Two weeks ago, the Vilnius (Vilna) city council voted to change the name of a street named for a Nazi collaborator and committed anti-Semite who was long considered a hero for fighting the Soviets during World War II. In April, a decision was made to take down a plaque elsewhere in the city honoring a similar figure. The Lithuanian parliament also voted to make 2020 the “Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania,” to honor the 300th centennial of the birth of Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman—the famous talmudic genius who lived in what is now the country’s capital city. But, writes Raphael Ahren, the small former Soviet state’s reckoning with history remains complicated:
Lithuania Struggles to Come to Terms with Its Checkered Jewish Past
Should Israel Worry about the Sale of Advanced Aircraft to the UAE?
On Tuesday, the Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz came to Washington and met with his American counterpart Mark Esper to discuss the possibility that the U.S. will sell its top-of-the-line F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates. Despite the breakthrough in relations between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi, many Israelis fear that selling the aircraft to the UAE would erode the Jewish state’s qualitive military edge over its neighbors—which the U.S. is required to by an act of Congress to uphold. Shimon Arad explains these concerns: