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

Tag: Kristallnacht

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

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

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

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

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

On Topic Links

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

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

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

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

 

                             THE CONNECTION BETWEEN WWI ARMISTICE

                                                 AND WWII KRISTALLNACHT                                                                                            Ben Cohen

                                                            JNS, Oct. 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Post, Nov. 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

A KRISTALLNACHT LESSON

Mordecai Paldiel

Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contents

   

WHAT AMERICANS MUST DO AFTER PITTSBURGH

TO THWART ANTISEMITISM                                          

Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein

                                                Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Contents

On Topic Links

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

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

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

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

 

NEVER FORGET: WEST’S FAILURE TO SAVE JEWS AFTER KRISTALLNACHT, & BRAVE CANADIANS WHO FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM AT PASSCHENDAELE

79th Anniversary of Kristallnacht: Efraim Zuroff, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017— November 9 marks the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,”…

We Should Never Forget the Horror — and Heroics — of Passchendaele: Christopher Sweeney, National Post, Nov. 9, 2017 — The village of Passchendaele in Belgium is today as it was nearly 100 years ago, a small, relatively insignificant rural village east of the medieval city of Ypres.

Commemorating the ANZAC liberation of Beersheba: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2017— Today Australia is indisputably Israel’s best friend in the world – in every respect.

Communism Through Rose-Colored Glasses: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017— “In the spring of 1932 desperate officials, anxious for their jobs and even their lives, aware that a new famine might be on its way, began to collect grain wherever and however they could.

 

On Topic Links

 

Woman Learns Grandfather was Notorious Nazi Criminal in 'Schindler's List': Christine Dunn, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017

Night Falls: German Jews React to Hitler’s Rise to Power: Robert Rockaway, Tablet, Nov. 8, 2017

Kristallnacht: When America Failed the Jews: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Nov. 9, 2017

The Roots of Revolution: Joshua Rubenstein, New York Times, Oct. 20, 2017

                                                           

 

 

79TH ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT                                                      

Efraim Zuroff

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017

 

November 9 marks the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” a major milestone in the persecution of Jews under the Third Reich and an unusually important event which took place in full public view, but whose significance was unfortunately not fully understood at the time.

 

The story ostensibly begins with the expulsion from Germany in late October 1938 of approximately 17,000 Polish Jews, whose Polish citizenship had been revoked by the Polish government. The Poles refused to allow them to enter and they were stranded on the German-Polish border under extremely difficult conditions. Among those expelled was the Grynszpan family from Hanover, whose son Herschel was living in Paris at the time. Incensed by the suffering of his parents and the others, he bought a gun, walked into the German Legation in Paris on November 7, and asked to see an embassy official. He was taken to the office of third secretary Ernst vom Rath, whom he shot and badly wounded. (Ironically, at that time vom Rath was under suspicion by the Gestapo for expressing anti-Nazi sympathies, largely based on the mistreatment of Jews in Germany.)

 

Two days later, on November 9, vom Rath died of his wounds. That date also marked the anniversary of the Nazis’ failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, and at the gathering in Munich to mark that event, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels gave a fiery speech calling for spontaneous violence against the Jews. In his words, “[T]he Fuehrer has decided that… demonstrations should not be organized by the Party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered.” Thus vom Rath’s murder served as the excuse for the outbreak of massive “spontaneous” violence against Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the Third Reich, which at that time included Austria.

 

The results were horrific. One thousand six hundred Jews were murdered (the official report by Heydrich listed only 91), approximately 1,500 synagogues were destroyed, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen, more than 7,000 Jewish shops and department stores were vandalized or destroyed. In short, a horrific blow to German Jewry, who, adding insult and economic ruin to injury, were forced to pay a fine of one billion marks (about $400 million at 1938 rates) as a punishment. The Nazis obviously viewed Kristallnacht as an opportunity to seriously advance their goal of the elimination of Jews from German society, which at that time they sought to achieve via expulsion and emigration. The question is, what gave them the sense that there would be virtually no severe consequences for such a dramatic assault on Jewish life and property?

 

To answer that question it is important to note two critical events which took place during the four months prior to Kristallnacht. The first was the Evian Conference convened in France, from July 6 to July 15, 1938, by president Franklin D. Roosevelt, ostensibly to solve, or at least alleviate, the plight of the increased numbers of Jewish refugees seeking to flee persecution by Nazi Germany. It was attended by representatives of 32 countries and 24 voluntary organizations, but was doomed to failure even before it began, since the invitations assured the participating countries that none of them would be asked to change their existing immigration quotas, which were the key element limiting the immigration of German and Austrian Jews.

 

In addition, Britain and the United States made a deal that no mention of Palestine would be allowed on the agenda and in return, the British would not bring up the fact that the United States was not even filling its existing quotas, let alone increasing them. While many delegates expressed sympathy for the Jews living under Nazism, the only countries willing to admit large numbers of Jews were the Dominican Republic and later Costa Rica. On the other hand, the Australian delegate, trade and customs minister T.W. White, bluntly explained that as his country had “no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.”

 

To understand the full impact of the failure of the Evian Conference, it must be emphasized that at this point the Nazis had still not decided to implement the Final Solution and were encouraging Jewish emigration from the Reich. In fact, Hitler responded to news of the conference by saying that if other nations would agree to admit the Jews living in the Reich, he would help them depart “even on luxury ships.” The second event was the Munich Agreement of September 29-30, 1938, in which England and France agreed to allow Germany to annex portions of the territory of Czechoslovakia inhabited by Germans (Sudetenland), which included most of the country’s border defenses, fortifications and heavy industrial districts, a decision which left the country practically defenseless…

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

 

Contents

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET THE HORROR

— AND HEROICS — OF PASSCHENDAELE

Christopher Sweeney

National Post, Nov. 9, 2017

 

The village of Passchendaele in Belgium is today as it was nearly 100 years ago, a small, relatively insignificant rural village east of the medieval city of Ypres. Yet the name Passchendaele continues to send shivers down the spine of all who know or come to know of its horrors.

 

The battle was part of the broader Third Battle of Ypres fought between July 31 and Nov. 10, 1917, which resulted in nearly 400,000 British and Imperial (Australian, Canadian, Indian, New Zealand and South African) casualties. The battle featured all of the characteristics that have become synonymous with the First World War; mud, destruction, wasted human life, and negligible results. For these reasons, Canada was a reluctant participant in this battle but dutifully suffered over 16,000 casualties in a matter of just over two weeks (by today’s population, this would mean nearly 65,000 casualties). Between Oct. 26 and Nov. 10 of this year, Canada will be observing the 100th anniversary of the bloody Battle of Passchendaele, a battle which, shamefully, is now barely known by Canadians. We should know of it.

 

The Canadian Corps, having already experienced the horrors of the Ypres salient in 1915, had no interest in returning there from France, but it had no choice. The British and non-Canadian Imperial forces, which in August 1917 had boldly sought to secure important Belgian channel ports occupied by the Germans, had by October ground to a halt ridiculously short of their goal. The new goal was “simply” to capture the ridge on which Passchendaele was located so as to hold the higher, dryer ground for the oncoming winter. But they needed fresh troops to do so, and the only ones available were the Canadians who had been rebuilding themselves after the 1917 battles at Vimy and Hill 70. It was now unfortunately our turn to be thrust into the cauldron. Lt.-Gen. Arthur Currie, commander of the Canadian Corps, immediately saw the difficulties of this mission and gloomily predicted that Canada would suffer 16,000 casualties — he was almost dead-on in this assessment (if you excuse the pun).

 

The Canadians were sent to the low outlying area east of the village of Passchendaele with the mission to take the ridge … in waist-deep mud, a moonscape of water and corpse-filled shell craters, against heavily entrenched German defences on the rise. Through intricate planning, based carefully on learning from the failures of others, and massive artillery support, including attacks being precipitated by closely manned “creeping barrages” of shells (by this time, all cutting-edge hallmarks of Canadian fighting on the front), the Canadians succeeded in taking Passchendaele on Nov. 10, 1917. Like at Vimy and at Hill 70, the Canadians had succeeded where all others had failed. Patriotic pride in this accomplishment roared across the country, tempered only by the tragedy of the massive loss of lives.

 

The Canadians were soon relieved of their position and brought back to the rear to lick their wounds, and to rebuild their strength. The best that could be dubiously claimed of this “victory” was that the Germans had suffered more losses “per capita” (not even in raw numbers) than the British and Imperial troops in the Third Battle of Passchendaele. Such was the definition of victory in the First World War. However, barely five months later, the British were required to perform a strategic retreat from the area around Passchendaele, with heavy losses, to better consolidate their defences against Germany’s last threatening offensive of the war, launched in March of 1918. All of the fighting by Canada, and others, had been for naught — all of the land gained had been lost.

 

At the time the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge in April of this year, my brother and I re-traced the steps of my great-grandfather, Martin Sweeney, who was fighting with the Victoria Rifles of Montreal during the battle. We followed his route from the magnificently restored town of Ypres (destroyed during the war) out to Passchendaele and located the approximate spot where he, and five others, had been killed by a shell on Nov. 5, 1917, two days before the final assault on Passchendaele had begun. For the first time, we realized that our long-lost great-grandfather had been within easy eyesight of the ruined town of Passchendaele, over which almost one million men on both sides had been fighting for the previous three months, before he was killed. Surprisingly, this gave us some solace, for he would have known that the Canadians were near their goal and about to achieve victory (correspondence from this battle tells us the Canadians were now deeply confident of their own fighting ability).

 

Martin’s name is amongst the 6,928 Canadian names on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres (a must visit for anyone in that part of the world) dedicated to those who lost their lives in Belgium, and for whom there is no known grave. In viewing his name on the monument for the first time, years ago, with my late father, we knew, sadly, that we were the first of Martin’s ancestors to ever visit his memorial. I still wonder what he, as a 44-year-old man with three grown children, was doing at the Battle of Passchendaele.

 

On this 100th anniversary of the muddy, bloody Battle of Passchendaele, it is vitally important that we commemorate the sacrifices of those who came before us, for those who fought for Canada, and the timeless cause of freedom. For make no mistake, Canada at Passchendaele, like elsewhere during the First World War (and, for that matter, all our other wars), was fighting not for plunder or gain, or out of ignorance (as some modern interpreters would have us believe), but for the freedom of others. We declare at Remembrance ceremonies, almost by rote, that “we will remember them.” In this year marking the 100th anniversary of Vimy, Hill 70 and Passchendaele, it has never been more important to “remember them.”

                                                                       

 

Contents

COMMEMORATING THE ANZAC LIBERATION OF BEERSHEBA

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2017

 

Today Australia is indisputably Israel’s best friend in the world – in every respect. The origins of this relationship have their genesis a century ago with the spectacular victory of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) that liberated Beersheba on October 31, 1917 and paved the way for the conquest of Jerusalem. This was followed two days later by the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, which preceded the British Mandate and subsequently served as the basis for the establishment of a Jewish state.

 

The Battle of Beersheba was a turning point in the war against the Ottoman Empire after successive failures to capture Gaza. It was the first time Australians and New Zealanders were highlighted as having effected a critical impact. The stunning charge of the ANZAC Light Horse Brigade that overcame the Turkish defenses was hailed as a milestone of military bravery comparable to that of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 and is remembered as the last great cavalry charge, establishing ANZAC as the best cavalry force in the world. It represented Australia’s first outstanding achievement as a fighting force, predating the 1918 Western Front victories.

 

With the disaster at Gallipoli in 1915-1916, where over 8,000 Australians needlessly lost their lives, many initially predicted that this attempt was doomed to failure and represented yet another example of military incompetence and willingness to cynically sacrifice soldiers. Beersheba was heavily fortified, making the town a virtual fortress, and the battle was considered a last-ditch effort to defeat the Ottoman Empire in the region.

 

Late in the afternoon of October 31, following an order by their commander, Sir Harry Chauvel, 800 Australian light horsemen, brandishing bayonets, galloped directly into machine-gun fire, many dismounting and engaging in hand-to-hand combat, surprising the Turks who did not imagine that the Australians would act so brazenly. Galloping over 2 kilometers at top speed, they overcame the stunned Turkish defenders in less than an hour. Thirty Australian horsemen were killed and 36 wounded. Over 500 Turks were killed and 1,500 surrendered.

 

It was a glorious victory, a turning point in the struggle enabling General Edmund Allenby to defeat the Ottomans in Palestine. It also heralded the beginning of an extraordinary close relationship between Australia and Israel. On the personal and individual level, it was enhanced by Australian soldiers temporarily stationed in Palestine at the outset of World War II who developed good relations with the Jews. Old timers still relate nostalgically to the friendship extended by the Australians as tensions were rising with the British mandatory officials.

 

This week the Australian and Israeli governments will jointly celebrate the centennial anniversary of the heroic Light Brigade’s extraordinary role in Beersheba. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, New Zealand Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a major entourage of ministers, officials, descendants of the ANZACs, and over 100 Australian horsemen, as well as private citizens from both countries will participate in commemorative ceremonies. These will include a joint Australian-New Zealand service at the war cemetery, the opening of an ANZAC museum, and a re-enactment of the charge by the Australian Light Horse Brigade.

 

It is anticipated that huge numbers will attend what promises to be a spectacular event highlighting the Australian-Israeli relationship. Australian Jewry enjoys an outstanding Jewish lifestyle and can be considered a jewel in the crown of the Diaspora. Jews were among the first boatloads of convicts transported to Australia in the 18th century. The first military commander of Australian forces serving during World War I was Sir John Monash, a proud Jew who was also the founding president of the Zionist Federation of Australia.

 

In the 1930s, the Jewish community was declining and rapidly assimilating but over the course of time it became reinvigorated by Holocaust refugees and survivors. Most of the newcomers were passionately Zionist and created a unique network of Jewish schools ranging from secular Zionist to Chabad, from Modern Orthodox to Reform and even a Bundist Yiddish school. From the 1980s, the community expanded further with the immigration of large numbers of Russians and South Africans…

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

 

Contents

COMMUNISM THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES

Bret Stephens

New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017

 

“In the spring of 1932 desperate officials, anxious for their jobs and even their lives, aware that a new famine might be on its way, began to collect grain wherever and however they could. Mass confiscations occurred all across the U.S.S.R. In Ukraine they took on an almost fanatical intensity.”

 

I am quoting a few lines from “Red Famine,” Anne Applebaum’s brilliant new history of the deliberate policy of mass starvation inflicted on Ukraine by Joseph Stalin in the early 1930s. An estimated five million or more people perished in just a few years. Walter Duranty, The Times’s correspondent in the Soviet Union, insisted the stories of famine were false. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for reportage the paper later called “completely misleading.” How many readers, I wonder, are familiar with this history of atrocity and denial, except in a vague way? How many know the name of Lazar Kaganovich, one of Stalin’s principal henchmen in the famine? What about other chapters large and small in the history of Communist horror, from the deportation of the Crimean Tatars to the depredations of Peru’s Shining Path to the Brezhnev-era psychiatric wards that were used to torture and imprison political dissidents?

 

Why is it that people who know all about the infamous prison on Robben Island in South Africa have never heard of the prison on Cuba’s Isle of Pines? Why is Marxism still taken seriously on college campuses and in the progressive press? Do the same people who rightly demand the removal of Confederate statues ever feel even a shiver of inner revulsion at hipsters in Lenin or Mao T-shirts? These aren’t original questions. But they’re worth asking because so many of today’s progressives remain in a permanent and dangerous state of semi-denial about the legacy of Communism a century after its birth in Russia. No, they are not true-believing Communists. No, they are not unaware of the toll of the Great Leap Forward or the Killing Fields. No, they are not plotting to undermine democracy.

 

But they will insist that there is an essential difference between Nazism and Communism — between race-hatred and class-hatred; Buchenwald and the gulag — that morally favors the latter. They will attempt to dissociate Communist theory from practice in an effort to acquit the former. They will balance acknowledgment of the repression and mass murder of Communism with references to its “real advances and achievements.” They will say that true communism has never been tried. They will write about Stalinist playwright Lillian Hellman in tones of sympathy and understanding they never extend to film director Elia Kazan.

 

Progressive intelligentsia “is moralist against one half of the world, but accords to the revolutionary movement an indulgence that is realist in the extreme,” the French scholar Raymond Aron wrote in “The Opium of the Intellectuals” in 1955. “How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy?” On Thursday, I noted that intellectuals have a long history of making fools of themselves with their political commitments, and that the phenomenon is fully bipartisan.

 

But the consequences of the left’s fellow-traveling and excuse-making are more dangerous. Venezuela is today in the throes of socialist dictatorship and humanitarian ruin, having been cheered along its predictable and unmerry course by the usual progressive suspects. One of those suspects, Jeremy Corbyn, may be Britain’s next prime minister, in part because a generation of Britons has come of age not knowing that the line running from “progressive social commitments” to catastrophic economic results is short and straight. Bernie Sanders captured the heart, if not yet the brain, of the Democratic Party last year by portraying “democratic socialism” as nothing more than an extension of New Deal liberalism. But the Vermont senator also insists that “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.” Efforts to criminalize capitalism and financial services also have predictable results.

 

It’s a bitter fact that the most astonishing strategic victory by the West in the last century turns out to be the one whose lessons we’ve never seriously bothered to teach, much less to learn. An ideology that at one point enslaved and immiserated roughly a third of the world collapsed without a fight and was exposed for all to see. Yet we still have trouble condemning it as we do equivalent evils. And we treat its sympathizers as romantics and idealists, rather than as the fools, fanatics or cynics they really were and are. Winston Churchill wrote that when the Germans allowed the leader of the Bolsheviks to travel from Switzerland to St. Petersburg in 1917, “they turned upon Russia the most grisly of all weapons. They transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus.” A century on, the bacillus isn’t eradicated, and our immunity to it is still in doubt.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Woman Learns Grandfather was Notorious Nazi Criminal in 'Schindler's List': Christine Dunn, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017—Jennifer Teege did not learn about her family's dark secret until she was close to 40 years old. It happened in the central library in Hamburg, Germany, her hometown.

Night Falls: German Jews React to Hitler’s Rise to Power: Robert Rockaway, Tablet, Nov. 8, 2017 —When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany on Jan. 30, 1933, he gained the authority to implement his racist ideology toward Germany’s Jews, who then numbered 535,000 out of a general population of 67 million.

Kristallnacht: When America Failed the Jews: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Nov. 9, 2017—On November 11, 1938, a front-page story appeared in The New York Times. It read: “A wave of destruction, looting, and incendiarism unparalleled in Germany since the Thirty Years War and in Europe generally since the Bolshevist Revolution swept over Great Germany today as National Socialist cohorts took vengeance on Jewish shops, offices and synagogues for the murder by a young Polish Jew of Ernst vom Rath, third secretary of the German Embassy in Paris.”

The Roots of Revolution: Joshua Rubenstein, New York Times, Oct. 20, 2017—As we mark the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s triumph, Chamberlain’s book broadens our understanding of the roots of the Bolshevik Revolution, describing how German Idealism, which first emerged from Immanuel Kant’s reaction to the French Revolution, came to inspire philosophers and cultural figures throughout 19th-century Europe and Russia.

 

 

AS JEWS REMEMBER KRISTALLNACHT, REFUGEE CRISIS STOKES RENEWED ANTISEMITISM IN EUROPE

 

YITZHAK NAVON, ISRAEL’S FIFTH PRESIDENT, DIES AT 94 Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s fifth president, diplomat, key adviser to David Ben-Gurion and respected Labor politician, died Friday night at the age of 94. Navon, the scion of a long line of renowned Sephardi rabbis, was born on April 9, 1921. He was the first Israeli president to be born in Jerusalem, where his family had lived for more than 300 years. Navon served as the head of the Arab section of the Haganah, the forerunner to the IDF, in the years running up to the establishment of the state. He then served as an Israeli diplomat in Latin America, before becoming personal secretary to Israel’s first foreign minister, Moshe Sharett, from 1950-1952. Navon then took a position as a political adviser to David Ben-Gurion, a post he held for more than a decade, becoming one of the first prime minister’s most trust aides. (Times of Israel, Nov. 7, 2015)

 

Jew Hatred, Throughout the Ages: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 5, 2015 — During the Second World War, civilization as we knew it perished in the fires of the Holocaust.

From Kristallnacht to the Kindertransport to, Finally, America: John H. Lang, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8, 2015— Monday, Nov. 9, marks the anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1938, when Nazi hordes ran wild throughout Berlin, as well as in other German cities.

Middle East Refugees, Anti-Semitism, and the Challenge to Europe’s Democratic Values: Rabbi Abraham Cooper  Town Hall, Oct. 29, 2015 At the beginning of the emotional debate sparked by the huge influx of refugees, leaders of the small vulnerable Jewish communities in Europe did not dare express their fears, lest they be painted as racists or Islamophobes.

A Mass Migration Crisis, and It May Yet Get Worse: Rod Nordland, New York Times, Oct. 31, 2015— They arrived in an unceasing stream, 10,000 a day at the height, as many as a million migrants heading for Europe this year…

 

On Topic Links

 

Munich Marks This Kristallnacht by Making Room For Boycotters of the Jewish State: Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman, Jewish Journal, Nov. 6, 2015 

Europe’s Feeble Fight Against Anti-Semitism: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2015

Germany’s Gathering Clouds of Discontent: Jochen Bittner, New York Times, Oct. 29, 2015

Germany: "20 Million Muslims by 2020": Soren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 1, 2015

                                      

                                      

JEW HATRED, THROUGHOUT THE AGES

Barbara Kay                                                         

National Post, Nov. 5, 2015

 

During the Second World War, civilization as we knew it perished in the fires of the Holocaust. The fires were stoked by a hatred whose ferocity had no precedent in human history. Shocked to the core, we thought we would never see its like again. We are seeing it again, but we are shy to call it by its name, lest we be forced to admit that there is no atrocity so egregious it cannot serve as inspiration elsewhere.

 

The night of Nov. 9-10 will mark the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938  “night of broken glass,” when a general pogrom against Jews was incited by the Nazi government. Like the current “knife Intifada” in Jerusalem, the violence in Germany had the superficial air of spontaneity, but was in fact well orchestrated by authorities endorsing mass barbarism as a permissible outlet for culturally long-simmering Jew hatred.

 

Many critics will say that this is a false analogy. They will say the Jews of Germany did nothing to deserve their punishment, but that the Palestinians’ murderous rage is justified by the “occupation” or by the “settlements.” But the analogy is correct. Jew hatred in the Middle East is old news and predates the occupation and the settlements. The hatred ebbed and flowed across the centuries, of course, and there were periods of relative peace and harmony. But no credible observer of the Middle East suggests that the anti-Semitic cancer afflicting the Arab world’s body politic today suddenly sprang forth after Israeli forces captured Jerusalem in 1967.

 

Nov. 10 also marks the 532rd anniversary of Martin Luther’s birth. It is no accident that Kristallnacht coincided with Luther’s birthday. Luther was one of the world’s great haters. You would be hard pressed to choose between the papacy and the Jews as the target for the more passionate of his rants, so virulent was his loathing for both, and both so extensively documented. Luther describes the Pope, cardinals and bishops as “the whole brood of Sodom,” and suggests people attack the Church “with every sort of weapon and wash our hands in its blood.” Anticipating Charlie Hebdo, in 1545, Luther produced a book in collaboration with the painter Lucas Cranach featuring obscene depictions of the Pope involving animals and excrement. Leaving a Lutheran Council, he made a sign of the cross and called to the crowds, “May the Lord fill you with hatred of the Pope.”

 

When the Jews did not convert to his new faith, Luther boiled with rage against “this depraved and damned people,” urging civil authorities to “set fire to their synagogues or schools” and “throw brimstone and pitch upon them.” Sounds a lot like Kristallnacht. Indeed, according to Pinchas Lipide, a scholar of relations between Jews and a succession of Popes, “Hitler’s henchmen found a complete blueprint for their Aryanization project in Luther’s writings.” Later, at his 1946 trial in Nuremburg, Hitler’s chief Reich propagandist, pederast Julius Streicher, would attempt (unsuccessfully, happily) to use Luther’s Jew hatred, as expressed in his tract, Of the Jews and Their Lies, as a defence for promoting genocide.

 

Powerful and consequential as it has been, Islam’s prophet Mohammed’s hatred for the Jews, as expressed in the Koran, wasn’t a patch on Luther’s. Which, given the long view of history, can offer a glimmer of hope. For, outrageously bilious as he was, Luther cannot be blamed for the Holocaust. After all, Lutheranism spread to many countries, becoming the official religion of Sweden, for example. And though a fat streak of anti-Semitism runs throughout Swedish history, Sweden was not infected by the deadly toxin of murderous anti-Semitism that swept Germany, and in fact welcomed Jewish refugees escaping closing Nazi nets in Norway and Denmark.

 

Today, there are 72 million Lutherans in the world, one Christian branch amongst many others, and there are probably few amongst them who are even aware of the extreme Judeophobia their religion’s founder espoused. Hateful sentiments can be vanquished. Realistically, we will not see a similar transcendence in the Islamic world in our lifetime. Too many of them still want their Holocaust. But they won’t get it. Perhaps their great-grandchildren will refuse to hate. When Muslims will it, it will be no dream.   

                       

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

FROM KRISTALLNACHT TO THE KINDERTRANSPORT

TO, FINALLY, AMERICA                               

John H. Lang                   

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8, 2015

 

Monday, Nov. 9, marks the anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1938, when Nazi hordes ran wild throughout Berlin, as well as in other German cities. Jewish houses of worship were desecrated and then set afire. Thousands of Jews were rounded up, some beaten to death, others sent to concentration camps. Jewish-owned businesses and homes were looted.

 

I will never forget seeing the unimaginable horror of the night and the following day 77 years ago. By luck, my parents were not in Berlin. I was at my grandmother’s. Through the window I could see my beautiful synagogue engulfed in flames as desperate screams rose from the street below. Each knock on our apartment door brought terror, followed by incredible relief. By some miracle, two of my uncles made it to my grandmother’s seeking safety from the savagery of this night.

 

The next morning as I wandered through my neighborhood, I saw shards of plate glass everywhere, as every Jewish-owned shop had been looted and painted with vile Jew-hating slogans. Uniformed Nazis and their sympathizers were having fun as they surveyed their brutality. One group looked at a large stain on the street that was said to be the blood of a Jew. Even now I can hear their laughter. At that moment, I was an 8-year-old who had suddenly turned 18. My every thought turned to survival. When my parents returned, I told my father that I would never live to see my ninth birthday. He took my hand and told me that he would always protect me and that nothing would happen to our family—because he had been a decorated front-line soldier during the 1914-18 World War.

 

Though reports of Kristallnacht—called the night of broken glass—were circulated world-wide, there was no forceful reaction by the world powers, although the U.S. ambassador to Berlin was recalled to Washington for consultations. In retrospect this became a rehearsal for the Holocaust to come. Although my parents already had applied to immigrate to the United States, they were informed by the U.S. Embassy in Berlin that our quota number would not be reached for several years. There was no escape.

 

After I got into a fight with a member of the Hitler Youth, I sensed a new level of desperation by my parents. It was then that England, with an act of Parliament, threw a lifeline to Germany’s Jews, agreeing to admit 10,000 unaccompanied children. It was an act of kindness and humanity that I will never forget. Parents had to make agonizing decisions to send their children to safety and possibly never see them again. The Kindertransport trains started in December 1938 and continued to the start of World War II on Sept. 1, 1939. Farewells were filled with hugs and tears as children separated from their parents. In retrospect we could see how at that moment, all such parents became supreme heroes.

 

I will never know how my parents secured a spot on one of the early Kindertransport trains for me, but I left Berlin in January 1939. Toward the end of 1940, much earlier than I would have believed, the American Embassy in London informed me that my quota number had been reached and I could now proceed to the United States. I left London with its nightly heavy bombing and its brave, resolute citizens. The North Atlantic voyage was perilous, and we never knew whether we might be torpedoed by a German submarine, as so many other ships has been. My parents ultimately escaped Germany too, but not without trauma.

 

After nearly 75 years in the U.S., I still am stirred by the thought of American freedom—so precious and thrilling that I cannot imagine life without it. In the shadow of the Kristallnacht anniversary, I see that the Christian communities of the Middle East are being savaged by Islamic terrorists. Men are publicly beheaded, women condemned to acts of depravity, and churches destroyed. Who in our government has forcefully spoken out to stop this human tragedy? Who will throw the Christians of the Middle East a lifeline? I pray that our nation will. As I recall my past and revel in my American freedom, I think of my favorite film, “Casablanca.” A couple, celebrating at Rick’s café as they prepare to depart for the United States, raise their glasses in a toast. They jointly say: “To America,” and so do I.                                                               

                                                                       

Contents

   

MIDDLE EAST REFUGEES, ANTI-SEMITISM, AND THE                                           

CHALLENGE TO EUROPE’S DEMOCRATIC VALUES

Rabbi Abraham Cooper

Town Hall, Oct. 29, 2015

 

At the beginning of the emotional debate sparked by the huge influx of refugees, leaders of the small vulnerable Jewish communities in Europe did not dare express their fears, lest they be painted as racists or Islamophobes. At that point the dominant voices in Western Europe not only favored the intake of all refugees, but bullied many early critics into silence. Nor did Jews dare ask an obvious question: do European leaders have a responsibility to incorporate concerns of Jewish communities already reeling from anti-Semitic threats and attacks often emanating from radicalized Muslims?

 

Now, as European leaders seek to recalibrate their policies toward the continuing huge influx from the Middle East, several Jewish leaders have begun to speak out. Oskar Deutsch, chairman of the Jewish community in Vienna, wrote in the Austrian daily Kurier that his community has helped many refugees over the years. However, the arrival of 20 million Muslims in Europe over recent decades has led to increased physical anti-Semitic attacks and migration of Jews. Deutsch added that refugees arriving now from Syria and Afghanistan come from societies where anti-Semitism is a staple in their schoolbooks, media and social networks. Terror against Israelis, Muslim attacks on Jewish schools, synagogues, museums and other institutions are often glorified in these countries.

 

A coalition of Dutch Jewish groups reacted with alarm as hundreds of refugees are being housed next to a Jewish neighborhood in the Amsterdam suburb of Amstelveen. It is the only place in the Netherlands with a visible Jewish community with multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher restaurants and shops.

 

Their fears are based in reality. A newly published report by the Fundamental Rights Agency elaborates on the sizable increase of anti-Semitism in Europe A Jewish defense organization in France reported that almost all attacks on Jews are carried out by Muslims. In the Netherlands this is true for over 60% of all anti-Semitic attacks. There are strong indications that many anti-Semitic incidents go unreported. All this has led the Vice-President of The European Commission (EC), Frans Timmermans, to assign separate coordinators to track anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Germany is the key player in this unfolding drama, because of the sheer number of new refugees taken in from Arab and Muslim countries. There are other reasons as well. After the Nazi Holocaust, Germany's Jewish community remained small until Germany welcomed sizeable Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union. Russian Jews make up the great majority of the 230,000 Jews currently living in Germany.

 

In a country which committed the ultimate crime against Jews in the previous century, the presence of a large number of Jews is a psychological indicator that German democracy is functioning. Chancellor Angela Merkel's government underscored its sensitivity to Jewish concerns when it intervened rapidly with corrective legislation after a Cologne judge banned the core Judaic (and Muslim) practice of circumcision in 2012, a prohibition which had wide public support. Now, Josef Schuster, President of Germany's Central Council of Jews, has expressed his worries during a meeting with Chancellor Merkel that many now seeking refuge in Germany come from countries where Israel is considered the prime enemy. He remarked that these people grew up with a very hostile image of Israel and frequently transfer these negative feelings to all Jews.

 

It is also likely that the massive refugee influx will lead to greater support of the extreme right wing, whose ideology poses yet another danger to Jewish communities. Jews are left to wonder whether anyone else will express concerns that Germany could be welcoming some among the new arrivals who take the Koran literally and believe that Jews are pigs and monkeys. In the 20th Century, dehumanization of Jews was a centerpiece of German Nazi ideologies, which classified Jews as vermin or bacteria and paved the way for the Holocaust.

 

The German constitution has been translated into Arabic so it could be read by new immigrants. This is a beginning, but far from adequate. In view of what has happened in the past, all newcomers should be asked to sign a declaration accepting Democratic Values. Just as it has lead the way in opening its borders and hearts to refugees, Germany will do itself, the rest of the continent and the new class of refugee/migrants a great service by demanding each new immigrant to commit to democratic values of peace, justice, non-discrimination and mutual respect. Failure to require refugees to embrace civil society will likely lead to Jewish emigration, as is already has in France. It will also generate further mainstream support for xenophobic political parties and see a moral decline of a society that with much effort built a new democracy on the ruins of the Nazi Third Reich.                                                   

                                                                       

Contents                                                                            

   

A MASS MIGRATION CRISIS, AND IT MAY YET GET WORSE                                                                        

Rod Nordland                        

New York Times, Oct. 31, 2015

 

They arrived in an unceasing stream, 10,000 a day at the height, as many as a million migrants heading for Europe this year, pushing infants in strollers and elderly parents in wheelchairs, carrying children on their shoulders and life savings in their socks. They came in search of a new life, but in many ways they were the heralds of a new age.

 

There are more displaced people and refugees now than at any other time in recorded history — 60 million in all — and they are on the march in numbers not seen since World War II. They are coming not just from Syria, but from an array of countries and regions, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, even Haiti, as well as any of a dozen or so nations in sub-Saharan and North Africa. They are unofficial ambassadors of failed states, unending wars, intractable conflicts. The most striking thing about the current migration crisis, however, is how much bigger it could still get.

 

What if Islamic State militants are not beaten back but continue to extend their brutal writ across Iraq and Syria? What if the Taliban continue to increase their territorial gains in Afghanistan, prompting even more people to flee? A quarter of Afghans told a Gallup Poll that they want to leave, and more than 100,000 are expected to try to flee to Europe this year. There are between six million and eight million people displaced in Syria, along with more than four million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

 

Egypt’s five million or more Copts, the Middle East’s last remaining major Christian sect, are deeply worried about their future in an unstable and hostile country. Ancient minority groups like the Yazidis of Iraq are already homeless, as are many small communities of Assyrian, Nestorian and Chaldean Christians from northern Iraq. While Yemenis have yet to abandon their homeland in substantial numbers, their plight is worsening daily amid wartime shortages of food and medicine and persistent bombardment by Saudi warplanes. Yemen is not much farther away from Europe than Eritrea, now the biggest source of African refugees, just across the Red Sea, and at some 25 million it is as populous as Afghanistan.

 

Nor is it only the Middle East and North Africa that European leaders need to consider. The Gallup Poll, based on data compiled from more than 450,000 interviews in 151 nations from 2009 to 2011, found that in Nigeria, which already has double the population of Germany, 40 percent of people would emigrate to the West if they could. And the lesson of 2015 — for them and much of the world — is that they can.

 

While the flow of migrants to Europe this year already represents the biggest influx from outside the Continent in modern history, many experts warn that the mass movement may continue and even increase — possibly for years to come. “We are talking about millions of potential refugees trying to reach Europe, not thousands,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said in a recent Twitter posting.

 

Many of the migrants are fleeing persecution, poverty, ethnic and religious strife and war, but these afflictions are often symptoms of more profound changes. In the Middle East and Africa, borders drawn by Ottoman dynasts and European colonialists are breaking down as the autocratic Arab states that enforced a grim peace for generations continue to implode. As traditional lines of authority break down, militant groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram, in Nigeria, seek to fill the vacuum while minority sects and ethnic groups suffer unspeakable treatment at their hands.

 

Climate change, too, is roiling societies across the Middle East and Africa. Syria was in the grip of a prolonged drought when war broke out, and large areas of sub-Saharan Africa are becoming uninhabitable. With rising sea levels, a single typhoon in the Bay of Bengal could drive millions of Bangladeshis from their homes in low-lying coastal areas and render that land uninhabitable, too. Europe has spawned mass movements of refugees in the not-too-distant past — 700,000 from the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1993, 1.1 million from Eastern Europe as the Iron Curtain was torn down in 1989 — but what is new now is not just the scale of the arrivals, in such large numbers over such a short period of time. It is also the sheer number and variety of problem places they are leaving behind.

 

Many migrants are from countries where the West has tried to intervene and failed spectacularly — Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular. There are now some two million Iraqi refugees, many bound for Europe. Among them are people like Muhammad Basher, a young Kurdish doctor from Iraq, who took his life savings of $2,000 and had spent nearly all of it by the time he reached the Croatian border — $1,200 just for a seat in a rubber dinghy on a dangerous sea crossing to Greece. “Better to die quickly there, than slowly in Iraq,” he said. Sayid Karim Hashimi, 23, a native of Kunduz, was among the Afghans recently crossing the border out of Serbia. “There is no future in Afghanistan,” he said.

 

Libya represents another failed intervention, by the French and British, with American support. Although few Libyans have been prompted to join the exodus, the chaos in their country has made it easier than ever before for other African migrants to flee to Europe through northern Africa. While most of the migrants have been from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, those who came through villages like this last summer could have arrived from almost anywhere. Two women from Haiti and a young girl, the daughter of one of them, passed through in early October, according to officials here representing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They had flown to Turkey from Haiti, then joined smugglers’ routes through the Balkans.

 

Others come from places like Eritrea, where young men are fleeing a brutal dictatorship that offers them the prospect of a lifetime of unpaid military service, and little else. Some are escaping civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo or poverty in nations like Gambia or Senegal. Many, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are motivated by elemental problems like spreading desertification. Others are looking for economic opportunity. Ibrahim Isahaq, 18, from Ghana, was among those migrants who came through Serbia in October, attracted by news of how easy passage had become. He was simply fleeing a family feud over a disputed inheritance. Youssou, 25, from Senegal, said his father was a commander in the little-known Casamance separatist movement, but he seemed more interested in business prospects in Europe. “There was no life for me in Senegal,” he said…

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

 

                                                                                     

On Topic

 

Munich Marks This Kristallnacht by Making Room For Boycotters of the Jewish State: Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman, Jewish Journal, Nov. 6, 2015 —The worldwide Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement is the twenty-first century’s highest profile anti-Israel global campaign that meets the “three D” ( Double standard, Deligitimization, and Demonization) litmus test for crossing the line between legitimate criticism of the Jewish state and toxic anti-Semitism…

Europe’s Feeble Fight Against Anti-Semitism: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2015 —Earlier this month, the Fundamental Rights Agency – an official European body – published a review of anti-Semitism in Europe over the period 2004-2014. Perhaps the most significant observation on studying the document is that no data was supplied by several member countries, and that the quality of data collected differs greatly from country to country.

Germany’s Gathering Clouds of Discontent: Jochen Bittner, New York Times, Oct. 29, 2015— It’s getting darker and colder here in Germany, and it’s not just because winter is coming.

Germany: "20 Million Muslims by 2020": Soren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 1, 2015 — Germany's Muslim population is set to nearly quadruple to an astonishing 20 million within the next five years, according to a demographic forecast by Bavarian lawmakers.

 

“PEACE” IN OUR TIME?: U.S.-ISRAELI RELATIONS “IN SHAMBLES”, AS JEWS REMEMBER LESSONS OF KRISTALLNACHT

 

 

Showdown at the OK Corral: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 2, 2015 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Barack Obama next week is likely to look less like a rapprochement than a showdown at the OK Corral.

A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse: Henry A. Kissinger, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2015— The debate about whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran regarding its nuclear program stabilized the Middle East’s strategic framework had barely begun when the region’s geopolitical framework collapsed.

‘We Are All On the Front Lines’: Canadian Reportedly Killed Fighting ISIL Wrote Essay About Why He Went To War:  National Post, Nov. 5, 2015 — John Robert Gallagher was a Canadian who volunteered with the Kurdish forces in northern Syria to fight ISIL.

What the Horrors of Kristallnacht Should Teach Us Today: Larry Domnitch, Algemeiner Nov. 6, 2015— During the summer of 1938, with an urgent situation facing Jews in Nazi-occupied lands, 32 nations gathered in Evian, France, to find a solution to the Jewish refugee crisis.

 

On Topic Links

 

A Critique of Obama's Understanding of Israel: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, June 1, 2015

Boots on Syrian Soil: National Post,  Nov. 3, 2015

Ted Cruz: A Fresh Approach to American Foreign Policy – and US-Israel Relations: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 27, 2015

The World is a Scary Place. Let’s Hope Justin Trudeau is Up For the Task: Terry Glavin, National Post, Nov. 3, 2015

                                      

                                      

SHOWDOWN AT THE OK CORRAL

Caroline Glick                                                     

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 2, 2015

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Barack Obama next week is likely to look less like a rapprochement than a showdown at the OK Corral. The flurry of spy stories spinning around in recent weeks makes clear that US-Israel relations remain in crisis.

 

Two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal published a fairly detailed account of the US’s massive spying operations against Israel between 2010 and 2012. Their purpose was to prevent Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear installations. The Journal report, which was based on US sources, also detailed the evasion tactics the Obama administration employed to try to hide its covert nuclear talks with Iran from Israel. According to the report, the administration was infuriated that through its spy operations against Iran, Israel discovered the talks and the government asked the White House to tell it what was going on.

 

Over the past several days, the Israeli media have reported the Israeli side of the US spying story. Friday Makor Rishon’s military commentator Amir Rapaport detailed how the US assiduously wooed IDF senior brass on the one hand and harassed more junior Israeli security officials on the other hand. Former IDF chiefs of General Staff Lt.-Gens. Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz were given the red carpet treatment in a bid to convince them to oppose Israeli strikes on Iran’s nuclear installations. More junior officials, including officers posted officially to the US were denied visas and subjected to lengthy interrogations at US embassies and airports in a bid to convince them to divulge information about potential Israeli strikes against Iran. Sunday, Channel 2 reported that the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate’s information security department just issued guidance to all IDF soldiers and officers warning them about efforts by the CIA to recruit them as US agents.

 

These stories have been interpreted in various ways. Regardless of how they are interpreted, what they show is that on the one hand, the Obama administration has used US intelligence agencies to weaken Israel’s capacity to harm Iran and to actively protect Iran from Israel. And on the other hand, Israel is wary of the administration’s efforts to weaken it while strengthening its greatest foe.

 

These stories form the backdrop of next week’s meeting between Netanyahu and Obama – the first they will have held in more than a year. They indicate that Obama remains committed to his policy of weakening Israel and downgrading America’s alliance with the Jewish state while advancing US ties with Iran. Israel, for its part, remains deeply distrustful of the American leader.

 

This Israeli distrust of Obama’s intentions extends far past Iran. Recent statements by Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have convinced Israel that during his last 15 months in office, Obama intends to abandon US support for Israel at the UN Security Council, and to ratchet up pressure and coercive measures to force Israel to make irreversible concessions to the Palestinians. From Netanyahu’s perspective, then, the main strategic question is how to prevent Obama from succeeding in his goal of weakening the country. The implementation of Obama’s deal with Iran deal will form a central plank of whatever strategy the government adopts.

 

As far as Obama and his allies see things, the nuclear accord with Iran is a done deal. On October 21, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hosted a reception for Democratic congressmen attended by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to celebrate its official adoption. Unfortunately for Pelosi and her colleagues, Iran is a far more formidable obstacle to implementing the deal than congressional Republicans. As Yigal Carmon, president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), explained in a report published on his organization’s website last week, at no point has any Iranian governing body approved the nuclear deal. Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, and its Guardians’ Council have used their discussions of the agreement to highlight their refusal to implement it. More importantly, as Carmon explains, contrary to US media reports, in his October 21 letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not give his conditional approval to the deal. He rejected it.

 

Carmon explained that the nine conditions Khamenei placed on his acceptance of the nuclear deal render it null and void. Among other things, Khamenei insisted that all sanctions against Iran must be permanently canceled. Obama couldn’t abide by this condition even if he wanted to because he cannot cancel sanctions laws passed by Congress. He can only suspend them. Khamenei also placed new conditions on Iran’s agreement to disable its centrifuges and remove large quantities of enriched uranium from its stockpiles. He rejected inspections of Iran’s military nuclear installations. He insisted that Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor must remain capable of producing heavy water in contravention of the deal. And he insisted that at the end of the 15-year lifetime of the deal Iran must have sufficient uranium enrichment capability to enable it to develop bombs at will.

 

As Carmon noted, the US and EU have announced that they will suspend their nuclear sanctions against Iran on December 15 provided that by that date, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Commission certifies that Iran has upheld its part of the bargain. By that date, in conformance with their interpretation of the nuclear deal, the US and the EU expect for Iran to have reduced the number of centrifuges operating at the Natanz facility from 16,000 to 5,060 and lower enrichment levels to 3.67%; reduce the number of centrifuges at Fordow to a thousand; remove nearly all its advanced centrifuges from use; permit the IAEA to store and seal its dismantled centrifuges; reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium to 300kg.; remove the core from the Arak reactor and disable it; and submit to agreed monitoring mechanisms of its nuclear sites. Carmon noted that Iran has taken no steps to fulfill any of these conditions…

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

                                   

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

A PATH OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST COLLAPSE                                                                                     

Henry A. Kissinger                                             

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2015

 

The debate about whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran regarding its nuclear program stabilized the Middle East’s strategic framework had barely begun when the region’s geopolitical framework collapsed. Russia’s unilateral military action in Syria is the latest symptom of the disintegration of the American role in stabilizing the Middle East order that emerged from the Arab-Israeli war of 1973.

 

In the aftermath of that conflict, Egypt abandoned its military ties with the Soviet Union and joined an American-backed negotiating process that produced peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan, a United Nations-supervised disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria, which has been observed for over four decades (even by the parties of the Syrian civil war), and international support of Lebanon’s sovereign territorial integrity. Later, Saddam Hussein’s war to incorporate Kuwait into Iraq was defeated by an international coalition under U.S. leadership. American forces led the war against terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States were our allies in all these efforts. The Russian military presence disappeared from the region.

 

That geopolitical pattern is now in shambles. Four states in the region have ceased to function as sovereign. Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq have become targets for nonstate movements seeking to impose their rule. Over large swaths in Iraq and Syria, an ideologically radical religious army has declared itself the Islamic State (also called ISIS or ISIL) as an unrelenting foe of established world order. It seeks to replace the international system’s multiplicity of states with a caliphate, a single Islamic empire governed by Shariah law.

 

ISIS’ claim has given the millennium-old split between the Shiite and Sunni sects of Islam an apocalyptic dimension. The remaining Sunni states feel threatened by both the religious fervor of ISIS as well as by Shiite Iran, potentially the most powerful state in the region. Iran compounds its menace by presenting itself in a dual capacity. On one level, Iran acts as a legitimate Westphalian state conducting traditional diplomacy, even invoking the safeguards of the international system. At the same time, it organizes and guides nonstate actors seeking regional hegemony based on jihadist principles: Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria; Hamas in Gaza; the Houthis in Yemen.

 

Thus the Sunni Middle East risks engulfment by four concurrent sources: Shiite-governed Iran and its legacy of Persian imperialism; ideologically and religiously radical movements striving to overthrow prevalent political structures; conflicts within each state between ethnic and religious groups arbitrarily assembled after World War I into (now collapsing) states; and domestic pressures stemming from detrimental political, social and economic domestic policies.

 

The fate of Syria provides a vivid illustration: What started as a Sunni revolt against the Alawite (a Shiite offshoot) autocrat Bashar Assad fractured the state into its component religious and ethnic groups, with nonstate militias supporting each warring party, and outside powers pursuing their own strategic interests. Iran supports the Assad regime as the linchpin of an Iranian historic dominance stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean. The Gulf States insist on the overthrow of Mr. Assad to thwart Shiite Iranian designs, which they fear more than Islamic State. They seek the defeat of ISIS while avoiding an Iranian victory. This ambivalence has been deepened by the nuclear deal, which in the Sunni Middle East is widely interpreted as tacit American acquiescence in Iranian hegemony.

 

These conflicting trends, compounded by America’s retreat from the region, have enabled Russia to engage in military operations deep in the Middle East, a deployment unprecedented in Russian history. Russia’s principal concern is that the Assad regime’s collapse could reproduce the chaos of Libya, bring ISIS into power in Damascus, and turn all of Syria into a haven for terrorist operations, reaching into Muslim regions inside Russia’s southern border in the Caucasus and elsewhere.

 

On the surface, Russia’s intervention serves Iran’s policy of sustaining the Shiite element in Syria. In a deeper sense, Russia’s purposes do not require the indefinite continuation of Mr. Assad’s rule. It is a classic balance-of-power maneuver to divert the Sunni Muslim terrorist threat from Russia’s southern border region. It is a geopolitical, not an ideological, challenge and should be dealt with on that level. Whatever the motivation, Russian forces in the region—and their participation in combat operations—produce a challenge that American Middle East policy has not encountered in at least four decades.

 

American policy has sought to straddle the motivations of all parties and is therefore on the verge of losing the ability to shape events. The U.S. is now opposed to, or at odds in some way or another with, all parties in the region: with Egypt on human rights; with Saudi Arabia over Yemen; with each of the Syrian parties over different objectives. The U.S. proclaims the determination to remove Mr. Assad but has been unwilling to generate effective leverage—political or military—to achieve that aim. Nor has the U.S. put forward an alternative political structure to replace Mr. Assad should his departure somehow be realized.

 

Russia, Iran, ISIS and various terrorist organizations have moved into this vacuum: Russia and Iran to sustain Mr. Assad; Tehran to foster imperial and jihadist designs. The Sunni states of the Persian Gulf, Jordan and Egypt, faced with the absence of an alternative political structure, favor the American objective but fear the consequence of turning Syria into another Libya…

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

                                                                       

Contents

   

‘WE ARE ALL ON THE FRONT LINES’                                                                                       

National Post, Nov. 5, 2015

 

John Robert Gallagher was a Canadian who volunteered with the Kurdish forces in northern Syria to fight ISIL. He was reportedly killed in a suicide bombing Wednesday…

 

First, let me get the obvious out of the way: I do not expect anyone to agree that it is a wise course of action to volunteer to fight against ISIS. Would-be terrorists from all over the world, including Canada, (including some I probably went to school with,) are flooding into the Middle East by the thousands. They’ve got the numbers and the weapons to win this war, so to go stand on the other side of the battlefield is objectively insane.

 

I also respect the viewpoint that the last thing any westerners ought to do is get involved in another Middle Eastern conflict. We’ve already done tremendous damage to the region; the rise of ISIS is a direct result of foreign policy blunders by the last two Presidents (at least!). If you think that for the good of the region we should all sit this one out, I can understand that. But I can’t agree.

 

The cause of a free and independent Kurdistan is important enough to be worth fighting for all on its own. The Kurdish people are the largest ethnicity in the world without a country of their own, and have suffered enormously under the boot-heel of regional powers. Now they are under threat from another genocidal foe, yet they have not given themselves over to the joint manias of religious fanaticism and suicide murder. This should be enough reason for the West to give them whatever support they need in such a time of crisis. But there is an even better reason.

 

For decades now, we have been at war. This war has been unacknowledged by our leaders, but enthusiastically proclaimed by our enemies. This war has produced casualties on every continent, in nearly every nation on earth. It has had periods of intense fighting, followed by long stretches of rearming and regrouping, but it has never ended. It is not even close to being won. Someday historians will look back and marvel at how much effort we put into deceiving ourselves about the nature of this conflict, and wonder how we convinced ourselves that it was not even taking place. This war may have started in 1979, or earlier; 2001 increased the intensity of the conflict; the withdrawal from Iraq kicked off the latest phase. Like the American Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War, this war is about ideas as much as it is about armies. Slavery, fascism, and communism were all bad ideas which required costly sacrifice before they were finally destroyed. In our time, we have a new bad idea: Theocracy.

 

We live in a society that’s grown around a very basic philosophical principle: That the world around us can be understood using our senses and our minds. From this simple insight comes the moral revelation that all human beings are equal in this capacity, and therefore equal in dignity. This radical idea was the turning point in human history, before which all civilizations had been dominated by the idea that class hierarchies and racism were perfectly justified according to the revealed wisdom of ancient texts, and sanctified by holy men with a special relationship to some ‘divine’ power. We began to see justice as something which could be measured by its effects on living people, not as superstition.

 

This idea has been under threat ever since its inception, because it’s the most powerful force for human emancipation that has ever been, and so it is a deadly threat to the privileged. It is also a threat to those who fear a world where human beings must be the judges of our own actions. Some prefer to subordinate their own morality to a doctrine they know they can never fully understand; this is more agreeable than facing the thought that we are alone in this world. This terror at our own freedom, and hatred for the mind that makes its realization inescapable, has given birth to movements that promise to give us back our comforting delusions. Communism and fascism were both answers to the problem of human freedom. These ideas were defeated. But always in the background the germ of these ideas was aggressively breeding. Theocracy isn’t just as dangerous as fascism; it’s the model of fascism, and all totalitarianisms. Communism said ‘instead of god, the Party.’ Fascism said, ‘instead of god, the Nation!’ Theocracy simply says ‘God.’

 

There is nothing uniquely Islamic about this trend, except that it just so happens that the most violent proponents of theocracy today happen to be Muslim. In the 1500’s, it was the Christians. By hard fighting and a brave defense of our principles, the forces of secularism managed to wrestle control of European society away from the theocrats, and we have been fighting the regressive movements that have tried to take their place ever since. The Muslim world has been dominated by theocratic politics for decades now, and that war has overflowed to engulf the rest of the world.

 

We are all on the front lines of this conflict, whether we know it or not. We can measure the causalities not only in the body counts of deadly terror attacks, ‘mass demonstrations,’ embassy assaults and assassinated artists; we can also measure it in the terror produced among cartoonists, satirists, publishers and booksellers, news media and educators who are being prevented from doing their necessary work of maintaining the machinery of the enlightenment. Not only have we all been threatened; in many ways we are all already casualties of this war…

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

                                                                       

Contents                                                                            

   

WHAT THE HORRORS OF KRISTALLNACHT SHOULD TEACH US TODAY                                        

Larry Domnitch                                         

Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2015

 

During the summer of 1938, with an urgent situation facing Jews in Nazi-occupied lands, 32 nations gathered in Evian, France, to find a solution to the Jewish refugee crisis. German, Austrian and Czech Jews were desperate to leave, but few nations would accept any Jewish immigrants beyond their meager quotas. Nothing was resolved at Evian, as delegate after delegate refused to expand their quotas.

 

The horrors of Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938 exacerbated the German Jewish refugee crisis. Nearly 100 Jews were murdered and 30,000 were sent to concentration camps. Five hundred synagogues were burnt down, and more than 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed. More than 200,000 German Jews had not yet left, and 200,000 Jews in Austria were under German occupation.

 

Just six weeks before Kristallnacht, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain triumphantly proclaimed “peace in our time” following the ill fated Munich deal. A full page advertisement in the London Jewish Chronicle — in an appeal for German Jewry — simply stated, “HELP! Before it is too late.” The British did react with a gesture. The Kindertransport plan presented to the British Parliament on November 15, 1938, allowed for 10,000 German and Austrian Jewish children to be brought into Great Britain. The first train left on December 10, 1938, with six hundred children.

 

Many Americans realized after Kristallnacht, known then as “Black Thursday,” that along with the Jews, all Western civilization was in danger. The Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that “The Jews are not the sole sufferers. This is a pogrom against Christian civilization itself. Decent world opinion and civilized governments cannot remain indifferent or silent.” United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did extend the visas for 12,000-15,000 German Jewish refugees who were already in the US as visitors, but would not change US immigration policies. At a White House Press conference, Roosevelt expressed shock at the news of the pogrom, “I myself could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentieth century civilization.” When  asked if immigration restrictions would be relaxed, he responded, “This is not in contemplation. We have a quota system.”

 

Roosevelt’s position mirrored the views of most Americans. According to a Fortune Magazine poll after Kristallnacht, 83% of Americans opposed enlarging quotas, 8.3% were undecided, and 8.7% were not opposed.  Years of demagoguery and antisemitic hate mongering by the likes of Father Coughlin and Gerald K. Smith had its impact. There was revulsion at the violence but a continued unwillingness to respond meaningfully. However, President Roosevelt could have nonetheless still taken action. Economic sanctions could have been imposed on Germany. Refugees could have been permitted to settle temporarily in a US territory such as the Philippines or the Virgin Islands.

 

Jewish organizations did not protest. There were no rallies, no protests, no significant efforts mounted to call for change. Samuel Rosenmann, an influential leader of the American Jewish Committee, stated that bringing in refugees “would create a Jewish crisis in the USA.”…

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Followers: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

                                                                                     

On Topic

 

A Critique of Obama's Understanding of Israel: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, June 1, 2015 —After I posted an interview with President Obama late last month, I received any number of interesting responses (and also many non-interesting responses, and also some profane non-interesting responses), but few were as comprehensive as that of Yossi Kuperwasser, a former Israeli general and intelligence expert who served until recently as director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

Boots on Syrian Soil: National Post,  Nov. 3, 2015—Can anyone explain what U.S. President Barack Obama is doing sending U.S. Special Operations forces to Syria? He certainly can’t. He seems to be discarding the lessons of Vietnam in order to repeat them. But why?

Ted Cruz: A Fresh Approach to American Foreign Policy – and US-Israel Relations: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 27, 2015 —US Senator Ted Cruz, the conservative Republican firebrand from Texas, is running for president. Up until a few weeks ago, his candidacy was met with indifference as the media and political operatives all dismissed the viability of his candidacy. But that is beginning to change. The voices arguing that Cruz, the favorite of Tea Party fiscal conservatives and Evangelical Christians may have what it takes to win the Republican nomination have multiplied.
The World is a Scary Place. Let’s Hope Justin Trudeau is Up For the Task: Terry Glavin, National Post, Nov. 3, 2015—It wasn’t exactly auspicious, the way prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau chose to set the inaugural tone for his new Liberal government at a rally in Ottawa on Tuesday, in which he introduced himself to Canada’s “friends around the world,” whoever they might be.

 

KRISTALLNACHT ANNIVERSARY 2014: KHAMENEI’S THREAT OF “ANNIHILATION OF ISRAEL” IS OMINOUS CALL FOR ANTISEMITIC VIOLENCE & A SECOND KRISTALLNACHT

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

 

Contents:

 

As We Go To Press: AMIDST RISING TEMPO OF VIOLENCE, YOUNG WOMAN KILLED IN WEST BANK STABBING ATTACK (Jerusalem) —A woman was killed and two people were injured in a stabbing attack at the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut Monday afternoon, in the second terrorist attack of its kind in a day…The victim, 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus from Tekoa, was stabbed in her neck, and declared dead at the site. The stabber was shot by a guard on duty at the site, police said. Initial reports indicated he was killed, but later reports dispelled that claim. A 26-year-old man suffered light-moderate injuries, and a man in his 50s was lightly hurt in the incident. Their names were not released. The terrorist was identified as Maher Hamdi al-Hashalmoun from Hebron. Hashalmoun, affiliated with Islamic Jihad, spent four and a half years in Israeli custody for throwing Molotov cocktails, and was released five years ago. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to convene an emergency security meeting Monday night following the day’s attacks…The attack came hours after a soldier was stabbed in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian man in what officials said was a terror attack. The soldier was in critical condition Monday afternoon. (Times of Israel, Nov. 10, 2014)

 

Ditching Israel, Embracing Iran: Lee Smith, Weekly Standard, Nov. 9, 2014 — Last week, the Obama White House finally clarified its Middle East policy. It’s détente with Iran and a cold war with Israel.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls for Annihilation of Israel on Eve of Nuclear Talks: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Nov. 9, 2014 — On the eve of the opening of the nuclear talks in Oman on November 9, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei repeated his call to annihilate Israel and suggested a nine – point plan on how to confront Israel and urged Muslims to arm the Palestinians in the West Bank.

Report: Iran Nuclear Program More Advanced than Previously Believed: Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, Nov. 7, 2014— Iran’s illicit nuclear program could be more advanced than previously believed, according to new information released Friday by an Iranian dissident group

Mitt Romney Hits President Obama on Iran Letter: Lucy McCalmont, Politico, Nov. 7, 2014— Mitt Romney slammed President Barack Obama on Friday for reaching out to Iran in the fight against Islamic State militants, calling the president’s recent letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “astonishing” and “an enormous error.”

Kristallnacht’s Lessons for Today: Abraham H. Foxman, JTA, Nov. 7, 2014 — Each year on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, we recall the opening salvo of the violent assault on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust and ask ourselves what should have been done at that moment.

 

On Topic Links

 

Kristallnacht 2014 in Berlin: Petra Marquardt-Bigman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2014

Obama Wrote Secret Letter to Iran’s Khamenei About Fighting Islamic State: Jay Solomon & Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7, 2014

The Midterms Change the Iran Equation: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2014

North Korea’s Lessons for Iran Diplomacy: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Nov. 3, 2014

                                                                            

                             

DITCHING ISRAEL, EMBRACING IRAN                                                              

Lee Smith                                                                                                                     

Weekly Standard, Nov. 9, 2014

         

Last week, the Obama White House finally clarified its Middle East policy. It’s détente with Iran and a cold war with Israel. To the administration, Israel isn’t worth the trouble its prime minister causes. As one anonymous Obama official put it to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, what good is Benjamin Netanyahu if he won’t make peace with the Palestinians? Bibi doesn’t have the nerve of Begin, Rabin, or Sharon, said the unnamed source. The current leader of this longstanding U.S. ally, he added, is “a chickens—t.” It’s hardly surprising that the Obama White House is crudely badmouthing Netanyahu; it has tried to undercut him from the beginning. But this isn’t just about the administration’s petulance and pettiness. There seems to be a strategic purpose to heckling Israel’s prime minister. With a possible deal over Iran’s nuclear weapons program in sight, the White House wants to weaken Netanyahu’s ability to challenge an Iran agreement.

 

Another unnamed Obama official told Goldberg that Netanyahu is all bluster when it comes to the Islamic Republic. The Israeli leader calls the clerical regime’s nuclear weapons program an existential threat, but he’s done nothing about it. And now, said the official, “It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.” In other words, the White House is openly boasting that it bought the Iranians enough time to get across the finish line. Obama has insisted for five years that his policy is to prevent a nuclear Iran from emerging. In reality, his policy all along was to deter Israel from striking Iranian nuclear facilities. The way Obama sees it, an Iranian bomb may not be desirable, but it’s clearly preferable to an Israeli attack. Not only would an Israeli strike unleash a wave of Iranian terror throughout the region—and perhaps across Europe and the United States as well—it would also alienate what the White House sees as a potential partner.

 

The negotiations with Iran were only the most obvious part of the administration’s policy of pressuring Israel. The White House knew the Israelis would have difficulty striking Iranian nuclear facilities so long as there was a chance of a deal. Jerusalem couldn’t risk making itself the enemy of peace and an international pariah. All Netanyahu could do was warn against the bad deal Obama was intent on making. The White House used plenty of other tools to pressure Jerusalem. For instance, leaks. Virtually every time Israel struck an Iranian arms depot in Syria or a convoy destined for Hezbollah, an administration official leaked it to the press. The White House understood that publicizing these strikes would embarrass Bashar al-Assad or Hassan Nasrallah and thereby push them to retaliate against Israel. That was the point of the leaks: to keep Israel tentative and afraid of taking matters into its own hands. Another instrument of pressure was military and security cooperation between Israel and the White House—the strongest and closest the two countries have ever enjoyed, say Obama advocates. It allowed administration officials to keep even closer watch on what the Israelis were up to, while trying to make Jerusalem ever more dependent on the administration for its own security.

 

Don’t worry, Obama told Israel: I’ve got your back. I don’t bluff. The Iranians won’t get a bomb. And besides, the real problem in the region, the White House said time and again, is Israeli settlements. It’s the lack of progress between Jerusalem and Ramallah that destabilizes the region. As John Kerry said recently, the stalled Arab-Israeli peace process is what gave rise to the Islamic State. From the White House’s perspective, then, Israel is the source of regional instability. Iran, on the other hand, is a force for stability. It is a rational actor, Obama has explained, pursuing its own interests. The White House, moreover, shares some of those interests—like rolling back the Islamic State.  The fact that Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani now calls the shots in four Arab capitals—Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Sanaa—makes him the Middle East’s indispensable man. Compared with the one-stop shopping Obama can do in Tehran to solve his Middle East problems, what can Israel offer? The Obama administration’s Middle East policy, finally clarified last week, is premised on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Islamic Republic. The question is whether the White House has also misunderstood the character of a man, the prime minister of Israel, whose courage they mock.

                                                                       

 

Contents               

                                                                       

                                                   

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER CALLS FOR

ANNIHILATION OF ISRAEL ON EVE OF NUCLEAR TALKS                      

Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall                                                                                        

JCPA, Nov. 9, 2014

 

On the eve of the opening of the nuclear talks in Oman on November 9, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei repeated his call to annihilate Israel and suggested a nine – point plan on how to confront Israel and urged Muslims to arm the Palestinians in the West Bank. Khamenei also re-twitted Iran’s 11 red lines in the nuclear talks. “We believe that the #WestBank should be armed just like #Gaza. It requires a hand of power. Those who care for the destiny of #Palestine, if there is anything that they can do, it’s this one; people there should be armed. The only thing that can reduce the pains and sorrows of the Palestinians is that they possess a hand of power and manifest their power; otherwise with obedient, submissive and compromising manner, nothing will be done to the benefit of the Palestinians and the barbarism of this violent, wicked and wolflike entity will not be reduced at all…”

 

The Supreme Leader’s remarks came on the heels of the media storm surrounding the revelation of U.S. President Barak Obama’s letter (the fourth since 2009) to Iran’s Supreme Leader. According to published reports, the letter tied the nuclear agreement to the battle against ISIS and the future of US-Iran relations.  The letter coincided with the publication of yet another report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on November 7 that states, “Iran has not provided any explanation that enables the agency (IAEA) to clarify the outstanding practical measures, nor has it proposed any new practical measures in the next step of the Framework for Cooperation.”  According to Reuters, “The IAEA was referring to two steps that Iran had agreed to carry out by late August, by providing information concerning allegations of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop nuclear bombs.”

 

The Supreme Leader’s statements demonstrate Iran’s growing self-confidence, fed by the recent developments in the region (Shi’ite opposition taking control of Yemen, Assad’s survival, greater hold over Iraq, escalation of the situation in Jerusalem) and the mixed messages from Washington and the West tying the conclusion of a nuclear agreement to the general normalization of relations with Iran and to joint efforts to combat the Islamic State. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, former EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are participating in the Nuclear Summit in Oman, which is supposed to be a last ditch effort to resolve the disputed issues before the last round of negotiations convenes in Vienna on November 18, just as the extension granted to reach an overall agreement expires on November 24.

 

Iran is continuing down the same deferral path, even in the period the West perceives as the “money time” on the nuclear questions, and during what appears to be an American effort to normalize relations with Iran given the fight against the “common enemy” of ISIS.  Iran continues to be uncompromising in its position on Israel and the Palestinians, meaning: no political arrangement, believing the solution is to involve all Arabs in the struggle until Israel is annihilated….                   

[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes & Khamenei’s “9 Key Questions About Elimination of Israel, Click the Following Link—Ed.]      

                                                                       

Contents                                                        

                              

             

                            

REPORT: IRAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM MORE

ADVANCED THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED                                   

Adam Kredo                  

Washington Free Beacon, Nov. 7, 2014

 

Iran’s illicit nuclear program could be more advanced than previously believed, according to new information released Friday by an Iranian dissident group that raises new questions about what Tehran has been hiding from nuclear inspectors. Iran is said to have built and still be in possession of two explosive chambers that have allowed the regime to conduct advanced testing of nuclear weapons, according to new information published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group that has exposed Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities in the past.

 

While the existence of one explosive chamber has been known for some time, the NCRI claims a second device could be hidden at Iran’s Parchin military complex, or at another site somewhere in Iran. The claims raise new questions about the status and extent of Iran’s nuclear progress as negotiations between Tehran and the West approach their Nov. 24 deadline. New information about the purported explosive chambers—as well as Iran’s elaborate network of front companies and organizations meant to obfuscate this nuclear work—was released on the same day that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog accused Iran of failing to address key questions about it’s nuclear program. “Today’s information uncovers a simple truth: The clerical regime is ceaselessly and secretly forging ahead with the military dimensions of its nuclear program and has no intention whatsoever of abandoning that program,” Soona Samsami, the NCRI’s U.S. representative, told reporters at a press briefing.

 

The two explosive chambers are said to have been built in the early 2000s by Iran’s AzarAb Industries, which is affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to the NCRI, which said it obtained this information from Iranian regime sources between 2012 and October 2014. Construction of these chambers, which could have helped Iran make key advances on the nuclear front, was undertaken as part “of a highly classified special project” known to only the highest-level Iranian officials, according to the NCRI. “The chambers were to be used for special tests, particularly for high explosive impact as part of the nuclear weapons program of Iran,” the NCRI claimed. The organization says that it has shared this new information with the U.S. government as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). One of the two chambers is said to have been installed at the Parchin complex, the site of a recent explosion that killed two. It is unclear where the second purported chamber currently resides, the NCRI said.

 

“This is the question that the IAEA” should immediately take up and pursue, said NCRI’s Alireza Jafarzadeh, who conducted a presentation for reporters about the new information. “We don’t know where the other chamber is,” Jafarzadeh said. “It could be at another site where they’re doing similar activities. It could even be in Parchin and we’re not aware of it. We know for sure that there were two such chambers built.” “There’s no benign use behind the second chamber,” he said. “The question is where is it and what are they doing with it now?” “The concern anyone would have and the IAEA should have is, ‘What happened to that second chamber?’” he said. “This is something the IAEA should immediately ask Iran to clarify.” In addition to the claims of a second explosive chamber, the NCRI published the names of several organizations and individuals that it says are responsible for obfuscating Iran’s ongoing nuclear work through an elaborate network of front companies…

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

 

                                                                       

 

Contents                                                   

                                   

                      

MITT ROMNEY HITS PRESIDENT OBAMA ON IRAN LETTER                      

Lucy McCalmont                                                                                                

Politico, Nov. 7, 2014

 

Mitt Romney slammed President Barack Obama on Friday for reaching out to Iran in the fight against Islamic State militants, calling the president’s recent letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “astonishing” and “an enormous error.” “I was frankly stunned that the president of the United States would write a letter of that nature and in effect, legitimize a nation and a leadership which is violating international norms and is threatening the world,” the 2012 Republican presidential candidate told the audience of the Israeli American Council’s inaugural national conference at the Washington Hilton. “To suggest that we might somehow work together is something which is so far beyond the pale, I was speechless as I heard about it,” Romney said. “I simply can’t understand it.”

 

Romney’s comments follow news that Obama wrote a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader as the deadline for a nuclear deal at the end of month draws closer, the Associate Press reported Thursday. However, while reports said the letter emphasized a shared interest in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the administration would not confirm the letter and denied efforts of military cooperation with Iran. “The United States will not cooperate militarily with Iran in that effort,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “We won’t share intelligence with them.” Romney said the United States should treat Iran as it did South Africa, in which the country was considered a “pariah” and their leaders shunned from international bodies.

 

The former Massachusetts governor was warmly welcomed by the audience of more than 700 and received a standing ovation before and after his remarks. He called Obama’s correspondence with the Iranian leader “an enormous error” and said that Iran’s leadership, for its support and armament of the Assad regime in Syria, “is in part responsible, to a degree, for the elevation of ISIS, for the creation of ISIS.” “This is the fourth time the president has reached out an open hand to Iran,” Romney said. “It continues to diminish himself and America, these acts of his that unfortunately lead bad people to assume that American can be pushed around and I find it very unfortunate.” Romney’s criticism echoes that of others on the right including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who called the letter “really concerning” and said it does not help America’s relationships with its allies in the region.

 

                                                           

 

Contents                           

                                                                    

                                                            

KRISTALLNACHT’S LESSONS FOR TODAY                                             

Abraham H. Foxman                                                                                                  

JTA, Nov. 7, 2014 

 

Each year on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, we recall the opening salvo of the violent assault on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust and ask ourselves what should have been done at that moment. In thinking about Kristallnacht, we should also consider the outpouring of violence against Jewish communities in Europe this summer and draw the right lessons for today. It is rightly said that the Holocaust began not with gas chambers but with words. The significance of Kristallnacht in the history of the Holocaust is the passage from anti-Jewish legislation and anti-Semitic rhetoric to violence against Jews. And therein lies the lesson for today. To be clear, in today’s democratic Europe, there is no risk of a new Holocaust. Invoking such a possibility obscures rather than illuminates the serious situation of European Jewry. Comparisons to Kristallnacht, however, are apt.

 

This summer in France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe, we saw anti-Semitic rhetoric followed by assaults on Jews and attacks on synagogues, Jewish-owned shops and other Jewish institutions. The differences with Kristallnacht are stark and significant, but the similarities cannot be ignored. Not on this anniversary — not at a time of great insecurity among Jewish communities in Europe. Two synagogues in Paris were attacked during anti-Israel demonstrations this summer. In one case, 200 Jews were trapped inside while a mob armed with bats tried to invade the synagogue. Roger Cukierman, the head of the French Jewish community, made the connection explicit: “We’ve never seen anything like that. It resembled Kristallnacht in 1938 in Germany.” And in Germany, where people chanted “Jews to the gas” at anti-Israel rallies and where Molotov cocktails were thrown at synagogues, Dieter Graumann, the president of the Central Council of Jews of Germany said, “These are the worst times since the Nazi era.” The British Jewish community’s security agency, CST, said that July had the highest number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in any one month since it began keeping records three decades ago. The highly esteemed former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, hardly an alarmist, wrote at Yom Kippur that the Jewish community suffers “a degree of apprehension I have not known in my lifetime. Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe within living memory of the Holocaust.”

 

European Jews were terrorized by Kristallnacht, and among elements of society on the continent today they are being terrorized again by anti-Semitic hatred especially, but not only, linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The terror is not from one night but from an accumulation of incidents over the past years. During the Israeli military’s Operation Protective Edge this summer, and during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, ADL reported on anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric around the world related to the Israel-Hamas wars. We saw incitement to violence, demonization of Jews and Israel, blood libels and other anti-Semitic vitriol. Too often these words led to assaults and vandalism. Those attacks have caused vast numbers of European Jews to no longer feel free to live openly as Jews. The European Union’s human rights agency surveyed eight major Jewish communities in Europe in 2012 and found widespread insecurity. One in five Jews had been the victim of an anti-Semitic insult, harassment or assault, and one in three worried about being physically attacked over the next 12 months. Two out of five Jews always or frequently avoided wearing a kippah or Star of David in public.

 

Anti-Semitism never left the continent, but its recent transformation from rhetoric to violence, including murders at a Jewish school in Toulouse and the Jewish museum in Brussels, has caused a sea change in the confidence of Jewish communities across Europe. Most European political leaders have condemned the anti-Semitic incidents in their countries, but the indifference among the public is shocking and dismaying. If the hatred espoused and acted out by the anti-Semites and the apathy of European citizens overtake the efforts of the well-intentioned political leaders, European Jewish communities will have a dim future: communal self-segregation, individual withdrawal from Jewish communal life or emigration. “Never again” stands. There will not be another Holocaust. But Kristallnacht is another story. Let us learn its lessons, not to avoid another Holocaust but to avoid a different disaster — the slow terrorization of Europe’s Jews into permanent fear, faced with the awful choice of abandoning their identity or fleeing.

 

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

Kristallnacht 2014 in Berlin: Petra Marquardt-Bigman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2014—This weekend, Berlin is mainly in the news because the city marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Obama Wrote Secret Letter to Iran’s Khamenei About Fighting Islamic State: Jay Solomon & Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7, 2014 —President Barack Obama secretly wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the middle of last month and described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, according to people briefed on the correspondence.

The Midterms Change the Iran Equation: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2014— News reports tell us: “The Obama administration has agreed to allow Iran to operate 6,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, up from a proposed ceiling of 4,000 reported two weeks ago, as part of negotiations for a nuclear deal, according to a website approved by the Iranian government.

North Korea’s Lessons for Iran Diplomacy: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Nov. 3, 2014—It has now been more than 20 years since the Clinton administration signed its supposed breakthrough nuclear agreement with North Korea.

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

U.S. JEWS INCREASINGLY SECULAR, AS POLLARD LANGUISHES IN PRISON WILL U.S. – KHAMENEI NUCLEAR DEAL BETRAY ISRAEL? IN ARGENTINA, KRISTALLNACHT PROTEST AGAINST POPE’S LEGACY

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

 Contents:         

 

The Coming Betrayal of Israel: Cal Thomas, Fox News, Nov. 12, 2013 — In Geneva, Switzerland, The United States and other major powers appeared close to a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions against the terrorist-sponsoring state.

U.S. Issues Belated Condemnation of Khamenei After Israel Protest: Yuval Bagno & Sof Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2013 — Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned on Thursday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks in which he referred to Israeli officials as those who “cannot be even called humans” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a “rabid dog.”                                          Loving Us To Death: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Nov. 01, 2013 — In the first half of the 20th century, the political and social perspective of the American Jewish community was defined by its collective experience of anti-Semitism—both in the countries from which Jews had emigrated and, in far more muted form, inside the United States.                                                   In Argentina, Catholic Supporters Opposed to Pope Francis Challenge His Legacy of Jewish Relations: In Argentina, Kristallnacht has come to be known as “el pogrom de noviembre”—the “November pogrom.”                                                                                              Pollard Supporters to Mark 28 Years Since Israeli Spy’s Arrest: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2013 —Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will enter the 29th year of his life sentence Thursday, the 28th anniversary of his arrest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington.

 

On Topic Links

 

Unless You Are Antisemitic, Consider This Before You Promote Boycotting Israel: Ari Lesser, Tent of Abraham, Nov. 18, 2013

Israel: It’s Time to Stand Up: Jerrold L. Sobel, American Thinker, Nov. 22, 2013

10 Tel Aviv Apps, Startups and Alternative Vehicles That Will Make Travelling So Much Easier: Adam Van Heerden, No Camels, Nov. 11, 2013

Saul Kagan Pursued a Relentless Quest for Justice: Paul Vitello, Globe & Mail, Nov. 19, 2013

                                 

                                                               

THE COMING BETRAYAL OF ISRAEL

Cal Thomas

Fox News, Nov. 12, 2013

 

In Geneva, Switzerland, The United States and other major powers appeared close to a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions against the terrorist-sponsoring state. Negotiations, however, fell apart at the last minute when France and Iran balked at the final wording on the interim draft. Talks are expected to resume within a few weeks, but it is worth pausing to consider what was nearly agreed to and what the outcome could likely be.

 

President Obama has pledged to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America has Israel’s “back.” Who knew he had a knife? An agreement that trusts Iran’s promises and allows it to surreptitiously complete development of nuclear missiles would stab Israel in the back. North Korea promised former President Jimmy Carter during his 1994 visit to Pyongyang it would close a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon in exchange for food and humanitarian aid. The reactor was subsequently re-opened. Memo to the Obama administration: tyrants lie. Unlike North Korea, an officially atheist state, Iranian mullahs have repeatedly said they have a religious duty to annihilate Israel, not to mention America. How do secular diplomats negotiate with people who, in their minds, would be violating “Allah’s will” by making deals with the “great Satan”? While the negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran were taking place in Geneva, Ynetnews.com claims, “…the Iranian government sent a different message with a broadcast on state television of a simulated missile attack on Israel.” How much more evidence of Iran’s intentions and ultimate objective are needed?

 

Last month, Kerry and Netanyahu met for seven hours in Rome. Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, citing the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, writes, “The secretary of state told the prime minister that he heard from his European friends … that if the negotiations (with the Palestinians) fail, Israel can forget about participating in the European research and development program ‘Horizon 2020’.” Kerry is then quoted as saying, “And that will only be the beginning.” Doesn’t Kerry have this backward? Sanctions might be lifted against Iran for a promise that won’t be kept, but possibly imposed on Israel if it won’t agree to what amounts to assisted suicide? It would also appear that this “deal” had been in the works for at least several months before the Geneva meetings. The Daily Beast reports: “The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, well before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.” The administration pledges to watch Iran closely and if it violates any provisions in a final agreement, sanctions would be re-imposed. If sanctions and other means, such as the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into Iran’s computers, failed to deter Iran’s nuclear program, why would anyone think additional threats and more sanctions would produce the desired results? Iran is playing for time and it appears the United States is willing to give it to them.

 

History is a great teacher, but not everyone pays attention. In The Guns at Last Light, Rick Atkinson’s chronicle of World War II, the author recalls President Franklin Roosevelt’s view of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin following their meeting at Yalta in February 1945: “‘Stalin doesn’t want anything other than security for his country,’ the president said. ‘He won’t try to annex anything and will work for a world of democracy and peace.’” Winston Churchill similarly misjudged Stalin, writes Atkinson, telling his war cabinet, “‘Stalin I’m sure means well to the world and Poland. … He will not embark on bad adventures.’ He added, ‘I don’t think I’m wrong about Stalin,’ whom he had called ‘that great and good man.’” Times and dictators change, but human nature remains the same. Roosevelt and Churchill were wrong about Stalin and the Obama administration is wrong about Iran.

 

                                                  Contents
                                 

                                           

U.S. ISSUES BELATED CONDEMNATION                                                OF KHAMENEI AFTER ISRAEL PROTEST

Yuval Bagno & Sof Hashavua

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2013

 

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned on Thursday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks in which he referred to Israeli officials as those who “cannot be even called humans” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a “rabid dog.” In an interview with CNN, Power said the remarks were “abhorrent.” Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “obviously we disagree with [Khamenei’s statements] profoundly.” "It's inflammatory and it's unnecessary, and I think at this moment, when we are trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we need are names back and forth," Kerry said.

 

Israeli officials expressed shock Thursday that world powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, and the US in particular, remained silent in regard to the scathing comments by Khamenei. Khamenei took swipes at Israel and France during a speech to tens of thousands of volunteer Basij militiamen in Tehran, broadcast live on Iran’s Press TV. “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” said Khamenei. “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” he said. The Iranian leader referred to the "Zionist regime" as the "rabid dog of the region."

 

Jerusalem awaited condemnation of the comments from senior officials of the states taking part in nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, but such a reaction was not forthcoming. The P5+1 group of world powers negotiating with Iran consists of the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. "We knew the Americans were eager, even more so than the Iranians themselves, to reach an intermediate deal in Geneva, but we did not estimate to how great an extent," a senior official in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew-language sister publication Sof Hashavua Magazine. The official added that "the West is choosing not to direct its gaze at Khamenei, who is the true face of Iran and its de facto ruler, and to accept the "pretty face" of Iran's new diplomacy instead. The comments by the supreme leader, who cursed America and France at the height of the talks, constitute spitting in the face of the enlightened world, not just Israel, but the world remains silent, thinking it is rain, and continues to talk with this leader's emissaries, who are masters of deception. They then blame us for making comparisons to the 1930s." An official in the US delegation to the Geneva talks skirted questions Thursday from journalists on the issue, saying, "Naturally, there are still expressions of the deep lack of trust between us and the Iranians – which stem from more than three decades of severed relations. We are trying to reach an agreement whose goal is to peacefully prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, while dealing with this atmosphere, and it is not easy."

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who flew to Russia on Wednesday to appeal for tougher terms, said Khamenei's comments showed Iran had not changed since so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected as president in June. "He called Jews 'rabid dogs' and said that they were not human. The public responded to him with calls of 'Death to America! Death to Israel!' Doesn't this sound familiar to you? This is the real Iran! We are not confused. They must not have nuclear weapons. And I promise you that they will not have nuclear weapons," the premier said.
                                                                            Contents
                               

LOVING US TO DEATH

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary, Nov. 01, 2013

 

In the first half of the 20th century, the political and social perspective of the American Jewish community was defined by its collective experience of anti-Semitism—both in the countries from which Jews had emigrated and, in far more muted form, inside the United States. Four percent of Americans were estimated to be Jewish at mid-century, twice as many as at present. But the Jews of that time were insecure about their place in American society and often unwilling to make a show of their background and faith. They felt themselves a people apart, and they were. It was difficult if not completely impossible for them to live as American Jews entirely on their own terms.

 

Now the situation is reversed. As an explosive new survey of 3,400 American Jews reveals, 94 per-cent say they are proud of being Jewish. That data point dovetails neatly with the current place of Jews in American society—a society in which they make up 2percent of the population but in which there are virtually no barriers to full Jewish participation. American Jews can live entirely on their own terms, and they do. But the stunning finding of Pew’s A Portrait of Jewish Americans—the most comprehensive portrait of the community in 20 years and, in the richness of its detail, perhaps of all time—is the degree to which American Jews are now choosing not to live as Jews in any real sense. Secularism has always been a potent tradition in American Jewry, but the study’s analysis of what being Jewish means to its respondents reveals just how much irreligion has taken center stage in American Jewish life.

 

There has been a startling increase over the past quarter century of Jews who say they regard themselves as having “no religion.” Intermarriage rates are now at 70 percent. And the proportion of families raising their children as Jews by religion is 59 percent, while only 47 percent are giving them a Jewish education. Jews are not being driven from Judaism due to social difficulties. Fewer than 20 percent claimed to have experienced even a snub in a social setting, let alone an anti-Semitic epithet, in the last year. Such numbers are not only without precedent in American history; they are without precedent in the millennia-long history of the Jewish people. The Pew survey paints a portrait of a group that feels none of the shame or fear that once played a major role in defining Jewish attitudes toward other Americans. But this loss of shame, and the concomitant growth of pride when it comes to having a Jewish heritage—these have come at a heavy cost, it appears. It is now inarguable that American Jewry, or at least the 90 percent that does not hew to Orthodox practice, is rapidly shrinking, and the demographic trend lines are stark.

 

The same American Jewish community that is bursting with pride also now regards Jewish identity as a matter of ancestry and culture almost exclusively. Forty-two percent think a good sense of humor is essential to being Jewish; almost exactly the same number, 43 percent, think it means supporting the State of Israel. When asked about the fundaments of Judaism itself, Jews speak of values and qualities that apply equally to other faiths and are followed just as readily by those who have no faith at all. After all, there is nothing distinctively Jewish about believing one should lead an ethical and moral life or about working for justice. And yet these are the defining characteristics of Judaism for American Jews. Only 28 percent think being Jewish has something to do with being part of a Jewish community. Only 19 percent think it means abiding by Jewish religious law.

 

This is what happens after several generations of the most highly educated minority group in the United States have allowed themselves and their children to become functionally illiterate about Judaism itself, its belief system, its history, and the obligations of Jewish peoplehood. The Pew data make it abundantly clear that the cultural values of secular Jews have proved to be perfectly portable—they can carry their liberal political and cultural beliefs everywhere without having to carry the Jewish trappings that go with them.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link – ed.]

 

Contents

 

 

IN ARGENTINA, CATHOLIC SUPPORTERS OPPOSED TO

POPE FRANCIS CHALLENGTE HIS LEGACY OF JEWISH RELATIONS

Natasha Zaretsky

Tablet, Nov. 22, 2013

 

In Argentina, Kristallnacht has come to be known as “el pogrom de noviembre”—the “November pogrom.” Last week, on the 75th anniversary of that tragic night, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, a cavernous space in the symbolic center of the city, hosted an interfaith commemoration of the violence of that November pogrom convened by the archdiocese of Argentina and the nation’s B’nai B’rith.

 

Diana Wang, the daughter of survivors and president of the Argentine group Generations of the Shoah, was at the cathedral for the event and did not expect it to be different from any previous commemorations, including the one last year, which was led by then-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—and his friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka. As in other years, the cathedral was full, crowded with representatives of various Christian denominations, rabbis, Jewish community leaders, politicians, and Holocaust survivors.

 

But this year, for the first time in the nearly 20-year history of such memorials in Argentine churches, a protest erupted: Members of a far-right religious group, the Society of St. Pius X, staged a group prayer to oppose what they called “the profanation of this space.” According to Wang, it started as a murmur of “Our Father” and other prayers, and then the protesters began chanting the rosary louder and louder. Between 20 and 40 young men, some just teenagers, kneeled down and began praying fervently, their eyes fixed straight ahead. The Society, an international organization formed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council by Catholics who opposed the liberalization of church doctrine, rejects the promotion of interfaith dialogue—strongly promoted by Pope Francis, who from Vatican City described Jews as “big brothers” to Catholics in his own observance of the Kristallnacht anniversary. It has gained a particular reputation for anti-Semitism. One of its bishops has been convicted of Holocaust denial in the German courts. In October, the Italian branch offered to hold a funeral for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who had been extradited to Italy from Argentina.

 

The Kristallnacht protest at the Metropolitan Cathedral was a disruption of remembering, an assault on a key moment in Jewish history and Holocaust memory. But it was also a challenge to Pope Francis, on his home turf, and to the entire post-Vatican II infrastructure of interfaith dialogue Francis has reinvigorated since his election as pontiff earlier this year. Wang—whom I first met through my fieldwork as an anthropologist working with survivor groups in Buenos Aires—told me she felt a sensation of fear. She worried that violence might erupt, in a church filled with elderly survivors. But they surprised her: The survivors in the cathedral, she told me, stood their ground “like soldiers,” refusing to leave. “I am not going anywhere from here,” they said later. “Ni loca”—not for anything—“would I go.” Others in attendance tried to intervene and stop the protest. Martha de Antueno, president of the Argentine Judeo-Christian Confraternity, decried their use of the rosary—a holy prayer—as a “weapon” against the memory of Holocaust victims being remembered that evening. But the men continued their prayers, murmuring louder and louder as they stared ahead. “They then confronted me, asking, how can I as a Catholic be supporting an event with those who had killed Jesus?” de Antueno told me afterward. One of the protesters took over the microphone and called out, “Leave, and stop this profanation.” After nearly an hour, the protesters finally left.

 

Jews have long occupied a tenuous position in Argentina, home to the seventh-largest Jewish population in the world, and the largest in Latin America. They built an array of synagogues, schools and social service organizations, but the country where they found refuge also became an infamous haven for Nazis, many living under assumed identities—including, of course, Adolf Eichmann, who was known as “Ricardo Klement” until his capture by the Mossad in 1960. At the time, neo-Nazi groups responded by unleashing violence that included the kidnapping of a young Jewish student named Graciela Sirota; they tattooed a swastika onto her body. Since then, Jews have experienced waves of anti-Semitism, especially during the political repression of the military dictatorship, from 1976 to 1983, and the trauma of two terrorist attacks that targeted Jewish sites in the early 1990s. But today, three decades after the collapse of the junta, Argentines memorialize the Holocaust through museums, monuments, archives, and commemorative programs like last week’s, as well as through active outreach to society at large, Jews and non-Jews alike, undertaken by the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires and survivor groups, like Generations of the Shoah. Argentina, as the only Latin American member nation in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, also gives official state support for Holocaust commemoration in the national school curriculum. Holocaust remembrance ceremonies like the event at the cathedral are generally not controversial affairs—simply part of the landscape of memorial practices in Buenos Aires.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link – ed.]

 

                                                   Contents

 

 

POLLARD SUPPORTERS TO MARK 28 YEARS SINCE ISRAELI SPY’S ARREST

Gil Hoffman

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2013

 

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will enter the 29th year of his life sentence Thursday, the 28th anniversary of his arrest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington. Pollard’s wife Esther said she and her husband had not lost hope that US President Barack Obama would commute his sentence to the time he has already served.
“It is a terrible blow to Jonathan and to me that all the anguish and suffering he has endured for a full 28 years in prison now continues into year 29,” Esther Pollard said. “We had such high hopes that this nightmare anniversary would not occur again. After all the recent developments, we really hoped that by now we would be recovering from our ordeal and rebuilding our life , that we would finally live together here in Israel and get on with our life together.” She said she was encouraged by the numerous ranking American officials who have come out in support of her husband’s release, the declassification of materials exonerating him and many other factors. She called upon Obama to commute the sentence of her husband, whose health is deteriorating, as a matter of compassion and mercy.

MKs Hilik Bar (Labor), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) and David Azulay (Shas) jointly called for Pollard’s release in a special discussion in the Knesset plenum. Bar said the effort to bring Pollard home crossed party lines. He complained that the US, which did not want Pollard’s deeds to be seen positively, had made him a hero by holding him so long. “Pollard paid a price for his actions that is higher and heavier than usual,” Bar said. “He should be allowed to go home to Israel and his family.” The government’s liaison to the Knesset, deputy minister Ophir Akunis (Likud) rejected charges that the government was not doing enough to bring Pollard home. He said the issue was not in the hands of the Israeli government, but of the president of the United States.

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

On Topic

 

Unless You Are Antisemitic, Consider This Before You Promote Boycotting Israel: Ari Lesser, Tent of Abraham, Nov. 18, 2013 — Friends and supporters of Israel, even those of us who don’t believe the Jewish State is beyond criticism, always find ourselves wondering why so many people support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that encourages consumers, countries and the private sector from doing business with Israel.

Israel: It’s Time to Stand Up: Jerrold L. Sobel, American Thinker, Nov. 22, 2013 — Growing up in a tough Bronx neighborhood further back than I like to think, it was good to have an older tough friend.

10 Tel Aviv Apps, Startups and Alternative Vehicles That Will Make Travelling So Much Easier: Adam Van Heerden, No Camels, Nov. 11, 2013 — Tel Aviv is a hub of innovative transportation solutions that will help you get from A to B efficiently and in style.

Saul Kagan Pursued a Relentless Quest for Justice: Paul Vitello, Globe & Mail, Nov. 19, 2013 — Saul Kagan, a former refugee who for decades led the Jewish service organization that was primarily responsible for securing more than $70-billion (U.S.) in restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs, died Nov. 8 in Manhattan. He was 91.

 

On Topic Links

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

HOLOCAUST REVISIONISM: KRISTALLNACHT COMMEMORATIONS EVOKE PAST MEMORIES & PRESENT FEARS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

 Contents:         

 

 

Open Letter to President of the Parti Québecois Concerning the Name of the Jewish General Hospital: Lawrence Roseberg, M.D., Jewish General Hospital, Nov. 13, 2013 —  I would like to express my great displeasure and concern about the remarks that Tania Longpré, the Parti Québécois candidate in the Viau riding, recently posted on her Facebook page.

Kristallnacht as a Political Instrument: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 12, 2013 — This year, as has often occurred in the past, some Kristallnacht memorial meetings in Europe were abused as political instruments rather than serving to memorialize Jewish victims.

Swastikas, Slurs and Torment in Town’s Schools: Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2013— The swastikas, the students recalled, seemed to be everywhere: on walls, desks, lockers, textbooks, computer screens, a playground slide — even on a student’s face.

For Zion’s Sake: The Proclamation of Revolt: Daniel Tauber, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2013— Britain was once a partner in the Zionist enterprise. During the First World War, her leaders harbored visions of Jews restored to their homeland.

 

On Topic Links

 

Light in Dark Times: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Nov. 7, 2013

Rabbi from Ottawa returns $98,000 he found in used desk he bought online: Zev Singer, Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 12, 2013

Extermination of Two Million European Jews Confirmed Just Prior to GA 70 Years Ago: David Geffen, Jerusalem Post, 11 Nov. 2013

Art Dealer Paid Just 4,000 Swiss Francs for Masterpieces: Louise Barnett, The Telegraph, Nov. 10, 2013

 

 

                                                       

 

  OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OF THE PARTI QUEBÉCOIS              CONCERNING THE NAME OF THE JEWISH GENERAL HOSPITAL              Lawrence Rosenberg, M.D.

Jewish General Hospital, Nov. 13, 2013

                                               

I would like to express my great displeasure and concern about the remarks that Tania Longpré, the Parti Québécois candidate in the Viau riding, recently posted on her Facebook page. An article describing these comments was also published on November 10 in the Journal de Montréal/TVA. In her posting, Mme Longpré said that she favours the removal of the word “Jewish” from the name of the Jewish General Hospital. The article notes that she is now trying to distance herself from these remarks, claiming that her initial comments were made in haste and do not represent the full range of her views. Nevertheless, it is deplorable that a candidate for public office has made such an unreasonable statement, which has no place in the political discourse of this province. From time to time, critics and commentators have asked whether it is proper for a publicly funded institution to proclaim its religious affiliation in its name. The emphatic answer is “Yes”. The Jewish General Hospital was launched in 1934 in an era when it was still common for healthcare institutions to embellish their names, facilities and medical programs with overtly religious metaphors and symbols. This had been the practice ever since the founding of Montreal and the establishment of the original Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in the early 1640s.

 

The custom continued for more than three centuries and is evident today in the names of hospitals such as Sacré-Coeur, Notre-Dame, Sainte-Justine and Saint-Luc. When the founders of the Jewish General Hospital named their institution, they were simply following an example that had been set by society. Seen from a modern perspective, the JGH was distinguishing itself from Montreal’s other hospitals through an early form of branding. Today the word “Jewish” remains an intrinsic, essential and inseparable element of the hospital’s history and values. It is a reminder that the JGH, whose motto is “Care for all”, has had a strictly non-discriminatory policy since the day it opened, in sharp contrast to the exclusionary practices that once existed in most other Montreal hospitals. Furthermore, the JGH’s policy was enacted many years before such a measure was formally required by provincial or federal human rights legislation.

 

For nearly 80 years, the Jewish General Hospital has excelled in serving patients from across Quebec, which has had a vibrant Jewish community for approximately 250 years. The hospital has done its utmost on behalf of Quebecers by drawing strength from the Jewish values of extending medical treatment to those in pain, compassion to those in distress, and assistance to those in need. In addition, the JGH’s values inspire respect for all religions, cultures and ethnic communities; recognition of the diversity and contribution of every member of staff; and a commitment to fostering a work environment where each person is valued, respected and supported. This commitment to a superior quality of care is a source of pride for the JGH which, for decades, has earned the support of government at all levels and all political persuasions. The Jewish General Hospital has no intention of dropping “Jewish” from its name, and it considers any such suggestions to be deeply offensive and discriminatory.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lawrence Rosenberg, M.D.

Executive Director

Jewish General Hospital

 

Contents

KRISTALLNACHT AS A POLITICAL INSTRUMENT

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 12, 2013

 

This year, as has often occurred in the past, some Kristallnacht memorial meetings in Europe were abused as political instruments rather than serving to memorialize Jewish victims. Memorial-day manipulation in Germany goes back many years. In 1969 on the date marking Kristallnacht, an anarchist-leftist group painted graffiti on Jewish memorials stating, “Shalom and Napalm” or “El Fatah.” Additionally, a firebomb was thrown at the Jewish community center in Berlin. The leftist groups’ common perception was that “Jews who were expelled by fascism became fascists themselves, who in collaboration with American capitalism, want to annihilate the Palestinian people.”

In 2010, Frankfurt’s then-Christian Democrat mayor, Petra Roth, invited Holocaust survivor Alfred Grosser to deliver the 2010 Kristallnacht speech in Paul’s Church. This German-born French Jewish intellectual promoted reconciliation between Germans and the French. He is a notorious anti-Israel hate-monger. Grosser used his speech to draw parallels between the conduct of the Nazis and that of Israel.
This year, another Kristallnacht manipulation drew much attention. Jerusalem Post reporter Benjamin Weinthal detailed the criticism of a memorial conference at Berlin Jewish Museum. Jewish anti-Israel hate-monger Brian Klug was invited as the keynote speaker there.

The abuse of Kristallnacht is far from limited to Germany. On November 9, 2003, in Vienna, a memorial meeting was disrupted by members of the Sedunia group, who shouted through loudspeakers. They had to be removed by participants of the meeting. Sedunia is an organization of Muslims and Austrian converts to Islam. In the same month a leading Dutch inciter against Israel, Gretta Duisenberg – the widow of a former president of Europe’s Central Bank – took part in a demonstration in one of Amsterdam’s main squares. A mock Israeli checkpoint for Palestinians was set up there. Only the participation of Palestinian suicide murderers would have made it more realistic. A few years ago, the Dutch Jewish community started to organize its own Kristallnacht memorial meetings in Amsterdam. The other, leftwing dominated commemoration, downplays contemporary anti-Semitism and focuses on general racism.

Muslim organizations also participate in it, often to promote the fight against Islamophobia. They do not speak out against the fact that the greatest violence in any religion in the world comes out of several Muslim societies. This year, at least 65,000 Muslims will be murdered by other Muslims in a number of Arab states. Nor will they mention that the involvement of Muslims in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe is far larger than their proportion of the population. This has again been confirmed in the recently published study by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights. Muslim bodies and left-wing organizations sometimes play together a major role in this abuse of Kristallnacht.

In Helsingborg, Sweden, the Jewish community refused to participate in the 2012 Kristallnacht memorial meeting. Local paper Helsingborgs Dagblad noted that the community’s leader, Jussi Tyger, said that the memorial meeting was organized by left-wing parties and Muslims, who are known to be the most racist against Jews. In the Norwegian town of Bergen, the November memorial day is not centered on Kristallnacht, but on the 26th of the month when cargo ship Donau left Oslo with 552 Jews – the great majority of whom were killed in extermination camps. They had been arrested by Norwegian police rather than by German occupiers. Last year the speakers were leader of the Socialist Left party Audun Lysbakken and former prime minster Kåre Willoch, both notorious anti-Israelis.

This was another expression of abuse of Holocaust memory: extreme anti-Israelis attempting to whitewash their reputations. The local Jews decided not to participate. An American-Norwegian Jew who has participated for years in the event with Jewish prayers and an original composition wrote on his Facebook page: “I refuse to participate in the same program as Kåre Willoch. They could not have chosen a more inappropriate speaker at a ceremony commemorating the Holocaust.” He explained to his American friends in English that Willoch is “extremely anti-Israel, and has made some terrible anti-Semitic comments.”
This year, a young gentile woman pulled out of the Oslo Kristallnacht memorial. She was meant to speak there, but received a death threat earlier that day…

Of a different distorting nature is the regular comparing of potential ecological disaster to the Holocaust.
In 1989, then-Senator from Tennessee Al Gore published an op-ed in The New York Times titled, “An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen.” Gore called upon all humankind to heed the warning: “…the evidence is as clear as the sounds of glass shattering in Berlin.” All these vignettes above have to be seen in a broader context: the widespread and increasing abuse of Holocaust memory in general.

 

                                                 Contents
                                  

 

SWASTIKAS, SLURS AND TORMENT IN TOWN’S SCHOOOLS

Benjamin Weiser

                                   New York Times, Nov. 7, 2013

 

The swastikas, the students recalled, seemed to be everywhere: on walls, desks, lockers, textbooks, computer screens, a playground slide — even on a student’s face. A picture of President Obama, with a swastika drawn on his forehead, remained on the wall of an eighth-grade social studies classroom for about a month after a student informed her teacher, the student said.

 

For some Jewish students in the Pine Bush Central School District in New York State, attending public school has been nothing short of a nightmare. They tell of hearing anti-Semitic epithets and nicknames, and horrific jokes about the Holocaust. They have reported being pelted with coins, told to retrieve money thrown into garbage receptacles, shoved and even beaten. They say that on school buses in this rural part of the state, located about 90 minutes north of New York City and once home to a local Ku Klux Klan chapter president, students have chanted “white power” and made Nazi salutes with their arms.

 

The proliferation and cumulative effect of the slurs, drawings and bullying led three Jewish families last year to sue the district and its administrators in federal court; they seek damages and an end to what they call pervasive anti-Semitism and indifference by school officials. The district — centered in Pine Bush, west of Newburgh, and serving 5,600 children from Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties — is vigorously contesting the suit. But a review of sworn depositions of current and former school officials shows that some have acknowledged there had been a problem, although they denied it was widespread and said they had responded appropriately with discipline and other measures. “There are anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred that we need to address,” John Boyle, Crispell Middle School’s principal, said in a deposition in April.

 

In 2011, when one parent complained about continued harassment of her daughter and another Jewish girl, Pine Bush’s superintendent from 2008 to 2013, Philip G. Steinberg, wrote in an email, “I have said I will meet with your daughters and I will, but your expectations for changing inbred prejudice may be a bit unrealistic.” Mr. Steinberg, who, along with two other administrators named as defendants, is Jewish, described the lawsuit in recent interviews as a “money grab.” He contended that the plaintiffs had “embellished” some allegations.

 

Nonetheless, reports of anti-Semitism have persisted, with at least two recent complaints made to the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County. The New York Times has reviewed about 3,500 pages of deposition testimony by parents, children and school administrators, which were provided by the families’ lawyers on the condition that the identities of the children, some of whom are still enrolled, be protected. Limited redactions were also made to protect student privacy. The children, in their depositions, accuse at least 35 students, who are identified by their initials, of carrying out anti-Semitic acts; other offenders are identified less specifically. Whatever the number of students involved in such activity, its impact was felt by the Jewish children, said Ilann M. Maazel, a lawyer for the families. “There were multiple children who just did not feel safe going to school day after day,” he said.

 

In 2008, T.E., then a fifth grader at Pine Bush Elementary School, told her mother that two boys had made drawings in school that she did not understand, adding, “I think it was something bad.” The mother, Sherri E., 48, asked her daughter to draw what she had seen, and realized it was a swastika. The mother testified that during a subsequent meeting, the elementary school principal at the time, Steve Fisch, agreed to talk with the boys but added: “What’s the big deal? They didn’t aim it towards her.” Mr. Fisch, in his deposition, denies saying that. Not long afterward, the mother said, one of the boys called T.E. “Jew” on the bus and made an offensive gesture toward her and her daughter. Sherri E. withdrew her daughter from Crispell Middle School last year, and is now educating her at home.

 

Some of the affected students saw their grades suffer, and felt socially isolated and depressed, the depositions show. One said he contemplated suicide. The swastikas, drawn or carved onto school property, or even constructed by students out of pipe cleaners, caused much of the anxiety. Sometimes they were accompanied by messages like “Die Jew,” the children testified. “I actually started to hate myself for being Jewish,” D.C., a Pine Bush High School graduate who now attends college, said in an interview. He recalled that around the time of the Jewish holidays, teachers would ask if there were Jewish students in the class. “I learned very, very quickly not to raise my hand,” he said. D.C., now 18, testified that he was “overwhelmed” by the number of swastikas he saw. In eighth grade, he said, he reported one that was about a foot in diameter, which he found in a bathroom; it was removed, but it reappeared quickly. He testified that he stopped reporting swastikas because “nobody was doing anything about them.”

 

His sister, O.C., now 15, testified about a more direct message from a sixth grader who formed his hand into the shape of a gun and “said he was killing Jews.” In seventh grade, O.C. said, she saw a girl holding her hands up to hide a swastika on her face. The girl explained that a student had restrained her while another drew the insignia; the school said it had disciplined the two students. O.C. said she heard slurs like Christ killer, stupid Jew, dirty Jew, disgusting Jew. “Jew was kind of an insult,” she explained. Her father, David C., an adjunct instructor at Orange County Community College, recalled telling his daughter’s teachers that she lacked focus because of the harassment and swastikas. He had even stumbled upon one, he testified, describing how he saw a “small swastika on one of the stalls” in a school bathroom.

 

The children testified about hearing crude jokes about the Holocaust and the killing of Jews. “How do you get a Jewish girl’s number? Lift up her sleeve,” went one. D.C. remembered a student telling him that his ancestors had died in the Holocaust. The student then blew on his flattened hand, and said, “You are just ashes.” “Every day at the high school,” D.C. testified, “I would go in, and I would just have the worst day of my life.” Mr. Steinberg said in his deposition that his challenge as superintendent was that “so many” students were being accused of anti-Semitic behavior. “The issue is not three students doing it all the time; the question is if you have 30 students doing it,” he said. “How do you undo the years of inbred prejudice?”

 [To read the full article, please click on the following link —ed.]

 

Contents

 

FOR ZION’S SAKE: THE PROCLAMATION OF REVOLT

Daniel Tauber

                                  Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2013

 

Britain was once a partner in the Zionist enterprise. During the First World War, her leaders harbored visions of Jews restored to their homeland. At the war’s end, she accepted responsibility for putting those visions into effect under the Mandate for Palestine. But the calculating British Empire that prepared to fight World War II was not the romantic British Empire of World War I.

In 1936, responding to Arab violence and opposition to Zionism, Britain drastically lowered Palestine’s Jewish immigration quota. In 1939, when no other country would give European Jewry refuge, Britain issued a new White Paper restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine – the internationally designated Jewish refuge – to a total of 75,000 over the next five years. It was the anti-Balfour Declaration. The anti-Jewish policy did not change when Winston Churchill became prime minister or when Britain learned of the slaughter of the Jews. Even the 75,000 immigration certificates were not all granted. Nor did it change when Germany surrendered in May 1945 or when the Labor party, which called for Jewish statehood, was elected.
The new foreign secretary, Ernst Bevin, warned against Jewish refugees trying to get unfairly “to the head of the queue” of the post-war settlement.

The British military establishment continued to view Palestine as a strategic asset in terms of military bases, communications and stemming Soviet influence in the region. Keeping oil flowing to an economically diminished Britain was also a priority. The war-time policy of appeasing Arab opposition to Zionism had to be continued. Bevin personally thought the Balfour Declaration was a “wild experiment” and “a Power Politics declaration.” He even considered partition “manifestly unjust to the Arabs.”

Instead, Bevin proposed a cantonization plan which gave the Jews a small amount of territory and no immigration control. Then he proposed a trustee plan leading to the emergence of an Arab-Palestinian state.
Britain had thus long ago renounced its role as “Mandatory” and embraced the role of imperial occupier intent on retaining Palestine as long as possible or establishing a friendly Arab state, preferably owing Britain certain treaty rights. For the Jewish state to rise, the British occupier would have to be removed.
This was not something Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, the Jewish Agency or the Haganah could admit. It was, however, long anticipated by the Revisionist-Zionist movement.

In the late 1930s Jabotinsky argued that Britain was losing its legitimacy in Palestine due to its anti-Jewish policies. Yet through 1938, he believed Britain could be convinced to return to Zionism. The younger generation in Betar and the Irgun Zvai Leumi (the National Military Organization – the Jabotinskyite offshoot of the Haganah), however, believed Britain would never repent. At the Betar World Conference in Warsaw that year, Menachem Begin, the leader of Polish Betar, proposed amending the Betar Oath to suggest rebellion against the British. When Jabotinsky asked about the practicalities, Begin replied that it would be for experts to determine. Jabotinsky compared Begin’s words to the creaking of an un-oiled door.
But in 1939 Jabotinsky came around. In Warsaw, he declared, “When the Irgun grows, your hope also grows,” and later that “the only way to liberate our country is by the sword.”

In August, Jabotinsky, sent coded plans to the Irgun, for tens of thousands of Betarim to storm Palestine’s shores, link up with Irgun forces, take and hold government buildings for at least 24 hours and declare Jewish statehood. But in September, Germany invaded Poland, the heart of European Jewry. Two days later, Britain declared war on Germany. Jewry had no choice but to support Britain. The Revisionist-Zionist movement immediately announced support for the British war effort. A few days later the Irgun announced the same. Within a year Jabotinsky died of a massive heart attack, but not before a split in the Irgun began to emerge between David Raziel and Avraham Stern. Just a few days before his death, Jabotinsky reinstated Raziel, who had resigned as commander, thereby blocking Stern from assuming command.

By October 1940, Stern and his followers left the Irgun to fight Britain – even as Italian planes bombed Tel Aviv and a German invasion become foreseeable. Rejected by the Yishuv, forced to resort to bank robberies, Stern found himself on the run. He would eventually be murdered by British policemen who had arrested him. Raziel fared no better. He was killed by a German bomb while on a mission for the British in Iraq.
[To read the full article, please click on the following link—ed.]

 

                                                                        Contents

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

 

Light in Dark Times: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Nov. 7, 2013— What is it that made Jacob—not Abraham or Isaac or Moses—the true father of the Jewish people?
Rabbi from Ottawa returns $98,000 he found in used desk he bought online: Zev Singer, Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 12, 2013 — Sometimes when you buy a piece of furniture through Craigslist, you get it home only to find that the seller hasn’t cleaned out all the junk inside it. This story starts that way. Except it wasn’t exactly junk.                                                              Extermination of Two Million European Jews Confirmed Just Prior to GA 70 Years Ago: David Geffen, Jerusalem Post, 11 Nov. 2013— The Jewish Federations of North America functions today as the main representative body for North American Jewish groups. But in the 1940s, American Jewry was splintered into many organizations and parties, each making a bold attempt to save its brothers and sisters from the Nazis overseas.                                                                                                                   Art Dealer Paid Just 4,000 Swiss Francs for Masterpieces: Louise Barnett, The Telegraph, Nov. 10, 2013 — The art dealer whose son was found to have hoarded a treasure trove of masterpieces in his Munich flat paid the Nazis just 4,000 Swiss Francs for 200 paintings now thought to be worth millions, it has emerged.

 

On Topic Links

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

75TH ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT: ANTISEMITISM, AGAIN, IN EUROPE, ASSIMILATION IN DIASPORA—YET ZIONISM & JEWISH VALOR ARE REDEEMED IN ISRAEL

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

 Contents:         

 

Kristallnacht: Baruch Cohen, Nov. 8, 2013—  The appalling resurgence of today’s global antisemitism calls for a strong, united Western World. Antisemitism is the world’s oldest hatred, a strange and enigmatic phenomenon, unequalled by any other prejudice or hatred in world history.

European Jews Report Rise in Anti-semitism: Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2013— A poll of European Jews has found that more than three-quarters of those questioned believe antisemitism is on the rise in their home countries and close to one-third have considered emigrating because they don’t feel safe.

An End to Jewish Life in the Diaspora: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 3, 2013— The recent Pew Research Center survey of American Jews has ignited discussions extending from gloomy predictions of the inevitable demise of Diaspora Jewry by assimilation, to optimism over the finding that the number of Jews has risen to 6.7 million from the 5.5 million estimated in the 2001 National Jewish Population Survey.

Ten Basic Points: Israel’s Right to Judea and Samaria: Amb. Alan Baker, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 6, 2013— In contrast to John Kerry's remarks, Israel has legitimate legal rights to Judea and Samaria, as summarized below.

For Zion’s Sake: The Rise of the Jewish Soldier: Daniel Tauber, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 22, 2013— Even more than preserving Theodor Herzl’s call for Jewish statehood and pioneering illegal immigration and rescue efforts, perhaps Revisionist Zionism’s greatest contribution to Israel’s founding was the thing for which it was most reviled – the revival of Jewish militarism.

 

 

On Topic Links

Video: Yair Lapid Speaks at the Hungarian Parliament: Youtube, Oct. 1, 2013

75 Years After Kristallnacht, Survivor Recalls the Night That Seared His Life: Ofer Aderret, Ha’aretz, Nov. 8, 2013

10 Minutes Alone With the Butcher of Auschwitz: Thomas Harding, National Post, Nov. 4, 2013

Nazi Art: Does Germany Have a Problem Returning Art Stolen by the Nazis?: Mark Hudson, The Telegraph, Nov. 4, 2013

 

 

                       KRISTALLNACHT

                                             Baruch Cohen                                                Nov. 8, 2013

                                               

                                                                                            O the Chimneys,                                                                    On the ingeniously devised habitations of death,                        When Israel’s body drifted as smoke  Through the air…

                                                                                                          —Nelly Sachs, O the Chimneys: Selected Poems,                                     [Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1967]

 

The appalling resurgence of today’s global antisemitism calls for a strong, united Western World. Antisemitism is the world’s oldest hatred, a strange and enigmatic phenomenon, unequalled by any other prejudice or hatred in world history.

 

Today, as the “New Europe”, embracing the evil forces of xenophobia, witnesses an antisemitic revival, not only the Jews, but also the State of Israel, are being attacked.  Indeed, in the new post-modern global antisemitism, Israel becomes “the Jew among the nations”.

 

Only through strong, uncompromising and non-appeasing action can Western ideals, justice, freedom and true democracy guarantee that no more Kristallnachts will ever occur again.

 

On January 21, 1939, Hitler told the Czech Foreign Minister Chualkosky: “We are going to destroy the Jews…Today I will be a prophet again. If international finance Jewry within Europe and abroad should succeed once more in pushing the people into a world war, then the consequences will not be the Bolshevization of the world and therewith, a victory of Jewry, but on the contrary, the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe.”

 

And the world chose not to look and remained silent (Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945). 

 

Zachor! Remember! Kristallnacht will never occur again as long as we, the Jewish People, along with the democratic world, will stand firm, united in support for our strong State of Israel!

 

Never again!  AM ISRAEL CHAI!

 

Contents

EUROPEAN JEWS REPORT RISE IN ANTI-SEMITISM

Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2013

 

A poll of European Jews has found that more than three-quarters of those questioned believe anti-Semitism is on the rise in their home countries and close to one-third have considered emigrating because they don’t feel safe. The survey was conducted by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Its release Friday was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms in Nazi Germany. The Agency for Fundamental Rights said 5,847 self-identified Jews were surveyed in eight Western European countries “in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live.”

 

Among the findings: 34 percent of poll respondents in Sweden and 29 percent in France said they never wear a Star of David or anything else that could signal their religion. Over three quarters of overall respondents said the situation had become “more acute” in the last five years and the same number consider online anti-Semitism to be a real problem. Twenty-one percent said they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident “involving verbal insult, harassment or a physical attack” in the year preceding the poll.

 

Hungary garnered the highest numbers among respondents for manifestations of anti-Semitism on the internet, in the media, and in political life — 86%, 73%, and 84% respectively.  In France, 78% of respondents said vandalism of Jewish buildings and institutions was a problem. According to the report, only 8% of survey respondents in Latvia said the Arab-Israeli conflict had an impact on their feelings of safety, with that figure rising to 28% for respondents in Germany and 73% in France. The agency said its findings aim to provide guidance on measures to take against anti-Semitism.

 

“Antisemitism is a disturbing example of how prejudice can persist through the centuries, and it has no place in our society today. It is particularly distressing to see that the internet, which should be a tool for communication and dialogue, is being used as an instrument of anti-Semitic harassment,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “While many EU governments have made great efforts to combat anti-Semitism, more targeted measures are needed.”

 

Contents

 

AN END TO JEWISH LIFE IN THE DIASPORA?

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 3, 2013

 

The recent Pew Research Center survey of American Jews has ignited discussions extending from gloomy predictions of the inevitable demise of Diaspora Jewry by assimilation, to optimism over the finding that the number of Jews has risen to 6.7 million from the 5.5 million estimated in the 2001 National Jewish Population Survey. The Pew survey results are complex and lend themselves to endless interpretation. But what they undeniably show is a wide-ranging definition of Jewish identity, increased polarization of the American Jewish religious experience, a changing connection to the State of Israel, and above all, a mushrooming demographic crisis.

 

The most dramatic Pew survey finding is an alarming increase in the rate of intermarriage. Among all married Jews who participated in the survey, 44 percent had a non-Jewish spouse. Of those who married in 2000 or later, the figure dramatically increased to 58% – an increase of 41% from 1970, when the rate of intermarriage was 17%. This substantial escalation in the rate of intermarriage in just one generation represents nothing short of a hemorrhage of the American Jewish community, and a level of assimilation unprecedented in Jewish history. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz has aptly described the process of assimilation as “a self-inflicted Holocaust.” It is, he says, “like a person getting into his bath, cutting his veins, and peacefully bleeding to death.” The survey also highlights the absurdity of the notion that intermarriage augments Jewish numbers, and confirms that only a small proportion of children of intermarried couples retain a Jewish connection.

 

The Pew survey notes that the Conservative Movement has been in dramatic decline, while the Reform Movement has expanded and absorbed large numbers of intermarried families. However, the ascendant Orthodox community has, to some extent, offset these numbers. Intermarriage is practically nonexistent among American Orthodox Jews: Fully 98% of the married Orthodox respondents have a Jewish spouse. The number of Orthodox Jews is likely to expand beyond its current 15% of the Jewish community, because of their high fertility rate (the survey found that the Orthodox have an average of 4.1 children, compared with the 1.9 average of American Jewish adults overall). In addition, the study maintains that more Orthodox Jews today retain their religious commitment throughout their lives than was the case in the past.

 

The survey highlights that cultural identification is replacing religious identification among many American Jews. In stark contrast to 10 years ago, when 93% of American Jews identified themselves as Jews by religion, increasing numbers of Jews now define themselves as “Jews of no religion.” Two-thirds do not belong to any synagogue; 42% maintain that having “a good sense of humor” is more essential to their Jewish identities than observing Jewish law; most describe liberalism and a commitment to tikkun olam as the defining characteristics of their Jewishness. Many Jews are delighted with this “universalist Judaism” and characterize its adherents as “proud Jews” who are contributing enormously to American culture. One commentator satirically remarked that for every Jew who keeps a Christmas tree, there are 100 non-Jews who like bagels. Oy! Another highly disturbing survey finding is the extent to which Judaism and Christianity have become blurred in the minds of many American Jews.

 

The criteria for qualifying as being Jewish have been broadened to the point of absurdity. For example, 34% of the respondents stated that a belief in Jesus as the Messiah was compatible with being Jewish, and 30% of the “Jewish” families surveyed have Christmas trees. As Hebrew Union College Prof. Sara Benor observed, “more people than in the past believe that you can be both Christian and Jewish.”Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, predicts that a new religious category will soon emerge for those who consider themselves Jewish but accept Christian doctrines regarding Jesus. This confused state of affairs is both a reflection and a consequence of an appalling meltdown of Jewish values in America. However, the survey does confirm that Israel remains a principal factor in American Jewish identity. Seventy percent of respondents said they were somewhat attached, attached, or very attached to the Jewish state, and a significant 40% said they had visited Israel. But only 38% believe that the Israeli government is genuinely pursuing peace with the Palestinians. This is not surprising, given that the primary Jewish values of a substantial proportion of respondents are liberalism and a “good sense of humor,” rather than dedication to the Jewish people or Judaism.

 

The Pew findings held few surprises for me. In my analysis entitled “The Israel-Diaspora Crisis: A Looming Disaster,” published in 1994 by the World Jewish Congress, I predicted a gloomy outcome for Diaspora Jewry. I noted that in open societies with escalating levels of racial religious and ethnic intermarriage and increasing numbers of gentiles willing to marry Jews, Jewish intermarriage would inevitably increase. While I foresaw an increase in the numbers of religiously observant Jews who would consume more kosher food, buy more Jewish books and provide their children with Jewish education, I predicted that the vast majority would be swept up by assimilation and would distance themselves from their Jewishness. I said that, regrettably, no Diaspora Jew could confidently state that his grandchildren would remain Jewish. Television and the Internet have only accelerated these trends…

 

Despite the alarming statistics of intermarriage, which demonstrate that as many as 71% of non-Orthodox Jews are marrying non-Jewish spouses, we must never write off any Jewish community. Although the indicators suggest that Diaspora Jews in open societies are in danger of being reduced to Orthodox enclaves, we must stimulate all avenues likely to enhance Jewish identity. Each community – and certainly America’s – holds potential for Jewish continuity and contribution. Each carries with it the hope of the late Prof. Emil Fackenheim, that Jews must add a 614th Jewish precept, to deny a posthumous victory to Hitler by ensuring the survival of Judaism and the Jewish people.

 

We should not be under any illusions. Diaspora Jewish life is under greater threat today from loss of identity than from antisemitism. But whatever the outcome, Jewish continuity is assured now that Israel exists as a politically independent entity and has become the center of gravity for Jewish spiritual life. As Diaspora Jewry seeks to define itself and its role within the global Jewish arena, Israel remains the only place in the world that today provides an environment in which religiously observant and non-observant Jews alike can fully express their identity while satisfying the existential requirements of peoplehood.

 

Contents

 

TEN BASIC POINTS: ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO JUDEA AND SAMARIA

Amb. Alan Baker

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 6, 2013

 

1. Upon Israel’s taking control of the area in 1967, the 1907 Hague Rules on Land Warfare and the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) were not considered applicable to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) territory, as the Kingdom of Jordan, prior to 1967, was never the prior legal sovereign, and in any event has since renounced any claim to sovereign rights via-a-vis the territory.

 

2. Israel, as administering power pending a negotiated final determination as to the fate of the territory, nevertheless chose to implement the humanitarian provisions of the Geneva convention and other norms of international humanitarian law in order to ensure the basic day-to-day rights of the local population as well as Israel’s own rights to protect its forces and to utilize those parts of land that were not under local private ownership.

 

3. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibiting the mass transfer of population into occupied territory as practiced by Germany during the second world war, was neither relevant nor was ever intended to apply to Israelis choosing to reside in Judea and Samaria.

 

 4. Accordingly, claims by the UN, European capitals, organizations and individuals that Israeli settlement activity is in violation of international law therefore have no legal basis whatsoever.

 

5. Similarly, the oft-used term “occupied Palestinian territories” is totally inaccurate and false. The territories are neither occupied nor Palestinian. No legal instrument has ever determined that the Palestinians have sovereignty or that the territories belong to them.

 

6. The territories of Judea and Samaria remain in dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, subject only to the outcome of permanent status negotiations between them.

 

7. The legality of the presence of Israel’s communities in the area stems from the historic, indigenous and legal rights of the Jewish people to settle in the area, granted pursuant to valid and binding international legal instruments recognized and accepted by the international community. These rights cannot be denied or placed in question.

 

8. The Palestinian leadership, in the still valid 1995 Interim Agreement (Oslo 2), agreed to, and accepted Israel’s continued presence in Judea and Samaria pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations, without any restriction on either side regarding planning, zoning or construction of homes and communities. Hence, claims that Israel’s presence in the area is illegal have no basis.

 

9. The Palestinian leadership undertook in the Oslo Accords, to settle all outstanding issues, including borders, settlements, security, Jerusalem and refugees, by negotiation only and not through unilateral measures. The Palestinian call for a freeze on settlement activity as a precondition for returning to negotiation is a violation of the agreements.

 

10. Any attempt, through the UN or otherwise, to unilaterally change the status of the territory would violate Palestinian commitments set out in the Oslo Accords and prejudice the integrity and continued validity of the various agreements with Israel, thereby opening up the situation to possible reciprocal unilateral action by Israel.

 

Contents

 

 

FOR ZION’S SAKE: THE RISE OF THE JEWISH SOLDIER

Daniel Tauber

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 22, 2013

 

Even more than preserving Theodor Herzl’s call for Jewish statehood and pioneering illegal immigration and rescue efforts, perhaps Revisionist Zionism’s greatest contribution to Israel’s founding was the thing for which it was most reviled – the revival of Jewish militarism. Practical and socialist Zionists preached that the “new Jew” would be a farmer working the land; Ze’ev Jabotinsky preached that the new Jew would be a soldier. More than anyone else, Jabotinsky made sure that this new Jew would rise.

 

The Kishinev pogrom of 1903 had a profound affect on Jabotinsky, who visited the city on a charity mission in the pogrom’s aftermath. Amid the devastation, he found a piece of Torah parchment on the ground that read, “in a foreign land.” Like the Dreyfus Affair for Herzl, Kishinev completed Jabotinsky’s conversion to the Zionist cause. Even before Kishinev, Jabotinsky urged the organization of Jewish self-defense committees and became active in the Odessa Committee. Soon he would establish himself as one of the foremost advocates for Zionism and Jewish rights in Russia. His talents widely recognized, in 1909 he was appointed to lead the Zionist movement’s press network in Constantinople, where, like Herzl, he learned that Turkey would never accept a Jewish state in Palestine.

 

Early in the war, in March 1915, Jabotinsky and Yosef Trumpeldor brought a petition to the British military commander in Egypt, requesting that Britain form “a Jewish Legion” to fight in Palestine. They were offered a mule transport unit to be sent to another Turkish front – the “Zion Mule Corps.” Not content with that, Jabotinsky traveled to London and waged a years-long campaign that resulted in the establishment of a “Jewish Regiment,” later known as the “Jewish Legion,” announced in August 1917. Throughout the campaign, Jabotinsky was vilified by his fellow Jews. He was accused of subjecting Palestinian Jews to possible Turkish retaliation (though this was already occurring), of breaking the Zionist movement’s official neutrality, and of siding with anti-Semitic Russia. Back in Odessa, Menachem Ussishkin told Jabotinsky’s mother, “Your son should be hanged.” But when half a battalion of the Jewish Regiment marched though London before shipping out to Palestine in February 1918, even Jabotinsky’s most ardent opponents looked on with pride. Through the legion, thousands of young Jews – ultimately 5,000 of the approximately 10,000 who registered – were trained, armed and took part in the conquest of Palestine. While the legion was overshadowed by the Balfour Declaration, issued in November 1917, its political benefits should not be underestimated.

 

Like Chaim Weizmann, Jabotinsky knew that to have a place at the peace table, the Zionist movement would have to support the winning side. Jabotinsky also knew that those who would fight would have a greater stake in the post-war settlement. Historian Howard Sachar writes that the legion’s “role in the conquest of Palestine eventually signified as much as the ordeal of the early Zionist pioneers, and hardly less than the Balfour Declaration itself, in reinforcing the Jews’ claims to their national home.” And undoubtedly, the memorandums, letters, negotiations, conversations, meetings and arguments that went into the legion pulled British officials deeper into Zionism’s orbit.

 

After the war, Jabotinsky envisioned the legion as being permanently stationed in Palestine. Before, a Jewish army was needed for conquest. Now it was needed for defense. As Jabotinsky would later write in The Iron Wall, violent Arab opposition to Zionism necessitated it: “The Zionists want only one thing, Jewish immigration; and this Jewish immigration is what the Arabs do not want.” This, he wrote, “means that [Zionist colonization] can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach. “In this matter there is no difference between our ‘militarists’ and our ‘vegetarians.’ Except that the first prefer that the iron wall should consist of Jewish soldiers, and the others are content that they should be British.” Yet, against Jabotinsky’s pleadings, the anti-Zionist British military administration in Palestine demobilized the legion in 1919.

[To read the full article, please click on the following link—ed.]

 

                                                                        Contents

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

 

Video: Yair Lapid Speaks at the Hungarian Parliament: Youtube, Oct. 1, 2013

75 years after Kristallnacht, survivor recalls the night that seared his life: Ofer Aderret, Ha’aretz, Nov. 8, 2013  Daniel Heiman was just shy of 12 years old when the Nazis broke into the building in Nuremburg where he lived with his family. They destroyed his aunt's home. They threw a neighbor out the window to his death.

Nazi art: does Germany have a problem returning art stolen by the Nazis?: Mark Hudson, The Telegraph, Nov. 4, 2013   The 20th century wasn’t short of “notorious” artistic events: the riot at the premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 1913, the unveiling of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, a urinal exhibited as a work of art in 1917. But one stands head and shoulders above the rest: the Entartete Kunst – Degenerate Art – exhibition staged by the Nazis in Munich in 1937.

10 minutes alone with the butcher of Auschwitz: Thomas Harding, National Post, Nov. 4, 2013   It is May 1945. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

ZACHOR, REMEMBER! KRISTALLNACHT, 1938, REMEMBRANCE DAY 2012 & JEWISH W.W. II MILITARY HEROISM

 

International Conference

 

 

   CIJR’S Latest ISRAZINE is now available

Israel’s Levy Report – Clarifying the Misconceptions

 

Download the Isranet Daily Briefing in .pdf format

Contents:

 

Viennese Torah, Saved From Kristallnacht: Yvonne Margo, Executive Assistant, CIJR, Nov. 9, 2012 —On Kristallnacht, his two grandsons, Efraim and Zev Kritzler [Ben-Yehuda], risking their lives, were able to get into the shul, with all its windows smashed as a result of being firebombed by the Nazis. The boys took off the wooden spindles of the Sifrei Torah, folded the parchments, and took them home.

 

 

Recollections of Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938: Walter Bingham, Israel National News, Nov. 9, 2012 —Throughout the Jewish world, there will be meetings to commemorate “Kristallnacht”, – or the night of the broken glass – from November 9th to 10th 1938. That night, most Synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the by then annexed Czechoslovakian Sudetenland were set alight, thousands of Jewish businesses were destroyed and almost 30,000 Jewish men sent off to concentration camps.

 

Veterens: Crystal Clear Memories of Kristallnacht: Gloria Deutsch, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2012

John Katten tells of the night the synagogue in Bamberg, of which his father was spiritual leader, was burned to the ground – and how they escaped. Born Hans in 1928 in Bamberg, Germany, [he] remembers Kristallnacht as though it happened yesterday.

 

Remembering the Escape Over Berlin: Bernie M. Farber, National Post, Nov 9, 2012 —Winnipeg is known for many things, from its cold blustery winds at Portage and Main to its legendary kamikaze mosquitoes. What few people realize, however, are the number of Canadian Jewish war heroes originating from the gateway to the West; amongst them, Flight-Lieutenant Louis Greenburgh.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

 

German Army Was A ‘Criminal Organization’: Sheldon Kirschner, Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 6, 2012

The Great War’s Jewish Soldiers: Naomi Sandweiss, Tablet Magazine, November 9, 2012

 

 

 

 

VIENNESE TORAH, SAVED FROM KRISTALLNACHT,

IN USE TODAY AT KIBBUTZ LAVI, ISRAEL

Yvonne Margo

Executive Assistant, CIJR

 

My great-grandfather Bernard Hofbauer, a well-known Jewish Community leader, owned his own department store in Vienna, Austria.  As he was an observant Jew, he  maintained a synagogue next to  his place of business.

 

On Kristallnacht, his two grandsons, Efraim and Zev Kritzler [Ben-Yehuda], risking their lives, were able to get into the shul, with all its windows smashed as a result of being firebombed by the Nazis. The boys took off the wooden spindles of the Sifrei Torah, folded the parchments, and took them home.

 

They were later mailed to London, and when the boys eventually went from London to Palestine, they took the scrolls with them. Eventually, the Sifrei Torah were reconstituted at Kibbutz Lavi, Lower Galilee, where Efraim Kritzler lives and works, and where they are in use to this day.
 

 

Top of Page

 


 

 

RECOLLECTIONS OF KRISTALLNACHT,
NOVEMBER 9-10, 1938

Walter Bingham

Israel National News, November 9, 2012

 

Throughout the Jewish world, there will be meetings to commemorate “Kristallnacht”, – or the night of the broken glass – from November 9th to 10th 1938. That night, most Synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the by-then annexed Czechoslovakian Sudetenland were set alight, thousands of Jewish businesses were destroyed and almost 30,000 Jewish men sent off to concentration camps. I was in a city called Mannheim and saw it all when I tried to get into my school which was behind the Synagogue.

 

But why did it happen on that particular night? What caused this outrage, the worst pogrom in Germany before the policy of extermination was formulated at the Wannsee Conference held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942 in the presence of Adolf Eichman and other high-ranking Nazis.

 

Well, the trigger for these atrocities can be found in the events of a few years earlier. During 1938 the Polish authorities were concerned about the German annexation of Austria in March of that year and also about the increased persecution of German and Austrian Jews. It was not the Polish Jews' welfare that concerned them, but they feared that the many Polish nationals among them would either want to or be forced to return to Poland. So in mid-October the Polish government issued a de-nationalisation law which annulled the citizenship of Poles living abroad for more than five years, unless before the end of the month they received a special stamp into their passports from the Polish Consulates.

 

Not surprisingly, Jews were refused this facility.

 

German policy at the time was not yet the mass extermination of Jews, but to get them out of Germany; so when the Nazi regime learned that Polish officials would not stamp the passports of Jews, thereby making all of them stateless, without any nationality and hence without passports, they were concerned about their having to remain in Germany.

 

So SS Reichsfuehrer (Field Marshal), Chief of Police and the Gestapo Heinrich Himmler ordered that all Polish Jews be immediately and forcefully repatriated to Poland.

 

It was during the small hours of October 28th 1938, when about 20,000 men, women and children had to respond to the dreaded knock on the door. They were arrested, permitted to hurriedly pack just one suitcase and with an allowance of just 10 marks per adult transported to the Polish border in sealed trains.

 

When the Poles became aware of this, they closed the border. “No more Jews” was the order. With Polish machine guns facing them and German bayonets behind them, these Jews were stranded in no-man’s land. Jewish welfare organisations were allowed to hastily erect some shelter. The circumstances were grim and food was short, while the Poles and Germans argued for two or three days. Eventually the Poles were forced to accept this by now dejected, hungry and tired mass of people.

 

The largest number were interned in Zbaszyn, a small Polish border town, before some months later being moved to the Warsaw Ghetto. My own father was among them.

 

At the time, I was at a Jewish school in another town; had I been at home, I too would have had the same fate, because the Gestapo asked my mother where I was and she told them that I had gone out and she does not know where to. She herself was not arrested on that occasion but at a different time and fortunately survived the concentration camps and so was able to relate, and related, the events to me.

 

I left Mannheim on that fateful day to travel back to my home, some 72 km and even remember that it was the 3.22 pm diesel train. Ask me what I had for lunch yesterday and I can’t remember.

 

Among those deported to Poland on October 28th were the Grynspans from Hanover. Their 17 year old German born son Hershel who lived illegally in Paris received a postcard from his family telling him of their deportation and desperate plight. He became so angry and enraged, that he called at the German Embassy in Paris, asked for the Ambassador, and when taken to Ernst Vom Rath a third secretary, he drew a pistol and shot him. Vom Rath died of his wounds on November 7th.

 

This was the trigger for the “spontaneous” pogroms three days later known as “Kristallnacht”. It is documented that plans for such an outrage had been planned in great detail and that the Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler only waited for a suitable moment to implement them. During the torching of the Synagogues the fire service was in attendance, not to douse the flames, but to cool and protect neighbouring German properties from being damaged.

 

Just one other fact is worth mentioning. After the event the remains of some walls of one synagogue constituted a danger to the public, and so to add insult to injury, the Jewish community was ordered to pay for the demolition.

 

When Hershel Grynspan was arrested by French police he protested – for all the history of Jewish persecution: “Being a Jew is not a crime; I am not a dog, I have a right to exist on this earth; wherever I have been I have been hounded like an animal.” There are conflicting reports about his fate, but it can be safely assumed that he did not survive the war.

 

Let us never forget the brave Hershel Grynspan z’l.

 

(Walter Bingham is a veteran journalist and broadcaster from London who now lives in Jerusalem.)

 

Top of Page

 

 

VETERANS: CRYSTAL CLEAR MEMORIES OF KRISTALLNACHT

 

Gloria Deutsch

Jerusalem Post, November 8, 2012

 

John Katten tells of the night the synagogue in Bamberg, of which his father was spiritual leader, was burned to the ground – and how they escaped. Born Hans in 1928 in Bamberg, Germany, John Katten, remembers Kristallnacht as though it happened yesterday. “The older I get, the more I remember,” says the 84-year-old architect who grew up in England, who managed to escape with his family in 1939 and made aliya with his wife Brenda in 1988.

 

“My father was the spiritual leader of the Bamberg community and, even though the anti-Jewish decrees were getting worse, he did not want to leave,” recalls Katten. “Even when all the Jewish children, including me, were thrown out of school and shops had signs saying ‘Don’t sell to Jews’ and ‘Boycott Jewish shops,’ he still thought it could not get any worse. ‘We can live with it,’ he said. “My father was very German,” he continues.

 

“He had fought in the First World War and his family could trace their being in Germany back to 1646. My mother was Hungarian, the daughter of the head of a rabbinical seminary in Breslau, and they met when my father went to study there; He fell in love with her smile, he used to say. They used to argue constantly about leaving, but it wasn’t until Kristallnacht that my father agreed.”

 

On the night of November 9, 1938, the beautiful Bamberg synagogue was set on fire, as were hundreds of others throughout Germany. “We watched in disbelief,” he recalls. “At first we thought it had been an electrical fault. I was allowed to go and look and I cycled there, although my mother stopped my father from going, which probably saved his life, as the president of the community, Willy Lessing, was beaten and later died.”

 

The 10-year-old boy with artistic leanings assumed it was more of a lark than anything else. Only later did he come to understand the significance and the depth of hatred into which the German people had sunk. Many years later, when he took up painting as a hobby after he moved to Israel, one of his most searing works is of the synagogue of his childhood going up in flames.

 

With the intervention of Chief Rabbi of the UK Joseph Hertz, who knew his Hungarian grandfather, the family managed to get visas to England. “We flew from Frankfurt, and from the airport in London a bus took us and dropped us in the middle of London in Tottenham Court Road. My father had a pound and a few shillings and found us a hotel for the night. One of the waitresses spoke German, being Swiss, and she took us to her Italian landlady who had a spare room. My father spoke to her in Latin.”

 

The next day they found a soup kitchen where, for a penny, one could get a bowl of soup and for tuppence a piece of bread with it. Somehow, like all the other refugees, they managed to survive and made a good life for themselves in England. For John, everything was an adventure; for his sister the events were much more traumatic and affected her mental state for many years.

 

Katten became an architect and met his wife Brenda – a past president of WIZO as well as of the Israel, Britain and Commonwealth Association, and today chairwoman of the English-Speaking Residents’ Association – through a friend from his student days. “He said he’d met a lovely girl – eight years younger than us – and he really liked her but she was too tall for him,” he recalls. And indeed, even 50 years later, the Kattens make a very distinguished – and tall – couple.

 

With a son living here and a growing family of grandchildren, they visited often but could not leave elderly parents until 1998 when they settled in Herzliya Pituah. Brenda is busy with her various public offices and activities, and John decided to take up painting as a hobby.

 

In 1995 he received an invitation from the mayor of Bamberg to be his guest at the consecration of a monument that would mark the place where the synagogue had once stood. The event was to take place on November 9 and, together with 22 other ex- Bamberg Jews, the Kattens travelled to his old hometown.

 

“It was very strange to be back in Bamberg,” he recalls. “It was as I remembered it but it looked different, with modern cars on the roads and signs not in Gothic script as they had been when I was a child.”

 

The guests arrived at the place where the synagogue had once stood and the commemorative ceremony began, with speeches about the contribution of the Jewish community to the city. All Katten could see in his mind’s eye, as the officials droned on, was the picture of the flames engulfing their house of worship while the fire brigade stood by just to make sure that none of the adjacent buildings caught fire.

 

“This is where you stood and celebrated the destruction of our synagogue,” he thought, remembering the photo that documents the event in a 1995 book about Bamberg by Karl H. Mistele. He recalled also the photo dedicating the synagogue in 1910, with the speech from the mayor promising to protect the place, and looked around at the same German people now praising the Jews for their contribution.

 

“It just made me realize, listening to all this, how humanity can be manipulated and twisted by evil people,” he says. Today, a new community is growing in Bamberg and a small synagogue was dedicated a few years ago, established mostly by Jews from the former Soviet Union. “Jewish life is slowly returning to Bamberg,” he says.

 

Top of Page

 

 

REMEMBERING THE ESCAPE OVER BERLIN

Bernie M. Farber

National Post, November 9, 2012

 

Winnipeg is known for many things, from its cold blustery winds at Portage and Main to its legendary kamikaze mosquitoes. What few people realize, however, are the number of Canadian Jewish war heroes originating from the gateway to the West; amongst them, Flight-Lieutenant Louis Greenburgh.

 

Born in 1916, Louis attended St. John’s Technical High School. He was a very colourful character who didn’t always play by the rules. In fact, he was expelled from high school after it was discovered that he appropriated the answer key to an exam. Yet Louis was not to be deterred; a short time later he travelled to England where in 1937 he joined the RAF as a flight mechanic. Not content with maintenance, and having always longed to be a fighter pilot, Louis trained arduously and in 1942 received his wings and commission.

 

Louis quickly became known for his courage under fire. He flew numerous sorties in 1943 and 1944, mostly in the Lancaster, a four-engine aircraft used by the RAF for heavy bombing. Indeed the Lancaster became the night bomber of choice during the Second World War, delivering over 600,000 tons of bombs in more than 155,000 sorties. Near the end of the war, this versatile war plane was outfitted to carry bombs that weighed over 12,000 lbs, known as “blockbusters”; they were used successfully in destroying Germany’s Ruhr valley dams.

 

In his first sortie in a Lancaster in December 1943, after dropping his load over German war factories, Louis’s fuel tank was hit, leaving him empty over open sea. He safely brought his aircraft to a landing on the water, ensuring his entire crew got safely aboard the rescue dinghy. Buffeted by stormy seas, Greenburgh kept the spirits of his crew up until they were rescued a day later. All survived.

 

Louis flew many more missions. On a brisk dark night in March 1944, Flight-Lieutenant Greenburgh was part of a squadron tasked to bomb Berlin. As a result of a strong tail wind, Louis and his crew arrived well before the pathfinders, the smaller planes used by the RAF to mark targets using flares. Louis’s bomber was “coned” by Nazi searchlights. Nonetheless, Greenburgh managed to avoid the heavy anti-aircraft fire. Awaiting the pathfinders Louis and his crew began circling the target area. The night sky was thick with tracer rockets, ground flares and more anti-aircraft fire. Greenburgh’s steely nerves and expert flying skills kept them out of trouble. The pathfinders arrived, dropped their markers and Greenburgh’s crew hit each of their targets.

 

As they re-grouped for the perilous flight back to their airbase, the crew came under heavy fire by Nazi JU 88s, known as Junkers. To look at a Junker you would wonder how it even got off the ground, lumbering and odd-looking as it was. Nonetheless, the Junker was a lethal weapon in the sky, bringing down large numbers of British flyers.

 

While Greenburgh’s gunners returned fire during a ferocious battle over the night sky of Berlin, two of his starboard engines were heavily damaged. The trusty Lancaster spiralled out of control. Plunging close to 11,000 ft, Greenburgh ordered his crew to bail out. Most of the crew parachuted from the falling plane, but the rear gunner was trapped in the turret and the navigator had lost his chute.

 

Showing amazing courage, Greenburgh managed to get back into the cockpit. As the plane continued its rapid descent, Greenburgh skillfully pulled the Lancaster out at 4,000 feet over Berlin. However, they were not yet out of danger. A fire was raging in the fuselage. Greenburgh’s Wireless Operator, who also stayed with the plane, fearlessly fought the flames, extinguishing them before the fire did any more damage. With tremendous effort, Greenburgh managed to re-start one of his damaged engines. Even without the lost flight charts, Greenburgh was able to pull the bomber up to 6,000 feet so that they could fly back visually to air command in the U.K.

 

On March 14, 1944, Flight-Lieutenant Louis Greenburgh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and on Oct. 31, 1944, he gained a second honour for bravery with a Bar to the DFC. The citation with the Bar read: “This officer has displayed the highest standard of skill, bravery and fortitude in air operations.”

 

During World War Two, 16,883 Canadian Jews enlisted for service. Close to 700 were killed in action. Flight Lieutenant Louis Greenburgh was one of 196 Canadian Jewish Servicemen decorated for heroism.

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

German Army Was A ‘Criminal Organization’: Sheldon Kirschner, Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 6, 2012  —The [800 pages of transcripts of meticulously transcribed conversations of about 14,000 German soldiers who had been covertly bugged by the British and Americans] make it clear that practically all German soldiers knew or suspected that Jews were being murdered en masse,” the authors write in Soldaten. …[t]he Wehrmacht murdered about 20,000 Jews in the former Soviet Union and supported Einzatzgruppen units in the killing of more than one million Russian, Ukrainian and Baltic Jews.

 

The Great War’s Jewish Soldiers: Naomi Sandweiss, Tablet Magazine, November 9, 2012 —On Veterans Day, I remember my grandfather, who fought in World War I as a Jew and an American. In his book The Long Way Home, David Laskin recounts the experiences of immigrant soldiers who represented one-fifth of the U.S. Armed Forces in World War I. He writes, “In many cases just a few years or even months separated their arrival at Ellis Island from their induction in the American Expeditionary Forces.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP— SPECIAL KRISTALLNACHT EDITION

Yesterday, CIJR published UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer’s National Post article, “Letting An Anti-Semitic Truther Speak Is A Disgrace To McGill,” describing Montreal-based McGill University’s decision to offer a platform to Richard Falk, thereby legitimating his explicit anti-Semitism. Of the many emotions stirred by this gross violation of ethical conduct, justified under the banner of “freedom of speech” by a purported institution of “higher learning”, my overwhelming sentiment was one of disappointment—not directed at McGill, mind you, since such “lapses in judgment” have become the norm throughout academia, but rather at the leadership of Montreal’s organized Jewish community.

 

I am disappointed that Falk’s planned appearance was not dutifully made known to the greater public ahead of time, despite the advance knowledge of various influential individuals.

 

CIJR last Sunday convened its International Conference, “Combatting the Delegitimation of Israel,” in which the perverted, global campaign to demonize Israel, spearheaded by the likes of Richard Falk, was analyzed. One thing was made clear: the world’s “Richard Falks” are inflicting immeasurable harm on the Jewish state, and organized Jewish communities worldwide are not doing enough to fight back.

 

My experience has taught that the only way to counter anti-Semitism—nowadays commonly masked in terms of the much more “fashionable” anti-Israelism—is to mobilize when confronted, and to denounce the perpetrators openly in the public sphere, while simultaneously exerting pressure on their facilitators. In this instance, McGill University could have been condemned by the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, pointing to the fact that Richard Falk’s blatant anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activities do not coincide with McGill’s supposed commitment to “providing service to society…by virtue of academic strengths.” Grassroots efforts, including the enlistment of McGill students, could have been made to organize protests—not against free speech, but rather against hate speech, a crucial distinction that is too often blurred.

 

Unfortunately, due to having kept Richard Falk’s appearance off the Montreal community’s radar, those in the know, for whatever reason, ensured that such recourse could not be effectively organized.

 

As such, it is my sincere hope that in the future Montreal’s leaders will have sense to convey to the larger community the information it needs in order to safeguard not only the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel, but the university itself as a precious repository of true free speech and academic freedom.

 

–Charles Bybelezer, CIJR Publications Chairman

 

KRISTALLNACHT, 1938—THE UNLEASHING OF THE HOLOCAUST
Baruch Cohen

 

November 9, 1938, “the night of broken glass.” The official German propaganda was that Kristallnacht represented a spontaneous response by an angry Germany to a Jewish crime: Ernst von Roth, the secretary at the German embassy in Paris, was shot on November 7 by a Jewish boy distraught over the state of his Polish-Jewish parents, who were mercilessly deported by the Nazis from Hanover along with thousands of other Polish Jews in Germany.

 

“In twenty-four hours of street violence, ninety-one Jews were killed, more than thirty thousand were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Before most of them were released two to three months later, as many as a thousand had been murdered.” (Martin Gilbert: The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War; New York: Holt Reinhart and Winston, 1985.)

 

The destruction of the synagogues led the German Nazis to call that night “Kristallnacht”—the night of [broken] glass. These words were chosen deliberately to mock and belittle the horrendous crime. (I lived through a similar tragedy between January 21-23, 1941, in Bucharest, Romania, where 130 Jews were tortured and killed, homes and stores were torched and vandalized, and twenty-five synagogues were destroyed. It signalized the beginning of the Holocaust in Romania.)

 

Remember! The world was silent!

 

We Jews must ensure that there will never be another Kristallnacht. The appalling resurgence in global anti-semitism, under the banner of political correctness and prejudice against the Jewish people, and the infectious virus of worldwide hatred directed against the state of Israel, requires us to proclaim in clear, unambiguous language: never again!

Kristallnachtwill never occur again!

 

Today’s United Nations is a shameful copy of the infamous Geneva institution, the League of Nations. The United Nations tribune is a discredited podium that permits a new Hitler, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to menace the world with global terror. This Mahmoud calls clearly for the destruction of the only democratic state in the Middle East, the Jewish state of Israel. Yet the world again remains silent.

 

Remember Kristallnacht! Massada will never fall again! Kristallnacht must never be allowed to occur again. Am Israel Chai! The Jewish people lives!

 

Do not be silent in the face of hatred, discrimination, and the delegitimation of the Jewish state of Israel.

 

Remember Kristallnacht!

 

(Baruch Cohen is Research Chairman for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.)

 

AN OMINOUS RECKONING
Robert S. Wistrich

Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2011

Seventy-three years ago, on November 9, 1938, the murderous Nazi onslaught against the German Jews began with a nation-wide pogrom that smashed the fabric of their existence. Known euphemistically as Kristallnacht (“Crystal Night”), this state-organized orgy of violence happened in peacetime. It involved the systematic burning of hundreds of synagogues, the destruction of approximately 7,500 Jewish businesses, the murder of nearly 100 Jews, and the deportation of another 30,000 male Jews to German concentration camps.

It was a crucial turning-point in Hitler’s “war against the Jews,” a major signpost on the road leading to World War II, which Nazi Germany would initiate less than a year later.

Nazi propaganda, already then, openly warned about the imminent annihilation of Jewry through “fire and sword,” though few in the West took these threats too seriously.

Today, there is no immediate danger of a new Kristallnacht in the Western world, although levels of anti-Semitism (hiding under the more acceptable mask of hostility towards Israel) have reached levels unprecedented since 1945. But in the Middle East, the hatred of Jews burns much more fiercely—both in Iran and in the Arab world.

Islamist anti-Semitism, in particular, is soaked in some of the most inflammatory motifs that made the Kristallnacht atrocities possible in Nazi Germany and only three years later provided the rationale for the mass murder of European Jewry. For example, there is the pervasive exploitation in Arabic of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with its insistence on the reality of the “Jewish conspiracy for world domination”; there is a revival of the medieval Christian blood-libel against Jews, transplanted from Europe to the contemporary Arab-Muslim Middle East; and the mass diffusion of stereotypes about the Jews as cruel, treacherous and bloodthirsty colonialists seeking to destroy the identity and beliefs of the Muslim peoples.

To this, one must add the slanderous but widely popular identification of Zionism with Nazism and apartheid and the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians—a Goebbels-like propaganda lie that has also found a growing audience in the West.

However contradictory it may appear to some, the Zionism-is-Nazism fabrication co-exists in the Middle East today with Holocaust denial on a broad scale. Indeed, in Ahmadinejad’s Iran, Holocaust denial has become a state-sponsored weapon in the regime’s efforts to win over the Arab street and indoctrinate its own people with anti-Jewish toxins.

The increasingly entrenched anti-Semitism in the Arab world has not, unfortunately, been diminished by the “Arab Spring.” Earlier this year, Sheikh Yusuf al- Qaradawi, one of the most authoritative religious leaders of the Sunni Arab world (and especially esteemed by the Muslim Brotherhood), told a million Egyptians assembled in Tahrir Square that he hoped their mission would be to complete Hitler’s work. Al- Qaradawi, an immensely popular cleric, publicly insisted that the esteemed German Fuhrer had been sent by Allah as a “divine punishment for the Jews.” Not long before, CBS’s foreign correspondent Lara Logan had been sexually assaulted and brutalized in the heart of Cairo by a mob of Egyptian men screaming “Jew, Jew, Jew.” Logan is not, in fact, Jewish. But this aspect of her ordeal was, typically enough, very much downplayed by both the American and European media.

There has indeed been very little appetite in the West for reporting on the Jew-hatred that saturates the Arab world. Arab nations (not least, the Palestinians) are never held to the standard expected of the rest of the world when it comes to racism, sexism or Judeophobia.

Hence, precious little reference is made to the genocidal anti-Semitism that runs through the “Sacred Covenant” of the Palestinian Hamas, any more than the West was unduly concerned with Haj Amin al-Husseini’s role in the Holocaust of European Jewry. Haj Amin, a Hitlerian anti-Semite if ever there was one, dominated the Palestinian Arab national movement for nearly forty years, leaving a legacy of hatred that would poison the Middle East for decades.

The Arab demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state has continued uninterruptedly since 1948. It has yet to be challenged by the Arab revolutions of 2011. The leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, did nothing to improve the atmosphere by his recent denial at the UN that the Jews are a people with a profound historic connection to the land of Israel. His negation of Israel’s most basic rights and Jewish identity is of a piece with his brazenly racist insistence that the new Palestinian State should be “Jew-free.”

Nothing that has happened thus far in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia—where the Islamic movements have emerged greatly strengthened—leads me to believe that Arab anti- Semitism has been significantly weakened. The bogeyman of the “world Zionist conspiracy” is, unfortunately, still with us. Arab tyrants (as in Syria) continue to use it as an “opium for the masses,” but it also has powerful roots in popular Arab culture as well as in political Islam.

Even more sobering is the fact that the sickening anti-Jewish racism in Iran and the Arab world is nourished by so many Arab theologians, intellectuals, journalists, artists, deans of university faculties and so-called academic “experts.” In other words, the raw, primitive, street-hatred of the Jews has cultural and intellectual legitimacy among the educated elites, as it once did in Nazi Germany.

Over seven decades ago, Kristallnacht was an unmistakable warning to the rest of Europe as to where “eliminationist anti-Semitism” would lead. It went largely unheeded. Millions of non-Jews as well as two-thirds of European Jewry would pay the ultimate price for this blindness. As Iran moves towards acquiring nuclear weapons and vows to annihilate Israel, will history repeat itself? Will the West remain silent? For Israel, the moment of reckoning comes closer by the day.

(The writer is the director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study
of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of A Lethal Obsession:
Antisemitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad [Random House, 2010].)

Media-ocrity of the Week

 

I can’t stand him anymore, he is a liar.”—France’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy, in a conversation with US president Barack Obama that was overheard by reporters at the G20 summit, chastising Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Obama then replied, “You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.” (Wall Street Journal, November 8.)

 

The following is a response by CIJRsupporter Victor Redlick, Toronto:

 

The elevator shoe-wearing French President was caught on an open G20 mic, telling the lanky US President, that he ‘couldn’t stand Netenyahu’ and that ‘he was a liar’; to which the diplomatically-challenged dupe, Obama, agreeably chimed in, ‘Are you kidding me? I’ve got to deal with him every day.’ Funny thing is the smarmy, petit Sarkozy is widely quoted to have said he doesn’t think much of the ‘naive’ Obama either. Typical. Here’s a very unpopular French leader and part-time concubine of the Middle East emirs and despots—in trouble up to his cuisses de grenouilles in pretty well all aspects of French life—bogusly convincing the gullible, way-out-of-his-league US president that he’s a confidant. But then none of the other G20 members think much of Sarkozy or Obama either. Ironically, while most of them are in such gravely deep, domestic trouble in their own respective nations, many of them, nevertheless, continue to concentrate on wastefully vilifying Israel, every chance they collectively get. Israel has better things to do. If only the others did.

 

Weekly Quotes

 

 

The significance of the report is that the international community must bring about the cessation of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, which endanger the peace of the world and of the Middle East.”—Statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Office, calling on the international community to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons following a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showing Tehran has worked on designing an atomic bomb. (Jerusalem Post, November 9.)

 

The facts lay out an overwhelming case that this was a pretty sophisticated nuclear weapons effort aimed at miniaturizing a warhead for a ballistic missile.”—David Albright, a U.S. expert in nuclear proliferation, commenting on the IAEA’s report detailing Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. (Globe & Mail, November 9.)

 

Dear Lord Rothschild, I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet: ‘His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.…’ I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Yours sincerely, Arthur James Balfour.”—The Balfour Declaration, which celebrated its 94th anniversary on November 2nd, formalizing Britain’s 1917 commitment to create a Jewish state in the Jewish people’s biblical heartland. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, November 3.)

 

Many people who were close to father told me that on the eve of [his] murder he considered stopping the Oslo process because of the terror that was running rampant in the streets and that Arafat wasn’t delivering the goods. Father after all wasn’t a blind man running forward without thought.… He was someone for whom the security of the state was sacrosanct.”—Dalia Rabin, confirming that her father, former Israeli Prime Minister and signatory of the Oslo Accords, Yitzchak Rabin, considered cancelling the “peace process” prior to his death, due to Palestinian intransigence and the threat posed to Israel’s security. November 9, 2011 marks the 16th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, z”l. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, November 4.)

 

By boycotting negotiations and by going instead to the United Nations, they [the Palestinians] have reneged on a central tenet of Oslo.”—Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, reaffirming that the Palestinian pursuit of unilateral statehood constitutes a gross violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel. (Jerusalem Post, November 8.)

 

In common with France, and in consultation with our European partners, the United Kingdom will abstain on any vote on full Palestinian membership of the UN.”—Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, confirming that, like France, Britain will abstain in any United Nations Security Council vote on full Palestinian membership. At present, it is believed that the Palestinians do not have the requisite support of nine Security Council members for their membership request to be approved. (Jerusalem Post, November 9.)

 

At the ceremony Abbas held in their honor in Ramallah, he…praised these individuals for their ‘courage and sacrifice.’ The atrocities referred to by Abbas as acts of ‘courage’…include the murders of scores of innocents, including women and children.… I feel it incumbent upon myself to present these facts to you…in order to ensure that the full facts are before you, as you deliberate on whether to continue extending financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority.”—Member of Israel’s Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Moshe Matalon, in a letter to the budget committees of the US Senate and EU Parliament, condemning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ glorification of “unrepentant terrorists” released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal, and informing foreign governments of a $5000 stipend paid by Abbas to each freed Palestinian prisoner with US and EU tax dollars.[It has also been reported that Abbas will provide new housing for each released Palestinian criminal—Ed.] (Jerusalem Post, November 3.)

 

The West Bank and Gaza have another section in Palestine which is the Palestinian coast that spreads along the [Mediterranean] sea, from…Ashkelon in the south to Haifa in the Carmel Mountains. Haifa is a well-known Palestinian port. [Haifa] enjoyed a high status among Arabs and Palestinians especially before it fell to the occupation [Israel] in 1948. To its north, we find Acre. East of Acre, we reach a city with history and importance, the city of Tiberias, near a famous lake, the Sea of Galilee. Jaffa, an ancient coastal city, is the bride of the sea, and Palestine’s gateway to the world.”—Excerpt from a Palestinian Authority TV “educational” broadcast, aired dozens of times since 2007 and most recently on November 1, 2011, describing the Israeli cities of Haifa, Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa and the Sea of Galilee as Palestinian. (Palestinian Media Watch, November 1.)

 

Short Takes

 

IAEA: IRAN DEVELOPING NUCLEAR ARMS—(Jerusalem) According to a new report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has been working on developing a nuclear-weapon design, and carried out testing relevant for such arms. In its most detailed report to date on Tehran’s nuclear program, the IAEA reiterated its “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” and said that data “indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” Tehran’s ambassador to the IAEA rejected the report as “unbalanced, unprofessional and politically motivated,” and Iran’s official news agency stated that the findings “repeat the Zionist regime’s claims.” The US State Department said it needed time to study the report and declined to make any immediate comment on its contents. According to diplomats, Israel is now expecting the US to take the lead in pushing to impose tougher, new sanctions on Iran. (Jerusalem Post & Ynet News, November 8.)

 

PERES: CHANCE FOR IRAN DIPLOMACY FADING, MILITARY OPTION CLOSER—(Jerusalem) Israeli President Shimon Peres believes Israel is closer to utilizing a military option in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program than it is to finding a diplomatic solution to the threat. In an interview with Channel 2, the president suggested that the media speculation about a potential attack on Iran may have some basis in truth: “Intelligence services in many countries are looking at the clock and warning their leaders that not much time remains,” Peres said. He also asserted that Iran could be as close as six months from becoming nuclear-armed and it is Israel’s role to warn the world of the danger. (Jerusalem Post, November 4.)

 

UK MILITARY STEPS UP PLANS FOR IRAN ATTACK—(London) Britain’s armed forces are stepping up their contingency planning for potential US-led military action against Iran. According to British Defense Ministry officials, military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles as part of what would be an air and sea campaign. Recently, the New York Times reported that the US was looking to build up its military presence in the Middle East, with one eye on Iran. According to the paper, the US is considering sending more naval warships to the area, and is seeking to expand military ties with the six countries in the Gulf Co-operation Council. Next week, a report will be issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency which is expected to provide fresh evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. (Guardian, November 2.)

 

U.S. BACKS AWAY FROM SANCTIONS ON IRAN CENTRAL BANK—(Washington) The Obama administration has backed away from its calls to impose new and potentially crippling economic sanctions against Iran. Though U.S. officials recently declared that they would “hold Iran accountable” for its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons as well as a purported plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, they have since backtracked, claiming that a move against Iran’s central bank could disrupt international oil markets and further damage the reeling American economy. Sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran would further isolate Iran by barring any firm that does business with it from transacting with U.S. financial institutions. (LA Times, November 4.)

 

US RELEASES HOLD ON $200 MILLION IN PA SECURITY FUNDS—(Jerusalem) US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has released the block on aid to the Palestinian Authority after the Obama administration convinced her that funds support US and Israeli interests. Ros-Lehtinen said that she would release her block on two separate sections of security aid, an about-face that clears the way for the PA to receive almost $200 million. An additional $200 million in economic assistance is still being withheld by both the US State and Foreign Relations Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Funds to the PA were frozen by Congress in August, in response to the PA’s strategy of seeking unilateral recognition of statehood at the UN. (Jerusalem Post, November 7.)

 

ISRAEL HALTS $2 MILLION PAYMENTS TO UNESCO—(Jerusalem) Israel has halted its $2 million annual payment to UNESCO, in protest over its decision to accept “Palestine” as its 195th member. In a statement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “Such steps [the UNESCO vote] distance peace, they don’t advance it. The only path to peace is through the immediate resumption of negotiations without preconditions.” The US has also frozen its funding of UNESCO, although the UN’s cultural body is appealing to Washington to rescind its decision. (Jerusalem Post, November 3.)