18 November 2017 - 1 Kislev 5778 - א' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
“Jerusalem Day” not welcome in Malaysia E-mail

Last month, following the threat of protests, an Islamic Party in Malaysia forced a Christian group to cancel an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) came out against the event, claiming that the “Nations of the Golden Gate Aligning with Jerusalem’s Jubilee” gathering promotes “Jewish culture” and “Zionist Christianity”.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Nasrudin Hassan, the Islamic party’s communication officer, said the event was a provocation against Muslims in the country and that the organisers should never “challenge the sensitivities of Muslims”.

“We can never forget the sufferings of Muslims caused by the atrocities of Israel. Now, they seek to create an extreme provocation to Muslims by organising Jerusalem’s jubilee on Malaysian soil,” he wrote on Facebook. The Christian group that had planned the event cancelled it after 32 police reports were filed against them because of the gathering’s “Zionist theme”.

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Frank Lowy knighted by Queen in her Birthday Honours E-mail

Frank Lowy, a Holocaust survivor who fought in Israel’s War of Independence and went on to become a billionaire shopping magnate in Australia, was knighted last month in the UK as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Lowy is Chairman of the Westfield Corp, a global shopping centre company he cofounded in 1960, as well as a philanthropist.

A Slovakia native, Lowy settled in Australia in 1952 after evading the Nazis in Budapest and fighting in Israel’s 1948 war for independence.

“Frank Lowy is recommended for his contribution to the UK economy through the company he founded, Westfield, and its major investments in the UK,” his knighthood citation says.

Lowy said the genesis of his regard for the UK was listening to the BBC World Service as a young boy in war-torn Eastern Europe. He recalled that as a child he would huddle around a radio in a bunker, listening to the chimes of Big Ben in London introduce the latest war news. “It always gave us hope that help was on the way, and that the war would end in our favour,” he said.

Anton Block, the president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, congratulated Lowy on his recognition. “This is a singular honour and one that befits the immense contribution Mr Lowy has made as an innovator, a creator and a philanthropist,” he said.

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A ground-breaking event took place on 26-27 May in Dongguan, southern China. The South China Courage Conference, on the theme of “Finding Inspiration to Make a Difference”, featured keynote speaker and Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman and several other educational experts and speakers.

Mr Friedman is the author of I’m No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor and a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Holocaust Museum in Seattle, Washington.

The 89-year-old, who was born in Brody, Poland, spoke about how he lived through an incredible journey that saw his early life nearly destroyed by the Holocaust. Surviving with the help of two Ukrainian families in Poland, his family hid in a tiny space the size of a queen-size bed for 18 months. The courage of Henry’s saviours— and so many others like them—offers us critical lessons and stories that should inspire us to live better and treat all people with dignity. His message was “One person CAN make a difference.”

Other presenters at the event included Dr Glen Timmermans from Macau University, who gave workshops about the origins of anti-Semitism, and Simon Li, Director of Education for the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC).

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Israel celebrates Jerusalem’s 50th anniversary E-mail
Israel celebrated the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalayim on 24 May. The day celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem.

The Israeli army’s victory in the ancient, eastern part of the city on the third day of the Six Day War on 7 June 1967, when unification of the two sections of the city took place, ended 19 years of separation.

“On the 50th anniversary of its reunification, Jerusalem is a flourishing, thriving city – in the fields of education, hi-tech and culture, in business and all areas of life. On this day, as we celebrate Jerusalem, let us all ‘exalt Jerusalem above our utmost joy’, and build her for future generations. I wish all of us a successful year in Jerusalem,” said Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nir Barkat.

The city held lots of celebratory events, culminating in a fireworks display over the city.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a state memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, marking 50 years since the Six Day War.
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Japanese soccer fans banned over “Nazi” flag E-mail
Japan’s J-League team Gamba Osaka has banned dozens of fans indefinitely after a flag similar to the Nazi SS insignia was waved during a J-League soccer match.

The flag, which bore a double “S” in the style of the Nazi paramilitary force, was seen during Gamba’s 2-2 draw against city rivals Cerezo Osaka on 16 April.

Gamba said on its website that it has told the supporters’ group responsible to disband, and that all banners were also prohibited indefinitely. “We spotted the group, which comprises about 60 to 70 people,” team spokesman Kenji Okunaga said.

“Most of them are Japanese but it also includes some foreigners.” He added that although the supporters’ group did not have any political intentions, “they were the same one to whom we issued a warning over a similar incident back in 2014. So we decided to take these measures,” Okunaga added.

The J-League prohibits displays of any kind linked to political ideology, religion or race, and also bans racial and other forms of discrimination.
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