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May 26, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Manchester Terror Attack: What the UK Can Learn from Israel - Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld (Jewish News-UK)
    Manchester was a planned terror attack. It wasn't sporadic; it was something much more sophisticated.
    You need to know, and know quickly, how he got hold of the explosive device.
    The British intelligence services need to use technology to pick up on all relevant individuals, even those who were not active but who may have known about it, and/or know what's being planned. You have to react and respond quickly, and use the intelligence you get immediately.
    In terms of the suspects, they're probably lying low, maybe moving around. They will realize that they're now on the counter-terrorism radar.
    Deal with public awareness. People need to know that there are threats and that those threats are realistic.
    There's obviously a reason why the threat level has been raised. More support lines could be opened, as in Israel, where we receive hundreds of calls a day, alerting us to anything suspicious.

U.S. Ratcheting Up Activity in Eastern Syria - Jonathan Spyer (Jerusalem Post)
    An observable ratcheting up of U.S. and allied air and special forces activity in eastern Syria is underway as the battle against the territorial holdings of Islamic State is reaching its final phase.
    The reconquest of Mosul in Iraq is almost done. The assault on Raqqa city in Syria is about to begin. Pro-Western forces are pushing north from Jordan and south from the Kurdish-controlled area north of the Islamic State enclave.
    The Iranians want to create a contiguous line of territory controlled by themselves and their allies, stretching from Iraq into Syria, and thence to the Mediterranean Sea and the border with Israel. Islamic State has formed a buffer against the achievement of this goal.
    When Islamic State control of Raqqa ends, who will inherit the territory? The Americans are beginning the process of turning back the Iranian advance by developing reliable proxies in this pivotal area to block a contiguous line of Iranian control - which is also an Israeli national security interest.
    Notably, the outcome in eastern Syria is not of primary interest to the Russians, who care about preserving the Syrian regime's existence and keeping its naval investments in Latakia province on the west coast.
    The writer is a senior research fellow at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.

Video Shows Turkish President's Security Detail Attacking Protesters in Washington - Malachy Browne (New York Times)
    The New York Times reviewed videos and photos to track the actions of 24 men, including armed members of President Erdogan's security detail, who attacked protesters in Washington last week.
    The men kicked people lying on the ground and outnumbered the protesters nearly two to one.
    Ten of the men who attacked protesters appear to be part of a formal security detail. They dressed in dark suits, and they wore in-ear radio receivers, Turkish breast pins and lanyards with identification cards.
    Two of these men charged protesters and appeared to start the main part of the fight.
    Six men who attacked protesters wore outfits resembling a summer uniform worn by Turkish guards - khaki pants, black T-shirts and green or brown shirts.
    Three of these men charged at protesters. One man knocked two women to the ground, and another man repeatedly punched Lucy Usoyan, a protester, as she lay on the ground.
    Some of the attackers who dressed casually and identified themselves as Erdogan supporters played a central role in the fighting.
    Erdogan watched the brawl from a black Mercedes-Benz sedan parked nearby, at the Turkish ambassador's residence.
    Video of his entourage shows that at least one member of the security detail positioned next to him rushed into the fight and started kicking and punching protesters.
    While sitting in the car, Erdogan conferred with Muhsin Kose, his head of security. Kose then talked into his earpiece, and three security personnel who were guarding the president's car hurried toward the protest. The brawl began moments later, and one of these men appeared on video punching and kicking people.

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Newly-Released Photos: The Battle for Jerusalem - Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
    To coincide with this year's Jerusalem Day celebrations, the Defense Ministry released dozens of photographs and transcripts, some of which have never been seen by the public before, documenting the vicious fighting for Jerusalem and its Old City, and the ecstasy that followed it.

The Outbreak of the Six-Day War - Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (Major Knesset Debates-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    On June 5, 1967, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol reported to the Knesset on the outbreak of the Six-Day War.
    During his statement, Jordanian artillery was shelling Jerusalem, including the Knesset building, and the session took place in the basement shelter.

Video - Jerusalem: Unite or Divide? (Keep Jerusalem-YouTube)
    As Jerusalem celebrates 50 years as a united city, some seek to divide Jerusalem. What do the people in Jerusalem say? Watch on-street interviews.

Six-Day War: 50th Anniversary Resource Primer (Honest Reporting)
    Timeline, recollections, analysis, gallery, movie clips, Arab cartoons, and maps.

The Coolest Tech Companies in Israel - Sam Shead (Business Insider-UK)
    StoreDot has developed a smartphone battery that charges in one minute, using proprietary amino acids in place of lithium components. The batteries are due to go into mass production this year.
    GlucoMe allows diabetes sufferers to monitor their blood sugar levels and stores the information in the cloud so it can be accessed by their doctor.
    As an increasing number of automotive manufacturers are choosing to connect their cars to the internet, Argus develops technology to prevent them from being hacked.
    With over 85 million users, MyHeritage is one of the largest sites in the social networking and genealogy field, offering access to search and matching technologies, a library of historical records, and a wide collection of family trees.
    Zebra has developed an algorithm to identify early signs of breast cancer, based on thousands of previous mammograms. In December, the company launched a service that allows people to upload their medical imaging scans and receive an automated analysis for key clinical conditions.

Microsoft Buys Israeli Cyber Security Company Hexadite for $100M - Tali Tsipori (Globes)
    Microsoft has acquired Israeli cyber security company Hexadite for $100 million.
    The company has developed software that streamlines the threat identification system, enabling staff to devote more time to the most serious threats.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Says It Has Built Third Underground Ballistic Missile Factory - Parisa Hafezi
    Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the Fars news agency reported, quoting Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards airspace division. (Reuters)
  • Russia Arrests Four ISIS Terrorists Preparing Attack in Moscow
    Four members of an ISIS terrorist network managed from Syria, who were preparing attacks on the Moscow public transport system, were detained on Thursday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported. "An explosives production laboratory, a ready-to-use improvised explosive device with shrapnel and components for its production have been found during searches," the FSB said, adding that they also found "automatic firearms, ammunition, grenades, as well as literature and videos of extremist and terrorist orientation."  (RT-Russia)
  • UK "Vulnerable to Terror Attacks by Jihadis Unable to Reach Syria" - Nick Hopkins and Ewen MacAskill
    A British intelligence source has noted "the confluence of frustrated travelers who would go to Syria if they could but are stuck here, and returnees" from Syria. "Both ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda are calling for these travelers to stay at home and attack in the West instead. The risk seems far greater now. The risk is changing." The MI5 watchlist of people of concern has risen to about 3,000 and includes some who have returned from Syria. MI5 only has the resources to maintain physical surveillance on a limited number of people. (Guardian-UK)
  • Hamas Kills Three Men in Execution Partially Streamed on Facebook - Peter Beaumont
    Hamas has killed three men in Gaza in executions that appear to have been partially streamed live on Facebook. Hamas' interior ministry said two men were hanged on Thursday and one was killed by firing squad for their part in killing Mazen Faqha, a senior figure in the military wing of the Islamist group. Since taking over Gaza in an armed coup in 2007, Hamas has executed 28 people. (Guardian-UK)
        See also 3,000 Palestinians Attend Gaza Executions - Majd Al Waheidi and Ian Fisher (New York Times)
  • Iran's Gen. Soleimani Declares Support for Hamas to Liberate "the Entire Palestinian Territory"
    Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Ghassem Soleimani on Wednesday congratulated Ismail Haniyeh on his election as the new leader of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). Soleimani underlined the evil plots of Zionism and global Arrogance [the U.S.] who seek to weaken the Islamic Ummah; "they are trying to distract Ummah's jihad from its Islamic path....We count on your efforts to place Palestine on top of Muslims' global fight [against Arrogance]." Soleimani expressed hope that Haniyeh's efforts continue until the liberation of Al-Aqsa and the entire Palestinian territory. (Mehr News-Iran)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • PA Official: Trump to Launch Unconventional Peace Plan - Daniel Siryoti
    U.S. President Donald Trump will launch an unconventional peace plan based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, focusing on upgrading Israel's relations with Arab states rather than on reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior Palestinian Authority official told Israel Hayom. According to the official, Trump told Abbas that if progress would be made in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, he would try to strike an interim peace deal that would focus on the various paths toward a final status agreement culminating with the creation of an independent Palestinian state and a joint Israeli-Palestinian statement declaring an end to the conflict.
        The president reportedly said that the first phase would include some form of normalization between moderate Sunni-Arab states and Israel. Later on, depending on how much progress is made, the U.S. would try to launch direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians with a set timetable aimed at finding a compromise on the core issues. This marks a shift, since Arab leaders have repeatedly said that normalization of relations must come only after core issues are resolved and a Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.
        The Palestinian official said Abbas responded by saying the Palestinians were vehemently opposed to such a move. (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump's Envoy Returns amid Push to Renew Direct Talks - Herb Keinon and Adam Rasgon
    U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt returned to Israel on Thursday and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas to follow up on conversations they had with President Donald Trump during his visit. The Prime Minister's Office denied a report that the U.S. was pushing Israel to transfer parts of Area C, under Israeli control, to Area B, under Palestinian administrative jurisdiction. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Gaza Electricity Reduced after PA Refuses to Pay - Tovah Lazaroff
    For the last few months the PA has cut electricity to Gaza by limiting what it pays for electricity. Israel supplies 125 MW of electricity to Gaza and the PA pays the monthly bill of NIS 40 million. This week the PA told Israel it would only pay NIS 25-30 million a month.
        Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, told BBC Arabic Radio, "This is an internal Palestinian issue and not an Israeli-Palestinian issue." Gaza's power plant, which had provided 120 MWs, shut down in April, unable to pay the taxes the PA imposed on the diesel fuel to run it. Since then, people in Gaza have lived with four to six hours of electricity a day, which may now decline to three hours. (Jerusalem Post)
  • European Ambassadors Boycott Tour of New Israeli Rail Route Because It Goes Under West Bank - Barak Ravid
    Israel's Transportation Ministry canceled a tour for foreign diplomats of tunnels for the fast Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway line under construction after the head of the EU delegation to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, urged the ambassadors not to participate because a portion of the route passes through the West Bank.
        A senior European diplomat noted, however, that European diplomats use Route 443, a highway which runs beyond the 1967 lines between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and would use the new train line once it is in operation.
        Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said, "The intervention of the ambassador from the European Union and his attempt to prevent the ambassadors from coming constitutes inappropriate interference in the internal affairs of the State of Israel. Are they boycotting the fast train to Jerusalem?" An official in his ministry said that a segment of a railway tunnel that is on the other side of the Green Line is a few hundred meters in length. (Ha'aretz)
  • Hizbullah Supporters Set Lebanese Minefield Alight near Northern Israeli Border Town
    Supporters of Hizbullah marking the 17th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon set fire to a field along the Israel-Lebanon border near the northern Israeli town of Metulla on Thursday, setting off several mines. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    President Trump's Visit to the Middle East

