NB: EXCITING UPDATE TO OUR CONFERENCE: KEYNOTE ADDRESS WILL BE FROM RABBI IRVING GREENBERG, & A SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM ELIE WIESEL!
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 email@example.com. Visit our site: www.isranet.org/events.
Tribute to Stephen Harper: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Oct. 20, 2015— Prime Minister Stephen Harper: We owe you a profound debt of gratitude.
American Jewish Leaders – Speak Up Now!: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 21, 2015 — It is now evident that, by and large, the Jewish establishment has adopted a policy of deafening silence in relation to the virulent one-sided political attacks and sins of omission by the Obama administration concerning our barbaric adversaries.
No Country for Jews?: Daniel Gordis, New York Daily News, Oct. 18, 2015— We have a young language instructor at Shalem College in Jerusalem, where I work.
Netanyahu, Husseini, and the Historians: Jeffrey Herf, Times of Israel, Oct. 22, 2015 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments about Haj Amin al-Husseini's impact on Hitler's decision-making about the Final Solution in Europe do not stand up to the consensus of historical research.
Canada Loses a Moral Compass: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Oct. 20, 2015
Benghazi: Where Was Hillary?: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2015
The Paranoid, Supremacist Roots of the Stabbing Intifada: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, Oct. 16, 2015
A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse: Henry A. Kissinger, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2015
UNWatch, Oct. 20, 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper: We owe you a profound debt of gratitude. Over the past decade, when others were silent, you courageously led Canada to defend moral clarity at the United Nations, defying dictatorships and double standards.
I will never forget, at the infamous UN Human Rights Council, during the years 2006 to 2009 when the U.S. was not a member, how your government became the only one in the world to vote against poisonous resolutions sponsored by Syria's Assad, Qaddafi and other murderous tyrants. I will never forget how, in 2009, you were the first in the world to pull out of the antisemitic Durban II Racism Conference, leading Italy, the U.S., Germany, Netherlands, Australia, and others, to follow. Thanks to your actions, when Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered the opening speech, leading democracies walked out, and the entire conference was exposed as a sham.
I will never forget how you stood alone against French President Jacques Chirac and what he called a "great majority of states," to successfully prevent the 2006 Francophonie Summit from singling out Israel for opprobrium after the Hezbollah-Israel war of that summer. I will never forget how you defended my organization, UN Watch, when pro-Hamas UN official Richard Falk, a 9/11 Truther, tried to shut us down; nor will I forget how your government condemned the UN's cynical and corrupt appointment of Falk's wife to a similar UN human rights post. I will never forget how your government supported UN Watch's ongoing work to give a platform to democracy activists, dissidents and human rights heroes, suffering under the world's worst tyrannies.
For all of those reasons, and for so many others, those of us at the United Nations who work to restore the founders' ideals were deeply fortunate to see a world leader who showed, through extraordinary actions, how a profound commitment to basic principles can defy even the most intense peer pressures of international politics. Thank you, Prime Minister Harper, and may God bless you.
Jerusalem Post, Oct. 21, 2015
It is now evident that, by and large, the Jewish establishment has adopted a policy of deafening silence in relation to the virulent one-sided political attacks and sins of omission by the Obama administration concerning our barbaric adversaries. It is only the outspoken Zionist Organization of America and minor fringe groups that have been directly speaking out against the Obama administration’s intensified anti-Israel rhetoric.
Until now, I had a nagging suspicion that the failure of American Jewish leaders to confront the biased Obama administration attacks on Israel was not merely a reasoned strategic approach. But aware of their devotion to Israel and having witnessed their former stalwart defense of Jewish interests, I was reluctant to conclude that fear was their primary consideration. But the ongoing silence by the Jewish establishment in relation to the current disgraceful behavior of the Obama administration, its secretary of state and State Department spokesmen is incomprehensible.
Today Israeli Jews are confronted by frenzied, psychotic young Arabs who have been brainwashed into believing that murdering innocent Jews will deliver them directly to paradise and transform them into glorious martyrs. This barbarism, inculcated by hideous indoctrination from kindergarten and subsequently nurtured in the mosques and throughout Palestinian social media, is creating monsters. It is publicly sanctified by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has whipped up a frenzy on the insanely false allegation that Israel is bent on destroying al-Aksa mosque and building a Jewish temple on its ruins.
The demonic madness is fortified by the heroic profile the PA adopts in relation to the killing sprees and which Abbas refuses to condemn. The perpetrators are also aware that if they survive, the PA will pay them generous salaries in prison and provide pensions for their families. Under such circumstances, one would surely expect leaders of the civilized world to condemn these Arab murders of innocents. But aside from lip service condemning “violence,” world leaders and global organizations have, at best, adopted a sickening moral-relativist position in which Jewish victims are equated with their murderers.
Until now, the US took pride in defending Israel and proclaiming its shared values and common democratic Judeo-Christian heritage. Even though there were occasional policy differences between the countries, Israel considered itself a true ally of the US, irrespective of whether a Democrat or Republican occupied the Oval Office. Since Barack Obama was elected president, in his obsession to build bridges between the US and Islam he sought to demonstrate that there is daylight between Israel and America. His Third World outlook also led to his abandoning long-term US allies and groveling to Islamic fundamentalist terrorist states like Iran, mistakenly believing that appeasing them will make them more moderate.
Over the past month we have witnessed the climax of the US political abandonment of Israel. Obama, who repeatedly condemned Netanyahu for remarks made in the heat of an election even after he had clarified and withdrawn them, has emboldened the Palestinian extremists by failing to utter a single condemnation of Abbas for his vicious ongoing incitement and calls for Jewish blood. Worse still was Secretary of State John Kerry, frequently referred to as an “unguided missile,” who made a series of inexcusable, demented remarks.
He refused to apportion the blame for the killings and even hinted that the Israelis had brought the violence upon themselves. He related to “violence on both sides.” Both sides? He claimed that the Palestinian killings had been ignited by Palestinian “frustration” over the failure to negotiate a two-state solution and the “massive increase of settlements over the course of the last few years.” This bears no relevance to the facts as settlement building in the past few years has been dramatically reduced. The frenzied killers are unquestionably motivated by the incitement and lies being promoted insisting that Jews plan to destroy al-Aksa.
Kerry also demanded that the status quo at the Temple Mount be upheld “in word and deed,” knowing full well that this has constantly been the policy of the Netanyahu government. Such ambiguous statements gives credence to the Palestinian lies. State Department spokesman John Kirby even accused Israel of violating the status quo on the Temple Mount – and thus effectively also fanning the flames – and called on “both leaders” to combat the incitement which leads to a “cycle of violence.” He was subsequently forced to retract but the damage could not be undone. He also stated that the US had “seen some reports of security activity that could indicate the potential excessive use of force” against the psychotic killers.
To top off these outrageous outbursts, Obama made a statement assiduously avoiding use of the term “terrorist” and patronizingly endorsed Israel’s right to “protect its citizens from knife attacks” and “random violence.” He then spat in our faces by effectively blaming both Netanyahu and Abbas for the incitement. For Israel’s one true ally to descend to such Orwellian depths as placing the Israelis in the same category as religious fanatics orchestrating a killing spree is utterly contemptible and encourages the barbarians to accelerate their murderous activity, and the US administration thus assumes a share of responsibility for the murder of innocent Jews that will no doubt transpire in the days to come.
To compound matters, the White House critiques also serve as a green light for Europe to pressure Israel into making further unilateral concessions which would undermine its security. Under diplomatic constraints, Netanyahu has instructed ministers not to respond to the shameful remarks by the administration and its spokesmen. But such restraints do not apply to American Jewish leaders. In the face of such a reprehensible attitude by the Obama administration to Israel at a time when psychotic murderers kill Jews in the streets, one would have expected the American Jewish community’s leadership to condemn their government and launch public protests.
American Jews continuously stress that in the US they can speak out as Jews without fear. Yet when it comes to criticizing Obama, despite the fact that the majority of the nation and both houses of Congress support Israel, a deafening silence envelops the Jewish leadership…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
New York Daily News, Oct. 18, 2015
We have a young language instructor at Shalem College in Jerusalem, where I work. She's a religious Muslim who wears a hijab, lives in one of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and is a graduate student at Hebrew University. She's fun and warm, and a great teacher — the students like her a lot.
Late last spring, when things here were quiet, some of the students mentioned to the department chair that as much as they'd spoken with her over the past couple of years, they'd never discussed politics. They were curious what someone like her thought about the conflict in this region, especially now that she was teaching at an unabashedly Zionist college, had come to know so many Jewish students and had developed such warm relationships with them. How does someone like her see things here? How did she think we would one day be able to settle this conflict?
"So ask her," the department chair said. "As long as you speak to her in Arabic (she's on staff to help our students master the language), you can talk about anything you want." They did. They told her that since they'd never discussed the "situation" (as we metaphorically call it here in Israel), they were curious how she thought we might someday resolve it. "It's our land," she responded rather matter-of-factly. Stunned, they weren't sure that they'd heard her correctly. So they waited. But that was all she had to say. "It's our land. You're just here for now."
What upset those students more than anything was not that a Palestinian might believe that the Jews are simply the latest wave of Crusaders in this region, and that we, like the Crusaders of old, will one day be forced out. We all know that there are many Palestinians who believe that. What upset them was that she — an educated woman, getting a graduate degree (which would never happen in a Muslim country) at a world class university (only Israel has those — none of Israel's neighbors has a single highly rated university) and working at a college filled with Jews who admire her, like her and treat her as they would any other colleague — still believes that when it's all over, the situation will get resolved by our being tossed out of here once again.
Even she , who lives a life filled with opportunities that she would never have in an Arab country, still thinks at the end of the day the Jews are nothing but colonialists. And colonialists, she believes, don't last here. The British got rid of the Ottomans, the Jews got rid of the British — and one day, she believes, the Arabs will get rid of the Jews. That is one of the many reasons that this recent wave of violence, consisting mostly of deadly stabbings carried out by Israeli Arabs (not Palestinians living over the Green Line) and Arab residents of east Jerusalem, has Israelis so unsettled.
Yes, the reality on the ground is frightening. People are being stabbed on the street, on buses, in malls. Those being attacked are elderly men and women and young boys on their bicycles. No one is immune, and unlike the last Intifada, when suicide bombers sought high casualty counts so you felt safe away from crowds, now nowhere feels definitely safe. But even that is not the most debilitating dimension of this new round of attacks on Jews. What's most sobering is the fact that this new round of violence has made it clear, once again, that this conflict is simply never going to end.
What Israelis are coming to understand by virtue of the fact that the attackers are not Palestinians living in refugee camps but Israeli Arabs — who have access to Israeli health care, Israeli education, Israel's free press and right of assembly, protection for gays and lesbians and much more — is that this latest round of violence is simply the newest battle in the War of Independence that Israel has been fighting for 68 years now. The war began even before Israel was a state — Arabs attacked Israel not when David Ben-Gurion declared independence on May 14, 1948, but when the United Nations General Assembly voted — on November 29, 1947 — to create a Jewish state. When formal independence followed some six months later, the attacking Arab militias were replaced by standing armies of five Arab nations — Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and even Iraq (which joined the fray even though it did not share a border with Israel).
Over the years, the enemies have shifted (Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but now there are the Palestinians and Iran is both pursuing a weapon of mass destruction and declaring that Israel must be destroyed) and the methods have changed (standing Arab armies have been replaced by terrorism at home and an international campaign to delegitimize Israel in the UN and beyond). But the basic goal of Israel's enemies remains the destruction of the Jewish state. Increasingly, Israelis (who, polls show, overwhelmingly would like to get out of the West Bank and live peacefully alongside a Palestinian State that would recognize Israel) fear that while for us this is a conflict that can be settled by adjusting borders and guaranteeing security for both sides, for our enemies this is an all-or-nothing battle in which the only end would be for Israel to disappear.
Israel's iconic diplomat, Abba Eban, said in the early 1970s that "the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." It was, sadly, an apt observation. And it is still true. By joining the violence and responding to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' incitement (Abbas insists that he's not inciting, but that is patently false — if nothing else, his ludicrous claim that Israel is planning to change the status quo on the Temple Mount proved sufficient to inflame an entire region), Israeli Arabs have foolishly put themselves on the wrong side of history. Rather than take a page from Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps protesting peacefully on behalf of other Palestinians, a violent minority has chosen to show its support for the larger Palestinian cause by attacking innocent Jews. And by and large, Israeli Arab leadership has been silent…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Times of Israel, Oct. 22, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments about Haj Amin al-Husseini's impact on Hitler's decision-making about the Final Solution in Europe do not stand up to the consensus of historical research. Husseini's importance in Nazi Berlin lay far more in assisting the Third Reich's Arabic language propaganda toward the Arab world and in mobilizing Muslims in Eastern Europe to support the Nazi regime. That said, Netanayhu's comments about Husseini's lasting impact on Palestinian political culture are very much on the mark.
