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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘reporter’

Israeli Civil Rights Group Slams Modi’in on Anti-Haredi Policies

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The Israeli city of Modi’in was slammed from an unlikely direction – Israel’s civil right’s organization, the Association for Civil rights in Israel (ACRI).  Granted ACRI doesn’t have the most objective agenda, and their voice was blatantly absent when it came to the Disengagement in 2005. Nevertheless, they are to be praised for doing the right thing when it comes to Modi’in.

Here’s their press release:

Press Release
October 30, 2012

ACRI to Modi’in Municipality: Restricting Entrance to Public Parks is Illegal Municipality’s ‘overcrowding’ rationale suspected to be a pretext for denying entry to Orthodox Jews from Modi’in Illit

Today (October 30) the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) sent a letter to the Mayor of Modi’in, Haim Bibas, demanding that that he terminate the city’s policy of restricting entrance to the Anava River Public Park during parts of the year.

The municipality of Modi’in-Macabim-Reut enacted the policy – which prohibits nonresidents from entering the park during the summer months and on holidays – prior to the festival of Sukkot in October. Despite the official rationale for the policy – overcrowding in the park – the municipality’s actions raise a suspicion that its true purpose is to exclude Orthodox Jews from neighboring Modi’in Illit.

This is not the first time a local authority has tried to restrict entry to public parks. In 2000, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense filed a petition against the Ra’anana municipality after it began charging nonresidents an entrance fee at one if its city parks. Following the petition, the national law was amended and a clear ban on charging entrance fees to public parks was established. Further discussions in the Knesset emphasized that the purpose of the amendment was to regulate access to public parks for the enjoyment and benefit of the public at large.

Some months ago, ACRI wrote a letter to the municipality of Kiryat Ata, after learning that the city was charging nonresidents entrance fees at its public park. In that case, the suspected purpose of the policy was to prevent the entrance of Arabs from nearby communities.

The letter to Mayor Bibas, written by ACRI Chief Legal Counsel Dan Yakir, warns that the restriction is illegal; it violates the right to equality, and in practice constitutes prohibited discrimination against a religious group. Although the municipality procured a legal opinion from Professor Ariel Bendor that sanctions the policy, ACRI disagrees with the opinion’s conclusions.

Attorney Dan Yakir: “The fact that the park was built on municipal land does not mean that the municipality can do whatever it wants with it. Public space, such as this park, is designated for the public at large. It is unacceptable for local authorities to attempt to restrict the public’s ability to access parks under their control. “

And while we’re on the topic of Modi’in, a friend of mine started getting Halloween orders for food…from multiple residents of…Modi’in.  I guess caroling isn’t enough.

However, one must keep in mind that living in Modi’in is still far better according to the Talmud and the Rambam, than living in the holy cities of Brooklyn, Monsey or Lakewood.

Update: For those not familiar with the story in Modi’in, you can read about it over at AddeRabbi’s blog, a resident of Modi’in. (here and here)

Quote from AddeRabbi blog:

For those not following along at home, my fair hometown of Modiin has barred non-residents from visiting its spacious and beautiful Anabe Park during vacations and on Hol Ha-Mo’ed. This is a result of a pishing contest between Modiin’s Mayor Haim Bibas and Modi’in Ilit’s Mayor Yaakov Guterman, plus it plays into a strong anti-Haredi (and occasionally anti-religious) sentiment amongst a minority of Modiin residents (a political party, Modiin Hofshit, ran on an anti-religious platform and got only a few hundred votes for city council).

The new policy upsets me greatly, and I wanted to see how the policy was being implemented generally. As I got in line to enter the park, I could see that a few cars ahead of me the line was being held up by a Haredi family insisting on entering the park. Since the new regulations allow for Modiin residents to bring guests, I went and invited the family in as my guests. After a while, the guards let us in on that basis. Serendipitously, a reporter from Haaretz was there at the time. Her report is here (Hebrew) and here (English – paywall). The paragraphs relevant to my story are:

“As the argument continued, a Modi’in resident, Eli Fischer, decided to see whether everyone was really being barred from the park, or only those in ultra-Orthodox garb.

“‘He’s my guest, let him in,’ said Fischer, in an effort to help Tirnauer, at first without success. The guards checked Fischer’s identity card, and then started questioning Tirnauer and his family about their relationship. One of the ushers called a municipal security guard to help.”

“’He’s not really your guest, he’s here to make a provocation,’ the security guard told Fischer. But Fischer persisted after the getting approval of his superiors the security guard allowed Fischer and his new acquaintances into the park.

“’The park is empty, and I wanted to see what would happen, since according to the instructions that were publicized, [the park] is reserved for Modi’in residents and their guests,’ said Fischer. ‘I don’t know why they were questioning me.’

“The municipality said that the confrontation involving Tirnauer and Fischer was the first to occur since the instructions were issued, claiming it was a planned provocation by the media.

“’During all the days that entrance to the park was restricted, there wasn’t a single incident, except for one in which a visitor who isn’t a city resident came with a reporter to create a provocation and get a headline,’ the municipality said.

The Hebrew version also includes a Gemara that I cited for the benefit of the reporter, from Sukkah 27b: “All Israel are fit to dwell in a single sukkah.”

Visit the Muqata.

Jameel@Muqata

Haaretz ‘Apartheid’ Survey is False and Biased, Charges Israeli Media Watch Dog ‘Presspectiva’

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A recent survey conducted and presented by Haaretz newspaper claimed that the majority of Jews in Israel advocates the instating of an apartheid regime, and further claimed that most Israel is believe that currently there are areas in which apartheid measures are already exercised.

The survey relied on a sample of 503 respondents, and was published in the media all over the world, allegedly revealing a series of racist views and extreme nationalist opinions among the Jewish citizens of Israel. An in-depth analysis of the survey performed by the Israeli media watch dog ‘Presspectiva’ presents a different depiction of Israeli opinion. Presspectiva was able to obtain a full copy of the survey, enabling them to take a close and accurate look at the survey’s findings.

According to their analysis, the conclusions in this survey were misrepresented by the Haaretz article, details were omitted, and Gideon Levy’s coverage of the survey was not objective and contained information that was intentionally distorted.

Presspectiva’s study provides many examples of inconsistencies between the survey’s data and the information presented by Haaretz newspaper. The first example is the question in which respondents were asked for their opinion regarding the roads permissible for Israeli use only. Parenthetically, it should be noted that these roads exist as a result of security necessities. Respondents were asked whether they think the existence of such roads is good or bad, and is there a way to stop such instances. 24% of the respondents viewed this situation as positive, while 50% said it is bad, but there’s nothing to do about it, and 17% claimed that the phenomenon must be stopped. Despite these clear details, the reporter chose to publish that 74% of respondents support the existence of such authorized roads for Israelis only – in stark contrast to the respondents’ answers.

Furthermore, respondents were asked several questions about racism and a possible preference of the Jewish sector over the Arab one. In this sequence of questions most respondents gave answers which expressed their desire to integrate the Arab sector into general society, and their support of equal rights to all. For example, 49% of the respondents stated that they would not be bothered by an Arab student in their children’s class. In addition, 60% of respondents (compared to 33%) claimed that Israeli Arabs should be allowed to vote for the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), in contrast to what Gideon Levy wrote in his article.

Throughout the article, it seems, the text highlights negative data, ignoring the details which depict a different picture.

On the subject of apartheid, which was used as the article’s title, there were also some distortions, according to Presspectiva’s research. In the question regarding apartheid, respondents were asked about a scenario in which Israel would annex Judea and Samaria, a situation which could lead to two and a half million Palestinians voting for the Knesset. 69% of respondents said they would oppose such a reality. However, Levy decided to conclude from their reply that the respondents support the existence of apartheid in Israel, a very broad interpretation of this data.

It should be noted that in the article itself, the reporter points out that it seems that the respondents did not fully understand the term ‘apartheid’, however, it did not prevent the reporter from remarking on the respondents’ opinion on the subject, despite their lack of understanding. According to Presspectiva, it seems that the answers given by the respondents were based on the understanding of the term ‘apartheid’ as synonymous with ‘discrimination’. Another element that contributed to the confusion was the surveyors’ question whether there is “some” apartheid in Israel, or is the phenomenon prevalent. Apartheid policy is a political phenomenon and cannot be quantified.

Presspectiva published its reaction to the Haaretz article because its suspicion of the facts presented in the Haaretz article, allegedly showing extreme racism among the Israeli Jewish population. In-Depth examination of the facts presented by the survey shows that the reality is different. The results do not reflect a racially motivated society in Israel that supports apartheid, as it was presented in Haaretz newspaper.

After being attacked by several sources, Haaretz published a clarification stating that their headline and article were misleading. Gideon Levy published an apology as well. However, the article has already been published by the British Guardian, the British Independent, the Canadian Globe and Mail and tens of other sites, causing extensive damage to the image of Israel and its citizens.

Tom Nisani

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Where Are All The Military Absentee Ballots?

During one of the most hotly contested elections in recent U.S. history, the number of military absentee ballot requests is strangely down by staggering numbers compared to the 2008 election.

The information comes as KleinOnline confirmed this week that SCYTL, an international firm headquartered in Spain, has been contracted by seven states to provide secure online ballot delivery for overseas military and civilian voters for the upcoming presidential election. Michelle M. Shafer, SCYTL’s director of communications & government affairs, told KleinOnline that her company is contracted by the states of New York, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Mississippi to provide the overseas ballots.

She said the ballots will be delivered via online PDF files by SCYTL and not by the company’s U.S. subsidiary, SOE Software. SCYTL this past January purchased SOE Software, the leading U.S. electronic voting firm.

Next month’s election marks the second time that SCYTL will have provided overseas balloting. During the 2010 midterm elections, the company was contracted by the Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program to support overseas military and civilian voting in nine of the 20 states that agreed to participate in the program. SCYTL was the provider with the highest number of participating states during that election.

Occupy Movement Engaged
In A ‘Struggle For Its Soul’

Occupy is engaged in a battle for its soul against financial support from “the monied old left,” according to the Adbusters magazine website, which serves as one of the main planning hubs of the Occupy movement.

Reports Adbusters: “On September 17 last year a new crop of wild lefties took the crusty old guard by surprise … then, one by one, the old lefties came to Zuccotti to pay homage and offer their support. A struggle for the soul of Occupy has been percolating ever since.”

“At stake,” writes Adbusters, “is whether the young anarchic spirit and voice of Occupy will stay with the new left horizontals who launched the movement or whether it will move towards the monied old left.”

The magazine lamented the “disaster” of Occupy Wall Street accepting money from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream founder Ben Cohen to fund a passenger van rigged with a powerful projector to beam progressive messages onto the sides of buildings.

Cohen reportedly provided nearly $30,000 to fund Occupy’s projector van only to later demand more control over the automobile’s messaging, according to reports.

The projector van is known in Occupy circles as “The Illuminator.” It also goes by other alternative names, including the Occupy ProjectoVan, the Batmobile and an Art Car for the 99 percent.

NDAInfo.comreports that after lengthy arguments about message control, Occupy activists agreed to share the van with Cohen through the end of the summer and then hand it over to him on Monday.

Behind Obama’s ‘Economic Patriotism’

President Obama’s latest catch phrase, “new economic patriotism,” is neither new nor necessarily patriotic. In Europe, the term possesses a historically socialist connotation, having been used to describe the government takeover of private industry.

In a two-minute web advertisement released last Wednesday, Obama delivered a video message calling for a “new economic patriotism” that allegedly emphasizes the middle class while taxing the rich. Obama repeated the phrase in his opening remarks at the first presidential debate.

“It’s time for a new economic patriotism,” Obama declared. “Rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class.”

Obama first teased the term several weeks before last week’s ad was released.

The use of the phrase “economic patriotism” did not originate with Obama. In Europe, the phrase routinely refers to the government takeover of private industries.

In March 2006, the European Report reported, “The reappearance of the old problem of economic patriotism and its protectionist undertones was the flavour of the month at the euro-zone Finance Ministers’ meeting in Brussels on 13 March.”

Alex Brummer reported in the London Daily Mail on the intra-European Union squabbles between England, France, and Italy:

“France has a long and honourable tradition of economic patriotism dating back to Jean-Baptiste Colbert in the 19th century.

“The difficulty is that its onesided approach to takeovers is opposed to the idea of the free and open markets espoused by the European Union.…

Aaron Klein

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

New Video Catches Obama
Discussing Katrina, Racism

In video released by this reporter this week, President Obama is seen giving a 2005 speech on racism and Hurricane Katrina in which he declares the Bush White House evidenced a “passive indifference” toward blacks that is common in a society that believes all people drive SUVs with trunks full of sparkling water.

In the speech, Obama strongly implied that Karl Rove was a racist. He further said that while George Bush may not be lying, he should be called “on his bluff” when “he says he has finally been awakened about the fact of poverty and racism in our midst.”

Obama made the remarks at the Harvard Law School Association “Celebration of Black Alumni” Award Luncheon on Sept. 17, 2005. Obama delivered the keynote address and was the recipient of that year’s award.