  • Why Middle East Peace Starts in Saudi Arabia - Charles Krauthammer
    President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia, the first of his presidency, is an unmistakable declaration of a radical reorientation of U.S. policy in the region. Message: The appeasement of Iran is over. The idea that the nuclear deal would make Iran more moderate has proved spectacularly wrong, as demonstrated by its defiant ballistic missile launches, its indispensable support for the genocidal Assad regime in Syria, its backing of the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, its worldwide support for terrorism, its relentless anti-Americanism and commitment to the annihilation of Israel.
        These aggressions were supposed to abate. They didn't. On the contrary, the cash payments and the lifting of economic sanctions - Tehran's reward for the nuclear deal - have only given its geopolitical thrusts more power and reach.
        The reversal has now begun. The first act was Trump's Riyadh address to about 50 Muslim states (the overwhelming majority of them Sunni) signaling a wide Islamic alliance committed to resisting Iran and willing to cast its lot with the American side.
        Ironically, the Iranian threat that grew under Obama offers a unique opportunity for U.S.-Arab and even Israeli-Arab cooperation. Over time, such cooperation could gradually acclimate Arab peoples to a nonbelligerent stance toward Israel. (Washington Post)
  • For Many in the Holy Land, Trump's Visit Was a Success for What He Didn't Say - Ruth Eglash
    On his first trip to the Holy Land, it's what President Trump didn't do or say that made his visit a success: He did not discuss politics - at least not in any depth. During his public addresses in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Trump talked forcefully about peace but refrained from berating one side or the other. Unlike his predecessor, there were no references to Israeli settlements. He also did not mention a Palestinian state, nor the status of Jerusalem.
        On the Israeli side, leaders said the ambiguity would give both sides the flexibility to resume negotiations and start peace-building measures. Israel's deputy minister for diplomacy, Michael Oren, a former ambassador to the U.S., said the two sides have been locked too tightly into a preset formula. "This president has a different approach to his predecessors," he said. "It also opens doors to other actors like Saudi Arabia."
        Israeli officials indicated they were looking for the U.S. to put more pressure on Arab countries to accept Israel first - only then would peace with the Palestinians be a possibility. (Washington Post)
  • Israelis Elated, Palestinians Disappointed by Trump Visit - Robert Berger
    President Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, the last remnant of the biblical Temple and Judaism's holiest site. Other presidents have stayed away because the U.S. does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem's Old City.
        Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., says Trump's stop at the Western Wall sends a powerful signal to the Palestinians, who deny Jewish biblical and historical ties to Jerusalem. "By going there, he's the president, which shows very, very clearly his respect and acknowledgement for the connection of the Jewish people with its land and with its capital," Shoval said. "All the different messages made by President Trump are not only something heartwarming to Israelis, but it's a clear message to the Palestinians: Be serious about making peace and don't delude yourselves that the U.S. is not Israel's ally and will look the other way."  (VOA News)
  • How Israelis See President Trump - Gary Rosenblatt
    Many American Jews no doubt were surprised and annoyed to see President Trump greeted in Israel this week with such enthusiasm by Prime Minister Netanyahu. But Israelis are a pragmatic people with few allies around the world. And after eight years of tension, and worse, with Barack Obama in the White House, they are relieved to see President Trump pledge his allegiance to the Jewish state, talk tough on Iran and have Nikki Haley at the UN speaking out on behalf of Israel and against the hypocrisy of the world body when it comes to the Jewish state.
        Israelis are, naturally, looking out for themselves in a tough neighborhood and welcome the prospect of their most important ally having their back and not being shy about proclaiming that position.
        At a forum marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Ambassador Dennis Ross, an American diplomat who advised four presidents on the Mideast, noted that in the days leading up to the war, with Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser threatening to drive Israel into the sea, the U.S. and the UN were passive. President Lyndon Johnson was "emotionally committed to Israel," Ross said Thursday. "But the U.S. did nothing. The short-answer why: Vietnam." The U.S. had 550,000 troops in Southeast Asia at the time and the White House and military were "totally consumed" with that war. The reality was that Israel was virtually alone. (New York Jewish Week)

  • Other Issues

  • Palestinian Hunger Strike Campaign Exposes Divides within Fatah - Lihi Ben Shitrit and Mahmoud Jaraba
    The hunger strike by a thousand Palestinian prisoners begun on April 17 reflects the intra-Fatah conflict between Marwan Barghouti's supporters and opponents. As of May 2017, there were 6,189 security prisoners. In addition to Hamas prisoners, who are not officially participating in the strike, the Fatah leadership in the Rimon, Negev, and Megiddo prisons, which hold more than 1,800 Fatah detainees, have not officially endorsed the strike due to their disagreements with Barghouti. Moreover, these leaders convinced Fatah's Central Committee to withdraw its initial directive making participation mandatory for all Fatah prisoners.
        The Palestinian Authority - while expressing moral support for the hunger strike - has also worked on the ground to contain protests in solidarity with it. PA security services are worried that an escalating civil resistance campaign could get out of hand, leading to security chaos that Hamas could exploit. Mahmoud Abbas and the PA security services have therefore doubled down on security coordination with Israel in an effort to maintain control over the Palestinian street.
        Lihi Ben Shitrit is an assistant professor at the School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia, Athens. Mahmoud Jaraba is a researcher and lecturer at Erlangen Center for Islam and Law in Europe (EZIRE) and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany. (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
  • The Palestinians Can Win If They Give Up Victim Status - Jim Hanson
    After World War II, the Italians, Germans and Japanese left behind their failed attempts at conquest and consequently they were treated to the benevolence of the Allies and a rebuilding process that turned them into modern nations. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have maintained belligerence and failure to even accept the existence of Israel in any meaningful way. Their Arab friends have made multiple attempts to destroy Israel and failed each time. Then the Palestinians switched to terrorism as a strategy and turned their proto state into an international pariah. This profound failure to comprehend their profound failure to destroy Israel has kept them in perpetual victim status.
        Billions of dollars in aid have flowed into the Palestinian territories. Some studies show it to be 25 times more per capita than was spent to rebuild Europe after World War II. Yet there is little in the way of progress and there are still "refugee" camps that have stood for decades. Their state of perpetual grievance has prevented them from using this largesse to build an actual state. If they were to do so, they could dedicate themselves to the challenge of giving their people quality of life rather than a false hope they will somehow drive the Israelis out of Israel. (Fox News)
  • President Trump Should Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem - Lawrence Grossman
    President Trump has the opportunity to right a historical wrong by advancing international recognition of Jerusalem, the biblical capital of the Jewish people, as the capital of the State of Israel. Although Israel had declared Jerusalem its capital soon after the country achieved independence in 1948, neither the U.S. nor much of the rest of the world accepted that designation and they placed their embassies and diplomats in Tel Aviv instead. The legal objection was that the UN partition plan of 1947 had designated Jerusalem as an internationalized zone that was not supposed to be part of any state.
        The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 sought to rectify this, pointing out that "international law and custom" gave each nation the right to choose its capital. But for 21 years, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have waived enforcement of its provisions. The current six-month waiver expires June 2. The writer is director of publications at the American Jewish Committee. (USA Today)

  • 50 Years Since the Six-Day War

  • Review: Christian Broadcasting Network Docudrama "In Our Hands - The Battle for Jerusalem" - Jerry Gordon
    On Tuesday, the eve of Jerusalem Day in Israel, upwards of 400,000 people in 700+ theaters across America watched the engrossing, and at times emotionally charged, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) production of "In Our Hands-The Battle for Jerusalem." Those of us who were young adults in 1967, with fear and anxiety were glued to transistor radios waiting to hear whether Israel would survive annihilation.
        "In Our Hands" depicts a dinner given by a Jewish family in Jerusalem on the eve of the battle. An 86-year-old grandmother, a refugee from the Jewish Quarter in the Old City overrun by Jordanian legionnaires in 1948, brings out an Israeli flag that had been taken down when she and 1,600 others were forced to leave at the end of the siege. She gifted it to a paratroop commander with the hope for returning it to fly from the Temple Mount. There is also archival color footage of the breach of Lions Gate and audio of the race to the Western Wall and Temple Mount, amidst sniper fire. (New English Review)
        See also View 5 Video Excerpts: Movie "In Our Hands" Brings Liberation of Jerusalem to Life - Miriam Elman
    Filming took 17 days using Israeli crews and more than 100 actors and extras. In the remarkable reenactments of the fighting, filmed on location, the film transforms into a compelling and emotional Israeli version of "Band of Brothers."
        Basically, "In Our Hands" underscores the resilience of the Israeli people against unbelievable odds. Jerusalem Day marks the day when a 2,000-year historical injustice was reversed. The writer is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University. (Legal Insurrection)
        See also Christian Docudrama about Six-Day War Becomes U.S. Box Office Hit - Nirit Anderman (Ha'aretz)
  • The Beginning of Israeli Rule in Judea and Samaria - Maj.-Gen. Rephael Vardi
    At the outbreak of the Six-Day War, Rephael Vardi was commander of the Jerusalem District. On June 7, 1967, he was appointed chief of staff to the commander of IDF forces in the West Bank and in December became commander of the West Bank. Maj.-Gen. Vardi was the principal figure in the government of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the decade after the 1967 war. Here he discusses the beginning of Israeli rule in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Video: Media Myth - East Jerusalem Is Traditionally Arab Territory
    Only between 1948 and 1967 was eastern Jerusalem exclusively Arab, after Jordan occupied it and expelled the area's Jewish residents, destroyed its synagogues, and desecrated the historic Jewish cemetery. Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem goes back to King David in 1004 BCE and Jews continued to live there ever since.
        The New York Times reported on May 30, 1948, "The Jews have been eliminated from the City of David for the first time since the sixteenth century. Except for 60 years in the sixteenth century they are believed to have been there continuously since the return from the Babylonian captivity [after 539 BCE]." Next time journalists say "East Jerusalem is Arab," send them this video. (CAMERA)

  • Weekend Features

  • In Photos: The Story of the Liberation of Jerusalem a Century Ago - Lenny Ben-David
    This year marks the centenary of a fierce World War I battle that rescued Jerusalem's entire Jewish population from starvation, plague, exile, and death. Since Russia was part of the alliance ranged against Germany and the Ottoman empire, Jews of Russian origin were viewed as a potential fifth column. Ten thousand Jews left Jerusalem in one week. Most of the houses were closed because the inhabitants were dead, or deported, exiled, or in prison. By summer 1917, the city of Jerusalem and its Jewish residents were nearly eradicated. Some 2,700 orphans wandered the streets.
        After capturing Beersheba in October, British forces, supplemented by fighters from Australia and New Zealand, turned toward Jerusalem. The hilltop of Nebi Samuel (tomb of the Prophet Samuel three miles north of Jerusalem) was the scene of a November battle between three British and three Turkish divisions.
        After the Turks appealed to their German allies for help in defending Jerusalem, the German General Erich von Falkenhayn did not send reinforcements because he did not want the relics and the holy places damaged because of severe fighting. Falkenhayn, the commander of the Turkish and German armies in Palestine, instead ordered the retreat of Turkish soldiers so that Jerusalem would not be destroyed. (Mosaic)
  • Ireland's Overlooked "Oskar Schindler" - Michael Riordan
    In World War II, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, an Irish priest and Vatican diplomat, was wanted by the Nazis. "Monsignor O'Flaherty left the safety of the Vatican to run his escape line," said Jerry O'Grady, chairman of the Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Society in the priest's hometown in Killarney, Ireland. "The Gestapo had a price on his head and they tried to kidnap him many times." The Society is preparing an application to Yad Vashem to have their local hero, who is credited with concealing hundreds of Jews from the Gestapo, listed as Righteous Among the Nations.
        In the last years of the war, O'Flaherty organized a group of priests, anti-Fascists and diplomats to help shelter Jews, escaped POWs and refugees. He set up a network of safe havens in rented apartments and religious houses throughout Rome. Claudio-Ilan Jacobi, now living in Israel, is one of the Jews O'Flaherty saved. "I saw the Monsignor many times," Jacobi wrote in his statement for Yad Vashem. "He helped my mother, my grandparents and me find refuge from the Nazis. He got false papers for us from the Vatican as well as food cards. I remember the great appreciation my mother had for all he did."  (Times of Israel)

50 Years after the Six-Day War, We Shouldn't Lament Israel's Power to Protect Itself - Jonathan Miller (Alabama Media Group)

  • In May 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the President of Egypt, who had joined in a military alliance with Syrian President Hafez el Assad, daily promised to "drive Israel into the sea." Jews around the world were anxious beyond belief. It was scant more than twenty years since the liberation of the death camps in Europe and the odds were overwhelming that the next cataclysm against our people was soon to begin. In a stunning six-day victory, Israel defeated the combined Arab armies, reunited Jerusalem, took the Golan Heights and made its way to the Suez Canal.
  • It is difficult for Israel to extricate itself from the obligation of having to send its young people to the territories in uniform to oversee other people's lives. Israel uprooted 8,000 long-time inhabitants of Gaza to make the territory Jew-free with the hope that without an occupation Gaza could transform itself into a Singapore. We know from history that this was a terrible mistake which has exacted an enormous cost on Palestinians and Israelis in terms of suffering, treasure and death.
  • Some opinion-makers have opined that the Six-Day War was a catastrophe. I cannot agree. It is far better that Israel won the war decisively than were it to have lost the war entirely. It is not hard to imagine the nature of the bloodbath that would have occurred on the streets of an Arab-occupied Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
  • Israel's adversaries refuse to accept its existence and the existence of Jews living in the Land of Israel. That is the root of the problem, going back more than a hundred years. Once that is solved, everything else will fall into place.
  • To be honest, there is something crazy about lamenting the fact that we Jews have the power to protect ourselves and that we will no longer be subject to the bullies and murderers who have tormented us. I would rather live with the moral struggle of the past 50 years than die the good death of a martyr to another round of anti-Jewish hatred and violence.

    Jonathan Miller is a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, Alabama.
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