Pork Chop Anti-Semitism
Tablet, May 3, 2020Hostility to Jews never entirely disappears, but there are times when it becomes relatively quiescent. We are not living in such a time. Since the turn of the millennium, Jew-hatred has returned to the public sphere with a new vigor and on a global scale. The good news is that in no Western country are we seeing state-sponsored or state-sanctioned anti-Semitism. The bad news is that the volume of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European countries continues to grow year by year and collectively now numbers in the thousands.Nor is America immune. Almost 1,900 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in this country in 2019. New York City alone recorded 229 anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2019. Los Angeles and Chicago, cities with sizable Jewish populations, are seeing a similar escalation of assaults against Jews. So what do these attacks mean and where do they come from, and will the situation continue to worsen?On Jan. 19, 2020, shortly before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Tara Rios, a 47-year-old woman from upstate New York, got it into her head to throw pork chops at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Greenport, New York. Like a criminal triumphantly returning to the scene of her crime, she went back to the synagogue in the early hours of the next morning to photograph what she had done. Rios has since been charged with a hate crime.For all of its seeming strangeness, Rios’ behavior is part of a larger pattern of anti-Jewish aggression that dates back centuries.On the personal level, anti-Semitism typically originates in negative feelings about Jews before it becomes formulated as an idea or ideology. Relatively dormant for a time following the end of World War II, it has revived energetically in recent years and manifests itself in various ways. At its worst, as in the brutal attacks on Jews in Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City, and Monsey, it is lethal. In other instances, it takes no lives but nevertheless should not be ignored, for every public display of anti-Semitism, from the deadly to the seemingly trivial, reflects feelings of contempt which, if given free rein, inevitably lead to harm.Rios may not be aware of it, but the particular form that her animus took—the weaponization of pork for use against Jews—has a history of its own. Traditionally, Jews have a deep revulsion to eating pork, a food banned to them by religious injunction. Knowing of this prohibition, their adversaries have sometimes used the flesh of pigs to taunt and test them. As far back as the Greek monarch Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Jews who refused orders to eat pork could be put to death. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Jews who had been forcibly converted were sometimes compelled to eat pork to demonstrate the sincerity of their embrace of Christianity. In fact, “Marranos,” one of the names given to these suspected or crypto-Jews, means “swine” or “pork.” From the 13th century onwards, the outer facades of certain German churches were adorned with engraved images of the so-called “Judensau,” depicting Jews nursing from or fornicating with a female pig. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Anti-Semitic Incidents Surged in 2019, Report Says
NYT, May 12, 2020
A record number of anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the United States last year, more than in any year since the Anti-Defamation League began tracking them four decades ago, the civil rights group said Tuesday. In its annual audit, the A.D.L. identified 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents in 2019, an increase of 12 percent from the 1,879 that were recorded in 2018.
The surge in reports, grouped in the categories of assault, harassment, and vandalism, came as Jewish communities in Monsey, N.Y., Jersey City, N.J., and Poway, Calif., were the targets of deadly attacks last year. “This was a year of unprecedented anti-Semitic activity, a time when many Jewish communities across the country had direct encounters with hate,” the A.D.L.’s chief executive, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, said in a statement.
“This contributed to a rising climate of anxiety and fear in our communities,” he said. “We are committed to fighting back against this rising tide of hate and will double down on our work with elected leaders, schools, and communities to end the cycle of hatred.”
Among the report’s key findings:
There were 1,127 reports of harassment, an increase of 6 percent from 2018. The group described these as cases “where one or more Jews reported feeling harassed” by anti-Semitic language or actions.
There were 919 acts of vandalism, an increase of 19 percent from the previous year. The group said these were cases in which property was damaged “in a manner that harmed or intimidated Jews,” such as with spray-painted swastikas.
There were 61 cases of assault, a 56 percent increase from 2018. These were cases in which people were physically threatened with violence, such as with guns or knives, “accompanied by evidence of anti-Semitic animus,” the A.D.L. said. The assaults involved 95 victims, five of whom died.
Incidents were reported in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. The states with the most cases were New York, with 430; New Jersey, with 345; California, with 330; Massachusetts, with 114; and Pennsylvania, with 109. Those states accounted for nearly 45 percent of the total number of reported incidents. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Bishops Admit: The German Catholic Church Aided the Nazis and Later Helped Them Escape
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
Arutz Sheva, May 11, 2020
In a new report on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the German Conference of Catholic Bishops has finally admitted to the Church’s complicity in the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War. One only has to quote a few lines from its text in order to understand what the current bishops think about their wartime predecessors:
The German Catholic Church perceived the post-war processes against Nazi war criminals as acts of revenge. These extreme criminals were, in their eyes, victims persecuted by the Allied justice system. “The Catholic Church in Germany was part of the worst society. The chaotic willingness to mobilize the material, personnel, and spiritual resources of the Church for the war effort remained unbroken until the end.” Also: “both in September 1939 as thereafter there was no open protest of the German Bishops against the national socialist extermination war” and “against the incredible crimes as both racially alien discriminated and persecuted others, in particular, the Jews, there was barely a voice in the German Church.” There were many other ways the Church assisted the Nazis. The report describes those as well.
One should add that the German Catholic Church perceived the post-war processes against Nazi war criminals as acts of revenge. These extreme criminals were, in their eyes, victims persecuted by the Allied justice system. Catholic clergy, including from the Vatican, was part of those who helped thousands of Nazis to escape to Latin America via “ratlines.”
The current chair of the German Bishops’ conference, Rev. Georg Bätzing, said that the admissions in the report are not easy for the bishops: “We know that presiding over our predecessors as judge and jury do not suit us. No generation is free from judgment and prejudices that are shaped by its time… but those who come later must confront history in order to learn from it.” In his introduction to the report, Bätzing discloses – what should be shocking news — that serious questions about the behavior of the German bishops during the Second World War were raised only recently.
Why did the bishops wait 75 years for this admission? We are now generations of bishops later. What made it so difficult for the war-time bishops to admit their failures? In Catholicism, confession by the individual of his or her sins plays a central role. One would think that the nature of Catholicism would, in fact, encourage such an admission.
Even relative to another German religious body, the Catholic Bishops took a very long time for their admission. The synod of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland area admitted in 1980, “the Christian co-responsibility and guilt for the Holocaust, the outlawing, persecution and extermination of the Jews in the Third Reich.” … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
May 14, 1948 — Miracle or Catastrophe?
Algemeiner, May 14, 2020
On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. Shortly thereafter, five Arab states invaded to join Palestinian fighters in a campaign to destroy the new Jewish state. Let’s put aside the real and imagined flaws of Israel today, and consider how unlikely the Jewish victory was in 1948.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states — one Jewish and one Arab. The Arabs had left no doubt beforehand that they would go to war to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state. The CIA reported as early as September 1947 that Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti was “reportedly making final preparations for a call to a holy war (jihad), which may start even before the UN General Assembly completes its deliberations.”
Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee’s spokesman, told the UN that the Arabs would drench “the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood,” and Abd al-Rahman Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, said, “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.”
At the outset, the Jews appeared to have no chance. The Arab states vastly outnumbered the Jews and had easy access to weapons. The strongest Arab army, the Jordanian Legion, was led by a British officer. Israel faced a US arms embargo and was forced to smuggle weapons in from wherever it could. The new Israeli army did not have a single cannon or tank; the air force consisted of nine obsolete planes.
On the eve of the war, Israel had only 32,500 fighters mobilized, armed, and prepared for war. Chief of operations Yigal Yadin told the new government’s leader David Ben-Gurion: “The best we can tell you is that we have a 50-50 chance.”
Ultimately, the Arabs only fielded about 50,000 troops, as did Israel. Nevertheless, the CIA believed Israel could not sustain a long war. In late April 1948, the CIA concluded, “Without active aid from outside, the Jewish forces will be unable to defend themselves indefinitely against the Arab armies.”
By late June, however, it became clear that the Arabs would not succeed in driving the Jews into the sea. At that point, the State Department, which had opposed partition, hoped to minimize the territory of Israel, and transfer the rest to Jordan (then Transjordan). As it would later, Israel won on the battlefield what diplomats tried to take from it. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
FOR FURTHER REFERENCE:
Harry Truman: The Man from Missouri Who Helped Change Jewish History: Marvin Hier, Jerusalem Post, May 14, 2020 — On July 20, 1944, Americans woke to the startling news that an attempt had been made on the life of Adolf Hitler. The Nazi leader survived the attack but feared for his safety, heeding the advice of his cabinet never to speak in public again.
NYC Mayor Slammed for Singling Out Jewish Community re Social Distancing; Twitter and Instagram Yank Accounts of Convicted Palestinian Terrorist: ADL, Apr. 30, 2020 — NYC Mayor de Blasio is under fire after being accused of singling out the Jewish community for not adhering to social distancing measures at a local rabbi’s funeral.
What is “Zoombombing” and Who is Behind It?: ADL, May 4, 2020 — On March 24, 2020, a white supremacist interrupted a webinar about antisemitism hosted by a Massachusetts Jewish student group by pulling his shirt collar down to reveal a swastika tattoo on his chest.
WATCH: The Dark Side of Holocaust Education: Ruth Wisse, Tikvah Fund, May 7, 2020 (Scroll down) — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and educational programs like “Facing History” were intended to act as a deterrent against anti-Jewish aggression: “Never Again.” Was this a realistic expectation?
This week’s French-language briefing titled: Communiqué: Malgré la pandémie, la coopération israélienne ne faiblit pas.