Tag: Holocaust

Baruch Cohen: ROMANIA’S HOLOCAUST 1940

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

“Due to these restrictions, my father (Follender) was dismissed from his job. Other family members also lost their employment and their businesses, as a result of the intensifying anti-Semitic legislation. Soon everyone began to feel the economic repercussions. My family was forced to start selling their jewelry, furs and other valuables, in order to purchase the basic necessities of life.

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

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

A year after denying that the mass murder of Jews took place on Romanian territory, Romania’s president Ion Iliescu fjnally acknowledged his nation’s role in the Holocaust (Montreal Gazette, June 14, 2003, November 12, 2004). “The Holocaust tragedy was possible due to the complicity of leaders of state institutions,” he admitted. President Iliescu then announced the establishment of a national memorial day for the Holocaust victims: October 9.

Elie Wiesel, himself a Holocaust survivor, headed a commission to investigate the Holocaust in Romania. In presenting the commission’s results, he said: “I didn’t know there was so much brutality, that the anti-Semitism was such a pure anti-Semitism, with nothing to do with racism or economics. Why did it take so long for me to learn that.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

On Topic Links

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

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

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

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



Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




WIDESPREAD ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE NETHERLANDS                                                                Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Amir Taheri

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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




Rhona Lewis                                                         

Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links

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

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

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

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


The Blood of Slain Israelis Stains Many Hands: Melanie Phillips, JNS, Sept. 20, 2018— It’s often claimed by Western enemies of Israel that the military actions of the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas in Gaza are disproportionate because such actions kill Arabs while Hamas attacks don’t kill Israelis.

Sukkot and Impermanence: Jeremy Rosen, Algemeiner, Sept. 21, 2018— In discussing the festival of Sukkot, the Talmud gives all the various possible explanations for the origin and purpose of a Sukkah.

The NY Times: All the Fallacies it Considers Fit to Print: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 16, 2018— More than two thousand years before the ancestors of any New York Times (NYT) editor — other than indigenous individuals — lived in America, the Jewish people already existed with their own sophisticated language, culture and religion.

New Eichmann Film Puts the Lie to Hannah Arendt’s ‘Banality of Evil’: Alan Dershowitz, Algemeiner, Sept. 20, 2018 — One of the most notorious lines — and lies — that grew out of the trial of Adolph Eichmann for his important role in the Holocaust was what Hannah Arendt called the “Banality of Evil.”

On Topic Links

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2017: Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, Oct. 4, 2017

Mahmoud Abbas: Fresh American Blood on His Hands: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 17, 2018

New York Times Stumbles in a Strange Front-Page Antisemitism Story: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Sept. 12, 2018

UK Jews: Unity at any Price: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Sept. 17, 2018


                              SUKKOT AND IMPERMANENCE

Jeremy Rosen

Algemeiner, Sept. 21, 2018

In discussing the festival of Sukkot, the Talmud gives all the various possible explanations for the origin and purpose of a Sukkah. Its final idea is that of impermanence. “Leave your permanent home, and live in a temporary home.” In many ways, impermanence is in our genes: Our wandering forebears. Our movable Tabernacle. Exile. Return. Impermanence really resonates with us.

We humans are indeed transient. We live our lives in constant tension between permanence and impermanence. We can be snuffed out in a flash. We are specks on the timeline of life. We are driven by a desire for life and the struggle to avoid death. There are wars, persecution, political change and upheaval, as well as illness, plagues, and natural disasters. Life is a struggle. We struggle to work, to live, to love. As a result, many of us feel insecure, depressed, and stressed.

We need certainties — to know where we stand, where we live and where we work, what country we are citizens of, what party, what religion, what sect within a religion. We yearn for permanence. Resolution. To know how the world works and the reason for everything. We need to feel we belong. We need to feel comfortable, secure, loved, wanted, admired, and respected. We pay fortunes to psychiatrists, therapists, gurus, coaches, and rabbis to give us the easy answers. And we take drugs, alcohol, and pills. Anything to help us cope and ease the pain. But there are very few certainties in life “except death and taxes” as Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said.

Once upon a time, we knew what our positions were in hierarchies — in states, classes, in religions, in nations. We lived in a world where these defined most of us. A few people in each generation were able to move up and rise. Most stayed put. In a world of constant conquest and change, we have always been at the mercy of forces beyond our control. But now, we seem to want to control everything, everyone, every space, and every argument. We want to have everything: money, power, freedom to do as we please. Not to be challenged or offended.

We have indeed advanced dramatically, combating poverty and disease. The latest figure just published in The Wall Street Journal is that extreme poverty is now down to 10% (but that’s still too much). In Western countries, we have so much more than we used to. But that does not seem to bring much happiness or contentment. Look how angry and hypersensitive so many people have become, despite all the social welfare, safety nets, and preferences that never existed 70 years ago. Look how fractious identity politics has become, how aggressive the pressure groups. We have become neurotic when things don’t happen just the way we want them to. Yet, for all that, I’d rather live in a world of uncertainty and choice than have dictators or ideological fanatics tell me what to do.

No system is perfect or permanent. Each has aspects that are positive. The one common feature of our present world is Capisolism (my invented word) — the need for capital expansion and growth to fund the basic social needs of the poorest and the weakest. But that in itself is a variable. China has a command economy. It can do things better and faster, precisely because it can trample on individual wishes. America, on the other hand, values individual liberties and freedoms. But such liberties cause conflict, fragmentation, delays, and compromises. Both suffer from corruption.

To adapt Orwell, all states cause harm. Some states cause much more harm than others. Despite Fukuyama’s unfortunate title The End of History, there is no end. It cannot end, because humans are constantly changing. There is no final, no perfect state. Only constant fluidity and cycles. Rises and falls. Situations that seem desperate one moment become successful and peaceful the next. War turns to peace and peace to war. My liberalism is predicated on hearing other views, examining other ideas, and listening respectfully to other views.

I embrace impermanence because that has been my life. I know many who have had it far worse — far more tragic and unstable than I. But I have never had a permanent home, a permanent country, or a permanent job. I have always been wandering in the desert and finding my shade where I can. I have always been aware of people who hate me for who I am and what I am. Even personal life has had its impermanence, its ups and downs, good moments and bad ones. I do not expect perfection or resolution. I only know I have to try cope. I am fortunate to be a very happy fellow.

This impermanence, I suggest, is why the Torah gives us no ideal political or even social system, or a perfect example of how to run societies. Because there is no perfect solution. Different circumstances call for different responses. We cannot control the world or societies. All we can do is our best. The Torah constantly reminds us of the need to behave, to think, to bring spiritual ideas to mind, to enrich our lives, while at the same time reminding us that we have the freedom and choice to make crucial decisions. (Even if, as Moses predicted, many of us will get it wrong, and disappear from our people and merge with others.)

Sukkot is the festival of impermanence — throughout history, and now. How many will come and sit with us? How many will simply not be there? Sukkot reminds us that impermanence can be good. Perhaps not all the time. No one wants an impermanent marriage or impermanent children. But impermanence can be good and necessary too, if it helps us appreciate what we have and determine to preserve it…

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




                                       Melanie Phillips  

JNS, Sept. 20, 2018

It’s often claimed by Western enemies of Israel that the military actions of the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas in Gaza are disproportionate because such actions kill Arabs while Hamas attacks don’t kill Israelis. That’s apparently why the Western media ignore the thousands of rockets and aerial firebombs launched from Gaza to kill the residents of southern Israel, reporting instead IDF military action to stop such attacks as the wanton killing of civilians.

When an Israeli actually is murdered by an Arab in cold blood, however, this isn’t reported as wanton killing of the innocent, if he happens to be the wrong sort of Israeli. Then it’s suggested his murder is his own fault. The killing of American-born Israeli Ari Fuld on Sept. 16 has caused an outpouring of grief in Israel. The impassioned eulogies to him poured out not just because his wife, four children, parents and the rest of his family have been so cruelly bereaved.

It’s because he was a brave and outstanding fighter for Israel and the Jewish people, and admired even by his political opponents on account of his warm nature. He devoted his existence to fighting a great evil to which he has now lost his own life. The Western media, however, don’t count Ari Fuld as a victim at all because, as a resident of the Judean town of Efrat, he was a “settler.”

The murder of other Israeli residents of the disputed territories is similarly shrugged off or unreported by the Western media. For them, “settlers” are dehumanized and their lives reckoned as of no account. Thus their murder is, in effect, justified and condoned. This revolting attitude is all of a piece with the moral depravity of much of the West over the Arab war against Israel. Parroting the misleading mantra of a “two-state solution,” they deny the truths of history and law and ignore the real Arab agenda of colonial conquest and the extermination of Jewish nationhood.

For the supposed “settlers” are not in these lands illegally. They are entitled to be there. In the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922, the international community gave the Jews alone the right to settle what is now Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza in recognition of the unique right of the Jews to recreate their ancient national homeland. The real occupiers are the Arabs. Over the centuries, they were among the waves of conquerors of the land of Israel, including Romans, Greeks, Selucids, Fatimids, Crusaders, Mongol tribes, Tartars, Mamelukes and the Ottoman Turks.

Those who today have invented for themselves a fictional “Palestinian” identity may not even have descended from the original Arab imperialists. Some may be the heirs of those who flooded into Palestine, many illegally, from neighboring Arab states on the back of the returning Jews in the early years of the last century. The historian William Ziff noted that the serial occupiers of Israel themselves brought in many other cultures. Ziff described the people of the land as a “human patch-work of Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Kalmucks, Persians, Crusaders, Tartars, Indians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Turks, Mongols, Romans, Kharmazians, Greeks, pilgrims, wanderers, ne’er-do-wells and adventurers, invaders, slaves.”

To add to their historical and legal illiteracy, those shrugging aside the murder of Israeli “settlers” also turn a blind eye to the complicity in these crimes by the people they champion: the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Through its educational materials and other media, the P.A. routinely incites hatred of Jews and the murder of Israelis, teaching its children that “all Israelis deserve to be killed and that dying while committing a terror attack is ‘the path to excellence and greatness … the great victory.’ ”

The Arab writer Bassam Tawil has specifically blamed the murder of Ari Fuld by 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin on incitement by Abbas. According to Palestinian terrorist groups, Jabarin decided to murder a Jew in response to Israeli “crimes” against the Al-Aqsa mosque and other Islamic holy sites. Two days earlier, in a speech to the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah widely reported in Arab media, Abbas had repeated the lie that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa mosque.

No mention of any of this in Western media. Nor the fact that the P.A. immediately said it would pay the Jabarin family 1,400 shekels per month (nearly $400) for the next three years as a reward for Ari Fuld’s murder. According to the P.A.’s finance ministry, its total “pay-for-slay” budget amounts to 1.2 billion shekels ($335 million) this year and last. Until now, the West as a bloc has been complicit in Arab violence against Israelis. Over the years, it has thrown money at the “Palestinians” in the pious hope that it would help build their society and thus promote peace. In fact, it has been used to help promulgate hatred and incite mass murder.

Now, U.S. President Donald Trump has called time on this appalling charade. The United States has cut its funding to the “West Bank” and Gaza, closed the PLO office in Washington, and set in train moves to abolish the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s definition of Palestinian refugees. By defining that status as uniquely inheritable, UNRWA has ludicrously multiplied the number of “Palestinian refugees” down through the decades…

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




                                        Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

                                                 Arutz Sheva, Sept. 16, 2018

More than two thousand years before the ancestors of any New York Times (NYT) editor — other than indigenous individuals — lived in America, the Jewish people already existed with their own sophisticated language, culture and religion. This is still true today. Jewish peoplehood runs deep. The NYT understanding of this is, however, superficial to non-existent. Far worse, it denies self-determination to Jews to call themselves a people.

On this Jewish New Year’s Holiday (Rosh Hashanah), the NYT published a front page article entitled “Education Department Reopens Case Charging Discrimination against Jewish Students.” This article attacked a decision by Kenneth Marcus, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, to reopen an anti-Semitism case at Rutgers University. The NYT claimed that the US Education Department embraced Judaism as an ethnicity and adopted what it called a “hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism” that included “denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination” by, for example, “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

It is clear from this article that the NYT does not consider the existence of a Palestinian people contestable. Yet there was no such nationality even sixty years ago. The Arabs, in the British mandate of Palestine and after 1948 under Jordanian and Egyptian rule on the ‘West Bank’ and in Gaza respectively, saw themselves belonging either to tribes or to an international Arab nation or both.

Self-definition according to the NYT – a so-called “progressive” daily — seems okay for the Palestinians, but not for Jews. Such double standards are a typical hallmark of anti-Semitism. What the NYT calls a “hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism” is the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of this hate mongering. Its approval required the agreement of the thirty one Western democratic nations represented on its board. It was also specifically adapted for internal use by a number of nations and many institutions in the Western world. Furthermore, this definition can be found on the website of the US State Department.

Ira Stoll, a former Forward editor, discovered that on two other occasions the NYT had described the same definition as “internationally accepted.” The US media watch organization, CAMERA, has been exposing the NYT’s anti-Israeli bias for a long time. In 2014, I interviewed two senior analysts from CAMERA, Ricky Hollander and Gilead Ini for INN. They co-authored a major study on the unfair NYT coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Hollander and Ini said: “The New York Times is guilty of advocacy journalism. Both its editorial pages and news reporting lean heavily toward an anti-Israel perspective. This is in blunt contravention of its directive to journalists in the Ethical Journalism handbook, ‘to cover the news as impartially as possible’ and ‘tell our readers the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it.’” Reacting to the article on the Rutgers case, Hollander and Ini exposed several expressions used by the NYT journalist that are largely identical to those used by virulently anti-Israeli pro-Palestinian organizations.

It would be a mistake to view the opposition of the NYT and several other media including the Los Angeles Times to the reopening of the Rutgers case as a stand-alone issue. Marcus, a lawyer, has a long record and profound knowledge concerning antisemitic discrimination. He is the founder and former president of The Louis Brandeis Center for Human Rights and the Law in Washington. This organization litigated against classic anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on US campuses. When Marcus was confirmed in his post by the Senate in June 2018, not a single Democrat voted for him…

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




Alan Dershowitz

Algemeiner, Sept. 20, 2018

One of the most notorious lines — and lies — that grew out of the trial of Adolph Eichmann for his important role in the Holocaust was what Hannah Arendt called the “Banality of Evil.” Arendt was assigned to report on the 1961 trial of Eichmann in Jerusalem, but according to contemporaries, she rarely attended the trial itself. She came to Jerusalem having made up her mind in advance that Eichmann in particular and others involved in the evils of the Holocaust were ordinary banal functionaries. She reported on the trial with an agenda. It was not necessary for her to actually observe and listen to Eichmann because to do so would undercut her thesis. So instead she wrote a mendacious screed in which she constructed a stick-figure caricature of one of the most significant perpetrators of the Holocaust.

I use the word mendacious deliberately, because Arendt knew better. One of Hitler’s key supporters was Professor Martin Heidegger, perhaps the most influential philosopher of his day. Arendt was his student and lover. After the war she tried desperately to rehabilitate him. He was anything but banal. Nor were Göring, Goebbels, Himmler, Hitler, and the numerous doctors and lawyers who were tried at Nuremberg. Neither were the university students who began by burning Jewish books and ended by burning Jewish children. The perpetrators of the Holocaust — from those who organized it in Berlin to those who carried it out in the death camps and killing fields — included some of the most brilliant young men and women in the country. Many left university to participate in the “final solution” and then returned to highly prestigious jobs in post-war Germany.

Adolph Eichmann was anything but banal, as a perusal of the trial transcript reveals. In the film “Operation Finale,” he is played by Ben Kingsley. Although the film takes Hollywood liberties — a romance between a beautiful doctor who in reality was a man and the film’s Israeli hero — Kingsley’s fictional portrayal of Eichmann is far more realistic than the allegedly non-fiction account by Arendt.

The late Professor Telford Taylor — who was my teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend — had been the chief prosecutor at the Second Nuremburg Trials. He was invited to report on the Eichmann trial as well. He invited me along as his assistant and translator, but I had just been elected editor in chief at the Yale Law Journal and could not accept his offer — a decision I have long regretted. When he returned, he gave me his account of the trial, which varied enormously from that of Hannah Arendt. Where she saw banality, he saw calculation, manipulation, and shrewdness. These characteristics come through far more clearly in the film than in Arendt’s deeply flawed account. In the film we see a highly manipulative, shrewd judge of character who seeks to use his psychological insights to his advantage.

Nor was Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, the only effort by Germans to attribute banality and ignorance to the perpetrators of the Holocaust. In Bernhard Schlink’s award winning book The Reader, turned into a critically acclaimed film staring Kate Winslet, a woman who actively participated in the mass murder of Jews is presented as embarrassed by her illiteracy. Readers and viewers come away believing that she may have been more typical of hands-on perpetrators than the SS and Einsatzgruppen.

Deliberately distorting the history of the Holocaust — whether by denial, minimization, unfair comparisons, or false characterizations of the perpetrators — is a moral and literary sin. Arendt is a sinner who placed her ideological agenda above the truth. To be sure, there are untruths as well in “Operation Finale,” but they are different in kind rather than degree. Some of the drama and chase scenes are contrived, but what else can be expected of Hollywood. What is important is that Eichmann is presented in his multifaceted complexity, in the manner in which Shakespeare presented Iago, Lady Macbeth, and many of his other evil villains — not as banal, but as brilliantly evil.

It is essential to the memory of the victims of the Shoah, as well as to future efforts to prevent recurrences of genocide, that we not engage in ideologically driven and historically false oversimplifications such as “the banality of evil.” That mendacious and dangerous phrase should be struck from the historical vocabulary of the Holocaust and the trial of Eichmann, lest we look in the future for banality and miss the brilliance of those who would repeat Eichmann’s crimes.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

No Daily Briefing Will Be Published Monday or Tuesday Because of the Sukkot Holiday



On Topic Links

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2017: Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, Oct. 4, 2017—The holiday of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) is dedicated to the study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which was often quoted by the late Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator and Member of Congress in US history, who was known to quote Biblical verses.

Mahmoud Abbas: Fresh American Blood on His Hands: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 17, 2018—In a speech before the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on September 15, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Abbas claimed that Israel was seeking to copy the example of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in different sections.

New York Times Stumbles in a Strange Front-Page Antisemitism Story: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Sept. 12, 2018—A front-page New York Times news article appears under the headline “U.S. Revives Rutgers Bias Case In New Tack on Anti-Semitism.”

UK Jews: Unity at any Price: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Sept. 17, 2018—The list of 50 Most Influential Jews published by The Jerusalem Post included Marie van der Zyl, the recently elected president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Van der Zyl is a feisty, committed Zionist and has followed in the path of her predecessor, Jonathan Arkush, in publicly confronting and condemning the anti-Semitism and vile behavior of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.


Has Europe Even Tried to Fight Anti-Semitism?: Yves Mamou, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 25, 2018— On April 18, 2018, two young men, both wearing Jewish skullcaps, were insulted by a group of Muslims and whipped with a belt in a clearly anti-Semitic attack in Prenzlauer Berg, one Berlin’s most fashionable neighborhoods.

Given All its Other Apologies, When Will Ottawa Finally Apologize to the Jews?: Bernie M. Farber, National Post, Apr. 30, 2018 — Ethical nations must confront their history with moral rectitude.

U.S. Holocaust Museum Excuses FDR’s Silence: Jews are Inconvenient: Dr. Rafael Medoff, Arutz Sheva, May 3, 2018— The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C, recently opened a controversial new exhibit which claims that President Franklin D. Roosevelt did his best to help Jews during the Holocaust.

Under Swiss Protection: Hannah Klein, AISH, May 2018— Having read extensively about the Holocaust, I was surprised that I had never come across the rescuer named Carl Lutz.

On Topic Links

The Speech of the Century that Everyone is Listening To: Avi Abelow, Israel Unwired, Apr. 29, 2018

Anti-Semitism ‘Becoming Mainstream’ in Canada: Jewish Advocacy Group: Josh K. Elliott, CTV News, Apr. 11, 2018

McGill Anti-Semitism Report ‘Pathetic’: Prof: Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban, Apr. 11, 2018

Open Letter to Natalie Portman From an Israeli Progressive: Hen Mazzig, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2018



Yves Mamou

Gatestone Institute, Apr. 25, 2018

On April 18, 2018, two young men, both wearing Jewish skullcaps, were insulted by a group of Muslims and whipped with a belt in a clearly anti-Semitic attack in Prenzlauer Berg, one Berlin’s most fashionable neighborhoods. The violent assault, partly filmed by one of the victims, sparked national indignation in Germany. One of the attackers can be heard on the video clearly shouting “Yahudi” (Arabic for “Jew”).

“It is intolerable for young men to be attacked here just because they are wearing a kippah,” said Heiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister. “Jews must never again feel threatened here. It is our responsibility to protect Jewish life.”

The incident echoes another case of anti-Semitism last December in Berlin. Then also, someone filmed a man, apparently born in Germany, insulting a Jewish restaurant owner, Yorai Feinberg, in the street. The aggressor made clear his understanding of the Holocaust and his compassion for the Palestinian cause. Although there was no violence, the case ignited public indignation.

On April 12, 2018, Kollegah and Farid Bang, two of Germany’s most successful rappers, were given the award for best hip-hop/urban album at the ECHO Deutscher Muskikpreis — Germany’s biggest music awards ceremony. The two Muslim rappers, however, were under fire because of their song lyrics comparing their muscular physiques to the bodies of Auschwitz prisoners. Charlotte Knobloch, former head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said that giving them an award for their album was a “devastating sign” amid growing signs of “anti-Semitism in our society, especially in schools.” “The two rappers,” she added, reach millions of mostly young people with their inhuman message.”

These incidents reflect the complexity of the German situation in which imported Muslim anti-Semitism seems to be fueling a traditional German one. In 2017, Germany saw an average of four anti-Semitic crimes per day, according to preliminary government data cited by Tagesspiegel. The final tally is expected to be higher. The Jewish German community is estimated at 150,000 people.

According to Tagesspiegel, police registered a total of 1,453 crimes that targeted Jews in 2017. This number consisted of 32 acts of violence, 160 cases of property damage and 898 cases of incitement. Among those crimes, 33 were attributed to foreign-born perpetrators, not including Islamists. In addition, 25 of the crimes were “religiously motivated,” with some involving either foreign-born or German Muslims with extremist beliefs. Police were unable to determine a political motive in 17 of the cases, while one case of incitement was found to have a “left-wing” motive. For Die Welt, this showed that “Germany is losing the battle against anti-Semitism, as [before that] France or Sweden”.

In France, the battle against anti-Semitism was lost long ago. Between 2006 and 2017, fifteen French Jews were murdered by anti-Semitic Muslims. The stabbing and the burning of Mireille Knoll in March 2017 added one more victim to a list that goes through the murder of Sébastien Sellam in Paris (2003), the kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi (2006), the massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse (2012), the assault of a young Jewish couple in Créteil (2014), the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris (2015), the machete attack on a Jewish teacher in Marseille (2016), the murder of Sarah Halimi in Paris (April 2017), the hostage-taking of a Jewish family in Livry-Gargan (September 2017).

“The Jewish community represents less than 1% of the French population (approximately half a million people) but were victims of 40% of all racist crimes” says Fredéric Potier, France’s interministerial delegate against racism and antisemitism. According to the 2017 report of the Ministry of Interior, anti-Semitic threats decreased by 7.2% in 2017 compared to 2016. However, stabbings, assaults and other violent acts targeting Jews increased by 26%. In other words, attackers and murderers of Jews do not necessarily speak first; they just stab. According to Nonna Mayer, Director of Research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS): “These figures reflect trends; they are not exhaustive. They largely underestimate ordinary anti-Semitism (spitting, insults, hostile looks) on a daily basis. Many victims do not file complaints. When they do, their complaint is not always recorded.”

Great Britain: In 2017, hate incidents against Jews reached a record level, “with the Jewish community targeted at a rate of nearly four times a day,” reports The Guardian. In 2017, the Community Security Trust (CST), an NGO that monitors anti-Semitism in the UK, recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide. “This was the highest tally that the trust has registered for a calendar year since it began gathering such data in 1984. The figure rose by 3%, compared to a total, in 2016, of 1,346 incidents — a tally that itself was a record annual total”, according to The Guardian.

The CST report — perhaps because the organization has developed educational programs with Muslim organizations — avoids targeting any Muslim anti-Semitism, except for terrorist attacks. The uniqueness of Britain is that anti-Semitism has also spread widely among the political class. Accusations from the national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and other members of his party have provoked a huge controversy…

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





Bernie M. Farber

National Post, Apr. 30, 2018

Ethical nations must confront their history with moral rectitude. It is time for Canada to offer an official apology to Jewish Holocaust survivors, their families and the families of those who were murdered. Because our hands are not clean.

May 13th will mark 79 years since the ill-fated MS St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany, on a journey to Havana, Cuba. Aboard the ship were 937 passengers, mostly desperate Jewish refugees fleeing Germany, a country consumed by vicious anti-Semitism, controlled by a raving, genocidal dictator who vowed to rid the world of its “Jewish problem.” Each passenger possessed a valid travel visa to enter Cuba. They had every reason to believe they’d escaped.

As the St. Louis made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, unbeknownst to the passengers, the Cuban government, facing a huge anti-Semitic backlash and beset by a corruption scandal relating to visas, cancelled the entry permits for the refugees. When they finally arrived, after a week at anchor offshore, the vast majority of the passengers were told they would not be permitted to disembark.

Their choices were limited. The MS St. Louis was barely a 90-minute sail from the shores of Miami. Surely, thought the ship’s German captain — Gustav Schroeder, a decent man who understood the plight of his distraught travellers — the United States, a country which held the hope of sanctuary for so many, would extend a hand of freedom and safety to his passengers. Instead, the American government rejected any request for asylum. To ensure that this message would not be misunderstood, a Coast Guard vessel was ordered to very visibly follow the ocean liner. Like today, the media became the moral watchdog of a willfully blind nation. The New York Times wrote in a heartfelt editorial, “We can only hope that some hearts will soften somewhere and some refuge be found. The cruise of the St. Louis cries to heaven of man’s inhumanity to men.”

Prominent Canadians began calling for the refugees be admitted here. But the prime minister, William Lyon McKenzie King, accepted the position of his director of immigration: “No country could open its doors wide enough to take in the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who want to leave Europe: the line must be drawn somewhere.” The St. Louis, although only two days from Halifax on its way back across the Atlantic, sailed on, forced by necessity to return to Europe. Some passengers allowed into the United Kingdom found safety. The others landed in Holland, Belgium and France,. Those countries were later overrun by the Nazis. They rounded up the Jews and send them to concentration camps. More than 250 of those passengers that Canada, and others, refused to help, were murdered.

Professors Irving Abella and Harold Troper have studied this grim part of our history, and noted our anti-Semitic immigration policies during the Holocaust in their seminal study None is too Many. “It was a Canada,” as Abella wrote elsewhere, “with immigration policies that were racist and exclusionary, a country blanketed by an oppressive anti-Semitism in which Jews were the pariahs of Canadian society, demeaned, despised and discriminated against.”

