Tag: European antisemitism


France Finally Admits to its History of Jew Hatred. What About the Present?: Barbara Kay, National Post, July 25, 2017 — July 16 marked the 75th anniversary of the infamous 1942 mass roundup of French Jews in Paris’s Velodrome d’Hiver (“Vel d’Hiv”), when 13,152 Jews were deported to Nazi death camps.

The Three Germanies: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2017— Contemporary Germany manifests itself in three ways: old Germany, new Germany and “mutant” Germany.

Hitler’s Secret Weapon Was Coercing Jews to Destroy Themselves: Shmuley Boteach, Tablet, July 17, 2017 — These days have been emotionally challenging.

Documents Reveal Canadian Citizen Julius Kuhl as Holocaust Hero: Mark MacKinnon, Globe & Mail, Aug. 8, 2017Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading.


On Topic Links


VIDEO: Geert Wilders on Europe’s Suicide in the Face of Islam: Israpundit, 2017

Jewish Artist Takes on Twitter for Enabling anti-Semitism: Times of Israel, Aug. 8, 2017

Sarah Halimi, Sisyphus and the Denial of Antisemitic Violence: Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, JNS, July 28, 2017

Researcher Gives Seal of Approval to 53 Biblical Characters’ Existence: Rich Tenorio, Times of Israel, Aug. 4, 2017




Barbara Kay

National Post, July 25, 2017


July 16 marked the 75th anniversary of the infamous 1942 mass roundup of French Jews in Paris’s Velodrome d’Hiver (“Vel d’Hiv”), when 13,152 Jews were deported to Nazi death camps. Benjamin Netanyahu’s motorcade arrival at the commemoration ceremony, his limousine sporting gold-fringed Israeli flags, was an electric moment for French Jews, representing the first inclusion of an Israeli head of state in the event’s annual commemorative history.


In a moving address to the 1,200 (mostly) Jews in attendance, including Holocaust survivors in their 90s, France’s President Macron did not mince his words, assigning full blame for Vel d’Hiv to the Vichy government (“not a single German participated”), another first, and therefore rebuking previous leaders who have accepted only partial blame. The depth of Macron’s feeling, evident in the cathartic physical embrace he and Netanyahu shared following his speech, brought the audience to a pitch of passionate applause. This was a moment of genuine reconciliation unlike any that had gone before.


In a work of fiction, the hug between the French and Israeli heads of state would have signified triumph over a long history of French anti-Semitism. Real life is rarely so obliging. Macron understood he had to address the painful reality of the new French anti-Semitism. He therefore referred in his speech to the murder, 12 days earlier, of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year old Orthodox Jewish doctor, battered to death by her Mali-born neighbour Kobili Traoré. Traoré had reportedly referred to Halimi as a “dirty Jew,” and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he threw her off her apartment balcony.


The indictment filed against Trahoré did not categorize the killing as a hate crime, let alone an act of terrorism, as many believe it should be. It became a political hot potato. Macron announced that “the judiciary must as soon as possible provide maximum clarity on the death of Sarah Halimi.” Second-guessing clarity would be welcome, but irrelevant to the larger problem: the entrenched pathology of Jew hatred in France’s Muslim community. The Vichy government is gone, but its Jew-loathing spirit has returned in, as Macron put it, “the cancerous spread of militant Islam.”


In a 2015 interview with Times of Israel journalist David Horovitz, former Paris policeman Sammy Ghozlan paints a bleak picture of the situation for Jews in France. As an Algerian Jew, Ghozlan was a natural liaison between the Jewish communities and law enforcement. He grew concerned by the tendency he saw in his colleagues of managing the growing social problem of Muslim anti-Semitism by minimizing its root causes. (“The cops would say, if a synagogue went up in flames but nobody was hurt, ‘it’s a criminal act, not a hate crime.’”) Hate incidents ramped up with the Second Intifada in 2000. It was then that Ghozlan created the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti- Semitism (BNVCA French acronym) to record anti-Semitic attacks on synagogues, schools and public transportation (851 in 2014), which he distributed to reporters, police and concerned citizens.


Murders make the news, but pervasive low-level Muslim violence against Jews is barely registered. “If people leave religious objects — a kippa, tefillin — in a car, the car will be attacked,” Ghozlan says. “Jewish homes find swastikas on their mailbox. White powder sent in envelopes.” Hamas and Islamic State flags have been tolerated in demonstrations, where the cry of “kill the Jews” rings out without consequence. Jewish children in France believe it is normal for soldiers to guard their parochial schools, never having known it to be otherwise.


Ghozlan sees a “direct connection” with anti-Semitic violence and the left’s obsessive anti-Zionism. Arabs and Africans would not be as bold in their anti-Semitism, he says, “if they didn’t have the sense that they were encouraged by political movements and opinions in France that incited them to behave in this way.” In the media, Israel and Israelis are portrayed as detestable, as Nazis. Consequently, Ghozlan asserts, “the French public doesn’t care when the Jews get attacked,” claiming that if in January, 2015, the Hyper-Cacher (kosher) market massacre of Jews had not been linked to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, it “would not have been a big deal in France.”


Macron’s Vel d’Hiv address was magnificent; the embrace with Netanyahu was genuine; the audience’s appreciation was wholehearted. But what are good intentions against righteous hatred of so few by so many? A 2014 “Day of Rage” march by 17,000 (mostly) Muslims was dominated by the slogan, “Juif, la France n’est pas à toi” (Jew, France does not belong to you).” The families of the four victims of the Hyper-Cacher massacre took them at their word. French citizens, they made the sadly reasonable decision to bury their dead in Israel, to ensure their graves would not be desecrated.        


Barbara Kay is a CIJR Academic Fellow




Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2017


Contemporary Germany manifests itself in three ways: old Germany, new Germany and “mutant” Germany. Many events in Europe have aspects of relevance for Israel, Jews and/or understanding the impact of the Holocaust. In Germany this is more often the case than in other European countries. The recent extreme violence in Hamburg by anarchists from a variety of countries before and during the G20 meeting of world leaders is a case in point. Already prior to the meeting rioters started fires, torched cars, shattered shop windows and threw firebombs. Almost 600 policemen were wounded.


One wonders whether the 20,000 policemen deployed to the area, who were later supported by additional forces, could not have prevented this violence by employing more forceful actions against the rioters. In Germany where the crimes of the Holocaust are often present in the conscious and probably even more so in the subconscious, it is preferred that citizens suffer from public disturbances rather than risk killing a rioter by mistake. Strengthened by radically diverse experiences, Israel handles these matters differently. Six million Jews were killed by Germans in the Second World War. The Israeli government prioritizes the security of its soldiers above that of those who attack them.


At first sight the German attitude toward rioters is not unique. During the looting riots of autumn 2005 in France by immigrant youth from Muslim countries, the government lost control for several days. Thugs burned cars, shops and public buildings. However, the reason the French government was careful in its actions against the hooligans was different from that of the Germans. If a rioter had been killed, additional mobs of youngsters might have joined the violence and looting. In Hamburg, however, even though there was sympathy for the hooligans in various left-wing circles, the rioters had no significant back-up forces.


The major recent immigration of refugees mainly from Muslim countries into Germany has “Holocaust impact” and Jewish aspects as well. By bringing in to Germany more than a million mainly Muslim refugees, German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to show the world that there is a new Germany. The message was clear: in contrast with the old Germany that murdered the Jewish minority, the new Germany welcomed large numbers of another minority, Muslims. There is, however, a catch. Many of these new immigrants came from countries where there is widespread extreme indoctrination of Jew-hatred. The new Germany thus facilitated the massive immigration of antisemites. That is not the only price paid. During 2015-2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations, immigrants from Muslim countries sexually attacked hundreds of women in various German cities. The same also happened in a few other European cities.


One should thus examine the new Germany a bit more closely. The welcome in past decades for Russian Jewish immigrants is an indicator of a new Germany. So are the many Holocaust memorials around the country. Yet bringing in huge numbers of antisemites among the immigrants throws a shadow on this new Germany. The behavior of the most extreme Muslims may cause the emigration of some German Jews. Some new versions of old Germany also remain. A small percentage of the population are neo-Nazis. These are not only classic antisemites, they also hate Israel. Beyond that there is another important group, which one might call “mutant Germany.” These people have replaced the demonization of Jews with that of Israel.

Seven studies between 2004 and 2015 carried out respectively by the University of Bielefeld and the Bertelsmann Foundation investigated the percentage of Germans who agreed that Israel acts toward the Palestinians like Nazis behaved toward the Jews. In the 2004 poll, 51% agreed. By 2015, the percentage was 41%. German media has played a key role in this demonization of Israel. More than 70 years since the Holocaust there are sufficient indications that contemporary German democracy still has huge dark spots.


The defining of three different Germanies is by nature a broad categorization. Yet as a tool it can be helpful to clarify – or at least ask well-defined questions about – many disparate events which occur in the country. For instance, among Muslims there are segments which are close to the old Germany. Their most visible hatemongers march every year on Al Quds day in Berlin. This demonstration is an invention of the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime and aims for the disappearance of Israel, which can only be achieved through genocide.


Another example is a study by the British think tank Chatham House which shows that 51% of Germans want the country to stop accepting Muslim immigrants. One can reasonably assume that the “old Germans,” i.e. neo-Nazis, are part of those opposing immigration. However, it would be enlightening to have an opinion poll conducted which would show how many of the remainder are closer to the “new Germany” and “mutant Germany.” These are just two examples where the analytic tool of the three Germanies comes in handy. One does not risk much by predicting that there will be many other events in the coming years where using this classification will enable analysts to better understand them.           






          Shmuley Boteach                                                                              

Tablet, July 17, 2017


These days have been emotionally challenging. For the past two weeks, in preparation for a planned anti-genocide center, I’ve traveled with my family on an educational journey through the killing fields of Germany and Eastern Europe, the idea being to truly immerse myself in the dark, hallowed sites of the Holocaust so as to better understand genocide, its psychology, and its causes. And beyond every consideration, there is that of memory, of never forgetting the lost martyrs of my people.


We began in Berlin where we visited the Wannsee House, where Nazi leaders sat over caviar and cigars to fine-tune the details of the Final Solution and enact the extermination of European Jewry. From there we traveled to Prague, where we saw the wistful remains of a mighty Jewish community ravaged by Reynard Heidrich during his time as Reich-protector of Bohemia (an ironic title if ever there was one). We continued eastward into Poland, where we visited Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Majdanek, where 43,000 Jews would be killed in the Holocaust’s largest single day, single camp massacre on Nov.15, 1944.


We visited Bialystok, where we saw the skeleton of the city’s once-legendary synagogue, beneath which 2,000 Jews were burned alive. We visited Tykocin, where the village’s Jews, possessed of a 400-year-old synagogue, were marched into the woods and massacred. We visited the ghettos of Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow, cities that still flutter with the ghosts of the multitudes lost from within. From there we went to Kosice, from which my wife’s family stems, and the last place her great-uncle was seen before he, too, was murdered by the Nazis in an unknown location in Poland. We went to Austria, where in Linz we saw Hitler’s childhood home, his parents’ burial plot, and, not far from there, the Mauthausen concentration camp.


I knew this trip wouldn’t be easy, but I could never have known just how gut-wrenching it could be. The true sense of hopelessness that haunts the air over these sites can be felt only when one is actually present. The Holocaust remains a crime that boggles the imagination, a tragedy that is as mysterious as it is horrifying. I’ve read dozens of books on the subject, most recently Lawrence Rees’s outstanding work, The Holocaust. Taken together, these thorough studies map out the figures, methods, and very mechanics of the Nazi slaughter. But what I failed to grasp even after such extensive reading was a profound understanding of just how the Nazis believed they could actually succeed in slaughtering an entire nation across an entire continent— all while at war with much of the known world. How could they possibly have set out on a plan of murder so vast that it defies all logic? How did they think they even had the wherewithal to pull it off?


Though tormenting in the extreme, I believe this journey has given me a clue. The Nazis, I have come to understand, would eradicate the Jewish nation by always holding out the possibility that, against most of the evidence, some might still live. The Jews were led to believe that if they just cooperated, their children would survive. They could not believe that Hitler would be hateful enough to eradicate an entire nation which could be used for labor in a time of war. A hatred this extreme and so utterly self-destructive had no precedent in world history. Cognitive dissonance played a further role, and the Jews could simply not accept that the Nazis intended their total annihilation.


At almost every step of the way, the Jews were forced into cooperating with the very plans drawn up to exterminate them. The Jews, the Germans thought, could provide the manpower the Nazis lacked only if they could be persuaded that if they went along with the program they would be put to productive work. Knowing that the Jews were simply trying to live, the Nazis would dangle the possibility of survival before Jewish eyes at every turn. Thus would the Jewish communities of Poland and Eastern Europe be forced into obeying Nazi orders to herd themselves into ghettos, administrate their cordoned-off ghetto communities, and board their families at the threat of rifle butts and bullets onto cattle-cars. The Nazis would bring these Jews to their deaths all by exploiting their most elemental desire for them, and especially their families, to live.


The Nazis forced the Jews to create their own self-administering councils, Judenrats, in the ghettos. When visiting the Lodz Ghetto, I stood at the exact spot where Chaim Rumkowski gave his notorious “Give Me Your Children” speech in September of 1942. As chairman of the Lodz Judenrat, Rumkowski had decided to turn the ghetto into a factory, believing that only by being useful to the Nazis could its inhabitants be spared. However, the Nazis began to demand quotas of Jews to be deported to their deaths—quotas Rumkowski himself was forced to fill. In September 1942, he begged the mothers of the ghetto to give up their children, whom, in being unproductive, he expected to be killed in any event. Though the mothers refused, Rumkowski and his Jewish agents rounded up 24,000 Jews under 10 and over 65, forced at the pain of death to do much of the Nazis’ work for them. Untold numbers of suicides followed his speech.


Of course, it was all deception. The entire Lodz ghetto would be liquidated beginning in August of 1944, and of the 223,000 Jews who had lived there, only 877 would remain by the time the Red Army arrived in January 1945. The rest would be sent to their deaths in the gas chambers at Chelmno and Auschwitz. Rumkowski himself would be deported to Birkenau. He, however, would not make it to the gas chambers. He was, upon arrival, beaten to death by his fellow inmates, at least according to prevailing eye-witness accounts. In the camps themselves, the Jews were forced into Sonderkommando units, where Jewish inmates were put to work disposing of the millions of bodies left lifeless in the gas chambers. They too were threatened with constant death, yet were twinned with a chance at life so long as they complied with the Nazi program. This too was a lie. The Nazis had a policy at their death camps of gassing the entire corps of Sonderkommando every three months. Unbeknownst to the incoming ranks of the desperate Sonderkommando, the first victims they’d be asked to incinerate would be the generation that had worked there before them…                                                                                                                                      

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




DOCUMENTS REVEAL CANADIAN CITIZEN                                                      

JULIUS KUHL AS HOLOCAUST HERO                                                                          

Mark MacKinnon                                                                                                            

Globe & Mail, Aug. 8, 2017


Julius Kuhl arrived in Toronto shortly after the Second World War with his young family and a suitcase full of Swiss watches that he hoped to sell. He was also carrying a story of bravery and sorrow that he shared only with those close to him – one that might have made him an international celebrity had he chosen to tell it.


Mr. Kuhl's death in 1985 made no headlines in Canada or beyond. But documents stored in Switzerland, Jerusalem and Washington…reveal Mr. Kuhl's role as a saviour of hundreds, perhaps thousands of fellow Jews during the Holocaust. It is a story that deserves to be considered alongside those of famous Holocaust heroes such as Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. Described by his family as a short, devout and gregarious man who was constantly puffing on a cigar, Mr. Kuhl was a low-level diplomat at the Polish legation in Bern, the Swiss capital, during the Second World War. He was also the centre of a network that manufactured fake Latin American passports that were then smuggled into Nazi-occupied Europe.


Personal letters, diplomatic cables and Swiss police records show that, starting in 1941, Mr. Kuhl acquired thousands of blank passports from the consuls of Paraguay and other South and Central American countries in Switzerland. He and a colleague then entered by hand the names and dates of birth of European Jews – including many who were trapped inside the Warsaw Ghetto – before pasting in their black-and-white photos. The effort continued for two years – until Swiss police, anxious to avoid irritating Hitler's Germany, broke up the fake documents ring. They brought Mr. Kuhl and his collaborators in for questioning and demanded that the Polish legation, which represented the London-based government-in-exile of Nazi-occupied Poland, dismiss Mr. Kuhl.


"He should be as well known as Schindler, because he saved as many lives as Schindler," said Markus Blechner, who worked for years to collect the documents proving the tale he heard as a child about Mr. Kuhl and the life-saving passports. Mr. Blechner, the grandson of Holocaust victims, took up the cause of preserving Mr. Kuhl's story after Mr. Kuhl attended his bar mitzvah as an honoured guest shortly after the war. Mr. Schindler protected more than 1,000 Jews by employing them at his factory in Nazi-occupied Poland. Mr. Wallenberg saved almost 10,000 Hungarian Jews by issuing them protective passports identifying them as Swedish citizens.


One of the reasons Mr. Kuhl's story isn't as widely known is that his passport scheme was only partly successful. Mr. Blechner, who now serves as the honorary Polish consul in Zurich, says thousands of fake passports were distributed via Mr. Kuhl's network, but only a minority of the recipients are believed to have survived the Holocaust. Jews holding passports from neutral countries were considered exempt from Nazi laws that confined Jews to ghettos and mandated that they identify themselves by wearing yellow stars on their clothing. Those third-country passports allowed many Jews to flee ahead of the mass exterminations that followed.


While some of the Jews who received passports produced in Switzerland used them to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, the majority were sent to internment camps – many, apparently, to a camp in Vittel, in Vichy France. Mr. Blechner says the Nazis' original plan was to hold the "Latin Americans" until they could be traded for German citizens detained in camps in Canada and the United States. But the sheer number of Latin American passport holders in occupied Poland eventually raised suspicions. As Swiss police moved to shut down Mr. Kuhl's passport ring in the fall of 1943, Germany demanded that Latin American countries verify that the passport holders were really their citizens…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


VIDEO: Geert Wilders on Europe’s Suicide in the Face of Islam: Israpundit, 2017

Jewish Artist Takes on Twitter for Enabling anti-Semitism: Times of Israel, Aug. 8, 2017—An Israeli-German artist best known for his “YOLOCAUST” project, which combined selfies taken at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial with images of concentration camp victims, released a video Monday targeting Twitter’s failure to address online anti-Semitism and racism, with a series of offensive tweets drawn on the ground at the social media giant’s offices.

Sarah Halimi, Sisyphus and the Denial of Antisemitic Violence: Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, JNS, July 28, 2017—It took too long for the French people to recognize the Jewish victim of a brutal April 4 murder by name. After weeks of indifference by media outlets and politicians, French President Emmanuel Macron finally demanded that the judiciary shed light on the nature of the crime.

Researcher Gives Seal of Approval to 53 Biblical Characters’ Existence: Rich Tenorio, Times of Israel, Aug. 4, 2017—Thanks to a researcher’s unique system, 53 individuals in the Hebrew Bible have been proven as genuine historical characters through material evidence of their existence. The system’s creator, Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University, calls it “a way to develop historicity.”








Trump and the Israelization of American Politics: Dr. Alex Joffe, BESA, Apr. 24, 2017— It is now routine to compare Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are unabashed “nationalists” (albeit of different sorts), both bluster and bully their opponents, and both share a dire outlook on the global situation. A closer look, of course, reveals them to have very little in common, except perhaps for their shared interest in living well.

The White House Never Really Fully Supported Israel — Till Trump Arrived: Lawrence Solomon, National Post, May. 8, 2017— Barack Obama was arguably the most hostile U.S. president that Israel ever faced; at best, he was indifferent to Israel’s welfare. But Obama was hardly alone in treating Israel as dispensable. Every previous president, without exception, adopted policies that put Israel’s very existence at risk.

The Trump Doctrine: President’s Emerging Foreign Affairs Philosophy Appears Surprisingly Traditional: Tom Blackwell, National Post, Apr. 21, 2017 — Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively.

French Jews, Relieved by Le Pen Election Defeat, Still Cautious About Future: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May. 7, 2017 — After President Bashar al-Assad of Syria once again attacked his own citizens with poison gas, the civilized world recoiled in horror at images of children writhing in pain and suffocating to death. French Jews breathed a sigh of relief as far right candidate Marine Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday — but experts warned that the community still faces tough decisions over its long-term future.


On Topic Links


Debate Between Fmr. Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Prof. Alan Dershowitz [WATCH]: ILTV Israel Daily, May 4, 2017

At White House Meeting with Trump, Palestinian Leader Signals Abandonment of Unilateral Statehood Recognition Strategy: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 3, 2017

What Do Trump’s First 100 Days Mean for Israel?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Apr. 30, 2017

Why Everything You Think You Know About Foreign Policy Is Wrong: Lee Smith, Tablet, May 1, 2017

Marine Le Pen Defeated But France's Far Right is Far From Finished: Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 7, 2017





Dr. Alex Joffe                         

BESA, Apr. 24, 2017


It is now routine to compare Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are unabashed “nationalists” (albeit of different sorts), both bluster and bully their opponents, and both share a dire outlook on the global situation. A closer look, of course, reveals them to have very little in common, except perhaps for their shared interest in living well. Where Trump is the scion of a hard-driving New York real estate mogul, Netanyahu is the scion of an intellectual dedicated to the Zionist cause. Trump never served in the military and came to politics late; Netanyahu was a decorated soldier effectively involved in politics from birth.


These comparisons are interesting, if unrevealing. But a critical element Trump and Netanyahu do share is that their opponents are weak and scattered. In each country, a position of strength provides ample room to execute policies, but it results in lopsided politics. Authoritarian temptations loom while opposition politics eschew cooperation in favor of “resistance” and radicalism. The chaotic state of Israeli politics, not merely on the left but across the political spectrum, is a harbinger of what awaits America.


The weaknesses of the American Democratic and Israeli Labor parties are largely self-inflicted. Trump and Netanyahu are products of the deterioration of politics in both countries, not the causes. No one forced either party over the decades to move further and further left or to haughtily represent itself as the sole bastion of morality, even as each came to represent perverse alliances between the privileged and the aggrieved, at the expense of the middle and lower classes. And no one forced either party to run candidates like Hillary Clinton, uniquely corrupt and brittle, or Itzhak Herzog, weak and vacillating. In turn, electorates are under no obligation to settle for such candidates.


But here the common political style of Trump and Netanyahu also comes into play. They are bullying and dismissive of their critics and rivals and indulgent of allies; reliant on shadowy personal associates; addicted to deals and gambits; and both willing and able to go over the heads of experts and the media to speak directly to the voters in blunt and often fear-mongering terms, using rhetoric that appeals to the electorates’ lesser angels. Each is regularly (and absurdly) accused of being “fascist”; at worst, they are merely populists with occasional demagogic flourishes that provide useful cover for policies that range, for the most part, from the pragmatic to the timid. And each has the confounding ability to put aside the bluster on occasion and speak in measured, thoughtful tones. All this has helped keep the Israeli opposition fractured, and it may do so in the US as well.


Netanyahu has been prime minister for almost eight years, at the head of a coalition that has crept ever rightward. During that time, the opposition has repeatedly splintered. The leading figures of the Israeli opposition – Herzog, Shelly Yachimovich, Ami Ayalon, and others – are fractious, uncharismatic, and unlikely to catalyze the electorate. The opposition is united only by shared antipathy toward Netanyahu, scarcely a platform for a successful campaign or productive coalition-building.


The situation in the US is no more reassuring. The national Democratic Party has moved dramatically to the left, thanks to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and at the same time evaporated on the national and local levels. The root of the problem is that the party has devolved into an umbrella primarily representing public employees, finance/media/entertainment/technology conglomerates, and an assortment of minorities, from Latinos and blacks to ever-smaller demographics like the transgendered. The Democratic platform is open borders, anti-anti-Islamism, support for every conceivable type of non-military spending, and, of course, absolute and total opposition to Trump. Compromise is anathema. Worse yet, violent “resistance” in word and deed is increasingly valorized by opposition leaders.


In both countries, the media has long segmented itself into right and left, the latter becoming more shrill the further it is from power – witness the transformation of The New York Times into Haaretz. Impartiality in media, and increasingly politics, is regarded as quaintly antiquated, dereliction of duty, or criminal complicity. Again, neither Trump nor Netanyahu is a fascist, but their persistently labeling as such by their opponents erodes the meaning of the word. Crying wolf lowers democracy’s defenses. So, too, do repeated cries to “save democracy” from democratically elected leaders.


In short, opposition politics in both countries have, largely through their own devices and with a push from elected leaders, devolved into enraged and inarticulate defenses of the statist status quo. Deprived of the power they feel is their due, they continue to move steadily left. The Democratic National Committee has now elected as its head Tom Perez, former Justice Department official and Labor Secretary and a key player in Obama’s racial partitioning agenda. His deputy, Keith Ellison, is Muslim and a borderline socialist, an appointment designed to further the party’s identity politics and ideological direction…

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






Lawrence Solomon

National Post, May 8, 2017


Barack Obama was arguably the most hostile U.S. president that Israel ever faced; at best, he was indifferent to Israel’s welfare. But Obama was hardly alone in treating Israel as dispensable. Every previous president, without exception, adopted policies that put Israel’s very existence at risk.


Trump, who will break with precedent by visiting Israel — rather than Canada or Mexico — during his first international trip as president, has to date done nothing to tie Israel’s hands against its existential threats. To the contrary, Trump’s foreign policy aligns well with Israel’s.


Most U.S. presidents saw Israel as an impediment to furthering U.S. interests. In the early decades of Israel’s existence, during the Cold War era following the Second World War, the U.S. was intent on wooing the Arab states, both to prevent the spread of communism and to keep Middle East oil at the disposal of the West. Israel — a tiny country with no oil and an insignificant military — was an obstacle to U.S. diplomacy, all the more so since the U.S. public was unstintingly pro-Israel.


Harry Truman is often given credit for voting at the United Nations in favour of the creation of Israel as a state. Yet that vote was given grudgingly, and only after repeated efforts by his administration to foil Israel’s creation.


Convinced that an Israeli state of a few hundred thousand civilians could not withstand an invasion by the professional armies of the Arab states on Israel’s borders, Truman in 1948 demanded that the would-be Israelis place themselves under UN Trusteeship, rather than declare independence. To make the case to the Israelis that they would be wiped out in the event of an Arab invasion, Truman’s secretary of State, George Marshall, threatened Israel with an arms embargo, to leave the Jews defenceless against the British-armed Arabs. For good measure, the Americans also threatened UN sanctions against the Israelis, and argued that a second Holocaust would result if they didn’t follow America’s advice.


Israel nevertheless declared independence and — although Truman made good on his threat of an arms embargo, even forbidding gifts of arms by private American citizens — its rag-tag army defeated the combined forces of the six invading nations. Truman again turned the screws on Israel, viewing its actions as dangerous to peace, demanding that it give up West Jerusalem and not encourage a mass immigration of Jews into Israel, which would only lead to more Arab upset.


Truman’s successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was also hostile to Israel, staying silent when Egypt blockaded shipping to Israel — a violation of its 1949 armistice agreement with Israel and of international law — and threatening Israel with expulsion from the UN after it defeated Egypt in the 1956 Suez War, despite his acknowledgement that the war had been caused by Egypt’s “grave and repeated provocations.”


Contrary to the popular view that Israel has been militarily dependent on the U.S., the U.S. was more foe than friend for decades. While the U.S. bestowed Israel’s enemies with military aid through a Marshall-type plan for the Middle East, it maintained its arms embargo against Israel into the 1960s, refusing to sell Israel even defensive weapons. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson refused to sell Israel any planes, tanks or other offensive weapons, as did Nixon early in his first administration. Nixon changed the arms policy only after Israel — at Nixon’s behest — proved useful in 1970 in deterring an invasion of Jordan and possibly Saudi Arabia by Soviet-backed Syrian forces. The U.S. needed the Israeli military at that time because its own forces were tied up in the Vietnam War.


In every Arab-Israeli war, the Arab states were the aggressors, yet in every war the Israelis not only fought against the Arabs on the battlefield, they also fought against the U.S. diplomatically. The U.S. invariably pressured Israel, generally successfully, to stop its military advances and to give up war gains.


President Ronald Reagan opposed Israel’s 1981 decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear reactor and punished Israel after it succeeded by embargoing delivery of American F-16 fighters. President George H.W. Bush insisted that Israel not retaliate against Iraq when Saddam Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles into Israel. President George W. Bush opposed Israel’s decision to destroy Syria’s nuclear reactor, which Israel did anyway, and he successfully opposed an Israeli military strike on Iran, as did Obama.


The current president promises to be different. Like all his recent predecessors, Trump provides Israel with generous military aid, but unlike others, he doesn’t see America’s alliance with Israel as a mixed blessing. Trump unambiguously sees Israel as an asset in the war on terror, unconditionally backing it without walking on eggs for fear of offending Arab sensibilities. He has had Israel’s back from Day One of his presidency, something that can’t be claimed for any other president.


Lawrence Solomon is an Academic Fellow for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research





Tom Blackwell

National Post, Apr. 21, 2017


Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively. A naval group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was being redirected toward the Korean peninsula, he said, a potent flexing of military muscle in the face of a volatile enemy. The only catch, media reports later made clear, was where that carrier force actually went. For days, it in fact steamed in the opposite direction, toward a pre-arranged exercise with the Australian navy.


Whether the wandering armada’s geographic ambiguity stemmed from a communications glitch or a deliberate feint to rattle the North Koreans, some saw it as a reflection of the new president’s foreign policy generally. Despite no-nonsense assertions on the campaign trail, his international forays so far have included surprises, flip-flops and contradictions. If at this early stage in the administration there is such thing as a Trump Doctrine, it has been difficult to make out.


And yet, some experts — even some who were harshly critical of the president during the campaign — are beginning to glimpse consistent themes, even positive ones, emerging from the noise of Trump’s first months in office. If Trump’s election rhetoric was all about blowing up the foreign-policy orthodoxy — ripping apart free-trade deals, questioning NATO and other alliances, giving up the role of world’s policeman — his presidential actions and personnel appointments, they say, have had a decidedly more conventional flavour.


“Since the inauguration it seems there has been something of a mainstreaming of his foreign policy,” said Matthew Kroenig, a professor at Georgetown University and advisor in both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. “I’m more optimistic than I think many in Washington are … In many ways a number of things Trump has done already, including the Syria (missile) strikes, are an improvement over his predecessor.” Peter Feaver was among a group of Republican foreign-policy experts who issued a scathing open letter during the campaign, predicting Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history.” But today the Duke University political scientist, a special advisor in George W. Bush’s national security council, isn’t so sure the president is, in fact, delivering recklessness.


Each foreign-policy decision Trump has made since his inauguration has actually moved him further away from the campaign rhetoric that so worried those experts, he maintains. Trump began with his controversial ban on travel from some Muslim countries — now tied up in court and barely mentioned — but moved on to say he no longer believed NATO was “obsolete,” reassure European and Asian allies and take a more measured stance on trade with China, Feaver noted.


Having to confront actual events may be reshaping Trump’s nascent foreign-affairs philosophy. “Every president discovers that campaign rhetoric and campaign promises look differently in the light of day than they did in the middle of the campaign,” Feaver said. “No president gets to impose his or her vision of the world onto reality. You have to deal with reality as it exists.”


The idea of a president’s foreign policy being guided by a unified theme is generally traced back to the Monroe Doctrine, James Monroe’s 1823 manifesto opposing European colonialism in the Americas. Much later, George W. Bush’s doctrine — forged in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — was seen as giving a green light to preventive wars against countries that might attack the States. The Barack Obama doctrine was less well-defined, though generally described as favouring negotiation and diplomacy over unilateral action and confrontation.


As for Trump’s grand strategy, some reports have suggested confusion about it even inside the White House. Just three days before the missile strike against Syria, Mike Dubke, the president’s communications director, told staff that Trump lacked a coherent foreign policy, according to sources cited by Politico. “There is no Trump doctrine,” Politico quoted Dubke as saying. Sean Spicer, the president’s press secretary, quickly tried to correct the record, insisting last week the approach remained “America first,” as touted on the election trail…

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




Ben Cohen

Algemeiner, May. 7, 2017


French Jews breathed a sigh of relief as far right candidate Marine Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday — but experts warned that the community still faces tough decisions over its long-term future.


Projections after the polls closed showed Macron with a comfortable 65 percent of the vote. However, the new French president will be acutely aware that a full 25 percent of voters abstained on the second ballot. As a whole, the election was dominated by extremist challenges, from Le Pen’s National Front on the right and Jean-Luc Melenchon — who won almost 20% of the first-round vote — on the communist-dominated far left.


Macron’s victory on Sunday brought some temporary respite to French Jews, experts told The Algemeiner. “French Jews are very positive about the result, they didn’t want Le Pen to win, so they are happy with that,” said Dr. Dov Maimon, the head of the Europe Desk at the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in Jerusalem. “Maybe 5 or 10% voted for her, but 90% percent were against her with good reason.”


Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rosseau Institute in Paris, agreed that the majority of Jews will be pleased by Le Pen’s defeat. “But a majority will still be concerned about their future,” he said. Francis Kalifat, president of the French Jewish representative organization CRIF, tweeted his congratulations at Macron. “It all starts now,” Kalifat declared.


While the immediate threats that would have been posed by a National Front victory have abated — among them a prohibition on the wearing of kippot in public places, measures against Jewish ritual slaughter, and a ban on dual nationality that would have harshly impacted French Jews in Israel — the general pessimism about the community’s long-term future remains. “Macron is a supporter of multiculturalism, which in this case means more power for the Muslim community,” Maimon observed. “70 percent of French Muslims say they don’t like Jews.”


A 2014 poll conducted by CRIF found that over 70 percent of French Muslims believed that Jews “had too much power” over the nation’s media and financial system. Gurfinkiel said that while Macron had made several statements to reassure the Jewish community in the run-up to the election, many Jews remain nervous about some of his key political allies. Among them is the secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! political movement, veteran socialist politician Richard Ferrand. As well as having donated 2,000 Euros to a Palestinian solidarity group in 2016, Ferrand is said to be a supporter of the BDS movement targeting Israel. Macron, for his part, has voiced firm opposition towards the BDS campaign.


Gurfinkiel said that similar concerns had emerged around former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, another Macron ally and a frequent critic of Israel. “The big question mark is over whether he will keep these people around,” Gurfinkiel said. Uncertainty among French Jews is not likely to dissipate over the next four weeks, as Macron begins campaigning for a working majority in next month’s parliamentary elections. Gurfinkiel said there was a possibility that the National Front would dissolve into a new party with wider appeal, meaning that Le Pen could end up “as the leader not just of the populist right, but of the entire conservative right in France.”


The coming weeks will see some clarification of the major political questions, said Gurfinkiel. “Is everybody going to flock around Macron? Is the hard left going to try and make it by itself against the National Front and Macron? Is the conservative right able to undergo some kind of resurrection?” he asked. Maimon emphasized that the deeper dilemmas faced by French Jews would not be resolved by a single election. As well as antisemitism and the preservation of Jewish identity, he said, French Jews were worried about the economy, a decline in prosperity and, most of all, the education of the younger generation.




On Topic Links



Debate Between Fmr. Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Prof. Alan Dershowitz [WATCH]: ILTV Israel Daily, May 4, 2017— Former Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin debates Professor Alan Dershowitz on the merits of the ‘Two-State Solution.’ Feiglin argues that annexation of Judea and Samaria presents the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, whereas Dershowitz disagrees and views any such move as an “invitation to conflict.”

At White House Meeting with Trump, Palestinian Leader Signals Abandonment of Unilateral Statehood Recognition Strategy: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 3, 2017—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered a strong signal on Wednesday that he would abandon the strategy he pursued in recent years seeking unilateral statehood recognition at international fora in place of peace talks with Israel.

What Do Trump’s First 100 Days Mean for Israel?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Apr. 30, 2017 —With the completion of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, a time period often seen as formative for new presidents, the media is taking a close look at what the unconventional leader has accomplished, the tone he has set for his next four years, and the campaign promises he has kept or neglected.

Why Everything You Think You Know About Foreign Policy Is Wrong: Lee Smith, Tablet, May 1, 2017—Politico recently reported that in 2016 the Obama administration freed seven Iranian-born prisoners against the advice of the Department of Justice, which considered them threats to American national security. Obama also forced the DOJ to drop charges against another 14 Iranians involved in criminal activities associated with nuclear proliferation, weapons smuggling, etc.

Marine Le Pen Defeated But France's Far Right is Far From Finished: Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 7, 2017—Le Pen might have been squarely beaten in the presidential runoff by the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron – as voters from the right and left joined forces to block her – but she was still projected to have won up to 11m votes. Le Pen immediately vowed that she would radically overhaul and reinvent her political movement, leaving open the possibility the Front National could be renamed. This was a staggering, historic high for the anti-European, anti-immigration party that during the campaign was slammed by political opponents as racist, xenophobic, antisemitic and anti-Muslim despite Le Pen’s public relations efforts to detoxify its image in recent years.



France and the Benefits of a Little Dictatorship: Andrew Roberts, New York Times, Apr. 28, 2017 — He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France.

France's Muslims in the Runoff Election: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2017 — The first round in the French elections held on Sunday, April 23rd, resulted in the selection of two front-runners, Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both of whom are a far cry from representing routine politics.

The British Elections, Jews and Israel: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2017— Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, immigration problems and the National Health Service are key issues in the upcoming British general elections on June 8.

Despite UNESCO’s Bias, Jews Won’t Abandon Our Holy Sites: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Algemeiner, May 4, 2017— Forget fake news. UNESCO is promoting an entire fake universe.


On Topic Links


The European Crisis: Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 3, 2017

Europe: More Migrants Coming: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 5, 2017

The France of My Youth: Ari Afilalo, Times of Israel, May 5, 2017

UNESCO’s Latest Resolution on Jerusalem: Much of the Same: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, May 3, 2017




Andrew Roberts                      

New York Times, Apr. 28, 2017


He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France. Well read and intelligent, he had had the finest education France offered and made the best of it. He had high ambitions for the unity of Continental Europe and France’s foremost place in it, and looked upon a newly isolated Britain with scarcely concealed irritation bordering on contempt. He contemplated military action in Syria. He especially wanted to bring the tens of thousands of French exiles home from London to contribute once again to the life of the country, and promised nothing less than a popular revolution designed to “unblock France.”


Both Emmanuel Macron and Napoleon Bonaparte fit this description perfectly, assuming that Mr. Macron beats Marine Le Pen of the National Front in the final round of the French elections on May 7, rather as Napoleon crushed the Bourbon royalists in the decade after their attempted coup in 1795. Even Ms. Le Pen’s attack on her opponent as someone who does not love France echoes the Bourbons’ portrayal of Napoleon as a Corsican outsider. Mr. Macron, whose En Marche! (Onward!) movement adopts a military metaphor so beloved by Napoleon, does not seem to mind the comparisons that are already being made.


Of course the “democratic revolution” that Mr. Macron says he hopes will elect him is far removed from the military coup that propelled Napoleon to power in November 1799 and kept him there until 1815. But like Napoleon, Mr. Macron, who calls himself a pragmatic centrist, says he will transcend the left-right partisanship that has so bedeviled French politics over recent decades. Napoleon succeeded in “unblocking” France, with educational, legal, financial, religious and commercial reforms, many of which still exist. The Legion of Honor, Bank of France, Council of State, education system and much of Parisian architecture are Napoleonic constructs that testify to his genius 200 years later. Mr. Macron promises a similar boldness: “I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level,” he told this paper. But can his “democratic revolution” create any such enduring monuments?


Mr. Macron was born in Amiens, the city where Napoleon sent his brother Joseph to negotiate peace between Britain and France in 1802. The treaty signed there lasted barely a year before hostilities broke out again, partly over the issue of the free-trading relationship with Europe that Napoleon would not allow Britain to enjoy, fearing its effect on French industry. The post-Brexit negotiations in which Mr. Macron will most likely play such an important part have long historical shadows. By the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in 1803, Napoleon had lured back from London almost all the French exiles who had fled during the revolution, in larger numbers than the tax exiles who fled the 75 percent top tax rate of President François Hollande, under whom Mr. Macron served as economics minister from 2014 to 2016.


The panic around the rise of the National Front, which has brought Mr. Macron to the brink of victory, can partly be blamed on Charles de Gaulle. He institutionalized the extensive powers of the French presidency in 1958, with more than a nod to Napoleon’s dictatorship. Strong central government was thought to have worked for France and was visibly lacking in the Second, Third and Fourth Republics thereafter.


De Gaulle also continued Napoleon’s system of voting in successive rounds, winnowing the number of contenders. De Gaulle assumed that this would ensure two centrist candidates of the left and right always got into the final round. But the eruption of Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002 and now his daughter Marine has exploded that complacent assumption, aided by the exposure of the sheer greed and graft of the center-right candidate François Fillon, who could otherwise have made it to the runoff in Ms. Le Pen’s place. How the shade of the general, the greatest Frenchman since Napoleon, must be regretting his calculations.


The toxicity of modern French politics would hardly have surprised Napoleon, who survived almost as many assassination attempts as de Gaulle. But even today’s viciousness is as nothing if Mr. Macron does not win on May 7. A neo-fascist victory could well lead to an uprising in the suburban banlieues, which would recall the “événements” of 1848, 1871 and 1968, when protests turned to bloodshed.


If he does win, Mr. Macron will inherit a sclerotic, underproducing, overtaxed, absurdly bureaucratic, highly partisan country with a huge security problem. Napoleon was able to cut through all of those same problems by manipulating public opinion through a controlled press, muscling through votes in a largely appointed Parliament and simply imposing diktats once he became emperor of France in 1804. He could do this because he differentiated between a “popular revolution” led dictatorially by him and a “democratic revolution” dependent upon free and fair elections. As a genuine democrat rather than simply posing as one, Mr. Macron will have no such luxury.    





Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2017


The first round in the French elections held on Sunday, April 23rd, resulted in the selection of two front-runners, Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both of whom are a far cry from representing routine politics. Le Pen succeeded in reaching the runoff election mainly due to her anti-immigration agenda – that is, her anti-Muslim immigrant agenda. Most of the Muslim immigrants arrive in France from North Africa: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco and a great many Frenchmen fear that their country is being conquered by another culture. They believe that only someone like Le Pen can save France from the flood of migrants coming in from outside the country and possibly from the high natural growth rate of those already inside it.


Le Pen's running in the second round of elections to take place on Sunday, May 7th, immediately leads to the question of whether she has a chance of being chosen to lead France. The standard response is that her chances are slight, because all the political powers-that-be, right and left, will join forces against her, along with all Muslims who have the right to vote and who make up about 10% of eligible voters – because of the undisguised hatred for Muslims and Islam she and her supporters represent. This article will attempt to delineate the trends that characterize Muslims in France, a picture that is much more complex than it seems to be at first glance. The immigrants to France hailing from Islamic regimes are not made of one cloth. They are divided into various subgroups whose interests are not identical and whose attitudes to Marine Le Pen are a function of those interests.


First of all, Christians, mainly from Lebanon, account for a significant number of the immigrants from Arab countries. They usually are opposed to Muslim immigration, because either their forefathers or they themselves left their Arab birthplaces in order to escape the persecution the Muslims meted out to Christians there. Examples that spring to mind are the Copts in Egypt and the Assyrians of Iraq and Syria. Le Pen's second-in-line in the National Front party comes from a family of Lebanese immigrants and speaks openly against Muslim immigration. Le Pen resigned from her position as party head so as to free time for her presidential campaign and in order to become "everyone's president," making him the new party head – and making it probable that many Christian immigrants will vote for Le Pen.


Secondly, when it comes to status, one can say that the Muslim immigrants to France are roughly divided into "newcomers" and "old-timers." The old-timers, most of whom are citizens by now, came in the 70s and 80s of the previous century, while the newcomers came after the year 2000.  If Le Pen wins, she cannot legally expel the longtime immigrants or send them back home.  In contrast, the number of recent immigrants without French citizenship is much higher, and they could possibly be "persuaded" to leave, as Le Pen would like to do if she is elected. Tensions run high between the "old-timers" and the "newcomers" for several reasons: The longtime immigrants are financially secure, some are in business, and among them are those who take advantage of the "newcomers," paying them low wages, giving them cash so as to avoid paying for social benefits, working them long hours under substandard conditions.


Many of the longtime immigrants have adopted French culture, eat whatever is put on their plates and drink whatever is poured into their wine glasses. The newcomers are closer to Islamic tradition, are less prone to fit into the culture and surrounding society and are seen as a cultural threat to the old-timers.  That is why not a small number of the longtime immigrants will cast their vote for Le Pen, hoping she will be able to stop the immigration of more newcomers.


Third, since most of the Muslim immigrants to France are from the North African countries of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, many of them see France as "their" country – and they are opposed to immigration from other Arab countries such as Iraq and Syria, or from non-Arab Islamic countries such as Mali, Chad, Afghanistan and Turkey. The tension can be sensed in the air and is a cause of friction between the different groups. For example, in 2015, when the large wave of migrants arrived in Europe, most went to Germany and Sweden, with only a small minority reaching France.  Algerians living in France had openly expressed their opposition to the entry of Muslims from Syria and other countries, saying that "France belongs to the Algerians" and that they would "take care" of any other Arab or Muslim arriving in France. The immigrant masses "got the message" and went on to Germany and Sweden.


Today, the immigrants from North Africa who have the right to vote can stop the Arab and Muslim immigration from other regions – and chances are that a good many of them will support Le Pen so that she can keep the immigrants from other areas out of "their" France. Le Pen's plan to leave the European Union also garners approval in the eyes of many immigrants who fear the open borders will lead to migrants who came to other EU countries moving to France now that conditions have worsened in Germany and Sweden. This is seen as a possible threat to the employment of longtime immigrants and to the status they have attained after living in France for a long period.


It is quite possible that the anti-Jewish sentiments expressed by Le Pen have made her more attractive to Muslim voters. Recently, she denied the part played by the French in the Holocaust, when French police hunted down Jews and sent them to their deaths by train. Even Israel's President Reuven Rivlin spoke out against her. And if official Israel opposes Le Pen, her value automatically goes up in the eyes of many Muslims. The points raised here lead to two conclusions: 1. The Arab and Muslim communities in France are not uniformly opposed to Marine Le Pen, and 2. Some of the Arab and Muslim immigrants who have the right to vote will cast their ballots for her.


If, G-d forbid and Heaven forfend, there is a terrorist attack in France perpetrated by some Muslim terrorist close to the day the runoff election is to take place, many of the people who would have normally stayed at home will make sure to go to the polls to vote for Le Pen. They see Le Pen as the only one who can do something to save France from the devastating terror that has immigrated to their homeland in such strength.

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





Manfred Gerstenfeld                                           

Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2017


Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, immigration problems and the National Health Service are key issues in the upcoming British general elections on June 8. Of these it seems that only immigration has aspects of specific importance to Jews. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has said that sustainable net immigration is in the tens of thousands, an estimate far lower than the present figure. Such a policy will affect the current mainly non-selective immigration from Muslim countries, where majorities or significant percentages of the population are antisemites.


From a logical point of view Israel and the Jews shouldn’t be issues at all in the election. Yet when antisemitism is concerned rationality often evaporates. Early in the campaign the Liberal Democrats suspended Ashuk Ahmed. This candidate in a Luton constituency was found to have made extreme antisemitic remarks in the past. For more than a year there has been a huge debate on antisemitism in the Labor Party. Each time it seems to be subdued it reemerges. Currently the main issue concerns former London mayor Ken Livingstone who continues to link Nazism and Zionism.


The 270,000 Jews in the UK account for about 0.4% of the overall British population. Thus the Jewish vote can influence the election outcome only in a few constituencies. The MPs in these areas are likely to run again. They are pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Unless major swings happen most will be reelected. The reelection of Jewish MPs is a different issue. In the past 12 months, some Jewish Labor MPs have been bombarded with large volumes of extreme hate mail. Luciana Berger has received thousands, among them some threatening her with rape or murder. All this in response to her criticism of the Labor Party’s refusal to condemn antisemitism. Another Jewish MP, Ruth Smeeth, received 25,000 abusive messages. Documents have revealed that the left-wing Momentum group has tried to recruit “radical” Muslims in order to de-select Jewish Labor MP Louise Ellman.


Due to the short timespan leading up to the election, Labor has decided that all current MPs can stand again if they wish. Thus local party de-selection efforts cannot play any role. Polls predict that Labor will lose tens of seats. These may include not only those of several Jewish MPs, but also those of a number of Labor MP friends of Israel. In the previous parliament one Labor Jewish MP, Gerald Kaufmann, was generally the most extreme anti-Israel hate monger. He died in February. If antisemitism is used specifically against Jewish candidates some experts expect that this may help them to be elected as they will be seen as victims.


Another interesting issue from a Jewish point of view is what is going to happen in constituencies with large Muslim populations. The number of Muslims in the UK now exceeds three million. In the 2015 elections the think tank Henry Jackson Society stated that the Muslim vote could potentially decide the outcome in a quarter of the constituencies. Some candidates may use anti-Israel arguments and support for the recognition of Palestine in the campaign even if this was not a major feature of the previous election. On the other hand, Muslims can also quietly let candidates know what is expected of them. Where there is a large Muslim population, candidates are likely to say what these voters wish to hear.


The Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization of British Jewry, has recently updated its Jewish Manifesto. This document presents the issues which government and parliamentarians are asked to understand and lists the causes it wants them to champion. “Ten commitments” summarize this 44-page document. The first commitment requested in the Jewish Manifesto is to oppose “extremism and hate crime, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.” One should remark here that the UK is the only country which has adopted a definition of antisemitism for domestic use, that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. No accepted definition exists for Islamophobia. That term is often abused to include any criticism of Muslims and Islam including mentioning the problematic behavior and attitudes of substantial parts of Muslim populations.


The second point in the commitments is to “promote good relations, understanding and cooperation between all of the UK communities." One should mention here that last year the Campaign against Antisemitism published a document on this and concluded that “on every single count, British Muslims were more likely by far than the general British population to hold deeply antisemitic views.” Another commitment concerns the defense of the right to a Jewish way of life, including kosher meat, religious clothing, circumcision and flexible working to accommodate Shabbat and holiday observance. Additional commitments include supporting efforts to remember and understand the Holocaust, advocate for a permanent and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, promote uniting communities and resisting boycotts that divide communities, affirming the importance of faith, supporting the culture of religiously and culturally sensitive youth and social care services, promote a just and sustainable future, and celebrate and support Jewish heritage and cultural institutions. It remains to be seen whether the Jewish Manifesto will be used and publicized by candidates. In any case having such a document could also be helpful to Jews in other countries.                                                 




DESPITE UNESCO’S BIAS, JEWS WON’T ABANDON OUR HOLY SITES                                                

Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein                                                                              

Algemeiner, May 4, 2017


Forget fake news. UNESCO is promoting an entire fake universe. Like so many other UN agencies with an anti-Israel majority, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regularly votes to deny some aspect of Israel’s legitimacy. Their diplomatic machinations serve as the backbone of much of the Muslim world’s refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s historic links to Israel — our Holy Land. To legitimate UNESCO’s denial of the past — and today’s reality of a Jewish state with more than 8 million citizens —  history itself must be re-written, and holy sites must be rebranded. That’s where the Orwellian double-speak of the agency whose raison d’etre is supposed to be the protection of history and culture comes into play.


UNESCO’s new resolution, timed to coincide with Israel’s 69th Independence Day on May 2, rejected Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, including modern West Jerusalem. The resolution passed with 22 nations supporting it, 10 opposing it, and 23 countries abstaining (three were absent). In the resolution’s text, Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs — where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rivka, Jacob and Leah are buried — have been repackaged as Muslim mosques.


To her credit, Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General, has been a consistent critic of this charade. “To deny, conceal, or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” she insisted last year. But Ms. Bokova’s term will soon expire, and Israel’s opponents could soon have a firmer grip on the UN agency. What is particularly galling about the latest incident is the role that Germany reportedly played in enabling its fellow EU members to support the resolution. If the German Foreign Minister or any other European diplomat thinks that this cynical maneuver — which further fuels the dreams of an Arab alternate universe — will change the minds of Jews in Israel or around the world, they are dead wrong.


Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people. Centuries ago, long before anyone heard of Mohammed, Jews understood the importance of the city that King David built and made his capital. They built two temples there, which became focal points for their religion and their peoplehood. The Jewish people preserved the centrality of Jerusalem to their religion throughout the ages, even when it lay in ruins. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand fail me,” spoke the prophet. In their unparalleled, 2,000-year exile before returning home to Israel, the Jewish people never left Jerusalem. A small group remained in the Holy Land throughout the ages, and the rest — scattered literally around the world — were united by the shared prayers offered three times a day for the return to Zion. Jews survived the Crusades, Torquemada, Chmielnicki and Hitler without ever diluting their passion for Jerusalem.


The Jewish people will not abide by the morally bankrupt regime at UNESCO, and they won’t forget what happened when Arabs were custodians of Jerusalem’s Old City, which was seized during the 1948 War of Independence. During that time, synagogues in the Old City were razed. Tombstones became latrines. And Jews were barred from visiting holy sites. Christians took note of the mindset of the conquerors and reacted with horror at the thought that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher could become the next Palmyra. Indeed, anyone concerned with the protection of the educational, scientific and cultural treasures of others, should look at Israel’s record. It may be the only country in the Middle East in recent years where the Christian population has consistently increased. The Jerusalem municipality gives out free Christmas trees to its Christian citizens each year. When different Christian sects come to blows occasionally over the administration of their holy sites, it is the Israeli police whom they call to restore peace.


Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is the only guarantee that all of the city’s holy places will be preserved for everyone. Reality and mutual respect, not fantasy, are the first building blocks of trust and treaties. It is a toss-up as to who has done more damage with the latest UNESCO fiasco — Arab regimes that continue to deny that the Jewish people have risen from the ashes, or dapper European diplomats who think that they can still denigrate cowering Jews. Take note Berlin and Brussels. Those days are over.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


The European Crisis: Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 3, 2017—In my Sunday column I raised the possibility that a vote for Marine Le Pen in next weekend’s French presidential runoff might be more defensible than was a vote for Donald Trump in 2016. The internet did not agree, and perhaps neither did Le Pen herself, since she rewarded my controversial foray by immediately getting mired in a plagiarism scandal.

Europe: More Migrants Coming: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 5, 2017 —The European Union has called on its member states to lift border controls — introduced at the height of the migration crisis in September 2015 — within the next six months. The return to open borders, which would allow for passport-free travel across the EU, comes at a time when the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean continues to rise, and when Turkish authorities increasingly have been threatening to renege on a border deal that has lessened the flow of migrants from Turkey to Europe.

The France of My Youth: Ari Afilalo, Times of Israel, May 5, 2017—The France of my youth is burning. The six police officers who were firebombed by homegrown thugs at the May 1 (Labor Day) demonstrations are its latest casualties. And Marine Le Pen and her purveyors of hatred, whom we thought had been muted forever after World War II, are trying to seize the moment to destroy it.

UNESCO’s Latest Resolution on Jerusalem: Much of the Same: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, May 3, 2017—On May 2, 2017, the 58 member Executive Board of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – an organization ostensibly devoted to science, education, and culture, adopted a resolution entitled “Occupied Palestine.”

















What’s Behind the Rash of Anti-Semitic Incidents?: Ian Tuttle, National Review, Feb. 23, 2017— On Monday, for the fourth time since the beginning of the year, bomb threats shut down multiple Jewish Community Centers across the country.

Israel Does Not Cause Anti-Semitism: Alan M. Dershowitz, Algemeiner, Feb. 22, 2017— In a recent letter to the New York Times, the current Earl of Balfour, Roderick Balfour, argued that it is Israel’s fault that there is “growing anti-Semitism around the world.”

Jews Under Assault in Europe: Robbie Travers, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 22, 2017— Antonio Tajani, the new President of the European Parliament, has made a bold opening statement of intent: "No Jew should be forced to leave Europe."

Why a New Academic Discipline of Post-Holocaust Studies Should Be Established and What Its Content Should Be: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, JCPA, Feb. 22, 2017— Scholarship about the Holocaust has come a long way…


On Topic Links


The Disturbing History of Vandalizing Jewish Cemeteries: Kayla Epstein, Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2017

What’s Behind Wave of Anti-Semitic Violence in US? Jewish Rabbi Explains One Possible Theory: Jon Street, The Blaze, Feb. 13, 2017

If You Want to Understand Why the Arab World is Such a Disaster you Better Watch This (Video): Israel Video Network, Jan. 31, 2017

Anti-Semitic Incidents in the U.K. Reached All-Time Highs in 2016: Report: Jonathan Zalman, Tablet, Feb. 2, 2017



WHAT’S BEHIND THE RASH OF ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS?                                                              

Ian Tuttle                                

National Review, Feb. 23, 2017         


On Monday, for the fourth time since the beginning of the year, bomb threats shut down multiple Jewish Community Centers across the country. The calls are the latest in a series: Sixty-nine threats have been called into 54 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states and a Canadian province since January 1, according to the JCC Association of North America. Meanwhile, also on Monday, vandals toppled nearly 200 tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.


Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe for several years. In April 2015, Jeffrey Goldberg penned a long essay for The Atlantic entitled “Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?” In the final paragraph, he wrote: “I am predisposed to believe that there is no great future for the Jews in Europe, because evidence to support this belief is accumulating so quickly.” But the prospect of rising anti-Semitism in the United States, which does not share Europe’s tragic history, seems different — and perhaps, for that reason, even more troubling.


Taking that increase for granted, commentators have been quick to pin the blame on Donald Trump. After a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, Trump said in prepared remarks: “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.” This, according to Vox’s Dara Lind, is not nearly enough. “It was a fairly rote condemnation of an attack on a minority group, the sort of thing that presidents do all the time,” Lind wrote. “But despite his claim that he denounces anti-Semitism ‘whenever I get a chance,’ until this point, Trump simply hasn’t.” Lind points to Trump’s dalliance with the alt-right, his initial refusal to disavow former KKK leader David Duke, and his White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement (which made no mention of Jews) to suggest a pattern of silence that has encouraged anti-Semitic violence.


But the extent of the increase — let alone Donald Trump’s role in it — remains unclear. The most reliable data on hate crimes comes from the FBI, which shows that the number of people victimized for their religion declined dramatically from 2010 to 2014: from 1,552 victims to 1,140 victims, or by 36 percent. The number of victims of anti-Jewish bias declined similarly: from 1,039 to 648 victims, or by 38 percent. The FBI then records an uptick in 2015, to 1,402 total victims and 730 victims of anti-Jewish bias.


The FBI has not released statistics for 2016, without which it is difficult to determine whether we are seeing a trend or a temporary blip, and other indicators further complicate the picture. The Anti-Defamation League, which keeps its own statistics (on “anti-Jewish incidents,” a metric broader than the FBI’s) reported 941 incidents in 2015, a 3 percent increase over 2014. But 2014’s 912 incidents represented a 21 percent increase over 2013. The Gaza war was responsible for much of that surge; the two months of the 2014 military engagement saw 255 separate incidents, compared with 110 during July and August 2013. The sharp spike in anti-Semitic incidents during the Gaza war is noteworthy. It both supports and cuts against the charges being leveled against Trump. The episode reinforces the notion that that short-term news events can occasion violence. But the majority of perpetrators of anti-Semitism during the Gaza war were not the Trump-supporting white supremacists upon whom the recent violence is being blamed.


One final set of data is worth considering. In New York City, 28 anti-Semitic hate crimes were reported by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force between January 1 and February 12, 2017 — more than double the number reported over the same period last year (13). Last year, the city saw a 31 percent increase in hate crimes between January 1 and the beginning of December, including a 115 percent increase in the three weeks following Election Day (43, compared with 20 during the same period the previous year). Mayor Bill de Blasio has not hesitated to blame the president: “You can’t have a candidate for president single out groups of Americans, negatively, and not have some ramifications for that,” de Blasio said in December. “It’s obviously connected to the election.” The number of total hate crimes is likely to hover around 400, which would be the largest total since at least 2008. However, the numbers have fluctuated wildly before this. From 2011 to 2012, hate crimes increased by 54.5 percent (from 242 to 375). Obviously, Donald Trump had nothing to do with this.


The parallel ascent of Donald Trump and vile elements of right-wing politics has, indeed, been alarming. Long before the mainstream media became interested, conservative opponents of Trump found themselves targets of a repulsive fringe. A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League, released in October, identified 2.6 million tweets “containing language frequently found in anti-Semitic speech” between August 2015 and July 2016. The top ten most-targeted journalists — among whom were Ben Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg, and Bethany Mandel — accounted for 83 percent of those tweets. I have written on multiple occasions about the moral rot of the alt-right, and lamented the way Trump indulged it. That he chose as his closest adviser Steve Bannon, whose Breitbart trafficked in racial divisiveness, is deeply worrying.


However, the hard evidence is not yet in, and responsible commentators would do well to be patient. Regrettably, many on the left have leapt on the news for partisan purposes. Taking a cue from de Blasio and Vox, Keith Ellison, the Minnesota congressman and prospective Democratic National Committee chairman, recently tweeted: “Why has it taken [Donald Trump] so long to even say the word ‘anti-Semitism?’ Perhaps it has something to do with placating his base?” Likewise, some have thrilled to the pronouncement of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect that “the Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.” Its director, Steven Goldstein, called Trump’s statement “pathetic” during a CNN interview on Tuesday evening.


Few have bothered to note that the Anne Frank Center describes itself as “a progressive voice for social justice”; that Goldstein has spent the bulk of his career heading Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide organization promoting same-sex marriage; or that the Center has never played any significant part in Holocaust-remembrance activities in the U.S. Likewise, the denunciations of Keith Ellison — who was a longtime member of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, from which he did not distance himself until he ran for Congress in 2006 — ring hollow, as do those from progressives who cheer Linda Sarsour (an organizer of January’s Women’s March who has championed anti-Israel terrorism) or the grotesqueries of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement…

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





Alan M. Dershowitz

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 21, 2017


In a recent letter to the New York Times, the current Earl of Balfour, Roderick Balfour, argued that it is Israel’s fault that there is “growing anti-Semitism around the world.” Balfour — who is a descendant of Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary who wrote the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago — wrote the following: “the increasing inability of Israel to address [the condition of Palestinians], coupled with the expansion into Arab territory of the Jewish settlements, are major factors in growing anti-Semitism around the world.” He argued further that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “owes it to the millions of Jews around the world” who suffer antisemitism, to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.


This well-intentioned but benighted view is particularly ironic, in light of the fact that the Balfour Declaration had, as one of its purposes, to end antisemitism around the world by creating a homeland for the Jewish people. But now the scion of Lord Balfour is arguing that it is Israel that is causing antisemitism. Roderick Balfour’s views are simply wrong, both as a matter of fact and as a matter of morality. Anyone who hates Jews “around the world” because they disagree with the policy of Israel would be ready to hate Jews on the basis of any pretext. Modern-day antisemites, unlike their forbears, need to find excuses for their hatred, and anti-Zionism has become the excuse de jure.


To prove the point, let us consider other countries: Has there been growing anti-Chinese feelings around the world as the result of China’s occupation of Tibet? Is there growing hatred of Americans of Turkish background because of Turkey’s unwillingness to end the conflict in Cyprus? Do Europeans of Russian background suffer bigotry because of Russia’s invasion of Crimea?  The answer to all these questions is a resounding no. If Jews are the only group that suffers because of controversial policies by Israel, then the onus lies on the antisemites rather than on the nation-state of the Jewish people.


Moreover, Benjamin Netanyahu’s responsibility is to the safety and security of Israelis. Even if it were true that antisemitism is increasing as the result of Israeli policies, no Israeli policy should ever be decided based on the reaction of bigots around the world. Antisemitism, the oldest of bigotries, will persist as long as it is seen to be justified by apologists like Roderick Balfour. Though Balfour does not explicitly justify antisemitism, the entire thrust of his letter is that Jew-hatred is at least understandable in light of Israel’s policies.


Balfour doesn’t say a word about the unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to accept Israel’s repeated offers of statehood. From 1938 through 2008, the Palestinians have been offered and have repeatedly rejected agreements that would have given them statehood. Even today, the Palestinian leadership refuses to accept Netanyahu’s offer to sit down and negotiate a final status agreement without any pre-conditions. Nor does Balfour mention Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorists groups that constantly threaten Israel, along with Iran’s publicly declared determination to destroy the state that Lord Balfour helped to create. It’s all Israel’s fault, according to Balfour, and the resulting increase in antisemitism is Israel’s fault, as well.


Roderick Balfour ends his letter by essentially joining the boycott movement against Israel. He has declared his unwillingness to participate in the Centenary Celebration of the Balfour Declaration, until and unless Israel takes unilateral action to end the conflict. So be it. I am confident that the author of the Balfour Declaration would have willingly participated in this celebration, recognizing that no country in history has ever contributed more to the world – in terms of medical, technological, environmental and other innovations — in so short a period of time (69 years) than has Israel. Nor has any country, faced with comparable threats, ever been more generous in its offers of peace, more committed to the Rule of Law or more protective of civilians who are used as human shields by those who attack its own civilians.


So let the Celebration of the Balfour Declaration go forward without the participation of Roderick Balfour. Let Israel continue to offer a peaceful resolution to its conflict with the Palestinians. And let the Palestinians finally come to the bargaining table, and recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people in the way that the Balfour Declaration intended.





Robbie Travers

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 22, 2017


Antonio Tajani, the new President of the European Parliament, has made a bold opening statement of intent: "No Jew should be forced to leave Europe." While this is an admirable position to hold, it sadly could not be farther from the truth. The poison of anti-Semitism festers in Europe once again. Europe is seeing yet again another rise in the number of Jews leaving the continent. Jonathan Boyd, Executive Director of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (IJPR), notes that the number of Jews leaving France is "unprecedented."


The results of the study show that 4% of the French and Belgian Jewish populations had emigrated those countries to reside in Israel. The IJPR attributes this demographic transformation to the inflow of migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Is this really surprising? Sadly, when individuals come from nations that have culturally a high dislike of Jews, many of these immigrants might hold anti-Semitic views that eventually get spread.


In France, anti-Semitic incidents more than doubled between 2014 and 2015, from 423 reported incidents to 851. From January to July, anti-Semitic incidents in the UK increased by 11% according to the UK's Common Security Trust. And this prejudice is increasing. With such spikes in Jew-hatred, is it surprising that Jews are leaving Europe? Equally concerning is Europe's blindness to this anti-Semitism.


Recently, a German court decided that the firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal was only the expression of "anti-Israeli sentiment." Really? Why, then, was not the Israeli embassy attacked rather than a synagogue whose worshippers presumably were not Israeli? The worshippers were German. What happened in the German court was pure Nazi-think: the most undisguised anti-Semitism: that Jews supposedly are not Germans. The old wine of pure anti-Semitism is now dressed up in new "politically correct" bottles of criticism of Israel. At heart, however, it is your grandmother's same old Jew-hate, much of it still based on racist tropes. The Jews in that firebombed synagogue were German nationals and may have had absolutely no links to Israel. They do however, have a connection to Judaism.


The German court actually ruled that attacking a place where Jews worship is somehow different from attacking Jews. Your pet slug would not believe that. Meanwhile, another German Court again rejected an action against your friendly neighborhood "sharia police." In Germany, it seems, burning down synagogues is merely "anti-Israeli" even if there are no Israelis there, but "police" who use Islamic sharia law — without legal authority and within a system of law that persecutes women, Christians, Jews and others — are acceptable and legal. And people cannot understand why Jews are leaving Europe?


Even though German authorities evidently struggle to identify anti-Semitism, the Israeli government claims there has been a 50% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Germany just since 2015. Jew-hatred in Europe is spreading to the workplace and the hubs of supposedly enlightened discourse: universities. At Goldsmith's University, students scrawled on a public feedback board that they wanted "No more David Hirsch, no more Zionism — a bitter Jew." The message and tone here is clear: Jews are not welcome. The suggestion that academics would also not be welcome because of their religion is deeply worrying and should be unacceptable.


Goldsmith's have since condemned the action, but it is telling that someone felt he could comfortably post such anti-Jewish abuse. The anti-Semitism facing Jews at UK universities led the Baroness Deech to declare British University campuses "no-go zones" for Jews. Students at Exeter University wear T-shirts glorifying the Holocaust; the Labour Party Chair at Oxford University commendably resigned over members calling Auschwitz a "cash cow" and mocking the mourners of the Paris terrorist attacks; SOAS University is under investigation for lectures likening Zionism to Nazism and delusionally arguing that it was Zionists who were conspiring to increase anti-Semitism to encourage Jews to leave the UK and go to Israel.


The Israeli government also believes there was an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain by 62%. While it is praiseworthy that UK Prime Minister Theresa May has backed and adopted a new definition of anti-Semitism to attempt to deal with the rising hate crime, simply defining and identifying anti-Semitism is only the start. It is also necessary to start tackling the anti-Semitic attitudes of Islamic communities across Europe and the attitudes of immigrants coming to our nations. What needs to be made clear is that you are welcome here as long as you respect Jews, Christians and all others, as well.





  Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

JCPA, Feb. 22, 2017


Scholarship about the Holocaust has come a long way since Gerhard Reitlinger wrote in 1953 The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 and since Raul Hilberg wrote his 1961 seminal book The Destruction of the European Jews. It took several decades after the end of World War II until scholars realized that there was a need for a new multidisciplinary area of study called Holocaust studies or Holocaust research. By now this scholarly field has been consolidated for at least twenty-five years. Previously there had been individual publications on various aspects of the Holocaust in several disciplines. These included history, politics, theology, law, ethics, psychology, literature, and many others. However, for many years the study of the Holocaust was not viewed as a single multidisciplinary area.


Describing and analyzing the Holocaust, a unique genocide, requires many disciplines. A full understanding of how to interpret the events of the Holocaust, however, is obtainable only when these studies are combined into a single field of scholarship. Nowadays, whether standing alone or combined with genocide studies, Holocaust research is a well-established international field of study, most certainly among its practitioners. It has become an academic discipline in itself. There is also a wide range of books and studies in many fields on the impact of the Holocaust on postwar societies. Some of these are considered part of Holocaust studies, others not necessarily. It is my recommendation here that post-Holocaust studies become a new field of research.


There are also very significant individual impacts of the Holocaust in the post-Holocaust era. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a direct result of the Holocaust as is the United Nations Genocide Convention. Admittedly the two areas of Holocaust studies and post-Holocaust studies are linked and somewhat interwoven. Their overlap, however, is far smaller than what separates them. Presenting an overview of post-Holocaust studies is at this stage impossible. The best one can do is offer a synopsis of issues that could be included in the post-Holocaust field. The hope is that such an approach will help initiate the systematic study of the area. Furthermore, due to the huge number of more or less isolated publications in the field of post-Holocaust studies, any article on the overall subject at this stage is likely to be fragmented as well as very incomplete. Nor can it pretend to be a critical analysis. That will require many years of focused research.


One prominent multidisciplinary subject that belongs to post-Holocaust studies concerns survivors and their experience in postwar societies. The wartime history of survivors is part of Holocaust studies. Yet their postwar migration, how survivors were accepted in the societies they returned to or where they lived as immigrants, the way in which they rebuilt their lives, the degree to which they came back from the abyss, their contribution to these societies, the treatment of their traumas, and the description of the organizations that collect their testimonies are all topics whose place is in post-Holocaust studies.


Other topics in this broad category include the study of child survivors. These – and I am one of them – have become the last witnesses of Nazi persecution. Many of the pupils of postwar Jewish schools in countries occupied by the Germans were child survivors. As a result, it is likely that the atmosphere in Jewish schools in the postwar period differed significantly from other schools in those countries – even more so than in the case of Jewish schools before the war. Children who lived in German camps for Displaced Persons had a very different youth from German children. It is somewhat ironic that children in DP camps went to an entirely Jewish school when outside these camps hardly any Jews remained in Germany.


Another related topic concerns organizations that have been established to provide support for second-generation Holocaust survivors. An example is the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees established by French lawyer Serge Klarsfeld. Comparable organizations exist in several other countries. Yet is what Elie Wiesel said about the second generation true – that by listening to witnesses one becomes a witness? And if so, are some memories of child survivors what they lived through or what they heard?…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


The Disturbing History of Vandalizing Jewish Cemeteries: Kayla Epstein, Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2017—The vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in Missouri has caused an uproar after more than 170 headstones were toppled at the historical burial site. There had been several waves of bomb threats made against Jewish community centers in recent weeks, but the recent acts against the cemetery have raised serious alarm and garnered the most prominent media attention yet.

What’s Behind Wave of Anti-Semitic Violence in US? Jewish Rabbi Explains One Possible Theory: Jon Street, The Blaze, Feb. 13, 2017—In the last month alone, at least 27 Jewish Community Centers in cities across the country, spanning 17 states, received calls with bomb threats, forcing them to evacuate their facilities and disrupting their day-to-day lives. Then, earlier this week, New York City subway passengers noticed anti-semitic graffiti scrawled onto the walls and doors of at least one train.

If You Want to Understand Why the Arab World is Such a Disaster you Better Watch This (Video): Israel Video Network, Jan. 31, 2017—Why is the Arab world sliding into an even deeper abyss of hatred and corruption? Hatred of Israel by the Arab world is based on a deep-seated mindset of anti-semitism. Bret Stephens points out brilliantly that social and political decline follow massive anti-semitic laws enacted in a country. Even Hitler may very well have won the race to build the bomb had he not exiled or killed all of the Jewish scientists. Anti-Semitism has a boomerang effect on the people who practice it.

Anti-Semitic Incidents in the U.K. Reached All-Time Highs in 2016: Report: Jonathan Zalman, Tablet, Feb. 2, 2017—A troubling and perhaps unsurprising report from a British anti-Semitism watchdog released Thursday shows that 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents occurred in 2016, a high since Community Security Trust began recording and compiling these reports, in 1984.




Zakhor! Remember! Yom HaShoah 5776: Baruch Cohen, CIJR, May 5, 2016— The world must be reminded: Never Again!

Ken Livingstone Gets the History Wrong on Anti-Semitism and Hitler: Andrew Roberts, CapX, Apr 28, 2016— Ken Livingstone’s characteristically outrageous intervention in the debate over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party – denying it existed while simultaneously proving that it does – was wrong on all sorts of levels, but one of them was in his grotesque mangling of the historical record.

Ken Livingstone Takes British Politics to New Lows.: Rex Murphy, National Post, May 1, 2016— Complaints about the tone of debate in the House of Commons are almost seasonal in their regularity.

An Israeli Black Book on the EU: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 10, 2016— It would have made sense for the European Union to be in Israel’s good books, rather than in a potential “black book.”

Remembering the World’s First Jewish Ghetto: Jack Gottlieb, Times of Israel, Apr. 29, 2016— Not a year goes by without a tourist walking into the Venice Ghetto asking where the concentration camps are or were.


On Topic Links


British Policy, Jews and Israel: Adam Shay & Judy Lash Balint, JCPA, May 4, 2016

UK Shows Where Anti-Zionism Leads: Jonathan S. Tobin, Jewish Press, May 4, 2016

Col. Richard Kemp: Israel an ‘Outpost of Strength,’ Europe on ‘Spiral Downward to Obliteration’: Ruthie Blum, Algemeiner, Apr. 13, 2016

Venice Haggadah Gets Facelift for 500th Anniversary: Times of Israel, Apr. 19, 2016




Baruch Cohen                                                              

CIJR, May 5, 2016

In memory of beloved Malca z”l


The world must be reminded: Never Again! Today, the indescribable Islamist murders in France and Belgium remind us that genocidal hatred continues unabated.


During the Shoah, Herman Kruk, a historian who lived in the Vilna Ghetto, documented the life of the people until his deportation and death in Estonia in 1944. He wrote that just as “the Vilna Jewish community was for years known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania,” so now the Vilna Ghetto, in respect to its cultural life, would during those terrible years be called the Jerusalem of the Ghetto, because it was a symbol of Jewish spiritual resistance under the criminal Nazi regime.


Arnold Dagani, a Romanian-Jewish artist deported to the Transnistria killing-fields, was interred in a labor camp in 1942 along with his wife. In 1943, he and his wife escaped, and Dagani recorded the harsh treatment, beatings and executions. The records left by Dagani and his wife described the misery, hunger and forced labor, under conditions of unimaginable misery and hardship, during years of terrifying crimes.


Pianist Adela Bay, an artist in the ghetto and slave labor camps, used her talent, despite horror and death, to maintain hope and meaning.


These courageous Jewish writers and artists should remind the world: Never Again! We Jews and the entire world must be on continued alert. A Holocaust, directed today not only against Israel, but against the entire Middle East and beyond, must be opposed, and defeated. 


Masada will never fall again.


Never Forget! Am Yisrael Chai!


(Baruch Cohen is Research Chairman at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,               

and a member of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center)





Andrew Roberts

Cap X, Apr. 28, 2016

Ken Livingstone’s characteristically outrageous intervention in the debate over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party – denying it existed while simultaneously proving that it does – was wrong on all sorts of levels, but one of them was in his grotesque mangling of the historical record. “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932,” he told BBC Radio London, “his policy was then that Jews should be moved to Israel.”


First, Adolf Hitler absolutely did not “win” either the July or the November 1932 elections in Germany; in the latter he only gained 33% of the vote, giving the Nazi Party 196 seats in a Reichstag of 584. More centrally, however, insofar as Hitler had a stated rather than inferred policy towards Germany’s Jews at all, it was to force them to leave Germany, but not specifically to Palestine, which was then governed by the British under League of Nations Mandate and was not accepting European Jews in significant numbers.


The Nazis couldn’t frankly care less where the Jews went, so long as they left Germany, preferably with as few possessions as possible. Later on they conceived ideas such as the Madagascar Plan of July 1940 which would they hoped involve mass migration to places where the Jews would suffer and eventually die of disease and malnutrition, all long before the full-scale genocidal programme conceived at the Wannsee Conference in 1942. Jews were being killed in large numbers as soon as the war began, but especially after Hitler’s invasion of Russia in June 1941. The idea that Hitler ever wanted a fully-functioning successful Jewish state in Palestine – the dream of Zionists – is ludicrous, as Mr Livingstone undoubtedly knows.


The sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s. He must know perfectly well that the very insertion of the word “Hitler” in the context of a debate over anti-Semitism would create precisely the effect that it has. It was therefore a totally cold-blooded attempt to offend the maximum amount of Jews to the maximum extent, and was said to a Jewish interviewer Vanessa Feltz.


Filthy politics, of course, but Mr Livingstone has such a long record of this kind of thing that we shouldn’t be surprised, even if we must still be outraged. Likening a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard was a similar attempt at dragging the Holocaust into the discourse. Accusing Jews and what he openly refers to as “the Jewish lobby” – of “obsessing” about his links with hate preachers such as Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is all part of the same playbook. Whether Labour finally acts remains to be seen, and this might be clever politics in terms of the mayoral election, but when it comes to history, Mr Livingstone gets an “F”




         Rex Murphy                                                                 

Boston Globe, May 1, 2016


Complaints about the tone of debate in the House of Commons are almost seasonal in their regularity. And they are justified. Some MPs imagine that since they lack eloquence, or the ability to articulate a rational argument, they can compensate with exhibitions of vulgarity or insult.


When tensions are high, or elections are close, the backbenches of all three parties can supply multiple examples of MPs forgetting where they are, and heedless of what is longingly referred to as “the dignity of the House of Commons.” At such times, there is almost a ritual reference to the British House of Commons and the superiority of debate in that ancient forum; the filigrees of wit and fine phrasing that mark the speeches of its members and the altogether too classy performances of its speakers.



We’re not alone in this dutiful reverence to the Mother of Parliaments. British MPs, perhaps a little slow in recognizing that self-praise is the cheapest commodity in politics, are wont to advertise their own practices and manners. Just recently, for example, there was the utterly smug and silly debate on a petition to ban Donald Trump from the U.K. The debate was spurred by Trump’s explosive campaign call for a “temporary ban on Muslims to the U.S., till we figure this all out.” But the Commons debate was more a recoil against his vulgarity — his “commonness” — especially as seen by British MPs, in contrast to their own, far-more genteel style and precious manners.


When British parliamentarians and public voices go off the rails, however, they plunge into chasms of ugliness and vilification that even Trump can’t match. Indeed, when they go low, they go really low. They go for anti-Semitism. Take Vicki Kirby, a Labour activist whose parliamentary candidacy failed when a few of her Twitter musings fell under scrutiny. It turned out that the fresh-faced, left-wing activist had curiously ardent views on Israel and the Jewish people. Some of her more vile tweets included: “We invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher;” “I will never forget and I will make sure my kids teach their children how evil Israel is!;” “Hitler was the Zionist God;” and the ancient favourite of Jew-baiters everywhere, “What do you know about Jews? They’ve got big noses … lol.”


Kirby is but small fry, however, compared to Labour MP Naz Shah, the woman who ironically defeated Israel-hater George Galloway for the Bradford East constituency. Kirby’s Facebook page included the interesting suggestion that Israelis should be “transported” from Israel and relocated in the United States. All would then be peace and roses in the Middle East or, as Shah put it, “Problem solved and save you bank charges for the £3bn you (the US) transfer yearly” (no attack against the Jews is really complete without a reference to money and banks). And, in regards to a poll on “Israeli war-crimes,” she urged her Facebook myrmidons to get on it because “the Jews are rallying.” When it comes to nasty words about Jews and Israel, even Galloway doesn’t hold a candle to Shah.


But the real brick in this inverted arch of slander and slurs is former Labour MP and ex-London mayor, Ken Livingstone. During the Shah controversy, Livingstone went to bat for her by saying that Hitler was actually — dear Lord — a pioneer Zionist. According to Livingstone, when Hitler was elected in 1932, he wanted to move the Jews to Israel, and that was before “he went mad and ended up killing six million of them.” Please note the passive use of the term “ended up.” It is appalling that 70 years after the concentration camps of the Second World War, there is a British celebrity politician hailing Hitler, one of the country’s most despised enemies, as a “Zionist.” But such are the public pronouncements of one of British politics most famous figures, a member of the Labour party’s executive committee and a former mayor of cosmopolitan London.


I think you can stack Trump up against Livingstone any day. Trump is careless, crass and heedless, but he doesn’t waltz with anti-Semitism, the most perdurable racism our world has ever known. There are lessons that politicians around the world can take from the British Parliament and British politics. It has dignified leaders and backbenchers, speakers of grace and intellect. But when British politics slides, it finds a pit in a cavern of darkness that our side of the Atlantic, thankfully, leaves unexplored.                                                                                                                     





AN ISRAELI BLACK BOOK ON THE EU                                                                                                     

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Apr. 10, 2016


It would have made sense for the European Union to be in Israel’s good books, rather than in a potential “black book.” Israel’s imports from the EU exceed its exports to the region, by several billion euros. Research collaboration with Israel is of value to the EU in view of Israel’s scientific creativity. Yet during several decades the EU has maligned and defamed Israel. In line with the fragmented nature of contemporary ‘post-modern’ society, EU attitudes are not homogeneous, and the totality of all the negative attitudes toward Israel is not self-evident.


The maligning of Israel has also contributed to the great increase in European anti-Semitism over the past decades. Comparable statistics on anti-Semitic incidents in the various member countries of Europe do not even exist. In addition, after abandoning a prior working definition of anti-Semitism, the EU has not developed another. This despite it being the most basic precondition for fighting anti-Semitism. While the EU has made some feeble attempts to deal with the hatred, its actions have been primarily verbal and barely effective.


The EU’s defamation of Israel and the undermining of its sovereignty are of major dimensions. If Israel’s “black book” were transformed from an idea into an actual black book it would greatly help in exposing the EU’s incitement against it. A single volume could reveal the many ways in which Europe discriminates against Israel and defames it. It could also list examples comparing this behavior to the way in which the EU has averted its gaze from much of the extreme racism and criminal attitudes in Arab and Muslim countries.


The current time is particularly propitious for the creation of such a black book. The EU is in major disarray due its incompetent handling of the current refugee crisis, after ignoring the building up of refugee-related problems for several years. The current crisis has heightened friction between individual EU member countries, as well as exposed the regional body’s tensions with several of its members.


Discussions in the United Kingdom in favor of and against a British exit from the EU (Brexit) provide yet another source of information about the weaknesses of the EU. Some of the arguments brought forward there against the EU could form part of a document exposing its misdemeanors toward Israel. The same is true regarding some disclosures concerning the refugee crisis. One such example is Hungary’s claim that there are 900 no-go areas in Europe which are overrun by migrants and where the authorities cannot establish the rule of law.


Such a proposed black book would include the high percentages of EU citizens – in the region of 40 percent – who consider that Israel behaves like the Nazis, or that Israel conducts a war of extermination against the Palestinians. That these absurd opinions are so widespread is a damning condemnation of contemporary Europe. Frequent incitement against Israel has achieved its defamatory goals. This comes from the EU itself and from European political echelons. It also emerges from civil society entities such as media, NGOs, some liberal churches, academia, trade unions and more. If indeed Israel were conducting a war of extermination, Palestinians would have become extinct long ago. In reality the Palestinians are now much more numerous than several decades ago.


False moral equivalence comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis was even used decades ago by now deceased prominent social-democratic politicians, including French president François Mitterrand, Swedish prime minister Olof Palme and Greek prime minister Andreas Papandreou. Without devoting more study to the subject, it is not possible to draw up a full table of contents for this proposed black book, though some chapter headings are already evident. The EU not only insists on referring to the disputed West Bank as “occupied territories,” it even refuses to enter into debate on the subject. Over a thousand lawyers and jurists have written to the EU on this issue, receiving confirmation only from a junior EU staffer. If the EU were so convinced of the occupied status of the West Bank, it would not have avoided the debate.


