We will never forget and We will never again be silent.
Past & Future in our Hands - by Karen Gillerman-Harel
With an extraordinary blend of sensitivity and symbolism she succeeded in bridging the past with the future through the arms of Polish-born Auschwitz survivor Dora Dreiblat, born in 1922, and her great granddaughter Daniela Har-Zvi, born in 2007 in Israel.
The infant’s hand, stretched out towards the number on her great grandmother’s arm, links the future, the present and the past over the flag of Israel, making the photograph a compelling historical document.
From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai became a modern-day “Noah’s Ark” accepting around 30,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. In the “Designated Area for Stateless Refugees” in Tilanqiao area of Shanghai, about 20,000 Jewish refugees lived harmoniously with local citizens, overcoming numerous difficulties together.
By the time the Second World War ended in 1945, most of the Jewish refugees had survived. Dr. David Kranzler, a noted Holocaust historian, called it the “Miracle of Shanghai” and commented that within the Jewry’s greatest tragedy, i.e. the Holocaust, there shone a few bright lights. Among the brightest of these is the Shanghai haven.
In the “Tilanqiao Historic Area”, the original features of the Jewish settlement are still well preserved. They are the only typical historic traces of Jewish refugee life inside China during the Second World War.
The Ohel Moshe Synagogue is one of the only two synagogues in Shanghai built by Russian Jews where the Jewish refugees gathered for religious rites during the Second World War. In 2004, it was listed among the fourth set of architectural heritage treasures of Shanghai.
Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, the former Israeli Prime Minister, commented during his visit to Shanghai, “To the people of Shanghai for unique humanitarian act of saving thousands of Jews during the Second World War, thanks in the name of the government of Israel.”
In March 2007, the People’s Government of Hongkou District budgeted special funds for a full renovation of the synagogue in accordance with the original architectural drawings found in the city archives.
“Today, February 13, 2016, we mark 10 years since the murder of Ilan Halimi, a Jewish young man, killed in the prime of his life simply because he was Jewish.
Ilan was kidnapped by a group of people who called themselves the “Gang of Barbarians” who kidnapped Ilan for randsome because according to the randsom video they sent, “Jews have money.”
During his 24 days in captivity, the abductors tortured Ilan and sent phone and video messages to his family while they were in contact with the police. The abductors demanded a ransom of 450 thousand Euros. Many people who lived nearby the basement where Ilan was tortured knew something was wrongand did not interfere because they did not want to intervene in a business that was not theirs.
After three weeks the abductors stopped communicating twith the police. Ilan was found naked with burns on 80% of his body on the side of the road by a woman who immediately called the police. Ilan died while en route to the hospital.
Ilan Halimi was initially buried in the Cimetière parisien de Pantin near Paris. The funeral in Paris drew a large Jewish crowd. He was reburied in Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem, Israel on February 9, 2007.
With the current state of modern Antisemitism it is important to look back at history and remember.
I`ve heard that Bernie Sanders has mainstream(bad) views on foreign policy. Especially regarding Palestine/Israel. Is that true, and what are your thoughts on it? Will ur at it what other issues would the media use against bernie?
I mean these views are relative. His views may be “bad” compared to specific demographics of the US population, but compared to the people he is running against, he is the Patron Saint of Peace.
With the exception of one vote—the vote to authorize the use of military force against al-Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks—Sanders has vocally and consistently been opposed to the use of US military force during what is universally known as the “Global War on Terror.” His past votes as a congressman, and later as a senator, on issues concerning war and peace strongly suggest that a president Sanders would be highly reluctant to deploy any form of US military force, unless it truly is the last resort to a national-security crisis. (x)
If you compare this to any other candidate that has a congressional voting record you will not find a anyone who has authorized force so sparingly.
When it comes to Israel/Palestine, he may have some views that I do not agree with. But even though he has defended Israel in the past, just last year when the US Senate wrote a letter to Palestine warning them to not attempt to bring sanctions against Israel in the UN, he was one of only 12 people to not sign the letter.
REHM: Tell me your feeling about whether there should be a two-state solution should Palestine be given statehood?
SANDERS: Absolutely. What you have in that part of the world is an unspeakable tragedy. And it seems like it’s never-ending and it seems like it every year gets worse and worse and more killing and more bombings and everything else. And again, Diane, if I had the magical solution to that problem I would be in the president’s office today giving it. I don’t have it. But clearly the goals are two-fold: number one the Palestinian people, in my view, deserve a state of their own, they deserve an economy of their own, they deserve economic support from the people of this country. And Israel needs to be able to live in security without terrorist attacks. Those are the goals of I think any sensible foreign policy in that region.
REHM: How do you believe President Obama’s relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu has affected our relationship with Israel?
SANDERS: Well, I gotta tell you, I am not a great fan of President Netanyahu I did not attend the speech that he gave before the joint session of Congress. I think it was opportunistic. I think he was using it as part of his campaign for re-election. I think he was being used or did use the Republicans to go behind the President’s back. And I think in that region sadly on both sides I don’t think we have the kind of leadership that we need. And so you know I think the President is trying to do the best that he can in enormously difficult circumstances.
Honestly, the attacks on Bernie Sanders for being a supporter of Israel is just dogwhistle antisemitism. No one calls into question the unflinching support for Israel by the entirety of the Republican Party, who actually have given, and continue to give, much more support to the genocide of the Palestinian people than Bernie Sanders ever has. This is also true of Hillary Clinton, she is praised for her long running support of Israel, she has even gone as far to say at a pro-Israel rally,
We are here to show solidarity and support for Israel. We will stand with Israel, because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones.
But there is no focus about her foreign policy concerning Israel. It’s almost as though giving a small amount of support to Israel as a Jew is much worse than giving a landslide of support as a Christian.
Really, this isn’t about concern for the Palestinian’s. If it were people would be supporting Bernie Sanders for being the least supportive of Israel of all the candidates for President. It is about the tacit implication that the world will go to hell if there is a man of Jewish decent was in the White House.