The Fading Lessons of the Holocaust: Reflections on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016: Dr. Charles Asher Small, ISGAP, Jan. 27, 2016 — (Wednesday, Jan. 27 was) International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the date in 1945 when the Russians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland.
Palestinians are Knowingly Bringing Knives to a Gun Fight. These are Suicide Attacks: David Sacks, National Post, Jan. 28, 2016— Since mid-September, more than three out of every four people killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been Palestinian.
Special Report: Globe and Mail Bias Against Israel Continues Unabated: Mike Fegelman, Honest Reporting, Jan. 21, 2016 — “One day India may discover that her one-sided orientation in the Middle East is neither moral nor expedient.”
Associated Press Semantics – a Simple Tactic for Bias: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Jan. 13, 2016— Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message.
How Much Do Young People Know About the Holocaust?: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016
UN Condemns Israel as the World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: IPT, Jan. 29, 2016
Italy Has Special Responsibility to Remember Holocaust, Envoy Says: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016
Here’s a Holocaust Story with a Happy Ending: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016
Dr. Charles Asher Small
ISGAP, Jan. 27, 2016
(Wednesday, Jan. 27 was) International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the date in 1945 when the Russians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland. In 2005, 60 years after that liberation, the UN finally established a day of commemoration for the six million Jews, plus five million non-Jews, whom the Nazis murdered.
Nations throughout the world are commemorating the day in distinctive ways. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is addressing a memorial event. German Government officials are gathering in the Bundestag to focus on the legacy of forced labor. The Polish Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum is streaming an event live on YouTube.
And in Iran, the Regime has just announced another Holocaust Denial Cartoons Contest. The announcement is not an aberration. This is, after all, a regime whose president once tried to organize a research mission to Poland to determine whether it was really possible for millions to have died at Auschwitz. (The Polish Government denied his request.) Ten years ago, after a Danish newspaper ran cartoons of Mohammed, an official Iranian newspaper offered prizes for cartoons about the Holocaust. Some entries were based on Holocaust denial; others merely drew a parallel between the Nazism and Zionism. In 2015, when the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Mohammed after the terrorist massacre at its headquarters, the Iranians announced the Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest.
This year the Iranian Holocaust Denial cartoon contest will attract participants from more than 50 countries. Emphasis will also be placed on caricatures dehumanizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Even more disturbing on this Holocaust Memorial Day, representatives of the Iranian Regime are in Europe meeting heads of state and captains of industry to sign major economic agreements. This year marks the normalization of relations with a regime that denies the Holocaust while it openly prepares for another, a fundamental element of the Regime's ideology.
On this Holocaust Memorial Day, nations of Europe, where the Holocaust was actually planned and perpetrated, and other leading nations, like the United States, are not only engaged in economic relations with this human-rights-abusing nation but are now accepting it as a stablizing force in the blood-drenched Middle East. The fact that on Holocaust Memorial Day, European Governments are hosting a representative of a regime that is dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state, and a regime with a dismal human rights record which subjugates women and religious minorities, is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for Europe. It represents the selling of fundamental principles of democracy and human rights for two pieces of silver. Profit and short-term gain have replaced notions of democratic principles, the rights of Iranian citizens, and the memory of the victims of the Shoah.
The last time Europe set aside values of human decency for short term gain, not only did the Holocaust occur, but Europe was essentially destroyed. It is inevitable that setting aside democratic principles will have a cost. Antisemitism begins with Jews but never ends with Jews. The deadly virus of hate affects the very fabric of society. The question is what the cost will be and when will the chickens come home to roost.
Dr. Charles Asher Small is a CIJR Academic Fellow
National Post, Jan. 28, 2016
Since mid-September, more than three out of every four people killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been Palestinian. Sounds like Israel is the aggressor, doesn’t it? In fact, for the last four months, Palestinians have waged a terror campaign of random civilian attacks, often using cars and knives as weapons. This wave has been called the “Stabbing Intifada.”
Among these random attacks on Israelis, which are supported by the Palestinian leadership, a pregnant mother was stabbed, a mother of six was killed in front of her children, a 15-month-old baby and her mother were rammed by a car and a 13-year-old girl and an 80-year-old woman were also stabbed. In all, 30 victims have died in over 100 attacks in the last four months — thank God, it’s hard to kill with a knife, particularly in a country with so much security — and close to 300 Israelis have been wounded. Sixty Palestinian attackers have been arrested and over 90 have been shot and killed while carrying out their attacks.
Israel is often been accused of using “disproportionate force” because of such death toll ratios. That accusation is absurd. After all, if Palestinians continue to stab, and get killed for it at a high rate, should they be allowed to kill a few Jews to catch up? No society on Earth would attempt to protect murderers and purposely leave victims more vulnerable.
When someone is trying to stab a child, you shoot them, if you can. The attackers are counting on this, in fact. These are suicide attacks. They are knowingly bringing a knife to a gun fight. Martyrdom, or dying for the cause, is seen as an honour for many Palestinians. Their families are rewarded by the Palestinian government and West Bank streets are often named after them. The Palestinian leadership uses the statistics on the “disproportionate” death toll to fuel their people’s rage, to encourage copycat attacks against Jews in France and to arm the Western anti-Israel movement with more “proof” of the evilness of the Jewish state.
The broader picture of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian forces is similar. More Palestinians are killed than Israelis, and Israel is condemned for using “disproportionate force.” But should Israel ignore Hamas rocket attacks until some magically sufficient number of Israelis have been killed? If Israel does retaliate, with better bombs delivered by jets, but their attackers still don’t stop, regardless of their losses, should Israel just give up and accept the attacks?
In 2008, bragging of the war crime of using human shields, Hamas MP Fathi Hammad said, “The Palestinian people has developed its (methods) of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry.” Former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh echoed this when he said, “We love death like our enemies love life.”
When a society worships death, honours suicide attackers and forces civilians to serve as human shields, they are going to have a high death count. As I mentioned above, this is their stated goal. In 1957, the future prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, captured the horror of the situation in a way that still rings true: “We can forgive (them) for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with (them) when they love their children more than they hate us.”
“Disproportionate force” is a code word for Jews winning. Only Israel — the one Jewish state in the world — has this concept used against it. When Russia kills hundreds of Syrian civilians, none of whom are threatening Russia, we hear no talk of a proportionate response. When Saudi Arabia bombs civilians and hospitals in Yemen, there is hardly any attention paid to it in Western media. That is what is disproportionate.
So when Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion stated this week that Canada is concerned over the violence that has taken place in Israel and the West Bank over the past 100 days and called “for all efforts to be made to reduce violence,” one has to wonder: why is the context of the violence not mentioned? And what exactly is Israel to do? Let them stab?
Honest Reporting, Jan. 21, 2016
What our media report today, often times becomes foreign policy tomorrow. In Canada, the Globe and Mail, our country’s “paper of record” prides itself as being a broadsheet of influence whose reporting and commentary platforms are observed by our nation’s thought leaders and policy makers. Though duty bound at being impartial, fair, accurate and balanced, in the past couple months, the Globe has produced problematic content with an overt anti-Israel slant and has failed to remedy its journalist shortcomings.
Here are just five recent examples of Globe and Mail media bias against Israel:
1) Globe gives platform to incendiary Michael Bell commentary: Writing in the Globe and Mail on December 14, Michael Bell, former Canadian ambassador to Israel and co-director of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, excused Palestinian terrorism while baselessly charging that a “Judaization” of Jerusalem exists. In truth, Bell’s op-ed was just another example of Palestinian incitement. Without substantiation, Bell claimed Israeli “zealots” are attempting to change the Temple Mount’s status quo while seeking the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque, efforts which Bell claimed are prompting Palestinians to commit terrorism.
Bell claimed: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.” As commentator Richard Levy observed: “Mr. Bell is determined to put a halo around the violent and often murderous knifings by those whose passions are inflamed by such incendiary charges. He says that “frequent knifings by Palestinians” are “in reaction to these perceived encroachments”. Note the passive voice which makes the sequence of events look like a physical phenomenon. Perception of an undesired outcome inexorably leads to knifings. In the same way that a very strong wind leads to branches breaking. Bell outdoes himself in making it clear that persons stabbing other persons on the street with intent to maim and kill merit a free pass, when he sums up his whitewashing analysis by writing: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.” The misperception (of change to the status quo) is “unsurprising” in Mr. Bell’s words (even though Mr. Netanyahu strongly denied it). So naturally ” knife attacks” were provoked. It is as if, in Bell’s mind, the knives took action on their own without human control instead of being wielded by persons who stab randomly choosing pedestrians to death because of a misperception.”
In truth, as Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, recently put it: “Israel stringently maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount. Last year, some 3.5 million Muslims visited the Temple Mount alongside some 200,000 Christians and 12,000 Jews. Only Muslims are allowed to pray on the Mount, and non-Muslims may visit only at specified times, which have not changed. Though the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site—where Solomon built his Temple some 3,000 years ago—Israel will not allow a change in the status quo. The ones trying to change the status quo are Palestinians, who are violently trying to prevent Jews and Christians from even visiting a site holy to all three faiths.”
Since Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, Dermer observed, “Israel has vigorously protected the holy sites of all faiths, including al-Aqsa. In the Middle East, where militant Islamists desecrate and destroy churches, synagogues, world heritage sites, as well as each other’s mosques, Israel is the only guarantor of Jerusalem’s holy places. Palestinians have been propagating the “al-Aqsa is in danger” myth since at least 1929, when the Palestinian icon, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, used it to inspire the massacre of Jews in Hebron and elsewhere. Nearly a century later, the mosque remains unharmed, but the lie persists.”
Those who protest the “Judaization” of Jerusalem are themselves guilty of trying to deny and destroy Jewish history in Jerusalem. Rather than “Judaization,” the facts point to a systematic de-Judaizing of Jerusalem by the Palestinian leadership evident in illegal Arab building in Jerusalem and the wanton destruction of ancient Jewish artifacts by the Waqf. Furthermore, Interior Ministry statistics show Jerusalem’s Arab population has increased faster than the Jewish population, from 27% to 37.3% of total Jerusalemites, with a projected Arab majority by 2040. This speaks arguably to an “Arabization” of Jerusalem.
2) Globe whitewashes Palestinian terror: On December 15, HRC called on the Globe and Mail to amend a headline to the following article it published the day prior on its website which whitewashed Palestinian terror and which was recirculated via the Globe’s Twitter account: As a result of this misleading headline, readers may have wrongly concluded that this was a simple traffic accident, whereas Israeli police claimed that the Palestinian man intentionally rammed his car into a bus stop and wounded 14 Israelis in what they referred to as a terror attack. One baby in fact, had to undergo extensive surgery to save his foot. Importantly, the Hamas terror group claimed that the Jerusalem car-rammer was a member of theirs and within this terrorist’s car, was an axe that the Israelis believe shows he was prepared to inflict further carnage post attack.
In the interests of fairness, accuracy and best informing Globe and Mail readers, we submitted to the Globe that this headline should be amended to reference Israeli claims that an attack took place, or that the Palestinian was an “assailant”. Or, instead of placing emphasis on the death of this Palestinian, perhaps an appropriate headline would state “Fourteen Israelis wounded in Palestinian car ramming attack in Jerusalem: police”. This was no simple traffic accident and the Globe should be familiar with how readers are more inclined to read a headline exclusively and not the article itself. Accuracy, fairness, and balance is of paramount concern in headlines, and it’s compounded by the fact that these headlines become the message of Twitter blasts. Though the Globe circulated our complaint to their editors, to our dismay, the Globe did not feel a correction was needed.
3) Mark Mackinnon’s Report About Palestinian Refugees was Misleading and Inaccurate: Also on December 15, HRC called on the Globe to publish a correction and to take remedial action in regards to a misleading and inaccurate front page report by Mark Mackinnon entitled “Impoverished war-weary Palestinians remain the forgotten refugees”. Mackinnon wrote the following: “Like millions of Palestinians scattered around the Middle East, the 46-year-old Mr. al-Laham was born a refugee. He grew up in the Yarmouk camp, on the edge of Damascus, where his parents lived after fleeing their home in Jaffa during the 1948 war that created the state of Israel.“
The concept that a war – rather than the United Nations vote to partition Palestine – created the State of Israel, is not just an error, but is tantamount to historical revisionism. In reality, the Partition Plan set out to create two states (a Jewish and an Arab state) and while the Jews accepted partition, the Arabs rejected it and combined Arab armies launched a war to wipe the Jewish presence from the region. This error was deserving of a corrective notice.
Mr. Mackinnon also stated: “He was a toddler when his family moved from Yarmouk to Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp to escape a Syrian crackdown on Palestinian groups, and just 13 when they fled back to Yarmouk after Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which included a bloody massacre of Palestinians living in Shatila that was carried out by Israel’s Lebanese Christian allies.”
In this sentence, readers likely concluded that Mr. Mackinnon was implying that Israel backed and perhaps even ordered the Christian Phalangist’s massacring of these Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila. This is misleading. In fact, as Jewish Virtual Library notes: “The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia was responsible for the massacres that occurred at the two Beirut-area refugee camps on September 16-17, 1982. Israeli troops allowed the Phalangists to enter Sabra and Shatila to root out terrorist cells believed located there. It had been estimated that there may have been up to 200 armed men in the camps working out of the countless bunkers built by the PLO over the years, and stocked with generous reserves of ammunition…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR, Jan. 13, 2013
Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message. Apparently Associated Press journalists have both the ability to manipulate language and the guidelines driving them to do so. AP apparently believes that Palestinians can never be terrorists, however many Israeli soldiers and civilians they kill or attempt to kill, whether with bullets, knives, stones or scissors.
One wonders whether journalists new to AP’s Israel office get an introductory session where they are told that they must not — when it is on behalf of AP — make use of the words “Palestinian terrorists.” It seems however AP-approved to quote an Israeli official saying that a perpetrator of a terror attack is a terrorist, as long as the journalist does not use such incendiary terminology himself. The same goes for terms such as “Palestinian attackers” and “assailants.”
Perhaps newcomers are also offered a convenient list of AP-approved synonyms for use in describing murderous activities by Palestinians which sidestep what the terrorists actually do: murder others, particularly civilians, out of ideological motives.
Thus the Palestinian killer of Israelis becomes, in the agency’s jargon, a Palestinian extremist, militant, gunman, lone wolf, or a Palestinian rebel. The United States considers Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist groups. They are on the list of foreign terror organizations prepared by the US Department of State, France, Canada, and Australia. The EU considers both to be terrorist organizations as well. Despite this official categorization, the AP commonly refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as “militant” organizations.
One might wrongly assume that the AP believes it impossible for Muslims to be terrorists. However when spouses Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot fourteen civilians dead in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, apparently without the support of any organization, the AP showed no such restraint. It described them as terrorists, without quotation marks. It did not term them “gunmen” or “lone wolves.” AP reporting on members of the Pakistan-based Muslim terror group that carried out the 2006 Mumbai attacks, killing more than 160 people, also described them unequivocally as terrorists, again without quotation marks. The AP also used this term for the ISIS-backed terrorists who perpetrated a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people. Even Richard Reid, the Muslim “Shoe Bomber” who was caught before he managed to commit an intended act of terror on a 2001 flight was described as a “terrorist plotter,” without quotation marks, by the AP.
The large international news agencies are a major source of information abroad concerning Israel. Their bulletins are used by many media channels worldwide, and when this information is disproportionally and incorrectly negative about Israel, the impact of that negativity has far reaching consequences on a global level. It is therefore hugely important to expose double standards in their reporting of what may falsely appear to be ‘facts on the ground.’ There is much more to say about the special set of semantics the AP uses in anything to do with Israel. In 2001, 16 year old Shoshana Ben-Yishai was murdered in a random Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. With complete irrelevance to the attack, the AP described the victim as a “settler,” because she lived in Beitar Illit, roughly one mile away from the Green Line…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
How Much Do Young People Know About the Holocaust?: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016—One author interviewed multiple random university students to find out what they knew about World War II. The answer: Almost nothing.
UN Condemns Israel as the World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: IPT, Jan. 29, 2016— As the world commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the United Nations (U.N.) compared Palestinians to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide, according to an opinion piece by Anne Bayefsky posted on FoxNews.
Italy Has Special Responsibility to Remember Holocaust, Envoy Says: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016—Former Nazi ally Italy “was in the middle of the war [and] has a special responsibility” to commemorate the genocide of the Jews, Ambassador Francesco Maria Talo told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Here’s a Holocaust Story with a Happy Ending: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016—Most of the major figures or sites of modern European history play at least a minor role in this book. Not only do we see Germany’s Jewish laws play out, the obstinance of German Jewry in refusing to believe Germany would turn on them, the flight of often newly-impoverished Jews to Palestine (the real one), the German railroad system, Auschwitz, and German Communists, but the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie also have cameos.