5 March 2015 - 14 AdarI 5775 - י"ד אדר ה' אלפים תשע"ה
Was Jack the Ripper a Polish Jewish immigrant? E-mail

For more than a century, the identity of Jack the Ripper, the brutal murderer who stalked the Whitechapel area of Victorian London, UK has been a mystery. But now DNA evidence reportedly points to a Polish Jewish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski, who spent his final decades locked up in a lunatic asylum.

According to British media reports, a shawl recovered from the scene of the murder of Catherine Eddowes was found to contain DNA of the victim and of Kosminski, who had been named at the time as a suspect in the murders. The DNA in the shawl was analysed by Dr. Jari Louhelainen, who the Daily Mail called a Finnish “world renowned expert in historical crime scenes.”

Louhelainen was reportedly called in by the British owner of the garment, which was purchased at auction in 2007. The DNA on the shawl was crosschecked with that of Kosminski’s descendants, reports said. Kosminski died in 1919 in an asylum, where he had been institutionalized since 1891.

The identity of Jack the Ripper has been the subject of much speculation throughout the years. The murderer is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of at least five prostitutes in the British capital in 1888. Other candidates touted for the murders included a grandson of Queen Victoria, a painter, a duke and even a former British prime minister. For over a century the identity of notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper has baffled criminologists.

Jack the Ripper is the best known name given to the unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888.

The name originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer that was widely disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten interest in the story. Within the crime case files as well as journalistic accounts the killer was known as “the Whitechapel Murderer” as well as “Leather Apron”.

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20 Jewish Times Asia September 2014 Is supporting Hamas anti-Semitic? E-mail

Indeed, many Israelis are critical of some of their nation’s policies, but support for Hamas is anti-Semitic, because Hamas’s policies and actions are based, at their core, on Jewishhatred.

Criticising specific Israeli policies both amongst local citizens and the wider Jewish population is certainly not intrinsically anti-Semitic. Yet many prominent individuals, some out of ignorance, many more with full knowledge of what they are doing, are overtly supporting Hamas.

Some have even praised it. Others, like Italy’s most famous philosopher, Gianni Vattimo, are trying to raise money and provide material support to this anti-Semitic terrorist organisation. Still others refuse to condemn it, while condemning Israel in the strongest terms.

Here is part of what the Hamas Charter, which continues to articulate its governing principles, says about Jews: “The enemies have been scheming for a long time. [Their] wealth [permitted them to] take over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir revolutions in various parts of the globe... They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions... They also used the money to establish clandestine organisations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests.

Such organisations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rit and the like. All of them are destructive spying organisations... [They] stood behind WWI, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate... They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organisation. They also stood behind World War II.... They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary. There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it.”

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A 3,300 year old coffin exposed in Jezreel Valley E-mail

During a recent salvage excavation in the Jezreel Valley, the Israel Antiquities Authority has uncovered part of a burial site dating to the Late Bronze Age (thirteenth century BCE) at the foot of Tel Shadud.

According to the excavation directors, Dr. Edwin van den Brink, Dan Kirzner and Dr. Ron Be’eri of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “During the excavation we discovered a unique and rare find: a cylindrical clay coffin with an anthropoidal lid (a cover fashioned in the image of a person) surrounded by a variety of pottery consisting mainly of storage vessels for food, tableware, cultic vessels and animal bones. As was the custom, it seems these were used as offerings for the gods, and were also meant to provide the dead with sustenance in the afterlife.”

The skeleton of an adult was found inside the clay coffin and next to it were buried pottery, a bronze dagger, bronze bowl and hammered pieces of bronze. “Since the vessels interred with the individual were produced locally”, the researchers say, “We assume the deceased was an official of Canaanite origin who was engaged in the service of the Egyptian government”.

Another possibility is that the coffin belonged to a wealthy individual who imitated Egyptian funerary customs. The researchers add that so far only several anthropoidal coffins have been uncovered in the country. The last ones discovered were found at Deir el-Balah some fifty  years ago. According to the archaeologists, “An ordinary person could not afford the purchase of such a coffin. It is obvious the deceased was a member of the local elite”.

The graves of two men and two women who may have been members of his family were also located near the coffin. The discovery of the coffin at Tel Shadud is evidence of Egyptian control of the Jezreel Valley in the Late Bronze Age.

During the period when the pharaohs governed the country, Egyptian culture greatly influenced the local Canaanite upper class. Signs of Egyptian influence are occasionally discovered in different regions and this time they were revealed at Tel Shadud and in the special tomb of the wealthy Canaanite. A rare artifact that was found next to the skeleton is an Egyptian scarab seal, encased in gold and affixed to a ring. The scarab was used to seal documents and objects.

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