Tag: universities


For Culture Warrior David Horowitz, Deplatforming is No Deterrent: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 13, 2018 — An opinion columnist nowadays could take campus disruptions or deplatformings of conservative speakers as his or her sole weekly topic and never run out of material.

Recommendation Letter Flap Illustrates Increasingly Hostile Campus Climate for Israel Supporters: Ariel Behar, IPT News, Nov. 5, 2018— After he criticized Hamas in a 2014 Facebook post, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was forced into a sabbatical due to threats and faculty ostracism.

‘Our Struggle Is My Struggle’: The Dangers of Grievance Studies: Ben Cohen, JNS, Oct. 14, 2018— The world of academia has been riveted by the full account of an elaborate hoax that resulted in several high-profile academic journals publishing articles based on ludicrous notions and fake field research, but couched in the language of social justice and identity politics.

Sympathizing with Minorities: Philip Carl Salzman, Frontier Centre, Nov. 9, 2018— When one of my friends and colleagues accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant.

On Topic Links

Sarah Lawrence Prof Pens Op-Ed About Lack of Intellectual Diversity, Social Justice Warriors Want Him Driven Off Campus: Mike LaChance, Legal Insurrection, Nov. 3, 2018

The University of Michigan Has a Big Problem: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Algemeiner, Oct. 16, 2018

Ivory Tower Bigots: David Mikics, Tablet, Oct. 16, 2018

Did 1968 Win the Culture War?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Nov. 22, 2018



DEPLATFORMING IS NO DETERRENT                                                                                      

Barbara Kay                                                                                                                               

National Post, Nov. 13, 2018

An opinion columnist nowadays could take campus disruptions or deplatformings of conservative speakers as his or her sole weekly topic and never run out of material. The latest example comes to us out of New Hampshire’s elite Dartmouth College (tuition US$75,000 a year), where formidable conservative polemicist David Horowitz — soon to celebrate his 80th birthday — was recently invited to speak for Dartmouth’s College Republicans and Students Supporting Israel association.

Things went exactly as any informed person might expect — badly. Leaflets circulating prior to the event accused Horowitz of being a “racist, sexist and ignorant bigot.” During his presentation, the Dartmouth Socialists reportedly played loud porn videos, displaying banners with slogans like “ICE is the Gestapo” and talking over Horowitz. What Horowitz had to say was lost to all but the most distraction-resistant students. Beforehand, a gender studies professor had tweeted, “Islamophobe and anti-intellectual David Horowitz is speaking today … He is a hater of the first order.”

“Anti-intellectual?” That struck me as especially mindless, as she clearly has never read a word Horowitz has written. Horowitz’s publication bibliography runs to 50 pages, much of it a deeply informed, scholarly unpacking of the radical left’s American odyssey. As for his 1997 opus, Radical Son, George Gilder called it “the first great autobiography of his generation.” Other critics rank it at the same level for style and substance as Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. The rest of what the professor tweeted is also a lie. Horowitz has a 50-year history of civil-rights activism. Horowitz only hates Marxism, including the cultural Marxism of identity politics, so he never assigns collective guilt to individuals. (Ironically, he has both a black and a transgender grandchild.)

Needless to say, Dartmouth did not subsidize this visit. According to an open letter he published on Nov. 9 to Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon, Horowitz had to underwrite all the costs for his appearance, even though a previous Dartmouth talk “by notorious anti-Semite and terrorist supporter Linda Sarsour” had been subsidized, including a reported $10,000 honorarium, by Dartmouth’s “Office of Pluralism and Leadership” (a title Horowitz describes as “Orwellian”).

The chances that Dartmouth’s administration will feel remorse or change its policies in response to Horowitz’s eloquent indictment of its double standards are approximately nil. He surely knows that. This is not Horowitz’s first experience of campus disruption — or his 10th — or the first time he has publicly denounced a university administration. It is remarkable, given his lack of success in changing the campus culture (indeed, it has gotten much worse since he started campaigning for intellectual diversity on campus decades ago) that Horowitz’s righteous indignation remains as robust as ever.

Horowitz is particularly loathed by the left because, as a former radical of influence — Ramparts, the voice of antiwar protest that he edited at Berkeley in the late 1960s and early ’70s had a circulation of 250,000 — who later defected rightwards, he is well schooled in leftist hypocrisy and, in the parlance, “knows where the bodies are buried” (in the case of the Black Panthers, this is almost literally the case).

On the other hand, the consistently high-octane rhetoric he brings to bear on the Marxist delusion tends to make even those conservatives who agree with his principles leery of close association with him. In a 2002 interview, former Commentary magazine editor Norman Podhoretz — no slouch himself in combating toxic leftism — said of Horowitz, “Some conservatives think he goes too far, and my guess is that some also believe his relentless campaign against the left focuses too much on the ‘pure’ form of it that has become less influential than its adulterated versions travelling under the name of liberalism.”

I have followed Horowitz’s writings for many years and reviewed most of the books in his nine-volume series, The Black Book of the American Left, including the latest and last volume. (My review of it will soon appear in the Dorchester Review.) In it I write, “Horowitz is not what the estimable Heterodox Academy would consider a clubbable colleague. But in the light of what is happening on campuses today — indeed, in the light of what is being passed into Canadian law today — will history judge him an ‘extremist?’ ”

My own pessimism regarding freedom of speech in the academy, which I see diminishing every day with no end in sight, combined with the overwhelming evidence Horowitz brings to bear, on a case-by-case basis, against the left’s betrayal of democratic ideals, inclines me to believe that Horowitz will be vindicated.

One day, The Black Book of the American Left (if extant copies haven’t been burned, and all digital traces expunged) will be required reading for those who seek to understand how the decline and fall of individual rights and America’s precious First Amendment came to pass.




Ariel Behar

IPT News, Nov. 5, 2018

After he criticized Hamas in a 2014 Facebook post, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was forced into a sabbatical due to threats and faculty ostracism. On the same campus, however, rabidly anti-Israel speakers were invited, including one who pushed the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Israel harvested Palestinians’ organs and engaged in medical experimentation. One of Pessin’s colleagues later said he couldn’t recommend Connecticut College to Jewish students because of “the harassment of Jews on campus in the name of fighting for social justice.”

It was part of a rising tide of anti-Semitic episodes on American university campuses. The University of Michigan drew unwanted attention last month when a professor reneged on a previous commitment to write a letter of recommendation for a student hoping to study abroad. What changed? The Jewish student wanted to study in Israel and the professor, John Cheney-Lippold, supports an academic boycott of the Jewish state as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Meanwhile, pro-Israel speakers routinely are shouted down and Jewish students report feeling intimidated. The following examples all took place last month: University of Minnesota protesters shouted “f***ing Zionists,” “no more death, no more lies, Israel out of Palestine,” and “you’re a bunch of war criminals,” outside a pro-Israel event with IDF soldiers. The founder of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) filmed the protesters as attendees filed in; When the University of Houston Hillel sponsored an event featuring Israeli Druze and Christian reservists, fliers were defaced with messages like “Blood is on your hands, Israel kills children, pregnant woman, medical volunteers,” and “Complicit in genocide of Palestinians.”; Pro-Israel leaflets at a University of Missouri bus stop were torn down and defaced with the slogan “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” a call for Israel’s elimination.

Anti-Semitic incidents on U.S. college campuses increased 59 percent last year, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) study found. “There is a heightened sense of fear for students to label themselves as ‘pro-Israel,'” University of Michigan student, Talia Katz, a senior studying public policy, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Israel has become an increasingly polarizing issue and in effect, she said, “the fear of being outwardly pro-Israel stems from a fear of being accused of supporting Trump, racism, Islamophobia, and other social views vehemently disavowed by the student body and faculty.”

Cheney-Lippold’s actions are “counter to our values and expectations as an institution,” a University of Michigan statement said. The university “has consistently opposed” boycotting Israel, a spokesman told the Chronicle of Higher Education. He won’t get a raise this year and the university froze his sabbatical eligibility. “I think it’s wildly inappropriate for a professor to let his political views get in the way of his relationships and responsibilities to students,” Katz told the IPT.

Cheney-Lippold said he “firmly stand[s] by my decision, as I stand against all injustice and inequality. I hope others stand with me in protesting a government that has created a legal system that favors Jewish citizens’ right to self-determination over Palestinians.'” Not long after, a Michigan graduate student instructor invoked BDS in refusing a student’s letter of recommendation request.

“My action attests to my ongoing engagement with the theory and practice of social justice pedagogy as well as my concern for the injustices suffered by Palestinians,” Lucy Peterson wrote in an op-ed in the campus newspaper. “In my classroom, I try to make as much space as possible for intellectual and political disagreement and for the voices of marginalized students.”

The university once again took heat when a speaker at a required lecture compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolph Hitler. It is important to note that comparing Israel or Israeli policy to Hitler and Nazi Germany meets the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

Katz detailed the many anti-Semitic tropes that have been seen on campus, such as a cartoon depicting Jews as pigs with bags of money. “However, when other speakers come to campus who are perceived to be racist, sexist, or offensive to other minority identities, the University blasts out e-mails to the student body, offering emotional support, providing mental health resources, and detailing their disagreements with the controversial speakers,” calling it a double standard.

To add insult to injury, Michigan’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (CMENAS) hosted a teach-in about what motivates artists and musicians to join the BDS movement last Monday. The BDS movement is seen as anti-Semitic because it sets a double-standard and holds the only Jewish state accountable for perceived injustices. Many of its supporters also advocate the end of Israel’s existence. Furthermore, the BDS movement has contributed to the plight of Palestinians, the very cause it seeks to support…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





THE DANGERS OF GRIEVANCE STUDIES                                                          

Ben Cohen                                               

JNS, Oct. 14, 2018

The world of academia has been riveted by the full account of an elaborate hoax that resulted in several high-profile academic journals publishing articles based on ludicrous notions and fake field research, but couched in the language of social justice and identity politics.

The hoax was the brainchild of three academics — editor and writer Helen Pluckrose, mathematician James Lindsay, and philosopher Peter Boghossian — none of whom are likely to receive “A” list university posts now that they have performed this valuable service. Over a period of about a year, the three of them concocted 20 hoax papers relating to themes like identity, sexuality, body shape, and the significance of “intersectional” struggles. By the time they called a halt to the project, seven of these hoaxes had been published in various academic journals, essentially confirming their initial suspicion that, as long as it is in the proper political packaging, there are plenty of journal editors out there receptive to any old garbage.

One paper about “rape culture” in dog parks in Portland, Oregon received a special citation from the journal that published it. Another paper, on how “masculinist and Western bias” in the science of astronomy “can best be corrected by including feminist, queer, and indigenous astrology,” was enthusiastically received by academic reviewers with a request for only minor revisions. Most spectacularly, the feminist social-work journal Affilia published a hoax paper titled “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism” that was composed of passages lifted from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf with, in the words of the three hoaxers, “fashionable buzzwords switched in.”

Many academics have protested that the hoax project was unethical because its methodology hinged upon dishonest dealings with the editors and peer reviewers of the journals where these papers were published. There is some merit to that argument, but more importantly, we can learn a great deal about human behavior from these types of underhand experiments. When the controversial American social psychologists Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo carried out their respective studies of obedience more than 50 years ago — in Milgram’s case by setting up unknowing subjects to believe that they were inflicting electric shocks on others at the behest of an “authority figure,” in Zimbardo’s by placing student volunteers in “guard” and “inmate” roles in a laboratory “prison” — these were similarly denounced as unethical. But they also demonstrated that willfully engaging in state-sanctioned brutality is something that all human beings are vulnerable to, even when doing so violates the values and standards taught to them all their lives.

The focus of this present hoax was not, of course, as dramatic as the exploration of human cruelty. Its framework of inquiry was restricted to academic journals only. And its purpose was to establish whether what the authors call “grievance studies” — the collection of disciplines spanning gender, race, and culture that are served by the journals in question — is “corrupting academic research.” Their short answer is “yes.”

At stake here is more than the irresponsible use of facts by academics or the ideological assumptions behind much research in social science. Ultimately, we are dealing with what the hoaxers rightly identify as a crisis in epistemology — the venerable branch of philosophy concerned with what we know and how we know it, ranging from simple observations (“it’s raining”) to more complex judgments (“you did the right thing”). The scientific standards and rationalist principles that underlie the exploration of what constitutes truth are being assailed by what the hoaxers call “the identitarian madness coming out of the academic and activist left.” Madness it may be, but at the same time, it has become a useful tool for scholars who “bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview.”

Increasingly, students are taught that the veracity of a particular claim cannot be separated from the identity of the person making it — and that suggesting otherwise is a surrender to patriarchy and racism. Central to this approach as well — as my colleague Jonathan S. Tobin recently pointed out in a different context focusing on environmental activists — is the abandonment of the skepticism that is so essential to the scientific method. Ideological conviction and an in-built bias towards some human identities over others, rather than testing and observation, has become the standard by which we ascertain what is true, and therefore what is false as well.

While the three hoaxers don’t claim that the entire university system has been consumed by identity politics and its dubious methods of attaining the truth, the problem is evidently significant enough for us laypeople to worry about it. From a Jewish philosophical perspective, there is no serious quarrel with the scientific method; Maimonides wrote that “knowledge of the Divine cannot be attained except through knowledge of the natural sciences.”

But far more practically, we shouldn’t shy away from saying that the academic study of the Nazi Holocaust — particularly as carried out in Israel by Yad Vashem and other institutions — provides us with a model to examine human suffering that is far more rigorous than anything purveyed by the identitarians. Because if this darkly amusing hoax has taught us anything, it’s that the study of grievances is too important to be left to the practitioners of grievance studies.




Philip Carl Salzman                                  

Frontier Centre, Nov. 9, 2018

When one of my friends and colleagues accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant. How dare he? After all, I am myself a member of a much maligned and prejudicially treated minority ethnic group, with which I identify strongly. Not only that, both of my children are “visible minorities,” as we like to say here in Canada: my son was adopted from Thailand; my daughter was adopted from China. In our current cultural moment, to be unsympathetic to minorities implies the worst sins we can imagine: oppression of the vulnerable, racism, male supremacism, heteronormality, and Islamophobia. Who but the most egocentric, ethnocentric cynic, or the most self-serving, callous exploiter, or the most fearful, insecure weakling, could be unsympathetic to minorities?

Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I agree that I am unsympathetic to minorities. The reason is that I object to dealing with people in terms of their allocation to gross, demographic census categories. Are we to think of individuals only or primarily in terms of whether they a member of one or another racial, gender, ethnic, sexual, or religious category? This is a form of reductionism that “disappears” the individual human being into a few general features, implies if not asserts that this is the most important things about them, advises treating them according to their categories, and succeeds in dividing our society into opposing and conflicting regiments.

Many people, these days, take the view that some categories of people are more important than others, just like the animals in Animal Farm, where all are equal, but some are more equal than others. For example, if you say “black lives matter,” you are on the side of the angels; but if you say “all lives matter,” you are an evil emissary of white supremacy and its leader, Satan. If you say “the future is female,” you are lauded and being foresightful and simpatico; but if you say we should be concerned about men’s rights, you are a sexist chauvinist “mansplaining,” and should be silent or be silenced. If you say, “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest), you are just expressing the “religion of peace”; if you oppose the importation of sharia law and insist on the separation of church and state, you are an Islamophobe and racist fascist.

The key to sorting out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys is identifying victim categories: members of victim categories, or, better, multiple victim categories, are to be favoured, while anyone who is not a member of a victim category, is a member of an oppressor category who should be disfavoured. Through the magic of “intersectionality” we can discover who are the worthy victims; the more victimhood categories someone can claim, the more worthy they are: non-white, female, minority race (except Asians), minority religion (except Jews), gay, bisexual, transsexual, transvestite, etc. etc., handicapped, poor, homeless, mentally ill, etc. The complementary side of the equation is the oppressors and exploiters: whites, males, Western European ethnicity, heterosexuals, Christians and Jews.

You may wonder where all of this oppressor-victim categorization comes from. It is drawn in the first instance from Marxism, which posits class conflict between the exploited proletariat and oppressing bourgeoisie as the dynamic that will destroy capitalism and establish socialism. That was not popular in North America, where most people see themselves as middle class. But sociologists who came to define their field as “the study of inequality” extended class conflict to other, non-economic classes: genders, races, ethnicities, sexual subgroups, religions, etc. The sociologists added that the oppression and victimization was “structural,” with individuals’ intentions unimportant…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!


On Topic Links

Sarah Lawrence Prof Pens Op-Ed About Lack of Intellectual Diversity, Social Justice Warriors Want Him Driven Off Campus: Mike LaChance, Legal Insurrection, Nov. 3, 2018—Professor Samuel Abrams is a conservative-leaning tenured professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College. He is active in Heterodox Academy, a group of almost 2000 academics devoted to intellectual diversity on campus.

The University of Michigan Has a Big Problem: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Algemeiner, Oct. 16, 2018 —News from Michigan tends to reach me here in Israel given my personal and professional ties to the state. Having taught at Queens College CUNY and at Yeshiva University, and as a lawyer whose undergraduate major and MBA concentration were in Organizations & Management, I now critique the situation at the University of Michigan from a legal and managerial perspective.

Ivory Tower Bigots: David Mikics, Tablet, Oct. 16, 2018 —Anti-Zionism is a form of racism like any other: The erasing of a nation’s experience, the denial of their right to speak.

Did 1968 Win the Culture War?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Nov. 22, 2018—Fifty years ago this year, the ’60s revolution sought to overturn American customs, traditions, ideology, and politics. The ’60s radicals eventually grew older, cut their hair, and joined the establishment. Most thought their revolution had fizzled out in the early 1970s without much effect, as Americans returned to “normal.”


Zionism and the Wedge Between US and Israeli Jews: Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, BESA, May 24, 2018— In Mandatory Palestine, Jews began to accumulate power – economic, political, and military – which caused other Jews to immediately question the enterprise itself.

The Disintegration of American Jewry: Isi Leibler, Arutz Sheva, May 1, 2018 — American Jewry, apart from the Orthodox and a minority of committed non-Orthodox, is demographically imploding.

Why Do You Hate Israel?: Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, Apr. 11, 2018— Why do you hate Israel more than any other nation? Why does Israel anger you more than any other nation does?

Bernard Lewis: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2018— One of the most influential Middle East scholars, Bernard Lewis, died Saturday, two weeks short of his 102nd birthday, in Voorhees Township, New Jersey.

On Topic Links

Bernard Lewis, Influential Scholar of Islam, Is Dead at 101: Douglas Martin, New York Times, May 21, 2018

An Open Letter to Natalie Portman: Amichai Shikli, Jerusalem Post, May 21, 2018

Why the Left Buys Into Every Anti-Israel Smear: Gil Troy, New York Post, May 20, 2018

Cornell Student Presents Senior Thesis In Her Underwear: Dennis Prager, Townhall, May 15, 2018



Dr. Asaf Romirowsky

BESA, May 24, 2018

In Mandatory Palestine, Jews began to accumulate power – economic, political, and military – which caused other Jews to immediately question the enterprise itself. Old anti-Semitic tropes came to the fore, like the notion that a Jewish state would be based on “exploitation” or even Zionist “world domination”. The prospect of a Jewish state generated non-Jewish hostility and, among a Jewish minority, feelings of guilt. Decades before the state was founded, Judah Magnes anxiously said: “It is not only the end which for Israel must be desirable, but what is of equal importance, the means must be conceived and brought forth in cleanliness.”

But no state has or could achieve that desired level of purity, particularly one surrounded by implacable enemies. Powerlessness was the preferred – even the ideal – situation, and the rootlessness that accompanied it.

A century after Balfour, the strength of his declaration is grounded in the political understanding that Jews are indeed a nation. Zionism is thus Jewish nationalism in its purest form. Yet today, the word Zionism is unique. No other term for a national movement evokes such a visceral reaction. No other word has been infamously defined in the UN as “a form of racism and racial discrimination” by a coalition of racists led by the Soviet Union, as occurred in 1975. No other national movement has a global boycott movement aimed against it that positions itself on a moral pedestal and strives to rewrite history and control the definition of Zionism itself.

Among the most pernicious consequences of the BDS movement is the wedge that has been driven between Israel and liberal Americans, including liberal American Jews. The relentless misappropriation of human rights and anti-racist discourse, the slanderous talk of Israeli “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide,” and the bitter ad hominem attacks on Israelis, their international supporters, and the peace process itself have taken a severe toll on American civil discourse.

Jews and Israelis are now called upon to demonstrate their “moral fiber” by using their own Jewish identity as a vehicle to question Israel and its legitimacy. More perverse are the use of Jewishness to passionately make pleas for the Palestinian cause and the assertion that Jewishness is somehow based on pro-Palestinian beliefs as a “progressive” value.  For Jews on the far Left, as for Arab Palestinians, the events of 1948 are the original sin.

Seen through a colonialist prism, Western powers implanted a Jewish state in the Middle East to control the region. Jews, the true indigenous population, are cast as doubly illegitimate. Jewish apathy, religious ignorance, and the deliberate substitution of “social justice” for traditional Jewish liturgy account for the decline – and show the danger of placing antipathy towards the Jewish state of Israel at the center of religious belief.

Historically, from before 1948 all the way through the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, there was an appreciation of Israel – not only as the fulfillment of the ancient longing for return, but also as a haven. In the aftermath of the Holocaust the threat of annihilation was understood to be real. Moreover, Zionism was viewed as part and parcel of American Jewish identity, especially in the years leading up to 1967. There was no contradiction between being a liberal American and a Jew.

Justice Louis Brandeis expressed this well: “Let no American imagine that Zionism is inconsistent with patriotism…There is no inconsistency between loyalty to America and loyalty to Jewry. The Jewish spirit, the product of our religion and experiences, is essentially modern and essentially American…Indeed, loyalty to America demands rather that each American Jew become a Zionist. For only through the ennobling effect of its striving can we develop the best that is in us and give to this country the full benefit of our great inheritance.”

Albert Einstein had a similar appreciation for Zionism and the Jewish State: “Zionism springs from an even deeper motive than Jewish suffering. It is rooted in Jewish spiritual tradition, whose maintenance and development was for Jews the raison d’être of their continued existence as a community. In the re-establishment of the Jewish nation in the ancient home of the race, where Jewish spiritual values could again be developed in a Jewish atmosphere, the most enlightened representatives of Jewish individuality see the essential preliminary to the regeneration of the race and the setting free of its spiritual creativeness.”

Both Brandeis and Einstein clearly understood the need to maintain and incorporate Zionism within their Jewish identity even if they did not agree with certain policies of the State of Israel and its leadership. The Zionism of 1948-1967 is not the Zionism of 2018; each generation needs to find its own form of Zionism. But eliminating Zionism in the name of Judaism negates Jewish history instead of embracing and remembering it. As Yigal Allon correctly stated, “Zionism is, in sum, the constant and unrelenting effort to realize the national and universal vision of the prophets of Israel.” Many of the problems faced by Israel at 70 are manifested within the Jewish community, above all a false distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. At the end of the day it will have to be understood that hatred of Israel can no longer be separated from loathing of Jews, even by Jews themselves.



Isi Leibler

Arutz Sheva, May 1, 2018

American Jewry, apart from the Orthodox and a minority of committed non-Orthodox, is demographically imploding. Paradoxically, this is taking place at a time when support for Israel among the American people is at an all-time high and traditional anti-Semitism is at its lowest level. Jewish education among non-Orthodox Jews is catastrophic with widespread ignorance of Judaism and understanding about Israel. Assimilation is rampant with intermarriage levels reaching 70%.

Although right-wing racist anti-Semitism has made headlines, the real threat emanates from the viciously anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic Left and the growing numbers of Muslim extremists. Under normal circumstances, a proud Jewish community supported by most Americans could neutralize these negative elements. However, the crisis is largely internal. In the past, American Jews, with valid historical justifications, have always had a penchant for liberalism. Their attachments to Israel and Judaism were synonymous and liberal political forces were Israel’s strongest supporters, while conservatives were less inclined to support the Jewish state.

However, over the past two decades, the far Left has become viciously anti-Israeli, even supporting terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and depicting Israel as an imperialist occupier. This trend reached a climax under U.S. President Barack Obama, who made overtures to the Iranians and treated Israel politically as a rogue state. Aside from ZOA head, Morton Klein, not a single mainstream Jewish leader had the courage to stand up and protest Obama’s bias against Israel and his constant bracketing of Israeli defensive actions as morally equivalent to the actions of terrorists.

Despite this, incredibly, aside from African-Americans, the Jews remained consistently Obama’s greatest supporters. When Donald Trump was elected president, the hatred manifested against him from the bulk of the Jewish leadership reached hysterical levels. Many of the so-called leaders intensified the anti-Israeli hysteria by falsely accusing Trump of fascism and even anti-Semitism – despite his Jewish friends and family members and outstanding support for Israel. In fact, the administration’s wholehearted ongoing support for the Jewish state even seemed to intensify their anti-Israeli inclinations.

The Anti-Defamation League, headed by Jonathan Greenblatt, relinquished any pretense of being apolitical. It continuously lashed out against the administration and behaved like an extension of the extreme anti-Trump opposition. The ADL frequently seemed more inclined to defend Muslim extremists than Jews, maintaining that organizations like Canary Mission, which exposes anti-Semitism on college campuses, are Islamophobic and racist. It also ignored or dismissed much of the left-wing anti-Semitism and soft-pedaled its criticism of Black Lives Matter, an organization that accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and exaggerated the influence of far-right radicals, seeking to link them to Trump. The ADL also took upon itself to repeatedly condemn Israeli policies and the so-called “occupation.”

The Reform movement leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, behaved similarly, usually with the support of leaders of the Conservative movement. Jacobs initially even condemned Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In this environment, the anti-Israeli-government J Street was absurdly promoted by sectors of the establishment as a moderate and a legitimate vehicle to soften the more delusional Jewish groups openly seeking the demise of Israel and even defending Hamas.

By remaining silent and appealing for tolerance even toward groups castigating Israel like Jewish Voice for Peace, the Jewish establishment created a defeatist climate, paving the way for the chaos currently prevailing in the Jewish community. This has impacted on large numbers of Jews, especially youth with virtually no Jewish education and for whom Israel has already become a marginal factor. In turn, this has strengthened the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and created an atmosphere in which it is chic for unaffiliated Jews to distance themselves from, or in some cases even publicly condemn, Israel.

Twenty years ago, it would have been inconceivable to have any other than delusional Jewish fringe groups attacking Israel. Today, especially on campuses, it requires courage to even stand up against these perverted anti-Israeli Jews. These self-hating Jewish deviants have combined with Muslim extremists and the far Left to intimidate Jews committed to Israel, making life for them unbearable particularly on campuses. They are at the forefront of the BDS movement, deny Israeli spokesmen the right to speak, disrupt their lectures and support the depiction of Israel as an “apartheid state.” The extent of the madness is reflected in groups of Jewish radicals publicly reciting kaddish for Jihadist Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers defending their borders.

Sadly, many Jewish leaders urge supporters of Israel to be tolerant of these hostile Jewish groups and, rather than confronting them, entreat them to engage in dialogue. Regrettably, many Hillel groups encourage and provide venues for such dialogue. It is hardly surprising that, in such an environment encouraged by the anti-Israeli media and the radical wing of the Democratic Party, whereas in the past Jewish support for Israel was almost a given, today the preponderance of liberal Jews – especially their leaders – feel awkward supporting Israel. Wishing to conform to their self-image as “enlightened,” in most cases they feel comfortable publicly condemning the Israeli government.

The current, almost unprecedented unity of the Israeli people transcends politics over issues such as war and peace, defense of the borders and deterring terrorism, including the violent efforts by Hamas to breach Israel’s borders. This is ignored by many liberal American Jews living in an atmosphere in which they not only feel the need to conform and condemn Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his democratically elected government but in many cases, go even further, castigating the IDF for allegedly responding disproportionately to terrorists who use human shields as a tactic in their warfare…

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




                              Brendan O’Neill

Spiked, Apr. 11, 2018

Why do you hate Israel more than any other nation? Why does Israel anger you more than any other nation does? Why do Israel’s military activities aggravate you and disturb your conscience and provoke you to outbursts of street protesting or Twitter-fury in a way that no other state’s military activities do? These are the questions that hang darkly over today’s so-called progressives. Which eat away at their self-professed moral authority, at their claims to be practitioners of fairness and equality. They are the questions to which no satisfactory answer has ever been given. So they niggle and fester, expertly avoided, or unconvincingly batted away, a black question mark over much of the modern left: why Israel?

The question has returned in recent days, following violent clashes on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Like clockwork, with a predictability that now feels just mostly depressing, these clashes that resulted in the deaths of many protesting Palestinians magically awoke an anti-imperialist, anti-war instinct among Western observers that was notably, stubbornly, mysteriously dormant when Turkey recently laid waste to the Kurdish town of Afrin or during any of the recent Western-backed Saudi barbarism visited upon the benighted people of Yemen. A member of the IDF raises his gun and suddenly the right-minded of the West switch off Spotify, take to Twitter, engage their emotional fury, and say: ‘NO.’ Their political lethargy lifts, their placards are dusted down, and they remember that war and violence are bad. They even go on to the streets, as people did in London and across Europe in recent days. This is evil, they declaim, and that question rises up again, silently, awkwardly, usually ignored: why is this evil but Turkey’s sponsored slaughter of hundreds of Kurdish civilians and fighters in Afrin was not? Why Israel?

Israeli activity doesn’t only elicit a response from these campaigners where Turkish or Saudi or Syrian activity does not – it always elicits a visceral response. The condemnation of Israel is furious and intense, the language used about it is dark, strikingly different to the language used about any other state that engages in military activity. Israel is never just wrong or heavy-handed or a country that ‘foolishly rushes to war’, as protesters would say about Tony Blair and Iraq, and very occasionally about Obama and Libya, and, if they were pressed for an opinion, would probably say about the Turks and the Saudis, too. No, Israel is genocidal. It is a terrorist state, a rogue state, an apartheid state. It is mad, racist, ideological. It doesn’t do simple militarism – it does ‘bloodletting’; it derives some kind of pleasure from killing civilians, including children. As one observer said during the clashes at the Gaza border, Israel kills those whose only crime is to have been ‘born to non-Jewish mothers’. Israel hates. This Jewish State is the worst state, the most bloodthirsty state.

Following the deaths of 18 Palestinians on the Gaza border, Glenn Greenwald denounced Israel as an ‘apartheid, rogue, terrorist state’, like a man reaching for as many ways as possible to say ‘evil’. One left-wing group says Israel’s behaviour at the Gaza border confirms it is enforcing a ‘slow genocide’ on the Palestinians. The ‘scale of the bloodletting’ is horrifying, says one radical writer. Israel loves to draw blood. A writer for Al-Jazeera says the clashes are a reminder that Israel has turned Gaza into ‘the biggest concentration camp on the surface of the Earth’, and that question, that unanswerable, or certainly unanswered, question, rises up once more: why is Gaza a concentration camp but Yemen, which has been subject to a barbaric sea, land and air blockade since 2015 that has resulted in devastating shortages of food and medicine, causing famine and the rampant spread of diseases like cholera, is not? By any measurement, the blockade on Yemen is worse than any restrictions that have been placed on Gaza. People in Gaza are not starving to death or contracting cholera in their tens of thousands, as Yemenis are. Yet Gaza is a concentration camp while Yemen, when they can be bothered to comment on it, is a war zone…

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






Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2018

One of the most influential Middle East scholars, Bernard Lewis, died Saturday, two weeks short of his 102nd birthday, in Voorhees Township, New Jersey. Lewis, who will be buried at the Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv on Thursday, had a major impact on US foreign policy, particularly under the presidency of George W. Bush. He briefed vice president Dick Cheney and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. His phrase, “the clash of civilizations,” was made famous by American political scientist Samuel Huntington, who argued that cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War era.

Lewis attributed the 9/11 attacks to a decaying Islamic civilization that enabled extremists such as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to conduct an international terrorist campaign. The solution to the growing problems of fundamentalist Islamic ideology was, in a word, democracy. “Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us,” Lewis wrote. In many ways he was a modern-day prophet, although he was sometimes wrong and was often accused by his academic colleagues of being Eurocentric. “For some, I’m the towering genius,” Lewis told The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2012. “For others, I’m the devil incarnate.” He warned in 2006 that Iran had been working on a nuclear program for some 15 years. But he wrongly predicted that Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be planning an apocalyptic attack, perhaps against Israel, on August 22, to coincide with Muhammad’s night flight to Jerusalem.

As Israel deliberates again whether to recognize the Armenian Genocide, it is timely to recall that in the first editions of his well-known book, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, Lewis described that genocide as “the terrible holocaust of 1915, when a million and a half Armenians perished.” In later editions, he changed the text to “the terrible slaughter of 1915, when, according to estimates, more than a million Armenians perished, as well as an unknown number of Turks.” Critics accused him of “historical revisionism.” In a visit to The Jerusalem Post in 2007, the London- born Lewis eloquently discussed the situation in an interview with then-editor David Horovitz and reporter Tovah Lazaroff. He predicted that one way for Muslims to alleviate their growing rage would be “to win some large victories, which could happen. They seem to be about to take over Europe.”

Lewis was asked what that meant for Jews in Europe. “The outlook for the Jewish communities in Europe is dim,” he replied. “Soon, the only pertinent question regarding Europe’s future will be, ‘Will it be an Islamized Europe or Europeanized Islam?’” In reviewing Lewis’s 2010 collection of essays – Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East – Post International Edition editor Liat Collins pertinently noted a line of thought appearing throughout the essays was that the Western concept of separating church and state was not compatible with Islam.

“The emergence of a population, many millions strong, of Muslims born and educated in Western Europe will have immense and unpredictable consequences for Europe, for Islam and for the relations between them,” Lewis wrote. Collins commented: “I don’t want to hear a ‘Told you so’ so much as an update in the wake of the current mass migration to Europe’s shores.” Although he didn’t get everything right – who can? – Collins added that his special touches are well-worth noting, such as this classic quotation: “In America one uses money to buy power, while in the Middle East, one uses power to acquire money.”…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links

Bernard Lewis, Influential Scholar of Islam, Is Dead at 101: Douglas Martin, New York Times, May 21, 2018—Bernard Lewis, an eminent historian of Islam who traced the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to a declining Islamic civilization, a controversial view that influenced world opinion and helped shape American foreign policy under President George W. Bush, died on Saturday in Voorhees Township, N.J. He was 101.

An Open Letter to Natalie Portman: Amichai Shikli, Jerusalem Post, May 21, 2018—It would take more than one infuriating statement to make me lose my deep affection for Natalie Portman. She’s talented, gorgeous and genteel – but in the present case, she happens to be wrong and misleading. I’m not bothered by the fact that she’s given BDS – a movement that has lost its momentum and vitality and is doomed to failure – further ammunition with which to attack Israel.

Why the Left Buys Into Every Anti-Israel Smear: Gil Troy, New York Post, May 20, 2018—Eight armed Hamas terrorists fought Israeli troops last Monday. All were killed — then counted in the day’s death toll of “60 protesters.” Hamas itself identified 50 of the 60 “martyrs” as Hamas members and admitted to “terminological deception,” because it was deploying “peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force.”

Cornell Student Presents Senior Thesis In Her Underwear: Dennis Prager, Townhall, May 15, 2018—The most remarkable thing about the title of this column, “Cornell student presents senior thesis in her underwear” is that not one reader thinks it’s a joke. That, my friends, is further proof of the low esteem in which most Americans hold our universities.




A Canadian Holocaust: Remembering the Shoah: Philip Carl Salzman, Frontier Centre, Apr. 11, 2018— Think about it. What would the death of six million people look like in the Canadian population?

The Politics of Social Justice: Earl Bowen Jr. & Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet News, Mar. 5, 2018— The recent furor over the relationship between the Women’s March leadership and Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan is beginning to subside — but its full import has yet to be appreciated.

The Perversity of Intersectionality: Lawrence Grossman, Algemeiner, Mar. 21, 2018— The recent furor over the relationship between the Women’s March leadership and Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan is beginning to subside — but its full import has yet to be appreciated.

David S. Wyman, 1929-2018 – The Man Who Changed How We Think About America And The Holocaust: Dr. Rafael Medoff, Jewish Press, Apr. 11, 2018— For many years, if you asked students in any yeshiva high school whether they knew that 400 Orthodox rabbis marched to the White House in 1943 to protest the Roosevelt administration’s indifference to the Holocaust, you would get a roomful of blank stares.

On Topic Links

At Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, Netanyahu Warns Iran: ‘Don’t Test Israel’s Resolve’: Jewish Press, Apr. 12, 2018

Trump Yom HaShoah Message Pays Special Tribute to Warsaw Ghetto Fighters on 75th Anniversary of Uprising: Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018

Every Holocaust Story Matters: Nira Berry, Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018

Exposé: The Depth of Anti-Israel Hate on American Campuses: Noah Beck, Arutz Sheva, Mar. 30, 2018





Philip Carl Salzman

Frontier Centre, Apr. 11, 2018

Think about it. What would the death of six million people look like in the Canadian population? A loss of that number would be equivalent to the annihilation of every single person in the following cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, and Halifax. Or, the death of every person in British Columbia and Manitoba. For Canadians, such numbers are impossible to imagine.

Equally hard and painful to imagine is the cruelty of murdering six million people, referring only to Jews and not to all people who suffered the same fate. There were two main ways the Germans and their helpers murdered six million Jewish citizens of Germany, France, the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, and Greece, among others: round up men and women, boys and girls, infants, and elderly, take them to the countryside, force them to strip naked, and shoot them with machine guns; or, transport them to camps, where they were confined in buildings and murdered with poison gas.

