German Construction Workers Discover the Remains of a Destroyed Synagogue

In June, construction workers making improvements to a dam in the Isar River—which flows through the city of Munich in southeastern Germany—discovered remains of the city’s synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis. Paul Kirby writes:

They uncovered columns from the synagogue and a stone tablet showing some of the Ten Commandments. . . . There had been no sign of the building since it was torn down in June 1938, after Hitler demanded its removal as an “eyesore.” Five months later, Jews, synagogues and Jewish-run businesses were attacked across Nazi Germany in the deadly November pogrom widely known as Kristallnacht.

Rubble from the historic building is thought to have been submerged in the Isar River since it was used to rebuild a weir eleven years after World War II. The stone tablet originally came from above the ark (containing the Torah) on the eastern wall of the synagogue, which was one of Munich’s most famous pre-war landmarks. The old site is now covered by a Karstadt department store.

The Leonhard Moll building company that destroyed the synagogue had apparently stored the rubble on its site west of Munich until 1956. Some 150 tons were then dumped in the river to renovate the big Grosshesseloher weir, mainly from the synagogue but also from buildings bombed during the war.

Read more at BBC

More about: Archaeology, German Jewry, Holocaust, Synagogues

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion