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Border Policeman was stabbed in Jerusalem

The Border Policeman is in critical condition after sustaining stab wounds to his neck The attack took place at the Shchem (Damascus) Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.
He managed to shoot a terrorist, 18, from Hebron, and wounded him critically.

Magen David Adom evacuated the Border Policeman, who is in critical condition, to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism to convene in Jerusalem

Seventy years after the victory over Nazi Germany, we are unfortunately witnessing the renewed growth of antisemitism and of voices denying the Holocaust. Against this background, the Global Forum takes on special importance.

Seventy years after the victory over Nazi Germany, we are unfortunately witnessing the renewed growth of antisemitism and of voices denying the Holocaust and distorting its memory. When we examine the figures, we find that the past year marked an apogee in manifestations of antisemitism, most notably in West European and on the Internet.

Thus, 70 years after the Holocaust, many Jews in Europe again feel insecure in the face of growing attacks against them and antisemitic terror attacks by radical Islam which claimed the lives of nine victims in one year.

Against this background, the 5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, which will convene from May 12-14, 2015 in Jerusalem, takes on special importance in formulating action plans to combat antisemitism and to shape international policy to cope with the growing problem.

Some 1,000 experts from around the world will take part in the conference - the largest of its kind in the world - including the Justice Ministers of Germany and Romania, the Education Minister of Bulgaria, the Mayor of Paris, and the Minister of State for Multiculturalism from Canada. Israeli participants will include the Prime Minister, the President of the Supreme Court, the Speaker of the Knesset, the Foreign Minister, and the Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs. Other participants from around the world include members of parliament, government officials, representatives of civil society, jurists and academics, as well as the Hollywood producer and actor, Edward James Olmos.

Special emphasis will be placed on coping effectively with the rise of antisemitism in Europe, the Internet and the social media. An important panel will features Muslim leaders from Europe in order to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding. There will also be in-depth discussions in 12 working groups to address the challenges of Holocaust denial and distortion, the use of legal tools to combat antisemitism, the advancement of legislation against antisemitism, and more.

The conference is being organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs.

Celebrating Easter in the Holy Land

  • Published in Travel
On Easter and the preceding Holy Week, Jerusalem fills with pilgrims from all over the world. Thousands of Christians are expected to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in April 2015 and visit the very places described in the New Testament.

There is nothing like experiencing Holy Week in Jerusalem. Celebrating the greatest events of salvation history and of Jesus' life at the very sites where they occurred is a moving and unforgettable experience of faith for all believers.

On Easter and the preceding Holy Week, Jerusalem fills with pilgrims from all over the world. For Orthodox and Catholic Christians, celebrations focus on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where six historic denominations have marked the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus since the fourth century.

On Palm Sunday (March 29), over 1000 Catholic and Protestant pilgrims come streaming down the Mount of Olives singing hymns and bearing palm fronds, reenacting Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. A procession takes place in the afternoon, beginning at the Bethpage Church on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives and descending into Gethsemane and ending in the Old City at the Church of St. Anne's.

The Orthodox denominations follow the Patriarch, bearing palm fronds, in a colorful procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and back to the Patriarchate. Other processions from the Armenian, Coptic and Syrian denominations also take place within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Another highlight is Maundy Thursday (April 2), when the faithful commemorate the Last Supper and the washing of the apostle's feet by Jesus and Christ's last hours prior to his arrest in Gethsemane. The Latin Patriarch washes the feet of his priests in imitation of Jesus in the church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Custodian of the Holy Sites in the Room of the Last Supper and later at Saint Saviour's Church. In the afternoon, a short Catholic prayer service in several languages takes place at the Cenacle, while the Anglican, Lutheran and Protestant denominations hold a procession from St. George's Cathedral to the Redeemer's Church and Christ Church, ending at Gethsemane.

At Holy Hour, a reading in several languages will take place in the Basilica of Agony in Gethsemane, with a candlelight procession from Gethsemane to Mount Zion (Catholics). The Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu remains open to worshippers throughout most of the night. The Orthodox denominations celebrate with a washing of the feet ceremony in the courtyard of the Holy Sepulcher and in the respective churches in the Old City.

On Good Friday (April 3), the day Jesus was crucified and buried, a procession of thousands bearing crosses and led by the Patriarch, the Custodian of the Holy Sites and other independent groups mark the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's Old City to the Calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the evening, a burial procession is held in the Holy Sepulcher (Catholics), in the Old City churches and at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem (Protestants), where services are also held in English.

On Holy or Great Saturday(April 4), Orthodox Christians celebrate the Ceremony of the Holy Fire, when thousands gather inside and outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to await the miraculous lighting of the Patriarch's candle from within the tomb. This spectacular ceremony is unique and particular to Jerusalem and is broadcast around the world. In addition, the light is brought to Orthodox countries by special flight.

On Easter Sunday (April 5), when the faithful celebrate Jesus' resurrection, the Latin Patriarch heads a procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for a multi-lingual reading of the Gospel of Resurrection and celebration of the Easter Masses. For the Lutherans, the Easter day Eucharist takes place on the Mount of Olives behind the Augusta Victoria Church, and Protestants can partake in the Easter services in English at the Garden Tomb and several Protestant churches in Jerusalem.

Orthodox denominations celebrate Easter Sunday from midnight on Saturday with a Partiarchal procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and celebrations of the Easter Divine Liturgy in the Orthodox Old City churches.

On Easter Monday, (April 6), the celebrations move to Emmaus to commemorate when the resurrected Jesus appeared before two of his disciples and broke bread with them at Emmaus outside Jerusalem. There is discussion about the exact location of Emmaus, near Latrun, Abu Ghosh and al-Qubeibeh (west and northwest of Jerusalem). Solemn masses are held in the various locations, presided over by the Latin Patriarch (Emmaus near Latrun) and by the Franciscan Custos (Emmaus al-Qubeibeh). Many monks walk the 30 kilometers from Jerusalem to Emmaus-Latrun to participate in the afternoon mass, celebrated in the ruins of the Crusader Church.

PM Netanyahu meets with Japanese PM Shinzō Abe in Jerusalem

​In our region, peace and security are intertwined. If we cannot defend our security against those who would threaten us and seek to attack us, and do attack us, then there will be no peace.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at his Jerusalem office, met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and made the following statement at the start of their meeting:

"Prime Minister Abe, it’s a pleasure to welcome you and your delegation to the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. It’s an opportunity to reciprocate the warm hospitality you showed all of us last year when we visited Japan.

Prime Minister, your visit clearly demonstrates your own commitment to strengthening relationship between Israel and Japan. This is a commitment I fully share.

Japan and Israel are separated by the great land mass of Asia. Japan is on the eastern edge of the continent; Israel is on the western edge. Yet Japan and Israel continue to overcome great geographic distance, forging and ever warming and I would say ever more productive relationship between us.

In my visit to Japan, I was deeply impressed by the depth of your heritage, your embrace of your history and your culture, and yet at the same time, you’re looking forward to the future, to new developments, to technology. This is very similar to our own experience and our own nature. We are two ancient peoples, part of our history and our heritage, and at the same time we are two modern, dynamic societies and we eagerly seek to blaze new paths to an advanced and innovative future for all of us and for all mankind.

And, Prime Minister, we have something else in common: we are two peace loving democracies that face formidable threats from nearby rogue states.

Both Iran and North Korea are governed by ruthless and extreme dictatorships, states that seek to bully and intimidate their neighbors, and in our case, to actually eradicate us from the face of the earth.

Iran and North Korea have aggressive military nuclear programs, and they are both developing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, ballistic missiles.

Mr. Prime Minister, you and I are both committed to peace and security. This is characteristic of both Japan and Israel. We’ve been wounded by war, we know the cost of war and the pain of war. We know the blessings of peace. Israel seeks peace with all its neighbors. But we know in our region, that peace and security are intertwined. And if we cannot defend our security against those who would threaten us and seek to attack us, and do attack us, then there will be no peace. Israel is adamant that it will have the right to defend itself against all those who wish to propagate terror and other attacks against its citizens, against its territory.

We will not have our hands ties by anyone, including the ICC. We will do what is necessary to defend ourselves wherever we need to do so.

There’s no greater threat to the peace and security of the world than Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. We’ve seen the horrors committed by Islamic extremists armed with conventional weapons. We’ve seen this in Iraq and in Syria, in Nigeria, in Kenya, in India and Pakistan. Ten days ago we saw it in Paris as well.
Now just imaging the horrific results if the Islamic extremists who rule Iran get their hands on nuclear weapons. We would all face a threat of unimaginable consequences.

Israel would like to see a peaceful end to Iran’s military nuclear program. And I urge the international community, in seeking such and end, not to repeat the mistake of the negotiations with North Korea. That agreement with Pyongyyang in 1994, was widely celebrated as a historic breakthrough for nonproliferation, but in the end, that deal failed to prevent the dangerous proliferation that threatens all of East Asia today.

Iran cannot be allowed to travel the road taken by North Korea.

Until a deal is reached that actually dismantles Iran’s military nuclear capability, I believe the international sanctions on Iran must be maintained.

Mr. Prime Minister, we have these and many other issues to discuss, and I appreciate your counsel and your friendship. I can see from everything that we have seen so far in your visit, that the room for cooperation is vast. The opportunities are immense, the enthusiasm is great, because there’s genius on the Japanese side, there’s genius on the Israeli side – a genius to forge a new future, to bring the heights of ingenuity to productive use or all societies, for better communications physically, literally, for the application of medicine and medical devices to better human life, for greater productivity in human effort.
I think these things are as centered in our two societies, and locking hands in friendship and cooperation will increase them both.

Japan and Israel are partners; Japan and Israel are allies in seeking a better future; and Japan and Israel are friends.

In this spirit, Prime Minister Abe, I say one again, welcome to Jerusalem."

Behind the Headlines: Terrorist attack in Jerusalem synagogue

In the latest in a series of Palestinian terrorist attacks, Palestinian terrorists massacred innocent Jews at prayer, motivated by intensive Palestinian incitement to hatred, violence and terrorism against Israelis.

Early Tuesday morning (7:00 Israel time), two Palestinian terrorists entered a synagogue in Har Nof (a neighborhood in north-west Jerusalem), with the intention of massacring innocent Jews at prayer. Using a gun and butcher knives, the terrorists murdered four Jewish worshippers during their morning prayers. All four men were rabbis and all held dual citizenship: three were American-Israelis and the fourth was a British-Israeli dual citizen.

A police officer who was critically injured while attempting to stop the terrorist attack succumbed to his wounds late Tuesday evening, bringing the death toll to five. Seven other Israelis were wounded (three of them seriously) in the attack.

The two terrorists from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber were killed during the exchange of fire with police. This massacre of peaceful worshippers is the latest in a series of Palestinian terrorist attacks.

These terrorist attacks as well as Palestinian violence on Jerusalem's Temple Mount are caused by intensive Palestinian incitement to hatred, violence and terrorism against Israelis. As US Secretary of State John Kerry stated today in London, this morning's attack on the synagogue was "the pure result of incitement."

This vicious incitement is conducted by the Palestinian Authority, led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and extreme Islamist elements, particularly Hamas. The incitement is based on false claims against Israel and outright lies, including about sensitive religious issues.

For example, on Sunday, a Palestinian bus driver committed suicide in Jerusalem. The official autopsy and police investigation found that he had committed suicide by hanging himself inside his bus. Despite this, official PA media and other sources enflamed the situation by spreading the lie that he was murdered by Jews. This morning, the main headline of the official PA paper, al-Hayat al-Jadida, quoted Abbas calling the suicide "an abominable crime" and the bus driver "a martyr."

Palestinian incitement is continuing despite last Thursday's talks (13 November) in Jordan with Secretary Kerry, King Abdullah of Jordan, PA President Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The parties were supposed to act to calm the situation in Jerusalem. Israel did; Abbas most certainly did not. While Israel acted to restore calm and reaffirmed its commitment to the status quo on the Temple Mount, the Palestinians incited to terrorism and carried out murders. Israel ended the temporary security restriction on younger Muslims praying on the Temple Mount on Friday. The PA's official media called for a "Day of Rage" on Friday. Instead of calming the situation, Abbas exploited Sunday's suicide to inflame it.

Most members of the international community have turned a blind eye to Palestinian incitement to violence. This permits Abbas and other Palestinian leaders to allow the publication of the hate speech and blood libels that directly inspire terrorist attacks. World leaders and the international community at large should condemn this systematic and pervasive incitement, starting with that being carried out by President Abbas and PA officials.

While Abbas' office did issue a lukewarm condemnation of the attack this morning (which focused more on blaming Israel than denouncing or even identifying the attackers), it was clearly an attempt to deflect international pressure. Abbas' own Fatah party praised the terrorists who attacked the synagogue. Sultan Abu Al-Einein, an advisor to Abbas and a member of Fatah's Central Committee, called the synagogue attack "heroic" on Facebook. An additional statement praising the attack in the name of Fatah's Jerusalem branch was published on a main Fatah Facebook page.

Recent Palestinian terrorist attacks

16 November (Saturday night): A 35-year-old Jewish man was moderately injured after being stabbed in the back by a Palestinian in Jerusalem.
10 November: A 26-year-old Israeli woman died in the West Bank after being run over and stabbed.
10 November: An off-duty IDF soldier was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv.
5 November: An Israeli police officer and 17-year-old yeshiva student were murdered and 13 others injured when a Palestinian terrorist deliberately rammed his car into pedestrians near a Jerusalem light-rail station and then attacked them with a metal bar.
29 October: Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot multiple times and critically injured by a Palestinian terrorist in central Jerusalem.
22 October: A three-month-old baby girl and a young woman from Ecuador were murdered, deliberately run over by a Palestinian driver at a light-rail train station in Jerusalem. Seven others were wounded.

World reactions

United States - President Barack Obama stated the he strongly condemned the attacks which killed 3 US citizens. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, called the attack an "act of pure terror and senseless brutality and violence." New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was "horrified and heartbroken" by the attack. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement condemning the "horrific terror attack" which he said "was a deplorable act of evil that should be denounced as such by all regardless of their political or religious beliefs." The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced they will be investigating the incident.

Canada - Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the "barbaric act of terror." Harper said Canada's "thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel."

European Union - Federica Mogherini, EU chief of foreign policy, condemned the deadly massacre as an "act of terror."

France - President François Hollande issued a statement condemning "the heinous attack ... in a synagogue in Jerusalem and those who dared to welcome the act."

Germany - Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the "deadly attacks targeting innocent believers in a place of worship" a "terrible transgression in an already extremely tense situation."

Great Britain - Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the Palestinian attack, writing "I'm appalled by today's horrific attack on worshippers at a Jerusalem synagogue. My thoughts are with the victims' families."

Turkey - Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu condemned the attack.

United Nations - Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, describing the attack as a "reprehensible incident", "strongly condemns today’s attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem which claimed four lives and injured several persons." Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said: "There can be no justification whatsoever for these deliberate killings."

Bahrain - Sheikh Abu Khalifa, the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, condemned the attack.

Palestinian Authority - Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, stated that "the presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshipers in their place of prayer and condemns the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it."

Hamas - Hamas praised the attack as "an appropriate and functional response to the crimes of the Israeli occupation." In the Gaza Strip people distributed sweets to celebrate, and brandished axes and posters of the killers. Palestinian television displayed photographs of celebratory scenes in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, and Palestinian radio called the killers "martyrs".

Terror attack in Jerusalem synagogue

Four killed, eight wounded - three seriously and one critically

The victims: Rabbis Moshe Twersky, 59, Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and Kalman Levine, 55.

PM Netanyahu: "This is the direct result of the incitement being led by Hamas and Abu Mazen, incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring. We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers."

At 7: 00 on Tuesday morning, 18 November 2014, two terrorists wielding meat cleavers, knives and guns entered the Kehillat Bnei Torah building on Harav Shimon Agassi Street in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem, which includes a synagogue and yeshiva. They began attacking worshipers, stabbing them before opening fire. About 30 worshipers were in the midst of the morning prayers, wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries.

Police who arrived at the scene shortly after the attack began shot and killed the two terrorists.

Police confirm that four people were killed in the terror attack and eight wounded, three seriously and one critically. Two of the wounded are policemen, one in critical condition as doctors fight for his life.

One of the victims has been identified as Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, head of the Torat Moshe Yeshiva in Jerusalem, elder son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky of Boston, and a grandson of Modern Orthodox luminary Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. The three other victims were identified as Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and Rabbi Kalman Ze'ev Levine, 55, all of Jerusalem.

Hamas said on its official Al-Aqsa TV: "The attack in Jerusalem is a reaction to the crime and execution of the martyr al-Ramouni and a reaction to the crimes of the occupation. The Hamas movement is calling for more revenge attacks." Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, employed as a driver by the Egged bus company in Jerusalem, was found hanged at a bus terminal on Sunday night. Contrary to claims published in the Palestinian media that al-Ramouni was murdered, official autopsy results confirmed the police's suspicion of suicide.

US Secretary of State John Kerry strongly condemned the attack:
"People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of a synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on the Palestinian leadership at every single level to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere.”
"To have this kind of act, which a pure result of incitement,” is unacceptable, Kerry said, adding that Palestinian leaders “must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement that comes from their language, other people’s language and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path."


Iraqi Jewish Archive controversy aired at Jerusalem forum

JERUSALEM - The United States should not return the Iraqi Jewish archive that is currently on loan to the US government to Baghdad, the archive’s chief rescuer urged. 

A retired Middle East analyst at the Office of the US Department of Defense who was instrumental in securing the Iraqi Jewish archive and ensuring its shipment to the US for preservation, said that "sending the material back to Baghdad would be comparable to the US returning to the German government Jewish property that had been looted by the Nazis" because the material had been plundered from the Jewish community by the Saddam Hussein regime.
Rhode, who discovered the precious artifacts while on assignment to Iraq’s transitional government, made the remark at a World Jewish Congress/Israel Council on Foreign Relations symposium, "The Imperiled Legacy of Iraqi Jewry and the Struggle to Prevent the Return of its Archive to Baghdad."
The event examined the story about a trove of Jewish documents and holy books rescued from Baghdad documenting 2,600 years of a Jewish presence in Iraq. The archive, which consists of artifacts seized from Iraqi Jews and their institutions by the Baath regime during the 1970s and 1980s, was brought to Washington in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein. It is scheduled to be returned to Iraq in June 2014 pursuant to an agreement made when the archive was discovered.
American Jews, including the WJC-United States, have taken the position that the archive must remain protected and accessible to Iraqi Jews around the world and that “it would be inappropriate to return the Iraqi Jewish archive to Iraq” this year. The American Jewish umbrella group the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations wrote a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry late last year asking him to “consult with representatives of the Iraqi Jewish Diaspora” about the archive before any action is taken.
The Jerusalem gathering also explored the question of justice for Jewish refugees from Arab lands. Irwin Cotler, Canada's former minister of justice and attorney general, told a capacity audience of activists, diplomats, academics and students that it is "high time that the forced exodus of Jews from Arab lands be introduced to the international agenda after the unconscionable neglect of the issue for six decades."
A third panelist, Edwin Shuker, a London-based Jewish communal leader from Iraq and former president of the Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, shared with the audience his discovery that his school report card was among the documents retrieved from Baghdad by Rhode.

Jews lived in Iraq from Babylonian times, but in the 20th century the rise of Arab nationalism and the conflict in Palestine made their situation precarious. In 1941, local extremists in Baghdad killed hundreds and injured thousands of Jews in several days of rioting and looting that came to be known as the Farhud pogrom. After the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Iraqi government retaliated against the Jewish population with harsh and discriminatory laws. Most Iraqi Jews had fled Iraq for Israel by the early 1950s.
After World War II and the establishment of the State of Israel, the World Jewish Congress was perhaps the foremost organization assisting Jews in Arab and other Muslim countries. In the 1950s, the WJC negotiated the safe passage of Jewish refugees with a number of Arab governments, especially in North Africa. The issue of the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands continues to be a focus of the organization.

The WJC is committed to raising the plight of Jews who fled from, or still live in, Arab lands and their specific concerns with governments and international organizations. Where illegal seizure of assets took place, these should be returned to their former owners, or adequate compensation should be paid. Jews remaining in Arab lands, as well as other religious minorities, should be granted religious freedom and allowed to practice their faith according to their traditions.
Jewish communal sites in Arab countries must be preserved and respected. The cause of Jewish refugees from Arab countries was the subject of a November 2013 conference at the United Nations sponsored by the World Jewish Congress, Israel's Mission to the United Nations, the Presidents' Conference and Justice for Jews from Arab Countries.


First Exhibition of Former Soviet Jewish Artists works on the Holocaust to be displayed in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel, A moving first-of-its-kind exhibition showcasing the works of Jewish artists from the Former Soviet Union memorializing the Holocaust, will be on display and open to the public free of charge in Jerusalem for one month beginning December 29, 2013.

The idea for the exhibit was born during the Limmud FSU Jerusalem festival, which took place last month with the support of the Israel-based Hashava Company and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, which is hosting the exhibition.

Entitled, “Becoming a Witness,” the exhibit features works commemorating the Holocaust by Jewish artists from the Former Soviet Union. They were inspired by the writings of Elie Wiesel, particularly his well-known book "Night", the distribution and reading of which were banned in the Soviet Union.

The exhibit appears to be the first time Jewish artists from the Former Soviet Union are presenting works about the Holocaust on this scale. The Soviet regime intentionally focused public memory of the Second World War period on the bravery and victory of the Soviet Army and not the horrors of the Nazi genocide.

Following the war Soviet Jews were not permitted to publicly discuss the Holocaust and there was no education or access to information about the atrocities.

The seven artists participating in the exhibition are: Julia Shulman, Liora Barstein, Michael Morgenstern, Igor Ganikovsky, Lea Zarembo, Lev Saksonov, and the late Meir Axelrod. The exhibit is being curated by Axelrod’s grandson, Michael Yakhilevich.

“This is not an easy exhibition to visit. A world that was once vibrant and very much alive is no more, stamped into oblivion by the forces of a modern Dark Age,” said Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, who initiated the exhibition. “The artists represented here have been exposed to the writings of Elie Wiesel, perhaps the world’s foremost chronicler of the Holocaust. And their reactions to the world he described will be, in part, displayed here. The works reflect on this bleakest of times where despite overwhelming destruction, humanity endured.”

“Though he was never in a concentration camp himself, the trauma of the Holocaust haunted Menachem Begin throughout his life as a Jewish leader, whether in his struggle against German reparations or in his dedication to the Jewish homeland and its defense, which he viewed as preventing a second Holocaust,” said Herzl Makov, who heads the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. “These works serve as a living memorial to those who suffered through those dark times, and are important in the preservation of the heritage of those who were lost during the Holocaust.”

Nigerian President Jonathan visits Israel

PM Netanyahu: "Our goal is to see a peaceful settlement of Iran without nuclear weapons. I believe it’s important for Africa, for the countries of the Middle East, and for the world." 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met , at his Jerusalem office, with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and said at the start of their meeting:

"We are a partnership of peoples and a partnership of interests, and the key interest is fighting terrorism. I can say that the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world is Iran, and this same Iran is now on a quest to preserve its program to achieve nuclear weapons.

I just heard Iranian officials that the talks, the most recent round of talks were useful and constructive. Well, I’m sure for Iran it’s useful and constructive, because they just win time in order to continue their enrichment program to create fissile material for nuclear weapons. I think the talks will be useful and constructive when the pressure on Iran will get them to cease and desist their nuclear program, to stop enrichment, to stop their heavy water plutonium reactor, both of these are used only for nuclear weapons. They’re not needed for civilian nuclear energy.

This is our goal, to see a peaceful settlement of Iran without nuclear weapons, but Iran must be without nuclear weapons. This is something that we are committed to and we stand by this goal. This is important for us Mr. President, but I believe it’s important for Nigeria, I believe it’s important for Africa, for the countries of the Middle East, and for the world. Iran with nuclear weapons will threaten all of us, and will threaten the peace of the world. So we are committed to preventing that."

Earlier, President Shimon Peres met with Nigerian President Jonathan and said:

"The world bears witness to a growing, thriving Nigeria. This country is leaping towards fulfilling its economic goals, and becoming a leading nation in the African continent. This is an example and inspiration for many countries around us. Israel and Nigeria are partners in progress, hoping to positively influence our neighboring countries and the entire region."


The North African Jewish heritage

The Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem exhibits the culture that is common to the Muslims and to the Jews of North Africa, while the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra Ashdod creates a connecting link between Jews and Arabs. 

Jerusalem, The Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center, established in 1854 by Rabbi David Ben Shimon, is located in the Mughrabi neighborhood of Jerusalem, known also as Mamilla, in the center of a stunning garden with authentic Moroccan design.

The Center offers exhibitions showing the extraordinary history and heritage of the Jews communities of North Africa. The crown of the center is an audio-visual presentation, that include documents, movies, music, bibliography, and pictures telling the thrilling narrative of the Jewish communities in Morocco, Algeria and Tunis.

Andalusian music arrived in Israel with the immigrants from North Africa in the late 1950s and early 60s. The Israel Andalusian Orchestra founded in Ashdod includes both musicians trained in Western classical music and musicians playing traditional instruments, including the oud, the mandolin and the darbuka.

The Israeli Andalusian Orchestra was the first in the world to apply Western musical notation to ancient Andalusian music, to document and record this centuries-old music in new orchestral arrangements. In 2006, the orchestra was awarded the Israel Prize, for its lifetime achievement and special contribution to Israeli society.

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