UN Watch Leader Faces a World of Challenges While Defending Israel
Hillel Neuer considers it a badge of honor that he is a “feared and dreaded” figure at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), as the European newspaper Tribune de Genève once described him.
“There are people who cross the street in Geneva to avoid me,” Neuer said. As executive director of UN Watch, a nonprofit that monitors United Nations activities, Neuer is both watchdog and whistleblower, holding world powers to account when it comes to their human rights records. A lawyer, activist and humanitarian, Neuer spoke with the Journal from Geneva, where he lives and works.
Jewish Journal: As head of UN Watch, you define yourself as “the voice of conscience at the United Nations.” What’s it like to be the guy defending democratic ideals in a room full of non-democratic countries?
Hillel Neuer: It often feels surreal. You ask yourself how bizarre is it that you need to state basic truths in an arena that is often Orwellian, where the worst criminals are often the prosecutors and the judges.
JJ: The U.N. Human Rights Council notoriously singles out Israel for violations even as far worse offenders go unchallenged. Where is this discrimination most evident?
HN: During a given meeting, you’ll have resolutions — maybe one on Iran, one on Myanmar, one on North Korea and then five on Israel. And it’s not just the numbers: When there is a resolution criticizing a country, the practice at the U.N. is to recognize and acknowledge various positive things [a country has done], whether they are justified or not. But when it comes to Israel, even though Israel has done many positive things, none of this ever appears in the resolutions. This is part of an attempt to portray Israel as so evil, nothing good can be said of it.
Somebody needs to give Wafsi Kailani a copy of the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. Kailani, who has served as manager of Jerusalem Affairs for the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan since 2008, violated a major component of this treaty by falsely declaring that a Jew set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on August 21, 1969.
Kailani leveled the false accusation — clearly intended to defame the Jewish state — at a conference about the Temple Mount that took place at Harvard Law School late last year. The conference, organized by professor Noah Feldman, was titled “Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif: Conflict, Culture, Law,” and was held from November 28-29, 2017.
During his November 29 keynote address, Kailani described Denis Rohan, the man who set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a “Jewish extremist.” In fact, Rohan was an Australian Christian, who — after his arrest — told doctors that he set the fire under instructions from God. Rohan was declared mentally insane, and was eventually sent home to Australia, where he spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric hospital. He died there in 1995.
A subsequent inquiry declared that one of the factors that led to the fire was the poor security measures imposed by the Islamic Waqf, which was in charge of the site. “It was additionally made apparent that a mosque worker saw the Australian in the mosque, however did not approach him, even though tourists are banned from entering the mosque in the early morning hours,” Ynet News reported in 2015.
Daniel Gordis: Israel-bashing by analogy
Peter Beinart, who wrote a compelling mea culpa in The Atlantic a few weeks ago, in which he acknowledged that he had “made a series of moral compromises in order to stay at The New Republic,” now wishes to apply the lessons learned to Israeli oppression. “As I watch the extraordinary reckoning between women and men,” he wrote in The Forward more recently, “I sometimes wonder: Will there ever be such a reckoning between Palestinians and Jews?”
Beinart’s argument is not new. Just as many men (including himself, he honorably admits) looked the other way when confronted with sexual harassment in the workplace, so, too, American Jewish support for Israel fosters “a relationship of oppression and deliberate ignorance. American Jews help sustain America’s near-automatic support for the Israeli government. And that support makes possible Israel’s denial of basic rights… to millions of Palestinians.”
Beinart and I have been disagreeing – and debating – about Israel’s foreign policy, American Jewish attitudes to Israel and more for years. We are not likely to agree anytime in the near future. But something about this new analogy strikes me as particularly pernicious, deeply unfair to both Israel and women.
Beinart’s assertion that the #MeToo paradigm ought to be applied to Israel and the Palestinians is deeply unfair to Israel; it suggests that the relationship of Israel and the Palestinians is as cut and dry as the Weinstein or Lauer cases. But that, of course, is absurd. Whatever one wants to say about Israel’s conduct of the occupation, the Palestinians do not yet have a state largely because of decisions that they have made. It was Palestinian terrorism that killed the Oslo Accords. Yasser Arafat’s response to Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David was the Second Intifada. The Palestinians’ response to Ehud Olmert’s offer was to ignore it. But mentioning that, Beinart says, is an “absurd rationalization.”
But what is truly absurd is analogizing Israel to the moral reprehensibility of men abusing their power, when there are often no “two sides” to the story. In the most egregious cases, such as rape (we’ll ignore the controversy about explicit consent now sweeping across American campuses), blame must never be shared. Rape is a vicious violation of the very worst order. It is black and white; there are no grays, and we must never pretend there are. Does Beinart really think that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is equally clear, and that the Israelis are the rapists? Why must every moral conversation in society end up dumped at the door of Israel’s “sins”?
It is a tribute to both the author and the subject of the engrossing Lioness that, even at 824 pages, the book does not seem long. Francine Klagsbrun’s biography tells a fascinating story: how a young woman, without higher education, arrived in Palestine speaking no Hebrew, succeeded in a male-dominated society, and became one of the most important figures in the history of the Jewish state.
Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth prime minister, moved to Palestine from America in 1921, at the age of 22, to pursue Socialist Zionism. She was instrumental in transforming the Jewish people into a state; signed that state’s Declaration of Independence; served as its first ambassador to the Soviet Union, as labor minister for seven years, and as foreign minister for a decade. In 1969, she became the first female head of state in the Western world, serving from the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War and through the nearly catastrophic but ultimately victorious 1973 Yom Kippur War. She resigned in 1974 at the age of 76, after five years as prime minister. Her involvement at the forefront of Zionism and the leadership of Israel thus extended more than half a century.
This is the second major biography of Golda Meir in the last decade, after Elinor Burkett’s excellent Golda in 2008. Klagsbrun’s portrait is even grander in scope. Her epigraph comes from Ezekiel’s lamentation for Israel: What a lioness was your mother / Among the lions! / Crouching among the great beasts / She reared her cubs. The “mother” was Israel; the “cubs,” her many ancient kings; the “great beasts,” the hostile nations surrounding her. One finishes Klagsbrun’s monumental volume, which is both a biography of Golda and a biography of Israel in her time, with a deepened sense that modern Israel, its prime ministers, and its survival is a story of biblical proportions.
A biography of Golda Meir was named Book of the Year for 2017 by the Jewish Book Council, one of about 20 books honored as part of the 2017 National Jewish Book Awards.
“Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel,” an 800-page work about the late Israeli prime minister by Francine Klagsbrun (published by Schocken Books) was awarded the Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year in the council’s announcement on Wednesday. It is the 67th year of the awards.
Gil Troy: The Zionist cultural revival
Last week, Michael Oren, the deputy minister in charge of public diplomacy, read some of his short stories at Tmol Shilshom, the legendary Jerusalem café.
Yes. That Michael Oren, the historian, diplomat and politician, is also a novelist and short-story writer.
In 1962, president John Kennedy hailed 49 Nobel Prize winners as “the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” In the future, Tmol Shilshom can salute any impressive audience as its most talented since Michael Oren performed alone.
Beyond showcasing Oren’s Jeffersonesque virtuosity, the evening epitomizes the Zionist cultural revival we take for granted.
Oren’s short stories sent the standing-room-only audience all over the world – without moving a centimeter.
This past May, Arielle Yael Mokhtarzadeh was elected student body president of UCLA, one of America’s largest universities. The descendant of Iranian Jews, proudly Jewish and proudly progressive, she is one of a rising generation of young Jewish leaders on American campuses. But this Monday, when she returned to school following winter break, she was greeted with a reminder that some do not want to see Jews in such positions of public leadership. She arrived at her office to find that her mezuzah—the traditional Jewish doorpost ornament containing prayers—had been torn down.
Rather than be cowed by this attempted act of intimidation, Mokhtarzadeh promptly announced this afternoon that she’d be publicly dedicating a new mezuzah and invited the campus to join her.
“The Mezuzah is a Jewish ornament containing a small, handcrafted scroll with one of Judaism’s most central prayers, which speaks to fundamental Jewish values like education and accountability for one’s actions,” Mokhtarzadeh wrote on Facebook. “Mezuzahs have marked the doorposts of Jewish homes for generations; demonstrating dedication to our Jewish traditions, exhibiting pride in our Jewish identities, and expressing defiance against those who pressured Jews to hide or cast away their identities.”
Last month, these enterprising editors attempted to delete the entire “Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” page from the online encyclopedia. The ensuing debate over the prospect can be read here. The initial advocate for deletion called the entry “an attack page” that “lacks notability,” as though an outpouring of prejudice that caused nearly half of the Labour party’s own sitting politicians to denounce it was simply a slander served up by shadowy (presumably Jewish) smear artists. Other similarly inclined editors asserted that there should be no “Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” page given that there was no parallel “Anti-Semitism in the Conservative Party” page, as though the solution to incomplete documentation of hate is to suppress that which has already been documented.
To be sure, like many Wikipedia pages, this one could surely have used more citations, research, and polish. But that was clearly not what its critics had in mind. They did not want to remedy the page’s deficiencies, but to eliminate it entirely. Ultimately, the facts of the case won out, and no consensus was reached to delete the page. It remained published but in limbo.
Having failed to remove the evidence of Labour’s anti-Semitism outright, the activist editors moved instead to obfuscate it. A proposal was put forward to rename the page “Labour party (UK) antisemitism allegations,” thus casting doubt on the existence of this well-documented prejudice in the party. This effort, too, failed to achieve consensus after a lengthy debate. As of this writing, the “Anti-Semitism in the Labour party” page remains, though it will undoubtedly be assailed again by those who’d rather suppress awareness of prejudice in Corbyn’s Labour party than confront it.
Indeed, tellingly, the word “anti-Semitism” does not appear on Jeremy Corbyn’s own extensive Wikipedia page, despite the fact that it has been a defining issue of his leadership tenure.
New Israeli regulations ban a number of organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), from entering the county. According to its mission statement, JVP “opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression” and “seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem.” It also supports the boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS), celebrates Palestinian terrorists, and dedicates most of its efforts to libeling the Jewish state. Even worse, writes Andrew Mark Bennett, is the organization’s underlying obsession with the evils it ascribes not only to Israel but to American Jews:
Beyond its anti-Zionism, JVP consistently positions Jews as the cause of society’s ills. . . . The most glaring example of JVP’s obsession with Jewish wrongdoing is its “Deadly Exchange” campaign. According to JVP, Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League sponsor “exchange programs that bring together police, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], border-patrol, and FBI [agents] from the U.S. with soldiers, police, border agents, etc. from Israel.” Through these exchanges, JVP says, “worst practices” are shared “to promote and extend discriminatory and repressive policing in both countries.” . . .
The campaign seeks to hold the Jewish institutions accountable for their alleged complicity in funding and promoting this “state violence.” [It is] an anti-Semitic libel designed to paint Jews with blood by . . . “exposing” the role of American Jewish organizations in U.S.-Israel exchanges as a shadowy Jewish conspiracy . . . to subvert race relations and to erode democracy and human rights. . . . In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate suspicions that these exchanges are in fact pernicious, let alone unusual or especially deadly. . . .
JVP has [also] long considered Zionism to be a form of white supremacy. That absurd [slander] became more prominent over the last year with the rise of the “alt-right.” As white supremacists maliciously drew spurious comparisons between Zionism and their own desire for a white ethno-state, JVP latched on to them as if they were legitimate. . . . .
The Israeli civil-rights NGO Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center has called on Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to place the Rockefeller Brothers Fund on the blacklist of international pro-BDS organizations to be banned from Israel.
The NGO made the request on the grounds that RBF funds organizations actively calling for the boycott of a Jewish state.
RBF is a private philanthropic foundation established in 1940 by the Rockefeller family. It seeks to “advance social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world,” according to the organization’s website.
On Sunday, the Strategic Affairs Ministry published a list of 20 international pro-BDS organizations whose senior members will be banned from the country. The list features BDS groups who, according to the ministry, carry out campaigns of “falsehood and incitement,” in an effort to undermine Israel’s legitimacy worldwide.
The blacklisted groups “consistently and continuously act against the State of Israel by pressuring groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel,” the ministry said.
Among the groups on the list are six US based organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, and 10 European organizations, including leading BDS groups in Italy, France, Norway and Sweden.
According to Shurat Hadin, RBF “donates very large amounts of money to different organizations in Israel and abroad, and in recent years, has funded a number of anti-Israel organizations known as central supporters of boycotts against Israel.”
Kenneth Marcus, the nominee for assistant secretary for civil rights under the Department of Education, is set for a committee hearing before the Senate HELP Committee Thursday amidst an aggressive attack campaign against his nomination by leading anti-Israel groups.
Marcus has received bipartisan support and is described as “eminently qualified” for the position, with years of experience working at the United States Commission on Civil Rights and in the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.
Marcus is also the president and founder of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing civil rights of the Jewish people, a leading fighter against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel movement.
Anti-Israel groups have seized on Marcus’s nomination, flooding Senate offices with phone calls from a social media campaign attacking Marcus on every issue from campus sexual assault to being “anti-free speech.”
His confirmation has been stalled since Marcus was nominated on Oct. 30. A committee hearing was held on Dec. 5, but the full Senate did not vote on Marcus’s nomination, as it was held over into the new year. Now, the HELP Committee will hold a markup on Marcus’s nomination Thursday.
Are “Islamophobia” and antisemitism comparable?
Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, a senior lecturer in history at King’s College London, maintains that the answer is yes. Zia-Ebrahimi recently made this argument in a talk co-sponsored by Harvard University’s Saudi-funded Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program. The speech was entitled, “When the Elders of Zion Relocated to Eurabia: Conspiratorial Racialisation in Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
Speaking to a largely middle-aged crowd of about twenty, Zia-Ebrahimi contended that both the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a Czarist forgery published circa 1903, alleging that Jews were plotting world domination — and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis — a 2005 book by Israeli author Bat Ye’or declaring the demographic and political transformation of Europe into “Eurabia” — employ conspiracy-theories that incite hatred for Jews and Muslims, respectively.
In his introduction, Zia-Ebrahimi credited the late Columbia University professor Edward Said with having originated this link by comparing Orientalism to antisemitism. Acknowledging that the “Israel-Palestine conflict” has “cast a long shadow on these discussions,” Zia-Ebrahimi advocated viewing antisemitism and “Islamophobia” as “manifestations of racism” in order to transcend these “divisions.” He described one camp as having “a tendency to be friendly to the state of Israel” and having a “problem with Islamophobia,” while the other considers “Israel a colonial state” and believes in “Islamophobia.” The way to overcome these differences, he reasoned, is “to show that Jews and Muslims have been racialized.”
In January 2018, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs announced that it had banned JVP and a variety of other BDS related organizations from entering the country. Korn tweeted that Israel’s security decision is a “new fascist dictate by Israel.” It is regrettable, to say the least, that Korn expressed her frustration by describing Israel with a term often reserved for Nazis. In addition to working at DUP, Korn teaches at a Jewish religious school and is on the board of a Durham, North Carolina synagogue. Many would expect a person in her position to choose less inflammatory language to describe Israel, a Jewish majority country, and its leader.
Considering DUP’s staff and advisors, it is not surprising that DUP would publish antisemitic, pseudo scholarship, such as The Right to Maim.
DUP’s problems are not new. DUP has repeatedly been used to promote academic antisemitism masquerading as “scholarship.” For example, in a 2008 special edition of DUP’s South Atlantic Quarterly journal, edited by two signatories to the USACBI, English professor Matthew Abraham stated: “It is one of the tragic ironies of history that Israel’s settler colonial project has done to another people, the Palestinians, what Hitler’s Lebensraum project sought to do to the Jews: to use separation, expulsion, ethnic cleansing … and state terror to erase the existence of a people. … If there is a threat of another Holocaust, it exists within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
Will the DUP Editorial Advisory Board, stacked with eight faculty members who publicly support BDS related initiatives, be allowed to approve additional anti-Israel and antisemitic publications? Will Ault and other anti-Israel staff members be permitted or expected to solicit, edit and review anti-Israel manuscripts? Does DUP have any conflict of interest policies at all, and if so, do they follow them.
In October 2017, Vincent E. Price began his new role as Duke’s 10th president, and he cannot be blamed for problems he inherited at DUP. But moving forward, will Price allow DUP to continue to be an anti-Israel and antisemitic rogue publisher? Or will Price step in to make DUP worthy of a great university?
Dear Chancellor Christ;
When will UC Berkeley conduct itself like a true academic institution and not a platform for Jew-haters? I am an investigative journalist and have been following the activities of Hatem Bazian and his “Islamophobia” conferences.
Bazian has turned UC Berkeley into a cash cow for himself and other anti-Israel, anti-U.S, and pro-jihadi individuals. His scholastic work is little more than political euphemistic activism against the Jews, the people of Israel, and always to propagandizes on behalf of the terrorist group, Hamas.
Bazian, besides founding Students for Justice in Palestine, a Rico-style operation on US campuses to advance goals of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, also founded American Muslims for Palestine that Steve Emerson, the most prominent terrorism investigator, has also identified as a Hamas front.
When artists book a show in Israel, they can expect a few things: a meaningful visit to the Western Wall, sunbathing in Tel Aviv, a dinner invite from the prime minister… and an intensive, aggressive online campaign demanding they cancel.
Even before packing up their sunscreen, negative anti-Israel, pro-boycott messages can be so overwhelming that some artists back out from sheer distress.
Bracing an artist ahead of time is the best way to prevent performers from caving in to the boycott pressure, Allison Krumholz, the executive director of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), told The Times of Israel.
CCFP is a Los Angeles-based pro-Israel artists group that offers support and resources to help industry executives and their clients appropriately handle campaigns against their appearances in Israel. The organization was founded in 2012 after a string of high-profile performers caved to political pressure and canceled their shows here, Krumholz said.
David Renzer, the current chairman and CEO of Spirit Music Group, founded CCFP with Steve Schnur, a worldwide music executive at Electronic Arts (EA). Today, its international advisory board is comprised of more than 50 high-level entertainment industry figures.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is taking heat from fans after photos of him at a West Bank “anti-terrorism” course were posted online earlier this week.
The Caliber 3 training facility, located near the settlement of Efrat south of Bethlehem, posted the photos of Seinfeld on its Facebook page with the message, “Finally we are allowed to tell you! Jerry Seinfeld and his family were in Caliber 3. During their visit to Israel last week, they came to us for a special and exciting activity with displays of combat, Krav Maga, assault dogs and lots of Zionism. It was great.”
Seinfeld put on two performances in Tel Aviv on December 30 and toured Israel with his family. After the training facility’s Facebook post, however, Twitter erupted with a violent backlash against the comedian.
“I can never unsee Jerry Seinfeld gleefully posing with a machine gun at an IDF fantasy camp,” posted culture writer Eric Thurm.
“Jerry Seinfeld took his kids to play war games with the IDF. So cute, right? Now imagine the reaction if, say, Bella Hadid posed with the PFLP or DJ Khaled (brandishing a machine gun) hung out with Hamas,” wrote controversial academic Steven Salaita, who is known for his biting criticism of the Jewish state.
As of Tuesday, the facility had removed the photos from its page.
Renowned Lebanese fashion label Elie Saab removed a photo of Israeli actress Gal Gadot from its official Instagram page on Wednesday following intense backlash from social media users.
The photo showed the “Wonder Woman” star wearing a Saab design to the National Board of Review annual gala, which took place on Tuesday in New York City. Shortly after the picture was uploaded, which included a caption calling Gadot “flawless,” comments starting pouring in, bashing the fashion label’s media management team for praising the actress.
Screenshots of the photo and the comments posted about Gadot were taken by the Dubai-based publication StepFeed. One online hater wrote, “I don’t have a problem with her wearing @ElieSaabWorld but I do have a problem with posting her picture from Elie Saab’s account and bragging about an ex-Israeli soldier wearing his dress! Don’t ruin one the few things that make us proud Lebanese people!”
The fashion house removed the photo soon after.
Additionally, the BBC’s editorial guidelines on “Social Networking and Other Third Party Websites (including Blogs, Microblogs and Personal Webspace): Personal Use” include the following:
“…when someone clearly identifies their association with the BBC and/or discusses their work, they are expected to behave appropriately when on the Internet, and in ways that are consistent with the BBC’s editorial values and policies.”
“Impartiality is a particular concern for those working in News and Current Affairs. Nothing should appear on their personal blogs or microblogs which undermines the integrity or impartiality of the BBC. For example, News and Current Affairs staff should not: […]
advocate any particular position on an issue of current public controversy or debate.”
Nevertheless, on January 5th the BBC’s Washington correspondent Kim Ghattas did just that while criticising another media organisation.
So much – once again – for BBC impartiality.
At the time of writing the search for the perpetrators of the drive-by shooting is ongoing.
Some seventeen hours after the incident took place the BBC News website published a report which was presented to visitors together with two items of related reading: “Israeli soldier killed in ‘terror attack’” (a report on a terror attack at the end of November -discussed here) and “The murky world of Israeli snatch squads” (Jane Corbin’s recent article about a TV drama – discussed here).
The main link led to an article titled “Israel searches West Bank after settler killed in drive-by shooting” which opened (not surprisingly) by informing readers that the victim was a “settler” before any personal details were given.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chairman, Gideon Falter, and Director of Investigations and Enforcement, Stephen Silverman, have today testified against Alison Chabloz.
Ms Chabloz faces three charges under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 following a private prosecution brought by Campaign Against Antisemitism after the authorities failed to act. Once we had started the private prosecution and won a judicial review against against a decision not to prosecute a separate case, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take over our private prosecution of Ms Chabloz. Due to strict deadlines for bringing prosecutions, had Campaign Against Antisemitism not brought a private prosecution, the Crown Prosecution Service would have missed its chance to take action against Ms Chabloz.
In the morning, the court was played Ms Chabloz’s songs which include lyrics such as:
“Did the Holocaust ever happen? Was it just a bunch of lies? Seems that some intend to pull the wool over our eyes. Eternal wandering liars haven’t got a clue, and when it comes to usury, victim’s always me and you.”
“Now Auschwitz, holy temple, is a theme park just for fools, the gassing zone a proven hoax, indoctrination rules.”
“Tell us another, come on, my brother, reap it, the cover, for tribal gain. Safe in our tower, now is the hour, money and power, we have no shame.”
“History repeats itself, no limit to our wealth, thanks to your debts we’re bleeding you dry. We control your media, control all your books and TV, with the daily lies we’re feeding, suffering victimisation. Sheeple have no realisation, you shall pay, all the way, until the break of day.”
The songs are partly set to Jewish music such as Hevenu Shalom Aleichem and Hava Nagila. As the songs were played, Ms Chabloz mouthed or sang along to them and her boisterous crowd of supporters cheered and applauded until District Judge John Zani warned that they would be ejected from the public gallery if they continued.
A 22-year-old British man who has declared himself a Nazi was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred against Jews.
A Preston Crown Court jury found the Lancashire man guilty Monday in a jury trial. He will be sentenced at a later date, according to reports.
The man cannot be named for legal reasons, according to the British media.
In a speech that was played in court, he called Jews “parasites” who should be “eradicated.” He also said Britain “took the wrong side” in World War II by choosing to fight the “National Socialists who were there to remove Jewry from Europe once and for all.”
He also said “we let these parasites live among us, and they still do,” and “we let these people destroy us, and they are still destroying us now, and we’re pointing fingers at the symptoms and not the disease.”
In another recording played in court, the man said, “Yes, I am a National Socialist, I’m not scared of that label. You can call me Nazi. You can call me fascist. That is what I am.”
The speeches were recorded at rallies in 2015 and 2016.
Germany’s main Jewish leader has given a guarded welcome to a politician’s suggestion that everyone living in Germany, including migrants, should be obliged to visit a former Nazi concentration camp at least once.
The suggestion by Sawsan Chebli, a Berlin city government official who is Muslim, came amid concern over anti-Semitism among migrants from Muslim-majority countries. She told Sunday’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper that concentration camp visits should become part of integration courses for migrants.
Josef Schuster, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told Deutschlandfunk radio Wednesday the idea is “good in principle” but there are questions over details. He said it wouldn’t work simply to summon people to concentration camp visits.
Schuster said well-prepared visits would be “absolutely important” for older schoolchildren and for asylum-seekers.
New migrants to Germany must visit Nazi concentration camp memorials to help tackle a perceived rise in anti-Semitism, Germany’s Central Council of Jews said on Wednesday, supporting a proposal by a Palestinian-German politician.
Anti-Semitism remains a sensitive issue in Germany, one of Israel’s closest allies, more than 70 years after the end of the Nazi-era Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed.
The government decried as shameful the spectacle of the Israeli flag being burned at demonstrations last month against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews expressed support for a proposal by Sawsan Chebli, a Berlin state senator, for mandatory visits by newly arrived refugees to Nazi concentration camp memorials.
“People who have fled to us who have themselves had to escape or been expelled, can develop empathy in such memorials,” Schuster told Deutschlandfunk radio on Wednesday.
Germany has received well over a million migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.
A title card before the start of “The Testament” states that it is “inspired by events that took place in the last days of WWII in Austria.”
As the film opens in Israel on January 11, we ask: Does that mean this is a true story? Partly a true story? If so, which part? And why does it matter?
It would matter a great deal to the movie’s protagonist, Yoel, the Orthodox historian who works for a state-sponsored Holocaust research organization.
The Austrian building’s sleek, modern interior with glistening white floors and flatscreen monitors belies where the bulk of Yoel’s work is done — a dimly-lit basement with old maps tacked to the wall, and a lock on the door resembling a cage.
We first meet Yoel as he is struggling with Austrian bureaucrats, stalling for time. There’s an Austrian plan to develop housing in the fictional town of Lensburg, but there is just enough evidence to suggest that a massacre of Jewish laborers took place there… somewhere.
Yoel is bent on locating the site and preserving its sanctity, but previous digs have failed to find the remains and the city is eager to “look to the future, not the past.”
A wide path gently curves underground revealing an undulating cavern, winning praise for both its unassuming architecture and its purpose, as Israel’s new national monument to members of its security services killed in the line of duty.
The recently opened monument at the Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem aims to honor and educate, but it has also been included on a list of finalists for a top international architecture prize.
Its core is a curved, 250-meter (825-foot) wall composed of thousands of uniform bricks, all seamlessly arranged with the names of the fallen men and women.
At the memorial’s entry, a video installation by Israeli artist Michal Rovner juxtaposes groups of soldiers from various periods in the history of Israel’s wars, moving and running on one shared landscape before fading away.
“Stone, concrete and light are the only materials used here,” said Etan Kimmel, the architect who designed the site.
“This place has a way of saying strong things — but quietly.”
The monument is on the list of 62 projects contending for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects’ 2018 international prize.
Chaim Asulin from Tzfat, the most critically wounded victim of the 1974 school massacre in Maalot, passed away yesterday after battling a serious illness, Yediot Ahronot reported this morning.
During the attack, terrorists infiltrated a school in the city of Maalot, where 11th grade students from Tzfat were on a trip.
Asulin managed to escape the school building, but decided to return to the place because his brother was also among the students who remained inside the school, and when he returned he found himself in the line of fire.
In the Maalot massacre, terrorists murdered 22 students and five adults. Dozens more were wounded, among them Asulin, who was critically wounded and was initially thought dead.
On the way to the morgue, he was examined by a medical staff member who noticed that he still had a pulse. Asulin was treated and his life saved, but he was left with an amputated hand.
Despite the serious injury, Asulin recovered, rehabilitated his life, and over the years became a policeman.
The spectacled bear, the white fronted monkey and several kinds of jaguars can rest a bit easier now that an Israeli organization has agreed to purchase part of their habitat in the Peruvian Amazon jungle.
This is My Earth (TiME) has been running a crowdfunding campaign to buy 7,000 dunams (1,730 acres) of wild jungle in Peru. The area has a high number of species vulnerable to extinction.
TiMe is an initiative of Prof. Uri Shanas, who teaches at the University of Haifa and the Oranim Academic College in Israel, and Tel Aviv University Prof. Alon Tal, cofounder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
Anyone can join TiME by pledging as little as a dollar as a membership fee, after which they can vote on which regions TiME should acquire next.
In the case of Peru, an area known as the “Sun Angel’s Garden” received over 50 percent of TiME members’ votes, beating out parcels in Belize and Kenya. The region receives its name from a species of endangered birds found there known as the Royal Sunangel.
Lands are purchased by TiME become part of a nature reserve to be managed by the local community.
Medical professionals from Israel are helping to treat cholera victims in Zambia, which is battling an outbreak of the disease.
A delegation of two physicians and one water engineer from the Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital, arrived Friday in the southern African country. Over 60 people in Zambia have died of cholera and more than 2,500 are said to have been infected since September, when the disease started spreading.
Sheba, which is located in Ramat Gan, said Israel was the first country to send a medical team to Zambia.
After evaluating the situation, the delegation advised the Zambian government about contaminated water wells in a neighborhood in the capital of Lusaka, Dr. Elhanan Bar-On, director of Sheba’s Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response, told JTA from Lusaka on Tuesday.
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