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Poland’s prime minister said some Jews collaborated with Nazis: Zio-Watch, February 26, 2018

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Poland’s prime minister said some Jews collaborated with Nazis. Scholars say he distorted history.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland at a joint news conference with Germany’s chancellor in Berlin, Feb. 16, 2018. (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The row between Poland and Israel about the Holocaust reached new heights this week after Poland’s prime minister said that the genocide had not only Polish, Ukrainian and German perpetrators, but Jewish ones as well.

Addressing a new law that criminalizes blaming Poland for Nazi crimes, Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview Saturday that the law’s effects would not be as sweeping as its critics complain.

“It’s not going to be seen as criminal to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian; not only German perpetrators,” he said.

If his statement was meant to soothe the law’s critics – they include international Jewish groups and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the legislation baseless in a rare rebuke of an ally of Israel — then Morawiecki failed spectacularly.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

African asylum seekers in Israel go on hunger strike to protest imprisonment

JERUSALEM (JTA) — African asylum seekers in a detention center in southern Israel began a hunger strike after the first seven Eritreans who refused to leave the country were jailed.

The hunger strike by 750 asylum seekers detained at the Holot open detention facility began Tuesday night after the seven men were transferred to the nearby Saharonim Prison. The strikers are refusing food and water, according to reports.

A group of more than 100 Eritreans in Holot had until Sunday to decide whether to go to a third country in Africa, believed to be Rwanda or Uganda, or go to prison, according to The Times of Israel. Dozens of others have received notices upon renewing their temporary visas that they have two months to decide.

It is the first test of the plan approved last month by Israel’s Cabinet to deport thousands of migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. The Population and Immigration Authority notified the migrants at the end of last year that as of Jan. 1, they must return to their own countries or to a third nation, or be sent to jail until they are deported. According to the government plan, migrants who choose to leave by March 31 will receive a payment of $3,500 as well as free airfare and other incentives.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Jared Kushner can push Israeli-Palestinian talks amid security clearance tensions, chief of staff says

Jared Kushner at a meeting between President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Nothing should keep Jared Kushner from pressing ahead in trying to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, said as reports of a rift between Kelly and President Donald Trump’s key adviser proliferated.

“As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said in a statement released Tuesday to The New York Times.

The Times had asked Kelly about reports that he is rolling back security access for staffers whose security clearance is still pending. Kelly did not directly reply to that line of inquiry, instead releasing the statement on Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Former Netanyahu confidant agrees to turn state’s evidence in corruption investigation

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A former civil servant and confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to turn state’s evidence that could incriminate the prime minister in a corruption investigation.

Shlomo Filber, the suspended director general of the Ministry of Communications, agreed in exchange for a lighter sentence to provide police with information about Netanyahu’s part in the so-called Case 4000, which alleges that Shaul Elovitch, majority shareholder of Bezeq, received political favors for the Israeli telecommunications giant in return for favorable coverage of Netanyahu on the Walla! news website owned by the company.

Filber was arrested Sunday along with other company officials and former associates who worked in the Prime Minister’s Office. Under the deal signed late Tuesday, he reportedly will not serve jail time. Filber reportedly arrived Wednesday at the Israel Police’s anti-corruption unit to begin his testimony.

“What has happened over the last two days is simply that the world has gone mad. It’s a scandal,” Netanyahu said in a statement that also was posted on Facebook. “They’ve brought two delusional, false allegations as part of a campaign of persecution against me and my family that has been going on for years already.”

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Iranian official: If Israel attacks we will destroy Tel Aviv and kill Netanyahu

Mohsen Rezaee is the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council. (Sonia Sevilla/Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — An Iranian official said his country would destroy Tel Aviv and kill Benjamin Netanyahu if the Israeli prime minister followed through on his threat to attack Iran.

“About Netanyahu’s unwise words, I should say that if they carry out the slightest unwise move against Iran, we will level Tel Aviv to the ground and will not give any opportunity to Netanyahu to flee,” the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaee, told the Arabic-language al-Manar news channel on Monday, according toFars News Agency.

The Expediency Council is an administrative assembly that provides counsel to Iran’s supreme leader, who appoints its members.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Why ‘Black Panther’ might also be a milestone in black-Jewish relations

A promotional image for the “Black Panther” film. (Chadwick Boseman/Facebook)

(JTA) — If you have checked in on the pop culture zeitgeist at all in the past week, you know that the film “Black Panther” is breaking box office records and Hollywood assumptions about race.

The well-received Marvel flick was written and directed by African-Americans (co-written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, and directed by Coogler) and it features a mostly African-American cast, anchored by Chadwick Boseman in the title role as a black superhero.

But some fans might not realize that the original Black Panther character was actually created by two white Jews.

The superhero was the brainchild of writer Stan Lee (born Stanley Lieber) and artist Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg), who were already veterans of the comic book industry when they started working together at Marvel at the dawn of the 1960s. The first comic book series they produced in tandem was The Fantastic Four in 1961, but they would go on to create a slew of beloved superhero characters, from the Hulk to Iron Man to the X-Men.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg each pledge $500,000 to gun control march by Florida students

Jeffrey Katzenberg, left, and Steven Spielberg at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., April 27, 2013. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Director Steven Spielberg and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg have pledged $500,000 each to the student-organized March For Our Lives imploring action on gun control.

The nationwide protest scheduled for March 24 is the brainchild of the Never Again movement organized by the student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and joined by students from across Florida and the United States.

In their announcements on Tuesday, Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, and Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, joined stars such as George Clooney and his wife, Amal, and Oprah Winfrey in pledging $500,000 to offset costs of the protest.
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From PressTV

Thu Feb 22, 2018 01:16AM
This file photo taken by the US Air Forces Central Command and released by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) shows a pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flying over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014 after conducting airstrikes in Syria. (Photo by AFP)
This file photo taken by the US Air Forces Central Command and released by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) shows a pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flying over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014 after conducting airstrikes in Syria. (Photo by AFP)

A US-led airstrike has claimed the lives of at least 12 civilians in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

A large number of people were also injured in the Wednesday attack that targeted the town of Hajin located in the province’s eastern regions.

The latest airstrike came just a day after over a dozen civilians lost their lives when the US-led coalition targeted residential buildings in the province’s al-Bahra village.

The London-based Airwars organization, which tracks civilian deaths in US-led airstrikes, reported earlier this year that a total of at least 5,961 civilians had been killed as a result of such attacks in Iraq and Syria.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on November 23 last year that 2,759 civilians, including 644 minors and 470 women, had been killed in US-led aerial attacks against civilian areas in Syria over the past 38 months.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group still holds patches of the desert on either side of the Euphrates River in the oil-rich Dayr al-Zawr province.
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From PressTV

Sat Feb 17, 2018 05:25PM
In this file picture, Israeli soldiers stand guard with their tank along the border between the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories. (Photo by the Times of Israel)
In this file picture, Israeli soldiers stand guard with their tank along the border between the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories. (Photo by the Times of Israel)

Israeli warplanes and battle tanks have pounded the Gaza Strip after a bomb explosion left casualties among Israeli forces as the Tel Aviv regime goes ahead with its acts of aggression against the besieged Palestinian coastal sliver.

Israeli regime warplanes on Saturday struck at least six positions of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, in a series of airstrikes.

The Israeli military claimed in a statement earlier in the day that it had struck an observation post belonging to Hamas east of Khan Yunis city after an explosive device was detonated on an Israeli military patrol near the border between the occupied territories and the enclave.

There were conflicting reports about the casualties of the border explosion.

Reuters and the Associated Press said that four Israeli troops had been wounded in the blast, while Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television network reported that one Israeli trooper had been killed and two others sustained serious injuries in the explosion.

There were no initial reports of injury in the Israeli tank fire against the Gaza Strip.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Austrian Jewish students disrupt Cabinet minister’s speech calling government ‘not kosher’

VIENNA (JTA) – Jewish students in Austria disrupted a Cabinet minister’s speech at a Vienna conference on anti-Semitism over the fact that the government includes politicians from the far-right Freedom Party.

On Wednesday, the students unfurled a banner reading “Mr. Kurz! Your government is not kosher!” during an address by Education Minister Heinz Fassmann. Sebastian Kurz, who heads the center-right People’s Party, was elected chancellor in October. Two months later his party formed a coalition government with the Freedom Party, which former Nazis established in the 1950s.

The action triggered applause from the audience that had gathered in a University of Vienna auditorium to hear Fassman speak at the European Jewish Congress’ “An End to Anti-Semitism” conference this week in the Austrian capital. Ushers escorted the protesters out of the auditorium. Their banner carried the logo of an association of Jewish high school students.

Austrian Jews have boycotted the Freedom Party, citing a string of anti-Semitic and racist incidents involving its members and leaders. The party maintains it does not tolerate anti-Semitism. In November, its lawmakers in the parliament demonstratively refused to stand during a minute of silence for victims of the 1938 anti-Semitic pogroms in Austria.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Danish petition appears likely to force vote on banning circumcision

VIENNA (JTA) — Danish anti-circumcision activists have collected nearly 20,000 signatures out of the 50,000 they need to create a bill proposing to ban non-medical circumcision for boys.

With another five months to collect the remaining 30,000 signatures, the petition by the group Denmark Intact appears likely to reach its goal of forcing a vote in parliament that would set 18 as the minimum age for the procedure.

According to regulations passed in January, petitions approved for posting on the Folketinget, or Citizen Proposal, website are brought to a vote if they receive 50,000 signatures with six months of their appearance. The petition, which Denmark Intact is promoting on social networks, was launched on Feb. 1.

The petition proposes a punishment of up to six years in prison for any person who “physically assaults, with or without consent, mutilates or otherwise removes external sex organs in whole or in part” from children younger than 18.
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From PressTV

Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:18AM
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Nimr Jamal, who was killed by Israeli forces, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Beit Surik on February 17, 2018. (Photo by AP)
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Nimr Jamal, who was killed by Israeli forces, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Beit Surik on February 17, 2018. (Photo by AP)

Israel forces have reportedly beaten a Palestinian youth to death after arresting him during a new wave of raids on homes in the West Bank city of Jericho.

Yasin Omar al-Saradih, 33, was arrested along with several other Palestinians during the raids on Thursday morning, Palestinian news agency Watan reported.

Later in the day, Israeli officials informed Saradih’s family that he has lost his life, the report said.

Rights groups have denounced Tel Aviv’s extrajudicial killings in situations where they say alleged assailants could have been detained in a non-lethal manner. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed in similar circumstances.

According to the Palestinian human rights group, the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), Israel is currently holding the bodies of 19 Palestinians killed in the past two years, along with 260 bodies of those killed since 1967.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Nablus on February 9, 2018. (Photo by AP)

Almost 6,280 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails, 465 of them under the controversial administrative detention, according to figures provided by the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer.
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From PressTV

Thu Feb 22, 2018 06:42AM
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia speaks during Security Council meeting on December 15, 2017. (Photo by AP)
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia speaks during Security Council meeting on December 15, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Russia has voiced opposition to a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution, drafted by Western powers, on renewing anti-Yemen sanctions, which also seeks a “condemnation” of Iran for allegations of violating an arms embargo on the war-torn Arabian Peninsula state.

During a Wednesday meeting of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that instead of targeting Iran, the UN’s proposed measure should focus on the issue of sanctions against Yemen.

“We do not like condemnations at all, no, in general,” AFP quoted Nebenzia as saying. “It is a resolution about the extension of the working group, not about Iran. So we should concentrate on extending the working group first,” he added.

Nebenzia was referring to the working group of independent experts who oversee the implementation of sanctions against Yemen.

Last week, Britain circulated a draft resolution that would renew sanctions on Yemen for another year and also “condemns” Iran for allegedly breaching the 2015 arms embargo on the country by “failing to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” of short-range ballistic missiles, UAVs and other military equipment to Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The Houthi movement has been defending Yemen against a bloody Saudi-led military campaign, which was launched in 2015 with the help of the US and the UK to reinstall the country’s former Riyadh-friendly government.

Yemenis inspect the debris of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in the capital city of Sana’a on August 25, 2017. (Photo by AP)

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From PressTV

Sat Feb 17, 2018 05:26PM
The photo, taken on February 14, 2018, shows Israeli hydraulic shovels demolishing a Palestinian building near road 35, north of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), in the so-called Area C. (Photo by AFP)
The photo, taken on February 14, 2018, shows Israeli hydraulic shovels demolishing a Palestinian building near road 35, north of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), in the so-called Area C. (Photo by AFP)

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says Israeli authorities demolished six European Union-funded buildings in the occupied West Bank in January alone under the pretext of lack of building permit.

The UN body further said in its Friday report that all the six structures had been built in the so-called Area C, which constitutes about 61 percent of the entire West Bank and it is directly controlled by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

The so-called COGAT is a unit in the Israeli military that engages in coordinating civilian issues between the Israeli regime, the Israeli military, international organizations, diplomats and the Palestinian Authority. The report also said that at least 44 schools have pending demolition orders in the area.

The COGAT demands permits for new building projects, however, according to the NRC, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an international organization that promotes and protects the rights of people affected by displacement, the majority of planning requests are firmly rejected, leaving international donors and Palestinians alike with no choice but to construct new buildings anyway.

In a separate report on Friday, the OCHA said that the Israeli authorities had razed or seized 25 structures in Area C and occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds on the grounds of lack of building permits, including a donor-funded school.

The UN body added that at least 33 Palestinians, including 18 children, had been displaced and another 135 had been otherwise affected as a result of the latest Israeli measures.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Acid placed in stroller burns French rabbi’s baby

(JTA) — The baby daughter of a French rabbi was burned after being exposed to acid placed in her carriage.

The 14-month-old girl suffered burns on her back and thighs Monday in the city of Bron, near Lyon, Le Parisien daily reported Wednesday. The baby is not in danger, according to the report.

The acid had been placed inside a carriage that the baby’s grandmother had parked in a communal space inside her apartment building overnight from Sunday to Monday. The grandmother rushed the baby to the hospital after noticing a severe irritation on the baby’s skin after taking her for a walk in the stroller and then bringing her inside.

Police are looking into a possible anti-Semitic motive, perhaps by a neighbor, a police source told Le Parisien. The stroller was taken into police custody as part of the investigation, according to the newspaper.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Polish Holocaust law will not lead to criminal charges, government minister says

The main gate of the former Auschwitz extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The newly passed Polish Holocaust law will not lead to criminal charges, according to a government minister.

The law, which takes effect at the end of the month, criminalizes claims that the Polish nation or state are responsible for Nazi crimes.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki said late Tuesday in an interview on Polish television that no criminal charges will be brought against offenders, but Poland will require some remedy for untrue statements, The Associated Press reported.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Gal Gadot announced as Oscar presenter

Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot speaking at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women In Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles, Dec. 6, 2017. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Israeli actress Gal Gadot will present an award at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony.

Ten new presenters were announced on Wednesday by the academy. Star War’s Mark Hamill, Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda were among those on the list.

Gadot starred in “Wonder Woman,” which did not receive nominations in any categories for this year’s Academy Awards. Gadot also appeared this year as Wonder Woman in the film “Justice League.”
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