Tuesday, May 04, 2021

From Ian:

Matti Friedman: Eight Tips for Reading About Israel
From my position as a journalist in Israel, perched on the fault line between Western preoccupations and the country where I live, I’m confronted with a growing perception gap. The gap becomes apparent in conversations with visitors flying in for a brief visit (at least when “flying in” was something that happened) or with those who take an interest in this place from far away. These observers have formed a picture of Israel based on stories — stories that might come from home, from college friends or professors, from a Jewish summer camp or day school, or from journalism.

Some of these stories are positive and others negative, but what they generally share is being only tenuously linked to reality. Observers thus find themselves struggling to reconcile the State of Israel as it really is to the narratives in their head — an effort that often ends with either retreat into the imaginary landscape they had in the first place, or frustration with reality’s failure to cooperate. It’s possible that visitors to any country have a similar problem, but I suspect that Westerners landing in, say, Burundi (to name a country whose population is about the same size as Israel’s) arrive with less preexisting information and emotion, making the perception gap less of a challenge.

People who live in the liberal worlds of Western Europe and North America more often seem to approach Israel with a shared narrative about the place and shared sources of information, chiefly the international press. That’s an industry I know well, having spent formative years of my journalism career as a correspondent and editor for the Associated Press, one of the world’s biggest news organizations, in the Jerusalem bureau.

2 | why are you telling me this?
Is your source of information an observer whose job is to explain things, or an activist with a political plan? Being an activist is fine, but it’s important to understand who’s who. An activist doesn’t need to tell you everything, just the things that will draw you to his point of view. To take examples from the Israeli context, groups such as Breaking the Silence or B’Tselem are activist groups, and so, on the other side of the spectrum, are groups like StandWithUs. Their material isn’t meant primarily to explain what’s going on, but to induce you to support a particular position. Contradictory information won’t be included. Their role is like that of an attorney at a divorce trial: If you’re representing the wife, your job isn’t to offer a fair assessment of the husband. Your job is to savage his character in your client’s interest and to get the judge on your side.

What makes sorting journalists from activists more and more difficult is that many journalists have become activists — that is, they see their job not as helping you understand events, but as pushing you toward their conclusions. They engineer their reporting to that end. Many Western reporters here in Israel, supported by the world of activist NGOs and international organizations (which is the same social and professional world inhabited by reporters, with much movement between them), believe that Israel is the problem. It follows, if you’re an activist, that what’s needed is not an understanding of Israel’s concerns, but a character assassination that will stoke anger and punish the guilty party. The goal is less to inform than to enrage. That’s why bloodshed during a Hamas attempt to penetrate the Gaza border (to cite one example from 2018) isn’t described as the result of actions, however imperfectly pursued, by Israeli soldiers to protect their citizens. Such a description would be true, but as activism it’s ineffective. Instead, the event must be presented as a kind of murder, even a massacre.

As soon as the press becomes activist, it becomes impossible to understand what’s going on. Anyone hoping to understand should be looking for knowledgeable observers capable of understanding different points of view.
Justice, justice shall you pursue: The crisis for American and French justice
France, as I have previously written, is in a state of cultural decline and loss of confidence by its intellectuals. What we see plainly in the Halimi case is an example of when righteousness is absent and the “robot” judges, only can see the surface of the law and cannot interpret the law to reflect righteousness.

“Justice, Justice shall thou pursue", then we are told to do more than mindlessly applying precedent, but to interpret the law where possible from a position of righteousness.

The failure to understand the ideological antisemitism and state of denial in France was made even clearer a year after the Halimi murder: Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old French Jewish woman and Holocaust survivor was murdered in her Paris apartment on 23 March 2018.

The two suspects, one of whom had known her since he was a child, entered the apartment and reportedly stabbed Knoll eleven times before setting her on fire. The older suspect told investigators that the younger suspect asserted “She’s a Jew. She must have money.” The two suspects have accused each other of the stabbing, one of them claiming that the other shouted Allahu Akbar as he stabbed her.

In this case, finally, the murder has been officially described by French authorities as antisemitic hate crime. Those who understand the need for judges and legislators all to be righteous, understand what must be done in both France and America.

And what we Jews learn is that no ideology should ever be used to thwart or overturn justice. Our Torah by repeating the word “Tsedek” makes it clear that righteousness not ideology is the foundation of justice.
Jews are increasingly welcome in the Islamic world
One message is coming through loud and clear in all this activity: Islamic countries want to nurture and grow their Jewish communities. But equally heartening is how Jewish communities in these countries are reaching out in friendship to their Muslim fellow citizens. Rabbis and Jewish community leaders are breaking bread at Ramadan iftars around the Islamic world and distributing food packages filled with Ramadan staples like dates, tea, lentils, chickpeas and other essentials to their Muslim neighbours, including many people in need.

