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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Amedeo Modigliani v. Wout Schram

2 times :

Amedeo Modigliani (1917)

To Sell

Wout Schram (Dutch Magic Realism 1929)

Te koop uit eigen verzameling.


In the Holocaust, the majority of victims were annihilated through a process of industrialized mass murder, making it often difficult to ascribe personal responsibility to an individual murderer.

Given the fact that most of the victims were identified, robbed of their possessions, concentrated and deported from their homes to distant death camps - where they were annihilated by a complex system especially established to facilitate their exploitation and extermination - responsibility for the murders is diffuse and shared by many participants.

Even in the cases of those shot dead by the Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units and their local helpers in Eastern Europe, it is usually impossible to determine who murdered specific victims.

The incredible difficulty of determining direct accountability for the murder of individuals helps explain the paucity of efforts by survivors and the members of their families to track down the killers who murdered their loved ones during the Shoah. In fact, such cases have been extremely rare (the ultimately successful efforts of German journalist Peter Finkelgruen to bring his grandfather's murderer Anton Mallot to justice being a notable exception). As time goes by and the difficulties mount, such efforts become even less likely to succeed.

UNDER THESE circumstances, the story of how Israeli businessman Ronny (Aharon) Lerner was able this past summer to track down one of the persons who murdered his grandmother and five of her children, as well as two other young Jews, is truly remarkable.

Lerner was able to confirm that, on the night of October 30, 1943, five Poles - Jan Sadowski, Waclaw Stelmoszuk, Franciszek Uzdowski, Jozef Radczuk and Deniek Bozyk - murdered his 45-year-old grandmother Gitel Lerner and her daughters Miriam, 22, and Chana, 20; and her sons David, 17, Zvi-Herschel, 15, and Chaim, 13, as well as two young Jews named Zefryn and Pomerantz on the farm of Uzdowski in the village of Przegaliny near the town of Komarowka in the vicinity of the city of Lublin.

Before killing the Lerners, the murderers tortured them and raped the two daughters.

As the background to these murders, it is important to understand the plight of Polish Jews attempting to hide in those days.

The Lerner family, who had been living in Komarowka, where they owned a bakery before the Shoah, had been approached in the summer of 1942 by Jan Sadowski, who offered to build them a hideaway in the nearby village at their expense, in return for the cost of the hiding place and a hefty monthly sum for rent and maintenance.

Given the rapidly deteriorating situation in Poland, the Lerners agreed, and in April 1943, after the rest of the family had been incarcerated in the Miedzyrzecu Ghetto and Chana and three of her brothers had escaped from a deportation train to Majdanek, the mother, Miriam and the four escapees moved to the hideaway prepared by Sadowski along with Zefryn and Pomerantz, who had been in the same ghetto.

The Lerners kept their part of the bargain, but the opportunity to rob them of their valuables apparently motivated Sadowski and his accomplices to murder them six months later. Despite near-heroic efforts by Ronny Lerner's father, Yoseph, who survived as a non-Jew in Warsaw, verified the identities of the killers and collected incriminating testimony shortly after the end of the war to bring them to justice, only one of the murderers was prosecuted and punished.

THUS, SEVERAL months ago, posing as an American researcher, Lerner came face to face with Radczuk, the only perpetrator still alive, who actually admitted his role on film.

Lerner submitted the evidence in his possession to the Polish Institute of National Memory (IPN), which is responsible, among many things, for the prosecution of World War II crimes, and an official investigation has been initiated.

But the task of prosecuting local murderers of Jews is not an easy one in contemporary Poland. Although the IPN has opened hundreds of investigations of Holocaust crimes, only one local Nazi collaborator has been convicted and punished since the establishment of the Polish prosecution agency.

And in fact, the extradition pursued by the IPN in recent years the only one was of Bogdan Koziy, a Ukrainian policeman who murdered Jews in Eastern Galicia.

This reluctance to face the complicity of numerous individual Poles in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust is still a powerful sentiment in contemporary Polish society. It was clearly reflected in the responses of leading public figures to the launching in Poland, less than three years ago, of the Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance" project, which offers financial rewards for information facilitating the prosecution and punishment of Holocaust perpetrators.

"We are a nation of victims, not perpetrators," was a popular refrain, while a former foreign minister whose father was murdered in Auschwitz reacted with "disgust and anxiety," and the editor of a prominent daily wrote of the dangers of the effort.

GIVEN RADCZUK'S advanced age - 92 - Ronny Lerner is facing a daunting task. We will try our best to help him, but our success is not guaranteed. Yet Lerner's effort, which has identified and exposed a heartless Holocaust perpetrator many years after he committed his crimes, is nonetheless of great value, and a reminder that the annihilation of European Jewry was not a natural disaster, but a man-made catastrophe.

The writer is Israel director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Centraal Station Antwerpen

Compromised moral position.

-I don't think one can write from a compromised moral position," remarked the German writer WG Sebald, who has died, aged 57, in a car crash in East Anglia.

-That scruple put him at odds with much of (his?) contemporary writing.

-Jacques Austerlitz recovers memories in his 50s of having arrived in Britain from Prague on the Kindertransport.
My teacher at my Wirijk-period was also a exKindertransport-child, then.

-Could consider myself a "second generation".

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

dichter in een notendop

In de laatste fase van zijn dichterschap stelde hij dat hij alleen nog maar gedichtjes maakte voor zijn plezier, 'zoals een duivemelker duiven houdt'. Poëzie, zo benadrukte hij, had niks te vertellen, behalve de transcendentie van het woord. Poëzie had niks te maken met de intentie van de dichter, hoe nobel ook, of de werkelijkheid om de dichter heen. In plaats van een mededeling over de wereld of een expressie van gevoel, was het louter een spel van woorden en klanken. Kort gezegd: 'Poëzie = woordkunst. Poëzie is niet: gedachte, geest, fraaie zinnen, is noch doctoraal, noch dada. Zij is eenvoudig een in het metafysiese geankerde spel met woorden.'

Zelfbiografie. Die begint met: 'Ik ben geboren. Dit moet worden aangenomen, alhoewel een absoluut-objektief bewijs niet is voort te brengen. Aksioom in het domein van de subjektieve ervaring. Objektief is het slechts gissen.' Nog geen dertig regels later rondt hij af met: 'Drie boeken uitgegeven'. Misschien is ook dit slechts massahipnose. Wie kan bewijzen dat hij deze boeken heeft gelezen, laat staan: begrepen. God beware: begrepen. Ik heb ze zelf niet begrepen.'

for רייזל


Slaap als een reus
slaap als een roos
slaap als een reus van een roos
doe de deur dicht van de doos
Ik slaap

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Aan een kindeke

Ik had zo geern uw wiegeken
Met blommekens getooid;
Zo geren om uw hoofdeken
Wat verzekens gestrooid;
Maar somber zijn mijn bloemen, kind,
en triestig zingt mijn lied.
Gij in uw sneeuwen beddeken,
ge kent nog geen verdriet.

Wat zou daar om uw koppeken,
wat kàn daar anders zijn
Dan woordjes van uw moederken
En strikskens van satijn?
Maar toch, 't en zegt geen windeken,
hoe 't leven u zal gaan;
Gij zijt zo'n klein bros droppelken
Op rode roze-blaân.

Ontluiken zal uw herteken
En lieven, zoals ik;
En lieven in een lachje, kind,
en lieven in een snik
O! Mocht alleen om zieleschoon
Dat hertje bloeiend zijn
En mocht uw zon, o kindeken,
niet sterven als de mijn.

Wees welkom in het huizeken,
waar leed in liefde smelt;
Wees welkom, madelieveken,
in 't dorre distelveld.
Och, alles wordt weer goed door u:
De doornen worden zacht,
wanneer een kindermondeken
Doorheen de distels lacht.

Uit de bundel: vondelingskens

Monday, May 22, 2006






Oh... Millau

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Baziel komt terug van een bezoek aan het heilig land. Om de aandacht van z'n koffer af te leiden vertelt hij aan de douanebeambte over de wonderen die hij daar heeft beleefd. De douane zoekt echter onverstoord verder en vindt 10 flessen zonder etiket erop. Baziel zegt: "Dat is heilig woater ut de Jordaan, tegen dat er een van de kienders ziek wordt". De beambte schroeft een van de flessen open, ruikt, neemt een slok, en zegt: "Dat is pure vodka!" "Ewel, merci" antwoordt Baziel "Ge ziet het nu zelve, were zo'n mirakel ut 't heilig lant!"
Baziel zit al vele maanden zonder werk, zodat hij besluit de eerste clochard van Knokke-Heist te worden. Hij installeert zich in het Zoute ergens op een voetpad waar veel passage is. Het gaat goed, want elke dag krijgt hij van dezelfde middenstander 1.000 frank op voorwaarde dat hij een eindje verderop gaat zitten. Dit gebeurt enkele jaren tot Baziel plots van dezelfde handelaar slechts 700 frank krijgt. Baziel besloot echter niks te zeggen. Nog een jaar later krijgt Baziel plots maar 500 frank meer en nu wil hij toch wel eens weten hoe dit komt. De handelaar zegt aan Baziel: "Ja, het leven wordt alsmaar duurder en vorig jaar is mijn oudste zoon naar de universiteit gegaan en dat kost veel geld. Vandaar dat ik je dan maar 700 frank gaf. Nu is ook mijn oudste dochter naar de universiteit gegaan en dat kost dus weer wat meer." Baziel knikt en vraagt tenslotte: "Oevele kienders ejje gie misschien?" "Ah" glimlacht de handelaar: "Vier schatten van kinderen." Baziel schrikt en zegt: "Je go ze toch nie allemolle ip mien kosten loaten studeren hé!?"


Mr. Olmert, Don't Come Back Without Pollard
by Yosef MendelevitchMay 19, 2006

To the honorable Prime Minister Ehud Olmert,

In your upcoming meeting, Mr. Olmert, you and President George Bush will be discussing many issues which will affect the fate of the People of Israel. We, the citizens of the State of Israel, anxiously await your return with mixed feelings. On only one issue are we all united: we all expect you to bring Jonathan Pollard home.

Imagine the joy it will bring to the spirit of all Israel to see you alight from the plane hand-in-hand with Jonathan. What a joyful relief from the sin that hangs over all of our heads! All of the nation is guilty for abandoning this hero of Israel, who sacrificed himself for our welfare and continued existence as a nation and state. Even though this sin hangs over all of our heads, it is first and foremost the sin of the leadership of Israel, and in this case, very personally yours.

As a Prisoner of Zion who spent 11 years in prison, I can't even imagine half of the anguish that Jonathan Pollard is suffering after 21 years in prison. He was arrested when the State of Israel was 38 years old. I, too, was the same age at the time, and so it seems to me, were you. Think about it. Now you and I are both approaching the age of 60 - and Pollard is still there, in prison, buried alive. Can you imagine?

It may be that you were not directly responsible for the Israeli government's original betrayal and abandonment of her agent to life in prison. But from this day on, from the moment that you officially became the prime minister of Israel, you now share in this overwhelming responsibility. What is more, one of your first actions was to appoint Rafi Eitan to be a minister in your government. You extended your hand and welcomed Eitan, the man who ran Pollard and then threw him to the dogs. Now, extend your hand to Jonathan Pollard!

Mr. Olmert, as you head to Washington, you are taking with you secret information about the development of ballistic weapons of war in Iran for use in Iraq. The reliability of the information you will be bringing, and the details of Iraq's war capabilities, may help the United States to fight more effectively in Iraq to save the world from the threat of nuclear war. Consequently, you know just how valuable this secret information is. Thus, you may even begin to appreciate the great sacrifice that Jonathan Pollard made in passing this kind of information to save the State of Israel from the threat of destruction. Israel is obliged to do everything possible to secure his release from prison.

I call upon you, Mr. Olmert, to summon up all of your courage. You must, I believe, speak plainly with President Bush and tell him: 'Mr. President, the Nation of Israel demands the release of Jonathan Pollard.'

I beseech you, in the name of all Prisoners of Zion, with a cry from the heart choking my throat, and tears streaming down my eyes: Free Jonathan Pollard Now!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Antwerpen (click!)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Clip Madrid.

The Madrid bombings in the subterranean trains systems are captured here in all their horror. This brief clip of the bombings in the heart of Spain are a likely preview of the upcoming wave of global terrorism that is heading towards Israel, Europe, and the West. The confused and divided position of the West vis-a-vis the Iraqi war and the near-nuclear status of Iran is combining with the Chamberlain-like policies of Israel to create an unprecedented opportunity for the rising wave of jihadist terrorist culture. There is no question that we are in the quiet before an upcoming tsunami of global terrorism in Western capitals willing to confront terrorist-supporting regimes. Should America attack Iran militarily (as is our long-held view at israelreporter.com), we will witness an unprecedented round of global terrorism, as Iran is a prime sponsor for numerous global terrorist networks, including Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. If the West does not attack Iran which will result in the nuclearization of the Iranian terrorist regime, the balance of world power will shift dramatically and the end of American domination of Middle Eastern affairs will be clearly signaled. The impact on Israel’s national security will be catastrophic in either scenario, although a destroyed Iran is literally a “life-and-death” matter for the small geographic footprint of the dwindling and confused Jewish state.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Went back to school.

Oh Israel. - by Joseph Farah


WASHINGTON – I have a reputation as one of Israel's staunchest supporters.

That reputation is due to several factors:

As an American journalist of Arabic heritage, I have done my best over the last 20 years to shatter the myths surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict – misperceptions based largely on effective lies, purposeful distortions and relentless propaganda efforts by Arab and Muslim regimes and their apologists among haters of America and Israel throughout the world.

As a freedom-loving Christian American journalist who had the opportunity to put my own boots on the ground in the Middle East, it is obvious that the Arab and Muslim world is dominated by tyranny, fascism and anti-Semitism – hardly a world we should want to see expanded.

As a journalist, I found that Israel was the only country in the Middle East that respected the free press. This again became obvious recently to us at WND when our own Jerusalem bureau chief, Aaron Klein, was prevented from traveling to Syria because he is Jewish.

The Jews, a people who have survived the deaths of many empires that tried to destroy them – including but not limited to the Egyptians, Romans, Babylonians, Persians – have only one homeland, Israel, continuously occupied by them for 4,000 years and never a nation-state belonging to any others.

Yet, despite all this, I am through defending Israel – at least the regime currently in power in Jerusalem, this useless coalition seemingly hell-bent on committing national suicide.

Next week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a man I once considered, like his predecessor, Ariel Sharon, a reasonable, rational, level-headed defender of his country, is set to visit Washington with his hand out.

He is asking for an initial commitment of up to $10 billion in direct U.S. aid to implement his plan for national retreat, appeasement of the global jihad and a new sellout of more than 200,000 Israeli civilians who have made their homes in historically Jewish lands in Judea and Samaria at the behest and recommendation of earlier Israeli governments.

Olmert is coming here to seek administration and congressional support for a new round of "disengagement" – this time from 90-95 percent of what we often call "the West Bank" and even including large sections of the city of Jerusalem, once regarded as the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

He does this fully knowing that last summer's evacuation of the Gaza Strip has been an unmitigated disaster for the Jewish people, Western Civilization and freedom in general, as the terrorists from Hamas – kissing cousins of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida and Iran's Hezbollah organization – now control the territory and more than ever threaten the lives of Israeli citizens.

He does this fully knowing that Hamas is preparing to establish a Taliban-like state through the Palestinian Authority – including the new territories ethnically cleansed of Jews.

He does this fully knowing that these newly abandoned lands will be, like Gaza, used as terrorist staging grounds and forward operating bases that will threaten not only Israel but neighboring Jordan and Lebanon as well and, eventually, liberated Iraq.

So I'm through making excuses for Israel. I'm through trying to understand the incomprehensible moves of a self-flagellating nation. I'm through trying to point out the moral rightness of a state and a people who themselves fail to discern right from wrong.

Like 2,000 years ago, I look at Jerusalem today and I weep.

I know I speak for many Jews and Christians throughout the world who see Israel's surrender as a cowardly betrayal, a sign that the Jewish state puts more faith in Washington and "international diplomacy" than in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Israel has made the mistake many times throughout history of turning away from their God. Israel has made the mistake many times throughout history of putting faith in kings and men over the promises of Heaven. Israel has made the mistake many times throughout history of compromise with its ruthless enemies who seek not only the destruction of the Jews but the oppression of their own people.

Enough of "land for peace." It has never worked – not in Israel's history, nor in any other nation's history. Enough of retreat. Enough of unilateral withdrawals. Enough of staged surrender. Enough of the appeasement with evil. Enough of the madness.

Compromise with evil is evil. And that's what Israel is doing. As for me and my house, I will not be a part of it. I will continue to serve the Lord and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

One thing is for certain. That peace will not come under the leadership of men like Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon. If the Israeli people want to disengage, it should be from so-called "leaders" like this – "leaders" in the image, likeness and tradition of Neville Chamberlain.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Scoop Scoop Scoop

In a message dated 4/10/2006 7:40:14 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, it
was reported by the networks that:

After having dug to a depth of 1,000 meters last year, French scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1,000 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors had a telephone network all those centuries ago.

Not to be outdone by the French, English scientists dug to a depth of 2,000 meters and shortly after headlines in the U. K. newspapers read: "English archaeologists have found traces of 2,000-year-old fiber-optic cable and have concluded that their ancestors had an advanced high-Tech digital communications network a thousand years earlier than the French."

One week later, Israeli Newspapers reported the following: " After digging as deep as 5,000 meters in a Jerusalem marketplace,
scientists had found absolutely nothing. They, therefore, concluded that, 5,000 years ago, Jews were already using wireless technology."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Without Judaism?

By Natan Sharansky

A.B. Yehoshua's remarks at the recent conference of the American Jewish Committee predictably kicked up a storm on both sides of the ocean. In Israel people charged that it is not true that Israelis are indifferent to the fate of Diaspora Jewry, and in the United States they said that were it not for their continuous aid and staunch support on behalf of Israel, the country would not have survived. On both sides, again and as always, this was the usual paternalistic reaction. We know what is good for you, we help you. Without us you will not survive.

But Yehoshua's remarks about the relations between Israel and the Diaspora, as infuriating as they may be, disturb me less than the way he described his own identity: My identity is Israeli, he said. The Jewish religion does not play a role in my life; it is the territory and the language that build my identity.

This definition of identity grants a bill of divorcement to the Jewish people, to the Jewish heritage, to 3,000 years of culture, creativity, prayer, rituals, tradition and everything that is subsumed in the term Judaism, and shows a preference for the Israeli "nation," which "arose from the sea" 100 years ago. For Yehoshua - and many, many others in Israel - the only thing that is important, existential and relevant from the Jewish perspective is what happens here, in Israel; everything outside Israel is obsolete and its fate is to be lost. In making this claim, Yehoshua undermines and weakens the justification for the State of Israel.

The internal debate among us here on the question of the country's borders, and the discussion of the correct way to achieve peace in our region, derive entirely from the assumption that the State of Israel has a right to exist - morally, legally and historically. This assumption faces constant questioning. The Hamas people try to undermine it, as do many other leaders in the Palestinian and Arab world. And many intellectuals in the Western world, who have adopted the Arab narrative that sees in us an anachronistic remnant of old colonialism, also try to undermine this assumption. Facing these debilitating forces is the belief held by many others in the world in the Jewish people's right to a national state in its historical homeland. We can win the struggle between these two approaches only if we ourselves, those of us who live in Zion, believe this and feel this way.

Ultra-Orthodox disciples of the Gaon from Vilna who immigrated to the Land of Israel in the 18th century, Zionist socialists at the end of the 19th century, and assimilated Jews from Soviet Russia who fought for their right to immigrate at the end of the 20th century - they had nothing in common with regard to their perception of the Jewish tradition. However, all of them saw themselves as partners in the realization of the same ancient dream, the ancient Jewish prayer to return to the Land of Israel. All of them saw themselves as part of a special people and of the unique historical process of the return to Zion. This belief was the source of their strength and the only guarantee of their success.

There is no Zionism without Judaism and there never has been. Just as the Israeli people has never had a right to the Land of Israel. Only the Jewish people. It was the Jewish people that received the Balfour Declaration, and it was they who were granted by the United Nations the legal right to establish a state. It was the Jewish people that returned to its ancient homeland, for which it had prayed and longed for, for 2,000 years. For if we are talking about the Israeli "people" - how is the right of a "people" that has existed for about 100 years greater than or equal to that of the Palestinians, who have been living on their land for about 300 years? What really distinguishes it from other colonial projects that have vanished from the earth?

The discussion of our right to the land and the war between our narrative and theirs is not a purely philosophical discussion. At least not in the eyes of the Palestinian leaders. When the leaders of Hamas, like Yasser Arafat in his day, were or are prepared to consider recognition of the fact of Israel's existence, but not its right to existence, they are not playing word games. That is why Arafat reiterated over and over again his supposedly historical claims with regard to the absence of the connection between the Temple Mount and the Jewish people. It was clear to him that the historical connection that is anchored and based in Jewish tradition is the basis for the existence of the State of Israel, and without it, the state will disappear, just as it "appeared from the sea."

The difference between Israeli identity according to Yehoshua and Jewish identity is exactly the difference between the fact of existence and the right to exist. The difference is between a group of people that lives on a piece of land and speaks the Hebrew language, and the descendants of a people that is scattered throughout the world, who have returned to their historic homeland.

If, heaven forbid, we cut ourselves off from the chain that links us to the Jewish people, if we cut ourselves off from 3,000 years of Judaism, if we cut ourselves off from being the realization of 2,000 years of Jewish hope - for next year in Jerusalem - then we will lose the right to our existence. And in losing that right, we will be lost.

Perhaps the Jews of the Diaspora were insulted by Yehoshua's blunt remarks, but we, the Jews of the Land of Israel, we must rise up against them, for this is a matter of the very fact of our existence.

Chief of Staff.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon has broken his relative silence, decrying the entire notion of a Palestinian state and urging Israel to be strong rather than appease the global Jihad.

The longtime warrior drew a comparison between the events leading up to the Holocaust and the present, comparing Ehud Olmert to Neville Chamberlain. "We look back to what the West experienced before World War Two. There was denial of reality, denial of threat. The attitude was, 'Let's leave it to next year, to the next generation,' "Ya'alon said. "We don't need Chamberlains, we need Churchills. We are flooded with lies, manipulated by Al Qaeda, but, most prominently, by the Palestinians."

Ya'alon spoke at Manhattan's Lincoln Square Synagogue last Monday, registering harsh criticism of Israel's leadership for offering "illusions" to the Israeli people. Ya'alon was Chief of Staff up until just before the implementation of Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan, of which his criticism was well known. His tenure was not extended and he was replaced with the current COS, Dan Halutz.

The retired general criticized the notion of withdrawing from parts of Judea and Samaria, in addition to the building of the Partition Wall, which he believes is an illusion in terms of security. "The best defense is a good offense, not a fence," he said. "The best way to deal with terrorists is to arrest them or kill them in their beds. The IDF has intelligence capability to intercept terrorists. They use their civilians as human shields, knowing our sensitivities to killing civilians – but we do have the capability to intercept them in real time. Without dealing with the roots, we can cut down the weeds – to deal with the roots would be to force them to reform their education and culture. I am not sure we will succeed but we should be under no pressure to make any concessions until this change."

The former Chief of Staff says that not only did the Disengagement propel the Hamas terror group to a landslide victory in PA elections earlier this year, but “what we are doing is leaving a legacy for the next generation who will deal with Palestinians who believe that terrorism pays, that Israel cuts and runs under pressure,” Ya’alon explained. He said that at this point, when Kassam missiles are already falling regularly on Israeli towns, "we must stop getting used to these constant missile attacks as if they are rain. We can’t tolerate this missile threat from Gaza or continued terrorism…We must step up military actions in Gaza despite the problems of not being able to have laser-like accuracy against the terrorists there."

Ya'alon doesn't see negotiations as a reality any time in the future. "I do not see any prospect for peace and reconciliation on the Palestinian side," he said. "I needed no sophisticated intelligence to reach this conclusion – I only had to look at their textbooks, posters and so on. We should not be surprised but we ignored it. Without this kind of change, not just in Israel but the West, all Western powers will have to fight them. They believe they can defeat the West and Israel first. We need a wake-up call here and across the West. Under no circumstances should we surrender to terror. As long as they see our appeasement policy, they will continue."

Though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reaches similar conclusions with regard to the prospects of a negotiated peace deal, Ya'alon takes issue with the assumption that creating a Palestinian State is anything but dangerous for the Jewish state. "From the dawn of Zionism until this day, the source of all terrorist attacks has been the refusal of the Arab world to recognize Israel’s existence. Until this changes we will remain the target of violent terrorist activity. The ‘67 borders are neither a solution to rocket attacks, suicide bombs nor to more conventional forms of warfare," he said. "The two-state solution has failed and to my mind is now irrelevant. Even before the Hamas victory, a two-state solution was a mistaken fantasy - now it's even more irrelevant. The Palestinians knew exactly who Hamas was when they voted for them."

Ya'alon was optimistic, however, saying what Israel needs most is a change of outlook. "The front line is in our heads," he said, "because they challenge our values and culture." The man who is credited with pushing through the policy of targeting terrorists and killing them, no matter how unpopular next days headlines made the Jewish state, said he believed Israelis "must consolidate our Jewish Zionist narrative. Without believing in our case, there is no way to convince someone else," he said. "We need moral clarity and clear strategy – or else there is no way to deal with the problem and find a solution. Otherwise, there is no chance for one now over the horizon, meaning in my generation. Yet we prefer to be confused, to ignore reality. This is the case with Israel; this is the case with the West. Iran sees us withdrawing from Gaza, Hamas is elected, they see US trouble in Iraq and because they do not pay price for financing, supporting and encouraging terrorism, they continue.

"The war has become super-conventional. Syrian scud missiles, Iranian Shihab missiles, Iran pursuing nuclear capabilities – these are the threats today ... The deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians – we suffered more than 1000 fatalities in the last five years, more than 70% civilians because the other side believes that Israeli society is the weakest link in the Israeli security chain…Now it is more and more a religious conflict – from their side, not ours … but like in the past, Hamas says, again, no room for Israel, instead there must be a Palestinian Islamic state. They say what they mean and mean what they say…And Israel is only the first target of their planned Islamic empire."

ZOA's President Morton A. Klein said, following the lecture, that, "General Ya'alon brings a very sobering message, people were keen to hear his moral clarity and strategic wisdom that states clearly that the Oslo path of the past 13 years has been a terrible mistake. We will not begin succeed in seeking peace until we first win the war."

Quay by Moonlight.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Decades later, jew seeks family's killers.

It was a crime that unfolded on the sidelines of the Holocaust: Farmers in German-occupied Poland murdered six members of a well-to-do Jewish family for their possessions.

And there the story might have ended, swallowed up in the enormity of the Nazi genocide, had not an Israeli biotech company owner decided at age 57 to find out what happened to his grandmother, Gitl, and her five children who would have been his aunts and uncles had they lived.

As Rony Lerner would discover, the wounds are still raw more than 60 years later.

His search led him to a Polish village where he confronted a 92-year-old man thought to be the last surviving suspect.

"Apparently trying to reconcile, he opened his arms as if to hug me," Lerner recalled.

"I shoved him aside out of disgust and revulsion."

The story began in 1942 at the height of the Nazis' persecution of Jews in Poland, when the Lerners were forced into a ghetto. A Nazi officer shot Gitl's husband, her sister and one of her sons.

Another son, Yitzhak Lerner, was hiding in Warsaw, posing as a gentile. He persuaded Polish farmers in the eastern village of Przegaliny to save most of the family from the ghetto, apparently after bribing the Nazi authorities.

After World War II he submitted a complaint to Polish authorities in which he said the farmers had taken "a large payment" for hiding the family and then started pressuring Gitl Lerner to hand over her other belongings, knowing the family owned a bakery and sold sewing machines.

When the 45-year-old mother had nothing left to give, the complaint said, the farmers raped her two daughters, aged 22 and 20. Eventually, it said, they stabbed one of the daughters to death and shot the rest of the family as well as two unrelated boys who had come with them from the ghetto.

The murders were committed at a time when Poland's German occupiers were rapidly annihilating its 3.5 million Jews. Although Poles were not directly involved in the Nazi death machine, "The cases of murders of Jews by their Polish neighbors was quite widespread," said Jan Gross, an expert on Polish history at Princeton University who has written extensively on the subject.

"It was a unique phenomenon that was taking place in the countryside" and was particularly common in the Lublin district, where the Lerners' hometown of Komarowka Podlaska is located, Gross said in a telephone interview.

After the war there were several hundred court cases over the murder of Jews, but often the evidence was insufficient, he said.

On the other hand, he noted, there were many Poles who saved Jews, as evidenced by the large number honored as "Righteous Among the Gentiles" by Yad Vashem.

After the war, and after filing his complaint, Yitzhak Lerner immigrated to Palestine. In 1948 Israel won statehood and he had a son, Rony.

Like many children of Holocaust survivors, Rony Lerner didn't like dwelling on the family history and didn't ask his father many questions. His curiosity was only aroused after his father died three years ago and he visited Warsaw. There he discovered the complaint his father had filed. It contained villagers' testimony and named five suspects, of whom only one, Jozef Radczuk, turned out to still be alive.

Lerner hired investigators who posed as Polish historians to interview and film Radczuk and other villagers in Przegaliny, near the Lerners' hometown, and made a documentary, parts of which were shown on Israeli TV in April.

He said that in his presence, Radczuk told of being present at the rapes and murders on the property of a farmer named Franciszek Uzdowski.

In the film, Radczuk condemned the murders and showed the cameras where the bodies had been buried near a pig sty and then reinterred at the edge of the village cemetery.

When Radczuk was told that Rony Lerner was sitting next to him, Radczuk tried to hug him.

"Don't you do it," Lerner said in English, angry tears in his eyes. He pushed Radczuk's hand away. "You killed my grandmother and you killed five of my uncles and aunts."

Off-camera, things turned even nastier, with Lerner alleging that Radczuk had showed him and the investigators the second burial site and spoke of the "Jewish dogs" buried there.

Since Polish media reported the story in April, following its publication in Israel, Radczuk's family has refused to let him be interviewed. An Associated Press reporter who approached his home was barred by his daughter from seeing him. The daughter, who would not give her name, confirmed she had heard of Jews being murdered at Uzdowski's place but said: "My father did not take part in it."

Uzdowski was arrested for the crime but apparently not convicted, and died a long time ago. His nephew, Kazimierz Uzdowski, who still lives in Przegaliny, said that after the war people did not discuss the killing because they were ashamed of it.

"It was unnecessary, but it happened," said Uzdowski. "The truth should see daylight, should be revealed." He did not say whether his uncle was involved.

Lerner said Polish prosecutors told him that after the war Radczuk was accused of involvement in the murders, and was also a suspect in killing or turning over to the Nazis three other Jews, but most charges were dropped for lack of evidence and some files were missing.

Polish prosecutor Jacek Nowakowski of the National Remembrance Institute, which oversees the prosecution of Nazi-era crimes, said a new investigation had been opened and suggested that Radczuk would be questioned.

However, Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said Polish authorities have been reluctant in the past to pursue such cases.

As part of Lerner's investigation, attempts were made to dig up graves thought to be his relatives' but no remains were found. Lerner plans to return to pursue the search.

Even if nothing turns up, Zuroff said, Gitl Lerner's grandson has found out more about the family's fate than most descendants of Holocaust victims can hope for.

"This is extremely rare," he said. "Here we are putting faces and names on the murders."

In Israel, one child of Gitl Lerner is left - Rony's uncle, Yosef, who escaped the Holocaust by moving to Palestine in 1939. He took a Hebrew surname, Yanai, and lives in Hibat Zion.

Now 89, he hopes his family will some day be reburied in a nearby cemetery, among Mediterranean orange groves.

As for Radczuk, he said, "Maybe they will put him in jail, but what is it worth to us now? This would give me some satisfaction. But it's too late."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Voelt zich al goed thuis...

...tussen zwarte pot en schemerlamp.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Prent in drie bedrijven.

linksboven: terug zomer met nieuwe plantenpot vol kleur.

middenstuk: nieuwe wagen uit taxfree Zaventem.

rechtsboven: de overeenkomst.

Spring time.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Souls Afire, by Elie Wiesel

Have you heard of Cracow, a famous city in Poland? Once upon a time there lived in Cracow a certain Isaac, the son of Yekel. Isaac was devoted to God and followed all the religious customs of the Jewish people there, but he was very poor and had many debts; the rent was overdue, his grocery bill unpaid; his daughters were of an age to be married, and poor Isaac would have to pay for their weddings! So he moaned and groaned. He worried day and night. In the synagogue and out of the synagogue he told God all about it and offered prayers to the Lord begging him to relieve his poverty.

It was no use. God did not seem to listen. Isaac went on with his requests just the same; neither did he become less poor nor did he become less devoted to the Lord.

Then one night he had a strange dream. He was carried away to another country and to a bridge in a great city. A voice told him, "This is Prague [Capital of what is now the Czech Republic]. Now look well, for under the bridge, at the spot where you are standing, there is a treasure, buried; it is waiting for you, it is yours."

When he awoke in the morning, Isaac laughed and shrugged off his dream. Mere wish-fulfilment. But the same dream came that night! Prague, the bridge, the treasure! This time the voice asked him, "Well, do you want to be rich, or would you rather keep all your worries?" Still Isaac thought, What nonsense! Prague was so far away and he had no money for the trip. Moreover, he didn't know anyone there. "It is better to pray than to dream, " he said, and began more prayers to God.

Of course you know by now that these things always happen three times: that magic number three. Sure enough, the third night he saw the same spot under the bridge, and the voice said: "What! You haven't left yet?"

Isaac was annoyed and just a bit curious. At last he set out on foot for Prague and walked all the way. He found the river, recognized the bridge, saw the familiar-looking spot. But how could he dare to dig? Soldiers were above, guarding the bridge. What if they should notice? He would surely be arrested. Isaac walked around trying to decide what to do.

Alas! The captain of the guard came and took him in, accusing him of spying. Simple and truthful as he was, Isaac could only stammer out his story. He was sure he would be called a liar and put in prison. But what do you know -- the captain began to laugh, and he laughed hard.

"Did you really come all the way from Cracow believing in a dream? You're crazy, man! Who believes in dreams? Why, do you know that if I were as silly as you are, I'd be in Cracow myself right now? I dreamed, night after night, that a voice was telling me, 'There's a treasure waiting for you at the house of a Cracow Jew named Isaac, son of Yekel. Yes, under the stove.' Now, half the Jews in Cracow are named Isaac and the other half Yekel. And they all have stoves! Can you see me going from house to house tearing down the stoves and digging for treasure?"

Isaac hurried home and found the treasure buried under the stove in his house. He paid his debts, got his daughters married, and had enough left to build a synagogue in honor of the Lord he had never deserted and who had not deserted him.

Very often we discover that what we seek most is right under our nose.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Meer Duinbergen.


Daar voel ik me echt thuis. Boordevol jeugdherinneringen. Zomerherinneringen.
De La Risette. De Porte Joy. De Engelse straat. De Kinderpad. Ah, de Kinderpad rond 1972 met de Brugse drukkersfamilie van tegenover; Erik, Inge, Petra, Katrien en Hilde. Eric uitgesproken op z'n Brugge's Eulrik...Braaf mensen waren dat. De strandspelen met Planta-Plus. Later de fietstochten. Van de Zeebrugse vismijn tot aan Sluis. Daarbij nog de uren en dagen doorgebracht in de biblioteek van het Scharpoord... en verder De Grand Hotel Motke, de Siska's en moeder Babelutten...
De Kinderpad. Ah, de Kinderpad rond 1972 met de Brugse drukkersfamilie van tegenover; Erik, Inge, Petra, Katrien en Hilde. (Herken je iets, ken je hun...? schrijf een comment...dank je!)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Meer Otto Frello

Kom je mee?

Illustrated by Otto Frello

Ik kom juist terug uit diamantstad Antwerpen.

De stoefer, de kunstenaar en de boer.

Ben juist terug van mijn Noordzee-immo-project.