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Trump and the Holocaust Remembrance: A Second Chance

Photo President Trump at the Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem in May. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Saturday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. For President Trump, it is a shot at redemption.

He failed a moral test on the same occasion a year ago when he issued a message that strangely left out any specific reference to the six million Jews murdered in the Nazis industrialized genocide. The White House cast the omission as somehow an inclusive approach because, it said, Roma, gays, the disabled and others were also victims. But Jews were unique targets. Failing to mention them was as bizarre as it would be to write a history of slavery and ignore the ordeal of Africans brought to America in chains.

It was an example of Mr. Trumps complex, at times disturbing, instincts in regard to Jews.

On one hand, his elder daughter is a convert to Judaism, married to an observant Jew. His years in New York real estate involved frequent dealings with Jewish counterparts. He has thrilled many American Jews by recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital (though hes displeased many more of them, who fear that this will impede the search for Middle East peace). At a ceremony on Capitol Hill in April, he spoke forcefully about the Holocaust as he pledged never again.

But theres always another hand with Mr. Trump, and it can be unsightly.

After a march that included neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., last summer, the president said that there were very fine people among them. No, there werent. There are no very fine Nazis, neo or otherwise. He has passed along tweets from unabashedly anti-Semitic accounts, and has been slow to denounce assaults, vandalism and other Jew-hating acts, which the Anti-Defamation League says have risen sharply. In the first nine months of 2017, the latest period with available numbers, the league reported there were 1,299 such episodes, an increase of 67 percent over the 779 recorded in the same stretch of 2016.

As with other minorities, Mr. Trump is not above indulging in glib, often hurtful stereotypes, like the age-old trope of greedy Jews. There was his campaign image of the six-pointed star and cash cascading down on Hillary Clinton, and his assertion that Mrs. Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty. And there was this to Jewish Republican donors: Is there anybody that doesnt renegotiate deals in this room? This room negotiates them Perhaps more than any room Ive ever spoken to.

Unlike previous presidents, Mr. Trump couldnt be bothered on a July visit to Warsaw to stop at the site of that citys notorious Jewish ghetto. In May he visited the Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem, but offended some people by zipping through it far too quickly to absorb its poignancy and power. Then he signed the guest book with a discordantly, but typically, self-referential entry: It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends so amazing + will never forget!

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January 27, 2018   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Holocaust Remembrance Day: My Heart Is With You

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, people the world over will take time Saturday, January 27, to remember the approximately 6 million Jewish people and millions of others who were murdered during the Holocaust.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. As people pause to reflect over the horrors inflicted by Nazism in Europe, world leaders also use the moment to condemn violence driven by religious and ethnic persecution.

We will confront anti-Semitism. We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness. And we will act.

President Donald J. Trump

Our Nation is indebted to the Holocausts survivors, President Donald J. Trump said in a Presidential Message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week. Despite the trauma they carry with them, they continue to educate us by sharing their experiences, strength, wisdom, and generosity of spirit to advance respect for human rights.

The scale of the Holocausts depravity is difficult to fathom: Two out of every three Jewish people in Europe were killed. To grasp the scale of human suffering, its important to remember that behind every statistic is a story.

Lilly Appelbaum Malnik survived the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen. We heard gun shots and they were shooting people in the back who couldnt keep up with the walking, she remembers. It ended up being called the death march because the ravines and the gutters, they were all red from blood.

Every bit as systematic as the murder was the dehumanization of those crowded into concentration camps across Europe.

And they said, ‘From now on you do not answer by your name. Your name is your number.’ And the delusion, the disappointment, the discouragement that I felt, I felt like I was not a human person anymore.

Lilly Appelbaum Malnik

Voices from Auschwitz, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Even those who were spared death faced anything but a normal life once the Nazis were defeated. I had no money, I had no clothes, I had no luggage, I had nothing, Blanka Rothschild recalls of her experience upon liberation.

Both of these stories are part of the Holocaust Memorial Museums tribute to victims and survivors. First Lady Melania Trump visited the museum on Thursday, January 25.

She concluded her tour at the Hall of Remembrance, taking a moment of silence by the Eternal Flame Memorial and lighting a candle.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people whose lives and families were broken by the horrors of the Holocaust, the First Lady said. Yet it is also through our shared humanity that we come together now in commemoration, strength, and love.

My heart is with you, and we remember.

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Ed Asner and Kate Burton coming to Phila. on Holocaust …

Ed Asner and Kate Burton are coming to Philadelphia in January as part of an East Coast tour, in a tribute toInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27).

On Jan. 31, 2018, at 7 p.m., Asner and Burton will do a concert reading of The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad Street. Asner is famed for his TV character of newspaperman Lou Grant, as well as for his political activism; he will play cantankerous Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman. Asners new book is The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs.

Burton is well known for her roles as Ellis Grey in Greys Anatomy and Sally Langston in Scandal, among many others. She will take on two roles: Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen.

The Soap Myth is set decades after World War Two, when a young journalist profiles Saltzman and his crusade against Nazi atrocities. The play addresses the compromises we make for survival, and the question of who has more right to write history: those who have lived it, or those who have an agenda. The play originally was performed off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre in 2012by the National Jewish Theater Foundation. A film of the Roundabout production was broadcast on PBS.

The tour begins in Miami on Jan. 22, and after stops in Boca Raton, New Bedford, Mass., New York, and Philadelphia, finishes on Feb. 1 at Hofstra Hillel at Hofstra University. The Soap Myth is directed byPam Berlinand will also featureNed Eisenbergand Blair Baker.

Ed Asner and Kate Burton in The Soap Myth. 7 p.m., Jan. 31, 2018. Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St. Tickets: $18-$500. Information: 215-627-6747, rodephshalom.org.

Published: November 28, 2017 5:11 PM EST

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Indian PM Modi to arrive in Israel for ‘historic’ 3-day visit – The Times of Israel

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due in Israel Tuesday afternoon for a three-day visit both countries are going to great lengths to describe as historic.

Billed as a celebration of the 25-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Modis visit marks the first to Israel by an Indian head of government. Besides sit-downs with senior politicians and business leaders, his packed itinerary includes meeting a Jewish victim of a terror attack in Mumbai; visiting a flower farm, a desalination plant and the Israel Museum; headlining a rally for thousands of Indians living in Israel; and laying wreaths at a military cemetery in Haifa.

Notably, Modi decided not to visit the Palestinian Authority, an exceedingly rare move for countries with good ties in the Arab world. New Delhi explains this anomaly as part of a desire to de-hyphenate its relationships with Jerusalem and with Ramallah.

As the first Indian Prime Minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer, Modi wrote on his Facebook account Monday. I will have in-depth talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism, he wrote, next to a photo of himself with Netanyahu.

To underline the importance Jerusalem is ascribing to Modis visit, Netanyahu cleared his schedule to be at his prominent guests side throughout almost the entire time he is in the country. This kind of attention by an Israeli prime minister is usually reserved for American presidents.

I will accompany the prime minister at many events during his visit, as befits the leader of the largest democracy in the world, Netanyahu said Monday during the weekly cabinet meeting.

On Tuesday, hours before Modis arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, he and Netanyahu co-authored an opinion piece hailing the importance of this weeks visit.

The natural partnership between India and Israel, formally elevated 25 years ago to full diplomatic relations, has grown stronger from year to year. The deep connection between our peoples reflects our many similarities in spirit, if not in size, the two leaders wrote in the piece, which was published in The Times of India and Israel Hayom newspapers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, during the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris on November 30, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Ours are two modern, vibrant democracies that draw on our rich historical traditions while striving to seize the promise of the future for our peoples.

Both Israel and India are complex countries, Modi and Netanyahu continued. Like yogic asanas grounding down and pulling up at the same time, they face many challenges. By working together we can overcome some of the challenges.

Besides the high symbolic value and the diplomatic meetings, Modis visit has a strong economic focus as well. The two countries are set to establish a new India-Israel CEOs Forum, which is expected to serve as a hub to foster trade and commerce.

I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and startups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground, Modi wrote on Facebook. In addition, I hope to get insights into Israels accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits.

Then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of a defense industries of Israel pavilion during an arms fair held in Bangalore, India, February 18, 2015. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90)

Modi, who visited Israel for the first time in 2006 as chief minister of Gujarat, is scheduled to land at around 4 p.m. in Tel Aviv, where he will be greeted by an official welcoming ceremony, attended by Netanyahu.

En route from the airport to Jerusalem, the two prime ministers will stop at the Mishmar Hashiva moshav to visit the Danziger Dan Flower Farm, one of Israels leading floriculture companies. Together with Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, the prime ministers will learn about the innovative way in which the flowers are produced there, according to the Prime Ministers Office.

Once Modi and Netanyahu arrive in the capital, they will head to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. The two leaders will visit the Hall of Names and participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and tour the Childrens Memorial. At 8 p.m., Modi and Netanyahu will deliver statements to the media at the Prime Ministers Residence on Balfour Street, before dining together.

Relatives and friends of Holocaust survivors place flowers and candles on names of concentration camps seen on the floor of the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 28, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

On Wednesday morning, Modi will hold a working meeting with President Reuven Rivlin. From the Presidents Residence, he will head back to the King David Hotel for another working meeting with Netanyahu. After the two leaders have lunch together, they will attend a ceremony during which a series of bilateral agreements will be signed, and deliver statements to the press.

In the afternoon, Modi is set to meet opposition leader Isaac Herzog and members of the Indian community. He will then head to the Israel Museum, where together with Netanyahu he will walk through the Synagogue Route and gaze at a reconstruction of the Kadavumbagam synagogue from the town of Cochin in southern India. The 16th-century wooden structure has an exquisitely carved and painted ceiling directly influenced by the decorations of mosques and Hindu temples, according to the Israel Museum.

A crumbling old Cochin synagogue (photo credit: CC-BY, Emmanuel Dyan via Flickr)

The Jewish community in India was always welcomed with warmth and respect and never faced any persecution, Modi and Netanyahu wrote in their joint article Tuesday. The Jews of Indian origin in Israel are proud of their heritage and have left an indelible imprint on both societies. Both communities serve as a human bridge between our nations.

On Wednesday evening, at around 8, the two prime ministers will address a major rally at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, which is expected to draw some 4,000 participants. Before the two leaders make their speeches, the crowd will be entertained by a cultural program, including a performance by popular Bollywood playback singer Sukhwinder Singh.

In Tel Aviv, he will also meet with diamond merchants from Gujarat, a state in western India. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples, Modi wrote on Facebook.

About 12,000 non-Jewish Indian nationals currently live and work in Israel, as well as some 80,000 Israeli Jews with at least one parent of Indian origin. Only 5,000 Jews remain in India today.

In Tel Aviv, Modi is also scheduled to meet Moshe Holtzberg, the now 12-year-old son of two Chabad emissaries, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, who were killed in a November 2008 terror attack in Mumbai. He is also expected to meet with Sandra Samuel, Moshes nanny at the time, who rescued the boy on the day of the attack.

The attack on the Indian citys Chabad House was part of a mass attack in the city by a Pakistani Islamist group that left 166 dead and hundreds injured. In addition to the Holtzbergs, four other Jewish visitors to the Chabad House were killed in the attack.

Moshe Holtzberg seen on his first day at first grade in the city of Migdal Haemek on August 26,2012. Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who was five months pregnant, were killed during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks by Pakistani Islamic terrorists. Their two-year-old son Moshe survived the attack after being rescued by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel. (Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

On Thursday morning, Modi and Netanyahu will take a helicopter ride to Haifa, where they will visit a cemetery where Indian soldiers who fought in World War I are buried. Modi is expected to lay two wreaths one for Hindu and one for Muslims soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918, as he explained in his Facebook post.

On their way back to Tel Aviv, Modi and Netanyahu will stop at Olga Beach to visit a water desalination unit operated by G.A.L. Water Technologies. Israels extreme water crises in the past place it in a unique position to understand Indias quest for efficient water solutions, the two prime ministers wrote. The cost effective adaptation of Israeli technology to Indias needs could create new solutions that we could use to help address the water challenges of other developing nations across the globe.

Modi and Netanyahu will proceed to have lunch with Indian and Israeli executives at the Dan Hotel, before attending a large innovation conference, during which five Israeli companies and four Indian companies will make presentations.

In 1992, when diplomatic ties were established, bilateral trade was at about $200 million. Today, it reaches $5 billion, one-fifth of which is in Israeli defense exports.

India is a key export market for Israel, said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. It is a country of 1.3 billion consumers, some 300 million of whom belong to the middle and upper-middle class, with purchasing power equal to the middle class of Western economies, he added.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, left, inspects IDF troops with President Reuven Rivlin during the first official visit to Israel of an Indian leader, October 14, 2015 (Mark Neyman/GPO)

After a short meeting with Indian students late Thursday afternoon, Modi will head to the airport, where Netanyahu will bid him goodbye during an official ceremony.

This weeks historic visit, as we celebrate 25 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, reflects not just the close cooperation of our governments, but also the great sympathy and affinity between our peoples, the two prime ministers wrote.

We are confident that 25 years from now, Indians and Israelis will look back on this visit as the first of many historical milestones that we reached together in the great friendship between our peoples.

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Bulgaria is a step closer to full membership of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – The Sofia Globe

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has decided to accept Bulgaria as a liaison country, the first state to take the next step towards full membership since 2009.

The decision was taken at the IHRAs first bi-annual plenary meeting under the Swiss Chairmanship in Geneva, the organisation said after the conclusion of the meeting on June 29 2017.

TheIHRAunites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research world-wide, and to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.

At the four-day meeting in Geneva, more than 200 experts and policymakers from the IHRAs31 member countries,11 observer countries, andseven international partner organizationsgathered to discuss Holocaust education, research and remembrance as a contemporary political issue.

The Bulgarian government decided on March 8 2017 to apply for full membership of IHRA.

Bulgarias Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the countrys candidacy had prompted a strong interest among the member states that have highly appreciated Bulgarias performance as an observer in the IHRA from December 2012, as well as the commitments made to strengthen the commemoration, education and research activities on Holocaust issues.

During the presentation of the Bulgarian candidacy, the honorary president of the IHRA, Professor Yehuda Bauer, expressed his full support for Bulgarias membership and noted that the allianceheld open discussion and the presentation of concrete results on all issues on the agenda of the organization, and that Bulgaria has the capacity and opportunity to contribute to this process, the Foreign Ministry statement said.

Bulgaria was allied to Nazi Germany in World War 2, but in 1943, thanks to the initiatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, some political leaders and civil society, refused to hand over Bulgarian Jews to the death camps of the Holocaust where more than six million Jews were murdered. In northern Greece and Yugoslavia, under Bulgarian control on behalf of Germany, a total of 11 343 Jews were deported, mainly to Treblinka, where they were murdered by the Nazis. These Jews, through earlier legislation approved in Sofia, did not have Bulgarian citizenship.

Because of the events of 1943, a number of Bulgarians are honoured at the Yad Vashem Museum as Righteous Among the Nations. An initiative is underway for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in the prevention of the deportation of Bulgarian Jews to the Holocaust.

(Main photo: The Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel. Noam Chen for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

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Simone Veil, Ex-Minister Who Wrote France’s Abortion Law, Dies at 89 – New York Times

In 2008, she became one of few politicians to be elected to the Acadmie Franaise, the august 40-member body that is the authority on the French language; Valry Giscard dEstaing, the president under whom Mrs. Veil served as health minister, is another.

Opinion polls routinely showed Mrs. Veil to be one of the most admired people in France.

The abortion law, still known as the Veil Law, was one of the most divisive actions taken by the government of Mr. Giscard dEstaing and his first prime minister, Jacques Chirac.

In three days of debate before the National Assembly passed the law on Nov. 29, 1974, by a vote of 284 to 189, phrases like an act of murder, monstrous and France is making coffins instead of cribs were hurled in the chamber. Critics likened abortion to Nazi euthanasia; one asked, Madame Minister, do you want to send children to the ovens?

Mrs. Veil told lawmakers: I say this with total conviction: Abortion should stay an exception, the last resort for desperate situations. How, you may ask, can we tolerate it without its losing the character of an exception without it seeming as though society encourages it? I will share a conviction of women, and I apologize for doing it in front of this assembly comprised almost exclusively of men: No woman resorts to abortion lightheartedly.

Abortion had been criminalized in France since the Napoleonic era. The new law, which took effect on Jan. 17, 1975, made the procedure legal during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy (later extended to 12), and required that the procedure be carried out by a doctor at a hospital or a clinic. Girls under 18 were required to obtain parental consent.

Mrs. Veil, whose parents and brother died in the Holocaust, rejected the comparison of abortion to murder as absurd.

Simone Jacob was born in Nice, France, on July 13, 1927, the youngest of four children of Andr Jacob, an architect, and the former Yvonne Steinmetz. She completed her baccalaureate, the diploma required to pursue university studies, on March 29, 1944, the day before her arrest by the Germans.

She was deported, with her eldest sibling, Madeleine (nicknamed Milou), and their mother, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and then to Bergen-Belsen. The two sisters were liberated on April 15, 1945, but their mother had died of typhus weeks earlier.

Another sister, Denise, who entered the Resistance at the start of the war, was arrested and deported to the Ravensbrck camp in Germany, but survived by hiding her Jewish identity.

No trace of their father, Andr, and brother, Jean last recorded in Lithuania on a convoy of French Jews bound for Estonia was ever found.

Im often asked what gave me the strength and will to continue the fight, Mrs. Veil told an interviewer in 2005. I believe deeply that it was my mother; she has never stopped being present to me, next to me.

Her left forearm forever carried the number tattooed on it at Auschwitz; she tended to wear long-sleeve dresses.

Resuming her studies in law and political science in Paris, Simone Jacob met a fellow student at Sciences-Po, Antoine Veil. He later enrolled at the cole Nationale dAdministration, which trains Frances top civil servants, and became a businessman.

They married in 1946 and had three sons: Jean, Claude-Nicolas and Pierre-Franois. The middle son died in 2002; Mr. Veil, in 2013.

Mrs. Veil is survived by her two other sons and 12 grandchildren. Her sister Milou died in a car accident in 1952; her sister Denise died in 2013.

In 1954, Mrs. Veil passed the extremely competitive national examination to become a magistrate. As an official in the Justice Ministry, she helped improve living conditions for female prisoners, including Algerians detained during their countrys war for independence.

At age 46, she was plucked from the Civil Service by Mr. Giscard dEstaing to serve as health minister, becoming only the second woman to hold full cabinet rank in France. (The first was Germaine Poinso-Chapuis, health minister from 1947 to 1948.)

Mrs. Veil left the government in 1979 to run for the European Parliament, in the first direct elections to that legislative body, for what was then the European Economic Community, a precursor to the European Union.

In her July 17, 1979, speech accepting the presidency of the Parliament, she said: Whatever our political beliefs, we are all aware that this historic step, the election of the European Parliament by universal suffrage, has been taken at a crucial time for the people of the Community. All its member states are faced with three great challenges: the challenge of peace, the challenge of freedom and the challenge of prosperity, and it seems clear that they can only be met through the European dimension.

Mrs. Veil was president of the Parliament until 1982 and remained a member until 1993. She returned to the French government in 1993, as minister for health, social affairs and urban issues, under Prime Minister douard Balladur, serving until 1995.

From 1997 to 1998, she was president of the High Council for Integration, a body devoted to the assimilation of immigrants, and in 1998 she began a nine-year term as a member of the Constitutional Council, the countrys highest legal authority.

Mrs. Veil was also the president of the Fondation pour la Mmoire de la Shoah, Frances Holocaust remembrance organization, from 2000 to 2007, and chairwoman of the board of the Trust Fund for Victims from 2003 to 2009. The group supports victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in cooperation with the International Criminal Court.

She published an autobiography in 2007, in which she criticized the long delay in the French governments acceptance of responsibility for the murder of French Jews, whose deportations were organized by the collaborationist regime based in Vichy. The French state affirmed its collective error for the crimes only in 1995, during Mr. Chiracs presidency, after decades of equivocation.

When Mrs. Veil was elected to the Acadmie Franaise, the novelist Jean dOrmesson paid her tribute, saying her capacity to bring about support among the French was crucial to her popularity.

This support does not rest on mediocre and lame consensus among the countless opinions that never cease dividing our old country, he said. It rests on the principles that you affirm and, against all odds, without ever raising your voice, manage to convince everyone of. We can say this without airs: In the heart of political life, you offer a moral and republican image.

Follow Sewell Chan on Twitter @sewellchan.

Tamar Ziff contributed research.

A version of this article appears in print on July 1, 2017, on Page A24 of the New York edition with the headline: Simone Veil, 89, Politician Who Inspired France, Dies.

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Simone Veil, Ex-Minister Who Wrote France’s Abortion Law, Dies at 89 – New York Times

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Benjamin Netanyahu will be PM Modi’s shadow: Israel’s envoy to India – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: India and Israel will elevate an already deep relationship to the strategic level by announcing high-level mechanisms on water, agriculture and innovation when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives there on what will be a historic visit.

The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in the 25 years that India and Israel have had diplomatic relations, the Modi visit -July 4-6 -will see him spending three days with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and stitching up agreements on areas that are critical for India’s developmental goals.

Modi will receive a pomp-filled welcome, said Daniel Carmon, Israel’s envoy to India. “During the three days that Modi will be in Israel, PM Netanyahu will accompany him everywhere,” Carmon said, indicating the depth of interest in the visit.

An MEA statement said “During the visit, the PM will have detailed dis cussions with PM Netanyahu on all matters of mutual interest and will also call on President Rivlin. Elements of his programme include homage to Indian soldiers at the Indian Cemetery in Haifa and address to the Indian community at an event in Tel Aviv .”

On the 4th, Modi will visit holocaust remembrance centre Yad Vashem, have a private dinner with Netanyahu, and call on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who was recently in India.

The main day will be the 5th which will be taken up with the official meeting with Netanyahu, delegation talks, signing of agreements and a joint press conference. He will also meet Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader and Moshe, the little boy who was the only survivor, when his family was attacked by LeT terrorists at the Chabad House in Mumbai on 26/11.

On the 6th, Modi will go to Haifa to pay homage to the Indian soldiers at the cemetery and return to Tel Aviv to meet about 15 CEOs from both countries, before leaving for Germany .

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Keep your promise – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

Antonio Guterres. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Earlier this month, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the murder of border policewoman Hadas Malka, who was killed in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on June 16.

On Thursday and Friday, a group with alleged ties to the PFLP was hosted at the UNs headquarters in New York. Al-Haq participated in the UN Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation.

Shawan Jabarin, director of Al-Haq, a pro-BDS organization, is said to be active in the PFLP. In 2007, High Court justices were convinced of Jabarins ties with the PFLP after seeing confidential intelligence information presented to them by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Based on that information, the court upheld the IDFs refusal to grant Jabarin the right to leave Israel.

Then-justice Elyakim Rubinstein wrote the courts decision, noting that Jabarin is apparently a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terrorist organization which has not shied away from murder and attempted murder, which have nothing to do with rights; rather, they violate the most basic right of them all, the most fundamental right that without which there are no other rights the right to life.

It is unthinkable that the UN, a body created to facilitate worldwide peace and solve conflicts through open communication among the nations of the world, would provide a venue to a group with ties to a terrorist organization. While freedom of expression and assembly are integral to open debate, these rights must not be extended to those affiliated with organizations that use violence and murder to intimidate and terrorize.

The best defense against Israel-bashing fests such as the UN Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation is a good offense. Organizers of these kangaroo courts must be exposed for what they are: supporters of nihilistic terrorist organizations. In the present atmosphere in UN forums, on college campuses and on social media, outlandish accusations are regularly leveled at Israel, a country compared implicitly or explicitly to Nazi Germany. When Israel is accused of committing ethnic purges or maintaining the Gaza Strip as a huge concentration camp, it is not particularly effective to point out that Israel is the Middle Easts most accommodating country for homosexuals or that Israels technologies are among the most demanded in the world or extol Israels rescue missions in Haiti.

Rather one must uncover those who make these pernicious claims for what they are: fellow travelers with organizations such as the PFLP, members of which took responsibility for the massacre of the Fogel family in 2011 and the pogrom in Jerusalems Har Nof neighborhood in 2014.

According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq is not the only Palestinian nonprofit that has ties to the PFLP. Others include Addameer, the Alternative Information Center, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Health Work Committee, Stop the Wall, the Palestine Center for Human Rights, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

Jewish Voice for Peace, another group that took part together with Al-Haq in the UN forum, organized a 2017 National Member Meeting in April that featured Rasmea Odeh, a PFLP operative convicted of US immigration fraud after concealing her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel.

Slightly more surprising was the participation of former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, Joint List MK Aida Touma- Sliman and executive director of BTselem Hagai El-Ad.

How can we take these individuals calls for justice seriously when their ideological bedfellows are members of an organization that is willing to use suicide bombings and coldblooded attacks on civilians including stabbing to death babies and little children as they sleep to further their goals? The same question must be asked of NGOs that collaborate with Hamas, which like PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the EU and Israel.

In April, during a speech to delegates at the World Jewish Congresss plenary assembly while Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UN secretary-general said that he would be on the front lines in the fight against antisemitism, and promised to make sure the UN is able to conduct all possible actions for antisemitism to be… eradicated from the face of the earth. Guterres added that a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist.

It is time for Guterres to keep his promise.

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Trump and the Holocaust Remembrance: A Second Chance

Photo President Trump at the Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem in May. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times Saturday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. For President Trump, it is a shot at redemption. He failed a moral test on the same occasion a year ago when he issued a message that strangely left out any specific reference to the six million Jews murdered in the Nazis industrialized genocide. The White House cast the omission as somehow an inclusive approach because, it said, Roma, gays, the disabled and others were also victims. But Jews were unique targets. Failing to mention them was as bizarre as it would be to write a history of slavery and ignore the ordeal of Africans brought to America in chains. It was an example of Mr. Trumps complex, at times disturbing, instincts in regard to Jews. On one hand, his elder daughter is a convert to Judaism, married to an observant Jew. His years in New York real estate involved frequent dealings with Jewish counterparts. He has thrilled many American Jews by recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital (though hes displeased many more of them, who fear that this will impede the search for Middle East peace). At a ceremony on Capitol Hill in April, he spoke forcefully about the Holocaust as he pledged never again. But theres always another hand with Mr. Trump, and it can be unsightly. After a march that included neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., last summer, the president said that there were very fine people among them. No, there werent. There are no very fine Nazis, neo or otherwise. He has passed along tweets from unabashedly anti-Semitic accounts, and has been slow to denounce assaults, vandalism and other Jew-hating acts, which the Anti-Defamation League says have risen sharply. In the first nine months of 2017, the latest period with available numbers, the league reported there were 1,299 such episodes, an increase of 67 percent over the 779 recorded in the same stretch of 2016. As with other minorities, Mr. Trump is not above indulging in glib, often hurtful stereotypes, like the age-old trope of greedy Jews. There was his campaign image of the six-pointed star and cash cascading down on Hillary Clinton, and his assertion that Mrs. Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty. And there was this to Jewish Republican donors: Is there anybody that doesnt renegotiate deals in this room? This room negotiates them Perhaps more than any room Ive ever spoken to. Unlike previous presidents, Mr. Trump couldnt be bothered on a July visit to Warsaw to stop at the site of that citys notorious Jewish ghetto. In May he visited the Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem, but offended some people by zipping through it far too quickly to absorb its poignancy and power. Then he signed the guest book with a discordantly, but typically, self-referential entry: It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends so amazing + will never forget!

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Holocaust Remembrance Day: My Heart Is With You

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, people the world over will take time Saturday, January 27, to remember the approximately 6 million Jewish people and millions of others who were murdered during the Holocaust. International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. As people pause to reflect over the horrors inflicted by Nazism in Europe, world leaders also use the moment to condemn violence driven by religious and ethnic persecution. We will confront anti-Semitism. We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness. And we will act. President Donald J. Trump Our Nation is indebted to the Holocausts survivors, President Donald J. Trump said in a Presidential Message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week. Despite the trauma they carry with them, they continue to educate us by sharing their experiences, strength, wisdom, and generosity of spirit to advance respect for human rights. The scale of the Holocausts depravity is difficult to fathom: Two out of every three Jewish people in Europe were killed. To grasp the scale of human suffering, its important to remember that behind every statistic is a story. Lilly Appelbaum Malnik survived the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen. We heard gun shots and they were shooting people in the back who couldnt keep up with the walking, she remembers. It ended up being called the death march because the ravines and the gutters, they were all red from blood. Every bit as systematic as the murder was the dehumanization of those crowded into concentration camps across Europe. And they said, ‘From now on you do not answer by your name. Your name is your number.’ And the delusion, the disappointment, the discouragement that I felt, I felt like I was not a human person anymore. Lilly Appelbaum Malnik Voices from Auschwitz, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Even those who were spared death faced anything but a normal life once the Nazis were defeated. I had no money, I had no clothes, I had no luggage, I had nothing, Blanka Rothschild recalls of her experience upon liberation. Both of these stories are part of the Holocaust Memorial Museums tribute to victims and survivors. First Lady Melania Trump visited the museum on Thursday, January 25. She concluded her tour at the Hall of Remembrance, taking a moment of silence by the Eternal Flame Memorial and lighting a candle. My thoughts and prayers are with the people whose lives and families were broken by the horrors of the Holocaust, the First Lady said. Yet it is also through our shared humanity that we come together now in commemoration, strength, and love. My heart is with you, and we remember.

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Ed Asner and Kate Burton coming to Phila. on Holocaust …

Ed Asner and Kate Burton are coming to Philadelphia in January as part of an East Coast tour, in a tribute toInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27). On Jan. 31, 2018, at 7 p.m., Asner and Burton will do a concert reading of The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad Street. Asner is famed for his TV character of newspaperman Lou Grant, as well as for his political activism; he will play cantankerous Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman. Asners new book is The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs. Burton is well known for her roles as Ellis Grey in Greys Anatomy and Sally Langston in Scandal, among many others. She will take on two roles: Holocaust scholar Esther Feinman and Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen. The Soap Myth is set decades after World War Two, when a young journalist profiles Saltzman and his crusade against Nazi atrocities. The play addresses the compromises we make for survival, and the question of who has more right to write history: those who have lived it, or those who have an agenda. The play originally was performed off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre in 2012by the National Jewish Theater Foundation. A film of the Roundabout production was broadcast on PBS. The tour begins in Miami on Jan. 22, and after stops in Boca Raton, New Bedford, Mass., New York, and Philadelphia, finishes on Feb. 1 at Hofstra Hillel at Hofstra University. The Soap Myth is directed byPam Berlinand will also featureNed Eisenbergand Blair Baker. Ed Asner and Kate Burton in The Soap Myth. 7 p.m., Jan. 31, 2018. Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St. Tickets: $18-$500. Information: 215-627-6747, rodephshalom.org. Published: November 28, 2017 5:11 PM EST

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Title Select a feature for AftermathA Changed World: The Continuing Impact of the HolocaustLiberationLife after the Holocaust: Stories of Holocaust Survivors after the WarPersonal HistoriesThe Diary of Lajos Ornstein: An Extraordinary JourneyThe Nuremberg Trials and Their Legacy Title Select a feature for ArtistsRemembering D-DaySzpilmans Warsaw: The History behind The Pianist Title Select a feature for Asset RestitutionOffenbach Archival Depot: Antithesis to Nazi Plunder Title Select a feature for AuschwitzAuschwitz through the Lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi Leadership at the CampInternational Holocaust Remembrance DayThe Liberation of Auschwitz Title Select a feature for Book BurningNazi Book Burning Title Select a feature for CampsAuschwitz through the Lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi Leadership at the CampLiberationMusic of the Holocaust: Highlights from the CollectionOskar Schindler: An Unlikely HeroPersonal HistoriesThe Liberation of AuschwitzTheresienstadt: Spiritual Resistance and Historical Context Title Select a feature for ChildrenGive Me Your Children: Voices from the Lodz GhettoPersonal HistoriesSilent Witness: The Story of Lola Rein and Her Dress Title Select a feature for Collaboration Title Select a feature for ComplicityAuschwitz through the Lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi Leadership at the Camp Title Select a feature for Congo Title Select a feature for DiariesAuschwitz through the Lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi Leadership at the CampDo You Remember, WhenRemembering D-DayThe Alfred Rosenberg DiaryThe Diary of Lajos Ornstein: An Extraordinary Journey Title Select a feature for Displaced PersonsMusic of the Holocaust: Highlights from the CollectionPersonal Histories Title Select a feature for Documentation and EvidenceAuschwitz through the Lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi Leadership at the CampCommemorating the 70th Anniversary of LiberationDo You Remember, WhenHolocaust by BulletsMusic of the Holocaust: Highlights from the CollectionOffenbach Archival Depot: Antithesis to Nazi PlunderRemembering D-DaySephardic Communities and the HolocaustSilent Witness: The Story of Lola Rein and Her DressThe Alfred Rosenberg DiaryThe Diary of Lajos Ornstein: An Extraordinary JourneyThe Doctors Trial: The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg ProceedingsThe German Invasion of Poland and the Beginning of World War IIThe Holocaust in UkraineThe Legacy of Julien BryanTheresienstadt: Spiritual Resistance and Historical ContextUS Justice Department Transfers Copies of Proceedings to the MuseumVoyage of the St. LouisWho Was This Woman? 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Indian PM Modi to arrive in Israel for ‘historic’ 3-day visit – The Times of Israel

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due in Israel Tuesday afternoon for a three-day visit both countries are going to great lengths to describe as historic. Billed as a celebration of the 25-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Modis visit marks the first to Israel by an Indian head of government. Besides sit-downs with senior politicians and business leaders, his packed itinerary includes meeting a Jewish victim of a terror attack in Mumbai; visiting a flower farm, a desalination plant and the Israel Museum; headlining a rally for thousands of Indians living in Israel; and laying wreaths at a military cemetery in Haifa. Notably, Modi decided not to visit the Palestinian Authority, an exceedingly rare move for countries with good ties in the Arab world. New Delhi explains this anomaly as part of a desire to de-hyphenate its relationships with Jerusalem and with Ramallah. As the first Indian Prime Minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer, Modi wrote on his Facebook account Monday. I will have in-depth talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism, he wrote, next to a photo of himself with Netanyahu. To underline the importance Jerusalem is ascribing to Modis visit, Netanyahu cleared his schedule to be at his prominent guests side throughout almost the entire time he is in the country. This kind of attention by an Israeli prime minister is usually reserved for American presidents. I will accompany the prime minister at many events during his visit, as befits the leader of the largest democracy in the world, Netanyahu said Monday during the weekly cabinet meeting. On Tuesday, hours before Modis arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, he and Netanyahu co-authored an opinion piece hailing the importance of this weeks visit. The natural partnership between India and Israel, formally elevated 25 years ago to full diplomatic relations, has grown stronger from year to year. The deep connection between our peoples reflects our many similarities in spirit, if not in size, the two leaders wrote in the piece, which was published in The Times of India and Israel Hayom newspapers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, during the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris on November 30, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO) Ours are two modern, vibrant democracies that draw on our rich historical traditions while striving to seize the promise of the future for our peoples. Both Israel and India are complex countries, Modi and Netanyahu continued. Like yogic asanas grounding down and pulling up at the same time, they face many challenges. By working together we can overcome some of the challenges. Besides the high symbolic value and the diplomatic meetings, Modis visit has a strong economic focus as well. The two countries are set to establish a new India-Israel CEOs Forum, which is expected to serve as a hub to foster trade and commerce. I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and startups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground, Modi wrote on Facebook. In addition, I hope to get insights into Israels accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits. Then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of a defense industries of Israel pavilion during an arms fair held in Bangalore, India, February 18, 2015. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90) Modi, who visited Israel for the first time in 2006 as chief minister of Gujarat, is scheduled to land at around 4 p.m. in Tel Aviv, where he will be greeted by an official welcoming ceremony, attended by Netanyahu. En route from the airport to Jerusalem, the two prime ministers will stop at the Mishmar Hashiva moshav to visit the Danziger Dan Flower Farm, one of Israels leading floriculture companies. Together with Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, the prime ministers will learn about the innovative way in which the flowers are produced there, according to the Prime Ministers Office. Once Modi and Netanyahu arrive in the capital, they will head to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. The two leaders will visit the Hall of Names and participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and tour the Childrens Memorial. At 8 p.m., Modi and Netanyahu will deliver statements to the media at the Prime Ministers Residence on Balfour Street, before dining together. Relatives and friends of Holocaust survivors place flowers and candles on names of concentration camps seen on the floor of the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 28, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) On Wednesday morning, Modi will hold a working meeting with President Reuven Rivlin. From the Presidents Residence, he will head back to the King David Hotel for another working meeting with Netanyahu. After the two leaders have lunch together, they will attend a ceremony during which a series of bilateral agreements will be signed, and deliver statements to the press. In the afternoon, Modi is set to meet opposition leader Isaac Herzog and members of the Indian community. He will then head to the Israel Museum, where together with Netanyahu he will walk through the Synagogue Route and gaze at a reconstruction of the Kadavumbagam synagogue from the town of Cochin in southern India. The 16th-century wooden structure has an exquisitely carved and painted ceiling directly influenced by the decorations of mosques and Hindu temples, according to the Israel Museum. A crumbling old Cochin synagogue (photo credit: CC-BY, Emmanuel Dyan via Flickr) The Jewish community in India was always welcomed with warmth and respect and never faced any persecution, Modi and Netanyahu wrote in their joint article Tuesday. The Jews of Indian origin in Israel are proud of their heritage and have left an indelible imprint on both societies. Both communities serve as a human bridge between our nations. On Wednesday evening, at around 8, the two prime ministers will address a major rally at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, which is expected to draw some 4,000 participants. Before the two leaders make their speeches, the crowd will be entertained by a cultural program, including a performance by popular Bollywood playback singer Sukhwinder Singh. In Tel Aviv, he will also meet with diamond merchants from Gujarat, a state in western India. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples, Modi wrote on Facebook. About 12,000 non-Jewish Indian nationals currently live and work in Israel, as well as some 80,000 Israeli Jews with at least one parent of Indian origin. Only 5,000 Jews remain in India today. In Tel Aviv, Modi is also scheduled to meet Moshe Holtzberg, the now 12-year-old son of two Chabad emissaries, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, who were killed in a November 2008 terror attack in Mumbai. He is also expected to meet with Sandra Samuel, Moshes nanny at the time, who rescued the boy on the day of the attack. The attack on the Indian citys Chabad House was part of a mass attack in the city by a Pakistani Islamist group that left 166 dead and hundreds injured. In addition to the Holtzbergs, four other Jewish visitors to the Chabad House were killed in the attack. Moshe Holtzberg seen on his first day at first grade in the city of Migdal Haemek on August 26,2012. Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who was five months pregnant, were killed during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks by Pakistani Islamic terrorists. Their two-year-old son Moshe survived the attack after being rescued by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel. (Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90) On Thursday morning, Modi and Netanyahu will take a helicopter ride to Haifa, where they will visit a cemetery where Indian soldiers who fought in World War I are buried. Modi is expected to lay two wreaths one for Hindu and one for Muslims soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918, as he explained in his Facebook post. On their way back to Tel Aviv, Modi and Netanyahu will stop at Olga Beach to visit a water desalination unit operated by G.A.L. Water Technologies. Israels extreme water crises in the past place it in a unique position to understand Indias quest for efficient water solutions, the two prime ministers wrote. The cost effective adaptation of Israeli technology to Indias needs could create new solutions that we could use to help address the water challenges of other developing nations across the globe. Modi and Netanyahu will proceed to have lunch with Indian and Israeli executives at the Dan Hotel, before attending a large innovation conference, during which five Israeli companies and four Indian companies will make presentations. In 1992, when diplomatic ties were established, bilateral trade was at about $200 million. Today, it reaches $5 billion, one-fifth of which is in Israeli defense exports. India is a key export market for Israel, said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. It is a country of 1.3 billion consumers, some 300 million of whom belong to the middle and upper-middle class, with purchasing power equal to the middle class of Western economies, he added. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, left, inspects IDF troops with President Reuven Rivlin during the first official visit to Israel of an Indian leader, October 14, 2015 (Mark Neyman/GPO) After a short meeting with Indian students late Thursday afternoon, Modi will head to the airport, where Netanyahu will bid him goodbye during an official ceremony. This weeks historic visit, as we celebrate 25 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, reflects not just the close cooperation of our governments, but also the great sympathy and affinity between our peoples, the two prime ministers wrote. We are confident that 25 years from now, Indians and Israelis will look back on this visit as the first of many historical milestones that we reached together in the great friendship between our peoples.

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Bulgaria is a step closer to full membership of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – The Sofia Globe

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has decided to accept Bulgaria as a liaison country, the first state to take the next step towards full membership since 2009. The decision was taken at the IHRAs first bi-annual plenary meeting under the Swiss Chairmanship in Geneva, the organisation said after the conclusion of the meeting on June 29 2017. TheIHRAunites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research world-wide, and to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. At the four-day meeting in Geneva, more than 200 experts and policymakers from the IHRAs31 member countries,11 observer countries, andseven international partner organizationsgathered to discuss Holocaust education, research and remembrance as a contemporary political issue. The Bulgarian government decided on March 8 2017 to apply for full membership of IHRA. Bulgarias Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the countrys candidacy had prompted a strong interest among the member states that have highly appreciated Bulgarias performance as an observer in the IHRA from December 2012, as well as the commitments made to strengthen the commemoration, education and research activities on Holocaust issues. During the presentation of the Bulgarian candidacy, the honorary president of the IHRA, Professor Yehuda Bauer, expressed his full support for Bulgarias membership and noted that the allianceheld open discussion and the presentation of concrete results on all issues on the agenda of the organization, and that Bulgaria has the capacity and opportunity to contribute to this process, the Foreign Ministry statement said. Bulgaria was allied to Nazi Germany in World War 2, but in 1943, thanks to the initiatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, some political leaders and civil society, refused to hand over Bulgarian Jews to the death camps of the Holocaust where more than six million Jews were murdered. In northern Greece and Yugoslavia, under Bulgarian control on behalf of Germany, a total of 11 343 Jews were deported, mainly to Treblinka, where they were murdered by the Nazis. These Jews, through earlier legislation approved in Sofia, did not have Bulgarian citizenship. Because of the events of 1943, a number of Bulgarians are honoured at the Yad Vashem Museum as Righteous Among the Nations. An initiative is underway for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in the prevention of the deportation of Bulgarian Jews to the Holocaust. (Main photo: The Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel. Noam Chen for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism) /Politics comments

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July 1, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed

Simone Veil, Ex-Minister Who Wrote France’s Abortion Law, Dies at 89 – New York Times

In 2008, she became one of few politicians to be elected to the Acadmie Franaise, the august 40-member body that is the authority on the French language; Valry Giscard dEstaing, the president under whom Mrs. Veil served as health minister, is another. Opinion polls routinely showed Mrs. Veil to be one of the most admired people in France. The abortion law, still known as the Veil Law, was one of the most divisive actions taken by the government of Mr. Giscard dEstaing and his first prime minister, Jacques Chirac. In three days of debate before the National Assembly passed the law on Nov. 29, 1974, by a vote of 284 to 189, phrases like an act of murder, monstrous and France is making coffins instead of cribs were hurled in the chamber. Critics likened abortion to Nazi euthanasia; one asked, Madame Minister, do you want to send children to the ovens? Mrs. Veil told lawmakers: I say this with total conviction: Abortion should stay an exception, the last resort for desperate situations. How, you may ask, can we tolerate it without its losing the character of an exception without it seeming as though society encourages it? I will share a conviction of women, and I apologize for doing it in front of this assembly comprised almost exclusively of men: No woman resorts to abortion lightheartedly. Abortion had been criminalized in France since the Napoleonic era. The new law, which took effect on Jan. 17, 1975, made the procedure legal during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy (later extended to 12), and required that the procedure be carried out by a doctor at a hospital or a clinic. Girls under 18 were required to obtain parental consent. Mrs. Veil, whose parents and brother died in the Holocaust, rejected the comparison of abortion to murder as absurd. Simone Jacob was born in Nice, France, on July 13, 1927, the youngest of four children of Andr Jacob, an architect, and the former Yvonne Steinmetz. She completed her baccalaureate, the diploma required to pursue university studies, on March 29, 1944, the day before her arrest by the Germans. She was deported, with her eldest sibling, Madeleine (nicknamed Milou), and their mother, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and then to Bergen-Belsen. The two sisters were liberated on April 15, 1945, but their mother had died of typhus weeks earlier. Another sister, Denise, who entered the Resistance at the start of the war, was arrested and deported to the Ravensbrck camp in Germany, but survived by hiding her Jewish identity. No trace of their father, Andr, and brother, Jean last recorded in Lithuania on a convoy of French Jews bound for Estonia was ever found. Im often asked what gave me the strength and will to continue the fight, Mrs. Veil told an interviewer in 2005. I believe deeply that it was my mother; she has never stopped being present to me, next to me. Her left forearm forever carried the number tattooed on it at Auschwitz; she tended to wear long-sleeve dresses. Resuming her studies in law and political science in Paris, Simone Jacob met a fellow student at Sciences-Po, Antoine Veil. He later enrolled at the cole Nationale dAdministration, which trains Frances top civil servants, and became a businessman. They married in 1946 and had three sons: Jean, Claude-Nicolas and Pierre-Franois. The middle son died in 2002; Mr. Veil, in 2013. Mrs. Veil is survived by her two other sons and 12 grandchildren. Her sister Milou died in a car accident in 1952; her sister Denise died in 2013. In 1954, Mrs. Veil passed the extremely competitive national examination to become a magistrate. As an official in the Justice Ministry, she helped improve living conditions for female prisoners, including Algerians detained during their countrys war for independence. At age 46, she was plucked from the Civil Service by Mr. Giscard dEstaing to serve as health minister, becoming only the second woman to hold full cabinet rank in France. (The first was Germaine Poinso-Chapuis, health minister from 1947 to 1948.) Mrs. Veil left the government in 1979 to run for the European Parliament, in the first direct elections to that legislative body, for what was then the European Economic Community, a precursor to the European Union. In her July 17, 1979, speech accepting the presidency of the Parliament, she said: Whatever our political beliefs, we are all aware that this historic step, the election of the European Parliament by universal suffrage, has been taken at a crucial time for the people of the Community. All its member states are faced with three great challenges: the challenge of peace, the challenge of freedom and the challenge of prosperity, and it seems clear that they can only be met through the European dimension. Mrs. Veil was president of the Parliament until 1982 and remained a member until 1993. She returned to the French government in 1993, as minister for health, social affairs and urban issues, under Prime Minister douard Balladur, serving until 1995. From 1997 to 1998, she was president of the High Council for Integration, a body devoted to the assimilation of immigrants, and in 1998 she began a nine-year term as a member of the Constitutional Council, the countrys highest legal authority. Mrs. Veil was also the president of the Fondation pour la Mmoire de la Shoah, Frances Holocaust remembrance organization, from 2000 to 2007, and chairwoman of the board of the Trust Fund for Victims from 2003 to 2009. The group supports victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in cooperation with the International Criminal Court. She published an autobiography in 2007, in which she criticized the long delay in the French governments acceptance of responsibility for the murder of French Jews, whose deportations were organized by the collaborationist regime based in Vichy. The French state affirmed its collective error for the crimes only in 1995, during Mr. Chiracs presidency, after decades of equivocation. When Mrs. Veil was elected to the Acadmie Franaise, the novelist Jean dOrmesson paid her tribute, saying her capacity to bring about support among the French was crucial to her popularity. This support does not rest on mediocre and lame consensus among the countless opinions that never cease dividing our old country, he said. It rests on the principles that you affirm and, against all odds, without ever raising your voice, manage to convince everyone of. We can say this without airs: In the heart of political life, you offer a moral and republican image. Follow Sewell Chan on Twitter @sewellchan. Tamar Ziff contributed research. A version of this article appears in print on July 1, 2017, on Page A24 of the New York edition with the headline: Simone Veil, 89, Politician Who Inspired France, Dies.

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Benjamin Netanyahu will be PM Modi’s shadow: Israel’s envoy to India – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: India and Israel will elevate an already deep relationship to the strategic level by announcing high-level mechanisms on water, agriculture and innovation when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives there on what will be a historic visit. The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in the 25 years that India and Israel have had diplomatic relations, the Modi visit -July 4-6 -will see him spending three days with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and stitching up agreements on areas that are critical for India’s developmental goals. Modi will receive a pomp-filled welcome, said Daniel Carmon, Israel’s envoy to India. “During the three days that Modi will be in Israel, PM Netanyahu will accompany him everywhere,” Carmon said, indicating the depth of interest in the visit. An MEA statement said “During the visit, the PM will have detailed dis cussions with PM Netanyahu on all matters of mutual interest and will also call on President Rivlin. Elements of his programme include homage to Indian soldiers at the Indian Cemetery in Haifa and address to the Indian community at an event in Tel Aviv .” On the 4th, Modi will visit holocaust remembrance centre Yad Vashem, have a private dinner with Netanyahu, and call on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who was recently in India. The main day will be the 5th which will be taken up with the official meeting with Netanyahu, delegation talks, signing of agreements and a joint press conference. He will also meet Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader and Moshe, the little boy who was the only survivor, when his family was attacked by LeT terrorists at the Chabad House in Mumbai on 26/11. On the 6th, Modi will go to Haifa to pay homage to the Indian soldiers at the cemetery and return to Tel Aviv to meet about 15 CEOs from both countries, before leaving for Germany .

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Keep your promise – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

Antonio Guterres. (photo credit:REUTERS) Earlier this month, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the murder of border policewoman Hadas Malka, who was killed in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on June 16. On Thursday and Friday, a group with alleged ties to the PFLP was hosted at the UNs headquarters in New York. Al-Haq participated in the UN Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation. Shawan Jabarin, director of Al-Haq, a pro-BDS organization, is said to be active in the PFLP. In 2007, High Court justices were convinced of Jabarins ties with the PFLP after seeing confidential intelligence information presented to them by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Based on that information, the court upheld the IDFs refusal to grant Jabarin the right to leave Israel. Then-justice Elyakim Rubinstein wrote the courts decision, noting that Jabarin is apparently a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terrorist organization which has not shied away from murder and attempted murder, which have nothing to do with rights; rather, they violate the most basic right of them all, the most fundamental right that without which there are no other rights the right to life. It is unthinkable that the UN, a body created to facilitate worldwide peace and solve conflicts through open communication among the nations of the world, would provide a venue to a group with ties to a terrorist organization. While freedom of expression and assembly are integral to open debate, these rights must not be extended to those affiliated with organizations that use violence and murder to intimidate and terrorize. The best defense against Israel-bashing fests such as the UN Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation is a good offense. Organizers of these kangaroo courts must be exposed for what they are: supporters of nihilistic terrorist organizations. In the present atmosphere in UN forums, on college campuses and on social media, outlandish accusations are regularly leveled at Israel, a country compared implicitly or explicitly to Nazi Germany. When Israel is accused of committing ethnic purges or maintaining the Gaza Strip as a huge concentration camp, it is not particularly effective to point out that Israel is the Middle Easts most accommodating country for homosexuals or that Israels technologies are among the most demanded in the world or extol Israels rescue missions in Haiti. Rather one must uncover those who make these pernicious claims for what they are: fellow travelers with organizations such as the PFLP, members of which took responsibility for the massacre of the Fogel family in 2011 and the pogrom in Jerusalems Har Nof neighborhood in 2014. According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq is not the only Palestinian nonprofit that has ties to the PFLP. Others include Addameer, the Alternative Information Center, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Health Work Committee, Stop the Wall, the Palestine Center for Human Rights, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. Jewish Voice for Peace, another group that took part together with Al-Haq in the UN forum, organized a 2017 National Member Meeting in April that featured Rasmea Odeh, a PFLP operative convicted of US immigration fraud after concealing her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel. Slightly more surprising was the participation of former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, Joint List MK Aida Touma- Sliman and executive director of BTselem Hagai El-Ad. How can we take these individuals calls for justice seriously when their ideological bedfellows are members of an organization that is willing to use suicide bombings and coldblooded attacks on civilians including stabbing to death babies and little children as they sleep to further their goals? The same question must be asked of NGOs that collaborate with Hamas, which like PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the EU and Israel. In April, during a speech to delegates at the World Jewish Congresss plenary assembly while Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UN secretary-general said that he would be on the front lines in the fight against antisemitism, and promised to make sure the UN is able to conduct all possible actions for antisemitism to be… eradicated from the face of the earth. Guterres added that a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist. It is time for Guterres to keep his promise. Share on facebook

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June 29, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Remembrance Day  Comments Closed


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