Tag: Nazis


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

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

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

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


On Topic Links


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

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

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

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




79TH ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT                                                      

Efraim Zuroff

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017


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


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with the expulsion from Germany in late October 1938 of approximately 17,000 Polish Jews, whose Polish citizenship had been revoked by the Polish government.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


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


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


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


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


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

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





Christopher Sweeney

National Post, Nov. 9, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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




Bret Stephens

New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic Links


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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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


On Topic Links


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

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

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

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




Barbara Kay

National Post, July 25, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Barbara Kay is a CIJR Academic Fellow




Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2017


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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






          Shmuley Boteach                                                                              

Tablet, July 17, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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




DOCUMENTS REVEAL CANADIAN CITIZEN                                                      

JULIUS KUHL AS HOLOCAUST HERO                                                                          

Mark MacKinnon                                                                                                            

Globe & Mail, Aug. 8, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


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

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

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

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








Fascism in America? Sure, But Not Because of You Know Who: Barbara Kay, National Post, Jan. 31, 2017— NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says Trump is a “fascist.” And so do countless others. Fair comment?

Pseudo-Liberal Jews Are Causing Unspeakable Damage: Isi Leibler, Algemeiner, Jan. 30, 2017— Chaos is the order of the day throughout the entire democratic world.

Anthropologists Adopt National Socialist BDS Policy: Philip Carl Salzman, CIJR, Feb. 2, 2017 — For anthropologists, it is 1935 all over again…

Trump Changes US Policy on Settlements, But Will Netanyahu Pick Up the Ball?: Stephen Leavitt, Jewish Press, Feb. 3, 2017— For the first time in many years, the White House on Thursday released a statement regarding Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria without the adjectives “illegal” or “illegitimate” next to the word “settlements.”


On Topic Links


Outrage at Trump's 'Muslim Ban' Yet Silence Over the Middle Eastern 'Ban on Jews': Gaurav Sharma, IBT, Jan. 30, 2017

Anti-Semitism Only On Our Terms: Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet, Jan. 10, 2017

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel: Noah Beck, IPT, Jan. 24, 2017

Welcome to the "Social Justice" University: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017




Barbara Kay

National Post, Jan. 31, 2017


NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says Trump is a “fascist.” And so do countless others. Fair comment? No. It’s fair to say that all fascists are populists, but not all populists are fascists. When leftists say “fascist,” it often means “right-wing people or opinions that offend me.” In fact fascism can arise on the left or the right. I’ve seen several tweets linking Trump with the protagonist of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, the story of an Illinois senator who parlays extreme nativism to the White House. But they fail to mention the novel’s protagonist was a socialist.


What exactly does fascism mean? In his bestselling 2007 book, Liberal Fascism (with an afterword on Obama in the 2009 edition), conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg offers this working definition: “Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or by regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival ‘identity’ is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy.”


Sounds about right for Mussolini, but also for conservative-shunning American campuses and the velvet totalitarianism of their gender relations and speech codes. Fascism, according to Goldberg, can present as heavy or light, depending on cultural provenance. Under Hitler, Germany produced a war-mongering, racially “hygienic” fascism. Mussolini, an avowed socialist his entire life and without expansionist ambition, bore no special animus toward Jews. In America, influential progressives shared with fascists the burning desire to transcend class (and later racial) differences within the national community by creating a “new order,” always couched in ringing tropes of hope, change and a unifying “war” (against poverty, racism, climate change, etc). This, Goldberg, argues, is “nice” fascism, symbolized by the book’s cover image of a smiley-face emoji sporting a familiar little mustache.


Goldberg traces the “totalitarian temptation” of the progressives through the entire 20th century, demolishing the received wisdom that McCarthyism and Charles Lindbergh are American history’s most notable fascist moments. His chapter on progressive nonpareil Woodrow Wilson, who admired Mussolini, for example, is illuminating. Under Wilson, more dissidents were arrested or jailed in a few years than under Mussolini during the entire 1920s. In making the controversial case that Wilson was “the twentieth century’s first fascist dictator,” Goldberg builds his case with brick upon brick of facts and self-condemning words.


Wilson was America’s first academic in the White House (he swept the electoral college, won 42 per cent of the popular vote). A devotee of science and the cult of expertise, he thought society could be engineered according to a eugenics theory rooted in social Darwinism, which permitted Wilson to conclude without guilt that giving the vote to blacks was “the foundation of every evil in this country.” Wilson also had an autocratic bent, subscribing to the “Big Man” theory of governance. He believed a “true leader” uses the masses like “tools,” stirring up passions, and deliberately not appealing to their reason, on the grounds that citizens are “much readier to receive a half truth which they can promptly understand than a whole truth which has too many sides to be seen all at once.”


Wilson introduced the Sedition Act to suppress criticism of America’s war policies, which banned “writing, printing, writing, or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States government or the military.” So much for free speech. Postal privileges could be revoked; over 400 publications were denied privileges by May 1918. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn’t want to buy Liberty Bonds. Goldberg estimates that “some 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another.” McCarthy’s overreach pales to insignificance by comparison. So you see, “it” can and did happen in the U.S. and it happened on the watch of a former president of Princeton University, a leftist intellectual, an idealist and, as is all too often the case with progressives, an evolutionary utopian quite willing to break a few democratic eggs to make his “transformative” omelette…

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


Barbara Kay is a CIJR Academic Fellow




Isi Leibler

Algemeiner, Jan. 30, 2017


Chaos is the order of the day throughout the entire democratic world. This has been accelerated by the hypocrisy and intolerance of the vindictive Left, aided and abetted by foolish bleeding-heart pseudo-liberals who have become accomplices in the undermining of democracy. One can understand that many Democrats were incredulous and devastated that Hillary Clinton could be defeated by Donald Trump, whose lack of civility, absence of political experience and coarse language even offended conservatives.


But the outpouring of rage, the histrionic protest marches throughout the world, the establishment of committees to impeach Trump — even prior to the traditional 100-day honeymoon period — is unprecedented. Contrary to all the claptrap about democracy that they sanctimoniously preached while in office, leftists are unwilling to accept the fact that their candidate was defeated by a parvenu.


The same chaos has swept through Europe, many of whose citizens are revolting against the failure of the Brussels-based European Union bureaucrats to address their needs and above all the collapse in the quality of their lives resulting from millions of so-called refugees flooding their countries. This has led to a rise in global populism, a revival of conservative and right-wing political parties and rejection of the “politically correct” way of life imposed by sanctimonious liberal ideologues.


What impact has this chaos had on Diaspora Jews? As history has testified, during periods of stress and anxiety, Diaspora Jews face grave threats. Antisemitism, already having reached record levels since the Nazi era, is poised to become even more vicious. That situation has been temporarily muted because the prevailing threat of Islamic fundamentalist terror attacks in many Western nations has directed public anger toward Muslims rather than Jews. This does not apply to Hungary, Greece and Germany.


The Jews, as a minority that has suffered tyranny and persecution, would be expected under current circumstances to concentrate primarily on their own security. Ethics of the Fathers quotes Hillel the Elder, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?” Liberal-inclined Diaspora Jews — especially those lacking an authentic Jewish education — appear to have reversed this dictum. They consider that the well-being of the world and politically correct standards of social values must be their priority — with disregard to the harm this inflicts on them as a community…


The same bleeding hearts in the US as well as those in Europe were at the forefront of calls to open the gates to Muslim “refugees” steeped in anti-democratic behavior and nourished on diets of undiluted, visceral antisemitism. Setting aside the question of ISIS terrorist sleeper cells, there is little doubt that these elements will strengthen existing antisemitism in the older immigrant Muslim communities that failed to integrate. Yet many Jews are so dismally ignorant and oblivious that they even compare these immigrants to Jews facing annihilation during the Holocaust who were denied haven by other democratic countries.


This behavior is even more disturbing at a time of historic opportunities with the election of President Trump. Although by no means yet assured, the US, still the only true global superpower, may truly treat Israel as a genuine ally, a move that would be reinforced by an overwhelmingly pro-Israel Congress. Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his determination to reverse former President Barack Obama’s hostile anti-Israeli policy and create a new alliance between the US and Israel that would be sensitive to the security needs of the Jewish state.


His commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would have more than symbolic value. It would have a major impact in reversing the odious definition of the settlement blocs and even the Western Wall and Temple Mount as “occupied territory.” Israel could proceed to build homes and the Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line would prosper. Furthermore, the US will hopefully no longer acquiesce to the UN persecution of Israel and will reject calls to return to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. Trump is also likely to bring an end to the US component of the scandalous $300 million per annum provided to the Palestinian Authority, much of which is doled out to murderers. Israel will also have a powerful ally that recognizes Iran as a rogue state and would substantially reduce the genocidal threat from the Iranian Muslim fundamentalists.


All this has yet to be delivered, but there is no doubt that there is now a window of opportunity that Israel should exploit to dramatically minimize the security challenges and separate from the Palestinians with defensible borders. This can be achieved if Israel now has the support of a US that can be counted on as a true ally. Over the past eight years under Obama, the US dramatically eroded Israel’s diplomatic standing, treated the Jewish state as a pariah and provided incentives to the Palestinians to stall negotiations and engage in terror. With renewed American support, Israel could at long last stabilize itself…

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





Philip Carl Salzman

CIJR, Feb. 2, 2017


For anthropologists, it is 1935 all over again, and the Nuremberg laws, apparently an inspiration for boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning Jews, just as when Germans, under Hitler’s National Socialists boycotted Jews, refused to patronize Jewish stores, and punished wholesalers who supplied Jewish stores.


When early in 2016 the Parliament of Canada voted to condemn BDS, and the Principal of McGill declared that McGill opposed BDS, five anthropology professors, along with more than a dozen others from the social sciences and humanities, signed a letter saying that these anti-BDS policies were “not in my name,” and that these luminaries would commit to BDS. On 28 November 2016, the McGill Anthropology Graduate Students Association, future professors of anthropology, announced their commitment to boycott, divest, and sanction Jews.


Anthropologists’ rationale for scapegoating Jews is no longer the religious deviation that justified pogroms over the centuries in Christian and Muslim countries, or the racial theories that divided peoples into pure European folk and racially corrupt Jews, Gypsies, and Poles. No, today Jews are guilty of inhabiting their ancient homeland, Israel, and running their own lives, successfully. For anthropologists, that is unforgivable.


These National Socialist BDS anthropologists trot out the usual anti-Israel excuses, such as that, according to the AGSA statement, Israeli “anthropologists have been implicated in colonial projects in unacceptable ways, and anthropological methodologies have been used ‘by the Israeli state to further occupation and colonization’ both in theory and in ethnographic or archaeological work.” More generally, the AGSA says that “we see the Israeli state’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens as fundamentally impinging upon the right of people and peoples everywhere to the realization of their full humanity.” Yet Palestinian citizens of Israel have the same rights as Jews, Christians, Druze, Bahais, and others, full rights as citizens to gain education, vote and run for office, to serve in the government, military, and professions, including the Supreme Court of Israel. Along with the students’ unfounded concern about Palestinian Israelis, no concern is expressed about the rights of Jews to live in their homeland in peace.


To hear yet again these absurd accusations against Israel makes you wonder if gross historical ignorance, a lack of reason, or malicious antisemitism lies behind them. Is Israel a colony, or a “settler colony,” as some have it? Syracusa was a colony of Athens, and Canada and America were colonies of Britain. What home state is Israel a colony of? Israel is not a colony because it is the homeland of the Jews. Similarly, Israel cannot be an occupation, because it is the homeland of the Jews. When the Romans invaded the Holy Land in the century before Christ, they found only Jews, who they fought and later dispersed. The Jews’ historical claim to Israel was recognized officially by the San Remo Conference, the League of Nations, and the United Nations. Are supporters of BDS totally ignorant of this? Jews’ historical claim to Israel is so profound and decisive, that Palestinians attempt to deny Jewish history, in the hopes of claiming rights to the area.


Supporters of BDS are not simply speaking up on behalf of the rights of Palestinians, but are taking sides in a shooting war that has been going on for 100 years. Of course Islam declared war against Jews fourteen centuries ago, and oppressed and exploited Middle Eastern Jews off and on during that long darkness. But with first European Jews returning at the end of the 19th century to the Holy Land to join the modest number of Jews who had never left, the Arab terrorist war began in earnest. In mid-20th century, the eight hundred thousand Jews in Middle Eastern countries chased out of the lands where their ancestors had lived for centuries, all of their property stolen, made their way to Israel. The Arab terrorist war against the Jews ramped up, and continues unabated today due to constant incitement by Palestinian authorities, religious and secular.


Supporters of BDS have purposefully or inadvertently, directly or indirectly allied with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and other Palestinian terrorist organizations. They have allied with the Palestinian who this year stabbed to death 13 year old Hallel Ariel in her bed, with the Palestinian who this year stabbed to death Dafna Meir, mother of six, in front of her teenage daughter, and with the Palestinian who earlier stabbed to death five members of the Fogel family, not to mention all of the bombings of buses and restaurants, and the mowing down of Jewish pedestrians with cars. Supporters of BDS have allied with Hamas who shot twelve thousand rockets at Israeli civilians. Supporters of BDS have encouraged terrorism and war by convincing the Palestinians that they are winning.


Supporters of BDS side with the Palestinians when they say “Palestine from the river to the sea,” for the real goal of the Palestinians is to destroy and replace Israel. This is already accomplished on Palestinian Authority maps. The Palestinians and Arabs more generally cannot accept Israel because according to Islamic law the Holy Land, having long been under Islamic control, is an Islamic wakf or endowment, and must never be alienated from Islamic governance. That alone would be enough for the existence of Israel to be rejected. But there is another powerful reason. During the second half of the 20th century, the Jews, despised as inferior by the Arabs for 1300 years, defeated the Arabs decisively in three wars, causing the Arabs to lose their honor. The Arabs can only regain their honor by conquering the Israel and the Jews. For these reasons, the Palestinians desire not peace, but triumph, and through it regaining honor and the Islamic wakf.


The McGill Anthropology Graduate Student Association most generously says “ AGSA opposes all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism.” The only problem with this is that BDS itself is antisemitic. Using the U. S. Department of State Fact Sheet “Defining Anti-Semitism,” we find that BDS is antisemitic for “blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions.” Given the constant incitement to violence by the Palestinian authority, Hamas, and other Palestinian nationalist groups, and the continual terrorism against Israeli civilians, the idea that the conflict is all Israel’s fault is absurd. Note also that Israel has been invaded by Arab armies three times, hardly an initiative of Israel. And while some “experts” say that the recent Arab-Israel conflict is the cause of all conflicts in the Middle East, the Shia-Sunni conflict has been going on for 1400 years, and the Arab-Iranian conflict not less, so too the Iranian Turkish conflict.


Among the multitude of ethnic and religious conflicts around the world, only Israel is selected for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. Not the Turks vs. the Kurds, not the Turks vs. the Greeks in Cyprus, not the Shiites vs. Sunnites in Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Pakistan, among many others around the world. Especially galling is the condemnation of Israel at the very moment that a half million people have been slaughtered next door to Israel in Syria thanks to the combined efforts of Arabs, Russians, and Persians…

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






BUT WILL NETANYAHU PICK UP THE BALL?                                                                                    

Stephen Leavitt

Jewish Press, Feb. 3, 2017


For the first time in many years, the White House on Thursday released a statement regarding Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria without the adjectives “illegal” or “illegitimate” next to the word “settlements.” While not 100 percent perfect — a policy of benign neglect would be best — it is clearly a complete turnaround from previous administration positions, particularly former-President Obama’s “not one brick anywhere” policy, including Jerusalem…


Statement by the Press Secretary (Sean Spicer): “The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”


In other words, what began a few months ago as a video of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking why should having Jews living in Judea and Samaria be considered an impediment to peace – is now US foreign policy. In addition to the biggest item of recognizing the legitimacy of the settlements, by omitting the words “illegal” and “illegitimate,” the statement actually declares, for all the world to see: “We don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace.” It should be noted that even that one seemingly negative-note in the Trump statement against new settlements or expansion isn’t exactly that: “the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”


First of all, the statement gives implicit approval to construction within existing settlements, and not just to communities within the settlement blocs (i.e. Gush Etzion, Ariel, etc), but rather to all settlements. This is a much wider definition, and includes many smaller Jewish communities that exist outside of the blocs, representing some 80,000 Jews. Not to name names, but that’s more settlement legitimacy than what even some members of Netanyahu’s cabinet recognize. Furthermore, it doesn’t actually forbid or rebuke Israel if it does build a new settlement or expand beyond the borders of an existing one. The White House statement merely questions if it is helpful to achieving peace, and leaves that question open for further discussion.


The other glaring omission in the Trump White House statement is the term “two-state solution,” so beloved by every Administration since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Why, only last Wednesday, the new, relatively pro-Israel UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, had his spokesperson release a statement saying that, “the recent announcement by the Israeli Government to advance 5,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank could […] threaten to unravel plans for a two-State solution between Israelis and Palestinians. […] We once again warn against any unilateral actions that can be an obstacle to a negotiated two-state solution.”…

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



CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


Outrage at Trump's 'Muslim Ban' Yet Silence Over the Middle Eastern 'Ban on Jews': Gaurav Sharma, IBT, Jan. 30, 2017—US President Donald Trump has delivered on his campaign promise of restricting entry into the US for people from a selection of Muslim-majority countries, with the customary aplomb and organised chaos the wider world has come to expect of him.

Anti-Semitism Only On Our Terms: Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet, Jan. 10, 2017 —The US Senate has unanimously passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, introduced by US Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). If approved by the House, the bill will give the US Department of Education the statutory tools to examine anti-Semitic incidents in the broadest and effective way possible.

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel: Noah Beck, IPT, Jan. 24, 2017—Support for Israel among Democrats has plummeted in recent years, a new Pew poll shows, with about as many – 31 percent – saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel, which garnered 33 percent support.

Welcome to the "Social Justice" University: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017—Universities used to be fonts of knowledge, charged with disseminating the known and seeking new knowledge. But progressives have brought great progress to the university: progressives know all the answers, and that the problem is not to understand the world, but to change it.












Have We Learned the Lessons — and Causes — of the Holocaust?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Algemeiner, Jan. 23, 2017— This coming Friday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Persistence of Anti-Semitism Shows World Has Yet to Learn Lessons of the Holocaust: Mario Silva, National Post, Jan. 26, 2017— This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

Justice for Those Who Have Endured: Yechiel Eckstein, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2017— This January 27, nations around the world mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the most horrific evil ever perpetrated upon humanity – the near destruction of European Jewry.

Three Reasons Why a Double Standard is Imposed on Israel: Philip Carl Salzman, CIJR, Jan. 25, 2017— While nationalism of the Americans, French, and Chinese is admired or at least accepted, Jewish nationalism (Zionism) is regarded as racism by pro-Arab activists and journalists.



On Topic Links


The 400-year-old Foundation of the Unique US-Israel Ties: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Jan. 25, 2017

Remembering the Holocaust, Forgetting the Survivors: Yechiel Eckstein, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 25, 2017

Story of Japan’s 'Schindler' Offers Lessons for Tackling Contemporary Xenophobia: UNNewsCentre, Jan. 26, 2017

Raoul Wallenberg, Hero of Humanity: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Jan. 21, 2017






Manfred Gerstenfeld

Algemeiner, Jan. 23, 2017


This coming Friday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is often assumed that the Holocaust was caused by a long-lasting antisemitic infrastructure in Germany and on the European continent. According to this theory, many centuries of demonization of the Jews created an atmosphere that made it possible for the Nazis to commit genocide against the Jews.


Over the course of centuries, Christianity systematically demonized the Jews. This demonization began in Roman Catholic theology. A major role was played by Voltaire and other French enlightenment philosophers. They were followed by German idealists and other philosophers, as well as 19th century French socialists and Karl Marx. Many others joined this movement of hate in the late 19th and early 20th century. Even after the Holocaust, Europe’s main philosopher was the German antisemite and former Nazi, Martin Heidegger.


But these explanations of the Holocaust may not be so simple. In 2015, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby remarked that antisemitism is a complex and difficult subject, adding that it is still deeply embedded “in our history and culture in Western Europe.” British-Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, who recently passed away, claimed that there is a far more opaque infrastructure for the Holocaust than mentioned before. In his book, Modernity and the Holocaust, he links the great genocide to structural elements of modern society. He states that the Holocaust was a product of men educated in the most refined culture of Western society, and  thus a product of Western civilization. In Bauman’s view, the conditions for a similar event to occur are still in place.


As an aside, Bauman’s insights did not prevent him from making contemporary Holocaust-distorting observations. In an interview with the Polish weekly Politika, he compared the Israeli separation fence to the walls surrounding the Warsaw Ghetto.


The question as to whether a second Holocaust is possible was the subject of a debate in 2002. American columnist Ron Rosenbaum claimed that it was likely that, sooner or later, a nuclear weapon would be detonated by Arab fundamentalists in Tel Aviv. This led to a reaction by Leon Wieseltier, who said that the Jews had found both safety and strength after the war, and that a second Holocaust would not occur. Rosenbaum countered by claiming that Wieseltier was fleeing into denial, as there were many Hitler-like figures who were demonizing Jews in the Arab world. Furthermore, in recent decades, we have seen genocides elsewhere, the best known in Cambodia and Rwanda.


All this raises the question as to what the history of the Holocaust means for today. In contemporary society, there are many demonizers of Jews and in particular of Israel. This is a multilayered process. At the forefront of this movement are forces from the Muslim world. Iranian rulers have often mentioned that Israel will be wiped off the map. Others include Muslim terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as countless individuals. Their de facto allies include a broad range of demonizers of Israel who knowingly ignore genocidal and demonizing tendencies in the Arab world. Some examples of these are the UN and associated bodies, assorted NGOs, various European socialist parties, many pseudo-progressive academics, numerous trade unionists and so on.


All the above can only lead to one conclusion: It is incumbent upon Israel and the Jewish world to make a huge effort to map how all of this hangs together. Only once we understand the arrangement of our enemies on the battleground can we fight them effectively.





WORLD HAS YET TO LEARN LESSONS OF THE HOLOCAUST                                                           

Mario Silva

National Post, Jan. 26, 2017


This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Sadly, the liberation of the camp on Jan. 27, 1945 did not put a stop to the mass killing of innocent Jewish men, women and children. Nor did it stop after the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division liberated the Westerbork concentration camp in Holland in April 1945. The Nazis continued their slaughter until the last moments of their murderous machine, which was put to an end when Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.


Nazism subscribed to theories of a “master race” — a racial hierarchy where superior people have a right to dominate others and purge society of so-called inferior elements. By the time the war ended, Nazi Germany and its many collaborators had exterminated one-third of the Jewish people, six million Jews. Those of us who look back at that dark period history become traumatized by the ease and speed with which the killing took place. Nowhere is this more evident (than) in Babi Yar, Ukraine, where from Sept. 29–30, 1941, over just two days, 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation.


Remembering these unique horrors is a key to Holocaust remembrance. In 2013, I was honoured to be the chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) during the Canadian Chairmanship. Canada’s membership in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance reflects our country’s commitment to ensuring that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust.


It was with the goal of remembrance that, in 1998, then Swedish prime minister Göran Persson asked Britain’s Tony Blair and then U.S. president Bill Clinton to join him in forming an international task force on Holocaust remembrance, education and research. And on Jan. 27, 2000 in Stockholm, 46 governments — represented by heads of state, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, and ministers — unanimously adopted the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust. Today, we also mark the 17th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration.


The commitment of the international community to the principles of the Stockholm Declaration was the starting point for many countries to begin a public debate on their role during the Second World War and the Holocaust. What happened during the war? What did our country do? What did it not do? And what are the lessons we must learn to ensure this never happens again?


Today, IHRA has expanded from its three founding members to an international network of experts on the Holocaust and related issues. It has strengthened political co-operation among its 31 member countries, which work together in a consensus-based framework.


Member states that join IHRA commit to the principles of the Stockholm Declaration, which states that “the unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning,” and that in a world “still scarred by genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils.” Member governments must pledge to strengthen efforts to promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research.


Knowledge about the background, purpose, and significance of the Holocaust is essential to raise public awareness and mobilize forces to push back against the prejudices and stereotypes that led to it. Hate crimes, be they based on xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial, are a global phenomenon. Individually and collectively we have an obligation to fight discrimination that leads to the exclusion of groups of people and spreads hatred.


The liberation of Auschwitz should be a powerful call against anti-Semitism, hatred, racial intolerance and prejudice. Unfortunately, genocides and other atrocities occurred before and after the Holocaust. Even after the Holocaust, one particular form of hate stands out today from among the others. Anti-Semitism is unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality. During my chairmanship, I worked hard to make sure that IHRA adopted an international definition of Holocaust denial, which by its very nature is another form of anti-Semitism.


The Holocaust was an unprecedented crime against humanity and a defining historical moment, one that fundamentally altered how the world views and treats acts of genocide. As such, it provides us with many important lessons that can help prevent such crimes from happening again. The challenge is to ensure that those lessons are remembered, shared and applied. In this way, the world can honour the memory of those we failed to protect.






Yechiel Eckstein

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2017


This January 27, nations around the world mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the most horrific evil ever perpetrated upon humanity – the near destruction of European Jewry.


It was fitting, then, that during a special Knesset ceremony on December 20, 2016, I was honored on behalf of The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, along with eight other individuals and organizations, to receive the Beacon of Light Award from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims. Limor Livnat, chairwoman of the foundation, said the annual awards pay tribute to those dedicated to improving the lives of survivors, honor Holocaust survivors who have excelled in their contribution to Israeli society, and recognize volunteers improving survivors’ quality of life.


I was humbled that The Fellowship was recognized for its longtime dedication to helping needy Holocaust survivors in Israel at a time when the entire world prepares to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust, in a global annual event the United Nations General Assembly launched in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.


While the ceremonies and awards are important, they also serve to underscore a largely ignored humanitarian tragedy of global proportions that we as a community are not doing enough to address: Today, many of the world’s remaining 500,000 Holocaust survivors are living out their final years in poverty. Most of those who are suffering live either in Israel, across the former Soviet Union, or in greater New York City.


Of 189,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, 25% live below the poverty line. Among the 60,000 survivors throughout the former Soviet Union, poverty is endemic – approaching 85-90%. Even in New York City, home to another 60,000 survivors, about half live below the poverty line.


This is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis. But worse, it speaks of a moral failure, because those who suffered the unimaginable are suffering once again through general ignorance or neglect. And the clock is ticking for us to respond. Every day, 40 survivors die. Within a decade few who experienced the Holocaust first-hand will remain.


In Israel and throughout the FSU, the poorest survivors are barely subsisting on meager income, often forced to choose between eating and securing life-saving medicine. Many survivors suffer through brutal winters unable to afford heating fuel.


Thanks to the support of millions of Christians across the United States and elsewhere, The Fellowship has been able to provide more than $7.3 million annually in food, medicine, heating fuel, daycare and other assistance to over 18,000 survivors in Israel and more than $15m. annually in food, medical assistance, home care and winter aid to those in the FSU. In fact, we recently ramped up our partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, establishing the IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline to serve tens of thousands of poor elderly Jews, many of them survivors not only of the Holocaust but of Soviet oppression, in 11 countries in the FSU.


While we are certainly gratified to have been able to make some impact and help many survivors, we are by no means satisfied that our job is done. As a community, we cannot stand idly by as even one Holocaust survivor in Israel or anywhere else is forced to perform a cruel financial calculus regarding their most basic human needs. Our moral responsibility only begins with remembering the six million, whether it is on International Holocaust Remembrance Day or on Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day each spring. Our moral duty will only be fulfilled when those who survived the unspeakable are not forced to live in unspeakable conditions. This is about seeing to justice for those who have endured.






Philip Carl Salzman                                                                 

CIJR, Jan. 25, 2017


While nationalism of the Americans, French, and Chinese is admired or at least accepted, Jewish nationalism (Zionism) is regarded as racism by pro-Arab activists and journalists. While Syrian President Bashar Assad declares war against his people, with deaths numbering in hundreds of thousands and displaced in the millions, next door Israel is lambasted by the foreign minister of Sweden for "extrajudicial killings," when it kills terrorists in the act of attacking Israeli citizens.

Notwithstanding the oppression of women in the Islamic Middle East, the forced marriages, mandatory seclusion, obligatory wearing of tents, honor killings, enslavement, gang rapes, and sale as sex slaves, the National Women's Studies Association boycotts Israel, the only country in the Middle East where women are free and equal.


What explains this double standard? The first reason is traditional Christian anti-Semitism. For 1,800 years Jews were Europe's own despised minority, blamed for murdering Jesus and then rejecting Christian salvation. This was still being preached from the Catholic pulpit fifty years ago when I arrived in Quebec. The Jews were the feeble minority that Europeans loved to hate. Any Jewish deviation from propriety was seized upon to justify their lowly status


However, with the establishment of Israel, Jews were no longer the feeble minority, but a robust majority of a small state, with Jewish "pushiness" becoming Israeli military victory. In Israel, the Jews no longer knew "their place" at the bottom of the European hierarchy, but were independent actors no longer dependent upon European permission.


Europeans have responded by being hyper-critical of their despised ex-minority, demanding things of Israel that they have never demanded of Israel's adversaries or neighbors, or even of themselves, and condemning Israel when it does not comply with their unreasonable demands.


The second reason for the double standard is pragmatic, not to say cynical: There are hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims, and only a few million Jews. Arabs and Muslims are spread in many strategically important locations throughout the world. Furthermore, Arabs and Muslim make up a huge commercial market for the industrial nations of Europe and beyond.


As to propriety and standards of behavior, European Christians never thought much of, or expected much of the people of the "South." These gentiles, pagans, and heathens would do just about anything, so there was no point measuring them against civilized standards and judging them. Deal with them pragmatically, was the strategy, as politically important and economically useful. The European rule is this: do not unnecessarily irritate the vast number of Arabs and Muslims by siding with a handful of uppity Jews; that would just be foolish. Showing you are on the side of Arabs and Muslims by condemning Israel is just smart policy.


The third and final reason for the double standard is the Holocaust, the European genocidal project to murder all Jews. Germany expertly designed and engineered the Holocaust, but was joined enthusiastically by many in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and collaborated with by Western European countries. Even those who did not take direct part, such as Britain, Sweden, and Switzerland, did nothing to stop the Holocaust, in spite of pleas that they do so, and some blocked their gates to Jews trying to escape their fate.


The shadow of the Holocaust – its blame, shame, and guilt – has hung over Europe since 1945. After 70 years, Europeans are fed up with hearing about it. Current generations were not even alive at the time. Why should they be blamed and feel guilt, they wonder, about something that they did not do, do not approve of, and would not do themselves. Yet the shadow prevails.


How can it be removed? Well, if it turns out that the Jews are evil – that, given the chance to be in charge as in Israel, they behave exactly like the Nazis – then the ledger is balanced. European hyper-criticism of Israel makes both Europeans and Jews oppressors and murderers, equally guilty and thus equally innocent. Extravagant denunciation of Israel, however dishonest, frees Europe of its guilt. Americans, implicated in the Holocaust only to the extent of having closed its doors to Jews trying to flee, currently favor Israel over the Palestinians, according to annual Gallup polls, by four to one, while Europeans heavily favor Palestinians. Americans do not need to escape the blame for the Holocaust, while for Europeans condemning Israel is the easiest route.

Prof. Philip Carl Salzman is a CIJR Academic Fellow

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


The 400-year-old Foundation of the Unique US-Israel Ties: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Jan. 25, 2017

1. According to Prof. Robert Bellah, a leading sociologist from UC Berkeley, there is “civil religion” in the US: separation between religion and state, but not between religion and society.  Civil liberties are Bible-driven, reflecting more responsibility than rights.

Remembering the Holocaust, Forgetting the Survivors: Yechiel Eckstein, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 25, 2017 —This January 27, nations around the world will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the most horrific evil ever perpetrated upon humanity: the near destruction of Europe’s Jews.

Story of Japan’s 'Schindler' Offers Lessons for Tackling Contemporary Xenophobia: UNNewsCentre, Jan. 26, 2017 —During World War II, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat posted as an acting consul in Lithuania, disobeyed instructions from his own Government and issued visas for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

Raoul Wallenberg, Hero of Humanity: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Jan. 21, 2017— I write at an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness and taking action – on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, reminding us of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened; and on the eve of the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century. From 1941 to the end of 1944, some 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, 1.1 million of them were Jews.










Not All the News That’s Fit to Print: Richard L. Cravatts, Frontpage, Dec. 7, 2016— When Elmer Davis, director of FDR’s Office of War Information, observed that “. . . you cannot do much with people who are convinced that they are the sole authorized custodians of Truth and that whoever differs from them is ipso facto wrong” he may well have been speaking about editors of college newspapers…

Fixing ‘News That’s Fit to Print’: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, Oct. 31, 2016 — Rami Nazzal is a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem who guides tours “freely and safely across borders,” providing “a window into the reality of Palestine.”

The Führer and the Fourth Estate: Sean Durns, Times of Israel, Nov. 23, 2016— There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth, and to shame the devil,” U.S. commentator Walter Lippman once said.

The End Game: Machla Abramovitz, Michpacha, Dec. 2017— They believe in the coming of a messianic epoch, one in which humanity will unite and peace and justice will reign.


On Topic Links


One Thing Voters Agree On: Better Campaign Coverage Was Needed: Liz Spayd, New York Times, Nov. 19, 2016

Author of New York Times Magazine Jerusalem Article Signed Pro-Boycott Petition: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Dec. 6, 2016 Maclean’s Photo Essay Is Pure Palestinian Propaganda : Honest Reporting, Nov. 7, 2016

Western Media Confused After Discovering Israel Not Involved in Most Middle East Conflicts: Rube Silverhill, Mideast Beast, Dec., 2016



Richard L. Cravatts                                                      

Frontpage, Dec. 7, 2016


When Elmer Davis, director of FDR’s Office of War Information, observed that “. . . you cannot do much with people who are convinced that they are the sole authorized custodians of Truth and that whoever differs from them is ipso facto wrong” he may well have been speaking about editors of college newspapers who have purposely violated the central purpose of journalism and have allowed one ideology, not facts and alternate opinions, to hijack the editorial composition of their publications and purge their respective newspapers of any content—news or opinion—that contradicts a pro-Palestinian narrative and would provide a defense of Israel.


The latest example is a controversy involving The McGill Daily and its recent astonishing admission that it is the paper’s policy to not publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.” “While we recognize that, for some, Zionism represents an important freedom project,” the editors wrote in a defense of their odious policy, “we also recognize that it functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”


A McGill student, Molly Harris, had filed a complaint with the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) equity committee. In that complaint, Harris contended that, based on the paper’s obvious anti-Israel bias, and “a set of virulently anti-Semitic tweets from a McGill Daily writer,” a “culture of anti-Semitism” defined the Daily—a belief seemingly confirmed by the fact that several of the paper’s editors themselves are BDS supporters and none of the staffers are Jewish. Of course, in addition to the existence of a fundamental anti-Semitism permeating the editorial environment of The Daily, there is also the core issue of what responsibility a newspaper has to not insert personal biases and ideology into its stories, and to provide space for alternate views on many issues—including the Israeli/Palestinian conflict—in the opinion sections of the paper


At Connecticut College, Professor Andrew Pessin also found himself vilified on campus, not only by a cadre of ethnic hustlers and activists, but by fellow faculty and an administration that were slow to defend Pessin’s right to express himself—even when, as in this case, his ideas were certainly within the realm of reasonable conversation about a difficult topic: the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Central to the campaign of libels waged against Pessin was the part played by the College’s student newspaper, The College Voice.


In August of 2014, during Israel’s incursions into Gaza to suppress deadly rocket fire aimed at Jewish citizens, Pessin, a teacher of religion and philosophy, wrote on his Facebook page a description of how he perceived Hamas, the ruling political entity in Gaza: “One image which essentializes the current situation in Gaza might be this. You’ve got a rabid pit bull chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape.” That image of a pit bull did not sit well with at least one Connecticut College student, Lamiya Khandaker, a pro-Palestinian activist, who complained publicly about Pessin’s old Facebook post; he thereupon deleted the offending Facebook entry, and even proffered an apology, but Pessin’s apology was insufficient for the ever-suffering moral narcissists on his campus.


In fact, editors of The College Voice insisted that Pessin’s thoughts were “dehumanizing” to Palestinians and had “caused widespread alarm in the campus community.” The paper’s editor, Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, initiated a campaign of lies against Dr. Pessin, contending that his post “caused widespread alarm in the campus community,” that the college community could and should “identify racism when we see it,” and that the very students viciously attacking Pessin for his thoughts were themselves “victims of racism.” In March 2015, the College Voice even ran three op-eds, beginning on the paper’s front page, that condemned Pessin and accused him of racism and comparing Palestinians to rabid dogs.


The Wesleyan University community also underwent collective apoplexy over a 2015 opinion submission in the school’s student newspaper, The Argus, which critically examined the Black Lives Matter movement. The thoughtful, relatively-benign op-ed, written by sophomore Bryan Stascavage, a 30-year-old Iraq veteran and self-described “moderate conservative,” questioned if the behavior of some BLM supporters “cheering after [a police] officer is killed, chanting that they want more pigs to fry like bacon” showed a moral and ideological flaw in the movement, leading him to wonder, “is the movement itself actually achieving anything positive? Does it have the potential for positive change?”


That opinion was apparently more than many of the sensitive fellow Wesleyan students could bear, and the newspaper’s staff was inundated with denunciations of the implicit racism of the offending op-ed and the “white privilege” demonstrated by its author, demands that apologies be issued by the paper’s editors, the widespread theft of The Argus around campus, and calls for sensitivity/social justice training for staffers. College students have now taken a new, misguided approach in their attempt to suppress speech whose content they do not approve of, as they seem to have done at Wesleyan. On college campuses, to paraphrase George Orwell, all views are equal, but some are more equal than others…                         

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



FIXING ‘NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT’                                                                                              

Jerold Auerbach                                                                                                 

Algemeiner, Oct. 31, 2016


Rami Nazzal is a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem who guides tours “freely and safely across borders,” providing “a window into the reality of Palestine.” He identifies himself as “a fixer for journalists, writers, photographers, film producers.” Surely his most prominent “fixee” is The New York Times.


By now a bevy of Times reporters have been the beneficiaries of his tours. He led former Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren to a group of Palestinian musicians, who created an “intifada soundtrack” that featured such hits as “Stab the Zionist and say God is great” and “Say hello to being a martyr.” He guided science reporter James Glanz to “the violent east Jerusalem slum” of Issawiya, filled with the “acrid stench of burning trash.” There, to the reporter’s surprise, Palestinian residents were raising “exquisitely groomed Arabian horses,” an affection that “helps them to endure life under Israeli occupation.”


Nazzal’s journalistic tour de force came in May, when he led Glanz to the sparkling new Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, north of Ramallah. In nearly 1,000 words, they described the Palestinian struggle “to build political and civic institutions while resisting Israel’s occupation;” recounted the story of the (ousted) director who planned to feature “artistic interpretations of things like keys and photographs that Palestinians around the world have kept from the homes they fled or were forced from in what is now Israel;” and anticipated the imminent “high-profile opening ceremony a few days after the 68th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe” of Israel’s founding. Gazing at the sparkling new building, “rising above a terraced garden with carefully selected trees,” a museum sponsor exulted: “It’s as if the building is coming out of the womb, the Palestinian Mother Nature.”


The museum, Glanz and Nazzal enthused, would “have almost everything: a stunning, contemporary new building; space to celebrate and redefine Palestinian art, history and culture; an outdoor amphitheater; a terraced garden.” There was, however, a conspicuous omission: “One thing the museum will not have,” they wrote, “is exhibitions.” But, the museum’s chairman explained, Palestinians were “so in need of positive energy” that it seemed “worthwhile to open even an empty building.” Glanz and Nazzal did not contemplate what an empty museum might reveal about the content of Palestinian history and culture.


Inevitably, Peter Baker, the new Times Jerusalem bureau chief, was also taken for a ride by Nazzal. In Tulkarm, on the western edge of the West Bank, they met with Shifa al-Qudsi, “a Palestinian hairdresser driven to anger, despair and hopelessness” by the Israeli occupation. Seeking “revenge” for “her beleaguered people,” she had intended to pretend to be pregnant, wearing a suicide belt beneath her maternity dress, with full awareness that it would “rip her from limb to limb” (and leave her daughter an orphan). But, “with luck,” it would also kill many Israelis. Her own luck expired with her pre-attack arrest. Convicted of “conspiracy to commit premeditated killing and possession of explosives,” she spent six years in an Israeli prison.


There, Baker and Nazzal recounted in a front-page story (October 29), she “transformed herself from a would-be deliverer of death into a messenger of peace.” Offering “a window into the world of terrorism” that has recently inspired young Palestinians to launch the “stabbing intifada,” she explained “the kind of thinking that makes sacrificing oneself seem like a rational response to deep feelings of grievance.” After all, Israelis “occupy your home, your land, they kill your relatives and your people.” The only option is “to seek revenge.” The beguiled Times reporters did not care to provide a statistical update on the stabbing intifada: 3,635 Palestinian attacks (2,188 against civilians); 26 Israelis killed and 511 wounded. The reformed Ms. Qudsi is now a member of Combatants for Peace. It joins peace-seeking Palestinians and Israelis – former fighters and soldiers — in a new “jihad”: “The world must know the Palestinians’ land is occupied.” Now that yet another Times reporter has partnered with self-described “fixer” Rami Nazzal, her message is news fit to print.    



THE FÜHRER AND THE FOURTH ESTATE                           

Sean Durns                                                                    

Times of Israel, Nov. 23, 2016


There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth, and to shame the devil,” U.S. commentator Walter Lippman once said. How then, did the U.S. media cover a man responsible for some of the most evil and heinous acts in recorded history: Adolf Hitler? Press coverage of the German dictator defies a simple and neat summary, as the U.S. media was not, and has never been, a monolithic entity and coverage of Hitler naturally changed over time. Nonetheless, some patterns can be discerned from a cursory glance at the early years of Nazi rule.


Upon Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933, some U.S. news outlets did not see a devil, but rather, much needed stability being brought to a country that had been in economic and social upheaval since before the Great War. Hitler and the Nazis were providing a “dark land a clear light of hope,” according to a 1933 dispatch by the Christian Science Monitor that was cited by the American historian Dr. Rafael Medoff (“The American Papers That Praised Hitler,” The Daily Beast, Dec. 20, 2015). CSM praised, at its outset, Nazi rule for bringing order; quite literally for making the trains arrive “punctually.”


The U.S. press baron William Randolph Hearst was quoted by Putzi Hanfstaegnl, an early Hitler backer, about his purported views on the Nazi rise to power. According to the Aug. 23, 1934 issue of The New York Times, Hearst said that Hitler’s “Germany is battling for her liberation from the mischievous provisions of the Treaty of Versailles…This battle, in fact, can only be viewed as a struggle which all liberty-loving people are bound to follow with understanding and sympathy.” Although Hearst’s publications initially published articles by Hitler and his fellow fascist Benito Mussolini, the businessman, and the empire at his disposal, would eventually become a critic of Nazi rule and an advocate for their Jewish victims.


Other U.S. newspapers, despite evidence to the contrary, including the virulent antisemitism easily discerned in Hitler’s writings and speeches, nonetheless sought to look for moderation in the new Nazi regime. As Medoff has pointed out, the Berlin bureau chief for The New York Times, Frederick Birchall, claimed that there was a “new moderation” in the political atmosphere after Hitler took power. Similarly, The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin stated in a Jan. 30, 1933 report that “there have been indications of moderation” by Hitler.


Elsewhere, some journalists displayed a tendency to underestimate the objectives of the new authoritarian regime. The Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist, Hubert Knickerbocker, was one of the more perceptive members of the press to cover Nazi Germany. As detailed in Andrew Nagorski’s 2012 book Hiterland, Knickerbocker—in contrast to many of his colleagues—was one of the first to record rising anti-Semitism and to note it’s centrality to Nazi ideology. Yet, when it came to Nazi war aims, in 1933 Knickerbocker believed that, “The odds are too great against Germany for anyone but a mad German to consider making war now against France and her allies. Contrary to a considerable body of opinion abroad, it may be positively asserted that there are no madmen running Germany today.”


But as Ian Kershaw noted in his two-volume biography of the German dictator, Hitler’s rhetoric and Nazi ideology itself had begun to emphasize the need for Lebensraum (living space) from the late 1920s onwards. Some outlets had been misreading Hitler long before he came to power. For example, The New York Times, in a Nov. 21, 1922 article claimed, “Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded.” “He was,” they assured readers, “merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.” What The Times missed of course, was that anti-Semitism was central to the Nazi movement’s “political purposes.”


Long after Hitler became the Führer—after he enacted the Nuremberg Laws, dispossessed Jews and opened concentration camps—The New York Times would, in at least one article, proceed from the minimization of his ideology to outright hagiography. As my CAMERA colleague Gilead Ini pointed out, a 1939 New York Times Magazine article entitled “Herr Hitler At Home In The Clouds,” failed to critically detail Hitler’s policies, opting instead to record that the dictator “makes no secret of being fond of chocolate,” that he “likes an after-breakfast stroll on his mountain” and, perhaps most absurdly, that “Hitler can be a good listener.”…

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





Machla Abramovitz


Michpacha, Dec. 2017


They believe in the coming of a messianic epoch, one in which humanity will unite and peace and justice will reign. Their enemies are conservatives and traditionalists, or those who fail to comprehend the arc of history and humanity’s final destiny. No, they’re not an apocalyptic cult hatching a plot in a South American jungle hideout, but modern progressives who subscribe to the idea of “millennialism.”


Richard Landes, a former professor of Medieval Studies at Boston University, and currently the senior fellow with the Center of International Communication at Bar Ilan University, is one of their leading critics. For decades, Landes has been studying the phenomenon of millennialism, or the belief that a messianic era of justice, peace, and abundance is coming soon, often preceded by a massive disruptive event. Now, with the election of Donald J. Trump and the protests that have exploded nationwide, the world is witness to the expression of millennialism.


“Those who are protesting his election are not only criticizing Trump, but his supporters, who they dismiss as undereducated ‘deplorables’ who love their guns and their religion,” says Landes, who came to observant Judaism as an adult. “[To their way of thinking, Trump supporters] are mere offshoots of the Middle Ages, whereas Hillary Clinton supporters have advanced beyond that.” Were it only an academic meme, this kind of millennialism wouldn’t much concern the Jewish community. But in the 21st century, messianic progressives have joined their fellow millennial dreamers, the Muslim jihadis, and embraced a common apocalyptic narrative with an ultimate enemy – Israel.


“BDS is essentially a cognitive war (cogwar) campaign of Caliphaters — active, cataclysmic (apocalyptic) millennialists who believe that Islam will dominate the world under one global caliphate — that have teamed up with the global progressive left, who have been duped into thinking that Israel is the cause of the world’s woes,” said Landes, who recently delivered the keynote address at the Montreal-based Canadian Institute of Jewish Research’s (CIJR) conference on “BDS and the Campus Delegitimization of Israel.”


“That’s the folly of the progressives: to side with the most regressive messianic movement on the planet against the most progressive country in the world. Morally speaking, it’s just breathtaking.” Landes is perhaps best known as the man who helped expose the al-Durah hoax and coined the term “Pallywood” (Palestinian Hollywood). At the start of the second intifada, a young Palestinian named Mohammed al-Durah was allegedly shot to death by the Israeli army and died in his father’s arms. His death throes were captured by France 2 TV and became an iconic image of Palestinian victimhood. “This image represented the moment when Islamic apocalyptic discourse about the genocidal Israelis who intentionally kill Palestinian children, was mainstreamed in the Western media,” says Landes, who also serves as the chairman of the council of scholars for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. “This sentiment was all the more horrendous given that Mohammad’s death was a fake. When I looked into it, I was amazed by the widespread use of footage staged by Palestinians, run as news by Western journalists.”


The son of Professor David Landes, a renowned Harvard economic historian, Landes’ personal journey marked a departure not only from the secular intellectualism of his youth toward observant Judaism (he was inspired by Rabbi Joseph Leibowitz in the 1980s, while living in Berkeley, California), but later departed from former friends and colleagues within academia. This mindset, Landes acknowledges, continues to affect his relationships with friends and colleagues. “Since 2000, there has been a steady decline in the number of academics I talk with, work with, and exchange ideas with.” Of late, Landes has focused on educating university-aged students on the cognitive war that is currently being waged on today’s campuses – a war for which he feels they are woefully unprepared.


The concept of millennialism — the belief in a coming Utopia — features greatly in your work. Heaven on Earth, deals comprehensively with this subject. Please explain what this is and why it is such an important subject for today’s university students to understand and appreciate?


Millennialism is the idea that there will come a time when things will get better; therefore, we have to put factors in motion that will transform over generations. Its concepts, for the good and the bad, permeate our culture in multiple ways, which needn’t be religious. Western progressivism is based on a millennialist idea. When not revolutionary, it tends toward transformational millennialism, that is a gradual, nonviolent change that occurs because people’s awareness changes. Modern progressives start from what Pirkei Avos tells us: the toil is long and it’s not up to us to relinquish it, or finish it. For them, this is the time to finish it.


“What we witness today is a marriage between pre-modern sadism (the jihadists who hate the infidels) and post-modern masochism (the ones who klap al cheit),” says Professor Landes. “Trump had disappointed their millennial expectations” This millennialism activated by a sense of apocalyptic imminence can get darker. Fueled by a sense that the world is unbearably evil and corrupt, they believe that now is the time for evil to vanish from the earth. For many apocalyptic millennialists, the process will be cataclysmic: vast destruction of evil precedes the victory of good. In passive scenarios, like Christian Rapture, G-d is the major agent of this destruction: in active ones, like global Jihad, the believer is the major agent, G-d’s weapon of destruction.


ISIS is a Sunni Muslim millennialist cult. They believe in the establishment of a global caliphate and are willing to kill and be killed to establish it. Some Shiites also share this desire to bring on this messianic age. Iranian President Ayatollah Khamenei actually believes he is paving the way for the “hidden Imam” to emerge. And when that doesn’t happen on its own, apocalyptic zealots are not averse to suicidal action that will force the hand of G-d, in this case the Mahdi to come to their rescue. So when Secretary of State John Kerry states that the Iranian leaders are rational and would never do anything to bring on their own destruction (like nuke Israel) he doesn’t understand their motivating ideology…

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


Machla Abramovitz & Richard Landes are CIJR Academic Fellows

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


One Thing Voters Agree On: Better Campaign Coverage Was Needed: Liz Spayd, New York Times, Nov. 19, 2016—There is a group of 10 friends in Charlotte, N.C., all women, all in their 50s, all white. They’re college educated with successful careers, and they have a message for The New York Times: Come visit us. They voted for Donald Trump and don’t consider themselves homophobic, racist or anti-Muslim. But now, they say, thanks to The Times and its fixation on Trump’s most extreme supporters, most people think they are. They would like a chance to show otherwise, and one of them, Cindy Capwell, wrote my office to extend the invitation.

Author of New York Times Magazine Jerusalem Article Signed Pro-Boycott Petition: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Dec. 6, 2016 —Concern and questions are mounting as additional details emerge about an article in Sunday’s New York Times magazine highlighting what the article described as squalid conditions in a Jerusalem refugee camp.

Maclean’s Photo Essay Is Pure Palestinian Propaganda : Honest Reporting, Nov. 7, 2016—Re: Maclean’s Magazine: David Sherman, Toronto: Your photo essay shows destruction, but fails to explain why there was “Israeli shelling” and “the Israeli-Gaza conflict that destroyed much of Beit Lahiya,” leaving the uninformed reader to draw conclusions that Israel attacked Gaza for no reason, leaving misery in its wake. The photo essay should have provided some context, and should have described Israel‘s actions as a defensive war against thousands of rockets and dozens of tunnels aimed at Israeli civilians. Describing and showing the destruction without context merely reinforces the false narrative sold to the public that Israel is at fault.

Western Media Confused After Discovering Israel Not Involved in Most Middle East Conflicts: Rube Silverhill, Mideast Beast, Dec., 2016— Due to escalating tensions in Middle Eastern countries, arriving Western journalists were shocked to discover that the Middle East has a ton of conflicts, and very few are even remotely related to Israel. “I always write about the ‘Middle Eastern’ conflict being Israelis vs. Palestinians, but it turns out, the Middle East is a huge, complex, messed up region,” a BBC journalist exclaimed. “Who knew?”




Europe: The Substitution of a Population: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 27, 2016— Deaths that exceed births might sound like science fiction, but they are now Europe's reality. It just happened.

How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 11, 2016— This is about distance, and detachment, and a kind of historic decoupling between the top and the bottom in the West that did not, in more moderate recent times, exist.

Jewish Avengers Unapologetic for Targeting Nazis After WWII: Aron Heller & Randy Herschaft, Toronto Sun, Aug. 31, 2016— Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge against their former tormentors, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret — that to his knowledge he didn’t actually succeed in killing any Nazis.

The Last Nazi Hunter: Stav Ziv, Newsweek, July 7, 2016— Efraim Zuroff has accomplished much in his long career, but there’s one thing he’s particularly proud of: He’s the most hated Jew in Lithuania.


On Topic Links


"The Longest and Most Vicious Confrontation": An Interview With Daniel Pipes: L'Informale, Aug. 30, 2016

Europe's Old (and New) Hells Remind us of Israel's Importance: Alan Dershowitz, Fox News, May 17, 2016

Marx and Freud: The Creatures of Prometheus: Daniel Johnson, Standpoint, Sept. 2016

In ‘Blazing Saddles,’ Gene Wilder Helped Recall a Fading Black-Jewish Alliance: Andrew Silow-Carroll, Times of Israel, Aug. 31, 2016



Giulio Meotti

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 29, 2016


Deaths that exceed births might sound like science fiction, but they are now Europe's reality. It just happened. During 2015, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, while 5.2 million persons died, meaning that the EU for the first time in modern history recorded a negative natural change in its population. The numbers come from Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Union), which since 1961 has been counting Europe's population. It is official. There is, however, another surprising number: the European population increased overall from 508.3 million to 510.1 million. Have you guessed why? The immigrant population increased, by about two million in one year, while the native European population was shrinking. It is the substitution of a population. Europe has lost the will to maintain or grow its population. The situation is as demographically as seismic as during the Great Plague of the 14th Century.


This shift is what the British demographer David Coleman described in his study, "Immigration and Ethnic Change in Low-Fertility Countries: A Third Demographic Transition." Europe's suicidal birth rate, coupled with migrants who multiply faster, will transform European culture. The declining fertility rate of native Europeans coincides, in fact, with the institutionalization of Islam in Europe and the "re-Islamization" of its Muslims.


In 2015, Portugal recorded the second-lowest birth rate in the European Union (8.3 per 1,000 inhabitants) and negative natural growth of -2.2 per 1,000 inhabitants. Which EU country had the lowest birth rate? Italy. Since the "baby boom" of the 1960s, in the country famous for its large families, the birth rate has more halved. In 2015, the number of births fell to 485,000, fewer than in any other year since the modern Italy was formed in 1861. Eastern Europe now has "the largest population loss in modern history", while Germany overtook Japan by having the world's lowest birth rate, when averaged over past five years. In Germany and Italy, the decreases were particularly dramatic, down -2.3% and -2.7% respectively.


Out with the old, in with the new… Europe, as it is aging, no longer renews its generations, and instead welcomes massive numbers of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who are going to replace the native Europeans, and who are bringing cultures with radically different values about sex, science, political power, culture, economy and the relation between God and man. Some businesses are no longer even interested in European markets. Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies diapers, has pulled out of most of Europe. The market is simply not cost-effective. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble, which produces Pampers diapers, has been investing in the business of the future: diapers for old people.


Europe is becoming gray; you can feel all the sadness of a world that has consumed itself. In 2008, the countries of the European Union saw the birth of 5,469,000 children. Five years later, there were nearly half a million fewer, 5,075,000 — a decrease of 7%. Fertility rates have not only fallen in countries with aching economies, such as Greece, but also in countries such as Norway, which sailed through the financial crisis. As Lord Sacks recently said, "falling birth rates could spell the end of the West". Europe, as it is aging, no longer renews its generations, and instead welcomes massive numbers of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who are going to replace the native Europeans, and who are bringing cultures with radically different values about sex, science, political power, culture, economy and the relation between God and man.


Liberals and secularists tend to dismiss the importance of demographic and cultural issues. That is why the most important warnings come from some Christian leaders. The first to denounce this dramatic trend was a great Italian missionary, Father Piero Gheddo, who explained that, due to falling birth rates and religious apathy, "Islam would sooner rather than later conquer the majority in Europe". He was followed by others, such as Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, who leads the Eastern Catholics aligned with the Vatican. Rai warned that "Islam will conquer Europe by faith and birth rate". A similar warning just came from yet another cardinal, Raymond Leo Burke.


In one generation from now, Europe will be unrecognizable. People in Europe now largely seem to feel that the identity of their civilization is threatened primarily by a frivolous libertarianism, an ideology under the guise of freedom, that wants to deconstruct all the ties that bind man to his family, his parentage, his work, his history, his religion, his language, his nation, his freedom. It seems to come from an inertia that does not care if Europe succeeds or succumbs, if our civilization disappears, drowned by ethnic chaos, or is overrun by a new religion from the desert.


As a paper in the Washington Quarterly explains, the fatal meeting between Europe's falling birth rates and rise of Islam has already had significant consequences: Europe has turned into an incubator of terrorism; formed a new poisonous anti-Semitism; seen a political shift to the far right; undergone the biggest crisis in European authoritarian unity and witnessed a refocusing of foreign policy since Europe's withdrawal from the Middle East.


Demographic suicide is not only experienced; it appears to be wanted. The xenophile European bourgeoisie, which today controls politics and the media, seem imbued with a snobbish and masochistic racism. They have turned against the values of their own Judeo-Christian culture and combined it with a hallucinatory, romanticized view of the values of other cultures. The sad paradox is that Europeans are now importing young people in large numbers from the Middle East to compensate for their lifestyle choices. An agnostic and sterile continent — deprived of its gods and children because it banished them — will have no strength to fight or to assimilate a civilization of the zealous and the young. The failure to counter the coming transformation seems to come down on the side of Islam. Is what we are seeing the last days of summer?





Peggy Noonan

Wall Street Journal, Aug. 11, 2016


This is about distance, and detachment, and a kind of historic decoupling between the top and the bottom in the West that did not, in more moderate recent times, exist. Recently I spoke with an acquaintance of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and the conversation quickly turned, as conversations about Ms. Merkel now always do, to her decisions on immigration. Last summer when Europe was engulfed with increasing waves of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Ms. Merkel, moving unilaterally, announced that Germany would take in an astounding 800,000. Naturally this was taken as an invitation, and more than a million came. The result has been widespread public furor over crime, cultural dissimilation and fears of terrorism. From such a sturdy, grounded character as Ms. Merkel the decision was puzzling—uncharacteristically romantic about people, how they live their lives, and history itself, which is more charnel house than settlement house.


Ms. Merkel’s acquaintance sighed and agreed. It’s one thing to be overwhelmed by an unexpected force, quite another to invite your invaders in! But, the acquaintance said, he believed the chancellor was operating in pursuit of ideals. As the daughter of a Lutheran minister, someone who grew up in East Germany, Ms. Merkel would have natural sympathy for those who feel marginalized and displaced. Moreover she is attempting to provide a kind of counter-statement, in the 21st century, to Germany’s great sin of the 20th. The historical stain of Nazism, the murder and abuse of the minority, will be followed by the moral triumph of open arms toward the dispossessed. That’s what’s driving it, said the acquaintance.


It was as good an explanation as I’d heard. But there was a fundamental problem with the decision that you can see rippling now throughout the West. Ms. Merkel had put the entire burden of a huge cultural change not on herself and those like her but on regular people who live closer to the edge, who do not have the resources to meet the burden, who have no particular protection or money or connections. Ms. Merkel, her cabinet and government, the media and cultural apparatus that lauded her decision were not in the least affected by it and likely never would be. Nothing in their lives will get worse. The challenge of integrating different cultures, negotiating daily tensions, dealing with crime and extremism and fearfulness on the street—that was put on those with comparatively little, whom I’ve called the unprotected. They were left to struggle, not gradually and over the years but suddenly and in an air of ongoing crisis that shows no signs of ending—because nobody cares about them enough to stop it.


The powerful show no particular sign of worrying about any of this. When the working and middle class pushed back in shocked indignation, the people on top called them “xenophobic,” “narrow-minded,” “racist.” The detached, who made the decisions and bore none of the costs, got to be called “humanist,” “compassionate,” and “hero of human rights.” And so the great separating incident at Cologne last New Year’s, and the hundreds of sexual assaults by mostly young migrant men who were brought up in societies where women are veiled—who think they should be veiled—and who chose to see women in short skirts and high heels as asking for it. Cologne of course was followed by other crimes.


The journalist Chris Caldwell reports in the Weekly Standard on Ms. Merkel’s statement a few weeks ago, in which she told Germans that history was asking them to “master the flip side, the shadow side, of all the positive effects of globalization.” Caldwell: “This was the chancellor’s . . . way of acknowledging that various newcomers to the national household had begun to attack and kill her voters at an alarming rate.” Soon after her remarks, more horrific crimes followed, including in Munich (nine killed in a McDonald’s ) Reutlingen (a knife attack) and Ansbach (a suicide bomber)…

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



Aron Heller & Randy Herschaft

Toronto Sun, Aug. 31, 2016


Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge against their former tormentors, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret — that to his knowledge he didn’t actually succeed in killing any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish “Avengers” who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 that sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. A recently declassified U.S. military report obtained by The Associated Press has only added to the mystery of why the brazen operation did not kill Nazis, because it shows the amount of arsenic used should have been fatal to tens of thousands.


Still, the 91-year-old Harmatz says the message echoed into a rallying cry for the newborn state of Israel — that the days when attacks on Jews went unanswered were over. “We didn’t want to come back (to pre-state Israel) without having done something, and that is why we were keen,” Harmatz said in a hoarse, whispery voice from his apartment in north Tel Aviv.


Despite a visceral desire for vengeance, most Holocaust survivors were too weary or devastated to seriously consider it, after their world was shattered and 6 million Jews killed during World War II. For most, merely rebuilding their lives and starting new families was revenge enough against a Nazi regime that aimed to destroy them. For others, physical retribution ran counter to Jewish morals and traditions. For even more, the whole concept of reprisals seemed pointless given the sheer scope of the genocide.


But a group of some 50, most young men and women who had already fought in the resistance, could not let the crimes go unpunished and actively sought to exact at least a small measure of revenge. The Nuremberg trials were prosecuting some top Nazis, but the Jewish people had no formal representative. There was a deep sense of justice denied, as the vast majority of Nazis immersed themselves back into a post-war Germany that was being rebuilt by the Americans’ Marshall plan.


While there were some isolated acts of Jews harming individual Nazis after the war, the group, codenamed Nakam, Hebrew for vengeance, sought a more comprehensive form of punishment. “We didn’t understand why it shouldn’t be paid back,” said Harmatz, who was nicknamed Julek, and lost most of his family in the Holocaust. So the group set out with a simple mission. “Kill Germans,” Harmatz said flatly. How many? “As many as possible,” he quickly replied.


The first plan of action described by Harmatz was audacious. Initiated by the resistance fighter and noted Israeli poet Abba Kovner, the idea was to poison the water supply of Nuremberg, a plot that could have potentially killed hundreds of thousands. But there were deep reservations even among the Avengers that such an operation would kill innocent Germans and undermine international support for the establishment of Israel. Either way, when Kovner sailed for Europe with the poison, he drew suspicion from British authorities and was forced to toss it overboard before he was arrested.


Following that setback, attention shifted toward Plan B, a more limited operation that specifically targeted the worst Nazi perpetrators. Undercover members of the group found work at a bakery that supplied the Stalag 13 POW camp at Langwasser, near Nuremberg, and waited for their chance to strike the thousands of SS men the Americans held there. It came on Apr. 13, 1946. Using poison procured from one of Kovner’s associates, three members spent two hours coating some 3,000 loaves of bread with arsenic, divided into four portions. The goal was to kill 12,000 SS personnel, and Harmatz oversaw the operation from outside the bakery.


While the mass death count of the first plan would have been disastrous for the Jewish people, the second’s more direct route was easier to accept, since its targets were the worst of the worst, said Dina Porat, the chief historian at Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial. She has written a biography of Kovner and is about to publish another book on the Avengers themselves. “The terrible tragedy was about to be forgotten, and if you don’t punish for one crime, you will get another,” she explained. “This is what was driving them, not only justice but a warning, a warning to the world that you cannot hurt Jews in such a manner and get away with it.”


Even if they were ultimately unsuccessful, she said, the Avengers’ act was seeped with symbolism for a burgeoning state of Israel fighting for its survival in a hostile region. “What is Zionism? Zionism is the Jews taking their fate in their own hands and not letting the others dictate our fate,” she said. “This is what they wanted to show. You cannot get away with such a terrible deed.” Under German regulations, authorities in Nuremberg later investigated Harmatz and Leipke Distal, who worked undercover in the bakery for months, after they appeared in a 1999 television documentary and revealed details of the operation…

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





Stav Ziv

Newsweek, July 7, 2016


Efraim Zuroff has accomplished much in his long career, but there’s one thing he’s particularly proud of: He’s the most hated Jew in Lithuania. His Lithuanian friend Ruta Vanagaite agrees: She called him a “mammoth,” a “boogeyman” and the “ruiner of reputations”—and that’s just in the introduction to a book they co-authored.


Last summer, in a journey that helped cement his notoriety, Zuroff set off across the Lithuanian countryside in a gray SUV with Vanagaite, an author best known for a book about women finding happiness after age 50. Their goal: to visit some of the nation’s more than 200 sites of mass murder during World War II. On the road, between destinations, they talked and talked, recording their conversations. The trip formed the basis of their 2016 book, Our People: Journey With an Enemy, an instant best-seller in Lithuania. It also ignited a rancorous debate among Lithuanians, who have long downplayed their country’s considerable role in the Holocaust.


Zuroff, often called the last Nazi hunter, has spent nearly four decades chasing down suspects from Australia to Iceland, from Hungary to the United States. His methods are sometimes controversial, but his mission is righteous: bringing to justice every remaining perpetrator of one of the most heinous crimes in history. For Westerners, the tiny country of Lithuania might seem an odd place for him to dig in, but with most Nazis either dead or too frail to face trial, this Eastern European nation may be the Nazi hunter’s last stand. He considers Lithuania one of his most important fights because it hasn’t addressed its role in mass murder during the Holocaust—its citizens killed almost all of the 250,000 Jews who lived there in 1941. “Not a single Lithuanian sat one day in jail in independent Lithuania” for collaborating with the Nazis and participating in the Holocaust, Zuroff tells Newsweek.


“I realize how difficult it could be for Lithuania to admit its complicity,” he told Vanagaite in Our People. “It took France 50 years to acknowledge its guilt. Germany had no choice. But for your sake and your children’s sake, the sooner you face this honestly, the sooner the healing process will start.” “If it took France 50 years, it will take Lithuania 50 years as well,” said Vanagaite. “No, it will take you 90 years,” replied Zuroff. “Because your crimes are greater, and your ability to deal with them is less. The French prepared the Jews to be sent somewhere, and they sent them away to be murdered. Here, the Jews were murdered by your people….You know why everyone in Lithuania hates me? Because they know that I am right.”


Zuroff wants to make it very clear that Nazi hunting isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. “A lot of times, people come up to me and say, ‘You have my dream job…. When I was a child, I wanted to be a Nazi hunter,’” he tells Newsweek, clearly amused by their ignorance. “You know—it’s not doing ambushes in the jungles of South America.” Nor does it resemble the popular ’70s book and subsequent film The Boys From Brazil, in which Laurence Olivier spends much of his time chasing Dr. Josef Mengele, played by Gregory Peck, and unraveling his evil plan to use 94 clones of Adolf Hitler to resurrect the Reich. The film doesn’t hold up particularly well, and not only because of its revenge fantasy ending that features Mengele being mauled to death by a pack of Dobermans. (In reality, the “Angel of Death” drowned while living under a pseudonym in South America.)


Zuroff says a Nazi hunter’s job these days is “one-third detective, one-third historian, one-third political lobbyist,” with countless hours spent tracking down witnesses, poring over archives and convincing governments to take action. Imagine Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with the hero spending 98 percent of the movie in his school’s library. Zuroff never set out to become an object of contempt in Lithuania or the world’s last Nazi hunter. He grew up in the Brooklyn borough of New York—Brighton Beach and Flatbush—hoping to become the first Orthodox Jew to play in the NBA. Though he was named for his great uncle, Efraim Zar, who was murdered in Lithuania during the Holocaust, Zuroff’s career as a Nazi hunter began only after he made aliyah, Jewish immigration to Israel, in 1970 and completed his Ph.D. in Holocaust history.


In the early 1980s, he worked in Israel for the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was formed in 1979 to probe and prosecute war criminals. Since 1986, Zuroff has directed the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization that combats anti-Semitism and is named after the Holocaust survivor and legendary Nazi hunter who died in 2005. Since he operates through a nongovernmental organization that has no power to prosecute, Zuroff is considered a “freelance Nazi hunter.”


Coming into the profession so late, Zuroff missed many of the big names Wiesenthal and others pursued—Mengele, Adolf Eichmann and Karl Silberbauer, the Gestapo agent who led the arrest of Anne Frank and her family. “That I’m jealous about, definitely,” Zuroff says, sitting in his sunny Jerusalem office, surrounded by books and overstuffed files, with framed press clippings surrounding him and a miniature basketball hoop in one corner. This could be the work space of a genial but harried accountant, until you look closer and notice that one little drawer reads “Latvian War Criminals Master List, M-Z.”…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic Links


"The Longest and Most Vicious Confrontation": An Interview With Daniel Pipes: L'Informale, Aug. 30, 2016—Daniel Pipes is today one of the most alert observers of the Middle East. From the history of Medieval Islam, he has shifted to modern and contemporary Islam upon which he has concentrated a large part of his focus as a scholar and historian, as well as son of another historian, Richard Pipes, the great Harvard specialist of Soviet Russia history.

Europe's Old (and New) Hells Remind us of Israel's Importance: Alan Dershowitz, Fox News, May 17, 2016—I just returned from a week-long journey through hell! It began with a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps in what was once German-occupied Poland, as a participant of the March of the Living, following a conference commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nuremberg laws and the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials.

Marx and Freud: The Creatures of Prometheus: Daniel Johnson, Standpoint, Sept. 2016—Marx and Freud remain the twin titans of the modern mind. I use the word “titan” in the Promethean sense of mythical creators who suffered for their defiance of the divine order. Debunked and discredited, mocked and misinterpreted, these titans return to haunt each generation with their incendiary ideas.

In ‘Blazing Saddles,’ Gene Wilder Helped Recall a Fading Black-Jewish Alliance: Andrew Silow-Carroll, Times of Israel, Aug. 31, 2016 —Last year I joined some 3,000 people at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for a wide-screen showing of Mel Brooks’ 1974 Western parody “Blazing Saddles.” In the onstage interview that followed, Brooks, then 89, was beside himself in his delight at sharing his 42-year-old comedy with a real live audience.
















Who Will Lead the United Nations?: John Bolton, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 7, 2016—Although few Americans are paying attention, the race to succeed Ban Ki-moon as United Nations secretary-general is well under way.


There’s No Doubt About It — We Are at War: Fr. Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, June 14, 2016 — After the (second) jihadist massacre in Paris last year, I listed 20 cities that had been visited by the scourge of terrorism since 2001.

Orlando Atrocity Highlights America’s Divisions: Ben Cohen, JNS, June 15, 2016— In the days since the massacre of 49 people and the wounding of hundreds more by an Islamist gunman at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, America’s political leadership has sounded more discordant than ever.

The West's Most Powerful Ally: Islamic Dissidents: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, June 13, 2016— Islam, warned the best-selling Algerian novelist, Boualem Sansal, is going to split European society. In an interview with German media, this brave Arab writer painted a vision of Europe subjugated by radical Islam.

Last Nazi Trial: Verdict Friday for Former Auschwitz Guard: Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun, June 16, 2016— They are the last eyewitnesses, their hair white, their gait unsteady, but cloaked in determination as powerful as their searing memories.


On Topic Links


An Israeli Rabbi's Response to Obama's Speech on Radical Islam (Video): Thelandofisrael, June 15, 2016 — All administrations are short-sighted.

How Many Bodies Will it Take?: Phyllis Chesler, Jewish Press, June 15, 2016

Sacks to the Rescue: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, June 13, 2016

Israel and Diaspora Jewry – A Looming Crisis: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 14, 2016




Fr. Raymond J. de Souza                                   

                      National Post, June 14, 2016


After the (second) jihadist massacre in Paris last year, I listed 20 cities that had been visited by the scourge of terrorism since 2001. The travelogue of terror encircles the globe, I wrote then, and now we add Orlando, Fla. The relevant news this time was that the killer attacked a local haven for the gay and lesbian community, a place where many of them felt safe. Jihadist violence against homosexuals is not exactly new, but the scale certainly was, as was the location, in the American homeland.

Before Saturday night, when the world thought about Orlando, people would think about Disney World. I don’t know if they sing It’s a Small World there anymore, but our world is just that, and it’s been made smaller by the fact that Paris, Lahore and Orlando are apparently equally vulnerable to the brutality of Islamist terror.


So what can be said this time that wasn’t said when about 130 were killed in Paris last November, or when 70 were killed in Lahore while celebrating Easter Sunday? It being America, there was no shortage of people shouting on television and the Internet — incendiary commentary being another doleful hallmark of our times, along with identity politics and the gun culture. That the massacre in Orlando brought all three together made it difficult to watch or listen to the news.


So what to say this time? We can’t speak about the Paris attacks of “last year” without distinguishing between the attack in January and the one in November. The travelogue of terror is such that we rarely even notice attacks in Israel anymore. Three days before the murder of 49 people in Orlando, four were killed in a terror attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv. Per capita, that’s a greater loss of life in Israel than in America last week. There is so little left to say.


Maybe we should just say less. There is a war afoot, and in war it does not behoove one to explain particular acts of war as having some independent significance. The talk about mental illness, gun laws, gay marriage, immigration and all the rest is an understandable attempt to put a more useful frame, even if it doesn’t fit, onto an act best explained as one of war, in which civilians were targeted and killed. The latest report that the killer might himself be gay, as suggested by his ex-wife, show how fruitless that approach is. Who knows? What if he was? I don’t think it matters very much.


What matters is that in this war with violent jihadism civilians are targeted for death and societies for terror. These civilians were at a gay nightclub, so the gay community feels the loss in a particular way that invites our solidarity, but when jihadis kill fellow Muslims as well as Christians, Jews, concert-goers, shoppers and cartoonists, it is of limited usefulness to the war to inquire as to why this particular nightclub was the target. It is necessary to comfort America in her grief, and the gay community in particular, but the over-analysis of supposed ancillary causes is not necessary when the primary cause is told to us by the killer himself.


The war we are in is not a conventional one between nations; it is a war between a radical ideology, in this case a theologically corrupt form of Islam and, well, it seems everyone else, beginning with alternative forms of Islamic society. In war, one speaks about the enemy more than the tactics. That’s why U.S. President Barack Obama is so awkward when confronted by terror, because in this war he desires to speak about the tactics rather than the enemy. I share Obama’s views about assault weapons — as does almost the entire world outside the United States — but countries with far stricter gun laws than America have suffered worse terror attacks than Orlando.


The danger of not speaking about the enemy with clarity is that we end up speaking about ourselves falsely, too. President Obama said America “needs the courage to change” attitudes toward the gay community. Perhaps America should legalize gay marriage and mandate transgender washrooms in schools? Would that help? In war, the attacks are not about the victims, but the perpetrators. The cause of the Blitz was not to be found in London, but Berlin. There is a peculiar blindness, even self-absorption, in thinking that the jihadists kill because we celebrate Easter, draw blasphemous cartoons, dance in gay nightclubs, drink coffee in cafés or go to work in skyscrapers. Next time the jihadists strike — and there will be a next time — let’s say less, for there is little left to say. Instead, we should do more. That’s how wars are won.



ORLANDO ATROCITY HIGHLIGHTS AMERICA’S DIVISIONS                                                             

Ben Cohen                                                                                                                    

JNS, June 15, 2016


In the days since the massacre of 49 people and the wounding of hundreds more by an Islamist gunman at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, America’s political leadership has sounded more discordant than ever. Never mind the absence of a bipartisan consensus about what we should do; our politicians are engaged in unsightly squabbling about the nature of the problem itself.


In one corner, we have the Democratic Party, led by President Barack Obama, aggressively steering the national debate towards gun control. According to this camp’s account, there was this vague, slippery phenomenon known as “hatred” that prodded and pushed the febrile mind of gunman Omar Mateen, but what really matters is the fact that he legally purchased an assault rifle to carry out his bestial attack.


In the other corner, we have presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and his rainbow coalition of the angry, the cheated, and the merely racist. Listening to Trump again advocating for a ban on Muslims entering this country, one could easily picture the many Republicans who would gladly transfer to a parallel universe where a Marco Rubio or a Ted Cruz or even a Jeb Bush is leading their party’s response to the Orlando massacre. That they are stuck with Trump after eight years of the Obama administration tells you all you need to know about how the American conversation about national security has degenerated.


It can and should be recognized that there are many legitimate concerns bound up with the Orlando bloodbath: access to guns, immigration policy, the ugly persistence of homophobia, the vulnerability of soft targets like clubs and restaurants, the fetish for violence that is a feature of nearly all extremist ideologies and individual pathologies. But none of these particular aspects should divert us from appraising the root cause of all this—that is, Islamism.


Depressingly, this argument should be obvious, but it isn’t. Most Americans have known since 9/11 that Islamism, whether in its “constitutional” Muslim Brotherhood guise, or its Shi’a Iranian variant, or in the Sunni version that has spawned both al-Qaeda and Islamic State, is founded on the principle that coexistence with Western civilization and its values should be opposed at all costs. It is violently anti-Semitic, violently homophobic, and violently anti-democratic, and it cannot be anything else. These core precepts explain why Mateen was able to declare support for the Shi’a terrorist group Hezbollah as well as the Sunni Islamic State.


Yet everywhere this understanding of Islamism’s essence, reinforced by each attack, is compromised by parochial agendas. To listen to many Democrats, you’d think that Islamic State was just one of several extremist groups native to America, rather than a creation of the Middle East region (specifically, of the power vacuum in the region left by the Americans, and filled by the Russians and the Iranians.) That, of course, brings us neatly to matters like gun control, hate speech, bullying, and all the other progressive bugbears. Most importantly, it means we can avoid a discussion about our foreign policy and ignore the reality that Islamic State is a global phenomenon that has struck in Paris and Brussels as well as in Orlando.


Trump is no better. He, too, wants to present the Islamist threat as a domestic issue, with his solution involving a ban on Muslims entering the country instead of more restrictions on gun ownership. The corollary of this offensive, lazy, and downright stupid proposal is that we leave the policing of the Middle East to Russian dictator President Vladimir Putin, the one foreign leader idolized by Trump. That means, at least in the short term, the further empowerment of the Iranian regime and its Syrian puppet, President Bashar al-Assad.


Where would that leave the U.S.? That depends on who you think is better placed to manage and leverage the next evolutions in the Middle Eastern balance of power—a former KGB officer, or a reality TV star whose hair would fall out at the first crackle of gunfire. And if your answer is “Hillary Clinton,” I’m afraid that only generates another set of difficult questions, among them whether she can get tough with our enemies with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party breathing down her neck, and how she would sell a future foreign military engagement to the American public with the disastrous intervention in Libya on her record.


This is the reality that we must deal with: two presidential candidates—one compromised by her past record, the other a vulgar neophyte—competing for the votes of a deeply polarized nation. No longer do terrible events like the Orlando atrocity bring us together. To the contrary, they shine a blinding light on our political divisions. In times of grief, it is natural to seek comfort. In the wake of Orlando, though, comfort is in scant supply. There are no soothing words to offer, nor is there much prospect of a positive change in policy on the horizon. All that is visible are the threats: more terrorist attacks here and in Europe, the collapse of the nuclear non-proliferation regime inside and outside the Middle East, the continued flow of refugees from Syria’s brutal civil war. Most of all, our real enemies will multiply outside our borders while we obsess about the phantom enemies, from transgender celebrities to Muslim taxi drivers, within them.



THE WEST'S MOST POWERFUL ALLY: ISLAMIC DISSIDENTS                                                                     

Giulio Meotti                                                                                                         

Arutz Sheva, June 13, 2016


Islam, warned the best-selling Algerian novelist, Boualem Sansal, is going to split European society. In an interview with German media, this brave Arab writer painted a vision of Europe subjugated by radical Islam. According to Sansal, the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels are directed at the Western way of life: "You can not even defeat the weak Arab states, so they have brought in fifth columns to bring the West to destroy itself. If they succeed society will fall."


Mr. Sansal, who has been threatened with death, belongs to a rapidly growing army of Muslim dissidents. They are the best liberation movement for millions of Muslims who aspire to practice their faith peacefully without submitting to the dictates of fundamentalists and fanatics. These Muslim dissidents pursue freedom of conscience, interreligious coexistence, pluralism in the public sphere, criticism of Islam, and respect for the rule of common law. For the Islamic world, their message could be devastating. That is why the Islamists are hunting them down.


It is always individuals, such as Lech Walesa, who make all the difference. The Soviet Union was defeated by only three beings: Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II — and the dissidents. When Professor Robert Havemann died in East Germany, few people noticed it. This intrepid critic of the regime was confined under house arrest in Grünheide, guarded by the Stasi. But the old professor never allowed himself to be intimidated. He continued to fight for his ideas.


A hero of Czechoslovak anti-Communism, Jan Patočka, died under grueling police interrogation. Patočka paid the highest price for fighting silencing. His brilliant lectures were reduced to a clandestine seminar. Although unable to publish, he continued to work in a tiny underground apartment. Hunted by the KGB, Alexander Solzhenitsyn set down the chapters of his Gulag Archipelago and hid them with different trusted friends, so no one possessed the entire manuscript. In 1973 only three copies existed. When the Soviet political police managed to extort the typist, Elizaveta Voronyanskya, to reveal one of the hideouts, thinking the masterpiece was lost forever she hanged herself.


Today a new Iron Curtain has been erected by Islam against the rest of the world, and the new heroes are the dissidents, the apostates, the heretics, the rebels, and the non-believers. It is no coincidence that the first victim of a fatwa was Salman Rushdie, an Indian-British writer from a Muslim family. Pascal Bruckner called them "the free thinkers of the Muslim world." We should support them — all of them. Because if the enemies of freedom come from free societies, those who kneel before Allah's enforcers, some of the bravest defenders of freedom come from the Islamic regimes. Europe should give financial, moral and political support to these friends of Western civilization, while our disgraced intelligentsia is engaged in slandering them.


One, an Algerian author, Kamel Daoud, who called Saudi Arabia "an Isis that had made it," recently sparked an "Islamophobia" row for having directed his own anger at the naïve people, who he says ignore the cultural gulf separating the Arab-Muslim world from Europe. Another, an Iranian exile, now in the Netherlands, the jurist Afshin Ellian, works at Utrecht University, where after the murder of Theo Van Gogh, he is protected by bodyguards. After the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, while Europe's media were busy in blaming the "stupid" cartoonists, Ellian promoted an appeal: "Don't let terrorists determine the limits of free speech."


Another brave dissident and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, had to flee from the Netherlands to the U.S., where she rapidly became one of most prominent public intellectuals. The Moroccan mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is also guarded by police. He recently told fellow Muslims who protested against freedoms they found while living in the West to "pack your bags and f… off." A heroic Christian defender of these freedoms in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, is now on trial accused of "discrimination." "I am in jail," he has said, referring to his safe houses, "and they are walking around free."


Many of these dissidents are women. Shukria Barakzai, an Afghan politician and journalist, declared war on Islamic fundamentalists after the Taliban's religious police beat her for daring to walk without a male escort. A suicide bomber blew himself up near her car, killing three. Kadra Yusuf, a Somali journalist, infiltrated Oslo's mosques to denounce the imams, especially regarding female genital mutilation, not even required in the Koran or the Hadith (added by Mohammad). In Pakistan, Sherry Rehman called for "a reform of Pakistani blasphemy's laws." She risks her life every day. She is branded by Islamists "fit to be killed" for being a woman, a Muslim and a secular activist. The Syrian-American author and psychiatrist, Wafa Sultan, was also branded an "infidel" deserving of death.


Le Figaro recently published a long report about Muslim French personalities threatened with "execution". "Placed under permanent police protection, regarded as traitors by Muslim fundamentalists, they live in a hell. In the eyes of Islamists, their freedom is an act of betrayal of the ummah [community]." They are writers and journalists of Arab-Muslim culture who denounce the Islamist threat and the inherent violence of the Koran. They stand alone against Islamism which uses the physical terrorism of Kalashnikovs, and against the intellectual terrorism which submits them to media intimidation. Seen as 'traitors' by their communities, they are accused by the élites in the West of stigmatizing."…

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




LAST NAZI TRIAL: VERDICT FRIDAY FOR FORMER AUSCHWITZ GUARD                                           

Michele Mandel   

           Toronto Sun, June 16, 2016


They are the last eyewitnesses, their hair white, their gait unsteady, but cloaked in determination as powerful as their searing memories. Gathered from around the world, they crossed oceans and continents in their twilight days to testify in what may well be this country’s final Nazi trial. And now to this quaint city, they return for the verdict which is expected Friday. Their numbers are quickly dwindling and so for them, the added responsibility to seek justice, to speak for the 1.1 million people murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau; for their mothers and fathers, younger brothers and baby sisters, complete families and entire towns, who did not share what in Yiddish is called their mazel, the luck, to escape Hitler’s Final Solution.


For seven decades, Reinhold Hanning has had luck of a different kind. Before he retired, the 94-year-old widower ran a dairy in the neighbouring town of Lage, where no one knew of his SS past, or didn’t care. He wasn’t one of the leaders or the decision makers, just a former young, low-ranking SS sergeant in starched uniform and jackboots following orders. Or so the excuses go. At his comfortable home surrounded by a well-tended garden of pink and salmon roses, the grandfather of three is not available to speak. “This is very difficult for us and for him, too,” says his daughter-in-law.


Hanning almost escaped this day of reckoning, as so many have, except for this belated race against time, a new legal push by some extraordinary German jurists ashamed of their nation’s poor efforts in the past to prosecute its lower level henchmen. In the last five years, lawyers have argued that these SS functionaries at Auschwitz were indispensable cogs in the engine of genocide who must be tried as accessories to murder. The novel legal strategy won convictions against John Demanjuk in 2011 and Oskar Groning, the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, in 2015. Now, after a trial that began in February, Hanning will arrive by wheelchair at the courthouse Friday to hear judgment on charges he aided and abetted the murder of more than 100,000 Jews at Auschwitz. If convicted, prosecutors are seeking a six-year sentence.


In the courtroom to see justice done will be many of the Holocaust survivors who testified against him earlier this year, including two plaintiffs from Toronto. They walk each day haunted by the horrors they witnessed at Auschwitz, yet Bill Glied, 85, and Hedy Bohm, 88, are remarkably free of hatred and bitterness. They share a quiet elegance, an old world sense of culture and courtliness that can be traced back to their youth in Europe before the Second World War. They feel compelled to return here not to seek vengeance, they say, but the due process their murdered siblings and parents never received from the Nazis.


“This is monumental for us, absolutely monumental,” explains Bohm hours after she’s arrived back in Detmold for the second time in three months. “Seventy years ago, this man helped murder my family and I wouldn’t be here when he’s brought to justice? Wouldn’t you be? This is something I never ever dared to dream of.” For her, the victory is that her voice was heard in the heart of a nation that once enslaved her and ordered the extermination of her entire race. “I thought it would be terrible to be here in Germany and to be surrounded by the German language that I dreaded in Auschwitz, but because of the wonderful people I have met, it took the weight and the heaviness from my heart.”


She bristles when asked about those who suggest that as an old man, Hanning should be left alone. “Whoever asks that question of me, I would ask them, ‘How would they feel if their mother and father and family were murdered, would it matter if they found the murderer 70 years later?’ I’m sure they would want justice, no matter how long it took. It would have been better sooner, but justice is being served. Finally. Finally.”


For Glied, this is a moment in history he dare not miss. “This is the very last of the Nazi trials. I don’t think there will be more,” he predicts days before leaving his Toronto home filled with art and antiques. While there other former Nazis still alive, those closely associated with efforts to track them down are doubtful there will be time to bring them to justice before the last of them passes away, which is why Hanning’s verdict has such historical significance. “The world has to know what has happened. In particular, I’m concerned nowawdays so many of the neo-Nazis and their helpers seem to say, ‘Well, the Holocaust never happened and that the only people who talk about it are so-called Holocaust survivors.’ “And I’d like to be able to say, ‘Don’t listen to me. Listen to a German court, a German court that says: ‘Here is a man who’s convicted of the crimes.’”


On Friday, Glied will face the former SS guard with his daughter and granddaughter by his side – the ultimate revenge against Hitler and his disciples who tried to annihilate his family and millions of other Jews. “There’s going to be three generations there,” says the proud father of three and grandfather of eight. “I think that, in itself, is an important factor, that we can say, ‘Hey, you didn’t win at the end. We’re here.’”… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


AS WE GO TO PRESS: NAZI TRIAL VERDICT: FORMER AUSCHWITZ GUARD SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS IN PRISON IN GERMANY (Berlin) — A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard was found guilty Friday of being an accessory to the murder of more than 170,000 people for his role in helping kill 1.1 million at the Nazi death camp during World War II, the Associated Press reported. Reinhold Hanning was sentenced to five years in prison. He had faced a maximum of 15 years. (IBT, June 17, 2016)


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


An Israeli Rabbi's Response to Obama's Speech on Radical Islam (Video): Thelandofisrael, June 15, 2016

How Many Bodies Will it Take?: Phyllis Chesler, Jewish Press, June 15, 2016 —After being written off as a racist Islamophobe for fifteen years because I raised precisely the same points that both Carl Bernstein (!) and Barney Frank (!) raised earlier today; after viewing the sweet, doomed faces of the 49 murdered gay and perhaps non-gay people, mainly Latinos and Latinas, often people of color, on my TV screen—what do I have to say?

Sacks to the Rescue: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, June 13, 2016 —Western civilization is in deep crisis, beset from within by moral decline and struck from without by powerful radical enemies. Avoiding disaster requires recommitment to the values taught by biblical tradition, and specifically the ethical and ideological principles embedded in Jewish civilization.

Israel and Diaspora Jewry – A Looming Crisis: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 14, 2016 —The Jewish world, both in Israel and the Diaspora, is undergoing dramatic demographic and ideological changes. The past decades have witnessed a steep decline in the power and influence of Diaspora Jews. Israel’s centrality to Jewish life and the ties which link Jews in the Diaspora to Israel are facing considerable stress. Yet Israel has clearly emerged as the guarantor of the continuity of Jewish life.







NB: Beth Tikvah Synagogue & CIJR Present: The Annual Sabina Citron International Conference:

THE JEWISH THOUGHT OF EMIL L. FACKENHEIM: JUDAISM, ZIONISM, HOLOCAUST, ISRAEL — Toronto, Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The day-long Beth Tikvah Conference, co-chaired by Prof. Frederick Krantz (CIJR) and Rabbi Jarrod R. Grover (Beth Tikvah), open to the public and especially to students, features original papers by outstanding Canadian and international scholars, some his former students, on the many dimensions of Emil L. Fackenheim's exceptionally powerful, and prophetic thought, and on his rich life and experience. Tickets: Regular – $36; Seniors – $18; students free. For registration, information, conference program, and other queries call 1-855-303-5544 or email yunna@isranet.org. Visit our site: www.isranet.org/events.


AS WE GO TO PRESS: NATO WARNS OF ‘TROUBLING’ RUSSIAN ESCALATION IN SYRIA —NATO’s secretary general warned Thursday of a “troubling escalation” in Russian military activities in Syria, saying the alliance stands firmly behind member Turkey even as Moscow broadens its air and sea attacks. “NATO is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat,” Jens Stoltenberg said from the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels as defense ministers gathered for a meeting… Stoltenberg accused Russia of violating Turkish airspace during bombing runs against anti-government rebels in Syria earlier this week…The announcement came one day after Russia’s Caspian Sea fleet launched cruise missile strikes against Syrian rebels from nearly 1,000 miles away, a potent exhibition of Moscow’s firepower as it backs a government ground offensive. (Washington Post, Oct. 8, 2015)


Beware Putin and His ‘Anti-Hitler Coalition’: Victor Davis Hanson, Washington Times, Oct. 7, 2015 — Contrary to the principles of American foreign policy of the last 70 years, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry tacitly invited Russia to “help” monitor things in the Middle East.

How to Roll Back Russia: Max Boot, Commentary, Oct. 7, 2015— Every day seems to bring an escalation of the Russian military involvement in Syria.

The Russian-Iranian Gambit in Syria: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, Oct. 6, 2015 — The Russian airstrikes in Syria, the recent Iranian-Russian arms deal, and the coordination between Tehran, Moscow, Damascus, and Baghdad in the war against the Islamic State group all herald a change in the Middle East.

President ‘Mumbo-Jumbo’: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 5, 2015 — David Petraeus testified last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. policy in the Middle East.


On Topic Links


Vlad’s Gone Mad: National Post, Oct. 8, 2015

Everyone is 'Fighting Islamic State' – And They’re All Lying: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2015

Putin in New York: A Tactical Win, But at What Price?: Aurel Braun, Globe & Mail,  Sept. 29, 2015

Putin and the West’s Moral Vacuum: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 1, 2015



BEWARE PUTIN AND HIS ‘ANTI-HITLER COALITION’                                                                  

Victor Davis Hanson

Washington Times, Oct. 7, 2015


Contrary to the principles of American foreign policy of the last 70 years, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry tacitly invited Russia to “help” monitor things in the Middle East. Now they are learning that there are lots of Middle East scenarios far worse than the relative quiet Iraq that the Obama administration inherited in January 2009 — and soon abandoned. Russian President Vladimir Putin liked the American invitation so much that he now has decided to move in permanently. Mr. Putin now wants the West to join his new Syria-Iran-Hezbollah-Iraq axis against the Islamic State — or to at least sit back and allow Russia to straighten out the Middle East as it sees fit.


To fight the Islamic State, Mr. Putin has called for something similar to the “anti-Hitler coalition” of World War II that once saw the Soviet Union and the West unite to defeat Nazi Germany. Certainly, the Islamic State, like Nazi Germany, is a savage regime. So far it has grown unchecked at the very center of the Middle East. Yet under the cloak of fighting the Islamic State, Mr. Putin has two greater visions.


One, he is intervening to save his client in Syria, strongman Bashar Assad — and with him a new Middle East Shiite axis of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia. Mr. Putin says he wishes to destroy the terrorists of the Islamic State. But for now he is bombing moderate opponents of Mr. Assad and bolstering the anti-Western terrorists of Hezbollah and perhaps Hamas as well. Two, Mr. Putin is sending a warning to the oil-exporting Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, who are as rich as they are militarily weak: Russia, not the United States, is the new cop on the Middle Eastern beat. If oil-rich and nuclear Russia and a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran can bully the Sunni monarchies, Mr. Putin’s new cartel may control the spigot of some 75 percent of the world’s daily export of oil.


Mr. Putin’s recall of history is as fishy as his proposed coalition. Since he has invoked the “anti-Hitler” alliance of World War II, we would all do well to remember the circumstances that led to the totalitarian Soviet Union of Josef Stalin joining with democracies to defeat Hitler. Stalin, remember, was originally a de facto ally of Adolf Hitler. Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany on Aug. 23, 1939. That devil’s agreement greenlighted the start of World War II just over a week later. Germany invaded neutral Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. It was joined soon after by Russian troops attacking from the east. With a now-friendly Russia at his rear, Hitler was then free to turn westward against the European democracies.


Russia still seems embarrassed by its 1939 sellout. Stalin would supply the Third Reich for 22 months with key resources that helped Hitler to attack Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway and Yugoslavia. There is no reason to believe the Soviet Union would ever have flipped to join Great Britain against Nazi Germany had Hitler not double-crossed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. After all, Stalin’s communist regime had liquidated more than 15 million of its own citizens during the 1920s and 1930s, and was a kindred genocidal state to Hitler’s National Socialist Third Reich.


That embarrassing deal with Hitler still haunts Russia. Poland has complained bitterly about absurd statements made by a Russian ambassador who recently claimed that Poland was partly to blame for the outbreak of World War II because it blocked the formation of a coalition against Germany. Russia’s dalliance with Hitler proved nearly suicidal. Russia lost nearly 30 million soldiers and civilians on the Eastern Front during its four-year struggle against its onetime Nazi partner. True, the Red Army was responsible for more than two-thirds of the German casualties in World War II and helped to wreck the Wehrmacht. Yet cynical and opportunistic Russia at one time or another cut some sort of friendship deal with every major combatant on both sides of the war: America, Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan.


Ironically, Stalin kept his word to the Axis alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan far better than he later did to the Allied partners, Britain and the United States, who helped save him. The Western allies provided nearly 20 percent of all Russian wartime resources. Without key Anglo-American resources like aluminum and heavy transport trucks, Russia might well have been knocked out by Hitler. Yet after the war, Stalin renounced all his prior commitments to hold free and fair elections in those countries liberated from Nazism by the Red Army.


Mr. Putin’s sloppy historical perspective on World War II is a window into his soul. And we should be as distrustful of him as our disillusioned forefathers finally were of Stalin’s Soviet Union. The way to end the murderous rampage of a savage, radical Islamic State is not by joining a Russian-Iranian cartel propping up Shiite terrorists and lapdog dictatorships in the Middle East as it seeks to strong-arm moderate Sunni states and oil-exporting monarchies.                                                                   





HOW TO ROLL BACK RUSSIA                                                                                                   

Max Boot                                                                                                             

Commentary, Oct. 7, 2015


Every day seems to bring an escalation of the Russian military involvement in Syria. First it was airstrikes from more than 30 warplanes that Russia has positioned in Syria. Now it’s cruise missile strikes from warships in the Caspian Sea. Soon, if hints from Moscow are to be believed, Russian “volunteers” — a.k.a. “Little Green Men” — will be showing up in Syria to engage in ground combat alongside Iranian and Assad forces.


President Obama can pretend that this is no big deal and that Russia is getting sucked into a quagmire, but this is a serious geopolitical disaster and a major humiliation for the United States. Putin, in fact, seems to be going out of his way to target American-backed rebel groups and to send his aircraft to violate the airspace of Turkey, a NATO ally, as if to demonstrate how powerless mighty American has become and how once-weak Russia can again strut on the world stage.


Throughout the Cold War, a central American objective was to keep Russia out of the Middle East, which was then and remains now a strategically and economically vital center of energy production. Jimmy Carter launched a covert program to aid the Afghan mujahideen resist a Soviet invasion — a program subsequently expanded under Ronald Reagan — because of American fears (overblown, as it turned out) that Russia viewed the occupation of Afghanistan as a stepping stone toward invading the Persian Gulf region. Now, however, the U.S. seems to be conceding Russia’s growing military role in the Middle East with nary a whimper – or, to be exact, with nothing but whimpers. Is a more robust response possible or desirable?


We can rule out the possibility of American aircraft shooting down Russian aircraft. That’s simply too provocative. Even buzzing Russian fighters with our own aircraft or painting them with fire-control radar runs an unwelcome risk of escalation and miscalculation. Perhaps there are electronic-warfare or cyberwar measures that the U.S. could covertly implement to disable Russian aircraft. It is, however, important to keep such action below a kinetic threshold. Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union avoided direct combat between their forces because of fears that such hostilities could escalate into World War III. The danger of fighting with another nuclear-armed state remains too great to risk today.


Slightly less provocative is the proxy option, which Obama has predictably if needlessly already ruled out. Throughout the Cold War both sides fought the other through Third World allies: the Soviets backed North Korean and North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces, while the U.S. backed Afghan attacks on Soviet forces. If we apply this model to Syria, the U.S. and its allies (e.g., Turkey and Saudi Arabia) would supply arms and training to Syrian fighters who would be delighted to take a shot at the Russian forces which are battling to keep the oppressive and bloodthirsty Assad regime in power.


The most effective and most risky option would be to supply Stingers or other portable air-defense systems to the rebels so they could shoot down Russian aircraft as the mujahideen did in the 1980s. Of course the American experience in Afghanistan, when we indirectly backed Islamist groups like the Haqqanis that later came to fight us, shows some of the risks of this approach. This is all the more risky in Syria because of the close links between “moderate” rebels and the al-Nusra Front, the -alQaeda affiliate in Syria: We do not want Stingers to wind up in the hands of terrorists who would use them to shoot down a civilian airliner.


Nevertheless, this is an option worth exploring if safeguards could be instituted to control access to the missiles and if the ultimate source of the missiles can be disguised. Risky as the Stinger option might be if carried out by the CIA, the risk would grow greatly if the Saudis or Qataris decide to do it on their own, because they would be likely to support Islamist groups.


It’s important to keep in mind that we don’t have to counter Russia’s power grab in Syria itself. Remember that Russia is already guilty of aggression against Ukraine, which, unlike Syria, has an internationally recognized, pro-Western democratic government. It is well past time for the president to overcome his qualms about “escalating” the Ukraine conflict by providing weapons to the Ukrainians to defend themselves.


If the Ukrainians can fight back effectively against Russian aggression, Putin will have a big problem on his hands. Already the Kremlin autocrat has gone to great lengths to conceal the casualties that Russian forces have suffered in Ukraine. That’s because he knows that Russian public opinion, while stirred up into a nationalist frenzy by his foray into Ukraine, will lose enthusiasm for the intervention if it proves too costly. Supplying arms to the Ukrainians will increase the pain of Putin’s Ukrainian offensive and divert his attention away from Syria.


So would stationing substantial American combat forces in Poland and the Baltic Republics. Putin would scream bloody murder because the U.S. had previously promised not to do so. But then Putin has violated numerous international pledges, including Russia’s commitment to respect Ukraine’s borders (the 1994 Budapest Memorandum). Putting NATO combat forces on Russia’s doorstep would be a humiliation to Putin akin to the humiliation he is inflicting on the West in Syria.


How would Putin respond? It’s hard to know for sure, but his whole pattern is that of a bully who throws his weight around when he senses weakness and pulls back when he is afraid of getting into a fight he cannot win. Note, for example, how he has scaled back his aggression in Ukraine after the West imposed serious sanctions.


Unless the U.S. does more to respond to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and Syria, which follows his previous attack on Georgia, he will keep right on going. The Baltic States, which are NATO members, could be next in his sights, and at that point the U.S. could be facing the unenviable choice of acquiescing in NATO’s dissolution or risking a major war with Russia. Better and safer to show Putin now that there are certain red lines even he cannot cross with impunity.




THE RUSSIAN-IRANIAN GAMBIT IN SYRIA                                                                              

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror                                                                                      

BESA, Oct. 6, 2015


The Russian airstrikes in Syria, the recent Iranian-Russian arms deal, and the coordination between Tehran, Moscow, Damascus, and Baghdad in the war against the Islamic State group all herald a change in the Middle East. The age of the Arab Spring, the disintegration of several regimes in the region, and the introduction of various organizations into the subsequent vacuum has come to its end, and this is the dawn of a new era, the nature of which is still uncertain.


Russia and Iran are taking advantage of the weakness displayed by world leaders and are both trying, through their joint efforts, to expand their global influence and dominance, at least across as much as they can of the Fertile Crescent, which spans Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, and Egypt. Russia brings its considerable international political clout and advanced military capabilities, mainly air defense systems, intelligence, and a modern air force to this equation, while Iran brings funds, imperative knowledge about the lay of the land, and Hezbollah — a large, trained, and well-armed fighting force, dedicated to doing its patron’s bidding.


Hezbollah has lent the Syrian regime’s war a considerable number of operatives, who have been able, is some areas, to tip the balance in Syrian President Bashar Assad’s favor, preventing the rebels from dealing his army crushing defeats.


What could be the outcome of a situation in which this coalition remains unchecked? The Shiites will most likely come to power in Iraq, and as the majority, they will exclude the Sunnis, whose community is concentrated in Baghdad and northwest of the capital, from the government. The Sunnis, who will feel marginalized, will then bolster the only other Sunni force in the area — Islamic State — and the jihadi terrorist group will find that it has a larger number of local, albeit reluctant, recruits at its disposal.


The war in Syria will escalate to a fight to the death, because contrary to the hope expressed by external elements, no compromise can be brokered between the Sunnis and the Alawites, namely the rebel forces and Assad’s regime. The leverage the Iranian-Russian alliance will lend the embattled president will meet a forceful pushback from the rebels, aggravating the volatile situation further. Both the Syrians and the Iranians, I believe, understand that the bloody war waged in Syria is truly a fight to the death, and therefore there can be no compromise. The hatred between the Sunnis and Alawites is so intense that the chance of launching a true negotiation, one that could breed an actual agreement, is nonexistent.


I assume that if a solution could be devised in Syria, even one by which the country would be divided into de facto spheres of influence, and even at the price of toppling Assad’s regime, both Tehran and Moscow would be willing to endorse it. Iran and Russia are more concerned with installing peace and quiet in Syria and ensuring the regime is sympathetic to their regional interests, than they are with the identity of the individual heading this regime. Unfortunately, this alternative does not exist. The rebels want more than to just bring Assad to his knees — they want to end the Alawite regime itself, and that is something neither the Alawites nor Russia and Iran will ever abide.


For Tehran, a solution that excludes the Alawites from power in Syria spells the end of the dream of seeing the Fertile Crescent become a Shiite spectrum stretching from Baghdad to Beirut under Iran’s leadership. Russia, for its part, believes that forcibly ousting Assad would be repeating the mistake made in Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi’s regime met a violent end. The results of that uncontrolled collapse are evident today: Libya has become the main arms dealer for every extremist organization, and a gateway for mass migration from Africa to Europe. Why repeat the same mistake again, Moscow wonders, especially when the alternative to Assad is radical Sunni forces, who are unabashedly trying to increase their influence among the many Muslims living in Russia. Reward these nefarious forces would be imprudent, Russia asserts…                                                                                                                                                           

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




PRESIDENT ‘MUMBO-JUMBO’                                                                                                          

Bret Stephens

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 5, 2015


David Petraeus testified last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. policy in the Middle East. Regarding Syria, the former general and CIA director urged a credible threat to destroy Bashar Assad’s air force if it continues to bomb its own people. He also recommended “the establishment of enclaves in Syria protected by coalition air power, where a moderate Sunni force could be supported and where additional forces could be trained, internally displaced persons could find refuge, and the Syrian opposition could organize.”


But Barack Obama does not agree. At his Friday press conference, the president described such views as “mumbo-jumbo,” “half-baked ideas,” “as-if” solutions, a willful effort to “downplay the challenges involved in the situation.” He says the critics have no answers to the questions of “what exactly would you do and how would you fund it and how would you sustain it.” America’s greatest living general might as well have been testifying to his shower drain for all the difference his views are going to make in this administration.


So it is with this president. It’s not enough for him to stake and defend his positions. He wants you to know that he thinks deeper, sees further, knows better, operates from a purer motive. His preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration. If Republicans want a tougher line in Syria, they’re warmongers. If Hillary Clinton thinks a no-fly zone is a good idea, she’s playing politics: “There is obviously a difference,” the president tut-tutted about his former secretary of state’s position, “between running for president and being president.”


You can interpret that jab as a sign Mr. Obama is urging Joe Biden to run. It’s also a reminder that Mr. Obama believes his Syria policy—the one that did nothing as 250,000 people were murdered; the one that did nothing as his own red lines were crossed; the one that allowed ISIS to flourish; the one that has created the greatest refugee crisis of the 21st century; the one currently being exploited by Russia and Iran for geopolitical advantage—is a success.


That’s because the president’s fundamental conviction about American foreign policy is that we need less of it—less commitment, less expense, less responsibility. Winston Churchill once said that the U.S. could not be “the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes.” Mr. Obama sees it differently. He is the president who would prefer not to. He is the Bartleby of 21st century geopolitics.


As for what a serious Syria policy might look like, the U.S. proved it was capable of creating safe havens and enforcing no-fly zones in 1991 with Operation Provide Comfort, which stopped Saddam Hussein from massacring Kurds in northern Iraq the way he had butchered Shiites in southern Iraq. This is how we wound up preventing what might otherwise have been a refugee crisis that would have rivaled the current exodus from Syria. It’s how we got an Iraqi Kurdistan—the one undisputed U.S. achievement in the Middle East in the past 25 years. It’s how we were later able to stop ISIS from swallowing northern Iraq and eastern Syria whole…

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




On Topic


Vlad’s Gone Mad: National Post, Oct. 8, 2015—Has Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, gone mad? Up until now, we hadn’t thought so, seeing his provocative moves across Europe and the Middle East as a product of deliberate, and depressingly accurate, assessments of Western weakness. But the reports now emerging from the Turkish-Syrian border suggest the Russian dictator is less ruthless than reckless.

Putin in New York: A Tactical Win, But at What Price?: Aurel Braun, Globe & Mail,  Sept. 29, 2015—Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first appearance at the United Nations General Assembly in a decade, and his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday, appear to have been clear tactical wins. He put to rest the notion that Russia has been isolated in the wake of its widely condemned military actions in Ukraine or that he was personally ostracized. He presented Russia as an indispensable strategic player. He also boosted his personal political power. There is a question, though, whether despite all of this the Kremlin has a viable and sustainable international strategy.

Putin and the West’s Moral Vacuum: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 1, 2015 —Any lingering doubt about the lethal weakness of America and the West has been brutally shot down in the skies above Syria.

Research on the Islamic State, Syria, and Iraq: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, Middle East Forum, Aug., 2015



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


Rejecting Despair and Confronting the Challenges: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, July 21, 2015 — I will not add to the flow of articles that have more than adequately analyzed the horrendous long-term consequences of U.S. President Barack Obama’s capitulation to the Iranian ayatollah…

Friedman’s Fantasy: Michael Devolin, Jihad Watch, Apr. 2, 2015  — “A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.”

Suing to Profit From a Nazi’s Diaries: Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2015 — This spring marked the 70th anniversary of the effective end of the Nazi regime.

Nine Days in Av: Stewart Weiss, Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2015— Friday, July 17, begins the semi-mourning period popularly known as “The Nine Days.”


On Topic Links


J Street Launches Campaign Backing Iran Deal; AIPAC Calls for Rejection of Accord: JTA, July 16, 2015

Look Before Leaping: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Mar. 25, 2015

The New York Times vs. Israel: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, June 10, 2015

Globe & Mail Presents Dubious Anti-Israel Organization’s Report as “Credible”: Honest Reporting, June 10, 2015

When Tisha B’Av Occurs On Shabbat Or Sunday: Raphael Grunfeld, Jewish Press, July 23, 2015



NINE DAYS IN AV                                                                                                     

Stewart Weiss                                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2015


Friday, July 17, begins the semi-mourning period popularly known as “The Nine Days.” Culminating in Tisha Be’av – one of only two 25-hour fasts in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur being the other – this period calls for a lessening of festivities, a moratorium on weddings and a general mood of solemnity.


This is a calamitous chunk of our calendar, for it was during these dates that numerous catastrophes befell the Jewish people, the most devastating of which were the destruction of both Holy Temples in Jerusalem and the loss of our independence.


It is a tribute to our culture – not to mention an ongoing proof of our eternal history – that we are prepared to draw attention to our failings and foibles no less than to our successes and celebrations, in a constant struggle for self-improvement. As every athlete knows, you learn more from your losses than from your wins, and so each year we struggle to understand what went wrong, why and how the events of the “Black Fast” occurred, and what we can do to rectify those mistakes so they will not happen again.


The Rabbis of the Talmud make it crystal clear that the hurban, the Destruction, was a function of our own sinful actions, and not the result of some political or military decision imposed on us from the outside. As a preeminent people that continually defies the norms of history, it is we ourselves, and not those around us, who control our fate. If we so merit it, no force can dislodge us. But if we fail to live up to the high standard set for us, then “the Almighty has many messengers” at His disposal. As the Talmud succinctly puts it, the Romans were not responsible for our defeat; they were merely “grinding already-ground flour.”


It is therefore worthwhile to review the comments of our Sages regarding Tisha Be’av, to see if we have made any progress over the last 2,000 years. Tractate Shabbat lists several reasons for the tragedy, beginning, appropriately, with Abaye’s statement that Jerusalem was destroyed due to desecration of the Shabbat. In halachic terms, Shabbat is not only considered the most important holiday of the year – surpassing even Yom Kippur – but it is the primary yardstick by which we measure religious commitment. It is the one question we ask to qualify potential witnesses (e.g., to a wedding), and it was one of a very few ritual commandments whose violation could actually result in the death penalty being administered by a human court.


But the significance of Shabbat is not only a legal consideration; Shabbat is what gives the Jewish state its uniqueness, its soul, its spiritual core. It is the single most important ingredient in preventing Israel from falling into the trap of becoming a state like any other state. And it is remarkable how Shabbat in Israel has made such an amazing “comeback” in recent years, as we have seen some of even the most nonobservant kibbutzim building on-site synagogues, and study programs as well as batei knesset in Tel Aviv fill to capacity each Shabbat. Ra’anana, I’m proud to say, boasts 85 synagogues – and more on the way. “Seven days without Shabbat,” it’s been said, “makes one weak!” Rabbi Hamnuna comments, “Jerusalem was destroyed because we neglected the education of our young.” Israel struggles with its education system – overcrowded classrooms, changes in the matriculation requirements with each new education minister, overall lack of decorum – but on the whole, we turn out some pretty bright students.


We have one of the highest literacy rates in the world (97.8 percent) and we spend 7.5% of our GDP on education – more than Canada, Japan, America, England or Australia. Want to know just how “smart” we are? Go into any kindergarten, and talk to the children. They’ll make you want to go back to school! Ula remarks: “Jerusalem was destroyed because there was not enough shame between people.” We are a society that is often high on blame but short on shame. Blame deflects our problems onto others and impedes our self-improvement. But shame can actually be a virtue; it can keep our ego and our arrogance in check – if we get ashamed by the right things – and lead us back to more pristine behavior.


I am ashamed when our country shows leniency to terrorists; when drivers lose control and act rudely and belligerently on our highways; when MKs fail to act with dignity and decorum in the Knesset; when “rabbis” abuse their power (and their congregants); when I succumb to anger, disillusion or lack of faith. Shame is the emotional partner of humility, and humility is the doorway to enlightenment and respect for others…

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






Isi Leibler                                       

Candidly Speaking, July 21, 2015  


I will not add to the flow of articles that have more than adequately analyzed the horrendous long-term consequences of U.S. President Barack Obama’s capitulation to the Iranian ayatollah, who to this day explicitly identifies the destruction of Israel as a primary objective and endorses calls of death to America and Israel by his followers.


Iran is an Islamic global counterpart to Hitler’s dictatorship in its fiendish denial of human rights. Yet the U.S. is effectively rewarding and reinforcing the leading global promoter of terrorism for its ongoing commitment and fanatic determination to undermine the democratic world. Beyond transforming Iran into a threshold nuclear state, Obama has provided Tehran with $150 billion to intensify its global terrorist activities, in addition to the removal of embargoes of conventional arms and ballistic missiles, thus bringing European and North American cities into the range of Iranian missiles.


It has repeatedly been described as “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history” and will be recorded as an act of infamy that not merely threatens the survival of Israel and the moderate Arab regimes in the region but capitulates to a fanatic Islamic terrorist state, some of whose leaders would be willing to facilitate a premature paradise for its citizens by engaging in suicidal initiatives in order to bring forward the “end of days.” The U.S. has demeaned itself as a world power and lost the confidence of its traditional friends who have witnessed Obama’s lies, his repudiation of crucial assurances initially made in relation to Iran and his betrayal and abandonment of longstanding allies while groveling to rogue states and dictatorships…


We must now strategize a new approach. In the short-term, our efforts must be directed toward convincing Congress and the American people of the diabolical global consequences if this agreement is consummated. The prospects of reversing, or at least introducing additional control or supervisory mechanisms instead of blindly trusting the duplicitous Iranians, are not good. However, we must do all possible to persuade Congress to reject the deal, and if necessary achieve a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to override the president’s veto. That would require a substantial number of Democrats to join the majority Republicans in opposing their president and places special pressure on the 28 Jewish legislators, especially Senator Chuck Schumer who represents a major Jewish constituency but also seeks to become the Senate Democratic leader.


Such action necessitates Israeli politicians to urgently set aside their narrow politics and speak out with one voice in order to neutralize claims that it is only right-wing elements in Israeli society that oppose the Iranian deal. To his credit, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog has already fully endorsed Netanyahu’s efforts in opposing the current deal. He has bitterly condemned the agreement and stated that he would visit the U.S. and warn the Americans that, if consummated, it “will unleash a lion from the cage” and enable an “empire of hate and evil” to undermine Israel’s security as well as global stability. More than ever, the time is now opportune for Herzog to override the radicals is his own camp and join a unity government. Were he to assume the role of foreign minister, Israel would be speaking with one voice which would make an enormous impact on global public opinion. Rumors suggest that negotiations are taking place to bring this about, which would be welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens.


Israel’s challenge is to persuade congressional Democrats to stand up and if necessary repudiate their own president, not merely because he is endangering Israel but because he is undermining the standing and security of the United States and paving the way for the emergence of an evil global power that could unleash a blight on mankind for future generations. The relatively feeble response to date by the traditionally robust American Jewish leadership has been a significant factor in failing to inhibit Obama from implementing anti-Israeli policies — at total variance with the inclinations of the majority of Americans and their congressional leaders.


Belatedly, there is now some movement. Howard Kohr, executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has launched a major campaign to persuade Congress to reject the deal. Malcolm Hoenlein expressed his personal opposition when he recently visited Israel with the newly elected head of the President’s Conference. But that umbrella body, operating by consensus, has yet to make a clear-cut condemnatory statement.


To his credit, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, in what was possibly his last major public statement prior to his retirement, outrightly condemned the Obama administration. Many smaller organizations led by the Zionist Organization of America have bitterly protested against Obama’s betrayal but most American groups responded in a tepid manner, even after Herzog forthrightly condemned the deal. The American Jewish Committee headed by David Harris expressed concern but avoided calling on members to lobby Congress to veto the deal.


To their shame, the leadership bodies of the Conservative and Reform movements responded with deafening silence, at best, but many of their “progressive” rabbis are actively supporting Obama. Needless to say, J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization, boasts that it is spending millions of dollars to lobby Congress to support the bill…                                                                                                            

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




FRIEDMAN’S FANTASY                                                                                           

Michael Devolin                                      

Jihad Watch, Apr. 2, 2015 


Writing of America’s relationship with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s Iran, Efraim Karsh recounts that, “So entrenched had the idea of this Iranian-American symbiosis become that successive US administrations came to view Iranian interests as indistinguishable from their own.” It would seem that Thomas Friedman is still infected with this illusion. In his recent New York Times article, Look Before Leaping, a title falsely implying he is not suggesting a “leap of faith,” Mr. Friedman propounds that, “America’s interest lie not with either the Saudis or the Iranian ideologues winning, but rather with balancing the two against each other until they get exhausted enough to stop prosecuting their ancient Shiite-Sunni, Persian-Arab feud.”


I perceive the prediction “until they get exhausted” used in the same sentence as “their ancient Shiite-Sunni, Persian-Arab feud” to be utterly oxymoronic. For the same reason the State of Israel can promise political compromises to the so-called Palestinians “when they decide to recognize Israel as a Jewish state” simply because they can count on the fact that traditional Islamic hatred of all things Jewish will never allow the Arab Muslim to live in peace within or alongside a country of Jews. “Wisdom is also a defense.”


If this feud (more accurately defined as Shiites versus Sunnis) between the Saudis and the Iranians is by now ancient, I cannot foresee either side becoming exhausted in the near future. I see a pattern of Islamic intransigence here. GlobalSecurity.org reports that during the Iran-Iraq war, “…more than one and a half million war and war-related casualties — perhaps as many as a million people died, many more were wounded, and millions were made refugees. Iran acknowledged that nearly 300,000 people died in the war…Iran’s losses may have included more than 1 million people killed or maimed.”


Iran’s dictatorship is remembered by many, regarding that war, for its 1983 “human wave offensives” along the 40 kilometer stretch near Al Amarah where, in one day alone, 6000 Iranian soldiers were killed in action. I wonder how long Mr. Friedman believes it would take this regime, now so close to becoming nuclear-armed, and given its history of vending the lives of its soldiers and its citizens as mere holy fodder in time of war, to become “exhausted” with “prosecuting” that “ancient Shiite-Sunni, Persian-Arab feud”?


Friedman promises that, “Patching up the United States-Iran relationship could enable America to better manage and balance the Sunni Arab Taliban in Afghanistan and counterbalance the Sunni jihadists, like those in the Islamic State, or ISIS…” What “United States-Iran relationship” is Mr. Friedman referring to? Last time I looked, there was no “United States-Iran” relationship.” Scott Peterson of Christian Science Monitor remarked in 2010, regarding celebrations in Iran of the anniversary of the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran that, “Anti-US students chanted ‘death to America’ and predicted the fall of the ‘great Satan,’ the nation still officially most vilified by the Islamic Republic, during the annually staged event.


Anti-Americanism has remained a pillar of the Islamic revolution…” John Limbert, a former American hostage during the takeover and described in Peterson’s article as the “State Department’s top official at that time on Iran, confessed that, ““Past efforts to move the relationship to something more productive…have foundered on misunderstandings, mistrust, and the assumption that anything the other side agrees to must be bad for us.”


In the last paragraph of his dreamy ideation, Mr. Friedman challenges his readers: “So before you make up your mind on the Iran deal, ask how it affects Israel, the country most threatened by Iran. But also ask how it fits into a wider United States strategy aimed at quelling tensions in the Middle East with the least involvement necessary…” Well, first of all, a lot of pundits on Middle Eastern politics, especially pro-Arab pundits, would posit that American involvement anywhere in the world where Muslims and Islamic statehood are concerned is cause for more harm than good.


A lot of pundits of the pro-American side (of which I am one) would posit that American (or Canadian or British) involvement—in any measure—with peoples so inculcated with Islamic taught anti-American and anti-Western hatred inevitably becomes a waste of our time and the lives of our sons and daughters. What is the Christian proverb? “Don’t throw you pearls before the swine.” Or as Jesse Klein succinctly put it in the National Post recently, “At some point, we have to come to the realization that it’s not worth spilling our blood and wasting our treasure to intervene in a civil war in which both sides want to kill us.”


As for the State of Israel and the threat of Iran’s nuclear posturing, “how it affects Israel,” easy for Mr. Friedman, living, virtually, light years away from such a severe existence as that endured every day by Israeli Jews, to bet the lives of 6 million of them in selling the puerile fantasy to his readers that this Iranian regime will suddenly renounce a millennia-old hatred of the Jews and its imperial ambitions for a new-found love affair with America, the Great Satan. I’ll sooner have angels flying out of my ass.


Following Mr. Friedman’s career as a journalist in the last few years, after reading critiques of his work with much broader range than my own, I am constantly reminded of Nicholas Murray Butler’s famous quote, which reads, “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” It seems Mr. Friedman is become more a salesman and less and less an expert on the Muslim Middle East. But then again, untruths and fantasy are today common fare for the Western journalist. They dream at the expense of the democratic freedoms of others, for the sake of our enemies, regardless of the consequences for our friends, in this case the State of Israel and the Jewish people. It’s Western journalism, and of late such insouciant and imprudent dreams go with the territory.​              





SUING TO PROFIT FROM A NAZI’S DIARIES                                                                                  

Roger Kimball

Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2015


This spring marked the 70th anniversary of the effective end of the Nazi regime. On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler shot himself in his bunker as the Soviet army bore down upon his lair. The next day Joseph Goebbels, his rodentine minister of propaganda, committed suicide with his wife, after having their six children injected with morphine and then crushing ampules of cyanide in their mouths to finish them off. You might think that after 70 years the rotten stench of the Nazi regime would have totally dissipated. But no. That mephitic swamp still produces the odd belch.


That criminals should not be allowed to profit from exploiting their criminal activity is about as close as we are likely to get to a universally agreed-upon moral principle. Yet last week an appeals court in Munich—by coincidence, the site of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, the event that really got the Nazi ball rolling in 1923—upheld an earlier decision that the heirs of Joseph Goebbels were entitled to compensation because a recent biography quoted from his diaries without permission.


The lawsuit was brought last year against Random House Germany, whose imprint, Siedler, published Peter Longerich’s “Goebbels: A Biography” in 2010. (An English translation was published in the United States and Britain in May.) Mr. Longerich, now a professor of modern German history at Royal Holloway, a college of the University of London, draws heavily on Goebbels’s diaries, which run to some 30 volumes. Goebbels began his near-daily entries on his 26th birthday, in 1923, and stopped on April 10, 1945, a couple of weeks shy of his personal armageddon.


The sum in question is not large—about $7,000—but the moral offense is incalculable. Cordula Schacht, a lawyer who claims to hold the copyright to the diaries and to represent Goebbels’s heirs, filed the suit. Rainer Dresen, general counsel to Random House Germany, told London’s Guardian newspaper that he offered to pay the royalties if Ms. Schacht agreed to donate the proceeds to a Holocaust charity. He said she rejected the offer, insisting that the money go to Goebbels’s relatives, including the descendants of his siblings. Mr. Dresen speculates that other publishers have paid for the use of Goebbels’s diaries. “We’re the first publishing house who avoided that—and have been sued.”


Cordula Schacht is a daughter of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s early minister of economics and president of the Reichsbank. Although he was instrumental in helping Hitler lay the economic foundation for the Third Reich, Hjalmar Schacht later turned against the regime (he was distantly connected with the July 1944 plot against Hitler) and was acquitted of war crimes at Nuremberg. Ms. Schacht’s involvement in the Goebbels diaries stems from a relationship she had as a legal adviser to François Genoud, a shadowy Swiss banker who might have stepped straight out of “The Odessa File.” Born in 1915, Genoud was an early and stalwart Hitler enthusiast. The carnage of the war and murder of six million Jews did nothing to dampen his ardor. “Hitler was a great leader,” Genoud said many years later, “and if he had won the war the world would be a better place today.”


Along the way, Genoud—who committed suicide in 1996—financed the legal defenses of Adolf Eichmann and Klaus Barbie, “the butcher of Lyons” who personally tortured French prisoners of the Gestapo. Genoud supported the Ayatollah Khomeini during his exile in Paris; he also was a friend and financial adviser of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem before the war. During the war, Haj Amin, a vicious anti-Semite who dreamed of murdering Jewish émigrés to Palestine, helped the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. He lived on until 1974. Genoud was the executor of Goebbels’s will and purchased rights to his diaries in 1955. According to the British historian Richard J. Evans, Genoud transferred his interest in Goebbels’s diaries to Cordula Schacht in 1996 shortly before his death. She has since claimed to be the copyright holder, though, as Mr. Evans notes, the Bavarian State also claims to own the copyright.


This Byzantine legal story should not obscure the very clear moral that David Cesarani, a historian at Royal Holloway, set forth. “If the owners of copyright want acknowledgment or token payment, that is fair enough. If they want fees that are then paid to a good cause, that is irksome but reasonable. However, if they want to profit personally from the writings of Nazi ancestors, criminals, and/or to control the extent of usage, that is unacceptable and verges on the obscene.” I’d say this episode crosses that threshold. Random House Germany intends to appeal the case to the German supreme court. I hope they prevail.                 




CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!


On Topic                                                                                        


J Street Launches Campaign Backing Iran Deal; AIPAC Calls for Rejection of Accord: JTA, July 16, 2015—AIPAC called on Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, saying it does not meet critical markers that the influential pro-Israel lobby outlined in recent weeks. But the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby J Street announced a multimillion-dollar campaign to support the agreement.

Look Before Leaping: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Mar. 25, 2015 —I can think of many good reasons to go ahead with the nuclear deal with Iran, and I can think of just as many reasons not to. So, if you’re confused, let me see if I can confuse you even more.

The New York Times vs. Israel: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, June 10, 2015—A deep sigh of editorial relief was discernible at The New York Times following the Supreme Court decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Jerusalem passport case.

Globe & Mail Presents Dubious Anti-Israel Organization’s Report as “Credible”: Honest Reporting, June 10, 2015—On June 6, Globe and Mail reporter Patrick Martin published an article for online subscribers exclusively entitled: “Report on Gaza war raises questions about Israel’s ‘moral army’ claim” which presented the allegations of Breaking the Silence (BtS) – an anti-Israel NGO which produced a report it claimed detailed alleged abuses by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip last summer – as “credible,” despite that this organization has been discredited due to its agenda, flawed methodology, and foreign sources of funding.

When Tisha B’Av Occurs On Shabbat Or Sunday: Raphael Grunfeld, Jewish Press, July 23, 2015—Five tragedies occurred on Tisha B’Av. It was decreed that those who left Egypt would not enter the land of Israel, the first and second Temples were destroyed, the city of Betar was captured with thousands massacred, and Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the razed Temple. Consequently, Tisha B’Av was declared a day of national mourning and a fast day.









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


The Campus Crusaders: David Brooks, New York Times, June 2, 2015— Every generation has an opportunity to change the world. Right now, college campuses around the country are home to a moral movement that seeks to reverse centuries of historic wrongs.

Charlie Hebdo and a Rubicon Moment for Free Speech: Amanda Foreman, Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2015 — On balance it would have been awkward if the boycotters of the annual awards dinner of PEN American Center had changed their minds and attended on Tuesday night.

French Move Illustrates Israel Boycott BDS Peril: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, June 4, 2015 — One of the sidebars to the debate about the trade bill currently before Congress is over the language inserted into the legislation that will seek to discourage boycotts of Israel by America’s trading partners.

Canada’s Failure on Nazi War Crimes: Avi Benlolo, National Post, June 4, 2015 — Vladimir Katriuk died peacefully last week in Ormstown, Que., at the ripe old age of 93.


On Topic Links


Some Questions for Jeffrey Goldberg: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, June 3, 2015

Cut Off BDS at the Spigot: David Bedein, Israel Behind the News, June 4, 2015

Orange Pullout Seen as Sign of BDS Influence on French Policy: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, June 5, 2015

Why We’re Honoring Charlie Hebdo: Andrew Solomon and Suzanne Nossel, New York Times, May 1, 2015

Arthur Miller’s Forgotten Masterpiece: Maxim D. Shrayer, Tablet, May 27, 2015





David Brooks                                                                                                       

New York Times, June 2, 2015


Every generation has an opportunity to change the world. Right now, college campuses around the country are home to a moral movement that seeks to reverse centuries of historic wrongs. This movement is led by students forced to live with the legacy of sexism, with the threat, and sometimes the experience, of sexual assault. It is led by students whose lives have been marred by racism and bigotry. It is led by people who want to secure equal rights for gays, lesbians and other historically marginalized groups.


These students are driven by noble impulses to do justice and identify oppression. They want to not only crack down on exploitation and discrimination, but also eradicate the cultural environment that tolerates these things. They want to police social norms so that hurtful comments are no longer tolerated and so that real bigotry is given no tacit support. Of course, at some level, they are right. Callous statements in the mainstream can lead to hostile behavior on the edge. That’s why we don’t tolerate Holocaust denial.


But when you witness how this movement is actually being felt on campus, you can’t help noticing that it sometimes slides into a form of zealotry. If you read the website of the group FIRE, which defends free speech on campus, if you read Kirsten Powers’s book, “The Silencing,” if you read Judith Shulevitz’s essay “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas” that was published in The Times in Sunday Review on March 22, you come across tales of professors whose lives are ruined because they made innocent remarks; you see speech codes that inhibit free expression; you see reputations unfairly scarred by charges of racism and sexism.


The problem is that the campus activists have moral fervor, but don’t always have settled philosophies to restrain the fervor of their emotions. Settled philosophies are meant to (but obviously don’t always) instil a limiting sense of humility, a deference to the complexity and multifaceted nature of reality. But many of today’s activists are forced to rely on a relatively simple social theory. According to this theory, the dividing lines between good and evil are starkly clear. The essential conflict is between the traumatized purity of the victim and the verbal violence of the oppressor.


According to this theory, the ultimate source of authority is not some hard-to-understand truth. It is everybody’s personal feelings. A crime occurs when someone feels a hurt triggered, or when someone feels disagreed with or “unsafe.” In the Shulevitz piece, a Brown student retreats from a campus debate to a safe room because she “was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against” her dearly and closely held beliefs.


Today’s campus activists are not only going after actual acts of discrimination — which is admirable. They are also going after incorrect thought — impiety and blasphemy. They are going after people for simply failing to show sufficient deference to and respect for the etiquette they hold dear. They sometimes conflate ideas with actions and regard controversial ideas as forms of violence.


Some of their targets have been deliberately impious. Laura Kipnis is a feminist film professor at Northwestern University who wrote a provocative piece on sexual mores on campus that was published in February. She was hit with two Title IX charges on the grounds, without evidence, that her words might have a “chilling effect” on those who might need to report sexual assaults. Other targets of this crusade had no idea what they were getting into. A student at George Washington wrote an essay on the pre-Nazi history of the swastika. A professor at Brandeis mentioned a historic slur against Hispanics in order to criticize it. The scholar Wendy Kaminer mentioned the N-word at a Smith College alumni event in a clearly nonracist discussion of euphemism and free speech.


All of these people were targeted for purging merely for bringing unacceptable words into the public square. As Powers describes it in “The Silencing,” Kaminer was accused of racial violence and hate speech. The university president was pilloried for tolerating an environment that had been made “hostile” and “unsafe.” We’re now in a position in which the students and the professors and peers they target are talking past each other. The students feeling others don’t understand the trauma they’ve survived; the professors feeling as though they are victims in a modern Salem witch trial. Everybody walks on egg shells.


There will always be moral fervor on campus. Right now that moral fervor is structured by those who seek the innocent purity of the vulnerable victim. Another and more mature moral fervor would be structured by the classic ideal of the worldly philosopher, by the desire to confront not hide from what you fear, but to engage the complexity of the world, and to know that sometimes the way to wisdom involves hurt feelings, tolerating difference and facing hard truths.      




CHARLIE HEBDO AND A RUBICON MOMENT FOR FREE SPEECH                                                               

Amanda Foreman                                                                                                                                  

Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2015


On balance it would have been awkward if the boycotters of the annual awards dinner of PEN American Center had changed their minds and attended on Tuesday night. At the very least their presence at the literary gathering might have been an unnecessary distraction. At worst it could have been taken as an insult to the memories of the 12 members of the satirical French publication Charlie Hebdo who died on Jan. 7 while exercising their right to free speech.


The heartfelt standing ovation for Gerard Biard and Jean-Baptiste Thoret—who accepted the Freedom of Expression Courage award on behalf of the magazine—had its own eloquence. Unusually, the many writers in the room didn’t need to say anything to make themselves heard. Simply being at the dinner was a statement, a Rubicon moment for those who believe that universal human rights is a cause worth dying for. Just as boycotting the awards has become the rallying event for those who believe that it comes second to other considerations.


If rational argument were a numbers game, there would be no need to continue the discussion about whether PEN behaved correctly in honoring Charlie Hebdo. In the days since 204 writers including Peter Carey, Joyce Carol Oates and Francine Prose—roughly 5% of the membership—signed a letter outlining their objections to the award, criticism of their stance has been unending. From the liberal Nation to the conservative Weekly Standard, the outrage from the majority of the writing community has been unequivocal: Freedom of speech, protected by the First Amendment, is a nonnegotiable right.


After the boycott began, it was met with a thorough demolishing of the claims by its supporters, especially the charge that Charlie Hebdo is racist. Whether through ignorance or malice, this self-appointed committee of public safety insinuated that the magazine’s writers had provoked their own murder by attacking Islam in general, and victimizing French Muslims in particular. Charlie Hebdo’s brand of humor, we were told, “intended to cause further humiliation and suffering.”


That calumny has now been exposed as a lie in point-by-point repudiations by some of the most respected voices in France, including the author Bernard-Henri Lévy and Dominique Sopo, the head of SOS-Racisme. The facts are there for all to see, such as: the Hebdo staffers were murdered while planning a conference on antiracism, and only seven of 523 covers for the magazine in the past decade touched on Islam. The protesters can no longer peddle the libel that Charlie Hebdo is a modern-day equivalent of a Nazi propaganda sheet, as several have, including Deborah Eisenberg, whose letter to PEN asked whether it would next be “giving the award retroactively to Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer.”


Yet dragging Nazism into the discussion is useful in one respect. While denouncing the PEN boycott, Mr. Lévy referred to the “deplorable Congress of Dubrovnik of 1933, at which the predecessors of Peter Carey refused to take a position against the book-burnings in Germany.” The Dubrovnik conference, in what was then Yugoslavia, took place on May 10, 82 years ago. The PEN president at the time, H.G. Wells, tried to maintain neutrality between those who wanted to speak out against Nazism and those who argued that politics had no place in a literary organization. His aim was defeated by the sole American delegate, Henry Seidel Canby, who forced through a resolution crafted by PEN America that restated PEN’s core mission as an advocacy organization.


Because of Canby’s courageous stand, the exiled German playwright Ernst Toller was able to make his own speech the following day—an impassioned plea on behalf of writers suffering Nazi persecution. The German delegation and others walked out. Toller’s speech persuaded the remaining delegates that the organization had to remold itself into the one we know today. Toller, who committed suicide in New York in 1939, declared: “Insanity dominates our age, and barbarity drives humans . . . the voice of humanity will only become powerful if it serves a larger political agenda.”


On Tuesday night, PEN President Andrew Solomon reaffirmed Toller’s position, saying: “PEN stands at the intersection between language and justice.” As the organization recovers from one of the ugliest episodes in its history, the Dubrovnik example offers clarity about what should happen next. Like its 1933 counterpart, PEN today has decided it will not be neutral in the battle between free speech and the assassin’s veto. It may be that some members will never be fully comfortable with this decision. They should be let go without heartache or second-guessing. There are plenty of other organizations for which the dictates of personal taste, sensitivity and interpretation carry the day.


By awarding Charlie Hebdo the Freedom of Expression Courage prize, PEN has also shown its willingness to lead by example and from the front. That leadership is more important than ever. If human-rights organizations, starting with PEN, fail to affirm the indivisibility of free speech, that failure will not lead to more peace and harmony in the world. It will lead to the reverse as vigilantes from all sides interpret such weakness as an invitation to impose their own order. The shootings in Copenhagen in February, and in Garland, Texas, last weekend—both involving Islamists targeting events they deemed insulting to their religion—are two examples of how some would like to see the “debate” unfold.


For those who believe in freedom of expression, the moment has come to make the choice between its defense or abandonment against a murderous movement that believes democratic values are subordinate to religious sensibilities. At the end of the evening on Tuesday, I spoke with Jean-Baptiste Thoret, Charlie Hebdo’s film critic. “There are just two options facing us all,” he said, “and we have to take a side.”                                                                  




FRENCH MOVE ILLUSTRATES ISRAEL BOYCOTT BDS PERIL                                                           

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary, June 4, 2015


One of the sidebars to the debate about the trade bill currently before Congress is over the language inserted into the legislation that will seek to discourage boycotts of Israel by America’s trading partners. That provision is being opposed by left-wingers such as the J Street lobby because it might interfere with their attempts to support efforts to boycott products made in settlements. But as the controversy over the decision by France’s Orange telecom company to cease doing business in Israel in order to mollify partners and consumers in the Arab and Muslim worlds, such fine distinctions are lost on Israel’s foes. Orange’s decision makes clear that the Israel boycott BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) campaign isn’t a legitimate protest movement, but a nothing less than an effort to revive an Arab boycott that friends of Israel thought they had defeated years ago. That makes it all the more necessary that Congress leaves the anti-BDS language in the trade bill and ought to encourage states to continue passing their own bills in order to further marginalize this economic war on the Jewish state.


The Orange company might have gotten away with abandoning Israel or at least escaped a lot of the criticism it’s getting today had its CEO not given an interview in which he vowed to get out of Israel and said that doing so was part of his desire for Orange to be “trustful partners in all of the Arab countries.” He then complained that it would take time because complying with the demands of his Arab partners might expose Orange to a “huge risk of penalties” that can be assessed against firms that comply with boycotts of Israel. That interview provoked a firestorm in Israel where Orange didn’t do business directly but licensed its name to a local firm called Partner Communications. But the following day, Orange announced it wasn’t going to wait and said it was ready to sever ties with its Israeli partner despite the fact that their license had recently been renewed for ten years.


Despite claims that its decision wasn’t political, Orange should pay a high price for its willingness to join efforts to isolate Israel. This contretemps should also inform the debate in the United States about whether firms and nations that participate in such boycotts should be allowed to do business in or trade with the United States.


Opponents of anti-BDS measures claim that penalizing companies or institutions that take part in boycotts are attempts to suppress free speech. That is false. Anyone may say or write what they like about Israel including calling for its extinction. But there is no right to engage in discriminatory commercial practices. The point of Israeli boycotts is not to change its policies or to make a statement about where its borders should be drawn but part of an effort to wage economic war on a nation so as to cause its collapse.


As the Orange debacle illustrates the problem isn’t just that companies and institutions might be pressured into stopping investment or business in Israel, but that it encourages secondary boycotts in which those who do not will ostracize any company that does work there. The point is to single out the one Jewish state in the world for discriminatory treatment and to intimidate all those who might not wish to participate in such efforts. The primary and second boycotts of Israel that existed throughout its first decades were eventually broken by U.S. laws that made it impossible for any company that played along with the economic war on Israel to do business here. The same lessons must be applied to the BDS movement.


Disputes about whether BDS is okay if only applied to Jewish settlements in the West Bank are diversions from the real issue here. The point is, Orange and other boycotters aren’t pulling out because of the existence of Jewish communities in the West Bank, most of which would be retained by Israel if the Palestinians were ever to decide to make peace. They are boycotting all of Israel. The same is true of the BDS movement. The conflict predates the existence of the settlements and, as the Israeli pullout from Gaza proved, their removal wouldn’t end it. The settlements are merely a pretext for those who wish to support efforts to isolate and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.


In particular, the federal trade bill will make it much harder for European countries to engage in boycotts of Israel. On the state level, legislatures like that of Illinois are passing bills to ensure that its pensions funds are prohibited from investing in companies that participate in BDS. Doing so won’t set back peace efforts since BDS is aimed at furthering the war against Israel, not encouraging the Palestinians to finally accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state and end a century-long conflict.


Just as it has recently become clear that the BDS efforts on college campuses are thinly veiled anti-Semitism, so, too, it must be understood that businesses that are responding to pressure to get out of Israel are also engaging in discrimination against Jews. The case of Orange shows how easily major European companies are sliding back to a position in which they are backing discrimination against Israel. If President Obama and the rest of our political leaders want to back up their rhetoric about opposing anti-Semitism, they must demonstrate zero tolerance for BDS in international commerce.





CANADA’S FAILURE ON NAZI WAR CRIMES                                                                                 

Avi Benlolo

National Post, June 4, 2015


Vladimir Katriuk died peacefully last week in Ormstown, Que., at the ripe old age of 93. A source close to Katriuk revealed to us only two weeks ago that although his physical health was deteriorating, his mental faculty was quite good. Denaturalization and extradition on the charges of crimes against humanity was still entirely possible up until the day he died.


The Katriuk case exemplifies our national failure to try each and every Nazi war criminal that sought refuge in Canada. It is a stain on our nation’s identity as a defender of justice and humanity. Although some examples were made, Canada has repeatedly received failing grades from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for insufficiently addressing Nazi war crimes.


Katriuk was allegedly a member of a Ukrainian battalion of the SS, the elite Nazi storm troops, between 1942 and 1944. One of the most damning allegations against him is that he was an active participant in the massacre of 156 people in a small village in Belarus outside of Minsk named Khatyn. In 2012, Lund University historian Per Anders Rudling revealed in a Holocaust and Genocide Studies report that Katriuk “lay behind a stationary machine gun, firing rounds on anyone attempting to escape the flames of a burning barn.” Just last month, Katriuk was ranked number two by the Simon Wiesenthal Center on the list of Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Katriuk had denied involvement in war crimes — preferring to tend to his bee farm. That is not surprising. How many Nazis ever turned themselves in?


In 1999, a Federal Court determined he could be stripped of his Canadian citizenship and denaturalized after it was revealed and that he falsified his name upon immigrating to Canada. But one suspects there was a politicized campaign that triangulated the Ukrainian community against the Jewish community, with Russia pressing both levers. The Canadian government had to choose. Sadly, justice lost. The result was an inexplicable government decision in 2007 not to revoke his citizenship or even, at the very least, to explore the allegations further.


On April 25, 2012, I flew in a group of Holocaust survivors from Toronto to Ottawa to appeal directly to Rob Nicholson, then Minister of Justice and Jason Kenney, then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. We presented the ministers with the new evidence and encouraged the government to re-open the case and take a closer look. This never happened. The story did not end there. Russia moved troops into Ukraine soon after. The Canadian government, supported by a large Ukrainian diaspora, rightfully came to the political and economic aid of Ukraine. Prime Minister Harper courageously put President Putin on notice. In retribution, Putin declared some Canadian leaders persona non grata in Russia.


The international intrigue continued. Several weeks ago, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center was asked by the Russians to help encourage the Canadian government to push for Katriuk’s extradition. While we agreed with Katriuk’s extradition, participating in Russia’s game of thrones against Canada was a non-starter. We would press for his expulsion on our own.


Katriuk and thousands of others like him may have lived out their lives. But they were never free and they were never at peace. Alienated from society, they lived often lonely lives in rural communities. They lived in fear — always looking back, knowing that at any moment, someone may come for them. The press never left them alone. The law never left them alone. We never left them alone. Had Katriuk been innocent, he would have made every effort to clear his name. Instead, his name will forever be tarnished. The memory of the evil he wrought will never be forgiven, or forgotten, and he will never be permitted to rest in peace.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!






On Topic


Some Questions for Jeffrey Goldberg: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, June 3, 2015—Jeffrey Goldberg is a senior American journalist who recently interviewed US President Barack Obama for the Atlantic Monthly

Cut Off BDS at the Spigot: David Bedein, Israel Behind the News, June 4, 2015—Thousands of young people are now employed on campuses around the world, well financed and well organized, in an unprecedented effort that challenges the very legitimacy of Israel on every possible academic and economic front.

Orange Pullout Seen as Sign of BDS Influence on French Policy: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, June 5, 2015—To Israel’s supporters, the decision by the French telecommunications giant Orange to dump its Israeli affiliate is not only a politically motivated divestment by a major multinational corporation, but a sign that European policymakers are being impacted by efforts to boycott the Jewish state.

Why We’re Honoring Charlie Hebdo: Andrew Solomon and Suzanne Nossel, New York Times, May 1, 2015—An organization that champions dissidents must embrace dissent in its ranks.

Arthur Miller’s Forgotten Masterpiece: Maxim D. Shrayer, Tablet, May 27, 2015—“The German Refugee,” originally published in 1963 under the title “The Refugee,” is one of my favorite stories by Bernard Malamud.