Israel at 60

IDF chief at camp tribute

May 1, 2008

The March of the Living, an annual gathering of young Jews at Auschwitz, will be led by IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi this week in honour of Israel’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Some 10,000 participants will vow to fight all forms of genocide and discrimination at the ceremony, due to take place at the site of the former camp on Thursday.

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Jackie Mason should not be at an Israel 60 event

By Jonathan Wittenberg, May 1, 2008

He may be funny, but his prejudices are far from the values we should be aspiring to

Comedian Jackie Mason is being presented as the champion of Anglo-Jewry’s “Israel 60” celebration, which will take place at Wembley Arena next week. I think he is a terrible choice.

His love of Israel is unquestionable. He abandoned his show to stand with the Jewish state while the Scuds descended in 1991. He will be funny and robust. He will draw the crowds and, with so much venom about Israel, solidarity matters. But solidarity with what?

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'They want to kill me for making documentaries'

By Nick Johnstone, May 1, 2008

Filmmaker Raneen Geries receives death threats for showing the Palestinian view of the events of 1948.

When Raneen Geries, a Palestinian woman, arrived at Tel Aviv University to study for a degree in social work, most of the students on her course were Jewish. As conversations frequently touched on family history, she realised how little she knew of her own.

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The Nakba narrative now dominates

By Alex Brummer, May 1, 2008

The Palestinian ‘disaster’ framed much of the UK media’s coverage of Israel’s 60th

Anyone tuning into Jeremy Bowen’s documentary Birth of Israel, reviewed below, would instantly recognise the progress the revisionists and the Palestinians have made in framing the history of the Jewish state. No longer is it sufficient to record how Ben-Gurion and his generals repelled five Arab armies in the aftermath of the United Nations vote in favour of the Jewish state.

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Israeli ambassador speaks of hardships

April 24, 2008

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor told an audience of 200 people of the dangers that Israel faces. Speaking at the annual UJIA fundraising dinner at Etz Chaim Synagogue Mr Prosor said: “Day in, day out, Israel is under fire.” UJIA regional director Howard Foreman said that the event was planned as a celebration of Israel’s 60th and to show how communities benefit from UJIA donors.

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An eyewitness account of the Iraqi aliyah in 1950-1

By Shlomo Hillel, April 17, 2008

1950-1: The Iraqi aliyah

 

A veteran journalist recalls when Israel’s PM lived in a hut, families got two eggs per week and Stalin was a good guy The absorption of a mass immigration wave and the cost of the War of Independence brought the fledgling Jewish state to the verge of economic collapse. There were times when vital reserves of oil and of flour could barely last several days, so Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed a regime of austerity — tzena — in April 1949.

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A personal account of the mass immigration from Ethiopia in the 1980s

By Tom Segev, April 17, 2008
The Israeli historian and writer offers a personal account of the mass immigration from Ethiopia and its wider context They came from some 100 countries and spoke 100 tongues. More than three million Jews and 60 years later, most are part of the Israeli identity. Soon, most of the Jews of the world will live here, for the first time in 1,000 years. This is part of what makes Israel one of the biggest success stories of the twentieth century. But the price was heavy.

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The future of Israel: Where do we go now?

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 17, 2008

For all the political, security and demographic challenges, the experts are optimistic

 

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Women are still fighting to be equal

By Shulamit Aloni, April 17, 2008

60 years of women's rights

When Israel was just established, in spite of a commitment to total equality of rights declared both in the proclamation of Independence and in the first government’s basic principles, the state of women’s rights was grim.

In those first years, women in Israel had no rights of custodianship, no rights over their own property. They were deprived from bank guarantees and their salaries were much lower than those of men in the same jobs — a state not totally fixed even today.

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An eyewitness account of the first Lebanon war in 1982

By Yuval Sharlo, April 17, 2008

1982: The First Lebanon War

It was like we went to war with such arrogance, as if we were just going in our tanks for a drive. Our objective was to reach the Damascus-Beirut highway by Friday night, and we were surprised it might take us that long.

I was a 26-year-old reservist and was supposed to lead a battalion force after studying the map for about half-an-hour. The first couple of days we shot, we hit, we carried on. I was so tired. We had such a sleep deficit that some of us were falling asleep in the turret.

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