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Israeli Foreign Policy and the Holocaust in Eastern Europe (1990 — 2023)
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DH’s Israel Section
Also: Ongoing “postmorten defamation” of Israeli citizens in the absence of state apologies fo families of Holocaust survivors (and resistance heroes and champions of bona fide Holocaust education) Yitzhak Arad (1926-2021), Joseph Melamed (1924-2017), and Rachel Margolis (1921-2915)
Also: section on the “political department” of Yad Vashem. DefendingHistory.com has proposed seven solutions to Lithuanian-Jewish issues.
Selection of Issues & Debates
May 2023: Media announcements of new “Israel Square” to be located in Vilnius in the heart of the neighborhood that gave rise to academic and high level literary Yiddish culture in the history of Vilnius. This despite there being a successful organically evolving Israel Square at the historically appropriate place in town, opposite the prewar Tarbut school. Our report.
March 2021: Israel’s Ambassador Joel Lion in Ukraine boldly condemns decision in Ternopol to name new city stadium for Hitler collaborator Roman Shuchevych (Ben Cohen’s report in the Algemeiner). Earlier, Ambassador Lion condemned the shameful annual parade glorifying Holocaust collaborator Stepan Bandera; JTA’s Cnaan Liphshiz reported. But at same time, Israeli Foreign Ministry colludes to silence dialogue on glorification of Holocaust collaborators in Lithuania (including the “naming of 2021″); Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Zuroff protests in Jerusalem Post .
Lithuanian parliament’s dedication of 2021 to memory of J. Lukša, alleged Kaunas 1941 killer is little mentioned after early protests by Israeli citizens WJC’s Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, and Yakov Faitelson, son of legendary partisan hero and escaper from Ninth Fort Alex Faitelson, author of the acclaimed The Truth and Nothing But the Truth, where Lukša’s June 1941 role is documented.
Defending History’s take, chronology of the debate, and alternative dedication of 2021. Even the usually hesitant official Jewish community, and its AJC partner, spoke out.
ARON HELLER IN THE WASHINGTON POST ON NETANYAHU’S “SALE OF HOLOCAUST HISTORY” IN EASTERN EUROPE; SAM SOKOL’S NEW PAPER
LOOKING BACK AT 2018-2019:
Historic lowpoint in Israeli diplomacy?
Also: Netanyahu’s Trip to Lithuania. Ten Knesset members call on country’s president to cancel convention center project in old Vilna Jewish cemetery; Interior Minister adds his voice.
A historic highpoint: Israeli ambassador to Ukraine, HE Joel Lion, speaks up with integrity.
In early 2018, criticism from within Israel intensified concerning the Foreign Ministry’s apparent policy of supporting far-right, antisemitic and Holocaust-distorting policies of East European governments. One of the most famous was Knesset member’s Ksenia Svetlova’s op-ed in the Jerusalem Post on 1 February. What (in the short term) escaped wider media notice was arguably the lowpoint in 21st century Israeli diplomacy that had in fact emanated from Vilnius some weeks earlier, when the nation’s ambassador, Ambassador Amir Maimon, legitimized state decisions to glorify an allege Nazi collaborator by personally posing with photos of the suspect, eliciting vast adulation (for the ambassador and his embassy) in the right-wing media, including Alfa.lt, Diena.lt, Greitas.eu, Kaunodiena.lt, Lzionios.lt, Pozicija.org, Respublika, and Vakaro žinios. Ramanauskas’s daughter assured the Lithuanian public that the Israeli ambassador has praised her father’s struggle for freedom… The diplomatic fiasco was intensified further when Lithuania nevertheless voted against the United States’s position on moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. See DH’s Coverage of 15 Dec. 2017 and 24 Dec. 2017, and commentary in The Weekly of Vilnius on 17 Dec.
In late August 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Vilnius. Ben Cohen’s report in Algemeiner.com on 23 Aug. cited Defending History’s three proposed issues for the agenda. See DH’s summary page with links to diverse international media.
On 12 Sept. 2018, ten members of the Israeli Knesset wrote to the Lithuanian president asking that the national convention center project be moved away from the old Vilna Jewish cemetery.
On 23 September 2018, at the annual commmoration of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto at the mass murder site Ponár (Paneriai), Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon again failed to mention the names of the three Israeli citizens defamed for posterity by Lithuanian prosecutors. All three published seminal works on the Lithuanian Holocaust. Two published essential works on the Vilna Ghetto and Ponár itself. Two of the three were veterans of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
In December 2018, Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, spoke out with integrity and passion on the pain caused by decisions by government agencies to glorify Holocaust perpetrators as “national heroes”. Reports in Kyiv Post and The Times of Israel.
- On 3 January 2017, a calendar month had passed following the death of Professor Dov Levin (1925-2016), but still no statement or webpage notice from the Israeli embassy in Vilnius. Levin was author of such seminal volumes as The Litvaks and the Lithuania volume of Yad Vashem’s Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities (Pinkas Hakehillot), and numerous books and studies. In 2000, the Israeli embassy for the Baltics, in Riga, had helped publication of a translation into Lithuanian of Levin’s A Short History of Jews in Lithuania. It is widely assumed that the embassy’s policy is to pass over in silence the death of Lithuanian-born Israeli citizens who have made the greatest contributions to Lithuanian Jewish history, if those persons disagreed with some Lithuanian government agencies about the Holocaust. Cf. below on Rachel Margolis. More here.
- In mid April 2017, many in the Jewish community felt that yet another attempt by Israel’s energetic and photogenic “photo-ops tops ambassador in Vilnius” Amir Maimon to cover for his embassy’s Holocaust history acquiescence, high-profile betrayals, and mockery of Yiddish culture, via “new initiatives” went rapidly awry. Local discussions often turn to where the interface might be between diplomatic instructions from Jerusalem and his own seemingly much more extreme stance. PR grade news was triumphantly disseminated widely announcing that Vilnius University (thanks to the Israeli Embassy in Lithuania) would grant “memory diplomas” for students who became Holocaust victims and could not finish their studies; But actual VU rules for the “Memory Diploma” made clear that Jewish anti-Nazi Partisans are excluded as are those who joined the Soviet army to fight Hitler, and for that reason survived (the Soviet Union was of course in 1941-1945 in alliance with the United States and Great Britain and the only force seriously fighting the Nazis in Eastern Europe). A notable proportion of Lithuania’s small postwar community descends from proud Jewish veterans of the 16th Division of the Red Army.
- The fiasco was rapidly exposed in a JTA report and featured by Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and Izrus. But the embassy’s Facebook page has continued to offer “pride” for the initiative, as if any word of diplomatically polite criticism or disappointment is never an option.
Moreover, the Israeli Embassy has to date also failed to obtain public clarification of the history of the Vilnius University Biology professorship of its own citizen Dr. Rachel Margolis (1921-2015) who was persecuted by Lithuanian prosecutors from 2008 onward for fighting the Nazis with the Jewish partisans (journalists were told: “no records [of her decades of being a professor]”). The embassy did not even issue a statement when she died.
- In recent years, Vilnius University has also “whited out” of its records professors who dared stand up for the integrity of Holocaust Survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance. In 2012, the university honored a notorious antisemitic caricaturist. In Spring 2017, a new campaign was launched against current VU employee, anti-Nazi resistance hero Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky. Silence from VU and the Israeli Embassy. See Israel Section for more coverage of recent years. Defending History continues to believe that Israel should publicly ask, politely and diplomatically, for state apologies to Israeli citizens Yitzhak Arad, Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed, heroes of Europe’s anti-Nazi resistance in Lithuania (two of them heroes of Israel’s War of Independence too), who continue to be defamed, ever more viciously, in history books and online, in the absence of apologies from the antisemitic, politicized prosecutors who have pursued the campaign against them and other Holocaust survivors (none of whom was ever charged with the slightest infraction of any law or statute).
In December 2017, Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon shocked many members of Jewish community by providing de facto PR support for a Lithuanian parliamentary resolution naming 2018 for someone who had led a pro-Nazi militia during the initiation of the Lithuanian Holocaust in June and July 1941. Reports in Defending History and in The Weekly of Vilnius.
From November 2016, the new blog of Vilnius’s Chabad rabbi, Sholom Ber Krinsky, led to widespread dissemination of previously unnoticed webpages divulging allocations of the “Good Will Foundation” funds deriving from the value of the religious buildings of the annihilated Jewish communities of Lithuania. These funds are meant for the building up of Lithuania’s struggling Jewish community. The disbursements published (here and here) include €28,962 for a single concert by the Israeli Philharmonic; €8,000 for a Tel Aviv group that regularly serves Lithuanian government PR and arranges expensive high-end tours for Israelis; and other allocations for causes that are laudable but not in furtherance of the purpose of the foundation established. Involvement of Israeli diplomats is widely reported.
In October 2016, the Vilnius Israeli embassy’s hand is seen (but not confirmed—or denied) in the diminution of the symbolic status of Yiddish in the city the late Leyzer Ran called “a historic capital of Yiddish”. New street sign has Israeli Hebrew on top and faulty Yiddish at the bottom.
In October 2016, Lithuanian Foreign Ministry sources leaked their claim that the Israeli embassy in Vilnius played a role in securing Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged Nov. 2015 “blessing” for the desecration of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery where his own ancestors lie buried. No confirmation or denial issued. Context.
At the annual September 23rd commemoration ceremony at Ponár, marking the anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto, the Israeli ambassador again failed to mention the name of three Israeli citizens, heroes of the anti-Nazi resistance, defamed by Lithuanian prosecutors for posterity; two of the three were in the Vilna Ghetto, two of the three still alive.
In March 2016, the Israeli Foreign Ministry (and its Vilnius embassy) faced a dilemma in view of pending Vilnius conclave of the Lithuanian government’s Red-Brown Commission in Vilnius, set for 17-19 March 2016 (26 February 2016). Because of a mutual agreement to keep the meeting of this public body secret, the public is unaware of the content or result of the conclave.
Just weeks after the 16 February 2016 neo-Nazi march allowed through the center of Kaunas (Kovno), flaunting banners of multiple Holocaust perpetrators, with all municipal permissions, Israeli ambassador grants city’s leaders a gushing photo-op fest thanking them for maintaining Jewish heritage, and without the gentlest, diplomatic public mention of ongoing “issues” like the glorification of the city’s Holocaust perpetrators on national independence day.
Spring 2016 publication of excerpt from Jerusalem Professor Dov Levin’s 1990 conclusions on the outbreak of Holocaust violence at 40 locations before the arrival of German forces.
In January 2016, a major new book on the Lithuanian Holocaust co-authored by Israeli citizen Dr. Efraim Zuroff was launched in Vilnius, and has since attracted massive media coverage and debate; but the Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, a stalwart participant in public events, has stayed away from the book’s events and failed to comment, leading to suspicions of fear of upsetting the ultranationalist antisemitic far right, which is heavily invested in Holocaust revisionism coupled with generous photo-ops with foreign Jewish dignitaries.
Israeli ambassador to Lithuania speaks at Ponár on Yom Hashoah; Speaking once again at Ponár on 22 Sept, fails to mention Rachel Margolis’s death in the interim; Israel silent on continuing defamation of Israeli citizen Holocaust survivors; Israel and Holocaust issues in YNet Report (29 Dec 2015).
