Thursday, January 06, 2022

From Ian:

Gene Simmons, Nick Cave blast anti-Israeli boycott of Sydney Festival
But Hollywood heavyweights, including Nancy Spielberg, as well as KISS frontman Gene Simmons signed an open letter yesterday urging Australians to resist ­attempts at censorship for political purposes.

“While art can reflect politics and artists can choose to reflect their politics in their own art, art should never ­become subservient to politics, and artists and cultural events should never be forced to be politicised,” the letter said.

Warner Records chief executive Aaron Bay-Schuck and Australian ­musician Nick Cave were also among the 120 signatories to the letter, co-­ordinated by the Creative Community for Peace — a non-profit group promoting the arts as a means to counter anti-Semitism and oppose the cultural boycott of Israel.

The $20,000 reportedly paid by the Israeli embassy went to supporting the presentation of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s Decadance at the Sydney Opera House from Thursday.

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A festival spokesman said the performance was close to selling out, and of the 133 events originally scheduled, 11 were not proceeding.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Darren Bark said China had indirectly backed the event for years.

“Despite the accusations against China’s government regarding the genocide against the Uyghurs and the Tibetans, there were no similar boycott campaigns like we are seeing this year,” he said.


Sydney Festival boycott activists hurting the Palestinian cause
At the heart of the misguided Sydney Festival BDS stunt lies the profound irony that, among Israelis, choreographer Naharin is well known for his criticism of Israeli government policies and his sympathy for Palestinian aspirations.

“I’ve always said that if protesting and boycotting my performances would improve the situation in the territories or bring a solution to the conflict, I would support the boycott myself,” Naharin told Ha’aretz in 2019.

“(But) this doesn’t help the Palestinians and won’t result in anything.”

This is not only the assessment of Naharin and other prominent left-wing Israelis but also many Palestinians themselves, including veteran Jerusalem-based Palestinian human rights campaigner Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.

“We have to tell people what the facts are,” Eid told a US newspaper in 2020. “The facts are that BDS is hurting Palestinians more than Israelis.”

Obviously, some Palestinians do back BDS. But the question that those pressured to endorse BDS need to ask is why they should support a boycott that Palestinians themselves cannot agree is in their best interests.

The Australian campaign to shut doors to Naharin, rather than embrace a potential ally for Palestinian rights, says far more about the blinding, destructive obsessive animosity guiding the BDS campaign than about Israel’s alleged failings towards Palestinians.

It is a deeply offensive obsession which has no place amidst the celebration of artistic creativity and diversity that the Sydney Festival represents.

Patrons of the arts deserve better than the bullies of BDS.


Jonathan Tobin: Harry Potter and the search for fake antisemitism
What any such conversation usually misses is that by seeking to tag such fantasies, which almost all have some sort of equivalent to Rowling's goblins, as a product of hate, we are usually ignoring actual antisemitism – both the kind that uses ugly caricatures of Jews and that demonizes them in other ways.

Leftist Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley deliberately employs traditional Der Sturmer-style caricatures of Jews in his panels in which he accuses Israel of blood libels and depicts its supporters in much the same way the Nazis sought to delegitimize the Jewish people and Zionism. He uses his Jewish origins as a defense for being called out for his despicable images drenched in hate.

On the other hand, it is no small irony given Stewart's pose as an arbiter of what is and isn't antisemitic that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) – one of the nation's most prominent and dangerous anti-Semites – has been mainstreamed by Noah on The Daily Show with multiple fawning interviews, as well as on the CBS late-night comedy show hosted by Stephen Colbert, who got his start in the cast of Stewart's show.

It's also an interesting coincidence that in the same week that Stewart's comments about Rowling went viral, Emma Watson (the actress that portrayed a Potter heroine, Hermione Granger in the films) allowed her Instagram account to be used to promote the "Free Palestine" slogan that is synonymous with the extinction of the one Jewish state on the planet.

That's a reminder that at a time when a rising tide of antisemitism is spreading around the globe – rooted in hatred of Israel – talking about the goblins in Harry Potter isn't merely a waste of time. It's a way of ignoring the fact that the Jew-haters aren't always the ones who create fantasies with small creatures. Sometimes, it's the fashionable and beautiful people following hateful woke trends that demonize the real, living Jewish people that we should be worried about.
Phyllis Chesler: Pro-Palestine, Pro-Trans: The celebrities condemning Harry Potter and his mother
The Harry Potter series has seized the imagination of the entire world. But its characters and author are now being subjected to the Thought Crime police. The actors who owe Rowling their careers, livelihood, and celebrity have also turned on her.

Poor J.K. Rowling! Not only is she under attack for her views on the transgender issue—she is now being accused of alleged Jew hatred based on some of the characters in Harry Potter.

Comedian Jon Stewart, formerly of The Daily Show, has just accused J.K. Rowling of anti-Semitism. And why? Because her depiction of the “goblins” who run Gringotts, the underground bank where everyone’s gold is stored is, in his opinion, an anti-Jewish stereotype. He wonders why the “goblins” are the underground bankers… Get it?

Apparently, fiction, even fantasy, must conform to rigid speech code rules. But unlike Wagner’s Nibelungen, Albrecht, (a “dwarf” or a descendent of a “race of dwarfs’) who stole and who hoards the gold which can control the world in Wagner’s four part opera The Ring Cycle—Rowling’s “goblins” merely guard it and release it to its rightful owner—just like the Swiss do.

Call me crazy but once I read the comedian Jon Stewart’s allegation, I immediately thought that Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, (changed his name, wonder why—nah, I know why) must also favor Palestine i.e. his anti-Semitism is anti-Zionism. Bingo! Even Al-Jazeera mourned his departure and bid him a “fond farewell” as one of the only Americans who told the truth about Israel and "Palestine".
Douglas Murray: When the Right Plays With Jew-Hate
Given today’s political environment—in which the left seems unhinged from reality, unable to say that there is one thing that is a man and another thing that is a woman, or to articulate the most basic defense of liberalism and the West—one might imagine that the right is sitting pretty. For the first time in decades, all conservatives like me have to do is be normal.

And yet.

Over the weekend, a writer and a Twitter personality on the political right unmasked himself, boringly and yet still wretchedly, as an antisemite. He did it casually, as though holding these noxious beliefs should be perfectly obvious.

But it was so repugnant that it cannot be glossed over or ignored. And the fact that, so far as I can tell, it largely has been, at least by conservatives, is all the more reason to expose this noxious little incident.

Pedro L. Gonzalez is a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, an American think tank with a storied past. Claremont is home to many first-rate writers who have helped to ensure that the Republican voter base and its intellectual class are not wholly separate entities. Yet Mr. Gonzalez spent his holiday weekend bringing what many have worked hard to relegate to the gutter into respectable conservative circles.

On the penultimate day of 2021, a left-wing economist named David Rothschild was doing what leftist activists do on social media. On this occasion, he was tweeting that “Republican intellectuals *despise* the Constitution.” Gonzalez responded to this low-grade click-bait by saying “Libs openly flout laws they don’t like—see sanctuary cities and DACA—but will still preach to you about the constitution. These people are as dumb as they are repulsive.” He added a photo of Rothschild.

There is already a certain problem here. For to accuse other people of being physically unattractive one must be either in a playground or in a position of extraordinary Adonis-ism oneself. You can Google Mr. Gonzalez and judge for yourself.

Then he wrote this: “That Rothschild physiognomy is pure nightmare fuel.”
StandWithUs truck circles Unilever headquarters denouncing lack of action to reverse boycott
Unilever claimed it has no authority to override this discriminatory decision, pointing to its acquisition agreement with Ben & Jerry’s, which gave B&J’s board power to make decisions consistent with the social mission of the subsidiary. However, SWU's legal department examined the contracts and found that the authority of the B&J board is limited to "commercially reasonable decisions." It is clear that Unilever has the authority to overturn the irresponsible decision made by Ben and Jerry’s. SWU and Israeli American Council (IAC) for Action sent a letter to Unilever CEO Alan Jope and the Board with this information urging Unilever to reverse this action.

US states, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Illinois have already divested their pension funds from Unilever and other states are in the process of investigating their business relationships with Unilever. The attorneys general of twelve states and the treasurers of seven states have written to Unilever to demand clarification about the corporation's misrepresentations of its relationship to Ben & Jerry's and its authority to override the discriminatory decision. A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives sent a joint letter to the SEC requesting that the regulatory filings of Unilever be amended to disclose the material risk factors the corporation may incur as a result of the discrepancies in its statements about its ability to reverse the Ben & Jerry's decision.

Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs stated, "Unilever is clearly misrepresenting its ability to reverse the decision to boycott Israel which they can do at any time. Corporations hold immense power to shape public opinion and cultural norms, and it is crucial to hold them accountable when they promote or enable antisemitism. The truck campaign and website are part of a larger public education effort by SWU which also includes direct mail and digital advertising. We hope that reason prevails, and Unilever takes a clear look at the consequences of its inaction and reverses their decision to stand with Ben and Jerry’s boycott against only Israel. Ben and Jerry's is still selling ice cream in some of the world's most oppressive human rights abusing countries, and this boycott of Israel represents a clear double standard and collective punishment against Israelis."
Suspect in UK racial hatred case alleged massive London fire was “Jewish sacrifice"
A woman standing trial in a British courtroom for inciting racial hatred claimed on social media that victims of a massive London fire were "burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice,” BBC News reported.

Tahra Ahmed, 51, was accused of stirring up hatred on social media when shortly after the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, in which 72 tenants of the low-rent housing complex died, she made two inflammatory anti-Jewish social media posts.

“Ms. Ahmed published two posts that were virulently antisemitic and crossed the line as to what is acceptable in a liberal society,” prosecutor Hugh French said to the jury.

Four days after the fire, on June 18, 2017, Ahmred allegedly posted a Faceboko video of the blaze, describing it as a “Jewish sacrifice,” the court was told.

The post said: "I've been at the scene, at the protest and at the community meetings and have met many of the victims...some who were still in the same clothes they escaped in. They are very real and genuine, their pain and suffering is raw and deep and their disgusting neglect by authorities continues. Watch the footage of people trapped in the inferno with flames behind them. They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice."

Ahmed also allegedly made a January 2017 post that referenced an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

French told the jury that people had a right to make “outspoken” or “offensive” views known on social media but there was a line that could not be crossed.


Guardian's new Jerusalem correspondent ignores Palestinian terror
The Guardian’s new Jerusalem correspondent, Bethan McKernan, began her assignment in early December.

Here are the stories she published during her first five weeks in the position:
As you can see, not one of the articles has focused on Palestinian terror, despite the fact that, during that time, there have been multiple attacks.
Tumblr blocks “sensitive” search terms on its app to avoid being kicked out of App Store
The American social networking and microblogging platform, Tumblr has made changes to its app in order to block more than 400 search terms, including “antisemitism,” “racism” and “xenophobia”, in a move intended to reduce the risk of Apple banning it from the App Store.

Although some of the banned terms are designed to block access to pornography, Tumblr has stated that other terms relating to “potentially sensitive content” were banned so that the platform could “remain available within Apple’s App Store.”

In order to comply with Apple’s guideline, Tumblr said that it was “having to extend the definition of what sensitive content is as well as the way you access it.”

In 2018, the platform changed its community guidelines to explicitly ban hate speech.

In a blog post at the time, Tumblr stated that it was incumbent “on all of us to create a safe, constructive, and empowering environment.”

Tumblr said that to achieve this, its community guidelines needed “to reflect the reality of the internet and social media today,” as the internet was “being exploited by hate groups.”
BBC Arabic ‘Trending’ presenter on ‘editorially acceptable comments’
A post by CAMERA Arabic

Ahmad Fakhouri is one of the two main presenters of BBC Arabic’s “Trending” programme, along with Rania al-Attar. On December 11th he released a video on his private YouTube channel, entitled “On AbouTrika – and BBC neutrality”, in which he discussed the programme’s editorial policy in relation to the broadcast of social media comments.

Mohamed AbouTrika is a retired Egyptian footballer whose homophobic remarks on live television last November sparked controversy across the Arab world and in the United Kingdom.

The following version was edited by CAMERA advisor Dr. Meir Masri.

