The Little-Known Tale of the Jews Who Tunneled Out of a Ghetto to Fight against the Nazis

On September 26, 1943—three days before Rosh Hashanah—a group of 232 Jews used a tunnel they had built themselves to sneak out of a Nazi ghetto to the comparative safety of the nearby forests. The escape from the Polish town of Nowogródek (known as Navaredok in Yiddish and currently in Belarus) was organized by the Bielski brothers, a team of Jewish partisan leaders whose exploits were made famous by the film Defiance. Yehuda Geberer tells this remarkable story, and places it in the context of other Jewish rescue efforts during the Holocaust. (Audio, 43 minutes.)

Read more at Jewish History Soundbites

More about: East European Jewry, Holocaust, Holocaust rescue, Resistance


Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria