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July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

World Expo Site Removes ‘Capitals’ from Site to Duck BDS Rage

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

The 2015 World Expo has removed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from its website — and every other national capital as well — following the release of an angry statement condemning Israel and claiming “land grabs and water theft” by the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) Italy movement.

The Expo body managing the event, scheduled to take place next year in Milan, apparently removed the field “capital” from all country profiles for world fair participants as a means of avoiding clashes with the BDS movement.

BDS claimed this week in a false, hysterical email campaign sent to its international list of thousands that “Israel, under the pretense of a manhunt for the three missing settlers, has killed 6 Palestinians, wounded dozens, arrested over 400 without charge, closed entire cities and areas, raided thousands ofhomes and organizations and bombed Gaza in an act of collective punishment.”

Torah Book Fetches Record $3.87 Million at Paris Auction

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A 15th century printed book of the Torah fetched a record $3.87 million at an auction in Paris.

Three buyers attempted to outbid each other over the telephone during the sale which the Christie’s auction house organized on April 30, the news website actualitte.com reported Thursday.

Christie’s listed the buyer as “anonymous” but said the sale broke two records. According to Christie’s, the item was the world’s most expensive Hebrew-language book and fetched a higher price than any printed book known to ever have been sold in France.

The book was printed in Hebrew in Bologna in January 1482, according to Christie’s. “The volume represents the very first appearance in print of all five books of the Pentateuch as well as the first to which vocalization and cantillation marks have been added,” according to the Christie’s website.

Prior to the auction, Christie’s estimated the item’s worth at up to 1.5 million euros, or $2.08 million.

The back of the copy bears the signature of three 16th and 17th century censors, testifying to its presence in an Italian library until at least the mid-17th century, according to Christie’s.

“Over the last hundred years only two copies of this rare edition have come to auction: the first in 1970, printed on vellum and complete, the second in 1998, printed on paper and missing eight pages,” Christie’s added in a news release before the sale.

The copy sold Wednesday was printed on vellum and is complete, apart from the rear free-end paper, and is “in exceptionally fresh condition,” the auction house said.

In 2012, the Paris office of Christie’s sold a 15th century mahzor, or Jewish holiday prayer book, for $2.41 million. It was created in Florence, Italy and was richly embellished with intricate designs.

Rome Jewish Community President also Sent Pig’s Head

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The president of the Rome Jewish community revealed that he too had been sent the severed head of a pig about 10 days after pig heads were sent to Rome’s main synagogue, the Israeli embassy and a museum with an exhibit on Jewish culture in January.

Riccardo Pacifici made the revelation during testimony Wednesday at the trial of seven right-wing extremists accused of violating Italy’s anti-racism, anti-fascism laws by scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti on city walls. Pacifici said he had not alerted the media to the incident earlier in order not to give it attention.

At the close of his testimony, according to local media, Pacifici and one of the defendants got into a shouting match that nearly came to blows. The reports said that defendant Stefano Schiavelli had verbally “provoked” Pacifici in a way that prompted Pacifici to accuse him of threatening him. The reports said Pacifici was escorted from the court by his bodyguards, repeatedly stating that he was “not afraid.”

Italian Police Find Pig Culprit

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Italian police have identified the man who sent the pig heads to Rome’s main shul, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

The man was identified as Ernosto Morosini, and he wanted to create an Antisemitic movement, and sent them to build a following.

Italians Help Israel Protect Historic Sites in Holy Land

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

A special monitoring system run by the University of Padova in Italy has been installed in the Tower of David heritage site as part of an international project that attempts to use technology to determine the structural weaknesses in an ancient edifice .

The Tower of David is the tallest structure in the Old City of Jerusalem and a famous symbol to residents and tourist, with at least 2,000 years’ worth of history dating back to the First Temple period.

However, six major cracks in the tower raise questions if the structure would be able to survive an earthquake. Israel is located in a region extremely prone to earthquakes, and a major quake could be devastating.

“A major earthquake poses a serious threat and needs to be treated as such,” Dr. Avi Shapira, chairman of Israel’s National Earthquake Preparedness Committee,  told Tazpit News Agency.

“We want to preserve the structures of our past and historical monuments of the Holy Land that are significant to the world.,” he added.

Israel experienced five moderate earthquakes in October, which prompted experts to install a seismic monitoring system at the Tower of David in November 2013.

In a special conference at the Tower of David this week, Italian experts brought their knowledge during unique sessions addressing earthquake monitoring.

“Italy is a world leader in the earthquake monitoring field and conducting research in methodology for effective dealing with earthquakes,” explains Professor Claudio Modena, a Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Padova. “Israel is new to this area, and we believe that sharing our knowledge will help maintain historical structures in the event of a major earthquake.”

