Restoring Venice’s Jewish Ghetto

A foundation created by the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg has begun a project to restore Venice’s former ghetto in order to preserve the memory of its once-great Jewish community. Livia Albeck-Ripka writes:

The rehabilitation of the Venice ghetto is long overdue. In 1516 the Serenissima Repubblica confined its Jews to the first ghetto in the world. Gated into a small, polluted island on the periphery of the city, the community was locked up at midnight by Christian guards whom they had to pay upon entering the ghetto; they were discharged at dawn. But while the ghetto was created as an act of segregation, over time it became a refuge in which Jewish culture and identity thrived. Both imprisoned and united by the canals of Venice, Jews found—despite the intentions of the government—a space in which to wholly express themselves, forging a community that would go on to influence the city, and Europe as a whole.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Ghetto, Italian Jewry, Venice

As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank