Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Don’t Know Much About History [Obama on Jewish history] by Adam Kredo

Don’t Know Much About History [Obama on Jewish history] by Adam Kredo | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama’s inaccurate assertion that Nazi extermination camps in occupied Poland were in fact “Polish” has led to concern among historians and foreign policy experts that the president’s knowledge of Jewish history and Israel is lacking.

 

• Don’t Know Much About History [Obama on Jewish history] by Adam Kredo http://t.co/xuX3efvl

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Jews Are a 'Race,' Genes Reveal by Jon Entine

Jews Are a 'Race,' Genes Reveal by Jon Entine | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. What does that say about who we are and what we have in common with one another?

 

• Jews Are a 'Race,' Genes Reveal by Jon Entine http://bit.ly/KD5YMf

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New Book: Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer

Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People

~ Harry Ostrer MD (author) More about this product
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Who are the Jews--a race, a people, a religious group? For over a century, non-Jews and Jews alike have tried to identify who they were--first applying the methods of physical anthropology and more recently of population genetics.

 

In Legacy, Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and authority on the genetics of the Jewish people, explores not only the history of these efforts, but also the insights that genetics has provided about the histories of contemporary Jewish people. Much of the book is told through the lives of scientific pioneers. As Ostrer describes their work and the work of others, he shows that to look over the genetics of Jewish groups, and to see the history of the Diaspora woven there, is truly a marvel. Here is what happened as the Jews migrated to new places and saw their numbers wax and wane, as they gained and lost adherents and thrived or were buffeted by famine, disease, wars, and persecution. Many of these groups--from North Africa, the Middle East, India--are little-known, and by telling their stories, Ostrer brings them to the forefront at a time when assimilation is literally changing the face of world Jewry.

 

• New Book: Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer http://amzn.to/KcfXLD

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Why it pays to restore synagogues in the Arab world by Lyn Julius

Why it pays to restore synagogues in the Arab world by Lyn Julius | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Excuse my cynicism, but how is it that these countries can get away with ethnically cleansing their Jewish communities yet reap the PR benefits of restoring Jewish buildings? Just restore a few crumbling buildings, and then pocket the tourist revenues. It’s a win-win situation.

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What future for Tunisia's Jews? by Kouichi Shirayanagi

What future for Tunisia's Jews? by Kouichi Shirayanagi | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Roger Bismuth, the president of the Tunisian Jewish community, has recently been campaigning against what he says is becoming almost a regular occurrence – of radical Islamist groups publicly calling for the killing of Jews. "I will be attending the Hiloula this year, mainly because President Marzouki and many ministers in the Tunisian government are scheduled to attend," he told me. "However, it is so difficult to organise a large event given the circumstances."

 

• What future for Tunisia's Jews? by Kouichi Shirayanagi http://t.co/TQ6eSMS6

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What the Evangelicals Give the Jews by Michael Medved

It’s no longer necessary to promote the idea that Jewish Americans must overcome their horror at Christian influence for the sake of Israel’s security. The stronger argument insists that evangelical Christians deserve our friendship and cooperation because they aren’t just good for Israel; they’re good for America. And even more unexpectedly, they’re good for American Jews.

 

• What the Evangelicals Give the Jews by Michael Medved http://bit.ly/ID3HW6

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New Book: The Aleppo Codex: Obesession, Faith, and the International Pursuit of an Ancient Bible by Matti Friedman

In an age when physical books matter less and less, here is a thrilling story about a book that meant everything. This true-life detective story unveils the journey of a sacred text—the tenth-century annotated bible known as the Aleppo Codex—from its hiding place in a Syrian synagogue to the newly founded state of Israel. Based on Matti Friedman’s independent research, documents kept secret for fifty years, and personal interviews with key players, the book proposes a new theory of what happened when the codex left Aleppo, Syria, in the late 1940s and eventually surfaced in Jerusalem, mysteriously incomplete. Friedman explores the once vibrant Jewish communities in Islamic lands and follows the thread into the present, uncovering difficult truths about how the manuscript was taken to Israel and how its most important pages went missing. Along the way, he raises critical questions about who owns historical treasures and the role of myth and legend in the creation of a nation.

 

• New Book: The Aleppo Codex: Obesession, Faith, and the International Pursuit of an Ancient Bible by Matti Friedman http://amzn.to/JnocjJ

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Kramer on FB: Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing), sight to see

Monday morning, the Passover Priestly Blessing (Birkat Kohanim) will take place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The ceremony evokes the era of the Temple, whose priests were commanded to bless the people. The Kohanim, their descendants, discharge the obligation. In this place (and on this massive scale), it’s a recent tradition, post-1967. The clip is from last Passover. For a closer view: http://goo.gl/jImDW.

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