Month: November 2016

Barack Obama (Nigger) taps Five Zionist Jews to serve on Holocaust memorial board

(JTA) — President Barack Obama appointed five people to serve on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, including its current chairman.

Obama announced Wednesday that he will retain council holdovers Tom Bernstein and Richard Price and bring in newcomers David Marchik, Michael Polsky and Ronald Ratner.

Congress established the council in 1980 to commemorate the Holocaust and raise money for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Bernstein, a lawyer who is president and co-founder of the New York sports and entertainment complex Chelsea Piers, has been serving as council chair since 2010. He was first appointed in 2002.

Price, the chairman and CEO of the financial services firm Mesirow Financial, was appointed in 2012.

Marchick serves as managing director and global head of external affairs at the private equity firm the Carlyle Group. He served in various roles under the Clinton administration, including deputy assistant secretary for trade policy and transportation affairs at the State Department, and is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Polsky is the founder, president and CEO of the power and energy company Invenergy, and Ratner is the executive vice president of development at the real estate company Forest City Realty Trust.

The council has 68 members, including presidential appointees, who serve five-year terms, along with senators and representatives and members of the education, interior and state departments.

Advertisements

Turkey’s Erdogan: Israel restricting Muslim worship

(JTA) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey accused Israel of restricting Muslim worship while calling on all Muslims to embrace the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem.

Erdogan made the call to Muslims on Tuesday during public remarks at the Symposium of Jerusalem Platform in Istanbul. A Turkish government document sent to JTA summarized his remarks.

“It is not only the duty of unarmed Palestinian children to protect Al-Aqsa mosque,” Erdogan said.

He added: “We will continue to support Jerusalem with all our means as we have done so far. We will work with might and main to protect Palestine and the sanctity of Al-Aqsa mosque.”

In accusing Israel of restricting Muslim worship, he said it was “harming the sanctity” of Al-Aqsa and that “Policies of oppression, isolation and discrimination have been pursued since 1948.”

He referred specifically to the proposed Israeli legislation to limit the volume and the hours of the Muslim call to prayer, calling it “dangerous.”

“This practice is offensive not only for the Palestinians, but for all Muslims,” Erdogan said. “We have communicated with the Israeli officials our concerns on the kind of dangerous consequences this might have, if such a bill is enacted.”

Erdogan threatened that the region “will not find peace until the wound in the Middle East is treated.” He called for “an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with the capital, East Jerusalem, based on the borders of 1967,” as the “only way to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.”

His comments come as Israel and Turkey are taking the last steps toward fulfilling a reconciliation agreement signed over the summer restoring diplomatic ties following a six-year freeze.

Erdogan also addressed the ongoing civil war in Syria, saying that Turkey was forced to intervene in Syria alongside the rebel’s Free Syrian army in order to “ensure justice and put an end to the reign of the oppressor Al-Assad,” while condemning the United Nations for its inaction and lack of attention to the Muslim world.

Most Jews do not want rabbis to determine who is Jewish, study finds

(JTA) — Most Jews do not want rabbis to determine who is Jewish, and the Israeli government may need to consider changes to the Law of Return, a new study has found.

The report issued this week by the Jewish People Policy Institute recommends strengthening the sense of “Jewish peoplehood” among mixed families, partial Jews and non-Jews affiliated with Judaism.

It is the Jerusalem-based institute’s third report on the Structured Jewish World Dialogue, a systematic discourse that took place in 49 seminars worldwide on issues that are at the core of the collective interests of the Jewish people globally.

Dialogue participants said they believe that culture and peoplehood are the most significant aspects of Judaism, more than religion and ancestry, and thus they value caring for other Jews more than keeping the laws of the Torah.

While recognizing that religious denominations will continue to set their own standards for life cycle and other events, leadership seminars strongly endorsed the general posture of being welcoming to all who seek to participate in Jewish life. The more than 600 leaders also affirmed the desire to maintain selective communal norms that would affirm the more traditional standards. For example, the leadership almost universally wanted the professional head of North American federations to continue to be Jewish according to halachah, or Jewish law.

The report also suggests, in the wake of cultural and demographic developments in the Jewish world, whether Israel might consider changes in the criteria governing the Law of Return, which guarantees every Jew a place in Israel, to determine eligibility.

In addition, fewer than 25 percent of the participants believe that rabbis should decide “Who is a Jew,” saying that self-definition and community were better determinants.

The 129-page report considers other topics researched within the scope of the Jewish People Policy Institute’s project such as intermarriage, Israel’s role in defining Judaism, and the Jewishness of leaders and material resources.

Does said threefold rise in German antisemitism signal a ‘new era’?

 

The world has entered a new era of antisemitism, a top European rabbi warned in response to a report released Tuesday about rising antisemitism in Germany.

Juliane Baer-Henney, a spokeswoman for the German Justice Ministry, confirmed to the Post on the phone Wednesday that antisemitism in Germany has risen threefold in one year – 2,083 cases of attacks on Jews, Jewish property and hate speech against Jews last year, compared with 691 in 2014.

“There is a rejection of mainstream politics, and we need to be aware of the waves of antisemitism sweeping across Europe,” Conference of European Rabbis president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said. “As a society we must take measures to reject antisemitism and ensure that it does not become a new norm.”

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said: “The recent report published by Süddeutsche Zeitung showing that the number of right-wing extremist offenses has risen is indeed worrying. At the same time, the sensitivity of the population and its willingness to report such incidents have apparently also increased. Moreover, the German government actively supports the fight against hate speech, antisemitism and sedition in social networks and elsewhere. These developments partly explain the rise in the number of offenses. We highly appreciate the civic and government engagement.”

Baer-Henney said the criminal statistics are recorded from the 16 German states based on uniform criteria to measure the criminal acts. The Justice Ministry started to assess antisemitic criminal acts based on a uniform standard for the decentralized system in 2014.

The 16 states prior to 2014 used different criteria to determine criminal antisemitism. When asked how the Justice Ministry defines modern antisemitism, the spokeswoman said she would provide the Post the information by the week’s end.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, top Nazi-hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, does not believe that the reported numbers reflect the true extent of the phenomenon.

“I’m sure there are many incidents that are not reported,” he said, adding that the report is nevertheless cause for serious concern.

“There is no question that the arrival of the millions of immigrants from countries where antisemitism is very rife led to additional problems,” Zuroff said.

The key to effectively tackling the issue of antisemitism, he said, is tied to the extent to which anti-Zionism is identified as a component.

“Invariably, [anti-Zionism] is motivated by antisemitism, and in countries where this is recognized, they understand the nature of the beast,” Zuroff said. He noted that in countries where a link between antisemitism and anti-Zionism is not made, certain incidents are not included in statistics about antisemitic attacks.

“In Germany, in certain quarters, there is an understanding of the link between the two, but there is always a time lapse between understanding something and acting on it, and in some of these countries we are in the time lapse now,” Zuroff said.

Germany is awash in BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) activities targeting the Jewish state. Last week, anti-Israel activists donned inspector uniforms in the city of Bonn and marched into the Galeria Kaufhof department store to isolate “illegal products” from the disputed territories, and ensure Israeli products were labeled correctly based on EU guidelines. Similar anti-Israel actions took place in Frankfurt, Bremen and Berlin.

Honduran president (Spic Freemason) to arrive in Israel to finalize major security deal (NOT GOOD!!!!)

Hernández will be preceded in Jerusalem by a few days by Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, who arrived Wednesday evening for a four-day visit.

Novoa arrived just as Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales – who visited during the first half of the week – finished his state visit, amid talk of a historic visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Latin America in 2017.

If such a visit takes place, it would be the first visit by a sitting prime minister to South or Central America, part of Netanyahu’s push to significantly strengthen Israel’s relations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

In the 13-month interim since Hernández’s last visit, Israel and Honduras signed a massive security deal that was recently approved by the Honduran National Congress.

At a press conference earlier this month, Hernández – according to the Honduran government’s official website – said that the deal will allow for the upgrading of the country’s naval and air forces “like never before.” This includes the refurbishment of the Honduran Air Force’s entire helicopter fleet, as well as many of its fixed-wing aircraft.

According to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, the contracts are worth $209 million.

Hernández, at his press conference, said Israel has also committed to collaborating on “issues of intelligence and cybersecurity.”

Hernández said the technology, which he declined to detail, will give the Honduran government capabilities it has never had before to “protect its territory, sovereignty and people.”

Up until now, he said, the criminals often had more resources and better technology than the government.

Over the summer, when Hernández announced that he was seeking approval for the deal, he termed it “a very important agreement that is crucial for the growth of the Honduran nation. This will provide the basis of fortifying our armed forces with capabilities that we likely never would have obtained.”

He said that his country would benefit from the “latest generation” of Israeli technology.

Gangs, organized crime and drugs have long plagued Honduras, and for many years it had a reputation for being the “murder capital of the world.”

Though the homicide rate there has fallen by 30% over the past four years, from 86.5 per 100,000 people in 2011 to 60 per 100,000 last year, it still suffers from some of the highest murder rates in the world.

The US State Department continues to have a travel warning in place for the country, saying that the “level of kidnapping crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high.

“Criminal activity is a serious problem throughout the country, and the government of Honduras lacks sufficient resources to properly respond to, investigate, and prosecute cases. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras,” the warning reads.

During Hernández’s trip to Israel in 2015, Netanyahu said that Jerusalem appreciates the friendship with Honduras, which is expressed in various international forums.

Just a month earlier, Honduras – along with Paraguay and Uruguay – were the three Latin American countries that voted for Israel in a critical resolution in the International Atomic Energy Agency that, had it passed, would have forced Israel to open its nuclear facilities to international inspections.

In a related development, the visit of Uruguay’s Novoa comes at a time when that country holds diplomatic sway, since it is a member of the 15-nation UN Security Council until the end of 2017. In the summer of 2015, Netanyahu phoned Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez to thank him for his country’s support for Israel in international forums.

That phone call came after Uruguay broke out of the bloc of Latin American countries that automatically vote against Israel, and began supporting Jerusalem in votes in international and regional bodies.

For instance, Uruguay – a significant world soccer power – helped Israel defeat Palestinian efforts in 2015 to get it kicked out of FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.

Uruguay’s shift toward Israel began when Vázquez took over as president in March 2015, replacing José Alberto Mujica. Mujica termed Israel’s operation in Gaza in 2014 a “genocide,” and called the Gaza Strip a “big concentration camp.”

UN General Assembly supports resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount (GOOD!!!!)

The states that opposed the Jerusalem resolution were the United States, Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Naura and Palu.

Those that abstained were Australia, Guatemala, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Vanuatu.

The Jerusalem resolution, numbered A/71/l.22, addresses the situation in Jerusalem and its holy sites and states that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.”

The text calls on Israel to have “respect for the historic status quo at the holy places of Jerusalem” and “urges all sides to work immediately and cooperatively to defuse tensions and halt all provocations, incitement and violence at the holy sites in the city.”

The resolutions were introduced by a group of mostly Arab countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority, but also some Asian countries, such as Indonesia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic, as well as a few African countries.

Resolutions A/71/l.18 and A/71/l.19, the first in the series, pledge respectively to support the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in its efforts to end the Israeli “occupation,” and extend member state’s cooperation with and support to the division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat.

Draft resolution a/71/l.20, also adopted on Wednesday, with 153 votes in favor of it, seven abstentions and seven negative votes, aims to disseminate information on the Palestinian narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine. The resolution also states the need to organize and promote “fact-finding news missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.”

In resolution A/71/l.21, the General Assembly calls for “a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.” It also “calls upon Israel, the occupying power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to cease all of its measures that are contrary to international law and all unilateral actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”

The last draft text adopted by the assembly, resolution A/71/l.8, adopted by a vote of 103 in favor, six abstentions and 56 votes against it, demands that Israel withdraw from all of the Golan to the line of June 4, 1967, and hand it over to Syria.

Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “Today’s resolutions are yet another example of the daily bias Israel faces in the UN.

“At the same time that Israel is celebrating the historic decision to reestablish the Jewish state in our homeland, the UN continues to fund organizations and pass resolutions that do nothing to better the lives of the Palestinians.”

The United States voted against all the resolutions. The representative of the US Mission at the General Assembly session spoke out against the “disproportionate number of resolutions condemning Israel.”

He further stated that voting on these resolutions “damages the prospect for peace.”

“All parties to the conflict have responsibility to end the conflict,” he said.

The US representative added that his country is “disappointed” that the General Assembly chooses to single out Israel, which is “counterproductive.”

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on November 29 each year, the date marking the anniversary of the General Assembly’s 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

Abbas: We will join all 522 international organizations

 

The Palestinian leadership plans to continue its strategy to internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by joining international institutions, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said during a long speech at the seventh Fatah General Congress in Ramallah on Wednesday.

“We will join all of them,” Abbas said of 522 international organizations.

The Palestinian leadership has joined 44 international organization thus far, including UNESCO and the International Criminal Court.

Abbas also said that the Palestinian leadership plans to “go to the UNSC to ask for full membership” in the world body.

The Palestinian leadership achieved non-member observer status at the UN in September 2012, after an abortive attempt to do so in 2011.

Abbas in his speech, which covered much of Palestinian history, also attempted to defend part of the Oslo Accords.

“We want to talk about Oslo. Many say that it is treasonous… But [it also allowed] 600,000 Palestinians – Arabs and non-Arabs – to return to the homeland,” Abbas said, adding that “it was an important step that we began to return.”

Abbas has said consistently over the past two years that the Palestinian leadership could renounce its commitments under the Oslo Accords, if the current relationship between Israeli and the Palestinian governments continues.

Most prominently, Abbas told the UN in 2011: “We declare that as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us… they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements.”

Later in Thursday’s speech, Abbas admitted that “popular resistance” has not taken off in Palestinian society, but said he wants to see it play a larger role in the coming years. “Where is popular, peaceful resistance? Go out to [the streets],” he said. “I say, go out; no one goes out.”

Since Abbas became Fatah chairman in 2004, he and other movement leaders have consistently expressed support for popular resistance, backing protests against the West Bank security barrier and boycott of a limited number of Israeli products, but they have yet to produce a mass protest movement.

Moreover, the PA president said he intends to continue dialogue through the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society. “We decided we wanted to communicate with everyone in Israel. We decided to open a dialogue,” Abbas said before rhetorically asking, “Why?” “We don’t want to leave them subject to deception. We need to provide them with our side [of the issues].”

Muhammad al-Madani, an Abbas adviser, has organized hundreds of meetings between Israelis and Palestinian leaders including Abbas. Madani has received substantial backlash from anti-normalization groups in Palestinian society.

Abbas’s speech did not address the ongoing tensions within Fatah or his ongoing rivalry with self-exiled Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan.

The congress, which will elect delegates to Fatah’s top two leadership bodies, the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council, has excluded Fatah leaders allied with Dahlan and many other leaders critical of Abbas’s leadership.

The leaders left out of the congress say that the congress’s primary goal is to remove them and their influence from leadership roles in Fatah.

Despite Russian involvement in Syria, Israel to maintain watchful eye

 

Throughout 2016, there were very few reports about two alleged strikes by the Israel Air Force against weapons convoys traveling from Syria to Hezbollah.

This was in a sharp contrast to dozens of reports about similar attacks in the preceding three years, so commentators reached the conclusion that Israel was reducing its involvement in Syria due to the massive Russian presence there in general, and the deployment of its air force and its sophisticated anti-aircraft radars and batteries, which practically cover the entirety of Israel, in particular. But the attack attributed to the IAF which took place at 1 a.m. on Wednesday proves that the impression is wrong: despite Russian involvement in the bloody Syrian civil war, Israel still maintains, at least partially, its freedom of action in Syria.

This is certainly the case in areas very close to the Israeli border, as we saw earlier this week when IAF attacked an ISIS position and took responsibility for it, in retaliation for an ISIS attack on an Israeli patrol on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

But when it comes to areas more distant from the border – certainly near Damascus – the operation is much more complicated, risky and could spin out of control.

According to reports emerging from Syria, the IAF attacked a weapons convoy – on the outskirts of the Syrian capital and on the main road to Beirut – which was destined for Hezbollah. Israel has kept silent, neither confirming nor denying the reports.

Such a mission is very sensitive indeed. Though the attack was aimed, as reported, against Hezbollah, it is interpreted – and rightly so – also as a strike against the Assad regime, which is either responsible for the weapon shipment or turning a blind eye to it. Indirectly, a strike against Bashar Assad can be perceived as an assault or humiliation of Russia, which is behind the regime and aiding in its consolidation. Already last night reports suggested that Russia is asking for clarifications from Israel.

Israel and Russia established a special red line link for “deconfliction,” to avoid unintended clashes between the two sides. For this purpose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow four times over the last year for talks with President Vladimir Putin, and senior IDF and IAF officers met with their Russian counterparts.

But it is very unlikely that Israel informed Russia ahead of the reported attack. Nations don’t do that not even with their friends, because it may jeopardize the operation and risk life.

Bearing in mind these circumstances and complications, one has to conclude that the targets attacked, as reported, were very important to Israel and worth the risk and the ramifications.

It can also be assumed that the intelligence was excellent, and that it was a feasible operation.

In the past, Israeli leaders said – and Netanyahu and defense ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Avigdor Liberman reiterated – that Israel has no intention of getting involved in the civil war, but that it would religiously guard its national interests. That included retaliation for every intentional and unintentional violation of Israeli sovereignty, as well as preventing shipments of sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel is mainly concerned about Yakhont land-sea cruise missiles, anti-aircraft batteries and radars, and components that would increase the accuracy of Hezbollah ground-to-ground missiles. If indeed Israel is behind the latest attack, most probably this was the motivation.

It is important, however, to stress that Israel is also very cautious not to violate Lebanese sovereignty. In the past – after an IAF strike on Lebanese soil – Hezbollah threatened to retaliate. For the Shi’ite organization, Israeli strikes on Syrian soil are tolerable.

Will they be also accepted by Russia and by Assad?

Posthumous honor for US officer who saved 200 Jewish GIs from the Nazis — and never told a soul

NEW YORK — In a singular act of humanity and defiance, Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds stood up to a German commandant and saved 200 American Jewish GIs from transportation to a slave labor camp.

It was 1945 and Edmonds had been a prisoner of war in Stalag IX-A, a German POW camp for less than a month. As the highest-ranking officer there, he was responsible for the camp’s 1,292 American POWs – 200 of whom were Jewish.

Throughout the war, the Wehrmacht either murdered Jewish soldiers captured on the Eastern Front or sent them to extermination camps. Jewish soldiers captured on the Western Front could be sent to Berga, a slave labor camp where survival rates were dismal.

Because of this policy the US military told its Jewish soldiers that if they were captured they should destroy evidence of their faith, such as dog tags, which were stamped with the letter H for Hebrew, or personal prayer books that some soldiers carried.

Edmonds, who died in 1985, never spoke about the story. In fact, had it not been for his granddaughter’s college assignment many decades later, the officer’s story might have remained forever untold. But thanks to the subsequent persistence of Edmonds’ son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, the heroic story surfaced.

On Monday night the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous posthumously honored Edmonds with its “Yehi Or” (Let There Be Light) Award.

To understand why Edmonds never spoke about his courage — not to his wife, his children, nor to his grandchildren — is to understand something about the man himself.

“He was a man of faith. He never bragged on anything but God. Well, maybe his sons sometimes,” said Edmonds in a telephone interview days before he was scheduled to accept the award on his father’s behalf at The New York Public Library.

Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds. (Courtesy Chris Edmonds)

JFR chairman Harvey Schulweis also noted Edmonds’ humility.

“Over the years we have worked with and honored many Holocaust survivors and their rescuers, but the story of Roddie Edmonds saving 200 Jewish-American soldiers truly distinguishes the man and leader he was. Though unfortunately we were not privileged enough to honor him during his lifetime, we hope that this year’s Yehi Ohr Award will show the gratitude and appreciation that our nation has on behalf of his heroic actions that day,” JFR chairman Harvey Schulweis said.

Several of the surviving Jewish GIs Edmonds saved attended the private event.

Edmonds landed in Europe in the autumn of 1944 with the 106th Infantry Division, and then fought his way to the Belgian-German border as part of the 422nd Infantry Regiment.

On December 16, he found himself involved in what came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. On December 17, he had his last hot meal.

“Believe me when I tell you we really had to keep our heads down. This was no picnic,” Edmonds wrote in his wartime diary.

Though outgunned and outmanned, the Americans delayed the Germans long enough to allow General George Patton’s Third Army to ultimately come to the rescue.

‘Believe me when I tell you we really had to keep our heads down. This was no picnic’

But the rescue came too late for the 422nd regiment; Germany’s Second SS Panzer Division encircled them, and on December 19, Edmonds became one of thousands of Americans taken prisoner.

“We surrendered to avoid slaughter. We were marched without food and water, except for the few sugar beets we found along the road and puddles,” the 25-year-old wrote in his diary shortly after being transported to the camp which held upwards of 50,000 Allied soldiers near Ziegenhain.

As the highest-ranking office there, Edmonds, responsible for the camp’s 1,292 American POWs, relied on his faith and sense of duty to keep the men safe and to keep morale as high as possible, said his son Chris.

One day in January 1945, a month after his capture, the Germans ordered all Jewish POWs to report outside their barracks the following morning. Edmonds knew what awaited the Jewish men under his command, so he decided to resist the directive. He ordered all his men — Jews and non-Jews alike — to fall out the following morning.

Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, circled in red, at Camp Atterbury. (Courtesy Chris Edmonds)

Upon seeing all the soldiers lined up, the camp’s commandant, Major Siegmann, approached Edmonds. He ordered Edmonds to identify the Jewish soldiers.

“We are all Jews here,” Edmonds said.

Irate, the commandant jammed his pistol against Edmonds’ head and repeated the order. Again, Edmonds refused.

‘We are all Jews here’

“According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes,” Edmonds had said, according to one of the men saved that day.

The younger Edmonds regards all 1,292 men as heroes.

“When Dad got the orders and told his men that they were not giving up the Jewish soldiers, they could have said no,” he said. “When the commandant pressed the gun against my father some of the men could have pointed out the Jews. None of them did that. They all stood together.”

“What he did [that morning] sent an incredible bolt of hope through the men. They saw they could resist. They saw they could survive,” Edmonds said.

After 100 days of captivity and near-starvation, the elder Edmonds returned to his home near Knoxville, Tennessee. He found work at Oakridge National Labs, and then, because he had joined the National Guard, he was again deployed, this time to Korea. He came home, married, and had two sons. He coached their baseball teams and worked in sales.

He spoke little of his wartime experience and nothing of that day.

