Saturday, May 21, 2022

From Ian:

The world made Israel necessary by refusing to help Jews in WWII
Headlines in March 2022, stemming from the prime minister of Canada, said that Canada would accept as many refugees fleeing the Russian attack on Ukraine “as we can.” But 84 years ago, from July 6 to July 15, 1938, when representatives of 32 countries met in the French spa town of Evian-les-Bains to search for a solution to a Jewish refugee crisis, the response was very different.

The crisis was precipitated by the intense antisemitism unleashed by the Nazis in Germany in 1933 and in Austria in 1938. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were stateless. The Evian Conference, the initiative of US president Roosevelt, was convened to find a solution. It has been argued that the conference was a cynical ploy designed by Roosevelt for appearances only; there was never any intention to raise US immigration quotas (or even fill existing quotas) to save Jews.

The conference was an abject failure. With the exception of the Dominican Republic (in the end, only a little more than 700 Jewish refugees found sanctuary there), no country agreed to accept Jewish refugees. The countries represented at Evian included a European bloc, another large group representing Latin America, as well as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Canada, today a federation of ten provinces and three territories, was created in 1867 as a self-governing dominion, although full independence with regard to foreign policy only came about in 1931. Today, the Jewish population of Canada (about 390,000) is the fourth largest in the world, after Israel, the US and France. At the start of World War II, the Jewish population had reached 160,000 in a population of 11 million.

Canada’s record with regard to Jewish refugees before and during World War II is shameful and well documented in None Is Too Many, by Irving Abella and Harold Troper (1983). The title, a reply by an unnamed bureaucrat to a question as to how many Jews should be admitted to Canada after World War II, is not an exaggeration.

Partly due to the Great Depression and a struggling economy, but largely because of antisemitism, only 5,000 Jews were admitted to Canada from 1933 to 1945. The frantic efforts of the leaders of the Canadian Jewish community were useless; even in cases related to family reunification or when affluent applicants offered to transfer substantial assets to Canada.
How do Putin and Zelenskyy get the Holocaust so wrong?
It's a piece of the Holocaust that even scholars misunderstand, or neglect altogether. And it's a story unknown even to the descendants of a quarter-million Holocaust survivors.

The United Nations Holocaust Outreach Program hosted author and academic Mikhal Dekel on May 11 to discuss her book, "In the East: How My Father and a Quarter Million Polish Jews Survived the Holocaust," a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the National Jewish Book Award and the Chautauqua Prize. Dekel's book – part-historical, part-memoir – presents a unique narrative about the Polish refugees fleeing the terror of the Holocaust en route to the Soviet Central Asian Republics and the Middle East.

Investigating her late father's mysterious identity as a "Tehran Child," Dekel delved deep into rare Soviet archives previously unavailable to Western scholars, charting the path of Holocaust refugees to Siberia, Uzbekistan and Tehran, where her father and aunt were among those who survived the war.

Why do the Russians insist that they are de-Nazifying Ukraine? How can Ukraine's president lecture Israel's parliament, the Knesset, that his country aided the Jews during the Holocaust? According to Dekel, it revolves around a Soviet perspective of the Holocaust that has little to nothing to do with Jews.

Jewish News Syndicate chatted with her to understand what has eluded even dedicated students of the Holocaust.

Q: I don't like stretching or trying to make comparisons that don't exist. And so, I'll try to avoid it here. Do you feel at all that the current tensions between Israel and Russia will lead to more research and more questioning of the Soviet era during this time? Do you feel that might evolve in some way?

"I think it will. Somebody asked me that in the UN event – not exactly in these terms – but they asked how this current war affects the way my book is being read, and I said that first of all, it makes reading my book more possible because people are thinking about Soviet crimes. And in fact, my book is very much related, because of a few things. But one of them is this rhetoric that Putin is using when he says, 'I'm fighting Nazis.' To us, it's insane, right? Where is he getting this? This is a cynical use of World War II. But, in fact, when you travel in the areas that I traveled, World War II is not even over. They're still talking in these terms. You started by saying Holocaust teaching is on the decline, but you have to understand that in those regions, they don't know anything about the Holocaust. You think here it's on the decline? They think the war between the Nazis, or the fascists, and the Soviets is that this is Russia vs. the world. The Jews have nothing to do with it or very little to do with it. They don't even know about the concentration camps, half of these people. It's shocking."

Q: It brings up (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy's interview recently, where he described his own family members perishing in the Holocaust but never used the word "Jew." Or Holocaust, for that matter. It really speaks to a perspective of the Holocaust that isn't known outside of that region.

"I agree with that completely. Zelenskyy's perspective as someone who grew up in Ukraine is also completely off because, if you'll recall, he spoke to the Knesset and said Jews should save Ukrainians the way the Ukrainians saved the Jews, and people are sitting there saying, 'Oh, my G-d.' But he wasn't being cynical because he grew up on that. It doesn't matter that he's a Jew. He grew up in that education system; they tell a whole other story. They tell the story of Soviet and Nazi aggression against Ukraine. Again, the Jews are not part of this, and in fact, the Ukrainians were the great, poor victims, and so ethnic Ukrainians were just as much victims as the Jews. We know that's not true from every piece of evidence we have. There were, of course, exceptions, but I'm speaking generally. That's the story that's being told in Poland and in Ukraine and Lithuania. Both Putin and Zelenskyy are speaking from a cultural, social, political world that I don't even understand. I mean, I understand it, but the general public in the United States doesn't understand it or in Israel, so I think maybe this will help unearth these things. Before this war, there were few scholars working on this. My book came out, and it's kind of the right moment for it."

Australian PM concedes defeat, ending party’s 9-year rule; was firm backer of Israel
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister after his Labor party clinched its first electoral win since 2007. The party was last in power in 2013 when it led a minority government.

Morrison, who heads the Liberal Party, was considered a good friend of Israel, heading one of a handful of governments to somewhat follow former US president Donald Trump’s lead on Jerusalem, recognizing the western side of the city as Israel’s capital.

Also during his tenure, the Australian government listed all of the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas as terror groups. At the time, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that “Australia is a close friend of Israel in the fight against global terrorism.”

Albanese in the past has described himself as “a strong advocate of justice for Palestinians,” and has said he is “very critical of a lot of Israel’s policies.”

Speaking to The Australian Jewish News earlier this month, Albanese said his party continues to support a two-state solution based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders and reflecting the aspirations of the Palestinians to statehood.

“Labor’s national platform makes clear the desire of the conference to recognize Palestine as a state while acknowledging this will ultimately be a matter for a future Labor government,” Albanese told AJN.

“And Labor governments have always understood that any just and lasting resolution to the Middle East conflict cannot be at the expense of either Palestinians or Israelis. The only way that a two-state solution can be achieved is through a negotiated outcome between the two parties,” he added.

Israel is guilty until proven innocent in the UN - opinion
According to the UNHRC’s own charter, when creating a commission of inquiry, “members should, in all cases, have a proven record of independence and impartiality...” The point of a leader of a commission of inquiry is to be impartial. That is not a word that can be used to describe Pillay nor the UNHRC when it comes to Israel.

On several occasions, Pillay has been shown to be a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, openly accused Israel of apartheid, signed The Global South Statement that calls on the UNGA to sanction Israel. Pillay has also accused Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity for its defensive actions in 2014, once again against Hamas’s unprovoked terror.

Pillay’s prejudice dates back to the antisemitic Durban Conference, as well as the Durban Review Conference in 2009, both of which she fiercely supported. That very same conference in 2009, made a mockery of Human Rights and International Law by not only allowing then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Holocaust denier to attend but also providing him a platform.

In light of the flagrant and systematic bias exhibited by both Pillay and the UNHRC, the conclusion of the inquiry was already written before the ink was even dry on the resolution establishing it.

This kind of situation would not stand in any court of a civilized country. A judge, such as Pillay, would be forced to recuse herself due to a conflict of interest and inability to adjudicate in an impartial manner. However, the issue here runs much deeper than that.

In essence, what the UNHRC is declaring with this commission of inquiry (as well as the countless other resolutions, fact-finding missions and investigations against Israel) is that the Jewish state does not have the right to defend itself from terror, nor should it be treated equally, like any other sovereign nation and member state of the UN.

The international community must remind the UN of its historic roots and the goals that it was created to pursue, as enumerated in the UN Charter: “To maintain international peace and security... and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace... and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law.”

Anyone who cares about the rule of law and advancing true peace in the Middle East must call out this commission over its inherent bias and must not lend it any kind of credibility or authority.
Bernie Sanders prepares for war with AIPAC and its Super PAC
Senator Bernie Sanders, the progressive former presidential candidate who rose to prominence in part by denouncing the influence of wealthy interests in politics, has a new target in his sights: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and its affiliated super PAC, which is spending heavily in Democratic primaries for the first time this year.

After Mr. Sanders traveled last week to Pittsburgh to campaign for Summer Lee, a liberal state legislator whose House campaign was opposed by millions of dollars in such spending, he is now headed to Texas. There, he is aiming to lift up another progressive congressional candidate, Jessica Cisneros, whose left-wing challenge of a moderate incumbent has been met with significant spending from the pro-Israel super PAC.

“This is a war,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview, “for the future of the Democratic Party.”…

“Why would an organization go around criticizing someone like Summer Lee for not being a strong enough Democrat when they themselves have endorsed extreme right-wing Republicans?” Mr. Sanders said. “In my view, their goal is to create a two-party system, Democrats and Republicans, in which both parties are responsive to the needs of corporate America and the billionaire class.”

Israel's friends need to defend it now more than ever - opinion
So yes, Israeli troops and police aggressively have escalated their counter-terrorist operations. Sometimes video footage of these operations doesn’t go over politely on TV screens in comfortable North American or European salons. And sometimes the security forces go overboard with cringe-worthy violence against Arab noncombatants.

What can you do? When it comes to choosing between the terrorist threat and the “hasbara” ” (public diplomacy) threat (i.e., suffering Western criticism and losing the support of some observers from afar, because Israeli force is unpalatable to these observers), Israeli leaders have no choice but to give priority to dealing with the terrorist threat.

Obviously, it would be great to fashion policy that manages both challenges most effectively, but that is easier said than done. And so, I say that when Israeli security forces occasionally mismanage the delicate balancing task, they ought to be cut a little slack.

I am not burying my head in the sand or belittling the discomfort that good pro-Israel activists abroad sometimes feel when watching Israel in action. But it is important that they know this: Few Israelis will apologize for so-called “heavy-handed” Israeli troop and police tactics. Not when Israelis are under attack and when dozens of other horrendous terrorist attacks narrowly have been thwarted by Israeli police and IDF troops over the past month.

It’s hard not to say: “Hasbara be dammed” – especially when the world automatically defaults to blaming Israel no matter what.

Shireen Abu Akleh is the classic case in point. Her death amid a firefight between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli counter-terror operatives was labeled “cold-blooded assassination by Israel” before you could blink.

As if the terrorists were not to blame for the entire situation. As if Al Jazeera journalists were neutral, holy observers in this conflict. As if journalists who insert themselves into active war situations, alas, never get hurt. As if Israel was a priori the criminal party, facts and situational assessment be dammed.

Against such twisted, iniquitous, ugly degradation of Israel we must fight – with conviction – in the essential justice of the Zionist cause and the resplendence of Israel.
Israeli Ambassador on ‘Disheartening’ Call by Democrats for US Investigation Into Reporter’s Death: ‘Our Interest Is Finding the Truth’
Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog on Friday criticized a demand by a group of 57 House Democrats for a US investigation into the death of a Palestinian-American journalist fatally shot while reporting in the West Bank earlier this month.

In a letter Thursday to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the House lawmakers said they were “deeply concerned” by the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, who was a US citizen and longtime Al Jazeera journalist. The Israeli military says she was shot during a gunfight between IDF troops and Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank city of Jenin, and has sought the cooperation of Palestinian authorities to determine culpability. The Palestinian Authority has rejected such a joint probe, blaming Israeli troops for her death.

The 57 House Democrats welcomed Blinken’s previous statements on the incident, but said, “however, given the tenuous situation in the region and the conflicting reports surrounding the death of Ms. Abu Akleh, we request the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death.”

The letter also pointed to an account from another Palestinian journalist wounded in the incident, who denied the presence of Palestinian gunmen at the scene in Jenin.

“We, the undersigned Members of Congress, urge you to uphold the values that our nation was founded on, including human rights, equality for all, and freedom of speech,” said the group, which included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Andy Levin (MI), Jamaal Bowman (NY) and Zoe Lofgren (CA). “We have a duty to protect Americans reporting abroad.”

Responding to the letter on Friday, Israel’s envoy in Washington said it “does not offer a fair representation of the case, ignores important context of the events leading to Ms. Abu Akleh’s tragic death and reaches the wrong conclusion.”

New York Times News Columns Rely on Peter Beinart for Expert Commentary on Jewish Community
Both Times articles were by a reporter named Liam Stack. Maybe Stack’s editors could rein him in a bit? If the news articles about Jewish issues are going to be quoting Times opinion column writers, readers would be better served if the reporters would dial up Bret Stephens rather than Beinart. Stephens is certainly more in touch with the mainstream of American Jewish public opinion, rather than the far Beinart fringe.

Heck, the Times might even mix things up a bit by seeking expert perspective from someone who doesn’t already have a regular op-ed platform there — say, Jodi Rudoren, or Sylvia Barack Fishman.

The idea that every Times article about a New York Jewish communal controversy needs to include Peter Beinart’s wisdom on the matter is just weird. The paper’s traditional call for context in these sorts of situations has been to Samuel Heilman or Jonathan Sarna, or, back when he was still with us, Egon Mayer.

Why should the newspaper’s go-to-talking head expert on Jewish communal controversies be someone, such as Beinart, whose perspective on the issues is so far outside the mainstream? It’s either that the Times journalists agree with Beinart — such expert quotes are a common guise for reporters and editors to insert their own opinions into news articles — or the journalists think their target audience agrees with Beinart.

I’m not calling for a ban on Beinart. But it sure is strange to see the news columns of the Times relying so heavily on him for perspective.

Three killed in alleged Israeli attack on Hezbollah sites in Syria
Three people were killed in an alleged Israeli attack in southern Damascus, which was launched from the Golan Heights, Hebrew media reported citing the Syrian Defense Ministry. Fires started in the area as a result of the strikes, Hebrew media reported minutes earlier.

Syrian media claims that Syria's air defense systems have been activated and intercepted the "hostile targets" in the capital's skies. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that the targets of the attack were Syrian army bases and Iranian militias in a suburb of Damascus.

Two flights were postponed as a result of the strikes at the airport. Echoes of explosions were also heard in the coastal area of ​​Syria in the vicinity of Tartus.

In the ​​southwest Damascus area, there have been a number of attacks in recent months that were attributed to Israel. For example, last week, two Israeli strikes allegedly targeted sites near the Syrian border.

The strike targeted Qurs al-Nafl in Quneitra in the southwest part of the country near the border with Israel.
Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Teen Militant During Clash, Group Says
Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian militant in clashes in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said.

The Israeli military said Palestinian suspects fired on its soldiers and threw fire-bombs at them. “The soldiers responded with live fire toward the suspects. Hits were identified,” the military said.

It was not immediately clear whether the teen killed was one of those suspects. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed his death.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group described the teen as one of its members and said he had taken part in the fighting against the Israeli soldiers. Photos circulated on social media showed him holding a rifle.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the killing. “We warn against the consequences of the occupation’s continued crimes against our people. We urge the international community to condemn them and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Shtayyeh said in a statement.

Iran Takes More Foreign Hostages; Biden Administration, EU Stay Silent
"[T]here are extensive, vague and arbitrary grounds in Iran for imposing the death sentence, which quickly can turn this punishment into a political tool.... In addition, the structural flaws of the justice system are so deep and at odds with the notion of rule of law that one can barely speak of a justice system. The entrenched flaws in law and in the administration of the death penalty in Iran mean that most, if not all, executions are an arbitrary deprivation of life." — Javaid Rehman, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, October 25, 2021.

The Iranian regime most likely believes that detaining Western nationals will put pressure on the EU and the US to accept its demands and seal the nuclear deal as soon as possible.

The Biden administration and the EU should not remain silent in the face of the Iranian regime taking more foreign hostages. The only language that all rogue and predatory regimes, including that of the mullahs, understand is the language of pressure. Why not try using it?

Judge Finds Sufficient Evidence Linking American Muslims for Palestine Group to Hamas Supporters
A Federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday allowed a lawsuit to proceed, which claims that the anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is really a continuation of a defunct cog in a Hamas-support network.

In 2004, Joyce and Stanley Boim were awarded $156 million in damages from the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the American Muslim Society (AMS) for providing material support to Hamas.

The Boims’ 17-year-old-son David was killed in a 1996 Hamas terrorist attack.

But the defendant organizations shut themselves down before paying, citing “the burden of the Boim Judgment and associated litigation costs.”

The Boims believe that was part of a shell game, with AMP and its financial arm — Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation (AJP) — emerging and picking up where IAP and AMS left off. If true, the $156 million judgment should apply to them.

The Boims have shown strong enough connections for the case to proceed, the US court ruled.

“In sum, the pertinent factors identified by the Seventh Circuit and discussed by the parties support the Boims’ claim that Entity Defendants are liable for the Boim I judgment as alter egos of Holy Land and AMS/IAP,” wrote US District Judge Gary Feinerman. “The claim accordingly survives dismissal.”
Antisemitism Investigation at UK Student Union Advances as Questions Swirl About Latest Election
The lawyer who will lead an investigation into accusations of antisemitism made against the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) has been chosen, The Times of London reported on Thursday.

The London-based paper said that Queens Counsel Rebecca Tuck, an expert in employment and discrimination law, was chosen by NUS in consultation with the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). The UK government’s decided last week to suspend its recognition and public funding of the NUS, which counts 600 student unions as affiliates, over allegations stretching back several years.

On Thursday, NUS said Tuck’s investigation — set to begin Monday, according to The Tab online outlet — will “look holistically at the experience of Jewish students within NUS.”

“The investigation will look at recent allegations as well as historic matters and broader culture,” it continued. “We are rightly opening our doors to scrutiny and are prepared to be accountable, to listen, and to take any and all restorative actions that are needed.”

NUS, whose affiliate unions represent over seven million university students in the UK, also denounced antisemitism, saying it has “no place … within NUS because Jewish students have the right to feel safe and welcome in every corner of our movement.”

UJS said it was “pleased to see NUS treating the early stages of these investigations with due sensitivity and diligence.”
Goldsmiths’ Student Union refuses University’s call for antisemitism investigation after President reportedly calls Professor David Hirsh a “white supremacist”
It has been reported that the Goldsmiths, University of London Student Union has refused to investigate its President following allegations of antisemitism, despite being requested to do so by University.

Sara Bafo, the President of the Students’ Union at Goldsmiths, is alleged to have tweeted: “D*vid H*rsch is a far right white supremacist. All you have to do is read his work and tweets and that’s all the confirmation needed.”

Ms Bafo’s alleged tweet was said to have been written in response to a tweet from Prof. Hirsch which said: “There is an antisemitic edge to official, institutional, university campaigns to ‘decolonise’ education.”

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the University said that on 10th May, it had requested the Union to investigate whether online messages that had been posted were “antisemitic in nature,” adding: “Goldsmiths Students’ Union is an independent charity which has its own policies and processes for investigating and we expect them to follow these. Goldsmiths remains committed to supporting all members of our inclusive community and demonstrating there is no place for prejudice on our campus.”

In response to the request for the investigation, Ms Bafo tweeted that the University “has tried to get the SU trustee board to investigate me for a tweet I made in response to a Zionist Goldsmiths academic’s explicit racist history & his delegitimisation of ‘Decolonisation’ campaigns,” adding: “This was a dirty tactic from the institution to silence me further as I was leaving.”

Larissa Kennedy, President of the National Union of Students (NUS), came to the defence of Ms Bafo, calling the investigation a “disgusting move” before labelling it “concerted suppression” and offering “Masses of solidarity to @SaraBafo1”.

However, it has been reported this afternoon that the request for the investigation has been denied on grounds of “free speech”.
Anti-Israel commencement speaker sparks another antisemitism debate at CUNY
A speaker with a history of anti-Israel statements gave a commencement speech at a CUNY School of Law graduation ceremony last weekend, prompting yet more accusations of antisemitism at the public university system.

Nerdeen Kiswani, the student who gave the speech, has amassed over 15,000 followers on Instagram. She created the pro-Palestinian advocacy group Within Our Lifetime, which has held rallies calling to “globalize the Intifada.”

During her speech, which focused on the Palestinian cause, Kiswani said that she is “facing a campaign of Zionist harassment by well-funded organizations with ties to the Israeli government and military on the basis of my Palestinian identity and organizing.” In a video of the speech, thunderous applause can be heard.

Ilya Bratman, executive director of Hillel at Baruch College, said that the student government at CUNY School of Law elected her as the speaker.

“The president [of the student government] is Jewish,” Bratman said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. The student government is completely intertwined with Kiswani and her efforts to demonize the state of Israel.”

A Jewish student at CUNY, who asked not to be identified out of fear of retribution, said that Kiswani is creating an “unsafe environment” for Jewish people on campus.

“It’s one thing to have a political person who you don’t agree with,” Dave (a pseudonym) said. “But she calls for the actual murder of Jews. It’s really setting a precedent that CUNY is OK with having people in their school who are out to hurt us.”

Upcoming Series Revisits Mossad Partnership With Ex-Nazi Commander to Thwart Egyptian Missile Threat
“The Bourne Identity” director Doug Liman will helm a limited series adaption of a chapter of a non-fiction book on the Israeli intelligence agency and its cooperation with a former Nazi Waffen-SS commander, Variety reported.

The project will focus on the true story of how the Mossad worked with former Nazi lieutenant colonel Otto Skorzeny — once described by British intelligence as “the most dangerous man in Europe” — to help stop a missile program begun by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to target Israel. Nasser hired a team of former Nazi scientists to build the missile program, and after Mossad efforts via espionage, abductions, extortions and assassinations failed to eliminate the threat, the Israelis desperately turned to Skorzeny for assistance, Variety noted.

Skorzeny was close to Adolf Hitler and once led a mission ordered by the Nazi leader to rescue former Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini from captivity.

Mossad’s collaboration with Skorzeny is described in detail 2018’s “Rise And Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations” by Israeli investigative journalist and New York Times Magazine writer Ronen Bergman, who has received Israel’s highest journalism honor, the Sokolov Award. The book’s title was inspired by the Talmudic passage, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”

“This story recounts one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of Israeli intelligence operations. Israel, a little more than just one decade old, was facing an existential danger,” Bergman commented. “Mossad and other branches of the Israeli defense establishment were late in discovering the program, and realized that there was only one man who could save the situation, a favorite of Hitler’s. But how do you go about recruiting a wealthy, well-connected Nazi?”
Jewish refugee who fled Nazis, was hosted by future British PM Attlee, dies at 94
A Jewish man who as a child was hosted by former British prime minister Clement Attlee after fleeing Nazi Germany ahead of World War II, The Guardian reported.

In 1939, when he served as opposition leader, Attlee sponsored the escape of a German Jewish mother and her two sons to the United Kingdom. One of the children, Paul Willer, who was then 10 years old, was invited to stay with Attlee at his northwest London home.

The Association of Jewish Refugees said Willer died on Friday, aged 94, according to The Guardian.

Attlee never publicly spoke about the story, which was revealed by the British newspaper in 2018, five decades after the Labour leader’s death.

“It was a remarkable kindness, a generous offer,” Wilner said at the time. “Attlee was a modest man. He did not try and glorify himself in any way. He did it for the right reasons.”

Willer’s escape from Germany was hatched by his mother, Franziska Willer, after the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938. Willer was previously married to a Christian man who left her in 1933 and later became a Nazi sympathizer. He committed suicide in 1964.

Through her brother, who was residing in London, and a pastor from Attlee’s area, it was arranged for Paul Willer to come live in the Attlee home for some four months.

Museum Exhibit Dates Jewish Presence in Greece to Fourth Century BCE
A new exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Greece confirms for the first time that the Jewish presence in the country dates back to the end of the fourth century BCE.

The temporary exhibit showcases ancient inscriptions uncovered by the museum that prove Jewish origins in Greece go back centuries, marking “one of the oldest recorded religious and cultural settlements in Europe,” according to the museum.

“Stone Paths – Stories Set in Stone: Jewish Inscriptions in Greece” opened this week and will remain open to the public through February 2023.

The exhibit is being co-organized and co-hosted by the Epigraphic Museum in Athens.

A total of 10 inscriptions are on display at the Jewish Museum and about 30 more on display at the Epigraphic Musuem.

The Jewish Museum’s president, Makis Matsas, said, “The exhibition has a very significant value because, on the one hand, it documents the existence and presence of Jews in Greece since the end of the fourth century BCE, thus highlighting the Jewish element in Greece as one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe, but at the same time highlighting the multicultural past of our homeland, Greece.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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