Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Outdoor shopping centers in Israel reopened for the first time in over two months Tuesday as the government eased some coronavirus restrictions, even as infections in the last day rose.
On Monday night, the Corona Cabinet decided to ease some restrictions from the lockdown imposed in September, allowing stores at outdoor shopping centers to open, but with only four customers allowed in at a time, and sending children in grades 5 and 6 back to school.
Grades 7-12, indoor shopping malls and entertainment venues remain closed, although grades 11 and 12 may return to class next week if the infection rate drops.
The openings Tuesday included “green islands” for tourism in the southern resort city of Eilat and in the hotel area of the Dead Sea, in a bid to get thousands of workers in the paralyzed tourism sector back to work.
“This is great news for the residents of Eilat, but also for each and every one of the citizens of Israel. It will finally be possible to go on vacation in Israel,” said Health Minister Yuli Edelstein during a visit to the city.
However, Edelstein warned it was not open season on traveling to a hotel, telling anybody who wanted to go on vacation to get a coronavirus test first.
“I ask the public not to come here without a negative corona test. Not only those who travel to a hotel, anyone who wants to enter the city and has no exemption should come with a valid corona check,” Edelstein said. “We need to make sure that everyone who enters Eilat does not bring the coronavirus with them.”
The cabinet also voted to increase fines for large gatherings of any kind in a bid to cut down on large weddings that were still being held despite rules limiting gatherings to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors. Police have been working daily to shut down weddings, known to be a major source of infection.
Although large lineups were reported at stores in outdoor commercial centers, owners of kiosks at Tel Aviv’s outdoor Carmel market, which was prohibited from opening, were angered that nearby stores were allowed to open. Police and city inspectors were handing out 5,000 shekel ($1700) fines to owners of market stalls who chose to open for business.
Vegetable stand owner Nassan Bachar accused the government of discrimination in closing the Carmel market stores.
“I will not pay the money and will appeal to the court,” Bachar told Ynet. “I had no choice. We have to make a living because the money is running out.”
“I have 10 employees, one of them has no money for rent,” Bachar said. “Why is the Bezalel market, which is 50 meters from here, open and I am not and still have to pay NIS 13,000 in property taxes on my stall?”
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
President Trump, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your protection of a vulnerable people that has been massacred throughout the ages.
By SHMULEY BOTEACH
NOVEMBER 10, 2020
By now everyone is piling up on US President Donald Trump. They’re calling him a loser. They’re reveling in his defeat. They’re saying America has been saved from the ogre.
But I, for one, will not join in this in this pileup. While I accept the results of the election, in bowing to the majesty of the American democratic tradition, I also submit to Jewish values that tell me to show gratitude to a true friend of our people.
Trump was always a controversial figure. He could at times be deeply divisive, and he reveled in being a counterpuncher. But I will remember him as a staunch friend of the world’s most persecuted nation.
To be a Jew is to almost expect bigotry, double standards and prejudice. To be a Jew is to accept the unbelievable fact that in the lifetime of my parents six million Jews were murdered by firing squads and poison gas. To be a Jew is to live with the almost daily vilification of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.
Onto the stage of tragic history rose President Trump with an unfailing defense of our people at every turn, for he proved to be the greatest friend of Israel ever to occupy the Oval Office.
Trump fundamentally changed the tenor toward Israel at the disgustingly unfair United Nations, where demonization of Israel was a 70-year tradition. He hired the most pro-Israel people ever to serve in an American administration. From Nikki Haley to David Friedman to Jason Greenblatt to Jared Kushner to Avi Berkowitz to Mike Pompeo and, of course, Mike Pence, Trump’s subordinates had Israel’s back at every turn.
They shut down the corrupt Palestinian Authority quasi-embassy in Washington because of its Mahmoud Abbas’s constant incitement against Israel. They held Hamas accountable for its genocidal ambitions and actions against Jews and defunded UNWRA. They recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital, and they recognized the Golan Heights as being forever sovereign Israeli territory.
Israel has had many friends in the White House, from John F. Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan and, of course, George W. Bush. But Trump easily outdid them all.
But he was also the protector of Muslim life, as he demonstrated in Syria, when he fired American missiles at the butcher Bashar Assad, who gassed Arab children and was given a pass by Barack Obama. Trump did this even as he was vilified by his opponents as a hater of Muslims.
If he was hated by the Arabs and Muslims, as his American opponents would have you believe, how is it that only Trump was able to forge peace between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan? Obama could not pull it off. To the contrary, the Arab nations despised Obama’s policies of appeasement of genocidal Iran and, due to Obama’s policies, began to see Israel as a kindred spirit rather than as an enemy.
Trump deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for possibly beginning the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but was given scant praise by his critics for this incredible achievement.
Most notably, he took America out of the execrable Iran deal, which legitimized a regime that hangs gays from cranes and stones women to death. He stopped the immoral payments to a regime that is the foremost purveyor of terrorism around the world.
It is fashionable to attack Trump now that he has lost the election, even as he lost by the thinnest of margins and garnered more than 70 million votes. But I will not be one who joins the demonization of a true friend of my people.
Rather, I will thank him and ask his successor, Joe Biden, who has a long history of friendship with the Jewish people and Israel, to embrace his predecessor’s 180-degree shift toward Israel and continue to champion the Middle East’s only democracy.
Gratitude is a dying virtue in our world, which puts partisan loyalty before basic decency and values. To be sure, Trump, like the rest of us, is a flawed man, and he, like all presidents who preceded him, made many mistakes. For such is the price we all pay for human leadership.
But on the subject of Israel and the Middle East, as well as other notable accomplishments, especially the growing of the American economy, he was exceptional and deserves to be recognized as such.
President Trump, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your protection of a vulnerable people that has been massacred throughout the ages.
May God bless you and keep you, and may the country that you have served for the last four years be fair and thankful in their assessment of your legacy. And may President-elect Biden follow in your trailblazing footsteps of friendship to Israel and the Jewish people.
The writer, “America’s rabbi,” is the international best-selling author of more than 30 books and is the founder of The World Values Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RabbiShmuley.
EATURED ARTIST:I LOVE LUCY LUCILLE BALL
Lucille Désirée Ballactress, comedian, model, studio executive and producer. She was the star and producer of sitcoms
I Love Lucy,
The Lucy Show,
Here's Lucy, and
Life with Lucy, as well as comedy television specials aired under the title
The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
Ball's career began when she landed work as a model. Shortly thereafter, she began her performing career on
stage nameDiane (or Dianne) Belmont. She later appeared in several minor film roles as a contract player for
RKO Radio Pictures, being cast as a chorus girl or in similar roles.
During this time, she met Cuban bandleader
Desi Arnaz, and the two
elopedin November 1940.
In the 1950s, Ball ventured into television. In 1951, she and Arnaz created the sitcom
I Love Lucy, a series that became one of the most beloved programs in television history.
The same year, Ball gave birth to their first child,
Desi Arnaz Jr.in 1953. Ball and Arnaz divorced in May 1960, and she married comedian
Gary Mortonin 1961.
Following the end of
I Love Lucy, Ball produced and starred in the Broadway musical
Wildcat. The show received lukewarm reviews and had to be closed when Ball became ill for several weeks. After
Wildcat, Ball reunited with
I Love Lucyco-star
TheLucy Show, which Vance left in 1965. The show continued, with Ball's longtime friend and series regular
Gale Gordon, until 1968. Ball immediately began appearing in a new series,
Here's Lucy, with Gordon, frequent show guest
Mary Jane Croft, and Lucie and Desi Jr.; this program ran until 1974.
In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio,
Desilu Productions, which produced many popular television series, including
Ball did not retire from acting completely, and in 1985, she took on a dramatic role in the television film
Stone Pillow. The next year she starred in
Life with Lucy, which was, unlike her other sitcoms, not well-received; the show was cancelled after three months. She appeared in film and television roles for the rest of her career until her death in April 1989 from an
abdominal aortic aneurysmat the age of 77.
Ball was nominated for 13
Primetime Emmy Awards, winning four times. In 1960, she received two stars for her work in film and television on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1977, Ball was among the first recipients of the Women in Film
Crystal Award. She was also the recipient of the
Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Awardin 1979, was inducted into the
Television Hall of Famein 1984, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Kennedy Center Honorsin 1986, and the Governors Award from the
Academy of Television Arts & Sciencesin 1989
Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done. If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do. I'm not funny. What I am is brave. I'm happy that I have brought laughter because I have been shown by many the value of it in so many lives, in so many ways. How I Love Lucy was born? We decided that instead of divorce lawyers profiting from our mistakes, we'd profit from them.
Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball With her groundbreaking television series The
Carol BurnettShow — the first sketch comedy program to be hosted by a woman —
Carol Burnetthelped pave the way for a generation of female comedians and showrunners. ... After a chance meeting one night in 1959,
Burnettfound that in
Lucille Ball— and a lifelong friend.
The Law Is There’s No Presidential Transition Until Congress Certifies the Election
Even though the votes are still being counted, Joe Biden declared that he is the President-Elect, a shadow government office invented by Obama, and invested with a pseudo-government seal, and he has been holding fake briefings and taking phone calls with foreign leaders.
The United States only has one president at a time. Maintaining a fake shadow presidency undermines the sitting administration to the American people and to foreign governments.
It’s illegal and inappropriate. So the Democrats are doing it anyway.
Incoming presidents, since Truman’s day, receive briefings and, since Kennedy’s day, get funding for their transition teams, but, according to the law, only once it’s clear who won. The last time this happened, the Bush transition was blocked by Democrats until December.
But the media is boosting its Biden cable network coup by threatening the head of the GSA.
A week after the election, the media descended on Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), demanding that she release funds to a Biden transition.
Media hit pieces like the New York Times‘ “How Emily Murphy Stands Between Biden’s Team”, Bloomberg‘s “Who Is the GSA’s Emily Murphy, Trump Appointee Holding Up Biden Transition”, and the Washington Post‘s “Trump Appointee at GSA Declines to Sign Letter Authorizing Biden Transition”, personalized the issue and set off a lynch mob swiftly leading to threats against her.
It’s still early in November. The media conveniently forgot the time its party blocked a presidential transition for over 4 weeks, not just through November, but into December.
David Barram, a top Clinton donor who supported every one of their campaigns since 1992, and tech industry figure, who had been appointed to head the GSA, didn’t get this kind of treatment when he turned down transition funding to the Bush-Cheney campaign after the 2000 election.
Not only did Barram block funding until Florida’s vote was certified, but he kept blocking it until the Supreme Court had made its decision, leaving very little time for any transition to happen. The Bush-Cheney campaign pursued its own privately funded transition, as did Al Gore, the way presidential transitions used to work until the Presidential Transition Act changed all that.
Despite all this, Barram was never publicly attacked or threatened the way that Murphy is.
Worse still, the media recently trotted out Barram to argue that the GSA should release transition funding to the Biden-Harris campaign. “First off, all these media outlets who call the election have called it for Joe Biden, I think the winner is pretty clear,” Barram recently insisted.
Media outlets, it ought to go without saying, but no longer does, don’t pick presidents.
But, as with so much else, the same media that amplified claims that Gore votes were thrown out in Florida, that Secretary of State Katherine Harris discriminated against minorities, and that Jeb Bush had rigged the election for his brother, now yells that such claims are not only false, but dangerous, and must be censored at all costs. The media that had allowed every Democrat to hold forth about the Florida election, now won’t even allow Republicans to speak.
Democrat claims of election fraud must be heard, but Republican claims are “disinformation”.
Even while the Washington Post warns Republican claims of election fraud are dangerous, it just ran an article suggesting that Harris rigged the 2000 election to win an ambassadorship.
It’s dangerously irresponsible for Republicans to cast doubt on an election result, but not for Democrats. And it’s also dangerous for Republicans, but not Democrats, to block a transition.
And yet the arguments that Barram made to block GSA funds back then hold up well today.
“With legal action being pursued by both sides, it is not apparent to me who the winner is,” Barram had argued.
“Until the results are clear, and as long as both sides are going to court, the results are not clear yet,” GSA spokeswoman Beth Newberger had insisted.
The legal standard for authorizing a GSA transition is, in the words of the Democrats, the end of legal action over the results of the election. As long as legal action is being pursued, including a trip to the Supreme Court, the GSA cannot and should not release funds to a transition.
In congressional testimony, Barram took it further and cited an authoritative Democrat source.
“Congress made it perfectly clear that if there is ‘any question’ of who the winner is ‘in a close contest’ this determination should not be made,” Barram pointed out.
He then quoted, Rep. Dante Fascell, the sponsor of the Presidential Transition Act.
Rep. Fascell had stated that, “If the Administrator had any question in his mind, he simply would not make any designation in order to make the services available as provided by the Act. If as an intelligent human being and he has a doubt, he would not act until a decision has been made in the electoral college or in the Congress.”
Kennedy had recently won, through Daley’s voter fraud in Chicago, and after spending $360,000 on JFK’s expenses, the Democrats wanted government funding for presidential transitions. They also wanted some assurance of getting government assistance from the administration of an opposing party even though no such issues had come up to date.
Fascell’s boundary went further than Barram’s, with the cutoff being the electoral college and congressional certification. That’s an objective and solid constitutional standard, unlike the end of legal proceedings, let alone cable news network election calls, that are subjectively partisan.
More importantly, these are the rules that Democrats, not Republicans, had made. And Democrats were happy to live by these rules in Bush v. Gore when they helped them.
Now the same rules are suddenly oppressive, dangerous, corrupt, and treasonous.
Much like casting doubt on the election results in 2000, 2004, and 2016, was “patriotic”, but casting doubt on the election results in 2008, 2012, and 2020, is “deeply dangerous”.
Political factions can have different views, but they cannot be allowed to have different laws.
That’s called equality, not “equity”, before the law.
The core crisis of political power is that Democrats only respect the law when it’s in their favor and ignore it, attack it, or dismiss it when it isn’t. A Democrat Senate blocking Bush’s judicial nominees was a noble defense of civil rights, but a Republican Senate blocking Obama’s judicial nominees was an attack on democracy, and then Democrat Senate members trying to block Trump’s judicial nominees was once again noble. The legitimacy of the Senate as an institution, or the filibuster as a tactic, changes every time the Senate changes hands.
Counting every legal vote was noble in Florida in 2000, but is a disgusting lowball tactic in Pennsylvania in 2020. Fighting the election results in the Supreme Court was in the highest traditions of our political system in 2000, but is an outrageous abuse twenty years later.
It was appropriate for the GSA to block presidential transition funding in 2000, but doing so in 2020 may kill people, and the relevant GSA officials should be threatened and harassed.
Living in a nation of laws means having to live with those laws.
Harassing the head of the GSA is political intimidation and only highlights the fundamentally terroristic and abusive nature of the political coup that the Democrats are perpetrating.
Rep. Dante Fascell, the Democrat sponsor of the Presidential Transition Act, was quite clear about the GSA administrator not taking personal initiative in a disputed election. So was Bill Clinton’s GSA boss. As long as a presidential election is being contested, there’s no transition.
That’s not only the law, it’s the rules that Democrats made. Now they have to live by them.
Jewish Circumcision Ceremony Held at Joseph’s Tomb in Samaria, First in Decades
For the first time in 20 years, a Brit Milah took place at the ancient burial site in the biblical city of Shechem.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
Twenty years after Israel’s abandonment of Kever Yosef (Joseph’s Tomb) in Shechem (Nablus), a Brit Milah (Jewish circumcision) was held early Thursday morning at the holy site during a limited visit for the purpose of cleaning and maintenance work.
The entry to the site, under Palestinian Authority (PA) control, took place despite the lack of security coordination between Israel and the PA.
