Pictured above: Jewish Soldier, Robert Levine. – All photos courtesy of: aish.com
Robert Levine was captured by the Nazis. As his life hung in balance, his dog tags revealed that he was Jewish…
by, Menucha Chana Levin | aish.com
Approximately 500,000 Jews served in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. Jewish G.I.s constantly faced the specter of anti-Semitism in the army and they were forced to consider how open they should be about their religion. They had deep emotions about facing an enemy who was methodically capturing and murdering Jews. Jewish G.I.s feared the consequences if caught by the Nazis. Their last name, physical appearance, or the “H” (for Hebrew) on their dog tags could mean being shipped to a concentration camp.
Robert Levine, aged 19, from Bronx, NY, was one of the young Jewish American soldiers who landed in England prior to the Allies’ D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Together with his crew he arrived on the French coast behind the 90th Infantry.
Levine’s first assignment, after stepping off the boat at Utah Beach, was to carry 81mm mortar shells forward to positions shelling the Germans to force a retreat from Hill 122, a German defensive position near the landing zone.
After a fierce battle, the Americans succeeded in forcing the Germans off the hill, but getting back down the other side was a problem.
“The Germans retreated, but they set up traps,” explained Levine. “We got caught at the bottom of the hill, where the Germans were waiting for us. Suddenly a grenade came over and caught me in my leg, above the knee. And I looked up and I saw this German paratrooper. He looked about 10 feet tall, and pointed his submachine gun at me. The kid next to me got up and took off, and the German wheeled around and shot him. I put up my hands and surrendered.”
Levine found himself a Nazi prisoner of war.
Robert Levine, center, in hospital during World War II.
Marching with a dozen other American prisoners under the control of German forces, they raised clouds of dust, a target for incoming mortar shells from the American 90th Infantry Division. Ironically these were the same type of shells Levine had carried from Utah Beach. Suddenly one of these ‘friendly fire’ shells exploded. The soldier beside Levine, who absorbed most of the blast’s deadly force, died instantly.
“A guy named Mike and me – we both went flying. My leg was really damaged, and Mike was killed. To this day, I believe he took the bullet for me, he died so I could live,” Levine maintains. Of the dozen American POWs captured that day, he was the only survivor.
With his leg injured far more seriously this time, Levine’s chances of survival appeared precarious at best. His salvation was to come in the unlikely guise of a dark-haired German doctor named Dr. Edgar Woll.
Levine recalled finding himself on the ‘operating table’ in a German field hospital – the kitchen table in a French farmhouse. The military doctor looked at him and told him in accented English, “For you, the war is over.” Then the doctor noticed his dog tags and asked in German, “What is ‘H’?”
‘..The H for ‘Hebrew’ identified me as Jewish. I had just turned 19 and I thought that was the end..’
At that time all GIs wore stamped metal tags on chains around their necks, containing identifying information including their religion: C for Catholic, P for Protestant or H for Hebrew.
“I knew the H for ‘Hebrew’ identified me as Jewish,” Levine said. “I had just turned 19, and I thought that was the end for me. I said to myself – and I can still hear myself saying it – ‘There goes my 20th birthday.’ I really did not think I would make it.”
Levine was probably too petrified to say anything at that point. He thought his life was over. The doctor must have suspected what the H stood for.
Yet on that summer day in July, 1944, Levine awoke from the operation. He discovered that although his leg was gone, he was still alive. Emerging from the anesthesia, his relief at being alive was greater than the loss of his lower right leg.
Dr. Woll’s surgery saved the Jewish soldier’s life. The compassionate doctor also removed Levine’s incriminating dog tags, insuring his Nazi captors would not kill the young GI because he was a Jew.
“He took the dog tags knowing full well that I would have got in trouble somewhere down the line,” recounted Levine. “I believe he saved me.”
Robert Levine (L) as a young soldier, Dr. Edgar Woll (R) as a young doctor. In the center is the handwritten note explaining the treatment done by Dr. Woll.
