Tag: Nazi

POLISH BILL “WHITEWASHES” ROLE IN GENOCIDE AMID INCREASING HOLOCAUST ABUSE AND DISTORTION

Whitewashing Evil: Poland’s New Law about the Holocaust: Rabbi Benjamin Blech, Aish, Jan. 29, 2018 — The irony of its timing is inescapable.

The Rapid Increase of Holocaust Abuse: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 1, 2018 — Over the past decades, the abuse of the Holocaust has gradually increased.

'Orgy of Murder': The Poles Who 'Hunted' Jews and Turned Them Over to the Nazis: Ofer Aderet, Ha’aretz, Feb. 11, 2017— (Last year), the Polish-born historian Jan Grabowski won a lawsuit he filed against a Polish website.

The Predictable Liberal Response to Pence: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 31, 2018 — Listening to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s address to the Knesset was a euphoric experience.

 

On Topic Links

 

Poland’s Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism Run Far Deeper Than Just Its Latest Controversial Law: Benjamin Gladstone, Tablet, Jan. 30, 2018

‘Germany Was Always Antisemitic, That Hasn’t Changed Much:’ Holocaust Survivor Stuns German TV Viewers With Candid Answer: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Jan. 30, 2018

When a French Ambassador Described Israel as a 'Sh—y Little Country' – and Polite Society Defended Him: Tom Gross, Telegraph, Jan. 16, 2018

Google Partners with Anti-Semitic Islamists: Steven Emerson, IPT News, Jan. 30, 2018

 

 

 

WHITEWASHING EVIL: POLAND’S NEW LAW ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST

Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Aish, Jan. 29, 2018

 

The irony of its timing is inescapable. This past Friday marked the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz–Birkenau, the horrific site in Poland where more than one million Jews perished in barbaric murders beyond our imagination. Friday was also the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day meant to serve as an everlasting reminder to the world of the sin of silence in the face of evil and the crime of complicity associated with those who made German genocide possible.

 

And this past Friday the Polish government passed a law which would place fines or up to three years in jail for claiming that Poland bears any responsibility for crimes against humanity committed by Germany on Polish soil. True, the bill still needs final approval from the Polish Senate as well as the signature of the president. But its intent is clear. Poland, in the words of Beata Mazurek, spokeswoman for Poland’s ruling Law & Justice party and deputy speaker of the lower chamber of parliament, proclaims with righteous indignation that “We have had enough of accusing Poland and Poles of German atrocities.”

 

In short, Poland, a land where three million Jews lived before the war and only about 380,000 survived, a country selected by the Nazis for six extermination camps – Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek – and more than 700 ghettos, dare not any longer be challenged for the role it played during the Holocaust! Historians, beware. Authors, journalists, even diarists and survivors of Polish anti-Semitism – be prepared for dire and severe consequences for failure to adhere to the new narrative of Polish victimization by Germany comparable to the fate of the Jews.

 

In all fairness, about 6,700 Poles were commemorated by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial for rescuing Jews, the largest number in any country. Yad Vashem has also, for many years, acknowledged the possible misinterpretation of the phrase “Polish death camps” as referring not to location but to its creators – an unfortunate wording which does indeed need to be corrected to “Nazi death camps”.

 

Yet at the same time Yad Vashem continues to make clear that it was Poles who made the Nazi Holocaust in Poland possible. Without the cooperation of the local citizenry, sometimes passive and many times enthusiastically supportive, a program of mass murder would simply have been impossible. “[With that in mind] restrictions on statements by scholars and others regarding the Polish people’s direct or indirect complicity with the crimes committed on their land during the Holocaust are a serious distortion,” Yad Vashem said.

 

Similarly, the United States Holocaust Museum concluded: “To carry out the Final Solution across an entire continent, the Germans required the collaboration and complicity of many individuals in every country, from leaders, public officials, police, and soldiers to ordinary citizens. In every country locals participated in a variety of ways—as clerks, cooks, and confiscators of property; as managers or participants in roundups and deportations; as informants; sometimes as perpetrators of violence against Jews on their own initiative; and sometimes as hands-on murderers in killing operations.” That is what is so upsetting about Poland’s attempt for legal whitewashing.

 

Yair Lapid, a member of the Israeli Parliament and son of a Holocaust survivor, made the case strongly: “I utterly condemn the new Polish law which tries to deny Polish complicity in the Holocaust. It was conceived in Germany but hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier. There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that.”

 

Polish anti-Semitism has a long and well documented history. The eminent Polish historian Jan Grabowski, also the son of a Holocaust survivor and currently a history professor at University of Ottawa, made it his life’s mission to expose the truth of Polish participation in the killings of their Jewish neighbors, even though for decades Polish society denied that anti-Semitism motivated the slayings. Winner of the 2014 Yad Vashem’s International Book Prize, his book Judenjagd tells the heart-breaking story of Jews who, having survived ghetto liquidations and deportations to death camps in Poland in 1942, attempted to hide "on the Aryan side" where the majority perished as a consequence of betrayal by their Polish neighbors.

 

The by now famous story pictured in Claude Lanzmann's myth-shattering documentary film Shoah demonstrated that many Polish peasants were keenly aware of the Nazis' mass murder of Jews on Polish soil; “Neighbors,” by Polish-American sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross, which explored the murder of Jews by their Polish neighbors in the village of Jedwabne, documents how nearly all of the Jews of Jedwabne, Poland, were murdered on one day, most of them burned alive by their non-Jewish neighbors. Following the script of the “new narrative”, in a mid-July interview on Polish public broadcaster TVN, Education Minister Anna Zalewska insinuated that the Jedwabne massacre, when Poles burned alive more than 300 Jews in a barn, was a matter of “opinion.”

 

What might be called a post-Holocaust sequel is the tragic story of the 200 Jewish survivors who returned to their homes in Kielce following the war. They began to slowly rebuild their lives. They established a synagogue, a kibbutz, and an orphanage. On July 4, 1946, a blood libel spread through the town, falsely accusing the Jews of kidnapping a Christian child. Kielce’s residents descended on the Jewish area. Repeating a scene so familiar to these Jews, the police and soldiers stood by and watched as the mob attacked them, murdering 42 Holocaust survivors and injuring scores more. No one could blame the remaining Jews who saw no other option but to flee the place they wrongly believed they could find a measure of peace and freedom. This was the beginning of a mass emigration of Jewish survivors from Poland…

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

 

 

Contents

THE RAPID INCREASE OF HOLOCAUST ABUSE

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2018

 

Over the past decades, the abuse of the Holocaust has gradually increased. Rather unnoticed in the last year or two, however, the number of these distortions has grown at a far more rapid rate. Holocaust abuse has also permeated several additional areas of mainstream society. Manipulation of the truth may well become a substantial part of the Holocaust discourse. This is increasingly likely to occur as surviving Holocaust victims are aging. In an increasingly chaotic world it is difficult to see how this trend can be halted.

 

As the abuse of the Holocaust is not systematically monitored, hardly anyone realizes that the number of incidents has greatly increased. When I wrote The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: Distortions and Responses in 2009, it was still possible to categorize almost all distortions within eight distinct categories. Before that time, the focus in the media and the public domain had been on Holocaust denial. This is not the most extreme category of Holocaust abuse. Holocaust inversion is a more devious category. A major slogan used in this category is that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians like the Nazis behaved toward the Jews.

 

Since 2009, not only the borders between categories of Holocaust abuse have diffused. There are also new variations. A particular devious one has been pointed out by Israeli genocide scholar Israel Charny. He has illustrated how Holocaust research departments at various universities, including Israeli ones, contain “a good number of scholars who indulge in Holocaust denials or minimization and are entirely bona fide according to all the rules and conventions of academia.”

 

Charny called the University of Sussex in the UK a “center of Holocaust distortion.” One scholar there published an article claiming that Hitler did not specifically target the Jews but “it was part of a larger program that disposed those who stood in the way of expanding German living space.” The distortion at universities also shows itself in far more primitive ways: “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was painted on a sidewalk at the University of California campus at Berkeley.

 

At the European Union in 2015, an official from Malta was accused of antisemitic hate speech and assault of an EU employee. He praised Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in a rant and attempted to strangle the woman whom he mistakenly assumed was Jewish. He said, “Dirty Jew… Hitler should have exterminated all the Jews, just as they today are exterminating the Palestinians.”

 

Chief Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs, the head of the Dutch Orthodox Rabbinate, says that when something happens in Israel, people shout at him, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” He also says that Dutch youngsters shouted “Heil Hitler” during one of his speeches at the memorial meeting for Dutch Holocaust victims. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party for the past two years, has frequently appeared publicly with Holocaust-denier Paul Eisen. The latter wrote that Corbyn has “attended every single one of his charity’s annual events and has even donated money to the group.”

 

A major Holocaust-distortion issue concerns Polish Holocaust revisionism. Since the beginning of this century, there have been major disclosures about massive crimes committed by Poles against Jews during the Holocaust. The two main scholars who have pointed this out are Jan Gross and Jan Grabowski. Grabowski states that his research shows that 200,000 Jews were killed during the Holocaust by Poles. The Polish government is trying to deny these facts. Nor should one look away from the abuse of the Holocaust by Jews, which also seems to be on the increase. One of the most severe insults for a Jew is to accuse another Jew of being a Nazi. The Sephardic chief rabbi of Jerusalem and former chief rabbi of Israel, Shlomo Amar, said that Reform Jews are worse than Holocaust deniers…

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

 

 

Contents

'ORGY OF MURDER': THE POLES WHO 'HUNTED'

JEWS AND TURNED THEM OVER TO THE NAZIS

Ofer Aderet

Ha’aretz, Feb. 11, 2017

 

(Last year), the Polish-born historian Jan Grabowski won a lawsuit he filed against a Polish website. About 18 months earlier, the site had launched a savage attack on him under the headline, Sieg Heil, Mr. Grabowski, accompanied by a photograph of the Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. That followed the publication of a favorable report in a German newspaper about Grabowskis book Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland. The book describes the Polish populations involvement in turning in and murdering Jews who asked for their help during the Holocaust.

 

The editors of the right-wing site Fronda.pl criticized Grabowski for washing Poland’s dirty World War II laundry in full international view. But what upset the editors most was that the book drew praise in, of all places, Germany, which was responsible for the war. So, the argument went, if the Germans praise Grabowski, then Grabowski is a Nazi, Grabowski, 55, explained in an email interview with Haaretz from Ottawa, where he teaches.

 

Grabowski, whose father was a Holocaust survivor and whose research focuses on the crimes perpetrated by the Poles in the war, decided not to take it lying down. He won a lawsuit against the websites owner, Tadeusz Grzesik, last September. At the end of January, the owner lost the appeal as well; he was sentenced to do community service work, pay a fine of 3,000 zloty ($750) to Children of the Holocaust – an organization of Polish survivors who were children during the war – and to publish an apology.

 

As you can see, writing history in Poland, about Poland, is not boring at all, Grabowski said. On a more serious note, he added, as a Polish historian, I think that trying to cover up the less glorious aspects of our own national past – something that’s being done today in Poland with a lot of enthusiasm – is a crime against our profession. It is also unethical and, in the long run, counterproductive and silly. 

 

Grabowskis book was first published in his native land in 2011, and two years later in English, by Indiana University Press. A revised and expanded edition, in Hebrew translation, has now been published by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial authority in Jerusalem. The research underlying the book is the fruit of a three-year archival journey embarked upon by Grabowski in pursuit of a phenomenon called hunting for Jews. The term, which originates in the German word Judenjagd, refers to the murderous search for Jews who succeeded in escaping from the ghettos and sought haven from their compatriots in occupied Poland.

