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holocaust survivors

  • In memory of Felicia Langer, the first lawyer to bring the occupation to court

    Felicia Langer was a Holocaust survivor, a communist, and one of the first Israeli lawyers to defend Palestinian residents of the occupied territories in the Israeli Supreme Court. She died in Germany last week.  By Michael Sfard Israeli human rights lawyer Felicia Langer died Thursday in Germany. Langer was a human rights and peace activist, a communist, and one of the first attorneys to represent Palestinian residents of the occupied territories in Israeli courts. In Israel’s Supreme Court, she pioneered legal practices that today seem natural and obvious but were once considered outrageous. She was the first to challenge the…

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  • The Iranian-German who made a film about the annihilation of Ukraine's Jews

    Director Farschid Ali Zahedi fled Iran for Germany following the Islamic Revolution, where he became fascinated by Jewish history and the Holocaust. After four years of work he is now releasing his latest film on the extermination of Jews in the Ukrainian city of Kovel. Orly Noy sat down to speak to him about debuting his film in Israel, the memory of the Holocaust, and the bleeding wound of his homeland.  Before the Second World War, the Ukrainian city of Kovel was home to an significant and flourishing Jewish community. During the Nazi occupation, which lasted from 1941 to 1944, the Jewish population…

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  • Israelis have turned away from compassion

    From asylum seekers to Palestinians to Holocaust survivors, the lack of compassion is appallingly evident in the way Israeli society treats the disadvantaged. In 1904, H.G. Wells published a short story entitled "The Country of the Blind." It tells of a mountaineer whose failed attempt to climb a summit in Ecuador leads him to slide down into a valley cut off from the rest the world. The inhabitants of the valley are descendants of settlers who fled the Spanish conquests and found themselves stuck there after an earthquake. They managed to build a functioning society, despite the fact that the…

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  • Our elected officials boast about deporting genocide survivors

    Israel's leaders are proud of themselves for deporting asylum seekers, while the state continues to trample over their rights and deceive them. What have we come to? By Moran Mekamel On Tuesday, it was announced that the government is planning to forcibly deport Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to "third countries." Those who refuse to leave will be jailed in Saharonim prison for an indefinite amount of time. This latest step is not wrapped in pretty words such as "returning by choice" or "benefit packages," whose goal is to cover up the government-sponsored horror show taking place here. Those behind the…

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  • Sentenced to life at birth: What do Palestinian refugees want?

    For more than 66 years, Palestinian refugees have been languishing in squalid conditions across camps in the Middle East. But do all of them agree that a return to Palestine is necessarily the best solution? Through her extensive research, Paula Schmitt finds that while different refugees may have different desires, hopelessness remains everyone's worst enemy.  By Paula Schmitt There’s something almost cruel about asking a Palestinian refugee whether he would accept living peacefully with Israel were he ever allowed to return. It feels like a sadistic exercise: treat a man like a lesser human, deny him a country, a house,…

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  • Quiet! They're memorializing the Holocaust

    When Israeli bad taste meets Holocaust consciousness, the polite thing to do is nod your approval. When I read this week's New York Times story about Israeli grandchildren (and some children) of Holocaust survivors who have tattooed their elders' concentration camp numbers onto their forearms (and in some cases ankles), I wasn't sure what to think. Who am I to put down a memorialization of the Holocaust? These people obviously feel strongly about what they're doing; what right do I have to judge them? Mention of the Holocaust, of course, has a tendency to paralyze one's critical faculties, and it…

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  • My great-grandmother: Orthodox and anti-Zionist

    The Jewish diaspora didn't always march lockstep behind Israel. My great-grandmother--who escaped pogroms and lost family in the Holocaust--was an anti-Zionist. Rampant anti-Semitism drove my great-grandmother from Eastern Europe. There’d been pogroms; there were restrictions on the type of work Jews could do. My family made their way to New York City with little more than the clothes on their backs; the relatives they’d left behind disappeared during the Holocaust, never to be heard from again. So when the United Nations voted in favor of the partition of Palestine in 1947, my great-grandmother’s son, my grandfather, rejoiced. He ran into…

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  • Treasury to raise Holocaust survivors’ rent

    In an attempt to raise revenues after they lowered them for the benefit of the rich, the Treasury Boys go after the Holocaust survivors Last night we found out there is an apparatchik at the Treasury who came up with a brilliant idea for curbing the deficit: Raising the rent of Holocaust survivors. As the clerk – his name is Tzahi David – proudly explained to the somewhat shocked Knesset members, the government subsidizes the rent of many Holocaust survivors, who pay only 8 percent of it. From October onward, said Tzahi David, they’ll pay 10 percent. This will cost…

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