Fakhouri’s statements about being bound by his employer’s editorial guidelines, regardless of his personal views, need to be put into context. Until a few months ago, he and al-Attar regularly presented the exact same kind of comments that he now claims are unacceptable in BBC content.

Fakhouri reads out a comment claiming that Zionism, “represented by freemasonry”, engages in “a diabolical campaign to spread perversion [i.e. homosexuality]” across society, aiming to “destroy the values of humanity and religion, as well as human nature”, August 2019

Fakhouri reads out a comment arguing that an LGBT couple should be incarcerated for life, January 2020

Al-Attar reads out a comment “saluting” a television series favourably depicting the near destruction of Israel (“the usurper entity”) and the mass expulsion of its Jewish population by means of war, April 2020


MEMRI: Imprisoned Poway, CA Synagogue Attacker's Letters Calling For More Violent Attacks On Jews Are Smuggled Out And Published By Neo-Nazi Organization Fundraising For Convicted Domestic Terrorists In Prison – The Same Week He Receives A Second Life Sentence
An organization that raises funds for imprisoned high-profile neo-Nazis and domestic terrorists has published two letters penned by Poway synagogue shooter John T. Earnest. Last month, Earnest was sentenced to life plus 30 years; he had already been sentenced to life without possibility of parole following a plea agreement in September.[1] The organization website also provides Earnest's address at the San Diego Central Jail for supporters wishing to write to him.

In his first letter, he explained that he had been deceived and manipulated by Jews and thus had chosen a way of "defending his people" that was evil.

His second letter described his ideal society, in which all citizens would be of European heritage. He wrote that "European peoples are worth preserving:" and that cultures that safeguard European heritage must be reestablished. Also in the letter, he called for violent attacks on Jews.
Seattle Jewish Federation Outraged After ‘Inadequate’ Response to Police Official Who Displayed Nazi Insignia
A major Seattle Jewish organization criticized city officials in Kent, Washington — part of the Seattle metropolitan area — for their response to an assistant police chief who posted a Nazi military insignia on his office door and allegedly made jokes about the Holocaust.

Assistant Kent Police Chief Derek Kammerzell was suspended for two weeks and ordered to attend cultural sensitivity training last July for violating city policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination and for unbecoming conduct in violation of police policy, according to the Kent Reporter.

Police Chief Rafael Padilla accepted his subordinate’s claim that he did not know the symbol, which indicated a military rank, was of Nazi origin.

A Dec. 28 statement released by Kent’s municipal communications staff said that two independent law firms had reviewed the case and, “based on labor law and the advice of the employment law firm, the city believes a two-week suspension was an appropriate and defensible response to the conduct identified in the investigation.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle objected, saying, “The City of Kent’s response demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the impact of these acts by one of its assistant police chiefs on our local Jewish community.”

“We call on the City of Kent to immediately revisit the situation, publicly recognize the harm and hurt caused to our Jewish community, and treat the offenses with the seriousness and care they deserve,” they said.


Conservative councillor who claimed America, Israel and Saudi Arabia are a “trilogy of Zionists” and that “Zionism is one of the worst afflictions on the world” is permitted to re-join party after suspension
A Conservative councillor who was suspended last year over social media posts has reportedly been permitted to re-join the Party.

A spokesperson for Peterborough Conservatives reportedly confirmed that Ishfaq Hussain, who represents the city’s Dogsthorpe ward, had re-joined following an investigation.

Cllr Hussain had apologised for sharing antisemitic tropes on Facebook. In one Facebook post, he accused the “Saudi regime” of being “long standing puppets of America and Israel,” and went on to label them “a trilogy of zionists.” He then remarked that “Islam doesn’t breed terrorists the zionist trilogy do.” Mr Hussain also shared a video that was captioned: “The Jews in Israel are not true Jews.”

Cllr Hussain had also captioned his profile picture: “This person does not recognise the State of Israel.” He also reportedly claimed that “Zionism is one of the worst afflictions on the world” and made other inflammatory comments about “Zionists”.

