Don’t Separate Families at the Border — But Don’t Expropriate the Holocaust Either: Abraham Cooper, Algemeiner, June 21, 2018— As an Orthodox rabbi, it is not for me to comment on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ invocation of the New Testament to justify separating children from parents who were caught trying to illegally enter the US at the Mexican border.
Trump’s Wise to Quit the UN Human Rights Council — It’s an Oxymoron Not Worthy of Our Respect or Support: Anne Bayefsky, Fox News, June 20, 2018— President Trump has rightly decided to terminate U.S. membership in what U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday called the “misnamed” U.N. “Human Rights” Council.
A Week of Infamy at the United Nations: David Gerstman, Tower, June 4, 2018— When Syria ascended to the role of presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament for one month on Monday, Robert Wood, the United States ambassador to the conference, called it “one of the darkest days in the history of the Conference on Disarmament.”
A Tribute to Charles Krauthammer: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2018— Dr. Charles Krauthammer, perhaps the most luminous and incisive columnist of this generation, announced two weeks ago that he was stricken with terminal cancer and had only weeks to live.
On Topic Links
Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist and Intellectual Provocateur, Dies at 68: Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, June 21, 2018
Ending The ‘Theater of the Absurd’ At The UNHRC: Gregg Roman, The Hill, June 20, 2018
Why are We Backing UNRWA, the United Nations’ Permanent Inciter?: Bradley Martin, American Spectator, May 23, 2018
Conference: Reforming UNRWA (Video): BESA Center, March 18, 2018
DON’T SEPARATE FAMILIES AT THE BORDER —
BUT DON’T EXPROPRIATE THE HOLOCAUST EITHER
Algemeiner, June 21, 2018
As an Orthodox rabbi, it is not for me to comment on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ invocation of the New Testament to justify separating children from parents who were caught trying to illegally enter the US at the Mexican border. Suffice it to say that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who represents 2.6 million Catholics, called the crackdown “unbiblical.”
Speaking for our constituency at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, we said the following: Like millions of Americans on both sides of the political divide, we want our leaders to solve the humanitarian crisis at hand. No matter what the divisions are over immigration policies, it is unacceptable to separate little children from their parents. That isn’t what America stands for. Those are not our values. We urge immediate steps to ameliorate this situation and for the Administration and Congress to finally take the necessary steps to end this problem.
We are not naïve, and know full well that it will take nothing short of a miracle to triangulate the divergent views of Democrats, Republicans, and President Trump and come up with a comprehensive solution to all the issues related to illegal immigration. Now in the midst of the contentious debate, there are some thoughtful legislators, including Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Mark Meadows, who are weighing in to deal with the children caught in the middle. And yesterday, Donald Trump issued an executive order that he claimed would end the practice of parents being separated from their children.
Without action on immigration, our society will lurch from emotional and incendiary crisis to crisis — sometimes focusing on an innocent child’s wail, sometimes on the sobs of a bereaved family robbed of a loved one by a criminal who never should have been in the United States in the first place.
But there is another victim of the children at the border debate: historic truth. Those entrusted with protecting the memory of the six million victims of the Nazi Holocaust — and teaching lessons from history’s greatest crime, which included the mass murder of 1.5 million Jewish children — are shocked by the wholesale and dishonest expropriation of the symbols and imagery of the Holocaust by critics of the treatment of children at the US border.
For starters, Wikipedia now includes the detention centers where these children are held in the article about Concentration and Internment camps. Social media has been abuzz with comparisons including to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where innocents were beaten, starved, and gassed to death. No less than former CIA Director Michael Hayden, now a CNN pundit, posted a picture of the entrance to the infamous Auschwitz death camp. He later offered an “apology” that read more like gloating over “overachieving.” A more apt lesson for Hayden from that era was the failure of the CIA’s World War II predecessor, the OSS, to do anything to stop or slow down the Nazi genocide of Jews.
Then there was MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough who opened “Morning Joe” last Friday by declaring: “Children are being marched away to showers — just like the Nazis said they were taking people to the showers, and then they never came back. You’d think they would use another trick.” On Sunday, another cable commentator insisted, “Increasingly, Donald Trump is turning this nation into Nazi Germany and turning these [detention centers] into concentration camps.” Social media postings invoked the same imagery and talking points.
