For decades, weve seen the Gaza Strip as unstable, effectively a war zone, and the U.S. Department of State has warned U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip. So, youll have to understand why the manicured lawns and seaside promenades of Gazas newly opened Blue Beach Resort, which sits almost directly next to a refugee camp and not far from commonly bombed neighborhoods, take us by surprise.
The resort along the Mediterranean boasts a private beach and 162 chalet-style roomsthough only 76 are currently openat $100-$160 per night.
But this opening didnt come without hardship. Construction was supposed to conclude last year, until the 50-day war halted progress. Today the image looks brighter, and, while much of Gaza suffers with power cuts, Blue Beach continues to shine through the night, and, for some Palestinians, thats a symbol for hope.
Perhaps expectedly, the resort opening has become a source of pride for many Palestinians. The hotels Facebook page has already garnered 20,000 Likes.
Tell us with a tweet or in the comments section below, would you go on a beach getaway to Gaza?
Tom Burson is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and hes currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen San Diego but with more sunscreen and jorts.
Firebird wrote:Reading some kind of love affair with Hitler is quite jawdropping on a Russian forum.
27 MILLION Russians/Soviets were murdered. Most of them women and kids. Vast numbers of other Slavs, West Europeans, Jews and other groups, the same fate. Despite what some crackpots might claim.
the anglozionist powers are pushing for the extermination of 140 millions of Russians today.. and 90% with the world population with their De-population programs and world government /world police non sense.. Germany/HItler was provoked into a war.. this cannot be ignored .
Go an see again at min 4:00 in the previously posted video..
How Poland , (similar to how kiev is doing in eastern ukraine) began massacres against German civilians minorities. Something they just like today kiev war crimes.. they denied.
Once a majo war start. the outcome cannot be predicted.. Today if a world war 3 start.. Putin will be in a risk of having to kill much more than hitler did. . Because no only they will need to attack USA.. but also any strategic place where americans have a military base in the world. That is all NATO. to make sure its military power can never again be threatening to them.
In world war , unintended consequences happens and many innocent civilians die.. Had soviets surrender (glad they didn’t ) ,probably will have been like France ,that was not destroyed. But Hitler only way to survive Germany the war with the west , at least he though was to have the oil fields of Russia.. to continue maintaining the war with the west ,why he don’t bother to enter in moscow.
Most of the people who died in Soviet union and concentratin camps in world war 2 ,died consequences of food..there was no people working in farms.. all were fighting, there was not enough food and they starved to death.
Im not a hitler supporter.. neither a war supporter ,but i can understand why he did what he did in europe . and i will understand if Russia is forced one day to use nuclear weapons against NATO major powers that right now are attacking Russia economy and fuel the violence in Ukraine and the violence in Syria ,kidnapping their people around the world and fueling unrest in their own country through NGOs.. In fact is impressive how tolerant is Putin today by all the things anglozionist powers do against their country. Not many leaders can sit down and watch their people to be massacred day and night in the thousands and NATO countries providing weapons for that violence to continue ,while at the same time blaming the victims of their attacks for the violence they provoke. Is quite admirable Putin patience with the west.. and still not sure if his policy can stop the aggression on their nation. time only can answer that.
An analysis of the causes of the Jewish-Slavic Holocaust is essential to an understanding of the reasons why war and violence continue to plague our world.
Human civilization as we understand it — cities, government, religion, writing — originated about 6,000 years ago. By the year A.D. 1939 this civilization, especially its Western branch, had developed great scientific and technological accomplishments, art and literature, philosophies and religions. That fateful year also marked the beginning of the Jewish-Slavic Holocaust, the attempt to extirpate millions of human beings because they belonged to communities deemed to be inferior or harmful. The Holocaust largely succeeded because its implementers were able to employ the latest technological developments in weapons, transportation, communications, medical technology, and the active or passive cooperation of governments and organized religion. As a survivor and student of this manifestation of human behavior, I believe I have the credentials to explore its causes and potential consequences.
Why the Holocaust?
The vivid images of recent human suffering in Bosnia and Somalia on the television screen caused me to remember again the unforgettable. An inmate of a Nazi concentration camp who was reduced by malnutrition to a human skeleton was called a Muselmann — a Muslim. Half a century later the Serbian concentration camps imprisoned real-life Muslims who were on the verge of becoming human skeletons. The unfortunate starving women and children of Somalia were Muslims in the same double sense. The piles of massacred bodies in Rwanda were reminiscent of the horrors encountered by the liberators of the German concentration camps. Is it just a coincidence that similar events are repeated after a lapse of fifty years?
Struggling for survival in 1944 at Auschwitz, as Prisoner A-9867, I and my fellow victims had scant time to puzzle over the reason for our plight. Everything seemed incomprehensible — in fact, a living nightmare. Between 1941 and 1944 I was part of a Jewish community in a small town in Hungary. Rumors of persecutions and massacres by Nazi Germany came to our attention. But they were simply unbelievable. The nation renowned for its culture and civilization, which produced some of the world’s greatest philosophers, scientists and artists simply could not do such horrible things! Our illusion was shattered, when suddenly in 1944 the German army occupied Hungary. The entire Jewish community was rounded up and transported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The plumes of smoke emanating from the crematoria and the odor of burning bodies testified to the murder of the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of genocide. Those able to work were consigned to slow starvation at forced labor. Only about one in twenty survived this culmination of Western “civilization.” I still recall the title of the lead article in the newspaper published by the survivors after our liberation: “Why?” The Holocaust appeared so mysterious after our ordeal that the article’s author could only supply vague references to historical Jewish martyrdom and our need to endure.
Over the decades I spent considerable time researching and studying the events leading to the Holocaust. My conclusions are obvious, yet complex. The Holocaust was a gigantic, unprecedented, irrational catastrophe, which will never be fully comprehended in its entirety. Unfortunately, the causes or reasons for the Holocaust are only too clearly and readily understandable. A preexisting infrastructure for genocide and a series of “triggering” events, resulted in the Holocaust — the annihilation of most of Europe’s Jewish population. Political mismanagement and the war institution combined to inflict this tragedy on the 6 million Jews and the 11 million Slavs, Gypsies and other victims.
The Occurrence of Catastrophes
The Holocaust is well defined by the word “catastrophe” — a momentous, tragic, sudden event marked by extreme misfortune and utter overthrow or ruin. Since the 1970s a mathematical “catastrophe theory” has emerged to predict discontinuous, frequently damaging changes of any kind. Its advocates claim that not only physical changes (e.g., the collapse of a dam), but social events, such as the outbreak of wars, are both explainable and predictable. Preexisting conditions become intensified or overburdened by continuing events until the overload condition occurs, and the sudden abrupt change takes place. A probability factor can be applied to the conditions and events, so that predicting or forecasting catastrophes becomes feasible.The contributing factors of a specific catastrophe can be explained and understood. The analysis of the causes of catastrophes also makes it possible to allocate the share of the responsibility, if any, to institutions or persons. Blame for negligence or willful actions can be assigned as well.
The disastrous brush-fires of 1993 in the Los Angeles area provide a good illustration of a catastrophe facilitated by human actions. On the surface the blame should be assigned to the vagrant or the arsonists who started the fires. More realistically, these were the major contributing factors, with estimated responsibility shares (Newsweek, Nov. 8, 1993; percentages by author):
BBI Magazine BBUK LBIA Chair Profile BBI International Centre Newsletter BBE Newsletter How BB Operates
Bnai Brith is an international global organisation, which brings together Jews from all backgrounds, with the aims of strengthening the Jewish community, combating racial and religious intolerance, and helping the less fortunate. The membership spans the whole Jewish community irrespective of religious or other affiliations. Our symbol the menorah is lit on formal occasions, each candle being representative of Bnai Briths seven principles: Brotherhood, Benevolence, Harmony, Peace, Truth, Light and Justice.
It is the oldest Jewish service organisation founded in New York in 1843 by 12 German Jewish immigrants. Since 1843 generations of Jewish people around the world have been helping others in need through their membership and activities. It now operates in 59 countries and has official status at the UN and representation in Brussels. Bnai Brith is a powerful voice for Jewish security and continuity and is respected all over the world. Read more
To read the latest BBI Magazine click Part One Part Two
Tony Swabe, Chairman of Bnai Brith London Bureau of International Affairs (BBLBIA)
Bnai Brith UK London Bureau of International Affairs (BBLBIA)
Tony Swabe has taken over as Chairman of BBLBIA. Tony has been working with the Bureau for some time forming part of the team who visit embassies and Government departments to promote favourable views on Israel and counter antisemitism.
Tony has been a member of Bnai Brith for well over 25 years, belonging to Yad BYad Lodge and is a former lodge president. His main career was in higher education, ending as the head of a university business school. He is actively involved in the professional regulation of nurses and as a human resources consultant. One of his voluntary activities is as Vice-Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board at the Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre which is a public appointment by the Home Office.
He plans in co-operation with Helene Briskman, the BBLBIA Director, and the team, to extend the work and contacts of the Bureau and to build on its previous success. He also wants to ensure that our members are more aware of its work and the influence it has. Bnai Brith is not just a social organisation, it also exists to defend Israel, though not uncritically, and to ensure that in co-operation with other communal organisations that the interests of Jews are advanced internationally.
Bnai Brith, (Hebrew: Sons of the Covenant), oldest and largest Jewish service organization in the world, with mens lodges, womens chapters, and youth chapters in countries all over the world.
Bnai Brith, founded in New York City in 1843, defends human rights, promotes intercultural relations, provides for the religious and cultural needs of Jewish college students (especially through the Hillel Foundation), sponsors Jewish education among adults and youth groups, supports hospitals and philanthropic institutions, provides vocational guidance, sponsors welfare projects in Israel, assists victims of natural disasters, and carries on a broad program of community service and welfare. It confers with government leaders on such issues as civil rights, immigration, abuses of freedom by totalitarian states, the position of Israel, and problems affecting Jews throughout the world. In 1913 it established the Anti-Defamation League. Bnai Brith is represented at the United Nations through its membership in the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations.
The order is headed by a president elected at triennial meetings of the supreme lodge (made up of representatives of district grand lodges), a board of governors, and an administrative committee.
In 1990 Bnai Brith International voted to admit women as full members; a self-governing, affiliated organizationBnai Brith Womendesiring to remain concerned with womens issues continued its independent status.
One year ago today, Israelinvaded, bombed and shelled Gaza, and continued to do that for the next seven weeks. According to the U.N., at least 2,104 Gazans were killed 1,462 of whom (69 percent) were civilians, including 495 children. A total of 6 Israeli civilians, and 66 soldiers, were killed. The shockingly high civilian death rate in Gaza included the now-iconic imagery of four young boys from the same family being killed by Israeli warshipswhile they played on a beach in front of a hotel filled with foreign journalists.
Months after the attack concluded, U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon visited Gaza and labeled the destruction beyond description, far worse than prior Israeli attacks. At least 17,000 homes were obliterated or severely damaged during the conflict, and it will take two decades to rebuild them; that means that nearly 60,000 people have lost their homes. On countless occasions, entire large families of Gazans were instantly extinguished by Israeli violence. Because the population of Gaza is so young 43 percent are under the age of 15, while 64 percent areunder the age of 24 the majority of its residents know littlebeyond extreme suffering, carnage, violence and war.
As harrowing as that data is, ittells only a small part of the story. Statistics like thesehave an abstract property to them: cold and clinical. Viewing the devastation of Gaza through their lens can have a distancing effect. Theyerase the most affecting facts: the stories of human suffering and devastation caused by this attack, the sadism and savagery that drove it.
The unbridled Israeli brutality that drove this attack, combined with the unprecedented ability of Palestinians to document what was happening to them throughuse of the Internet, significantlychanged the way Israel is perceived around the world. This attack will prove to be historicallyimportant for how the world regards Israel, and Blumethalsbook is indispensable for understanding what happened here.
Even in the world of the Israel/Palestine debate where smear campaigns and vicious ad hominem attacks are routine Blumenthal is the target of some of the most scurrilous attacks youll ever see. In part thats because hes an unlikely candidate to have become one of the most vocal Jewish critics of Israel: the son of a Washington insiderclosely associated withthe Clintons. In part its because hes an unflinching and fearless critic, avoiding euphemisms and niceties when, by design, they obscure the truth. In part its because he has in the past sometimes opted forpolarizing rhetoric and provocative, illuminating tactics.
But this book will likely surprise even those who have followed Blumenthals work and are sympathetic to his worldview. The 51 Day War is remarkably free of polemic, even as it retains its passion. It seems clear, at least to me, that Blumenthal was so movedby what he heard and saw in Gaza that he knew nothing would be more effective and revealing than just letting those stories speak for themselves. So he largely gets out of the way and simply serves as a vessel for the voices of those who are so rarely heard from in the Western world: those who live under Israeli brutalityin Gaza.
I spoke with him for roughly 40 minutes about his book, as well as his ownodyssey that has led him to devote himself to this topic with such singular devotion. Whatever your views on Israel and Gaza, Blumenthal is articulate, thoughtful anddeeply knowledgeable, and has done extensive, real reporting to write this book. Hes very worth listening to, and the book is highly worth the read. Our discussion can be heard on the player below, and a transcript is provided here.
President Barack Obama said Friday he “forcefully” objects to suggestions that policy differences between his administration and the Israeli government signal his lack of support for the longtime U.S. ally.
Speaking at one of Washington’s most prominent synagogues, Obama said the U.S. and Israel should not be expected to paper over differences on Israel’s settlement building or the frozen peace process with the Palestinians.
“That’s not a true measure of friendship,” Obama told about 1,200 people, including members of Congress, gathered at Congregation Adas Israel. “The people of Israel must always know America has its back.”
The president’s remarks come during a period of deep tension in an already prickly relationship with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, particularly over Obama’s bid to strike a nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu views Iran’s disputed nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel and has lobbied vigorously against such a deal, including by addressing a joint meeting of Congress earlier this year.
Obama defended the framework deal that negotiators are seeking to finalize by the end of June, saying it would make Israel and the entire region safer. Still, he said given the high stakes, he welcomes scrutiny of the negotiations.
“This deal will have my name on it,” he said.
Obama on Friday signed bipartisan legislation that gives Congress the right to review any final nuclear deal with Iran before the president can waive congressional sanctions. Obama had initially resisted any legislation that could undo the nuclear deal.
The president and Netanyahu also clashed during the recent Israeli elections over the prime minister’s comments on the peace process. Netanyahu said in the lead-up to the election that he no longer backed a two-state solution, though he reversed himself after his party’s victory.
Obama also addressed what he called a “deeply disturbing rise” in anti-Semitism around the world. He said the world knows from history that this is “not some passing fad” and should not be ignored.
Obama’s appearance coincided with Solidarity Shabbat, devoted to showing unity by political leaders in Europe and North America against anti-Semitism.
lmost 800 people will be participating in the Global Forum on anti-Semitism which opens this evening in Jerusalem. Sponsored by the Prime Ministers Office, this is by far the largest such gathering which has taken place in recent years. There is almost no Jewish community or institution which will not have a representative at the event. The government, along with some private Jewish sponsors has poured substantial resources into making the conference happen as the concern with growing anti-Semitism around the world has been pushed to the top of the global Jewish agenda.
Todays anti-Semitism is more complex than that of 30 years ago. In the past it was fairly easy to identify most of the worlds anti-Semitic groups as right-wing, racist organizations with quasi-fascist and anti-immigrant beliefs. Anti-Semitism was characterized by racial slurs, attacks on Jews making their way to and from synagogue and the desecration of graveyards. But in the decades immediately following the Holocaust, the protection afforded to Jewish communities by Western governments and police forces on the one hand, and on the other the escape hatch to Israel for those who desired to leave behind any form of discrimination, caused the problem to diminish significantly.
It never went away altogether, but there was an obvious global guilt at what had been perpetrated upon the Jews during World War II, coupled with a greater international awareness of human rights and the dignity of the individual, regardless of his or her ethnic or religious affiliations.
The past two decades have seen a growth of renewed anti-Semitic activity among groups which previously had not, at least openly, been involved in anti-Jewish polemic. This includes two contrasting groups parts of the intellectual Left who often fail to differentiate between criticism of Israel and criticism of Jews, and some Islamic groups, whose hatred and delegitimization of Israel has directly resulted in attacks on Jewish organizations, synagogues and students on university campuses.
But this does not mean that all criticism of Israel can be immediately understood as raw anti-Semitism in its broadest sense. There is no doubt that the borders between criticism of Israel and criticism of Jews have become harder to delineate, as the two merge into each other. Many groups critical of Israel have, by not enabling a proper debate to take place about Israels policies, opened the back door for the worlds anti-Semites to walk in, despite their arguments to the contrary that they themselves are not anti-Semitic and that they stand up for the rights of all minorities. They only have themselves to blame if they have not done enough to ensure a balanced debate about Israel and its automatic association with Jews everywhere.
THERE IS nothing like the cry of anti-Semitism to bring so many community machers together. For many, It has always been easier to identify with each other through the lowest common denominator, namely threat and persecution, than it has been to bring such a diverse and large group of Jews together around positive values of culture and education.
The last time there was such a collective Jewish effort focused on a single cause was the struggle for Soviet Jewry during the 1970s and 1980s. This was a cause ostensibly led by the Diaspora communities, especially in Europe, although Israel and the Jewish Agency were very active behind the scenes. But they did not want the struggle to be seen as an Israeli campaign, as that would be (and in some cases was) interpreted by the Soviets as being akin to espionage on the part of the refuseniks, enabling the authorities to take even stronger measures than they already were.
The struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry became a global Jewish industry, much in the same way that the contemporary fight against anti-Semitism has become a must for anyone, especially community leaders, who desires to prove their worth and loyalty. But the Soviet Jewry campaign was not manipulated in the same way that the present anti-Semitism campaign is used, on some occasions, to blur the lines between legitimate criticism of Israel by many groups who do not see themselves as being anti-Jewish, and outright anti-Semitism. The use of the anti-Semitism argument has become a sort of knee-jerk reaction whenever any criticism of Israel is heard and can be self-defeating when it then totally alienates those groups with whom it is possible to engage and dialogue.
This weeks impressive conference has defined the enemy in advance. There will not be any serious internal debate about the fine line to be drawn between crude anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel. Statistics which document the worrying rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the world, especially in Western Europe and North America, will be presented, groups critical of Israel (including left-wing groups who will be labeled as self hating Jews in an effort to delegitimize and exclude them from the debate altogether) will be castigated, BDS and boycott activities will be defined as anti-Semitic, and no doubt here will be calls from some high-level Israeli participants who have little or no understanding of the Diaspora for Jews everywhere to immediately get up and leave their homes and come to the only safe haven for the Jewish people the State of Israel before the onset of the next Holocaust.
Fundraising to combat anti-Semitic activities will be made a priority and there will be the opportunity to create new organizations and networks of Jewish leaders, supported by the Jewish Agency and partly funded by the Israeli government, to undertake a combination of security and hasbarah, or public diplomacy, activities.