Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Tag: Anti-Semitism

REMEMBERING THE ROMANIAN HOLOCAUST: BUCHAREST KRISTALLNACHT (JAN. 21-23, 1940)

Romania’s Holocaust 1940: Baruch Cohen, Isranet, Jan. 17, 2019— “I was born in Bucharest to a non-practicing Jewish family.”

How an American Moses Helped Lead Romania’s Jews to the Promised Land: Ben Zehavi, Times of Israel, Nov. 27, 2018—With a few obvious exceptions, there was a hardly a worse place to be a Jew in the 20th century than Romania.

Antisemitism Is Alive and Well in Europe — If It Ever Left: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Algemeiner, Jan. 16, 2019— Saying that antisemitism is integral to European culture does not make one popular in Europe.

The New, New Anti-Semitism: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Jan. 15, 2019— The old anti-Semitism was mostly, but not exclusively, a tribal prejudice expressed in America up until the mid 20th century most intensely on the right.

On Topic Links

Holocaust Survivor Baruch Cohen – the Bucharest Pogrom (Video): Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal, Youtube, Sep. 28, 2018

How Does the Holocaust Continue to Affect Us Today?: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Jan. 7, 2019

Hitler Didn’t Care About Your Race: Varda Meyers Epstein, Jewish Press, Jan. 13, 2019

Can the Left Recognize Anti-Semitism in its Ranks?: Jonathan Marks, Commentary, Jan. 14, 2019

 

ROMANIA’S HOLOCAUST 1940

Baruch Cohen

Isranet, 2004

“I was born in Bucharest to a non-practicing Jewish family. My knowledge of and interest in Judaism came from observing the traditions while visiting my maternal grandparents in Cernovitz. However, I was only able to truly understand the full implications of being Jewish, when I was preparing to enter my second year of high school. At that time, my parents were advised that under the new racial laws of Romania, my attendance at school was not only undesirable, but also prohibited by Antonescu’s laws against the Jews…

In a very short time, the formerly middle-class family found itself in a terrible state of uncertainty, economically stranded and in fear for its future. The news about Jews being plundered, beaten and murdered throughout Romania and in certain areas of Bucharest became a reality during the Rebellion of the Legionnaires in 1941.”

–Sonia Palty, “Jews, Cross the Dniester!” in Felicia (Steigman) Carmelly, Shattered! 50 Years of Silence: History and Voices of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria (Scarborough: Abbeyfield), 328.

A year after denying that the mass murder of Jews took place on Romanian territory, Romania’s president Ion Iliescu finally acknowledged his nation’s role in the Holocaust (Montreal Gazette, June 14, 2003, November 12, 2004). “The Holocaust tragedy was possible due to the complicity of leaders of state institutions,” he admitted. President Iliescu then announced the establishment of a national memorial day for the Holocaust victims: October 9. Elie Wiesel, himself a Holocaust survivor, headed a commission to investigate the Holocaust in Romania. In presenting the commission’s results, he said: “I didn’t know there was so much brutality, that the anti-Semitism was such a pure anti-Semitism, with nothing to do with racism or economics. Why did it take so long for me to learn that?”

There was no mass deportation to Auschwitz from Romania proper, but that does not mean that there was not a Holocaust in Romania. The anti-Semitic legislation in Romania started in December 1937, and even before this began, Jews were subjected to severe policies of discrimination and exclusion from Romanian society. Many Romanian men of letters or representatives of the Romanian orthodox clergy contributed to the negative image of the Jew in the conscience of that epoch. By the beginning of his rule in November 1940, Ion Antonescu had already elaborated his policies toward Jews in schools, and in the army, from literature and from the Christian religion: “The Yids…are guilty of most of the misfortunes of this country” (Pe Marginea Prapastiei, Volume 1, Bucharest, 1941–in Romanian.)

On August 3, 1995, the Gazette began to publish the first horrific accounts of Romanian Holocaust survivors (see “Survivors of Romanian killing fields form Holocaust group.”) I am a Holocaust survivor of the January 21-23, 1941 pogrom, which I call the “Bucharest Kristallnacht.” For three days (January 24, 25, and 26, 1941) I searched for my missing father. I searched the Bucharest slaughter house, and saw bodies with “Kosher Meat” tags hanging from their bellies. I visited the morgue and the Jilava forest outside Bucharest, where the corpses were lying. Luckily, my father had gone into hiding, in the home of a righteous gentile, and survived.

I do not care what President Iliescu, or the commission, thinks. The uncovering of the terrible atrocities Romanian Jews endured has been long overdue. In the Iasi pogrom of June 28-July 6, 1941, 13,000 Jews were killed; in autumn 1941, over 250,000 Jews were deported and murdered in the Transnistria killing fields. Thousands of Jews deported from cities like Viznitza, Licpani, Nova Sulitza, Soroca, Vertujeni, Dorohoi, Hertza, Podul Iloaye, Ploesti, Craiova, Concesht, Hunedoara, Brashov, Timishoara, Arad, Mogilev, Shargorod, Dubossary and Peciora. My wife’s grandmother perished during a “death march” toward Transnistria; she was shot dead by a Romanian soldier. The rest of the family had to continue marching. Many others were beaten and tortured by the Romanian Army. It is a little late to begin talking about responsibility now.

I am now 85 years old. How many survivors are left to hear President Iliescu’s acknowledgement of Romania’s complicity in the Holocaust? There were close to 800,000 Romanian Jews before World War II started. In 1950, their number was around 300,000. Today, there are only 6000-8000 Jews in Romania, most of them elderly and frail, but antisemitism is alive and well. The Romanian media and television glorify the Iron Guard, spreading their fascist venom. In Romanian schools and universities, there is no curriculum to teach the new generation about the role played by Romanian authorities and the Romanian army in persecuting, humiliating, deporting, and killing their Jewish citizens.

Finally, it is long overdue for President Iliescu to acknowledge the crimes committed against Romanian Jewish citizens in the period of 1940-1944 by the Romanian army and Romanian authorities. It is crucial that the commission’s 400-page document be made available to the Romanian people, and it must be taught in all Romanian schools and universities. This document must be a permanent chapter in the Romanian history of the years 1940-1944. The Romanian Holocaust, its crimes against the Romanian Jews, was possible only with the complicity of leaders of the Romanian state institutions. To raise a new generation educated about that horrible past–in order to eliminate the “teaching of contempt” forever–is now imperative.

Romania’s annual October 9 commemoration, even if it is observed, will not mean much without a sincere and detailed enumeration of the crimes committed during those tragic years, a period which taints the history of contemporary, modern Romania. The full disclosure of the commission report must be the basis of all future curricula, in all the state and private educational institutions in Romania. The Romanian authorities must also ensure the payment of restitution for all Jewish properties, stolen or confiscated by the Romanian state during the Holocaust years 1940-1944. Now that Romania is to become a NATO partner by 2007, Romania must provide a clear balance of payments, moral and material, for the crimes and theft committed in the years 1940-1944. A still-tainted Romanian state has no place in the West’s NATO alliance.

*Baruch Cohen z”l, the Canadian Institute or Jewish Research’s long-time Research Chairman, passed away at 98 on October 3, 2018. An active member of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, he was a major figure in the successful campaign to throw light on the long-neglected reality of the Holocaust in Romania. This article, originally published by CIJR in 2004, commemorates the anniversary of the ‘Bucharest Kristallnacht” antisemitic pogrom of January 21-23, 1940.  {See the “Link” section below for a video of Baruch Cohen speaking on this issue.)                                   

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HOW AN AMERICAN MOSES HELPED LEAD

ROMANIA’S JEWS TO THE PROMISED LAND

Ben Zehavi

Times of Israel, Nov. 27, 2018

With a few obvious exceptions, there was a hardly a worse place to be a Jew in the 20th century than Romania. During the Holocaust, about half of the region’s approximately 300,000 Jews were exterminated. In the following four decades of Communist rule, the community faced severe restrictions, including a strict limit on the number of Jews allowed to emigrate to Israel. But by the end of the century, Romania began shedding its history of economic stagnation and political repression, and began instituting democratic reforms. Today, it is part of NATO, boasts EU membership, and has a vibrant civil society, a relatively free press, and an independent judiciary, though significant challenges remain.

Now, a new book by Alfred Moses — an 89-year-old American Jewish attorney whose work with Romanian Jews in the 1970s and ’80s earned him the ambassadorship to Bucharest under president Bill Clinton — recounts Romania’s journey from a communist dictatorship to a Western-style democracy. “Bucharest Diary: Romania’s Journey from Darkness to Light” is an essential read for anyone interested in the region’s general and Jewish history. It’s by a modern-day Moses — a man who was more responsible for letting his people go to Israel than any other figure.

Moses first traveled to Bucharest in 1976 as part of an American Jewish Committee delegation. Romania at the time was under the iron rule of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. “On the trip, I was approached by a couple of young men who asked if I was American, and if I was Jewish,” Moses told The Times of Israel in a recent interview. “I said ‘Yes,’ and then they began pouring out stories about how everything is blamed on the Jews, and how terrible life was for Romanian Jews. For the next 13 years, I got the Jews out of Romania.”

Working with American Jewish and government leaders, Moses successfully lobbied the US Congress to extend the most-favored-nation status annually for Romania in return for, among other things, Ceausescu allowing its Jews to emigrate to Israel. “We spoke to Ceausescu himself no less than three times. During this period, I visited 18 different local Romanian communities and worked hand-in-hand with the country’s chief rabbi,” said Moses. According to its census, there were nearly 25,000 Jews in Romania in 1977. By 1992, there were fewer than 9,000. (The last count in 2011 recorded 3,271 Romanian Jews).

Another of Moses’s legacies is the saving of Bucharest’s Great Synagogue, the oldest house of worship in the Romanian capital, in 1985. “I got a call from the Romanian chief rabbi who said Ceausescu was clearing two square miles of downtown Bucharest to clear space for his new ‘City of the People,’ and two of the buildings in the path of destruction were the Sephardi synagogue and the Great Synagogue,” Moses said. The Israeli ambassador and the mayor of Bucharest tried feverishly to save the edifices and received assurances from Ceausescu that neither building would be harmed. But the ambassador shortly thereafter walked around the block and saw that the Sephardi synagogue was gone. It had been destroyed the night before.

“Suspecting the Great Synagogue was next, he went to the chief rabbi. The chief rabbi called me, and I went to the US State Department and got total support all the way up to [US Secretary of State George] Schulz, who intervened with the Romanian foreign minister,” said Moses. “He told the minister that if the Great Synagogue were destroyed, the US would ‘rethink its relationship with Romania,’ and that saved the Great Synagogue, which still stands today,” he said. By the time Moses took up residence as US Ambassador to Romania in 1994, nearly all of Romania’s once-thriving Jewish community was gone, the majority to Israel…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                                                                                                                     Contents

   

ANTISEMITISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN EUROPE — IF IT EVER LEFT

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Algemeiner, Jan. 16, 2019

Saying that antisemitism is integral to European culture does not make one popular in Europe. This does not change if one notes that articulating this fact is radically different from saying that most Europeans are antisemites. Still, that claim about European culture is not difficult to prove. In fact, it developed in a dominating Christian environment over more than a millennium. Major incitement against Jews initially stemmed from the Catholic Church. Later, several Protestant churches, including the Lutherans, promoted Jew-hatred. The Holocaust was executed by Germans, with the help of many European Nazi allies — and it was facilitated by the Christian infrastructure of antisemitic feelings in Europe that had accumulated over centuries.

During the Enlightenment and thereafter, leading European thinkers expressed hate against Jews. Voltaire, several German philosophers, early French socialists, Karl Marx, and many others took part in what can only be described as an antisemitic hate fest. After World War II, many people thought that the Holocaust had taught Europeans a hard lesson. Antisemitism seemed to fade away, especially after some highly-acclaimed movies and other forms of mass media that reached a huge audience.

Nevertheless, classic antisemitism targeting Jews continued to exist. Polls by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) exposed that the belief that Jews are responsible for the death of Christ is alive and well in Europe — indeed, it was found that 46 percent of Poles, 38 percent of Hungarians, 21 percent of Danes and Spaniards, and 19 percent of Norwegians and Belgians believe this. So do 18 percent of Austrians and Britons, and 16 percent of the Dutch, 15 percent of Italians, and 14 percent of Germans.

Once an attitude is an ingrained part of a culture, it takes a long time to “wash it out.” On the other hand, political correctness made it impossible in recent decades for respectable Europeans to self-define as antisemites. Thus, the hatred mutated in recent decades, and a third major generation of antisemitism developed: anti-Israelism, which targets the Jewish state. The inroads that this hatred has made in Europe were shown in a 2011 study conducted by the University of Bielefeld in Germany, where it emerged that at least 150 million adult EU citizens agreed with the statement that Israel is conducting “a war of extermination against the Palestinians.”

If that were really the case, hardly any Palestinians would still be alive. Yet to the contrary, the number of Palestinians has increased over the past decades. The persistent myth of Jews being responsible for the killing of Jesus has partly mutated into a new myth: Israel committing a non-existent genocide of Palestinians. In another new mutation of antisemitism, European Jews are nowadays accused of being responsible for Israel’s actions. A December 2018 study by the Fundamental Rights Agency shows that this idea ranks among the most frequent expressions of antisemitism in many European countries. Another aspect of antisemitism in Europe is the return of the word “Jew” as a general curse word. It is also used as an invective by non-Jews against other non-Jews.

State antisemitism against Jews has become marginal in the EU. If one applies the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, however, both the EU and many of its member countries commit antisemitic acts by singling Israel out for discrimination at the UN and elsewhere. Despite all this, there are hardly any non-Jews pointing out that antisemitism is part of European culture. One of the very few such voices is the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. He has said that antisemitism is entrenched in British culture. In 2017 at Yad Vashem, he observed that “within European culture, the root of all racism, I think, is found in antisemitism. It goes back more than 1,000 years in Europe. Within our Christian tradition, there has been century upon century of these terrible, terrible hatreds in which one people … [is] hated more specifically, more violently, more determinedly, more systematically than any other people.” And he is right.            Contents

   

THE NEW, NEW ANTI-SEMITISM

Victor Davis Hanson

National Review, Jan. 15, 2019

The old anti-Semitism was mostly, but not exclusively, a tribal prejudice expressed in America up until the mid 20th century most intensely on the right. It manifested itself from the silk-stocking country club and corporation (“gentlemen’s agreement”) to the rawer regions of the Ku Klux Klan’s lunatic fringe. While liberals from Joe Kennedy to Gore Vidal were often openly anti-Semitic, the core of traditional anti-Semitism, as William F. Buckley once worried, was more rightist. And such fumes still arise among the alt-right extremists.

Yet soon a new anti-Semitism became more insidious, given that it was a leftist phenomenon among those quick to cite oppression and discrimination elsewhere. Who then could police the bigotry of the self-described anti-bigotry police? The new form of the old bias grew most rapidly on the 1960s campus and was fueled by a number of leftist catalysts. The novel romance of the Palestinians and corresponding demonization of Israel, especially after the 1967 Six-Day War, gradually allowed former Jew-hatred to be cloaked by new rabid and often unhinged opposition to Israel. In particular, these anti-Semites fixated on Israel’s misdemeanors and exaggerated them while excusing and downplaying the felonies of abhorrent and rogue nations.

Indeed, evidence of the new anti-Semitism was that the Left was neutral, and even favorable, to racist, authoritarian, deadly regimes of the then Third World while singling out democratic Israel for supposed humanitarian crimes. By the late 1970s, Israelis and often by extension Jews in general were demagogued by the Left as Western white oppressors. Israel’s supposed victims were romanticized abroad as exploited Middle Easterners. And by extension, Jews were similarly exploiting minorities at home.

Then arose a relatively new mainstream version of Holocaust denial that deprived Jews of any special claim to historic victim status. And it was a creed common among World War II revisionists and some American minorities who were resentful that the often more successful Jews might have experienced singularly unimaginable horror in the past. The new anti-Semitism that grew up in the 1960s was certainly in part legitimized by the rise of overt African-American bigotry against Jews (and coupled by a romantic affinity for Islam). It was further nursed on old stereotypes of cold and callous Jewish ghetto storeowners (e.g., “The Pawnbroker” character), and expressed boldly in the assumption that black Americans were exempt from charges of bias and hatred.

Anti-Semitic blacks assumed that they could not be credibly charged with bigotry and were therefore free to say what they pleased about Jews. Indeed, by the 1970s and 1980s, anti-Semitism had become the mother’s milk of a prominent post–Martin Luther King Jr. black-activist leadership, well beyond Malcolm X and the Black Panthers — even though Jews had been on the forefront of the civil-rights movements and had been recognized as such by an earlier generation of liberal black leaders. Soon it became common for self-described black leaders to explain, to amplify, to contextualize, or to be unapologetic about their anti-Semitism, in both highbrow and lowbrow modes: James Baldwin (“Negroes are anti-Semitic because they’re anti-white”), Louis Farrakhan (“When they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know what they do, call me an anti-Semite. Stop it. I am anti-termite. The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a great name. Hitler was a very great man”), Jesse Jackson (“Hymietown”), Al Sharpton (“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”), and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright (“The Jews ain’t gonna let him [Obama] talk to me”)…

In the past ten years, however, we have seen an emerging new, new anti-Semitism. It is likely to become far more pernicious than both the old-right and new-left versions, because it is not just an insidiously progressive phenomenon. It has also become deeply embedded in popular culture and is now rebranded with acceptable cool among America’s historically ignorant youth. In particular, the new, new bigotry is “intersectional.” It serves as a unifying progressive bond among “marginalized” groups such as young Middle Easterners, Muslims, feminists, blacks, woke celebrities and entertainers, socialists, the “undocumented,” and student activists. Abroad, the new, new bigotry is fueled by British Labourites and anti-Israel EU grandees.

Of course, the new, new anti-Semitism’s overt messages derive from both the old and the new. There is the same conspiratorial idea that the Jews covertly and underhandedly exert inordinate control over Americans (perhaps now as grasping sports-franchise owners or greedy hip-hop record executives). But the new, new anti-Semitism has added a number of subtler twists, namely that Jews are part of the old guard whose anachronistic standards of privilege block the emerging new constituency of woke Muslims, blacks, Latinos, and feminists. Within the Democratic party, such animus is manifested by young woke politicians facing an old white hierarchy. Progressive activist Linda Sarsour oddly singled out for censure Senate majority leader Charles Schumer, saying, “I’m talking to Chuck Schumer. I’m tired of white men negotiating on the backs of people of color and communities like ours.”…

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

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Holocaust Survivor Baruch Cohen – the Bucharest Pogrom (Video): Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal, Youtube, Sep. 28, 2018—Baruch Cohen was born in 1919 in Bucharest, Romania. He survived the Holocaust in Romania, spending many months in forced labor. In this excerpt he describes what he calls the ‘Bucharest Kristallnacht’: three days of looting, destruction and killings carried out by the Iron Guard in Bucharest in 1941.

How Does the Holocaust Continue to Affect Us Today?: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Jan. 7, 2019—On the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day, Rachel Avraham interviewed internationally acclaimed anti-Semitism expert Manfred Gerstenfeld and discussed how the Holocaust continues to affect us to date.

Hitler Didn’t Care About Your Race: Varda Meyers Epstein, Jewish Press, Jan. 13, 2019—Jews are white when the left wants to exclude them from participation in, for instance, the Women’s March. Jews, on the other hand, are anything but white when the right wishes to exclude them from normative society.

Can the Left Recognize Anti-Semitism in its Ranks?: Jonathan Marks, Commentary, Jan. 14, 2019—When it comes to anti-Semitism on the left, the political scientist Mira Sucharov can be too cautious. In 2016, after a speaker at Vassar College gave what seemed to me and many others an obviously anti-Semitic talk, Sucharov seemed to agree.

IN EUROPE, “WIDESPREAD” ANTISEMITISM & POSSIBLE CORBYN GOVERNMENT THREATEN ISRAEL AND JEWS

Corbyn to Use his Power to Harm Israel – Be Ready: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018— Imagine that in considering its responses to Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, or Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels in northern Israel, or Hamas’s rocket barrages into southern Israel, Israel was required to take British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s positions into account.

Widespread Anti-Semitism in the Netherlands: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018— A recent survey revealed a slew of data on Dutch Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in their country.

The Canary in the French Mine: Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018— Normally, this time of the year, the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris has a festive air with Christmas decorations and happy shoppers looking for last minute presents.

Rescuing The Jews Of Denmark: Rhona Lewis, Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018— In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, there is no way to go on pretending that right-wing anti-Semitism isn’t alive and still presents a deadly threat to Jews

On Topic Links

Pop Islam: How Germany is Tackling the New Islamic Antisemitism: Daniel Rickenbacher, Fathom, Dec. 2018

Survey Showing Persistent Antisemitism in Europe a Grave Warning for Canada, B’nai Brith Says: Daniel Koren, B’nai Brith Canada, Dec. 10, 2018

Anti-Semitism in Europe Today Comes Mostly from the Left: Fiamma Nirenstein, JCPA, 2018

Political Divisions in Germany Have Implications for the Middle East: Noah Phillips, BESA, Dec. 3, 2018

 

CORBYN TO USE HIS POWER TO HARM ISRAEL – BE READY

Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018

Imagine that in considering its responses to Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, or Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels in northern Israel, or Hamas’s rocket barrages into southern Israel, Israel was required to take British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s positions into account. How would Corbyn’s leadership of Britain – the US’s closest ally and Israel’s largest trading partner in Europe – affect Israel’s maneuver room?

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s far-from-resounding victory in the no-confidence vote her Conservative Party colleagues conducted against her, this question needs to be considered urgently. May’s victory Wednesday did not stabilize the political situation in Britain. The fact that 117 Conservative lawmakers voted to unseat her, and the fact that May felt compelled to commit not to seek reelection in 2022, showed how tenuous her grip on power is today.

Whether the government falls over the Brexit vote in March, or limps into the 2022 elections, one thing is clear enough: The Tories’ divisions work to Labour’s advantage. The weaker and more incompetent the Conservatives appear, and the more incoherent their governing ethos becomes, the stronger and more competent Corbyn and his Labour Party will look and the more compelling its message will become. As a consequence, the time has come for Israel to take a long, hard look at the implications for Israel of a Corbyn government.

Generally speaking, most of the conversations about the implications of a Corbyn government revolve around the fate of British Jewry. And this makes sense. Over the summer, pollsters found that nearly 40% of British Jews will consider emigrating if Corbyn becomes prime minister. It is certainly reasonable to assume that if and when Corbyn becomes prime minister, there will be a wave of British aliyah unprecedented in scale. And Israel must prepare for their arrival, just as it must prepare for the arrival of tens of thousands of Jews from France, Germany and Belgium.

But the prospect of mass migration of Jews out of Britain in response to Corbyn’s rise to power is but one aspect of the overall and entirely negative impact a Corbyn government will have on Israel. Britain isn’t Turkey. Britain is a global power and a key player not only in Europe, but throughout the world. It is America’s closest ally and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. With Turkey, Israel took a major hit and continues to suffer the aftershocks of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s transformation of Turkey from a key strategic ally of Israel’s into a large and rapidly expanding threat to the Jewish state. Yet for all the damage Erdogan has caused and continues to cause Israel, the hit Israel took with him is nothing compared to hits it will take from Britain if and when Corbyn forms a government.

First of all, there is the issue of Israel’s bilateral ties to Britain. Last month, Liam Fox, Britain’s secretary for international trade, visited Israel to conduct negotiations toward a post-Brexit bilateral free trade deal with Israel. Britain is Israel’s largest European trading partner. Trade between the two countries has increased massively over the past several years. Last year bilateral trade stood at $9 billion. In the first half of 2018, British exports to Israel increased 75% over the same period in 2017. All of this will be jeopardized if and when Corbyn comes to power. In a speech in 2015, Corbyn expressed support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. In his words, “I think the boycott campaign, divestment campaign, is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.”

He added, “I believe that sanctions against Israel, because of its breach of the trade agreement, are the appropriate way of promoting the peace process.” At the Labour Party conference in September, Corbyn pledged to recognize “Palestine” as soon as he forms a government. The economic hit that Israel is liable to take from reduced trade with Britain is dwarfed by the blow a Corbyn government will cast on its military and intelligence interests.

At the Labour Party conference, Labour members voted in favor of a motion to ban military sales to Israel. The measure didn’t come out of nowhere. Corbyn speaks frequently about banning such sales. This past April, shortly after the Hamas regime in Gaza initiated its operations against Israel along the border wall separating Gaza from Israel, Corbyn called for a review of British arms sales to Israel and attacked Israel’s efforts to keep the rioters from overrunning its territory as “illegal and inhuman.” He referred to the Palestinian rioters as “unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.”

He also called on the May government to support an “independent and transparent” UN investigation of the border clashes. From 2015 through 2017, UK weapons sales to Israel totaled $445 million. Much of Britain’s arms exports are not stand-alone systems. Rather, they are components in larger US platforms. For instance, 15% of the F-35 is made by British firms BAE and Rolls Royce. Components of F-16s and drones are likewise produced in Britain. Does Israel have a ready alternative supplier to replace the British if and when Corbyn takes over?

Then there is the issue of intelligence cooperation. There are contradictory indications in everything related to intelligence cooperation between Israel and Britain. On the one hand, British and Israeli intelligence officials have acknowledged close cooperation between their agencies. On the other hand, documents published by Edward Snowden exposed widespread British espionage against Israel. Israeli targets exposed by the Snowden documents include Israeli diplomatic personnel in key African countries, MASHAV-Israel’s agency for international development, Israeli scientific research centers, particularly at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and defense firms.

There is nothing surprising about Britain’s spying. Britain has traditionally had a love-hate relationship with Israel, where it cooperates with Israel at the same time it undercuts it. And yet, for all of Britain’s two-facedness, there is still a difference between an untrustworthy ally that knows your intelligence capabilities and operations and a hostile power having that information. This is doubly true in Corbyn’s case given his pronounced support and friendship for Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and Russia.

Corbyn’s most powerful adviser is his communications guru Seumas Milne. Milne, who served in the past as opinion editor at The Guardian, is ferociously anti-Israel. Among other things, Milne has argued that Israel has no right to defend itself, and that Palestinian terrorism is justified. Officials in Jerusalem see his relationship with Corbyn as a sign that if and when Corbyn rises to power, diplomatic relations between the two countries will effectively end. And ending Britain’s ties with Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. The UK is a global power. The first place his impact will be felt is among members of the British Commonwealth, particularly Australia and Canada.

In Australia’s case, this week most of the discussion relating to Australian-Israel relations revolved around the dispute brewing between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government on the one side and Australia’s foreign policy establishment on the other. Morrison and his colleagues wish to recognize that Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem. The foreign policy establishment opposes the move vociferously…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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WIDESPREAD ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE NETHERLANDS                                                                Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018

A recent survey revealed a slew of data on Dutch Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in their country. The study was carried out by the TV program, EenVandaag, with the assistance of the Jewish umbrella organization, CJO and the Jewish Social Organization (JMW).

Due to the fact that the interviewees were mainly selected among those who belong or are known to Jewish organizations the figures in the study are not statistically representative. Organized Jewry does not include more than 30% of those who selfidentify as Jews in the Netherlands. As far as relative data are concerned, the survey provides however important indications of the widespread anti-Semitism in the Netherlands. Mentioning the numbers found shows thus mainly the relative importance of issues.

In 2015 during his parliamentary campaign, Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberals) said that the Netherlands was an “incredibly marvelous” country. Such hyperbole is easily disproven when looking at the experiences of Jews in the Netherlands. The survey’s findings provide an unpleasant perspective on the Dutch reality. Seventy-seven percent of Jews interviewed said that antisemitic sentiment is rife in the Netherlands. When asked where these anti-Jewish sentiments appear, 82% responded “social media”.  Fifty-nine percent referred to the media, i.e., many of the Dutch TV stations and leading newspapers.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said that anti-Semitism manifests itself in the streets and 42% in politics.  Although respondents were not asked to identify which political parties promote anti-Semitism, it is evident that the prime promoter is a small Muslim party, Denk, which holds 3 seats out of 150 in the Lower House of the Parliament. In 2017, CIDI (The Center for Information and Documentation about Israel) has accused Denk of anti-Semitism in parliamentary questions and remarks.

The Dutch parliament recently voted in favor of a motion to recommend use of the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The proposal was opposed by Denk, Labor, (PvdA) and the left socialist party (SP). Furthermore also by the left liberal D66 party, which is a member of the government coalition as well as the uniquely Dutch phenomenon, The Party for the Animals.

The survey also asked participants to identify who is responsible for the anti-Jewish sentiment. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents saw education as the culprit, 71% blamed the media, and 65% believed that multiculturalism in the Netherlands is at fault. The latter can best be translated as “part of the Dutch Muslims.” The Muslim population accounts for approximately 6% of the about 17 million Dutch citizens. Forty-seven percent of respondents blamed the schools for anti-Semitism and 40% saw the political system as a culprit.

Frequent efforts are made, mainly by the Dutch left, to claim that anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism are different phenomena. After the Holocaust many people consider anti-Semitism not to be politically correct. Thus anti-Semitism often morphs into anti-Israelism, which does not carry the same stigma. Yet many claims against Israel and how the country is singled out are clear mutations of antisemitic motifs. One can easily identify anti-Semitism when Israel is criticized for acts while other nations with similar behavior are not blamed. The definition of anti-Semitism of the IHRA which required approval in its Board of all the 32 member countries – including the Netherlands – states that this singling out is an explicit example of anti-Semitism.

Dutch Jews are often reluctant to publicly mention the problems of Islamization. Dutch historian Els van Diggele who spent a year interviewing people in the Palestinian territories wrote a book, We hate each other more than the Jews. Referring to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict she says: “The picture I obtained from conversations with cooperative Palestinians is greatly different from what we have been told during the past fifty years by the State News Service NOS and the major Dutch newspapers.”

The findings of the survey also show the overlap of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Respondents were asked what antisemitic experiences they have encountered. 89% answered that they have dealt with reproaches about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How can one make, if one is a honest person, such a reproach against a Dutch Jew who has never been a citizen of Israel, and who has no voting rights there? If one were to interview Italians living in the Netherlands at the time of the Berlusconi government, how many of them would have heard reproaches about what was going on in Italy? Italians abroad have voting rights in Italy but few if any at all would have been confronted in this manner. Other antisemitic experiences mentioned include: 86% heard stereotypes about Jews, 71% were subjected to nasty remarks about Jews in general, 51% experienced nasty remarks about Jews in the Second World War, 34% had been insulted because they are Jews and 11% have experienced violence because they are Jews. In the recently published study on European anti-Semitism by the Fundamental Rights Agency, the overwhelming majority of Dutch Jewish interviewees said that anti-Semitism in the country has increased in the last five years…

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

   

THE CANARY IN THE FRENCH MINE

Amir Taheri

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018

Normally, this time of the year, the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris has a festive air with Christmas decorations and happy shoppers looking for last minute presents. This season, however, what the French like to boast about as “the most beautiful avenue in the world” looks more like a war zone. The reason is the phenomenon labeled “les gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests”, a movement that started as a protest against an increase in the price of diesel and quickly galumphed towards an all-out attack on the French political system. At first glance one might say: we have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt! Setting fire to parked cars and city dustbins, shattering shop windows and looting stores are old tactics of French protest movements, as witnessed on numerous occasions, most recently 2003 and 2005. However, the current uprising, now in its sixth week, is different from previous protests for a number of reasons.

The first is that the “yellow vests” started not in Paris but in the provinces. That in itself is quite new. Ever since it emerged as nation-state in the 14th century, France has always been a Paris-centered polity. The great revolution of 1789 started in the capital, as did its miniaturized successors in 1830 and 1848. The Paris Commune of 1871 was, as its name indicates, also a Parisian affair. The protests that led to the emergence of the Popular Front in 1936 was also the work of Parisian elites. Finally, the last great French insurrection, known as the May 1968 revolution, was also centered on the capital.

The second difference is that, unlike previous revolutionary and/or insurrectionary episodes, the “yellow vests” movement, mobilizing around 130,000 activists in 11 cities throughout the nation, has an unexpectedly small socio-political base, a fact camouflaged by the energy devoted to destructive activities. Because of its basically provincial persona, the movement reminds one of the old French tradition of rural revolts known as “jacqueries“, first launched in 1380, in which poor peasants cast themselves as bandits to fight, and rob, their feudal barons. Like historical “jacqueries,” the current “yellow vest” campaign is capable of inflicting much economic damage but is unable to offer an alternative vision of society.

The third difference is that it comes in the context of a society in which, for the first time in history, a majority of people could be regarded as privileged, at least in relative terms. A nation that had lived through almost four centuries of intermittent wars, including two world wars and half a dozen colonial wars, has been at peace for an unprecedented six decades. France today is one of the richest nations in the world with perhaps the most generous welfare system anywhere. It has the world’s shortest work week, longest annual holidays, earliest retirement age, and some of the best education and health facilities in history. The French today are better fed, better housed, better clothed and better entertained than any time in their history. They are also in better health and live a staggering 20 years longer than they did at the start of their Fifth Republic. Also worth noting is that France is perhaps the only country in the world where scores of small and medium-sized towns and cities have virtually all the facilities of a modern metropolis. Yet, opinion polls show that almost two-thirds of the French have some sympathy with the “yellow vests”…

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

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RESCUING THE JEWS OF DENMARK

Rhona Lewis                                                         

Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018

It was 1943. Inge Sulzbacher and her twin sister were five years old. Members of the Danish resistance helped them escape the Nazi round-up in Copenhagen by huddling them underdeck in a fishing boat crossing the choppy Øresund Strait to Sweden. Shulamit Kahn wasn’t quite seven. “Some memories are etched into your mind and you never forget them,” says Shulamit. The Danish resistance movement, along with many ordinary Danish citizens, managed to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark’s 7,800 Jews. It was the largest action of collective resistance in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. And we haven’t forgotten it.

Jewish history in Denmark dates back to 1622 when King Christian IV sent a message to the leaders of the Sephardi community in Amsterdam and Hamburg inviting Jews to settle in the township of Gluckstadt. Jews who accepted this invitation began trading and manufacturing operations there. The King built the famous Round Tower, an astronomical observatory, on which the letters yud keh vav keh can be clearly seen, to show his recognition of their contributions. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Jews from Eastern Europe continued arriving and settled in Copenhagen where they enjoyed a warm welcome.

Gittel Davidson, whose father was a member of the Machzikei Hadas Shul founded in 1910, shares a memory: “During the First World War, when no lulavim were available, my grandfather paid the curators of the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens to be allowed to pick lulavim from the palms in the hot house for tropical plants,” she says.

This idyllic stability was rocked on April 9, 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded Denmark. With little choice, the Danish government surrendered and Denmark became a “model protectorate.” Model meant that some sort of quasi-cordial relationship was maintained. While Germany sent 22,000 officials to occupied France, a mere 89 officials were sent to Denmark. During the early years of the occupation, Danish officials repeatedly insisted to the German occupation authorities that there was no “Jewish problem” in Denmark.

The Germans looked the other way for several reasons. They recognized that further discussion was a possibly explosive issue, one that had the potential to destroy the “model” relationship. In addition, the Reich relied substantially on Danish agriculture, meat and butter. Despite this leeway, resistance to German rule bubbled strongly in Denmark. In the summer of 1943, when it seemed that the war was going against the Reich, members of the Danish resistance became bolder. The Germans hit back. In August, they presented the Danish government with new demands to end resistance activities. The Danish government refused to meet the new demands and resigned. That same day, the Germans took direct control of administration and declared martial law. Plans for the arrest and deportation of Danish Jewry got underway… and were foiled from the inside.

German naval attaché Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, leaked word of the planned deportation to Hans Hedtoft, chairman of the Danish Social Democratic Party. Hedtoft contacted the Danish Resistance Movement and the head of the Jewish community, C.B. Henriques. Henriques alerted the acting chief rabbi, Dr. Marcus Melchior. On September 29, erev Rosh Hashana, during Selichos, Jews were warned by Rabbi Melchior of the planned German action and urged to go into hiding immediately. The word spread. The Danish Underground and regular citizens – intellectuals, priests, policemen, doctors, blue-color workers – worked together to track down Jews and find ways to hide them. Some simply contacted friends and asked them to go through telephone books and warn those with Jewish-sounding names to go into hiding. It was a national refutation of Nazi Germany and a reaffirmation of democratic and humanistic values…

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

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

On Topic Links

Pop Islam: How Germany is Tackling the New Islamic Antisemitism: Daniel Rickenbacher, Fathom, Dec. 2018—Several incidents in 2018 have highlighted the problem of Islamic antisemitism in Germany. In April, a Syrian immigrant attacked a young Israeli wearing a kippa in Berlin.

Survey Showing Persistent Antisemitism in Europe a Grave Warning for Canada, B’nai Brith Says: Daniel Koren, B’nai Brith Canada, Dec. 10, 2018—A major survey of Jews in Europe has painted a harrowing account of what it’s like to be Jewish in the European Diaspora.

Anti-Semitism in Europe Today Comes Mostly from the Left: Fiamma Nirenstein, JCPA, 2018—Against all odds, after only 70 years since the Holocaust’s massacre of six million Jews, including two million children on European soil, anti-Semitism is dramatically on the rise in thought, rhetoric, and deed.

Political Divisions in Germany Have Implications for the Middle East: Noah Phillips, BESA, Dec. 3, 2018—Announced in the wake of a Bavarian regional election that saw immense losses for the centrist German bloc, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned resignation in 2021 marks the conclusion of a unique era of bipartisanship in Germany.

LEFTIST ANTISEMITES & THEIR JEWISH “APOLOGISTS” INCREASINGLY HOSTILE TO ISRAEL

Tectonic Shifts in Attitudes Toward Israel: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Dec. 27, 2018— As Arabs and Muslims warm to Israel, the Left grows colder.

Women’s March Facing Unknown Challenges With Antisemitism Allegations: Josefin Dolsten, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 24, 2018— When the Women’s March galvanized millions of women in 2017 as a response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, Jewish participants were loud and proud.

Is J Street Still Pro-Israel?: David M. Weinberg, JNS, Dec. 23, 2018— When it was founded 11 years ago, J Street claimed to be a pro-Israel and pro-peace organization.

Anti-Semites and their Jewish Apologists: Jonathan S. Tobin, Jewish Press, Dec. 9, 2018— In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, there is no way to go on pretending that right-wing anti-Semitism isn’t alive and still presents a deadly threat to Jews

On Topic Links

Women’s March Loses Donor, More Affiliates Over Anti-Semitism Concerns: IPT News, Dec. 26, 2018

Is the Women’s March Melting Down?: Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel, Tablet, Dec. 10, 2018

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018

Review: ‘To Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel’ by Jonathan Neumann: David Isaac, Free Beacon, Sept. 9, 2018

 

TECTONIC SHIFTS IN ATTITUDES TOWARD ISRAEL

Daniel Pipes

Washington Times, Dec. 27, 2018

As Arabs and Muslims warm to Israel, the Left grows colder. These shifts imply one great imperative for the Jewish state. On the first shift: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently pointed out “a great change” in the Arab world which has a growing connection to Israeli companies because it needs Israeli “technology and innovation, … water, electricity, medical care, and high-tech.” Explaining this normalization as a result of Arab states “looking for links with the strong,” Netanyahu was too tactful of American liberals to add another factor: Barack Obama’s policy of appeasing Tehran jolted the Arab states to get serious about the real threats facing them.

It is striking to note that full-scale Arab state warfare versus Israel lasted a mere 25 years (1948-73) and ended 45 long years ago; and that Turkey and Iran have since picked up the anti-Zionist torch. Nor is it just Israeli companies making inroads into Arab countries. The Israeli minister of sports broke into tears as Hatikvah, Israel’s anthem, was played in Abu Dhabi upon the victory of an Israeli athlete. Rumors are swirling about a handshake to come between Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) and Israel’s prime minister.

That Arab and Muslim enmity has fractured, probably never to be reconstituted, amounts to one tectonic shift in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The second, no less important, involves the global Left’s growing hostility to Israel. This pattern can be found consistently from South Korea to Thailand to South Africa to Sweden to Brazil. The Durban conference of 2001 initially brought this phenomenon to light. Among many other examples, the Black Lives Matter platform accuses Israel of “apartheid” and “genocide.” A communist labor union in India representing 16 million farmers, apparently joined the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) movement.

Attitudes toward the Jewish state follow an almost linear progression of growing negativity as one goes from right to left. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey of American adults found 75 percent of conservative Republicans sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians, followed by 60 percent of moderate and liberal Republicans, 47 percent of Independents, 46 percent of conservative and moderate Democrats, and 33 percent of liberal Democrats.

It was not always thus. Joseph Stalin was so instrumental to Israel’s birth in 1947-49 by providing diplomatic support and armaments that Abba Eban, Israel’s first UN ambassador, observed that “we couldn’t have made it, either diplomatically or militarily,” if not for Soviet help. Democrats Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy rank among the most pro-Israel of American presidents, but Republican Dwight Eisenhower was unquestionably the most antagonistic.

MbS versus Jeremy Corbyn symbolizes these two tectonic shifts, as does Israel now enjoying better relations with Egypt than with Sweden. The president of Chad turns up in Israel but a singer from New Zealand does not. Israel’s athletes compete in the United Arab Emirates but get banned in Spain. Muslims show increasing indifference to the breakdown in Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy, but Leftists express growing anger over it.

This last point has great importance: the rage against Israel is not about Ashkenazi-Sephardi relations, tensions on the Temple Mount, a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, or Israel’s own nuclear weapons. Rather, it almost exclusively concerns the status of some 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Thanks to a mix of Palestinian public relations expertise and continued antisemitism, the welfare of this small and powerless but fanatical population has transmogrified into the premier global issue of human rights, getting endlessly more attention than, say, Ethiopia – and motivates nearly all denunciations of Israel.

Therefore, when the Left, now largely excluded from power, eventually returns to office in countries like Japan, India, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Israel will face a crisis due to the unresolved situations in the West Bank and Gaza. Accordingly, a resolution of this issue should be an utmost priority for Israelis. That does not mean touting yet another “peace plan” doomed to crash on the hard rock of Palestinian intransigence. It does mean, whatever one’s favored plan might be, the need to end Palestinian aggression toward Israel: no more suicide attacks, kite bombings, and rockets. Only this will soothe Leftist rage. Only an Israel victory and a Palestinian defeat will achieve this. In other words, getting the Palestinians to cry uncle is an urgent priority for Israel and its supporters.

 

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WOMEN’S MARCH FACING UNKNOWN

CHALLENGES WITH ANTISEMITISM ALLEGATIONS                             

Josefin Dolsten

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 24, 2018

When the Women’s March galvanized millions of women in 2017 as a response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, Jewish participants were loud and proud. Synagogues and Jewish activist organizations sent large contingents to the main march in Washington and satellites around the country. Groups ranging from the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center to Chabad offered their support to marchers.

Two years later, the Women’s March is in disarray, with leaders facing allegations of mismanagement and local chapters seeking to go their own way out of either political or logistical self-interest. And for Jewish women there is an added layer of anguish: Top leaders of the main organization have been accused of engaging in or condoning antisemitism, and failing to heed the concerns of its thousands of Jewish backers.

“It’s bad for the movement,” Emiliana Guereca, the executive director of Women’s March Los Angeles, told JTA. Guereca’s chapter has a disclaimer on its website stating that it “has no affiliation and was never part of Women’s March Inc.” Still, most people don’t realize that the two are separate, and total donations to her chapter are down by about 60 percent, as are the number of organizations willing to partner with the group, Guereca said. “I think we’ve spent the entire month of December responding to all of this, and we’re going to continue to respond. That for us stops the work from happening,” she said.

The Los Angeles chapter isn’t the only one feeling the heat. Katherine Siemionko, founder of the Women’s March Alliance, which organizes the Women’s March on NYC, has a similar disclaimer on the website as the Los Angeles group. Siemionko says her group lost thousands of social media followers and newsletter subscribers, as articles have continued to come out criticizing the national organizers. Donors have also dropped out and celebrities turned down offers to speak at its 2019 rally, citing concerns about antisemitism. “It’s been a huge impact,” she said. “It’s shifted everything that we do.”

Gloria Moore, who is organizing a Women’s March in Atlanta, echoed the sentiments. After clashing with a local Women’s March affiliate, Moore went on to found March on Georgia, which is affiliated with Siemionko’s New York group. “All the articles that are being written, all the discussions that are taking place on social media, they are all negative about the national organization,” Moore said. “Because we’ve never been associated with them, we have no reason to be affiliated with them now, and from a local standpoint they have hurt us more than they have helped us.”

Last week, the Women’s March in Washington State cited antisemitism in its decision to sever its affiliation with the national Women’s March organization. “Continuing to be a part of the Women’s March with the blatant bigotry they display would be breaking a promise. We can’t betray our Jewish community by remaining a part of this organization,” board director Angie Beem wrote in a Facebook post announcing the decision. In November, Women’s March co-founder Teresa Shook called on the national co-chairs to resign, saying they “allowed antisemitism” and other hateful rhetoric. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano also said that she would not speak at the march if asked.

The controversy surrounding the march arose from organizer Tamika Mallory’s ties to antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Earlier this year, Mallory was criticized for not speaking out after she attended an event during which Farrakhan said “the powerful Jews are my enemy” and accused “Satanic Jews” of having a “grip on the media.” Farrakhan has a long history of making antisemitic and homophobic statements. The organizers of the march later said the Nation of Islam leader’s statements “are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles,” but also defended Mallory against criticism. Mallory has defended her and her family’s association with Farrakhan.

Following Shook and Milano’s statements last month, organizer Linda Sarsour apologized on behalf of the Women’s March for being too slow to show its commitment to fighting antisemitism. The fire was further stoked by a report published earlier this month in Tablet that Mallory and fellow organizer Carmen Perez had made antisemitic statements at two Women’s March planning meetings. Tablet has an on-the-record account by a Jewish participant for each of the two meetings. These issues have only intensified frustrations among some local Women’s March chapters about the national organization’s behavior…

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

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IS J STREET STILL PRO-ISRAEL?

David M. Weinberg

JNS, Dec. 23, 2018

When it was founded 11 years ago, J Street claimed to be a pro-Israel and pro-peace organization. That was taken to mean partnering with the mainstream Israeli political left to build support in Washington for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Or so we were led to believe. Since then, alas, J Street has become something else altogether: an organization that spends almost all its time and money besmirching Israel, smearing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other leading American Jewish organizations, boosting U.S.-Iran relations and backing political candidates for whom promoting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is a badge of honor.

Its campus arm, J Street U, has become a primary vehicle for conveying the most poisonous messages against Israel to students and the sapping of support for Israel at American universities. I hear firsthand more and more about J Street U’s venomous campaigning and destructive activities—from young Israeli men and women who serve as Jewish Agency emissaries on campus, and Hillel and Orthodox Union professionals who work with students. Almost every truly pro-Israel activity they try to organize is opposed or disrupted by J Street U hatchet men and women.

About one year ago, J Street launched its “Stop Demolitions, Build Peace” campaign, designed to “challenge our communities to wake up to the omission and erasure of Palestinian perspectives and narratives, which create the environment that makes it easy to ignore demolitions, settlement expansion and occupation.” he younger J Streeters hosted teach-ins and sleep-ins, marched to Israeli embassies and called consulates, formed coalitions with progressive campus organizations across America, and pressed congressmen to speak out critically against Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria (which, of course, many J Streeters call by its U.N. moniker, the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” or OPT).

Now J Street is on a second phase of its campaign: to undermine the Birthright program because it serves the “right-wing annexationist agenda.” Birthright is one of the American Jewish community’s most important and successful initiatives of this generation; a lifeline in the difficult struggle to keep young American Jews Jewish and to give them some Zionist foundations. But J Street is not happy with Birthright because it and many other trips that bring some 50,000 students on tours of Israel are major sources of “omission and erasure,” i.e., the trips “omit Palestinian narratives in their programming and erase Palestinians and the occupation from our collective consciousness.”

I’m quoting here verbatim from J Street campus propaganda: “Birthright completely ignores the voices and experiences of Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank. These trips therefore perpetuate the attitudes and politics that help make demolitions and occupation possible.” They might, God forbid, lead “our communities to feel no compulsion to speak out on behalf of Palestinian rights.” J Street claims it wants to reform Birthright content, but it hasn’t approached Birthright with thoughtful, constructive educational ideas; it’s just sought to sabotage the program. Dozens of campus professionals in the field tell me that J Street U activists work assiduously to undermine Birthright recruitment drives. They make life hell for potential participants.

So you see, “bringing home the realities of the occupation and mobilizing our communities to help bring it to an end” is the hostile hobgoblin that J Street has become. In the name of “our communities”—a term that J Street loves using, denoting a hard-left orbit of Jews and non-Jews for whom haranguing Israel is the psychoneurotic driving force in their lives—J Streeters are prepared to throw the baby out with the bathwater and kill Birthright. Crushing the “occupation” and promoting Palestinian independence-cum-dictatorship is more important than building basic Jewish identity and core Zionist sympathies.

The truth is that in historical perspective we can’t be too surprised that members of J Street’s younger generation have ended up so distant from Israel. Their elders certainly laid the groundwork over the past 20 years for such souring on Israel. Have you ever heard of a place where “fundamentalists and gangs” in a “surging tide of extremism,” “spit,” “beat,” “vandalize,” “assault,” “attack,” “fight” and “brutally abuse” innocent people? Are you familiar with a country (mention Afghanistan and Iran to hint at its nature) where “religious extremists” seek to “turn back the clock” (mention this three times for emphasis), notoriously practice “discrimination” (repeat four times), and otherwise seek to “impose,” “intimidate,” “demand,” “repress,” “coerce” and “dictate” (nine repetitions) their “intolerant” views on a beleaguered society?

Well, that was the language used by the New Israel Fund to describe Israel in a fundraising campaign launched in 1997 to “promote religious pluralism in Israel.” Israel was further described as a country that “shows the world a repugnant face of Judaism,” and where it is not safe to walk down the street without being “set upon by a gang of angry, enraged men.” All this hyperbolic, radical imagery, which wasn’t true then and it’s not accurate now either, had the long-term corrosive effect of painting Israel as a dark, extremist place. Think of Israel and think of cancer. Think of Israel, and think of intolerance and occupation. Who in their right mind wants to be associated with such a retrogressive, thuggish place?

It’s no surprise, then, that not a few sons and daughters of the Jewish leaders of yesteryear are J Street U, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow leaders today. They are next-generation poisoned fruit, carrying the demonization of Israel a step further. J Street campaigns love to reference the “character” of Israel; Israel’s “soul that is being corrupted,” as it were. They’re out to save Israel from rot, and they will fight on until Israelis realize just how good American-style religious pluralism really is or how wonderful full-fledged Palestinian statehood would be.

Of course, all Jews on either side of the Atlantic are entitled to their opinions and their political campaigns. But to spuriously malign Israel as medieval and militaristically criminal is beyond the pale. In painting the situation in such dire and apocalyptic terms, and by attacking Birthright, hard-left activists are cutting away the limb—love for and identification with Israel—upon which all pro-Israel Jewish community activity must be based.

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ANTI-SEMITES AND THEIR JEWISH APOLOGISTS

Jonathan S. Tobin

Jewish Press, Dec. 9, 2018

In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, there is no way to go on pretending that right-wing anti-Semitism isn’t alive and still presents a deadly threat to Jews, even if the numbers of its adherents remain small and marginalized in terms of their access to positions of influence or power. But when faced with the increased visibility and influence of those willing to openly advocate for the demonization and destruction of the one Jewish state on the planet, the reaction from some on the left has been not so much to discount this trend as to embrace it.

That’s the unfortunate conclusion to be drawn from reactions to last week’s controversy over now former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill and his anti-Israel tirade at the United Nations, as well as the open support for the BDS movement on the part of two new Muslim-American members of Congress. The most prominent example of this trend is New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg. In her latest column, she makes a straightforward argument for the proposition that support for the elimination of the Jewish state is not only not anti-Semitic, but also somehow more in keeping with the values of Diaspora Jews.

While this argument is framed in terms that attempt to depict Israel’s left-wing foes as advocates of liberal values, the opposite is the truth. Goldberg’s stand is one that justifies a form of bias that is indistinguishable from anti-Semitism. That she does so while depicting herself as a guardian of Jewish values is utterly despicable.

Goldberg’s argument has a precedent. Anti-Zionism was popular among some American Jews prior to World War II. But if anti-Zionist groups like the American Council for Judaism declined from mainstream status to a group of marginal cranks after the Holocaust, it was because the overwhelming majority of American Jews were capable of drawing obvious conclusions from historical events. They understood that the Zionists were right about the necessity for a Jewish state in a world where anti-Semitism was a virus capable of attaching itself to a variety of ideological movements. At a moment when Jew-hatred is on the rise, both in the Muslim world and the streets of Western European cities, that basic truth remains unchallenged even as Israel has become the stand-in for the stereotype of the homeless, despised Jew that had long sustained such hate.

Goldberg claims that opposing Jewish ethno-nationalism doesn’t make you a bigot. But those who wish to deny the Jews the right to their own state, as well as the right to live there in security—things they don’t seek to deny to other ethno-religious groups in this fashion—are singling them out in the same way anti-Semites have always done and are practicing a form of bias. And bias against Jews is anti-Semitism. That’s why the BDS movement, which can now count among its adherents two new members of Congress in Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, is not interested in changing Israel’s policies so much as it wants no Israel at all, and engages in anti-Semitic invective and violence to get its way. Yet to justify their stance and the notion that nice, liberal Diaspora Jews—as opposed to those nasty Israeli Jews who remain determined to defend their state against those who are still waging a century-old war on Zionism—should praise them for it, Goldberg distorts three basic issues.

One is that she gets the Israel-Palestine conflict dead wrong. The columnist claims that the Israeli government’s foreclosure of a two-state solution via settlements justifies the efforts of Palestinians to replace the Jewish state with a secular alternative. Yet in order to come to that conclusion, you have to forget the last 25 years of history during which the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected offers of an independent state. They did so because they were unwilling to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders were drawn. Israelis also saw what happened when they withdrew every soldier, settlement and settler from Gaza in 2005 and think that replicating the terrorist state that now exists there in the West Bank would be suicidal madness…

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

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Women’s March Loses Donor, More Affiliates Over Anti-Semitism Concerns: IPT News, Dec. 26, 2018—First, two high-profile liberal actors broke from the national Women’s March because of a pattern of anti-Semitism involving march leaders. Then a number of local Women’s March organizers either broke with the group or made it clear that they operated independently after a Tablet investigation provided detailed accounts of the anti-Semitism repeatedly exhibited among March leaders Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez. The story also uncovered some questionable financial structures established after the leadership pushed other founders aside.

Is the Women’s March Melting Down?: Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel, Tablet, Dec. 10, 2018—On Nov. 12, 2016, a group of seven women held a meeting in New York. They had never worked together before—in fact, most of them had never met—but they were brought together by what felt like the shared vision of an emerging mission.

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018—As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts.

Review: ‘To Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel’ by Jonathan Neumann: David Isaac, Free Beacon, Sept. 9, 2018—Jonathan Neumann has written a splendid book. The first-time author has produced a devastating broadside against Jewish radicals who have co-opted tikkun olam—a Hebrew phrase meaning “to heal (or repair) the world”—to claim a special Jewish religious obligation to engage in left-wing politics.

Alan Herman: CONFRONTING THE DARKNESS OF HATE TOGETHER

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Remembrance Day, Doris Epstein and myself, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research’s Toronto Co-Chairs, drove out on a cold and windy Sunday night to Grace Life Centre in Scarborough. A Candlelight Vigil in commemoration of the victims of murders at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh was being held. Doris and I, along with Ann Samson of Congregation BINA, and Howard Kamen of Beth Torah were there to represent the Jewish community. The initiative was being organized jointly by proud Toronto Jewish leaders Shai Abraham and Ariella Daniels, and by Jay and Molly Banerjei of the Christian Music Festival. This vigil was a spontaneous reaction to the horrors of Pittsburgh and, for most of us, this was our first encounter with these Christian leaders. To say the least, we had no idea what to expect.

What struck me almost immediately, in addition to the large crowd that had turned up, was the diversity of the people in that audience. The audience was a distinct blend of Koreans, Filipinos, Jamaicans, Indo-Canadians, Sri-Lankans, French and Afghans. A sombre mood filled the air of the sanctuary, but informing it an excitement could also be felt. At the front of the room were eleven huge white Magen Davids, each with the name of a murdered congregant from Tree of Life. A lighted memorial candle was placed in front of each. Large Canadian and Israeli flags were proudly displayed in the background. The theme of the night was clear: I Stand With You.

Right off the top, Jay Banerjei began the night by marking the centenary of the end of World War I with a salute to the Veterans and a singing of O Canada. Immediately it not only reminded us of the many privileges we enjoy here in Canada, but it also acknowledged the unity of the audience as proud Canadians.

From there, the evening began. Pastor after pastor, rabbi and community leader came to the front to express, through speech and song, their support and solidarity with the Jewish people. Grace Life Centre Choir, under the leadership of Pastor Andrew Eastman, sang Psalms 23, 121, 137; Molly Banerjei sang “One People”, a song that epitomized the spirit of the occasion. Striking performances also included solo vocalists and musicians; Ms. Nelly Shin sang Psalms and the Filipino dance ensemble “danced their way to Jerusalem”, raising the Israeli flag.

El male rahamim was sung by Howard Kamen, Cantor at Beth Torah Congregation. Spontaneously, the entire audience stood in honour of the Jewish victims. CIJR Co-Chair Doris Epstein, in her remarks, stated that antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem but rather one that starts with Jews does not end with Jews. “Fighting all forms of antisemitism is a matter of basic human decency, human rights and, in Canada, of the rule of law. Ann Samson from Congregation BINA explained the importance of combatting antisemitism “because history has a painful way of repeating itself”.

Shai Abraham, related an anecdote by Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov which interprets  the Hebrew Bible’s “love thy neighbour as thyself” as listening to and empathizing with one another, and acknowledging to all those who were present that evening that by their participation they were true neighbors, true friends. Molly Banerjei declared that this is not just a one-time event but a beginning of an ongoing, vocal and united movement to fight antisemitism and hate of all kinds. “This is just the first step,” she said.

To conclude the evening, Howard Kamen led this audience of Jews and Christians in a passionate singing of HaTikvah, followed by a huge hora dance in the middle of the church.

Returning from this moving experience made me wonder, when was the last time I had heard such joy, enthusiasm, commitment and zeal for the Jewish people and Israel? I could remember Jerusalem auditoriums filled with thousands of youth, singing in Hebrew and waving flags during my long-ago Birthright Israel trip. I could remember the annual Israel Day rallies in Montreal that I looked forward to every year when I lived there. I also remember a sweltering summer’s day in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War when we rallied for Israel at Mel Lastman’s Square.

This vigil stands alongside these other proud memories. And it is just the start of a new alliance we, and the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, shall continue to build. The fight against antisemitism, “the longest hatred”, is ongoing, and I look forward to having more to tell you in the months to come.

 

(Alan Herman and Doris Epstein are the

Canadian Institute for Jewish Research Toronto Co-Chairs)

PROGRESSIVE JEWS—LEADERS OF THE “ANTI-TRUMP BRIGADE”—WHITEWASH LEFT WING ANTISEMITISM

Liberal Jews are Still Turning a Blind Eye to Anti-Semitism on the Left: Karol Markowicz, New York Post, Nov. 25, 2018— Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it.

Trump, Nazis and American Jewry: Isi leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2018 — Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it.

JVL: Jewish Whitewashers of Labour Anti-Semitism: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018 — Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways.

Left-Wing Jews — A Jewish And American Tragedy.: Dennis Prager, Investor’s, Nov. 6, 2018 — It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing — not liberal but left-wing — Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America.

On Topic Links

Netanyahu Suggests Diaspora is Drifting Away from Judaism: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2018

Morton Klein Book Review of “How Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism & Endangers Israel”: Morton A. Klein, ZOA, Aug. 17, 2018

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018

The Left May be Winning the War of Words – But Here’s How the GOP Can Win in 2020: Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Nov. 16, 2018

 

LIBERAL JEWS ARE STILL TURNING

A BLIND EYE TO ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE LEFT                                                         

Karol Markowicz                                                                                                             

New York Post, Nov. 25, 2018

 

Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it. Left-of-center Jews speak out about white nationalists, but where are they on anti-Semitism when it arises from their own side?

Last week, Airbnb announced its decision to remove rental listings in the West Bank. But the apartment-sharing service didn’t touch listings in other disputed territories, like Russian-annexed Ukraine and Turkish-occupied North Cyprus. You would think liberal Jewish outfits would race to call out what lies behind this hypocrisy: anti-Semitism.

You’d think wrong. Anti-Defamation League boss Jonathan Greenblatt, for example, issued a tepid statement saying he was “dismayed” by the move. But he stopped short of calling out the blatant anti­Semitism. This fits a pattern with the former Obama administration official. As Seth Mandel wrote in Commentary recently, Greenblatt “sees right-wing bigotry as a crucial element of conservative ideology,” while viewing the left-wing varieties as “isolated anomalies.”

Under his leadership, the ADL opposed, on the flimsiest grounds, Mike Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of state. The ADL also joined the left’s crusade against Brett Kavanaugh, and it has repeatedly clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But the Greenblatt ADL has been far more reluctant to condemn Democratic firebrand Keith Ellison’s long record of Israel-bashing. Indeed, Greenblatt embraced Ellison in 2016, when the Minnesota congressman ran for deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Greenblatt only reversed course when “a tape surfaced of Ellison accusing Israel of controlling American foreign policy,” as Mandel noted.

But other liberal Jews go even further, by defending the haters. Consider Peter Beinart, the one-time New Republic editor. “No, BDS Is Not Anti-Semitic, And Neither Is Ilhan Omar” was the headline for a piece he wrote in the Jewish Daily Forward recently. BDS, of course, is short for boycott, divest, sanction—a movement that singles out the Jewish state for such punishment. This, despite the horrors that are routine around the world, from China to Venezuela.

Beinart writes that the “BDS movement doesn’t officially oppose the existence of a Jewish state, but some of its most prominent advocates do.” So leaders of the movement want to destroy Israel, but the movement isn’t tainted by them? Where else would this be an acceptable line of argument? If white nationalists marched for gay rights, which liberal would disregard their outsize hate and focus on the one point of agreement? It’s laughable.

As for Ilhan Omar, she’s the newly elected Minnesota congresswoman who in January will take Ellison’s seat in the House of Representatives. In 2012, she tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The notion that Jews have the world under a spell is as classic an anti-Semitic trope as one can find, yet somehow Omar finds a Jewish defender in a Jewish publication.

Then there’s Linda Sarsour. Last week the Women’s March leader called out “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy.” This was another old Jew-hating trope: namely, that Jews secretly harbor dual loyalty to Israel. And this is just the latest in a long litany of anti-Semitic comments she’s made.

What’s even more odious is that the Sarsours of the country are called on to help heal the hatred they sow. Last year, Sarsour sat on a panel at the New School about fighting anti-Semitism. And just last week Al Sharpton, who has a history of saying heinous things about Jews in the 1990s, was on MSNBC to discuss — you guessed it — fighting anti-Semitism.

It’s like a bad joke. The guy who has referred to Jews as “interlopers” and “diamond merchants” is now the one claiming to fight Jew-hatred. Has he ever apologized? Jews forgive public figures like Ellison, Omar, Sarsour and Sharpton. But they would never encourage other targeted groups to do the same. Fighting the normalization of anti-Semitism has to begin with Jews themselves speaking out. Now would be a good time to start.

Contents

   

TRUMP, NAZIS AND AMERICAN JEWRY

Isi leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2018

As the global antisemitic tsunami intensifies, most Diaspora Jews seem to have lost the plot. In the past, when an external foe emerged, Jews would put aside their differences and unite in the face of those seeking their destruction. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews suffered from persecution, pogroms and murder, culminating in the Shoah.

Today, despite a powerful Jewish state that can provide a haven to Jews facing persecution, Diaspora Jews are utterly disunited, and many of them seem to have lost their bearings. They are laying the foundations for an unprecedented eruption of violent antisemitism.

Despite the tragedy of the brutal slaying of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh, American Jewry remains the most peaceful community in the Diaspora. And even today, despite the election of radical anti-Jewish elements – including self-hating Jews – within the Democratic Party, there are still more pro-Israel elements in Congress after the midterm elections. Those elections took place in an unprecedented atmosphere of political hysteria.

But despite predictions of defeat, it would seem that President Donald Trump was the overall winner. In virtually all midterm elections, the ruling party experiences losses. The country is divided. The larger cities lean Democrat and mid-America is overwhelmingly pro-Trump. The concept of respect for a president, which has prevailed over most of America’s history since the Civil War, no longer exists. The nation is divided down the middle with most voters being either passionate lovers or zealous haters of Trump – with Jews at the forefront of the hatred.

While the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, they lost fewer seats than the Democrats did when losing the House in the 1994 and 2010 midterms. And more importantly, they held, and perhaps widened, their majority in the Senate (where two races remain undecided). Thus, while Trump will face ongoing tensions domestically, the Democrats will have to be careful not to be seen as extreme and subsequently generate further backlash. And Trump has a virtual free hand in continuing to direct foreign policy. Even more importantly, he will strengthen conservative elements in the higher and lower courts, undoubtedly altering the liberal mentality that has dominated American courts in recent generations.

There is one bizarre aspect to this. The clear majority of Jewish Americans continued the tradition of voting Democratic and have emerged as leaders of the anti-Trump brigade. The fact that many Jews with a liberal tradition oppose Trump’s conservative policies and dislike his aggressive tone is not surprising. But what is incomprehensible is the hysterical abuse they shower on the president – and that they do so in a Jewish context. The almost lunatic attacks on a president by such a wide section of the Jewish community – including progressive rabbis, Jewish lay organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish women’s groups, which had until now avoided partisan politics – is utterly unprecedented.

The venom expressed suggests that a dybbuk – a malicious spirit – has instilled a collective madness on a major component of the American Jewish community. Jews even demanded that Trump not be present at the mourning ceremony in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Some Jewish leaders blamed him for the massacre, alleging that his aggressive political style was responsible for the actions of the lone neo-Nazi antisemite. Never mind the other shooting rampages perpetrated during previous administrations, for which no president was held responsible. Nobody blamed President Barack Obama for the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting which killed 50 people, nor the other 37 mass shootings during his tenure.

Antisemitism escalated well before Trump’s election. The media, buttressed by the ADL and other Jewish groups, have repeatedly alleged that today its new waves primarily represent white nationalist antisemitism. They include in their fake figures Internet hoaxes that were not even motivated by Jew-hatred. The facts belie this. Beyond occasional mad neo-Nazi fringes on the radical Right, the situation has remained constant. The principal sources of visceral antisemitism are still Muslim extremists, as well as the burgeoning far Left which leads the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish pack. One thing is clear: American Jews do need to employ security services at synagogues, schools and community centers as is the case today in virtually every Diaspora community around the world.

It is noteworthy that the ever-growing influence of anti-Israel and antisemitic elements seeking to radicalize the Democratic Party is rarely mentioned by the liberal press or the ADL. In the midterm elections, a number of Democratic candidates hostile to Israel and Jews won seats – some in districts with significant Jewish populations. Nor have there been serious efforts to restrain burgeoning antisemitism from pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel left-wing groups on college campuses.

There were few complaints when Obama treated Israel like a rogue state and characterized Israeli self-defense and Palestinian terrorism as being morally equivalent. And there are few complaints now, after it was recently revealed that in 2005 Obama met the head of the Nation of Islam, the radical antisemite Louis Farrakhan, for a photo op. The allegations that Trump contributed to the current polarization of society by his aggressive rhetoric may be true, but that is more than matched by the hysteria from the Democrats.

This is intensified by the dramatic revolution in social media, which – in contrast to only 20 years ago – reaches a massive audience, including extreme hate-mongers. It may well be time to review America’s credo of upholding unlimited freedom of expression. We should assess this in the context of today’s social media, which undoubtedly serves as a platform for promoting racism, violence, and above all, antisemitism.

By far, the most obscene aspect of this mudslinging is the concerted Jewish attempt to portray Trump as tolerating Nazis and being an antisemite. This lie has been reproduced so frequently in recent months by progressive rabbis and Jewish lay leaders that it has become embedded in the minds of many Democratic supporters. But this reflects the madness in the air. Trump has a daughter who converted to Judaism and is religiously observant; he has always had Jewish friends; some of his key executive officers are Jews; and following the tragedy in Pittsburgh, he made a statement condemning antisemitism that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not have expressed better…

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

 

Contents

   

JVL: JEWISH WHITEWASHERS OF LABOUR ANTI-SEMITISM                                                  Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018

Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways. Taking strong anti-Israeli attitudes is one such tactic. Non-Jewish anti-Israelis look out for these Jews as legitimizers of their incitement. In the process radical Jews receive far more attention than they can get by themselves or merit because of their size. Another way for such Jewish organizations to get exposure beyond their weight is by helping to fend off antisemitic accusations against organizations which contain Jew-haters.

In recent years the UK Labour party has been in dire need of such a Jewish organization. A small group of Jewish leftist extremists realized the opportunity. In 2017 they created the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). This movement should not be confused with the much older and far bigger Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The latter has been very involved in fighting antisemitism in their party.

John Lansman is a key figure among Labour leftists. He is a member of the party’s nine member National Executive and the founder of Momentum. This grouping is the main supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Yet Lansman has come out on various occasions against JVL. He is quoted as saying that the very existence of JVL is inflaming tensions between Labour and the Jewish community. One of his associates said Lansman believes that senior JVL figures claim to speak for the entire Jewish community while they in reality only reflect the views of a small faction of anti-Zionist Jews.

JVL’s techniques of whitewashing antisemitism should be analyzed. This enables one to understand how some of these methods are also used in other Western environments. After lengthy discussions this summer, the Labour party accepted the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This is the world’s most widely agreed definition of antisemitism. It has been adopted for internal use by a number of countries including the UK and Germany. Like any such text it is not perfect, yet it is much better than anything else that has been suggested until now.

The JVL’s primary mode of attacking the IHRA definition was the release of an alternative definition of antisemitism. Their text stated that comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis should not automatically be seen as antisemitic. The JVL added an obfuscating statement “whether such comparisons are antisemitic must be judged on their substantial content and the inferences that can be reasonably drawn about the motivations for making them, rather than on the likely degree of offense caused.”

One of JVL’s apparent main goals is to whitewash Corbyn’s misdemeanors. Their alternative definition of antisemitism would take some blame away from the Labour leader. In 2010, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Corbyn, held a meeting in parliament in which the Netherlands’s best known Jewish antismite, Hajo Meyer, compared Israel to the Nazis. The latter has done so frequently, even in Germany…

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

Contents

   

LEFT-WING JEWS — A JEWISH AND AMERICAN TRAGEDY                                                     Dennis Prager                                                                           

Investor’s, Nov. 6, 2018

It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing — not liberal but left-wing — Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America. Of course, the same can be said of the damage left-wing Catholics are doing to Catholicism and America, other left-wing Christians are doing to Christianity and America, and, most obviously, the damage the secular left-wing is doing. But since anti-Semitism is in the news, and given the prominence of many left-wing Jews, I will focus on them.

The damage done to Jews by left-wing Jews is not new. It began at the beginning of the left with Karl Marx, the grandson of two Orthodox rabbis (his parents had undergone pro forma conversion to Christianity). He wrote one of the most anti-Semitic tracts of the 19th century, “On the Jewish Question,” published in 1844. In it he wrote, among other things: “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering …”; “What is his worldly God? Money …”; “Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist …”; “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

In the early 20th century, another left-wing Jew, Leon Trotsky, who, along with Lenin, led the Bolshevik Party in Russia, was a catastrophe for Jews and for humanity. In 1920, when Trotsky was head of the Red Army, Moscow’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Jacob Mazeh, asked him to use the army to protect the Jews from pogromist attacks in which tens (of) thousands of Jews were murdered. Trotsky is reported to have responded: “Why do you come to me? I am not a Jew,” to which Rabbi Mazeh answered: “That’s the tragedy. It’s the Trotskys who make revolutions, and it’s the Bronsteins who pay the price.”

That is the story of the many Jewish leftists to this day: Jewish leftists make revolutions, and all the Jews (among millions of others) pay the price. Thus, many of the leaders of the movement to economically strangle Israel — the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement — are left-wing Jews. A few years ago, I was invited to the world’s most famous debating forum, the Oxford Union, to debate the farcical question of whether Israel or Hamas is a greater obstacle to peace in the Middle East. One of my two adversaries was a Jewish former professor at Oxford. He argued that Israel was a greater threat to peace than Hamas.

Another prominent left-wing Jew, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, has devoted his life to writing and speaking against two countries: the United States and Israel. The security of the world’s only Jewish state is by far the greatest security issue for world Jewry. Yet many left-wing Jews attack Israel, support many of those who wish to destroy Israel or, at the very least, do nothing to strengthen Israel’s security. In America today, leftism has poisoned so many non-Orthodox synagogues, they differ only from the American Civil Liberties Union or the Democratic Party in their use of Hebrew liturgy.

Many non-Orthodox synagogues sat shiva — Judaism’s seven days of mourning after the death of an immediate relative — when Donald Trump was elected president. This perversion of Judaism is an example of what leftism does to every religion it infiltrates. I suspect none of those synagogues sat shiva after the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh. Why? Did the election of Donald Trump bother them more? Left-wing Jews are ethnically Jewish, but their values derive from leftism (just as the current pope is Catholic in his identity but his values derive from leftism).

The current charge that the Pittsburgh massacre was caused by President Trump is one of the greatest libels in American history. Virtually every left-wing columnist and commentator has spread this lie, most of them written by left-wing Jews such as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. One of their lies is that attacks on George Soros are anti-Semitic.

I think George Soros is a malevolent force. Am I an anti-Semite? (To answer that, let’s compare what I have done for Jews and Judaism with what any of these left-wing Jews have done.) But left-wing Jews have always done this. They attributed the execution of the Rosenbergs — who, immoral leftists that they were, passed on the secrets to the atom bomb to Stalin — to anti-Semitism. The judge in the Rosenberg case was a Jew. But to left-wing Jews, that didn’t matter. Ever since Stalin labeled Trotsky a “fascist,” leftists have always depicted their opponents as “Nazis,” “racists,” “anti-Semites,” “fascists,” “haters” and “bigots.” That is their modus operandi.

Many of these left-wing Jews base this libel about President Trump’s “role” in the context of an equally libelous claim that there has been a great rise in American anti-Semitism in the Trump era — resulting in the Pittsburgh massacre — based on an Anti-Defamation League study. The study’s mendacity is fully exposed by David E. Bernstein, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School and a Trump opponent, in two devastating reviews (one on Reason.com and one in Tablet Magazine). Read them and you will understand one of the most important things you need to know about the left: Truth is not a left-wing value. The ADL, which at one time was preoccupied with fighting anti-Semitism, is now preoccupied with fighting Donald Trump and fighting on behalf of the American left…

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

Contents 

On Topic Links

Netanyahu Suggests Diaspora is Drifting Away from Judaism: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2018—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a conversation with Israeli reporters Friday suggested that the cause of Israel’s troubled relationship with Diaspora Jews was that the latter were moving away from Judaism.

Morton Klein Book Review of “How Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism & Endangers Israel”: Morton A. Klein, ZOA, Aug. 17, 2018—Neumann describes how radical Jewish leftists distorted and turned a minor phrase, “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), into a left-wing political “social justice” universalist theology that is hostile to Israel and traditional Judaism, and which sympathizes with the Jewish people’s enemies.

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018 —As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts.

The Left May be Winning the War of Words – But Here’s How the GOP Can Win in 2020: Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Nov. 16, 2018—One of the key lessons of last week’s midterm elections is that the left is waging – and winning – a linguistic war. The left claims and occupies more and more linguistic ground with each new fight.

 

Coping With the Old, and the New, Antisemitism

For a PDF of Israfax 297 click the following link

 

 

 

 

EDITORIAL: FIDDLING ON THE ROOF:

COPING WITH THE OLD, AND THE NEW, ANTISEMITISM

Frederick Krantz

On Wednesday, 14 November, the New York Times recounts, at the end of the first act of Fiddler on the Roof at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, Md., after Russian antisemites stage a pogrom against residents of a Jewish shtetl celebrating a wedding, a man jumped up in the balcony, repeatedly yelling “Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!”.

Several theater-goers feared a mass shooting—the Pittsburgh synagogue murders, after all, occurred only a short time before. One man, “frightened and disturbed”, shrank in his seat, fearing that “this guy [may have] a gun”.  Another, noting that several audience members ran for the exits, said “I was waiting to hear a gunshot, frankly”.

Baltimore police arrested the alleged screamer, one Anthony M. Derlunis II, 58, whom they said had been drinking heavily, and who told them that he had yelled out because the scene in the play reminded him of his hatred of President Trump, a reaction borne out, he claimed, by the evidently high number of “Trump supporters” (i.e., Jews) reacting negatively to his outburst.

The frightening scene lasted about five minutes, and Mr. Derlunis was not charged by the Baltimore authorities—because, as they rather disingenuously put it, “As reprehensible as the man’s words were, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened”. Yet the NYT’s account does note that he has now been banned from entering the theater.

Of course, in the current antisemitic climate (the rate of incidents in both the U.S. and Canada, like the rate of gun possession, has been steadily increasing in recent years), the Baltimore shouter, like the Pittsburgh shooter, might well have had a gun, and used it.  These incidents involve both the extreme right and extreme left, and while traditional antisemitic motifs are present–religious bigotry against Jews as such, resentment of “Jewish money” and political “influence”, etc.—themes clearly associated with what is termed “the new antisemitism” are also at work.

Here, not so much “the Jew” as political hatred of the Jewish State, Israel, is the focus of vitriol and resentment.  Arguing that Israel is a kind of Nazi oppressor of innocent Palestinians, this “new” antisemitism can—as in “anti-Zionist” “BDS” campaigns on campuses, where Islamist and leftist elements combine–masquerade as highly “moral” and “even-handed”.

Indeed, the “new” antisemites can even claim to be highly offended when accused of being antisemites–we are “human rights activists”, they [including, sadly, some “progressive” Jewish allies] say, cleverly claiming to be not anti-Jewish but “only” anti-Israel. As if their drive to delegitimate and, hence, to finish Hitler’s work by destroying the world’s only Jewish democratic state, is not the very essence of modern genocidal antisemitism!

That Fiddler on the Roof (an oddly American phenomenon, a musical about a pogrom) could provoke a Trump-hating and potentially dangerous meshugah to shout “Heil Hitler!” in a crowded theater, is a not-so-paradoxical commentary on our current, conflicted political moment.

While we are far from facing an imminent, State-supported Kristallnacht, it is deeply concerning that, in a U.S. only two years away from the next Presidential election, the left-“progressive” and Marxisand wing of the Democratic Party cultivates some members’ no-so-genteel anti-Israelism, while in Britain an outright antisemite, Jeremy Corbyn, heads a British Labour Party which might, on the heels of a Brexit-induced election, actually come to power.

We must be alert to an increasing degree of turmoil and uncertainty: the “longest hatred”, antisemitism, ever-protean in its ability to change forms, is alive and well.  The price of Jewish freedom is eternal vigilance, the ensuring of Jewish continuity, defense of basic democratic rights and traditions, and unified support for the well-being of the state of Israel, vital center of the Jewish people.

(Prof. Frederick Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,

and editor of its ISRAFAX journal)

 

 

 

 

 

Frederick Krantz: FIDDLING ON THE ROOF: COPING WITH THE OLD, AND THE NEW, ANTISEMITISM

On Wednesday, 14 November, the New York Times recounts, at the end of the first act of Fiddler on the Roof at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, Md., after Russian antisemites stage a pogrom against residents of a Jewish shtetl celebrating a wedding, a man jumped up in the balcony, repeatedly yelling “Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!”.

Several theater-goers feared a mass shooting—the Pittsburgh synagogue murders, after all, occurred only a short time before. One man, “frightened and disturbed”, shrank in his seat, fearing that “this guy [may have] a gun”.  Another, noting that several audience members ran for the exits, said “I was waiting to hear a gunshot, frankly”.

Baltimore police arrested the alleged screamer, one Anthony M. Derlunis II, 58, whom they said had been drinking heavily, and who told them that he had yelled out because the scene in the play reminded him of his hatred of President Trump, a reaction borne out, he claimed, by the evidently high number of “Trump supporters” (i.e., Jews) reacting negatively to his outburst.

The frightening scene lasted about five minutes, and Mr. Derlunis was not charged by the Baltimore authorities—because, as they rather disingenuously put it, “As reprehensible as the man’s words were, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened”. Yet the NYT’s account does note that he has now been banned from entering the theater.

Of course, in the current antisemitic climate (the rate of incidents in both the U.S. and Canada, like the rate of gun possession, has been steadily increasing in recent years), the Baltimore shouter, like the Pittsburgh shooter, might well have had a gun, and used it.  These incidents involve both the extreme right and extreme left, and while traditional antisemitic motifs are present–religious bigotry against Jews as such, resentment of “Jewish money” and political “influence”, etc.—themes clearly associated with what is termed “the new antisemitism” are also at work.

Here, not so much “the Jew” as political hatred of the Jewish State, Israel, is the focus of vitriol and resentment.  Arguing that Israel is a kind of Nazi oppressor of innocent Palestinians, this “new” antisemitism can—as in “anti-Zionist” “BDS” campaigns on campuses, where Islamist and leftist elements combine–masquerade as highly “moral” and “even-handed”.

Indeed, the “new” antisemites can even claim to be highly offended when accused of being antisemites–we are “human rights activists”, they [including, sadly, some “progressive” Jewish allies] say, cleverly claiming to be not anti-Jewish but “only” anti-Israel. As if their drive to delegitimate and, hence, to finish Hitler’s work by destroying the world’s only Jewish democratic state, is not the very essence of modern genocidal antisemitism!

That Fiddler on the Roof (an oddly American phenomenon, a musical about a pogrom) could provoke a Trump-hating and potentially dangerous meshugah to shout “Heil Hitler!” in a crowded theater, is a not-so-paradoxical commentary on our current, conflicted political moment.

While we are far from facing an imminent, State-supported Kristallnacht, it is deeply concerning that, in a U.S. only two years away from the next Presidential election, the left-“progressive” and Marxisand wing of the Democratic Party cultivates some members’ no-so-genteel anti-Israelism, while in Britain an outright antisemite, Jeremy Corbyn, heads a British Labour Party which might, on the heels of a Brexit-induced election, actually come to power.

We must be alert to an increasing degree of turmoil and uncertainty: the “longest hatred”, antisemitism, ever-protean in its ability to change forms, is alive and well.  The price of Jewish freedom is eternal vigilance, the ensuring of Jewish continuity, defense of basic democratic rights and traditions, and unified support for the well-being of the state of Israel, vital center of the Jewish people.

(Prof. Frederick Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,

and editor of its ISRAFAX journal,)

 

ANNIVERSARIES OF WWI ARMISTICE AND KRISTALLNACHT ARE PROFOUND MOMENTS OF HISTORICAL REFLECTION

The Connection Between WWI Armistice and WWII Kristallnacht: Ben Cohen, JNS, Oct. 19, 2018— Two grimly sobering anniversaries fall in November.

This November 11th, Remember Canada’s Heroic 100 Days: J.L. Granatstein, National Post, Nov. 8, 2018 — Most Canadians know something of the battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

A Kristallnacht Lesson: Mordecai Paldiel, Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2018— As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the carnage known historically as Kristallnacht, orchestrated by the Nazi regime, we are faced with another horrendous attack on innocent Jews, this time by a lone psychotic anti-Semite targeting Jews at prayer in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

What Americans Must Do After Pittsburgh to Thwart Antisemitism: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2018 — “Some people don’t like other people just because they’re Jews,” declared a main character in the 1947 Oscar-winning American classic, “A Gentleman’s Agreement.”

On Topic Links

The Courage and Folly of a War That Left Indelible Scars: Alan Cowell, New York Times, Nov. 9, 2018

80 Years After Nazi ‘Kristallnacht’ Pogrom, One Jewish Girl’s Holocaust Diary Sounds Warning Against Revival of Antisemitism: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2018

Why I Don’t Want an Apology for the St. Louis: Sally Zerker, CJN, Oct. 10, 2017

Trudeau Warns Against Modern Anti-Semitism in Apology for Turning Away Jewish Refugees Fleeing Nazis: Steven Chase, Globe & Mail, Nov. 7, 2018

 

                             THE CONNECTION BETWEEN WWI ARMISTICE

                                                 AND WWII KRISTALLNACHT                                                                                            Ben Cohen

                                                            JNS, Oct. 19, 2018

Two grimly sobering anniversaries fall in November. On the 9th and 10th, we will mark the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht—the orgy of murder and violence that devastated Jewish communities across Nazi Germany in 1938. The following day, Nov. 11, we will mark the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I—the most devastating military conflict the world had so far experienced.

These two events, occurring exactly 20 years apart, were intimately connected. Some historians argue that the 20th century really began with World War I, which buried the geriatric Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, and set the stage for the modern totalitarian systems of communism and fascism—directly paving the way for the rise in Germany of National Socialism and its unprecedented war on the Jews.

In all senses one can think of, there was a dramatic transformation in the position of Europe’s Jews between the end of the “Great War,” as it was dubbed, and the Nazi Holocaust that consumed nearly two-thirds of their number. For one thing, the record of Jewish military service in the war rather gruesomely demonstrated that Jews were also loyal, grateful citizens of the countries in which they lived. Given that French-Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus had been convicted of treason in an anti-Semitic show trial only two decades earlier, that record was even more striking.

More than 50,000 Jews fought on the British and Commonwealth side, 100,000 with the Germans and 300,000 with Austria-Hungary—many thousands of whom lost their lives in the process. From outside Europe, more than 200,000 Jews were among the approximately 5 million American service personnel in 1917, when the United States joined the Allied side.

When it came to Jewish civilians, the toll in the eastern half of Europe was particularly brutal, with hundreds of thousands of Jews deported to the Russian interior or murdered in bloody pogroms. Those ravages led several thousand Jews to join the ranks of the Bolshevik Revolution and even serve in its senior posts, but by the mid-1920s, the ruling Communist Party was no longer a polyglot underground organization. It was, in dramatic contrast, a ruling bureaucracy undergoing a profound process of “Russification.”

The experience of World War I left some Jewish communities feeling more integrated and secure, while others were exposed as highly vulnerable, or even decimated out of existence. It also made realistic the proposal of a national home for the Jewish people, an end-goal the British government regarded “with favor” in its Balfour Declaration of 1917. On Nov. 11, 1918, then, the world’s Jews could spy the promise of redemption on all the political paths—liberal-assimilationist, revolutionary, Zionist—that were available to them. Hardly any of them believed that mass extermination was awaiting them within a generation. To have even suggested such a thing to one of the 7,000 Jews decorated by Germany for their war service would probably have been insulting.

But as the polarizing settlement that ended World War I finally crumbled with Hitler’s launching of World War II, the old libels against the Jews—that they were tribally disloyal, that they profited from war both economically and in terms of political influence—returned with a vengeance. The British writer George Orwell noted the reluctance of his own government to combat such slanders. “To publicize the exploits of Jewish soldiers, or even to admit the existence of a considerable Jewish army in the Middle East, rouses hostility in South Africa, the Arab countries and elsewhere,” he wrote during World War II. “It is easier to ignore the whole subject and allow the man in the street to go on thinking that Jews are exceptionally clever at dodging military service.”

But the British were far from alone in falling for the myth that Jews are at their most disloyal in times, like wartime, when everyone else is at their most loyal. That trope was among the many anti-Semitic fabrications of the Nazis, whose dehumanizing propaganda campaigns and notorious racial laws discriminating against Jews exploded in the violence of Kristallnacht. More than 100 Jews were murdered on the streets of Germany during those hours of fire and broken glass, while 30,000 more were deported to camps whose names—Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Dachau—are now indelibly associated with the Holocaust.

These are the basic facts that the forthcoming commemorations of these two events will reflect. For Jews, these are occasions for profound historical reflection, in a year that has already witnessed the seventieth anniversary of the State of Israel’s creation. Both anniversaries are occasions to ponder how the crooked road of Jewish emancipation, whose benefits these days still far outweigh the persistence of anti-Semitism, felt for those who came before us.                              Contents    

THIS NOVEMBER 11TH, REMEMBER CANADA’S HEROIC 100 DAYS                                                J.L. Granatstein

National Post, Nov. 8, 2018

Most Canadians know something of the battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The victory there saw the Canadian Corps take a key enemy position, and the great Canadian memorial atop the ridge has been the scene of national commemorations and countless individual pilgrimages. Fewer Canadians know about Ypres in April 1915 when the raw soldiers of the Canadian Division fought through the first dreadful German gas attack. And even fewer know about the battle of Passchendaele in the autumn of 1917 when the Canadian Corps struggled through a morass of mud and suffered some 16,000 casualties to take a worthless rise of land in the flat Flanders fields.

But almost no Canadians know anything about the Hundred Days of 1918 when the Canadian Corps, led by Lt.-Gen. Sir Arthur Currie, fought the most significant battles in Canadian military history. From Aug. 8 to the signing of the Armistice on Nov. 11, the 100,000 men of the four Canadian infantry divisions defeated one-quarter of the German army on the Western Front in a great succession of terrible struggles.

Beginning at Amiens, France, the Canadians, Australians, British and French smashed through the German lines, gaining up to 14 kilometres on the first day. The Canadians, the “shock troops of the British Army,” as historian Shane Schreiber dubbed them, had been moved some 60 kilometres in secrecy to the Amiens front, each soldier ordered to “Keep Your Mouth Shut!” Then with tanks, artillery, aircraft and infantry working together in a near-perfect combined arms attack that featured both disinformation and surprise, the Canadians attacked. “Within 10 minutes of the start,” Gunner Bertie Cox remembered in an extraordinary account of the attack on Aug. 8, “the tanks, by the hundreds, and the cavalry, by the thousands, were passing our guns. It made an awful pretty picture to see the tanks and cavalry looming up in the mist, over the crest, just about dawn. The field guns began to pass at a gallop too, not to mention the infantry by the hundreds of thousands. By 5 a.m., the prisoners began to go by and this procession continued all day. … We spent a considerable part of the day checking them over, getting souvenirs. … They nearly cleaned us out of cigarettes and emptied our water bottles.” It was, declared another soldier, “the best executed and best picked out plan that was ever pulled off.” True enough. It was also what German strategist Gen. Erich Ludendorff called “the black day of the German Army in the war.”

Three weeks later at the end of August and the beginning of September, the Canadians, having moved north, fought their way through the Drocourt-Quéant Line near Arras, driving ahead through machine-gun bunkers and heavily defended strongpoints. The fighting was brutal and terribly costly to both sides, but the men of the Corps broke the enemy line.

Then at the end of September, Gen. Currie’s men fought their tactical masterpiece and crossed the Canal du Nord. Currie had sent two divisions across a dry portion of the canal, then fanning them out to roll up the enemy positions. The Corps’ engineers threw up bridges across the canal under fire, and tanks, guns and more infantry went across. The fighting over the next week was especially difficult for the weary Canadians. “Never have I felt so depressed as I felt after that battle,” young brigade commander J.A. Clark recalled. “It seemed impossible to break the morale and fighting spirit of the German troops. We felt that this Boche could not be beaten,” he continued, “certainly not in 1918. He fought magnificently and in a most determined fashion. He discouraged a great many soldiers in the Corps.” The enemy was broken but far from beaten, and the infantry battalions in Clark’s brigade had been shattered in the fighting in front of Cambrai.

Still, in what Gen. Currie called the Corps’ hardest fighting of the war, the Canadians pressed the Germans back to Cambrai, their major transportation and supply hub in northern France. On Oct. 9 and 10, they seized the city, dousing the fires the retreating enemy had set. There was one last set piece battle at Valenciennes, close to the French-Belgian border, where a single Canadian brigade attacked Mont Houy under the heaviest Canadian artillery barrage of the war and routed the German defenders. The pursuit then began, the enemy fleeing eastward, leaving behind only machine-gun teams to slow the chase. On Nov. 10, the Canadians were at Mons, Belgium, the symbolic town where the British Expeditionary Force had first faced the invading Germans in August 1914 and had been forced to retreat. The Canadians liberated Mons just as the Armistice brought the Great War to a close.

In truth, the Armistice was really a German surrender. There was no “stab in the back” as Adolf Hitler and others in Germany would proclaim. The German army had been defeated on the field of battle by the Allies, and the Canadian Corps had played a distinguished, costly role in the victory. The Hundred Days cost Canada some 15,000 dead and 30,000 wounded, almost one fifth of the 240,000 Canadian casualties suffered in four years of war. And yet, somehow no one in Canada today seems to know of the Hundred Days, its great and important victories all but forgotten…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                    Contents

   

A KRISTALLNACHT LESSON

Mordecai Paldiel

Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2018

As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the carnage known historically as Kristallnacht, orchestrated by the Nazi regime, we are faced with another horrendous attack on innocent Jews, this time by a lone psychotic anti-Semite targeting Jews at prayer in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Let us reflect on the significance of this large, government-staged pogrom on November 9-10, 1938 targeting the Jewish population across Germany, including the annexed regions of Austria and the Czech Sudetenland. Jewish homes and businesses were vandalized, 270 synagogues destroyed, close to 100 persons killed, and 30,000 Jewish men carted off to concentration camps. In the context of the atrocities committed during the height of the Holocaust, these figures may be appalling, but, perhaps not shocking. Taking a step back, it is important to acknowledge that this did not take place with the backdrop of the Holocaust, but rather in the midst of civilized and still at peace Europe. If anyone, up to then, had doubts as to how far the Nazi regime would go to force all Jews out of the country by the use of acts of terror, the violent physical attacks of Kristallnacht left no one further in doubt about the intentions of Hitler and his henchmen. It also left no doubts about the anemic pushback from the international community.

Kristallnacht can be seen not just as a horrid day in history that foreshadowed the attitudes and events of the Holocaust, but also as a testing of limits to observe both if and how the international community would take action. Sadly, the response of the Western democratic nations to this flagrant challenge to the very foundations of humanity was not forthcoming. The Evian Conference, held July 1938 convening 32 nations, was unable to form a unified response to accommodate Jewish refugees fleeing persecution, and signaled to the Nazis that the world’s countries were sympathetic, but not prepared to open their own doors to Jews.

Months after Kristallnacht, several events only heightened this conviction in the mind of Hitler. In May 1939, the St. Louis boat with a cargo of more than 900 Jews confirmed for emigration to the United States was denied landing off the coast of Florida. The boat was forced to return its human cargo to the shores of Europe; many of these passengers were later engulfed in the Holocaust. That same year, following the Kindertransport example of England, Senator Robert F. Wagner of New York and Representative Edith Rogers of Massachusetts failed to have Congress approve a bill to allow 20,000 Jewish children from Germany access to the United States. Even with the assurance that the Jewish community would be solely responsible for bearing the cost of hosting and caring for the children, the US government refused to intervene. That same year, US Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, proposed allowing Jewish refugees into Alaska to help develop the natural resources of that territory, adding that it would not impinge US immigration laws, since these laws would not apply to the non-State Alaska. It would be both a humanitarian gesture as well as a boost to the economy of Alaska. It was rejected by the President.

All these aforementioned steps of refusal to save even a limited number of Jews were signals interpreted by the Nazi regime that, in spite of words of protest, the nations of the world were not invested in the welfare of Jews. For the Nazis it meant only one thing: that they could escalate their anti-Jewish measures beyond the large-scale pogrom of Kristallnacht to mass murder as publicly proclaimed by Hitler in January 1939 that indeed began in June 1941 when Germany invaded Russia.

In the words of the 18th century British political philosopher Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It is not intention nor discussion that brings strong enough repudiation for evil, but action. Kristallnacht was not just the start of organized violence against Jews in Germany—in fact, with a different international reaction, it could have been the end of it. Instead, it was the hall pass for such violence and hatred. While it is easy to dismiss Kristallnacht as a different time, place, and political climate, we know all too well that anti-Semitism remains a dangerous force in our world and in our free nation. Let the anniversary of Kristallnacht be a reminder to the civilized world and younger generations to act against evil regimes who flout the elementary rules of civilized conduct before they cause untold damage, and hurt millions of innocent people.

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WHAT AMERICANS MUST DO AFTER PITTSBURGH

TO THWART ANTISEMITISM                                          

Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein

                                                Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2018

“Some people don’t like other people just because they’re Jews,” declared a main character in the 1947 Oscar-winning American classic, “A Gentleman’s Agreement.” The crematoria at Auschwitz had not yet cooled down, but there were Americans who couldn’t abide the thought of Jews sharing their country clubs, neighborhoods, or college classrooms. Those were the challenges for American Jews back then, but today we no longer worry about “gentlemen.” After Pittsburgh, we’re on guard against the next lone wolf psychopath, armed with hate and bullets, empowered and validated by his invisible social media bigoted “friends.”

For us Jews it’s (still) the best of times — and, as we bury our dead in Pittsburgh, the worst of times. According to Pew, we are the single most admired religious group in America. On the other hand, the FBI confirms that we are the #1 target of religion-based hate in the United States. Simon Wiesenthal said that “hope lives when people remember.” Let us remember who is responsible for keeping antisemitism alive in our time, lest we be powerless to resist it.

The Pittsburgh gunman is responsible for his heinous deeds. Yet such extremism does not operate in a vacuum. Here are some points to ponder after the Pittsburgh massacre recedes from the headlines. We offer them as professionals who have struggled with antisemitism worldwide for decades. Social media outlets like Gab market hate. Hiding behind a freedom of speech mantra, they deny any moral responsibility for the platform they offer to the worst misusers of the privilege of that freedom, eerily similar to ISIS, whose online marketing campaigns spawn lone wolf terrorist attacks on both sides of the Atlantic.

Good people used to drive the haters underground. No longer. In major capitals — London, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Stockholm — it is dangerous for Jews to wear the Star of David or a kippah in public. Police and politicians look the other way as (mainly) Islamist extremists bully and pummel Jews on the streets of Europe. Important institutions are rife with winking at antisemitism, or even worse. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad calls Jews “hooked-nosed,” and boasts that he is “glad to be labelled antisemitic.” On a recent visit to the UK, Mohamad was welcomed to Imperial College and Oxford by the heads of these institutions. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is awash with Jew-hatred, but he could be the UK’s next leader.

An unholy alliance of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, funded by Iran, uses antisemitism as a tool to turn the world against Israel. Their propaganda has found enthusiastic support in academia and even churches, so that today over 150 million Europeans believe Israelis treat Palestinians the way Nazis treated Jews. Young Americans hear much of the same on campuses dominated by progressives who detest power and “privilege,” especially of Israel and the United States. Anti-Zionism has flourished as a tool for gutless Jew haters: “We don’t hate Jews. Only Zionists.” Now, there is lots of room to criticize Israel without being antisemitic in the slightest. But when that criticism demonizes or subjects Israel to a double standard, the road to antisemitism has been crossed.

Syria, Iran, Nigeria, Myanmar, China — millions are dying, or living in exile, or incarcerated in internment camps for their religious beliefs, but the lion’s share of UN resolutions contemptuously pile on the Jewish state. The Jewish people’s historic links to their key religious sites have been denied. For close to two thousand years, the Church (followed by various churches) taught and encouraged antisemitism. That has changed for the better in some denominations, and in some areas. But old attitudes die hard. Rather than show special sensitivity to Jew-hatred, some churches still feed into it. The over-the-top hostility of some church groups to Israel is a case in point.

The Quakers, who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, are today no friends of Jews. Mennonites in South America actively aided Hitler in his campaign to demonstrate pure Aryan superiority. (Their contempt for Israel translates in the popular mind into a rejection of Jews and Judaism.) Many other church groups aid and abet the virulent Jew-hatred of Palestinian groups by standing by them as allies, without calling them out for the antisemitism constantly spewed in their mosques and textbooks.

And, of course, there is the right-wing antisemitism of the Pittsburgh murderer, encouraged and similar to what we saw in Charlottesville. Tragically, the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre is not — cannot — be a one-off, any more than 9/11 was, even if never repeated. It will change the way Jews live for the foreseeable future. Houses of worship, citadels of peace, will look more like TSA portals to airports. So things are bad and could get even worse. What can we do to try to stem the tide? Don’t underestimate the sheer volume of age-old Jew-hatred. It did not disappear after the Holocaust. It never disappeared from polite society…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

On Topic Links

The Courage and Folly of a War That Left Indelible Scars: Alan Cowell, New York Times, Nov. 9, 2018—During World War I, millions died, empires crumbled, nations were formed and maps were redrawn in ways that reverberate mightily a century later.

80 Years After Nazi ‘Kristallnacht’ Pogrom, One Jewish Girl’s Holocaust Diary Sounds Warning Against Revival of Antisemitism: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2018—For the global community of Holocaust scholars and educators, the 80th anniversary of the Nazi pogrom against Germany’s Jews commonly known as “Kristallnacht” — which falls this Friday and Saturday — could scarcely come at a more pertinent moment.

Why I Don’t Want an Apology for the St. Louis: Sally Zerker, CJN, Oct. 10, 2017—On Sept. 27, at the inauguration of the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted that his government is considering apologizing for the 1939 MS St. Louis incident, when Canada turned away a boatload of Jews who were seeking asylum from Nazi persecution. To which I say: no, I don’t want an apology. And here’s why.

Trudeau Warns Against Modern Anti-Semitism in Apology for Turning Away Jewish Refugees Fleeing Nazis: Steven Chase, Globe & Mail, Nov. 7, 2018—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized Wednesday for a shameful episode in Canada’s history, when this country turned away more than 900 German Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi terror and persecution.

 

SYNAGOGUE MASSACRE CAUSED BY ANTISEMITIC JEW-HATRED & “DELEGITIMATION” OF ISRAEL, NOT BY TRUMP’S RHETORIC

Trump’s Rhetoric Didn’t Cause this Massacre: Barbara Kay, National Post, Oct. 30, 2018 — The Sabbath massacre in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, but it is not the first time Jews in the United States have been targeted for attack while at worship.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slaughter Not Easily Explained: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Oct. 30, 2018— The slaughter of Jews in Pittsburgh by an alleged anti-Semite cannot be easily explained.

American Jewry’s False Prophets: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 1, 2018— Just hours after the largest massacre of Jews in America in US history, the Atlantic Monthly posted a piece by Franklin Foer.

Farmers and Fighters: The Making of the Land: Douglas Feith, Tablet, Oct. 24, 2018— Last autumn was the Balfour Declaration’s hundredth birthday.

On Topic Links

Israel’s Role in the Struggle Against Antisemitism: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 1, 2018

If the Synagogue Shooter Were Muslim, the Media Would Be Defending Him: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Oct. 31, 2018

Tears Were Shed: Justin Amler, Jewish Press, Oct. 31, 2018

The Heart Breaks for Many Reasons: Editorial, Arlene From Israel, Oct. 30, 2018

 

                    TRUMP’S RHETORIC DIDN’T CAUSE THIS MASSACRE

                                                 Barbara Kay

                                                            National Post, Oct. 30, 2018

The Sabbath massacre in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, but it is not the first time Jews in the United States have been targeted for attack while at worship. In 1960, a 16-year-old boy threw a bomb into a synagogue in Gladsden, Ala., but it didn’t explode. The would-be massacrist then shot and injured two people fleeing the building. Before that, in 1958, a bomb made of 54 dynamite sticks was thrown into the Temple Beth-El in Birmingham, Ala., and it, too, failed to explode. If it had, it could have killed hundreds.

Nobody remembers disasters that fail to happen. But these near-misses should remind us that evil walks among us at all times, not just “in the age of Trump,” a phrase one continually hears, and that some twisted minds, yearning for a unitary explanation that accounts for their own failures as well as all the other perceived problems in the world, fasten on The Jews. They should also remind us that sporadic hate crimes, even horrific massacres, should not be blamed on an authority figure, however obnoxious, unless that leader actually embodies an inherently hateful ideology or political policy.

So yes, Kristallnacht could be blamed squarely on Hitler and the Nazi party, because racial purity and anti-Semitism were integral aspects of that platform, with violence condoned or encouraged. Terrorism in Europe and Israel can be blamed on Islamist groups, because hatred of Jews and Western culture is inherent to radical Islam, and because such groups proudly and publicly take credit for the carnage. In North America, we can blame neo-Nazi groups and the social media they use for encouraging hatred of Jews, blacks and other minorities. Yet unlike many Islamism-inspired attacks, no organized white supremacist group praised Bowers or implied he acted on their behalf. Bowers was simply an extreme anti-Semite, churning day and night with ugly thoughts and barely contained impulses that finally burst their fragile bounds.

Trump is criticized for a tone that often promotes division among Americans for partisan ends. Fair enough. He’s also slammed for not repudiating these cretins unequivocally. But even if he had, what difference would that have made in this case? Bowers was contemptuous of Trump for his well-known Jewish connections and partiality to Israel. In one post on Gab.com, a site known for hate speech, Bowers wrote, “Trump is surrounded by k****”, “things will stay the course.” If he were inspired by Trump’s perceived indulgence of the alt-right, does it make sense that he would target people Trump identifies with? Would it not be more logical for him to target undocumented Latinos or Muslims, who have legitimate reasons to consider Trump hostile?

If you follow the “logic” that links the synagogue massacre to Trump, the same logic would have Justin Trudeau — widely perceived as hyper-sensitive to Muslim concerns — as the root cause for Alexandre Bissonnette’s rage erupting in the 2017 Quebec mosque massacre. Are we going there? Some people might. Not me. Because then I would just as logically have to wonder if Obama was somehow to blame for the 2015 Charleston church massacre of nine black worshippers by white supremacist Dylann Roof, or consider the failed 1958 and 1960 synagogue bomb explosions somehow the fault of Dwight Eisenhower.

On Dec 6, 1989, lone wolf Marc Lepine massacred 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique. He was not affiliated with any political movement, nor was he inspired by an ideological guru. Nobody blamed prime minister Brian Mulroney for the massacre, or the tense and divided political atmosphere around Meech Lake. Nor should they have. Lepine acted on the urgings of his personal demons. But violence directed specifically against women was new and shocking. Swollen grief and anger demanded a vessel large enough to hold it all. Lepine was a lone wolf, but also a man. And feminists did place the blame for the massacre on what would soon be called the “toxic masculinity” inherent in all men. Society complied. That was morally wrong, and furthermore a great cultural mistake. The White Ribbon campaign the massacre inspired raised awareness around the issue of intimate partner violence, but the message was almost invariably linked to a demonization of men, which has encouraged mutual resentment and mistrust between the sexes.

All the individuals behind these attempted and successful acts of human slaughter are mysteries in the end. A divisive and volatile environment may further excite their dark passions, it is true. A national leader who is careless in his often divisive rhetoric does nothing to calm the social waters. But that’s a far cry from actually causing a massacre. And so, when CNN asked Rabbi Jeffrey Myers if Trump would be welcome at the Tree of Life Synagogue, he wisely replied: “The President of the United States is always welcome. I am a citizen, he is my president. He is always welcome.” That was the right, that was the unifying, thing to say.

 

Contents

   

          PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SLAUGHTER NOT EASILY EXPLAINED                                                                     Tarek Fatah

Toronto Sun, Oct. 30, 2018

 

The slaughter of Jews in Pittsburgh by an alleged anti-Semite cannot be easily explained. After centuries of studying the phenomenon of Jew hatred, few have come up with an answer as to why this tiny segment of our world community faces so much revulsion. Every time there is an incident of violence against Jews, it adds one more ugly scar on the face of our common legacy.

The attack that killed 11 on Saturday in Pittsburgh’s vibrant Jewish community reminded me of the attack on a Jewish community centre in Mumbai, India, 10 years ago. Same target, different assassins. How long will Jews be killed simply because they are too few? Just under 15 million in a world populated by 7 billion other souls. Is it because Jews have contributed far more to humanity than they’ve taken back? Are the rest of us envious of their resilience and ability to survive horrendous discrimination in Christian Europe from medieval times to the Holocaust?

Yesterday, Lorrie Goldstein quoted British Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ explanation of the irrationality and evil nature of Jew Hatred on these pages. “Before the Holocaust,” Rabbi Sacks notes, “Jews were hated because they were poor and because they were rich; because they were communists and because they were capitalists; because they kept to themselves and because they infiltrated everywhere; because they clung to ancient religious beliefs and because they were rootless cosmopolitans who believed nothing.”

Something changed after the Holocaust. For the first time in a millennia, the Jewish state of Israel was founded in the ancient Jewish homeland of the Temple Mount from which Jews had been driven out many times. And that changed the very form of anti-Semitism. Jew hatred gave way to hating Israel. And among the new anti-Semites came “the radical Islamists and others who deny Israel’s right to exist,” says Rabbi Sacks.

Today, Jew hatred is camouflaged under the guise of solidarity with Palestinians. There is hardly a university campus in North America where the left has not made common cause with right-wing Islamists. Instead of exposing themselves as the Jew haters that they are, they target Israel, not ordinary Jews. It’s not Zimbabwe or China they focus on, and certainly not Saudi Arabia or Iran. No, the new Jew hatred is manifested in the targeting of Israel. A Palestinian state is not what they seek; it is the end of Israel as a Jewish state they desire.

For those of us who are not Jews, the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy has left us with a gem. In 1891, Tolstoy wrote a short essay, “What is a Jew?” He asked, “What kind of a unique creature is this whom all the rulers and nations of the world have disgraced and crushed, expelled and destroyed, persecuted and drowned, who despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish?”

Offering his own answer, Tolstoy proposes, “The Jew is the symbol of eternity … the one who is for so long guarded the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind. A people such as this can never disappear. The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.”

Let Tolstoy’s message sink into our minds. Let it shape our thoughts. Let’s adorn our hearts with Tolstoy’s message as we attempt to erase latent hatred of the other and appreciate the Jewish people and their Jewish state.

Contents

   

AMERICAN JEWRY’S FALSE PROPHETS                                                             

Caroline B. Glick

                                                Jerusalem Post, Nov. 1, 2018

Just hours after the largest massacre of Jews in America in US history, the Atlantic Monthly posted a piece by Franklin Foer. In his “Prayer for Squirrel Hill, and for American Jewry,” Foer wrote, “Any strategy for enhancing the security of American Jewry should involve shunning [President Donald] Trump’s Jewish enablers. Their money should be refused, their presence in synagogues not welcome. They have placed our community in danger.” That is, in the shadow of the blood drenched synagogue, Foer declared war on his fellow Jews.

Between a quarter and 30% of American Jews voted for Trump. A quarter of American Jews intend to vote Republican in next week’s election. Foer wants them all to be ostracized because, he says, they are dangerous. Taken to its logical conclusion, Foer’s statement was also a declaration of war against the Jews of Israel. For as much as Foer and his totalitarian comrades hate Trump, Israeli Jews support him. More than 75% of Israeli Jews consider Trump a great friend.

Foer’s comrade Julia Ioffe from GQ magazine made clear the animosity these leftist/anti-Trump American Jewish media figures harbor toward Israel. In a post on Twitter that was at least as incendiary as Foer’s essay, Ioffe wrote, “And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this [massacre] possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live was worth it.” In other words, Trump’s support for Israel enables him to persecute American Jews. By supporting Trump for supporting Israel, Israeli Jews and Republican Jews enabled the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Are they right? Do Israeli Jews and politically conservative American Jews facilitate antisemitism in America by supporting Trump? Is Trump an antisemite who covers his malign intentions toward American Jewry by supporting Israel? Although these questions are absurd on their face, now that The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank feels comfortable claiming that Jews are not safe in Donald Trump’s America, it is important to consider them.

So let us consider what Trump has done and said and compare his actions and statements with those of his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, who most of the American Jews who now blame Trump and his Jewish supporters for the massacre in Pittsburgh supported. The first question we need to address is, what are Israel’s interests in its relations with the US and how do those interests impact American Jews? Israel has an interest in working in alliance with the United States to counter common threats. Trump shares this interest, and has acted to advance it on multiple fronts.

Trump’s decision to abandon his predecessor’s policy of appeasing Iran in favor of a policy of working with Israel and the Sunni Arab states to counter Iran’s regional aggression and power, and block the regime’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, represents a fundamental shift in US foreign policy. It was welcomed by Israel as well as by the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East.

Is this a good or bad thing for American Jewry? Obama’s nuclear deal gave Iran a guaranteed path to nuclear armament within a decade. Since the Iranian regime has repeatedly pledged to annihilate Israel, the deal posed an existential threat to Israel. To secure Senate approval – or rather, to avoid Senate disapproval – of his scandalous deal, the Obama White House directed a media and political strategy of intimidation of lawmakers and American Jewish leaders, abounding with antisemitic demonology. Democratic senators that opposed the deal were under the influence of nefarious “foreign money.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was transformed in Obama’s media echo chamber into the enemy of America. AIPAC lobbyists who campaigned against the deal were branded as agents of a foreign power – that is, traitors – seeking to undermine US interests for the benefit of a hostile foreign power – that is, Israel. The Obama administration’s aggression against Jewish Americans exercising their lawful right to petition their government was unprecedented. The fight it waged against the American Jewish community left the community weakened and vulnerable to attack from the Left as never before.

By disavowing the nuclear deal and endorsing the view of the Jewish community, Trump delegitimized Obama’s bigoted assault against American Jews. Obviously, this is a good thing for American Jews. Israel has an interest in securing its position in the world and ending its second-class status in the international community. That second-class status was long emblemized in the US’s abject refusal to locate the US Embassy in Israel to Israel’s capital city Jerusalem. That longstanding American refusal to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the City of David legitimized the systematic persecution of Israel at the UN and in other international arenas.

Since Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish life and faith for 3,000 years, it is concrete proof that Israel is not a colonial implant and that Jews are the native people of the land. By refusing to recognize Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem, the US joined the rest of the world in calling into question its very right to exist and lend credence to the antisemitic claim that Jews are foreigners in their historic homeland. Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and his subsequent decision to subordinate the American Consulate in Jerusalem to the US Embassy was a total renunciation of this long-standing bigotry against the Jewish people. Trump’s action was self-evidently a good thing for American Jews. No longer do American Jews need to justify their attachment to Israel. No longer do American Jews need to come on bended knee to the White House and entreat the president to recognize the historical record.

Contrast Trump’s actions with Obama’s actions. Not only did Obama refuse to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he rejected even symbolic acceptance of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. The Obama State Department erased all the captions on archival photos of American dignitaries in Jerusalem that referred to the location as Jerusalem, Israel. This petty act demonstrated a deep-seated hostility to the history of the Jewish people and was nothing if not bigoted. Yet, by the lights of Foer, Ioffe, Milbank and their fellow American Jewish Trump-haters, Obama was a friend of American Jews, and Trump and his Jewish supporters are their enemies…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link]

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FARMERS AND FIGHTERS: THE MAKING OF THE LAND

Douglas Feith

Tablet, Oct. 24, 2018

Last autumn was the Balfour Declaration’s hundredth birthday. This month marks a hundred years since Britain’s General Allenby completed his World War I conquest of Palestine and Syria. These centenaries relate to the most important–the most basic–argument that anti-Zionists use against Israel today. It’s the assertion that Palestine is Arab land and the Jews had no right to steal it from the Palestinian Arabs. In its somewhat more sophisticated form, the argument is that British imperialists had no right to steal the Palestinians’ country and give it to the Jews.

If you had a child in college and she came home and said she was challenged on this point by a classmate, could you provide her with a response? One way to answer is this: For the 400 years before World War I, Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire, so it was owned by the Turks, not by the Arabs, let alone by the Arabs of Palestine. Palestine is an old but imprecise geographical term. It remained imprecise because there was never a country called Palestine. Even when—long ago— it was under Arab rule, Palestine was never ruled by its own Arab inhabitants.

So it’s not accurate to say that Palestine was a country, nor to say it was Arab land. Neither the Jews nor the British stole it from the Arabs. The original Zionists came to Palestine without the backing of any imperialist or colonialist power. They bought the land on which they settled. And before Britain invaded Palestine in World War I, the Ottoman Turks had joined Germany and attacked Allied forces.

Was it an injustice for Britain to issue the Balfour Declaration in favor of a Jewish national home in Palestine? The question is of more than historical interest for it relates to the current controversy about Israel’s nation-state law, which was adopted this past July. Among other controversial things, that law said, “The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

Consider the Balfour Declaration’s context. When the British war cabinet approved it on Oct. 31, 1917, the world was more than three years into the Great War, the catastrophe now known as World War I, which ultimately destroyed four major empires. Britain was fighting for its life and, because the war was going badly, the government of British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith had fallen at the end of 1916 and David Lloyd George had come to power.

Lloyd George was singularly attuned to the importance of propaganda. He was the first British prime minister in history who had grown up poor. His childhood home didn’t have running water. His political rise testified to the democratization of politics and the power of public opinion.  Within 48 hours after he became prime minister, his cabinet resolved to review British propaganda worldwide. He hoped to win more popular support for the Allies in Greece, Italy, Russia, America and elsewhere. Among British propaganda’s many target audiences was world Jewry. Not unreasonably, the Jews generally were seen as pro-Zionist, with useful influence especially in revolutionary Russia and in Woodrow Wilson’s America.

By embracing Zionism, the British government wanted to give Jews a particular interest in Allied victory. In his memoirs, Lloyd George explained that the Balfour Declaration was “part of our propagandist strategy,” its timing “determined by considerations of war policy.” In other words, colonialism didn’t bring Britain to Palestine. Britain didn’t seize Palestine from an unoffending native population. It conquered the land not from the Arabs, but from Turkey, which (as noted) had joined Britain’s enemies in the war. The Arabs in Palestine fought for Turkey against Britain. The land was enemy territory.

Supporting Zionism appealed to Lloyd George, Balfour and other officials not just on strategic grounds, but also for moral reasons. They sympathized with the Jewish national cause. Zionism was an answer to the historical Jewish question, a way to remedy some of the harm shamefully done to the Jewish people over history. And it would give Jews an opportunity to normalize their place in the world, by building up a national center and a refuge, a country in their ancient homeland where they could become the majority and enjoy self-determination as a people

 

When those officials were young men, George Eliot, in her influential 1876 novel Daniel Deronda, foresaw the creation of a movement to create a “new Jewish polity.” The Jews then, she wrote, in the voice of a Jewish character, “shall have an organic centre” and “the outraged Jew shall have a defense in the court of nations, as the outraged Englishman or American. And the world will gain as Israel gains.”…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link]

 

Article adapted from Douglas Feith’s Keynote Address to

CIJR’s 30th Anniversary Gala in Toronto, 21 October 2018

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Israel’s Role in the Struggle Against Antisemitism: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 1, 2018—Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett rushed to Pittsburgh this week to represent the government of Israel at memorial events following the terrorist massacre in the Tree of Life Synagogue. So did Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan.

If the Synagogue Shooter Were Muslim, the Media Would Be Defending Him: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Oct. 31, 2018—Two types of people plot attacks against Jewish synagogues and community centers: Nazis and Muslims. In 1999, Buford O. Furrow, a white supremacist, opened fire at a Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles area. He wounded three little boys, their teenage female counselor and an elderly female receptionist. He told the FBI that he wanted this to be “a wake-up call to America to kill Jews.”

Tears Were Shed: Justin Amler, Jewish Press, Oct. 31, 2018—I’ve been staring at my screen for the last few hours trying to work out my feelings about the Pittsburgh massacre. I’ve been trying to find the right words to show how I feel. But how do you explain the horror we saw today?

The Heart Breaks for Many Reasons: Editorial, Arlene From Israel, Oct. 30, 2018—Yesterday, my heart broke over the senseless, anti-Semitic attack in Squirrel Hill that took the lives of 11 Jews, during Shabbat, while they were in synagogue.  I had prayed for healing for the mourners and for the community, and I will continue to pray.