Lithuania Struggles to Come to Terms with Its Checkered Jewish Past

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:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Holocaust, Lithuania, Synagogues, Vilna Gaon

 

The Iraqi Elections Are Bad News for Iran

Oct. 19 2021

Last week, Iraq held its fifth national election since the U.S. deposed Saddam Hussein in 2003. The Islamic Republic has spent the past two decades expanding its influence in the country, setting up an interlocking network of proxy militias and political parties, and trying to turn its neighbor into another Lebanon. But the recent voting has impeded those efforts, writes Amir Taheri; and there is other good news as well:

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Arab democracy, Iran, Iraq