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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘nations’

Yad Vashem to Honor Two Belgian Righteous Among the Nations Posthumously

Monday, November 21st, 2016

On Monday, Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center, held a ceremony posthumously honoring Joseph and Marie Andries from Belgium as Righteous Among the Nations. Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of Righteous Among the Nations and Supreme Court Justice (ret.) Jacob Türkel presented Dr. Francoise Rampelberg, family member of Joseph and Marie Andries, with the medal and certificate of honor. Holocaust survivor Benno Gerson, and Serge and Stefan Goldberg, sons of the late Anni Goldberg, attended the ceremony.

Extended family members of Benno Gerson and Anni Goldberg were reunited at the ceremony thanks to the efforts of Yad Vashem during the research process for this recognition.

Following the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938, Luser-Ludwig and Pepi Gershonowitz decided to leave Germany. They first sent their daughter Anni to the Netherlands, and then followed with their son Benno. Eventually the family settled in Brussels, Belgium.

When the deportations from Belgium began, in 1942, the Gershonowitz family decided to separate from their children in order to save them. Seven-year-old Anni and five-year-old Benno were brought to the home of Joseph and Marie Andries in Anderlecht. On September 24, 1942, Ludwig and Pepi were arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where they perished. Several months later, the Andries family and the children moved to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, where they remained until the end of the war. Joseph and Marie Andries were childless, and at some point separated. The two children remained with Marie, who continued to care for them lovingly. Benno remembers calling Marie Andries “mamake” (“mother” in Flemish). Life was simple, and Marie sometimes received help from her relatives, the Rampelbergs, who provided her with some additional food.

After the war, contact was established with a relative of the Gershonowitz family in the United States, and in 1947 Anni and Benno left Marie Andries’ home and sailed to New York. In 1983, shortly before Marie Andries passed away, Benno travelled to Belgium and visited his rescuer one last time.

On December 23, 2015, Yad Vashem posthumously recognized Marie and Joseph Andries as Righteous Among the Nations.

JNi.Media

The Prime Responsibility Of A Nation’s Leaders

Friday, November 18th, 2016

As Donald Trump prepares for his presidency, Jews all over the world are hoping his Middle East policy will be favorable to Israel.

Of course we know and believe that the destinies of all governments are ultimately in the hands of God. Man was granted freedom of choice, but up to a point. Man cannot derail God’s Master Plan, culminating in the Messianic era.

And regardless of what Trump’s policy will be, the prime responsibility of Israeli leaders, now as always, is to protect the citizens of Israel.

We must therefore ask: Do the leaders of Israel offer adequate protection for the Jewish lives they are entrusted with? Is their policy direction leading toward greater or lesser security?

We read (Shemot 17:12) that when the Jewish people were attacked by the Amalekites shortly after their departure from Egypt and Moshe raised his hands in supplication to God for victory, his hands were “heavy.”

Rashi comments that “his hands became heavy because he had been lax in the mitzvah [of battling Israel’s foes] and had appointed another one [Yehoshua] in his stead.”

Since Moshe’s old age did not affect his physical strength, we know that wasn’t why his hands grew heavy. But why ascribe it to laziness? Perhaps it was because he postponed the battle to the following day, or because the people doubted God’s power when they asked (Shemot 17:6), “Is then God in our midst?”

We can assume that Moshe must have had good reason for appointing Yehoshua to fight this battle, since we know that on other occasions Moshe was ready and willing to lead Israel’s wars from the forefront, as he did, at age 120, in the battle against King Og (Bamidbar 21:34, Devarim 3:2).

So what could his good reason have been?

Moshe reasoned that there was a big difference between this battle against Amalek and the war against Og: the latter was miraculous, with God having stated openly that “you shall do unto him as you have done against Sichon; do not fear him.”

The same applied to the splitting of the Red Sea. In such clearly miraculous situations, Moshe believed that nothing could stand in the way of victory and that therefore the usual norms for warfare (strong young soldiers) were not necessary and even a 120-year-old man could lead the way.

At the time of the battle against Amalek, however, the Jews had displeased God, so Moshe reckoned that this particular fight had to conform to the usual norms of warfare – relying on young, strong warriors and refusing to rush into battle without adequate preparation (therefore Rashi can’t accept that Moshe was being faulted for postponing the battle by one day).

In Rashi’s final analysis, however, Moshe did not do what he should have: If the premise is that God had commanded this battle to take place (even though the verse states that Moshe, rather than God, commanded Yehoshua to fight Amalek), Moshe should have led the battle himself, offering a short prayer on the battlefield to secure God’s help, notwithstanding whatever the Jews may have been guilty of.

If God commands, one has to act with alacrity.

On the other hand, the premise might be that Moshe acted on his own based on the strength of simple reasoning: a Jewish leader does not stand idly by while his people are being attacked. That could explain why Moshe reasoned that a battle not commanded by God had to be fought according to normal conventions – conventions that don’t see old men on the battlefield.

But even then, Moshe erred: When the Jewish people have to be protected from their enemies, the battle against those enemies becomes in and of itself the greatest mitzvah and it is as if a Divine command had expressly been given to fight such a battle.

Along with proceeding according to the tactics of normal warfare, one is also assured of victory associated with fulfilling this great mitzvah (to wit: the Six-Day War). There is therefore a limit to the tactical “calculations” a leader directing this action must make. He has to lead by being there personally, both on the fighting end and the praying end. Thus, Rashi is correct: Moshe was at fault in not being involved personally – so, measure for measure, his hands grew lazy and heavy.

What are current Israeli leaders doing? They contemplate all manner of political maneuvering and security concessions and take counterproductive actions such as releasing hordes of convicted terrorists in exchange for…pies in the sky. Which of course invites and encourages further acts of terrorism.

We pray these leaders will finally realize they need to move in a totally different kind of direction. If only they’d emulate Moshe Rabbeinu so that they would err only to the extent that he did.

Rabbi Yeheskel Lebovic

How Some Muslim Nations are Forging a Real Peace with Israel

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the IPT website}

It was a customary political gesture, the welcoming of a foreign leader on Sept. 7 by local dignitaries in The Hague. Benjamin Netanyahu, on a two-day state visit to The Netherlands, was being introduced around the room, shaking hands with Dutch parliamentarians, when he reached Tunahan Kuzu, the Turkish-Dutch founder of the pro-immigration, pro-Islam Denk (“Think”) party. Directing his gaze straight at the Israeli president, Kuzu pointed to the Palestinian flag pin he sported on his lapel, and placed his hands pointedly behind his back.

Netanyahu nodded his understanding and moved on.

If Kuzu’s gesture was meant to insult the Israeli leader, it backfired. Instead, he came under fire from both fellow members of parliament and the press, who accused him of disrespect, lack of professionalism, and anti-Semitic behavior.

But his critics missed an even larger point: those like Kuzu, and gestures like the one he made, are becoming outdated. Rather, in the larger picture, even some of Israel’s most stalwart opponents are starting to change course, with some discouraging Western calls for economic sanctions (like the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, or BDS, movement), and others even engaging in joint military exercises with the Jewish state.

Unsurprisingly, American politicians have taken the lead in this. Just days after the episode in The Hague, for instance, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put the kibosh on a planned BDS event scheduled for Sept. 16 on Capitol Hill. Several U.S. states have passed anti-BDS bills throughout the past year, and in signing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 in February, President Obama declared, “I have directed my administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel.”

But more unexpected have been the military cooperation exercises involving less Israel-friendly countries. In August, Pakistan and the UAE both joined Israel and the U.S. Air Force in exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Israel and Jordan also recently participated in joint exercises with the U.S..

Much of this new military cooperation results from concerns within the region of the growing threat of Iran, Commander Jennifer Dyer, a retired naval intelligence officer, explained in a recent e-mail exchange. “Obviously, the joint participation with Muslim countries is a step beyond participating with NATO. Politically, it’s new territory,” she observed. “The growing concern in Sunni nations about Iran is, of course, the big driving factor.”

As an example, she noted that the chief of staff of Pakistan’s army warned in January that “Pakistan would ‘wipe Iran off the map’ if Iran threatened Saudi Arabia,” and that Sudan cut ties with Iran at around the same time. (For its part, Israel has since begun a campaign encouraging the U.S. and other Western nations to repair relations with the African country.)

NATO has played a crucial role in this new cooperation, Dyer said.  “The common link through NATO allows Sunni nations and Israel to facilitate military cooperation without going very far in terms of overt political outreach” or “having to make high-profile political declarations first.”

“Overt” is probably the key word here. Where outreach in any Muslim country towards Israel could lead to public outcries and violence, collaborations such as these allow these countries to build relationships with Israel “behind closed doors,” a potential first step towards long-term normalization.

They also help create a more supportive climate for activists like Sheikh Abdullah Tamimi, who recently spoke at a seminar on Jewish and Arab relations in Israel.  As the Gatestone Institute noted in a report on the event, “Tamimi and his colleagues do not believe in boycotts and divestment. They are convinced that real peace can be achieved through dialogue between Palestinians and all Israelis.”

That position is shared by many, including hundreds of entrepreneurs collaborating in joint Palestinian-Israeli tech startups and other business ventures. And while Palestinians involved in those projects do not view them as a “substitute for a political solution,” Forbes‘ Richard Behar reported in 2013, they do view them as a way of “improving relations.”

Even Kuzu’s own Turkey made amends with Israel recently, ending a six-year conflict that began with an Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla said to be carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. The reconciliation between the two countries has already led to important cooperative ventures, including a major Turkey-Israel gas pipeline.

All of which combines to make efforts like the BDS movement and the token gestures of politicians like Kuzu the more ridiculous. They are the reasons why Netanyahu could demonstrate respect for Kuzu’s position and still so easily shrug him off. Because clearly, while some continue pounding out old arguments, repeating themselves into banal inconsequence, others are already busy building new solutions, based on new realities. The future of the Middle East depends most of all on them.

Abigail R. Esman

The Tamar Yonah Show – Are Nations Gearing Up for Major War? [audio]

Friday, September 9th, 2016

The world is agitated. War ships and troops are being moved around the globe. Are nations gearing up for major war?
Guest: Prof. Francisco Gil-White from ‘Historical and Investigative Research’ was created to make important documentation available to the general public, because the academic system is rife with politically biased censorship when it comes to examining the foreign policy of the United States and what is driving world politics, movements and agendas. You can check out his website at: www.hirhome.com

Tamar Yonah Show 06Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Tamar Yonah Show – Dissed and Disgraced by Nations, Obama Has Lost His Crown [audio]

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

How has the most powerful country and office in the world, fallen to such depths of disdain by the world? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and when arriving in China for the G-20 summit, Obama got snubbed with no red carpet reception, and he had to exit the airplane from the back. Join guest, Paul Miller, director of www.SalomonCenter.org as he talks about this, and the Jewish Prayer Shawl that Donald Trump Received.

Also, she doesn’t wear a cape, but Lana Melman from Liberate Art, is a Jewish Super-Hero who stands up against the BDS and helps celebrities and Music Artists do the same. Hear this important interview on how this woman from Los Angeles has been able to fight the good fight. Lana will be on a speaking tour this fall and you can visit her website at LanaMelman.com

Tamar Yonah Show 05Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

Monday, June 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

Some political analysts have suggested that Europeans tend to be more negative in their attitudes towards Israel than Americans, due to the former’s rejection of their colonialist past. The retreating by the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Belgians from the colonies that they had established hundred-plus years prior in India, Algeria, Tunisia, Congo, Morocco and other countries, was part of a repositioning of the world back to local sovereignty. The colonialist era has been cast in a racist light and rejected by today’s more “pluralistic” societies.

Palestinians have taken note of the change in attitudes, and have adopted new vocabulary to instigate the Europeans against Israel whereby the charges of “colonialist” has accompanied the accusation of being racist.

From “Zionism is Racism” to “Colonial Occupier”

In the 1970s, the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, led the world on a venomous attack against “Zionism.” In 1975, Arafat succeeded in getting the United Nations to pass Resolution 3379 condemning “Zionism is Racism.” Somehow, the world became convinced that the national aspirations of Jews to be self-governing was uniquely racist compared to every other nationalistic aspirations.

It took sixteen years for the United Nations to erase the charge, but the venom remained in the UN bloodstream.

At the UN, the “Question of Palestine” ceased to be a territorial dispute, and became an ethical question for the United Nations: should the global body have created and voted for the Jewish State?  Did it do so, solely because of the guilt from the Holocaust?

The current acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stokes that question to the mini-inferno that sits in the United Nations today. He constantly uses the term “colonial” to describe the emergence of Israeli “settlements,” and characterizes Israel as a recent foreign transplant on Arab soil. For some of his listeners, the malicious appearance of Israeli Jews began in the “West Bank” in 1967. For others, the Jewish colony overran the entirety of Palestine when the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish State and Arab State in 1947.

As Abbas said in his address to the UN on November 29, 2012: “Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”

The Palestinian’s pivot was subtle but significant.  Self-determination (like Zionism) in itself was not a crime.  Indeed, the Palestinian Arabs seek the same right for themselves.  However, the Israelis’ “colonial occupation” was unique and the root cause of the problem.  It was not necessarily the Jews’ goal of self-determination, but the act of colonialization that created “racism” and “incitement.”

Somehow, the Europeans and a growing number of countries, have embraced these narratives, particularly that Israel in its entirety was a UN mistake.

International Remorse for Partitioning Palestine
November 29, not June 4

The clarity of the global adoption of these positions can be found in the annual commemoration of the day of the partition vote on November 29, 1947.

In 1977, while the “Zionism is Racism” edict was still fresh, the United Nations passed another resolution to annually commemorate the UN Partition vote, as the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

The decision to partition Palestine was approved by Jews and rejected by Arabs in 1947, yet the UN specifically chose that date to stand in “solidarity with the Palestinian People.”  On its face, it would seem like a cruel decision to create a holiday for a people on the very day that those people despised.

However, taken together with the “Zionism is Racism” resolution of 1975, the picture becomes more clear: the UN believed that the decision to partition the land was a mistake.  The global body concluded that the Palestinians were correct in the assertion that the UN created a racist, anti-Arab entity in Palestine.  The Palestinians were correct to reject the partition plan in 1947.  The fault belonged to the United Nations, not the Palestinians, right at creation.

The United Nations did not choose June 4 or June 10 as the date to stand together with Palestinians.  Those dates in 1967 were the beginning and end of the Six Day War when the Jordanians (together with Palestinians who were then citizens of Jordan) launched an attack on Israel and consequently lost the “West Bank” which they had illegally annexed.  If the root cause of the plight of Palestinians was “Israeli settlements” in the West Bank, then those dates would have been more appropriate to anchor the anniversary.

But the United Nations wanted to mark its own poor decision.  While the Palestinians rejected partition in 1947 and launched wars in 1948 and again in 1967, those bad decisions and actions were not deemed relevant.  The UN chose to tell the Palestinians that it was not their fault.  Their situation stemmed from decisions that the UN itself made.

Today, while the UN may no longer outwardly state that “Zionism is Racism,” the global body has adopted Abbas’s narrative that the UN planted a colonialist flag in Palestine.  The Europeans and liberal press now echo Abbas and the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who claim that Israel is a foreign and dangerous entity that was unnaturally inserted into the Middle East, and that the Arabs are the sole indigenous people and the land itself is inherently “Arab.”

It is well passed time for Israel to actively combat this claim of colonialization, the way activists overturned the “Zionism is Racism” UN edict in 1991.  It is time to clearly educate the world that RE-ESTABLISHING the Jewish State and not banning where Jews can and cannot live is neither colonialist nor racist, but the essence of freedom and justice.


Related First.One.Through articles and video:

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

The United Nations Applauds Abbas’ Narrative

The Holocaust and the Nakba

The Legal Israeli Settlements

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Video: I hate Israel – Zionism

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Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Paul Gherkin

New Israel Fund Accuses Israel Of Torture At The United Nations

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Several Israeli and Palestinian organizations, including Adameer, Al-Haq, Adalah, Badil, Defense for Children International, Public Committee against Torture in Israel and Physicians for Human Rights filed shadow reports to the UN Committee Against Torture, claiming that Israel violates the Convention against Torture, to which Israel is a signatory.

On May 1, 2016 Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) announced that “Representatives of civil society are invited every four years to present a shadow report to the Committee, in response to the State Party’s official report…The aim of the report is to bring to the attention of the Committee Against Torture a full and transparent picture regarding the implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Israel, in order to protect all citizens and residents of the State of Israel from torture and CIDT – an unacceptable norm which should not exist in well-run countries.

In this alternative report PCATI accuses Israel of torture and IDF soldiers of physically and verbally abusing detainees.  In addition, the organization harshly criticizes the investigation mechanisms of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Israel Police and the Shabak security forces.

