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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Romania’

2 Israeli Med Students Killed in Romania

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Israel’s foreign ministry has confirmed that two Israeli medical students were killed in Romania Saturday, and two others were injured in a car crash in the eastern city of Piatra Neamt. The ministry did not say what caused the accident or where it occurred.

Tawfiq al-Krenawi, 24, a resident of Rahat, and Dia’a Zabida, 23, a resident of Lod attended Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. They were driving home from an exam when their car crashed.

Salah al-Krenawi, brother of Tawfiq, was also injured in the accident but his exact condition is unknown. A second Rahat resident who is also a medical student, Mamoun Jabour, was seriously injured as well.

The Israeli Consul in Bucharest is in contact with the families and a representative from each is en route to Romania.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Watchdog Group Sues Romanian Mayor for Hitler Hairdo in 2009

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The Hitler hairdo of a Romanian mayor, who in 2009 was photographed wearing a Nazi uniform, prompted a Jewish watchdog group to sue him for allegedly inciting hatred.

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, or MCA Romania, filed a criminal complaint last week against Radu Mazare, the mayor of the seaside resort town of Constanta, after he spoke to the media about his haircut, which resembles that of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

MCA Romania’s complaint to the prosecutor’s office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, accused Mazare of inspiring pro-Nazi sentiment by celebrating the haircut. The complaint qualifies the mayor’s actions as an “outrageous, provocative and defiant” show of Nazi sympathies.

Mazare in 2009 attended a fashion show with his son while wearing a fake Nazi uniform, which he said he had bought because he liked how it looked. He said he did not see the swastikas on the uniform but critics disputed this as he climbed the stage with his son while marching in a military style typical of German soldiers.

In an interview published earlier this month in the Adevarul daily newspaper, Mazare said he was surprised to learn of the criminal complaint filed against him and claimed his new haircut — which he adopted shortly before the first round of Romania’s presidential elections — owed to his desire to keep up with current trends.

“I got the haircut to fit in to the hairstyles I see people wearing on the street,” he said.

 

JTA

Zionism in Jassy: The Importance of History Today

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Zionism, a polemical issue, still causes fiery debate amidst Israeli and international politics and is seen by some as a movement, culture and mentality that is no longer viable in the current Israel. Whatever the case may be, how can one understand the viability of an ideology, without first understanding the history of its design?

Jassy might only be a small piece amidst the long and complex battle of Zionism for the Jewish people in the 19th and 20th centuries, but it can help to show how to facilitate the organization of a people surrounded by adversity. In better words the formation of a strong collective- something that not only helped to make Israel a reality, but continues to keep it one today.

Once a great centre of Jewish culture, Jassy seems to have disappeared from the view of Jewish historians, let alone the general public. In fact, few know that it was the place where the famous Naphtali Imber wrote Hatikvah, the poem which gave Israel it’s national anthem. Or the fact that it was once the home of the first Yiddish theatre of Eastern Europe founded by Abraham Goldfaden.

The great bulk of Jassy’s Jews, which at one point amalgamated to 45 thousand, could trace their roots to Poland where thousands of Jews facing persecution at the hands of the Cossacks migrated southward across into Rumania. Although the majority of the population was consisted of Ashkenaz descendents, there were very small remnants of Shepherds that escaped Spain in the 15th century.

The history of Jassy’s Jews is as comprehensive and as complex as most communities that once inhabited Eastern Europe. Yet Rumania, called by Hannah Arendt as the most anti-semitic country prior to the rise of National Socialism in Germany was not very welcoming to its Jewish populations. In fact, Jassy’s Jews although got along with the national and local government, was in constant turmoil with the severely xenophobic Moldavian populations.

It was of no surprise that even before Zionist organization became a viable reality in Europe, and as some sources claim even before Hibbat Zion, Jassy’s Jews began organizing groups based on proto-Zionist ideas. The first among these was Doroshei Zion which sought after the creation of literary framework by building libraries.

The reformation of Jewish and Hebrew culture became the most important goal, as was the trend with most Zionist oriented groups in the 19th century. Perhaps the best example of this being the foundation of the Ohalei Shem foundation in 1878 that had its main goal to educate the Jewish masses in Hebrew and Jewish studies.

This cultural rebirth played an important role in creating a mentality of secularization among Jassy’s Jewish population amidst religious tradition and convention. Something which in itself would become the vanguard goal of Herzelian Zionist groups which sought at the creation not just of a Jewish state, but a Jewish culture devoid of religion..

The most important Zionist organization to have ever existed in Jassy was the Yishuv Eretz Israel founded by Lippe Karpel in 1880 as a responce to the incessant anti-semitism that Romanian Jews faced across the nation. The group helped facilitate the transport of numerous Jews from Romania to Palestine between 1882 to 1890. Although Karpel was opposed to the creation of a Jewish state he still encouraged the formation of Jewish culture in Palestine in order to escape persecution in Europe.

Karpel famously gave the opening speech at The First Zionist Congress in 1897 advocating for the purchase of land in Palestine, but also representing Romanian and Jassy Jewry. Immediately after the congress the Jewish community of Jassy began to be far more organized in the creation of Zionist organizations. About nine of them had formed, until they all conjoined into one in 1919 under the name of the Romanian Zionist Movement. The first meeting took place in 1920 in Jassy.

Milad Doroudian

Romanian President: Palestinians Should Recognize Israel as Jewish

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Romania supports in principle Israel’s demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state but encourages compromises on this and other issues, Romanian President Traian Basescu said.

Speaking to JTA at his presidential palace two days before an Israel visit that  began Sunday, Basescu said that “if they [the Palestinians] want peace, they must follow the request of the Israeli people.”

Yet when asked whether Israel should condition progress in peace talks on Palestinian compliance, he said, “Well, all of us must be wise. Of course, compromises are needed because otherwise we won’t find the solution and here maybe [late Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon is an example.”

Basescu, whose second and final term in office will end this year, landed in Israel on Sunday for his second presidential visit there. He said his objectives for the visit were to consolidate progress in bilateral relations with Israel and relations with Romanian-speaking Israelis, who number approximately 500,000, according to the president.

Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as the Jewish state as a means of guaranteeing that an agreement on the partition of land would end all territorial claims.

Basescu compared the situation to Romania’s recognition of the Republic of Moldova as the homeland of the Moldavian people, despite the presence of a large contingent of Moldovans who consider themselves Romanians.

“Even in Europe, we fully support the idea that each person must assume his national belonging,” he said. “For example, in order to be more clear, we have the Republic of Moldova, which was part of Romania before World War II. But in Moldova, there are people who [consider] themselves as being Romanians as well as people who [consider] themselves as being Moldavian. We recognize the right of both to be what they want to be.

“The same situation [applies to] our relations with Israel and we’ll always support the idea that if the Israelis want to be declared as a Jewish state, they must be recognized [as such].”

He noted that Romania has “excellent relations with the Arab world, credible relations. Especially with the Palestinians.” He added that “a lot of Palestinians were educated here. We have a relation of trust with the Palestinians. And on my visit I will also visit the Palestinian Authority.”

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Romania is the only former Soviet country to have maintained diplomatic relations with Israel after 1967. Romania also recognized the 1988 first unilateral declaration of independence by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

But Basescu said Romania “took a step back” from this position in 2011, when it abstained in a vote at the United Nations General Assembly on upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s status.

JTA

Israeli-American Nabbed in Taliban weapons Jailed for 15 Years

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

An Israeli-American man caught in a sting operation trying to sell weapons to Taliban terrorists was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years in prison.

Oded Orbach, 55, of Highland Park, Ill., was convicted in April of conspiring to provide material support to the Taliban and conspiring to acquire anti-aircraft missiles.

A U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency undercover operation caught seven men, including Orbach, who agreed to provide various military-grade weapons to an individual they believed to represent the Taliban. The weapons included heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles.

The men traveled to Africa, Ukraine and Romania in order to arrange a sale of $25 million in weapons, ammunition and training to the man they believed to be a Taliban official. They planned to make $800,000 on the deal, but were arrested in February 2011 in Romania and extradited to the United States to face trial.

JTA

Ukrainian Jewish Leaders: Romania Unfit to Lead Holocaust Body

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Ukrainian Jewish leaders said Romania was unfit to head a Holocaust remembrance forum because it has not done enough to come to grips with its own Holocaust-era culpability.

Approximately 380,000 Jews were murdered in Romania-controlled areas during the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.

“Romania’s actions prove it is not ready to assume responsibility for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust, when Romanian troops acted as an occupying force in large parts of Ukraine under orders from the country’s pro-Nazi leadership,” Oleksandr Feldman, a Ukrainian lawmaker and president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told JTA.

Feldman was reacting to reports that Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean was interested in having Romania head the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, in 2016. Canada currently heads the alliance.

Ukrainian Jewish Committee Secretary Eduard Dolinsky said that Romania’s embassy in Ukraine has rejected invitations by his organization to discuss ways to jointly commemorate the murder of Jews by Romanian troops.

The Romanian bid is supported in principle by Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international affairs and personal representative on combating anti-Semitism for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — an intergovernmental agency with 57 member states known by the acronym OSCE.

“There may be additional issues to tackle but Romania has taken some important steps toward coming to grips with its Holocaust-era record,” Baker said. He noted the 2005 establishment of the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania and the 2004 designation of a national Holocaust remembrance day on Oct. 9 — the day that Romanian authorities began deporting Jews to their deaths 72 years ago.

JTA

The Ultimate Revenge for Holocaust Survivor: New Torah Scroll

Monday, August 19th, 2013

An 88-year-old survivor of the Auschwitz death camp has donated a new Torah scroll to the Lubavitch Chabad of Skokie, near Chicago, the ultimate revenge against the Nazis who tried to eradicate Jews and Judaism.

Her other revenge was to dwell in the future and present, instead of the past, and marry and bring more Jews into the world.

Marge Fettmen, her children and grandchildren attended a recent Torah dedication ceremony, in memory of her late husband Daniel, also a Holocaust survivor.

Fettman, known by the Nazis as prisoner No. 21880, told the Chabad website, “God gave me a good idea – to have a Torah written. It is our guide. I want the Torah to be used to teach people about Judaism.”

Fettman was living with her family in Romania in 1944 when the Nazis stormed into their town of Szaszregen and herded her and her relatives into a cattle car for Auschwitz.

“When we arrived, Dr. [Josef] Mengele stood there flicking his whip, sending some of us to the right and others to the left. I was separated from my family,” she told Chabad. “Since I had the snacks we had packed for the children, I was concerned that they would be hungry. I wanted to bolt to the other side to be with them, but Mengele saw and shouted at me in German, ‘Are you a fool?’ I stayed where I was, and my life was spared.”

After surviving the death camp, she married her husband, and the couple moved to the United States in 1949, where they raised they raised their children in the Jewish tradition. Her husband, a grocery store owner, died in 2004 at the age of 83.

Her parents were very religious, and she decided that dedicating a new Torah scroll was the best way to remember them forever.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-ultimate-revenge-for-holocaust-survivor-new-torah-scroll/2013/08/19/

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