For 25 years, our Museum of Tolerance has educated millions of visitors, including 160,000 law enforcement officials, about Auschwitz, Anne Frank, and the murder of 1.5 million Jewish children and their families by the Nazi perpetrators of the genocidal “Final Solution.” Visitors also learn about today’s real-time civil and human rights crises, and contemporary mass murder and genocide. But we would never tell a young visitor that every human rights outrage is equivalent to Auschwitz. That is a lie. We can only hope that the depths of its moral depravity will never again be repeated in our world.
Finally, the images emanating from along the Texas border are powerful enough to inspire people to act without deploying Holocaust imagery that demonizes other Americans and debases the memory of six million murdered Jews. US border guards and Homeland Security personnel are not Nazis. Critics should stop slandering them. We live in the world’s greatest democracy. Our elected officials have the tools to fix what’s broken.
TRUMP’S WISE TO QUIT THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL –
IT’S AN OXYMORON NOT WORTHY OF OUR RESPECT OR SUPPORT
Fox News, June 20, 2018
President Trump has rightly decided to terminate U.S. membership in what U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday called the “misnamed” U.N. “Human Rights” Council. The move comes after the Trump administration gave the council 17 months to get serious about reform and to stop spreading anti-Semitism under the false flag of promoting human rights.
Many believed it was 17 months that the U.N. didn’t deserve. U.S. membership on the council legitimized an especially treacherous adversary to liberal democracies: the faux human rights victim. But in response, U.N. actors squandered the more than generous opportunities for change provided during hundreds of meetings and are left with no one to blame but themselves. The Human Rights Council was the U.N.’s cure for the Human Rights Commission – presided over by Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya shortly before somebody noticed it lacked credibility.
Other than the name change from “Commission” to “Council,” the other big difference was that when the the commission ended in 2006, its members included China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia, and when the General Assembly elected the members of the new Council, they chose China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia. (No joke.) Now among the 47 U.N. states calling the shots on the organization’s top human rights body are such human rights paragons as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Qatar and Venezuela.
The Trump administration tried hard to address the conditions for membership on the council. While the General Assembly was first drafting the rules for the council back in 2005, then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton (currently President Trump’s national security adviser) worked tirelessly to do the same. During a five-year “review” to fix the council back in 2011, the Obama administration pushed for membership reform as well. They all failed, Democrat and Republican alike.
The main distinction between Republican and Democratic approaches to the council was over the issues of whether to join it and whether to foot the bill. President George W. Bush said that if the council was a tool for human rights abusers to masquerade as human rights authorities, and to foment anti-Semitism by using the Jewish state as a proverbial scapegoat, the leader of the free world would not join or legitimize the council. President Obama said it’s better to engage, just as it was better to engage and empower Iranian sponsors of terrorism, to engage and enable Syrian dictator Bashar Assad “the reformer,” and to engage and reset relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin until he felt secure enough to invade his neighbors.
There is no doubt that the U.N. Human Rights Council is a productive tool for anti-Semites. Discrimination against the Jewish state is baked into procedures and output as well as into its composition. The council reserves one permanent agenda item for every one of its regular sessions for condemning only Israel. All other 192 U.N. member states are considered together under a separate item, if they are discussed at all. The council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country on Earth, and nothing condemning almost 90 percent of the world’s states. The council has held more emergency special sessions on Israel than on any other country, including Syria – where at least 500,000 have died and up to 12 million people have been displaced.
But even beyond the disturbing fact that anti-Semitism thrives at the United Nations under the guise of human rights is that the “human rights” experts, the nongovernmental organizations and the academic entourage surrounding this whole apparatus, have the council’s back. For months, they have been flooding the airwaves and Haley and Pompeo’s email inboxes begging the Trump administration to stay on the council. In a nutshell, they make one basic point: the demonization of Israel, even if undeserved, is peripheral to the common good.
Pompeo and Haley have courageously decided to set them straight. Equal rights cannot be built on inequality for Jews and the Jewish state. Playing minority groups against each other is not progress, it’s discrimination. And unless and until the common good has no Jewish exemption clause, the U.N. “Human Rights” Council is an oxymoron that does not deserve our respect or support.