Today we have a different Canada, one that values diversity and pluralism. Canada today is offering official apologies for policies that were bigoted, racist and homophobic. It has been a steep learning curve for Canadians. Yet with historic apologies to Indigenous peoples for a cultural genocide committed against them through the residential school system, and with  similar national apologies to the Sikh, Japanese and LGBTQ communities for historical wrongs, Canada has become a leader in teaching the world of the power of a simple phrase: “We’re sorry.”

A recent poll by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, a respected Jewish organization, shows that fully “one-fifth of millennials either haven’t heard of or are not sure if they have heard of the Holocaust.” And recently released hate crimes statistics collected by Canadian police have once again placed the Jewish community on top of the haters lists. An official national public apology for Canada’s actions against Jewish refugees during the Holocaust would be a powerful lesson for all, especially the young Canadians who are most at risk of forgetting the painful historical lessons we were supposed to have learned. Owning up to the errors of our past will help ensure that such evil, discriminatory policies never again see the light of day.





Dr. Rafael Medoff

Arutz Sheva, May 3, 2018

Controversy continues to grow over the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s new exhibit, which claims that President Franklin D. Roosevelt did the best he could to help Jews during the Holocaust.  Mainstream historians say that the exhibit’s claims fly in the face of decades of historical research. Below is part 2 of … the essay “Walls of Paper,” by Dr. Rafael Medoff…

When the world-famous German Jewish chemist Fritz Haber approached US Ambassador to Germany William Dodd in July 1933 to ask about “the possibilities in America for emigrants with distinguished records here in science,” Dodd told him (according to Dodd’s diary) “that the law allowed none now, the quota being filled.” In fact, the German quota was 95% unfilled that year.

Ten year-old Herbert Friedman was denied permission to accompany his mother and brother to the United States in 1936 after an examining physician at the Stuttgart consulate claimed he had tuberculosis. Tests all proved negative, and an array of German and American specialists who reviewed his X-rays likewise concluded that he did not have the disease. Yet the consulate would not budge. The family eventually managed to enlist the help of Albert Einstein, who, in a letter to the surgeon general about the case, reported:

“I have spoken to a reliable young man who recently emigrated from Germany; when I told him about the Stuttgart Consulate’s refusal to issue the visa for the child, without giving the young man the reason for the refusal [that is, Einstein did not tell him about the claim of tuberculosis—RM], he immediately said, ‘That is an old story. Tuberculosis!’ This shows clearly that this case is not an isolated case but that it is becoming a dangerous practice. “

Some applicants in Germany ran into trouble when they presented a ketubah, the traditional Jewish religious wedding certificate, as evidence of their marital status. Some of these Jews had been married in a religious ceremony only, and not according to civil law, while others simply found it impossible to obtain evidence of their marital status from a Nazi government office, or else had been married in Russia before the Soviet takeover and could not enter the USSR to retrieve documentation.

US consular officials refused to recognize a ketubah as proof of marriage and therefore deemed the applicants’ children “illegitimate” and rejected the family on the grounds of low moral character. In these cases and many others, consular officials used their discretionary abilities to achieve what one consul characterized as “the Department’s desire to keep immigration to a minimum.” In late 1936, there was a modest increase in the number of German Jews admitted to the United States. By the end of 1937, a total of 11,127 immigrants from Germany had arrived, representing 42.1% of the available spaces.

Consuls in Germany had complained that they were short-staffed, so Foreign Service Inspector Jerome Klahr Huddle was sent to Germany to assess the situation. In his report, Huddle recommended that more-distant relatives could be relied upon to provide support, because they undoubtedly felt genuine sympathy for their persecuted family members. Eliot Coulter of the Visa Division agreed, in an internal memorandum, that “the Jewish people often have a high sense of responsibility toward their relatives, including distant relatives whom they may not have seen.”

Yet the majority of the German quota remained unfilled. John Farr Simmons, chief of the State Department’s Visa Division in the 1930s, was proud to note, in 1937, “the drastic reduction in immigration” that “was merely an obvious and predictable result of administrative practices.” Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938 (the Anschluss) marked a significant intensification of the Jewish refugee crisis. Now a second major European Jewish community was in need of a haven. The well-publicized scenes of anti-Jewish brutality accompanying the German army’s entrance into Austria, including Jews being forced to scrub the streets with toothbrushes, showed that the problem was reaching crisis proportions.

Although polls showed most Americans still opposed relaxing immigration restrictions, a handful of members of Congress and journalists began urging US intervention. Senior State Department officials decided to—in the words of the department’s internal year-end review—“get out in front and attempt to guide” the pressure before it got out of hand. They conceived the idea of an international conference on the refugee problem, to create an impression of US concern while coaxing other countries to assume responsibility for the bulk of the refugees.

On March 24, 1938, President Roosevelt announced he was inviting 32 countries to send representatives to a conference in the French resort town of Évian-les-Bains. FDR emphasized in his announcement that “no nation would be expected or asked to receive a greater number of emigrants than is permitted by its existing legislation.” He did permit the German and Austrian quotas, now combined, to be filled that year, the only year that happened.

With one exception, the delegates at Évian proclaimed their countries’ unwillingness to accept more Jews. Typical was the Australian delegate, who bluntly asserted that “as we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.” The only exception was the tiny Dominican Republic, which declared it would accept as many as 100,000 Jewish refugees…

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





Hannah Klein

AISH, May 2018

Having read extensively about the Holocaust, I was surprised that I had never come across the rescuer named Carl Lutz. Neither had anyone else with whom I spoke. Jews honor heroes like Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, yet, inexplicably, Carl Lutz, someone who saved over 60,000 Jews, is virtually unknown. Charlotte Schallié, a University of Victoria German professor, and Agnes Hirschi, Lutz’s stepdaughter, aim to rectify Lutz’s obscurity with their recent book, “Under Swiss Protection: Jewish Eyewitness Accounts from Wartime Budapest”. Schallié explains that Lutz’s name remains unrecognized largely because of his unassuming nature and low profile. Lutz epitomized the Talmudic teaching from Ethics of the Fathers: “Emor me’at ve’aseh harbeh, Say little and do much.”

Schallié and Hirschi undertook the massive research project of interviewing 36 survivors around the world who were rescued by Carl Lutz. (Of these, almost half live in Israel and one fourth are in the United States.) The editors were probably unaware of a remarkable coincidence: 36 equals “double chai” in Hebrew, with 18 – chai – representing life. The son of a Swiss tradesman, Lutz displayed early interest in a diplomatic career. With remarkable initiative, he immigrated to the U.S. alone, at age 18, to earn money for college. He worked for the Swiss Legation in Washington, D.C. and graduated from George Washington University in 1924.

Carl Lutz (1895-1975) served as Swiss Vice-Consul in Budapest from 1942 until late 1944. There, he displayed the same initiative as in his teenage years. Lutz had been Vice-Consul in Palestine in 1935, before being reassigned to Budapest. In Hungary, neutral Switzerland represented the interests of Britain, a member of the Allied forces fighting against Nazism. Thus, Lutz was in a unique position to facilitate Jewish immigration to British-occupied Palestine. Lutz also placed the Jewish Agency under Swiss protection. These unique advantages enabled him to provide approximately 62,000 Jews – half the Jewish population of Budapest – with visas to escape from Nazi Europe. This figure – the largest and most successful rescue operation of Jews during the Second World War – is roughly equal to the entire population of Gaithersburg or Bethesda.

Oskar Schindler, by contrast, rescued 1200 Jews. So, while Lutz is sometimes called “The Swiss Schindler”, Schindler might more appropriately be titled “the German Lutz”. In the book, survivors describe how Lutz devised “Schutzpaesse” (safe conduct passes) and safe houses to implement his rescue operations. Lutz’s rescue strategy was later adopted by the embassies of other neutral countries. Among those who consulted Lutz and followed his lead was the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. The Glass House, headquarters of Lutz’s 76 Swiss safe houses in Budapest was the converted showroom of a glass factory. It became an annex of the Swiss Embassy and a center for producing forged documents. It housed 25,000 Jews at one time. It is today a museum dedicated to that history…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links

The Speech of the Century that Everyone is Listening To: Avi Abelow, Israel Unwired, Apr. 29, 2018—Miriam Peretz is a powerful woman, an inspiration to one and all. She lost two sons to Arab terror while serving as IDF soldiers. She also lost her husband to a broken heart after the loss of their first son. Overcoming the tremendous natural sadness from her huge loss, she now spreads love, joy and appreciation to all who hear her.

Anti-Semitism ‘Becoming Mainstream’ in Canada: Jewish Advocacy Group: Josh K. Elliott, CTV News, Apr. 11, 2018—Incidents of anti-Semitism were on the rise for a fifth straight year in Canada, despite an overall decline in the number of incidents worldwide, according to a Jewish advocacy group.

McGill Anti-Semitism Report ‘Pathetic’: Prof: Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban, Apr. 11, 2018—Dr. Charles Ascher Small, founding Director and President of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy in New York City, laced into McGill University’s response to recent alleged anti-Semitism during a panel discussion Sunday night.

Open Letter to Natalie Portman From an Israeli Progressive: Hen Mazzig, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2018—Dear Natalie, How did we get to this? I was always a fan, even of your politics. I could relate to your frustration about much of Israel’s politics. As an LGBT Israeli liberal from an Iraqi-North African (Berber) background, I know full well how much work is needed to improve our country. I’m definitely not a fan of right-wing politics in Israel and do not support the current leadership. However, your actions this week were disturbing.


5 Things to Know About the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Aaron Bandler, Jewish Journal, Apr. 19, 2018— The focus this week has been on Israel’s 70th anniversary as a country, but April 19 is an important day, the 75th anniversary on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Abusing Anne Frank’s Memory: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 12, 2018 — Anne Frank has probably become the best known Jewish person murdered during the Shoah.

Why Holocaust Education Is Desperately Needed in America: Noah Phillips, Algemeiner, Apr. 23, 2018 — I recently applied for a grant to promote Holocaust education at local middle schools through field trips, an education unit about Holocaust studies, and survivor testimonies.

Jewish Power at 70 Years: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Apr. 20, 2018— Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany.


On Topic Links

David S. Wyman, 89, Authored a Controversial Book About the U.S. Inaction on Jews During the Holocaust: Hillel Italie, Globe & Mail, Apr. 4, 2018

The History and Future of Holocaust Research: Wendy Lower, Tablet, Apr. 26, 2018

From 1930s to 2018: ‘Kill Lists’ Target ‘Jewish Hollywood’: Abraham Cooper & Harold Brackman, Jewish Journal, Apr. 25, 2018

The Untold Story of the Ritchie Boys: Brian Bethune, Maclean’s, Jul. 20, 2017



Aaron Bandler

Jewish Journal, Apr. 19, 2018

The focus this week has been on Israel’s 70th anniversary as a country, but April 19 is an important day, the 75th anniversary on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. People across the country in Poland stood in silence as bells and sirens rang to honor that the Jews that lost their lives in the uprising. The uprising was a significant event, as the Jews imprisoned in the ghetto bravely fought back against the barbaric Nazis and threw a temporary wrench in their war efforts. Here are five things to know about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

  1. Prisoners in the ghetto vowed to take arms against the Nazis after the first wave of deportations from the ghetto occurred in 1942. Adolf Hitler ordered all the prisoners in the ghettos to be deported to the Nazi death camps, resulting in the deportation of over two million Jews to the death camps, including 300,000 from the Warsaw Ghetto. Those in the Warsaw Ghetto who watched in horror as their loved ones were being snatched away by the Nazis vowed to take vengeance against the SS, even if it meant death. “Never shall the Germans move from here with impunity; we will die, but the cruel invaders will pay with their blood for ours,” Warsaw Ghetto survivor Emmanuel Ringelblum wrote.
  1. The resistance in the ghetto consisted of two main groups: the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB) and the Jewish Military Union (ZZW). During the first two-month wave of deportations to Treblinka in July 1942, the two groups were unable to form an effective coalition because of tension between the two. According to Yad Vashem, “The ZZW claimed that the ZOB refused to incorporate them into their group’s structure, while the ZOB maintained that the ZZW wanted to take over the operation. In addition, both groups imposed taxes on the ghetto’s wealthier Jews, causing more tension between them.” Making matters worse was the fact that the ZOB was fractured by varying factions and they did not have a sufficient amount of arms despite the ZZW’s links to the Polish Home Army.

After the first wave of deportations ended, the ZZW and ZOB realized they had to set their differences aside in other to have a fighting chance against the Nazis. Over the next couple of months, new life was breathed into the ZOB with the acquisition of some weapons from the Polish Home Army and having a new leader in the charismatic 23-year-old Mordechai Anielewicz, who declared that the Jews would “resist going to the railroad cars,” per Jewish Virtual Library.

  1. The Jews in the ghetto were able to fight off the Nazis from deporting them in January 1943. The deportations at that time had caught the Jews in the ghetto off guard, but they were able to use the structure of the ghetto to their advantage. According to Britannica, “Jewish fighters could strike quickly, then escape across the rooftops. German troops, on the other hand, moved cautiously and would not go down to cellars.” The resistance efforts prevented the Nazis from issuing their planned deportations that day, giving the Jews imprisoned in the ghetto a sliver of hope. They spend the next few months stockpiling a few more weapons, training and establishing hiding spots in the ghetto to use as guerrilla warfare against the Nazis.
  1. The uprising officially began on April 19 and lasted until May 16. The Jews in the ghetto had heard that the Nazis were preparing to fight and deport the remaining prisoners in the ghetto to Treblinka on April 19, so they retreated to their hiding spots and fired away at the Nazis when they entered. Despite being vastly outnumbered and outmanned in firepower, the Jews forced the Nazis to abandon their three-day plan of complete liquidation of the ghetto. Even when the Nazis began burning down the ghetto, the Jews were able to hold their ground for nearly a month before the Nazis eventually overwhelmed them. The Jews that hadn’t died in battle were either executed by the Nazis or sent to the death camps.
  1. Even though the uprising did not prevail against the Nazis, it inspired other uprisings elsewhere. For instance, when the Jews entombed in Treblinka got word of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, they planned an uprising of their own, setting the death camp into flames and killing 40 Nazi guards. Three hundred people escaped Treblinka that day but only 70 survived, as the Nazis hunted down those that escaped. Other uprisings occurred in the ghettos of Bialystok and Minsk and the Sobibor death camp.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a signal at that time that the Jews would not be herded like sheep into slaughter, they were determined to fight back and “die with honor.” As Journal columnist Ben Shapiro noted in 2004, Anielewicz had written during the uprising, “The most important thing is that my life’s dream has come true. Jewish self-defense in the ghetto has been realized. Jewish retaliation and resistance has become a fact. I have been witness to the magnificent heroic battle of the Jewish fighters.” “A new model of the Jew had been created: not a passive Jew, but a Jew who would battle to the last bullet,” Shapiro wrote.




Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Apr. 12, 2018

Anne Frank has probably become the best known Jewish person murdered during the Shoah. Her memory is also one of the most abused. This maltreatment has a long history. New examples emerge frequently. One among many: in January 2018 the Italian first division soccer club Lazio was fined 50 000 Euro after supporters displayed anti-Semitic Anne Frank stickers before a game in October 2017.

In the late 1980’s, the then head of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam did not permit the Dutch filmmaker, Willy Lindwer, to film his movie, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, in the house. The documentary dealt with her suffering in the concentration camps and her death in Bergen-Belsen. Lindwer tells that the director said to him, “Anne Frank is a symbol. Symbols should not be shown dying in a concentration camp.”

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has decades ago on many occasions used her name for political purposes which had nothing to do with honoring her memory. Dutch journalist, Elma Verhey, commented on the role of the Anne Frank Foundation in 1995: “Not all Dutchmen find it fitting that the Anne Frank House has developed into one of the most important tourist attractions of Amsterdam. Many Dutch Jews avoid the Anne Frank House because of some of the myths created by her diary. Moreover, there has been concern that the Foundation has in the past paid more attention to a handful of neo-Nazis in Germany, and the plight of the Palestinians, than to the state-sponsored anti-Semitism of the former Soviet Union.”

Other distortions of Anne Frank’s memory have also come out of the Netherlands. In Amsterdam in February 2007, graffiti appeared showing Anne Frank with a keffiya. In 2008, the same picture was turned into a commercial postcard. That despite the fact that the majority party in the only Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 was Hamas, which aims for genocide of the Jews. In 2006 a Belgian-Dutch Muslim Group posted a cartoon of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler. The motif of the Palestinian Anne Frank returns regularly. It recently appeared on posters and flyers at Wits University in Johannesburg. It was promoted by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign during Israel Apartheid Week. In 2017 a freelance guide at the Anne Frank Center in Berlin compared the suffering of Jews under the Nazis to that of Palestinians under Israeli control. The center distanced itself from his statement.

A new play based on Anne Frank by Ilja Pfeiffer is being shown in the Netherlands. The play transforms one of the people in hiding with her, Fritz Pfeffer, from a victim to a perpetrator of violence. He was murdered in the Shoah. This play in which a Holocaust victim’s memory is sullied is one more example of the partial degradation of Dutch society whose government will not admit how its Second World War predecessors in exile greatly failed the persecuted Jews.

The “Palestinian” Anne Frank is an inversion of the Holocaust. Another major distortion of the Holocaust is its de-Judaization. In 1952, an English translation of the diary was published for the American market. It was titled Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. David Barnouw, a researcher formerly with the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), wrote that the foreword was written by Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of the wartime president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In this text, the terms “Jew” or “persecution” of Jews were not mentioned at all.

Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett wrote a play based on the diary which premiered in 1955 in New York. Barnouw writes, “Of course the adaptation of a book or in this case a diary [to a stage play] cannot be totally true to the original. But the fact that there was a Hitler and national socialism as well as anti-Semitism and that Anne was persecuted as a Jewish girl has been pushed to the background.” An earlier play written by Meyer Levin had a much more Jewish content but was rejected by many producers.

The historian Tim Cole observes: “The contemporary lesson of tolerance demands that Anne’s words be rewritten to include members of ‘this or that minority’ and yet that makes a mockery of the historical reality.” He adds: “Given its mythical status, the Holocaust risks becoming a popular past used to serve all sorts of present needs. In particular, the needs of contemporary liberalism tend to latch onto a powerful tale in the past and universalize it so as to produce a set of universal lessons.” Cole concludes: “If there is one lesson that can be drawn from the Holocaust it is precisely that the optimism of Anne Frank was woefully misplaced.”…

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





Noah Phillips

Algemeiner, Apr. 23, 2018

I recently applied for a grant to promote Holocaust education at local middle schools through field trips, an education unit about Holocaust studies, and survivor testimonies. My grant application was rejected, which wasn’t a complete surprise, given the volume and quality of competing applications. But I was taken aback by the verbal feedback I received from the grant’s benefactor, who told me something along the lines of: “The Holocaust was a terrible thing, and it should be remembered — but its significance is not as meaningful today. Your project is not something we can turn into an annual occurrence.”

How could someone minimize the relevance of the Holocaust and trivialize its intergenerational impact? I was stunned. In response, I began researching the Holocaust education programs implemented by my school and others. In my school — a private institution with a significant Jewish student population — I expected a robust layering of Holocaust studies across grade levels. Instead, I found one unit on Anne Frank in the middle school and an overview of the Holocaust in the European history elective. This lackluster effort to incorporate Holocaust education into the regular curriculum, along with the lack of any special programming, left me wondering about students’ exposure to genocide studies and the specific case of the Holocaust.

Maybe it’s my personal observations and bias, but I imagine that my school’s curriculum is indicative of a larger trend. Per a 2005 report by the Education Commission of the States, Holocaust education is partially mandated in some form by only 17 US states. Alabama, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia have created commissions and task forces on the Holocaust. California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington state have passed laws requiring or encouraging educational programs about the Holocaust as part of the curriculum. But even in these states, the commissions and task forces are the sole bodies responsible for the implementation of this agenda, and many of the members of the task forces are volunteers.

The report also states that “eight states have statutes that specifically require or encourage instruction of the Holocaust be part of the state education curriculum.” These states have curricula and learning standards for each grade level, with the task of curricula development delegated to educators, policymakers, and higher education content experts. But only the state of New York enforces its policies by reserving “the right to withhold public funds appropriated to schools that do not meet the curriculum requirements.”

Without any proactive enforcement, what good are these policies? What impact can they have? There’s wiggle room for teachers and educators to eschew Holocaust education, not necessarily out of malignancy, but for convenience or pressure to “cover” major units of studies. The rationale is understandable: sacrifice this effectively optional state “encouragement” for the more typical school curriculum in preparation for state tests or other components of compulsive education. And this is assuming that teachers at the school level are even made aware of the Holocaust requirements by their supervisors.

There is certainly visible variation in the productivity of the respective state commissions. New Jersey’s commission coordinates hundreds of programs annually for tens of thousands of students in grades K-12, per their 2016 report. But broadly speaking, the legislation around mandated Holocaust studies programs — and the implementation of the curricula — are feeble.

My personal Holocaust education has included my family’s visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, hearing from survivors, reading testimonies, as well as Night by Elie Wiesel, and commemorating the Shoah annually. The Holocaust means more to me than a chapter (or page) in a history textbook. And I hope for Jews and non-Jews across the nation to eventually share this sentiment. But as of now, it appears that the majority of my generation — the upcoming wave of activists, entrepreneurs, and intrepid thinkers — may never learn about an essential component of American and global history.





Bret Stephens

New York Times, Apr. 20, 2018

Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew. The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”

It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year. A neo-fascist party, Alternative for Germany, has 94 seats in the Bundestag. Last Thursday, a pair of German rappers won a prestigious music award, given largely on the basis of sales, for an album in which they boast of having bodies “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” The award ceremony coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day. To be Jewish — at least visibly Jewish — in Europe is to live on borrowed time. That’s not to doubt the sincerity and good will of Maas or other European leaders who recommit to combating anti-Semitism every time a European Jew is murdered or a Jewish institution attacked. It’s only to doubt their capacity.

There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized. There’s a limit, also, to trying to cure bigotry with earnest appeals to tolerance. The German government is mulling a proposal to require recent arrivals in the country to tour Nazi concentration camps as a way of engendering a feeling of empathy for Jews. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that, to the virulent anti-Semite, Buchenwald is a source of inspiration, not shame.

All this comes to mind as Israel this week marks (in the Hebrew calendar) the 70th anniversary of its independence. There are many reasons to celebrate the date, many of them lofty: a renaissance for Jewish civilization; the creation of a feisty liberal democracy in a despotic neighborhood; the ecological rescue of a once-barren land; the end of 1,878 years of exile.

But there’s a more basic reason. Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers, least of all French or German politicians. Theodor Herzl saw this with the Dreyfus Affair and founded modern Zionism. Post-Hitler Europe still has far to fall when it comes to its attitudes toward Jews, but the trend is clear. The question is the pace.

Hence Israel: its army, bomb, and robust willingness to use force to defend itself. Israel did not come into existence to serve as another showcase of the victimization of Jews. It exists to end the victimization of Jews. That’s a point that Israel’s restless critics could stand to learn. On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza returned for the fourth time to the border fence with Israel, in protests promoted by Hamas. The explicit purpose of Hamas leaders is to breach the fence and march on Jerusalem. Israel cannot possibly allow this — doing so would create a precedent that would encourage similar protests, and more death, along all of Israel’s borders — and has repeatedly used deadly force to counter it.

The armchair corporals of Western punditry think this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t. It would also be helpful if they could explain how they can insist on Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders and then scold Israel when it defends those borders. They can’t. If the armchair corporals want to persist in demands for withdrawals that for 25 years have led to more Palestinian violence, not less, the least they can do is be ferocious in defense of Israel’s inarguable sovereignty. Somehow they almost never are.

Israel’s 70th anniversary has occasioned a fresh round of anxious, if not exactly new, commentary about the rifts between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. Some Diaspora complaints, especially with respect to religion and refugees, are valid and should be heeded by Jerusalem. But to the extent that the Diaspora’s objections are prompted by the nonchalance of the supposedly nonvulnerable when it comes to Israel’s security choices, then the complaints are worse than feckless. They provide moral sustenance for Hamas in its efforts to win sympathy for its strategy of wanton aggression and reckless endangerment. And they foster the illusion that there’s some easy and morally stainless way by which Jews can exercise the responsibilities of political power.

Though not Jewish, Adam Armoush was once one of the nonchalant when it came to what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Presumably no longer. For Jews, it’s a painful, useful reminder that Israel is not their vanity. It’s their safeguard.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links

David S. Wyman, 89, Authored a Controversial Book About the U.S. Inaction on Jews During the Holocaust: Hillel Italie, Globe & Mail, Apr. 4, 2018—David S. Wyman, a leading scholar of the U.S. response to the Holocaust whose The Abandonment of the Jews was a provocative, bestselling critique of everyone from religious leaders to president Franklin Roosevelt, died Wednesday at age 89.

The History and Future of Holocaust Research: Wendy Lower, Tablet, Apr. 26, 2018—In early 1947, the Chief Counsel of the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals, Brigadier General Telford Taylor prepared indictments against the second tier Nazis. By then the liberation of the concentrations camps, and the research, testimony and publicity surrounding the international trial against the Nazi leadership, had revealed the horror and extent of the regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.

From 1930s to 2018: ‘Kill Lists’ Target ‘Jewish Hollywood’: Abraham Cooper & Harold Brackman, Jewish Journal, Apr. 25, 2018—President Harry Truman once wrote, “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” But sometimes what you don’t know can put you at risk — or worse. Nicholas Rose of Irvine, a 26-year-old teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL), faces a six-year-plus sentence for recent violent anti-Semitic threats against prominent Jews in the entertainment industry. Luckily, he was turned in by his parents.

The Untold Story of the Ritchie Boys: Brian Bethune, Maclean’s, Jul. 20, 2017—Martin Selling, 24, was undergoing training as a U.S. Army medical orderly in February 1943 and chafing under a Pentagon policy that kept him—a Jewish refugee from Germany and hence an “enemy alien”—away from any combat unit. He’d endured a lot already, including three brutal months in Dachau concentration camp after Kristallnacht in 1938, before finding haven in America. The knowledge that his adopted country would not let him fight their common enemy was bitterly frustrating.


A Canadian Holocaust: Remembering the Shoah: Philip Carl Salzman, Frontier Centre, Apr. 11, 2018— Think about it. What would the death of six million people look like in the Canadian population?

The Politics of Social Justice: Earl Bowen Jr. & Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet News, Mar. 5, 2018— The recent furor over the relationship between the Women’s March leadership and Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan is beginning to subside — but its full import has yet to be appreciated.

The Perversity of Intersectionality: Lawrence Grossman, Algemeiner, Mar. 21, 2018— The recent furor over the relationship between the Women’s March leadership and Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan is beginning to subside — but its full import has yet to be appreciated.

David S. Wyman, 1929-2018 – The Man Who Changed How We Think About America And The Holocaust: Dr. Rafael Medoff, Jewish Press, Apr. 11, 2018— For many years, if you asked students in any yeshiva high school whether they knew that 400 Orthodox rabbis marched to the White House in 1943 to protest the Roosevelt administration’s indifference to the Holocaust, you would get a roomful of blank stares.

On Topic Links

At Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, Netanyahu Warns Iran: ‘Don’t Test Israel’s Resolve’: Jewish Press, Apr. 12, 2018

Trump Yom HaShoah Message Pays Special Tribute to Warsaw Ghetto Fighters on 75th Anniversary of Uprising: Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018

Every Holocaust Story Matters: Nira Berry, Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018

Exposé: The Depth of Anti-Israel Hate on American Campuses: Noah Beck, Arutz Sheva, Mar. 30, 2018





Philip Carl Salzman

Frontier Centre, Apr. 11, 2018

Think about it. What would the death of six million people look like in the Canadian population? A loss of that number would be equivalent to the annihilation of every single person in the following cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, and Halifax. Or, the death of every person in British Columbia and Manitoba. For Canadians, such numbers are impossible to imagine.

Equally hard and painful to imagine is the cruelty of murdering six million people, referring only to Jews and not to all people who suffered the same fate. There were two main ways the Germans and their helpers murdered six million Jewish citizens of Germany, France, the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, and Greece, among others: round up men and women, boys and girls, infants, and elderly, take them to the countryside, force them to strip naked, and shoot them with machine guns; or, transport them to camps, where they were confined in buildings and murdered with poison gas.

In 2018, April 11th is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) in Israel, which is also observed in Canada. The date corresponds with the 27th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27th, selected to honour the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. How can we understand this almost unthinkable event that many people see as the epitome of evil?

A major part of the evil was the racial theory that divided people into races, and evaluated them according to the quality of their race. Germans held the German race to be pure and noble. In contrast, Germans saw the Jews as an inferior race, polluting the German race and polluting Germany and other countries. After the catastrophes of their defeat in WWI and the Great Depression, Germans looked for someone to blame besides themselves, and the Jews served as their scapegoats. No doubt, it helped that many Jews were prosperous, and the prospect of Germans appropriating Jewish homes, stores, and factories must have seemed a pleasant compensation for the hardships Germans had suffered.

For fifty years after the Holocaust, racial theory was rejected as false and immoral. Physical and biological anthropologists refuted the idea of human races as unscientific. All living humans belong to the same species, as shown by the fact that any two fertile humans can produce fertile offspring. Furthermore, all characteristics mistakenly labelled “racial,” such as hair type, skin colour, head shape, etc., vary independently, and appear as gradual clines from one population to the next. Studies of “race” were replaced by population genetics.

But what was old and outmoded is now new and compelling again. In the last few decades, race theory has become popular again. Once more we are reducing individuals to their racial categories and treating them according to their race. These days, we do not talk about “purity” and “pollution,” but about “oppressor” races and “oppressed” races. And we talk about the need to raise the oppressed races and marginalize the oppressor races.

Blacks, people of colour, Indigenous First Nations, and Muslims (although Muslims are a religion and not a race) are alleged to be oppressed by whites and Christians and Jews (although these latter two are not races either). In this new race theory, genders are treated as honorary races, with men oppressing women, with the usual reversal required. “Racism” has been redefined to mean oppression of a race, not just thinking of and treating people according to their race. This is a neat twist, because it means that Blacks, people of colour, Indigenous First Nations, and Muslims can never be racist! They can only suffer from the racism of others.

“Social justice,” an idea borrowed from communist equality theory, requires that each “race” be equal in education, jobs, wealth, and government positions. In short, there must be equality of results for each “racial” category. Individuals should not be judged, at least according to this theory, by their achievements or character or potential; “colour-blind” merit does not merit consideration. Rather, people must be judged by their “race.” According to “social justice” theory, this is not racism; it is justice.

It is unfortunate that “social justice” ideology has been adopted by the Canadian government and by Canadian educational institutions, the latter shaping the minds of future generations of citizens. According to this ideology, if justice is denied to individuals because they are white or Christians or Jews or men, well, they are all oppressors, and deserve what they get. Of course, we have no reason to worry about losing Vancouver or Manitoba, or about seeing large numbers of Canadians machine-gunned or gassed. Today’s anti-white, anti-male, and anti-Christian campaigns are on behalf of, aside from women, relatively small minorities in the country. There is no chance that these minorities will fully take control of the state, or that any campaign to exterminate the majority would attract anyone other than the most extreme fringe activists.

There will be no holocaust in Canada. But our renewed enthusiasm for racism, for thinking of people, and allocating and denying benefits on the basis of race, undermines the integrity and the autonomy of individuals by reducing them to being members of abstract categories. In place of individual autonomy, “social justice” offers social engineering at the hands of the state and educational officials. However well meaning, “social justice” ideology replaces universal standards with double standards, rejects merit as a measure of individual’s characteristics, and dismisses individuality, freedom, efficiency, and creativity, all on behalf of equality of results for racial categories.

This new “good” racism poisons social relations and destroys even a pretense of community solidarity and commonality of citizenship. “Social justice” brings benefits to some at the expense of injustice to others. It is an offence against human rights, which always pertain to individuals and not “races,” and it will not benefit Canadian society. Haven’t we learned from the Holocaust that racism is a malicious and destructive ideology? The new “racism” will only harm Canada.






Earl Bowen Jr. & Asaf Romirowsky

Ynet News, Mar. 5, 2018

On October of 1967, Martin Luther King underscored that “when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” This bold and unapologetic statement is something that you would not hear today from the membership of Black Lives Matter (BLM). In today’s age of technology, we see more rapid use of social media and soft power by pro-Palestinian groups hijacking the narrative of peace, justice and human rights, while in reality they yearn for Israel’s destruction. The term “social justice” is nothing new in today’s world but may represent new ways of thinking among many who advocate for full equality in our society. Among many African Americans, the mere notion of social justice can be a constant reminder that institutionalized forms of racism still exist across all sectors of our society.

The reality of racism remains a constant force of evil that must of necessity be confronted by all Americans who subscribe to the basic principles that gave birth to America. Yet even among African Americans, there are divergent views about the concept of social justice and what it means in the larger context. This has particular relevance to many of the current events taking place in the Middle East and in the state of Israel. To place this issue in some historical perspective, it should be noted that the murder of six million Jews was a causative factor in the creation of the state of Israel. Israel’s basic right to exist represents a foundational principle of social justice.

Interestingly enough, there is growing trend is to regard Palestinians as “people of color” as they continue to superimpose BDS on racial and other protest movements, even as violence by BDS supporters, and their “intersectional” allies, undermines their broader appeal. It is predominately on the political Left where the adaptation of the Palestinian cause as their own under the guise of “intersectionality,” a term coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s to highlight the dual oppressions faced by black women—sexism and racism—and the feminist and anti-racism movements that failed to fully represent and advocate for them. Currently, it has become a slogan under which minority groups join to fight what critics see as unrelated battles, but what activists see as iterations of the same struggle for justice.

As it is clearly articulated by the Black-Palestinian solidarity statement, “Palestinian liberation represents an inherent threat to Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, an apparatus built and sustained on ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the denial of Palestinian humanity and sovereignty. While we acknowledge that the apartheid configuration in Israel/Palestine is unique from the United States (and South Africa), we continue to see connections between the situation of Palestinians and Black people.

“Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries. Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat. And while the US and Israel would continue to oppress us without collaborating with each other, we have witnessed police and soldiers from the two countries train side-by-side.”

The deliberate distortion of historical realities, fueled by those who oppose Israel’s right to exist, tend to exacerbate the path to peace in the Middle East. Clearly, there are many difficult issues that need to be resolved between Israel and the Palestinians, starting with a functioning Palestinian Authority (PA) removed from Islamist influence which has yet to be seen. For many African Americans, the notion of social justice is indeed a complex phenomenon, and Palestinians are viewed as people of color and Israelis are viewed as white Europeans. There are, however, large numbers of Jews of color, many of whom support the Jewish homeland and call for peace in the Middle East.

Groups like BLM have distorted the reality of the Middle East and have thereby pushed many African-Americans to make assumptions and conclusions based on falsehoods and misinformation. BLM statements are anti-Semitic not only because they are false and modern versions of tradition anti-Semitic blood libel, but also because BLM selectively chooses the Jewish state out of all the states in the world to demonize. The façade has fed into the worldview of intersectionality that has divided the world into a conspiracy of oppressors and an agony of oppressed: Victimizers and victims.

Finally, in a time where universalism trumps particularism, we see more individuals lacking any sense of history or collective memory, thereby generating a postmodernist form of social justice that seeks not equal treatment for all, but rather an equality of outcomes by erasing the same systems that developed the West at large.  






Lawrence Grossman                        

Algemeiner, Mar. 21, 2018

The recent furor over the relationship between the Women’s March leadership and Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan is beginning to subside — but its full import has yet to be appreciated. The Women’s March, according to its website, seeks “to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” It is “a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues.”

Intersectionality is a recent state-of-the art term, defined by Merriam-Webster as “the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlay, and yes, intersect — especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.” Tamika Mallory, co-president of the March, attended Farrakhan’s speech at the NOI’s annual Saviours’ Day celebration on February 25 in Chicago.  At the event, Farrakhan specifically praised Mallory and her movement, and she subsequently posted an image of herself at the event on Instagram.

For Mallory this was nothing new — she has enjoyed a long and close relationship with the NOI, credits its leader with helping her through some difficult times, and has described Farrakhan as the “GOAT — greatest of all time.” The problem is that Farrakhan, true to form, denounced Jews in his speech as well. He called Jews “satanic,” charged that the “powerful Jews” were his enemy, and declared them “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” Farrakhan despicable words were not surprising, given his decades-long history of anti-Jewish invective. But this proved embarrassing for Mallory and the Women’s March, whose devotion to intersectionality would presumably require opposition to prejudice aimed at Jewish women and homosexuals.

What to do? In a series of tweets, Mallory equivocated, but never once criticized Farrakhan. She first suggested that the entire controversy was simply a tactic to impugn the March, saying: “The attacks can make us defensive at times. We are literally fighting for our lives.” But, lo and behold, “someone brought to my attention that over the past few days I never tweeted my absolute position on how wrong anti-Semitism and homophobia is.” Her next tweet moved on to self-justification: “Contrary to others, I listen. I have been in deep reflection and trying to be thoughtful as possibly. … I won’t go back. I won’t redraw the lines of division.” Tweet number three urged “that we listen, reflect, attempt to understand, and give space for nuance and complexities of the different communities we come from.”

And finally, a tweet came clarifying that Mallory is “against all forms of racism … committed to ending anti-black racism, antisemitism, homophobia & transphobia,” and — she pointed out –“This is why I helped create an intersectional movement to bring groups together.” The Women’s March itself released an official statement with the heading: “Anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism and white supremacy are and always will be indefensible.” But rather than condemn Farrakhan, it gingerly noted that the problem was one of “alignment”: His “statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles….”

But the true significance of the Women’s March’s flirtation with the NOI is much more alarming than mainstream press reports and explanations by March apologists indicate. The Final Call, the NOI’s newspaper, printed long excerpts of Farrakhan’s speech in its February 27 issue. It turns out that what the March and its leader soft-pedaled was not just a series of random insults aimed at Jews and gays, but rather a full-blown conspiracy theory of Jewish perversity and world-control.  Jesus, said Farrakhan, came 2,000 years ago “to end the civilization of the Jews,” but failed in the attempt, and he — Louis Farrakhan — was sent to accomplish what Jesus couldn’t. Jews remain “the boss: this is their world.” In every country, he continued, Jews take on the national language and culture, “but they run the money, they run the business” — and in the US, for good measure, the FBI — so that “when there is a Jewish holiday, everything gets silent.”…

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






Dr. Rafael Medoff

Jewish Press, Apr. 11, 2018

For many years, if you asked students in any yeshiva high school whether they knew that 400 Orthodox rabbis marched to the White House in 1943 to protest the Roosevelt administration’s indifference to the Holocaust, you would get a roomful of blank stares. David S. Wyman – who passed away last month at 89 – changed all that. Wyman, in his best-selling book The Abandonment of the Jews, was the first historian to write in detail about the march – and to explain the part that the march played in the campaign to bring about U.S. action to rescue Jews from Hitler.

Subsequently, the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies – which was established by his colleagues to carry on his research about America and the Holocaust – undertook the task of interviewing rabbis who marched and explaining the significance of their protest in numerous publications. Today, it is fair to say, the march of the rabbis – as well as many other aspects of America’s response to the Nazi genocide – is widely recognized in the Jewish community, thanks to a scholar who was not Jewish and had no personal connection to the Holocaust at all.

Wyman, knew very few Jews and very little about Judaism when he was growing up in New England in the 1930s, except what he had learned in Sunday School about the biblical Israelites. The grandson of two Protestant ministers, Wyman earned his Ph.D. in history at Harvard University. His dissertation chronicled the Roosevelt administration’s policies toward German Jewish refugees in the late 1930s, a controversial topic for the time. In those days, most Americans still regarded President Roosevelt as an icon and assumed he must have done whatever he could to aid Europe’s Jews. Prof. Wyman was exploring uncharted territory. “I didn’t have any personal reason to choose that topic,” he remarked later. “I was looking for something that nobody had yet written about. Considering where it led me, sometimes I think that I didn’t choose the subject. It chose me.”

He often said it was bashert that he selected the topic – a term he learned while teaching himself Yiddish in order to be able to do research in the Yiddish-language press of that era. Wyman’s dissertation became his first book, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis 1938-1941, which was published in 1968. It described how a combination of anti-foreigner sentiment, anti-Semitism, and the Roosevelt administration’s tight immigration policies kept most European Jewish refugees far from America’s shores. Paper Walls led to an offer from a major publisher, Pantheon, to publish a sequel that would cover the Holocaust years.

The research for the sequel was a herculean task, and it sometimes took a personal toll. Prof. Wyman’s studies led him to realize how little Christians in America did in response to news of the raging Holocaust, and that shook him to his core. He told me there were times when he “cried for days” over his discoveries, and he would have to take a break from the research. David Wyman was the most admirable kind of historian: a historian with a heart. Wyman was equally pained to learn of the petty intra-Jewish turf wars and personality clashes between American Jewish leaders that undermined the political effectiveness of the Jewish community during the Holocaust. That included the ugly spectacle of Jewish leaders persuading President Roosevelt to refrain from meeting with the rabbis who marched to the White House three days before Yom Kippur in 1943…

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



CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links

At Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, Netanyahu Warns Iran: ‘Don’t Test Israel’s Resolve’: Jewish Press, Apr. 12, 2018—As Israel bowed its head in the memory of six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the main Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem to warn against the dangers of a nuclear Iran and told Tehran not to test Jerusalem’s resolve.

Trump Yom HaShoah Message Pays Special Tribute to Warsaw Ghetto Fighters on 75th Anniversary of Uprising: Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018—US President Donald Trump’s Yom HaShoah — Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day — message on Thursday singled out the Jewish fighters of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising for special tribute.

Every Holocaust Story Matters: Nira Berry, Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018—To people on the street, my mother — Sheila Bernard z”l — looked like an average woman. She played tennis and golf; she enjoyed bridge, opera, theater, and many other things.

Exposé: The Depth of Anti-Israel Hate on American Campuses: Noah Beck, Arutz Sheva, Mar. 30, 2018—About six months after Andrew Pessin posted on his Facebook profile a defense of Israel during its 2014 war against Hamas, the once popular Connecticut College philosophy professor was subjected to an academic smear campaign.



Bradley Martin: Book Review: Baruch Cohen. No One Bears Witness for the Witness. A Memoir

As time goes on, the memory of the Holocaust seems to grow dimmer with every passing year. It would seem that with the numerous genocides that continue to this day, many people are reluctant to absorb the true meaning of the words: “never again.” Yet this book effectively encapsulates not only the horrors of the Holocaust, but the story of an extraordinary man who maintained his humanity against overwhelming odds.
In this way, Baruch Cohen’s memoir No One Bears Witness for the Witness
is truly a precious gift to readers. Following a preface by Dr. Frederick Krantz and an introduction by Dr. Joyce Rappaport, the memoir is divided into four parts. In Part I, Baruch describes his childhood growing up in Bucharest, Romania. Baruch grew up in a poor, but not deprived, household and we get to see a side of him as a young boy who loved animals
and going to movies. Baruch also describes his loving family and thriving Jewish life.
In 1937, Romania would change for the worse with the installment of racial laws and revocation of the citizenship of Romanian Jews. In January, 1941, Baruch describes the Holocaust as having come to his city. For three agonizing days, the Jewish community had to suffer what he called the Bucharest Kristallnacht. After the third day, Baruch went to a slaughterhouse to search for the whereabouts of his missing father.
Thankfully, Baruch’s father would later turn up safe on the outskirts of Bucharest. But not after Baruch witnessed what he would describe as the most shocking image of his life: corpses hanging from meat hooks with mocking signs attached, “advertising” what was sadistically described as “Jewish kosher meat.”
Part II details Baruch’s life as a forced laborer, abused and beaten by Romanian fascist soldiers. Baruch’s lower spine would break, which would later require surgery in Canada. Yet Baruch and his friends would continue secretly distributing flyers for Zionist organizations, calling for Jews to escape to Eretz Israel.
In December, 1943, Baruch would marry his wife Sonia in the midst of Jews being deported from neighboring Poland and Hungary to Nazi death camps in Transnistria. With the Communist takeover of Romania in 1944, Baruch and Sonia left for Israel with their daughter Malca. Though Baruch
was too old to enlist in the Israeli military, he did serve as a reservist in the Sinai War of 1956, where he learned how to use a gun for the first time—a source of great pride for him. The family would then move to Canada, at the behest of Sonia’s parents.
In Part III, Baruch details his life in Montreal, where he became CFO of a major corporation and did a Master’s in Judaic Studiesat McGill University. He served as Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research and worked with the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Baruch would speak to classes at McGill and Concordia University, and to high school students, on the Holocaust and what happened to the Jews of Transnistria, a region of Romania where hundreds of thousands had been slaughtered.
The fourth and final part of the memoir consists of a collection of poetry written by Baruch over the years. Despite all that has happened to him and his family, Baruch truly believes that initially all human beings are good and that we must learn about the inhumanity of so-called humanity in order to oppose it. Baruch’s poems are very heartfelt and express a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people. But one that stands out is his poem
in memory of his daughter Malca, who sadly passed away in the year 2000. In his poem titled For Malca with Love, Baruch expresses a profound love for his daughter that is deeply moving and provides a glimpse of his depth as a compassionate human being.
Is it true that no one bears witness for the witness? To this day, Romania struggles to confront a dark chapter of its history. Baruch Cohen’s exceptional life is that of a man who witnessed the worst of humanity, yet persevered, and continuously uplifted those around him. In a world that is intent on forgetting the Holocaust, it is our responsibility as readers to internalize Baruch’s lessons and follow his example, thus truly honoring all he, as a witness, has done for us.
(Bradley Martin is Deputy Editor for the Canadian Institute
for Jewish Research and Senior Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center)


I Watched Anti-Semitism Wither. Now I'm Seeing it Come Back to Life: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 17, 2017— One day in the 1940s a man knocked on the door of my family’s house in the east end of Toronto, seeking signatures for a petition.

Normalizing Anti-Semitism in Student Governments: Richard L. Cravatts, Winnipeg Jewish Review, Nov. 9, 2017— In the campus war against Israel…

Pre-Apology for the St. Louis, a Look at Canada’s Former Determination to Keep Jews Out: Allan Levine, Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 11, 2017— On June 8, 1939, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King…

Canada Bids to Return to the Security Council: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Sept. 19, 2017 — Shortly after his election,  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his Liberal government will be actively pursuing assignment to the next seat available on the United Nations Security Council.


On Topic Links


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

Excusing Jew-Hatred in Canada: Bradley Martin, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 2017

An Anti-Semitic Purge at McGill University: Ari Lieberman, Frontpage Magazine, Nov. 7, 2017

Let's Hope Canadian Courts See the True Meaning of the Niqab: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 15, 2017





NOW I'M SEEING IT COME BACK TO LIFE                                             

Robert Fulford

National Post, Nov. 17, 2017


One day in the 1940s a man knocked on the door of my family’s house in the east end of Toronto, seeking signatures for a petition. After he said the petition was an attempt to keep Jews off our street, my parents declined to sign and he went away. Later I asked my mother why he and others were against Jews. She answered with probably the least offensive accusation she had heard about them: “People say they give loud parties.” She was not interested in the petitioner’s more virulent arguments.

That was my first brush, at age 10, with anti-Semitism, a prejudice I’ve tended to watch with great interest over the years. By the time I was grown it was much diminished. The barriers to Jews in the professions and business fell, one after another. Eventually, it seemed reasonable to say that, while anti-Semitism still existed, it no longer played a significant role in shaping Canadian society. But lately it has re-appeared, not just in Canada but across the West. Now, however, it takes the form of hostility to Israel. And now it is significant.


There are many people who campaign against Israel but claim not to be anti-Semites. They have nothing against Jews, they say, but they passionately oppose the alleged imperialism, militarism and racism of Israel. That’s intended as a reasonable proposition, but it ignores the alleged imperialism, militarism and racism of many other countries. Their foreign policy is focused on a single state, the Jewish state. How did they choose Israel over other states deserving of their critical attention?


In 2017, news of anti-Semitism is hard to avoid. A letter from the Gatestone Institute a few days ago noted that “Anti-Semitism has returned as one of Europe’s worst diseases.” Recently, at McGill University, an anti-Semitic email was used in a campaign against a Jewish candidate for the board of the student union. Noah Lew, a third-year arts student, posted on his Facebook page that “I was blocked from participating in student government because of my Jewish identity and my affiliation with Jewish organizations.” At the University of British Columbia, vicious anti-Semitic signs have recently appeared on campus. A news report from Paris yesterday announced, “Anti-Semitism is devouring the French Republic.”


Now the political context of anti-Semitism sharply differs. A few decades ago it usually emerged from those with right-wing views. In the U.S., the race-conscious “alt-right” falls within the traditional view of anti-Semitism, as do the advocates of “white supremacy.” But now anti-Semitic opinions are often held and spread by leftish forces. Last summer, a vast, nearly 1,000-strong convention of the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement. They are no doubt sincere and virtuous socialists, and they believe that trying to hurt Israel is a sincere and virtuous expression of socialism, a thought they hope to install in the campaign of the Democrats.


This week brings a report titled The Anti-Israel Agenda: Inside the Political War on the Jewish State (Geffen Publishers), by Alex Ryvchin, an Australian Jewish writer who details the anti-Israel activities of Oxfam, the UN and other forces. Ryvchin criticizes members of the anti-Israel movement as “self-righteous Westerners.” He points out that since 1948 Israel has withstood three invasions on multiple fronts, and hundreds of terrorist attacks, yet has emerged intact. So, he says, its enemies have opened a new front — “a full-scale political assault on Israel’s legitimacy.” Institutions of moral and political influence, including Western governments, the universities, the UN and the churches are being turned against Israel.


Their purpose is “to isolate and cripple the state until it can no longer defend its interests or its people.” He believes the campaign began at the UN’s World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The Durban Conference developed a strategy for attacking Israel on moral grounds. Creating the image of Israelis as occupiers, colonists and oppressors has become a triumph of modern propaganda, a project both impressive and totally unfair. Ryvchin has given Israel’s supporters and fair-minded observers an explanation of how this outrageous libel became so widespread.  




Richard L. Cravatts

Winnipeg Jewish Review, Nov. 9, 2017


In the campus war against Israel, the all too familiar refrain from student anti-Israel activists, many of whom form the loose coalition of groups and individuals spearheading the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, is that their quarrel is only with Israel and its government’s policies, not with Jews themselves. But that specious defense continues to fall away, revealing some caustic and base anti-Semitism, representing a seismic shift in the way that Jews are now being indicted not just for supporting Israel, but merely for being Jewish.


At McGill University this week, as the latest example, three board members of the University’s Students’ Society were removed from their appointments after a vote at the Fall General Assembly due to what was reported to be their perceived “Jewish conflict of interest.” The ouster was led by a pro-BDS student group, Democratize McGill, which was campaigning against pro-Israel students in the wake of a September ruling by the Judicial Board that, once and for all, rejected the BDS movement on the McGill campus, stating that it was violative of the SSMU’s constitution because it “violate[d] the rights of [Israeli] students to represent themselves” and discriminated on the basis of national origin.


In retaliation, and to eliminate pro-Israel views on the board, Democratize McGill launched an effort to clear the board of BDS opponents, based on the cynical notion that these members harbored clear conflict of interests which arose from their purported biases, those conflicts of interests and biases stemming from the poisonous notion that because the students were Jewish or pro-Israel, or both, they could, therefore, never make informed or fair decisions as student leaders.


Ignoring their own obvious biases and the lack of any balance in their own views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the pro-BDS members nonetheless felt comfortable with suppressing pro-Israel voices and Jewish students on the board, asserting that they sought to remove these students because they “are all either fellows at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), an organization whose explicit mandate is to promote pro-Israel discourse in Canadian politics, or primary organizers for the anti-BDS initiative at McGill.”  In other words, they were being disqualified for having views that differed from those student leaders seeking to purge them from SSMU. The Jewish board member and two other non-Jewish, pro-Israel board members were subsequently voted off the board.


McGill has a previous history of seeking to suppress pro-Israel thinking by Jewish students, not in the student government but in its press. An example of that was the 2016 controversy involving The McGill Daily and its astonishing editorial admission that it was the paper’s policy to not publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.” “While we recognize that, for some, Zionism represents an important freedom project,” the editors wrote in a defense of their odious policy, “we also recognize that it functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”


Leading up to this revealing editorial, a McGill student, Molly Harris, had filed a complaint with the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) equity committee. In that complaint, Harris contended that, based on the paper’s obvious anti-Israel bias, and “a set of virulently anti-Semitic tweets from a McGill Daily writer,” a “culture of anti-Semitism” defined the Daily—a belief seemingly confirmed by the fact that several of the paper’s editors themselves are BDS supporters and none of the staffers were Jewish.


An attempted purging of a pro-Israel student from student government, very similar to the inquisition that just occurred at McGill, took place in February of 2015 at UCLA, when several councilmembers on the USAC Judicial Board, UCLA student government’s highest judicial body, grilled Rachel Beyda, then a second-year economics student, when she sought a seat on the board. The focus on her candidacy was not her qualifications for the position (which no one seemed to doubt), but specifically the fact that she was Jewish and how her “affiliation with Jewish organizations at UCLA . . . might affect her ability to rule fairly on cases in which the Jewish community has a vested interest in the outcome, such as cases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” as the student newspaper described it…

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






Allan Levine

Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 11, 2017


On June 8, 1939, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, head of a Liberal government that had won power four years earlier, was in Washington, D.C. He was escorting King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on their royal tour and enjoying a splendid lunch with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family at the White House.


Over tea, the conversation eventually got around to the matter of the SS St. Louis, a ship that had left Hamburg with 937 passengers. Nearly all those on board were German Jews fleeing the Nazi regime with the hope of finding refuge in the United States. The ship, which had departed on May 13, was bound for Cuba. Except when the St. Louis reached Havana two weeks later, the Cuban government refused to accept their landing certificates and transit visas. More than seven days later, no South or Central American country would provide the Jewish refugees with a safe haven. And the U.S. and Canada, both ostensibly still recovering from the Great Depression, did not want them either.


King listened attentively to FDR’s views on the matter, about how “immigration laws … placed certain restrictions” on permitting the Jews into both countries, and then decided that this was not Canada’s problem to solve. (From 1933 to 1945, the U.S. allowed in more than 200,000 European Jewish refugees; while Canada accepted slightly more than 5,000.) Other Canadians – including historian George Wrong, B.K. Sandwell, the editor of Saturday Night magazine and Robert Falconer, the former president of the University of Toronto – disagreed. They urged King to show “true Christian charity of the people of this most fortunate and blessed country.”


Yet the prime minister remained firm in his resolve to keep the Jews out. He heeded the advice of Ernest Lapointe, the minister of justice and his influential Quebec lieutenant, who staunchly opposed Jewish immigration because Lapointe knew that the vast majority of Quebecers opposed it – and Liberal power in Ottawa was somewhat contingent on winning most, if not all, of the province’s 65 parliamentary seats in future elections.


King was influenced as well by Frederick Blair, a longtime civil servant, who in 1936 became the director of the Immigration Branch. Blair was one of the most vocal opponents of Jewish immigration to Canada. Classically, as Irving Abella and Harold Troper note in their 1982 book, None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948, Blair did not consider himself to be anti-Semitic, merely “realistic about Canada’s immigration needs and about the unsuitability of the Jew to those needs.” The country did not have an official refugee policy at the time, so the German Jews had to be considered under the restrictive immigration regulations of the day and Jews were not “preferred” immigrants under any circumstance.


In what was to be one of the definitive statements of this whole sorry ordeal, Blair told Oscar Skelton, the undersecretary of state for external affairs, that the Jews on the St. Louis did not meet Canada’s immigration rules and that no country could “open its doors wide enough to take in the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who want to leave Europe: the line must be drawn somewhere.” By the time Blair had written those sharp words, the St. Louis and its 907 Jewish passengers were on their way back to Europe. Nearly 300 of them managed to get into Britain and the rest found temporary refuge in France, Belgium and Holland. Of the 620 who returned to continental Europe, 254 perished during the war.


Though Blair and King are the villains of this saga – and legitimately so – King, at least, was not unsympathetic to the plight of the refugees. (On more than one occasion, the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews haunted King’s dreams and troubled his sleep.) In November 1938, after King had learned of the destruction of Jewish shops and synagogues in Germany on Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, he was deeply upset by the news of this violence. “The sorrows which the Jews have to bear at this time are almost beyond comprehension,” he recorded in his diary. “Something will have to be done by our country.” But he was not quite certain then, or later, what exactly he could do.


This owed partly to the fact that King shared the anti-Jewish sentiments that were ingrained into Canadian society for the 19th and good part of the 20th centuries. He understood, as he reasoned in a diary entry of August 1936, that “there are good as well as bad Jews and it is wrong to indict a nation or a race.” But two years later, as the pressure mounted to admit more Jewish refugees, he wrote, “My own feeling is that nothing is to be gained by creating an internal problem in an effort to meet an international one.”…

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





 Paul Merkley

Bayview Review, Sept. 19, 2017


Shortly after his election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his Liberal government will be actively pursuing assignment to the next seat available on the United Nations Security Council. (The Council is composed of 15 Members: five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States and ten  non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly. The current non-permanent members are: Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan,. Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.) The current competition is for the term scheduled to begin in 2020. This means that Canada will have plenty of time to play nice to the electors. The electors consist of the nations belonging to the  Western European and Others Group (WEOG.)


There is a story that goes with creation of the WEOG. The Arab and Muslim nations would much prefer that Israel and the Jews should not exist at all and most of them are publicly declared in favour of their liquidation. Finding themselves, through no fault of their own, sitting side-by-side with these people in the General Assembly, they have until recently managed to keep Israel off all the main commissions. They had accomplished this by excluding her from the Asia-Pacific Group to which she logically belongs, until May 2000, when , following much arm-twisting by the American delegation, Israel was allowed to became a full member of WEOG, on a temporary basis; in December 2013, Israel became full permanent member of the WEOG group. Believe it or not, the “Others” in this “regional” group are New Zealand, Israel and Turkey. Like almost everything that happens at the UN this odd grouping (WEOG) proved necessary because the Arab States refused to break bread with Jews.


The first rule to understanding behaviour of nation-states in the General Assembly is the inordinate power of the 57-nation Islamic bloc (the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.), Its members are only a minority of the nations of the world, but because it is the only continuing bloc no one on earth knows how many deals its members have outstanding with other nations of the world on matters of no interest to those other nations. This bloc can call in all the anti-Israel spirits at any time.


The last time that Canada made a bid for a Security Council seat it was shot down by this Islamic bloc. Despite winning a seat on the UN Security Council every decade since its inception, in 2010, the Conservative government withdrew its candidacy in October, 2010, when it became clear it would not receive the votes required to secure a seat. No one made a secret of the fact that the loss of this prestige opportunity was the price that Canada had to pay for its support Israel at the UN. The seat went, instead to Portugal, a loyal supporter of the EU’s “even-handed” views on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a country beholden to the European community for its recent rescue from massive budgetary deficit.


Immediately following the UN rebuff, Canada’s current Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said out loud that Canada’s defeat on this matter was payback for its pro-Israel policy. But, “we will not back down on our principles… Some would even say that, because of our commitment to these values, we lost a seat on the council, If that’s the case, so be it.” … Summoned by the CTVnews  to explain this story to the handful of Canadians who cared was Paul Heinbacker, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN: it was “because the Harper government was “selling policies that the international community is not sympathetic to … [among which are] policies that are frankly and strongly in support of the government of Israel, And again, whatever you think of the merits of the policy… they are  not vote-getters. There are 57 votes in the Arab and Islamic community.” Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Opposition at that time, bemoaned the decline of Canada’s prestige : Harper “had paid the price …for shifting Canada’s foreign policy away from long-established traditions – among which was the pursuit of balanced policy towards Israel and the Palestinians.” Khaled Moummar, leader of the Canadian Arab federation, told the National Post that his constituency “feared that if Canada gains a seat on the Security Council if may be used against Arabs and Muslims around the world”.


Elaborating upon his pro-Israel policy, Prime Minister Harper told a Conference on Anti-Semitism in Ottawa in November 2010: “History shows us – and the ideology of the anti-Israel mob tells us all too well—that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are in the longer term a threat to all of us… And I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the UN or any other international forum, the easiest thing to do is simply just to go along with this anti-Israel rhetoric, to present it as just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of honest broker. There are, after all, a lot more votes –a lot more – in being anti-Israel.”


Trudeau has accused the Conservative Opposition of falsely asserting that his new government is not being as supportive to the Jewish state as was the previous government. At the same time, he insists, the position of his government is more in line with Canada’s traditional even-handed approach to Israel and the Palestinians. “We won’t hesitate from talking about unhelpful steps like the continued illegal settlements… [After all,] “true friendship does not mean unequivocal support.”


Now, as Canada prepares for another contest for a seat on the Security Council, Trudeau has a huge opportunity to prove his fidelity to Israel. The principle obstacle is again the Muslim bloc. An obvious question occurs: Why is there not a bloc of European nations – or a bloc of Christian nations – or a bloc of Friends of Israel. Our statesmen gag at such thoughts. Indulgence by the majority of Non-Islamic, Non-Arabic nations of this bloc-voting of the Muslim nation is once face of a very large fact of life: No one familiar with the facts of world politics would expect any politician, in out of office, to stand up and identify his nation with our religious or cultural legacy, but at the same time they all fall over each other validating Islam. No one dares to suggest that an Islamic bloc, lobbying constantly against Israel, is inconsistent with the original goals or the ideals of the United Nations…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic Links


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

Excusing Jew-Hatred in Canada: Bradley Martin, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 2017 The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, recently published a disgraceful article defending a Toronto imam who called for the genocide of Jews. Ayman Elkasrawy is a former teaching assistant at Ryerson University and junior employee at his mosque, Masjid Toronto.

An Anti-Semitic Purge at McGill University: Ari Lieberman, Frontpage Magazine, Nov. 7, 2017— ​Despite suffering several public and humiliating reversals in various forums and venues, those pushing for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel have not dispensed with their pernicious campaign of hate. The latest outrage perpetrated by BDS activists occurred at McGill University, where a Jewish student and two non-Jewish students identified as pro-Israel were removed from their positions as directors of the Students Society of McGill University (SSMU).

Let's Hope Canadian Courts See the True Meaning of the Niqab: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 15, 2017— As was widely anticipated, Quebec’s Bill 62, banning face cover in the realm of public services, will be legally contested: by an individual niqab-wearing woman, supported by the CCLA and the National Council of Canadian Muslims. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering how his government too may “weigh in” on the challenge.







Europe’s Got it Way Worse Than Trump’s America: Douglas Murray, New York Post, Sept. 16, 2017— If you think America feels slightly unstable at present, relax. At least you’re not European.

Germany: The Rise of Islam: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 12, 2017— Jan Fleischhauer, a journalist of the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, coined an expression to define the free fall of German Christianity: Selbstsäkularisierung ("self-secularization").

Europe’s Destructive Holocaust Shame: Richard Landes, Tablet, Sept. 5, 2017— When I first heard about Catherine Nay—a prominent, mainstream, French journalist…

Open Letter to the Incoming EU Ambassador to Israel: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 13, 2017— Dear Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Welcome to Israel.


On Topic Links


Europe Is Killing Itself (Video): Pat Condell, Youtube, Sept. 7, 2017

Merkel Can't Lead Germany, Much Less the Free World: Alex Berezow, National Interest, Sept. 15, 2017

Illegal Migrant Problem? Greece Offers a Solution: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2017

Ending the War in Syria Could Be a Disaster for Europe: Mordechai Kedar, Algemeiner, Sept. 18, 2017




Douglas Murray

New York Post, Sept. 16, 2017


If you think America feels slightly unstable at present, relax. At least you’re not European. Currently, Britain is still going through the fallout from last year’s Brexit vote. A year after that shock result, Prime Minister Theresa May put herself before the public to strengthen her hand in negotiations with Brussels. In their wisdom, the British public responded by clobbering May in a general election that stripped her party of its majority in Parliament.


Meanwhile, France has just seen the first presidential election in which neither of the two main parties even made it through to the final round. Instead, the country chose young leader Emmanuel Macron, who had to form his party after being elected. All this is against the usual backdrop of a eurozone staggering from crisis to crisis and a political elite that celebrates when the far-right Austrian Freedom Party “only” receives 46 percent of the votes for the presidency.


In the midst of all this chaos, one country and one woman appear to be standing strong: Germany and its chancellor, Angela Merkel. On Sept. 24, the Germans will go to the polls. These are the first federal elections since 2013, and quite a lot has happened since then.


The minds of German voters will be on many things. They will be thinking about how to stabilize the eurozone, the 19 EU countries that have adopted the euro as their common currency. They will also be wondering how to stop other countries from following Britain in exiting the European Union. During that process, Berlin (along with Paris) will have to pull off the double trick of persuading people that the building is not on fire and reassuring them that the fire doors are in any case jammed. But one more thing also hovers over these elections.


It is now seven years since Chancellor Merkel told her country in a speech in Potsdam that “multiculturalism has utterly failed.” It had been a mistake, she admitted, to think that the guest workers invited into the country since WWII would leave. They did not leave. They stayed. Since then, thanks to growing immigration from the developing world, parallel societies have formed in Germany. All of which was a damning, unprecedented admission by the chancellor. But then in 2015 she did something even more unprecedented and with far more damning consequences. Having admitted that mass immigration into her country had been a disaster when it had been at a relative low point, she opened up her country’s borders to bring in a historically unprecedented number of migrants.


During 2015 up to 1.5 million economic migrants and asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Far East entered Germany, adding an extra 2 percent to the country’s population in just one year. Merkel’s actions spurred a crisis across the entire continent. In the days and months following her unilateral decision, she and her colleagues attempted to bully other European leaders to take on a share of the problem she had presented them with. Some supported her. Others bailed.


As I argue in my latest book “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” there are specific local and historical reasons why the German chancellor did what she did in August 2015. But she also exacerbated an immigration challenge which threatens the whole future of our continent. Any culture would find it hard to accommodate the rapid movement of so many people. But for it to happen at the same time that the European continent is suffering from such a weight of historical guilt, fatigue and lack of self-belief makes it all but impossible.


The situation Merkel identified as a failure in 2010 was turned into a disaster by that same leader during her subsequent term in office. Naturally, like other leaders across Europe, the German government occasionally recognizes it must do something about this. Its main answer is to occasionally talk tough about the problem. Like the politicians of Sweden and other countries, it even occasionally suggests that it will start deporting the hundreds of thousands of illegitimate asylum seekers who (by the EU’s own figures) should never have entered Europe in 2015. But the words “horse,” “gate,” “shut” and “bolted” are on everybody’s minds, even when not on their lips.


In regional elections last September, Merkel’s party was severely punished by the electorate who elected the anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland party to the country’s regional assemblies. Moreover, the AfD was just three years old when it beat Merkel’s own party into third place in her own constituency. The chancellor subsequently gave what was reported as an “apology,” saying that Germany should have been better prepared for the 2015 crisis. In reality, this was no apology at all.


With the rise of politicians like Geert Wilders in Holland and Marine le Pen in France, there were those who predicted a drubbing for Merkel this year. But both Wilders and Le Pen under-performed in their national polls earlier this year. The AfD is also struggling to break through, and it appears that the German people already expressed their anger last year. This year they look set to maintain the status quo. A recent poll showed most Germans (63 percent) now to be satisfied with the job the Chancellor is doing. It was Hilaire Belloc who famously gave the advice: “Always keep ahold of nurse/For fear of finding something worse.” The German people — surveying the continent around them — are most likely to hold on. The realization that nurse is part of the problem may have to wait for another day.





Giulio Meotti

Gatestone Institute, Sept. 12, 2017


Jan Fleischhauer, a journalist of the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, coined an expression to define the free fall of German Christianity: Selbstsäkularisierung ("self-secularization"). It is the Church being liquidated? The German Bishops' Conference just released the data on the decline of Catholicism in Germany for 2016. In one year, the German Catholic Church lost 162,093 faithful and closed 537 parishes. From 1996 to today, one quarter of the Catholic communities have been closed. "The faith has evaporated," said Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1982 to 2007.


Christians in Germany will become a minority in the next 20 years, according to Die Welt. Around 60% of the country is currently Christian, with 24 million Catholics and 23 million Protestants. But that number is falling by 500,000 a year through deaths alone. "Those statistics are embodied by what visitors observe in German cities on Sunday: largely empty churches", the Catholic theologian George Weigel wrote.


German Protestantism is facing the same crisis. Die Zeit revealed that in 2016, 340,000 Protestants passed away, and there were just 180,000 baptisms. Some 190,000 people left the church and just 25,000 people chose to join it. In his most famous lecture, Pope Benedict XVI famously said that the West, including those who do not accept transcendence, should act "etsi Deus daretur", as if God does exist. The old-fashioned Christian society will never come back, but it is critical for even a secular West to stay based on — and profoundly inspired by — its Judeo-Christian values.


The next stage seems to be a German cultural and religious landscape dominated by atheists and two minority religions: Islam and Christianity. If the secularists do not take Western Christian heritage — or at least the Judeo-Christian values from which it sprang — more seriously and start defending it, both atheists and Christians will soon be dominated by the rising political and supremacist religion, Islam. A prominent Muslim fundamentalist organization in Germany, banned by the federal government, calls itself "The True Religion" ("Die Wahre Religion"). They apparently think they are overtaking Judeo-Christian values.


There are dramatic instances of Christian decay in Germany. In the diocese of Trier, for example, site of the oldest Catholic community and the birthplace of Karl Marx, the number of parishes will drop from 903 to 35 by 2020, according to bishop Stephan Ackermann — a decrease of more than 90%. In the diocese of Essen, more than 200 parishes have been closed; their number has fallen from 259 to 43. A demographic decline is also involved in this religious crisis. "Christianity is literally dying in Europe," said Conrad Hackett, head of the researchers who drafted a Pew Forum report a few months ago. In Europe, between 2010 and 2015, Christian deaths outnumbered births by nearly 6 million. In Germany alone, there were about 1.4 million more Christian deaths.


This decline also apparent from the recruitment crisis for the priesthood. The official website of the German Catholic Church, noted in May that the dioceses of Osnabrück and Mainz did not receive any new priests this year. The archdiocese of Munich last year drew only one candidate. Throughout the Archdiocese of Munich today, there are only 37 seminarians in the various training stages, for about 1.7 million Catholics. In comparison, the American diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, currently has 49 seminarians for about 96,000 Catholics. In the U.S., Christianity is strong; in Germany it is literally dying.


A German architect, Joaquim Reinig, told Die Tageszeitung that to integrate Muslim immigrants better, churches should be demolished and replaced with "highly visible mosques". It might sound a bit crazy, but it contains a dramatic truth. In his book The Last Days of Europe, the historian Walter Laqueur wrote that "Germany had some 700 little mosques and prayer rooms in the 1980s, but there are more than 2,500 at the present time". If, in Germany, Christianity is evaporating, Islam is proliferating.


The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) just opened a new mega-mosque for worship in the German city of Cologne. The new German mega-mosque has a 1,200-person capacity and the tallest minaret of Europe. According to Deutsche Welle, "Christian leaders bristled at the idea of Cologne's famed Dom cathedral sharing the skyline with minarets". When the mosque was planned in 2007, a citizens' initiative was launched to say that "we want the cathedral here, not minarets". The Muslim authorities then announced the plan to "double" the number of mosques…


Since he took power in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has built 17,000 Islamic prayer sites there. The Turkish president is committed to the construction of mosques in European capitals as well. Turkey controls 900 mosques in Germany and feels free to say that a "liberal mosque" in Germany is "incompatible" with Islam, according to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. That is why the 57 percent of Germans fear the rise of Islam in their country.


When Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her country to mass migration in 2014, she apparently did not see any cultural problem in accepting more than another million Muslims. In the words of Erdogan, however, "Our minarets are our bayonets, our domes are our helmets, our mosques are our barracks". Islamic regimes are, in fact, offering to fill the empty spaces in Germany's religious landscape. Saudi Arabia proposed building 200 new mosques in Germany, "one for every 100 refugees". Can you imagine Germany offering Iraq, Syria and Egypt to build "200 new churches" to reconstruct the derelict and dispossessed Christian communities there? No, because in the Middle East, Christians have been eradicated in a forced de-Christianization. In Europe, Christians are also becoming extinct by a process of "self-secularization". We risk losing not only our churches, but more importantly, our cultural strength and even confidence in the values of our own civilization.                                                      



EUROPE’S DESTRUCTIVE HOLOCAUST SHAME                                                       

Richard Landes

Tablet, Sept. 5, 2017


When I first heard about Catherine Nay—a prominent, mainstream, French journalist—stating on her Europe1 news program, in reference to the 2000 IDF killing of 12-year-old Muhammad al Durah in the arms of his father, that “with the symbolic charge [of the image of al Durah], Muhammad’s death cancels, erases the [famous WWII] picture of the Jewish boy, his hands up before the SS, in the Warsaw Ghetto,” I realized that Europeans had taken the story as a “get-out-of-Holocaust-guilt-free card.”


At the time I marveled—and continue to marvel—at the astounding folly of the statement. How can a brief, blurry, chopped up video of a boy who, at best was caught in a crossfire started by his own people firing behind him, at worst a lethal fake, eliminate—in fact, replace—a picture that symbolizes the systematic murder of over a million children and their families? How morally disoriented can one get? Apparently, the hope of escaping guilt is enough to induce people to adopt a supersessionist narrative: Israelis are the new Nazis, and Palestinians are the new Jews.


But the profound distinction between guilt and shame suggests that the right formula is “get-out-of-Holocaust-shame-free card.” Doesn’t sound as good. The difference: Guilt is an internally generated sense of moral obligation not to repeat past transgressions, like the extermination of a helpless minority within one’s own society. Shame, on the other hand, is externally generated, driven by the “shaming look” of others (the “honor-group”). Therein lies a key difference: For guilt, it’s the awareness of the deed and its meaning; for shame, it’s whether others know. In some countries in the world, it’s not a question of whether you’re corrupt or not (everyone is, everyone knows), but whether you get caught. When Germans got caught carrying out genocide, their nation was not only guilty of the deed but shamed before the world … for committing such a hideous atrocity? … Or simply for getting caught?


While honor-shame cultures have moral codes, their vulnerability to the fear of shame can readily lead to a jettisoning of any moral concerns. After all, the limbic dread of shame—its disastrous psychological and practical impact—kicks in in times of humiliation and fear. Those afflicted with oneidophobia (overriding [limbic] fear of public blame/humiliation) are desperate that others not see, not know about, not talk about, what they have done; that one not bear the shame publicly, that one need not pay the steep price in social capital for one’s (mis)deeds.


Oneidophobes, people driven by shame-honor dynamics, avoid being subjected to criticism, especially public criticism. They consider both lying (to save face), and, where one can get away with it, violence (to regain respect), as normal recourse. Lancelot could publicly proclaim his innocence of adultery with the Queen because he killed everyone who accused him. Shame-driven oneidophobes want the negative spotlight off at all costs. In cases of those already shamed, they want to have the shame lifted.


Honest searching, motivated by well-deserved guilt, could have led post-Shoah Germans to become the most substantive academic critics of the Western grand narrative. After all, it wasn’t just European lunatics who disliked the Jews. How many great Western figures, when they bothered to mention the Jews, did so disparagingly, as the negative version of their great accomplishment? Instead of viewing this pattern of ancient, medieval, and modern—and now postmodern—denigration of Jews, as “they must be doing something to make others hate them so,” the self-critical German might have asked, “Maybe this has something to do with us and our problems?” German historians might have played a leading role in reinterpreting and integrating the story of the Jews into majority Western history, to a degree no earlier gentile historians had ever done…

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



OPEN LETTER TO THE INCOMING EU AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL                                          

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                        

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 13, 2017


Dear Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Welcome to Israel. As the European Union has often given doubtful advice to Israel, I take the liberty of making some suggestions in order to make your assignment here more successful. Please remember that you represent the greater part of a continent where antisemitism has been ingrained in the culture for over a thousand years. The leading academic scholar of antisemitism in our generation, the late Robert Wistrich, has shown that almost all Europe’s ideological currents during those centuries were antisemitic.


Please also be aware that in the past decades EU members have let in – without a selection process – millions of people from countries where most citizens are antisemitic. To make matters worse, in the past two years large numbers of such people have been given the opportunity to immigrate to the EU. The fact is that all Jews who have been killed in Western Europe for ideological reasons in the current century were murdered by Muslim immigrants or their descendants.


Your predecessor, Mr. Ambassador, repeatedly told Israel that “settlement construction was a hindrance to peace.” Sometimes he went so far as to threaten us. For instance in 2014, he stated, “if Israel’s settlement policies wrecked the current US-led peace efforts, then Israel would be held responsible for the failure of the negotiations.” He did not point out that the Palestinian Authority continuously pays high “salaries” to the families of murderers of Israeli civilians. Not mentioning how big a hindrance to peace this is was one of many ways he undermined the EU’s credibility in Israel. He should also have admitted publicly that European countries who finance the PA indirectly reward the murderers of Israelis.


I also suggest that you do not paint rosy pictures of a future peace. Your predecessor told us how beautiful the Middle East would look after a peace agreement is signed. He said, “Israel would be in a pole position to promote regional integration in the eastern Mediterranean” The fact is that despite Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt in 1978 and the one with Jordan in 1994, both countries appear on the list of major anti-Israel inciters and antisemitism promoters in a recent report by the US State Department. Earlier this year Palestinian murderers coming from the Temple Mount killed Israeli policemen. Israel thereupon took security measures which the Palestinians turned into an opportunity for international Muslim incitement against Israel. It is not difficult to see that after Israel makes territorial concessions for a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians, nothing will prevent the Palestinians from creating more unjustified international religious mayhem around the Temple Mount.


I would also suggest that you avoid giving bad advice. Your predecessor advised Israel to collaborate with the UNHRC investigation commission on the 2014 Gaza war despite the fact that the UNHRC is biased against Israel from the outset. Also please avoid making statements in which the lack of truth is transparent. For example, your predecessor’s attempt to deny the discriminatory character of the EU’s labeling of products from the West Bank. In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry accused the EU of ignoring more than 200 other territorial conflicts around the world by singling out Israel, since the territories are the only place requiring separate labels.


It is indeed crucial for an EU ambassador to be truthful and credible. In his departure speech Mr. Faaborg-Andersen said that Israel could learn from Europe about fighting terrorism. There have been far more attempted terrorist attacks in Israel than in Europe. Yet none of the deadly attacks in Israel have seen as many people killed as those in Madrid in 2004, in London in 2005, in Paris in 2015 and in Nice in 2016. There is much information about EU member countries’ lack of ability to identify the early radicalization of Muslim individuals, as well as their intention to join jihadi organizations and carry out terrorist attacks.


Your predecessor also said that “antisemitism in Europe is a phenomenon we are combating – even more than Israel is.” The first step to effectively combat antisemitisms is to establish an accepted definition of it. The only working definition accepted by some in Europe was suddenly taken off the website of the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013. What would have been easier for the EU than to accept the 2016 definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and become an associated member of the IHRA? It did not. All the above has helped create suspicion toward the EU even if there are many interesting aspects to EU-Israeli cooperation…

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




On Topic Links


Europe Is Killing Itself (Video): Pat Condell, Youtube, Sept. 7, 2017

Merkel Can't Lead Germany, Much Less the Free World: Alex Berezow, National Interest, Sept. 15, 2017—Angela Merkel is likely cruising to an easy re-election as Germany’s chancellor. Because many pundits in America refer to her as the “leader of the free world,” it is tempting to speculate that her electoral success is due to keen wisdom and firm leadership. In reality, quite the opposite is the case. In many ways, Angela Merkel is Germany’s Bill Clinton, minus the philandering.

Illegal Migrant Problem? Greece Offers a Solution: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2017—As Western states prove incapable of deporting their millions of illegal migrants – the current crisis features Italy – authorities in Greece have found a surprising and simple way to convince them to take the long route back home.

Ending the War in Syria Could Be a Disaster for Europe: Mordechai Kedar, Algemeiner, Sept. 18, 2017—Blinded by the smokescreen of the war against ISIS, the world failed to notice that Tehran was taking over considerable parts of Syria — particularly in the sparsely populated center and east of the country.