Modena, who lives in Verona, Italy, has also investigated historical and archaeological sites in Akko, Tzfat, and Beit Shean.

Rescuing A Vital Piece of 20th-Century Jewish History

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Among the many places forgotten by history and lost in memory is Sciesopoli, in Selvino, Italy. Originally built as a retreat and training center for Fascist youth in the 1930s, it is located in the Alps near Bergamo, less than 100 kilometers from Milan.

In Sciesopoli, which was named after Antonio Sciesa, a hero of the Risorgimento movement for Italian reunification, young people were trained in martial arts, sports and military drills, and the facility served as the barracks for the soldiers of the future.

There were dormitories, dining halls, an indoor swimming pool, a cinema, an infirmary – all located in a 29,000-square-meter park that also included courtyards for military parades. The walls were decorated with pictures of dictator Benito Mussolini and banners of the youth brigades. To this day there is a marble plaque in the entrance hall with the names of those who contributed to the building of Sciesopoli; Mussolini’s name and his contribution of 5,000 lire appear on top.

In September 1945, after the end of the war and the fall of Fascism, a delegation composed of Raffaele Cantoni, head of Jewish community of Milan; Moshe Ze’eri, a member of the Palestine Unit of the British Royal Engineers; and Teddy Be’eri, a member of the same unit, was able to obtain the use of Sciesopoli for Jewish orphan survivors of the Holocaust.

Hundreds of young Jews arrived from all over Europe – from the camps, from convents, from forests and graveyards. They arrived one by one or in small groups, skin and bone, frightened, hungry, delusional.

In Selvino they discovered a paradise they could not have imagined: a fabulous castle where they reclaimed their childhood, had plenty of food, were loved and cared for; “reborn to a new life,” as Aharon Megged wrote in The Story of the Selvino Children: Journey to the Promised Land.

The people of Selvino, led by their mayor, Vinicio Grigis, welcomed the children with generosity and acts of personal hospitality, helping them to regain their smiles.

Sciesopoli continued to provide food, shelter, rehabilitation and education to survivors and refugee children until November 1948. The majority of the children eventually found their way to Palestine with the help of the nearby Milanese Jewish community, the municipality of Milan, the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade, the Jewish Agency, the Joint Distribution Committee, Youth Aliyah and former partisans who fought the Fascists and the Nazis.

In 1984, a group of sixty-six former “Children of Selvino” returned with family members. The mayor and the town’s residents received them warmly. The city was twinned with Kibbutz Tze’elim in the Negev, where some of the Selvino children had settled.

In subsequent years, many survivors and their family members returned to Selvino, tracing the journey they had made so long before.

In 2012 the city was graced with the presence of Miriam Brisk. Miriam’s parents, Lola and Salek Najman, were Polish survivors, members of the Gordonia Zionist Movement, who were sent to Sciesopoli to help the small staff and the growing number of children who were arriving daily.

Miriam, who resides in Ithaca, New York, retraced her parent’s route as it was recorded in her mother’s diary. After wandering through Poland and former Austrian DP camps, she met me in Bergamo and together we went to Selvino via Unione in Milan (which was the center for Aliyah Bet operations in Northern Italy and a shelter for Jewish refugees), Genoa and Bogliasco.

In Selvino we met with the former mayor and Walter Mazzoleni, son of the former custodian of Sciesopoli, and visited the building and vast grounds.

Walter is the only person in Selvino who still carries around memories (and a photo album) of the days he lived with the Children of Selvino. He guided us throughout the site, which is now deserted and vandalized.

Polish EU Legislator Calls Anti-Semitism a “Cancer’

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

“Anti-Semitism is like cancer. There are two things that are certain about this cancer of hate. We know that it is deadly and we know that if we don’t fight it,  it will spread,’’ Polish Member of the European Parliament Michal Kaminski said in an address to the General Assembly of the European Jewish Parliament Monday in Brussels.

‘’Vigilance is [the] key because like cancer, anti-Semitism often stays hidden for a long time until it strikes suddenly. But although it may hide from us, that does not make it any less dangerous,” he added.

Referring to debates in the European Parliament, Kaminsi said he often hears politicians shouting about “human rights” and “democracy” as they make verbally attacks against Israel. ‘’I believe that at the core of many of these attacks is a contempt for the Jewish people, a contempt for their state, and a contempt for their right to defend themselves.’’

His remarks came in the background of worrying results of a recent survey by the EU’s Agency for fundamental rights that 76% of the 6,000 Jews polled felt that their situation was getting worse and that anti-Semitism had increased over the past five years.

“While the EU is adamant in its claims to protect minorities within the member states, we are still confronting  the virus of anti-Semitism, which we thought was a thing of the past,’’ said Italian MEP Fiorello Provera, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/polish-eu-legislator-calls-anti-semitism-a-cancer/2013/12/17/

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