After the family was arrested, they were all taken to concentration camps. Edith Frank, Annes mother, died of starvation in Auschwitz on January 6, 1945, a day before the camp was liberated. Margot, Annes sister, and Anne herself both died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen, Margot in March, 1945 and Anne in April, 1945, a few weeks before it, too, was liberated. Otto Frank, her father, was the only survivor from the family (Anne Franks Timeline).

When Otto Frank returned and entered the now abandoned home and Annex, he noticed a drawer open in the antique wooden dresser in the corner. In the drawer there was a green folder marked in Miep Gies’ handwriting, “Annes Diary.” As Otto opened it, tears poured down his face. “This is all that is left of my Anne,” he thought to himself. As he sat on the hard, cold, wooden floor, he began to read aloud the first page: “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support…” (Frank,1995).

Anne was the type of person who always looked on the bright side of things. Even when she was in hiding, she never doubted the fact she would get out of there alive. She said as one of her first impressions of the Annex, “The Annex is an ideal place to hide in. It may be damp and lopsided, but theres probably not a more comfortable hiding place in all of Amsterdam. No, in all of Holland” (Frank,1995). Most people would have been in severe depression if they were forced to leave their home for a place like this. She would also sometimes prefer the Annex to the outside, because it protected her from the dangers of the street. She referred to it once as “a little piece of blue heaven, surrounded by heavy black rain clouds” (Brown,1991). A hero should always be positive, and that is what Anne was. She never gave up hope, not until the moment she died.

Anne and her family lived in the Secret Annex for almost three years without ever once setting foot outdoors. This would require extreme patience just to be able to stay in the house for so long. In addition, the eight members of the house couldnt move from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM, so no one would hear them below. This called for even more patience, to sit still for ten hours straight. Anne must have been a calm, even-tempered person if she lived with the same eight people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 3 years. This trait in Anne demonstrates why she was a great hero.

Anne Frank was a very strong and brave person. When she was younger, living in the Netherlands, her teachers described her as someone who always spoke her mind, someone who liked attention, liked to make people laugh, “a little comedian” (Brown,1991). They also said she was very mature for her age, had a good sense of herself, that “she knew who she was” (Brown,1991). She loved performing, especially in school plays. To keep herself strong, she used a diary she received for her 13th birthday as an outlet for her fear. “When I write, I can shake off all my cares” (Anne Frank: Her Life and Times). Her personality was strong, which in turn allowed her to show great bravery in life. She must have had to be extremely brave to sit in bed at night and hear the sirens, taking away friends and family. She also heard the bombs, the explosions as the war raged around her. For her to be able to handle this, and still go on living a semi-normal life, as recorded in her diary, proved that she was very brave.

By writing her famous diary, Anne Frank helped the world understand that the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust had faces, lives, and personalities. She has been called the “human face of the Holocaust,” and her personal record of “her struggle to keep hope alive through the darkest days of this century has touched the hearts of millions” (Mller). She helped teach people that the Holocaust did happen, and it was a horrible thing. Without her help, the world would never know the intensity of the pain caused during this time. A boy, who was once so moved after he performed in a play about Anne, wrote to Otto Frank, and said that he realized that “not only does Anne stand for the Jews, but for any human being who suffered because of his beliefs, color, or race” (Brown,1991).

Anne Frank is a hero because she was optimistic, patient, unselfish, and strong. For some, she has been someone to look up to. For others, she has been a victim of wrongdoing that will help to prevent the same tragedy from happening again. She died unjustly. If she had lived, she could have been someone who was famous for her life, not her death.

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The My Hero Project – Anne Frank

Written on July 19th, 2015 & filed under Anne Frank Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Forget You Not”: Holocaust S urviv ors a nd R eme mbr a n c e Proj e ct – Part IV – TABLE OF CONTENTS . .



On December 7, 1970, while in Warsaw for a commemorative service honoring the participants of the WarsawGhettoUprising, the German Chancellor Willy Brandt kneels in front of the Monument, in an apparent gesture of apology, repentance, and reconciliation.

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1. Pre-Holocaust Studies

The Israeli Coat of Arms features the Menorah, the candelabra used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. It, along with other Temple artifacts, was captured almost two millennia ago by the Romans during their siege of Jerusalem. According to the historian Flavius Josephus, a Jew who lived at the time of the Romans, “Most of the spoils that were carried were heaped up indiscriminately, but more prominent than all the rest were those captured in the Temple at Jerusalem – a golden table weighing several hundred weight, and a lampstand similarly made of gold but differently constructed from those we normally use. The central shaft was fixed to a base, and from it extended slender branches placed like the prongs of a trident, and with the end of each one forged into a lamp: these numbered seven, signifying the honour paid to that number by the Jews.” (Josephus, The Jewish War, G.A. Williamson, translator, Penguin, 1959.) The Arch of Titus in Rome has on it a carving depicting the spoils of the Temple – including the Menorah – being carried triumphantly through Rome.

Courtesy of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Originally posted here:
Part IV – Holocaust Studies, Anti-Semitism and Related Topics


The conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Zionist (now Israeli) Jews is a modern phenomenon, dating to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the two groups have different religions (Palestinians include Muslims, Christians and Druze), religious differences are not the cause of the strife. The conflict began as a struggle over land. From the end of World War I until 1948, the area that both groups claimed was known internationally as Palestine. That same name was also used to designate a less well-defined Holy Land by the three monotheistic religions. Following the war of 19481949, this land was divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River) and the Gaza Strip.

It is a small areaapproximately 10,000 square miles, or about the size of the state of Maryland. The competing claims to the territory are not reconcilable if one group exercises exclusive political control over all of it. Jewish claims to this land are based on the biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants, on the fact that the land was the historical site of the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judea, and on Jews need for a haven from European anti-Semitism. Palestinian Arab claims to the land are based on their continuous residence in the country for hundreds of years and the fact that they represented the demographic majority until 1948. They reject the notion that a biblical-era kingdom constitutes the basis for a valid modern claim. If Arabs engage the biblical argument at all, they maintain that since Abrahams son Ishmael is the forefather of the Arabs, then Gods promise of the land to the children of Abraham includes Arabs as well. They do not believe that they should forfeit their land to compensate Jews for Europes crimes against Jews.

The Land and the People

In the nineteenth century, following a trend that emerged earlier in Europe, people around the world began to identify themselves as nations and to demand national rights, foremost the right to self-rule in a state of their own (self-determination and sovereignty). Jews and Palestinians both started to develop a national consciousness and mobilized to achieve national goals. Because Jews were spread across the world (in diaspora), the Jewish national movement, or Zionist trend, sought to identify a place where Jews could come together through the process of immigration and settlement. Palestine seemed the logical and optimal place because it was the site of Jewish origin. The Zionist movement began in 1882 with the first wave of European Jewish immigration to Palestine.

At that time, the land of Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. This area did not constitute a single political unit, however. The northern districts of Acre and Nablus were part of the province of Beirut. The district of Jerusalem was under the direct authority of the Ottoman capital of Istanbul because of the international significance of the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem as religious centers for Muslims, Christians and Jews. According to Ottoman records, in 1878 there were 462,465 subject inhabitants of the Jerusalem, Nablus and Acre districts: 403,795 Muslims (including Druze), 43,659 Christians and 15,011 Jews. In addition, there were perhaps 10,000 Jews with foreign citizenship (recent immigrants to the country) and several thousand Muslim Arab nomads (Bedouin) who were not counted as Ottoman subjects. The great majority of the Arabs (Muslims and Christians) lived in several hundred rural villages. Jaffa and Nablus were the largest and economically most important towns with majority-Arab populations.

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, most Jews living in Palestine were concentrated in four cities with religious significance: Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. Most of them observed traditional, orthodox religious practices. Many spent their time studying religious texts and depended on the charity of world Jewry for survival. Their attachment to the land was religious rather than national, and they were not involved inor supportive ofthe Zionist movement that began in Europe and was brought to Palestine by immigrants. Most of the Jews who emigrated from Europe lived a more secular lifestyle and were committed to the goals of creating a modern Jewish nation and building an independent Jewish state. By the outbreak of World War I (1914), the population of Jews in Palestine had risen to about 60,000, about 36,000 of whom were recent settlers. The Arab population in 1914 was 683,000.

The British Mandate in Palestine

By the early years of the twentieth century, Palestine had become a trouble spot of competing territorial claims and political interests. The Ottoman Empire was weakening, and European powers were strengthening their grip on areas along the eastern Mediterranean, including Palestine. During 19151916, as World War I was underway, the British high commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, secretly corresponded with Husayn ibn Ali, the patriarch of the Hashemite family and Ottoman governor of Mecca and Medina. McMahon convinced Husayn to lead an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which was aligned with Germany against Britain and France in the war. McMahon promised that if the Arabs supported Britain in the war, the British government would support the establishment of an independent Arab state under Hashemite rule in the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, including Palestine. The Arab revolt, led by Husayns son Faysal and T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), was successful in defeating the Ottomans, and Britain took control over much of this area during World War I.

But Britain made other promises during the war that conflicted with the Husayn-McMahon understandings. In 1917, the British foreign minister, Lord Arthur Balfour, issued a declaration (the Balfour Declaration) announcing his governments support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. A third promise, in the form of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, was a secret deal between Britain and France to carve up the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire and divide control of the region.

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Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict …

Written on July 17th, 2015 & filed under Israeli History Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Certain issues raised by Shahak are undeveloped by other reviewers, and I elaborate on the situation facing Polish Jews and peasants at about the time of the Partitions and thereafter.

The anti-Semitism in part of the peasantry of eastern and central Europe is commonly stereotyped as the product of Christian religion and of their backwardness. By contrast, Shahak emphasizes the evolution of Polish society in a direction that placed peasants and Jews into a quasi-adversarial position. It began with the uncontrolled growth of the power of self-interested nobility since about 1600: “This process was accompanied by a debasement in the position of the Polish peasants (who had been free in the Middle Ages) to the point of utter serfdom, hardly distinguishable from outright slavery and certainly the worst in Europe.” (p. 61).

The Jewish situation then was very different: “Polish Jewry burst into social and political prominence accompanied, as usual, with a much greater degree of autonomy. It was at this time that Poland’s Jews were granted their greatest privileges…Until 1939, the population of many towns east of the river Bug was at least 90 percent Jewish…Outside the towns very many Jews throughout Poland, but especially in the east, were employed as the direct supervisors and oppressors of the enserfed peasantry.” (pp. 62-63).

“But, as we have remarked, the peasants suffered worse oppression at the hands of both landlords and Jews; and one may assume that, except in times of peasant uprisings, the full weight of the Jewish religious laws against Gentiles fell upon the peasants.” (p. 63).

Shahak continues: “Internal conditions within the Jewish community moved in a similar course…In the period 1500-1795…

Read more here:
Jewish History, Jewish Religion: Israel Shahak …

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the United States’ official memorial to the Holocaust, says that: “The Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.”[1] While the term Holocaust victims generally refers to the victims of a systematic genocide against the Jewish people in Nazi Germany, the Nazis systematically murdered a large number of non-Jewish people that were considered subhuman (Untermenschen) or undesirable. The non-Jewish (gentile) victims of the Holocaust included: Poles, Ukrainians, Slavs, Serbs, Romanis (often known in the English-speaking world by the ethnonym gypsies), lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals (LGBTs);[a]mentally or physically disabled people;[b]Soviet POWs, Roman Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses,[c]Spanish Republicans, Freemasons,[d]people of color (especially African-German mischlinge, who Hitler and the Nazi regime called the “Rhineland Bastards”); the Deaf, leftists, Communists, trade unionists, social democrats, socialists, anarchists, and every other minority or dissident that wasn’t considered part of the Aryan race or Herrenvolk (“master race”).[e][2][3]

Taking into account all of the victims of persecution, the Nazis systematically killed an estimated 6 million Jews and mass murdered an additional 11 million people during the war. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths would produce a death toll of 17 million.[4]

Despite often widely varying treatment (some groups were actively targeted for genocide, while others were not), these victims all perished alongside one another, some in concentration camps such as Dachau and, some as victims of other forms of Nazi brutality, but most in death camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to the extensive documentation left behind by the Nazis themselves (both written and photographed), eyewitness testimony (by survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders) and the statistical records of the various countries under occupation.

The paramilitary campaign to remove certain classes of persons but above all, Jews from Germany and other German-held territories during the Second World War, often using methods of extreme brutality, is commonly known as the Holocaust. The Holocaust was carried out primarily by German forces and certain collaborative persons, both German and otherwise. As the war started, millions of Jews were concentrated in ghettos. In 1941, massacres of Jews took place and by December Hitler had decided to exterminate all of the Jews living in Europe at that time. In all, more than 30% of the Jews in Europe were murdered in the Holocaust. The world’s Jewish population was reduced by a third, from roughly 16.6 million in 1939 to about 11 million in 1946.[5] Even sixty years later, there are still fewer Jews in the world today than there were prior to 1940.[6]

In January 1942, during the Wannsee conference, several Nazi leaders discussed the details of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (Endlsung der Judenfrage). Dr. Josef Bhler, the State Secretary for the Central Government, urged Reinhard Heydrich, the conference chairman, to proceed with the Final Solution in the General Government. They began to systematically deport Jewish populations from the ghettos and all occupied territories to the seven camps designated as Vernichtungslager, or extermination camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Maly Trostenets, Sobibr and Treblinka. The author Sebastian Haffner, published the analysis in 1978 that Hitler, from December 1941, accepted the failure of his goal to dominate Europe on his declaration of war against the United States, and that his withdrawal thereafter was sustained by the achievement of his second goalthe extermination of the Jews.[7] Even as the Nazi war machine faltered in the last years of the war, precious military resources such as fuel, transport, munitions, soldiers and industrial resources were still being diverted away from the war towards the death camps.

Poland, home of the largest Jewish community in the world before the war, had 3,000,000 (90%) of its Jewish population killed. The Germans had issued the death penalty for hiding Jews and this law was carried out fully. Some Poles hid Jews and saved their lives despite the risk to them and their own families. Although detailed reports on the Holocaust had reached western leaders, public awareness in the United States and other democracies of genocidal mass murder of Jews in Poland was extremely poor at the time; the first references in The New York Times in 1942 were not front-page news, these articles were more in the nature of unconfirmed reports.

Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Latvia each had over 70% of their Jewish population destroyed. Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Norway, and Estonia lost around 50% of their Jews, the Soviet Union over one third; even countries such as France and Italy had each seen around 25% of their Jewish population killed. Denmark was able to evacuate almost all of its Jews to nearby Sweden, which was neutral during the war. The Danish resistance movement, with the assistance of many ordinary Danish citizens, managed to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark’s 7,800 Jews by sea to Sweden (a neutral country),[8] using everything from fishing boats to private yachts. The rescue allowed the vast majority of Denmark’s Jewish population to avoid capture by the Nazis.[8] Some Jews outside Europe under Nazi occupation were also affected by the Holocaust, such as in Italian Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Japan, and China.

Although Jews are an ethnoreligious group, Jews were defined by the Nazis purely on racial grounds. The Nazi party regarded Jewish religion as irrelevant and persecuted Jews on antisemitic stereotypes, and put it down to what they perceived to be biologically determined heritage that drove the Jewish race. While it defined Jews as the main enemy, Nazi racial ideology was used against other persecuted minorities.[9]

The Nazi genocide of Romani people was ignored by scholars until the 1980s; opinions continue to differ on its details. Historians Donald Niewyk and Francis Nicosia write that the genocide of the Romani began later than the genocide of the Jews and that a smaller proportion was killed.[10] Hitler’s campaign of genocide against the Romani population of Europe involved an application of Nazi “racial hygiene” (a type of selective breeding for humans). Despite discriminatory measures, some Romani groups, including some of the Sinti and Lalleri of Germany, were spared deportation and death, the remaining Romani groups suffered much like the Jews. Romani were deported to the Jewish ghettos, shot by SS Einsatzgruppen in their villages or deported and gassed in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka.

Estimates of the death toll of Romani people in World War II range from 220,000 to 1,500,000.[11] The genocide of the Roma was formally recognised by West Germany in 1982 and by Poland in 2011.[12]

See more here:
Holocaust victims – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on July 17th, 2015 & filed under Holocaust Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Deposit and loan products offered by Bank of the West, Member FDIC.

Wireless carriers may charge fees for text transmissions or data usage. Message frequency depends on account settings. Text HELP to BKWST for help. Availability of Mobile Banking may be affected by your mobile device’s coverage area.

1 This offer is valid for new or existing BancWest Investment Services, Inc. (“BWIS”) customers, and is limited to one “Eligible Account” (as defined below) per customer. The maximum cash bonus allowable for an Eligible Account is $2,500 within a six-month period. “Qualifying Assets,” for purposes of this offer, shall mean assets (i.e., cash, securities, fixed and variable annuities, and real estate investments trusts) deposited or transferred into the Eligible Account from outside BWIS or any BWIS affiliate within 60 days of enrollment, minus assets withdrawn or transferred out of Eligible Accounts within such 60-day period. Life insurance holdings and other assets not listed above are not “Qualifying Assets” and are not eligible for this offer. Qualifying Assets will be valued at the time BWIS receives such assets. An “Eligible Account” is a BWIS account that holds Qualifying Assets, and that has been enrolled to receive this offer prior to depositing or transferring any Qualifying Assets. Eligible Accounts do not include any account the inclusion of which is prohibited by law or may result in a breach of any fiduciary duty, law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Customers with Qualifying Assets of $50,000-$74,999.99 may receive a bonus in the amount of $200; customers with Qualifying Assets of $75,000-$249,999.99 may receive $300; customers with Qualifying Assets of $250,000-$499,999.99 may receive $700; customers with Qualifying Assets of $500,000-$999,999.99 may receive $1,250; customers with Qualifying Assets of $1,000,000 or more, may receive $2,500. If all requirements for this offer are met, Qualifying Assets will be calculated as of the 60th day after enrollment and the cash bonus will be credited to the Eligible Account within six weeks. The minimum Qualifying Assets for the applicable bonus amount must be maintained in the Eligible Account for one year from the date on which BWIS receives such assets or BWIS may charge the account the amount of the bonus. Any applicable taxes associated with the cash bonus are the responsibility of the BWIS account holder. To the extent required by law, BWIS will report the total value of this bonus to the IRS on Form 1099-INT for the applicable tax year in which the bonus was paid. Customers should consult a tax professional to determine the appropriate tax treatment for this bonus offer. Employees or associated persons of FINRA, any FINRA member firm (other than BWIS), or a U.S. exchange are not eligible for this offer. Employees, associated persons, and customers of First Hawaiian Bank and First Hawaiian Investment Services are not eligible for this offer. Offer is non-transferrable and only valid in the United States. BWIS reserves the right to modify or cancel this offer at any time. Void where prohibited.

Securities and variable annuities are offered through BancWest Investment Services, a registered broker/dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial Advisors are Registered Representatives of BancWest Investment Services. Fixed annuities/insurance products are offered through BancWest Insurance Agency in California, (License #0C52321), through BancWest Insurance Agency in Utah and through BancWest Investment Services, Inc. in AZ, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, WA, WI, WY, HI, GUAM and CNMI. Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries are not tax or legal advisors.

BancWest Investment Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of the West and a part of the Wealth Management Group. BancWest Corporation is the holding company for Bank of the West. BancWest Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas.

Investment and Insurance Products:

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Bank of the West – Official Site

Written on July 16th, 2015 & filed under West Bank Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Palestinians (, al-Filasniyyn) Total population c. 12,100,000[1] Regions with significant populations State of Palestine 4,420,549[2][a 1] West Bank 2,719,112[2] Gaza Strip 1,701,437[2] Jordan 3,240,000 Israel 1,658,000[3][a 1] Syria 630,000 Chile 500,000[4] Lebanon 402,582 Saudi Arabia 280,245 Egypt 270,245 United States 255,000[5] Honduras 250,000 United Arab Emirates 170,000 Mexico 120,000 Qatar 100,000 Germany 80,000[6] Kuwait 80,000[7] El Salvador 70,000[8] Brazil 59,000[9] Iraq 57,000[10] Yemen 55,000 Canada 50,975[11] Australia 45,000 Libya 44,000 United Kingdom 20,000[6] Peru 15,000 Colombia 12,000 Pakistan 10,500 Netherlands 9,000 Sweden 7,000[12] Algeria 4,030[13] Languages Palestinian territories and Israel: Palestinian Arabic, Hebrew, English, Neo-Aramaic, and Greek Diaspora: Other varieties of Arabic, the vernacular languages of other countries in the Palestinian diaspora. Religion Majority: Sunni Islam Minority: Christianity, Druze, Shia Islam, Judaism,[citation needed], non-denominational Muslims[14] Related ethnic groups Other Levantines, Mediterraneans, Semitic peoples: Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Mizrahim, Samaritans, other Arabs, Assyrians, Canaanites[15]

The Palestinian people (Arabic: , ash-shab al-Filasn), also referred to as Palestinians (Arabic: , al-Filasniyyn, Hebrew: ), are the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine over the centuries, and who today are largely culturally and linguistically Arab due to Arabization of the region.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] Despite various wars and exoduses (such as that in 1948), roughly one half of the world’s Palestinian population continues to reside in historic Palestine, the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel.[24] In this combined area, as of 2004, Palestinians constituted 49% of all inhabitants,[25] encompassing the entire population of the Gaza Strip (1.6 million), the majority of the population of the West Bank (approximately 2.3 million versus close to 500,000 Jewish Israeli citizens which includes about 200,000 in East Jerusalem), and 16.5% of the population of Israel proper as Arab citizens of Israel.[26] Many are Palestinian refugees or internally displaced Palestinians, including more than a million in the Gaza Strip,[27] three-quarters of a million in the West Bank,[28] and about a quarter of a million in Israel proper. Of the Palestinian population who live abroad, known as the Palestinian diaspora, more than half are stateless lacking citizenship in any country.[29] 3.24 million of the diaspora population live in neighboring Jordan[30] where they make up approximately half the population, 1.5 million live between Syria and Lebanon, a quarter of a million in Saudi Arabia, with Chile’s half a million representing the largest concentration outside the Arab world.

A genetic study has suggested that a majority of the Muslims of Palestine, inclusive of Arab citizens of Israel, could be descendants of Christians, Jews and other earlier inhabitants of the southern Levant whose core may reach back to prehistoric times. A study of high-resolution haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Israeli Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool.[31] Since the time of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century, religious conversions[citation needed] have resulted in Palestinians being predominantly Sunni Muslim by religious affiliation, though there is a significant Palestinian Christian minority of various Christian denominations, as well as Druze and a small Samaritan community.[citation needed] Though Palestinian Jews made up part of the population of Palestine prior to the creation of the State of Israel, few identify as “Palestinian” today. Acculturation, independent from conversion to Islam, resulted in Palestinians being linguistically and culturally Arab.[16] The vernacular of Palestinians, irrespective of religion, is the Palestinian dialect of Arabic. Many Arab citizens of Israel, including Palestinians, are bilingual and fluent in Hebrew.

The history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars.[32] Legal historian Assaf Likhovski states that the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the 20th century.[32] “Palestinian” was used to refer to the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people by the Arabs of Palestine in a limited way until World War I.[20][21] The first demand for national independence of the Levant was issued by the SyrianPalestinian Congress on 21 September 1921.[33] After the creation of the State of Israel, the exodus of 1948, and more so after the exodus of 1967, the term came to signify not only a place of origin, but also the sense of a shared past and future in the form of a Palestinian state.[20] According to Rashid Khalidi, the modern Palestinian people now understand their identity as encompassing the heritage of all ages from biblical times up to the Ottoman period.[34]

Founded in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is an umbrella organization for groups that represent the Palestinian people before the international community.[35] The Palestinian National Authority, officially established as a result of the Oslo Accords, is an interim administrative body nominally responsible for governance in Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[36] Since 1978, the United Nations has observed an annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The Greek toponym Palaistn (), with which the Arabic Filastin () is cognate, first occurs in the work of the 5th century BCE Greek historian Herodotus, where it denotes generally[37] the coastal land from Phoenicia down to Egypt.[38][39] Herodotus also employs the term as an ethnonym, as when he speaks of the ‘Syrians of Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian-Syrians’,[40] an ethnically amorphous group he distinguishes from the Phoenicians.[41][42] Herodotus makes no distinction between the Jews and other inhabitants of Palestine.[43] The Greek word bears comparison to a congeries of ancient ethnonyms and toponyms. In Ancient Egyptian Peleset/Purusati[44] has been conjectured to refer to the “Sea Peoples”.[45][46] Among Semitic languages, Assyrian Palastu generally refers to an undefined area.[47]Biblical Hebrew’s cognate word Plitim,[48] is usually translated Philistines.[49]

Syria Palestina continued to be used by historians and geographers and others to refer to the area between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river, as in the writings of Philo, Josephus and Pliny the Elder. After the Romans adopted the term as the official administrative name for the region in the 2nd century CE, “Palestine” as a stand-alone term came into widespread use, printed on coins, in inscriptions and even in rabbinic texts.[50] The Arabic word Filastin has been used to refer to the region since the time of the earliest medieval Arab geographers. It appears to have been used as an Arabic adjectival noun in the region since as early as the 7th century CE.[51] The Arabic language newspaper Filasteen (est. 1911), published in Jaffa by Issa and Yusef al-Issa, addressed its readers as “Palestinians”.[52]

The first Zionist bank, the Jewish Colonial Trust, was founded at the Second Zionist Congress and incorporated in London in 1899. The JCT was intended to be the financial instrument of the Zionist Organization, and was to obtain capital and credit to help attain a charter for Palestine. On 27 February 1902, a subsidiary of this Trust called the “Anglo-Palestine Company” (APC) was established in London with the assistance of Zalman David Levontin. This Company was to become the future Bank Leumi.[53] During the Mandatory Palestine period, the term “Palestinian” was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and those granted citizenship by the British Mandatory authorities were granted “Palestinian citizenship”.[54] Other examples include the use of the term Palestine Regiment to refer to the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group of the British Army during World War II, and the term “Palestinian Talmud”, which is an alternative name of the Jerusalem Talmud, used mainly in academic sources.

Following the 1948 establishment of Israel, the use and application of the terms “Palestine” and “Palestinian” by and to Palestinian Jews largely dropped from use. For example, the English-language newspaper The Palestine Post, founded by Jews in 1932, changed its name in 1950 to The Jerusalem Post. Jews in Israel and the West Bank today generally identify as Israelis. Arab citizens of Israel identify themselves as Israeli and/or Palestinian and/or Arab.[55]

The Palestinian National Charter, as amended by the PLO’s Palestine National Council in July 1968, defined “Palestinians” as “those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father whether in Palestine or outside it is also a Palestinian.”[56] Note that “Arab nationals” is not religious-specific, and it implicitly includes not only the Arabic-speaking Muslims of Palestine, but also the Arabic-speaking Christians of Palestine and other religious communities of Palestine who were at that time Arabic-speakers, such as the Samaritans and Druze. Thus, the Jews of Palestine were/are also included, although limited only to “the [Arabic-speaking] Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the [pre-state] Zionist invasion.” The Charter also states that “Palestine with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.”[56][57]

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Palestinians – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on July 15th, 2015 & filed under Palestine Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jewish law enjoins the entire community to bring joy and happiness to both the Kallah (bride) and Choson (groom).

Most of the laws and customs relating to the wedding ceremony, its preparations and Seudas Mitzvah (festive reception meal) date back to our Patriarchs and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

There may be those who are somewhat unfamiliar with the procedures, laws and customs of what takes place at a traditional wedding. The following is a brief guide to some of the laws and customs of marriage. It is our fervent hope that this will enhance your knowledge and add to your appreciation of the traditional Chassidic wedding.

The Talmud teaches that, originally man and woman were created as a single being. According to tradition, Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day of creation as Siamese twins. G-d then separated the two forming Eve from Adam’s side. Thus, man and woman i.e. husband and wife began as a single entity. Togetherness is their natural state. Their love stems from this natural tendency to be one. Our sages tell us that prior to the marriage neither man nor woman is considered a complete entity. The marriage is the joining of the two halves – man and woman – into one complete wholesome being.

To take it a step further, we are taught in Chassidic philosophy that upon birth each body contains a portion of one soul, and at the marriage the two parts unite as one once again. Thus, it is at the time of the wedding that the creation of bride and groom is completed and is therefore, such a meritorious occasion.

The wedding day has, for both the bride and groom, all the sanctity and solemnity of Yom Kippur. Both have fasted until after the chuppah ceremony through which time they seek G-d’s forgiveness for any past wrongdoings.

The groom, who dons a kittel (white robe) under the chuppah, and the bride in her gown, are attired in white symbolizing angelic purity and freedom from sin. They pray that the Al-mighty “open a new gate for us as the old gate is closed” so that their new life together evolves from a pure and fresh beginning. During each day of their marriage the bride and groom will strive to grow and adjust to each other in order to establish the foundation for a Bayis Ne’eman B’Yisrael – a faithful Jewish home.

It is with profound gratitude that we acknowledge the infinite bountiful blessings of G-d Almighty who has granted us life, sustained us (in good health), and enabled us to reach the day when our children, ______ and ______, enter a new phase of life under the chuppah (canopy of marriage) following their entrance (at Bar/Bat Mitzvah) into the portals of Torah and good deeds.

We are overjoyed that you could be present to share this simchah with us.

It is our fondest wish that you enjoy the festivities and become involved in every facet of the celebration in order to share with us the joy, merriment, happiness and simchah that we feel on this day.

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The Jewish Wedding Guide – American Jewish History

Written on July 13th, 2015 & filed under Jewish History Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Holocaust,Hebrew Shoah, Yiddish and Hebrew urban (Destruction), Smoke Pucker Gallerythe systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this the final solution to the Jewish question. The word Holocaust is derived from the Greek holokauston, a translation of the Hebrew word olah, meaning a burnt sacrifice offered whole to God. This word was chosen because in the ultimate manifestation of the Nazi killing programthe extermination campsthe bodies of the victims were consumed whole in crematoria and open fires.

Germany: exclusion of the JewsContunico ZDF Enterprises GmbH, MainzEven before the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they had made no secret of their anti-Semitism. As early as 1919, Adolf Hitler had written, Rational anti-Semitism, however, must lead to systematic legal opposition.Its final objective must unswervingly be the removal of the Jews altogether. In Mein Kampf (My Struggle; 192527), Hitler further developed the idea of the Jews as an evil race struggling for world domination. Nazi anti-Semitism was rooted in religious anti-Semitism and enhanced by political anti-Semitism. To this the Nazis added a further dimension: racial anti-Semitism. Nazi racial ideology characterized the Jews as Untermenschen (German: subhumans). The Nazis portrayed Jews as a race and not a religious group. Religious anti-Semitism could be resolved by conversion, political anti-Semitism by expulsion. Ultimately, the logic of Nazi racial anti-Semitism led to annihilation.

When Hitler came to power legally on January 30, 1933, as the head of a coalition government, his first objective was to consolidate power and to eliminate political opposition. The assault against the Jews began on April 1 with a boycott of Jewish businesses. A week later the Nazis dismissed Jews from the civil service, and by the end of the month, the participation of Jews in German schools was restricted by a quota. On May 10, thousands of Nazi students, together with many professors, stormed university libraries and bookstores in 30 cities throughout Germany to remove tens of thousands of books written by non-Aryans and those opposed to Nazi ideology. The books were tossed into bonfires in an effort to cleanse German culture of un-Germanic writings. A century earlier, Heinrich Heinea German poet of Jewish originhad said, Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people. In Nazi Germany, the time between the burning of Jewish books and the burning of Jews was eight years.

As discrimination against Jews increased, German law required a legal definition of a Jew and an Aryan. Promulgated at the annual Nazi Party rally in Nrnberg on September 15, 1935, the Nrnberg Lawsthe Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour and the Law of the Reich Citizenbecame the centerpiece of anti-Jewish legislation and a precedent for defining and categorizing Jews in all German-controlled lands. Marriage and sexual relations between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood were prohibited. Only racial Germans were entitled to civil and political rights. Jews were reduced to subjects of the state. The Nrnberg Laws formally divided Germans and Jews, yet neither the word German nor the word Jew was defined. That task was left to the bureaucracy. Two basic categories were established in November: Jewsthose with at least three Jewish grandparentsand Mischlinge (mongrels, or mixed breeds)people with one or two Jewish grandparents. Thus, the definition of a Jew was primarily based not on the identity an individual affirmed or the religion he practiced but on his ancestry. Categorization was the first stage of destruction.

Responding with alarm to Hitlers rise, the Jewish community sought to defend their rights as Germans. For those Jews who felt themselves fully German and who had patriotically fought in World War I, the Nazification of German society was especially painful. Zionist activity intensified. Wear it with pride, journalist Robert Wildest wrote in 1933 of the Jewish identity the Nazis had so stigmatized. Martin Buber led an effort at Jewish adult education, preparing the community for the long journey ahead. Rabbi Leo Baeck circulated a prayer for Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) in 1935 that instructed Jews how to behave: We bow down before God; we stand erect before man. Yet while few, if any, could foresee its eventual outcome, the Jewish condition was increasingly perilous and expected to get worse.

By the late 1930s there was a desperate search for countries of refuge. Those who could get visas and qualify under stringent quotas emigrated to the United States. Many went to Palestine, where the small Jewish community was willing to receive refugees. Still others sought refuge in neighbouring European countries. Most countries, however, were unwilling to receive large numbers of refugees.

Responding to domestic pressures to act on behalf of Jewish refugees, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened, but did not attend, the vian Conference on resettlement, in vian-les-Bains, France, in July 1938. In his invitation to government leaders, Roosevelt specified that they would not have to change laws or spend government funds; only philanthropic funds would be used for resettlement. The result was that little was attempted, and less accomplished.

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Holocaust | European history |

Written on July 9th, 2015 & filed under Anti-Semitsm Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Gaza,Arabic Ghazzah, Hebrew Azza, GazaOneArmedMancity and principal urban centre of the Gaza Strip, southwestern Palestine. Formerly the administrative headquarters for the Israeli military forces that occupied the Gaza Strip, the city came under Palestinian control in 2005.

Records exist indicating continuous habitation at the site for more than three millennia, the earliest being a reference by Pharaoh Thutmose III (18th dynasty; 15th century bc). It is also mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna tablets, the diplomatic and administrative records of ancient Egypt. After 300 years of Egyptian occupation, the Peleset (Philistines), one of the Sea Peoples, settled the city and surrounding area. Gaza became an important centre of the Philistine Pentapolis (league of five cities). There the biblical hero Samson perished while toppling the temple of the god Dagon. Because of its strategic position on the Via Maris, the ancient coastal road linking Egypt with Palestine and the lands beyond, Gaza experienced little peace in antiquity; it fell, successively, to the Israelite king David and to the Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persians. Alexander the Great met stiff resistance there, and, after conquering it, he sold its inhabitants into slavery. Throughout its history it was a prosperous trade centre. In Hellenistic and Roman times the harbour, about 3 miles (5 km) from the city proper, was called Neapolis (Greek: New City).

In ad 635 the Arabs took Gaza, and it became a Muslim city. Gaza has long been an important centre of Islamic tradition and is the reputed site of the burial place of Hshim ibn Abd Manf, great-grandfather of the Prophet Muammad, and the birthplace of al-Shfi (767820), founder of the Shfiite school of Muslim legal interpretation. The city declined during the Crusades and never regained its former importance. After the sultan Saladin (al al-Dn) defeated the Crusaders occupying the region at the Battle of an (1187), Gaza reverted to Muslim control; it passed to the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. In World War I it was stoutly defended by the Turks and was not taken by British forces until November 1917.

After the war Gaza became part of mandated Palestine, and a small coastal port (fishing, lighterage) was operated on the coast. When the Palestine partition plan was promulgated by the United Nations (1947), Gaza was assigned to what was to be an Arab state. That state, however, was not set up, and Gaza was occupied in 1948 by Egyptians. At the time of the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian armistice (February 1949), Egypt held Gaza and its environs, a situation that resulted in the creation of the Gaza Strip. (See Arab-Israeli wars.) Egypt did not annex the city and territory but administered it through a military governor. Gaza and its surroundings have continued to be greatly overpopulated by Palestinian Arab refugees.

During the Sinai campaign of November 1956, Gaza and its environs were taken by Israeli troops, but international pressure soon forced Israel to withdraw. Reoccupied by Israel in the Six-Day War (June 1967), the city remained under Israeli military administration until 1994, when a phased transfer of governmental authority to the Palestinians got under way. In 2005 Israel completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, handing over control of the region to the Palestinians.

Long a prosperous citrus centre, Gaza also has extensive truck farms within the city limits. Dark pottery, food products, and finished textiles are manufactured; the city has a long-standing textile industry. Sites of interest include at the harbour an early Byzantine mosaic floor (6th century ad), evidently of a synagogue, showing King David playing the harp and dressed as the Greek hero Orpheus. Pop. (2005 est.) 479,400.

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Gaza | city, Gaza Strip |

Written on July 8th, 2015 & filed under Gaza Strip Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,