Tuesday, January 24, 2023

From Ian:

The Magical Mossad Mystery Tour
Just East of Zar’it, Northern Israel
“You want to know a secret? Hezbollah is watching! They are usually up there with binoculars,” an Israeli soldier confided to me. She pointed north amid the green hills in the direction of Ramya, the Lebanese village which was the approximate starting point of the terrorist group’s flagship tunnel, named Wilderness Flower by the IDF but more commonly known as the Ramya Tunnel. We were standing amid a group of tourists at the tunnel’s mouth, now framed in concrete and with a metal door, nearly four years to the day that the Israel Defense Forces had exposed the assault passageway, one of six dug from inside southern Lebanon under Israeli territory. The IDF has blown up the other five.

If Hezbollah was indeed watching, it must have been a shaming experience for the surveillants. This marvel of military engineering, which would have enabled a flash mob of Shia fighters to emerge in the Upper Galilee to slaughter at will, was now entertaining a group of about 50 mostly elderly and Jewish tourists, some using walkers, many commenting on what schmucks the Hezbollahis must have been to invest so heavily in not one but six failed tunnels, as we moved on to Misgav Am for ice cream.

“It took the IDF four years to figure out all the tunnels,” said Major Nehemiah, another soldier who invited visitors to photograph anything except himself. “Hezbollah envisioned an elite force to surprise us through the tunnels. They would have surfaced here on the Old Northern Road. It would have a been a tactical, propaganda victory for them, against civilians.”

The Ramya Tunnel, he said, had taken Hezbollah about 10 years to build, and apart from Iranian funding, no foreign expertise or other role was evident in its creation. It ran for about a mile under Ramya into this area near the town of Zar’it, and the concluding section consisted of a circular cement staircase rising nearly 80 yards upward to this point. The steps were too steep for many tour members to explore, but some of our orange-helmeted number tried them out, noting that the damp dolomite walls sported power cables (labeled “Original Hezbollah Infrastructure” in Hebrew and English) but no handrails; presumably Hezbollah fighters would have been of a spryer demographic than us.

Hezbollah’s surveillance duties at this site must be light, because visits are rare—the tunnel is not open to the public. But we were not sightseers but fortunate members of the Ultimate Mossad Mission, a biannual tour sponsored by the Israel Law Center and Shurat HaDin (“Letter of the Law”).

The busload skewed mature, affluent, American, European, and Canadian, with a scattering of family ties to Israel—several would hang on after the tour to visit grandchildren or in-laws—and we could have passed for an extended family on the road with our uniform casual clothes, sturdy shoes, mobile phones, water bottles, and laminated IDs hanging from matching lanyards. Most men wore ball caps, with or without kippahs. Some women’s hair blew in the breeze, some sported snoods or bucket hats resembling the kova tembel or fool’s hat beloved of old-timey kibbutzniks.

We shared the élan of the security-conscious elect conversant with the Spy Museum in D.C., the NSA Museum, which is open to the public, or the CIA Museum, which is not. Our travel highlights would not be luxurious hotels or opulent buffets but coveted access to sites like this, and the high-level intelligence briefings we would judge and follow up with penetrating questions.

The connections between our weeklong jaunt and the Mossad were in fact rather modest. Retired and active Israeli security officers with various affiliations provided backgrounders on security matters, but they were often from the military or law enforcement sectors, which should not have been a surprise. The Mossad is a foreign intelligence organization unlikely to provide foreign visitors with information on bread-and-butter security issues. Someone apparently figured that an “Ultimate Border Police Mission Tour” would lack snap.
Shosh Amit: most proud of getting Jews out of Arab countries
It was only when Shosh Amit turned 90 that she agreed to be interviewed by Moshe Vistoch of Israel Hayom. As a girl in Baghdad, Shosh lived through the 1941 Farhud in Baghdad. She was active in the Zionist Underground in Iraq, and immigrated without her parents to Israel. She worked for the Mossad and helped, among other things, Jews escape Syria in the 1980s and 90s.

What eventually convinced her to come forward was the desire to help raise awareness of the contribution of Iraqi Jews to the construction of the State of Israel’s intelligence system, especially in its early years. Her apartment in the Polg estate, where we met on a warm winter’s day, indeed radiates peace and quiet, but does not betray the storms that were the tenant’s lot. Often there were also internal storms that accompanied her until the wee hours of the night and sometimes entered her dreams.

“My last position at the Mossad,” she shares, “involved the escape of Jews mainly from Syria between the years ’82 and ’90. The work accompanied me until I went to sleep. All the time thoughts ran through my head, how are they doing, how will they get out, will everything be alright, Will the smuggler arrive on time, is all the data I gave good enough. My head was working 24 hours a day, but I’m happy that I got to work in this position.”

She was born in 1933 in Baghdad, as the third daughter of a family of seven children. “Our home was a little different from the traditional Iraqi home,” she says, “Fathers in Iraq had a high status and they hardly spoke to their children, some of them did not remember the girls’ names. The status of women was very low, but in my home it was the opposite. My father , who was engaged in the purchase of land in the city of Kirkur, really shared his purchase considerations with us, and my mother was a graduate of the Alliance School, which was not acceptable in those days.

“The house where I grew up was Zionist. My grandmother on my mother’s side immigrated to the Land of Israel as early as 1926. We had a close connection with Israel. My sister, who is two years older than me, and I ,were also given Hebrew names – Uriah and Shoshana. I often hear Iraqi Jews talk longingly about Iraq. I never felt a sense of belonging in my life, maybe because of all the times my father talked about Israel and our intention to come to Israel.” In 1936, her family came to visit the Land of Israel, which only increased her attachment to the Holy Land. “When we returned to Iraq, the members of the Jewish community treated us as saints because we were in Israel, and the curiosity about Israel was great.”
University of Melbourne adopts IHRA definition
The University of Melbourne has become the first university in Australia to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The adoption, along with all of the definition’s examples, forms part of a broader anti-racism commitment made by the university on Tuesday.

The announcement came just days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is marked on January 27.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) said in a statement it was “thrilled to hear” of the adoption.

“This sends a message to all Jewish students around the country that our voices are being heard. The University’s anti-racism commitment will go a long way to fostering an inclusive and thriving campus experience for all minority groups,” AUJS said.

“We are really looking forward to working with the University of Melbourne throughout the implementation process. Thank you to the University of Melbourne for taking the lead.”

Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler said, “This move is a strong step forward in the fight against antisemitism on campus and in society as a whole.

“By adopting the Working Definition, Melbourne University is taking a meaningful step to demonstrate to Jewish students that antisemitism on campus will not be tolerated.”

The University of Melbourne made headlines for the wrong reasons last year when its Student Union adopted an anti-resolution many deemed antisemitic.

Sorry, Not Sorry: The Disingenuous Or Sincere Public Apologies for Celebrity Antisemitism
In this era of proliferating social media and the 24-hour news cycle, there is a growing phenomenon of celebrity antisemitism — public personalities (such as athletes, celebrities, politicians and journalists) making antisemitic comments or posting antisemitic material on their social media accounts.

In many cases, following a public outcry, these personalities express regret over their antisemitic sentiments and issue a public apology. However, not all public apologies are cut from the same cloth. Some are heartfelt and life-changing while others are superficial and duplicitous.

It is important to discern between those public apologies that are sincere and lead to profound changes and those that are disingenuous and are mere sticking plasters for a wounded public persona.

Who are those public personalities who have made antisemitic statements and apologized for them, with a special focus on those who made profound changes, and who have sought to pull the wool over the public’s eyes? Join the fight for Israel’s fair coverage in the news

Disingenuous Public Apologies
Here are the top 5 celebrities / public personalities whose apologies for their antisemitic statements were seemingly superficial and disingenuous (in no particular order):

1. Whoopi Goldberg
In January 2022, Whoopi Goldberg, famed actress and co-host of the daily ABC talk show The View, came under fire for claiming that the Holocaust was not about race but was rather about “man’s inhumanity to man.” Goldberg pushed the envelope even further when she clarified her remarks on Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” and asserted that the Holocaust was between two groups of white people. In the wake of widespread condemnations (including from the Auschwitz Memorial), Goldberg apologized and was subsequently suspended from The View for two weeks so that she could “reflect and learn about the impact of her comments.”

However, less than a year later, Goldberg became the center of controversy once again when she stated in an interview with The Sunday Times that the Holocaust was not originally about race since Jews were not visibly distinct from Germans, as opposed to other minorities.

After this second uproar, Goldberg apologized again and claimed that she only sought to explain her earlier comments and not “double down” on them.

Only time will tell if Whoopi Goldberg has truly learned the error of her statements or whether she is simply apologizing to protect her public position.
European Jewish group honors Adidas for dropping Kanye West
Meeting at the European Jewish Association conference in Prague and the Theresienstadt Ghetto/Camp in the Czech Republic, legislators and senior European government officials declared war on antisemitic fake news and committed to encouraging educational programs against hatred.

During the conference, the EJA presented Adidas with the prestigious King David Award for its decision to cut all commercial ties with musician Ye, aka Kanye West, following his antisemitic remarks.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on Friday, more than 100 members of parliament, government officials, ambassadors and European Jewish leaders gathered to discuss how to deal with fake news and conspiracy theories against Jews in the media and social networks, and rising antisemitism in universities across the continent.

According to EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin: “Even today, fake news poses a tangible danger to the well-being of Jews throughout Europe, a tool of hatred that is unfortunately strengthened by social networks and mixes conspiracy theories against Jews.

“The dozens of European leaders who responded to our call to come to Terezin pledged to fight against fake news that encourages antisemitism and implement educational programs to eradicate it,” he said.
Pressure Grows in Frankfurt for Cancellation of Roger Waters Concert Over Rock Singer’s ‘Antisemitism’
Pressure is growing for the cancellation of a forthcoming concert in the German city of Frankfurt by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters because of the repeated accusations of antisemitism against the rock musician.

Waters will be touring his “This is Not A Drill 2023” show in several major German cities throughout May, with the Frankfurt concert scheduled for May 28 at the city’s Festhalle arena.

A vocal supporter of the so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement targeting the State of Israel for a comprehensive boycott, Waters’ past tours have featured provocative symbols that included flying pigs branded with a Star of David. In recent years, the singer has flirted with more overt antisemitism, drawing widespread condemnation in 2020 when he described the late pro-Israel billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson as a “puppet master” controlling the US government who believed that “only Jews…are completely human.” Responding to Waters’ attack on Adelson, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) accused him of “deranged antisemitism.”

Several top officials in Frankfurt have already called for the May 28 concert to be canceled, among them the city’s Green Party Mayor Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg. More recently, Uwe Becker, the antisemitism commissioner for the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, slammed Waters as an “example of aggressive, Israel-related antisemitism and he should therefore not be given an artistic platform in Hesse.”

Mike Josef– a leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Frankfurt and a member of the Festhalle’s advisory board — is now seeking an agreement among the concert organizers, the city of Frankfurt and the State of Hesse to formally cancel Waters’ show, the Frankfurter Allgemeine news outlet reported on Monday. One Jewish community advocate, the publicist Michel Friedman, urged that compensation be paid to the organizers to underline that “money should not be an issue in the fight against anti-Jewish hatred.”
Activists hold ‘Day of Rage’ in NYC calling for release of Palestinian terrorists
Two Anti-Israel groups organized a “Day of Rage” protest in New York City’s Grand Central Station on Saturday to demand that Israel release Palestinian terrorist Ahmad Sa’adat.

Sa’adat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist group, is currently serving a 30-year prison term in Israel for planning the 2001 murder of Israeli Cabinet member Rehavam Ze’evi.

The organizations, Samidoun and Within Our Lifetime, are also calling for the release of Ahmad Manasra, a Palestinian teenager currently serving a prison term in Israel for the attempted murder of an Israeli youth, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

According to MEMRI, protesters shouted, “Free them all; Zionism must fall! With our spirit and our blood, we will redeem you, oh Palestine! We don’t want no two states; we want all of it!” as well as “Five, six, seven, eight, crush the settler Zionist State!” and “Globalize the Intifada!”

In November, a top Samidoun representative called for the United States, Canada and the European Union to be conquered.

“Defeating Israel means defeating the United States. Defeating Israel means defeating Canada. These settlements [that] exist on the back of the indigenous people and the black people,” said Mohammed Khatib, the organization’s E.U. coordinator.

Samidoun was designated a terrorist organization by Israel due to its ties to the PFLP, whose members founded it in 2012.

Avi Abelow: We Can't Be Silent: Jew-Hatred is Growing Yet Going Virtually Unpunished
Speaking with Brooke Goldstein, CEO of the Lawfare Project and Founder of the End Jew Hatred movement.

A year ago a Jew by the name of Joey Borgen was beaten up in the middle of the streets of NY. One of the men who beat him up is about to be given a sweet deal of virtually no punishment by the NY District attorney.

This is intolerable and we all must stand up against this tolerance of active Jew-hatred, by the law and state authorities.

BBC Ties Itself in Knots to Avoid Mentioning Israel in a Piece About a Woman in… Israel
Despite repeatedly referencing both the Old City and Jerusalem, which has been the capital city of Israel since its establishment in 1948, Knell appears to go to great lengths to avoid mentioning the Jewish state at all in the entire article.

Indeed, the linguistic somersaults that are performed to sidestep Israel’s name make the article utterly confusing at times, such as when later in the piece Knell makes reference to Protestant Churches that have “small local congregations and run schools and hospitals in the Holy Land.”

This, after not even telling readers where on earth the Holy Land actually is.

In fact, Israel is only mentioned once in the entire story — in the fifth paragraph where it is referenced alongside Jordan and the Palestinian Territories:
Christians make up a minority in the Palestinian Territories, Israel and Jordan. Most Christians here belong to the Greek Orthodox and Latin Catholic Churches, which do not allow women priests.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Knell does not bother to state that while Christians are a minority in Israel, their numbers are actually growing — in stark contrast to the Palestinian Territories and Jordan where the Christian population continues to decline and where followers of the faith face abuse and ostracism.

Meanwhile, a little research into the story’s subject, the newly-ordained Sally Azar, reveals she holds some very problematic views, which we can only assume Knell was unaware of when she wrote this glowing profile.

As revealed by Israellycool, Azar has previously condoned the euphemistically termed Palestinian “resistance,” which is often code for violence, and has blamed Israel for her inability to travel to Gaza while ignoring the brutal treatment Christians in the Strip face at the hands of Hamas.

Guardian article on NGO terror ties riddled with distortions
A Guardian article by Chris McGreal reports on a lawsuit brought by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) against the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), alleging the pro-Palestinian group with “conspiring to give financial and other means of assistance to terror organizations active in the Gaza Strip.”

The lawsuit, the Guardian explains in the article (“Zionist group uses US anti-terrorism laws to sue Palestinian activists”, Jan. 20), “was brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which permits victims of attacks by groups designated as foreign terrorist organisations by the US government to sue for damages in US courts”.

McGreal benignly describes USCPR as “a coalition of groups seeking to end the decades-long occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank”. However, as NGO Monitor has detailed, the group peddles extreme, demonising rhetoric about Israel, including accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “colonialism,” and supports a Palestinian “right of return.”

Support for the so-called “right of return” is, in effect, a euphemism for the rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within any borders.

McGreal later writes that “the Israeli government has banned support for the BDS movement, saying that it wants Israel to cease to exist as a Jewish state and is therefore antisemitic.” This is not accurate. The law in question narrowly applies to non-Israelis, allowing the interior ministry to bar foreign BDS activists from entering the country.

McGreal then uncritically quotes Diala Shamas, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights representing the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, saying that “the goal here is to harass the US Campaign [for Palestinian Rights]…smearing human rights advocates with accusations of terrorism”.
After 7 months BBC Arabic removes video but refuses to make online correction
As part of the November 2022 wave of BBC Arabic corrections, the BBC removed a YouTube video seven months after the submission of a CAMERA Arabic complaint on the matter in March 2022.

That video showed Jewish and Muslim activists on Temple Mount and mentioned “two biblical temples which the Jews claim both were at the site of the Jerusalem Sanctuary.”

Other than “claim,” the Arabic verb يزعم [pronounced Yaz’umu] may also be translated as “purport,” “contend,” or “argue,” and less commonly as “say” or “believe.” Its passive form, مزعوم [pronounced Maz’oum] is frequently used in Arabic discourse concerning Jerusalem as part of the catchphrase الهيكل المزعوم [pronounced al-Haykal al-Maz’oum], which translates as “the alleged Temple.”

Notably, the English version of the same BBC video stops short of mentioning that “claim” and is thus shorter by a couple of seconds.

Of course “The Jews” do not just “claim” the Temples once stood where Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is located today. At the very least, the Second Temple’s presence there until its destruction in 70 CE is a well documented fact in ancient history and archaeology. Furthermore, a variety of classic Christian and Muslim sources also consider the Jewish Temples (both First and Second) to be well-established elements of the site’s past, meaning that their existence should not have been ascribed to “the Jews” alone but to Muslims and Christians as well.

The first BBC response to CAMERA Arabic’s complaint eventually came 160 working days after submission: 16 times longer than the timeframe for addressing complaints as set by the BBC itself. It contended that while it was the rarer translation of the verb Yaz’umu which reflected the authors’ original intentions (i.e., they had meant to say “the Jews believe” or “say” and not “the Jews claim”), the video was nevertheless removed from all online platforms in order to “avoid any possible confusion.”

The BBC did not consider the possibility that presenting the existence of the Temples as something that Jews “believe” or “say” is the case is false in and of itself. Nor did it provide any explanation for the absence of the problematic frames in the English language version of the same video.
Virgin Mary sculpture sold under Nazi duress returned to Jewish owner’s heirs
A German government foundation on Friday returned a 16th-century statuette of a nursing Virgin Mary to the heirs of its Jewish owner, who sold the piece while subject to Nazi persecution in 1936.

Jakob Goldschmidt, a notable Berlin banker, was an early target of the Nazis and fled the country for Switzerland in 1933 due to financial pressures under the regime. He arrived in New York in 1936, leaving behind an impressive art collection.

Though he was able to export some of the works to the US, others, like the statuette, were used as security for loans and were sold at auctions in Berlin.

The Maria Lactans was sold in June 1936 to art dealer Johannes Hinrichsen, who then sold it later that year to the Berlin State Museums.

German Jews began to come under financial pressure in 1933 amid early antisemitic measures initiated by the Nazi regime.

According to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK), the auctioning off of Goldschmidt’s assets “qualifies as a persecution-related property loss under the Washington Principles,” referring to a 1998 deal requiring Nazi-looted art to be handed back to its rightful owners.
Montreal author of antisemitic article found guilty of promoting hate
A Quebec court on Tuesday ruled that a Montreal man who had penned an antisemitic article for a neo-Nazi website was guilty of promoting hatred of Jews.

Gabriel Sohier-Chaput was found guilty on one count of willfully promoting hate for writing an article in 2017 for the Daily Stormer in which he called for “non-stop Nazism, everywhere, until the very streets are flooded with the tears of our enemies.”

The article, titled “Canada: Nazis Trigger Jews By Putting Up Posters On Ch–k Church,” celebrated neo-Nazi posters placed at a bus stop in British Columbia. Writing under the pseudonym “Charles Zeiger,” Sohier-Chaput, who has a long history of neo-Nazi activity, used antisemitic memes and mocked a Holocaust survivor, whom he referred to as an “oven-dodger.”

Overall, he wrote over 800 articles for Der Stormer.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomed the verdict as “appropriate.”

“Following a long trial that included some troubling statements from the defense that minimized and distorted the Holocaust, the court has given the appropriate verdict for this case,” said Michael Levitt, FSWC president and CEO. “Gabriel Sohier-Chaput clearly intended to incite hate and violence against Jewish people when he wrote his article and must finally face the consequences for his hateful actions.”

The defense had argued that the article in question was intended to be humorous and satirical.

However, the judge agreed with the prosecution’s argument that the phrase “non-stop Nazism everywhere” constituted incitement to violence against Jewish people, since Nazism led to the Holocaust.
Alleging Antisemitic Bullying, Israeli Musician Resigns from Post With German Orchestra
In the latest scandal involving antisemitism to rock the German art world, a prominent Bulgarian-Israeli musician has resigned from his post as the orchestra director of the Hessian State Theater in the city of Wiesbaden, citing antisemitic bullying as the reason.

In his resignation letter issued on Sunday, Ilia Jossifov — a Bulgarian-born classical musician whose credits include performances with the Israeli Opera and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra — stated that he had been subjected to “systematic antisemitic belittling and months of harassment” by his colleague Holger von Berg, the theater’s managing director.

At issue was a poster that hung in von Berg’s office for several months showing a Nazi swastika alongside the likeness of Richard Wagner, the viscerally antisemitic nineteenth century German composer. The poster was commissioned for a 2017 lecture series examining the impact of Nazi antisemitism on German music following World War II.

Jossifov claimed that von Berg refused repeated appeals to remove the poster and that he had made antisemitic comments as well. “I and my family would never have thought that something like this would still be possible in Germany more than 70 years after the Holocaust,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

Jossifov raised his concerns in a letter to Angela Dorn, the state minister for the arts and education. Accusing the minister of having failed to protect him, Jossifov and his agent Marcus Felsner also claimed they had not been given access to a private, unpublished report from an outside consultant that caused Dorn to opine that there was no evidence of antisemitic behavior on von Berg’s part, the news outlet Welt reported on Tuesday.

Most Americans lack some basic knowledge about Holocaust — poll
Just over half of American adults are familiar with the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust, and even fewer know that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler came to power democratically, according to a survey on the state of Holocaust education released Tuesday.

The poll of 1,004 American adults, published by the American Jewish Committee days ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that only one in four — twenty-six percent — could correctly answer four basic questions about the Shoah. Thirty percent of respondents answered three questions correctly and another quarter knew two.

While 85% identified Auschwitz as a death camp and 76% were able to place the Holocaust between 1930 and 1950, just 53% knew that 6 million Jews were killed. Another 20% said they did not know how many, while 13% said fewer than 3 million and 11% said over 12 million.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents knew how Hitler came to power, but almost as many (34%) thought he took over Germany via a violent coup.

According to the AJC, the results demonstrated a strong link between general education level and knowledge about the Holocaust, with those with a college or high school degree answering all four questions correctly at a higher rate than those without.

The organization said that among the respondents, only 26% have visited a Holocaust museum or memorial, with that percentage rising among those who graduated college.

“Lacking knowledge can open pathways to trivialization and denial of the Holocaust that also contribute to rising antisemitism,” AJC CEO Ted Deutch said in a statement. “It is imperative that Americans continue to learn about the most documented, planned genocide in modern history – the Nazi extermination of one-third of the Jewish people.”

The survey, which was conducted over a week in October, included 1,004 US general population adults and had a 3.8% margin of error. The AJC said the poll, along with another survey of American Jews, will be included in a report on antisemitism in the US in 2022 that will be released next month.
Herzog to address EU Parliament to mark Int’l Holocaust Remembrance Day
Israeli President Isaac Herzog will address the European Parliament on Thursday to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as part of a two-day visit to Belgium.

Herzog will depart on Wednesday for Brussels, where he will meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and King Philippe. He will also visit the Athénée Ganenou Jewish school and the Great Synagogue of Europe, and speak with members of the Jewish community.

On Thursday, Herzog will deliver the main address in the European Parliament at a special session marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that will be attended by lawmakers and Shoah survivors.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked annually on Jan. 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Herzog will then meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and representatives of the alliance whom he will brief on Israel’s strategic situation.

“This is an important and exceptional visit to the institutions of the European Union. Belgium is a close friend of Israel and I am sure that my meetings with the king and government officials will act as a catalyst for many collaborations with it,” Herzog said in a statement.