Inside his shirt pocket he found a note written by Dr. Woll in German on the reverse side of a Nazi propaganda card with quotations from Adolf Hitler. Though Levine could not read a word of German, he kept the card for months. Then he was rescued by Allied troops and a ship took him home to the United States. When Levine had the note translated, he discovered why the doctor had chosen amputation, including details of the post-surgical treatment: “Crushed right foot. Fracture of lower leg. Foreign body in upper right leg’s tissue. Opening of the ankle joint. Amputation at place of fracture. Bandage with sulfa. Vaccinated against gas gangrene.”
The removal of his dog tags likely saved Levine from being sent to an infamous camp for Jewish POWs where 350 American soldiers were worked to death.
The removal of his dog tags likely saved Levine from being sent to an infamous camp for Jewish POWs where 350 American soldiers were worked to death. Levine’s wife Edith believes her husband would have died if not for Dr. Woll’s exceptional act of kindness towards an injured enemy soldier.
Upon his return home, Levine became a businessman and owned several fast-food restaurants. He led a full life as a husband, father and grandfather. Yet he could not forget the sympathetic German doctor who had inexplicably saved his life, though he never had the chance to thank him or see him again.
Bob Levine, aged 91, at his home in Teaneck, N.J. with his collection of military medals, including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and France’s Legion of Honor insignia awarded to Allied veterans who served in France during World War II.
It took Robert Levin nearly 40 years to track down Doctor Woll but the mystery started to unravel during an emotional visit back to Normandy Beach in 1981. There, through a network of connections implemented by the curator of the Utah Beach Museum, Levine was able to meet Dr. Woll’s family in Saarbrucken, Germany.
Although Dr. Woll had died of cancer in 1954, his widow and their three children were deeply moved that the veteran, after all these years, was willing to travel to Germany to acknowledge the doctor’s humane treatment.
“The family wanted to meet this American Jewish soldier. It was an amazing connection,” said Levine.
Bob and Edith Levine, who have two daughters of their own, spent the weekend with the doctor’s family. They presented Mrs. Woll with her late husband’s old handwritten note.
There was a Saturday night party, with a few drinks and a few toasts. One of the German guests raised a glass and turned to Levine. “Bob,” he declared, “without you, we’d all be saying Heil Hitler. You lost your leg, others lost their lives, but now we can say what we think.”
The Levines returned the hospitality. When the Wolls’ granddaughter attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, she stayed at the home of the New Jersey couple.
A second Woll granddaughter was a frequent dinner guest while her husband studied for a law degree at NYU.
The Levines received a family portrait from the Wolls when the doctor’s wife turned 100. The Woll great-granddaughters went home with souvenir T-shirts after a recent U.S. visit.
“They became our extended family,” Levine said. “It’s special. How many guys came out of the war with this kind of connection?”
At a time of unspeakable brutality, the life of one young Jewish soldier had been saved by one Nazi doctor with a compassionate heart.
“..Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world..”
- Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)
US war veteran Taylor Force died in a Palestinian attack while visiting Israel as a tourist in March. Photo courtesy of: AP and BBC News
by, BBC News | h/t Gary F. Patton @ Searching for Truth
An Israeli rights group is suing Facebook for $1bn on behalf of families of victims of Palestinian attacks.
The Shurat Hadin group says Facebook violates the US Anti-Terrorism Act by allowing militant groups such as Hamas a platform for spreading violence.
Hamas called the lawsuit an Israeli attempt to blackmail Facebook.
The victims cited in the case are all American, including Taylor Force, 28, who was stabbed to death while visiting Israel in March.
The others are dual Israeli-US nationals who died in attacks in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank between 2014 and 2016.
The suit, filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, argues the platform “knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas… facilitat(ing) this terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies”.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, accused Israel of trying to turn it into a spy tool against Palestinians.
He said some Israeli politicians and soldiers had “expressed pride at the killing of Palestinians” on Facebook and other social media.
“The real test for the owners of Facebook is to reject this pressure,” he said.
Israel says Palestinian incitement on social media has fuelled a wave of attacks since October, which have killed 35 Israelis and four people of other nationalities.
In June, Israeli forces demolished the house of the Palestinian who killed Taylor Force. Photo courtesy of: AP and BBC News
A report on the Israel-Palestinian conflict last week by the Quartet group of international mediators identified “the spreading of incitement to violence on social media” by Palestinians as a key issue.
“Hamas and other radical factions are responsible for the most explicit and widespread forms of incitement. These groups use media outlets to glorify terrorism and openly call for violence against Jews, including instructing viewers on how to carry out stabbings,” the report said.
Asked to comment on the Shurat Hadin case by the Reuter news agency, Facebook’s Israeli PR firm said the company “does not respond on any issue currently subject to legal procedure”.
The lawsuit was brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992 which prohibits American businesses from providing any material support, including services, to designated terrorist groups and their leaders.
2 Palestinian terrorists, dressed in suits, open fire in restaurant at popular Sarona center; arrested gunmen are relatives from Hebron area
by, Judah Ari Gross | The Times of Israel
Three people were murdered in a shooting terror attack in Tel Aviv’s popular Sarona Market Wednesday evening.
Four others were seriously hurt, with another person said to be in critical condition.
Police said two Palestinian gunmen were involved in the terror attack. One shooting was said to have occurred inside the Sarona complex while another was reported on the adjacent Ha’arba’ah Street.
Officials said one gunman was arrested and another was shot by security forces and taken into custody. Police later confirmed they were Palestinian relatives from the Hebron area in the West Bank.
Some unconfirmed reports spoke of a third gunman who escaped, but police and soldiers deployed in the surrounding streets called off the search after an hour.
Chico Edri, head of Israel Police’s Tel Aviv district, told reporters the incident was over and no other suspects were thought to be at large. He said one gunman had been arrested, the other shot and then taken into custody. Edri said the police had seized the weapons used in the attack.
Police said there had been no warning of an imminent attack.
8.6.2016 תיעוד חיסול המחבל – פיגוע במתחם שרונה בתל אביב
Less than an hour after the gunfire was first reported, Ichilov Hospital confirmed that three victims had succumbed to their injuries. They were not immediately identified.
Of the wounded, one person was reported to be in critical condition, and four others in serious condition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who landed in Tel Aviv around 10 p.m. following a two-day trip to Moscow, was being briefed on the attack and was set to go directly to the Tel Aviv army headquarters, which is across from the Sarona Market. The head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan were at the scene.
An eyewitness told Israel Radio that the gunmen were dressed up as ultra-Orthodox men. Other reports said they were dressed in semi-formal attire: black pants, white shirts and ties. Police wouldn’t address the claims.
A bartender confirmed to The Times of Israel that the two gunmen were sitting at Sarona’s Max Brenner restaurant before beginning their shooting spree. Yousef Jabarin, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, said the pair were dressed as “warriors” — wearing black suits, white shirts, skinny ties. He said he knew they were from the West Bank by the way they were dressed. The terrorists sat down and ordered a dessert, he said, and after 15 minutes, they stood up and started shooting.
The gunfire lasted about a minute, he said. Jabarin said the Max Brenner restaurant does not have its own security guard.
The Hamas terror group hailed the attack, but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
Yechiel Miller, a volunteer medic with United Hatzalah, related from the scene of the attack: “When I arrived at the scene I saw a woman who was unconscious and not breathing and in critical condition. We began resuscitation efforts. We also treated numerous other individuals who suffered gun shot wounds and wounds from shrapnel.”
Davidi Dahan, another medic with United Hatzalah, said: “When I arrived at the scene I saw two young people who were suffering from gunshot wounds outside of a restaurant at the Sarona center. We treated them as well as numerous other individuals who were suffering from shock.
“While we were treating them other volunteers from the ambucycle unit of United Hatzalah reported that they were treating an unconscious woman behind the Sarona center and that she was in critical condition. We are currently searching for and treating other people who are suffering from shock and who have fed to nearby streets due to the incident.”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai arrived at Ichilov Hospital, and sent condolences to the families of the victims.
“We in Tel Aviv have for years been a target of terrorism,” he said. “No terrorism will defeat us.”
Police were warning civilians to stay away from the scene of the attack.
In April, Israeli police moved to close down Sarona Market over fears that the commercial center was not sufficiently secure, but the site’s management said it would stay open. The popular compound is home to Israel’s largest indoor culinary market. Its 8,700 square meters (93,000 square feet) of market space hosts 91 shops of all varieties.
At the time, police asked the Tel Aviv Municipality to revoke Sarona’s business license, arguing that lax security put the visiting public at risk.
Since October, 29 Israelis and four others have been killed and hundreds more injured in the spate of attacks, though the violence had dramatically waned of late. Some 200 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while carrying out attacks and the rest in clashes with troops, Israeli officials say.
Wednesday’s attack was the second deadly shooting in Tel Aviv in six months.
In January, 29-year-old Nashat Milhem of the northern Israeli Arab town of Arara opened fire outside a bar on Tel Aviv’s busy Dizengoff Street, killing two Israelis. After fleeing, Milhem killed Bedouin taxi driver Ayman Shaaban some 60 minutes later. Milhem was killed in a shootout with police days later while hiding out in a building in his hometown.
In a stabbing spree in the city’s Jaffa neighborhood in March, 22-year-old Palestinian Bashar Massalha killed US citizen Taylor Force and injured 10 others in a rampage along the Jaffa boardwalk. He was killed by security forces during the attack.
File Photo: Not Actual Victim.
Police arrest 2 Arabs, hunt 3rd, after they were documented committing horrific rape of mentally disabled girl while shouting racist slurs.
by, Arutz Sheva | h/t Glen Roberts @Trop
Two Arab residents of Judea and Samaria as well as an Arab citizen of Israel are suspected of raping a 20-year-old mentally disabled Jewish girl two weeks ago for “nationalistic” motives, as was revealed on Wednesday when a media gag order on the case was lifted.
All three were documented in footage they filmed two weeks ago raping the mentally handicapped girl in a motel in southern Tel Aviv, humiliating her and spitting on her while shouting racist slurs and threatening to harm her family.
Police hid the case from the public for ten days out of concerns it would spark clashes between Jews and Arabs.
“Nationalistic motives” is a term used in describing terror attacks, as opposed to criminal motives.
The gag order came despite the fact that police arrested two of the perpetrators a full nine days ago, and are currently hunting down the third rapist whose identity is known to the police.
One of the three attackers is a minor from Jaffa (Yafo), and he was arrested.
Another arrested suspect, Amad Al-Din Daragmeh from the Judea-Samaria region, apparently filmed the vile gang-rape with the goal of spreading the video.
He was brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning for an extension of his arrest, where the judge emphasized the severity of the case and the condition of the victim.
The traumatic incident has left the victim in a difficult psychological state and she requires treatment.
Analysis and Narration by, Trevor Phillips | Blazing CatFur | Video by, Who knows u know
This is perhaps the broadest survey of the ‘Muslim mindset’ in Britain, conducted to date. The research data was all derived from thousands of ‘face to face’ interviews and explores questions on free speech, terrorism, Israel, polygamy, homosexuality, stoning of adulterers and much more…
It’s a very well made video and definitely worth the watch, facilitating insight and a deeper understanding into…
What British Muslims Really Think:
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a point at a National Security Council meeting in February 2016. (Photo: Pete Souza/White House) Photo courtesy of: The Clarion Project
While Obama’s statements about a modernist reformation are certainly welcome, the right goal can only be achieved with the right strategy.
by, Ryan Mauro | The Clarion Project
For the first time, President Obama said that Islam needs a modernist reformation. This is what was missing from his speech at a Maryland mosque (see video below) on February 3, which presented a critical opportunity where Obama could have had his “tear down this wall” moment.
In a comprehensive interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama referred to his speech in Cairo at Al-Azhar University in 2009, saying:
“I was hoping that my speech could trigger a discussion, could create space for Muslims to address the real problems they are confronting—problems of governance, and the fact that some currents of Islam have not gone through a reformation that would help people adapt their religious doctrines to modernity.”
Obama also said, “There is a need for Islam as a whole to challenge that interpretation of Islam, to isolate it, and to undergo a vigorous discussion within their community about how Islam works as part of a peaceful, modern society.”
The Cairo speech was written to chip away at two boulders standing in the way of such a reformation, he explained: The scapegoating of Israel, which serves to distract Muslims from self-reflection and concerns about wholesale negative impressions of Muslims.
“I do not persuade peaceful, tolerant Muslims to engage in that debate if I’m not sensitive to their concern that they are being tagged with a broad brush,” Obama argued.
Here, a word of caution is due: Not every “reformation” is equal. As Raymond Ibrahim explains, the hardline Islamic movements that President Obama wants swept away actually are a reformation movement. In fact, Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and “Wahhabism” founder Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab styled their movements as “reformist.”
President Obama’s qualifier of a modernist reformation is helpful in guarding against these types of reformers. But again, another word of caution: Democratic elections are not necessarily the engines of this modernist reformation, since Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood participate in them.
One interesting point in the interview is when Jeffrey Goldberg reflects on President Obama’s early closeness to the democratically-elected Islamist leader of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who was then prime minister and is now president of Turkey).
Goldberg writes that Obama now “considers him a failure and an authoritarian.” Obama’s mistaken hope in Erdogan and his deceitful “moderate Islamism” should be a hard-earned lesson.
An equally surprising part of the interview is when Goldberg explains how President Obama has noticed Indonesia “move from a relaxed, syncretistic Islam to a more fundamentalist, unforgiving interpretation” (Goldberg’s words). Obama saw the proliferation of the hijab in Indonesia as indicative of this trend he is concerned about and for which he largely blames Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Obama’s statements about the need for an Islamic modernist reformation are certainly welcome, but the right goal can only be achieved with the right strategy.
Similarly, the right reformation can only be achieved with the right reformers. And we have no reason to believe that the current administration has picked them, much less come up with a strategy to empower them.
Barack Obama speaks about islam اوباما يخطب عن الاسلام مترجمة كاملة
Israeli man, who was collecting money for charity, hospitalized in moderate condition after Petah Tikva attack
by, Raoul Wootliff | The Times of Israel | h/t Gary Jonathan
An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.
The attacker, a Palestinian, died a few minutes later, police said. The victim, an ultra-Orthodox man of about 40 who suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was hospitalized in moderate condition. The store owner was not injured.
The Palestinian assailant had followed the man, who was collecting money for charity, into a wine shop on the central city’s Baron Hirsch Street and began stabbing him “multiple times” in the upper body in a “frenzied attack,” police said.
At one point, the victim managed to break away and fled the store, while the owner of the store hit the attacker and tried to subdue him, police said. The victim then returned to the store, pulled the knife out of his own neck, and stabbed his attacker.
Initial reports had said the stabbing may have occurred during an altercation; however, the incident was later confirmed by police as a terror attack.
Magen David Adom paramedics said they treated the victim at the scene before taking him to the city’s Beilinson Hospital.
Nati Ostri, a volunteer medic from United Hatzalah who also treated the victim, said he found the man lying on the floor outside a convenience store.
“Together with other volunteers of the Ambucycle Unit of United Hatzalah we treated the victim utilizing first aid treatment, following which he was taken to Beilinson Hospital in an ambulance. At the time of transfer the victim was conscious,” he said.
EXCLUSIVE UNCUT VIDEO: