The Sabbath begins at 5:23 P.M. on Friday, February 23, and concludes at 6:37 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region.
The Visegrad24 news website has been reporting on the conflict with Gaza live from Israel. In a recent interview they spoke with Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, about the Holocaust, justice for the victims, justice for the victims of the Hamas massacre on October 7, Israeli security failures and the problem of Islamists migrating to Western Europe and North America and open borders in general.
“It always starts with the Jews, but never ends with the Jews. Hitler wanted to launch a war to destroy the Jews and 50 million people were murdered, and not all of them Jews, far from it. This is what people have to understand: the Jews are like the canaries in the coal mine. They’re the first victims. And if they go after us, be sure that they’ll go after the Christians in Europe and everywhere else because their dream is to take over the world. That’s the problem,” Zuroff said during the interview.
The British House of Commons erupted Wednesday in a walk-out by ruling Conservative Party and Scottish National Party MPs after speaker of parliament Lindsay Hoyle allegedly broke parliamentary procedure by allowing the UK Labour Party to tack on their own amendment to a SNP resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza without letting the SNP motion go to a vote.
Hoyle apologized twice and on Thursday claimed he wanted to expand the debate to include Labour’s positions because he was afraid more British MPs would be murdered. At the time of the canceled debate Wednesday a large crowd of pro-Hamas protestors had surrounded parliament, chanting slogans and waving Palestinian flags. As of Thursday BBC and Sky News reported 61 MPs from the Conservatives and SNP had signed onto a motion calling for a no-confidence vote on Hoyle as speaker. Holyle’s “Peace in Our Time” overture seems to have exacerbated rather than eased tensions within British society.
Full story here.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community and Bnei Maskilim invite you to a Sabbath celebration this Friday including not only a family atmosphere, good feelings and great company, but also live guitar.
Time: 6:30 P.M., Friday, February 23
Place: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Vilnius
Cost is 5 euros and registration is required by sending an email to email@example.com or by calling (+370) 672 50699.
Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Hadas Wittenberg Silverstein sent a letter congratulating Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky on receipt of the Order of Merit medal presented to her by the Lithuanian president on February 16 in Vilnius.
A copy of the letter can be found below.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes Ukmergė Jewish Community chairman Artūras Taicas a very happy birthday. We are grateful to you for your tireless energy safeguarding and protecting the memory of those who cannot protect themselves from vandals. We all wish you success, happiness, real people and sincere smiles. Mazl tov. Bis 120!
The Lithuanian Jewish Community congratulates Daumantas Levas Todesas, chairman of the Council of Ethnic Communities, for recognition of his efforts in preserving the Litvak heritage in Lithuania, in representing the interests of the ethnic minority communities in Lithuania and in his public activities promoting the integration of minorities into Lithuanian society, as demonstrated by Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda’s presentation to him of the Lithuanian medal the Order of Merit, the Knight’s Cross, on February 16 at the presidential palace in Vilnius.
Hungary again has bucked the diktat emanating from Brussels, this time vetoing an EU demand Israel implement a ceasefire in Gaza.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Hungary blocked the passage of two such demands from the EU.
Hungary Blocks Two EU Statements against Israel’s War in Gaza
The Post learned that foreign minister Israel Katz, who was at the Munich Security Conference, had personally called his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó and asked that he help Israel.
Hungary has twice blocked a European Union consensus statement against the IDF’s pending military operation against Hamas in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, a consensus that called for an “immediate humanitarian pause” to the war, leading to a permanent ceasefire, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
“Hungary stood alone in the EU,” senior diplomatic sources said.
Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda presented tenor Rafailas Karpis the Lithuanian medal the Order of Merit for his furtherance of musical culture and Jewish music in Lithuania on February 16. Mazl tov!
Rebuffing Biden, cabinet rejects unilateral Palestinian state as “reward for terrorism”
Approved even by centrist ministers, the statement rejects “international diktats” pushing two states; minister Sa’ar compares reported US-Arab proposal to appeasement of Nazis in 1938
Israel’s cabinet Sunday unanimously approved a declaration rejecting “international diktats” seeking to push Palestinian statehood in the wake of reports the US and several Arab partners were preparing a detailed plan for a comprehensive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians which was to include a “firm timeline” for a Palestinian state.
“Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians,” the cabinet decision read. “A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.
“Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” the motion added. “Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would be a massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism and would foil any future peace settlement.”
Full story here.
Circumcision specialist Dr. Martin Harris of Great Britain will visit Vilnius March 3 and 4. He is ready to offer his services to Lithuanian Jewish Community and Jewish religious community members free of charge. Those interested are invited to register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Dr. Harris is available here.
Abstract expressionist painter Simonas Gelminauskis opened an exhibition of his work at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius last Thursday called “From Paris with Love.”
The 18 works on display are the fruit of a decade of creativity following his 22-year break from painting.
“The fall I spent in my studio in the Marais Jewish neighborhood in Paris in the global center of residences of art helped me recover after my father’s death and helped me think about impermanence. So this exhibition is dedicated to love. To the love of life,” the artist said at the opening ceremony for the exhibit. He didn’t chose the venue lightly, either: his current studio is located at the site of the former Great Synagogue on Jewish Street in Vilnius, from which he says he draws artistic inspiration, as he did in the Marais in Paris.
The exhibit will remain on display a the LJC for several months.
Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda decorated Goodwill Foundation co-chairpeople Faina Kukliansky and Rabbi Andrew Baker with the Lithuanian Order of Merit, Officer’s Cross, at an awards ceremony held on Restoration of Lithuanian Statehood Day, February 16.
This was in high recognition of their great efforts in promoting Jewish culture and seeking respect and fairness for the Lithuanian Jewish community, seeking appropriate commemoration for victims of the Holocaust and seeking symbolic restitution for their property stolen.
“This award is not just personal recognition, but is a testimony to the entire Lithuanian Jewish Community who haven’t rested in seeking justice, concord, community and joint effort. To be recognized on this important day to us and to Lithuania is a great honor,” attorney, Goodwill Foundation chairman and Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky said at the ceremony held at the Office of President. She also congratulate Rabbi Andrew Baker, co-chairman of the Goodwill Foundation, on his receipt of the same prize.
Legislators in Washington state have been discussing making Holocaust classes mandatory for high school students there for over five years now. The neighboring Canadian province of British Columbia and the province of Ontario announced plans to do so last year. After settling on the formula “Holocaust and genocide education,” some legislators are proposing an amendment to teach history from the perspective of Hamas as well. Seattle-based conservative radio talk-show host Jason Rantz predicts below the dispute will result in the failure to pass any relevant law at all. Foreign observers have wondered if Washington state’s far-left legislators won’t introduce another amendment to teach the Holocaust from the perspective of Nazi Germany as well.
Democrats Add “Hamas Amendment” to Holocaust Education Bill
by Jason Rantz, February 12, 2024
Washington Democrats added a so-called “Hamas amendment” to the Holocaust Education bill which will ensure anti-Semitic lessons are taught to kids.
The move was meant to appease a progressive voter base demanding Israel be labeled genocidal for its attack against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
The Sabbath begins at 5:09 P.M. on Friday, February 16, and concludes at 6:24 P.M. on Saturday in the Vilnius region. Friday is also one of Lithuania’s two independence celebrations, Restoration of the State Day, marking the promulgation of the Act of Independence of Lithuania in Vilnius on February 16, 1918, and is officially observed with government offices and most businesses closed for the day.
CBC news reported February 13 on a pro-Palestinian protest on Monday which resulted in masked perpetrators scaling Mount Sinai Jewish hospital in Toronto to plant a Palestinian flag several stories up. CBC evening news program the National reported the hospital was originally built to treat Jewish patients denied treatment at other hospitals because of anti-Semitism.
In videos posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, apparently from the time of the protest, a person can be seen climbing an awning that’s branded Mount Sinai Hospital while waving a Palestinian flag.
Another video shows scores of people along hospital row also calling for “intifada” while many of them waved Palestinian flags. Intifada is an Arabic word used to describe more than one Palestinian uprising over the decades.
The Labour Party of the United Kingdom has withdrawn the candidacy of two candidates standing for election in two days over anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks they made to the press.
As reported by the BBC, the Mail on Sunday published comments last week from Ali, claiming Israel had “allowed” the Hamas attack.
Ali subsequently apologized “to Jewish leaders for my inexcusable comments.”
Monday evening the Daily Mail published a fuller recording, allegedly of Ali, blaming “people in the media from certain Jewish quarters” for the suspension of Andy McDonald from the Labour Party.
A monument to commemorate Jewish prisoners in the ghetto in Druskininkai, fabricated and erected by private donations, has been knocked over. The latest attack on Lithuanian Jews was discovered Tuesday morning.
“We receive offensive letters daily, rocks are hurled at our Community building, synagogues are being vandalized and anti-Semitic rhetoric rings out from the podium in the national parliament. This seems very much like coordinated activity. This process isn’t getting weaker, on the contrary, it’s accelerating, so we need to take the strictest measures to avert tragedy,” Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky commented.
Beginning with anti-Semitic statements MP Remigijus Žemaitaitis made last spring and continues to make on the internet and to the press and following Hamas’s terrorist attack killing over a thousand Israelis on October 7, attacks against Lithuanian Jews are growing ever-more frequent. Last week alone the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius and the Šiauliai Jewish Community in Šiauliai were attacked, Nazi and white power symbols were graffitied on a pedestrian bridge in a Vilnius suburb and stickers from an extremist group were plastered on Vilnius mass transit. Both the Choral Synagogue, the only working synagogue in Vilnius, and the Zavl shul synagogue on Gelių street in Vilnius were vandalized.
The vandalism committed on Šv. Jokūbo street in Druskininkai, the southern Lithuanian spa town on the border with Belarus, is just another link in a long chain of anti-Semitic acts. The monument in Druskininkai marks the location of the Druskininkai ghetto stood from 1941 to 1943, where around 900 Jews from the town and surrounding villages and farms were held prisoner before being murdered.
“While other countries and some people criticize Israeli policies, this has nothing at all to do with the Jews who live in Lithuania today. We are Lithuanian citizens and we expect and hope the state will insure our safety,” chairwoman Kukliansky added.