A WEEK OF INFAMY AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Tower, June 4, 2018
When Syria ascended to the role of presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament for one month on Monday, Robert Wood, the United States ambassador to the conference, called it “one of the darkest days in the history of the Conference on Disarmament.”
The week at the U.N. did not get better. Syria assumed the role of presidency of the conference, despite committing the war crime of deploying chemical weapons against civilians, by virtue of its place in the alphabet — it followed Switzerland. The New York Times explained that the reason for the rotating scheme was “to prevent major powers dominating the forum.” The problem is that the U.N., according to its charter, was founded, in part, to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”
How does giving a regime that uses prohibited weapons presidency over a conference devoted to abrogating such weapons save anyone from “the scourge of war?” As the Times subsequently pointed out, Syria only agreed to join the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, one of the treaties authored by the conference that prohibits the manufacturing, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons, AFTER the regime was found to have used sarin in a 2013 attack on a Damascus suburb that killed 1,400 people. Even once Syria joined the treaty, investigators have documented more than 30 additional chemical weapons attacks carried out by the Syrian government.
The idea that major powers shouldn’t dominate a U.N. conference may be reasonable. However, there should be some way to police who serves or presides over conferences based on their records. That Syria, which violated one of the primary objectives of the Disarmament Conference — the banning of chemical weapons — should preside over the conference is a travesty. Syria was not the only bad actor to avoid the consequences of its actions this week at the U.N. On Wednesday, Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist organization, was spared a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the latest barrage of rockets and mortars fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley responded to Kuwait’s veto, saying that condemning Hamas for firing rockets at civilians should have been a “no-brainer.” “Apparently, some Council members did not think Hamas launching rockets qualified as terrorism,” she added. “The United States begs to differ.” Again, if we look at the U.N. charter, one the goals stated is “to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used.” How does letting a terrorist group firing rockets and mortars at civilians without, at least, condemnation reinforce the message that “armed force shall not be used?”
If the U.N.’s week was marked by letting human rights abusers and terrorists off the hook, how could it be worse? Because European diplomats decided that Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, should continue to be singled out for special scrutiny and inevitable condemnation by the misnamed United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Colum Lynch reported Wednesday for Foreign Policy that unnamed “key European allies” would not support a U.N. General Assembly vote to remove UNHRC’s notorious Agenda Item 7, which singles out Israel — the only nation so treated — for special scrutiny by the council. Lynch described the motivation of the European diplomats, who are concerned that the U.S. initiative “could inflict long-lasting damage to the world’s principal human rights agency and undermine efforts to expose human rights violations elsewhere.” But Lynch also observed that the council was formed in 2006 to replace “the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, whose credibility had been tainted by the presence of member states with abysmal rights records.”
Currently, as UN Watch has documented, the new, “improved” council has such gross human rights violators Qatar, Pakistan, DR Congo, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, China, Cuba, Venezuela, and UAE, to the council violating the “UN’s own basic membership criteria.” It’s hard to understand Europe’s concern about the possible “long-lasting damage” to the council when it appears that it is just as tainted with human rights abusers as its discredited predecessor was.
Agenda Items 7 doesn’t just single out Israel for scrutiny, it effectively prejudges Israel as guilty in any violence with the Palestinians. Given that Israel is the only nation singled out, it also makes the agenda item discriminatory and anti-Semitic. Whichever European nations refused to support the U.S. initiative should have done so even if there wasn’t their misplace concern about damage to the council.
To refer again to the U.N.’s charter, the founders said that the goal of the organization is promoting “equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” A provision that singles out one nation — especially a free nation — for extra scrutiny and condemnation violates this vision of equal rights for all nations. By allowing Syria to assume the presidency of its Conference on Disarmament, the U.N. experienced a dark day. By subsequently refusing to condemn Hamas, and leaving Israel open to even more unjust vilification, the U.N. has darkened itself even further.
A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
David M. Weinberg
Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2018
Dr. Charles Krauthammer, perhaps the most luminous and incisive columnist of this generation, announced two weeks ago that he was stricken with terminal cancer and had only weeks to live. I feel an obligation to pay homage to this incredible man, and to add a Jewish, Zionist and personal angle to the many tributes to him that have rightly poured forth.
For 38 years, Krauthammer’s columns, essays, and lectures have stood as pillars of conservative principle and moral clarity. On foreign policy matters, he was unquestionably the most radiant intellectual hawk in America, and on Middle East affairs he was the most consistent defender of Israel and the US-Israel special relationship.