“Israel’s relationship with the nations of Europe and the institutions of the European Union have an impact on almost every area of our lives as a people and as a state—from the economy to security, academia, science, culture and so much more. My visit and meetings bring together the lessons of the past and a vision of a promising future of partnership between Israel and the nations of Europe,” he added.
Renowned Holocaust survivor and educator to be awarded one of Poland’s highest honors
Legendary Holocaust survivor Edward Mosberg will be posthumously awarded one of Poland’s highest honors this Friday in New York.

The Polish Consulate of New York will be presenting Mosberg’s family with the Great Cross of the Order of Merit on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The award is to be given on behalf of Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Mosberg was a Polish-American Holocaust survivor, educator and philanthropist who passed away this past September. Duda, who previously bestowed the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland upon Mosberg, was also present at Mosberg’s funeral in New Jersey. Mosberg received that previous high honor in 2019 for his achievements in developing Polish-Jewish dialogue and for promoting knowledge about the role of Poles in saving Jews during World War II.

Mosberg was an inmate of the Nazi German camps of Płaszów and Mauthausen. He later traveled the world as a renowned survivor and educator, speaking to audiences throughout North America, Europe and Israel. Mosberg died at the age of 96.

Nearly all of Mosberg’s family were murdered during the Holocaust, including his parents and sisters. He, his wife and daughter immigrated to New York City in 1951, later moving to New Jersey, where Mosberg found success as a real estate developer.

Mosberg was in the news in 2020 after NFL player DeSean Jackson made an antisemitic post on social media, which he later apologized for. Jackson accepted an invitation from Mosberg to join him on a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp to learn about the Holocaust.

One of the biggest supporters of the International March of the Living, Mosberg often attended the march wearing his original concentration camp uniform. He served as honorary chairman of From the Depths, an organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to give a name to those who were murdered. He also dedicated himself to bringing recognition to Polish Righteous Among the Nations, those Polish non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust.
UAE embrace of Holocaust education faces old prejudice

Israel's Holocaust survivors fight their last battle as generation dwindles
Around 150,600 Holocaust survivors currently live in Israel, the Holocaust Survivors' Rights Authority said this week in a report published ahead of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.

According to data, over 21% of the survivors have surpassed the age of 90, and about 1,100 are over the age of 100. In the past year, 15,123 Holocaust survivors died. Numbers also showed that 60% of Holocaust survivors in Israel are women, with an average age of 85.9

Sixty-three percent were born in Europe: 55,300 (37%) in the Soviet Union, 17,100 (11%) in Romania, and 7,800 (5%) in Poland. In addition, 37% were born in Asia or North Africa, including 28,300 from Morocco and Algeria who were also subjected to persecution.

Additionally, 16,500 survivors are originally from Iraq and were affected by the violent Farhud riots against the Baghdad Jewish community in June 1941. Another 10,200 were born in Tunisia or Lybia where they too were also discriminated against and sent to labor camps.

A third of survivors immigrated to Israel in 1989 during the major migration wave from the Soviet Union, with Haifa having absorbed the highest number of arrivals, followed by Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Netanya, Beersheba, Petach Tikva, and Rishon Lezion.
Exhibit Listing Millions of Holocaust Victims to Go on Display at UN Headquarters
Jerusalem’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem, and Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations will unveil a new installation at the United Nations headquarters in New York City this month that commemorates the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust.

The Book of Names of Holocaust Victims, developed by Yad Vashem, features the alphabetically arranged names of 4,800,000 Holocaust victims that have been recorded along with their birthdates, hometowns, and circumstances and places of death if that information is known. The names in the exhibit are sourced from Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names and the center’s Pages of Testimony collection, as well as other lists compiled during and following the Holocaust that have been gathered and reviewed by Yad Vashem experts over the years.

“A strip of light runs the length of the inside of The Book of Names, illuminating the memory of the Jewish men, women children murdered during the Holocaust for all to remember,” Yad Vashem said in a press release about the new installation. “At the end of the Book of Names there are blank pages symbolizing more than one million identities yet recovered from the nameless murdered.”

The exhibition is being installed at the UN headquarters on Jan. 26, one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan and Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN Gilad Erdan will attend the exhibit’s unveiling ceremony, which will also be broadcast live online.

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