In his apology, Mr Hussain said: “I recognise Israel’s right to exist and wholeheartedly support a two-state solution. I deeply regret that my frustration at events in Israel and Palestine led me to suggest otherwise. Some of my previous language was ill-judged and offensive. It also echoed antisemitic tropes in ways I had not fully understood. However strongly we feel, we should never let our emotions get the better of us. By doing so, I allowed myself to become part of the problem. I am truly sorry.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is right that Cllr Hussain apologised for his inflammatory remarks, but suspensions pending an investigation are not in themselves a sanction. The Party must reveal the results of any investigation and require Cllr Hussain to undertake antisemitism training so that he understands why his comments were so detrimental.”


An Iranian Jewish leader was executed in 1979. His granddaughter tells his story
As a news photo editor currently with NBC News, Shahrzad Elghanayan has worked with many photojournalists whose instinct is to run toward danger. It is, she said, “a sign of courage, empathy, and feeling responsible for your fellow human beings.”

That instinct is part of what connects Elghanayan with her grandfather, Tehran businessman Habib Elghanian, who was the head of the Jewish Association of Iran until he was executed during the country’s Islamic revolution in 1979. There were so many times when Habib, at the time Iran’s most prominent secular Jewish leader, could have saved himself — but chose instead to stay in Iran helping Jews.

“He stayed there to protect the Jewish community he had led since 1959 and what he had built from scratch,” Elghanayan said. “I can understand that.”

In her book “Titan of Tehran: From Jewish Ghetto to Corporate Colossus to Firing Squad — My Grandfather’s Life,” published by the Associated Press in November, Elghanayan not only researched her grandfather’s death, but also celebrated his life.

As a business “titan” who, with his brothers, headed a conglomerate that made plastics, refrigerators, stoves and aluminum, among other goods, Habib was an instrumental figure in pre-revolutionary Iran’s modernization. (In 1962, the brothers built Iran’s tallest private sector high-rise at the time, the Plasco Building.) As a Jew, he benefited from a brief atmosphere of tolerance, albeit with limits, under the shah.

In fact, Elghanayan’s grandfather’s lifetime coincided with a “golden era” for Iran’s Jews, she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. But in the end, Habib suffered an ending that seems familiar to Jews in many nations at many times in history — scapegoated and executed for perceived secret loyalties to Israel.

Elghanayan was 7 years old on May 8, 1979, when her grandfather was killed on trumped-up charges of spying for Israel. She and her family had left Iran for the safety of the United States the previous September. Still in her possession is a commemorative coin depicting the shah on one side and a menorah on the other. It was meant to commemorate Jews’ acceptance in Iran, and Habib had contributed $40,000 for its issue.
A film captures Jewish life in a Polish town before the Nazis arrived
Glenn Kurtz found the film reel in a corner of his parents’ closet in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in 2009. It was in a dented aluminum canister.

Florida’s heat and humidity had nearly solidified the celluloid into a mass “like a hockey puck,” Kurtz said. But someone had transferred part of it onto VHS tape in the 1980s, so Kurtz could see what it contained: a home movie titled “Our Trip to Holland, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, France and England, 1938.”

The 16-millimeter film, made by his grandfather, David Kurtz, on the eve of World War II, showed the Alps, quaint Dutch villages and three minutes of footage of a vibrant Jewish community in a Polish town.

Old men in yarmulkes, skinny boys in caps, girls with long braids. Smiling and joking. People pour through the large doors of a synagogue. There’s some shoving in a cafe and then, that’s it. The footage ends abruptly.

Kurtz, nevertheless, understood the value of the material as evidence of Jewish life in Poland just before the Holocaust. It would take him nearly a year to figure it out, but he discovered that the footage depicted Nasielsk, his grandfather’s birthplace, a town about 30 miles northwest of Warsaw that some 3,000 Jews called home before the war.

Fewer than 100 would survive it.

Now, the Dutch filmmaker Bianca Stigter has used the fragmentary, ephemeral footage to create “Three Minutes: A Lengthening,” a 70-minute feature film that helps to further define what and who were lost.
UK government remembers Holocaust survivor Freda Wineman following her death at 98
The British government has paid tribute to Holocaust survivor Freda Wineman, who passed away at the age of 98.

Wineman, who was born in France and survived Auschwitz, was active for decades in Holocaust education and well known in the UK for her dedication to sharing her testimony so firsthand accounts of what took place in the Holocaust would not be lost to time.

Tributes were made in her honor by the Holocaust Educational Trust and British Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

“So very sad. I was privileged to meet her. May her memory be a blessing,” Javid said on Twitter.

The Holocaust Educational Trust said in a statement: “The Holocaust Educational Trust is deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend Freda Wineman BEM at the age of 98. May her memory be a blessing.”

Karen Pollock, the CEO of the Holocaust Education Trust, added: “Freda Wineman was a very special woman who touched all of our hearts.”

Noting that Wineman survived being deported to Drancy, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Raguhn (a satellite of Buchenwald) and Terezin, Pollock remarked that Wineman “survived unimaginable horrors, yet dedicated decades to sharing her testimony so that future generations would know what happened during the Holocaust.”

In 2019, Wineman was awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) for her work in UK Holocaust education.

“Freda was softly spoken and exuded warmth and charm, but also demonstrated remarkable determination and strength,” Pollock said. “We are really going to miss Freda and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and the many who loved her.”


Unearthed: The new virtual exhibition at the City of David Museum
Many Israelis have decided to skip visiting cultural venues as coronavirus case numbers continue to rise. However, that does not mean you cannot still get a dose of Israeli culture or history.

The City of David Museum in Jerusalem's Old City has now created “Unearthed,” a fully virtual exhibition that fits with the coronavirus-era trend of holding museum exhibitions online. In doing so, City of David is following in the footsteps of museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London and the Vatican Museum in Rome.

The exhibition is a “state-of-the-art virtual tour that presents to the public a new way to go underground and explore ancient Jerusalem in a fresh, immersive way,” the City of David Museum said, enabling visitors to virtually walk through the site and access a range of videos, pictures and interviews with the excavators.

Another feature of the tour is the presence of animated re-creations of ancient sites such as King David's Palace, the ancient Royal Quarter and Hezekiah's water tunnels.

The Israeli tech company Matter, a world leader in producing virtual sites, partnered with the City of David to facilitate the exhibition.
Tiny clay seals reveal First Temple royal treasuries in Jerusalem, researchers say
Dozens of inscribed clay seal impressions recovered during excavations near the Temple Mount have been identified as evidence of two treasuries in ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE, researchers said Thursday.

Archaeologists said the clay impressions, or bullae, were used for the management of storehouses during the First Temple period.

In ancient times, the lumps of clay were pressed over the knot of a cord securing a doorknob or a vessel, and the manager of a treasury would then impress his, or his superior’s, seal upon the clay to prevent others from tampering.

Archaeologists Zachi Dvira and Dr. Gabriel Barkay found that on the reverse side of several bullae in Jerusalem, an impression of woven fabric appeared, which they said indicated some were attached to small bags containing pieces of silver or precious metals, while others were likely attached to fabric that covered ceramic jars used to store agricultural produce.

The bullae were revealed during the sifting of Temple Mount soil and in excavations at the Ophel Park adjacent to the mount. The researchers said the findings constitute concrete evidence of the existence of two central treasuries in Jerusalem, which managed the economy of the Kingdom of Judah.

According to the researchers, the names that appeared on the bullae in the Paleo-Hebrew script were of the chief treasurers in charge of the so-called Temple Treasury and the Royal Treasury of the Kingdom of Judah.


HonestReporting: From Famine to Freedom: Operation Moses and the Rescue of Ethiopia's Jews
This week marks the anniversary of the end of Operation Moses, the seven-week clandestine mission that brought thousands of at-risk Ethiopian Jews to safety in Israel almost four decades ago. Between November 1984 and January 1985, over 8,000 people were airlifted to the Jewish state on some 30 flights from Sudan's capital, Khartoum.

Brave Ethiopian Jews had to travel across the desert in order to reach Sudanese refugee camps. Starvation, dehydration and attacks by militias resulted in the death of over 4,000 people.

Despite the hardships, the idea of living in a Jewish state sustained Ethiopian Jews. Forced to convert to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries, they secretly clung to their Jewish traditions, praying all the while to reach the Holy Land.











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