 

Grabowskis book concentrates on a rural region of southeastern Poland called Dabrowa Tarnowska. Of its population of 60,000 on the eve of the war, 5,000 were Jews, almost all of whom were deported to the death camp Belzec. Of 500 who managed to escape and hide among the Poles, only 38 survived the war. All the others, as Grabowski discovered, were betrayed and murdered in direct or indirect ways by their Polish neighbors. The events described in Hunt for the Jews, notes the historian Timothy Snyder (author of Bloodlands), constitute an inquiry into human behavior in dark times from which all can learn.

 

Drawing on Polish, Jewish and German records from the war and postwar periods, Grabowski was able to document the local populations involvement in turning over and murdering the Jews who sought their help – but also the heroism of Poles who tried to rescue their Jewish neighbors and sometimes paid for it with their lives. Between these two extremes, Grabowski also found more complex cases: of Poles who helped Jews not for altruistic and moral reasons, but out of greed. In this connection, his study challenges the prevailing opinion, according to which most of those who proffered help were righteous. He describes no few instances in which Poles saved Jews and then extorted money from them, and in some cases murdered them if they didnt get what they wanted.

 

That was the tragic story of Rywka Gluckmann and her two sons, who in 1942 were given shelter by Michal Kozik in Dabrowa Tarnowska county. Until a short time before the Russians entered the area and freed its citizens from the German occupation, he allowed them to remain in his house, as long as they paid him. But when the money ran out, he butchered all three with an ax. Jews who were hiding across the way heard the cries of people being murdered, and the next day they learned that the Gluckmanns were dead, as a local resident, Izaak Stieglitz, testified after the war.

 

A better fate befell a Jewish dentist, Jakub Glatsztern, who found shelter in the home of a Polish woman. When his money ran out, Grabowski writes, he turned to his last remaining option: He decided to extract one of his teeth, in the crown of which he had hidden a diamond. He asked the womans husband for pliers. He gave me old, rusty pliers. I had to remove the tooth together with the root, otherwise I risked breaking the diamond. So I removed the tooth with the root – without an injection, without a painkiller. I took it and said to her, Mrs. Karolak, here is the diamond. As long as I stay under your roof, you will feed me. For starters, she gave him a pork sandwich and some vodka.

 

Sexual exploitation and rape were also forms of payment that were sometimes included in the transaction between a Pole and a Jewish woman whom he saved. Testimony to that effect was given by Szejna Miriam L., a Jewish woman of 20. In June 1943, she was turned over to the Gestapo by the man who promised to save her. In her interrogation she related that the man, named Grabacz, promised to help and that very night he had intercourse with me. She gave him a diamond ring, a gold watch, a wedding ring and clothing, but the next day she was arrested by the Gestapo. Now I know that I am doomed and that Grabacz betrayed me, she told the Nazi interrogators before being sent to Auschwitz.

 

As Hunt for the Jews is published in Israel, a debate is raging in Poland about the role of the local population in the Holocaust. At its center is the question of whether the Poles were victims of the Nazis or collaborators with them, and where they are to be placed in terms of rescuers, murderers or bystanders in relation to the fate of their Jewish neighbors. Last month, in a visit to Israel, Polish President Andrzej Duda referred extensively to the dark chapters in the Polish peoples past. A member of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party, he was elected in part on the basis of his promise to introduce a new strategy in history policy – namely, to rebuff those who falsely accuse the Poles of participating in the Holocaust, as he put it…

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

 

 

Contents

THE PREDICTABLE LIBERAL RESPONSE TO PENCE

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 31, 2018

 

Listening to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s address to the Knesset was a euphoric experience. Pence is a devout evangelical Christian who regards America’s religious commitment as a crucial component of the administration’s policy. He genuinely believes that God will bless those who promote the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people. President Donald Trump’s deputy gave an address affirming the United States’ love of Israel and vindicating the Jewish people’s Zionist vision based on our biblical and historical vision and the spiritual bonds we share.

 

He stressed that the administration still sought to facilitate a peace settlement but asserted that ultimately, the parties must negotiate directly with each other. He reiterated Trump’s warning that if the Palestinians refused to negotiate with Israel, Abbas would not succeed with such behavior. As Trump pointed out, the days of free lunches are over and the Palestinians will no longer be able to take for granted that the billions of dollars of U.S. aid would continue pouring in to support them. More importantly, the entire UNRWA operation was being reviewed on the supposition that vast funds were being channeled into a bottomless pit which was financing incitement against Israel and no effort had been made to integrate the ever-growing number of refugees and their descendants – but instead they had been exploited as a vehicle with which to destroy Israel.

 

The policy of the Trump administration as expressed by Pence is a stark contrast to the Barack Obama era, when at best Israel and the Palestinians were portrayed in terms of moral equivalence, even as Abbas openly flaunted his incitement by praising and rewarding killers and their families – an abomination simply ignored by the U.S. Pence declared that “we stand with Israel because we believe your cause is our cause, your values are our values and your fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.”

 

This was accompanied by pledges of support and renewed commitments by the U.S. to opening a Jerusalem embassy next year. He also guaranteed that the U.S. would never acquiesce to the “disaster” of a nuclear-armed Iran. No American leader has ever spoken to or about Israel in this manner. It signaled the end, at least for the time being, of the daylight Obama created between the U.S. and Israel. It was thus apt of Pence to recite the blessing “shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigi’anu lazman hazeh,” thanking God for granting us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this occasion.

 

Setting aside the Joint Arab List MKs who were ejected from the Knesset after trying to provoke an incident with the vice president and Meretz representatives who remained seated, almost the entire Knesset unanimously cheered him and provided repeated standing ovations. Aside from the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was the first real instance of a display of near-total unity in the Knesset toward a foreign statesman since the division of the nation over the Oslo Accords…

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Poland’s Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism Run Far Deeper Than Just Its Latest Controversial Law: Benjamin Gladstone, Tablet, Jan. 30, 2018—Just before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the lower house of the Polish parliament voted in favor of a bill that condemns anyone who acknowledges Polish complicity in the Holocaust to up to three years in prison.

‘Germany Was Always Antisemitic, That Hasn’t Changed Much:’ Holocaust Survivor Stuns German TV Viewers With Candid Answer: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Jan. 30, 2018—A 93-year-old survivor of Auschwitz stunned the viewers of one of Germany’s most popular political talk shows on Sunday night when — asked to compare the Nazi era with the situation today — she asserted that the two periods had more in common than many people may care to admit.

When a French Ambassador Described Israel as a 'Sh—y Little Country' – and Polite Society Defended Him: Tom Gross, Telegraph, Jan. 16, 2018—Donald Trump’s reference to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “s—hole countries” has rightly been condemned the world over.

Google Partners with Anti-Semitic Islamists: Steven Emerson, IPT News, Jan. 30, 2018—Why are Google and YouTube sponsoring a day-long symposium featuring a roster of speakers including known Islamist anti-Semites, as well as known militant Islamists who are long time Israel bashers and Hamas supporters? And why are Google and YouTube providing a forum for Islamists who approve of Sharia-imposed "death by stoning?"

 

 

 

                                                              

 

 

LESSON OF RWANDA TRAGEDY—PREVENT GENOCIDE, BY FIGHTING INCITEMENT & INDIFFERENCE TO HATE

‘Never Again,’ Again and Again: Irwin Cotler, National Post, Apr. 7, 2016— This week marks an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness and public warning.

Putting Anti-Semitism on the Radar at the University of California and Beyond: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Jewish Journal, Apr. 1, 2016

Bewildered Britain Still Doesn’t Get It: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 31, 2016— What is that unfamiliar rustling in the British cultural undergrowth? It’s the sound of people suddenly acknowledging a problem with anti-Semitism.

The Nazi's Table: Robert Sussman, Jewish Life, Mar. 1, 2016— Norman Eisen met Barack Obama as law school classmates at Harvard University, where they became friends, remaining in touch even after their school days ended.

 

On Topic Links

 

Hillel Neuer Interview from "Beyond Paranoia: The New Anti-Semitism”: UN Watch, Mar. 25, 2016

The German Bellwether: Michael Sussman, National Post, Mar. 30, 2016

Terror as a Fact of Life: Robert Fulford, National Post, Mar. 26, 2016

Angela Merkel’s Unpopular Goodness: Daniel Kehlmann, New York Times, Apr. 1, 2016

 

 

            ‘NEVER AGAIN,’ AGAIN AND AGAIN

            Irwin Cotler                  

                                                            National Post, Apr. 7, 2016

 

This week marks an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness and public warning. For it marks the 22nd anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide – an unspeakable atrocity where one million Rwandans were murdered in a three-month genocidal onslaught that began April 7, 1994. Indeed, what makes the Rwandan Genocide so unspeakable was not only the horror of the genocide itself, but the fact that it was preventable. No one can say that we did not know – we knew, but we did not act.

 

Eight years ago, the Canadian Parliament – by a unanimous motion – designated April 7th as a National Day of Reflection on the Prevention of Genocide. We are invited to remember not only the horrors of genocide, but as the Canadian Parliamentary motion called for, to reflect and act upon its lessons. For while the world vowed “Never Again” after the unprecedented horrors of the Holocaust, “Never Again” has happened again and again, symbolized by the international community as bystander in Rwanda.

 

As former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, lamented on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, “Such crimes cannot be reversed. Such failures cannot be repaired. The dead cannot be brought back to life. So what can we do?” The answer is that the international community will only prevent the killing fields of the future by heeding the lessons from past tragedies. What, then, are these lessons, and, what is it that we can do?

 

The first lesson of the Rwandan Genocide – not unlike the Holocaust – is that these genocides occurred not simply because of the machinery of death, but also because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. Indeed, as the case law of the Rwandan Genocide demonstrates, these acts of genocide were preceded by – and anchored in – an orchestrated dehumanization and demonization of the minority Tutsi population in Rwanda. This included invoking epidemiological metaphors of Tutsis as “inyenzi” – “cockroaches” – as prologue to and justification for their extermination.

 

On this 80th anniversary year of the Nuremberg Race Laws the international community must bear in mind – as the Supreme Court of Canada also affirmed in the Léon Mugesera case – that incitement to genocide is a crime in and of itself. Taking action to prevent it, as the Genocide Convention mandates us to do, is not a policy option; it is an international legal obligation of the highest order. Indeed, this is what the Responsibility to Prevent – the centerpiece of the Responsibility to Protect – is all about.

 

The second lesson, dramatized by the Rwandan Genocide, is the danger of indifference and the consequences of inaction – hence the Responsibility to Act and Protect. Simply put, while the United Nations Security Council and the international community dithered and delayed, Rwandans were dying. Accordingly, as we remember Rwanda, we must recommit ourselves to prevent and protect the victims of mass atrocities in our time. Indeed, while urgent protective action was so needed in Syria, appeals for help these past five years fell on the deaf ears of the international community, a bystander once again. We must break this cycle of indifference and inaction if we are truly to learn the requisite lesson.

 

The third lesson is the danger of a culture of impunity – that repeatedly emboldens those intent on committing mass atrocities – and the corresponding responsibility, therefore, to bring these war criminals to justice. Indeed, if the last century – symbolized by the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda – was the age of atrocity, it was also the age of impunity. Few of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Just as there must be no sanctuary for hate, no refuge for bigotry so there must be no base or sanctuary for the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.

 

And that is why as minister of justice, I initiated the first-ever prosecution under the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Act of Rwandan War Criminal Désiré Munyaneza, who was convicted of such crimes by Canadian courts. Yet the culture of impunity continues to abound. Consider Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who continues to evade justice and accountability for his role in the Darfurian genocide; or the impunity of the Syrian leadership for its ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, aided and abetted by its Russian and Chinese enablers who vetoed UN Security Council resolutions to refer Syrian criminality to the International Criminal Court.

 

The fourth lesson is the persistent danger of violence against women during mass atrocities, of rape in particular, as a weapon of war. Indeed, evidence from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda dramatizes the systematic use of sexual assault during the genocide as a means of continued degradation, humiliation, and torture, while rape in Syria emerged not just as a consequence of atrocity, but as an instrument for pursuing it…

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

 

Contents

 

PUTTING ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE RADAR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AND BEYOND

                                               Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

                                                    Jewish Journal, Apr. 1, 2016

 

 

Last week, the Regents of the University of California unanimously approved a landmark Statement of Principles Against Intolerance containing the following language: “Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.” Although the statement has been widely hailed within the Jewish community for its unprecedented acknowledgement of anti-Zionism as a source of anti-Jewish hostility, many have overlooked an aspect of the statement’s language every bit as significant when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students: the Regents’ clear call for anti-Semitism, in all of its forms, to be treated like every other kind of discrimination at the University of California – no more, but certainly no less.

 

Why is this so significant?  Because for far too long the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry has not been on the radar at the University of California.  In 2010, when UC launched the Advisory Council on Campus Climate and satellite working groups on each campus with the goal of “enhancing and sustaining a tolerant, inclusive environment…so that every single member of the UC community feels welcome, comfortable and safe,” Jewish student concerns were conspicuously absent from these groups’ agenda. This, despite the fact that Jewish students were already reporting an alarming incidence of anti-Jewish bigotry on several UC campuses.

 

Furthermore, when attempts were made to put anti-Jewish hostility on the UC radar, they were aggressively and successfully suppressed by the very groups most responsible for creating that hostility.  For example in 2012, within days of the publication of a Jewish Student Campus Climate Report commissioned by then UC President Mark Yudof, which found that “Jewish students are confronting significant and difficult climate issues as a result of … anti-Zionism and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)”, anti-Zionist student and community groups viciously attacked the report and demanded it be withdrawn.  

 

To this day the 2012 report’s findings and recommendations have been ignored by UC administrators, who have shown themselves unwilling to acknowledge let alone address acts of blatant anti-Semitism. Instead, they engage in a discriminatory double standard, tolerating hateful language or behavior when it is directed towards Jewish students but promptly and vigorously challenging it when directed towards other racial, ethnic or gender minorities. It is precisely this inequity that the Regents Statement Against Intolerance sought to redress. Indeed, it is only against the backdrop of the long-standing and discriminatory treatment of Jewish students that the UC statement and its curious emphasis on anti-Semitism can be understood at all.

 

And the Regents statement is historic, both for California’s Jewish students and for Jewish students nationwide, who have also fallen victim to an alarming growth in campus anti-Semitism and campus administrators who turn a blind eye to it. The University of California is our country’s most prestigious public university system.  Now that its governing board has unanimously acknowledged the serious and growing threat faced by Jewish students and called on its Chancellors to provide appropriate protection, it will surely encourage other university leaders to follow suit…                                                                    

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

 

Contents

                                    BEWILDERED BRITAIN STILL DOESN’T GET IT                                                                             

Melanie Phillips

Jerusalem Post, Mar. 31, 2016

 

What is that unfamiliar rustling in the British cultural undergrowth? It’s the sound of people suddenly acknowledging a problem with anti-Semitism. For years, anti-Semitism in Britain was the prejudice that dared not speak its name. The hostility toward Israel endemic in educated circles was emphatically declared to have nothing whatever to do with hatred of Jews. Anyone who claimed a connection was denounced as “waving the shroud of the Holocaust” to silence legitimate “criticism” of Israel.

 

Jewish students have long run the gauntlet of vicious Israel- and Jew-hatred. “Israel apartheid” weeks, BDS motions and campus conferences declaring Israel is a “settler-colonial state” have morphed into intimidation, stigmatization and discrimination against Jews at university. Virtually no one outside the Jewish community has paid this any attention. Now, though, unease has begun to seep into British national consciousness. The reason is a shift in perspective. Israel is no longer seen as the world’s major flashpoint. The TV news is instead pumping images of Syrian atrocities and floods of displaced migrants into the living rooms of the nation. Security officials repeatedly warn of the likelihood of coordinated Islamist attacks in Britain. The terrorist atrocities last year in Paris and most recently in Brussels have ratcheted up anxiety levels.

 

After the Paris attacks, though, something else changed. Many, from Prime Minister David Cameron downward, expressed their shock when British Jews said they no longer felt safe in Britain, specifically as Jews. How could this be, Britain asked itself in blinkered bewilderment. With the election of the far-left Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labor Party, moreover, two further things happened to propel the issue of Jew-hatred to center-stage. First, people became aware that this potential future prime minister had been “honored” to host members of Hamas and Hezbollah, and supported people who had promoted blood libels or 9/11 conspiracy theories against the Jews. At the same time, however, Jew-bashers became bolder as the far-left started to dominate the Labor Party. As a result, the party has become engulfed by more and more revelations of anti-Semitism, which Corbyn has been unable or unwilling to put to rest.

 

Vicki Kirby, a former Labor parliamentary candidate, was suspended for tweeting that Jews had “big noses,” Adolf Hitler was the “Zionist god” and Islamic State should attack Israel. She had her suspension lifted and became vice chairwoman of a local party branch before exposure of these events forced Labor to suspend her again. Another Labor member, Gerry Downing, who has extolled “Hamas heroism” and demanded that the “Jewish question” be solved, was expelled from the party but then readmitted. He was expelled again only after Cameron raised the case in Parliament.

 

Meanwhile, the issue of campus Jew-hatred exploded when Alex Chalmers, the non-Jewish co-chairman of the Labor Party-affiliated Oxford University Labor Club (OULC), resigned with a devastating account of the Jew-bashing in such circles. “Whether it be,” he wrote, “members of the executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former co-chair claiming that ‘most accusations of anti-Semitism are just the Zionists crying wolf,’ a large proportion of both OULC and the student Left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he wrote.

 

The Chalmers statement received huge attention from the British media. For the first time, non-Jewish commentators started expressing horrified concern about the swell of anti-Semitism. Many, though, still don’t get it. Where did all this come from, they ask – unable to comprehend that, for the answer, they need to look within themselves. The former archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, now master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, has said he is shocked by a series of anti-Semitic incidents at British universities and criticized the “muted” official response.

 

However at Christmas 2006, while Williams was in charge of the Church of England, he preached that Christians were being driven out of Bethlehem by Israel’s policies and its security barrier. Yet it is Bethlehem’s Muslim administration that the town’s Christians have fled, while Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians are safe. In a similar vein, Chris Bryant, Labor’s shadow leader of the House of Commons, has warned against “anti-Semitism by proxy” in his party, and observed: “Questioning the very existence of the State of Israel is a not-too-subtle form of anti-Semitism.” Yet he also wrote: “The Israeli settlements are illegal and must stop. All too often, the Israeli government has made it impossible for the Palestinians to build homes, develop infrastructure or even have access to basic utilities.” Like Williams’ comments about Bethlehem, these charges by Bryant are false, grossly unfair and part of the demonization of Israel that leads directly to Jew-bashing.

 

Anti-semitism is not merely one of many prejudices. It has unique features, the same ones that characterize the demonization of Israel. Both are irrational obsessions consisting entirely of grotesque lies and libels. Both accuse a group of people of a conspiracy of evil of cosmic proportions. Both accuse those people of committing abuses of which they are not only innocent, but are, in fact, the victims…

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

 

 

Contents

    THE NAZI'S TABLE

           Robert Sussman                     

                                                 Jewish Life, Mar. 1, 2016

 

Norman Eisen met Barack Obama as law school classmates at Harvard University, where they became friends, remaining in touch even after their school days ended. When Obama eventually won the US Presidency, he appointed Eisen, in 2009, to serve as his Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform. Only a couple of years later, in 2011, the president tapped Eisen to be the US ambassador to the Czechs. It was no coincidence that Obama chose Eisen to be ambassador in Prague of all places: “The president thought it would be a remarkable thing for the son of a Czechoslovak Holocaust survivor to return and represent the US… No one from my immediate family had returned since my mother fled Communism in 1949, and the symbolism of [returning there] was just too unique an opportunity to pass up.”

 

In 1944, Frieda – along with her parents, siblings, and other family members – was sent to Auschwitz. Although she and two siblings miraculously survived, their parents and other relatives weren’t as fortunate. On his first day as ambassador, following all of the formal greetings and arrival ceremonies, Eisen sat alone in the library of his new home reflecting on the events of the day. The head of the ambassador’s household, Miroslav Cernik, came into the room and informed the ambassador that there was something Cernik wanted to show him. Cernik led Eisen to a small, ornate table and asked Eisen to look underneath the table. The ambassador, who thought it a rather unusual request, complied nonetheless, and got down on his hands and knees, crawling under the table.

 

Nothing could have prepared Eisen for what he found there: a sticker with the clearly discernable image of an eagle and a swastika, the formal symbol of the Nazi party, emblazoned upon it, thus marking the table as former Nazi property. Cernik explained that he had not wanted Eisen to make the upsetting discovery for himself by chance. Eisen, who had envisioned carrying out the many responsibilities of his office, was unprepared for such a thing and described seeing the sticker as “a punch in the gut”, hitting him on an emotional, as well as a physical, level. In an ironic twist, Eisen would later use that very table during his tenure as ambassador as the stand for his Chanukah menorah.

 

The Nazis were not the original owners of that table or that house. The US ambassador’s residence in Prague, named Petschek Villa, was originally built by a wealthy Jewish industrialist by the name of Otto Petschek in the late 1920s. Petschek, who made his money from coal mine holdings as well as banking, was one of the wealthiest men in Czechoslovakia, before his untimely death in 1934. With Germany’s designs for Czechoslovakia clear and the threat of an invasion on the horizon, Petschek’s family fled the country in 1938. The property was subsequently seized by the Germans and commandeered for use as the headquarters of the Wehrmacht (German armed forces) commander of Prague, General Toussaint, his staff, and other Nazi officials and aides during their seven-year occupation of Prague. Occupied afterwards briefly by the Russians and then the Czechoslovak General Staff, the US leased the property in 1945 before eventually buying it from the Czechoslovak government in 1948.

 

On his arrival at the Petschek Villa, Eisen had the home returned to its Jewish roots and made suitable for a Torah-observant Jewish family to live in, kashering the kitchens and affixing mezuzos to the doorposts of the residence where he and his family would be staying. The kitchen staff “went into overdrive mastering the Jewish dietary laws”, learning to make traditional Jewish foods like challah and matzah ball soup, and sourcing kosher products, especially a variety of kosher meats, which were unavailable in Prague and had to be ordered from either Berlin or Vienna. Eisen and his family kept Shabbos in their new Czech home each week, sometimes in the company of various dignitaries and dining in a room and at a table that were once in the hands of the Nazis. As Eisen describes it, “It [was] mind-blowing, eating on kosher State Department china where the commander of the Nazi Wehrmacht used to live.”

 

Frieda opted not to return to her homeland, even when her son was there serving as the ambassador. She passed away in 2012, during her son’s tenure in Prague, but not without a “tremendous sense of triumph” at the fact that her son had returned to the country of her birth as the representative of the most powerful nation on earth. Frieda was fond of telling people, “The Nazis deported us in cattle cars and my son flew back on Air Force One,” a reference to a trip that Eisen made to Prague with Obama in 2010 for an international treaty signing ceremony.

 

Joe Lieberman testified regarding Eisen’s appointment in the US Senate: “It is indeed a profound historical justice…that the ambassador's residence in Prague, which was originally built by a Jewish family that was forced to flee Prague by the Nazis, [which], in turn, the Nazis took over…as their headquarters, now 70 years later, is occupied by Norman and his family. And I might, on a point of personal privilege, add that they observe the Sabbath there every Friday night and Saturday. So if you need any evidence that there is a God, I offer that to you.” Eisen ended up serving in Prague for almost four years, one of the longest tenures of any recent US ambassador there.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

On Topic

 

Hillel Neuer Interview from "Beyond Paranoia: The New Anti-Semitism”: UN Watch, Mar. 25, 2016—In this new documentary film, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tells his personal story and feelings about being at the UN and speaking out. “When I walk into the Human Rights Council, I feel the glares of hatred, of enmity directed at me. I see it in in their eyes, and it's from dictatorships, it's from Arab states, it's from others — sometimes even from some democracies."

The German Bellwether: Michael Sussman, National Post, Mar. 30, 2016—I was recently visiting a friend in Germany as local elections took place in before national elections next year. In her region, not far from sophisticated Frankfurt, the neo-Nazi NPD party won 17 per cent of the vote, taking its place as the third largest party.

Terror as a Fact of Life: Robert Fulford, National Post, Mar. 26, 2016 —Absorbing the grim reality of Islamic terrorism, many of us have found ourselves changing our ideas about the menace our civilization faces. The atrocities in Brussels on Tuesday, coming so soon after the November bombings that killed 130 people in Paris, have heightened the meaning of jihadist violence. We knew the world was in trouble. Now we have an appalling sense of how bad the trouble is.

Angela Merkel’s Unpopular Goodness: Daniel Kehlmann, New York Times, Apr. 1, 2016—When I returned to Berlin recently after a few months away, a friend asked me to try a new Chinese restaurant in Kreuzberg, a hip multiethnic neighborhood in the city. “It’s close to the subway station Kottbusser Tor,” he texted. “But take a cab, otherwise it’s too dangerous.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

“THE COMMANDING VOICE OF AUSCHWITZ”: NEVER FORGET: 70th ANNIVERSARY OF AUSCHWITZ LIBERATON

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:

 

The Commanding Voice of Auschwitz: Emil L. Fackenheim, 1972— What does the Voice of Auschwitz command?

How Auschwitz Is Misunderstood: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015— Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1945, and news of its existence shocked the world.

Remember the Past to Build the Future: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015— The Holocaust is a black hole in human history.

Oskar Gröning to Stand Trial for Being Auschwitz Guard in Case that Could Make German Legal History: Tony Paterson, Independent, Dec. 17, 2014 — He will almost certainly go down in history as the last Nazi death camp guard to face justice.

Anti-Semitism, Old and New: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015— This past week, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever UN General Assembly forum on global anti-Semitism, which, as it happened, took place at a critical historical moment…

 

On Topic Links

 

Anti-Semitism Then and Now:, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2014

Auschwitz Survivor Indelibly Marked by Memory of Nazi Horror, Russian Liberation 70 Years On: Aida Cerkez, Montreal Gazette, Jan. 24, 2015

Returning to Auschwitz, 70 Years On: Steve Paikin, National Post, Jan. 27, 2015

For Auschwitz Museum, a Time of Great Change: New York Times, Jan. 23, 2015          

                               

                                   

    

THE COMMANDING VOICE OF AUSCHWITZ

Emil L. Fackenheim

God’s Presence in History: Jewish Affirmations and Philosophical Reflections, 1972

 

What does the Voice of Auschwitz command? Jews are forbidden to hand Hitler posthumous victories. They are commanded to survive as Jews, lest the Jewish people perish. They are commanded to remember the victims of Auschwitz lest their memory perish. They are forbidden to despair of man and his world, and to escape into either cynicism or otherworldliness, lest they cooperate in delivering the world over to the forces of Auschwitz. Finally, they are forbidden to despair of the God of Israel, lest Judaism perish. A secularist Jew cannot make himself believe by a mere act of will, nor can he be commanded to do so…And a religious Jew who has stayed with his God may be forced into new, possibly revolutionary relationships with Him. One possibility, however, is wholly unthinkable. A Jew may not respond to Hitler’s attempt to destroy Judaism by himself co-operating in its destruction. In ancient times, the unthinkable Jewish sin was idolatry. Today, it is to respond to Hitler by doing his work.

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

   

HOW AUSCHWITZ IS MISUNDERSTOOD                                                             

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen                                                                                       

New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015

 

Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1945, and news of its existence shocked the world. With its principal killing center at one of its main camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, becoming fully operational in 1942, it was Germany’s largest and the most notorious extermination site. There the Germans slaughtered approximately 1.1 million people, a million of whom were Jews. Its mention evokes notions of evil and instant horror. Auschwitz was a death factory, an oxymoron that would have made no sense before the Holocaust, but that now is effortlessly comprehensible. But Auschwitz is also misunderstood — and that misunderstanding distorts what we think about the Holocaust, and about the Nazis themselves.

 

Historical and popular accounts of the Holocaust tend to emphasize its brutal, bureaucratic efficiency, with Auschwitz as its technological pinnacle, whose industrial scale was not only emblematic of, but also necessary for, its success. But as existentially troubling as Auschwitz was and is, and as lethally portentous as it would have been had Nazi Germany won World War II, it was technically unnecessary for the commission of the Holocaust. Had the Nazis never created gassing installations at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and elsewhere, they would still have killed around the same number of Jews and non-Jews. About half of the roughly six million Jews whom the Germans and their European collaborators slaughtered, and virtually all the millions of non-Jews the Germans murdered, they killed by nonindustrial means, mainly by shooting or starving them to death. The cliché “assembly line killing” belies the fact that rounding up Jews and shipping them, sometimes for many hundreds of miles, to a death factory was far less efficient than merely killing them where the Germans found them. The Nazi leadership created death factories not for expeditious reasons, but to distance the killers from their victims.

 

Previous and subsequent genocidal assaults also belie the once reflexively intoned notion that modern technology made the Holocaust possible. Regimes and their executioners around the globe have conducted broad eliminationist assaults against targeted peoples, with the perpetrators’ using a variety of means, including mass murder, expulsion, forced conversion and the prevention of reproduction to rid themselves of hated or unwanted groups. In Rwanda in 1994, the Hutu perpetrators killed 800,000 Tutsi at a more intensive daily rate than the Germans did the Jews, using only the most primitive technological means, mainly machetes, knives and clubs.

 

Focusing on Auschwitz’s mechanistic qualities as a precondition for the Holocaust’s vast destructiveness allows people to see the Nazis’ eliminationism as something uniquely modern — to believe that it takes a technically proficient, bureaucratically expert state to carry out such violence. And even though we all recognize that genocides can be unleashed without such advanced systems, people still too often assume that true eliminationism, with the intention of completely destroying another group, takes a relatively rare constellation of a state apparatus and technological means. But that’s not true. To understand the politics of mass murder and eliminationism, the technical means of carrying out the deed are almost never the central issue. Rather, the crucial elements are the political leaders’ decision to commit genocide, the willing participation of a large population of perpetrators, the sympathy of an even broader civilian population — in the case of the Holocaust, principally ordinary Germans, but also many other Europeans — and, above all, the ideology that motivates them all to believe that annihilating the targeted people is necessary and right.

This, rather than its technical specifications, is why Auschwitz is so important. Auschwitz is a symbol of the broader, and little understood, racist revolution that the Germans were bringing about in Europe that sought to overturn the fundamentals of Western civilization, including its core notion of a common humanity.

 

The gassing installations that became Auschwitz’s emblem were but one part of Auschwitz’s system of more than 40 camps and sub-camps. These were run by thousands of German overlords who drove and brutalized hundreds of thousands of Jews, Russians and other “subhumans,” whom they used as slaves to work under horrifying conditions in the camps’ extensive and varied production facilities, making everything from agricultural products to chemicals to armaments. Auschwitz was thus much more than just the gas chambers and crematories — taken as a whole, it was a microcosm, not so much of the specific mechanisms of the Holocaust, but of the Nazis’ ideological vision of a world to be ruled by a master race, resting on the collective graves of the Jewish people and of tens of millions of additional victims the Germans deemed demographically expendable, and served by an enormous population of slaves. It reveals that during the Holocaust, mass annihilation, as genocide always is, was part of a larger eliminationist agenda and, at its core, a mechanism for social and political transformation.

 

This commonality notwithstanding, Auschwitz still had its singular quality: It expressed the Nazis’ unparalleled vision that denied a common humanity everywhere, and global intent to eliminate or subjugate all nonmembers of the “master race.” Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and the man most responsible for putting the Germans’ plans in action, proudly announced in an address in 1943: “Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only insofar as we need them as slaves for our culture.” Such was the Nazis’ moral and mental mutation, the most profound in the history of Europe, that Auschwitz was built upon, and that, better than any other place, it symbolizes. When Europe’s leaders assemble at Auschwitz on Tuesday for the 70th anniversary commemoration, they should of course remember and mourn the Jewish and non-Jewish victims. They should also realize that they are gazing into the abyss that would have consumed their Continent and the world.

                                                                       

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REMEMBER THE PAST TO BUILD THE FUTURE       

 

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

 

Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015

 

The Holocaust is a black hole in human history. There was never anything like it before, and if humanity is to be worthy of its existence, there will never be anything like it again. At some time in the spring or early summer of 1941, Hitler issued an order for a “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” a brutal euphemism for the planned, systematic destruction of the Jewish people. Four years later, as World War II came to an end, the first soldiers to enter the concentration camps began to realize what had been done, and they did not believe it. Six million human beings, among them one and a half million children, had been shot, gassed, burned, or buried alive for no other reason than that they were Jews. Where once there had been community after community of sages and scholars, poets and mystics, intellectuals and visionaries, there was the stench of death. As Jews, we mourn and, still today, we refuse to be comforted.

 

The Holocaust raises many questions. In an essay entitled “Kol Dodi Dofek,” the late Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik made a profound distinction between two Jewish responses to suffering. There is the metaphysical question, “Why did this happen?” But there is also the halachic question, “What then shall I do?” The halachic response invites us to react to tragedy not as objects, but as subjects, not as figures of fate, but as masters of our destiny. We are not defined by what happens to us, but by how we respond.

 

Judaism has never sought to deny the existence of evil. But, equally, it has not sought to come to terms with it by explaining it away, mystically or metaphysically. “There is,” says Rabbi Soloveitchik, “a theological answer to ‘Why did this happen?’” But it must always elude us, for we are not God, nor can we see events from the perspective of eternity. Halachah summons us not to understand and thus accept the existence of evil, but instead to fight it, as partners with God in the process of redemption. In this mode of Jewish spirituality, there is a profound insistence on human dignity, often in the face of immense and unfathomable suffering. The halachic response is not naïve. It does not hide from questions, but it is courageous. It says: we must continue to affirm Jewish life even in the absence of answers. In that, there is a faith that defies even the Angel of Death.

 

One of the most important halachic responses to tragedy is the act of remembering, Yizkor. More than it has history, the Jewish people has memory. There is no word for history in the Tanach, and modern Hebrew had to borrow one, historiah. But the word zachor (remember), occurs no fewer than 169 times in the Hebrew Bible. The difference between them is this: history is someone else’s story; memory is my story. In history, we recall what happened. Through memory, we identify with what happened so that it becomes part of us and who we are. History is the story of a past that is dead. Memory is the story of a future. We cannot bring the dead to life, but we can keep their memory alive. That is what the Jewish people always did for those who died as martyrs al kiddush Hashem (sanctifying God’s name). They never forgot them, as we must never forget the victims of the Holocaust. But there is a specifically Jewish way of remembering. When the word yizkor is mentioned in the Torah, it refers not to the past, but to the present and to renewal. “Va-yizkor Elokim et Rachel” (God remembered Rachel) and gave her a child, and thus new life. “Va-yizkor Elokim et berito” (God remembered His covenant) and began the process of rescuing the Israelites from Egypt. When we remember as Jews, we do so for the sake of the future, so that those who died may live on in us.

 

Commemorating the 70 years that have passed with 70 days of study, linking individuals with Holocaust victims, and communities with communities that perished – this is the Jewish way of remembering. Few things could do more to give those who died a living memorial. At the core of Judaism is an affirmation of life. Unlike other religions we do not venerate death. In Judaism, death defiles. Moses asked the Israelites to “choose life,” and his words still echo today. One-third of our people died because they were Jews. The most profound Judaic affirmation we can make is to live because we are Jews – to live as Jews, affirming our faith with courage, our identity with pride, refusing to be traumatised by evil, or intimidated by antisemitism.

 

Whenever, through indifference or fear, we drift away from living as Jews, the Holocaust claims yet more belated victims. Hitler’s antisemitism was not accidental. Hitler declared that “conscience is a Jewish invention,” and he was right. Nazi Germany was intended to demonstrate the triumph of everything Jews had fought against since the days of Abraham and Sarah: might as against right, power as against justice, racism as opposed to the respect for human dignity, violence as opposed to the sanctity of human life. Jews have always lived by and for a different set of values and, as a result, we have always been called on to have the courage to be different. We need that courage now. It is not too much to say that humanity needs it now.

If each of us in the coming year makes a significant personal gesture to show that Judaism is alive and being lived, there can be no more momentous signal to humanity that evil does not have the final victory, because Am Yisrael Chai, the Jewish people lives.

 

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                

                      

         

OSKAR GRÖNING TO STAND TRIAL FOR BEING AUSCHWITZ GUARD               

IN CASE THAT COULD MAKE GERMAN LEGAL HISTORY

 

Tony Patterson                                                                                                     

Independent, Dec. 17, 2017

 

NB: Thomas Walther, a former German judge, Nazi investigator and prosecutor, presented his research on the upcoming Oskar Groening case at the CIJR offices today, Jan. 27, 2015. We were most fortunate to have someone so intimately connected to the legal proceedings of what could be one of the final trials for an Auschwitz collaborator, on the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz—Ed.

 

He will almost certainly go down in history as the last Nazi death camp guard to face justice. Yet 93-year-old Oskar Gröning says he merely worked as an “accountant” in Auschwitz and feels duty-bound to confront those who claim the Holocaust never happened. After decades of legal inaction, Mr Gröning is to face charges of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Auschwitz prisoners while he worked at the camp. On Tuesday, Hanover state prosecutors ruled he was fit to stand trial.

 

Mr Gröning’s trial opens in a German court next April. His case highlights the failure of the German judiciary adequately to bring Holocaust perpetrators to justice since the end of the Second World War. An estimated 1.2 million were murdered at Auschwitz. Some 6,500 SS guards worked at the camp but only 49 have been convicted of war crimes. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi hunter at the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said he welcomed the decision to prosecute Mr Gröning. “The passage of time does not diminish the crimes of the Holocaust,” he told The Independent.

 

Mr Gröning was one in a line-up of a so-called “dirty dozen” of surviving Auschwitz guards who have been identified over the past two years. He is the only one to face trial. Charges against the remaining 11 suspects were dropped because they were considered too frail or ill. Germany’s justice authorities were able to pursue Mr Gröning with ease because he appeared in a BBC documentary about Auschwitz in 2005. In an interview he said, “I see it as my task now to oppose those who claim that Auschwitz never happened,” he said. “I saw the crematoria and the burning pits,” he added. In subsequent interviews with the media, he claimed that he was a sort of Auschwitz accountant and his job there was merely to “collect” the valuables of Jews arriving at the camp and send them to SS headquarters. But he spoke at length about how Jews were sent to the gas chambers.

 

“On one night in 1943 I saw how the Jews were gassed. It was in a half-built farmyard near Auschwitz,” he recalled. “There were more than 100 prisoners and soon there were panic-filled cries as they were herded into the chamber and the door was shut,” he added. “Then a sergeant went to a hole in the wall and from a tin shook Zyklon B gas pellets inside. In that moment the cries of the people inside rose to a crescendo, a choir of madness. These cries ring in my ears to this day. This guilt will never leave me,” Mr Gröning is on record as saying. He was finally tracked down by the Nazi war crimes investigation unit as part of Germany’s final push to bring the last surviving Nazi war crimes suspects to justice.

 

In the decades after the Nuremberg trials, German prosecutors relied almost exclusively on evidence, largely from eyewitnesses, that linked suspects to specific murders in order to convict them. The practice explains the low conviction rate of Nazi death camp guards. It took a new generation of prosecutors to bring about the recent change in the German judiciary’s attitude to Nazi war crimes. In 2011 they set a legal precedent by securing the conviction of the former Sobibor Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk by a Munich court. Demjanjuk was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 28,000 Dutch Jews at Sobibor, an “extermination-only” camp in Nazi occupied Poland, in which all prisoners were gassed within hours of their arrival. There were no eyewitnesses at Demjanjuk’s trial. But judges for the first time accepted the prosecution’s argument he was an accessory to mass murder simply by having worked as a guard at the camp. Prosecutors will use the same legal arguments at Mr Gröning’s trial. However Mr Gröning has already denied the charges. He told Der Spiegel in 2005, “I would describe my role as a small cog in the gears. If you can describe that as guilt, then I am guilty. Legally speaking I am innocent.” His trial could make German legal history.

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                               

 

ANTI-SEMITISM, OLD AND NEW                                                                         

Irwin Cotler                                                                                                                  

Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015

 

This past week, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever UN General Assembly forum on global anti-Semitism, which, as it happened, took place at a critical historical moment: the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century, and site of horrors too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened. Of the 1.3 million people who died at Auschwitz, 1.1 million were Jews. Let there be no mistake about it: Jews died at Auschwitz because of anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism did not die. And, tragically, as we have learned only too well, while it begins with Jews, it doesn’t end with Jews. In France and elsewhere, Jews are the canary in the mineshaft of evil.

 

The underlying thesis of my remarks at the UN was this: We are witnessing a new, sophisticated, global, virulent, and even lethal anti-Semitism, reminiscent of the atmospherics of the 1930s, and without parallel or precedent since the end of the Second World War. This new anti-Jewishness overlaps with classical anti-Semitism but is distinguishable from it. It found early juridical, and even institutional, expression in the United Nations’ “Zionism is Racism” resolution – which, as the late U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan said, “gave the abomination of anti-Semitism the appearance of international legal sanction” – but has gone dramatically beyond it. This new anti-Semitism almost needs a new vocabulary to define it; however, it can best be identified from an anti-discrimination, equality rights, and international law perspective.

 

In a word, classical or traditional anti-Semitism is the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, the rights of Jews as people to live as equal members of whatever society they inhabit. The new anti-Semitism involves the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations – or to live at all – with Israel emerging as the targeted collective Jew among the nations. Observing the complex intersections between old and new anti-Semitism, and the impact of the new on the old, Per Ahlmark, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, pithily and presciently concluded some 15 years ago: “Compared to most previous anti-Jewish outbreaks, this [new anti-Semitism] is often less directed against individual Jews. It primarily targets the collective Jews, the State of Israel. And then such attacks start a chain reaction of assaults on individual Jews and Jewish institutions … In the past, the most dangerous anti-Semites were those who wanted to make the world Judenrein, free of Jews. Today, the most dangerous anti-Semites might be those who want to make the world Judenstaatrein, ‘free of a Jewish state.’”

 

What has been called a pandemic of anti-Semitism is underpinned by four indicators. The first indicator of the new anti-Semitism – and the most lethal manifestation of it – is what may be called genocidal anti-Semitism. This is not a term that I would use lightly or easily. I am referring here to the Genocide Convention’s prohibition against the direct and public incitement to genocide. Simply put, if anti-Semitism is the most enduring of hatreds, and genocide is the most horrific of crimes, then the convergence of the genocidal intent embodied in anti-Semitic ideology is the most toxic of combinations. This genocidal anti-Semitism can be seen, for instance, in the state-sanctioned incitement to genocide of Khamenei’s Iran, a characterization I use to distinguish it from the people and public of Iran, who are otherwise the targets of Khamenei’s massive domestic repression…

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

 

 

 

 

 

On Topic

 

Anti-Semitism Then and Now:, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2014—The world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday, January 27 – which also marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Auschwitz Survivor Indelibly Marked by Memory of Nazi Horror, Russian Liberation 70 Years On: Aida Cerkez, Montreal Gazette, Jan. 24, 2015— The tattoo on her left arm has become unreadable but the habit of reading it aloud in Polish remains strong, seven decades after it first scarred her skin.

Returning to Auschwitz, 70 Years On: Steve Paikin, National Post, Jan. 27, 2015 —A little more than 70 years ago, 11-year old Mordechai Ronen found himself “crammed like cattle” into a boxcar, and transported from his native Romania to a camp where evil thrived like no other place on Earth.

For Auschwitz Museum, a Time of Great Change: New York Times, Jan. 23, 2015—For what is likely to be the last time, a large number of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz will gather next week under an expansive tent, surrounded by royalty and heads of state, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of those held there at the end of World War II.
 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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/.

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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

OBAMA’S LIES, PUTIN’S THREATS—AND EICHMANN’S DUPLICITY: THE BANALITY OF DECEIT

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:

 

 

Vladimir Putin’s Plan: He Took Crimea. He’s Taunting NATO. What Will Russia’s President do Next?: Joseph Brean, National Post, Nov. 16, 2014 — Menace clouded the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Brisbane Australia on Friday, as he was the only world leader to bring along a naval fleet, including his Pacific flagship, forcing Australian vessels to intercept as it neared territorial waters.

Testing the Limits: Andrew Stuttaford, Weekly Standard, Oct. 20, 2014 — "I don’t think it’s 1940,” the woman in Riga told me in June, referring to the year the Soviets brought their own variety of hell to Latvia.

Contest of the Liars — Bill Clinton vs. Barack Obama: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 15, 2014— We all know, or I should say, we all used to know that Satan, the Adversary, was the father of lies.

A Murderer’s Warped Idealism: George F. Will, Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2014— Western reflection about human nature and the politics of the human condition began with the sunburst of ancient Greece 2,500 years ago, but it lurched into a new phase 70 years ago with the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps.

 

On Topic Links

 

FIDF Protective Edge (Video): Youtube, Nov. 9, 2014

The Loneliest President Since Nixon: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 14, 2014

Victory was Easy, Now the Hard Part: Linda Chavez, New York Post, Nov. 8, 2014

Obama Survival Manual, Intl. Edition: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2014

Angela Merkel's Putin Problem: Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2014

 

 

         

VLADIMIR PUTIN’S PLAN: HE TOOK CRIMEA. HE’S TAUNTING NATO.

WHAT WILL RUSSIA’S PRESIDENT DO NEXT?                              

Joseph Brean                                                                                                         

National Post, Nov. 16, 2014

 

Menace clouded the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Brisbane Australia on Friday, as he was the only world leader to bring along a naval fleet, including his Pacific flagship, forcing Australian vessels to intercept as it neared territorial waters. Russian officials claimed the boats are testing their range in anticipation of climate research in Antarctica, but in light of Mr. Putin’s escalating provocations of the West, the symbolism was impossible to ignore.

 

It was a reminder that, even at this meeting from which Mr. Putin was nearly uninvited amid outrage over the downing of a passenger jet by Russian enabled separatists in Ukraine, he is the one who makes the threats. Other recent gestures have likewise revealed a belligerent vanity, with an undertone of nuclear danger, which raises worrying questions about Mr. Putin’s true goals, broader strategy and appetite for risk. These include the frequent sorties of Russian military planes into or near the airspace of other countries, often NATO members, including one over the Labrador Sea during a NATO summit. In September a Russian plane buzzed a Canadian warship in the Black Sea during Russian combat training near the Crimean port of Sevastopol, coming within 300 metres and causing the HMCS Toronto to lock its radar on the plane in anticipation of firing in self defence. Russia has denied the flight was provocative, and said it was routine.

 

Other airspace incursions have been noted over the Arctic, where Russia and Canada have disputed claims to energy resources. These are not merely exercises in international airspace or waters, but rather they are provocations, “almost an invitation to an accident,” said Aurel Braun, a professor of international relations at the University of Toronto, now a visiting professor at Harvard. They are increasing in frequency, intensity, and recklessness, he said. As winter approaches, there are fears Mr. Putin’s next move could be to cut off gas to Ukraine — or to Europe — despite the economic harm it would cause Russia. Mr. Putin has used this lever before, and Russian companies have reportedly purchased much of Germany’s gas storage capacity in recent months, as a way to prevent stockpiling there.

 

While the fear of gas disruption seems to have been largely averted by a deal last month to secure $4.6-billion in guaranteed funds for Russian gas that transits Ukraine into Europe, Mr. Putin’s recent behaviour suggests playing by the rules is not a top priority. The self-sabotage of a gas shut-off could cause great harm to Russia’s economy, not least via the sanctions it could trigger, but such a tactic is no more risky than invading a neighbouring state or providing arms to separatist militias. As such, Mr. Putin still wields the threat of real hardship in countries, like Germany or the Netherlands, that are traditionally unwilling to push back too hard. This willingness to threaten neighbouring countries, even at its own likely expense, has led some European leaders to allude to dark memories of the 20th century, such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, who came close to comparing Mr. Putin to the expansionist dictators of modern European history.

“We have to be clear what we are dealing with here is a large state bullying a smaller state. We have seen the consequences of that in the past and we should learn the lessons of history and make sure we do not let it happen again,” Mr. Cameron said, adding he did not think there was a purely military solution.

 

A think-tank, the European Leadership Network, this week released a report called Dangerous Brinkmanship, which identified nearly 40 recent close military encounters including three high-risk encounters and 11 “serious incidents of a more aggressive or unusually provocative nature, bringing a higher risk of escalation.” It called on Russian leadership to “urgently re-evaluate the costs and risks of continuing its more assertive military posture.” “To perpetuate a volatile stand-off between a nuclear armed state and a nuclear armed alliance and its partners in the circumstances described in this paper is risky at best. It could prove catastrophic at worst.” While it is possible Russia is testing NATO defences in anticipation of outright conflict, there are indications the provocation is the main point, serving as it does Mr. Putin’s domestic goal of projecting his image as a Russian nationalist defender against a looming foreign threat.

 

It is one of the few poses available to Mr. Putin, who leads a country with a GDP the size of Italy’s and an economy one-eighth of the size of the U.S., and smaller than China, Japan and Germany. His stage is global, but his audience is largely domestic, and it is this duality that gives rise to the strange image of “a tiny man in elevator shoes,” as Prof. Braun put it, who still manages to stand astride the world like a colossus, exerting power through empty gestures, like riding bareback on a Siberian horse, flying with rare cranes in a glider, or diving into the Black Sea and coming up with ceramic antiquities. Dictators are famous for their bluster, but this is a man with nuclear bombs, whose aggression has already split a country. And there are signs that Mr. Putin is prepared to push his nuclear advantage, for example the news this week that Russia intends to reduce its participation in a joint effort with the U.S. to secure nuclear materials.

 

Even the unveiling this week of the memorial statue in Sofia of Georgi Markov, the Bulgarian dissident who was assassinated on a bridge over the Thames in London by a man with a poison dart umbrella, was a reminder of how far Mr. Putin is willing to go: The killing of Alexander Litvinenko, similarly poisoned in 2006 by radioactive polonium in a cup of tea at a hotel on Piccadilly, with Russian agents the main suspects, occurred during his presidency. If provocation ever does tip over into open conflict with the West, Ukraine is the obvious flashpoint, even more so now that there are reports of Russian troops and materiel crossing the border into Crimea, including ballistic missiles with nuclear capabilities.

 

To Mr. Putin, as Prof. Braun describes it, the danger of Ukraine has never been about outright conflict with NATO, for which Russia is no match. Rather, the fear is that Ukraine could become a successful democracy integrated with Europe, a large Slavic state transcending the fortunes of modern Russia. “It would undermine his legitimacy,” Prof. Braun said, and so if Mr. Putin cannot control Ukraine, he would rather destroy it. “Ominously, evidence is growing that this buildup [of Russian military in the Donbas region of Ukraine] is preparing a new offensive by [Mr. Putin] in his war against Ukraine — a campaign of attrition against Ukraine’s economically fragile state,” according to a report for the Atlantic Council by Adrian Karatnycky. In all this, Mr. Putin has been lucky in having a “feckless” American president, Prof. Braun said, who makes him look good by being so desperate not to intervene in the Syria and Iran, and seeking Russian help, which comes at a diplomatic price. “We should not confuse political luck with political acuity,” said Prof. Braun. “This is where the comical blends with the dangerous.”

 

Prof. Aurel Braun is a CIJR Academic Fellow

 

                                                                       

Contents      

                                                                                                                                                          

TESTING THE LIMITS                                                                                              

Andrew Stuttaford

Weekly Standard, Oct. 20, 2014

 

"I don’t think it’s 1940,” the woman in Riga told me in June, referring to the year the Soviets brought their own variety of hell to Latvia. “But then, I wouldn’t have expected 1940 in 1940 either.” And then she laughed, nervously. With Russia’s ambitions spilling across the borders that the breakup of the Soviet Union left behind, and talk from Vladimir Putin of a broader Russian World (Russkiy Mir), in which the Kremlin has the right to intervene to “protect” ethnic Russian “compatriots” in former Soviet republics, the once bright line that had cut the Baltic states off from the horrors of their past now seems fuzzy.

 

And in a more literal sense the borders that separated the Baltics from their old oppressor have lately appeared more vulnerable than once believed. Moscow has been pressing and provoking in the Pribaltika for years​—​some subversion here, some denial of history there. There have been maliciously random trade bans (Lithuanian cheese, Latvian sprats, and quite a bit more besides) and carefully planned cyberattacks. But the bullying has been stepped up sharply this year. The saber-rattling has evolved from menacing “training exercises,” such as last year’s Zapad-13 (70,000 Russian and Belarusian troops war-gaming their way through a fight against “Baltic terrorists”), to include too many flights by Russian fighters near or even in Baltic airspace to be anything other than part of a significantly more aggressive strategy.

Related Stories

 

On September 3, Barack Obama traveled to Tallinn, the Estonian capital, to reaffirm NATO’s commitment to the three Baltic states, all of which have been members of the alliance since 2004. Two days later Eston Kohver, an Estonian intelligence officer investigating smuggling across Estonia’s remote and poorly defended southeastern frontier, was, claims Tallinn, grabbed by a group of gunmen and dragged across the border into Russia. His support team at the Luhamaa frontier post nearby were distracted and disoriented by flash grenades and their communications were jammed: They were in no position to help. Shortly afterwards, Kohver turned up in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison. According to Russia’s rather different version of events, the Estonian was captured while on a mission on the Russian side of the border. Kohver faces espionage charges that could mean decades behind bars. He has “decided” to drop the lawyer that the Estonian government had arranged for him. Court-appointed lawyers will fill the gap. The stage is being set for a show trial, complete, I would imagine, with confession.

 

After a year of Russian lies over Ukraine, I’m inclined to believe democratic Estonia over Putin’s Russia. The timing was just too good. Barack Obama descends on Tallinn with fine words and a welcome promise of increased support, and Russia promptly trumps that with a move clearly designed to demonstrate who really rules the Baltic roost. In the immediate aftermath of Kohver’s kidnapping the Estonians signaled that they were prepared to treat the whole incident as an unfortunate misunderstanding. No deal. The power play stands, made all the more pointed by the way that it breaks the conventions of Spy vs. Spy, a breach that comes with the implication that Estonia is not enough of a country to merit such courtesies. If anything could make this outrage worse, it is the historical resonances that come with it. There are the obvious ones, the memories of half a century of brutal Soviet occupation, the slaughter, the deportations, the Gulag, and all the rest. But there are also the echoes of a prelude to that: the kidnapping of a number of Estonians in the border region by the Soviets in the days of the country’s interwar independence, intelligence-gathering operations of the crudest type. These days Russia prefers more sophisticated techniques: Earlier this year, it polled people in largely Russian-speaking eastern Latvia for their views of a potential Crimean-type operation there (as it happens, they weren’t too keen).

 

But whatever the (pretended) ambiguities of the Kohver case, there were none about what came next. Moscow reopened decades-old criminal cases against Lithuanians who acted on their government’s instructions and declined to serve in the Red Army after Lithuania’s unilateral declaration of independence in March 1990. That government may not have won international recognition at that time, but recognition​—​including from Moscow​—​followed within 18 months. To attempt to overturn now what it approved in the interim comes very close to questioning the legitimacy of Lithuanian independence today. This could turn out to be more than merely symbolic harassment. The Lithuanian government has advised any of its citizens theoretically at risk of Russian prosecution on these grounds not to travel beyond EU or NATO countries. That’s not as paranoid as it sounds​—​Russia has been known to abuse Interpol’s procedures in ways that can make for trying times at the airport for those it regards as its opponents…

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

 

                                                                        Contents                                                                    

                  

             

         

CONTEST OF THE LIARS — BILL CLINTON VS. BARACK OBAMA               

Rex Murphy        

National Post, Nov. 15, 2014

 

We all know, or I should say, we all used to know that Satan, the Adversary, was the father of lies. Alas, the Grand Serpent’s claim to that dubious paternity has long since been challenged by more fertile and febrile monsters, among which louche set none can claim first rank with more authority than the tongue-torquing, lip-biting prevaricators of modern politics. As for old Nick, when he was Lie-Master-in-Chief, He at least was clear on one thing: That a lie was, indeed, a lie. Not even in the broiling stews of Hell would He have tried to imply otherwise. He treasured His lying, tied it in fact to matters of apocalyptic consequence: the loss eternal of souls and endless perdition and pain. But not even Nicky had the brass to claim a lie as truth, or a lie as a disguised virtue. That was left to the PR-bred, spin doctor-massaged politicians of our sad and weary day.

 

Let us take the case of the great duplicitist himself, the Master, William Jefferson Clinton, a man who looked warily upon truth as the grease on the pole of his ambition. He knew it was an easier mast to climb when it had been studded with something more abrasive, when it had been gritted and rutted with evasions, equivocations, infinite parsing and jesuitical conjugations of the obvious. He splintered the pole with each evasion, scarred it with chop logic, and carved whole footholds with artful deceit. And subtle, too, he could be. “That depends on what the meaning of is is” is his most famous slip-slide into swampy semantics. Not many politicians can claim to have taken the wind of out the most fundamental verb in human history. Mr. Clinton’s most brass-faced lie, his Thermopylae stand against the truth and all its attendant soldiery, is now famous. People who cannot house a line of Lincoln in their iPhone brains store Clinton’s famed animadversion and denial, the immortal: “I did not have sex with that woman … er … Ms. Lewinsky. “ He spoke this locus classicus of determined deceit, which at the time was hysterical in its rebuttal of reality. For at the moment the words were uttered he was living a White House sex fantasy in real time, featuring under-the-desk carnal ministrations from his intern-houri while he whispered diplomatic sweet-nothings to some foreign ambassador. History’s first tête-à-tête-à-tête. Clinton’s nose-telescoping gobsmacker was spoken with gritted teeth, live, into the eyes of a camera and watched by every American citizen. Rarely has a lie, a straightforward brass-faced lie, been launched with such fulsome bravado, unshaven of all qualifications whatsoever.

 

Skip now to the current incumbent, the supercool master of the outright, non-subtle, brazen, full-on, deliberate lie. He sold the transformation of 20% of the American economy, the upheaval of its health-care system, and the launch of the error-riddled and Byzantine (the law is more than 20,000 pages long, with more to come) Obamacare. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health-care plan you can keep your health-care plan. Period.” Those are Obama’s straightforward, urgently stated declarations — repeated on tape to audiences of thousands and on television to audiences of millions. The “period” was his anchor of assurance. No way you couldn’t keep your plan or your doctor. Period. As millions of Americans now know, of course, those were lies. And they were lies when they were made. The most central persuasion to have Americans vote or buy into Obamacare was a declaration from the herald of a new politics, of truth and transparency such as America had never seen, from the mouth of the angel of Hope and Change … all of it a damn lie. It was not a Clinton sex lie, a lie to excuse hormonal recreation, or fraternizing sexually with the White House help. This was a policy lie, from a man who came into the White House as a symbol of a new day in politics, a turning away from the mud and madness of Washington. But “you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan” was a deceit that would have shamed Nixon. Obama, the winged messenger of a new day, turns out to be as loose with the truth, and as comfortable with casting it aside, as the most pot-bellied, cigar-chomping ward-healer of old.

 

Of these two, who lied least? I give Clinton a slight moral edge. He can plead his overactive sex drive, and he confined his lies to matters that (mainly) concerned him and Hillary and Monica. Obama’s, however, is far more serious. He was a president speaking as a president. He was changing the law. He was giving eye-to-camera assurances to Mr. and Mrs. America, and knew those assurances were false. Obama wins the lie tournament with the Clinton. But he was aided by a mindset. Obama is a progressive politician. He went to Harvard. He knows more than anybody else — and especially all those millions less intelligent than he — what is good for them. So with the smug, righteous and callous authority of the progressive, he was more than prepared to deceive those who elected him … and place his head on a soft pillow each night with the soothing thought, that — after all — he was lying to them for their own good. And who could know better than them what they really wanted but he himself?

 

                                                                       

Contents   

                                                   

                                                                                               

A MURDERER’S WARPED IDEALISM                                                          

George F. Will

Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2014

 

Western reflection about human nature and the politics of the human condition began with the sunburst of ancient Greece 2,500 years ago, but it lurched into a new phase 70 years ago with the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps. The Holocaust is the dark sun into which humanity should stare, lest troubling lessons be lost through an intellectual shrug about “the unfathomable.” Now comes an English translation of a 2011 German book that refutes a 1963 book and rebukes those who refuse to see the Holocaust as proof of the power of the most dangerous things — ideas that denigrate reason. The German philosopher Bettina Stangneth’s “Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer” responds to Hannah Arendt’s extraordinarily and perversely influential “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.” Although, or perhaps because, Arendt was a philosopher, in her report on Israel’s trial of Adolf Eichmann, the organizer of industrialized murder, she accepted the facade Eichmann presented to those who could, and in 1962 would, hang him: He was a little “cog” in a bureaucratic machine. He said he merely “passed on” orders and “oversaw” compliance. Arendt agreed. She called Eichmann “terribly and terrifyingly normal,” lacking “criminal motives,” “a buffoon,” “a typical functionary” who was “banal” rather than “demonic” because he was not “deep,” being essentially without “ideology.” Arendt considered Eichmann “thoughtless,” partly because, with a parochialism to which some intellectuals are prone, she could not accept the existence of a coherent and motivating ideological framework that rejected, root and branch, the universality of reason, and hence of human dignity.

 

It was odd for Arendt to suppose that the pride Eichmann took in his deportations — especially of the more than 430,000 Hungarian Jews when the war was already lost and even Heinrich Himmler, hoping for leniency, was urging it for the Jews — was merely pride in managerial virtuosity. Arendt, however, did not have, as Stangneth has had, access to more than 1,300 pages of Eichmann’s writings and taped musings among Argentina’s portion of the Nazi diaspora, before Israeli agents kidnapped him in 1960. Eichmann was proudly prominent in preparations for the “final solution” even before the Wannsee Conference (Jan. 20, 1942) formalized it. “His name,” Stangneth notes, “appeared in David Ben-Gurion’s diary only three months after the start of the war” in September 1939. On Oct. 24, 1941, a newspaper published by German exiles in London identified Eichmann as leader of a “campaign” of “mass murder.” “I was an idealist,” he told his fellow exiles, and he was. In obedience to the “morality of the Fatherland that dwells within,” a.k.a. the “voice of blood,” his anti-Semitism was radical because it was ideological. Denying that all individuals are created equal entailed affirming the irremediable incompatibility of groups, which necessitated a struggle to settle subordination and extermination. “There are,” Eichmann wrote, “a number of moralities.” But because thinking is national, no morality is universal. Only war is universal as the arbiter of survival. So, Stangneth writes, “Only thinking based on ethnicity offers a chance of final victory in the battle of all living things.”

 

Eichmann, a premature postmodernist, had a philosophy to end philosophizing. To him, Stangneth says, “philosophy in the classical sense, as the search for transcultural categories” was absurd. She says his ideology was “the fundamental authorization for his actions.” In 1996, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust” argued that Germany was saturated with “eliminationist anti-Semitism” that produced much voluntary participation in genocide. This made Hitler a mere product and trigger of cultural latency. But in 1992, Christopher Browning in “Ordinary Men,” a study of middle-aged German conscripts who became willing mass murderers, had noted that the murders of millions of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge and tens of millions of Chinese by Mao’s Cultural Revolution could not be explained by centuries of conditioning by a single idea. Martin Amis’s new novel “The Zone of Interest” — set in Auschwitz, it is a study of moral vertigo — contains a lapidary afterword in which Amis abjures “epistemological rejection,” the idea that an explanation of Hitler and his enthusiasts is impossible. An explanation begins with Eichmann’s explanation of himself, rendered in Argentina. Before he donned his miniaturizing mask in Jerusalem, Eichmann proclaimed that he did what he did in the service of idealism. This supposedly “thoughtless” man’s devotion to ideas was such that, Stangneth says, he “was still composing his last lines when they came to take him to the gallows.”

 

Contents           

 

 

On Topic

 

FIDF Protective Edge (Video): Youtube, Nov. 9, 2014

The Loneliest President Since Nixon: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 14, 2014 —Seven years ago I was talking to a longtime Democratic operative on Capitol Hill about a politician who was in trouble.

Victory was Easy, Now the Hard Part: Linda Chavez, New York Post, Nov. 8, 2014 —The GOP victory Election Night was the easy part. Now comes the real work: forging an agenda that will solidify Republican gains over the next two years.

Obama Survival Manual, Intl. Edition: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2014—So Paul Krugman, who once called on Alan Greenspan “to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble”; who, a few months before the eurozone crisis erupted, praised Europe as “an economic success” that “shows that social democracy works”; who, as the U.S. fracking revolution was getting under way, opined that America was “just a bystander” in a global energy story defined by “peak oil”; and who, in 2012, hailed Argentina’s economy as a “remarkable success story”—this guy now tells us, in Rolling Stone magazine, that Barack Obama has been a terrific president.

Angela Merkel's Putin Problem: Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2014 —Checkpoint Charlie is an aging tourist shrine. As a symbol of a divided continent, it's part of a Berlin that was buried late in the last century.

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

WHILE “LIBERAL” HA’ARETZ, N.Y.T. DOWNPLAY WARSAW UPRISING & HOLOCAUST, LOOTED J. ART, PARIS ’42, ARE REMEMBERED

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 CIJR family congratulates Research Chairman Baruch Cohen and his beautiful bride Sonia on their 70th wedding anniversary! Mazel Tov & Bis zu hundert un’ zwanzig! 

 

Ha’aretz Debases Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Dec. 26, 2013 — I rubbed my eyes in disbelief this week when I read an article prominently featured on Haaretz's website titled "The Warsaw Ghetto Myth."

Will Victims of the Greatest Theft in History Finally Get a Fair Hearing?: Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel, Dec. 27, 2013 — In the chaotic days ending World War II, the Allies quickly realized they had collected more than a million looted art objects from across the Third Reich.

The Eyewitness: Bernard Edinger, Jerusalem Report, Dec. 15, 2013 —  “I stayed silent for many years because, when I did talk about what I had seen, people said I was making it up, or showing off.

Abetting the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and the New York Times: David Horowitz, Frontpage, Dec. 9, 2013— As the New York Times enables the anti-Jewish axis created by Islamic Nazis in the Middle East who are preparing a new Holocaust of the Jews, it is important to remember that this is nothing new and has happened before.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Boycott Israel Campaign: a Taste of 1930s Berlin: Edgar Davidson, Jewish Press, Dec. 6, 2013

Downplaying the Holocaust — Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech (Video): Youtube, Oct. 30, 2013

Eight Things Holocaust Survivors Need You to Know: Debbie Callahan, Jewish Press, Dec. 6, 2013

‘Tis the Season 2013: How Anti-Israel NGOs Manipulate Christmas: NGO Monitor, Dec. 23, 2013

Thessaloniki to Build Holocaust Museum and Research Center: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 23, 2013

HA’ARETZ DEBASES WARSAW

GHETTO UPRISING                                                        

Isi Leibler  

Israel Hayom, Dec. 26, 2013                                                                                                                                        

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief this week when I read an article prominently featured on Ha’aretz's website titled "The Warsaw Ghetto Myth." The story asserts that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the largest single revolt by Jews under Nazi occupation, was extremely limited in scope and duration. The most obscene aspect of the article is the allegation that the fighters were responsible for the death of the 50,000 Jews inside the ghetto who had not yet been deported. This unquestionably distorted interpretation of events typifies the historical revisionism to which Ha’aretz is predisposed, not only with regard to post-Zionism but now also to Jewish history. That such an article is given prominence in an Israeli daily newspaper with a wide Internet English readership reflects adversely on us all.

 

The author, Eli Gat, is a Holocaust survivor who, in 2009 privately published a shoddy book, "Not Just Another Holocaust," describing his sufferings and alluding to the revisionist nonsense incorporated in his current article. His book was completely ignored and very few people would have even heard his name until Ha’aretz published his article. In his article, Gat dishonors the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and diminishes its historical and symbolic significance. He insists that there were fewer than 700 ghetto fighters and that the revolt lasted a mere two days, after which time many fighters fled. Gat has the gall to repudiate the accepted view that the most significant portion of the uprising took place over the course of a month and specifically dismisses the assertion confirming this by the late Professor Israel Gutman, a respected Holocaust historian and participant in the uprising.

 

The most obscene aspect of "The Warsaw Ghetto Myth" is the allegation that the ghetto fighters were responsible for the death of the 50,000 Jews who remained in the ghetto and were working in factories producing goods for the Nazi war effort, claiming that these Jews might have survived had the revolt not taken place. He justifies the tragically mistaken and failed policies of most of the Judenrat, the Jewish council appointed by the Nazis to oversee the ghetto inhabitants, who opposed resistance and were convinced that acquiescing to the Nazis demands might save them. The unqualified fact, however, is that the Nazis were unaffected by the Warsaw Ghetto heroes' decision to die with honor rather than be led to slaughter; their commitment to a program of complete extermination was already absolute.

 

This article is only one example of Ha’aretz's irresponsible and biased journalism. Over recent years the newspaper has served as the primary vehicle for promoting destructive post-Zionism. It has engaged in deliberate campaigns to demonize Israel and frequently published articles promoting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Indeed, its online edition now represents one of the principal sources of fodder for global hatred against the Jewish state by the hostile international media and anti-Israeli politicians. It has inflicted and continues to inflict enormous damage on Israel. A most blatant example of Ha’aretz's self-hating approach was its vitriolic campaign against the Israel Defense Forces, in which it published numerous examples of alleged war crimes committed by individual soldiers. These allegations were subsequently proved to be unfounded, but only after the damage had been done. The stories were reproduced on the front pages of the major media outlets throughout the world, fomenting the hostile climate which paved the way for the notorious Goldstone Report.

 

There are a number of Ha’aretz journalists who are often indistinguishable from Palestinian propagandists. In April this year, after an incident in which a 3-year-old Israeli girl was critically injured when a car driven by her mother was struck by a stone, Amira Haas, notorious for her pro-Palestinian bias, even justified the act, stating, "Throwing stones is the hereditary right and duty of someone under a foreign power." Ha’aretz publisher Amos Schocken defended her, stating, "Sometimes you have to fight violence with violence." Gideon Levy, who regularly churns out articles that quote verbatim obscene Palestinian allegations of Israeli oppression and criminality, produced a front page story in October last year titled "Most Israelis support apartheid regime in Israel." Israelis were outraged and five days later, Ha’aretz was forced to publish an apology. But again, the damage was done and newspapers throughout the world widely disseminated this lie.

 

There are endless similar examples of the constant rabid maligning of Israel and blaming it as solely responsible for the failure to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians. But in recent years, Ha’aretz has extended its post-Zionism to promoting a revisionist narrative that undermines the core of Jewish continuity, questions links of today's Jewish people with the biblical era, and challenges the validity of a Jewish nation. Last year it published an article resurrecting the theory that the majority of Jews are descendants of the Khazars, converted in the eighth century, who now represent the bulk of European Jewry. This absurd notion was employed in the past by anti-Semites and is now heavily promoted by the Arabs to prove that the Jews of today have no link to the biblical land of Israel.

 

Ha’aretz's unprofessionalism is simply inexcusable. In its zeal to undermine the core principles of Zionism, it has done irrevocable damage. The distortion of facts and outright lies have aided our enemies and confused our friends, including Jews living in the Diaspora, with limited understanding of Jewish or Israeli history. The Gat article demonstrates to what depths Ha’aretz will sink, twisting the facts — even of Holocaust history — in order to provoke its readers and disallow them even the smallest measure of Jewish pride. Freedom of the press allows Ha’aretz, like any newspaper in Israel, the right to publish what it deems fit. However, newspapers are dependent on readers and the rapidly diminishing number of Ha’aretz subscribers should do what is necessary and take the most effective steps to influence the publisher and editor to prevent the paper from serving as a launching pad for enemies of Israel and the Jewish people.

 

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WILL VICTIMS OF THE GREATEST THEFT IN

HISTORY FINALLY GET A FAIR HEARING?                                   

Amanda Borschel-Dan                                        

Times of Israel, Dec. 27, 2013

 

In the chaotic days ending World War II, the Allies quickly realized they had collected more than a million looted art objects from across the Third Reich. Some were found in rubble, others saved by the now legendary Monuments Men from a network of Nazi depots in far-flung monasteries and castles, including a huge trove in booby-trapped salt mines in rural Austria. With a mass of art and Judaica in hand, the Allied forces converted two Nazi administration buildings into collecting points in Munich, Germany, dubbed Gallery One and Gallery Two. It was hoped the art would be expeditiously documented and restored to institutions or individuals with passable provenance records. Makeshift catalogue systems were created by the few staff members who understood the thorough research needed for restitution. Works were returned as early as fall 1945.

 

Despite the best of intentions, resources were tight and mistakes made. Owners were dead and their scattered heirs impossible to find. The surviving heirs, struggling to forge a new life, were uninformed of their property rights and didn’t seek their family treasures. In Germany, by August 1948, the Allies relinquished control of the art to the German Trustee Administration for Cultural Property and restitution efforts continued there. Eventually most art was returned, aside from 2,300 works and some 10,000 coins and books, which are still today under German government custodial protection. Many of the 2,300 are on long-term loan to museums, government buildings and institutions, which are ordered to continue the provenance research, and since the late 1990s, numerous claims have been made against them by would-be heirs with varied results.

 

While modern-day Germany is currently drawing criticism from the international community over a lack of transparency and expediency following the shocking November publication of a controversial Munich art collection case, legislators in Bavaria are attempting to amend statute of limitations laws, a move that just may open up art restitution claims against private individuals — an area relatively untouched by heirs. Last month Bavarian Justice Minister Winifred Bausback told leading German newspaper Der Spiegel his team was drafting legislation that would address “bad faith acquisitions” — namely forced sales or Nazi-tainted art — and prevent invoking the statute of limitations for these civil law claims.

 

This week the German Culture Ministry confirmed the pending legislation and, raising the stakes, told The Times of Israel, “The federal government is going to look into the legislative initiative.” As to whether the notorious Munich collection would be open to claims under this new legislation, the ministry cryptically wrote, ”The German constitution will only allow repercussions of such a law within narrow, strict limits on those cases whose statute of limitations has already expired.”

 

Hidden for 70 years and sold piecemeal to cover 81-year-old “owner” Cornelius Gurlitt’s ballooning medical bills, the collections is surrounded by legal questions that involve the expiration of the statute of limitations — and just whose property is it anyway? The legal ramifications are so complicated that, as German solicitor Peter Bert laughs, “If you had come up with this case as an exam question, people would say it’s a professor’s imagination gone wild.”…

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

 

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THE EYEWITNESS                                                              

Bernard Edinger

Jerusalem Report, Dec. 15, 2013

 

“I stayed silent for many years because, when I did talk about what I had seen, people said I was making it up, or showing off. And when the subject became a topic of national interest in 2010, journalists were not interested in what I had to say because they assumed a non-Jew didn’t have anything to contribute.” Denise Tavernier is now 94 years old, and people are finally listening. When she was 23 and a trainee social worker with the Paris police, she was present in the French capital’s indoor cycling stadium, the Vélodrome d’Hiver, into which collaborationist authorities packed away more than 8,000 Jews during the biggest anti-Jewish roundup in France in World War II.

 

On July 16-17, 1942, during the cynically codenamed operation, Vent Printanier (Spring Wind), thousands of French police swooped down on Paris neighborhoods where Jews lived to arrest 13,152 immigrant and foreign refugee Jews from Poland, Russia, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia at the behest of the occupying German authorities. Childless couples and unmarried adults were taken to existing internment camps. But families, including 1,129 men, 2,916 women and 4,115 children, were bussed to the totally ill-equipped stadium, known colloquially as Vel’ d’Hiv, where they were held in increasingly dire conditions for between four and six days.

 

Tavernier was the youngest member of a department tasked with handling the needs of policemen’s families. A trained nurse, she had only recently graduated from a course for social welfare workers, and had been at her new job for just four months. Her office sent her to the Vel’ d’Hiv because the Red Cross had complained about the situation there. “I arrived on the second day and it was already awful. More than 8,000 people, half of them children, including many newly born babies, were packed together with no water whatsoever,” Tavernier recalls in an interview with the Jerusalem Report.

 

“Conditions were so terrible that I went back to police headquarters in a daze and reported what I saw to the head of my department. She arranged for me to be seen almost immediately by the chief secretary to the head of the police force. I told him that animals were not treated as badly as the people I’d seen. I said it was enough to make one ashamed of being French, and he became angry and said he did not believe what I was describing to him. He also warned me against repeating to people outside of the police what I had told him.” But the senior official did write an official memo that duly noted: “Miss Tavernier, social worker, reports: ‘Jews starting to react. Women: epileptic fits, nervous breakdowns, sick children, toilets clogged… noodles not arrived, no water, not enough bread, soup served irregularly, only two doctors present, raining inside.”

 

Some 41 years later, French Nazi-hunter and Holocaust historian Serge Klarsfeld found the note while delving through police archives and published it in “Paris-Auschwitz,” one of his many books on the fate of French Jewry during the war. Between 1942 and 1944, some 76,000 Jews, a quarter of those in France at the time, were killed, most of them gassed after being transported to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland. Speaking to the Report, Klarsfeld says, “In 2010, the feature film, “La Rafle”, (The Roundup), which is about the 1942 events, was released, and it was a monumental success seen by more than three million people in France. It brought the subject up again for national examination and introspection. There were debates on television and radio day after day, with some of the few survivors offering their testimony. “One day, I received a telephone call from a woman who identified herself as Denise Tavernier to say she was an eyewitness towhat she had to say. I soon remembered the note I’d found in police records years before and we met later that very day,” relates Klarsfeld.  

 

Since then, Tavernier has become a noted personality whose reminiscences are now sought after by historians and journalists. She also speaks to children’s groups. Klarsfeld also introduced her to French President François Hollande. This summer, in recognition of her conduct, that of a very junior official denouncing conditions at Vel’ d’Hiv to her powerful superiors, Hollande made Tavernier a member of the Legion of Honor, the French national order. It was Klarsfeld who pinned the Legion’s red ribbon on Tavernier’s lapel during the annual ceremony marking the anniversary of the July 1942 roundup. The ceremony took place in the presence of hundreds of members of the Association of the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France (FFDJF) that Klarsfeld founded and heads. Klarsfeld, who has tracked down Nazi war criminals as far as South America and who is known for his iron will and nerves, was overcome with emotion and his voice cracked when he made the presentation. Klarsfeld’s own father, arrested in 1943 in southern France, was killed at Auschwitz.

 

Tavernier recalled during the ceremony that six weeks after the roundup, nearly all of the 13,152 people arrested on July 16-17 had been handed over to the Germans and shipped to Auschwitz. When the war ended in May 1945, only about 100 of the adults had survived. None of the 4,115 children returned. “What I did then [in denouncing conditions at the Vel’ d’Hiv to her superiors] was very simple and I could not have done anything else,” she said. Speaking to the Report in Klarsfeld’s office in November, Tavernier says: “Those events were so powerful that they remain imprinted in my mind in such a way that I sometimes think I am looking at them as if I were looking into a mirror.”…

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

 

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ABETTING THE HOLOCAUST: ARTHUR HAYS

SULZBERGER AND THE NEW YORK TIMES

David Horowitz                                                                        

Frontpage, Dec. 9, 2013  

 

As the New York Times enables the anti-Jewish axis created by Islamic Nazis in the Middle East who are preparing a new Holocaust of the Jews, it is important to remember that this is nothing new and has happened before. Take ten minutes to view this talk, posted below, by Anna Blech: ”Downplaying the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and the New York Times.”

 

Anna Blech won first prize at the New York City History Day competition for her research paper, “Downplaying the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and the New York Times.” For this paper, she also was awarded The Eleanor Light Prize from the Hunter College High School Social Studies Department and membership in the Society of Student Historians. Anna’s paper on anti-slavery sentiment in pre-Civil War children’s literature was published in The Concord Review. Anna was a finalist at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she won third place in microbiology for her project, “Reinventing Antibiotics.” She has received national and regional Scholastic Writing awards, mostly for her one-act musical comedies, and she is an active member of the Hunter theater community.                            

[To View the Video Click the Following Link –ed.]   





                                                                       

Remembrance: Edgar M. Bronfman Sr., the billionaire former chairman of Seagram Ltd. and prominent philanthropist, transformed his family's Canadian liquor empire into an international conglomerate and, for decades, brought the same organizational zeal to fighting for Jewish causes. Mr. Bronfman, who died in his home Saturday at the age of 84, may be best known for his philanthropy and advocacy on behalf of Jews around the world. As president of the World Jewish Congress for nearly three decades, he is credited with turning the organization into a forceful, and often critical, voice in Jewish matters. In a condolence letter to the Bronfman family on Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres called Mr. Bronfman a champion of Israel and said, "the Jewish world has lost a great leader." Wall Street Journal, Dec. 22, 2013

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

 

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The Boycott Israel Campaign: a Taste of 1930s Berlin: Edgar Davidson, Jewish Press, Dec. 6, 2013 — While Israel continues to be subject to intensified terrorist atrocities – six attacks in the last 2 days – (ignored as usual by the main stream media), the campaign to boycott Israel also intensifies.
Downplaying the Holocaust — Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech (Video): Youtube, Oct. 30, 2013

Eight Things Holocaust Survivors Need You to Know: Debbie Callahan, Jewish Press, Dec. 6, 2013 — Dying at an alarmingly fast rate (nearly one per hour in Israel), Holocaust survivors, some of the last first-hand witnesses to the atrocities committed during World War II, will soon become just another memory, and their words left to just mere paragraphs in text books.

‘Tis the Season 2013: How Anti-Israel NGOs Manipulate Christmas: NGO Monitor, Dec. 23, 2013 — As in previous years, NGOs (non-government organizations) and well-known charities are exploiting the 2013 Christmas season with political warfare against Israel.

Thessaloniki to Build Holocaust Museum and Research Center: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 23, 2013 — The northern Greek city of Thessaloniki will build a Holocaust research center at the site where some 50,000 of the city’s Jews were deported to Nazi death camps.

 

 

 

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