fox News reported Friday that other officials may quit the Pentagon in Mattis’s footsteps. “More resignations at the Pentagon could be coming,” it said.

It also said that several potential successors to Mattis would likely share the outgoing defense chief’s positions on US military involvement in both Syria and Afghanistan. Noting that “Gen. Jack Keane and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., are considered the frontrunners to replace Mattis,” Fox pointed out that “neither candidate seems likely to embrace Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy and “Both came out against the withdrawal from Syria in strong terms.”

Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump’s administration, will leave by the end of February after two tumultuous years struggling to soften and moderate the US president’s hardline and sometimes sharply changing policies. He told Trump in a letter that he was leaving because “you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.”
A defense secretary leaves and a Republican argument on the Mideast blows open
james Mattis is quitting as defense secretary and his extraordinary resignation letter has brought into the open an argument among conservatives on whether to cut and run in the Middle East or whether to stay with no clear outcome.

The argument also touches on two subjects near and dear to the hearts of Jewish political players: how best to contain Iran, and how robust a role the US should play in the region.

Mattis did not mention Syria in his letter Thursday, but reports said that Trump’s decision earlier this week to pull 2,000 US troops from Syria was the trigger. President Donald Trump said it was time to go because the Islamic State, or ISIS, is defeated. Numerous experts noted, however, that ISIS has lost most of its territory, but is still active.

Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and a veteran anti-terrorism analyst of the George W. Bush presidency, summed up on Twitter the criticism of Trump’s Syria move: “In one fell swoop @POTUS upended his own admin’s 3 pronged Syria policy, sidelined all his top officials, alienated all our closest allies, set the stage for an ISIS resurgence, gifted the Levant to Iran, & guaranteed huge Mideast instability in 2019.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also appeared less than pleased. His office on Thursday said that the prime minister and president had spoken about Trump’s decision. The outcome seems hardly conclusive. “The two discussed ways to continue cooperation between Israel and the US against the Iranian aggression,” the statement said.

Netanyahu has said that the outcome of any final status agreement to end the seven-year civil war that has devastated Syria must include Iran’s removal from the scene. Iran, which with its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, helped the Assad regime win the war, has no intention of leaving. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s other ally, has said — tepidly — that maybe he can get Iran to stay 60 miles away from Israel’s border with Syria.

Netanyahu is already taking hits from the opposition for not putting up a fight, one they say he surely would have waged had Barack Obama made the same decision as Trump. Netanyahu has staked a lot of his political capital on his close relationship with Trump.
After Mattis, US envoy to anti-IS coalition also resigns over Syria withdrawal
Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest to President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security officials.

Only 11 days ago, McGurk had said it would be “reckless” to consider IS defeated and therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. He decided to speed up his plan to leave in mid-February.

McGurk, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2015 and retained by Trump, said in his resignation letter that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS. McGurk also cited gains in accelerating the campaign against IS, but that the work was not yet done.

His letter, submitted Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was described to The Associated Press on Saturday by an official familiar with its contents.

McGurk, whose resignation is effective December 31, was planning to leave the job in mid-February after a US-hosted meeting of foreign ministers from the coalition countries, but he felt he could continue no longer after Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria and Mattis’ resignation, according to the official.
Abbas: 'We won't negotiate with US administration, it's not neutral'
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas spoke in Ramallah and accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of transferring funds to Hamas used to finance terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria.

"He personally transfers money to Hamas to carry out terror attacks in the West Bank and we pay the price," Abbas said.

Prior to publication of Trump's peace plan for the Arab-Israeli conflict, Abbas said that "we won't negotiate with the American administration, because it's not neutral. We support an economic, political. and security agreement.

"Israel and the US are talking about the economic solution to the conflict and transferring $10-12 billion to the Palestinian Authority. But where's the political solution? According to the US and Israel, it'll come later, we know the result of this path. We won't accept a solution that will not address the political problem.

"We won't agree that Hamas is accused of being a terrorist movement. It's part of the Palestinian people, we don't agree with Hamas on almost every issue, and they create anarchy in the West Bank, but these things are between us Palestinians. We won't accept condemnation of Hamas."
Former Miss Iraq Still Getting Death Threats, Including From Hamas, for Taking Picture With Miss Israel
Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan is still being targeted with death threats a year after the controversy that erupted at the 2017 beauty pageant when she took a picture with her Israeli counterpart, Adar Gendelsman.

Idan, who is Muslim and was the first Miss Iraq in 45 years, started getting attacked on social media last year after posting the selfie on Instagram along with the caption, “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.” She refused to delete the photo despite pressure to do so from her Iraqi sponsors, including the director of the Miss Iraq Organization, and among the death threats that are still coming in are some from the terrorist group Hamas, according to the New York Post.

Idan, 28, and Gendelsman remain close and talk regularly. The friends were reunited when Idan visited Israel in June 2018 to speak about the importance of dialogue, and together they gave a speech about peace at a major gathering in Jerusalem.

Idan, who grew up in Baghdad, was forced to flee Iraq with her family to ensure their safety after the controversy involving the selfie with Gendelsman. She said her family now live in a Middle Eastern country but Idan will not reveal which one for fear of their lives, the New York Post reported.
Palestinians call for boycott of new Israeli-Palestinian mall
Palestinian activists have called for boycotting the first Israeli-Palestinian shopping mall, which was built by supermarket chain owner and developer Rami Levy in the industrial zone of Atarot, north of Jerusalem. The mall, which is expected to open soon, cost NIS 200 million and has more than 50 businesses.

The activists took to social media and other platforms to call on Palestinians to boycott the new mall and other shopping centers in Israel. They also distributed leaflets in east Jerusalem that said that boycotting Israeli commercial centers was a “religious, national and moral duty.”

The new mall, the activists claimed, is part of an Israeli scheme to Judaize Jerusalem and destroy its Arab economy.

“By purchasing Israeli goods, we are funding the Israeli occupation,” read a statement issued by a group called the National and Islamic Forces in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

The statement warned that by doing business with Israelis, Palestinians would be “contributing to the siege of Jerusalem, solidifying the city’s isolation, and detaching it from its surrounding environment.”

The statement was published by the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa and its ruling Fatah faction, a sign that the PA endorses and supports the call for boycotting the new mall.
Hamas says it’s weighing response to Israeli ‘stupidity’ after 4 killed in riots
Terror factions in the Gaza Strip hinted Saturday at a possible response to the reported deaths of four Palestinians in weekly border clashes with Israeli troops.

“Following Israel’s crimes yesterday against non-violent protesters in the March of Return that led to the death of four demonstrators and injuries to dozens, the joint command center is in ongoing consultations,” the military wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups said in a statement.

“The joint command center will have a clear position tomorrow regarding response policy and action guidelines concerning Israel’s stupidity and crimes against our people,” they added.

The Israeli army said around 8,000 Palestinians had gathered along the border Friday, burning tires and launching rocks and incendiary devices at soldiers, which did not reach the troops. It said soldiers opened fire “according to operational procedures.”
PA 'unhappy' with Hamas leader's invitation to Moscow
The Palestinian Authority has notified the Russians of its opposition to the invitation of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to Moscow, a senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov confirmed on Friday that Haniyeh has been invited to Moscow at the beginning of 2019.

“We have invited [Haniyeh] and he accepted the invitation with gratitude,” Bogdanov said. “[The visit] is likely to take place early next year.”

The Russian official said that Haniyeh’s visit to Moscow was in the context of Moscow’s effort to end the Hamas-Fatah rift.

“In our opinion, the priority should be the establishment of the Palestinian national unity,” he added. “In our view, it is extremely important that Fatah and Hamas, together with other Palestinian organizations, meet and agree on the restoration of political and geographical unity.”

Last week, Russia rejected a protest by Israel over the invitation of Haniyeh and said that Israel holds regular talks with the Palestinian terrorist group. Channel 10 reported that the protest was lodged by Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren.

“We have told the Russians that we’re not happy with the invitation of Haniyeh,” the PA official told the Post. “Haniyeh is the leader of a Palestinian group that staged a coup against the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip in 2007. He does not hold any official position in the Palestinian leadership.”
When BDS Comes to Campus, Antisemitism Follows
The Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at New York University was forced to temporarily shut its doors last week due to a security threat. In an emailed statement sent to the NYU community, the head of the Bronfman Center wrote: “[W]e became aware of several public online postings by an NYU student which were antisemitic in nature and potentially threatening. Due to heightened tensions at NYU … we are taking every necessary precaution.”

According to multiple media reports, an NYU student complained on Twitter that his account was suspended because “i expressed my desire for zionists to die [sic].” Among the multiple racists posts uncovered, a tweet from 2014 applauded Nazi leader Adolf Hitler while another from this past October stated, “remember to spit on zionists, it’s proper etiquette [sic].”

The forced closure of the heart of Jewish life at NYU came days after the school’s student government passed a resolution in support of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, despite warnings by pro-Israel and Jewish student activists that BDS has led to an “unsafe environment for students … [who are] being targeted just because they support Israel.”

According to a campus watchdog, the AMCHA Initiative, a direct correlation exists between anti-Israel and antisemitic activity. An August 2018 report reveals that “Israel-related incidents are actually more likely to contribute to a hostile environment for Jewish students.” The data is clear. With anti-Israel activity on campus comes a heightened sense of alert within the Jewish community, who is left wondering when the next threat will appear.
DaphneAnson: "You're No Better Than the Nazis During the Second World War!", London Israel-Haters Told (video)
On 21 December, until Sandra Watfa's stand-in begins to screech ear-assaulting invective against Israel, the Israel-haters from the Inminds seem to be doing a reasonable trade in handing out propaganda flyers against Israel to well-heeled shoppers outside De Beers in London's Bond Street.

But at least one passer-by gives the haters a dressing down. At the start of this video (thanks, Alex Seymour, for keeping the footage in) a man who clearly supports Israel (could he be an Israeli himself?) tells the demonisers exactly what he thinks of them.

Temple University Board Chair: Marc Lamont Hill’s Comments on Israel Caused ‘Immeasurable’ Damage to School
The head of Temple University’s Board of Trustees rebuked a faculty member who called for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea” — saying the comments caused the school “immeasurable” damage.

Patrick O’Connor said in an interview with student-run Temple News on Tuesday that he had received up to 30, “maybe 50” emails about the controversy involving Marc Lamont Hill, a tenured professor who was fired from CNN after his Nov. 28 remarks, which were seen as endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state in place of Israel.

In his speech, Hill also backed the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and did not rule out violence as a means of Palestinian “resistance.”

Hill has since rejected criticism that his comments were antisemitic or called for the destruction of Israel, saying in a Dec. 1 open letter that his “vision of justice for Palestinians absolutely does not come at the expense of justice for Jews anywhere in the world.” He apologized “to anyone who felt that my comments suggested otherwise.”

O’Connor said the university was still dealing with fallout over Hill’s comments, which were condemned by local and national Jewish groups. He noted that he had received messages from “alums, professors, students, friends of Israel, politicians, young, old, Black, white” — including promises from donors to cut financial ties with the university.

“I’ll let you know at the end of the day [what the damage is] when people who used to give us significant amounts of money follow up on their promise never to give another dime,” O’Connor went on to say.
Senators Demand Congressional Leadership Publicly Oppose Israel Boycotts
A delegation of Republican leaders in the Senate are demanding that Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer make public moves to oppose boycotts of the state of Israel, warning that such a declaration is needed in light of several incoming Democratic members of Congress who espouse anti-Israel views and endorse the anti-Semitic boycotting of Jewish goods, according to a copy of a letter sent Thursday and exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

A group of 15 senators led by Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) implore McConnell and Schumer to send a direct message to a new group of incoming Democratic lawmakers that support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which seeks to wage economic warfare on Jews and Israel, will not be tolerated.

"We write today to bring to your attention a disturbing development concerning the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic movement known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)," the senators write, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Free Beacon. "Regrettably, in recent days, future members of the U.S. House of Representatives have publicly expressed support for this extreme movement."

"It is disheartening to see future members of Congress take a position on BDS that is not only highly biased, but contrary to fundamental facts and detrimental to U.S. national security interests," they write. "We therefore respectfully urge you to immediately condemn these comments and to show bipartisan support for our ally Israel."
Top European Jewish Group Urges Action Following Spate of Antisemitic Incidents at Football Matches
Following a spate of recent antisemitic incidents involving football fans in Europe, a top Jewish group is calling for action.

Earlier this week, footage emerged of fans in the Belgian city of Bruges chanting about burning Jews during an August match.

Also, on Wednesday, an Arsenal fan was reportedly ejected from Emirates Stadium in London after making a reference to “gassing Jews” at a contest against Tottenham.

And last week, Chelsea condemned a group of its own fans over an antisemitic chant sung during a road game versus Vidi in Budapest.

In a statement on Thursday, Dr. Moshe Kantor — the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) — commented on those and incidents of late, saying, “It is extremely disturbing that in the 21st century Europeans sing proudly about murdering Jews and glorifying the Nazis.”

“Unfortunately,” he added, “antisemitism in football is getting worse and these hooligans believe they can get away with whatever they like when they go to a football match.”

“We call on all the football authorities, from FIFA, UEFA, and the national football federations around the world to take stricter measures against this antisemitic abuse and use harsher punishments,” Kantor emphasized.
Australian School Principal Poses With Children in Blackface, Hitler Costume
A leading Australian Jewish group has condemned a primary school in the country after students were photographed wearing racist costumes — including donning blackface and dressing as Adolf Hitler.

Students at Rowena Public School in a small town in New South Wales participated in a dress-up day earlier this month by celebrating famous people from history, New Matilda reported — with one young girl wearing a Nazi uniform, complete with a swastika arm band and a Hitler-esque mustache.

Another students arrived to school in full blackface, as part of a tribute to American athlete Jesse Owens.

The school’s principal, Paul Cecil, posed with the children for photographs, and then published the images on the school’s official Facebook page, drawing outrage and complaints. The school has since “unreservedly” apologized for the incident, writing on social media, “These photos were unacceptable. Rowena Public School is a caring and supportive learning environment. We reject racism in all its form.”

The Facebook page has since been shut down.
French Imam Indicted Over Antisemitic Sermon in Which He Cited Hadith Urging Violence Against Jews
The imam of the Grand Mosque of Toulouse, Mohamed Tatai, was indicted this week for “public verbal provocation to hatred or violence” following an investigation into an antisemitic sermon he gave last year, French media outlets reported on Friday.

In the remarks in question, Tatai cited a hadith saying that on Judgment Day the Muslims will fight and kill the Jews.

A video of the Dec. 2017 sermon was published online, and a translated excerpt (courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute) can be viewed below:

The incitement charge was brought by the Toulouse Prosecutor’s Office.

In an interview with a French media outlet this past summer, Tatai claimed his words were taken “out of context” and that he had not called for violence.

In 2012, an Islamist gunman killed four Jews — a rabbi and three students — at a school in the southern French city.
Israeli tech helped NASA capture first image from Sun’s atmosphere
NASA’s first image captured within the Sun’s atmosphere on November 8 was taken with the help of Israeli-engineered sensors.

The telescope on the car-sized, $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe, was fitted with sensors built by Israel’s TowerJazz in collaboration with SRI International, an independent nonprofit research center, the NoCamels technology website reported on Wednesday.

By coming closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history, the unmanned probe’s main goal is to unveil the secrets of the corona, the unusual atmosphere around the Sun.

“TowerJazz has been working with SRI for several years to develop custom technology to support US government imaging applications,” the Israeli technology company had noted in an October statement.

“We are very pleased to see our teamwork take flight in this exciting endeavor by NASA.”
Unpublished Elie Wiesel manuscript has been found after a four-year search
This story begins 18 years ago, in 2000, when the first part of Elie Wiesel’s autobiography, “All Rivers Run to the Sea,” was published in Hebrew (by Yedioth Books). I initiated the publication of the book as a gesture of friendship and admiration, and at the publisher’s request I agreed to edit it, and mainly to ensure the accuracy of the historical details.

At the time there was no mention of publishing a series of the works of Eli Wiesel in Hebrew, which came up later and eventually led to the publication of 14 books, beginning in 2005. At the time it never occurred to me that eight years later I would receive a personal invitation from Wiesel to serve as the founder and director of his archive project at Boston University.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I had read the autobiography three times, and with every reading new questions arose, most of which I discussed directly with Wiesel. Our friendship, which began in 1983, was close and ongoing, maintained by phone and by fax, and of course in face-to-face meetings whenever he came to visit Israel or I came to New York.

Visiting Israel was of great importance, because a large part of Wiesel’s history during the first 25 years after the Holocaust is very closely tied to the State of Israel. Although he never lived in Israel for more than three consecutive months, from the end of 1949 until 1972 he served as the senior foreign correspondent of the mass-circulation daily Yedioth Ahronoth, first in France and from 1956 in the United States.

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