Two examples of his razor-sharp writing regarding Israel and American Mideast policy will suffice, among hundreds of exhibits. Krauthammer wrote in 2014 about “Kafkaesque ethical inversions” that make for Western criticism of Israel. “The world’s treatment of Israel is Orwellian, fueled by a mix of classic antisemitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog,” he wrote. He understood that eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties (such as recent Hamas assaults on the Gaza border) were “depravity.”
“The whole point is to produce dead Palestinians for international television; to deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed; indeed, moral and tactical insanity,” he said. “But it rests on a very rational premise. The whole point is to draw Israeli counter-fire; to produce dead Palestinians for international television, and to ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.”
In 2015, he repeatedly skewered then-president Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.” To Obama, he wrote accusingly: “You set out to prevent proliferation and you trigger it. You set out to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability and you legitimize it. You set out to constrain the world’s greatest exporter of terror threatening every one of our allies in the Middle East and you’re on the verge of making it the region’s economic and military hegemon.”
Krauthammer’s profound understanding of Jewish history, his admiration for Israel, and his very deep concern for its future were on fullest display in a magisterial essay he published in The Weekly Standard in 1998 entitled “At Last, Zion.” The essay conducted a sweeping analysis of Jewish peoplehood, from Temple times and over 2,000 years of Diaspora history to the modern return to Zion.
Krauthammer understood that American Jewry was dying. “Nothing will revive the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe and the Islamic world. And nothing will stop the rapid decline by assimilation of Western Jewry.” The dynamics of assimilation were inexorable in America and elsewhere, he wrote. Israel, Krauthammer understood, was different. “Exceptional,” he called it – because Israel was about “reattachment of Russian and Romanian, Uzbeki and Iraqi, Algerian and Argentinean Jews to a distinctively Hebraic culture,” and this gave it civilizational and societal staying power for the long term.
Israel “is now the principal drama of Jewish history,” he wrote. “What began as an experiment has become the very heart of the Jewish people – its cultural, spiritual, and psychological center, soon to become its demographic center as well. Israel is the hinge. Upon it rest the hopes – the only hope – for Jewish continuity and survival.” However, because the “cosmology of the Jewish people has been transformed into a single-star system with a dwindling Diaspora orbiting around,” Krauthammer was apprehensive. It frightened him that “Jews have put all their eggs in one basket, a small basket hard by the waters of the Mediterranean. And on its fate hinges everything Jewish.”
Israel’s centrality, he feared, was a “bold and dangerous new strategy for Jewish survival” because of the many security threats posed to the country, chiefly among them the specter of Iranian nuclear weapons. Indeed, Krauthammer’s essay “thinks the unthinkable” and “contemplates Israel’s disappearance.” And while Jewish political independence has been extinguished twice before and bounced back following centuries of dispersion, Krauthammer doubted that the Jewish People could pull the trick again. “Twice Jews defied the norm [and survived Diaspora]. But never, I fear, again.”…
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
On Topic Links
Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist and Intellectual Provocateur, Dies at 68: Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, June 21, 2018—Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and intellectual provocateur who championed the muscular foreign policy of neoconservatism that helped lay the ideological groundwork for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, died June 21 at 68.
Ending The ‘Theater of the Absurd’ At The UNHRC: Gregg Roman, The Hill, June 20, 2018—It is possible that there is no more misplaced and absurdly titled international body than the United Nations Human Rights Council. Though the name sounds noble, its work is anything but, so it is entirely correct that the United States no longer plays along with this macabre charade and has officially withdrawn from the organization.
Why are We Backing UNRWA, the United Nations’ Permanent Inciter?: Bradley Martin, American Spectator, May 23, 2018—After the latest violence in Gaza, it is clear that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s continuous support of Palestinian terrorism is a major cause of instability in the Middle East and should be defunded.
Conference: Reforming UNRWA (Video): BESA Center, March 18, 2018—“Palestine refugees” have been exceptionally indulged by the international community for 70 long years. Consider the ways: They should not even have been classified as refugees, they had the unprecedented benefit of a relief agency created exclusively for their welfare (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA), and they uniquely can pass on the “refugee” status to future generations.