How a Group of Holocaust Survivors Defied the British Navy to Sail from Italy to the Land of Israel

Jan. 25 2021

As World War II came to an end, Jews who had lived through the camps and ghettos returned to their former homes in Eastern Europe to discover intense, and sometimes violent, hostility from their erstwhile neighbors, not to mention the encroachment of Stalinist tyranny. They thus left in droves for areas under control of the Western Allies, whence many hoped to immigrate to Palestine. But they soon discovered that the United Kingdom had slammed the doors to their homeland shut. Some 70,000 Jews thus made their way over the Alps to Italy, where a Zionist underground was working to secure their passage to the Land of Israel. In her recent book, The People on the Beach, Rosie Whitehouse tells this story, focusing on 1,300 young Jews who crammed onto the Josiah Wedgewood, a Canadian corvette, in 1946. She discusses her book in an interview with Rob Attar. (Audio, 44 minutes.)

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Read more at History Extra

More about: Aliyah, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, United Kingdom, Zionism

Is the Attempt on Salman Rushdie’s Life Part of a Broader Iranian Strategy?

Aug. 18 2022

While there is not yet any definitive evidence that Hadi Matar, the man who repeatedly stabbed the novelist Salman Rushdie at a public talk last week, was acting on direct orders from Iranian authorities, he has made clear that he was inspired by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s call for Rushdie’s murder, and his social-media accounts express admiration for the Islamic Republic. The attack also follows on the heels of other Iranian attempts on the lives of Americans, including the dissident activist Masih Alinejad, the former national security advisor John Bolton, and the former secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was held hostage by the mullahs for over two years, sees a deliberate effort at play:

It is no coincidence this flurry of Iranian activity comes at a crucial moment for the hitherto-moribund [nuclear] negotiations. Iranian hardliners have long opposed reviving the 2015 deal, and the Iranians have made a series of unrealistic and seemingly ever-shifting demands which has led many to conclude that they are not negotiating in good faith. Among these is requiring the U.S. to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in its entirety from the State Department’s list of terror organizations.

The Biden administration and its European partners’ willingness to make concessions are viewed in Tehran as signals of weakness. The lack of a firm response in the shocking attack on Salman Rushdie will similarly indicate to Tehran that there is little to be lost and much to be gained in pursuing dissidents like Alinejad or so-called blasphemers like Sir Salman on U.S. soil.

If we don’t stand up for our values when under attack we can hardly blame our adversaries for assuming that we have none. Likewise, if we don’t erect and maintain firm red lines in negotiations our adversaries will perhaps also assume that we have none.

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Read more at iNews

More about: Iran, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy