Caroline Glick: The Holocaust’s unlearned lessons
Europeans have been schooled to view the Nazi period as a unique phenomenon unrelated to anything that happened either before 1933 or after 1945.
But the opposite is true.
Adolf Hitler and his Nazis and their collaborators throughout Europe didn’t spring from nothing. They were the natural outcome of centuries of European antisemitism. Their genocidal obsession with the Jewish people was a natural progression of a hatred that predated Christianity, and was an integral part of Europe’s development through the ages.
The way to block the Nazis from rising on the Right is to correct both Merkel’s mistake and the larger mistake of the leaders of Europe since 1945.
Merkel empowers Nazi forces by preventing liberal democracy, predicated on limited government, individual freedom and equal protection under the law, from developing in Germany. By demonizing and criminalizing her critics, she forces lawful citizens into the open arms of the political fringe, which resonates their concerns.
More generally, Europe itself facilitates the rise of antisemitism as a political force on the Right and Left by conflating European rejection of Jews with a more general, and less meaningful, problem of racism. You do not fight hatred of Jews by pretending away its significance and its roots that go back as far as European civilization itself. You do not block the resurgence of Nazism by pretending that European antisemitism was born the day Adolf Hitler came to power.
There is a tendency to believe that all nationalist movements are alike. But this is not true. Each nationalist movement is a reflection of the specific nation it represents. For European nationalists and globalists alike to avoid the fascism that captivated their grandparents, they need to embrace liberal values and meaningfully reject Jew hatred in all its forms.
The Islamic State suicide bombers who attacked Brussels airport last year targeted Jewish people and passengers travelling to the United States, several sources told AFP.
The Belgian-led investigation believes a check-in counter for an American carrier was one of the targets in the March 22, 2016 attacks, the sources said on condition of anonymity.
They also suspect that travelers to Israel may have been in the crosshairs. Airport security camera footage shows one bomber apparently pursuing Hasidic Jews seconds before one of the blasts.
Islamic State (IS) bombers Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui killed 16 people at Zaventem airport. Around an hour later Bakraoui’s brother Khalid attacked a metro station near EU headquarters, killing another 16.
One source close to the investigation told AFP, which contacted investigators in several countries, that one of the airport bombers “attacked the Delta Airlines check-in”.
“We know they wanted to target Americans,” said the source, who asked not to be named. “It’s clear they had quite specific targets.”
Making strategic choices requires distinguishing which issues are urgent and which are important. Right now, the securing of Jewish control over Jerusalem is both urgent and important. Jerusalem carries great symbolic and strategic value for Israel, and Israeli control of the city must be protected.
Israel’s control of a united Jerusalem is challenged now more than ever. UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted on December 23, 2016, declared the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount occupied territory and any Jewish presence there illegal if it is without Palestinian consent. This followed the October 2016 UNESCO resolution ignoring Jewish links to the Temple Mount. Moreover, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on December 28, 2016 that for the first time, the US supports the idea that Jerusalem should be the capital of two peoples.
Many Israelis console themselves that President Donald Trump will move the US embassy to Jerusalem, signaling a new era. Even if the move takes place, and even if it goes smoothly with few repercussions, it is not at all clear that the rest of the world will fall in step.
In all probability, most of the world will refuse to come along, despite the fact that West Jerusalem is not disputed territory. It will not help that there should be no legal or political problem moving an embassy to the Western part of the city. There was great reluctance to move embassies to pre-1967 Jerusalem long before the Palestinians issued any demands for parts of the city. No particular sensitivity to the Palestinian issue was displayed during the 1948-67 period.
The Western Wall is an Illegal Settlement
United Nations Security Council Resolution #2334 is worded in a way that creates some very odd results. Yes, the Western Wall is now an “illegal settlement,” and any Israeli activity there is a “flagrant violation of international law.”
My fellow leftist Jews often take the easy path. They ignore or deny the existence of anti-Semitism on the left and join their non-Jewish friends in gaslighting (dismissing lived personal experiences as illegitimate or imagined) those of us who try to speak out about it. Occasionally, they even try to prove their loyalty to the hard left by joining the anti-Zionist movement and offering themselves as tokens.
At the same time, right-wing Jews, and even Jews in the political center, are often hesitant to call out anti-Semitism on the political right. Many leftist Jews have been disappointed to see so little reaction from centrist and non-partisan Jewish groups to the rise of Trump and the anti-Semitic far-right. The decision of the fringe right-wing Zionist Organization of America to unreservedly embrace the Trump administration made my stomach turn. Meanwhile, many centrist Jewish organizations, while not actively endorsing the ZOA’s activities or odious Trump advisers like Stephen Bannon, have remained conspicuously silent about them.
But as long as Jews only call out anti-Semitism when it is convenient for their political allies, the bigotry will continue to metastasize. We need to prioritize anti-Semitism, not instrumentalize it.
This is a time of political divisiveness in America, and the in-between status of the Jews is increasingly being laid bare. As leftist and centrist/rightist Jews rally behind our respective sides and toe the party lines of political movements that don’t value Jewish issues, we risk ignoring the problems that threaten all of us. Jews can exist on opposite sides of the political divide, but we ought to be united against anti-Semitism across the political spectrum. As a young, progressive Jew, it is a priority for me to defeat anti-Semitism and the anti-Zionism that masks it on the left just as it is a priority for me to take on right-wing anti-Semitism. It should be just as high a priority for those who disagree with me politically to confront anti-Semitism within their own ranks.
If Jews on both sides of the political divide only raise Jewish concerns like anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism when it is convenient to do so or when it supports our political aims, our activism is doomed to fail. Our Jewish rights advocacy ceases to be an end in and of itself and becomes a political tool to bolster movements that are increasingly hostile to us and to our needs. In order to be effective, we must be willing to call out our allies as well as our opponents. As long as Jews are an in-between people—as long as neither the left nor the right is willing to genuinely champion all Jewish issues—we, as Jews, need to shoulder that responsibility ourselves, and together.
David Collier: Haneen Zoabi and 180 of the adoring faithful in Richmond
22 January 2017. I am at an event organised by the Richmond Palestine Solidarity Campaign. A big crowd, perhaps 180, have gathered to hear Israeli Arab member of the Knesset Haneen Zoabi speak. The room is full, but the demographic breakdown is simple. A large majority are white, British and over 55. It is the typical PSC crowd.
Haneen Zoabi had received a standing ovation at the PSC annual general meeting just two days before, she receives one here before she has even spoken. I am in the presence of PSC royalty.
The situation with the Arabs of Israel is complex. If Zoabi was here to fight for the Israeli Arab citizens, she would have my attention. If her aim was to improve the living standards, education and employment prospects of those who voted her into power, she would have my support. If the real goal was to reduce the inequality that minorities often experience, I’d wave a flag in her name. But Zoabi is not here to represent the needs of Israel’s minorities, she is here to perpetuate the external conflict.
When speaking of the democratic freedoms of a minority group Zoabi comments thus: “We want the opposite. Give us our land back. Give us our homeland back. Give us our people back. We don’t want to scream, we don’t need this freedom of expression”. This, as the entire Middle East burns in radical Islamic bush fires around her.
Vic Rosenthal: What’s up with my American friends
While Israelis certainly know the meaning of fear, they tend to be afraid of more concrete threats – like terrorism and Iranian nukes. I suppose because of this I didn’t understand why my liberal friends were so agitated, until the inauguration when they started to express their fears more explicitly. They are scared to death of Trump, or I should say they have been scared to death of him by the media (and I definitely include social media).
What can I tell them? Only to try to look at the facts and determine which sources are trustworthy and which are trying to manipulate them. Trump will be more pro- big business than they will like, but will he rip up the fabric of American society? I doubt it.
Let me close by describing what it looks like from here, from an Israeli viewpoint. During the Obama years, the average Israeli understood that Obama was not on our side. They understood that we were being driven in a direction that we had learned by very bitter experience would lead to more terrorism and possibly war. They understood that Obama was doing his best to push Israel back to boundaries that would bring terrorism to their doorsteps. They understood that when Israel defended herself from a shower of rockets from Gaza, Obama was listening to the complaints of Hamas, not to us. Above all, his actions to strengthen Iran, to help her finance terror against us, and to legitimize her nuclear weapons program, directly threatened our existence. Obama’s parting shot, his orchestration of an anti-Israel Security Council resolution, confirmed it all.
So what we felt when Donald Trump was inaugurated was relief. The pressure from Obama and his people – the poisonous Ben Rhodes, the partisan of Palestine Robert Malley, the doggedly stupid John Kerry and others – was released. Trump might or might not move the US embassy to Jerusalem, and there are many issues on which his positions are presently unknown. But based on what has been learned so far – his appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel, for example – at least we can be sure that he isn’t trying to get us all killed.
IsraellyCool: The Biggest Lie
However, the biggest lie of all, which is accepted and reported by every news agency, radio station and newspaper, including those considered pro-Israel, is never mentioned. Whether a rocket attack, false red alert, or failed stabbing attempt, when there are no deaths involved, the media reports, “No injuries.”
I cringe every time I see and hear those words, “no injures.” It is not true. With every terror attempt, successful or not, there are injuries. Each and every time. With every siren, there is emotional and psychological damage. The young, and not so young, toughen up and carry on after each anxiety provoking episode. With each attack, a tiny bit of innocence, of security, of soul, is lost.
Saying no injuries has bothered me for a long time, but recently I viewed an exhibition of drawings in Mishkenot Sha’ananim. The Jerusalem Press Club and the Israeli Comics Museum in Holon opened a competition for Israeli high-school students to submit cartoons dealing with critical, current issues around the world. “Cartoon*Criticism*Care” was the title of this competition. However, it was more cynicism than care that viewers saw exhibited in the posted cartoons drawn by young Israelis from all over Israel.
In 1970, Ashraf Marwan—a chemistry student at a British university who happened to be Gamal Abdel Nasser’s son-in-law—telephoned the Israeli embassy in London and offered himself as an intelligence asset. Marwan, who soon became an important adviser to Nasser, continued spying for Israel until 1998. In The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel, Uri Bar-Joseph, an Israeli intelligence operative turned professor, tells Marwan’s story and goes to significant lengths to show—contrary to the claims of Eli Zeira, who served as the head of Israeli military intelligence during the Yom Kippur War—that he was not a double agent. Amy Newman Smith explains:
The argument about whom Marwan was actually working for cannot be untangled from the one surrounding Israel’s unpreparedness for the Yom Kippur War and the devastating casualties that resulted. . . .
Based largely on information from Marwan, by  the Israelis had developed what they called “the concept,” an intelligence paradigm that held that Egypt would not launch a war without “weapons of deterrence,” primarily anti-aircraft batteries and missiles capable of hitting Israeli cities. But by the fall, plans were coming together to partner with Syria and engage in a limited war to take back only the eastern bank of the Suez Canal. Marwan passed along information on the developing war plans to [his handler]. The paradigm had changed, but not everyone in Israel felt the shift. . . .
Jews at UK universities are “bullied [and] stigmatized…under the guise that criticism of Israel is not antisemitism,” a reformed Islamist said on his popular British radio program Sunday.
Speaking on LBC talk radio, Maajid Nawaz — who now works to counter Islamic extremism through the Quilliam Foundation — slammed student activists who are supposedly pro-Palestinian for becoming “nasty” and “picking on minorities that have a history in Europe that we should be learning from,” a reference to the Jews’ long history of persecution on the continent.
Nawaz’s comments come on the heels of revelations from Jewish students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, who, as The Algemeiner reported last week, said they are afraid to appear recognizably Jewish on campus.
A graduate of SOAS, Nawaz said it “wounds [him] deeply” that Jewish students at that university are now forced to live in fear. He noted that, among the Jewish community, the school’s acronym is wryly said to stand for “School of Anti-Semitism,” and in a 2016 survey, only 39 SOAS students “were prepared to admit that they were Jewish.”
“Something is going depressingly wrong,” he concluded.
A forum hosting candidates for chair of the Democratic National Committee changed venues following a Washington Free Beacon report revealing the original venue was owned by an individual with a long record of anti-Israel activism, according to new information obtained by the Free Beacon.
Candidates vying for chair of the DNC were scheduled to attend a forum Monday evening hosted at Busboys and Poets, a Washington, D.C. restaurant owned by anti-Israel advocate Andy Shallal.
The venue was switched early Monday to George Washington University, according to information obtained by the Free Beacon.
An advisory sent to members of the press on Monday said the event would now be held at George Washington University, but failed to mention the name of the previous venue.
The DNC forum “was originally at Busboys and Poets,” according to Daniel Herrera, a press liaison at the Raben Group, which is handling communications for Democracy in Color, the left-wing advocacy organization hosting the forum. “But after getting a lot of interest in the event, we decided to look for a larger space, and GWU was super helpful putting this together in a short amount of time.”
Herrera sidestepped further questions about whether organizers were aware of Shallal’s controversial views and if this played a role in the venue change.
At the same time that an anti-BDS conference was being held at the EU Parliament in Brussels, Israeli BDS activists held a parallel gathering, led by radical Israeli activist Dror Feiler.
Feiler, who heads the radical leftist organization Jews for a Just Peace, said that “together with BDS activists we are looking for alternatives to conflict. Tzipi Livni does not dare come here, because she knows she will be detained for questioning. Israel feels the pressure of the larger BDS movement. It is hurting the economy and the investments of [Israeli] banks, and she is trying to fight it. But it will not help her.”
Feiler compared Israel’s response to the BDS movement to the response of the former Apartheid regime of South Africa. South Africa tried to fight against the boycott during the Apartheid regime, and it didn’t help. Neither will it help Israel, he said. The struggle is not about Israel or about Jews, but against the policy of the Israeli government, which is the enemy of the Jewish people and the greatest enemy of the world. “Jews have always fought for equal rights, and it is time to return to that great Jewish tradition of fighting for equal rights.”
BDS activists at the gathering blocked Israeli journalists from entering the conference room to record the proceedings.
Media all over the world, innumerable countries and NGOs are always trying to arouse sympathy for the “unfortunate Palestinians,” sic. Rather ironically, or more accurately illogically, what we’ll call “the world” likes to refer to the Arabs they have named “Palestinians,” sic, are not one group.
Those who live in or near Gaza call themselves “Gazans,” and those who live east and west of the Jordan River consider themselves entitled to use the name “Palestinian,” though they are far from being a united group at all. They come from all different places. A large percentage are descended from Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Saudis, further afield or have been nomads for more than centuries. Their great-grandparents were attracted to this part of the world because of the economic opportunities brought by the Jewish Zionists starting a century and a half ago.
They can never be equated with the Jewish People who practice a religion that is centered on mourning the loss of our Land, Jerusalem-based Holy Temple and the agricultural seasons here in the Holy Land. Our Jewish Calendar and Holidays follow planting and harvest times.
Knell opened with yet another typically edited presentation of the history of Jerusalem in which the 19 years of Jordanian occupation of parts of the city were erased from audience view.
Knell: “At the edge of Jerusalem’s Old City, Palestinians and Israelis pass each other on the streets. Some are out shopping, others heading to pray. So could this become a shared capital for both peoples living peacefully side by side in two nations? That’s how many see the two-state solution to the conflict. But today Israel considers East Jerusalem, which it captured in the 1967 war, part of its united capital and Palestinian analyst Nour Arafa [phonetic] doesn’t think it will give it up.”
With no challenge whatsoever from Knell, her interviewee was then allowed to misrepresent restrictions on entry to Israel from PA controlled areas, to promote the lie that the anti-terrorist fence was built for reasons other than the prevention of terrorism and to tout the falsehood of “lack of geographical continuity”.
Arafa: “The idea itself is not accepted by Israel and they have been trying to isolate East Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories through closure policies, by construction of the wall which started in 2002 and by the illegal settlement expansion. So the idea itself of a future Palestinian state is realistically not possible on the ground because of the lack of geographical continuity.”
Next, Knell moved on to the town of Efrat in Gush Etzion – predictably refraining from informing her listeners that the area was the site of land purchases and settlement by Jews long before the Jordanian invasion of 1948 but making sure to insert the BBC’s standard ‘international law’ mantra.
Writing in the Globe and Mail today, reporter Dakshana Bascaramurty (pictured below) erroneously assumed that Jewish ties to eastern Jerusalem only began in 1967.
Bascaramurty falsely claimed the following: “The Palestinians want to establish their future capital in East Jerusalem, while Israel sees the whole city as its own capital. While the western part of the city is almost entirely populated by Jews, the eastern part, historically, has been home to Arabs. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Jews began moving into that territory, though under international law, settlements in the region (as well as the West Bank and the Golan Heights) are considered illegal. The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution in December denouncing Israel’s construction of settlements in Palestinian-occupied territory and would view this move as a flagrant violation of it.”
As HonestReporting has previously observed: “Jerusalem was a unified city. There were no distinctions between “East” and “West” Jerusalem until Jordan captured the city’s eastern neighbourhoods and Old City (in the 1948 War of Independence). The only reason it was “entirely Arab” when Israel reunified Jerusalem during the Six-Day War was because the Jordanians expelled the Jews from its jurisdiction, systematically destroyed synagogues, and generally made its half of the city judenfrei… The 19 years that Jerusalem was divided are a mere blip in the city’s and Jewish people’s thousands of years of history.”
European and US officials on Monday slammed a German court’s ruling earlier this month that an arson attack on a synagogue was an expression of anti-Israel protest and should not be considered anti-Semitism.
Speaking at the European Jewish Association’s annual Jewish Leaders Conference in the Belgian capital, representatives of both the European Union and the US State Department questioned the Dusseldorf High Court’s decision, which found no procedural errors in the 2015 and 2016 trials against three men of Palestinian descent for felony arson against a Wuppertal synagogue.
“We believe that when a Jewish house of worship is firebombed in response to Israeli policy, it is anti-Semitism,” Holly Huffnagle, from the US State Department Office of Religion and Global Affairs, said.
Huffnagle, who acted as an adviser to Ira Forman, the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism under former US secretary of state John Kerry, said that while criticism of Israel is not inherently anti-Semitic,” in the Dusseldorf case case, “a line had been crossed between legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and anti-Semitism.”
The Russian Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) on Tuesday accused the Duma’s Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy of undermining international peace and called on the Parliament to rebuke him for his statements concerning the handing over of St. Petersburg’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church, Interfax reported.
Tolstoy told a press conference that “the people who are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who pulled down our temples, and jumped out from the Pale of Settlement to the revolver in 1917, and today are working in very respectable places – on the radio, in the legislatures, continue the work of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.”
“We usually hear such statements from irresponsible instigators of anti-Semitic campaigns,” the FJC stated. “When we hear this from the mouth of the State Duma deputy speaker at an official press conference, it directly undermines inter-ethnic peace in the country and stirs up tension.”
The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has not yet decided whether to expel one of its state leaders for criticizing Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial, its co-leader said on Tuesday.
Bjoern Hoecke, AfD head in the eastern state of Thuringia, described the memorial as a “monument of shame” in a speech in Dresden last week.
The comment stirred anger across Germany but was cheered by some far-right AfD supporters.
Hoecke said on Monday the party had dropped plans to throw him out, but co-leader Frauke Petry told German broadcaster MDR on Tuesday that was not the case, adding the comment had damaged the party’s reputation.
The AfD’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has won support among Germans worried about the influx of more than a million migrants in the past two years, though other major parties have rejected it as a potential coalition partner.
Croatian Jews said Monday they would boycott an official ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, accusing authorities of downplaying the crimes of the country’s World War II pro-Nazi regime.
“We will not attend,” said Ognjen Kraus, head of an umbrella association of Jewish groups in Croatia.
“The authorities relativize the crimes committed by the (pro-Nazi) Ustasha regime,” he told AFP.
Last year Croatia’s Jews, Serbs and anti-fascists boycotted the commemoration for the victims of the country’s most notorious World War II camp at Jasenovac, also citing relativism and a resurgence in pro-Ustasha sympathies.
“Nothing was done over the past year” to tackle the issue, Kraus said.
The Ustasha persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.
Around 75 percent of some 40,000 Croatian Jews were killed by the Ustasha.
A medieval building that may have been used as a synagogue has been uncovered at the site of Huqoq, a village near the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
Constructed during the 12th to 13thcenturies, the building is located on top of the ruins of a fifth-century Roman synagogue known to contain fantastic mosaics, including one depicting the story of Noah’s Ark.
The medieval builders put to use some of the remains from the fifth-century synagogue.
“A monumental public building was erected on the same spot as the late Roman synagogue, reusing some of the earlier structure’s architectural elements, but expanding it in size,” said Jodi Magness, the director of the Huqoq excavation project, during a presentation of the research in Toronto at the joint annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies this month. [Photos: Unusual Mosaics Decorated Ancient Synagogue in Israel]
On a state visit to Israel last week for the first time in his nation’s history, the president of the Muslim-majority West African nation of Sierra Leone expressed his gratitude to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin for the Jewish state’s assistance in fighting the Ebola virus.
“I must use this opportunity to thank you, the Government and the people of Israel, for the support that was provided to us during one of the most difficult moments in our history – the fight against Ebola,” President Ernest Bai Koroma said last Thursday at a joint appearance with Rivlin. “It was a moment others chose to turn their backs and isolate us, but Israel provided us with support, with financial, technical support, and we had people that volunteered to go out and assist us….That we have put the Ebola behind us is because of the support of this nation. Support that will always be remembered by Sierra Leoneans.”
“It is only a friend will support a friend that is in need,” Koroma added during his public meeting with Netanyahu. “And the Sierra Leonean people are most grateful for that.”
Robert Dussey, the foreign minister of Togo, on Monday invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an African-Israeli summit on development and security in October. Dussey estimated that 20-25 national leaders will participate in the conference, which Netanyahu agreed to attend.
“I want you to know how glad we are that we are strengthening even further the relations between Togo and Israel,” Netanyahu told the African diplomat in a joint appearance in Jerusalem.
“You know our big thrust of coming back to Africa, but you were always there, and for us, very important not only our relations in East Africa, but also in West Africa. So I look forward to having the opportunity to visit West Africa – visit with you and the president and others because we are absolutely committed to having this resurging relationship between Africa and Israel,” he added.
Dussey, who is currently on his second visit to Israel in less than a year, expressed his appreciation to the prime minister, saying, “I come back to your beautiful country Israel, particularly Jerusalem.”
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