Lithuanian Prime Minister’s Sept 2015 visit to Israel; he told the media back home of his main achievement: obtaining PM Netanyahu’s “blessing” for “convention center in the old Jewish cemetery”: Report by BNS which does not cover the Israeli ambassador’s role in this “diplomatic success”; in JTA, in the Jerusalem Post (9 Sept 2015) and in The Times of Israel (13 December 2915); Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post (7 Sept 2015) and in i24 (15 Sept 2015). DH summary (15 Sept 2015). DH editorial (15 Nov 2015).
Lithuanian President’s Oct 2015 visit to Israel: Reports in the Jerusalem Post (20 Oct 2015), Lithuania Tribune (19 Oct 2015), and World Jewish Congress website (21 Oct 2015), and the appeal by Asra Kadisha [+in DH] (21 Oct 2015). DH summary (22 Oct 2015).
UK Parliament’s mention of potential Israeli government involvement in approval of Lithuanian gov’s plan for convention center in the old Jewish cemetery of Vilnius (12 Nov 2015).
- Yad Vashem Debate
- Background; Danny Ben-Moshe in the Jerusalem Post / Report (26 August 2013); Dina Porat in the Jerusalem Post / Report (15 Sept 2013).
- Israel’s President asked to join “Vilna Ghetto Disneyland” Commission (2013):
- The “secret plan”; Reports of Israel’s president coming on board; original (2002) Jewish community newspaper’s reaction; 2009 Lithuanian Convservative Party views. No progress seen on public apologies to Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Ms. Fania Yocheles-Brantsovsky, Dr. Rachel Margolis, Attorney Joseph Melamed and others.
- President Peres’s July-August 2013 visit to Lithuania:
- Correspondence with Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv; Defending History comment.
- Israel Foreign Ministry (and Global Forum) Debate (2013):
- Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post (9 April 2013) on Israeli policy on Holocaust issues in Eastern Europe; and in The Times of Israel (23 April 2013) over invitees to Jerusalem conference. Andre Oboler replied (24 April 2013) on Jerusalem Post’s internet forum and a Facebook discussion followed (April 2013). Efraim Zuroff followed up with a further op-ed, ‘Whitewashing Antisemitism’ in the Jerusalem Post (29 April 2013). Manfred Gerstenfeld’s interview with Zuroff (1 May 2013). Clemens Heni in The Times of Israel (9 May 2013), Robert S. Wistrich in the Jerusalem Post (20 May 2013). Raphael Ahren reports in The Times of Israel (28 May 2013). Sam Sokol interviews Abe Foxman in the Jerusalem Post (28 May 2013).
- Debate on Yad Vashem (under Foreign Ministry pressure?) (2012):
- rejoining the Lithuanian government’s “red-brown commission” (2, 3, 4) in the absence of apologies to Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed.
- First rumors in Vilnius (21 Jan 2012); in DefendingHistory.com (28 Aug 2012); Joe Melamed & survivors in Israel to head of Yad Vashem [English translation] (3 Sept 2012); public statement (3 Sept 2012); 2009 correspondence with Yad Vashem published (3 Sept 2012); US survivors (9 Sept 2012); the Russian political angle (26 Sept 2012); Statement by Basheva Ran and a group of Lithuanian Holocaust survivors in the US. Correspondence released by US documentary film maker Richard Bloom. Commission’s executive director’s views of the Holocaust, in speeches and interviews; Dovid Katz in Times of Israel (15 Nov 2012); Related: section on political manipulation of Yad Vashem; red-brown commission page and section.
- Menachem Begin is instrumentalized for Jail House Rock (2012):
- Geoff Vasil & Dovid Katz in DefendingHistory (24 Sept 2012); Dror Eydar in Begin Center Diary (26 Sept 2012)
- More 2012:
- Association of Lithuanian Jews to Energy Minister Uzi Landau (25 January 2012); Raphael Ahren in The Times of Israel (9 March 2012).
- Jerusalem Post debates (2011-2012):
- Dovid Katz in the Jerusalem Post (3 Nov 2011); Harley Felstein and Adrienne Oleck in the Jerusalem Post (23 Nov 2011); Dovid Katz in the Jerusalem Post (28 Nov 2011); [Mr. Felstein later investigated by Paul Berger in the Forward (30 July 2012)]; Michael Freund’s interview with PM Kubilius in the Jerusalem Post (12 July 2012); Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post (19 July 2012).
- Yad Vashem debate
- participation in (+withdrawal from) Lithuanian parliament conference to honor Holocaust perpetrators (7 June 2011); follow-up (29 June 2011); reports on the conference I (29 June 2011) and II (30 June 2011)
- Israeli liaison officers of Interpol disturb Holocaust survivor and Israeli War of Independence veteran Joseph Melamed at the request of Lithuanian prosecutors (2011):
- first report in DefendingHistory (30 Aug 2011); Yossi Melman in Haaretz I (7 Sept. 2011); British Parliament’s reaction (8 Sept 2011); but head of Yivo attacks Haaretz report (9 Sept 2011); Yossi Melman replies in DefendingHistory (15 Sept 2011); Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle (22 Sept 2011); the Lithuanian embassy manipulated “YisraeLita” distributes its shameful letter against Mr. Melamed (2 Oct 2011); More reports linked here.
- Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs debate (2010):
- Barry Rubin in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (June 2010); Discussion in response to Barry Rubin: Jan Grabowski — Juliana Geran Pilon — Dovid Katz — John S. Micgiel in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (Nov 2010).
- Debate on the Prague Declaration and ‘identity theft’ of the Litvak label (2010):
- Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post (5 Aug 2010) Sara Miller in Haaretz (12 Oct 2010); Dovid Katz in Alfa.lt (15 Nov 2010); Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post (19 Dec 2010).
- Arutz Sheva debate (2010):
- Yisrael Rosenson in Arutz Sheva (24 Dec 2010); Efraim Zuroff in Arutz Sheva (26 Dec 2010); Yisrael Rosenson in Arutz Sheva (28 Dec 2010); Efraim Zuroff in Arutz Sheva (30 Dec 2010); Efraim Zuroff in Ynet (31 Dec 2010) [Hebrew]; in Ynet (4 January 2011) [English].
- Jerusalem Post debate (2009-2010): Isi Leibler in the Jerusalem Post (16 Dec 2009); Efraim Zuroff in he Jerusalem Post (22 Dec 2009); Barry Rubin in the Jerusalem Post (29 Dec 2009); Barry Rubin in the Jerusalem Post (13 Aug 2010); Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post (27 Aug 2010).
- ◊Israel’s Ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania HE Chen Ivri Apter honors Dr. Rachel Margolis at Leivick House in Tel Aviv (June 2009):
- Reports in DH and the Leivick House website (June 2009); 2012 Video release of Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter’s speech [Hebrew] with DH editorial comments and English translation (October 2012).
- Jerusalem Book Fair debate (2009): Raphael Ahren in Haaretz (13 Feb 2009); Dov Levin in Haaretz (24 Feb 2009); Milan Chersonski in Jerusalem of Lithuania (March 2009); Vilnius Yiddish Institute / Indiana University (Bloomington-Borns) angle (2009-2010).
- Dovid Katz writes to Yad Vashem on their revised exhibits on the Lithuanian Holocaust.
in reverse chronological order
3 December 2016. Defending History: Dov Levin (1925-2016).
29 February 2016. The Times of Israel: ‘Holocaust haunts Lithuanians as painful past comes to light’ by Vaidotas Beniusis.
28 February 2016. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian town plans to name street after priest who organized gang that murdered Jews’ by Sam Sokol.
26 February 2016. Defending History: ‘Israel’s Foreign Ministry faces a Lithuanian dilemma’.
29 December 2015. YNet: ‘Holocaust Denial on the rise in Eastern Europe’ by Tali Farkash.
13 December 2015. The Times of Israel: ‘Lithuania’s liveliest cemetery’ by Dovid Katz.
15 November 2015. Defending History: ‘Did Prime Minister Netanyahu really “okay” the Vilnius “Conference Center in the Jewish Cemetery”’?
12 November 2015. Defending History: ‘Question in the UK Parliament on the old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius’.
22 October 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė completes official visit to Israel’.
18 October 2015. Defending History: ‘As Lithuanian president visits Israel’.
9 October 2015. Defending History: ‘Purveyor of racist, misogynist, antisemitic, homophobic, Nazist “art” is alleged to work in Lithuania’s Economy Ministry’.
1 October 2015. Defending History: ‘Another “conference on antisemitism” in Lithuania’.
29 September 2015. Defending History: ‘On the Eve of the 30 Sept. 2015 “Conference on Antisemitism and Radicalism” in Vilnius.
22 September 2015. Defending History: ‘Ponár (Paneriai) memorial: No rabbi, no cantor, no kaddish’.
15 September 2015. i24: ‘Why Israel fails to confront Lithuania over the Holocaust’ by Efraim Zuroff.
10 September 2015. Defending History: ‘Who opposes a convention center in Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery?’ [= Registry of published disagreement with the project].
9 September 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian PM to Post: Vilnius one of Israel’s “strongest partners” in EU’ by Herb Keinon.
9 September 2015. JTA: ‘Netanyahu ok with construction on old Jewish cemetery, Lithuanian PM says’.
9 September 2015. Lithuania Tribune / En.Delfi.lt: ‘Israeli government doesn’t mind Vilnius Sports Palace renovation project, Lithuanian PM says’ by BNS.
7 September 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuania and the rewriting of history’ by Efraim Zuroff.
6 September 2015. The Times of Israel: ‘It’s a Jewish smackdown over Lithuanian site’s alleged graves’ by Cnaan Lipshiz.
3 September 2015. Defending History: ‘Julius Berman remembers Uri Chanoch (1928-2015)’ by Julius Berman.
2 September 2015. JTA: ‘It’s Jew vs. Jew (and rabbi vs. rabbi) in fight over Lithuanian site’ by Cnaan Lipshiz. In the Forward.
2 September 2015. Hamodia: ‘Roshei Yeshivah in Lithuania to oppose cemetery desecration’ by Rafael Hoffman.
30 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Cemetery controversy: “Much ado about nothing,” say Lithuanian Jewish leaders’ by Sam Sokol.
28 August 2015 [dated: 26 Aug]. Jewish Community of Lithuania: ‘International rabbinic delegation pleads with government leaders to cancel redevelopment plan of Sports Palace, desecrating 500-year old Snipiskes cemetery – BNS’.
28 August 2015. Jewish Community of Lithuania: ‘International rabbinic delegation travels to Vilnius to plea for the cancellation of development plans on the Snipiskes cemetery’.
27 August 2015. Hamodia: ‘Roshei yeshivah in Lithuania to oppose cemetery desecration’ by Rafael Hoffman.
26 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Rabbinic delegation asks Lithuania to cancel planned conference center in Vilna cemetery’ by Sam Sokol.
26 August 2015. The Lithuania Tribune / Eng.delfi.lt: ‘Jewish rabbis inquire about Vilnius Sports Palace project’ by BNS.
26 August 2015. Defending History: ‘International rabbinic delegation issues press release on visit to Lithuania to appeal for reprieve for the old Jewish cemetery at Piramont’.
26 August 2015. Hapéles: ‘Giants of Torah, may they be blessed, on an urgent trip to rescue the old Jewish cemetery in Vilna’ by I. Shechter [in Hebrew].
25 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian PM: Sports complex in Jewish cemetery to be built with “proper respect”’ by Sam Sokol.
24 August 2015. The Times of Israel [French edition]: ‘Profanation du cimetière juif de Vilnius – Lettre au Président de la Commission Européenne’ by Didier Bertin.
23 August 2015. Europe-Israel.org: ‘Lituanie: Profanation du cimetière juif de Vilnius par les autorités pour construire un Centre de Congrès avec les fonds de l’Union européenne’ by Didier Bertin.
23 August 2015. Defending History: ‘London “graveyard giveaway rabbis” issue statement that fails to mention convention center’.
23 August 2015. CPJCE / Admas Kodesh (London): ‘Press release’.
23 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Serge Klarsfeld calls on EU to desist from “structural funds” for the “Cemetery Convention Center” in Vilnius.
22 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Didier Bertin’s letter to the president of the European Commission on the old Vilnius Jewish cemetery’ by Didier Bertin.
21 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Motke Chabad weighs in on Vilnius debate’ by Motke Chabad.
18 August 2015. JewishPress.com: ‘Lithuanian Jews dump chief rabbi for ‘lies’ as lengthy war over fate of ancient cemetery rages on’ by Steve.
17 August 2015. Lithuania Tribune / English Delfi.lt: ‘Lithuanian Jewish community to appoint new rabbi’ by BNS.
17 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian chief rabbi fired over cemetery dispute’ by Sam Sokol.
17 August 2015. Lrytas.lt: ‘Atleistas Vilniaus rabinas Chaimas Bursteinas’ by BNS & Lrytas.lt inf.
17 August 2015. TV3.lt: ‘Atleistas apsimelavęs žydų rabinas’ by BNS.
17 August 2015. Facebook: Statement by Rabbi Chaim Burshtein [in Russian].
16 August 2015. Jewish Heritage Europe: ‘Vilnius old Jewish cemetery dispute seems involved in chief rabbi’s dismissal’.
16 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuanian translation of Professor Pinchos Fridberg’s Times of Israel article on the Vilnius Jewish Cemetery’.
15 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Chairperson of Lithuanian Jewish Community issues statement after sack of chief rabbi’.
14 August 2015. JTA: Lithuania’s chief rabbi fired amid dispute over construction on former cemetery’.
14 August 2015. Jewish Community of Lithuania: ‘LJC Chairwoman responds to attacks in Israeli press’ by Faina Kukliansky.
14 August 2015. Jewish Community of Lithuania: ‘Report by Vilnius Jewish Religious Community on August 14, 2015′.
14 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuania’s Chief Rabbi fired days after issuing statement opposing convention center in old Vilna Jewish cemetery’.
14 August 2015. Defending History: ‘What does the 27 May 2009 cable from the US Embassy in Vilnius tell us about the CPJCE, money and secrecy?
13 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuania’s Chief Rabbi cites evidence that non-Litvak London rabbis get paid for their “permissions” to desecrate Vilnius Jewish cemetery’.
13 August 2015. Facebook: Statement by Rabbi Chaim Burstein [on 2009 US Embassy cable referring to payment of $100,000 to outside parties in connection with the old Jewish cemetery at Piramont] [in Russian].
13 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Jewish Community website posts response to Jerusalem Post article on Piramónt’.
12 August 2015. Simon Wiesenthal Center / Operation Last Chance: ‘Wiesenthal Center issues statement on old jewish cemetery in Vilnius’ [Also in Defending History].
11 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Anger flares over Lithuanian sports complex planned over Jewish graveyard’ by Sam Sokol.
11 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuania’s chief rabbi issues statement opposing convention center project at old Jewish cemetery’.
11 August 2015. Facebook: Statement by Rabbi Chaim Burshtein [on the joint statement signed by twelve leading Litvak rabbinic leaders in the United States opposing the placing of a convention center on the old Jewish cemetery at Piramont] [in Russian].
11 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Translation of the summer 2015 call by 12 Litvak rabbis in the US on Vilnius Jewish cemetery‘.
11 August 2015. JTA: ‘Lithuanian chief rabbi considers splitting from community’. In the Forward.
9 August 2015. Defending History: ‘A Latvian-American journalist in Riga reflects on a Jewish cemetery saga in Vilnius’ by Juris Kaža.
9 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian government did not attempt to deport chief rabbi, spokesman says’ by Sam Sokol.
8 August 2015. Jewish Community of Lithuania: ‘Head of LJC Faina Kukliansky on articles in foreign press about Chaim Burshtein’ by Faina Kukliansky.
7 August 2015. Defending History: “A tale of two tweets”.
7 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuania’s Chief Rabbi Felt Threatened with Deportation after Opposing Cemetery Desecration’.
7 August 2015. Der Blat: ‘Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe and Admas Kodesh in the United States are encouraged to continue, with the help of heaven, with the rescue of the Jewish cemetery in the city Vilna, Lithuania, following passionate letter from prominent heads of yeshiva, a long life to them’ [in Yiddish: Váad Lehatsólas Bótey Álmin b’Eyrópe un Ádmas Kóydesh b’Artsoys Ha-brís ermútikt fórtsuzetsn b’siyáse dishmáye lehatsólas beys-hakháyim in shtot Vílne, Lite, nokh héyser briv fun prominénte ròshey-yeshíves, shlíto].
7 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian government did not attempt to deport Chief Rabbi, spokesman says’ by Sam Sokol.
7 August 2015. JTA: ‘Lithuanian official denies deportation threat against chief rabbi’.
6 August 2015. The Times of Israel: ‘Lithuania’s chief rabbi may face deportation’.
6 August 2015. Algemeiner.com: ‘Lithuanian TSA officer tells chief rabbi he may never be allowed to re-enter country’ by Eliezer Sherman.
6 August 2015. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuanian chief rabbi accuses government of deportation threat’ by Sam Sokol.
6 August 2015. Defending History: ‘Lithuania’s chief rabbi felt threatened with deportation after opposing convention center project at old Jewish cemetery’.
6 August 2015. Facebook: Statement by Rabbi Chaim Burshtein [on incident at Vilnius airport] [in Russian].
12 August 2015. Simon Wiesenthal Center / Operation Last Chance: ‘Wiesenthal Center issues statement on old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius’ by Efraim Zuroff.
27 January 2015. Arutz Sheva: ‘Top Nazi hunter: Eastern Europe rewrote the Holocaust’ by Benny Toker and Ari Yashar.
11 September 2014. The Times of Israel: ‘Israel to open embassy in Lithuania’ by Stuart Winer.
27 January 2014. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Israeli Association of 2nd and 3rd generation survivors calls for action from Israel and other democracies’.
2 January 2014. Invitation to Next Generations / Yad Vashem 23rd January event in Tel Aviv.
2 January 2014. PDF of Avi Friedman’s 2009 article in Mishpacha made available.
1 January 2014. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Efraim Zuroff interviewed in Belgrade, Serbia by Aleksandar Roknić’.
27 December 2013. JTA: Lithuanian lawmaker: Jews only want to take money. Also in Forward.com.
24 December 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘A Love Story’ by Pinchos Fridberg.
24 December 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Head of Lithuanian parliament’s Budget Committee says Israel should pay pensions of Lithuania’s Righteous Among the Nations’.
5 December 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘An open letter to Steve Linde, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post’ by Olga Zabludoff.
22 November 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Jerusalem Post, again, fails to post dissenting comments on a “Lithuanian ecstasy” story’.
28 October 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s speech at the annual memorial for Lithuanian Holocaust victims’ by Efraim Zuroff [original Hebrew text here].
11 October 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘An appeal to conscience: October’s red-brown commission festivities in Vilnius’.
15 September 2013. Jerusalem Report / Jerusalem Post: ‘Yad Vashem and the Holocaust in Lithuania’ by Dina Porat. See also Comments under the article.
26 August 2013. Jerusalem Report: ‘Yad Vashem and the “two genocides”’ by Danny Ben-Moshe. Reposted on website of Jewish Community of Lithuania. Online on joint Jerusalem Report / Jerusalem Post website, 12 August 2013. Authorized Russian translation by Milan Chersonski. Reposted in Reporter; in Shofar7.com;
30 July 2013. ‘Defending History’s proposed paper rejected for Tel Aviv conference on “Autonomous histories and studies of the Holocaust”’.
Spring 2013. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs: ‘Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas’ reviewed by Dovid Katz.
28 May 2013. Jerusalem Post: ‘ADL unhappy with antisemitism parley speakers’ by Sam Sokol.
28 May 2013. The Times of Israel: ‘Amid controversy, Foreign Ministry kicks off antisemitism conference’ by Raphael Ahren.
9 May 2013. The Times of Israel: ‘How not to prevent a second Holocaust’ by Clemens Heni.
1 May 2013. Arutz Sheva: ‘Op-ed: Interview with Efraim Zuroff. Baltic antisemitism’ by Manfred Gerstenfeld.
29 April 2013. Jerusalem Post: ‘Whitewashing antisemitism’ by Efraim Zuroff.
29 April 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Facebook discussion on the 2013 Global Forum (23-28 April 2013).
22 April 2013. The Times of Israel: ‘Nazi hunter chides Israel over antisemitism confab invites’ by Raphael Ahren.
22 April 2013. Jerusalem Report: ‘Lithuania’s deceit’ by Bernard Dichek.
9 April 2013. Jerusalem Post: ‘A threat too serious to ignore. Israel should take action on Holocaust-related issues as some “cultprits” likely to take over EU presidency’ by Efraim Zuroff.
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12 November 2012. The Times of Israel: ‘Efraim Zuroff, history’s lonely defender’ by Dovid Katz.
1 November 2012. The Times of Israel: ‘For the last Nazi hunter, the inevitable comes into focus’ by Joshua Davidovich.
21 October 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Tel Aviv’s Leivick House releases 2009 video of Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter’.
18 October 2012. Leivick House Tel Aviv: Release of 19 June 2009 video of Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter addressing event to honor Dr. Rachel Margolis.
September 2012. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (VI:3): ‘Staring at the past with eyes wide shut: Holocaust revisionism and negationism in Romania’ by Simon Geissbühler.
24 September 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Holocaust commemoration Vilnius style — with an Israeli twist’ by Geoff Vasil and Dovid Katz.
9 September 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Families of Holocaust survivors in the US release public letter on renewal of Lithuanian government’s Red-Brown Commission’ [drafted by Faye Ran].
7 September 2012. Haaretz, Books Supplement: ‘Killed by their neighbors’ [review of David Bankier’s Expulsion and Extermination: Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania; Frank Buonagunio’s The Last Bright Days. A Young Woman’s Life in a Lithuanian Shtetl on the Eve of the Holocaust; Ellen Cassedy’s We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust]‘ by Efraim Zuroff. [As PDF; digital version on the Haaretz website appeared 24 Sept 2012]
3 September 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘English text of Joseph Melamed’s letter to Yad Vashem’.
3 September 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Joseph Melamed, head of Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors’ association, releases letter to director of Yad Vashem’.
3 September 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Holocaust survivors, based in Tel aviv, issue statement on renewal of red-brown commission’.
3 September 2012. DefendingHistory.com: June 2009 corresopndence with Yad Vashem.
31 August 2012. Haaretz: ‘Trove of everyday items reveals Lithuania’s dark Holocaust secret’ by Ofer Aderet. As PDF.
28 August 2012. Jerusalem Post: ‘Envoy to Germany: Awardee ignores terror on Israel’ by Benjamin Weinthal.
28 August 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Yad Vashem shocks Holocaust survivors by rejoining Lithuanian government’s “red-brown commission”’.
19 July 2012. Jerusalem Post: ‘The truth about Lithuania’ by Efraim Zuroff [op-ed reply to earlier interview by Michael Freund with Prime Minister Kubilius].
17 July 2012. The Times of Israel: ‘Hungary must bring Laszlo Csatary to justice. An open letter to Hungarian president Janos Ader upon his visit to Israel’ by Efraim Zuroff.
5 July 2012. Jerusalem Post: ‘The death of a Nazi hunter’ by Efraim Zuroff.
24 June 2012. Jerusalem Post: ‘Rivlin retracts invite for Hungarian counterpart’ by Lahav Harkov.
22 June 2012. The Times of Israel: ‘Getting back to the basics about the Holocaust’ by Robert Rozett.
29 May 2012. Jerusalem Post: ‘Grass’s poem hovers over German president’s visit’ [with reference also to the Prague Declaration] by Benjamin Weinthal.
23 May 2012. YNet: ‘Jews protest as Lithuania set to rebury WWII leader’ by Levi Brackman and Rivkah Lubitch.
21 May 2012. Haaretz: ‘Lithuanian synagogue vandalized after commemoration of Nazi collaborator’ by Ofer Aderet.
16 May 2012. Haaretz: ‘Lithuania reinstates event to honor Nazi collaborator’ by Ofer Aderet.
15 May 2012. Haaretz: ‘Lithuanian university calls off memorial for pro-Nazi head of state’ by Ofer Aderet.
15 May 2012. Haaretz: ‘Glorifying a Nazi collaborator in Lithuania’ by Ofer Aderet.
15 May 2012. Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuania’s shame’ by Efraim Zuroff.
13 May 2012. Haaretz (Hebrew): ‘Pro-Nazi Lithuanian to be buried in a state ceremony’ by Ofer Aderet.
9 March 2012. The Times of Israel: ‘Nazi hunter leads criticism of Lieberman for cordially hosting Lithuanian FM’ by Raphael Ahren.
5 March 2012. YNet: ‘Holocaust survivors rally against Lithuanian FM’ by Gilad Morag.
5 March 2012. Haaretz: ‘Lithuania hypocritical about Holocaust’ by Efraim Zuroff [letter to the editor].
25 January 2012. Letter from the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel to EnergyMinister Uzi Landau.
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23 November 2011. Jerusalem Post: ‘Israel has a friend in Lithuania’ by Harley Felstein and Adrienne Oleck. In reply on 28 November: ‘Manipulation?’ (Letter to the Editor from Dovid Katz).
3 November 2011. Jerusalem Post: ‘UNESCO vote reveals Lithuanian duplicity’ by Dovid Katz. As PDF. Reprint in the Algemeiner Journal.
2 November 2011. Jerusalem Report / Jerusalem Post: ‘Lithuania assaults Holocaust memory’ by Danny Ben-Moshe.
29 June 2011. ‘Where does Yad Vashem stand on East European double-game double-genocide Holocaust politics?’ on DefendingHistory.com.
6 June 2011. ‘Yad Vashem slated to join revisionist Holocaust conference in Lithuanian Parliament’ on DefendingHistory.com.
12 May 2011. Deputy Israeli foreign minister Danny Ayalon gives videogtaped interview in Vilnius on the opening of an Israeli honorary consulate.
4 January 2011. ‘Lithuania’s lie and Israel’s silence. Op-ed: Lithuania claiming that Communist crimes equivalent to those of the Nazis’ on Ynet (by Efraim Zuroff).
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31 December 2010. ‘Lithuania’s lie and Israel’s silence’ on Ynet (by Efraim Zuroff) [in Hebrew].
30 December 2010. ‘Debate Goes On: Nazi Hunter Zuroff vs Researcher Rabbi Rosenson’ on Arutz Sheva (by Efraim Zuroff).
28 December 2010. ‘Part III: Rosenson denies Zuroff’s accusations on Lithuania on Arutz Sheva.
26 December 2010. ‘Dr Efraim Zuroff, Nazi hunter: Lithuania has not changed’ on Arutz Sheva (by Efraim Zuroff).
24 December 2010. ‘Is Lithuania sincere about owning up to its Holocaust role?’ on Arutz Sheva (by David Lev).
19 December 2010. ‘Take Lithuania to task’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Efraim Zuroff).
15 December 2010. ‘An open letter to the prime minister of Lithuania on the eve of his visit to Israel’ on Alfa.lt (by Dovid Katz).
November 2010. [Discussion in response to Barry Rubin:] in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (by Jan Grabowski, Juliana Geran Pilon, Dovid Katz, John S. Micgiel).
12 October 2010. ‘Lithuania woos Israel, in the shadow of the Holocaust’ in Haaretz (by Sara Miller).
20 September 2010. ‘Joseph Melamed, chairman of ALJ, speaks out forcefully at Yad Vashem event to mark anniversary of Vilna Ghetto Liquidation’ on HITB.
27 August 2010. ‘Right of reply: A threat to Holocaust memory’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Efraim Zuroff).
13 August 2010. ‘Those who neglect their past have no future’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Barry Rubin).
5 August 2010. ‘Digging up the future’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Ricky Ben-David). As PDF. Russian version.
15 July 2010. Association of Lithuanian Jews calls for boycott of the Lithuanian prime minister’s ‘Litvak Forum’.
2 July 2010. ‘Estonian president obfuscated Holocaust during Jerusalem visit; marchers honor SS’ on HITB.
26 June 2010. ‘Brazauskas dies; a giant of modern Lithuania who embraced all his country’s peoples’ on HITB. Israel related references include his 1995 speech before the Knessetand Daiva Repeckaite’s interview with Yeshayahu Epstein of Tel Aviv.
8 June 2010. ‘Unfinished Business and Unexploited Opportunities: Central and Eastern Europe, Jews, and the Jewish State’ in Israel Journal of Affairs 4.2: 37-47 (by Barry Rubin).
9 March 2010. ‘Yitzhak Arad, survivor, resistance fighter, and major Holocaust scholar, wins book award in New York City’ on HITB.
8 February 2010. ‘Vilnius Prosecutors “visit” Lithuanian Jewish Community on Holocaust Remembrance Day, questioning ties to Survivor in Tel Aviv who is the latest to be “investigated”‘ on HITB.
1 February 2010. ‘President of Croatia honors Dr Efraim Zuroff in Zagreb’ on HITB.
27 January 2010. Mass circulation paper attacks the Jewish community of Lithuania (over Gaza) on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
25 January 2010. ‘Remembering accurately on International Holocaust Remembrance Day’ in the Jerusalem Post(by Yehuda Bauer).
10 January 2010. ‘When cooperation fails’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Efraim Zuroff).
3 January 2010. ‘On human suffering’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Shimon Samuels). Alternate link.
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29 December 2009. ‘Right of reply: Our suffering should be the basis for cooperation, not competition’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Barry Rubin).
23 December 2009. ‘Of insult and mockery’ by Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post (by Efraim Zuroff).
23 December 2009. ‘German parliamentarian wins award in Jerusalem, blasts the “Prague Declaration”‘ on HITB.
17 December 2009. ‘Lithuania’s Shoah Analogy sparks fury’ in the Jerusalem Post(by Benny Weinthal).
16 December 2009. ‘Candidly speaking: far more negative, far more dangerous’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Isi Leibler).
15 December 2009. ‘Holocaust survivors [in Tel Aviv] call on Global Forum to condemn the “Prague Declaration” on HITB.
9 December 2009. ‘US Congress protests Lithuanian government campaign against Rachel Margolis and other Holocaust survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance’ on HITB.
9 December 2009. ‘Lithuanian Foreign Minister, on eve of Jerusalem visit, explains his view of “red and brown”‘ on HITB.
14 November 2009. ‘Shimon Peres attacked for holding Nazi and Soviet crimes to be different’ on HITB.
28 October 2009. ‘Rachel Margolis turns 88’ on HITB.
25 October 2009. On the eve of Rachel Margolis’s 88th birthday on 28 October, Israeli Embassy chargé d’affaires in Riga, Liat Wexelman, issues a letter of greetings.
23 June 2009. ‘The Baltic project to delete the Holocaust from European history. Observations from Lithuania’ at the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs (by Dovid Katz). Synopsis.
19 June 2009. Israel’s ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania, HE Chen Ivri Apter is the keynote speaker and presents Dr Margolis with a certificate from his embassy. Speakers include Professor Israel Bartal, Professor Dov Levin (both Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Professor Dovid Katz (Vilnius University), and chairman of the event Daniel Galay, director of Leivick House. A group of children studying Yiddish with Hannah Polin Galay made a presentation to Dr Margolis. The hall was packed. Reports on HITB and the Leivick House website.
January-March 2009. ‘It’s not just about the Jerusalem Book Fair’ in Jerusalem of Lithuania (by Milan Chersonski).
24 February 2009. ‘Lithuanian hypocrisy. In recent years, the government of Lithuania has been making considerable efforts to improve the country’s image in Israeli public opinion. The discussions in Jerusalem were part of this attempt, which is entirely fraudulent and deceptive’ in Haaretz (by Dov Levin).
13 February 2009. ‘When Lithuania was Yiddishland’ in Haaretz (by Raphael Ahren).
2009. ‘The Prague Declaration’, a statement by the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel.
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25 September 2008. ‘Part of the pre-trial investigation in respect of crimes committed by the Soviet partisan squad during the WWII and related to Yizthak [sic] Arad was closed’ on Prosecution Service of the Republic of Lithuania [the Service goes on to ask the public for assistance in looking for ‘evidence’, and faults Dr Arad’s book on the basis of an anonymous ‘doctor of humanitarian sciences (expert-historian)’. Question: Will the anonymous expert-historian trasher of Dr Arad’s book please identify himself and share his evidence with colleagues?
22 August 2008. ‘Were the Jewish partisans Stalinist dupes?’ (by Yossi Melman) in The New Centrist.
28 May 2008. ‘Lithuania accuses Holocaust survivors of war crimes: “I have fought once. I can fight again”‘ in the Jerusalem Post (by Danielle Singer).
8 May 2008. ‘Police come looking for Holocaust survivors Rachel Margolis and Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky’ on HITB.
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10 September 2007. ‘Information on suspicions against Yizthak [sic] Arad’ on Prosecution Service of the Republic of Lithuania.
7 September 2007. ‘Lithuania asks to quiz ex-Yad Vashem head over WWII killings’ (by Anshel Pfeffer).
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17-19 June 2006. ‘Prosecutors eye Israeli army general’ in Lithuanian Press Digest.
6 November 1998. Holocaust survivors expressed grave concerns about the Lithuanian ‘red-brown commission’ at its inception in 1998.
8 July 1993. ‘Old ghosts in Lithuania’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Efraim Zuroff).
20 March 1990. ‘Justice from the Lithuanians’ in the Jerusalem Post (by Efraim Zuroff).