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January 7, 2011

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 7, 2011 TEL AVIV--It has long who run the excavations, discovered intheSkhulCave been believed that modern and professor Israel Hersh- in the Carmel and Qafzeh man emerged from the con- kowitz of the university's Cave in the Lower Galilee tinentofAfrica200,000years Department ofAnatomyandnear Nazareth. The results ago. Now Tel Aviv University Anthropology and Sackler of the researchers' findings archeologists haveuncovered School of Medicine, together are being published in the evidence that Homo sapiens with an international team AmericanJournalofPhysical roamed the land now called of scientists, performed a Anthropology. Israel as early as 400,000 morphological analysis on Qesem Cave is dated to years ago--the earliest evi- eight human teeth found in a period between 400,000 dence for the existence of the Qesem Cave. and 200,000 years ago, and modern man anywhere in This analysis, which in- archeologists working there the world, cluded CT scans and X-rays, believe that the findings in- The findings were discov- indicates that the size and dicate significant evolution ered in the Qesem Cave, a shape of the teeth are very in the behavior of ancient prehistoric site near Rosh similar to those of modern man. This period of time Ha'ayin that was first exca- man. The teeth found in the was crucial in the history of vated in 2000. Professor Avi Qesem Cave are very similar mankind from cultural and Gopher and Dr. Ran Barkai to other evidence of modern biological perspectives. The of Tel Aviv University's De- man from Israel, dated to teeth that are being studied partment of Archaeology, around 100,000 years ago, indicate that these changes are apparently related to evolutionary changes taking place at that time. Gopher and Barkai noted that the findings related to the culture of those who dwelled in the Qesem Cave-- including the systematic production offlintblades; the regular use of fire; evidence of hunting, cutting and sharing of animal meat; mining raw materials to produce flint tools from subsurface sourc- es-reinforce the hypothesis that this was, in fact, innova- tive and pioneering behavior that may correspond with the appearance of modern man. According to researchers, the discoveries made in the Qesem Cave may overturn the theory that modern man originated on the continent of Africa. In recent years, archeological evidence and human skeletons found in Spain and China also un- dermined this proposition, but the Qesem Cave findings because of their early age is an unprecedented discovery. Excavations at Qesem Cave continue and the researchers say they hope to uncover ad- ditional finds thatwill enable them to confirm the findings published up to now and to enhance understanding of the evolution of mankind-- especially the emergence of modern man. AP Images/Oded Ba]ilty Professor Avi Gopher holds a tooth found at the Qesem Cave. By Donald Snyder Semitism and the dissemi- cifically to Israel. Among their Forward nation of hatred are illegal, findings: Holocaust denial is a crime in More than 57 percent of BERLIN--Muslim teenag- Germany. those polled agreed that Israel ers in Hanover attackan Israeli But generational and demo- is waging "a war of annihila- dance troupe, reportedly yell- graphic changes are converg- tion" against the Palestinians ing "Juden raus" as they hurl ing in Germany today, and a (up from 51 percent in 2009). stones, shift is afoot in the zeitgeist. In 2008--the most recent German leftists march in While Germany continues to year the question was asked-- Berlin with Muslims to protest contend with vestiges oftradi- more than 40 percent agreed the 2008-2009 Gaza military tionalanti-Semitism, anewand that "what Israel is doing to conflict. "Death to the Jews!" more deeply embedded strain the Palestinians is basically no the marchers chant, has emerged related to Israel. different from what the Nazis At a soccer game between Polls show that this strain is did with the Jews during the teams from the St. Pauli sec- distinguishable from mere Third Reich." tionofHamburgandthecityof opposition to Israeli policies, More than 38 percent of ChemnitzineasternGermany, or even from anti-Zionism. In Germans polled agreed that the Chemnitz fans shout"Sieg a 2010 report by the Univer- "considering the politics of heir' and wave imitation Nazi sity of Beilefeld's Institute for Israel, it is easy to see why one flags. Interdisciplinary Research on would have something against Thisishappeninginacoun- ConflictandViolence, institute Jews" (up from 34 percent in trywhereHolocausteducation researchers, who conduct an 2009). has long been mandatory and annual poll on anti-Semitism, Yet, at the same time, 67.5 where expressions of anti- found an increase linked spe- percent in the 2010 poll agreed Watch The Jewish Channel on Verizon F;OS TV Tune to qh we AJr then qSremium an withthestatement,"Ilikeitthat increasingly more Jews live in Germany." "As a psychologist, I think that this reflects am~5~valent attitudes," Beate KOpper, one of the researchers who produced the report, wrote in an e-mail to the Forward. "Germans are happy if there are some Jews in their country, as this gives us release. It shows off that we are tolerant However, the strong blaming of Israel common in Germany (because we like peace and go for theweaker ) is full of anti-Semitic stereotypes [and] associations." Mirko Niehoff, a 31-year- old social worker who works with Muslim youth, said he sees aspects of these trends in his daily work. "We realized we were dealing with a new anti-Semitismwith roots in the Middle East conflict," he said. Observers say that Muslim and classic right-wing anti- Semitism are combiningwith a left-wingdemonizationofIsrael to produce a toxic mix, despite Germany's postwar efforts to ensure that future generations continue to learn the lessons of the Holocaust. This new strain renders old ways of combating anti-Semitism less effective. According to some observers, in Germany the Holocaust nar- rative is no longer the powerful antidote it once was. When former public school teacher Sebastian Voigt, now a doctoral candidate at the University of Leipzig, told his teenage students they would study the Nazi period, many complained that they had already studied the Holocaust This alienation from Ger- man history is compounded by the fact that many Muslim youths don't feel accepted as Germans themselves. They show little interest in this dark chapter of German history. Meanwhile, many of Ger- many's 4 million Muslims stay connected with events in the Middle East via cable television networks, such as Hezbollah's AI-Manar and Hamas'sAI-Aqsa. These anti-Semitic networks promote Holocaust denial. "You cannot undo with education what these satellite broadcasts are doing," said Mat- thias Kuntzei, an author and political scientist, in a phone interview from Hamburg. The programs are fed to Germany via Egyptian and Saudi Arabian satellites. Both countries have refused repeated German requests to stop trans- mitting AI-Manar. Although Al-Manar was banned in 2008, private homes with satellite dishes continue to receive its programs, making the ban ineffective. To be sure, both Israel's continued occupation of the West Bank and its invasion and blockade of Gaza are substan- tive issues criticized by the majority of Germans. Taken at face value, opposition to Israel need not be assumed to be anti- Semitic. But the majority who tell pollsters they view Israel's actions toward the Palestinians as a %var of annihilation" and "principally not different than what the Nazis did with the Jews during the Third Reich" reflect a country in which the lines are blurred between opposition to Israeli actions and policies and anti-Semitism. According to Lars Rens- mann, an expert on anti- Sernitism from Germany who teaches political science at the University of Michigan, for reasons peculiar to his native country, hatred of Jews may lurk below the surface even at protests that stop short of overt anti-Semitism. "It's not so legitimate to at- tack Jews in Germany, so you attack Israel as a state--the collective Jew that represents the memory of the Holocaust," Rensmann said. Despite widespread criti- cism of Israel within Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government continues to strongly support the Jewish state. Yoram Ben-Zeev, Israeli ambassador to Germany, spoke enthusiastically about his relationship with the chancel- lor during an interview at his embassy. Still, Ben-Zeev conceded, the German public has a negative view of Israel, as does most of Europe. Germany's support for Israel, normally unwavering, is no longer automatic. Last July, the Bundestag unanimously condemned Israel for its attack on the MaviMarmara, the Turk- ish ship bound for Gaza with humanitarian aid. "The resolution condemn- ing Israel was scary," said Lala Susskind, president of the Jewish Community in Berlin. "It was the first time the left and the right were united in criticizing Israel." Still, German leftists like Petra Pau, a member of the Left Party in the Bundestag, condemn Israeli actions while demonstrating steadfast oppo- sition to anti-Semitism. Others, such as Alfred Grosser, a prominent Franco- German Jewish intellectual, maintain that Israeli actions fuel anti- Semitism throughout the world. Grosser, 85, a controversial figure who survived the Ho- locaust as a protected French citizen during World War II, equates Gaza with a concen- tration camp. And he accuses the Central Council Of Jews in Germany of silencing any criticism of Israel. Anumberoforganizations in Germany are trying to combat the new anti-Semitism. One innovative program is "Active Against Anti-Semitism," de- signed by the American Jewish Committee for Muslimchildren in Berlin schools. In another program, at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Murat Akan, a 32-year-old German of Turkish ancestry, is one of five Turkish guides the museum employs in order to encourage Muslim youth to learn about Germany's rich Jewish heritage. Some 200,000 Muslims live in Berlin, a city with a population of 3.5 million. While some of the Muslim teenagers sympathize with the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Akan said, others are openly anti-Semitic. "They often ask me why they should feel connected to any- thing that happened in German history, like the Holocaust," Akan said. "We have to teach them why it's so important to learn what hatred can do." Another innovative pro- gram, Kreuzberger Initiative Gegen Antisemitismus, or Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism, concentrates its efforts on the predomi- nantly Turkish neighborhood of Kreuzberg. The initiative also conducts workshops on anti-Semitism and the Middle East conflict. These innovative programs suggest ways in which the Ho- locaust narrative can still speak to future generations. Last October, Andres Nader, 41, a Doctor of Comparative Cultures, took a group of Pal- estinianteenagers toAuschwitz in a trip sponsored by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an organization that combats neo-Nazism, racism and anti- Semitism. The foundation hon- ors the memory of a black man fromAngolawhowas murdered by young Germans. Nader said that something shifted for these teenagers while in Auschwitz. The young people were shocked by the murder of so many Jews in this place. They said they would never again use the word "Jew" as an insult. "I don't know how people could do this to other human beings," one boy said. "I just can't imagine anyone murder- ing my little sister."