Taglit-Birthright Founder Michael Steinhardt Banned for Life from Antiquities Trade, Must Return $70 Million in Stolen Treasures By David Israel and Israeli Health Ministry Report Admits Role in Disappearance of Yemenite Children in 1950s and Ryanair warn passengers over bringing alcohol on flights as bags 'will be searched at boarding gates'
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Ryanair warn passengers over bringing alcohol on flights as bags 'will be searched at boarding gates'
Customers were informed that "all cabin baggage will be searched at the boarding gates" for alcohol
A number of Ryanair customers have been warned that their bags will be searched at boarding gates for alcohol.
Emails sent to passengers traveling to Spain state that a number of "restrictions" will be placed on travelers before they can board the plane.
These rules specifically concern alcohol, with people not allowed to carry drinks on board the flight.
In an email to one Ryanair customer ahead of their flight to Mallorca, the airline detailed the strict rules on alcohol, even if it was purchased in airport shops or duty-free.
The message states that "all cabin baggage will be searched at the boarding gates" for alcohol.
The warning was issued to passengers ahead of their flights.
The warning was issued to passengers ahead of their flights. (Image: NurPhoto/PA Images)
People who buy bottles of alcohol in the airport must pack the items in their bags so that their luggage can be placed in the hold.
This will be free for passengers with priority boarding or with small bags.
However, if customers who bought alcohol in the airport and packed it away have a larger bag and no priority boarding, they will have to pay a fee to have their luggage checked in.
For those who have a "bag unsuitable for placing in the hold", their drink purchases will have to be binned.
The email reads: "In order to prioritize the comfort and safety of all passengers, Ryanair will implement the following restrictions on your upcoming flight to Spain:
"Customers will not be allowed to carry alcohol on board and all cabin baggage will be searched at the boarding gate.
"Any alcohol purchased in airport shops or elsewhere must be packed carefully in a suitable item of cabin baggage, which will be tagged at the gate and then placed in the aircraft hold free of charge if you have purchased priority boarding or have a small piece of hand luggage.
Customers were informed that "all cabin baggage will be searched at the boarding gates" for alcohol.
"Customers with larger cabin bags who have not purchased priority boarding will be required to pay the appropriate fee.
"If the bag is unsuitable for placing in the hold (eg plastic bag) then customers will be required to dispose of the alcohol in the bins provided."
Ryanair adds that "boarding gates will be carefully monitored" and anyone showing any signs of anti-social behaviour or trying to hide alcohol "will be denied travel".
Customers who reported that they had received the emails were all travelling to Spain and had mixed reactions to the restrictions.
One person travelling from the UK to Barcelona wasn't happy with the rules, saying: "Ryanair - Wtf is this about?
"England fans heading to Barcelona... all of a sudden there's draconian restrictions on their flights now."
Taglit-Birthright Founder Michael Steinhardt Banned for Life from Antiquities Trade, Must Return $70 Million in Stolen Treasures
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. on Monday announced that Michael Steinhardt, one of the world's largest ancient art collectors, has surrendered 180 stolen antiquities valued at $70 million and received a first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities, following the resolution of a multi-year, multi-national investigation into his criminal conduct.
According to DA Vance, the seized pieces were looted and illegally smuggled out of 11 countries, trafficked by 12 criminal smuggling networks, and lacked verifiable provenance before appearing on the international art market, according to the Statement of Facts summarizing the investigation.
According to documents filed in court, the criminal investigation into Steinhardt began in February 2017. While investigating the Bull's Head stolen from Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War, the DA's Office determined Steinhardt had purchased the multi-million-dollar statue then subsequently loaned it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Months after seizing the piece, the D.A.'s Office announced the formation of its Antiquities Trafficking Unit with the repatriation of the Bull's Head and the Calf Bearer, a second multi-million-dollar marble statute seized from Steinhardt, to the Lebanese Republic in December 2017.
In the process of uncovering the Lebanese statues, the DA's Office learned that Steinhardt possessed additional looted antiquities at his apartment and office, and, soon after, initiated a grand jury criminal investigation into his acquisition, possession, and sale of more than 1,000 antiquities since at least 1987. As part of this inquiry into criminal conduct by Steinhardt, the DA's Office executed 17 judicially-ordered search warrants and conducted joint investigations with law enforcement authorities in 11 countries: Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Turkey.
Steinhardt, 81, was described by Bloomberg in 2014 as "Wall Street's greatest trader," and in 2018, Forbes Magazine reported his net worth at $1.1 billion. According to an official NYU publication, the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University bears his name in recognition of two $10 million donations. In the 1990s, Steinhardt bought and donated Steeple Jason Island and Grand Jason Island in the Falkland Islands to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), along with $425,000 for a research station to be named after himself and his wife Judy. Steinhardt reportedly owns part of the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball teams.
Steinhardt is also a mega-donor for Jewish causes and is a member of the "Mega Group" – a club of 20 of the wealthiest and most influential Jewish businessmen, formed by Leslie Wexner, chairman of Limited Inc., and Charles and Edgar Bronfman Sr., chairmen of Seagram. Steinhardt has donated more than $125 million to Jewish causes. Steinhardt founded a network of Hebrew-language charter schools, which are secular and open to both Jews and non-Jews. He has said, "these schools teach Hebrew in a way that is demonstrably superior to Jewish day schools."
But Steinhardt is most renowned for his chairmanship of the board at The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and Taglit-Birthright Israel. In 1999, he and Charles Bronfman co-founded Taglit-Birthright Israel, which has to date sent more than 700,000 young Jews ages 18 to 26 on an all-expenses-paid, 10-day trip to Israel.
Now the mega-donor is facing the humiliation of having to reach a plea deal to avoid going to prison.
"For decades, Michael Steinhardt displayed a rapacious appetite for plundered artifacts without concern for the legality of his actions, the legitimacy of the pieces he bought and sold, or the grievous cultural damage he wrought across the globe," said District Attorney Vance. "His pursuit of 'new' additions to showcase and sell knew no geographic or moral boundaries, as reflected in the sprawling underworld of antiquities traffickers, crime bosses, money launderers, and tomb raiders he relied upon to expand his collection."
"Even though Steinhardt's decades-long indifference to the rights of peoples to their own sacred treasures is appalling, the interests of justice prior to indictment and trial favor a resolution that ensures that a substantial portion of the damage to world cultural heritage will be undone, once and for all. Accordingly, this agreement guarantees that 180 pieces will be returned expeditiously to their rightful owners in 11 countries rather than be held as evidence for the years necessary to complete the grand-jury indictment, trial, potential conviction, and sentence," the Manhattan DA continued.
"This resolution also enables my Office to shield the identity of the many witnesses here and abroad whose names would be released at any trial, to protect the integrity of parallel investigations in each of the 11 countries with whom we are conducting joint investigations, and to avoid over-burdening resource-scarce nations who would be called upon to provide witnesses in any grand jury or trial. Finally, this agreement establishes that Steinhardt will be subject to an unprecedented lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities," Vance said.
Steinhardt's lawyers stated, "Mr. Steinhardt is pleased that the District Attorney's years-long investigation has concluded without any charges, and that items wrongfully taken by others will be returned to their native countries."
Israeli Health Ministry Report Admits Role in Disappearance of Yemenite Children in 1950s
Edited by: TJVNews.com
For decades now, Israel has been battling grotesque rumors concerning the horrifying abduction of Yemenite children from their families during the 1950s. The Yemenite Children's Affair refers to the disappearance of babies and toddlers from Yemeni, Balkan and Mizrahi immigrant families in the 1950s, as was reported by the JPost.
Between June 1949 and September 1950 Israel brought 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the newly established Jewish state of in what was called Operation Magic Carpet. During its course, the overwhelming majority of Yemenite Jews – some 47,000 from Yemen, 1,500 from Aden, as well as 500 from Djibouti and Eritrea and some 2,000 Jews from Saudi Arabia– were airlifted to Israel. British and American transport planes made some 380 flights from Aden.
Stories have long circulated that the government of Israel orchestrated this kidnapping plot in order for these Yemenite children to be raised by secular Ashkenazim who were loyal to Israel's socialist parties in the early days of statehood. By having these children adopted by secular, politically liberal Jews, it would result in a new generation who would be bereft of Jewish religious tradition and who would grow up and vote for the same socialist parties that their adopted parents belonged to.
The JPost reported that more than 1000 babies were extricated from their Yemenite families and put up for adoption. The families that adopted these Yemenite babies were alleged to have said that they were in a much better position to offer these babies a better future than they would have had if their biological parents raised them.
According to a JPost report in which they quoted information in a story in the Haaretz newspaper, a report that was drafted by Israel's Health Ministry offers details for the role that the state's healthcare system played in the 1950s in the abduction of these Yemenite children.
Very often, the parents of these children were told that they had died of an illness. Parents were not shown the bodies of these allegedly deceased children nor were they given a death certificate or even shown the grave where the children were allegedly buried. No further information was given to these parents about the whereabouts of their children. This set of circumstances aroused the suspicions of parents who eventually came to believe that their children were kidnapped and adopted by Ashkenazic families both in Israel and in the diaspora, as was reported by the JPost.
The JPost indicated that the Health Ministry is "preventing" the publication of the draft. The publication also said that the report was allegedly written by outgoing Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Professor Itamar Grotto. The other person who joined him in penning the report was Dr. Shlomit Avni, a racism prevention official.
Quoting Haaretz, the JPost reported that the draft report did not contain any new revelations, nor did it provide any new documentation or witness testimonies. It did, however, provide an official admission that the Health Ministry played a role in the kidnappings. Apparently, the report contained information that had been previously published and contained material that was previously collected.
The draft report from the Health Ministry did carry with it historical significance as it represented the first time ever that a government ministry in Israel offered an admission of culpability of this magnitude in this case. According to the Haaretz report, the Health Ministry provided an official document depicting direct involvement in this case.
For its part, the Health Ministry emphasized that the report that was leaked to the media is a draft version and not a final document, according to the JPost.
The Health Ministry added that the final and unredacted report was delayed in coming out due to the ministry's focus on methods to battle the spread of Covid-19 as well as those who left the ministry but who were involved in composing the report, as was reported by the JPost.
The JPost reported that Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash have issued a directive for a full review and examination of the report so it can be fully published without delay.
This is not the first time that the matter of the Yemenite Children's Affair has been addressed. The JPost reported that after state inquiries were conducted in 1967, 1988 and 1995, the Israeli government concluded that illegal adoptions did not take place and that no nefarious plot to remove these babies from their parents existed. Based on the evidence they collected, they also concluded that children actually died as was told to their parents, however, some of the children were victims of bureaucratic abuse. Others were deemed to have expired due to gross medical negligence and it was learned that children were being buried prior to their parents being informed of their demise.
In 2001 another state inquiry revealed that it was possible that social workers may have put some children up for adoption, yet there was no evidence suggesting that these adoptions were part of a national conspiracy, as was reported by the JPost.
The establishment of the Knesset Special Committee on the Affair of the Disappearance of Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan Children happened in 2016 at the behest of then-Likud MK Nurit Koren, as was reported by the JPost. The formation of this committee attracted increased public awareness.
A proposal was made in February of this year by the Israeli government to put this issue to bed by offering a compensatory one-time payment to the families of these children for the suffering they endured. The plan was dependent on the recipient families not making any further monetary claims, as was reported by the JPost.
Opposition to this financial arrangement was voiced by the Union Sefaradi Mundial, a Jerusalem-based NGO devoted to the legacy of Sephardi Jews, as was reported by the JPost.
"Compensation by itself is not enough. The government must accept responsibility," the NGO said at the time. "The State of Israel has to own up to]these events of children who went missing."