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Indyk Opposes Ahmadinejad-Hitler Parallels Israel Faxx News Services

A former U.S. ambassador to Israel said comparisons of the Iranian president to Hitler are inappropriate. Israel Radio on Thursday quoted Martin Indyk as saying that, while Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denials and calls for the Jewish state to be eliminated were reprehensible, the fact that 25,000 Jews live largely unharmed in Iran means Nazi parallels are inappropriate.

Israeli General Fired After Criticizing Handling of Lebanese Conflict

By VOA News

Israel has fired a top general after he criticized the military's handling of the conflict in Lebanon and called for the resignation of the army chief and prime minister. Army Chief Dan Halutz said the general made political statements that were not appropriate for a member of the military.

General Yiftah Ron Tal told the media earlier this week that the conflict in Lebanon ended in a failure. He said because of that, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Halutz and other leaders should step down.

Ron Tal said a lack of preparedness led to Israel's failure to reach its objectives in its war with Hizbullah. That month-long conflict ended August 14 under a United Nations ceasefire resolution. Tal was a ground troops commander who was on leave ahead of his planned retirement.

Israel launched its offensive into Lebanon after Hizbullah abducted two Israeli soldiers in early July. It sent 10,000 troops into southern Lebanon to fight Hizbullah guerrillas before the truce ending the month-long war took hold.

Yad Vashem Wants Volunteers to Encourage Pages of Testimony Submissions

By Israel Faxx News Services

Yad Vashem wants volunteers who are willing to contact local institutions and individuals to grow the Shoah Victims Database whose principal documents are Pages of Testimony.

With the aid of promotional materials Yad Vashem has developed, volunteers will reach out to survivors and their families and assist them in registering the names of Jews who they know were murdered in the Shoah. This will be done through synagogues, Holocaust centers, Jewish Community Centers, Jewish student organizations, senior centers and social service agencies.

The Shoah Victims Names Database currently identifies about 3 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem now has an "International 11th Hour Campaign" to recover as many additional names of Holocaust victims as possible before the generation that best remembers them passes.

To volunteer send your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to with the subject heading "Names Volunteer."

`Come Home to Mother Russia'


The Russian government has embarked on a campaign to entice former citizens from Israel and elsewhere around the world to return home to the motherland.

Israel Radio reported Thursday that the move is intended to remedy a drop in the population growth in Russia. The country is slated to send migration officials to Israel to try to convince Russian immigrants to return "home."

Aaaargh, Jewish Pirates


In the seventies, the Israel navy's sometimes sang a Yiddish song about pirates. And true, there aren't any known Israeli pirates. However, it seems that, further back in history, the field is not devoid of Jews, some even with a kosher background.

A yet-unnamed book by Ed Kritzler, who has researched pirates for more than four decades, tells of Jewish pirates in the Caribbean. The book, to be published in 2007, contains juicy facts of Jews more reminiscent of Treasure Island's Long John Silver than the Bible's Abraham.

"The Jewish pirates were Sephardic. Once they were kicked out of Spain (in 1492), the more adventurous Jews went to the New World," said Kritzler.

The phenomenon of Jewish piracy begins quite a bit earlier. In the time of the Second Temple (63 BCE), Jewish historian Flavius Josephus records that Hyrcanus accused Aristobulus, his brother and leader of the Hashmonaim, of "acts of piracy at sea."

A more famous Jewish pirate – and one researched by Kritzler - was Jean Lafitte, aka, the Corsair or the Buccaneer. His family fled from Spain for France in 1765 after his maternal grandfather was put to death for Judaism.

Along with his "crew of a thousand men." Lafitte sometimes receives credit for helping free Louisiana from the British in the war of 1812, with his nautical raids along the Gulf of Mexico.

In his journals, Lafitte describes childhood in the home of his Jewish grandmother, who was full of stories about the family's escape from the Inquisition. Raised in a kosher Jewish house, Lafitte later married Christiana Levine, from a Jewish family in Denmark.

These facts were forgotten in Hollywood's 1958 film "The Buccaneer," starring Yul Brynner as Lafitte. All mention of the pirate's Jewish heritage was stripped away.

A pirate, who maintained his Jewish heritage, even when transferred to print, was Rabbi Samuel Pallache, a leader of the Moroccan Jewish community and a personal friend of the Dutch crown prince. In Holland's name, Pallache raided Spanish cargoes and was rewarded with a court funeral upon his death.

In his book 'Parhia among pirates', author Dan Zalaka enumerates the stories of Pallache, who, in his life, combined his exotic childhood in Morocco, the atmosphere of the Dutch court, and daring feats of piracy. Kritzler also unravels tales of Moses Cohen Henriques, who helped plan one of history's largest heists against Spain. In 1628, Henriques set sail with Admiral Piet Hein of the Dutch West India Co.

Together, the two boarded Spanish ships off Cuba and seized staggering amounts of gold and silver from shipments bound for the New World. Henriques later set up "trade" on his own, off the coast of Brazil.

Kritzler's research proves that there were many more Jewish pirates than was previously believed. However, he told the Los Angeles-based 'Jewish Journal', determining the exact number of Jewish pirates is difficult because many of them traveled as Conversos (converts to Christianity) and practiced their Judaism in secret.

Although many pirates disguised their Judaism, many Jews did not disguise their piracy. In many Jewish graveyards in the Caribbean, graves are decorated with skull-and-crossbones engravings. Yaakov Mashiach, for example, buried in Barbados, left no mention of his history other than a testament to his audacious marine activities. His grave, as well as his wife's, bears a skull, crossbones, and an hourglass.

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