Subscribe to our Daily Briefing

CHARLOTTESVILLE CHAOS, RACISM & JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS

Volume X1, No. 4,116 • Aug. 18, 2017 • August 18, 2017

Neo-Nazis

Accelerating Chaos Within The American Jewish Community: Isi Leibler, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2017— The chaos enveloping American Jewry since the election of President Donald Trump – which many predicted would be merely a passing phenomenon – has in fact increased exponentially over the past few months. It is concurrent with the turmoil prevailing at all levels inside the new administration.

The Startling Reality Facing America In Wake of Virginia White Power Rally: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 15, 2017— President Trump should have left well enough alone. His Monday denunciation of costumed sheet-wearers and Nazi wannabes could have cleared the way for Americans of all stripes to focus their outrage on things that matter more than presidential words.

The Politics of Pointlessness: Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 16, 2017— Charlottesville was a warning that America’s politics is steadily disconnecting from reality. Our politics is starting to seem psychotic. Generally people get into politics to accomplish something concrete or achievable—the passage of a piece of legislation or of identifiable public policies whose purpose is to make things better. In a word, progress.

After Witnessing ISIS’s Genocide And Slavery, ‘Jewish Schindler’ Sprang Into Action: Bradley Martin, The Federalist, Aug. 17, 2017—What began as just another business venture for Steve Maman, a high-end car and motorcycle dealer specializing in Montreal, would turn into saving the lives of thousands of Yazidis and Christians.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Hate Spewed in Charlottesville Helps ISIS and al-Qaeda: Bridget Johnson, New York Observer, Aug. 16, 2017

Why Jews Everywhere Should Be Helping Egypt’s Christians: Yael Eckstein, Algemeiner, Jul. 23, 2017

Christianity's Prospects Of Surviving In Its Birthplace Are Grim: Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, Apr. 14, 2017

Unconditional Christian Love for Israel: Ron Jager, American Thinker, August 6, 2017

 

ACCELERATING CHAOS WITHIN THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY

Isi Leibler

The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2017

 

The chaos enveloping American Jewry since the election of President Donald Trump – which many predicted would be merely a passing phenomenon – has in fact increased exponentially over the past few months. It is concurrent with the turmoil prevailing at all levels inside the new administration. At precisely such a turbulent time in which the leadership of American Jewry should assume a stabilizing role, it seems to be losing control.

 

Many Jewish leaders concentrate more on vilifying Trump than securing and promoting their communal interests. They unashamedly abuse their Jewish institutional roles to promote far-left and liberal agendas, even labeling their opponents antisemites to achieve their goals. That is not to deny that there has always been a segment of American society which was fiercely racist and antisemitic. The shocking displays of hatred and the violence emanating from the recent national gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia testify to this. And while there was violence from the “Antifa” far-left elements, it is indisputable that the violence emanated from vile racists carrying Nazi flags.

 

Vice President Mike Pence denounced the white supremacists and racists but, to his discredit, Trump’s initial response was only to condemn “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of bigotry, hatred and violence, on many sides.” Without explicitly condemning the white supremacists, he was perceived as applying moral equivalence to both sides, which most Americans and Jews of all political persuasions would consider outrageous. It was only two days later that Trump belatedly explicitly denounced the racist hate groups such as white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK as criminals and thugs “repugnant to everything we hold dear.”

 

The threats from the radical Right must not be tolerated. Yet despite the massive exposure they received, these fascist and racist groups represent a minute segment of society and their influence is marginal when compared to the leftist antisemites. The latter, who are vastly understated, promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and have transformed campuses into anti-Israel and antisemitic platforms. Moreover, there are Jewish community leaders who have allied themselves with far-left campaigns headed by vicious anti-Israel elements, arguing that anti-Israel agitators should not be excluded as partners in broader campaigns for social justice. There are also calls for BDS proponents and anti-Israel Jewish groups to be included in the “big tent.”

 

The worst organizational offender in this area is the Anti-Defamation League, which lost its credibility after Jonathan Greenblatt, a former aide to President Barack Obama, became CEO and used the organization to promote his liberal agenda. He is supported by leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements who uninhibitedly pursue partisan positions, as though their followers were all anti- Trump zealots. Their toleration of leftist anti-Israel agitators is frequently accompanied by public criticism of Israeli policies.

 

Although the racist demonstration in Charlottesville is evidence that there are threats from the Right, the ADL concentrates almost exclusively on right-wing extremists, conveying the impression that antisemitism primarily emanates from these quarters. The ADL even refused to break with the Black Lives Matter movement, despite the rabidly anti-Israel clauses in its objectives, alleging that the offending clauses were inserted by a small minority.

 

The ADL also blamed Trump’s immigration policies and indifference to racists for the surge of bomb threats against Jewish institutions. Yet when it transpired that the threats originated from an American leftist and a mentally unstable Israeli, the ADL did not rescind its accusations. It continuously understates and fails to protest the growing numbers of anti-Israel elements who now thrive within the left-wing ranks of the Democratic Party and are dominant on many campuses. An extreme example of antisemitism clearly not emanating from the white-supremacist Right was the case of American imam Ammar Shahin, who in a sermon delivered at the Islamic Center of Davis in California on July 21 called for the annihilation of the Jewish People and “the liberation of al-Aksa mosque” …

[To read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

THE STARTLING REALITY FACING AMERICA IN WAKE OF VIRGINIA WHITE POWER RALLY

Michael Goodwin

New York Post, Aug. 15, 2017

 

President Trump should have left well enough alone. His Monday denunciation of costumed sheet-wearers and Nazi wannabes could have cleared the way for Americans of all stripes to focus their outrage on things that matter more than presidential words. That would be the violence that is infecting our politics and the frightening acceptance of it as the new normal. But Trump’s defiance yesterday is sure to keep the media pot boiling over his rhetoric instead of an ominous reality.

 

Namely, that real protesters don’t carry baseball bats, crowbars and mace. Yet Saturday’s bloody clash in Charlottesville showed that many on both sides came ready to rumble. While attention understandably is focused on the white racist who allegedly killed Heather Heyer with his car, blood was flowing freely before that tragedy. The mutual mayhem was so ferocious that cops withdrew, with one telling Fox News it was “too dangerous” to intervene. In many videos, not a single cop is visible as dozens of combatants batter each other. One man is seen holding a device that is shooting a flame several feet long. Similar scenarios have played out across the country in recent months, and many, including on college campuses, follow a pattern. Angry protests, usually against conservative speakers, turn violent, with windows smashed and fires set — and police do little more than watch.

 

The lax response reflects the contagion of what Heather Mac Donald called the “Ferguson effect” after the riots in Ferguson, Mo., three years ago this month. Recall that the St. Louis suburb was the scene of rampant violence, complete with arson and looting, after the police shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American. Police were held back as commercial areas burned, and with violence erupting over a period of months, the National Guard was called in — and also initially held back. Later, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that documents and interviews showed that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon decided “Guardsmen were not authorized to shoot to protect property in Ferguson, make arrests, or even stop people from committing most crimes.”

 

Nixon’s refusal to let law enforcement do its job has been copied by many politicians and college presidents. From Baltimore to Berkeley, they let the mob vent and destroy private property rather than risk criticism that police were too aggressive. Cops, knowing nobody has their backs, become reluctant to take risks. One result of the politicization of policing is the soaring murder rates in many cities, especially Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel accused cops of going into a “fetal” position. Another result is the rise of violence at political protests. Those two horrors share a lack of preventive policing.

 

While it is disheartening but not surprising that much of the current political violence revolves around race, the sudden focus on Civil War issues is startling. It’s as if some Americans are ready to fight a second Civil War, using the first one as a pretext. I don’t oppose changing college dormitory names and removing statues that honor Confederate generals or soldiers. When decisions are reached after respectful discussions and peaceful consensus, such change is the lifeblood of democracy. But the coercive demand for purity, enforced by violence, often feels staged for political effect aimed at Trump. The surge of sensitivity seems especially odd given that the issue was not as prominent during the tenure of Barack Obama, America’s only black president.

 

On my trips to the South during the Obama years, including to North Carolina, where my daughter went to college, I was amazed at how many Confederate statues there are. As I recall, there is even a small Confederate cemetery and statue on the campus of the University of Virginia. On one sightseeing trip around Durham, NC, I saw the statue that was pulled down Monday, and was struck by its prominence. It had stood on a main street since 1924, unprotected and unmolested. But Monday, the statue was pulled to the ground, kicked and spat on. The scene resembled the felling of Saddam Hussein statues after the liberation of Iraq — with one difference. Our Civil War ended more than 150 years ago.

 

Yet it is even now stirring emotions in New York. Two weeks ago, The Post reported that the Army rejected a request to rename streets at Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton that honor Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who were stationed there in the 1840s. Rep. Yvette Clarke vowed to keep fighting for the change, saying, “These monuments are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents and members of the armed forces stationed at Fort Hamilton whose ancestors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought to hold in slavery.” She’s right, but the Army also made an important point. It said the generals are part of military history and street-name honors were made “in the spirit of reconciliation” after the war.

 

That spirit of reconciliation, reflected in the lenient terms of military surrender at Appomattox Court House, was captured by President Abraham Lincoln at his second inaugural. Speaking on March 4, 1865, as the war was winding down and 40 days before his assassination, Lincoln recounted in somber eloquence the horror that had befallen both North and South with the clear suggestion it was divine punishment for the sin of slavery. He concluded with these remarkable words:

 

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Should Lincoln and his ideals also be torn down and trashed? Have our divisions become so deep that the only way to settle them is with another Civil War?

                                   

Contents

THE POLITICS OF POINTLESSNESS

Daniel Henninger

Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2017

 

Charlottesville was a warning. The warning is that America’s politics is steadily disconnecting from reality. Our politics is starting to seem psychotic. Generally people get into politics to accomplish something concrete or achievable—the passage of a piece of legislation or of identifiable public policies whose purpose is to make things better. In a word, progress.

 

The right and the left have disagreed for centuries on what works, but they at least shared a belief that the point of their political activity was to accomplish something real. Charlottesville was a political riot. Is Charlottesville the future? Some may say the Charlottesville riot was the lunatic fringe of the right and left, with no particular relevance to what falls in between. But I think Charlottesville may be a prototype of a politics that is drifting away from traditional norms of behavior and purpose. Street protest has become the politics du jour. Groups form constantly in the streets to chant slogans. America’s campuses live amid perpetual protest.

 

The protests no doubt are based in belief or sentiment of some sort, but it is more often than not difficult to recognize any political goal normally associated with conservatism, liberalism or progressivism. Much of it looks like acting out or pleas for attention. In January the weekend that Donald Trump was inaugurated, I watched a group of protesters sit down and block traffic at a main intersection in Santa Barbara, Calif. It seemed like a play date. The cops watched like bemused adults. Charlottesville wasn’t a play date. It was a pitched battle between two organized mobs—the white nationalist groups on the right and the badly underreported Antifa, or “antifascist,” groups on the hard-as-stone left. Stories about Antifa’s organized violence are trickling out now, but there is no conceivable journalistic defense for having waited so long to inform the public about this dangerous movement. The phenomenon that enables politics without purpose is the internet. It is the group-organizing tool for psychologically disassociated young people on the left and on the right, like James Alex Fields Jr., who allegedly drove his car into a crowd, killing Heather Heyer. She won’t be the last casualty.

 

Mr. Fields makes me think of the lone-wolf jihadists here and in Europe who explode out of the general population in a homicidal rage. These are people who sit endlessly in front of a computer screen, brainwashing themselves with online propaganda until they snap to make a “political statement.” The internet—websites, social media, message boards—is elevating political paranoia and delegitimizing normal politics. Earlier this week, Britain’s head of counterterrorism policing, Mark Rowley, described the new reality: “What we’re wrestling with today is something which is more of a cultish movement where they are putting out propaganda and saying ‘anybody and everybody, act in our name and you’re part of our terrorist campaign.’”

 

But, the argument goes, these behavioral extremes have no relevance to or effect on the rest of public life. I’m not so sure. There have been a series of events lately that suggest the most basic requirements of intellectual or political seriousness are losing ground inside institutions that once provided ballast against the extremes. The Google firing of James Damore was one of these big events. Its meaning was that the goal of diversity, whatever its original intent, has become mostly a totem. Mr. Damore was the little boy in the folk tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” who shouts, “But he doesn’t have anything on!” Google’s emperors banished James Damore for unmasking their diversity conceit. Also certain to enter the era’s annals of anti-politics is the Republican party’s health-care meltdown.

 

All the endless hours that pour into political organizing, fundraising and campaigning are meant to win elections and then exercise political power. After winning control of Congress in the 2016 election, Republicans degenerated into what was essentially a traffic-blocking protest—against their own majority! A young person new to politics and paying attention to what the Republicans did with ObamaCare reform, or to the Democrats’ content-free “resistance,” could reasonably conclude Congress is no longer about politics, but about something else. TV face-time or maybe Twitter, but not politics.

 

Traditional politics is being overtaken by a cult of self-referencing. From the nonstop street protests to what is going on in Washington—everything now is just a selfie. Amid this torrent, an odd paradox emerges: People are consuming more content and detail about politics than ever, and more people than ever are saying, “I have no idea what is going on.” Someone is at fault here, and it is not the confused absorbers of information. Charlottesville is being pounded into the national psyche this week as a paroxysm of white nationalism. On current course, the flight from politics is going to look like rational behavior.

 

Contents

AFTER WITNESSING ISIS’S GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY, ‘JEWISH SCHINDLER’ SPRANG INTO ACTION

Bradley Martin

The Federalist, Jun. 28, 2017

 

At a high-end car and motorcycle dealership in Montreal, a Canadian-Jewish businessman has made it his mission to save Christian and Yazidi girls from ISIS. What began as just another business venture for Steve Maman, a car dealer specializing in luxury automobiles, would turn into saving the lives of thousands of people.

 

Born in Morocco and immigrating to Canada at a very young age, Maman describes himself as an Orthodox Jew who grew up with “a great sense of being proudly Jewish.” Maman’s journey began following the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Aside from their horrifying reputations consisting of rape, murder, and torture, the brothers also had a voracious appetite for fine automobiles. “[Uday and Qusay] traveled the world to collect fine cars,” said Maman. “They had over 500 cars in their collection – the most valuable cars in the world – Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, you name it. They even had a 1958 Bentley Continental Dropped Coupe, which is worth several million dollars.”

 

At the time, Iraq would not allow any of these cars to leave the country. But Maman’s business inquiries resulted in a close friendship with Canon Andrew White, the former Anglican vicar of Baghdad’s St. George’s Church, known by many simply as “the Vicar of Baghdad.” During one of their conversations, White told Maman of the dangerous situation facing the last five Iraqi Jews who lived in Baghdad. With a history stretching as far back as biblical times, the Iraqi Jewish population once numbered 150,000. This remnant celebrated Shabbat at St. George’s Church under White’s protection. White even recounted how they would celebrate Jewish holidays at the American embassy in Baghdad, alongside American Jews serving in the U.S military.

 

White also spoke to Maman about the genocide taking place against Christians and Yazidis in Iraq. The vicar gave an account of the thousands of women and children ISIS was holding captive. Amidst the beheadings, torture, and other horrors of the genocide, thousands of women were being sold into sexual slavery. Maman knew he had to do something. “From 1939-1945, Jews were being murdered during the Holocaust,” said Maman, “despite the fact that everyone around knew it was going on. It was three years into the genocide [of Christians and Yazidis] yet nobody acted. That is why I did what I did. I didn’t trust anyone else to do it.” In November 2014, Maman founded the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI) to free hostages from ISIS territory.

 

In early 2015, Maman was part of a delegation that met with then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After his speech, Maman approached Harper, praising him as a hero for his strong pro-Israel stance and “all he had done for Jews.” According to Maman, “Harper had tears in his eyes and was very touched.” During their meeting, Maman then reported of his plans to rescue women and children from ISIS territory. “Harper loved the idea,” said Maman. “The [Canadian] federal government and [former Canadian minister of National Defense] Jason Kenney provided support to the rescue efforts under his leadership. We will leave it at that.”

 

When the vicar left Baghdad in November 2014, he left behind a security team that was integrated into CYCI’s rescue operations. Through a variety of methods, Maman set about trying to liberate as many of the estimated 10,000 women who were being sold in Iraqi slave markets as he possibly could. When ISIS terrorists were away from their homes, civilians would be hired to extract enslaved women and bring them to safety. In total, 140 women and girls were liberated.“When you see a girl being rescued, you cry,” says Maman. “I don’t care how tough you are, you cry.”

 

CYCI’s liberation operations eventually came to a tragic end. In December 2014, Maman’s team orchestrated the rescue of a group of Yazidi girls to find refuge in Kurdish territory. According to Maman, his team was blocked by Khairi Bozani, a controversial figure in charge of Yazidi affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government. Bozani reportedly did not want them to go through, leading to an argument at the border. Bozani said it was due to a lack of necessary documentation, but Maman blamed it on corruption. After a week of waiting, the girls were barred from crossing.“I lost 20 girls that day,” said Maman, trying to hold back the sadness in his voice. This marked the end of CYCI’s liberation operations. To this day, no one knows the fate of those girls. …

[To read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Bradley Martin is Deputy Editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research a Fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

The Hate Spewed in Charlottesville Helps ISIS and al-Qaeda: Bridget Johnson, New York Observer, Aug. 16, 2017— Al-Qaeda columnist Ibrahim al-Qosi, a former Guantanamo detainee, wrote in the May issue of the terror group’s Inspire magazine that white nationalist groups in the United States most helpfully “see the federal government serve the interests of the Jews” and realize they “must be curbed.” How they must have smiled watching coverage of the “Unite the Right” rally

Why Jews Everywhere Should Be Helping Egypt’s Christians: Yael Eckstein, Algemeiner, Jul. 23, 2017—During Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, I had dinner with a Christian pastor and his family in North Carolina. I was stunned and impressed that each time a rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel, the family’s “Code Red” app blared on their cellphones and they stopped whatever they were doing to pray for the Israelis in danger.

Christianity's Prospects Of Surviving In Its Birthplace Are Grim: Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, Apr. 14, 2017—The actual prospects facing Christianity in three of its longest-standing strongholds, Syria, Egypt and Iraq, vary significantly. But a blind eye is often turned by the mainstream media and others when it comes to anti-Christian atrocities, which have become an all-too-common way of life for many in the Mideast.

Unconditional Christian Love for Israel: Ron Jager, American Thinker, August 6, 2017—In the United States, the two groups that most ardently support Israel are Jews and evangelical Christians. Jewish support is easy to explain, but why should certain Christians, most of them politically quite conservative, be so devoted to Israel?

EDITORIAL BOARD

Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Prof. Harold Waller Prof. Harold Waller (McGill University)

Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman (Department of Religion, Concordia University)

Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research) Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Connect with CIJR | Isranet.org

Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Feed from us via RSS Receive News & Briefings via e-mail