These improvements in Muslim-Jewish interaction have occurred at a time when the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have established new relations with Israel. But the religious rapprochement runs deeper than politics, as signified by the communities that have moved closer to one another elsewhere. In the end, what we are seeing on a personal level is the result much more of Muslim-Jewish entente than Arab-Israeli diplomacy.

In this new reality, Muslims and Jews are becoming trusted partners and friends, relegating the longstanding hostility between Israel and the Islamic and Arab worlds to an anachronism. This transformation should offer hope for reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians.

There is more work to do. The Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States, created only a few years ago, now boasts rabbinic members serving Jewish communities and residing in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Turkey, Tunisia, Uganda and Uzbekistan. Not all these places are as embracing of Jews yet as the UAE has been.

But never have I been more optimistic that a true and universal Muslim-Jewish partnership may be achievable. The efficacy and durability of such a relationship is being demonstrated every day by the Muslims and Jews who live together in mutual affection and peace, and the Jews in Muslim lands who are not merely tolerated but very much integral to the countries they call home.

In the Middle East and elsewhere, Muslim-Jewish friendship and solidarity unlocks the combined ability of our faith communities to defeat Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.

Together, we can collaborate on medical, scientific and development breakthroughs that benefit each of us, and all of humankind. And certainly, while numbers may still be modest, the emergence of vibrant and sustainable Jewish communities in Muslim lands should be seen as an indisputable advance in building a more tolerant and co-operative world.

A Review 'Jews Don't Count' by David Baddiel
At 123 pages, David Baddiel’s “Jews Don’t Count” is more like a very long essay than a full length book – which is no criticism. The book’s brevity, as well as its plain, non-academic prose, means that his trenchant argument about an often-overlooked intellectual current that obfuscates antisemitism will result in more people grappling with these important ideas.

The premise of ‘Jews Don’t Count’ is one that would resonate with those who read our blog posts: that antisemitism is not taken as seriously by the anti-racist, identitarian left – and even mainstream literary, political or media personalities – as bigotry towards other minorities. Baddiel cites numerous examples of well-known figures who spew out antisemitic rhetoric, yet avoid the public opprobrium normally meted out to those who engage in racism.

One example relates to the 2019 musical production of Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple. While the actress, Seyi Omooba, was sacked due to her anti-gay views, the grotesquely antisemitic writings of Alice Walker herself didn’t cause even a ripple of controversy.

Much of this double standard, Baddiel convincingly argues, is based in part on the perception of Jews as “white”, successful and thus “privileged”, thus not genuine ethnic minorities deserving of the sympathy afforded to other ‘truly’ oppressed minorities. Baddiel cites, as one example of this dynamic, an incident in 2019 that we covered at the time, in which BBC presenter Justin Webb promoted a version of this very idea – a narrative that another BBC presenter, Jo Coburn, legitimised more recently.

“With the transition to identity politics”, Baddiel writes, the left “has become less about for the masses and more about specific minorities”. A “sacred circle”, he adds, “is drawn around those whom the progressive modern left are prepared to go to battle for”, and the ‘monied’ and ‘powerful’ Jews aren’t in it. When ‘progressive’ anti-Semites attack Jews, others writers similarly cognizant of this dynamic have argued, they often believe they are “punching up” – that they are bravely “speaking truth to power” and rebelling against the (rigged) system.

Anti-Israel propaganda in UK teachers’ magazine
The current edition of the UK teaching union (NEU) magazine (not posted yet) – which is sent free of charge to all Union members – has a full page advert for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the antisemitic organisation whose thinly-veiled objective is the elimination of the world’s only Jewish State. This is an attempt to brainwash teachers. It is illegal for the PSC to advocate inside schools or to leave PSC material in schools. There is an obligation under the 1996 Education Act (Section 407) for political topics to be addressed in a balanced manner. So the PSC does the next best thing – it uses the NEU magazine to brainwash teachers.

Next to the PSC advert is a full page article about children detained in Judea and Samaria for criminal acts. It is written by Ayed Abu Eqtaish who is ‘the accountability programme director at Defence for Children International-Palestine’ (DCI-P).

But there’s a lot the teachers are NOT told:
- That numerous individuals with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organisation have been employed and appointed as board members at DCI-P. The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU,Canada, and Israel.
- That DCI-P is also actively involved in promoting BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) and legalcampaigns (“lawfare”) against Israel.
- IDF statistics show that from 2013-2017 between 800-1,000 Palestinian minors were arrested annually in areas under Israeli control. Of those arrested, only 450-505 Palestinian minors were prosecuted. In other words, on average, out of a population of one million minors (according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics), less than 85 Palestinian minors were arrested each month, and less than half of them are actually prosecuted. In comparison, nearly 90,000 minors aged 10-17 were arrested in England and Wales between April 2015-March 2016, an average of approximately 7,500 each month. Adjusted for population, the rate of arrests of minors in England and Wales is 5.5 times higher than the West Bank, even though it is not in an armed conflict situation (data reproduced from NGO Monitor)
New Yorker Demonstrates ‘Superior Power of Incessantly Repeated Lies’
While Said was born in Jerusalem in 1935, his family home was in Cairo and that is where he spent his childhood — not in Mandatory Palestine. His family did not move from Jerusalem to Cairo in 1947.

As the March 25, 2021 Times correction states:
An earlier version of this review misidentified the city that was Edward Said’s childhood home and misstated details about Jerusalem’s division into Jewish and Arab areas. Although Said was born in Jerusalem, his family’s home was Cairo; they did not move from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was not partitioned into Jewish and Arab halves in 1947. In 1949, control of the city was divided as part of an armistice.

Previously, on Oct. 1, 2003 The Times published the following correction:
An obituary on Friday about Edward W. Said, the Columbia University literary scholar and advocate of a Palestinian state, misidentified the city that was his childhood home and misstated the date of Jerusalem’s partition into Jewish and Arab areas. Although Mr. Said was born in Jerusalem, in 1935, his family’s home was Cairo; they did not move from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was partitioned in 1949, not 1947.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that Edward Said had attended the St. George school. He never appeared in the school registry as an enrolled student, and David Ezra, whom Said claimed was a classmate, does not at all recall Said, though he was easily able to identify other students in the class, reported the late scholar Justus Weiner (“‘My Beautiful House’ And Other Fabrications By Edward Said,'” Commentary, September 1999). Said had said he and Ezra sat together in the back row. Yet Ezra had poor sight and always sat in the front, Weiner reported.

Weiner’s research about Said’s fabrications concerning his past was likely the basis of The New York Times’ commendable corrections. And yet, in his piece, Mishra dismisses Weiner: “An article in the Wall Street Journal in 1999, titled ‘The False Prophet of Palestine,’ claimed that Said had fabricated his childhood in Jerusalem, a defamatory accusation later repeated in Time.” Weiner wrote “The False Prophet of Palestine.” Apparently, according to The New York Times, Weiner’s work was truth-telling, not defamatory.
BBC report on PA election postponement promotes Abbas narrative
Notably, the BBC did not clarify to readers that that “previous agreement” related to elections for Palestinian Authority institutions whereas Abbas’ presidential decree ordering elections was issued two days after his initiation of a change to the law “stating that this is no longer an election for the Palestinian Authority but for the State of Palestine, that is, for the President and the Legislative Council of the State of Palestine”.

Neither did the BBC mention the fact that the same action by Abbas repealed a 2007 law stating that candidates in the election must accept the obligations assumed by the PLO under the Oslo Accords.

Like the previous BBC article on this topic, this one too does not inform readers that the PA had previously rejected a proposal for digital voting or that the Palestinian Central Elections Commission had stated ten days previously that it had already made arrangements for Jerusalem residents to vote.
Israeli man shot dead in Baltimore during visit for family wedding
An Israeli man was shot dead at the entrance to a relative’s home in Baltimore on Sunday in what police said appeared to be an attempted robbery.

According to FOX45 News, Efraim Gordon, 31, was visiting the United States for a cousin’s wedding when he was shot and killed.

“We believe that was an attempted robbery that turned fatal,” said Commissioner Michael Harrison.

Local councilman Yitzy Schleifer said that the suspects were seen on CCTV footage walking around the neighborhood before approaching Gordon shortly after he parked his vehicle.

“What we saw closer to this location is them walking through the street, his car pulls up, he parks it and he’s going to the house normally and that’s when he was approached,” Schleifer told FOX45 News. The scene where Israeli man Efraim Gordon was shot dead in Baltimore on May 2, 2021 (Screen grab/Fox Baltimore)

Schleifer told CBS Baltimore that the shooting was particularly tragic given the reason for Gordon’s trip to the US.

Famed US Jewish Architect Will Renovate Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Site of Worst Antisemitic Atrocity in US History
Daniel Libeskind — whose portfolio includes the master plans for the post-9/11 World Trade Center site in New York as well as Jewish museums in Europe, Israel and the United States — has been announced as the lead architect in the rebuilding of the Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the worst antisemitic atrocity in American history on Oct. 27, 2018.

The son of Holocaust survivors from Poland, Libeskind issued a solemn statement on Tuesday confirming his involvement.

“It is with a great sense of urgency and meaning that I join the Tree of Life to create a new center in Pittsburgh,” Libeskind said. “Our team is committed to creating a powerful and memorable space that addresses the worst antisemitic attack in United States history.”

Eleven worshipers were killed and six people wounded when gunman Robert Bowers, an avowed white supremacist, attacked Shabbat morning services at the synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Among his victims were a 97-year-old woman, two brothers in their 50s and a married couple in their 80s. Bowers is presently on trial facing 63 criminal charges related to the massacre.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the synagogue’s rebuilding plans include modernizing its main sanctuary space, which was vacant on the day of the attack. Other parts of the campus, including a smaller chapel and other rooms where the attack took place, are planned for demolition. The historic stained-glass windows from both the chapel and the sanctuary, which depict biblical and historical Jewish themes, are being preserved.

The daughter of the one of the victims of the massacre said she would look forward to entering the synagogue following its transformation.
White Supremacist Killer of Three in 2014 Attack on Kansas Jewish Sites Dies in Prison
The killer of three people at a Jewish community center in Kansas has died in prison, the Kansas Department of Corrections said Tuesday.

On April 13, 2014, Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. opened fire outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center, killing three: William Corporon, 69; his grandson Reat Underwood, 14; and Terri LaManno, 53.

In 2015, Miller — who was also known as Frazier Glenn Cross — was convicted and sentenced to death for capital murder. He received a further sentence of 32 years in prison for related crimes such as attempted murder.

Miller did not retain an attorney at his trial, instead representing himself and using the occasion to subject the court to his antisemitic, white supremacist ideology. He claimed that his crimes were an attempt to stop the “Jewish genocide against the white race” and that if he were ever released, “I’d do it again.”

Miller later told the Kansas City Star that he believed he was dying at the time of his crimes and “I wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”

He said he had cased the Jewish sites before his attack “for the specific purpose of killing Jews.”
Holocaust Memorial in Portland, Oregon Vandalized With Swastikas, Antisemitic Symbols
Police in Portland, Oregon were on Monday investigating a serious act of vandalism to the city’s Holocaust memorial, which was daubed with pro-Nazi graffiti by unidentified assailants.

The vandals sprayed the memorial with swastikas and the number “1488” — code in neo-Nazi circles for the so-called “14 words,” a racist maxim, and the greeting “Heil Hitler.”

The Portland Police Bureau said that investigators were looking into the vandalism, which was reported on Sunday morning and also included antisemitic tagging on signs and concrete barriers near the park, but no arrests had been made.

The director of the Oregon Jewish Museum condemned the vandalism as an act of “symbolic violence” against Jews.

“To use Nazi symbols to deface a memorial dedicated to the millions who were murdered during the holocaust re-capitulates the hatred that drove the original genocide,” Judy Margles wrote in an emailed statement to KOIN 6 News. “It is an act of symbolic violence against the very idea that inspired the memorial.”
Seattle Police investigate man who made antisemitic threats outside Jewish home
After a family in Freemont, Washington alerted police to a man stalking their home, spouting off antisemitic threats throughout the night, law enforcement officials have been instructed to investigate the incident.

The man allegedly walked by the woman's house and performed a Nazi salute on the family's doorbell camera. He then returned with a makeshift mask, standing near the window to the daughter of the family's, threatening to kill her parents.

"My entire life is affected by what antisemitism can do, and this is the most overt incident I've ever experienced, and I'm scared," the homeowner told local NBC-affiliate K5 News.

NBC News said that the home displays a mezuzah on the door, which is purportedly how the man discovered the family was Jewish.

"There has been in the past artwork up in my daughter's window, girl scouts things up," the homeowner told K5 News. "There wasn't that night, which means he had seen our home before and was revisiting it, which is terrifying."