Another chapter could be devoted to the EU requirement that products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights be labeled separately. As the EU has not applied the same measures in other similar or more obvious cases this represents double standards, one of the key characteristics of anti-Semitism. The labeling issue brought the EU into the 2015 list of major anti-Semitic slurs published by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The EU’s voting patterns in the UN General Assembly and other UN bodies would also be worthy of a chapter. Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold has shown how the European voting record at the UN demonstrates a longstanding anti-Israel bias. He explained how the EU participated in the demonization of Israel at the UN.


A further chapter should be devoted to the undermining of Israel’s sovereignty. One aspect of this would be to scrutinize EU financing of Israeli NGOs which ignore extreme Palestinian crimes. Another could deal with the EU funding of illegal building in Area C. The EU has allowed massive non-selective immigration from Muslim countries for decades, giving rise to part of the significant increase in anti-Semitism in European countries. This subject should also be included in the proposed black book. Muslims have been the originators of most extreme anti-Semitic incidents in Europe since the end of the past century. Muslims have committed all anti-Semitic murders of Jews in the EU. Yet Muslims are not the only factor in the increasingly problematic state of Jews in many European countries…

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





Jack Gottlieb

Times of Israel, May 4, 2016


Not a year goes by without a tourist walking into the Venice Ghetto asking where the concentration camps are or were. This question, unfortunately, reflects a lack of understanding as to why the Venice Ghetto was founded on March  29, 1516 and maintained for centuries–all of which had nothing to do with the Holocaust. That is not to say that the Venice Ghetto was not involved in the Holocaust. It was decimated by the Nazis in 1943 when most of its inhabitants perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp. It never recovered until this very day when only 20 Jews now live in the Ghetto itself. Two memorials, The Last Train and The Holocaust Memorial Wall, situated in the Ghetto Square bear witness to this tragedy.


The distinction between the two types of ghettos is important. The Nazi Ghetto was set up as an interim solution to the ‘final solution’, the other as a means of segregating a group whose values were deemed harmful or dangerous to the common good. Members of my family who managed to survive the first kind of Ghetto reported a litany of horror stories about their experiences. My mother watched from the woods as the Kovno Ghetto in Lithuania was liquidated. My uncle was lucky enough to escape the Lida Ghetto in Belarus before it too suffered the same fate. Obviously, no redeeming features will ever be reported from this type of ghetto. The Venice type of ghetto, for all it’s negatives, those of density, segregation and restrictions, did have a positive side to it. It provided protection, business opportunities and amazingly enough, a sense of community.


In an effort to close the gap between the misconception and reality of what the Venice Ghetto is and what it represents, the city of Venice has embarked on a year-long program of events to mark the quincentennial of its founding.  It was kicked off nearly a month ago by an opening ceremony at the Fenice Opera House attended by local, national, and international dignitaries.


I was fortunate enough to wrangle an invitation to this event as well as the launch earlier that day of an important book called The Venice Synagogues. It was written by Umberto Fortis, professor of Italian literature, coordinated by Toto Bergamo Rossi, Head of the Venetian Heritage Council, and published by Assouline Books, a prestigious book publisher. The book describes in rich and glorious detail five important synagogues of the Venetian Ghetto and stands as a symbol of the rich Jewish culture which blossomed regardless of, or despite the hardships imposed on the Ghetto Jews.


When I leafed through this book I definitely had the sense that Jews in the Venice Ghetto were thriving, and that Jewish culture was flourishing, unlike the Nazi Ghetto where Jews were being killed and their cultural heritage was being erased. Rossi was quite right in describing this hand-bound book ‘as not just another high end collectible but as a work of art’. Kudos to Assoulin Publishing who is contributing half of the proceeds to the Venice’s synagogue restoration project which, unfortunately, is still short of the 8 million dollars it needs to begin.


In stark contrast to the joyous air at the book launch was the air of solemnity later that evening of the opening ceremony at the Fenice Opera House. The former was a celebration of life, the latter a commemoration of evil. Before giving way to Mahler Symphony No.1 (by the way, banned by the Nazis as degenerate), the keynote speaker of the event, Simon Schama, the noted author of the Story of the Jews and subsequent TV series, delivered a riveting commentary on the evolution of the ghetto. He explained that “history is not always a trip down memory lane”. And events like the Venice Ghetto, the Holocaust and the recent bombings in Brussels are a stark reminder against complacency-that just when we think that things could not get worse, they unfortunately do! Specifically, he commented, “an event we think that we had left behind in a particular period or in a particular moment crashes into our present lives and leaves us at great risk!”…

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


CIJR Wishes all our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


British Policy, Jews and Israel: Adam Shay & Judy Lash Balint, JCPA, May 4, 2016—The Beit Venezia Jewish culture center unveiled a series of 24 etchings created by eight international artists that will form part of a new, illustrated Venice Haggadah.

UK Shows Where Anti-Zionism Leads: Jonathan S. Tobin, Jewish Press, May 4, 2016—We didn’t have to wait for the results of the independent inquiry into charges of anti-Semitism promised by the head of Britain’s Labour Party to see the scale of the problem. On Monday, the Telegraph reported that what it describes as the party’s “compliance unit” had already been overwhelmed by the problem of dealing with charges of anti-Semitism because it lacked the resources to look into so many cases.

Col. Richard Kemp: Israel an ‘Outpost of Strength,’ Europe on ‘Spiral Downward to Obliteration’: Ruthie Blum, Algemeiner, Apr. 13, 2016—Discussing the challenges democracies face in confronting unconventional warfare, a retired British Army officer on Tuesday touted the Jewish state as exemplary.

Venice Haggadah Gets Facelift for 500th Anniversary: Times of Israel, Apr. 19, 2016 —This week Cambridge University Press is publishing my new book, Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989. I examine a spectrum of antagonism by the East German government and West German radical leftist organizations – ranging from hostile propaganda and diplomacy to military support for Israel’s Arab armed adversaries — from 1967 to the end of the Cold War in 1989.











The Erosion of Holocaust Memory: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, May 5, 2016— My grandparents and many members of my family were exterminated by the Nazis.

The Holocaust: Many Villains, Few Heroes: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, May 2, 2016— As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, at which selected Nazi leaders were placed in the dock, we must ask some disturbing questions about those who were never tried for their complicity in the world's worst genocide.

‘Never Forget,’ the World Said of the Holocaust. But the World is Forgetting.: Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, May 1, 2016— Long before the Holocaust had run its course, there was already a desperate urge to keep it from being forgotten.

The Tip of a Huge Iceberg of Holocaust Distortion: Efraim Zuroff, Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2016— During the past month I have written about a rash of neo-fascist and anti-Semitic incidents which recently took place in Croatia, where the accepted narrative of World War II and the Holocaust have come under heavy attack from ultra-nationalists and revisionists.


On Topic Links


Israel Air Force Ceremony – F-15 Jets Over Auschwitz: IDF, Apr. 20, 2016

Jews Died at Auschwitz Because of Anti-Semitism, but Anti-Semitism Did Not Die There: Irwin Cotler, National Post, May 5, 2016

The Holocaust: A Tool for Abuse and Distortion: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, May 4, 2016

Is Germany Really Honoring the Memory of the Holocaust?: Gabriel Fuchs, Algemeiner, May 2, 2016




  Isi Leibler                                                                    

Candidly Speaking, May 5, 2016


My grandparents and many members of my family were exterminated by the Nazis. I would probably also have perished had my parents not had the foresight of leaving Antwerp when I was a young infant on what was probably the last boat to sail to Australia before the outbreak of war. Like survivors, those of us whose families were murdered by the Nazis retain the memory of the Holocaust as part of our DNA. Indeed, in most cases this also applies to our children, who share the sensitivities of their parents.


But today, 70 years later, for our grandchildren, most of whom were deprived of the opportunity of hearing their families agonize over memories, the relevance of the Holocaust will fade unless there is a conscious effort to convey it within the framework of their history. The extent to which Holocaust commemoration is maintained by future Jewish generations will largely be determined by the educational approach and curriculum provided in the Israeli school system.


We should be under no illusions. The so-called Holocaust commemoration in Europe and other Western countries is a sham. In most cases it trivializes the Holocaust by linking it to other mass murders. In fact, commemoration has become so broad and universal that the words “Jew” and “anti-Semitism” are not even mentioned in the European Union’s lengthy call to its constituents to engage in Holocaust remembrance.


If Holocaust awareness truly existed, it would have been inconceivable for the current anti-Semitic tsunami to have swept through the continent of Europe, which was soaked with the blood of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. In fact, a survey of adults in 101 countries reveals that only 54% had ever heard of the Holocaust, and a large proportion of these considered it a myth. With the actual number of survivors dramatically diminishing, Holocaust deniers have proliferated and indeed today there is a growing campaign, spearheaded by Islamic anti-Semites, promoting Holocaust denial.


As Jews, I believe that it is our obligation to ensure that this dark chapter of our history is commemorated and studied by future Jewish generations. This is not merely to honor our martyrs but to appreciate the contrast between the Jewish people today, which, with the revival of nationhood, can defend itself, and the powerlessness of those dark years when the world stood by as we were being murdered. If we follow the double standards and bias currently leveled against us, particularly at the United Nations, often with the support or indifference of the Europeans, we must appreciate how fortunate we are today that we are able to rely on our own defenses.


There are some, including far-left Israelis, who seek to scale down or even cancel Holocaust commemoration within Israel on the spurious grounds that it is exploited to create an environment of Jewish victimhood and as a means of extorting money and political favors from European countries. This would be disastrous because it is imperative that future generations understand what happened to their European ancestors and realize that the state in which they live cannot be taken for granted. As we commemorate our Exodus from Egyptian slavery to freedom, so we are obliged to remind ourselves how, after 2,000 years of exile and immediately in the wake of the most barbaric genocide, we revived Jewish nationhood in the State of Israel.


My grandson returned a few weeks ago from his school’s journey to the Polish death camps. Even though his family was already sensitive to the Holocaust, the visit had a profound impact on him. I was therefore deeply saddened to read that the principal of Tel Aviv’s prestigious elite secular Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium, Dr. Zeev Dagani, proposes canceling annual trips to the Nazi death camps. He claims that “there are many youth who are not emotionally built to grasp the reality of the horror. It is too much for them and I think it is too early to send 16- and 17-year-olds to trips to Poland. It is a trip which requires emotional and intellectual maturity.”


The reality is that if adequate education is provided and the tours are led by well-informed guides, the results have proven to be extraordinary and have major beneficial impact on the participants, not only in terms of comprehending the Holocaust, but equally so in relation to their understanding and appreciation of the Jewish state. There is a valid complaint that the escalating costs prevent some students from participating. This is something the government should be reviewing with the aim of providing subsidies to enable all students who wish to participate. It would prove to be a worthwhile long-term educational investment.


Of course, it is sickening to hear of occasional groups visiting a death camp and engaging in drinking parties in the evening or interspersing their visit with a shopping day in Warsaw. Under such circumstances, it would undoubtedly be preferable to cancel such trips. But most trips are well-planned and have immense educational impact, highlighting the emergence of a Jewish state like a phoenix from the ashes of the Holocaust – something that no classroom study course can replicate…                                                   

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




Alan M. Dershowitz

Gatestone Institute, May 2, 2016

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, at which selected Nazi leaders were placed in the dock, we must ask some disturbing questions about those who were never tried for their complicity in the world's worst genocide. It would have been impossible to carry out the mass murder of so many people without the complicity of so many governments, groups, and individuals. Perhaps there were too many guilty parties to put them all on trial, but it is not too late to hold the guilty morally accountable for what they did and failed to do.


To be sure, the guiltiest individuals were the Nazi leaders who directly planned and implemented the final solution. Their goal was to in gather Jews from all over the world in order to kill them and to destroy what they regarded as the "Jewish race". They came very close to succeeding, wiping out nearly all of Europe's Jews in a relatively brief period of time. These Nazi leaders had the help of many "willing executioners," both in Germany and in the countries under its control. Among the worst culprits were individual Lithuanians, Latvians, Hungarians, Slovaks, Poles, Ukrainians, and others. There were some heroes among these groups and they are justly remembered and honored. But the number of villains far exceeded the number of heroes.


Then there were the guilty governments that cooperated and helped facilitate the deportations and round-ups. The French government deported more Jews than the Nazis demanded. Other governments, including those of Norway, Holland, Hungary and Austria (which had become part of Nazi Germany), also helped the Nazis achieve their genocidal goal. Bulgaria, on the other hand, declined to cooperate with the Nazi genocide, and its small Jewish population were saved. Denmark too rescued its Jews, many of whom were ferried to neutral Sweden.


There were also the countries that refused to accept Jews who might have escaped the Nazis had they been permitted to enter. These countries include the United States, Canada, and many other potential places of asylum that shut their doors. In the United States and Canada too, there were heroes who pressed their leaders to do more, but for the most part they failed. Many Arab and Muslim leaders also played ignoble roles, siding with the Nazis and conducting their own pogroms against local Jews. The leading villain in this regard was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who joined Hitler in Berlin and played a hands-on role in sending Jews to their deaths and in keeping the doors of Palestine closed to Jewish refugees.


Could more have been done by Britain and the United States to end the genocide? Could they have bombed the rail lines to Auschwitz and other death camps? These are complex questions that have been asked but not satisfactorily answered since 1945. There were also the actions of those who pardoned and commuted the sentences of Nazis convicted at Nuremberg, and those who helped Nazis escape prosecution after the war ended. That list too is long and disturbing.


The Nuremberg trials, by focusing narrowly on Nazi leaders and their direct henchmen, implicitly exculpated those who played important, but less direct, roles by their actions and inaction. By their nature, courts are limited in what they can do to bring to justice large numbers of individuals who belong on a wide continuum of legal and moral guilt. But historians, philosophers, jurists and ordinary citizens are not so limited. We may point fingers of blame at all who deserve to be blamed, whether or not they were placed on trial at Nuremberg, or at subsequent legal proceedings.


There will never be perfect justice for those who helped carry out the Holocaust. Most of the guilty escaped prosecution, lived happy lives and died in their beds, surrounded by loving family members. West Germany prospered as a result of the Marshall Plan, and many German industrialists, who had benefited from slave labor, continued to benefit as a result of the perceived needs of the Cold War. The scales of justice remain out of balance. Perhaps this helps to explain why more than 6 million people have been murdered in preventable genocides — in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and other places — since the world pledged "never again." There is, of course, the risk that by blaming all, we blame none. It is important to calibrate the responsibility of those who played very different roles in the Holocaust. This is a daunting task, but it must be undertaken if future genocides are to be deterred.






   Jeff Jacoby                                                          

Boston Globe, May 1, 2016


Long before the Holocaust had run its course, there was already a desperate urge to keep it from being forgotten. In hiding and on the run, amid the shadows of gas chambers and the smoke of crematoria, Jews frantically sought ways to bear witness to the enormities of the Nazis. Surrounded by horror, anticipating their own deaths, they appealed to the future: Remember. In his Nobel Prize lecture in 1986, Elie Wiesel recalled the eminent historian Simon Dubnow, who over and over implored his fellow inhabitants in the Riga ghetto: “Yiddin, schreibt un farschreibt” — “Jews, write it all down.”


Many felt an overpowering need to preserve the truth. “Countless victims became chroniclers and historians in the ghettos, even in the death camps,” said Wiesel. “[They] left behind extraordinary documents. To testify became an obsession. They left us poems and letters, diaries and fragments of novels, some known throughout the world, others still unpublished.” And when the war was over and the mind-boggling scope of the Final Solution was fully grasped — the Germans and their collaborators had annihilated 6 million Jews from every corner of Europe, wiping out more than one-third of the world’s Jewish population — the moral imperative to remember grew even more intense.


Judaism has always attached intense significance to remembrance; in multiple passages the Hebrew Bible even makes it an explicit religious obligation. Not surprisingly, Israel’s parliament long ago added Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, to the Jewish calendar each spring. (It begins this year on Wednesday evening.) For many Holocaust survivors and their children, “Never Forget” understandably became almost an 11th Commandment.


But a commitment to remembrance spread far beyond the community of those most affected by the Nazis’ industrial-scale campaign to eradicate the Jews. In recent decades, Holocaust commemoration, particularly in the West, became a widespread cultural phenomenon. Countless books, lectures, and documentaries have been devoted to the topic. Academia is replete with Holocaust studies programs. On big and small screen alike, movies and miniseries on Holocaust themes have been runaway successes. Online resources for learning about the Holocaust are almost too numerous to count. And Holocaust memorials and museums have been erected in cities large and small, on every continent except Antarctica.


The Nazis’ extermination of European Jewry, an evil so unprecedented that the word “genocide” had to be coined to describe it, is among the most exhaustively researched, documented, and memorialized crimes of the 20th century. The powerful Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, who in 1943 characterized the wholesale murder of the Jews, by then well underway, as “a glorious page in our history that . . . shall never be written,” was wrong. The history was written. Its remembrance is sustained by an ocean of scholarship, testimony, literature, and education. The last living survivors of the Holocaust are now mostly in their 80s or 90s. In a few years almost no one will be left to speak from personal experience of what it meant to be engulfed in the singular horror of the Shoah.


But the survivors have at least this reassurance: What happened to them will not be forgotten. Or will it? The events of the Holocaust have haunted me for as long as I can remember. My father, who was born in a tiny village on the Czechoslovak-Hungarian border in 1925, is a survivor of Hitler’s destruction. With his parents and four of his brothers and sisters, he was seized by the Nazis in the spring of 1944, imprisoned in a crowded ghetto, and then, after six weeks, herded into a cattle car to be transported to Auschwitz. Of the seven members of his immediate family who entered the death camp, six were murdered. Only my father escaped death.


For me, the Holocaust has always been intensely personal. It may have ended a decade and a half before I was born, but I have always understood that I was intended for obliteration too. In a Reichstag address in 1939, Hitler had vowed to achieve “the annihilation [Vernichtung] of the Jewish race in Europe.” The essence of the Final Solution is that it was to be final. No Jews were to survive — above all, no Jewish children through whom 3,000 years of Jewish existence might continue. It was to that end that Germany constructed such a vast continent-wide operation and committed such immense financial resources: to track down and murder every last Jew in Europe.


Never before had a world power, deranged by anti-Semitism, made the eradication of an entire people its central aim, or gone to such exhaustive extremes to achieve it. That is what makes the Holocaust so grotesquely, terrifyingly unique. The unexampled virulence of anti-Semitism, a hatred older than and different from any other in human history, is at the heart of what the Holocaust is about — that, and the role of the Jews as the canary in the mine of civilization. When a society fills with toxic moral fumes, Jews become the target of bigotry and terror. But rarely does it end with them. Hitler set out to incinerate the Jews; in the end, all of Europe was in flames…                                                                                      

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




Efraim Zuroff                                                               

Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2016


During the past month I have written about a rash of neo-fascist and anti-Semitic incidents which recently took place in Croatia, where the accepted narrative of World War II and the Holocaust have come under heavy attack from ultra-nationalists and revisionists. In the wake of those articles and a visit to Zagreb by Nicholas Dean, the US State Department’s envoy on Holocaust issues, who met with both Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, the former issued a statement to the effect that the Ustasha government which ruled Croatia during the years 1941- 1945 was a criminal regime, while the latter spoke in general terms criticizing totalitarianism.


If anyone hoped that these two declarations would dampen the enthusiasm of Croatia’s neo-fascists, they were sadly disappointed as less than two weeks ago, at the official state ceremony commemorating the victims at Jasenovac, the largest and most notorious of the concentration camps established by the Ustasha regime, which was nicknamed “The Auschwitz of the Balkans,” a new low was reached in terms of Holocaust commemoration. On the direct intervention of Natasha Jovicic, the director of the memorial complex, who also serves as a special adviser to the president on Holocaust issues, notorious Ustasha supporters from the Croatian National Platform were allowed to lay a wreath in memory of “all the victims of the camp from 1941 until 1951.”


The practical implication of this outrage was to legitimize the myth propagated by the Ustasha apologists that the postwar Communist regime turned Jasenovac after its liberation in April 1945 into a death camp where innocent people were murdered, thereby creating a false symmetry between Ustasha and Communist crimes. (The local Serb and Jewish communities, as well as the organized opponents of fascism, had justly refused to attend this official state ceremony to protest the failure of the government to stem the resurgence of neo-fascism and Ustasha nostalgia, and therefore were not present, and could not have prevented this outrage.) The problematic events in Croatia are only the tip of a huge iceberg of Holocaust distortion which is spreading throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe. An important part of the explanation for this dangerous phenomenon has to do with the history of the area during the Holocaust. While the Nazis sought and succeeded to enlist local collaborators in every country they occupied, as well as in those allied with them, only in Eastern Europe did collaboration with the Nazis include active participation in mass murder.


Thus while the Nazis’ helpers elsewhere actively assisted in the implementation of the initial stages of the Final Solution (definition: Aryanization of property and valuables, concentration and deportation), these collaborators were not the ones who committed the murders. They were accessories to murder, having sent Jews to be annihilated in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. In countries like Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus, local collaborators were integrated into the mechanism of the mass murder of the Jews. This historical fact is one of the main reasons why these countries find it so difficult to tell, teach and write the truth about World War II and the Shoa. Another reason is their oppression under the Communists and their desire to obtain recognition and compensation for their suffering.


In that regard, the success achieved on behalf of Holocaust survivors is a source of envy, and one which these countries seek, unsuccessfully until now, to replicate. These two factors are the main themes of the attempts to rewrite the accepted narrative of World War II and the Holocaust – to minimize or hide the crimes of local perpetrators and to promote the canard of equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes. They find practical expression in the Prague Declaration of June 3, 2008, which calls for a rewriting of European textbooks to reflect the supposed historical equivalency between the crimes of the two totalitarian regimes, the establishment of a European Institute of Memory and Conscience which would serve as a museum/memorial and research center along the lines of Yad Vashem, and a joint memorial day for all the victims of totalitarian regimes to be observed on August 23, the day that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a Non-Aggression pact.


Needless to say, the adoption of any of these demands would seriously undermine the hereto accepted perception of the Holocaust as a unique historical event and the singular fate of Jews under the Third Reich.

Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, the views expressed in the Prague Declaration were fairly strong in Eastern Europe, but they were not so actively promoted, for fear that they might negatively affect these countries’ chances of obtaining entry to the European Union and NATO. Once that goal was achieved, however, all restraint in this regard disappeared and now the revisionist agenda is being pursued with vigor.


I wish I could say that the EU, the US, Canada and Israel were taking the necessary steps to prevent the revised version of history being promoted in Eastern Europe from being accepted, but unfortunately virtually nothing has been done. A variety of political and economic interests have combined to prevent any effective action and in the meantime, an entire generation of Eastern Europeans has grown up virtually ignorant of the Holocaust crimes of their own countrymen and convinced that Communist crimes (which in Eastern Europe are out of all proportion to reality – and blamed on Jews) were just as bad as those of the Nazis. Holocaust Remembrance Day is another good opportunity for a wake-up call in this regard.

On Topic Links


Israel Air Force Ceremony – F-15 Jets Over Auschwitz: IDF, Apr. 20, 2016—"Triumph of the Return" – On September 4, 2003, in a large ceremony, the Israeli Air Force flew three f-15 jets over the Auschwitz concentration camp in a show of the Jewish people's continued strength and triumph over past adversities.

Jews Died at Auschwitz Because of Anti-Semitism, but Anti-Semitism Did Not Die There: Irwin Cotler, National Post, May 5, 2016—I write at a historic moment of remembrance and reminder, of witness and warning. For we are on the eve of two historic anniversaries: the 80th anniversary of the coming into effect of the Nuremberg Race Laws, which served as prologue and precursor to the Holocaust; and the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials — which served as the foundation for the development of contemporary international human rights and humanitarian law.

The Holocaust: A Tool for Abuse and Distortion: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, May 4, 2016—Historical events usually fade with time. Not so the Holocaust and related issues, which are increasingly appearing in the public domain. In previous years, one annual summary was sufficient for a fairly complete overview of Holocaust-related issues.  However, last year the selection was so great that I had to limit myself to several issues from the main categories.

Is Germany Really Honoring the Memory of the Holocaust?: Gabriel Fuchs, Algemeiner, May 2, 2016—In one episode of the TV show Band of Brothers, the liberation of a concentration camp is intensely portrayed. The camp in question was situated just outside the town of Landsberg am Lech, along with another 10 concentration camps.











Anti-Semitism in Europe: Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2016 — This week France will mark the first anniversary of a double terrorist attack that targeted the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and the Hyper Cacher, a kosher grocery store.

France: A Country, and Party, Shaken to its Core: Konrad Yakabuski, Globe & Mail, Dec. 31, 2015 — The French President’s traditional New Year’s Eve address to the country will be anything but festive this year.

The Real Danger: Dr. Ephraim Herrera, Israel Hayom, Jan. 5, 2016— British Prime Minister David Cameron recently wrote that "aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and activities … run counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs."

Why the Jews Left their Arab Lands: David Bensoussan, Asia Times, Dec. 11, 2013 — There has been a Jewish presence in Arab-Muslim countries since well before Islam was introduced and it dates back to before the 6th century before the current era.


On Topic Links


European Anti-Semitism Likely to Grow in 2016: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2016

Should Israel Prefer French Socialists or the National Front?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 22, 2015

Year After Attack, France’s Jews Learn to Live Under Armed Guard: Benoît Fauchet, Times of Israel, Jan. 5, 2015

Paris’s Eerily Familiar 1930s Immigrant Problem: Daniel Pipes, National Post, Jan. 3, 2016



Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2016


This week France will mark the first anniversary of a double terrorist attack that targeted the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and the Hyper Cacher, a kosher grocery store. Yet, while the two attacks took place within just two days and while the fanatics who carried out the respective massacres shared the same nihilistic Islamist ideology, responses in France and around the world to the two attacks have been strikingly different.


The assassination of editors, writers and artists of the satirical magazine awakened French pride in their robust freedom of speech – which includes the right to lampoon the sacred. However, precious little attention was paid to the dangers of Jew hatred fueling the wholesale murder of random shoppers whose only crime was being identified with Judaism.


In a special edition of the magazine marking the anniversary, editor-in-chief Gerard Biard made this point, noting that the murder of Jews simply because they are Jews has not been given the public attention it deserves. “We are so used to Jews being killed because they are Jewish,” Biard wrote, according to an AP report. “This is an error, and not just on a human level. Because it’s the executioner who decides who is Jewish.” Biard went on to say that the Paris terrorist attack of nearly two months ago on November 13 that left 130 dead was proof that “the executioner…had decided we were all Jewish.”


History has shown that, in times of crisis, Jews are often the first victims of discrimination or censure – or in extreme situations murderous violence. They are the canary in the coal mine that is uniquely susceptible to societal changes for the worse. But Jews are rarely the only victims. As a friend of Holocaust survivor and historian Victor Klemperer put it to him at a very dark time, the Jews have been both condemned and privileged to be “seismic people” – hyper sensitive to the vicissitudes of the human condition. This is the Jewish people’s lot, it can be no other way.


Numerous, often contradictory, justifications have been given over the ages. Religious Jews are hated for rejecting Christianity or adopting practices like kosher slaughter and circumcision. Secular Jews are accused, meanwhile, of being godless communists or purveyors of dangerous ideas. When Jews lacked a homeland they were ridiculed for their rootless cosmopolitanism. Now that they have a land of their own, Jews are said to be fascists and occupiers and warmongers. Whatever the stated reason, the existence of strong anti-Semitic sentiments in a particular country reveals more about that country than it does about the Jews against whom anti-Semitic violence is directed. Inevitably, this anti-Semitism metastasizes to other forms of violence, as has been the case in France.


France and other countries throughout Europe are facing major challenges. The Euro crisis has sparked another bout of skepticism about the entire European Union project, which has led to the rise of right-wing parties in a number of northern European countries, including France. Further buoying this right-wing surge are the waves of refugees from Syria, Libya and other Muslim countries pouring into Europe who are seen by many Europeans as a threat to their socioeconomic stability and culture.


While it is true that the vast majority of anti-Semitic attacks are associated with Europe’s Muslim population, it is difficult to imagine far-right political parties, some of which with neo-Nazi or fascist roots, seriously and aggressively combating Muslim Jew-hatred.


Unfortunately, as The Jerusalem Post’s Jewish world correspondent Sam Sokol pointed out in an analysis this week, European nations currently lack systematic methods of collecting data on anti-Semitism. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) noted in 2013 that this state of affairs was contributing to “gross underreporting of the nature and characteristics of anti-Semitic incidents that occur.”


Europeans have a moral obligation to take violent anti-Semitism seriously. An important first step should be to develop systematic methods for measuring the phenomenon. There is no better time for this than now, as millions commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.





FRANCE: A COUNTRY, AND PARTY, SHAKEN TO ITS CORE                                                                 

Konrad Yakabuski                                                                                                                 

Globe & Mail, Dec. 31, 2015


The French President’s traditional New Year’s Eve address to the country will be anything but festive this year. It has been an annus horribilis in France. Two terrorist attacks that rocked the republic in 2015 continue to shake the country to its core. Nothing is as it was.


That includes the government of President François Hollande. A Socialist whose party has traditionally stood for republican values of equality, Mr. Hollande has turned into a national security hawk preaching safety over civil rights. Hanging heavily over his televised remarks from the Élysée Palace will be the constitutional reform package he tabled two days before Christmas that would allow the state to strip French citizenship from native-born dual nationals convicted of terrorism. It has pre-empted any chance of a holiday reprieve from acrid political debate.


It is a debate somewhat familiar to Canadians, who will recall controversial changes to the law made by former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government that empowered the immigration minister to revoke the Canadian passport of dual citizens convicted of terrorism. In September, the Tories moved to invoke the new power against a member of the so-called Toronto 18, who plotted terrorist attacks in 2006, prompting then-Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to stake his ground: “You devalue the citizenship of every Canadian in this place and in this country when you break down and make it conditional for anybody.” Now, Prime Minister Trudeau has vowed to repeal the provision.


French Prime Minister Manuel Valls mustn’t have received the memo. In posting on Facebook on Monday to defend his Socialist government’s plan, Mr. Valls cited Canada as one of the democratic countries “close to France” that can revoke the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of terrorism, provided such persons are not left stateless in contravention of international law.


The debate about revoking the citizenship of convicted terrorists has heated up almost everywhere in the West with most countries – including Australia just this month – taking a hard line against dual nationals who have travelled to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State and who would attack their home country in the name of radical Islam. But the debate has a particular resonance in France, where, until recently, Mr. Hollande and Mr. Valls stood steadfastly on the other side.


For the French left, the idea of stripping any French citizen of his or her passport is a violation of republican principles and reminiscent of the worst abuses of the Vichy regime that ruled parts of the country during the Nazi occupation. The Vichy government revoked the French citizenship of, among others, Algerian Jews and members of the resistance, including Charles de Gaulle.


Until now, the law has provided for the revocation of the French citizenship of immigrants who have been naturalized for less than 15 years who commit crimes contravening the “fundamental interests of the nation.” But the provision has strict limits and has not been invoked in years. When former centre-right president Nicolas Sarkozy tried to toughen the law in 2010, Mr. Hollande balked.


Back then, Mr. Hollande co-signed a letter in the left-leaning Libération newspaper calling Mr. Sarkozy’s proposal an “infringement of the constituting principles” of the republic, including the “decent and equal treatment of all.” One his co-signatories was Stéphane Charbonnier, the irreverent Charlie Hebdo cartoonist killed by French-born radicalized Muslims last January.


If the tables have turned it is because Mr. Hollande, the most unpopular president in the history of the Fifth Republic, is scrambling to respond to a sharp rightward shift in public opinion. Surveys show more than 80 per cent of French voters support the hard-line approach, amid reports that 1,000 French citizens have gone to join the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, while an estimated 250 have returned home.


Mr. Hollande’s proposal to strip dual nationals convicted of terrorism of their citizenship goes further than anything considered before in that it would apply to those born in France, not just naturalized citizens, and would be included in the French constitution, shielding it from legal challenges. But if public opinion seems largely on side, the move threatens to tear his Socialist Party apart. In the past week, many party officials and Socialist politicians have denounced Mr. Hollande and Mr. Valls as traitors.


Mr. Hollande’s moves have delighted one politician, however. National Front Leader Marine Le Pen tweeted that his reforms are “the first effect of the 6.8 million votes” her anti-immigration party won in this month’s regional elections.





Dr. Ephraim Herrera

Israel Hayom, Jan. 5, 2016


British Prime Minister David Cameron recently wrote that "aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and activities … run counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs." He described the movement as fertile ground for growing violence and, based on research he commissioned, determined that membership in the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered a possible indicator of extremism.


Among the assertions raised by Cameron, his staunch opposition to Muslim Brotherhood members who support Palestinian sister group Hamas sticks out. This is a very important point that stands to benefit Israel: A Western leader views support for the Muslim Brotherhood's violence against Israel as evidence of the group's extremism.


The research upon which Cameron based his statements mentions the goal of some of the movement's members to turn Britain into an Islamic state. But it does not manage to prove that this is an official goal of the group as a whole. Really? As early as 2007, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi declared: "The conquest of Rome — the conquest of Italy, and Europe — means that Islam will return to Europe once again. Must this conquest necessarily be though war? No. There is such a thing as peaceful conquest [through proselytizing]."


In an interview with a Norwegian journalist in 2011, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt until 2010, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, said, "The Muslim Brotherhood's dream is to form a total Islamic state." Pressed for more details on this goal, he responded, "We Muslims are currently scattered all over. There is still a long way to go before we are able to take control in Europe."


Ahmed Jaballah, head of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and is also recognized by local authorities, has said that the union "is a two-stage rocket. The first stage is democratic; the second will put an Islamic society into orbit."


The hidden danger for Europe is less the terrorist attacks, which do not significantly alter the foundations of a society, and more this Muslim Brotherhood plan — which, for now, does not include violence or explicit threats. This plan for the occupation of Europe will succeed via the fertility rate among Muslim women, which is much higher than that of European women; through record-breaking immigration; and through calls to join Islam.


In addition to this, there is the orthodox Islamic education of the young generation, which is more religious than previous ones and is, for the most part, unwilling to accept the values of its host societies. There is also the issue of Islamic law creeping into society's daily life: Popular French fast-food chain Quick has recently decided to serve only halal meat at all its locations.


In both Israel and Europe, the only way to stop the vision of Islamic political takeover of the world from coming to be is to address the root of the problem and to outlaw Muslim education that preaches Islamic conquest — not just that which preaches Islamic violence.




David Bensoussan

Asia Times, Dec. 11, 2013


There has been a Jewish presence in Arab-Muslim countries since well before Islam was introduced and it dates back to before the 6th century before the current era. These communities have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing in the majority of Arab-Muslim countries. In fact, 865,000 Jews found themselves excluded in the very countries they were born in and felt that they had to leave.


Non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries have the status of dhimmi, which means "tolerated" or "protected". This flows from the assertion that Jewish and Christian scripture was distorted by their unworthy depositories. It is legislated under the Pact of Umar which was amended several times with the addition of other discriminatory measures.


A dhimmi is in an inferior position within Muslim society: they have special taxes, wear recognizable clothing, are the subject of humiliating measures, and do not have legal status when they are involved in a legal matter involving Muslims. Shi'ite Islam considers Jews to be a source of impurity. While the conditions of Jews have differed between countries, some features overlap for Jews in Morocco, and in the Ottoman and Persian Empires.


In the 19th century, several travellers, consuls and educators, sent out by the Alliance Israelite Universelle, sent back alarming reports on the situation of Jews, including the following: daily humiliation, objects of scorn, submissive to the point of atrophy, constant insecurity, abductions, densely populated Jewish quarters, dramatic impoverishment and seriously unsanitary living conditions. They described nightmarish fanaticism on the one hand and resignation on the other. 


The difficult circumstances of Jews, who made up 0.5% to 3% of the population, depending on the country, was also raised by Muslim chroniclers. Jews automatically became the scapegoats whenever there was political instability, a military defeat or difficult economic conditions, as well as drought. Massacres and plundering happened on a regular basis.


Generally speaking, the rulers were benevolent to a certain degree – of course there were exceptions – and their decisions were not always applied accordingly. For example, the decree agreed to in 1864 by the Moroccan ruler and the philanthropist, Moses Montefiore, on the cessation of mistreatment of Jews, never actually changed anything.


Jews were accused of ritual murder in Damascus in 1840 and in Cairo in 1902. In the Ottoman Empire, there were reforms that ended the mandatory wearing of distinctive clothing and the special tax on non-Muslims, but once again, in the more remote areas of the Empire, this was never enforced.


Being on the fringes of the 19th century expansion of Europe, many Jews sought consular protection, and the parameters were set down at international conferences in Tangier, Madrid, Lausanne, and so on. Algerian Jews obtained the right to French nationality in 1870, Tunisian Jews obtained it at their request in 1923 and Moroccan Jews maintained their status of dhimmi when Morocco became a protectorate. 


A large number of Jews acquired Egyptian nationality but this was quietly withdrawn in 1940 which left about a quarter of Jews without a nationality. In Yemen, Sharia law was applied in 1948 and Jewish orphans were taken in order to be converted to Islam, a practice that had been in use since 1922.


It should be pointed out that improved legal status for Jews did not always translate into improved lives, because mentalities do not evolve as quickly as one might hope. Overall, the Westernization of Jews in countries where the majority is Muslim preceded that of Muslims by more than one generation because of, among other reasons, the reach of the school network of the Alliance Israelite Universelle.


Under the colonial regime, Jews were finally able to live outside the Jewish quarter, the mellah or hara, and they no longer had to wear distinctive clothing. Many Muslims saw this as changing the Jewish status that they felt had been carved in stone by Islamic law. The tradition of prosecuting Jews during difficult domestic times, as well as the resentment against colonial power and the emancipation of Jews, were all key factors in triggering anti-Jewish actions, as happened in Fez in 1912, in Cairo in 1945, and so on.


In order to avoid antagonizing the Muslim majority and even the anti-Semitic European colonists, the colonial authorities often turned a blind eye to the abuse of Jews, for example in Baghdad in 1941. No doubt Jews were considering leaving their country if they could not achieve equal rights. During the Second World War, a pro-Nazi regime came to power in Iraq and the sweeping pogrom, the Farhoud, was carried out in 1941. The Mufti in Jerusalem was the self-appointed voice of Nazi propaganda and he encouraged Bosnia Muslims to join the Waffen SS. As well, Jews in Libya were sent to death camps in Europe and a number in Jews in Tunisia were made to do forced labor.


After the war, there was growing insecurity in eastern Jewish communities. There had been a pogrom in Libya in 1945, anti-British and anti-Semitic riots within the same year in Egypt, in Syria, Yemen and Aden in 1947, and Jews were excluded from the Syrian and Lebanese administrations in 1947. The political committee of the Arab League, made up of seven countries, proposed in 1947, well before Israel's independence, that the assets of Jews be frozen.


Israel's independence and their surprise victory over invading Arab armies was a miracle in the eyes of Jews. Pressure was put on Jews who were told to prove their loyalty by opposing the Jewish state and the Arab press was full of invective against Israel and Jews. People left in a panic for Israel from several countries despite threats to destroy the newly formed state.  


There were multiple anti-Jewish measures: non-renewal of professional licenses in Iraq, a prohibition on leaving Iraq in 1948 and Yemen in 1949, the withdrawal of Egyptian nationality from Jews, who then became stateless in the 1950s, and the withdrawal of the right to vote for Jews in Libya in 1951.


Add to that the pogroms in Djerada, in Morocco in 1948, in Damascus and Aleppo in 1948, in Benghazi and Tripoli in 1948, in Bahrain in 1949, in Egypt in 1952, and in Libya and Tunisia in 1967. There were arrests and expulsions in Egypt in 1956, economic strangulation by spoliation in Iraq in 1951, in Syria in 1949, in Libya in 1970, or by exclusion in Syria and Lebanon in 1947, in Libya in 1958, in Iran in 2000, or by allowing Egyptian business only in Egypt in 1961.


Jewish heritage was destroyed in Oran in 1961 and in Libya in 1969 and 1978, there was police abuse and abductions of young girls with forced conversions in Morocco from 1961 to 1962, Jews were kidnapped in Lebanon in 1967, there were public hangings in Baghdad in 1969, anti-Semitic cliches were used in the Arab press, and campaigns were used to increase anti-Jewish sentiment and incite hatred, using Zionism as an excuse. After the Six-Day War, this rhetoric increased considerably…

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


N.B.: Sunday, Jan. 10, 12:30pm, CIJR presents a special screening of the film The Silent Exodus at Concordia University in Montreal. The film recounts the history of the Jews expelled from the Arab world after 1946. Prof. David Bensoussan, a CIJR Academic Fellow, will give a talk at the screening.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic


European Anti-Semitism Likely to Grow in 2016: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2016—There are very few sure bets in life and even fewer guarantees. But we can always count on the ever reliable triumvirate of death, taxes and anti-Semitism.

Should Israel Prefer French Socialists or the National Front?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 22, 2015—The recent regional elections in France have once again confirmed that the right wing Front National (FN) has become a major force in the country’s politics.

Year After Attack, France’s Jews Learn to Live Under Armed Guard: Benoît Fauchet, Times of Israel, Jan. 5, 2015—Ever since a jihadist attack on a kosher store left four people dead a year ago, France’s Jews have grown used to soldiers patrolling their neighborhoods and schools.

Paris’s Eerily Familiar 1930s Immigrant Problem: Daniel Pipes, National Post, Jan. 3, 2016 —The world’s most prolific author, the Belgian writer Georges Simenon, published a mock memoir in 1951, Les Mémoires de Maigret (English: Maigret’s Memoirs), which featured the ostensible recollections of his fictional character, Inspector Maigret. The sixth chapter, titled in the English translation “One Staircase after Another!” (and brought to my attention by C. Paul Barreira) describes the pro-fascist uprising in Paris on February 6, 1934. It reminds one eerily of today’s North African immigration and Islamist alienation.













We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.


Exile or Diaspora: How European Jews Moved Into Exile Without Relocating: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, July 7, 2015 — After 1948, many Jews in the Western world gradually began to consider themselves as living in the diaspora rather than in exile.

Combating the New Anti-Semitism: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2015— How does one effectively fight anti-Semitism and its newest mutation, anti-Israelism? The first step must be to understand how these phenomena are manifested and who is behind them.

Triumphant Over Titus: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, July 3, 2015 — Great waves of emotion tinged with historical echoes washed over me last week as I stood under the Arch of Titus on the Via Sacra in Rome. At first I felt small, then I grew triumphant.

4th of July in Riga, Latvia: Memory, Distorted Behind Recognition: Sarra Liskovets, Jewish Press, July 3, 2015 — My face beamed with excitement when I woke up in the morning.

On Topic Links


A Beautiful Story of Courage, and Survival – Against All Odds the Jewish People Live! (Video): Israel Video Network, 2015

Nuke Talks: Iran Keeps Holding Out for a More Complete Surrender From the West: J. E. Dyer, Jewish Press, July 7, 2015

After Court Ruling, Kafka Papers Go to Israeli National Library: Ben Niran, Algemeiner, July 9, 2015

Survivors Resolve to Move Forward: U.K. Marks Decade Since Deadly Blasts: Danica Kirka, National Post, July 8, 2015




HOW EUROPEAN JEWS MOVED INTO EXILE WITHOUT RELOCATING                                                                 

Manfred Gerstenfeld

CIJR, July 7, 2015


After 1948, many Jews in the Western world gradually began to consider themselves as living in the diaspora rather than in exile. The establishment of the State of Israel gave Jews abroad an increased self-confidence, and their self-perception changed accordingly. In addition, many Israeli institutions increasingly began to use the word diaspora to describe Jews living outside the country. Like many of its predecessors, the current Israeli government has a ministry which has the term “diaspora” in its title.


In the new century, however, an increasing number of European Jews have moved – without relocating – from living in the Israeli diaspora to becoming Jews in exile. This change in perspective is a result of being the targets of violence and of feeling outsiders who, when they gather, must take security precautions which for others are unnecessary. There is also an increasing fear of expressing one’s identity as one would wish, and it is often becoming impossible to freely state one’s opinions.


Thus, these Jews are de facto in exile, even if their living conditions differ from those of the European Jews immediately following the Second World War. The Holocaust had taught most Jews that they were not considered part of the native population of their countries, no matter what passports they might hold. This was not because of what the German occupiers did to them, but rather due to the attitude and behavior of many of their co-nationals during that time.


Over ten years ago the late Israeli historian David Bankier eloquently described the Polish reality, the country which had the largest pre-war Jewish population in Europe. When I interviewed him, Bankier said, “The Jews were never considered part of the fabric of Polish society. Their ancestors may have lived there for 900 or even 1,000 years, but, as they did not belong to the national majority, they remained foreigners. Most people did not see in the catastrophe befalling the Polish Jews a tragedy affecting the Polish nation. At best, they saw two parallel disasters caused by the Germans. One concerned the Polish nation, the other the Jews.”


Bankier also quoted a Polish underground leader who claimed that it had been her duty to help save Jewish lives during the war. She added, however, that after the war, the Jews should leave Poland, because she wanted to live only among fellow Poles.


The Holocaust was a giant murderous challenge for all Jews in German-occupied countries. For assimilated Jews, however, it was also an intellectual challenge. Self-identification which included denying one’s Jewishness was made irrelevant. A third party, the occupiers, now determined whether or not you were a Jew.


Once the State of Israel was established, the Jews of Western Europe gradually began to feel like other citizens. Anti-Semitism had largely become latent. All positions were open to Jews. In the Netherlands, for instance, certain official positions had been de facto closed to Jews before the war. These included appointments such as those of city mayors. Since the war, there have however been a number of Jewish mayors. In Amsterdam alone, there were four. The diplomatic service was also closed to Jews before the war. After the war there have been Jewish diplomats – one of them an Orthodox Jew.


In the 1950s, when I was a pupil at the Jewish high school in Amsterdam, the janitor would open the door when the doorbell rang without first checking who was standing outside. In the Jewish elementary school, during recess, we kids played in the street in front of the school. Today, when I walk through Amsterdam, I see gentile kids in public schools playing freely in the schoolyard. There is no fear that somebody might attempt to hurt them. In stark contrast, children attending the Jewish schools do so in fortress-like buildings, and they are often told not to wear outside anything which identifies them as Jews. In this new century, various Jewish leaders have recommended that Jews hide their identities in public places. In a radio interview in 2003, for instance, then French Chief Rabbi Joseph Sitruk told French Jews to wear hats, rather than kippot, so as to avoid being attacked in the streets.


One small example of how Jews are verbally attacked in the workplace for what Israel does, or allegedly does, was given by a Jewish hospital nurse from Amsterdam whom I interviewed. In view of the Dutch reality she requested to remain anonymous. She said: “Whenever the Dutch media wrote something about Israel, people would start a political discussion with me. They behaved as if I shaped Israeli politics. No one would ever say to someone with family in Italy: ‘What crazy thing has Berlusconi done again?’”


People tell me that while Jewish representatives try to show a stiff upper-lip when speaking publicly in internal meetings there are sometimes expressions of panic. Even stating the truth proves to be problematic for Jewish leaders in some countries. In February of this year, Roger Cukierman, the head of the umbrella body of French Jewish organizations, CRIF, said that all violence against the Jewish community was perpetrated by young Muslims, “even if they are a very small minority of the Muslim community.”…

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





COMBATING THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM                                                                                       

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2015


How does one effectively fight anti-Semitism and its newest mutation, anti-Israelism? The first step must be to understand how these phenomena are manifested and who is behind them. Over the past decade as anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism increased exponentially, many books covering the subject have been published. Until now, aside from magisterial works of the late Robert Wistrich and the excellent analysis by Daniel Goldhagen, The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Anti-Semitism, there has not been a contemporary review of the global battlefield covering the world’s oldest hatred. There are other valuable studies but they are of limited scope.


Now a new study of considerable significance has become available. Manfred Gerstenfeld’s The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews and the Growth of the New Anti-Semitism… is a compelling book that outlines the components of the new anti-Semitism. The seemingly obscure title is explained in the text as referring to an unlimited number of often small hate attacks from a huge number of sources. This differs from the traditional anti-Semitism of concentrated attacks by major players, such as initially the Catholic Church and much later Nazism and its many allies. What is radically new in this book is that it presents a detailed strategy on how to fight the enemy.


Dr. Gerstenfeld served for 12 years as the chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Israel’s leading think tank. A former international strategic business consultant to some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, Gerstenfeld would today, after the death of Wistrich, be considered the most qualified analyst of contemporary anti-Semitism with a focus on anti-Israelism. He is a prolific writer and has published 10 books on this subject, including pioneering studies on anti-Semitism on campuses in a variety of countries, the anti-Israelism behind the pseudo-humanitarian mask of the hypocritical Northern European societies, the attitude toward Jews as an indicator of the moral decay of the Netherlands, and the increasingly important role that Holocaust inversion and other distortions have assumed in the efforts to demonize the Jewish state.


His new book is a tour de force and undoubtedly represents his magnum opus. It is a readable 500 page volume that provides encyclopedic coverage of the subject. It is probably the first book that reviews the delegitimization of Israel as an entity, identifying the motifs employed, the categories of perpetrators, how the hate themes enter society and the extent of damage incurred by Israel and Jews. Citing a large number of examples from many countries, the central theme of the book highlights the fact that our current struggle is immensely more complex than confronting classical anti-Semitism in which hatred focused on single messages such as the killing of Jesus or genetic inferiority of Jews. Today the onslaught comes from many diverse sources, applies many different motifs and uses a great variety of methods and transmission channels.


His opening chapter is a lucid analysis of how anti-Semites have adopted and integrated anti-Israelism as a new mutation of traditional Jew hatred. The successive chapters discuss how ancient hate motifs have been espoused and upgraded by the current enemies of the Jewish people. Gerstenfeld demonstrates how Muslim anti-Semitism today has effectively adopted the role of Nazi anti-Semitism and is at the forefront of the hatred and violence against Jews – which not only emanates from Muslim countries but wherever Muslim migrants have settled.


He skillfully illustrates the interfacing and interaction between Muslims in Western countries, politicians, the traditional media, social media activists, nongovernmental organizations, church leaders, academics, trade union leaders, right-wing extremists, social democrats, and above all, those on the extreme Left now bolstered by Jewish self-haters who complete the witches’ brew from which the current onslaught of poisonous anti-Semitism has emerged.


Gerstenfeld demonstrates that anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism use the same core motifs. He cites a variety of studies which indicate that over 150 million European Union citizens embrace a satanic view of the Jewish state – where they believe the Israelis behave like Nazis or seek to exterminate the Palestinians. He systematically exposes the shameless, naked anti-Semitism of the majority of U.N. representatives. These include the Europeans who are increasingly inclined to either abstain from or vote in favor of outrageous resolutions, often initiated by rogue states, which apply double standards and single out Israel for censure. Gerstenfeld demonstrates that anti-Semitism is not only part of Europe’s history but also its culture. His depiction of a new criminal Europe warrants serious debate. He also analyzes the impact of the ongoing campaigns of delegitimization on Israel and the ramifications for Diaspora Jews – especially in Europe – who find themselves increasingly discriminated against.


Gerstenfeld outlines his plans to organize the fight on behalf of embattled Israel and the Jewish people. He is strongly convinced that the Israeli government has failed to deal with this problem for decades by mistakenly considering it a minor irritant instead of appreciating the immense consequences of losing the war for the world’s public opinion. He sees a desperate need for the Israeli government to set up an advanced, well-staffed and amply funded anti-propaganda agency which will globally refute the loathsome lies and defamation and humiliate and shame those responsible.


The first task of this agency would be to deal with research, an important component being the creation and updating of a databank of “enemies of Israel and the Jewish people.” Each new incident of hate-mongering could thus immediately be tracked to their combined past mischief. One would also be able to identify the vulnerabilities of Israel’s enemies.


Gerstenfeld states that many enemies of Israel today enjoy a free anti-Semitic lunch. He suggests that we could, for example, identify some of the academically weakest adherents of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and expose their professional failures among their university colleagues and in their profession internationally. He claims that it would not even cost much money. As most people are cowards, he believes that many would think twice before joining the BDS movement.


The second activity the anti-propaganda agency would deal with would be the monitoring of new developments concerning hatemongering. His suggestion that this should be done in three different categories is commendable. The first would be by activity, e.g., calls for violence, Holocaust inversion, BDS, etc. The second would be by perpetrators, such as Muslim states, Muslims in the Western world, media, politicians, liberal churches, NGOs, academics, social democratic parties, trade unions, etc. The third would monitor developments in various countries.


A third department of the proposed anti-propaganda agency would focus on activism, either directly or indirectly. One proposal is that tens of thousands of youngsters willing to defend Israel could be trained to understand how Israel’s enemies work, what lies and fallacies are used and how to expose them. Today the defense of Israel is chaotic. More coordination would enable much more with the same means.


The book includes an introduction by former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, who describes the book as “an excellent contribution to better understanding the indirect attacks against Israel.” It also contains endorsements and commendations from Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman, former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, former Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal, former Swedish Development Cooperation Minister Alf Svensson, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and others. This book should be considered a compulsory manual for anyone engaged in public activity to promote the case for Israel or combat anti-Semitism.                                                          





David M. Weinberg                         

Israel Hayom, July 3, 2015


Great waves of emotion tinged with historical echoes washed over me last week as I stood under the Arch of Titus on the Via Sacra in Rome. At first I felt small, then I grew triumphant. The epic arch was built to commemorate the victories of Emperor Titus, including his destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealth in 70 C.E. Its southern panel famously depicts Roman soldiers parading spoils from the Temple in Jerusalem: the gold menorah, trumpets and showbread table. Potent symbols of Jewish defeat and dispersion.


Yet here I was, a Jew living in the Third Jewish Commonwealth — the modern State of Israel — viewing the arch amidst the tens of thousands of tourists swarming the surrounding archeological park (which includes the Temple of Jupiter and the Colosseum, where Jews were fed to Roman lions for entertainment).


I could only smile in victorious amusement. After all, the ancient Roman Empire has long dissipated and Lord Jupiter has been discredited, while Jewish civilization has prevailed and Jewish sovereignty has been robustly reborn in the land of Israel. Indeed, the captured menorah on that arch served as the model for the liberated menorah on the State of Israel's emblem.


And as for the plundered Temple artifacts themselves: Well, they may be buried deep somewhere in Rome or lost forever. Either way, new vessels are being fashioned in present-day Jerusalem, literally and figuratively, for worship and redemption — vessels that range from menorahs to flash memory chips, and from shofars to semiconductors. Titus is long gone. The people of Israel, however, live on, live well, till the land of Israel once again, and make enormous contributions to global arts, culture, ethics, morality, science, medicine and more. Excuse me for feeling triumphant.


Everywhere I traveled in Europe — Naples, Pompeii, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and more — people in the streets were thrilled to talk to real Jews and Israelis. Curious and surprised to meet us, people immediately began asking questions: Why did we (Jews with North American backgrounds and accents) move to Israel? Have we been to Jerusalem? Is it safe to live in or visit Israel? What about military service?


People seemed to know about Israeli innovation and technology, and about the dysfunctionality and divisions of our Palestinian neighbors. Young and old were impressed by Israel's achievements and buoyant about Europe-Israel relations. Nobody seemed too perturbed about "Zionist conquests" or concerned about Jewish settlements and Palestinian refugees. (Intelligent interlocutors, however, actually believed that the biblical Philistines and the latter-day Palestinians were one and the same; nonsense that is clearly a victory for Palestinian propaganda, and something that needs to be countered.)


Everybody we met wanted to know what the plan is for dealing with anarchic Islamic forces surging across the Middle East. And what really alarms them is the intrusion of radical Islamists into Europe! They understood Israel as a bulwark against such extremism. This rosy picture stands in stark contrast to the doom and gloom about Israel's reputation, foreign relations and ties with Europe that we regularly read about in the newspapers. Perhaps this is because I was meeting plain people in the streets and cafes, not the sophisticated types in universities or parliaments. Or perhaps it is because not everybody has read the poisonous literature coming out of Israel itself…

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




4TH OF JULY IN RIGA, LATVIA:                                                                            

MEMORY, DISTORTED BEHIND RECOGNITION                                                                 

Sarra Liskovets                                                                                                   

Jewish Press, July 3, 2015


My face beamed with excitement when I woke up in the morning. Even six time zones away from America, on the other side of Atlantic Ocean, I felt myself amongst the Americans celebrating the country’s 238th birthday and was overwhelmed with graduate to the country that adopted me and transformed me into a happy, content and fulfilled person. The second summer I came to this small town on the marvelous shore of the Baltic Sea, or more accurately of its Gulf of Riga, to escape the heat and humidity of the Washington, DC area and work on my memoirs. I was delighted to notice the Latvian national flag at a single-story office building located exactly in front of the window where I was sitting and writing; Latvia also had something to celebrate on the 4th of July. It was windy, and the flag, two red strips with a narrow white one between, was cheerfully fluttering in the breeze.


Perhaps a half hour later, I looked again in the window, a man standing on a chair was removing the flag from its holder. “What’s was going on”, I wondered? Only then I noticed that a narrow, black ribbon, a symbol of mourning, which had not properly tightened, had been under the flag. The man carefully tied the ribbon to the proper place above the flag and put it back on the wall. The black ribbon flying above the flag somewhat calmed my excitement of the day – you feel less comfortable being happy when other people are grieving.


It was not the first time during my visiting I saw the national flag with a black ribbon. As always being curios, I tried to ask what tragic event in the Latvian history was honored, nobody, even the homeowners, who put the flags on their houses, could not give a certain answer. I assume they did not want to share with me their tragedy of being, what officially called, occupied for almost 50 years by the Soviet Union. Several hours later I went to the local library to check my e-mail. Of course a flag with a black ribbon was on the library building; as a last chance I asked the librarian about the black ribbon. Proud she could finally answer on my question, many of my previous ones were not so lucky, she replayed, “Today we honor the memory of the victims of genocide during Holocaust.” The combination of words genocide and Holocaust painted my ears and immediately I felt pangs in my heart – my oldest sister had been killed during the Holocaust, thus, I considered the tragedy of the Jews during the WWII very personally.


Being a mathematician much more than only by education, I have a special feeling for numbers and dates. Hitler began the War against the Soviet Union with massive bombardment of Minsk, Belarus, the biggest city close to the border, on Sunday, June 22 of 1941. This year, 73 years later, June 22 also occurred on Sunday and I felt compelled to relive day by day my parents’ fleeing from the unavoidable Nazi’s occupation. They escaped separately, my mother with her family, she came to visit them only two days before, from Minsk, my father with two children and his extended family from Bobruisk, a small town about 100mi south of Minsk. Although all of them, but my oldest sister, were out of immediate danger by the end of the first week of the War; they were exceedingly lucky for both places had been occupied almost immediately, in my mind, I was following their odyssey…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!






On Topic                                                                                        


A Beautiful Story of Courage, and Survival – Against All Odds the Jewish People Live! (Video): Israel Video Network, 2015

Nuke Talks: Iran Keeps Holding Out for a More Complete Surrender From the West: J. E. Dyer, Jewish Press, July 7, 2015 —You may have heard that the Iran nuclear talks will continue past the 30 June deadline.

After Court Ruling, Kafka Papers Go to Israeli National Library: Ben Niran, Algemeiner, July 9, 2015—After decades of legal wrangling, a Tel Aviv District Court has awarded custody of the estate of Max Brod, Franz Kafka’s friend and publisher, to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

Survivors Resolve to Move Forward: U.K. Marks Decade Since Deadly Blasts: Danica Kirka, National Post, July 8, 2015—Britons paused in silence and walked in solidarity Tuesday to mark the 10th anniversary of suicide bomb attacks on London's transit system. Four British men inspired by al-Qaida blew themselves up on three London subway trains and a bus during the morning rush hour on July 7, 2005, killing 52 commuters and injuring more than 700.








Last month the Swedish foreign minister Margot Wahlstrom postponed her visit to Israel after foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other Israeli top officials refused to meet her.[1] The Israeli refusal was a reaction to the new Social Democrat Swedish government’s initiative to recognize the Palestinian state shortly after its arrival to power. The Israeli attitude should also be seen, however, against the background of decades of extreme anti-Israeli hatemongering by Swedish Social Democrats.


The late Swedish Social Democrat Prime Minister Olof Palme – murdered in 1986 – was a pioneer of anti-Israel incitement. He accused Israel of Nazi practices.[2] In 1984, Swedish Deputy Foreign Minister Pierre Schori visited Israel. He praised Arafat and his “flexible policy.” In an article, Schori claimed that “the terrorist acts of the PLO were ‘meaningless,’ while Israel’s retaliatory acts were ‘despicable acts of terrorism.’”[3]


Surprisingly, this century started, however, with a very positive event for the Jewish people in Sweden. In January 2000, a major conference on Holocaust education in Stockholm came to a close. The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust had been initiated by Göran Persson, then the Swedish Social Democrat prime minister. Political leaders from almost fifty countries participated in the conference. Nowadays representatives of tens of  countries meet regularly to discuss Holocaust education, research and remembrance in the framework of an intergovernmental organization, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.[4]


Yet Zvi Mazel, who was Israel’s ambassador to Stockholm from December 2002 to April 2004, said, “Despite Persson’s personal attitude, he has to carry part of the blame for his party’s discriminatory stance toward Israel. For decades, the Social Democrats helped create the country’s anti-Israeli atmosphere. He also has to take responsibility for the behavior of the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA), which blames Israel for all the many wrongs in Palestinian society.”


Mazel added, “Another leading socialist, the late foreign minister Anna Lindh, usually made the most vicious attacks on Israel. Her hatred of Israel can only be described as almost pathological. Under her leadership, Sweden published the greatest number of one-sided condemnations of Israel of any EU country. Lindh was stabbed to death in 2003 by a mentally disturbed Swede of Serbian origin.”[5]


Lindh’s successor as foreign minister, Laila Freivalds, visited Yad Vashem in June 2004 to honor murdered Jews. She then heavily criticized Israel at a meeting with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Freivalds remained silent on the extensive anti-Semitism in Sweden, much of which is of Muslim origin. This phenomenon of paying honor to dead Jews, criticizing Israel, and ignoring or belittling one’s own country’s major delinquencies toward living Jews is common in Europe. Freivalds’s behavior was subsequently exposed by four former chairmen of the Swedish Jewish community, who wrote about the rampant racism and anti-Semitism in the country. They sent a letter to the editor of Haaretz in which they summarized contemporary Swedish anti-Semitism. The letter first praised Sweden for having received Jews fleeing the Holocaust during World War II, and Prime Minister Göran Persson for initiating the Living History Project.


The four then went on to say:

The number of verbal and physical attacks against Jews has increased in Sweden. Youngsters in schools give evidence of how they hide the fact of being Jews, as they are attacked both verbally and physically. Teachers testify that students refuse to participate in classes when Judaism is studied. Survivors report feelings of fear. The police stand passively by when extremists attack pro-Israel and anti-racist manifestations.


They added:

Over the last decades, Sweden has become a center of racist and anti-Semitic White Power music, and several anti-Semitic groups have established Swedish websites spreading anti-Semitic propaganda. The Swedish Church has just recently initiated a boycott campaign [against Israel], a reminder of the commercial boycott of Jews in various societies in the past.[6]


There were large anti-Israeli demonstrations in Sweden during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009. Prominent members of the Social Democrats – at the time the party was in opposition — took part in hate demonstrations against Israel. Mona Sahlin, then the party’s leader, participated in a rally in Stockholm[7] where Hezbollah and Hamas flags were flown and an Israeli flag was burned.[8] Jan Eliasson, the former foreign minister,[9] and Wanja Lundby Wedin, chair of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation,[10] also took part in that event.


Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, is often mentioned as the capital of European anti-Semitism. The perpetrators of the many anti-Semitic acts committed there are almost all or all Muslims. Hannah Rosenthal, the U.S. government’s special envoy for combating anti-Semitism, visited the town in 2012. She spoke out about anti-Semitic statements made by then Social Democrat Mayor Ilmar Reepalu. Rosenthal also remarked that under this mayor Malmö had become a “prime example” of “new anti-Semitism,” as anti-Israeli sentiment serves as a guise for Jew-hatred.[11] A record number of complaints about hate crimes in the city from 2010 through 2011 did not lead to any convictions.[12]


It is thus not surprising that the major 2013 study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that 51% of Swedish Jews considered hostility to Jews in the streets and public spaces to be a fairly large or very large problem. Thirty-four percent of Swedish Jews always avoid wearing, carrying, or displaying things that might help identify them as Jews in public places; another 26% avoid doing this frequently. These are the highest figures for any country covered by the study. Twenty-two percent feel that they are constantly being accused or blamed for what Israel does; 27% said that this occurs frequently. Twenty-five percent say that anti-Semitism is a major problem.[13]


The Swedish Social Democrats are far from the only example of how European socialists have become indirect allies of the Islamo-Nazis of Hamas. They are, however certainly one of the most pronounced ones.


[1] Herb Keinon, Swedish FM postpones visit after Liberman declines to meet, 7 January 2015.

[2] Per Ahlmark, “Palme’s Legacy 15 Years On,” Project Syndicate, February 2001.

[3] Moshe Yegar, Neutral Policy – Theory versus Practice: Swedish-Israeli Relations (Jerusalem: Israel Council on Foreign Relations, 1993), 126-128.


[4] www.holocaustremembrance.com/

[5] Manfred Gerstenfeld, interview with Zvi Mazel, “Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism in Sweden,” in European-Israeli Relations: Between Confusion and Change? (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Adenauer Foundation, 2006), 170-180.

[6] Salomo Berlinger, Stefan Meisels, Torsten Press, and Willy Salomon, “Sweden Can Do Much More for Country’s Jewish Community,” Haaretz, 10 June 2004.

[7] Per Gudmundson, “Mona Sahlin, hakkorsen och Hamasflaggorna,” Gudmundson, 15 January 2009.

[8]  “Israelska flaggan brändes,” Dagens Nyheter, 10 January 2009. (Swedish)

[9] Per Gudmundson, “Rödflaggat,” Gudmundson, 13 January 2009. (Swedish)

[10] Per Gudmundson, “Swedish Leading Social Democrats in Rally with Hezbollah Flags,” Gudmundson, 10 January 2009. (Swedish)

[11] Cnaan Liphshiz, “In Scandinavia, kipah becomes a symbol of defiance for Malmo’s Jews,” JTA, 24 September 2012.

[12] Cnaan Liphshiz, “In Malmo, record number of hate crimes complaints but no convictions,” JTA, January 9, 2013.


[13] “Discrimination and hate crime against Jews in EU Member States: experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism,” European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2013, 19.




We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 




Antisemitism 2015: A Global Challenge: Catherine Chatterley, Huffington Post, Dec. 31, 2014— Antisemitism presents a serious challenge for the global community today.

More Words Replace an Anti-Semitism Task Force: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 30— The European Parliament recently voted down the proposed establishment of a special task force on anti-Semitism.

First Deaths at Dachau: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2014 — Early on April 13, 1933, an official from the prosecutor’s office for Munich District II set off to investigate a crime.

Generations Forget And Remember: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Dec. 25, 2014— The drama of younger and older brothers, which haunts the book of Bereishit from Cain and Abel onwards, reaches a strange climax in the story of Joseph’s children.


On Topic Links


Wiesenthal Center’s Top 10 Worst Anti-Semitic Acts of 2014: Ahuva Balofsky, Breaking Israel News, Dec. 30, 2014

Anti-Semitism is Inherently Genocidal, Says Expert: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 2014

Isolationist Path: Canada’s Military Policy Would Differ Much Under a Trudeau Government:  Matthew Fisher, National Post, Dec. 29, 2014

Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future, 2014: Dovid Efune, Algemeiner, Jan. 1, 2015

Aristotle and Jewish Thought: A Harmonious Encounter: Howard Zik, Jewish Press, Dec. 28, 2014



ANTISEMITISM 2015: A GLOBAL CHALLENGE                                                                     

Catherine Chatterley                                  

Huffington Post, Dec. 31, 2014 


Antisemitism presents a serious challenge for the global community today. The last decade has seen a shocking growth in antisemitic rhetoric and agitation, and routine acts of violence against Jews have returned to European cities 70 years after the Holocaust. The battle between Israel and the Palestinians has become intractable, and the idea of a "peace process" that might finally resolve the issues is not taken as seriously as it was years ago. This fact does not bode well for Israelis or Palestinians, and given the obsessive focus on this conflict by the media and by both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel activist organizations, the lack of resolution and mounting frustration is an ongoing concern for all of us.


Today, we face a major impasse in our discussions about antisemitism: Where many Jews see a new or resurgent antisemitism, non-Jews are more likely to see political protest or a backlash against Israeli actions and policies. In truth, both characterizations can be accurate depending on the specific circumstance. Increasingly, however, this chasm in perception between Jews and non-Jews about the nature of antisemitism is widening, and it is one reason why there is a distinct lack of concern about the problem on the part of the world community today.


Along with news and debate about the conflicts in the Middle East, the Internet, satellite television, and social networking via cellphone allow people across the planet to share an enormous amount of explicit antisemitic material that is, quite frankly, poisoning the relationship between humanity and the Jewish people, making an intractable conflict even more difficult to resolve. This new reality is enormously threatening to a tiny people whose parents and grandparents survived being slated for extermination in Europe 70 years ago. Antisemitic incitement breeds fear and anxiety in Jews and it destroys trust and goodwill, which makes authentic peacemaking between Jews and Arabs impossible. Anyone who claims to want to build peace between Jews and Arabs, especially those who want the Palestinians to build a positive peaceful future in their own state, should also commit to working against the problem of antisemitism and to help retard its growth, in the West and in the Arab and Islamic worlds. Antisemitism is one of the most serious impediments to peace in the Middle East, and that is why it should concern all of us.


Jews are an extremely small community of people on this planet, and non-Jewish attitudes and perceptions about Jews and Israel really do matter, especially in an increasingly globalized reality. In a world population of over 7 billion people, there are approximately 14 million Jews, and almost all of them live in only two countries: Israel and the United States. This means that Jews constitute 0.002 percent, or one fifth of one percent, of the entire human population on planet earth, which in turn means that while Jews know and interact with non-Jews, the vast majority of non-Jews will never meet a Jewish person. If this is our human reality, then what does it mean when 24 percent of the planet holds opinions deemed to be antisemitic, as reflected in the ADL's recent survey of 100 countries?


Obviously we have a phenomenon that is not based in reality or in actual human experience but is communicated and circulated through libel, rumor, mythology, and imagination, as it has been for 2,000 years. Given this, the new media presents a very significant challenge for those of us working to combat the lies and libels of antisemitism. Jewish existence is by necessity dependent upon, and determined by, relationships with the non-Jewish world. Antisemitism is a real and present danger to those relationships, and therefore it remains a threat to Jewish existence. Our challenge for this new year is to clearly identify antisemitism as the conspiratorial and libelous phenomenon it in fact is so that people might consciously separate themselves from it and help mitigate the damage it does to Jews, their neighbors, and human societies.


Catherine Chatterley is a CIJR Academic Fellow






MORE WORDS REPLACE AN ANTI-SEMITISM TASK FORCE                                                               

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 30, 2014


The European Parliament recently voted down the proposed establishment of a special task force on anti-Semitism. This occurred in spite of the unprecedented levels of anti-Semitic incidents in 2014 occurring within many European countries. The Parliament’s decision means that the issue of a special task force dealing with anti-Semitism can only be raised again in 2019, after the next parliamentary elections. It is important to document what is said by Jewish leaders and by some Jews in the public eye about the current anti-Semitism in their countries. When the parliamentarians will meet five years hence, they will have this material at their disposal. There will be little to analyze because the quotes speak for themselves. One can start with the usually understated comments of British Jews. Journalist Hugo Rifkind of The Times wrote of his recent discomfort on being a British Jew. “Never before have I felt that attitudes towards Jews in Europe – and even, albeit less so, in Britain – could grow far, far worse before a whole swathe of supposedly progressive thought was even prepared to notice.” In a conversation with Israel’s Channel 2, BBC Television Director Danny Cohen said, “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually. Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually.”


The only resident chief rabbi of the Netherlands, Binyomin Jacobs, said on a national television program that Jews feel unsafe in the Netherlands and are being threatened and insulted on the streets. He noted that he, himself, also wonders whether or not it is safe for him to remain in the Netherlands. Jacobs has come to the conclusion, however, that he has to stay – “because the captain is the last one to leave the ship.” David Beesemer is the chairman of Maccabi in the Netherlands. He was quoted by the Jewish weekly Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad as saying: “I am now constantly busy with wondering whether I can offer my children a safe future here. Before the summer of 2014 I did not even think about this.” David Serphos, the former director of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam, wrote, “I don’t dare to trust the authorities after the mayor of The Hague, and now even of Amsterdam do not interfere when Jews and Judaism are threatened. “Often I spoke jocularly with friends about reliable addresses to go into hiding [like in the Second World War] if it would ever be necessary. In recent times I look far more seriously to that very short list.”


In July 2014, after firebombs were thrown at a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany – the national German Jewish umbrella organization – said that Jews should, at least for the moment, hide their identity. Otherwise, the risk of an attack would be too great. Dieter Graumann, her successor, said, “These are the worst times since the Nazi era.” “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed,’ ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.” As early as 2012, Stephan Kramer, then the secretary general of the Central Council, said he no longer trusts the Germans. “Only the Jews can save themselves.” He added that he always carries a gun, which he had to show to someone who had harassed him on Yom Kippur, in order to frighten him away. Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF, the French Jewish umbrella organization, said regarding the anti-Israel protests occurring in France during Israel’s Gaza campaign of 2014, “They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris. They are screaming ‘Death to Jews.’” In March 2014, Cukierman’s predecessor, Richard Prasquier, had already said, “Today, much more acutely than when I left my position as president of CRIF ten months ago, the question of our lasting presence in France is raised…. Today in the Jewish community, there is hardly a conversation when the subject of leaving [France] is not brought up.” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, summed it all up: “Normative Jewish life in Europe is unsustainable.”…


                                    Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow   






FIRST DEATHS AT DACHAU                                                                                            

Frederick Taylor                                                                                                           

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2014


Early on April 13, 1933, an official from the prosecutor’s office for Munich District II set off to investigate a crime. Three men had been killed in woodland hard by the abandoned Royal Powder and Munitions Factory at Prittlbach, about 10 miles outside the city. Another had been horribly wounded. The stuff of violent personal tragedy, perhaps. Except that the deaths had occurred a short stretch beyond the still-makeshift boundary fence of what the government was calling a “camp for protective custody.” And because no one knew where Prittlbach was, the recently opened detention center had been named after a picturesque nearby town well known as an artists’ colony: Dachau.


Adolf Hitler had been chancellor of Germany for 10 weeks at the head of a coalition administration. On Feb. 27, an arson attack on the Reichstag in Berlin (its true cause still a matter of contention) had already enabled him to suspend many civil liberties. Six days later, on March 5, new elections had been conducted with the full apparatus of government on the Nazis’ side. They made gains but still won less than 44% of the vote, short of an absolute majority. Soon, nevertheless, the Communist Party had been banned and elected provincial governments—including Bavaria’s—replaced by governors appointed from Berlin. On March 24, Hitler browbeat the moderate parties in his coalition into passing an “empowerment law.” After that, he and his henchmen could do pretty much whatever they wanted. And what they wanted to do was to crush all remaining opposition. The wave of arrests that had begun with the Reichstag fire swelled by the day. There were holdouts against the developing dictatorship. Chief among the areas in which traditional political parties had resisted the surge in National Socialist support were the Rhineland and Bavaria, where the conservative Catholic forces were extraordinarily resilient. The Berlin-appointed Bavarian state governor and justice minister were both Nazis, but Catholic morality, professional integrity and a sharp lookout for Bavaria’s rights still characterized the attitude of many officials. This was certainly true of the 39-year-old Munich prosecutor who went out to Dachau that mid-April morning, Josef Hartinger. He took with him an equally rigorous forensic surgeon, Moritz Flamm. It was a 20-minute drive to the camp, where the two investigators were greeted by the commandant, an SS Hauptsturmführer by the name of Hilmar Wäckerle. A brutal blond vision in black uniform and polished boots, surrounded by menacing toughs, he carried a whip made from a bull’s pizzle, designed to flay a man alive.


Hartinger was no shrinking liberal violet. He had served with distinction in World War I and afterward in the militia that helped suppress, without mercy, the short-lived Soviet Republic of Bavaria. He was religious and politically conservative but also a lawyer with a pronounced sense of justice. The camp commandant was something else. Wäckerle could be charming (he fooled a New York Times reporter, who “investigated” Dachau later that same April and came away singing Wäckerle’s praises), but he was a sadist. The law meant nothing to him. To Hartinger and Flamm, it meant everything. Another investigating team might have avoided what lay ahead. It was obvious that the three men had been murdered. Supposedly shot from a distance “while trying to escape,” they had, the eagle-eyed Flamm observed, been executed at short range with bullets to the back of the head. They were all political opponents of the Nazis. As much, if not more, to the point, they were all Jews. As was the mortally wounded man, who, the SS guards said, accidentally “ran into the line of fire.” Hartinger had all he needed to bring murder charges. The story of what happened next, day by tense day, as the deaths mounted up in that fateful spring of 1933, makes up Timothy W. Ryback’s fine and chilling “Hitler’s First Victims: The Quest for Justice.” The details of the Nazi brutality are harrowing; those of the investigation and its ramifications fascinating.


Hartinger was stubborn and brave, fighting obstruction within his department and threats from the newly installed Nazi authorities. He hoped that by drawing attention to the new regime’s murders of opponents and “racial enemies” he could head off the growth of state violence and simultaneously strengthen the hand of German “moderates.” These actually included both the new state governor, Gen. Franz Ritter von Epp—war hero and counter-revolutionary commander, hard-bitten but not fanatical—and, astonishingly in retrospect, the new justice minister of Bavaria, Dr. Hans Frank, who would become notorious as the blood-drenched governor of occupied Poland. In 1933, before power did its work of corruption, Frank retained a diligent lawyer’s desire to act within some vestigial framework of legality. Hartinger knew that the new Reich government was concerned about criticism from abroad, especially America. Hitler also wanted a concordat with the Vatican, in order to placate Catholic Germany, which contained strong pockets of resistance to his regime. Finally, so Hartinger calculated, there was the matter of Reich president Paul von Hindenburg. Now 85 years old and in failing health, the old field marshal remained empowered under the constitution to sack Hitler from the chancellorship, as he had done with several of his predecessors. Hindenburg cared little for democracy, but he did care for the law, and he had already intervened to limit discrimination against Jews, particularly ex-servicemen.


Despite his nervous superior’s vacillations, Hartinger managed to proceed with indictments. When there were further unexplained deaths—including supposed “suicides”—at the camp, he also included those. By the end of May, he was ready to prosecute the SS guards he thought responsible and hoped the world would learn the truth of what was happening at Dachau. It’s no spoiler to reveal that Hartinger’s plan failed, although he got further than perhaps even he expected. The “moderates” were able to prevail against the Nazi fanatics, and von Epp instructed the chief of the Bavarian police, Heinrich Himmler, to stop the illegal killings. In the end, Himmler went over the heads of both von Epp and Frank and persuaded Hitler to close down the case with a direct order. The paperwork was sequestered, and Hartinger found himself abruptly transferred to another jurisdiction. With the Nazis ever more firmly in the saddle, the murders at Dachau soon began again, their perpetrators protected by new immunity laws and weasel-worded regulations. The camp authorities soon found ways of disposing of the bodies, leaving no evidence. The Dachau model became the foundation of the Nazis’ concentration-camp network. This was the beginning of the kill-and-conceal system, created and operated by the SS, that would eventually make routine the deaths of millions of Jews, Gypsies, resistance fighters and anyone else the Nazis deemed inconvenient. Whether the murders that sparked Hartinger’s investigation were actually the first of the Holocaust, as Mr. Ryback claims in the book’s dedication, is debatable, but the pattern is there and the touch of tragic drama perhaps forgivable…    

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




GENERATIONS FORGET AND REMEMBER                                                                         

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks                                                                                                   

Jewish Press, Dec. 25, 2014


The drama of younger and older brothers, which haunts the book of Bereishit from Cain and Abel onwards, reaches a strange climax in the story of Joseph’s children. Jacob/Israel is nearing the end of his life. Joseph visits him, bringing with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. It is the only scene of grandfather and grandchildren in the book. Jacob asks Joseph to bring them near so that he can bless them. What follows next is described in painstaking detail:


“Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh in his left hand towards Israel’s right, and brought them near him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn…When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” He blessed them that day, saying: “In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: ‘May G-d make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. (48: 13-14, 17-20).


It is not difficult to understand the care Joseph took to ensure that Jacob would bless the firstborn first. Three times his father had set the younger before the elder, and each time it had resulted in tragedy. He, the younger, had sought to supplant his elder brother Esau. He favored the younger sister Rachel over Leah. And he favored the youngest of his children, Joseph and Benjamin, over the elder Reuben, Shimon and Levi. The consequences were catastrophic: estrangement from Esau, tension between the two sisters, and hostility among his sons. Joseph himself bore the scars: thrown into a well by his brothers, who initially planned to kill him and eventually sold him into Egypt as a slave. Had his father not learned? Or did he think that Ephraim – whom Joseph held in his right hand – was the elder? Did Jacob know what he was doing? Did he not realize that he was risking extending the family feuds into the next generation? Besides which, what possible reason could he have for favoring the younger of his grandchildren over the elder? He had not seen them before. He knew nothing about them. None of the factors that led to the earlier episodes were operative here. Why did Jacob favor Ephraim over Manasseh?


Jacob knew two things, and it is here that the explanation lies. He knew that the stay of his family in Egypt would not be a short one. Before leaving Canaan to see Joseph, G-d had appeared to him in a vision: Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes. (46: 3-4) This was, in other words, the start of the long exile which G-d had told Abraham would be the fate of his children (a vision the Torah describes as accompanied by “a deep and dreadful darkness” – 15: 12). The other thing Jacob knew was his grandsons’ names, Manasseh and Ephraim. The combination of these two facts was enough. When Joseph finally emerged from prison to become prime minister of Egypt, he married and had two sons. This is how the Torah describes their birth: “Before the years of the famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh, saying, “It is because G-d has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim, saying, “It is because G-d has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (41: 50-52) With the utmost brevity the Torah intimates an experience of exile that was to be repeated many times across the centuries. At first, Joseph felt relief. The years as a slave, then a prisoner, were over. He had risen to greatness. In Canaan, he had been the youngest of eleven brothers in a nomadic family of shepherds. Now, in Egypt, he was at the center of the greatest civilization of the ancient world, second only to Pharaoh in rank and power. No one reminded him of his background. With his royal robes and ring and chariot, he was an Egyptian prince (as Moses was later to be). The past was a bitter memory he sought to remove from his mind. Manasseh means “forgetting.”


But as time passed, Joseph began to feel quite different emotions. Yes, he had arrived. But this people was not his; nor was its culture. To be sure, his family was, in any worldly terms, undistinguished, unsophisticated. Yet they remained his family. They were the matrix of who he was. Though they were no more than shepherds (a class the Egyptians despised), they had been spoken to by G-d – not the gods of the sun, the river and death, the Egyptian pantheon – but G-d, the creator of heaven and earth, who did not make His home in temples and pyramids and panoplies of power, but who spoke in the human heart as a voice, lifting a simple family to moral greatness. By the time his second son was born, Joseph had undergone a profound change of heart. To be sure, he had all the trappings of earthly success – “G-d has made me fruitful” – but Egypt had become “the land of my affliction.” Why? Because it was exile. There is a sociological observation about immigrant groups, known as Hansen’s Law: “The second generation seeks to remember what the first generation sought to forget.” Joseph went through this transformation very quickly. It was already complete by the time his second son was born. By calling him Ephraim, he was remembering what, when Manasseh was born, he was trying to forget: who he was, where he came from, where he belonged.


Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with their ages and everything to do with their names. Knowing that these were the first two children of his family to be born in exile, knowing too that the exile would be prolonged and at times difficult and dark, Jacob sought to signal to all future generations that there would be a constant tension between the desire to forget (to assimilate, acculturate, anaesthetize the hope of a return) and the promptings of memory (the knowledge that this is “exile,” that we are part of another story, that ultimate home is somewhere else). The child of forgetting (Manasseh) may have blessings. But greater are the blessings of a child (Ephraim) who remembers the past and future of which he is a part.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year!



On Topic


Wiesenthal Center’s Top 10 Worst Anti-Semitic Acts of 2014: Ahuva Balofsky, Breaking Israel News, Dec. 30, 2014 —The Simon Wiesenthal Center has released a list of its top 10 worst anti-Semitic offenses of 2014.
Anti-Semitism is Inherently Genocidal, Says Expert: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 2014—Jew-hatred is by its very nature a violent phenomenon, a leading anti-Semitism researcher told The Jerusalem Post during an interview on Tuesday.

Isolationist Path: Canada’s Military Policy Would Differ Much Under a Trudeau Government:  Matthew Fisher, National Post, Dec. 29, 2014—Who would have guessed at the beginning of 2014 that by the fall Canadian warplanes would be bugging out of several airfields in a tiny Persian Gulf emirate to conduct round-the-clock combat operations against jihadists over Iraq or that other Canadian warplanes would be policing the airspace of Baltic states frantic to avoid Russian predations?

Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future, 2014: Dovid Efune, Algemeiner, Jan. 1, 2015 —Five years have now passed since I first published my annual list of non-Jews who are worthy of recognition for their positive impact on Jewish lives and the Jewish state.

Aristotle and Jewish Thought: A Harmonious Encounter: Howard Zik, Jewish Press, Dec. 28, 2014—Whenever we think of ideas originating in ancient Greece we are inclined to view them as having great conflict with Jewish thought.


























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