Just months after three men were convicted of stealing the Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) sign from the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial, two Canadians were detained June 26 for allegedly pilfering two spikes from the railway tracks that run through the compound.
On June 8, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman made a trip to the United States. He met leaders of the Jewish community, attended the opening ceremony of a community center in New York, briefed Israeli diplomats and returned to Jerusalem without making a stop in Washington. During his two-day trip, Lieberman did not meet any American administration officials.
Of all the things I never expected I’d hear coming out of the mouth of Malcolm Hoenlein, the powerful executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, “It’s time to set sail!” was certainly near the top of the list. But there he was, jacket and tie removed, a blue captain’s hat with the words “Israeli Navy” stitched in gold replacing the yarmulke he usually wears. He was standing at the bow of a rickety boat called the “Queen of Hearts,” which was about to make its way around the tip of Manhattan on a swelteringly hot June 24.6
A wave of outrage rippled through New York’s Haredi community, crossing the usual ultra-Orthodox divisions, in response to the June 21 announcement that Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin would be sent to a federal jail for 27 years for bank fraud, with no possibility of parole.24
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