In his now famous comments at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on October 20, Netanyahu claimed that Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Hitler to change his anti-Jewish policy from one of expulsion to one of extermination. "Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time [of the meeting between the mufti and the Nazi leader]. He wanted to expel the Jews," Netanyahu said. "And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here [to mandatory Palestine],'" continued the prime minister. "'So what should I do with them?' He [Hitler] asked," according to Netanyahu. "He [Husseini] said, 'Burn them.'"
In the Knesset in 2012, the prime minister asserted that Husseini "was one of the leading architects of the Final Solution," and that "he, more than anybody else, convinced [Hitler] to execute the Final Solution, and not let the Jews leave [Europe]. Because, God forbid, they would come here. Rather that they would be annihilated, burned, there."
Having spent many years working on the history of modern Germany and on the period of Nazism and the Holocaust, I was surprised to see these quotes and this interpretation. I've never seen these comments cited before in the vast literature on the subject. This interpretation of the events of November 1941 is not supported by the scholarship on Holocaust decision-making. The prime minister overreached in his effort to push back against efforts to diminish Husseini's role as a collaborator and ideological soulmate with Nazi Germany.
As this newspaper has helpfully published the English translation of the German record of the meeting between Hitler and Husseini on November 28, 1941 in Berlin, I will place the conversation in historical context. Amidst the vast scholarship on Hitler's decisions to implement a Final Solution of the Jewish question in Europe, the work of two historians stands out in particular. In his 1991 study, Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution, Richard Breitman drew on Himmler's appointment calendar to make a compelling argument for an "early" decision, that is, one that was emerging in spring 1941 before the invasion of the Soviet Union and became more obvious with the Einsatzgruppen murders that began immediately after that invasion in June 1941.
Subsequently, Christopher Browning, in works that are summarized in The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942, addressed in more detail the evolution of Hitler's thinking and decision-making. Browning's now widely accepted conclusion is that in the midst of "euphoria" over the seeming victory over the Red Army in summer 1941, Hitler took a series of decisions to implement the Final Solution at the latest by October 1941. The historical reconstruction of the decision-making process is complex and well beyond the scope of a newspaper column. There is no substitute for reading Breitman and Browning along with the synthesis of the issue in Saul Friedlander's second volume of Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945: The Years of Extermination.
In my own The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, a study of propaganda within Germany, I pointed out that by summer and early fall of 1941 Hitler's fiction of an international Jewish conspiracy waging war against Germany, a fiction which Hitler had repeatedly mentioned since a speech in the Reichstag on January 30, 1939, seemed in his own eyes to be taking shape in the form of the alliance of Britain with the Soviet Union following his invasion of Russia in June 1941. The anti-Hitler coalition confirmed in his mind the truth of his conspiracy theory. As "international Jewry" appeared intent on waging a war of extermination against Germany, so he would "exterminate the Jewish race" in Europe in retaliation. He had been discussing these ideas since early 1939. They reached a fever pitch in summer and early fall of 1941 before he met with Husseini…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Canada Loses a Moral Compass: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Oct. 20, 2015 — Apparently antagonized by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s sometimes-brash leadership style and itching for change after almost a decade of conservative rule, Canadians have delivered Harper a surprising and decisive defeat at the polls.
Benghazi: Where Was Hillary?: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2015 — American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow John Bolton on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s conduct on the night four Americans were murdered.
The Paranoid, Supremacist Roots of the Stabbing Intifada: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, Oct. 16, 2015 — In September of 1928, a group of Jewish residents of Jerusalem placed a bench in front of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, for the comfort of elderly worshipers.
A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse: Henry A. Kissinger, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2015 — The debate about whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran regarding its nuclear program stabilized the Middle East’s strategic framework had barely begun when the region’s geopolitical framework collapsed.