Tag: Israel

How Yad Vashem computerized names of victims

Faced with a non-negotiable deadline of March 31, 1999, an army of some 1,200 data entry clerks, software technicians, Holocaust scholars and other specialists worked at a feverish pitch through late February and March to computerize the names of three million or more Holocaust victims from a collection of documents at the Yad Vashem Holocaust…

The Falsified Passports Affair: a classical dialogue

Note: this piece was written in response to the so-called “falsified passports affair” of 1997, when Israel was lambasted for falsifying Canadian passports as a means of assisting in its war on Muslim fundamentalist terror. * * * HORATIO: I am much disturbed and aggrieved, Plutonius, at the extent of the trickery and deception practised…

Moses Montefiore, a man of his people

His name was Moses; he was a leader of his people; he spent much time in Egypt and the desert; he wandered incessantly; he is associated with a fiery mountain and the holiday of Passover; and his life lasted longer than a century. These traits describe the biblical Moses, of course, but they also refer…

Intrigue and history at American Colony Hotel

A few paces over the line between east and west, the American Colony is reputedly the finest hotel in Arab East Jerusalem, and no less steeped in legend and lore than its more famous counterpart, the King David Hotel, in the western, more prosperous section of the city. Part of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux…

Good ship Paducah smuggled Jews to Palestine

A recent ceremony at the U.S. Holocaust Museum paid tribute to the captain and crew of the Paducah, an aging American gunship that was sold as surplus after WWII and retrofitted to smuggle Holocaust survivors through the British blockade to Palestine in 1947. The captain of the Paducah was Rudolph Patzert, a 35-year-old New York…

Touring Israel’s Upper Galilee

Israel’s Upper Galilee is famed for many things, including natural beauty, archaeological ruins, and being the source of the Jordan River. Visitors could easily spend much time in this region, touring parks, ancient sites, museums and towns like Kiryat Shmona and the fascinating mystical jewel known as Safed. The towering forests and rippling waterways of…

New museum houses the Jesus Boat

Yuval Lufan has the craggy face and rough hands of a fisherman who goes out onto the Sea of Galilee nightly with lanterns that attract the fish into his nets. Born on the shores of the lake about 50 years ago, he says he has dreamed since he was a boy of finding a significant…

Travel: Bird-watching in Eilat, Israel

Dr. Reuven Yosef, one of Israel’s best-known ornithologists, has won a $25,000 (US) enterprise award from the Rolex Watch Company for transforming a garbage dump into a bird sanctuary outside the burgeoning tourist resort of Eilat on Israel’s 11-km-long strip of Red Sea coast. Born in India, Yosef came to Israel at the age of…

Descent into history: the Western Wall tunnels

Standing in an underground chamber boasting Roman pillars and cobblestones from Herodian times, the group of about 40 tourists in Jerusalem’s Western Wall tunnel, including myself, listened as the guide explained that we had reached the end of the tour and had to retrace our steps back some 450 meters to the entrance. This was…