 The following are a few examples:  …

  • “In spite of the long-standing criticism of Israel’s use of the “necessity defence” to justify torture in interrogations, this practice is still used extensively and it is employed to nullify any criminal investigations.”
  • “Israel has failed in its basic obligation and commitment not to use torture; it has also failed in its basic obligation and commitment to prosecute offenders, and to provide real and effective safeguards against torture or ill-treatment.”
  • Torture and other ill-treatment by soldiers Violence perpetrated by soldiers against detainees, in both physical and verbal forms, is a far from infrequent phenomenon in the Occupied Territories today. The hundreds of complaints which have reached PCATI in recent years reflect a disturbing norm of intentionally painful shackling, beatings, kicking, assault with batons and rifle butts, and curses and insults directed against the detainees, their family members, and their religion”.

This is not the first time PCATI has leveled these false, harsh allegations against Israel’s security mechanisms. The organization frequently issues accusations of war crimes, with an emphasis on torture, that Israeli security forces ostensibly commit, mainly against Palestinian detainees, and is active in spreading these accusations in the international arena.

Thus, for example, during the wave of Palestinian terror in late 2015, PCATI issued a joint statement with other organizations funded by the New Israel Fund (NIF) according to which, “it seems that too often, instead of acting in a manner consistent with the nature of each incident, police officers and soldiers are quick to shoot to kill. The political and public support for such actions endorses the killing of Palestinians in the Territories and in Israel.”

In September 2015 PCATI published a report titled, “Prosecutorial Indifference – Systematic Failures in the Investigation of Soldier Violence against Detainees in the Palestinian Occupied Territory.”

This report reached the following conclusions:

“…the complaint examination mechanisms in general … are intended to obscure systematic violations of the law. As examination mechanisms they present the façade of adherence to the law, but in practice they systematically obscure violations by the various security forces – each force and its own mechanism for covering up and erasing complaints… the false impression that complaints are investigated grants the individuals and institutions which violate the law a stamp of legal approval… The complaint is examined by an official mechanism in a sophisticated “laundering” process and the suspects are proclaimed “guilt-free.”

The actions of an “examination mechanism” which approves of almost any sin, transgression or crime at the level of the individual interrogator, police serviceperson, commander or soldier, effectively enables the “laundering” of the occupation as well – creating a façade of security forces which adhere to the law. This deceitful image of the “rule of law” has weighty consequences in the national and international public spheres.

During Operation Protective Edge PCATI Executive Director Ishai Menuchin published an article in which he cautioned that: “In order to understand what is happening and what is likely to happen now in Gaza, one has to look back to Lebanon and Operation Cast Lead and recognize the IDF’s new combat method: striking at civilians as a strategic tool…Defense Minister Yaalon would do well to remember, that perhaps contrary to the legal advice he received, systematic strikes against civilian neighborhoods is a war crime even when we [Israel] are doing it.”

Following Operation Protective Edge PCATI submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council. In that report the organization stated that the Shabak systematically tortured Palestinian detainees during their interrogation and that “soldiers and other security forces also use violence, humiliation and sometimes also torture during the arrest and interrogation of Palestinians.

PCATI financial supporters include the Secretariat, a Palestinian fund that receives budgeting from four European countries: Holland, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark. The Secretariat supports Israeli and Palestinian organizations that use various means to negate the legitimacy of Israel’s existence. These include calls for a boycott, slandering Israel and the IDF and filing suits for the prosecution of IDF officers abroad. The Secretariat transferred $644,206 to PCATI in 2009-2013 and $356,000 in 2014-2016.

In addition, PCATI receives funding from the American Jewish extremist organization, The New Israel Fund ($209,732 in 2005-2013).

The New Israel Fund supports organizations that accuse Israel of using torture and accuse IDF soldiers of deliberate abuse; publish these allegations openly and include them in the reports they file to United Nations committees. In addition, the organizations claim, by inference, that the report Israel filed on these issues is unreliable, and claim that they are presenting a true, alternative report, ostensibly instead of the one filed by Israel. This work harms the State of Israel gravely.

We continue to appeal to donors to the New Israel Fund to stop funding these activities that harm the State of Israel.  We say today to The Jewish Communal Fund, Julianne Heyman, Alisa Doctoroff, Yaffa & Paul Maritz, and other donors to The New Israel Fund – stop funding this dangerous group of liars.

Hank Sheinkopf, Ronn Torossian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/new-israel-fund-accuses-israel-of-torture-at-the-united-nations/2016/05/22/

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