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US Holocaust museum calls for government policy that protects refugees: Zio-watch, Feb 1, 2017

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

US Holocaust museum calls for government policy that protects refugees

A view of the interior of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, located south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

A view of the interior of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, located south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum called on the government to create policy that addresses national security concerns but also allows in “legitimate refugees.”

The statement issued Tuesday night does not directly address President Donald Trump’s recent executive order suspending entry of all refugees to the United States for the next four months, and barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. for an indefinite period, but clearly is a response to it. The museum rarely comments on government actions.

The museum, the statement says, “is acutely aware of the consequences to the millions of Jews who were unable to flee Nazism,” and ” continues to have grave concern about the global refugee crisis and our response to it.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Trump ban does not invalidate US visa for Israelis born in banned countries

JERUSALEM (JTA) —  U.S. visas held by Israeli citizens born in the seven Muslim-majority countries covered under President Donald Trump’s travel ban remain valid, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has confirmed.

A statement about the visas was posted Tuesday on the embassy’s website.

“If you have a currently valid U.S. visa in your Israeli passport and were born in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen, and do not have a valid passport from one of these countries, your visa was not cancelled and remains valid,” the statement said. “Similarly, we continue to process visa applications for applicants born in those countries, so long as they do not have a valid passport from one of those countries and have not otherwise declared themselves to be a national of one of those countries.”

It added, however: “Authorization to enter the United States is always determined at the port of entry. We have no further information at this time.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

‘Remember the 11 million’? Why an inflated victims tally irks Holocaust historians

A social media post by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, includes a total of Jews and non-Jews killed in the Holocaust that historians say is greatly exaggerated. (Twitter)

A social media post by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, includes a total of Jews and non-Jews killed in the Holocaust that historians say is greatly exaggerated. (Twitter)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — “Five million non-Jews died in the Holocaust.”

It’s a statement that shows up regularly in declarations about the Nazi era. It was implied in a Facebook post by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesperson’s unit last week marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And it was asserted in an article shared by the Trump White House in defense of its controversial Holocaust statement the same day omitting references to the 6 million Jewish victims.

It is, however, a number without any scholarly basis.

Indeed, say those close to the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, its progenitor, it is a number that was intended to increase sympathy for Jewish suffering but which now is more often used to obscure it.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Dutch government allocates over $8.5 million to establishing Holocaust museum

AMSTERDAM (JTA) – The Dutch government allocated more than $8.5 million to the ongoing establishment of a Holocaust museum in Amsterdam and a commemorative wall for victims.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte last week announced the funding — one of the largest expenditures ever undertaken in the Netherlands on Holocaust commemoration — of the museum to the tune of about $6 million and the remaining about $2.5 million for a wall bearing the names of more than 100,000 Dutch Jews murder in the Holocaust.

The museum opened last year thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the Jewish Cultural Quarter – a platform representing several institutions. Featuring artworks and videos, it was opened while in development with an eye to expanding its modest display into an institution on a par with some of Europe’s more established museums commemorating the genocide.

The Nazis and local collaborators are responsible for murdering 75 percent of the Netherlands’ pre-Holocaust Jewish population of 140,000 — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Montreal’s first Jewish mayor convicted of fraud and corruption

Michael Applebaum in 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)

Michael Applebaum in 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Montreal’s first Jewish mayor is facing up to five years in prison after being convicted of fraud and corruption.

Michael Applebaum, 53, fainted while standing in court Thursday awaiting his judge-only verdict in Quebec Court, but appeared stoic as the decision was handed down, according to news reports.

He was convicted on eight of 14 charges, including corruption, conspiracy and fraud, related to his bid to gain approval for real estate projects through thousands of dollars in bribes.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Bill allowing Holocaust survivors to sue insurers in U.S. courts is reintroduced

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A perennial bipartisan bill that would allow Holocaust survivors to sue insurance companies in U.S. courts was reintroduced.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who has in the past sponsored multiple versions of the bill, was joined by Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. and John Garamendi, D-Calif., in introducing the bill on Tuesday.

Holocaust survivor groups generally favor the legislation, while insurers have in the past been joined by some national Jewish groups in opposing it.

“I am pleased to once again be joined by Brad and John in reintroducing this bill that will finally allow survivors the ability to bring their cases before the U.S. court system and seek redress from the insurance companies that continue to shirk their moral and legal responsibilities,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court, eliciting mixed Jewish reaction

Neil Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch speaking at the White House after being nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, Jan. 31, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump nominated to the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch, a federal judge known to favor protections of religious belief in the public square and for business owners.

The nomination, likely to trigger a vigorous confirmation battle, is already splitting the organized Jewish community, with the Reform movement expressing concerns and an Orthodox Union official describing his record as “encouraging.”

Trump introduced Gorsuch on Tuesday evening at a White House event.
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From PressTV

Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:50AM
Relatives of Palestinian Mohammed Abu Sada, 26, who was killed by Israeli fire near the Gazan border, mourn over his body, November 19, 2016. (Photo by AP)
Relatives of Palestinian Mohammed Abu Sada, 26, who was killed by Israeli fire near the Gazan border, mourn over his body, November 19, 2016. (Photo by AP)

The Council of Europe’s parliamentary arm has adopted a resolution, slamming the regime in Tel Aviv for “systematic unlawful killings” of Palestinians in the so-called buffer zone between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel.

The Council’s Parliamentary Assembly passed the resolution on Tuesday with 46 votes in favor, 12 against and two abstentions during a session at its headquarters in Strasbourg, France.

The resolution was drafted based on a report compiled by Swedish politician and Assembly member Eva-Lena Jansson.

The report charged Israel with “excessive and intentional force without justification against Palestinian civilians in the buffer zone, including against farmers, journalists, medical crews, and peaceful protesters, [which] runs blatantly counter to human rights principles and the international law-enforcement standards.”

“Cases of the deliberate fatal shooting of individuals who posed no imminent danger to life amounts to an appalling pattern of apparently systematic unlawful killings,” it added.

Citing data gathered by a Palestinian NGO, the report said Israeli forces had killed 136 Palestinians in the area, including 20 children, since 2010.

A Palestinian woman sits in front of the remains of a house destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, October 2016. (Photo by AP)

Elsewhere, the unwarrantable shootings against Gaza fishermen — which regularly damage their equipment — have reduced the people of the profession “to severe poverty and unemployment,” the report added.

It also pointed to Israel’s 50-day war against the besieged coastal enclave in 2014, saying the military offensive left a “huge number of people” dead and heavily destroyed civilian structure there.

“It is estimated that over 12,620 houses were totally destroyed [in Gaza] and 6,455 severely damaged. 17,650 families or about 100,000 persons were displaced.”

Since then, the report added, Gaza has become so uninhabitable that many of its residents have joined the influx of refugees into Europe.

Besides monumental damage to the already-shaky infrastructure, the 50-day warfare killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children.
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From PressTV

Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:30PM
UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, walks to take his seat before the announcement of a final statement following Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, January 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, walks to take his seat before the announcement of a final statement following Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, January 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The new round of negotiations between Syria’s warring sides, which were scheduled to begin early next month, has been postponed until February 20, say sources at the United Nations.

Two unnamed diplomats said UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, had announced the delay in the Geneva talks during a closed meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday.

The delay would give the Syria opposition time to prepare and ensure that the discussions are as inclusive as possible, the diplomats quoted the envoy as saying.

Invitations to the Syria peace talks will be sent out on February 8, De Mistura was further cited as saying.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a meeting with Syrian opposition groups that the UN-led peace talks would be postponed, without providing any reasons.

Read more:

Speaking ahead of the Security Council session, British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said, “We have been concerned that the Geneva talks have been delayed and we would be concerned if there were any watering down of the basis of those talks.”
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From PressTV

Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:20PM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli police have questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a third time as part of a series of investigations over corruption suspicions.

Israeli media showed images of detectives from the anti-corruption unit arriving at Netanyahu’s office on Friday morning to question him over the improper acceptance of gifts, amounting to around some $100,000 in cigars and alcoholic beverages, from high-powered Hollywood and business figures.

A second investigation, known as Case 2000, was focused on the premier’s secret talks with the publisher of Yediot Ahronoth, a major Israeli newspaper, over positive coverage in exchange for diminishing impact of a free pro-Netanyahu daily in 2014.

According to Israeli media, the Friday interrogation related to the second case, as part of which the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth has been questioned five times.

Netanyahu is currently under investigation for several separate charges of corruption and has been grilled by police twice in recent weeks. The investigation has come as a shock to Israel’s political scene, prompting speculations about Netanyahu’s resignation.

An Israeli police car is seen at the entrance to the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as members of the media wait for the arrival of police investigators on January 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli police have been examining two new issues related to graft charges against Netanyahu, including his alleged role in the purchasing of Dolphine submarines from Germany and another issue which has not been disclosed yet, Channel 10 television reported on Monday.

Netanyahu, however, has denied the allegations and accused Israeli media of “pursuing an unprecedented campaign against me in order to bring down Likud government.”
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