Thursday, May 10, 2018

Knesset Gives Preliminary Approval to Making Israel the State of the Jewish People and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 2018 Sunday, May 13, 2018 schedule

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

In Gateway to Happiness" by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, among other things, Rabbi Pliskin teaches that facts are neutral. A fact cannot be positive or negative, good or bad because it's simply a fact, a piece of data and nothing more than that. The way we interpret that fact – how we choose to look at that information – is where the "positive/negative" aspect comes in to play.

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Knesset Gives Preliminary Approval to Making Israel the State of the Jewish People

On the first day of its summer session, on the night between Monday and Tuesday, the Knesset by a vote of 64 to the controversial Nationality Law. All the coalition MKs were warned that they had to show up at the plenum for the vote.

The Nationality Law enshrines as part of the Knesset Basic Laws the status of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the entire Jewish nation.

Stick it in your pipe and smoke it, American Jews who demonstrate with signs saying Israel is not your country – turns out it is.

The bill includes the definition of the symbols of the State; greater and unified Jerusalem is the capital of Israel; the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland; sanctioning the right of return; allowance for separate communities for Jews and Arabs; determining the official language of the state is Hebrew, while Arabic is demoted from the other official language to a language with a special status.

The explanatory notes accompanying the bill read: "The purpose of this Basic Law is to anchor in basic legislation the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, as well as to add to the constitutional system a series of provisions dealing with the basic characteristics of the Jewish state."

"The proposed Basic Law will join the existing Basic Laws which integrate additional elements into the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, in the spirit of the principles of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel."

The bill will now be submitted to a special committee headed by MK Amir Ohana (Likud) to amend and prepare it for second and third readings.

"The State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, but it is not clear to everyone, it is certainly not anchored in the law," said MK Avi Dichter (Likud), the author of the bill. "The Nationality Law is the insurance policy we leave behind for future generations."

MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List) was less delighted. "The law basically states that there are two types of citizens: one group, the Jews, has rights, and the other group is considered tolerable guests," he said, adding that "in practical terms, the law provides for Jewish-only settlements. If this is not racism, I don't know what racism is."

In practical terms, of course, there are virtually no Jews residing in any of the hundreds of Arab cities, towns and villages in Israel, while Israeli cities such as Haifa are home to as many as 20% Arab residents.

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) in Israel

Quick FactsYom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) is the anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification.Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 2018 Sunday, May 13, 2018

Yom Yerushalayim, also known as Jerusalem Day, commemorates Jerusalem's reunification in 1967. This day begins on 28th day of the month of Iyyar in the Hebrew calendar.

Yom Yerushalayim is a public holiday in Israel but is observed by many Jewish people worldwideWhat Do People Do?

Yom Yerushalayim is marked with a range of events in many Jewish communities. These include: recitations of the Hallel prayer for praise and thanksgiving in synagogues; street parades, parties, singing and dancing; special meals; and lectures on the history and future of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, a public reception by the mayor of Jerusalem, state ceremonies and memorial services for those who died in the Six-Day War are also held. In Israel, some people mark the occasion by traveling or even hiking to Jerusalem.

Public Life

Yom Yerushalayim is a national and Hebrew holiday in Israel. Schools are closed, but it is a working day in many businesses. It is not a public holiday in countries such as United States, the UK, Canada, or Australia. However, many Jewish organizations in these countries may be closed or offer a limited service so special events can be held.


After Israel declared its independence in 1948, it was attacked by the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in the Arab-Israeli War. At the end of this war, the city of Jerusalem was divided. Israeli forces controlled most of the city and East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was controlled by Jordanian forces. The Old City was important for strategic and religious reasons, as many sites of religious importance are in this part of the city. These include: the Dome of the Rock and al-Asqa Mosque (Muslims); the Temple Mount and the Western Wall or Kotel (Jewish); and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Christian).

On June 7, 1967, one day into the Six-Day War, Israeli forces captured the old city of Jerusalem. This resulted in the reunification of Jerusalem as part of Israel. According to the Hebrew calendar, it was the 28th day of the month of Iyar in the year 5727 and the anniversary of this date is known as Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day.

The 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem was in 2007. The slogan for the celebrations in this year translates as "Something special for everyone", with a play on the Hebrew words for "special" and "united". A special logo representing the number 40 and the city walls was presented and the approach to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was decorated with blue lighting

To mark 51 years of unification, many events will be held throughout the city and neighborhoods, including performances, tours, musical performances, colorful parades, ceremonies and more.

'Bring Jerusalem on top of our joy':
To mark 51 years of unification, many events will be held throughout the city and neighborhoods, including performances, tours, musical performances, colorful parades, ceremonies and more. Highlights: 
* A festive reception by the Mayor at the Tower of David Museum - a performance by singer Kobi Aflalo and the Jerusalem East West Orchestra, activity areas, training and more. *
* Performances by the best singers in the Sultan's Pool *
* Ceremony honoring Jerusalem's King David *
* Dozens of events and performances singers in the neighborhoods *
* The Student Day Festival at Sacher Park: Marathon of performances by the best artists - CREW LUCILLE, Hatikva 6, Eden Ben Zaken, Hadag Nachash host Hanan Ben Ari, BALKAN BEAT BOX, SKAZI * 
On Sunday 13/5/2018 we will celebrate the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. During the week and between 13/5/17 - 17/5/2018 the Municipality of Jerusalem will mark these celebrations with a variety of events and performances throughout the city for the benefit of the city's residents and visitors.  A special reception will be held by the Mayor and his wife at the Tower of David - a live museum and performances by singers, a ceremony for the award of the Yakir Yerushalayim, and events and official ceremonies will be held.
In the city's neighborhoods we marked Jerusalem Day with many different events, and like every year there will be a white night to mark Student Day. 
On the festive day of Jerusalem, a transparent studio of Galgalatz will broadcast from the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall between 10:00 and 19:00, with the leading artists, singers and broadcasters of Galgalatz.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat: "Fifty years have passed since Jerusalem was reunited forever and this year we will be marking this event with a variety of events throughout the city and neighborhoods that will allow more and more people to connect to Jerusalem and take part in the festivities. Events on the holiday of the capital of Israel. "
The following are the events:
Jerusalem Day - Sunday, 28/5/2018
A festive reception by the mayor and Mrs. Barkat on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the unification of the city
 Sunday, 28 Iyar 5768, 13/5/2018 Between 15: 30-17: 30 Admission is free 
The Mayor of Jerusalem and Mrs. Barkat invite the residents of the city and its visitors to a festive reception at the Migdal Museum on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the city's reunification.
In the program:
Similarities from the history and present of Jerusalem, training stations and landscape observation. Jerusalem activity centers and workshops throughout the museum.
Performances Jerusalem East and West Orchestra together with singer Kobi Aflalo. The mayor and his wife will greet the guests between 15: 30-17: 30.
The public is invited. The museum is open to the public from 12: 00-18: 00. Admission is free.
For more details,
Student Day - Sacher Park
Sunday, 28 Iyar 5768, 13/5/2018 at 20:01
The student associations in the city, in cooperation with the Culture Department of the Jerusalem Municipality, will hold the Jerusalem Student Festival at a huge event and performances by the best artists in Sacher Park:
 CREW LUCILLE - opening performance
Hope 6
Eden Ben Zaken
Hadag Nachash hosts Hanan Ben Ari
 Headphones - Download the DEEZER application for free, and also enjoy a crazy headset! (We recommend that you download it in advance at
Tickets for students at the campus offices and on campuses

A unique celebration - Jerusalem Day, 70 years of the state
Sunday, 28 Iyar 5768, 13/5/2018 at 20:00.
In the center of the city there will be a large event with the participation of the best Israeli artists.
Entrance is free - details will be published below.
Hora Jerusalem presents "barefoot homeland"
13.5.2018, 28 Iyar 5769 at 19:30 at the Jerusalem Theater
A special show marking Jerusalem Day - discover sraeli culture.
Sherover Hall - Jerusalem Theater
Ticket price 25 NIS
Tours at the Jerusalem Municipality Visitor Center - free of charge
Hours: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00.
The Authority for Quality of Service and the Visitors Center of the Jerusalem Municipality invites the public to guided tours of the Jerusalem Municipality on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the city's reunification on Jerusalem Day.
The tours will be held in Hebrew at 10:00 and 12:00 and in English and French at 11:00.
A tour of the city line between 1948 and 1967, photos in stone, Yehuda Amichai singing, mayors and IDF parades, a spectacular view of the city hall and entrance to the model of the city - the model house.
Tours for individuals and families free of charge. Duration: 90 minutes
Meeting place: Safra Square, opposite the No. 3 building, the pillows area. Duration: 1 hour and a half
The tours are free of charge. No pre-registration required.
Shacharit Prayer Tayelet Armon HaNaziv - Courtyard Courtyard "Olamiah"
May 8, 2008
On Sunday 13/5 at 8:00 am, a festive morning prayer will be held at the Armon Hanatziv Promenade in honor of Yom Yerushalayim on the holiday.
A prayer of praise with the melodies of Chizki Sofer and guests like Carlebach.
"Flag Dance" Parade - Prayer and rally at the Western Wall
13.5.2018, 28 Iyar 5769 16: 30-22: 00
The march takes place every year on Jerusalem Day from 16:30. The march is accompanied by dancing, singing and raising Israeli flags and is produced by the "Am Kolbi" association. The number of marchers each year is tens of thousands of people from all over the country and the world.
The flag dance parade ends with a festive ceremony at the Western Wall plaza including prayer and assembly.
Event Schedule:
16: 30-18: 30 Dancing - Gathering on Bezalel and Independence Park.
18: 00-19: 30 marched
20: 00-22: 30 An assembly at the Western Wall plaza
An assembly of thanksgiving at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva
Saturday, May 12, 2014, at 20:30
A festive prayer and a mass dance.
Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:30
A solemn assembly to mark the 51th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, in the presence of Chief Rabbis, Ministers, Heads of Yeshivot, MKs and public figures. Monday, May 14, 2018
Ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the reunification of the city at 20:00
Ceremony honoring the Mayor of Jerusalem.
This year, 12 Jerusalem residents will receive the "Yakir" award.
The letter is given to people who have influenced and contributed to the lives of all residents of the city.
The event is for invitees only.
Yom Yerushalayim in the neighborhoods
Following is a list of events that will take place in community administrations in the city's neighborhoods:
Gilo6.5.18 at 20:30 - Eshkol Pais Auditorium
An evening of stories and a song with Shimon Parnes and Matti Seri
Ganim Community Administration
8.5.18 - Between the hours of 17: 00-19: 30 - at the rope park, 11 Daheumi Street
A huge happening - creative workshops, stalls, activities with soap bubbles, music and more.
Gonenim Community Council
12.5.18 at 20:15 in the sports field behind the Community Administration
A festive prayer in honor of Jerusalem Day, violinist Oren Tzur and guitarist Nadav Bachar.
Community Administration Baka
13.5.18 - Between the hours of 9: 00-12: 00 in the plaza of the Community Administration
Songs, stories and dances to Jerusalem, marking 70 years of the State, in cooperation with kindergartens.
Katamon Community Council
13.5.18 - Between the hours of 15: 00-19: 00, at the Kangaroo Community Center: a children's play, at 17:30, a drumming workshop for children and youth.
At 20:00, at the Container Terminal - Yitzhak Sadeh 17 - Shlomi Cohen
East Talpiot Community Administration
A singer's evening and a food market
Morasha Community Administration
13.5.18 at 20:00 in the Community Administration Hall
Exhibition, poetry on Jerusalem Day
Activities in cooperation with the Museum "On the Seam"
Ganim Community Administration
13.5.18 - "Open Houses in the Neighborhood". Jerusalem Day workshops for residents. Joint rise to the water tower.
Community Council of Har Choma
13.5.18 at 20:30 on the sports field
The musical performance of Aharon Raziel
Neve Ya'akov Community Council
13.5.18 at 20:00 in the Community Administration Hall
The singer Idan Sela in a Mediterranean concert, Entrance 30 NIS
Yuvalim Community Administration
13.5.18 at 10:00, at Beit Rachel, singing in public
              At 20:30, at the Ramat Sharet community center
              "Rest in Nachlaot", Dvir Sormello and Avi Ofek in songs and stories.
14.5.18 - at 20:00 - at the Philippe Leon Sports Hall
              Evening dances with Yaron Ben Simhon and Aviva Avidan, Entrance 30 NIS
Beit Hakerem Community Council
10.5.18 at 18:30 in the garden of the old committee building
Musical Performance "Hamamir"
Kiryat Moshe Community Administration
13.5.18 at 19:00 - the Blind Education Center
Midreshet Amakim, Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
A performance by Benny Landau and Harel Tal
Ramot Alon Community Council
15.5.18 at 20:30, at the Dalia Ramot kindergarten,
The concert of singer Yonatan Raziel and the band Ohman
Community Council Pisgat Ze'ev
17.5.18 at 20:30 - Emmanuel Moreno Park
The big goat band and Yizhar Cohen
Events "This is Jerusalem"
Ramot Alon
Jerusalem tour and stories for young families.
9.5.18 - at 17:00 - to register
Katamon - 10.5.18 - Between 17:00 and 19:00.
A unique theatrical performance for Jerusalem Day, the story of the city in cooperation with the audience and singing in public.
In the Bruria garden, behind the Mishan nursing home
Ginot Ha'Ir Community Administration - 11.5.18 - From morning until Shabbat.
"My Jerusalem" - volunteer tours led by residents of the neighborhood, following their personal stories and areas of interest, the tours were launched by the Ginot Ha'Ir Community Administration.
Registration by email:
Beit Hakerem - 13.5.18 - at 19:00
"The Gypsies in Jerusalem Community on the Edge" A lecture by Ofra Regev, at the old committee house
Ramat Sharet - 13.5.18 at 19:30
A panel for Jerusalem Day with live music, Ramat Sharet community center, in "Menashe Elyashar"
Nayot neighborhood - 13.5.18 at 16:30
"Dancers of Jerusalem" - a huge wall painting and activities for children.
On the basketball court, Nayot
The railway park
13.5.18 - 16:00 - The Jerusalem March - a community march on the railway track.
East Talpiot - 15.5.18 at 19:30
"My Jerusalem is a song and taste": an evening of songs and tastings of local residents' recipes.
Community Council branch, young Arnona.
the station area
Sacred Poetry Circle - The varied Jerusalem under the guidance of Shimon Lev Tahor
9.5.18 at 18:00 and on 11.5.18 at 17:00.
Jerusalem Welcomes Shabbat
13.5.18 at 19:30.
Believers - Interfaith listening and prayer for listening and the Holy City
14.5.18 at 20:00
Libby in the East - Poetic love from a variety of traditions to the Land of Zion Jerusalem
Entrance to all events is free.
For details on this event Jerusalem: On the menu click on: Events "This is Jerusalem"
Ceremonies and State Events:
Jerusalem Day: Sunday, 28/5/2018
12: 00- A memorial ceremony for the Ethiopian community on Mount Herzl
The official memorial ceremony for Ethiopian Jews on Mount Herzl.
14:00 Memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Six Day War on Mount Herzl
State Ceremony for Yom Yerushalayim - Memorial Ceremony for the fallen of the Six Day War.
16:00 Memorial ceremonies for the fighters
Memorial ceremonies for the fighters near the paratroopers' memorials and the gathering of veterans of the Paratroopers Brigade and the fighters will be held at Ammunition Hill and in monuments:
Ammunition Hill, Ed Joz, Nablus Road, Lions' Gate and the Rockefeller Museum.

19:45 A ceremony marking the reunification of Jerusalem on Ammunition Hill
A State Ceremony to Mark the Release and Reunification of Jerusalem In the presence of the President of Israel,
The prime minister, ministers, the mayor, the chief of staff, the police commissioner and the bereaved families.
The program includes lighting flares of the combat brigades and an artistic performance.
Entrance to invited guests only. 

Netanyahu on Abbas: "The Holocaust-denier is still a Holocaust-denier"

After US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman slammed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas' anti-Semitic rant, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to condemn the Palestinian leader's speech.May 2, 2018,

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday following the Palestinian leader's anti-Semitic rant from earlier this week. "Apparently, the Holocaust-denier is still a Holocaust-denier," he said in a statement.

"Abu Mazen gave another anti-Semitic speech. With utmost ignorance and brazen gall, he claimed that European Jews were persecuted and murdered not because they were Jews but because they gave loans with interest. Abu Mazen again recited the most contemptible anti-Semitic canards," he added. "I call on the international community to condemn Abu Mazen's severe anti-Semitism; the time has come for it to pass from the world."

Netanyahu's statement was released after US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman strongly criticized Abbas and his "history lesson" on Twitter. "Abu Mazen has reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their 'social behavior relating to interest and banks.' To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don't have peace, think again," he wrote.

Abu Mazen has reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their "social behavior relating to interest and banks." To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don't have peace, think again.

During the speech, Abbas cited the "Jewish money-loaning businesses and banks" as the cause of the Holocaust. He also said it was a historical "fact" that no Jews were attacked in the Arab nations in the last 1,400 years.

In addition, Abbas talked about an offer that was allegedly presented by Adolf Hitler to the European Jews, which promised to give an amount of money and properties to any Jew who immigrates to Palestine. These statements are all false and inconsistent with history.

However, Abbas ended his speech on a different note, saying: "We don't have to drive them out. This isn't what we are saying. We want to coexist with them on the basis of a two-state solution."

This is not the first time Abbas has made anti-Semitic statements. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the connections between the Zionist leadership in the land of Israel and the Nazi regime during the 1930s.

Barbara Bush's End-Of-Life Decision Stirs Debate Over 'Comfort Care' May 1, 2018, 7:20PMBy Melissa Bailey And JoNel Aleccia

Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday night at her home in Houston at age 92. Days before her death, the announcement that she was seeking "comfort care" shone a light — and stirred debate — on what it means to stop trying to fight terminal illness.

Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, had been suffering from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to family spokesman Jim McGrath.


In a public statement Sunday, the family announced she had decided "not to seek additional medical treatment and will focus on comfort care."

The announcement came amid a national effort to define and document patients' wishes, and consider alternatives, before they are placed on what has been described as a "conveyor belt" of costly medical interventions aimed at prolonging life.

Ellen Goodman, co-founder of the Conversation Project, which encourages families to discuss and document their end-of-life preferences, applauded the Bush family announcement.

"It sounds like this forthright, outspoken woman has made her wishes known and the family is standing by her," Goodman said.

"It makes perfectly good sense at her age, with her failing health, that she would say at some point, 'Life's been good, and while you always want more, it's enough,'" said Dr. Joanne Lynn, director of the program to improve elder care at Altarum Institute.

Lynn worked with Barbara Bush years ago, when she was a congressional spouse volunteering at the Washington Home for chronically ill patients. Bush helped with the founding of the hospice program there.


"We have so few examples in visible leadership positions" of public figures promoting palliative care, she said.

"It's a personal decision that she didn't have to share, but hopefully it will encourage others to think about their choices, talk about their choices, document their choices and have those choices honored," said Nathan Kottkamp, founder and chair of National Healthcare Decisions Day.

Thousands were expected to focus on their end-of-life preferences Monday, which has been designated as National Health Care Decisions Day since 2008.

Dr. Haider Warraich, a fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Duke University Medical Center and author of the book "Modern Death," also applauded the Bush family for putting the phrase "comfort care" into the public sphere so that other people can consider it "a viable option at the end of life."

