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October 31, 2014
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 31, 2014 PAGE 15A r From page 1A "Rescuing Da Vinci" (a 4.5 lb. book he took with him on all his visits to the men and women of the Monuments Men), Sami remembered more things, more people, and expe- rienced more feelings. "It was tough, and tough to be tough on the people--the Germans. I felt sorry for them and I didn't at the same time. I don't know why (I felt sorry for them). They hurt people Lee Sami (1) and Robert gdsel look on as Rouben Sami who didn't do anything, just prepares to sign a copy of'Rescuing Da Vinci.' because of a name." Proud that he is a Jew and The passage of this Reso- pictorialaccountoftheirwork, lived in Israel before the war, lution in 2007 and the 2014 whichhe tookwith him to each Sami continued, "I loved the signing by Pres. Obama of the and every congressman and job because I was helping my Monuments Men Recognition congresswoman to garner the own people." Act awarding the men and two-thirds support from both Edsel presented to Sami a women with the Congres- Houses needed to get the rec- Gold Leaf Certificate of the sional Gold Medal has been a ognitionthesepeopledeserved. 2007 Congressional Resolu- 12-yearundertakingbyEdsel, WhenEdselbeganhisjour- tion--a proclamation recog- who began this work by simply ney to visit all the surviving niZing the work done by the asking the question "How is Monuments Men, he carried 350MonumentsMen.In2015, it that all these works of art with him 10 editions of this a single Congressional Gold were not destroyed in the book and had each survivor Medalwillbepresentedcollec- war?" No one had an answer sign them. He was down to 4 tively at a ceremony at the U.S that could satisfy him, so he editions when he visited with CapitolVisitorCenterinhonor begantosearchforanswersand the Samis--having given of all the Monuments Men. discovered this small group of signed copies to dignitaries Afew of the other recipients 350 men and women known (including Pres. G.W. Bush) have included Shimon Peres, as the Monuments Men. The andorganizationssuchasthe thevictimsof9/11,Navajoand result of his hard work was National War Museum--and NativeAmericanCodeTalkers, the book"Rescuing Da Vinci," Sami added his signature to and Raoul Wallenberg. a detailed, 460-photograph those last four books. A rendering of the Monuments Men exhibit that will be in the Liberation Pavilion, de- signed to look like a salt mine where the Monuments Men found many works of art hidden. And what of the album? Archives' 2014 Records of who risked their lives to save Edselwill donate it to the Na- AchievementAward, inrecog- artistic and cultural trea- tionalWorldWar II Museum's nition ofhiswork, bringing to sures," said David S. Ferriero, exhibit on the Monuments life the storied history of the ArchivistoftheUnitedStates. Men, scheduled to break men and women who served And so too, Rouben Sami ground in late 2015. It will be in the Monuments, Fine Arts has helped rescue and return in the Liberation Pavilion of and Archives section of the millions of priceless books themuseum, which is located Western Allies during World and works of art, as well as in New Orleans. War II. preserving a priceless album Last Monday, Oct. 28, Edsel "Robert Edsel has rescued that will be placed in its per- attended a ceremony at the from history not only price- manent home. For all this, National Archives in Wash- less looted art albums, but Sami has finally received ington, D.C., to receive the the equally priceless stories the proper recognition he so Foundation for the National of the brave men and women rightly deserved. From page 2A on an institutional level will not engage in collaborative policy regarding support for projects with Israeli research theacademicboycott.Wehave institutions, and will not not. Last year, after careful speak at Israeli academic consideration by its member- institutions." ship, theASAoverwhelmingly Yet Eugene Kontorovich, a endorsedan academic boycott professoratNorthwesternUni- to call attention to the viola- versity School of Law, argued tions of academic freedoms in an Oct. 18 article for the and' hh n;inifghts of Pales- Washington P6st, "Evefi the tinian scholars and students [ASA's] belated claim to waive by Israel. This limited action the boycott for the annual means simply that the ASA conferencewouldnotpreempt From page 4A an air base in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan enclave. If this As with Israeli-Turkishreport is true, they suggest relations, bilateral ties be- that Israel's ties toAzerbaijan tween the two countriesare much further along than signal Azerbaijan's desire to originally understood. strengthen its connections Undoubtedly, Israel sees to the U.S. and the West. the tremendous potential in The country has become an itsrelationshipwithAzerbai- invaluable NATO supply line jan, as does Azerbaijan with toAfghanistanandhasjoined Israel. American supporters NATO war efforts, of Israel must do their part When much of the rest of to reinforce that relation- the world interrupted flights ship in Washington. As was to Israel during the conflict discovered with Turkey, with Hamas last summer,Muslim-majority allies don't Azerbaijan continued flying, grow on trees. According to one recentDavid Bernstein is the for- report, an Israeli spy drone mer executive director of The shot down while doing re- David Project and a former connaissance over Iranian seniorofficialattheAmerican nuclear sites originated from Jewish Committee. 879134562 546872913 231659487 623417895 495368271 187925634 758293146 364581 729 912746358 legal liability. Academic con- ferences are organized, sched- uled, and registered months in advance. The discriminatory effects of their policy have already been realized." Additionally, the fact that the ASA's boycott policy "was selectively not enforced" for the Los Angeles gathering "does not mean [the policy[ was not otherwise enforced," wrote Kontorovich, who men- tioned Wattad's inclusion in the conference but not that of the two other participat- ing Israeli academics, Godon and Sa'di. "Having adopted their boy- cott to much public fanfare, they (ASA) want to be able to quietly deny it--when it suits them," Kontorovich wrote. Pro-Israel groups, mean- tracking and dishonesty by while, have been mobilizing theASAisnotsurprising"and on the ASA conference issue, represents "another example The Israel Project (TIP) issued of the disingenuousness that an the action alert email, call- characterizes BDS (Boycott, ingonits supporters to tell the Divestment and Sanctions) Westin that "playing host to efforts as a whole." bigots is unacceptable." "As is common for BDS "OtherwiseWestinResorts, supporters, the ASA did not in violation of California's honor their own boycott afftl-discrimihati iaws, wiIl ' p01ic -they ifivited segeral rent the rooms while the ASA Israelis to participate in the keeps Israelis out of them," conference, showing that, yet stated the TIP action alert, again, Israel BDSerswill only "No other country is being abide by their own injunctions subjectedtothisexclusionary when it suits their needs," bigotry, she said. "BDS proponents Samantha Rose Mandeles, will claim to boycott Israel, editor-in-chiefofCAMERAon- but actually only do so half- Campus.org for the Commit- heartedly, when it is conve- teeforAccuracyinMiddleEast nient and part of symbolic, Reporting in America, told theatrical gestures that have JNS.orgthatthe"recentback- no effect on the conflict. Roz Rothstein, CEO of the Israel education group Stand- WithUs, said that "clearly the ASA cannot even clarify its own newfound bigotry against Israeli Academics and institutions." "Thankfully, the ACLJ has forced the issue into the open and placed ASA in this position where they cannot defend themselves, because there is no defense," Rothstein said. "Time and again, when held up to practical reality, the boycott movement against Israel has proven to be incapable of sustaining itself. This shows how important it is for groups to align to fight the prejudice that the BDS movement represents." 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