Wednesday, June 22, 2022

06/22 Links Pt2: The BDS Mapping Project targets every Jew in the US; Polish man who risked life to save Jews dies at 102; Official Postcards Of The First Zionist Congresses

From Ian:

The BDS Mapping Project targets every Jew in the US
Alarm bells recently went off among American Jews when Boston BDS, a shadowy group that has no identified members, published a detailed, interactive Mapping Project report online.

The report is a roadmap to anti-Jewish violence: The Mapping Project brazenly and openly maps and promotes “dismantling” and “disrupting” long lists of Boston-area Jewish institutions across the political spectrum, synagogues throughout Massachusetts, staff members, Jewish family foundations, schools and numerous other entities that allegedly have some sort of connection, past or present, real or imagined, to American Jews, Judaism, Jewish charities, Jewish education, Jewish donors or Israel.

Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) aptly called the Mapping Project a dangerous “antisemitic enemies list with a map attached.” The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) sent a detailed letter to the US attorney-general and FBI director, urging them to investigate, monitor and where appropriate, prosecute the Mapping Project and other groups, such as Within Our Lifetime (WOL), which are mapping, promoting and inciting violence against American Jews and Jewish organizations.

WOL mapped and threatened Jewish organizations in New York City, and calls for “globalizing the Intifada” – meaning, expanding to the United States and the rest of the world the horror of the Intifada terror wars, in which Arab terrorists murdered or maimed 10,000 Jews in Israel.

Notably, the Mapping Project’s targets include hostile-to-Israel groups, such as J Street – whose many anti-Israel activities include promoting anti-Israel UN resolutions. Jewish foundations that give donations to hostile-to-Israel groups were also targeted.

Ironically, the Mapping Project is even targeting the left-wing Jewish group New Israel Fund (NIF), which funded the initial Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) target list. That target list is the foundation for the BDS movement’s antisemitic economic warfare campaigns.

Norway’s new labeling policy is a double standard against Jews
The EU regulation is not a decision that Norway, a non-EU member, is obliged to follow, and a number of EU countries have chosen not to take the decision into account. It is strange that the Center Party, which is so opposed to EU policy in Norway, has agreed to introduce one of the most grotesque EU decisions from recent years.

Norway’s Foreign Ministry claims that “Norway considers the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to be contrary to international law.” If international law is applied fairly, there is no basis for saying that the settlements are illegal. Facts show that the Israeli settlements are not the biggest obstacle to peace either, as the Israeli residential and agricultural areas in Judea and Samaria cover only 2.7 percent of the area.

“The settlements are not the whole and not the main cause of the conflict – of course, they are not. Nor can you say that if they were moved, you would have peace without a more comprehensive agreement – you would not…” said John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, in 2016. If Norwegian and other European leaders had echoed this sentiment, they would have contributed to peace. Now, with this double standard labeling, they are just fueling the conflict further.

The Palestinian leadership, according to the still-valid 1995 Interim Agreement (also known as Oslo 2), agreed to Israel’s continued presence in Judea and Samaria pending final status negotiations, without any restrictions on either party in planning, zoning, or building homes and communities, showing that the allegations that Israel’s presence in the area is illegal have no legal basis.

So, let’s put the right label on Norway’s new policy: This is a double standard directed only at Jews living in places the government in Oslo does not like to see them live and thrive.
Where Was the Media When an Independent Investigation Found Amnesty Int’l to Be ‘Institutionally Racist’?
When Amnesty International issued its libelous anti-Israel report in February, falsely charging the country with maintaining a “cruel system of apartheid” since its creation in 1948, media were all too eager to parrot the NGO’s assertions. In the months following the publication of “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians. Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” major English-language news outlets produced over 30 articles giving credence to an organization that has peddled terms like “Jewish domination” and accused the only Jewish state of being “racist.”

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, claiming that Israel’s existence is a racist endeavor can constitute antisemitism.

However, despite criticism by many Jewish organizations, CNN, the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and others continue to provide Amnesty with ample room to claim that its crusade against Israel is not motivated at least in part by Judeophobia.

Earlier this month, the group’s secretary-general, Agnès Callamard, went so far as to accuse Jews and Israelis of “weaponizing antisemitism.” Yet such gaslighting did not generate headlines in any of the widely-read new publications.

And now these same outlets have effectively buried an independent inquiry concluding that Amnesty’s UK branch, at least in part responsible for the contents of the ‘apartheid report,’ has an “institutional racism” problem within its ranks.

Why are journalists reluctant to subject Amnesty’s human rights credentials to scrutiny?

The Jew Who Spied for the Nazis
During World War II, Jews were overrepresented in combat units in Allied armies and in resistance forces operating all over Europe. Many Jews carried rifles, parachuted behind enemy lines, flew fighter and bomber aircraft, and did a host of other jobs that helped the war effort. But a few managed to make an impact in a much bigger way. This is the story of one such Jew from Italy, who fought the Nazis without ever firing a shot. His name was Renato Levi and he changed the face of the war in the Middle East.

After the war Levi’s story was classified, his files locked away and his accomplishments forgotten. When Levi died in 1954 his story almost died with him. Only recently have historians been uncovering more information about the Jew who fooled the Germans and changed the course of the war.

Levi was recruited as a spy by the Germans in his native Genoa in 1939. After being approached by the Germans he went to the British Consulate and offered to secretly work as a double agent. The British instructed Levi to allow himself to be recruited by the Germans while maintaining contact with them. He followed their orders and the Germans sent him to Paris, where the British connected him with the French secret service, the Deuxieme Bureau. There he was shared by both countries while pretending to spy for Germany. But the German victory over France was so swift that the Germans had no need for a spy in Paris, so he was soon recalled to Genoa and given a new mission.

He was instructed to head to Cairo to be their spy at the center of the British war effort in the Middle East. Levi traveled to Egypt via neutral Turkey, where he reestablished contact with British intelligence. They spirited him to Palestine to debrief him with the aim of making sure that he was still working for the Allied cause. The declassified intelligence report of that debrief lays bare Levi’s motivation:
His motives for working for us are difficult to fathom. He is, of course, a Jew and says he wants to do something to help the Allied cause because it is fighting on behalf of the Jews. In addition, he obviously has considerable love of adventure, and enjoys the work for its own sake. He is very fond of women, and the work gives him ample opportunities of travel, and of handling large sums of money, which he would not otherwise get. He showed no particular dislike of the Germans or the Italians; in fact he often described the good times the Germans had given him.

After being cleared by the intelligence services, Levi was sent on to Cairo and handed to a shadowy intelligence unit named A Force. This was the British intelligence team in charge of disinformation in the Middle East. With the German army bearing down on Cairo, A Force needed to bring Levi, their new double agent, into play. But they faced a dilemma; Levi had been told by the Germans that a wireless radio set would be sent to him once he was in Cairo and he was to use it to transmit information to them. No wireless set ever materialized. Without a way to contact the Nazis to pass them disinformation, A Force commander Dudley Clarke decided to send Levi back into the arms of the enemy.
Antisemitic Jeremy Corbyn describes claims he is antisemitic as “foul, dishonest and utterly disgusting and appalling”
The antisemitic former Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has described allegations that he is antisemitic as “foul, dishonest and utterly disgusting and appalling.”

In an in-depth and candid interview with Declassified UK, he was asked if he thought that the antisemitism scandal that engulfed him “was the result of his pro-Palestinian political position,” and replied: “Very largely that is the case.”

He insisted: “I have spent my life fighting racism in any form, in any place whatsoever. My parents spent their formative years fighting the rise of Nazism in Britain, and that is what I’ve been brought up doing. And when in the 1970s the National Front were on the march in Britain, I was one of the organisers of the big Wood Green demonstration to try to stop the National Front marching through.

“And somehow or other I was accused of being antisemitic. The allegations against me were foul, dishonest and utterly disgusting and appalling from people who should know better and do know better. People that have known me for 40 years, never once complained about anything I’d ever said or done in terms of anti-racism, until I became leader of the Labour Party. Interesting coincidence of timing. Disgusting allegations which obviously we sought to rebut at all times. And I’ll be forever grateful for the support given by Jewish socialists, the many Jewish members of the Labour Party all over the country, and of course the local Jewish community in my constituency.”

He said of the allegations against him: “It was personal, it was vile, it was disgusting, and it remains so.”

Declassified UK characterised the antisemitism allegations against Mr Corbyn variously as “an extreme example of a tried-and-tested tactic used by pro-Israel groups across the world”, as a “slur” and as a tactic “instrumentalised to destroy critics of the Israeli state”, which is an example of the antisemitic Livingstone Formulation.

Mr Corbyn replied: “The tactic is you say that somebody is intrinsically antisemitic and it sticks and then the media parrot it and repeat it the whole time. Then the abuse appears on social media, the abusive letters appear, the abusive phone calls appear, and all of that. And it’s very horrible and very nasty and is designed to be very isolating and designed to also take up all of your energies in rebutting these vile allegations, which obviously we did. But it tends to distract away from the fundamental message about peace, about justice, about social justice, about economy and all of that.”

Other portions of the interview also strayed close to tropes about outsized Israeli influence and control over British politics and the Labour Party.

Presbyterian reverend who compares Zionism to apartheid named to key WCC post
B'nai Brith International expressed concern and outrage over the newly elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Professor Dr. Jerry Pillay, who has a history of making anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments.

Pillay, a Presbyterian and dean at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, will start his new position in 2023.

"If protecting Jews' basic equality, dignity and security is inseparable from true ecumenism and the pursuit of human rights, Rev. Pillay's rise risks devastating harm to the cause of social justice," David Michaels, B'nai B'rith's director of United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs, wrote last week in a Medium blog post.

Pillay's appointment, wrote Michaels, is "not shocking, but astounding and alarming nonetheless."

"In particular, it demonstrates a deepening threat to decades of progress in Christian-Jewish relations -- vital not only to that distinct, historic bond but as a model for interreligious reconciliation more generally," he continued in his piece, which was also circulated in an official B'nai Brith press release about Pillay's appointment.

Michaels pointed out that in 2016, Pillay compared Israel and the alleged "exclusionary and violent character of the Israeli Zionist project" to South Africa's racial apartheid.

He also expressed support for the BDS movement against Israel, writing that "Jewish leadership" helped "influence European nationalism and colonization" with "a common desire to establishing the State of Israel … on the land of Palestine."

Additionally, the professor has accused Israel of wrongfully acting against "the indigenous people of the land" under "the guise of 'national security' or 'national interest.' " He also asked Christians to "resist the empirical ambition of Israeli Jews."

BBC News promotes anti-Israel dog whistle in India report
Eight paragraphs in, readers find a dog whistle and a link:
“But the demolitions – which have drawn some comparison with Israel’s use of heavy machinery in the Palestinian territories – have been criticised in India and made headlines globally, with critics saying there is “only the thinnest veneer of legality covering this official action” and that they “are bulldozing over the very spirit of the law”.”

That link leads readers to an Amnesty International UK webpage promoting a campaign against the company JCB and partial presentation of a ‘case study’ about Khirbet Humsa which does not inform readers that in 2019 the Supreme Court ruled that the residents have no property rights in the location (i.e. the land does not belong to them), that the Bedouin are infiltrators on the land and that building there is unauthorised and illegal.

While that Amnesty International webpage is predictably problematic in itself, it does not make any reference to India and so is not an example of the “comparison” that Pandey clearly seeks to promote.

So who has made such a comparison? The dubious company that the BBC has chosen to keep includes the pro-Hamas ‘Middle East Monitor’ (MEMO), Ismail Patel of ‘Friends of Al Aqsa’ writing at the Qatar-linked ‘Middle East Eye’, a former Pakistani prime minister and a Pakistani Islamist conspiracy theorist among a few others.

Apparently Geeta Panday considered that opportunistic, politically motivated talking point touted by a handful of notoriously partisan outlets and commentators to be appropriate for amplification by a media organisation supposedly committed to accuracy and impartiality.

Update: The reference to Israel has been removed from the report.
Globe & Mail Story On Gaza Blockade All But Ignores Hamas’ Role In The Subjugation of Gazans
There is no denying the sad reality that is the Gaza Strip today. The coastal enclave, governed with an iron first by Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group, is home to roughly two million people in an area just over half the size of the city of Toronto.

But rather than delving into the details of how and why Gaza’s inhabitants find themselves in such an unenviable position, and what can possibly be done about it, commentators and critics far too often point the finger at Israel, while effectively disregarding the much bigger picture.

That is exactly the case with Eric Reguly’s recent front-page feature in the Globe and Mail entitled: “Gaza’s young people have known nothing but a blockade for 15 years. Palestinians share their stories of endurance.” Reguly, the Globe’s European Bureau Chief, published a nearly three-thousand-word story on the suffering endured by Gazans today, but left readers with remarkably little backstory and context.

In framing his article, Reguly writes (emphasis added): “To go from Israel to Gaza, as The Globe and Mail did at the end of May, is to slip from wealth to poverty in a few metres. In Gaza, many families and street merchants still rely on ponies and carts for transportation.” This statement pretty much sums up Reguly’s opinion which is disguised as news. In his eyes, Israel is a land of great wealth and presumably no poverty.

With respect to the conflict, Reguly points out that the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza began in 2007, “a year after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.” Though Reguly acknowledges that “… Israel – along with the U.S., Canada and the European Union – considers (Hamas) a terrorist group,” little context is provided about Hamas’ commitment to the destruction of Israel, along with its ideology, practices and methods, which leaves readers with the impression that Hamas is merely a political force or government which Israel opposes, and thus which Jewish State punishes with a punitive blockade.

Such a conclusion would be dangerously wrong.
Review of Journalism Magazine Defends Journalists Who Act As Anti-Israel Activists
The intractable “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” is considered one of the most difficult beats for journalists to cover.

But a recent column in Review of Journalism, a Toronto-based magazine entitled: “CBC’s Palestine Exception,” Rahaf Farawi, a Podcast Producer for the magazine and a committee member with the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, not only grossly over-simplifies – and in some cases, misrepresents – the complexities and chronology of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also the dynamics behind the scenes in Canada.

For example, Farawi refers to “the Israeli occupation” of Gaza, which is utterly false. Israel fully withdrew its soldiers and civilians alike, nearly 10,000 in total, from the coastal enclave in 2005. She also quotes Greg Shupak from the University of Guelph, who brazenly and falsely claimed that “Israel is founded on ethnically cleansing 750,000 Palestinians…” This is also utterly fictitious. While roughly that number of Arabs left Israel during its independence in 1948 – roughly equivalent to the number of Jews from Arab lands forced from their homes during the same period – Israel in no way ethnically cleansed its land of Arabs. Not only did many of these Arabs leave Israel at the encouragement of their own leaders, but the population of Arabs in Israel has risen dramatically, with more than 2.2 million Israeli-Arabs as of 2022.

Farawi also makes reference to the 2021 court case regarding Shimon HaTzaddik, or known in Arabic as Sheikh Jarrah, the eastern Jerusalem neighbourhood where a group of illegally residing tenants were legally recognized as being unlawfully present in their homes, having not paid rent. But Farawi merely refers to them as “Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah were facing forced expulsions from their homes,” completely disregarding the entire context of this incident.

Farawi’s essay is not merely a commentary on the 2021 Gaza war and one which depicts Israel as the aggressor, but on the response to an anti-Israel open letter which was circulated at the time. Signed by over 2,000 people, including 500 journalists, the letter accused Israel of perpetrating crimes against Palestinians and claimed that Canadian media outlets are insufficiently pro-Palestinian.

Rather than recognizing the scandal inherent in having journalists openly sign an anti-Israel letter riddled with factual inaccuracies and partisan bias, thereby jettisoning their journalistic objectivity and neutrality, Farawi instead accuses CBC of favouritism toward Israel.

Farawi quotes multiple individuals who bizarrely claim that Canadian news media outlets are timid when it comes to reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Crudely Antisemitic Mural Removed From Top Art Show in Germany as Controversy Over Jew-Hatred Roils On
The storm over antisemitism at one of the world’s leading contemporary art shows continued unabated on Tuesday as organizers removed a mural that included crudely antisemitic depictions of Jews.

The mural on display at the Documenta art festival in Kassel, Germany was initially covered over on Monday night after it was heavily criticized by politicians and the Central Council of German Jews. The creation of an Indonesian artistic collective called Tarang Padi, the mural, titled “People’s Justice,” was first unveiled in 2002 to highlight the abuses of the Suharto dictatorship that ruled Indonesia with an iron fist from 1967 until 1998.

However, alongside depictions of the military figures and bureaucrats who served Suharto are two antisemitic caricatures. One image shows a man with a hooked nose and fanged teeth wearing sidelocks and a black hat traditionally associated with Orthodox Jews embossed with letters “SS” — a reference to the Nazi paramilitary organization. A second image in the same mural showed a soldier wearing a helmet shaped in the head of a pig and emblazoned with the word “Mossad,” Israel’s security and intelligence agency.

On Tuesday morning, Christian Geselle, the Mayor of Kassel, confirmed that the mural would be removed from the exhibit entirely. However, critics of the exhibition urged festival organizers to take further action.

Claudia Roth, the German government’s commissioner for culture and media, demanded clarification as to “how this mural with antisemitic image elements was installed there in the first place.”
Victoria Becomes First Australian Territory to Ban Display of Nazi Swastika
Victoria has become the first state or territory in Australia to criminalize the public display of the Nazi swastika, after passing a bill with bipartisan support on Tuesday.

The Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022 states that anyone who intentionally displays the Nazi symbol in public could face penalties of up to almost 22,000 Australian dollars in fines, 12 months imprisonment, or both, when the legislation comes into effect in six months.

The bill will only ban the display of the Nazi swastika, recognizing the cultural and religious significance of the symbol for Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and other faith communities, which include those who hold it as a sacred symbol of peace and good fortune.

The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) led a five-year campaign to ban the public displays of Nazi swastikas in Australia. ADC’s Chairman Dvir Abramovich attended the bill’s passage in the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament, where, after a six-hour debate, it was opposed by only one lawmaker, Tim Quilty of the Liberal Democrats

“We have toiled for years to reach this glorious and hard-won moment of victory, and this fateful day is the culmination of a long and faithful struggle to defeat the forces of evil who seek not only to break our spirits but to instill fear,” Abramovich said in a statement.

He described the bill as a tribute “to our valiant diggers who fought to vanquish Hitler, the six million Jews and millions of victims murdered by the Third Reich, and the triumphant survivors who rebuilt their lives here.” He also said its passage “reminded us that at a time when our politics are sharply polarized, we can come together across our differences to stand for justice, dignity, and equality.”
Canadian Mounties Storm Homes of Members Belonging to Neo-Nazi Terror Group
More than 60 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers conducted raids at the homes of suspected members of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, reported the Independent.

“Searches underway in Saint Ferdinand and Plessisville. Investigation targeting individuals with suspected ties to the Atomwaffen Division terrorist group. All measures are in place to ensure the safety of the public and our police officers,” the RCMP tweeted on June 16 alongside pictures of armed officers.

Officials described the series of raids in towns southwest of Quebec as a “national security operation.”

Founded in 2015, the Atomwaffen Division is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a terrorist neo-Nazi group “organized as a series of terror cells that work toward civilizational collapse. Its members, who can be fairly described as accelerationists, believe that violence, depravity and degeneracy are the only sure way to establish order.”

Inaugural CPAC Israel announced, Ben Shapiro to serve as keynote speaker
The U.S.-based Conservative Political Action Conference announced that it plans to host its inaugural CPAC Israel conference in Tel Aviv on July 20, with The Daily Wire’s editor emeritus Ben Shapiro—a political commentator, media host and columnist—tapped as the keynote speaker.

The conference is scheduled to take place shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden’s planned visit to Israel, including a proposed stop in the city of Bethlehem, and Saudi Arabia on his first trip in office to the Middle East.

According to CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp, CPAC speakers will address similar topics as Biden during his trip: gas costs and shortages due to Russia’s war on Ukraine; terrorism; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and the push for a new Iran nuclear deal.

“Biden will push Israel to go woke while we will encourage Israelis to fight for their survival; Biden will pressure Israel to seek appeasement with Iran while we will rally Israelis to continue being the greatest democracy in the Middle East,” said Schlapp in a statement, reported The Daily Wire. “Biden will beg Saudi Arabia for foreign oil while we will always support energy independence, at home and abroad.”
Israel’s Maccabiah Games Unveil Details for Star-Studded Opening Ceremony
The 2022 Maccabiah Games set to take place in July in Israel has announced the line-up of stars for its opening ceremony and an official song, released by Israeli pop duo Static and Ben El.

The opening ceremony of the 21st Maccabiah Games, the largest sporting event for Jews from around the globe, will be held on July 14 at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, with 30,000 people expected to attend.

Israeli singer-songwriter Hanan Ben-Ari will headline the event, with Israeli gymnasts and Olympic champions Linoy Ashram and Artem Dolgopyat lighting the torch at the opening ceremony, the Maccabiah Games revealed on Monday. Static and Ben El will also take to the stage to perform “Carnival,” their new song for the Maccabiah Games, which they revealed on Tuesday. The song’s music video features a number of Israeli athletes.

Static helped compose and write the song, and said in an Instagram post about the experience, “One of the most fun things I did. What a special project it is when you are given the opportunity to be exposed to athletes at such a level? And to shoot a clip with them? Crazy! Recover !! Thanks for the opportunity!”
Netflix CEO tells Israeli students he’s looking for ‘local stories’
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos told film students he’s looking for “local, authentic stories,” while speaking with actress Shira Haas at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

The streaming giant CEO was visiting the Jerusalem film school, following the Netflix first-time investment in young Israeli creators as part of the new Series Lab.

During Sarandos’s conversation with Haas, the star of Netflix hits like “Unorthodox,” he spoke about the streaming giant’s pride in its affiliation with Sam Spiegel.

“All you need is community, and if we learned anything tonight it is that the world needs you,” said Sarandos. “Your projects are going to change the world. It might take a year, it might take 10. But it’s going to happen. That’s why we are so proud of this affiliation, the first of its kind.”

Sarandos spoke about a greater global interest in new things, with language presenting less of a barrier than it did once. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories

“Ultimately great stories can come from anywhere and there are universally relevant themes of the human condition,” he said.

Sarandos and Haas spoke about the desire of Israeli creators to work with Netflix to tell their stories on the global stage. Sarandos noted that great stories can come from anywhere, and “be loved everywhere.”

Unpacked: The Great Kibbutz Experiment | Zionism Revisited
In 1909 when young Jews founded the first Kibbutz, they had no idea that they would be forming a symbol of Israel’s rebirth. These agricultural communities innovated the communal experience as an experiment in Democratic Socialism.

Jews from all over the world came to Israel in an attempt to find their identity and participate in advancing the country agriculturally, industrially and socially.

Over time, as individualism grew, kibbutzim have changed and adapted in order to thrive and yet, the kibbutz movement will forever be known for shaping Israel as it is today.

Polish man who risked life to save Jews dies at 102
Józef Walaszczyk, a member of the Polish resistance who rescued dozens of Jews during the Nazi German occupation of Poland during World War II, has died aged 102.

Walaszczyk died on Monday, according to the Institute of National Remembrance, a Polish state historical body.

Walaszczyk fell in love during the war with a Jewish woman, Irena Front, only learning that she was Jewish when German Gestapo forces searched a hotel where he was staying with her.

He helped her hide and tried to distract the Gestapo men by pretending to be sick. He later arranged for Front to get false documents, even entering into a fictitious marriage with her.

Soon after that, Front and 20 other Jews were arrested by the Gestapo.

"If something was to be done, it had to be done for them all. I had to arrange for a kilogram of gold by 5 p.m. – and it was already noon. Only then would the Germans forget about the incident and release the Jews," Walaszczyk recalled in an interview, according to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Walaszczyk managed to collect and pay the required ransom, thereby saving the lives of 21 people.

He also employed 30 Jews in a potato flour factory that he had been tasked with managing due to his knowledge of the German language. He kept them alive by bribing a German official. Most of those he employed survived the war, according to the Polish state historical body and the museum.

In all, he said that he rescued 53 Jews.

He was also involved in the Polish underground that resisted the German occupation of Poland throughout the war.

Official Postcards Of The First Zionist Congresses
Specially produced beautiful and deeply poignant official postcards were issued for all of the pre-Israel Zionist Congresses (all Congresses after 1948 were held in Jerusalem), and I present here the official cards of the first seven Congresses accompanied by a brief description of the Congress highlights.
Basel (August 29-31, 1897)

The rare card issued by the First Zionist Congress depicts Jews praying at the Western Wall and a planter spreading seeds in Emek Yisrael. On the sides of the Magen David in the middle is the beautiful verse from Psalms 53:6: “Would that the salvation of Israel come forth from Zion!” Also shown is perhaps the rarest of all Zionist Congress cards, a card similar to the official postcard except that it includes Rosh Hashana greetings (Rosh Hashana that year fell about a month later, on September 27). The verso (not exhibited here), shows that this second card was mailed to Dr. Heinrich Lowe, a Jewish folklore scholar who founded Young Israel, the first German Zionist group, and served as editor of the central organ of German Zionists.

Before Herzl’s publication of Der Judenstaat (“The Jewish State,” 1896), none of the previous historical attempts to convene general assemblies of the Jewish national movements succeeded in creating an instrument similar in scope or nature to the Zionist Congresses. Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress as a symbolic parliament for those in sympathy with the implementation of Zionist goals, but it became much more; as Herzl famously wrote in his diary:
Were I to sum up the Basle Congress in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: at Basle I founded the Jewish State.

Herzl acted as chairman of the Congress, which was attended by some 200 participants from seventeen countries, 69 of whom were delegates from various Zionist societies (the remainder were individual invitees). Following a festive opening, the Congress turned to the formulation of the Zionist platform, which became known as “the Basle Program,” pursuant to which “the aim of Zionism is to create for the Jewish people a home in Eretz Yisrael secured by law.” When numerous delegates sought the inclusion of the phrase “by international law,” a compromise formula proposed by Herzl was eventually adopted:
Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel secured under public law. The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end
1) The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Eretz Yisrael of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers.
2) The organization and uniting of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate institutions, both local and international, in accordance with the laws of each country.
3) The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness.
4) Preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism.

The First Congress also saw the foundation of the World Zionist Organization, with Herzl elected first WZO president, and the election of an Inner Actions Committee and a Greater Actions Committee to run the affairs of the movement between Congresses.

The Congress developed a schedule that was followed by all subsequent Congresses: reports on the situation of Jewish communities in the Diaspora; lectures on Eretz Yisrael and settlement activities; and debates on cultural questions, which were always highly contentious. A straight line can be drawn from the First Congress to the birth of the State of Israel only 50 years later, and history proves that Herzl was correct: at Basel he founded the Jewish State.

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