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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (10-31-05)
The measure, expected to be approved on Tuesday by consensus, rejects any denial that the Holocaust took place. It also urges members to "inculcate" future generations with the lessons on the genocide so it would not be repeated in the future.
"I feel moved and privileged to present this historic resolution today, as an Israeli, a Jew, a human being and the child of Holocaust victims," Israel's U.N. ambassador, Dan Gillerman, told the 191-member General Assembly.
The General Assembly has often been accused of anti-Semitism and persistent concentration on the plight of Palestinians. The Holocaust was largely ignored until January when the assembly held a session to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death camps.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton recalled that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last week that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
"When a President or a member state can brazenly and hatefully call for a second Holocaust by suggesting that Israel, the Jewish homeland, should be wiped off the map, it is clear that not all have learned the lessons of the Holocaust and that much work remains to be done," Bolton said.
The resolution, first proposed by the United States, Israel, Russia, Australia, and Canada was co-sponsored by nearly 100 nations from every continent.
SOURCE: Reuters (10-26-05)
The first of the nine comics, "A son of the Eastern Cape," covers Mandela's humble birth on July 18, 1918, in the mud hut village of Mwezo, near Qunu in what was then the Transkei, up to his arrival in Johannesburg as a precocious lad in 1941.
It captures the condition most South Africans lived in and presents Mandela as a normal human being who made his mistakes.
One section depicts how Mandela and his step-brother stole cattle, lied to clan elders and ran away to Johannesburg to escape an arranged marriage. Mandela's first name Rolihlahla is translated in the comic as "the one who troubles," although he is most commonly referred to by his clan name Madiba.
"The thread of the story is that he was a troublemaker. When he made up his mind that something was not right, he fought it hard," Buchanan said, citing Mandela's expulsion from Fort Hare University for rebellious behavior.
"Portraying him as a normal person is important in getting the message across to kids," Buchanan says. "They could have been born in a mud hut but still gone on to do great things."
The Mandela Center of Memory has scheduled a comprehensive feedback program to see how the message gets to the youth.
"We don't want to just throw the comics around," the center's project director Verne Harris told Reuters. The center would run a quiz in newspapers and seek feedback directly from selected schools in the Eastern Cape, he said.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (10-31-05)
"A symbol of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War will appear in the renovated Pobeda [Victory] Square," Mr Savenko said, the official news agency reported.
The statue could not be returned to its former place in the city's Victory Square because of architectural considerations following a renovation of the square, he added.
SOURCE: BBC (10-30-05)
The German President, Horst Koehler, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Chancellor-designate Angela Merkel were among dozens of dignitaries who attended the service. Britain's Duke of Kent, representing the Dresden Trust, also attended the ceremony.
Bishop Jochen Bohl told the audience that the restoration of the Frauenkirche was a "great work in the spirit of reconciliation".
"When you experience something like that, the destruction of a city, the memories never leave you. They have stayed with me all my life," said Johanna Heinke, who is 79, and from Dresden.
She was standing in the crowd and was with a friend. Johanna Heinke told me that she was 19-year-old at the time of the bombing raids, which flattened her city.
Tears welled in her eyes as she described the night of 13 February 1945, when Allied planes launched their deadly assault on Dresden.
"Coming back here today is fantastic," she said.
"Words cannot express my feelings. To see our Frauenkirche today, rebuilt and restored, and in all its splendour," her voice was breaking. "I really hope that people have learnt something from the past," she said.
SOURCE: BBC (10-26-05)
The book has been at Lichfield Cathedral for 1,000 years but some claim its rightful home is Llandeilo.
The original manuscript is too fragile to be displayed but a digital version will go on permanent show in Llandeilo.
The text of the 8th Century gospels was written in Latin but along the margins were notes written in Welsh, including references to the nearby village of Brechfa.
Name of source: NYT
On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks is an ordinary 42-year-old seamstress in downtown Montgomery, Alabama. She leaves work and gets on the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home. When the whites-only section fills up, the bus driver yells at Parks to give up her seat to a white man. She refuses and is arrested. Simply by sitting on a bus, Parks sets off the year-long Montgomery bus boycott that galvanizes national attention, brings Martin Luther King Jr. to the start of his journey as a civil rights leader and creates a model of nonviolent protest against racial segregation.
There's no denying the appeal of this story. But this telling of the tale does a disservice to Parks and twists the history of the civil rights movement. Her story is about more than one bus ride. And the civil rights movement is more than one moment of defiance.
Shortly before 8 p.m., the coffin bearing Rosa Parks, the accidental matriarch of the civil rights movement who died last Monday at 92, arrived at the Capitol and was carried by a military guard to lie in the Rotunda.
A seamstress by trade, Mrs. Parks became the first woman ever accorded such a tribute and just the 31st person over all since 1852, a list that includes Abraham Lincoln and nine other presidents.
The historian's conclusion is the first serious accusation that communications intercepted by the N.S.A., the secretive eavesdropping and code-breaking agency, were falsified so that they made it look as if North Vietnam had attacked American destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964, two days after a previous clash. President Lyndon B. Johnson cited the supposed attack to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam, but most historians have concluded in recent years that there was no second attack.
The N.S.A. historian, Robert J. Hanyok, found a pattern of translation mistakes that went uncorrected, altered intercept times and selective citation of intelligence that persuaded him that midlevel agency officers had deliberately skewed the evidence.
Mr. Hanyok concluded that they had done it not out of any political motive but to cover up earlier errors, and that top N.S.A. and defense officials and Johnson neither knew about nor condoned the deception.
Mr. Hanyok's findings were published nearly five years ago in a classified in-house journal, and starting in 2002 he and other government historians argued that it should be made public. But their effort was rebuffed by higher-level agency policymakers, who by the next year were fearful that it might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, according to an intelligence official familiar with some internal discussions of the matter.
With the deaths this year of other major figures from a movement that once galvanized a mass following over issues like the right to vote, segregated lunch counters and a seat in the front of the bus, some say that not enough has been done to share that history with the young or to shape future leaders to carry on the cause. That movement has been replaced, in large part, by more dispersed struggles over issues like housing and employment, health care and incarceration.
"In the absence of dogs and hoses there is no immediate, obvious enemy before us, so it's harder to mobilize a sense of outrage," said Senator Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat who is the only black member of the United States Senate. "Rosa Parks did not just sit down on her own initiative. She was part of a movement."
"For years in Washington, they've all ended the same way - perjury and obstruction of justice," said Mr. Colson, who pleaded guilty in 1974 to an obstruction charge and served seven months in prison. "I don't know why people don't learn this lesson."
From Watergate to Iran-contra, from the Monica Lewinsky case to the current one, the pattern has been the same. The offense that launched the investigation rarely ends up in the bill of particulars when indictments come down. Instead, the charges are often related to the cover-up, which, Mr. Colson recalled, President Richard M. Nixon could be heard on the White House tapes presciently declaring as potentially more dangerous than the original crime.
Mr. Colson, who was Mr. Nixon's counsel from 1969 to 1973, said his crime closely mirrored the allegations facing Mr. Libby. He was convicted in a case involving efforts to discredit Daniel Ellsberg, who had leaked the Pentagon Papers. Mr. Libby is accused of lying about his efforts to gather information on Joseph C. Wilson IV, a critic of the Bush administration's use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq.
The attempt by Mr. Bush and Mr. Rove to make enduring changes in the political landscape has, for Democrats, been one of the most threatening aspects of his presidency, particularly after the elections of 2002 and 2004 suggested the strategy was working. Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said that over the past four years, there had been a steady increase in voters who said they were Republican, as well as in the number of unaligned voters who said they leaned Republican.
"The Republicans were making gains through the first four years of the administration - and they could have consolidated those gains and made further gains," Mr. Kohut said. "I don't want to preclude anything, but with 38 percent approval ratings, Republicans gains are going to be hard to come by. More likely they will experience reversals."
Mr. Bush is facing a crush of problems, from high gas prices to growing casualty counts in Iraq. And President Reagan, even during the depths of the Iran-contra scandal, never suffered from approval ratings as low as Mr. Bush's. Polls today suggest that Americans seem despondent about the state of the country, typically a bad sign for a party in power.
"The thing that is the most disturbing to me now - this wasn't true then - is this sort of hopelessness that the American people are feeling," said Michael K. Deaver, who was a senior Reagan adviser. "When you have 70 percent of the people saying they don't think are things are going to get better - that to me is the most disturbing thing."
Clinton advisor John Podesta noted that Mr. Bush was apparently echoing the strategy that Mr. Clinton adopted in warding off questions about problems during his own troubled second term, saying that he would focus on the problems of the country instead.
The difference, Mr. Podesta noted, was that "the public liked the job Clinton was doing."
And Fred Greenstein, a presidential scholar at Princeton University, noted that most presidents who recovered from second-term slumps did so because of the way they responded to events that took place overseas, like Mr. Reagan's strong challenge to the Soviet Union. "If you look statistically at presidents that have gone into real decline, I'd say more often than not they haven't pulled it out," he said.
Ms. Wong suffered through jokes about her name ("you are barking up the wong tree") and queries about why the battleship that in 1943 carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the conference of Allied leaders in Tehran, Iran, should not be retired to its namesake state. (Iowa is far from the ocean, she offered.)
Ms. Wong, a former banker, is the president of the Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square, a volunteer group that has been lobbying to bring the battleship to the San Francisco waterfront as a tourist attraction. Her participation in the comedy routine might have been interpreted as an act of desperation, coming as it did months after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted against a resolution urging that the Iowa be located here and nearly a decade into the group's official campaign for the battleship.
What to do with the Iowa is ultimately the Navy's call, although the board's vote in July created a sensation, especially among conservative bloggers and talk show hosts who saw it as unpatriotic. It did not help that some of the supervisors intended the rejection as a signal to the Bush administration that both the war in Iraq and the Pentagon's stance against openly gay service members were wrong.
Now, however, the Frauenkirche has been meticulously rebuilt, and its bell-shaped dome once again crowns the skyline. On Sunday, it is to be consecrated in a religious service attended by dozens of German leaders, foreign dignitaries and a crowd expected to number up to 100,000.
It appeared without fanfare in a single bar graph on Page 23 of the document. But it was significant because the military had previously avoided virtually all public discussion of the issue.
According to the graph, Iraqi civilians and security forces were killed and wounded by insurgents at a rate of about 26 a day early in 2004, and at a rate of about 40 a day later that year. The rate increased in 2005 to about 51 a day, and by the end of August had jumped to about 63 a day. No figures were provided for the number of Iraqis killed by American-led forces.
Extrapolating the daily averages over the months from Jan. 1, 2004, to Sept. 16 this year results in a total of 25,902 Iraqi civilians and security forces killed and wounded by insurgents.
Civilians have moved to center stage in wars since the beginning of the 20th century. A 2001 study on civilians in war by the International Committee of the Red Cross showed a shift in a stark statistic: In World War I, 9 soldiers were killed for every civilian, while in today's wars 10 civilians die for every soldier.
At his low point, in the spring of 1958, Eisenhower's handling of the presidency was approved of by 48 percent of the public and disapproved of by 36 percent, a Gallup poll showed. At the end of his term, Eisenhower's approval rating had climbed to 59 percent.
In February 1987, as the Iran-contra scandal was breaking, 42 percent of those questioned in a New York Times/CBS News poll approved of Reagan's presidency, with 46 percent disapproving. It was the only month of his second term when a plurality was against him. By summer, his approval rate had climbed above 50 percent, and it was 60 percent when he left office.
Mr. Clinton's approval rating in his second term never fell below 55 percent, and it was 68 percent at the end of his presidency.
Mr. Bush is faring much worse. A Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll taken last weekend found Mr. Bush's approval rating to be 42 percent and his disapproval rating 55 percent.
These conversions are the latest chapter in the story of the crypto-Jews, or hidden Jews, of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, who are thought to be descended from the Sephardic Jews who began fleeing Spain more than 500 years ago. The story is being bolstered by recent historical research and advances in DNA testing that are said to reveal a prominent role played by crypto-Jews and their descendants in Spain's colonization of the Southwest.
For more than two decades, anecdotal evidence collected by researchers in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas suggested that some nominally Catholic families of Iberian descent had stealthily maintained Jewish customs throughout the centuries, including lighting candles on Friday evening, avoiding pork and having the Star of David inscribed on gravestones.
The whispers of hidden rituals coming from thoroughly Catholic communities were at times met with skepticism. One explanation for these seemingly Jewish customs was that evangelical Protestant sects active in the Southwest about a century ago had used Jewish imagery and Hebrew writing in their proselytizing, and that these symbols had become ingrained in isolated Hispanic communities.
Skepticism aside, some rabbis view assistance to or conversions of crypto-Jews as a responsibility. "The American Jewish community provided support in bringing Soviet, Albanian or Syrian Jews to the United States, and helping them in their transition," said Rabbi Leon of Congregation B'nai Zion, a Conservative congregation in El Paso. "I don't see how the crypto-Jews are any different."
The cause was complications of Alzheimer's disease, said Murray Grigor, a friend and associate.
He and the filmmakers Adrian Malone and Peter Montagnon came to devise the genre of authored documentaries, in which they presented distinguished hosts to a new generation of viewers ready to follow their explorations of history and the arts.
With Mr. Montagnon, Mr. Gill directed and produced "Civilisation," a highly successful series consisting of three months' worth of weekly broadcasts that was shown on public television and in museums all over the world. Narrated by Lord Clark, the eminent British art historian, it originated with the British Broadcasting Corporation for the express purpose of bringing the riches and wonders of his métier to a wider audience in a comprehensive tableau.
Historically speaking, however, the administration's struggles since the 2004 election may not be very surprising, given the spotted record of second-term presidencies.
Bill Clinton was impeached, though not convicted. Several close aides to Ronald Reagan were indicted in the Iran-contra scandal. Richard M. Nixon, of course, resigned over Watergate. And Woodrow Wilson couldn't get Congress to ratify the League of Nations and struggled with debilitating health problems.
