News Nosh 5.2.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 2, 2019
Quotes of the Day #1:
“No one tells [Israeli children] that although the annihilation was unique, the laws that led up to it were not. Go tell the children (dressed) in the white shirts that the decision to exterminate was taken legally, and that the terrible killings were perpetrated not by monsters but by ordinary citizens who respected the law and observed regulations. Go explain to these kids in white that there are laws you must follow and laws you mustn’t. That there are good laws and bad laws, and that the accumulation of some laws is called a ‘process.’ They won’t be told that even in legally-based processes one can identify worrying signs; go tell them that what begins as ‘court-overriding clauses’ can easily turn into ‘tyranny.’

"Holocaust Remembrance Day doesn’t belong in our current reality. The dead are forgotten, the survivors abandoned. The lessons have not been learned. Racism is flourishing and hatred is winning. As if the Holocaust never happened.

—Commentator Yossi Klein writes on Holocaust Remembrance Day.”*

Quote of the Day #2:
"Israel must speak in a clear and uncompromising voice. No interest and no consideration of realpolitik can justify a dishonorable alliance with racist groups or elements who do not acknowledge their past and their responsibility for the crimes of the Holocaust."
--Israel President Reuven Rivlin warned the Israeli government of its connections with racist European politicians.**

You Must Be Kidding: 
Boaz Ido, an Israeli who has been active in efforts to evict the residents of the contested West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, is funding the establishment of a Jewish outpost, without authorization, just a few hundred meters from where the village is located.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • We, the survivors of Auschwitz; Today at 10:000 the siren will be sounded - and Israel will unite with the memory of six million (on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
**Today’s Hebrew newspapers were filled with stories about the Holocaust and its survivors as Israel opened Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday night. (See Holocaust Features below.) At the main ceremony at Yad Vashem, President Reuven Rivlin criticized and warned the Netanyahu-led government against making alliances with racist anti-Semitic forces in Europe. "No interest and no consideration of realpolitik can justify a dishonorable alliance with racist groups or elements who do not acknowledge their past and their responsibility for the crimes of the Holocaust,” he said. Maariv reported that a row of Israeli academics, educators and citizens sent a letter to the Foreign Minister and the Chairman of Yad Vashem demanding the government and Yad Vashem stop holding official visits at Yad Vashem with foreign leaders involved or supportive of crimes and severe violations of human rights. The letter listed names such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsaro.

Also, the IDF struck several Hamas military targets in the northern Gaza Strip early Thursday morning in response to the launching of incendiary airborne devices into Israel late Wednesday. That was followed early Thursday morning by two rockets fired by the Islamic Jihad towards Israeli communities near Gaza. The Palestinian rockets caused no damage.
Quick Hits:
  • ‘Let Us Die at Home in Peace’: Israel Plans to Evict Dozens of Holocaust Survivors - Governmental lease ends in August, but the Immigrant Absorption Ministry hasn't found alternative housing for the elderly men and women, who say they 'will not agree to leave.' (Haaretz+)
  • Senior Islamic leader to visit Auschwitz in January - Muslim World League, American Jewish Committee sign agreement to enhance cooperation and understanding. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu Bars All 181 Palestinian Participants From Attending Joint Memorial Day Ceremony - The unique joint Memorial Day ceremony brings Israelis and Palestinians on both sides together to mourn and acknowledge each other’s grief for loved ones killed in the conflict. Ceremony organized by Combatants for Peace and the Parents Circle Families Forum. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Seeks to Block All East Jerusalem Family Reunification Hearings Over 'Workload' - East Jerusalem Palestinian families are stuck in fear and without medical care or schools for their children while they wait for Israel's Interior Ministry to hear their cases. (Haaretz+)
  • ***Israeli who sought evacuation of contested West Bank Bedouin village builds illegal outpost nearby - Boaz Ido is funding the construction of a large straw and mud brick structure just meters from Khan al-Ahmar, though no building permits have been issued. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Seeks to Increase Enforcement and Protection for Palestinian Workers in Israel - Palestinian workers’ labor rights are poorly enforced and their rights often deprived. New government inter-ministerial panel seeks to change that. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian Authority Rejects EU Proposal for Israeli-Palestinian Tax Crisis - The EU offered to mediate between the two parties so that Palestinian prisoners are paid based on families' socioeconomic status, not their crimes. (Haaretz+)
  • Open My Police File to All, New Israeli Army Spokesman Says After Police Role Revealed - Gil Messing requests confidentiality order be lifted on details of his involvement in helping police gather evidence in corruption case involving Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Right-wing party's demands: the justice and education portfolios and creating a special unit to battle against divorce - The Habayit Hayehudi party, headed by MK Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Betzalel Smotrich, presented a document of its demands for the coalition negotiations. It also demands the privatization of Army Radio and membership in various Knesset committees. (Maariv)
  • Coalition might not be assembled by deadline, PM warns - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sends calming message of partnership, says "Don't worry, in the end we'll have a government." (Israel Hayom)
  • Ultra-Orthodox Political Power Threatens Israel's Economy, Study Says - Ultra-Orthodox parties have shifted national priorities and the worst is yet to come, warns report by the Shoresh Institution. (Haaretz+)
  • Body found in central Israel is Arab Israeli woman who went missing - 'All the signals were there but nobody lifted a finger,' welfare authorities say about the suspected murder of Najlaa Alamuri, a 19-year-old whose relatives are under arrest. (Haaretz+)
  • In second apology for anti-Semitic cartoon, New York Times takes aim at Trump - While acknowledging the "appalling" nature of the cartoon and the paper's own past failures to recognize and condemn anti-Semitism, Times’ Editorial Board says "President Trump has done too little to rouse the national conscience against it.” (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump Envoy Greenblatt Condemns Israeli Rabbis' Remarks That Endorsed Racism, Hitler - Greenblatt slams 'disgusting' remarks, which included assertions that Arabs are genetically inferior and that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's ideology was correct. (Haaretz+)
  • Top Senators Warn: Trump's Peace Plan Could Destabilize Jordan - Senators Mitt Romney and Chris Murphy warn that in Jordan, where the majority of the population is of Palestinian origin, ‘the reaction on the street to a peace framework that is not true’ could be serious. (Haaretz+)
  • 'US move against Muslim Brotherhood would damage Middle East democracy' - The AK Party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warns if U.S. declares the Islamist group a terrorist organization, it will serve groups like Islamic State. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iran: US ‘in no position’ to declare Brotherhood terrorists while supporting Israel - Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif rejected the intention of the Trump administration to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and claimed that it was not in a position to accuse any such organization. (Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • Qatar says tightening Iran sanctions harms oil consuming nations - "We do not believe unilateral sanctions bring positive effects for crises which must be solved through dialogue and dialogue only," Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Than says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • What's Next for ISIS? Terrorist Leader Outlines Path Forward Post-caliphate - Like al-Qaida before it, ISIS can inflict chaos through a loosely defined brand of global jihad in the most chilling way. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Obituary Feature:
The man who defeated death: the death of the survivor of the Ben Shemen Convoy
Shalom Cotton, born in Tel-Aviv in 1932, was abandoned by his mother as a child and then his father joined the Foreign Legion and was killed in the Second World War. When he was 15, he survived an Arab Legion attack on a convoy during the Independence War by pretending to be dead.  “Dad said they started shooting at them and he saw how his friends were dead. Bodies fell on him, "says Yael , his second daughter. "Then an Arab soldier from the Legion arrived to make sure they were killed. Father raised his head, opened his eyes reflexively, and looked at the Arab with a penetrating glance, actually asking him to spare his life. He shot him in the leg, which later led to the amputation of his foot. It is not clear whether he actually spared his life or simply shot poorly. There were 16 bullets in dad’s body, which were not all taken out. One was in the forehead and he had a lump that stayed there, a living and daily testimony to the event." Yael told how the Irgun had recruited him for suicide missions because he was an orphan. "Dad said (the children) were prepared for the fact that they were going to die," said Yael. "They chose orphaned children, Holocaust survivors or abandoned children, who it was clear that no one would ask for or cry over them, and turned them into fighters. They knew all the time that they would become cannon fodder. In view of the fact that many did not return alive from the convoys in the Jerusalem area, they understood the situation very well. Because of the fact that his parents abandoned Zionism and betrayed it, in his view, he felt obligated to prove himself, to die for the land." He was found and saved by a British nun who took her to a monastery where he was treated for months. Yet, he only gave thanks to the state. On election day, about three weeks ago, on his deathbed,  made his children promise that they would not vote. He believed that the country was in good hands, certainly with the existing government. His children, who wanted to give their vote to [the left-wing - OH] Meretz party, were asked by him not to vote in order to "offset,” he said. They respected his request. Cotton was born and died on the birthday of his beloved city Tel Aviv, where he made his home all his life. His daughter, Yael: "He was good in history and geography, instilled in us values, asked us to fight for what we believe, even if it did not match his views. (He wanted that) we would not be mediocre, that we would read books and expand our knowledge, he gave us tests on the people and on the country, always traveled with us in Israel. Thanks to him I returned from the United States and did my army service. When he saw us in uniform he would shed a tear, he was always talking to soldiers. He was a rare breed. Only after death do you discover that not all of people have such fathers.”(Sigal Ben David, Maariv and funeral sign)

Holocaust Features:
"Kindergartens and lower grades are not the place to teach about the Holocaust"
Five years ago, the Ministry of Education published the program "The Paths of Remembrance" for teaching the Holocaust in the education system. The program was created in cooperation with Yad Vashem, in order to establish organized Holocaust studies in all age groups. The program lists the appropriate teachings for each age group, according to which kindergartens should allow children to be exposed in a controlled manner to contents. In the first and second grades, the program includes supervised study of the Holocaust chapter to protect them from potential trauma. But some experts think otherwise. And some of the teachers also fear teaching the contents. (Ofer Livnat, Maariv)
“They died in the Holocaust and somehow their heart still beats": the man who brings light to the lives of survivors
From the story of his childhood with a mother, a Holocaust survivor with a mental illness, Eliran Keren founded an organization with thousands of volunteers who help post-traumatic survivors and instill a ray of light into their lives. (Karin Spingold, Maariv)
'Next Week We Will Ascend the Train and Leave': Last Letters From Jews Killed by Nazis
Yad Vashem exhibits 12 letters online, written by Jews on their last journey. (Haaretz+)
Israel collects Holocaust items ahead of post-survivor world
Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" program has amassed a quarter million items from survivors and their families to be kept for posterity. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
One Man’s Obsession: Presenting Holocaust Survivors With Their ‘Victory’ Photos
Professional photographer Yanai Rubaja has voluntarily taken pictures of close to 300 survivors with their families over the past seven years. Now he wants to take his project global. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
Holocaust survey exposes gaps in Austrians' knowledge
Most Austrians are not aware 6 million Jews were killed in the Nazi genocide, with most being younger people aged 18-34, despite the country's role in the Holocaust atrocities. (Agencies, Ynet)
“The Israeli public knows very little about what we went through in those camps"
Shlomo Neumann lost his entire family in the Holocaust, was seriously wounded in the War of Independence and his two daughters were diagnosed with autism. With his wife he founded "Kfar Ofarim" - the first home for autistic people. (Maariv)
The Father-and-daughter Team Who Brought the Voice of a Holocaust Victim to Instagram
Mati and Maya Kochavi explains what led them to create 'Eva's Story,' the Holocaust education project that sparked controversy even before its first post. (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+)
The hidden Ponary diary revealed the cooperation of the locals with the Nazis
For decades, the Lithuanians hid in their historichal archive the rare diary of the Polish journalist Kazimierz Sakowicz, in which he documented for two and a half years the daily horrors of the Ponary massacre. The pages reveal the cooperation of the locals with the Nazis in Ponar for the murder of 100,000 residents, 70,000 of them Jews. Dr. Rachel Margolis, a survivor of the Vilna community, who served as deputy director of the historical department of the Jewish State Museum in Vilna after the war, discovered and exposed the diary. For years Margolis worked on deciphering the diary and only in 2005 were they published in English by Yad Vashem and Yale University. Aside from translating the diary into English, its publication in Hebrew was only part of a private and limited edition by Dov Bergman, a survivor of Ponary. Few people in the Israeli public were exposed to the diary. An analysis of the diary reveals significant information about the Ponary murders, some of which were unknown from research. The diary shows extensive cooperation on the part of the local population, logistical assistance in the wide and close circle to the extermination site, including the provision of lodging services, food and alcohol supply to murderers, postal and transport services, and extensive participation of Poles and Lithuanians. In one entry, Sakowicz wrote: "As of July 14, 1941, the Jews were stripped of all their clothes, and the clothing sales were blooming. Every day, wagons arrived from the village of Gorela and stopped at the Gredynzynska crossing. Suits sold for 100 rubles, and find another 500 rubles sewn into it. For the Lithuanians 300 Jews are 300 pairs of shoes, trousers and clothes." The diary shows that the Germans were mainly engaged in planning, supervision and administration, while the shooters and perpetrators of the atrocities were mostly Lithuanians. (Open University student, Effie Ginsbar, Maariv+PHOTO)
*Having Failed to Learn Its Lessons, Holocaust Remembrance Day Doesn’t Belong in Israel's Reality (Yossi Klein, Haaretz+) The state was ashamed of the Holocaust. In order to overcome the shame, it attached the concepts of bravery and nation-building to it. The Holocaust was presented as something unique, an inexplicable, sui generis event. It saddled children with this almost imaginary, one-time event that was impossible to explain, something from another planet. No one tells them that although the annihilation was unique, the laws that led up to it were not. Go tell the children in the white shirts that the decision to exterminate was taken legally, and that the terrible killings were perpetrated not by monsters but by ordinary citizens who respected the law and observed regulations. Go explain to these kids in white that there are laws you must follow and laws you mustn’t. That there are good laws and bad laws, and that the accumulation of some laws is called a “process.” They won’t be told that even in legally-based processes one can identify worrying signs; go tell them that what begins as “court-overriding clauses” can easily turn into “tyranny.”
Teach the Holocaust year-round, not just for a day (Hannah Gofrit, Israel Hayom) The Holocaust is part of my life and many others'. We must not limit our focus on it to certain specific dates.
Put the Past in Its Place: Let Us Forget the Holocaust (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) In our childhood, we didn’t want to hear about the Holocaust because they taught us to be embarrassed by it; now its distorted lessons are alienating anyone who doesn’t want live in a militaristic state of hatred. Remembering the Holocaust is now for nationalists only. There’s no universal conclusion or moral lesson. It didn’t have to be this way. I have yet to hear a single teenager come back from Auschwitz and say that we mustn’t abuse others the way we were abused. There has yet to be a school whose pupils came back from Birkenau straight to the Gaza border, saw the barbed-wire fence and said, Never again. The message is always the opposite. Gaza is permitted because of Auschwitz.
The torch is now passed on to the younger generation (Reuven Rivlin, Yedioth/Ynet) Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, in an open letter tells young participants, in the 'march of the living' you are our future.
Limit the Term of a Prime Minister (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu’s ongoing tenure as prime minister – in addition to causing diplomatic and security damage, societal rifts and the breakdown of public norms regarding the rule of law – has also distorted the norms of government and the perception of the political culture.
Israel can contain the basis of the American peace plan (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) The Palestinians will probably again reject the attempt to resolve the conflict, as they have never been willing to discuss any formula that recognizes the right of Jews to live in even part of the country.
Muslim Brotherhood: Terrorist Group or Political Movement? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) President Trump seeks terrorist-organization status for the 90-year-old Muslim missionary movement, which for decades has renounced violence.
Vlad the conqueror (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) Putin plays a weak hand well.
Israeli army's new spokesman might lose position over prior role as police agent (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The timing of the appointment of Gil Messing as spokesman is particularly sensitive because he was an agent in the investigation of Yisrael Beiteinu, whose leader, Avigdor Lieberman, is eyeing a return as defense minister.
The unbreakable foundation of the China-Israel friendship (Zhan Yongxin, Israel Hayom) Today we should remember the extraordinary story of how the Chinese and Jewish peoples helped each other in history's darkest moment.

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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