Obama stated, “You know, after the hurricane and its aftermath there was a lot of discussion about the fact that those who were impacted by the achingly slow response on the part of the federal government were disproportionately black.”

“… I do not ascribe to the White House, or to FEMA, to Mr. Chertoff or Mr. Brown any active malice. I don’t think they were in there plotting and saying ‘You know what? These are black people, let’s not rescue them.’

“But rather what was revealed was a passive indifference that is common in our culture, common in our society. A sense that, of course once the evacuation order is issued that you will hop in your SUV and fill it up with $100 worth of gasoline and load up your trunk with some sparkling water and take your credit card and check in to the nearest hotel until the storm passes.”

Obama said the notion that “folks couldn’t do that simply did not register in the minds of those in charge.”

“And it’s not surprising that it didn’t register because it hasn’t registered for the last six, seven, eight, twenty, fifty, seventy five, one hundred years,” he added. Obama said the “incompetence” aspect of the Bush White House to Katrina was “color blind.”

The politician then focused on Bush and Rove. “I do have a couple of suggestions in terms of how I think politically we are going to have to move forward,” stated Obama. “First of all just in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane I think it’s important that we don’t just assume that George Bush is lying when he says he has finally been awakened about the fact of poverty and racism in our midst. And it’s tempting to do so especially when he decides to put Karl Rove in charge of reconstruction, but I think it is absolutely imperative that we call him on his bluff. That we assume the best. That we trust although we should verify.”

The report of the 2005 videos comes after the Daily Caller, the Drudge Report and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity yesterday spotlighted previously unreported controversial statements by Obama from 2007 in reference to Hurricane Katrina.

Pundits Ignoring
Obama’s ‘Iran-Contra’ Affair

Almost entirely missing from the debate surrounding the anti-U.S. attacks in Libya is the arming of jihadists in that country, a controversy that could rival the “Fast and Furious” scandal in which government agencies have been accused of walking guns into Mexico with the purpose of arming the Mexican drug cartel in order to track the weapons.

The policy may even trump the Iran-Contra affair that saw senior Reagan administration officials in the 1980s secretly facilitate the sale of arms to Iran in hopes of securing the release of hostages.

In the case of Libya, America’s arming of jihadists may have directly resulted in the September 11th attacks against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the subsequent murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others.

After changing its story multiple times, the White House on Friday finally conceded that the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate was a planned attack linked to Al Qaeda, as per information released by national intelligence agencies. The admission promoted Rep. Peter King to call for the resignation of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for pushing the narrative that the attacks were part of a spontaneous uprising.

Aaron Klein

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Obama Wants ‘Common Ground’

In a 1995 video interview unearthed by this reporter, Barack Obama advocated using an economic agenda to achieve a “common ground” that would be “good for all people.”

While Obama does not define what he means by “common ground” during that interview, in another video interview from the same year – publicized by this reporter last week – Obama specifically defined “common ground” as a society built on collectivism, including unions and collective bargaining.

Obama made his controversial remarks on “Connie Martinson Talks Books,” a show that airs on public television. The future politician was promoting his just published book, Dreams From My Father. At the time, Obama was a community organizer planning to launch a political career.

During a discussion about race relations, Martinson asked Obama whether economic can be used to advocate for liberalism. “Liberalism seems to fly out the window when people are nervous about their economy,” Martinson contended.

Obama replied, “Well, I think that that is true. What I do think, though, is that there is the possibility of building common ground around an economic agenda that would be good for all people.”

Just before those comments, Obama also advocated for using community organizing to bypass the U.S. court system while nudging for social change. Obama explained that it was increasingly difficult to bring employment discrimination lawsuits in civil rights cases, claiming public interest groups were “outgunned” and that the U.S. judiciary was “not sympathetic to the cause of civil rights.”

“Progress is probably not gonna come through the courts these days. We are not going to see a Brown vs. the Board of Education type of decision anytime soon.”

He continued: “What we are gonna have to do is to sort of work at the grassroots level and the community level and also rediscover some sense of mutual responsibility between black and white American if we are gonna make progress into the 21st century.”

Has Al Qaeda Infiltrated Libya’s Security Apparatus?

An Egyptian security official told this column that there is information about large-scale infiltration by al Qaeda and its affiliates within the Libyan security apparatus.

The claim comes amid speculation about how Islamists who targeted the U.S. mission in Libya seemed to have inside information about the movement of American diplomats in the country as well as the location of a supposedly secret U.S. safehouse in Libya.