In 2018, April 11th is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) in Israel, which is also observed in Canada. The date corresponds with the 27th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27th, selected to honour the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. How can we understand this almost unthinkable event that many people see as the epitome of evil?

A major part of the evil was the racial theory that divided people into races, and evaluated them according to the quality of their race. Germans held the German race to be pure and noble. In contrast, Germans saw the Jews as an inferior race, polluting the German race and polluting Germany and other countries. After the catastrophes of their defeat in WWI and the Great Depression, Germans looked for someone to blame besides themselves, and the Jews served as their scapegoats. No doubt, it helped that many Jews were prosperous, and the prospect of Germans appropriating Jewish homes, stores, and factories must have seemed a pleasant compensation for the hardships Germans had suffered.

For fifty years after the Holocaust, racial theory was rejected as false and immoral. Physical and biological anthropologists refuted the idea of human races as unscientific. All living humans belong to the same species, as shown by the fact that any two fertile humans can produce fertile offspring. Furthermore, all characteristics mistakenly labelled “racial,” such as hair type, skin colour, head shape, etc., vary independently, and appear as gradual clines from one population to the next. Studies of “race” were replaced by population genetics.

But what was old and outmoded is now new and compelling again. In the last few decades, race theory has become popular again. Once more we are reducing individuals to their racial categories and treating them according to their race. These days, we do not talk about “purity” and “pollution,” but about “oppressor” races and “oppressed” races. And we talk about the need to raise the oppressed races and marginalize the oppressor races.

Blacks, people of colour, Indigenous First Nations, and Muslims (although Muslims are a religion and not a race) are alleged to be oppressed by whites and Christians and Jews (although these latter two are not races either). In this new race theory, genders are treated as honorary races, with men oppressing women, with the usual reversal required. “Racism” has been redefined to mean oppression of a race, not just thinking of and treating people according to their race. This is a neat twist, because it means that Blacks, people of colour, Indigenous First Nations, and Muslims can never be racist! They can only suffer from the racism of others.

“Social justice,” an idea borrowed from communist equality theory, requires that each “race” be equal in education, jobs, wealth, and government positions. In short, there must be equality of results for each “racial” category. Individuals should not be judged, at least according to this theory, by their achievements or character or potential; “colour-blind” merit does not merit consideration. Rather, people must be judged by their “race.” According to “social justice” theory, this is not racism; it is justice.

It is unfortunate that “social justice” ideology has been adopted by the Canadian government and by Canadian educational institutions, the latter shaping the minds of future generations of citizens. According to this ideology, if justice is denied to individuals because they are white or Christians or Jews or men, well, they are all oppressors, and deserve what they get. Of course, we have no reason to worry about losing Vancouver or Manitoba, or about seeing large numbers of Canadians machine-gunned or gassed. Today’s anti-white, anti-male, and anti-Christian campaigns are on behalf of, aside from women, relatively small minorities in the country. There is no chance that these minorities will fully take control of the state, or that any campaign to exterminate the majority would attract anyone other than the most extreme fringe activists.

There will be no holocaust in Canada. But our renewed enthusiasm for racism, for thinking of people, and allocating and denying benefits on the basis of race, undermines the integrity and the autonomy of individuals by reducing them to being members of abstract categories. In place of individual autonomy, “social justice” offers social engineering at the hands of the state and educational officials. However well meaning, “social justice” ideology replaces universal standards with double standards, rejects merit as a measure of individual’s characteristics, and dismisses individuality, freedom, efficiency, and creativity, all on behalf of equality of results for racial categories.

This new “good” racism poisons social relations and destroys even a pretense of community solidarity and commonality of citizenship. “Social justice” brings benefits to some at the expense of injustice to others. It is an offence against human rights, which always pertain to individuals and not “races,” and it will not benefit Canadian society. Haven’t we learned from the Holocaust that racism is a malicious and destructive ideology? The new “racism” will only harm Canada.






Earl Bowen Jr. & Asaf Romirowsky

Ynet News, Mar. 5, 2018

On October of 1967, Martin Luther King underscored that “when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” This bold and unapologetic statement is something that you would not hear today from the membership of Black Lives Matter (BLM). In today’s age of technology, we see more rapid use of social media and soft power by pro-Palestinian groups hijacking the narrative of peace, justice and human rights, while in reality they yearn for Israel’s destruction. The term “social justice” is nothing new in today’s world but may represent new ways of thinking among many who advocate for full equality in our society. Among many African Americans, the mere notion of social justice can be a constant reminder that institutionalized forms of racism still exist across all sectors of our society.

The reality of racism remains a constant force of evil that must of necessity be confronted by all Americans who subscribe to the basic principles that gave birth to America. Yet even among African Americans, there are divergent views about the concept of social justice and what it means in the larger context. This has particular relevance to many of the current events taking place in the Middle East and in the state of Israel. To place this issue in some historical perspective, it should be noted that the murder of six million Jews was a causative factor in the creation of the state of Israel. Israel’s basic right to exist represents a foundational principle of social justice.

Interestingly enough, there is growing trend is to regard Palestinians as “people of color” as they continue to superimpose BDS on racial and other protest movements, even as violence by BDS supporters, and their “intersectional” allies, undermines their broader appeal. It is predominately on the political Left where the adaptation of the Palestinian cause as their own under the guise of “intersectionality,” a term coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s to highlight the dual oppressions faced by black women—sexism and racism—and the feminist and anti-racism movements that failed to fully represent and advocate for them. Currently, it has become a slogan under which minority groups join to fight what critics see as unrelated battles, but what activists see as iterations of the same struggle for justice.

As it is clearly articulated by the Black-Palestinian solidarity statement, “Palestinian liberation represents an inherent threat to Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, an apparatus built and sustained on ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the denial of Palestinian humanity and sovereignty. While we acknowledge that the apartheid configuration in Israel/Palestine is unique from the United States (and South Africa), we continue to see connections between the situation of Palestinians and Black people.

“Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries. Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat. And while the US and Israel would continue to oppress us without collaborating with each other, we have witnessed police and soldiers from the two countries train side-by-side.”

The deliberate distortion of historical realities, fueled by those who oppose Israel’s right to exist, tend to exacerbate the path to peace in the Middle East. Clearly, there are many difficult issues that need to be resolved between Israel and the Palestinians, starting with a functioning Palestinian Authority (PA) removed from Islamist influence which has yet to be seen. For many African Americans, the notion of social justice is indeed a complex phenomenon, and Palestinians are viewed as people of color and Israelis are viewed as white Europeans. There are, however, large numbers of Jews of color, many of whom support the Jewish homeland and call for peace in the Middle East.

Groups like BLM have distorted the reality of the Middle East and have thereby pushed many African-Americans to make assumptions and conclusions based on falsehoods and misinformation. BLM statements are anti-Semitic not only because they are false and modern versions of tradition anti-Semitic blood libel, but also because BLM selectively chooses the Jewish state out of all the states in the world to demonize. The façade has fed into the worldview of intersectionality that has divided the world into a conspiracy of oppressors and an agony of oppressed: Victimizers and victims.

Finally, in a time where universalism trumps particularism, we see more individuals lacking any sense of history or collective memory, thereby generating a postmodernist form of social justice that seeks not equal treatment for all, but rather an equality of outcomes by erasing the same systems that developed the West at large.  






Lawrence Grossman                        

Algemeiner, Mar. 21, 2018

The recent furor over the relationship between the Women’s March leadership and Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan is beginning to subside — but its full import has yet to be appreciated. The Women’s March, according to its website, seeks “to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” It is “a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues.”

Intersectionality is a recent state-of-the art term, defined by Merriam-Webster as “the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlay, and yes, intersect — especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.” Tamika Mallory, co-president of the March, attended Farrakhan’s speech at the NOI’s annual Saviours’ Day celebration on February 25 in Chicago.  At the event, Farrakhan specifically praised Mallory and her movement, and she subsequently posted an image of herself at the event on Instagram.

For Mallory this was nothing new — she has enjoyed a long and close relationship with the NOI, credits its leader with helping her through some difficult times, and has described Farrakhan as the “GOAT — greatest of all time.” The problem is that Farrakhan, true to form, denounced Jews in his speech as well. He called Jews “satanic,” charged that the “powerful Jews” were his enemy, and declared them “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” Farrakhan despicable words were not surprising, given his decades-long history of anti-Jewish invective. But this proved embarrassing for Mallory and the Women’s March, whose devotion to intersectionality would presumably require opposition to prejudice aimed at Jewish women and homosexuals.

What to do? In a series of tweets, Mallory equivocated, but never once criticized Farrakhan. She first suggested that the entire controversy was simply a tactic to impugn the March, saying: “The attacks can make us defensive at times. We are literally fighting for our lives.” But, lo and behold, “someone brought to my attention that over the past few days I never tweeted my absolute position on how wrong anti-Semitism and homophobia is.” Her next tweet moved on to self-justification: “Contrary to others, I listen. I have been in deep reflection and trying to be thoughtful as possibly. … I won’t go back. I won’t redraw the lines of division.” Tweet number three urged “that we listen, reflect, attempt to understand, and give space for nuance and complexities of the different communities we come from.”

And finally, a tweet came clarifying that Mallory is “against all forms of racism … committed to ending anti-black racism, antisemitism, homophobia & transphobia,” and — she pointed out –“This is why I helped create an intersectional movement to bring groups together.” The Women’s March itself released an official statement with the heading: “Anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism and white supremacy are and always will be indefensible.” But rather than condemn Farrakhan, it gingerly noted that the problem was one of “alignment”: His “statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles….”

But the true significance of the Women’s March’s flirtation with the NOI is much more alarming than mainstream press reports and explanations by March apologists indicate. The Final Call, the NOI’s newspaper, printed long excerpts of Farrakhan’s speech in its February 27 issue. It turns out that what the March and its leader soft-pedaled was not just a series of random insults aimed at Jews and gays, but rather a full-blown conspiracy theory of Jewish perversity and world-control.  Jesus, said Farrakhan, came 2,000 years ago “to end the civilization of the Jews,” but failed in the attempt, and he — Louis Farrakhan — was sent to accomplish what Jesus couldn’t. Jews remain “the boss: this is their world.” In every country, he continued, Jews take on the national language and culture, “but they run the money, they run the business” — and in the US, for good measure, the FBI — so that “when there is a Jewish holiday, everything gets silent.”…

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






Dr. Rafael Medoff

Jewish Press, Apr. 11, 2018

For many years, if you asked students in any yeshiva high school whether they knew that 400 Orthodox rabbis marched to the White House in 1943 to protest the Roosevelt administration’s indifference to the Holocaust, you would get a roomful of blank stares. David S. Wyman – who passed away last month at 89 – changed all that. Wyman, in his best-selling book The Abandonment of the Jews, was the first historian to write in detail about the march – and to explain the part that the march played in the campaign to bring about U.S. action to rescue Jews from Hitler.

Subsequently, the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies – which was established by his colleagues to carry on his research about America and the Holocaust – undertook the task of interviewing rabbis who marched and explaining the significance of their protest in numerous publications. Today, it is fair to say, the march of the rabbis – as well as many other aspects of America’s response to the Nazi genocide – is widely recognized in the Jewish community, thanks to a scholar who was not Jewish and had no personal connection to the Holocaust at all.

Wyman, knew very few Jews and very little about Judaism when he was growing up in New England in the 1930s, except what he had learned in Sunday School about the biblical Israelites. The grandson of two Protestant ministers, Wyman earned his Ph.D. in history at Harvard University. His dissertation chronicled the Roosevelt administration’s policies toward German Jewish refugees in the late 1930s, a controversial topic for the time. In those days, most Americans still regarded President Roosevelt as an icon and assumed he must have done whatever he could to aid Europe’s Jews. Prof. Wyman was exploring uncharted territory. “I didn’t have any personal reason to choose that topic,” he remarked later. “I was looking for something that nobody had yet written about. Considering where it led me, sometimes I think that I didn’t choose the subject. It chose me.”

He often said it was bashert that he selected the topic – a term he learned while teaching himself Yiddish in order to be able to do research in the Yiddish-language press of that era. Wyman’s dissertation became his first book, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis 1938-1941, which was published in 1968. It described how a combination of anti-foreigner sentiment, anti-Semitism, and the Roosevelt administration’s tight immigration policies kept most European Jewish refugees far from America’s shores. Paper Walls led to an offer from a major publisher, Pantheon, to publish a sequel that would cover the Holocaust years.

The research for the sequel was a herculean task, and it sometimes took a personal toll. Prof. Wyman’s studies led him to realize how little Christians in America did in response to news of the raging Holocaust, and that shook him to his core. He told me there were times when he “cried for days” over his discoveries, and he would have to take a break from the research. David Wyman was the most admirable kind of historian: a historian with a heart. Wyman was equally pained to learn of the petty intra-Jewish turf wars and personality clashes between American Jewish leaders that undermined the political effectiveness of the Jewish community during the Holocaust. That included the ugly spectacle of Jewish leaders persuading President Roosevelt to refrain from meeting with the rabbis who marched to the White House three days before Yom Kippur in 1943…

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



CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links

At Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, Netanyahu Warns Iran: ‘Don’t Test Israel’s Resolve’: Jewish Press, Apr. 12, 2018—As Israel bowed its head in the memory of six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the main Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem to warn against the dangers of a nuclear Iran and told Tehran not to test Jerusalem’s resolve.

Trump Yom HaShoah Message Pays Special Tribute to Warsaw Ghetto Fighters on 75th Anniversary of Uprising: Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018—US President Donald Trump’s Yom HaShoah — Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day — message on Thursday singled out the Jewish fighters of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising for special tribute.

Every Holocaust Story Matters: Nira Berry, Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2018—To people on the street, my mother — Sheila Bernard z”l — looked like an average woman. She played tennis and golf; she enjoyed bridge, opera, theater, and many other things.

Exposé: The Depth of Anti-Israel Hate on American Campuses: Noah Beck, Arutz Sheva, Mar. 30, 2018—About six months after Andrew Pessin posted on his Facebook profile a defense of Israel during its 2014 war against Hamas, the once popular Connecticut College philosophy professor was subjected to an academic smear campaign.



Universities Descend into Illiberal, Anti-Israel Playpens

For a PDF of Israfax 294 click the following link





Frederick Krantz


This Hanukkah issue of ISRAFAX confronts the sad descent of our university campuses into the vicious inanities of antisemitic and anti-Israel BDS campaigns.
Sustained by “speech codes” and so-called “diversity” quotas, pro-Palestinian propaganda, in fact, violates core academic values like free speech, free thought, and individual rights. Insofar as such well-funded campaigns have a practical purpose, it is to delegitimate the Jewish state and so prepare it for destruction. (So far, thankfully, this purpose has been without any practical consequence.)
Yet at this very moment serious events involving real issues and power politics are underway in the Middle East, which may throw the heinous, yet ultimately inconsequential, campus shenanigans into high relief. The outcome of moves currently underway may well result in a marked strengthening of Israel’s regional strength and position.
As we go to press, President Trump is about to make good on campaign promises and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (whether the Embassy will actually be moved there at this point remains moot). The fact of an impending move is confirmed by the squeals of protest and ominous threats already issuing from P.A. head Abbas, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Arab League. This move, in turn, reportedly reflects an improved Saudi Arabian Israel-Palestinian peace plan, issuing from the ascendancy of the reformist Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (“MBS”), First Deputy Prime Minister, president of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs., and the youngest minister of defense in the world.
This plan, while reinforcing Israel’s current, defensible, borders and reportedly recognizing Jerusalem as its capital, would create a Palestinian statelet by combining some West Bank areas, Gaza and, innovatively, territory in northern Sinai Under MBS, Saudi Arabia has embarked on an aggressive, anti-Iranian foreign policy. Movement on Jerusalem and the Saudi-backed peace process should, therefore, be seen in conjunction with several other recent developments. Saudi-supported Lebanese President Saad Hariri, responding to Saudi pressure, first “resigned”, and
then agreed to be recalled to office, calling in the process for an end to Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s domination of Lebanon and its interventionist role in Syria. Simultaneously, Israel—after warning Teheran not to build permanent bases—has attacked several suspected new Iranian military sites in that country with missiles.
Meanwhile, the situation of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen has deteriorated, after they assassinated their erstwhile ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh, who aligned with Iran-backed Houthi rebels against Yemeni President Abd–Rabbo Mansour Hadi, had recently called for opening “a new page” with the Saudi-backed Hadi. This earned him the title of “traitor” and led to his recent murder by the Houthis. (Saudi-backed Hadi has now called for unity in the battle against the Houthis and their Iranian backers.)
The common denominator connecting these recent events seems to be U.S.-led and Saudi- and Israeli- (and, indirectly, Egyptian- and Jordanian-) pushback against hitherto unopposed Iranian expansion in the Middle East. Having defeated the IS terrorist caliphate in Iraq (Mosul) and Syria (Raqqah), the U.S.-backed coalition may finally be turning to deal with Iran.
This Israel-supported Sunni political-military force has obvious implications not only for Iran’s Shiite-related imperialism but also for the Iranian nuclear project. Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
not only licensed ultimate Iranian nuclear and missile development, it also agreed to, and indirectly funded, Iran’s regional political expansion. Now, this is under attack, and behind it too lies the deepening North Korean crisis. Here direct action against either Teheran or Pyongyang (who have helped one another in both nuclear and missile development) can have practical, sobering, and reciprocal consequences for both rogue states.
A resumed and more realistic Saudi/Egyptian-backed peace process, conjoined with consistent pushback against, and blockage of, Iran’s expansionism, will also negatively affect three of the other major players in the region—Russia and Turkey, and Iraq.
Russia and Turkey have backed Assad and excluded the U.S. from their Syrian “peace talks” in Astana, and both have played ball with Iranian expansionism. And a weak Shiite-dominated Iraq has fallen under Iranian domination. Russia acts like, but in fact is no longer, a Great Power, while Turkey—increasingly Islamist and authoritarian (and economically unstable)—has alienated its former ally, the U.S.
A defeat of Iranian expansionism in Syria and Yemen, conjoined with a successful Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative and a clipping of Hezbollah’s Lebanese wings, would isolate and weaken both Russia and Turkey, and increase American influence in Iraq.
Although the Middle East is ever unstable and often disappoints projections, it is possible that we are looking at the beginning of a profound re-ordering of the region. If so, events there will throw into high relief the utopian dimensions of the BDSers’ dream of playing a role in Israel’s destruction. What may work here in ivory towers isolated by student ignorance, faculty hypocrisy, and administrative cowardice has little to do, ultimately, with the power relationships and civilizational values marking the “real” world.
North American society, unlike some of our campus play-pens, is deeply pro-Israel, and temporary Russian and Hezbollah-Iranian gains in the Middle East may well be erased as the U.S. recovers the world and regional leadership role it formerly played during and after World War II and the Cold War.
Insofar as Israel’s, and the Jewish people’s, enemies are concerned, on campuses as well as in the Middle East, it is well for them to understand that propaganda lies, “safe spaces”, and “magical thinking” are not political facts. And that Jews today, since 1945 and the re-founding of the state of Israel in 1948 are, like their Maccabean forebears who defended Jewish freedom against the Greeks, not powerless.
(Professor Frederick Krantz [Liberal Arts College,
Concordia University] is Director of CIJR and Editor of its
ISRAFAX and Daily Isranet Briefing journals)


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

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

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

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


On Topic Links


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

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

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

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




            Irwin Cotler                  

                                                            National Post, Apr. 7, 2016


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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





                                               Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

                                                    Jewish Journal, Apr. 1, 2016



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


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


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


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


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

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



                                    BEWILDERED BRITAIN STILL DOESN’T GET IT                                                                             

Melanie Phillips

Jerusalem Post, Mar. 31, 2016


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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





           Robert Sussman                     

                                                 Jewish Life, Mar. 1, 2016


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

On Topic


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

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

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

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
















How Anti-Israel Resolutions Were Defeated at American Historical Association‎: Jeffrey Herf, Legal Insurrection, Jan. 6, 2016— …By a vote of 144 to 51, members of the American Historical Association, at the Business Meeting of their annual convention in New York City on January 4, decided not to pursue two resolutions that denounced aspects of the policies of the government of Israel.

Marxism Failed in the World, But Conquered Western Academia: Philip Carl Salzman, Daily Caller, Jan. 11, 2016 — One  of the great lessons of the 20th century, paid for with the suffering and blood of hundreds of millions, is that communism was a failure in both economy and governance.

Academics for Free Speech…No, Really: George F. Will, National Post, Dec. 28, 2015— Although he is just 22, Andrew Zeller is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Purdue University.

Christian Evangelicals in Jerusalem Show Love for Israel: Daniel Estrin, Business Insider, Oct. 1, 2016 — Thousands of evangelical Christians from more than 80 countries descended upon Jerusalem…


On Topic Links


2015's Hits at DanielPipes.org: Daniel Pipes Blog, Jan. 10, 2016

If You Want to Change the Campus Culture, Look to the Faculty: Mitchell Bard, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 14, 2016

ISIL Fight Forgets Lessons of First Gulf War: Matthew Fisher, National Post, Jan. 14, 2015

The Battle of the Budge – December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945: Nurit Greenger, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 12, 2015





Jeffrey Herf

Legal Insurrection, Jan. 6, 2016


…By a vote of 144 to 51, members of the American Historical Association, at the Business Meeting of their annual convention in New York City on January 4, decided not to pursue two resolutions that denounced aspects of the policies of the government of Israel…It is the most decisive defeat that groups supporting resolutions denouncing Israel have suffered since "BDS" (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) efforts gathered steam in American universities in recent years.


This is a preliminary anatomy of its defeat. The case for rejection on procedural grounds was straightforward. Readers of Legal Insurrection will understand that debates about procedure are also debates about substance and the rule of law.


The AHA bylaws require that members wishing to submit resolutions to be considered at the Business Meeting must do so by November lst. An initial resolution was submitted by the Historians Against the War (HAW). HAW is a group of leftist academics that emerged in opposition to the war in Iraq and that issued a petition alleging Israel had committed "war crimes" during the war with Hamas last summer. I wrote about the emergence of a "pro-Hamas left". An earlier anti-Israeli resolution was rejected because, according to AHA executive director James Grossman, it went "beyond matters of concern to the Association, to the profession of history, or to the academic profession."


HAW's original petition included demands for a boycott of Israel universities and implementation of the Palestinian right of return. That resolution was rejected by the AHA Council because the advocates had not gathered enough signatures and because the content of the resolution was deemed, in the words of AHA executive director James Grossman, "beyond matters of concern to the Association, to the profession of history, or to the academic profession."


On December 22, 2014, HAW submitted revised resolutions. The revisions eliminated the boycott and right of return elements but included allegations that Israel threatened an oral history archive when it bombed buildings at the Islamic University in Gaza in August 2014, and that it denied access of foreign scholars and Palestinian students to universities in Gaza and on the West Bank. HAW then requested that the AHA Council decide whether or not to place the resolution on the agenda, even though it was submitted six weeks after the deadline, something that the Council had the right to do, despite the restrictions regarding resolutions in the organization's bylaws.


At its meeting on January 2, 2014, the Council, led by AHA President Jan Goldstein (University of Chicago), refused to do so for two reasons. First, the December 22 resolution was submitted six weeks after the November 1 deadline, and therefore, AHA members did not have the opportunity to evaluate them. Second, because the resolutions were filed so late, many members would not be at the business meeting because they did not know these matters would be discussed there.


A memo by Sonya Michel of the University of Maryland is an important document in this matter. Submitted on December 29th, the Michel memo was circulated to the AHA Council. Michel urged that the AHA Council not to place the HAW resolutions on the agenda because doing so would "be violating the spirit of that bylaw" requiring a two-thirds majority, which,"was probably inserted to prevent a small group (whether a minority or slim majority) from imposing its will at the last minute on the membership at large, perhaps catching them unawares about an important issue coming up." Doing so would also not give "members adequate time and opportunity for full consideration of important issues–issues that, in this case, are by all accounts extremely controversial," she added. "Notifying members that these items are on the agenda of the meeting only at the meeting itself would deny them the kind of information they would need to decide whether or not to attend the Business Meeting in the first place."


Michel and a number of us elaborated on these points as well at the business meeting. As I pointed out on the floor of that meeting, the issue of time needed for reflection was of central concern to historians. The rejection of the resolutions also rested on a reassertion of the principle that the AHA is a scholarly, not a political, organization.


To ask historians at a business meeting to reach conclusions about assertions of fact regarding events that supposedly occurred during the Gaza War and travel rights of scholars in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank was absurd. This was the case because it was asking historians to act on the basis political opinions rather than as a result of careful examination of evidence. No one, we argued, was able to make such assessments as a result of scholarly research. Doing so without research would be abolishing the distinction between politics and scholarship—doing what no historian should do, namely assume what remained to be proven before examination of evidence had taken place…

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




                    MARXISM FAILED IN THE WORLD,

                        BUT CONQUERED WESTERN ACADEMIA                                                                                                Philip Carl Salzman                                                                                                              Daily Caller, Jan. 11, 2016


One of the great lessons of the 20th century, paid for with the suffering and blood of hundreds of millions, is that communism was a failure in both economy and governance. This was demonstrated repeatedly with the fall of the Soviet Union, the switch in China from communes and central planning to capitalism, the vast slaughter of the Khmer Rouge, the breakdown of the Cuban economy, and the starving prison house that is North Korea.


The one place that marxism has succeeded is in conquering academia in Europe and North America. Marxism-Leninism is now the dominant model of history and society being taught in Western universities and colleges. Faculties of social science and humanities disguise their marxism under the label “postcolonialism,” anti-neoliberalism, and the quest for equality and “social justice.” And while our educational institutions laud “diversity” in gender, race, sexual preference, religion, national origin, etc., diversity in opinion, theory, and political view is nowhere to be seen. So our students hear only the Marxist view, and take it to be established truth.


Postcolonialism is the view that all ills in the world stem from Western imperialism and colonialism. The hierarchical caste system in India, that disenfranchises half the population as “untouchables,” is, according to postcolonial analysis, and invention of the British while they governed India. So too with tribes in Africa, allegedly invented by the British colonial authorities to “divide and conquer” the native African, who previously had all mixed together happily with no divisions and no conflicts. So too in Central Asia, where, thanks to Soviet colonial authorities, “formerly fluid hybridities and contextual identifications were stabilized, naturalized, and set into a particular mold that gave each group a definitive history, physiognomy, mentality, material culture, customs, language, and territory,” according to one postcolonial author. Apparently, according to the postcolonial view, history and culture in India, Africa, and Central Asia started with the arrival of outsiders in recent centuries.


In the Middle East, problems and disorder began, according to postcolonialism, with the Sykes-Picot arbitrary boundaries imposed by the West after WWI, and the imposition of the “foreign and colonialist” Jews on the “indigenous” Palestinians. Unnoticed by postcolonialists are the Persian, Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Mongol, and Ottoman imperial conquests that made up much of Middle Eastern history, or the unending tribal conflicts beyond the control of imperial authorities. Once again, for postcolonialists, local and regional cultures were benign, and history began with Western imperialism in recent centuries.


The dirtiest word in the marxist vocabulary is “neoliberal,” which stands for an economy based on capitalist principles and processes. Students have learned that “neoliberal” is equivalent to evil. Two students, independently, recently said to me that “we need to replace capitalism,” although they had no suggestions about what to replace it with. That half the world tried to replace capitalism in the 20th century, with disastrous results, they apparently had no idea. That capitalism has brought unparalleled prosperity, if not peace and happiness, is unknown to students. They have been taught that the only products of capitalism are exploitation and oppression. Globalization is taught as the expansion of exploitation and oppression worldwide. The great economic developments in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and the economic progress in Africa, is terra incognita to students, taught only problems but no successes.


Students are taught that the primary value is equality: not liberal equality of opportunity, but the equality of result idealized in marxist theory. They are not taught, and give no thought to complementary values, such as freedom and prosperity. Equality of result is advocated under the guise of “social justice,” which means redistribution of wealth. Students rail against the “1%,” unaware that most members of that category are salaried doctors, lawyers, and businessmen who earn their top wages. Nor do they understand that stock ownership is widespread in Western societies, by both private individuals and public institutions, such as pension funds and universities.


The marxism taught in colleges and universities is anti-Western, seeing the West as no more than a source of conquest, oppression, and exploitation. Consequently, non-Western cultures are upheld as purer, more decent, and fairer than Western culture. The alliance between Marxist politics and islamism as seen in the support of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood follows logically. Students now see themselves as defenders of Islam, along with all other non-Western cultures, although they know little about these other cultures and their histories. It has been imagined that the West would fall through materialist decadence; but now it appears that the West is most at risk from self-hate, fostered by the treason of the academics.


Prof. Philip Carl Salzman is a CIJR Academic Fellow





ACADEMICS FOR FREE SPEECH…NO, REALLY                                                            

                    George F. Will

National Post, Dec. 28, 2016


Although he is just 22, Andrew Zeller is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Purdue University. He is one reason the school is a rare exception to the rule of unreason on American campuses, where freedom of speech is under siege. He and Purdue are evidence that freedom of speech, by which truth is winnowed from error, is most reliably defended by those in whose intellectual pursuits the truth is most rigorously tested by reality.


While in high school in Bowling Green, Ohio, Zeller completed three years of college undergraduate courses. He arrived at Purdue when its incoming president, Indiana’s former Gov. Mitch Daniels, wanted the university to receive the top “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which combats campus restrictions on speech and rates institutions on their adherence to constitutional principles.


Zeller, president of Purdue’s graduate student government, and some undergraduate leaders urged Daniels to do what he was eager to do: Purdue has become the second university (after Princeton) to embrace the essence of the statement from the University of Chicago that affirms the principle that “education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think.” The statement says “it is not the proper role of the university to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable or even deeply offensive,” and it endorses “a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.”


Why is Purdue one of just six universities that have now aligned with the spirit of the Chicago policy? Partly because of Daniels’ leadership. But also because Purdue, Indiana’s land-grant institution, is true to the 1862 Morrill Act’s emphasis on applied learning. It graduates more engineers than any U.S. university other than Georgia Tech. Purdue, tied with the University of California-Berkeley, awards more STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) undergraduate diplomas than all but two public research universities (Penn State and Texas A&M). Among such universities, a higher percentage of Purdue students graduate in STEM fields than those of any school other than Georgia Tech and the University of California, San Diego.


Scientists and engineers live lives governed by the reality principle: get the variables wrong, the experiment will fail, even if this seems insensitive; do the math wrong, the equation will tell you, even if that hurts your feelings. Reality does not similarly regulate the production of Marxist interpretations of “Middlemarch” or turgid monographs on the false consciousness of Parisian street sweepers in 1714. Literature professors “deconstructing” Herman Melville cause nothing worse than excruciating boredom in their students. If engineers ignore reality, reality deconstructs their bridges. The Yale instructor whose email about hypothetically insensitive Halloween costumes incited a mob has resigned her teaching position. She did so in spite of a letter of faculty support organized by a physicist and signed mostly by scientists, including social scientists, rather than humanities faculty.


In their scalding 2007 book “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case,” Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson plausibly argue that Duke’s disgrace — a fictional rape; hysterical academics trashing due process — was driven by the faculty Group of 88. Signatories of its manifesto included “only two professors in math, just one in the hard sciences, and zero in law. … More than 84 per cent described their research interests as related to race, class or gender (or all three). The Group of 88 was disproportionately concentrated in the humanities and some social science departments. Fully 80 per cent of the African-American studies faculty members signed the statement, followed by women’s studies (72.2 per cent) and cultural anthropology (60 per cent).”


Higher education is increasingly a house divided. In the sciences and even the humanities, actual scholars maintain the high standards of their noble calling. But in the humanities, especially, and elsewhere, faux scholars representing specious disciplines exploit academia as a jobs program for otherwise unemployable propagandists hostile to freedom of expression. This is, however, a smattering of what counts as good news in today’s climate: for the first time in FIRE’s 16 years of monitoring academia’s authoritarianism, fewer than half (49.3 per cent) of American universities still have what FIRE considers egregiously unconstitutional speech policies. Purdue is one of six universities that eliminated speech codes this year, and one of just 22 with FIRE’s “green light” rating.                                                      





Daniel Estrin

Business Insider, Oct. 1, 2015


Thousands of evangelical Christians from more than 80 countries descended upon Jerusalem (in October) to show their support for the Jewish state, including pilgrims and politicians from countries with a history of hostility toward Israel. The celebratory summit reflects evangelical Christianity's dramatic growth worldwide and gives a boost to Israel at a time when the country is increasingly isolated internationally.


Attitudes in Israel toward evangelicals are evolving, from skepticism about Christian Zionist motives, to the realization that Israel cannot survive on the support of diaspora Jewish communities alone and is in no position to turn down the potential political and tourism boost the Christians can provide. "Israel has no better friends throughout the world," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a videotaped address that was beamed to a Jerusalem basketball stadium packed with cheering pilgrims Tuesday. The gatherers waved flags from home countries such as Angola, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy and the U.S. There was even a small delegation from Egypt, a country that shares a cold peace with Israel.


Evangelical Christianity is one of the world's fastest growing religious movements. Of the world's estimated 2 billion Christians, some 700 million are evangelicals, according to the pro-Israel International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which organized the Jerusalem summit. Evangelical movements are expanding most prominently in Latin America, Africa and Asia — regions that "hold great potential for the nation of Israel in political, diplomatic and economic terms," according to a position paper the group presented last year to Israel's Foreign Ministry.


The annual weeklong summit is billed as the Feast of Tabernacles, the Christian term for the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which in biblical times was marked by a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. This year's gathering included rock concert prayer rallies in which believers sang Hebrew songs and an annual flag-waving parade through the streets of Jerusalem. Evangelicals say their affinity for Israel stems from Christianity's Jewish roots and an anticipated Messianic age when all nations of the earth will flock to Jerusalem. Jews and Christians both believe in a future Messianic age, though Jews do not accept the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah.


"Jesus is Jewish. He's coming again," said Marilyn Henretty, 77, of Annandale, Virginia, from the bleachers of one of the week's prayer rallies, clasping a tambourine and wearing a 12-gemstone ring representing the 12 tribes of Israel. "We believe it's going to be soon. All signs point to that." There has long been suspicion in Israel that the evangelical bear hug is connected to a belief that the modern Jewish state is a precursor to the apocalypse — when Jesus will return and Jews will either accept Christianity or die. Israel's Chief Rabbinate called on Jews to boycott an evangelical rally open to local Israelis this week, calling it "spiritually dangerous" and warning that evangelicals were trying to convert Jews to Christianity.


Israeli liberals are also uncomfortable with evangelicals because of their ties to America's political right and their support for Israel's settlement enterprise in the West Bank, a major sticking point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some evangelicals, particularly from the U.S., work as volunteers on Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But suspicions are diminishing in Israel, especially as evangelical groups funnel hefty donations to Israel and evangelical representatives in Israel downplay the apocalypse, saying it is not a central tenant of faith for most of the world's evangelicals — or what makes them love Israel. "We feel that their support is genuine and not deriving from any ulterior motive," said Akiva Tor of Israel's Foreign Ministry…


Evangelicals at the summit boasted of their success at lobbying on Israel's behalf in the halls of parliaments around the world. There are currently 32 pro-Israeli caucuses in parliaments worldwide, according to the Israel Allies Foundation, a Jewish-Christian pro-Israel political group that brought two dozen lawmakers from 18 countries to Jerusalem this week to meet with Israeli lawmakers and officials. The Israeli parliament's Christian Allies Caucus, formed in 2004 to forge ties between Israeli lawmakers and Christian leaders, officially relaunched this summer after a period of dormancy. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem director Jurgen Buhler called it a "miracle."


At a prayer rally, Buhler introduced a group of 20 lawmakers from the Ivory Coast, which like most African nations broke ties with Israel in the 1970s but later restored them. The lawmakers flew to the Jerusalem summit on the Ivory Coast parliament's expense, Buhler said. The smiling lawmakers received a 12-ram's horn salute from a group of Taiwanese evangelicals blasting shofars, an ancient Jewish instrument. Also in attendance was Rev. Mosy Madugba of Nigeria, head of a network of Christian ministers, who said his close ties to Nigerian leaders helped change the country's traditional pro-Palestinian stance at the U.N. In recent years, Nigeria has abstained from supporting U.N. resolutions supporting Palestinian statehood.


Kenneth Meshoe, an evangelical South African lawmaker who heads the African Christian Democratic Party, said he has helped block anti-Israel motions in South Africa's parliament, including a recent effort to label Israeli products made in the West Bank as settlement products. His wife, Lydia, wore a bright yellow headdress and a Jewish Star of David necklace. Both said they hoped Jews would accept Jesus when the apocalypse comes. "God will bless those who bless Israel," he added.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic


2015's Hits at DanielPipes.org: Daniel Pipes Blog, Jan. 10, 2016—Which articles, blog posts, speeches, and interviews on my web site, DanielPipes.org, fared best in the year recently concluded? In ascending order, here are 2015's ten most widely read, listened-to, and watched pages:

If You Want to Change the Campus Culture, Look to the Faculty: Mitchell Bard, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 14, 2016— A number of articles have been written about a new organization that is going to work with faculty to address problems on campus related to Israel and the treatment of Jewish students.

ISIL Fight Forgets Lessons of First Gulf War: Matthew Fisher, National Post, Jan. 14, 2015—If there has been a “good” conflict in the Middle East, the first Gulf War may have been it. Twenty-five years ago this week, the U.S. Congress authorized the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein’s invading troops from Kuwait. Four days after that Canada went to war for the first time since Korea.

The Battle of the Budge – December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945: Nurit Greenger, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 12, 2015—The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe.
















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The Nonsense Kids Learn in School: George Jonas, National Post, Aug. 22, 2015 — September being just around the corner, it’s time for another instalment of my periodic complaints about schools and education.

UC is Not Welcoming Place to Jewish Students: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Sept. 8, 2015 — “For myself and other Jewish and pro-Israel students, the atmosphere is poisonous.”

Middle East Provocations and Predictions: Daniel Pipes, Mackenzie Institute, Sept. 9, 2015 — The Middle East stands out as the world’s most volatile, combustible, and troubled region; not coincidentally, it also inspires the most intense policy debates – think of the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Iran deal.

At Tuscany’s Only Kosher Winery, Owners Can’t Touch the Chianti: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Aug. 22, 2015 — Up a windy road in the tranquil Tuscan hills, down a gravel path and past acres of grapevines, a visitor will come across a stainless steel door frame secured with a piece of clear packing tape.


On Topic Links


Repentance is No Simple Matter: Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom, Sept. 18, 2015

Is the West Dead Yet?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Sept. 8, 2015

University: Where Debate About Even a Silly ‘White Students Union’ Goes to Die: Chris Selley, National Post, Sept. 18, 2015 

Brandeis to Award Endowed Chair to Anti-Israel Scholar: Winfield Myers, Campus Watch, Sept. 6, 2015

Middle East Studies Profs Team with Iran Lobby to Push Deal: Cinnamon Stillwell, Matt Bradley & Giovanni Legorano, Campus Watch, Sept. 6, 2015



THE NONSENSE KIDS LEARN IN SCHOOL                                                                                       

George Jonas

National Post, Aug. 22, 2015


September being just around the corner, it’s time for another instalment of my periodic complaints about schools and education. It must be 20 years since I heard a bold grandfather pose a knowledge-testing question of a kind I wouldn’t have risked putting to my grandsons. “Where would you look for the agonic line on the map?” the adventurous senior asked his grandchild, a boy of 12. “Agonic what?” “Never mind. What did you talk about in geography class today?” “Global warming.”


Need I say more? Still, I’m not opposed to education. Some of what is being taught in school is accurate and useful. It’s good to know that there are 1,000 metres in a kilometre or that the agonic line passes through Thunder Bay in our hemisphere. And if much of what our children learn in school is nonsense, so were many things that our parents and grandparents learned decades or centuries ago.


Not necessarily the same nonsense, though. For instance, a child educated in the early 1800s might have learned to think of Aborigines as savages. His grandchild in the early 1900s was more likely to think of Aborigines as noble savages. A child of the early 2000s might come home from school thinking of Aborigines as archetypal environmental activists.


For good illustration, I recommend the slightly out-of-date magazines in medical waiting rooms. Leafing through The March 1991 issue of the Australian Teachers Journal in a dentist’s office, for instance, one runs no risk of reading expressions like “noble savages.” What one risks is reading lines like: “Aboriginal Science is a mode of knowledge which has evolved to allow human beings to fit into, rather than outside of, the ecology.” Aboriginal science? Maybe it’s a typo. It isn’t. The writer, Dr. Michael J. Christie, explains that Western science placed humanity apart and above the natural world, while “Aboriginal Science” strives for unity between human beings and the environment. He doesn’t actually write “Man is Fish is Kangaroo” but comes close.


All right; look at it this way. “Aboriginal Science” being an improvement on “noble savage,” one might conclude that our nonsense is getting gentler and kinder. I’m not so sure, though. Nonsense is nonsense and even benign nonsense has a way of turning malignant.


Anything can turn malignant, actually, including good sense or fine ideals. Patriotism, the unselfish love of one’s own country, can metamorphose into chauvinism or ethnic hatred. A desire for social justice can lead to tyranny and the Gulag. Almost any idea can be Nazified. Our current ideas, from feminism to environmentalism, are no more immune to Nazification than patriotism or religion have been at other times or places. Any bottled dogma is likely to have a potential fuehrer or ayatollah lurking inside it, and dogmas are often bottled in schools.


What has made me so wary of schools is the storm-troopers of Nazism and commissars of communism I’ve known, along with the priests and mullahs of theocracies I’ve known about. The dismal creatures surfacing from history’s pestilential swamps were rarely illiterate. Most had been formally educated, usually in the humanities. Many had been teachers or journalists before they became fanatics of some religion or ideology. The ideas they embraced were also spawned in the schools of their respective periods. Nazism spread through Germany’s institutions of higher learning faster than it spread through its beer halls. Colleges and universities were hotbeds of communism far more than unions or workers’ clubs.


University students and professors were among the first to “cleanse” independent thought and inquiry. These much-vaunted institutions of academic freedom were the pioneers of political correctness back then, just as they are today. Tyrannies might entrust the day-to-day operation of their torture chambers to untutored louts, but those at the helm are often graduates of law schools. Many have teachers’ certificates and master’s degrees. I’m not suggesting that education causes people to become Nazified, only that education does nothing to prevent it. Usually it just puts a seal of good housekeeping on people’s errors or crimes.


All cultural institutions are in the grip of fashion. Schools, just like the media, mirror prevailing trends. Education has an uncanny way of reproducing the spirit of the times. Schools rarely rise above the intellectual and social fashions of the day.


I’d agree that if children must learn to think nonsense, it’s better to have them think of Aborigines as early environmental activists than savages, whether noble or ignoble. Better — but no less nonsensical. There’s hardly a social idea children bring home from school today that’s less nonsense than those brought home by yesterday’s children, especially in the realm of morality or human nature.


Thank God schools haven’t yet changed their minds about the agonic line running through Thunder Bay or the number of metres that make up a kilometre. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they’re so preoccupied with global warming, they rarely bother mentioning anything else to their pupils anymore.                                                                   




UC IS NOT WELCOMING PLACE TO JEWISH STUDENTS                                                            

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin                                                                                         

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Sept. 8, 2015


“For myself and other Jewish and pro-Israel students, the atmosphere is poisonous. We feel attacked, ostracized, and threatened. Our identities are being rejected and our right to express our beliefs endangered. Our academic performance is being harmed unjustly.” — a Jewish UC student.


To make good on the “welcoming and inclusive” campus promised in the “Principles of Community” of its 10 campuses, the University of California has taken steps to heighten awareness of certain kinds of bigotry such as racism and sexism, offering university administrators sensitivity training in the subtlest forms of allegedly bigoted expression known as “microaggression.” A document issued by the UC Office of the President has identified seemingly innocuous utterances including, “America is a melting pot” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” as examples.


Meanwhile, Jewish students on many UC campuses are facing what can rightly be called “MACROagression” — long-standing and pervasive patterns of vicious, hateful behavior. In the past few years Jewish UC students have reported being harassed, assaulted, threatened, vilified and discriminated against, their property defaced and destroyed, and their events disrupted and shut down.


UC leaders cannot claim ignorance of this anti-Jewish bigotry. A widely-publicized 2012 study, commissioned by then UC President Mark Yudof, found that Jewish students on seven UC campuses were confronting “significant and difficult climate issues” as a result of behaviors “which project hostility, engender a feeling of isolation, and undermine Jewish students’ sense of belonging and engagement with outside communities.” The study revealed that the primary sources of anti-Jewish sentiment were anti-Israel activities which challenged Israel’s right to exist and were fueled by anti-Zionism and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movements.


Since the study’s publication, the campus climate for Jewish students has significantly deteriorated. Not surprisingly, almost all of the recent antisemitic incidents including swastikas on a Jewish fraternity at UC Davis, posters blaming Jews for 9/11 at UC Santa Barbara, and a UCLA student being told by student senators that her Jewishness would make her ineligible to serve in government can be directly linked to anti-Israel campaigns, especially BDS.


Yet despite the mounting evidence of anti-Jewish “MACROaggression,” there have been no UC initiatives to address anti-Jewish hostility, no sensitivity training for UC administrators, and no widely-circulated UC documents with examples of the anti-Semitic behaviors that have created an extremely hostile and threatening environment for many Jewish students. Not one. Indeed, anti-Jewish “MACROaggession” is simply not on the radar. Why are administrators so well attuned to the subtle forms of some types of bigotry but unable to recognize even the most flagrant forms of contemporary antisemitism? Because UC currently lacks the single most essential tool for identifying and educating the campus community about the kinds of antisemitic expression that Jewish students are actually experiencing: an accurate definition.


That is why dozens of the world’s foremost scholars of antisemitism, approximately 60 religious, civil rights, educational and student organizations including the Anti-Defamation League and Hillel and thousands from California’s Jewish community have been urging UC to adopt the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which provides an authoritative standard for determining when anti-Israel expression crosses the line into anti-Semitism. And, commendably, UC President Janet Napolitano herself has publicly expressed support for the State Department definition.


At their September meeting, UC Regents will consider a statement of principles against intolerance. If the Regents incorporate into their statement a reference to the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, or at least an acknowledgement of the well-documented relationship between certain kinds of anti-Israel expression and anti-Semitism, they will be affirming their commitment to ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students including Jewish students. If not, the Regents will be sending a loud and clear message to the California Jewish community: We do not care about Jewish students, and are unwilling to ensure their safety and well-being.




MIDDLE EAST PROVOCATIONS AND PREDICTIONS                                                                                      

Daniel Pipes                                  

Mackenzie Institute, Sept. 9, 2015


The Middle East stands out as the world’s most volatile, combustible, and troubled region; not coincidentally, it also inspires the most intense policy debates – think of the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Iran deal. The following tour d’horizon offers interpretations and speculations on Iran, ISIS, Syria-Iraq, the Kurds, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Islamism, then concludes with some thoughts on policy choices. My one-sentence conclusion: some good news lies under the onslaught of misunderstandings, mistakes, and misery.


Iran: Iran is Topic No. 1 these days, especially since the nuclear deal the six great powers reached with its rulers in Vienna on July 14. The “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” seeks to bring Tehran in from the cold, ending decades of hostility and inducing Iran to become a more normal state. In itself, this is an entirely worthy endeavor. The problem lies in the execution, which has been rewarding an aggressive government with legitimacy and additional funding, not requiring serious safeguards on its nuclear arms program, and permitting that program in about a decade. The annals of diplomacy have never witnessed a comparable capitulation by great powers to an isolated, weak state.


The Iranian leadership has an apocalyptic mindset and preoccupation with the end of days that does not apply to the North Koreans, Stalin, Mao, the Pakistanis or anyone else. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei et al. have reason to use these weapons for reasons outside of the normal military concerns – to bring on the end of the world. This makes it especially urgent to stop them.


Economic sanctions, however, amount to a sideshow, even a distraction. The Iranian government compares to the North Korean in its absolute devotion to building these weapons and its readiness to do whatever it takes, whether mass starvation or some other calamity, to achieve them. Therefore, no matter how severely applied, the sanctions only make life more difficult for the Iranian leadership without actually stopping the nuclear buildup. The only way to stop the buildup is through the use of force. I hope the Israeli government – the only one left that might take action – will undertake this dangerous and thankless job. It can do so through aerial bombardment, special operations, or nuclear weapons, with option #2 both the most attractive and the most difficult.


If the Israelis do not stop the bomb, a nuclear device in the hands of the mullahs will have terrifying consequences for the Middle East and beyond, including North America, where a devastating electromagnetic pulse attack must be considered possible. To the contrary, if the Iranians do not deploy their new weapons, it is just possible that the increased contact with the outside world and the disruption caused by inconsistent Western policies will work to undermine the regime.


ISIS: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, Daesh) is the topic that consumes the most attention other than Iran. I agree with Ron Dermer,  the Israeli ambassador to Washington, that Iran is a thousand times more dangerous than ISIS. But ISIS is also a thousand times more interesting. Plus, the Obama administration finds it a useful bogeyman to justify working with Tehran. Emerging out of almost nowhere, the group has taken Islamic nostalgia to an unimagined extreme. The Saudis, the ayatollahs, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and Shabaab each imposed its version of a medieval order. But ISIS went further, replicating as best it can a seventh-century Islamic environment, down to such specifics as public beheading and enslavement.


This effort has provoked two opposite responses among Muslims. One is favorable, as manifested by Muslims coming from Tunisia and the West, attracted moth-like to an incandescently pure vision of Islam. The other, more important response, is negative. The great majority of Muslims, not to speak of non-Muslims, are alienated by the violent and flamboyant ISIS phenomenon. In the long term, ISIS will harm the Islamist movement (the one aspiring to apply Islamic law in its entirety) and even Islam itself, as Muslims in large numbers abominate ISIS.


One thing about ISIS will likely last, however: the notion of the caliphate. The last caliph who actually gave orders ruled in the 940s. That’s the 940s, not the 1940s, over a thousand years ago. The reappearance of an executive caliph after centuries of figurehead caliphs has prompted considerable excitement among Islamists. In Western terms, it’s like someone reviving the Roman Empire with a piece of territory in Europe; that would get everybody’s attention. I predict the caliphate will have a lasting and negative impact.

Syria, Iraq, and the Kurds: In certain circles, Syria and Iraq have come to be known as Suraqiya, joining their names together as the border has collapsed and they have each simultaneously been divided into three main regions: a Shiite-oriented central government, a Sunni Arab rebellion, and a Kurdish part that wants out. This is a positive development; there’s nothing sacred about the British-French Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 which created these two polities. Quite the contrary, that accord has proven an abject failure; conjure up the names of Hafez al-Assad and Saddam Hussein to remember why. These miserable states exist for the benefit of their monstrous leaders who proceed to murder their own subjects. So, let them fracture into threes, improving matters for the locals and the outside world.


As Turkish-backed Sunni jihadis fight Iranian-backed Shi’i jihadis in Suraqiya, the West should stand back from the fighting. Neither side deserves support; this is not our fight. Indeed, these two evil forces at each others’ throats means they have less opportunity to aggress on the rest of the world. If we do wish to help, it should be directed first to the many victims of the civil war; if we want to be strategic, help the losing side (so neither side wins). As for the massive flow of refugees from Syria: Western governments should not take in large numbers but instead pressure Saudi Arabia and other rich Middle Eastern states to offer sanctuary. Why should the Saudis be exempt from the refugee flow, especially when their country has many advantages over, say, Sweden: linguistic, cultural, and religious compatibility, as well as proximity and a similar climate.


The rapid emergence of a Kurdish polity in Iraq, followed by one in Syria, as well as a new assertiveness in Turkey and rumblings in Iran are a positive sign. Kurds have proven themselves to be responsible in a way that none of their neighbors have. I say this as someone who, 25 years ago, opposed Kurdish autonomy. Let us help the Kurds who are as close to an ally as we have in the Muslim Middle East. Not just separate Kurdish units should come into existence but also a unified Kurdistan made up from parts of all four countries. That this harms the territorial integrity of those states does not present a problem, as not one of them works well as presently constituted…                                                                                                       

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




AT TUSCANY’S ONLY KOSHER WINERY,                                                           

OWNERS CAN’T TOUCH THE CHIANTI                                                                                           

Ben Sales                                                                                                             

Times of Israel, Aug. 22, 2015


Up a windy road in the tranquil Tuscan hills, down a gravel path and past acres of grapevines, a visitor will come across a stainless steel door frame secured with a piece of clear packing tape. The Hebrew scrawled on the adhesive reads: “David Solomon.” Almost no one may remove this tape, open the door or use the winemaking equipment in an expansive room on the other side. Another door to the same room, sealed with a white plastic strip bearing a K inside a circle, also stays locked, though visitors may peer into the room through glass panels.


During a recent visit, the winery’s owner, Maria Pellegrini, stood next door, laying out thin slices of Tuscan bread along the perimeter of a plate and topping them with tomatoes grown in her garden. She chopped pieces of fresh, kosher parmesan into a small dish. But when it came time to open her signature bottle, the Terra Di Seta Winery’s Chianti Classico 2010 Reserve, she yielded to Yossi Metzger, an intern with little winemaking experience and a kippah on his head. Metzger twisted the corkscrew and popped the bottle open. “We must be crazy to make kosher wine in Tuscany,” laughed Pellegrini, who, according to Jewish law, cannot touch the wine because she is not Jewish. “Others tried to make kosher wine, but it’s not easy. It’s not a joke.”


Other non-kosher Tuscan wineries have occasionally produced a run of kosher wine, but since it began producing bottles eight years ago, Terra di Seta has been the only fully kosher winery in central Italy’s Chianti region. It’s an area famed for the distinctive red wines its families have produced for centuries, against a landscape that looks like the backdrop to a Renaissance painting. Pellegrini and her husband, Daniele Della Seta, are meticulous about adhering to Chianti’s high standards. They export 35,000 to 45,000 bottles per year to stores and restaurants in the United States, Israel and around the world. The winery also makes olive oil from trees in the vineyard as well as honey, another regional specialty.


Requirements for Chianti (pronounced kee-ON-tea) wine range from using the local Sangiovese grape variety almost exclusively to letting the wine age for more than two years. At the end of the process, each run is sent to a committee so it can be approved as an official “Chianti Classico” wine — complete with a serial number for each vintage. But keeping kosher means the vintners must surrender the actual winemaking process to others. According to traditional Jewish law, only religious Jews may produce kosher wine, and though Della Seta is Jewish, he does not observe Shabbat. So mashgiachs, or kosher supervisors, hired by the OK Kosher certification agency have to handle everything from the time the grapes come to the winery’s door to when the cork goes into the bottle.


“I’ve worked with non-kosher wineries before who’ve always wanted to jump into some point of the process,” said Ian Schnall, one of Terra di Seta’s mashgiachs. “It’s like Van Gogh saying, ‘Paint this corner in this shade, paint that corner in that shade.’” At first, the restrictions were especially difficult for Pellegrini, who is originally from Tuscany. She grew up in a winemaking family in southern Italy and always dreamed of operating her own winery. When Della Seta, a neurology professor, got an appointment at the nearby University of Siena in 2000, the couple bought a vineyard surrounding a 400-year-old stone house and moved in. The year after their first vintage, in 2007, they decided to go kosher…

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


                                    CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic


Repentance is No Simple Matter: Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom, Sept. 18, 2015—During the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known as the Days of Repentance or the Days of Awe, those who believe in divine providence are filled with reverent dread.

Is the West Dead Yet?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Sept. 8, 2015 —Never has Western culture seemed so all-powerful. —“White students union!” exclaimed posters on three Toronto-area university campuses this week. There ought to be one, in other words. And that certainly wouldn’t do.

University: Where Debate About Even a Silly ‘White Students Union’ Goes to Die: Chris Selley, National Post, Sept. 18, 2015

Brandeis to Award Endowed Chair to Anti-Israel Scholar: Winfield Myers, Campus Watch, Sept. 6, 2015—Pascal Menoret, who has a history of anti-Israel activism, will be officially named the Renee and Lester Crown Chair in Modern Middle East Studies in a September 8 ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, the nation's only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored college.

Middle East Studies Profs Team with Iran Lobby to Push Deal: Cinnamon Stillwell, Matt Bradley & Giovanni Legorano, Campus Watch, Sept. 6, 2015—The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has produced a letter promoting the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed by "73 prominent International Relations and Middle East scholars." Among the latter are Richard Bulliet, John Esposito, Fawaz Gerges, Rashid Khalidi, Hamid Dabashi, William O. Beeman, Juan Cole, and Reza Aslan.








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New Year 5776: A Few Thoughts: Baruch Cohen, CIJR, Sept. 11, 2015 — The name Rosh HaShanah as it is used in the Bible (Ezekiel 40:1) simply means the beginning of the year, and does not designate the festival.

A Prayer for 5776: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2015 — As we approach Rosh Hashana, the people of Israel need to recognize how lucky we are.

Colleges Brainwash Students Into Believing 9/11 Was Our Fault: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Sept. 6, 2015 — Not all of us will be mourning 9/11 victims and their families this Friday on the 14th anniversary of the attacks. Hundreds of college kids across the country will instead be taught to sympathize with the terrorists.

On Hallowed Ground: Dave Barry, Miami Herald, Sept. 8, 2015 — On a humid July day in Pennsylvania, hundreds of tourists, as millions have before them, are drifting among the simple gravestones and timeworn monuments of the national cemetery at Gettysburg.


On Topic Links


Cultivating the Inner Self – A Message From Rabbi Sacks for Rosh Hashanah 5776: Jonathan Sacks, Times of Israel, Sept. 9, 2015

On Rosh Hashanah, Israel's Population Reaches 8.4 Million: Zeev Klein, Israel Hayom, Sept. 9, 2015

The Islamist Menace Shadowing This Sept. 11: Rudolph W. Giuliani, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 10, 2015

The Democrats’ Depraved Indifference: Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2015



NEW YEAR 5776: A FEW THOUGHTS                                                                                                

Baruch Cohen

CIJR, Sept. 11, 2015



In Loving Memory of Malka Z”L


The name Rosh HaShanah as it is used in the Bible (Ezekiel 40:1) simply means the beginning of the year, and does not designate the festival. The Babylonian name Tishri seems to derive from the root Seru, which means “to begin.” The ancient Semitic people thought of the year as the beginning of autumn, the time of the late harvest.


The Hebrew expression “be-zet ha-shanah” (at the end of the year) and “tekufat ha-shanah” (at the end-turning of the year), by which the Feast of Ingathering, or Sukkoth, (which is, in a popular sense, the equivalent of the priestly Day of Remembrance), is dated to Exodus 23:16 and 34:22 respectively.


Rosh HaShanah stresses a universalist motif. The prayers are not for Israel alone, but for the entire world ─ for redemption, for righteousness and truth, for Haolam Koolo, the whole world. This is the great plea for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, the Kingdom of righteousness and truth in the spirit of brotherhood, and the annihilation of lies, inequality and tyranny.


Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlov (1772-1810) used to say: to me the main holiday is  Rosh HaShana. “For in no time at all the whole year passes…in the twinkling of an eye” (Si Hot he-Ran, No. 214).


Rosh HaShana New Year prayers are not for Israel and the Jewish People alone, but for the redemption of the entire world. The wonderful Hebrew cry from the heart for Hesh Bon Hanefesh, a “taking of stock” of our soul, is for an inner accounting, a judgement upon oneself, and is also a call for redemption of the entire world, Haolam Koolo, Shanah Tova u’mtuka, a sweet New Year 5776 to all!


                                                (Baruch Cohen is CIJR’s Research Chairman)





A PRAYER FOR 5776                                                                                                         

Caroline B. Glick                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2015


As we approach Rosh Hashana, the people of Israel need to recognize how lucky we are. True, today, we find ourselves largely alone, set apart from our traditional partners in the Western world. But standing alone isn’t always the worst option. Today it is certainly not the worst option.


Over the past several years, we have witnessed the growing radicalization and fragmentation of the societies of neighboring lands. Sunnis fight Shi’ites and one another. Minority populations are slaughtered, enslaved and oppressed. Regimes fall, rise and fall again. Today, every Arab society is either in danger or at war. And in almost every case, it isn’t good fighting evil but varying degrees of evil and barbarism fighting one another.


From the PLO to Islamic State, through Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Assad regime in Syria, the ayatollahs of Iran, Hezbollah, the Erdogan regime in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and every single actor in the region resorts to some degree of torture and oppression. And all do so while quoting the Koran.


Israel has responded rationally to the carnage at our doorstep. We help where we can. For instance, we are assisting the Egyptian regime in its war against jihadist forces in Sinai. We support the Hashemite regime in Jordan. We provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of the bloodbath in Syria. And we are securing our borders. After we finished building the border fence with Egypt, we built one along the Syrian border. Now we are fencing off the border with Jordan. These fences may not make good neighbors. But they do keep the bad ones at bay.


Similar rationality is in short supply today in Europe and among the smart set in America. Westerners are increasingly at a loss in the face of the break-up of societies throughout the Arab world. Consider for instance Europe’s disoriented, confused response to the massive wave of refugees from Syria now washing onto its shores. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the unfolding drama is that it appears the Europeans only just realized that Syria has fallen apart.


The war in Syria broke out nearly five years ago. Hundreds of thousands have already been killed in the conflict. Ten million people – nearly half of Syria’s pre-war population – have been displaced. For the past four years, millions of Syrians have been living in refugee camps in neighboring states – first and foremost in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Most of the refugees now arriving in Europe are coming from these camps, rather than directly from Syria. Rather than help them either resettle in the lands to which they fled, or take action on the ground in Syria to enable them to return to their homes, the Europeans largely ignored them.


Part of the reason Europe has ignored Syria, of course, is indifference. So long as it’s happening “over there,” the Europeans really couldn’t care less.


But indifference alone does not explain how Europe has been taken by surprise by a humanitarian disaster of the magnitude now unfolding at its borders. Identity politics have played a key role in shaping Europe’s failed Middle East politics – in Syria and throughout the increasingly destabilized Islamic world. Identity politics distinguish between various groups based on how they fall on a spectrum of “oppression.” Western nations, led by Europe and the US, are all classified as “oppressors,” due to their “imperialist” past. The Islamic world writ large is classified as “oppressed.”  All groups that receive “oppressed” status are immune from judgment, much less resistance from those who fall on the side of the “oppressors.”


Given this taxonomy, Europeans along with the sectors of American society that have embraced identity policies are incapable of recognizing, much less taking action against, radical Islamists. Those who are oppressed by the “oppressed” of the Islamic world – the Yazidis, Christians and Kurds, for instance – can receive no sustained protection from their jihadist oppressors by the “Muslim-oppressing” West. The immunity identity politics confers on “oppressed” population groups adheres even when those groups themselves engage in oppression.


There is, however, one group in the Islamic world that identity politics do not immunize from Western opposition. The West can oppose Arab regimes that wish to cooperate with the West in fighting against radical Islamists. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for instance is a member of this group. Ever since he overthrew the US-supported Muslim Brotherhood regime two years ago, the US has kept him at arm’s length. Washington has imposed a partial weapons embargo and denied US support for its war against jihadist forces in Sinai.


Then there is Libya. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi collaborated with the West against al-Qaida from 2004 until he was assassinated in 2011. That year Gaddafi was overthrown by European forces backed by the US. The West overthrew Gaddafi in order “to prevent genocide.” The chaos that ensued in Libya after his overthrow has in turn enabled al-Qaida and Islamic State to take over large swathes of the country. The West has had nothing to say about this turn of events.


The tyranny of identity politics is not limited to its conferral of immunity on jihadists. Identity politics are a comprehensive, totalitarian world view that dictates responses in all areas of human endeavor. For instance, the “Black Lives Matter” group in the US, which sanctions the murder of policemen, is given a pass by adherents of identity politics. Its followers view all blacks as oppressed. Police, who are perceived as agents of Western oppression, cannot expect sympathy when they are murdered.


In Britain, adherents of identity politics not only want to see Britain out of the Middle East, they support their country’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, because as they see it, Britain is unworthy of nuclear weapons due to its imperialist past. A testament to the power of identity politics in Britain is the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. The radical Labor parliamentarian is expected to win the race for leadership of the party on Saturday. Corbyn is a shining example of the type of leader produced by identity politics. He opposes British power. He is a foe of free markets and the British military. He supports Hamas and Hezbollah. He has led anti-Israel demonstrations and conferences organized by Islamist organizations. He has contributed to an organization led by a Holocaust denier and participated in its conferences. And of course, he opposes Israel and Jews who support it.


That’s the thing of it. Identity politics define both Israel and Jews in the Diaspora as “oppressors.” Many Israelis as well as Jewish organizations in the Diaspora have been trying for years to prove that this is untrue. Israel is after all the victim of both European and Islamic imperialists. Zionism is a national liberation movement.


But these protestations have made no impression on anyone. And this is to be expected. It isn’t possible to change Israel’s classification on the oppression scale, because the scale is completely arbitrary. Even worse, every attempt to question the arbitrary scale simply induces more hostility on the part of its adherents. Questioning whether oppressed groups are in fact oppressed is itself an act of oppression and further proof that those who question are indeed oppressors. In other words, identity politics are a closed intellectual universe immune from all doubts, and logic…

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





COLLEGES BRAINWASH STUDENTS INTO BELIEVING 9/11 WAS OUR FAULT                                           

Paul Sperry

New York Post, Sept. 6, 2015


Not all of us will be mourning 9/11 victims and their families this Friday on the 14th anniversary of the attacks. Hundreds of college kids across the country will instead be taught to sympathize with the terrorists.

That’s because their America-hating leftist professors are systematically indoctrinating them into believing it’s all our fault, that the US deserved punishment for “imperialism” — and the kids are too young to remember or understand what really happened that horrific day.


Case in point is a freshman-level English class taught at several major universities across the country called “The Literature of 9/11” — which focuses almost entirely on writings from the perspective of the Islamic terrorists, rather than the nearly 3,000 Americans who were slaughtered by them. The syllabus, which includes books like “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “Poems from Guantanamo: Detainees Speak,” portray terrorists as “freedom fighters” driven by oppressive US foreign policies.


Even highly ranked University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has adopted the curriculum. The 9/11 seminar is taught by UNC associate English professor Neel Ahuja, who specializes in “post-colonial studies.” In Ahuja’s twisted worldview, al Qaeda terrorists are the real victims. “Abu Zubaydah’s torture may be interpreted as simply one more example of the necropower of US imperialism, the power to coerce and kill targeted populations,” Ahuja recently wrote in an academic paper criticizing the war on terror.

He says America’s depiction of the 9/11 terrorists as “monsters” is merely an attempt to “animalize” them as insects and justify “squashing” them in “a fantasy of justice.”


This colonialist “construct” of an “animalized enemy,” he added, “dovetails with the work of mourning the nation after 9/11 (which in the logic of security must be made perpetual, melancholic).” To him, it’s all cynically designed to justify more “imperial violence” against “Muslim, Arab and South Asian men.” Ahuja goes on to decry the US “colonization” of Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, along with “aerial bombing (and) indefinite detention” of al Qaeda terrorists at Gitmo. In other writings, the professor bashes Israel and sides with Palestinian terrorists, further revealing his agenda. He clearly has an ax to grind, which critics say the university gives him license to exercise through “The Literature of 9/11” curriculum.


A group of concerned UNC students has complained to administrators that the 9/11 course, also taught at the University of Maryland and other campuses, is being used to brainwash impressionable underclassmen. “These readings offer points of view that justify terrorism, paint the United States and its government as wholly evil and immoral and desecrate the memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,” the UNC College Republicans said in a recent letter to Chancellor Carol Folt.


“There is not a single reading required that focuses on the lives of the victims, the victim’s [sic] families, American soldiers (or) families of American soldiers,” they added. “Nor is there a perspective that portrays the United States as acting in good faith before, during and after the Sept. 11 attacks.” The course, moreover, “does not teach students how to think, it teaches them what to think,” the letter continued. “And the material it presents is an apologetic for the violence and murder against the United States.”


The university replied that freshmen should be exposed to differing points of view, even radical ones. “Part of the college experience is the opportunity to learn from those who have differing points of view. Carolina’s first-year seminar program is part of that growth,” the administration said in a press statement, while insisting “the university isn’t forcing a set of beliefs on students.”


But several students who have taken the course warned in a professor review blog that Ahuja, who earns $72,100 a year spewing his unAmerican propaganda, does not tolerate dissent. “He favors kids who share his views, so learn to do that,” said one reviewer. “A very interesting guy, just don’t disagree with him.” Added another student, in a January 2014 post: “I would avoid contradicting him openly.” “AGREE WITH HIS STANCE IN YOUR PAPERS!!!!!” advised another in November.


What’s happening in Chapel Hill is not isolated. Presenting terrorists in a sympathetic light and the US as an imperialist nation is standard fare. This is what, in varying degrees, most college kids are learning today, all over the country.                                                        




ON HALLOWED GROUND                                                                                                         

Dave Barry

Miami Herald, Sept. 8, 2002


On a humid July day in Pennsylvania, hundreds of tourists, as millions have before them, are drifting among the simple gravestones and timeworn monuments of the national cemetery at Gettysburg. Several thousand soldiers are buried here. A few graves are decorated with flowers, suggesting some of the dead have relatives who still come here. There's a sign at the entrance, reminding people that this is a cemetery. It says: "SILENCE AND RESPECT."


Most of the tourists are being reasonably respectful, for tourists, although many, apparently without noticing, walk on the graves, stand on the bones of the soldiers. Hardly anybody is silent. Perky tour guides are telling well-practiced stories and jokes; parents are yelling at children; children are yelling at each other. A tour group of maybe two dozen teen-agers are paying zero attention to anything but each other, flirting, laughing, wrapped in the happy self-absorbed obliviousness of Teen-agerLand.


A few yards away, gazing somberly toward the teen-agers, is a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address here 139 years ago, when the gentle rolling landscape, now green and manicured, was still raw and battle-scarred, the earth recently soaked with the blood of the 8,000 who died, and the tens of thousands more who were wounded, when two armies, 160,000 men, fought a terrible battle on July 1, 2 and 3 that determined the outcome of the Civil War.


Nobody planned for the battle to happen here. Neither army set out for Gettysburg. But this is where it happened. This is where, out of randomness, out of chance, a thousand variables conspired to bring the two mighty armies together. And so this quiet little town, because it happened to be here, became historic, significant, a symbol, its identity indelibly defined by this one overwhelming event. This is where these soldiers – soldiers from Minnesota, soldiers from Kentucky, soldiers who had never heard of Gettysburg before they came here to die – will lie forever. This is hallowed ground.


On the same July day, a few hours' drive to the west, near the small Pennsylvania town of Shanksville, Wally Miller, coroner of Somerset County, Pa., walks slowly through the tall grass covering a quiet field, to a place near the edge, just before some woods. This is the place where, on Sept. 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93, scene of a desperate airborne battle pitting passengers and crew against terrorist hijackers, came hurtling out of the sky, turning upside down and slamming into the earth at more than 500 mph. That horrendous event transformed this quiet field into a smoking, reeking hell, a nightmare landscape of jet fuel, burning plane debris, scattered human remains.


Now, 10 months later, the field is green again. Peaceful and green. Except where Flight 93 plunged into the ground. That one place is still barren dirt. That one place has not healed. "Interesting that the grass won't grow right here," says Miller. Nobody on Flight 93 was heading for Somerset County that day. The 33 passengers and seven crew were heading from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco. The four hijackers had a different destination in mind, probably Washington, D.C., possibly the White House.


Nobody on the plane meant to come here. "I doubt that any one of them would ever set foot in Somerset County, except maybe to stop at Howard Johnson's on the turnpike," Miller says. "They have no roots here." But this is where they are. And this is where they will stay. No bodies were recovered here, at least not as we normally think of bodies. In the cataclysmic violence of the crash, the people on Flight 93 literally disintegrated. Searchers found fragments of bones, small pieces of flesh, a hand. But no bodies.


In the grisly accounting of a jetliner crash, it comes down to pounds: The people on Flight 93 weighed a total of about 7,500 pounds. Miller supervised an intensive effort to gather their remains, some flung hundreds of yards. In the end, just 600 pounds of remains were collected; of these, 250 pounds could be identified by DNA testing and returned to the families of the passengers and crew. Forty families, wanting to bury their loved ones. Two hundred fifty pounds of identifiable remains. "There were people who were getting a skull cap and a tooth in the casket," Miller says. "That was their loved ones."


The rest of the remains, the vast majority, will stay here forever, in this ground. "For all intents and purposes, they're buried here," Miller says. "This is a cemetery." This is also hallowed ground. In the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln was essentially trying to answer a question. The question was: How do you honor your heroes? Lincoln's answer was: You can't. No speech you give, no monument you erect, will be worthy of them, of their sacrifice. The best you can do is remember the cause they died for, finish the job they started. Of course the passengers and crew on Flight 93, when they set out from Newark that morning, had no cause in common. They were people on a plane bound from Newark to San Francisco. Some were going home, some traveling on business, some on vacation. People on a plane. Which makes it all the more astonishing, what they did.


You've been on planes. Think how it feels, especially on a morning cross-country flight. You got up early; you're tired; you've been buckled in your seat for a couple of hours, with hours more to go. You're reading, or maybe dozing. You're essentially cargo: There's nowhere you can go, nothing you can do, no role you could possibly play in flying this huge, complex machine. You retreat into your passenger cocoon, passive, trusting your fate to the hands of others, confident that they'll get you down safe, because they always do.


Now imagine what that awful morning was like for the people on Flight 93. Imagine being ripped from your safe little cocoon, discovering that the plane was now controlled by killers, that your life was in their bloody hands. Imagine knowing that there was nobody to help you, except you, and the people, mostly strangers, around you…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters:

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova! Happy New Year 5776!



On Topic


Cultivating the Inner Self – A Message From Rabbi Sacks for Rosh Hashanah 5776: Jonathan Sacks, Times of Israel, Sept. 9, 2015—“Original” is not a word often used in connection with a code of Jewish law. In general, the rule tends to be that if it’s true it isn’t new, and if it’s new it isn’t true.

On Rosh Hashanah, Israel's Population Reaches 8.4 Million: Zeev Klein, Israel Hayom, Sept. 9, 2015 —With the Jewish year of 5776 just around the corner, the Central Bureau of Statistics has released its annual population statistics, which show that Israel's population has reached a record of about 8,412,000 people.

The Islamist Menace Shadowing This Sept. 11: Rudolph W. Giuliani, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 10, 2015—The anniversaries and other reminders of the Islamic extremist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, stir a torrent of thoughts and emotions. But we should try to focus on those most relevant today.

The Democrats’ Depraved Indifference: Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2015 —The US legal system stipulates two related offenses, “reckless endangerment” and “depraved indifference.”








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




Who is to Blame for the Drowning of Alan Kurdi?: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Sept. 3, 2015 — A single photograph of a three-year old boy named Alan Kurdi, lying dead on a Turkish beach, has rocked the conscience of the world.

The American Jewish Future: More Shmuley Boteach Than Woody Allen?: David Bernstein, Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2015 — According to recent Pew Foundation data, Orthodox (strictly observant of Jewish law) Jews are only 10 percent of the American Jewish population, with the latter population defined somewhat broadly.

Modern Middle East Studies vs. Scholarship: Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, Aug. 10, 2015— It would be a mistake to say Middle East Studies have been corrupted.

Dear Adolf: We Won!: Paul Lewis, Jewish Philanthropy, July 29, 2015 — Dear Adolf: Screw you, you bastard! We won!

The Second Coming: William Butler Yeats, Poem of the Week, 1919 —   Turning and turning in the widening gyre…


On Topic Links


Pres. Obama on the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Jewish Federations, Aug. 28, 2015

Analysis: New Pew Report Has Seen the Jewish American Future and It’s Orthodox: Jewish Press, Sept. 3, 2015

The Coddling of the American Mind: Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, Sept.  2015

The U.N.’s Anti-Israel Agency? (Video): Wall Street Journal, Aug. 31, 2015

The Israeli Thank-You Video That Became a Hit in China: Tom Dolev, Jerusalem Online, Sept. 1, 2015




Tarek Fatah

Toronto Sun, Sept. 3, 2015


A single photograph of a three-year old boy named Alan Kurdi, lying dead on a Turkish beach, has rocked the conscience of the world. The picture will remain seared in our collective memory forever, just as the image of a nine-year-old girl running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back in a napalm bomb attack shook us up on June 8, 1972. That was Phan Thi Kim Phuc, who later settled down in Canada.


Despite what was initially reported by Canadian media, Alan Kurdi was never headed to Canada. His aunt in Vancouver, Tima Kurdi, tried to sponsor Alan’s uncle and family under what is known as a “G5 privately sponsored application for asylum.” Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander personally took up her application after receiving it from Fin Donnelly, the MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam. However, because the UN in its wisdom wouldn’t register the Kurdi family as refugees, and because the Turkish government wouldn’t grant them exit visas (as they didn’t have passports), the application for asylum in Canada couldn’t proceed any further.


With no legal options, the family did what tens of thousands of refugees in Turkey have done — they took a risky boat ride from Bodrum in a flotilla of dinghies headed for the Greek island of Kos. The boat capsized about 30 minutes after it set off. Alan, his brother Ghalib, 5, their mother Rehan, and many others drowned. It’s a tragedy that should have brought out the best in all of us.


Unfortunately, the New Democrats and Liberals tried to use it to attack Chris Alexander and the Conservatives and depict them as heartless and cruel, in the most unethical and immoral manner. To understand the calamity unfolding in the Mediterranean, illustrated by the photograph of Kurdi, we need to step back a century, but even a year is helpful. In essence, it’s the story of a Kurdish family that fled an Arab country after an Islamist attack and took refuge across the border in Turkey, a country known for its hostility towards its own Kurdish population. In the words of the boy’s aunt in Vancouver, the treatment of her family in Turkey was “horrible.”


Instead of targeting the most visible and apparent villains in this drama — the Assad regime in Syria, the Turks, ISIS, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — the Liberals and the NDP sharpened their knives and went after Alexander, the very man who has been quietly helping people escape tyranny and settle down in Canada. We cannot lose sight of the Syrian Revolution that began as protests in the early spring of 2011 as part of the Arab Spring. Instead of paying heed to his people, President Bashar al-Assad unleashed his military forces in violent crackdowns that forced 3.2 million people to flee the country and internally displaced 6.5 million others. Alan was just the latest victim.


Hadi Elis, spokesman for the Kurdish Community Centre of Toronto, told me he was shocked how Trudeau and an NDP MP from B.C. used Alan’s tragic death to attack Alexander. “Minister Alexander has been one of the strongest allies of the Kurdish community and stood by the Syrian Kurds in their darkest hour in Kobani from where the boy and his family fled in the face of attacks on them by Islamist ISIS and their Turkish allies,” Elis wrote in an e-mail. “It is despicable for Liberal and NDP politicians to use the dead boy as a political tool to score partisan political points. Shame on them. They want Canada to stop attacking ISIS, and then shed crocodile tears when a victim of ISIS drowns on a Turkish beach,” he continued.


“If there is anyone who is guilty of this crime, it is Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UN, all those who have refused to embrace hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war, not Minister Chris Alexander who needs no lectures on compassion by politicians who are catering to the Islamists inside Canada.” Neither the NDP nor the Liberals dare say a single word against Turkey, Saudi Arabia or even Pakistan for fear of losing the imagined Muslim vote in Canada’s large riding-rich cities. Instead, by depicting the Conservatives and Alexander as anti-refugee and anti-Muslim, they hope to harvest a supposed rich crop of pro-Islamist voters.

It’s possible they might even succeed in this venture given the way many mainstream media outlets have formed a lynch mob targeting the Conservatives with disdain and shameless partisanship.


Canadian voters, on the other hand, must recognize the stories they’re reading or watching also reflect an illiteracy and ignorance among Canada’s chattering heads on matters of the Middle East and South Asia — ignorance they cover up by ensuring no one with a background in the area is given the opportunity to challenge what wrongly passes for objective and balanced discourse.


The fact is all these refugees fleeing war zones in the Arab World could very easily be accommodated in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Instead, while Turkey wants to dump them in the sea and hope bleeding-heart, guilt-ridden liberal Europeans embrace them and pay for their resettlement, the Saudis have an even simpler solution: Shut down the border and seal it so not a single Alan Kurdi dare walk across from Iraq or the new “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” into its territory. Period.


Strictly from a management perspective and common sense, Saudi Arabia has the land, the resources and lies in the vicinity of the crisis. The refugees and the Saudis speak the same language and settlement and integration could happen sooner and at a fraction of the cost. But it’s far easier to call for the head of Chris Alexander than to be honest and admit the villain in the drama is Saudi Arabia and criticising the Saudis might upset the Islamist vote bank both the Liberals and the NDP covet.






MORE SHMULEY BOTEACH THAN WOODY ALLEN?                                                                             

David Bernstein                                         

Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2015


According to recent Pew Foundation data, Orthodox (strictly observant of Jewish law) Jews are only 10 percent of the American Jewish population, with the latter population defined somewhat broadly. The Orthodox subset of the Jewish community, however, is growing rapidly. I recently attended a Tikvah Fund seminar on the future of American Jewry. I learned a lot of interesting things, but perhaps nothing raised my eyebrows more than the growth in enrollment in grade schools run by the so-called “ultra-Orthodox,” the more insular group of Orthodox Jews who constitute about two-thirds of the Orthodox population. (Caveat: Participants in the Tikvah seminar noted that Pew classifications are inexact and that some percentage of those Pew considers ultra-Orthodox are, in fact, what is often called “Centrist Orthodox.”) Over a 15-year period, enrollment in these schools, Hasidic and non-Hasidic, had more than doubled.


Consider what sort of birthrate that implies! Participants in the seminar with relevant expertise estimated that 20 to 25 percent of Jews raised in ultra-Orthodox communities go “off the derech,” i.e., leave the fold. But even with a 20 to 25 percent attrition rate, the school enrollment figures suggest exponential growth in the ultra-Orthodox community — not to mention that attrition is not a one-way street and that various Orthodox outreach efforts, most prominently those of Chabad-Lubavitch, mean that about 30 percent of adult Orthodox Jews were raised in non-Orthodox homes.


Meanwhile, the non-Orthodox community seems destined to shrink, with birthrates below replacement level, and about a quarter of Jews not raising their children as Jews. Moreover, among the non-Orthodox Jewish population, the percentage who don’t practice the religion and don’t meaningfully affiliate with the community is growing. The population of active Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist Jews is shrinking, especially among the young. (Aside: It is, by the way, among the former unaffiliated group that disinterest or hostility to Israel is concentrated. When you hear from the likes of Peter Beinart that young Jews are increasingly disaffected from Israel, it’s not only inaccurate, but refers mainly to this unaffiliated group, secular individuals with overwhelmingly left-wing politics, not raised in the Jewish religion, who still consider themselves at least partially Jewish. …

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





MODERN MIDDLE EAST STUDIES VS. SCHOLARSHIP                                                                               

Andrew C. McCarthy

National Review, Aug. 10, 2015


It would be a mistake to say Middle East Studies have been corrupted. For the program’s very purpose has been to serve as a corrupting agent. Specifically, it puts the essence of study — the objective pursuit of knowledge — in disrepute.

Here, of course, I am referring to the modern incarnation of Middle East Studies: an amalgam of leftist and Islamist political dogma that masquerades as an academic discipline. By contrast, the actual study of Middle Eastern history, like the intimately related study of Islamic civilization, is a venerable and vital pursuit — and is still pursued as such by, to take the best example, ASMEA, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. Alas, in our hyper-politicized society, the traditional notion of study seems quaint: a vestige of a bygone time when the designations “Orientalist” and “Islamist” referred to subject-matter expertise, not political activism, much less radicalism.


Yet, for Edward Said, the seminal figure in modern Middle East Studies, the object of the game was to slander knowledge itself. Joshua Muravchik nailed it in a 2013 profile of the renowned academic. Said’s animating theory held that “knowledge” was the key that enabled the West to dominate Orientals: The point of pursuing knowledge about “the languages, culture, history, and sociology of societies of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent,” Said elaborated, was to gain more control over the “subject races” by making “their management easy and profitable.” With real study caricatured as the engine of colonial exploitation, the way was paved for a competing construction of “study” — political agitation to empower the have-nots in the struggle against the haves.


Said was a fitting pioneer for such a fraud. To begin with, he was a professor not of Middle East Studies but of comparative literature. Moreover, the personal history he touted to paper over his want of credentials was sheer fiction: Far from what he purported to be (a Palestinian victim exiled by Jews from his Jerusalem home at age twelve), Said was actually a child of privilege, raised in Cairo and educated in top British and American schools. His Palestinian tie of note was membership in the PLO’s governing council. Like Rashid Khalidi — his protégé, who was later awarded the chair in Modern Arab Studies that Columbia University named in Said’s honor — Said was a reliable apologist of Yassir Arafat, the indefatigable terrorist who infused Palestinian identity with a Soviet-backed Arab nationalism.


To thrive in an Islamic culture, it was not only useful but necessary for Palestinian militancy to accommodate the Islamist sense of divine injunction to wage jihad. From its roots, then, modern Middle East Studies is a political movement aligning leftism and Islamism under the guise of an academic discipline. It is not an objective quest for learning guided by a rich corpus of history and culture; it is a project to impose its pieties as incontestable truth — and to discredit dispassionate analysis in order to achieve that end.


The embrace of Islamism usefully advances this project because Islamist ideology similarly stigmatizes the pursuit of knowledge. Where the leftist frames the West’s reverence for reason as imperialism, the Islamist attacks it on theological grounds.  Sharia, they maintain, is the complete and perfect societal framework and legal code, the path to human life lived in conformity with Allah’s design. Thus, what the West calls “reason” or “the objective pursuit of knowledge” is merely a rationalization for supplanting Allah’s design with the corrupting preferences of Western civilization. We see how this teaching plays out in practice. Muslim countries that supplement sharia with other legislation add the caveat that no man-made law may contradict Islamic principles. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation — a group of Islamic governments that form a large bloc in the United Nations — even found it necessary in 1990 to promulgate a Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, because Islamists could not accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights spearheaded by non-Muslim governments after World War II…

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




DEAR ADOLF: WE WON!                                          

Paul Lewis

Jewish Philanthropy, July 29, 2015


Dear Adolf: Screw you, you bastard! We won! You must be turning over in your grave with all that is happening in your beloved Berlin this week. You should have seen it: more than 2,000 Jewish athletes from 39 countries around the globe just paraded through your Olympic Park in the Opening Ceremonies of the European Maccabi Games, sort of a European Jewish Olympics.


That’s right – the same complex with the iconic stadium you built for the 1936 Olympics, as you were planning the Holocaust, was filled with Jews tonight. You banned German Jewish athletes from participating 79 years ago but tonight Yids filled the Olympic Park. There were Jewish swimmers from Argentina and Jewish runners from Australia; Jewish basketball players from Canada, Jewish tennis players from South Africa and Jewish soccer players from the USA.


You came so close to exterminating all the Jews of Europe, but, tonight, European countries, including Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and France, were proudly represented by Jewish athletes. We’re still here. Oh, and there’s another country here this week. It’s called Israel, the ancient and modern homeland of the Jewish People, reborn from the ashes of the Shoah. Israel’s existence guarantees that your Final Solution will not be implemented again. Not that there aren’t people who would still like that to happen. At the same time there is a resurgence of Jewish life in Berlin, the antisemitic sickness you nearly perfected is alive and growing again in Europe. It’s worse now than any time since you were in power. Every week brings another incident – a firebombing or an attack on a school, a museum or a kosher market. Why? Simply because they are Jews.


Frankly, with all the history of Jew-hatred in Germany, I never thought I would be here. My father came to Germany, courtesy of Uncle Sam, at the end of your reign of terror. He was part of the Allied force that liberated Dachau. Like so many of the Greatest Generation he never talked about it, but was changed by it forever. Maybe that’s why I was determined never to come. Besides, it may be ignorant and impolite to say, but no matter what words are spoken in German, they all sound to me like achtung and mach schnell. And while the Holocaust is history for me, I remember all too well the massacre in Munich of 11 Israeli Olympians in 1972. No, Germany was never on my “must visit” list.


But I’m here and glad for it. Fortunately, Germany today is far different from the way it was in your time. Berlin is a complex, fascinating city, full of energy and culture. The Nazi past is openly acknowledged and appropriately memorialized in several ways and places. This week I toured your first concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, just 22 miles north of the Berlin. You started housing political prisoners there in 1936, the same month you used the Olympics to hoodwink the world into believing Nazi Germany was peaceful and tolerant. By 1945, 30,000 inmates had died at Sachsenhausen from disease, malnutrition and execution. It was the testing facility where the SS learned and practiced the mass killing methods they would later use at other Nazi death camps. Arbeit Macht Frei – Work Makes You Free – appears on the ironwork entry gates, just as it does at Auschwitz, Dachau and Theresienstadt.


Even though the Holocaust didn’t happen on American soil, it deeply influenced the post-World War II American Jewish experience. Perhaps that’s a nod to the Jewish value that all Jews are responsible for each other; perhaps it’s a bit of guilt that we didn’t raise our collective voices loudly enough while you were in power. Either way, American Jewish education and philanthropy over the last 70 years have been heavy on the Holocaust and antisemitism. So much so that in a recent survey of American Jews, 73 percent said remembering the Holocaust is an essential part of what being Jewish means to them. That’s even more than the 69 percent who said leading an ethical and moral life is essential to their Jewishness.


As important as it is to remember the atrocities you unleashed on our people, the Holocaust and antisemitism can not and should not be the central, defining reasons for our Jewishness. Some call it an obsession; others call it a continuing siege-mentality and fear for survival. Whatever it is, over-concentrating on it runs the risk, it seems to me, of overshadowing the richness and beauty of our tradition that provides real answers to the question Why be Jewish? Of course, I recognize it’s easy for an American Jew to say that. Not so for European Jews who really are facing existential questions every day. Again.


As the parade of athletes continues through this historic place it’s as though someone is repeatedly pressing a TV remote control’s “previous channel” button. My mind switches between the old newsreels and the scene I am witnessing in person. On the 1936 channel, the Berlin Olympic stadium, in black and white, is draped in swastikas alongside the Olympic rings. On the 2015 channel, the Opening Ceremony is a sea of color as each delegation joyously enters the arena. The uniforms are all different but have one thing in common: a Jewish Star of David. But unlike in your time, these stars are not yellow.


In the 1936 newsreels you are smiling with your right arm raised. Thousands of Germans in the stands eagerly return your Nazi salute. In 2015, thousands of Jewish family members and friends are in the stands, waving their arms at the Jewish athletes parading by. The symbolism is lost on no one as 15,000 Jews from throughout the world join as one – in Berlin of all places – and sing Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem. We survived. We are still here. We won. Am Yisrael Chai. The Jewish people lives.





THE SECOND COMING                                                                                           

William Butler Yeats                                                                                                                  

Poem of the Week, 1919


 Turning and turning in the widening gyre

 The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

 Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

 Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

 The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

 The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

 The best lack all conviction, while the worst

 Are full of passionate intensity.


 Surely some revelation is at hand;

 Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

 The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

 When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

 Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

 A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

 A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

 Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

 Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.


 The darkness drops again but now I know

 That twenty centuries of stony sleep

 Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

 And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

 Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic


Pres. Obama on the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Jewish Federations, Aug. 28, 2015

Analysis: New Pew Report Has Seen the Jewish American Future and It’s Orthodox: Jewish Press, Sept. 3, 2015 — The Pew Research Center has issued a further analysis of its 2013 survey of US Jews which, at the time, shattered some people’s long held beliefs about the Jewish community in America.

The Coddling of the American Mind: Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, Sept.  2015— Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.

The U.N.’s Anti-Israel Agency? (Video): Wall Street Journal, Aug. 31, 2015 — UN Watch Executive Director (And former CIJR Dateline M.E. Editor) Hillel Neuer on a new controversy surrounding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The Israeli Thank-You Video That Became a Hit in China: Tom Dolev, Jerusalem Online, Sept. 1, 2015 — 70 years after the end of World War II, the Israeli Consulate in Shanghai found a creative way to thank the residents of the city for saving more than 20 thousand Jews during the holocaust.




“Day of Jewish Unity” Ahead of Congress Iran Vote: Tues., September 8, 7:00AM-12PM, Everywhere!


Tuesday, September 8, 12:30 PM  Washington, D.C.

Iran Deal Press Conference, featuring Members of Congress, Americans effected by Iranian terrorism, and luminaries to speak out against the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

Where: Washington DC: "West Grassy Area," facing the ellipse, in front of the Capitol building.


Wednesday, September 9, Toronto, ON, 4:30-6:30PM

Rally to protest the proposed agreement with Iran and the relentless ISIS genocide of the Yezidi people.

Where: in front of the US Consulate at University and Queen Streets in Toronto.


Wednesday, September 9, Washington, D.C.

Tea Party Patriots, Center for Security Policy, Zionist Organization of America To Host DC Rally

Where: West Lawn of the Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Keynote speakers: Sen. Ted Cruz , Donald Trump


Wednesday, September 9, 8:00 PM – New Jersey

Where: Congregation B'nai Tikvah, 1001 Finnegan Lane, North Brunswick Township, NJ





We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 




Israel Alone: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 20, 2015 — Recent conversations with senior Israeli officials are shot through with a sense of incredulity. They can’t understand what’s become of U.S. foreign policy.

In France, There’s No Hatred For Any Group Equivalent to That of Jew Hatred: Barbara Kay, National Post, Apr. 21, 2015 — France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced an action plan that will make the battle against hatred into “a great national cause,”…

Former SS Member, on Trial in Germany, Says He Was ‘Morally Complicit’ at Auschwitz: Alison Smale, New York Times, Apr. 21, 2015— Seven decades after the liberation of Auschwitz, a 93-year-old former SS member at the Nazi death camp shuffled into a German court on Tuesday to answer charges of complicity in the murders of 300,000 mostly Hungarian Jews in two months during the summer of 1944.

An Open Letter to Cornel West: Judea Pearl, Jewish Journal, Apr. 21, 2015— Dear Professor West, This is a humble request sent to you from a rank-and-file Jewish professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where you are scheduled to deliver a keynote address in honor of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, titled “Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity.”


On Topic Links


Charles Krauthammer on His Distinguished Career in Writing and Ideas: Youtube, Apr. 12, 2015

Washington-Lausanne-Munich?: Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 23, 2015

Taking Jihad to School – French Programs Emphasize Secularism: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Apr. 22, 2015

Former SS Guard: ‘Couldn’t Imagine’ Jews Surviving Auschwitz: Times of Israel, Apr . 23, 2015

On College Campuses, Saving Democracy From Itself: Noah Beck, Algemeiner, Apr. 20, 2015



ISRAEL ALONE                                                                                                           

Bret Stephens                                                                                                                                          

Wall Street Journal, Apr. 20, 2015


Recent conversations with senior Israeli officials are shot through with a sense of incredulity. They can’t understand what’s become of U.S. foreign policy.


They don’t know how to square Barack Obama’s promises with his policies. They fail to grasp how a president who pledged to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons is pushing an accord with Tehran that guarantees their proliferation. They are astonished by the nonchalance with which the administration acquiesces in Iran’s regional power plays, or in al Qaeda’s gains in Yemen, or in the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons, or in the battlefield successes of ISIS, or in Russia’s decision to sell advanced missiles to Tehran. They wonder why the president has so much solicitude for Ali Khamenei’s political needs, and so little for Benjamin Netanyahu’s.


In a word, the Israelis haven’t yet figured out that what America is isn’t what America was. They need to start thinking about what comes next. The most tempting approach is to wait Mr. Obama out and hope for better days with his successor. Israel and the U.S. have gone through bad patches before—under Ford in the 1970s, Reagan in the early ’80s, Bush in the early ’90s, Clinton in the late ’90s. The partnership always survived the officeholders.


So why should it be different this time? Seventy percent of Americans see Israel in a favorable light, according to a February Gallup poll. The presidential candidates from both parties all profess unswerving friendship with the Jewish state, and the Republican candidates actually believe it. Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is broadly unpopular and likely to become more so as the fiascoes continue to roll in.


Yet it’s different this time. For two reasons, mainly. First, the administration’s Mideast abdications are creating a set of irreversible realities for which there are no ready U.S. answers. Maybe there were things an American president could have done to help rescue Libya in 2011, Syria in 2013, and Yemen last year. That was before it was too late. But what exactly can any president do about the chaos unfolding now? Shakespeare wrote that there was a tide in the affairs of men “which taken at the flood, leads men on to fortune.” Barack Obama always missed the flood.


Now the president is marching us past the point of no return on a nuclear Iran and thence a nuclear Middle East. When that happens, how many Americans will be eager to have their president intervene in somebody else’s nuclear duel? Americans may love Israel, but partly that’s because not a single U.S. soldier has ever died fighting on its behalf. In other words, Mr. Obama is bequeathing not just a more dangerous Middle East but also one the next president will want to touch only with a barge pole. That leaves Israel alone to deal as best as it can with a broadening array of threats: thousands more missiles for Hezbollah, paid for by sanctions relief for Tehran; ISIS on the Golan Heights; an Iran safe, thanks to Russian missiles, from any conceivable Israeli strike.


The second reason follows from the first. Previous quarrels between Washington and Jerusalem were mainly about differing Mideast perceptions. Now the main issue is how the U.S. perceives itself. Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, every U.S. president took the view that strength abroad and strength at home were mutually reinforcing; that global security made us more prosperous, and that prosperity made us more secure.  Then along came Mr. Obama with his mantra of “nation building at home” and his notion that an activist foreign policy is a threat to the social democracy he seeks to build. Under his administration, domestic and foreign policy have been treated as a zero-sum game: If you want more of the former, do less of the latter. The result is a world of disorder, and an Israel that, for the first time in its history, must seek its security with an America that, say what it will, has nobody’s back but its own.


How does it do this? By recalling what it was able to do for the first 19 years of its existence, another period when the U.S. was an ambivalent and often suspicious friend and Israel was more upstart state than start-up nation. That was an Israel that was prepared to take strategic gambles because it knew it couldn’t afford to wait on events. It did not consider “international legitimacy” to be a prerequisite for action because it also knew how little such legitimacy was worth. It understood the value of territory and terrain, not least because it had so little of it. It built its deterrent power by constantly taking the military initiative, not constructing defensive wonder-weapons such as Iron Dome. It didn’t mind acting as a foreign policy freelancer, and sometimes even a rogue, as circumstances demanded. “Plucky little Israel” earned the world’s respect and didn’t care, much less beg, for its moral approval.


Perhaps the next American president will rescue Israel from having to learn again what it once knew. Israelis would be wise not to count on it.





EQUIVALENT TO THAT OF JEW HATRED                                                                                       

Barbara Kay                                                                                                        

National Post, Apr. 21, 2015


France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced an action plan that will make the battle against hatred into “a great national cause,” a plan that will include awareness programs and enhanced punishment for online hate speech, with stiffer prison sentences for hatred-based crimes. The superficially admirable plan springs from honest outrage on Valls’ part — but outrage that has undergone a disquieting sea change since it was first expressed.


After the Charlie Hebdo and kosher-supermarket massacres in January, you may recall, Valls delivered a passionate, widely circulated speech on anti-Semitism in France, declaring the problem of Jewish flight so serious the French Republic must be judged a failure if Jews left en masse. Then, Valls pulled no punches regarding the source of the crisis: “We are at war with terrorism, jihadism and Islamist radicalism.”


That January cri du coeur offered truths that were the gift of spontaneity. With time for second thoughts (and who knows what political pressure), the message Valls now delivers is quite different. Last week the prime minister told suburban high school students: “Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, of foreigners and homophobia are increasing in an unbearable manner in our country.” He added, “French Jews should no longer be afraid of being Jewish and French Muslims should no longer be ashamed of being Muslims. Valls’ capitulation to France’s pre-Hebdo default of moral relativism is sad to behold. Valls’ outrage now sees anti-Semitism not as a singular problem, rather as only one of multiple hatreds, and no more distressing than hatred of foreigners (who?), gays and — of course — Muslims.


The truth, which Valls understood very well in January, is that there is no hatred for any group in France equivalent to that of Jew hatred, routinely expressed in virulent hate speech, vandalism, beatings and murder. Foreigners, gays and Muslims are not fleeing France. The institutions of foreigners, gays and Muslims are not being guarded around the clock. Fifty-five per cent of hate-driven acts are not happening to foreigners, gays and Muslims, but to Jews (1% of the population). Social and employment-related discrimination are problems for French Muslims, but discrimination is not hatred, and has been historically overcome by many immigrant communities everywhere on the road to integration. Most disturbingly, Valls’ likening of actual Jewish victimhood and legitimate collective Jewish fear of Islamist terrorism to some Muslims’ feelings of shame regarding Islamist terrorism is an offensively false analogy.


The only true hate crisis in France is anti-Semitism. In November, 2014, a French poll revealed disturbing levels of anti-Semitism amongst French Muslims, as well as “tolerance for violence targeting Jews among a rather significant percent of the population.” According to Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, Paris-based head of the American Jewish Committee, most Muslims are anti-Semitic, a sentiment that rises in tandem with religious orthodoxy, but which crosses all lines of age, socio-economic status, levels of education and districts. In February, Rodan-Benzaquen confessed herself frankly pessimistic regarding Muslim Judeophobia in France: “It is possible that it is too late,” meaning too late for France to ensure Jewish safety.


Seven thousand Jews left France in 2014. France is reaping what she sowed. For many years, pro-Arab French politicians and media willfully misread the normative anti-Semitism of all Arab societies as a by-product of the Middle East conflict. Intent on relativizing what has always been a one-way hatred, French elites demoted Jews from their appropriate status of French nationals, as Ashkenazi Jews have been for more than 200 years, into a “community of immigration,” falsely accusing them of “communautarisme” (disloyalty to French republicanism), and shamelessly mischaracterizing Muslim anti-Semitism as a problem of “the two communities,” both in need of “inter-religious dialogue.”


Post-Second World War anti-Semitism has been a serious problem in France since the 1980s, when it was imported from North Africa, where it was endemic. Yet it was, until a few years ago, actually a government policy, in collaboration with France’s pusillanimous media, to ignore hundreds of acts of anti-Semitism so as not to “throw oil on the fire” of Muslim rage. Valls’ nuanced reframing tells us France is not prepared to tackle the root cause of its only existential hate crisis. So French Jews can choose: a continuing siege existence in a nation whose fear of its alienated Muslims trumps solidarity with its integrated Jews; or a new home in Israel, under external siege to be sure, but a nation where Jewish lives are privileged over political correctness. French Jews at least have a choice. The rulers who created the conditions that are forcing the choice don’t. They’re stuck in France. Who will be better off in the end?


   Barbara Kay is a CIJR Academic Fellow






SAYS HE WAS ‘MORALLY COMPLICIT’ AT AUSCHWITZ                                                                                       

Alison Smale                                                                                            

New York Times, Apr. 21, 2015


Seven decades after the liberation of Auschwitz, a 93-year-old former SS member at the Nazi death camp shuffled into a German court on Tuesday to answer charges of complicity in the murders of 300,000 mostly Hungarian Jews in two months during the summer of 1944. With Holocaust survivors looking on, the former SS soldier, Oskar Gröning, certainly one of the last Nazis called to account, read a chilling but clear account of his life. It focused on the autumn of 1942 to the autumn of 1944, when he served in the SS at Auschwitz-Birkenau.


The tardiness of the case against Mr. Gröning, a widower who lives in this small town in northern Germany, did nothing to reduce the tension in the makeshift courtroom, normally an assembly hall. He and his accusers can expect to spend much of the next three months here, measuring the march of 20th-century history through the lives of Nazis and their victims.


Unlike those tried decades ago, Mr. Gröning does not deny that he was at Auschwitz and that he saw terrible things. The case turns on whether he is not only morally but also criminally responsible for what happened there. After the state prosecutor, Jens Lehmann, read the charges, Mr. Gröning spoke for an hour, then turned to Judge Franz Kompisch and said: “It is beyond question that I am morally complicit. This moral guilt I acknowledge here, before the victims, with regret and humility.” He asked for forgiveness. “As concerns guilt before the law,” he told the judge, “you must decide.”


His words riveted dozens of journalists, spectators, relatives of victims and some of the 65 plaintiffs who have joined state prosecutors in the case. After a break for lunch, the judge spent an hour questioning Mr. Gröning, who took his listeners back through decades to the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler. Mr. Gröning said he had been a bank accountant who was conscripted in the fall of 1940 and volunteered for the SS because it seemed “always to be out front” and came back “covered in glory” from the swift Nazi successes in Poland and France, sealing Hitler’s grip on Europe.


The defendant, who was lucid almost throughout, said his first doubts about Hitler arose with the invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, which Mr. Gröning said he considered unwise, given Russian tenacity and might. He said that he was responsible for collecting cash belonging to arriving prisoners at Auschwitz, as state prosecutors have charged, but that he also witnessed atrocities. He suggested that his doubts grew almost immediately upon his arrival at Auschwitz, when drunken guards talked of “getting rid of” prisoners.


The atrocities he witnessed, he said, included one night in December 1942 when he was roused from bed to help hunt down fleeing prisoners. In the process, he told the court, he saw prisoners herded into a farmhouse and an SS superior tip gas out of a can into an opening. The screams of the prisoners inside “grew louder and more desperate, and after a short time became quieter and then stopped completely,” Mr. Gröning said. “That was the only time I saw a complete gassing,” he said, emphasizing, “I did not take part.”


Reading his account with occasional guidance from his two lawyers, Mr. Gröning recalled minute details of his life in the SS, down to the imposing marble and wood carving in the hall where he and his comrades learned of their assignment to Auschwitz. It was presented, he said, as “a duty that will demand more from you than the front” and that had to be kept secret, even from family, but that was vital “to achieving the Final Solution” of eliminating Jews.


In November 1942, he recalled, a crying baby was found amid trash discarded by arriving prisoners. The baby’s mother had evidently abandoned it in hopes that she would then be chosen for a work crew and not sent to the gas chamber. A fellow SS member, angered by the cries, beat the infant to death, Mr. Gröning said, adding that he complained to a superior but that no action was taken. The recollections of both the gassing and the dead baby figured prominently in the two lengthy interviews Mr. Gröning gave a decade ago to the BBC and the newsmagazine Der Spiegel. The events notably occurred outside the period in 1944 for which he is being prosecuted.


Mr. Gröning’s case not only revives searing questions about individual guilt for Nazi crimes but also highlights the decades of legal inaction over Auschwitz, where an estimated 1.1 million people were killed. About 6,500 members of the SS worked at the camp; only 49 have been convicted of war crimes. Mr. Gröning first started talking about Auschwitz with associates and his two sons after a fellow collector at his stamp club fiercely denied the Holocaust. His case also illustrates how perceptions of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes have shifted over the decades. In 1945, Lüneburg, then in the British Allied sector of Germany, was the site of one of the first trials of former guards at the Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. Eleven of those on trial were executed in December of that year.


But retribution swiftly gave way to the need to rebuild Germany. The crimes committed at Auschwitz were at the heart of four big trials in Frankfurt in the 1960s. Then, for decades, little happened, as German prosecutors insisted that evidence had to tie those accused of war crimes directly to atrocities. Mr. Gröning’s prosecution became possible only through the trial of John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian who immigrated to the United States after World War II. He was eventually sentenced in 2011 in Munich to five years in prison for his involvement in the killing of 28,000 Jews at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He died in 2012, before his appeal could be heard.


For decades before that ruling, prosecutors in Germany had declined to charge anyone with complicity in the Holocaust. One of the people who helped pioneer the shift in German legal thinking was Thomas Walther, a former judge who went to work in 2006 for Germany’s central office for tracking Nazi war crimes, based in Ludwigsburg. He pursued the Demjanjuk case and is considered instrumental in the subsequent trial and sentencing of Mr. Demjanjuk, a former autoworker in Ohio. In Lüneburg, Mr. Walther is the leading lawyer of 11 who are representing the 65 co-plaintiffs, some of whom arrived in recent days, ready to testify.


Among them is Eva Fahidi, 90, of Budapest, who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, including her mother and sister, who were sent to the gas chambers upon arrival at Auschwitz. She was not satisfied with Mr. Gröning’s testimony and request for forgiveness. “After 70 years, he still behaves this way and is not capable of saying, ‘I am a sinner,’” Ms. Fahidi said. Another survivor, Eva Kor, 81, of Terre Haute, Ind., was also adamant that “feeling guilty doesn’t accomplish anything.” While Ms. Fahidi said she longed for a formal judgment on Mr. Gröning, Ms. Kor argued that he should go out to schools and show “how much Nazism destroyed everybody’s lives.”


Markus Goldbach, Ms. Kor’s lawyer, said he thought that the accused had gone further than ever before with his plea for forgiveness. “It is a surprise,” he said, and may throw a fresh light on Mr. Gröning’s claim that he made three requests to be transferred out of Auschwitz.  These perspectives will most likely be debated throughout the trial, which coincides with modern atrocities in the Middle East and the commemoration of the Armenian genocide 100 years ago. “It is an important point in looking at genocidal acts which happen today — that perpetrators perhaps do get taken to court,” Christoph Heubner, of the International Auschwitz Committee in Berlin, said in an interview before the trial. “Even when it is 70 years too late, it is a lingering, lasting signal.”  


            Thomas Walther Spoke about the Oskar Gröning case at the CIJR office in January—Ed.                                                                              



AN OPEN LETTER TO CORNEL WEST                                                                                            

Judea Pearl                                                                                                                    

Jewish Journal, Apr. 21, 2015


Dear Professor West, This is a humble request sent to you from a rank-and-file Jewish professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where you are scheduled to deliver a keynote address in honor of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, titled “Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity.” My request may sound odd, perhaps even audacious, but it needs to be said as we are preparing to commemorate the life and legacy of Rabbi Heschel, his moral grandeur and his spiritual audacity.


I will be as blunt and straightforward as possible: You should excuse yourself from delivering this lecture. My reasons are also blunt and straightforward: No matter how eloquent your speech and how crafty your words, the audience you will face at UCLA will not be able to take them too seriously in light of your recent decision to become a leading propagandist for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. You have to forgive us for being pedantic in these matters, and perhaps not as flexible and nuanced as one might hope, but our history has taught us the importance of devising crisp and visible litmus tests to distinguish friends from foes. It so happened, and you know it as well as we do, that the term BDS has become our most reliable litmus test. In other words, we have come to equate promoters of BDS ideology with those who seek the destruction of Israel, hence the demise of the Jewish people.


Thus, as much as we might try to separate the words you would be saying in honor of Rabbi Heschel from those you uttered in a Feb. 25 interview with David Palumbo-Liu at Stanford (published in Salon), in which you took great pride in promoting cultural and academic boycotts of Israel, our minds will resist the separation. Our minds will be warning us, again and again, that the person speaking before us wants our destruction.


The human mind is a funny machine, Professor West, unlike for politicians and entertainers, our mind seeks consistency and coherence in everything that we see and hear. This stubborn mind will therefore not allow us to forget that in your Aug. 12, 2014, interview with Sean Hannity, you could not find even one historical link between the Jewish people and the land of Israel. None! Nada! Blank! Not one word of empathy for a multiethnic society of immigrants who’ve fought 67 years of besiegement and hostility. None! Nada! Blank! Thus, Professor West, you will have to forgive those stubborn minds if they remind your audience that the keynote speaker at the Heschel memorial conference does not represent the ecumenical legacy of Rabbi Heschel (1907-72), but the moral deformity of BDS.


I believe your UCLA hosts, and certainly your UCLA audience, will accept your apologies if you decide to cancel your engagement. They would understand.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic


Charles Krauthammer on His Distinguished Career in Writing and Ideas: Youtube, Apr. 12, 2015

Washington-Lausanne-Munich?: Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 23, 2015 —As more and more details emerge, one thing is chillingly clear. Only the dogmatic, the delusional or the disingenuous could deny the deadly dangers that pursuit of Barack Obama’s Iran initiative will almost certainly usher in.

Taking Jihad to School – French Programs Emphasize Secularism: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Apr. 22, 2015 —On a street in Paris's popular 6th Arrondissement, men in camouflage wielding Famas assault rifles patiently stand guard throughout the day.

Former SS Guard: ‘Couldn’t Imagine’ Jews Surviving Auschwitz: Times of Israel, Apr . 23, 2015 —A former Auschwitz guard being tried on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder has testified that it was clear to him Jews were not expected to leave the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland alive.

On College Campuses, Saving Democracy From Itself: Noah Beck, Algemeiner, Apr. 20, 2015 —Every democracy must defend itself against those who exploit its liberties to destroy it from within.





















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