‘I asked him about it several times as a teenager and in college. He’d say “Son, there are just some things I’d rather not talk about”‘

“I asked him about it several times as a teenager and in college. He’d say ‘Son, there are just some things I’d rather not talk about,’ and tell us to read the diary,” Edmonds said.

They remained in the dark until several years ago when one of son Chris Edmonds’ daughters started working on a college assignment that required her to make a video about a family member. Her grandmother gave her the diary her husband Roddie had kept during his time as a POW.

The JFR award comes just a year after Edmonds became the only American soldier, and one of just five Americans, named Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem. He is also the only Righteous Among Nations to have saved American Jews.

Edmonds, “was a leader who wouldn’t ask his men to do anything he wouldn’t do,” said son Chris.

“This story is a clarion call to love one another regardless of our choices, or faith. He stood against oppression. He stood for decency. He stood for humanity. This thing we call life — it’s about all of us, not one of us,” Edmonds said.

“This award is called ‘Let There Be Light.’ Dad would light up a room,” said Edmonds. “When he left you would wish he were still there.”

House Democrats re-elect Nancy Pelosi (White Feminist, Zionist) as leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats re-elected Nancy Pelosi as their leader on Wednesday despite disenchantment among some in the caucus over the party’s disappointing performance in elections earlier this month.

The California lawmaker, who has led the party since 2002, turned back a challenge from Ohio Representative Tim Ryan. The secret ballot vote was 134-63.

“We need the very best to lead us,” Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), told Democrats in nominating Pelosi. “No one is a better tactician than Nancy Pelosi.”

The 76-year-old California Democrat was forced to promise changes to the caucus to answer complaints from lawmakers fed up with being shut out of the upper ranks of leadership, especially in the wake of a devastating election that installed a GOP monopoly over Congress and the White House.

A half-dozen Democrats delivered testimonials to Pelosi in nominating speeches, but the disenchantment was evident.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, arrives for the House Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, for the leadership elections. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I think Tim Ryan would be a great leader. He’s a new generation and I think he would appeal to a lot of millennials and young people in this country,” Representative Steve Lynch (D-Massachusetts), said as he headed into the session. “He brings a certain excitement and also a bit of common sense from Youngstown, Ohio.”

“Our base is working people and we’ve got to talk about that. We’ve got to tell working people in this country that we care about them,” Lynch said.

Leadership elections were originally scheduled to be held before Thanksgiving but were delayed to give Democrats more time to discuss and process the election results and consider a path forward. Many are discouraged after losing the White House and making smaller than expected gains in both chambers of Congress.

“I believe we must do more than simply paper over the cracks,” said Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona, one of a handful of House Democrats to endorse Ryan. “We can’t just say the right things — we must take concrete steps to move our party in the right direction.”

Nonetheless Pelosi projected confidence heading into the vote. Known for her vote-counting skills, the Californian asserted she had support of two-thirds of Democrats locked up.

“Leader Pelosi is honored to receive the overwhelming support of her colleagues,” said spokesman Drew Hammill. “That so many members are so enthusiastic and eager to take active roles in the caucus is music to her ears.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (L) listen to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak about Iran during a joint meeting of the United States Congress in the House chamber at the US Capitol March 3, 2015 (Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

Other top leadership posts are uncontested, with Steny Hoyer of Maryland in the number two job of whip, and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina in the number three position of assistant leader. The position of conference chairman is term-limited, and Xavier Becerra of California was replaced by Joe Crowley of New York.

On the eve of the House leadership elections, 85-year-old Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said he will not seek re-election to the panel post, clearing the way for a younger lawmaker to move into the spot on the powerful committee. Becerra and Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts told House Democrats they are interested in the position.

Republicans are on track to hold at least 240 seats in the House next year. Democrats, who had high hopes of significant gains in the election, picked up just six seats on Election Day earlier this month and remain in the minority with 194 seats.

%d bloggers like this: