PMW: Jews` usury caused Antisemitism – speech by PA Chairman Abbas
The main antisemitic elements of his talk were:
1. The Jews brought Antisemitism upon themselves because of their “social roles” connected to “usury and banks”
2. It was this Jewish behavior that led to “massacres by some state every 10 to 15 years from the 11th century until the Holocaust”
In addition, Abbas denied Jewish history and the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. He argued that Ashkenazi Jews are the descendants of the Khazar Kingdom – “a Tatar-Turkic state” – who have no connection to the 12 tribes of Jacob in the Bible. He rejected completely any Jewish connection to the land of Israel:
“They are talking about longing for Zion and that’s why they are going [there] and so forth. I say – not me, rather history says that these words are baseless.”
[Official PA TV, April 30, 2018]
The following are the main parts of Abbas’ talk concerning these subjects. Abbas defends his antisemitic claims, citing Jewish sources for some of his remarks. (See below):
1/3 PA President Mahmoud Abbas: Holocaust, Massacres of European Jews Due to Their Function in Society as Usurers Hitler Struck a Deal with the Jews pic.twitter.com/qAkCvH8SzL
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 2, 2018
2/3 PA President Mahmoud Abbas: Hitler Struck a Deal with the Jews pic.twitter.com/uV6Qsl3dJR
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 2, 2018
3/3 PA President Mahmoud Abbas: The U.S. Behind the Arab Spring pic.twitter.com/ihyYC42YiD
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 2, 2018
As Germans continue to probe the connection between antisemitism and hostility to Israel in the wake of recent antisemitic incidents across the country, a leading newspaper on Monday carried out a live experiment to determine how long an Israeli flag could be displayed in major urban thoroughfares before being removed.
Israeli flags hung in three locations by reporters from the Bild newspaper were removed within ninety minutes by individuals who happened to be passing by, video revealed.
“The results are frightening,” the newspaper reported. “At the Hermannplatz in Berlin-Neukölln, the Israel flag flew for 42 minutes, for 61 minutes in Munich’s Bahnhofsviertel, and for 81 minutes in the center of Frankfurt.”
Video shot in Munich caught two men walking past an Israeli flag draped over a bicycle railing. Moments later, the men returned and angrily tore the flag down. Meanwhile in Berlin, two youths were filmed at the entrance to a rail station ripping the flag and throwing it to the ground, before one of them tried – and failed – to set it on fire with a cigarette lighter.
German politicians from across the spectrum interviewed by Bild were unanimous in their condemnation of the flag removals.
“The tearing down of the Israeli flag is something we will not tolerate in Germany,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the paper. “We will clearly stand against any form of antisemitism.” His colleague Horst Seehofer, the Interior Minister, pledged to show “zero tolerance” for antisemitic displays.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders condemned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday as an anti-Semite for a speech in which he suggested that the Holocaust was caused by the “social behavior” of European Jews.
Abbas “made another anti-Semitic speech,” Netanyahu said in a statement, accusing the PA leader of recycling “the most contemptible anti-Semitic slogans.
“Apparently a Holocaust-denier remains a Holocaust-denier,” Netanyahu said, alluding to Abbas’s 1982 doctoral dissertation, and called on the international community to condemn the speech and its expression of an anti-Semitism “whose time has come to disappear off the face of the earth.”
During a long-winded speech Monday evening in Ramallah in front of hundreds at a rare session of the Palestinian National Council, the 82-year-old PA leader alleged that the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism, but rather by Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.” The incendiary content of Abbas’s Monday speech, which was reported by The Times of Israel late that night, was not included in the official Palestinian news agency’s English press release about his address or in most initial international coverage of his speech.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a scathing attack against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday morning for his speech the day before that relied on classic antisemitic slogans connecting Jews with money lending.
Abbas’ views on the Holocaust have long been suspect because of his academic work, in which he gave space to an argument that disputed the death of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, claiming that less than one million were killed.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] gave another antisemitic speech,” Netanyahu said.
In a display of “ignorance and insolence, he claimed that the Jews of Europe were persecuted and murdered not because they were Jews, but because they engaged in interest-bearing loans,” Netanyahu said.
“Abu Mazen once again recites the most despicable antisemitic slogans.
Abbas “was a Holocaust denier and has remained a Holocaust denier,” Netanyahu said.
“I call on the international community to condemn Abu Mazen’s grave antisemitism,” Netanyahu continued and added that it’s time for such antisemitism to disappear from the world.
“It’s classic anti-Semitism,” and “classic blame the victim,” said Lipstadt, a prominent American scholar and Holocaust denial expert whose triumph in a libel suit over British Holocaust denier David Irving was adapted into a 2016 film, “Denial.”
“This brings one back directly to his dissertation, to his distortion of history,” she added, referring to the PA leader’s 1982 writings. Penned in Moscow under Soviet rule, “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” alleges that the six million figure of Holocaust victims was exaggerated and that Zionist leaders cooperated with the Nazis.
The Palestinian Authority leader’s tirade was also condemned by US Jewish groups on Thursday.
“Laden with ahistorical and pseudo-academic assertions, the Palestinian president’s latest diatribe reflects once again the depth and persistency of the anti-Semitic attitudes he harbors,” said CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.
“With public speeches like these, it is not surprising that under Abbas’s leadership, the Palestinian Authority has failed to renounce and combat Palestinian anti-Semitic incitement, including narratives that Jews are to blame for the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic persecution, and which deny or diminish the millennial Jewish presence in and connection to the Land of Israel.”
J Street also condemned the remarks that it said “featured absurd anti-Semitic tropes and deeply offensive comments on the history of the Jewish people and Israel.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon sent a letter to the UN Security Council demanding condemnation of the latest anti-Semitic remarks by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
“Such a hateful diatribe against a people who have undergone thousands of years of intolerable persecution, is completely unacceptable. I call on all leaders of good faith to condemn these repeated hateful remarks and demand a full and sincere apology from Mr. Abbas. The Security Council must not stand idly by in the face of this incitement and apparent denial of Israel’s right to exist,” Ambassador Danon wrote.
Responding to Mr. Abbas’s comments that “Those who sought a Jewish state weren’t Jews,” Ambassador Danon wrote that “This claim was a dangerous attempt by the Chairman to rewrite history and claim that the Zionist movement was a result of a European conspiracy, rather than the millennia-old realization of the Jewish people’s prayers to return to our historic homeland in the Land of Israel.”
Ambassador Danon concluded his letter by writing that “For there to be true progress towards peace in our region, the Palestinians will need leaders who are committed to promoting hope and seeking a better future, rather than peddling in hate and inciting bigotry. We hope that this day comes soon.”
The United States Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman responded sharply to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s caustic speech delivered to a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah on Monday.
Abbas claimed that European Jews had been massacred over the centuries because of their “social behavior related to interests and banks,” a common antisemitic trope, and repeated the widely disavowed theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the medieval Khazar converts to Judaism, and not ancient Hebrews, among other statements.
Writing on Twitter, Friedman castigated Abbas’s speech as a “new low,” and said his remarks show that Israel is not responsible for the continued failure of American-led efforts to secure a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the peace process, also condemned the speech.
In an unusual move, the main Palestinian lobby group in Germany condemned what it called “antisemitic” remarks by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about the Holocaust.
The German-Palestinian Society, or DPG, in a statement Tuesday said it “dissociates itself clearly and unequivocally” from the remarks by Abbas.
Speaking Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas said that Jews caused the Holocaust with their “social role,” such as money lending. He also said that Jews do not have a historical connection to the land.
“To suggest that Jews in some way share a responsibility for the Holocaust is a grotesque distortion of historical facts,” DPG wrote in its statement. “The claim that the Jewish people have no roots in the Holy Land is equally erroneous.”
The statement called Abbas’ address a “speech riddled with antisemitic remarks.”
The European Union’s foreign service condemned remarks on the Holocaust by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as “unacceptable,” echoing criticism on Wednesday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In strikingly blunt language from Brussels, the European External Action Service said in a statement: “The speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.
“Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated.”
Netanyahu called for international condemnation of “antisemitism” by Abbas over remarks on Monday in which the Palestinian leader suggested historic persecution of Jews in Europe was caused by their conduct.
The EEAS added: “Antisemitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies.
“The European Union remains committed to combat any form of antisemitism and any attempt to condone, justify or grossly trivialize the Holocaust.”
A delegation of leading Republican members of Congress are urging newly installed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cut all U.S. taxpayer funding to the Palestinian government over its continued use of American dollars to pay the salaries of terrorists and their families, according to communications between these lawmakers and the State Department.
A group of 14 lawmakers formally petitioned Pompeo this week to “immediately suspend all aid payments to the Palestinian Authority” due to recent reports these funds continue to be used to pay convicted terrorists and their families, a material breach of newly passed laws barring American aid money being used for such purposes.
The lawmakers seek a public showdown with the Trump administration over the future of U.S. aid to the Palestinian government, which has publicly refused to comply with new U.S. laws mandating the terror payment program known as “pay to slay” be stopped.
While similar efforts to cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian government for its open support for terrorism have not gained traction under past administrations, the latest call is expected to gain steam as President Donald Trump executes a more hardline stance on Palestinian terrorists and their regional supporters, including Iran.
The letter, the existence of which was first disclosed by the Washington Free Beacon, follows another recent report in this publication disclosing that the Palestinian Authority continues to spend U.S. aid dollars on terrorists. Palestinian officials have also made clear that they have no intention of following the new law and will continue to provide terrorists and their families with compensation.
While these payments have been a source of congressional concern for some time, the recent passage of the Taylor Force Act—a bill meant to end these payments—has provided the legal grist necessary for congressional opponents of U.S. aid to the Palestinian government to see this aid cu
The top-level governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organization is reportedly set to adopt a resolution freezing its recognition of Israel and conditioning it on Israel recognizing a state of Palestine.
Sources close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat that the Palestinian National Council is expected to pass the resolution during its current gathering, and will also put on hold all other agreements with Israel.
Abbas is reportedly to announce the measures during a speech to the council on Thursday evening.
The sources said the PNC, which is holding a rare gathering this week in Ramallah, will make a number of decisions against Israel. Among other things, the council will allow the filing of war crimes complaints against Israeli figures and organizations, the sources said.
The PNC is the legislative body of the PLO, the official representative of the Palestinian people all over the world, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The PA, headed by Abbas, was created as a result of the 1993 Oslo Accords, in which the Palestinians agreed to recognize Israel. The PA is responsible for governing the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Decisions made by the PNC are usually also adopted by the PA.
President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday began the first visit of an Israeli head of state to Ethiopia, telling a welcoming party at the airport that he was “returning the visit of the Queen Sheba, and coming on behalf of King Solomon.”
Rivlin said he wanted to develop and deepen cooperation between the two countries in some of the many fields in which Israel excels, as well as in the battle against terror.
The president, who will return to Israel on Thursday, is set to meet with his Ethiopian counterpart Mulatu Teshome, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Patriarch Abuna Mathias, and other senior figures.
On Tuesday evening, he was due to meet with representatives of the Ethiopian Falash Mura community waiting to emigrate to Israel.
Falash Mura is a colloquial, albeit pejorative, term from the Ge’ez language that describes Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries, largely due to persecution and economic strife, but who maintained a distinct communal identity.
The president’s delegation includes two Knesset lawmakers of Ethiopian extraction — Avraham Neguise (Likud), chair of the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee and a member of the Caucus for the Jewish Community in Ethiopia, and Penina Tamanu-Shatahair (Yesh Atid), chair of the Caucus to Promote the Status of Jews From Ethiopia.
Also accompanying the visit is popular Israeli singer Ester Rada.
The president is also travelling with a substantial delegation of public, business, and community leaders from Israel and overseas — among them Shraga Brosh, President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asked Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome on Wednesday to help secure the release of Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian-Israeli held by Hamas in Gaza.
“I ask you to do what you can for his return,” Rivlin said to Teshome during a state visit to Ethiopia, according to the Hebrew news site Walla.
“Avera Mengistu is an Israeli citizen with Ethiopian roots, but before all else he is a human being,” Rivlin continued, “and I ask you also to do everything possible in order to put the necessary pressure on Hamas for the sake of his release.”
Rivlin added, “This is a humanitarian issue in every way and we must combine our efforts in order to bring about his return together with two of our soldiers held by [Hamas] since the last fighting in Gaza.”
Teshome pledged to raise the issue with Hamas and work to bring about Mengistu’s release.
Mengistu was 28 at the time of his capture by Hamas in September 2014 after he crossed the border with Gaza on his own accord. He is said to be mentally ill and his family believes his disorder was the reason for his action.
Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded President Donald Trump for moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu said the gesture would be remembered by his people for “many, many generations.”
“President Trump did a historic thing and, I think, our people will remember it for many, many generations,” he said. “I’m sitting right now in the prime minister’s office. It is in Jerusalem. Right next to me is our parliament, the Knesset. It is in Jerusalem. Right next to that is our supreme court. That’s in Jerusalem. The seat of our president — that’s in Jerusalem. Everybody knows Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people. It’s been the capital since King David’s time. That’s 3,000 years ago.”
“It took President Trump’s leadership to say something so clear — a simple fact, to put forward a simple truth, but an important one,” Netanyahu added. “And I think there’s tremendous excitement in Israel for the upcoming moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem. And we appreciate it. It was a great act. My relationship with President Trump is terrific.”
It may have been destiny – or prophecy – that orchestrated US President Donald Trump to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the same year as Israel’s 70th anniversary.
But whatever conviction one holds regarding the forces that created such apt timing for this event, Christian Broadcasting Network’s CEO, Gordon Robertson, does know one thing for certain: This is a time of celebration.
“I think it’s a wonderful time to celebrate. Certainly, 70 years has biblical significance, whether its the period of exile – what Jeremiah predicted and Daniel later interpreted – so here we are 70 years after the founding of Israel in 1948,” Robertson told The Jerusalem Post Magazine.
“I think [this move] is monumental and long overdue.
Israel is a sovereign state, and as a sovereign state, it has the right to designate its own capital. Israel is unique in the world, the only sovereign state in the world that has designated a capital that other countries do not recognize,” he explained.
“This is a time to celebrate in Jerusalem,” he asserted.
Guatemala raised its flag at the site of its new embassy in Jerusalem on Tuesday, ahead of its official opening next week following the inauguration of the United States’ own new mission in the city.
The official opening of Guatemala’s new embassy at the the Malcha Technology Park in Jerusalem will take place on May 16, two days after the US cuts the ribbon on its own new embassy on May 14.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is likely to attend the event, Haaretz reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the new Guatemalan mission to Jerusalem, saying he was “moved” to see the Guatemalan flag raised in Israel’s “eternal capital.”
“I was moved to see the flag of Guatemala waving in Jerusalem in advance of the opening of the Guatemalan embassy later this month. Dear friends, welcome back to our eternal capital,” Netanyahu said.
Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Twitter: “Wonderful to see Guatemala’s flag flying proudly above the new Guatemalan embassy in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. Looking forward to seeing many more flags joining Guatemala’s in the city of peace.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday that Japan has no plans to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Palestinian media reports.
Abe touched down at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport and then drove to the West Bank city of Ramallah to meet with Abbas.
On Wednesday, he is scheduled to visit a Japan-backed agro-industrial Park in the West Bank desert city of Jericho, near the Israeli-controlled border with Jordan, before meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The industrial zone was set up by Japan more than a decade ago as part of the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity Initiative aimed at promoting economic cooperation between Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan.
Incipient moves to transfer international embassies to Israel from Tel Aviv to the country’s declared capital threaten to grow from a trickle to a torrent despite intense lobbying and threats by Palestinians officials, leading them to concentrate their diplomatic efforts to prevent further such developments on governments that exist in the safer realm of the make-believe, where Palestinians have shown renowned prowess.
First the United States, then Guatemala, and then other nations stated their intentions to transfer their embassies in recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State, against Palestinian wishes and in defiance of decades of international opinion regarding the status of the holy city. Troubled by their sudden impotence to forestall the anticipated wave of embassy moves, Palestinian diplomats and officials now seek to shore up their position to ensure that countries such as Molvania, Elbonia, Oz, Freedonia, Vulgaria, Mordor, Atlantis, Narnia, Never-Never Land, Florin, Guilder, Eternia, Xanth, and other places that exist only in the literary, cinematic, or metaphorical universes do not follow suit, reasoning that given emerging trends, their efforts stand a better chance of success in the pretend realm than in physical reality.
“We have already dispatched high-level delegations to numerous such places,” disclosed Saeb Erekat, a senior Fatah official who once led the team negotiating peace with Israel but now devotes his time to receiving advanced medical care in Israel and the US while bad-mouthing those countries. “I am pleased to report that we have received reliable assurances from Vulgaria, Freedonia, Xanth, Atlantis, Mordor, and Elbonia that they will never jeopardize a peaceful, just resolution of the conflict and of the occupation by recognizing baseless Israeli claims to Al-Quds,” referring to the city by its Arabic moniker.
On Tuesday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show,” Israeli Deputy Prime Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren stated that anti-Semitism is growing in the United States and that while the focus tends to be on right-wing anti-Semitism, “it’s very important to keep your eye on anti-Semitism on the left. Because that is the greater anti-Semitism on American campuses.”
Oren said, “Anti-Semitism is a rising threat in the United States. But people very much focus on anti-Semitism on the right. I think it’s very important to keep your eye on anti-Semitism on the left. Because that is the greater anti-Semitism on American campuses. And I follow it very closely, with growing concern, and I think that there has to be much more open discussion about it and awareness.”
In March 2016, Shmuel Herzfeld, the modern Orthodox rabbi of Washington D.C. synagogue Ohev Sholom, grabbed headlines when he publicly interrupted Donald Trump’s speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference. “This man is wicked,” he declared. “He inspires racists and bigots. He encourages violence. Do not listen to him.” Draped in his prayer shawl, he was carried off by security.
Today, Herzfeld again donned his shawl to protest politicians for coddling hatred. But this time, his target was the Washington D.C. council, comprised of eleven Democrats and two Independents, who had refused to censure the anti-Semitic conduct of one of their own: Council member Trayon White.
White first gained infamy when he posted a video on his Facebook page in which he blamed the Jewish Rothschild banking dynasty for controlling the weather. Seeing White as more the victim of ignorance than a purveyor of malice, the D.C. Jewish community attempted to make amends with White, and he soon embarked on a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. He bailed on the tour halfway through, however, and shortly after that episode, the Washington Post revealed that White had donated funds meant for constituents to Louis Farrakhan, the notorious anti-Semite who claims Jews are “Satanic” and behind 9/11, among other calumnies. Subsequent reporting discovered that White had also helped distribute The Final Call, the virulently anti-Semitic newspaper of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.
The Associated Press stealth-edited a story about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories peddled by a Washington, D.C. government official Wednesday after initially omitting he was a Democrat.
City council member Trayon White drew controversy in March for blaming a snowfall on a Jewish conspiracy, posting a Facebook video where he said the “Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.” The Rothschilds are a European business dynasty descended from a Jewish banker, and they have often been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
White said he was unaware at the time that he was peddling such a conspiracy theory, but his efforts to repair the damage made matters worse, culminating in him asking questions during a Holocaust Museum visit that showed a severe lack of knowledge about the genocide.
In a story entitled “Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Roil DC City Government,” the Associated Press reporter identified the controversies, but he did not initially indicate White was a Democrat, according to the Washington Examiner.
The initial report read, “White said he was unaware the Rothschild theory could be construed as anti-Semitic. The first-term African-American councilman reached out to try to mend fences, but several of the gestures seem to have made things worse.”
Two members of anti-Zionist groups at New York University were arrested while protesting a celebration of Israel’s Independence Day on Friday.
The unnamed students — who are affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), respectively — were taking part in a demonstration at Washington Square Park, where hundreds had congregated for a “Rave in the Park” celebration held by Realize Israel, a pro-Israel club at NYU.
While some protesters waved the Palestinian flag as their peers danced to Israeli music in blue-and-white garb, others wiped their feet and stomped on an Israeli flag, according to video footage. Police officers interrupted the protest at around 1 PM, arresting a member of JVP who set an Israel flag on fire, the student-run NYU Local reported.
Later in the afternoon, a male student was filmed grabbing the arm of a Realize Israel member who was singing “Hatikvah” along with dozens of students and forcibly taking her microphone before shouting, “Free Palestine, end the occupation.” Several members of the surrounding group quickly circled the protester before he was removed from the premises by police officers. The same student had allegedly stolen an Israeli flag from participants of the rave.
The students were held overnight at the New York County Criminal Court and released on Saturday. Dozens of peers attended their arraignment in a show of support organized by the Governance Council of Minority and Marginalized Students at NYU and 16 other groups, including NYU College Democrats.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman have Prof Andrew Markus in the studio responding to last week’s criticism of the Gen 17 survey by Prof Bill Rubinstein and then welcome back Isi Leibler who has had a couple of weeks off.
We have an in-depth conversation with Luke Walladge, a former ALP staffer on the direction that party is taking with Israel, and finish up with Eytan Meir from an organisation called Im Tirzu which does a magnificent job in holding left wing NGOs to account.
3 min Editorial: Israel, two-state solution and Yishai Fleischer visit
8 min Prof Andrew Markus, responding to criticism of Gen 17 survey
37 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem [Isi doesn’t hold back}
50 min Luke Walladge, former ALP staffer on the ALP and Israel
1:18 Eytan Meir, Im Tirzu which monitors leftist NGOs
Earlier this month, an Israeli Arab living in Germany, skeptical of the claim that Jews can’t walk Germany’s streets without risking harassment, decided to test it out by donning a kippah and taking a stroll. He was soon assaulted by a Syrian refugee, and posted a video of the incident that has since gained much attention, as James Kirchick writes:
[T]he plain fact is that most of the migrants who have come (and continue to come) to Europe hail from Muslim-majority countries that long ago expelled their once-vibrant Jewish populations, where anti-Semitism figures prominently in state propaganda, and where belief in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is widespread. To take just one obvious incongruity between Germany and the migrants it is accepting: Holocaust denial, a crime punishable by prison in Germany, is pervasive across the Muslim and Arab Middle East. Of course, it would be wrong to presume that every Syrian refugee holds the anti-Semitic attitudes of the country’s former defense minister, who published a book repeating the ancient blood libel about Jews killing Gentile children to bake matzos for Passover. But it is equally misguided to deny that many have been profoundly influenced by the anti-Semitic environments in which they were raised.
So concerned were they not to appear indifferent to the sufferings of foreign Muslims, however, that many Germans welcomed them without properly considering the impact this move might have on their Jewish fellow citizens. . . . The chaotic nature of the influx and lack of border checks meant that most of the approximately 2 million people who entered Europe in the great wave of 2015-2016 were not refugees but economic migrants seeking jobs. . . .
An impending vote in the Danish parliament on non-medical circumcision of boys risks splitting the country’s ruling party, local media reported.
The internal conflict is over an online petition from February calling for a ban on the practice. The petition has received 92 percent of its authors’ goal of collecting 50,000 cosignatories by August. In the likely event of reaching that number in time, the petition will become a draft resolution for parliament to vote on.
Last month, Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen of the ruling Venstre centrist party said his party would vote against the draft resolution, the Berlingske newspaper reported. But several members say they would break party discipline and vote in favor, the report said. If they leave the party over the issue, it could jeopardize the coalition.
Across Europe, the Jewish and Muslim customs of non-medical circumcision of boys are under attack by liberals who say it is a violation of children’s rights and nationalists who argue it is foreign to European culture.
For the third time in three weeks, a person affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement was assaulted in Crown Heights, a local paper reported.
The victim, a 22-year-old yeshiva student, was reportedly walking home from the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights when he was attacked at around midnight on Tuesday night.
It was not immediately clear what the motive for the attack was, but the victim’s father said the assailants did not try to rob him.
The Crown Heights Info news website reported that the victim felt he was being followed and crossed the street, only to discover someone coming at him from the other direction as well.
The two African-American assailants punched and kicked the yeshiva student until he managed to break free and run, catching the attention of police officers. One officer took one of the assailants into custody immediately, and another officer chased after the second assailant, catching him two blocks away. Both assailants were armed with knives, according to the report. Both assailants had prior arrests.
Anti-Semitic and white supremacist posters were removed from downtown Durham, North Carolina, near the Duke University campus.
City workers removed the posters on Monday, the local Herald Sun newspaper reported.
One of the posters showed a silhouetted man pointing a gun at an image of a bearded man with a long nose, wearing a kippa, with tentacles wrapped around the earth. The poster reads: “Right of revolution. Your ancestors threw off foreign oppression, time for you as well.”
Other posters read: “Greedy Jews” and “End Zionist Oppression.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with the visiting chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma, touting the opportunities for collaboration.
“There are amazing opportunities here,” Netanyahu told Ma during the visit in Jerusalem. “The most important thing is that we have here a convergence of your excellent business sense and your technology together with our technology and our innovation, and innovation is key.”
“You are a very successful leader in a very competitive business and in a very competitive world, and the world belongs to those who innovate. Israel is the innovation nation,” Netanyahu added, calling on Ma to invest in Israel.
Ma said that he has received a lot of requests and is meeting a lot of people in Israel. “In the coming two days we will be very busy,” he said, adding that he was exploring business opportunities in the country.
Ma noted that Israel is a much more peaceful country than he expected, with a strong economy and security.
Israeli arms sales increased dramatically — by 41.5 percent — from 2016 to 2017, according to figures released by the Defense Ministry on Wednesday, including a massive missile defense system sale to India.
Defense exports brought in $9.2 billion last year, compared to the $6.5 billion in 2016 and $5.7 billion the year before, according to the International Defense Cooperation Directorate at the Defense Ministry, known as SIBAT.
“This is an extraordinary achievement in every sense, which was reached thanks to the hard work of SIBAT and the defense industries and due to a number of agreements with foreign countries,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement.
This dramatic increase can also be credited to efforts made by the Defense Ministry over the past year to deregulate the arms industry and make it easier for Israeli firms to export their wares.
SIBAT chief Michel Ben-Baruch told reporters he expects similar levels of defense exports in 2018.
The Giro d’Italia’s Secret Holocaust Hero and Cycling Champ
In the darkest days of World War 2 Italy, record-breaking Italian cyclist Gino Bartali used his bicycle frame to smuggle forged documents, saving 800 Jews from death. His act of defiance against Nazi antisemitism made him a WW2 hero and inspired the Giro d’Italia 2018 to begin in Israel, the first time the race has opened outside Europe. The story – one that screams “made-for-netflix” – begins in 1938, when life under the Mussolini dictatorship though hard, was a relative refuge from Nazi-occupied Europe. All this changed in 1943 when the Nazis invaded and started transporting Jews to concentration camps. At the time Bartali was a celebrity and sports hero, two-time winner of the Tour de France and three-time winner of the Giro d’Italia. He used his status to support an underground group of fellow Catholics and partisans in WW2, including document-forging priests and nuns. Instead of using his fame to help himself, Bartali risked his life, stepping up to save as many Jews as possible. Incredibly, Bartali kept his wartime activities secret. Only after this WW2 hero’s death was he recognized by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among the Nations;” the highest accolade awarded to individuals who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis during the Shoah (holocaust). As the Giro d’Italia 2018 begins in Jerusalem, Israel, we remember Bartali’s awesome legacy and share his mantra that “good is something you do, not something you talk about.”
Rare sections of the Dead Sea Scrolls that have never been published or properly inspected – including a section of the Temple Scroll and a version of a chapter of Psalms shorter than the one familiar today – were presented Tuesday at a special conference titled “The Dead Sea Scrolls at 70: Clear a Path in the Wilderness.”
In the 1950s, researchers and a group of Bedouin discovered a trove of tens of thousands of scraps of parchment and papyrus comprising parts of about 1,000 manuscripts that had been inscribed 2,000 years earlier. Because of their small size and delicate condition, many of the fragments were stored in cigar boxes and shelved.
Recently, the Israel Antiquities Authority took the fragments off the shelves as part of its ongoing project to digitize the entire body of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The special imaging equipment in use for the project, originally developed for NASA, not only shed new light on some of the scrolls but raised the tantalizing prospect that there could be an entire additional Dead Sea Scroll whose existence was unknown until today.
One section written in proto-Hebrew did not appear to belong to any of the 1,000 manuscripts known today, causing researchers to wonder if there were parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls that had never been discovered.
Robert Tanen bought his wife Meredith a necklace for her last birthday. He hoped she would like it, but when she opened the box, her emotional response surpassed anything Tanen had imagined.
“My wife broke down in tears and hugged me tighter than ever before. She had a very visceral and powerful reaction when she saw what was inside,” Tanen said.
What she saw was a platinum chain with a disc pendant engraved with a series of digits: 94980. It was her late grandfather Abraham Stein’s Holocaust number, the one assigned to him by the Nazis.
“Meredith wears the necklace every day. She was very close with her grandfather,” said Tanen, who lives in Boynton Beach, Florida and is Southeast regional director for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The necklace is part of a collection of Holocaust remembrance jewelry by Jakob Ella Jewelry, a company founded in 2017 by Dana Rogozinski, the Jacksonville, Florida-based granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. A portion of the proceeds of every purchase from the company is donated toward Holocaust education and scholarships for Poland trips for students.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.