Police have released video footage of the incident and are requesting anyone who has any information on the subject to come forward.
Germany says antisemitic crimes up 15% in 2020, far-right attacks on the rise
Berlin police arrested a 53-year-old German man on suspicion of sending dozens of threatening letters to politicians, lawyers and journalists that were signed with the acronym of a neo-Nazi group, as officials warned Tuesday that statistics show a disturbing rise in far-right extremism across Germany.

Antisemitic crimes rose by more than 15 percent in 2020, the data showed.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said far-right crime rose 5.65% in 2020, accounting for more than half of all criminality categorized as “politically motivated.”

“This shows again that right-wing extremism is the biggest threat for our country,” Seehofer told reporters Tuesday while announcing the annual statistics.

In carrying out Monday’s arrest in Berlin, police seized an unencrypted hard drive with data that might help with an ongoing probe, said Holger Muench, the head of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office.

“There was a lot of data, but it needs to be evaluated,” he said.

The suspect, whose name wasn’t released for privacy reasons, has previous convictions for “numerous crimes, including ones that were motivated by right-wing ideology,” said prosecutors in Frankfurt, who are handling the case.
Hundreds in Ukraine attend marches celebrating Nazi SS soldiers
Hundreds of Ukrainians attended marches celebrating Nazi SS soldiers, including the first such event in Kyiv.

The so-called Embroidery March took place in the capital on April 28, the 78th anniversary of the establishment of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, also known as the 1st Galician. It was a force set up under German occupation auspices comprised of ethnic Ukrainian and German volunteers and conscripts. The marchers held banners displaying the unit’s symbol.

The Kyiv march by about 300 people was an import from the western city of Lviv, which for several years has hosted such events. A day earlier, hundreds attended a larger Embroidery March there.

Ukraine has a large minority of ethnic Russians, who oppose the glorification of Nazi collaborators. Such actions were taboo in Ukraine until the early 2000s, when nationalists demanded and obtained state recognition for collaborators as heroes for their actions against the Soviet Union, which dominated Ukraine until 1991.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Ukrainian Jews, who according to a 2020 demographic study number about 47,000, have protested the veneration of the 1st Galician and other collaborators. But the collaborators’ popularity has soared following the 2014 war with Russia.
Business management software firm HoneyBook raises $155 million, becomes unicorn
Israeli-founded business management software firm HoneyBook said Tuesday it has raised $155 million in Series D funding, at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The investment gives the 8-year-old San Francisco-based company with offices in Tel Aviv the status of a unicorn, or a company valued at over $1 billion.

The equity round was led by Durable Capital Partners LP with participation from Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, 01 Advisors as well as existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, OurCrowd and Citi Ventures, the company said in a statement.

HoneyBook, founded by Israelis Oz Alon, Naama Alon and Dror Shimoni, will use the funding to advance product development and expand its workforce by “dramatically increasing hiring,” the statement said.

HoneyBook has developed an online business and financial management platform for small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers that allows them to manage clients and projects, handle contracts, get paid, and automate emails and tasks. The coronavirus pandemic has benefited the company, as consumers’ interactions with businesses changed, necessitating the increased adoption of digital tools to support their growth, the statement said.
Mitsubishi joins Israeli investment arm to scout for food, agriculture tech
Mitsubishi Corp. will work with an arm of The Trendlines Group, an Israel-Singapore investment group, to scout for emerging technologies and startups in the food and agricultural sector that could be of interest for the Japanese trading giant’s global business, the firms said in a statement.

Mitsubishi’s operations span virtually every industry, and the company is “actively exploring innovation coming from Israel,” the statement said, in which the food and agricultural tech sector (agrifood tech) “has seen tremendous development in the past decade.”

Trendlines Agrifood, the investment vehicle of The Trendlines Group scouts, evaluates and invests in agrifood tech. Mitsubishi hopes to “tap into this experience and together identify promising technologies that can be built and provide breakthrough innovation to global enterprises,” the statement said.

“Collaborating with MC is synergistic,” said Nitza Kardish, the CEO of Trendlines Agrifood, in the statement. “We gain invaluable market and industry insights from a global leader in their field, and MC leverages on our experience in technology evaluation and development.”

Leor Ben-Yakov, chief innovation officer and head of partnerships and ventures for Mitsubishi in Tel Aviv, said that the company’s Japan headquarters has “mandated” the Tel Aviv office to “tap into the Israeli innovation ecosystem across several key industries.”
‘The Nazis Are Already Dead’
When federal prosecutor Allan Gerson took a job with the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations, his mission was prosecuting aged Nazi collaborators. But as he described in his new, posthumously published memoir Lies That Matter, the decision to join OSI wasn’t a simple one; he had to explain it to his parents, who were Holocaust survivors.