KleinOnline.com has documented that the U.S. supported Libyan rebels in 2011 against Muammar Khaddafi despite widespread reports that al Qaeda groups were incorporated in the rebel ranks. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons, and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted in an interview that a significant number of Libyan rebels were al Qaeda fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”

Adm. James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, admitted in 2011 that Libya’s rebel force may include al Qaeda: “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hizbullah.”

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel went even further, telling the Hindustan Times: “There is no question that al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Khaddafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al Qaeda/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – 2 percent or 80 percent.”

In Syria, meanwhile, the U.S. may be currently supporting al Qaeda and other jihadists fighting with the rebels targeting Assad’s regime. Last month, KleinOnline quoted a senior Syrian source claiming at least 500 hardcore mujahedeen from Afghanistan, many of whom were spearheading efforts to fight the U.S. there, have been killed in clashes with Syrian forces last month.

Also last month, this column reported that Jihadiya Salafia in the Gaza Strip, a group that represents al Qaeda in the coastal territory, had declared three days of mourning for its own jihadists who died in Syria in recent weeks.

The New York Times, Reuters, and other news outlets, have also reported on an al Qaeda presence among the Syrian rebels.

Aaron Klein

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Federal Court Blocks ID Law
Based On Controversial Data

A radical group with a history of biased research provided data which a federal court used last week to block a new voter ID law in Texas, ruling the state failed to show that the law would not harm the voting rights of minorities, KleinOnline has learned. The center was heavily instrumental in opposing the voter ID law in Texas as well as a similar law in South Carolina, including providing key data to the Justice Department and to the organizations behind the lawsuits against the two laws.

The voter ID data collected by the group, the Brennan Center for Justice, has been called into question by experts and has been contradicted by other credible studies.

The Brennan Center is located at New York University School of Law. In November 2006, the Brennan Center issued “Citizens Without Proof,” an extensive report that claimed voter ID policies will disfranchise millions of minority, elderly and low-income voters because those voting blocs are less likely to possess documentation than the general population. That singular report is routinely cited by news media and activists seeking to prove voter ID is racist.

In August 2011, the Heritage Foundation critiqued the Brennan report, finding it “both dubious in its methodology and results and suspect in its sweeping conclusions.” According to the Heritage Foundation report, the Brennan Center used biased questioning to obtain its desired result concerning minority voters – a result that is actually contradicted by footnotes buried in the Brennan report itself.

The Brennan Center’s report was based entirely on one survey of only 987 “voting age American citizens.” However, the report contained no information on how the survey determined whether a respondent was actually an American citizen.

One footnote in the Brennan report contradicts the report’s very premise. That note states that “[t]he survey did not yield statistically significant results for differential rates of possession of citizenship documents by race, age, or other identified demographic factors.”

Besides receiving a reported $7.4 million from Soros’s Open Society Institute since 2000, the Brennan Center was also the recipient of grants from the Joyce Foundation from 2000 to 2003. President Obama served on the Joyce board from 1994 through 2002.

Partisan Politics Behind Al Gore’s
Opposition To Electoral College?

Al Gore’s claim that an end to the Electoral College will ensure all voters get equal representation in a popular vote is contradicted by a recently released book that documents how the “popular vote” campaign could see only 14 states – those with the largest populations, most of which are majority-Democrat – decide the presidency for voters in all 50 states.

Gore took to his Current TV to push for the abolishment of the Electoral College and its replacement with a national popular vote process. He claimed that many voters who live outside the dozen or so battleground states are being cheated by the current system that allocates delegates from the state level.

The vote for president is the only one in which all Americans vote for a national leader. In framing the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers rejected a purely popular vote to elect the president in order to balance the power of the larger states against the smaller ones. The Electoral College was fashioned as a compromise between an election of the president by direct popular vote and election by Congress.

This columnist’s new book, Fool Me Twice, documents that a group backed by a who’s who of the progressive left, calling itself the National Popular Vote, or NPV, has already been successful in quietly pushing for abolishing the Electoral College in favor of a popular vote process.

“Under the rubric of a ‘National Popular Vote,’ this plan would allow the 14 most populous American states, mostly majority-Democrat, to determine the outcome of future presidential elections. The voters of the 36 less populous states would then effectively be disenfranchised,” warns the book.

In 2007, Maryland became the first state to approve a “national popular vote” compact. As a result, in a theoretical winner-take-all contest, Maryland would allocate all of its 10 electoral votes to the candidate who won the most votes nationally – even if the same candidate did not win the most votes in Maryland.

Egypt Wants Better Relations With Iran

A delegation of Egyptian military officials and Muslim Brotherhood political leaders quietly met in Tehran with Iranian officials to discuss closer strategic collaboration between the two countries, according to an Egyptian military official who spoke to this column.

Aaron Klein

In Memory Of The Munich 11, Heroes All

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Forty years ago this week, Jews the world over watched in agony as Arab terrorists kidnapped and eventually massacred eleven Israeli Olympic athletes. The International Olympic Committee, bowing to Arab pressure, has repeatedly refused these Israelis a proper commemoration. But we as Jews ought to pay them the tribute of remembering their individual lives, deeds, and accomplishments.

They ranged in age from 53 to 18 and were born in varied places – Romania, Libya, Israel and the U.S. During the Holocaust, one fought Nazis, another fled to Siberia, and several lost their families. The youngest took up wrestling to fight anti-Semites and became a champion. All reached the apex of athletic achievement, representing Israel at the Munich “Games of Peace.” But Arab gunmen slaughtered them, killing Jews on German soil just 27 years after the Holocaust.

At around 4 a.m. on September 5, 1972, eight Palestinians invaded the dormitory where the Israeli team slept. Wrestling referee Yossef Gutfreund awakened to strange noises. Creeping from his room, he went to investigate. In the dimness, he saw the terrorists’ silhouettes and their Kalashnikov rifles. Automatically he shouted, “Take cover boys!” and thrust his 6-foot-3, 290-pound frame against the door as they tried to push through.

As the terrorists wedged their Kalishnakovs into the door, he kept them out for precious seconds, giving his roommate time to scramble out a window while other athletes sought cover. The terrorists swept the rooms to round up the Jews. There had been twenty-one Israelis in the dormitory; eleven fell under the Arab guns.

Wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg grabbed a terrorist’s rifle but was shot in the jaw. The captors marched him, his blood trailing on the floor, to another apartment, taking more hostages. They herded them in a line and marched them to another room. A wrestler broke away and Weinberg created a diversion: he punched a terrorist to the ground, fracturing the Arab’s jaw, and grabbed for his gun. The escaping wrestler survived but Weinberg was cut down. The terrorists dumped his body in front of the Israeli team’s dormitory.

Moshe Weinberg

Moshe Weinberg was a Sabra and the Israeli middleweight wrestling champion for most of a decade. He was a director of the Orde Wingate Institute, Israel’s national physical education center. Weinberg was only 30 when he became Israel’s wrestling coach, and only 33 when he died fighting for the lives of his teammates.

Yossef Romano, 32, an injured weightlifter on crutches, was going to resist despite his condition. When his wife, Ilana, learned he was a hostage, she remembered thinking, “I knew his character – he wouldn’t be treated like cattle. He would do something.” He threw down his crutches and lunged at a terrorist, seizing his AK-47. Another Arab riddled him with bullets. He was left bleeding to death in front of his horrified, helpless teammates.

Yossef Romano

Romano, born in Libya, was one of eleven children. Making aliyah in 1946, he fought in the Six-Day War. He was described as strong and gentle, always with a sweet smile. His wife recalled having a bad feeling as the Games approached. He had three little daughters, and on his last call home he told his wife this would be his last competition because “I don’t have enough time for my children.”

The hostages were forced to lie on the floor, limbs bound, with Romano’s body in the middle of the room. The terrorists, wearing sinister face hoods, threw a list of demands to German police gathered around the dormitory: they wanted 250 terrorists freed from Israeli jails. Soon, news of the siege spread but officials obscenely permitted the Olympics to continue. ABC kept televising the Games, interspersing scenes of the gunmen with a volleyball match cheered by thousands.

Israel would not release terrorists and twenty agonizing hours of negotiations between the Arabs and the Germans ensued. The Germans planned a rescue attempt, pretending they would offer the terrorists a jet to fly to an Arab country with their hostages. In reality, they planned to rescue the Israelis before they got on the plane. They arranged for helicopters to fly the terrorists and their captives to an airfield. The Israelis, manacled and blindfolded, were marched at gunpoint to the waiting helicopters, paraded in a circus-like atmosphere with camera bulbs flashing and spectators gawking behind police cordons.

Ed Lion

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/in-memory-of-the-munich-11-heroes-all/2012/09/05/

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