Who Owns the Holocaust?: Ben Cohen, JNS, Feb. 5, 2018— Who owns the Holocaust?
The Dutch and Their Jews: The Never-Ending Shame of the Netherlands: Abraham Cooper & Manfred Gerstenfeld, Algemeiner, Jan. 17, 2018— Last month, a video showing a man waving a Palestinian flag and smashing the windows of a kosher Amsterdam restaurant went viral.
France: Migrant Crisis Spirals Out of Control: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 6, 2018— Hundreds of Africans and Asians armed with knives and iron rods fought running street battles in the northern port city of Calais on February 1, less than two weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron visited the area and pledged to crack down on illegal immigration.
Aliya from Western Countries: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 7, 2018— The founders of modern Israel originated from contrasting ideological movements.
Poland’s Shoah Policy – Precursor to a New Holocaust Revisionism?: Shimon Samuels, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2018
Poland Slams the Door on Holocaust Dialogue: Sohrab Ahmari, Commentary, Feb. 6, 2018
The Widespread Anti-Israelism in the UK: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 9, 2018
The Jews Vs. Hitler: An Interview with Author Rick Richman: Elliot Resnick, Jewish Press, Jan. 31, 2018
JNS, Feb. 5, 2018
Who owns the Holocaust? That, ultimately, is the key question posed by the impending legislation in Poland that will criminalize any discussion, or investigation, or mere mention, of incidents of Polish collusion with the Nazi occupiers during World War Two. My goal here is not to look into the details of the Polish dispute – save for noting that Warsaw’s impassioned claim that its ire is driven by the phrase “Polish death camp” to describe Auschwitz is actually a straw man argument. Nearly all reputable scholars of the Holocaust – including those at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial – have repeatedly said, over several years, that this form of words is insensitive and inaccurate. It should be purged from our Shoah lexicon, but through education, not legislation.
This dispute is about who sets the parameters for our understanding of what the Holocaust was and what it represented – and it is a problem that extends far beyond Poland’s borders. On a purely conceptual level, molding a particular historical event to fit a particular interpretation always involves simplification. Look at our own Civil War 150 years later – as we often do, and with great anger – and we still see it as North against South, a society of free individuals against a society built on slavery. All that is basically true, and yet it doesn’t easily explain why there were so many Northern Democrats more loyal to Jefferson Davis than Abraham Lincoln, or why the citizens of Eastern Tennessee threw in their lot with the Union.
This is why the study of history is only possible in free societies where all avenues of inquiry are open, and where knowledge is “owned” by all. Here in the West, our understanding of the Holocaust’s complexities has been hugely enriched by the histories, bibliographies, oral testimonies and images patiently collected and interpreted by scholars in Israel, the U.S. and Europe. But in the nations that were until 1989 under the boot of the Soviet Union, like Poland, the situation is the exact opposite; over there, “Holocaust education” for decades consisted of lies, distortions and shameful cover-ups.
It began with the Soviets, for whom there was no ideological or political room for something called the “Holocaust” in their account of the “Great Patriotic War.” In his monumental poem “Babi Yar” – a searing critique of the official Soviet representation of the Nazi massacre of 33,000 Jews by a ravine in Kiev in September 1941 – the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko summoned up the ghosts of native Russian anti-Semitism when he imagined himself as young Jewish boy in the midst of a pogrom. (“To jeers of ‘Kill the Jews, and save our Russia!’/My mother’s being beaten by a clerk.”) Yevtushenko’s goal was to remind his readers of the difficult, painful truth that the Communist Party’s enforcers sought to suppress. The Holocaust was defined by the anti-Semitic legislation, persecution and eventual genocide – under the gaze and sometimes with the active participation of their non-Jewish neighbors – that defined the fate of the Jews under Nazi rule.
But just as the Communists sought to undermine this core truth at every turn, so do today’s ultranationalists. It’s not just Poland, after all. Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Latvia are just a handful of the other European countries where similarly ugly disputes have arisen, always involving ultranationalist political leaders promoting the deceitful rewriting of history. In all these cases, the end has been the same: to portray the occupied non-Jewish populations as facing exactly the same trials and perils as their Jewish neighbors, and thereby launder their own soiled records of past Nazi associations. Here, I believe, is where the rub lies. The Holocaust scholarship engendered in the open societies of the west is robust enough to withstand these political campaigns to rewrite history. In that sense, the current Polish dispute is just a particularly nasty example of a clash we’ve seen before, and not much more than that. The real losers in all this are the very people these ultranationalists claim they represent.
Consider the following sentences. “The conditions in those trains defy coherent language…They were packed in a standing position in sealed, windowless, and unheated cattle wagons, for a winter journey of thousands of miles.” You might well think that the subject here is the deportation of the Jews, but in fact, it is the eminent historian Norman Davies’ description of the 1940 deportations of thousands of Poles by the Soviet NKVD to gulags in Siberia. So, as we see plainly here, the historical record rarely gives comfort to our preconceived notions and prejudices.
If the Polish government’s goal was simply to encourage greater awareness and education about Polish suffering under the Nazis, that would be a laudable goal. But by tying that aspect of Nazi rule so explicitly to the mass enslavement and extermination of the Jews, and by willfully misrepresenting documented evidence of Polish anti-Semitism and collaboration with the Nazis as a slander upon the Polish nation as a whole, they are engineering their own deserved failure, to the detriment of Poland’s people.
For instead of enlightening the world about how the Soviets and the Nazis collaborated to crush the Polish national movement – and why that matters especially today – Poland’s leaders are disgracing themselves by uncomplicatedly claiming three million Holocaust victims murdered because they were Jews for the general record of Polish wartime suffering. You’d have thought that the Soviet Union was the last country they would want to emulate.
Abraham Cooper & Manfred Gerstenfeld
Algemeiner, Jan. 17, 2018
Last month, a video showing a man waving a Palestinian flag and smashing the windows of a kosher Amsterdam restaurant went viral. Thereafter, two policemen — who stood by during the vandalism — overpowered the attacker. Two days later, the attacker was freed by the police with a warning that if he committed additional crimes, he would be rearrested. Later, it became known that the perpetrator is a Palestinian-Syrian asylum-seeker who’s lived in the Netherlands for several years. He reportedly promised not to repeat his hate/terror crime in Amsterdam. The prosecution also withheld several salient facts from the public — for example, that the man was an ex-combatant in Syria’s civil war.
When the restaurant owner’s lawyer released this additional information, the prosecutor’s office said that it would seek disciplinary action against the lawyer. While the Palestinian Syrian was being investigated, the kosher restaurant was vandalized for a second time. Also, on New Year’s day, a rock destroyed the windows of the Chabad House in Central Amsterdam. When the perpetrator of that attack came before the court, it was decided to request a psychological examination, which will take several months. In the meantime, the attacker will remain free. Michael Jacobs, a Jew, wasn’t so lucky. He was arrested for holding an Israeli flag on Amsterdam’s main square last summer because he stood too close to a pro-Palestinian demonstrator. Jacobs remained in jail for a full week. Yet there is nothing in the Dutch legal system which forbids his action.
Apparently, the Dutch judicial system doesn’t have its act together. In the previous government, two successive ministers of justice had to resign. And as far as Jews and Israel are concerned, the rot runs deeper. There are unique aspects of Dutch antisemitism. First, the Netherlands is the only European Union country with Muslim parties in parliament and some municipal councils. Their representatives make extreme remarks about Jews and Israel. One Hague councilman, Abdoe Khoulani, called visiting Israeli schoolchildren “Zionist terrorists in training” and “future child murderers and occupiers.” The public prosecutor decided that this was legal. In Rotterdam last year, an international congress of Hamas front-groups was allowed to hold its meeting after neither the Muslim (Labour Party) mayor, nor the Dutch security services, acted to block the gathering — despite information publicly available from German security services about the organizers’ links to Hamas.
The second specific Dutch antisemitism characteristic has bizarre origins. The extreme fans of Ajax, the leading Amsterdam Soccer Club — all gentiles — call themselves “Jews.” For more than 20 years, they have been welcomed in several other Dutch stadiums with songs like, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” Such slogans have spread into the public arena. At the beginning of this century, two Socialist Party parliamentarians participated in an anti-Israel demonstration in Amsterdam; one was caught on a video shouting, “Intifada, intifada.” During the 2014 Gaza War, some anti-Israel demonstrations had a pro-Hamas character. At one protest, when a Green Left Party Euro parliamentarian started to make negative remarks about Hamas — after she had criticized Israel — she was shouted down. Such attitudes confirm that for some, tolerance includes tolerating evil.
Meanwhile, Kajsa Ollongren, the current minister of the interior, on behalf of the anti-Israeli center party, D66, declared on TV that the horrible attack on the kosher restaurant was related to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As if an Amsterdam Jewish restaurant owner has anything to do with Trump’s decision. In Parliament, the most extreme anti-Israel speakers are often former foreign office officials. For instance, in an answer to parliamentary questions, the previous foreign minister from the Labour Party played down payments by the Palestinian Authority to murderers of Israeli Jews.
The Dutch government has for many years subsidized Dutch organizations that finance Palestinian hate mongers. The previous foreign minister supported the labeling of Israeli goods. And without a second thought — just like other Western European countries — the Netherlands opened its doors wide to immigrants from Muslim countries where antisemitism is rife. When a small Christian party managed to get a parliamentary motion passed that Israel should not be discriminated against in the UN, the Netherlands nevertheless voted in favor of the anti-US motion on Jerusalem. The Netherlands is also the only country in Western Europe that has never admitted the major shortcomings of its World War II government, even though new studies clearly show the collaboration of the Dutch police with the German occupiers in hunting Jews; the cooperation of notaries in the theft of Jewish assets; and the total negligence of the Dutch Red Cross headquarters toward the Jews.
Not even the legacy of Anne Frank is safe. The writer of a new play on Anne Frank’s diary, Ilja Pfeiffer, transformed one of the people in hiding who was murdered in the Holocaust, Fritz Pfeffer, from a victim to a perpetrator of violence. Several Dutch media outlets reviewed the play rather positively. The Anne Frank Foundation in Basel is suing the author, but a play in which a Holocaust victim’s memory is sullied is just one more example of a society that will not treat its Jews fairly — not even in death.
Gatestone Institute, Feb. 6, 2018
Hundreds of Africans and Asians armed with knives and iron rods fought running street battles in the northern port city of Calais on February 1, less than two weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron visited the area and pledged to crack down on illegal immigration. The clashes plunged Calais — emblematic of Europe's failure to control mass migration — into a war zone and reinforced the perception that French authorities have lost control of the country's security situation.
The mass brawls, fought in at least three different parts of Calais, erupted after a 37-year-old Afghan migrant running a human trafficking operation fired gunshots at a group of Africans who did not have money to pay for his services. Five Africans suffered life-threatening injuries. Within an hour, hundreds of Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese took to the streets of Calais and attacked any Afghans they could find. More than a thousand police officers using batons and tear gas were deployed to restore order. Two dozen migrants were hospitalized.
French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb described the level of violence in Calais as "unprecedented." He attributed the fighting to an escalating turf war between Afghan and Kurdish gangs seeking to gain control over human trafficking between Calais and Britain, which many migrants view as "El Dorado" because of its massive underground economy. Each day around 40 ferries depart Calais for Britain. Vincent de Coninck, director of the charity Secours Catholique du Pas-de-Calais, said that rival gangs were trying to secure control over access to the port of Calais in order to induce payments of €2,500 ($3,100) from migrants seeking to stow away on trucks crossing the English Channel. De Coninck added that the situation in Calais had deteriorated since January 18, when Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May signed the so-called Sandhurst Treaty, in which May pledged to speed-up the processing of migrants hoping to travel to Britain from Calais.
According to de Coninck, Macron and May failed adequately to explain the contents of the new treaty. This failure, he said, had created false hopes among migrants from Africa and elsewhere that the treaty would improve their chances of reaching Britain. De Coninck further said that hundreds of new migrants had arrived in Calais during the two weeks since the treaty was signed. The surge of new arrivals, he said, had created an "imbalance" between Africans and Asians — thereby increasing inter-ethnic tensions.
François Guennoc, vice-president of the Calais charity L'Auberge des Migrants, echoed the view that the new treaty had created false expectations. "It gave people hope to reach England," he said. "People arrived suddenly, about 200, mainly underage people and women who arrived in Calais because they thought that the Home Office said they could go directly to England. Then they thought the Home Office was lying. People were upset. It was crazy." Europe's migration crisis has emerged as the first major test facing President Macron, who appears to be seeking out a middle-ground compromise position on the issue: he has promised to pursue "humanitarianism" by speeding up the processing of asylum requests while also pledging to pursue "firmness" by deporting those who do not qualify.
During the presidential campaign, Macron, who ran as a centrist, repudiated the anti-immigration positions of his opponent, Marine Le Pen. He campaigned on a platform of open borders and promised to establish France as "the new center for the humanist project." Since assuming office on May 14, 2017, however, Macron appears to have incorporated many of Le Pen's ideas. In an essay published by Le Monde on January 2, 2017, Macron wrote that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow in more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East had "saved the collective dignity" of the European people. He added that he would not tolerate the "rebuilding of walls in Europe" and criticized the "abject simplifications" made by those who say that "by opening the borders to migrants, the chancellor exposed Europe to severe dangers."
On July 27, 2017, however, after less than three months in office, Macron warned that 800,000 migrants in Libya were on their way to Europe. He announced a plan to establish immigration centers in Libya to vet asylum seekers there. He said his plan would stem the flow of migrants to Europe by discouraging economic migrants from embarking on the Mediterranean crossing to Europe. "The idea is to create hotspots to avoid people taking crazy risks when they're not all eligible for asylum," Macron said. "We'll go to them." In that same speech, though, Macron appeared to encourage migrants to make their way to France. He pledged housing for all newcomers "everywhere in France" and "from the first minute."…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Jerusalem Post, Feb. 7, 2018
The founders of modern Israel originated from contrasting ideological movements. Since their dispersion into exile, Jews who for centuries endured Christian and Muslim persecution maintained spiritual (and in a few cases physical) links with their barren Jewish homeland, praying for their return to Zion and the advent of the Messiah.
In the late 19th century, the East European secular utopians who sought to escape persecution and murderous pogroms came to Palestine with the objective of engaging in agriculture and transforming the Jewish homeland into a socialist haven. The British conquest of Jerusalem and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire ushered a series of mass migratory movements, and for the first time, large numbers of Jews in distress turned to Israel as a haven. The Russian civil war and the bloody pogroms associated with it were followed by the rise of Nazism which led to a growing immigration of Eastern European and subsequently German refugees, which, apart from a trickle of illegal immigration, was frozen in 1939 until the end of the British Mandate.
The mass immigration of Holocaust survivors was augmented after the War of Independence by the airlift of Jews fleeing persecution in Muslim countries. They were subsequently joined by other, smaller communities such as the Ethiopians, climaxing with an influx of over a million Jews from the former Soviet Union. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, kibbutz galuyot – the ingathering of the exiles – as predicted in the Bible, has been realized at a dramatic pace. From a fledgling community of 600,000 in 1948 when the state was proclaimed, Israel’s population has increased more than tenfold. It is now unquestionably the most successful and powerful state in the region, despite being an oasis in a turbulent Middle East engulfed in a brutal civil war in which hundreds of thousands of civilians have been butchered like animals.
However, more than half of the world’s Jewish population remains in the Diaspora – the bulk in the United States but with smaller communities in Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America. While there has always been a trickle of highly motivated, largely idealistic and religious Western immigrants, kibbutz galuyot was hardly a feature of the more affluent and less discriminated-against communities. But today the time has come for Jews in these communities to objectively re-evaluate their position.
It is clear that the majority will not pack up and come to Israel, even if there is a significant deterioration of their condition and dramatic escalation of antisemitism.
But committed Jews must ask themselves one basic question: is Jewish continuity important to me and my children? Sadly, unless the response is positive, there is little further contemplation. But those remaining in the Diaspora must recognize that even with the best of intentions, the chances of their grandchildren remaining Jewish are slim. In today’s open society, suffused with post-modernism, it is almost impossible to build solid barriers against acculturation. Any objection to intermarriage that is not based on religious grounds is condemned as racist. Many young people identify Judaism exclusively with liberalism and universalism, and are totally ignorant of core Jewish values.
In addition, the cost of Jewish education has skyrocketed in recent years and only the most committed are willing to sacrifice their standard of living to provide their children with a decent Jewish education. Not surprisingly, the level of Jewish education in the US and most Diaspora Jewish communities has never been so abysmally deficient. With the passage of time, the Holocaust no longer impacts on the identity of youngsters as it did with their parents. It has been reduced to unemotional historical statistics devoid of contemporary relevance. Likewise, support for Israel, which served as the greatest unifying element, has declined steeply among those with little or no traditional Jewish upbringing. Some even consider it socially advantageous to regurgitate the anti-Israeli agenda promoted by the liberal media.
In this environment, it is not surprising that intermarriage figures have escalated dramatically. Today, over 70% of unions among non-Orthodox Jews involve a gentile partner, with the overwhelming majority of children from such mixed marriages remaining, at best, Jews in name only. Clearly, the likelihood of Jewish continuity among non-observant Jews is minimal. Today, even the Orthodox minority is becoming affected. The statistics indicate that, other than the strictly Orthodox, Diaspora Jewish communities will significantly shrink…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Poland’s Shoah Policy – Precursor to a New Holocaust Revisionism?: Shimon Samuels, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2018—In November 2011, the Palestinians entered UNESCO, thus beginning a period of mayhem in the form of Jewish and Christian ID theft.
Poland Slams the Door on Holocaust Dialogue: Sohrab Ahmari, Commentary, Feb. 6, 2018—The legacy of the Shoah in Poland, John Paul II said, is “a wound that has not healed, one that keeps bleeding.” The Polish government’s new Holocaust law rubs salt into the wound and renders healing that much more elusive.
The Widespread Anti-Israelism in the UK: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 9, 2018—Various studies have shown how widespread the dislike of Israel and anti-Israelism are in a number of European countries. The University of Bielefeld, for instance, published a widely publicized report of seven EU countries in 2011.
The Jews Vs. Hitler: An Interview with Author Rick Richman: Elliot Resnick, Jewish Press, Jan. 31, 2018—A Jewish army fighting Hitler? The idea sounds wild, but Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky – and, to a lesser extent, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion – thought it achievable. Jabotinsky envisioned an army of 100,000 fighting the Nazi menace, placing Jews in a perfect position after the war to demand a Jewish state.