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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘moment’

New Yorker Writer Resigns, Fabricated Bob Dylan Quotes

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Jonah Lehrer, a staff writer for The New Yorker, resigned hours after Tablet Magazine published an article revealing that he had fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in a recent book.

“This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic,” Lehrer, 27, said in a statement Monday announcing his resignation.

Three weeks ago Michael Moynihan, author of the Tablet article, first pressed Lehrer about quotes attributed to Dylan in Lehrer’s book “Imagine.” Lehrer, a neuroscience and psychology writer, initially claimed he had obtained certain quotes after gaining access to material provided by Dylan’s manager, Jeff Rosen.

On Sunday, according to Moynihan, Lehrer admitted that he had never made contact with Rosen.

“When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie and say things I should not have said,” Lehrer said before apologizing to readers and editors.

The scandal comes six weeks after Lehrer was accused of “self-plagiarism” for recycling material from a Wall Street Journal article in his debut post for The New Yorker’s The Frontal Cortex blog.

Olympic Opening Ceremonies and the Death Throes of a Civilization

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I don’t think I was the only American weirded out on Friday by the bizarre “dancing nurses” segment at the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics.  There were lots of children wriggling in hospital beds, and seemingly hundreds of nurses prancing around dressed in the garments of yesteryear.  It wasn’t clear what the artist was trying to say – and then the letters “NHS” burst out in glittering lights on the field.

Oh.  This is about the National Health Service.

[Pause.]

????????????

That realization was paired in my mind with the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to commemorate the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Yasser Arafat’s terrorists in Munich in 1972.  The IOC’s position is that it doesn’t want to “politicize” the games.

That position doesn’t hold up so well considering that 9/11 was commemorated at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.  In 1996, at the Summer Games in Atlanta, the IOC had a moment of silence at the closing ceremony for the victims of the Olympic Park bombing.

In 2010, at the Winter Games in Vancouver, there was a moment of silence during the opening ceremony for Georgian athlete Nodar Kumartashvili, who had died in an accident on a practice run just before the games began.

So in recent years, the Olympic authorities have commemorated the death of an Olympic athlete and the deaths of others in terrorist attacks, with a moment of silence each time in an opening or closing ceremony.  And guess what?  Last night, in the Olympic stadium, the victims of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in the London subway in 2005 were commemorated as part of the opening ceremony.  Granted, it was hard to catch; a photo montage was projected into the stadium during a lull in the prancing and acrobatics, but there was little narration to call it out.  I didn’t even notice it, and had to be told about it afterward by others who had seen it.

It is jarring to think of passing references being made to the victims of terrorism, sort of as part of the entertainment, during an event-palooza dedicated to performance and revelry.  The reason we usually have authorities solemnly asking for a moment of silence, at a carefully separated, showcased point in the proceedings, is that that’s what is appropriate for commemorating tragedy and sorrow.

But it was clearly important to the British planners to mention their dead from the 2005 terror attack in the opening ceremony.  So they did it.  For forty years, including this Olympics, no one has incorporated a commemoration of the 11 murdered Israeli athletes into an official Olympic ceremony.  Yet Olympic authorities have been assiduous about commemorating others.  Their relentless, determined failure to commemorate the Israelis in the same way is a failure to acknowledge the common humanity of Israeli Jews.

The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games couldn’t have been more stuffed with politics if it had been a bell pepper.  The Republic of Taiwan was required to march as “Chinese Taipei,” although of course that is not what the Taiwanese call their nation.  There is no nation of Palestine, yet athletes walked under a “Palestinian” flag and were announced as “Palestine.”  The “quirky” performance segment of the ceremony involved numerous references to political events in the history of Great Britain, including, of course, the paroxysm of pagan worship, complete with cavorting women, for the National Health Service.  It was a really, really political night; if a commemoration for the murdered Israeli athletes might have been “political,” that would only have guaranteed that it would fit right in.

Watching the ceremony last night, I had a profound sense of sadness for the hollow revelry.  There was no dignified memorializing of the greatness, uniqueness, and courage of Britain’s past.  There was “irreverent, idiosyncratic” entertainment, and a very long segment of writhing self-abasement before the shibboleth of socialized medicine.

We seemed to be looking last night at a moment frozen in time before a great upheaval, like the last days of lingering sunlight before World War I.  A civilization based on entertainment and ritual political worship is headed for a fall.  But then, a civilization that singles out some humans, like Israeli Jews, to show less care for – less solidarity with – is a weak and unsustainable one.  Nothing else will go right with it.

Moment of Silence

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

http://israelisoldiersmother.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/moment-of-silence.html

It happened at the Olympics on London, despite all claims that it would not. Oh wait, it wasn’t for the Munich 11. It was for the British victims of 7/7 and a tribute to British soldiers. Nothing for the Munich 11 – nothing.

Despite requests from tens of thousands of people around the world, the families of those murdered athletes, leaders of Israel, Canada, Australia, the United States and Germany – it didn’t happen. Just one minute…that didn’t happen, to the everlasting shame of the International Olympic Committee. A British commentator made reference to the Munich 11 – more than the IOC did. An American commentator made reference to the Munich 11 – and in all of this, the IOC did nothing.

It makes me furious; it makes me bitter. It reminds me that there remains anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israel and yes, when the IOC can spend 40 years denying this for all sorts of reasons and then allow a moment of silence for something else, for someone else’s victims of terror – yes, there can be no other source or reason than the hatred they must have in their hearts.

Eleven athletes came to Munich to share in the Olympic spirit of sports and brotherhood. Promises of security were made and broken. The IOC’s actions cross all lines of cruelty and hypocrisy. The crime committed by those terrorists 40 years ago continues to be amplified by the actions of these people. What an incredible slap in the face to every Israeli athlete at the games, to every Israeli, to every Jew, and to all victims of terror.

The Olympic committee had one minute to choose – and they chose wrong. Meanwhile, they are the recipients of the thanks of the Palestinian delegation who has the nerve to say that honoring the 11 murdered athletes amounts to racism. That, my friends, is how you spin propaganda.

That’s right – if you dare to honor the people we murdered in a vile terrorist act that resonates with cowardice and hatred… you are racist. No, this is not about the brotherhood of man and sports and everything about politics. Every gold medal they hand out is tarnished by this insensitivity. It is not about how fast you run, how far you swim.

The Olympics is supposed to be about the spirit and the people. That moment of silence that didn’t happen rang louder than any cheer that will come out of the stadiums in the next 17 days. May the memories of the Munich 11 haunt the Olympic Committee members all the days of their lives and may they remember that in denying those families this little comfort, their actions are unforgivable. I accuse the International Olympic Committee of racism, for promoting and honoring terrorism, for cruelty. I damn them for their mean-spirited, selfish and warped ideals.

Life Lessons

Friday, July 27th, 2012

I feel truly blessed these days. The experience of becoming a grandmother for the second time to a beautiful, and thank G-d, healthy baby girl is quite honestly indescribable.

I think back on my concerns before and during the time that my daughter was in the dating “parsha.” I dreaded the prospect and fretted about how she would be received having come from a broken home and a blended family. I prayed that I had raised her with enough confidence to face any challenges. Now I sit back and watch as my daughter and her husband nurture and raise their young girls, while at the same time expertly navigating their assortment of relatives.

My little granddaughters have three sets of grandparents and three sets of living great-grandparents. It is amazing how they are able to keep the “savtas,” “sabas,” “poppas,” “grandma and grandpa” and “bubby and zaidy” in order. These children are growing up watching their parents honor and respect their parents and grandparents no matter what role they play in their lives.

When my marriage broke down, my children and I went through “demolition” and “restructuring,” then, together with my husband and his two children, we went through blending and re-building. Now, years later, as the dust has finally settled, we are able to extend ourselves and encompass the very people who were once the opposing team, fighting our right to live and grow as a family.

That does not mean that there are not those occasional moments when past feeling and present reality seem to clash with one another.

Take for instance the birth of my new granddaughter. It was an amazing experience. I was honored to be a part of those moments with my daughter and son-in-law. I worked hard coaching my daughter through her labor. I kept in mind that as excited as I was to be there, this was also a private moment for my children to connect over the birth of their newest family member. I was cognizant of that fact and did my best to allow them their “space” emotionally, but to also take the opportunity to share this special time with my daughter.

We all bonded as the labor progressed, and my granddaughter was born naturally. The room was charged with that special euphoria saved for miracles. As my son-in-law and daughter welcomed their new daughter, I stood in awe of the greatness of Hashem. Then suddenly the spell was broken, my lovely daughter who had been raised by my husband for the past 16 years, turned emotionally to her husband and said, “I need to call my father.”

I knew immediately which father she meant and that it was not the man who took a young girl abandoned by her biological father at the age of 6, loved her unconditionally from the moment they met and helped raise her into the mature and capable woman she is today. She did not mean the man who walked her to the chuppah just a few short years before or who holds her two-year-old on his lap as he sings at our Shabbat table. No, she did not mean my husband, she meant my ex-husband.

Certainly from a non-emotional standpoint her actions were reasonable, even practical. She knew that I would immediately call my husband who had been checking in all night, begging to join us and waiting impatiently for the blessed news. Yet, when I heard the emotion in her voice as she requested her “father” be called, it was a “wow” moment for me.

I knew that over the last half year or so there had been more frequent contact between my daughter and her father. I just did not recognize how important that bond was for her. In the past I feared that closeness, as my ex-husband’s track record of hurting those close to him spoke for itself. But now things were different. My daughter, now an adult, had set the ground rules. She understood the risk she was taking and chose to take it. Maybe this time things would turn out differently. Maybe this time he was in a different place in his life; a place that could accommodate his own emotional needs without sacrificing the emotional needs of his daughter.

Nadler Renews Call for IOC to Observe Moment of Silence

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

On Thursday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined Members of Congress in observing a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli Olympians and coaches murdered by terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics, 40 years ago this summer. Nadler urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to open its ceremony tomorrow with a moment of silence to remember those 11 Israelis and the darkest hour in the history of the Olympics. To this end, Nadler has joined Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) in cosponsoring a bipartisan resolution urging the IOC to observe the minute of silence – an initiative that passed the Senate and has the support of President Obama. And Nadler joined other elected officials in New York to launch a petition to Remember Munich.

Nadler issued the following statement:

“This summer, we remember the attack 40 years ago that shocked the entire world, struck the very heart of the nation of Israel, and grotesquely undermined the spirit of solidarity that the Olympic Games represent. Unfortunately, despite a worldwide call for a moment of silence at the start of the Games in London tomorrow, including a resolution that my colleagues and I cosponsored in the House, the International Olympic Committee has, inexplicably, refused this simple and painless gesture.

“This is not only insulting to the memories of the Israeli athletes who were murdered in Munich, but it is also not in keeping with the tradition of good will that permeates the Olympics. While we can’t make whole the lives lost and families devastated in 1972, we can and must continue to honor the significance of their sacrifice. So, let us honor them now and remember the unspeakable tragedy of that day 40 years ago.”

The 11 Israelis killed on September 5 and 6, 1972, were: Moshe Weinberg, Yossef Romano, Ze’ev Friedman, David Berger, Yakov Springer, Eliezer Halfin, Yossef Gutfreund, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, and Amitzur Shapira.

Members of Congress to Hold Moment of Silence for Munich 11

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“We’re going to give one-minute speeches on the House floor and devote a substantial moment of that to silence on Thursday,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a conference call with the media on Wednesday. Following that, he and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) will lead a group of lawmakers to the Capital grounds for another moment of silence.

Engel and Lowey are cosponsors of a bill calling on the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence for the Israelis during Friday evening’s opening ceremonies of the London Games. The bill unanimously passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but a vote has yet to be scheduled by the full body. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a similar resolution.

“On Friday, millions of people around the world will tune in to the Olympics opening ceremony,” Lowey said. “A minute of silence would be a reminder that we must be constantly vigilant against prejudice, hate and intolerance, and it would pay tribute to the Munich 11 and their families.”

President Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, along with several governments around the world, have joined the call for a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies, but the IOC has rejected the request.

“For them not to do a moment of silence, that’s being political because frankly they’re afraid of offending some of the Arab nations,” Engel said, adding later that “If you have this fiction of fraternal bonds and commonality of feeling, then it’s appropriate for the IOC to act without any politics whatsoever. The only reason they haven’t done this in 40 years is because it’s Israeli athletes, and that makes it even more disgraceful.”

Rep. Ted Deutsch (D-Fla.) added on the call, “There is still time for the world to honor these athletes and to unite against terrorism. We can’t allow the 40th anniversary of their murder to pass by, and we can’t allow it to be overshadowed by geopolitics.”

In the past, Olympics officials have attended private Israeli or Jewish ceremonies marking the tragedy, but other than the day after the murders themselves, the IOC has not held a commemoration during the Games for the Munich victims. There was a brief mention of the killings at the close of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when then-IOC head Juan Antonio Samaranch called for a moment of silence for the victims of a bombing during those Games as well as the slain Israelis.

The IOC And Israel’s Martyred Athletes

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

For months, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has dismissed calls for a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics to mark the 40th anniversary of the murder of eleven Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

On Monday, in advance of this Friday’s opening ceremony, Mr. Rogge did preside over a previously unannounced tribute attended by several Olympic administrative officials.

But not only was this an insult to the memory of the slain Israelis, it underscored Mr. Rogge’s utter failure to grasp that the murders were not only about the Israeli victims but about the Olympics itself.

Since the days of ancient Greece, the Olympics have been characterized by a general truce that interrupted whatever wars were being fought at the time. This was to enable athletes and visitors to travel unimpeded to the games and ensure that the games themselves would be conducted free of violence. We don’t always have good things to say about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but a statement he released last week put it best:

The tradition of an Olympic truce began in ancient times to allow safe passage for athletes traveling to the games. This resulted in an environment where the true spirit of the Olympic Games was on display: peaceful competition among nations, feats of individual excellence.

Today, sports and events such as the Olympic and Paralympic games break down barriers by bringing together people from all around the world and all walks of life. The participants may carry the flags of many nations, but they come together under the shared banner of equality and fair play, understanding and mutual respect.

We give meaning to these values through the Olympic truce, the call for warring parties everywhere to lay down their weapons during the games. These pauses in fighting save lives. They help humanitarian workers reach people in need. And they opened diplomatic space to negotiate lasting solutions.

The Olympic truce – and more broadly the Olympic ideal – carries a powerful message: that people and nations can set aside their differences and live and work together in harmony. And if they can do it for one day, over one event, they can do it forever. This is the dream on which the United Nations is built, and the goal of our daily work.

I call on all those engaged in hostilities to respect the Truce – which has been endorsed by all 193 UN member states. This is an uphill battle – but we must persist in proclaiming the Truce and do our utmost to win adherence to it. For these next few weeks may the torch of the Olympic and Paralympic games in London serve as a beacon of peace around the world.

Consider what happened in Munich on September 5, 1972, the 11th day of the Olympiad. At 4:30 a.m., several Palestinian terrorists made their way past security and, armed with hand grenades and Kalashnikovs, entered two Israeli team apartments. They killed two Israelis and took nine hostage. The hostages were later killed by the terrorists in the course of a failed rescue effort.

The massacre clearly struck at the essence of the Olympic concept. So why would Mr. Rogge and the IOC resist marking this enormous negation of it? There were various reasons given that revolved around the notion that the games are “apolitical” and that every effort is made to avoid “political issues” and embarrassing participating (i.e., Arab) states.

Political issues? Noting the cold-blooded murder of eleven human beings is a political statement? That only follows if the murders themselves were deemed political statements. Is that Mr. Rogge’s point after all?

In a sense this reminds us of the recent meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The secretary was pitching a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and among other things was urging Mr. Netanyahu to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli jails for terrorist acts committed prior to the Oslo Accords be released. The theory seems to be that before Oslo, the murder of Jews was properly viewed as an act of resistance by a freedom fighter. Post-Oslo, however, such a form of resistance was criminalized.

The Moment of Silence Revisited

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/a-moment-of-silence-at-olympics.html

A while back I expressed my doubts about whether a moment of silence at the Summer Olympics was worth all the angst being expressed about it by our own community. I felt then as I do now that there are a lot more important things to concern ourselves with than this.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to not hold a moment of silence on the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes may have been a poor decision – but it was theirs to make and not particularly anti-Semitic.  Appeals to reconsider led by Ankie Spitzer, widow of slain Olympic athlete, Andre Spitzer have thus far been unsuccessful.

I recall being just about a lone voice for this perspective. I nevertheless still feel that we ought not make a big deal about something that makes us appear as though we are being paranoid… that the only reason the IOC does not want to hold a moment of silence is because it is for Jews and that had this massacre happened to athletes from any other country there surely would be a moment of silence. I do not happen to believe that.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire non-Jews for picking up the cause. I therefore have to admire Bob Costas. From The JewishPress:

One of the best known sportscasters in America may soon make history by defying the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decree that it would not honor the memory of the murdered 1972 Israeli Olympic team, and conducting an on-air memorial of his own.

Bob Costas, famed NBC sportscaster and regular frontline broadcaster of the Olympic games, told The Hollywood Reporter that he would not stand behind the IOC’s “baffling” decision to deny Israel’s request for a moment of silence to acknowledge the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists 40 years ago at the 1972 games in Munich, Germany, and that he would take it upon himself to highlight the injustice during his broadcast of the London games opening ceremonies on July 27.

If officials of the Olympics continue to refuse to honor the victims with a moment of silence, Costas says “I intend to note that the IOC denied the request,” he tells THR. “Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive.  [So] Here’s a minute of silence right now.”

Costas intends to take his stand for the slain Olympians as the Israeli delegation enters the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

I don’t know how many people will be watching the Olympics via NBC’s broadcast. But I suspect it is among the most watched events on broadcast TV. And the opening ceremonies is the most watched part of it. Bob Costas is not Jewish. But he does represent the American spirit.

Americans are a people who care about their fellow man. When they see a group being slighted, they will stand up and say so… and ‘call out’ those who have done so. This is what Bob Costas has done. My hat is certainly off to him.

This is yet another example of why I love this country so much. They truly are a Medinah Shel Chesed…  a country of generous spirit whose credo of tolerance is more than just words.

It seems that in this instance Americans are not alone. 100,000 signatures from all over the country were collected on Change.org  supporting that moment of silence. And 140 members of the Italian parliament signed a letter urging the IOC to have a moment of silence.  Even the President is on board with this, saying through a spokesman, “We absolutely support the campaign for a minute of silence at the Olympics to honor the Israeli athletes killed in Munich.”

It is being reported that full page ads will be placed in major newspapers across the country urging the IOC to observe that moment of silence. In an unusual of moment of true altruism one of them will be accepting it without charge. And there has been a whopping 1.1 million “likes’ on a Facebook page urging people to stop for a moment of silence on the morning of the opening ceremonies.

While a lot of effort is being spent on this issue that I think could be better spent on more important issues – for example to free Yaakov Ostreicher from a Bolivian prison – I can’t help but feel good about a worldwide effort to see this slight to the slain Israeli athletes be corrected. Maybe it isn’t only America. Maybe the rest of the world doesn’t hate us after all.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/the-moment-of-silence-revisited/2012/07/24/

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