"It fits into what has been a recent pattern over what has been now 70-odd years," said Chester Pach, a presidential historian at Ohio University. "It's hard to know how it could play out. It could be a real disaster, but it could be a period of temporary reverses."
Alfred J. Zacher, author of "Trial and Triumph - Presidential Power in the Second Term," says that of the 19 presidents re-elected through history, only six can be said to have had truly successful second terms, and even some of them faced significant challenges. The six, according to Mr. Zacher, are George Washington, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Reagan.
Several historians attribute the second term problems to a confluence of hubris, overreaching and, oddly, complacency.
Presidents and their staffs are typically triumphant after re-election, especially if they are believed to have won a greater mandate than they did in their first election as Mr. Bush did, leading to a high self-regard among the administration officials.
But there is also a tendency toward complacency and burnout given the incredibly strenuous and taxing workload carried by White House staffers. Realizing that vulnerability, and looking to cement their legacies as great leaders before they leave office, many presidents set what may be over-ambitious goals, said Rick Shenkman, editor of the History News Network at George Mason University. "They want to do something really big."
SOURCE: NYT (10-27-05)
In recent days, several prominent members of the Republican Party had begun to publicly question Ms. Miers's nomination, suggesting that she was not conservative enough on issues like abortion. Others, including both Republicans and Democrats, have questioned Ms. Miers's lack of judicial experience since her nomination was announced by President Bush on Oct. 3. Democratic senators had also sought White House documents from Ms. Miers, who is the White House counsel, that might have given clues to her judicial philosophy.
From the Wa Po account:
Bush is"deeply disappointed in the process," McClellan said. Miers will remain as White House counsel and will be involved in choosing a new court nominee, he added.
The decision marked the end of one of the most contentious Supreme Court nominations in recent years, following on controversies over the naming of Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork. Thomas was approved by the Senate in 1991 after a bitter confirmation hearing and Bork was defeated in 1987. A major political difference between the Bork and Miers nominations is that Bork was championed by a powerful wing of the GOP, while Miers appeared to have only one truly enthusiastic supporter, the president.
The last person to withdraw as a Supreme Court nominee was Douglas H. Ginsburg, nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Ginsburg pulled out after revealing that he had used marijuana. Three nominees have been rejected by the Senate in modern times, including Bork.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate minority leader who supported Miers, called the withdrawal a victory for"the radical right wing" of the Republican Party.
SOURCE: NYT (10-26-05)
Mr. Heim, born in Austria 91 years ago, is accused of torturing and killing hundreds of prisoners at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria in 1941 and 1942. The crimes for which he is sought include injecting gasoline into the hearts of victims, conducting operations on prisoners without anesthesia and executing prisoners just to record how long they took to die.
Spain has been a haven for Nazi war criminals since the end of World War II, when many were drawn here by the protection offered by the government of Francisco Franco, according to scholars of the issue.
Even after Franco died in 1975 and democracy was established, Spain's elected governments did little to cooperate with international searches for Nazi war criminals, those scholars said.
José María Irujo, author of "The Black List," a book about Nazis who fled to Spain, said in an interview that whole colonies of them lived here undisturbed for decades. "Many lived out their lives here, and died peacefully," he said.
"We are talking about hundreds of people," he said. "Spanish governments never did anything."
SOURCE: NYT (10-26-05)
"She showed me that maybe you can change the world, maybe I can change the world," said Tyrone Ashe, one in a stream of visitors to the Henry Ford Museum, where officials say they have on display the very city bus, No. 2857 from Montgomery, Ala., in which Mrs. Parks once refused to give up her seat.
As memorials were planned in her honor in several cities, people around the country reflected on Mrs. Parks's legacy, the oldest among them recalling their own days of entering separate doors and bathrooms and restaurants, the youngest speaking more fuzzily of a woman whose name they had read in their history texts.
President Bush described her as "one of the most inspiring women" of the 20th century, one who would always carry a "special place in American history."
Representative John Conyers Jr., the Michigan Democrat whose office employed Mrs. Parks for two decades, called the modest and unassuming woman who once worked as a seamstress a giant.
"There are very few people who can say their actions and conduct changed the face of the nation, and Rosa Parks is one of those individuals," Mr. Conyers said.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called for flags to be flown at half-staff.
Name of source: Deutsche Welle
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (10-31-05)
Historian Henry Leide drew on Stasi files that have not been opened to the general public since the fall of communism in 1989 to trace the often well-paid careers of 35 of Hitler's men who found a reprieve in the secret police.
The case of SS officer Hans Sommer is not exceptional, according to the book titled "Nazi Criminals and the Secret Service: The German Democratic Republic's Secret Ways of Dealing With the Past."
Sommer was instrumental in the bombing of seven synagogues in Paris in October 1941. But after World War II, he spent years spying on right-wing politicians for the new regime in East Germany, and was later posted to Italy where he continued to do the same.
Many Nazis were tried after the war but some were saved by the StasiBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Many Nazis were tried after the war but some were saved by the StasiOfficially, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) adopted a resolutely anti-fascist stance and in the years following World War II its courts condemned more than 8,000 former Nazis.
The Waldheim trial in Saxony in 1950, for example, saw 32 former Nazi operatives sentenced to death.
Name of source: Haartez
SOURCE: Haartez (10-30-05)
The proposal calls for January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, to be recognized as the day which the UN marks as Holocaust Day. In recent years, a few European states have set an annual date on their calendar to commemorate the Holocaust.
As part of the UN proposal, all member states will be called upon to develop an educational curriculum meant to instill the memory of the Holocaust among the coming generations in order to prevent future instances of genocide.
Name of source: Telegraph (London)
SOURCE: Telegraph (London) (10-29-05)
Peter Hug, a historian whose inquiry was sponsored by the Swiss authorities, said his country "was a pillar of support for the apartheid government".
According to his report, which also found evidence of Germany's role in bolstering the white regime, the Swiss government was aware of illegal deals but "tolerated them in silence, supported some of them actively or criticised them only half-heartedly".
The most alarming aspect of the co-operation was the involvement in South Africa's secret atomic weapons programme, said Mr Hug.
Between the 1970s and 1993 Pretoria built six nuclear weapons and partially assembled a seventh. The Swiss firms Gebruder Sulzer AG and VAT Buchs supplied vital components.
"The fissionable material needed for this originated from the uranium enrichment that South Africa had built up with technical support from Switzerland, Germany and other countries.
"Swiss industry got around the arms embargo that the UN had imposed on South Africa in grand style," said Mr Hug, a historian at the University of Bern.
His report cited a deal worth at least 100 million Swiss francs (£44 million) which was brokered in 1977 and involved the supply of "highly sensitive technology".
Mr Hug said that Swiss industry violated the UN arms embargo and even flouted rules on arms exports defined by Switzerland.
In the mid-1980s most western countries, including the United States, imposed sweeping embargoes to try to bring an end to the policies of white domination.
But Switzerland refused to join the ban, arguing that it was incompatible with its neutrality and would have few practical results other than worsening the population's plight.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (10-28-05)
It was a war in everything but name. The Malayan Emergency, as it became known, was a bitter conflict fought against hardened ethnic Chinese communists.
Eventually the British, Malayan and Commonwealth forces pushed the communists back far into the jungle, finally ending the conflict in 1960.
But 2,500 soldiers had died and for many young national servicemen from Scotland, their lives would never be the same again.
SOURCE: BBC News (10-27-05)
Mr McQuillan did drown in the disaster, but his body was found and brought ashore at Halifax in Nova Scotia.
Ninety-three years ago, back in the ship's home city of Belfast, his grieving family could only believe what they saw in the papers.
The Belfast Telegraph of 4 May 1912 revealed Mr McQuillan was not one of the survivors and that the bodies of the missing Belfast firemen who stoked the Titanic's engines "lay in a sailor's grave, two miles beneath the ocean".
In a cruel twist of fate, just two days later, William McQuillan's body was buried in grave 183 in Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Canada.
Until last week, his family assumed he was just one of about 1,000 people lost at sea in the disaster.
SOURCE: BBC News (10-28-05)
SOURCE: BBC News (10-26-05)
Name of source: The Independent (London)
SOURCE: The Independent (London) (10-15-05)
The high-altitude line from Cuzcu was covered by more than three metres (9.8 feet) deep on Wednesday. Some 400,000 people visit Peru's most famous tourist attraction every year.
Many of the evacuees, who were being moved out by road last night, are Europeans and Americans, a city official in Cuzco said.
It is thought that melting Andes snow was responsible. The slide comes as a surprise given that October is normally a dry season for with only moderate temperatures.
At 2,400 metres (7,800 feet) above sea level, the pre-Colombian Machu Picchu is a mysterious place built in a dramatic landscape for reasons that have been forgotten with the passing of the Inca empire. It is believed to have been constructed by the great ruler Pachacuti around the middle of the 15th century. The Spanish conquistadors were never able to find the site, probably because it had been abandoned before the Spanish arrived.
This is not the first time erratic weather has wrought disaster on the region. In April 2004, at least six people died in a mudslide. In 1997 and 1998, El Nino caused massive damage to the economy by blocking transportation.
The heavy rains have now retreated and repair to the tracks is expected to take three days
Name of source: Duke University News Release distributed through AScribe, The Public Interest Newswire
"Political debacles like this can be traced back to personality traits of presidents," said Chafe, the author of "Private Lives/Public Consequences."
"Two traits dominate the Bush personality: a passionate devotion to an inner circle of friends and allies (sometimes called 'cronies'); and a singular self-certainty, rooted in his 'born-again' religious conversion, that his is the only way, and you are either for us or against us," Chafe said.
Both traits can be seen in today's expected federal indictment, said Chafe, the former dean of Arts and Sciences at Duke. "Joseph Wilson had the temerity to criticize Bush's policy in Iraq -- a 'no-no' given Bush's conviction that the Iraq war was righteous and necessary - and, consistent with Bush's determination to punish his foes, his inner staffers set out to retaliate against Wilson."
Chafe, a former president of the Organization of American Historians, also noted that Bush's recent problems fall into a pattern that has afflicted other second-term presidents.
"Franklin Roosevelt's massive New Deal majority fell apart when he tried to 'pack' the Supreme Court; LBJ's overwhelming re-election mandate became a victim of growing sentiment against the Vietnam War; and Ronald Reagan's decisive victory in 1984 was followed by the Iran-Contra affair and the rogue behavior of a few White House staffers. There is a remarkable similarity in all of these cases to what is happening today -- witness the fate of Bush's proposals to transform Social Security, the growing unpopularity of the war in Iraq and the current problems among White House staffers.
"Perhaps the most important lesson a second-term president can learn," Chafe concluded, "is to act humbly, listen to critics and avoid self-destructive behavior."
Name of source: Press Release from the American Historical Association
SOURCE: Press Release from the American Historical Association (10-28-05)
The web site's technical difficulties were directly related to Hurricane Wilma. Our web hosting company, Advances.com, is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On the morning of Monday, October 24th Wilma hit, downing power lines and hurling debris into our hosting company's generator. With power out and phone lines down we were unable to contact them until Thursday the 28th. They're back in business, and so is the American Historical Association's web site.
Name of source: Jewish Telegraph Agency
SOURCE: Jewish Telegraph Agency (10-28-05)
Often bypassing school boards and nudging aside approved curricula, teaching programs funded by Saudi Arabia make their way into elementary and secondary school classrooms.
These teachings enter school systems with the help of a federal program, Title VI of the Higher Education Act, that is now up for renewal.
Expert analyses of these materials have found them to be full of inaccuracies, bias and proselytizing. They also have found that many of the major history and social studies textbooks used in schools across the country are highly critical of democratic institutions and forgiving of repressive ones.
These materials praise and sometimes promote Islam, but criticize Judaism and Christianity and are filled with false assertions.
Most taxpayers don’t know they’re paying — at the federal, state and local levels — for the public schools to advance these materials.
Much has been written about the anti-Israel, anti-American bias found at many university Middle East studies departments, some of which receive Saudi funding. Critics have also probed the export of Saudi teachings to American mosques and Islamic schools.
A special yearlong investigation by JTA reveals for the first time how Saudi influence is penetrating the American classrooms of young children.
The investigation uncovers the complex path by which biased textbooks and supplementary teaching materials creep into U.S. public schools. It reveals who creates these materials and how some of America’s most prestigious universities — with the use of federal funds — become involved in disseminating them.
Saudi influence enters the classrooms in three different ways. The first is through teacher-training seminars that provide teachers with graduate or continuing-education credits.
The second is through the dissemination of supplementary teaching materials designed and distributed with Saudi support. Such materials flood the educational system and are available online.
The third is through school textbooks paid for by taxpayers, some of them vetted by activists with Saudi ties, who advise and influence major textbook companies about the books’ Islamic, Arab, Palestinian, Israeli and Middle Eastern content.
Ironically, what gives credibility to the dissemination of these distorted materials is Title VI of the Higher Education Act, a federal program enacted in 1958 in part to train international experts to meet the nation’s security needs.
Under Title VI, select universities get federal funding and prestigious designation as national resource centers for the study of places and languages the government deems vital for meeting global challenges.
Eighteen of these centers are for the study of the Middle East; each receives an average of about $500,000 per year. The taxpayer-supported grants are worth at least 10 times that amount in their ability to garner university support and attract outside funding, proponents of Title VI say.
As part of its federal mandate, each center assigns an outreach coordinator to extend its expertise to the community and to school-age children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Outreach usually includes workshops, guest speakers, books, pamphlets and whole syllabuses and curricula broken down into teaching modules, with instruction booklets for teachers, and sometimes visual aids such as films.
While some school district officials are completely unaware of the material reaching their teachers and classrooms, others welcome it: Believing they’re importing the wisdom of places like Harvard or Georgetown, they actually are inviting into their schools whole curricula and syllabuses developed with the support of Riyadh.
The “Arab World Studies Notebook” is one such example. Billed by its creators as an important tool to correct misperceptions about Islam and the Arab world, the manual for secondary schools has been blasted by critics for distorting history and propagating bias.
First published in 1990 as the “Arab World Notebook,” the manual was updated to its current form in 1998. The newer publication was created as the joint project of two organizations — both of which receive Saudi funding.
Some of the references are subtle, critics say, making them all the more harmful. For example, the manual:
• Denigrates the Jews’ historical connection to Jerusalem. One passage, describing the Old City, says: “the Jerusalem that most people envisage when they think of the ancient city, is Arab. Surrounding it are ubiquitous high-rises built for Israeli settlers to strengthen Israeli control over the holy city.”
• Suggests that Jews have undue influence on U.S. foreign policy. Referring to Harry Truman’s support of the 1947 United Nations resolution to partition Palestine, separating it into Jewish and Arab states, it says: “Truman’s decision to push the U.N. decision to partition Palestine ended in the creation of Israel. The questions of Jewish lobbying and its impact on Truman’s decision with regard to American recognition — and indeed, the whole question of defining American interests and concerns — is well worth exploring.”
• Suggests that the Koran “synthesizes and perfects earlier revelations,” meaning those ascribed to by Christians and Jews.
• Leaves out any facts and figures about the State of Israel in its country-by-country section, but refers instead only to Palestine.
One of the groups involved in the publication is the Berkeley, Calif.-based Arab World and Islamic Resources, or AWAIR, (www.awaironline.org) founded in 1990 with funding from organizations that include Saudi Aramco, a Saudi government-owned oil company.
The editor of the notebook is Audrey Shabbas, AWAIR’s founder. Saudi Aramco World, the publication of Saudi Aramco, features pieces praising Shabbas and her teacher-training materials.
The second organization involved in the manual is the Middle East Policy Council of Washington, which helps print and disseminate the 500-page manual of essays, lesson plans and primary sources.
The council lists the manual as the primary resource material for its teacher-training program. It employs Shabbas to conduct its training and seminars. According to the group’s Web site (www.mepc.org),
more than 16,000 educators have attended its workshops in 175 cities in 43 states. The manual itself claims to have reached 25 million students.
The council, which is headed by Charles Freeman Jr., a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, gets direct funding from Saudi Arabia.
In an interview, the council’s acting director, Jon Roth, declined to specify how much money his group gets from Riyadh, but made clear that he is seeking much more.
In September, Roth visited Saudi Arabia to meet with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, a member of the royal family who owns Kingdom Holding Company, one of the world’s wealthiest companies.
“We have been trying to cultivate the relationship with the prince for a long time, because he has lots of money,” Roth said after his trip.
“Our hope and expectation is millions” from the Saudi prince, who initiated the meeting after hearing about the teaching program, Roth said. He said his group operates on an annual budget of $750,000.
The council’s board of directors includes executives from companies with huge financial stakes in Saudi Arabia, including Boeing, ExxonMobil Saudi Arabia, the Carlyle Group and the Saudi Binladin Group.
Roth said that funding to the organization “has no strings attached.”
Sandra Stotsky, a former senior associate commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, is one of a growing number of critics of the “Arab World Studies Notebook.” It is one of the examples she cites in a study, “The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America’s History Teachers,” in which she examines supplemental teaching materials.
The problem with many of the supplemental materials, which are most often distributed through teacher training workshops, “is the ideological mission of the organizations that create them,” she said in her study, published last year by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Washington-based think tank on education.
“They embed their political agendas in the instructional materials they create so subtly that apolitical teachers are unlikely to spot them.”
In an interview with JTA, Stotsky called the notebook “a piece of propaganda” rather than scholarly work.
The American Jewish Committee issued a scathing report on the manual earlier this year, called “Propaganda, Proselytizing, and Public Education: A Critique of the Arab World Studies Notebook. ”
The report said that the publication, while “attempting to redress a perceived deficit in sympathetic views of the Arabs and Muslim religion in the American classroom, veers in the opposite direction — toward historical distortion as well as uncritical praise, whitewashing and practically proselytizing.”
The result, the AJCommittee report said, “is a text that appears largely designed to advance the anti-Israel and propagandistic views of the Notebook’s sponsors, the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) and Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR), to an audience of teachers who may not have the resources and knowledge to assess this text critically.”
David Harris, the AJCommittee’s executive director, said upon issuing the report in February: “Educating American children about the Middle East and about different religions is vitally important, but the notebook is precisely the wrong way to go about it.”
Shabbas, in the introduction to the manual, says that AWAIR’s mission is to counter the “rampant negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims held by most Americans.”
“Recognizing that no work is of greater importance than the preparation of our young people for their roles as thoughtful and informed citizens of the twenty-first century, and recognizing too that U.S. involvement with the Arab World and with the wider world of Islam is certain to remain close for many years, AWAIR’s goal is to increase awareness and understanding of this world region and this world faith through educational outreach at the pre-collegiate level,” she writes.
In an interview with JTA, Shabbas said the goal of the notebook is “to establish a basis for understanding the Middle East” by examining the largest of the groups that live there — the Arabs.
Responding to criticism specifically about the effect of Jewish lobbying, she said everything in the manual comes from the Arab and Muslim point of view: “The notebook is what it is. If you go out anywhere in the Arab world, you’re likely to hear that view” of the U.N. partition and Jewish influence.
“Most textbooks merely tell people the U.N. voted for partition and the Arabs rejected it,” she said, adding that American students need to “delve into why people do what they do; what are their values.”
She also noted that the publication directs students to solicit other perspectives from various groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee.
Roth of the Middle East Policy Council dismissed the critics of the notebook as “cranks.” His council touts the manual as an important resource for educators.
The manual is “of such high standards that the Middle East Policy Council believes it should be in the hands of every educator,” the group’s Web site says.
In an interview, Roth said Israel is “a big topic” for the council, but added, “The council does not take a position on Israel’s existence. The council does not take positions at all.”
Criticism also has come lately from parents offended by what their children are learning. Parental pressure led to the manual being banned in school districts in Tulsa, Okla., and Anchorage.
The AJCommittee took the unusual step of issuing a public warning “urging school districts across the nation” not to use the manual.
Still, Shabbas and her publication are welcomed by outreach coordinators to some of the nation’s key national resource centers, including those at Georgetown, Harvard and Yale, from where she said in the interview that she had just returned from conducting a teacher-training session.
Many of the principal players involved in disseminating pro-Islamic, anti-American and anti-Israel materials to the public school system have links, direct or indirect, to a little-known place called Dar al Islam.
Located in Abiquiu, N.M., Dar al Islam (www.daralislam.org), which means “abode of Islam” in Arabic, is an Islamic enclave registered with the state as a non-profit in 1979.
Situated in the remote mountainous desert of northern New Mexico, near the Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe lived, the massive complex is accessible only by an unpaved, dirt road.
It was created with direct financing from the late Saudi monarch, King Khaled ibn Aziz, and from five princesses in the Royal House of Saud, according to Saudi Aramco World.