At the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, rioting Muslims looted and razed the site. Following Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, Jewish groups visit intermittently to pray.
Thursday’s visit was the second limited entry since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in February. Due to the pandemic, there was no mass entry for prayer, and only 20 people attended this visit, mostly immediate family.
The family has been associated for many years with Joseph’s Tomb and asked not to publish its name.
The boy was named Benjamin, after the son of the matriarch Rachel, whose date of death was marked on Thursday and who passed away as she gave birth to her son Benjamin.
The Brit was held on the Kiseh Eliyahu (Elijah’s chair) that was placed at Joseph’s Tomb in 2000. At the time of the abandonment of the tomb by the IDF, an order was given to leave everything behind except the holy books. However, one of the officers saved Elijah’s chair and it was returned to the site for the first time in 20 years.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, who attended the Brit, said that “it is exciting to come here on the day of the death of our mother Rachel and Benjamin’s birthday.”
“It’s history, a Brit at Joseph’s Tomb after so many years. I wish the newborn and his family that the Bar Mitzvah will be done here with the Yeshiva of Joseph’s Tomb in full, with an army that is here all the time, that we will be privileged to return here,” he added.
The Jewish Prisoners Of Cyprus
By Saul Jay Singer
At the end of World War II, millions of displaced Jewish Holocaust survivors sought to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael but were prevented from doing so by the British policy barring ma’apilim (“illegal” immigrants) from entering the land of their forefathers. Nevertheless, between August and December 1945, eight ships containing 1,040 Jewish illegal immigrants were able to reach the shores of Eretz Yisrael.
At that point, the British intensified their anti-aliyah efforts, capturing over 52,000 survivors from August 1946 to January 1949, and confining them in 12 camps on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. (The first camp and one of the larger ones, at Caraolos, had been used to hold Turkish prisoners of war captured at Gallipoli.)
Although, in a monstrous perversion of the truth, one reprehensible source went so far as to characterize Cyprus as “a sanctuary for Jewish refugees from Germany,” no amount of propaganda, then or now, can alter that fact that the Jews were held on Cyprus as prisoners.
The pitiful Holocaust survivors sailed on unseaworthy vessels on long and dangerous journeys seeking to run the British blockade and to find refuge in Eretz Yisrael. Most of them were young Jewish activists who had joined Zionist youth groups before their departure; about 15 percent were in the 12-18 age range; another 65 percent were 18-35; and there were over 6,000 orphans amongst them.
The youth of most the Cyprus captives was hardly surprising given that the group responsible for organizing the ma’apilim movement – the mossad l’aliyah bet branch of the Haganah – was primarily interested in recruiting strong, young, and resilient people to join the coming military struggle to create a Jewish state.
The British operated the Cyprus prison like a European POW camp, imposing military rule and surrounding the camp with barbed wire, watchtowers, armed military police, and over 2,000 British personnel. Conditions were such that the local director of the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Morris Laub, commented that German prisoners of war were treated better than the Jews of Cyprus.
The prisoners were packed into tents, huts, and shacks little different than the crammed trains they had ridden to the concentration camps – the Cypriot media estimated that more than 50,000 people were being held in space that could, at best, accommodate no more than 10,000 – and they suffered extremes of weather in both summer and winter with poor sanitary conditions and little water. The British enacted any number of measures for no other reason than sheer cruelty.
After December 1946, the majority of the young children and teens were placed in Camp 64, which came to be known as the “Youth Village.” Some 400 Jews died on Cyprus during their internment, but over 2,000 babies were born during that period, notwithstanding the lack of marital privacy in the camps.
Reflecting the eternity of the Jewish people even in the harshest of times and under the most difficult circumstances, the Jews in the camps were inspired to bring Jewish children into the world to compensate, even if only in small part, for the over 1.5 million children lost during the Shoah. Every birth was a source of great joy to the prisoners, all of whom shared in the simcha of the promise represented by the arrival of another Jewish child in this world.
Asked how she could even consider having a child in the misery of the camps, one mother explained that pregnant women were the first to be driven to the crematoria because they represented the future of the Jewish people and that having children was therefore the best possible response to Hitler.
For undetermined reasons, no master list of the 2,000 babies born to Jewish internees on Cyprus exists. Yitzhak Teutsch, director of the AJDC archives, undertook to research the issue in depth. He discovered that the British military hospital in Cyprus sent weekly lists of births to the AJDC and was able to locate 20 such reports containing the names of about 600 children.
Widening his search to locate the remaining names, Teutsch hit a brick wall until a librarian from the University of Southampton in England related that he had traced a birth ledger from the Cyprus camps that had been compiled by a local rabbi that included 400 names (some in Hebrew), birthdates, and names of parents. However, a complete list of the children of Cyprus has still not been assembled.
Exhibited here is “HaTipul BaTinok,” a rare and fascinating document regarding a baby, Yosef Yisrael, born in Cyprus in Camp 64 (the Youth Village), shed B7. He was among the 609 babies born in the Cyprus internment camp who immigrated to Eretz Yisrael on Oniat HaTinokot (the “ship of babies”) on November 28, 1947 – just one day before the famous UN Partition Plan for Palestine.
Survivors of the Cyprus camps later testified that one of the biggest problems for the prisoners, particularly the children, was forced idleness and boredom. Mendel Charles, the Jewish Agency representative to Cyprus, recalls:
When I came to Cyprus, what horrified me most was what I saw in one of the tents. In the darkness and filth, 15-16 year old boys and girls sat with old men killing time by playing cards. At that time, a Hebrew book was nowhere to be found, nor even a leaf that fell out of a Siddur or Chumash. There were no tools. No newspapers arrived. Teachers and craftsmen went idle. What was common to all ages and groups was the forced inaction, which wreaked havoc…
Nonetheless, the British recognized that they could not treat the Jewish refugees as enemies of the British Empire or as arch criminals and, as such, they allowed them a measure of autonomy. Aid poured in from Jews around the world, with the AJDC providing extra food rations, medical aid, and two nurseries, and the Jewish Agency sending teachers and social workers from Eretz Yisrael.
Some 25 percent of the Jewish internees were Orthodox and, as such, the AJDC also provided Torah scrolls and other religious accoutrements as well as two rabbis who were available to counsel all the Jews regardless of their level of observance.
Caring for the Jewish children of Cyprus became the essential communal priority. The children’s lives were placed largely under the supervision of angelic Jewish nurses who were sent from Eretz Yisrael to take care of them and to normalize their lives to the greatest possible extent under the circumstances; this effort included setting up kindergartens and classes, Jewish holiday celebrations, sports activities, games and other children’s activities, birthday parties, cooking lessons, and the like.
* * * * *
In this rare original photograph, five-year-old Nurith Laake has been brought by her mother (seated) for an examination at one of the ambulatory clinics maintained by the JDC in Cyprus. She was born in a hachsharah (a preparation center for Jews planning aliyah) in Denmark, to where her mother fled from her native Germany.
The doctor is Benjamin Eckerling, a Polish-born resident of Eretz Yisrael who served as one of the full-time JDC medical staff in the camps. The nurse, Susannah Simon, is a native of Poland who spent the war in the Stutthof concentration camp and was herself a prisoner on Cyprus.
Members of the aid organizations and detainee leaders established routines, schedules, job assignments, educational instruction, religious activities, and the means for creative work. The result was a broad and truly amazing range of creative works by the prisoners, including decorative sculptures carved out of the plentiful marble and limestone available at Cyprus.
An exhibition of the children’s work was held on Cyprus in October 1947. When the JNF learned about it, it asked the Hashomer Hatzair organizers of the exhibition to send it to Eretz Yisrael where, on April 25, 1948, an exhibition was held in Tel Aviv showcasing works sculpted by Cyprus youth, including portraits, bas-reliefs, engraved tableware, decorated boxes… and a piano, with all its parts meticulously carved. A favorite artistic theme for the youngest children was carved images of the ships that would take them out of the hell of Cyprus to Eretz Yisrael.
As history ultimately proved, the British policy of preventing Jews from making aliyah was an abysmal failure. Although it proved efficient at intercepting the boatloads of ma’apilim, they kept on coming until there was no space to squeeze them into the already inhuman accommodations.
Moreover, the miserable conditions in the camps and the sight of Jewish survivors of the Shoah, especially children, being caged behind barbed wire engendered broad criticism of the British policy across the civilized world, which hit a peak when the British sent the refugee ship Exodus back to Europe in July 1947. Many people do not realize that one of the main reasons the British sent the Exodus back to the Land of the Final Solution was because they lacked the space to incarcerate all its passengers on Cyprus.
The experience of surviving both the Holocaust and imprisonment on Cyprus only strengthened the resolve of the Jews to get to Eretz Yisrael, who began referring to Cyprus as “erev Eretz Yisrael” (the eve of being in Israel). Following the birth of Israel and the closing of the detention camps on Cyprus, most of them did ultimately realize their dream of getting to Eretz Yisrael, where they made important contributions to the welfare of the new state.
However, even after Israel was established, the British permitted only “non-fighters” to leave for Israel, which constituted about 40 percent of all olim to Israel during the war months of May through September 1948. Some 28,000 men of military age were prevented from leaving Cyprus because, the British disingenuously claimed, that would give the new Jewish state an unfair advantage over the Arabs and would “destabilize” the entire area.
The United Nations, which participated directly in this horrible debacle, sent representatives to Cyprus to conduct exacting screenings and to determine each prisoner’s age, lest any fighting man somehow find his way to Israel. The British dramatically increased the mistreatment of the remaining Jews, including reducing their already meager rations.
Jewish prisoners made several attempts to escape from the island. They were assisted in many instances by the local Cypriot community who loathed the British for how they were treating these wretched Holocaust survivors and who regularly brought food, medicine, and necessary supplies to them.
The most significant of these escapes took place in August 1948 (about 11,000 Jews were still incarcerated on Cyprus) when about 100 prisoners escaped a camp through a secret tunnel that had been dug over a six-month period. The British believed the escapees were being met by the Haganah and the Mossad in Cyprus and put on small boats brought in at night.
The British captured 29 of the escapees and sentenced them to prison sentences of various lengths, ranging from four to nine months. However, their condition in prison could hardly have been much worse than their treatment in the camps. After the final evacuation of all the prisoners, a system of tunnels under the camps was discovered through which many hundreds of prisoners are thought to have escaped.
As late as December 12, 1948, the British commander of one of the camps was ordered to appear before the Cyprus Supreme Court to show cause why 5,164 still imprisoned Jews should not be released. Even after the January 1949 truce ending Israel’s War of Independence, the British delayed releasing the remaining Jewish captives on Cyprus.
They finally agreed to permit the final prisoners to go to Eretz Yisrael, but only if Israel assumed the costs. Israel began the final emptying of the camps in December 1948 with the last 10,200 Jewish internees evacuated to Israel aboard the S.S. Hatikvah during Operation Pedut (“redemption”) from January 24-February 10, 1949.
Pinchas Reichman became the last Jew to leave the Cyprus camps, although some families and individuals remained in Cyprus until November 1949 due to health issues or because they had infants who could not yet make the trip to Israel. Reichman, who served as chairman of the Cyprus Camp Committee and was an activist on behalf of the children of Cyprus, joined his fellow former prisoners in Eretz Yisrael.
In February 2016, Cypriot Defense Minister Christophoros Fokaidis and his Israeli counterpart, Moshe Ya’alon, unveiled a monument erected in honor of the babies born on Cypress. On the side of the monument is one of the few metal camp structures where Jews lived that has survived.
Three years later, in February 2019, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin made a state visit to Cyprus as the guest of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to mark the 70th anniversary of the closing of the last remaining prisoner camp on Cyprus. As part of the visit, Rivlin took a tour of the monument and of the old British Military Hospital where most of the Jewish babies were born. Today, there is a very active organization of “Cyprus babies” in Israel, and many were invited to join Rivlin on his historic trip.