Audrey Hepburn, Righteous Gentile

Born in 1929 to an aristocratic Dutch mother and an English father, the famed actress Audrey Hepburn spent her childhood in Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. She was in the last of these when World War II began, and despite her young age, eventually became involved with the anti-Nazi resistance, as Rich Tenorio recounts:

[Hepburn’s] mother, the Baroness Ella van Heemstra, met Hitler in the 1930s and wrote admiringly about him in British fascist publications—but changed her mind during the brutal Nazi occupation of the Netherlands from 1940 to 1945. By contrast, the continuing Nazi sympathies of van Heemstra’s ex-husband—Hepburn’s father Joseph Ruston—kept him jailed [in Britain] for the duration of the war. . . .

The baroness began to support the Dutch resistance after the Nazis executed Hepburn’s beloved uncle, Otto Ernst Gelder [in 1942]. Volunteering for the resistance, [Hepburn] aided Jews in hiding, raising funds through dancing to keep them safe. [At her family’s urging, she also refused] an order to join a Nazi artists’ committee, ending her burgeoning dance career, which had made her [the city of] Arnhem’s most famous ballerina by 1944. . . . Hepburn also assisted a remarkable doctor, Hendrik Visser ’t Hooft, who helped shelter hundreds of Jews in the town of Velp throughout the war. . . .

Invited in 1958 to play the role of the most famous Dutch Holocaust victim in the film version of The Diary of Anne Frank, Hepburn found the subject too close to home and turned it down. . . Years after becoming a household name, [however], she took part in public readings of the play.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Hollywood, Holocaust, Netherlands, Righteous Among the Nations

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security