But he said the family statement also creates confusion about the meaning of "comfort care," by suggesting that it entails stopping medical treatment. On Twitter, palliative care experts vigorously refuted that mischaracterization.

"Comfort care" usually refers to palliative care, which focuses on managing patients' symptoms to keep them comfortable and retain their dignity, Warraich said.

"One of the common myths about palliative care is that they are being denied medical help," Warraich said.

For heart failure patients, he said, "comfort care" usually means opting not to use a breathing machine or CPR. But patients do continue to receive medical treatment, including morphine to ease shortness of breath, and diuretics to remove excess fluid from their lungs, he said.

Heart failure patients, he said, often receive "escalating medical treatments until days before the end of life." Their transition to comfort care can be abrupt, "like falling off a cliff," he said.

"By bringing this into the sphere of discussion," Warraich said, "we can start thinking about comfort and palliation long before they are in the clutches of death."


KHN's coverage of end-of-life and serious illness issues is supported in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundatio


Site acted as both haven and prison for medieval community members.BY ILANIT CHERNICK  MAY 2, 2018 11:03

The rich history of the Tower of London tells the story of a fortress, a palace, as well as a place of law, torture, incarceration and doom throughout medieval British History.

But new research has revealed that the Tower of London also served as a place of refuge for the Jewish community during violent pogroms, as their prison when they refused to pay taxes, and even as their port of exile when they were expelled from England in the year 1290.

The information, presented at the tower last week in a lecture titled "New perspectives on the Tower and the medieval Jewish community," shows how the Jews had a much deeper connection to the monument than previously known.

The curator of the collections at the tower, Sally Dixon-Smith of Historic Royal Palaces – an independent charity that manages some of the United Kingdom's unoccupied royal palaces – spent three months analyzing Treasury documents, looking into the links between the Jewish community and the structure.

She found that London's early Jewish residents took refuge in the tower during particularly violent pogroms in 1189, 1264 and 1272.

In 1189, when King Richard I (known as Richard the Lionheart) was being crowned, antisemitic riots broke out after the Jewish community attempted to bring a gift to the king. A substantial number of Jews were killed leading many to take refuge in the tower.

Later, in 1216, it became a place of preventative protection for the Jews during the coronation of King Henry III.

During one of the more bloody pogroms of the later part of the 13th century, Jews stayed in the tower for several months.

"The tower should be more widely acknowledged as a key site in England's medieval Jewish heritage," Dixon-Smith said. "Medieval Jewish history and the history and development of the tower are inextricably linked... The position of the Jewish community is central to any understanding" of medieval England.

During the late 12th and 13th century, Jewish Londoners also came to the tower to seek justice. "Royal 'ownership' of Jews meant the Crown used the tower and its officials to exercise direct control over them," Dixon-Smith explained. "Jews were considered royal property... they were under the direct jurisdiction of the constables." For this reason, the Jewish community had privileged access to the royal courts located in the tower.

In 1238, when sheriffs in London were investigating murders involving Jews, they made it clear that these cases must go straight to the royal court at the tower, which points at the value placed on Jewish lives by the Crown at that time.

But at the same time, during this period, Jews and Christians were taxed separately "and royal protection and access to the royal court did come at a price," explained Dixon-Smith. Jews were taxed more heavily and a good portion of the money collected from them went toward a massive expansion of the tower, including the digging of the moat and the building of Traitors' Gate.

A third of a Jew's wealth could be taken at any time, and those who couldn't or wouldn't pay were imprisoned in the tower, said Dixon-Smith, meaning numerous Jews over time had been imprisoned there.

Later in the 13th century, during the infamous blood libels, 91 Jewish men were incarcerated in the tower. During a 1278 coin-clipping scandal – where silver was shaved from the edge of coins – 600 Jewish household heads, most of whom were innocent, were incarcerated – and some were later executed.

By July 1290, when the general expulsion of Jews was ordered by Edward I for November 1, the tower served as the point of exit for Jews who traveled out of England via the Thames River. Were that not bad enough, the exiled Jews were charged a deportation tax by the constable of the tower.

From that point, Jews were not allowed to live in England until the 1650s, under Oliver Cromwell.

Following the publication of this research, Rupert Gavin, the chairman of Historic Royal Palaces, announced that the Tower of London will be viewed as "a key site" in England's medieval Jewish history and the organization will incorporate the newly understood Jewish links into some of its tours as well as into its school education program.

"Schoolchildren from all over the country can come and get an insight into how a minority group worked so productively within medieval England, which I think has a lot of lessons for the way that we work as a society today," Gavin said.

He said he was also looking at options for a "living embodiment of the Jewish presence" at the Tower.

"This is important academic work but it is practical as well. In our telling of the story of the tower, we have tended to forget and ignore this important part," Gavin said. "The significance of the work is that this now enables us to go back to our core story, which informs everything around this building."


Erosion unearthing bones on New York's island of the dead

NEW YORK –  Storms and the tides are unearthing the long-hidden bones of Hart Island, creating eerie scenes of skulls, femurs and collarbones on this sliver of land where New York City's destitute dead have for 150 years been sent off to be unceremoniously buried and forgotten.

After photos of exposed bones began turning up in news reports, forensic anthropologists from the city medical examiner's office went out last week and collected 174 human bones that they carefully cataloged, including six skulls, six jawbones, 31 leg bones and 16 pelvises. Small red flags dotted spots along the rocky shoreline where some remains were found.

"When I hear about the erosion, I always think, 'Are the bones his? Could any of them be his?'" asked Carol DiMedio whose grandfather Luigi Roma was buried on the island after dying from tuberculosis in 1933.

Advocates for Hart Island say the bones are a jarring sign that it's long past time for improvements to be made. In addition to stepping up a $13.2 million federal project to repair erosion caused by 2012's Hurricane Sandy and other storms, they want the 101-acre island in the Long Island Sound to be turned into a park and historic site, even if it continues to be used as a burial ground for the city's poor and nameless dead.

"These are New Yorkers," City Council member Mark Levine said of the remains. "These are human beings who were largely marginalized and forgotten in life, they were people who died homeless or destitute, victims of contagious disease, the AIDS crisis. And we're victimizing them again in their final resting place."

As many as 1 million souls lie buried on Hart Island, purchased by the city in 1868 as land for a workhouse for wayward boys and a potter's field. Over the decades, it housed a Civil War prison, an asylum, a tuberculosis hospital, a jail and a missile base. All the while, New York continued ferrying bodies there that went unclaimed at the city morgue.

The island, managed by the city's Department of Correction for more than a century, has never been kept up like a traditional cemetery with manicured lawns or even headstones.

Prisoners dig the long trenches used to bury the dead. Adults go into the ground in pine boxes, stacked on top of one another. Babies are placed in shoebox-sized containers. Around 1,000 people are buried there each year.

The internments take place out of public view and access to the island is limited to trips, once per month, that must be reserved in advance. Only people with loved ones buried on the island are allowed to visit the graves . Others are restricted to a visitors' gazebo near the ferry dock.

In 2012, one of the island's embankments was stripped of earth by Sandy's floodwaters, exposing a Civil War-era cistern. Meanwhile, more storms have battered the island, further eroding it. Work on the federal project to repair the erosion wasn't scheduled to begin until 2020 but it has been moved up a year.

"We are doing everything we can to limit future exposures and expedite the firming up of the shoreline," said Jason Kersten a correction spokesman.

In the meantime, city officials say an archaeologist will visit at least once a month to remove and bury any exposed remains.

Unearthed remains have been a problem before. A March 1985 report by the city's sanitation department found bones strewn on the island — including a skull on the beach.

"It was explained to us that this was a rather common thing since the city has been burying bodies there for almost 80 years and the water has caused some erosion at older burial spots," according to the report obtained by island advocate Melinda Hunt.

On a recent photography trip around the island on a chartered boat, Hunt pointed out the places along the northern shore where the bones were, and where she has seen them before.

"They came to clean this up, but it isn't the first time and it won't be the last," said Hunt, creator of the Hart Island Project , who has been documenting conditions on the island since 1991.

DiMedio, 61, said she wishes the uncovered bones would be tested for DNA evidence in order to help other families locate missing loved ones.

She had done research since she was a young girl to try to find out where her grandfather was buried. And when she finally found the answer, she didn't want to tell her ailing, elderly mother where her father had been laid to rest.

"When I found him ... I lied and I said he was buried in a beautiful place, with blue water and blue skies and lots of trees and green grass and seagulls above," DiMedio said. "I didn't have the heart to tell her there's this grim place called Hart Island."

Timeline: Netanyahu Coordinated Revelations with Trump Starting Last March

Israeli journalist Barak Ravid on Tuesday night gathered his notes via Twitter on the timeline of Prime Minister Netanyahu's communication with the Trump White House regarding his plans to reveal Iran's "nuclear archive" and the lies on which the 2015 nuclear deal was based.

According to Ravid, Netanyahu briefed President Trump in March on the capture of the Iranian "nuclear archive" by the Mossad. Netanyahu decided to publicly expose the documents on Monday in anticipation of the upcoming May 12 deadline for Trump to renew or drop his support for the nuclear deal with Iran.

Ravid cited am Israeli official who told him that during a meeting at white House on March 5, Netanyahu presented Trump and his senior cabinet members – Pence, Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster – with an initial analysis of the "Iran Nuclear archive."

Last Saturday, Netanyahu spoke to Trump over the phone and updated him on his plan to reveal the new intelligence later in the week. A day later, the PM met in Tel-Aviv with Secretary of State Pompeo and gave him a similar update.

The Israeli official added that Israel wanted to publicly release its new intelligence following the White House visits by French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel last week, to try to convince Trump not to withdraw from the Iran deal.

The Israeli official told Ravid: "We are facing a major decision by President Trump regarding the nuclear deal. Last week was for the Europeans, and this week is our week."

According to Ravid, Mossad discovered the existence of an Iranian "Nuclear archive" in February 2016, as the nuclear deal was being implemented. The Israeli official told Ravid Mossad had received intelligence that showed the Iranians were trying to hide all the documents which dealt with the military dimensions of their nuclear program. The official said that in a highly secret operation known to a handful of Iranian officials, the Iranians transferred tens of thousands of documents and CD's from several different sites around the country to a civilian warehouse in Tehran.

The Israeli official said the Iranians were afraid that in its Iran deal inspections, the IAEA would discover the incriminating documents.

Mossad placed the Tehran warehouse under surveillance and started preparing for a possible operation to seize the documents. According to Israeli officials, more than 100 Mossad spies worked on this operation and in January 2018 it was carried out.

A senior Israeli intelligence official told Ravid that Mossad managed to put its hands on most of the documents in the warehouse. "We didn't take everything because it was too heavy," he said.

An Israeli official said the CIA and the White House knew about the Israeli efforts to capture the "Iranian nuclear archive." Israel briefed the US immediately after the successful operation had been completed.

On March 5, Prime Minister Netanyahu met Trump and the Senior members of his cabinet and briefed them on the details of the new intelligence. An Israeli official said that Mossad handed the CIA copies of all the 100,000 documents it had obtained.

In February, Mossad began the process of translating and analyzing the documents from Farsi. A special team of 50 analysts was assembled by Mossad, working in conjunction with a separate, CIA team. Both intelligence agencies are still laboring to analyzing the documents.

An Israeli official told Ravid: "The documents tell us new things about the military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program. Things we didn't know before. The documents give us new details about Iranian R&D sites, sites for possible nuclear tests, and the individuals involved."

Some scientists are crossing those Tehran streets very carefully these days…

The same official added: "The documents tell us more details than the IAEA knew until toady about the Iranian nuclear program. The documents will provide very solid proof that there was a military nuclear program in Iran. Such proof that the Iranians will not be able to deny."

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