En route to Miami, to the first real conversation with my parents since taking the OSI job, I tried out lines that would explain my decision and why I had held off telling them about it for more than two weeks. At 34, I was still seeking parental approval.

But this was no ordinary job, and it went to the core of their being, their suffering. So I both hoped and expected that they would be thrilled with my announcement, view the new position as tied to divine justice, even though they didn’t believe much in God. The reality, it occurred to me, was that they might believe my new venture could backfire into an “andere falsche Got,” another false God, as my father would often mutter under his breath when yet another hope was dashed by disappointment.

Though nearly three decades had passed since they reconstituted their lives in America, the past nevertheless gnawed mercilessly at them both. It could not be avenged. It could only be absorbed as a memory by clinging to it like a hapless swimmer to a raft. They believed that the Holocaust had not merely turned the murdered Jews of Zamość into victims, but that somehow, their death rested on a higher plane. They were martyrs, and martyrs cried out to be honored.

Yet despite my reservations, I believed my parents would approve of, if not embrace, my new position. Could anyone have a stronger desire to see Nazi collaborators brought to justice? Could anyone have a greater stake in forcing the enablers to give up their reinvented American lives, to lose their United States citizenship, and to face deportation? And if that meant being dispatched to the Soviet Union to face a quickie trial for treason with a firing squad in its wake, so be it. My parents could surely live with that. The martyred deserved no less.
Holocaust survivor-led social media campaign launches 'Liberation 75'
Holocaust survivors, educators, leaders, and historians from around the world will kick off Liberation75, marking 75 years of liberation from the Holocaust, at 12 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday by sharing the #ItStartedWithWords digital campaign, created by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) and Holocaust survivors from around the world.

#ItStartedWithWords is a digital Holocaust education campaign posting weekly video posts from Holocaust survivors (which already have garnered nearly 4 million views on Facebook) from across the world.

Each video features a survivor telling of the moments that led up to the Holocaust; a period of time when they could not have predicted the ease with which their long-time neighbors, teachers, classmates, and colleagues would turn on them, before words of hate turned to acts of violence.

Over the course of five days, beginning Tuesday, Liberation75 will bring together thousands of people from around the world committed to fighting antisemitism and racism, and continuing Holocaust education and remembrance. Liberation75 will kick off by sharing the #ItStartedWithWords campaign video. The entire event is virtual and registration is free.

Claims Conference President Gideon Taylor said, "The survivors we work with are excited and gratified by the extraordinary attention their #ItStartedWithWords videos have been receiving. Their dedication to this work is an inspiration to all of us. We are thrilled to be a part of the kick-off of Liberation75, where the voices of Holocaust survivors will be elevated further during a global moment of simultaneous sharing of their videos over social media platforms."

UK Amb. honors British officer who saved 100 Jews 100 years ago in Jaffa
UK Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan honored posthumously on Sunday evening a British officer who saved many Jewish lives during the May 1 riots 100 years ago at Jaffa port. A plaque was unveiled to honor his heroic actions on the occasion.

Major Lionel Mansell Jeune, whose heroic actions have largely remained unknown until now, saved the lives of at least one hundred Jews and an unknown number of Arabs during the riots in Jaffa in 1921, as commander of the port.

Israeli historian Samuel Giler, who researched his life and work as a British soldier, has recently drawn attention to Jeune's story.

Ambassador Wigan and Defense Attaché Colonel Jim Priest participated in a ceremony organized by the Tel Aviv municipality. They were joined by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog and former commander of the Israeli Air Force Dan Tolkowsky, who as a child knew Jeune.

"Today we're meeting on Israel's national day of mourning just after the terrible tragedy at Har Meron," Wigan told an audience that included families of both victims and survivors of the riots, as well as survivors themselves.
Hollywood’s Noa Tishby talks Israel with ISRAEL21c
Israeli-American actress, producer, writer and Israel activist, Noa Tishby joins ISRAEL21c to discuss her life, Israel, and her new book, ISRAEL: A Simple Guide to The Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, released April 6 by Simon & Schuster.

In the hour-long conversation with longtime friend and acquaintance, ISRAEL21c board member Jonathan Baruch, founding partner of Rain Management Group/Story By Entertainment in Santa Monica, California, Tishby talks about her childhood in Israel, what it meant to bring unique Israeli TV formats to the United States, and why she was inspired to write her book.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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