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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘1948’

Hamas and Fatah Unite in Judea, Samaria for ‘Nakba’

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

As a sign of continued progress towards “unity” Palestinian Authority officials announced that Hamas terrorists will march together with Fatah to mark the ‘Nakba.”

It is the first time in nearly ten years the two factions will coordinate and appear together at events that lament the “catastrophe” of the rebirth of the State of Israel.

Marches are expected in all Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and the flags of the Hamas terrorist organization will fly freely together with those of the PA.

This is the first time Hamas will be legally allowed to rally supporters to “the cause” in Judea and Samaria since it seized control of Gaza, ousting the Fatah faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. That came in June 2007 at the end of a months-long bloody militia war between the two groups that followed PA elections in January 2006, when Hamas was swept to a landslide victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Leftist Israeli and foreign activists around Israel have been rallying all week and last week to support the PA and mark the approach of ‘Nakba Day’ — including at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at Tel Aviv University as well.

The ‘nakba’ an Arabic word for disaster or catastrophe, is used in this context to refer to the rebirth of the State of Israel 66 years ago. It is marked on May 15 each year by anti-Zionist groups in Israel and around the world, as well as in the PA-controlled territories.

One of the themes of the day is the tragedy of the endless, eternal stream of refugees that resulted from the Arab war declared against the newborn Jewish State.

War in Israel is a fight for survival, and our founders and defenders were sometimes forced to choose whose lives to protect — as the IDF does with the civilians that Hamas terrorists use as human shields in their wars with Israel today. Sometimes Arabs were driven from their homes in what quickly became a war zone.

During the conflict, official statistics report that most of the 700,000 Arab residents who ultimately became refugees from the war fled their homes to avoid the battle, believing they could return with their victorious Arab brethren in a few days. Others were driven out by soldiers who perceived a security threat.

Those numbers, however, have now grown to more than five million with the passage of generations. Nearly all are still cooped up in “refugee camps” in neighboring Arab nations by their “brethren” who refuse to accept them as citizens, to this very day. In this way they have become a weapon against Israel for the quiet, decades-long ongoing war of attrition still conducted today by some of its Arab neighbors, albeit through proxy terror groups, and via PA rage.

The key often seen on posters brandished at demonstrations by the angry and despairing Arab protesters symbolizes the homes their ancestors lost in the 1948 War of Independence. It is important to emphasize, however, that not every Arab resident abandoned their home in Israel. Those who did not – and there were many – enjoy a quality of life and civil rights that are clearly the best to be had in the Middle East.

‘National Day of Commemoration for the Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands’ Passes First Reading

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

On Monday, the Knesset passed the first reading of a new law which would designate November 30th as a national day for the commemoration of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands.

MK Dr. Shimon Ohayon, the initiator of the law said on its passing,

“For too long the issue has not been properly dealt with, either nationally or internationally.

Thanks to great efforts like this law and the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Minister Avigdor Liberman, the silence is ending.

The fact that the issue of redress for the Jewish refugees from Arab lands will be raised in the Kerry framework agreement demonstrates that this issue of rights and justice is finally receiving the attention that it deserves. These Jews, numbering around 850,000, left behind assets around double that of those Palestinians who left their homes in Israel before and during the War of Independence, and above all, were not involved in any conflict or any theater of war. These important factors should be front and center of any discussion relating to a future peace agreement.“

The law places the responsibility for the day of commemoration with the Minister of Pensioners Affairs, the responsibility for the introduction of related activities in the educational curriculum with the Minister of Education and the responsibility for international and diplomatic activities with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Around half of all Jews in the State of Israel are descended from refugees from Arab lands and their exodus and expulsion, from lands they inhabited long before the Islamic conquest and Arab occupation of the Middle East and North Africa must become known to all citizens,” MK Ohayon continued. “Especially when the Arab world is talking about peace and reconciliation, an important first step would be the acceptance of responsibility for what was done to these ancient Jewish communities.”

“This law will ensure that Israelis will remember what took place in this tragic chapter in Jewish history long after many of those who suffered are no longer with us.”

British MP Still Angry about 1948

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

News item:

A British MP who was caught on camera branding an Israeli soldier a “bloody Jew” has apologized for his remark, the British-based Jewish News reports. …

Describing an encounter with a soldier while trying to enter an “intelligence establishment” during a recent visit to the Jewish state, he was reported during last Thursday’s program as saying, “An 18-year-old girl wearing a uniform, but with her sort of hair in plaits, and crazy jeweler [sic] and open-toed sandals, with a rifle up my nose. Who the f*** are you, you know? ‘Well I’m a soldier.’ Are you? You don’t look like a soldier to me. You look like a bloody Jew. And I’ve no doubt that if I’d come up with the wrong answer, I’d have had my head blown off.”

[MP Patrick] Mercer, who served as shadow homeland security minister under Michael Howard and Iain Duncan Smith, has told the Jewish News, “I’d like to apologies [sic] unreservedly for any offence I’ve caused to all my friends in the Jewish community.”

A pity he didn’t get his arrogant Jew-hating head blown off, in my opinion. And he doesn’t need to apologize to “all [his] friends in the Jewish community,” assuming that he still has any. He has to apologize to that young woman who, while doing her duty, taught this worthless prick an important lesson: that there is one place in the world where Jews don’t have to take crap from such as him.

MP Mercer expressed the thought held more quietly by so many, especially in Europe and the UK: they believe that it’s just not proper for there to be Jewish soldiers, a Jewish army, a Jewish air force, Jewish nuclear weapons, or a Jewish state. In their minds, Jews exist to be insulted, to be victimized in various ways, maybe to be pitied but never to be respected.

But those days ended in May, 1948, when MP Mercer’s own regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, along with the rest of the British forces in Palestine, slunk back to England with its tail between its legs, after getting its ass kicked by Jewish soldiers like the young woman he insulted!

There. Now I feel better.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Lag B’Omer Trivia

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

The Palmach division of the Haganah was established on Lag B’Omer 1941.

The Gadna program (youth brigade) was also established on Lag B’Omer 1941, and their symbol is the bow and arrow.

Ben-Gurion gave the order to officially create the IDF on Lag B’Omer 1948 (assuming he issued it after sunset on May 26, 1948).

Lag B’Omer is the official day for saluting IDF reserve soldiers.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson ZT”L writes in his Likkutei Sichos that the reason why the day should be called Lag BaOmer and not Lag LaOmer is because the Hebrew words Lag BaOmer (ל״ג בעמר), spelled without the “vav”, have the same gematria as Moshe (משה), and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was mystically a spark of the soul of Moses.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews visit the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, in Meron on Lag B’Omer.

Lag B’Omer has joined Rosh Hashana to become the only other 2 day holiday in Israel. In order to avoid possible desecration of Shabbat this year (2013), the Rabbanut asked that schools be closed on Sunday and Monday, and that bonfires be delayed until Sunday afternoon. Most people ignore the request to delay the bonfires.

Jerusalem pollution levels rise 6 times normal on Lag B’Omer due to the bonfires.

3600 tons of wood are burned.

Construction sites lose on average, NIS 15,000 worth of material, as children raid the sites for wood.

500 firetrucks and 300 firefighters are on duty in Israel.

Feel free to add your Lag B’Omer trivia in the comments.

Looking for Family of Soldier Killed in Fall of Gush Etzion, 1948

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Private Yitzchak Mizrachi is the only soldier who fell in the battle for Gush Etzion in the War of Independence whose relative have not been located.

During one of the bitterest battles fought by the Haganah prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, 241 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in the final battle for Gush Etzion, which finally succumbed to the attacks of Jordanian Legionnaires and local Arabs on the fourth of, May 13, 1948.

The Legionnaires took 320 men and women into captivity, where they were to languish for many months. The next day, on the fifth of Iyar, David Ben Gurion proclaimed Israel’s independence. Gush Etzion was resettled after the Six-Day War in 1967, and many of those who returned to the Gush were children who were evacuated before the falling of Gush Etzion.

There is detailed archival documentation on all those who heroically gave their lives during these acrimonious clashes, except for one, Private Yitzchak Mizrachi.

All that is known is that he served in squad 9 of platoon 6, under the command of the renowned composer Tzvi Ben Yosef.

Until this day, no relative has been tracked down in Israel. This has led those who are involved in the search for information about Private Mizrachi to believe that his family resides abroad.

A note found at the Haganah Museum archives states the exact date of his death and where he died. but someone erased the initial place of death because he thought the information was incorrect. His name was also crossed out and corrected to “Manosy”.

One of the museum managers, Yaron Rosenthal, calls on anyone who knows about him or his family to contact him “so that we will be able to bestow upon him and his relatives the proper honors he deserves as someone who gave his life for us all.”

Dewey Stone: Unsung Hero of Israeli Independence

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

When most people think of the refugee ship “Exodus,” the Paul Newman movie and Leon Uris novel on which it was based come to mind. But not many people know that one of the heroes behind the real-life Exodus was American businessman Dewey D. Stone.

Stone’s role in purchasing ships and weapons—under the nose of the FBI—and helping to orchestrate the founding of Israel is the subject of a new documentary, “The Dewey Stone Connection: From Exodus to Independence.”

The film is the result of a five-year effort headed up by Walter M. Newman, who grew up a few blocks from Stone’s house.

Newman – a retired official with the Environmental Protection Agency who helped supervise the Boston Harbor cleanup – was researching the founding of Israel and noticed that Stone’s name “kept popping up,” he said in a phone interview in January shortly after the film’s first public showing and a month before his death at age 76.

Newman scoured the records at the American Jewish Historical Society office in Boston, where Stone’s papers are archived. “There were so many things, so many wonderful things,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

Stone was swept up in the cause of the Palestinian Jews after hearing a speech in 1940 by Chaim Weizmann, the head of the World Zionist Organization and later the first president of Israel. A renowned chemist, Weizmann was in Boston drumming up support for a research university in a future Jewish state.

After his talk, Weizmann invited Stone and a few others back to his hotel room, where they chatted until the wee hours of the morning. The next day, Stone drove Weizmann to Harvard, where he was giving another speech. On the way, they stopped in front of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – the very model of the university Weizmann sought to build.

After the war, as the full extent of the Holocaust became apparent, Stone worked behind the scenes on both military and diplomatic efforts to forge a Jewish state.

Suspecting the FBI was tapping his phone, Stone made calls from his sister’s house to procure ships and surplus U.S. weapons. In the documentary, nephew Ted Teplow, of Cambridge, Mass., recalls being up in his bedroom doing homework and overhearing his uncle on the phone. “We were all told not to talk about it,” Teplow, now 84, said in a phone interview.

Unlike in the 1960 movie, the real Exodus, carrying Holocaust survivors from France to Palestine in 1947, was rammed by a British destroyer just a few miles off the coast of Palestine, then under British control. Its 4,500 passengers were sent to a displaced-persons camp in Germany, the very nation that had persecuted them. Eventually, the majority of passengers settled in Israel. Meanwhile, worldwide outrage over the refugees’ plight helped bolster the push to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Stone also played an important role in that push. His brother Judge Harry K. Stone had become acquainted with Anastasio Somoza when the Nicaraguan dictator was in Boston for surgery in the 1930s. At the time, the Stone family owned Converse Rubber Co., maker of raincoats and shoes (and later, most famously, Chuck Taylor sneakers).

The brothers thought it would be good publicity for the company to host a reception for Somoza. Somoza, who had been miffed that the U.S. government had ignored his presence, was delighted by the attention and became close friends with Judge Stone, naming him honorary consul. That relationship paid off a decade later when Dewey and Harry Stone enlisted the Somoza regime to rally Latin American support that proved crucial for UN approval of the partition plan.

But just a few months before Israel was to declare independence, the State Department persuaded President Truman to reject its recognition. Truman went so far as to shut the White House doors to Zionists. Weizmann, who was waiting anxiously in New York, expressed his frustration to Stone in a meeting on March 12, 1948. That night a visibly shaken Stone returned to Boston, where he was honored at a B’nai B’rith dinner along with Frank Goldman, the national head of the organization.

Hearing about Weizmann’s predicament, Goldman said he might have a solution. He had just attended a Kansas City B’nai B’rith event recognizing Eddie Jacobson, who had been Truman’s partner in a clothing store business. Why not see if Jacobson would intervene with his old pal, Goldman suggested.

The Redacted Iraqi Jews

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The recent Conference of Religions and Sects in Sulaymaniyah, organized under the supervision of Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, was an important milestone: The first such conference to take place in Iraq that seriously covered the defense of religions and sects after the collapse of the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein.

Present at the conference were Christians, Muslims (both Sunni and Shi’a) and other, smaller, minority groups. What was surprising was that there was not a single representative of Iraqi Jews to relate their glorious history, so full of great accomplishments for the glory of Iraq and its constitution. In their absence, they could not tell of the calamity that befell them when their citizenship was withdrawn, their money and property confiscated, their rights denied, and when they were subjected to being imprisoned or murdered while ethnic cleansing was committed by forcing the best of my Iraqi Jewish friends to emigrate.

At the conference, it was apparent that no one was available to represent them or mention this sensitive subject. Therefore, to balance the debate, I decided that this was going to be my discussion subject, as my solemn duty to repay some of our debt to them.

The Presidential Council, the ruling party, and Iranian agents in Sulaymaniyah all warned me not to raise such a subject and speak about it, and tried to forbid it. They claimed that it is too sensitive and dangerous, and that due to the current public mood, it should not to be spoken about in public.

On both the first day and the final day of the conference, I spoke before the conference organizers, ministers and various international media outlets, about the massive contribution made by Jews to Iraq’s history over more than 2500 years, beginning with their exile in Babylon from 597 B.C., and referred to three famous Iraqi books:

* Jewish Prominent Characters In Current Iraq, by Meir Basr
* Kurdistan Jews, by Omar Kader
* Lovers stroll in Iraqi Jewish History, by Youssef Ganiamah

I spoke about the great history of Iraqi Jews in building modern Iraq, its economy and way of life, and mentioned several examples in social, intellectual and political areas. Sir Sassoon Eskell, for example, was the greatest Iraqi Minister of Finance of the twentieth century, responsible for incredible achievements at the Iraqi central bank.

Iraqi Jews had been genuine citizens for thousands of years — even before Muslims and Christians. Jews made up a huge part of Baghdad’s population – by the 1920′s they were 40% of the city’s people.

I also noted that the Iraqi constitution does not mention anything about Iraqi Jews, so that it has become necessary to draft an amendment to Article II of the constitution, granting official recognition to the Jewish faith, adding it to the other recognized national religions.

I then spoke about the crimes of stripping the Iraqi Jews of their citizenship, their their expulsion from the country, and the dreadful looting of their properties.

I urged President Jalal Talabani — a well-known humanitarian — and Masood Barazani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, to legislate a law of citizenship in Iraq that would enable Jews of Iraqi descent to regain Iraqi citizenship; award them parliamentary seats proportional to their actual population size, as is done the other minority religious groups such as the Christians and Muslims; and to compensate them for their usurped rights, in the same way other Iraqi countrymen who had suffered were compensated for their ordeals.

Despite the uncivilized methods used in attempting to suppress my presentation, the audience responded with full support and a standing ovation The address apparently caused considerable embarrassment to the conference’s organizing committee, which then was forced to take the topic seriously.

Results were achieved when three paragraphs were adopted in the text of the final communique: The seventh paragraph states the importance of correcting the constitution to add Judaism as an official religion alongside Islam, Christianity and others, and restoring the Jews’ citizenship. The ninth paragraph consists of ten points, of which article nine recognizes the rights of Jews in nationality and national belonging. Article five recognizes the crime of expulsion and its effects, and article five calls for Jewish heritage sites to be cared for, without tampering.

These declarations now need to put into action and implemented at all levels. Anyone who would like to energize this topic publicly to ensure its implementation is welcome to contact me at: nabel202000@hotmail.com – not only will injustices be reversed, but the good name of Iraq will be restored.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-redacted-iraqi-jews/2013/01/07/

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