Peres at Rabin memorial: Ruling over others against Jewish values
Israel cannot protect its Jewish and democratic character without peace, former President Shimon Peres said at a memorial for Yitzhak Rabin.
“Peace has become a derogatory term. There are those who say that those who believe in peace are naive, not patriots, delusional,” Peres said Sunday night to thousands of people gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv for the event. “But I say to all those in a clear voice, those who give up on peace are the ones who are delusional.”
Rabin was assassinated 19 years ago by Yigal Amir, who remains in jail. Wednesday marked the anniversary on the Hebrew calendar of the assassination.
“Ruling over another people is against our values as Jews. To pursue peace is a mitzvah. It’s also very practical, very Jewish,” Peres said.
The Israeli Peace Initiative and November 4th groups were among the organizers of the memorial, which featured a more political overtone.
A second memorial, sponsored by a coalition of groups from the left and right, including youth movements, is set for Nov. 8 in Rabin Square. President Reuven Rivlin will serve as keynote speaker at the rally, which will remember Rabin’s life and legacy, the Dror Israeli Movement announced Sunday.
Athens Holocaust Memorial desecrated for second time this year
The Athens Holocaust Memorial was desecrated for the second time in five months.
On Oct. 30, the logo of the ultranationalist group known as the Unaligned Meander Nationalists was spray-painted in blue on the memorial.
In June, threats against the Jewish community were spray-painted on the monument, which was erected in 2010 and commemorates the more than 60,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Today, only about 5,000 Jews live in Greece.
“We call upon municipal and state authorities to effectively protect the Holocaust Monument of the capital, in order to avoid repetition of such phenomena,” said a joint statement from the Jewish Community of Athens and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
The community also called on Greek authorities to “put into motion all necessary procedures so that the perpetrators – those whose hateful and violent actions offend the dignity and the cultural heritage of the city – be apprehended and punished.”
The same group, which describes the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as “moderates,” vandalized the Holocaust monument on the island of Rhodes in October 2012.
A recent Anti-Defamation League survey showed that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views. That is nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, with 37 percent.
Vietnam’s first Israeli film festival to celebrate milestone
A film festival in Vietnam is marking more than 20 years of diplomatic relations with Israel. The five-day festival, organized by Israel’s embassy, opened Nov. 1 at the National Cinema Centre in Hanoi and moved to Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 6.
Israeli Ambassador Meirav Eilon-Shahar said the festival is introducing to Vietnamese audiences the films “Foreign Letters,” “Broken Wings,” “The Matchmaker,” “Someone to Run With” and “Something Sweet.”
The movies are connecting the two nations’ citizens and boosting understanding of Israel, the news site vietnamnet.vn quoted Eilon-Shahar as saying.
Among other activities marking the two countries’ relations is the Nov. 7 launching at Hanoi’s General Science Library of a Vietnamese translation of the 2012 book “The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History,” by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein.
Another event is a Facebook-based quiz in which participants will be asked to answer five questions about a different photograph every week for six weeks. The winner of the competition will receive an iPhone 6 from the embassy.
Trade between Israel and Vietnam in the first eight months of 2014 reached $624 million, a 60 percent increase over the corresponding period last year, according to data released earlier this month by the embassy.