07.08.05 Update

7.08.2005

PM Sharon offers condolences to victims of yesterday's attacks in London, asks that his cabinet not make statements equating terrorist actions there with those that have occurred in Israel, reports Ha'aretz.

Editor's note: especially interesting is the last paragraph of the Ha'aretz piece:
Hamas also condemned the bombings. "Targeting civilians' lives and their means of transportation is denounced and rejected," Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy chief of the group's political bureau said yesterday in Damascus.
Hamas and other Arab terrorist organizations repeatedly have claimed that there is no such thing as an civilian Israeli (one link can be found here), because all Israelis serve in the country's military at some point.

Reuters reports on the reactions of 20 young Israeli terror victims that happened to be in the UK for vacation (sponsored by the charity OneFamily) when yesterday's attacks in London occurred. The OneFamily Fund provides monetary, legal, and therapeutic assistance to victims of terror in Israel.

President Bush allowed the PLO office in Washington to stay open for another six months. (JTA) The Palestine Liberation Organization office functions as the diplomatic mission for the Palestinians. Congress has passed a law ordering its closure, but on Monday Bush waived the provision - though he noted that the PLO has not met the law's requirement to end terrorism. Previous presidents also have allowed the office to stay open.

Three terrorists shot at IDF soldiers that were to protect some 450 Jews
visiting Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus), reports Arutz Sheva.

A U.N. official compared Israelis in the Gaza Strip to concentration camp guards. (JTA) Speaking before a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Geneva on Tuesday, Jean Ziegler also called on protesters to press European nations to boycott Israeli goods, U.N. Watch said, citing Swiss news reports. U.N. Watch called on the United Nations to condemn the remarks by Ziegler, a U.N. expert on food issues who often has taken pro-Palestinian stances.

Arutz Sheva reports on the instance of soldiers who refuse to carry out operations in the disengagement; Corp. Avi Bieber, originally from New Jersey, has had his jail sentence reduced in half from the original length of 56 days.

A Canadian Native leader may lose the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor. (JTA) On Friday, the Order of Canada's Advisory Council is slated to review the award given to David Ahenakew, who in December 2002 referred to Jews as a "disease" and stated that Hitler was justified when "he fried 6 million of those guys." The Canadian Jewish Congress' national president, Ed Morgan, deemed the move an "an appropriate step." The council has sent a letter to Ahenakew, who has shown no remorse for his actions, giving him time to make a submission to them before they make their final recommendation.

Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization that helps North Americans make aliyah, has awarded their logo design award for students in the sixth - eighth grade to Chaviva Sands, who just completed 6th grade at New Orleans Jewish Day School. Her design will be painted on an El Al plane that will fly to Israel on August 16 of this year with 400 olim (immigrants).

An art auction featuring several watercolors and sketches by Hitler has raised the ire of Montreal's Jewish community. (JTA) The July 19 auction will feature four sketches and two greeting cards that Iegor de Saint Hippolyte, spokesman for the hotel where the event will be held, said were sketches Hitler had done with Albert Speer, the Nazis' minister of architecture. "I think it's terribly unfortunate that items by the greatest mass murderer the world has ever known are offered for sale, that somebody is going to profit and that somebody is actually going to enjoy owning these things," said Max Bernard, vice president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The sketches are done in charcoal, pencil and watercolor, while the cards feature messages and are signed by Hitler. The owner of the material wishes to stay anonymous, Saint Hippolyte said. "It's offensive on any level that this material is being displayed at all and would be purchased by anyone," said Ann Ungar, the Montreal Holocaust Center's executive director. "What makes this even more reprehensible is the fact that, given the high number of Holocaust survivors in our city, this will take place in their own backyard. It's obscene."

A New York museum is coming under fire for a panel asserting that President Roosevelt couldn't have saved more Jews during the Holocaust. (JTA) Twenty-three historians have signed a petition to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Museum urging its curator, Herman Eberhardt, to correct a panel that states, "even Roosevelt's bitterest critics concede that nothing he could have done - including bombing the rails leading to Auschwitz in 1944 - would have saved significant numbers from annihilation, let alone dissuaded the Nazis from doing what they were so intent on doing." Critics say Roosevelt was pressed to take action to save European Jews from genocide, but did not act forcefully. The petition was organized by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Eberhardt replied to the institute that the museum will consider the matter and reply as soon as possible.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is channeling $40,000 to Ethiopian Jews to help them buy food. (JTA) In an e-mail Tuesday to North American Jewish federations, JDC's executive vice president, Steve Schwager, said the one-time allotment follows word that "food insecurity" has become a pressing concern for the 4,000 Falash Mura - Ethiopians whose Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity but who have since returned to Judaism - currently living in the Ethiopian capital. "I thought it was important to tell these people that the Jews of the world care for them and that this money will hold them until Israel can move in and the Jewish Agency can take over their compound," Schwager told JTA. The food issue has emerged since the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry shut down its Addis Ababa operations in January, the letter said. The Jewish Agency for Israel is expected to take over the compound in the near future as Israel ups Falash Mura aliyah. Some of the Falash Mura have lost their NACOEJ-sponsored salaries for their embroidery work and have been forced to find sporadic work as day laborers or are receiving money from relatives in Israel. Last week, the Ethiopian government approached the JDC to request that the group provide temporary assistance to those in need.

Krakow honored Steven Spielberg for his efforts to preserve the Polish city's former Jewish ghetto. (JTA) On Tuesday, Spielberg was named a Patron of Culture for his efforts, which include a $40,000 grant to preserve a pharmacy whose owner risked his life to help Jews during World War II. "We are trying now to revitalize old Jewish districts in Krakow where people lived before the war," Filip Szatanik told The Associated Press. "This support from Mr. Spielberg will help us to do this better." Spielberg filmed some of "Schindler's List" in the former ghetto.

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