JPost Editorial: Lessons not learned
Commemorating the genocide of European Jewry as we will on Holocaust Remembrance Day – which begins Wednesday night and continues through Thursday – is not just a show of respect for those lost. Actively remembering the past should also have relevance for us today.
Yet looking around the world, we can easily reach the conclusion that the lessons of the Holocaust have not been learned.
An annual Anti-Defamation League report surveying antisemitic incidents in the US in 2017 released in February found the number of antisemitic incidents was nearly 60% higher than in 2016 – the largest single-year increase on record. There were 1,986 incidents, including 1,015 cases of harassment, 952 of vandalism and 19 physical assaults.
Europe, meanwhile, has become an inhospitable place for Jews. A recent survey by the World Zionist Organization conducted before International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, found that half of European Jews said they do not feel safe being in public using a Jewish name, or seen with Jewish symbols such as a kippa or Star of David.
And it is not just a subjective feeling.
Last month, Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, was hacked to death and burned in her home, evidently by a young male Muslim neighbor. France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that Knoll was murdered “because she was Jewish.”
Other incidents include the murder last of year of Sarah Halimi, 65, by Kobili Traore, who reportedly shouted “allahu akbar” as he carried out the murder.
Sarah Halimi apparently is a distant relative of Ilan Halimi, the French-born Jew who was kidnapped and murdered in 2006 by a gang of Muslims. Four Jewish hostages were murdered in the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
In Germany, police recorded 1,453 antisemitic incidents in 2017.
The Kishinev pogrom’s impact was fueled, in part, by photographs of the atrocities that made it around the world. One image of 45 murdered victims laid out in prayer shawls was particularly resonant, appearing in numerous broadsheets during the early days of news photography.
“It was a little bit like how that [photo of Alan Kurdi, a dead] Syrian child on the beach concretized Syrian misery,” said Zipperstein, referring to how a captivating image can break through the “abstraction” behind human catastrophes.
Although the pogrom did not sway many American Jews toward Zionism, there was a decided shift to the political left. It was generally (and erroneously) assumed the pogrom had been organized by Russian officials, prompting many Jews to become suspicious of conservative government. In 1905, the Russian Empire’s formation did, in fact, lead to a wave of state-sanctioned, anti-Semitic violence. As many as 200,000 Jews were murdered in an estimated 600 massacres, including an additional 19 victims in Kishinev.
In the US, it was not only Jews who drew conclusions from Kishinev. Black leaders spoke about the “twin evils” of European pogroms and lynchings in the American south, where thousands of blacks were murdered in a decades-long campaign of racial terrorism. In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed to combat this violence, and Kishinev was mentioned in the group’s founding documents.
The Jews’ enemies, too, drew conclusions from the pogrom, realizing that mass media could be used to incite large-scale violence. One of Kishinev’s chief instigators, the publisher Pavel Krushevan, pushed out the anti-Semitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in the months following the pogrom. The notorious canard made it into the hands of anti-Semites including Henry Ford, who published half a million copies in the US.
According to some Jewish leaders, “every aspect of the Holocaust had been anticipated by the Kishinev pogrom.” From the role of intellectuals in galvanizing anti-Semitism, to the blaming of Jews for defending themselves, the pogrom helped solidify a template that culminated in the murder of six million Jews during World War II. This modernization of anti-Semitism was not lost on Jewish thinkers, some of whom predicted Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” with eerie precision.
“When I was in America, I did not believe in the Jewish question removed from the whole social question,” wrote Emma Goldman after being deported to Russia by the US government in 1919. “But since we visited some of the pogrom regions I have come to see that there is a Jewish question, especially in the Ukraine,” she wrote.
“It is almost certain that the entire Jewish race will be wiped out should many more changes take place,” wrote Goldman.
Hafez Al-Karmi, head of the Palestinian Forum in Europe, announced the start of preparations to launch several ships from Europe to “break the blockade” on the Gaza Strip.
In an interview with the Hamas website Al-Resalah, Karmi said that ships with European and international activists calling to “break the Israeli naval blockade” of Gaza would begin sailing in the direction of the Gaza Strip in June after the end of the month of Ramadan.
Karmi said that the “processions of return” would continue in Europe and condemned the Palestinian Authority, whose representatives he said are not taking part in mobilizing the public to support the “Palestinian problem” and demanding a halt to the “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip.
Multiple attempts have been made over the past decade to provoke international condemnation of Israel by sending flotillas towards Gaza. The first, and perhaps most famous flotilla, was the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla. When the ships taking part refused to stop, IDF soldiers boarded, upon which they were assaulted by the “humanitarian” activists wielding knives, iron bars and other lethal weapons.
The soldiers were forced to open fire to save their lives, killing ten of their assailants and sparking an international media backlash.
Despite the supposed “humanitarian” aims of the effort, Israel found the flotilla in fact was not carrying any humanitarian aid, or any other type of supplies for that matter.
Today, Jews and non-Jews alike converged from across the UK for a national demonstration outside Labour Party Head Office organised by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Stewards estimated the crowd size at over 2,000 people who braved relentless rain to fill the streets surrounding Labour Party Head Office. At one point, police had to turn protesters away due to lack of space. Groups came from Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, York and other parts of the UK.
In impassioned speeches, actress Maureen Lipman CBE, Holocaust-survivor Agnes Grunwald Spier MBE, and Rabbi Joseph Dweck demanded that the Labour Party accept and enforce Campaign Against Antisemitism’s disciplinary complaint against Jeremy Corbyn for bringing Labour into disrepute, warning that inaction was itself a form of action.
Campaign Against Antisemitism Chairman, Gideon Falter, Director of Investigations and Enforcement, Stephen Silverman, and Head of Political and Government Investigations, Joseph Glasman, read a roll call of incidents shaming the Labour Party as hundreds of those attending signed forms backing Campaign Against Antisemitism’s disciplinary complaint against Mr Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed Maureen Lipman CBE as “a very good actress” when asked by LBC to respond to comments that she made at Campaign Against Antisemitism’s rally demanding that the Labour Party hold Mr Corbyn to account over his failure to tackle antisemitism in the Party.
Ms Lipman attacked Mr Corbyn and his behaviour, fiercely criticising his decisions to associate with antisemites and turn a blind eye to their Jew-hatred.
Yesterday, 2,000 Jews and non-Jews converged from across the UK for a national demonstration outside Labour Party Head Office organised by Campaign Against Antisemitism. The demonstration called for the Labour Party to act on a disciplinary complaint made against Mr Corbyn by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s response to 2,000 people coming to his headquarters in the driving rain on a Sunday shows just how serious he is about tackling antisemitism in the Party. He has brushed the criticism off, repeated his dire platitudes about opposing antisemitism, and offered a meeting to Maureen Lipman. If he was serious about engaging with British Jews, he would have come to the demonstration yesterday to speak there, but instead he declined. It is clear that we can expect nothing of substance from Mr Corbyn and the decent people left in the Labour Party must insist that our complaint against him is now properly investigated and that he is held to account. We said we would return to Labour Party Head Office on 13th May if there was insufficient progress by then. Mr Corbyn’s statement makes that increasingly likely.”
“Would Corbyn be so ambiguous if his supporters denied African-American slavery had ever existed?”
Tom Gross: On the leftist allies of British Prime Minister-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn denying the Holocaust, and the protests and reactions of British Jews (April 8, 2018)
The debut poll by new polling firm Deltapoll, founded by former YouGov pollster Joe Twyman and ICM’s Martin Boon, has found that more than half of voters think Labour has an anti-Semitism problem and over a third think Jeremy Corbyn is himself anti-Semitic. 51% think Labour has at least pockets of anti-Semitism, and 34% think those pockets include the leader. That’s one poll Owen Jones won’t be gloating about.
A recent DC conference titled “Israel Lobby and American Policy” featured an A-list of anti-Israel academics and Israel haters. They included Rabab Abdulhadi, the infamous San Francisco State U. professor rebuked by the U.’s president for declaring on her department’s official Facebook page that “Zionists are not welcome [at SFSU]. Zionism is racism.” Andrew Harrod reported on the paranoid confab for Campus Watch; his report appears today at the Iconoclast at the New English
“What stops Israel from launching a similar final solution to the Palestinian people,” asked an audience member while recalling Islamic State genocide at Washington, DC’s recent “Israel Lobby and American Policy” conference (videos and transcripts). Meanwhile, a 9/11 Truther asked about the “possibilities of a 9/11 Mossad op-type strike to propel us into Iran like it did in Iraq.” These conspiratorial questions—fielded by conference organizer Delinda Hanley, editor of the anti-Israel Washington Report on Middle East Affairs—exemplified the fanatical bigotry that drew about 180 people to the National Press Club’s main hall.
Accordingly, anti-Israel conspiracy theorist and William & Mary University Professor Lawrence Wilkerson regurgitated the oft refuted calumny that Israeli aircraft deliberately attacked the U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 Six Day War, and that President Lyndon Johnson “knew the gory details.” Wilkerson described Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman as “a latent version of Joseph Stalin” or an “agent of Vladimir Putin.” Elsewhere, he claimed that Iran’s Jewish population “lives in Iran in reasonable peace.”
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Professor Virginia Tilley delivered an equally vitriolic presentation denouncing Israeli “apartheid.” She asserted that a supposed Israeli opposition to sexual relations between Arabs and Jews, or “racial mixing,” precluded any future Palestinian state. “When you have people mixing, they make babies,” she proclaimed, a situation that creates the “death-knell for any racial state.”
One of Tilley’s slides complained that descendants of Palestinian refugees from Israel’s 1948 independence war “cannot gain capacity to alter Israeli law,” as if millions of foreigners should have the right to vote in Israel. Another slide rejected Israel’s existence in the former League of Nations Palestine Mandate and demanded a unitary Palestinian state, because “Sustaining Jewish statehood in part of territory [sic] sustains apartheid.” A different slide concluded that “Jewish” should denote “Not a ‘nation’ with a right to self-determination.”
Leading establishment Jewish organizations in Europe, the United States and Israel called on the German Bank for Social Economy last week to pull the plug on its accounts held with groups that promote the boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign against Israel.
The Cologne-based Bank for Social Economy maintains at least four BDS-related accounts – the highest number in Germany. The bank faces growing international opprobrium from mainstream Jewish organizations – the American Jewish Committee, European Jewish Congress, Israeli-Jewish Congress, Central Council of Jews in Germany and Zionist Organization of America – because of its assertive defense of the German BDS group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East.
“A bank that stands for social and economic sustainability should not work with initiatives that call for severing economic and cultural ties to Israel. As a pioneer within the green economy, no other country is as committed to the environmentally friendly use of natural resources as Israel. Those who support the call for boycotts contradict their own high ethical standards. BDS is an attack upon human dignity and our democratic coexistence,” said Deidre Berger, the head of the American Jewish Committee office in Berlin.
“We therefore call on politicians, civil society, and business to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to this hateful campaign: no public platforms, no financial support, and no bank accounts,” she said.
Dr. Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, said: “We at the EJC have long condemned BDS and those associated with it. We further believe that just like any other racist, xenophobic or antisemitic organization or movement, those involved in BDS should not be allowed to go about their hate normally but should be shunned and excluded from mainstream society. We should have zero tolerance for hate whatever the guise it creates for itself. We hope all banks, businesses and other organizations will sever any ties they may have with a BDS affiliate.”
In the saturated arena of anti-Israel political activism in the U.S., the once little-known Washington D.C.-based organization IfNotNow (INN) is catapulting its way to the forefront of the pack.
In one of its boldest moves, IfNotNow is planning to train camp counselors to “teach” campers at Jewish summer camps about the Israeli “occupation.” Given IfNotNow’s politics, described below, the teaching without a doubt will be anti-Israel. Parents who are sending their children to Jewish summer camps, motivated in part by establishing their children’s connection to Israel, will be undermined without knowing it and probably without the camp administration’s knowledge.
Founded in 2014 to protest Israel’s military operation against the Hamas terrorist organization that governs Gaza, INN presents itself as a hip left-wing group of young Jews who want to “transform the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation into a call for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.”
According to a recent statement, the group now has over 1,700 members and chapters in more than a dozen American cities. It’s also a growing presence on campus, as demonstrated by its hosting ‘anti-occupation Passover seders’ at a number of universities this past week.
Maybe INN is growing because its sister organization—Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)—has become so tainted by charges of antisemitism. That is, maybe INN is becoming increasingly popular because people mistakenly see it as a legitimate player on the Zionist political left in a way that JVP isn’t.
But the reality, as I document further below, is that INN’s perspective on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its activism on and off campus, is virtually indistinguishable from that of JVP.
Dear Foreign Minister: Ms. Margot Wallström,
CC: Minister of Development: Ms. Isabella Lövin,
Ambassador to Israel: Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser
Subject: Swedish Government Funding for IHL Secretariat
We are writing regarding the “independent assessment” of the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Secretariat (Secretariat) completed in October 2017 and made public on February 6, 2018.1 In the course of detailed review and analysis, we note the politicized contents of the assessment, faulty (or non-existent) methodology, and the authors’ blatant conflicts of interest. Separately and together, these aspects highlight the major concerns as to the management and monitoring of the Secretariat as a funding mechanism for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These problems are particularly urgent in the context of the recent withdrawal of Denmark2 and the Netherlands3 from the mechanism following or pending internal investigations, as well as some of the statements and activities of the Palestinian grantees. It is particularly concerning that the assessment makes no reference to blatant antisemitism promoted by some of Secretariat’s grantees and/or their glorification of terror.
We wish to bring these issues, detailed in the appendix to this letter, to your attention, and await your response and comments.
In this context, we would also ask whether your government is continuing funding through the Secretariat.
Students at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania are calling for their president to take Sabra Hummus out of campus stores, citing the company’s ties to Israel.
A petition created by the Swarthmore Students for Justice Palestine (SJP) chapter states that the reason for protesting Sabra Hummus is because the company is “owned by the Strauss Group, a multinational corporation that invests in, financially supports, and even sends care packages to the Golani Brigade of the Israeli armed forces.”
“The BDS movement is an effectively antisemitic (sic) movement which seeks to delegitimize and ultimately eliminate the State of Israel.”
The petition asserts that the Golani Brigade is “particularly brutal,” claiming that it “has carried out countless human rights violations against Palestinians in Hebron, including arbitrary murders, assaults, incarcerations, evictions, and arrests of children.”
The petition says it is “morally unacceptable” for Swarthmore to sell Sabra Hummus, arguing that by doing so the school is supporting “the international human rights violations of the Golani Brigade and Israeli Apartheid at large.”
Leaving no room for ambiguity, it adds that “by selling Sabra, Swarthmore is an accessory to the occupation of Palestine,” calling on Swarthmore President Valerie Smith to “affirm the dignity of Palestinian life, recognize the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, and deshelve all current Sabra products and end their future sale at Swarthmore College.” (h/t MtTB)
The third woman to accuse Tariq Ramadan of rape has said she was beaten at her home shortly after filing her complaint against the Islamic scholar.
The French Muslim woman, who wants to remain anonymous and uses the pseudonym “Marie”, claims two men forced their way into the lobby of her building on March 25.
Marie was beaten up and her mobile phone was stolen during the assault, according to Henda Ayari, who was the first woman to accuse Mr Ramadan of rape. Ms Ayari is close to Marie and reported her story to French magazine Marianne this week.
The attack is said to have happened three weeks after Marie made a formal complaint claiming to have suffered multiple rapes in France, Brussels and London between 2013 and 2014 at the hands of the scholar.
Mr Ramadan, an Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, has been detained in France since early February over charges of rape and sexual assault.
He denies all the charges and claims they are part of a “campaign of lies launched by [his] adversaries”.
Democratic National Committee vice-chairman Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) said he was offended people continue to ask him to denounce anti-Semitism, despite questions over his relationship with Nation of Islam leader and rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
Ellison was taking questions at the Harvard Institute of Politics when a student mentioned rising anti-Semitism and Farrakhan, who has made many anti-Semitic statements, the Washington Examiner reports. Ellison has had multiple meetings with Farrakhan since being elected to public office, despite the Washington Post giving him their highest rating for lies after claiming he had “no relationship” with Farrakhan.
“What I’m telling you is the only way Farrakhan gets in the news is if somebody tries to say, ‘Oh this black person whose whole life is dedicated to human rights met him or saw him or was in a room with him.’ It’s a smear, man. I’m sorry. It is a smear,” Ellison said. “And I got to tell you it is frustrating to be pulled out and be in and it’s like it’s your daily moment to denounce anti-Semitism. We denounce it. We absolutely denounce it. We think it is reprehensible, murderous, and genocidal. And it offends me that anyone would insist that I do it one more time.”
Ellison defended other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have met with Farrakhan.
“The Black Caucus in particular has been targeted with this smear,” Ellison said. “The Black Caucus has fought for justice more than any other caucus in the United States Congress, period, and that’s who is being questioned about whether we really stand against hatred. It’s offensive.”
‘Have you forgotten your ancestors?’ Indigenous popstar Jessica Mauboy is trolled on Instagram and called a ‘TERRORIST’ – for appearing at a Eurovision promotion in the Israeli capital (sic) of Tel Aviv
Indigenous popstar Jessica Mauboy has been trolled by anti-Israel activists on her Instagram page after announcing she will be performing in Tel Aviv.
The 28-year-old Darwin-raised singer copped a barrage of abuse on social media when she told fans she had just touched down in Israel for a Eurovision promotion.
The abuse was vile, with a Muslim man accusing her of being a ‘f***ing terrorist supporter’ following the shooting last week of a Palestinian cameraman by Israeli troops on the Gaza border.
Another critic targeted Mauboy over her indigenous heritage on her mother’s side, accusing her of ignoring the plight of Palestinians.
‘Have you forgotten the treatment of your ancestors? Because that is what you are promoting right there,’ one woman wrote on Sunday night.
Mauboy, who first shot to fame as the 2006 Australian Idol runner-up, is representing Australia next month at the Eurovision Song Contest in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon with her song We Got Love.
We all agree stereotypes are horrible, with ethnic stereotypes being the worst of the worst. For that reason, we must always avoid falling into the trap of stereotypes, except when conforming to them becomes a signal of membership in an aggrieved group, in which case it is now a cardinal progressive sin to depart from the stereotype.
While it seems a complex bit of mental gymnastics, the dynamics are actually pretty straightforward. A simple example: one may not engage in stereotypes about Jews, unless one is serving a progressive cause such as Palestinian nationalism, under which Jews must be portrayed as white Europeans who have occupied and colonized a land that belongs to indigenous people of color. Therefore, any Jew who is also a POC – such as the roughly 50 percent of Jews whose ancestors lived in the Middle East, North Africa, various parts of Asia, and, yes, even Palestine, for thousands of years – must be shouted down, silenced, or ignored for violating the trope. Jews are white colonizers, not an indigenous people.
Similarly, an Arab who supports Israel and highlights facts that are inconvenient for anti-Israel arguments, such as the freedoms Arabs enjoy in Israel that they can only dream of having anywhere in the Arab or Muslim world, must be dismissed as a shill, a sellout, a traitor, or worse. As an Arab, I can tell you, you must embrace your oppressed status. It’s what makes you who you are. What kind of dignity could you possibly have if you’re not constantly dominated and exploited by whites?
As readers may recall, the ‘Palestinian Center for Human Rights’ (PCHR) was the source of baseless claims concerning ‘war crimes’ which appeared in BBC content less than 24 hours after the beginning of the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas. The group’s director was interviewed by the BBC on several occasions during that conflict and, as has been noted here previously, the PCHR is one of several NGOs uncritically quoted and promoted by the BBC despite being active in the lawfare campaign against Israel.
Moreover, the PCHR was one of the sources used by UNOCHA for the compilation of casualty figures and civilian/combatant ratios in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 conflict. Those figures were unquestioningly quoted, promoted – and even defended – by the BBC without any independent verification having taken place and are still being cited to this day in its content.
On March 12th 2018 the PCHR put out a statement calling upon “the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and allow them to fish freely in the Gaza Sea”. The reason for that statement was the arrests of a number of fishermen near Rafah – described by the PCHR as “Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen”.
The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad has placed tanks and heavy artillery inside a demilitarized border zone with Israel. Although Assad’s move violates a “decades-old agreement,” it was widely ignored by major U.S. media outlets.
On April 5, 2018, The Times of Israel reported that the Assad regime is “preparing an offensive to retake southern Syria and the Syrian Golan Heights from rebel groups,” and is placing both tanks and heavy artillery inside the buffer zone to do so. However, as TOI reporter Michael Bachner pointed out: “The step violates the Agreement on Disengagement signed in 1974 between Israel and Syria, which concluded the Yom Kippur War.” That Arab-initiated war was fought in October 1973 between a Soviet-supported Arab-coalition, led by Egypt and Syria, against Israel.
The Agreement on Disengagement created the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force (UNDOF), which has been responsible for patrolling the buffer zone since 1974. The outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, however, led to the UNDOF’s evacuation from the area. Since then, several al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups have operated in the area, according to The Times of Israel report.
Syria’s violation of a long-standing agreement—forged in the aftermath of a famous and bloody war—should be news. Yet most major U.S. news outlets have failed to report it. A Lexis-Nexis search of The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, among others, shows no original reporting of the development. By contrast, both The Times of Israel and Ha’aretz offered full-length reports.
Survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla., perpetrated by a supporter of the Islamic State terror group, are suing Google, Facebook, and Twitter, alleging that the tech firms allowed the group to proliferate and spread propaganda.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Orlando’s federal courthouse, 16 victims of the June 12, 2016 shooting — the second deadliest in American history — claim that the three tech giants were responsible for letting ISIS disseminate propaganda on their platforms, thus providing “material support” to the terror group, in violation of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).
Such support, the suit alleges, let gunman Omar Mateen carry out his attack, which left 49 people dead and another 58 injured, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Mateen was killed in a shootout with responding police officers.
Seddique Mateen was an FBI informant for 11 years and brushed off his son’s comments.
“By the time of the terror attacks in this case, ISIS had become one of the largest and most widely recognized and feared terrorist organizations in the world … due in large part to its use of the Defendants’ social media platforms to promote and carry out its terrorist activities,” wrote Ari Kresch and Keith Altman, the Michigan attorneys who filed the lawsuit.
“The expansion and success of ISIS is in large part due to its use of the defendants’ social media platforms to promote and carry out its terrorist activities,” the lawsuit reads. “But for ISIS’s postings using defendants’ social media platforms, Mateen would not have engaged in his Orlando attack.”
The “light” Andrew Marr then chose to shine on the issue of international inaction despite repeated chemical weapons attacks in Syria was as follows:
Marr: “And the Middle East is aflame again. I mean there’s lots of Palestinian kids being killed further south as well by the Israeli forces.”
Marr’s factually incorrect portrayal of events on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel during the past ten days obviously implies that Israeli soldiers defending their border from infiltration by adult rioters and terrorists are to be viewed in the same light as the perpetrators of chemical attacks on the Syrian children mentioned moments earlier by Hartley-Brewer.
Not only is that linkage completely redundant but Marr’s ‘whataboutery‘ patently has no relevance whatsoever to the discussion of the Assad regime’s brutal chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians.
So much for the BBC’s obligation to provide its funding public with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world”.
Gerd Honsik, an Austrian author who was considered a leading ideologue in Europe’s neo-Nazi movement, has died at 76.
The Austria Press Agency reported Honsik died Saturday at his home in Hungary. APA cited “multiple independent sources” in its report Monday.
Honsik was convicted of taking part in far-right attacks in Vienna in the 1960s and later joined the since-banned Austrian far-right party NDP.
Over the following decades he was repeatedly convicted of Holocaust denial and incitement by publishing anti-Semitic and racist books and pamphlets.
He published a book titled “Hitler Innocent?” in which he attempted to justify some of the Third Reich’s crimes during World War II.
He evaded most of his prison sentences over the years by fleeing Austria and living in other European countries, including Spain. He was arrested in 2007 in Malaga and extradited to Austria for a 1992 conviction, after Madrid had refused to hand him in for 15 years because Holocaust denial wasn’t illegal in that country.
The growing trend of antisemitic outbursts among leading Polish politicians and public figures reached new heights this week, when a close ally of the country’s deputy prime minister took to social media to denounce Jews as “animals.”
“Żydzi to nie ludzie to zwierzęta!” – “The Jews are not humans, they are animals!” – an enraged Kazimierz Plotkowski posted on Twitter on Wednesday. The tweet was later deleted, after being captured by several screenshots shared online.
Plotkowski, a successful businessman, is a co-founder and former regional leader of the Polska Razem (“Poland Together”) Party of deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin, and an adviser to the Polish government on energy and mining. The party was founded by Gowin, an outspoken social conservative, in 2013 after he was dismissed from the post of Justice Minister in the previous government.
Following his Twitter outburst, Plotkowski told Polish news outlet NaTemat that he was responding to an unspecified “article” in which Poles were depicted as “pigs who robbed Jews in the ghetto.” However, his original tweet was posted after the museum at the Auschwitz concentration camp announced that it was replacing a small exhibition about a group of Poles executed by the Nazis in 1943 with another about resistance in the camp. Several influential Poles, including historian Adam Cyra, have protested that the decision demeans the suffering of Poles under the Nazis. A spokesperson for the museum told the PAP Polish news agency this week that the new exhibit would show the central role played by Polish inmates in building a resistance movement inside Auschwitz.
Israel’s Economy and Industry Ministry is currently involved in free-trade negotiations with five major economies and deals are expected to be signed this year, Israel Hayom has learned.
The talks are being held with South Korea, Vietnam, India, China, and the Eurasian Customs Union, an economic bloc comprising Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.
Israel Hayom also learned that although the talks with South Korea had stalled over disagreements on provisions relating to businesses in Judea and Samaria, a breakthrough was recently achieved.
Additional free-trade talks, with Colombia, Panama and Ukraine, recently ended successfully.
Israel already has free-trade agreements with some of the world’s largest markets, including the United States, the European Union, and Mexico. Seventy percent of Israeli exports go to countries with which Israel has free-trade agreements.
The Jewish state’s contributions to the world were lauded on Sunday during the first-ever “Israel Summit at Harvard,” a conference organized by Harvard University students from several academic departments.
Featuring 15 high-profile Israel advocates, the gathering was geared toward helping students “gain a broader understanding of Israel,” according to Harvard sophomore Max August, the summit’s director.
August, who raised $200,000 to stage the event, addressed some 400 attendees about his goal of breaking through the “endless cycles of negativity” surrounding Israel on campus, in part by focusing more on “uplifting narratives.”
In the past week, August told the audience gathered at Cambridge’s Charles Hotel, anti-Israel protesters have convened on Harvard’s campus and in downtown Boston. On Tuesday, eight activists chained themselves to the doors of the Israeli consulate’s office building during a demonstration against the IDF’s response to “March of Return” protests along the Gaza border fence.
Back at Harvard, several Jewish student groups hosted a “Liberation” Passover seder focused on “liberating” additional disputed territories from Israel. Likewise, in recent years, Israel-related forums at Harvard have tended to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This weekend’s summit was intended to “inspire the base” and “expand our outreach,” according to August.
If you’ve ever been in Israel for Yom Hazikaron — the Memorial Day for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the Jewish homeland –chances are you will never forget it.
Even if you somehow miss the official ceremonies honoring the fallen, there’s no way to sleep through the siren sounding across the Jewish state at 8 p.m. and then again at 11 a.m. the next morning. At that moment, Israelis everywhere freeze in mid-air — mid-bank deposit, mid-math lesson, mid-email or mid-carpool — while traffic screeches to a halt, and folks climb out of their cars and stand completely silent.
Both instances represent a long minute of stillness in a country not known for its reticence. At that moment, the entire nation of Israel stops to remember the 23,632 soldiers and security forces who have given their lives to defend the state of Israel.
Unless you are Israeli or related to someone who gave their life for their country, you might not see the bereaved parents, brothers, sisters, widows and orphans who gather every year at Mount Herzl on this day to mourn and reflect at the gravesites of loved ones.
For example, the Mizlavi family is among the throngs who congregate there every year to pay their respects to brother-uncle-cousin Tzadok Mizlavi, a 28-year-old graphics artist at The Jerusalem Post who was killed in the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
“Most Israelis have lost someone,” says his younger sister, Tzadika Mizlavi. So when asked to participate in a new project to honor the 23,632 for Israel’s 70th anniversary this spring, Mizlavi — a teacher at the Shulamith School for Girls in Brooklyn — was quick to say “yes.”
“Not only is it special for me, but we really want our girls to understand the sacrifices made so we could have Israel,” says Mizlavi, who was 24 when her brother was killed. “I’ll never forget my father saying at the shiva: ‘May he be the last to die.’ ”
What will become of the ties between Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jews? Will we be able to connect them to what’s going on in Israel? Perhaps even encourage them to make aliya? Will virtual visits to the Wailing Wall and Masada replace the real thing?
In this video made by White Animation for the Israel 70+ project in honor of Israel’s upcoming 70th anniversary of independence, Amos Hermon, CEO of Israel Experience, tells us all about the potential future of the relationship between Jews in Israel and around the world.
Hermon holds an MA in public management for senior administrators. He headed the Jewish Agency’s educational department for 13 years and serves as chairman of the Agency’s counter-antisemitism task force. Hermon is chairman of the board at “Yad Ben-Zvi” and at the Begin Heritage Center.
The Israel 70+ project is comprised of 12 short animations, each shining a light on the future of a major field of life – medicine, autonomous transportation, the job market, food, family, child welfare, Jews in the Diaspora, big data and more, and these videos will air exclusively right here on Jpost.com!
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