A 1988 article in Saudi Aramco World detailed the saga of the royal family’s purchase of 8,500 acres of land and construction of a mosque and other buildings to form Dar al Islam.
According to the enclave’s Web site, the original intent was to establish a “Muslim village as a showcase for Islam in America.” When that became too difficult, the vision changed to an educational conference and retreat center.
Those buildings sit on 1,600 of the original acres; the rest was sold and invested to help finance its operation, Dar al Islam officials say.
In addition to the mosque, the enclave has a madrassa, or religious school, summer camp and teacher-training institute. It runs speakers bureaus and programs and maintains a Web site.
Dar al Islam spokesman Abdur Ra’uf Walter Declerck acknowledges some minor participation in the creation of Dar al Islam by a Saudi princess, but he disputes most of the funding history of Dar al Islam as recounted in the Saudi Aramco World article.
“It was not purchased by the royal family,” he said. Funding then and now “comes from Muslims all over,” he said, but would not elaborate.
Many of the individuals and groups involved in promoting education about Islam and the Arab world in American schools have ties to Dar al Islam.
Some are educators such as Shabbas, whose work is promoted by outreach coordinators at the national resource centers, and some are outreach coordinators themselves.
Shabbas, the lecturer and editor of “The Arab World Studies Notebook,” was director of Dar al Islam’s summer teacher-training program in 1994 and 1995, according to Declerck and Shabbas.
Others with connections to Dar al Islam include:
• Zeina Azzam Seikaly, outreach coordinator at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, a Title VI National Resource Center on the Middle East. For several years she was assistant director of Dar al Islam’s teacher-training institute, according to Dar al Islam’s Declerck.
Seikaly promotes many associates of Dar al Islam, printing their writings and inviting them to lecture. Shabbas has been involved in teacher training at Georgetown. Asked about Dar al Islam, Seikaly at first refused to discuss it, then admitted working there, but only for two weeks.
• The Council on Islamic Education. The group until recently was listed as an associate of Dar al Islam, under the heading of secondary schools. Independent textbook review organizations describe the council as one of the most powerful groups in the country influencing the content of textbooks. Critics say that in its effort to promote a positive view of Islam, it distorts history.
The group’s director, Shabbir Mansuri, says his organization is a “non-advocacy research organization.”
Criticism that his group exerts undue influence on textbook publishers “comes from people who have no idea what we do,” he said.
“The Constitution allows us all a place at the table, without leaving our heritage at the door,” he told JTA. “I can lobby, I can demand and I can contribute.”
In initial interviews, Dar al Islam officials said the council has multiple roles there, including helping to create and evaluate content for its teachers.
After those interviews, the Dar al Islam site was changed to eliminate any mention of the council.
Asked to explain, Declerck said it was taken down to “avoid confusion. We know each other but we are independent organizations, we are not connected.”
• Susan Douglass. An associate of Dar al Islam’s Teachers Institute, she also is the curriculum specialist for the Council on Islamic Education.
She is a former teacher at the Islamic Saudi Academy of Virginia, a Saudi government-supported school, and she consults on textbooks and curriculum by major publishers. She has written a series of books on Islam for K-6 students at Islamic and public schools.
One of Dar al Islam’s Web sites, islamamerica.org, posts articles defending Palestinians and their supporters, while excoriating democracies, including America and Israel.
Some Saudi watchers say Saudi Arabia’s goal is to export the most rigid brand of Islam: Wahhabi Islam, which in contrast to other forms of Islam, is intolerant of other religions, according to experts.
It’s an agenda “more dangerous than communism” ever was, according to Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, a Washington-based pro-democracy think tank, because it targets all non-believers, including Christians, Jews and most Muslims.
Such apostates have only three choices, he said: “Convert, be subjugated or die.”
The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to several requests for comment.
Declerck of Dar al Islam said the kind of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, is “not what we transmit. Dar al Islam communicates much more of a mainstream Islam,” he said.
But Al-Ahmed was adamant. In American public schools, he said, the Saudis are carrying out “a deliberate program to spread their version of Islam everywhere.”
“Their job is to give money to certain groups of Islamic organizations, to fund certain people, and those people they fund are people who they believe will further their goal of spreading Wahhabi Islam,” he said.
Name of source: Inside Higher Education
SOURCE: Inside Higher Education (10-28-05)
The installment that eventually won was praised by the judges and others as a beautiful metaphor of the struggles and promises of integrating higher education. It won unanimous approval from the judges, but was delayed in construction while donations were gathered. Then, this month, the artist whose design won got a call from Robert Khayat, the chancellor of Ole Miss, who told him that the plan did not fit the university’s needs, and that the university would use a new design from an architect who often does work on campus. Now, those involved with the effort that led to the original selection, which one of the judges called “the most comprehensive, inclusive effort I’ve ever been involved in,” are left upset and confused.
Name of source: Press Release
SOURCE: Press Release (10-28-05)
A Celebration features interviews with those who know the New-York Historical Society and its resources well--Martin Scorsese, David McCullough, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Professor James Horton, Chief Historian of the current Slavery in New York exhibit, the Society’s president and CEO, Louise Mirrer and co-Chair of the Board, Nancy Newcomb.
Scorsese recalls his visits to NYHS as a youngster growing up in lower Manhattan, and how he would later use the Society as a key resource for films such as Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence; McCullough proclaims NYHS “the custodian for national treasures;”
Ric Burns produced the award winning PBS series New York: A Documentary Film. His other documentary film credits include Coney Island, The Donner Party, The Way West, Ansel Adams, and The Civil War, which he co-produced with his brother Ken Burns. He has been awarded Emmys, a Peabody, a Christopher Award and the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Award, among others.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (10-28-05)
SOURCE: Boston Globe (10-28-05)
The student and teachers said yesterday that they don't necessarily agree with a small group of historians who contend that the slaughter of more than a million Armenians by Turks during World War I wasn't genocide.
The case is about censorship, they say, and what they see as state education officials buckling to political pressure and deliberately omitting opposing viewpoints from its course materials about one of the worst massacres in world history.
''I think history teachers have a responsibility to teach students many perspectives of historical events, particularly events that are controversial today," said Ted Griswold, a Lincoln-Sudbury High School senior, who joined the Assembly of Turkish American Associations as a plaintiff in the suit filed Wednesday in US District Court in Boston.
The suit alleges that the Department of Education, its commissioner, David P. Driscoll, and board chairman James A. Peyser, violated the civil rights of free speech and due process by eliminating material from the curriculum that challenged whether the massacre was a genocide.
The Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill in 1998 that required the Department of Education to create guidelines for a high school curriculum on genocide and human rights issues, including the Holocaust, the Irish potato famine, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the Armenian genocide.
But after initially including dissenting views from Turkish groups and historians, education officials removed those materials from the curriculum when they received a letter of protest from the bill's sponsor, Senator Steven A. Tolman, a Brighton Democrat.
Name of source: AHA Perspectives
SOURCE: AHA Perspectives (10-28-05)
Finding the next chief historian is an important step for the National Park Service. It comes at a time when the NPS is more conscious than ever of the need to pursue its educational mission vigorously. The NPS has long been among the most conspicuous stewards of places where people come to commemorate and learn about American history, and to gain fresh perspectives on the intersections of history and memory. While for many Americans "National Park Service" immediately conjures up visions of Yosemite Falls and the Grand Canyon, the National Park System today includes more places set aside for human history than for natural history—and it is as remarkable for research potential as it is for grand scenery....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (10-28-05)
Parks would be the first woman and second black American to receive the accolade. Jacob J. Chestnut, one of two Capitol police officers fatally shot in 1998, was the first black American to lie in honor, said Senate historian Richard Baker.
Parks also would be the second non-governmental official to be commemorated that way. The remains of Pierre L'Enfant _ the French-born architect who was responsible for the design of Washington, D.C. _ stopped at the Capitol in 1909, long after his death in 1825.
"Rosa Parks is not just a national hero, she is the embodiment of our social and human conscience and the spark that lit the flame of liberty and equality for African Americans and minority groups in this country and around the globe," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democrat.
Officials with the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit said at one point that Parks would lie in repose at the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service, however, said those plans were never formalized.
Lila Cabbil, the institute's president emeritus, said Thursday the information was released prematurely and the foundation and the Parks family were working with Congressional Democrats John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and the White House to make arrangements to have a viewing in Washington.
SOURCE: AP (10-27-05)
A comprehensive, historical database could shed more light on the Atlantic weather cycle that leads to periods of active hurricane seasons such as the one many coastal communities are experiencing now. It is also important to have the historical data so communities won't assume they are immune from being hit by multiple strong storms in short periods of time, said Cary Mock, a University of South Carolina weather researcher.
For example, South Carolina could be hit by two major hurricanes in one year, the New Orleans area could be hit by six strong storms in a decade and a hurricane could strike New York City.
"If it happened in the past, something like that can definitely happen in the future,'' Mock said.
The National Hurricane Center's official hurricane database goes back to 1850, but Mock has a three-year National Science Foundation grant to identify land-falling storms from New England to the Caribbean dating before the 19th century.
SOURCE: AP (10-25-05)
"As people get older and people pass, it becomes more and more difficult to have that sort of firsthand knowledge" of the fight for integration, said U.S. Rep. John Lewis (news, bio, voting record), a Georgia Democrat who first met Parks as a 17-year-old student and activist. "It becomes a little more difficult to pass it on."
Lewis, who once headed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, added that the social challenges of today — persistent racial gaps in poverty, education and wealth, among others — highlight the continued need for activists and teachers to honor Parks' spirit.
"Her life should inspire a generation yet unborn to stand up," he said.
Parks is one of a handful of civil rights figures, along with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, whose name most young people seem to know.
But many are more familiar with "Rosa Parks," the hit song by the hip-hop group OutKast, than her full story, said Renada Johnson, a 25-year-old graduate student at Bowie State University in Maryland, who met Parks in 1997.
"Young people definitely know who she was, but all we were taught in school was that she didn't get up because her feet were hurting," Johnson said. "They don't know her whole story."
Name of source: The Guardian (London)
SOURCE: The Guardian (London) (10-28-05)
Paintings by Picasso, Chagall and Modigliani will be sold by a variety of prestigious institutions, including New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (Moma), the Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Museum directors say they are selling works that have been gathering dust for years in order to replenish their stocks.
"It's only healthy," John Elderfield, the chief curator of painting and sculpture at Moma, told the New York Times. Moma hopes to sell 13 works, including works by Picasso, Henry Moore, and Theo van Rysselberghe's picture of a French Mediterranean harbour, at Christie's next month.
"When the collection was initially developed, Conger Goodyear, the museum's first president, said it would have the same permanence as a river - we know what direction it is going in, but it has to be fluid. That's how we operate. "The van Rysselberghe is very good," he said, by way of example. "But that early part of our collection we don't wish to develop."
With 43 works up for sale at Sotheby's the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is selling more than most and hopes to earn between $ 10m (£5.6m) and $ 15m. "We've taken a pretty aggressive look at the collection, something we don't do that often," said Nancy Thomas, the museum's deputy director. "It's more about the collection and the opportunity to improve it than it is about the market."
Name of source: The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo)
SOURCE: The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo) (10-28-05)
During a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo with Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, Ban said: "[South Korean] people are disappointed. They feel offended and the visit isn't internationally understood."
Ban asked Japan to construct a new facility to replace the Tokyo-based Shinto shrine as a memorial to the war dead.
The South Korean minister also said South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun was unlikely to make his planned visit to Japan in December. "Under the circumstances, [Roh's visit] appears to be difficult," Ban said.
Machimura told Ban that the prime minister's visit to the controversial shrine was meant to mourn the war dead and to express Japan's resolution never to wage war again. However, the two ministers failed to find common ground.
Meanwhile, the two ministers agreed to prepare to add new members to a joint study of Japanese-South Korean history formed by historians from both countries, and to hold the first session this year.
Machimura and Ban also agreed to launch a five-year exchange program next year designed to boost friendship between young people from Japan and South Korea.
Name of source: news.telegraph.uk
SOURCE: news.telegraph.uk (10-28-05)
Known as "tysketöser", German whores, they have until now been excluded from the war pension paid to all who remained true to "good national principles" during the occupation.
Now, however, Norway's government has quietly reversed its policy of discrimination against the women and will start paying the money to the few dozen still left.
"Very few are still alive and most went to their graves as shamed Norwegians," said Eva Simonsen of the University of Oslo. "But the important thing here is the principle.
"These women are no longer to be punished for the love stories of their youth that took place 60 years or more ago."
In fact, the Nazis who occupied Norway actively encouraged affairs between local women and German soldiers, part of an SS plan to enrich the Aryan gene pool. But when the occupiers fled and the puppet regime of Vidkun Quisling fell, the "tysketöser" were denounced as traitors.
Around 14,000 women who had relationships with the enemy were arrested at the end of the war and 5,000 were sent to labour camps.
Even today the estimated 12,000 children they gave birth to are seen by many older Norwegians as a danger to society.
Name of source: AHA
SOURCE: AHA (10-27-05)
Name of source: Village Voice
SOURCE: Village Voice (10-27-05)
Name of source: Swissinfo
SOURCE: Swissinfo (10-27-05)
Name of source: Press release issued by the Wyman Institute
SOURCE: Press release issued by the Wyman Institute (10-27-05)
The protest was organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. "During the 1930s, too many Americans were silent in the face of rising antisemitism, with tragic results," said Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff. "Our generation must not repeat that error. We must speak out against antisemitism today, whenever and wherever it erupts."
The rabbis' letter was sent to the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2005. Two days later, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported the Jordanian Embassy's announcement (on Oct. 26) that the series has been cancelled, noting that "a group of rabbis that had met with Jordanian King Abdullah II in September wrote the king a letter urging him to stop the broadcasts."
Those who signed the Wyman Institute's letter of protest included Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, vice-president of Reform Judaism's Hebrew Union College. Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist rabbis also signed the letter.
The antisemitic television series, called "Al-Shatat," portrays Jews conspiring to assassinate world leaders, cause stock market crashes, and provoke world wars, as part of a plan to conquer the world, based on the notorious antisemitic forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." One episode depicts Jews murdering a Christian child in order to use his blood for Passover matzos. Another episode shows Jewish leaders helping the Nazis slaughter Europe's Jews, in order to win world sympathy for Zionism.
The 29-part series had been running on the Al-Mamnou television channel in Jordan. In recent years, the series was also aired on Hezbollah's Al-Manar Television and on Iranian Television.
In their letter to Jordan's king, the twenty-four rabbis wrote: "We fear that these horrifying libels could incite viewers to hatred and even violence. Jordanian citizens, especially young people, should not be inculcated with such messages and images, which undermine your noble efforts to promote peace ... Your Majesty, the words you spoke at our meeting last month gave us hope. Please do not allow Al-Mamnou to shatter that hope by broadcasting incitement to hatred."
The letter also suggested that Jordanian Television should air the Holocaust movie "Schindler's List," which Jordan and other Arab countries refused to show when it came out, in 1994.
The text of the letter, and the full list of signatories, follows:
October 24, 2005
His Royal Highness Abdullah II
Embassy of Jordan
Washington, D.C. (via fax 202-966-3110)
We were among the rabbis who had the privilege of meeting with you at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., last month, and hearing your moving words of peace and brotherhood.
Rare is the leader who has the courage to speak the way you did. Your impassioned condemnation of terrorists as "violent and ignorant extremists" sent a powerful message to the enemies of peace. Your stirring call to Muslims and Jews to "honor our common heritage" filled us with hope of a better future for all our children, Muslim and Jewish alike.
It is precisely because of our concern for the future of our children that we are writing to express our surprise and dismay at the news* that the Al-Mamnou television channel in Jordan has begun airing the 29-part series “Al-Shatat.” This hate-filled series, which in recent years was broadcast on Hezbollah's Al-Manar Television and on Iranian Television, portrays Jews conspiring to assassinate world leaders, cause stock market crashes, and provoke world wars, as part of a plan to conquer the world, based on the notorious antisemitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. One episode depicts Jews murdering a Christian child in order to use his blood for Passover matzos. Another episode shows Jewish leaders helping the Nazis slaughter Europe's Jews, in order to win world sympathy for Zionism.
We fear that these horrifying libels could incite viewers to hatred and even violence. Jordanian citizens, especially young people, should not be inculcated with such messages and images, which undermine your noble efforts to promote peace.
We believe that Jordanian television should be a vehicle to facilitate the goals of interfaith conciliation and understanding that you articulated at our meeting. Television programs about the Jewish people should reflect a sense of responsibility and maturity. Programs concerning the Holocaust should exhibit sensitivity and teach viewers important lessons about moral choices, such as those contained in the movie "Schindler's List."
Your Majesty, the words you spoke at our meeting last month gave us hope. Please do not allow Al-Mamnou to shatter that hope by broadcasting incitement to hatred.
Rabbi Jeffrey Bienenfeld
Young Israel of St. Louis
St. Louis, MI
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Rabbi Ronne Friedman
Temple Israel, Boston, MA
Rabbi Dr. Gershon C. Gewirtz
Young Israel of Brookline
Rabbi Steven M. Glazer
Congregation Beth Emeth
Rabbi Leonard Gordon
Germantown Jewish Centre
Rabbi Susan Grossman
Beth Shalom Congregation
Rabbi Joshua Gutoff
The William Davidson School of Jewish Education
New York City
Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman
Washington Hebrew Congregation
Rabbi Marc D. Israel
Director of Education and Congregational Programming
Ohr Kodesh Congregation
Chevy Chase, MD
Rabbi Bruce E. Kahn
Equal Rights Center
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman
Temple Israel, Boston, MA
Rabbi Avis D. Miller
Adas Israel Congregation
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Founder & President
PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values
Rabbi Ethan Seidel
Tifereth Israel Congregation
Rabbi Yakov Travis
Siegal College of Jewish Studies
Rabbi Mohe Waldoks
Temple Beth Zion
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt
Congregation B'nai Tzedek
Rabbi Avi Weinstein
Director of Jewish Studies
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Upper School
Rabbi Jeffrey Wohlberg
Senior Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation
Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg
Beth Tfiloh Congregation
(In addition, Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel has sent a separate letter of protest to King Abdullah II.)
(Institutions listed for identification purposes only.)
* As reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), www. MEMRI.org
ABOUT THE WYMAN INSTITUTE: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located on the campus of Gratz College (near Philadelphia), is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.
The Institute’s Advisory Committee includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Members of Congress, and other luminaries. Its Academic Council includes more than 50 leading professors of the Holocaust, American history, and Jewish history. The Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, chaired by Cynthia Ozick, includes prominent artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. (For a complete list, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org)
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (10-26-05)
In the latest poll, 55 percent of the respondents said that they would vote for the Democratic candidate if Bush were again running for the presidency this year.
Thirty-nine percent of those interviewed said they would vote for Bush in the hypothetical election.
The latest poll results, released Tuesday, were based on interviews with 1,008 adults conducted by telephone October 21-23.
In the poll, 42 percent of those interviewed approved of the way the president is handling his job and 55 percent disapproved. In the previous poll, released October 17, 39 percent approved of Bush's job performance -- the lowest number of his presidency -- and 58 percent disapproved.
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (10-25-05)
She was an activist already, secretary of the local chapter of the NAACP. A member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church all her life, Parks admired the self-help philosophy of Booker T. Washington -- to a point. But even as a child, she thought accommodating segregation was the wrong philosophy. She knew that in the previous year, two other women had been arrested for the same offense, but neither was deemed right to handle the role that was sure to become one of the most controversial of the century.
Name of source: OneWorld
SOURCE: OneWorld (10-25-05)
Their call comes amid a series of hearings being held by the U.S. Congress this week on the future of the historic Voting Rights Act that is due to expire a year before the next presidential election takes place in 2008.
Codified by legislators following nationwide demonstrations organized by the country's civil rights movement and signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, the law has enabled millions of Blacks and other minorities to exercise their right to vote.
"Re-authorization of this Act is critical," says Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights (LCCR). "In making our democracy work, it is important that we do every thing we can to ensure that every citizen's right to vote is protected."
Although the United States Constitution guarantees people of all races the right to vote, minorities can lose protections against discrimination if the Voting Right Act is not fully re-enacted by Congress, rights groups say.
Provisions of the 1965 law that forbid literacy tests and other obstacles for minorities will remain in tact beyond 2007, but others will expire if Congress does not take any action.
Currently, one of such provisions requires states with a history of racial discrimination--mostly in the South--to get federal approval before changing their election laws. Another mandates official assistance for voters who do not speak English.
Rights groups say there are not clear indications of Congressional intentions to introduce retrogressive changes in the voting rights law, but they find some recent moves by the courts and the Bush administration worrisome.
Recently, the Supreme Court and U.S. Justice Department have interpreted certain aspects of the 1965 Law in a way that many civil rights lawyers believe undermines the original intent of its authors.