Israel

Israeli issues concerning the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. Israeli-Baltic, Israeli-Lithuanian, and Israeli-Latvian issues. Israeli “payments” for Baltic political support and the views of survivors and their constituencies. Tracking Yad Vashem’s political department vis-a-vis these issues.
*
Please see the related page ISRAEL CHRONICLE, at:
http://defendinghistory.com/israel-debates/43340
*
Page on the “political department” of Yad Vashem:
http://defendinghistory.com/category/political-pressure-on-yad-vashem

***

World Famous Litvak Rabbi Condemns Plans for Congress Center in Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



PIRAMÓNT  |  PAPER  TRAIL  |  OPPOSITION  |  CEMETERIES

Rabbi Tzvi Rotberg, One of the world’s top Litvak rabbis and head of the world-famous yeshiva (rabbinical academy) Beth Meir, in Bnei-Brak, Israel, issued a public letter, in rabbinic Hebrew, on 25 September 2016 pleading with Lithuanian state authorities to intervene to stop the building of a planned National Congress Center atop the graves of some of the greatest Lithuanian rabbis of the last thousand years. He refers metaphorically to the “outcry of those that lie in the dust from the previous generations who were righteous and pure” and condemns plans for celebrations and unholy events on top of their remains. Rabbi Rotberg is the grandson of the fabled Rabbi Tuvia Rotberg, a close disciple and associate of the Chofetz Chaim (Yiroel-Meir of Radin).

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Comments Off on World Famous Litvak Rabbi Condemns Plans for Congress Center in Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

September 23rd Events in the Vilnius Region



DEFENDING HISTORY WAS THERE

Annual Sept. 23 Official Commemoration Ceremony at the Ponár (Paneriai) Mass Murder Site Outside Vilnius, Lithuania

Historic Breakthrough as Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Faina Kukliansky Finally Calls for Removal of Street Names and Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators, Boldly Citing Juozas KrikštaponisJonas Noreika, and Kazys Škirpa; Sharp Contrast with Last Year’s Failed Event

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Events, Israel, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Ponár (Ponary, Paneriai) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on September 23rd Events in the Vilnius Region

Run-Up to Lithuania’s Sept. 23rd 2016 Holocaust Commemoration Day



Events in the Week of Lithuania’s Official September 23rd Holocaust Commemoration Day

Vilnius mayor  — and nation’s president and prime minister — face a stark choice on whether to speak out with moral clarity on painful issues of city-center street names and plaques honoring Holocaust collaborators, and the desecration of the country’s oldest Jewish cemetery by a new congress center, prior to this year’s series of official gala Vilna Ghetto commemoration events, 20-28 September 2016

OUR TAKE ON THE NEW HEBREW-YIDDISH STREET SIGN IN THE OLD JEWISH QUARTER

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Events, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Run-Up to Lithuania’s Sept. 23rd 2016 Holocaust Commemoration Day

Yiddish Loses Last Global Position as Symbolic “First Jewish Language” in Vilnius



OPINION  |  COMMEMORATION OF DESTROYED COMMUNITIES  |  YIDDISH AFFAIRS  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  IDENTITY-THEFT LITVAK INDUSTRY

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—For close to three decades, Vilnius has been the only city in the world with municipally sponsored public plaques and signs that regularly include Yiddish. Symbologically for a small, weak, stateless, threatened and “threat-to-nobody” language in this part of the world, it was an equally important statement of respect for the language, literature and culture of the murdered Jewish people of the city that Yiddish sometimes came first, “on top,” and always so when it was a question between Yiddish and modern Israeli Hebrew.

For the first time in thirty years, Yiddish has been denied primacy of place among the Jewish languages of the city. The new sign starts with an Israeli Hebrew version used by nobody in pre-Holocaust Vilna.

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Posted in Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Israel, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Symbology, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yiddish Loses Last Global Position as Symbolic “First Jewish Language” in Vilnius

Vanagaitė and Zuroff’s “Mūsiškiai”


[last update]


For the first time, a Lithuanian author teamed up with an Israeli Holocaust scholar in search for the truth about widespread local enthusiasm, seventy-five years ago, for mass murder of civilian neighbors, and today’s failures in coming to grips with that history, in a land of hundreds of Jedwabnes. A genuine historic advance in Lithuanian-Jewish relations is seen in the startling partnership of Rūta Vanagaitė and Dr. Efraim Zuroff in Vanagaitė’s Mūsiškiai: Kelionė su priešu (“Our People: Journey with an Enemy”), published in Vilnius in January 2016. See also the media tracking page on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Operation Last Chance website.

English   Lithuanian   German   Polish   Russian

The following listing of coverage by language (English, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish) is far from exhaustive. The humongous reaction needs to be studied in its own right.

Nov. 2017 Update: Renewed media conflagration launched by the author’s 26 October 2017 PR rollout of multiple initiatives, two of which were directly relevant to the legacy of Mūsiškiai.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Books, Documents, Efraim Zuroff, History, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Rūta Vanagaitė | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vanagaitė and Zuroff’s “Mūsiškiai”

Editor’s Comment on a Yad Vashem Group Visiting Lithuania



The following comment appeared on Facebook today:

YAD VASHEM’S “political department” and the group that visited Lithuania last week:

Thanks to both members of the group who quietly reached out to the Defending History team for a meeting. As you saw, nothing but good comes from relaxed, pleasurable, respectful and frank exchange of ideas and knowledge, over a cup of coffee. It was sad that the group was (again) hermetically sealed from “The Second Opinion” here in Vilnius (and those Holocaust survivors who hold such opinions), as if Israeli citizens cannot be trusted to cope with a rich tapestry of opposing views when they visit Eastern Europe. (That various “Yiddish” institutions gleefully, at times, play the role of gatekeeper of ideas here is another issue.) For background on the issues from our team’s perspective, please see:
http://defendinghistory.com/…/political-pressure-on-yad-vas…
http://defendinghistory.com/israel-debates/43340
http://defendinghistory.com/blaming-the-victims
http://defendinghistory.com/category/israel

Over the years some amazing Israeli heroes of truth and courage have indeed spoken out.

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Posted in Dovid Katz, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT, Yad Vashem Manipulated?, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Editor’s Comment on a Yad Vashem Group Visiting Lithuania

Latest Judicial Abuse of An East European Country’s Redefinition of “Genocide” to Obfuscate the Holocaust


DEFINITION OF GENOCIDE   |   DOUBLE GENOCIDE   |   DOUBLE GENOCIDE SECTION   |   THE GENOCIDE CENTER IN VILNIUS   |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS


Kaunas Court Affirms Sentence of Two Years “Restricted Freedom” for “Facilitation of Genocide” by Former KGB Officer for Arresting Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas in 1956

SEE OBZOR REPORT THAT CITES BNS; REPORTS CONFIRMED BY LITHUANIAN COURT OF APPEAL AND TIESOS.LT; HOLOCAUST ASPECTS REPORTED BY ISRAELI RUSSIAN LANGUAGE NEWS PORTAL IZRUS

Ramanauskas-Vanagas was an Alleged Nazi Collaborator Implicated in Holocaust Crimes

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Latest Judicial Abuse of An East European Country’s Redefinition of “Genocide” to Obfuscate the Holocaust

Professor Dov Levin’s Findings on the Outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust



DOCUMENTS  |  HISTORY

The following is the first column of page 898 of Professor Dov Levin’s entry, “Lithuania,” in volume 3 of Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Israel Gutman, editor-in-chief; published by Macmillan, New York, and Collier Macmillan, London, 1990, in cooperation with Yad Vashem: The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem). Further reading on the subject. Eyewitness testimonies.

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Posted in Documents, Dov Levin (1925 - 2016), History, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Professor Dov Levin’s Findings on the Outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust

A Month After Kaunas March Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators, Israeli Ambassador Shocks Survivors by Praising City’s Jewish Remembrance



ISRAEL CHRONICLE   |  ISRAEL SECTION  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  KAUNAS MARCHES

KAUNAS—One month after this year’s infamous Independence Day march in central Kaunas that featured a banner glorifying a number of Holocaust collaborators, including those co-responsible for the fate of this city’s 30,000 Jews in the Holocaust here on its ground zero, Israeli ambassador to Lithuania HE Amir Maimon has paid a very public congratulatory call on the mayor and city council to praise them unreservedly for their Jewish remembrance policies. There was no public mention of the march or request that future events desist from publicly glorifying the city’s collaborators. The following report is from today’s edition of the official website of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Holocaust survivors and their families in both Kaunas and Vilnius who contacted Defending History were incredulous and “in shock”…

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Israel, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on A Month After Kaunas March Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators, Israeli Ambassador Shocks Survivors by Praising City’s Jewish Remembrance

Israel’s Foreign Ministry Faces a Lithuanian Dilemma



DOCUMENTS | ISRAEL | DOUBLE GENOCIDE | RED-BROWN COMMISSION | GENOCIDE CENTER

As the Lithuanian government-sponsored “Red-Brown Commission” (popular moniker for the “International Commission for Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes of Lithuania“), quiet on the international front for a time, announces a comeback global conclave for 17-19 March 2016, suspense is rising as to whether various Jewish organizations, including Yivo and the AJC, but above all the Israel Foreign Ministry, will again be coming on board to legitimize the body that is the midwife of the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Documents, Double Games, Double Genocide, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Israel’s Foreign Ministry Faces a Lithuanian Dilemma

Did Prime Minister Netanyahu Really “Okay” the Vilnius “Conference Center in the Jewish Cemetery”?


[from the day’s front page]


AN ISRAELI-LITHUANIAN MYSTERY

In September, during his trip to Israel, the Lithuanian prime minister reported back home with triumph  that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quite happy with plans for a $25,000,000 national conference center in the middle of the old (15th century origin) Piramónt (Šnipiškės) Jewish cemetery in Vilnius. But did the Israeli PM really reject out-of-hand the growing  international Jewish (and non-Jewish) chorus of condemnation for a plan to have convention revelers clap, cheer, sing, drink in bars and use toilets surrounded by thousands of Jewish graves including some of the foremost Jewish scholars of the last millennium? Where his own ancestors are buried? Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding. Background on the cemetery’s history and implications of the case for all Europe, and on the current project.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Israel, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Did Prime Minister Netanyahu Really “Okay” the Vilnius “Conference Center in the Jewish Cemetery”?

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė Completes Official Visit to Israel



LITHUANIA TRIBUNE / DELFI;   JERUSALEM POST

 Hopes Dashed She Would Announce Cancellation of  “Vilnius Convention Center in the Old Jewish Cemetery” and Promise to Remove Public Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Comments Off on Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė Completes Official Visit to Israel

As Lithuania’s President Visits Israel



O P I N I O N

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Posted in Dovid Katz, Events, Human Rights, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on As Lithuania’s President Visits Israel

Israel Faced Some Delicate Post-Holocaust Issues During Lithuanian PM’s September Visit



Efraim Zuroff asked in the Jerusalem Post that the Baltic state’s campaign to revise Holocaust history — and its plans to plonk a convention center in the middle of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery — be on the table; Zuroff’s post-visit article in i24

INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION TO “CONVENTION CENTER IN THE JEWISH CEMETERY”

PAPER TRAIL

ISRAEL PAGE

ISRAEL SECTION

7 SOLUTIONS

AFTER MEETING NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER BUTKEVICIUS GLOATED TO MEDIA THAT ISRAEL DOESN’T OBJECT TO THE “GRAVEYARD CONVENTION CENTER” DESPITE INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION; JTA REPORT; IN THE JERUSALEM POST

CAMPAIGN AGAINST JEWISH PARTISANS NOT EVEN MENTIONED? Does Israel betray its own citizens by not asking apologies for the World War II heroes Yitzhak Arad, (the late) Rachel Margolis and  Joseph Melamed? Arad and Melamed are heroes of Israel’s 1948 war of independence.  Will there now be a public apology on the prosecutors’ page that still defames him [as PDF]  and from the “Human Rights Association”? Apologies to Israeli citizens Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed? The 2009 Leivick House (Tel Aviv) speech of the late Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter. What does Dr. Arad  think?

BUT PM DECRIED “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” IN PUBLIC (JP REPORT). HE WILL HOPEFULLY FOLLOW UP AT HOME ON STREET NAMES AND PUBLIC HONORS FOR HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS [CURRENT DEBATE]; OVERDUE APOLOGIES TO JEWISH PARTISANS; RAPID REFORM OR ABOLITION OF GENOCIDE CENTER AND RED-BROWN COMMISSION — AND REPUDIATION OF THE PRAGUE DECLARATION.  NEO-NAZI PARADES ON INDEPENDENCE DAYS?

RECENT MEDIA:  Slate.  The Forward.  Jerusalem Post.  JTA.  Times of Israel.

Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Israel Faced Some Delicate Post-Holocaust Issues During Lithuanian PM’s September Visit

Jerusalem Debate on Antisemitism in Lithuania: Deputy Foreign Minister and Dr. Efraim Zuroff



Debate in Jerusalem, at World Forum for Combating Antisemitism, at Session on Holocaust Denial and Distortion in Eastern Europe

I: Summary document released by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry boasts of “accomplishments in liquidation of consequences of the Holocaust”

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views | Tagged | Comments Off on Jerusalem Debate on Antisemitism in Lithuania: Deputy Foreign Minister and Dr. Efraim Zuroff

UN Resolution Against Glorification of Nazism Opposed on 21 Nov. 2014 by Just Three Countries



D O C U M E N T S   /   G L O R I F I C A T I O N    O F   C O L L A B O R A T O R S

The following is the official 21 Nov. 2014 United Nations voting sheet for the resolution (A/C.3/69/L.56/Rev.1) “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” The original is posted on the UN website. This copy has three added arrows for rapid identification of the three states that voted “No.”

Media coverage includes: Margaret Besheer in Voice of America;  Joseph Brean in Canada’s National Post;  Ken Hanly in Digital Journal;  Dovid Katz in The Times of Israel;  Ryan Maloney in Huffington Post Jim Miles in CounterPunch;  Boruch Shubert in JP Updates;  Sam Sokol in the Jerusalem Post.

Glorification of Nazi collaborators (and local perpetrators) by states and their elites is a serious issue in various countries, including Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

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Posted in Canada, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, History, Israel, News & Views, Ukraine, United Nations, United States | Comments Off on UN Resolution Against Glorification of Nazism Opposed on 21 Nov. 2014 by Just Three Countries

Tel Aviv’s Leyvik House Issues Call to World Jewish Congress on Vilnius Yiddish Jobs in the Works


 TEL AVIV— Daniel Galay, director of Leyvik House in central Tel Aviv, one of Israel’s major Yiddish culture institutions, issued the following statement today on the Leyvik House website (copy), and on its Facebook page (see also Efraim Zuroff’s Facebook comment). For background see our earlier report.


 

Appeal to the World Jewish Congress

Tel Aviv, 12 June 2014

Like all lovers of Yiddish language and culture, we at Leyvik House in Tel Aviv, home to the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Israel, were happy to see the recent announcement that the World Jewish Congress would be facilitating a new Yiddish center in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Genocide, Human Rights, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, South Africa, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tel Aviv’s Leyvik House Issues Call to World Jewish Congress on Vilnius Yiddish Jobs in the Works

Israeli Association of 2nd and 3rd Generation Survivors Calls for Action from Israel and Other Democracies


JERUSALEM—On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed today internationally, Dorot Hahemshech, Israel’s largest association of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, issued a call to both the Israeli government and other democracies to renew and intensify the efforts to bring to justice Nazi war criminals and collaborators while it is still possible. The leaders of the NGO also commented on the growing phenomenon of distorting the history of the Holocaust in a number of countries, particularly in the context of the Double Genocide movement rampant in Eastern Europe.

The following is a translation from the original Hebrew text.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Double Genocide, Israel, News & Views | Comments Off on Israeli Association of 2nd and 3rd Generation Survivors Calls for Action from Israel and Other Democracies

An Open Letter to Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post



O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

Editor’s note: This and other responses were first offered to the Jerusalem Post for publication.


The Lithuanian government is pouring ever more resources and doing an ever better job with its PR campaign to turn Litvaks (Jews of Lithuanian origin) into virtual PR agents who now go further than they do themselves: painting a picture of the New Jewish Paradise in Lithuania without even mentioning the existence of painful current issues. Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde no doubt meant only the best with his Chapter-of-Psalms, and will, I feel confident, now be happy to give the issues some rounded airing.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on An Open Letter to Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem Post, Again, Fails to Post Dissenting Comments on a “Lithuania Ecstasy” Story



M e d i a   W a t c h   /   O p i n i o n

Readers on several continents again report to Defending History that the Jerusalem Post has failed to post perfectly polite comments to yet another ecstatic ode to issueless Lithuanian-Jewish love. This time it’s the story “Growing Lithuanian Business Ties Beget Political Support” which reported on the recent visit to Israel of the Lithuanian Minister for the Economy Evaldas Gustas.

The rejected comments pointed out that a senior specialist employed at his ministry was exposed last spring as Lithuania’s most hateful internet blogger, responsible for a series of images disparaging to Jews, Blacks, Gays, and to the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania (sampling of images here). Our Open Letter to the minister essentially asks why the hateful top official is still in office. Is such a question taboo for a major English language daily in Israel?

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Posted in Citizenship, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, South Africa | Tagged , | Comments Off on Jerusalem Post, Again, Fails to Post Dissenting Comments on a “Lithuania Ecstasy” Story